Review: Crow Moon by Anna McKerrow

23567756Crow Moon by Anna McKerrow
Genre: Magical-realism
Published by: Quercus
Pages: 384
Format: e-book
Rating: ★★.5

Crow Moon is a UKYA book about a Greenworld and a Redworld, that’s pretty much all I knew before reading. Also, the cover is absolutely beautiful, but completely misleading. Just like Half Bad by Sally Green, Red Witch explores a magical witch land through a male protagonist. I never really connected with the voice, maybe because I prefer female protagonists, but something was definitely hindering my enjoyment and access to the story.

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Review: Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler

25534237Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler
Published by: Orion Children’s Books
Pages: 304
Format: e-book
Rating: ★★★★

I was given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

P  L  O  T
Ash is in a few tricky situations. Not only are her parents splitting up for good, and she’s wondering if she really likes her boyfriend, but she’s also started having feelings for her teacher, Miss Murray. Confused by her identity and family situation, Ash has to really figure out what would make her truly happy.  Continue reading “Review: Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler”

Review: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne

22533460The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne
Genre: Contemporary
Published by: Usborne Publishing
Pages: 448
Format: e-book
Rating: ★★

I own all of Holly Bourne’s book, but have yet to read any of them. I thought that The Manifesto on How To Be Interesting would be as good a place to start as any. The premise was interesting enough, I just wondered if the book would live up to its title. Fundamentally, I think Bourne’s confused the word interesting with popular. I was thrown for a loop with the content, and got a lot of things I wasn’t expecting…mostly a slight rewrite of Mean Girls.  

P  L  O  T
Social reject Bree decided that in order to improve her life, she needs to radically change her appearance, become one of the most popular girls in school and start a romantic relationship with her teacher. None of these things sounds like a good idea to me, but she goes about them anyway. Along with this, she starts a blog to chart her progress.

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Review: Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy

27766357Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Published by: Hot Key Books
Pages: 304
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★★

I was sent Moth Girls by Hot Key Books in exchange for my honest review.

WOW. Just wow. I was drawn to this book like a moth to a flame. Anne Cassidy has created a story which is compelling, character driven and impossible to put down. I wasn’t expecting much from Moth Girls after having read so much in this genre last year, but I was completely blown away by how beautifully this story was crafted and how invested I was in these characters. I just could not stop reading. Moth Girls follows Mandy five years after two of her friends Petra and Tina are presumed dead after sneaking in to a old house owned by a reclusive man. She blames herself for what happened to the girls and has struggled to let them go, and move on with her life. Until the house is being knocked down and it looks like one of the girls isn’t gone after all.

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UKYA Day! (with Recommendations!)

ukyadayToday, the 12th of April is UKYA DAY! (I think it should all be in capitals, I’m that excited!) It’s a celebration of YA, written by UK authors, or authors living in the UK, and it’s brilliant. (That’s a real fact.)

UKYA needs to be championed by all who love it. Reading books by UK authors is so inspiring, especially because both Bee and I want to be authors some day, and part of not just the people who love it, but the people who create it.

So, without further ado, let’s have some recommendations!

121278101. Solitaire by Alice Oseman
I almost can’t believe this book is written because it’s so realistic, I’m not quite sure how Alice Osman wrote down what teenagers think that accurately! Tori Spring, the main character, is a child of the internet and a pessimist. She mets a boy called Michael Holden, who helps her to realise that she’s not alone. What makes ‘Solitaire’ so great, though, is that it’s not a love story. Who would have thought it, a boy and a girl can be friends without a romantic attachment! There’s some mystery and some mental health and sexuality representation…it’s got everything you need and everything the current YA market is missing. Read it, like, now.

fearsome-dreamer-wip2. Fearsome Dreamer by Laure Eve
I will champion this book to my grave, I swear. A lot of the UKYA that’s popular are contemporaries. ‘Fearsome Dreamer’ makes it’s own YA genre, as a mixture of technology and fantasy. There’s magic. There’s computer-generated worlds. There’s a ghost girl, and a hedgewitch and a monster lurking in a creepy castle. So many beautiful things combined to make the most exciting and vivid duology. Again, I could not recommend it more.

3. Geek Girl by Holly Smaleall that glitters
UKYA Day is just another opportunity for us to rave about how much we love the ‘Geek Girl’ series. Harriet Manners is an amazing character – she’s well-rounded, endearing, hilarious, sweet and a little bit clueless. (All my favourite qualities!) I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at four books. FOUR BOOKS. If you haven’t started this series yet, you’ve got a lot of amazing UKYA to catch up on!

4. Kisses for Lula by Samantha Mackintosh 
This EXCELLKisses_for_LulaENT book often slips under the radar, because it was published in 2010. ‘Lula’ was probably our very first UKYA, and we will treasure it forever. Like ‘Solitaire’, so much goes on within this book. It’s not just one girl’s quest to be kissed before her 16th birthday. It’s a crime mystery, there’s a witchy presence in the forest and Lula has a job all book lovers would crave. She works in a library. Funny and adorable, ‘Kisses for Lula’ is not to be missed.

176969735. The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss
All the books I’ve recommended so far have been quite cute. ‘The Year of the Rat’ is completely different. I absolutely love books that deal with difficult subjects, like bereavement. What was so amazing about this book, was its sense of realism. The protagonist, Pearl, did not glamourise the situation. She was not mature and sensible. She was a real teenager, dealing with the death of her mother. If you’re looking for something a little deeper than a search for true love’s kiss, this is it.

So, those were are recommendations for UKYA. The sub-genre of YA is definitely rising to prominence, as more authors take to the shelves, with a UK background. (Have I said UKYA too much in this blog? Answer: no. I’m going to shout it from the rooftops all morning.)

What would you recommend on this glorious UKYA Day? Let us know!

Review: Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton

jessie nycJessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton
Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Orchard Books
Pages: 254
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★.5
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

I read this book as part of the #readukya Read-a-thon that was hosted by @LucyTheReader. I was totally in the mood for a cute contemporary, and ‘Jessie Hearts NYC’ definitely delivered (plus it’s super short so could be read in one sitting!) I was a little bit surprised by ‘Jessie’ and how the plot wad advertised as a romance, but almost completely lacking in romance for the two main characters!

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Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

12127810Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
Published by: Harper Collins
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

This. Book. Was. Incredible.
If you have no idea what to read, but want something incredibly REAL then you need to pick up Solitaire straight away, because it will have you on the edge of your seat and probably spread-eagle on your bed contemplating your life. This book was a true gem and it really deserves so much more hype than it’s received. I absolutely loved it, and I can imagine myself  re-reading this again and again, it really has become one of my favourites. Here’s why:

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Review: The Rain by Virginia Bergin

the rainThe Rain by Virginia Bergin
Genre: Apocalyptic
Published by: Macmillan
Pages: 384
Format: E-Book
Ratings: ★★.5
Series: The Storm (#2)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

The Rain certainly had an interesting concept. Set in the southwest of England, where rain is abundant and constant, rainwater is contaminated with an alien organism that kills if touched. Excellent! But a great concept cannot fuel interest for over 300 pages….so I had a few problems.

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