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.

Book Review: It’s Kind Of A Funny Story – Ned Vizzini

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“Sometimes I just think depression’s one way of coping with the world. Like, some people get drunk, some people do drugs, some people get depressed. Because there’s so much stuff out there that you have to do something to deal with it.”

Craig has a good life, he goes to a top school in New York, has a loving family and a good group of friends. Craig is also depressed. After deciding he doesn’t want or need to take his medication any more, a few nights later he decides that he’s going to kill himself. But something stops him that night and he finds himself checking into a psychiatric ward and into a completely new world. To get better a lot has to change and Craig has to get to know himself.

There are books in life that somehow just explain your life. They make you feel like you’re not alone and you’re not as crazy as you thought you were. For me, It’s Kind of a funny story was like that. I’ve only ever read one other book that understood how I felt was The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. You see, Vizzini’s main character Craig is a perfectionist, he wants success and if one thing goes wrong he spirals he starts to ‘cycle’ which, if you’ve never experienced it is a bad thing. Thoughts keep coming and coming until you can’t think straight,sometimes you feel like you can’t breathe. His high ambition and determination takes over his life to the point that the majority of his cycles are about the work he’s going (or lack of it).

A few people have criticised some of the actions of the teenagers on the ward and I’ll admit that, at first, I was sceptical and thought could things like this really happen? Then I remembered I was reading about teenagers, and I think that’s something you have to keep in mind while reading this novel. Craig isn’t an adult and while some of the things he struggles with might be hard to understand as an adult I can fully remember these feelings and emotions as a teenager myself.

I can fully praise this novel for its portrayal of what it’s like to have a mental illness as a teenager and also for reiterating that you should never just stop taking your medication. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to read something and just feel every bit of what the character is going through; the anxiety, the need to achieve, thinking that you can handle everything when in fact you’re only slightly getting better and last but not least finding a creative way to release all the frustrations. The reason that Vizzini can write this so well is because he himself has lived it. Like Plath’s novel, Vizzini’s is semi autobiographical; he was in a mental health unit as a teenager. On a personal level, I don’t think that experience ever truly leaves you. I’m inspired by him and incredibly saddened to learn that he took his own life a few years ago.

I want to give this novel five stars *****. This really is something else, not only is there a positive portrayal of young people with mental health conditions but also of teenagers in general. Craig does nothing wrong except try, and I think that’s more common than a lot of people realise. People with mental health problems can have a perfectionist side, which without help can take over, I certainly know mine does. I want everyone to read this because it is amazing, educational and I found that it really gave me some hope and someone to connect with. Go and pick a copy up now!

Review by Chloe Metzger