This is a great Young Adult read. Layla and Nell are eighteen months apart in age which has perks and drawbacks. Layla starts school early and Nell starts late so they are two grades apart. Nell has looked forward to attending high school with her sister at City Day for years. As luck would have it they both play on the varsity soccer team and they have been close growing up. They split time between their parents homes and all the going back and forth has brought them closer in some ways because they are always together regardless of where home happens to be on any given day. Nell has a male best friend named Felix and she is there for him and his family while his father battles cancer, Layla gets involved with a teacher and when Nell finds out it causes her to rethink their relationship and see her sister in a different light. I found the characters real and the story flows well.
Breaking Free is the story of Raimi who has had gender reassignement surgury and has moved to a new town to start over with a new life and a clean slate. Raimi has been plagued by feelings and uncertainly for a long time and she is truly looking forward to a fresh start. She meets Claire who is beautiful, popular and Brad’s girlfriend. Brad has a nickname as the beast and it seems to be earned, he is a bully and not afraid to push others around. As Raimi and Clair grow closer Brad’s dislike of Raimi increases until the three of them are caught in a struggle for power that will leave all of them changed. Raimi is a likeable girl who knows her heart and after all she has been through while she is at times timid and careful she knows what she wants even if she is cautious about going after it. Claire has what every girl wants on the surface, but few of us are only skin deep and both girls realize they can be honest with each other and that they need someone who understands. A touching novel of friendship and choices both easy and hard.
Because of You by Jessica Scott is on sale today for 0.99, if you are unfamiliar with this series it is about a group of military men and their families. The stories are told from the perspectives of multiple characters and because the series is based on a tight knit group most characters are in all the books. It is a really good series I discovered. Jessica Scott is in the military so it seems pretty authentic to me, but I would not really know. Check it out if your curious, it never hurts to download a sample after all.
Then and always is Rachel’s story, and it is a beautiful fun story full of friends and good times and the usual not so great times that go along with them. Rachel, her best friend Sarah, her boyfriend Matt and some of their other friends like Jimmy who has had a crush on Rachel for years but hasn’t said a word, Cathy who has a crush on Matt and is not so quiet about it and a few others go to dinner on the eve of leaving for college. As fate would have it their lives change forever that night. Now, now don’t fuss at me for being dramatic, there are things that happen that change all of them that night and to some degree because of that night they have not kept in touch with each other very well so Rachel is thrown yet another curve when she returns to town for Sarah’s wedding. Her return will cause her to face that long ago night which will lead her on a path that is totally different from her current life. When Sarah takes a bad fall when she is in town for the wedding she awakes to a room full of friends except some of them are no longer friends and some of them are no longer here. Rachel and the reader must figure out what is real and what is not. I was captivated by the story and the way in which it was told.
This book weaves together the present and the past by connecting them with a beautiful quilt. Caroline is left a beautiful quilt by her Granny Jean, as she looks into the quilts history she learns about the past of both the quilt and her grandmother and how the two came together. The story weaves the past and the present together quite well. Ben helps Caroline in her quest for information about the quilt and find a connection with her neither of them expected. There are also many unexpected connections in the past to people both famous and forgotten. A great story of strong women, fateful choices and a legacy.
Kitty is a successful magazine writer who attempted to move into television, but the story and the allegation against Colin Maguire landed her in hot water, now she is suspended from the television show, her print career is in jeopardy and one of her oldest dearest friends is very ill. To top it off Colin’s supporters seem to be very ardent about leaving Kitty reminders of her mistake with Colin, they cover her steps in excrement, deface her front door and set off 500 fire crackers on her front porch. None of this endears her to her land lord, but looking for a friendly face she goes to visit Constance her editor and dear friend who is very ill. During their visit they discuss story ideas they had that they never completed and Constance tells Kitty that she has one called Names and that Kitty should bring the file on her next visit and Constance would explain the story idea to her. Fate interviewees and Kitty is left to pursue the story on her own as a tribute to Constance, but the only clue she has to go on is the list of 100 names that Constance left in the file. Can Kitty find out what connects these people and write the story her friend dreamed of, especially when people are leery of her professionally? As always this is a story that makes you laugh and cry and think.
Catching Cameron is the story of Cameron and Zach. They had a fling of sorts in college, she went on to become a sports journalist and he became an NFL football star. In the ten years since their three day fling Cameron has avoided Zach like the plague, but her work puts her in close contact with him and his team, and when she has to interview him the results are a disaster and it costs both of them. What Cameron doesn’t realize is that Zach has always been in love with her and while he may be gone from her life ,she has never been forgotten in his. The question is can they make peace with the past and trust each other enough to try to find a future? I loved the dynamic between these two, they kept me laughing, and guessing page by page, event by event. A great well paced read.