Genre: General

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

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 Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

Review: The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

Review: I love Cat Clarke’s writing and think she’s a fantastic voice in YA so had probably been anticipating The Lost and the Found since I found out it was getting published. What I love about Clarke’s writing is the way she doesn’t present things as absolutes, there are shades between and she creates flawed, realistic, compelling characters. The Lost and the Found tells the story of a family in the public eye. When Faith’s sister, Laurel, was six years old, she was abducted. Thirteen years later she returns home. There is an element of ‘ripped from the headlines’ in the concept of this book, however Clarke looks at a difficult subject with care and thought. She depicts how the family has both fractured and rebuilt itself in the wake of Laurel’s abduction and how her reappearance almost feels like […]

Posted October 7, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Unbecoming by Jenny Downham

Review: Unbecoming by Jenny Downham

Review: Jenny Downham is one of my must-read authors, her contemporary YA is always thought-provoking, feels authentic and is beautifully written. Therefore, it’s fair to say Unbecoming was a highly anticipated 2015 read for me. What I love about Unbecoming is the fact that this isn’t a story about one character, but about three generations of women, each with their own secrets and fears and hopes. Considering the popularity of the ‘absent parent’ device in YA, it is refreshing to see a YA book about family relationships ,and one that doesn’t remove the ability to empower its teenage characters through those relationships. Katie’s relationship with her grandmother felt very honest and was a highlight of the book. They develop a strong relationship after a more uncertain start and it’s something I’d like to see more as it’s a relationship not always explored so […]

Posted September 14, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Mini Reviews #4: The Netgalley Catchup

Mini Reviews #4: The Netgalley Catchup

Review: I love Kody Keplinger’s YA. I think she’s a brilliant, honest voice in YA and very engaging. It goes without saying Lying Out Loud was definitely a hotly anticipated 2015 read for me. Sonny is a liar, she almost can’t help it, but in many ways it’s much easier to live a lie than tell the truth, especially about her parents. After Sonny pranks new annoying boy, Ryder, after he asks out her best friend Amy, she accidentally ends up talking to him all night and connecting. Only, she’s still signed in as Amy. Now Sonny’s getting into lies and deceptions that might finally be her undoing and cost her friendship with Amy, as well as ruining her chances with Ryder, who she might actually liked. Wes’ sister from The Duff, Amy, is a key character in this book and it […]

Posted July 29, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Review: Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Review: Leah Thomas’ debut Because You’ll Never Meet Me arrived through the postbox as a surprise with a very intriguing premise. I find epistolary novels quite interesting and the idea of this impossible sounding friendship where they can never meet was unusual. Ollie is allergic to electricity, coming into contact  with it causes seizures so he is virtually stranded off the grid. His only real friend is a neighbour’s relative and he struggles with the more normal life she has and reconciling and competing with that with his own isolated world. Ollie is put in touch with Moritz, a teenager in Germany who relies on an electronic pacemaker who was born with no eyes, by his doctor and while it isn’t entirely smooth at first, a friendship forms. The plot goes in a direction I didn’t entirely expect, though as […]

Posted July 27, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Othergirl by Nicole Burstein

Review: Othergirl by Nicole Burstein

Review: Full disclosure first; I’ve met and chatted with Nicole a few times through the blogging community and she was kind enough to send me a copy of Othergirl to review. As always, this doesn’t affect my review’s content, tone, or honesty. I was really excited for Nicole’s YA debut, especially as I’d been chatting with her from when she worked in book selling and blogged at some YA events and she’s brilliantly enthusiastic about YA. Othergirl has a fantastic premise about what happens when your best friend is the superhero and you’re just a regular person? This book is fantastically fun and fans of graphic novels and superhero stories will find so much to enjoy. The plot is original and despite sounding very removed from teenage experience, really highlights the difficulties in friendships, feeling like you’re not as good as […]

Posted June 1, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Blog Tour: Review – Code Red Lipstick by Sarah Sky

Blog Tour: Review – Code Red Lipstick by Sarah Sky

Note: This review is part of the blog tour for Jessica Cole: Fashion Assassin. It was meant to go live yesterday (Saturday) but due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to post this until today. Review: I heard a lot about the Model Spy series through twitter and the UKYA community so when Faye (A Daydreamer’s Thoughts) asked me if I’d like to review the first book for Sarah Sky’s upcoming blog tour I leapt at the chance. I really enjoyed Code Red Lipstick and read it at just the right time, when I needed something fun and funny to read. While the concept isn’t entirely new, Jessica’s realistic and relatable voice carried this book really well and Sky raised several themes and ideas that made it stand out in the crowd, plus the gadgets and Bond-like feel worked well. The balance between modelling […]

Posted February 15, 2015 by chooseyabooks in blogtour, reviews / 1 Comment
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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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