Readers' Favorite

May 14, 2016

Surviving Fictional Worlds and Giveaway #ArmchairBEA

by Donna Huber

I read because I like to explore the darker side of humans - serial killers and such. I wouldn't want to inhabit their worlds. There are also more than a few dystopian novels on my reading list. No, thank you; I'll pass on those worlds too. I love to read these stories and think about the the societal what ifs but I never really think about what if I was there.

The worlds I want are a little more real to life, though not always in present day.

Silver LiningsI would be happy to visit present day Prince Edward's Island, I would really love to go inside the pages of L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and have tea with Anne and Diana. Go to the ball - I would save a dance on my card for Gilbert ;)

I've really enjoyed reading Debbie Macomber's Rose Harbor series. I think her B&B would make a great place to vacation.

And thinking of vacation spots... I want go to Nantucket after reading several books set there. I think Nancy Thayer's The Guest Cottage really sealed me on wanting to visit Nantucket. Her descriptions of the meals and evenings in the yard, not to mention the fun in the sun and, well, the unexpected house guest just made me fall in love and image myself right there with the great characters of the story.

The Selection
And then there is world of The Selection series by Kiera Cass. I mean, what girl doesn't want to be a princess? I only started reading the books (I listen to the audio books) because I absolutely loved the dresses on the covers. I'm not much of a fashionista but I do like pretty dresses, though I don't have reasons to buy them.

So if you couldn't tell, my idea of "surviving a fictional world" is one where some R&R can happen and they only thing I might remotely battle is boredom.

Alright, enough about inhabiting fictional worlds. Let's talk about the giveaway. I have a few goodies in the cabinet so I'm putting together a swag pack. You can see a few things that will be in the pack, though I may find more stuff that I've forgotten about. Since we are all trying to get around to the other giveaways, I'm keeping entry simple. Just leave a comment with a way to contact you. You have until 12 noon on Monday to enter.

Top image: By GayleKaren (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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May 13, 2016

Beyond the Books and Blog #ArmchairBEA

by Donna Huber

Beyond the Books

Until this year, I mostly read print or ebooks, with ebooks edging out the print slightly. However, this year, audio books are blowing the other formats out of the water.

The Widow
My current audio book
Probably the biggest contributing factor to that is last year I moved to a new office. I went from a cubicle to an office with four walls and a DOOR. I share the space with no one. Also my office phone rarely rings so I don't have to wear earbuds and I don't have to worry about many interruptions. So I'm listening to a lot of audio books while working.

I love that I can be entertained while getting my work done.

My library has a digital library where I can listen to audio books online for FREE. I get to catch up on some of my favorite authors or listen to the books I wouldn't find the time to read because my review pile is toppling.

I do have to say, that some books are better read than listened to though and I'm kind of selective of the books I will listen to. If the story has a huge cast of characters or switches time periods multiple times I usually find myself getting lost and not enjoying the book. I have to be careful with thrillers because some times I find myself sucked into the story and I forget I'm suppose to being working.

Beyond the Blog

I've been feeling my introvertness (is that a word?) lately. I did go to a book signing last month that was a lot of fun.

Instead I've been focusing on my Facebook page. I've also found myself striking up conversations with other people and when it turns to books I usually mention my blog.

Probably the biggest thing about going beyond the blog that I've done in the past year is the skills I've learned have made their way into my work. A little over a year ago I took on the publicity manager position at my job (actually I kind of pitched the position to the director and he said yes) so I keep up the website, write blog posts and press releases, and manage the social media. That position is only part-time so a little over a year ago I was offered an editorial assistant position with an academic journal (it's also part-time). So I get to use my proofreading skills.

Donna Huber, founder & publisher. Donna is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. She reads most genres, but her favorite books are psychological thrillers and stories that highlight the survival of the human spirit against unbelievable circumstances. 

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May 12, 2016

Aesthetic Concerns - Books & Blogs #ArmchairBEA

by Donna Huber

Do you judge a book by its cover?

I know that I shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and I have to say for the most part I don't. If I'm just browsing for myself, the cover is what will really draw me into a book and make me take a look at the description. Now with review pitches, I don't usually see the book cover and it is all about the quality of the pitch that is the deciding factor in if I'm going to read a book or not. Sometimes I don't see the cover until I'm writing up my review and on occasion I have wondered if I would have picked up the book.

With all that being said, there are some really bad book covers out there and I sometimes wonder what the author was thinking going with that cover.  But even if the cover isn't that bad, it sometimes doesn't match the book. And I think those are the covers that I scratch my head the most about. I like for a cover to enhance the description and maybe give a little insight into the story that the description

Blog branding

When I started my blog I just used a standard blogger theme. You know the one that looks like books? Customized templates were all the rage then and "designers" were popping up every where and I even won a design, though the blogger/designer took on more work than she could handle and I never got mine. And I'm kind of glad I didn't. I was thinking of going with the "cutesy" blog design that everyone was getting. And I love those those blogs. But I don't think it would have been right for Girl Who Reads.

I want Girl Who Reads to be more of a media site, and the trend for media sites are clean lines, not a lot of fuss. As I have added other reviewers and features writers to the site, I've been happy with this decision. Though I am thinking of a design change as I want more of a magazine layout than a news media site. My current template has served me well, but it is a bit sterile. I want a little more personality and I think a magazine layout would give me that as it is more photo-centric.

One thing I have kept since the almost the beginning of the site is the logo. After I moved from the standard blogger template, I went to one that was an open book with black & red as its colors. That's when I created the logo. It might be time for a logo update as well, but I'm not sure. I use this logo everywhere as a way to create brand recognition across social media platforms.

Donna Huber, founder & publisher. Donna is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. She reads most genres (NO horror or erotica), but her favorite books are psychological thrillers and stories that highlight the survival of the human spirit against unbelievable circumstances.

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May 11, 2016

Meet Donna and See Her Recommended Diversity Reads #ArmchairBEA

by Donna Huber

It is ArmchairBEA time again! The next few days I will be talking about books and blogging in a bit different manner as I follow the agenda for this HUGE book blogger event.

Today's topics are Meet & Greet and Diversity in Books. I would love to get you know you so please tell me a little about yourself in the comments or if you are also participating in ArmchairBEA leave a link to your post.

About Me!

Hi! I'm Donna and I'm the founder of Girl Who Reads. I've been blogging for 5 years and my first blogging events was Armchair BEA. I loved it then and I love it now. It is a can't miss event on my calendar every year.

1. What is your favorite book? While I often have a "favorite book of the moment", for me a truly favorite book is one that I can read over and over again. In high school/college, I read A Tale of Two Cities at least once a year.  More recently, I've been hooked on Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy. There's so much detail in those three books that I always find something new.

2. What is favorite genre? From my favorite book, you probably think my favorite genre is romance or fantasy, but that would be wrong. I really love a good psychological thriller. The only reason a book in that genre is not my favorite is that they are hard to re-read as you know the ending. But I love the rush and the never being quite sure who the bad guys are or how bad it's going to get.

3. What book blogger would you recommend? I highly recommend TNBBC's The Next Best Book Blog. I love Lori even though we don't really have much in common when it comes to the books we read. I think that is one of the reasons I love her blog I get to hear about different books. She is very reader-centric - she hosts a monthly read along through her HUGE Goodreads group. If you are looking for the best of indie and small press books, then TNBBC is the go to place.

4. How do you arrange your bookshelves? My bookshelves are typically in alphabetical order by author's last name (for my fiction books), though right now my main bookcase is kind of random since I've had to move books around for some home remodeling. I'm thinking of organizing my non-fiction by the Dewey Decimal System, or would that make me look too neurotic? Seriously, though I usually do organize my non-fiction books by subject matter

Diversity in Books:

I will admit that most of the books I read feature white middle class people for the most part, or at least that is how I perceive them in the absence of any particular characteristics. There have been a few standout reads that add a bit more diversity to my bookshelf.

FirestormI think having characters of a ethnic background is one of the reasons I enjoy the Windstorm series by Katie Robison and I the third book, which comes out next month, is next up on my Nook.

"Why did I possibly think I could do anything to end this war? I was a fool, and now I have one week to get the twins out of here, or I may never see them again."

The seven tribal nations are at war, and as a taporo Kit can finally do something to save her people. But Kit can’t shake the feeling she’s playing a game she doesn’t understand, and if she agrees to fight, she’ll lose the ones she loves the most.

While it is a fantasy novel, it does feature First Nation people and in the second book, Coiled Snake, they are among aboriginals in Australia.

I like the different cultural perspective that comes through as the main character learns more about her ancestral roots.

Buy Firestorm at Amazon

AB 30
Speaking of different cultural perspective, I loved the first book in Ted Dekker's A.D. series that is featured during Jesus's time in ministry A.D. 30. The main character is a Bedouin woman who travels through the Arabian desert to the shores of Galilee. Though I'm familiar with Biblical times through my personal study of the Bible, Dekker provides a more in depth look. Plus most of my studies of Jesus's ministry have focuses on the Jews and Romans. It was really interesting to learn about the Bedoiun people and a more more upfront and person look into the daily lives of people I've only read about in the Bible.

Buy A.D. 30 at Amazon

Walk in Beauty
For a book that is not fantasy and set more in present day, I recommend Walk in Beauty by Barbara Samuel. The Navajo history added an extra layer to the story.

Once, Luke Bernali’s proud Navajo blood and strong carpenter’s hands made genteel Jessie Callahan love him with youthful abandon. But, to his endless regret, Luke faltered and he let Jessie down. Hurt, Jessie left, with a broken heart…and unaware that she was pregnant with Luke’s child.

Now, eight years later, Jessie was back—with a darling daughter in tow. Luke was older—and wiser—and determined to recapture the beauty lost. Could a fierce, desperate long-ago love soar anew on the delicate wings of a child?

Buy Walk in Beauty at Amazon

An Invincible Summer
A more recent read of mine doesn't feature a different culture so to speak, but a mentally handicapped person. I reviewed An Invincible Summer by Betta Ferrendelli last week and it is one of the best books I've read in a while. The characters really made the book. And Ashleigh, the mentally impaired character. wasn't just some stereotypical secondary character. She is the main focus of the story and fully developed as her own unique character.

Jaime Monroe is a young prosecutor who has a bright future with the Denver District Attorney’s office. Jaime, however, is tormented by demons from her past.

But when she learns that Leigh Roberts, a local reporter for a Denver daily newspaper, intends to have her mentally challenged daughter, Ashleigh, forcibly sterilized, something within Jaime stirs.

Whether it is anger, pity, or simply the need to do what’s right, Jaime decides to turn her back on her promising career with the DA’s office to represent Ashleigh Roberts.

With the odds stacked against them, Jaime and Ashleigh take their case to the courts in a battle that will ultimately resolve one woman’s past and one woman’s future.

Buy An Invincible Summer at Amazon

What do you enjoy about diversity in books? Do you have any recommendations?

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Book Diversity, Goodreads, and Native Representation #ArmchairBEA

My name is Alison DeLuca, and I've been a columnist and book blogger with Girl Who Reads for over a year. This is my first ABEA post. I love all kinds of books, with sci-fi, historical fiction, and slipstream topping the list. The Book Thief and The Goldfinch are two of my favorite recent novels, and All the Light We Cannot See blew me away. Currently I'm reading The Danish Girl and The Nightingale. 

Today I chose the Diversity in Books topic. I'm fascinated by this important issue.

Moonshot - available on Amazon
Diversity in books is a vital topic, and yet one important aspect continues to be ignored by much of the publishing industry. The amount of Native representation in literature, especially young adult and children's books, is criminally small.

Not only that, most books published about American Indians are actually written by non-Natives. If these authors did their homework (more on this later) the books will fairly represent this diverse, fascinating population. If not, however, those writers, agents and publishers will misrepresent tribal culture.

We need to look at the problem to understand just how bad things are when it comes to Native representation in literature. This includes looking at the dismally small number of books about Native people. It also includes looking at how pervasive this misrepresentation is.

Publishers need to realize how many Native writers and artists there are. Those authors should be on bookshelves. Children who think Peter Pan's Tigerlily is an authentic characterization need an alternate and accurate view. We must change this misperception, and this shift in thinking needs to happen now.

As well, we need to show non-Native writers what they can do to prepare when they write a Native character. Our blogpost will reveal how stark the problem is and offer solutions.
Wild Berries - available on Amazon

It’s not all bad news. There are wonderful books out there with vivid and realistic portrayals of Native life and Indian characterization. I’m going to give you a list of novels and books you can read so you can leave Tigerlily in Never-Never Land and discover something far more magical: reality.

In Publisher’s Weekly, Rachel Deahl addressed the issue in her article, “Why is Publishing So White?” Minorities continue to be underrepresented within the very industry producing books for an increasingly diverse nation. Natives hold less than 1% in both publishing and editing fields, despite diversity programs in place at such companies like Hatchette, Simon and Schuster, and HarperCollins. Most of these programs, however, concentrate on internships.

Let’s turn to the actual number of books about Natives and Indian cultures. Each year the CCBC, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, counts the number of trade children’s books with diverse cultures. For example, in 2015 the CCBC reported that out of 3200 books received from US publishers, 243 were about African-Americans. 107 were about Asian / Pacific Americans. As for American Indians or First Nations – the grand total was an insignificant 28.

And of that number, only nine were written by Native authors.
If I Ever Get Out of Here on Amazon

The majority of books published about American Indian/First Nations people in 2015 were written by non-Natives. After we researched the reviews of books by non-Native authors at American Indians in Children’s Literature, we found that there are very few such writers that do a good job of representation, thus promulgating stereotypes and misinformation. 

This cycle of misrepresentation continues. We've seen what the public, agents and editors think is acceptable representation of Native people. This inaccurate representation colors how they - and we as readers - view and ultimately accept or reject accurate Native characters in books.

As an example, we can look at the AICL website’s review of Target, by non-Native Patrick Jones. The book’s intention may be to represent diverse character’s in a realistic way and reveal non-Native appropriation of First Nations. However, the writer has put in some howlers that would, according to AICL, make a Native kid roll her eyes. 

For example, Dakota and Leni-Lenape cultures are mixed in several sections of the book, specifically when the main character, a Dakota kid, relates to a prayer that is Leni-Lenape in origin. Also, the writer has put in a historical figure called “Chief Yellow Lark” who, according to AICL, does not actually exist.

Kudos to you non-Native writers who want to write Indian characters, but do start research for your novel with the realization of what a complex task you’ve just chosen. American Indian/First Nations tribes are a vibrant rainbow of different cultures, each with their own language, customs, histories, folklore, poetry, religion… 

If you do want to write about Indians, you must take on a great deal of targeted research. Reading a Wiki article or even checking out the library shelf on your subject won’t cut it. 

You can begin with reading a five-part interview series with Sappony author and photographer, Kara Stewart, available hereThis series details the beginnings of the proper research a responsible and respectful writer must take to begin her journey. You can also start with Kara's summary of that series here.
Jingle Dancer on Amazon

At bare minimum, you must read as many wonderful, accurate books about American Indians as you can (such as those pictured here), anchor your work to a specific tribe and a specific time period. 

Hopefully this is post-1900, since 87% of American Indian content in schools is pre-1900. This means there is a paucity of representation of current, contemporary Native people. 

You must also have multiple modes of accurate research. To that end, firsthand research is a must. Consider hiring a consultant such as Debbie Reese, available on the AICL website here

Remember, as a writer, your job is to correct centuries of false representation, outright prejudice and subsequent appropriation. For four resources, see Writing About Native Americans.  Modern authors must correct the current situation of absent or incorrect representation in books.

When AICL looked at the Goodreads’ “Top 100 Children’s Books” list, the result was horrifying. Of those 100 books, only two portrayed Indian characters:
  • Peter Pan – Tigerlily is a stereotypical “Indian Maiden.”
  • The Little House series – Wilder portrayed Indians as savages throughout her books. Laura’s Ma is openly prejudiced against them. Three times in the series a character declares, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”
This is only the beginning: in the original version of Little House in the Big Woods, Wilder wrote this about the vast wilderness: “There were no houses. There were no roads. There were no people.”
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse on Amazon

With those four words, “There were no people,” Wilder handily disposed of native culture. To quote Michael Dorris: 
“Say what? Excuse me, but weren't we forgetting the Chippewa branch of my daughters' immediate ancestry, not to mention the thousands of resident Menominees, Potawatomis, Sauks, Foxes, Winnebagos, and Ottawas who inhabited mid-nineteenth-century Wisconsin, as they had for many hundreds of years? Exactly upon whose indigenous land was Grandma and Grandpa's cozy house constructed? Had they paid for the bountiful property, teeming with wild game and fish? This fun-filled world of extended Ingallses was curiously empty, a pristine wilderness in which only white folks toiled and cavorted, ate and harvested, celebrated and were kind to each other.” - Michael Dorris in his essay “Trusting the Words” from Paper Trail.
The truly sad thing is that good books about Natives exist. AICL posts yearly lists of novels, picture books, teen lit, middle grade books – even comic books and graphic novels. Here is the list for 2015, with links to the list for 2014. If you go to this website, there are links to the top ten books for children as well as those recommended for middle grade and teens.
Saltypie on Amazon

A book like Tim Tingle’s Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light displays the limitless possibilities for true Native representation that, sadly, is nonexistent in the Goodreads “Top 100 Books for Children.”

We've added the covers and buy links to other wonderful books throughout this article. They're a great place to start.

Again, I challenge Goodreads to revise their children’s lit list and add some of the AICL-recommended titles. Perhaps they would respond that they already have lists of diverse titles or American Indian/First Nations-approved books. 

However, there should be no such division

The “Top 100 Books for Children” needs to be reassessed so future readers don't view Native culture through Ma Ingall’s prejudiced and twisted lens. Indian children need to be included in realistic settings, with pristine research and complete understanding.

How important is representation? In her blog on YALSA: The Hub, Destiny Burnett writes,

"I read for the enjoyment of experiencing a character’s story. What makes me enjoy a story? Identifying with the character. This is why representation is important; every person who wants to read a book with a character they can identify with should have access to ones where their culture and identity is present."
To this important point I would add - representation is also important for those who aren't Native. We all need to understand those beautiful, complex cultures, and great literature is a wonderful start to that journey.

(Thanks to Kara Stewart for her input and guidance. I couldn't have written this post without her. Kara is a Native craftsperson member of the Indian Arts & Crafts Association and  a full time Reading Specialist in the public schools. You can find her writing here, photography here and photography products here.)

Alison DeLuca, features writer. Alison is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey. Connect with Alison on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and her blog.

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May 10, 2016

Beyond the Fairy-Tale: The Reflections of Queen Snow White

review by Elisa Hordon

An extremely emotional story of love, loss,grief and trying to move on.

The Reflections of Queen Snow White
The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith was well written and takes the reader beyond the fairy-tale. Snow White reflects on her life, how she got to where she was and everything she went through to get there, what a life she has lived and her love for Charming was for eternity.

I felt a whole gambit of emotions while reading this story, Love, Anger, Sadness, Loss and it was beautifully written even with the language from the period, which I must admit I had fun researching.

Snow Whites character was amazing after everything she had been through in her life and then facing the last loss of her Charming. The Mirror as a character was interesting, was the Mirror really evil or did it depend on the person asking it questions? Personally, I felt the Mirror was just honest and wanted to show Snow White what she needed to see to get through the grief and depression she was feeling even if as the reader I felt it was cruel at times it was also necessary within the context of the story.

When Snow White finds her mirror, the mirror helps her reflect on her life with memories which is not always a good memory and the mirror comes off a bit mad at times and cruel towards Snow White, but in the end she needed to see what the mirror showed her to get through her grief and loss.

I loved the whole grief, loss and depression as it really hit home for me about how hard losing a loved one is and it really was beautifully written, but then I also wanted to shake Snow White because she still had so much to live for, her daughter Raven was about to get married and she would eventually have children of her own Snow White might have lost her true love but she still had a future and it would be a full future with lot's happy family moments if only she could let go of her grief.

I was skeptical about reading this book as a long-time lover of classic fairy tales I was not sure I wanted to read about what happened after Snow and Charming got their happily ever after, but I am glad I did, this book is by no means for children as the original fairy-tale is, this beautifully written book is for adults who love their fairy tales and dream of what happened next, but I also feel the need to put a disclaimer that there is some graphic violence within the story which may not be for everyone, I understood it in the context it was written but I still struggled to read it as I'm not a fan of reading violent scenes especially in a story that stems from a much loved childhood classic fairy-tale.

Buy The Reflections of Queen Snow White at Amazon

Book info:
available formats: ebook (155 pages)
published: October 2013
genres: romance, fantasy
source: author

Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: A free ebook was provided for this review. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

May 9, 2016

Andrew Joyce: No Earthly Good #MondayBlogs

Resolution: Huck Finn's Greatest Adventures
My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Donna has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I thought I’d try to entertain you today with one of my short stories instead.

No Earthly Good

At dinnertime we talked about Charlie. He was somethin’ else. People always said that he was of no earthly good, but Charlie showed us all.

Daddy shook his head as he cut his meat. “You believe that about Charlie?”

No one answered; sister started to cry.

I grew up with Charlie. He was the first boy that I ever did kiss. Him, brother, and I would go swimming down to the swimming hole in the summertime. I think sister was sweet on him, but she never said nothing ’bout it ’cause momma always said Charlie was a bad sort.

Charlie’s people came from back up in the hills. He never wore store-bought clothes and his hair was always a mite too long. But his smile . . . his smile . . . would brighten anyone’s life.

Charlie died today.

He was down to the highway, walking along the side. As he passed the Gentry house, the baby came out of the yard and walked onto the highway just as the car came out of nowhere. It was moving fast. Charlie only had time to jump in front of it and push the baby to safety.

Sister still cries.

Now no one says that Charlie was of no earthly good.

Buy RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure at Amazon

About the Author:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn't return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, RESOLUTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, YELLOW HAIR.

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May 8, 2016

Peer Pressure: A Reality Featured in Fiction

review by Susan Roberts

Peer pressure is difficult to deal with at any age and can be seen in children as well as adults.  Here are examples of peer pressure in two recent books.  When He Fell deals with the problem on a kindergarten level with tragic consequences and The Goodbye Year deals with the problem with both parents and seniors in high school.

When he Fell
When He Fell by Kate Hewitt packed a real emotional punch. Its a novel about two 9 year old boys - who were friends at school. Ben had always been kind of hyperactive and Josh had been extremely shy and neither had many friends until they became friends with each other. After a fight on the playground, one of them ends up in the hospital with brain damage and the other one always been won't talk about it at all. Both families are caught up in the ensuing turmoil surrounding fallout of the boys’ disagreement. As they struggle to find out what really happened, with little help from the school administration, secrets are revealed in each family.

The characters are very real and full of good and bad traits - at times during the book, I disliked all of the adult characters - especially the two mothers - but then found out later that they had reasons for the way they acted and then my opinion of them changed. There were times that the book was very difficult to read. Any time a child is injured to this extent, its very painful to read because its so emotional to any parent.

Overall, I highly recommend this book -- its a fantastic book to read and hard to put down once you start it. This is the first book that I've read by Kate Hewitt but I plan to read more of her books.
(Thanks to the author for a copy of this book for a fair and honest review)

Buy When He Dell at Amazon

The Goodbye Year
The last year of high school is very stressful for not only the seniors but also for their families. In this novel, Kaira Rouda takes us into the conflicts of several families with a high school senior hoping to go to college - there is perfect Ashley with her plastic surgeon father and her mother who he has helped make into a walking advertisement for his plastic surgery practice.... But he is hiding a secret and their marriage isn't all that it seems to be. There is Dane who appears to be a real loser who won't get into college and his mother has turned to alcohol to console herself. These are only two of the families who are part of this fast paced, fun to read novel. It's a novel about relationships in families and about growing up and saying goodbye. A fantastic book.

Buy The Goodbye Year at Amazon

Susan Roberts, reviewer. Susan grew up in the Detroit area but after deciding that city life wasn't for her she moved to North Carolina after college. She and her husband have several acres of land and they enjoy gardening and canning vegetables in the summer. They travel extensively. Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook or Twitter.

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