Book Review: All About Mia - Lisa Williamson

Book Review: All About Mia – Lisa Williamson

Mia is definitely the middle child and a bit of a trouble maker. She’s nothing like her perfect older sister Grace and that’s just fine with her. When Grace comes home and drops a bombshell, Mia waits to watch her get in trouble for once, but things don’t work out exactly how she thought they would…

I was a huge fan of Lisa Willamson’s first novel The Art of Being Normal and so picked up Mia. After reading I have been kicking myself for not reading it earlier! Once again she’s written a novel that I could not put down with a realistic plot.

Is Mia a wild child at times? Yes? Does she make mistakes? 100% but this makes her more realistic. She messes up a lot but I still found myself rooting for her the whole way through. We all made mistakes as teenagers, anyone who says they didn’t is lying!

While Mia may not always appear to be an entirely likeable character, you understand her. She is trying to figure herself out and feels in her older sister’s shadow. I could relate to her, your teenage years are confusing enough without surprise family twists!

Speaking of family, that was truly one of my favourite parts of this novel. Mia has two families, her biological family who seemed very real to me and her friends. Both of which are equally important to her and she has to learn the hard way how to open herself up to both.

It’s no surprise that I gave this 4.5 stars. I flew through this and while I worked out within a few pages what the twist would be, I still really enjoyed it. At its core this is a novel about family and finding your own space within it, I absolutely loved Mia and was thinking about her for days after!

Christmas Book Haul

My Christmas Book Haul!

Hello, hello, hello! It might be a little later than planned but I wanted to share with you my Christmas book haul! This year my Mumma went all out and got me the books on my list, my sister got me one I was after for ages and then I might have purchased some with Christmas money…

Sea Witch
Sea Witch – Sarah Henning

I’m a big lover of The Little Mermaid and there have been a few more novels creeping out so when I heard about Sea Witch I needed it. I’m intrigued to read this take on the backstory of the Sea Witch.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing – Hank Green

I held off buying this so I could add it to my Christmas list and I have heard nothing but good things about this! As Hank Green’s debut I have my fingers crossed I will love it!

Snot Girl vol 1
Snotgirl – Bryan Lee O’Malley & Leslie Hung

I didn’t expect to get this, I read the first two issues while I was at uni and then didn’t get a chance to carry on. My friend Sarah surprised me with this for Christmas and I loved it. I’ve already finished it and can’t wait to pick up the next volume.

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy – Edited by Kelly Jensen

I’ve wanted this for such a long time! I’m always interested in seeing different experiences on mental health and there are some amazing writers in here Emery Lord, Meredith Russo, and Victoria Schwab to name a few.

#MurderTrending – Gretchen McNeil

This one is a little out there but it sounds really interesting. The premise is using an app so that criminals get a taste of their own medicine. However, Dee isn’t going down for a crime she didn’t commit.

Anne Boleyn A King’s Obsession – Alison Weir

For the longest time I loved reading books about the Tudors and after seeing Six last year it sparked my interest again. My lovely Lucy got me this, remembering that Anne Boleyn is my favourite!

Books I Bought
The Curses – Laure Eve

It’s finally here! I have a copy! Although I’m worried that might be because a certain bookshop put them out too early… Either way I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next in the Graces world.

Paper Avalanche
Paper Avalanche – Lisa Williamson

I’ve loved Lisa Williamson’s previous two books and read them super quickly so when I found out there would be a third I was on it. Again I think this was released a little earlier than it should have been but I’m not sure.

I don’t know too much going into this one as the blurb is a little more ambiguous than previous novels but I have faith after loving the previous two books!

Becoming
Becoming – Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is one of the most incredible people. I wanted to hear her story as soon as I could. Originally I got the audiobook, however, at 19 hours long I was impatient. I ordered the book and it’s just as good as I hoped it would be so far.

101 Essays To Change The Way You Think – Brianna Wiest

I really want to read more books like this about positive thinking and all that. This looked like a really good collection to dip in and out of when I need some inspiration.

Now I have no idea where to start! So many books, so little time. Did you get any books for Christmas? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Book Review: The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

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David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.

David has been longing to come out to his parents as Kate for a long time, but each time he tries there’s something stopping him. While trying to get through school with the help of his two best friends he takes an interest in Leo, a new guy who’s rumored to have been thrown out of his old school. While no one else will even look him in the eye David wants to get to know him better and not just because he’s gorgeous.

This was the first book I read in 2015 and as I mentioned in my top books of 2015 post, I absolutely adored it. This is the first book I have read with a trans character as the main character. I picked this up because it was on offer and I’m so glad I did, although written for a YA audience this is a great book and Williamson has cemented herself as a great writer. There are twists, turns, happiness and sadness in this novel. It is an emotional rollercoaster, but most great books are.

There is so much I wish I could tell you about, but a lot of my favourite parts come after a twist. The story builds really well to the twists and is pretty unputdownable. I will say though that while I liked David, he wasn’t my favourite character, he was a little too nice and acted younger than he was. I absolutely adored Leo though, even as you get to know more about him he’s just a great character which a much richer back story and he develops throughout the novel into someone I really liked.

This book is the kind of book that needed to be written, the title says it all really, there’s an art to being ‘normal’. When I say that I mean that I think there is a certain act that people put on to try and appear how they think they should and how others want them to be. The book eventually gets rid of this, as the characters grow stronger and more certain in themselves there is a moment of simply not caring about being ‘normal’ and that’s a really important message for young adults. Williamson can’t have known before she wrote this that 2015 was going to be a huge year for the Trans community, which is what makes this novel even more special. She gets it.

Of course I’m giving this novel 5 stars *****. Not only does this tackle a subject that isn’t spoken about enough, it’s talking about it to young people who can change the future for the Trans community. The characters were relatable and so was the plot. I think for many this will let them empathise and understand a little more about what it’s like to feel born into the wrong body. I also can’t wait to see what’s going to come next from Lisa Williamson, I cannot stress enough how much of a brilliant writer she is.

My Top 11 Books of 2015

At the time of writing this I’ve read 77 books this year, which is less than I wanted to read this year! Boo! Although there is still time…I might get to 80. So for today’s review I thought I’d tell you the 11 best books I’ve read this year, because I couldn’t get rid of one.

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How to Build a Woman– Caitlin Moran

This is definitely the most influential book I read this year. I tried reading Caitlin’s book when I was younger and hated it, but I decided to try again for my Writing Women class this year. I laughed so hard reading it and just felt I could say I’m a feminist without seeming crazy or arrogant. I’ve not religiously watched all of Caitlins talks on YouTube and read How to Build a Girl and a good chunk of Moranthology. Read my review here.

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Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig

Haig has written a phenomenal book. I’m usually sceptical of books related to mental health, because it’s so hard to put into words but somehow Haig has put in exactly how I’ve felt. It’s also great if you’re living with someone with depression too. Read my review here.

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Beautiful & Beautiful Ever After – Katie Piper

I have been a fan of Katie Piper for years. Getting to meet her and get my own message and autograph was a huge highlight of my year. Both of these books are incredibly honest, Katie has the ‘just getting on with it’ attitude a lot of us with physical and mental disabilities have. Her two autobiographies are a brilliant read and full of heartbreak but also full of hope. Review to come in 2016 but you can read about when I met Katie here.

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Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee

I rushed home from work to buy this the day it came out. There was a lot of divided opinion but I for one thought it was an incredible book. There is a completely different message than there was in To Kill a Mockingbird, but I think that it is just as important. Read my review here.

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Am I Normal Yet? – Holly Bourne

I have a book crush on Holly Bourne. Am I Normal Yet? is a fantastic piece of YA literature. Bourne always manages to create a magnificent story and this one is no different. Considering mental health, young people and what ‘normal’ is, she created an instant favourite once again. Read my review here.

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This Book is Gay – James Dawson

I picked up this book a long time ago and decided to finally read it (before James announced he was transgender, he is still using male pronouns for now) because I was curious. I felt like I could know more about the LGBTQ community and I’m so glad I did. I honestly think this book should be given out in schools during sex education! Review to come in 2016.

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The Art of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson

This was the first book I read in 2015 and I absolutely loved it. It’s a great addition to YA literature and has the power to open up conversations about the Trans community. I completely forgot to review it so I’m afraid it will be a 2016 review!

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Orange is the New Black – Piper Kerman

Unlike most of the people I know I wasn’t addicted to the TV show. I didn’t mind it but I just didn’t find it as engaging. Instead I saw a Ted Talk by the real Piper Kerman and decided I want to read her book. I didn’t regret it. This is so interesting it looks not only at Piper but at the women around her and casts a critical eye on the prison system. I really recommend this as something to pick up in the new year.

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Extraordinary Means – Robyn Schneider

I was recommended this book by a friend of mine, I’d been curious about it for a while but also sceptical of the blurb. I was totally wrong, if you are a fan of John Green then this is definitely a novel to pick up. It’s funny, heartbreaking and I’m not ashamed to say I cried at one point. The review for this is coming up in February and I can promise you will love the main character as much as I did, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls – Lynn Weingarten

I can easily declare that this was the most amazing book that I read and that was released in 2015. I have told everyone to buy this because Weingarten has an incredible talents for writing that will keep you up until the early hours. I said ‘oh my god’ multiple times while reading and still think the twist is genius. Read this but make sure you don’t have to be up early the next day as you’ll devour it in one sitting. Read my review here.

I just wanted to say thank you so much for all of the support I’ve received about my book reviews. I’m so grateful for all the feedback and love I’ve received. There are going to be reviews throughout 2016 and I have some great books coming up!!