Book Review: “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

Goodreads Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Bookworm1102’s Review

I bought this book having heard so many good things about it. I was not disappointed.

This book deals with difficult subjects, subjects that often are not talked about because they are tough, such as racism. The book is based around Starr, a 16 year old girl who is with her friend Khalil when he gets shot by a police officer (who happens to be white). She is the only person, besides the officer, who knows what really happened that night, and the story is about her struggle to come to terms with what happened, and with her trying to fight for what she believes in. What she does and does not say could put her and her family in terrible danger.

I found most of the characters to be really likeable, with the exception of a few. Starr is the perfect protagonist. She was relatable, with the ideal mixture of serious and funny. Her family seemed to be a close knit family, they always looked out and protected each other, even when it put them in danger themselves.

I liked the relationship between Starr and Chris. They had their issues and arguments, but when Chris spent the whole night in Garden Heights, fighting along Starr and her brothers, it showed how much he really cared for her and that he did not care what others thought about them as a couple.

I would definitely highly recommend this book, as it deals with topics that, sadly, are very relevant in today’s society. There is also currently a film being made, and I am looking forward to watching that.

I rate this book 5/5 stars!

Book Links

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Book Review: “Please, Let Me Go” by Caitlin Spencer

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Goodreads Synopsis

Please, Let Me Go tells the shocking true story of Caitlin Spencer, a survivor of sex trafficking in England.

From the age of 14, Caitlin was completely controlled, repeatedly raped, provided with alcohol, given drugs, sold and passed on to new gangs over and over again. The majority of her abusers were Pakistani men, who were blatant in their attacks upon her, often collecting her from school or home, to be taken to flats they owned, family homes, or hotels booked for the day, to be horrifically and systematically abused.

At a time when the abuse ring realities of young white women in Rotherham and other major English cities are coming to light, Caitlin’s story will appal readers – not just because of the degree of horrific attacks which were perpetrated upon her, but also because of the ways in which the authorities refused to act.

Caitlin speaks openly about what she has suffered, and also shows just how unwilling many people are to face up to what is happening in our midst, for fear of being called racist. By bravely speaking out, she will, hopefully prove just how deep these problems are and just how the abusers get away with it in plain sight of the authorities.

Bookworm1102’s Review

I always find it difficult to ‘review’ these type of books, due to the genre and nature of the stories. When I read these stories, it is always in the very front of my mind that this is not a work of fiction. This truly happened to somebody, and they were brave enough to speak out about what they went through, whether it is for a cathartic reason, to educate the reader or a mixture of both, or something else.

I am also reluctant to say I enjoyed a book of this nature, for the very reason that it is a true story, it did happen to somebody, and usually, the things the author went through, were pretty horrific. That being said, this book really opened my eyes as to what Caitlin went through, and what is still going on in this country, and many other countries across the world.

Caitlin was very brave to speak up against her rapists, and I am glad she has managed to escape, and that she lives with her two children. I understand, having read the book, not just the physical pain but also the emotional and mental pain that her attackers put her through, and to come through the other side of that, I really do believe that Caitlin is a very strong person.

I rate this book 5/5 stars!

Book Links

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Book Review: “Charisma” by Jeanne Ryan

Goodreads Synopsis

A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences in this Sarah Dessen-meets-Robin Cook thriller

Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until she’s offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it’s too late.

Part medical thriller, part social justice commentary, Charisma will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Bookworm1102’s Review

Charisma is a book I picked up because I read (and enjoyed) Nerve. Reading the blurb, I could identify with Aislyn, who suffers from awful shyness, as I am exactly the same with new people, groups of people or when I am the centre of attention. What I did not expect, however, was to also identify with Aislyn’s brother Sammy, who had Cystic Fibrosis, the same illness I have.

I thought Jeanne Ryan handled both characters well. I do believe that she concentrated more on the negative of shyness, and it came across a bit as if people who are shy are only ‘mediocre’, although I am sure it did not mean to come across this way. However, I feel that she handled CF very well, speaking from someone who completely understands the illness. To some people, she may have mentioned Sammy coughing too much, but that is very true to how CF works, it makes you cough a lot. I found it refreshing to see CF mentioned in a book.

As for the story and the book, I enjoyed both. It did start off quite slowly, but I believe that was to give the full impression of just how difficult Aislyn’s life was because of her shyness. Things did speed up after 80 pages, so I would definitely recommend sticking it out if you are considering putting it down beforehand. I wasn’t sure what to make of Jack. He just seemed like a boring guy. Evie, however, I thought was the best friend that everyone either has or deserves. She tried her best to help Aislyn with her shyness, and she was so supportive when everything kicked off.

I probably would have rated this 3 stars for the story and book, but I have rated it 4/5 stars due to the mention of Cystic Fibrosis.

Book Links

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

Book Review: “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon

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Goodreads Synopsis

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Bookworm1102’s Review

Madeline Whittier is a seventeen year old girl who has a rare disease, which means she is unable to leave the safety of her house, as anything could potentially kill her. She is content with her life, being home-schooled via the internet and reading books. One day, a family move in next door, and Maddy meets Olly. After talking to him for a while, she realises that she is falling in love with him, and has to decide whether meeting him and being with him is worth the risk of becoming seriously ill.

This book has quickly become one of my favourite reads of 2017. The chapters, if they can be called that, are short and sweet, which is something that I personally really like in a book. The story was built up from the beginning so you got to know the characters quickly, and straight away, I felt really sorry for Maddy (although that is something she does not like!).

The romance between Maddy and Olly was adorable, and I enjoyed reading their IM conversations. It really allowed me to understand the full interactions between them, and to see exactly when they started to fall for each other.

I was completely shocked by a revelation toward the end of the book, but I felt so much empathy toward Maddy’s mother, and I was glad to read that she eventually seeked out some professional help. As it is a light-hearted book, there was always going to be a happy ending of sorts, and I am happy with how the book ended.

I rate this book 5/5 stars!

If you like the sound of this book, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon UK here and Amazon US here.

You can find my film review for the film version of Everything, Everything here.

Book Review: “The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide” by Chris Colfer

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Goodreads Synopsis

In the highly anticipated conclusion to the Land of Stories series, Conner and Alex must brave the impossible. All of the Land of Stories fairy tale characters–heroes and villains–are no longer confined within their world!

With mayhem brewing in the Big Apple, Conner and Alex will have to win their biggest battle yet. Can the twins restore order between the human and fairy tale world?

Breathtaking action mixed with laugh out loud moments and lots of heart will make this a gripping conclusion for many fans!

Bookworm1102’s Review

In the final book of The Land of Stories series, we follow Alex and Conner as they deal with the real world and the fairy-tale world coming together. The witches and the Literary Army have invaded the real world, with the intent of taking it for themselves. Conner is trying to save the world and save his sister, who has been cursed by a powerful curse, so she is completely under the witches control. With help looking unlikely from his sister, Conner has to rely on himself and his friends to help save both worlds.

I really enjoyed the finale to this series. It is no secret that this has become one of my favourite series of all time. This book started off with Conner as an elderly man, having become a much loved published author, doing a question evening at a bookstore. He suddenly realises that he cannot remember what happened to Alex, and delves into his books to find a clue as to what happened to his twin sister.

The characters were just as lively and interesting as expected, and Red really comes into her own in this book and she has grown up so much since the first book. I have quite enjoyed reading about her development and relationships with everyone more so than any of the other characters.

I am sad that this series is over but they will forever hold a place in my heart, and I will be reading (and listening) to them again in the future!

I rate this book 5/5 stars!

If you like the sound of this book, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon UK here and Amazon US here.

Book Review: “Marked” by P.C. and Kristin Cast

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Goodreads Synopsis

After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them)

Bookworm1102’s Review

This book, which is the first in the House of Night series, I have read before (I have read the whole series), but this is my second time reading it.

Zoey is a normal 16 year old teenager, who worries about the usual things (boyfriend issues, tests and peer pressure), when all of a sudden, a Tracker comes and Marks her. In that split second, her whole life changes forever. She has to attend The House of Night school, where day is night for Vampyres.
There is one catch: if you fail, you die.

I enjoyed this book almost as much as I did when I first read it. There were lines that I didn’t enjoy as much, and in places, I did feel like Zoey was whining a lot, which is something I did not notice on my first read. I do still like this book, and the series, and my favourite characters are still Stevie Rae and Damien.

I will definitely be re-reading the rest of the series in the future, as it was, and hopefully still is, one of my favourite series.

I rate this book 4/5 stars!

If you like the sound of this book, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon UK here and Amazon US here.

Book Review: “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer

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Goodreads Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

Bookworm1102’s Review

Before I read this book, I had heard nothing but good things about this series, so I thought I’d give it a try myself. I was not disappointed!

Cinder is a mechanic living in New Beijing. She lives with her stepmother and her two stepsisters. Cinder is also a cyborg. Her youngest stepsister becomes suddenly ill, and Cinder is blamed for this by her stepmother and oldest stepsister. Alongside this, Earth is being threatened by Queen Levana of Luna, who has the ability to wage war on Earth if she wants to. Cinder’s life becomes entwined with Prince Kai and with the Queen, and Cinder does not know that she is more important than she realises.

I really enjoyed this book. It is a futuristic take on ‘Cinderella’. I could see some of the similarities between this book and the classic fairytale, such as Cinder being forced to work for her stepmother, and Cinder meeting the Prince. There is also a lot of new characters in this series, like Queen Levana and Doctor Erland, who is one of my favourite characters.

The story was fast paced and there was always something new happening with every turn of the page. There were a few twists and turns that I did not expect, and the ending was a cliffhanger. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series to see what happens.

You can find Cinder on Goodreads here, Amazon US here and Amazon UK here