Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (UK Edition – Zoella Book Club)

Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Usborne Publishing (1st June 2016)
Blurb:

AMANDA HARD IS the NEW GIRL AT SCHOOL.

Like everyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is holding back. Even from Grant, the guy she’s falling in love with.

AMANDA HAS A SECRET.

At her old school, she used to be called Andrew. And secrets always have a way of getting out . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL is Meredith Russo’s debut novel. It tells the story of Amanda Hardy an eighteen year old who has moved in with her dad for the first time, and is starting a new school. Like everyone else, she just wants to make friends and fit in. Amanda has a secret, one that has caused (and is causing) her a lot of heartache and pain: one that has pushed her and her family to their limits. Amanda used to be called Andrew. The trouble with secrets is that they have a way of getting out, whether you’re ready for them to or not.

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Review: All the Good Things by Clare Fisher (Blog Tour)

This review is part of the All the Good Things blog tour.

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher (cover via Penguin.co.uk)

Title: All the Good Things
Author: Clare Fisher
Genre: Contemporary, Crime
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Viking (1st June 2017)
Blurb:

Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve ever to feel good again.

But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.

But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.

What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone – even a 100% bad person – deserve a chance to be good?

All the Good Things is a story about redemption and hope for fans of Nathan Filer, Stephen Kelman and Emma Healey

(Blurb taken from Penguin.co.uk)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

ALL THE GOOD THINGS is Clare Fisher’s debut novel. The novel is comprised of letter’s written by the story’s protagonist Beth, who is twenty-one years old and is in prison for doing a bad thing. Through the course of the twenty-two letters we gradually learn more about Beth and her life prior to her ending up in prison, we also learn about the bad thing she did to get there. Although I found Beth a hard character to like, I think Fisher does a great job weaving together a narrative that is both compelling and heart breaking, where you find yourself rooting for Beth.

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Review: Grind by Edward Vukovic

Grind by Edward Vukovic

Title: Grind
Authors: Edward Vukovic
Genre: Contemporary
Source: The author
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2 February 2016)
Blurb:

ZIVA’S LOVE OF COFFEE IS DOUBLE-EDGED . . .

Throughout her life, Ziva has lent her talent freely to those desperate for a glimpse into destiny’s promise. Predicting the future with chilling accuracy, she understands the cost and has sworn never to divine her own truth.

Having fled the economic aftershocks of the Balkan war, Ziva struggles adjusting to her new life and clings to the remnants of her past. Until she meets Isaac.

Against her better judgement, Ziva reads for herself and what she sees will change her life irrevocably.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

GRIND is Edward Vukovic’s debut novel. It is a contemporary novel set in Australia. It follows the story of Ziva, who was born in the old Yugoslavia, and followed her brother and his wife to Australia fleeing the economic aftershocks of the Balkan war. Ziva does her best to fit into this strange new place, and to not upset her brother on whose good will she is reliant. Ziva clings to the customs her grandmother taught her, and the gift she inherited from her, despite her brother’s pointed disdain. Then she meets Isaac, and things change for both of them.

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Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

I Was Here by Gayle Forman (UK Zoella Bookclub edition)

I Was Here by Gayle Forman (UK Zoella Bookclub edition)

Title: I Was Here
Authors: Gayle Forman
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster (29th January 2015)
Blurb:

I regret to inform you that I have had to take my own life. This decision has been a long time coming, and was mine alone to make. I know it will cause you pain, and for that I am sorry, but please know that I needed to end my own pain. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me. It’s not your fualt.
Meg

Cody and Meg were inseparable – best friends for life. They knew everything about each other. Or Cody thought they did. But how well do you ever really know your best friend? And what do you do when they choose to leave you behind?

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

I WAS HERE by Gayle Forman is a standalone novel that tells the story of Cody Reynolds. As the novel starts we discover that Meg Garcia, Cody’s best friend, has committed suicide. I WAS HERE follows Meg’s journey as she struggles to deal with the loss of her best friend – someone she thought she knew, someone who she’d grown up with in a small town. Meg’s suicide blindsided her; Cody had no idea that Meg was struggling. Cody finds herself questioning what she knew of her best friend, and soon sets out to get some answers – surely there was more to Meg’s death than there appeared?

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Review: Relativity by Antonia Hayes (Blog Tour)

This review is part of the Relativity Blog Tour.

Relativity by Antonia Hayes (UK edition)

Relativity by Antonia Hayes (UK edition)

Title: Relativity
Author: Antonia Hayes
Genre: Contemporary, Family
Source: The publisher
Publisher: CORSAIR (19th January 2017)
Blurb:

Ethan is an exceptionally gifted young boy, obsessed with physics and astronomy.

His single mother, Claire, is fiercly protective of her brilliant, vulnerable son. But she can’t shield him for ever from learning the truth about what happened to him when he was a baby; why Mark had to leave them all those years ago.

Now aged twelve, Ethan is increasingly curious about his past, especially his father’s absence in his life. When he intercepts a letter to Claire from Mark, he opens a lifetime of feelings that, like gravity, will pull the three of them together again.

Relativity is a tender and triumphant story about unbreakable bonds, irreversible acts and testing the limits of love and forgiveness.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

RELATIVITY by Antonia Hayes is a beautiful, poignant read. That is not to say it is a sad read, because it is not. RELATIVITY is full of life and hope. It tells the story of a twelve year-old boy who is obsessed with physics and astronomy, and of his parents. On the cusp of being a teenager, Ethan still views the world with a child’s wonder and curiosity. His mother Claire has brought him up on her own since he was small, and is fiercely protective of him. She has never told Ethan the truth of his father Mark, and why he’s no longer in their lives.

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Review: The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (UK/Zoella Book Club edition)

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (UK/Zoella Book Club edition)

Title: The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (Dash & Lily 2)
Authors: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Electric Monkey (6th October 2016)
Blurb:

Twelve days.
We had twelve days.

It was going to take more than finding the perfect tree.

It was going to take a miracle.

Dash and Lily have been dating for nearly a year, but when Lily’s beloved grandfather falls ill, the repercussions take their toll on everyone. Even though they are still together, somehow the magic has gone out of their relationship and it’s clear that Lily has fallen out of love with life.

Action must be taken! Dash teams up with Lily’s brother and a host of their friends, determined to get Lily’s groove back in time for Christmas.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

THE TWELVE DAYS OF DASH & LILY by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a brilliant continuation of Dash and Lily’s story. This book starts just before the one-year anniversary of Dash and Lily’s relationship, during the run-up to Christmas. A lot can happen in a year; Lily’s beloved grandfather is ill, and this has turned Lily’s family’s lives upside down. And, although they are still together Lily and Dash seem to be drifting apart. Lily herself is definitely not in the mood to celebrate Christmas. Dash teams up with Lily’s brother, and the rest of her family, to try and reignite Lily’s love of Christmas.

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Review: The Graces by Laure Eve

The Graces by Laure Eve

The Graces by Laure Eve

Title: The Graces (The Graces, 1)
Author: Laure Eve
Genre: Contemporary, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Faber & Faber (1st September 2016)
Blurb:

Everyone said the Graces were witches. I was going to make them mine.

Just like everybody else in her small town, River is obsessed with the Graces.

And just like everybody else, she’s been seduced by their wealth, their exclusivity, their beauty and their glamour. Perhaps even their magic.

But unlike everybody else, River knows exactly what she’s going.

Doesn’t she?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️ (2 stars)
Review:

THE GRACES is the first part of a new duology by Laure Eve. It follows the story of River who has recently moved to a small town with her mother. In this new place there is a family called the Graces who everyone is infatuated with, including River who wants to get caught up in their world. The Graces have two daughters and a son – Thalia, Summer, and Fenrin – the youngest of whom is in the same year at school as River. Desperate to fit in, River concocts a plan to get noticed by the Graces and become part of their world.

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Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided by Emery Lord

Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens (7th April 2016)
Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life and only one thing has changed: his father used to be alive, and now he’s not. Reeling from the tragedy, Jonah must take care of his family.

Enter Vivi Alexander, new girl in town.

Vivi is in love with life. A gorgeous, unfiltered hurricane of thoughts and feelings, she transforms Jonah’s family and changes his life.

But there are always consequences when worlds collide . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord tells the story of Jonah Daniels and Vivi Alexander two seventeen-year-olds in Verona Cove, California. Jonah has lived in Verona Cove all his life. The only thing that has changed for him is the death of his father, and then everything fell apart. Vivi is the new girl in town. After a chance encounter Jonah notices her love of life and he and his family slowly get pulled into her orbit, or maybe she falls into theirs. Whatever happens, that summer two people’s lives collide in this gloriously dreamy story. Every action has a consequence.

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Review: A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart (UK edition)

Title: A Boy Made of Blocks
Author: Keith Stuart
Genre: Contemporary
Source: eARC from the publisher via NetGalley.
Publisher: Sphere (1st September 2016)
Blurb:

In the tradition of Nick Hornby and David Nicholls comes a warm and tender novel in which a father and his autistic son connect over the game of Minecraft.

Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world’s most uncomfortable blow-up bed.

As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one.

Inspired by the author’s own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most, of all true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy.

(Blurb taken from Goodreads.com)

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

A BOY MADE OF BLOCKS is Keith Stuart’s debut novel. It tells the story of Alex and his eight-year-old son Alex, who is on the autistic spectrum. Alex’s marriage to Jody has been pushed to the breaking point, and as the book starts he is moving in with his best mate Dan. As Alex works out what this break means for him his son begins playing Minecraft. The game opens up a whole new world for Sam, and presents a place where father and son have the opportunity to learn how to connect with one another. Together they learn that sometimes things must break so you can build something better.

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Review: My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry (ARC cover)

Title: My Husband’s Wife
Author: Jane Corry
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Penguin Books (25th August 2016)
Blurb:

It’s the perfect love story.

Lily meets Ed at a party, and on their second date, he proposes. She’s a lawyer, he’s an up-and-coming artist. They own a small but beautiful flat in London and mix with all the right people.

But Lily has a secret. Something from her past, that is soon to collide with her present. And she thinks her new husband is hiding something too…

The vows they made will soon be tested to the very limits.

‘Till death us do part…’

(Blurb from Goodreads.com)

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

MY HUSBAND’S WIFE is the debut novel by Jane Corry. It tells the story of Lily Macdonald, a lawyer, who has recently come back from her honeymoon. Lily views her marriage to Ed as a chance to have a fresh start, to leave her past behind her. On her return to London Lily finds herself put on the case of a convicted murderer that claims he is innocent of all charges. The trouble is, he reminds Lily of someone whom she used to know.

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