Blogger Recognition Award

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I was delighted to spot about a month or so ago (I’m terrible at doing tags in a timely fashion!) that my lovely friend Steph from A Little But A Lot had tagged me in the Blogger Recognition Award, and my WordPress hadn’t notified me that she’d linked to my blog! Eventually I realised, as I saw that the post was a referrer to my blog, so I knew that I had to the award – it always feels like such an honour to be thought of by a blogger friend for something like that.

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Review: You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris

ywnhmhTitle: You Will Not Have My Hate
Author: Antoine Leiris
Publisher: Harvill Secker
UK Release Date: 20th October 2016
Genres: Memoir, France, Nonfiction
Pages: 131
Format: Hardback
Source: Library

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

On 13 November 2015, Antoine Leiris’s wife, Hélène, was killed, along with 88 other people at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, when three men armed with guns and suicide bombs opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd at a rock concert. Three days later, Leiris, a young journalist, wrote an open letter on Facebook addressed to his wife’s killers. Leiris refused to be cowed or to let his 17-month-old son’s life be defined by Hélène’s murder. He refused to let the killers have their way. ‘For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom,’ he wrote. Instantly, that short Facebook post caught fire. It was shared over two hundred thousand times and was reported on all over the world. In his beautiful and moving defiance of the terrorists who had killed his wife, Leiris became an international hero to everyone searching desperately for a way to deal with the horror of the attacks.

You Will Not Have My Hate is an extraordinary and heartbreaking memoir about how Leiris, and his baby son Melvil, endured after Hélène’s murder. With courage, moral acuity, and absolute emotional honesty, Leiris finds a way to answer the question, how can I go on? This is the rare and unforgettable testimony of a survivor, and a universal message of hope and resilience. Leiris is guiding star for us all in perilous times.

To be honest, I don’t even know where to begin with this book. I’d known that it was in existence for a long time, but when I saw it at the library I immediately borrowed it, and read it the following weekend in a couple of sittings. I knew I wanted to review as well, even though I normally stick to YA on this blog, because of how important this book is. It was such a powerful and impactful book, and I don’t even know if there are words for any of it – the poignancy and the pain in the writing, but also the idea of having the power to not give these people what they want: your hatred.

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Review: The Yellow Room by Jess Vallance

tyrTitle: The Yellow Room
Author: Jess Vallance
Publisher: Hot Key Books
UK Release Date: 28th July 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 263
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Sixteen-year-old Anna receives a letter from her father’s girlfriend telling her he has died and asking to meet. Anna is drawn to Edie: her warmth, her character, her ability to rustle up delicious meals, all of which her own mother is seemingly incapable of . . . and the way she can tell Edie the secret that is buried inside her.

A tautly told, compelling tale about mothers and daughters and the lengths that some will go to, to make their dreams come true.

When I started to read this book, I was actually pretty excited. In the October of 2016, I bought and read Jess Vallance’s other novel, Birdy, because I knew she was making an appearance at YA Shot and I wanted to have a copy to get signed. I absolutely loved it, and it ended up being one of my favourite books of the year. I can find it quite tricky to track down good psychological thrillers within the YA genre, so I was pleased to have found an author that wrote excellently. However, much to my disappointment, I didn’t enjoy The Yellow Room nearly as much as I enjoyed Birdy, although I will still read any other books that Jess Vallance writes.

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May Book Haul

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This month, my haul is slightly smaller than the last one, but I was just as excited to post this as ever, if not more so, as they are all such good books. Usually I get some proofs from the bookshop I read for, but because of exams we’re not doing it for this month – I still have some other books to get through though!

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Review: Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash

hgTitle: Honor Girl
Author: Maggie Thrash
Publisher: Candlewick Press/Walker Books
UK Release Date: 4th May 2017
Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, Graphic Novels, Memoir
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

  • Thank you to Walker Books for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort.

Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counsellor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie’s savant-like proficiency at the camp’s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.

I was very excited when I got the chance to review this via Walker Books as it sounded like exactly the kind of book I would enjoy. I’ve been trying to vary my reading a bit more, and seeing as this was a memoir and a graphic novel, it definitely allowed me to branch out in the type of books I read. I would definitely recommend it as a book, but especially if you’re trying to vary the genres you read.

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