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

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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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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

Wonder of Us reasons to read

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

The Book Thief Marcus Zusak


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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