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Reading, Writing & Blogging

by Alice

Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The thing I loved most about Windfall was the close friendship between main characters Alice, Teddy and Leo. It’s also nice to read a romantic storyline that comes from an established friendship, which doesn’t happen very often in YA. I thought Teddy’s reaction to winning the lottery was realistic, given the tough times he and his family had experienced, though some of his actions were a bit frustrating. I did really like how he eventually decided to spend his fortune. Alice’s dilemmas were very emotional, particularly coming to terms with the memory of her parents and the relationship she has with her aunt and uncle. I loved the discussion of luck and chance, the hopeful ending and the fact that I’d completely forgotten the birthday card under the fridge. (Also, yay for a heroine called Alice!)

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One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton

One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Love, Loss, La Dolce Vita…” I think the tagline for this book is perfect, though I’d add one extra word: sisters. I felt the relationship between Elyse, Milly and Leonie was central to this story, as they each process the loss of their Dad and their various romantic entanglements. I loved the interactions and conversations between the sisters. Leonie in particular made me laugh a lot and it’s her impulsiveness that sets Milly’s story in motion too. I liked the portrayal of Milly’s physical reaction to grief and the anxiety it brings. Also, I felt that their Dad was a huge part of this story, their memories of him so vivid that he felt like a present character. Although there are obviously some teary moments, it is a lovely, romantic and heartwarming read. It’s a perfect book for summer and made me excited to go back to Italy next month.

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Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was intrigued by the concept of this book and enjoyed the writing style too, particularly the lists and diagrams and instant messages that help to move the story along. I felt like all these extra bits of information gave me a unique insight into Madeline’s life. The book made me appreciate simple things that I take for granted, like just being able to go outside. An enjoyable read with an interesting twist.

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YALC Author Recommendations 2017

So this year I’m not going to do a YALC wrap-up post as I did these little daily summaries during the YALC weekend:

However, I do have an epic list of book recommendations for you from authors who attended YALC 2017. In total, I spoke to 39 authors (I’m not sure how I managed that!) and they gave me over 60 book recommendations.

The authors I approached were, once again, really generous with their time and unsurprisingly had lots of YA books to recommend. Many gave me more than one, some had whole lists! Continue reading “YALC Author Recommendations 2017”

YALC Day 3

YALC is over for another year (boo!) Here’s my round-up of day 3:

YALC in numbers:

  • Panels – 2
  • Workshops – 1
  • Signings – 12
  • Books bought/acquired – 9
  • Number of book recommendations – 21

Continue reading “YALC Day 3”

YALC Day 2

Here are my favourite moments from YALC Day 2:

YALC in numbers:

  • Panels – 5
  • Workshops – 0 😦
  • Signings – 10
  • Books bought/acquired – 6
  • Number of book recommendations – 25+ (Will Hill had so many, I lost count!)

Continue reading “YALC Day 2”

YALC Day 1

Just a few highlights from day 1 at YALC 2017:

YALC in numbers:

  • Panels – 3ish
  • Workshops – 2
  • Signings – 11
  • Books bought/acquired – 7
  • Number of book recommendations – 19

Continue reading “YALC Day 1”

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’re looking for a super cute summer romance then look no further. This was the perfect summer read. Dimple is smart and fesity and determined, everything you’d want in a YA heroine. This book has a hilarious meet-cute (there’s a reason for the iced coffee on the front cover) and I always enjoy the sort of love story where the characters have to work past their first impressions of each other. Completely adorable!

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The second book in the Dark Artifices trilogy had a tough act to follow after last year’s Lady Midnight, but it more than met my expectations. It’s an epic tale and covers a lot of ground, figuratively and literally: from Los Angeles to Fairie, then to the London Institute and the Cornish coast, before portaling into Idris for the finale. In her usual style, Cassandra Clare manages to juggle multiple storylines with ease, ensuring that every character has their own story to tell, when it would be so easy to just focus on Emma and Julian. The descriptions are brilliant: I could clearly visualise every scene, the emotions felt real and raw, and each character is fully developed, with flaws and vulnerabilities. The ending, despite it’s typical cliffhanger, was possibly the bleakest I’ve read in any Shadowhunter novel yet. This book completely broke my heart but then, to be honest, I was expecting it to!

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Photo taken above Durness Beach on the north coast of Scotland.

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