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December 09, 2012

Blog Tour: Swell by Julie Rieman Duck

Hello lovely readers and welcome to today's stop on Swell's blog tour on Maji Bookshelf! This novel is so amazing and it is a realistic novel that you all need to read! Be sure to check out my review and see if it might be a book for you! 

Title: Swell
Author: Julie Rieman Duck
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication date: September 1, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Blog Tour
Format: egalley
Pages: 224
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.
Swell is a book about a girl who has taken too many wrong directions and decisions, all before the age of 16. The story revolves around Beck, a plain jane who finally gets admitted to the world of the popular crowd when Christian, the smart, hot, and "in" guy ends up being her boyfriend. However what she didn't sign up for was his drinking habits, and her needing to always keep up with them. Enter her drinking problem that she swats away as a "way to relax". The drinking just kept on getting more and more out of hand. I was in awe by what Beck would do just to be able to get her hands on a 6-pack of beer. Beck's best friend notices her issue immediately and tries to help her but when Beck resists she tells her that she doesn't want to get tangled up in all of this. I understand where she's coming from. She's not really abandoning her, but she's just 15 for god's sake! she doesn't know whether to tell on her to her parents, or be more patient with her and label it as a phase, or to just stay away from her! Also some of the situations Beck ended up in just to get her hands on alcohol were downright scary and dangerous. 
The beginning, Julie tricks you in thinking this is a typical cute contemporary where the girl finally gets her chance with the hot guy all the girls want and the one she's been secretly crushing on for ages. Then all of this sense of safety and happiness is ripped from you when you notice the constant drinking. I am not exaggerating when I say the word alcohol, or any type of it or the consumption of it showed up on every single page of this book. I was afraid for Beck, I couldn't believe that her parents didn't notice their daughter's behavior and hangovers and when they did, they gave her a chance, then a second, then a third. I felt that they weren't strict towards her and kept on blindly believing that she'll stay clean. A horrible, huge thing had to happen for Beck to finally realize how deep the pit she dug herself in was and that she really is an alcoholic. This frustrated me to no ends but who am I to tell them to think logically? that is what addiction does to you I guess.  
I really enjoyed Julie's narration. At the beginning of every chapter there is a paragraph or two about something that happens in the future. You only get snippets of it at the beginning of each chapter but from that you know the road she is heading to isn't a pleasant or safe one. The characters were all so real, there was no sugar coating anything. Some of them just didn't have a good side, and some of them were downright evil in my opinion. Swell is such a realistic book. I am sure, in this century, many kids end up in situations like this when they get with the wrong crowd and have no confidence or individuality to fight the peer pressure they get to fit in. I recommend this novel to all realistic fiction lovers and anyone wanting to read a story about a love gone wrong.

Julie Rieman Duck 

Born in Los Angeles and raised in San Clemente, California, Julie Rieman Duck wrote her way through school on an old-fashioned typewriter. Somewhere along the line, she was sidetracked by careers in magazine publishing and copywriting. While Julie honed her skills at writing print ads and articles, the stories that moved her heart and soul were bubbling underneath, waiting to escape.

It took a medical scare and the loss of her job — on the same day and within 30 minutes of each other — to finally allow her stories to free themselves and be put to paper. First came A Place In This Life, an edgy young adult story about a girl who falls for a boy with leukemia. Next there was SWELL, the story of an art prodigy who loves the most popular boy in school... and becomes addicted to the alcohol they both can't live without.

Julie looks forward to writing more stories that hit where the heart beats fastest, and the soul reaches out for more

Find Julie on her
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  1. I've seen this book around quite a lot. I'm seeing mostly high marks for it. Sounds like a heart-wrenching and difficult journey. Excellent review Juhina. :)

  2. /m so glad you enjoyed it! It is a hard book to read in the sense that its heartwrenching. This sort of thing happened ALL the time when I was a teen 15 Yeats ago and I can imagine its probably worse now.
    Thanks so much for hosting a tour stop and reviewing the book! I will come by to promote it tomorrow.

  3. I really need to read this book! I've seen some great reviews on it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you so much for having SWELL on your blog, Juhina! Glad you enjoyed it... you will always be on my list for first-reads!


  5. The formatting sounds like something I would enjoy, with the snippets from the future at the beginning of each chapter. Other than that this doesn't sound like the book for me but I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the review =)

  6. Great review! I've seen this one around. It sounds like it really portrays an accurate picture of teen drinking and the mistakes that lead up to it becoming a problem. I might have to read this one. I have teens.


  7. I haven't heard of this book up until now! I'm happy to see that it is nicely written and I'm really curious about it now. Drinking problems are part of our modern society so the subject is really good. Great review :)

  8. I've been seeing some great reviews about this book. I love how realistic the story is :D Thanks for the lovely review :D


  9. This book sounds like it's really heavy, but I love those types of book. Realistic fiction/issue books have become one of my favorites to read. I need to take breaks between them because I wear myself down emotionally, but I do really like them. This is definitely one I want to read. Awesome review!

  10. Great review. It sounds like it will be a fantastic book. I love the no sugar coating especially on a subject such as this. Adding it.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  11. Ooh this one sounds so intense! Although with all the drinking I might be a little turned off, but I'm glad Julie did a great job narrating and writing the entire thing because it definitely sounds really dark and out of control! :D

  12. This sounds like such an interesting storyline. I'm so happy you enjoyed it, I'll definitely be checking it out :) Great review!

  13. thanks for sharing.