I first heard about 'The Hate U Give' here on WordPress, as it was a highly anticipated read and just about everybody I follow reviewed it! I would say that I am both invested and passionate about social issues, and thus 'The Hate U Give''s focus on both casual racism and police brutality caught my attention, as it's surprisingly not something you see often in YA novels. All of the reviews I had read had given the novel 4 or 5 stars and now I have finally gotten round to reading it!
I have been watching Louise Pentland on YouTube for a while now, and when I heard she was writing a novel I was both excited and sceptical. The premise of 'Wilde Like Me' sounded intriguing, and something which Louise would absolutely nail, but I also had never heard her speak passionately about books or reading before. However, after getting my hands on it for a holiday read, I soon found out that I had seriously underestimated her.
I have seen 'A Monster Calls' by Patrick Ness floating around for a few years now, and the release of the film earlier this year was surrounded by a massive hype. I have always been intrigued by this book through simply the title and the love that is clearly present for it by many a reader, and so I decided to just go for it, a little scared that it might not live up to my expectations.
I first saw 'Margot & Me' when somebody I follow on Twitter posted a picture of some LGBTQ+ reads that they had picked up from the library. I was also curious as I had seen and heard a lot about Juno Dawson in the media as she is a transgender activist, and I was eager to see what her writing style would be like. The novel wasn't actually solely focused on a LGBTQ+ plot in the way in which I thought it would be, but nevertheless, 'Margot & Me' absolutely blew me away.
Considering that I wanted to read '...And a Happy New Year?' around the literal New Years of 2016/2017, this has taken me a really long time to finally get my hands on it! This is probably for two reasons: 1) The library never had it in stock, and it felt wrong to buy it without owning the other three novels, and 2) WHERE HAS THIS YEAR GONE? Anyway, if you know me, you will know that I adore Holly Bourne, so no spoilers but: it's inevitably a good 'un.
This book first came to my attention from my mum, who is a big lover of Tracy Chevalier, and as one of my A Level texts is 'Othello' by Shakespeare, she thought I might like to read it. I was instantly intrigued, as one of my favourite parts of studying Shakespeare is how fascinating it is that his stories can translate into a modern context so effortlessly, and this is no exception.
I won a proof copy of 'Eden Summer' by Liz Flanagan in a competition last year, but it has been sitting on my bookshelf ever since, mainly because I had other books crop up which I desperately wanted to read. However, when I realised I had read nothing for a blog post this week, I noticed that 'Eden Summer' was a particularly short read and thus I finally launched myself in.
'The One Memory of Flora Banks' was another book recommended to me by a friend. I hadn't heard much about this book before I received it, and thus wasn't too shocked to discover it was only published this year! Nevertheless, I was itching to get stuck into another YA novel, and the premise was extremely intriguing.
Ever since it was announced there would be an English translation of the Sherlock manga, I have been dying to get my hands on it. For the last year or so it has been released in separate instalments, and whilst I was just itching to buy each comic, I managed to restrain myself and instead buy a complete copy - the addition of it being signed by Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue was also an extra motivation! I have never read a manga before this but I figured a good place to start was with a familiar story, and I was interested to see how the show would work in paper form.
Grayson Perry is one of my favourite artists, and so when I heard he was bringing out a book on masculinity, I was ecstatic. Perry's artwork usually conveys a political or social message, and I was interested to see how well his views would translate over page. In addition, I am currently writing my A-Level English coursework on presentations of masculinity in literature, and so this book proved invaluable in providing a view on gender issues in today's society.