Mini reviews – a YA edition!

Good morning

I am catching up on some young adult (YA) books that I’ve read this year… and you’re in for a treat with this quad of books! I am slowly getting into reviewing my 2023 reads and it’s an honour to start with these ones!

Check out my reviews below!


Where the Light Goes – Sara Barnard

“Lizzie Beck” is one quarter of British pop sensation The Jinks, who launched their career via a reality TV talent show and rose straight to fame – and in Lizzie’s case, infamy, for her tumultuous relationship with her boyfriend, stints in rehab and candid confessions about her mental health on Instagram. To Emmy, though, she will always be her older sister, Beth, the person whose footsteps she intends to follow. Except now she can’t. Because Beth, Emmy’s beloved sister, has died by suicide. Forced to face a world without the guiding light of her bright, brilliant big sister, Emmy must wrestle with the impact of private grief, public scrutiny and discover who she once was and who she will become, now that Beth is gone.

Well, this is a gut-wrenching exploration of grief, the bond between siblings and the toll fame can have on a person. I was incredibly lucky that Walker sent me an early copy of this book. I am a massive fan of Sara Barnard and when I heard this was coming out, I knew this was going to be a total kick in the heart. And…. I was right! As always Sara has written a story which pulls at your insides and makes you cry (it certainly made me cry an awful lot!). I just loved this – explorations of love, sisterhood, social media, emotions… all sorts! There’s some brilliant explorations of anger and grief in this! Loads to talk about, but just read it. Please.

This comes out 5th May and I need everyone to get behind it!

The Black Queen – Jumata Emill

Tinsley McArthur was supposed to become homecoming queen, just like generations of McArthur women before her. But in a bid for diversity, Lovett High wants a black queen this year and the top contender is the bold and beautiful Nova Albright. Though Tinsley tries to convince her to drop out, Nova isn’t about to step aside for some rich white girl. On homecoming night, drunk and enraged, Tinsley is caught on camera declaring she should have killed Nova. The next morning Lovett High’s first Black homecoming queen turns up dead. Would Tinsley do anything for the crown? Nova’s best friend Duchess certainly thinks so. So when Tinsley asks Duchess for help to clear her name, she agrees. She’s determined to get justice for Nova, even it means befriending a murderer to find proof against her. But their investigation begins to uncover secrets about Nova’s past and one big secret that could change everything in their small town.

This is another piece of book post, which ended up coming on holiday with me! A massive thanks to Scholastic for the review copy! This was devilishly twisty and turny. I was both shocked and not shocked at who the killer turned out to be. I think the characters in this play their roles so brilliantly! There were definitely things I was shocked at… a brilliant murder mystery that I think a lot of people are gonna love!

This it out now.

The Midnight Game – Cynthia Murphy

When a group who have met on a creepy Deddit thread decide to meet in real life, they only have one plan in mind: they are going to summon the Midnight Man. And once you start the Midnight Game, you must finish it – there’s no other way out! Six strangers. One night. But how many survivors?

Cynthia is another one of those authors whose every book I’ve really enjoyed since she started publishing… and this was no different. This was a rollercoaster. Excellent story telling. I loved all the text messages, forum messages and internet articles. Kinda terrifying. The Midnight Man is not the kind of thing I wanna come across on a bright, sunny day, never mind in a creepy empty school. You won’t find me playing any of these games in a hurry… does that ending leave for us to get another?! I think this would make a great TV series/movie!

This it out now.

This Is My Truth – Yasmin Rahman

Best friends Amani and Huda are getting nervous about their GCSEs – and their future beyond school, which they’re both wildly unprepared for. Both girls are jealous of each other’s seemingly easy life, without realising the darkness or worries that lie underneath. Then Huda witnesses Amani’s father hitting her mother, and Amani’s biggest secret is suddenly out. As Amani convinces Huda to keep quiet by helping her with her own problems, a prank blog starts up at school, revealing students’ secrets one by one. Will this anonymous blogger get hold of Amani’s secret too? Will Huda keep quiet?

I went into this kind of expecting to have my heart torn into shreds (having read Yasmin’s other book!). I read this on holiday and it was heart-breaking and really bloody tough to read at times. Amani is a gorgeous main character and I’m so glad for Ismail for providing much needed moments of light in this. This is such a brilliant story, dealing with some pretty grim topics and dealing with them brilliantly.

This it out now.


Thank you so much for stopping by! A massive thanks to Scholastic and Walker for sending me review copies of these books… I thoroughly loved them and my fiancé has read them too!

Have you read any of these?
Do you like the sound of these?

I’d love to talk books with you!

S x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s