YA Contemporaries To Dive Into This Summer

Posted on 23 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

YA Contemporaries to Dive Into This Summer

One of the greatest things about summer is being able to sit outside in the sunshine and read a good heart-warming book. Thus I always find that contemporary books are best kept for the summer period. They’re usually quick to devour, quick to fall in love with and easy to just get that chilled out – bliss – feeling.

Thus, here’s just a few YA Contemporaries that I would highly recommend you dive into this summer!


Five YA Contemporaries Released Prior to 2017

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Or basically any book written by Sarah Dessen. I’ve actually only read three of her books myself – I plan to rectify this as soon as I can! – but I absolutely love every single book of hers I’ve read. There’s just this feeling I get when I read her books that I can not get enough of!

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Oh, I have SO MUCH love for Morgan Matson. Again, I’ve not read all of her books yet – what is wrong with me? – but I have loved every book of hers that I have read and this one is my absolute favourite of them all! It has a strong friendship element too it which I really admire.

Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne
Sadly this is the only Holly Bourne book that I’ve read but it is a fantastic one that I cannot recommend strongly enough. It covers some heavy topics but it’s also fun, interesting and heart-warming. Plus it deals with OCD SO WELL.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
If you have not read this book yet, I urge you to rectify this as soon as you can! Lisa Williamson is a very talented author who must not be missed and this book is revolutionary – seriously. This book has it’s emotions running through it but it is ultimately a very heart-warming and thought-provoking read that I guarantee you’ll love.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Oh my gosh! This is one of those super, super, super cute reads. It’s completely charming and incredibly irresistible (sorry for all the alterations) and I honestly think you should read it if you haven’t already! I also need to make sure I read more of Benjamin Alire Saenz‘s books!


Five YA Contemporaries Released This Year

One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton
This is a book that kind of got me out of a reading funk but that isn’t the only reason I love it. I have loved Keris Stainton‘s books for a while and this one just kicks them all out of the park. It is emotional, heart-warming and just super cute. Honestly, make sure you read this one!

When Dimple met Rishi by Sandya Menon
Honestly there are not enough words to describe how much I absolutely love this book. I devoured it quickly and just gushed so much throughout it. I loved how geeky Dimple was, how charming and kind Rishi was, and artistic. How strong and powerful Dimple was. And basically how well they worked together. I loved the book so much and I urge you to the highest degree to read this book!

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
I have been a fan of Brigid Kemmerer for many years now and while she normally writes paranormal books, this contemporary book is just as wonderful and powerful as all of her other books. Brigid has a way of writing characters that suckers you straight into their lives and makes you feel so much empathy for them. This is a very emotional read but it also incredible and cute too.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Last year I found myself blown away by Beautiful Broken Things and loved how Sara Barnard brought the whole book together. So I’m not surprised that I ended up loving this book too. A Quiet Kind of Thunder is really lovely and super cute. It’s strong and shows how amazing humans can be as well. Honestly, I cannot tell you enough how much I believe you should read this book!

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Leaving the best to last, maybe? Probably. This book stole my heart. Figuratively obviously but it really, truly did. Adam Silvera has created a very unique premise with this book but it was the characters that made this book for me. They’re both so different and incredible and together their story is just amazing. I loved, I laughed, I cried, I lived. And it was wonderful. Please make sure you do not miss this story.


What are some of your favourite YA contemporaries to read in the summer?

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Posted on 23 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Stunt Double by Tamsin Cooke

Posted on 7 July, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

Stunt Double by Tamsin Cooke

Stunt Double ad

Hello All!

Today is my stop on the Stunt Double blog tour and I am here kicking off the tour with a review of this fantastic and addictive read!


About the Book

9780192749826 Finn is a free-running black belt, with a talent for acting—but when his big break arrives, it’s not the role he was expecting at all.

Recruited as a stunt double, he’s pushed to his limits—scaling walls at high speed, jumping from dizzying heights, and diving into rocky waters—all without any safety gear. He’s determined to push himself, but as the stunts get more dangerous, the lines between movie and reality really start to blur, and it becomes clear that he’ll be luckily to escape this shoot with his life.

Goodreads. Amazon. Waterstones.


My Review

Are You

From the title of this book alone, I was intrigued and interested, positive that this was going to be a book that I’d enjoy. Add in that enticing synopsis and I’m sure you can see why I ended up adamant I was going to read this book. Fortunately the book did not disappoint. It was fast-paced, thrilling and intense. A book that I raced through as I found it very difficult to leave it as it stood – I had to know what was going to happen next!

Brave Enough

Tamsin Cooke has created a very addictive, page-turning read with this book that I can see many children really enjoying. What starts as a very safe story, ends up a lot darker and scarier as it goes along and Tamsin really managed to transition this throughout the story really well. It’s natural and really has the reader on the edge of their seat – exactly what you want from such a thrilling adventure book.

For The

There is a vast array of characters in this book but what I love is how Tamsin has made it quite difficult to know who to trust. You’re constantly second guessing things and more wonderful was that I ended up fooled by a few characters. I’d say who but I’m not spoiling anything! My favourite characters were the four teenagers; Finn, Anna, Blake and Mawi. They were all unique and fascinating characters to follow and definitely made this book more interesting.

Real Stunts

Stunt Double was a thrilling, heart-racing adventure book that I really enjoyed. It would suit a ten to fourteen year old well and reminded me of action thriller books like Robert Muchamore‘s Cherub series and Anthony Horrowitz‘s Alex Ryder series. It was fast-paced, action packed and intense in all the ways you could want it to be. Not to mention it was also kind of emotional too. Also the ending has also definitely got me very intrigued! I would absolutely recommend this book to others, especially if you like action adventure stories!


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Will you read this book?

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Posted on 7 July, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Posted on 5 July, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Published: 1st June 2017
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source:: Netgalley Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Waterstones

Summary:
he arranged marriage YA romcom you didn’t know you wanted or needed…

Meet Dimple.

Her main aim in life is to escape her traditional parents, get to university and begin her plan for tech world domination.

Meet Rishi.

He’s rich, good-looking and a hopeless romantic. His parents think Dimple is the perfect match for him, but she’s got other plans…

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works even harder to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.


When Life

There is always a fear when a book starts to receive a lot of hype that it will never live up to the expectations that have been placed upon it. I had these very concerns over When Dimple Met Rishi but after many of my blogging friends urged me to read it, I decided to push the concerns aside and just get on with reading it. And I cannot be more grateful that I did. In the end, I fell head over heels in love with this book. There is so much to love about it but I don’t want to spoil it too much for you – or over-hype it! But essentially this is a book that has gone instantly on to my favourites shelf and is one that I am certain I will be reading time and time again.

Gives You

When Dimple Met Rishi is the story of a girl who feels trapped in her circumstance and just wants some freedom from her parents and tradition. It’s a coming of age story both for her and the absolutely wonderful Rishi too. Sandhya Menon has done a truly marvelous job of creating characters that are believable, and easy to fall in love with. They’re three-dimensional and adorable. Strong but also weak. On top of all that, this is a character driven storyline and it as an exceptional one at that. It shows that we don’t always get the life we planned but that is okay. It has amazing themes of acceptance, feminism, family love, friendships and perseverance. Last, but certainly not least, Sandhya has created a story that is intensely cute.

Lemons, Just

With a diverse and fascinating cast of characters who are all well thought-out and realistic, Sandhya Menon makes it difficult to choose just one to love. Thus I want to tell you about the two main characters in this book. First, and definitely my absolute favourite, is Dimple. Dimple is strong-willed, passionate and fiery. I loved reading about her and I ultimately loved her journey in the book. Next up is the ever-wonderful Rishi. Rishi is artistic, funny, adorable and caring. The perfect balance for Dimple, of course.

Make Lemonade

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was incredibly cute, wonderfully addictive and filled me with lots of heart-warming feelings. It also had me quite emotional towards the ends – seems I was quite invested in the characters. The storyline may have been a little predictable but to me, that’s totally okay. This book is perfect just the way it is. It’s diverse and it celebrates that so well. It reads well and is just a wonderful story that I will definitely re-read at some point. It is a book that I would highly recommend, especially if you’re looking for something to fill your heart with hope and love.

five stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

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Posted on 5 July, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


#ReadWithPride; George by Alex Gino (+ Giveaway!)

Posted on 1 July, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

#ReadWithPride; George by Alex Gino

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Hello All!
Today I am here with a mini-review of the fantastic George by Alex Gino and a chance to win one of three copies too!


About the Book

“When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her (4th grade) teacher announces their class play is going to be “Charlotte’s Web.” George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part …because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

Goodreads.


Mini Review

After reading it in 2015, George stayed in my mind for a long time as it was a truly incredible and entertaining read that made me feel very emotional. In 2016 in a round up on Big Book Little Book I said, “I absolutely adored this book from start to finish. A true coming of age story about a boy who wants to dress like a girl. It is a lovely cute story that everyone should read.” And to this day, this book is still one of my utmost favourite LGBT books. George is an adorable but powerful and intensely moving read that looks on a very serious issue in a way that allows you to truly empathize with the main character. For a MG that is very good at being a YA Crossover, this book is just such an important novel that I honestly want every child and teenager to read. It’s one of those books that is easy to read, easy to fall in love but incredibly difficult to forget.

So if you haven’t read this book yet, why not enter the giveaway to make sure you don’t miss out on this absolute gem of a read!


Giveaway

To win one of three copies of George by Alex Gino, all you need to do is head on over to Twitter and RT the following tweet:

Screenshot_20170701-074043

(Click the image to go to the tweet in twitter)

The giveaway ends on 8th July and winners will be notified on twitter.
Winners will have 72 hours to confirm acceptance of their prize.
Winners MUST live in the UK or IRL.

Good luck!


What books will you #ReadWithPride?

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Posted on 1 July, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton

Posted on 26 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton

Title: One Italian Summer
Author: Keris Stainton
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Published: 4th May 2017
Pages: 245
Format: Paperback
Source:: Netgalley Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Waterstones

Summary:
It’s been a year since Milly, Elyse and Leonie’s dad died, and a year since their last trip to Rome. Summer’s here again, and once again they are heading with their mum to Italy – but what’s it going to be like going without Dad? Rome still holds its familiar charms – the sun is still as warm, the gelato as delicious, the people as welcoming. But nothing is quite as it once was …

With grief still raw for all of them, Milly is facing the additional awfulness of having to see Luke again – gorgeous, gorgeous Luke, who she had a fling with last year, and who she made a total fool of herself with – or so she thinks. What’s going to happen this time? What’s more, things between Milly, her sisters and their mum are rocky – Leonie is being tempestuous and unpredictable, Elyse is caught up with her new boyfriend, and Milly feels like she just doesn’t know how she fits in any more.

Over one Italian summer, can Milly find a way back to the life she once had?


It’s Time

I’m not going to lie, I absolutely adore Keris Stainton‘s books. I love her writing and the subject matter that she tackles. Her books are always quick, easy to read and still feel my soul with many emotions. This is no different to One Italian Summer but I honestly think this is probably her best book yet. I was instantly transported into this story and from the very first few chapters I was already crying. Keris has created a novel that really makes you feel but as well as hitting you in the heart, it is also full of fun, hope and happiness. Reading it was like watching a wonderfully moving film in the cinema that leaves you feeling raw but hopeful.

To Start

One Italian Summer follows Milly, her two sisters and her mum as they go on their annual family holiday to Italy, for the very first time without their father who suddenly passed away. At the start of the novel, the family and Milly especially, are not dealing with this too well – as you would expect. The book shows how they work their way through many issues and it is executed exceptionally well. I felt for every single character in the story and loved how everything was separate but also interlinked at the same time. Also, can I please just take a moment to gush about how amazing the sisters in this family were? They were as close as best friends and I absolutely loved that. It’s so refreshing to read about such a close family unit. Not all sisters are enemies!

Letting Go

My favourite character by far was Milly but it was always going to be, I seem to have an affliction for falling in love with the protagonists in books! Milly was not coping very well at all but she was also caring and loyal, she was funny and strong underneath it all. Basically, everything that I love in a protagonist. She went on a really heart-warming journey and I just connected with her so much. But while Milly was an incredible character to read about, she fortunately didn’t overshadow the other characters. I absolutely adored Leonie. She was so confident and vibrant. She was also rebellious and stressed. A wonderful balance – as all humans are. Of course, another reason to read this book is Luke. He is a wonderful character. Funny, charming and totally lovely. He was protective and sensitive and he was absolutely lovely to read.

And Start Living

Overall this book was a fascinating, heart-warming and heart-breaking read that is literally the perfect summer read. It’s a dose of Italy but it’s also a dose of family, friendship, love and hope. It is a book that deals with so many issues, and big ones such as greif and coming out of the closet, and it does it with sensitivity and compassion but also realistically too. Not everything goes to plan and we say things we don’t mean and this is shown so honestly in this book. Honestly, I could gush about this book all day. It was truly wonderful and a book that I would probably read over and over again. If you’re a fan of Sarah Dessen or Morgan Matson, definitely make sure you add this book to your reading pile this summer!

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

five stars

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Posted on 26 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


The Devil’s Poetry by Louise Cole

Posted on 20 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

The Devil’s Poetry by Louise Cole

Hi All!
Today is my stop on The Devil’s Poetry blog tour and I am here with Louise Cole today as she has been interviewed by me!


About the Book

Questions are dangerous but answers can be deadly.

Callie’s world will be lost to war – unless she can unlock the magic of an ancient manuscript. She and her friends will be sent to the front line. Many of them won’t come back. When a secret order tells her she can bring peace by reading from a book, it seems an easy solution – too easy. Callie soon finds herself hunted, trapped between desperate allies and diabolical enemies. The Order is every bit as ruthless as the paranormal Cadaveri.
Callie can only trust two people – her best friend and her ex-marine bodyguard. And they are on different sides. She must decide: how far will she go to stop a war?

Dare she read this book? What’s the price – and who pays it?
Commended in the Yeovil Prize 2016, this is an action-packed blend of adventure, fantasy and love story.

‘Twisty, suspenseful and occasionally heart-rending, The Devil’s Poetry is a captivating read. I raced through it.” Emma Haughton, Now You See Me

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


An Interview with Louise Cole

If you had to summarize The Devil’s Poetry in a tweet, how would you?
Everyone you know will be sent to war – but a cult claims you can save them by reading from an ancient book. Dare you? What’s the price?

While writing The Devil’s Poetry, did you pick up any odd habits? (i.e. drinking coffee at 2am?)
I talk to my dogs about the plot and the characters. I have three cocker spaniels and they are fairly tough critics. Their favourite stories all feature rabbits so they’re a tough crowd. When I’d get really stuck on a plot point, I’d tell them all about it while I washed the dishes or cooked. The best writing buddy among them is Millie because she will hug you when it’s all going wrong.

What was your favourite thing about writing The Devil’s Poetry?
It’s really hard to answer this without spoilers. I loved writing the scenes at the end. I love choreographing all my different characters, each with their own agenda and the stakes growing ever higher, into a tumultuous climax. There are points where I literally hold my breath as I’m writing. And I am completely immersed. I’m in those scenes as I write. My feet thud across the streets of London, riots breaking around me, fear and adrenaline chilling my skin.

What is your favourite thing about writing in general?
Oh first drafts. Just wonderful. First drafts are like falling in love. You are giddy with excitement, and completely obsessive about pouring out this story. I write first drafts very quickly – usually two or three weeks. Part of that comes from the years of journalism which make me a very fast and productive writer but it’s also that, during that time, I don’t want to do anything else. I throw my family take-away menus, I don’t read other people’s books, I don’t do my normal day job. I cut out this chunk of time entirely for me and I live a new story. It is such a rush and an unbelievable privilege.
Of course, then you have the six months of unremitting hard work, redrafting and editing, and that’s not as much fun.

If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
Middle-earth from Lords of the Rings. I think it has everything; magic, beauty, elves. I think I’d live in the Shire. It has so much in common with my beloved North Yorkshire.

What is your favourite book ever?
Oh see, that’s a mean question. How am I supposed to narrow it down to one? I think the series – and yes, I know I’m cheating – that I’m completely fangirl about is Robin Hobb’s Farseer novels. I’ve been in love with Fitz since I first opened Assassin’s Apprentice. I love that we get to follow Fitz and the Fool through their whole lives, weaving in and out of different trilogies. A wonderful world, a great magic system, fascinating characters. And Nighteyes. Best animal character ever.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
If you write, you are a writer. And all writers aspire, constantly. We want to try new things, to write better, to reach more readers, to explore new stories. That tag: ‘aspiring author’? It’s always feels to me like it’s this judgmental division between the published and the unpublished. But that’s a meaningless divide. There are novice writers, and veteran writers, there are good writers and great writers, and writers who are just starting to master their craft. But once upon a time, we were all just starting and none of us ever stops. So hold your head up, because creativity and storytelling are precious and worthwhile in and of themselves. People see publication as a means of validation and money – but they don’t see how much published writers struggle with the distinct lack of validation and money. The important bit, the bit that will never cease to be true is that by crafting your story, you have nurtured your own soul and made the world a better place. Writing is not about individual pieces of text in isolation – between us, we create a huge ocean of words. And they can change the world.


About the Author

ouise Cole has spent her life reading and writing. And very occasionally gardening. Sometimes she reads as she gardens. She can be seen walking her dogs around North Yorkshire – she’s the one with a couple of cocker spaniels and a Kindle. She read English at Oxford – read being the operative word – and hasn’t stopped reading since.

In her day-job she is an award-winning journalist, a former business magazine editor and director of a media agency. She writes about business but mainly the business of moving things around: transport, logistics, trucks, ships, and people.

Her fiction includes short stories, young adult thrillers, and other stuff which is still cooking.

Her YA and kids’ fiction is represented by Greenhouse Literary Agency and she is also published on Amazon as one of the Marisa Hayworth triumvirate.

Twitter.


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Posted on 20 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


Empathy Inspiration

Posted on 13 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

Empathy Inspiration

Hello All!

Today I am delighted to introduce Kate Milner onto the blog. As it is Empathy Day today, she is here to tell you about the books that she finds inspires her empathy.

And before we introduce those books, let me also tell you about her book My Name is Not Refugee which is an incredible book for inspiring empathy.


About the Book

A young boy discusses the journey he is about to make with his mother. They will leave their town, she explains, and it will be sad but also a little bit exciting. They will have to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, and that will be difficult. They will have to walk and walk and walk, and although they will see many new and interesting things, it will be difficult at times too. A powerful and moving exploration that draws the young reader into each stage of the journey, inviting the chance to imagine the decisions he or she would make.

Goodreads. Amazon.


Empathy Inspirations

by Kate Milner

The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
This is my favourite Jacqueline Wilson book. It has stayed with me long after reading it. The heroine, Dolphin lives with her older sister and her mother who has manic depression. Her mother’s mental health problems mean she’s not really capable of looking after her daughters so Dolphin has to grow up quickly and learn to look after herself. She has to work out who she can trust. It’s a really powerful evocation of living with mental illness. There are no goodies and badies here just ordinary people with very real problems who are trying to do the right thing but failing. This is a wonderful book.

Slam by Nick Hornby
The story of 16 year old Sam who makes his girlfriend Alicia pregnant. Sam is an ordinary boy who is very far from ready for parenthood. Initially he runs away and we follow his fear, anger and denial; he is a child with some really adult problems who has to work out what he ought to do. I have never been a teenage boy in this situation but I really feel I can empathise a bit more because of going on this journey with him.

The Heart and the Bottle by Jeffers, Oliver
This is beautiful and touching book about loss. I love the subtlety and the space this book gives you to work out what is going on and what, in the end, needs to be done about it. He is so brilliant at expressing feelings in a double page spread.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
There is not much new to be said about this brilliant book. It offers the reader an insight into the world of Christopher a boy with autism who is trying to deal with his parents failing marriage. He doesn’t understand why they do what they do, and they don’t always understand him. Being in his head while he tries to get himself across London to his mother’s new house is terrifying and exhausting. I think everyone who reads this book has to become more sympathetic and understanding towards people with autism.

Holes by Louis Sachar
This may not seem an obvious choice of a book which inspires empathy but it works for me. I have read it a number of times and every time I’m with Stanley. There is something about his plight; locked up for something he didn’t do, while mean minded adults make him perform hard, menial work which has no purpose. Anyone who has been stuck in school or work doing something meaningless and boring, knows what he feels like.

Not now, Bernard by David McKee
This is one of my favourite Picture books, a delight to read with small children. I love the rather flat quality of the illustrations and the 1970s interior of the house. It’s about being ignored, about not being listened too, getting cross about it and being eaten by a monster. We have all felt like Bernard at some time or other and this story absolutely makes you remember, as an adult, what it’s like to be a child with no power.

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
The growing understanding and affection between Willie, an abused evacuee from London and Tom, a lonely old man who takes him in, is heart breaking and deeply touching. The story shows how it is the small acts of caring for one another which builds bonds. Everyone should read this book.

The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan
The Lost thing doesn’t fit anywhere and no one comes to claim him so the boy rescues it and, after taking it home, find away for the Thing to escape the city. That is a very hum drum description of what happens in this wonderful book. For me it makes you feel what it’s like to be in a huge, complicated, interesting, polluted, hard ,sunless city where your needs are not considered and you don’t fit.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
This is not a children’s book but it is short and funny and I think lots of older children would it enjoy it. I’ve included it because it is all about the effect of reading. How it can expand your view of the world and help you understand other people with different experiences. It is a delight and a manifesto for writers and illustrators everywhere.

Winnie the Pooh. by A.A. Milner
I was going to pick one story from Winnie-The-Pooh and The House At Pooh Corner to talk about how it promotes empathy. Perhaps the one where Piglet and Pooh try to cheer up the endlessly miserable Eeyore by giving him a birthday present; or perhaps the one where Piglet finds the courage to meet the terrifying Teffalump. I think it’s easy as an adult to find the charm and humour in these stories and forget how much they teach about friendship. Rabbit and Pooh and Piglet and Tiger are all rather flawed characters. If Tiger came to my house I would probably hide and pretend I wasn’t in and I would certainly loose my temper with the fuss pot Rabbit but Pooh, in his dreamy way, finds a way of rubbing along with them.


About the Author

Kate Milner studied illustration at Central St Martin’s before completing an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University. Her work has been published in magazines, and her illustrations and prints have been shown in London galleries and national touring exhibitions. Kate won a V&A Illustration Award in 2016 for My name is not Refugee.

What books inspire empathy in you?

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Posted on 13 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


Sita Brahmachari on Racism

Posted on 2 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Sita Brahmachari on Racism

Hi All!
I’m here today to introduce you to the ever wonderful Sita Brahmachari who is here today with a very powerful guest post on Racism. This is all to help share the news about her new book which released yesterday! More information about it below.


About the Book

Laila Levenson has always been the baby of the family, but now with her older siblings, Mira and Krish, leaving home just as she starts secondary school, everything feels like it’s changing… can the reappearance of Nana Josie’s Protest Book and the spirit it releases in Laila, her friends and her local community, help her find her own voice and discover what she truly believes in?

A powerful chime rings through Laila’s mind, guiding her to walk the footsteps of the past on her way to discover her own future.

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


Racism

by Sita Brahmachari

Tender Earth by Sita Brahmachari
‘A coming of age story for young protesters everywhere.’

Tender Earth is endorsed by Amnesty International UK because ‘it illuminates the importance of equality, friendship and solidarity, and upholds our right to protest against injustice.’

HERE WE STAND AGAINST HATE

SILENCE ABOUT RACISM IS NEVER GOLDEN

ANTI-SEMITISM, ANY RACISM, NOT IN OUR NAMES

I began writing Tender Earth three years ago because I began to see the rise of racism, and hear racially-orientated language spoken more often in public places. Following the terror attacks in Paris I wrote an article about how young people are coping with the fear and distrust that is created following these and more recent attacks, and by the language we hear in the media around immigration and the treatment of refugee people. I was so saddened to hear recently of the attack on a young refugee boy, Reker Ahmed, in Croydon, London, who was attacked by thirteen people in a suspected hate crime, leaving him horribly injured.

Since the EU referendum vote police have reported a 57% increase in hate crimes related to race and religion.

For my own children and their generation, I had hoped that racially and religiously motivated crime would be a thing of the past, sadly this is not the case for any of us today and so Laila and her friends are having to face the ugly truth about racism in Tender Earth. In this excerpt Pari Pashaei, who is the child of an Iraqi refugee family, speaks of her fears:

Pari leans in close. ‘You know what Stella was saying about people not saying what they’re really thinking? She’s right. Sometimes I get this look from strangers like they’re suspicious of me or just don’t like the look of me because I’m a Muslim. Mum thinks I should stop wearing my headscarf and she doesn’t like these,’ she points to her sparkly scarf clips, ‘- she says I’m drawing attention to myself.’
‘That’s not right! Why don’t you tell Mrs Latif?’
‘What could she do about what goes on out there? She can’t have a word with strangers like she did with Stella. People outside of school don’t have to say sorry, do they? Anyway, it’s just a feeling. No one actually says anything. But Mum thinks everything’s getting much worse for us here now. No one trusts anyone else.’

Sadly, the events that take place in Tender Earth require the characters to decide if they will take a stand against racially and religiously motivated crimes or stay silent.

Does seeing, reading about and experiencing racism and religious intolerance in this country and throughout the world trouble you as much as it does Laila, Pari and her friends? If it does, click on these links that I used during my research… and consider converting thought into action and, as soon as you are legally able, VOTE for what you believe in.

What can you do?
https://itstopswithme.humanrights.gov.au/resources/what-you-say-matters/what-can-you-do

More books to read that stand up for human rights
https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/jan/12/books-breed-tolerance-children-read-errorist-attacks-paris

The inspiration that is Malala Yousafzai
https://www.expressandstar.com/news/2016/10/10/malala-yousafzai-and-archbishop-of-canterbury-in-dudley-watch-our-exclusive-interview/

How can a symbol be such a powerful force?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11367966/The-rising-tide-of-anti-Semitism.html

Youth Against Racism In Europe
http://www.yre.org.uk/


Where do you stand against Racism?

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Posted on 2 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Girlhood by Cat Clarke

Posted on 27 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Girlhood by Cat Clarke

Hello All!
Today I am here to review Cat Clarke’s newest book, Girlhood!


About the Book

Girlhood Harper has tried to forget the past and fit in at expensive boarding school Duncraggan Academy. Her new group of friends are tight; the kind of girls who Harper knows have her back. But Harper can’t escape the guilt of her twin sister’s Jenna’s death, and her own part in it – and she knows noone else will ever really understand.

But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels…loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died.

Then Kirsty’s behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life a perfect mirror of Harper’s? And why is she so obsessed with Harper’s lost sister? Soon, Harper’s closeness with Kirsty begins to threaten her other relationships, and her own sense of identity.

How can Harper get back to the person she wants to be, and to the girls who mean the most to her?

A darkly compulsive story about love, death, and growing up under the shadow of grief.

Goodreads. Amazon.


My Review

What If

Upon starting this book, I instantaneously fell in love with it. It was thrilling, addictive and essentially a true page-turner. Unfortunately while this feeling continued until the very last page, I feel a little conflicted about the ending of the book. I know why the author ended the book the way she did but I also feel that it was too rushed. In my opinion, the girls forgave each other too quickly thus not allowing breathing or healing. On the other hand, it was such a hopeful and lovely ending that I just struggled to work out my own feelings on it all. Due to that, it did slightly hamper my overall feelings towards the book but I did love everything else until that moment. It was a very unique and intriguing story – also friendships were a large theme in the book and I adore books about friendships!

You Didn’t

As mentioned above, the ending didn’t really work for me but what did work was the plot of the book. I absolutely loved how everything in the book played together. It was enticing. Cat only gave you minor details as the book continued, allowing your brain to try and theorize what was happening or going to happen in the long run. She slowly raveled you into the story until you were fully immersed and were unable to stop until you got to the final conclusion. This was all very well written and really shows how important plot and narration are when it comes to thrilling and addictive reads. There was just so much mystery and conflict!

Know Who

Every single character in this book was different and I truly love the way that Cat has managed to bring so many vibrant and wonderful personalities together. It is a wonderful representation of real life and shows how we can all have different interests but can still form bonds despite this. However, my favourite character was Rowan. She was so full of life, sparky and wild. I just loved her personality so much. She was so sure of herself, and yet she also had her vulnerabilities and worries as well. She could be a bit snarky and sharp but she was also just vibrant and loveable. She is the kind of person that I would absolutely love to befriend!

To Trust

All in all this book was an entertaining and mysterious read that I enjoyed while reading but just felt a bit lost by the ending. It is a book that I would still recommend and I am absolutely certain that some people will have no problems with the ending. I think personally it just struck a little close to home. Cat Clarke is a strong voice in the UKYA community and her books are always interesting, hard-hitting and addictive and this book is no different. I will definitely be making sure I pick up the next book she writes and would still highly recommend this book if you want a thrilling book that centers on friendship. (Not to mention including a vastly diverse cast – yay!)

Three Stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

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Posted on 27 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Street Song by Sheena Wilkinson

Posted on 20 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Street Song by Sheena Wilkinson

Hi Guys!
Today is my stop on the Street Song blog tour and I have a review of this fab book to share with you all!
First though, here’s the info about the book.


About the Book

Street SongWhen life goes off-key, change your tune.

RyLee’s career is over. After winning a national TV talent show and becoming a teen pop sensation, his fame and success has quickly been followed by addiction, media scrutiny, and career suicide. After a brief spell in rehab, 18-year-old Ryan has some rethinking to do.

His stepdad – music promoter and self-appointed creator of ‘RyLee’ – wants him at home and in school, and under his thumb. But after an argument descends into violence, Ryan decides to run away from his old life, his failed career, and his dysfunctional family.

When he meets the stunningly witty but distinctly average guitar-player Toni almost directly outside his front door, the opportunity to start afresh seems too good to pass up. Before long, he has arrived in a new city, joined Toni’s amazingly talented band, and reinvented himself under the name ‘Cal’. For the first time in his life Ryan has friends around him, he’s playing the music he’s always wanted to play, and – despite living in a hostel, busking for his wages, and living under a false identity – he’s finally happy.

But just when Ryan feels like he has truly started over, his past begins to catch up with him.

Goodreads. Amazon. Waterstones.


My Review

Sometimes You

Sometimes you pick up a book and it can take some time to get into it but fortunately this was not the case with Street Song. Before I knew it I had read almost half of the book and was very, very curious about how it was all going to end. This book was entertaining, uncomfortable, heart-breaking and heart-warming all at the same time. It is a very powerful and poignant book that I think a lot of teenagers could find a very interesting read. It’s a book about homelessness but also about accepting help when you really need it. It’s full of music, friendship and love – everything you might just want in a contemporary Irish YA.

Have To

Cal has tried his hardest to turn his life around after his past but it hasn’t been that easy. One day things go too far and he does the only thing he can think of; leave. From here the book progresses into how Cal becomes a different person and finally puts his past behind him. It is a compelling book and one that is also full of mystery too. I ended up really liking Cal and the two girls that he meets up with. Together they make three protagonists that are truly fascinating to read about and help bring to life so many emotions.

Break Before

For me, character development is essential in a novel. It is what can turn a book from a complete mess to a masterpeice – in my eyes. Characters and character development show that the novel is working. It brings emotions to the surface and pulls the reader in. It also truly takes you on a journey which is what I love most about books. In this book Sheena Wilkinson does a brilliant job of bringing the characters to life and giving them all personal journey’s that they go on during the book. My favourite character though, by far was Cal. His journey was also the biggest and I felt so many emotions for him and it made me think differently about some things too.

Being Fixed

Overall, I found this book was easy to read, addictive and interesting. It is full of action, emotions and sensitive topics. Sheena Wilkinson has done a brilliant job of writing these topics into the book without bogging it down or by putting too much of a negative spin on things either. It’s all very informative as well. I think it’s a really powerful book that you really shouldn’t be missing. It’s a book that I am incredibly glad I read and would definitely be recommending as a fascinating YA book to read.


Follow the Tour

Street Song

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Posted on 20 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments