Damage by Eve Ainsworth

Damage by Eve Ainsworth is the second book of hers that I’ve read (the first being Seven Days) so judging by the title and her other novel, I started this book with a small inkling of what to expect. This book is about a girl named Gabi who after dealing with the death of her grandfather turns to self-harm as a way of coping. Like Ainsworth’s other novel, she doesn’t sugar-coat teenage-hood, things don’t instantly get better, but that’s life, and sometimes it takes a while for things to get better.

To date this is the second book that I’ve read on self-harm (the first being ‘The Manifesto on how to be Interesting’ by Holly Bourne), and personally I feel that it’s good that more books are covering the topic of self-harm. So, kudos to Ainsworth for covering such a sensitive topic.

Before I get any further into this review I would strongly caution people against reading this book if they self-harm or if they are in recovery as this book could be slightly triggering.

The book itself, whilst I enjoyed it and appreciate that it’s a difficult topic to write about, was too short and by the end of it I had a lot of unanswered questions, and I would’ve liked to have a deeper insight as to why Gabi self-harmed, and what she and her parents were planning to do to help her at the end of the book. Personally I would’ve preferred if this book had more of a conclusion rather than being open-ended.

Also, another bit of this book that really annoyed me was Gabi’s treatment of her mum, she’s really disrespectful of her mum which really bothered me (and before you all yell at me, I know teenagers can be disrespectful to their parents, but Gabi’s treatment of her mother was horrible), what parent lets her kid get away with yelling and throwing boxes at them? One thing that I would’ve liked to see in the ending was Gabi apologising to her mother, especially when said mother was trying her hardest.

Whilst I thought that Gabi posting on an online forum was a good way to help her cope and talk to people, I felt like it would’ve been worthwhile to include some of the responses in the book. Whilst the responses are mentioned in passing, it would’ve been good to see if the messages helped Gabi. I felt like the idea of including forums but then not showing what impact they had meant that they were under used in the book.

I also wish that this book had been longer, the ending was very open ended and although I think this made sense for the book, I would’ve also liked some closure on some of the things that were only mentioned in passing. I would’ve liked to hear more about Freddie’s family life and Fliss’ backstory however they were only mentioned in passing and by the end of the novel there was no real reason to include it at all.

Final thoughts, overall I would rate this book 3/5 stars, whilst I thought that the subject matter was covered well, I think that due to the length of the book Ainsworth missed the opportunity to include counselling, which in turn would’ve given the readers more closure.

I also thought it was good how they were some links to useful organizations at the back of the book which I will include here:

Young Minds: www.youngminds.org..uk

Harmless: www.harmless.org.uk

The Wish Centre: www.thewishcentre.org.uk

Rethink: www.rethink.org

Mind: www.mind.org.uk

… And a Happy New Year? by Holly Bourne

‘…And a Happy New Year?’ by Holly Bourne

This book made me cry and laugh all at the same time in just over 200 pages. This is the final instalment in the Spinster Club series, and although the series originally finished on a high with ‘What’s a Girl Gotta do?’ This novel was the perfect way to end a brilliant series.

Originally I wasn’t going to buy this book due to it being around £10 for a book that I’d finish in a day, but after it was reduced to half price I couldn’t resist buying it! Even though I did finish reading it the day later!

The novel takes place after Lottie, Amber and Evie have come back home from their first semester of university: as expected everything has changed and so has their friendship. The novel transitions between three different perspectives in the lead up to New Year’s Eve. I thought that this worked really well for this novel, since Lottie, Evie and Amber all have individual worries that they haven’t been able to tell the other’s for whatever reasons. I enjoyed reading both the reasons for keeping secrets and the reactions.

The book is split into sections, each character has a chapter for every hour leading up to midnight. And even though it’s New Year’s Eve nothing (as well all know by now) is perfect. However with the help of each other the girl’s manage to get through the heartbreak and the tears together just as they’ve always done. After all they are the Spinster Club!

This novel dealt with the bitter reality of life; we change, we grow up, we find ourselves drifting apart from the people we once called our best friends. At the beginning of the novel each character is acknowledging the fact that they’ve drifted apart over the past few months. However I liked the fact that they gradually began to open up to each about what had happened over the past few months.

Overall I would rate this book 5/5 stars, a perfect ending for a perfect series, (even though part of me hopes that Holly Bourne will write another novel about them in the future!) So if you’re looking for a YA realistic contemporary then get your cheesy snacks and start reading this novel! In just a few hundred pages you’ll laugh, cry and smile when reading the final instalment of the Spinster Club series.

Also, side note: I’d highly recommend getting the hardback copy of the book since the cover is simply amazing!

 

Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison.

A socially awkward love story.

2017 started with a bang when the first book I decided to read was ‘Lobsters’ by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison. Even though I’d read this book in 2016 I enjoyed this just as much the second time around, (although I can’t help wishing that I’d discovered this a few years earlier).

The novel is written from two points of view; Sam and Hannah (similarly to Eleanor and Park in Eleanor and Park), and they both eventually fall in love with each other after a series of mishaps and misfortune. This novel takes place before both Sam and Hannah leave for university and both of them plan to lose their virginity during that summer.

I loved the fact that this book was split into two perspectives, it was really enjoyable reading what was going through both Sam and Hannah’s heads during the course of the novel. The dual perspective also helps give you an understanding of what they do in the novel.

This book is UKYA (which basically translates to YA novels set in the UK), and Sam and Hannah have just finished sixth form (i.e. Senior Year), this book deals with harsh realities such as the wait for results and the fear of not getting into the top university. Both Sam and Hannah spend a lot of the book worrying over results (which I can definitely relate to), and both worry that they’ve messed up in an exam which I’m sure a lot of readers in the UK can relate to.

Another reason why I loved this book was because it was so easy to relate to the characters, I found myself relating to Hannah, and I loved her character development during the novel. At the start of the novel she does everything to please Stella, however, as the novel continues she begins to stand up for herself more.

I really enjoyed reading the interactions between Sam and Hannah, such as the conversation about hot Ribena and the discussion about to greet people (a high-five is definitely the best way to greet someone!) The humour was great and well timed and I found out laughing out loud during the novel.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, I’d recommend this book to anyone reading YA. However if you are 18 and heading to university later this year then this book is definitely for you, since the main characters are 18 and enjoying their last summer before university.

I’d give this book 5/5 stars, and I can’t wait to read ‘Never Evers’ (which is on my TBR list) and ‘Freshers’ which is coming out during 2017 and is about teenagers during their first two months of university.

If you are looking for a socially awkward love story then this is the book for you!

Interesting fact: Lobsters don’t mate for life but bald eagles do, so instead of looking for your lobster you should really be looking for your bald eagle!

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone and before I continue I’d like to wish you a happy new year!

First of all I would like to apologise for the lack of updates, I’ve been very busy recently and I haven’t been able to do much reading. This in turn lead to me struggling to complete my 2016 challenge of reading 50 books.

But I did finish it! (With an hour to spare!) Although I did end up rushing the last few books, but I completed my challenge even though it seemed near impossible towards the end. Hopefully you all completed your reading goals as well!

So this year I’ve set myself the challenge of a) updating more regularly and b) reading 60 books, which I hopefully should be able to do. What are your goals for the year?

Also what are you guys currently reading, so far 2017 is off to a fantastic start since I’ve started reading ‘Lobsters’ by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison which is a hilarious read!

Newt: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Newt: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

J Crew j crew jacket
£215 – net-a-porter.com

Oasis tall coat
£105 – asos.com

Gray pants
£20 – hm.com

Charlotte Russe lace up boots
£32 – charlotterusse.com

Bonavita
tigerofsweden.com

Holiday scarve
£16 – halloweencostumes.com

Vintage globe
£100 – chairish.com

Home decor
£9.72 – etsy.com

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

(Or alternatively what would happen if Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory was in love.)

The Rosie Project is Graeme Simsion’s debut novel and it was one that I highly enjoyed. This book had been recommended to me by my mother who whilst enjoying it said that it was a hard read at some points, and whilst I disagreed with her on this point, I did agree that the main characters reminded me of Sheldon and Penny from the Big Bang Theory. (I think Don maybe the closest literary character there is to Sheldon).

The novel follows a geneticist called Don who devises The Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. He then meets Rosie; the world’s most incompatible woman and she throws his safe and organised life into chaos.

Don decides to start the Wife Project after the ‘Apricot Ice Cream Incident’ which is when he goes on a date with a computer scientist called Elizabeth who has a very strong preference for Apricot ice cream. In order to prove that all ice cream tastes the same, Don tries to get her to taste mango and peach. Needless to say that the date ends in a disaster and Don decides to commence the Wife Project to find the perfect partner.

One thing I did enjoy reading during the book was the ‘Father Project’. Even though at the beginning of the novel it seems like the Wife Project will take precedence in the novel as the novel progresses as Don learns more about Rosie he agrees to help find her father. I found this aspect of the novel fun to read, especially the interactions between Don and Rosie including the Great Cocktail Night.

Another scene I really enjoyed reading about was the balcony scene, and how Rosie decides to change the clock on the oven to the ‘Rosie Time Zone’ to accommodate Don’s schedule. One of the highlights of this book was reading about the interactions between Don and Rosie.

Although it is predictable what is going to happen in the end, it is interesting to see how Don’s character evolves over the course of the novel.

Overall I would rate this book 4/5 stars, it was a highly enjoyable read and a novel that will leave you grinning when you finish it and I simply couldn’t resist picking up the sequel from the library when I saw it a few weeks ago!

Fun fact: there is rumoured to be a film adaptation of this novel starring Jennifer Lawrence as Rosie. But who do you think would be the perfect Don?

Six’s Legacy by Pittacus Lore

Six’s Legacy by Pittacus Lore.

Hey everyone, I hope you’ve had a good week, this week I’ve been reading one of the novellas based on the ‘I am The Number Four’ series; ‘Six’s Legacy’. Although I neither liked nor disliked ‘I am The Number Four’, I couldn’t resist reading a novella dedicated to my favourite character in the novel; Six. (Especially since it was in Oxfam bookshop).

The novel is primarily about Six and her backstory which was previously unknown to us (apart from the fact that she and her cepan were captured by the mogadorians). So it was refreshing to read about her and learn about her backstory.

I especially enjoyed reading about how she managed to convince her cepan to reply to the blog post written by Two, which eventually lead to the demise of number Two. It was also exciting to read about how she escaped the mogadorians using her first legacy; invisibility (which is by far the best legacy in my opinion).

Overall I would rate it 3.5/5 stars, I enjoyed reading about Six and Katarina, I only wish that this was a full length novel. If you’ve devoured the Legacy series and want to find out more about Six then this is the book for you. However if you were satisfied with Six’ backstory in the Power of Six then this book just illustrates her backstory in more detail.

I also thought that this novella gave Six’s character a lot more depth and you could see how her character evolved throughout the novella to become the person she was in ‘I am The Number Four.’ If you love Six’s character in ‘I am The Number Four’ you’ll love (or grow to love) her even more in this novella.

Although this novel is a prequel to I am The Number Four. I would recommend reading that before as it serves as an introduction to Lorien, the Legacies and the Mogadorians. Also, can we all just admit that Six has the best legacy so far?

Overall an excellent addition to the Lorien Legacies series and I can’t wait to read the other novellas based on the series.