Book Review: Love On The Main Stage -S.A. Domingo

Book Review: Love On The Main Stage – S.A. Domingo

Nova is ready for the summer, to put school and ex’s behind her and get stuck into working the circuit on her family’s food truck. Then she meets Sam a gorgeous American boy with an amazing voice who makes her want to share her own songs…but why does he always have those backstage passes? 

This is a really easy read and also is super sweet without being too cutesy. Nova was an amazing character who stands out well on her own, even without the romance element. Not only is she smart and on top of things such as environmental issues, she also doesn’t take herself too seriously. 

I also absolutely adored the passion for cooking and food that came from Nova’s parents. It was as if I could smell the food, taste how delicious it was and the additional plot line of their challenges and need to win a competition. I was rooting for them the whole way through as well as Nova. 

The relationship between Sam and Nova is very sweet, particularly the stages as they begin to get to know each other. While there is clearly a romantic attachment between them this isn’t what pulled me in. It’s the fact that they can encourage each other, have fun and be teenagers. There was a kindness about their relationship that was lovely to read. 

Domingo clearly has a talent for description, I felt like I was at a festival while reading this novel (something I’ve missed this year). I could hear it, see it, smell it and I had a huge craving for Eats and Beats after I finished, yep I know it’s fictional. 

This is a sweet read and I really enjoyed it. I’d love to know what Nova gets up to after this novel. This was a 4 star read for me. I highly recommend it for those who love music and for those who want a nice chilled read. 

Thank you to the publisher and author for sharing a copy of this with me in exchange for review. 

Book Review: Clap When You Land - Elizabeth Acevedo

Book Review: Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

After reading Acevedo’s novel With The Fire on High I knew I needed to read Clap When You Land. I was fascinated by the idea of a tragedy bringing together unknown family members and the difficulties they have after learning the truth. 

This is ultimately a story about grief, family and secrecy. While both Camino and Yaharia share a father, their lives couldn’t be more different. One is used to living in New York in reasonable comfort, while the other is keeping her head above water with her aunt in a struggling neighbourhood. 

As with Acevedo’s other book I read there are a number of diverse characters in terms of race and sexuality as well as looking at forms of intimidation women may face around the world. 

The way in which this is written is beautiful, I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the Dominican Republic and Camino’s sense of community and love for those around her. Overall I think I felt more connected to Camino, simply because I was rooting for her the whole time. That’s not to say I wasn’t rooting for Yaharia, it was just a different kind of connection. 

For me this was a 4.5 star read, I can’t talk about the ending without risk of spoilers but I wanted to see more of that happened after the endpoint. I would definitely read a second book about the girls. I wish I could say more but I refuse to spoil this wonderful book for anyone. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for review. 

Book Review: Break The Fall - Jennifer Iacopelli

Book Review: Break The Fall – Jennifer Iacopelli

Audrey Lee is going to the Olympics. A year ago, she could barely do a push up as she recovered from spine surgery, one that could have paralyzed her. And now? She’s made the United States’ gymnastics team with her best friend, Emma, just like they both dreamed about since they were kids. She’s on top of the world.

The pressure for perfection is higher than ever when horrifying news rips the team apart. Audrey is desperate to advocate for her teammate who has been hurt by the one person they trusted most–but not all the gymnasts are as supportive.

The stories of abuse that came from the USA gymnastics team were horrible, young women had put their trust into people to help them achieve their dreams only to be mistreated. Of course, if you do struggle with abuse narratives think about that before reading, however, this is not graphic.

I actually got a copy of this over Christmas while I was working in a bookshop as it was sent from the publisher. Since reading it I haven’t shut up because it is an excellent novel. I couldn’t put this book down and when I had to I was still thinking about it.

I have to admit that this had a personal connection for me. I haven’t read a YA book that tackled spinal injuries before and I was sure that the author had experienced spinal trauma. The description of the pain, the complicated feelings about your body etc. I actually reached out to Jennifer and she was lovely and had written those parts based on research which just impressed me even more.

The character of Audrey is easy to connect with and you really do feel for her and the rest of her teammates as your reading. Additionally, there is a real sense of the pressure these young women face, the fact that they have trained their whole lives for something only for it to be derailed at the last minute.

I think it also helps that the author has first-hand experience of gymnastics after reporting on the Olympics previously and you can tell that she understands the competition and what can happen in competition. I was completely gripped during the competition chapters, racing towards the end because I needed to know what happened.

This is going to be an important novel for 2020, we’re seeing non-fiction about the Me Too and Times Up era, this is the start of a new wave of fiction based on the aftermath. I’m pleased to see novels like this opening up the conversation and giving another dimension to it as well.

Is it any wonder that I gave this 5 stars? It absolutely incredible and so well written. In fact I’ve been recommending it to so many people. Also, just for me, it was nice to see representation post injury because it’s just something that I don’t see ever. Also, I’m definitely going to be watching the Gymnastics at Tokyo!

Blogmas Day 10: Books to Give This Christmas

Giving books is one of the best things about Christmas for me. If I can find a book for someone, I will. So how about some ideas that I can personally recommend to you all? These are all books that I’ve read this year and should be available in all good bookshops.

 

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Poetry

This is Rupi Kaur’s second collection and was even better than the first, which I didn’t think was possible. The collection can also work as a stand-alone collection if the person your buying for hasn’t read the first. You can read my review here.

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Young Adult 

One of the biggest superstars came back after 6 years away with a cracker. Turtles deals with the complexities of living with OCD as well as a missing mystery billionaire. You can read my review here.

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Autobiography 

This isn’t something that I would have just picked up off of the shelf, it was only after hearing an interview I decided to give it a go. This goes far beyond an autobiography it talks about gender, sexuality, loss and depression. It was really eye-opening. Review here.

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Historical Fiction

It has been a long time since I’ve read a good Historical Fiction novel. Set in the 1930s and featuring an LGBTQ protagonist this is a must-read. Review here.

Memoir 

I couldn’t just pick one these were both amazing. My Lovely Wife is about a families struggle with Bipolar Disorder through the eyes of a partner. My Shitty Twenties is the memoir of Emily who unexpectedly fell pregnant in her early 20s and what it was like to have her life change so unexpectedly, review here.

 

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Contemporary Fiction

This is super weird but really enjoyable. Told from the perspective of an unborn foetus this looks at the world in a truly unique way. I absolutely loved it and would read it again and again.

 

IMG_5143 (1)Fantasy 

If you have someone in your life who loves Game of Thrones and is having withdrawal symptoms this is perfect. This is set before A Song of Ice and Fire but it’s just as engaging and a lot shorter than the songs in the series.

 

Have I missed any great reads? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

This post is not sponsored in any way.

September Book Haul!

Hello,hello, hello!

It’s that time of month again, bookhaul! Now I’m not going to lie it hasn’t been long since my last bookhaul and I haven’t managed to read everything but I’m getting through. This month is a real mix of different types of novels and it’s got a lot of good and cheap finds! Let me know what you think and if you’ve read any of these yourself!

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Watchmen – Dave Gibbons

This has been hailed as one of the best Graphic Novels ever written and so on my comic book journey I thought it would be a good read and I’m really excited to get started. I’m not sure what to think about it at the moment but it’s had high recommendations.

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One Breath Away – Heather Gudenkauf

I’ve read one of of Gudenkauf’s novels before and it was absolutely incredible, when I found this on a 3 for £5 deal I had to get it. The novel is about a school shooting and the back says that ‘fans of Jodi Picoult will devour this’, it does have similarities to Picoult’s novel Nineteen Minutes one of my all time favourite novels. I have complete faith in Gudenkauf to have written this novel in an amazing way.

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The Bad Mother – Isabelle Grey

Another of my 3 for £10 finds, questions what a good mother is and how a family can be torn apart by the past. Really drawn to this because it doesn’t give too much information.

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The Twins – Saskia Sarginson

My final 3 for £10. I have twin cousins and find the bonds between twins absolutely incredible and this deals with that idea and what happens in the most dramatic of circumstances.

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Unspeakable Things – Laurie Penny

The deeper I get into my research the more I’m driven to understand the social standing of women and the treatment of women throughout the world. How they present themselves and how they are perceived. Laurie’s book came well recommended and with the seal of approval from the amazing Caitlin Moran.

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Annie – Thomas Meehan

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I  never knew that Annie was also a book. I found this in my local bookshop and got ridiculously excited as this was my favourite film as a child and I sang ‘tomorrow’ most days. I can’t wait to get stuck in to this.

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The Virgin Suicides – Jeffery Eugenides

This has been recommended for me more than once, I thought I might as well buy it was cheap second hand. I’ll let you know if it came up to scratch.

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The Girl with all the Gifts – M.R. Carey 

I’ve been intrigued by the title of this book for a little while. The blurb is tantalizing ‘Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.’ This raises so many questions, why is she detained? Why does she have to go to class? Who is Melanie? Looks like a fab read.

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Orange is the new Black – Piper Kerman

Now I’ve never been completely obsessed with the TV show but after watching a Ted Talk that Piper Kerman gave on life in prisons and how the USA must adjust I really wanted to read Piper’s account. Who knows it might even get me back into the TV show again!

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After Auschwitz – Eva Schloss 

I’ve always been interested in Holocaust literature since I was a child. Eva is the stepdaughter of Otto Frank, Anne’s father. Part of my curiosity is about him, the man that Anne adored so much, and how Eva’s life with him is. I’m also intrigued to know how Eva survived and what her life was like after surviving Auschwitz.

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Me, Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews 

Everyone is talking about this film and I need to read the book before hand. I’ve seen the trailer and it seems funny as well as sad. I love a good YA novel and I’m really hoping that this is a good one.