Sunday, June 9, 2013

Featured Grab Your Pole Review #2


This week's feature review(s) come from Jac at For Love & Books! I honestly couldn't decide between her original review and her re-review so I'm including both! I don't even know how to sum up how awesome these reviews are or how much they make me giggle without sitting here staring at the computer screen like an incompetent idiot so yeah...I'll just paste these babies in. Also, be sure to check out the reviews here: Original & Re-Review and leave some love! Oh and for Bacon's sake her husband bought her JAKE RYAN'S CAR. Yeah, just keep reading right along...

For Love and Books

Original Review:
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A few days before reading Shark Bait, I was tweeting about another book and got into a conversation with Jenn Cooksey (which may have involved Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream!) and from there? She asked if I’d be interested in participating in her blog hop, so of course I said yes!! And immediately downloaded her book, Shark Bait.
From there? There was no turning back. None. I was in love. I have ZERO hesitation in saying that this is the best YA book I’ve read this year and has firmly grasped a spot on my top ten favorite books of all time!! And, if I could possibly? I would love to read it again for the first time. From page one, I was sucked in – I had absolutely nothing in common with Camie, the main character and fell on the other end of the spectrum in high school. (Re: I was so NOT innocent and trying to stay that way!) But I loved her, I found her endearing. And I felt so sorry for her starting school in the middle of the term in a new place, especially since her Mom’s cancer diagnosis flipped her life upside down.
And the rest of the cast? I could gush on and on for pages, but I’ll make it quick! (Because really, you NEED to read this book yourself.) Tristan? The boy-toy? Holy cow, every page he was on transported me back to high school and the bright blue lockers and the 2 years older than me hunk, Eric. (I’m sorry, I know Jenn said Taylor Kitsch, but in my mind? Tristan was totally Eric from my high school days.) And new best friend Kate? I loved how she pulled Camie out of her shell, loved ever scene with her! But my favorite supporting role? Definitely, hands down? Goes to Jillian, the little sister who has me wishing I could trade in my kid sister!!
Now, characters aside? This book is fabulous. Beginning to end. Jenn Cooksey captures the hell that is high school in a way that is so true, yet has you wishing you could go back and do it all again! And she leaves nothing out of the experience – so many YA books skirt around the party life of high schoolers, but not this one! (And from my experience? It was pretty accurate, not that I’m admitting to anything, I mean – my mom reads my blog!)
Jenn’s writing is fabulous, but what I possibly loved more? The many MANY references to John Hughes films and other 80′s phenomena that made me think maybe the 80s weren’t so bad after all! This book had me grinning like a fool and then laughing like a hyena the whole time, I can NOT wait until the next book comes out! (So far? Jenn has mentioned 4 books in the Grab Your Pole series! FOUR GLORIOUS BOOKS!)
I’ll quit gushing, and leave you with this. If you can remotely tolerate Contemporary YA? This book will turn you into a fan!! If you love Contemp YA? Then this book will keep you turning pages all night long! So go, pick it up! You NEED to read this book.
Re-Review:
In anticipation for ‘s release, I decided to re-read Shark Bait. It was easily my favorite read of 2012 – see my gushing review!  (Seriously – according to Amazon I purchased 5 copies! Yes, 5. Because I thought EVERYONE needed to read it – so I kept gifting copies. And I’m sure I’ll do more in the near future. )
So, I’ve anxiously been awaiting TOFitS and my good friend DeAnna (Mommy’s Reading Break) agreed to a read-a-long with me of both Shark Bait and TOFitS!!  Now, before I go further in this review I need to confess something. I don’t re-read books. Ever. (Shark Bait is only the third book I’ve ever re-read. The other two being The Stand and Anna and the French Kiss. My other two favorite books.) But this is my third pass of Shark Bait and I’m still falling more and more in love with each of the characters.
I have to tell you, Jenn Cooksey is a genius. (Seriously, not only is she hugely fun to tweet with – but she is one hell of a writer!) I love books that I can get lost in the characters – it’s why we all read, isn’t it?? Well… Jenn paints these fabulous pictures with her words. The Grab Your Pole gang has firmly planted itself in my heart, and they are so incredibly real to me in ways that I’ve never known characters to be before. Shark Bait is a truly magical book in that way.
If you haven’t read the book, let me sum it up quickly for you. Shark Bait is a love story. A real, gritty, honest to God love story. There are moments that hurt. Jenn literally rips your heart out and stomps on it. (And if I’m being honest, because Camie encourages it to Tristan in some of my favorite scenes, then I have to tell you I see so much of myself and my husband in Camie and Tristan. Right down to there knock out, drag down fights.) But then? (At least if you’re a child of the 80′s like I am…) She makes you fall in love all over again. (Ok, let’s be honest. I want my life to be a John Hughes film. I don’t hide that. So Tristan, aside from looking like Taylor Kitsch, is my perfect man because of his John Hughes references. AND his ability to quote Buffy. Because – once again? I grew up in the 80′s and early 90′s. And let’s face it… Buffy and Angel kick Bella and Edward’s ass any day!
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But beyond the love story? This is about friendship. And family. And finding yourself. And a million other insightful things, with a few F-Bombs, some weed (YAY Colorado!) and a pair of really cute kittens thrown in!
So if you haven’t read Shark Bait?? Do it. I don’t care if YA is your thing or not. Do it!!
(And just to prove how deep my love for John Hughes goes? My husband bought me Jake Ryan’s car…)
Feature Contributor:
Allura, Unapologetic Twitter Whore