Ready Player One, Book Review

Author:Ernest Cline
Published: 2011

A perfect feat of nostalgic charm, fangirl satisfaction and completely engrossing storyline.

This book has stolen my heart. It’s so wonderfully written, and so absolutely, insanely clever. It’s been a really long time since I read a book that struck so many chords in me, brought out so many emotions, and brought out a large amount of huge, no-holds-barred, fangirl grins.

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

The book follows our not-so-heroic hero, Wade. After billionaire game-creator James Halliday dies, leaving his fortune up for grabs in a virtual scavenger hunt, the world goes crazy. But when no one has found anything after five years, the competition, while not forgotten, has lost it’s momentum. That is, until Wade, or rather his avatar Parzival, finds something. And that’s where the book takes off.

RP1-aestheticI was born in the 80’s and a lot of the references are things that I grew up watching, reading or loving. To have all of these things that I’ve loved in some capacity or another, as a child and an adult, feature so seamlessly in a story that was so contemporary was utterly joyous. But even so, all these great tugs at my heart strings aside, the story was completely engrossing. It started off a little slow, but once it got going, it swallowed me up and I was hooked, dying to know how our heroes would defeat the guys that you can tell were just written to be hated.

Without digging too deeply, and getting all philosophical, this book is just good old fashioned fun to read. I related to more than one of the characters and I cared enough about them to be concerned by what was happening to them – I was dragged into their world and for me that makes a good book.

In a classic battle of Good vs. Evil, and a Star Wars like charm of a rag-tag band of misfits joining in their pursuit to save the world, this book really has everything a fangirl could want and more. recommended to anyone who loves a great science fiction story with a little bit of a love story, loads of texture and a brilliant and gripping ending sequence!

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Imges via: here, here

The Truth About Alice, Book Review 

Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Published: June 2014, Roaring Brook Press

In the tradition of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – this book gives a scarily true representation of a teenage world and the seemingly terrible horrors that can transpire within it.

Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.

But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?

It’s true. Ask ANYBODY.

Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.

In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know.

But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself.

We’ve all been there – high school. It’s not the greatest place in the world for all of us. For some, it can be an easy ride, but for others it can turn into hell in a heartbeat. Alice is one of those others. She seemingly had it all – looks, popularity, friends, grades. But after one fateful summer party, the rumours start. And Alice is at the centre of them all.

TruthAboutAliceThis book is so simple at a first glance – and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s easy to read and it flows and it’s not at all hard to get into. From the very beginning you just want to know what happened to Alice: did she really do it, why are people saying all these things? And from four different points of view, everything slowly starts to unravel, the story takes shape and becomes so much more complex that you ever would have thought.

The characters are all very relatable. Even though I was never a popular American teenage girl, I can still see where Elaine is coming from, her reputation on the line if she doesn’t ditch Alice immediately, and her anger at the rumours themselves. Josh is also part of that popular world, best friends with the star quarter back, he seemed to have it all planned out, until Alice came along and ruined it. Kurt sits comfortably on the other side of the fence, no friends, but content in not having to translate life for the stupid masses, and this gives him a different view of Alice, too. And then there’s poor Kelsey, the former best friend of the now infamous Alice Franklin, who slowly divulges why she left Alice for dead (socially). Between the four of them, we find out what Alice did. Or do we?

This is an emotionally charged journey, in which Alice finds herself in the midst of a tremendous and ugly rumour mill. Teenagers can be really cruel, but sometimes, they’re only doing it to protect themselves, and sometimes, they’re even extremely kind. Finding out why is half the fun of this story. This book has a really interesting view point, and explores what happens when a rumour starts and can’t be stopped. Recommended to fans of contemporary YA fiction.

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Read Me Like a Book, Book Review

Author: Liz Kessler   

Published: May 2015 by Indigo

This book spoke to me.

There are several reasons that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. One of them is definitely the writing – so easy and flowing, the type of writing that prevents you putting the book down willingly. Another is the story, it’s so simple and so relatable that it just sucked me right in and didn’t want to let me go. Last was Ash – I saw so much of my younger self in her that there was no way I wasn’t gonna fall in love with her.

The premise is simple:

Ashleigh Walker is in love. You know the feeling – that intense, heart-racing, all-consuming emotion that can only come with first love. It’s enough to stop her worrying about bad grades at college. Enough to distract her from her parents’ marriage troubles. There’s just one thing bothering her . . .

Shouldn’t it be her boyfriend, Dylan, who makes her feel this way – not Miss Murray, her English teacher?

readmelikeabookI think there need to be more books like this one going around, no fairy-tale crap, no misleading happy endings. Just real feelings, real characters, a disarming sense of loss but no life stunting sadness (think Twilight and Bella’s ridiculous breakdown) – this story feels real. It’s real life and it’s really relatable; chances are that we’ve all had an unrequited crush on someone – and its crappy, but it’s not the end of the world. And this book tackles that beautifully.

I loved Ash. She reminded me so much of a teenage version of myself, back when emotions – particularly those that you haven’t experienced before – can be insanely confusing. Ash deals with things in a normal, teenage way: she withdraws, she lashes out, she bottles things in, she fights with her friends, she makes silly mistakes and wrong moves; Ash is just so very relatable and I love her persona so much. In fact, I’m sure I’d put my love for this book down to Ash and her character, and how well she is written.

Unrequited love is harsh. It’s cold and lonely and confusing, particularly when the receiving end is a teacher. Even more so if they are the same-sex as you. Discovering yourself as a teenager is hard, its complicated and it takes a certain amount of bravery. Liz Kessler writes this so poetically that it is integrated almost seamlessly into her amazing story. This is the type of book I would have read a hundred times during high-school had it been available to me back then, purely on the basis that someone, somewhere, knew how it felt to feel like you weren’t normal, but so totally normal at the same time; like everyone knew who you were but you and they were all waiting for you to catch up.

The actual story itself isn’t very difficult to follow – it’s a simple love story: girl meets boy, girl likes boy, boy likes girl, girl realises she doesn’t really like boy, girl likes teacher, teacher doesn’t like girl like that, girl feels rejected and confused… (okay, maybe not so simple.) But simple as it may be, the story is utterly engaging, it’s completely enthralling and it just left me wanting more. Honestly, it was a lovely, honest and sweet coming out story, there’s nothing over-the-top or smothering about this book, and I would recommend it to anyone; gay, straight or left-handed.

The story also deals with the separation of Ash’s parents and the breakdown of their marriage. This is not something I have experienced myself, but was still detailed throughout the story in a way that I could still relate to what Ash was feeling. The character growth that pulls Ash through the book is wonderfully written, and also not so much so that she comes out the other end a totally different person; I really liked that Ash still felt like the same character at the end as at the beginning, yet subtly different, enough so that we can figure she really has done a decent amount of self-discovering through-out the book.

Added bonus: I am an English fanatic, I loved it in high school, I majored in it at Uni, I am a readaholic adult and I just love writing. So the fact that this story not only focuses on Ash’s English teacher, but also her own growing adoration of studying English really engaged me. Loved it.

Brutally honest and unceasingly charming, this book should be read by teenagers (and adults) the world over.

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Ketchup Clouds, Book Review 

Author: Annabel Pitcher 
Published: 2012 by Orion

Once again, I have finished a book and am left with a totally depressing book-hangover and a complete heart smattering over the ending. This novel is sweet, honest and touching, but written so strongly, even if it may not seem so at first, the story draws you in, hook, line, sinker and heart.

 

Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can’t confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.

Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can—in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.

kc-packshotIt took me a little bit of time to adjust to the writing, it seemed that the voice was younger than that of a fifteen-year-old, but as the story progresses, so does Zoe; and I suppose that it’s been a long time since I was fifteen, and I’m sure that my own writing voice would have been much the same at that age. However, once I got past the initial few letters, the whole tone of the book really started to reel me in, and like I’ve said before, I love epistolary novels, and this one, written in the form of letters fits the bill perfectly.

Zoe has done something: something unforgivable, something she can’t tell anyone, something she has to live with. But she has to get it out, and after a bit of good ol’ internet research, Zoe decides to write to Stuart Harris, a criminal across the world, on Death Row in Texas. She writes him letters, with no reply, and she tells him her story. She tells us her story. And it’s a tricky one. The story is complicated, emotionally charged and doesn’t stop giving the reader something to look forward to. I read almost the entire final two-thirds of the book in one sitting.

The characters are intriguing, of course, the twisted love triangle is even more so. And as Zoe gets more and more involved with each of the boys, we learn more and more about her, and more about her relationship to each of them. The most interesting thing about the novel is, technically, we know the ending. We know from the blurb alone that Zoe has done something horrible, and she is writing to a convicted murderer, and revealing her feelings of sympathy for what he must have felt or be feeling. So we can safely surmise that one of the characters is going to die and Zoe is going to have something to do with it. What I really love though, about the novel and the way the story plays out, is that as the reader, we really have no idea who is going to die until the very end of the book. And then when you get there, you’re heart just breaks. Guaranteed. ketchup-clouds-featured1

This book deals with some complicated issues, and gives a stunning insight into guilt, grief and the struggle associated with both. I loved this book, and really didn’t want it to end. But even though it did, and even if it didn’t end how I had imagined it, it was still wonderful, and fresh and very real.

Added Bonus: Here is a manuscript of a talk with Annabel Pitcher about Mental Health: Let’s talk about mental health

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Popsugar 2015 Reading ChallengeA Book written by someone under 30 (It was published in 2012, so she would have been under 30 while she was writing it :p)

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Book Review

Author: Matthew Quick 
Published: January 2014 by Headline Book Publishing

Leonard Peacock is turning 18.
And he wants to say goodbye.

Not to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing something tragic and horrific.

Nor to his mum who’s moved out and left him to fend form himself. But to his four friends.
A Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour
A teenage violin virtuoso
A pastor’s daughter
A teacher

Most of the time, Leonard believes he’s weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he’s not.

He wants to thank them, and bid them farewell.

matthewquick-forgivemeleonardpeacockI’ve read a lot of books about depression and suicide. I have had Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder) for most of my adult life (and probably most of my young adult life, undiagnosed) and find that I can relate well to these characters, draw from their experiences and relate them back to mine, learn from them, grow with them etc, etc, etc. But this book was more than that to me. Unlike All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, in which one of the main characters does, after much fighting against it, eventually kill himself; Leonard, is so adamant to let it consume him and end his life, and he doesn’t fight it. Leonard has accepted his fate, his doom, his demise. And he is content with it, not accepting that anyone can actually help him, regardless of whether he wants them to save him or not. Leonard’s story is about goodbye, not about battling his inner demons; Leonard’s demons have, seemingly, already won.

And that’s one of the things I really like about this book. The gritty, harsh reality of it. Because a lot of the time, (especially at that age, when the bigger picture is so very difficult to see,) giving up is the easiest option. Giving in to the desire, the burning ache, to just end everything and be done with it, is real. Leonard is a little quirky, as most male protagonists in YA lit are these days, but I like his quirks, they’re subtle and cool and even though he doesn’t seem to fit in in his shitty high school, he’d certainly feel at home in college or university. He’s smart, but he is humble. I really liked Leonard’s character.

What I loved secondly about this book, was it’s ability to keep what happened between Leonard and Asher – likely the catalyst for Leonard’s depression – under wraps until Leonard actually allowed himself to think about. Leonard had hidden it away in the deepest, darkest recesses of his mind, and did not want to think about it, and so the reader didn’t get to know about it either. The information on each character that Leonard was saying goodbye to came when, and if, it was needed.

tumblr_ms5g74snHw1rkciaro1_500I also loved, wholeheartedly, the mix of non-traditional prose in this novel. There are three main prose forms in this book: the main traditional prose through which Leonard’s story is told, footnotes to the story to add in after thoughts, additional information and anecdotes that Leonard feels the reader ought to know or to give context, and lastly the letters that Leonard writes ‘from the future’ to his teenage self. This kept the book interesting, even if the letters don’t make sense at first.

The characters, as few of them as there are, also helped to keep this book interesting. Actually, not even really the characters themselves, more the stories behind the way each character was connected to Leonard, and the thoughts that Leonard has about them, how he feels about them, and the ideas he conjures in his own imagination about each one.Herr Silverman was the one I definitely found the most interesting, the way he actually cares about Leonard, ad in a way that Leonard doesn’t even understand. In the end, even though he only kind of admits it, Leonard is glad that there was at least one person, one adult that he could turn to, talk to, and who might even be able to save him. The way Leonard sees Herr Silverman instills in the reader that eternal little blip of hope, that maybe they really aren’t completely alone. And this little blip of hope is IMPORTANT, it sends a great message to anyone that might relate closely with Leonard and his view of the world. The true, gritty insight into Leonards mind is exceedingly well written, engaging and honest, and I LOVED it. I’m sincerely looking forward to picking up more books by Matthew Quick!

Again, I have to say: It’s important to reach out for help if you think you might be suffering from depression, sometimes this is the hardest step to recovery. If you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone in your life, sometimes an anonymous ear to listen can go a long way, contacting a counselling service can save a life, or even just someone online who understands what you’re going through (yes, this is an invitation to email me if you ever need to talk to someone). Check out Beyond Blue for more information on battling depression, or suicidal thoughts.

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Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge: A Book that Became a Movie (t’s not a movie yet, but a movie is in the works)

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Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Book Review

Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: April 7th 2015 by Balzer + Bray

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. 

Honestly, this is one of the cutest, most endearing books I’ve read all year. It’s honest and sweet and genuinely entertaining. At no point did I think ‘I want to put this book down’.

Albertalli has created such a genuine, believable, and relatable character in Simon Spier that all I want to do is bring him home and hang out with him, and get to know him better. And that’s what reading this book felt like, almost as though I was hanging out with Simon and getting to know him better. This book literally had me laughing, crying and squealing with delight, and I am not ashamed to admit that.

simonvsposterrodilSimon is super sweet, very cute and completely smitten with a boy he emails, but has no idea who his true identity is. In fact, Simon is trying to figure out exactly who he is himself, and how to express that true identity to those that matter to him. He has to find that right moment to perform his huge Coming Out. So far, Simon has only spoken about his being gay to one other person, and that’s Blue – his secret email pen-pal whom he doesn’t really know, but desperately wants to.

Of course, everything gets flipped on its head when things go wrong and someone screws up. And Simon is all of a sudden thrown headfirst into the whole universe knowing his secret, but he still needs to protect Blue, even though he desperately wants to know his identity himself.

The thing I think Albertalli does brilliantly, is seamlessly integrate contemporary means of communication: Facebook, email, Tumblr, text; and make it flow so naturally. The voices in the book, Simon predominately, as well as Blue, and even some of the supporting characters are so true to life, simple, messy and just fun to read. Overall, I can honestly recommend this book to anyone, of any age that loves a good book, with a fluffy ending, and none of the cheesy, fake feeling clichés. This book will now sit on my favourites shelf, proudly.

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Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge: Another book set in high School

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We’re All Going to Die (Especially Me), Book Review

Author: Joel Meares 
Published: March 25th 2015 by Black Inc.

My late twenties have felt like a series of slow-motion epiphanies, each one sneaking up before slapping me in my newly acquired jowls. Everything I said I’d do ‘by the time I’m thirty’ as a glassy-eyed graduate is now in the ‘by the time I’m forty’ box.

we're all going to dieI have to admit, it is a completely surreal feeling, reading a book set in the place where you grew up. Particularly when that place has never really been the centre of anything, besides a local newspaper article about realty every now and again. But this book is set where I grew up. And it’s written by someone I grew up knowing. And it’s awesome

Now I’m not plugging this book simply because I somewhat know the author, I am plugging this book because it’s smart, witty, humorous and very entertaining (all at the authors expense of course, but entertaining nonetheless). More of a series of essays rather than an actual story, We’re All Going to Die (Especially Me) illustrates several key points in Meares’ adult life that have caused some kind of awakening about who he was becoming, the man he was as an adult and no longer a fledgling twenty-something. He writes about finally figuring out that he was gay (read more about that here) and about his family life growing up mostly with his mum (more on that here).

beer-smackdown-joel-162x210However big or small each event and it’s telling in the book seem to be, Meares writes with such clever and engaging language (I suppose that’s what being a journalist teaches you), that almost any audience should be captivated by this book. Granted, it’s definitely not targeted at young adults (read: teens), however, there is a lot to be learnt from his discoveries for early twentys to thirties and even older- because let’s face it, we are all always still discovering things about ourselves, that’s very relatable.

You can find a detailed interview with Joel Meares about his book here.

Meares appears at the Sydney Writers’ Festival in the ‘Myself in Pieces’ talk with Kim Williams and Hannie Rayson, Thursday May 21, 3-4pm.

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Five Awesome Book-Bloggers, Instagramers and Websites.

I love to read and I love books, and recently I have been scouring the blissful abyss of the internet, hunting down blogs, Instagram feeds, and other websites about books. Of course there are the big sites, like Book Depository and Goodreads – but I was on the hunt for something more personal. I wanted to find some fellow book lovers with similar tastes where I can find some book recommendations, great images and some reviews too.

I tried to avoid google. I used social media, mostly, to guide me: Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr. I let one image lead me to others, which led me to blogs, and I have come up with a list of a few that really inspired me – that have even got me reading more lately. Here they are:


1. Blue Eyed Biblio (@blueeyedbiblio)

blueeyedbiblio-msmarvelEmily is a vivacious 18-year-old book addict. But don’t let her age fool you! She is an avid reader, and she has an stunning Instagram account with a few hundred beautiful photographs of her books and bookshelves, and a staggering 106,000 odd followers to date. She also recently started a blog over at blogspot, where she posts about books she is reading and reviews books she has read. She reads mostly YA fiction, like me, so I find most of her recommendations interesting and have enjoyed all the books I’ve read that I have seen in her feed.

blue eyed biblio


2. OwlCrate (@owlcrate)

owlcrate logoMuch like the successful Lootcrates‘ desire to share Funko pop vinyls and other such nerdy wares, OwlCrate aims to share YA fiction with avid readers around the world. It is a subscription service, that upon signing up, sends subscribers a new YA novel every month for the length of their subscription, along with a few extra goodies as well. The great thing about OwlCrate, is not only the surprise of a new book every month, delivered right i your door by owl (poastal worker), but also the community that comes with it, being able to connect with other readers who are reading the same thing as you! Just follow the hashtag #OwlCrate on Instagram.

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3. Nook & Burrow (@Lillytales)

lillytalesYou can find some lovely images of books and bookmarks on Kate’s instagram, with lots of great book recommendations, predominantly by strong female authors. Her website, while not solely centred on books, has some amazing things that book lovers will also love! Like customisable and beautiful wooden bookmarks, prints, wall-hangings and wonderful soy scented candles with magical scents such as Dusty Bookshelves and Buttery-Beer.

nook&burrow


4.  Book Drunk In Love Reviews

bookdrunkinlove gravityKirsten presents a nice, clean and simple tumblr blog, that has both written and video reviews of a great range of titles. Worth checking out if you want to know a decent bit about books before you read them. A range of adult and YA novels, there are some great talks from her youtube channel – complete with her amazingly cool bangs (that make me want to listen to everything she says!). Brutally honest, and very sincere with recommendations, I can honestly recommend this page to anyone looking to branch out a little and try something new.

Book drunk in love


5. Half Blood Princess (@_halfbl00dprincess)

halfbl00dprincess aliceAndie has such a stunningly beautiful feed of book photography I couldn’t leave her out of this list. I just love sitting and looking at her photos. Just another place to have a browse, read another book lovers thoughts and get some seriously good book recommendations. The way she sometimes does little themes with each photo, like Harry Potter, or Alice in Wonderland, is also inspiring in itself, to take better pictures on instagram if nothing else.

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So there you have it, some of my favourite places to find book recommendations, reviews, accessories and just stunning pictures.

Of course, you can always check my book reviews and instagram out too!

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Edit: here is an article I just found on examiner.com boasting The top ten book accounts you should be following on Instagram. Check it out!

I’ll Give You the Sun, Book Review

Author: Jandy Nelson

Published: September 16, 2014 by Dial Books

It’s been a long time since I read a book in which I fell so in love with the characters that I wanted to live with them forever, so in love with the words that I just wanted to read them over and over and over again. For me, this is one of those books.

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tumblr_inline_naprj6V5zL1re4pvvThe way the stories in I’ll Give You the Sun unfold and intertwine is magically written, the characters are explosive, they are incredibly real and I fell in love with them so hard and fast it winded me. Noah and Jude, and even Oscar, are heartbreakingly true, and untrue, to themselves and to the world. The relationships between them are constantly changing, fluid and fluxing with the world around them as that changes, sometimes for the better, but often for the worst. They act as most teenagers would act, angry and lost and confused, there’s no out of place wisdom or uncharacteristic know-all. They are simply real teenagers, with wonderfully rich personalities.

And then there is the language – oh, the language! – such vivid images are created in your mind as you read the words that the colours start to lift from the page and fill the room you’re in. Such amazingly simple, but so very complex detail, such explosive descriptions that just make you want to keep reading and never stop. The language was my favourite thing about this book, as much as I loved Noah, and then Jude, or even Oscar and Brian, I loved the language. Jandy Nelson has such a sublime and inspiring way with words, the language begged me to become a better writer, just from reading it.

illgiveyouthesun - felixturtleYou aren’t supposed to, so I’m told, but you always have a favourite twin. I’ve known a few twins and there’s always one you’re a little closer to than the other, because as similar as they may be, they are always two very distinctly different people. At first I loved Noah, I just wanted to keep reading Noah’s story, and felt that I had nothing in common with Jude, but then as Jude began to tell her stories, I fell just as much in love with her struggles and her pain as I had Noah’s charisma. I love them both. Jude and Noah are so wonderfully different, relatably so. I’ve never been all that close with my sister, so I related to their strange, awkward communications as they got older, in Jude’s telling, and longed for the closeness we had as children while I read Noah’s stories. The two are so lost, so brilliantly, and life alteringly lost; the trials they face are terrible, and the world in which they live drags you in and begs you to helps them, only you’re as helpless as they are, flailing about in the sea that is life’s hardships. But of course, from hardship we grow, and change and it moulds us into who we are to become as we reach the peak of adulthood, and this book explores that so beautifully, so artfully, that it just makes you want more and more and more. Never have I read a coming of age story that has enveloped me so completely and driven me back to how it felt to be a teenager so terribly, particularly as I get further and further from my own. Don’t get me wrong, I have barely anything in common with Noah and Jude, besides struggling with finding myself at that age, yet I still feel so inexplicably connected to them. The story is just that good.

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 This is now one of my favourite books ever. I don’t want to leave Noah and Jude behind. I will reread this many times in the future and I will likely love it just as much ever single time. It is mesmerising. It is superb.

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Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge: A book that made me cry

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Eleanor & Park, Book Review

Author: Rainbow Rowell 

Published: 2013 by St. Martin’s Press

Yet again, I have found another Rainbow Rowell novel that resonated with me. This book is so wonderfully nice. I don’t mean that in a bad way, at all. I mean, I just enjoyed sitting and reading it, taking the journey with these two cool people, watching them fall in love and watching their world change and mould and crumble around them.

imageEleanor is so very much a younger version of myself in so many ways (despite my being born two years after the book is set), she is somewhat reserved, outwardly, doesn’t seem to care what people think, but inwardly is so hateful of herself it makes it hard for her to love anyone else. Also, she deals with being a little bit chubby – and I love that, cos its HARD. And Park, funnily enough, reminds me of my boyfriend in some ways too. But we didn’t meet when we were teenagers, regardless of how many times we have fantasised together about just that.

The process of their falling for each other is so awkward and clunky – it is exactly how two teenagers would behave. Rowell gets inside a teenagers head so well that it feels like a teenager has written it themselves. With all the unsurety and insecurity that teenagers hold close to their hearts the story has a real sense of truth about it. The book explores the emotions of the two protagonists in so much back and forth without all that much happening until the story comes to a head in the last few chapters and shit really hits the fan. It doesn’t even feel like that much of a build up, just subtle hints along the way at one point the penny dropped and I just thought ‘Oh, shit.’

Rainbow Rowell has once more written a world that both teens and adults alike can get lost with the characters in, and it’s really, really good.

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4outof5  

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Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge: A book set in High School


Images: here, here, here,