Before I set off for a week away in Skipsea, North East England, I challenged myself to read as many books as possible over the seven days. In want of a concrete number, that challenge became seven books in seven days and honestly I’m still kind of shocked I managed to hit my target. Seven books in seven days is INSANE! Here’s what I thought of them:
Nightwanderers by C.J. Flood
Simon and Schuster were kind enough to send me both a proof copy and a finished copy of C.J. Flood’s hit new book and I’m ashamed to say it’s taken me this long to get round to reading it. It was not, for a second, anything I expected it to be – it was so, so much better.
Wracked with suspense from the very first chapter, it was so easy to get tangled up in Rosie and Ti’s friendship as it unravelled. There’s nothing I love more than a story about friendship, and with one as raw and messy as this, it’s no wonder it kept me turning pages. I loved Rosie’s imperfection; she’s one of the few truly flawed YA characters and a breathe of much needed fresh air. The characters are all insanely well-developed and interesting – it’s kind of unnerving, actually. This is the kind of book I wish I could say I’d authored. Seriously, so cool.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
When I went and bought Cursed Child on Sunday morning from the nearest Tesco it took me a full five minutes to open the first page, tears welling in my eyes. Gosh – try not to judge me too harshly.
I have so many thoughts, feelings, emotions and subhuman noises I want to make about this script but I’m saving them all up for a discussion post I’ll be publishing after I see the play in action next Wednesday. Is this script perfect? Far from it. Does J.K. Rowling kind of annoy me a little? More like a LOT. Am I still head over heels in love with Harry Potter, Scorpius Malfoy, and Albus Potter as I have ever been? Obviously. Stay tuned for my
rant discussion next week.
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
I picked this up on Tesco’s 2 for £7 deal when I was in buying Cursed Child because I’ve been eyeing it up for a while now. It’s just one of those books that everyone has read isn’t it…
Overall, it was a fairly enjoyable read – short but sweet. However, the relationship between Audrey and Linus feels like it happens far too quickly and so it disrupts the story’s flow. One minute they’ve barely spoken to each other and the next they’re boyfriend/girlfriend. Still, it’s one of those cute, light reads that are fun to settle down with and finish in a few hours. And, all being said, the main topic of Audrey’s anxiety is handled really rather well. It would be perfect for readers slightly younger than myself!
Love Song by Sophia Bennett
If there’s one guilty pleasure I have it’s boybands, so of course I pretty much fall head over heels for every boyband lit book that comes my way. I loved Chris Russell’s Songs About a Girl which I also read recently and Love Song is more of the same cute clichés (maybe even more?) and filled with the best musical numbers.
What I most liked about this was that it had a certain air of feasibility to it… Nina is offered the role of assistant to the lead boybander’s fiancée, Sigrid, and through her she begins to get to know the boys. It has two unofficial parts: the high life of touring and the stationary recording of the next album. What’s funny is I can’t quite decide which part I like more – both offer their own merits and setbacks. Want to know one of the best things about the whole novel? Nina has a family! That actually interact with her in the novel! And aren’t nameless, faceless beings that are mysteriously absent! You know I’m a sucker for YA that remembers parents and siblings exist.
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
All the Rage has been sitting on my shelf for the longest time now and I’m so glad I finally got round to reading it because I was most certainly not disappointed. Rape culture is so important to discuss and try to work against, so, yes this book is pretty damn important, and here’s why:
Romy’s story is split into ‘Before’ and ‘After’, fractured through the novel. What I found interesting was that All the Rage isn’t about being raped, it’s about what happens after. A whole year after. When a girl goes missing a year down the line, the whole town and Romy must begin to question what they really know about those around them and figure out where the truth really lies. It’s deeply afflicting in only the ways the most painful, most needed books are. Please – please go out and read this.
Dear Charlie by N.D. Gomes
When I was offered Dear Charlie to review by HQ Stories, a brand new imprint from Harper Collins, I jumped at the chance to read what I thought would make for an interesting, thought-provoking read. Going into it I knew it’d be difficult, given the horrific backstory, but I’ve come out the other side pleasantly surprised.
Dear Charlie begins after Sam’s brother, Charlie, has shot up his school and killed fourteen people – and then himself. Set against the 1996 call for better gun control in the UK, the book tackles Sam and his family’s grief as they learn to navigate this new world without Charlie, coming to terms with the boy they thought they’d known and the monstrosities he was actually capable of.
My reason for giving this two and a half stars is almost wholly because I found it so hard to connect with. Whilst I empathised with Sam’s struggles and wished for his happiness, I was like an outsider looking in, and I prefer it when I can completely and totally immerse myself in a book so this was a massive let down. For a book so much about the goings on in people’s minds, I wished it could’ve hooked in mine.
Cruel Heart Broken by Emma Haughton
This was another book that went in a completely different direction to what I expected. I requested a copy from Usborne and they kindly sent me one over, which I’m so grateful for because I actually did enjoy where the book went to. It’s classic, quintessential UKYA (another set in the ever-popular Brighton haha) that delves into pretty dark morally ambiguous corners.
Is Laurie a murderer? Is Charlie? And where does sister Katie slot into it all? Between a broken friendship and the shattering news of a teacher’s death, Laurie must learn to put her heart back together in the midst of the mess she’s found herself in. Cruel Heart Broken will really make you question where you lay blame and what the difference is between right and wrong. A seriously riveting story.
I’m still insanely amazed I managed to complete this goal. Talk about reading A LOT. How are your reading plans going ahead?