Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

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Genres: Young Adult

Main themes: Bullying, Mental Health

Rating: 2 stars (2.5 is more accurate) 

The opening chapter of Every Ugly Word was both bold and gripping, and is what convinced me to give the book a try. The story starts off with main character Ashley, sitting in the office of her doctor- she’s on a psychiatric ward and is hoping that this meeting will prove that she’s well enough to go home. But why was she first admitted? Well, readers learn that whenever Ashley looked into a mirror- she doesn’t see a reflection of herself, but her older, adult self. As she finally opens up about her past, we learn about Ashley’s upsetting story of how bullying can push people into a very dark place. Read more

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Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

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Series: Throne of Glass #4

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy,

Main themes: Magic, Love, War, Personal Growth

Rating: 5 stars

When I’d finally decided to read Queen of Shadows, it had been more than a year since I’d last read Heir of Fire. I was a little worried about trying to get back into the Throne of Glass world in case I’d forgotten key parts of the story but honestly I felt like I was returning home with this series! I forgot how much I adored this world and its characters. 

In this book, Aelin Galathynius returns to Adarlan, and embarks on a dangerous mission where she must risk her life in order to save her friends and family, and bring down the King of Adarlan. We also follow Manon Blackbeak, who’s ability as Wing Clan leader is truly put to the test by the secretive errands and questionable decisions she’s forced to make. Queen of Shadows reaches new heights in this incredibly action packed series.

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Review: Blood Brothers by Willy Russell

Review: Blood Brothers by Willy Russell

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Genres: Plays, Classics 

Themes: Family, Loss, Society 

Rating: 4 stars 

I don’t have much experience of reading plays but I was really glad that this book had been gifted to me by my friends (shout out to the Placements Squad!) as it turned out to be a book I really enjoyed. 

Blood Brothers follows the story of twin brothers Mickey and Edward who were separated at birth. Around a decade later, fate ensured that these two boy’s paths crossed- but with a twist of course. Both are unaware that they are brothers and ironically, they become best friends. As the book progresses, readers see how their relationship evolves over the years… Read more

Review: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Review: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

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Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary

Main themes: Loss, Domestic Violence

Rating: 4 stars (4.5 is more accurate) 

5 year-old Jacob is horrifically killed in what appears to be a hit and run accident. The heartbreaking loss of this poor boy is enough to make a grief-stricken Jenna Gray leave her old life behind, and make a fresh start in a remote town on the coast of Wales. But just when Jenna is finally starting to move on, her painful past comes back to haunt her.  

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Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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Series: The Dark Artifices #2

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance 

Main themes: Love, Family, Loss

Rating: 5 stars

I was super excited to read this instalment of The Dark Artifices series because I absolutely LOVED Lady Midnight (you can check out my review here). The Blackthorns are my favourite Shadowhunter family and so I couldn’t wait to dive back into their world. Read more

Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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Series: The Dark Artifices #1

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Main themes: Love, Family, Betrayal

Rating: 5 stars

Lady Midnight is set 5 years after the Dark War (The Mortal Instruments), and follows the lives of Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, two characters introduced to the series in City of Heavenly Fire. At 12 years of age both became orphans; Emma’s parents were brutally murdered in an obscure manner, and Julian was left with no choice but to kill his father who had been Turned, in order to protect his younger siblings. Not only that, Julian’s older sister Helen had been exiled by the Clave, and his older brother Mark was taken by the fey, and became apart of the Wild Hunt. So now, all grown up, it’s been interesting to see how these characters have coped since the unfortunate events from 5 years ago. Read more

Review: Colorblind by Leah Harper Bowron

Review: Colorblind by Leah Harper Bowron

32446958Genres: Historical Fiction, Children

Main themes: Bullying, Racism 

Rating: 2 stars 

Note: I was sent a copy of this story by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Both Lisa and Miss Loomis are anxious about the upcoming school year ahead, and it’s not hard to understand why.

When Lisa was a baby, she had an operation to remove a cleft lip and palate. The operation left a scar, as well as one side of her nose being slightly flattened. Now, 11 year old Lisa’s appearance is the reason why she’s bullied by two cruel boys in her grade. Alternately, Miss Loomis is the first African-American to teach at the all-white Wyatt state school. However, she becomes a victim to the very same boys who bully Lisa. Not only that, Miss Wyatt is treated as an outcast by practically everyone, and is subject to overt and covert racism.

Colorblind follows these two characters, both victims, as they try to survive the school year. Read more

One by Sarah Crossan

One by Sarah Crossan

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Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Poetry

Main themes: Family, Loss, Love

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 Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Review: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

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Genres: Young Adult, Romance

Main themes: Loss, Love

Rating: 3 stars

Lennie’s world will never be the same after her older sister Bailey has passed away unexpectedly, leaving poor Lennie at a complete loss. However, a grieving Lennie’s life becomes a lot more complicated with the arrival of charismatic new guy, Joe Fontaine, in addition to some strange and undeniably crazy feelings towards Toby, her sister’s boyfriend. This story shows us how Lennie adjusts to a world without her vibrant and shining sister in it.   Read more

Review: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Review: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

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Genres: Cultural, Historical Fiction

Main themes: Family, Love, Loss, Society  

Rating: 4 stars

“‘Promise me you’ll always love each other,’ she’d say, as she drew her children to her. ‘Promise,’ Estha and Rahel would say. Not finding words with which to tell her that for them there was no Each, no Other.”

Jumping between 1969, and 1993, we see how a series of tragic events impacts an entire family. A prejudiced and blind grandmother, a bitter and poisonous great aunt, an elitist ‘Marxist’ uncle, an oppressed and loving mother, and a set of dizygotic twins for who “there was no Each, no Other”.   Read more