Spoiler-Free Review: Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green
Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green
Date Started: 25/8/2017
Date Finished: 25/8/2017
Synopsis: Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She'd sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she'd have to eat it for breakfast.
But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly.
Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the vulnerable, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.
*I received a copy in trade of an honest review via Netgalley*
Sometime in the last month I received one of those normal emails with some of the latest 'Read Now' Graphic Novels. Normally I look through but tend to not be able to find any that I'm interested in, however I saw this one and instantly knew I needed to read it.
Lighter Than My Shadow is a graphic novel story featuring important real life things, such as eating disorders (including Anorexia), sexual assault and depression as well as other things. If you are sensitive to these topics then I'd recommend maybe giving this graphic novel a miss.
I believe this is the authors' own story (Katie Green), so it's based off real experiences. I know there are so many people who have experienced the topics mentioned and am so happy to see Katie publishing this graphic novel and sharing her story.
This graphic novel is on the longer side at just over 500 pages, but it still didn't take me too long to finish. It's one of those reads that just sucks you in and you can't forget about it afterwards, I think it's going to be one of those reads that is going to stick with me for a while.
I think the art style fitted well with the story as it wasn't too bold that it took your attention away from the importance of the story, but it was still detailed enough.
Though the story did suck me in, I did struggle to carry on through some parts as it was a bit slow paced.
Overall, I'm glad I read Lighter Than My Shadow and would definitely recommend if you're looking for a read that surrounds Mental Health and the effects it can have on people's lives.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17456953-lighter-than-my-shadow?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Lighter-Than-My-Shadow/9780224090988
Spoiler-Free Review: Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland
Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland
Date Started: 21/7/2017
Date Finished: 24/7/2017
Synopsis: Meet Robin Wilde! You'll make a friend for life and she'll take you on a journey you'll never forget ...
Single mum Robin Wilde adores her six-year-old daughter and loves her job as a make up artist's assistant. She has a wonderful best friend and an auntie who is bonkers, yes, but loves her to the moon and back.
But Robin has a secret. Behind the mask she carefully applies every day, things just feel ... grey. And lonely. She struggles to fit in with the school mum crew. Online dating is totally despair-inducing, and she worries every day about raising her little girl with self-confidence, courage and joy.
What Robin longs for is someone (over the age of six) to share with - someone who's always on her team.
After 4 years (2 months, and 15 days!) of single-mum-dom, it's time for Robin Wilde to Change. Her. Life.
Exciting new opportunities are about to come Robin's way ... Perhaps a man, perhaps the chance of a lifetime ...
What will Robin do with the possibilities she creates for herself? And what potential will she unlock if she takes the leap?
I am a subscriber of Louise and have been for a few years. I know there's a lot of people who put a negative spin on "youtuber books" and all that, but you can see in Louise's vlogs and videos that she has worked super hard on this book. I knew that I'd have to get and read the book as soon as she announced it. I actually managed to get a signed pre-order copy via WHSmith, so I was pretty happy about that.
Anyway, I sort of avoided hearing too much about this book before I started it as I wanted to just go in not knowing much and just be surprised. I knew the main character was called Robin Wilde and that she's a single mother and that was about all.
I enjoyed reading a story about just a "normal" character. She was just a single mother trying to do the best for her daughter as well as try and fit in with the mums at school. It was good to read about someone going by their day-to-day life. Don't get me wrong, the book wasn't boring at all, a lot happened later on and many surprises, but the main gist of it was more "normal".
Robin developed a lot as a character throughout the story and it was good to see her try and overcome her depression (though she has her own name for it in the book). She goes through many changes and tries to be more positive and happy, but it doesn't always work.
Some parts were really funny especially the moments with Lyla, Robin's little daughter. Other parts just showed the real parts of life and that was one of my favourite things of the book. It was real and relatable and I think that's why a lot of people would enjoy it.
I also loved the development in many of the relationships she built up (friends). It was good to see Robin make that leap and the way some of the "posh mums" reacted to that and how close they became.
One of the things that did lower my rating was that the main character, Robin, did get on my nerves at times and she could get rather irritating. She could just get a bit whiny and I didn't like how she sometimes treated her Aunt, but she's only human.
Overall, I did enjoy it and I'm glad I did. I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for a more real story.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32498973-wilde-like-me?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Wilde-Like-Me/9781785762932
Mini-Reviews: Recent Contemporary Reads
I've been in a real contemporary mood recently and I don't think it's going away anytime soon. As you expect that means I've been reading quite a few contemporary books and I have three that I wanted to talk about today. I was going to do full reviews for each, but it'll take too long and I don't want to bombard you guys with lots of individual reviews.
The three books I'll be reviewing today are:
The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Remix by Non Pratt
The Manifesto On How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne
The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Date Started: 2/8/2017
Date Finished: 3/8/2017
Synopsis: This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.
Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:
To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.
Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.
With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.
I did originally write a full review for this, but it got deleted and I lost all that I'd written. It was easier for me to just write a mini-review, so here it is.
On Goodreads this is in both Contemporary and Sci-Fi categories, but I'm still going to include it here. I won an ARC in flash giveaway last year on Twitter and only just got round to reading it.
I was hoping that I'd really love this and I went in with quite high expectations, but was left rather disappointed. It has quite a bit of physics and other science and maths stuff in and to be honest it was just all rather confusing for me. Gottie, the main character, keeps getting sucked into "wormholes" in time and sees flashbacks of her life. The science part of it just went right over my head and I didn't find the flashbacks to be all that important.
It was all a bit mixed up and confusing. It had quite a satisfying ending and I liked how it ended with them coming together and trying to heal as a family after their loss of Grey, Gottie's grandfather.
Rate - 2/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25991081-the-square-root-of-summer?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Square-Root-of-Summer/9781509808281
Remix by Non Pratt
Date Started: 30/7/2017
Date Finished: 1/8/2017
Synopsis: From the author of Trouble comes a new novel about boys, bands and best mates.
Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life... Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record.
Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.
I've heard amazing things about Non Pratt's books and yet I've never picked one up until now.
I went into it with quite high expectations, but it didn't quite meet them.
It's about Kaz and her best friend Ruby and all the stuff that happens at a music festival weekend. It shows both of their POV's and I really liked being able to get more of a feel for each character and how their feeling varied in different situations.
I had no problems getting into the book and I was quickly sucked in. However, towards the second half I did get a bit bored as I just didn't really like the characters anymore. They were constantly arguing and both were being quite whiny.
The last bit improved things for me and I think this book covered some important topics. I'm definitely going to give Non Pratt's other books a go and hopefully I like them a bit more.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21472663-remix?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Remix-Non-Pratt/9781406371444?ref=grid-view&qid=1502482266572&sr=1-1
The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne
Date Started: 7/8/2017
Date Finished: 9/8/2017
Synopsis: Apparently I'm boring. A nobody. But that's all about to change. Because I am starting a project. Here. Now. For myself. And if you want to come along for the ride then you're very welcome.
Bree is a loser, a wannabe author who hides behind words. Most of the time she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.
But when she’s told she needs to start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting is born. Six steps on how to be interesting. Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set, fall in love with someone forbidden and make the biggest mistake of her life.
From the bestselling author of Soulmates comes a fearlessly frank take on school, cliques and crushes.
*This book does include scenes of self harm, so just keep that in mind before reading it.*
I've read the first two books in Holly Bourne's Spinster Club Series and absolutely loved them (I haven't finished the series yet, oops!). Therefore, I went into this with hopes and they were met.
I have to say the setting of this book with the "popular" girls group in a high school/college is a bit like Mean Girls, but I enjoyed that. You get a real insight to what their lives are like and we learn the message towards the end that they live normal lives. Their lives aren't as perfect as they may seem, but it takes Bree's blog for everyone to realise that.
This book is definitely relatable and I enjoyed the fact that I could relate to it. It covers many important topics, one of which is self-harm. I think it's dealt with in the right way and Holly doesn't try and shy away from it at all.
I think it ended the right way and I'm looking forward to reading more of Holly's books in the future.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22533460-the-manifesto-on-how-to-be-interesting?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Manifesto-on-How-to-be-Interesting/9781409562184
Anyway, those were three of the books I've read recently. Let me know what you've been reading recently and if you've got any good contemporary recommendations, make sure to leave them below.
Spoiler-Free Review: The Gathering (Shadow House #1) by Dan Poblocki
The Gathering (Shadow House #1) by Dan Poblocki
Date Started: 30/7/2017
Date Finished: 30/7/2017
Synopsis: Some houses are more than just haunted... they're hungry.
Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus, and Azumi don't know this at first. They each think they've been summoned to Shadow House for innocent reasons. But there's nothing innocent about Shadow House.
Something within its walls is wickedly wrong. Nothing -- and nobody -- can be trusted. Hallways move. Doors vanish. Ghosts appear. Children disappear.
And the way out?
That's disappeared, too...
Enter Shadow House... if you dare.
I was gifted this book back in October for my birthday and I was planning to read it around Halloween, but that didn't end up happening. However, I ended up participating in Booktubeathon this year and seeing as it's quite a short book, I decided it would be the perfect time to read it.
I included the synopsis above, but basically the book features 5 children (3 boys and 2 girls) and they've all been invited to Shadow House for different reasons. They arrive in stages and find out it's nothing like they thought. Strange things happen and they end up having to work together to figure it all out.
I didn't actually know too much about this before going in to it, other than having already heard great things and the fact that it was going to be a creepy read. I don't think I've ever read a horror book, but I thought I'd give this a try as it is a children's (middle-grade)/Young Adult book so it'd be a bit less scary and full on.
I was happily surprised by The Gathering and how much detail there was to the plot. There was a lot more to it than I expected and I liked that there were important little details added in to do with both the characters and the plot.
Dotted throughout the story there are some creepy black and white photographs that relate to what's happening. I liked the detail of that and it helped to break the story up.
Even though the book was around 200 (ish) pages, you did really get a feel for the characters and they were easy to relate and care to/for. It was interesting to be able to see that they all wanted different things and those things were mainly what they were promised would be at Shadow House for them (music school, a family members' house, help, a TV Set etc)
I did managed to read it pretty quick as it was easy to get into and there never really was a calm moment, so I just couldn't put the book down. Many of the scenes had me on the edge of my seat and I enjoyed the suspense of it all.
The one thing that did let the book down for me was the ending. I felt it was all a bit rushed and I found myself getting quite confused during the last couple of chapters.
Overall, I found it to be a fun read, especially as it's something I wouldn't normally pick up. I might end up picking up the sequel at some point to find out where everything will go.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28691933-the-gathering?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Shadow-House-The-Gathering-Dan-Poblocki/9780545925501?ref=grid-view&qid=1502462011752&sr=1-1
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