ALL ABOUT MIA – Lisa Williamson

5/5

One of the best UKYA contemporary releases in recent years.

All About Mia focuses on Mia as we see her develop from this self-centered teen into a more mature teen/young adult over the course of this story. What’s so likable about her is that she isn’t perfect; she’s very much her own character and she’s very real, and that is something that is so important for teens and young adults to connect with. To top off an awesome book, Lisa Williamson’s writing style is flawless and touches upon so many important/diverse topics in such a way that it isn’t thrust in your face like many other books can be – in this book there are hints of feminism, multiculturalism and relationships to name a few.

I didn’t expect to love this book quite this much, but honestly I couldn’t put it down! Mia is such a lively character who literally leaps off the page – whilst I probably have more in common with Grace, I could totally relate to Mia, and I think that everyone (whether or not they’re the middle child, or even have siblings) can understand how she’s feeling and why she acts like she does. We get to learn so much about all three sisters, who are all at different stages of their teen years and all have feelings that we can all connect with or remember from being those ages.

It’s been a fair while since I read this book, and I still think it’s a firm five star read that I would highly recommend.


Thank you to David Fickling books for my copy of this title!
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Six for Sunday: 22nd July 2018

Hello and welcome back to another Six for Sunday (you can find the prompts here!). This weekend I’ve made more Minnie Mouse ears (if you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram you’ll have seen my first pair!) and then haven’t got as far as planning today! Anyway, this week’s Six for Sunday is:

Books that made you want to shout

I’ve gone for positive shouting, in the sense of these are books that I just want to shout out about as much as possible, throw into people’s hands…quite literally.

1. The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

I ADORE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. PLEASE READ IT.

I want everyone to read this book to truly get an idea of what OCD is like. Plus, it’s a fab mystery. It’s a win-win.

2. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

The anxiety representation in here is fantastic! My YA Book of the Year 2017.

3. Worries Go Away by Kes Gray, Lee Wildish

GAH! THIS BOOK! I am literally the little girl, and I think so many people will relate. This book is essential for little people, for big people…for everyone! Plus, Kes Gray signed my copy and wrote the cutest message and I love him for it.

4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I understand that this one is a little bit more controversial, but I LOVE it. For me, the main message is about how your actions can impact upon others and it’s about making the right choices and so many people would benefit from learning that.

5. Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo

I. Love. This. Series.

The Children of the Red King series is one of the most underrated; jenny Nimmo’s writing is exquisite and she’s crafted an amazing story set within our world. Fans of Harry Potter will LOVE this, and I want more people to read it!

6. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

So, last but not least, and no list would be complete without this one, is Harry Potter. BECAUSE HARRY POTTER IS THE BEST. If you’ve been living under a rock, or just have never fancied reading it because of the hype…IT IS THE BEST SERIES OF ALL TIME FOR A REASON.

I really enjoyed today’s topic! Would you agree or disagree with any of these? What books would you shout about?

WWW Wednesday: 18th July 2018

I’ve had a very productive blogging day; I have 45 drafts…which is a bit insane! They shall be making their way on to here over the next few weeks or so…which may be useful since I AM GOING TO DISNEYWORLD IN 2 WEEKS!

friendship fails of emma nash

What are you currently reading? 

I’m currently reading Frienship Fails of Emma Nash by Chloe Seager which is cracking me up; it’s so funny and I’m really enjoying reading it! I didn’t realise that this was a sequel, but I’ve ordered a copy of Editing Emma so I can read more about Emma!

llive llaugh llove
What did you recently finish reading?

I’ve had a bit of a down week so haven’t read that much, but I did read Llive Llaugh LLove Like a LLama which was actually a really good book! It really cheered me up – it’s not just llamas; there’s life advice too!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m still making my way through my NetGalley TBR! I’m off on holiday in two weeks so am hoping I get a chance to read a couple then!

Six for Sunday: 15th July 2018

Hello and happy Sunday! It’s been a whole month since I last did one of these posts…I’m sorry! Anyway…we are back with the second half of the year’s prompts which you can find here! This week’s is:

Books that made you angry

1. Floored by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Lisa Williamson, Eleanor Wood, Melinda Salisbury, Non Pratt, Tanya Byrne. 

Hugo.

He was just a whole load of stereotypes rolled into one and was a key reason for me not loving this book as much as I’d hoped! I feel awful for not loving it!

2. Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

This book. Ugh. It’s easily one of the worst books I’ve ever read, and yet people love it! It just was awful. Well written, but awful.

3. Tiddler by Julia Donaldson (just Julia Donaldson in general)

Picture books are amazing for learning about things that are important. So, what did I learn from Tiddler? If you tell lies, make sure your stories add up and that you can remember them, then you’ll be okay!

4. Marked by P.C Cast, Kristin Cast

Try reading this…then tell me what you think about the writing, and how this got published.

5. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James

See above. It’s awful as a fanfiction, let alone as a book.

6. I CAN’T THINK OF A SIXTH! 

This was actually a pretty interesting one to think about! Would you agree or disagree with any of these?

LOOKING FOR JJ – Anne Cassidy

5/5

One of my favourite books of all time from my personal Queen of Teen Crime.

Looking For JJ starts with the story of Alice Tully, a 17 year-old girl living and working in Croydon. She seems to have it all – a job she enjoys, a loving boyfriend, prospects for university, a caring home…but all is not as it seems and we soon learn that Alice is hiding a dark secret.

Flash back 7 years, and we are introduced to Jennifer Jones, a 10 year old girl living a very dysfunctional life with her mother, a model of sorts, and struggling to deal with growing up in an environment where she is left to fend for herself. Jennifer is quiet, reserved and seemingly innocent, but all that changes when she and two friends go out to play…but only two of them return.

This book crafts the story of JJ perfectly – it’s so hard to actively dislike the young girl who we know does a terrible thing. It’s a book that makes you question rapidly judging people and whether we should give people second chances. The writing is exquisite, grips you from the get-go and draws you into the lives of the characters in such a way that it really does feel as though you know them. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag 2018

I’ve seen this tag floating around the bookish community, and it seems like a lot of fun – I can’t believe it’s already the middle of the year! So, without being tagged by anyone in particular, here is my Mid-Year Freak Out Tag for 2018!

i was born for thisBEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2018

I have a few favourites…but I’m trying to avoid repeating books on here which makes this question a little easier! I’m going to go with I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman – I ADORED this book and can’t wait to finally get around to reading Alice’s other books!

legendaryBEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2018

LEGENDARY. Hands. Down.

 

i stop somewhereNEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

I Stop Somewhere is one that I’ve had on my TBR for ages, and I really need to get around to it! Just look at that cover.

 

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Kingdom of Ash. Of course! Although, I still haven’t read Empire of Storms or Tower of Dawn. But I’m still super excited!

flooredBIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

I feel like this is going to be a controversial choice, but Floored left me feeling a bit disappointed. IT’S STILL A FOUR STAR READ. But, for me, it just felt like it was missing something. The writing is, as expected, fantastic, but the story itself just felt a bit lacklustre.

no sad songsBIGGEST SURPRISE

No Sad Songs by Frank Morelli really surprised me; I did expect to like it, but not as much as I did in the end! It’s so well-written and is such an important read.

the exact opposite of okayFAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

Laura Steven, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay! I was very lucky and got to meet her at Foyles in Birmingham this year, and she’s just as funny in real life as her main character Izzy is on the page!

to kill a kingdomNEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Elian from To Kill a Kingdom. He’s just…ah! A FRICKIN’ PIRATE PRINCE. He’s dreamy. I love him.

 

NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

Lyra from To Kill a Kingdom. This sassy siren is such a good character, and it’s so much fun to read from her POV!

differently normalBOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Differently Normal by Tammy Robinson. It. Broke. My. Heart. But it’s still a good book!

 

a spoonful of murderBOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens; Daisy and Hazel were back with another mystery to solve! I couldn’t put it down, like all of Robin Stevens’ books and I’m so excited for the series to continue!

the kissing boothFAVOURITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION

The Kissing Booth. The Kissing Booth. The Kissing Booth.

 

 

sunflowers in february
FAVOURITE POST YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR

My review for Sunflowers in February! It’s my most successful post to date, and it’s a review I’m proud of.

 

the art of cocoMOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

The Art of Coco. Coco is easily my favourite film this year, and the art of books from Disney are simply stunning. This one is absolutely no exception!

 

philosopher's stone illustratedWHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

SO MANY BOOKS! I need to read all my NetGalley TBR books (about 8 titles) and I need to reread Harry Potter and Throne of Glass!

 

And that’s it for this post! I tag anyone who hasn’t done their Mid-Year Freak Out tag for 2018!

 

NO SAD SONGS – Frank Morelli

4/5

A heartfelt story of family, friends and life.

Following a family tragedy, 18-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds himself thrust into the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather. Between the shopping trips and the doctor visits with Grandpa, Gabe and his friend John try to salvage their senior year, meet girls, and make the varsity baseball team. It doesn’t take long for Gabe to realize that going to school and looking after a grandfather with Alzheimer’s is more work than he ever imagined.

And when long-lost Uncle Nick appears on the scene, Gabe soon finds that living with Nick and Grandpa is like babysitting two grown men. Aside from John, the only person who truly understands Gabe is Sofia, a punk-rocking rebel he meets at the veteran’s hospital. When these three unlikely friends are faced with a serious dilemma, will they do what it takes to save Grandpa? If there’s a chance of preserving the final shreds of Grandpa’s dignity, Gabe may have to make the most gut-wrenching decision of his life—and there’s no way out.

As soon as I heard the details for this book, I just knew I had to be involved in the blog tour and read this title! Perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Jandy Nelson and Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, No Sad Songs touches upon so many aspects of Young Adult fiction that I, and many other readers, love, such as friendship, crushes and an emotional rollercoaster!

I have very rarely come across a book that focuses on the very common illness of Alzheimer’s, so this was a very interesting yet heartbreaking subject to read about. That said, the warmth that comes off the page doesn’t make this a depressing book to read, and rather it serves as an important book in YA to highlight what so many young people go through when relatives have this illness. No Sad Songs focuses a lot on how important it is to live in the present and to not focus on the past, and how life can throw all sorts of curve balls at us.

Finally, I must stress how beautiful Frank Morelli’s writing style is – this book was such a good read because of it! I found it so easy to get into and the characters really came to life; Gabe especially is a very interesting and complex character who has had to go through so much and yet continues to soldier on. His life is turned completely upside down and you can’t fault his resilience.

If you’d like to read No Sad Songs, and I highly recommend that you do, then you can get your own copy here: Amazon UKAmazon US.

 


Thank you to Neverland Blog Tours and Fish Out Of Water for the eBook of this title, and for the opportunity to be involved!

FLOORED – Various

4/5

Floored brings together some of the queens of UKYA (Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson, Tanya Byrne and Eleanor Wood)

I am a sucker for a good UKYA contemporary, especially when you throw in names such as Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne and Lisa Williamson; I just know it’s a book I will love! So, imagine my delight when I discovered that Floored is a thing and so it was the first book that I sent a begging email for since starting blogging! Despite not getting a copy, I was super lucky to get one straight away through NetGalley (thank you Macmillan!) and bumped this straight to the top of my TBR!

Floored is told from the perspective of six characters, and a narrator. What adds to its charm is how you don’t know which author wrote which parts – this makes for a fun game of “guess the author”! I loved how seamlessly the story seemed to flow between narrators and how all of the different writing styles complimented each other perfectly.

A key thing that makes Floored such a success is how relatable it is; the book spans several years and we “check-in” with our characters once a year, and so we see how in the space of a year so much can change when you’re in your teens and going into early adulthood. It’s during this time that our characters really develop and our friendships are evolving and you are beginning to realise what’s truly important. Floored is all about the ups and downs that these years can bring and it captures this perfectly.

I think that the only thing I really didn’t like was the bringing in of political parties to the story. I think that an unfair light was cast upon one party over another, especially when you consider the character narrating at the time, and this is something that put me off giving this book a higher rating.

Nevertheless, overall this book is a solid 4 stars – it tackles such a range of topics with some very likeable characters. Everyone will find some way to relate to what these narrators go through, you’ll see your positives and your flaws. I’d definitely love to see more collaborations from this group in the future!


Thank you to Macmillan via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

WWW Wednesday: 13th June 2018

Good evening! I’m spending my night in bed watching The Kissing Booth for the umpteenth time on Netflix (it’s AWESOME. I can’t wait for the book to arrive!) and then I shall continue with my current read…

What are you currently reading? 

I GOT APPROVED FOR FLOORED! So of course I’ve ditched everything else I’d planned to read and have started this one! It’s a collaborative novel from some of the BEST authors in YA and I am so so happy to get approved so quickly on NetGalley!

differently normal
What did you recently finish reading?

The last book I finished was the wonderful Differently Normal by Tammy Robinson. I was on the blog tour for this one on Monday, and I’m so glad that I got involved because it was such a good read! I’d definitely recommend it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have a load of contemporaries waiting for me on NetGalley so I shall most likely plod my way through those now that I’m free from uni work!

DIFFERENTLY NORMAL – Tammy Robinson

4/5

A heartwarming and heartbreaking story of first love, family and autism.

So, today is my stop on the Differently Normal Blog Tour which I’ve been very excited for, especially since finishing this book as I really did love it so want to shout out about it!

Differently Normal is a dual narrative YA book from the perspectives of Maddy and Albert (Al-bear), and it tells of their different home lives and how their worlds collide in a beautiful love story. However, as the suggestion that it’s for fans of John Green and Jennifer Niven suggests, this book will break your heart and throughout you’re just waiting for something to fall apart, but you don’t quite know how! I did not expect the ending at all, even when I was nearly finished with the book!

One key aspect, and one that makes me wonder whether Tammy is writing from experience, is that of Maddy’s sister Bee’s autism, epilepsy and learning difficulties. Bee is such a loveable little girl, although her condition makes her demanding to look after – she’s got such complex needs, and, if it wasn’t for the fact that I know people with these conditions, I wouldn’t have realised just how connected the conditions are. In addition, Maddy is such a selfless character that she’s highly admirable and one who you want to aspire to be like; her love for her sister shines through and that sisterly bond she shares with Bee is an important part of the story.

I loved the story of how Maddy and Albert meet and become closer – it’s really cute, not without its difficulties, and it isn’t a case of instalove which was very refreshing! The two of them are so different yet so similar which made their relationship very believable and the timeline of the story seemed to fly by.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book for people who love a good contemporary YA book that’ll drag you into the world of the characters and who really jump off the page. I found that I was wanting to get back to reading as often as possible just to be with Maddy and Albert and find out what happened next!


Thank you to Little Brown UK via NetGalley for the eBook of this title, and to Sophia Walker for the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour!