Banned Books #24 A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone

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Welcome to our latest addition of Banned Books. This month we celebrate 2 years of this feature!! Amazing. For our birthday month, we read A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone.

A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl

Synopsis:

Josie, Nicolette and Aviva are three very different girls who all meet the same bad boy with an irresistible knack for getting into their blood and under their skin. Each is sure that she can keep a cool head about him, but how much are they really in control?

First published: 2006
In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2013 (source)
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: Like many of the other novels in our series of frequently challenged/banned books this year, this is a fairly recent release and I don’t believe too much has changed in our attitudes to books (either for the worse or the better) in the past ten years. This is one of those books where I can see why people may have had problems with it, mainly due to the sexual content. In that way, I can’t really see it being taught in schools (I can imagine a few red faces, including the teachers!) but I see no reason why it can’t be stocked in a school library for teenagers to read on their own time as I do feel it has some important messages.

CHRISSI: I was surprised at how recent this book was. I don’t know why, but I thought it had an ‘older’ feel to it. As I was reading the book, I realised that it wouldn’t be a great classroom read. It is indeed, sexually explicit. That’s not to say that I don’t think it should be available to teens. I do. As Beth says, it would be great to be stocked in the library. Sadly, I don’t see that likely to happen in many school libraries due to its content.

How about now?

BETH: See previous answer! I probably don’t agree with ALL of the reasons for challenging this book to be honest and as I mentioned, I do believe it’s important for teenagers to have access to it but I can’t remember any instances of offensive language or references to drugs. Everything mentioned in this novel I feel is part of a normal, curious adolescence and will be things that teenagers are likely to come across during this period in their lives. Wrapping them up in cotton wool and shielding them from the cold, hard facts of life I feel will do more damage than good in the long run.

CHRISSI:  As I said, I can see why this book wouldn’t be used in the classroom. However, I think it’s an accurate representation of adolescence and certainly think it should be available for teenagers. I think all too often teenagers are shielded from this kind of read and there’s no reason for that!

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: There were lots of things to like about this book. Firstly, it’s a very quick read, partially because the entirety of the novel is written in prose which makes it both interesting and easy to whizz through – I think I finished it in about an hour? We get to hear three teenage girls points of view when they meet, date and in some cases sleep with the notorious “bad boy” of the school and how this affects them emotionally as a result when he gets the only thing he really wants from their relationships – sex. I think it’s really important for teenage girls struggling with new, very adult emotions and who may be feeling particularly vulnerable to reassure them that they are not alone and that they don’t have to do anything that they may not feel ready for.

CHRISSI: I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t expect to whizz through it as much as I did. It helps that the book is in prose as it really picks up the pace of the book. It’s one of those where I kept thinking ‘just one more snippet’ and before I knew it I was finished. I don’t think it’s an overly memorable read, but I think it’ll be relatable to so many teens!

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: Probably!
CHRISSI: Yes!

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher: School’s Out For Summer

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my life as a primary school teacher. I currently work at a primary school teaching 6-7 year olds. My training posts on this subject were really successful and so therapeutic for me, therefore I’ve decided to continue posting on the topic. I will not be naming any children, or the school where I work. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind! Bookish goodness returns as normal Monday-Saturday!

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BRING ME ALL OF THE BOOKS!

Yes, that’s right. School is out for me. I don’t return until September and I’m SO happy about that. Working in education, I know people moan about the time off teachers have. Yes, I have 6 weeks holiday, but some of that time (I reckon about 2 weeks) will be spent getting my new classroom ready. I’m moving classrooms and have quite the task to make my new classroom into a place where I’m happy to teach and the children are happy to learn. I also have a LOT of planning to do.

However, I do appreciate my summer break. I am hoping to do lots of reading and catch up with some blogging. I also want to catch up with friends, sleep and laugh lots!

These Sunday posts will stop until September and will be replaced by some bookish goodness.

Right now I’m off to bask in the glory that my first year of teaching is done!

Stacking The Shelves #148

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page!

Borrowed:

London Belongs to Us

I enjoy Sarra Manning’s writing, so I was very pleased to borrow this book off my sister, Beth!

Bought:

Son (The Giver Quartet, #4)

I am very much looking forward to the last book in The Giver quartet. I hope to finish it soon!

One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths, #2)

I’m on a mission to finish some of the series I started. This is the second book in the Ten Tiny Breaths series.

What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave a link to your hauls and I’ll stop by! Happy Reading!

Fairy Tale Friday- The Old Street Lamp

This week’s fairy tale was a short but interesting little fairy tale. The Old Street Lamp centres around a lamp who is terrified that they are going to be retired and melted down. The poor thing worries about not being useful anymore. Luckily for the old street lamp, a watchman and his wife decide to take it in. The old street lamp begins to feel a little more confident. The watchman and his wife make it feel loved and cared for. The old street lamp did start to dream about being melted down when the watchman and his wife died. It started to dream of being made into candlesticks! The fairy tale ends with the old street lamp finally finding some inner peace.

This was a strange little tale but fun to read nonetheless. It felt like a very quirky fairy tale. It’s nice to read a selectionof quirky tales in the Hans Christian Andersen collection.

Next Fairy Tale- The Little Elder-Tree Mother

Briar Rose

Briar Rose

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She’s stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won’t let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who’s spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She’s tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she’s actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes . . . And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can’t do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she’s met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.

Thoughts:

I love fairy tale retellings or reimaginings. However, I think it’s quite hard to get it right. So many people are quite precious about the fairy tales that they know so well.  Sleeping Beauty is definitely a classic fairy tale. It’s one of the most popular fairy tales as well. I think it’s hard to not copy a fairy tale in a reimagining. As a reader, I don’t want to see a fairy tale copied but at the same time I want a glimmer of the fairy tale. I want to see how it links up.

Briar Rose combined several of the Sleeping Beauty elements (Aurora was in the story!) but at the same time I felt like it had some original concepts which I really appreciated. I thought it was a really engaging read although parts of it did seem to drag a little. I could also see where the story was going, there weren’t many surprises along the way.  It was however, a very subtly funny book. I appreciated the humour, that’s for sure!

Briar Rose had some great characters who really made the story for me. I loved Briar Rose and thought she was a fantastic character to follow. I also appreciated how the characters were flawed. No one is perfect and I like to see that, especially in a fairy tale.

I really enjoyed the concepts of Briar Rose. I loved the creatures and the magic. I was captivated throughout the story. I really enjoyed Jana Oliver’s writing style. I’d certainly be intrigued to read more from her in the future.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

An imaginative fairy tale reimagining! I highly enjoyed it.

The Woman Next Door

The Woman Next Door

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Harper Collins UK

Synopsis:

Two suburban women. Two dark secrets. The almost perfect murder.

Melissa and Hester have lived next door to each other for years. When Melissa’s daughter was younger, Hester was almost like a grandmother to her. But recently they haven’t been so close.

Hester has plans to change all that. It’s obvious to her that despite Melissa’s outwardly glamorous and successful life, she needs Hester’s help.

But taking help from Hester might not be such a good idea for a woman with as many secrets as Melissa…

Thoughts:

I have to admit that I didn’t know much about this book going into it. I am a massive fan of pyschological thrillers, so the cover and the synopsis immediately gripped me. Whilst I don’t think The Woman Next Door is the best read out there, it didn’t take me long to devour the story. I found it to be a real page turner and I’m certainly glad that I picked it up!

The story centres around Hester and Melissa. They are neighbours and Hester used to think they were good friends. However, Melissa doesn’t feel the same way. She found Hester to be a little bit creepy and started to distance herself from Hester. One day there’s an incident involving Melissa and a blast from her very secret past. Hester is involved and becomes the only person that can help Melissa. Melissa doesn’t realise that Hester has dark secrets of her own.

I have to come right out and say that this book isn’t overly believable, yet it’s utterly readable. I could go with the story that’s for sure. I absolutely loved to hate Hester who is an incredibly creepy woman. I wondered what on earth had been going on in her life. I certainly didn’t trust her. Yet, I didn’t trust Melissa too, who was clearly hiding something from her past. The whole story made me feel very uneasy which I enjoyed. I love unpredictable narrators and The Woman Next Door totally has that.

I think this book is going to evoke mixed feelings between readers. Some may find it a little far-fetched, some might find it believable as the characters feel like people you might know and some (like me) might find it unrealistic but not be bothered by it. I thought it was a gripping psychological thriller which could easily be devoured in one sitting or on the beach!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A creepy, unlikeable character made this thriller so gripping!

This Week In Books #39

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

As ever, click on the book image to get to Goodreads!

Shtum The One We Fell in Love With Cuckoo

NOWShtumJem Lester– I’m currently just over 100 pages through this book. It’s a book about a boy with autism. It’s so dark, but at the same time there’s some humour which is needed for light relief!

THENThe One We Fell In Love With Paige Toon– I love Paige Toon’s writing. She’s one of my favourite ‘chick-lit’ writers. Her books are often deeper than your average chick-lit. This one had a twist in it that I didn’t see coming!

NEXTCuckoo Keren David– This is another book which features an autistic character.I’m intrigued to read this one!

What are you reading this week? Feel free to let me know in the comments or leave a link to your posts. Happy Reading!😀