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Book review – BLEED LIKE ME

BLEED LIKE ME is the kind of book that stays with you for a long time.

BLEED LIKE ME is the kind of book that squeezes your heart and leaves you breathless.

BLEED LIKE ME is the kind of book that makes you want to reach out and change the course of the story, but you know you can’t because it’s Gannon and Brook’s story. It’s so completely theirs that you have a feeling you’ve met them before after you close the book. And you wonder if you couldn’t have done something to reach out to them.

 

From the author of Fault Line comes an edgy and heartbreaking novel about two self-destructive teens in a Sid and Nancy-like romance full of passion, chaos, and dyed hair. Bleed Like Me is a piercing, intimate portrayal of the danger of a love so obsessive it becomes its own biggest threat.

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon (just “Gannon” to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers-even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach. Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief. But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she’s standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She’s given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks-until he poses the ultimate test. This is one intense read and one I totally immersed myself into. I became the Ali to Gannon wanting to know more, wanting to help her, wanting to reach out to her but not knowing how.

Disclaimer: I think Christa is awesome. Because she is. However, this review comes from my experience from reading her book.

I´ve read this book in the laundry room of my hotel, and I´ve never wanted to do laundry as much as these past days, because I knew this was going to be my Gannon time. However, it is not an easy read and I had to pull myself out of the pages sometimes, thankful and yet annoyed at the washer beeping. There are moments when I cringed, and when I cried and when I looked away from the page. Why? Because Christa’s writing is vivid and pulls you in the story.

Gannon and Brook`s love story is not conventional, it´s not the happily ever after that I sometimes crave in the books I read. Why? Because it´s not love, it´s destructive and obsessive and replace an addiction with another…

It’s a story I find no adequate words for, because in one way, it shows how easy it can be to fall into something that’s bad for you because it seems like for once “you” matter, because it feels like “you” have found an outlet, someone to share everything with…even though you end up bringing each other more down than anything else.

Oh, and did I mention how vivid and breathtaking Christa`s writing is?

Here are a few quotes:

“Of course you are. The two of you are like frickin´ Romeo and Juliet. Everyone knows it. We´re just waiting to see which one of you takes the poison and which one takes a gun to his head.”

“The hole in my heart was large enough for him to climb inside. I wanted him to. I wanted him to feel safe.”

“Good lies need to be tucked away for emergency use. Most people don’t realize this and use them too frequently, so they’re no longer effective. Big mistake.”

BUY LINKS:
IndieBoundBarnes & NobleAmazon

Honeymoon, writing, young adult

The magic of Teen Author Carnival…

Right before heading to NYC, I realized that the Teen Author Carnival would be taking place while we were in the city.

See, all these amazing names? I was torn because I was on my honeymoon telling my hubby how much I wanted to go there but of course knew that he would not really enjoy it…Plus we had tickets for the Daily Show right before so I knew I wouldn´t be able to listen to both sessions…And see I love The Daily Show, I´ve got the biggest crush on Jon Stewart…but the conflict, oh the conflict…I wanted to have it all and my hubby (the greatest hubby) enabled me to indeed have my cake and eat it too!

One happy hubby

Right after attending the taping of The Daily Show, we hailed a cab and went on our way to the Jefferson Market Library. There, I stood outside for the end of the “You don´t know you´re beautiful (keeping it realistic)”. And listened, laughed while taking in the crowd, the enthusiasm and the fact that I was just a few feet away from authors I admire.

Crowded room

Then, I turned to my hubby and told him that if he wanted to go have a drink while I was going to the next panel, he could. I mean I did feel bad about dragging him along…so on his way he went.

And I attended the next panel entitled “Where have you been all my life? (let´s talk boys)?”….

Hannah Moskowitz, Scott Tracey, Michelle Hodkin and Jennifer E. Smith
Jen Calonita and Kody Keplinger
Sarah Tregay (sitting next to Victoria Schwab) talking here about how she got herself red converse thanks to the cover of her book 😀

I even asked a question. Yes, I raised my hand, forgot how self-conscious I sometimes get about my French accent, tried to ignore the erratic beating of my heart…and did it 😀

I did mention before asking my question that I was French and on my honeymoon (also highlighting how cool my hubby was since he dropped me off there). I am glad I did because that´s how Rebecca recognized me (yay again!). I asked the authors about developing crushes on their own characters (not necessarily the love interest but those who suddenly become more important in their eyes and that they have issues letting go).

The answers made me laugh and made me nod and made me smile and made me wonder how lucky I was to have those wonderful writers look at me in the eyes as they were answering. Totally fan-girling the event 😀 Some pointed out how crazier you become the more books you write since you have all these voices in your head. When I mentioned this to dear Chemical Engineer, he shook his head and gave me the eyes (the ones meaning: wait, you can be even weirder? :D)

Here are some notes I jolted down while listening to the different sessions (I am not sure who said what…reminder: next time, be more careful about taking notes):

About cursing in YA novels: 

  • “Always stay true to character…that is the most important. Teenagers can smell if someone is being fake and then it doesn´t work.”
  • “There is a different between ´I have a problem´ and `I have a fucking problem´”

About sex in YA novels:

  • “I always try to have sex scenes in my novels. But one time, it just didn´t work with the characters. I was all about having them do it and suddenly, one of them says she´s tired! So basically in my head, my story ends like this ´The End. and then they went to have sex´.”
  • “My editor did scrap some of the making out scenes I had…because, well, they didn´t make the plot advance, it wasn´t important for the story. I just had them making out for pages and pages. I loved writing those scenes but…”
Several authors also mention how they go about their research: Jen Calonita (Author ofBELLES) for example mentioned calling Debutantes to find out more about their experience and falling so deeply into her subject that she wanted to know ALL the details, others mentioned how they feel their research could put them on a WANTED poster. Kody Koplinger (Author of THE DUFF, SHUT OUT and MIDSUMMER´s NIGHTMARE) explained that she wrote about a character drinking a lot without having any experience herself on the matter. She thought she had it down until her editor made notes on how it really felt to be hangover…
Jennifer E. Smith (author of THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT) explained how she was happy the prologue was kept into her story though she had thought her editor would cut it. Plus, asked about writing secret love letters, she admitted she wrote at least one love letter but that it wasn´t so secret (because secret love letters are just not as efficient :D)
Jennifer E. Smith talking about her wonderful book!
So, this was one LONG post but as you can tell, it was such a great, wonderful, amazing moment to sit in the same room as those authors!
And who knows, maybe I will make it to SCBWI next Winter 😀 (really trying to make this happen…)
PS: For those of you wondering, hubby made it back to pick me up…he had quite a great time which included being hit on by two men (since he ended up in a gay bar for some reason) which totally boosted his self-esteem 😀 Oh, and he discovered a new reason to like those type of events (the ratio to girls against boys). Yes, I love my husband! 😀