One by Sarah Crossan

One by Sarah Crossan

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Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Poetry

Rating: 5 stars

Here

We Are.

And we are living.

Isn’t that amazing?

How we manage

to be

at all.

One follows the lives of conjoined twins Grace and Tippi. At 16, it’s amazing that both have survived for so long but now that their family has run into financial difficulties, they must now survive the new challenge of what state school will bring them. As the year progresses, they soon have to face a decision which will turn their world upside down. A very emotional, lyrical, and beautiful read which magnificently depicts the love of two brave sisters. 

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Review: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Review: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: 5 stars

The Secret Life of Bees follows the journey of 14 year old Lily Owens, a girl who’s always been troubled by the hazy memory of a fatal accident that killed her mother when she was just 4 years old. Her upbringing hasn’t been the best thanks to her mean-spirited father, and she’s wanted nothing more than to just get up and leave. One afternoon, Lily does find herself running away, but with Rosaleen, her housemaid and only friend after a racially motivated arrest and attack. Travelling to Tiburon, South Carolina, they’re led to a house painted Caribbean Pink, home to sisters and beekeepers August, May and June Boatwright…

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Review: This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab

Review: This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab

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Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 5 stars

This book! It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced an overwhelming excitement about picking up my kindle to continue reading a story, or felt a buzz of anticipation knowing I’ll be seeing my favourite character again. This Savage Song has genuinely impressed me and become one of my favourite reads.

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Review: The Castle of Inside Out by David Henry Wilson

Review: The Castle of Inside Out by David Henry Wilson

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Genre: Children

Rating: 5 stars

“Lorina had to write about “A Special Place”, and the Castle had come into her mind the moment Mr Blair had set the subject.”

This adventurous and humorous tale begins with the young and inquisitive Lorina who’s making her way to the Castle on top of the hill. But what started out as an exciting trip soon turns into  a quest to try and save the green people, the ‘Outsiders’ who are dying from starvation and air pollution. Lorina must go in the Castle and seek help from the ‘Insiders’ who are actually all animals. There are mechangaroos, undertigers, haredressers and even osteopythons but the ones in charge are the likes of The Piggident, Mr Hogg and The Piggy Banker… Being pigs, it’s not hard to imagine what a battle Lorina will have with them!
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Review: Empress Orchid by Anchee Min

Review: Empress Orchid by Anchee Min

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Genres: Historical Fiction, Cultural

Rating: 5 stars

This rich historical account follows the life of Orchid, a 17 year old Manchu girl from Wuhu who’s been facing severe hardships due to the death of her father. We see that life for Orchid and her family has become increasingly discouraging, and all Orchid wishes for is a chance to better all of their lives. That chance arrives when it’s officially announced that Emperor Hsien Feng is on the lookout for future mates. Being eligible, Orchid puts herself forward and eventually, is selected out of thousands of girls to become one of the Emperor’s 7 wives. The rest of the story tells of Orchid’s journey in the Forbidden City and how eventually, she rises the ranks to become an Empress of China.   

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Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 5 stars

Maddy’s spent all her life inside the same four walls because she’s allergic to everything outside of them- all because of a rare illness that leaves her immune system majorly defective. And so 18 year old Maddy’s world is about as big as her air filtered home with only her mum, her nurse, and beloved books for company. But all that changes when new neighbour Olly bursts into Maddy’s life, and it’s not long before she falls for him… and that’s when everything changes. Read more

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2

Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 5 stars

In A Court of Thorns and Roses we saw Feyre break Amarantha’s curse and free Prythian from 50 years of pure anguish; but at a great cost. Haunted by the horrors experienced Under the Mountain, Feyre struggles with adjusting to her new life as not only a High Fae, but as the ‘immortal with a human heart’ whose abilities might master everyone else’s. As loved ones and enemies start to show their true colours, Feyre soon finds herself having to decide how she wants to spend her future, and who and what she wants to fight for. Read more

Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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Series: Me Before You #1

Genres: Romance, Contemporary

Rating: 5 stars

Me Before You follows the quirky, creative and warm Louisa Clark who unfortunately, has just lost her job. Accustomed to working in her local café for most of her adult life, Lou struggles to get to grips with her changing circumstances. However, it’s at her new job where she crosses paths with intelligent and once adventurous William Traynor; and this is where the beautiful yet heartbreaking story truly begins. Read more

Review: 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Review: 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

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Genres: Memoir, History 

Rating: 5 stars

12 Years a Slave is the deeply moving narrative of how Solomon Northup, born a free man in the state of New York, was kidnapped and sold on as a slave. Following Northup’s journey, readers are able to gain a better understanding of life in 19th century America, particularly for those who were constrained by the cruel and inhumane system of slavery. Read more

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Series: Red Queen #1

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy

Rating: 5 stars

A society ruled by Silvers because of their superhuman abilities, deemed superior to the ‘ordinary’ and degraded Reds who live in poverty and are treated cruelly- just a brief outline of this dystopian world had managed to grab my attention and spurred me into giving Red Queen a try. I’m glad I did, because it became one of my favourite reads of 2015.  Read more