Thursday, August 14, 2014

ARC Review: Aspen by Rebekah Crane

Title: Aspen
Author: Rebekah Crane
Publication: June 5th 2014, In This Together Media
Format: e-ARC, 206 pages
Source: Netgalley (Thanks to the publisher!)
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble


Aspen doesn't want to remember the car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard-- because Katelyn may have died -- but she didn't leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it's kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn's former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels. 

Popularity, Homecoming Court, hot guys - none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She's been busy trying to keep her stoner mother Ninny in line and out of unemployment. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics and her therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can't control ... and doesn't want to. 

A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, Aspen is about the best-worst accident of your life ... and what comes next.

Misfit Review: 

If you are looking for a book with quirky characters and a mind boggling story, then I suggest you read Aspen.

A few weeks ago, Katelyn appeared in the corner of my room, like one of the ghosts in A Christmas Carol, except she didn't move or talk or anything. She just stood there in her soccer uniform, looking alive.

The story begins with Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor is starting her senior year after going through an accident. It was the same night that soccer star, Katelyn Ryan died. Aspen seems to know something that happened that night but she can't seem to get herself to say anything. She's scared and worried that something might happen and so she keeps a tight lip. But she is constantly haunted by that past... Haunted every waking moment by Katelyn's ghost.

I'm already the illegitimate daughter of a teen mom who smokes more pot than Willie Nelson. I'm weird enough without the ghost.

Aspen is an interesting read. It's not far off from books I've read, though I really loved how the characters truly lifted the story. Aspen is the flower child, keeps to herself, loves to sketch and accidentally smudge charcoal on her face, and get this: SHE'S NOT INTO COLLEGE... (I hope life is this easy). She lives with Ninny, her hilariously funny and upbeat Mom. Aspen and Ninny's chemistry in the book was done so well, that I wouldn't mind just reading the book with only the two of them in it!

"Anything is better than Kim. Kim Choi is just so Asian. I'm more unique than that."

But add characters like Kim and Cass into the picture, and the book blooms of comedic prowess! I really like Kim because she breaks all Asian stereotypes and Cass isn't afraid to just be himself! Reading their parts together made Aspen a worthwhile adventure as well!

"I'm not supposed to be happy with you." Ben's eyes are serious. More serious than I've ever seen them. My heart pounds in my ears. "Why?"
"Because it makes me forget."

Then there's Ben. FUDGESTICKS! Ben and his dark hair and chameleonesque eyes. I really did think he was a young Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock Holmes form! Oh please, warp me to the book so I could have him. Ben is Katelyn's former boyfriend. They seemed like the perfect couple and everyone loves them. Ben misses Katelyn but finds solace in Aspen. I like their dynamic and chemistry. It's not just bound on sexual tension. There's a bond that forms though I wish it was more solid. But it was still beautiful between the two of them. Oh yeah, keep tabs on Ben! He's got a few things hidden under his sleeves... Not literally though. You get the gist.

"Isn't it weird that we never really see ourselves? We just see reflections," I say. "It's a good thing I like your face." "It's kind of depressing, though, that we never really see ourselves," I say. "Maybe it's about letting other people see us."

The novel is not really focused on romance which might bum out some rom-com enthusiast (BUT SERIOUSLY! IT DOES! Not so much though, from my point of view). The novel plays on the central theme of facing your fears and accepting the truth. The past will forever haunt you unless you face it and bury it for good.

The supporting characters shine too much sometimes that I care more for them than I do Aspen. Suzy may seem weirdly attached but she proved that she's not just the sweet side character. Although, I hated the fact that Kim and Cass didn't have much going on for them around the end. They kinda just pop out when the occasion needs them. I think I fell in love with them too much. As for Katelyn's ghost, there's so much mystery to it that you really would want to know what was going on, but I guess, we'll just leave it to the imagination, or when you purchase the book! HAHAHA!

I don't think the grove will ever be complete. That's the funny thing about endings. They're usually the start of something new.

As for Rebekah Crane's style, she seems to pull in the same punches of the Young Adult genre yet adding that odd hint of mystery that would get the readers questioning the protagonist and even the people around her. It was written decently and humorously captivating! And that ending! It's so perfect! So perfect!

If you are looking for a hilarious escape, with a psychological, mysterious twist. Aspen is the kind of book to cuddle up to in a cold day or maybe any day! It's that good!

P.S. Don't you think the cover looks like Carrie Bradshaw? I mean, c'mon! HAHA!

About the Author:

Rebekah Crane fell in love with YA literature while studying Secondary English Education at Ohio University. After having two kids, living in six different cities, and finally settling down in the foothills of her beloved Rocky Mountains, her first novel, PLAYING NICE, was published. ASPEN, her second YA novel, set in Boulder, CO, is due to release in summer 2014 from In This Together Media. She now spends her day carpooling kids or tucked behind a laptop at 7,500 ft high in the Rockies, where the altitude only enhances the experience.

Be sure to stay tuned for more book reviews and other feature contents here on the blog! I'll make it up to you guys! Thank you!

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