Monday, 16 October 2017

September 2017 Reading Wrap Up


The Boy With One Name by J.R.Wallis | ☆☆☆
Twelve-year old Jones is an apprentice monster hunter in the Badlands, which exists on the edge of ordinary people lives. Ruby is outspoken, fearless and tired of her ordinary life. When the two meet and save each others lives, they have to work together to defeat a monster that not even the fiercest Badlander has yet faced.

I featured The Boy with One Name in my August book haul and I admitted that it was a total cover buy but it actually turned out to be a really fun read. I don't read a lot of middle-grade because I find it can be a bit hit-and-miss in terms of enjoyability because obviously it's not really aimed at me, but that doesn't mean that a middle-grade can't still be well-written and all the other things we praise YA/adult books for. The Boy with One Name was a fun adventure with some lovely, and really quite original, fantasy elements. It was a fast-paced read and connected to the characters quite well. However, being the first book in what I assume is going to be a series, there was quite a lot of exposition-dumping and showing rather than telling. A lot of the characters dialogue was a little: 'well Ruby, this is how this works in the Badland and this is what magic is, and this is what monsters are'. It got a little tedious and I think there are more sophisticated ways of world-building that could still work for a middle-grade audience. Despite that, I still enjoyed it and would recommend for younger readers.

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The Miseducation of Cameron Post* by Emily M. Danforth | ☆☆☆☆☆
When Cameron's parents die in an accident her first feeling is relief, relief that they'll never know that just a few hours earlier she was kissing a girl. Cameron is soon forced to live with her conservative aunt in a less-than-progressive town. When she strikes up an intense friendship with the beautiful Coley Taylor things snowball.

I was so excited to receive The Miseducation of Cameron Post from the lovely folks at Penguin because I'd heard so many good things about it, and I was far from disappointed. Cameron Post is the heartwrenching literary YA that I didn't know I was waiting for (the term heartwrenching is oft overused but this literally did make my chest twinge frequently). Set in rural Montana, the novel is full of gorgeous, cinematic descriptions - of long dusty roads, farmland and lakes - and I'm a huge sucker for that kind of thing, especially when it's done really well. Cameron's journey is fraught and intense but ultimately satisfying, something all too rare in this bury-your-gays era. I loved this book SO much so if, like me, you've read an embarrassingly small amount of LGBT YA (or even if you've read lots) then this is definitely one to add to your list.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe* by Lauren James | ☆☆☆☆☆
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew member on a spaceship headed for a new planet, she is the loneliest girl in the universe. That is until she hears about a new ship that has launched from earth to join her, captained by a boy named J. Despite only communicating via months-delayed emails, Romy soon finds herself falling for J. But what does she really know about him? And what do the mysterious messages from Earth mean?

I've seen this marketed as a romance, but really it's a brilliant look at loneliness and identity with a gripping thriller plot weaved in. I've been struggling to read at any kind of pace for months but I read this book in two incredibly intense sittings because it's just that good. One thing I loved about The Loneliest Girl is that it's not needlessly overwritten: at 290 pages, it's the perfect length for a fast, exciting read. Reading about a young woman in STEM was so refreshing and it made me realise that I need to read much more YA Sci-fi. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe blew me away and you should pick it up immediately.

So that's it for the books I read in September, hopefully October will hold just as impressive reads, but there might not be lots of them as I'm currently in the midst of moving house...more on that soon!

What have you been reading lately?

Links to books in this post are affiliate links, which just means that if you want to purchase them, I get a little something too - with no extra cost to you! If you want to buy any other books, please consider using my Wordery link - thanks lovelies!
Books marked with a * were sent to me by the publisher for review consideration, I have not been paid by the publishers to feature any of these titles.


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