Author: Julie Rieman Duck
Publication Date: Sept 2012
Classification: YA Novel
Summary from Goodreads:
When Christian Rusch plucks Beck Ionesco from the freshman ranks for himself, she’s tempted with parties, popularity, and love. But as the free-flowing booze that soaks his world seeps into her own, Beck begins using liquid courage as a way to ignore Christian’s dark moods… and cover her anxiety about his flirtatious friend Hillman.
However, when Christian breaks up with Beck, and Hillman makes a dangerous move, no amount of alcohol can stop the pain or keep her out of trouble. And just when it seems like she’s lost everything, Beck is partnered with Jesse Leary for an art project. After spending time with him, Beck realizes it’s more than a study date… and Christian’s not happy about it. Then again, Beck’s not sure she’s happy with him, either.
But only after plowing through a bottle of wine, a wild fight, and one guardrail that becomes Christian’s last call, does Beck admit to her problem and ask for help from the one whose life secretly parallels her own.
I really like to read “issue” books in the teen genre because I always feel they have great lessons to learn and some heartbreaking moments along the way. I was hoping when I started this book that I was going to get that great emotional journey and watch some bad and some good happen to the characters over the course of the story.
I liked the characters but I felt I didn’t really connect with any of them as well as I would have liked. I did like Beck and how she wanted to be the girl that was seen with the popular boy from school. I was interested in the beginning of the book about learning more about this popular boy, Christian, and what role he was going to have in the book. I have to say the side characters were pretty boring except for Jesse, when he finally shows up in the story that is. Most of the side characters are just props that add to the party scene that Beck and Christian find themselves in so much of the book. I guess it can be pretty hard to like more of the characters when they are just cloudy hazes on the pages because of how much they have had to drink. The shinning moment as far as characters go in this book was Jesse. Plain and simple he was the saving grace in this story and if he had not been in the book I would not have finished this one.
The plot was a bit weird for me personally to connect with because even though I am of legal age to drink I have never had a sip of alcohol in my life. I have never seen the point behind wasting money to drink myself into a hangover that would kill my head and make me puke the next day. So I have to say having a huge plot point be drunk teenagers was a little bit of a let down for me. I guess I just couldn’t connect very well with the journey that Beck was taking in this book. I did like the plot in the second half of the book much better than the beginning though because slowly over time Beck started to really pay attention to what her drinking so much really meant. She did have some moments of clarity between all of the drunk moments. Plus she got to meet Jesse and spend a lot of interesting moments around him and I loved how he made Beck think about things, how he was always there to help her but to also push her in the right direction, slowly but surely. Plus I did like the suspense of Beck being put in a horrible situation with Christian’s best friend due to her drinking way too much.
Overall, this book was a struggle for me at many points. I didn’t like all of the drinking that went on, I knew it was part of the plot but I didn’t think it was going to be that huge of a plot point over the course of the whole book. I did like that Beck had character growth in the book and that near the end she might just’ve figured out who she was suppose to be and what she was suppose to do in life. Everyone has to have a moment of realization at some point and I’m glad Jesse was there to help her get to where I think she needed to be by the end of the story. I would even go so far to say I wish the ending of the book was longer because the last 50 pages were my favorite of the book.
About the Author:
Born in Los Angeles and raised in San Clemente, California, Julie Rieman Duck wrote her way through school on an old-fashioned typewriter. Somewhere along the line, she was sidetracked by careers in magazine publishing and copywriting. While Julie honed her skills at writing print ads and articles, the stories that moved her heart and soul were bubbling underneath, waiting to escape.
It took a medical scare and the loss of her job — on the same day and within 30 minutes of each other — to finally allow her stories to free themselves and be put to paper.
Julie looks forward to writing more stories that hit where the heart beats fastest, and the soul reaches out for more.
And she blogs for YA Stands (author interviews) every other Tuesday.
This is a tour wide giveaway and ends 12/18/12.
The giveaway form will ask if you are US or International so there is not two separate giveaway forms.
One person will win:
(Open to US only)
- Paperback of Swell by Julie Rieman Duck
- Paperback of A Place in This Life by Julie Rieman Duck
One other winner will win:
1 ebook of Swell by Julie Rieman Duck
1 ebook of A Place in This Life by Julie Rieman Duck
1 ebook of The Joy and Torture of Joshua James
1 ebook of Earrings of Ixtumea by Kim Baccellia
1 ebook of Cornerstone by Misty Provencher
1 ebook (kindle) of There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack