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Maximum Pop Samplers Again!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Maximum Pop have again got tons of first chapters from a bunch of books coming out in September free for us to read! I told them that if they carry this on I'll be bankrupt! I went through and read those which appealed to me. Since it's getting close to Christmas I'm trying to hold back on buying books and am instead adding them to a wishlist that I can send to Lee so he can buy some for me. My birthday is just after Christmas too so hopefully this year it'll be books galore!

Genuine Fraud by E Lockhart
I read We Were Liars way before I started this blog and honestly, I loved it. I also wanted to throw it out of the window. I couldn't believe the twist. I read it on Kindle so I couldn't flick back easily to see where I'd gone wrong and missed it. I was frustrated but in a good way because I thought it was such a good book and that Cadence was such a brilliant unreliable narrator.
The first chapter of Genuine Fraud is captivating and intriguing. We open in a luxury hotel, where a young woman called Jule is exercising when an American woman, Noa, starts to talk to her. Not usually taken in, Jule feels sorry for her and arranges to meet the woman later on in the bar. Jule introduces herself as Imogen, but it's too late because later she discovers from the barman that Noa was asking about her. Jule makes plans to leave and is immediately running from threat.
It's intriguing and it's already dangerous, and I already don't know which part is truth and which is fiction. I'm definitely adding this to my wishlist.

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland
Hmm, this opening chapter is a little bit strange but still quite interesting. Esther is a high school student who wears strange costumes to school and deals brownies to her classmates at lunchtime. On the day we meet her she's dressed in a red cape and she has to get the bus because her mum can't leave the house due to the omen of a cat sitting on her car. At the bus stop she meets Jonah, who she was friends with in elementary school, and who ends up robbing her.
There's an element of humour evident in this first chapter, and an element of fantasy, too (one character is described as having slipped through a gap in reality), both of which grab me even though this isn't my kind of thing at all.

Gangsta Rap by Benjamin Zepheniah
I've never read anything by Benjamin Zepheniah although I own a couple of his books, one of poetry and one novel I think. I might even own this; apparently two of his books are being republished this month - Gangsta Rap and Refugee Boy. I like him when I see him on the TV though. Gangsta Rap was first published in 2004.
In this opening chapter, Ray starts the day listening to rap music, argues with his parents, and goes to school, where he's permanently excluded after threatening a teacher. He meets up with his friends Tyrone and Prem and the three of them rap on their way home.
According to the note at the beginning, this novel is partly based on Benjamin's own experiences of school, from which he was also permanently excluded. He also makes points about rap music being street poetry which belongs to everyone and not just to dead white men that I utterly agree with. The narrative is kind of stilted and sort of feels like it definitely belongs in the early 00s, but I'm still interested to read more of Ray's story.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Now, I've got a confession to make: I've never read anything by Lauren James. I've heard loads of buzz about The Next Together series and I even own them, but I've never read them. I'm sorry! I'm sure they're really excellent books.
But this one is already captivating. In the first chapter we learn that a spaceship called The Infinity is on its way to a planet with a high chance of sustaining human life, which will take nearly fifty years. Romy, our heroine, is alone on the ship. She has been alone for five years, since her dad died. Her mum was on the ship too - the two of them chosen by NASA to pilot the ship - but she's also dead. Romy was born on the ship so has never seen the sky or anything. She's now kept company by daily updates from her psychiatrist Molly.
I love the concept of this novel and I'm definitely adding it to my wishlist - but it also terrifies me. The idea of being alone like that is one that I find utterly petrifying. I read a book called Calling B for Butterfly when I was about 17 and I think it scarred me!

The Taste of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles
The novel opens at a Leavers' Ball for an art college, which Lux is attending even though she has a year left. She loses her virginity to a fellow student caleld Henry, and we see her toast the evening with her best friends. But there's an undercurrent - Lux as a narrator is looking back on this night as one of the last happy ones and that she is a Lux she no longer recognises. What's happened to her in the meantime? We don't know, but this is a start made to make you want to read more!

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan
It's no secret that I love Sarah Crossan. As with her previous novels, this one is told in free verse too. At the beginning, Joe is seven when his brother Ed gets arrested for murder. Ten years later, Ed is on death row in Texas and Joe has gone to try to see him. I'm so interested in where this goes. I'm sure it'll be just as painful as Sarah's previous books!

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
I have History Is All You Left Me by Adam although I haven't read it yet. I've heard loads of buzz about him and his books so I'm excited to see what they're like. The premise of this book is that two young men get phone calls from Death-Cast, telling them they will die today, and make friends on an app that matches people up for their death days. In the opening chapter we meet Mateo, whose mother is dead and whose Dad is in intensive car. He gets the call from Death-Cast and immediately goes into mental meltdown. He makes plans to go and see his best friend, but he doesn't think many people will miss him. This is such an intriguing start to a book.

Water in May by Ismee Williams
Mari is pregnant. She is fifteen and at the beginning of the novel she is making an appointment to see a heart doctor for her baby, and then she goes dancing with her friends and meets up with her boyfriend Bertie. The blurb says that the baby has a fatal heart defect and Mari has to make a difficult choice. I'm definitely interested to read more of this.

The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington
I've heard so much about this book already. Ella is fourteen and is living in a concentration camp. The opening chapter sees her trying to get a job in the dressmaking workshop there, altering and making clothes for officers and their families. Apparently this is a really sad book, I will definitely buy it.

No Shame by Anne Cassidy
Stacey has been raped and the trial of her rapist is about to start. The chapter sees her briefly recount what happened and start to worry about the upcoming trial. While the chapter is short is definitely piqued my interest. I am supportive of books where sexual assault has happened.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Oh hey I already read this! You can read my review here.

Phew! This post is much longer than last month's - what do Maximum Pop have in store for us in October I wonder?!

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