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Reading, Writing & Blogging

by Alice

Hope by Rhian Ivory

Hope by Rhian Ivory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hope tackles some big topics: grief, sickness in children, organ donation, periods and PMDD, which was something I’d not previously been aware of. I like it when a book teaches me something new without it feeling forced or like a lesson. This book is quite an emotional rollercoaster with lots of drama, sadness, and, of course, hope. I felt that Hope realistically portrayed fragile teenage friendships and I particularly enjoyed the messaging between Hope and Riley, which felt very natural. As someone who’s had a few Plan Bs, I was really glad that Hope found hers!

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Thank you to Firefly Press for the review copy.

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It would be wrong to say that this book was not what I was expecting, because it was brilliant and clever and original, just as I thought it would be. However, it is also the creepiest book I’ve read this year. The idea of being alone in space terrifies me, so Romy’s situation already made me feel uneasy. But then things start to happen and I got all freaked out and ended up only being able to read this book in daylight hours because I’m a wimp! It is very difficult to talk about this book without spoilers so I’ll probably have to leave it at that. You just need to know that it’s a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat read that’s also super-clever (as we’ve come to expect from Lauren James) but don’t be fooled by that cute blurb on the back. This book is way more than a love story set in space!

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The State Of Grace by Rachael Lucas

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book includes sweet and supportive best friends; cute Doctor Who-loving boys; interesting family relationships; and a horse called Mabel. (More books should contain a horse in my opinion.) I loved Grace’s voice and enjoyed getting to experience the way that she views the world.

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The Graces by Laure Eve

The Graces by Laure Eve

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dark, atmospheric and moody, sometimes a little creepy, this book was an addictive page-turner. The thing that intrigued me the most was that – despite the first-person narrative – we knew very little about River. She was actually much more mysterious than the Graces, but it was only towards the end of the book that I realised her fixation with this family was almost a distraction from her real agenda. I’m interested to find out what happens next!

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We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was excited to read another novel written in verse, because it’s become one of my favourite writing styles to read. It always amazes me how much can be said in far less words than a standard prose novel. I loved the contrast between the voices of Jess and Nico, particularly the use of language in Nico’s poems to capture his improving English. It’s an unlikely friendship but both characters are running away from the lives their parents have created for them. The final scenes were very emotional.

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Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Never Evers by Tom Ellen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cute and funny, this was a brilliant read, with genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Honourable mentions to: the hamster (or is it a rat?) in the wardrobe, Connie’s ski-list debacle, and Jack’s poor attempts at French (in possibly the most embarrassing scenario possible).

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Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has everything: travel, mystery, secrets, family drama, romance and lots of Italian food (seriously, this book will make you hungry!) Lena is feisty and funny and determined to find out what happened between her parents in Florence before she was born. I loved her adventures with Ren as they became amateur detectives, piecing together the clues in Lena’s mother’s journal. I also adored Howard, probably before Lena did. I feel this book is about how sometimes you make your own family and that when you find the place you’re meant to be, it might not be what you planned or expected.

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Thank you to Walker Books UK for the review copy.

YALC Giveaway 2017

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since YALC! August has been a really busy month for me but I wanted to do a post-YALC giveaway (even if it’s a bit late) to give anyone who couldn’t make it to YALC this year the opportunity to win some samplers and book swag.

To enter, just follow me on Twitter @AliceRWB and retweet the giveaway tweet below. The giveaway will run until 12noon on Sunday 10 September and it’s open to UK residents only. I’ll select a random winner. No giveaway accounts please. Continue reading “YALC Giveaway 2017”

Once And For All by Sarah Dessen

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I always look forward to reading a new Sarah Dessen book. They are, without exception, funny and romantic and quirky; but she also doesn’t shy away from hard-hitting subjects. The way that Louna’s romance with Ethan the previous summer is slowly revealed is completely devastating. In contrast, Ambrose’s character is the perfect tonic to these emotional moments. He seems so annoying, but he’s also kind of adorable. Yes, I’ll admit to being a little bit in love by the end. The wedding business and Louna and Ambrose’s dating competitions were fun. I also liked how the narrative switches between the past summer in Colby and the present summer in Lakeview.

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