Mini-Reviews: Contemps Challenge and Giveaway

13 Dec

As stated previously, I am participating in the Contemps Challenge, hoping to emphasize to my readers the importance of reading contemporary young adult fiction.  This post features a few books from the Contemps list, as well as my thoughts on the novels and why you should read them.

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

After being referred to as The Designated Ugly Fat Friend by resident hottie and male get-around, Bianca is determined to prove him wrong by embracing herself and her group of friends.  But as difficulties come her way, she seems to have no choice but to give in to his suave ways and smooth lips.

Keplinger’s genuine yet profound writing will suck you in from the beginning.  While the novel does move at a fast pace, the reader is given room to contemplate what exactly is happening within the minds and hearts of the protagonist and the people that she cares about.

Freefall by Mindi Scott

Just a few months before the story begins, Seth found his best friend dead after a typical night of drinking and craziness.  This novel follows Seth’s thoughts and actions as he works through the implications of what happened to his best friend, befriending a popular yet seemingly different girl that is his classmate.

I wanted to love this book.  I thought it gave great insight into the minds of teenagers going through the difficulties of life.  The fact that they do struggle with real issues and legitimately hard situations was definitely highlighted in this novel.  I just did not connect with the characters at all, though.  Maybe it is because I don’t remember a lot about high school, nor did I necessarily befriend people of different socioeconomic statuses, sadly.  But because I want the book to be given as many chances as possible and I want to support the Contemps authors, I am giving away a copy of this book.  If you would like a chance to a win a copy of Freefall, leave a comment with your favorite high school memory, as well as your email address.  Contest goes until Saturday, December 18th and winner will be announced on Sunday, December 19th.  Good luck!


Posted by on December 13, 2010 in Contemps Challenge, YA Books


14 responses to “Mini-Reviews: Contemps Challenge and Giveaway

  1. Briana (The Book Pixie)

    December 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Hmmmm. Favorite highschool memory. Well I pulled out of highschool start of 10th grade to homeschool so not many. However there was this time in 9th grade English, we were reading aloud Romeo and Juliet. I nervously raised my hand to volunteer for the part of Juliet and threw every ounce of myself into it. Had the accent down perfectly and it was a very emotional scene. Everyone was giving me this wide-eyed look afterwards and one of the guys after class was like, “Wow, where did THAT come from! That was great.” The next day or so, another guy came running up to me on the track during PE telling me he had heard I did an amazing Juliet. I’d never felt happier. I was so nervous when I voluteered but so glad I did.

    Thanks for the giveaway! Been so anxious to read Freefall! 😀


    • literarywife

      December 13, 2010 at 5:08 pm

      Oh, how I would have loved to have you in my class in high school. What a wonderful memory! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Tiger Holland

    December 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Fav high school memory: Going to bookstores after prom. Everyone would be in their dresses and suits and we’d roam the aisles, laughing and talking up a storm. Formalwear and friends + bookstore = pure win. 🙂


    • literarywife

      December 14, 2010 at 12:20 pm

      Oh my gosh, I wish you would have been my friend in high school. That sounds too wonderful. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Krystina

    December 13, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    My favorite highschool memory? Any that I can remember off the top of my head have to do with marching band (as I was a band geek…well, I was in color guard, I spun flags and rifles). I think my favorite high school memory is one that, at the time, was the WORST thing that could have EVER happened to me. It even has a moral.

    It was a break at band camp, and when it was over, I was skipping back to my place on the field so we could finish setting our drill, and lo and behold, big ol’ me tripped over a baritone. A brand. new. baritone (still shiny and everything). The band director yelled at me until I wanted to cry, and my friends in band were actually crying for me. But the assistant band director came up to me in the last break of the day and asked if I was okay. Turns out I didn’t do as much damage to it as I thought I’d done, but everyone (except the band director that yelled at me) was impressed when I didn’t cry, and didn’t leave. I simply walked back to my spot on the field, picked up my flag, and got ready to go.

    It’s most definitely NOT my favorite fun memory, but it shows to myself that I can carry on. (insert moving/emotional soundtrack music here, preferably Mozart)


  4. Chelsea

    December 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Hm. Favorite high school memory? Graduating? Haha. Mine would probably be when I was playing lacrosse. I was on the JV team and had been working really hard on and off the field to hopefully get bumped up to the varsity team. Turns out it did work, but I wasn’t completely bumped up so much as I got to play the JV games, and then dress up and play in the varsity game as well. I was always really tired afterwards but it was worth it. I was one game away from getting my letter that year.

    The other great high school memory wasn’t during school so much as the summer after when I got my AP scores. I got a 5 on my AP Lit and Composition exam, I was pretty excited about it x)

    Anyway. I’m interested in reading this book, thanks for the giveaway!


    – Chelsea

    • literarywife

      December 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      Chelsea, I totally know how you feel, as I was always right on the line between JV and Varsity cross country and tried to work hard to solidify a place on Varsity. I’m sure there is much to learn from that. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Anna

    December 14, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Oh I’m sad you didn’t enjoy Freefall. I’d love to give it a shot though, so I’m in.

    My favorite memory is going on a German class trip to Germany, getting far too drunk at the Berlin Hard Rock Cafe (drinking age is 16!) and belting out a classy (probably not) karaoke rendition of Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” (this was the year 2000, after all) to a crowd of 250. It should probably be mortifying, but it was sooooooooo out of the realm of normal high school experiences that I kind of have to treasure it.

  6. shabbygeek

    December 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I was an interesting kid in high school. I didn’t fit into any particular category, and went to two different high schools with two completely different experiences. So I’ll share one from each!

    1) High School #1 — I was a huge sports junkie, and loved basketball and volleyball. ANY away game was so much fun!

    2) High School #2 — I was in the EAST program my senior year ( Any moment I was doing something for that class was exciting! And it’s a huge part of the reason why I have my job today!

  7. Ginger @ GReads!

    December 15, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I’m participating in the Contemps Challenge too – and so far I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read. The Duff has been my fav read of 2010, in fact! I really, really liked Freefall too. I’m sorry you didn’t feel that connection, though.

    When I think back on high school (which was over 10 yrs ago!) all I think of is Drill Team (or dance team known at other schools). Growing up in Texas, high school football was such a huge deal at our school. I got involved with the Drill Team which performed during football half times. But most people did not realize, Drill Team was an all-year “sport”. After football season we were competing in dance competitions around the country. It was crazy intense! I met the most amazing group of girls through that experience though & it really taught me a lot about discipline & perseverance. I have great memories of that time.

  8. Jen

    December 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Ahhh one of my favorite high school memories was ditching school because I was up late the night before having a ridiculous dress-up photoshoot with my best friend. Of course, people found out and we got a call from the attendance officer, who called our parents, who were NOT happy. But the photos turned out really cute! 😛

  9. Roxo

    December 17, 2010 at 7:25 am

    I finished high school this year. Yay for college freshman!
    I absolutely loved HS years. It was fun and our group of 20 was known in all the school. We called ourselves “The Penguins” because we were so close and when it was freezing cold in the winter we went outside in the breaks between classes ( we had 10 or 20 minutes) and we would stay really in a really tight group not to be cold.

    I have lots of great memories: we won a regional Drama Contest 2 years out of 3, I won best actress; but the best thing probably is that once, in an English class, we were having a break after the play rehearsal and a friend of mine took his guitar and he started playing Iris by Goo Goo Dolls and I joined in, singing. It turned out great and the teacher and my classmates all said it was incredible and they congratulated us. It was nice, that feeling that I did something so great that everyone felt the song.:D I believe that is the most important thing with music and writing, to make people feel whatever you want.

    • Roxo

      December 17, 2010 at 8:45 am

      forgot the e-mail, sorry

    • literarywife

      December 17, 2010 at 9:49 am

      What a wonderful memory! I was involved in a madrigals group in high school and just loved creating beautiful music. Also, I played one of the Pink Ladies in our production of Grease my senior year. So much fun! Thanks for stopping by!


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