OCD Rep All the Way Up

John Green is known for his YA contemporary novels, they cover a variety of topics but seem to have a similar plot line. I’ll be honest, that’s the same here, but there’s a different reason you should pick this book up.

In Turtles, the main character suffers from OCD, and the representation is so ridiculously good. I suffer from mild OCD myself, and no I don’t need everything to be clean, so it was so refreshing to see this done so well here and to actually properly represent the mental illness in a way that society seems to ignore.

Our MC isn’t easy to deal with, her friends struggle to not get annoyed at her quirks and weird behaviours and they impact every waking second of her existence. Sometimes they’ll go away and she can just be in the moment, but they’ll come back again and that bliss is shattered.

I 100% recommend this for brilliant OCD rep and if you want a typical “John Green” book with romance, character building and young people learning about the world then this is one for you.

Have you read TEOOO yet?! Why not?!

This book really surprised me. I’m not the biggest lover of contemporary books, or novels I used to consider “girly”, however, after hearing Laura talk about this book at the NYALitFest I had to go and pick it up at the library. I sped through this book in no time at all and absolutely adored it! 5*! So, let’s break it down a little and see what about it I loved. And don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers in here!

To me, I feel like this book should be put into the same category as THUG (The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas), and therefore I think that if you enjoyed THUG you should pick this book up. Both tackle very difficult, but essential, topics in beautifully written and engrossing ways. The main topic of TEOOO (The Exact Opposite of Okay) is revenge porn, the legalities of it in the US and how it can have a life-changing impact on the individual. Although the author is British, revenge porn is illegal here in the UK so she wasn’t able to set her book here. Hopefully, this will soon become the same in the US, however, for now, this is not the case.

Revenge porn can have a devastating effect on the individual, as not only is their privacy violated on one of the largest scales imaginable, but also their trust in a person has been destroyed and this could impact their ability to trust others in the future. Laura tackles this beautifully and really makes the reader think about all these possibilities and how the situation would impact themselves.

There are also aspects of racism tackled within this novel, as Izzy’s best friend,¬†Ajita, is Nepalise-American and is therefore treated differently due to her skin colour. This is clearly not the main aim of the book, but I like that Laura includes it within the narrative as it is a very real part of life for many Americans.

a girl called shameless

Truthfully, this is simply an amazing piece of literature which tackles slut-shaming,¬†inequality, racism and more in a mature and engrossing manner. I cannot think of a single negative of this book as I couldn’t put it down and greatly enjoyed every word. If I can find more contemporary pieces like this then I definitely will be reading more from this genre! I am also ridiculously excited for A Girl Called Shameless (book 2 in the series) which is due out March ’19 and has a beautiful cover!

I don’t think that this review is doing this book justice, but if you are intrigued then please do go and pick it up! And let me know in the comments if you’ve already read it!

Anne of Green Gables, a review

I am so glad that I pressed myself into picking up this book. I have never intended on reading it and actually bought it to donate to my old school (I’ve given them other books instead, don’t worry!), however, as it sat there on my shelf I felt drawn to it somehow. I decided on a whim that I was going to read it… and then it sat on my shelves for another few months! Okay don’t judge me with that, we all do it (I hope), but then the BookTubeAThon came around and I decided that it was going on my tbr, and I was¬†going to read it. And read it I did.

I was enjoying myself with the beginning, I liked our introduction to Anne and watching her wait anxiously to see whether she would be accepted into this family. However, once it was concluded that Anne would stay and once she had settled into her new life I started to be a little bored with the story. Although there were little events here and there as Anne got into mischief, there wasn’t exactly much happening in the novel and those little bits I found more annoying than anything else. Maybe I’m becoming a grumpy adult?

Once Anne turned 13 however, I re-fell in love with the story, absorbing it so quickly until the very end. The section of the book was paced well, with interesting plot points and I was fully engrossed in Anne’s world and the events going on around her. This is the section that made me fall in love with this book, this is the section that made me want to give the book 5/5*! I had to be reasonable and remember that I didn’t enjoy the middle of the book, hence why my rating of the novel is actually 4/5* but I am now incredibly invested in Anne’s life and I will definitely be continuing with the story at some point!

I definitely recommend picking this children’s classic up, and I also recommend pushing through to the end if it isn’t appealing to you at the beginning. You might find a new favourite is in your hands.

Small Steps by Louis Sachar, a review

This is a sequel to a much-loved book, Holes (my review here) by Louis Sachar, and follows Armpit two years after the boys are all back home from the camp (link to the Goodreads page here). X-Ray also features within this story as he interacts with Armpit.

I was a little sad that Stanley wasn’t in this book, but once I was into the story I still enjoyed it and it was nice to see another boys perspective of life. We follow Armpit as he tries to be a good citizen and look after the disabled little girl, Ginny, who lives next door.

You can see where the plot of the book is going to go pretty soon in, however, the resolution is unknown and keeps you hooked into the story. I love that this involved one of the boys trying to be a better person now that he has a second chance and working hard for that even though so many obstacles stand in his way.

Personally, Small Steps wasn’t as good as Holes. The emotional manipulation was on a much smaller scale (and surprisingly I want more of that in a book) and I was just constantly annoyed at X-Ray, but I did still enjoy the book and gave it a very passable 3/5*. It’s a nice little extra to the world of the boys and I would enjoy seeing more stories from them in the future (although God knows if that’d ever happen).

September TBR| 2018

So I’m a little behind with this post, but I’m really not sure how to write it up! I’ll link my video version here, cause it’s easier to babble and explain that way. However, I’ll attempt to list at least the basics of what I’d like to read this month!

Let’s get going!

First up, I aim to finish my beta read of Jemahl Evan’s newest book in the Blandford Candy series. There’s no cover image for this book yet but I am excited to finally finish it up and give Jemahl my thoughts!

aaru

Aaru by David Meredith

This was sent to me as a review copy by the author, so I’d like to get around to this while I still have access to the physical copy. It’s a dystopian novel about the possibilities of a digital afterlife and the impacts that will have on society when it’s owned by a company.

empathy problemThe Empathy Problem by Gavin Extance

This book follows a banker who discovers he has a brain tumour, and after this he slowly starts to become more empathetic (where previously he had been uncaring). I absolutely loved The Universe versus Alex Woods, also from this author, so I’m excited for this one.

truth sisterTruth Sister by Phil Gilvin

I got this book as an ARC at the NYAListFest at the beginning of the year and I didn’t manage to read it before the publication date, so this is one I would love to be able to get to!!

 

mysteryofthreequartersThe Mystery of the Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

This beauty (I mean look at it!) came out at the end of last month, and I got an ARC of it from NetGalley so I’d like to get around to it sometime soon. I’m a liiiitle behind on my arcs (I’m so far behind, please send help!)

 

wayofallfleshThe Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry

According to Goodreads, this book is released in October. So maybe I could actually get to it before it’s pub date?! Probably not, but it’s the aim at least! Set in 1800s Edinburgh, there is murder afoot.

 

timeschoolTime School by Nikki Young

This is a middle grade novel and is based around WWII so of course I need to read it. This should be a nice quick read as it’s only 129 pages long and aimed at a younger audience.

 

endofchiraqThe End of Chiraq by Young Chicago Authors

This is a collection of modern poetry set in and based around Chicago. As a Brit I don’t know too much about this area so this should be an interesting read, and possibly another quick one as poetry usually flows quickly. We’ll see

 

So there it is, the main bulk of my September tbr! There are a few offshoots and random bits and pieces here and there that I mention a little more in my video, but this is the core, and is what is written down in my bullet journal! Fingers crossed I can complete this tbr this month. I really hope I can!

August Wrap Up| 2018

I set a very optimistic tbr for this month, so lets see how much I actually managed to get through!

First up, the end of the BookTubeAThon!

LSMo Anne FrankThe Last Seven Months of Anne Frank by Willy Lindwer    5/5*

Find my standalone review for this book here. This is a very hard-hitting book, not one for the faint-hearted. Lindwer has collated the stories of six women who interacted with Anne Frank during their time at the Concentration Camps during the Holocaust of WWII. All of the women are Jewish, and have inspirational stories about their survival through this horrific time. An amazing book that is so important to read.

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Alice by Christina Henry  (The Chronicles of Alice #1)  5/5*

I absolutely loved this book! I had intended on giving it 4/5* as the problems within the book seemed to be solved a little to easily (as much as I can say without spoilers) but I could not get the book out of my head for days and days after I had finished it so I just had to give it 5/5*. I am so excited for the sequel Red Queen! I intend to write up a full review of the book soon, but I need to give it the love it deserves, such an amazing book!

Wyrd Sisters

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #6)   4/5*

This was probably my favourite Discworld book so far! I absolutely love all three witches and I really enjoyed the plays that were incorporated and the Macbeth vibes. Looking forward to the next Witches book!

 

BoB

Battle of Britain by Chris Priestly¬†(A “My Story” book)¬† ¬†4/5*

I really enjoy these “My Story” historical diaries that are written in the style of someone living through the experience. This one follows a Spitfire pilot during his time in the war and re-reading this as an adult, I definitely think these are great books for kids!

RunawayRunaway by Meg Cabot (Airhead #3)   4/5*

The final book in the Airhead trilogy! I really wasn’t expecting it to go the way that it did, but I still really enjoyed it and I’m so glad I picked these up after owning them for a good 5 years (or more!)

 

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Sheets by Brenna Thummler   4/5*

My first ever Edelweiss+ eARC, and it is such a lovely graphic novel! Find my full review of it here, but I absolutely loved the art style, the message, and our little sheet is so adorable!

 

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Mortals and Immortals of Greek Mythology by Françoise Rachmuhl    3/5*

Another eARC graphic novel from Edelweiss+, but this one is translated from French. It was really interesting to see this “kidified” set of the Greek myths and quite enjoyable! Find my full review of it here!

time travel handbook

The Tim Travellers Handbook by Wyllie, Acton and Goldblatt   4/5*

I’ve owned this book for a little while and started it during the 7in7Readathon, but didn’t manage to get it finished. I’ve finally completed it and really loved it! I definitely recommend this book that is essentially a historically accurate travel guide if time machines exist. I love it!

animalfarm

Animal Farm by George Orwell    4/5*

Audiobook was my chosen form for this book, the same as I did for 1984. I think that might’ve taken me out of the story a little, hence it not being a 5* review so I might have to re-read this at some point in a physical format

 

throneofglass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas    4.5/5*

I finally read it! And I definitely want to continue with the series!!! It wasn’t quite a 5* read as there were a few problematic aspects, but I can see myself giving the series 5* in the future if it hits all the points. Very glad I finally started this series.

kingsevenlakesKing of the Seven Lakes by A. B. Endacott     5/5*

I absolutely loved this sequel! Such an amazing series and I am so excited to read #3! The writing is beautiful and engaging and the world building has me so engrossed. Definitely, recommend this if you like fantasy reads. Read it!!!

 

So I did manage quite a few books this month, just not the ones I originally put on my tbr! But I read some absolutely amazing books so I’m still pretty happy. Definitely not having such a big tbr for next month!!

July Wrap Up! Hella late but better than never!!| 2018

So this is ridiculously late (just wait until I pop my August TBR up!) but surely it’s better late than never?! Okay, shush just let me get on with it! If you’d rather see this in a video format, then click here for the link to my YouTube July wrap up, which was actually posted within a reasonable time frame! Shocker, I know.

whoologyWho-Ology by Cavan Scott    4/5*

This is a fun read which covers the whole history of the show and goes into details about all the doctors, companions, villains and more! As a whovian it was fun to read about some episodes I’ve not been able to get to and have some more depth to the show.

shadow of hitlerIn The Shadow of Hitler by Richard Vaughan-Davies     3/5*

Find my full review here! This was an interesting read, but it didn’t quite hit the mark. Certain aspects were interesting, however, they couldn’t quite make up for the rest of the story to increase my rating.

 

hit squadHit Squad by Sophie McKenzie    4/5*

Find my full review of Hit Squad here! I am so glad I finally finished up this series, this ended the Medusa Project in a really satisfying way, as well as leaving it open enough that it could be picked up in the future! I would absolutely love that, but seeing as it was published in 2012 I doubt Sophie McKenzie is going to write any more in the series. I can always hope though!

airheadBeing Nikki by Meg Cabot     4/5*

I’ve been really enjoying this series. Contemporary with a fun twist that really adds another dimension to the story, the ending of this book was really shocking and left me on such a cliffhanger!

 

othelloOthello by William Shakespear    1/5*

Oh my god, I HATED this!!! I just could¬†not get through it and ended up DNFing it! Maybe one day I’ll pick it back up again, and I’d like to watch an adaptation seeing as it is supposed to be performed. But for now, I’m leaving it be.

 

fracturedFractured by Teri Terry     4/5*

This is the second installment in the Slated trilogy and I really enjoyed it! It has been years since I read Slated (around 5!) so I’m really happy that I still love this series and I’m excited for Shattered!

 

The Girl in the Blue CoatThe Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse    4/5*

I listened to this book via audiobook (thank you library) and sadly I think this might’ve made me less emotionally attached to the characters, and with a book like this, I personally feel that this is an important part. So maybe this could’ve gotten 5* if I’d read a physical copy, or maybe it was the writing. Either way, I still recommend this read!

the eye of the northThe Eye of the North by Sin√©ad O’Hart¬† ¬† 4/5*

I absolutely fell in love with these beautifully written characters and the world building was fantastic. I genuinely felt sad that the story was over and hope that there could be a sequel in the future! A great 8-12 read and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from Sin√©ad O’Hart in the future!

thatoldblackmagicThat Old Black Magic by Cathi Unsworth     4/5*

Find my full review here! This was a really really odd book, but don’t let that stop you from reading it! Magical, dark and intense, this book has the potential to suck you in and only spit you out hours later.

Next up, the 7in7Readathon reads! Find my wrap up and reading vlog here!

punisherThe Punisher    3/5*

I enjoyed this comic, however, this was my first experience with this format and I had been expecting to get more of the story within the issue. Therefore I finished it feeling slightly disappointed, but I still enjoyed the story arc and may finish it up in a bind up in the future.

norse mythologyNorse Mythology by Neal Gaiman    4.5/5*

I really enjoyed Gaiman’s take on the Norse God’s and their antics! The short stories all lead on beautifully to the next and come together at the end to create one larger overall story. I definitely recommend this one!

 

The Essential Spike MilliganThe Essential Spike Milligan   3/5*

I think I could’ve given this 4/5* if I wasn’t reading it for a readathon. It made me read through this a lot faster than I would’ve liked and took away some of the impacts. I want to reread this at some point and see how I feel then.

fangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell    4/5*

I can’t believe this took me so long to read! I’m so happy that I give contemporaries a chance nowadays. This is a deep book that follows Cath through her discovering college and being introduced to adult life, slowly but surely.

afterannaAfter Anna by Alex Lake    4.5/5*

This book¬†fucked me up so bad. I 100% recommend! Even though I could tell all of the “twists” I was still completely hooked and couldn’t put it down. Total mind fuck! (a great compliment for a thriller!)

Now into the BookTubeAThon reads! Find my wrap up here in blog format and here in video format!

IUTKTI Used to Know That Geography by Will Williams    4/5*

This is a great little geography book and written in a way that keeps you interested (rather than feeling like it’s a textbook!). Great for those wanting to recap the subject or be introduced to the GCSE (14-16 yo) standard of the subject

AoGGAnne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery    4/5*

Although I found the middle section of this book (before Anne turns 12/13) quite tedious, after finishing I absolutely adore Anne and can’t wait to read more following this young girls life! Definitely very invested haha.

 

And that is my wrap up! I read¬†loads this month and took a loooong time to recover after it! Hence this really late post haha, but I’m getting myself back on track now… before I go and leave for uni. So hopefully I can stay this way! I don’t think I’ll keep this level of reading up but I’m really glad I got through what I did.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods

I’m going to be honest, I picked this book up purely for the cover. The synopsis was okay but nothing massively intriguing to me at the time, but this cover! I saw this book, and another one by Gavin Extence called The Empathy Problem, in a secondhand bookshop and my friend bought them both for me. I literally couldn’t leave them behind because they were both so beautiful! I have yet to read The Empathy Problem but I’m really looking forward to it now!

So, beautiful cover aside, what is the book actually about? We follow a young boy, Alex Wood, who was hit on the head by a meteorite as a child and is being raised by an eccentric fortune-telling mother. He meets an old man, Mr. Peterson, and they become an unlikely duo and come to care for each other. When Mr. Peterson has an unusual predicament, Alex helps him out and this results in them driving to Europe… If you want to know more you’ll have to read the book! As I think anything else spoils the essence of the plot.

The thing about this book is that the plot isn’t necessarily the main driving force. It’s an interesting and intriguing storyline, however, the main focus of the book is really Alex and his interactions and relationships. The writing is so beautiful, and slips easily into the mind and sticks there, making you think.

This book is so beautiful and one that I wish I heard more people talking about, an amazing coming of age novel which tackles so many different issues and I look forward to re-reading it in the future, along with other novels from Gavin Extence. 100% 5/5*****

Fangirl, a review!

I’ve finally read Fangirl!!! This is the 4th book I got around to during the 7in7readathon and it took me a little bit to get into it, but once I did I absolutely flew through it! I’ve been allowing myself to read more contemporaries lately, I used to think that I didn’t like the genre, that it was too “girly” and I wanted to stay away. However, that’s obviously nonsense and finally, I’ve come around to actually reading these sorts of books and loving them!! So, onto the actual book!

Fangirl follows Cath, a twin, and her and her sister moving to college and slowly entering the adult world. Cath is very shy and nervous and hides away a lot, so I absolutely loved watching her grow and become her own person rather than Wren’s twin sister. There were lots of nerdy pop culture references within this book, not only within the Simon Snow sector (where Harry Potter is referenced a lot, obviously), but also silly references to Twilight and more, definitely fun little additions.

There are some pretty deep plot points within this novel, but I feel like they were handled very well with just the right degree of humour mixed in with the more serious notes. All in all, this was such an enjoyable book, I was sucked fully into the world and I definitely would be up for reading a sequel or a book from another character’s pov!

The little excerpts from Simon Snow and Cath’s fanfic Carry On started out ridiculously cheesy. To the point where I was going to just skip them for the rest of the book. But I’m really glad I didn’t. The cheese lessened as the book carried on and I actually ended up interested in what was going to happen in the story! Definitely wanting to pick up Carry On now and see what “Cath” does with it.

There are so many different aspects about this book, and I feel like I could go on about it for ages, and that would just get boring and spoilery. So overall, I definitely recommend this book. It was engrossing, deep, fun, and just a lovely book!

BookTubeAThon 2018 TBR!

I originally did this TBR as a video (if you couldn’t tell by the thumbnail-esque picture) so if you’d like to watch that then click here!

This will be my first foray into BookTubeAThon, which is spanning the 30th July till the 5th August this year, and I am really excited to take part in as many of the YouTube and Instagram challenges as possible! It’ll be a bit of a test for me as my editing skills are still in development but I’m looking forward to the challenge!

There are 7 reading challenges every year, so I’ll go through each challenge and explain my book choices.

  1. Coin toss – this challenge is for my book to be decided by the flip of a coin (which I am horrendous at!). I decided it would be picking between 2 geography books that I own, one from the modern day and one a textbook from the late 1940s. I’d love to read both of them, especially now that I’ve finished my geography degree, so either one is fine by me! I ended up flipping and getting the modern day book so that is the first book on my tbr.
  2. A book about something you want to do – so for me the book for challenge one is doubling up for this challenge. I really would love to have a job within the field of geography and so this fits in perfectly for me!
  3. Book & Adaptation – challenge 3 is to read a book and then also watch its adaptation within the BookTubeAThon. I decided on Anne of Green Gables, which I have never read before and have been meaning to get around to for a while. I’ve also never seen an adaptation for it so I’m looking forward to this story.
  4. Green – the fourth challenge is to read a book with green on the cover. The first two books I have already chosen also fit into this category as my copies both have green covers. However, I decided to pick some other books to also fit within this. I chose two books for this challenge, book #1 is Runaway by Meg Cabot (3rd book in the Airhead trilogy) and book #2 is Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (6th book in the Discworld). I have been really enjoying reading both of these series and felt that their covers being green was a sign that I should read them soon!
  5. A hat? – This challenge is to wear a hat the whole time while reading a book. Not going to lie I’m not keen on this challenge, I dislike hats for multiple reasons (I also get migraines and just… no thank you) so for me I am going to wear a hat reading Runaway as I always blitz through Meg Cabot’s books and I won’t have to have it on for long! It also means I won’t have to wear the hat outside, which is good as the only one I can find is a woolly hat and it’s July (and I live in the northern hemisphere) so I’d look like a crazy woman!
  6. Beautiful spine – challenge #6 is to read a book which has a very pretty spine, specifically the spine rather than the cover as a whole. I picked a book called Unrivalled by Alyson No√ęl, which I picked up for no reason other than its spine! What else could fit this challenge so perfectly?
  7. 7 books – the very last challenge is to simply read seven books over the course of the readathon. As I only have 5 books so far on my tbr I have just chosen random books which I would really like to get to for the last two. Book 6 is The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank by Willy Lindwer, which I have owned for almost a decade now! I bought this on a school trip to the Netherlands in year 8 (12 to 13-year-olds) when we visited the Anne Frank Museum, and I was 13 at the time. I didn’t read it then as truth be told, I was kind of scared of the topic. It was stories about a dead girl which I knew were going to make me upset. I don’t think I was quite mature enough to read this book at that stage. Now I’m nearing the end of 21 years and I feel like I can pick up this book and really get out of it what the author intended. This will have a very different feel to all the other books on my tbr, however, I am happy to finally be getting around to this book. Book 7 is Alice by Christina Henry, the first book in a duology (I think) with the second book being Red Queen. My friend bought me these two books a couple of years ago for Christmas, and I was unable to get around to them as I had so many other books on my tbr! This seems to be a dystopian retelling of Alice in Wonderland and I am excited to dive into this darker version of the world.

That is my whole tbr explained and disected, so for ease of reference I’ll list all the books below:

  • I Used To Know That Geography – Will Williams (Coin toss and something I want to do)
  • Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery (Read a book and watch its adaptation)
  • Runaway – Meg Cabot (Read a green book)
  • Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett (Read a green book)
  • Unrivalled – Alyson No√ęl (A beautiful spine)
  • The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank – Willy Lindwer (Additional)
  • Alice – Christina Henry (Additional)

Please let me know if you’re going to be doing the ReadAThon too, I’d love to interact and see how you guys interpret the challenges! I’ll be posting updates and responses to the challenges on my YouTube channel and my Innstagram (and lets be real probably Twitter too) so if you’d like to keep up with my progress then you can find me there! Links below (they’ll open in a new tab).

Click here for my Instagram@autumnofpellinor

Click here for my YouTube – Autumn of Pellinor

Click here for my Twitter – @autumnpellinor