Illness

March/ April Book Haul

IMG_0021For the last few months I have been plagued by the constant need to revise for up-coming exams and as a result neglected to post anything for a while. I have two months worth of books I have acquired, because of that, I have not had the chance to read or review.

I did not feature this in my last book haul, though in February I did go to the Launch of The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury, where you can probably guess what I picked up.6fd235e651955b1a9768561dd0450e1f

Starting in March,  I picked up Kindred Spirits for World Book Day. Then, while I was in India, I picked up quite a few novels from the Oxford Book Depository.

  • An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
  • In His Keeping by Maya Banks
  • Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott
  • Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements

In April, I was gifted Talking of Muskaan by Himanjali Sankar from some family friends, and I cannot wait to read my first Indian YA book.

Have you picked up any good books lately? Tell me in the comments.

Goodbye Stranger ~ Mini Review

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Where did I get it? The local library

23615709Summary: Bridge is an accident survivor who’s wondering why she’s still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody’s games—or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?
This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend?
On Valentine’s Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

 

 

My  Thoughts:

This is one of the first middle-grade books I’ve read in a while but I found myself thoroughly enjoying it.

This book has fast become one of my favourites of all time and I even went around wearing cat ears for a few days to commemorate my new found love. (Read the book to see what I’m referring to.)

Tabitha and her friends were so engaging and their moments were filled with laughter and fun as well as the occasional tears and misunderstandings that made the book all the more realistic.

Goodbye Stranger was just perfect for a mostly light read with a serious and thought provoking messages laced throughout.

Rating: 5/5

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Where did I get it? I bought it

61t67xhl2cl-_sx321_bo1204203200_Summary: Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

 

 

My Thoughts:

I seriously can’t believe that I took so long to finally read this book. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is woven beautifully and the words just flow from one page to the next. Our protagonist, Charlie, is delicate and real and his thoughts were so profound I felt touched and saddened by his tale.

There were many poignant characters and I could sympathise with the confusion Charlie was feeling as he tried to ascertain his love for Sam and his friendship with Patrick and the others.

I haven’t really read many novels like this one though I did try Kate Sclesa’s “Fans of the Impossible Life” which I found not to my liking.  Saying this, I will defiantly be looking out for more books akin to The Perks of Being a Wallflower. There were many sensitive topics broached in this book and I felt all of them were handled with the utmost care.

I’m not sure if the film adaptation is any good, but I intend to find out as soon as I have some free time.

A must read for all!

Rating: 5/5

The Radleys

The Radleys by Matt Haig

Where did I get it? The school library

41pckvr7bql-_sx324_bo1204203200_Summary: Life with the Radleys: Radio 4, dinner parties with the Bishopthorpe neighbours and self-denial. Loads of self-denial. But all hell is about to break loose. When teenage daughter Clara gets attacked on the way home from a party, she and her brother Rowan finally discover why they can’t sleep, can’t eat a Thai salad without fear of asphyxiation and can’t go outside unless they’re smothered in Factor 50.

With a visit from their lethally louche Uncle Will and an increasingly suspicious police force, life in Bishopthorpe is about to change. Drastically.

 

My Thoughts:

I had been meaning to read a book by Matt Haig for a while, so when I found this book in the library I knew this was my chance.

My first reaction after reading the blurb was that “The Radleys” sounded a lot like the “The Addams Family” for some reason. I absolutely adore that movie (especially Wednesday Addams) so I couldn’t wait to start this book.

All of the chapters immensely inventive and I enjoyed the opportunity to view all the characters thoughts and feelings at different points throughout the novel. The entire plot was so very well detailed and I could not have asked for a more engaging read.

Every one should read this book and I cannot rave about its uniqueness enough. I need to go and pick up The Humans next and hopefully it will be as good.

Rating: 5/5

Night Owls

Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

Where did I get it? Given as a gift

night_owls_ukcover800pxSynopsis: Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart?

My Thoughts:

I was browsing the aisles in Waterstones, longingly looking at all the books on display, when I came across Night Owls. Just from the cover I was immediately hooked, and I knew that I had to read this book. Luckily for me I was given this book as a gift, and let me just tell you, that I managed to devour Night Owls in one sitting! It was AMAZING.

The MC Bea was nicely portrayed and I liked her slightly disturbing taste in art-(cadavers to be precise). Compared to Bea, Jack’s art was a lot more light hearted and fun, but in no way less important.

The secret that Jack is keeping had me a little worried, but once I found out what it was, I was so relieved that I was not something stupid and meaningless. Family, for me, played a really important role in this book and I liked the way that things worked out between Bea and her father in the end.

I also learnt a lot of new facts from this book- like what cadavers actually are and about Muni (it is a form of public transport)- and I can safely say that I will be re-reading this book many, many times.

Rating: 5/5

 

Am I Normal Yet?

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

235922351Synopsis: All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?

 

My Thoughts:

This story follows that of a teenage girl, Evie, who is recovering from of form of OCD. The book is a mix of text and images of notebook text (read the novel and you’ll see what I mean) which were cleverly compiled. Every time Evie thought a negative thought linked with her OCD it would be written in bold with spark flying off so that the reader pays close attention, which was a nice touch.

We see as Evie tries desperately to fit in at her new college and the lengths she would go to keep her OCD a secret. The detail put into the plot was extraordinary an I devoured this book in one sitting.

‘Am I Normal Yet?’ was both funny and sad; a poignant novel. I was hooked throughout. Evie may have started off unsure of herself but with the help of her supportive new friends; Amber and Lottie we see her grow and adapt.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Read it!

Rating: 5/5

The Unlikely Hero Of Room 13B

The Unlikely Hero Of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

Where did I get it? The school library

51olnh42hnl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Synopsis: When Adam meets Robyn at a support group for kids coping with obsessive-compulsive disorder, he is drawn to her almost before he can take a breath. He’s determined to protect and defend her–to play Batman to her Robyn–whatever the cost. But when you’re fourteen and the everyday problems of dealing with divorced parents and step-siblings are supplemented by the challenges of OCD, it’s hard to imagine yourself falling in love. How can you have a “normal” relationship when your life is so fraught with problems? And that’s not even to mention the small matter of those threatening letters Adam’s mother has started to receive . 

My Thoughts:

When I originally picked up this book, I did not expect to like it as much as I did.

It was among the new books I found in my library, and the only reason I picked it up was because I had wanted to read a book with a character that faces similar problems as Evie in ‘Am I Normal Yet?’. 

The main character, Adam was in no way similar to Evie but nevertheless I enjoyed this book all the same.

Adam was a great protagonist and I loved hearing the story from his point of view. His interactions with his step-brother, Sweetie, were definitely my favourite parts of the book and the way that all topics were handled with sensitivity and honesty, just made me appreciate this book all the more.

I would certainly recommend this novel, I liked the plot and characters and the dark truth about the letters that Adam’s mother was receiving was a twist I never saw coming.

My Rating: 4/5