Saturday, September 26, 2015

Hickville Confessions by Mary Karlik

New town. New look. New beginning. High school junior Ryan Quinn has a past. She will do just about anything to keep it hidden, even if means joining the ultra-conservative, no fun allowed, Purity Club. But secrets are hard to keep in a small town and when the Purity Club girls discover the truth, they viciously attack Ryan.

Justin is the kind of guy who can make Ryan forget her vow to change. He’s the kind of guy she should avoid at all costs. But he knows her soul secrets. He understands her and it is torture when she is away from him. But as she deals with the outward scars on her face and the inward shame of her past and Justin’s home life continues to spiral out of control, their relationship becomes as convoluted as their home life. Will they find the courage to open their hearts to each other in spite of their family drama?

Add to Goodreads

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Hickville Confessions had an entirely different feel than its predecessor. Dark with a wealth of emotional depth. The first in the series, Welcome to Hickville High, was a great Young Adult read. It was a shorter novel but seemed drawn out a bit – light with some depth but didn't hook me. I'd empathized with the narrators, but didn't truly connect with the story. Hickville Confessions, at nearly twice the length as the 1st in the series, was fast-paced and absorbing because of the fact that the 1st in the series set the series up so well. No unnecessary backstory in Hickville Confessions because we had already learned those things in the prior book. 100% solid storytelling.

Welcome to Hickville High was a good book, but if I hadn't been asked to read the second for review, I might have taken a pass on continuing with the series. I would have missed out on something great. Hickville Confessions sunk its claws into me, making me want more of the series as a whole.

Hickville Confessions hits upon a lot of heavy issues plaguing young adult and adults alike: grief/bullying/sexual assault/controlling behavior/religious brainwashing/peer pressure/mental illness/consequences of texting while driving/unhealthy relationships with friends/family/boyfriend/girlfriend. I'd suggest this as a good read for teens, as it would show them never to negotiate with bullies. The strength is in looking them in the eye and moving on with your life.

Without going into detail, the only drawback to the story was the school system. In a school system with a zero tolerance for bullying/fighting/drugs/violence, with the issues with the PC, not once was the lipstick messages on Ryan's locker addressed. That didn't fit the storyline whatsoever. As obviously it was witnessed by school staff on a daily basis. Also, we never learn the identity of the lipstick defamer.

Mary Karlik created a very engaging, realistic town, with diverse characters, and I look forward to reading more by this author.

Ryan's life in Chicago including partying, drugs and sex with boys. Moving to Texas she wants a fresh start and joins the purity club. When Ryan's past is discovered she is labelled easy and is the target for bullies.

Our hero of the story, Justin rescues Ryan from an assault by bullies and the two of them connect. Justin is dealing with his own issues following the death of his sister in a car accident a few years earlier.

Hickville Confessions is an excellent story that covers many important teen issues including bullying, violence, date rape and safe dating, and deciding when the right time to have sex is. It also deals with grief, depression, and loss. There is a seriousness to this story but there is also strength and hope. This is a book I would highly recommend for teenaged girls.

Age recommendation: 13up

Also Available in the Hickville High Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

For reviews & more info, check out our Welcome to Hickville High post.

Following a career as a nursing instructor, award-winning author, Mary Karlik earned an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. A native Texan, Mary loves horses, dogs, cats, country music, and small town diners. Although she has recently relocated in northern New Mexico, her heart remains in the Lone Star state.

Connect with Mary

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Hickville Confessions (Hickville High #2) by Mary Karlik to read and review.

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