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HelenGeek

Books are like Air ...

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I'm a moody reader. I know what I like and love to share what I think about what I read.

 

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Time Between Us
Tamara Ireland Stone
Confessions of an Angry Girl - Louise Rozett 09/20/2012 -- Full review posted at: http://2geekgirlsreviewbooks.comOverall Rating: 4.5 Book Cover / Book Blurb = 5 / 5 = total of 5Writer’s Voice = 5Character Development = 5Story Appreciation = 5Worth the Chili = 2.5 [ARC from Netgalley, $8.39 if purchased on Amazon or Barnes & Noble]This author nailed the teen angst, “me against the world” persona. I absolutely identified with Rose and would have loved to have read it when I was a teen. I think it would have helped me understand and accept my thoughts and feelings better. When you read the blurb you may get put off a bit; just another teen lashing out at their “tough little world.” If you think this then you would be DEAD wrong. This is a story of survival and the journey or struggle to survive. For someone who has lived this angst, the author depicts it perfectly. Pretty typical. And the whole high school thing? Who has never thought high school is truly your first lesson in survival? For Rose, she has the double struggle. Loved this girl.Three things I liked about this book:1.) Rose’s voice. She is very self-aware. She knows when she is lashing out and works to put a name to it and to try and understand or control it. Rose is 14 and a Freshman in high school. Her father has just died. Her mother isn’t responsive to much as she works through her own grief and the guilt associated with the father’s sudden death. Her brother has just “abandoned” her to go off to college. She has a best friend, but feels she's turned into an alien. She has a few other friends, but she spends more time trying to alienate them, which she knows is not healthy. She feels like the outsider with the other kids in school. They have no worries and her world has collapsed. She is just trying to hold the tent poles up as the canvas flutters in the wind. This girl is dealing with situations in life that bring down adults daily and is doing it mostly alone.There is something else, but he’s not saying it. I am able to take a few deep breaths, and just as I’m about to give him total hell, he changes the subject. “Rosie, I have something to tell you.” I can tell by the tone of his voice that whatever he’s about to say is not good, and I’m not sure how much more I can take in one conversation. My panic is now complimented with dread, and my head is spinning from overload. I suddenly realize that whatever he’s about to say is the reason he answered my call on the first ring and he’s probably spent our entire conversation trying to figure out a way to say it. Maybe if I don’t answer him, he won’t say it at all. “Are you there?” “Yeah…”2.) I love the characters this author provides for our enjoyment. We have Rose. A young girl trying to figure life out and is pretty much on her own doing it. We have Mom and Peter. Mom is a therapist carrying so much guilt and grief over the father’s death she checks out. She is literally emotionally unavailable. She’s there, but not there. We have Jamie. The quiet, tough guy who is attracted to Rose. Why? I think he senses in her a kindred spirit. She has suffered a deep loss and he identifies with it. I liked Angelo. He is one of those people you want to know forever. He would do anything for a friend and Jamie is/was his friend. And, so was Sweater [Rosie]. And, what about Robert. He is so hung up on Rose and she was so mean to him. I didn’t think he deserved it and really wanted to hate Rose for her behavior… We have Tracey, Regina, Michelle, on and on, and on. She painted some wonderful characters who made us think and took us back in time to our own experiences. For some of us, their pain … we’ve lived it.He picks one and then smiles at me. I quickly look back down at my books, thinking I might have made a mistake, being nice to one of the vocational-technical guys. Especially one of the older "vo-tech" guys. ...First of all, our cheer-leading team is not one of those amazing, super athletic competitive teams – there are no back-flips off crazy-high human pyramids at halftime. The most acrobatic thing that goes on here is a synchronized hair-flip. 3.) I liked how this author treated the subject of grief in adolescents. Rose is a work in process. She is having a tough time and through her POV we experience this. I think it is important how she takes us through her life daily. How she struggles to remember her father. At first she doesn't want to remember [too painful], then she does. She shows us how Rosie copes. The creation of the memorial website and walking through the decisions of what to include and why. I think this very powerful. I liked how the author had Rose talk about her emotions at various points in the book. Rose’s epiphany when she realized she had huge amounts of anger trapped inside. She became very self-aware, learned some of the triggers and silently went through some anger management techniques. Poignant. And, when you think about the target audience, I think very well written; thoughtful.What three things did I not like or not appreciate:1.) I didn’t like the ending. No epilogue and we are left basically hanging, for every single character until 2013. Seriously. We don't know an ending for any of them. They are just hanging out until we tune back in ... We don’t know if Jamie and Rose get together. We don’t know how Rose’s Freshman year ends and we want to. Just left me hanging. I hate that. Seriously hate it. Will it make me buy the next one? Only if the price is right. I have self-control peeps! Tons of it.2.) If you buy this book, for a “new” author, you'll spend $8.39 for the eBook either Amazon or B&N [pre-order]. A shame really because many won’t spend this on an eBook. Gonna say this again … and will each and every time the pubs want to stick it to us. This is outrageous. This is a new author and an eBook. I don’t get it. I was very fortunate to be awarded an ARC from Netgalley. If I had not had this opportunity, I would not have read the book until I could borrow the book somewhere or the price dropped to $5 or $6 – which is the reasonable price point for me and this book.3.) The mother. Yep, but she was an absolute mess. The answer was simple right? They needed money and Dad could go to Iraq. Just for a bit of time and money wouldn't be so tight anymore. So, makes sense. He didn't want to go, but she convinced him it would only be a short while and they had cell phones and video on the computer? Right? Well, imagine the guilt and the grief. No wonder at the total "checked out" behavior. Our minds are very powerful things and it was eating her up. It takes time to remember, life goes on. And on. So, I cut the Mom some slack. The person I was angriest with was Peter, but he was just trying to survive too. Emotional devastation. Nothing quite like it and some never get past it.A personal observation: I’m not sure why YA authors paint adults in an often very harsh light. I read enough of them, that I’ve noticed this pattern or trend. Not sure if this is necessary for the audience, but would like them to think about it a bit. It is nice to see some adult kindness and wisdom shine through. I think it important to give readers a role model. We did have the Sex Ed. or Family Ed. teacher, but other than her, adults didn’t shine through in this one.This was a very emotional book for me. I read it as an ARC buddy read with several friends. We are all adults but every one of us loved these characters. Some of us where transported to our own painful histories. We appreciated the lesson Rose provided to us; her strength and self-awareness. This is a very good book and if you elect to read it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did; as my Good Reads friends did. I want to thank them for moving this to the top of my “to read” pile and giving me a few thoughts to noodle on and allowing me to share and vent. Thanks Guys.Very Happy Reading!I want to gratefully thank the publisher Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this advanced copy.+++++++++++++++++++ARC on 08/13/2012