CleanTitle: Clean

Author: Juno Dawson

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group/Quercus Children’s Group

The Blurb

A razor-sharp, adrenaline rush of a novel from award-winning author Juno Dawson, Clean is Gossip Girl meets Girl, Interrupted.

‘I can feel it swimming through my veins like glitter … it’s liquid gold.’

When socialite Lexi Volkov almost overdoses, she thinks she’s hit rock bottom.

She’s wrong. Rock bottom is when she’s forced into an exclusive rehab facility.

From there, the only way is up for Lexi and her fellow inmates, including the mysterious Brady.

As she faces her demons, Lexi realises love is the most powerful drug of all …

It’s a dirty business getting clean …

Addiction and redemption, love and despair. Clean will have you hooked from the first page.

The Review

Juno Dawson is one of those names that is synonymous with hard hitting YA genre and whilst I have a copy of every book that she has written they are all languishing away on my never ending TBR pile. Why? Because I am a hopeless bibliophile but that is beside the point. The actual point is that I recently read Clean, the latest book from Dawson which has her tackling the issue of drugs.

In what can be described as Junk for a Kardashian era, Dawson setting of an offshore rehab facility is the perfect place to have the drama of Lexi’s life unfold. Lexi is an upcoming IT girl. However, her privileged upbringing has landed her in trouble. She is, for want of a better word, an addict. Forced into rehab by her brother we watch as Lexi struggles to accept that she has a problem.

Dawson’s delivery in Clean is really clever. She manages to make the reader feel very detached from Lexi at the beginning of the book. You don’t go into the story rooting for her but gradually as Lexi comes to accept herself more, so does the reader. What is also fascinating is the way that Dawson doesn’t sugar coat the withdrawal process. Although Clean is a YA novel, she makes sure that you understand the horrific pain addicts go to when they are on the come down. It is reminiscent of A Million Little Pieces by James Frey but infinitely more – ironically – addictive to read.

I will be bumping up the other Juno Dawson books to a higher position on my TBR pile.

Clean by Juno Dawson is available now.

For more information regarding Juno Dawson (@junodawson) please visit www.junodawson.com.

For more information regarding Hachette Children’s Group (@HachetteKids) please visit www.hachettechildrens.co.uk.

For more information regarding Quercus Children’s Group (@QuercusKids) please visit their Twitter page.

4 Stars

Emergency ContactTitle: Emergency Contact

Author: Mary H K Choi

Pages: 394 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

“Smart and funny, with characters so real and vulnerable, you want to send them care packages. I loved this book.” —Rainbow Rowell

From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

The Review

Emergency Contact is a wonderful novel set in that post-YA/pre-NA genre which for me personally is an under explored category. It is set during the first year of university when our protagonists are just figuring out how to be adults along with figuring out who they are meant to be. It is such a joy to see writers explore this time period.

The story’s protagonist, Penny, is a bit of a loner. Her high school life was ok but she has been waiting for her real life to begin and t finally does when she starts university. Here, through a mutual friend, she meets Sam. Sam has been bruised by life so far but t is when their worlds collide that they start to really discover themselves along with each other.

At its heart, Emergency Contact is a love story, and whilst I will admit I did find it hard to get into at first, I started to fall for the characters and their desperate stories. Mary H K Choi has definitely written a winner with Emergency Contact.

Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi is available now.

For more information regarding Mary H. K. Choi (@choitotheworld) please visit www.simonandschuster.com/books/EmergencyContact.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschuster) please visit www.simonandschuster.com.

4 Stars

Stealing Marilyn MonroeTitle: Stealing Marilyn Monroe

Author: Sophie Warren

Pages: 214 Pages

Publisher: Alloy Entertainment

The Blurb

Juliet Chadwick has it all—a job at a New York art gallery, a great boyfriend, and a long-term career in the family business: theft. But unlike her father, Juliet plays it safe, sticking to small-time art heists and always covering her tracks. Until one day when her father’s creditors show up, demanding that she pay off his debts—or else.

And so Juliet comes up with a desperate plan, the greatest con she’s ever attempted: She’s going to steal Andy Warhol’s famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe from bachelor billionaire Edward Aster. All she’ll have to do is pose as the Aster family’s new nanny until she can get her hands on the painting. How hard can it be?

But all too quickly, Juliet finds herself falling in love with Edward’s children, and maybe even with Edward himself. Can she bring herself to pull off the ultimate theft—if it means stealing from a man who’s stolen her heart?

The Review

Well, how much fun is Stealing Marilyn Monroe? Let me tell you. A lot of fun.

Stealing Marilyn Monroe is a caper-filled adventure filled with intrigue, romance and art heist romps to boot.

The story is about Juliet Chadwick – art thief and mistress of disguise who steals high end canvases from the art world. Unlike her criminal counterparts she doesn’t sell them but steals them because her love of art and she wants to build up her own collection.

However, when her imprisoned father is beaten up by a bunch of heavy handed criminals, Juliet needs to steal for purpose; that purpose, to clear her father’s debt.

It is through this escapade that Juliet inevitably falls in love with billionaire and art collector Edward Aster. But will her love for him keep her grounded or just give her new opportunities for her stick fingers?

Stealing Marilyn Monroe is just a jolly good fun read. It is a speedy well paced read with plenty of mystery and intrigue. A great book to escape into.

Stealing Marilyn Monroe by Sophie Warren is available now.

For more information regarding Alloy Entertainment (@alloyent) please visit www.alloyentertainment.com.

3 Stars

PoemsTitle: Poems (The World at War)

Author: Wilfred Owen

Pages: 43 Pages

Publisher: Otbebookpublishing

The Blurb

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC (18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918) was an English poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War. His shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was heavily influenced by his friend and mentor Siegfried Sassoon, and stood in stark contrast both to the public perception of war at the time and to the confidently patriotic verse written by earlier war poets such as Rupert Brooke. Among his best-known works – most of which were published posthumously – are “Dulce et Decorum est“, “Insensibility“, “Anthem for Doomed Youth“, “Futility” and “Strange Meeting“.  (Taken from Wikipedia)

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I’m not a huge lover of poetry for the sake of poetry. I am more of a lyric person but I do genuinely have a soft spot for the poetry of world war one.  It is a little bit of a naïve love and tends to be focused on the famous poets but that is why I invested in this collection of poems by Wilfred Owen.

Anything I say in review will sound trite so I will just say this. For an accurate representation of what World War One was like then look no further than the works of Wilfred Owen. He doesn’t glorify war or make it seem magic. His poetry is a truth among the verisimilitude of propaganda.

Poems (The World at War) by Wilfred Owen is available now.

3 Stars

Conquer ColitisTitle: Conquer Colitis Now! How to Treat Colitis &n Live Pain Free for Life(The Doctor’s Smarter Self Healing Series)

Author: Dr Brad Turner

Pages: 32 Pages

Publisher: Create Space Independent Platform

The Blurb

Learn how to treat Colitis and live pain free for life by following the guidelines in this easy to read format. Your pain and your symptoms can be controlled by using hassle free techniques that Dr. Brad Turner has outlined within the pages of this book. Everything from avoiding trigger foods to using natural remedies to make the pain bearable are within the pages of this guide. Stop your suffering now and use a plan that works for you.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

For those living with a chronic illness such as Colitis, you, like me will know that knowledge is power. It is the reason that I read as many books as possible about Ulcerative Colitis. I want to know what I am dealing with.

Unfortunately for me, Dr Bad Turner’s book (whilst being out of date – no fault of Dr Turner) didn’t offer me any information that I wasn’t already aware of. Furthermore, the book, whilst aimed at the patient came across as very clinical at times. Medical terminology was used and not explained to the laymen.

Hopefully, a more updated version will be released with new information and advice to help the person with the condition.

Conquer Colitis Now! How to Treat Colitis & Live Pain Free for Life(The Doctor’s Smarter Self Healing Series) by Dr Brad Turner is available now.

2 Stars