When I first heard about We Are Not Okay, I was really curious to read it!
It was marketed as four female voices with unique stories to tell, and the short snapshots about each character sounded really intense and interesting. So when an opportunity to review an advanced reader copy came up, as well as to quiz the author, I jumped at it!
Thank you to Harper Collins Publisher HQ for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!
If only they could have spoken out.
Lucy thinks she’s better than the other girls. Maybe if she’s pointing fingers at everyone else, no one will see the secret she’s hiding.
Ulana comes from a conservative Muslim family where reputation is everything. One rumour – true or false – can destroy futures.
Trina likes to party. She’s kissed a lot of boys. She’s even shown her red bra to one. But she didn’t consent to that night at Lucy’s party. So why doesn’t anyone believe
Sophia loved her boyfriend. She did anything for him, even send him photos of herself. So why is she the one being pointed at in the hallways, laughed at, spat at when it was him who betrayed her trust? Continue reading
The publishing industry has come on in leaps and bounds when it comes to putting diverse books on the market, certainly the Young Adult section of the store anyway *SO PROUD, sniff*, but one area that is still overlooked is learning disabilities. So I was super excited when I received an advanced reader copy of Rosie Loves Jack from publishers in exchange for an honest review, a contemporary love story following a protagonist with Downs Syndrome, which is something I have never had the chance to read before! A somewhat ambitious tale for a debut author to take on perhaps, but I have to say, she does a pretty good job!
Rosie loves Jack. Jack loves Rosie. So when they’re split up, Rosie will do anything to find the boy who makes the sun shine in her head. Even run away from home. Even cross London and travel to Brighton alone, though the trains are cancelled and the snow is falling. Even though any girl might find that hard, let alone a girl with Down’s syndrome. See the world through new eyes in this one-in-a-million story about fighting for the freedoms that we often take for granted: independence, tolerance and love.
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
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.
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
Overall Impression: A heartwarming tale about childhood and sisterhood, and the perils of growing up.
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
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.
As 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
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”.
Overall Impression: A unique and powerful book unlike any other I have read. It’s raw, emotional and haunting.
A 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)!
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 feed 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? Continue reading
Overall Impression: A smart and funny emotionally charged book about friendship, forgiveness and the power of music.
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
Overall Impression: 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
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.)
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 Trouble. Continue reading
Overall Impression: Grin inducing material you won’t be able to put down!
It wouldn’t be summer without at least one Sarah Dessen book. There’s something about the heat, the wave of positivity and the potential for change that comes with the summer season that has me grabbing for her feel good coming of age stories and hugging them close to my chest. For me, Dessen remains the queen of contemporary YA novels. She has the perfect balance of cheese, honesty, romance and realism that always gives me a book hangover. This woman is a wizard with words! Along for the Ride, like all her other novels, was a brilliant read with some wonderful characters.
Auden has always felt like the odd one out.
Since her parents’ divorce she’s shied away, studying lots and staying out of the party scene.
But now Auden’s realized there must be something more and, just like that, she changes everything. Moving to her dad’s house opens up a whole new world of beach parties, food fights – and simply having fun.
As she gets to know herself – and a secretive boy with dark, brooding eyes – can Auden begin to let go and finally feel like she truly belongs?
Auden has always been the sensible one, her parents divorce and their views on academia have made her mature before her time. With months of summer spanning out before her, Auden settles into a routine of prepping for college during the day and hanging out in her favourite coffee place by night, nursing her insomnia. But when Auden receives Continue reading
Overall Impression: A beautiful, deeply moving book about the best and worst humanity has to offer.
How strange is it that I decided To Kill a Mockingbird was going to be my next read only a few days before everybody was in uproar about Michael Gove axing it from the UK English curriculum? Could there have been a more perfect time for me to start reading this, when everyone is feeling so passionate about it?
To Kill a Mockingbird has always been one of those novels I felt everyone except me had read. I wasn’t given the option to study it at school and for years and years people’s pop culture references about Atticus, Scout and Boo Radley were utterly lost on me. Before diving in all I knew about Lee’s famous tale was that it was set in the south and tackled the topic of racism, but this novel has so much more to offer than that.
This book was also read as part of The Rory Gilmore Challenge.
‘Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’
Atticus Finch gives this advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this classic novel – a black man charged with attacking a white girl. Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Lee explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s with compassion and humour. She also creates one of the great heroes of literature in their father, whose lone struggle for justice pricks the conscience of a town steeped in prejudice and hypocrisy. Continue reading
Overall Impression: An unremarkable tale about an unremarkable girl, and therein lies the beauty of this book.
When I first came across this novel I knew I had to have it. Beautiful front cover? Check. A nerdy bookish protagonist who is overenthusiastic about her fictional characters? Check. An anxious introvert girl struggling with adapting to life at university? Check, check and check! Not to mention quirkiness abound. There was no way I wasn’t going to love this novel and I am so happy that it didn’t disappoint. This was my first time reading a Rainbow Rowell book and you can bet I will be searching out more in the future. This author is so damn adorable!
Also, this review is going to be a long one because I have a lot to say! You may want to grab a cup of tea. 😉
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, so the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…But for Cath, being a fan is her life – and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from the fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend; a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world; a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words…and she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she ever want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?