We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

wecomeapartSynopsis

Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home.
 
Meanwhile, Jess’s home life is overshadowed by violence.
 
When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?
 
 
 

Review

I am not going to lie, I was quite nervous of reading this book. While I hadn’t read any books by Sarah Crossan or Brian Conaghan, but I had heard only good things about Sarah Crossan’s previous novel ‘One’. I knew both that one and this book were written in free verse which was quite daunting to me. I’ve read unusual narrative’s before to critically acclaimed books, and I couldn’t get on with them at all, so I was nervous, but I really wanted to read something a little out of my comfort zone.
 
I am so glad I did and about 3 pages in, I put my Kindle down, ordered ‘One’ and then went back to reading this wonderful story. It is quite a quick read, but that doesn’t stop the story being simply beautiful.
 
Each author has taken charge of a different character. Jess is a troubled teenage girl who lives with her mum, who’s in an abusive relationship. Nice is Romanian, and is determined to make the most of his life in England.
 
I adored both characters. It was so sad seeing Jess’s situation at home. It just goes to show that because someone acts loud and rebellious, there is often a reason behind it. Any other circumstance, I would find it hard to connect with Jess, but I was so wishful that life was different for both Jess and her mum. Jess, when you got to know her was a really nice person, she was the only person to give Nicu the time of day and see him as a human being. It would of been easy to ignore him from peer pressure, but their friendship grows and it is lovely to read.
I really liked Nicu too, he genuinely seemed keen to learn and fit in, but was barely given a chance, by both his father (who was abusive and arranging a marriage for Nicu) and people at school who were beyond rude and it was some uncomfortable reading.
 
Then there was the last third which really got to me. |t was part anger-inducing and really sad at the same time. This book was a great read, and definitely has pushed me to try more books I’d normally be nervous to try.
 
5Butterflys_white-01
 
Published by: Bloomsbury
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 

Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher

silenceisgoldfishSynopsis

‘I have a voice but it isn’t mine. It used to say things so I’d fit in – to please my parents, to please my teachers. It used to tell the universe I was something I wasn’t. It lied.’
 
Fifteen-year-old Tess doesn’t mean to become mute. At first, she’s just too shocked to speak. And who wouldn’t be? Discovering your whole life has been a lie because your dad isn’t your real father is a pretty big deal. Tess sets out to find the truth of her identity, and uncovers a secret that could ruin multiple lives. But can she ask for help when she’s forgotten how to use her voice?

Review

I’ve heard good things about Annabel Pitchers previous two novels, so was very excited to read this book. In the first chapter is Tess running away from home after finding something devastating on her dad’s laptop. Before I found out exactly what it was I was convinced it would be something much darker than it was, so to me at least it was almost a relief when I found out the real room. The news is understandably devastating to Tess and breaks her world as she knows it.
 
While Tess is not talking, she does have inner conversations with a goldfish torch she bought when running away. Mr Goldfish is another voice, the voice we al have where we debate things in our heads, and therefore you get a good sense of the conflict and feelings Tess feels throughout the book. Mr Goldfish helps her try to figure out and cope with the various problems she faces.
 
The book was well written from the setting to the characters, you could easily picture the school classrooms and canteen, and relate the characters to people you’ve known at school. I really enjoyed all the characters, there was such a variation of personalities. You have Henry who was philosophical and spoke in a way that I can imagine will get on some peoples nerves, as I feel it could come across as pretentious or stuck-up thinking he’s beyond the mundaneness of consumerism and such like, but can be equally charming with it, like when he met Tess’s mum who hangs on every word Henry says. Then you have Anna who is clearly a bully at the start of the book, but then becomes nicer, and you find yourself second guessing yourself and the first impressions she made. Every character is clearly individual, most will bring smiles to your face and you want to get to know how they fit into Tess’s life.
 
Tess has an obsession after finding out the news, and it’s understandable, but it quickly gets out of control. You are helpless to do anything and can only watch. In some regards the reaction was that of a much younger person, and while thinking about it would have been expected, the lengths Tess goes to is bordering on worrying. Tess has previously lied to her parents. She wanted to be perfect to them, or at least what she interpreted as their picture of perfection. It was tough on her, having to do things she didn’t enjoy, and it eventually ended in the break up of her relationship with her best friend, and it was sad to see. However in one way, everything that happened to her, did lead her to Henry, who was a ray of sunshine in her life. He was nothing like I was expecting him to be and it was so nice to see their friendship blossom.
 
I would have liked a chapter or two of ‘normality’ in Tess’s life before she found out the news, as she is so angry at her dad Jack throughout the book and treats she of his quirks with such contempt, like his constant lying to make himself seem more successful in his acting than he actually is. Did this annoy her beforehand, or did she overlook it out of love and now she’s angry she is more sensitive to it?
Jack also seems to have quite a temper at times, when talking about exam, after their pantomime as a couple of examples. It was only towards the end that I started liking him, as even flashbacks didn’t paint him in a fantastic light, but then as we only get Tess’s point of view, obviously she isn’t going to recall all the fun times they had.
 
Overall I enjoyed this book, it covers more issues than I thought it would, initially I was worried it would 100% focus on her obsession, but it branched out into much more and that made it much better.
 
4Butterflies_white-01
Published by: Orion Children’s Books
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 

Monday Catchup 5th – 11th September

The first full week of September is complete after the Pokemon Read-a-thon, and while I wish I had finished more of the third book or finished writing all my reviews, I was away for about a week, so had less time than normal so it wasn’t too bad in reflection.
 

Read Last Week

darkwaterDark Water by Sara Bailey
Released 3rd October
 
When Helena returns to her childhood home in Orkney, she is forced to face memories that she has spent half a lifetime running from. Her best friend, the charismatic Anastasia, disappeared after a swimming incident. But what really happened that night by the wrecks?
 
I really enjoyed this book and will be reviewing it as part of the blog tour on 1st October!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
‘I have a voice but it isn’t mine. It used to say things so I’d fit in – to please my parents, to please my teachers. It used to tell the universe I was something I wasn’t. It lied.’
 
Fifteen-year-old Tess doesn’t mean to become mute. At first, she’s just too shocked to speak. And who wouldn’t be? Discovering your whole life has been a lie because your dad isn’t your real father is a pretty big deal. Tess sets out to find the truth of her identity, and uncovers a secret that could ruin multiple lives. But can she ask for help when she’s forgotten how to use her voice?
 
This was the first book of Annabel Pitcher’s I’ve read after hearing good things about her first two, and it was an interesting read, review should be up soon.

Reading This Week

 
Isobel Graves moved to LA determined to be the Next Big Thing. Instead, she is dressed as a giant prawn handing out fliers promoting a fish market. Rather than attending glamorous parties and dating exciting men, her evenings consist of watching box sets with her sort-of boyfriend, whose idea of romance is a late-night drunken text.
 
Where did it all go wrong?
 
When Isobel catches sight of Andrew Parker, her childhood sweetheart, in the background of a TV news story she feels it’s a sign. If she’d stuck with Andrew everything would have turned out better. Now she just needs to find him…
 
Join Isobel as she travels from LA to Devon and to a remote Malaysian island in search of true love.
 
I’ve started reading this (28 pages in) and so far it’s really funny, and the prologue ended unexpectedly.
 
 
Behind every successful man is a busy assistant and Tina’s boss is very successful. But Tina is tired of being overworked and underpaid. She’s bored of her damp flat and her mounting debts. Then a blip in the expenses system sends Tina a cheque.
 
She’s a good person. But she’s desperate. This isn’t stealing. It’s an administrative error. Right?
 
What would you do if you thought you’d get away with it?
 
This book sounds really fun.
 
 

Books Bought and Received this week

Received From The Publisher
A Christmas Kiss by Vicky Pattison (Sphere) Released 20th October
The Singalong Society for Singletons by Katey Lovell (HarperImpulse) Released 7th October
Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson (Sphere) Released 3rd October 
Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher (Orion Children’s Books)
Miracle On 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan (HQ) Released 20th October
A Song For Tomorrow by Alice Peterson (Simon and Schuster)Released 9th February 2017
 
Bought
Flowers In The Attic by Virginia Andrews
Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage by Milly Johnson (Already had paperback but the Kindle Daily Deal was too hard to resist as sometimes I like to flit between kindle and paperback versions)
London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning
Going Home by Harriet Evans
Blood Ties by Sophie Mackenzie
The Manning Grooms by Debbie Macomber

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Flawed-coverSynopsis

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.
 
But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.
 
In this stunning novel, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

Review

I have loved all of Cecelia Ahern’s adult books and have done since I first read ‘P.S. I Love You’ many years ago. When I found out she was writing a YA dystopian I was excited to say the least. I have read a few (though not many) dystopian books and have loved them all, well apart from ‘Insurgent’, the second book in the divergent series (one of my few DNF books). My expectations were high, and they were not disappointed.
 
The book was a really interesting premise, anyone found to be flawed in a moral or ethical dilemma (though not necessarily an illegal act, there is still prison) is branded on one of five body parts, each with a relation to your flaw. For example, if you’ve lied your tongue is branded, if you’ve overstepped the line then your right foot sole is branded. Everyone who isn’t flawed looks down on the flawed, and ignore the injustices that the flawed system has. It imposes sets of rules on the flawed, making them wear armbands, only allowing basic food (bar one luxury a week), not allowing travel abroad are among the few mentioned, and every perfect person isn’t allowed to aide the flawed.
 
This clearly draws parallels with Nazi Germany and it’s not hard to see the ‘flaws’ and injustice in their system. This is ever more apparent as we read Celestine’s point of view. At first we see her struggle with how she feels knowing that a flawed person lives on her street, even though she doesn’t think the reason she was found flawed was just, and knows the woman and her daughter well. At one point she was conflicted about whether to say hi to her friend, would it be seen as helping her ‘flawed’ mother? It was slightly tough to read, but over the first part of the book you see her being conflicted a lot. She is a very logical person, and often sees things as black and white, but when she breaks the rule and gets into trouble, you find yourself cheering, seeing some brightness, despite what happens after.
 
The supporting cast were for the most part great. I loved Celestine’s parents. Judge Crevan was domineering and imposing as you’d expect. I was also surprised by one character in particular, Art. He wasn’t what I expected. I will be really interested to read what happens to him.
 
While I wish there was more lore telling in this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I was very surprised that this book got to me emotionally, I felt a mixture of emotions, something I didn’t expect. I felt angry, shocked, a few glimpses of warmth, and there were even a few moments where I teared up. I cannot wait till book 2, it will be on my ‘buy immediately’ list for sure.
 
4halfButterflies_white-01
 
Published by: Harper Collins Childrens
Gratefully received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository