Genre: Love & Romance

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

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: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: I had heard a lot about Huntley Fitzpatrick from US book bloggers so was very excited to see that Egmont are finally publishing My Life Next Door in the UK and even more so when I was able to snag a review copy from Netgalley. I adore YA contemporary and I think most people who regularly visit this blog know that. While I try and review all types of YA, and while I admit I sometimes need a little break from contemporary, it’s the YA genre I return to the most. My Life Next Door feels like the perfect YA contemporary read. It’s set in the summer, it has romance, family drama, a main character trying to forge her own identity and some heartbreaking moments too. Samantha Reed has watched the Garrett family next door for years; noting the […]

Posted February 8, 2016 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: The Illusionists by Laure Eve

Review: The Illusionists by Laure Eve

Review: I really enjoyed Fearsome Dreamer so was excited to read the conclusion, The Illusionists. I think Laure Eve has a beautiful writing style and I love her prose. What really makes this series standout for me is the world building and how vivid the setting feels. Both World and Angle Tar are so well described and so easy to visualise. This really made a difference for me reading the books as I was able to fully immerse myself in the world. It was great to see more of World as well in The Illusionists as in Fearsome Dreamer most of the plot takes place in Angle Tar. Seeing World through Rue’s outsider eyes worked really well as well because she was as new to this as the reader. The characters are really strong in the Illusionist and Wren in particular stands […]

Posted January 30, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Gloss – Summer Scandal by Marilyn Kaye

Review: Gloss – Summer Scandal by Marilyn Kaye

Review: I really enjoyed Gloss, the first in Marilyn Kaye’s 1960’s series, so was pleased to see there would be a second book. Gloss was a great summer read which also touched on some important issues about sexism and the workplace. Summer Scandal similarly continues to balance the fun of fashion and Sherry’s dream job at Gloss with the realities of the civil rights movement, insecurities in relationships and social attitudes of the 1960s generally. Each former intern has their own arc and story in Summer Scandal, however for me, Sherry feels like the main character and her story is incredibly interesting and important in this book. Sherry wants to write about more serious and newsworthy topics and is drawn into the civil rights movement by a colleague. Kaye writes about issues well and also the civil rights movement doesn’t feel shoehorned in […]

Posted July 8, 2014 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: The Worst Girlfriend in the World by Sarra Manning

Review: The Worst Girlfriend in the World by Sarra Manning

Review: Ever since I was a teenager and read Let’s Get Lost, Sarra Manning has been one of my must-read YA authors. I just love her writing so I was pleased to snag an egalley of latest YA, The Worst Girlfriend In The World. Franny’s best friend Alice is regarded as the worst girlfriend in the world to many of the local boys, with that title cheerfully blasted on the boy’s bathroom wall. However that’s never affected their friendship. Until Franny starts college to study fashion while Alice stays at their old school for sixth form cracks form. One almighty crack in their friendship called Louis Allen, lead singer of the awful local band The Desperadoes and Franny’s crush of choice for years. However, when Alice sets her sights on him how will their friendship survive their deal that the best […]

Posted April 29, 2014 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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