This Week In Books #128

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!

Book images go to Goodreads!

The Surface Breaks I Believe in a Thing Called Love Sadie

NOWThe Surface BreaksLouise O’Neill– I have been waiting to get to this book for SO long and it’s really worth the wait. It’s a reimagining of the Hans Christian Andersen The Little Mermaid. I mean Hans Christian Andersen’s version as well… it’s no Disney!

THENI Believe In A Thing Called LoveMaurene Goo– I did enjoy this contemporary. It didn’t take me long to whizz through.

NEXTSadieCourtney Summers- It’s time for a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while. I’m super excited to get to this one.

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

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Top Ten Bookstores/Libraries I’d Love To Visit

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week it’s all about beautiful bookstores or libraries that we’d like to visit. I’m not blessed with many good bookstores or libraries in my area, so I was super excited to research these stores!

Bookstores

Word On The Water, London, UK

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I’m not fussy about books near water, so the idea of a store on the water doesn’t scare me. It’s a 1920s Dutch barge. A floating bookshop!

Scarthin Books, Peak District- UK

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This has a mixture of new and old books. I love that it has a vegetarian cafe! 🙂

El Ateneo bookshop-Buenos Aires, Argentina

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How beautiful is this? Converted from a theatre. I think it looks stunning.

The Last Bookstore- Los Angeles, California

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I just think this looks pretty! I’d take some beautiful pictures here.

Livraria Lello & Irmão, Porto, Portugal

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I think I’m obsessed with pretty looking bookstores.

Libraries

The Maughan, London, UK

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This library looks stunning! I read that the round reading room was turned into Dumbledore’s office!

Liverpool Central Library, UK

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I love those spiral stairs!

Library of Birmingham, UK

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This library has a stack of blocks that light up! It sounds really lovely.

Codrington Library, Oxford, UK

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I doubt I’d ever get to visit this as you have to be a member of Oxford University or a very established researcher. It looks stunning though.

John Ryland’s Library, Manchester, UK

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This is another one that looks amazing. Pictured here is the reading room!

I took inspiration (and pictures) from these sites here:

The Most Beautiful Libraries

Twelve Of The Most Beautiful Bookshops

10 Amazing Bookshops in the UK

Please leave a link to your post, I can’t wait to see some amazing bookish photos!

Girl Out Of Water

Girl Out of Water

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word. 

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves?

Thoughts:

I continue with my quest to read some 2017 debuts, as I totally failed on that front last year. I’m doing well so far. It was time to read Girl Out Of Water which I’d heard some really good things about. I thought it was an easy to read, interesting book. It was lovely to see a diverse representation of characters in this book too.

Girl Out Of Water centres around Anise who can’t wait to spend the summer with her friends and the ocean. She loves surfing and wants to spend the summer making the most of her free time. However, Anise’s aunt has a terrible accident, which results in Anise and her father having to go to Nebraska to help her aunt with her cousins. Anise is understandably disappointed to miss out on her plans, but she recognises the importance of her family and looking out for her cousins. Whilst in Nebraska, Anise becomes close to a skateboarder named Lincoln. Lincoln challenges Anise to learn skateboarding and step outside her comfort zone.

Anise finds it awkward to be in touch with her friends at home. She’s jealous of the fact that they’re living the summer she wanted. She doesn’t want them to feel bad because they’re having fun without her. I thought it was really clever how the author portrayed how difficult it can be to be away from home when you don’t want to be. She really showed Anise’s battle between wanting to be there for her family and wanting to be with her friends.

Anise’s mother is absent for quite a substantial part of the story. She pops up in her life every now and then, but Anise is practically raised by her father. She has a good relationship with her father which is lovely to read about.

I thought there were some fabulous characters in this book. I really liked Lincoln and his outlook on life. I thought Anise’s father was wonderful too. I did like Anise as a character, but I can imagine that she’ll grate on a few readers as she does come across as a bit bratty in points, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. I thought overall it was a great debut!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A solid debut! I think this would be a good summer read!

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher-Girls, girls, girls…

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 7-9 year olds. I have worked for two years with 6-7 years, 1 year with 7-9 and now I’m returning to my favourite age! 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!

Oh my goodness, this week has been a week of DRAMA! I have about 6 girls in my class who have intense friendship issues. They always nitpick at each other, give each other ‘looks’ or are just generally unkind. I have had numerous parents in moaning about the other girls and I’m pretty much just done with girl drama. These girls are 8-9 years old and are already having issues. I reached the end of my tether this week. Every single day they whine about each other and I’d just had enough. They ended up talking through their problems with me and we worked out that they were quite petty problems that they shouldn’t be bothering me/disrupting learning time with.

I’ve decided to stage a friendship intervention with them this week. Tomorrow, I’m going to take them out of assembly and spend some time going through a friendship drama meter with them. It’ll hopefully teach them when to come to me with a problem and when they can learn to talk it through themselves.

I also have parent/teacher meetings this coming week. I’m dreading them due to the fact that I’m sure parents will bring up this friendship drama issue. At least if I can talk to them about my friendship intervention then it’ll help greatly and hopefully reassure the parents that I am doing something to address it.

Wish me luck… I think I may need it this week. At the end of the week though, I have 5 working days off. Yippee! 🙂

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone

You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon. 

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

Thoughts:

I always enjoy checking out debut authors because sometimes you can really find some gems. This was totally the case with You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone. I thought it was an emotional, thought-provoking read.

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone centres around twins Adina and Tovah. Their mother has Huntington’s Disease and both girls have been tested to see if they will develop the awful disease. One tests negative and the other tests positive. Adina and Tovah’s lives are completely turned around. They was already strain on their relationship but with the outcomes of the test it seems to be worse. The story follows their relationship and their story after the test results.

I really enjoyed reading this book although it is heart-breaking to read about such a horrific disease. It certainly made me think. I also thought it was great how the characters were Jewish. I’m all for plenty of representation in books, especially YA and I felt this book taught me things that I didn’t know about the Jewish faith.

I thought the characters were really well developed. I loved how they were completely different to one another. Yet both characters were fighting their own battles. I was completely invested in their story, desperate for them to find themselves. The story really gripped me from the start and kept me gripped until the end of the story. I’m still thinking about it a week later which really shows the impact that it had on me.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

I thought this was a wonderful, emotional debut novel. I’m intrigued to see what Rachel Lynn Soloman writes next!

Fairy Tale/Folk Tale Friday- Why The Bananas Belong To The Monkey

This story is set when the world had just been made. An old women (why are the characters always old?) had a big garden full of banana trees. It was too difficult for the woman to pick the bananas, so she asked the biggest monkey in the forest to do it for her. She told him that if he picked all of her bananas he could keep half of them. The biggest monkey agreed and picked every banana for her. He divided the bananas into piles. He gave himself the long, fat bananas and gave her the small, wrinkled ones. When the woman realised what had happened, she was determined to get her own back.

The woman took some wax and made a figure of a boy. She dressed him up, put bananas in a basket on his head and stood him by the side of the road. The biggest monkey swung by and although he already had a lot of bananas, he wanted more. He demanded some from the boy, but of course, the boy didn’t answer. The monkey reached out to knock the basket off the boy’s head, but instead his hand stuck into the wax. The monkey insisted that the boy let him go and give him a banana. He reached up with his other hand and that stuck too. He was so cross that he kicked the boy… of course, his foot got stuck and he fell down with a bump. The monkey insisted that the boy should release him before he knocked all the bananas out of his basket. He kicked hard with his other foot and got stuck in the wax!

The biggest monkey tugged so hard that all of the bananas toppled out, but he couldn’t reach a single one. He howled and yelled until other monkeys ran out of the wood. He demanded that they should release him, but they could not release the monkey. The smallest monkey had an idea. The monkeys climbed to the top of the trees and asked the sun to melt the little wax boy. They did just that and the sun began to melt the wax boy.

The woman was impressed with how clever the monkeys had been, she gave up the banana trees to them. She decided to move to a place where she could grow something for herself. The monkeys claimed the trees!

Next Fairy Tale/Folk tale- Rama and Sita

Twelve Steps To Normal

Twelve Steps to Normal

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Kira’s Twelve Steps To A Normal Life

1. Accept Grams is gone.
2. Learn to forgive Dad.
3. Steal back ex-boyfriend from best friend…

And somewhere between 1 and 12, realize that when your parent’s an alcoholic, there’s no such thing as “normal.”
When Kira’s father enters rehab, she’s forced to leave everything behind–her home, her best friends, her boyfriend…everything she loves. Now her father’s sober (again) and Kira is returning home, determined to get her life back to normal…exactly as it was before she was sent away.

But is that what Kira really wants?

Thoughts:

I thought it would be interesting to read a book about recovery after addiction and how a family copes with such a thing. I also wanted to read another 2018 debut. I’m always keen to find new writers, so try to get to a few debuts a year. Whilst Twelve Steps To Normal wasn’t a bad read, it wasn’t amazing. It sticks in that middle ground for me.

Twelve Steps To Normal follows Kira as she returns to live with her father after he comes out of rehab. Kira has been living with her Aunt and has had to leave her home, school, friends and boyfriend. Since she had left, Kira distanced herself from everyone at home, trying to protect herself. Now she’s back, Kira wants her life back. She wants everything to return to how it was, but as time goes by, Kira wonders if that’s really what she wants.

This book has so many characters. I did wonder if there were a little too many to really delve into the characters deeply. Kira’s dad brought home some other sober friends from rehab that lived with them until they were ready to go home. It was nice to see their journey too, but I don’t feel like we learnt a lot about them. Then there’s also Kira’s friends, her father, her ex-boyfriend and a love interest.

As for Kira, I have mixed feelings about her. I could understand her reservations about her father. Her friendships confused me though. I don’t feel like she treated her friends well but she was easily forgiven. I also didn’t like the way she treated her father’s friends. She was quite rude and took a while to understand them. I also felt deeply sorry for Alex, the love interest, he was a sweetheart and she was pretty nasty! I realised she had gone through a lot, but I wasn’t impressed with her as a character overall.

I appreciated this book for being a story about repairing relationships after family trauma but I was desperate for this book to be more about Kira and her father. I wanted to learn more about her father’s recovery and his battle with addiction. I think I was expecting it to be deeper than it was.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Whilst this book didn’t blow me away, it was a decent enough read about repairing relationships after hardship!