Archives

Kisses for Lula – Samantha Mackintosh

Title: Kisses for Lula
Author: Samantha Mackintosh
Published by: Electric Monkey

Publication date: 2010
Pages: 368
Genres: Mystery; Romance; Chick Lit
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

7/10

Kisses for Lula

 

Lula Bird is gorgeous, funny and dreading her birthday because you can’t turn 16 if you’ve never been kissed…

So why does every boy in Hambledon run a mile the second she bats her eyelashes? The fact is, they fear for their lives. Rumour has it Lula’s been jinxed!

And it’s not as if that’s her only problem: Lula thinks she has a stalker, her dad keeps sneaking out at night with a lady’s handbag, and a mysterious theft is threatening to bring the town to its knees…

With only 5 days to go till her birthday, can Lula get the guy, solve the crime and jilt the jinx for good?

 

Although not initially my type of book, I surprisingly enjoyed the drama and mystery surrounding Lula and her family and peers. I found it humorous the amount of drama created by Lula not being kissed by the age of 16 (does this mean I’m jinxed?!?!) but the accompanying side story lines gave this book an added depth which I wasn’t expecting from a romance, chick lit genre of book. I have had very bad experiences with similar books to this one and found them very two-dimensional. This book was definitely the exception! I would definitely recommend it to teens!

Amazon: Buy this book

Violet Ink – Rebecca Westcott

Title: Violet Ink
Author: Rebecca Westcott
Published by: Puffin

Publication date: 2014
Pages: 365
Genres: Romance; Pregnancy; Junior Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

5/10

 

Violet Ink

 

Izzy is hoping for a mellow yellow year of happiness. But for her impulsive big sister, Alex, life is much more colourful. She always writes to Izzy in a violet pen, which suits her dramatic personality. When one of Alex’s letters delivers a bolt from the blue, Izzy fears the future will be less than rosy. Will Alex’s new boyfriend spoil their sisterly bond, or does every cloud really have a silver lining?

 

I don’t have a lot to say about this book to be honest; the main character, Izzy, is eleven/twelve years old so I think I was a bit old for the age group that it is aimed at which is why I’ve given it a 5/10. The story was O.K and there was nothing in particular wrong with the overall book, so I haven’t given it below a 5/10 because I didn’t feel it was fair on the author to give it a generally negative review just because I’m not within the age group it is aimed at.

By all means read this book, the story was good but it just wasn’t my type of book.

Amazon: Buy this book

Blink Once – Cylin Busby

Title: Blink Once
Author: Cylin Busby
Published by: Bloomsbury

Publication date: 2012
Pages: 288
Genres: Young Adult; Suspense; Mystery; Romance; Medical
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

10/10

Blink Once

 

‘I’m your neighbour, Olivia. Don’t bother trying to talk…Just blink once for yes and twice for no.’

Lying in a hospital bed, unable to move, West meets the girl of his dreams. She is beautiful and mysterious, and she likes him too. But if no one else sees their love, is it real? West has to find the truth, for her sake. Even if she’s never coming back.

 

Oh. My. God. This book was perfection! I absolutely adored it from the first page, West’s quirky and cheeky personality shines through the words and when he meets Olivia and they begin to feel love for each other, it filled my heart with happiness. I almost forgot that both characters were trying to forge a romantic relationship in a hospital setting…which is probably never going to work. The plot twist when West has his surgery though broke my heart and made me feel so much sympathy for him.

I just have no negative words to describe this book, it was that good. Very rarely do I feel so strongly positive towards a book but Blink Once, though fairly short, was a very powerful and moving novel. Once I had finished it, I ached inside wanting to know more about West’s life and he copes without Olivia and copes in his ‘new’ life. I just wish there was a sequel for this book! Highly recommended!

Amazon: Buy this book

How Hard Can Love Be? – Holly Bourne

Title: How Hard Can Love Be?
Author: Holly Bourne
Published by: Usborne

Publication date: 2016
Pages: 450
Genres: Young Adult; Mental Health; Realistic; Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

8/10

 

How hard can love be

 

All Amber wants is a little bit of love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to America. But Amber’s hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that.

And then there’s Prom King Kyle, the serial heartbreaker. Can Amber really be falling for him? Even with best friends Evie and Lottie’s advice, there’s no escaping the fact: love is hard.

After ‘Am I normal yet?’ I knew that this book was going to be equally as amazing, and I was right! The second book in the Normal Series is just as good as the first. Although I could not identify with the main character as much in this book, a sign of a good author is that Holly Bourne still made me care about Amber and her predicament and relationship with her mum and Kyle. I was gripped from the very first page and couldn’t put it down. I’d definitely recommend this book!

Amazon: Buy this book

Trouble – Non Pratt

Title: Trouble
Author: Non Pratt
Published by: Walker Books

Publication date: 2014
Pages: 381
Genres: Realistic; Romance; Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Library Loan

5/10

 

Trouble

 

Hannah is smart and funny. She’s also fifteen and pregnant.

Aaron is the new boy at school. He doesn’t want to attract attention.

So why does Aaron offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby?

Growing up can be trouble but that’s how you find out what really matters.

 

This book began very slowly and I found myself getting bored with the characters and the storyline as I couldn’t see the point in the plot. However, around the half way mark, it began to pick up pace and I started developing emotional attachments to Hannah and Aaron, although I did feel that it ended all too abruptly with no real conclusion. I do think that Trouble is aimed at the lower end of the Young Adult spectrum though so I would recommend it to readers aged between 12 and 15.

Amazon: Buy this book

Only We Know – Simon Packham

Title: Only We Know
Author: Simon Packham
Published by: Piccadilly Press

Publication date: 2015
Pages: 230
Genres: Realistic; Mental Health; Gender Identity; Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

4/10

 

Only we know

 

Lauren’s family have just moved house, and a new home means a new school. Lauren is determined to take this opportunity to completely reinvent herself and she quickly makes friends and settles in to her new life. Everything’s going to plan until she runs into Harry, a boy she met four summers ago. Luckily for Lauren, Harry doesn’t seem to remember her, and she knows it has to stay that way.

Then, just when things are starting to go well again, creepy packages start appearing in Lauren’s locker with no explanation. Finally, she receives a disturbing, anonymous note: ‘Isn’t it time your new friends knew all about you?’

I had high expectations for this book however I found it a massive disappointment; the action and storyline only seemed to pick up speed in the last few chapters, whilst the vast majority of the novel seemed to drag on, talking in cryptic messages about this ‘secret’ that Lauren is hiding from her past, which turns out to be something that isn’t that big of a deal. I won’t say what that secret is because that would mean the entire worthwhile parts of the plot would be revealed. A very boring and disappointing read.

Amazon: Buy this book

Soulmates – Holly Bourne

Title: Soulmates
Author: Holly Bourne
Published by: Usborne

Publication date: 2013
Pages: 527
Genres: Romance; Mental Health; Love
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

Soulmates

10/10

 

Soulmates do exist. But not as you think.

Every so often two people are born who are the perfect match for one another. Soulmates. But what if meeting your soulmate is earth-shattering – literally?

 

This is the story of Poppy and Noah; they are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Poppy is a sweet, sensible, middle-class girl suffering with anxiety whereas Noah is a rich guitarist, living on his own with depression. It seems that it would be impossible for the two of them to meet considering their completely different lifestyles, however on that one fateful Big Band Night their lives change for ever and they begin a journey to discover a love that could quite literally end the world.

I don’t think it is possible for Holly Bourne to write a book which isn’t earth-shatteringly good! I mean, this book is seriously amazing. It hooked me in right from the beginning introducing a main character who is mind-bogglingly awesome!

At first I was a little confused with the changing plot lines as I didn’t see the relevance of monitoring Poppy and Noah’s love-life, however towards the end I started to realise and boy was it brilliant?!? It very cleverly interweaved together and made complete sense. I loved it. A highly recommended read for young adults.

Goodreads: My Profile

Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

10/10

Am I Normal Yet

 

Title: Am I Normal Yet?
Author: Holly Bourne
Published by: Usborne

Publication date: 2015
Pages: 434
Genres: Young Adult; Feminism; Mental Health
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

 

All Evie wants is to be normal. And now that she’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the-girl-who-went-nuts, there’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships can mess with anyone’s head – something Evie’s new friends Amber and Lottie know only too well. The trouble is, if Evie won’t tell them her secrets, how can they stop her making a huge mistake?

It takes a lot to knock Divergent off the top spot in my imaginary ‘best books ever’ list, but this book succeeded right from page one. I’ve never read a book that tackles the sensitive topic of Mental Health but this book not only tackled it, but was able to give an insight into the mind of someone with OCD, generalised anxiety disorder and Emetophobia, all of which I suffer with. And let me tell you, this book pretty much described my life from attending College at the age of 16, right down to the obsessive hand washing. It was such a breath of fresh air to finally find a book which deals with these issues and I think that more YA novels should cover Mental Health topics.

Mental Health is one subject that so many books skirt around the edge of because it is not widely understood or recognised…which is part of the problem. I’m just so glad that this book is a thing, that Holly Bourne is a real, actual person who I have so much respect for and I’m so glad for Amber over at the mile long bookshelf for writing her review of this book because if she hadn’t I wouldn’t have read it.

Goodreads: My Profile

Amazon: Am I Normal Yet? (The Normal Series)

All the Bright Places (Niven, Jennifer)

8/10

All the Bright Places

 

Synopsis

Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. Violet Markey is devastated by her sister’s death. They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins. It’s only together they can be themselves… But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This book was beautiful, sad but beautiful. It deals with mental illnesses in a sensitive manner, bringing light upon illnesses that once were scoffed at, or thought to differentiate between a ‘crazy’ person and a normal person. Theodore Finch is an eccentric character with heaps of talent for music and song-writing and I love his character. I found Violet a less interesting and believable character as almost seemed false in what she was feeling. The romance between these two characters was not one hundred percent believable as their reactions to and around each other, felt to me, incorrect.

However, overall I would definitely recommend this book to teens of all ages, even though it deals with adult themes, it is a must-read story!

Buy this book on Amazon:All the Bright Places

Goodreads: My Profile

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

10/10

Simon vs the Homo sapiens agenda

 

Synopsis

Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is – and what he’s looking for. But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated. Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal…

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This book had me on tenterhooks the entire way through; it had me smiling at the cuteness, feeling sympathetic for Simon’s predicaments and situations and I overall absolutely loved it!

The characters are so well developed and the clues hidden throughout the book as to Blue’s real identity are well hidden but when you know the truth, are so obvious. It keeps you guessing right up until the end.

This book does show Simon’s rollercoaster of emotions as he goes through blackmail, coming out and bullying before finally accepting who he is and finds out who ‘Blue’ really is and then declares them boyfriends. It is a truly beautiful moment when they meet each other in the flesh for the first time despite going to the same school for years.

This book is guaranteed to make you experience all of Simon’s emotions along with him and be prepared upon starting this book, for an addictive ride in Simon’s mind and life. Well worth the read!

Buy this book on Amazon: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Goodreads: My Profile