Tag Archives: Young Adult

3.5 Stars for Come to My Window by Mia Kerick – #Lesbian #FF #YoungAdult #GenderIdentity

unnamed (1)

Title: Come to My Window
Author Name: Mia Kerick
Publication Date & Length: January 15, 2015 – 182pgs

Synopsis

Justine Laraby and Kemina Lopez are intimate acquaintances yet they have never exchanged so much as a single word. For months, high school senior Justine, and famed model, “Kemina, the Baby Vixen” of Nightingale Lingerie, have been peering at each other across a narrow alley between brownstones in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This mutual observation soon turns into the exchange of handwritten messages on signs they hold up whenever they come to their bedroom windows. Via this “sign language,” a friendship grows, and Justine learns that Kemina is, like her, a high school senior, but with a controlling mother and a modeling career that requires her to maintain an unnaturally thin physique. And through the window, she also witnesses her new friend exercising fanatically, hoarding food, and being physically and emotionally abused by her ambitious mother.

Window messages evolve into clandestine meetings and soon a tentative romance blooms. But Justine must come to terms with her own “mommy issues,” as well as accept her gender identity and sexual orientation, before she can provide Kemina with the support she needs to survive a family life that resembles a ruthless business transaction.

Will Justine be strong enough to throw open the window so Kemina can escape society’s suffocating expectations?

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I found this to be an unusual and unlikely storyline.  Two teenage girls watch each other from each other’s windows.  They begin writing notes to each other they press up against the window.  It is through this form of communication they develop a friendship which grows into more as they decide to meet outside of their four walls.

Justine attends a private school and Kemina does an online school so she can pursue her modeling for Nightgale Lingerie.  When Kemina is not studying, going on photo shoots, she is exercising in her room and being weighed and measured by her controlling mother.  Kemina’s mother (only known as Mrs. Lopez) is her manager.  She supports both of them with money made by her modeling career.

Kemina invites Justine over one evening via note to the window when she mom is out for the evening.  It seems like Kemina is not satisfied with seeing Justine the few times she has in public.  Unfortunately, their first kiss is interrupted by Mrs. Lopez coming home early.  Being teenagers, they lie and say they were studying.  Justine goes home.

What I did like about this book was the fact that Kemina wants to start a new line of clothing for women who aren’t a size 2 and can be proud of their bodies.  Not surprisingly, her mom goes ballistic and Justine tells Kemina she can stay at her house so she can be safe.

Kemina does start a new clothing line with Nightgale Lingerine and begins spending late nights working with designers.  One evening Justine cannot get in touch with Kemina and is getting ready to go to sleep and looks into Kemina’s old room.  She sees suitcases open on her bed full of clothes, but there is no one in the room.  She tells her dad her fears and they go to Kemina’s house.  I was shocked to read what Mrs. Lopez had done.  She put Kemina in the backseat, gagged her and zip–tied her hands behind her back.  Guess she was really mentally unbalanced after all.  The police are called and Mrs. Lopez is called and is arrested.

This would be a good book for Young Adults who are worried about being a size 2.  They can read this and know it is okay to be the size you are.

Angela

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Teaser

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Excerpt

But it’s not until the screen fills with the image of this baby seal,
all white and fluffy with dark vulnerable eyes that we both gasp a
little bit and then turn to look at each other. I can feel her breath on
my lips and my nose is nearly touching hers, and, well, I don’t know
about Kemina, but I’m all kinds of spellbound by this moment. She
reaches up and touches my jaw, just below my ear, with this soft
brush of her fingertips, and I have no choice but to lean down and
kiss her. Not that I was looking too hard for another option. Cuz I
wasn’t.
I kind of thought that my first kiss would be like an electric
shock or the sharp poke of cupid’s dart or fireworks exploding in a
dark night sky, but it’s not like any of those things. The way it feels
when my lips touch Kemina’s is soft and gentle and tender. It’s a
yielding of her mouth to mine, and then mine to hers. It’s an intimate
moment that’s breathy and warm and sweet and just ours.
“Ummmm….” She lets out this sound that makes me think of
how it feels to sink into a hot bath after a long afternoon of ice
skating in frigid temperatures. “That was my first real kiss.”
“Real kiss?” I ask. Our lips are only about an inch apart. I have
a strong feeling that her second real kiss is only a moment away.

AuthorBio

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

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5 Stars for Come to My Window by Mia Kerick – #Lesbian #FF #YoungAdult #GenderIdentity

unnamed (1)

Title: Come to My Window
Author Name: Mia Kerick
Publication Date & Length: January 15, 2015 – 182pgs

Synopsis

Justine Laraby and Kemina Lopez are intimate acquaintances yet they have never exchanged so much as a single word. For months, high school senior Justine, and famed model, “Kemina, the Baby Vixen” of Nightingale Lingerie, have been peering at each other across a narrow alley between brownstones in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This mutual observation soon turns into the exchange of handwritten messages on signs they hold up whenever they come to their bedroom windows. Via this “sign language,” a friendship grows, and Justine learns that Kemina is, like her, a high school senior, but with a controlling mother and a modeling career that requires her to maintain an unnaturally thin physique. And through the window, she also witnesses her new friend exercising fanatically, hoarding food, and being physically and emotionally abused by her ambitious mother.

Window messages evolve into clandestine meetings and soon a tentative romance blooms. But Justine must come to terms with her own “mommy issues,” as well as accept her gender identity and sexual orientation, before she can provide Kemina with the support she needs to survive a family life that resembles a ruthless business transaction.

Will Justine be strong enough to throw open the window so Kemina can escape society’s suffocating expectations?

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Review

FiveStars

This is a terrific book. I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t want it to end. Both the narrator, Justine, and the other main character, Kemina, are complex, interesting girls. The pleasure is in watching them unfold through the story.

Justine is a great narrator–honest, sometimes brutally so, but likable nonetheless. From putting her father’s girlfriend in her place to admitting her own struggles, she tells it like it is. I loved her interactions with her world. She’s the kind of person girls can admire for her ability to withstand whatever is thrown at her.

I loved the theme of perfection woven into the story and how every character struggles with it in different ways. There is definitely a pretty clear black-and-white line between the truly evil characters and everyone else, but there are also a lot of shades of gray. There’s also an undertone of hope and forgiveness in the side plot about Justine’s mother and her ongoing battle with addiction.

Someday, I hope to share this book with my own daughter. It’s a good one for parents of girls to read and talk about, especially with regard to body image, perfection, and what it means to be beautiful.

5 stars

Amy

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Teaser

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Excerpt

But it’s not until the screen fills with the image of this baby seal,
all white and fluffy with dark vulnerable eyes that we both gasp a
little bit and then turn to look at each other. I can feel her breath on
my lips and my nose is nearly touching hers, and, well, I don’t know
about Kemina, but I’m all kinds of spellbound by this moment. She
reaches up and touches my jaw, just below my ear, with this soft
brush of her fingertips, and I have no choice but to lean down and
kiss her. Not that I was looking too hard for another option. Cuz I
wasn’t.
I kind of thought that my first kiss would be like an electric
shock or the sharp poke of cupid’s dart or fireworks exploding in a
dark night sky, but it’s not like any of those things. The way it feels
when my lips touch Kemina’s is soft and gentle and tender. It’s a
yielding of her mouth to mine, and then mine to hers. It’s an intimate
moment that’s breathy and warm and sweet and just ours.
“Ummmm….” She lets out this sound that makes me think of
how it feels to sink into a hot bath after a long afternoon of ice
skating in frigid temperatures. “That was my first real kiss.”
“Real kiss?” I ask. Our lips are only about an inch apart. I have
a strong feeling that her second real kiss is only a moment away.

AuthorBio

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

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Author’s Website
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TWO 4 Star Reviews for The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer – #FF #Romance #New Adult @kristen_zimmer

1.3

Title: The Gravity Between Us
Author Name: Kristen Zimmer
Publication Date & Length: October 17, 2013 – 310pgs

Synopsis

Where does friendship stop and love begin?

At just 19, Kendall Bettencourt is Hollywood’s hottest young starlet with the world at her feet – but behind the glamour and designer dresses is a girl who longs for normal.

Payton Taylor is Kendall’s best friend since childhood, and the one person who reminds her of who she really is – her refuge from the craziness of celebrity life.

With her career taking off, Kendall moves Payton to LA to help keep her sane. But Payton is hiding a secret that could make everything ten times worse. Because to her, Kendall is more than a best friend – she is the only girl that she has ever loved.

Just as they need each other more than ever, they’ll have to answer the question of where friendship stops and love begins? And find out whether the feelings they have can survive the mounting pressure of fame…

The Gravity Between Us is a daring, romantic, emotional story about friendship, love, and finding the courage to be yourself in a crazy world.

New Adult novel: recommended for 17+ due to mature themes and sexual content

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Review

FourStars

The Gravity Between Us seems like a typical fluff book on paper. Rich, famous actress and the girl back home (who’s super talented and hot!). Right? But this book is unique and tons of fun.
Kendall Bettencourt is a down-to-earth-but-not-frumpy starlet who should be reminding you of other starlets, especially ones who’ve made it big in indie and young adult movies. Ahem.
Payton Taylor is her childhood best friend, but she’s neither secretly in love with Kendall nor a sniveling hanger-on offered up for contrast. She’s a thriving, interesting person with her own stuff going on, and she and Kendall have a strong, mature relationship outside of their attraction.
In fact, it’s hard to believe these characters are 18 or 19 years old. They’re wise beyond their years.
But this is not a serious book. It’s FUN, like I said. Solid writing that doesn’t tax the reader too much, good chemistry, unbelievable situations that I want to believe in because they’re so outlandishly pleasing. Yes, everything goes right for our leading ladies, but for once, they seem to have earned it fair and square by being good people. Sometimes hard to find, especially with young protagonists.
This isn’t a book to read if you’re looking for sex. It’s not really there. But if you want some escapism, and some hopefulness–this takes place in a world where gay discrimination in Hollywood is quickly losing grip–then this is going to be a great read.
C.E. Case
FourStars

This book is a great story of love and finding oneself. It surpasses complications and issues multiple times that are thrown at the characters, and they always find the strength to pull through. It took me a few pages to get into the story, but once I got beyond the first few pages I couldn’t put it down for most of the book.

There were a few places where this book seemed to drag. It’s really not until the last 40% of the book that the two main characters really make progress in their relationship. My biggest issue with this book is that it’s very anti-bisexual. It’s set up almost perfectly for Kendall to be bisexual, yet she wants to be anything but bi because being bi is being a “sometimes lesbian” like Lauren is.

As a bisexual woman myself, I found it rather offensive and distasteful. Kendall could have easily be lesbian without dissing or putting down another skittle in the rainbow. She could have even questioned whether or not she herself were bi before discovering she wasn’t. This issue definitely made my rating drop as it was a thread throughout most of the second part of the book.

Payton was a character I could deeply relate to. She was down to earth and had a great sense of humor. Definitely laughed multiple times at her internal monologue. These characters read as if they’re in their early twenties based on actions, although there’s also an immaturity in them when it comes to relationships. I had a hard time thinking of them as only nineteen.

Overall, this was a good read. It explored issues I think many LGBT et al persons experience, whether or not we have gobs of money. It’s a book that explores what it means to come to terms with our own sexuality.

4 stars

AJ

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AuthorBio

Kristen is a New Jersey-based freelance writer and editor. A member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, she holds a B.A. in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing from Montclair State University. She also studied Music Performance with a focus on percussion instruments at Five Towns College. When not busy writing or burying her nose in books of the YA/New Adult fiction persuasion, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family, which includes two adorable Black Lab mixes and a very patient Better Half, and making electronic music. The Gravity Between Us, a contemporary New Adult Romance, is her first novel.

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Spotlight for Come to My Window by Mia Kerick – #Lesbian #FF #Young Adult

unnamed (1)

Title: Come to My Window
Author Name: Mia Kerick
Publication Date & Length: January 15, 2015 – 182pgs

Synopsis

Justine Laraby and Kemina Lopez are intimate acquaintances yet they have never exchanged so much as a single word. For months, high school senior Justine, and famed model, “Kemina, the Baby Vixen” of Nightingale Lingerie, have been peering at each other across a narrow alley between brownstones in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This mutual observation soon turns into the exchange of handwritten messages on signs they hold up whenever they come to their bedroom windows. Via this “sign language,” a friendship grows, and Justine learns that Kemina is, like her, a high school senior, but with a controlling mother and a modeling career that requires her to maintain an unnaturally thin physique. And through the window, she also witnesses her new friend exercising fanatically, hoarding food, and being physically and emotionally abused by her ambitious mother.

Window messages evolve into clandestine meetings and soon a tentative romance blooms. But Justine must come to terms with her own “mommy issues,” as well as accept her gender identity and sexual orientation, before she can provide Kemina with the support she needs to survive a family life that resembles a ruthless business transaction.

Will Justine be strong enough to throw open the window so Kemina can escape society’s suffocating expectations?

Add to GoodReads

BuyTheBook

Amazon
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

Teaser

CTMWRC

Excerpt

But it’s not until the screen fills with the image of this baby seal,
all white and fluffy with dark vulnerable eyes that we both gasp a
little bit and then turn to look at each other. I can feel her breath on
my lips and my nose is nearly touching hers, and, well, I don’t know
about Kemina, but I’m all kinds of spellbound by this moment. She
reaches up and touches my jaw, just below my ear, with this soft
brush of her fingertips, and I have no choice but to lean down and
kiss her. Not that I was looking too hard for another option. Cuz I
wasn’t.
I kind of thought that my first kiss would be like an electric
shock or the sharp poke of cupid’s dart or fireworks exploding in a
dark night sky, but it’s not like any of those things. The way it feels
when my lips touch Kemina’s is soft and gentle and tender. It’s a
yielding of her mouth to mine, and then mine to hers. It’s an intimate
moment that’s breathy and warm and sweet and just ours.
“Ummmm….” She lets out this sound that makes me think of
how it feels to sink into a hot bath after a long afternoon of ice
skating in frigid temperatures. “That was my first real kiss.”
“Real kiss?” I ask. Our lips are only about an inch apart. I have
a strong feeling that her second real kiss is only a moment away.

AuthorBio

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

SocialLinks

Facebook
Twitter
Author’s Website
Author’s GoodRead Page