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Moonrise by Sarah Crossan - Review

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Where did I get it? My mother in law bought it off my wishlist for me at Christmas. I don't know why she chose it out of loads of others, but I'm glad she did! 

What's it about? It's told in verse the same way Sarah's other books are, a medium that I'm really getting into. It's about Joe and his family. At the beginning of the book Joe is seven and his older brother Ed has taken off, and they get a call from Texas to say he's been arrested for murdering a cop. Ten years later, we join Joe who is now seventeen and who is heading down to Texas for the last weeks of his brother's life, as Ed is on death row. 

Joe finds himself an apartment and kind of a job, and visits the prison to see the brother he barely knows and can hardly remember. 

Through the poems we see the very last weeks of Ed's life and the appeals by his lawyer and learn about Joe's family and Ed's place in it. 

I loved this, I think telling stories through free verse of such varying lengths is a fantastic way of getting your point across in really poignant ways. I liked Joe as a character and I liked the glimpses of Ed that we got. 

What age range is it for? 15+, I think, because of the nature of the story

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? No 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, and it's lovely, I loved the way it was described. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes, it is somewhat graphic 

Is there any talk of death? Obviously. I thought there was a lot to unpack about being sentenced to death. 

Are there swear words? Maybe a few? Not many for sure 

What criticisms do I have? Almost none - as always I just want more of these stories, I wanted the ins and outs, but I understand that's not the nature of novels told through poetry. I liked Joe a lot and I liked the little life he carved out for himself in Texas. 

Would I recommend the book? Absolutely. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? You know, I don't know. I was just considering my next read and remembered this, so I found it on the shelf. I messaged my mother in law to tell her I was reading it and she seemed quite intrigued that it was written in poetry so maybe I'll lend it to her. 

What other books is it like? It's like Sarah's other books too I think. 

How many stars? Four out of five

Where is the book going now? Like I say, maybe I'll lend it to my partner's mum! 

I took this photo while reading on my front lawn!

The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne - Review

Friday, July 27, 2018

I borrowed this book off my friend Laura when we did a book swap a couple of years ago, and although I read lots of the book she'd lent me, I hadn't got to this one. I realised it was still on my shelves while looking for something the other day and decided to pick it up.

It's a dual narrative novel, focussing on Daniel, who in the present day is 35 and a lawyer. He is estranged from his adoptive mother, Minnie, and gets the news that she has died and has left him the farm she owned. At the same time, he's appointed as the lawyer for Sebastian, an 11 year old child who stands accused of murdering a smaller child one August afternoon.

In the other narrative we see Daniel's younger life and how he came to live with Minnie. We see the two of them get to grips with each other and see why Daniel is so angry and feels so abandoned. We see why present day Daniel identifies quite so strongly with Sebastian, and throughout the novel we get to see why Daniel eventually cut Minnie out of his life.

I loved the descriptions of Minnie's farm near Carlisle, and I liked that Daniel was from the north east and from a deprived family yet had gone to university and done really well for himself. I liked the present day narrative and the trial. I did however think that in general we needed more exposition about Sebastian's family and about why Daniel and Minnie had fallen out. So I'm giving this three out of five - readable, but not fantastic.

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree by Paola Peretti - Review

Monday, July 23, 2018

Where did I get it? I bought it on Kindle a few weeks ago, it was just 98p

What's it about? It's a middle grade book about an Italian girl called Mafalda. She is nine years old and she has Stargadt disease, meaning she is going blind. There are dots in her eyes and degeneration of her macula. I had heard of this disease before, because Kaitlyn in Floored has it too. It turns out that the author of this book, Paola Peretti, has it too, so she's obviously writing from a place of knowledge.

Anyway, Mafalda is going blind faster than she and her parents and her doctors hoped, meaning that is likely to be left in the dark within six months. And like she says, all children are afraid of the dark. 

Mafalda has a list of things she will no longer be able to do, and as she stops being able to do them, she crosses them off. She also watches to see how many steps it is between the cherry tree and when she is able to see it. The tree is outside her school and it means a lot of Mafalda. 

At school, one of the caretakers, Estella, is a particular friend of Mafalda's, and I loved this relationship. We also see Mafalda make a new, careful friendship with a boy in the class above her, Filippo. He is a "bad" boy and at first their relationship is very stilted, but I loved how we got to know him through Mafalda.

This is an almost perfect example of a middle grade book. It deals with some really hard themes in a very simple but never simplistic way. I loved Mafalda, I thought she was a really likeable and relatable character. I also really liked her parents. And her cat!

I thought the ending was brilliant too - I think I stopped breathing at one point. It is hard hitting but done in a really, really beautiful way. I would definitely read anything 

What age range is it for? 9+, I think 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes, and Estella is an immigrant into Italy, I liked how this was deal with. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Obviously. I loved how Mafalda described things, like some things were "fuzzy", or she had to get up really close to things, or how she looked at herself in the mirror. 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, it is done beautifully. I thought it was extremely age appropriate 

Are there swear words? No 

What criticisms do I have? Honestly, barely none. 

Would I recommend the book? Absolutely. I think this would be a lovely book for a parent and child to read together, too.

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I actually had it earmarked to read on holiday but I didn't have internet connection to download it, so I had to wait until I got home

What other books is it like? Gosh, I can't think of any 

How many stars? Five out of five. Like I said, it is a great example of middle grade contemporary

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood - Review

Friday, July 20, 2018

Where did I get it? I got a free proof copy at the Northern YA Lit Festival in March

What's it about? It is set in 1929 in Cornwall. Lou, the second eldest in a large family, spends her days, at the beginning of the book, trespassing on the island just across the causeway from her village, in the Cardew House. There's no one there, so Lou spends her days eating apples and reading books in the huge library. 

But then she's caught. The Cardews are back. There's dashing Robert, heir to the Lordship title, and his sister Caitlin. Lou's family life is a little in turmoil. Her sister Alice is getting married, and Lou feels like marriage and children is the path she's destined for too, even though she doesn't necessarily want that. She likes to write - she writes romance stories. So escaping to the island is something she needs, but when the Cardews turn up she can't imagine how she'll fit into their moneyed, privileged world. But she ends up spending the summer with the siblings and their friends, seeing a glimpse into a life she'll never have.

I had seen this book touted as being a bit like the Great Gatsby, which I guess I kind of see, because there's a big house and rich people and a lot of fabulous parties and more fabulous dresses. I guess I can see those comparisons but they're quite superficial.

What age range is it for? 13+, probably. There are a few heavier themes but they're not
mentioned in great detail.

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? There is a person of colour, although not a main character, but I have to say that I thought this subplot was handled fairly poorly 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Not really? 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Not really

Is there any talk of death? A little, I guess some of it could be triggering.

Are there swear words? No 

What criticisms do I have? I'm not entirely sure where to begin. I didn't like this book very much. It isn't written badly, but I found it very superficial. I didn't like Lou very much, I thought she made stupid decisions. I liked Caitlin and Robert, but I didn't understand why Lou was so into Robert. I don't think we saw enough of Lou's family to understand why she felt the way she did; I felt like Alice was quite patronising towards her at times. I didn't feel like some things were explained enough. I'd also seen it described as a romance when there's very little actual romance in it. I don't know. Not my cup of tea 

Would I recommend the book? Most likely not

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I'd heard good buzz about it 

What other books is it like? None that it's better than, for sure. 

How many stars? Two and a half out of five.

Where is the book going now? I'll probably trade it if I'm honest!

Your Turn to Die by Sue Wallman - Review

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Where did I get it? It was my Willoughby Book Club book for this month, so my friend Janet, who works there, most probably selected it for me! My subscription has just run out and I'm trying to work out if I can afford to renew it!

What's it about? Leah is fifteen, and she always spends New Year at Roeshot House, in the middle of nowhere, with family. There was her, her mum, and her dad, her Auntie Gabs, her cousins Ivy and Poppy, their dad, plus Gabs' friends Elaine and Marc, and their son Jakob. Leah and Ivy and Jakob call themselves the Three Amigos and have all these lovely traditions that they do each year.

But this year things are different. First of All, Ivy and Poppy's dad has died and Gabs is struggling to cope. Poppy is ill and the doctors can't work out what's wrong with her. Leah's dad has left her mum, and her mum is seeing Steve, who Leah can't stand. Then there's Tatum, who vaguely knows Ivy's family, who turns up and puts herself right into the middle of the Three Amigos.

The group hasn't been there that long when strange things start to happen. Poppy sees a ghost and the group is told that recently a body has been dug up in the front garden and a secret has been kept for over sixty years!

I wasn't sure if I'd like this book. YA Thriller isn't something I turn to a lot. I like adult crime thrillers but I've read next to no YA thrillers. I own Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman, but I haven't read it. But something about this intrigued me, so I picked it up almost as soon as it had arrived. 

And I LOVED it! It is really creepy and atmospheric, I really loved the house setting and the closeness of the family which was overbearing at times. I liked Leah and I loved Jakob, I thought he was a great character. I liked the mystery and the general sense of foreboding there was going on. I would have loved to read this book in the winter because I think the weather and cold really added to it. I raced through this and now I really want to read Lying About Last Summer. 

What age range is it for? 13+, there's nothing very scandalous in it 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? No 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Poppy and Gabs are ill, I guess some of that may be triggering

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Prescription medication, yes

Is there any talk of death? Yes, obviously there's the mystery surrounding the body and some of it is slightly gory, and there's some violence which is quite gory too. But I think it's age appropriate

Are there swear words? No 

What criticisms do I have? If I HAVE to say something, and I don't want to because I loved this, it would be that I would have liked more exposition at the end. I liked the ending, I just wanted more chat about it 

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? It was hanging around my bathroom after I'd opened the parcel so it chose me really!

What other books is it like? I think it will get a lot of comparisons to We Were Liars by E Lockhart, and I don't think the comparison is unwarranted or unfair. The three friends' relationship is stifling and sickly in parts, even though they love each other very much. It is similar in the way that the reader isn't sure what is real and what isn't. 

How many stars? Five out of five, it is great

Where is the book going now? I will definitely keep it!

Geek Girl by Holly Smale - Review

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Where did I get it? It was 99p on Kindle so I bought it at the beginning of the month. I started reading it when I was on holiday but got distracted by something else, but I've just finished it. 

What's it about? Harriet is fifteen, and is pretty much an outcast at school because she is a geek. She has her best friend, Nat, and a boy called Toby who is way too much into her. But she's bullied by Alexa at school. At home are her dad and stepmother, who are quite supportive of her although they drive her mad. Anyway right at the beginning of the book she has to go with Nat to the Clothes Show in Birmingham. Harriet manages to cause a load of damage and runs away, where she is then spotted by a model agency who really like her look and want to sign her. 

Nat has always wanted to be a model, so Harriet feels awful that she's got the chance when Nat hasn't. So she keeps it from her best friend. Meanwhile her stepmum Annabel doesn't want Harriet to be a model, so Harriet and her dad keep it from her too. 

But slowly Harriet does want to be a model. It's her chance to make everything at school better, right? There is also, of course, the dishy model she'll be working with... 

This is a really funny book. Harriet is clumsy and kooky and both those things come through and I laughed out loud at points. But I didn't love it. I didn't like Toby's character - the also geeky boy who follows Harriet pretty much everywhere when it's obvious she's said no to him. I would have liked him to be omitted entirely. I also just felt the book generally didn't have enough substance and grit for me. There are a few parts that I found quite body shaming, which I don't like. But, I can see why loads of teens would like it, and like I say, it is funny. 

What age range is it for? I think it is suitable for anyone from the age of 12

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? No, it's not mentioned if they are

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No 

Is there any talk of death? Not really 

Are there swear words? No 

What criticisms do I have? Just as above. That's not to say that I'm sad to have read it, cos I'm not! 

Would I recommend the book? Yes for younger teens

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? On holiday I just happened to have it downloaded on to my Kindle and since I didn't have internet connection that was really helpful!

What other books is it like? Gosh, I can't think of any

How many stars? Three out of five, I really did like it, just not much

Johnny Delgado: Like Father, Like Son by Kevin Brooks - Review

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I picked this book off the shelf on Monday because I couldn't quite decide what I wanted to settle to read after I'd finished Little Boy Lost. I think I had a book hangover from it, does anyone else get that? So I just plucked this novella off the shelf. I think I got it at YALC... Yes, I did, I bought five of these dyslexia friendly books from the Barrington Stoke stall there in 2016. I've read a couple of them and I've also read one of Annabel Pitcher's books printed in this way. They are printed on thick paper, the paragraphs are spaced out, and they're cute short little books so are perfect for reluctant readers.

This is actually a sequel, which I wish I'd known before I'd picked it up, but not to worry. It's about Johnny, who in the first book discovered who killed his dad, seeking to get revenge. On his estate, tensions are rising between different gangs and their factions, and violence is about to erupt.

This is a well-drawn story, I liked it for a little book.

Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski - Review

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I read this book for my book club, it was chosen by Margaret, who in 2016 chose Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift for us to read, which I also didn't think I'd like and ended up really loving. This is a really odd little book, but I really enjoyed it and also found it unbearably sad. I cried at the end - and I'm not a crier, I never cry at books.

So the plot is: during World War Two, Hilary Wainwright is told that his wife, Lisa, has been killed in Paris by the Gestapo. Furthermore, their son John has been lost too. Hilary tells his mother, with whom he has a strained relationship, that his son is dead.

At the end of the war, Hilary goes to France to see Pierre, who told him the news previously, and who has been doing some research into whether John can be found. He is shocked by how desperate Paris is doing after the war and after the German occupation. Pierre tells him that there is a child in a town fifty miles from Paris that he believes to be Hilary's child.

Hilary travels to the town and finds it dull, provincial, and full of people who may or may not have collaborated with the Germans. He meets with the child and over the course of a few days tries to get to know him. Does he feel the child is his son? Does he want him to be his son? Can he forgive the past and lose his bitterness for long enough to see what is in front of him?

The book was written in 1949 which is way older than most books I read. The end is so nerve-wracking and so sad, and I loved it - I thought it was written so beautifully and I genuinely didn't know which way it was going to end. I really, really recommend this book even and maybe even especially if you don't usually read classics.

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan - Review

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Where did I get it? I picked it up from the library when I went to my craft group. I was going on holiday so I was thinking hard about what books to take, so I browsed the "new" section in the teen section and picked this up. 

What's it about? Bobby Seed is seventeen and is a carer for his mum. She has Multiple Sclerosis, and is getting slowly sicker and iller. Bobby's brother Danny is fourteen and has something like autism, although it's not named, so Bobby has to do a lot of caring for him too. Bobby joins a group for young carers and meets some new people, including the charismatic Lou, who is American and rides a vintage Vespa. The two of them end up on a residential trip for the young carers group.

But Bobby's mum is really getting more and more ill, and she can do less and less for herself. Finally, desperately, she asks Bobby to help her die. 

This is a really funny book, despite the grim subject matter. The relationships between Bobby and his mum and between Bobby and his brother were both excellently written, as well as the family relationship the three of them had. Bobby's friend Bel provides some light relief too, and Lou is perfect as the novel's antagonist. He's a bit of a bad lad, and Bobby develops a crush on him which develops throughout the book. 

It is set in Scotland, I think, and the family is living in poverty due to having to survive on Bobby's mum's disability payments. There are a few comments on the current political climate for disabled people, which I liked (being a massive leftie myself). I also really liked how Bobby and Danny's dad (or dads) was never mentioned - I liked the idea that Bobby's mum had just decided to have kids by herself, or that he just wasn't relevant to their lives. More positivity for single parent families please! 

It ended how I thought it would, and it's really sad, and written beautifully. I have only read Brian's collaborative book with Sarah Crossan, which is written in free verse, but I definitely thought there were shades of that poetic writing within the simplicity and sparseness of the writing here. I really liked it. 

What age range is it for? I'm going to say 16+ due to extremely sensitive subject matter 

Picture taken while I was lounging around a pool in Cornwall last week!
Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Well, Bobby isn't straight, but he never puts a label on himself. I actually liked this - it felt like the family as a whole had rejected labels consciously. A couple of times both Danny and Bobby's mum make homophobic comments, which went a way towards explaining why Bobby kept that part of himself private. I liked this whole story arc, I think it fitted in well with the rest of the book. 

Are any main characters people of colour? I don't think so 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Yes, obviously Bobby's mum is. There's quite a lot of description of her illnesses and limitations, some of it may be upsetting. Danny is too, although there's less description of that. 

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, it was age appropriate in my opinion. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes, honestly this was one of my favourite parts of the book but I won't give spoilers! 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, obviously. It's very sad and gorgeously written. This book will make you cry. 

Are there swear words? A few. 

What criticisms do I have? I felt like in parts it skated on the verge of being too simple - there were parts where I would have liked a little bit more depth. But honestly, it's a really minor thing. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? Simply because I needed to give it back to the library before too long!

What other books is it like? Like I say, I think it had echoes of Brian's book with Sarah Crossan. 

How many stars? Four out of five. An excellent example of contemporary YA

The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burgers in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding - Review

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Where did I get it? I ordered it from, I preordered it back in January and it arrived in March. 

What's it about? Abby Ives has always felt like the sidekick in her life. She is seventeen, and has watched her sister Rachel and her best friend Maliah both fall in love, but she's never had that herself. But, she is about to start a summer internship at a local clothes boutique, alongside Jordi Perez. 

Abby is gay. She is plus sized and always wears cute dresses. She has a fashion blog, but she doesn't post pictures of herself. She has bright pink hair and a sure sense of her own style, which I loved. Her mum is a health food blogger and is building her brand, but she is very critical of Abby (and especially Abby's body), so the two of them don't often get along. Abby is unapologetic about her body, but she does comment on it negatively sometimes. 

Maliah's boyfriend is called Trevor, and while Abby doesn't dislike him, she wishes she could get a bit more one on one time with her friend. Enter Jax. He's Trevor's best friend, so he's decided they're 'friends in law'. He needs help on an app his dad is building, so he and Abby need to rate all the burgers in their neighbourhood. The two strike up an unlikely friendship, since Jax is a lacrosse bro, but this was honestly one of my favourite parts of the book. 

So then there's Jordi. Their boss Maggie couldn't decide between them so hired them both. The internship often leads to a job in the autumn, so they're basically fighting for that. Jordi is a really talented photographer, so Maggie sets her to work on that straight away. Abby is a whizz on social media, having built her own blog brand, but she feels a bit ignored. It turns out she and Jordi live in the same neighbourhood so they end up walking to work together. Abby realises she has a crush on Jordi, but doesn't know if Jordi likes girls. 

The two get together, but surely it's unprofessional, right? And Maliah dislikes Jordi because there's a rumour she set fire to some property, so Abby has to try to deal with that too.

This is a really frothy novel, it is pure confectionery. Part of me rolled my eyes at that, and if it was a m/f romance I would definitely be, but queer girls deserve this kind of froth too. Jordi is almost too perfect in parts, but I liked her a lot. I am so glad I saved this for my summer holiday, because it was the perfect sunny summer reading. 

I also, a a fat queer girl myself, love books where I see myself represented. If I was fifteen I would have been all over this book like a rash. I thought it was very gentle and lovely. 

What age range is it for? 14+ 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Obviously! I actually liked how we didn't get a label for Jordi - she liked girls, her parents knew that, it wasn't a big deal, and it wasn't labelled. 

Abby is gay, her friends are cool with it. Her parents are a little bit more reticent about it, but not too much. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Maliah is mixed race. Jordi's family are Hispanic 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? I don't think so? 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No 

Is there any talk of death? No 

Are there swear words? A few but not really. 

What criticisms do I have? Almost none! As I say, it is very sweet and almost too sweet in some parts - but then I am a jaded 34 year old so what do I know? Queer girls utterly DO deserve this kind of story, so I can't be too critical. 

I would have LOVED for Abby to start posting pictures of herself on her blog. You might not know, but I also have a plus size fashion blog over here. It is hard to post pictures of yourself, especially when your body is different from what we are told is the beauty ideal. But it can be done! I would have liked to see Abby embrace herself in this way by the end. 

Would I recommend the book? One hundred percent 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? My partner and I were heading to sunny Cornwall and I thought it would make perfect holiday reading, and it did! I read a lot of it sitting on the beach or by the pool. 

What other books is it like? I don't think it's unfair to compare it to Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli - I personally think it is much better. 

How many stars? Four out of five - but really more a four and a half. 

Where is the book going now? Back on to the LGBT shelf from where it came! 

Floored: A Novel - Review

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Where did I get it? Netgalley, so thank you very much to Pan Macmillan for allowing me it 

What's it about? There has been so much hype around this book which really made me want to read it! It is a collaborative novel written by seven of the best voices in UK Young Adult literature - Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson, and Eleanor Wood. I think I've read books by all these authors except for Lisa Williamson, so I knew I had excellent writing in store. 

What happens is that six teenagers happen to meet one day in Manchester. They are all, for some reason or another, at UKB (basically the BBC). Two are there for an internship, one is there to deliver a parcel. They all get into a lift at the same time, and at the last second a postman does too, pushing a trolley. And then, between floors, he dies, and the teens have to work out what to do next. 

We then see the six throughout the next few years as they meet up on the same day each year, and as their lives progress. It is such an interesting concept for a book!

The six teens are as follows: Dawson, who used to be on TV but who isn't "cute" anymore and isn't sure if he'll work again, Kaitlyn, who was a fan of Dawson's and who has just been diagnosed with Stargardt disease which means she will lose her sight, Velvet, who lives in a hotel in Bridlington and is trying her best to fit in, Sasha, who is working for her overbearing dad and also trying her best, Hugo, who is rich, whose dad is an MP, and who is full of himself, and finally Joe, who dreams of more than working in the local biscuit factory. Each author wrote one of the teens each, and then the 7th one wrote the narrator bits at the end of each year, which told us loads more of the action.

I loved each of the characters, I thought they were very distinct from each other and well drawn. I liked that at least three of them came from working class families; I felt like class was a big theme within the book actually. I liked the stuff around disability, both with Kaitlyn and with someone else's family member, which I won't spoiler. I liked the stuff around sexuality, which I also won't spoiler but which I felt was dealt with in a really good way.

I don't have a clue which author wrote each part. I hope we do get to find out! I thought the person writing the narrator parts had the most difficult job, but they were well written parts which sat nicely alongside the other more personal parts. I am talking about writing a collaborative novel myself with a friend, so I really liked to see how Person 1's point of view segued into Person 2's, and so on, and how that was done without a lot of repetition.

I also liked how we first saw everyone at 15/16, on work experience, and then saw them get older, saw them grow into adults. I thought the character progression was shown really well.

What age range is it for? 15+ 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yes, I am utterly not spoiling it though because I loved the way this unfolded. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Sasha is mixed race - I would have liked a bit more exposition here really, but I did like the descriptions of her relationship with her mother. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Yes, as I've described above 

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, a little. It is slightly graphic. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? I think so, I think there's some mention but not much 

Is there any talk of death? Yes. The death in the lift isn't very graphic but may be upsetting, and there is some other discussion. 

Are there swear words? Yeah. 

What criticisms do I have? Almost none. There were a couple of inconsistencies but honestly I'm putting them down to trying to co-ordinate seven people and their writing! (And they may be ironed out in the final version). Some reviews have said they thought the novel was too superficial. I don't agree. I think it is simple and simply told, but I don't think it's superficial. There was lots of stuff to dig into if you wanted. 

Would I recommend the book? Very much absolutely! It's a really fun book. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? As I said I'd seen a lot of the hype and I wanted to see if it lived up to it. It does - it most definitely does! 

What other books is it like? I honestly don't know. It is simply told like a lot of Non Pratt's book, but it has shades of all the other writers too. It reminded me a bit of Alice Oseman, too. 

How many stars? Five out of five. Read it, read it now!


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