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!

 

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?

All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Hey everyone, so today I will be reviewing ‘All I Know Now’ by Carrie Hope Fletcher. I don’t normally read autobiographies, but after meeting Carrie Hope Fletcher a couple of months ago I couldn’t resist borrowing ‘All I Know Now’ from the library. Prior to reading this novel the only autobiography I’ve ever read is ‘Jacky Daydream’ and ‘My Secret Diary’ both by Jacqueline Wilson.

Prior to reading this novel, I was expecting it to be a regular autobiography of her experiences growing up, acting on the west end etc,. However an accurate summary for this novel would be ‘How to be a teenager’ by Carrie Hope Fletcher. Needless to say the caption ‘wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully’ is a pretty accurate subline, and who better to write this novel than Carrie Hope Fletcher everyone’s honorary big sister?

This was a brilliant novel and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her experiences growing up. In her novel Carrie Hope Fletcher is refreshingly honest about her experiences growing up which makes her very relatable. I only hope that in the future she writes another novel focusing on her experiences working in the west-end and performing.

Whilst I enjoyed this novel, this novel is primarily about her experiences of secondary school and this book is tailored for teenagers in secondary school. I only wish that I had read this guide to being a teenager when I was younger! However this book can still be applicable whether you’re going to college/ work/ university/ sixth form school, and you can read it at any age!

Overall I would rate this book 4/5 stars and would recommend this to anyone who’s looking for something new to read and I’d highly recommend that you also check out her YouTube channel ‘It’sWayPastMyBedTime’.  If you want an unofficial guide to being a teenager than this is the book for you!

I also look forward to reading her fictional novel that came out recently; ‘All I Know Now,’ which is currently on my ‘to-read’ shelf, she also has a spin-off novella ‘Winters Snow’ that is coming out later this month exclusive to Waterstones.

Also can I just say that I loved the way that this was book was set up like a musical? The book has an overture, and it is split into acts, which I find makes this novel really unique.