Book Review | Remix by Non Pratt

30369794Best friends Ruby and Kaz have been looking forward to Remix for months. Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life; Ruby is tired of hearing about it, and wants her friend back. Three days. Two friends. One festival. Zero chance of everything working out. 

I love being in the mood for contemporaries, and finding one that is just right for you. Because Remix was perfect for me, exactly when I wanted it.

First offs, I loved the characters. Ruby and Kaz had a dual narrative throughout the book, and I liked how it switched back and forth – sometimes, there was only one sentence of one of them before it went back to the other. It was so interesting reading about best friends who have started to keep secrets, because the reader has the knowledge behind both characters that they don’t have of each other. I’m not always a fan of dual narrative books, but this was done so well. Each character had their own distinctive voice, and it was just written stunningly.

The plot was also really interesting. Throwing the characters together in an enclosed space like a music festival is always a way to get good dynamics going between them, and Non used this to her advantage. The festival felt so real!

There was so much going on in this story, and quite often that can be overwhelming, but Pratt balances it really well. Each character had their own relationships and troubles going on, and I thought that they all got an equitable amount of screen time; there was never really a moment when I wanted us to stop focusing on one character and move onto another. In this way, it felt very much like real life, as there was so much going on but it wasn’t too much at all.

Three of my favourite characters were Lee, Owen, and Lauren, who were three side characters. Lee and Owen were in a relationship, which I thought was really interesting as Non wrote about the deterioration of the relationship, often not a plot that happens to secondary characters. And Lauren was a character I initially wanted to not like, because I am one who normally roots for the main character and she was a love rival for Kaz’s love interest. But, she was such a lovely, likeable character, and out of all of them probably the character I a) related to the most, and b) would most like to be friends with!

Non chose to write about female friendship rather than romantic relationships, and I really appreciated it. I am a person who values strong friendships, and I thought that the dissection of Ruby and Kaz’s friendship was a perfect focus point for this book. It was written really well, and is one that I think I’ll keep coming back to when I want to try and explain how much I love my friends!

One of the main reasons I didn’t give this book 5/5 is because there was a scene that I felt was very unbelievable. SPOILER PARAGRAPH Basically, Ruby sleeps with the main singer of her favourite band. As much as I liked this being a plot idea, and her realising the “you should never meet your idols” kinda thing, I just thought it was so unbelievable that to begin with I thought it wasn’t actually going to be the lead singer! I get why it was put in… but just too far-fetched for me. END SPOILER PARAGRAPH

There’s so much to talk about and unpick about this book that I might end up doing another review/blog post about it in the future, but it had everything I wanted: great, 3D characters, a great plot and setting, and a fantastic writing style. Non Pratt is an emerging writer, but definitely one to watch and I will be reading many more books of hers.

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads
Personal source: bought from YALC


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne 

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Book Review | Midnight Sun by Trish Cook

36044933Katie has an illness which, if she was exposed to sunlight, would kill her. She spends her days studying, playing guitar, and watching out for Charlie Reed – a super hot guy, who passes by her window every single day. One night, she happens to meet him at the train station, and something Katie has never had the chance to experience begins to form between them. 

God, this book. THIS BOOK.

The concept seemed really cool, but basically this just felt like a cheap rip off of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (which was a 3.5* read for me anyway).

The main character, Katie (who is played in the new film by one of my least favourite actresses, which probably didn’t help Midnight Sun’s cause before I started reading) was such a typical Wattpad YA heroine. She was good at everything she attempted (seriously, even if you’re pretty good at beer pong you don’t get it in every time…), the love interest fell for her straight away, and she somehow still had a best friend although they barely seemed to talk and fell out constantly.

The plot was predictable: the main character has an illness where she can’t go outside*, she stalks a boy for a decade before meeting him, they fall in love, and… I’m not going to spoil the ending.

(*I didn’t think this was a real illness until I googled it.)

I thought that there was room for so much more than what happened but basically this was just a romance. She goes to hospital once, seemed to talk about nothing but boys and the sun with her best friend and her dad, and although I felt some sympathy for her, it was hard to because she was so fucking annoying.

SPOILER PARAGRAPH I want to talk about the ending because it pissed me the fuck off. A) it was super cliché – dying with her mum coaxing her to heaven? Pur-lease. B) she spent her dying moments, not with her dad or best friend who have supported her for her life, but with a boy she’s known for like 6 weeks. Like… wtf girl. She just said goodbye to her dad & friend on the beach and left? Ugh. I felt some sympathy and admittedly, yes, there was some beautiful writing, but COME ON HOW STUPID. Also, the author clearly loved her characters, but there were two letters which wrapped things up nicely. I’ve read books like How I Live Now by Sally Nichols which deals with the MC dying really well, and let me tell you, this was drawn out too much into ‘I really don’t care’ territory. END SPOILER PARAGRAPH

ALSO there was a scene where they went on a train and the conductor shouted ‘all aboard’ before they got on. Has this author never been on a train before?? This legit doesn’t happen?? What a weird detail to include.

Probably the only thing I loved was Charlie. He was such a sweetheart, and just an adorable, cliche, YA book boy. Yes.

Basically though, this book annoyed the shit out of me & now I’m glad I can be rid of it from my shelves forever. The only thing I liked about it was Morgan who was Katie’s best friend and the only character who seemed to have a brain. (Tbf her dad did too, but was so underdeveloped he could’ve been written out completely.)

TL;DR: don’t waste your time with this book.

Rating: 2/5

Goodreads
Personal source: bought from The Works


If you liked this you might also enjoy: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Review | The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Image result for the one memory of flora banks review

img: goodreads

Be brave.

With only those two words inked on her hand, Flora loses her short term memory each day. The removal of a tumour took some of her memory with it. Until the day she kisses Drake; the first memory to remain in her mind since she lost it. 

Determined to try and regain her memory, and convinced that Drake is the key, Flora travels across the globe to follow him – and her memories. 

So, Flora forgets everything that she is told. It kind of reminds me of the Silence from Doctor Who; she writes things on her hands, has a journal that she reads when she forgets, and yet. And yet. She goes on a trip across the world because of a BOY. *sigh* Continue reading

Book Review | The Crown by Kiera Cass

26150713In the final installment of the Selection series, Eadlyn has her own Selection to manage, as well as the unsettlement in her kingdom. With her twin having eloped, her mother desperately ill and her father by the bedside, Eadlyn has a lot to manage just on her own. 

Oh. My. Days.

I DNF’d this book, and I hardly ever DNF books. I think this is the first book I’ve DNF’d all year, and I’ve read over one hundred books. Argh.

The original trilogy was actually pretty great. But then this duology (or books 4 and 5, depending on which way you look at it) came along, and… it sucked. I’m sorry! But it sucked.

I really dislike Eadlyn. She was spoilt and really extreme- she’s either all in, or there’s nothing there at all. I didn’t feel anything in the Heir, apart from a desperate need to save some of the poor Selected boys from their time in the Palace. Aside from disliking Eadlyn, the characters of America and Maxon have completely changed! All right, so America is ill and Maxon loves her, but Maxon also loves his country, so would he really just abandon it with a snap of his fingers? (Answer: no.)

These books just felt like Kiera Cass was trying to drag the books out, kicking and screaming. I think they should have ended after The One, perhaps with a small novella/epilogue to show what happened. (Oh wait. We had that…)

So… I totally DNF’d this, and looked up the plot of what happened online. I was satisfied that Eadlyn ended up with my favourite character, but other than that I was WTF-ing when I read the summary, so I’m glad I didn’t finish the book otherwise I may have thrown the book across the room, which would have been a bit of a bummer as it was on my phone, and I’m kind of attached to that.

And… that’s my rather angry review. If you haven’t started this series, I would suggest reading the original three books, and then if you really want to, trying the last two. But to be honest, just look up the plots on Wikipedia.

Rating: 1/5 (DNF)

Goodreads
Source: borrowed an eBook from my library

 

Review | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

The KonMari method of tidying has revolutionised organisation and minimalism all over the world. Since the age of 5, Marie Kondo has been tidying her own house and life, and has had clientele all over Japan. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying intends to teach you how to only keep the items that you truly love, how to discard the rest and to make your space into one in which you are truly happy. 

I really want to downsize my things, and to make my space into a happy one. I have enjoyed sorting through my things already, but reading this book has made me really excited to start tidying and making my place into a happy place!  Continue reading

Book Review | Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

34200289Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live. She leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine? – Goodreads

This book was… interesting.

The writing style put me off at first. It was quite staccato-ed, and although I guess that was the point of it, it was difficult to understand. However, it definitely grew on me. It really gave Eleanor such a unique voice, that eventually I was thinking in that way of talking too.

The plot was difficult, because there were many subplots all combining into an almost coming-of-age/discovering yourself story. It was, actually, really quite nice to read and I liked that there was a mystery of what was happening, what Eleanor’s past had been about.

I also liked that Eleanor was different, but still appreciated. It was, I suppose, a bit wish-fulfilling, because of course if you’re not liked, you’re not liked – people aren’t secretly harbouring a friendship with you (sorry, but it’s true). So, whilst I did like this plot point, of Eleanor discovering that ~she does fit in after all~, it was really tricky to actually believe in it.

That is what is so strange about this, I guess; it is so unbelievable, overall. I figure that the book was really good. I was gripped the entire way through, I really loved it and was thinking about it for days afterwards, but overall? It was so unbelievable. Well, not all of it; just some of it, I guess. It was just difficult for me to understand, perhaps, especially because this was definitely an adult novel and despite the fact I am legally an adult, in actual fact, I definitely am not.

I think that this book will become a new best seller, because it is wholly unique and wonderful in its own right. I really loved reading it, and it was the right book for me at the right time in which I was reading it, but all in all I don’t think that it’s a new favourite of mine, in the grand scheme of things. However? Overall, I would definitely recommend it, partly because of just how different it is.


TITLE: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
AUTHOR: Gail Honeyman
GENRE: Adult
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: HarperCollins // 2017
NUMBER OF PAGES: 299
ISBN: 9780008172114
GOODREADS
PERSONAL SOURCE: ARC sent by NetGalley
RATING: 3.5/5

Book Review | Countless by Karen Gregory

DSC_0253When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she knows that the numbers just can’t add up. An eating disorder, which she has called Nia, just simply won’t allow it. But as the days continue to count themselves along, Hedda comes to a decision. She and Nia will call a truce; just until the baby is born. She can do it, surely, if she takes it one day at a time… [Adapted from the back of the book]

I really enjoyed this new YA novel. It was a fascinating story, and it seemed to be Own Voices too, from what I could infer from the acknowledgements. I think reading a book where the author has had a similar experience helps to cement the reality of what you’re reading.  Continue reading

Book Review | Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

32048554Alice doesn’t believe in luck – at least, not the good kind. But she does believe that she is in love; with her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday, she buys him a lottery ticket as a joke – but to their astonishment, he wins $140 million and changes everything. 

At first it seems like a dream come true, but it quickly spirals into more of a curse than a windfall and Alice begins to wish she could take the ticket back. But she knows that you can’t change time, better than anyone. Will she and Teddy ever find their way back to each other? 

I really enjoyed this novel. I think it’s a really feel-good YA, and I got through it so quickly which was an added bonus. It’s a real dreamy book – both in the way of winning the lottery, and the way it was written! I felt so relaxed reading it, although I was completely unable to put it down. Continue reading

Pro-Review Writing Tips! | I: The Writing Process

Slight disclaimer: I am by no means the world’s best reviewer. However, I have reviewed a lot of books in my time, and I thought I would share some of my tips of how to make your reviews rock. Or, at least, be mildly interesting.

This is one of three different blog posts in the mini series (they’ll be going up in the next few weeks). This one is (as you have seen) about the writing process of the actual review; then we get onto how to write a rocking book description; and finally just some final hints, tips, and pieces of advice to be a kind and considerate, as well as good, reviewer. Enjoy!  Continue reading

Book Review | A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

30197201Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. – from Goodreads

I absolutely LOVED this book. I was in need of a lovely YA romance, and that’s exactly what this book offered: but with diversity!  Continue reading