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.
Wow! You don’t come across a book like Swell too often. It is pretty different than what I normally read. It deals with some very dark issues, and things get ugly at times, but I was in awe of Swell. Julie Rieman Duck is a powerful writer. She wrote characters that made mistakes, were flawed, did things I didn’t agree with and she made me love them anyways. That is what had me in awe. Both Julie and Swell really impressed me.
Right away, I identified with Rebecca. Starting high school can be a scary experience and the fact that this book starts out when she is just a freshman made it even more of a statement. Rebecca was just 15 years old. And she liked a boy. And she wanted to impress that boy. The alcohol starts flowing pretty early on, and it was easy for me to see that Rebecca was going to have a problem with it. Actually, a lot of the characters in Swell had a problem with alcohol it seemed like. It was a recurring theme. I wasn’t around a huge party scene in high school, so it was kind of scary to see how many people came in regular/daily contact with booze.
I loved, loved, loved Rebecca’s best friend. She is the kind of friend everyone should have. She stood up for Rebecca when people were hurting or embarrassing her but most importantly she was observant and she made her opinions known of what she thought of Rebecca’s drinking.
I loved Julie Rieman Duck’s writing style. About the first third of the book starts each chapter out with a flash forward of glimpses of a horrible thing happening to someone, and with each chapter we found out a little more and got a little closer to said act actually happening. I thought it was a really unique and effective technique. Even though, I didn’t agree with the choices that Rebecca made, this was very much her own journey. I was sad that she was taken down this road so early in life, but she made her own choices. Normally, if I don’t agree with a character, that means that I won’t like them. And if I don’t like a character, that normally means that I won’t like a book. But the awesome thing about Swell is that it didn’t matter that I didn’t agree with Rebecca’s choices all the time. I still connected with her and I completely connected with the story. It sucked me in and I am still thinking about it long after I finished reading. Swell is a great book.
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One person will win: (Open to US only)
- Paperback of Swell by Julie Rieman Duck
- Paperback of A Place in This Life by Julie Rieman Duck
One other winner will win: (Open Worldwide)
- 1 ebook of Swell by Julie Rieman Duck
1 ebook of A Place in This Life by Julie Rieman Duck
1 ebook of The Joy and Torture of Joshua James
1 ebook of Earrings of Ixtumea by Kim Baccellia
1 ebook of Cornerstone by Misty Provencher
- 1 ebook (kindle) of There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack