’89 Walls by Katie Pierson

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’89 Walls by Katie Pierson is a must read for young adults who want a moving, emotional read that speaks to issues that were important then and remain so today.

Quinn has a charmed life. She’s a beautiful, upper middle class young woman from a conservative family, and has a bright future ahead. Oh, and she has a great boyfriend too. It’s that cynical, liberal guy from her social studies class that could derail all that.

Seth knows college is just a dream. Between working his minimum wage job to put groceries on the table and caring for his mother who has MS, there isn’t time to think about anything else. He knows Quinn is out of his league, but he can’t help but carry around that frayed love note he wrote so long ago.

Their romance takes them by surprise, and when politics becomes personal, neither one of them is sure their love will survive.

As I said earlier in the week, this book has beef. Late ’80s politics plays a big role in this book, and I feel the author did a superb job of handling those issues and making them relate to all the characters. This is when the Cold War is ending, Apartheid is in the news, and the Berlin Wall comes crumbling down. This is an intense book both for the characters and for the world as it was back then.

By the end, I was crying. And I have to admit, the author made me consider an issue in a different light. I can’t share it without revealing an important plot point, so I’ll just tell you that this is a fabulous novel and I would highly recommend it.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (June 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1940014557
ISBN-13: 978-1940014555

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

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’89 Walls by Katie Pierson

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Today was supposed to be my review of ’89 Walls by Katie Pierson. I’m only about halfway through with it, because I was playing catch up with reviews on vacation. Since we’ve returned home, I’ve been working crazy hours. Here’s a bit about the book:

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity.

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

Let me just say that my lack of progress has nothing to do with its content or ability to engage the reader. I love what I’ve read so far. Not only does the story take place when I was a mere twenty-one years old (making it nostalgic), but it reminds me of what school used to be like before standardized exams turns educators into unimaginative zombies teaching to a test. There’s “beef” to this book. It’s not just boy likes girl but it will never work. Real conflict is involved: personal conflict and societal conflict.

I’m eager to keep reading and see what happens between Seth and Quinn. Hope you’ll check back on Friday to read my complete review.

Katie Pierson freelances for local non-profits, using her background in public policy and grassroots organizing to overthrow the patriarchy one introverted step at a time. When she’s not writing fiction, she returns library books, makes soup, and tries to be cooler than she really is by hip-hopping at the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania (where she dabbled briefly in being a College Republican) and a Master’s in American History from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and now lives with her family in a suburb of Minneapolis. ’89 Walls is her first novel.

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Free for Kindle: True Calling by Siobhan Davis

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TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS. ONE SHARED DREAM

Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

 

File Size: 961 KB
Print Length: 410 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Siobhan Davis; 2 edition (January 28, 2015)
Publication Date: January 28, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00SX1PG2A
Purchase here!

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New Release: Something Like Grace by Anelise Farris

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Two sisters—Noah Blank and her younger sister Cali, both live in Middletown, Maryland with their parents. The story begins just as summer is starting, and the girls are ending school.

Noah has a dark secret.

Cali, who prefers to view life through the lens of her camera, neat and contained, documents the changes in her sister—hoping to bring help to Noah before it is too late.

In the midst of this, a stranger arrives in Middletown—a mysterious, young, vagabond—determined to help Cali overcome her fear of the world around her.

While Cali is learning to love, Noah is struggling just to live. This is a story of grace, of survival, and of the all-too-familiar struggles of an average, beautifully dysfunctional American family.

 

File Size: 500 KB
Print Length: 188 pages
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press (April 8, 2015)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00UPFP7UI

Purchase at Amazon!

Anelise Farris was born in the Deep South, and she continues to reside in the Lesser South area of Northern Virginia. Anelise is currently an Adjunct Professor of English at a few local colleges and a part-time bookseller at The Winchester Book Gallery. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from George Mason University with a concentration in Folklore, Mythology, and Literature, as well as a Masters from Mason in English Literature and a Graduate Certificate in Folklore Studies. Her research interests include children’s literature, folklore, horror and monster theory, disability studies, mythology, fantasy and science fiction, and major writers of Modernism, Existentialism, and the Beat Generation.

Anelise intends to begin working towards her PhD in English in the near future, but for now she satisfies her desire to be a student again by living vicariously through each of her students. Anelise lives with her husband and three beautiful children: a dog and a cat, Mulder and Scully respectively, and a kitten named Loki —all are aptly named, for the most part. When she is not teaching or being a student, she enjoys writing and reading (naturally), hiking, traveling (especially to literary sites), music of all kinds (playing and listening), and cooking vegetarian concoctions that she forces on her poor husband. Growing up in a family of eight and marrying a husband who grew up in a family of twelve, Anelise is continually inspired by the lives of people around her, the power of memory, and the quirkiness of daily life.

First Chapter Review: Escape Through The Wilderness by Gary Rodriguez

 

1st Chapter Review TC&TBC

BLURB:  Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.

When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.

A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “last chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.

Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.

Escape Through the Wilderness coverCOVER: I find this cover fascinating. The author has toured with this book before. I loved it then. I love it now. The dark colors with the glowing yellow eyes make it a tiny bit creepy, but it is a stunning cover.

FIRST CHAPTER: Savannah Evans, also called Savi, makes quick friends with Jade at Camp Arrowhead. Savi’s run in with Connor Swift doesn’t go quite as smoothly.

KEEP READING: I am on Chapter 12, so I’ll let you be the judge. :) The opening chapter mostly introduces the characters, but it also sets up the conflict that we will see later on. In addition, it actually opens with a news blurb about the disappearance of the four teens and then goes back in time two days to when they all met, so it’s a neat way to drop the reader right into the action, followed by a tiny bit of backstory. I look forward to more.

 

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I received this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

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