Title: Proud

Author: Juno Dawson

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Stripes Publishing

The Blurb

A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN.

A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.

Contributors: Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Alizadeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White.

Following A CHANGE IS GONNA COME, winner of the YA BOOK PRIZE SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 2018

The Review

I love a collection of themed short stories. I find it completely captivating when several authors can hook a reader with their take on a contentious topic and completely engage the reader. Proud did this for me.

I came across writers that I have previously read works by and also some brand new authors; now I have the desire to read more of their work. Each unique story showed the struggles and the triumphs of the LGBTQIA+ community. Proud really is a collection that should be shared and spread far and wide.

Proud by Juno Dawson is available now.

For more information regarding Juno Dawson (@junodawson) please visit www.junodawson.com.

For more information regarding Stripes Publishing (@StripesBooks) please visit www.littletiger.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 Miseducation of Cameron Post

Author: Emily Danforth

Pages: 466 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

The night Cameron Post’s parents died, her first emotion was relief. Relief they would never know that hours earlier, she’d been kissing a girl.

Now living with her conservative Aunt in small-town Montana, hiding her sexuality and blending in becomes second nature to Cameron until she begins an intense friendship with the beautiful Coley Taylor.

Desperate to ‘correct’ her niece, Cameron’s Aunt takes drastic action.

Now Cameron must battle with the cost of being her true-self even if she’s not completely sure who that is.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a real eye-opener of a book. I’ve always known that the LGBT community have a hard time of things but what Emily Danforth has done is written a story that shows the truly insidious nature of what some families will do to make sure that their child stops ‘being gay’.

Whilst I enjoyed The Miseducation of Cameron Post I did find the story quite slow paced. It took me much longer than it normally would to read the whole book.

I would recommend this story though. It really does make you aware of how much being a lesbian or being gay is still seen as a negative thing in middle-America.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth is available now.

For more information regarding Emily Danforth (@emdanforth) please visit www.emdanforth.com.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning

Author: Lemony Snicket

Pages: 142 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, “Proceed, but cautiously.”

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I’ve had the Lemony Snicket Series on my Kindle for a while now. I took advantage of an offer on Amazon to buy the whole series for 99p (99p – it is currently retailing for £42!). I decided to start reading it because I needed to read a new book with my students in school, after one chapter in to A Bad Beginning I knew that this was the right book.

It is a classic story of orphaned children and insidious family members with a dollop of disbelieving adults thrown in the mix. The Baudelaire children are sent to live with their insidious uncle Count Olaf who is desperate to get his money on the Baudelaire fortune and he will do absolutely anything to get it. Anything.

If you like your books to have high drama and high jinx then A Bad Beginning is the book for you. I’m off to read the sequel.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket is available now.

For more information regarding Lemony Snicket (@lemonysnicket) please visit www.LemonySnicketLibrary.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Geek Girl Special (1) – All Wrapped Up

Author: Holly Smale

Pages: 220 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

The Blurb

All I want for Christmas is… a new GEEK GIRL story!

Harriet Manners knows a lot about Christmas.
She knows that every year Santa climbs down 91.8 million chimneys.
She knows that Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was almost definitely a girl.
She knows that the first artificial Christmas trees were made out of goose feathers.
But this Christmas is extra special for Harriet, because four days ago she had her First Ever Kiss.

Now she just needs to work out what’s supposed to happen next…

A romantic festive treat from the internationally bestselling award-winning author of the GEEK GIRL series. Also includes a BONUS previously unpublished GEEK GIRL short story TEAM GEEK!

The Review

I read Geek Girl by Holly Smale ages ago. It was so long ago that I can’t actually remember when it was. At the time I loved it. So it is a massive puzzle to me as to why I haven’t read the rest. I own them but I just haven’t read any of them. It is rather curious.

The Geek Girl Special (1) – All Wrapped Up sees Harriet go on her first real date. As we have come to expect from Harriet, she is awkward and gawky but she manages to actually come across as the more in control person when she is taken ice skating. Something she is surprisingly good at. But will she get a Christmas kiss?

Geek Girl Special (1) – All Wrapped Up has made me want to hurry up and read the rest of the series and that is what I intend to do.

Geek Girl Special (1) All Wrapped Up by Holly Smale is available now.

For more information regarding Holly Smale (@HolSmale) please visit www.holly-smale.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonandschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.