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.
When Julie Rieman Duck writes, she writes with emotion. She speaks to her readers through the pain of her characters. She writes of teen issues that matter. Not just the basic girl likes boy, high school drama type. It’s contemporary, but it’s raw and edgy contemporary. She allows readers to see beneath the surface of her characters. They live the lives of each character and are able to understand exactly what they are feeling. Swell gives readers a realistic feel of teen alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a serious issue. When teenagers drink they never think of the repercussions of having one too many of them. According to studies done by NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) 25.6% of 10th graders have had one or more binge drinking episodes and 1.9% of 10th graders have been daily drinking for at least one month at some point in their lives. In 12th graders 30.8% binge drank in the past two weeks and 3.6% use alcohol daily. Alcoholism can start at such an early age, and in Swell it all started in high school.
Rebecca Ionesco just wanted to be noticed. She was pretty, artistic and smart, but she was never popular. That is until Christian Rusch noticed her. She was instantly in with all of the biggest parties and had access to as many booze as she pleased. Christian himself was no stranger to the sweet and savory taste of alcohol.
Rebecca and Christian’s relationship flourished like rapid fire, but Christian had some secrets in his closet and Rebecca wasn’t about to let it come between them. Rebecca had to keep up with Christian and his friends in more ways than one and finally it all caught up to her. Through a tragic and bumpy road, Rebecca finds herself in a downward spiral. But her love for Christian stops her from admitting to all of the wrongs that are being done.
But through every difficult situation, comes a ray of hope that will pull them from the gutter. In Rebecca’s case, that was Jesse. There is so much beneath the surface with him. He shows Rebecca that there is more to life than just being popular and drinking. He’s got the whole mystery thing going for him and Rebecca wants nothing more than to find out what his story is.
Through this gritty young adult novel readers will encounter many touching, but very much realistic subjects that teenagers go through on a daily basis, that most people are oblivious to. Julie Rieman Duck’s writing is one of a kind. She knows how to hit readers where it hurts, but in the end they come to realize that the characters are better off. Swell will definitely quench readers’ need for the raw and emotional ride they are looking for in a young adult novel. Get your copy now!
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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.Julie looks forward to writing more stories that hit where the heart beats fastest, and the soul reaches out for more.