Review: Some Boys – Patty Blount

Review: Some Boys – Patty BlountSome Boys by Patty Blount
Published by Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Published: August 5th 2014
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one-star

Some boys go too far. Some boys will break your heart. But one boy can make you whole.

When Grace meets Ian she's afraid. Afraid he'll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But...Ian doesn't. He's funny and kind with secrets of his own.

But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?

A gut-wrenching, powerful love story told from alternating points of view by the acclaimed author of Send.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Wow! Wow do I have feelings on this book.

First off I’m going to say off the bat that this book was definitely not for me. I have major, major issues with it. So much in fact that I feel like the message at the end was completely lost because of all the other things that flat out offended me through the 352 pages I endured. I just personally couldn’t see past the over the top clichés and the statements that were made to actually get to the point. I was angry and frustrated and annoyed and disappointed with every turn of the page and in the end I didn’t even care what the message was.

Some Boys is the story of Grace, a girl that accuses the town golden boy of rape, and bullied and tormented by just about everyone. No one wants to hear her side, listen to what she says happened because Zac, the most popular boy, would never do something like that. They all just want Grace to stay quiet but no matter how much the push Grace will not stand down. Especially when she finds herself working next to Ian, Zac’s best friend and the guy that found her that night. But as they work together their relationship grows complicated and things don’t seem so black and white. At least not to Ian anymore.

Part of my problem with this book was that it wasn’t focused 100% on the fact that a girl was raped and no one believed her. I mean that is huge and it seemed almost like a side story. There were so many other things going on that the rape part didn’t seem to be the focus. I don’t know if it was because of the two POVs or because it wasn’t supposed to be about that, or what. All I know if that I didn’t need to hear about Ian worrying about small things happening in his life like being grounded. And I didn’t need to hear about Grace’s annoyance over her step-mother. The problem to me was that this teenage girl was raped and the whole town didn’t believe her. She was being bullied at school by the students and the TEACHERS and no one did anything. How does something like that even happen in 2014?? Bullying is not allowed in schools and certainly not allowed by adults, so that really angered me.

And then we get to the real heart of my problem with Some Boys; the cliché, sexist, borderline offensive marks made throughout the story. Like I said, there is definitely a message in this book, a good one, but for me I just couldn’t get over everything that lead up to that message being brought to light. I felt like most of the book dealt with blaming Grace for being raped because she was a female. Statements were made by Ian saying he expected “chick food” like vegetables and alfalfa sprouts in a sandwich instead of roast beef with cheddar and mayo were the beginning and it just got worse for me after that. Honestly though there were two statements made that after reading them there was no getting behind this story for me.

“Why do girls not get that there’s a fine line between looking good and asking for it”

And a little further down on the page:

“It’s like the people who leave their doors unlocked and then cry when they’re robbed. Why are girls not smart about this?”

After reading those two statements I was done. I wanted to scream at the book and ask it why is this the girls fault? What isn’t this character asking why guys can’t control how they behave? Why no doesn’t always mean no. Basically it enraged me to a place that there was no way I could ever give this book a positive review whether it had a message or not. And it furthered the fact that this book was 100% not for me.

I mean I know what the author was trying to do. She was in no ways saying she supports this behavior as is evident in the end. And I know that people out there do think that rape is the fault of the woman. She made it all very clear in the end. But my point is that it bugs me that people still think this is okay, and I had to read the whole book to get to that point. No one ever said that Grace should dress the way she wants to, that it wasn’t her fault, that he should have listened to no. I had to read the whole book before getting to that and it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

But as I say about all books I’m not in love with, just because it wasn’t for me doesn’t mean it won’t have the opposite effect on you. Always make up your own mind and don’t just listen to someone elses.

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Review/Interview: 16 Things I Thought Were True – Janet Gurtler

I was lucky enough to get to review this book and interview Janet Gurtler for the blog tour for 16 Things I Thought Were True. After the review please check out my question and answer section with Janet. I want to thank her for the time she took to answer my questions and to share a little bit more about her process and thoughts with all of you ABCers. I really hope you pick this book up and enjoy it. Or really anything by Janet for that matter(PSSST, I’m Not Her is still my favorite book of hers. ;-)) Okay, on to the review and interview.

Review/Interview: 16 Things I Thought Were True – Janet GurtlerSixteen Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler
Published by Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Published: 2014
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three-half-stars

Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...

Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty sweet...in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue

With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

thoughts

I always get excited when I see a new book from Janet Gurtler and 16 Things I Thought Were True was no different. The concept seemed somewhat unique but with a familiarity. And who doesn’t love a good road trip. But as much as I enjoyed this book there were things/parts that just didn’t do it for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I was so in love with I’m Not Her and nothing will live up to that level, or if it was how some things were dealt with. Either way, I liked this book, didn’t love it.

16 Things I Thought Were True is about Morgan, an 18 year old girl that made a silly mistake and is dealing with the repercussions from it. She’s working for the summer and trying to forget her humiliation, which isn’t easy. And when her mom suddenly has heart troubles she is left wondering what would happen to her if something were to happen to her mom as she never knew even the name of her dad. But when her mom tells her her dad’s name and that he lives only 4 hours, Morgan knows one thing. She needs to meet the man that abandoned her before she was born. Armed with a boat load of snacks, a cooler full of drinks, her hot 18 year old boss Adam, and chatty, unexpected friend Amy behind the wheel, Morgan is in for a trip she never expected and for some surprises along the way. Sometimes what you thought was true just isn’t.

I had some issues with Morgan at times while reading this book. I’m not 100% sure what it was! but she irked me with her poor me attitude. She definitely wasn’t an optimist by any stretch of the imagination. And I also found her harsh with her friends sometimes. She was definitely wrapped up in her own world which I got to an extent, but enough was enough. I did like Morgan with both her brother Jake and Adam. Adam may be one of the sweetest boys in YA lit. He was, simply put, amazing. And I liked him from the start. There was a complete ease to him that lightened things up. And I loved Morgan and her friendship with Amy. Oh, how much I loved Amy. She was bubbly and charming and endearing and spoke her mind. She talked too much, butted her nose into other people’s business and was slightly spoiled. But she also went with the punches. She took things as they happened and wasn’t afraid to be who she was. She also was fiercely loyal almost to a fault.

I guess one of the reasons this book was a 3 3/4 stars was the way things were dealt with in terms of Morgan’s father. I have very very very strong opinions when it comes to fathers and their place in the lives of their children and I didn’t like how this was handled. I understand the drama as there has to be some in a book to keep an air of mystery and tension, but how it played out in 16 Things I Thought Were True just didn’t work for me. I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to give anything away, but it left a bad taste in my mouth and could have been handled in a different manner. And the end? Um yeah, so didn’t see that coming at all which kind of threw me for a loop which was both positive and negative. It happened so close to the end of the book that it was hard to process and understand how it all fit together and the purpose of it all. It threw me for a loop which is hard to do sometimes so that was the bonus to it because I 100% didn’t see it coming.

Essentially 16 Things I Thought Were True is another strong book by Gurtler. It had it’s string points and its not so strong points. It had a good message and a message I wasn’t a fan of. But in true Gurtler fashion it told an emotional story with characters that made you feel. I definitely am looking forward to what she has in store for us next.

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INTERVIEW

1) This is your 5th Young Adult book to come out since 2011. That is a lot of books in a short period of time. Each book has been pretty unique in its subject matter so where do you get your ideas from? What is you inspiration?

Janet: I actually cheated because one of my books, IF I TELL was already written when the first book came out.  That said, I have written a lot and it’s been so AWESOME. I get my inspiration from writing about things that matter to me.  My books always start with the characters except WHO I KISSED that was inspired by my son and his peanut allergy.   I try and write characters who are flawed because I think we all do some bad things, but that doesn’t necessarily make us bad people. I mean like stealing a pen from work, not murdering your husband bad.

I am by nature, a realist and I think that comes across in what I write.  Also, I think in my head I am a 16 year old girl, so it’s alarmingly easy for me to slip into that mindset.

2) In 16 Things I Thought Were True Morgan has a life changing event happen which is why she goes off to meet her father, Bob, for the first time. Morgan and Bob understandably have a complex relationship. Do you think you would react the same way that Morgan did in regards to finding her dad and everything that came after?

JG: I think Morgan was aching to have another person in her life.  She was trying to think she didn’t need other people but the near death of her mom made her realize how very alone she was, outside of the online relationships in her life. I think that a situation like Morgan’s and her dad’s would take a long time to work through. I relate to Morgan’s experience of wanting more from her dad, but not being sure how to ask for it or if she can even handle it. 

3) The end of 16 Things took an unexpected turn, at least for me anyway. Without giving anything away, what made you go in that direction? Was it hard to make that kind of decision?

JG: I had an epiphany one day. I was working on the story and all of sudden it was…. THAT THING HAS TO HAPPEN.  I tried to layer in hints along the way, subtle hints, and they are there if you look for them, but yes I think it does come as a shock for many. To me it needed to happen. It was part of Morgan’s story, that things sometimes happen that don’t make a lot of sense.  And you have to deal. 

4) Morgan, Adam and Amy(who I loved by the way!) go on a quick weekend road trip. If you could go to any 3 places in the US on a road trip, where would you go and why?

JG: I love Amy too. She was fun to write. I had to actually dial her back a bit because she kept trying to take over the story.  Honestly  I’d really like to go to most places in the USA on a plane because I honestly have driven to every province in Canada on road trips in my lifetime. And that’s a lot of land. Having said that I would choose:

Arizona.  It is WARM. There are pretty rocks. I like warmth and pretty rocks.

Texas:   Long road trip but it would be great. There are so many writers there, who, like Morgan I know on-line but have never met in person.

Vegas: It’s not that far from where I live. Relatively speaking. And it’s VEGAS.

5) Since the title is about things you thought were true, what is one thing you thought was true when you were Morgan’s age but found out when you were older it wasn’t?

JG: I thought I would never get married. Actually I kind of thought I’d never have a boy like me or ever have sex.  Turns out I was wrong.  😉

6) Totally not going to lie, reading this book made me eat a whole bag of Cheetos just by the power of suggestion. Have you ever craved a snack food from writing one of your books or reading someone else’s book?

JG: MMMmm. Cheeto’s. Lucky for me, salty snacks aren’t my weakness. Unlucky for me, chocolate and sweets are.  I crave them all the time.  Just answering this question has made me thinking about the bag of chocolate chips that area in my pantry.  (sneaks off to have a handful)

7) And since I also blog about clothes and accessories and this book contains a road trip, what is the one item of clothing or accessory that you would never travel without? Basics aside of course. 🙂

JG: Yoga pants. All the better for eating snacks and not having to worry about bloating. And bracelets. I love wearing lots of bracelets.

 

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