The One Where I Read Two Books In One Day And Cried…

Hello. 

If you know me, you know I cry at all of the books.

I decided to read two books in one day the other day. Both of them which would make me cry. 

Why did you decide that? I hear you cry.

BECAUSE I AM A FOOL. A FOOL.

However, since I read them both, I figured I would write quick reviews of them because they were BOTH incredible and they need to be read ok? Excellent. 

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The Art of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson

Two boys. Two secrets.
David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

The Art of Being Normal tells the stories of David and Leotwo boys who are going through A LOT. David wants to be a girl: he knows he’s in the wrong body. Leo wants to be forgotten: he wants no attention. These two boys are so very different, but there’s something that they very much have in common (something I did NOT see coming). What you get when you put these two boys together is a brilliant story of unlikely friendships, solid bonds and an awful lot of tears! (I cried for the last 50 pages)

I loved this book so so much. The thing that stands out the most about this book is the incredible portrayal of relationships (between families, friends, enemies) and the power that these relationships have on our day to day life. You see the two boys’ relationship grow in front of your eyes and realise that sometimes the most important relationships you have in life are the non-romantic ones – it’s friendships built on love, respect and acceptance. You get to explore the incredible relationships between siblings; with parents and their children; not only that but negative relationships like the one between bullies and their victim; misunderstood relationships between parents and children. 

This book doesn’t shy away from the issues around a main character who is transgender and I really respect that. There’s discussions about all kinds of thtmes: clothing, acceptance, body image, coming out to parents, coming out to friends, bullying. I think this book has a place in every teenager’s life and I think it’s important. I don’t know why it’s stayed on my TBR for so long. If you haven’t picked it up yet you absolutely should. I want to give Leo a massive hug because I adore him.

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They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

Imagine living in a world where you get a phone call to tell you that you’re going to die that same day. JUST HOLD THAT IN YOUR HEAD FOR A MINUTE. IMAGINE THAT. (I can’t, it’s too big an idea for my head, I don’t know where I would start, who I would see, what I would do. I think I’d be too overwhelmed and just cry for a day) This book explores a world where this is the reality. A reality for two teenagers who are told they’re going to die before midnight. 

We meet Rufus and Mateo, two very different boys, who have been given their call. They’ve got one more day on this earth. Mateo needs someone to help him along on his day otherwise he’ll just end up in his bedroom all day. He needs to tell his dad he loves him and his best friend. Rufus needs to say bye to his family, to the girl he loves. These two meet and what happens is a wonderful story about how sometimes you can meet the person you need most when you need them most.

The two boys grow together and change massively through the day. Rufus starts his story beating someone up and by the end his actions couldn’t be more gentle and caring. Rufus doesn’t push Mateo to do the things: he’s just there and him being there makes Mateo more brave. These boys do more for each other in one day than I think some people can do for each other in years. 

This book BROKE MY HEART. It tells us in the title what’s going to happen, but my god I was NOT prepared. Typical Adam Silvera breaking my heart. Again, you need to read this book. It’s just wonderful and it makes you think. 

There we go – two books, one day, LOT OF TEARS. 

RECOMMEND ME MORE BOOKS THAT WILL MAKE ME CRY.

I love a good cry!

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

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: Becky Albertalli

Simon vs the Homo-Sapiens Agenda: possibly the cutest ship I’ve ever shipped.

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“Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.”

(I didn’t need to give you all the blurb. I think I might be the last person on planet Earth to read this, but hey ho. Here we go!)

A while back, I got the chance to see Love Simon (the movie adaptation of this book) and I absolutely adored it. It’s just the sweetest thing, so when my friend Aoife said she wanted to make Simon vs the Homo-Sapiens Agenda our “travelling book”, I was delighted. I’d avoided picking Simon up for SO LONG (I’m not quite sure why, but I think my angst around hyped books played a part!) but now I had a real reason to WANT to read it and to have to read it too… and my god, I just loved it. 

I would’ve been more than happy if this book had just been a book filled with Blue/Simon emails to be honest. Because I am a TRUE SHIPPER. I love a bit of romance. Romance, especially this kind of romance, is something I can TRULY get behind. I loved the emails so much. I looked forward to the email chapters massively. The progression of emails from quite proper, advice emails, to sheer and unashamedly flirting emails was something I could get behind entirely. The emails made me laugh and cry in equal amounts. (I have to say the fact I knew who Blue was didn’t spoil it too much… but I wish I’d read the book before seeing the film!)

Moving on from something I loved about the book, to something (or rather someone) that I wasn’t too keen on. Oh, Leah. (Now I’ve not read Leah on the Offbeat yet, so I could eat my words when I do read it) Part of me can see the beef Leah has with Simon, but part of me (a larger part of me) just found her a bit unbearable. I felt like she wanted to make the WHOLE situation about her and that didn’t sit well with me. 

On the other side of the coin, I ADORED Abby. SO MUCH. She’s a brilliant egg. 

I have a few personal reasons why this book meant quite a lot to me, but I think the message Simon delivers to Martin is something that EVERYONE should listen to. Coming out is something that you should be able to do on your own terms. No-one should dictate that for you. Coming out is NOT a tiny little thing (why is straight the default?!), so choosing WHEN and HOW you do that is something that absolutely should be the choice of the person coming out.

Martin, for me, is possibly one of the most problematic characters in YA. I just can’t stand the dude. Nothing about him makes him a redeemable character. Straight up blackmailing someone is not OK. Ugh. 

But back to the lovely things – the support Simon receives from the people around him when he does come out made me SO happy. Not only from his parents (although that’s a touchy subject, drunk Simon isn’t a great role model on how to speak to your parents!), his sisters, but his teacher too. I will stand on my pedestal of WE NEED POSITIVE TEACHERS IN BOOKS forever and this book is a shining example of that. 

(There’s a scene with an Elliott Smith t-shirt and a note that made me weep – tbf I wept a lot!)

The film is quite different to the book, but I guess that’s necessary because of the constraints of film. You get the same warm, fuzzy feeling from the book and film. I would recommend both whole heartedly. If you’re looking for something that will make you happy, I’d go with this – just focus on Blue and Simon.

Have you read Simon vs?
What do you think of Leah?
Is LEah on the Offbeat worth reading? Will she redeem herself?
DO YOU SHIP BLUE AND SIMON WITH ALL YOUR HEART TOO?

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter. I have a lot of feelings about this book! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Leigh Bardugo (stole my heart)

Hello, I’m Steph and I finished reading Crooked Kingdom about 2 weeks ago. I’m STILL NOT OVER THESE BOOKS. I know. I know. The fact I’ve only just read them and it’s taken me so long to get this review up. I am the most terrible bookish human ever… BUT I HAVE SUCH FEELINGS NOW. SOMEONE SEND SOMEONE TO SAVE MY SOUL (preferable Kaz, although, maybe not… I don’t think I could cope being around that man. He’s too clever for me, but we’ll get to him in a minute!)

So… for those who, like me, have not read Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom…

“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.”

Basically… these two books are PERFECTION. I can’t put into words right now just HOW BRILLIANT THEY ARE. There’s so much I love about this duology: the characters, the plot, the writing, the world building, the sarcasm, the darkness, the cleverness of it all.

So Six of Crows is the plan for the heist and Crooked Kingdom is the aftermath of the heist.

Who better to go and steal something that could change the course of the world than members of one of the local gangs? Obviously.

Now I can’t talk about these books too much without giving away the plot for one (Or the other), but I will tell you this… once you start you won’t want to stop. I was lucky in that I owned both Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, so when I finished Six of Crows I could INSTANTLY move on to Crooked Kingdom. Had I not have owned it, I would’ve gone straight out to a bookshop and book Crooked Kingdom. The bombshell at the end of Six of Crows is THAT GOOD that you will NEED Crooked Kingdom in your life instantaneously.

(For those of you wondering, you don’t need to have read the Grisha trilogy to understand and adore this duology. You will love it anyway. The first chapter will confuse you a little, but bear with it! I’m looking forward to reading the Grisha trilogy now though… A LOT. However, I feel nothing will quite live up to the love I have for Mr. Brekker and his crew of merry thieves).

These books are so clever and Leigh Bardugo is quite clearly a genius. There is no doubt in my mind about that. 

You will 100% fall for the characters in this story. 100%. No doubt whatsoever. If you don’t love them then I will eat my hat (I don’t wear hats, sorry chaps, I’ll eat a packet of crisps or something…)

I need to take a moment to appreciate and share my love for Kaz Brekker – the leader of the gang. He’s clever, wily, suspicious, witty, brilliant. I just adore him. The way he adores one of the other characters is just incredible. His progress from the start of Crows to the end of Kingdom just made me delighted. He’s a special kind of character who comes along every now and again. Just takes your heart away with him. I miss him entirely. 

The rest of his gang have a MASSIVE place in my heart. It’s hard not to love this bunch of “losers”. They all have incredible back stories that you learn as you go through the books (this I adored, I love a bit of backstory!). There were MANY MANY times I feared for my pals’ lives. Many times where I was worried that they would not come out alive, but obviously, I do not know that well. There is always a plan. Brekker is a man with a plan. 

Guys. I just loved this book, OK? I’m sorry this review is just a ramble. There is too much to say and I have far too few words to be able to say them in. The world, the characters, the plot, the duality of lives, the magic, brutality, friendships, romance, terror, worry, laughter.. it’s everything that I need in my books. 

I mean… go check out other reviews. They’re probably far less rambling and less fangirling than mine. 

Have you read Six of Crows?
Will you be signing your life over to the Dregs and Brekker?
WHY HAVE YOU NOT READ IT YET PLZ?

OK, I’m going to lie down because it’s taken me so long to write this “review” that my brain has stopped. Talk to me, PLEASE, about these books and these characters. Let’s all join together and make Leigh Bardugo write us more Kaz and Dregs books. 

S x

 

 

BLOG TOUR: The Belles

The Belles: beautiful, haunting and magical

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“I AM A BELLE. I CONTROL BEAUTY.

In the opulent world of Orléans, the people are born grey and damned, and only a Belle’s powers can make them beautiful. Camellia Beauregard wants to be the favourite Belle – the one chosen by the queen to tend to the royal family. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favourite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that her powers may be far greater – and far darker – than she ever imagined. When the queen asks Camellia to break the rules she lives by to save the ailing princess, she faces an impossible decision: protect herself and the way of the Belles, or risk her own life, and change the world forever.”

When I initially heard of the Belles, it was a bunch of my trusted Twitter folk who were RANTING and RAVING about this book, saying it was absolutely incredible. I was very lucky then to be invited to get a review copy from the publishers and then invited on the blog tour… so I knew I would be a fool to say no. And man, I absolutely loved it. 

There’s an incredible duality in this book in the beginning of beautythe rich, lavish life of the rich versus the impoverish, dull world of the poor. The initial few scenes really struck a chord with me. The Belles changing a poor person into a beautiful person to show off their talentsimagine seeing that unfold infront of you. Imagine having the power to do that. I don’t think I would cope. Not with the competition, not with the expectation, not with the burden. I’d love the magic, but not with the expectation and competition that comes with it. 

Throughout the book there’s old belief systems and traditions which run through, which imprint on you so you are part of the world – whether you agree with them or not is matterless. Then BAM, there is all of a sudden this explosion on the beliefs with a whole chunk of deception and lies. A web of well wound deception. Mix this with an incredible power battle and you have an incredible story which you will most definitely want to be part of and you’ll want to read on. I look forward to what comes next, a lot. 

There’s 2 main themes running through this book: beauty and belonging. What is beauty? What does it mean to be beauty? Does it matter? Should we be able to control or change it? Who should you trust? Do you truly trust the people you’re around? Do they trust you? 

The further you read into this book the more you will be gripped. This book has the makings of an incredible booksecrets, lies, power, love – these all make for a gripping and thrilling book. You won’t be disappointed

Thank you so much for reading my post! Check out the others on the blog tour, there’s some brilliant reviews up so far! Check out The Belles!

The Bells Blog Tour Banner

S x

S4S – Diverse books

Good afternoon!

Sorry I’m late posting my #SixforSunday today! I’m not sure where my scheduled post disappeared to! It is most certainly a mystery! 

Today’s theme is: 

Diverse books

The list includes books I have read, are on my TBR and books I am yet to buy, but am so ready to! 

  1. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas (I haven’t read this yet, I think I may be the only person in the world to not!)
  2. The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan (side note: David Levithan is one of my favourite all time authors)
  3. Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman (yet to read, but SO WANT TO)
  4. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell (this is one of my favourite books that I’ve read recently… I just adored it!)
  5. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo (again, not read BUT MY GOSH I NEED TO NOW)
  6. Release – Patrick Ness (I met him a while back and his books are just so gorgeous that this is one of my must reads…)

This is just 6 of a growing number of books. I would love to take more suggestions for diversifying my book list! So please shout them at me… it’s always welcome!

Let me know your choices for #SixforSunday too! Link me or tweet me! 

Thank you for all your support with #SixforSunday, it is appreciated massively!

 S x

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Thank you so much to Kelly from Kelly’s Ramblings for tagging me in the ‘Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag’ (I know, it’s not the middle of the year, but shush!) I’ll share MG and YA books, if I can think of one each!

1. The Best Book of the Year So Far…

YA: The Scarecrow Queen – this rounds off the trilogy so perfectly. I was absolutely blown away by Twylla’s journey in this book and I just can’t praise this book enough!
MG: A Place Called Perfect – this book was the perfect amount of spooky, adventures and sheer brilliance. It captured my imagination brilliantly.

2. The Best Sequel of the Year So Far …

YA: Traitor to the Throne – I was over the moon when I got my hands on this and I consumed it exceptionally quickly. I love this world that Alwyn has created. I can’t wait for Hero at the Fall (2018 is so far away!)
MG: Simply the Quest – I loved Who Let The Gods Out? so so much and when I finally got my hands on STQ I was just as in love with it! I love this series so much… again 2018 is too far away!

3. A New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To …

YA: The Hate U Give – Everyone keeps talking about this and I just haven’t found the time to read it yet! I have it on my shelf though…
MG: The Nowhere Emporium – luckily we have this in the library at school so I will be borrowing it and will read it!

4. Most Anticipated Release for Autumn/Winter …

YA: It Only Happens In The Movies – I am a massive Holly Bourne fan and from the sampler I think this is only going to be incredible! Bring on October!
MG: The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club – I’ve seen this on a few twitter friends’ pages and they’re all very excited about it… I am v jealous they have it already!

5. Your Biggest Disappointment of the Year So Far …

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YA: Caraval – I had such high hopes for this book and I just didn’t love it. It was fine, it was alrite. Go read it for yourself to see what it’s all about. I know A LOT of people who loved it though.

6. Your Biggest Surprise of the Year So Far …

YA: After The Fire – absolutely incredible. I loved this so much. I strongly suggest you all go and read this NOW. It is SO good.
MG: The Last Wild – I had seen this everywhere and never picked it up and when I did I was blown away by how much I loved it.

7. Your New Favourite Author …

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Peadar O’Guilin is EXCEPTIONAL. I have read The Call and I was lucky enough to get a proof of the second book (The Invasion) and I just adore his writing. If you’re looking for an exceptional dystopian… look no further!

8. Your Newest Favourite Character …

YA: Ink – Leora is one of those brilliant characters who you come across every now and again who makes an impact. I can’t wait to find out where her story takes us next!
MG: The Explorer – there are so many things I loved about this book but the man they meet in the jungle is again one of those exceptional characters from stories that stay with you for a long time. I would love to know more about him. 

9. Your Newest Fictional Crush …

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Henry. Oh Henry. 

(Shout out to Jin from Rebel of the Sands/Traitor to the Throne… but he’s not a new crush!)

10. A Book That Has Made You Cry … (lol, all of them!)

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Countless is one of the most heartbreaking books I’ve read. It is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. I cried SO SO SO hard at the end. I can’t think about this book without it making me sad. Please go read it, but get yourself some tissues.

11. A Book That Has Made You Happy …

YA: Unconventional – one of those gorgeous books that comes along and just makes me smile. I loved it a lot. It was such a feel good book! 
MG: Bookshop Girl – this is one of my favourites this year! I can’t wait to use it with my kids! Just such a brilliant little happy book.

12. The Most Beautiful Book of the Year So Far …

YA: A Quiet Kind of Thunder – I have so so so many brilliant words to say about this book. You need to get on it if you haven’t yet. Sara is such a brilliant author and Steffi’s story is just incredible. This book inspired me a lot.
MG: The Island at the End of Everything – Kiran Milwood Hargrave writes these exceptional books (her other one The Girl of Ink and Stars deserves ALL OF THE PRAISE it gets) and this one just knocked my socks off. I absolutely adored it. Such an incredible story.

13. Some Books You Need to Read Before 2017 Ends …

So there we have it! My (no so) mid year book freak out tag!

That was quite the blog post!

Let me know your choices and link me to your blog posts, I’d love to see your answers!

S xx

S4S: Diverse books

Guten morgen!

It's Sunday again. Where did last week go? I can't believe these weeks are FLYING over. 

It's Sunday therefore it's

Diverse books

  1. Radio Silence: Alice Oseman
  2. Lovers Dictionary: David Levithan
  3. A Change Is Gonna Come: various authors
  4. Eleanor and Park: Rainbow Rowell
  5. The State of Grace: Rachael Lucas
  6. A Quiet Kind of Thunder: Sara Barnard

As you can see diverse, to me, means lots of different people represented. There are SO MANY other books that could be on this list, so please don't shout at me. Just recommend them to me!

If you'd like to share your

What does "diverse" mean to you?
What are your favourite diverse books?
Is there still a part of being diverse that the world is missing in terms of representation?

Speak soon!

S x

BOOKBLOG: Emery Lord

The Names They Gave Us: filled with faith, tears and friendshipImage result for the names they gave us

“Everything is going right for Lucy Hansson, until her mom’s cancer reappears. Just like that, Lucy breaks with all the constants in her life: her do-good boyfriend, her steady faith, even her longtime summer church camp job.
Instead, Lucy lands at a camp for kids who have been through tough times. As a counselor, Lucy is in over her head and longs to be with her parents across the lake. But that’s before she gets to know her coworkers, who are as loving and unafraid as she so desperately wants to be.
It’s not just new friends that Lucy discovers at camp—more than one old secret is revealed along the way. In fact, maybe there’s much more to her family and her faith than Lucy ever realized.”

Lucy is a young lady who is struggling with her faith, her boyfriend, her home town and her mam’s illness. Everything seems to be piling on top of her and it makes her question everything. Lucy usually spends summers helping at her mam and dad’s summer camp, but this year her mam has a new idea: for Lucy to go help at the other summer camp over the lake. Unlike her parent’s camp: it’s not a religious camp, it’s a camp for troubled kids. It’s here that Lucy finds a lot out about herself, about life and about love, in all its kinds.

I’m sometimes hesitant with books about faith, as they can be written in the wrong manner, with the wrong message but this one was incredible. I know a lot of people are put off by books with religion, featuring characters who are religious and that’s a shame, because this one is wonderful. The story looks at Lucy and her faith and how it’s impacted by everything in her life. Her faith isn’t the be all and end all of this story but it’s an important undertone. Her faith is part of her and so it should be part of her story. It becomes something she struggles with but is always something she is dedicated to. It plays a big part in her relationship with her boyfriend Lucas, who is an equally religious young man who eventually ends up not understanding Lucy’s questioning of her faith. 

Lucy’s adventure in Rising Sun Camp introduces her to some incredible characters, some tough challenges and some kids who help to make her the person she becomes. She deals with children she’s never had to before, camp activities that she wouldn’t normally. She’s thrust into an environment that she’s never been in before. She meets friends that are probably some of the best she will ever have. There’s romance. A beautifully written romance, which starts as a friendship and grows. I loved watching the evolution of this relationship. It made my heart so happy.

Obviously, it’s not all happy. Lucy’s mam is poorly. She’s away from her family. She’s questioning her faith. She’s not sure who she is. She’s not sure what she’s doing. I finished this book with a lot of tears, but with a full heart. It is a beautifully written tale of friendship, love and faith

I was very lucky to receive a proof of this from the publishers and I am so grateful! Having read When We Collided, another book by this wonderful author, I knew I needed to get my hands on it!

Have you read The Names They Gave Us?
What’s your take on books with religious themes?
Have you read When We Collided?
BOOK BLOG: Emery Lord

Let me know what you think on twitter, or in the comments! 

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