PiglettesTitle: Piglettes

Author: Clementine Beauvais

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Pushkin Press

The Blurb

A wickedly funny and life-affirming coming-of-age roadtrip story – winner of France’s biggest prize for teen and YA fiction.

Awarded the Gold, Silver and Bronze trotters after a vote by their classmates on Facebook, Mireille, Astrid and Hakima are officially the three ugliest girls in their school, but does that mean they’re going to sit around crying about it?

Well… yes, a bit, but not for long! Climbing aboard their bikes, the trio set off on a summer roadtrip to Paris, their goal: a garden party with the French president. As news of their trip spreads they become stars of social media and television. With the eyes of the nation upon them the girls find fame, friendship and happiness, and still have time to consume an enormous amount of food along the way.

The Review

Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais is one of the most funny and most charming books that I have read this year.

It centres round the lives of three girls: Astrid, Hakima and protagonist Mireille have all been the victim of a cruel high school prank. They have been named the three ugliest girls in the school. Whilst two of the girls are devastated by this, seasoned Piglet Mireille takes it in her stride. She befriends the other girls to make them feel better about themselves. Together (along with Hakima’s older brother Kadar) the girls travel by bike across France to get to Paris.

So, Piglettes is many things. It is a YA novel, it is a coming of age drama and it is an affirmative book about finding the good things and loving them. It is a brilliant novel.

Beauvais characters are wonderful. Mireille is a tonic. She reminded me of Georgia Nicholson from the Louise Rennison Angus Thongs series. So sure of herself and completely banging to the beat of her own drummer. She is a heroine for the 21st century. I loved her.

Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais is available now.

For more information regarding Pushkin Press (@PushkinPress) please visit www.pushkinpress.com.

4 Stars

36 Questions tht Changed My Mind About YouTitle: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You

Author: Vicki Grant

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Perseus Books/Running Press Books

The Blurb

Inspired by the real psychology study popularized by the New York Times and its “Modern Love” column, this contemporary YA is perfect for fans of Eleanor and Park.

Two random strangers. Two secrets. Thirty-six questions to make them fall in love.

Hildy and Paul each have their own reasons for joining the university psychology study that asks the simple question: Can love be engineered?

The study consists of 36 questions, ranging from “What is your most terrible memory?” to “When did you last sing to yourself?” By the time Hildy and Paul have made it to the end of the questionnaire, they’ve laughed and cried and lied and thrown things and run away and come back and driven each other almost crazy. They’ve also each discovered the painful secret the other was trying so hard to hide. But have they fallen in love?

Told in the language of modern romance–texting, Q&A, IM–and punctuated by Paul’s sketches, this clever high-concept YA is full of humor and heart. As soon as you’ve finished reading, you’ll be searching for your own stranger to ask the 36 questions. Maybe you’ll even fall in love.

The Review

Sometimes you just need a bit of light-hearted romance and fluff and boy do you get it by the bucket load with Vicki Grant’s delightful novel 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some serious issues that are dealt with in this book but you will have to read it to get to the nitty-gritty of those dramas.

I want to talk to you about love love love. In particular the bourgeoning relationship between Hildy and Paul who both take part in a psychological study. They each have to answer 36 questions honestly and then the theory is that they will fall in love. Except to begin with, they both kind of hate each other. It doesn’t make for a great start to a relationship.

However, as the novel goes on we realise that these perfect strangers are actually rather perfect for each other.

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant is the kind of novel that you get fully invested in. You root for these characters and oh my days it is such an easy read. Before you realise it you have nearly finished the book. Honestly, 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You begs for a part 2.

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant is available now.

For more information regarding Vicki Grant (@VickiGrantYA) please visit www.vickigrant.com.

For more information regarding Perseus Books (@PerseusBooks) please visit their Twitter page.

For more information regarding Running Press (@Running_Press) please visit www.runningpress.com.

35 Stars

Title: Turtles All the Way Down

Author: John Green

Pages: 286 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Books

The Blurb

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience and the power of lifelong friendship.

The Review

Turtles All the Way Down is a brave novel.

I say this for many reasons. The first reason being that this book is the first release from John Green since the epically successful The Fault in Our Stars; comparisons are bound to happen. People may have been expecting another gut wrenching tearjerker or to be completely emotionally immersed into the characters world in the same way as before. The second reason is that John Green has chosen to tackle a topic that is so on trend at the moment – this being mental health – that the worry is that he isn’t going to do it justice. Other writers’ may do it better. However, John Green needn’t have worried.

Turtles All the Way Down, as I said before, is brave. Having read many stories based on mental health I can genuinely say that I felt Aza’a compulsions. Her obsession with things that she cannot control became oppressive and you found yourself feeling both sorry for her but also understanding her need.

Furthermore, what John Green did (which is often missed out of the stories I have read previously) he discussed how hard mental illness is on those around the sufferer. He didn’t make the story evenly balanced because essentially it is Aza’s issue but we saw how the people who cared about her struggle – her mum not wanting to lose her, her best friend Daisy always feeling a few steps behind and her would be boyfriend Davis who can’t get as close as he would like to Aza.

So, Turtles All the Way Down is nothing like The Fault in Our Stars and if you are expecting it to be the same or similar then you may be disappointed. Taken as a separate entity, then John Green has written a really impressive and stark story about mental health.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green is available now.

For more information regarding John Green please visit www.johngreenbooks.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Books (@PenguinTeen) please visit www.penguinteen.com.

4 Stars

Theres Someone InSide Your HouseTitle: There’s Someone Inside Your House

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Pages: 289 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Over a year after her parents sent her away from Hawaii to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, Makani Young is still adjusting to her new life. She’s made a small group of close friends and even flirted with romance, but her past in Hawaii is still hard to forget.

And then . . . one by one the students of her new high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders.

Makani doesn’t know who’s next on the list. Between this, and a secret scorching relationship with the school weirdo, this school year may turn out to be one to die for . . . literally.

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins will have you swooning with fear and romance, and is the perfect page-turner for fans of Scream Queens and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

The Review

There’s Someone Inside Your House, the latest release by Stephanie Perkins, is much like Ronseal paint. It does what it says on the tin. It is a creepy thriller about a psychopath coming into certain people’s houses and killing them off one by one.

The story focuses on Makani, a relatively new girl to Nebraska. She has managed to make a small pocket of friends and is just trying to keep her head down, graduate high school before she leaves for pastures new. But when she becomes the latest victim of these heinous attacks Makani’s life gets turned upside down.

Having read previous releases by Stephanie Perkins, I can honestly say There’s Someone Inside Your House is very different from the French Kiss series. I liked it but if you are expecting something similar you will be disappointed.

For intensity, surprising twists and breathtaking pacing you really need to read There’s Someone Inside Your House.

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins is available now.

For more information regarding Stephanie Perkins (@naturallysteph) please visit www.stephanieperkins.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

3 Stars

My Side of the DiamondTitle: My Side of the Diamond

Author: Sally Gardner

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books/Bonnier Zaffre Books

The Blurb

An extraordinary tale about the search for love from the acclaimed Costa and Carnegie winning novelist Sally Gardner.

Jazmin has been shunned ever since her best friend Becky disappeared.

But Becky didn’t just disappear – she jumped off a tall building and seemingly never reached the ground. It was as if she simply vanished into thin air.

Did Jazmin have something to do with her disappearance?

Or was it more to do with Icarus, so beguiling and strangely ever youthful, with whom Becky became suddenly besotted . . .

The Review

My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner is a very curious tale that had me reading way outside of my comfort zone. It is part YA which I love, part thriller and mystery which I am lukewarm to and part science fiction which is so not my genre.

However, Sally Gardner has created a really compelling story and full bodied cast that I found myself unable to put the damn book down! The story is told from multi-perspective which lends the book an air of displacement and discomfort. I did not feel comfortable or settled reading it. I constantly questioned my characters – on their morals and what they said.

I do feel more settled now that I have finished My Side of the Diamond but it has left me irked in the best possible way.

I would love to know if the Lazarus theme is a link to David Bowie? There are too many shout outs. If anyone knows if this was a choice by Sally Gardner – or if indeed Sally Gardner you would like to answer this question for me – then I would be really grateful.

My Side of the Diamond is a strange little book that begs to be read.

My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner is available now.

For more information regarding Sally Gardner (@TheSallyGardner) please visit www.sallygardner.net.

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (HotKeyBooks) please visit www.hotkeybooks.com.

For more information regarding Bonnier Zaffre Books (@BonnierZaffre) please visit their Twitter page.

3 Stars