Review: Throwaway Girl by Kristine Scarrow

Throwaway Girl by Kristine Scarrow

Throwaway Girl by Kristine Scarrow Published by Dundurn. Coming Fall 2014, available for pre-order now.

From Netgalley:

Andy Burton knows a thing or two about survival. Since she was removed from her mother’s home and placed in foster care when she was nine, she’s had to deal with abuse, hunger, and homelessness. But now that she’s eighteen, she’s about to leave Haywood House, the group home for girls where she’s lived for the past four years, and the closest thing to a real home she’s ever known.

Will Andy be able to carve out a better life for herself and find the happiness she is searching for?

 

Dear Book Reader,

Andy finds herself nearing her 18th birthday and a new life outside of Haywood House, where she has been living.  Haywood House is a group home for girls who have nowhere else to go.  No parents, family or friends to take care of them, and no one to adopt them either.

As we go through Andy’s present life, we have glimpses into life prior to Haywood House and the vents leading up to her living there.  It’s a look into the way Andy learned how to live.  She was trying to be a “perfect” child for her out of touch mother, and holding up a front that things were all right at home.  Through some good and into some bad.  To a life of cutting to cope.  Then eventually to the life Andy came to know at Haywood House.

As Andy prepares to transition out, she finds herself facing a new job, new school, and living by herself in an apartment.  Being hurt by men is part of her past, but Andy has also found herself a loving and stable boyfriend.  It’s sad to say, but Andy still has a few jarring experiences to face.

What was Andy’s life like growing up?

What was she dealing with after Haywood House?

Did Andy ever find peace?

I loved this book!  It was raw, emotional and offered a high level of character connection.  The story was so real, the way it was written, the reaction to life events, the hope and the loss experienced by the main characters.  I could feel the pain and joy as Andy moved through her life.  It’s not often that I can connect so strongly with a character in a book, but I did so with this one.  I was thrilled with the way Andy’s life turned out, despite all the hardships she has faced her 18 years.

This book offers hope to those that might be struggling with similar issues as Andy.  Much of this book hit home for me because of similar experiences faced in my teens and early 20s.  I greatly enjoyed Kristine Scarrow’s writing and can’t wait to read more from her.

Stars: *****

Recommend: Yes.  Go and pre-order this book!

Read On,

Liz

This book was provide by Dundurn Publishing through Netgalley.

 

 

 

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Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Alienated by Melissa Landers
Published by Disney Hyperion on February 4, 2014
Hardcover, 352 pages
$16.99 US

From Goodreads: 

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

Dear Book Readers,

As the title suggests, this book has to do with aliens, and well, being alienated.  Gotta love a double-meaning title, right?  Really, who doesn’t?

Starting with the aliens, visiting earth from a planet called L’eihr.  These aliens, who are very much human looking, are part of an exchange program.  They spend some time down here with their high school human hosts and family, and their high school human hosts will eventually spend time in L’eihr.  Enter in the main characters, Cara and Aelyx.

Cara is smart, the class valedictorian, and ready to plan her future.  Aelyx is simple, competitive, and not all that excited of visiting earth.  Things are awkward between these two characters at first, but boy, do things eventually heat up.  Happy ending – not so much!  Life is about to get much more complicated than some calculus problem.

It’s not long before people turn their backs on Cara and Aelyx, thus the second meaning of the title.  They become alienated from their peers!  Friends are lost, Cara’s parents are affected, and the town turns into a mass protest site.  All of this happening while Cara and Aelyx are falling madly in love with each other.  The only problem is that one of them is keeping a major secret from the other that affects everything and everyone around them.  The only sound thing to do is for Aelyx and the other exchange aliens to head back home.

What secret is being kept and by who?

What happens as they face being separated?

Why was this exchange program so important?

I greatly enjoyed this book.  Yeah, it might be a little “high schoolish” in language, but that’s the type of characters Melissa has written.  I honestly don’t expect high schoolers to speak like adults.  I loved this exchange program concept between humans and aliens.  I think the sensual, borderline sexual, content was a little too much.  It’s just not my thing.  I know these two species are trying to figure out each other on that level, but it’s hard to believe with how quickly it came about.  At least a little self-control was shown by the characters.

The flow and writing of the book made it a quick, yet captivating read.  And the cover.  I absolutely love the cover and how it depicts what is waiting inside.  This book is written in dual narrative form, but flows within the same chapter.

Stars: *****

Recommendation: Yes!

Read on,

Liz

This book was checked out at my awesome public library!

2014 Debut Author Challenge

Dear Book Readers,

I’ve decided to join in on the 2014 Debut Author Challenge.  I hope to bring to light at least 12 books by authors that are publishing for the first time in the YA/MG genre this year.

As I get most of my books from the library right now, I will have to wait for some of these books to be ordered or request them myself.   Is there any better way to get new authors recognized than by blogging and getting their book for your public library?  Nope!  I’m a total support of my public library, as I can’t possibly afford my reading…habit.  I’m wondering how I’m going to get through all the books I currently have checked out!

Expect my frist review up shortly.  It’s for one of the new debut authors!

Join me, will you?  Information can be found here, on The Story Siren’s blog.  There’s also a Goodreads group with a list of books coming out this year.  Links open in a new window.

Read on,

Liz