You Know Me WellTitle: You Know Me Well

Author: Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

The Review

Good golly I love YA fiction. I love that even as a 32 year old woman I can read it and become utterly absorbed in the stories o characters way younger than myself; I love that YA fiction always seems to be fresh and exciting but more than anything I love that YA fiction is tackling issues and helping to positively shape our youth’s opinion on some major topics by (for want of a better word) “normalising” them such as LGBTQIA. Take the new release from Nina LaCour and David Levithan. LaCour and Levithan have co-written You Know Me Well.

You Know Me Well is a coming of age story that focuses on Mark and Kate; two teenagers who are discovering life’s changes and the rapid fluidity that life takes when you are that age. They are discovering that the world after high school can be a very scary place; they are figuring out that friends come and go and they also figure out that first love can be wonderful and horrible in equal measure.

Oh, wait…do you think Mark and Kate are together? No, no, no, no, no. Mark and Kate are friends who are helping each other deal with the trials and tribulations of love (for other people) and learning to accept their flaws. It is a realistic story about love. You may wonder why I keep going on about love but the weekend that I read this book was the weekend of the Orlando shootings. You Know Me Well is classed as an LGBTQIA fiction because the film focuses on the gay scene in San Francisco. This is why this book is important. Hopefully, teenagers will read this book and the atrocities that happened in June 2016 will never happen again. #LoveisLove.

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

For more information about Nina LaCour (@nina_lacour) please visit her official website www.ninalacour.com.

For more information about David Levithan (@loversdiction) please visit his official website www.davidlevithan.com.

For more information about Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) and their future releases please visit the official website www.panmacmillan.com.

4 Stars

My True Loe Gave to MeThe Blurb

A collection of joyful festive stories that will keep you warm during the cold winter months.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

The Review

My True Love Gave to Me is a quirky and delightful book of short stories that are all set during Christmas. The set features some famous names such as David Levithan, Gayle Forman, Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins to name but a few.

The collection of shorts provides quick escapes that keep you entertained; however, the stand out short stories did leave you wanting more. In particular Rainbow Rowell’s Midnights, Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena, It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins, What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman and Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter.

As much as some of the short stories were really engaging there were others by which I found myself bored.

Overall, I would recommend My True Love Gave to Me because this book will get you in the festive spirit.

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins is available now.

Fans of the Impossible LifeThe Blurb

MIRA is a chronic fatigue syndrome-suffering, vintage dress enthusiast. She’s starting over at her old school St. Francis Prep, where she promised her parents that she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.

SEBBY seems to carry sunlight around with him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.

JEREMY is the painfully shy art nerd at St. Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting him – a blond, lanky boy with mischief glinting in his eyes.

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

Fans of the Impossible Life is your perennial coming-of-age story, inspired by Brideshead Revisited with echoes of John Hughes’ classic 80s cult movies. Perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a WallflowerLooking for Alaska and I’ll Give You the Sun, this captivating and profound story about love, loss and growing up is an astonishing debut novel from a true rising talent. Above all else, Fans of the Impossible Life is a story about the magic of finding those friends who truly see the person you are and the person you’re trying to become. As Mira, Sebby and Jeremy try to fix their broken selves and live their impossible lives, Kate Scelsa beautifully portrays those transformative teenage friendships that burn hot and bright, resonating with anyone who has ever felt a little bit different from their peers.

The Review

Fans of the Impossible Life would best be described as a mix of buddy story and coming of age drama.  It follows the lives of three teenagers who for all intents and purposes are social outcasts. Take Mira – she suffers with mental health problems and is the black sheep amidst a family of over achievers; Sebby – a little lost boy – with no home, no family and no one to impress or worry. He is a law unto his own. The more people perpetuate his belief of his worthlessness the more he encourages them. Oh and he is gay. And finally we have Jeremy – also gay, lives with his two dads, doesn’t know his mum and he suffers from social anxiety.

This motley crue form an unlikely friendship and make you realise that sometimes family are the people who aren’t related by blood.

All of this is great. The story is really interesting and the multi-perspective narrative gives great insight into each character. Furthermore, each voice feels individual. Scelsa makes you truly empathise with each character.

What is also really good about the storyline in Fans of the Impossible Life is that it does feel unique. Mental health is a contentious issue surrounding teenagers and it is great to see writers tackling the topic head on.

However, I do feel like I should have enjoyed Fans of the Impossible Life more than I actually did. It had all the ingredients of a great story and it is really well written. I think maybe my age hindered my overall enjoyment of what is a really well written and interesting novel.

Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa is available now.

 

The Blurb

From Leila Sales, the author of This Song Will Save Your Life, comes a compelling and relatable story about the hazards of falling for someone you haven’t met yet. Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose: it makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her – including her needy best friend and her absent mum. Arden stumbles upon a blog called ‘Tonight the Streets Are Ours’, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, and it feels like she’s finally found a kindred spirit. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him. During one crazy night in NYC filled with parties, dancing and music – the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does – Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was either.

The Review

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales was one of my favourite stories that I read last year so I was more than excited for her new novel Tonight the Streets Are Ours. And sure I can admit that the absolutely stunning book cover helped somewhat.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours is really multi-faceted. There are so many layers that it is hard to break down to tell you about them but I shall try. It is about a girl called Arden who has a troublesome best friend called Lindsay; Arden lives at home with her father and her brother and just over four weeks earlier her mother abandoned them all; Arden has a boyfriend called Chris who she is growing ever the more unsure about and Arden has a secret obsession with a blog called Tonight the Streets Are Ours by a mysterious writer called Peter.

So I have managed to tell you about the book without revealing too much which is good. I guess if I had to describe the theme of the book I would say that consistently running through it is the theme of disappointment and having expectations that are too high. Arden likes to believe that people are inherently good and do good things for the people that they care about but when she realises she is giving more than she is receiving she becomes a bit jaded and angry.

If I am honest, I found Arden’s naivety somewhat annoying at times and she did put people either too high on a pedestal or equally too low. She never really concentrated on herself but in essence that is what also made her character and linked her to her mother whose life paralleled Arden’s.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours is a really good read and one that has more of an impact than you initially feel. This book is definitely worth a read.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales is available from 24th September 2015.

Follow Leila Sales (@LeilaSalesBooks) on Twitter.

Tonight The Streets Are Ours

Synopsis

Fed up with his life surrounded by abusive women (his sisters) Martin Moone makes the mature decision (well mature for an eleven year old) to get himself and imaginary friend. Cue hysterical tales of misbegotten adventure and wacky circumstances.

Review

The much celebrated Moone Boy: The Blunder Years has been released in book format and it is jolly good fun. It is very much a similar ilk to the Tom Gates books or the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series but actually much better. The comedy is much more fun and at times taboo for the age group – think innocent conversations about pimping your elder sisters boobs out for protection from schoolyard bullies and you will see where I am coming from.

Moone Boy: The Blunder Years, along with its fabulous illustrations, is the perfect book for your younger brother, or cousin or next door neighbour or random kid in need of some giggles. Basically you should just buy this book as a stocking filler for a loved one and then proceed to ignore everyone come Christmas day whilst you sit reading it instead.

Moone Boy: The Blunder Years by Chris O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy is available now.

Moone Boy