Review: Cress

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Publication date:  February 4th 2014

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Number of pages: 550

Series: The Lunar Chronicles (3#)

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia/Retelling

Source: Received as a gift! This has not influenced my review.

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Goodreads synopsis:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

 

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Review:

Cress should really come with an instruction manual titled, “How to Carry on With Life After Cress”. That’s if there IS a life after Cress.

Marissa Meyer is one super talented, super clever person. Her stories seem so vivid and real to me. Every single little detail in her books is so articulately planned out, like how the stories and characters merge with each other – and how they merge with the original fairytale. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Cress for me was guessing if one thing was trying to symbolise something else from the original. Plus it was great fun to revisit all the fairytales I fell in love with when I was younger – and still love now – and realise all the things I had forgotten over time.

And as I said before, I love how all the lives of the characters intertwine. This is just so incredible as well, because all the characters were inspired by very different fairytales and are therefore very different in themselves. Meyer has managed to weave Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White closely into the same fairytale.

On the topic of Snow White, I am scared of reading Winter. I’m not going to lie, when I was introduced to Winter in this book, I freaked out. SHE freaked me out. Her character was definitely a little creepy. And I am very, very curious as to how Marissa Meyer is going to write about an insane Snow White. And what freaked me out even more, was Jacin. He was introduced earlier than Winter but I knew straight away he was going to be the love interest. AND I HATE HIM. The angst right now. All the angst. But it’s ok because I have faith in my favourite author to pull this off.

Speaking of love interests, I was a little disappointed in Thorne. I had such high hopes for him after Scarlet but he really wasn’t himself(?) in this book. He had plenty of reason not to be but I kind of missed his arrogant jibes a bit. There were a couple but not as many. But he was so cute with Cress, almost as cute as Cress herself. If I was in the Lunar Chronicles, I would be Cress. She fits my physical description completely and is really like me on the inside too.

I wish there had been more Scarlet in this story but at the same time I didn’t want there to be any less of Cinder or Cress. And the tension in this story was unbelievable. Cress was definitely setting up for one intense finale in Winter. I’m also scared of Winter because I’m absolutely terrified that someone is going to die. People also die in book finales and I LOVE THEM ALL TOO MUCH. PLEASE DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT MARISSA MEYER. I even love Iko to pieces, I hope she finds a romantic interest in the next book. She needs it: first Kai then Thorne and they’re both taken. The world is cruel.

Thinking about it, I would really like to see Marissa Meyer tackle the Little Mermaid. That would be cooler than a penguin in a tub of liquid nitrogen. Provided no harm came to the penguin. IT WOULD JUST BE VERY COLD AND THEREFORE COOL IF YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING.

And all the feels as well. I didn’t cry in The Fault in Our Stars but Cress actually brought me closer to tears with one particular scene.

I was so absorbed in the story as well. I did not want to stop reading at all. I usually keep a track of the last page but with Cress (and Scarlet and Cinder) I was completely confused when the book ended. I was not prepared at all.

I love this series, it’s a favourite. You actually need to read this. I can’t wait to visit the land of Lunar in Winter.

 

5/5 comets
Bye, bye Earth! Out of this world!

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Goodreads author bio:

Marissa MeyerI live in Tacoma, Washington, with my fiancé and our two cats. In addition to my slight obsession with books and writing, I’m big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. I’m represented by Jill Grinberg.

CINDER, my debut novel, is a futuristic re-envisioning of Cinderella in which Cinder is a cyborg mechanic. Release date: 3 Jan 2012.

Review: Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything

Publication date: September 1st 2015

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 320

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Received in exchange for review. This has not influenced the content of my review.

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Goodreads synopsis:

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

 

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Review:

Rare diseases, first love and a cute guy next door…what could go wrong, right?

Well naïve little reader, a lot. And unfortunately in my opinion, that didn’t just apply to the storyline but the actual book as well.

The good and bad per point I want to talk about seems to evenly have their ups and downs. For example, the idea of having such a rare disease of being allergic to everything was really cool. In fact, I’d say it was the guiding reason as to why I was so immensely so excited about reading this book.

But at the same time, I actually blame that for why the story was so slow. The author didn’t really have all that much to work with. The story kind of dragged on a big because nothing really happened. I mean – the girl was stuck inside the same building all day and night. In that sense I don’t really blame the author at all.

I thought it was a good way to deal with the messages that the book was trying to get across. And they were excellent messages for sure. Just again, I think they could have been handled better.

Why? Exhibit A: The plot twist. Really? That was predictable. Although the way that the main character got to this point was questionable at best. A lot of the decisions made seemed kind of selfish and naïve. Yet, she had reason to be so.

The other thing was that I was unsure as to how it was actually possible for a particular event to unfold. Maybe things are totally different in Australia but I find it difficult to believe that it was possible

All in all, I really liked this book. I did have my issues with it but I am super excited to read more by this author.

3.5/5 comets
Looks like the start of an apocalypse! Nearly there. 

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Goodreads author bio:

Nicola YoonNicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.

Review: Scarlet

scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Publication date:  January 1st 2013

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Number of pages: 452

Series: The Lunar Chronicles (2#)

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia/Retelling

Source: Received as a gift! This has not influenced my review.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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Review:

You’ve never seen Little Red Riding Hood told this way before. And you certainly aren’t supposed to fall in love with the wolf.

But here we are.

Marissa Meyer is a storytelling mastermind – she has done some amazing setting up for the rest of the series. The lives of all the major characters from four very different fairytales are all cleverly tangled together, despite how different the storylines are. And I love every single character.

Especially Thorne. He’s so funny and I can’t wait to see him more in Cress. Scarlet and Wolf were so cute as well. Or at least Wolf is. He seems really awkward.

Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy Scarlet as much as Cinder. I thought that in comparison the story moved very slowly and wasn’t as interesting. Scarlet was mostly about Scarlet looking for her grandmother were as I felt Cinder went through a lot more. It took me a lot longer to read Scarlet than I did Cinder.

I absolutely loved the setting. France is one of my favourite places on Earth and I would love to read more stories that are set there. Although perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if a couple of more details specifically about France had been mentioned, without being told it was France, you wouldn’t really know where it was set. You could probably guess that it was set in Europe though. And to be honest, Futuristic France would almost definitely have very little in common with Current France, particularly with all it had gone through to get to Futuristic France.

One thing that I particularly love about the Lunar Chronicles is that the characters from previous books return, even though it is kind of a companion series in the way that each book is predominantly about someone new. But at the same time it’s really not a companion series either.

I’m so excited to continue on with the series. I loved Cinder when I first read it (constantly addressing it as a favourite) and now I love Scarlet. As I’m writing this review I’m almost half way through Cress and adoring it. I am completely gutted that I have to wait ages for Winter.

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show!

Add Scarlet to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Marissa MeyerI live in Tacoma, Washington, with my fiancé and our two cats. In addition to my slight obsession with books and writing, I’m big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. I’m represented by Jill Grinberg.

CINDER, my debut novel, is a futuristic re-envisioning of Cinderella in which Cinder is a cyborg mechanic. Release date: 3 Jan 2012.

Review: Kissing in America

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Kissing in America

Publication date:  May 26th 2015

Publisher: Harper

Number of pages: 400

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Received in exchange for review. This has not influenced my review.

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Goodreads synopsis:

“Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting—not to be missed.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A hilarious, thought-provoking, wrenching, and joyful quest.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Authentic and complex…This is a smart teen’s novel.”—Booklist, starred review

Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb’s Kissing in America is “a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls,” raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love).

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.

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Review:

Cute and fun, Kissing in America makes for a great in-between kind of read. For when you need to break from the hardcore stuff.

I say this because while it was good, it wasn’t great. One of those reads for me. The good and the bad seemed to balance themselves out for me. For example, I really enjoyed the beginning but I wasn’t impressed by the end.

I actually became interested in this book first when I read a sample as part of the Buzz Books 2015 sample collection. I absolutely loved the sample and therefore the beginning. In fact the excerpts from the romance novels the main character read really amused me. Particularly the use of “man-dew”. Just wow.

Speaking of the romance novels bit, I found them to be a win-lose kind of deal. I loved reading about a character who loved those cheap, trashy books I see going ridiculously cheap in bins in department store. I thought it was cute and quirky. And I kind of relate to her in some ways, although I tend to stray from those particular types of books. But I didn’t like their influence on the story. I felt like they almost kind of made her stupid.

I know that’s a harsh thing to say. But the way she obsessed over a boy which to be honest she didn’t even know that well,from what I read in the book anyway. And it’s pretty sad that she went to such extremes to follow a crush to another city. Borderline concerning. The way she treated her best friend in that sense was pretty average.

The book was a pretty quick read for me. Particularly the first half. The second half wasn’t as good. Most of the second half was travelling actually, and that really slowed it down too much.

I don’t feel like there’s much more to say. I would recommend this book, even if it doesn’t sound like it. Maybe borrow rather than buy is what I’m saying.

3/5 comets
The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before…

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Goodreads author bio:

Margo RabbShort bio: I love books, chocolate, cats (especially of the Edward Gorey variety), old movies, and more chocolate.

Long bio: I’m the author of the novels Kissing in America and Cures for Heartbreak, and I’ve written essays, articles, book reviews, and short stories for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, Slate, The Rumpus, Zoetrope: All-Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, and One Story, and elsewhere. I grew up in Queens, NY, and recently moved from Austin, TX to Philadelphia, PA. I write about grief a lot (my mom died when I was in my teens and my dad died when I was in my twenties). Here’s a link to an essay I wrote recently, about the death of my cat and the death of my mom (it was published, coincidentally, on the 24th anniversary of my mom’s death):

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/…

Thank you for taking a look at the stuff I’ve written–sending you some virtual chocolate as you read! 🙂

website: www.margorabb.com
Twitter: @margorabb

Review: We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up

Publication date:  March 24th 2015

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 384

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary/Post-Apocalyptic

Source: Received in exchange for review. This has not influenced my review. Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Australia and the Aussie YA Bloggers & Readers.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

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Review:

If you’re one of those naturally curious, over-imaginative people, then of course you have wondered what would happen in the case of an impending apocalypse. You know, as you do. Which is why We All Looked Up would practically be eye candy for you.

With one of the best covers and book designs in book history, We All Looked Up explores the catastrophic events that finding out the end of the world was coming could potentially bring. To do this, we follow the story from the points of view of four different teens: Anita, Peter, Eliza and Andy.

Each one of these teens are very, very different from each other. My favourite was easily Anita, however. I felt like I understood her the most. I loved Andy too, though. He was just too cute. Peter and Eliza however, I could take or leave. I think the book could have been just as good, if not better, if they weren’t in it, or at least took a backseat.

Really this book could have been one big quote. I’m so grateful to have been introduced to Tommy Wallach’s writing. It’s impressive. Almost every line is deep and beautiful and therefore, quotable. I also read in the back of my copy that he has created an album based on the book? That’s pretty cool. I would love to listen to it one day.

I did have two problems with the book though. I felt like the pacing was way too slow at times and I actually began to struggle to pull through it towards the end.

And number two was that I felt like the climax never really picked up towards the end and it ended up being a little bit anticlimatic. Don’t even get me started on the ending. And this is where I move on quickly before I spoil it.

I absolutely loved the little meteor tracker in the book. It added just that little bit more quirkiness to the book. I love the cover so much. It’s actually perfect. Believe it or not, it’s exactly what I picture the end of the world to look like.

Perhaps my favourite thing about the book was how thought-provoking it was. It brought up so many points I had never even really thought about to do with the apocalypse. I won’t say them but it really was interesting.

I would absolutely recommend this book. I think most people will probably be able to pull at least one little thing from the many things in this book. For me personally, it was the themes it explored. The writing of course was a bonus and the design of the book is absolutely phenomenal.

Everyone can take something away from the deep and stunning pages of We All Looked Up. A phenomenally beautiful read that will make you question everything – from your existence to your next meal.

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show!

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Goodreads author bio:

Tommy Wallach is a Brooklyn-based writer and musician. His first novel, We All Looked Up, will be published by Simon and Schuster in April 2015. His work has appeared in many nice magazines, such as McSweeney’s, Tin House, and Wired. He has released an EP with Decca Records, and will be independently putting out an LP in Spring 2014. He also makes music videos, including one that was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum. You should buy him dinner.

Review: Vendetta

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

Vendetta (Blood for Blood, #1)

Publication date: January 1st 2015

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd.

Number of pages: 352

Series: Blood for Blood (#1)

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Borrowed. All opinions in this review are my own and are in no way influenced by the source of the book.

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Goodreads synopsis:

When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.

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Review:

What do you get when you cross 5 hot Italian guys (well actually apparently only 4 of them were hot) with blood and revenge?

Well according to this book, the mafia.

crazy animated GIF

I’m going to be clear here: I’ve never read a book about the mafia before. They’re (unfortunately) not something you see everyday. I wish there were more because things can get CRAZY.

My first point is going to be on the topic of the plot. I actually thought things were pretty lacking in this department. No, I’m not going against what I said about crazy shenanigans in this book. But until the end, I felt that Vendetta seriously lacked plot. It really just seemed to be the same thing over and over again.

Per esempio:
DO YOU LIKE MY ITALIAN?! Thank you. But anyway –
Sophie: “I’m going to get really excited and/or nervous about a conversation I’m about to have with the 5 Italian guys who have just moved in. But I’m gonna be sarcastic to cover it up.”
Millie: “I’m British.”
Luca: “I’m going to be a complete pig to you Sophie.”
Nic: “And I’m gonna make it better again. But then I’m going to run away.”

And repeat.

Ok, that was a little mean and exaggerated, but I genuinely felt like that little scenario thing was getting repeated through out the book. Like not much actually really happened at all apart from conversations between the characters and maybe with something minor going on in the background.

But then I got towards the end and things got wild.

AwesomenessTV animated GIF

See, that’s why I said crazy. All the crazy just happened at the end and it was enough to redeem all the wrongs in the world.

The rest of the book was setting up for the finale really (and an amazing plot twist) and it did do a phenomenal job. But the thing is, you still have to read through that part to get to the good stuff.

The best thing about Vendetta was probably the writing. The characters were believable and all of them really likeable, if not a little bit predictable (see typical conversation above). There was quite a bit of humour involved, and while it wasn’t die-laughing-kind-of-funny, you could still chuckle a tad. I love that kind of things in books and that’s why all dystopians kind of seem the same to me now. A lot of them have no personality.

Another thing I really liked was the Italian involved. Just a few phrases here and there. I get upset if there are books about people in or from countries that don’t speak English and there aren’t phrases from the foreign language in there. It makes me sad.

I read a physical copy of this book and OH MY GOODNESS. I would just buy this book in the shop if I just saw the outside. The edition I read was so beautiful. It was writing on the side of the pages, a really beautiful cover and the spine is amazing.

I really liked the book but I have a deep fear that by the time the sequel comes out I will have forgotten everything that happened. But I would really like to read it. Although I have no idea where it could possibly go.

And I absolutely would recommend this book. I hope this review didn’t come off as too negative but I really didn’t intend for it to. It was a good book and worth reading.

3/5 comets
The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before…

Add Vendetta to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Catherine DoyleCatherine Doyle was born in the West of Ireland in 1990. She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in English. As a child she was an annoying smarty-pants with an overactive imagination. She feels lucky to have now found a healthy outlet for her tendency to make up stories. Her debut YA novel, VENDETTA, is the first in a trilogy. The novel takes place in modern-day Chicago, where Catherine’s mother grew up.

A Small Madness Review

A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

A Small Madness

Publication date: January 28th 2015

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Number of pages: 240

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction

Source: Received in exchange for review (thank you so much Allen & Unwin!!). This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Rose didn’t tell anyone about it. She wondered if it showed. She looked at herself in the mirror and turned this way and then that way. She stood as close to the mirror as she could, leaning over the bathroom basin, looking into her own eyes until they disappeared behind the fog of her breath. Looking for something. Some evidence that she was different now. Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn’t show. How could all of these feelings not show? She was a woman now but it didn’t show and she couldn’t tell anyone.

A devastating, compelling novel that will get everyone talking, from the author of Creepy and Maud.

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Review:

My head hurts so badly right now. It’s expected since it was ONLY TWISTED TO EPIC PROPORTIONS.

There just aren’t words for what this book made me go through. Thank goodness for that, actually.

A Small Madness tells the story of a girl named Rose. I will warn you, that if you are really uncomfortable with the topic of teen pregnancy or particularly, sex, in books then I’m telling you now that you will not be comfortable with this book. This is a raw, gritty portrayal of teen pregnancy and the author doesn’t gloss over anything.

But that’s one of the reasons why this book really touched me.

We see how the way that the main character, Rose, is forced to deal with her pregnancy and how it transforms her. The things she does. I can’t even. It’s so heartbreaking and really does bring up themes that really aren’t dealt with enough in YA.

There are many reasons which drew me to this book. The initial being the both the topic and the writing style. I’ve never read anything before on teen pregnancy and I was pretty curious. Also, from the synopsis I could tell I would like the writing style (I love books written with that kind of detached but yet very intimate and descriptive style). I also love reading books by Aussie authors and the cover is stunning. And totally suits the tone and mood of the book. And this is weird, but it actually feels really nice.

So when I completely (unexpectedly) got this in the mail for review I completely freaked. And I may have ditched the book I was reading in favour of A Small Madness. I know. Terrible. I had just really, really looking forward to reading this ever since I first heard about this, ok? So I sat down and read, starting it late on a school night (with not much time left after homework before I actually had to go to bed) and finishing it within half an hour the next morning. I was just so, so into the story and needed to know what was going to happen.

I also read with my mouth gaping open for a short while. True story.

I just had this feeling of complete and total dread as to what was going to happen (which was thanks to the author’s brilliant writing) and knew that I wasn’t going to be completely with it until I knew what was going to happen to the characters.

Although I was not a fan of the ending. It was a little too open for my liking. I just think that while open endings can work, in realistic fiction it is particularly important to wrap-up the story and preferably provide closure.

If all Dianne Touchell’s books are like this, then I really need to look into reading them.

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show.

Add A Small Madness to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Dianne TouchellDianne Touchell is a middle child who feared Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy — and any other stranger who threatened to break into the house at night.

She has worked, amongst other things, as a nightclub singer, a fish and chip shop counter girl (not with Pauline Hanson) and a bookseller. Dianne would rather talk to her dog than answer the phone.