Posted in Blog posts, Books, Children's, Discussions, ya

Twenty Books for Twenty Years

After seven long years, I have now successfully navigated through teenagedom and graduated as a non-quite-adult. My goodness! I don’t think I could have done it without the lessons I’ve learned from books, not forgetting the fun and laughs they’ve brought too.

As every good historian knows, despite the fact I have only just turned twenty, I have already experienced twenty years. So, here are twenty books from twenty years to mark my freshly completed two decades: Continue reading “Twenty Books for Twenty Years”

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, 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, 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 Blog posts, Books, Discussions, ya

Tower of Dawn: Cover Reveal (and my unnecessesary stress)

As I am behind the times, I’ve only just seen the cover for the next Throne of Glass book. (I am also behind the times in the sense that I have not read Maas’ other book series.)

So here it is:

31450852It’s, well – it’s a deviation from the norm, isn’t it? We’re all used to Celaena/Aelin/whatever-she’s-going-by-nowadays taking up the cover with weapons of choice, and I don’t think I was the only one who assumed Chaol would be adopting a similar position (this one was literally referred to as the ‘Chaol novel’ until it got a proper title). Continue reading “Tower of Dawn: Cover Reveal (and my unnecessesary stress)”

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 Blog posts, Books, Discussions, ya

Empire of Storms: sex scenes and their place in YA lit

I’ve finally come to the end of Sarah J Maas’ Empire of Storms (blame uni) and it has turned out to be my favourite since the prequels, The Assasin’s Blade. Unfortunately, I find Maas’ books to be a little too predictable or I have to struggle through her slow pacing, keeping my ratings down at three stars. This time, however, I didn’t find this to be a problem and the generous sprinkling of plot twists and actions scenes had me giving Empire of Storms four stars. And so I was surprised to see the main criticism of many reviewers was the increased frequency and intensity of sex scenes.

Some say it didn’t fit the tone established in previous books. Some said they were badly written. Some said they were far too explicit. Some said they were inappropriate for a book aimed at teens. Continue reading “Empire of Storms: sex scenes and their place in YA lit”

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”

Posted in Books, Feminism, Reviews, ya

Only Ever Yours | Louise O’Neill

Young Adult dystopia at its best

A book by its concept

Set in a dystopian world where girls are no longer born naturally but created artificially, this book explores the impact of gender roles on young women’s lives. It has been described as the Young Adult vision of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, so expectations are high. Continue reading “Only Ever Yours | Louise O’Neill”