Confess, Colleen Hoover

Confess Book Cover Confess
Colleen Hoover
Fiction
Thorndike Press Large Print
9 September 2015
450

Auburn Reed is determined to rebuild her shattered life and she has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it?

It’s hard for me to currently pick a favourite book from Colleen Hoover. I was skeptical about Confess at first, maybe because of the title. I was afraid it would be a classical and cliché chic-lit book. But I should have known this is not Colleen’s style 😉

This is the story of Auburn, who experienced a tragedy when she was 16 years old. We meet her again five years later. Her heart is broken, but she’s doing her best day-to-day. And then she meets Owen while looking for a job. Owen has an art Studio where he sells his paintings once a month.
Their attraction is strong and undeniable but both are hiding secrets that could completely tear them apart.

This book was totally unexpected to me. I loved that we got to read both sides of the story, thanks to alternating chapters. We don’t know the full secrets until pretty far in the book, which I appreciated. The reader does not have to ALWAYS be omniscient 😉

The artwork

In the book, the artwork plays a big role. I was so pleased that some actual art was included in the book.
The artist is Danny O’Connor and the art is breathtaking.

“hands”
‘Auburn”
“Callahan Gentry”

You can buy prints of the book’s artwork on Colleen’s website: right here.

About the author

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times and International bestselling author of multiple novels and novellas. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. She is the founder of The Bookworm Box, a non-profit book subscription service and bookstore in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Amazon.com
Chapters Indigo

The meaning of birds, by Jaye Robin Brown

The Meaning of Birds Book Cover The Meaning of Birds
Jaye Robin Brown
Young Adult Fiction
HarperTeen
16 April 2019
368

“An evocative story of the thrills of first love and the anguish of first loss. This will break you and heal you.”—Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’ Not to be missed by fans of Nina LaCour and Becky Albertalli, this powerful novel—from the acclaimed author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit—paints a poignant portrait of love in the past, grief in the now, and the healing power of art. Before: Jess has always struggled with the fire inside her. But when she meets Vivi, everything changes. As they fall for each other, Vivi helps Jess deal with her anger and pain and encourages her to embrace her artistic talent. And suddenly Jess’s future is a blank canvas, filled with possibilities. After: When Vivi unexpectedly dies, Jess’s perfect world is erased. As she spirals out of control, Jess pushes away everyone around her and throws out her plans for art school. Because art is Vivi and Vivi is gone forever. Right when Jess feels at her lowest, she makes a surprising friend who just might be able to show her a new way to channel her rage, passion, and creativity. But will Jess ever be able to forge a new path for herself without Vivi? A beautiful exploration of first love and first loss, this novel effortlessly weaves together past and present to tell a profound story about how you can become whole again when it seems like you’ve lost the most important part of yourself.

Sometimes, I read books back-to-back that have a common theme without knowing it in advance. Does it happen to you as well? Most of the books I read come from the banQ in Montréal. I see a book I think I’d like and borrow it, or I put a reservation until it’s available. This is how I sometimes end up with books like this.
This is my second book by this author, the first one was Georgia Peaches & Other Forbidden Fruits. She is queer herself, so I know that she writes about subjects she actually understands. It’s important to me.

In The meaning of birds, Jessica is our main protagonist. She’s in high school and has been dealing with anger issues for years. They are probably the result of unexpressed grief from her father’s death. Then, enters Vivi. She is passionate about birds, about going to college and lifts Jessica up. Plus, she encourages her to take the doodles Jess’ therapist encouraged her to do to an other level.
The book is created with alternating chapters: Now and Then. This is how we get to understand Jessica’s story better. Because in the Now, she is spiralling out of control, lost in her newest grief. How to continue living when the love of your life just died, even though you’re still a teenager?
This was very beautifully written and I felt for the characters in general, not only Jess. It’s the kind of story that sticks with you, even when you’re done reading the book.

About the author

Jaye Robin Brown, or JRo to her friends, has been many things in her life– jeweller, mediator, high school art teacher–but is now living the full-time writer life. She lives with her wife, dogs, and horses in a sweet house in the NC woods where she hopes to live happily ever after.

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Chapters-Indigo

What you left behind, Jessica Verdi

What You Left Behind Book Cover What You Left Behind
Jessica Verdi
Juvenile Fiction
Sourcebooks Fire
1 August 2015
368

Seventeen-year-old Ryden's life was changed forever when his girlfriend discovered she was pregnant and stopped chemotherapy, and now, raising Hope with his mother's help and longing for the father he never knew, he meets smart and sexy Jodi and gains a new perspective.

“What you left behind” is the story of Ryden, who became a single father at 17. His girlfriend, Meg, died the day she gave birth to their daughter, Hope.
Ryden was not ready to become a Dad, but his Mom (I love her!) is very supportive and does her best to make him connect with his daughter.
Ryden dreams of becoming a professional soccer player and to attend UCLA on a soccer scholarship. Juggling being a parent, school, work and practice is a lot. We follow him as he navigates his relationship with his co-worker, the quirky Joni. She does not know anything about his situation and feels like a breath of fresh air in his shattered universe.
Ryden is in search of answers: finding his father, who he does not know. Finding diaries that maybe Meg left behind for him to find and that would explain a lot of things.
This book was heartbreaking. I felt for Ryden and his difficulties to bond with his daughter. His life took a turn he absolutely did not ask for or saw coming and it’s really hard for him to accept it and to become the father he needs to be. His mother is amazing, by the way.

About the author

Jessica Verdi is an author of young adult novels and children’s books about identity, family, acceptance, and love.
After nearly ten years in the NYC theatre world, she got an idea for a novel. That novel was an adult magical realism story, and while it will never see the light of day—nope, don’t ask—it was the book that started her love affair with writing. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else.
She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her partner Paul and dogs Billie and Gloria.

Amazon.com
Chapters Indigo

The “Slammed” trilogy, by Colleen Hoover

Slammed Book Cover Slammed
Slammed
Colleen Hoover
Fiction
Simon and Schuster
18 September 2012
Hardbook
317

Eighteen-year-old Layken struggles with holding her family together after her father dies, until she develops a relationship with her new neighbor, Will, who has a passion for poetry slams and gives her a new sense of hope.

I have a confession to make: I try to only read book series once all the titles have been released. I HATE having to wait for a sequel and LOVE reading them back-to-back so I stay inside the story until its end.
Luckily, as a person living in Québec, I have access to our wonderful banQ and can borrow a ton of books for free (!).. I borrowed all the Colleen Hoover’s books I could find, that were available; I borrowed Point Of Retreat, not knowing it was the middle book of a trilogy. So I had to wait another week to go grab Slammed. It happens quite frequently in my bibliophile life 😉

Slammed is about Layken, an 18yo young adult who moves with her Mom and younger brother after the sudden death of her Dad. She is not pleased to be uprooted while she is still grieving. Luckily, she is closed with her Mom and her sibling. Layken is pretty independent and knows she needs to grow up in order to help her Mom in this difficult new situation.
On moving day, she meets her neighbor: the handsome Will, and his younger brother. Will is a few years older, and there’s an undeniable connection happening between them. He brings her into his universe: slam poetry.
However, there would not be a story if it was that easy, right?
We follow them as they navigate their relationship.

I also loved the secondary characters: Eddie, Layken’s instant new best friend; her boyfriend Gavin. The two younger brothers are hilarious, as well. And suffice to say that as a Mom myself, I was really touched by Julia.
This book made me mad, sad, it made me laugh out loud and I could not put it down. It was infuriating at times but that’s the point: it made me feel. And sometimes, that’s all that you need from a book…

The other books in this trilogy:

Point of retreat
The second book takes place after the end of Slammed. A lot of changes happened between the two books but we meet again the characters we got attached to in Slammed. Something about Will’s past will resurface… will Lake & Will fight for a future together?

This Girl
Happens right after Point of Retreat. Now that Layken & Will are happy, Lake wants to know as much as possible about Will. This book is told in his point of view and has two timelines: the one happening in Slammed (but this first book is from Layken’s POV)

About the author

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times and International bestselling author of multiple novels and novellas. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. She is the founder of The Bookworm Box, a non-profit book subscription service and bookstore in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Indigo | Slammed book
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