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.
|Publisher:||Julie Rieman Duck|
|File size:||257 KB|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
About the Author
Sometimes it takes a swift kick to start doing what you love. For Julie Rieman Duck, it was more like a full body slam. A health scare and loss of her editing job put Julie square in front of a choice: Do what I love, or do nothing? The decision to write again after 20 years of shelving her voice brought about edgy young adult novels - A Place In This Life, SWELL and Little Rooms. Today, Julie bounces between copywriting by day, fiction writing by night and never compromising her love for the written word.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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's newest book, SWELL, takes an intense look into the damaging effects of teenage alcoholism. We follow Rebecca, an outcast artsy-type, who is sucked into Cristan's (the high school god) world of popularity, partying, and booze. As we begin, we already see the trouble Rebecca's gotten into, as each chapter reveals a small tidbit of a horrible, violent scene, then takes us back to how it all began. We believe Rebecca because she is just a normal high school girl who wants more than anything to be noticed and fit in, even if that means meeting everyone else's expectations instead of her own. We watch as she develops her infatuation equally with alcohol and her new boyfriend, and how this takes her into a world of risky behavior with profound consequences. SWELL is a roller coaster ride of emotion – we are rooting for Rebecca and we want her to find a way out of the mess she has created, but we also are able to understand, thanks to Ms. Duck's masterful character development, why Rebecca is too deep into her own problems to see them clearly. Ms. Duck's use of first person in this book is strong; everything about her main character is believable, even understandable. While many of the scenes in SWELL are incredibly emotional, Ms. Duck writes them with a more clinical approach, letting the reader put her own spin on the truth depth of emotion in them. SWELL is a must read book for teen girls because it allows the reader to go down the road of risky high school behavior and experience the consequences, and most importantly, it communicates the value young women must place in themselves.