Satellite by Nick Lake

PUBLISHER: Hodder Children’s Books
PUBLICATION DATE: October 2017
RATING: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
GOODREADS

A teenage boy born in space makes his first trip to Earth.

He’s going to a place he’s never been before: home.

Moon 2 is a space station that orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. It travels 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. It’s also the only home that fifteen-year-old Leo and two other teens have ever known.

Born and raised on Moon 2, Leo and the twins, Orion and Libra, are finally old enough and strong enough to endure the dangerous trip to Earth. They’ve been “parented” by teams of astronauts since birth and have run countless drills to ready themselves for every conceivable difficulty they might face on the flight.

But has anything really prepared them for life on terra firma? Because while the planet may be home to billions of people, living there is more treacherous than Leo and his friends could ever have imagined, and their very survival will mean defying impossible odds. 

Continue reading “Satellite by Nick Lake”

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I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 3rd May 2018
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.

Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

Gosh I love the feeling after reading a book by Alice Oseman.

Continue reading “I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman”

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: June 2016
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Goodreads:

Plot: Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

25437747I love reading books set in Britain, and it’s kind of a sad sentence. Because despite living in the UK, and having a passion for books, I still find it difficult to find them set in Britain and written by British authors. So, when I do, I snap them up pretty quickly.

Beautiful Broken Things was no exception. And, since it was in the Zoella Book Club last year, I thought it’d be nice to pick up a book that supported a campaign to get young people reading, as well as hearing that it touches on serious subjects well.

And it did, however, it was one of those stories when the main character was over shadowed by another character who clearly had too much sway in how the story was going to be told. Caddy is an alright main character, but she’s so privileged that she’s jealous of her new friend Suzanne. She ends up saying and doing silly things and then gets upset when people react badly, and there isn’t necessarily any development for her.

Despite this, I really enjoyed the themes discussed in this book. There is no romance (unless you found the scenes between Suzanne and Caddy to be borderline romantic), and the story solely focuses on the dynamic between teenage girls, and what they’ll do to be liked and fit in. It’s hard to find a story that focuses on female friendships in a healthy and realistic way, as well as promoting the idea that girls can actually be friends (who’d a thought it). It’s tiring seeing so many YA novels where girls automatically dislike each other because of a boy or just for the sake of it. So, with that in mind, I gave it a 4 stars. It was gripping, with a great message, but with a bland MC with very little action until the end.

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The Last Beginning by Lauren James

Publisher: Walker Books
Release Date: October 2016
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Plot: The epic conclusion to Lauren James’ debut The Next Together about love, destiny and time travel.

Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives. But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history? Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation?

For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.

I wouldn’t say there is a checklist for what I look for in a book, because that would be silly. I am diverse in my taste in novels, but you do end up looking for books that you feel are similar to your faves’ novels.

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I am recently a big fan of Alice Oseman (Solitaire, Radio Silence), and I met her and watched a talk including her on books/fandom/the interwebs at YALC this year. The talk was a dynamic duo gig, and also included none other than Lauren James. I hadn’t actually heard of Lauren James’ books, and so when I saw one on offer at Waterstones and that the MC was a gay lady, I just sort of blacked out and suddenly was owning and reading this book.

Look, if your novel has an LGBT MC, I’m probably going to read it.

I wasn’t actually sure what I was reading at first. The blurb came across as a mystery mixed in with themes of fate and…reincarnation? I read the first half and found it easy to understand and enjoyable (this is relevant because it’s science heavy, and I got a low C in GCSE Science), however, there were parts about other characters that seemed to me like I should have read something else before this one.

Turns out, this is the second novel in a duology, and I am an idiot.

So there is stuff I’ve missed out on, stuff that might’ve been a little helpful. But if you end up doing the same thing as me and reading the second book first, then it’s OK. You can; it’s still great, still cute, still a Back To The Future with a queer, female Marty McFly with more science smarts. It doesn’t ruin it, and even more, it makes me want to now read the first one!

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Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: July 2016
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Plot: Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother.

For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …

I wouldn’t have found this book if it wasn’t for social media. The power of the internet and the tweets of a certain author ring strong and true, and I find myself scouring the bookshelves at work to find Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall.

Weirdly, when it came out, it was taken out of the delivery and just put on the shelves and then that was that. But Twitter was screaming for it, and so I picked it up regardless of the lack of publicity.

urts

URTS tells the story of Norah, a girl trapped inside her own house by the evil demon that is Agoraphobia, a manifestation of her OCD and anxiety. It’s fantastic and I’m so grateful that I’m coming across more books concerning itself with mental illness, because mental health still has one of the biggest stigmas in society.

First of all, it’s an ‘invisible illness’, which is also a ridiculous definition because, while it may not reveal itself to you in the form of a wheelchair, the person suffering can feel it every. single. day. And that’s Norah’s situation. There are things in her life that seem so small and routine, like getting groceries, that she just cannot do; the anxiety builds, the worries come pouring out, and the overwhelming feeling of I can’t takes over.

And this book isn’t all about cures, about finding a person to fix it all for you. It’s about supporting, about getting better but at your own pace, at trying harder, and accepting that this may be the situation now, but it won’t always be like this, and that living a happy life is still perfectly doable.

A fantastic debut by Louise Gornall, congratulations!

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Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: July 2014
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆
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Plot: In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

I originally gave this book 3/5 stars. But after leaving it for a while and really thinking about this book, I’m seriously considering making it higher.

Because just because I didn’t get it, doesn’t mean it wasn’t important.

Tori Spring is a character you can either not relate to at all or relate to completely. You can call yourself a pessimist or one who likes to dwell in the doom and gloom of life but it won’t be the same thing as what Tori Spring experiences. If you don’t understand what’s going on immediately, then you’re about to get a subtle but very important education on mental health, from the perspective of someone with mental health issues.

solitaireNow mental illnesses are experienced differently, even if one person has the same illness as another. They are personal and differ depending on the person. Sometimes there’s a reason behind the forming of a mental illness, whether it’s trauma or stress or literally anything. But sometimes, mental illnesses happens for absolutely no reason at all. They’re not there, and suddenly, they are. Whether or not you completely understand mental illness, it’s important to read books like Solitaire, where Tori Spring has a normal, rather average life. But seen through her eyes, it feels isolated, cold, and a rather numbing existence.

Of course, there are many other fantastic characters who, while seem distant (because of the way Tori sees them) are still important and loving people in her life. Michael Holden being one of them. A rather quirky, upbeat character, we don’t see the real Michael until later on because of Tori’s perspective of him, it’s only until they truly see each other do we start to understand his and other characters’ motivations.

While in some aspects this story was lighthearted, it really brought to life the pressures that adolescence have when their mental wellbeing is also going down the drain. It can be hard to understand when dealing with both of them yourself, but I’m glad I read this book and I’m glad it wasn’t portrayed at quirky or cute or any other nonsense that mental illness is ‘trendy’. It’ll stick with you, this story. It really will.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

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