Genre: YA Contemporary

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Review: “One of Us Is Lying” – Karen M. McManus

May 31, 2017 Book Review 2

 Review: “One of Us Is Lying” – Karen M. McManusOne of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
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Published on: May 30th 2017
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: eARC

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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

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My Thoughts

I feel like I have been waiting FOREVER for this book and when I finally got my hands on it it turned out to be everything I had hoped!

I’m not one for murder mysteries, but this book was just so addictive that I couldn’t help but read it within a day whilst my mind spent the entire time trying to think up the answer to who did it! I literally thought of every single answer of who it could be and although at on point I did chose the right answer, it was still a great surprise when all was revealed.

“Bronwyn Rojas, I solemnly swear not to murder you today or at any point in the future. Deal?”
“You’re ridiculous,” she mutters, going even redder.
“It concerns me you’re avoiding a promise not to murder me.”

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Blog Tour: “Wishbones” – Virginia MacGregor

May 15, 2017 Blog Tour, Book Review 1

 Blog Tour: “Wishbones” – Virginia MacGregorWishbones by Virginia MacGregor
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Published on: May 23rd 2017
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: ARC

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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

Feather Tucker has two wishes:
1)To get her mum healthy again
2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problem run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.

Over time, Feather’s mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather’s starting to uncover when her mum’s life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?

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My Thoughts

It’s nice to read a YA book that deals so well with so many relevant topics. Eating disorders, depression, sexuality and mental health it is filled with heavy topics but written in a lighter way that lets us follow this story without totally loosing hope for the characters.

Feather was a beautifully written YA character and her strength and determination to unravel the mystery of her mothers illness and how to help her made her a fascinating character to read. Some of the time she comes across as a lot older than her age due to the responsibility she believes she holds in helping her mother, but there are also moments in which her younger self appears in her nativity and her unwillingness to always follow advice given to her.

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Review “The Memory Book” – Lara Avery

February 9, 2017 Book Review 2

 Review “The Memory Book” – Lara AveryThe Memory Book by Lara Avery
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Published on: January 26th 2017
Published by: Hachette
Pages: 357
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: eARC

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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I’ll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I’m writing to remember.

Samantha McCoy has it all mapped out. First she’s going to win the national debating championship, then she’s going to move to New York and become a human rights lawyer. But when Sammie discovers that a rare disease is going to take away her memory, the future she’d planned so perfectly is derailed before it’s started. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. Realising that her life won’t wait to be lived, she sets out on a summer of firsts: The first party; The first rebellion; The first friendship; The last love.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned.

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My Thoughts

This book packed an emotional punch so strong that I haven’t been able to find the words to describe it for a whole week!

Going into this book you know it’s not going to be all rainbows and unicorns. It’s a hard topic to write about but Avery does it which such talent and sensitivity that you’d think she’s been writing for the past fifty years, not the past five. I also found the illness that Avery chose to focus her story on quite refreshing. Since The Fault in Our Stars I feel that we have gotten a lot of books about young people fighting cancer, all of which I have loved, but still it was refreshing to read Avery’s book about Niemann–Pick type C (an illness I had never even heard of before).

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Review: “The Pain Eater” – Beth Goobie

September 16, 2016 Book Review 0

Review: “The Pain Eater” – Beth GoobieThe Pain Eater by Beth Goobie
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Published on: September 13th 2016
Published by: Second Story Press
Pages: 236
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: eARC

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The Story

(summary from Goodreads)

She hadn’t told anyone. Not a single soul. Not one word about that night and what had been done to her had ever passed Maddy Malone’s lips. She’d thought about it at first – had been desperate, even frantic, to tell. But then had come the shame, and the intimidation from the boys who raped her – and the one who held her down.

Now it’s the beginning of a new school year and Maddy is hoping that she can continue to hide, making herself as quiet and small as possible. She is consumed with keeping the memories at bay, forcing them down through small cuts and the burn from the end of a cigarette.

But when her English class is given the assignment of writing a collaborative novel about a fifteen-year-old girl, The Pain Eater, fact and fiction begin to meet up. When the boys spread rumors about Maddy, she realizes that continuing to hide the truth will only give them more control, and she slowly gains the courage to confront them.

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My Thoughts

Last week after reading Asking for It I decided that I was going to take a mini break from any books featuring sexual assault and maybe read a couple of fantasy books instead. Then the next day I got an email from Netgalley saying that I had been approved for this book and I just couldn’t not read it!

“The necessary words felt enormous, like tombstones leaving her mouth. They would change everything: she knew this. Nothing would be the same ever again.”

I really liked Maddy. She was a genuinely nice person who just didn’t know how to deal with what had happened to her. Having to spend her days at school in the company of the boys who raped her is torturous for her and so she has ended up internalising her pain and self harming. My only negative for Maddy would have to be that I feel like I would have connected to her and her emotions more if the story was told in first person, rather than third person.

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Review: “Asking For It” – Louise O’Neill

September 8, 2016 Book Review 2

Review: “Asking For It” – Louise O’NeillAsking For It by Louise O'Neill
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Published on: April 5th 2016
Published by: Quercus
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Review Copy

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The Story

(summary from Goodreads)

It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…

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My Thoughts

Whilst at YALC I attended a panel which features Louise O’Neill and hearing her talk about her book really made me want to read it. Luckily I discovered that I actually already had a review copy from Netgalley (I really should keep up with my Netgalley books more!). The response to this book at YALC and online was great, so it was a little disappointing when I finally got round to reading it that I didn’t really feel the same way.

“When did we all become fluent in this language that none of us wanted to learn?”

I really struggled with the beginning 30% of this book. To put it bluntly Emma is a b*tch. I hated her, like really hated her. I have read about a lot of evil characters who have done really horrible things, but I have always been able to read them. But Emma just got to me. Her selfishness, her bitchiness, her scheming and just plain horrible thoughts about people who thought she cared about them. And my hatred for her worried me even right at the beginning because I wondered how I was ever going to be able to like this girl when it got down to the darker parts of this story.

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Review: “Unboxed” – Non Pratt

August 25, 2016 Book Review 0

 Review: “Unboxed” – Non PrattUnboxed by Non Pratt
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Published on: August 15th 2016
Published by: Barrington Stoke
Pages: 140
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Paperback

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The Story

(summary from Goodreads)

Unboxed is about four teenagers who come together after several months apart. In previous years, they had put together a time capsule about their best summer with a friend who was dying. Now that their friend has passed, they reunite to open the box.

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My Thoughts

It was short and sweet and everything I love about Non Pratt. I’m not one for short books, I like chunky books full of words about worlds and battles and love, but this was none of that and yet I really really liked it.

“I know why we all fell apart, that’s just what happens. But things that fall apart can be put back together, right? Even if there’s a piece missing.”

The whole book is from one POV, Alix’s, although it focus’ on the entire group of Alix, Ben, Dean and Zara. (Zara’s boyfriend Ash is also there, but he is a douche bag so I will be ignoring his presence!). I was only with these characters for 139 pages but I feel like I got to know them all so well even in such a short space of time.

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Review: “Wild Swans” – Jessica Spotswood

May 6, 2016 Book Review 4

 Review: “Wild Swans” – Jessica SpotswoodWild Swans by Jessica Spotswood
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Published on: May 3rd 2016
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: eARC

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The Story
 (summary from Goodreads)
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The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse.

Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past….

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My Thoughts

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure about this one when I requested it on Netgalley, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Turns out I probably should have gone with my first instinct.

I didn’t hate it, but it was just such a vanilla book (I hate using that phase because I LOVE vanilla, but it works, so I’m going with it!). It just felt like nothing happened, I couldn’t connect with the characters and then it just ended.

She told my sisters I’m their aunt. Her little sister.

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Review: “Firsts” – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

January 27, 2016 Book Review 1

Review: “Firsts” – Laurie Elizabeth FlynnFirsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
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Published on: January 5th 2016
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: eARC

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The Story
 .(summary from Goodreads)

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn. Or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

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My Thoughts

Such a relevant topic to everyone I did quite enjoy this one. I spent a lot of time totally frustrated at teenagers and their bad decisions, but I couldn’t put it down, so I guess that was a good thing!

Ok, so firstly, teenagers are idiots! I spent so much of this book in total shock that any of these characters thought this was actually a good idea. Sure, lets cheat on our girlfriends so we can give them better sex. I mean, who ACTUALLY thinks that would be a good idea…teenagers of course! And that is what is so great about this book, it’s so real because it’s exactly the kind of thing that teenagers would do! (Except me, I was a much smarter teenager) Flynn does a great job at capturing the teenage voice even if I did spend the majority of the book angry at them for their stupid ideas!

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