Monday, November 19, 2012

Blog Tour, Book Review and Giveaway: Swell by Julie Rieman Duck

Title: Swell
Author: Julie Rieman Duck
Published: September 1, 2012
Genre: NA Contemporary

When Christian Rusch plucks Beck Ionesco from the freshman ranks for himself, she’s tempted with parties, popularity, and love. But as the free-flowing booze that soaks his world seeps into her own, Beck begins using liquid courage as a way to ignore Christian’s dark moods… and cover her anxiety about his flirtatious friend Hillman.

However, when Christian breaks up with Beck, and Hillman makes a dangerous move, no amount of alcohol can stop the pain or keep her out of trouble. And just when it seems like she’s lost everything, Beck is partnered with Jesse Leary for an art project. After spending time with him, Beck realizes it’s more than a study date… and Christian’s not happy about it. Then again, Beck’s not sure she’s happy with him, either.

But only after plowing through a bottle of wine, a wild fight, and one guardrail that becomes Christian’s last call, does Beck admit to her problem and ask for help from the one whose life secretly parallels her own.

About the Author:
Born in Los Angeles and raised in San Clemente, California, Julie Rieman Duck wrote her way through school on an old-fashioned typewriter. Somewhere along the line, she was sidetracked by careers in magazine publishing and copywriting. While Julie honed her skills at writing print ads and articles, the stories that moved her heart and soul were bubbling underneath, waiting to escape.

It took a medical scare and the loss of her job — on the same day and within 30 minutes of each other — to finally allow her stories to free themselves and be put to paper. First came A Place In This Life, an edgy young adult story about a girl who falls for a boy with leukemia. Next there was SWELL, the story of an art prodigy who loves the most popular boy in school... and becomes addicted to the alcohol they both can't live without.

Julie looks forward to writing more stories that hit where the heart beats fastest, and the soul reaches out for more.

And she blogs for YA Stands (author interviews) every other Tuesday.

My Thoughts and Review:
This is going to be a hard book to review.” Those thoughts crossed my mind after reading the first chapter of this book.

This book starts off with you knowing that the main character Beck has gotten herself into a really bad situation. One involving, alcohol, boys she doesn't like, and maybe even drugs.

I could tell this was going to be a tough read and more than likely and even tougher review to write once I was done.

These kind of books, where the main character goes to such extremes (never good) to get the attention of the popular crowd, to earn their “respect” and in the process losing herself, they are always hard to read because I know it really happens...Every. Single. Day. And that just breaks my heart.

Beck broke my heart. That she developed such a problem with alcohol that she “pimped” herself out in order to get it and didn't see anything wrong with that and the numerous other things she did. She was only 15. Gah! I almost wanted to stop reading this book because it was so sad to see her self destruct.

Christian. Oh Christian. I really wanted to like him. I tried, I really did. I knew he was a lost little boy that had a lot of growing up to do. But the fact that he claimed to love Beck and then do the things he just didn't sit well with me.

Jesse was a breath of fresh air to this novel. He was everything Beck needed. Support, reassure, comedy, real friendship. I couldn't help it. I liked him from the start.

I'm not going to tell you how this one ends. Whether Christian redeemed himself. Whether Beck grew up and started making better choices. Whether Jesse stayed in her life and became more, just stayed a friend or was only there for a moment when she needed him most. Because, you are going to have to read this one yourself.

This is not a YA read. It has very mature content. Drinking, drugs, sex references, language, assault, peer is a very mature read but one that I think older teens would appreciate because, like I mentioned above, these things really happen. Young adults experience some of them (hopefully not all of them) every single day.

Every subject heavy or light was handled very nicely. The story flowed well and it was an emotional read. It didn't make me cry but it did bring out a lot of other emotions along the way, some good, some bad.

I give this 4 very solid Stars! 

Tour Wide Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Wonderful review and as the mother of three children who survived their teens..we saw this with some of their classmates and it truly is heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing this one.

  2. I am so glad you survived those years Kimba, I am not looking forward to them and I know they will be here before I want them to be!

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I had a hard time since its so gritty and raw but it really brought back memories of when I was a teen and the stupid things I did. Its sad that so many teens go through this. I'm not looking forward to my kids being teens!

    Thanks for hosting a tour stop!

  4. It is a hard read but so worth it. I think it really opens your eyes to what goes on out there that as parents we might not be aware of.

  5. I have this coming up next week I think. I am looking foward to the intense read and yes it is difficult subject matter but best be prepared. The more you know the better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Ali.

  6. Wonderful review! I wasn't able to squeeze this in for my stop, but I seriously can't wit to finally get to read it.

  7. I think this is one you are really going to like Christy!

  8. Great review. This sounds heart wrenching, but interesting also.