Because I like controversy, here’s a few books I was expecting to be great but ended up being variations of OK to downright terrible. Sorry if any of your favourites are on this list!
The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen.
I actually started out really loving this book. Its Room-esque plot was intriguing and I found the writing style easy and interesting to read. It’s about a family living in what we assume is a basement or a nuclear bunker, where they have been living for years without ever going outside, and suddenly the daughter is pregnant – so we know something’s up.
The ending was such a disappointment. After an exciting, sinister read, I was fully expecting to give this book 10 out of 10 – when suddenly it ends in a shower of victim-shaming. The daughter has been bullied and abused by other members of the family, yet somehow it is she who gets her comeuppance, not her abusers, and she is painted as the villain.
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book. Quotes below may differ in the final published version of the book.
Life in a Fishbowl is the story of Jackie, a young girl who adores her father and is devastated when she hears that he has a brain tumour and only has a few months to live.
How can it be November already?!
I had a good October overall (apart from failing yet another driving test) and because I went away to Cornwall for a week of it, I got a fair few books read. I’m especially happy though as I found some new favourites.
1. The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson.
I received this ebook for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is no way affects my opinion of the book. Quotes in the following review may differ slightly from the final published version of the book.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Dickens wrote YA? Me neither, but that’s essentially what you get with Smoke.
Vyleta draws us in to his dark Victorian setting with a sinister opening scene at a boys’ boarding school. Julius, our seemingly perfect prefect, takes the role of Grand Inquisitor, questioning his fellow students until their bodies begin to physically smoke.
DISCLAIMER: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
In The Hidden Oracle: The Trials of Apollo, we pick up 6 months after the end of the Heroes of Olympus series and Apollo, the god of the sun, music, healing and pretty much anything else you can think of, has been cast down from Olympus by Zeus and finds himself stuck in the body of a teenage mortal called Lester Papadopoulos.
So I literally JUST finished Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel and must say that this is a breath of fresh YA air.
It’s about Maisie, a high-school girl badly burned in an electrical fire, who is given the opportunity for a face transplant. She agrees, thinking someone else’s face is better than no face at all, but we see her struggle with all the other aspects of her decision: the alleged changes to her personality, the pills she must take every day for the rest of her life and which make her too tired to be the straight-A student she was before, and of course, the constant staring.
You know how, sometimes, you find a book and you just know you’ll love it? For instance, Wonder by R. J. Palacio. I read the description and knew it would become an all-time favourite – and it did. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green was similar. These books promised something wonderful, and they delivered.
This was not one of those books.
I read the premise of The Light of the Fireflies and thought, ‘This is going to be amazing. I will love this book forever.’ It had already been compared to Room by Emma Donoghue, which I saw as a good thing, but by the end, I realised that it’s basically Room if Jack had escaped and, instead of trying to find the police, had helped Old Nick to murder Ma instead.