Monday, November 3, 2014


Featured Book: Thirty Sunsets by Christine Deriso

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To Forrest Shephard, getting away to the family's beach house with her parents and her brother, Brian, is the best part of every summer. Until this year, when her mother invites Brian's obnoxious girlfriend, Olivia, to join them. Suddenly, Forrest's relaxing vacation becomes a mission to verify the reality of Olivia's rumored eating disorder. But the truth behind Olivia's finicky eating isn't at all what Forrest expected. And over the next thirty days, Forrest's world is turned upside down as her family's darkest secrets begin to come to light. (Taken from Goodreads)

Forrest Shepherd is convinced she’s right. About what’s best for her brother and his horrible girlfriend, Olivia. About her mother’s need for control. Most of all, she thinks she’s right about Scott, the first cute guy to hit on her. But on the Shepherds’ annual summer vacation, Forrest discovers that her safe world of family and friends is riddled with deception. Her brother, her mother, Olivia, Scott . . . she really doesn’t know them at all, and Forrest is left wondering what it means for the most important relationships in her life to be built on lies. Thirty Sunsets is a story about secrets and personal trauma that shake a family to its core . . . and the healing that arises when hard truths emerge. (Given by the Author)

Title: Thirty Sunsets
Author(s): Christine Deriso

“So: What’s his name?”

I look up quizzically from the drink I’m sipping. “Whose name?”

Olivia dangles a fry outside her mouth. “The guy who’s gonna eat his heart out when he sees you in your new bikini.”

I blush. “Oh. I dunno. Who cares.”

Olivia nods sharply as kids zoom around the fast-food restaurant in our periphery.

“Exactly. Yes, we want him to eat his heart out, but you have so moved on. That’s what lover boy needs to know. We need you walking on the beach holding hands with some hot new guy by sunset.”

I laugh. “Yeah, hot guys and I go way back. I just snap my fingers and they magically appear.”

“Oh, they’ll appear, alright,” Olivia says. “Stick with me, girlfriend. We’ll have ’em eating out of your hand.”

I swallow a bite of my burger. “Hey, you’ve gone all morning without barfing,” I note.

Olivia smiles. “Yeah. Maybe I’m turning the corner.” She strums her fingers lazily on the plastic tabletop. “I had fun hanging out with you this morning.”

“Yeah. Me, too.” I lean in a bit. “You know how you talked about Brian freaking out about college?”

She tilts her head. “Yeah?”

“I’m a little freaked out, too. I can hardly stand the thought of eleventh grade, much less college.”

Olivia’s eyebrows widen. “Really? I thought you loved school. Aren’t you, like, borderline genius or something?”

I blush. “Yeah, Einstein’s got nothing on me. And that whole ‘genius’ vibe does wonders for my social life, by the way.”

“So weird,” Olivia says, studying my face closer. “You seem so totally confident. I always thought you were, like, the ultimate cool chick.”

I’m tempted to say something glib, but I think better of it. “I think the best way to hide your insecurity is to act like you don’t give a shit.”

Olivia bounces lightly in her seat. “It totally works!” she gushes, and I laugh at her earnestness.

“I mean it,” she continues. “It just blows my mind that you’re so . . . different than I thought.” She leans in for a sensitivity check. “I don’t mean that as an insult at all, I really don’t. . . .”

“No, I get it,” I assure her. “I’m actually having to rethink some impressions of my own.”

She points playfully at herself. “Diva?”

“Like, duh,” I tease, and she laughs.

Olivia wrinkles her nose. “Does everybody think that?” she asks warily.

“No, I think there are some aborigines in Australia who haven’t gotten the memo.”

Her eyes sparkle. “You’re, like, the funniest person I know.”

“And you’re the most diva-licious.” I hoist my Coke toward her and she taps it with hers.

“I think we make a fabulous pair,” she says.

And it’s the damndest thing that I’m starting to think the same thing myself.