Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Review: Aspen by Rebekah Crane + Giveaway!

Publisher: In This Together Media
Release Date: June 5th 2014
One quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake.

In the next instant, her life changed forever.

Aspen doesn't want to remember the car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard-- because Katelyn may have died -- but she didn't leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it's kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn's former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels. 

Popularity, Homecoming Court, hot guys - none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She's been busy trying to keep her stoner mother Ninny in line and out of unemployment. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics and her therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can't control ... and doesn't want to. 

A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, Aspen is about the best-worst accident of your life ... and what comes next.

You can purchase Aspen at the following Retailers:

Having been in either Contemporary or Paranormal roll the last few months, it is a welcoming surprise to read something I don’t often come across in YA – a contemporary with a slight touch of Paranormal to spice up a rainy day. Throw in the mystery and the main character’s refreshing attitude and I’m hooked from the very start.

Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor is one heroine and narrator that I could seriously see myself being friends with had she been a real person. I love her name, her sarcastic and witty remarks and the honest voice she possessed throughout the story.  I love that I could sympathize with some of her struggles that befit a real teenager. For all those reasons, I had no trouble warming up and connecting to her character. 

Despite her pretty unconventional upbringing  she was born at a rock concert when her mom, Ninny, was only 16  Aspen is a normal, artistically inclined teenager who finds comfort in definitions. Sure, she has her quirks but still, she's normal for the most part until that momentous day when the popular Katelyn Ryan's car crashed into her Volkswagen Rabbit. Katelyn died in the accident and her ghost literally began to haunt Aspen. Her school life also took an unexpected turn as her popularity soar. Add that to the friendship she and Ben, Katelyn's boyfriend, have surprisingly developed and you have a thoroughly entertaining and hearty read.
"It's kind of depressing, though, that we never really see ourselves." I say.
"Maybe life isn't about seeing ourselves. Maybe it's about letting other people see us."
You know what's better than an attractive, smart and kind love interest? A perceptive, attractive, smart and kind love interest. And Ben is all that. He's not characterized as perfect by any means. He's also flawed and troubled by Katelyn's death but he's true to himself and that's all that matters. One character who took me by surprise is Suzy, Katelyn's best friend and another popular sort. I was suspicious of her upbeat personality and intention to befriend Aspen at the beginning but Suzy turns out to be a loyal and terrific friend to her. 

While the subject matter of this book could be serious and a little bit creepy at times, it's also hilarious and charming for the most part. I enjoyed the interactions between Aspen and Ninny and her best friends, Kim and Cass. I think if I could change a thing in this book, it would be to add more pages and fill it out with more Kim and Cass. They are that likable and entertaining.

All in all, Aspen is a great read with complex and real characters and filled to the brim with entertaining and genuine dialogues. I'd also like to point out that (as cliche as it may sound) while Aspen is the first Rebekah Crane book I've read, it most definitely will not be the last. 

A must read!


Author Bio
Rebekah Crane fell in love with YA literature while studying Secondary English Education at Ohio University. After having two kids, living in six different cities, and finally settling down in the foothills of her beloved Rocky Mountains, her first novel, PLAYING NICE, was published. ASPEN, her second YA novel, set in Boulder, CO, is due to release in summer 2014 from In This Together Media. She now spends her day carpooling kids or tucked behind a laptop at 7,500 ft high in the Rockies, where the altitude only enhances the experience.

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