Dual Review: Two Amazing Books that Tackle Mental Health

Overall Impression: A feminism-focused book featuring heavily on mental health, that shows the importance of learning to accept who you are, faults and all.

Am I Normal Yet by Holly BourneAs soon as I knew what this novel was about, I had to have it and bought it the first opportunity, and I’m glad I did, because it’s the most realistic YA book about mental health I’ve ever read. Way to go Holly Bourne!!!

Am I normal Yet? follows the story of Evie, who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder (the more well-known contamination type where people feel the need to over wash/clean for fear objects and dirt will cause harm) and generalised anxiety disorder (which causes disproportionate worry about many everyday situations). Since being sectioned, Evie’s worked hard to get her life under control, she’s going to counseling, she’s on medication, she’s working on goals and concrete steps. But now she’s starting at a new college, she’s desperate and determined to be normal by keeping her mental health problems a secret. Evie wants to do all the normal things teenage do, having friends, going to parties and most importantly, dating and finding a boyfriend. But as she starts to slowly come off her meds, she’s constantly plagued by the fear that her bad thoughts are creeping back in…and the problem is that wherever you go, your problems go with you. Continue reading

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The Disney Book Tag!

The Disney Book Tag
I know what you’re thinking, books and Disney in the same sentence? WHAT IS THIS GLORIOUSNESS? AND CAN I HAVE SOME OF IT? Well, yes, yes you can. I was tagged to participate in this by the wonderful Emma at She Reads Books, and because I think this is such an awesome idea, I am tagging anyone and everyone who wants to give this a go themselves! Oh, and make sure to leave me the links to your posts so we can discuss all the fun things. 🙂
So, off we go!

1. The Little Mermaid – A character that is out of their element, a “Fish out of  Water”.

The Little Mermaid  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness Review 5/5

Overall Impression: A unique and powerful book unlike any other I have read. It’s raw, emotional and haunting.

A Monster Calls by Patrick NessA Monster Calls is a book that has received multiple awards. It’s one of those that is praised everywhere and I have yet to read a single negative review of it. This initially made me petrified to pick it up because I was worried it couldn’t possibly live up to my preconceived expectations. But it turns out I didn’t need to worry because this book was phenomenal.
I was told it was dark.
I was told there would be a sad young boy.
I was told there would be tears.
But none of this prepared me for the sledgehammer of emotions I was hit with as I made my way through its gorgeous illustrated pages.

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.
But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.

I want to preface this review by saying that I feel like it’s impossible I will be able to do this book justice, so much of the magic in this story lies in reading it, experiencing and uncovering its truths for yourself. But, as always, I will do my best (and waffle on for far too long)!

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The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A book with brilliant writing and a wonderful protagonist that was let down by its cliché plot.

When I first saw this book pop up on my Goodreads feedThe Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne it piqued my interest straight away. How can someone resist a book with a title like The Manifesto on How to be Interesting?!? I could barely contain my curiosity! When I looked at the blurb and it hinted that the story was about an introverted teen writer who wanted to turn herself into a research project because of the good old saying that you can’t write interesting stories unless you’ve experienced interesting things in life, I knew I had to give this a go. I love stories about characters going out of their comfort zones and deciding to become active agents in their lives instead of passive ones, they make the perfect coming of age stories. However, in a lot of ways this novel wasn’t at all what I was expecting, and, in this case, I’m not sure that’s such a good thing!

Apparently I’m boring. A nobody. But that’s all about to change. Because I’m starting a project.
Here. Now. For myself.
And if you want to come along for the ride then you’re very welcome.
Bree is by no means popular. Most of the time, she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents.
So she writes.
But when Bree is told she needs to stop shutting the world out and start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to be Interesting is born.
A manifesto that will change everything…
… but the question is, at what cost?
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Remix by Non Pratt Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A smart and funny emotionally charged book about friendship, forgiveness and the power of music.Remix by Non Pratt

After reading Non Pratt’s fantastic debut novel Trouble last year, I was absolutely itching to get my hands on her latest book Remix, a story based around two best friends attending a music festival. As I expected, it did not disappoint. No one does real contemporary like Non Pratt does!
There are three things I think YA novels are often missing, one, realistic teen characters that constantly mess up, two, relationships that aren’t perfect, and three, real representations of friendships that aren’t purely a plot device. Remix is a novel that has all three of these, and, therefore, it has epic proportions of awesome!
I would like to thank the lovely people at Walker Books for giving my a free ARC of Remix in exchange for an honest review.

From the author of Trouble comes a novel about boys, bands and best mates.
Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life… Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record.
Three days. Two best mates. One music festival.
Zero chance of everything working out.

Kaz and Ruby have just finished their GCSEs and are nursing painful breakups, looking forward to a summer of freedom before real life kicks in and everything changes. Continue reading

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan Review 3/5

Overall Impression:Dash and Lily's Book of Dares Sweet, teen hipsters ponder the meaning of life, words and love.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares reminded me of a weird mix between the film Serendipity and a John Green novel. I had seen this book making the rounds in the blogosphere for quite some time and was unsure whether to give it a go, however, when I spotted it for £1.99 I could hardly pass it up! Set in snowy, vibrant New York City it follows two teens during the Christmas period that take part in random, treasure hunt style escapades with the help of a mysterious red moleskin notebook. The concept was hard to resist, and once I read the first chapter and discovered the story began with a character pursuing the famous Strand bookshop, I knew I was going to like this story!

I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.
At the urge of her lucky-in-love brother, sixteen-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of dares on her favourite bookshop shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept.
Curious, snarky Dash isn’t one to back down from a challenge – and the Book of Dares is the perfect thing to keep him occupied this Christmas.
As they send each other on a snowbound scavenger hunt across Manhatten, they’re falling for each other on paper. But finding out if their real selves share their on-page chemistry could be their biggest dare yet. Continue reading

Trouble by Non Pratt Review 5/5

Overall Impression: Smart, hilarious and packed to the brim with emotion. I’m wrapped up in a feels blanket and I don’t ever want to come out!!! (Please don’t make me.)Trouble by Non Pratt 3

From the first moment I saw this novel, everything about it seemed to call to me; the bright blue pastel cover, the teen pregnancy subject matter and the mysterious blurb with its tantalising hook. As it turned out, Trouble not only met my expectations but succeeded them more than I could have ever predicted. It’s given me the worst book hangover since The Hunger Games, I couldn’t pick up another book for weeks! I’m a bit scared to review it if I’m honest and I’ve kind of been avoiding it because I don’t know how I can do it justice! I’ve written and rewritten this review endlessly because I have too many feelings and I want it to be right. It still isn’t right, but here goes nothing!

Hannah is smart and funny.
She’s also fifteen and pregnant.
Aaron is the new boy at school.
He doesn’t want to attract attention.
So why does Aaron offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby?

Trouble is a dual perspective book that switches between the point of view of Hannah, a girl more interested in partying and the opposite sex than focusing on her GCSEs, and Aaron, the quiet new boy in school who just wants to keep his head down and pass by unnoticed. Coincidentally, I’ve been reading a lot of multiple perspective books lately but none have been as smart, snappy or compelling as TroubleContinue reading