Author: Amy Spalding
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Entangled Teen (December 3, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!
For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.
But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.
It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.
My Thoughts and Review:
Having read another of Spalding's book I knew that I really wanted to give this one a try as well. Spalding seems to have a knack for bringing out the realness in her characters and in the situations that they are put in. She doesn't hold anything back and just lets it all hang loose and lets it fly.
This was not only a great coming of age story but a great story about the family dynamic as well.
I really loved Kellie. She didn’t' have it all figured out, quite the opposite in fact but she rolled with it. She didn't overreact when difficult things came her way. She wasn't full of angst even though she very well could have been and most of all, she liked who she was (even though she was still figuring all of that out) and she loved her family fiercely.
And gosh did I love her family. Her mom and step dad where just..well, they were pretty fabulous. So loving and nurturing even when things got tough and they did get tough. No one in this story is perfect and no one has anything figured out but they all love each other and they all care about one another and that is what mattered most. What matters most in all families,m in all our lives is to know that we are loved and that someone has our back and they did, they all had each other's back and I loved that about this story.
Spalding has once again created something special and unique and something real. She doesn't hold back the punches, she digs right into the nitty gritty of families, of high school and of relationships and she makes it all realistic and she makes it all work beautifully.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*