the sowingThe Sowing by Steven dos Santos (#2 in the Torch Keeper series) (Flux, 8 March 2014)

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This review is for the second book in a series and contains spoilers for the first book in the series. Please do not continue reading if you haven't read the first book.

A year after reading THE CULLING, I’ve finally read its sequel, THE SOWING. I remember really enjoying THE CULLING despite my initial doubts about it, and I had been really looking forward to the sequel, but I am sad to say that I really didn’t like it as much as I did the first book.

After the end of the Trials, Lucian “Lucky” Spark is training to become an Imposer, one of those who will help to enforce the law in the Establishment. At night, he’s sneaking out and sabotaging his oppressors. He’s planning to rescue his imprisoned brother and run away somewhere with him, but before that happens, he gets caught up in a rebel plot to assassinate the Prime Minister and Prefect Cassius Thorn. The outcome of the plot results in Lucky getting entangled in an ever more complicated web of danger and deceit. Along the way, he finds out some troubling things about himself and about Digory Tycho, the man he loved who died in the Trials.

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I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way affects my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

what we left behindWhat We Left Behind by Robin Talley (Mira Ink, 22 October 2015)

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WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND is one of the truest love stories I've ever read in YA.

Tony and Gretchen met each other in high school and fell in love. They're the perfect couple and they've been together for almost two years when they leave for different universities – Tony to Harvard and Gretchen to NYU. They think they'll survive the long distance, but it's much easier said than done. Tony, who identifies as genderqueer, befriends a group of trans guys at Harvard and feels like this is where he belongs. He slowly figures out more about his gender identity, but he doesn't feel like he can talk to Gretchen about it anymore, as she won't understand him the way his trans guy friends do. Gretchen, on the other hand, is starting to wonder who she is outside of her relationship with Tony. Tony is too busy for Gretchen to visit often, and they begin to drift apart. Can they save their relationship – or more importantly, should they?

NB: Tony is written 'Toni' in the official blurb. When he and Gretchen first meet, Tony is presenting as female and has not yet started identifying as genderqueer, and he and Gretchen were known to everyone as a lesbian couple. However, over the course of the book Tony begins to identify as more on the male end of the spectrum than the female end and decides to adopt he/him pronouns and spell his name with a y instead of an i. Thus I believe it best to call him Tony and use male pronouns for him.

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jul aug 2015 wrap up

Okay, so I didn't manage to do a wrap-up post in July, nor did I think it was really worth it since I only posted twice in July. But today I bring you the double edition of my monthly wrap-up, where I am wrapping up July and August in one go! Whoo! ?

Books I reviewed in July & August

july aug 2015 books

  1. Tangled Webs by Lee Bross (★)
  2. The Dark Light by Julia Bell (★★)
  3. What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi (★★★★★)
  4. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (★★★)
  5. Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian (★★)
  6. Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa (★★★★)
  7. About a Girl by Sarah McCarry (★★★★½)
  8. Another Day by David Levithan (★★★★)

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I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way affects my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ANOTHER DAY.inddAnother Day by David Levithan (Companion novel to Every Day) (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 25 August 2015)

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ANOTHER DAY is the companion novel to EVERY DAY, which details the story of A, who wakes up every morning in a different body, living every day in a different life. ANOTHER DAY is told from the perspective of Rhiannon, a girl whom A meets while in the body of Rhiannon's boyfriend, Justin. Justin isn't very good to Rhiannon, and all of Rhiannon's friends see this, but Rhiannon convinces herself that they don't really know. She loves Justin and she can't leave him. But one day, Justin is completely different. He skips school with her to go to the beach, and they have the most amazing day together. Soon, Rhiannon learns that it wasn't really Justin that day – it was someone else wearing Justin's body, and that someone else has fallen in love with her. As A keeps meeting Rhiannon in different bodies, Rhiannon can't help but feel their connection too. In ANOTHER DAY, we see Rhiannon struggling with her feelings for Justin and A at the same time, and fighting the difficulties of loving someone whose physical appearance changes every day and who can never stay in the same life for more than one day.

I've read EVERY DAY by David Levithan, but that was when it came out in 2012, and my book memory has always been terrible. (I honestly thought it came out like, five years ago, I remember so little about it.) So I am pretty much judging ANOTHER DAY entirely by its own merits, and I can't really tell you how well this book works as a companion novel, per se. But as a novel, I think it works pretty brilliantly.

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I received this book for free via Netgalley. This in no way affects my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

about a girlAbout a Girl by Sarah McCarry (#3 in the Metamorphoses series) (St Martin's Griffin, 14 July 2015)

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About a Girl is phenomenal.

I haven't actually read the previous two books in the trilogy; this third book stands fantastically on its own. Well, I've read maybe a third or half of the first book, and while I was enjoying it and I certainly intend to go back and finish it at some point, I don't think it was as captivating as About a Girl was. I picked up About a Girl in the middle of a long plane flight, and four hours later I was coming to the end of the book and crying silently into a bunch of tissues.

About a Girl is... well, about a girl. A girl called Atalanta, or Tally for short. Her mother abandoned her when she was only a baby and she's grown up in the care of her mother's best friend. Tally's into science – astronomy, to be precise. She's a rational person who likes knowledge and order. But she doesn't know much about her mother – and nothing at all about her father. In the summer before she goes off to college, she travels from her home in Brooklyn to a sleepy island near Seattle on her own, on a quest to find out more about her mother and to discover who her father was. But the island is a strange place, and when Tally meets Maddy, a beautiful girl with lion-coloured eyes, she starts to discover knowledge like nothing she's ever known.

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