Review: The Exact Opposite of Okay


Title: The Exact Opposite of Okay
Author: Laura Steven
Publisher: Electric Monkey
UK Release Date: 8th March 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Feminism
Format: Proof
Source: Publisher’s YALC stand

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Izzy O’Neill is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what the malicious website flying round the school says. Izzy can try all she wants to laugh it off – after all, her sex life, her terms – but when pictures emerge of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, her life suddenly becomes the centre of a national scandal. Izzy’s never been ashamed of herself before, and she’s not going to start now. But keeping her head up will take everything she has . . .

Back in the summer, when I attended YALC, one of the proofs I was most excited to have picked up from the publishers’ stands around the hall was The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven. Within YA, contemporaries are definitely my preferences, and I heard that there was some feminism in there as well, so I was completely sold on it! It did take me till January to finally read it, but I was not disappointed – it was worth the wait. (Also, can we take a moment briefly to appreciate that gorgeous cover?!)

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Review: Troublemakers by Catherine Barter

61dJy51CxxL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgTitle: Troublemakers
Author: Catherine Barter
Publisher: Andersen
UK Release Date: 1st June 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: Proof
Source: Local independent bookshop

A Great Read – less than RRP!

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‘In three years I will be able to vote and I will still have less power than I did at the moment that I saw that email, which was such a tiny thing but look what happened.’

Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has grown up with her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick in the east end of London. Now the area is threatened by a bomber who has been leaving explosive devices in supermarkets. It is only a matter of time before a bomb goes off.

Against this increasingly fearful backdrop, Alena seeks to discover more about her past, while Danny takes a job working for a controversial politician. As her family life implodes, and the threat to Londoners mounts, Alena starts getting into trouble. Then she does something truly rebellious.

A searing, heart-breaking coming-of-age tale for fans of Lisa Williamson, Jenny Downham and Sarah Crossan.

When I attended YALC 2017, I was lucky enough to get my proof of Troublemakers signed – and it was then that I realised that, although I had gushed about this book on Twitter and briefly in other blog posts, I had not yet done a full length review. I decided that I needed to write up a full review straight away, as I really did adore this book!

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Blog Tour: Review of The Fandom by Anna Day

FandomTitle: The Fandom
Author: Anna Day
Publisher: Chicken House
UK Release Date: 4th January 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Proof
Source: Publisher

A Great Read* – less than RRP!

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Cosplay ready, Violet and her friends are at Comic-Con.

They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega movie, The Gallows Dance. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands . . .

A fast-paced, genre-flipping YA fantasy adventure from a brand new author, writing in homage to the best YA fiction.

-> Thank you to Chicken House for sending me a copy of The Fandom in exchange for an honest review!

I am super excited that not only today am I sharing my review of The Fandom (one of my favourite books of 2017!), but I am also participating in the blog tour! I stayed up way into the night reading this book, and then spent the next morning recounting the plot and talking about how cool it was to anyone would listen, so it’s great to have the chance to rave about it some more – although don’t worry, this review will be spoiler free.

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Review: Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

tod.jpgTitle: Truth or Dare
Author: Non Pratt
Publisher: Walker Books
UK Release Date: 1st June 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 304
Format: Proof
Source: Local independent bookshop

A Great Read* – less than RRP!

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A powerful and moving novel about bravery from the Guardian’s “writer to watch” Non Pratt, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, John Green and Holly Bourne.

How far is too far when it comes to the people you love? Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take. Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you’re willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?

  • Trigger warning (highlight as contains a spoiler): sexual assault.

I am a big fan of Non Pratt, both as an author and also as a person, so I was hugely excited to receive a proof of this back in late February from my local independent bookshop. I thoroughly enjoyed Unboxed by her as well, so eagerly got started, and overall I really enjoyed this book of hers too.

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Review: After the Fire by Will Hill

aft.jpgTitle: After the Fire
Author: Will Hill
Publisher: Usborne
UK Release Date: 1st June 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: Proof
Source: Local independent bookshop

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The things I’ve seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.

Father John controls everything inside The Fence. And Father John likes rules. Especially about never talking to Outsiders. Because Father John knows the truth. He knows what is right, and what is wrong. He knows what is coming.

Moonbeam is starting to doubt, though. She’s starting to see the lies behind Father John’s words. She wants him to be found out.

What if the only way out of the darkness is to light a fire?

  • Trigger warnings (highlight as are spoilers): suicide, sexual assault, rape.

When I received this book from my local independent bookshop to review for them, I must admit I was a little scared to begin reading. Seeing as I usually read contemporary YA, I’m not used to the weighty tomes of fantasy – and even though this is a contemporary novel, it does bear some resemblance to the bricks of fantasy in its size and length (nearly 500 pages!). However, as soon as I began, I couldn’t put it down. I raced through, and wished for more as I approached the end, as this book is just so amazing.

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Review: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

windfall.jpgTitle: Windfall
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
UK Release Date: 4th May 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

A Great Read* – you can buy here for less than RRP!

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Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. 

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall. 

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

  • Thank you to My Kinda Book for sending me a copy of Windfall in exchange for an honest review!

Jennifer E. Smith wrote some of the first YA I ever read, so naturally when I heard she had another book coming out, I knew I was going to want to read it. Although I think I enjoyed it slightly less than some of her others, as I’m more alive to clichés now than I was, it was still pretty good, and was quite a relaxing read (especially I was reading it at a more stressful time of year!).

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