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ARC Review: Pretty Girl by Amy Heugh

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Published: July 29th 2014

Pages: 393

Summary: If there were one day that she could change it would be the day she was taken.

After her parents’ divorce, seventeen-year-old Izzy Scott and her mother move to the old town of St. Augustine to begin a new life, a life beyond the media attention and the memories of the traumatic experiences that left an everlasting affect on their family.

The former ballerina is trying to adjust to the outside world without suffering a panic attack and exposing who she is – all while getting through her senior year at a new school. That’s easy to say until she meets local boy Mason Winchester, a boy with a tragic past.

Mason has a reputation for violence, but a love for motorcycles. At the age of eleven he lost his mother to cancer and from then he has been running from something, but could never really get away.

Like any other angry teenager, he just wants to be left alone and to have nothing to do with anyone else because he believed that he had nothing to offer. That changes the moment he saw what was in the new girl eyes.

Tragedy wasn’t new to either of their lives but among the secrets and the memories the one thing they both never excepted was to find hope.

*This book is recommended for readers 18+ for violence, language, and some adult situations.*

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Read from August 08 to 10, 2014

 

I received this book free from Amy Heugh in exchange for an honest review.And damn me to hell, I will post an honest review here.

First thing first. The plot? Predictable. The pace? Painfully slow. The most of writers would squeeze the events in some short story or a novella, but not Amy. Why? I’ll get to this later. There’s not much “action” here; Isabella and Mason (I feel myself wincing now-I hate heroines named Isabella, Izzy, or Bella with passon-but it’s just me, I guess)are hardly likeable at first. Pretty girl contains inner monologues, mostly.

Normally I’d have given such a book one or two stars, depends.

Why not now?

The writing is incredible. Every sentence is a work of art. I took my time with this book and I found myself simply admiring the beauty of Amy Heugh’s style.

And when I finished her book I thought that there’s a reason for all that bad things I’ve enumerated above. Amy Heugh wanted it to be this way. The plot, the pace, the lack of torrent of events.

Her book is a metaphor for life after breakdown, for life full of guilt and self-hatred. For redemption.

That’s why I’m giving it 4 stars.

Rating: 4/5
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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in reviews

 

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ARC Review: The River Leith by Leta Blake

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Published: May 15th 2014

Pages: 173

Summary: Memory is everything.

After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.

For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach’s choices may come back to haunt him.

Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.

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Read from August 04 to 05, 2014

Braved the forests, braved the stone
Braved the icy winds and fire
Braved and beat them on my own
Yet I’m helpless by the river.
I’ve faced the quakes, the wind, the fire
I’ve conquered country, crown, and throne
Why can’t I cross this river?

Pay no mind to the battles you’ve won
It’ll take a lot more than rage and muscle
Open your heart and hands, my son
Or you’ll never make it over the river

It’ll take a lot more than words and guns
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we’ll cross the river.

The lyrics of this particular song (Puscifer-The Humbling River)came to my mind as soon as I finished The River Leith. The song and its lyrics are beautiful. As beatiful as the book.

I’ve read some various realizations of the plot idea, but I don’t think it was a cliché. The author apologized in afterword for oversiplification of amnesia and brain trauma and said that she’d decided to explore the well-worn romance idea. And it was a good move.

The River Leith was a very good read for me.

My copy was an ARC I received from the publisher for an honest review.

 

Rating: 4/5

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2014 in reviews

 

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