Category: Uncategorized

Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Posted March 13, 2017 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 1 Comment

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

Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian ConaghanTitle: We Come Apart
Author: Sarah Crossan, Brian Conaghan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: February 9th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Family, General, Social Themes, Fiction, Romance, Poetry, Family & Relationships
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Bloomsbury
four-half-stars

YA rising stars Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan join forces to break readers' hearts in this contemporary story of star-cross'd lovers.
Jess would never have looked twice at Nicu if her friends hadn't left her in the lurch. Nicu is all big eyes and ill-fitting clothes, eager as a puppy, even when they're picking up litter in the park for community service. He's so not her type. Appearances matter to Jess. She's got a lot to hide.
Nicu thinks Jess is beautiful. His dad brought Nicu and his mum here for a better life, but now all they talk about is going back home to find Nicu a wife. The last thing Nicu wants is to get married. He wants to get educated, do better, stay here in England. But his dad's fists are the most powerful force in Nicu's life, and in the end, he'll have to do what his dad wants.
As Nicu and Jess get closer, their secrets come to the surface like bruises. The only safe place they have is with each other. But they can't be together, forever, and stay safe Â? can they?
An extraordinary, high-impact, high-emotion collaboration between two Carnegie honoured rising stars of YA. Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Malorie Blackman, Rainbow Rowell and John Green.
Sarah Crossan received the 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal for her astonishing novel One, which also won the YA Book Prize,CBI Book of the Year Award and the CliPPA Poetry Award. Brian Conaghan's powerful debut, When Mr Dog Bites, was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, Peters Book of the Year and CBI Book of the Year Award.

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 project. Both characters experience quite frankly tragic things; for Nicu the racism he encounters is awful and Jess’ home life is violent and emotionally manipulated by her mother’s partner. The two teenagers come together though and somewhat reluctantly form a bond.

This is a beautifully written novel that looks at the reality and ugliness in the world as well as the hope in friendships and trust. Nicu seems younger than Jess somehow and slightly more naive at the beginning of the novel. As the novel progresses and the racist bullying at his school grows, it is truly sad to see how his light seems to diminish and you can see how the system is against him and people are waiting for him to fail.  Jess is more self-destructive than Nicu, she seems to be hurtling down a damaging path and I was desperate for her to not go there, however her friendship with Nicu begins to pull her away from this.

While the novel is a fairly fast read, I read it in one sitting, the final third really ramps up. The plot goes in a direction I completely did not see coming which is quite unusual as I’m usually very good at guessing plots. It is tragic and sad, and yet it works. The book’s ending is poignant and thought provoking and stayed with me afterwards.

Now, more than ever, books like We Come Apart feel important and timely and yet We Come Apart doesn’t come across as an issue book. The verse style works beautifully and I would love to see more novels in this style; it’s something I would have loved to read as a teenager – as I mentioned earlier poetry and being a teenager linked together a lot for me personally. I am sure I am not the only one.

YA Contemporary fans, those who want to read something a little different and relevant to today’s current affairs will not go wrong with We Come Apart!

four-half-stars

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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2015 Goals and Reading Challenges

This year I want to take part (and actually remember to link up the reviews) in a few challenges as well as setting some blogging and reading goals of my own. I’m also starting a survey which should be up soon so I can have a look at how to make chooseya even better and if some features I’m toying with, like a newsletter, would be wanted so please take part if you can. 1. Maintain a regular posting schedule on the blog. Ideally 5 days a week, but three would be acceptable too. 2. Explore plug-ins and ways of enhancing the blogging experience both for myself and viewers. On that note, what are your must have plug-ins for wordpress? 3. Get more involved in things like bookstagram and maybe, just maybe one day book tube- that said, because I like […]

Posted December 30, 2014 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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