Tag Archives: 4.5 Stars

I received a copy of 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.

radio silenceRadio Silence by Alice Oseman (HarperCollins Children's Books, 25 February 2016)

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To appreciate just how blown away I was by RADIO SILENCE, you may need to revisit the review I wrote about a year ago for SOLITAIRE, Oseman’s debut novel. I couldn’t figure out how I felt about that book at all. I wasn’t sure if I actually liked it—I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, I thought it was boring, I thought it was vaguely interesting. It was bizarre. But I did think highly of Oseman’s writing and I was hopeful that one day she might write a book that appealed to me more. And you know what? She did it right away, with her second book. RADIO SILENCE is just the most exhilarating and gripping roller coaster of emotions about a podcast (!!!), and I know exactly how I feel about it: I love it, 100%.

Meet Frances Janvier.

I was going to Cambridge, and I was going to get a good job and earn lots of money, and I was going to be happy.

Frances is in Year 12. She’s Head Girl at school and she does brilliantly in exams. She’s not good at or interested in much else—but she’s secretly a huge fan of this podcast called Universe City. Nobody knows who the anonymous Creator of the podcast is, but Frances posts fanart of the podcast on her Tumblr, and one day, the Creator messages her to ask her if she would like to work with them to produce art for the podcast. Frances is of course overjoyed. But soon she realises that the Creator is actually someone she’s met in real life: Aled Last, the twin brother of Carys Last, a girl Frances used to be friends with before Carys ran away a few years ago. Aled is a high achiever like Frances, a year older than her and headed for an elite university. Frances and Aled become friends very quickly, but when the podcast goes viral, their friendship is tested. After Aled goes off to university, Frances and Aled are even more isolated from each other and Frances doesn’t know what to do when Aled seems to be slipping away. But it all seems to come back to one thing: Carys, and what happened to make her run away.

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Cinnamon Toast and the End of the WorldCinnamon Toast and the End of the World by Janet E. Cameron (Hachette Books, 1 March 2013)

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I can't believe how good this book is–and I can't believe it's this good and yet so few people have read it or even heard of it. It's keenly observed, achingly beautiful, shockingly real. I fell in love with every moment of reading it. It's a coming-of-age, coming out story, and–I don't consider this a spoiler, really, because it's important for me to know these things going in–there's homophobic violence. The gay guy gets beaten up. But it doesn't feel trite in the slightest.

In Riverside, Nova Scotia, Stephen Shulevitz realises he has fallen in love with his best friend, Mark. They're sitting in the basement watching TV together, and there's a moment when he imagines himself kissing Mark–and that's the moment when the world ends. But as the book goes on, you find out that Stephen has had lots of moments like this before. He's known for years that there was something different about himself, and as for Mark–well. Stephen has been best friends with Mark for eight years. And now, they're nearing the end of high school. In a few months, Stephen will be out of here. It turns out a lot can happen in a few months.

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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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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.

The Lie TreeThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children's Books, 7 May 2015)

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I'd been meaning to read a book by Frances Hardinge for a while now, and when I saw that she had a new book coming out and it was available for review on Netgalley, I had to request it! And I'm so glad I did. If all of Hardinge's books are amazing as this one then I am definitely going to have to read all of them!

THE LIE TREE is set in the Victorian period, several years after the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Faith Sunderley's father is a disgraced natural scientist, whose reputation has been ruined after the news comes out that his fossil finds were fakes. He moves his whole family to the island of Vane, just off the coast of England, to escape from the scandal for a while and to assist with an excavation there. When he is found dead, everyone thinks it's a suicide – but Faith suspects differently. Armed with her father's journal and his secrets about the Tree of Lies, Faith sets about trying to discover the truth about her father's death.

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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.

We All Looked UpWe All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (Simon & Schuster, 26 March 2015)

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WE ALL LOOKED UP is a breathtaking story about love, and four teenagers at the end of the world.

An asteroid nicknamed Ardor is hurtling towards Earth. There's a 66.6% chance that the world will come to an end and that everyone will die. Peter, Eliza, Andy, and Anita all go to the same high school in Seattle. Peter is a star basketball player. He's been going out with his girlfriend Stacy for years, but a year ago he kissed Eliza in a darkroom and he's never been able to forget that kiss. Eliza is a photographer, and she's never been able to forget that kiss either – not that anyone would let her, considering how she's been branded the school slut since she was caught kissing Peter in that darkroom. Andy is a stoner and he's never seen much point in anything, but, since he's determined not to die a virgin, he makes it his goal to sleep with Eliza before the end. Anita's been living her whole life under the rule of her strict father, but her dream is to sing – and maybe now that the world is ending, her dream can finally can true.

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