Sam & Ilsa’s Last Hurrah

Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Rachel Cohn

David Levithan

Every Day

Synopsis:

Siblings Sam and Ilsa Kehlmann have spent most of their high school years throwing parties for their friends—and now they’ve prepared their final blowout, just before graduation.

The rules are simple: each twin gets to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn’t know who’s coming until the partiers show up at the door. With Sam and Ilsa, the sibling revelry is always tempered with a large dose of sibling rivalry, and tonight is no exception.

One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right, as well…in rather surprising ways.

Thoughts:

Coming at you with another post-it style review!

Would I recommend it?:
It’s not for me!- This book was okay, but not much happened and I couldn’t gel with the characters.

A quick read but don’t expect much depth!

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Girl With Sharp Sticks (Girls With Sharp Sticks #1)

Girls with Sharp Sticks (Girls with Sharp Sticks, #1)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.

Thoughts:

I really like Suzanne Young’s writing, so when I heard she had a new book coming out, I knew it was something that I really wanted to read. I’m pleased I picked it up because although I don’t think I’ll continue with the series, it was certainly a fantastic start to a series. The only reason I’m not continuing is because I don’t like committing to series at the moment with my work/life commitments. I’m not fitting in much reading at the moment, so standalones are better for me.

Girls With Sharp Sticks centres around Mena (Philomena) who attends an exclusive same sex boarding school. At this exclusive boarding school, they learn to be proper women. Hmmm… ‘proper’ women. The idea makes you cringe, right? The teaching methods are definitely ‘interesting.’ From wiped brains to keeping each student censored. It really did seem like a nightmare school to me. Eventually, Mena and her friends work out what’s actually happening at the school. They learn about themselves and who they really are. But the Innovations Academy is a very dark and dangerous place. Can they ever break free from it?

As I mentioned before, I do really like Suzanne’s writing. Right from the beginning, you know something is going wrong with these girls and you want the best for them from the very start. I was especially attached to Mena. I loved her development as a character as she found out what was really happening to her. I also loved how every girl seemed to support one another. I know this may not be realistic in a school full of hormonal girls but a group of supportive girls? Yes please!

I absolutely loved how this book was about the female characters taking charge and fighting back. Go female empowerment!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Although I enjoyed this book, I don’t think I’ll continue with the series (for time constraint reason, I may pick the series up in the future!) Worth checking out -especially if you’re into Girl Power!

Soulmates

Soulmates

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Standalone

The Spinster Club 

Synopsis:

Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect matches for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love…thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems.

Enter Poppy, the 17-year-old cynic with a serious addiction to banana milk, and Noah, the heart-throb guitarist; residents of mediocre Middletown, sometime students, and…soulmates.

After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But with a secret international agency preparing to separate them, a trail of destruction rumbling in their wake, (and a looming psychology coursework deadline), they are left with an impossible choice between the end of the world, or a life without love… 

Thoughts:

I’ve read a few Holly Bourne books now, but had been shying away from her debut, as it was over 500 pages long. I don’t have a lot of time to read unless it’s the holidays, so I tend to stick to shorter books so my concentration doesn’t wane too much. I decided to put Soulmates on my holiday TBR and I’m so pleased I did, because I thought it was an excellent debut from Holly Bourne.

Soulmates may seem like a really overdone topic in YA, but Holly Bourne takes a new twist on it. In Soulmates she explores whether meeting your soulmate is a bad thing. The main characters Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance. However, their love is dangerous. A secret international agency is working on separating the couple, because their love is causing destruction. Poppy and Noah have to decide between the end of the world or a life without their love.

Even though this book is quite a beast, it’s so easy to read! The writing is delightful and I got easily captured within its pages. The characters are so easy to love. I always love the strong feminist tone in Holly’s books. It’s something I really appreciate. Poppy is a great character. I loved how she was so cynical about love but was totally open to it happening when she met Noah. It was a little bit insta-love, but for some reason it worked for me. I also appreciated how Poppy experienced panic attacks (although they seemed to disappear when she met Noah and I’m not sure that sat quite right with me!) It’s always great to read mental health representation in YA stories.

I loved how we occasionally got a different point of view from the secret international agency, it kept me interested as to why Poppy and Noah couldn’t be together. I was desperate to find out why. Soulmates is different because it has this almost sci-fi aspect to the story. It was a really interesting take on love! I would highly recommend this book, if you’re looking for something different in YA!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderfully gripping read!

Call Me Star Girl

Call Me Star Girl

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Tonight is the night for secrets…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after twelve years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

Thoughts:

I have to admit that this is the first time that I’ve read Louise Beech’s work, even though I have heard a lot about her books. And boy, what a great first experience it was for me. I was absolutely gripped by this story and it barely took me long to read at all.

The story centres around Stella McKeever, a radio personality at a local radio station. Stella has a lot of secrets. For her final show, she wants to talk about secrets. Hers include… a boyfriend that likes to play games, a mother who abandoned her and has now returned… a mystery around a star-shaped stopper on a perfume bottle and her father who she recently found out his true identity. Will she spill any of her secrets? Stella is more intrigued by the mysterious man calling the radio station. There’s been a vicious murder of a pregnant woman called Victoria and this man knows who killed Victoria and he said he has the proof…

Wow, is all I can really say! What a plot. This book is so dark and devastating at the same time. I really didn’t expect one of the twists and it broke my heart. I can’t say anymore than that because I really don’t want to ruin the wonder that is this story!

If Louise Beech’s characters are always this well developed, I seriously need to check out more of her back catalogue. I loved getting to know these complex characters with all of their secrets. Louise’s writing is so easy to devour and get stuck into. This book was the perfect start to my holiday. It was intense, dark and a deeply disturbing thriller!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

I was gripped by this story! It has some awesome twists and turns along the way. A wonderful thriller!

Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit- The Dreamsnatcher (Dreamsnatcher #1)

The Dreamsnatcher (Dreamsnatcher #1)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life.

Because Moll is more important than she knows… The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure. 

Thoughts:

I had heard good things about this author, so I was intrigued to pick up a copy of The Dreamsnatcher. For me, it was a little slow to start but when it picked up the pace, it was hard to put it down.

Our main protagonist is a 12 year old girl called Molly. She wakes one night in the middle of the forest, having being lured there by a nightmare. The nightmare that keeps on recurring. When she arrives there she realises The Dreamsnatcher is waiting for her. He has taken her dreams and wants to take even more. What Moll doesn’t realise, is that she’s actually very important. She and the wildcat, Gryff are the only ones that can battle The Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. We’re thrown into Moll’s world as she begins to unravel secrets through her journey and adventures.

I really enjoyed the world in which this book is set in. Abi Elphinstone’s writing is superb and so easy to read. There’s so much to get stuck into and enjoy. I really think it would capture the attention of both adults and children. The chapters are fairly short so it leaves you eager to find out what is going to happen next.

For Beth’s wonderful review, please check out her blog HERE.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Next up in the Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit Challenge (August):
The Royal Rabbits of London- Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore

Defy Me (Shatter Me #5)

Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Shatter Me:

Furthermore:

Standalone:

Synopsis:

Juliette’s short tenure as the supreme commander of North America has been an utter disaster. When the children of the other world leaders show up on her doorstep, she wants nothing more than to turn to Warner for support and guidance. But he shatters her heart when he reveals that he’s been keeping secrets about her family and her identity from her—secrets that change everything.

Juliette is devastated, and the darkness that’s always dwelled within her threatens to consume her. An explosive encounter with unexpected visitors might be enough to push her over the edge.

Thoughts:

It’s so hard to review a 5th book in a series, so instead I’m going to post-it note what I liked about this instalment…

image (1)

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Another wonderful instalment from Tahereh Mafi. I didn’t know I needed more of this series!

Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Pictures
Words
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

Thoughts:

I had heard so many wonderful things about Hyperbole and a Half. It has been on my radar for so long. I felt like getting myself a copy recently. When it arrived, my first thought was ‘It’s so HEAVY!’  It’s such good quality, colourful and a real beauty of a book. In my opinion, it should be experienced in ‘real’ format to truly appreciate it. The memoir inside is witty and at points moving.

Hyperbole and a Half, comes from Allie Brosh’s blog. I have to admit, I didn’t know much about Allie’s blog. I didn’t think I’d ever seen anything about it. However, I knew when I came across ‘ALL THE THINGS!’ it was familar to me! I’d definitely seen that meme around the internet. Her illustrations are wonderful. There’s something about Hyperbole and a Half that completely captured my attention and kept it throughout. It barely took me long to read at all and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

It follows Allie as she recalls some moments of her life. These include her relationship with her two dogs- Simple Dog and Helper Dog. It also follows her experience of depression. There’s moments that seem completely ridiculous but that’s the charm of Hyperbole and a Half. Even though it touches on her struggle with depression it’s not deeply sad. That wouldn’t fit with the nature of the memoir.

I loved reading the funny anecdotes from Allie’s life. She has such a self deprecating nature and the stories she tells certainly do fit the ‘hyperbole’ title. I think there’s something to be enjoyed by everyone in this story. Allie really is a wonderful storyteller.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderful book. So unique, funny and warm.