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 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, 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”

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”

Posted in Books, Posts, Resolutions

A New Type of Reader

After years of watching BookTube and browsing Goodreads, I decided it was time to have my own stab in the dark at joining the book review world! I always lap up anything with the mildest description of YA, from cringey guilty-pleasures to hidden gems that leave me bawling.

The coming year is looking to be another excellent year on the YA front: amongst others, we’re (finally) receiving the third instalment of Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season series, Sarah J Maas’ Court of Mist and Fury series is coming to a close and Patrick Ness’ seventh YA book, Release, will be in our hands in May. Continue reading “A New Type of Reader”