Title: We Come Apart

Author: Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

The Blurb

YA rising stars Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan join forces to break readers’ hearts in this contemporary story of star-cross’d lovers.

Jess would never have looked twice at Nicu if her friends hadn’t left her in the lurch. Nicu is all big eyes and ill-fitting clothes, eager as a puppy, even when they’re picking up litter in the park for community service. He’s so not her type. Appearances matter to Jess. She’s got a lot to hide.

Nicu thinks Jess is beautiful. His dad brought Nicu and his mum here for a better life, but now all they talk about is going back home to find Nicu a wife. The last thing Nicu wants is to get married. He wants to get educated, do better, stay here in England. But his dad’s fists are the most powerful force in Nicu’s life, and in the end, he’ll have to do what his dad wants.

As Nicu and Jess get closer, their secrets come to the surface like bruises. The only safe place they have is with each other. But they can’t be together, forever, and stay safe – can they?

An extraordinary, high-impact, high-emotion collaboration between two Carnegie honoured rising stars of YA. Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Malorie Blackman, Rainbow Rowell and John Green.

Sarah Crossan received the 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal for her astonishing novel One, which also won the YA Book Prize,CBI Book of the Year Award and the CliPPA Poetry Award. Brian Conaghan’s powerful debut, When Mr Dog Bites, was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, Peters Book of the Year and CBI Book of the Year Award

The Review

Well blow me over with a feather; We Come Apart is bloody fantastic.

We Come Apart is by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan and it is a story compromised of dual-perspective poetry. It focuses on the lives of Jess and Nicu. Both are young offenders and both have their own interesting backgrounds. Jess is from a broken family struggling to get along with those in her life – friends and family. Nicu and his family have emigrated from Romania and he is struggling to fit in with the ways of life in the UK.

The two of them form a friendship and together try and fight the forces that are against them.

We Come Apart is both heart-warming and heartbreaking. I consumed it in one sitting and at times was genuinely holding back the tears. It is a brilliant story that should be read by all.

We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan is available now.

For more information regarding Sarah Crossan (@SarahCrossan) please visit youtu.be/0szY-FFsOIQ.

For more information regarding Brian Conaghan (@BrianConaghan) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury Publishing (@KidsBloomsbury) please visit www.bloomsbury.com/childrens.

Title: In Paris with You

Author: Clementine Beauvais (Translated by Sam Taylor)

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Faber & Faber

The Blurb

Eugene and Tatiana could have fallen in love. If things had gone differently. If they had tried to really know each other. If it had just been them, and not the others. But that was years ago and time has found them far apart, leading separate lives.

Until they meet once more in Paris.

What really happened back then? And now? Could they ever be together after everything?

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

In Paris with You is one of the nominees for the Carnegie medal in 2019. I have been trying to make my way through the books and since I liked Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais I decided to give it a go.

In Paris with You is told completely in verse form – this is not unusual. At least three others on the long list are told in this format. What is unusual about this is that not only is it in verse form but it has been translated from French.

It is a quirky little love story that slips backwards and forwards from the modern day to the past and tells the story of Eugene and Tatiana. It shows how timing is everything and that we shouldn’t just expect love to happen when we want it to.

I really enjoyed In Paris with You but it is one of those books that due to the verse I wished I had heard read as slam poetry. You read with the beats but I think it would have been better if I had listened to it rather than reading it.

In Paris with You by Clementine Beauvais is available now.

For more information regarding Faber & Faber (@FaberBooks) please visit www.faber.co.uk.

Title: love, and you

Author: Gretchen Gomez

Pages: 143 Pages

Publisher: Amazon Media

The Blurb

one day i met a guy
who stole my heart,
we created a world
for ourselves.
and another day
he broke my heart
and shattered
my soul.

i took the tattered
pieces of this
broken soul and
became anew.

– here lies the hurting, the healing, and the learning

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

So I don’t know a lot about poetry. Besides the GCSE anthology that I work through with my students and some war poetry I have never really delved into the form of writing, always opting for music lyrics instead of written poetry. However, there was something about the cover of Gretchen Gomez’s collection love, and you that intrigued me.

What I can tell you, from my novice perspective is that man Gretchen Gomez felt some pain. Her pain drips out of every poem and she has bared herself for the world to see. It is an incredibly brave and honest collection of poems that invites you to intimately examine her life.

Even if, like me, you don’t feel comfortable enough to assess and understand poetry you can at least appreciate the candour in which Gomez writes.

love, and you by Gretchen Gomez is available now.

For more information regarding Gretchen Gomez (@chicnerdreads) please visit www.chicnerdreads.wordpress.com.

3 Stars

I Loved You in Paris PoetryTitle: I Loved You in Paris: A Memoir in Poetry

Author: Juliette Sobanet

Pages: 97 Pages

Publisher: Saint Germain Press

The Blurb

In this companion poetry book to her sizzling memoir, MEET ME IN PARIS, Juliette Sobanet gives readers a heartbreaking look into the raw emotions of a romance novelist as she loses her own happily ever after. From the impossible pull of forbidden love to the devastating loss of her marriage, and finally, to rebuilding life anew, Sobanet’s courageous poems expose the truth behind infidelity and divorce and take readers on a passionate journey of love, loss, and ultimately, hope.

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

I feel rather under-qualified to review I Loved You in Paris: A Memoir in Poetry. What I will say is that it is a lovely little collection.

It is not a form of self expression that I have read enough of to be able to feel that I have a valid point of view. However, having read the memoir that the poetry accompanies and having read nearly all of Juliette Sobanet’s fiction releases I can honestly say that she is a writer that doesn’t hold back.

I believe that I described I Loved You in Paris as a memoir that Sobanet had bled her thoughts and emotions on to the page. It is a stark and brutally honest account of a dark period in her life. So it is with this in mind that I can honestly say that I trust Sobanet has done the same with I Loved You in Paris: A Memoir in Poetry. I just wish that I was much more au fait with poetry to be able to appreciate this collection more.

I Loved You in Paris: A Memoir in Poetry by Juliette Sobanet is available now.

Follow Juliette Sobanet (@JulietteSobanet) on Twitter and visit her official website http://juliettesobanet.com

35 Stars

The Nations Favourite Love PoemsThe Blurb

From the first flush of love, through courtship and vows of eternal fidelity, to serving the writs and drowning your sorrows, ‘The Nation’s Favourite Love Poems‘ will meet all your romantic requirements. In this selection of 100 popular poems, poets of every age consider that most universal of themes: love. As well as traditional lovers’ favourites such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s ‘How do I love thee?‘ and Shakespeare’s ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?‘ there are contemporary voices such as Adrian Mitchell, Wendy Cope and John Fuller, whose erudite yet salacious ‘Valentine‘ would melt the most fridgid heart. There are even poems for those more melancholic moments, Hardy’s haunting ‘After a Journey‘, for example, and Larkin’s poignant ‘Love Songs in Age‘. So, wherever you are in the tunnel of love, dip into this book of poetry and you will be reassured to discover that at one time or another a poet has been there before you.

The Review

I work in a high school and part of my job is helping the GCSE students prepare themselves for their exams. Due to my specialism – English Language/Literature – I often try and get them prepared for the two unseen pieces of poetry that they will have to analyse. At 16, I hated poetry. I loathed it. As I got older and as I kept furthering my English education I began to appreciate it. Not all poems, mind, but I have certainly enjoyed teaching it.

Teaching poetry analysis is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that has multiple pieces that fit the same slot. It is difficult, it is variable and it is never wrong. Interpretation is personal and that scares some people because what if there are wrong…but as I just stated – you are never wrong with interpretation.

Anecdotes aside, I picked up The Nation’s Favourite Love Poems by Daisy Goodwin because it was recommended to me on Amazon and I knew that we had a copy in the school library. I wanted to see if there were any poems that my student and I could analyse. There were tons (as you would expect with an anthology of poetry), however, there were very few that I liked.

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure they are all really good accomplished pieces but for me there was only a handful of ones that I enjoyed reading; they included: Warming Her Pearls by Carol Ann Duffy, Valentine by John Fuller, Lullaby by WH Auden, The First Day by Christina Rosetti, Unfortunate Coincidence by Dorothy Parker, and Twelve Songs by WH Auden.

Actually, that looks like a lot.

In all fairness, I wasn’t expecting to like all the poems in the collection and I do think that I would benefit from further studying of the poems but I did like The Nation’s Favourite Love Poems. I will be picking up more anthologies to develop my liking for poetry.

The Nation’s Favourite Love Poems by Daisy Goodwin is available now.

3 Stars