Genre: Fiction

Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Posted March 13, 2017 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 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: 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 Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co #2) by Jonathan Stroud

Review: The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co #2) by Jonathan Stroud

Review:  I loved The Screaming Staircase, Stroud’s first Lockwood novel, so was keenly anticipating the follow up. Lockwood and Co is a great series and the Whispering Skull offered the same humour, darkness, spooky scenes and engaging characters as in the first novel. This time, the central plot concerns a dare between Lockwood and Co and the rival Fittes agency. They need to find a missing relic and fast. The series is developing well and characters are feeling more and more three dimensional. George’s mishaps remind me of Jerry on Parks and Recreation as the poor guy just can’t seem to get it right. Lucy is also a strong narrator and we learn more about her as the story progresses. As for Lockwood, there’s an intriguing twist at the end of the book that offers more insight into his character. I […]

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Review: Juvie by Steve Watkins

Review: Juvie by Steve Watkins

Review: I was lucky enough to be invited to Walker Books blogger brunch last November and had a wonderful time chatting with bloggers and publishing people, eating yummy food and hearing all about the upcoming books from Walker. One of them immediately caught my attention with its striking cover and compelling concept: Juvie. Described alongside Orange Is The New Black comparisons, Juvie tells the story of Sadie who is accidentally caught up in a drug deal. To keep her sister out of jail, and niece out of care, Sadie confesses despite being innocent. What was meant to just be a slap on the wrist turns into a six month sentence and when we meet Sadie she’s just about to start this. Juvie surprised me as I read it. It is far more about Sadie’s own journey and growth than action. The […]

Posted January 26, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 1 Comment
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Review: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Review: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Review: I enjoyed Samantha Shannon’s debut The Bone Season and was excited to see what was in store for Paige next. I found The Mime Order even more engaging and intriguing than The Bone Season. There’s definitely a very different tone and atmosphere to the Mime Order, whereas The Bone Season was Paige forced into a very difficult situation and fighting to escape, now she’s fighting the society she lives in and has developed as a character into more of a leader. We don’t see much of London in the Bone Season, it’s the secondary location and most of the book takes place in Oxford, so it was great to see and learn more about it in the Mime Order. We learn a lot more about the world and rules and politics behind in the Mime Order and I thought this really […]

Posted January 21, 2015 by chooseyabooks in britishbookschallenge, reviews / 1 Comment
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Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Review: The Bone Season intrigued me early on with its prepublication hype and also the fact I’d heard it described as an adult/crossover novel with YA appeal. While not necessarily my usual type of read, I did find myself enjoying this book and getting swept into the world of The Bone Season. For the first 10% of the novel, I have to admit I was very confused. We are immediately thrown into the novel’s world and it is a complicated one. The language, alternative history and level of detail did make me consider giving up as I felt a little overwhelmed. However, after taking a break I persevered and I am glad I did as I became quickly engrossed and accustomed to the world. The novel begins in London with Paige, a secret voyant, working for the criminal underworld. Paige is […]

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