PiglettesTitle: Piglettes

Author: Clementine Beauvais

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Pushkin Press

The Blurb

A wickedly funny and life-affirming coming-of-age roadtrip story – winner of France’s biggest prize for teen and YA fiction.

Awarded the Gold, Silver and Bronze trotters after a vote by their classmates on Facebook, Mireille, Astrid and Hakima are officially the three ugliest girls in their school, but does that mean they’re going to sit around crying about it?

Well… yes, a bit, but not for long! Climbing aboard their bikes, the trio set off on a summer roadtrip to Paris, their goal: a garden party with the French president. As news of their trip spreads they become stars of social media and television. With the eyes of the nation upon them the girls find fame, friendship and happiness, and still have time to consume an enormous amount of food along the way.

The Review

Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais is one of the most funny and most charming books that I have read this year.

It centres round the lives of three girls: Astrid, Hakima and protagonist Mireille have all been the victim of a cruel high school prank. They have been named the three ugliest girls in the school. Whilst two of the girls are devastated by this, seasoned Piglet Mireille takes it in her stride. She befriends the other girls to make them feel better about themselves. Together (along with Hakima’s older brother Kadar) the girls travel by bike across France to get to Paris.

So, Piglettes is many things. It is a YA novel, it is a coming of age drama and it is an affirmative book about finding the good things and loving them. It is a brilliant novel.

Beauvais characters are wonderful. Mireille is a tonic. She reminded me of Georgia Nicholson from the Louise Rennison Angus Thongs series. So sure of herself and completely banging to the beat of her own drummer. She is a heroine for the 21st century. I loved her.

Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais is available now.

For more information regarding Pushkin Press (@PushkinPress) please visit www.pushkinpress.com.

4 Stars

36 Questions tht Changed My Mind About YouTitle: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You

Author: Vicki Grant

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Perseus Books/Running Press Books

The Blurb

Inspired by the real psychology study popularized by the New York Times and its “Modern Love” column, this contemporary YA is perfect for fans of Eleanor and Park.

Two random strangers. Two secrets. Thirty-six questions to make them fall in love.

Hildy and Paul each have their own reasons for joining the university psychology study that asks the simple question: Can love be engineered?

The study consists of 36 questions, ranging from “What is your most terrible memory?” to “When did you last sing to yourself?” By the time Hildy and Paul have made it to the end of the questionnaire, they’ve laughed and cried and lied and thrown things and run away and come back and driven each other almost crazy. They’ve also each discovered the painful secret the other was trying so hard to hide. But have they fallen in love?

Told in the language of modern romance–texting, Q&A, IM–and punctuated by Paul’s sketches, this clever high-concept YA is full of humor and heart. As soon as you’ve finished reading, you’ll be searching for your own stranger to ask the 36 questions. Maybe you’ll even fall in love.

The Review

Sometimes you just need a bit of light-hearted romance and fluff and boy do you get it by the bucket load with Vicki Grant’s delightful novel 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some serious issues that are dealt with in this book but you will have to read it to get to the nitty-gritty of those dramas.

I want to talk to you about love love love. In particular the bourgeoning relationship between Hildy and Paul who both take part in a psychological study. They each have to answer 36 questions honestly and then the theory is that they will fall in love. Except to begin with, they both kind of hate each other. It doesn’t make for a great start to a relationship.

However, as the novel goes on we realise that these perfect strangers are actually rather perfect for each other.

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant is the kind of novel that you get fully invested in. You root for these characters and oh my days it is such an easy read. Before you realise it you have nearly finished the book. Honestly, 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You begs for a part 2.

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant is available now.

For more information regarding Vicki Grant (@VickiGrantYA) please visit www.vickigrant.com.

For more information regarding Perseus Books (@PerseusBooks) please visit their Twitter page.

For more information regarding Running Press (@Running_Press) please visit www.runningpress.com.

35 Stars

BlackbirdTitle: Blackbird

Author: N D Gomes

Pages: 287 Pages

Publisher: HQ Young Adult

The Blurb

Dark contemporary YA following a murder mystery on Orkney that fans of 13 Reasons Why will devour.

Olivia disappeared the night the blackbird died.

It was New Years Eve the night that dead blackbirds descended, hours before fourteen year old Alex McCarthy’s sister Olivia went missing from a party.

Committed to finding out what happened to her sister, within the previously safe walls of their subarctic Orkney village, Alex knows that dishevelled, sometimes intoxicated Detective Inspector Birkens is her best shot.

Yet as they uncover the secrets behind Olivia’s last night, Alex starts to find things she may be better off never knowing…

The Review

Blackbird by N D Gomes is a book that will leave you physically shaken. It plays on your insecurities of safety and is a perfect Young Adult thriller.

The story I told from the perspective of Alex. Her older sister has gone missing and she is determined to find her. However, it is only when looking closely that she realises that there were things she didn’t know about her sister at all.

Her relationships start to fall apart in her dogged need to uncover the truth. Her family are falling apart and Alex is feeling the weight of that burden. It is all too much for her. But she needs answers.

What makes Blackbird so readable is that you feel like you are Alex’s only confident. The first person perspective and the breakdown of all her other relationships makes you, the reader, the closest thing to Alex. Her needs become your needs and you are constantly turning the pages to get to the truth. It is a book worthy of the moniker “unputdownable.”

Blackbird is a classic mystery/thriller in the style of Anne Cassidy. It is perfect for young fans of the genre who love getting stuck into the “whodunnit” of a story.

Blackbird by N D Gomes is available now.

For more information regarding N D Gomes (@nd_gomes) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ Young Adult (@HQYoungAdult) please visit instagram.com/hqyoungadult/.

4 Stars

147 ThingsTitle: 147 Things: My User’s Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Belly Buttons by Jim Chapman

Author: Jim Chapman

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan/Sidgwick & Jackson

The Blurb

LIFE IS WEIRD.

Nothing gives you a sense of perspective like finding out just how weird. I’m an extremely curious chap and with this book I wanted to share the content of my noggin, because I think these are the 147 things that have helped me through this thing we call life. Sometimes because it shows how lucky we are to be here at all, but often because I’m a moron and learned whatever lesson it taught me the hard way, and I’d like to save you the pain of making the same mistakes (I refer here to the waxing of my pubic hair).

Ever wondered if first times are over-rated (hint: they are), whether you’ll ever find the one (hint: there are 7 billion of us) or pondered the sheer unlikelihood of the you who is you being in the world right now? If so, then YouTube superstar and fact-obsessed, over-sharer Jim Chapman is here to explain it all – whether it’s why your heart actually aches after a break-up, what’s happening when you get hangry, or why people are just so plain RUDE online.

Along the way, we’ll find out how much fun he has when Tanya’s sleep-talking and why he looked like a gangly T-rex with wonky teeth when he was a teenager. As with his videos, no subject is off-limits, as Jim lifts the lid on his life and his relationships, sharing embarrassing stories and things he’s learnt along the way (trust us, the thing about kangaroos will really freak you out).

The Review

I love stuff. I love facts. I love knowing things. It is this reason why 147 Things: My User’s Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Belly Buttons by Jim Chapman is the perfect book for me.

It is a culmination of a curious mind in book form. Jim Chapman has posed very serious life questions and answered them in a serious (and seriously hilarious) way.

I will admit that whilst I was enjoying 147 Things: My User’s Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Belly Buttons it wasn’t until I got to the 123 thing that I was really blown away. Jim Chapman voiced a thought that has plagued me all my life and I realise that we should have some deep and meaningful conversations about life. I don’t think it is going to happen but man we could shoot the poop something wicked. I’m not going to tell you where Jim Chapman and my train of thoughts meet. You are going to have to buy and read his book for that.

147 Things: My User’s Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Belly Buttons by Jim Chapman is available now.

For more information regarding Jim Chapman (@JimChapman) please visit www.jimchapman.co.uk.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

4 Stars

The Temptation of AdamTitle: The Temptation of Adam

Author: Dave Connis

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing/Sky Pony Press

The Blurb

Adam Hawthorne is fine. Yeah, his mother left, his older sister went with her, and his dad would rather read Nicholas Sparks novels than talk to him. And yeah, he spends his nights watching self-curated porn video playlists. But Adam is fine.

When a family friend discovers Adam’s porn addiction, he’s forced to join an addiction support group: the self-proclaimed Knights of Vice. He goes because he has to, but the honesty of the Knights starts to slip past his defenses. Combine that with his sister’s out-of-the-blue return and the attention of a girl he meets in an AA meeting, and all the work Adam has put into being fine begins to unravel. Now Adam has to face the causes and effects of his addiction, before he loses his new friends, his prodigal sister, and his almost semi-sort-of girlfriend.

The Review

I didn’t really know what to expect with The Temptation of Adam. It was another of those books that I read on the basis of being intrigued by the cover. What I got was my favourite kind of YA fiction. It is a coming-of-age novel that tackles issues in a new and fresh way.

Adam is an addict. He is addicted to porn and his attitude towards women is being affected by this. After an incident in school, Adam is saved by his teacher and family friend Mr Cratcher and is forced to work out his demons by helping him with a music project and going to therapy. Adam is reluctant. He is a recalcitrant teenager with not just one but a whole bag of chips of his shoulder.

It is through this servitude and his unlikely friendship with the Knights of Vice (all addicts in the group) that Adam is able to confront his demons.

I really enjoyed reading The Temptation of Adam. It is a novel with several layers and underneath those layers is a big thumping heart. It is the sort of novel that I would happily read again.

The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis is available now.

For more information regarding Dave Connis (@DaveConnis) please visit www.daveconnis.com.

For more information regarding Skyhorse Publishing (@skyhorsepub) please visit www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

For more information regarding Sky Pony Press (@skyponypress) please visit www.skyponypress.com.

35 Stars