Saturday, November 6, 2010

I absolutely recommend...

I don't have time to give these books the justice they deserve with full blown rave reviews so here I am shouting out about them in a mini-review post. 

I think I may make this a regular feature...

Links go to goodreads.

One Lonely Degree by C K Kelly Martin

Finn has always felt out of place, but suddenly her world is unraveling. It started with The Party. And Adam Porter. And the night in September that changed everything. The only person who knows about that night is Audrey—Finn’s best friend, her witness to everything, and the one person Finn trusts implicitly. So when Finn’s childhood friend Jersy moves back to town—reckless, beautiful Jersy, all lips and eyes and hair so soft you’d want to dip your fingers into it if you weren’t careful—Finn gives her blessing for Audrey to date him. How could she possibly say no to Audrey? With Audrey gone for the summer, though, Finn finds herself spending more and more time with Jersy, and for the first time in her life, something feels right. But Finn can’t be the girl who does this to her best friend...can she? 

I absolutely loved this. Beautiful and seamlessly written. It made me ache. C K Kelly Martin just has this way with pulling me in and making me care. 

I loved Finn - I so related to her - quietly, beautifully angsty and unassuming and genuine -  a stunning portrait of a teen muddling through life.

As for Jersey - what a dynamic relationship - so much to read in between the lines. I am crushing on him hard. HARD. 

This is contemporary relationships crafted at it's best. Friendship and family and love.

The ending - just so well done. This book has lingered and I keep feeling the urge to go back and flip through it's pages. 

The premise may sound ordinary, but the book definitely is not. If you are a fan of Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott or contemp YA in general - this should be screaming out at you from a must-read list.

Hold Still by Nina Lacour

In the wake of her best friend Ingrid's suicide, Caitlin is left alone, struggling to find hope and answers. When she finds the journal Ingrid left behind for her, she begins a journey of understanding and broadening her horizons that leads her to new friendships and first love. Nina LaCour brings the changing seasons of Caitlin's first year without Ingrid to life with emotion, honesty, and captivating writing.

I got this after reading oh-so-many stunning reviews. And it's one of my fave reads this year.

I am most astounded with just how deeply I sunk into these pages. Nina LaCour knows teens and she's pitch prefect at capturing them.

I personally not only related to Caitlin, but also to Ingrid (who, wow, she's dead from the outset, but her presence is so keenly felt throughout the pages). 

It's beautiful and hopeful and brave and captivating and I wish I could go back to my teen self and give her this book. This is another one where the magic lingers in my mind. Stunning.

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

Sixteen-year-old, music- and sound design-obsessed Drea doesn’t have friends. She has, as she’s often reminded, issues. Drea’s mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on "a touch of Asperger’s.”
Having just moved to the latest in a string of new towns, Drea meets two other outsiders. And Naomi and Justin seem to actually like Drea. The three of them form a band after an impromptu, Portishead-comparison-worthy jam after school. Justin swiftly challenges not only Drea’s preference for Poe over Black Lab but also her perceived inability to connect with another person. Justin, against all odds, may even like like Drea.
It’s obvious that Drea can’t hide behind her sound equipment anymore. But just when she’s found not one but two true friends, can she stand to lose one of them?

What an amazing book.

 It's refreshing and honest and not at all awkward (which I was initially apprehensive about)

At its heart, it's a love story, and a story of friendship and mothers and daughters. 

Despite Drea's Aspergers, she's incredibly easy to relate to, to love and to cheer on. It's funny and precious and inspiring. 

It's a little heartbreaking, a whole lot eye-opening and completely captivating. Also, Justin, swoon :)

(and a shout out to Angie who gave it to me! You're the best!)

All three of these books are ones I will re-read. 
Ones I'll be passing on to friends. 
All have crush-worthy guys (just saying). 
They're stand out reads for me. 
And contenders for my top fave reads this year.

Have you read any of these?
What contemp YA have you recently read that you fell in love with?


  1. Thanks for the great reviews and the recommendations. I have head amazing things about Hold Still.

  2. I've read "Hold Still" but haven't come across the other two. Thanks for the recommendations.

    Best comtemporary YA I've read recently... that would be Malorie Blackman's latest, "Boys Don't Cry," and a couple of older books ('90s and early '00s - does that count?) Make Lemonade and True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff.

  3. I've had my eye on Hold Still for awhile now and I've heard about Harmonic Feedback but never read any reviews on it. Great recommendations as always. :)

  4. I've held both Hold Still and Harmonic Feedback in such high esteem for quite a while now. I'm so glad both were great reads!

    One Lonely Degree is looking really good right now, especially with the warming weather (in between showers).

  5. I absolutely LOVe Harmonic Feedback. It's definitely one of my books of the year and I feel it didn't get the exposure it deserved., so glad to see it here.

    The last contemp YA I loved was Feeling Sorry for Celia - just perfect!

  6. the girl on the top book cover has incredible hair. i know a girl who had hair like that but always straightens it, so it goes to waste.

  7. I haven't read any of these...and I can't believe I haven't! Thanks for pointing them all out to me...I'm adding them to my list :)

  8. I adore covers with stretched out arms.

  9. I've been wanting to read Hold Still for ages! I'm so glad you liked it. I hadn't heard of Harmonic Feedback but it sounds awesome :)

  10. I haven't read any of these, but they all sound very much amazing. Thanks for the reviews!

  11. um wow. I love CK, she's such an amazing author and she brings something fresh and new to the contemporary table with every book she releases. I read The Lighter Sude to Life and Death a few months back by her and it was fantastic, you should read it for sure. Hold Still? SO GOOD! i need to read Harmonic Feedback.

    Fab Post!

  12. I want to smack myself for not having read Hold Still yet :-|

    CK Kelly Martin's first book is still on my shelf. I really need to get to it..

    Keeping my eyes out for Harmonic Feedback. Love the title. Beautiful premise.

  13. Great idea for a feature. I love Harmonic Feedback and the other two are at the top of my list.

    My recent favourite contemp fiction is Raw Blue and The Piper's Sons. Also Twenty Boy Summer :)

  14. These sound really cool! I'm going to try get them :)

  15. Aw, thanks Nomes. You already know that i love HFB, but I have to get these other two. I really liked CK Kelly Martin's other book that I got, so I'll be looking for that one. And I love the cover of hold still - such beautiful colors and it gives such feeling to the viewer. :)

  16. I love the cover for 'Hold Still'! Definitely checking these ones out ASAP, thanks for the heads-up!

  17. These books sound awesome! I'm so checking them out.

  18. I love Harmonic Feedback! :D I really want to read Hold Still.

  19. Just wanted to say, thanks so much for your comment on my Firelight review! I was a little nervous about that one because I was in the minority in not giving it a glowing review, so I'm glad you liked it.

    Also haven't read any of the books you've featured in this post but I've heard good things about Harmonic Feedback and Hold Still, so I think I should definitely check these out!

  20. I haven't read any of these *hangs head in shame*. But they all look so amazing. Esp Hold Still. I'm so looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of that one.

    And the best contemp YA I've read recently is Beatle Meets Destiny, which I know you love to death already. I'm also really enjoying Girl Next Door by Alyssa Brugman.


Thanks for the commenty love :)