Monday, May 25, 2015

Dime by E.R. Frank

Release Date: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Genre: Young Adult | Fiction
Pages: 336 Pages
Series: N/A
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

The realities of teen prostitution are revealed in this eye-opening, heartbreaking story from the author of America, which Booklist called "a piercing, unforgettable novel" and Kirkus Reviews deemed "a work of sublime humanity."
As a teen girl in Newark, New Jersey, lost in the foster care system, Dime just wants someone to care about her, to love her. A family. And that is exactly what she gets-a daddy and two "wifeys." So what if she has to go out and earn some coins to keep her place? It seems a fair enough exchange for love.
Dime never meant to become a prostitute. It happened so gradually, she pretty much didn't realize it was happening until it was too late.
But when a new "wifey" joins the family and Dime finds out that Daddy doesn't love her the way she thought he did, will Dime have the strength to leave? And will Daddy let her?

It has been a long time since I've read a book that was so emotionally charged. A book that I could feel right down into my gut. Dime left me utterly raw.

Dime brings to light the horrors of Human Trafficking; An underground industry that happens right in front of us. Dime is a 13 year old girl who is in the Foster Care System. Her current foster situation is far from perfect but she has a roof over her head, food on her plate and an education, something she prides herself in. More specifically, she has a passion for reading, she loves to relate to classic characters like Charlie from the Chocolate Factory and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. When Dime's foster home situation worsens, her foster mom turning to alcohol, she finds herself staying out at night on the streets and eventually standing in front of Daddy, a pimp who wines and dines her and fills her with false hope and promises; It's not long that Dime finds herself on the street with her "wifeys" making money for Daddy.

I don't think I have loathed a character any more than I have loathed Daddy. He is worse than any evil villain I have come across. He is just a "normal" man that you probably wouldn't think twice about when passing him on the streets yet he is responsible for ruining and demolishing so many lives. He steals your soul and leaves you empty so you have no choice but to stay with him. His manipulation literally left me fuming. There were even moments when I was thinking to myself that if I was 13 years old and in Dime's shoes, would I have known any better? At that age she was completely vulnerable and there for the taking. She was infatuated by him and was willing to say or do whatever he asked.

I really had a soft spot for Brandy. Although she was rough around the edges(but who wouldn't be in her situation?) you knew she had a yearning for a better life deep down, no matter how much she loved Daddy or how much he "took care" of her.

Dime is not for the faint of heart. E.R. Frank brings forward the ugly, ugly truth. I had no idea how strategic and manipulating these men or women can be to one another to come into and stay in this business. Despite how powerfully raw this novel is, I could not put it down. A part of me was so committed to Dime and a the other characters that I just had to know what their outcome would be and another part of me was learning from this novel. Afterwards I ended up researching documentaries including 3a.m. Girls which left me completely baffled with how out and in the open this is. It is literally happening right under our noses. E.R. Frank also provides great resources at the back of the book.

I would definitely rate this book a Mature Young Adult or even Adult Fiction. Like I said, it gets pretty detailed. Yet, I think this book would open a lot of eyes and encourage people to learn more and to do more about Human Trafficking. I have already educated myself more since reading this book and will continue to learn more and take it from there. I have also put in a request at the 3 libraries in my city that they must carry this. I think it is great for teenagers to not only educate themselves on this matter but to see how easy it is to get pulled in. The characters may be fictional but this situation is very real.

If you were anything like me, you will most likely devour Dime in one sitting because you just simply have to know the fate of these girls as soon as you can. I immersed myself in their lives and ended up caring so much for them. A little piece of my heart was taken by each of them.

I will definitely be picking up E.R. Frank's previous novels and will be keeping my eye on her future work!!

Be sure to get your come of Dime that hit's shelves tomorrow, May 26th!

Monday, May 18, 2015

#IReadYAWeek: Daily Challenges, Giveaways and 1 Grand Prize!

Scholastic’s #IReadYA Week

Hey Crazy Readers, it’s time once again to celebrate #IReadYA week! Scholastic’s #IReadYA week is a celebration of all things YA! In support of this week, Scholastic will be holding daily challenges beginning today and running through Friday the 22nd. By participating in the challenges, you earn the chance to win some really fun #IReadYA prizes including: #IReadYA tote bags, tumblers and free YA books!

These daily challenges are a lot of fun, and range from describing a YA book only using words that start with the same letter (e.g. Harry helps Hogwarts, hefting horcruxes), to sharing YA reaction videos/memes.

Also, some of your favorite YA authors will be participating right alongside you with impromptu Twitter chats, Tumblr posts and more.

To become a part of #IReadYA week and take part in the daily challenges, just click here:
Scholastic’s #IReadYA Week

Challenge Details:

  •  Each day, 10 entrants who complete the daily challenge will be randomly selected to win a #IReadYA prize pack worth $145. The prize pack includes a tote, books, pin and a tumblr. 
  • A Grand Prize will be awarded to one user who submits their #IReadYA Reaction video or animated GIF Tumblr post. The reaction can be to anything YA from a plot twist, to an adored character, to the final book in a trilogy. We are excited to see what you come up with! The Grand Prize is 10 books from your TBR (To Be Read) list, up to $250 in value!

Day 1 - #IReadYA Picture Share
Day 2 - #YAlliteration Challenge
Day 3 - WOW, Help share Fall 2015 & Spring 2016 Books
Day 4 - YA #TBT Instagram Challenge
Day 5 - #IReadYA Book Recommendations

 Grand Prize - #IReadYA Reaction Tumblr post (Video or animated GIF)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint AnythingRelease Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Canada | Viking
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 432 Pages
Series: Stand alone
Format: Arc
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chatham's, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

“The future was one thing that could never be broken, because it had not yet had the chance to be anything.”  

I still consider myself a newbie to the Sarah Dessen fan club. I have only read 4 of her previous books before Saint Anything but it only took one book to become an immediate fan of hers!

You know that feeling when you listen to a song and it brings you back to a certain moment in your life? That's the effect Dessen's books have on me. Each novel of hers brings me back to a memory of my youth, my teenage years; It may be heartbreak, the qualms of growing up, a carefree summer afternoon...Dessen's novels pluck me from ordinary life and place me into the worlds of her memorable characters.

Sydney is the little sister of Peyton, a good looking, outgoing teenage boy with a loving personality that gets him through life. But all it takes for one decision to go from bad to worse and that is exactly what happens to Peyton. Now, more than ever, Sydney is stuck in his shadow; Becoming even more invisible to her family while they are left picking up the pieces after Peyton.

I consider myself a big believer in fate, and if it not were for Peyton's horrible decision, Sydney never would have found herself at the courthouse or even transferred schools, which then wouldn't have led her to meet wild, care-free Layla...Who I absolutely adored(not as much as Mac but we'll get to him later!) Layla has a heart of gold, not once did I ever question her intentions. She wears her heart on her sleeve. What you see is what you get when it comes to Layla Chatham...Well, I guess when it comes to the entire Chatham family. I have now officially adopted the Chatham family as my book family. When faced with a situation I will ask myself: WWMCD(What would Mrs. Chatham do?) That women was so kind and so wise. And although faced with a devastating disease, she not once let that deter her quality of life. The amazing character traits that Mac, Layla and Rosie held was a clear reflection of the amazing Mrs. Chatham. I adored the whole family!

Ok, now we'll chat Mac. One word: Swoon! Yes he is good looking, yes he plays the drums but he is also a care-giver for his mother, kind, gentle and sweet. I mean COME ON! How can you not love him?! Mac's character goes far beyond Sydney's love interest. He is a very present character and plays a big part in Sydney's growth.

Saint Anything has so much heart and soul. Another gem for Sarah Dessen!

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