The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Review 5/5

Overall Impression: A story about one girl’s struggle to stand up and speak the truth in a world of police corruption, racial inequality and classism.

The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasThe YA community has been awash with praise for Angie Thomas’s debut novel The Hate U Give, which follows young Starr, a girl from the hood who becomes a witness to a white policeman shooting her unarmed black friend. Can you say big, heavy HEARTBREAKING topic? I was concerned with how a YA novel would be able to tackle such a charged and current issue – but, I shouldn’t have fretted dear bookworms, because this was a respectful, honest, heartwarming tale, and well, I’m sorry to bore you but, I feel EXACTLY the same way as the majority of the blogosphere so you’re just going to have to put up with gushing about this novel like everyone else!
Thank you, Walker Books for the ARC ahead of the UK release date. Much appreciated!

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community.
It could also get her killed.

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Wing Jones by Katherine Webber Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A heartfelt story about family, tragedy, and one girl’s journey towards believing in herself.

Wing Jones by Katherine WebberWell, what a lovely surprise this book was, in every sense of the word. I came back from holiday last week to discover a book-shaped package. I racked my brains, unable to remember purchasing anything. The last thing I expected was an advanced reader copy from my favourite publisher for a book that wasn’t on my radar (It also came with free shoelaces, woohoo!).
I would like to thank the lovely people at Walker Books for giving me this free ARC in exchange for an honest review. I think you know my book tastes better than I do. 😉 I don’t know if I would have spotted this novel on my own, but oh, I enjoyed it so much and the protagonist was such a special little gem.

With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. When tragedy strikes, she discovers an extraordinary talent she never knew she had.
Wing’s running could bring her family everything it needs.
It could also keep Wing from the one thing she truly wants.
Continue reading

Dual Review: Why Jane Eyre and David Copperfield Kick Literary Ass

Good evening ladies and gents!

Guess what, today we’re going highbrow. While I was away doing ALL THE THINGS, I made good progress with The Rory Gilmore Book Challenge (seems fitting considering the Gilmore Girls Revival). I’m really enjoying chronicling my progress with this because these books push me as a reader. Recently I picked up Jane Eyre and David Copperfield, and they both shot straight into my favourites list. While theyre very different stories, they both feel timeless and relevant to modern life. To put it in a non, 19th century way, they kick literary ass!

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Overall Impression: A Gothic, haunting tale of one girl’s fight for independence, dignity and respect in a world that isn’t quite ready for her yet.Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, oh where do I start with you? What a wonderful book. I make no secret of the fact that I love Gothic 19th century writing. It tickles all the right spots for me. It’s overdramatic and sweeps you down into it’s depths, it’s passionate and strong and willful. It’s emotive and tantalizing to the senses, full of descriptions of grand buildings, dark landscapes and mysterious characters with confusing motives.

So, in case you don’t know that much about Jane Eyre, the book centers around a young lady looking for employment. Continue reading

Series Review: Why The Darkness Rising Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong was a Letdown

The Darkness Rising

5+ years ago I read and devoured the Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong, a series about teens who discover they have a variety of supernatural abilities and find themselves caught between people who want to manipulate their powers for their own purposes. Not a new concept – but oh was it executed well! I am not the type of reader that usually gobbles up a series in one go… but I got through all 3 books in a week. Afterwards, I was left with that satisfying yet hollow feeling you get when you finish a truly outstanding series and realise there are no more books.

However, I soon discovered there would be a follow-up series, The Darkness Rising, set in the same world but in a different town with different characters. Because I found the first series SO addictive, I decided to wait until all the books were out so I could binge read them, and here we are! Unfortunately, The Darkness Rising Trilogy wasn’t as good as it’s predecessor, so here’s the bullet point, bookish low-down so you can decide for yourself whether this series is for you!

So let’s start with the positives first. This series has some pretty cool things going for it:

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The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A self-indulgent exploration of the well-known Dracula mystery in which the vampire has become oddly obsessed with hunting librarians.The Historian by Elizabeth Kostiva

The Historian has sat on my shelf unread for over seven years. Yeah, that’s pretty shameful! I picked up my battered copy for a whole 20p at a hospital book sale, unable to resist the fancy swirling writing and menacing blood droplets on its cover. Having been struck down with a seriously evil case of tonsillitis this week, and having already binge watched all of the Outlander Season 2 TV series, I decided it was time to pick up this neglected tome of a book and show it some love.
The best way I can sum up this novel is that it was a good, entertaining book…until suddenly it wasn’t.

 

To you my perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…
Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor.’ Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.

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YA Book Recs: Novels that Respect Mental Illness

Mental-Health-Awareness-Week-Logo.pngHello, everyone! This week is mental health awareness week run by the Mental Health Foundation. As this is an area I’m really passionate about both personally and as a psychology student, to do my bit I’ve decided to run a blog feature where I and guest bloggers talk about mental health related topics paired with books and/or blogging to help raise awareness. 🙂 Today I’m welcoming Cristina to the blog!

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Hello, readers! I’m Cristina and I’ve popped over from my YA book blog Girl in the Pages to chat with you today. I’m going to be focusing on YA book recommendations that portray mental illness in a way that is respectful, insightful, and engaging. While it’s great that mental illness is becoming a more prevalent theme in YA, it’s also too often used as merely a plot device or perpetuates stereotypes, doing more harm than good. Finding authors who provide the needed research to effectively write about mental illness as major themes in their books is important not only to bring awareness to the conditions, but to set a standard for the integrity of including such themes in books. I’ve chosen to focus on three major mental illnesses that have novels that portray them with research, respect, insightfulness, and when appropriate, creativity. Continue reading

Pop Culture & Mental Health: Fiction vs Reality

Mental-Health-Awareness-Week-Logo.pngHello, everyone! This week is mental health awareness week run by the Mental Health Foundation. As this is an area I’m really passionate about both personally and as a psychology student, to do my bit I’ve decided to run a blog feature where I and guest bloggers talk about mental health related topics paired with books and/or blogging to help raise awareness. 🙂 Today I’m welcoming Hattie to the blog!

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Hello, all! My name’s Hattie, and I’m usually found writing over at The Anxious Girl’s Guide to Dating, my advice blog. I am so honored to be taking part in Blogs of a Bookaholic’s mental health week. As a fellow tea-drinker and book lover, I’m thrilled to be here. Becky is seriously so lovely, right? And while I’m a huge fan of books in general, I’m also a huge fan of open dialogue about mental health soo I think I’ve found my blogging soulmate.

Anxiety has been a constant companion of mine since childhood and depression likes to pop his head in the door every once in a while too. Mental health is one of those interesting topics that seems to be everywhere and yet still is a challenge for a lot of people to talk about. For me, my anxiety reached a tipping point when I tried to start dating in my late teens (then early twenties, then mid-twenties…I was a late bloomer).  Continue reading