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Arden Grey

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Sixteen-year-old Arden Grey is struggling. Her mother has left their family, her father and her younger brother won't talk about it, and a classmate, Tanner, keeps harassing her about her sexuality—which isn't even public. (She knows she likes girls romantically, but she thinks she might be asexual.) At least she's got her love of film photography and her best and only fri Sixteen-year-old Arden Grey is struggling. Her mother has left their family, her father and her younger brother won't talk about it, and a classmate, Tanner, keeps harassing her about her sexuality—which isn't even public. (She knows she likes girls romantically, but she thinks she might be asexual.) At least she's got her love of film photography and her best and only friend, Jamie, to help her cope. Then Jamie, who is trans, starts dating Caroline, and suddenly he isn't so reliable. Arden's insecurity about their friendship grows. She starts to wonder if she's jealous or if Jamie's relationship with Caroline is somehow unhealthy—and it makes her reconsider how much of her relationship with her absent mom wasn't okay, too.


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Sixteen-year-old Arden Grey is struggling. Her mother has left their family, her father and her younger brother won't talk about it, and a classmate, Tanner, keeps harassing her about her sexuality—which isn't even public. (She knows she likes girls romantically, but she thinks she might be asexual.) At least she's got her love of film photography and her best and only fri Sixteen-year-old Arden Grey is struggling. Her mother has left their family, her father and her younger brother won't talk about it, and a classmate, Tanner, keeps harassing her about her sexuality—which isn't even public. (She knows she likes girls romantically, but she thinks she might be asexual.) At least she's got her love of film photography and her best and only friend, Jamie, to help her cope. Then Jamie, who is trans, starts dating Caroline, and suddenly he isn't so reliable. Arden's insecurity about their friendship grows. She starts to wonder if she's jealous or if Jamie's relationship with Caroline is somehow unhealthy—and it makes her reconsider how much of her relationship with her absent mom wasn't okay, too.

30 review for Arden Grey

  1. 4 out of 5

    AboutEstelle

    Il manquait pas grand chose, Maïa bis 🤍

  2. 5 out of 5

    LGBT Representation in Books

    Trigger Warnings: Separation, needles, depression, body dysphoria, alcohol, underage drinking, throwing up, cursing, sex, divorce, parental abandonment, cutting, suicidal behavior, coming out, abusive relationships, bullying Representation: Trans, Lesbian, Testosterone, Mental health: depression, Asexual, Bisexual Arden Grey is the story of high schooler, Arden, who is struggling. Her mother’s recent leave is the white elephant in the house; at school, she is struggling with bullying; and persona Trigger Warnings: Separation, needles, depression, body dysphoria, alcohol, underage drinking, throwing up, cursing, sex, divorce, parental abandonment, cutting, suicidal behavior, coming out, abusive relationships, bullying Representation: Trans, Lesbian, Testosterone, Mental health: depression, Asexual, Bisexual Arden Grey is the story of high schooler, Arden, who is struggling. Her mother’s recent leave is the white elephant in the house; at school, she is struggling with bullying; and personally, she is unsure of her sexuality. While Arden dives deeper into her love for photography, her best friend starts a new relationship, which adds another stressor to her already busy life. This eARC was provided by the publisher via edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This was a great book! It is a refreshing YA book and I really loved this story! I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s perspective of so many topics! I felt they handled the topic of abusive relationships very well and appreciated the resources included at the end of the book! I have been in a slump with YA books lately and really appreciate that this story is YA but the characters feel much older. Arden is a typical teen who is struggling to find her way and makes mistakes along the way. She didn’t feel whiny though, which I know is a characteristic of teens so I can’t critique other characters for being that way, but I liked her journey through the story and her view of the world. I also enjoyed the development of the other characters as well. I liked the array of responses to the family situation, as well as Arden’s strength with Jamie’s relationship struggles. Overall, I really loved this story! It’s an easy read with a great pace.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Phoenix (Books with Wings)

    I am soooo excited for this!!! I absolutely loved Stoeve's first book, Between Perfect and Real, and I especially loved their writing style! I'm always on the lookout for more books with aroace-spec characters and this book sounds excellent! I am soooo excited for this!!! I absolutely loved Stoeve's first book, Between Perfect and Real, and I especially loved their writing style! I'm always on the lookout for more books with aroace-spec characters and this book sounds excellent!

  4. 4 out of 5

    B

    I think this book is absolutely vital for libraries and teen readers (and even adults!). Some moments in this book had me worried about the handling of abuse and how people were acting, but it all came together so well. Every time I was nervous about something being portrayed a specific way without mentioning xyz, it would come up later. The way asexuality was discussed and portrayed was so wonderful. If I had a book like this when I was younger it would have probably made my life so much easier I think this book is absolutely vital for libraries and teen readers (and even adults!). Some moments in this book had me worried about the handling of abuse and how people were acting, but it all came together so well. Every time I was nervous about something being portrayed a specific way without mentioning xyz, it would come up later. The way asexuality was discussed and portrayed was so wonderful. If I had a book like this when I was younger it would have probably made my life so much easier. I can't be too specific without spoilers that I feel are important to the progression of the book, so I'll just say that each topic was handled with specific care and attention, and I highly recommend this.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Phaneuf

    Thanks for Netgalley for providing an ARC of this book. Arden Grey was a bit of a difficult book for me. I enjoyed some of the elements of the story; I loved that Arden was a photographer and her journey with overcoming her nervousness of sharing her photos with others. I also liked the scenes of her with her brother and the relationship that was demonstrated between them. And I do think that this book approached some serious topics that can be helpful for young adults to read about and not feel Thanks for Netgalley for providing an ARC of this book. Arden Grey was a bit of a difficult book for me. I enjoyed some of the elements of the story; I loved that Arden was a photographer and her journey with overcoming her nervousness of sharing her photos with others. I also liked the scenes of her with her brother and the relationship that was demonstrated between them. And I do think that this book approached some serious topics that can be helpful for young adults to read about and not feel alone in their own situations. Other than that though, I didn't find myself connecting with much else in the book. Personally, I found the main cast of characters frustrating and I had a hard time staying invested in their storylines. There's only so much high school friend group drama I can take before I tap out. I appreciate the representation in this book, but sometimes I felt like it was not coming across as natural and felt almost forced in areas. I hate to rag on the author or the story, because I do understand how important it is to tell stories like this, but personally, it just didn't work for me and sometimes felt out of place. All that being said, I think this book will really work for some people, but for me, this book was a disappointment.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lily Rooke

    Arden Grey is a novel about different kinds of abusive relationships, as well as the strength of family and friendships. Following her parents' separation, Arden is depressed and coming to accept herself as being on the asexual spectrum. When her best and only friend Jamie seemingly abandons her for his new girlfriend, Arden is left to negotiate multiple losses, and try to manage the grief of abandonment. I thought the experience of gaslighting in the novel was done extremely well, it was very un Arden Grey is a novel about different kinds of abusive relationships, as well as the strength of family and friendships. Following her parents' separation, Arden is depressed and coming to accept herself as being on the asexual spectrum. When her best and only friend Jamie seemingly abandons her for his new girlfriend, Arden is left to negotiate multiple losses, and try to manage the grief of abandonment. I thought the experience of gaslighting in the novel was done extremely well, it was very unsettling to read. While the novel is quiet and somewhat meandering, and it's difficult to explain the plot exactly, the story is more focused on exploring the fallout of Arden's emotional losses, and how she comes to terms with these. I was very happy to see such a supportive father, although I do wish we had more of Garrett's story, and more time was dedicated to understanding what went on between him and their mother. I wish more time had been dedicated to the dynamics between Arden, Garrett and their mother, because I think it would be easy for readers to lack appropriate sympathy for Arden, unless they understood more about the interplay of familial abuse before reading. While I was happy to see Arden access therapy, I wish we had seen her breakthroughs on the page, as cutting away at this point in the story felt to me as though we were missing a big chunk of her character arc development. Definitely worth a read!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Pineo

    This book was a bit more difficult to rate than normal. I really liked all the LGBTQIA representation with them main character, her best friend, new friends and others in her life all being some variation of queer. But the book took me about half way to get really interested in in the story. The first half was fine but it felt like I was just reading about other character's lives and how they effected Arden. Finally, after around 100 pages, things were happening in Arden's life that she was maki This book was a bit more difficult to rate than normal. I really liked all the LGBTQIA representation with them main character, her best friend, new friends and others in her life all being some variation of queer. But the book took me about half way to get really interested in in the story. The first half was fine but it felt like I was just reading about other character's lives and how they effected Arden. Finally, after around 100 pages, things were happening in Arden's life that she was making happen, whether she really had control over them or not. The other part of this book was the plot of emotional abuse running through it. That is a hard subject in any story and there were a few different relationships where people were being abused. Arden was pretty clueless about this though so it was interesting to see it through her eyes as the reader got bits and pieces of her relationship with her mom and her other family members relationships with her as well as another couple going through things which Adren was oblivious to. All this was written in a short YA novel. While I do think the story is important and teens should read it, it isn't a story I'll look back on for the year and remember well. Because of it's important topics and diverse rep, I'm giving this 3.5 stars rounded up.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alex Nonymous

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Arden Grey in exchange for an honest review. I'm a massive Between Perfect & Real fan so maybe it was just my expectations being too high but while I enjoyed Arden Grey, it felt kinda meh, especially knowing Ray Stoeve is capable of excellence. I like the attempts to analyze Arden's labels and her relationships with them and toxic relationships are really important to explore in teen books since often they're glamourized, not condemned, but I don't Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Arden Grey in exchange for an honest review. I'm a massive Between Perfect & Real fan so maybe it was just my expectations being too high but while I enjoyed Arden Grey, it felt kinda meh, especially knowing Ray Stoeve is capable of excellence. I like the attempts to analyze Arden's labels and her relationships with them and toxic relationships are really important to explore in teen books since often they're glamourized, not condemned, but I don't know. I was a bit let down.

  9. 5 out of 5

    aspeccharactersoftheday

    https://aspeccharactersoftheday.tumbl... https://aspeccharactersoftheday.tumbl...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Casandra Moses

    Reviewed this book from a Goodreads Giveaway and I enjoyed it. This was such an inspirational book on overcoming all forms of abuse. I think all the relationships and the different family dynamics helped me as a reader relate. Good book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Honestly, we need more books like this one, which I would rate a 3.5. Not every teen or adult is caught up in the throes of romance or budding sexuality, and it isn't easy to recognize when a relationship is unhealthy or abusive. The novel covers these topics quite well, hinting at the emotional and psychological abuse of the narrator's mother but not dealing with them heavy-handedly or in a didactic way. Instead, readers are left to form conclusions for themselves as they watch various relation Honestly, we need more books like this one, which I would rate a 3.5. Not every teen or adult is caught up in the throes of romance or budding sexuality, and it isn't easy to recognize when a relationship is unhealthy or abusive. The novel covers these topics quite well, hinting at the emotional and psychological abuse of the narrator's mother but not dealing with them heavy-handedly or in a didactic way. Instead, readers are left to form conclusions for themselves as they watch various relationships unfold or as characters reflect on what's happening. Sixteen-year-old Arden Grey is quiet and reserved and has spent her life trying to please and appease her mother. She's never had many friends except Jamie, a trans boy. Hanging out with Jamie and taking photographs are two pursuits that give her pleasure. But when her mother leaves their Seattle home to live in San Francisco, Arden blames herself and is unsure how she feels. She's also troubled by Jamie's first serious romance--with Caroline--and conflicted because she's excited for him but also fearful that their friendship will be affected. That's exactly what happens, and the friendship is fractured, leaving Arden alone and fending for herself. She finds solace in her picture-taking and in two new friends. Still, she isn't sure that she's ready for romance or sex and ponders the meaning of labels like "aroace." Teen readers will appreciate the slow development of Arden's relationship with Vanessa, but they may be surprised that Marc, a popular senior, is so open with Arden about his feelings. To my delight, the novel is populated by understanding teachers and parents with the exception of Arden's mother. However, Jamie's easy acceptance by his classmates was a bit surprising as was the revelation shared by Arden's father. One of this book's strengths, though, is how it describes unhealthy relationships so that teens can recognize and avoid them. Perhaps more descriptions of some of this behavior would have made the book even stronger. Still, it's well worth a read, especially since it's yet another example of how a creative outlet can help someone survive.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lilibet Bombshell

    Real Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars (This title is being reviewed as part of my backlog of ARC reads.) Qualifying Personal Statement: While I know some demisexual and asexual people, I myself am not asexual and do not claim to speak for the aro/ace community. I reward this book as part of my effort to read OwnVoices titles with LGBT+ protagonists since I am part of the LGBT+ community myself and feel comfortable identifying with main characters who are LGBT+. Asexuality is one of those letters in the LGBT+ Real Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars (This title is being reviewed as part of my backlog of ARC reads.) Qualifying Personal Statement: While I know some demisexual and asexual people, I myself am not asexual and do not claim to speak for the aro/ace community. I reward this book as part of my effort to read OwnVoices titles with LGBT+ protagonists since I am part of the LGBT+ community myself and feel comfortable identifying with main characters who are LGBT+. Asexuality is one of those letters in the LGBT+ spectrum people have a hard time understanding. Even though I know people who are aromantic, asexual, and demisexual, I still have issues from time to time wrapping my head around what it must feel like to never think about sex or to have the idea of sex make someone feel extremely uncomfortable. This book does an incredible job of letting us see through Arden’s (our titular character and the protagonist) eyes how she views her asexuality (of which she’s not 100% sure of but she’s getting there) and what asexuality means and feels like for her. (It should be said, however, that asexuality doesn’t always feel the same way to every ace person.) It also does an even better job of showing us how uncomfortable the world is to navigate as a teenager when almost every other teenager (including your bestie) is soaked in juvenile humor and hormones. What it doesn’t do such a good job at is the family angle. There’s a huge thread running through this book of abandonment, low self-esteem, and low self-confidence due to Arden’s mom leaving her, her brother, and her father at the beginning of the book, but I didn’t feel as if the family itself was integrated as well into the book as her bestie or the other ties she makes in the book are. I also felt as if the toxic relationship, abuse, and harassment angles could’ve (and maybe even should’ve) been explored a bit more. All in all, I think it’s a great YA read in the OwnVoices category and if you feel as if you might be asexual you really should pick it up. You might find some kinship here. Thanks to NetGalley, ABRAMS Kids, and Amulet Books for granting me access to this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Avery Mead

    Arden Gray is a thoughtful, heartfelt story about a girl shrinking away from and eventually facing down the hardships that come with relationships. At the start of the story, Arden's mother has been gone from her family for a few months, and as the novel progresses, readers start to see and understand that perhaps Arden's mother was more than just critical. As Arden is coming to terms with the dynamic with her mother, she is also struggling to maintain a friendship with her best friend Jamie, a Arden Gray is a thoughtful, heartfelt story about a girl shrinking away from and eventually facing down the hardships that come with relationships. At the start of the story, Arden's mother has been gone from her family for a few months, and as the novel progresses, readers start to see and understand that perhaps Arden's mother was more than just critical. As Arden is coming to terms with the dynamic with her mother, she is also struggling to maintain a friendship with her best friend Jamie, a trans boy who has recently gotten into his first real romantic relationship. And if that isn't enough, Arden is also trying to figure out what it means to be asexual in a world and at a time when everyone expects otherwise. The first half of Arden Grey is pretty slow and Arden as a narrator is difficult to fully grasp. She's so depressed and numb and withdrawn that I found it hard to connect to her (like the other characters in the book). That's a testament to the author's skills in terms of characterization, but it did take me far too long to become invested in the story. There also isn't much that "happens" in the first half. Then the second half is just constant changes and events, one after another. I wish there had been a little less exposition at the front half, because overall, the book is fairly short. It was 55% over before real movement started to occur. I would still recommend this for some library collections, particularly if you're looking to expand your aro/ace representation. There is also a lot about relationship dynamics, abuse, control and power that might be really helpful for folks to read who are having trouble recognizing and identifying that in their lives, particularly because the relationship issues Arden faces (specifically with her mom) don't scream stereotypical abusive dynamics. However, I would only put this book in the hands of dedicated readers who stick out books even if they're not connecting for a while.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)

    Ever since her mother left, Arden Grey has been struggling. Especially since her father and brother won’t acknowledge it. To top it off, she’s also being harassed at school about her sexuality, which most people don’t know about. In fact, Arden doesn’t even know what labels fit her. The only thing that’s helped is her best friend, Jamie. But when Jamie starts dating someone new, their friendship starts to unravel. And Arden tries to figure out if it’s something wrong with her or their relationshi Ever since her mother left, Arden Grey has been struggling. Especially since her father and brother won’t acknowledge it. To top it off, she’s also being harassed at school about her sexuality, which most people don’t know about. In fact, Arden doesn’t even know what labels fit her. The only thing that’s helped is her best friend, Jamie. But when Jamie starts dating someone new, their friendship starts to unravel. And Arden tries to figure out if it’s something wrong with her or their relationship. But it also leads to Arden thinking about her own relationship with her mother. And whether it was the relationship she remembers. Thanks to ABRAMS Kids and NetGalley for an advanced copy of Arden Grey to review! Stoeve’s debut, Between Perfect and Real, was one of my favorite reads of 2021, so I was excited to get to this one! I’m happy to say it lived up to my expectations. Where Stoeve really excels is at writing their characters. Not only is Arden a fully fleshed out character, but the secondary characters are as well. Especially as Arden explores her sexuality and tries to branch out from her friendship with Jamie. The shifting friendships and relationships are extremely relatable for high school, and Stoeve just nails teenage-hood overall. Almost everything about this book felt like an authentic teenage experience. The examination of toxic relationships also feels authentic, and it's such an important topic to include in teen books. Even if their friendship was a little on the rocks, Arden was still willing to be there for Jamie. And his relationship allowed Arden to see some of the darker sides of her relationship with her mother. These are such important issues to explore in teen books, and Stoeve did it with grace. My only complaint is that the pacing could have allowed the story a little room to breath. Slowing down some of the moments would have allowed even more space for the important issues that Stoeve touches on. All in all, this is a lovely book that looks at identity, relationships, and high school. Definitely pick it up when it comes out later this month!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    [ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review] This book was a bit of a rollercoaster for me. I finished it in two sittings but that wasn’t because I was necessarily enjoying it. Arden Grey is a sixteen-year old girl who is having a tough time all around. Her best (and only) friend is dating a girl who really doesn’t like Arden, her mother up and left the family, and she’s trying to navigate being asexual. She has to unpack a lot of deep-rooted insecurities and past trauma and try to find where [ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review] This book was a bit of a rollercoaster for me. I finished it in two sittings but that wasn’t because I was necessarily enjoying it. Arden Grey is a sixteen-year old girl who is having a tough time all around. Her best (and only) friend is dating a girl who really doesn’t like Arden, her mother up and left the family, and she’s trying to navigate being asexual. She has to unpack a lot of deep-rooted insecurities and past trauma and try to find where she belongs in her school, family, and in her own life. There’s a lot happening on these pages, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that it really is up and down the whole time, the pace sometimes feeling too fast for my brain to catch up. I understand Arden feeling frustrated by her BFF Jamie getting sucked up into this new relationship but it just seemed to go from zero to one hundred almost immediately. This book does a lot about identifying what an abusive and toxic relationship looks like, those that are romantic, as well as platonic and familial. It’s important for teens to be able to read about all of these on paper so they can recognize them when they’re happening. Most people assume they’d be able to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, but this book shows many of the nuances that may be overlooked at first. Ultimately, I’m glad I read this book. Where I’m finding myself a little frustrated is that I finished reading this book two days ago and the details of it seemed to fade almost immediately. I wish this book just had a little bit more, which is a wild statement given that I said earlier that this story has a lot going on. I think I just needed everything to slow down and for the moments and pacing to be stretched out a little bit more. 3.5 stars rounded up.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stefani

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I truly loved reading this book. I thought the characters were so well written. The writing was emotional and delicate, and the relationships were heavy and complicated. I loved watching Arden grow throughout this novel. Sometimes when I read books I picture them as movies, whether they’re big budget action or low budget indie films. This would make a beautiful film, one of those quiet movies, Arden with her film camera, the loud sound of the shutter. The bustle of everyone moving around the sch I truly loved reading this book. I thought the characters were so well written. The writing was emotional and delicate, and the relationships were heavy and complicated. I loved watching Arden grow throughout this novel. Sometimes when I read books I picture them as movies, whether they’re big budget action or low budget indie films. This would make a beautiful film, one of those quiet movies, Arden with her film camera, the loud sound of the shutter. The bustle of everyone moving around the school while she sits quietly observing. I could visualize it so well in my mind. I was frustrated with Arden’s friendship with Jamie at times, but I think it was this perfect depiction of people growing up and having different experiences at different times, branching off to different people. While it was broken through most of the novel, it was really glad to see that pieced back together in the end. Overall, I just can’t say enough how much I loved reading this. I read it in about 2.5 hours, it’s a quick read. Please note that there are many abusive relationships depicted in this novel, and the author addresses that at the end and provides resources. Content warnings: abusive relationships, bullying, depression, cutting, suicidal behavior, acephobia

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Clark

    If you're a teen, one place you look to for answers and support are your parents. When Arden's parents separate, she's conflicted about how she feels. Fortunately, she has Jamie as her best friend, but when he enters his first romantic relationship, it strains things right at the moment when she needs him the most. Much of what ensues is messy and awkward, but ultimately very hard not to follow, while silently cheering for almost all the players involved. Arden's younger brother is in as much em If you're a teen, one place you look to for answers and support are your parents. When Arden's parents separate, she's conflicted about how she feels. Fortunately, she has Jamie as her best friend, but when he enters his first romantic relationship, it strains things right at the moment when she needs him the most. Much of what ensues is messy and awkward, but ultimately very hard not to follow, while silently cheering for almost all the players involved. Arden's younger brother is in as much emotional pain as she is, but deals with it in a much different way. Their dad manages to pull himself back from an apathetic darkness just in time, while Vanessa, the girl who is attracted to Arden, hangs in there when she could as easily bail. Altogether a very satisfying story, and one well worth considering for any library collection where LBGTQ+ YA fiction is important.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Velázquez

    Arden Grey hits all the emotional notes in a rolling gut punch of a book. This novel deals with several abusive relationships, so be aware of the potential content! Arden is sixteen and confused. Her mom abruptly leaves their family, her brother is staying out all night and drinking, and her Dad won’t talk about any of it. Topping this, her best friend, Jamie, a trans man, has his first girlfriend and Arden isn’t sure their relationship is the healthiest, especially when Jamie’s girlfriend won’t Arden Grey hits all the emotional notes in a rolling gut punch of a book. This novel deals with several abusive relationships, so be aware of the potential content! Arden is sixteen and confused. Her mom abruptly leaves their family, her brother is staying out all night and drinking, and her Dad won’t talk about any of it. Topping this, her best friend, Jamie, a trans man, has his first girlfriend and Arden isn’t sure their relationship is the healthiest, especially when Jamie’s girlfriend won’t let them hang out anymore. This novel is a coming of age story through and through, and it needs to live on shelves so it can find its readership with our students. Aro/Ace spec is the number one request I get from students, and I cannot wait to put this quiet gem in the hands of my kids.

  19. 4 out of 5

    HaileyAnne

    Content Warning: aphobia, abusive relationships, self-harm, mentions of suicide Once again, I must say AHHHHHH ACE REP!!!! (I am LIVING for the number of ace books I’ve read recently!!!) I really liked how this book explored Arden’s asexuality and her trying to understand if she was aromantic as well. These are confusing feelings to work out, and with the other hardships she was facing, it was even more difficult. I appreciated how it explored different facets of abusive relationships and how abuse Content Warning: aphobia, abusive relationships, self-harm, mentions of suicide Once again, I must say AHHHHHH ACE REP!!!! (I am LIVING for the number of ace books I’ve read recently!!!) I really liked how this book explored Arden’s asexuality and her trying to understand if she was aromantic as well. These are confusing feelings to work out, and with the other hardships she was facing, it was even more difficult. I appreciated how it explored different facets of abusive relationships and how abuse can take on many different forms. I won’t go into too much detail (no spoilers), but I think it’s handled well. Finally, I don’t know what it is with all the YA photography books right now, but it’s making me want to dig out my camera!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura Mitchell

    This book totally drew me in. Relationships can be scary, and changing them in any way can be even more frightening. But it's important to realize that toxic and/or abusive relationships can exist across all types of relationships (familial, friendships, romantic/sexual, peers). Recognizing these kinds of relationships and how we react to them is essential for growing and improving/leaving/avoiding them. Several types of toxic relationships are depicted in the story (with different types of reso This book totally drew me in. Relationships can be scary, and changing them in any way can be even more frightening. But it's important to realize that toxic and/or abusive relationships can exist across all types of relationships (familial, friendships, romantic/sexual, peers). Recognizing these kinds of relationships and how we react to them is essential for growing and improving/leaving/avoiding them. Several types of toxic relationships are depicted in the story (with different types of resolution) and the author's note includes resources for how to identify and deal with toxic relationships. Highly recommend for all.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    I appreciate what the author was trying to accomplish and I thought their afterward was quite touching. I just didn't like Arden. She makes no effort to make friends, or even treat others as people (she often refuses/doesn't bother to learn names, rude). Even when they do try (I am referencing cute Emma here, she tried so hard) Arden cares not for their efforts. I also don't like that she was a bad sibling. When you think your sibling has been abused you need to ask. You need to have the hard co I appreciate what the author was trying to accomplish and I thought their afterward was quite touching. I just didn't like Arden. She makes no effort to make friends, or even treat others as people (she often refuses/doesn't bother to learn names, rude). Even when they do try (I am referencing cute Emma here, she tried so hard) Arden cares not for their efforts. I also don't like that she was a bad sibling. When you think your sibling has been abused you need to ask. You need to have the hard conversations, especially when they are younger siblings.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Flavia

    I really liked this story a lot. The writing style seemed a bit young at times. Also if you don't want to read something a bit mean, please skip: (view spoiler)[The cover of this book is SO hideous and that makes me proper sad since it will keep readers away. Especially since this book is about photography. <\spoiler> (hide spoiler)] I really liked this story a lot. The writing style seemed a bit young at times. Also if you don't want to read something a bit mean, please skip: (view spoiler)[The cover of this book is SO hideous and that makes me proper sad since it will keep readers away. Especially since this book is about photography. <\spoiler> (hide spoiler)]

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Milliner

    Thank you NetGalley for letting me read the book in exchange for a review. There are many things in that book. Knowing that Arden Grey has reached her breakpoint. Her mom leaving her, being harassed, and her best friend has started to date someone is like an actual life for any teenager or anyone else. Luckily, her photography work doesn't stop her for anything. Thank you NetGalley for letting me read the book in exchange for a review. There are many things in that book. Knowing that Arden Grey has reached her breakpoint. Her mom leaving her, being harassed, and her best friend has started to date someone is like an actual life for any teenager or anyone else. Luckily, her photography work doesn't stop her for anything.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karis

    This was definitely better than the author's debut, but I wouldn't say it was amazing. Don't get me wrong, the topics and themes explored are important and need to be talked about, and I certainly got flashbacks to my own life while reading, but it felt unnatural and forced at some parts. Otherwise, I would recommend this book to teens, especially those along the aro/ace spectrum. This was definitely better than the author's debut, but I wouldn't say it was amazing. Don't get me wrong, the topics and themes explored are important and need to be talked about, and I certainly got flashbacks to my own life while reading, but it felt unnatural and forced at some parts. Otherwise, I would recommend this book to teens, especially those along the aro/ace spectrum.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Adkins

    This was a really good book and I enjoyed reading it. It shows a teenager getting hit with the worst of it all at one time, but turns out ok in the end. I can relate to the bullying and wish I would have stood up for myself in school. I highly recommend this book, it is definitely a good read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katie Devine

    If only I had a time machine so I could go back in time and bring copies of this book back to the 90s with me for baby Gen Xers to be able to experience during their coming of ages and coming outs. I am so happy it exists in this world for all who get to read it now and feel less alone.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Trigger Warning Database

    Trigger & Content Warnings: Amisia Parental abandonment Abusive relationship Coming out themes Body dysphoria Depression Suicide mentioned Self-harm (cutting) Alcohol consumption Emesis Needles Bullying

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bryant

    After two solid novels, Ray is an auto-buy for me and should be for you too.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Reya Vice

    This hit real

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ropinnat

    This book is definitely unique, I liked it, eating it.

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