The Grown-Up YA


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Selective Collective: On the Fence Review

On the Fence by Kasie West

The Skinny: Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she’s got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she’s falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high – From Goodreads

BFF?: Charlie was completely likeable… but I had a hard time really connecting with her. I’ve always had a hard time connecting with girls who are so anti-feminine. And not girls who like sports or are “one of the guys” or don’t wear makeup… I’m talking about the kinds of girls who are like “yeah, I used to set my Barbies on fire.” No, Charlie wasn’t REALLY like that, but she kind of had this whole anti-girl vibe. I liked that she eventually learned how to be “girly” while still being herself, but it took me a long time to warm up to her. I might have been history class acquaintances with her in high school, but I highly doubt we’d talk more outside of class.

Readability: This one was really quick read, which I liked. There was some good depth though, which made it worth it. The writing was easy to get into and Charlie’s voice was genuine.

Crush Level: 5
Okay, Braden was such a sweet guy. He really stepped into his roles as a big brother, a confidant, a best friend, and eventually a boyfriend. I loved how devoted he was not only to Charlie but to her family as well. It was very endearing to see someone as good and wholesome as he was. That being said… I don’t think I’d have a crush on him other than a “hey, he’s cute!” moment before he totally got friendzoned. It was hard to develop any sort of crush on someone I saw as a brotherly guy friend who would probably tell fart jokes in front of me. Actually… if he did that he’d probably not be friendzoned so much as no man’s land zoned.

Bonus Points:

First Jobs

First jobs suck, yo. I don’t know anyone who raves about their first jobs. Mine was at a department store and I haaaaated it. I had to stand all day, I had to dress up, I had a mean boss… working in retail has never been pleasant for me. It’s like the food service… people* are asshats.

*Except for you. You’re awesome.

Yearbook Quote: None! ARC!
Superlatives: Most likely to change your mind about doing your makeup

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Check out the other parts of The Selective Collective to discover more about On the Fence!

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True Story Thursday: GUYA’s Last Stand

Hello all… I think this is going to be a sort of harder post to write. <deep breath> Okay, here we go.

The Grown-Up YA has been going now for 2 years, 7 months, 15 days… so much longer than I even thought possible. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d make it this long. Heck, I was over the moon when I made it to 6 months!

Lately though, GUYA hasn’t given me the excitement it once did. I’m finding myself bored and feeling burnt out. Over the past couple months I’ve had tiny spurts of inspiration to write stuff, but they usually fizzle out fairly quickly and I go back to not posting things. It’s getting to where it’s like pulling teeth to even write a simple review. I feel like I’ve tried everything under the sun to get inspired, to pump some life back into the blog, but… nothing.

Let me just say this: I don’t want to give up blogging. I think that’s what has kept me motivated to continue. I love writing and posting and talking to people. I think I’m just ready to talk about something other than books. I love them, I love reading… I always will. But it’s starting to feel obligatory and unfun. So it’s time for a change.

Here’s where it’s hard… The Grown-Up YA will “end” on November 18th this year. Why that date? Because that will be 3 years. I like round numbers and want to see it out. I’m going to be pulling majorly back though, only posting reviews for books that I’ve accepted ARCs for, maybe a fun read here or there.

Now, good news! In the middle of my “What should I do with myself?!” conundrum I’ve been having lately, a friend asked if I’d ever thought about doing a lifestyle blog. We weren’t talking about GUYA at all; she just mentioned this during the conversation. I honestly had not thought about doing another blog because c’mon… I have one already. But that simple question got my gears going. Could I do another blog?

I discussed this with another friend and she has been 100% supportive and encouraging about this idea and guys… I’m feeling that spark again.

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I pulled out a notebook and started jotting ideas down, things I want to write about, and holy moly! There are so many topics! It’s gotten me exceptionally excited and while I’m sad to see GUYA slowly go away, I’m super excited for this new endeavor and feel like it may be a jumping point for something totally new.

One of the things I’ve really loved lately are these True Story Thursdays. I look forward to writing them, purposefully look for things to write about, because I love sharing my life with you. There are things that I find so exciting and fascinating that AREN’T blog related, but feel like I can’t really talk about them on my blog because it’s supposed to be a book blog (I know, I know… it’s mine and I can write about whatever I want but I want it to be 90% books). So I decided to take my True Story Thursdays idea and run with it.

True Story Living, my new blog, is something I’m so looking forward to. Here are some things that you’ll find on it:

  • Party planning tips/ideas/menus/FAQs
  • Recipes/food/healthy eating
  • Traveling to/discovering/exploring different towns
  • Anything else my brain comes up with

As much as I am sad to “leave” GUYA, I’m excited about where I’m going. It’s been a fun ride and I’m so grateful to all of you who helped me make this blog a success. I love our friendships and chats and fangirling. I hope you’ll join me on my new endeavor and stay in touch!

Love to you all!


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Selective Collective: Sarah Ockler

Our June book is #scandal by Sarah Ockler! We’re big fans of Sarah Ockler here at the Selective Collective and are very excited to be featuring her newest book!

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About the book:

Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love… – From Goodreads

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About Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of several books for teens: The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, and the upcoming #scandal. Her books have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, Amazon Top Movers and Shakers, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books.

She’s a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, tarot enthusiast, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in Colorado, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. In addition to her website at sarahockler.com, fans can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Check out the other parts of The Selective Collective to discover more about #scandal:

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Think you might want to read #scandal? Here’s how YOU can win your very own copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules for entering:

  • You must be a U.S. resident
  • You must be over 13
  • You must enter by 11:59 pm (Central Time) on 7/9/2014