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A Waste of Good Paper – Sean Taylor

Title: A Waste of Good Paper
Author: Sean Taylor
Published by: Janetta Otter-Barry Books

Publication date: 2012
Pages: 293
Genres: Junior Fiction; Realistic; Diary; School
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

8/10

A waste of good paper

 

Friday

Pete says this is a writing book he’s only giving me and it’s PRIVATE and I can write what I want. But SORRY PETE there’s nothing I want to write…

Wednesday

Pete’s an ALL RIGHT teacher. But it’s a DUMB idea he’s got about this book because the problem last year was what FATHEAD BARRY and the others were saying about my mum. And what happens if they start dissing her again?

Saturday

I’m writing this because of what’s happened. And that is my mum’s ex-boyfriend JON SHOWED UP. And BOTH his arms were BROKEN…

This type of book centred on children with emotional/behavioural problems is not my type of book, however once I began reading it and became engrossed in the story I found myself enjoying the witty and honest commentary of Jason. Although this book does hold a few swear words, I think it’s a book that needs to be read by younger children, in the junior fiction age category. It’s just one of those books which gives you an insight into the lives and mind set of other children. I would definitely recommend this book.

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

Poppet – Mo Hayder

Title: Poppet
Author: Mo Hayder
Published by: Bantam Press

Publication date: 2013
Pages: 378
Genres: Detective; Mystery; Crime; Thriller
Format: Hardback
Source: Library Loan

9/10

 

Poppet

 

The mentally ill patients in Amberly Secure Unit are highly suggestible. A hallucination can spread like a virus. When unexplained power cuts lead to a series of horrifying incidents, fear spreads from the inmates to the staff. Amidst the growing hysteria, AJ, a senior psychiatric nurse, is desperate to protect his charges.

Detective Inspector Jack Caffery is looking for the corpse of a missing woman. He knows all too well how it feels to fail to find a loved one’s body. When AJ seeks Caffery’s help in investigating the trouble at Amberly, each man must face bitter truth in his own life. Before staring pure evil in the eye.

 

Mo Hayder is one of my favourite authors for a few reasons, the main one being that she has the ability to keep me hooked and identifying with the characters right from the first page. Never once did I find myself bored and the short, snappy chapters meant that the pace was fast, exciting and thrilling. An hour after finishing this book, I can still feel excess adrenaline coursing through my veins.

‘Poppet’ takes you on a rollercoaster ride in the dark, with unexpected twists and turns in the plot which keep you gasping but eager to continue reading. I absolutely adored this book!

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.

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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.

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

Panther – Owen, David

6/10

Panther

 

Synopsis

“Life isn’t going terribly well for Derrick. He has become severely overweight, his only friend has turned on him, he is hopelessly in love with a girl way out of his league, and it’s all because of his sister. Her depression – its grips on his family – is tearing his life apart. When Derrick hears local news reports that a panther has been sighted roaming wild in his south London suburb, he resolves to capture the beast. Surely if he can find a way to trap this predator on his own turf, he can stop everything at home from spiralling towards disaster?”

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

At first I enjoyed this book; Derrick was a very well developed character and the eating problem that he faces is realistically portrayed. I found this was similar in Charlotte’s case; her depression was shown right from when she is first introduced. This makes the ending a shock for the reader.

The problem I had with the book was I found the panther a very predictable metaphor for the depression that surrounds his whole family, especially his dad and his sister, Charlotte. He blames everything on the ‘black cat’ and hopes that by finding and catching the panther, his sister will stop crying and he will no longer need to gorge himself on junk food. This was a different metaphor for depression than I was used to hearing. Normally, people refer to depression as a ‘black dog’ or a ‘black cloud’ that hangs over them. It was cleverly used, however, for me, it was predictable and I wasn’t surprised when the scratch marks on the wood started disappearing and there was no evidence of the panther ever existing.

Overall, I did enjoy the book and I think that the age group that I would suggest reading it, although it is an emotionally draining book, is younger teens. I also think that this age group would not find the plot line so predictable.

Buy on Amazon: Panther

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