Why You Need to Read ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ IMMEDIATELY // A Review

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Oh my god guys. Oh. My. God. This book, SLAYED MY HEART. It squidged and bruised and punched it, and then turned it into joy confetti. WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?! Thank you universe for putting this little miracle of a book in my path.

I feel so lucky to have received an advanced reader copy of Only Love Can Break Your Heart from publishers because it is 100% the best book I have read all year, and I have a feeling a lot of people will be talking about it (in between uncontrollable sobbing). The thing is, it looks like such a sweet little unassuming book, BUT DON’T BE FOOLED. Inside is hidden treasure folks, shiny awesome desert treasure. Continue reading

Book Review: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

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When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

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Based in the same setting that Albertalli created in Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda (and therefore one of my most anticipated reads of the year), Offbeat follows Leah, one of Simon’s best friends who is a self-confessed misfit, and in her own words, the school’s ‘resident fat Slytherin Rory Gilmore’. What can I say? Leah is a girl after my own heart. Well, mostly. Continue reading

5 Reasons I Gave The Rest of Us Just Live Here 5 Stars | A Review with Buffy Gifs!

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a book that’s been on my to-read list since before it was even published. Reading the blurb, it felt like it was written for me. Every sentence had me doing a little fist pump and a not entirely dignified flail. Plus, Patrick Ness is a wizard with words so you, know, IT HAD TO BE GOOD RIGHT?

The thing is, once I actually got my hands on the book, I started to feel dread that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, so it became a kind of ritual when picking my next read to go along my bookshelf, give the gorgeous cover a little stroke, and then move on, picking something else. Well this summer, I thought, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I WILL BE A STRONG BOOKWORM. So I gave myself a little pep talk and opened the first page, and well. I’m so glad I did because it lived up to ALL the expectations.

So let’s get some blurb up in hither and we’ll talk about 5 reasons I gave The Rest of Us Just Live Here 5 stars!

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The ‘I Spy’ Book Challenge | Highlighting some Awesome Books!

The 'I Spy' Book Tag Challenge

Hello bibliophiles, caffeine addicts and dragon riders!

I was tagged by the wonderful Sprinkles of Dreams to do this tag (if you haven’t been to her blog before, check it out, it’s gorgeous!). I definitely pick and choose which tags I participate in these days, but this one looked like so much fun that I wanted to jump right in!

Rules for the tag: Find a book that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category. You must have a separate book for all 20, get as creative as you want and do it within five minutes!

Um, yeah. So this definitely didn’t take me 5 minutes…more like an hour. But I had SO much fun matching books up! I really struggled with finding books for a few of the categories so I decided to spread the challenge to both books I have read and books on my wishlist that I’ve have heard good things about. Hopefully, this post may make you want to add a few books to your wishlist too! 🙂

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Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe Review

Scythe is a book I was instantly interested in as soon as it came out. First of all, MAJOR COVER LOVE. But secondly and more importantly, the concept of the dystopian world sounded so gripping and psychological chilling that I couldn’t resist giving this one a go! When I saw additional review copies being released prior the Thunderhead (book 2) coming out I overenthusiastically put myself forward. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy!

Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. Continue reading

7 Books On My Summer TBR Pile!

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Hello everyone!

It’s that time of year when I’m really getting into that summer feeling (or trying to, with the British weather yo-yoing from scorching heat to torrential downpour). I definitely always notice a change in my reading habits as soon as the weather gets warmer – I find myself reaching for contemporary YA over fantasy novels, and I steer towards more lightweight reads over anything too involved. Looking at my TBR and wishlist, below are some novels I’m really looking forward to reading this summer! *

*As a mood reader, making a bold statement about having a summer TBR will inadvertently mean I don’t get around to reading half of them, but hey, a girl can dream!

 

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5 Mental Health Conditions I’d Like to See Represented in YA Books

5 Mental Health Conditions I'd Like to See Represented in YA

Spreading awareness about mental health is something I am incredibly passionate about. I have to say, I’m SO PROUD of how far society has come. Looking back on even the last 5 years, I feel we’ve made such progress in our understanding and I want us to continue fighting ignorance in 2018! This week is Mental Health Awareness Week so to do my part, I’ve got a topical blog post for you today.

In the last few years, publishers have been producing more and more intelligent and positive YA books featuring mental health which makes my heart SUPER HAPPY. If you’re looking for a book on depression, for instance, they’re pretty easy to find and you have a number to choose from. There are also quite a few books on bipolar disorder and eating disorders – even generalised anxiety disorder, which I had previously struggled to find any books on whatsoever (even when I was actively searching for them!), has now been spotlighted in some fabulous novels. Continue reading

Book Review: The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson

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The first thought I had when I read the blurb for this book was UM, YES PLEASE.
A once in a lifetime European trip? Complex friendship dynamics and angst? GIMMIE. So many thanks to Walker Books for mailing an advanced reader copy so it could find its way into my grabby hands!

Riya and Abby are:
Best friends.  Complete opposites.  Living on different continents.  Currently mad at each other.  About to travel around Europe.
Riya moved to Berlin, Germany, with her family for junior year, while Abby stayed behind in their small California town. They thought it would be easy to keep up their friendship—it’s only a year and they’ve been best friends since preschool. But instead, they ended up fighting and not being there for the other. So Riya proposes an epic adventure to fix their friendship. Two weeks, six countries, unimaginable fun. But two small catches:

They haven’t talked in weeks.
They’ve both been keeping secrets.
Can Riya and Abby find their way back to each other among lush countrysides and dazzling cities, or does growing up mean growing apart? Continue reading

ARC Mini Reviews: Contemporary Fiction

Thank you to the publishers Walker Books and Alma Books who have been kind enough to provide me with wonderful review copies lately. I enjoyed each and every one of these!

Truth or Dare

 

BLURB: How far is too far when it comes to the people you love? 
Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take.
Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you’re willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?

What I liked

Non Pratt’s latest novel Truth or Dare is right on trend. It’s sharp and current with its portrayal of social media, and it ticks a lot of diversity boxes including LGBT, Neurodisability and subtle nudges and observations of passive racism. (Not that these things should be seen as tick boxes because I am looking forward to the day where we don’t have to point them out like a rarity!) Continue reading

Top Ten Books that Surprised Me (In a Good or Bad Way)

 

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Top Ten Tuesday is an awesomely original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

1. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

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ABOUT:
A young girl who loves books, set in the backdrop of World War II and narrated by death? Check, check and CHECK. This should be right up my alley, surely?

SURPRISE: Umm… turns out, not. I feel like the only person on the planet who is not in love with this book. I didn’t go into it with any particular expectations but had basically never seen a poor review of this. While I enjoyed the story and its twists and turns, I was surprised that I never developed any kind of emotional connection with it or the characters.

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Review: Little Women & Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott

Overall Impression: A heartwarming tale about childhood and sisterhood, and the perils of growing up.

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It was a cold and hopeless winter morning, with frost thick on the ground that I decided to pick up Little Women. I was in the most unpleasant depths of a cold, and my brain felt as though it was stuffed with cotton wool. I will confess that I was feeling pretty low and fed up as I sat moaning under a blanket on my sofa. Bored with back to back TV, I picked up Little Women (which I had recently gotten free from the radio times due to a new adaptation) and began reading with much trepidation, feeling that if it was anything like Jane Austen’s work (which I don’t have the greatest affection for) it would be a bit of a slog. So, it was much to my surprise that a few chapters in, I found myself rather enchanted, and subsequently made my way through the second book Good Wives as well within a space of a week. Continue reading

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.
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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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