Before I get to the weekly book recommendation, just a reminder that this is the last day to enter for your chance to win the YA book of your choice. Just leave a comment here if you want to be included in the contest. My blog Sister, Valerie, is also doing an awesome giveaway and you have until the 17th for that one.
My book pick for this week is BEAUTIFUL by Amy Reed:
Summary from Goodreads:
When Cassie moves from the tiny town where she has always lived to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. This is Cassie’s chance to stop being invisible and become the kind of girl who’s worth noticing.
Stepping into her new identity turns out to be easier than Cassie could have ever imagined…one moment, one choice, changes everything.
Cassie’s new existence both thrills and terrifies her. Swept into a world of illicit parties and social landmines, she sheds her virginity, embraces the numbness she feels from the drugs, and floats through it all, knowing that she is now called beautiful. She ignores the dangers of her fast-paced life…but she can’t sidestep the secrets and the cruelty.
Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral tinged with violence and abuse, and no one—not even the one person she thought she could trust—can help her now.
Kristi's take: I usually go for the books involving strange worlds and sparkly space monkeys, so I was a little hesitant to pick this one up. Once I did, this book did not let me go until I finished. It's gritty, real, disturbing and not an easy read due to the subject matter, but I loved every sentence. Cassie reminded me of many of the girls I worked with in juvenile detention who were smart, strong, and broken all at once. This book won't be for everyone because the issues are not glossed over or sugarcoated in any way--meaning some will find it offensive. However, I found this book to be incredibly powerful and wish I could go back and give a copy of it to all the "delinquent" girls I worked with in the past. If you love contemporary YA, or just want a break from space monkeys, definitely check this one out.