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 field guide to the North American teenager, Ben Philippe

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager Book Cover The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
Ben Philippe
Young Adult Fiction
Balzer + Bray
8 January 2019
384

Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A Black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas. Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs. Yet against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris…like loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making. But the night of the prom, Norris screws everything up royally. As he tries to pick up the pieces, he realizes it might be time to stop hiding behind his snarky opinions and start living his life—along with the people who have found their way into his heart.
-- A hilarious contemporary realistic YA debut novel about a rather cynical Black French Canadian teen who moves to Austin, Texas, and experiences the clichés and joys of the American high school experience—including falling in love. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and When Dimple Met Rishi.

There were so many things I LOVED about this book!
I was first drawn towards the cover while we were in Palm Springs last January. I did not buy the book at the time though but added it to me “Want to read” list on Goodreads (don’t hesitate to add me there, by the way).



The main character, Norris (and not “Morris”) is a Black teenager (in Junior High) who lived in Québec all his life before his Mom moves both of them to Austin, Texas (which is like the other end of the weather spectrum). His Dad and his new family live in Vancouver, BC. My family and I moved from France (=me, my Husband and our two daughters who were then a baby and a toddler); we are immigrants even though we now are Canadians as well. We lived in BC for 7+ years before moving to Québec 3 years ago, so both cities are dear to us. And for 9 years, my Husband travelled to Austin on a regular basis. So it was too strange of a coincidence not to be intrigued by the book’s setting.
I told my Husband some of Norris’ thoughts on Texas, from a Canadian point of view and was met with plenty “oh gosh, this is so true!”.
The story is told from Norris point of view so we progress in the story at his pace, and discover the other characters as he does. He is witty and snarky, and the idea of the notebook to jot down his thoughts or whatever he wanted when he arrived in his new school was a great idea. It truly feels like a field guide 😉 Norris has a strong opinion on everything and well… everyone. It was meant to go wrong at some point, this point being prom.
I have to say that once again, I loved the Mom in the book.
This book taught me that everything is a matter of perspective and that we can change our mind once we learn that there are two sides to every coin.
I got a plot scare when the story goes in a direction that I did not really see coming but that I firmly did not like. The ending was… bleh. However, I enjoyed two-thirds of the book very much and it makes up for it.

About the author

Ben Philippe was born in Haiti, raised in Montreal, Qc, Canada, and now resides in New York.
He is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers and holds a BA in Sociology from Columbia University. He won the 2013 Tennessee Williams Fiction Contest and his writing has appeared in Observer, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, and others.
He still doesn’t have a valid driver’s license.


Amazon.com
Chapters Indigo

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, by Jaye Robin Brown

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit Book Cover Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
Jaye Robin Brown
Young Adult Fiction
HarperTeen
30 August 2016
432

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.

Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

I have to admit that I have a thing for books tackling young adult LGBTQ+ characters.
I am not a Christian anymore, however reading about Faith is something I am still very interested in. Especially when coupled with matters like sexuality or more broadly, someone’s identity.
In Georgia peaches & other forbidden fruit, Jaye Robin Brown asks us: is it okay to put aside the core of who you are to fit in a new environment? To please your family wishes.
The main character, Joanna has been openly gay for years now. Her best friend is very exuberant and queer as well. It has never been an issue with her father, who is a Pastor. She’s both gay and a Christian teenage girl and lives with it perfectly…. until her father remarries and they move from Atlanta to a very traditional Christian town in Georgia.
Some parts of the storyline felt wonky to me, but it was not to the point of making me want to walk away from it and overall, I really enjoyed reading about Jo’s journey.

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.

Amazon.com | https://amzn.to/2VqRQ9G
Chapters Indigo |Georgia peaches and other forbidden fruits

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
Amazon.ca | https://amzn.to/2JuKvAe
Amazon.com | https://amzn.to/2Fi4ddc

Mud Vein, by Tarryn Fisher

Mud Vein Book Cover Mud Vein
Tarryn Fisher
Fiction
CreateSpace
1 January 2014
Hardcover
284

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat...and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.


I discovered Tarryn Fisher via the book series she co-wrote with Colleen Hoover, Never Never. These two are best friends in real life and if you’re on Instagram, I urge you to follow them both. They’re honest, funny and unapologetically themselves. Plus, #girlsquadgoals !

There were two things I wanted to know badly: an explanation regarding the title, and what the cover actually meant. I won’t spoil anything but know that both are talked about in the book.

The book tackles trauma in a way that I have never read before. It made me cry, tightened my throat at several occasions but also made me smile and hope for a good outcome. Tarryn Fisher’s writing is unapologetic and raw which makes her voice even more unique, to me.

Another fact that instantly drew me in even more is the use of music in the storyline. And not any kind of music: songs that are part of what I call my “life soundtrack”. They play a pretty big role between the two main protagonists and I absolutely loved it.


About the author

Tarryn was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She immigrated to America with her parents when she was 13, and spent the next eighteen years in South Florida where she earned her degree in Psychology, wrote her first novel, and had two children. In 2012, on a whim, she moved her family to Seattle, Washington where she currently makes her home safely away from the sun. Tarryn is the founder of Guise of the Villain, a fashion blog, and has written ten published novels. Tarryn is a Slytherin.

Amazon.ca | https://amzn.to/2FgAP79
Amazon.com | https://amzn.to/2U3DZnW