eARC Book Review: Time in a Bottle by Kathleen D. Tresemer 

Time in a Bottle

Goodreads Synopsis

Beth Frye wants what we all want: to be accepted, maybe even cool. But high school’s tough for a music geek.
Things start looking up when she discovers vodka. It gives her cool friends, a gorgeous guy, and the chance to perform in NYC: all her dreams are coming true.
But, as her drinking addiction gets worse, things get complicated. She ends up in the hospital, someone is stalking her, twin brother Teddy’s trying to fix her, and that cop keeps hanging around.
Get some help? No thanks. Beth just wants what she wants, when she wants it!
The book includes helpful resources and discussion questions.

I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warnings: Underage drinking, Assault, Rape, Being drugged, Underage Sex, Rehabilitation, Relapses, Near-death experiences, Attempted murder.

**When a book is not categorised as Fantasy that automatically includes the more dangerous and scary stuff…all Trigger Warnings apply.

When I requested this book, I had no idea that it was going to be focused on such heavy topics. Apart from the alcoholism…but that was in the synopsis. I feel like this book was so much more than what we were promised and that it encompassed everything. Nothing was sugar-coated.

Beth and Teddy are twins, brother and sister, and they have a system that they work with. Beth needs help and Teddy’s there, rushing in, ready to save the day. This works, until it doesn’t anymore. Beth enters this spiral that leads her further down a hole and she can’t pull herself back out mainly because she doesn’t realise how deep in she’s fallen.

I’ll admit that at the beginning, I didn’t like Beth. There was no love lost there and I wondered if I should even feel sorry for her. Her attitude was not something that I was a fan of. She was extremely rude and bitchy and didn’t regarded anyone’s feelings in any way, shape or form. She barely cared about herself. This story was told from two sides, Beth and Teddy’s. I liked that we saw how she thought nothing was wrong, and then through Teddy’s eyes, you saw how things were slowly falling apart.

I feel that this book greatly showcased what substance abusers do to their loved ones. Maybe it’s not on purpose, but who’s behind them? Either trying to help or unknowingly making things worse. Something I read a while ago talked about funerals and about how they’re not for the person who died, they’re for the family and people they left behind. To help them cope. To give them some sense of peace. I think it’s similar for the people in this book. What they do, or what happens to them, doesn’t just affect them only.

I was shocked the further I got into this book because as I said, I wasn’t expecting it to be so heavy. Would I have still read it knowing what it entailed? Honestly I don’t know. This is why Trigger Warnings are important. I think they would’ve played a part in my choice.

I’ve had this book sitting in my Kindle App for months and I was reluctant to read it. I forgot why I had requested it and I didn’t see the sense in reading it. I do think that the stuff mentioned in this book is very important and it could help a lot of people out there, so there is a silver lining to all this. Sort of.

I do like the way the author went about this book. Nothing seemed too forced and everything was done in stages. I liked that the book was separated in parts by why of months. It helped with keeping track of the time frame. At the start of each part, the author included a quote that related well to what was going on in the story at the time.

I try to stay away from books like this only because I never know how to feel when I’m done with them. I have to admit that realistic stories of this kind are way too scary for me to frequent.

I did really like the book though. My lower rating is because of the lack of overall warning of what this book contained and the fact that the book was on the shorter side but had chapters that were 2 pages long. That’s a bit of a peeve for me so I wasn’t a fan. Really great style from the author and I think she covered just about everything.

Read: 18 May 2017
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 19 June 2016
Publisher: Soul Fire PRess
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Kathleen D. Tresemer

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eARC Book Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian

WreckedGoodreads Synopsis

Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible–especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict

I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wrecked focuses on rape and the culture that surrounds it. There’s a lot that a person can say regarding this topic and it’s easy to jump to conclusions because in this case all anyone wants is justice and closure and more often than not, that is not delivered. In this book it’s ripped open and revealed for what could possibly be how it really is but I can’t say because I’ve never been in a situation like that and I think it’ll be like a slap in the face to say ‘I can count myself lucky’ because honestly, I think luck has nothing to do with it. Rape is not about who’s lucky enough to avoid it, because it’s not something that has to be avoided. People are a-holes and it’s people who do the bad deeds.

When people start blaming the victim, it reminds me of a popular saying ‘A good carpenter never blames his tools’ or something like that. A person shouldn’t blame the victim because of what they looked like, how they dressed or acted or even what they implied. A person can say ‘yes’ one minute and halfway through decide to change their mind. It doesn’t make them a tease, it makes them a person with the right to say no.

*I know I went off on a tangent there but I hardly find myself in a situation where I talk about this topic and I found myself with a lot to say.

This book really put things in perspective and I think what takes place in this book is real. Not that it’s a true story- someone might have experienced something a lot like this, I wouldn’t know- but this is realistic and I think that’s what scared me. I got actual chills while reading this book and I’ll be honest, the way this is written, how it’s from the POV of the roommate of the victim and also of the housemate of the accused, the story get’s mixed up quite a few times and I didn’t even know where I stood.

It’s honesty hour over here. My first instinct was to side with the victim and that was all well and good, I expected that even. But as the story unfolded I was so confused with my thoughts because I was put in that place that I’ve read some victims fear: I didn’t know whether I believed her story or not. See what I mean? I was scared because I knew where I had to stand but there was a part of me that kept screaming: ‘You don’t know the full story. Don’t jump to conclusion!’ This book was a real eye opener and I am so glad that the author didn’t sugarcoat anything.

Characters: Haley is the roommate of Jenny, who reports that she was raped on the night a party. She- Haley- has her own problems to deal with and she prefers dealing with them but she gets sucked into Jenny’s situation and at first she acts like she doesn’t have a choice. Who’d turn someone away when they’re clearly in the need of help? Haley does decide to actually stay not because she was coerced, but because she wants to. I think her main goal was to be as uninvolved as possible but that didn’t work out so well. She sleeps in the same room as the girl, for crying out loud.

Richard lived in the same house as Jordan, the accused, and I didn’t know what to make of this guy at first. He seemed weird and we were introduced to him with a bad start. Rape jokes are not cool. They shouldn’t made. Ever. Richard was creepy and bordered on being a stalker but I think his mind was a bit jumbled. This guy was bad with words so people disregarded him often.

Carrie was, well I didn’t like her much. She had her views and sure I respect her for that but I felt that she came on a bit strong and seemed forceful sometimes.

Jenny’s case, her life in general wasn’t an easy thing to deal with. I mean, the one time she decided to step out of her comfort zone, everything just gets flipped upside down. What I did admire about her was her constant vigilance. Not about the rape, about how she went about life. She didn’t back down and I liked that about her. She was in no way running away but she had a plan and continued going on.

Jordan was a d*ck really. Not for what he did/was accused of doing, but in general. He wasn’t a nice guy. He had absolutely no redeeming qualities.

Likes: I like the fact that this book exists. It’s needed especially with what’s going on in the world. I loved the writing style. This author has a way with words and I found myself drawn in with how well it was written. I liked how the author went about the plot. Giving both sides of the story but at the same time allowing the readers to make up their own mind about what went down.

Overall Thoughts: This was an important book that needed to be shared with the world. The pace was excellent and I think the author did a good job especially given the situation. I would definitely read other works by this author.

Read: 4 July 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 4 October 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Maria Padian

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