Title: Here is the Beehive

Author: Sarah Crossan

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

The Blurb

It happened,
again and again
and
again and again and again.

Together
apart.
In love
in aching.

Tangled
unravelling.

Ana and Connor have been having an affair for three years. In hotel rooms and coffee shops, swiftly deleted texts and briefly snatched weekends, they have built a world with none but the two of them in it.

But then the unimaginable happens, and Ana finds herself alone, trapped inside her secret.

How can we lose someone the world never knew was ours? How do we grieve for something no one else can ever find out? In her desperate bid for answers, Ana seeks out the shadowy figure who has always stood just beyond her reach – Connor’s wife Rebecca.

Peeling away the layers of two overlapping marriages, Here is the Beehive is a devastating excavation of risk, obsession and loss.

The Review

I have always loved Sarah Crossan’s style of storytelling through verse. I love her young adult stories and she is one of the few writers whose new book releases I will anticipate. However, I did find it hard to connect with Here is the Beehive and I think I know why.

Whereas One and Toffee are primarily for a younger audience, Here is the Beehive is very much a novel for adults. It focuses on the extra-marital affair of Ana and Connor and I think it was the quality of the problem that made me feel disconnected. With the protagonists in Crossan’s YA fiction I think I allow an additional level of sympathy. Whereas, I was very direct with my response to Ana and her problem. She, as an adult, chose to act on her feelings and I just couldn’t marry her actions with my own attitude towards them. I disagreed with the infidelity and therefore found it hard to sympathise with her.

However, I believe that this is actually a strength in Crossan’s case. It takes a talented writer to be able to make me read a book if I actively dislike the main character. That is actually quite impressive.

I think you should read Here is the Beehive and see if you have a similar response. Was it the same as mine?

Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan is available from 20th August 2020.

For more information regarding Sarah Crossan (@SarahCrossan) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury Publishing (@BloomsburyBooks) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.

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.