Saturday, 22 July 2017

Review: Aurable by Laura Dockrill

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: June 1st 20166
Source: Review copy from publisher
Series: Sequel to Lorali 

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It has been two years since Rory drowned, and Lorali is in Hastings, living the quiet life of a normal teenage girl. But her safe life on land won't last for long. Life in The Whirl has become a hotbed of underwater politics and as the council jostles to oust the king, one Mer in particular has her eye on Lorali as the key to her own rise to power.

Meanwhile, Aurabel, a lowly Mer from the wrong side of the trench, is attacked by sea beasts and left for dead - and without a tail. Raging with righteous anger, she rebuilds herself a mechanical tail and reinvents herself as a fearless steampunk Mer seeking revenge. But she never expected the most important job that was about to drop into her lap.

 Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for a full review. 

I read Lorali last year and really enjoyed the novel. I didn't think there was going to be a sequel but I was so happy when I heard that there was one! I actually feel like I enjoyed this novel even more than the first in the series, which is not something I would ever usually think. 

Aurabel takes place two years after the end of the previous novel. Lorali is mourning the loss of Rory and is living in the human world. She spends most of her time at home with Rory's mum or helping out at the shop with Iris and Flynn. I really enjoyed reading about Lorali's life on land and her relationships with Irish, Flynn and Cheryl and how quickly she was accepted into the life Rory had left behind. There was some really heartwarming scenes with her and Flynn where they both comforted each other in their shared grief over Rory. Lorali is such an interesting and honest character and I love reading from her perspective. Also I love reading from The Sea's perspective. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Review: Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 25th May 2017
Source: Received copy from publisher

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Here's what Lauren knows: she's not like other girls. She also knows it's problematic to say that - what's wrong with girls? She's even fancied some in the past. But if you were stuck in St Agnes's, her posh all-girls school, you'd feel like that too. Here everyone's expected to be Perfect Young Ladies, it's even a song in the painfully awful musical they're putting on this year. And obviously said musical is directed by Lauren's arch nemesis.

Under it all though, Lauren's heart is bruised. Her boyfriend thinks she's crazy and her best friend's going through something Lauren can't understand... so when Lauren realises she's facing every teenage girl's worst nightmare, she has nowhere to turn. Maybe she should just give in to everything. Be like other girls. That's all so much easier ... right?

 Huge thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for a full and honest review. Claire Hennessy is quickly becoming one of my auto-buy, all time favourite authors and I was so extremely excited to read this novel as soon as I got my hands on it. I decided to not read too much of the blurb and avoided all early reviews of the novel so I could go into it completely fresh and just let the novel surprise me. It was a brilliant idea.

This novel is utter brilliance. Like Other Girls deals with so many important and current issues that not only affect those worldwide but also focusing on national Irish issues. The novel touches on hard issues in a realistic and raw way. Claire does not try to sugar coat any aspect of the novel, which I think is how it should be as readers can both learn and begin to understand the issues more clearly. 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Corgi Childrens Books
Publication Date: September 3rd 2015
Source: Gift from my Book Blogger Secret Santa!

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Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?

 I received this book as a gift the first year I hosted the Book Blogger Secret Santa and for some reason had never gotten around to reading it. I am kicking myself at not reading this sooner because it is definitely one of my new favourite novels! (Also how cute is it that Nicola Yoon's husband illustrated the novel!)

The novel deals with Madeline, a girl who has not left her house in 17 years as she is allergic to the outside world and exposure to it could kill her. This was such an interesting and unique plot that captivated me. I have never read any books that deal with SCID and found it so interesting to read about Maddy's life in her incubator home. Descriptions of Maddy's sterile white home were so vivid that I almost felt I was there too breathing in the filtered air and sitting in her all white room. 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Review: Sophie Someone by Hayley Long

Publication Date: May 2016

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Source: Review copy from publisher

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'Some stories are hard to tell.
Even to your very best friend.
And some words are hard to get out of your mouth. Because they spell out secrets that are too huge to be spoken out loud.
But if you bottle them up, you might burst.
So here's my story. Told the only way I dare tell it.'

Sophie Nieuwenleven is sort of English and sort of Belgian. Sophie and her family came to live in Belgium when she was only four or five years old, but she's fourteen now and has never been quite sure why they left England in the first place. Then, one day, Sophie makes a startling discovery. Finally Sophie can unlock the mystery of who she really is. This is a story about identity and confusion - and feeling so utterly freaked out that you just can't put it into words. But it's also about hope. And the belief that, somehow, everything will work out OK.

 I received a copy of this novel from Hot Key Books publishers in exchange for a full and honest review. I had previously read Hayley Long's novel Being A Girl and so was looking forward to reading more novels by her. This was the first novel I read after finishing my 3rd year exams and not having much time to read for the past couple of months and honestly I was kinda disappointed. 

Sophie Someone tells the story of a young teenage girl called Sophie who discovers that her parents have been keeping one of the biggest secrets from her her entire life, one big enough to call into question everything she thinks she knows about her life so far and about her family. 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Review: Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Publication Date: August 2004- 2010

Source: Borrowed from library

Publisher: Oni Press

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Scott Pilgrim's life is totally sweet. He's 23 years old, he's in a rockband, he's "between jobs" and he's dating a cute high school girl. Nothing could possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. Will Scott's awesome life get turned upside-down? Will he have to face Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends in battle? The short answer is yes.

I didn't know much about the comics going into them but I had seen the movie a few times before and so knew the basic plot around the Scott Pilgrim story. I was hoping for more depth and side adventures than was portrayed in the film but unfortunately I didn't really like the comics as much as expected. 

The Scott Pilgrim series tells the story of Scott, a lazy slacker twenty-something who lives with his roommate Wallace and plays in a band with a couple of his friends and is dating a high school girl who he doesn't really like. Then his boring monotonous life is turned upside down by the arrival of Ramona Flowers - the most a-typical manic pixie dream girl ever written. 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Dream Crate: YA Feminism Crate

The people over at LootCrate have been collaborating with bloggers to design their own crate based on any theme they would like to see. I was so excited by this idea as I love the idea of LootCrate and have watched so many unboxing videos and blog posts online of different bloggers crates, that designing my own sounded like fun. 

I decided to go with a YA Feminism Crate. Encompassing two things I am passionate about- YA literature and equality. Lets dive into the crate I would create; 


So the first item in my crate would be books of course! Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill and Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne.  But these books are two of my all time favourite books that I've read, written by the most amazing and well spoken women I've had the pleasure of meeting and talking to IRL. 

I'm not going to go into too much detail as to what these books are about (asides from that they are fundamental, in my eyes, YA feminist thought provoking literature) so click on the covers to see my review of the novels! 

Frida Funko Pop!

I would also include a funko pop, which often come with these subscription boxes, of the inspirational and amazing Frida Kahlo. Frida is an inspiration. She defied cultural and societal  norms and gender stereotypes in favour of self expression and being happy in her own skin. Her art was also extremely personal and moving and she aimed for personal success and happiness. A true inspiration. 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Favourite Female Characters

Happy International Womens Day! 

I thought I'd celebrate the day by posting a little on a few of my favourite fictional female characters in YA . This list isn't a conclusive list but just a few of the fictional women I hold dear to my heart. Click the covers to see my reviews!

Geek Girl (Geek Girl, #1) Harriet - Geek Girl 

Harriet from the Geek Girl series is one of the most relate-able, funny and heart warming characters I've ever read.  Harriet is dramatic, intelligent, a loyal and good friend and also a caring person. She shows that not only can you be incredibly intelligent and then become a model, but you can do all of this and still remain true to your roots and own your geek-iness! 

Georgia Nicholson - Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #1)Georgia is one of the most dramatic, over the top, outrageous character....ever. She attracts drama and makes silly mistakes but this is one of the sides to her that makes her so relate-able. Georgia is a loyal friend, although she can stray and be selfish at times, but this all makes her so much more realistic. 

Georgia is such an iconic, laugh out loud character that once you read you will never forget. She is strong willed, opinionated, dramatic but also strong. She goes through a lot of growth over the series but still at the end she is the same Georgia the reader has come to know and love. 

Arya Stark - A Song of Ice & Fire Series

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)Arya is such an interesting character. She is definitely more of a tomboy in comparison to the previous girls on the list. She is also probably the youngest on this list. Arya lives in a very dangerous and adverse world that would especially be dangerous for her as a girl. But Arya is strong, self motivated, independent and determined to shape her own future and constantly move forward and survive. 

Arya is not your typical girl but she does have a lot of aspirational characteristics that female readers can look up to and take some sort of inspiration from. Definitely one of the best characters in  the series.