November wrap up!

It may be December 10th, but I still am yet to round up my (rather pitiful looking) November reads!

In November, I:

Only read 3 books!
Started a few books, but my brain wouldn’t let me read.
Suffered from some pretty bad SAD.
Was a bit poorly.
Slept a lot.
Started rehearsing for the Christmas play at school.
Experienced my worst reading block for a while.
Did some Christmas shopping!

My November in books is a pretty TINY pile comapred to some months… but hey, when you’re not in the mood, you’re not in the mood!

The books I managed to get through were:

2 YA books and 1 kids book. 

I was SO VERY FORTUNATE to be send a proof copy of Fierce Fragile Hearts and I consumed it in a matter of hours a few weekends ago. I’m currently still trying to process my thoughts on it, but I tell you this guys, you NEED to get on it. It’s out next year and I just think Sara Barnard has yet again written an absolute winner. She is 100% one of my faves.

I’ve written a review of The Boneless Mercies here and my review of Fortunately, The Milk is to come!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 105/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 92/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 152/52

Now, for all this month wasn’t a GREAT success reading wise, I am still streets ahead of my yearly goal… which pleases me to no end! I’m hoping to read 4 books in December, so that I’m on 156 books (300% of my original target). Bring on the Christmas holidays!

How is your yearly goal looking?
Are you looking forward to Christmas festivities too?
What’s on your Christmas to read pile?

Let me know in the comments!

S x

October in books!

Well hello November, you snuck up on me indeed.

I’m not sure where October went (it took half of my half term with it too!), but here we are… the end of another month, around for another bookish round up!

In October, I:

Visited Edinburgh with my favourite.
Spent most of my half term poorly.
Loved every second of being a teacher.
Got to interview David Levithan and Laura Steven at Waterstones (!!)
Went out to breakfast with my best friends.
Finished my first half term as an NQT.
Sang a lot of Livin on a Prayer.
Read 15 books (!!)

October was a pretty incredible month! I NEVER expected to have read 15 books! That’s blown my mind a little bit!

What MG did I read?

october mg

A Chase in Time – Sally Nicholls *
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters – Andrea Beaty *
The Dog That Saved Christmas – Nicola Davies *
Isadora Moon Makes Winter Magic – Harriet Muncaster *
Max the Detective Cat: The Phantom Portrait – Sarah Todd Taylor *
The Boy Who Lived With Dragons – Andy Shepherd *
The Truth Pixie – Matt Haig
A Pinch of Magic – Michelle Harrison *

* reviews to come!

What about YA?

october ya

Thunderhead – Neal Shusterman*
And The Ocean Was Our Sky – Patrick Ness*
Jack of Hearts and Other Parts – L. C. Rosen*
Someday – David Levithan
Firebird – Elizabeth Wein*

Anything else?

I also read The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I am a massive Mitch Albom fan. My review of this is to come!

I’m really chuffed with how many books I managed to read last month! There were definitely some stand outs! Keep your eyes peeled this week for a round up of reviews and some more in depth reviews too!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 104/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 91/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 148/52

Now that it’s November, we will be in for full swing Christmas mode at school! I am also  sticking to my pledge of reading every night before bed.

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in October?
Do you prefer my in depth reviews or my round ups?

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

 

September in books

Well hello October, you came quickly my friend!

I did not think September would go as quickly as it did, but here we are… the end of another month, around for another bookish round up!

In September, I:

Read 8 books.
Started my first term as an NQT.
Had my first NQT observation.
Announced I was doing another event (with Laura Steven and David Levithan)!!!
Had days of not reading and then a weekend of binge reading.
Got very excited for some 2019 releases.
Received some absolutely lush book post. 

September was an incredible month. I finally started teaching and it’s genuinely the best thing. I love it so much. 

But you’re here for books, yes?

Let’s start with MG:

I managed 6 MG books this month!

sept mg

It seems September was the month of beautiful turquoise covers. Trust me… they’re LUSH. Watch out for reviews this week! I can’t wait to share my thoughts on all of these!

Now, some YA:

I got through 2 YA books this month!

sept ya

I loved BOTH of these books. I’ve already reviewed Scythe. My review of The Treatment is still to come… but trust me, it is EXCELLENT, if not a bit spooky!

I’m chuffed with this! I felt like tiredness stopped me from reading, so was under the impression I’d done NO reading this month, so to find that I’ve actually read 8 is brilliant. 

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 97/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 82/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 133/52

Now that it’s October, I’ll have a half term to get some reading done. However, I am sticking to my pledge of reading every night before bed.

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in September?
Do you wanna know more about any of my books?

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

BOOK BLOG:Sarah Ann Juckes

Outside: harrowing, surprising and emotional

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“Outside follows the story of Ele, who is held captive in a small room by a man known as ‘Him’. Ele is determined to prove there is a world Outside. And when she finds a hole in the wall, the proof starts leaking in. In this dark and compelling debut novel, Ele’s strong and heartbreakingly optimistic voice shines through, revealing an important lesson about the power of stories to save lives”

I was lucky enough to win a proof of this at YALC and I hadn’t heard of it, nor did I read the letter from the author in the book before I started to read. Part of me is glad I didn’t read, part of me thinks I would’ve been more emotionally prepared for the onslaught of terror and tears that followed!

Outside follows the story of a little girl, Ele, who is determined to get outside into freedom. She’s never been outside of her room. She’s locked in a tower and she’s determined to get out, but isn’t really sure how. She’s frightened. There’s a mysterious man (Him) who she is defintely afraid of. Reading through this book, it took me a good chunk of the book until I was sure the main character is a young girl – you’re never explicitly told, it’s just something that is assumed, but my brain was not sold entirely. This made the book even more of an enigma for me because I wanted to know, so I kept reading and my word, it is so excellent

I spent a lot of this book scared and worried for the little girl. I was terrified of Him. There’s some harrowing scenes in this book. There’s some pretty dark themes explored in this which made me more gripped, but horrified at times too. These themes are dealt with excellent care: you never feel exposed or stamped on. 

There’s a lot of juxtaposition in this book: light vs dark, love vs hate, fear vs safety, trusting vs fearing, knowing vs not knowing. The main character goes through a lot of confusing emotions between wanting to be outside vs the fear of being outside. But this is to be expected! Imagine going outside for the first time and the things you come across… I love this kind of thing because as a reader you never REALLY know where you stand in life. 

Yes, this book is dark and deals with some pretty bleak themes, but it also has some gorgeously light moments. When you meet him, you’ll love Ezra. He’s the ultimate hero. He needs needs a million medals. This book shows the kindness and strength of the human spirit brilliantly. 

Did I cry? OH MY WORD YES. It broke my soul quite a lot

Unfortunately, you’ve got quite a while to wait as it’s not out until January 2019. But trust me, it is worth the wait.

Can you imagine never being outside?
What do you think would baffle you most about being outside?
Are you excited for the release of Outside?

Let me know your thouhgts in the comments! I’d love to know your answers to my questions!

S x

BLOG TOUR: Storm Witch

Hello!

Today I’m on the blog tour for a brilliant new MG book soon to be released into the world (tomorrow in fact!) – Storm Witch, by Ellen Renner. 

Image result for storm witch ellen renner review

Storm Witch by Ellen Renner is published on 6th September by Nosy Crow in paperback priced £6.99

“Child of Air, Water, Earth or Fire: now that she is thirteen Storm must undertake The Choosing and be claimed by one of the Elementals, which will determine her whole life’s work. But for Storm, daughter of a father murdered by Water and a warrior mother claimed by Earth, there will be no easy destiny.

The Elementals bestow her with a great and terrible gift. Storm-bringer. Storm-rider. Storm-queller. Storm has powers that no one, not even the island Elders, can understand. And when the Drowned Ones – a savage band of pirates who roam the seas on floating towns – attack her island, will her powers help her to save the people she loves, or is her fate to betray everything she holds dear? Soon Storm faces a decision that will change her life – and that of everyone who lives on her island – forever.”

When I first read the press release for this book I was INSTANTLY TAKEN by “Storm must undertake The Choosing” – THE CHOOSING? MAN. YES. SIGN ME UP. I was very intrigued to know more about this choosing ceremony and what it entailed! (It also got me thinking which elemental I would be… I still am undecided. I think I need some kind of quiz to take to decide this!) What I got was a story that is brillaintly written, with a main character that is stubborn, but loveable. 

Storm Witch tells the story of Storm (our main characterm, the stubborn but loveable one) who is about to turn 13 and is therefore about to go through “The Choosing” – a ceremony in which the children of the island are chosen by one of the 4 elementals. Storm’s choosing isn’t quite as straightforward as those around her… she goes through quite a lot of turmoil, and a few dangerous situations. 

As I was reading this, it came clear that there was an incredible message of the importance of kindness and standing up for what’s right. Storm does something that she knows no-one on her island would do, but she knows that it’s the kindest and right thing to do, so she does it. It means she has to lie, but she’s doing it for good reasons. 

There’s also an incredible sense of community in this book. The depiction of island life was a lush thing to read. Everyone chipping in and doing their bit on the island – it reminded me a little of Moana (which in my books is NOT a bad thing!)

I can’t wait for the next book in this series… despite the fact that book 1 isn’t actually published until tomorrow! Go get your hands on this if you can, I would definitely recommend – there’s magic, danger, community and kindness!

Why don’t you go check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour? Let me know in the comments which element you think you are… and which element you think I would be chosen by!

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S x

August in books

Well hello there! Sorry this wrap up is late… the end of August came upon me suddenly! 

Goodbye August – the month of sunshine, trips to London, relaxing with my favourites, reading many books. You must make way now for September, the month of back to work nerves, new jobs and many changes afoot! September is going to be both an exhausting and exhilirating month! 

In August, I:

Read 31 books (!!)
Spent a few days in London with my best friend
Enjoyed the Summer holidays
Worried about my new job
Was excited about my new job
Spent a lot of time relaxing
Did a lot of sorting
Set up my first classroom (!! – more on that coming this week!)
Announced I’m chairing another event (!! – more on that here)

August was an incredible month. A lot of reading happened! Want to see what I read?!

Let’s start with middle grade!

In August, I read 14 MG books! From jumping the rooftops in Paris, to sailing the seas and making friends with islands; from being a detective, to travelling in and out of books; from running with the memory of the war to being chosen by the elements – all of August’s kids books I would wholeheartedly recommend. 

August MG

Just look at that assortment! Definitely keep your eyes peeled for these – some of them are out already, others are yet to be released!

Now on to YA 

August saw me take on MANY YA books, with me managing to read a grand total of 15 YA books (which I believe is my highest monthly YA total this year… I could be mistaken!) I read a whole range of books – from ones that had been on TBR forever, to brand new books, to new releases and soon to be released! I definitely enjoyed all of them, but some will stay with me a lot longer!

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If all of those covers aren’t enough to entice you, I’ve posted a few reviews already, with the rest scheduled in the coming weeks!

Mini reviews: London edition

BOOK BLOG: Hayley Barker

BOOK BLOG: Chloe Coles

BOOK BLOG: Philip Pullman

Now for a miscellaneous 2 – not YA, not MG… but adult?! I don’t know?

So yeah, there’s all the books I read in August… but what does this mean for my book challenges?

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 92/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 76/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 125/52

Now that it’s September, I can bet that I won’t get through as many books, but I am making a pledge to read every night before bed, so hopefully I’ll still get through books! 

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in August?
Do you wanna know more about any of my books?

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

Mini reviews: London edition

Last week, I was very lucky to spend time in London with one of my favourite humans in the world, Kelly. While we were in London, we spent much time reading, drinking tea and having a lovely relaxing time – perfect for bookworms like us! 

I thought I’d share mini reviews from the 6 books I managed to read in the 4 days I was away. I love a mini review – bitesize bookish love is always good! 

Book 1:
The Light Between Worlds – Laura Weymouth
Released November 1st from Chicken House

(proof cover!)

I absolutely adored this story – it was pretty unique. There was lots of juxtaposition in this book – the harshness of war vs the freedom of the forest, a need to be in the moment vs a want to be elsehwere – which made for brilliant reading. I adored Ev’s friends and family and I genuinely felt their love for her, but she frustrated me at times. There’s a lot of emotions explored in this book, and there’s some dark themes explored. 

Book 2:
Mr Lemoncello’s Great Library Race – Chris Grabenstein

Again, this was one that I thought was just wonderful. It was good for my brain to go from something quite dark to this library based caper. It is such fun! I would love to visit Mr. Lemoncello’s library and take part in his fun games. I hadn’t read the first 2 of these books before this one, but that didn’t spoil it whatsoever (I have since bought book 1 and 2!). This book is all about sharing the love of libraries, making friends and the power of the truth. I can’t wait to recommend this to the kids at school!

Book 3:
Oliver and the Seawigs – Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

I actually managed to pick this up from Oxfam Book Shop and it’s a good job too, because I finished Mr. Lemoncello quickly so needed a back up book to read! This is a funny, irreverent adventure with a young boy who makes friends with a mermaid and an island (I know right?!) and they have to fight off some baddies. I really enjoyed it, it’ll fit perfectly in our school library! I’d love to pick up more from these authors!

Book 4: 
More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera

(yes that is more tea!)

When I finished this book I was very much not ok. I’ve been in Aaron’s shoes – wanting to be someone I’m not. I’m so sad for him. I can’t imagine going through what he ends up going through. This book is littered with love and the struggle with accepting who you are. Even now thinking back to this book, I am so sad for him. This book is one I would recommend EVERYONE READS. It is HEARTBREAKING. I didn’t see the twist coming, it shocked me. Adam Silvera continues to write incredible books. 

Book 5: 
Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

(hey look at that guys, more tea!)

OH LEAH. I really wanted to love this. Don’t get me wrong, I did really enjoy it. There’s just things about it that frustrate me. I didn’t ship it, which as a serial shipper is a MASSIVE surprise to me, so it made it hard for me to get fully into. Having read Simon, I wanted to just swoon over everything, and I didn’t. I would recommend this book though, it is good. I think there’s a bit of me in Leah and there’s some of Leah’s personality I don’t like… so yeah. I have complex emotions about this book. 

Book 6:
The Friendship Fails of Emma Nash – Chloe Seagar

Friendship Fails of Emma Nash

This made me chuckle a lot. It’s funny and relatable. There were many moments where I cackled out loud. This is a book that teenagers will love. It’s well worth a read if you want something witty. Emma Nash goes through a LOT. 

So there you have it! My mini London reading haul!

Have you read any of these books?
Do you have thoughts about Leah that we can talk about?
Does Adam Silvera continue to break your heart too?

Lets talk!

S x

BOOK BLOG: Hayley Barker

Show Stopper/Show Stealer: thrilling books excellently paced that you just can’t put down!

Show Stopper and Show Stealer is a duology written by Hayley Barker and I JUST ADORED THEM OK? I picked up Show Stopper a while ago based solely on the cover (just look at it man!) and once I had dived into the world of the twisted circus and got to the end, I needed the second one. I bought Show Stealer (the sequel) about 2 days later and immersed myself right back into the world. 

Show Stopper:
Set in a near-future England where the poorest people in the land are forced to sell their children to a travelling circus – to perform at the mercy of hungry lions, sabotaged high wires and a demonic ringmaster. The ruling class visit the circus as an escape from their structured, high-achieving lives – pure entertainment with a bloodthirsty edge. Ben, the teenage son of a draconian government minister, visits the circus for the first time and falls instantly in love with Hoshiko, a young performer. They come from harshly different worlds – but must join together to escape the circus and put an end to its brutal sport.

I won’t share the synopsis for Show Stealer because spoilers… but if you’re curious click here.

I’ll try and keep this review as un-spoilery for both as possible!

In the world of these books, you’re introduced to a society of the Pures and the Dregs (yes, I couldn’t unsee the Six of Crows either!). The Pures are the rich and the Dregs are the poor. The Dregs live in the slums and do the menial jobs in the world of the Pures. If you’re an unlucky (or lucky, depending how you see it) Dreg, you might be taken in by the circus and be trained up to perform for the Pures. The Dregs aren’t treated well, but as they have no rights, this happens for the entertainment of the Pures. As the books progress, you see the inside of the circus and the deplorable ways in which the performers are treated. 

I adored the circus setting. I’m well into books that are set in the circus (if you have any recommendations, please tell me because I am all about them… kids and YA please!) The setting is so brilliantly described in book 1, but in book 2 these descriptions are just taken to another level. The circus changes for the worse in book 2, so the descriptions get DARK to match the new look circus. 

As well as the incredible setting, there’s a bunch of characters who will pull at your heart and make you angry and make you see the good in people and make you want to punch things and make you look at the world these people live in, as well as our world! I think it was the characters that made me fall into love with these books even more:
Ben – he’s brave, honest and compassionate. You feel the real pull in Ben’s heart between what he has been taught and what he believes is right. I loved Ben a lot. He’s a very good egg. He goes against everything he’s ever known because he sees an injustice happening. I fell for him quickly. 
Hoshi – she’s fierce and fearless, particuarly where the people she loves are concerned. I loved seeing her growth. She’s like a Mama Bear. Hoshi is one of those characters that have so many layers – once you get under her skin there is still so much more to learn.
Viviene – Ben’s mam, politician. This woman is just disgusting. Some of the things she believes and fights for are vitriolic and I genuinely despised her. We need to talk about her more, but I can’t help but get a little angry about her.
Roger – Ben’s dad. I have quite different emotions for dad than mam. At first, I thought he had no backbone, but that changes. I can’t reveal why I have such a soft spot for him because MASSIVE SPOILERS, but trust me he is a good man.
Silvio – the ring master of the circus. GOD THIS MAN. He’s an egomanic and true narcissist. He ONLY gets worse as the books go on too. 
Jack – he makes an appearance in book 1, but is pretty important in book 2. I adore him. He is an actual hero.

There are more characters than this… there’s some wonderful additions to the circus in book 2. I could talk about the characters in these books for many words, but I won’t!

(I wanna go and reread these books now! I miss these characters quite a lot)

One of the things that surprised me about these books were how politically driven they were. I didn’t expect to read these and think politics, but the politics of the world is one of the prevalent threads throughout and I quite adored it. There’s a lot to learn from these books. There’s many a comparison that can be made between these books and the world that we live in today. If people could just find in them a smidgen of compassion, like Ben, then we would have a much kinder world. We can change minds and we can be wrong, but we should ALWAYS be kind. Jack is one of the most important characters in these books. Please can we all appreciate him please? Books like these show that the good guys can win and that kindness will get you further than hatred. 

My goodreads reviews of these books:

Show Stopper: 

If I could swear here, I would swear. What an absolute winner of a book here. My mind is 100% blown.

Show Stealer

I have THOUGHTS and FEELINGS about this book. More feelings than thoughts.

This book manages to encapsulate the absolute brilliance of book 1, but is more despicable, horrifying, compassionate and honest all at the same time. I just can’t get the words right now.

Shout out to Roger 💛

Ha. I love the Goodreads version of me. 

Have you read Show Stopper or Show Stealer?
CAN WE TALK ABOUT THEM PLEASE?
Can you recommend any circus books?

Talk to me in the comments, or on twitter please! I need more people who love these books in my life!

S x

BOOK BLOG: Kiran Milwood Hargrave

The Way Past Winter: a truly magical story about the importance of kindness – to the world and each other

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“Mila and her sisters live with their brother Oskar in a small forest cabin in the snow. One night, a fur-clad stranger arrives seeking shelter for himself and his men. But by the next morning, they’ve gone – taking Oskar with them. Fearful for his safety, Mila and her sisters set out to bring Oskar back – even it means going north, crossing frozen wild-lands to find a way past an eternal winter”

(This review took me so long to write because it only said “I LOVED THIS BOOK OK?”)

I am a MASSIVE fan of Kiran’s work. Like massive. I think Girl of Ink and Stars is one of my favourite books I’ve read in the past few years. I just can’t get enough, and I’m very lucky in that my class have chosen it as our first class read for September. I can’t wait to introduce them to Kiran’s magical writing and watch them fall in love with it like I did. 

When I heard that there was going to be MORE from Kiran, I knew I needed to get my hands on a copy. I was very lucky in that I got a copy from the publishers (thank you Chicken House!) and it jumped straight to the top of my TBR list (not sorry to the rest of the books on my list). I was at YALC with some friends and I definitely might’ve been a bit anti-social and ignored them to read… but when it’s a book you’ve been waiting THIS LONG for… it’s OK. 

The Way Past Winter is an incredible tale of Mila and her siblings, who live in a world of snow and cold – there’s no Spring where they live. One day, mysterious strangers appear at Mila’s door, looking for shelter. When Mila wakes up the next morning, she finds that these mysterious men are gone and have taken with them her brother, Oskar. There is much debate around Oskar’s disappearance as to whether it is because he was taken or he chose to leave – with Mila believing he wouldn’t choose to leave. Mila goes on an incredible journey to rescue her brother. Her journey takes her to places she’s never been, with people she must learn to trust.

The settings in this book are sublime. From Mila’s cabin, which she lives in with her siblings, to the mystical tree, to the frozen landscapes that Mila must travel over in order to rescue her brother. I read this book in the HEIGHT of heatwave, yet I felt like I was in the sled with Mila, travelling through these icy lands. This book is so immersive, it’s like reading and seeing in surround sound (I don’t know how to word that better, I hope you know what I mean!). I would not survive in these conditions. Not at all. 

The feeling of magic and mythology is something about Kiran’s books that I absolutely adore and this book is yet another where she does it so beautifully. There’s an incredible feel of mythology about this book that I can’t quite put into words. It sings in its lushness – in comparison to the bleakness of the land Mila lives in. 

There’s messages galore in this book that I think are dealt with so incredibly well. This is a story about believing in yourself, being kind to the world around us and trusting that others can do good. 

I couldn’t put this book down. The pace of this book is spot on. It’s not too quick, not too slow – it moves smoothly, but with a hint of haste. I was on the edge of my seat for the majority of my time reading. I needed to know what was going to happen, but I didn’t want to miss any of the little details or the incredible vocabulary. The way Kiran writes is lyrical, beautiful and magical.

I know that 10 year old me would’ve devoured these books and absolutely adored them (almost as much as 29 year old me does). Kiran’s books sit so beautifully in classroom/school libraries because they’re stories children want to read, written in a way which appeals to them. They’re magical and true escapism – we all need a good escape when we’re reading.

And yes, it did make me cry. 

My goodreads review:

Kiran continues to write worlds that are equal parts magical, foreboding and welcoming, with characters who match. I absolutely adored this book – from the mysterious Rune, to fierce and brave Mila, and stubborn and protective Sanna. I just think this book is wonderfully perfect. Kiran never fails to blow me away.

I have so much to say about this book. There are so many things I want to tell you. So much I need you to know. This book just oozes brilliance – from the characters, to the settings, to the meaning. I can’t recommend this enough for everyone. It is just magnificent. 

Have you read anything by Kiran?
Would you survive in a place that had no Spring?
DO YOU ALSO LOVE THIS COVER THOUGH?

The Way Past Winter is out on October 4th, published by Chicken House books.

It is available to preorder! You can preorder Amazon or Waterstones (it’s probably available elsewhere too!)

Follow Kiran on twitter: @Kiran_MH

S x

 

BOOK BLOG: Chloe Coles

Bookshop Girl: funny, relatable and moving!

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“Bennett’s Bookshop has always been a haven for sixteen-year-old Paige Turner. It’s a place where she can escape from her sleepy hometown, hang out with her best friend, Holly, and also earn some money. But, like so many bookshops, Bennett’s has become a ‘casualty of the high street’ – it’s strapped for cash and going to be torn down. Paige is determined to save it but mobilising a small town like Greysworth is no mean feat.

Time is ticking – but that’s not the only problem Paige has. How is she going to fend off the attractions of beautiful fellow artist, Blaine? And, more importantly, will his anarchist ways make or break her bookshop campaign?”

Earlier this month (technically the end of July, but shush), when I was at YALC, I was lucky enough to listen to Chloe Coles in a panel all about being in the publishing world and hearing her talk about her book made me want to pick it up then and there! Chloe is HILARIOUS and I want her to be one of my real life friends because I am all about people that make me laugh in my life. Having met Chloe and spoken to her for a little bit, I knew had high hopes for this book… and let me tell you, it does not disappoint!

Bookshop Girl is the tale of Paige, a bookish teenager, who works in a bookshop that is being threatened to close down (art mimicking real life or what?!). Paige, along with the help of her best friend, sets it in her sights to save her shop. Oh, but it isn’t that simple… of course there’s a boy in the mix. A seemingly harmless boy. A very attractive young man who catches the eye of our leading lady. (Oh Paige!)

What I loved most about this book was that it showed in such a positive light what using your voice can do. Paige learns very quickly that using her voice, and using the voice of the people around her, can do really good things. There’s some really touching moments with Paige reaching out to authors for the people that she loves that made my heart so happy. Paige discovers some incredible supportive people in very unexpected places – these aren’t people that Paige would’ve expected to support her, yet here they stand, supporting her. There’s some brilliant messages in here about being an activist (on all scales) and standing up for yourself. There’s some brilliant messages about feminism in this book too. 

Despite the fact this book deals with some pretty hard hitting messages, it manages to be hilarious and relatable. Paige sees an injustice in the world around her and she does something about it, but obviously there are things that go awry. She’s a teenage girl. Life is never that simple to always go the way you want. However she is very lucky to be surrounded by people that love her. Her best friend is just lush. There’s scenes between them that I just adore (we’ve all been there, we all have our best friends who we can just be ourselves with). I would love to be Paige’s friend. 

I do not wish to spend much time on the subject of The Boy. I was lulled into a false sense of security with him, although I didn’t trust him. There was always something off with him. 

It’s so incredibly lush to read a book about bookish people, written by a bookish person. Chloe is a bookseller at Foyles in London, which I think adds a really special element to this book. 

What you get in this book is laughter, love and a sense of pride in the bookish community. I would recommend it for anyone who is after a laugh (or a lol as Chloe would say!) It’s such a lush book and I can not wait for book 2 to come out in September!

(I LOVE this cover so much… so colourful!)

My goodreads review reads:

Funny, relatable and brilliant. The power of books, libraries, bookshops told from a teenage girl. I just think this was great. Paige is hilarious. Many moments of lol were had.

Have you read Bookshop Girl?
Can you recommend any books like this?

Let me know in the comments what you thought of this review, your thoughts on the book or any recommendations you have for me! I love a book that will make me laugh! Bookshop Girl is available to buy now! 

S x