Title: We Were Liars

Author: E Lockhart

Pages: 242 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books

The Blurb

A beautiful and distinguished family.

A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends – the Liars – whose friendship turns destructive.

A revolution. An accident. A secret.

Lies upon lies.

True love.

The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times best selling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honouree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

We Were Liars is the haunting story of Cadence Sinclair and the legacy of the Sinclair family.

The Sinclair’s go to their private island every summer but when an accident happens, Cadence is deeply affected by it. She can’t think about it, and others refuse to talk to her about it. She has been told by the doctors that it is best to let the memories come back slowly. After a trauma of this magnitude she needs to figure it out herself. Cadence is medicated and struggles day to day but being on the island makes her more determined to figure out the truth and slowly but surely the events of the past come stumbling back to her.

We Were Liars is a brilliantly written novel. It is intriguing and can genuinely be described as a real page turner. Lockhart has created an eery atmosphere which is perfect for the unraveling of this mystery. The isolation of the island reflects the isolation of Cadence Sinclair and you are desperate for her to figure this mystery out. As a reader, you are filled with the feeling of mystery and intrigue and this book will keep you on edge until the very end.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is available now.

For more information regarding E. Lockhart (@elockhart) please visit www.emilylockhart.com.

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooksYA) please visit www.hotkeybooks.carrd.co.

Title: Clap When You Land

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Pages: 432 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books/Bonnier Zaffre

The Blurb

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

The Review

I can only imagine that the worst possible thing that could happen to a child is to lose a parent. But imagine losing a parent and with that death learning that they had a whole secret life and that indeed you have another sibling that you knew nothing about. This is the case for Camino and Yahaira. Both learn of each other’s existence when their father dies in a plane crash.

In Elizabeth Acevedo’s new poetry based novel Clap When You Land we look at the bourgeoning relationship between the two sisters as they came to terms with their grief and with each other’s existence. Beside this, Acevedo gives us an insight into the two different worlds: New York – privileged America versus the more dangerous Dominican Republic.

Acevedo really works hard to show this disparity between these two worlds and in the lives of these two girls but also manages to show the reader that even in difficult situations that blood is thicker than water.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo is available now.

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

For more information regarding Bonnier Zaffre (@bonnierbooks_uk) please visit www.bonnierbooks.co.uk.

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooksYA) please visit www.hotkeybooks.com.

Love, Hate and Other FiltersTitle: Love, Hate & Other Filters

Author: Samira Ahmed

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books

The Blurb

A romantic and relevant debut about Islamophobia and how it affects the normal life of a teenage girl. 

Maya Aziz dreams of being a film maker in New York. Her family have other ideas. They want her to be a dutiful daughter who wears gold jewellery and high heels and trains to be a doctor. But jewellery and heels are so uncomfortable . . .

She’s also caught between the guy she SHOULD like and the guy she DOES like. But she doesn’t want to let Kareem down and things with Phil would never work out anyway. Would they?

Then a suicide bomber who shares her last name strikes in a city hundreds of miles away and everything changes . . .

Perfect for fans of Annabel Pitcher, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI and THE HATE U GIVE.

The Review

Being a teenager is hard. I’m 34 and work in a school and I do not envy my students youth one bit. If they are going through even half of what the protagonist of Love Hate & Other Filters is going through then they have things pretty tough; you wouldn’t get me going back to that age for a big clock!

Maya is a young, talented, pretty girl. She is ambitious. She wants to study film in New York and she wants to kiss a boy. Ok that last one doesn’t seem like the biggest ambition but to Maya who has lived a cosseted life due to her strict Indian upbringing it is something that she would like to try.

Alas, Maya seems to be struggling against most things such as liking a boy, snarky people in her school and general teenage life worries. Throw in the added extra of seriously overprotective and intrusive parents and – as you can imagine – Maya’s life is just that extra bit difficult. Many of the readers of Love, Hate & Other Filters will be able to relate.

I really enjoyed this young adult fiction novel and the reason I liked it is because I wasn’t reading in a passive manner. There were times when I was reading Love, Hate and Other Filters that I felt the same feeling of claustrophobia that Maya felt. Ahmed has so accurately and positively described that feeling that I found myself getting frustrated at her parents as if they were mine.

Besides normal teen angst, Love, Hate & Other Filters deals with hate crime and racism in a powerful way. It leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Love, Hate & Other Filters is one of the best books that I have read in the Young Adult genre.

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed is available now.

For more information regarding Samira Ahmed (@sam_aye_ahm) please visit www.samiraahmed.com.

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooks) please visit www.hotkeybooks.com.

5 Stars

My Side of the DiamondTitle: My Side of the Diamond

Author: Sally Gardner

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books/Bonnier Zaffre Books

The Blurb

An extraordinary tale about the search for love from the acclaimed Costa and Carnegie winning novelist Sally Gardner.

Jazmin has been shunned ever since her best friend Becky disappeared.

But Becky didn’t just disappear – she jumped off a tall building and seemingly never reached the ground. It was as if she simply vanished into thin air.

Did Jazmin have something to do with her disappearance?

Or was it more to do with Icarus, so beguiling and strangely ever youthful, with whom Becky became suddenly besotted . . .

The Review

My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner is a very curious tale that had me reading way outside of my comfort zone. It is part YA which I love, part thriller and mystery which I am lukewarm to and part science fiction which is so not my genre.

However, Sally Gardner has created a really compelling story and full bodied cast that I found myself unable to put the damn book down! The story is told from multi-perspective which lends the book an air of displacement and discomfort. I did not feel comfortable or settled reading it. I constantly questioned my characters – on their morals and what they said.

I do feel more settled now that I have finished My Side of the Diamond but it has left me irked in the best possible way.

I would love to know if the Lazarus theme is a link to David Bowie? There are too many shout outs. If anyone knows if this was a choice by Sally Gardner – or if indeed Sally Gardner you would like to answer this question for me – then I would be really grateful.

My Side of the Diamond is a strange little book that begs to be read.

My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner is available now.

For more information regarding Sally Gardner (@TheSallyGardner) please visit www.sallygardner.net.

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (HotKeyBooks) please visit www.hotkeybooks.com.

For more information regarding Bonnier Zaffre Books (@BonnierZaffre) please visit their Twitter page.

3 Stars

The Hanging GirlTitle: The Hanging Girl

Author: Eileen Cook

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books/Bonnier Zaffre/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group

The Blurb

Two girls, one fatal reading . . . because the truth always lies in the cards

Skye’s mother believes she has ‘the gift’ – the opportunity to see the future. Skye however can only see the opportunity to make money – and happily fleeces her gullible classmates into handing over their cash to hear their futures through Skye’s wellworn tarot cards.

But it’s all in a good cause, right? Skye needs to save her hardearned cash to go to New York with her best mate Drew. Then the local mayor’s daughter Paige disappears – and Skye has a tip off about her whereabouts.

Skye is uncomfortable about the source and masks the tipoff as a vision she has received. But then events get wildly out of control – Paige is found murdered and Skye is a prime suspect . . .

The Review

Oh I do love it when a book is good.

The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook has been, for me, the surprise triumph of the year. I’ve never read anything by Eileen Cook before and I can admit that I was drawn to the book because of the cover which I found very intriguing. What I wasn’t expecting was to be sucked into this vortex of mystery and thrills which left me desperate to turn the page.

Skye is a con artist. She isn’t a petty criminal but she charges her fellow classmates for tarot readings all the while knowing that she has no psychic abilities. She swindles their money and she doesn’t feel bad about it.

However, Skye’s lying is about to catch up with her when a fellow student goes missing and the police begin to rely on her ‘visions’ to help solve the case. How far will Skye let the lie go?

The Hanging Girl is a thrill ride of a book. You are constantly questioning the things around you. I was constantly on the edge of my seat whilst reading it. It is definitely a book that you can immerse yourself in that has a central theme but also deals with other issues such as social poverty and privilege.

The Hanging Girl is a book worthy of the phrase ‘page turner.’

The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook is available now.

For more information regarding Eileen Cook (@EileenWriter) please visit www.eileencook.com.

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooks) please visit www.hotkeybooks.com.

For more information regarding Bonnier Zaffre (@BonnierZaffre) please visit their Twitter page.

For more information regarding Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group (@HMHco) please visit www.hmhco.com.

4 Stars