Post-Valentine’s Day Recommendations

Over February, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll get flooded with a lot of recommendations centred round Valentine’s Day, seeing as that’s one of the big happenings of the month. Even if a slightly more unique spin is put on things – for example, I did a post on YA romances which had other, quite heavy themes included as well – by the end of February, it is fairly standard to start wanting to read books which aren’t romances. So that’s the theme around which I’ve put together some recommendations today!

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A Week Without WiFi – My Reading Summary

Two weeks ago, I embarked on something I knew I was going to be a challenge. I was about to go on holiday, and there was going to be – shock horror – no WiFi! While that statement is somewhat sarcastic, I did feel a sense of trepidation at the knowledge that I would not be able to access the Internet for over a week. I spent a rather large amount on the Internet, for social media and blogging purposes, but also for school and independent research into extra tasks. However, I did want to really test my dependence on the Internet, so I decided to add an extra layer to the challenge and say that even if I somehow did find free WiFi while away, I wouldn’t use it. If I was going to do this, I wanted to do it properly.

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A lot of the time if I have a few free minutes, I will spend them on Twitter, and if I have a free hour, I write a blog post. Seeing as I didn’t have the Internet or my laptop, in my free time I went back to what used to be my reaction – find a book. Seeing as I was offline for just over eight days, this meant that I had rather a lot of time which I spent reading.

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Review: Nutshell by Ian McEwan

nutshellTitle: Nutshell
Author: Ian McEwan
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
UK Release Date: 1st September 2016
Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary
Pages: 199
Format: Hardback
Source: Borrowed from a friend

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb.

Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.

Although I primarily (basically always) review YA on this blog, sometimes I read a book that I have an incredibly large amount of thoughts on, even more so than normal, and feel like I want to share and articulate my opinions – Nutshell was definitely one of these books for me! It also fitted in nicely with the approximate rule I try to follow when posting reviews (I aim to review books that have been published in the past 12 months to make sure I can keep my reviews current), and it’s a Hamlet retelling, making it my first book for the Retellings Reading Challenge 2017, which makes me only more keen to share my thoughts.

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American YA Books I Want to Read


I spent an awful lot of time on this blog discussing UKYA (nearly every blog post I’ve ever written, to be precise), and so I wanted to shake things up a bit and do something a little different with this blog post: discuss some American YA books that I want to read.

I’ve chosen some books to discuss today which are published only in the US as far as I’m aware. However, from my exploration on Goodreads, I have ascertained that these books look very good, so I might have to venture into the world of Amazon and The Book Depository in order to get my hands on a copy despite the fact that they’re not published in the UK.

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Not Just a Romance: Some Recommendations

In honour of Valentine’s Day, I knew that I was going to want to write a blog post on books with romance in them. After all, it’s a day all about love, so what could be more fitting than a post full of books on the same topic? However, I wanted to add something else to this as well – so today I’m telling you about some YA books which are romances, but also have another layer to them, whether that’s discussing mental health or grief or sexuality.

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Review: Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

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Title: Life in a Fishbowl
Len Vlahos
Bloomsbury Children’s
UK Release Date:
12th January 2017
Young Adult, Contemporary
Borrowed from a friend

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumor and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.

Gone is her mom’s attention and cooking and parent-teacher conferences. Gone is her sister’s trust ever since she’s been dazzled by the cameras and new-found infamy. Gone is her privacy. Gone is the whole family’s dignity as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be . . . gone. Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death.

Told through multiple points of view–including her dad’s tumor–acclaimed author Len Vlahos deftly explores what it really means to live in this brilliantly written tragicomedy.

I hadn’t heard anything about this book when one of my friends offered to lend it to me, which I was quite surprised about as I thought I knew a lot about upcoming releases from the bookish community on Twitter. I was even more surprised once I’d had a look at the book on Goodreads, as it’s such an interesting blurb, and once I’d done my research I was very keen to get started.

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