Ink and Bone Review

I was supposed to read this for a book club ages ago and never did. Now is the time!

I couldn’t really tell what it would be about at the start. And then it turned into all the kinds of plots I like! Entry tests, competition, learning, challenges!

The first half of the book flew by and I really enjoyed Jess as a male protagonist. The middle wasn’t so great but I liked the world building. I liked how each of the characters had their own personality – would have been nice to get to know some of them more before they died. I also wish we got to know Jess’ family a bit more – especially his Dad and his brother, Brendan.

The end was fantastic and I’m really excited to know what happens in the rest of the series.

To Best The Boys Review

My edition of this book is stunning, with grey sprayed pages and beautiful patterns inside. Another reminder of how beautiful hardbacks can be.

I relate to the story as soon as it begins, being a woman in STEM myself. It feels like The Hunger Games crossed with The Maze Runner with a splash of science.

The first half of the book is quite slow, but still really engaging. And then we hit the Labyrinth, which I expected to come earlier in the book.

The second half of the book I couldn’t put down. I was so gripped by all aspects of the plot, the Labyrinth, the disease, the characters.

Rhen, the protagonist, goes through so much that girls do even today. Not having the same opportunities. Being expected to sacrifice dreams for family. I did really enjoy that she had supportive parents.

The romance was cute but not the main focus of the story.

I think this book wraps up the story neatly but there is potential for more adventure!

Viper Review

I received a beautiful paperback copy of Viper in the March fairyloot box (a few weeks before it is released!). Always glad to read British YA authors.

The book starts off similarly to other YA fantasies. The heroine, Marianne, is a very standard protagonist of this genre. She’s overlooked, expected to be more ruthless than she is, and her Dad is a complete jerk.

And then it gets completely brutal just after 100 pages, way more than I was expecting.

The plot is full of twists and turns, the pacing is good – though not much unexpected happens. However, Bex is absolutely not afraid to kill characters, which definitely gives this book something else.

I actually think this trilogy has potential to be really good – I’m excited to see where the story goes now this part has closed.

Moxie Review

Jennifer Mathieu is a genius. An actual genius.

So Moxie is started by a girl who is fed up of how sexist her school is. Everything from the uniform checks to the guys who get away with everything is just so damn accurate.

Even if you were pretty invisible at school you’ve probably had your bra strap pinged or had someone make inappropriate comments. Every woman knows someone who’s been harassed.

This book really highlights how the little things are actually a big deal and should be sanctioned even if your school just passes it off as boys being boys.

Even the way girls get in trouble for skirts above the knee, for wearing too much make up. Heck I know girls who weren’t even wearing any make up get handed wet wipes.

I wish every school had to read this book in citizenship or whatever because everyone can learn something from it.

On to the story – the main character, Vivian, is excellent. She’s a quiet, shy girl who decides she’s had enough of it all.

I loved how the girls all rallied together. The ending was perfect. The friendship was excellent.

I loved Vivian’s relationship with her Mum. It was endearing and her Mum was just the right balance of cool without being undrealistic.

I loved the romance and how it showed that guys aren’t all bad and can learn when they get things wrong.

I loved how to showed girls are often discouraged from leadership roles in school and encouraged to do more supportive things.

Basically, it was the best contemporary I’ve read in a while and didn’t even mind that it was predictable.

I’m just happy girls growing up have books like this to read!

Do you have any favourite contemporary YA books? Let me know in the comments!

Rebecca.

I Was Born For This Review

Hey,

One of the books I read last week was one I’d pre-ordered. I’ve followed Alice Oseman since Solitaire (she’s my age), purely because the way she seems on her Tumblr chronicintrovert is really honest and truthful. You can also see aspects of her personality shine through in her characters which is really lovely to read.

Her book Radio Silence is one of my favourites because of all the messages and it’s unusual to see YA about academic stress despite it being prevalent.

So, onto I Was Born For This. Again, friendship is a great theme. Plus diversity (Alice consulted with both trans and Muslim people and gave them credit in the acknowledgements).

I like that Alice made Angel 18 years old. She went to meet one of her online friends so I’m glad she was an adult. I like how she also showed the upsides and downsides of online friendships – a good message for her younger audience. As always, she mastered character development (Angel learnt that The Ark boys aren’t living as perfect lives as she thought, and that she should love herself as much as she loves The Ark). I also loved how Angel showed some symptoms of anxiety but was also quite a chatty, sociable person at fan events. That was really good representation as it it’s usually the introverted characters that have anxiety.

The Ark boys were great. I love how Alice explored young musicians with anxiety. I loved how the boys learned that not all of their fans were crazy. I loved their friendship. I loved a scene with Jimmy’s Grandad so much that I cried a bit. I loved how each of the boys had a different personality.

I love how strong the character of Bliss was. She knew what she wanted in her future and put that above a relationship that wasn’t really working which was excellent to see.

At times I didn’t find Angel and Juliet particularly likeable – but I think that was the point. I did like who they became at the end and that’s the main thing.

Overall, I think Alice has written a very relevant novel. I hope this brings her more success, and more attention to her previous books. I would like book 4 very much!!

Rebecca.