Indigo Donut

Indigo Donut

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Hatchette!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Orangeboy

Synopsis:

A story of longing, belonging and trust. Two very different young people discover who loves them, and who they can love back.

Bailey is 17, mixed race, lives with his mum and dad in Hackney and spends all his time playing guitar or tending to his luscious ginger afro. Indigo is 17 and new to London, having grown up in the care system after being found by her mum’s dead body as a toddler. All Indigo wants is to know who she really is. When Bailey and Indigo meet at sixth form, sparks fly. But when Bailey becomes the target of a homeless man who seems to know more about Indigo than is normal, Bailey is forced to make a choice he should never have to make.

A story about falling in love and everyone’s need to belong.

Thoughts:

I absolutely loved Patrice Lawrence’s debut novel Orangeboy, so when I had the opportunity to read Indigo Donut I jumped at the chance. I also bought myself a copy, because I knew it was going to be an amazing read. It really was! I think Patrice Lawrence has just become one of my auto-buy authors. Her writing is exceptional. Indigo Donut is everything I look for in a story. Gripping, many layers, complex and most importantly for me, it has great heart.

Indigo Donut is about a girl named Indigo who is in foster care. She is fed up of everyone thinking they know everything about her, due to being in the press after being found by her mum’s dead body when she was a toddler. It was said that Indigo’s father killed the mother. Her father was imprisoned. Some of the girls at Indigo’s new school pick up on Indigo’s background and use it to torment her. (These girls actually enraged me whilst I was reading!) But then Bailey’s story line began to pick up! ❤ Bailey is known for his ginger Afro and his ‘cool’ dad who happens to be a social worker. Bailey can’t put up with the bullying and sticks up for Indigo. From that day on, Indigo and Bailey grow closer. Indigo’s early life is a mystery and Bailey is intrigued, especially after a run in with a homeless man that seems to be stalking them…

I thought Indigo Donut was an absolutely stunning piece of fiction. It really explored family and identity. I grew to love both Indigo and Bailey throughout and loved following their stories and their relationship. I adored Indigo’s foster mother. Patrice Lawrence really has a way of making you fall for her characters and root for them.

Patrice Lawrence’s writing is simply beautiful. There was a wonderful analogy about a donut.

‘She was like one of those donuts from the cheap shelves in supermarkets. Everything seemed all right until you bit into the middle and there was just nothing.’  – Indigo Donut

This quotation really spoke to me and completely sums up why I enjoy Patrice Lawrence’s writing. I could absolutely imagine how Indigo felt about herself.

‘Though when she was with Bailey last night, it was like there’d be something else inside her, something sweet and good. Not filling the space all the way up, but enough. You think there’s nothing there and then the first splodge of jam hits your tongue. You just want to smile.’- Indigo Donut

❤ I just adore Patrice’s writing. In just a few sentences, she totally captured Indigo’s feelings and my heart. I can’t help but rave about this book. It totally exceeded my expectations. More please!

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

‘Donut’ miss this book!

Lola Offline

Lola Offline

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Hatchette Books

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Love And Other Man-Made Disasters

Synopsis:

Delilah Hoover has gone dark.

She’s left school, changed her name and moved to Paris. It’s not what she planned but there’s no other choice, because she did something bad. Something nobody will forget. It made her trend on Twitter, and it’s the first thing that comes up when you google her.

Paris is a new start, with new friends – like socially inept geek Ben, keyboard warrior Vee, and the impossibly perfect Tariq, but could the City of Lights offer more? Awkward dates, accidental afternoon drunkness and a perfect kiss; Delilah’s life as a normal teenager is seemingly back on track, or is it?

Sometimes learning to be happy with yourself is the hardest lesson of all.

Thoughts:

Sometimes I love to read books that I know won’t take me long and they’ll be enjoyable. I thought this would be the case with Lola Offline and it really was. Lola Offline was a quick and easy to read book which will be perfect for fans of teenage fiction, especially those into social media.

It centres around Delilah. Delilah makes a stupid mistake online (like so many of her age and beyond!) she jokes about something and it is taken seriously. Delilah is labelled a racist and shunned by her peers. Delilah decides that she wants to start afresh somewhere. She moves to Paris. A fresh start. Delilah now goes by the name of Lola, leaving her past behind so that her new friends can’t google her and find out about her past that shames her. Lola meets some new friends and falls in love with Paris. However, Lola’s life isn’t back on track as it doesn’t take long for the truth to come out. Lola’s new peers react in different ways. Lola (Delilah) really has to learn about herself and how she can be move on from her past and be genuinely happy once more.

I thought this was a decent read which highlighted the issues around social media. It’s not just social media, sometimes words can be completely taken out of context even when they’re vocalised.I think this is such an important read for the modern day teenager who can quite often spend a lot of their time on social media. It’s about the perils of social media and how one comment can go viral easily and affect your life.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

It’s a story about how words can hurt more than just yourself. 

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

Thoughts:

According to Goodreads, I read this book in 2011. What? I even mini-reviewed it which I’ve now deleted as it wasn’t what I thought of this book anymore. I have no recollection of reading this book, but I had given it three stars. I’m glad that I reread it, because I would now rate it four stars. I found If I Stay to be incredibly gripping and moving at the same time.

Mia finds herself watching her body being taken away from a car wreck after an awful accident involving Mia and her family. Slowly, Mia finds out what has happened to her. She figures out what she has lost and who/what she has left. Mia realises that she’s in control of her own fate. She has to make a choice whether to return to her body and live her life or give up the fight…

This was an incredibly emotional read. I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know more about Mia and the choice that she’d make. The accident is something that really got to me, because it’s something that we often see on the roads today or hear about in the news. It’s one of those things that could happen to anyone. That thought is terrifying. It made me think about losing loved ones and that really broke my heart.

Gayle Forman’s writing is incredibly raw. She easily hooks you in and makes you feel like part of the family. She writes the past and present so well and balances it beautifully. As a reader, you learn more about Mia as the story progresses and learn to love her more. It’s such a short book, yet I felt like I knew Mia really well. The romance is utterly adorable and not easy. It’s not a fluffy, instalove romance, it felt incredibly authentic.

I highly recommend giving this book a go. It’s deeper than you might think and makes you question life!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A beautiful read which really moved me!

Heartless

Heartless

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Thoughts:

I am a big fan of the Lunar Chronicles series, so I was super excited when I heard that Marissa Meyer was bringing out a book that centred around Alice In Wonderland. I love a reimagining. Then reviews started to come out and I was feeling a little anxious about reading it! They were so mixed. So, I stepped back from the hype for a while and decided to read it when the hype died down.

Heartless is inspired by the Queen of Hearts made famous by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. It centres around Catherine, who is the daughter of a Marquess. She is expected to marry well and live the life of a lady. Catherine is a dreamer and wants to own a bakery and create delicious recipes for the people of Hearts. Catherine has been dreaming about a man and finds herself meeting him… he’s the new court Joker, Jest. Catherine is completely drawn to him even though he’s not what her family want more for her. Catherine is being courted by the King. He wants to marry her. Her family don’t give Catherine a choice. She must marry the king or lose her place in the family.

I liked so many things about this book, especially the characters. I really enjoyed Catherine as a character and loved that she wanted to do her own thing. I also loved reading the descriptions about the yummy goodness that she was baking. I adored her friendship with her maid Mary Ann and I was rooting for them to open their bakery together. I also really liked the character of Jest. I thought he was fabulous, although I didn’t really get on board with their romance. It was a little too instalove for my liking. I thought Cheshire was amazing too. The setting was fantastic and I could picture it easily in my mind.

I do think that this book suffered from being a little slow paced. I wanted a bit more action, much like the Lunar Chronicles. It being a standalone, I expected it to be incredibly action packed but it wasn’t. I was disappointed by the instalove too. Cath and Jest instantly connected and were infatuated and I couldn’t really understand why!

I’m glad that I gave this book a go! It didn’t blow me away but it was still a decent read.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

This book is a good example of why you shouldn’t let mixed review sway you!

The Graces (The Graces #1)

The Graces (The Graces, #1)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

Thoughts:

I had heard so much about this book including hearing Laure Eve reading from it at a Faber event. Goodness knows why I’ve only just got around to it. It immediately gripped me and I finished it within a day!

It centres around three siblings (The Graces) who are incredibly intriguing to the rest of their peers and their town. Every single person wants to be seen with them. However, people are scared of them. There’s a rumour going around that they are a family of witches. River, our main protagonist, is really intrigued by The Graces. She’s determined to find out everything about them and become part of their gang, no matter what it takes…

I was immediately intrigued by this book. I found River to be an utterly fascinating character. I didn’t know what she was going to do next! I began to develop some mixed feelings about River, and I’m still not entirely sure what I make of her. I felt for her in the beginning and then she turned a little bit obsessive. I’m intrigued to see how River’s story continues… I liked getting to know The Graces through River’s eyes. They had their secrets and River got close enough to know more about them. The Graces were so interesting. I liked them more as the story progressed.

The Graces is about obsession. It’s got a slice of magic and witchcraft and even a little bit of romance. It’s not a flawless read and I found it a little slow at points, but I was still intrigued to see what was going to happen next. I’d definitely pick up the sequel too!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderful page-turner. Super intriguing and well worth a read!

Spontaneous

Spontaneous

How did I get it?:
I received it as a gift from Mr B’s Reading Year.

Synopsis:

Mara’s senior year is proving to be a lot less exciting than she’d hoped, until the day – KABAM! – Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period. Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last senior to explode without warning or explanation. The body count grows and the search is on for a reason, while the students continue to pop like balloons. But if bombs or terrorists or a government conspiracy aren’t to blame, what is?

With the help of her oldest friend, her new boyfriend, a power ballad and a homemade disco ball, will Mara make it to graduation in one piece? It’s going to be one hell of a year, where the only test is how to stay alive and where falling in love might be the worst thing you can do . . .

Thoughts:

I hadn’t heard of this book before it was sent to me. However, one read of the blurb settled it for me. This was going to be one of the most unique pieces of YA that I have read. It was. Mainly because it was about spontaneous combustion. Yes, you read that right, spontaneous combustion!

Spontaneous centres around Mara who is a senior at a New Jersey school. Mara’s life is normal, until people randomly start to spontaneously combust. KABOOM! They are gone within seconds leaving quite the mess behind them…It seems to be only happening to teenagers, every single teenager in the town is left wondering whether they’ll suddenly combust. The FBI are on the case as a community mourns the loss of so many of their young!

I thoroughly enjoyed Mara’s voice in this story. I can imagine that she’ll wind a few readers up. She has such a dark sense of humour, but to be honest, this book has a dark concept, so for me- it really worked! I loved Mara’s friendship with Tess and whilst I could have done without the romantic element to the story, it didn’t ruin it at all for me.

The reason why I didn’t rate this book any higher is because I felt it lost its way throughout the story. I wasn’t as engrossed as I was initially. I also became frustrated with some plot-lines that didn’t seem as thought out as they could be. I was left quite confused and dissatisfied with the plot-lines that were left unexplained. 

I have heard that this book is set to have a film adaptation. I’m certainly intrigued to see how they portray this story. I can see why it was picked up, as it is incredibly unique and I imagine will translate well to the big screen.  

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A unique read that is worth picking up!

The Nearest Faraway Place

The Nearest Faraway Place

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Bonnier/Hot Key Books

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Downside Up

Synopsis:

Griff and Dylan are driving into Manhattan with their parents when the worst happens. There is a terrible car accident and Dylan and Griff¹s parents are killed.

The boys are suddenly orphans with nowhere to go, until a kind aunt and uncle give them a new home in Wales. Now Dylan and Griff have everything they need ­ love, a happy home and a future. But Dylan is worried about Griff: whether he is OK, whether he is coping with his grief. He doesn¹t seem to want to speak about it or really acknowledge the loss of their parents.

But Dylan needs to be even braver than Griff, because there is something very important he needs to face up to before he can move on.

Thoughts:

I have read Downside Up by Hayley Long before, so I knew I’d enjoy her writing. From reading this book, I realise that I need to read her others as I really enjoy her writing style and the topics that she covers.

The Nearest Faraway Place centres around two brothers. On Griff’s thirteenth birthday a tragic accident occurs. Whilst in the car, another car falls from a car transporter and kills their mum and dad. It is a heartbreaking end to Griff’s birthday. Griff is alive, but recovering in hospital. Dylan is by his side waiting for his brother to wake up, not wanting to share the news with him. Griff really struggles to come to terms with what’s happened to him and as the story progresses we see why. Griff is told her is going to live with the headteacher of the school they’re attending in Brooklyn until the British state find them somewhere to stay. It turns out that there’s somewhere in Wales, with their mum’s cousin, Dee.

The story focuses on how life can change within a second. It deals with grief and starting to move on. The family was in such a happy place but life changed for them in an instant. I found it heartbreaking to read, but at the same time it was utterly gripping. The characters easily stole my heart and I wanted the absolute best for them. There’s a little twist along the way, which I really wasn’t expecting. I love it when that happens!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A beautiful read about how life can change in an instant!