YAY for YA: the sequel

I’m here to share with you some of the brilliant YA books I’ve read recently with some mini reviews – I really love writing mini reviews because I get to share with you all the books I’ve been reading without blabbering on for 100s of words (in essence, you get the very best of my reviews!)

YAY for YA April

This year, I have pledged to write some kind of review for EVERY book I read (whether it’s a full review or a mini review!) I’m doing quite well so far. There are a few books still to review, but I’ve got them all in a list so I know I need to review them. You’ll find the list of books I’ve read and the linked reviews in the 2020 Reads page on the menu bar up there ^^.

I hope you guys enjoy these reviews! Let me know in the comments what you think!

The Good Hawk – Joseph Elliott

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“Agatha is a Hawk, brave and fierce, who protects her people by patrolling the high walls of their island home. She is proud of her job, though some in her clan whisper that it is meant to keep her out of the way because of the condition she was born with.Jaime, thoughtful and anxious, is an Angler, but he hates the sea. Worse, he’s been chosen for a duty that the clan hasn’t required for generations: to marry. The elders won’t say why they have promised him to a girl in a neighboring clan, but there are rumors of approaching danger.When disaster strikes and the clan is kidnapped, it is up to Agatha and Jaime to travel across the haunted mainland of Scotia to Norveg, with help along the way from a clan of nomadic Highland bull riders and the many animals who are drawn to Agatha’s extraordinary gift of communication.”

I read this book a few weeks ago and I’m gonna be honest, the characters have really stuck with me! I think that shows just how much I enjoyed this story! It is written in multiple narratives and I thought it was done brilliantly. There was a very clear difference between the perspectives so you knew exactly who you were learning from. The whole premise of the book proper spoke to me too. It was a good bit of escapism! The story starts in one place and took me somewhere else entirely, which was a totally unexpected but welcome surprise! I loved Agatha and Jaime (the main characters) a lot. This truly is a bit Game Of Thrones for YA: a lot less blood and gore, and a bit more mythology. Great story! It’s out now if you wanna go get it! (Massive thank you to the publishers Walker Books for sending me a review copy!)

Good Girls Die First – Kathryn Foxfield

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“Mind games. Murder. Mayhem. How far would you go to survive the night? Blackmail lures sixteen-year-old Ava to the derelict carnival on Portgrave Pier. She is one of ten teenagers, all with secrets they intend to protect whatever the cost. When fog and magic swallow the pier, the group find themselves cut off from the real world and from their morals. As the teenagers turn on each other, Ava will have to face up to the secret that brought her.”

The lovely people of Scholastic sent me a proof copy of this (which was gorgeous and bright pink btw) to review and I really enjoyed it. The premise of this book is something I love in stories: a whole host secrets, an abandoned carnival island and a group of teenagers. You go through the whole book not being ENTIRELY sure what is going on, but knowing that there is something HELLA sinister at play on this island. The poor teenagers who are lured onto the island have a lot to deal with and let me tell you, I would NOT be brave enough to go there! I really enjoyed finding out all of the different secrets of the teens and the different personalities. You see them butting heads, trying to work together and even betraying each other! 

Pretty Funny – Rebecca Elliott

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“Haylah Swinton is fairly confident she’s brilliant at being a girl. She’s an ace best friend, a loving daughter, and an INCREDIBLY patient sister to her four-year-old total nutter of a brother, Noah. But she has a secret. She wants to be a stand-up comedian, but she’s pretty sure girls like her – big girls, girls who don’t get all the boys, girls who a lot of people don’t see – don’t belong on stage. That hasn’t stopped her dreaming though, and when the seemingly perfect opportunity to write routines for older, cooler, impossibly funny Leo arises… well, what’s a girl to do? But is Leo quite an interested in helping Haylah as he says he is? Will Haylah ever find the courage to step into the spotlight herself? And when oh when will people stop telling her she’s ‘funny for a girl’?!”

When I heard this was coming out, I needed to get my hands on it and the wonderful humans over at Penguin sent me a copy (for which I was VERY grateful!). Reading this made me really happy – Haylah is a great main character to read and experience life through the lens of – I found her hard to get along with at times, but we got there in the end! She’s getting up to a lot in her life and trying to muddle her way through a lot. As I read, I was dying to get to the end to see how it all panned out and let me tell you, the ending is SO SATISFYING. I thought it was well rounded and brilliantly done. This book featured some great chat about female teenage friendships, being different and feeling like you don’t fit in. Noah (Haylah’s little brother) is the absolute hero of this book. 

The Map from Here to There – Emery Lord

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“It’s senior year, and Paige Hancock is finally living her best life. She has a fun summer job, great friends, and a super charming boyfriend who totally gets her. But senior year also means big decisions. Feeling the weight of ‘the rest of her life’ Paige starts to panic. Everything is exactly how she always wanted it to be – how can she leave it all behind next year? In her head, she knows there is so much more to life after high school. But in her heart, is it so terrible to want everything to stay the same forever?”

Anyone who has been here for a while will know that I am a MASSIVE Emery Lord fan. Her books ALWAYS ALWAYS hit me where it hurts and give me such joy in that. This book is the sequel to The Start of Me and You (although you don’t ACTUALLY need to read that to understand this book: it just gives you more sense of context and things!) and I adored that book. Being back in Paige’s world with Max and the rest of her gang was lovely. As with every other Emery Lord book, I definitely had a cry. This is a gorgeous story about teen romance, friendships, life changing decisions and all those things bring in the world. It’s about self discovery and questioning what you thought you knew about the world. It’s growing up, hurting and healing. Paige and Max are so lovely. 

There we have it! My round up of some BLOODY BRILLIANT YA books I’ve read recently!

What have you read recently?
Have you read any of the books above?
Do you want to know any more about the books I read?
Do you have any recommendations based on these books?

Talk to me! I’d love to know what your thoughts are on these books! 

S x

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