Forgotten Faves: YA edition

The other day, I started sharing some of my #ForgottenFaves. I shared my middle grade forgotten faves, but today it’s the turn for my YA forgotten faves.

So, here I am sharing 10 YA books that I don’t recommend enough, but that I absolutely adored. 10 books I don’t think are talked about enough, so I’m sharing a bit more love for them!

Let’s get on with it!

Image result for all the lonely people

Not only is All The Lonely People an amazing story with an incredibly important message, but it has a wonderful author. For those of you who don’t follow David Owen on twitter, get on it. I loved this story and it’s concept. Equal parts terrifying and intriguing!

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If you’re looking for a book that will BLOW YOUR GOSH DARN MIND, look no further than White Rabbit, Red Wolf. I genuinely RACED through this book and it just blew me away. I’m still not sure I’ve come down from the amount my heart was racing and I read this book months ago!

Image result for oh my gods

As a huge lover of mythology, Oh My Gods ticked off so many boxes for me. Mythology, humour, teenage angst and a wonderful set of characters. This book gave me such warmth and I really can’t wait to see what comes next from Alexandra Sheppard!

Image result for show stopper hayley barker

I try and talk about Show Stopper and its sequel as often as I can because not enough people in my life are talking about the duology. It’s circuses, opression, a young man fighting against his family, a wonderful love story and some characters who do surprising things. There’s also a character who is one of the WORST ever.

Image result for eyes of the dragon

I’m not sure if The Eyes of the Dragon is technically YA, but it certainly felt YA reading it. I was recommended this from a bookseller friend of mine and I really enjoyed it in that kind of consuming it in a few hours kind of way. There’s a few moments from this book that have stuck with me.

Image result for emery lord

Emery Lord writes the most wonderful books and The Names They Gave Us is no exception. It made me CRY a lot. It’s one of those books that punches you in the gut, A book dealing with friendship, family, illness all over a summer camp? Winner winner! This book left me with a very full heart!

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It’s not often that I read an anthology and it make an impact on me, but A Change Is Gonna Come is one of those exceptions. There’s a story involving a cat that just BROKE ME. There’s such a wide range of topics covered in this book (bereavement, mental health, racism and sexuality) that there is something for everyone in here, so please please get on it!

Image result for cell 7

Imagine living in a world where your life is in the hands of people on social media. Cell 7 is one of those books that will have you questioning your own morals. I know that as I read I was APPALLED by some of the behaviour, but who knows where the world will take us! Tense and thought provoking at its best!

Image result for dawn o'porter books

This is a book I often think back on because I loved it, but so rarely remember to recommend to people. Paper Aeroplanes is one of those books that made an impression on me: the characters, the story, the feeling. It’s a story about female friendship, forgiveness, the 90s and family. I would love more YA from Dawn O’Porter!

Image result for lovers dictionary

Oh my heart. This book. Told as a set of posts in the dictionary, The Lover’s Dictionary is an incredible exploration of falling in love, the hardships in love and how honesty is important. I met David Levithan and I fangirled so hard about this book. David Levithan is one of my go-to authors, so if you don’t know his books, please get on it.

And that’s it from me!

Have you read any of these?
Do you have any YA forgotten faves?

If you wanna share your forgotten faves, I’d love to know that I’m not alone in being rubbish with sharing books I love!

S x

 

 

S4S – Blogging highlights

Hello hello hello!

It’s Sunday again! Time for some reflections on what have been some of my top moments of the year! Today’s #SixforSunday looks at:

2018 Blogging Highlights

2018 has been QUITE THE YEAR for me… so let’s find some of my highlights.

  1. Winning a UKYA Blogger award. 
    I’m still not sure how I won the ‘Best Newcomer’ category, but my word, what a moment that was!
  2. Chairing an event with my absolute queen, Melinda Salisbury, and the brilliant Alice Broadway
    I was SO NERVOUS for this, but it was absolutely incredible. I love both Alice and Mel so so much.
  3. Chairing Laura Steven and David Levithan
    HE’S A MASSIVE AMERICAN AUTHOR and she’s one of the best people in my life, so this was an absolute honour. I’m still not sure how I was asked to do this event.
  4. Hitting 30,000 views on my blog
    I NEVER thought I’d get to the point where I thought 10s of 1000s of people would view my blog, but here we are and I legit cried when I hit 30,000 views. It’s insane.
  5. Watching #SixforSunday get some new friends
    Any time someone has joined in #SixforSunday, my little heart grew exponentially. I’ve absolutely loved creating and doing #SixforSunday. Watch this space for the prompts for next year! 
  6. Having my words immortalised in books!
    This year has seen some of my blogging words included on books and that is INSANE. It’s an incredible feeling and I am ALWAYS here to shout about books! 

These are not in any order really, but there’s so many amazing things that happened in 2018. It’s been such an incredible year for blogger me. I can’t believe this is quite my bookish life.

S x

BOOK BLOG: David Levithan

Someday: what happens when you accept the love you never thought you could have?

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“For as long as A can remember, life has meant waking up in a different person’s body every day, forced to live as that person until the day ended. A always thought there wasn’t anyone else who had a life like this. But A was wrong. There are others.

A has already been wrestling with powerful feelings of love and loneliness. Now comes an understanding of the extremes that love and loneliness can lead to—and what it’s like to discover that you are not alone in the world.”

As one of the biggest fans of David Levithan, I knew that I needed to read this book as soon as I heard that it was coming out. For those of you who aren’t sure about this world, A never wakes up in the same body twice. Rhiannon is a young girl who A met in book 1 and their tale is one that’s stuck with me for a long time.

Immersing myself back into the magical world of A and Rhiannon again was such an incredible experience. I’d loved their story for a long time. The thought of not being the same person every day terrified me though. The thought of the person I love not being the same every day equally baffled me. Through the book, you get such an overwhelming feeling of yearning and want from both sides. They both might have “moved on” with their lives… but they still feel this invisible thread holding them together. We’ve all been there. We’ve all wanted to speak to soneone we can’t anymore. If we were given the opportunity, should we take it? Would it be any help?

Honesty time: I’m going through this a bit at the minute. There’s people from my past that I’d love to just talk to, so I know how both of them are feeling.

Different from the other books in this series, there’s another character who is like A. X is a bit more sinister, a bit more evil than A. X’s perception of what they do is different to A’s. They both come at what happens to them with different motives in mind. X is quite a desctructive force; A wants to be a positive force in these people’s lives. X scared me at times. They were everything A isn’t. My brain struggled at times to accept that there could be “bad versions” of A in this world. 

One of the things I love most about Levithan’s writing is that it makes you question so much. What is it to be human? What is it to love? Are we ever the same person every day? Don’t we all change? What is a soul? I love a book that makes me think. I love a quotable book. There’s so many passages in this book that I could quite happily go back and highlight, frame and preach forever. This one about everyone’s story just made my soul sing when I read it:

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This book was everything I wanted from it. There’s a gorgeous gentle ebb and flow of loving, missing, adjusting, accepting – just as there is in life. I felt protected and trusted this book (which could be a weird thing to say? I don’t know how else to explain it!) 

So yeah. Go read this whole series. Imagine living in A or Rhiannon’s shoes. You are already living them – you’re never the same person you were when you woke up yesterday. 

If you so fancy it, I have the ABSOLUTE honour of chairing a chat with David Levithan and Laura Steven (author of the incredible The Exact Opposite of Okay) at the end of October (30th to be exact) at Waterstones Newcastle. Come along and hear me fangirl and not know what to say to two authors I absolutely admire. It’ll be lots of fun! Tickets are only £3 can be bought here or in the shop! I’d love to see lots of friendly faces! 

S x

Brilliant YA still to come!

You may have seen a few weeks ago that I did a post all about the MG books that I’m still excited for in 2018, so I figured it was only fair to do a YA version of this list… because there’s a lot of YA books I’m excited for which are still to come this year. (There’s also a lot of books I’m excited for whicha re to be released in 2019… but that’s a post for a different day!)

So here we are…

2018 ya

Someday – David Levithan (I think this may be the US cover?!)
(I adore everything David Levithan has written and this book will be NO exception. I love this world he’s created for A, so I’m very excited for this!)
“For as long as A can remember, life has meant waking up in a different person’s body every day, forced to live as that person until the day ended. A always thought there wasn’t anyone else who had a life like this. But A was wrong. There are others. A has already been wrestling with powerful feelings of love and loneliness. Now comes an understanding of the extremes that love and loneliness can lead to — and what it’s like to discover that you are not alone in the world.”

What If It’s Us – Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
(I’ve had the pleasure of reading this book and I’m excited for everyone else to read it!)
“Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things. But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?”

Summer Bird Blue – Akemi Dawn Bowman 
(I heard Akemi speak at YALC about this book and instantly added it to my “must buy” list!)
“Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea. Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.”

Life’s a Beach – Chloe Coles
(I recently read The Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles, who is an absolute babe, and I adored it. I’m so excited for book 2!)
“Holly and Paige are at a literary festival in Skegton-On-Sea. They’ve been looking forward to it for ages. It’s one of the biggest book festivals around – and there’s a pop up bookshop tent and a lot of Big Shot Writers. It’s basically like they’re being PAID to go on a BFF HOLIDAY and SELL A FEW BOOKS! They had to beg their grumpy boss Tony to put their names forward. He ummed and ahhed and said he wasn’t sure it was a good idea. But they’re here at last and it’s brilliant. Well, kind of. It’s true that there’s a diva of an author called Minnie, who dresses head to toe in pink, and insists that Paige picks fresh flowers for her signing table every day, even though it’s raining. But along the way, Paige begins to find that there’s quite a lot to learn from Minnie – not least, how to reach out for the things she wants . . . and the boy she likes.”

The Curses – Laure Eve
(I read The Graces last year and i absolutely loved it! I managed to get a sampler for The Curses at YALC, so I’m very excited!)
“Picking up the pieces after the chilling events of the previous year isn’t easy, but the Grace siblings are determined to try and get things back to normal – and if that means papering over the cracks, so be it. Summer has had enough of secrets, but sharing a house with someone who’s been resurrected from the dead isn’t something you want the neighbours to know about. As ex-best friend River wreaks havoc with her twisted spells, can the Graces ever escape the curses that have been tearing their family apart for generations?”

The Light Between Worlds – Laura Weymouth
(I was very lucky to be sent a proof of this from the publishers, so watch out in the coming weeks for a review!)
“Six years ago, sisters Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell were swept away to a strange and beautiful kingdom called the Woodlands, where they lived for years. But ever since they returned to their lives in post-WWII England, they have struggled to adjust. Ev desperately wants to return to the Woodlands, and Philippa just wants to move on. When Ev goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.”

And the Ocean Was Our Sky – Patrick Ness and Rovina Cai
(I am a massive fan of Patrick Ness, so this jumped straight on my list when I saw it was coming out in the coming months!)
“Call me Bathsheba.” The whales of Bathsheba’s pod live for the hunt. Led by the formidable Captain Alexandra, they fight a never-ending war against men. Then the whales attack a man ship, and instead of easy prey they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps the devil himself… With their relentless Captain leading the chase, they embark on the final hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of whales and men.”

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
Now, this isn’t a new release… but it’s the collectors edition and I’m excited for its release OK?????? JUST LOOK AT IT. (You can find my fangirling about Leigh Bardugo here)

And there you have it. 8 of the books I AM MOST EXCITED FOR OK???

2018 continues to be a TREAT FOR THE BRAIN. 

Which 2018 books are you still most excited for?
Have you read any of the books on my list?
Are there any books you think should’ve made my list but didn’t?

Share your thoughts with me! I’d love to know which YA books you’re still most excited for!

S x

 

What I’m Reading This Christmas

It’s Wednesday, you know what that means! It’s GUEST BLOG POST TIME! 

This time you get the joy of hearing from one of my favourite people in the world. Readers, this is Rachel. Rachel is the absolute mastermind behind #SundayYA (which is an incredible twitter chat which happens between 6 and 7 EVERY Sunday where we talk everything YA). Come along to #SundayYA, you won’t regret it! If you want to follow Rach, you’ll find her @_sectumsemprah on twitter! Go on, you won’t regret it!! She’s also one of the editors of the new YA quarterly online magazine @Shift_Zine… follow them too! That’s gonna be awesome!!

What I’m Reading This Christmas

It’s that time of year again. The festive lights are up, coffee chains have brought out their trademark festive cups… It must be Christmas! That can only mean one thing. It’s time to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate and immerse myself in some festive reads. Here’s what I’ll be reading this Christmas.

Related imageThe Twelve Days of Dash and Lily (Rachel Cohn and David Levithan)

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily is set a year after the original Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares.
Lily has had a tough year and has lost her happy outlook and Christmas spirit, so it’s up to Dash and Langston (Lily’s brother) to rekindle the holiday magic. Told in alternating chapters,
The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily is sure to get readers ready for the festive season.

Image result for and a happy new year holly bourne… And A Happy New Year? (Holly Bourne)

Just when we thought we’d seen the end of our favourite Spinster Club, they’re back with a novella about a New Year’s party they will never forget. Secrets are revealed and
friendships tested but surely everything will be okay for Evie, Amber and Lottie in the end… Right? Full of tears and laughter,
… And A Happy New Year? is guaranteed to a magical end to a series readers have loved.

Image result for i'll be home for christmas bookI’ll Be Home For Christmas (UKYA Anthology)

I’ll Be Home For Christmas is the ultimate Christmas read for 2016. A star line up of UKYA authors, including Holly Bourne, Non Pratt and Juno Dawson to name but a few, have come together to write a collection of festive short stories on the theme of home. At least £1 from every copy sold is donated to Crisis, a homeless charity, and is a very special read.


Other great Christmas titles

  • This Winter (Solitaire Novella) (Alice Oseman)
  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares (Rachel Cohn and David Levithan)
  • Mistletoe and Murder (Robin Stevens)

BOOKBLOG: David Levithan

I think I discovered David Levithan by accident and I am so glad I did. 

I thank Amazon for recommending one of his books to me and for the love affair that I have since been living with David Levithan and his books. They’re all amazing. And you should read them all. His books are generally centred around a main character who is gay (generally male), struggling with love in some way: could be unrequited love, inequality in the world, friends and growing up. I may be past my teens but these books speak to my heart!

One of my favourites is The Lovers’ Dictionary: it is just a delight to read. 
“How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.”

This book is unconventially set up. Through words alphabetically set up you get glimpses of a couple’s relationship. I loved it. It was uplifting, heartbreaking and honest. I saw so much of my past relationships in the book.

Another one I loved is Every Day: heartbreaking!
“A love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.”

This story was amazing. You absolutely fall for both of the main characters. You’ll feel all of their emotions. You’ll want to help.You’ll laugh, cry and you’ll feel their pain. This was such a success that a companion book was written: Another Day

I would recommend ALL of them though. Go forth and read some amazing stories.

Have you read any books by David Levithan? Do you have any favourites? Let me know in the comments or on twitter (@eenalol)

S x