Sunday, 29 September 2013

Stacking the Shelves and Showcase Sunday (67)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsShowcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea.
These memes are a replacement of The Story Siren's In My Mailbox.

Stacking the Shelves and Showcase Sunday make a place to showcase your new books,
whether you obtained them through the post or otherwise.



I happily received two books this week - one young adult and one chick-lit book. The first book was Death of A Saint, the second instalment in the Deadlands series - I absolutely loved the first book, so I am hoping this one will be just as great, if not better! The second book that I received was When You Walked Back Into My Life.

I hope you've all had a fantastic week!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Exclusive Blog Post from Tabitha Suzuma


 Thanks to Bodley Head, I was offered the opportunity to ask for a post of my choice from the author of HURT, the book I reviewed earlier this week. I nearly always ask for the same thing, a playlist to go alongside the book, and Tabitha provided me not only with a playlist, but a playlist that sounds fantastic, featuring two of my favourite artists, Garbage and Lana Del Rey. Check out what she had to say:

 Playlist to HURT


I wrote HURT to Back to Black by Amy Winehouse, Only Happy When it Rains by Garbage, Born to Die by Lana Del Rey, Lose Yourself by Eminem, Play On by Paloma Faith, and a very haunting cover of The Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson. These songs helped me get into the detached, heavy-hearted and depressed moods of Mathéo: a talented, privileged teenager who on the surface appears to have it all but deep down, harbours a terrible secret that threatens his life as he knows it, as well as the relationship he has with the only girl he has ever loved. It is one of the harsher, grittier and more difficult books I have written, and the soundtracks to the films Sylvia and Never Let Me Go also helped me reach the levels of distress experienced by Mathéo as he battles with his secret, his past, the consequence of his actions, and ultimately attempts to achieve forgiveness and absolution.


I hope that you all liked the post and enjoy listening to these songs alongside the book.
My thanks go to Tabitha for taking the time to write out a post for me, and of course to the publishers. 

HURT by TABITHA SUZUMA is available for purchase NOW!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

From The Review Pile (70)

From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or if you don't receive review books, any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.

I know that a lot of you have a huge pile of books that you want to read/review, but it understandably takes a while to get around to reading them all - here you can give a book (or two!) some of the publicity that it deserves, even if you haven't read it yet!

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This week, I'm going to showcase How To Love!
As soon as this book came through the door, I knew I would have to make some time to read it as it really does sound like something that I (and hopefully the readers of this blog too!) will really enjoy.


How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Paperback, 400 pages

Expected Publication 3rd October 2013 by Quercus

This is a love story. But it’s not what you think. This is not a first kiss, or a first date. This is not love at first sight. This is a boy and a girl falling in messy, unpredictable, thrilling love. This is the complicated route to happiness that follows.


This is real. This is life. This is how to love.

BEFORE:

Reena has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he’s never noticed her, until one day… he does. They fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town, leaving a devastated – and pregnant – Reena behind.

AFTER:

Three years later and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter Hannah. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again.

After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer again?

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Hurt


Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma
Hardback, 416 pages

Published 5th September by Bodley Head
Shelves: arc-or-review, books-i-own, young-adult, realistic-fiction, read-in-2013, rape, mental-health, if-i-were-a-boy, abuse 
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

At seventeen, Matheo Walsh is Britain's most promising diving champion. He is wealthy, popular - and there's Lola, the girlfriend of his dreams.

But then there was that weekend. A weekend he cannot bring himself to remember. All he knows is that what happened has changed him.

Matheo is faced with the most devastating choice of his life. Keep his secret, and put those closest to him in terrible danger. Or confess, and lose Lola for ever...


Having heard about the creation of Hurt, I was so eager to get my hands on a copy as soon as it was released. I have only read one of Suzuma's previous books (A Voice In the Distance), but I really enjoyed it and I admired the way she tackled a difficult subject. It seems like that is this author's speciality - tackling those real-life, gritty subjects that really do need to be addressed. I'm certainly not one to shy away from these issues and so I couldn't wait to pick it up.

Our main character is Matheo, a diving champion, who we first meet in his bedroom, in a confused mess the night after his attack. Mattheo doesn't remember much about what happened to him the night before and it's slowly revealed to us as he himself begins to recall the events and starts opening up to his girlfriend, Lola. Personally, I didn't really connect to the characters in this book. At first, they're simply displayed as your cliché private school kids, then we later (sort of) get to see how they handle Matheo's secret. The other significant other than Matheo was his girlfriend, Lola, who I didn't not like, but who I didn't really warm or connect to - she didn't really seem to have much of a personality and I didn't know who she was, apart from being Matheo's partner. Saying that, we don't really get to know much about any of the characters, just how they react to a certain situation. 

Hurt is a book that tackles an emotional subject - one that I won't name as it is clouded in mystery until it's revealed quite late in the book. I predicted what had happened to Matheo very quickly - whilst I didn't know exactly how he came to be in the situation he was in, or who the other party was, I thought it was blindingly obvious what had happened to him. I think that this was a major flaw of the book for me.  I spent a lot of this book just waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more just to read what I already thought. A lot of the book relied on tension and build up to the revelation of the event, but to me it was just so obvious and so any tension just fell flat  for me - I sort of just wanted the author to get on with it, get to the point, and to face up to the issue, to do something about it, something that packed a real punch. I won't deny that I didn't guess everything, there was a twist that I wasn't expecting, but unfortunately it came a little too late for me.


The book was well written for the most part, I liked Suzuma's descriptive style and it was initially enjoyable to read, but after a while, it did begin to feel repetitive and the amount of description was on the line of becoming tedious. There was not enough substance to the first part of this book in order to make it exciting or easy to connect to. I admire Suzuma for writing about an emotional subject, but unfortunately, for me, there was not enough personal depth to the characters in order to make it work. I am definitely not  saying that this is a bad book, but rather that it was a predictable one and that's why, for me, it wasn't an entire success.



Sunday, 22 September 2013

Stacking the Shelves and Showcase Sunday (66)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsShowcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea.
These memes are a replacement of The Story Siren's In My Mailbox.

Stacking the Shelves and Showcase Sunday make a place to showcase your new books,
whether you obtained them through the post or otherwise.


I received two books this week. The first was young adult book The Dream Thieves, the second instalment in the Raven Boys series. I also received a copy of This Song Will Save Your Life, a book that I am very, very excited to read - I am also very excited to listen to the actual playlist that goes alongside this book. 

I hope that you've all had a great week!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

From The Review Pile (69)

From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or if you don't receive review books, any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.

I know that a lot of you have a huge pile of books that you want to read/review, but it understandably takes a while to get around to reading them all - here you can give a book (or two!) some of the publicity that it deserves, even if you haven't read it yet!

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This week, I'm going to showcase Forbidden!
I wouldn't usually showcase a book that was published so long ago, but I really, really need to read this soon! I have just finished reading Suzuma's latest book, Hurt, and enjoyed her writing style. This book takes on a very controversial subject and that's probably why it's her most popular book. I will pick this up soon!


Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma 
Paperback, 432 pages

Published 2010 by Definitions

She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Boy Meets Boy


Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Paperback, 256 pages

Published 1st August  by Harper Collins
Shelves: books-i-own, contemporary, desperate-to-read, lgbt-maintheme, read-in-2013, realistic-fiction, to-read, too-much-hype, young-adult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance. 

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.


Boy Meets Boy has been sitting on my to-read list for years now and it has always been one of those books that I felt like every one had read, apart from me. I have read and enjoyed several books written by Levithan, and as this book, his first novel, has been re-released in the UK with bright new colours, I thought that it was finally time to read the book that brought David Levithan his fame.

Boy Meets Boy is the story of Paul, an openly gay teenager, and of the people around him. As expected by Levithan, there is  colourful host of different characters in this book, many of which dealing with LGBT issues. Our protagonist is openly gay (he came out aged 5) and very much accepted in the community. Paul's best friend, Tony, is struggling to be accepted by his very religious parents. Infinite Darlene, a six-foot drag queen and the star quarterback (though that's definitely no problem). Kyle is Paul's ex-boyfriend who frankly has no idea what he wants. Then there is also Noah - the new guy and Paul's romantic interest.

In the other books I have read, I have always admired Levithan's ability to portray LGBT characters as plainly as most people write about more commonly written heterosexual characters, not having to emphasise that they are different in any way, but rather simply just accepting them as who they are. I have to admit that I was a little torn in how I felt about acceptance in this book. At some points, I just didn't really feel as though these characters, or their situations were very real. Levithan has created a realistic setting of a school and a town, but for the most part, things seem a little utopian for the LGBT community - it was perhaps a world that many of us, myself included, dream of existing in the future.  I don't want to sound pessimistic, but I feel as though in the real world, this wouldn't be the case. Perhaps this Utopia was deliberately created as a positive place, a happy place, and if I knew this before reading the book, I would have been in a different mind-set, not expecting complete realism. 

There were two things that really stood out in this book. One of these things was the relationship between Paul and Noah. A lot of this book was about relationships and friendships, about people interacting, and the chemistry between these two really built up as the book progressed. I really loved getting to know about Noah through Paul. I also found Tony's parent's denial or fear of his sexuality to be something that stood out to me as there weren't really many huge issues or problems in this book apart from this one. Tony's household seemed like the anomaly of the book - Tony was the one character that hadn't been accepted. Tony was possibly the character that I liked most in this book and I felt a real sense of pride for his courage. There most likely could be a link made between Tony's struggle and this other utopian world, if you want to look more deeply into this novel.

As aforementioned, I have read several of Levithan's other books and have really enjoyed them. The book that I read before this book was his latest UK release, Every Day which I absolutely loved and rated very highly. Due to this and the large popularity surrounding Boy Meets Boy, I had very high expectations for this book. Unfortunately, I think that because of these very high expectations, I was a little less enthusiastic about this book than many others have been. That's not to say that the book was in any way poor, but rather it was nothing that struck me as amazing. I would not discourage anybody to pick up this books, as there are so many people who have loved it. Personally, I'd definitely recommend the author, but perhaps not this specific title.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Stacking the Shelves and Showcase Sunday (65)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsShowcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea.
These memes are a replacement of The Story Siren's In My Mailbox.
Stacking the Shelves and Showcase Sunday make a place to showcase your new books,
whether you obtained them through the post or otherwise.


I received two young adult books and one adult fiction book this week!

Halloween isn't too far away and I received the perfect book for that holiday - a collection of tales from a huge array of authors in one book Under My Hat - Tales from the Cauldron. When I saw the cover of That Burning Summer, I was desperate to delve into it and so I am currently reading this one, despite it only landing in my hands this week. The one adult fiction book that I received sounds great and it is called The Good House

Thursday, 12 September 2013

From the Review Pile (68)


From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or if you don't receive review books, any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.

I know that a lot of you have a huge pile of books that you want to read/review, but it understandably takes a while to get around to reading them all - here you can give a book (or two!) some of the publicity that it deserves, even if you haven't read it yet!

-----------------------------------
This week, I'm going to showcase Rule!

I am absolutely loving all of the contemporary books that I'm reading at the moment, but I would also like to change things up, read something new. Rule is the start of a new New Adult series which has had absolutely fantastic reviews overseas. I haven't read much new adult, but I would love to, so it looks like I should pick this one up soon!


Rule by Jay Crownover
Paperback

Expected Publication October 2013 by Harper Collins


Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters 

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight--A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want--and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Every Day


Every Day by David Levithan
Paperback, 372 pages

Expected publication: 2nd September 2013 by Electric Monkey

Shelves: better-than-expected, contemporary, favourites, if-i-were-a-boy, lasting-impression, lgbt-characters, magical-realism, mental-health, read, read-in-2013, realistic-fiction, really-good, supernatural, title-appeal, young-adult

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

Each morning, A wakes up in a different body. There's never any warning about who it will be, but A is used to that. Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. And that's fine - until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply.


Anybody interested in YA literature should be aware that, after the success of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, a lot of people decided to start reading more books by John Green and David Levithan, the two authors who worked together to write such a fantastic book. I was one of those people and have since read books by both Green and Levithan as individuals. Whilst Green is the author with a huge fan following, I  personally prefer Levithan's writing. I think and hope that with the release of Every Day (and the UK re-releases of his previous novels) we will see a  bigger following for him. I was so excited to be given this book to review and for a very good reason. Every Day really shows what Levithan can do as an author.

Every Day tells the story of A, a character who has no permanent body and awakes inside a different person each day. A has no constants in their life - I will refer to A is a male, but A actually has no gender, no permanent ethnicity or sexuality, no stable home or relationships. One day, A finds himself inhabiting the body of a boy called Justin, boyfriend to Rhiannon, a girl that A immediately connects with and feels something for. From this day onwards, A decides that he will do something that he's never done before and try to reach out to Rhiannon, revealing the soul, the personality behind the bodies that he inhabits. At points I did wonder what exactly had attracted A to Rhiannon, why he was risking himself by trying to reach out, but as they did start to communicate, I didn't have to wonder and saw how well they bonded together.

This story is told in days, each new day means that A is inside a new shell. I absolutely loved this idea, but I was a little worried that the story would feel a little 'jumpy'. In some ways, it was sort of like Levithan was writing lots of short stories with the bodies he used but, thankfully, no depth was lost at all as we were still given A within this body, a constant personality. I really enjoyed reading about the different bodies each day and getting an insight into the drastic changes between the lifestyles of people. Levithan covered a huge amount of ground with the people he portrayed - from drug addicts to suicidal girls to the struggle with obesity. A tries his best not to interfere with the bodies lives, but I was glad when he tried to push them towards positivity and help, if they needed it. Though some days only covered a few pages, no details or depth were lacking. As expected from Levithan, there were also a few LGBT issues raised, from both the lifestyles of the bodies that A inhabited and the issue of A being a genderless person. I have never read a book like this before and I think Levithan makes a clear point with it -  it should be the personality of someone, not their gender or aesthetics, that you fall in love with - something that I definitely agree with.

The main story is A forming this special relationship with Rhiannon and trying to get past the boundaries of not having a permanent body. I thought that this was well executed, I actually loved the points of awkwardness, the uncertainty between A and Rhiannon - the imperfections made the book work even better than expected. I don't think that this book is predictable, I actually didn't even feel as though the characters truly knew what they were thinking at points - which sounds a little bad, but definitely isn't. It felt real. I don't want to give anything  key away, but the end of the book was absolutely heart-shattering. I cried, then I raved about the amazing-ness of this book for days afterwards. 

There is a sub-plot in this book which features a boy called Nathan, a boy who A has inhabited, who realises he has lost a day of his life. It's not clear to him, but he suspects that the devil had taken over his body, goes public with his story and seeks help from a priest. Unfortunately, for me, it was also one of the weakest parts of the book - I just didn't find it interesting, the characters didn't react as I thought they should and by the end, my interest between the two waned. Though I didn't particularly like this part of the book, it wasn't something that deterred me from the book, I was still compelled to read it!

A book that can make me feel that way that this one does is something that really deserves to be shared. It was a book that kept me wondering, it was unputdownable, a real page turner, but at the same time I didn't want to finish the book - it was so good! Every Day is sitting firmly on my list of favourite books and I hope that it will be the same for a lot of other readers. Pick this book up and you won't regret it. For one reason or another, I think that the majority of people will at least enjoy one aspect of this book, if not all. Highly recommended!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Stacking the Shelves and Showcase Sunday (64)


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsShowcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea.
These memes are a replacement of The Story Siren's In My Mailbox.

Stacking the Shelves and Showcase Sunday make a place to showcase your new books,
whether you obtained them through the post or otherwise.


 I received three books for review this week! I love the cover of Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream - it looks very autumnal and like an ideal book to cosy up with now that autumn is here. I am very eager to pick up How To Love, a new contemporary YA novel which sounds as though it's bound to be a hit! I also received a copy of Monsters, the third book in the Ashes trilogy.

Have a great, book-filled week!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

From The Review Pile (67)

From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or if you don't receive review books, any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.

I know that a lot of you have a huge pile of books that you want to read/review, but it understandably takes a while to get around to reading them all - here you can give a book (or two!) some of the publicity that it deserves, even if you haven't read it yet!

-----------------------------------

This week, I'm going to showcase Game!
There has been a lot of very interesting publicity leading up to this book, so I have been very keen to get my hands on a copy. There is a large fan base for Swedish thriller writers, and I'm hoping that with this book, I might even become a fan myself!


Game by Anders De La Motte
Paperback

Expected publication 5th December 2013 by Blue Door


Play or be played in book one of the Game Trilogy , the Swedish thriller series taking the world by storm.

It began by spray-painting a door. Then detonating a hand grenade. Each task is secretly filmed and uploaded for other ‘Players’ to comment on. The more daring the mission, the greater the thrill and reward – and the acclaim.

But how far will loser Henrik “HP” Pettersson go before the seemingly innocent game he was invited to play on a ‘lost’ mobile phone begins to play him? With his police protection officer sister dragged into the action, and the game looking more and more like a trap, HP’s excitement is turning to fear.

Dripping with suspense, edge-of-your-seat thrills and action, Game is the first instalment in ex-policeman and security expert Anders de la Motte’s hot new Scandinavian thriller series.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Another Way to Fall


Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke
Paperback, 416 pages

Expected publication: 12th September 2013 by Harper

Shelves: adult-fiction, arc-or-review, books-i-own, chick-lit death, medical-conditions, mum-has, read-in-2013, realistic-fiction, read
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

What would you do if you could write the story of your life?

After battling a brain tumour twenty-nine year old Emma thinks she is in the clear, but her world comes crashing down around her when she is told her fight was in vain, and there is nothing more the doctors can do.

Realising that she won’t now have time to achieve the things she dreamed of, Emma decides to write her perfect life in a story. She imagines all the things she would have done, the places she would have seen, the husband she would have shared her life with and the family they would have raised. And, mysteriously, as she writes her story, she starts to notice that some of her dreams seem to be coming true.

Now with a real love in her life, and her fading hope burning brighter, reality and fiction start to become blurred. As she writes their life-long love story Emma dares to believe that anything is possible, but can she really change her fate?


When I was asked to review Another Way to Fall, I was torn. I am known to like the slightly more depressing books that are on offer rather than the cheery chick-lit, but I wasn't sure if even I could handle this one as it was going to strike a somewhat personal chord. This is a book about a woman with a terminal brain tumour. Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with Pseudotumour Cerebri, a rare problem that is thankfully not life-threatening, but it means that I will live with the symptoms of a brain tumour for the rest of my life. As you'll be able to tell, my curiosity overpowered my slight wariness, and it didn't take me long to pick this book up and start reading.

We're introduced to Emma as she awaits to receive her results from the hospital, letting her know whether or not she is clear of cancer. Emma is hopeful that the news will be good and that she will be able to continue her life in a healthy, happy manner. Unfortunately, the results are far from positive and she is told that unfortunately nothing more can be done as her tumour is terminal. This book tells the story of Emma, her friends and her family coming to terms with her inevitable passing. Of course, this news is both devastating for Emma and the people around her. 

One thing that struck me about this book was just how normal the characters were - they were very realistic and so it was so easy to imagine yourself in their position. Emma was an extremely strong character, but again, she was also very realistic and acted as I suspect a lot of people would in her situation. We get to learn a lot about all of the characters through the way that they react to bad news but it works really well - it gives us a true feeling of them as raw characters and what they're truly like. As well as meeting Emma, we meet several other characters, the most prominent ones being Ben, her romantic interest, her mother Meg and sister Louise. I also have to give a special mention to Iris and her friend, the two complaining old ladies who helped add a spark of humour to a dark time and really helped to liven the novel up a bit! 

It was interesting to see how each character interacted with the other and in particular, I found the relationship between Emma and her mother, Meg, to be the most touching. I think that Meg was the character that I could connect to most - whether you are someone's daughter or someones mother, I'd imagine that knowing you're about to lose each other, for most people, is a very difficult one. I can't put really put the emotions into words, but Brooke has done a spectacular job of describing such a strong relationship. Undoubtedly, I found the saddest scenes to be those between Emma and Meg, both realising that they would be parting from each other. Whilst it felt different, I did really enjoy reading about Emma's relationship with Ben. It was quite obvious that they were going to end up together and I did find myself both rooting for them and feeling a little upset and knowing their time was limited. 

As well as reading about Emma's real life, we get to read the book that she has planned to write before she dies - a story of hope, a story of Emma with an all-clear diagnosis who goes on and has the exact life she will miss. It was really interesting to see what Emma valued most and what she would have done had she gotten the all-clear. Though the book she is writing holds a somewhat fantasy world for her, with the help of Ben, she actually manages to achieve a lot of positive things and enjoyable experiences in her real life. Ben was truly the perfect man to Emma, not pushing her but encouraging her and surprising her,  allowing her to do the things that she thought she couldn't do. It was difficult but understandable to see Emma push Ben away, but I am so glad that we got to read of their time together. It was lovely getting lost in their thoughts and adventures and for some moments forgetting the awful thing inside her head.

When you have a brain tumour, it's unfortunately very difficult to let go and forget about it for a while, but Brooke allowed Emma some freedom, whilst still managing to make sure we knew she was battling something that has no remorse. I thought that Brooke did a good job of describing the tumour that Emma had and portraying the symptoms without overcomplicating things. Personally, I found reading a lot of the symptoms or  bad episodes that Emma had, quite difficult to read (due to having the same symptoms!) and so I read the book relatively slowly. The author clearly knows what she is talking about, what she is tackling and she handles it with just the right amount of both sincerity and delicacy. 

Overall, this was a very well written book that I would recommend to any adult who thinks that they would 'enjoy' (probably not the most appropriate word) reading about the subject matter. Brooke hasn't just wrote about a brain tumour, but instead she has written about independence, hope and love. She has allowed us to really think of what we value, or what we dream to do. I really admire Brooke for writing this book, she has such a natural talent and sensitivity that shines through. I will certainly be looking forward to picking up more of her books in the future.

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