BECAUSE OF YOU – Eve Ainsworth

img_53655/5

RELEASED: 15/07/2019
PUBLISHER: Barrington Stoke
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary, Dyslexia Friendly

Poppy’s having a nightmare at home. Her parents have split up and her mum’s new boyfriend is moving in. Dad is the one who’s always been there for Poppy, but now he’s drifting further and further away. It seems like things can’t get any worse until it all goes wrong at school as well and Poppy finds herself being targeted by spiteful bullies. As the vicious online comments keep coming, who can Poppy turn to for help? Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 12+

Eve Ainsworth is a staple author for fans of UKYA contemporary books, and so I was very excited to see that she’s releasing a novella with Barrington Stoke this year! The thing that I love about Eve’s books is how she doesn’t shy away from difficult topics but also creates stories and characters to love. Because of You is no exception.

I think that Eve has really hit the nail on the head with all the emotions that go with being a teen in a non-nuclear family, as well as dealing with some difficult topics such as parents separating, rejection and bullying.  Change is something that can be so difficult to deal with, no matter what age you are, and so to see it handled so positively and constructively is brilliant. I also like how this is suitable for the younger teen market which is an area where there are few books.

This is a standout title from Barrington Stoke for me; it’s full of what makes UKYA so brilliant, but in a way that’s accessible to a wider range of readers, and so I’d highly recommend it!


Thank you to Kirstin at Barrington Stoke for sending me a copy of this book!
Advertisements

The Cheesy Goodness Book Tag

Hello! I love doing tag posts, and on my quest to find some new and fun ones to do I came across The Cheesy Goodness Book Tag. As a lover of a good cheese board and books, this tag stood out and was one I definitely wanted to have a go at! This tag was originally created by Fire and Rain Books, although I did discover it through YA Books Daily as part of their Book Tag Sunday series – definitely go and check out their posts!

1. Cheddar, The Classic Cheese: Pick Your Favorite Classic Novel

Image result for cheddar cheese

I’d have to say that my favourite classic novel is definitely The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I’m not a massive fan of classics; I just have never really enjoyed them or got into them. However, I couldn’t put this one down and I love that it’s not too daunting!

2. Swiss, The Hole-y Cheese: Pick an Emotional Rollercoaster

Image result for swiss cheeseAll The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven sticks out for this one; this book is the definition of an emotional rollercoaster!

3. Blue Cheese, The Controversial Cheese: Name an Unpopular Opinion

Image result for blue cheeseI have absolutely no intention of reading The Hate You Give. It doesn’t sound like a book that’ll interest me in the slightest and I feel like it’s been a bit of a “let’s all jump on the bandwagon” kind of book. I do get that it’s an important topic though!

4. Brie, The Favorite Cheese: Name an Author You Always Want More From

Image result for brie cheeseHow do I decide this?! It depends on the genre and everything…I’m going to go with YA Contemporary and therefore Sara Barnard. I ADORE her books and always want to read on and on!

5. Gouda, The Dutch Cheese: A Book That Makes You Want to Travel

Image result for gouda cheeseHmm…so there are two ways that I’ve thought about this. The first is books that feature travel and so make me want to travel, and the book that springs to mind is The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie (amazing bookish roadtrip!). Then, on the other hand, are books that make me want to travel because they remind me of being on holiday, and the one for this is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I read this whilst on a cruise ship sailing around the Mediterranean so of course it brings back good memories!

6. American, The Fake Cheese: Your Least Favourite Book

Image result for american cheeseI’m between books for this. One title that immediately came to mind is Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield. Years after reading it I’m still yet to find a book that left me feeling so uncomfortable throughout reading it and wasn’t enjoyable in the slightest. Its one redeeming factor is that the writing itself was brilliant. Another book in the running is Nothing Tastes As Good by Claire Hennessy. I recently DNFd this one on account of the writing being awful and highly triggering.

7. Colby Jack, The Mixed Cheese: Pick Your Favourite Ship

Image result for colby jack cheeseRHYS AND FEYRE! I adore these two together and Rhys…oh how I love him.

8. Mozzarella Cheese, The Simple Cheese: An Old Favourite You’ll Never Stop Loving

Image result for mozzarella cheeseI have so many of these; I love to hoard and reread my favourite books! I think for this one I’m going to go for the Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton as she’s the main reason that I adore reading so much!

9. Pepper Jack, The Spicy Cheese: A Book You Can’t Judge by the Cover

Image result for pepper jack cheeseI’m going to go for a cover change; The Diamond of Drury Lane was rereleased with HORRIBLE new covers which totally don’t do the book justice! I love this series so much and I’ve seen so many people turn up their nose at the newer covers. Luckily, they have released a new edition of the first book which is much prettier!

10. Muenster Cheese, The Monster Cheese: A Villain that Should Never Have the Chance to Eat Cheese Again

Image result for muenster cheeseThe King of Adarlan is hands down one of my least favourite villains; he’s pure evil!

Well this was a fun tag to do! I learnt some new cheeses (some of my favourites weren’t on here, but I’d never heard of others!). I tag anyone who loves cheese and books to have a go!

kayleigh

Top Ten Tuesday: 3rd June 2019

Hello! Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. It feels like ages since I’ve done one of these! This week’s topic is:

Books from my Favourite Genre – YA Contemporary

  1. All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
  2. I Was Born For This – Alice Oseman
  3. Girl in Pieces – Kathleen Glasgow
  4. The Year After You – Nina de Pass
  5. Sunflowers in February – Phyllida Shrimpton
  6. Damage – Eve Ainsworth
  7. Red Tears – Joanna Kenrick
  8. Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
  9. A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
  10. The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven

I could go on! I love YA Contemporary and feel as though I’ve missed so many amazing books off! Have you read any of these?

kayleigh

13 MINUTES – Sarah Pinborough

13 minutes4/5

RELEASED: 21/07/2016
PUBLISHER: Orion
GENRE: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough is a gripping psychological thriller about people, fears, manuiplation and the power of the truth. A stunning read, it questions our relationships – and what we really know about the people closest to us . . .

“Mean Girls for the Instagram Age” is stated on the cover of this book and this description did not set me up for the twists and turns that happen all the way throughout! The Barbies make The Plastics’ antics seem like childsplay! 13 Minutes is more than just your average teen drama/thriller and it makes you question everything that you read throughout the book about the characters and the situations that they find themselves in.

I can see why Sarah Pinborough is such a popular author of adult thriller books, and this venture into the Young Adult market is still one that I think would have any thriller fan on the edge of their seat wanting to find out just what happened! Her writing style is brilliant and she effortlessly switches between narrators and perspectives throughout in a way that isn’t disjointed or difficult to follow for the reader. It’s also strange to have such a dislike for a victim from the beginning of the book, as that really isn’t something that you expect – I really really didn’t like Tasha at all. The characters do seem so realistic though because they are all flawed and we see the good and bad in them all in how they react to situations and each other.

I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a book that is full of suspense and mystery to keep you turning the page right up to the very end. I still can’t quite believe how the whole story played out!


I received a copy of this title for review when I was a bookseller.

NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD – Claire Hennessy

1/5

RELEASED: 14/07/2016
PUBLISHER: Hot Key
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary

What happens when you give in to the voices in your head? Annabel is dead. And she’s not happy about it. Despite having strived to be ‘lighter than air’ back when she was alive, the consequences of that yearning haven’t quite sunk in yet. Julia Jacobs is fat. Which Annabel immediately notices when she’s assigned as Julia’s ghostly helper (don’t even think about calling her a guardian angel). And as her helper, Julia’s problem seems pretty obvious to Annabel. Fat = problem = unhappy. Sorted. The only trouble is that whatever is causing Julia to overeat is hidden deep within her. Annabel will have to get to know Julia to uncover this secret and ‘fix’ her. Annabel can become the voice of reason, Julia’s source of strength. Except. . . all this time spent in someone’s head has got Annabel thinking. Not just about food, but about her family too. And that maybe happiness can mean more than eradicating all the flesh from your bones.

I’ll be honest, I did not finish this book. In fact, I only made it a few chapters in. However, I feel as though I can review this book because I didn’t DNF it because I wasn’t in the mood for a contemporary or a book about eating disorders. Quite the opposite! I really fancied reading this book and wanted to give it a go. It tied in perfectly with Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 being on the theme of body image and so I honestly wanted to connect to this book and, for want of a better word, enjoy it.

Nothing Tastes As Good should come with MASSIVE trigger warnings; I don’t even have an eating disorder (I’ve had a lot of issues with food and body image, but never to the extent that many people suffer) and I found it so uncomfortable and triggering to read. I get that eating disorders take over your life and distort your perception of yourself and others, but to have to read a book where the narration is like that little voice that’s in your head telling you you’re not good enough is not a book that I want to read, and it’s not one that I can recommend at all.

In the wrong hands, this book has the potential to be dangerous.

I’ve read triggering books for all kinds of mental illnesses before or situations that I personally find triggering, and I’m not one to shy away from hard-hitting books, but this book takes it a step too far and, from what I read, it makes the reader not feel good enough. It’s very rare that I don’t give a book a good shot, but for the protection of my own mental health I had to put this one down.

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 2019 – Body Image and Books

I didn’t realise that the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is Body Image, and this is such a good theme to get everyone thinking and talking about! Personally, I’ve really struggled with body image for well over 15 years, and it’s led to disordered eating and depression on many occasions, and I’ve also seen the destruction it can cause to people’s lives first hand. Most people will at some point not feel good enough, or feel insecure about their body, and I think that raising awareness of how it is normal to feel these things but how to cope with those feelings in a safe way is really important.

One way that awareness can be raised is, of course, through books. Young Adult fiction in particular is fantastic for showing struggles with body image at a time when our bodies are changing and many issues arise. I’m going to share below some of the titles that have really helped me to understand that I’m not alone in feeling so insecure over the years. I will say, however, that if you’re triggered by anything to do with eating disorders then please do use your judgement on whether reading these books is right for you. Also, there is definitely a lack of books about male body image out there! All of the books I’ve read have been about girls and that’s not to say that boys don’t have difficulties too, because they do. If anyone has suggestions of ones that I’ve not come across, please do mention them in the comments!

Wintergirls (Paperback)Wintergirls – Laurie Halse Anderson

A beautifully written and riveting look at anorexia from acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson. Cassie and Lia are best friends, and united in their quest to be thin. But when Cassie is found dead in a motel room, Lia must question whether she continues to lose weight, or choose life instead.

Mates, Dates and Chocolate Cheats – Cathy Hopkins

When Izzie returns from the school trip to Italy, she tries to put on her jeans, but they won’t do up! It looks as though she has put on eight pounds since Christmas and all her clothes have become very tight. Izzie then goes into the horrible spiral of becoming obsessive about her weight.

Girls Under Pressure - Girls (Paperback)Girls Under Pressure – Jacqueline Wilson

Magda is tall and glamorous, Nadine is willowy and ‘gothic’. And Ellie . . . well, Ellie is just plain normal. The three girls have been best friends forever, but now Ellie is convinced she’s fat, Nadine wants to be a model, and Magda worries that her appearance is giving guys the wrong idea. The pressure is on for them to change the way they look – but can they learn to love themselves, just the way they are? 

Second Star to the Right – Deborah Hautzig

This is an honest and moving account of a girl in the grip of anorexia nervosa. On the face of it, Leslie is a normal, healthy, well-adjusted fourteen-year-old girl. She goes to a good school, has a great friend in Cavett, and a mother who loves her to the moon and back. She should be happy, yet she’s not. She would be, she thinks, if only she were thinner. But ‘thinking thin’ becomes a dangerous obsession and Leslie’s weight drops to five stone, threatening to destroy her and the whole fabric of her family life. Only by realizing that this condition is an illness – and one that has its roots in a deep problem – can Leslie hope to survive.

Holding Up the Universe (Paperback)Holding Up The Universe – Jennifer Niven

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed ‘America’s Fattest Teen’. But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Since her mum’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone. Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world – theirs and yours. 
Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are – and seeing them right back. 

Just Listen – Sarah Dessen

I’m Annabel. I’m the girl who has it all. Model looks, confidence. A great social life. I’m one of the lucky ones. Aren’t I?
My ‘best friend’ is spreading rumours about me. My family is slowly falling apart. It’s turning into a long, lonely summer, full of secrets and silence.
But I’ve met this guy who won’t let me hide away. He’s one of those intense types, obsessed with music. He’s determined to make me listen. And he’s determined to make me smile. But can he help me forget what happened the night everything changed?

Eleanor & Park (Paperback)Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she’s never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.
Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and – in Eleanor’s eyes – impossibly cool, Park’s worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny, sad, shocking and true – an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.

kayleigh

 

 

WWW Wednesday: 8th May 2019

Good evening! I’ve had a really good reading week this week; I’ve had a few days off work and have found a few titles that have really caught my imagination and have been ones that I just haven’t been able to put down!


What are you currently reading? 

FINALE! It’s finally in my hands and it’s beautiful! I’ve only had a chance to read about 20 pages so far, and already I’m loving it.

57506168_433672453868607_531903434716744590_n
What did you recently finish reading?

So far this month I’ve read Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly, and I’m so glad that I finally made the time to read this wonderful retelling! I also read Owen and the Soldier by Lisa Thompson which was beautiful, and Malamander by Thomas Taylor. Fun fact – he illustrated the original Harry Potter books!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’d like to read some more of my new books next – I have a fair few to choose from!

kayleigh

STEPSISTER – Jennifer Donnelly

59485189_424166934795468_99982500070696339_n4.5/5

RELEASED: 15/05/2019
PUBLISHER: Hot Key
GENRE: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy

‘In an ancient city by the sea, three sisters – a maiden, a mother, and a crone – are drawing maps by candlelight. Sombre, with piercing grey eyes, they are the three Fates, and every map is a human life . . .’ Stepsister takes up where Cinderella’s tale ends. We meet Isabelle, the younger of Cinderella’s two stepsisters. Ella is considered beautiful; stepsister Isabelle is not. Isabelle is fearless, brave, and strong-willed. She fences better than any boy, and takes her stallion over jumps that grown men fear to attempt. It doesn’t matter, though; these qualities are not valued in a girl. Others have determined what is beautiful, and Isabelle does not fit their definition. Isabelle must face down the demons that drove her cruel treatment of Ella, challenge her own fate and maybe even redefine the very notion of beauty . . . Cinderella is about a girl who was bullied; Stepsister is about the bully. We all root for the victims, we want to see them triumph. But what about the bullies? Is there hope for them? Can a mean girl change? Can she find her own happily ever after?

From the instant that I began this book, I was enchanted. Jennifer Donnelly’s writing style is exquisite and feels very poetic as she effortlessly switches between character focus. In Stepsister, we follow the story of Isabelle, one of Cinderella’s ugly sisters, towards the end of the fairy tale we all know and love. It’s about what happens when Cinderella finds her happily ever after.

Oddly enough, I really liked Isabelle as a character – even from the beginning! She came across as a victim in her own way, but underneath there’s a strong young woman. Throughout the book, we see her develop and discover herself, as well as see how, contrary to popular belief, beauty does not define a person.

I loved how this book was a little bit of a fantasy story whilst being very realistic, which makes it a perfect read for so many different types of reader. We meet a whole host of wonderful, and not so wonderful, characters who really come to life, and some remind me of my favourite fantasy leads whilst others could’ve been drawn straight from the history books. I highly, highly recommend Stepsister for anyone who’s after a book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it and captivate you whilst you read it.


Thank you to Tina at Hot Key for sending me a copy of this book!

THE PAPER & HEARTS SOCIETY – Lucy Powrie

57574647_621367864993417_8245116733093179468_n5/5

RELEASED: 13/06/2019
PUBLISHER: Hachette
GENRE: Young Adult Contemporary, Teen

A brand new series from Booktuber Lucy Powrie – about what happens when you give up on trying to fit in in and let your weird out! It’s time to join The Paper & Hearts Society …

Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn’t want to go to parties – in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.

It’s like she hasn’t found her people …

Then Tabby joins a club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING – especially when making new friends brings out an AWKWARD BUZZING feeling all over her body.

But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it’s the Austen-themed fancy-dress parties, or Ed’s fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins, or could it be Henry himself …

Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?

Ok, so I’m going to be honest; the main reason I wanted to read this book was because of it being written by the lovely Lucy Powrie (if you’ve lived under a rock in the book world, she’s a booktuber and creator of #ukyachat and is just generally a very good bookish person to be aware of!) and because I wanted to support her and to not be the only person not reading this book. The synopsis, whilst fairly good, just sounded too…happy for me. But,

OH. MY. GOD.

I hold my hands up; I was wrong. So completely and utterly wrong.

The Paper & Hearts Society is now one of my favourite books of all time, and if I can throw it at people and make them read it I will. Yes, it was fluffy and happy, but it also had all the feels that make a perfect teen/young adult book! This is exactly the book that I needed when I was a teenager. It makes you feel like you belong and captures exactly how it feels to be a teenager or, in my case, an adult who still feels like a teenager!

The Paper & Hearts Society members are like a little family of people who I instantly took to and they all bring something unique to the group. Please hear me out on the next bit; I’ve tried to word it right! The one thing I was worried about going into this book was having heard about the diversity and I wasn’t sure how that was going to be handled – I like diverse books, but I don’t like it to be the sole focus of the book or character. Personally, for me, it needs to just be a fact of life that doesn’t detract from the main story but adds depth and realism to the characters.

Lucy has mastered this perfectly.

I love how you get to know a character without any judgement and the diversity that’s included in the story is written sensitively and in a way that just makes it normal and accepting, which is how it should be.

So, what are the main things that I took away from this amazing read? Number one has to be the fact that it’s okay to be different and unique and to be passionate about something that you love! Secondly, you have no idea what people go through behind closed doors. Take the time to get to know people, and try not to judge too quickly. We all have our own battles and sometimes not everyone can see that. Finally, books! Above all, this is a book about books for bookworms and I saw books I love, and books I hate, feature throughout this book. It really reignited my love of books.

Now, if you don’t mind me, I’ll be impatiently waiting by my postbox for my preorder and my Paper & Hearts Society member pin to arrive…


Thank you to Hachette via NetGalley for approving my request to read this title!

THE NEAR WITCH – V.E. Schwab

img_45285/5

RELEASED: 12/03/2019
PUBLISHER: Titan
GENRE: Fantasy, Fairy Tale

All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story “The Ash-Born Boy” and a never-before-seen introduction from V.E. Schwab. The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. There are no strangers in the town of Near. These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy. Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Shamefully, I’ve never read a book by V.E. Schwab, despite being desperate to do so! So, upon seeing that I could rectify that situation, I was delighted to be sent a copy of a rerelease of her debut The Near Witch; it looked a lot less daunting than her other series’ and I’m sold on fairy tales involving witches!

The Near Witch reminded me of a lot of children’s classics from Diana Wynne Jones, Cliff McNish and Paul Stewart that I loved growing up, and so I found this to be an easy one to get hooked on. Despite being a fairly short book, the world has been crafted so it really comes to life in your mind and the characters are really interesting. The feeling of fear really came off the pages and kept me guessing throughout.

One thing that I loved about this book is that it was a perfect bridge between YA and adult fiction; it was so easy to get immersed in the world of Near and I found that as soon as the story got going it was impossible to put down! It’s been a while since I’ve found a book that I’ve just had to keep reading in one sitting, and, considering that it’s a debut novel, the writing style is flawless.

I can’t wait to finally get around to reading more of V.E. Schwab’s work after reading this wonderful book!


Thank you to Lydia at Titan Books for sending me a copy of this title.