Author Archives: Scarlettsbookblog

YALC TBR

A week since the author list and the TBR is made, these are the books I can’t wait to read in time to meet the authors and get them signed at YALC

  1. We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
    “Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess’s home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?”
  2. Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan
    When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is that she begins to see things as they really are.

    A story about sad endings.
    A story about happy beginnings.
    A story to make you realise who is special“

  3. Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence
    “Sixteen-year-old Marlon has promised his widowed mum that he’ll be good, and nothing like his gang-leader brother Andre. It’s easy when you keep yourself to yourself, listening to your dead dad’s Earth, Wind and Fire albums and watching sci-fi. But everything changes when Marlon’s first date with the beautiful Sonya ends in tragedy; he becomes a hunted man and he has no idea why. With his dad dead and his brother helpless, Marlon has little choice but to enter Andre’s old world of guns, knives and drug runs in order to uncover the truth and protect those close to him. It’s time to fight to be the last man standing.”
  4. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
    “The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

    What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

    The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?“

  5. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landeau-Banks by E. Lockhart
    “Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
    Debate Club.
    Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
    A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

    Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
    A knockout figure.
    A sharp tongue.
    A chip on her shoulder.
    And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

    Frankie Laundau-Banks.
    No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
    Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
    Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
    Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.
    When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
    And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

    Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
    Possibly a criminal mastermind.

    This is the story of how she got that way.“

  6. Dramarama by E. Lockhart
    “Two theater-mad, self-invented
    fabulositon Ohio teenagers.
    One boy, one girl.
    One gay, one straight.
    One black, one white.
    And SUMMER DRAMA CAMP.
    It’s a season of hormones,
    gold lame,
    hissy fits,
    jazz hands,
    song and dance,
    true love,
    and unitards
    that will determine their future
    –and test their friendship”

  7. A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
    “Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

    There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

    Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

    Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

    Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.“

  8. Department Nineteen by Will Hill
    Jamie Carpenter’s life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein’s monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.”

YALC Author Cheat Sheet

It’s that time of the year again, the first part of the YALC authorlist has finally been announced! You’ve cheered for the ones whose books you love and are now eagerly anticipating getting started on the books of those you haven’t had the chance to love yet. I’ve got you fam.

Here is the list of 15 authors we got this morning, along with why I love the ones I know and why I’m super pumped about the ones I don’t.

  1. Laini Taylor – widely known for the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy. While not my cup fo tea this series has entranced readers all over the globe, needless to say, there is going to be a long queue of happy laini taylor fans at YALC.
  2. E Lockhart – author of nine YA bestsellers with the tenth, Genuine Fraud, out on September 5th this year. The only book of hers I have read thus far was 2014’s We Were Liars and it was absolutely fantastic, it messed me up for a whole week. But I’m not telling you anything about the plot because seriously, go in blind.
  3. V.E Schwab – Author of first the Archived series and now, more popularly the Shades of Magic series, Victoria Scwab attended lat years YALC and was one of the busiest signers of the weekend.
  4. Alex Wheatle – Crongton Knights, the Second book in his South Crongton Trilogy is nominated for the YA Book Prize this year. Alex has attended YALC the past two years I’ve been there. The first book in the  South Crongton series, tells the story of Lemar, a boy who manages to get himself stuck in the middle fo a gang war on his estate.
  5. Sarah Crossan – author of both poetry and prose novels, Sarah Crossan was the 2016 winner of the YA Book Prize for her book One, which is a tale of a pair of conjoined twins, written in poetry and GUYS. Its BEAUTIFUL. One of my favourite books that I read in preparation for YALC, I will be devouring her other works before I head there this year and I highly recommend you do too.
  6. Brian Conaghan – Scottish authors – YAS. When I met him in 2015 we had a fun chat about being the only two Scots eachother had encountered at the whole convention. His book, When Mr Dog Bites, is about a young boy named Dylan who has Tourette’s Syndrome and it is an entertaining look at a little explored subject in YA literature.

    These authors have a new book out this year called We Come Apart  which tells the story fo a romance between two teens struggling to find their place, a Romanian emigrant and a girl from a violent home. I am already diving for the shelves, this is possibly the book I’m most excited to get to.

    7. Joanne Harris – Author of Chocolat, which has been adored by book groups since its release in 2000. Telling the story of a young chocolate maker and her daughter who turn things on their head in a small village in France.

    8. Katherine Webber – With her debut novel, Wing Jones, having come out this year, Katherine Webber has been a constant at YALC, chairing many of the panels over the weekend. This is the first time she attends as a published author, with WIng Jones telling the story of the titular 15 year old who finds a new passion in running following a family tradgedy.

    9. Mel Salisbury – Head of Slytherin house, both years I’ve been at YALC, Mel is the author of the Sin Eater’s Daughter Trilogy, about Twylla, the court exectutioner who kills with her touch. She has been a great speaker on all the panels I have seen her on and I hope to this year pick up a copy of The Sin Eater’s Daughter.

    10. Gemma Cairney – Radio 1’s young people advocate, Gemma Cairney has now written a nonfiction book for young people to help guide them through the mystery that is life.

    11. Paige Toon – Author of the Jessie Jefferson series, which kicks off with The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson, a girl who finds out her father is a famous rock star, following the death of her mother when she turned 15.

    12. Sarah Bernard – Beautiful Broken Things is nominated for the YA Book Prize this this year and it is about two best friends whose lives are turned upside down by the arrival of the mysterious Suzanne.

    13. Patrice Lawrence – Patrice is the author of Orangeboy which is nominated for this year’s YA Book Prize. At a panel I attended last year, many authors, when asked about their favourite YA book of the year responded that Orangeboy was it so I am really excited to read it in time for YALC this year.

    14. Martin Stewart – Riverkeep is also nominated for the YA book Prize this year and is about a boy named Wull who is forced into the mantle of Riverkeep after his father has an accident and Wull has to make some tough choices in search of a cure to his father’s new illness.

    15. Will Hill – Oh my god. Thank you YALC. So doing my research for this post I came upon the description for Will Hill’s Department 19 series, which somehow slipped under my radar last year, but it sounds right up my street. Its about a group that hunts supernatural creatures across time I beleive and with my love of both Supernatural and Doctor who I CANNOT WAIT.

And thus sums up my YALC Cheatsheet. I’m going to give myself the week to figure out exactly what my to-read list is going to be, so I’ll be sharing that next Friday. I am so excited by this year’s author line up, I CANNOT WAIT for July now!

Book Review: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

you-know-me-wellWho knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.
That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.
When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

Buy on Amazon                                     Buy at Waterstones

This is my last review that will say “I read this in preparation for YALC” or at least the last one before YALC because I have another couple with reviews yet to be written. Anyways, I flipped out when I heard David Levithan and Nina LaCour were coming to YALC this year. I met David Levithan at the Edinburgh Book Festival last year and he was lovely and hilarious in his talk so I can’t wait to meet him again and get my copy of You Know Me Well signed.

29th July 2015 - 10th April 2016 121

Spoiler free

This was a really fun book to read in one sitting in the early hours of the morning. It was fast-paced, funny, emotionally charged and beautifully written. Set during San Francisco pride week, You Know Me Well explores the lives, dreams and relationships of two people who barely know each other on the first page but are ridiculously close by the last one. AND (and Imma shout for everyone at the back) THEY HAVE NO ROMANTIC INTEREST IN EACHOTHER IT IS PURELY FRIENDLY SUPPORT BETWEEN A GIRL AND BOY WITH NO ROMANTIC MOTIVES OR ANYTHING.yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas

Sorry, I’ve just had that repressed inside me for a while now. I LOVE YA. It is my favourite genre to read in, but I was getting tired of hell with the constant “They-are-girl-and-boy-and-best-friends-but-long-to-be-more-but-neither-one-will-tell-the-other” trope. (Side note: it is really difficult to overcome the instinct to use hyphens instead of spaces for that long of a sentence.)

Other than the parents of the two protagonists, I don’t think there is a single heterosexual couple in this novel, or at least not one that was noticeable to me at all, and this is the first time I have ever encountered that. This really helped with getting past the trope of a couple’s most prominent trait being that they are LGBT – Not that I would ever expect that kind of thing from these authors or really any in the YA community, but it happens a lot on TV, annoyingly.ugh

Anyways, back to the friendship thing, I love it. Despite not really knowing each other very well, Mark and Kate both recognise that the other really needs a friend to just be there for them no questions asked; an objective perspective who isn’t involved in the drama and they realise that they can be this for each other.applause

I was intrigued by Kate as a character as I am currently going through a similar stage of life and I found it interesting to see where my story aligns with hers and where it really doesn’t. Kate is moving on to go off to university and is feeling confused about her school friends and what place they are going to have in her life, an extremely relate-able problem which all of us who move away after secondary school go through. Friends-Doing-with-my-lifeHowever, her other issue was one I really really struggled to understand properly, though maybe I am a bit too close to the situation. Kate is feeling really unenthused about going off to university, she isn’t scared, she isn’t excited, she just doesn’t really care, and I really struggled to get to grips with this. I am starting at the University of Edinburgh in September and I’m simultaneously feeling terrified, exhilarated, nervous and all sorts of emotions, so for Kate to feel nothing was unthinkable to me. However, I feel that this inability to relate to her helped to really stress why she feels so confused about her lack of enthusiasm, because I couldn’t comprehend it.surprised

Serious stuff aside, this was a really fun book. The Pride Week festivities were such a joy to read and the characters were all hilarious! Some favourite quotes include:

“Katie yanks me over to the front of the art gallery. We’re now near a wall that has what I’d call the c word written in different fonts. It’s very strange to see it in Comic Sans, but I guess that’s the point.”

” “I’m Mark”
“My Manager” I add
“Yeah” Mark nods. “And Katie’s my SAT tutor”
“Interesting arrangement”
“It is indeed” Mark says “

“I hate that word. Straight. At the very least, those of us who are nonstraight should get to be called curvy. Or scenic. Actually I like that: ‘Do you think she’s straight?’ ‘Oh no. She’s scenic‘ “

So yeah, in summary, you’ve got to read the book! If I haven’t convinced you then maybe the authors themselves can, David Levithan and Nina LaCour will be at YALC on Saturday the 30th July. They will be signing between 2 and 3:30pm and then speaking about You Know Me Well in a panel at 4pm.

4 stars

Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

finding audreyAudrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .

Buy on Amazon          Buy at Waterstones

Would you believe this is another book read n preparation for YALC? I feel like every single review I have written has started with that! Sophie Kinsella will be appearing on a panel called “Secrets and Lies” alongside Annabel Pitcher, Sarah Crossan and Keren David.

Spoiler free

 

Once again, I went into this book with literally no idea what it was about and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. I don’t know what I was expecting to find in this book, I think the sunglasses and Starbucks on the cover mislead me into thinking I was about to be sucked into a High School Drama novel, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

not expecting

I was amazed by the way in which this book was able to make me really laugh, despite the hard hitting story and subject matter, it was a really fun read but also one which kept me thinking about it all day once I had finished reading. This is the first time I have sat down and read a book in one sitting in a very long time and it was a wonderful experience as that is my favourite way to read.

reading

Sometimes you read books where family life is depicted with ridiculous inaccuracy: the teenagers are always right, the parents talk like they are 16 years old and all dialogue comes in the form of quippy banter. The complete opposite was true in this book, it was one of the most true to life representations of a family I have read about in a long time which was refreshing and painfully relatable. Audrey’s brother is obsessed with the computer game “Land of Conquerors”  (or as we know it League of Legends) and her mother’s exasperation with it and whole hearted trust in the things she reads online is something that can be found in many homes.

“Anne, do you know what teenager parties are like? What if they knife eachother and have sex on a trampoline?”

laugh

Finding Audrey features a protagonist with social anxiety and the author really manages to make this subject accessible to her readers. Audrey’s feelings are described with creative analogies which really helps the reader to understand what she is going through and how her life is being affected by this. Furthermore, while the topic of mental illness is being explored more and more in YA fiction of late, this is the first exposure to social anxiety I have encountered and, as one of Audrey’s friends really helps to illustrate in the novel, exposure and representation of issues like this in media are so important to avoid ignorance or stupidity from running rampant.

idiotss

On a lighter note, this book is also jaw-achingly HILARIOUS. Audrey’s relationship with her brothers is a joy to read and they are probably my favourite characters in the novel, Frank the 16 year old is so unimpressed by everything whereas her younger brother, Felix who is four is the total opposite because everything is absolutely amazing!

“Mum, it’s called Land of Conquerors, not Land of Community Service Volunteers!”

eye roll

“STRONG Yoga” Felix looks at me seriously, “I am the strongest yoga”

Throughout the novel Audrey is asked to make a documentary of her family and the transcripts of it are interspersed throughout the book with Audrey overhearing things she shouldn’t and walking in on moments that ought not be filmed.

“DAD (V.O)
I don’t want to imagine. I want yo to describe them to me, very slowly, in a French accent.

MUM (V.O)
(half giggling, half cross)
Chris stop it!”

lol 3

Overall this was such a delightful read and I would strongly recommend it. At only 263 pages it’s not going to take you long to read, I managed to blast through between 1am and 3am on the Monday morning of Book-Tube – A -Thon. 4 stars

Book Review: The Next Together by Lauren James

next togetherA powerful and epic debut novel about fate and the timelessness of first love. Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. How many times can you lose the person you love? For Matthew and Katherine it is again and again, over and over, century after century. But why do they keep coming back? How many times must they die to save the world? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different.

Buy on Amazon

Buy at Waterstones

 

I read The Next Together in preparation for YALC where Lauren James is running a workshop with Alice Oseman called Creator vs. Fandom -Authors on Social Media. I cannot WAIT to meet her and get my book signed!

Spoiler free

The Next Together has such an interesting concept that I have heard of before but had never managed to find well executed. A key example of this was on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow which is presently my favourite TV show. The show featured a relationship wherein the two characters were reincarnated and fell in love all across time but it was honestly the aspect of the show which really brought it down because it was done so badly.

hawkman-and-hawkgirl-dcs-legends-of-tomorrow-s1e1

However, Lauren James manages to hit the nail on the head with this book as it is done with just the right amount of a) timelines b) dramatic irony and c) unique information display.booyah

What I mean by this is that we are not overwhelmed by six or seven different timelines, we get three and a half (confusing in theory but works very well in practice). We meet our main characters in 1745, 1854, 2019 and 2039 and they all have very different paths to follow, though as the book progresses they begin to intertwine. The storytelling is spread out very evenly and as a reader you care about all the incarnations of these characters and both the period specific and timeless struggles they face. squeal

As I said in my review of The Lie Tree , I am not usually one for historical fiction and I did definitely prefer the two modern timelines to the two set in the past. That being said, I was fascinated by the stories set in 1745 and 1854 as both are periods of history which I had very little knowledge of, never having studied them before. In the 1854 timeline Matthew and Kate have a very different dynamic than the other three times as Katherine is in disguise as a man which is fascinating to watch unfold.i never thought id say that

Another fun aspect of the story is that the 2019 timeline is only seen by the reader through the post-it note exchanges of Katherine and Matthew, rather than having written Katherine POV as found in the other three periods. This really lets you get to know these characters in a casual setting which is fun and also quite rare in books as, for the sake of the story progression, characters are often on edge and doing stuff. It was nice to see them just living and interacting normally.awww

To give you any more information would be to delve into spoilers and that I cannot do! I will leave you with the fact that The Next Together will certainly leave you theorising and hungry for book 2. The Last beginning comes out on October 6th and you can pre-order it from Amazon here.4 stars

 

The TV Top Twenty: Game of Thrones

I want to say that the irregular posting of late has been due to actual reasons, like my new job, school production or upcoming driving test. But no. It has literally been because I have been bingeing Game of Thrones and I couldn’t stop. I realised that this is often a trend with me and so I have come up with a new feature : “The TV Top Twenty” in which, after bingewatching a show, I shall list my ten favourite and least favourite things about it.Tv Top Twenty GoT

 

While seasons 1 and 2 took a while, I watched season 3 in two days, season 4 in one day and then seasons 5 and 6 in 4 days, I have a problem. So I thought I’d share my experiences, though warning, there will be spoilers of Game of Thrones up until the end of season 6 beyond this point.spoilers

Top Ten Things I Loved

  1. Daenarys, Brienne of Tarth, Jon Snow. Tyrion.tyrion jon snow daenarys Brienne_S3
  2. Yara Greyjoy – she’s so awesome that she gets her own line, I LOVE her.yara
  3. The cinematography. The Battle of The Bastards was ART. It was visually stunning and I cannot, it was breathtaking.cine 3 cine 2 cine 1
  4. Arya and Sansa Stark’s progress through life and taking control of their stories.starks
  5. Podrick’s magical sex powers.pod 2
  6. Lady Olenna’s Shade.olenna shade 0 olenna shade 1
  7.  Dragons.dragons
  8. Daario: “So what skills do you actually have? Can you fight?”
    Tyrion: “no”
    Jorah: “Can you track animals?”
    Tyrion: “Not really”
    Daario: “Can you ride a horse?”
    Tyrion: “Welllll….”
    Jorah: “So basically you talk?”
    Tyrion: “And drink! I mean I’ve survived this long!”
  9. Lady Lyanna Mormont, my ten year old QUEENtumblr_o93q51XdNN1sg5amvo1_250
  10.  The way that anytime a grumpy old man pisses of Dany she just goes “Flambé”flambe

Top Ten Things I Hated

  1. The High Septum/Sparrow nonsense that dragged on FOREVER. Why was it there? It SUCKED.sparrow
  2. Joffrey and Ramsey – duhjoff
  3. They killed all my faves – RIP Jojen, Catelin, Shae, Osha and Rikon.it isnt fair crying
  4. Littlefinger is such a creeper, like why?creepy
  5. So much rape happens, so much. I mean I understand why it has to be there but it is appalling.everything sucks
  6. Anything North of the Wall or in Dorne. (Except Gilly, Sam and Jojen)bored
  7. Trying to remember what each house’s symbol was so I could understand what army was doing what.alcoholism
  8. The fate of poor Princess Shireen, Stannis can actually throw himself off the great wall.shireen
  9. The fact that they reduced Shae to a jealous whore, even though we know none of her backstory so who can say for sure she actually was a whore?shae
  10. The fact that I watched 60 episodes in two weeks and i now have to wait a year for another ten or maybe less.season 7

Book Review: All of the Above by Juno Dawson

all of the above banner
all of the above
When sixteen-year-old Toria Bland arrives at her new school she needs to work out who her friends are, all in a crazy whirl of worry, exam pressure and anxiety over fitting in. Things start looking up when Toria meets the funny and foul-mouthed Polly, who’s the coolest girl Toria has ever seen. Polly and the rest of the ‘alternative’ kids take Toria under their wing. And that’s when she meets the irresistible Nico Mancini, lead singer of a local band – and it’s instalove at first sight! Toria likes Nico, Nico likes Toria . . . but then there’s Polly. Love and friendship have a funny way of going round in circles

Buy on Amazon                 Buy at Waterstones

Spoiler free

All of the Above is a book full of peeing-your-pants laughter and drowning-in-tears heartbreak and the two are blended together effortlessly in a true to life, ridiculously relatable tale of young adult life. Our protagonist, Toria, is an I-spend-too-much-time-on-Tumblr fangirl who finds herself in a new school in a small town and slots into the group of “Alt kids”. thumbs up

She meets the foul-mouthed Polly Wolfe who is loud, proud and could murder anybody who tries to get in her way.i am woman hear me roarReading moments with Polly in them are great fun because all of her profanity has been replaced by **** and so it’s a fun “count the stars and look for the context” fill in the blanks game of cursing that you get to play alongside the story.confused

It is really stressed throughout the story (and in the title) that the story is not just about sexuality or eating disorders or falling in love or alcoholism or anything else, it is going to cover literally everything because that’s how life is.Some reviews I read going into this that the number of themes makes it messy and the story is worse off for it but I am passionate in my disagreement.shut up or ill eat you Life often feels like everything is piling up at once until you can’t breathe, even if your problems are nowhere near as serious and it helped to engulf the reader in how overwhelmed Toria feels.

“It’s just so fast. Nothing happens for ages and then it all comes at once.”

A unique thing about All of The Above is that there are poems interspersed throughout as Toria likes to write them. In a poem whose title I won’t reveal because of spoilers, I found what may be one of my favourite quotes to date:Poem

sad

All of the poems are wonderful and give the book something to make it really memorable in comparison with other contemporary YA novels, it’s certainly going to stick with me for a while.

Juno Dawson will be attending YALC on the 29th and 31st of July in the London Olympia.

5 stars

Top Ten Books With Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads

Hosted at The Broke and The Bookish

  1. Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison – 93 ratingsnever evers
    Okay I’ve raved about this book and these authors in a million posts since my return to the blogosphere so I’m just gong to reiterate that it is fab and link you to my review, here.
  2. All of The Above by Juno Dawson – 326 ratingsall of the above
    Finished this book last week and the review is coming on Thursday but I absolutely adored this book and was inspired by these characters and the journies they go on,
  3. Gathering Water by Regan Claire – 491 ratings20693807
    This was one of my first ever blog tour books and I loved it! It’s a paranormal YA novel with a new kind of species that I’ve never encountered before rather than just vampires or werewolves or something. I’m going to link to my review here but be warned that this was from my pre-resurrection days so it won’t be all that coherent.
  4. The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray – 679 ratings14741373
    Mary Gray was the first author I ever met at the Houston Book Rave back in 2013, I had such a fabulous day at my first book event, back in the day I made a Booktube video about the Houston Book Rave which I did initially link but then 15 year old me was so cringey I wanted to die so i removed it. I have also reviewed the book here.
    It’s a crazy story about this guy who kidnaps all these people and makes them pretend to be famous literary couple and act out their stories and deaths.
  5. This Book Is Gay by James Dawson – 1347 ratings22074335
    Picked this up when I met the author at last year’s YALC and found it to be very informative as well as managing to blend humour into the discussion of serious topics in a way that worked and made it thoroughly enjoyable.
  6. Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison – 1400 ratingslobsters
    See above, brilliant book, hilarious and also talked about a million times.

I was only able to muster up 6 books with under 2000 ratings to put on this list so I thought to make up the other four I’d list the four books with the most ratings that I enjoyed the least:

  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – 2,023,409 ratingstfios
    I don’t know why, everybody LOVES it but it just really wasn’t for me.
  2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – 1,364,315Of Mice and Men
    In fairness, it’s not that I didn’t like the book, it is just forever associated with the torturous process of analysing it (I swear to god if I have to hear about it’s “cyclic” nature ever again I will end someone).
  3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling – 261,276 ratings 10335308
    This one just fell flat for me, it wasn’t as funny as I had hoped.
  4. Angelfall by Susan Ee – 110,492 ratings11500217
    I heard about this one from Christine of PolandbananasBOOKS and normally I LOVE everything she recommends, but I loathed this book…passionately.

    You can find me on Goodreads here.

Top Ten TV Shows

Top Ten
Today’s topic is a freebie and seeing as the hosts decided to talk about ten hobbies they have other than reading, I thought I’d write about the top ten things I watch when I’m not reading (which is happening ever-increasingly of late…unfortunately). So here are my Top Ten TV Shows.banner

  1. DC’s Legends of Tomorrownt_16_Legends-of-tomorrow
    A ragtag group of ninjas/tech geniuses/not quite humans/ criminals travel through time trying to stop an evil dude from ending the world. Favourite show of all time, a title earned in only 13 episodes. Every episode is like tuning into a movie, it’s brilliant. What really makes this show is it’s characters though, Caity Lotz’s Black Canary, Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold and Dominic Purcell’s Heatwave are the reason I watch this show and love it so much, they are just delightful to watch.peachy
  2. iZombieizombie
    I love this approach to Zombies and also how funny it manages to be, basically the main character is a Zombie who works as a mortician and eats the brains of the recently murdered. She takes on the personality of the brain she has eaten that week and uses their memories to solve their murders making for very entertaining watching and a strange procedural crime show. Also, Ravi, her bestie, is HILARIOUS.pew pew pew
  3. FlashThe-Flash-TV-Series-Logo
    Barry Allen is the best. The Flash is awesome. Can’t even say anything else just watch it.
  4. Agent Carteragent carter
    If I could go back to any era in time, it would be the 50’s and I would do it as Agent Peggy Carter in this quirky crime/sci-fi drama. It’s a strange but beloved addition to the MCU.
  5. Supernaturalsupernatural
    If you’re on the internet and you don’t know what Supernatural is about, I really don’t knwo what to say to you because it has literally overrun Tumblr.feelings
  6. Prison Breakprison break
    Two brothers try to escape prison and chaos ensues and it is GLORIOUS. I was a late addition to this fandom, only watching the series in April but oh my god Wentworth Miller is just too much to resist and I need the reboot NOW.
  7. The 100The-100-Cast-Promos-the-100-tv-show-37080703-1024-768
    100 teenage delinquents are sent to earth to try and recolonise after a nuclear disaster. This series is based on the books by Kass Morgan, who is now coming to YALC! This show is so intense, unpredictable and full of characters you want to love but know are gonna probably get killed off at some point. It’s AWESOME.
  8. Grey’s Anatomygreys-anatomy-cast
    Probably the black sheep of my TV list, being the only one with no fantastical elements, however, this long-running medical drama is ADDICTIVE. In a hospital where probably more doctors die than patients, a group of interns are jsut tying to live their lives and become qualified doctors but since when does that mean it’s going to be easy? To be honest, I’ve probably had more heart-pounding moments with this show that with some of the sci-fi ones where the fate of the world is at stake.ive survived
  9. Marvel’s Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D.agents_of_shield-wide
    More content from the MCU? Count me in!
  10. Orphan Blackorphan-black-clones
    If you aren’t watching this show, why the hell not? It’s about a group of clones trying not to die as a million different nefarious corporations try to either take them down, take them in for testing, or buy them, pretty much.

 

High School Musical Book Tag

hsm banner

I know this seems like a strange choice for a book tag but I found it at Aprilus Maximus on Youtube and thought it was very topical seeing as I am in a production of High School Musical which opens TODAY!
If you haven’t seen High School Musical, get out. If you have then you’ll know what I mean when i tell you I am playing Mrs Darbus and that she is my spirit animal as she is the school’s crazy drama teacher (keep tabs on my Twitter here, I will post a picture in costume tonight because it is MENTAL). I kid you not, one of my lines includes the phrases “crucible of learning” and “chapel of the arts”, it’s great fun!

darbus

Anyways, the tag has paired different songs from the musical with bookish questions and I am going to answer them

1. The Start of Something New – A new favourite genre/author/series

start of something newnever evers lobsters
Right, Lucy Ivison probably thinks I am a total stalker because I read her and Tom Ellen’s book Lobsters earlier in the year, and now I tweet at her all the time and I have mentioned them in like every second blog post since I relaunched. It’s just because I love their books, Lobsters and Never Evers (which I reviewed here) so much. They are hysterical and amazing and cute and just absolutely BRILLIANT. So read them. Now.
2. What I’ve Been Looking For – A book that has everything you’ve ever wantedwhat ive been looking for tmi

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare is a perfect blend of action, humour, feels and badassery. It checks all the boxes and is always great to come back to for rereading.

3. Fabulous – A book with the biggest diva

fabulous hsm

Finnick-Odair

Well hello there Mr Odair.

4. Status Quo – A stereotype defying character

Annabeth_Chase

Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan proving once and for all the dumb blonde is merely a label, and a stupid one at that.

5. Boys Are Back – The best bromance

handshake

The BroTP of BroTPs has got to be Jace and Alec (to bring up the Mortal Instruments series again). I mean they just have the greatest exchanges:

“Just because you said dragon demons were extinct—”
“I said mostly extinct.”
Alec jabbed a finger toward him.
“Mostly extinct,” he said, his voice trembling with rage, “is NOT
EXTINCT ENOUGH.”
“I see,” said Jace. “I’ll just have them change the entry in the demonology textbook from ‘almost extinct’ to ‘not extinct enough for Alec. He prefers his monsters really, really extinct.’ Will that make you happy?”

“We shouldn’t,” protested Isabelle. “The Clave has a plan.”
“The Clave has the collective intelligence of a pineapple,” said Jace.
Alec blinked up at them. “Jace is right.”
Isabelle turned on her brother. “What do you know? You weren’t even paying attention.”
“I was,” Alec said, injured. “I said Jace was right.”
“Yeah, but there’s like a 90% chance of me being right most of the time, so that’s not proof you were listening,” said Jace. “That’s just a good guess.”

“It’s a girl,” Jace said, recovering his composure. “Surely you’ve seen girls before, Alec. Your sister Isabelle is one.”

6. What Time is it? – Your favourite summer read

what time is it
david levithan

Anything by David Levithan. I love his books and you’re going to feel ridiculously happy and then heart-breakingly sad, but you’ll have a great time. I read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, a 100% Christmas read, in the heart of July and it was still absolutely amazing!
7. Everyday – If you had to look at one book cover every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

everyday

LOOK AT IT, IT’S SO PRETTY I’M GONNA DIE!

pride and prejudice
8. Just Wanna be with you – A book you couldn’t put down

just wanna be with you

meyer

The Host by Stephanie Meyer. It’s like 600/700 pages and I binged it over like three days. Irregardless of your views on Twilight, love it/ hate it/ don’t care at all, The Host is definitely worth a read. The characters are really interesting, the setting is immersive and the risk feels so real your heart will be pounding.
9. Scream – A character that frustrated you

screaming

Her name was Scarlett and she let me down, as evidenced by the following tweets.


10. High School Musical – Your favourite fictional school

hogwarts

DUM DUM DA DUM DUM DA DUUUUUUUUM DUUUUUUUUUM
11. Humuhumunukuapua’a – The most ridiculous book/scene/character you have ever read

WAT

Okay so there’s this series I love called the Staphanie Plum Bail Bonds series, and there are 22 of these books but they’re more procedural that episodic so you don’t need to read them all nor do you need to read them in order. The protagonist, Stephanie Plum, is a pretty crap bounty hunter and she’s trying to catch this guy with the assistant of her plus-size, former prostitute, assistant, Lula, who is eating fried chicken. They go to the guy’s place of residence, which turns out to be a camper van, and knock on the door. Upon getting no response, Lula breaks in and then comes screaming straight out again chased by an alligator, because this felon owns one. Chaos ensues, they end up throwing the chicken at it and running away but it was so funny and ridiculous it was amazing.

Another highlight of the series is when Stephanie gets kidnapped in one of the books and gets rescued by a school bus being driven by her foul-mouthed, transvestite friend, Sally Sweet who has just give up life as a drag queen and taken a job as a school bus driver.

There are so many ridiculous but amazing moments, it’s just absolutely fab!

This concludes my High School Musical Tag! I hope you enjoyed it and if you are reading this then I tag YOU!