the-sun-is-also-a-starTitle: The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

The Review

Having read (an loved) Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, I was really excited to read her new novel The Sun is Also a Star and boy did Nicola Yoon deliver.

The Sun is Also a Star is a story of fate, science, aligning stars and opportunities. It is a book version of Sliding Doors.

Natasha and Daniel meet in bizarre circumstances and their life seems destined to intertwine. There are a few problems on the way. Natasha doesn’t believe in fate and Daniel doesn’t realise that he only has a few hours left with a girl that he has fell in love with at first sight.

Whilst The Sun is Also a Star is a book about first love and destiny it is also about real life issues that are still scarily relevant such as illegal immigrants and racial family values. It is these deeper issues that make The Sun is Also a Star much more than just a silly romance story. They reveal the dark times in which we live and how they impact on people in ways that you can’t even imagine possible.

What makes The Sun is Also a Star even more special is the little life interludes of the supporting cast. When you read it, you will see what I mean.

If possible, Nicola Yoons follow-up novel is even better than her debut, Everything Everything but you should read them both.

Read my review of Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon here.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is available now.

For more information regarding Nicola Yoon (@NicolaYoon) please visit www.NicolaYoon.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Books (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

4-stars

the-art-of-being-normalTitle: The Art of Being Normal

Author: Lisa Williamson

Pages: 353 Pages

Publisher: David Fickling Books

The Blurb

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in Year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long . .

 

The Review

For the past few years I have had a growing fascination with the transgender community. Not in a weird, creepy, voyeuristic way but more in a sympathetic, can’t even begin to imagine how it must feel to be trapped in the wrong body way. I think people who openly identify with a gender that conflicts with the one that they are born into are so very brave. I find the whole subject rather heartbreaking.

Equally, I am a huge fan of Young Adult literature because writers of this genre are tackling subjects way beyond subjects that I read about in my teens. Never has there been more literature that opens up the world to diversity and the fact that it is targeted at future adults gives me hope for a more (and I hate this word but I can’t think of a better one) tolerant society.

The Art of Being Normal is a book about the LGBTQIA community, friendship and is also a coming of age tale of self discovery and acceptance. It centres on the friendship between David and Leo: two outsiders that form an unlikely friendship. They meet in high school and whilst David is battling with his gender identity, Leo is struggling with being the new kid and dealing with a bad reputation that has followed him to his new school.

I don’t want to say anything more about this book. I just want to give you the bare bones because it is rather wonderful and you should be allowed to discover it yourselves. What I will say is that Williamson deals with the topic of identity in a sensitive but honest way. She isn’t patronising or clichéd nor does she treat the subject as a novelty. Her writing is warm and rich and she has created a story that is rich and intoxicating from the very first page.

The Art of Being Normal was a pleasure to read.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson is available now.

For more information regarding Lisa Williamson (@lisa_letters) please visit www.lisawilliamsonauthor.com.

For more information regarding (@DFB_storyhouse) please visit www.davidficklingbooks.com.

4-stars

Title: The Big Book of Quotes: Funny, Inspirational and Motivational Quotes on Life, Love and Much Else

Author: M Prefontaine

Pages: 444 Pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

The Review

I do love a good quote. I decided to pick up The Big Book of Quotes by M Prefontaine because I was looking for specific quotes for  scrapbook that I am currently making and whist the book didn’t include the category of quotes that I needed I did enjoy reading the quotes in this book.

The quotes cover topics from life, love, death, hope, courage to George W Bush (this section is particularly titillating) and the spectrum of quotes are diverse as they are funny.

This is definitely a book for the quote collector.

The Big Book of Quotes by M Prefontaine is available now.

3-stars

aliceTitle: Alice

Author: Eva Hanagan

Pages: 182 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

Sometimes you have to return to the past… 

Shortly after the death of her much-loved husband, Alice Willoughby decides to return to Fernhust, her late aunt’s rambling house on the Sussex Downs and scene to a great part of her happy childhood.

Settling down to rebuild her life, Alice finds herself caught between a wistful nostalgia for her youth and a growing sense of guilt for her absence during her Aunt Sophie’s last pitiful years.

A guilt no doubt heightened by the wily charms of her manipulative old headmistress, Miss Vine.

Yet Alice’s weakening confidence is greatly bolstered by her friendship with Paul, an attractive antiques dealer and newcomer to the village.

With Paul’s warmth and gentle manners, Alice can’t help but feel pleased with his curious familiarity with Aunt Sophie’s home.

But her pleasure is undermined by a nagging unease.

Why did her aunt fail to make a provision in her will for her loyal housekeeper Nancy?

Such a cruel, inexplicable omission.

As Alice tackles this puzzle, she discovers that things, objects and people are not always quite what they seem…

With its wittily portrayed cast of characters, Alice is a sharply observed and affectionate portrait of one woman’s triumph of hope over despair.

The Review

Before I started reading Alice by Eva Hanagan I foolishly looked at the star rating on Goodreads. It was stuck on two stars. I am split as to if I think this is fair or not.

I think it is a little unfair. Alice isn’t a bad novel. It is written very much in a style of how the Southern, older, upper-middle class generation is likely to sound (all stereotypes being adhered to). It is a story of old friends, antique forgery and a bit of mystery.

Alice is a novel that tries hard but in a weird sense is hard to appreciate or empathise with. The writing is very stylised and the story is good. It just doesn’t have mass appeal.

Alice by Eva Hanagan is available now.

For more information regarding Endeavour Press (@EndeavourPress) please visit www.endeavourpress.com.

3-stars

christmasaurusTitle: The Christmasaurus

Author: Tom Fletcher

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Penguin UK

The Blurb

Forget everything you thought you knew about the North Pole, and set off on a Christmas Eve adventure with boy named William Trundle, an elf named Snozzletrump, Santa Claus (yes! The real Santa Claus!), a nasty piece of work called the Hunter, and a most unusual dinosaur . . .

The Review

I love the Dinosaur that Poops series by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter so when I saw a full length novel about a dinosaur and the fact that it was linked to Christmas I was sold. The Christmasaurus is about a young boy called William Trundle who doesn’t have the easiest of lives and how his belief in Christmas makes magical things happen.

I don’t want to give too much away because this is a wonderfully magical story that I think you should all read and get as much joy out of it that I did. Yes, it is a story for children, yes it is about a dinosaur and yes it does feature Christmas very heavily but it is a glorious read.

Tom Fletcher has written a story which has a diverse cast of characters, great plot twists and a big dollop of magic doused on top.

I guarantee that when you read The Christmasaurus (and I really think you should) that you will end up feeling the Christmas spirit.

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher is available now.

For more information regarding Tom Fletcher (@TomFletcher) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin UK (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

4-stars