Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Review: The Fallen Children by David Owen

Publication Date: 4th May 2017
Publisher:  Atom Books
Source: Review copy

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Blurb: Young people on the Midwich Estate don't have much hope for their futures. Keisha has lived there her whole life, and has been working hard to escape it; others have just accepted their lot.

But change is coming...

One night everyone inside Midwich Tower falls mysteriously unconscious in one inexplicable 'Nightout'. No one can explain what happened during those lost hours, but soon afterwards Keisha and three other girls find they're pregnant - and the babies are growing at an alarming rate.

As the news spreads around the tower its residents turn against them and the situation spirals toward violence. Keisha's life unravels as she realises that the pregnancy may not have just ruined her hopes for the future: she might be mother to the end of the world.

 Big thank you to Atom Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for my full and honest review.

This book was such a pleasant surprise for me. The book is based on The Midwich Cuckoos by John  Wyndham. I've not read TMC but this YA retelling of it was so creepy and utterly captivating. Also there are 360 different covers of this novel, all in different colours and colour combinations which I think is such a cool idea!

After being in a little bit of a reading slump for a while, I was looking for a book that would completely suck me in and make me want to read again. This was the perfect book. 

The novel focuses around Keisha, Maida, Olivia and Siobhan who, following a mysterious night where all residents of their apartment block fall unconscious for a few hours, discover they have become pregnant. As the girls begin to realise that this is no ordinary pregnancy and search for answers, the more sinister and creepy the novel becomes. 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Review: More Than One Way To Be A Girl by Dyan Sheldon

Publication Date: 06 July 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy

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Blurb: From the writer of Confessions of A Teenage Drama Queen and My Worst Best Friend comes this hugely entertaining teen read, all about what it really means to be a girl. 

ZiZi likes to think of herself as a girly girl: her wardrobe is almost exclusively pink, her daily makeup routine can take upwards of an hour and she loves a bit of a flirt. Her best friend Loretta is very different: all of her clothes are black, she doesn't wear any makeup whatsoever and she doesn't like the way ZiZi dumbs herself down for boys - or her old-fashioned ideas about "a woman's place". One day, they decide to make a bet. 

Can ZiZi stand looking like Loretta for longer than Loretta can bear dressing like ZiZi? As their summer unfolds - often hilariously - the pair are surprised to find they have a lot to learn from each other.

 Thank you to Walker Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for my full review.

I had never read a Dyan Sheldon novel before but have seen them in my local library and bookshops for years.

This book centered around our two main characters Zizi and Loretta, two best friends who couldn't be more different. While Zizi is make up and fashion obsessed, Loretta is low key and think brains are better than beauty. Zizi thinks Loretta should try harder with her appearance and Loretta thinks Zizi should focus on more important things than looks. That is when the bet comes into play that they both swap looks for the summer. 

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Review: Out of Heart by Irfan Master

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 
Source: Review copy from publisher
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Donating your heart is the most precious gift of all.
Adam is a teenage boy who lives with his mum and younger sister. His dad has left them although lives close by. His sister no longer speaks. His mum works two jobs. Adam feels the weight of the world upon his shoulders.
Then his grandfather dies and in doing so he donates a very precious gift - his heart. 
William is the recipient of Adam's grandfather's heart. He has no family and feels rootless and alone. In fact, he feels no particular reason to live. And then he meets Adam's family. 
William has received much, but it appears that he has much to offer Adam and his family too.

Thank you to Hot Key Books publishing for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for a full review. 

This was an interesting novel and it was much different than what I was expecting before going into it. The novel tells the story of Adam, a teenager with a passion for drawing who lives with his mum and sister and of William, a man without family who has received the heart of Adam's recently deceased Grandfather. 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Review: Aurable by Laura Dockrill

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: June 1st 20166
Source: Review copy from publisher
Series: Sequel to Lorali 

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It has been two years since Rory drowned, and Lorali is in Hastings, living the quiet life of a normal teenage girl. But her safe life on land won't last for long. Life in The Whirl has become a hotbed of underwater politics and as the council jostles to oust the king, one Mer in particular has her eye on Lorali as the key to her own rise to power.

Meanwhile, Aurabel, a lowly Mer from the wrong side of the trench, is attacked by sea beasts and left for dead - and without a tail. Raging with righteous anger, she rebuilds herself a mechanical tail and reinvents herself as a fearless steampunk Mer seeking revenge. But she never expected the most important job that was about to drop into her lap.

 Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for a full review. 

I read Lorali last year and really enjoyed the novel. I didn't think there was going to be a sequel but I was so happy when I heard that there was one! I actually feel like I enjoyed this novel even more than the first in the series, which is not something I would ever usually think. 

Aurabel takes place two years after the end of the previous novel. Lorali is mourning the loss of Rory and is living in the human world. She spends most of her time at home with Rory's mum or helping out at the shop with Iris and Flynn. I really enjoyed reading about Lorali's life on land and her relationships with Irish, Flynn and Cheryl and how quickly she was accepted into the life Rory had left behind. There was some really heartwarming scenes with her and Flynn where they both comforted each other in their shared grief over Rory. Lorali is such an interesting and honest character and I love reading from her perspective. Also I love reading from The Sea's perspective. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Review: Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 25th May 2017
Source: Received copy from publisher

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Here's what Lauren knows: she's not like other girls. She also knows it's problematic to say that - what's wrong with girls? She's even fancied some in the past. But if you were stuck in St Agnes's, her posh all-girls school, you'd feel like that too. Here everyone's expected to be Perfect Young Ladies, it's even a song in the painfully awful musical they're putting on this year. And obviously said musical is directed by Lauren's arch nemesis.

Under it all though, Lauren's heart is bruised. Her boyfriend thinks she's crazy and her best friend's going through something Lauren can't understand... so when Lauren realises she's facing every teenage girl's worst nightmare, she has nowhere to turn. Maybe she should just give in to everything. Be like other girls. That's all so much easier ... right?

 Huge thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for a full and honest review. Claire Hennessy is quickly becoming one of my auto-buy, all time favourite authors and I was so extremely excited to read this novel as soon as I got my hands on it. I decided to not read too much of the blurb and avoided all early reviews of the novel so I could go into it completely fresh and just let the novel surprise me. It was a brilliant idea.

This novel is utter brilliance. Like Other Girls deals with so many important and current issues that not only affect those worldwide but also focusing on national Irish issues. The novel touches on hard issues in a realistic and raw way. Claire does not try to sugar coat any aspect of the novel, which I think is how it should be as readers can both learn and begin to understand the issues more clearly. 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Corgi Childrens Books
Publication Date: September 3rd 2015
Source: Gift from my Book Blogger Secret Santa!

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Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?

 I received this book as a gift the first year I hosted the Book Blogger Secret Santa and for some reason had never gotten around to reading it. I am kicking myself at not reading this sooner because it is definitely one of my new favourite novels! (Also how cute is it that Nicola Yoon's husband illustrated the novel!)

The novel deals with Madeline, a girl who has not left her house in 17 years as she is allergic to the outside world and exposure to it could kill her. This was such an interesting and unique plot that captivated me. I have never read any books that deal with SCID and found it so interesting to read about Maddy's life in her incubator home. Descriptions of Maddy's sterile white home were so vivid that I almost felt I was there too breathing in the filtered air and sitting in her all white room. 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Review: Sophie Someone by Hayley Long

Publication Date: May 2016

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Source: Review copy from publisher

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'Some stories are hard to tell.
Even to your very best friend.
And some words are hard to get out of your mouth. Because they spell out secrets that are too huge to be spoken out loud.
But if you bottle them up, you might burst.
So here's my story. Told the only way I dare tell it.'

Sophie Nieuwenleven is sort of English and sort of Belgian. Sophie and her family came to live in Belgium when she was only four or five years old, but she's fourteen now and has never been quite sure why they left England in the first place. Then, one day, Sophie makes a startling discovery. Finally Sophie can unlock the mystery of who she really is. This is a story about identity and confusion - and feeling so utterly freaked out that you just can't put it into words. But it's also about hope. And the belief that, somehow, everything will work out OK.

 I received a copy of this novel from Hot Key Books publishers in exchange for a full and honest review. I had previously read Hayley Long's novel Being A Girl and so was looking forward to reading more novels by her. This was the first novel I read after finishing my 3rd year exams and not having much time to read for the past couple of months and honestly I was kinda disappointed. 

Sophie Someone tells the story of a young teenage girl called Sophie who discovers that her parents have been keeping one of the biggest secrets from her her entire life, one big enough to call into question everything she thinks she knows about her life so far and about her family.