Review: Wing Jones – Katherine Webber

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Genre: Contemporary, YA,

Publication Date: January 5th 2017 by Walker Books

Format: Purchased paperback, (from Waterstones – I remember buying it on a whim, what a good decision that was!)

With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing’s speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants.

(from goodreads.com)


This book is hands down one of my favourites of this year. I devoured it. It was refreshing, unique, well-written and just downright wonderful. Heartbreaking too, but brilliant.

Wing Jones is just a fabulous character. She isn’t perfect but then nobody is; she wasn’t your generic, blonde, slim, rich girl with flawless skin and features. (Nothing wrong with that but please we need variety and representation of other cultures / races). She’s not happy with her looks but she’s happy in other aspects of her life, and honestly it was brilliant to see, because she seemed like a normal person.

I also loved the contrast between her grandmothers and the aspects of their different cultures that continually shone throughout the novel. It was so interesting having two completely different cultures come together and so unique – I’ve noticed that mixed race characters in YA often tend to have a white parent, so it was refreshing to see a character that didn’t.

The plot was heartbreaking but equally uplifting, and there is a super strong focus on family. Thankfully a lot of YA now has veered towards a positive focus on families of all kinds, but I think this one takes the crown as in a way, it is entirely about family. Of course there are friendships and a bit of romance etc in here, but family is number one and I absolutely loved it.

It is also a book about running, and not only that, but a female running. I don’t think I’ve read a book where the female does sport and is also super good at it. I love running (nowhere near as much as Wing though), so personally I felt I could relate a little bit to her, or simply just understand why she enjoys it. It made me want to tie on my own trainers and go out for a run; it made me feel as though I could.

I’m struggling to find anymore to say about this book without overusing the same adjectives so I’ll leave it here: this book is amazing and you should definitely read it soon.

Also Katherine Webber is the sweetest person and I was so pumped to be her first YALC signing and I still haven’t got over my excitement. Her trainers on day 3 of YALC were also amazing. Just saying. (They match the cover).

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars.

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Review: Moonrise – Sarah Crossan

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Genre: YA, contemporary, poetry

Publication Date: September 7th 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens

Format: eARC from Bloomsbury Publishing Plc via Netgalley

‘They think I hurt someone. 

But I didn’t. You hear?

Coz people are gonna be telling you

all kinds of lies.

I need you to know the truth.’

Joe hasn’t seen his brother for ten years, and it’s for the most brutal of reasons. Ed is on death row.

But now Ed’s execution date has been set, and Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with him, no matter what other people think …

(from goodreads.com)


I can honestly say that I have fallen head over heels for Sarah’s writing. I read One last year, and this year I was thrilled to receive an early copy of Moonrise and it didn’t disappoint. I rarely cry at books (yep I’m heartless which is hilarious because in ‘real life’ I cry at everything but hey), but this brought tears to my eyes (as did One).

I don’t think I’ve read a book that focuses on death row; I know they exist but not really in the YA genre (or none that I’ve found anyway) and it was so fresh and unique. I loved that she chose to narrate it from the perspective of the brother, as it gave a different view of the impact death row can have on someone. So often the media singly focuses on the prisoner and their crimes, but the family goes forgotten or they are simply guilty by association. Here, this idea is explored, and it delves into the effect that family and childhood can have, but also how the family deal with having a member on death row, as the siblings are completely innocent and are just trying to make their way in the world.

There was so much variety in the characters and their situations which was amazing. To see them come together around the central focus of the prison and death row in spite of their differing positions and stories was fascinating, and I really, really loved it. My heart repeatedly broke for Joe and the struggles he went through, and honestly he was just a wonderful, but tragic, character.

As I’ve said, I love Sarah’s writing style so, so much. The poetry isn’t technical, but this story would not be half of what it is with ‘technical’ poetry. It’s simple, but it’s cutting and beautiful and everything it needs to be and more. It perfectly captures moments and feelings without dragging them out or going into too much detail. This is one of those stories that is all about moments and feelings, and this style tells it perfectly.

The pacing is fairly slow, but as I’ve said, this books is about capturing snippets of time and emotion. So, as a result, it doesn’t feel slow at all. I felt completely caught up in everything that was going on; in the stories of all of the characters, in the hope and heartbreak and everything else in between.

I loved this book, and I think that’s clear in this review. Sarah Crossan has become an auto-buy author without a doubt (I bought the rest of hers at YALC last weekend!), simply because of her uniqueness, wonderful storytelling, and ability to make me feel every emotion under the sun and bring tears to my eyes.

Rating: 5 / 5 stars.

Review: The Sound of the World by Heart – Giacomo Bevilacqua

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Genre: Graphic novel

Publication Date: 11th April 2017 by Magnetic Press

Format: ebook sent to me for review by Magnetic Press via Netgalley

An experiment in social isolation turns into a journey of self-discovery as a photojournalist commits to spending sixty days in New York city without talking to a single person. More than just an exercise in observation and self-control, he’s hoping to forget a troubled past and mend a broken heart. But the city has a sneaky way of throwing the best laid plans and noble efforts to waste, revealing secrets that lie right in front of him. All he has to do is open his eyes…

A touching, vividly illustrated journey through contemporary modern New York, exploring what it takes to find yourself — and maybe your soul mate — in the middle of a crowded, bustling modern world.

(from goodreads.com)


This graphic novel completely took me by surprise. I didn’t really know what to expect as I went into it but I ended up really enjoying it.

The cover gives very little away in terms of the art style, I’d say, however the pages inside are so gorgeous and to be fair I was far more interested in the images than the actual plot. The colours were so soft and lovely and it was one of the most pleasing graphic novels I have read. The art was unique and so immersive, I was drawn into it without even realising.

The plot I found to be a little confusing at times, though thankfully everything was cleared up at the end and I loved the way that it ended. The writing itself was beautiful, there are a few pages with longer passages on and they are like poetry. The story itself was wonderful (confusion aside), especially the ending, though I genuinely loved the concept and I felt that an aspect of the character (that I’m not saying because: spoilers) was actually portrayed really well throughout the graphic novel, without it being specifically mentioned, only to be cleared up at the end. Thinking back on this, it made the whole reading experience a little surreal and like being in a bubble, which is exactly the feeling I imagined the character to have.

This was such a wonderful, short tale of finding yourself and others around you, and I truly loved it. It read almost like a modern day fairytale, as it had a ethereal feeling at times, be it because of the isolation in the plot or because of the poetic writing style that features throughout. If you’re looking for a new graphic novel to read that isn’t all action and drama and space etc (which make up the majority of comics / graphic novels – not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just nice to have a change), this is definitely one to pick up.

Rating: 4 / 5 stars.

Top 3 July Reads 2017

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I finished twelve books in July, which is the most I’ve ever read in a month, so I’m very happy. There were no graphic novels or poetry collections, which makes it even more of an achievement for me! I loved pretty much every book I read, which makes this a difficult post to write, but nevertheless I have picked three.

BronzeThe Girls – Emma Cline

I was after this book last summer, but only the hardback was available (and I have to be picky when I purchase hardbacks because I have no space left for books!). A year of waiting meant that as soon as I got my hands on the paperback I devoured it. Honestly I loved this so, so much, and I think it’ll be one that stays with me and I will reread many times (I guess it helps that I find cults fascinating to read about, if a tad creepy / scary!)

SilverWing Jones – Katherine Webber

This book was just SO good. I absolutely loved this and cannot really put my love of it into words. I met Katherine Webber at YALC over the weekend and she truly was such a lovely, genuine person, which made my love for this book even stronger.

GoldLoved – P.C. and Kristin Cast

It’s a House of Night book, it was never not going to be first on this list, regardless of any other amazing books I’ve read.

YALC 2017

I had such an amazing time at YALC, it was my first time going and I went with my best friend Hannah (She has a blog and youtube). It ran from the 28th-30th July, and we had three day passes, and I am now absolutely exhausted after it!

Friday 28th

My train left my hometown at 7:08am, so needless to say it was an early start for me (5:30 was when my alarm went off!). I got to Olympia, where YALC was held, for about 9:15 though, so that wasn’t too bad. Hannah arrived not long after and we headed in straight away to get our wristbands. Because we were in quite early we got a YALC tote bag with various samplers and goodies in, which we got signed by the authors across the weekend. We both also bought lanyards to pin the badges that we had on, as most stands were giving away free badges!

We started off the signings with Hannah Witton, and proceeded to get so many signatures that I honestly can’t remember the order. A highlight was being Katherine Webber’s first YALC signing as I absolutely adored her book Wing Jones (I’d highly, highly recommend it!).

We also went for a wander around all of the stalls, looking at all of the free samplers and merch they were giving out. From the Fairyloot stall I got a candle (and a cushion cover on the Saturday). There were all sorts of competitions and things going on to get various arcs, one of which I won – I had to put a picture on twitter using a hashtag and they picked a winner at the end of the day (I won an arc of Things a Bright Girl Can Do).

We stayed in an airbnb for the first night, which was basic but had everything we needed and we just headed back to get an early night as we were both exhausted!

Saturday 29th

We headed out pretty early and got to YALC not long after it had opened, after stopping for breakfast on our walk there. It was easier to get in this time as we already had our wristbands, and we went straight in, wandering around the stalls (and Waterstones), and planning who to meet.

Hannah and I popped down to Comic-con for a little while, though I was very out of my depth as I have little interest in pretty much everything comic-con focuses on! It was still great to see however, especially seeing the effort that went into people’s cosplay. Would I go just for comic-con? No. Am I glad I have been? Yes.

We also met Sanne from the channel booksandquills (which I adore) and I’m quite proud I approached her, as I was too scared to approach other youtubers! She seemed so friendly (and indeed turned out to be once we spoke to her!) which made me more comfortable, and I’m so so glad we said hi as she was so lovely and had a picture with us.

V. E. Schwab and Laini Taylor were both signing on this day, and as Hannah was participating in a competition I met them to get our books signed. Later that day, they were part of a panel called ‘Books That Made Me’, which was really great to listen to (especially listening to V. E. Schwab basically fangirling over and recounting her stories of meeting Neil Gaiman).

Straight after the panel, Non Pratt shaved her head for charity, which was hilarious to watch as everyone was having a laugh. Not only that, but Benedict Cumberbatch walked in part way through and looked very bemused!

Sunday 30th

I started off the sunday alone at YALC as Hannah was at a baking event as part of her prize for the mentioned competition. The previous night we’d stayed in a fancy hotel courtesy of MyKindaBook (as part of Hannah’s prize) and it was gorgeous!

I went to a lot of signings in the morning, and generally wandered around for a bit, somehow managing to get myself an arc of The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven which I desperately wanted and had been trying to get all weekend. (I’ve started it already and it’s so so fab).

I got Countless signed by Karen Gregory, which was a book I adored and really hoped to get signed, and I also got a load signed by Non Pratt (two for Hannah and three for me – I’d got Truth or Dare signed on the Friday), and honestly she was one of the nicest people I think I have ever met. She was super chatty, which was lovely as I was on my own and can be a bit shy, and just generally seemed to be a lovely person (although pretty much everyone there seemed to be!).

Hannah joined me at around 1:30 ish (honestly I can’t really remember) – just after I’d met Sarah Crossan and gushed about how much I love her writing (oops) – bearing brownies, so we grabbed some drinks, nachos, and seats and took a moment from the crowds. We went to a few more signings; Moira Fowley-Doyle (who was so lovely – again), and Patrick Ness, who was the big name of the Sunday. We were lucky as they were handing out tickets with numbers on and we were fairly early on in the queue, and I know it got very long just in the short while we were watching them give them out. Patrick Ness was great, and as we finished up at YALC so early we went back down to comic-con to have a better look around. I still felt like a fish out of water, but it was quieter so much, much nicer to wander around and take it all in!

Thoughts

YALC was genuinely such an amazing experience and I’m so glad I went. I’m also very glad I took a large suitcase that was very empty on my way down because I gained / bought so many books whilst there (oops). It was fantastic to meet so many authors of books that I’d loved, and the community feel was strong, I noticed how everyone was comfortable and happy, which was so so good.

Hannah and I are already hoping to go next year (though for two or three days depends on whether I manage to get an internship or not!), and we’ve definitely learned a lot about what to do, how to organise it etc. Whether I could have managed a fourth day, I highly doubt, as I was absolutely exhausted – I got home at nearly 10pm on the Sunday night. It’s extremely intense for the three days, but so worth it.

You can view my book haul from YALC over on my Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/I6X_QfZ_hUU

August TBR 2017

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Whilst there may not be as many books on this TBR as last month, I’d say it’s equally as ambitious! I had a hard time narrowing down the few that I wanted to read most so this is subject to change, as I have got so many books that I’m excited about.

American Gods – Neil Gaiman

The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven

The Book of Luce – L. R. Fredericks 

Moxie – Jennifer Mathieu 

After the Fire – Will Hill

Orbiting Jupiter – Gary D. Schmidt 

Trouble – Non Pratt

I also hope to finish Les Misérables so that I can start on my reading list for uni (my 19th century Russian Lit module), as I don’t want to have that and loads of other long, dense books on the go at the same time. I haven’t added the books from the list to my TBR as I’m just going to work through them at a pace I can manage!

Top 3 June Reads 2017

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I read a total of nine books this month, which I’m happy with – though I wish I’d managed to read maybe a couple more. Nine is still really good for me though, so I’m not complaining too much! A lot of the books that I read I really enjoyed, and I didn’t give less than four stars, which is great!

BronzeStranger, Baby – Emily Berry

Oh my word this poetry collection was beautiful, I loved it so much. It is complex, I will say that, but I fell completely in love with it and can’t wait to reread it / pick up more by the poet! I highly, highly recommend it and totally agree with the hype it’s had.

SilverCountless – Karen Gregory

THIS. It focuses on both teenage pregnancy and eating disorders and let me tell you, it’s amazing. It’s difficult to read at times because of the subject matter, but it’s well worth it. I love books where romance isn’t the main focus of them, and this is definitely true for Countless – it is only hinted at very rarely – and it made me love it more as the focus was on the issues Hedda faces and that’s how it should be.

GoldThe Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

Need I say more? It lives up to the hype and the importance of this novel alone is enough to put it first on the list! It’s wonderful, challenging in so many ways, but an absolute must-read. If you’re unsure because of the hype or for whatever reason, pick it up. Even if you don’t enjoy it for the plot itself or the writing etc, the message it holds makes this book incredible.