Monday, July 30, 2018

Blog Tour: Sweet Sixteen by Brenda Rothert

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Sweet Sixteen by Brenda Rothert

Book Blurb:

They say roses are the most beautiful...

Gin Fielding is counting the days until she escapes the small-town life of Roper, Missouri for college at NYU. She prefers to blend in, though she's far from invisible. But when she protects a younger student from a bully, the spotlight turns on her in ways she never imagined.

I say that every rose has its thorn...

The Friday night lights shine bright on Chase Matthews. Roper's golden boy, Chase can do no wrong, enjoying the small-town celebrity being the star quarterback brings. When Gin defends his little sister against a bully, he decides to lend her his star power and change her senior year in ways she never imagined.

But maybe the thorns are part of their beauty.

When Gin declines Chase's invitation to be part of the elite Sweet Sixteen, the repercussions turn both their lives upside down. But amidst the chaos, Gin and Chase find solace in one another. Together, they confront the ugly truth-- that sometimes glory has a dark side.

***Warning--Sweet Sixteen is an upper YA book with mature themes and is intended for readers 18+.

5 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

Wow!!  That was how I felt at the end of this book and probably while reading it as well.  Sweet Sixteen is nothing I expected to be and it is also unlike anything that Brenda Rothert has written.  In the beginning there was a part of me that was so shocked by what was going on that I wasn’t sure how I would continue.  But this being Ms. Rothert I knew that I would.  It was that moment that made me realize just how different this book really was and how much this book would affect me.  In a way it set me up for the emotions that I would feel. 

Gin is a senior in a small town where football is the most important thing.  She just wants to continue to lay low, finish her senior year and move on to NYU.  Gin is not the most popular girl, people may talk about her behind her back but she doesn't really let it affect her.  She knows how to defend herself and does so when necessary.  But she also looks out for others as well, and she proves that when she defends a girl from being bullied and beaten up.  The girl’s brother is Chase Matthews, the captain of the football team.  Chase was there to take care of her and thanked her for what she did for his little sister.  But he wanted to do more, and my God did he.  His gesture was, in his mind, supposed to be a good thing, but instead was the complete opposite.  It ruined the quiet senior year she had hoped to have.  It completely turned things upside down in not only her world but also his. 

I don’t want to go into any more detail.  You need to go into this one blind, just like I did.  This book deals with some very heavy topics and truth be told some things that went on just made me sick.  But it also truly opened my eyes.  Does this really go on in small towns, or any town for that matter? Some moments truly were difficult to deal with and caused my heart to beat out of my chest.  But while they were intense and maybe a bit raw, Ms. Rothert still managed to handle them in the perfect way.  A way that makes you not only feel the emotions but also doesn't completely turn you off to the story itself, if that makes sense.  It makes you want to read on and see what will happen next, in hopes that these characters will come out ok. 

Gin is an amazing heroine who I loved.  I admired her strength and the ability to be herself no matter what anyone said about her.  She always managed to stay true to herself.  She had a crush on a boy that she should have despised.  But she saw some good in him and still managed to stand up for herself and call him out on his behavior.  She may have tried to be invisible throughout her high school career but she is one of those girls who has a major impact on not only the people around her but this story. 

Chase, oh how this boy toyed with my emotions.  I wanted to hate him!!!  As the captain of the football team he had responsibilities and ones that were just so wrong.  He made excuses for it and I hated it.  But I knew that there was so much more to him.  Maybe he was just a teenage boy caught up in this world and no idea how to get out.  Maybe the pressure from so many people is what led him to be the boy that we first meet.  Truth is I am not sure what his reasons were, but in the end that wasn’t what mattered.  It was the way he grew as an individual.  The way he stood up to people and took a stand.  And yes maybe he didn’t do it the right way at first but he completely turned around and in the end I loved him. I loved him and Gin together and how they truly helped each other through a very tough year. 

I loved this book and everything it stood for.  I applaud Ms. Rothert for writing it, for dealing with the topics that she writes about.  The writing is flawless, the words written on each page are done so in a way that brings out every emotion.   I felt it all with these characters.  I felt like I was a part of their little world, one at times I wanted to escape from just as Gin did.  I loved watching the two of them grow, both as individuals but also together.  To see the way they worked through things, and opened up to each other is what also made this book so special.  This is by far one of my top reads for this year.  It was brilliant  and one of those books that will stay with me. 

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Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.


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