Title: Scars Like Wings

Author: Erin Stewart

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster’s UK Children’s

The Blurb

Everyone has scars. Some are just easier to see …

16-year-old Ava Lee is heading back to school one year after a house fire left her severely disfigured. She’s used to the names, the stares, the discomfort, but there’s one name she hates most of all: Survivor. What do you call someone who didn’t mean to survive? Who sometimes wishes she hadn’t?

When she meets a fellow survivor named Piper at therapy, Ava begins to feel like she’s not facing the nightmare alone. Piper helps Ava reclaim the pieces of Ava Before the Fire, a normal girl who kissed boys and sang on stage. But Piper is fighting her own battle, and when Ava almost loses her best friend, she must decide if the new normal she’s chasing has more to do with the girl in the mirror — or the people by her side.

The beautiful, life-affirming debut from Erin Stewart that’s being called the YA answer to Wonder. Perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Nicola Yoon and John Green.

The Review

Some books just have the power to hit home and hit home hard. Scars Like Wings was like a sucker-punch for me. The story revolves around the physical and emotional recovery of Ava Lee. Ava is a young girl who has been disfigured. She survived a house fire but the girl that she physically knew has long gone and she is struggling to come to terms with the Ava Lee she is post accident. What makes it all the more difficult is that she is a high school students and kids, well they can be cruel.

I hoovered Scars Like Wings. Partly because the writing was so damn good but mostly because I empathised with Aval Lee – I have a facial scar from a reaction to medication and whilst it is nowhere as severe as I imagine Ava Lee’s scarring to be but still the coming to terms with it was a long, hard road.

Steart dealt with this topic so beautifully. She showed the complicated web of people having to deal with a tragedy like this be that school friends, family, classmates, people on the street and the doctors. I really feel that Stewart gave a rounded perspective on this and one she should be very proud of.

Scars Like Wings will be shoved into the hands of all my students. It is a beautiful story that shows that beauty has many forms.

Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart is available now.

For more information regarding Erin Stewart (@Erin_N_Stewart) please visit www.eringstewartbooks.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster’s UK Children’s (@simonkids_UK) please visit www.simonand schuster.co.uk.

Title: The Words We Keep

Author: Erin Stewart

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Simon YA

The Blurb

It’s been two months since the Night on the Bathroom Floor – when Lily found her sister, Alice, hurting herself. Now Alice is coming home after treatment and it’s getting harder for Lily to outrun the compulsive thoughts she’s having.

Meeting Micah, a guy with a troubled past of his own, the pair embark on a poetry project that helps Lily to see that the words she’s been holding back, desperately want to break through. But what will Micah think if he finds out who she really is?

The Review

I have read a lot of YA over the years. A lot. Tons. So it always surprises me when I am so moved by a book that after I have finished I want someone else to read it so I can talk to them about it that very second. That was how I felt when I read The Words We Keep by Erin Stewart.

The story is about a family who are falling apart at the seams but are keeping themselves together with plasters and selotape. Lily, our protagonist is trying desperately to hold her family together. She is dealing with her own mental health problems alongside being a teenager, falling in love, trying to be the perfect student among other things and it is getting too much for her. The Words We Keep is the story of the individual struggle that a person can have and the need to find someone who can help.

Issues surrounding mental health are dealt with so unflinchingly that it is hard to read at times – not due to the writing I must say but because you care so much for the characters and you can see things from several perspectives even though it is a one voice narrative.

The Words We Keep is an absolutely wonderful read.

The Words We Keep by Erin Stewart is available now.

For more information regarding Erin Stewart (@Erin_N_Stewart) please visit www.erinstewartbooks.com.

For more information regarding Simon YA (@simonYAbooks) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.