Posted in Books, Reviews, ya

Freshers | Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

If there’s one thing I don’t like about the current state of publishing, it would be the almost complete lack of books focused on the experience of anyone aged 18 to 25. There are plenty of angsty sixteen-years-olds in YA (why are so many of them sixteen? I was sixteen once and it wasn’t as life-changing as I was led to expect), but after that we’re left with full-on adult fiction. You’re either reading about schoolkids saving the day or adults balancing work and home (yes, I know that is a very brief generalisation). The crazy gap between these two age groups is largely missed even though there’s all kinds of exciting stuff going on. Continue reading “Freshers | Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison”

Posted in Books, Children's, Feminism, Reviews

The Lie Tree | Frances Hardinge (not like other ladies)

It took me forever to get into this book. I got into a massive reading slump and kept staring at the book and thinking ‘Why must I read you?’ and that isn’t the best precedent to set before getting to a hundred pages. However, once I finally got into The Lie Tree, none of that mattered because, wow, this book has a lot to say.

When Faith’s father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets.

But as Faith’s untruths spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter… Continue reading “The Lie Tree | Frances Hardinge (not like other ladies)”

Posted in Books, Reviews

All That She Can See | A book let down by the little things

I wasn’t going to buy this book. Carrie’s previous book, On The Other Side, left me underwhelmed and I didn’t have high hopes for improvements. But then I was taken in by the pretty cover and the pre-order prizes and, as a book deal aficionado, I managed to get it for under £6. And I was surprised: this book is a huge improvement, but, and I hate to say this, I don’t think Carrie’s writing is at publishable standard just yet. Continue reading “All That She Can See | A book let down by the little things”

Posted in Books, Reviews, ya

Release review | AKA Patrick Ness is the best

Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy is my favourite series after Harry Potter, only missing out on the top spot for these reasons: a) there are fewer books and b) the fandom is smaller so there is less prolonged excitement. But still, it’s brilliant. I don’t think I’ll ever read a better science fiction series.

What this means, however, is that my relationship with his other book always goes something like ‘it’s not Chaos Walking, but it’s still Patrick Ness so I like it anyway.’ The same is true for Release. Good book. Good read. Probably won’t be obsessing over it six years after first reading it. Continue reading “Release review | AKA Patrick Ness is the best”

Posted in Books, Children's, Fantasy, Five Stars, Reviews

The Girl of Ink and Stars | Beautiful cover, beautiful story

I said the other day that Radio Silence might just be my book of the year, but already there’s a new contender competing for this year’s place: Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s The Girl of Ink and Stars.

The Girl of In51HhcQYpC3L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_k and Stars surprised me with how much was packed into two hundred or so pages. I pretty much only bought the book because I liked the cover (I know, I’m terrible) and I was worried that it would be a case of all-boasting, no-substance. Some books can be a bit over-produced but lack the content to make this seem worthwhile. This one has fold-out endpages that reveal two maps of the Island of Joya, the book’s main setting, and illustrations in the margins of every page. But, far from being a needless addition, these features actually add to the reading experience. Continue reading “The Girl of Ink and Stars | Beautiful cover, beautiful story”

Posted in Books, Five Stars, Reviews, ya

Nine reasons to read Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence

This is a strong contender for my book of the year. I’m so glad I managed to fit this one into my increasingly limited reading time. I could ramble on about all the little details that make it so great, but for fear of boring everyone, here’s a list of reasons why you should grab a copy right now: Continue reading “Nine reasons to read Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence”

Posted in Books, Fantasy, Reviews, ya

Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo

shadow-and-bone-the-grisha-1-leigh-bardugoShadow and Bone, the first book in the Grisha trilogy, has all the promises for a wonderfully original fantasy series, but it suffers from two problems that are difficult to ignore: it lacks plot and character development, and the world building really isn’t there.

There is a simple reason for this: Shadow and Bone is about a hundred pages short of where it should be. Clocking in at just over 80,000 words, it’s only the average length of a contemporary. There just isn’t the time and space to fit in all the details needed for the reader to connect with the characters and the world. Continue reading “Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo”

Posted in Books, Reviews, ya

The Sun is Also a Star | Nicola Yoon

imagesI wanted to like Nicola Yoon’s books. I really wanted to.

They’re everywhere. Since bursting into the YA scene with Everything, Everything in September 2015, her books have amassed an impressive 151,000 GoodReads ratings between them and her debut novel has just entered cinemas *stares suspiciously at the 18th August UK release date*

It’s easy to understand where all the hype is coming from. The books are wonderfully written, weaving factual knowledge with emotional understanding. Continue reading “The Sun is Also a Star | Nicola Yoon”

Posted in Books, Children's, Reviews

The Boy in the Dress | David Walliams

A wonderful mixture of silliness and seriousness

A book by its concept

The Boy in the Dress is David Walliams’ first book for children. Like most, I know Walliams mostly as an actor, comedian and the judge from Britain’s Got Talent who loves all the daft acts. I wasn’t sure how much his book deal came from genuine talent and how much came from the publishers’ desire to put a famous name on a book cover. My younger brother, however, really enjoyed Walliams’ books; he has a little space on the shelf dedicated to all of his publications. Continue reading “The Boy in the Dress | David Walliams”

Posted in Books, Feminism, Reviews, ya

Asking For It | Louise O’Neill

Chilling and upsetting – but a 100% must-read

A book by its concept


Imagine waking up the morning after a party with no memory of what happened. Imagine that everyone else knows but you. Imagine that social media serves as the only means to piece everything back together in horrifying detail. For Emma O’Donovan, eighteen years old, this is not something she can only imagine.

The worst part of reading this book is the knowledge that this not a concept conjured by the author – this is, in one form or another, a reality stretching across the world. The book was partially inspired by real-life cases and the following media reaction. It’s a result of speaking to victims, reading news stories and analysing wider attitudes towards rape. Continue reading “Asking For It | Louise O’Neill”