Book Review: The Eve Illusion – Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

As we’re thrown back into the world of Eve, the first girl born in 50 years things are about to get dark. This will contain spoilers for the first book (review here) so if you haven’t read it yet pop back later! 

It might just be that I haven’t read the first book in a long time but this definitely felt darker and earned its place as a dystopian book in my opinion. With new technology, a few big twists and a plot that meant I could not put the book down for the life of me. 

When starting the book I was a little lost, but thankfully the end of book one is recapped in an interesting way, from a different perspective which allowed me to remember where we left off and who was who. I didn’t realise that the first book came out 2 years ago – no wonder I felt like it had been a while. 

That said once I’d caught up that was it. It was also great to find out more about the world that Eve had been shielded from and what the reality was outside her own paradise. I had chills while reading this. 

While I can’t say much about it, because I wouldn’t ruin a book like that, the ending is incredible. I did wonder about it a little earlier on but once it happened I was full of intrigue and excitement. That is how you write a cliff hanger, the Fletcher’s have got it spot on. 

This is easily my favourite sequel of the year so far and deserves all the praise. A 5 star read and I’ll be eagerly anticipating book 3, which according to the internet is supposed to come out in 2021 – I will be keeping everything crossed. 

Thank you to the publisher, authors and Netgalley for a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Book Review: Internment – Samira Ahmed

In a world reminiscent of Nazi Germany, families are rounded up in the night and put on trains with few belongings and no idea where they are going. This is a world 17 year old Layla finds herself in. Ending up in an Internment Camp for American Muslims, Layla isn’t willing to take this lying down.

With the help of a small group of friends, Layla begins to fight back in any way that she can. But how far can she push before the Director snaps and just how far will he go in his attempts to control the camp.

After reading Samira Ahmed’s first novel, Love Hate & Other Filters I knew I had to preorder her new book and it did not disappoint. This is a hard hitting novel. While the writing is superb it is the reflection of today’s society that really got me while reading this book.

Ahmed has tackled Islamophobia in her previous novel, but this takes it to another level. She has managed to make the possibility of these internment camps seem alarmingly real. What makes this possible is not just her talent, but also the parallels she has drawn from what we are seeing today in modern day America.

I also found the relationships that Layla had to be incredibly important to the novel and gave it a more realistic vibe. The fear of her parents, the hope of the young people and the disbelief they have all felt made the novel come alive. I was also pleased to see her own opinions change from the black and white views she holds at the beginning of the novel slowly evolve.

I would say that my only criticism would be that I felt the book could have been longer, things ended quite quickly and I, personally, would have liked more details. I can’t say what on as obviously that would be a spoiler and I really do recommend you read this for yourselves.

I gave this 4.5 stars, it was incredibly well written and , actually, came across as chilling but in a way that needed to be told. Ahmed has a real talent for looking in the face of things society would rather not talk about in regards to growing up as a Muslim in the modern world.

Win A Copy Of Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

Who doesn’t love a giveaway? As part of the Kingsbane book tour I have kindly been given the opportunity to give away a copy of Claire Legrand’s latest novel and the second in the Empirium series. Want to check out the first novel, Furyborn? You can find out more about it here.

If you don’t want to know anything about the second novel *spoilers* then don’t read the synopsis below (don’t say I didn’t warn you!) But how do you WIN? Follow this link, like and retweet and there you go! This is open to UK residence and closes this Friday at 8pm. What are you waiting for?

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.

Thank you to Midas PR, Clare Legrand and Source Books Fire for this opportunity and collaboration.

Book Review - Five Feet Apart

Book Review: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis

Do you want to cry some big ugly tears and feel all the feels? Then this is the book for you. A novel following two Cystic Fibrosis patients, both with a very different view of life and their illness. While Stella likes to be in control, Will is fed up with regimens and trials. When the two meet the unthinkable happens – they begin to fall for each other but how can you fall in love when you have to be five feet apart at all times?

So, Five Feet Apart has been everywhere in the last few months because of the film that came out (as of writing this I still haven’t seen it) and I decided to read it because of the hype. To put it simply, I’m really glad I did.

I will admit that when I first started reading I did find it quite slow, I could put it down and walk away but something kept me coming back to it. I wouldn’t say it’s a book that you devour quickly, it’s more of a slow burn but once you’re in, you’re in. I fell in love with these characters and I was rooting so hard for them, as well as having a soft spot for side characters too.

Now, I can’t say how accurate it is from a CF perspective BUT I have watched a few YouTube videos to see what people who do have it think. They really thought it was a good representation, which gives me hope. Also, it’s worth mentioning the two co-authors on this book both have CF which I think is a bloody excellent idea and something we should see more of in books.

I gave this a 4.5 stars. A really emotional read and one I, personally, learnt a lot from. Have you read the book and seen the film? How do they compare? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review – Dear Martin

Dear Martin

Justyce is a straight-A student headed to one of the top universities in the world, he’s smart, kind and a good guy. That doesn’t stop him being racially profiled by a police officer and put in handcuffs for no reason. Trying to make sense of it all he starts writing letters to Martin Luther King Jr and his personal project is born.

I’d heard about this on Booktube a little bit but I honestly think that it deserves more attention. This is a novel that gets to your heart. This looks at a situation of not quite feeling like you fit. Justyce is from what is regarded as a rough neighbourhood but on a scholarship to an incredibly prestigious school. He is caught between the two and it is important to look at how he copes and at how racism exists and breeds in a privileged setting.

One of a string of novels to come from the injustice in the USA change is happening. It is a change we need to happen. I’m not nieve enough to think that the UK doesn’t have problems with race, a lot needs to change here, but what is happening in the US is on another level to anything I’ve ever seen. So many needless deaths and violence because of someone’s skin colour. It makes your heart and your head hurt.

The reason that this got 4 stars is because there were elements I found a little problematic for me. Some of the language that the boys use about women was a little extreme but this might be how she chose to present the characters. I also felt like the ending was quite sudden. This is a relatively short novel and I would have loved for it to have had more towards the end.

Overall, I thought it was an engaging and important novel. Nic Stone is definitely one to watch and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next.

Have you read Dear Martin? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Book Review: One of us is lying – Karen M McManus

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The Brain. The Beauty. The Criminal. The Athlete. The Outcast. A Murder. 

Six students enter detention, all claiming that they are innocent of what lead them there. What appears to be a seemingly normal day ends in murder, suspicion and a bond that can never be broken.

Now, before I start, does that line remind you of anything, anything in particular? If you’re a fan of anything eighties related, like me, it will. Yes, part of the draw for me was that this was reminiscent of The Breakfast Club, one of my favourites. I was lucky enough to be approved by the publishers to get this as an early release and I’m glad I did.

The novel is very much aware of the fact it has all the ingredients for a YA cliché and gets that out of the way pretty early. Each chapter is from the perspective of one of the group, alternating and showing varying perspectives. I did feel, towards the end, that the story focused more on two particular characters and evolved more into their story, which wasn’t a bad thing but I wanted more info on all of them rather than just two.

In terms of the actual mystery itself, I actually found it really clever when it was all pieced together and didn’t see it coming. Obviously, I’m not going to spoil it for you, what kind of reviewer would I be?! I’m not going to lie there were some elements that I worked out before they happened but they were done in such a way that I enjoyed reading them.

Overall, I gave this four stars. I actually read it within a mere few hours, it has a perfect pace and interesting plot. I was genuinely invested in the characters and just wanted to know who the murder was, who was lying? There were some points were I felt it was a little close to The Breakfast Club, however, I’d definitely recommend this novel.

Review by Chloe Metzger

Book Review: Zenn Diagram – Wendy Brant

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If one touch could tell you everything about a person, the good and the bad, what would you do?

As a high school math genius, Eva is used to not being the most popular, but this suits her just fine. While the rest of the school thinks she’s simply a germophobe, Eva is protecting herself from their deepest secrets, their joys and fears, all from a single touch. It isn’t until Eva meets Zac that her gift haunts her more than ever.

It’s been a long time since I picked up a YA novel that I knew was going to involve a love plot. I requested this via Netgalley and was approved by the publishers to give a fair and honest review. I won’t lie, I wasn’t expecting to love this novel as much as I did. If you’re looking for a novel with love and a twist then you’re in the right place.

I connected with the character of Eva almost immediately, while I initially was thrown by her gift and what it meant for the novel. I’ll admit that it did take a while for me to get used to it, but the choice of gift itself was well put together. The fact that Eva has her own life and struggles made her more relatable. While I was initially sceptical about the introduction of Zenn and what this would mean for Eva’s smart and focused character, it actually added a great deal to her and the plot itself.

I think one of the best parts about the novel, however, is that it also have strong comedic value. Eva is not only funny, she is also fiercely intelligent, something that we definitely need more of. As the novel went on I liked both her, and the character of Zen more. I didn’t roll my eyes, nor did I get frustrated because she felt real to me. This was a character that I could see myself in, someone who struggles with what it means to be a ‘good girl’ but also know sadness.

I gave this novel 4 stars. It’s definitely an uplifting book and while it does tackle some issues, there is enough appropriate humour and intelligence to make it an uplifting read. Brant has a true talent for writing fantastic novels with relatable and intelligent protagonists. I would highly recommend this novel to all who need something a little different in the YA market.

Book Review: One – Sarah Crossan

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This is my story.

It is a single story,
not two tales tangled up in each other
like lover’s limbs,
as you might expect.

Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins sharing every single experience with one another. While they may not be ‘normal’ teenage girls that doesn’t stop them wanting to have the same experiences as everyone else. Written through the eyes of  Grace, Crossan presents the story of two heads, two hearts, two souls, one body.

I was intrigued by the idea of this novel, I’ve never read about conjoined twins before in a fictional setting before, must less from the perspective of one of the sisters. That said, this novel is about both Grace and Tippi and who they are as individuals, as more than just ‘the twins’.  The novel considers their family life, job loss and what it means to be a ‘normal’ teenager when you are the subjects of stares and whispers of all around you.

This novel was endearing and quite clever, what I didn’t know upon buying it is that the novel is written in verse. While this is different and shows that Crossan is incredibly talented, I found it incredibly difficult to read in this format and while I was trying to work it out it took away from the story for me. I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I think I would have should it have been prose.

I did enjoy, however, that Crossen didn’t show the girls as a freak show or as one person. Both Grace and Tippy have their own personalities, their own likes and dislikes. While some would see Graces ‘bucket list’ as depressing, in fact it makes the book more realistic. There is a chance that these girls will die as their bodies try to cope with being conjoined.

Crossan isn’t afraid of realism within the novel. The focus on the feelings of exclusion they feel and judgement are not shied away from. Nor are the financial problems that Grace and Tippi’s family face from their condition. The struggle and worry of being able to afford treatment that keeps them both alive highlights the unfairness and strain on a family for something they simply can’t help.

Overall, I gave the novel 3 stars. While it did enjoy it and thought it was an interesting story I felt that while the prose was a brave choice, it wasn’t for me. Trying to work my way through the prose as well as following the story, I found myself constantly distracted. I would recommend this novel if you want something a little different and want to expand your reading experience.

Sunday Seven: My Next YA Reads!

After having to read so many heavy (and sometimes dull) novels for my degree I decided to push the boat out and buy myself a stack of YA novels to get me through the summer months. More daylight means more reading, right? So for this week here are 7 of my next YA reads! I’m also on Goodreads if any of you would like to connect (link on the right of my homepage).

 

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A ‘Study Machine’ who cares for nothing else bust grades meets a fellow genius, after a podcast reveals more than it should both of their lives start to collapse. I won’t lie I was drawn to this initially by the title and cover, then I read the synopsis and was hooked. I can’t wait to get stuck in.

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After being told that they can’t afford to be taught at home anymore conjoined twins Grace and Tippi need to get the hang of the ‘outside’ world fast. They may have defied the odds medically their whole lives, but can they handle high school? This is something so different I needed to pick it up. I’ve always been interested in twins, but I’ve never read about conjoined twins, very exciting.

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Parker has his own set of rules don’t deceive him…especially using his blindness, don’t be weird and don’t betray him. It’s a fact that we need more books with disability in them and so I picked up Lindstrom’s novel off of the table in the book shop. I haven’t heard anything about this book but I’m hoping it’s going to be great.

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Despite being best friends for years, Caddy has always wanted to be more like Rosie and when Suzanne shows up she learns that a little trouble can also be fun. I keep seeing this novel everywhere and I caved and picked it up. It’s going to be interesting to see the effect that a third friend has on their relationship and just how much trouble they can get away with.

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Being allergic to everything sucks, being stuck inside your house and not seeing anyone but your Mum and your Nurse sucks…cute boy moving in next door? Now THAT might be interesting. I am really on the fence about this novel, the protagonist has a rare disease which means she is allergic to everything, when she see’s the new boy next door her thoughts start to change and she thinks that maybe she should start taking risks. I’m a little sceptical because it sounds like the whole, ‘this boy is going to save me even though the medical world can’t’ thing BUT I reserve judgement and hope that isn’t the case.

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What would you do if a character from your favourite story came to life? Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors EVER. So why haven’t I picked up the YA Novel she wrote with her daughter? I have no idea but it’ll certainly be interesting to see her writing style combined with her daughters.

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Auggie has always been different and now it’s time for him to finally go to school for the 5th grade. As well as living with a facial disfigurement Auggie has to make friends and deal with others who don’t want to give him a chance. I’m reading this at the moment and it’s already melting my heart. I haven’t seen ONE negative review of this novel, fingers crossed it stays as good as it currently is.

 

How about you guys? Anything to add to my list or have you already read any of them? Drop me a message in the comments below and let me know!

Book Review: Good Girls – Laura Ruby

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One picture can change your life…

 

This review is something special for me, this is the first YA novel I really fell in love with and started my love for the genre.

Meet Audrey Porter, one of the smartest students in school, advanced by a year, has good friends,a good family and is to be honest a fairly normal person. She’s known at school as a smart kid. No more, no less. That is until one photo changes her entire life. After photos come to light of her doing something that good girls just don’t do, Audrey has to learn the hard way that people will believe absolutely anything.  And after the photo is posted to her parents Audrey realises that she’s going to have to grow up. Fast.

Although many people will not have heard of this book I think that Laura Ruby is on to an absolute goldmine. I read this novel back when I was around 13 years old. I knew nothing about sex and the word ‘sexting’ hadn’t even started really being used yet, but Ruby was able to come up with this plot in the early days. I see this novel as a cautionary tale, although not in a direct way to the plot. We have to remember that in regards to the picture, Audrey has not sent it herself but somehow everyone finds out and everyone makes an assumption about her  (much like what has been happening in the media lately).

Despite what happens to our protagonist and her alienation, the novel still manages to be funny and charming. Until I moved to university this novel sat with my all time favourites, chiefly because we don’t have a boring heroine who mopes around when her life is ‘ruined’. Audrey is the kind of character that reminds you, your mistakes in school don’t make you who you are for the rest of your life. I’m sure many teens find themselves in a similar situation, if not with photographic evidence,then rumours as these can be just as bad. On top of this, the novel deals  with the whole idea of  casual encounters and the whole experience of ‘the first time’. Ruby captures the curiosity as well as the honest truth when it comes to losing your virginity. As I said before, I knew nothing about sex when I first read the novel and even I found it quite informative as well as entertaining!

I couldn’t rate this book highly enough because I honestly think it is a great novel for teenagers. It’s honest, it speaks to them and it is something to make a girl thing. Audrey is a brilliant example for girls to follow. As I said before she doesn’t just sit and cry, she realises what has happened and makes adult decisions despite being apprehensive. It is because of this I give the novel 5 stars *****, I absolutely adored it and think it is a must for any teenage girl.