Category: Uncategorized

Review: Here I Stand by Amnesty International

Posted June 14, 2017 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Walker Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may contain content that readers find triggering..
Review: Here I Stand by Amnesty InternationalTitle: Here I Stand
Author: Amnesty International
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback
Source: Walker Books
five-stars

Did you know that ... government spies can turn on your phone and use the microphone to listen to your conversations? ... that lesbian and gay relationships are illegal in 78 countries and can be punished by death? ... that Amnesty recently recorded the highest number of executions globally for more than 25 years?

Through short stories and poetry, twenty-five leading authors and illustrators explore the top human rights issues facing young people today.

Now is the time to take a stand and make a difference.

Full list of contributors: Tony Birch, John Boyne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Kate Charlesworth, Sarah Crossan, Neil Gaiman, Jack Gantos, Ryan Gattis, Matt Haig, Frances Hardinge, Jackie Kay, AL Kennedy, Liz Kessler, Elizabeth Laird, Amy Leon, Sabrina Mahfouz, Chelsea Manning, Chibundu Onuzo, Bali Rai, Chris Riddell, Mary and Bryan Talbot, Christie Watson and Tim Wynne-Jones.

Review: How do I review a book like Here I Stand? I think anthologies are underrated first of all. I find YA anthologies particularly compelling and, to my delight, recently there are more and more of them being published.

This anthology unites numerous poets, writers and even Chelsea Manning to raise awareness about human rights issues facing young people today. There are some very upsetting stories in there; the first story by John Boyne deals with some really serious issues. I realised as I read that this was not going to necessarily be a light read. Literature matters, it’s important and it has power. If you don’t believe me, look at Harry Potter and consider the way a book about magic and boarding school looks at kindness, cruelty, discrimination and many political issues. Furthermore, it’s fascinating to see how fans engage and understand such matters and themes away from the series.

Back to Here I Stand; this was a brilliant read. It raised my awareness on a number of current human rights issues that affect and influence young people. I think this is an incredibly important release and crucially it is not preaching or didactic. I didn’t feel lectured and it made the topics real and relatable as I read.

an incredibly important release … not preaching or didactic.

The combination of poetry, prose, comic books strips, illustrations and

One of the most striking things about this anthology was that I didn’t find myself wanting to skip any of the stories or poems as I read. Some particular standout stories for me included those by Liz Kessler, John Boyne and Frances Hardinge and I also found Amy Leon’s poem Darling very good. Each story and poem offered something different and compelling which doesn’t always with anthologies.

I’m glad I read this book. While some of the stories and themes raised were more difficult and upsetting for me to read, I found it incredibly important. I would say this is a must read for readers with any interest in human rights issues going on right now.

five-stars

Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Review: I really enjoyed Sarah Crossan’s verse novel One and I’ve been reading her YA since Breathe. I love the fact Crossan writes in verse; it’s something we don’t see a lot of in YA and for me verse reminds more than any other form of writing of being a teenager. It was how I expressed myself so YA verse novels make perfect sense to me. We Come Apart is co-written with Brian Conaghan, Conaghan won the Costa Children’s Award in 2016 and is an author I am slightly less familiar with, but have been meaning to read for some time and have had Mr Dog Bites on my reading pile for a little while. We Come Apart is a dual-narrative novel telling the stories of Nicu and Jess, two troubled teens who are bought together in a community service […]

Posted March 13, 2017 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Mini Reviews #5: Some 2016 UKYA Releases

Mini Reviews #5: Some 2016 UKYA Releases

Review: Cell 7 has a brilliant concept and I was drawn in the moment I read the summary. In some ways the summary reminded me a little of When She Woke by Hilary Jordan in terms of someone being in a  televised cell after a crime but Cell 7 stands on its own and is a compelling look at media, reality and crime. I hadn’t read any of Drewery’s books before but knew her from twitter and UKYA Extravaganza as a strong voice in the UKYA world. Cell 7 begins after a celebrity is murdered and the teenager accused of his murder is processed on Death Is Justice, the TV show that over a week the public watch to vote on whether someone is innocent or guilty with death as the punishment for guilt. In itself, this is a fascinating […]

Posted January 2, 2017 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Review: Cuckoo by Keren David

Review: Cuckoo by Keren David

Review: Cuckoo drew me in from the concept and I had a strong feeling this would be a great read for me.  Karen David tells the story of Jake,  a teenage actor who used to be on a popular soap, until it got cancelled.  Now he’s setting the story straight over events before the cancellation via a vlog. I liked the format of the novel being told through vlog transcripts and comments.  Keren David utilises a quite restrictive narrative device to great effect. Even in the comments there are small subplots and stories that really add to the book. I devoured Cuckoo and didn’t want to put it down. Jake really came off the page and I felt for his problems. I hadn’t personally seen explored in YA before in this way but Karen David looks at teenage homelessness without judgement. On the surface, Jake is not a character […]

Posted August 24, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: I adored Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door, and while I liked What I Thought Was True it didn’t quite grab me in the same way, so I was really looking forward to the chance to return to the Garrett family and Tim. My Life Next Door did a wonderful job in introducing a wide range of characters I felt deeply invested in. I really cared about the Garrett family, who felt realistic to me, I rooted for Sam and loved her development throughout the book. There were subplots and characters I cared about, like Nan and Tim. The Boy Most Likely To is definitely not My Life Next Door. It’s a little darker and moodier, not a ‘typical’ contemporary romance novel and this worked for me and felt right for her characters.. For me, The Boy Most Like To was more ‘Tim’s’ […]

Posted June 8, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Review: These Shallow Graves was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. From the moment I read about it in the Bookseller, to hearing the enthusiasm from Hot Key Books at their 2015 blogger brunch, I knew this would be a book I couldn’t wait for. It has taken me a little time to review it however do not think this is because it’s not met my expectations or I didn’t enjoy it. I did. Jo Montford wants to be a writer, however that isn’t what her family or society expect from her. Everything changes when her father is found dead after supposedly accidentally shooting himself. However, Jo knows her father wouldn’t clean a loaded gun so tries to uncover the truth behind his death and is later joined by keen reporter, Eddie. These Shallow Graves is a brilliant historical […]

Posted March 30, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter

Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter

Review: I heard about the Serpent King on twitter (from the lovely Carly at Writing from the Tub whose review is here) and it sounded completely up my street so I was really pleased when I was able to obtain a review copy on Netgalley. I love books set in the Southern US states, there’s something about them and the Southern Gothic movement I find completely fascinating and the summary seemed to suggest a True Detective style atmosphere. The Serpent King is beautifully written and the small Tennessee town Dill, Lydia and Travis live in is bought off the page and feels so real. Dill, Travis and Lydia are defined, compelling and well-drawn out characters each of whom has their own story and arc within the book. Dill in particular really stands out as the main character who loves Lydia but knows […]

Posted March 28, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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January Wrap-Up

I can’t believe it’s February already, once again time just seems to be passing me by so quickly. This year I’m hoping to post monthly wrap-ups and keep to them, I have some short codes and ways that should hopefully make these a lot simpler to write. Reviewed in January Non-review posts in January What I’ve Read This month I managed to read 15 books and make some progress on my reading challenges. 1. Yes Please – Amy Poehler 2. Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill 3. All Fall Down – Ally Carter 4. Us – David Nicholls 5. The Murdstone Trilogy – Mal Peet 6. Don’t Ever Change – M. Beth Bloom 7. Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell 8. The Minaturist – Jessie Burton 9. Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda -Becky Albertalli 10. Mind Games – Teri Terry […]

Posted February 4, 2015 by chooseyabooks in monthly wrap-up, Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Very important notice for current wordpress/ email subscribers

This post is just for those of you who subscribe to my blog via email, specifically through wordpress, feedburner is unaffected by this as far I as am aware. I’ve recently started using the UBB plug in which I love and I’ve noticed that Jetpack doesn’t let me keep the short codes in my emails so you guys just get the review body of text. As I’m not happy with this, I have removed Jetpack email subscriptions from the sidebar and replaced with a different email subscriber widget.  I would ask any current subscribers getting email subscriptions from wordpress please transfer to feedburner as I am deactivating Jetpack subscriptions as of now (Friday 16th January 2015) TLDR: If you subscribe to ChooseYA via email/via wordpress and wish to continue this you WILL need to resubscribe via feedburner using the widget in the side […]

Posted January 16, 2015 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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2015 Blogging Survey

Hi everyone, I mentioned at the end of last year I wanted to conduct a survey this month to find out about how to improve ChooseYA this year. I’d also like to start a newsletter and want to gauge if people would actually read and subscribe to this. I would so appreciate you spending five minutes or so filling out this brief survey (multiple choice). If there is anything you think you would like to see more of, or would like to see on the blog and it’s not in the survey please leave me a comment or email me. The survey will be live for the next 1-2 weeks. Loading…

Posted January 13, 2015 by chooseyabooks in discussion, Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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