Title: The Love Hypothesis

Author: Laura Steven

Pages: 297 Pages

Publisher: Electric Monkey/Egmont Publishing

The Blurb

An LGBT romantic comedy with a twist from the Comedy Women in Print prize winner Laura Steven, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay. A hilarious love story with bite, for fans of Sex Education, Booksmart, Becky Albertalli’s Love, Simon and Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Physics genius Caro Kerber-Murphy knows she’s smart. With straight As and a college scholarship already in the bag, she’s meeting her two dads’ colossal expectations and then some. But there’s one test she’s never quite been able to ace: love. And when, in a particularly desperate moment, Caro discovers a (definitely questionable) scientific breakthrough that promises to make you irresistible to everyone around you, she wonders if this could be the key.

What happens next will change everything Caro thought she knew about chemistry – in the lab and in love. Is hot guy Haruki with her of his own free will? Are her feelings for her best friend Keiko some sort of side-effect? Will her dog, Sirius, ever stop humping her leg?

The Review

So in high school I was pretty nerdy. I didn’t mind and to be fair people didn’t make anything of it. It was at a time when being nerdy wasn’t considered the cook cache that it is nowadays. I worked in the library, I was slightly chubby and I had flaming red hair. I was – what some people would ironically call – a catch. The reason I am giving you this potted history is because if I had been told during my formative years that  I could take a pill that would make people be attracted to me then hell yes I would have done it. No questions asked.

This is the same for protagonist Caro Kerber-Murphy. She doesn’t feel like she compares to her two best friends who are interesting and beautiful. She fails to get noticed. If she were a colour it would be beige. Ecru at a push. When she finds an advert for a medically approved drug that can make people fall in love with you she jumps on it. Little does she realise that the consequences can be quite damaging.

I really enjoyed reading about Caro and her friends. I loved the inner turmoil that she goes through and how she really just wants to be noticed. I love how Steven used her back story to justify the way she was feeling without ramming it down the reader’s throats. Steven has shown in The Love Hypothesis and in her previous books how she trusts her readers to be able to understand things without spelling them out. As a reader, I appreciate that.

The Love Hypothesis also makes you remember just what falling in love for the first time feels like. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read and one that you can finish in one sitting.

The Love Hypothesis by Laura Steven is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Steven (@LauraSteven) please visit www.laura-steven.com.

For more information regarding Electric Monkey (@EMTeenFiction) please visit www.egmont.co.uk.

For more information regarding Egmont Publishing (@EgmontUK) please visit www.egmont.co.uk.

Title: The Poet X

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Electric Monkey

The Blurb

Xiomara has always kept her words to herself. When it comes to standing her ground in her Harlem neighbourhood, she lets her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But X has secrets – her feelings for a boy in her bio class, and the notebook full of poems that she keeps under her bed. And a slam poetry club that will pull those secrets into the spotlight.

Because in spite of a world that might not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to stay silent.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The Poet X is a story told entirely in verse. This in itself is nothing new. We have seen other writers express themselves in this way – notably, Sarah Crossan. The Poet X takes this concept and almost has writer Elizabeth Acevedo bleed her thoughts and emotions on the page.

The story is about Xiamora. It is about being a teenager. It is about being of Dominican descent and what is expected of her. It is about being a girl in a world that favours the male. Mostly, it is about growing up with these life conditions and trying to find your own place and not the one that is expected by her extremely religious mother.

My heart broke so many times when I read this story. As a reader, you feel the claustrophobia that Xiamora feels. How the world is both so big and so small at the same time.

The Poet X is amazing. Read it now.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is available now.

For more information regarding Elizabeth Acevedo (@AcevedoWrites) please visit www.acevedowrites.com.

For more information regarding Electric Monkey (@EMTeenFiction) please visit www.electricmonkeybooks.co.uk.

Title: The Exact Opposite of Okay

Author: Laura Steven

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Electric Monkey/Egmont Publishing UK

The Blurb

A hilarious, groundbreaking young adult novel for anyone who’s ever called themselves a feminist . . . and anyone who hasn’t. For fans of Louise O’Neill, Holly Bourne and Amy Schumer. 

Izzy O’Neill here! Impoverished orphan, aspiring comedian and Slut Extraordinaire, if the gossip sites are anything to go by . . .

Izzy never expected to be eighteen and internationally reviled. But when explicit photos involving her, a politician’s son and a garden bench are published online, the trolls set out to take her apart. Armed with best friend Ajita and a metric ton of nachos, she tries to laugh it off – but as the daily slut-shaming intensifies, she soon learns the way the world treats teenage girls is not okay. It’s the Exact Opposite of Okay.

Bitingly funny and shockingly relevant, The Exact Opposite of Okay is a bold, brave and necessary read. For readers of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Doing It by Hannah Witton and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.

The Review

Oh my wow. What a debut. Laura Steven has knocked it out of the park with her debut novel The Exact Opposite of Okay. It is the teen feminist novel that I didn’t have. I never thought I would hear myself say this but it made me want to be a teenager again so that I could have a copy of The Exact Opposite of Okay as my weapon of choice against the douchebaggery that is high school. I’m not even sure that sentence made sense. That is how good this novel is.

The story centres around protagonist Izzy O’Neill who makes some decisions about her life that don’t fair too well for her. Okay. I’m 34 and I will admit that I did judge Izzy for some of the things she did. I frequently said out loud to the empty room “Oh Izzy, you will regret this.” But then I realised this is exactly what this book is about. Judging people by the standards we set for ourselves and the belief that those standards are universally good and right and moral. Laura Steven teaches us in The Exact Opposite of Okay that if you are happy with how you are living your life then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. She does this all the while looking at the disparity in slut shaming and how the privilege of having xy chromosome gives you license to not be judged for doing the exact same thing as the xx card holders.

The Exact Opposite of Okay will go down as one of my favourite books of the year. It is sharp, sassy and makes me excited to see what else Laura Steven has up her sleeve.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Steven (@LaurMSteven) please visit www.laura_steven.com.

For more information regarding Electric Monkey (@EMTeenFiction) please visit their Twitter page.

For more information regarding Egmont Publishing UK (@EgmontUK) please visit www.egmont.co.uk.

The Blurb

For fans of YA authors such as David Levithan, Rainbow Rowell, Lauren Olive and Jay Asher comes the compelling, page turning, stonkingly good thriller from American author Lynn Weingarten. When June met Delia, she was a lifeline. Their intense friendship gave her a sense of belonging, of security, that she’d never had before. She felt braver, smarter, funnier, more attractive when Delia was around. But then something went wrong, and Delia and June haven’t spoken for a year when an announcement is made at their school that Delia is dead.

June barely has time to mourn before Delia’s ex-boyfriend convinces her that Delia didn’t kill herself but was in fact murdered, and June is fast swept into a tangle of lies and deceit – and a conspiracy she can barely conceive of, never mind believe.

Stylish, sexy and atmospheric, with so many twists it will leave you breathless.

The Review

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls is one of the most haunting stories that I have read this year. Actually, scratch that; it is probably the most haunting book I have read ever.

It is a story about friendship and the dark and twisted turns that it can take. Sometimes you can be too close to someone and that is exactly what happens with June and Delia. During their friendship you would barely see one without the other but as they get older and boys get involved the once close friendship diminishes.

When June finds out that Delia has died, committed suicide, she starts to feel guilty that she didn’t keep in contact with her friend. Perhaps she could have stopped her, perhaps things would be different. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.

When June starts to suspect that Delia was murdered things take an interesting turn.

Seriously, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls is YA fiction at its most twisted. Read it and be in shock and awe.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten is available now.

Follow Lynn Weingarted (@LynnWeingarten) on Twitter.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls