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Posts Tagged ‘first love’

The Upside of UnrequitedThe Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a fun read and Molly was such a fun character! While she didn’t have a lot of confidence in some areas (kissing boys), she still seem to be confident in knowing who she was – a girl who was crafty, loved Pinterest and loved her family.
Her twin sister Cassie was also a great character and I would have liked to hear more from her…. watching her relationship develop with Mina was great but a bit more detail from the inside of that relationship would have been awesome!
The family relationships were a strong theme and Molly & Cassie’s mums were super cool and the story ending with a wedding was exactly the perfect ending.
If you want a book that covers first love, first kisses, family, friends with a bit of craft and humour thrown in – this book is for you.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Children’s for the ARC via NetGalley.

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Everything, EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this in two sittings because it was very easy to read, and a bit hard to put down. I wasn’t too sure about the story being about a girl who has a disease which basically means she is allergic to everything and can’t leave her house – new neighbours moving in are always fun but really, what could happen – if she can’t leave her house.
But so much happened. So much.
Olly was a great character who happened to be funny, smart and a parkour expert, who also struggled with living in an abusive household.
I found Maddy to be what I would expect for an 18 year old girl who has not allowed to leave her house because she could, you know, die. She was sweet and funny and loved books (Her spoiler alerts for her book reviews throughout were great!)
I love the book, ‘The Little Prince’ and was quite taken with Maddy’s love of it, and the references to it throughout the story such as, ‘Do you remember when we read The Little Prince together for the first time? I was so upset that he died in the end. I didn’t understand how he could choose death just so he could get back to his rose. I think I understand it now. He wasn’t choosing to die. his rose was his whole life. Without her, he wasn’t really alive.’
So as the story went on I was preparing myself to have my heart broken and to shed a whole lot of tears and then the end came so suddenly and it kinda knocked me sideways.
It is not the kind of book that I will read over and over, but I am very glad that I did read it and I will be getting myself a copy when it is published – my review copy didn’t have all of the illustrations, lists, charts etc.

Copy provided by NetGalley.

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I'll Give You the SunI’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At this moment, I don’t really have the words to describe this book, or actually, the way that this book made me feel.
I am so in love with the writing, to the point of feeling like I should never write another word because it will be a waste of words, but then I also I am so in love with the writing, to the point that I want to lock myself away and scribble as many words as I can.

The writing, the story, the characters…. they blew my heart to smithereens, and then gently placed me back together, before once again breaking my heart. The love that was in this book was so strong. Brothers and Sisters, Parents and Children, Friends, Lovers. So many types of love that were all powerful yet vulnerable.

I loved reading the alternating chapters of Noah and Jude equally and after the story, after the broken pieces and the false truths, the ending was perfect. Some words to sum up, ‘You can’t help who you love, can you?’ pg. 291

Extra special moments were Noah’s ‘art titles’ and Jude’s wisdoms from Grandma Sweetwine’s bible

Noah:
‘Self Portrait: Last sighting of Boy and Balloon blowing West Over Pacific’
‘Portrait, Self-Portrait: The Boy who watched the Boy Hypnotise the World’
‘Portrait: Mom Sleepwalking into Another Life’

Jude:
Tears of mourning should be collected and then ingested to heal the soul.
Nothing curdles love in the heart like lemon on the tongue.
To reverse destiny, stand in a field with a knife pointed in the direction of the wind.

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The Boy's Own Manual to Being a Proper JewThe Boy’s Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew by Eli Glasman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really good read, and although I didn’t know what it was about when I started it, it didn’t take me long to jump right on board Yossi’s story. Nancy Garden’s blurb says it all,’The journey of a gay Orthodox Jewish boy towards his own religious, spiritual, and sexual truth – a poignant, courageous, thought-provoking and sweet coming-out story’.

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Head of the RiverHead of the River by Pip Harry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who would have thought a book about rowing could have grabbed me like this one did!! I loved the alternating chapters between sister and brother Leni and Cristian, it was extra interesting to hear from both of them. They were both under so much pressure to win, even though I don’t think their parents were purposefully trying to put pressure on them, i felt that both parents wanted the best for Leni and Cristian and wanted them to be happy, but they didn’t actually stop to find out what it was that would make Leni and Cristian happy.
The way that the book started out, you know that something bad has happened to someone and throughout the story, I was trying to put the pieces together to work out who it was, and when it happened, it wasn’t shocking but it hit hard.
Overall, this was a story about family and friends, what you do for other people and what you do when you are trying to find yourself. A good, hopeful story tinged with sadness.

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Tigers on the BeachTigers on the Beach by Doug MacLeod
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An easy read, filled with stories about brothers, parents, first love, jokes and the death of a grand parent. Adam is thirteen years old and I think, for me, this age is a bit too young to really capture my interest.
Although this book was dealing with grief and heartbreak and family tensions, I didn’t find that it went deep enough to hook me and maybe that wasn’t the intention but I do like my family/grief/heartbreak books to make me cry.

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Zenna DareZenna Dare by Rosanne Hawke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great read that kept me interested with every page. Alternating between Jenefer in present day Kapunda, South Australia and her ancestor Gweniver in 1850’s Cornwall/South Australia, it was like reading through layers of a story, slowly unravelling the mystery that appears to have been a family secret.
Jenefer was a nice character who seemed to mature throughout the story and I loved how she jumped right into the job of researching her family history, using the internet as well as local library and State Library to get as much information as she could to find answers. There were a few times I really wanted to jump to the end to find out what the big secret actually was, the suspense was written well.
Caleb was a fantastic addition to the story with his relaxed and honest attitude as well as bringing with him, his connection to indigenous stories, the land, stolen generation and his experiences with reconciliation. It added a different element to the story and gave me more to think about.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and thought it made researching family history somewhat exciting (something that I wouldn’t have thought previously!)

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