Monday, 30 January 2017

We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 320
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's 
Released: 9th of February 2017

Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess's home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?

What I Have to Say 

I read this pretty much in one sitting. It was easy to read but also had a lot of very heavy subjects to addressed. Jess's life of abuse and worry intersect with Nicu's life trying to live life in the UK, while fending off the pressure of his parents. These teenagers affect each others lives in various ways and give the readers hope that they will achieve their dreams and forge a new life away from their various troubles. 

The most interesting thing about this book was the way that Nicu's sections were written. They were almost in verse, with a lot of broken English as he struggled to become proficient in the language. It showed a lot about how people treat foreigners, putting him in the bottom classes because his English wasn't good enough to express himself even though he was actually really smart. It really hit upon the point that sometimes when you make assumptions about people based on their race or level of English it can push them down and make these assumptions true because they can't get out of the box that everyone is putting them in. 

The ending disappointed me. It felt a bit of a let down and I felt what happened with Nicu was a bad portrayal of racial stereotypes. The worse thing about it was that the authors seemed to make such an effort with his character through the rest of the book and then just threw it away. 

If you're looking for a read that's easy and brings up a lot of interesting points then this could be a good place to start. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for providing me with this copy for review. 

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Who Let the God's Out by Maz Evans

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 368
Publisher: Chicken House 
Released: 3rd of March 2017 

Elliot's mum is ill and his home is under threat, but a shooting star crashes to earth and changes his life forever. The star is Virgo - a young Zodiac goddess on a mission. But the pair accidentally release Thanatos, a wicked death daemon imprisoned beneath Stonehenge, and must then turn to the old Olympian gods for help. After centuries of cushy retirement on earth, are Zeus and his crew up to the task of saving the world - and solving Elliot's problems too? 

What I Have to Say 

With humour, adventure and some great interpretation of the Greek gods, Who Let the God's Out? was a pleasure to read. 

The way that Evans portrayed the gods was probably the best bit. As someone who has studied the Greek gods, I can say that even though it seems ridiculous, it isn't that far off. A lot of inspiration has been taken from various aspects of the myths, including Zeus' tendency to sleep with a lot of different people, to create characters that are fun to read while still reflecting their mythology. 

I definitely liked the way it was written and the relationships shown between Elliot and his mother as well as Elliot and the gods. I can't wait for more in the series! 

My thanks go to Nina Douglas and Chicken House for providing me with this copy for review. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 464
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Released: 9th of February 2017

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

What I Have to Say

As a long time fan of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, obviously I was interested in seeing her take on Alice in Wonderland. At the start it was hard to see how anything would connect up with the screeching, angry Queen of Hearts as pictured in the original story. But as I trusted Marissa Meyer as an  author and quite liked Cath as a character, I continued to read and watched as poor Cath's life was torn apart. 

It was a sad story, but it also had a lot of humour, merriment and obviously acts of the impossible. There were many of the original characters from Alice in Wonderland and we saw the origins of a lot of the other characters as well, including the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat, obviously. It was beautifully woven with the insanity and humour that Wonderland is known for in Meyer's unique style. 

Meyer has a very distinct style and as I have liked her other books, I enjoyed reading this style, but I feel like she lacked a lot of the humour that Wonderland is known for. It had bits of whimsy involved in it, but mostly it was quite a serious story based within this world. I respect that this is a choice that Meyer had to make, whether to go with her quite serious style or change to add more humour, so I wouldn't say it's a problem as such, but I think I would have liked more humour really. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Macmillan to providing me with this copy for review. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas

What I Have to Say 

Pages: 400
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's 
Released: 9th of February 2017 

Ollie and Moritz might never meet, but their friendship knows no bounds. Their letters carry on as Ollie embarks on his first road trip away from the woods--no easy feat for a boy allergic to electricity--and Moritz decides which new school would best suit an eyeless boy who prefers to be alone.

Along the way they meet other teens like them, other products of strange science who lead seemingly normal lives in ways Ollie and Moritz never imagined possible: A boy who jokes about his atypical skeleton; an aspiring actress who hides a strange deformity; a track star whose abnormal heart propels her to victory. Suddenly the future feels wide open for two former hermits. But even as Ollie and Moritz dare to enjoy life, they can't escape their past, which threatens to destroy any progress they've made. Can these boys ever find their place in a world that might never understand them?

What I Have to Say 

Adventures with Ollie! Moritz making friends! And a whole lot of sadness. This book like the one before was filled with sadness but also happiness. Ollie and Moritz are both taking strides to live life despite their deformities. It's a good representation of the ups and downs of what life is like to be disabled, but on a much bigger scale. 

I enjoyed meeting different kids with different mutations. It's interesting to see what sort of thing the author could come up with. The web forum was a really interesting way to explore the world they live in through different perspectives. 

There's a lot about relationships in this book, Between Ollie and Moritz but also between the others around them. With such an interesting group of characters there are a range of interesting relationships, even if it's heartbreaking times. 

My thanks go to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Margot & Me by Juno Dawson

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 417
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Released: 26th of January 2017 

Sometimes love has to cross all kinds of barriers . . .

Fliss is on the way to visit her grandmother in Wales - the grandmother who she doesn't get on with - with her mother who is recuperating from chemotherapy. But her mum is getting better, that's the main thing, so Fliss can concentrate on being grouchy and not looking forward to meeting her grandmother Margot, who is so cold and always so unforgiving of Fliss's every mistake . . . But when the six months is up, Fliss consoles herself, she and her mum will go back to London and back to Real Life!

In the meantime Fliss needs to get used to her new school, not upset the scary girls, and just keep her head down (whilst still making sure that everybody knows she is from London, of course). Then Fliss discovers a diary at the back of her bookcase. It is from the 1940s and is set in World War II, and, Fliss realises, is actually Margot's diary from when she was a young woman during the Blitz. Intrigued, Fliss begins to read. There she discovers a whole new side to Margot, a wartime romance and also Margot's deepest, most buried secret. And it is then that Fliss discovers something terrible in her own life that she is going to have to come to terms with...

What I Have to Say 

This book has everything both in modern times and Margot's diaries. It looks into race, homosexuality and outsiders versus insiders in a little town in Wales and of course cancer. It deals with relationships crossing through three generations, the relationship between Fliss and her Mum and with Margot, showing the different relationships that can be had between family members. 

Margot and me was beautifully written and wonderfully constructed, with diary entries from Margot breaking up the modern day story of Fliss having to move in with the cranky modern day version of Margot. 

My only complaint would be that at one point it almost felt like Juno Dawson forgot about the war during part of the diaries. There was a part set in London in 1941 where there was no mention of the blitz. It felt odd that it was forgotten about, since the rest of the diaries were very accurate. As the rest of the book was so great though, I'm willing to put it down to Margot's memories of the time differing or artistic license on Dawson's part. 

All in all though, I think this is probably my favourite of Juno Dawson book so far. 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 384
Publisher: HQ
Released: 9th of February 2017 

Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory.

And it’s mostly about sex.

No, it isn’t that kind of theory. Aki already knows she’s bisexual–-even if, until now, it’s mostly been in the hypothetical sense.

Aki’s theory is that she’s only got one shot at living an interesting life–-and that means she’s got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It’s time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.

So when Aki and her friend Lori set off on a trip to a small Mexican town for the summer, and Aki meets Christa–-slightly-older, far-more-experienced–-it seems her theory is prime for the testing.

But something tells her its not going to be that easy… 

What I Have to Say 

This is both a wonderful guide book for having safe sex between two women and a beautiful story about two girls having to hide a relationship for fear of the reaction of those around them. Let's be honest here, schools and even a lot of youth health clinics don't exactly provide details on how to keep safe when having gay sex. At best, you have to ask for the information, at worst there's no information to be had. So having this book, which shows the realities of how to practice safe sex could be a life saver for many girls and women. 

What I liked most about it though, is the fact that from the start they used the word bisexual. We are finally starting to see a world where more and more bisexual characters are being written about and I am so happy to see such positive bisexual representation. 

I also really liked fact that it showed a relationship which, partly by it's need to be secret, consumed the life of the main character. It is a problem with a lot of first loves that it is easy to get carried away with your new partner and forget about the people in the life around you. It was nice to see this addressed with Aki and Lori. 

Whatever your sexuality, this book is thrilling, beautifully written and full of sneaking away to catch moments of romance, but it is also so incredibly important for lesbian and bisexual girls. 

My thanks go to Harlequin and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 

Monday, 16 January 2017

Take the Key and Lock Her Up Ally Carter

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 320
Publisher: Orchard Books 
Released: 26th January 2017 


Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed . . . or so everyone thought.
Now Grace Blakely knows the truth:

There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution — which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.

There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.

If she wins, she will inherit a throne.

And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.

What I Have to Say 

This was a great final book for the Embassy Row Trilogy. It had everything I've come to expect from Ally Carter. It had adventure, mystery and surprising twists and turns. Except for Grace's self-sacrifice. Even though she hadn't completely given up, it felt so out of character for her. Grace fights, always, from the start to the end of her life she has always been a fighter, whether it's fighting to keep up with her older brother, or fighting for her life. The lull of her acceptance of her fate just didn't feel right for her character at all. 

But the rest of the book was perfect. The ending felt completely right. With such a situation that seems so impossible to fix without bloodshed and destruction, it felt amazing that Carter managed to pull the perfect solution out of her hat, but she managed it and I really liked the way it turned out. 

I've always preferred the Gallagher Girls to this series, but I think that any book by Ally Carter is well worth reading, she always knows how to tell a thrilling and addictive story. 

My thanks go to Orchard Books and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Memory Book by Lara Avery

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 368
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books 
Released: 26th of January 2017 

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 Sam discovers that a rare disease is going to take away her memory, the future she'd planned so perfectly is derailed before its started.

Realising that her life won't wait to be lived, Sam sets out on a summer of firsts.

The first party. 
The first rebellion. 
The first friendship. 
The last love.

What I Have to Say 

This book broke my heart. It set up Sammy as this determined girl with a clear idea of where she wants to go in the future. She is so ready to go to University, to change her life completely. But right from the start, it tells us exactly why she can't have that future. And we, the reader, despite everything, want her to succeed. 

At first, it was impossible to see Sammy succeeding in her goals. The stark realities of her illness were spelled out in front of us on the page and all that Sammy is doing is forcing her way through it with denial and ambition. But as the story progressed and more of Sammy's personality is revealed, I felt myself caught up in her determination and her very practical way of dealing with it. It made it seem entirely plausible. Of course she was going to get to NYU. Of course she'd manage to defeat this. 

And then the illness starts to progress. 

It's a story that's heartbreaking, tragic and so beautiful, It may be about a terminal illness and Sammy fighting to keep a hold of herself, but really, behind all that, it's about a girl who is learning how to live. 

My thanks go to Quercus and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 

Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 336
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books 
Released: 26th of January 2017 

It's bad enough having a mum dippy enough to name you Owl, but when you've got a dad you've never met, a best friend who needs you more than ever, and a new boy at school giving you weird looks, there's not a lot of room for much else. 

So when Owl starts seeing strange frost patterns on her skin, she's tempted to just burrow down under the duvet and forget all about it. Could her strange new powers be linked to her mysterious father?And what will happen when she enters the magical world of winter for the first time?

What I Have to Say 

An interesting new take on the myths and legends that surround the seasons, A Girl Called Owl explores the suffering of a young girl who doesn't know who her father is and has a mother who doesn't seem to be willing to share a single detail but fairy tails, and what happens when those fairy tails turn out to not be quite the stories they seem to be. 

The desperation that Owl shows on wanting a father is shown beautifully and juxtaposed against the subplot of her friend's trouble with her parents separation. But I feel as though the fight between them was pushed in for no reason but to create conflict. From the start, Owl's friend was on her side believing her, so I feel like if Owl had been honest with her from the start, nothing would have happened. 

All in all, I did really like this book and the mythology it explored, but I felt it could have been a bit more thought out and crafted. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Macmillan for providing me with this copy for review. 

Monday, 9 January 2017

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 400
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books 
Released: 29th of December 2016 

How can you have a future if you can’t accept your past?
Mel Hannigan doesn’t have it easy. Mourning the death of her firework of a brother, trying to fit back into a school she’s been conspicuously absent from and struggling to deal with the loss of three friendships that used to mean everything. Struggling to deal with a condition that not even her closest friends know about.

So Mel tries to lock away her heart, to numb the highs and lows, to live quietly without hope – but also without pain. Until someone new shows her that it can be worth taking a risk, that opening up to life is what can make it glorious…

And that maybe, Mel can discover a tragic kind of wonderful of her very own.

What I Have to Say 

A book that you can sink into and just read without any distractions is always a good find. Lindstrom's characters both in Not If I See You First and A Tragic Kind of Wonderful are so easy to get to know and with both books I've found myself completely involved in their world in a way that some books completely fail to achieve. 

This is a book about acceptance. To gain any real kind of friendship or relationship, Mel has to let them into her life. She has to share her secrets and hope that they still like her after they find out. It's a struggle that I think many of us face in some way or another and so is easy to relate too. I also think the feeling of being watched all the time and having people hyper-attentive to your change in moods is another thing that a lot of people with mental illness can relate to. 

I am not familiar enough with Bipolar Disorder to say if Lindstrom has depicted it well, but the rest of the book, the characters, the fear of telling people and the feeling of having a mental illness in general was well captured. 

Eric Lindstrom is definitely an author I trust to get a good story from. 

My thanks go to Harper Collins and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 384
Publisher: Walker 
Released: 5th of January 2017 

With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing's speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants.

What I Have to Say 

This book blew me away. It was amazing Considering the hype that surrounded this book from the day it was announced, that surprises me. I get very easily taken in by hype that leads me to getting so excited for books that they fall flat when I finally get to them. Because how can any book live up the the expectations I've got for it? Well Wing Jones soared passed my expectations and was so much better than I expected it to be. 

First of all, obviously it has diversity going for it. A lot of Wing's struggles are based on her her race and the fact that she's not Chinese and she's not black. People can't fit her into either box, and in our society of labels and categories, not fitting into a certain box is very alienating. 

And then things change and Webber shows just how well she can show emotion. She moved me to tears several times during this beautiful story of a girl struggling through tragedy and finding herself along the way. 


Saturday, 7 January 2017

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 512
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books 
Released: 12th of January 2017

All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected - Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master's heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta's past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realises that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognisable ... and might just run out on both of them

What I Have to Say 

This book was a lot better than the one before it. Without the long sea voyage to slow it down, the pages of Wayfarer held so much more action than Passenger, enough to keep me interested and engaged all the time. I think it's a trap that's easy to fall into. Long journeys often lead to slow writing and it just turns me off from a book. 

It took some time to get back with the characters and intricacies of the plot, but once I did it was much better, This time I really got into the story. I really felt for Etta being pushed into a fight that her ancestors have been fighting for thousands of years. And Etta and Nicholas, being faced with the choice of losing each other forever. 

I'm sad that I got into these books only with the sequel. I hope that there might be more follow on books in the future.  

My thanks go to Netgalley and Quercus for providing me with this copy for review. 

Friday, 6 January 2017

The Last Beginning (and thoughts on The Next Together) by Lauren James

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 352
Publisher: Walker Books 
Released: 6th of October 2016 

Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives. But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history? Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove's investigation? 

For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.

What I Have to Say 

When I first read The Next Together, I thought it was amazing.  But talking about it with my friends after, I found many of them found it a little too romance orientated. For those who dislike romance, the sci fi factor is not strong enough to keep them interested in the book. The solution to this? The Last Beginning. 

The Last Beginning is, in  my opinion, the actual story. It's beautiful and perfect and has exactly the right balance of sci fi and romance. It has a great sense of mystery and Ella is the most perfect character ever. I feel that The Next Together would work much better as a prequel, something to read that adds to the story but doesn't stand as well on it's own. 

The beauty of these two books is that you can read them in either order and they still make perfect sense. In my opinion, this book would be best read first, especially if you don't like books centered too much on romance. 

Reading this one second, will just make you want to read the first one again anyway. 


Thursday, 5 January 2017

What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible by Ross Welford

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 400
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books 
Released: 29th of December 2016 

Turning invisible at will: it’s one way of curing your acne. But far more drastic than 13 year-old Ethel Leatherhead intended when she tried a combination of untested medicines and a sunbed.

It’s fun at first, being invisible. And aided by her friend Boydy, she manages to keep her extraordinary ability secret. Or does she…?

When one day the invisibility fails to wear off, Ethel is thrown into a nightmare of lies and deception as she struggles to keep herself safe, to find the remedy that will make her seen again – and solve the mystery of her own birth…

What I Have to Say 

Another tale of humour and misadventures from Ross Welford, which has a very serious plotline hidden beneath the hi-jinks. I think I liked Time Travelling with a Hamster better, but this was still a really good story. Ethel is an idiot, let's be honest, but then given the chance to turn invisible, can any of us really say that we wouldn't have gone back to try it more times? 

With Time Travelling with a Hamster, what I liked most of it was the way Welford combined the humour of Time Travel and action with the intense plot of grief and mourning. With What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible, I felt that there wasn't enough of this combination. As a mystery rather than a story of grief, it naturally only had a scattering of clues at the start, which made the combination less effective. 

But in the end it was still the combination of the absurd story line of becoming invisible contrasted against the suspense of a young girl trying to work out the mystery of who she is that made it a lovely and exciting read. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Harper Collins for providing me with this copy for review. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Pushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 352
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books 
Released: 29th of December 2016 

Kara Winters is always striving for perfection. But when her anxiety takes over, the price of perfection spirals out of control… 
'Perfect' Kara Winters has always hated her nickname. Especially now that she no longer lives up to it. She used to have normal friends, she used to be normal. Now all she wants is to get into Harvard and leave high school behind. 

So when the pressure to ace her exams finally gets to her, Kara does one tiny bad thing, just to help out, to ease the stress. If it will help Kara get a perfect exam score and one step closer to a new life, it’s a price she’s willing to pay. 

But she never expects to get caught out. Or that Alex, Raj and her other not-so-perfect new friends might get embroiled in a horrible mess that could ruin all of their futures. Sometimes perfection isn't what it's cracked up to be.

What I Have to Say 

A very well told story of pressure, secrets, lies and drugs, Pushing Perfect was neatly woven tale of friendships drifting apart and mysterious blackmailers. It hooked me in with the strain of trying to perfect and get into a good school- the pressure of living up to everyone's impressions and expectations of you, but the blackmail compelled me to read on and on, desperate to find the resolution. 

I loved Alex as a character so much. Kara was a great main character, but Alex just added so much more life and fun to the story. She brought Kara out of her shell and made the book what it was. I loved the friendship and partnership between the two girls more than anything else in the book. 

It was a thrilling ride, but I do feel it was wrapped up a little too easily. A lot of the problems that arise during the book would never have happened had the characters not lied to each other so much. It's probably rather accurate to real life, but it all seemed rather an simple solution for everything. 

For anyone who's felt stress or pressure to be someone they're not, this is a book to find solace in and a good thriller of schemes and blackmail. 

My thanks go to Harper Collins and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for Review. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Simon Says by Robert Armstrong

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 102
Publisher: Austin Macauley
Released: 30th of November 2016

Hello there, Cherished Reader, I am Rebecca Sweet, self-confessed drama queen and games-playing schemer! I found myself friendless in my new residence of Jamestown, and Diary Dearest became my confidante. Unfortunately, while I was distracted, someone managed to steal her and her bitter innards from the safety of my room. And so began a chilling tale of cat and mouse with the elusive, letter-writing Simon.
I became determined to find out my tormentor's identity, although it took me to the darkest and most dangerous of booby-trapped places, complete with fearsome creatures and even the undead. 
It seemed someone in Jamestown did not want me to become the heroine, Nora, in the school play Vampire's Lady. However, Patient Reader, I am Becky Sweet, and I have tricks up my sleeve!

What I Have to Say 

This book was a complete and utter disappointment. The idea had a lot of potential and I will admit that when I picked it up I did feel it could go either way, but that didn't do anything to lessen the gut-wrenching disappointment I felt as I read it. If it wasn't a mere 102 pages, I would have put it down. 

I wish so much that there was something I could say to soften this review even slightly, but there was literally nothing I liked about it. The main character, Rebecca was an awful person who was clearly some kind of psychopath who's mind went straight to planning a murder as revenge, without a single moral quandary about doing so.   

I'm just so sad it didn't live up to my hopes of it. 

My thanks go to the publisher for providing me with this copy for review. 

Monday, 2 January 2017

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 320
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books 
Released: 12th of January 2017 

Steffi doesn't talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can't hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn't a lightning strike, it's the rumbling roll of thunder.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life - she's been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He's deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. 

What I Have to Say 

Another wonderful book from Sara Barnard. This one is important for different reasons than her last, but just as good and, as with Beautiful Broken Things, it featured a very strong friendship. With this book Barnard, shows us that not only can she write beautiful friendships, but she can also balance them perfectly with romance. 

The main reason I liked this book though was that it is a fantastic addition to the brilliant collection of books exploring anxiety. It shows a girl who learns how to calm her anxiety enough to talk again through her relationship with Rhys, a boy who couldn't hear her even if she did talk.

Most of the books about anxiety have messages at their heart, a part of recovery that the book explores. With Holly Bourne's Am I Normal Yet? and  Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey it's about accepting relapses and the ups and downs of recovery. Louise Gornell's Under Rose Tainted Skies tells us that love may seem like a cure, but really it's our strength that gets us through. And A Quiet Kind of Thunder emphasizes the need to celebrate achievements, even if they feel like failures. 

Everyone, whether they live with anxiety, know someone with anxiety or even are just looking for something good to read should get this book. It is beautiful and pure perfection. 

My thanks go to Macmillan for providing me with a copy of this book. 

Sunday, 1 January 2017

A Week of Reviews

To make up for being such a bad blogger, both with my hiatus in November and the lapse in reviews over the holiday season. I'm going to do a whole week of blogging starting tomorrow (the 2nd of January) to catch up with the reviews I owe.

Check back every day for reviews of some books I missed in 2016, some that due to come out in 2017 and a couple of extras that I just have to share my thoughts on.

I hope you enjoy the extra activity.