14+, Inspiring Essays, Summer Reads, Teen, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Summer Reads – I Will Not Be Erased

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

“I Will Not Be Erased” Our stories about growing-up as people of colour by gal-den

Recommended for Older Teens/YA and above! 

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Here’s the synopsis:

Fourteen joyous, funny and life-affirming essays about growing up from gal-dem’s talented writers.

gal-dem, the award-winning online and print magazine, is created by women and non-binary people of colour. In this thought-provoking and moving collection of fourteen essays, gal-dem’s writers use raw material from their teenage years – diaries, poems and chat histories – to give advice to their younger selves and those growing up today. gal-dem have been praised by the Guardian for being “the agents of change we need”, and these essays tackle important subjects including race, gender, mental health and activism, making this essential reading for any young person.

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“I Will Not Be Erased” was published by Walker Books back in early July 2019. You can find more information on where to buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.). It’s also available on Kindle.  

Paperback ISBN: 9781406386370

Find out more about the fabulous gal-dem here.

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Suspense, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Summer Reads – The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Recommended for Older Teens/YA and above! 

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Here’s the synopsis:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication is via email and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love. But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean? Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone…

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was published by Walker Books back in 2017 but I only read it this year and oh my how I have fallen in love with Lauren and her stories. You can find more information on where to buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.). It’s also available on Kindle.  This year has seen the publication of her latest novel The Quiet at the End of the World  which I adored just as much and have also featured on my Tales.  You can find details of that here  Review for Loneliest Girl will follow but just so you know, it’s rather fabulous.

Loneliest Girl ISBN: 9781406375473

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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Fantasy, Fiction, Summer Reads, Suspense, Teen, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Summer Reads – The Cold is in her Bones

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

The Cold is in her Bones by Peternelle Van Arsdale

Recommended for Older Teens/YA and above…

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Here’s the synopsis:

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

Suspenseful and vividly imagined, The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.

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The Cold Is in Her Bones was published by Simon & Schuster in March and you can find where to buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.) It’s available in paperback, eBook & on audio CD.

ISBN: 9781471160882

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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Summer Reads, Suspense, Thriller, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Summer Reads – Heartstream

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

HeartStream by Tom Pollock

Recommended for Older Teens/YA and above! 

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Here’s the synopsis:

I just wanted to see you. Before the end.

A taut psychological thriller about obsession, fame and betrayal, for fans of Black Mirror.

Cat is in love. Always the sensible one, she can’t believe that she’s actually dating, not to mention dating a star. But the fandom can’t know. They would eat her alive. And first at the buffet would definitely be her best friend, Evie.

Amy uses HeartString, a social media app that allows others to feel your emotions. She broadcasted every moment of her mother’s degenerative illness, and her grief following her death. It’s the realest, rawest reality TV imaginable.

But on the day of Amy’s mother’s funeral, Amy finds a strange woman in her kitchen. She’s rigged herself and the house with explosives – and she’s been waiting to talk to Amy for a long time. Who is she? A crazed fan? What does she want?

Amy and Cat are about to discover how far true obsession can go.

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Heartstream was published by Walker Books at the beginning of July and you can find where to buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.). It’s available in paperback, Audiobook and Kindle. This is one that is definitely on my summer reading pile and I can’t wait to get stuck in.  Review to follow…

ISBN: 99781406378184

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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Mystery, Romance, Summer Reads, Teen, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Summer Reading – Serious Moonlight

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Recommended for Teen/Ya and above! 

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Here’s the synopsis:

Sometimes the best adventures 

happen under the moonlight

Eighteen-year-old Birdie hasn’t seen anything of the world. Raised and hone-schooled by her grandparents, she experiences life through her favourite mystery novels.

Then she takes a summer job working the night shift at a historic Seattle hotel and everything changes.  There she meets Daniel Aoki, the hotel’s distractingly good-looking driver, and soon they find themselves caught up in a real-life mystery of their own.  A reclusive writer is secretly meeting someone at the hotel, and Birdie is determined to get to the bottom of it.

But before she can uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must confront the most confounding mystery of all – her growing feelings for Daniel…

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I first fell in love with Jenn Bennett’s writing with Alex, Approximately.  Her novels are wonderfully uplifting and perfect escapism during your summer break.

Serious Moonlight was published by Simon and Schuster in May and you can find where to buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.)

ISBN: 9781471180729

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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Books that adults should read, Fiction, Romance, Summer Reads, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Summer Reading – Five Feet Apart

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Laconis

Recommended for Teen/YA & above…

Here’s the synopsis:

CAN YOU LOVE SOMEONE

YOU CAN NEVER TOUCH?

Stella Grant lives to be in control – even though her totally out-of-control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life.  What Stella needs to control most is her distance from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardise the possibility of a lung transplant.

Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of hospital.  In one week he’ll turn eighteen, and then he’ll be able to unplug himself from all these machines and actually go see the world.

Will’s exactly what Stella meeds to stay away from.  But now six feet doesn’t feel like safety.  It feels like punishment.  What if they could steal back juts a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

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Tissues are most definitely required for this heart wrenching tale.  It has also been adapted into film which is now also available on DVD.  Please read the book first though! 🙂

Five Feet Apart has been published by Simon & Schuster and you can find more about it and where to buy it here (your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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Books that adults should read, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard

Fierce Fragile Hearts is the stunning companion novel to Sara Barnard’s YA bestseller Beautiful Broken Things, which was selected for the inaugural Zoella Book Club. It is about leaving the past behind, the friends who form your future, and learning to find love, in all its forms.

Two years after a downward spiral took her as low as you can possibly go, Suzanne is starting again. Again. She’s back in Brighton, the only place she felt she belonged, back with her best friends Caddy and Rosie. But they’re about to leave for university. When your friends have been your light in the darkness, what happens when you’re the one left behind?

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I finished reading this book about two weeks ago.  Mental Health Awareness week was just round the corner. A week where we are encouraged to talk about mental health, raising awareness and remind each other that it’s okay to talk about these things.  So here I was with this book in my hands. This beautiful book  about three friends and the pain of growing up in a world that only seems to deal in sorrow and heartbreak, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. A wonderful example of how we can find truth, friendship and support through reading novels such as this.

As the synopsis  said Fierce Fragile Hearts is a companion novel to Beautiful Broken Things where events unfolded through the voice of Caddy.  A story that culminated with a suicide attempt (unsuccessful) by one of her closest friends.  Suzanne survived but she left Brighton and her friends Caddy and Rosie in an attempt to heal.  To continue to survive.

It is now two years later and Suzanne has left her foster carers and is returning to Brighton; a place filled with memories and also the two people she loves most in the world –  Caddy and Rosie.  This time we hear through Suzanne’s voice. A voice that has suffered in her childhood in a way that has left it’s mark far more than any physical scars may show.  My heart went out to this young woman who, so desperate to let the past go, was still suffering and yet was filled with a steely determination.  When Caddy and Rosie leave for University, Suzanne is left alone but she gradually begins to adjust to her new life living alone in Brighton.  I was drawn into this tale and it made me feel.  It reminded me how lonely life can be, even when you are surrounded by the people you love.  It also reminded me how precious it is and how important it is to allow people into our lives.  It’s easy to build a wall. To avoid the chance of being pushed away, beaten or unloved. Yet then we miss out on so much.  This we can see not only through Suzanne’s relationship with Caddy and Rosie but also the new relationships she builds with the most unlikely of people.  Sometimes it’s okay to need people and accept help… and oh how I would like to meet someone like Dilys!

The thing with mental health is that there is no quick fix.  It’s something that takes time, effort and support.  Sara has touched on this beautifully in Fierce Fragile Hearts.  We can see how fragile Suzanne is but how she longs to be better.  The steps after the counselling, after medication, after the world goes back to normal… that’s when we can feel lost again.   As someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety one of the things that amazed me, when I came out of my own personal fog, was that some days you still feel bad.  Yes you are ‘better’ but it can be a little scary when you suddenly feel the shadow again.  There will always be bad days.  Everyone has them.  It’s what we do to cope with them that matters.

Suzanne’s story reminded me that it’s okay to have bad days.  It’s okay to not always get it right. Suzanne has shown me that it’s our experiences and how we react to them that makes us who we are.   She tried to make herself unlovable, because the alternative frightened her and after all, why would anyone want to love her? Right? But those who truly know you will always be there for you on the other side.  Life is about give and take and Suzanne finds what she has to give the world along her way.   It’s about accepting you for who you are, good and bad, and making the very best life for yourself.  This is a story full of hope and light to help chase out the shadows and remind you that you’re never alone and that you are enough… just the way you are.

* This is a YA novel and although I feel it will be suitable for older teens please be aware that there are themes of mild drug use and sexual relations within the story line.  It is never crude or unjustified though.

About the author

Sara Barnard

61Nms7+3oZL._US230_Sara Barnard lives in Brighton and does all her best writing on trains. She loves books, book people and book things. She has been writing ever since she was too small to reach the ‘on’ switch on the family Amstrad computer. She gets her love of words from her dad, who made sure she always had books to read and introduced her to the wonders of second-hand book shops at a young age. She is the author of Beautiful Broken Things.

You can follow Sara on Twitter at @saramegan

Fierce Fragile Hearts was published by Macmillan in February 2019.

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Thank you to Macmillan for providing a review copy via Netgalley.  This is one that I didn’t hesitate to buy in for the school Library. 🙂