Here are some quick thoughts on some really good books I've read lately. I hope my thoughts will inspire you to pick them up! Links will take you to Goodreads.
Live Through This by Mindi Scott: borrowed from the library and read for the 2012 Standalone and Sophomore challenges. This was so much more than I was expecting--in a good way. If you're in the mood for some dark realistic fiction, look no further. Coley's life looks perfect to anyone on the outside. She's got a great family, best friend, and the attention of a boy who absolutely adores her. Underneath all of that, however, is the story of a girl who's being taken advantage of in the very worst way, by someone she loves and trusts, which of course leaves her confused about what she should do. I felt that Coley's reactions and thoughts were honest and realistic. This book managed to sneak onto my Must-Reads of 2012 right at the last minute.
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton: borrowed from the library and read for the 2012 Debut Author and Standalone Challenges. This is another dark read, but also another important one. I felt this was a very strong debut from Clayton and I can't wait to read more from her. Sid makes a reckless decision on a school ski trip and the ramifications of that decision change who she is. I LOVED Sid and I LOVED that Clayton gave her unruly curly red hair. I loved that Sid was not the stereotypical definition of beauty--she's extremely curvy but not obese--but I wish the cover photo had been a better portrayal of her. This novel has as much to do with Sid's appearance--both how others view her and how she sees herself--as it does with the ramifications of date rape. Really a powerful debut.
Enjoy your reading!