Title: My Beautiful Failure
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Details: 320 pages, released November 13th 2012
Source: Bought

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A haunting account of a teen boy who volunteers at a suicide hotline and falls for a troubled caller.

Billy is a sophomore in high school, and twice a week, he volunteers at Listeners, a suicide hotline.

Jenney is an incoming caller, a girl on the brink.

As her life spirals out of control, Jenney's calls become more desperate, more frequent. Billy, struggling with the deteriorating relationship with his depressed father, is the only one who understands. Through her pain, he sees hope. Through her tears, he feels her heart. And through her despair, he finds love. But is that enough?

Acclaimed author Janet Ruth Young has written a stunning and powerful story with no easy answers; it is about pain and heartbreak, reality and illusion, and finding redemption and the strength to forgive in the darkest of times.
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Billy is a sophomore in high school who has just joined as a volunteer for Listeners, a suicide hotline. On his first day he talks to a girl named Jenney, Jenney is close to breaking under the stress of her abusive parents and failing social life. The more Billy talks to Jenney the more he feels like he is falling for her, that he understands her for who she really is because he is having major family issues of his own, but Jenney’s calls are becoming more frantic and more frequent. Can Billy save someone he’s never met?

My Beautiful Failure was such a beautiful book, it had strong friendships, broken families, grief, struggle, mental disorders, depression, and love. It was a book that really made you think, and a book that had surprisingly a lot of mystery. Throughout the novel I found myself wondering, what is going to happen to Billy’s dad, is he going to fall back into his severe depression? Is Jenney crazy? Is Billy in love with Jenney, or just the idea of her? There were so many questions that would arise while reading that I felt I had to keep reading and find out what was going on.

My Beautiful Failure had a strong cast of characters. Even though I didn’t know much about Billy and Jenney besides the struggles they were going through I still felt a strong connection to both of them. Even with just hearing about the struggles they were going through I found myself seeing how strong and caring both of them were, which made me feel sad for them because no matter how kind they would be to the world, they wouldn’t get the kindness in return. Gordy who is Billy’s best friend was a character I also adored, he is probably one of the best ‘best friend’ roles I have ever read in a book, he isn’t a main character by any means, but he was so understanding of Billy and just overall an amazing friend. A few characters I found myself detesting was Billy’s family, his dad was selfish, his sister Linda was a spoiled brat, and his mom was absent. Billy’s family is a huge part in what made this book what it is, but I still could not stand any of them.

In the end My Beautiful Failure was one of the more beautiful and heart breaking books I have read to date. This is a book I would recommend to anyone looking for a YA contemporary that is heavier than most, this book deals with a lot more serious issues, and is not a book that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. It is still worth the read, and I must say this book will easily make it into my favorite reads of 2014.

 "On my good days, few can defeat me." - Jenney page 1

In a few days I would start saving lives. But only if they wanted to be saved. - Billy pg 29

"I hate to drag anyone down" - "Drag me where ever you want. That's what I'm here for" -Jenney and Billy pg 172

"Goodnight, sweet Hallmark prince." -Jenney pg 183



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Title: I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Genre:YA/NA, Contemporary
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: January 27th 2015

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18879761-i-was-here

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.


When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Title: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release date: February 10th 2015
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15750874-the-glass-arrow
The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.
Title: The Assassins Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: #1 in the Assassins Curse duology
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Details: 298 pages, released October 2nd 2012
Source: Bought

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Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn't really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together.

To break the spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks--all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic...and the growing romantic tension between them.
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The Assassins Curse was such an exciting read! Right from the start of the book you are picked up and thrown into a fast paced novel. Ananna is a pirate, not just any pirate though, she is the daughter of the captain of the Tanarau. Ananna is supposed to be married off to Tarrin of the Hariri to better her family in the Pirates Confederation. But she doesn’t want to marry a man she hardly knows, so when the first chance arrives, she takes off and runs away on a camel. By running away Ananna has disrespected the Hariri, and in return they send an assassin after her.

When Ananna runs into the assassin Naji and saves his life by killing a snake, she finds out he is cursed. She also finds out that she is now involved in this curse and Naji must protect her or die. A curse to break, pirates and otherworlds to run from, and a little romantic tension made The Assassins Curse a great adventure.

The entire book is from Ananna’s point of view and she made for a great main character. She was independent, strong, outspoken, resourceful, and witty. But while she was strong she was also very insecure and stubborn at times, this to me just made her more relatable, she wasn’t perfect, and no character ever should be.

Then you have Naji who throughout the novel is just a big mystery. He doesn’t tell Ananna much, he keeps quiet about the curse, and himself. Readers do get glimpses of him though, every once and while he will show his caring side, or his brutal side. While there is some very small romantic tension between himself and Ananna, it doesn’t really start showing till the end of the novel.

The writing itself was good, while something’s did seem repetitive, it was still an enjoyable adventure that flowed perfectly. The world building was good, it was very easy to picture everyone going on around Ananna, the magic, the sea, the desert, the fights, everything. The dialogue between Ananna and Naji was occasionally humorous. Just overall this was a well written adventure.

If you are someone that wants to read a fun young adult adventure, with pirates and assassins, then look no further. The Assassins Curse was a great start to what seems like is going to be an epic series adventure!

  •  Pros: Strong realistic main character, good scenery and description, fast pace
  • Cons: Repetitive thoughts, conversation and actions, small amount of romantic tension 

http://www.ya-aholic.com/2013/08/review-giveaway-earthbound-by-aprilynne.html http://www.ya-aholic.com/2013/08/review-innocent-darkness-by-suzanne.html http://www.ya-aholic.com/2013/09/arc-review-giveaway-kinslayer-by-jay.html http://www.ya-aholic.com/2014/01/review-defy-by-sara-b-larson.html 

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Welcome! My name is Haley, I'm a 22 year old book-aholic. I'm a book reviewer for the RiverTalk Newspaper. I love reading YA, NA, and adult paranormal mostly, but I do go into other genres on occasion. If you want to talk more one on one about books, please don't hesitate to contact me on facebook or twitter, I love making new bookish friends!

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