The Light We LostTitle: The Light We Lost

Author: Jill Santopolo

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Two people. One choice. What if?

11th September 2001. Lucy and Gabe meet at Columbia University on a day that will change their lives – and the world – forever. And as the city burns behind them, they kiss for the very first time.

Over the next thirteen years they are torn apart, then brought back together, time and time again. It’s a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of forgiveness – and above all, love.

And as Lucy is faced with a decision she thought she’d never have to make, she wonders whether their love is a matter of destiny, or chance. What if they should have been living a different life all along?

Me Before You meets One Day in this passionate debut novel, The Light We Lost, an epic love story about the heartrending decision that one woman must make…

The Review

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo was touted as the next One Day or Me Before You which over the past ten years have been two of my favourite books. Without meaning to start as a Debbie Downer, The Light We Lost didn’t quite hit that spot for me. I can understand why the comparisons were made but it just didn’t tug on my emotional heartstrings as much as the others.

It is not to say that it isn’t a good story. It really is. You do feel the frustration as you beg for Gabe and Lucy just to get their lives together and stop messing around but they just can’t seem to do it.

Then you get yourself all twisted up in the argument over passionate love versus sensible love. It is an argument that has plenty of positives and negatives for each side. Overall though you do feel that Lucy is her own worst enemy and that she never fully allows herself to move forward.

The Light We Lost is a really good read and one that you can finish in one sitting.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo is available now

For more information regarding Jill Santopolo (@JillSantopolo) please visit www.jillsantopolo.com.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

35 Stars

MoxieTitle: Moxie

Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Pages: 337 Pages

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

The Blurb

An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texan high school in the new novel from Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice.

MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with an administration at her high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!

The Review

You know what? There just aren’t enough feminist based YA fiction books in the world. Well fear not booklovers! Jennifer Mathieu has restored that imbalance (well somewhat restored…made a big dent) with her brilliant book Moxie.

Moxie – a noun that feels like it should be a verb. Moxie is a zine that Viv Carter starts up due to the unfair treatment of girls at her high school. She does this in secret but as the zine gathers momentum, more followers and more people come forward about the injustice the Moxie movement threatens to overspill and make a real difference in Viv’s high school…but at what cost?

I bloody loved Moxie. My inner teenage feminist roared along with the riot grrrls and I wished I was young again so I could start my own feminist group. Alas, I am an adult and an educator…therefore I will use my powers for good and pass this book onto every teenage girl I work with.

Jennifer Mathieu has scored solid gold with Moxie.

#moxiegirlsfightback

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu is available now.

For more information regarding Jennifer Mathieu (@jenmathieu) please visit www.jennifermathieu.com.

For more information regarding Hodder Children’s Group (@hodderchildrens) please visit www.hodderchildrens.co.uk.

4 Stars

High School ReunionTitle: High School Reunion

Author: Kimberly Dean

Pages: 251 Pages

Publisher: Tiger Eye Productions

The Blurb

Tara’s ten-year high school reunion is approaching fast, and she’s not ready. She knows it’s shallow, but she wants to set her old classmates on their ears — especially the toxic Ellie, who bullied her in the old days. She has a good job but she needs the whole package if she’s going to make that killer entrance, including having a toned body, a great outfit, and, most importantly, a mouthwatering guy on her arm.

An eventful visit to the gym shows her that she may be able to kill two birds with one stone, as personal trainer Jake Logan turns out to be the perfect eye candy she needs. A course of hard training begins, with Tara eager to impress Jake—but what are his plans? She can’t help noticing that he flirts with all his female clients. There’s one particular client who could ruin all of Tara’s plans—and she’s getting far too close to Tara’s quarry.

The Review

When I was a teenager I watched Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion and wondered how my class mates and I would have changed when it came to our reunion. Well, ten years came and went and I didn’t go. Personally, I didn’t want to spend time with people who I didn’t particularly like or who gave me a hard time and equally I wasn’t (by my own standards) impressive enough. So, 17 years on from high school and I am still wondering what it would be like.

Kimberly Dean’s novel High School Reunion seems to me so true to how people think of reunions. They have to be skinny and successful with a great job and a man (or woman) by their side. There was a verisimilitude to her story which I thought was brilliant.

Her main character Tara was very relatable: she is clumsy but desperate to impress. Her name could have been Lisa.

What I didn’t expect when I started reading it was the saucy stuff. Wow. Kimberly Dean writes with unabashed glory and well done to her because I blushed all the way through reading it.

For a light, fun read on a topic that the majority all of us can relate to then pick up High School Reunion.

High School Reunion by Kimberly Dean is available now.

For more information regarding Kimberly Dean (@KDean_writer) please visit www.kimberlydean.com.

3 Stars

A Map for Wrecked GirlsTitle: A Map for Wrecked Girls

Author: Jessica Taylor

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Dial Books

The Blurb

Emma has always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two have always been best friends. Until something happens that wrecks them.

I’d trusted Henri more than I’d trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I’d follow.

Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in a gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart. To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?

For the first time, I was afraid we’d die on this shore.

The Review

If there was an award I could give for the most unusual YA fiction book released this year then it would have to go to A Map for Wrecked Girls. I mean this in the best possible way and no disrespect was meant by that statement. Basically, I have never read anything like it.

A Map for Wrecked Girls is a story that pits general everyday struggles with bizarre real world struggles.

Sisters, Jessica and Henri are stranded on a desert island with a boy they just met called Alex. A Map for Wrecked Girls is the story of how they deal with their new set of circumstances. This story is juxtaposed with certain events that have taken place over the past few months. It is a story of the difficult relationship between sisters and how dominant personalities can often overshadow our real feelings.

Overall, A Map for Wrecked Girls is a bloody good read. It is unique and Jessica Taylor is an exciting voice for the YA genre.

A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor is available now.

For more information regarding Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylorYA) please visit www.jessicataylorwrites.com.

35 Stars

cropped-Cartoon-Lisa-1.jpgTitle: Freshers

Author: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Chicken House

The Blurb

Phoebe has been waiting all summer for uni to start and her life to finally begin. And knowing Luke Taylor is going to be there too makes the whole thing even more exciting….

But Luke’s relationship is secretly falling apart and campus life isn’t proving to be the escape he thought it would be.

When the two collide in the madness of Freshers’ Week, everything changes – and they both get sucked into each other’s worlds in the most messy, intense and hilarious ways imaginable…

The Review

I’ve been in a reading lull this summer. The books that I have read were good but none of them had me engaged or really rooting for the characters. I was reading for reading’s sake and was not really blown away by any of the books I read.

Then came Freshers.

Freshers is the latest release from Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison. One of their earlier releases, Lobsters, was my favourite book that I read last year and so I was eagerly awaiting Freshers and it did not disappoint.

Freshers is set in York University and centres around our two protagonists Luke and Phoebe. Luke and Phoebe knew each other in high school/sixth form and whilst Luke knew Phoebe as someone who was just there, Phoebe has been butt-monkey in love with Luke since year 9.

Inevitably, their first year of uni sees them intertwine with friendship groups, courses and nights out. But can their bourgeoning friendship last the length of their course?

Now, I loved Freshers. I didn’t have the traditional university experience. I was classed as a mature student even though I was only 22 when I started university. I didn’t move into the halls so I didn’t get that experience and I didn’t do one Freshers’ event at all. I know, my university experience sounds so lame. It wasn’t. I just had a different set of friends who I spent time with and I only went out with my uni friends twice in three years. That night was pretty epic which ended with a hot guy who looked like Jesus getting my details on a napkin but sadly not falling madly in love with me.

What I felt that I got from Freshers by Ivison and Ellen was the university experience that I probably should have had. It is, honestly, one of the funniest books that I have read this year.

Long live the writing partnership of Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison.

Freshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison is available now.

For more information regarding Lucy Ivison please visit her Twitter page @lucivision.

For more information regarding Chicken House (@chickenhsebooks) please visit www.chickenhousebooks.com.

5 Stars