Sunday, 26 July 2020

Love Frankie by Jacqueline Wilson

Love Frankie – Jacqueline Wilson

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Ebook provided by NetGalley for review. Thank you.

Read July 20

This is the book I would have wanted as a kid. I never went through with it but I always imagined writing to Jacqueline Wilson and asking for a girl meets girl story. Eventually – when I’d technically grown out of her books but was still buying them – we got ‘Kiss’ which was about Sylvie and her best friend Carl, who later reveals that he’s gay.

Now we do finally have my longed for lesbian themed book and I’m a little disappointed. I know Jacqueline’s speciality is children’s books and I’d guess this fit into the 11+ category (possibly! Ageing books is not my thing) but it could have done with being pushed a bit further and been longer in order to tie up all the loose ends.

I guess it's the fact that there is so much story. We have Frankie who is working out her sexuality, actually it would have been nice to have had more of her exploring her feelings. She was a bit 0-60. “I have feelings for one girl, I must be gay.” I did love the way she owned it though! Then we have her best friend Sam who has a crush on her. Her mum has MS which after causing a fall kids at school think she has a drink problem and start bullying Frankie about it. Her father left them for another woman - leading to a very awkward Christmas holiday scene. And on top of all that the girl she falls for is Sally, one of the kids who bullied her about her mum.

3/5 stars

Stef Out x


Every Little Piece of My Heart by Non Pratt

Every Little Piece of My Heart – Non Pratt

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Ebook provided by NetGalley for review. Thank you.

Read June 20

I want a sequel! I loved this and my heart is full! So much representation: race, sexuality, family, personality, disability. I loved how real and flawed the characters were and how they all came together. I loved that Sunny ended up becoming a central character, younger siblings all too often end up being forgotten, left behind, or treated like crap, so it was really refreshing.

Oh I guess you want a little on the plot and not just general gushing! Sophie is left a package by her best friend Freya (who has left suddenly and we never meet her) which once unwrapped contains instructions for the package to be delivered to Win (older sister of the aforementioned Sunny), once she opens there's instructions to deliver to someone else... In between we get flashbacks about how these characters know Freya and how they each have their own view of her.

If I have one criticism it is that Ryan and Lucas’s voices were a little too similar, although I don’t think that was helped by my reading the book in chunks thanks to it only being available in a format that I could only read on my PC or phone. I guess even a tablet would be easier if I had one LOL!

5/5 stars

Stef Out x


Thursday, 23 July 2020

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

On the Come Up – Angie Thomas

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Read March 20 - Library

Another story of politics and the power of one person’s voice from Angie Thomas. I loved the varied cast of characters. Bri was awesome and Sonny was adorable. I liked the dynamic between Bri and Malik and the way things grew with Curtis. It was more of a personal story than ‘The Hate U Give’, focused on Bri’s dream of becoming a rapper like her late dad. It was an interesting look and how fame can change you and how easily your own words can be twisted against you. Stay true to yourself was a key theme. I did feel like the ending was a little rushed and a little incomplete though.

4/5 stars

Stef Out x


Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

Theatrical – Maggie Harcourt

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Read March 20 - Library

This was so nearly 5 stars but, in the end, I just couldn’t justify it. The detail and the scene-building were phenomenal! That is were the problem lies slightly… The theatre is described so vividly that it becomes a character more than the actual human characters. I liked the slow burn romance but overall, the characters were a little 2D. Their personality is all theatre all the time. Even the love interest doesn’t have much beyond the theatre. He’s juggling it with school and work and his parents are dead. Also, he likes weird popcorn combos, something Hope notices when he’s coincidentally at the cinema at the same time as her but is never mentioned later. No-one talks about interests, music, movies, other shows etc. Also, the ending was rather abrupt. The show ended and then the book did. Despite all this critical stuff I did really enjoy the book. I enjoyed the flow and I loved Hope as a character and how she grew throughout the book.

4/5 stars

Stef Out x

Amy and Matthew by Cammie McGovern

Amy and Matthew – Cammie McGovern (Also known as "Say What You Will")

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Read March 20 - Library

There are so few novels with disabled characters at the centre that this was so needed and refreshing. It wasn’t sugar-coated at all. Amy was also intelligent, something disabled people are rarely allowed to be. Matthew – one of the students hired to be her peer helper – is trying to avoid his own problems. OCD. His illness helps him avoid making friends despite wanting them. Seeing their friendship grow and evolve was really enjoyable and I liked that they were flawed: Matthew had serious avoidance issues and Amy could be selfish. Again, like so many books I found the ending lacking.

4/5 stars

Stef Out x


Yes, No, Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

Yes, No, Maybe So – Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

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Read March 20 - Library

So as a Brit a lot of the American politics went over my head so near the beginning my rating hovered around a 3 but I absolutely loved the character development, the inter-faith relationship and the slow burn romance. It’s probably my own fault but I haven’t read many books with Muslim characters and I really appreciated that the book took place over Ramadan, though slight niggle I do wish Maya’s faith was discussed a little more. It felt a little over-shadowed by Jamie’s Jewishness, what with his sister’s bat mitzvah, his family and even the candidate they’re working for being Jewish. I did like Jamie’s growth in particular and his improvement and willingness to learn. Also, I want either a direct sequel with Jamie and Maya or a sequel featuring Jamie’s sister, Sophie. I loved her and I want more of her story!

5/5 stars

Stef Out x

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

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Read March 20 - Library

Bi girl representation! So cute! Slow burn romance, relatable characters, character growth, I loved it all! Leah was not perfect; she was stroppy and snarky and shut out her friends but she’s loyal and calls bullshit out when she sees it – casual racism is still racism and I really appreciated its inclusion. I did feel a little bad for Garrett but at least it looks like he got his own happy ending. Leah’s ending just made me grin like a loon! Also more girl drummers please!

5/5 stars

Stef Out x