Tag Archives: 5 Stars

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.

All the RageAll the Rage by Courtney Summers (Macmillan Children's Books, 28 January 2016)

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star

Courtney Summers is incredible. Her writing is incisive, powerful, startling. The only other book I've read of hers is her debut, CRACKED UP TO BE (published in 2008), which I also enjoyed, but her writing has come a long way since then. ALL THE RAGE is sickeningly honest, and that's obviously meant as a compliment to Summers. I don't know how she does it. How she carves the truth onto every page of fiction.

Romy Grey was raped by Kellan Turner, one of the sheriff's sons. No one believes her, because everyone knows she wanted him. She's lost her best friend, Penny, the most popular girl in school. They all bully her now and call her a liar and a slut and worse. She finds a job out of town where no one will know about what happened to her, and it's there that she meets Leon. Leon likes her, and she likes him back, but nothing can be so simple as that anymore, and it's a struggle to keep him separate and distant from everything else in her life. But when Penny goes missing after the biggest party of the year and Romy wakes up on the side of the road with no memory of the night before, things get even more complicated and Romy finds it increasingly difficult to keep her life from unravelling further.

Keep reading »

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 You Left BehindWhat You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi (Sourcebooks Fire, 1 August 2015)

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star

I was really excited about WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND, because the premise is just so stunningly original and unlike anything I've seen in YA – a teenage dad raising a child on his own! And I was so happy when I finished the book, because WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND gave me everything I wanted and more.

Ryden's girlfriend, Meg, died six months ago, leaving him a baby named Hope to take care of. Meg had cancer, and when she got pregnant, she decided to keep the baby and stop her chemo treatment. That's why Ryden thinks it's his fault that Meg is dead – because he got her pregnant, and if he hadn't, she would have continued with her treatment and she might have lived. The only person who makes Ryden feel like he can go back to having fun and being his old self again is Joni, a girl that Ryden meets at work – she doesn't know Ryden has a baby. But as Ryden discovers that Meg might have left behind some journals for him to read, he becomes obsessed with finding those notebooks – is it possible for him to move on when he can't stop thinking about the past?

Keep reading »

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

The Summer of Chasing MermaidsThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler (Simon Pulse, 2 June 2015)

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star

I absolutely ADORED this book. As I'm writing this review a few weeks after I finished it, I still haven't been able to stop thinking about how awesome this book is and trying to make everyone I know read it. I can't talk about this book without just gushing. It's wonderfully feminist, sex-positive, intersectional and just a really beautiful and powerful story.

Elyse is an 18-year-old girl from Tobago, who has recently moved to Atargatis Cove in Oregon, a small, quiet seaside town, to live with her cousin Kirby after a devastating accident at home left her unable to speak. She had been hoping to become a singer along with her sister, but with her dreams now burnt to ashes, she's taking some time away to recover and to get away from it all. She spends her evenings listening to music and writing poetry in what appears to be a disused boat – until Christian Kane, notorious playboy, returns home to the Cove for the summer and she finds out that the boat is in fact Christian's. When Christian is challenged to a boat race against his friend Noah, with the future of the Cove at stake, Elyse ends up working with Christian to get his boat ready for the race, and as they spend more time together, she begins to figure out what she wants, and how to find her voice again.

Keep reading »

I'll Give You the SunI'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Dial Books, 16 September 2014)

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star

I went into this with high hopes. I'd loved Jandy Nelson's last book. I read it in early 2011 and spent the next few years Googling every so often to see if she had another book coming out yet. I was desperate to read more of her writing. Now, four years later, I finally get to read her second book. And wow, was the wait worth it.

I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN tells the story of Noah and Jude, twins who are inseparable at the age of thirteen and both artistic in their own ways. Noah is the quiet one. He draws constantly, dreams of going to art school, and falls in love with the boy next door. Jude wears tight dresses and lipstick and kisses boys at parties. Three years later, there's now a rift between Noah and Jude, and it's like they've swapped personalities. Noah doesn't make art anymore; he has lots of friends and hosts parties at their house. Jude wears baggy sweaters and avoids boys and barely even speaks. What can have happened to make them so different? How can they get back to each other and to their old selves again?

Keep reading »

SeraphinaSeraphina by Rachel Hartman (#1 in the Seraphina series) (Corgi Childrens, 3 January 2013)

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star

SERAPHINA is a smart and stunning new take on dragons that uses the contrast between dragons and humans to bring human emotion to the fore of the book, making for a fascinating and often moving story.

Prince Rufus has been murdered – his head bitten clean off, evidence that it could only have been the work of a dragon. Dragons and humans have enjoyed peace for four decades, thanks to the treaty negotiated by Ardmagar Cormonot, leader of the dragons, and Queen Lavonda, but now this fragile peace might be easily lost. Seraphina, a musician at court, finds herself somehow entangled in the investigation into the murder, led by Prince Lucian Kiggs. But Seraphina has a terrible secret to hide...

Keep reading »