REVIEW: The Graces by Laure Eve

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25365584Book title: The Graces
Author: Laure Eve
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date: September 2016
Genre(s): young adult, fantasy, paranormal
Pages: 415
Format: ARC 
Source: Publisher 
Buy the Book (Waterstones) | Buy the Book (Amazon)

Synopsis: 
Everyone said the Graces were witches. 
They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair. They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different. All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?
My Rating: 4/5

I am a huge fan of novels that have mystery written all over it, and The Graces is the epitome of this. With strange characters, and an interesting protagonist, it's hard not to say that you will be gripped by Eve's latest work from start-to-finish. 

The Graces left me speechless by the time I had finished reading, the complexities of the plot mixed in with the tense atmosphere that Eve's writing had created produced the sense that you were with River, being a part of the story. Each little plot twist had me on edge, I had no idea what to expect! Do expect, however, to be on a rollercoaster of emotions that will never-end; this is the sweet joy of reading Laure Eve's The Graces.

The character development in The Graces is just phenomenal, every character grows on you as a person, which is fantastic - I am looking forward to seeing how Eve's cast for The Graces develop in later novels. River, the protagonist, had an interesting perspective in the novel, I enjoyed her narrative very much, I can tell that she'll only grow later in Eve's work. The Grace family, well, they left me second-guessing - they were fantastically written!

The Graces is a novel that shouldn't be missed out by anyone, with a well-written plot, and amazing characters, it's hard to put this book down. Eve's novel is a hit, and it's a reminder that this author has writing talent! 

What am I studying for GCSE

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This May I'm due to take my final GCSE exams, and the date to my first exam is coming incredibly quickly, and it's slightly terrifying. But for my English Literature GCSE, I've gotten to study some amazing novels, and one of my favourite plays, which has been wonderful to do. And, in all honesty, it will be a shame not to study these after my final exams. What are you studying for GCSE/A LEVEL? Let me know!

Pigeon English | Stephen Kelman

Image result for pigeon english
I've spoken about this book a few times, and have seen the adaption that the National Youth Theatre had put together a few months ago. This year is the first year to have this book featured in exams, and I'm so pleased that my school picked this for us to study. Pigeon English is so relatable to today's society, tackling immigration views, gangs...it brings a new view to our society that I hadn't even known. Kelman's book is just fantastic (I will keep saying this) and it will leave you speechless for good.





Frankenstein | Mary Shelley

Image result for frankenstein mary shelleyI think it's safe to say that I adore classics and Frankenstein is probably one of my favourites. There are so many little things that get to me in this novel, and the contrast in ideas really work with this book. Shelley's characters move me, especially the Monster (who is my favourite...I'm the only one who likes this character in my class). The plot is amazing, it keeps you hooked all the way through and it's just a superb classic to read. Good for rainy days.






Much Ado About Nothing | William Shakespeare

Image result for much ado about nothing book coverWhen I was younger, I was obsessed with Shakespeare (still am), so I used to watch his plays on Youtube, and when I came across Much Ado About Nothing I fell in love with this play. (It's also known as Love Labour's Lost). I love the characters in this play, the comedy, every little detail. The story has me hooked, I love re-reading it over and over, it's my little treasure, and hopefully I'll get to see it be performed live, as I know, for sure, that I will fall in love with this play again.



Diversity Within Books

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A few months ago, the lovely Luna from Luna's Little Library had interviewed me for Diversity Month, asking me about diversity in books. Obviously, I was thrilled to have been interviewed on something that I am passionate about, although, it's made me realise that there is some to little diversity in books which is not okay.

When I was younger, I used to read books where a girl would always fall for the guy (yes, I am aware that I have gone for a cliché theme in most of my childhood books, but stay with me) and I had always thought that it was the "norm" for every story, and for every person in the world. Back then, I didn't have the slightest idea that people could love whomever they wished, because books had never taught me any of that. Rather, it was more a girl meets a guy and BAM true love. It wasn't until I got into more young adult/middle-grade novels, where I began to learn that what my childhood taught me wasn't entirely true.

Recently, I wanted to break away from the novels where the protagonist was considered either "weak" or ended up with a predictable character for a romance, so I went book shopping. In most online bookstores, you can just type in "ya books" and whole selection will appear on a screen like so:


However when I go into type (I'm using this as an example) "lgbt/gay/lesbian/trans/etc books" into the search bar I get this:


Unless I go onto the interwebs and ask the Great Google for LGBT (again, as an example) books to read, find a book, then type the book into the search bar, I won't get any results. This is really disappointing because I want to learn about a different culture, or a country that I wish to travel to, but it's hard to find such diverse books. If it's non-fiction, then sure, there are books about different people and cultures, but I want fiction. I want something that I will enjoy reading on a Sunday afternoon.

BUT...
there are some books that I have read that are extrememely diverse and are actually my favourites, so here are my recommendations!


In order: 

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Girl Heart Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe 

All of the Above by Juno Dawson

Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity by C.J. Atkinson

Although this is my opinion, and I think that we need more diversity in books, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Do you feel the same? Have you got any books to recommend?

REVIEW: Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? by C.J. Atkinson

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31201046Title: Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity?
Author: C.J. Atkinson
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishing
Publication date: December 2016
Genre(s): LGBT, childrens, educational, fiction
Pages: 64
Format: Paperback
Source: Brought

Buy the Book (Amazon) | Buy the Book (Waterstones)

Synopsis: 
Meet Kit - a 12 year old undergoing medical transition - as he talks about gender and the different ways it can be explored. He explains what it is like to transition and how his friends, family and teachers can help through talking, listening and being proactive.


My verdict: 4/5

C.J. Atkinson's Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? is a much-needed piece of work that should be read by anyone of any age. Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? really gets to the point, it's informative, yet still enjoyable to read - it's a must! 

Whilst this Atkinson's novella is primarily for children, Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? brings such a taboo subject to light, and  I think that this short-story can help eradicate some of the ignorance that surrounds gender diversity. Atkinson has ensured that they have covered most, if not all, details of what gender diversity is, and even though this focuses on Kit, a FTM* character, Atkinson has enured that their novella is highly educative in all aspects - there were some things I hadn't even known, and it was enlightening to learn new facts about something of which I am very supportive of. 

I think that the very idea of this novella is phenomenal, and I am extremely pleased that it is being sent to some primary schools across the UK - it helps younger children understand how a transgender person may feel, or what gender dysphoria and what gender queer is. It allows children to be more aware of something that they are not taught until they are a bit older, or not at all. 

I highly recommend Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity?, either if you are looking for something educational to read, or if you are supporter of gender diversity and you're wanting to know more about the topic. Atkinson's novella is a must-read! 

*FTM; female-to-male


REVIEW: Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello

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13227319
Title: Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Blood

Author: Brian Azzarello

Publication date: June 5th 2012
Publisher: DC Comics
Genres: comics. graphic novel, superhero, fantasy, mythology, fiction
Pages: 160
Format: Hardcover; graphic novel 
Source: Bought



Buy the Graphic Novel (Amazon) | Buy the Graphic Novel (Waterstones) 


Synopsis: 


Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, has kept a secret from her daughter all her life – and when Wonder Woman learns who her father is, her life will shatter like brittle clay. The only one more shocked than Diana by this revelation? Bloodthirsty Hera – so why is her sinister daughter, Strife, so eager for the truth to be told? 



Wonder Woman has always been one of my favourite superheroes, she's a strong female character who is such an inspiration to everyone of all ages, and this character's amazingness is clearly shown in every page of this graphic novel.

Whilst the art in Wonder Woman is fantastic, the plot is phenomenal! Every page kept me on edge, I constantly wanted to know what would happen next, what Wonder Woman would do next, and I was desperate to meet new characters. I found the story very original, and therefore interesting to read - I think that it is definitely not one to miss.

I really loved how the characters were written, and even though this was the first volume of graphic novels in this series, I felt like I've known the characters for a long period of time. Each of them were mysterious in their own ways, which kept me reading on, honestly, the cast in Wonder Woman were so enjoyable, and I thought that their involvement in this graphic novel was perfect - each character had their own importance.

Without a doubt, I found Wonder Woman such an enjoyable piece to read. The art and plot worked together nicely - this is a good graphic novel to read if you are a fan of the character, or if you are looking to expand your graphic novel collection. 

REVIEW: Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery

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29864658Title: Cell 7
Author: Kerry Drewery
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication date: September 22nd, 2016
Genres: young adult, dystopia, romance
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Buy the Book (Waterstones) | Buy the Book (Amazon)

Synopsis: 
Should she live or die? You decide 

An adored celebrity has been killed. Sixteen-year-old Martha Honeydew was found holding a gun, standing over the body.

Now Justice must prevail.

The general public will decide whether Martha is innocent or guilty by viewing daily episodes of the hugely popular TV show Death is Justice, the only TV show that gives the power of life and death decisions - all for the price of a phone call.

Martha has admitted to the crime. But is she guilty? Or is reality sometimes more complicated than the images we are shown on TV?


With a highly exciting premise, I simply couldn't wait to read Cell 7. The idea of the general public deciding whether someone was gulity or innocent appeared to be really interesting, its eerie tale drew me in, and from reading the blurb I thought that it would be fascinating book to devour. However this book had its ups and downs: there were moments were I highly enjoyed Cell 7, and there were some areas in which I did not, but the enjoyable moments clearly outweigh the latter. 

Here's the run down of Cell 7: Martha, a sixteen-year-old murders a well-loved celebrity, and it put on what is known as 'death row'. However, rather than there being a trial in a court, the public decides whether Martha should die for her crime or not through voting on a TV show entitled 'Death is Justice'. The aspect of this story is interesting, it had a very 'Big Brother' feel to it, with Martha being watched by the general public. The writing format for Cell 7 was entertaining, I thought that the plot relected the length of time Martha spent on 'Death Row', which I found to be very clever because it felt as though you were in the cells along with Martha. 

However, I thought that the amount of narratives were too much. I often got confused by who the narrative was from, and, at times, made the plot a little bit messy - especially towards the end. I aldo did find that some aspects of Cell 7 were repetive which made the novel drone on a bit towards the end. There were areas in the story where I would have loved Drewery to developed on, as I thought that it would've cleared up some of the events in the story itself. 

Aside from the negatives, this was a pretty good book to read. I thought that the ending was a nice sum up, and it makes you ready for the sequel. Whilst I didn't feel an overall connection with the characters, I found the way that Drewery had written them were amazing - they didn't merge into one character, each of them appeared to be their own individuals. Cell 7 is the first book in a new series, and I'm looking forward to see what Drewery is planning. 

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