Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Universe is expanding and So am I by Carolyn Mackler

Virginia Shreves’ world implodes again in this long-awaited follow-up to Printz Honoree The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.

Sixteen-year-old Virginia Shreves’ life is finally back on course: she’s accepted who she is inside and out and is rebuilding her relationship with brother Byron, whose date-rape charge shattered everything.

But just as she adjusts to her new normal, her world turns upside down again. Sparks with boyfriend Froggy fade, her best friend bombshells bad news, and then the police arrest Byron. As Virginia struggles to cope, she meets Nate, an artist with his own baggage. The pair vow not to share personal drama. But secrets have a way of coming out, and theirs could ruin everything.

Just in time for The Earth, My Butt, and Other BIg Round Things’ 15th anniversary, Virginia’s hope-filled story of love, friendship, and the beauty in imperfection continues, by acclaimed author Carolyn Mackler.

I just want to start off quickly by saying that I was not aware that this book is a follow up until I finished reading it. I must have missed that bit of the blurb however I completely enjoyed this book on its own so I think it does just as well as a stand alone. I didn't feel at all like I was missing anything and the story made complete sense. 

I liked the body positivity that is a Struggle for Virginia through out this book because it manages to make you feel like you should love yourself and any curves or lumps or bumps you have but it doesn't speak negatively of  people who do not have any curves. That is something that I hate about the body positive movement that is everywhere at the moment. You shouldn't have to hate somebody else to love yourself and I think this story has found the right balance. 

I like that Virginia isn't just a super confident  sexy curvy girl but that she has the same moments of doubting herself that we all have (and we all have them big or skinny).  I think it helped me relate to her because like I said we all have those moments. 

The story is so relevant to current society and how we are all learning to embrace peoples differences and how sometimes that is a little harder for some people. For example Virginia's mum struggled a little when Anais came back from London with a girlfriend. It was unexpected and clearly a shock but the book showed how some family members accepted this straight away without a blink but it took Virginia's mum a second. The best thing is the "Love is Love is Love" line. I think it just says everything. 

I felt sad for Byron and Annie, we obviously dont know for sure what happened that night but I found myself hating him and then feeling extremely sad for him. It just shows how one mistake can affect the rest of your life. 

I think we have a lot to learn from this story and it wouldnt be bad if we all learnt to be a little more accepting of each other. 

Thank You NetGalley and Bloomsbury for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for my review. I Feel enlightened. 

Thanks For Reading


Friday, 22 June 2018

The Pageant by Leigh Walker

Young women from every settlement in the land are being handpicked to enter The Pageant, a contest reminiscent of Miss Universe from the old days. Gwyneth West's social-climbing mother wants her to compete, but Gwyn isn't so sure...

The Pageant is government-sponsored. If you're lucky enough to be chosen, participation is mandatory. Aggressive competition is allowed, even encouraged. And then there's the prize... Dallas Black, otherwise known as The Dark Prince, will propose to the winner.
Dallas is the son of King Black, who won the last world war and governs the new settlements. The Royal Family is mysterious. Rumor has it they don't sleep. Rumor has it they eschew the sun. Rumor has it they're immortal.
When Gwyn is thrust into The Pageant, she fights to survive the competitive nature of the other contestants. But even if she wins...can she survive a vampire fiancĂ©?

This book has a lot of similarities to the Selection Series by Kiera Cass. I loved The Selection series and so obviously i loved this series. 

Its a sort of hybrid between the Selection Series by Kiera Cass and The Dark Heroine series by Abigail Gibbs. I loved both of these books so I think I am the perfect target audience for this series. 

I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters especially Dallas and Gwyneth I thought they were very interesting and likable as characters. I love that Gwyn is brave and a bit of a rule breaker and that Dallas still finds her interesting anyway. 
I thought that maybe the Vampires would be a bit much however they definitely give the story an exciting twist.  

I liked the writing style and thought it was super easy to read. I started this mistakenly before bed and then didn't get any sleep because i was reading.

I loved this original take on a story I love and I can see that the series will go somewhere really exciting. I cant wait to read the whole series. I honestly will be keeping my eye out for the next installment. 

I gave this book a 5* on GoodReads because I was in love with it. Do yourself a favour and pick this up. 

Thank For Reading

Thursday, 21 June 2018

The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Berube

Something is wrong with Marianne. It’s not just that her parents have split up or that life hasn’t’ been the same since she quit dancing. It’s not even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

Marianne is losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close. Something is after her.
But a first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. And Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it thinks it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.

I read this book in nearly no time at all. Its a little darker than my normal reads and I was captivated almost instantly. The story was really well paced and that was really good for this kind of book especially as the suspense was still built really nicely. Its been a long time since I last read a horror and so this book was creepy enough for me to be spooked but not so scary that I couldn't sleep at night which I appreciate.

The story manages to keep its tension through out the story which is nice and the characters felt real enough for me, I do wish there was a little more of a build up on the characters as I didn't feel like I knew them very well. 

I think that Amelinda could have made much more of the ending. Once Marianne had fought her demons or whatever I felt like that was kind of it everything after that was a bit of a dud. It was a nice ending and there was nothing really wrong but I thought there should maybe some view of the aftermath because surely after all of that life didn't just go back to normal. 

I liked the book and would be interested to read something by this Author in the future. 

Thanks For Reading

This book is scheduled to be released August 1st 2018

I received an early copy of this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is no way influenced my opinion of the book

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood


One summer will challenge everything the Garrett sisters thought they knew about themselves—and each other.
Kat lands the lead in the community theater’s summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?
Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn’t sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen…
Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend…so it’s not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?
As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it’s hard to dream big when she’s so busy taking care of everyone else.

This book would be a great little summer read on a beach somewhere while you are lazing around the pool. I enjoyed the pace of the book and it wasn't too long or too short so it didn't intimidate me. Initially I thought it might be a little bit much having four POV's but it was easy to follow and each girl was so different that you knew who you were reading. 

I feel like there is somebody for everyone to relate to and each person will have a favourite story line or sister. I personally liked Bea, I found her sweet and her struggle with wanting to be the best that she can be is something that I can understand. 

Its a lovely story about each girl finding herself and it shows how different that can be for everyone. It was nice to have the variety of ages for the girls as I think this added depth. I enjoyed that the characters were diverse but that the things that make people different were celebrated, I found this really refreshing. 

If I had just one wish for this book it would be the cover. I wish the girls in the cover had redder hair. 

It would be really nice to have a little series which explores where the girls go in the future. 

I think it was a great little summer read.

Thanks For Reading

Em x

Friday, 1 June 2018

The weight of a thousand feathers by Brian Conaghan


`Child experts will tell you that I'm way too young to carry such a burden of responsibility on my tender shoulders. But really, what do they know?' Who is Bobby Seed? He's just your average sixteen-year-old - same wants, same fears, same hang-ups. Dull, dull, dull. But then there's the Bobby Seed who's a world away from average. The Bobby Seed who has to wipe his mum's backside, sponge her clean three times a week, try to soothe her pain. The Bobby Seed whose job it is to provide for his younger brother, Danny, to rub his back when he's stressed and can only groan and rock instead of speak. That's Bobby Seed. Same, same, same, yet different, different, different ..

Do not read this book without tissues.!!

I chose to try this book because I have been trying to push myself into new genres of reading and this is something I felt uncomfortable with so obviously my initial instinct was to not like the book because it wasn't what I am used to. I am lucky enough to have not had and experiences involving MS or any experience that closely relates to end of life situations such as the one expressed in this book and at first I was very uncomfortable knowing what I was getting myself into. I didn't think I would be able to relate to any of the characters or the situation and I thought I would be left a little bit lost. I was wrong

This story is so beautifully written that I was well and truly drawn in almost instantly. The story felt real like it could be a true representation of Bobby Seed and his Family and I suppose for many families this is a reality. 
The writing style was fairly simple and I think that there is so much weight on every word in this book that it doesn't need to be over complicated. We are only really introduced to characters that are relevant to the story which for me is great because it helps me focus on the characters that are important. 

The story is told from the POV of Bobby Seed, he has watched his mum deteriorate due to her MS and is left to make a difficult decision. I think it is important that we were able to see Bobby figuring out what his opinions were regarding the decision. Bobby isn't alone however he had his little brother Danny and his Best friend Bel to confide in and try to keep his life as normal as possible. Bobby is 17 and is beginning to find out who he is as well as deal with everything that is going on emotionally. 

The only thing that confused me was the very last sentence of the book. I can't figure out if it was a joke or if after all this time Bobby's mum had a huge secret. I think I am going to assume it was Bobby's mum's humor until I am informed further.  

I definitely had a cry during the last 100 pages or so and was shocked by how emotional i felt when as I said earlier I wasn't expecting to connect with this book. The story could be read in one sitting I think if you had the whole day to do it and this might be the best way to read it so you can truly take everything in. 

Please read this book and tell your friends to read this book! 
It was so good. 

Thanks For Reading