History Is All You Left Me

History Is All You Left Me

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
More Happy Than Not

Synopsis:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course. 

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart. 

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

Thoughts:

I enjoyed More Happy Than Not but this book completely surpassed it in my opinion. It was such a touching read. I knew it was going to be a heart-breaking one as I had heard as much, but I didn’t expect it to have such an impact on me. Adam Silvera is a truly beautifully writer.

History Is All You Left Me centres around Griff who has just lost his first love and ex-boyfriend in a tragic accident. Theo had moved to California for college and started a new relationship with a guy called Jackson. Griffin always thought that Theo would come back to him, but now the future has completely turned around for Griffin. The only person that understands his heartache is Jackson. Even though they begin to open up to one another, Griffin is spiralling out of control. His compulsions are getting worse and secrets are tearing him apart. To move on, Griffin is going to have to face up to his history.

I loved that this story flipped between past and present times. I’m always tentative when I know a book jumps about between time periods, but for this book it really did work. I loved reading about their history and how they were doing in present times. It really made me feel like I could get to know the characters. The characters are so well written. They are absolutely messed up which is understandable considering a very special guy to them has died. I could feel Griffin’s pain through the pages and although I don’t agree with everything he did, I could understand why he had acted in that way.

As for the representation of OCD? A round of applause to Adam Silvera. I don’t have OCD myself, but have several friends who do and the representation was so well done. I could really sympathise with Griffin.

There is romance in this book. A lot of romance. I have mixed feelings about it. I loved Griffin and Theo’s relationship and was rooting for them at the start. Then when he moved away to California everything started to get a little messy. Actually I lie, very, very messy! There was a lot of heartache between many characters and so much hurt. This certainly isn’t an ‘easy’ read.

This book is heartbreaking, but so very worth reading. It’s a beauty that’s for sure and I can’t wait to read Adam Silvera’s most recent book!

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

A beautiful read. I didn’t expect to like this one as much!

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The Treatment by C.L Taylor

The Treatment

How did I get it?
NetGalley- many thanks to HQ/Harper Collins

Synopsis:

“You have to help me. We’re not being reformed. We’re being brainwashed.”

All sixteen year old Drew Finch wants is to be left alone. She’s not interested in spending time with her mum and stepdad and when her disruptive fifteen year old brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to a residential reform academy she’s almost relieved.

Everything changes when she’s followed home from school by the mysterious Dr Cobey, who claims to have a message from Mason. There is something sinister about the ‘treatment’ he is undergoing. The school is changing people.

Determined to help her brother, Drew must infiltrate the Academy and unearth its deepest, darkest secrets.

Before it’s too late.

Thoughts:

I have been intending to read C.L Taylor’s books for the longest time. I don’t know why I haven’t yet, but I will soon be rectifying that after reading her fantastic YA debut! I was utterly gripped by The Treatment and finished it within a day.

The Treatment centres around sixteen year old Drew Finch. Her younger brother, Mason, is expelled from school and sent to a residential reform academy in Northumberland. It is from then that the problems really occur. Drew is followed by Doctor Cobey with a message from Mason. Mason tells Drew that he’s worried about the ‘treatment’ that’s going on at the reform academy. He needs her help. After some googling and finding a former resident, Drew needs to get into the school to discover exactly what’s going on for herself before it’s too late.

I thought this book was utterly gripping. Right from the start it had me intrigued and didn’t let go of me until the last page. The story is really easy to read. It has some interesting characters, ones you hate and ones you root for. I loved to hate some of the characters in this story. There really is a great range of well written characters. The pace was fast and short chapters really helped this.

I really enjoy psychology reads and I loved how C.L Taylor used psychology in the story without it becoming too bogged down. It was incredibly clever and engaging.

I’m not the desired age for this book, but I absolutely lapped it up and I’m pretty confident that this book would appeal to adults as well.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

I will definitely be reading C.L Taylor’s adult thrillers after thoroughly enjoying this book!

No Shame

No Shame

How did I get it?:
I received it from the publisher in exchange for a honest review!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Stacey Woods has been raped and now she has to go through a different ordeal – the court trial. But nothing in life it seems is black and white and life is not always fair or just. Suddenly it seems that she may not be believed and that the man who attacked her may be found not guilty . . . if so Stacey will need to find a way to rebuild her life again . . .

Thoughts:

This book follows No Virgin. I think you can read this book without reading No Virgin but it enhances your reading experience if you do read the previous book. Ultimately, this book has the same message as No Virgin. It encourages victims of rape to speak out and seek justice for the terrible thing that has happened to them.

In No Shame, Stacey has reported the disgusting man to the police and the trial is looming. Stacey is trying to carry on with her life. She’s thinking about her future and works a part time job. As well as this, she has to be prepared for standing against the man who raped her. I found the man in question incredibly creepy and arrogant. Every single time he smirked in court, it made me mad. I was desperate for him to be charged. I won’t ruin what happens but things aren’t easy, that’s for sure!

This isn’t an easy read, but it’s an important one. Anne Cassidy is wonderful at creating characters that you feel empathy for. The book is short and fast paced. It really packs a punch. I think both books have such an important place in YA literature. I’m so pleased I read it because it does make you think about keeping yourself safe and speaking out when you’re uncomfortable!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

I thought this was a fantastic companion novel that shows that there can be many bumps in the road in your life!

No Virgin

No Virgin

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

My name is Stacey Woods and I was raped.

Stacey is the victim of a terrible sexual attack. She does not feel able to go to the police, or talk about it to anybody other than her best friend, Patrice. Patrice, outraged, when she cannot persuade her to go to the police, encourages Stacey to write everything down. This is Stacey’s story.

Thoughts:

I was approached to read the sequel of this book No Shame and decided that I needed to read No Virgin first. I’m glad i did because I think No Virgin is important to read before you read the next story.

It tells the story of Stacey Woods who was raped. Stacey has a falling out with her sister (who has a child at 14) and her mother. She leaves the house determined not to go home. Stacey meets a boy that she feels instantly connected to. She goes back to his house, but she doesn’t expect things to turn out the way they do. Stacey doesn’t feel like she can tell people, but ultimately she works out it’s the best thing to do.

I loved how this story promoted speaking to others about rape something which is never acceptable. Stacey seeks help from her friend, family and a rape crisis helpline.

If you find reading stories around these themes then I wouldn’t recommend this book. It’s not as intense as Asking For It by Louise O’Neill (it’s been compared to it) but it’s an important story that I believe should be told!

Would I recommend it?
Yes! 3.5 stars

An important, though dark read!

Look out for my review of the companion novel, No Shame next week!

Emmy & Oliver

Emmy & Oliver

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Oliver’s absence split us wide open, dividing our neighborhood along a fault line strong enough to cause an earthquake. An earthquake would have been better. At least during an earthquake, you understand why you’re shaking. 

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. But now Oliver is back, and he’s not the skinny boy-next-door that used to be Emmy’s best friend. Now he’s the boy who got kidnapped. A stranger – a totally hot stranger! – with a whole history that Emmy knows nothing about. 

But is their story still meant to be? Or are they like the pieces of two different puzzles – impossible to fit together?

Thoughts:

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book, but its synopsis intrigued me. I haven’t read many contemporary YA books about kidnapping! I expected this book to be a little bit darker than it actually was. This didn’t spoil my opinion of it though, I thought it was an interesting, easy to read book.

Emmy & Oliver is about the relationship between our main characters after Oliver returns from being kidnapped by his father. Oliver has been living his life in New York for the past ten years. Oliver returns home and understandably a lot of things have changed. He initially struggles to fit in. Emmy is keen to pick up from where they left off. Emmy’s parents have been incredibly overprotective since Oliver’s disappearance. She often finds herself lying to her parents as they couldn’t cope with what she’s really doing…surfing and applying to a college where she’d live away from home. Oliver’s return is difficult, but Emmy is keen to build their relationship back up again.

I loved reading this book from Emmy’s point of view. She was an immediately likeable character. I loved her sense of humour and her determination to do what she wanted to do with her life, despite her overprotective parents. I absolutely adore her friendship with Drew and Caro, her best friends. They were both brilliant characters. Emmy and Oliver’s friendship that blossomed was totally believable. I loved reading about their interactions and how Oliver began to open up to Emmy.

With hindsight, I’m glad that this book wasn’t the darker read that I wanted it to be initially. I was happy to read lighter moments as it showed that Oliver was beginning to rebuild his life he once had and that made me happy. At the same time, I loved that Robin Benway didn’t shy away from the difficulties and emotions that Oliver experienced. It would have been unrealistic to think that life would immediately go back to normal.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

An easy to read book! I thoroughly enjoyed all of the main characters!

Noggin

Noggin

How did I get it?:
It was a gift!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Highly Illogical Behaviour

Synopsis:

Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he’s alive again.

Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice. 

Thoughts:

I didn’t think I’d like Noggin. I remember when it first came out so many people were reading it. There were a lot of mixed reviews, so I put it off. However, as soon as I read Highly Illogical Behaviour I knew I wanted to read something else by John Corey Whaley. I loved his writing. Noggin is a book that I shouldn’t have enjoyed. I like unique books, but Noggin really is something else.

Noggin centres around a boy called Travis who has had his head cryogenically frozen when he becomes critically ill with cancer. Five years later, Travis wakes up attached to the body of Jeremy Pratt. Travis has to adapt to a life in which his best friend and girlfriend are five years older than him. Travis still feels like it was yesterday, but five years have passed and people have moved on.

It may sound really science-y, but this book does read like a contemporary YA book, just a very odd YA contemporary! I think if you’re expecting it to be super sci-fi then you won’t be impressed by this book. Noggin is about friendship, romance and moving on with your life.

Travis is a character that I did like, but I can see that some people would find his behaviour quite annoying. He is super pushy and all for himself. He is desperate to get his girlfriend back, despite her being older, having a fiance and against his friend’s advice.

I enjoyed that Noggin took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. Some moments were funny, some were annoying, some were sad. Noggin made me think though and I enjoyed that. I really enjoy John Corey Whaley’s writing and I’m looking forward to reading his debut novel. Yes, I totally broke the rules and I appear to be reading from recent to oldest release! 🙂

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

This book won’t be for everyone, but I thought it was so unique and intriguing!

Charlotte Says

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Frozen Charlotte
The Haunting

Synopsis:

Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.
Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.

Thoughts:

I’m not a fan of horror. I think I’ve always made that quite clear here on my blog. However, there are some authors that I make an exception for… and Alex Bell is one of them. I’ve read all of Alex’s books (adult books too, they’re good, you should check them out!) and I adore her horror stories. I was so intrigued to see what Charlotte Says was like after thoroughly enjoying Frozen Charlotte. I found Charlotte Says to be even creepier. Some parts literally made me shudder.

Charlotte Says is based in 1910 and it centres around Jemima. After the death of her mother in a fire, Jemima begins a job at a school for girls at the very remote Isle of Skye. (Readers of Frozen Charlotte will recognise the setting!) Jemima finds life there tough and she finds herself thinking about what happened the night of the fire. She receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls (they creep me out!) from a mystery sender. Jemima recalls a seance with the dolls and events that resulted in the fire. The dolls are causing so much trouble at the school after a series of accidents involving the young girls who are used to create havoc amongst their peers.

I could not put this book down! I needed to at points, to you know…calm myself down. I have a very vivid imagination and Alex’s writing really stimulates my overactive imagination. I don’t want to say much about the plot itself as I want it to be read and enjoyed! Just know that it’s terrifying at some points! There are scenes that are still sticking in my mind, days after finishing the book. I think this book is scarier than Frozen Charlotte so if you’re of a nervous disposition then proceed with caution! 😉

Even though this book is a prequel to Frozen Charlotte, I don’t think you necessarily need to read it in order to understand Charlotte Says. It merely enhances your reading experience if you can spot the links!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Charlotte Says really creeped me out. It’s such an atmospheric, chilling read.