Review of ‘The Sky Is Everywhere’ by Jandy Nelson

the-sky-is-everywhere

This book is sorrowfully beautiful. It is also another book hat I picked up while at the YALC event this year. I bought it mainly because of how much I enjoyed ‘I’ll Give You The Sun’! And I thought, “Hey, if I read her second book, I should probably read her début!” So I did and I, in no way, regret continuing to read books by Jandy Nelson.

This book follows Lennie (named after John Lennon) Walker, as she grieves for her dead sister, Bailey. Also thrown into the mix is her crazy Gram, Uncle Big, who uses pyramids to resurrect dead insects, and love. Ah, love. It wouldn’t be a contemporary novel without it, would it? Lennie falls for both the new musician in town, Joe Fontaine, and her sister’s boyfriend, Toby Shaw. Uh-oh! Lennie has to deal with that on top of dealing with guilt over falling in love, instead of grieving fro her sister.

When we join Lennie in her story, her sister’s death is a fresh wound and the pain she feels is strong. I really liked the way Nelson presented ideas of grief in the book. I was made to feel as if grief is tragic and horrible, but also allows us to turn over a new leaf. There is a part in the story where Lennie says that if Bailey hadn’t died, she would still be a tortoise stuck in her shell. I thought a lot about this analogy and found it rather optimistic, because it showed how grief and loss can change someone for the better.

Both music and poetry play a huge part in Lennie’s life and act as coping mechanisms. Nelson’s writing really showed how Lennie can get lost in her clarinet playing. I also thought that the kooky idea of Lennie leaving heartfelt poetry around town, really great. It was very original and heart warming. The creative arts play a huge role in Nelson’s books, something I also noticed in ‘I’ll Give You The Sun’. I always find Nelson’s writing quite lyrical; perhaps because she is a poet heart.

The love interests in this book are great, charming, charismatic and forbidden (always a good trait). There were times in the book where I physically shook it, because I was so frustrated with what Lennie was doing in her grief stricken haze. I’m not going to tell you if it all works out for Lennie, but I was definitely rooting for her from the start.

I also enjoyed the aspect of Lennie’s absent mother and how she had somehow dressed her up to be some godly figure, looking down on her. I think the realisations that Lennie makes throughout the story, about herself and the people around her, are very poignant indeed.

My favourite character in the book is Lennie (preditable, right?), because she is just so damn interesting! The observations that she makes about herself and the world are not only breathtaking and beautiful, but really hit home and made sense. ‘The Sky Is Everywhere’ is a poignant masterpiece.

5/5 stars are awarded to ‘The Sky Is Everywhere’ by Jandy Nelson.

Buy This Book:

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-sky-is-everywhere/jandy-nelson/9781406354386

Upcoming Reviews:

  • Created (Peiri Ann)
  • The Perfectionists and Good Girls (Sara Shepard)
  • The Sin Eater’s Daughter (Melinda Salisbury)

Upcoming Tags:

  • The Nintendo Book Tag

Booktube-a-thon 2015 – The Challenges and My TBR

So, I have decided to take part in this year’s Booktube-a-thon from August 3rd – August 9th. I feel obligated to take part in it, partly due to the fact that I recently started my blog and BAM there’s a readathon. I am so, so, so excited for this! And can I just say that the challenges set this year are amazing!

The challenges:

  1. Read a book with blue on the cover.
  2. Read a book with an author who shares the 1st letter of your last name.
  3. Read someone else’s favourite book.
  4. Read the last book you acquired.
  5. Finish a book without letting go of it.
  6. Read a book who you really want to read.
  7. Read seven books in seven days.

My TBR:

btatbr

Reading Schedule:

Monday 3rd August:

   legend

Title: Legend

Author: Marie Lu

Pages: 295

Challenge(s) Completed:

5. Finish a book without letting it go.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Tuesday 4th August:

beautiful creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures

Authors: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Pages: 563

Challenge(s) Completed:

3. Read someone else’s favourite book.

4. Read the last book you acquired.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Wednesday 5th August:

raven boys

Title: The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Pages: 454

Challenge(s) Completed:

6. Read a book you really want to read.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Thursday 6th August:

avalavender

Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Author: Leslye Walton

Pages: 301

Challenge(s) Completed:

1. Read a book with blue on the cover.

2. Read a book with an author who shares the 1st letter of your first name.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Friday 7th August:

sineater

Title: The Sin Eater’s Daughter

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Pages: 333

Challenge(s) Completed:

N/A

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Saturday 8th August:

fearsome dreamer

Title: Fearsome Reader

Author: Laure Eve

Pages: 377

Challenge(s) Completed:

N/A

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Sunday 9th August:

seed

Title: Seed

Author: Lisa Heathfield

Pages: 331

Challenge(s) Completed:

7. Read seven books in seven days

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

So, there you go, that is my schedule for the Booktube-a-thon 2015. I will do daily updates on the blog for it and any books I read will be reviewed at some point (not necessarily when I read them, because I probably won’t have time!). The challenge updates will almost definitely be the only thing posted next week, so don’t hate me!

-DW

Review of ‘Dark Room’ by Tom Becker

dark room

I was kindly granted a copy of this book by Little Tiger Group publishing, through NetGalley. Thank you so much for letting me get my hands on this amazing read! Now, down to the business.

‘Dark Room’ by Tom Becker is a heart pounding horror with a wickedly good story line. The book is mainly centered around Darla O’Neill, a Southern girl who travels with her alcoholic, dodgy dealing father, Hopper. Darla’s mother, Sidney, committed suicide and since Darla hasn’t had a stable home. That is until Hopper decides to settle down in the picturesque  town is full of perfect people, who live in mansions up in the hills. Darla is lost until she meets Sasha and Frank, with which she sparks up a friendship. But all is not well in Saffron Hills, for a cold-blooded murderer is butchering rich and perfect teens. What’s worse is that Darla is having foreshadowing visions of the deaths before they happen!

There is a strong sense of family and friendship within the story, making it a brilliant and thrilling read. Tom Becker has masterfully and artfully crafted this story and uses beautiful language to portray it. Also, Becker really brings his characters to life, allowing the reader to see into their lives and how their brains work, even though it is centered around Darla. But he doesn’t let us see too much…

There is a strong sense of family and friendship within the story, again bringing the characters to life. Darla and Hopper’s relationship as father and daughter is obviously rickety, but at the same time you can see they love each other dearly. It is these intermingling layers that make this book so good! I also enjoyed the fact that Darla was far from perfect, because many protagonists in teenage books are these days. I thought that this really gave the story a sense of reality. Friendship also plays a big role in Darla’s life in Saffron Hills and Becker presents it so well. Sasha, while being outspoken and having an attitude problem, is by far my favourite character in this book. The only thing Becker left out in this book is a love interest, but it didn’t need one and I wasn’t expecting one. In my opinion it would’ve just taken away from the story.

Moving away from the contemporary side of things, let us not forget bout the horror aspects of the story. This book was a roller coaster to say the least. Not a particularly fast one, but a deliciously slow one. The twists in the book were spaced out and placed just right throughout. The murders and gore weren’t cheesy, but chilling. Becker has created a terrifyingly beautiful story with a killer ending!

5/5 stars are awarded to ‘Dark Room’ by Tom Becker!!

Buy/Pre-order This Book:

https://www.waterstones.com/book/dark-room/tom-becker/9781847154576

Upcoming Reviews:

  • The Sky Is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson)
  • Created (Peiri Ann)
  • All the Bright Places (Jennifer Niven)
  • The Sin Eater’s Daughter (Melinda Salisbury)

Upcoming Tags:

  • The Nintendo Book Tag

Review of ‘Drop’ by Katie Everson

DROP

First off, please can we appreciate how breathtakingly beautiful the cover of this book is. It is completely relevant as well. Carla Carroll moves around a lot, because of her mother’s job as a scientific journalist. When her mother gets a promotion, the family permanently move to London. Here, Carla joins yet another new school. But she doesn’t just want to be bland and fit in; Carla wants to spread her glorious butterfly wings and be popular. This seems doable when she falls for the school ‘fittie’, Finn Masterson. Carla’s life is almost perfect, until drugs and exams are thrown into the mix.

‘Drop’ starts out like any other ordinary teenage girl ‘I want to be perfect and popular’ book. I guess this kind of irritated me at first, because it was not by far what in was expecting from the book. Carla kind of got on my nerves in this way too, because she just wanted to be perfect. What is perfect? Why does every teenage girl go to school and aspire to be perfect? I guess I was judging Carla’s character way too early, because she does undergo some extensive character development throughout the book. It kind of makes me think that Everson made Carla a bit shallow to start with on purpose.

The think, form what I have watched in documentaries and heard about in the news, that Everson presents a very real idea of drugs and the problems they can cause. For one, she clearly and accurately shows how easily and casually teenagers are getting hold of and doing drugs nowadays. It is kind of atrocious. Furthermore, Carla’s problems that are caused by the drugs seem like a very real threat. I think that this book could possibly be the wake up call for many young kids feeling rebellious and doing stupid things to their bodies with drugs.

My favourite character in this book has to be Isaac, because he has already undergone the character development Carla needs to. All he wants to do throughout the book is to protect the people he loves, even if that means  putting his own neck on the line. The whole theme of butterflies in the book is beautifully symbolic. The change that a butterfly goes through in its life are immense and there are many characters in this book that undergo massive changes as well.

This book receives 4/5 stars – great!

Buy This Book:

https://www.waterstones.com/book/drop/katie-everson/9781406356274

Upcoming Reviews:

  • The Sky Is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson)
  • Dark Room (Tom Becker)
  • The Sin Eater’s Daughter (Melinda Salisbury)

The Taylor Swift Book Tag

           taylor

This tag is dedicated to Taylor swift and her music. In this tag I will take different Taylor swift songs, relate them to different books and say why I have done so. So, lets begin with….

1.

Song: We Are Never Getting Back Together

Book/ Series: ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth

divergent

For this song, I had to choose a series that I thought I loved when  I started it, but then decide that I’m going to leave it. This is exactly what I did with the ‘Divergent’ series by Veronica Roth. In fact, I didn’t even finish ‘Insurgent’!

2.

Song: Red

Book: ‘Messenger of Fear’ by Michael Grant

messoffear

For this son, I had to simply choose a book with a red cover. This book is only a few books down my TBR pile, so you will get a review of it soon hopefully. I decided that I had to choose this book, because it is basically completely red and caught my eye immediately.

3.

Song: Best Day

Book: ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling

harryp1

For this song, I had to pick a book that made me feel nostalgic. What better book than one of the first full length books I ever read. The entire series will forever have a special place in my book-loving heart.

4.

Song: Love Story

Book: ‘City of Ashes’ by Cassandra Clare

coglass

For this song, I had to choose  book that contained forbidden love. The love in the ‘Mortal Instruments’, particularly within the first three books, is rightly forbidden. Clace forever!!

5.

Song: I Knew You Were Trouble

Book: ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J. Maas

thorns

For this song, I had to choose a character from a book that is the bad guy, but I love them anyway. For this I had to choose Rhysand from ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J. Maas. He comes a cross so wvil, but he does it s charmingly that it is hard not to like him at least a little!

6.

Song: Everything Has Changed

Book: ‘We Were Liars’ by  E. Lockhart

wewereliars

For this song, I had to choose a character that underwent extensive character development. For this I chose Cadence Sinclair Eastman from ‘We Were Liars’ by E. Lockhart. I read this book very recently and loved it. Cadence realised a lot about herself in this book, and I mean a lot.

6.

Song: You Belong With Me

Book: ‘All of the Above’ by James Dawson

aotaa

For this song, I had to choose a book release that I was most anticipating. For this I chose ‘All of the Above’ by James Dawson which is to be released at the end of this year. I am so excited for this book!!

8.

Song: Forever and Always

Book: ‘Eleanor and Park’ by Rainbow Rowell

eap

For this song, I basically had to decide on my book OTP. Obviously I had to choose Eleanor and Park!!

9.

Song: Come Back, Be Here

Book: ‘Remix’ by Non Pratt

remix

For this song, I had to choose a book which I was not willing to lend out to anyone. I am not ever going to lend out my copy of ‘Remix’ by Non Pratt, just because she signed it for me at this year’s YALC event.

10.

Song: Teardrops On My Guitar

Book: ‘Undone’ by Cat Clarke

undone

For this song, I had to choose a book that made me cry. I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!!


I hope you enjoyed this tag and thanks for reading!!

Review of ‘We Were Liars’ by E. Lockhart

wewereliars

You know when you read a book that is so good it’s hard to discuss directly afterwards. Yes, well ‘We Were Liars’ by E. Lockhart is exactly that kind of book. However, I am trying my hardest to be dedicated to this blog and that means pushing through the books hangover I am currently feeling. ‘We Were Liars’ is centered around the the Sinclair family. The Sinclairs are rich, perfect and beautiful. During the summer, the family congregates on the private island of Beechwood off the coast of Massachusetts, USA.  This is a story of power and perfection. It is also a story of secrets and betrayal. But, most importantly, it is a story of family. Cadence Sinclair Eastman, the narrator of the story, suffered an accident two years before the book’s setting; the circumstances of which remain a mystery to her.

The writing style in this book is beautiful to say the least. At times it was like I was reading floating and mellifluous poetry and at other times, incredibly detailed and well written prose. Lockhart’s vivid description of both emotional and physical things in the story is almost breathtaking. The character development in this books is great. I felt as if each character had their own individual characteristics and personalities, which really brought the book to life. For this reason, I find it impossible to pick out a favourite character, but if I had to it would be one of the four ‘Liars’. Maybe. Maybe not… Argh!

I hear a lot of people saying that they don’t like this book, because of how over-hyped it was. I went into this book with very high expectations and I must say that it lived up to them every bit. It was hyped a lot, but I think that there was a good reason for it. My favourite part of the book is the ending. How could it not be? The ending is so masterfully woven together that it shouldn’t be possible for a human to have written it. You get little hint throughout the book, which should make the ending very predictable. However, I was so involved in the family feud of the Sinclairs, that my brain just didn’t piece things together. The ending not only moved me and shocked me, but it also, oddly, chilled me down to the bone. For some reason, I love it when a book does that to me and it is definitely a reason why I love this book.

This is one of my new favourite books, so of course it gets a shining 5/5 stars from me!

Buy This Book (DO IT!!):

https://www.waterstones.com/ebook/we-were-liars/e-lockhart/9781471403996

Upcoming Reviews:

  • Drop (Katie Everson)
  • The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson)
  • The Sin Eater’s Daughter (Melinda Salisbury)

Upcoming Tags:

  • The Taylor Swift Book Tag
  • The Nintendo Book Tag

Review of ‘Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls’ by Lynn Weingarten

image

‘Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls’ by Lynn Weingarten is a dark and twisted thriller. June and Delia were best friends, until an event tore them apart. Almost a year later, the news comes that Delia has burned to death in her stepfather’s shed. Even though June and Delia no longer speak, the news hits June hard. Delia’s death takes June on a dark path of heartbreak, betrayal, crime and secrets.

This book messes with your mind guys. It messed me up to the point that I was almost confused, but not quite, thankfully. Lynn Weingarten has a really interesting writing style. And when I say interesting, I mean interesting. The book starts with June’s first person accounts and then alternate with flashbacks that are written in the third person. Then, towards the end of the book there is a dual recount of the story. Now this may sound really confusing,mans it kind of is, but in the long run it flows really well.

I think that over all I had mixed emotions about this book, because at the beginning it moved really, really, really slowly. I was genuinely debating whether or not to continue reading during the first hundred or so pages. It was not just that it developed slowly, but it was really too full on and emotionally exhausting. I thought I had figured a lot of things out during the book and I was basically wrong about every single one of them. I suppose that you could say that this was a positive thing but I like my books to be at leat a teensy bit predictable. Just my opinion guys, don’t shoot me! Also, there is a lot of kissing and I feel like it is a bit over the top. It got to the point when it became impersonal and animalistic.

The above paragraph is the only paragraph that will contain negative comments, because I genuinely liked this book a lot. At the end of the book, there are a lot of unanswered questions, which I would usually say was a negative thing, but I really liked the ambiguity of it. The character development in this book, although intense, was some of the best that I have ever read in YA Fiction. My favourite character in this book is Delia, because as I said in my review of Remix, I love a wild character. And Delia is exactly that and more. I can’t begin to tell you how much she made me laugh and how much she made me cry, frown and… Aargh! Just a whirlwind of emotion and feels for this character.

‘Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls’ by Lynn Weingarten receives 4/5 stars.

Buy This Book:

https://www.waterstones.com/book/suicide-notes-from-beautiful-girls/lynn-weingarten/9781405271578

Upcoming Reviews:

  • We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)
  • Drop (Katie Everson)
  • The Sin Eater’s Daughter (Melinda Salisbury)

Upcoming Tags:

  • Taylor Swift Book Tag
  • Nintendo Book Tag

My YALC Experience

image

So, last weekend was the weekend of the Young Adult Literature Convention, or YALC for short. I personally went on the Saturday and the Sunday, so was in the full throng of international YA lovers. there was so much to do at the event that I had a frantically scribbled checklist of things to do at YALC. I was amazed to see that publishers were selling off their books for £5 each! Then, towards the end of Sunday, 3 for £10! I legitimately thought that I was hallucinating, I couldn’t believe my eyes!

One of the attractions at the event was the talks with well known YA authors. my favourite was the Shadowhunters talk between Cassandra Clare (author of the Mortal Instruments) and her friend Sarah Rees Brennan. I was particularly interested in this talk, because of my complete and utter obsession with the Shadowhunters world and books. I actually got my copy of City Of Heavenly Fire signed and Cassandra high fived me! I was honoured! The other talks were brilliant too, especially  the Bringing Sexy Back talk, hosted by ‘Queen of Teen’ James Dawson and the amazing Non Pratt amongst others. This talk was incredibly funny, informative and highly enjoyable.

Another attraction at YALC and the reason I am typing this today is because of the workshops, particularly the Blogging for Beginners workshop. In this workshop we found out how to make it in the world of blogging and how to connect with other bloggers. I found this highly useful and it gave me that extra little push to do some blogging for myself. It was especially useful that I was able to gain advice from award winning bloggers, such as Michelle Toy from TalesOfYesterday, amongst others. I would like to thank everyone who took part in organising that workshop, because it was a great experience and provided a well if knowledge in the subject off book blogging. Also useful was the sample reviews and reviewing template given out to people. These were written by Michelle Toy herself, so they had to be good right? Well yes they were and I am incredibly grateful of the much needed help that she inadvertently gave me. Thank you!!

-DW