Review: Clean by Juno Dawson

Review: Clean by Juno Dawson

Hi guys! So last week I posted a review of Melvin Burgess’ Junk. I read that before Clean because Juno referred to that as her inspiration.

About Clean

Clean is centred around Lexi Volkov, the daughter of a wealthy hotel owner who so happens to be spoilt and can get whatever she wants, when she wants. Which essentially means she can also do drugs with her boyfriend Kurt whenever she wants.

However, Nikolai, Lexi’s brother kidnaps her and takes her to a special clinic on an island where she can do the ten step progam to get clean.

She meets a lot of different people (with money) who are there for other addictions such as anorexia and OCD. Lexi needs to decide whether she wants to recover or waste her life away. Her new found friends may just be the answer she needs…

Review

I’ve been to a few events where Lexi has been said to be very confident and commanding. I thought she would be a total bitch – and she is at the start – but really she has a soft centre to her.

She seems to want to hide all her secrets and blames everyone for her mistakes. She doesn’t realise she has a problem until it’s nearly too late.

What I love about this book is the character development of all the addicts. Juno really can get into the mind of an addict and it’s amazing. At times we just want to tell Lexi to put the coke down and step away. But we see her go through the ups and downs all the way to the end.

I warmed to all the addicts at the centre, even Sasha. Everyone has issues but it’s how you deal with them that counts.

I loved the writing and the characters. And obviously the fact it’s set in London. What more could you want?

Have you read Clean? What did you think?

Book Review: Margot and Me

Book Review: Margot and Me

I read Margot and Me by Juno Dawson earlier in the year and fell in love with Margot and Fliss.

About

Margot and Me is about how Fliss moves up to Wales to be with Fliss’ grandmother while her mum is in remission from cancer. Fliss has to leave all her friends behind, including a potential love interest. She can’t stand the thought of moving away from London to a tiny town in Wales.

But fortunately for Fliss, she finds her grandmother, Margot’s, diary from the time of the war. She unveils secrets she never knew and discovers it’s not that easy to move away from home. But it does have its perks.

From YA prom where I met Juno!

Review

From the start of the book, I didn’t know what it was going to be about at all or who it was aimed at.

I was excited that Fliss and her mum were moving to Wales because I love it there.

The characters were so likeable, especially Margot (not at the start). I loved Fliss’ mum and Fliss’ gay friend Danny who lives at the Chinese his mum and dad run. Her other friend, Bronwyn is also quite sweet, although a tad odd! Dewi was a personal favourite, a big softie. I wish he would have got more time in the book! (Juno, please write a book for Dewi!)

I felt like I could relate to Fliss, apart from her confidence and sassiness. She worries a lot but is also a kind soul. She has her opinion and sticks by it, regardless of what others think. But ultimately, I loved Margot the most. You could see her character develop from the person in the diaries to who she is now, and it’s not surprising she’s so cold hearted when you look at what she’s gone through.

There was so much crammed into this book that I didn’t know which direction it was going to go in.

The writing was beautiful, especially the parts where we’re reading Margot’s diary. It felt so accurate and made the story come alive. It was like reading a story within a story.

I felt like I was actually in Margot’s farm, watching Fliss resist the urge to eat bacon and seeing her sneak into her bedroom to read more of Margot’s diary.

This book is such a heartfelt read but also a heartbreaking one. Be prepared to cry, laugh (a lot, Fliss is such a diva) and smile. If you want a family oriented read full of laughter, ballet, piglets and more, then read this now!

Book Review: Second Best Friend

Book Review: Second Best Friend

In this week’s post I’ll be reviewing Second Best Friend by Non Pratt!

Blurb

Jade and Becky are best friends, but when Jade’s ex-boyfriend lets on that everyone thinks Becky is the better of the two, Jade finds herself noticing just how often she comes second to her best friend. There’s nothing Jade is better at than Becky. So when Jade is voted in as Party Leader ahead of her school’s General Election only to find herself standing against Becky, Jade sees it as a chance to prove herself. If there’s one thing she can win, it’s this election – even if it means losing her best friend.

Review

The overall theme of the book is about friendship and how that means more to us than anything else. The moral of the story is to not compare yourself to others as we do all the time based on looks, social media etc.

I warmed to some of the characters but it was hard for me to like Becky or even Jade some of the time.

I also didn’t enjoy the ending. Not only was it unrealistic but it made me think Jade isn’t actually sorry for what she’s done. It all seems a bit too good to be true that your friend would forgive you instantly after spouting rumours.

Also, if you’re such good friends, would you not talk about your worries to each other instead of letting a boy get between you?

I think the moral of the story is better suited to younger readers whereas older ones may find this a bit young and far fetched.

If you have read Second Best Friend, what did you think of it?

Until next time, love, Vee x

Arc Book Review: Becoming Mrs Lewis

Arc Book Review: Becoming Mrs Lewis

I was gifted the Becoming Mrs Lewis Arc from Harper Inspire to review. I was both excited and nervous because I’ve not read much historical romance! However, as you will see below I thoroughly enjoyed the story…

About

Becoming Mrs Lewis is written by Patti Callahan and is the story of brave Joy Davidman who fled from her abusive husband in New York to travel across seas to London, UK with her two sons. Joy strikes up a friendship through letters with C.S. Lewis talking about their beliefs in God and soon the pair become closer than ever.

Review

I finished this enchanting love story about Joy and Jack’s (C.S. Lewis) friendship turned love a few weeks ago. I was feeling all the emotions!

First of all, I want to point out how eloquent the writing style was because I honestly believed Joy Davidman was speaking to me through the pages. Also, even though I am an atheist, I still believe in something. Religion consumes Joy’s whole life and she makes it her mission to find out her purpose in it. I can relate to Joy thinking she is destined for more because I feel as if I have this epiphany every day, sometimes a couple of times a day!

Secondly, the blossoming love between Joy and Jack makes you impatient; you want him to just kiss her already! Alas we have to wait a while. But let me tell you the kissing scene is worth the wait.

Since I started the book I’ve been fascinated by Joy and I read all about her and Lewis’ love. She is inspiring and her story is brave and courageous. Callahan’s book is a beautiful tribute to an even more beautiful woman who deserves more recognition.

The character development was wonderful to see unfold and I found I couldn’t put the book down half of the time. I’m not a huge lover of historical books but this love story managed to captivate me. You will laugh and cry along with Joy and Jack in their journey throughout the book but the main thing to take away from this book is to love. Love with all you have and don’t regret a single moment of it.

This book is a journey of self discovery in itself. I can’t wait to hear what you all think of this masterpiece when it comes out next week. Until next time, love, Vee x

10 Female Characters I Aspire To Be

10 Female Characters I Aspire To Be

Hey guys, in this week’s blog post I’m going to be talking about my top 10 characters who I aspire to be.

1. Tess Baker from Silence is Goldfish

When I read Silence is Goldfish, the first thing I noticed was how confident Tess was. She was comfortable in her body how it is. She didn’t care how anyone looked at her or what they said. All she cared about was her friends and family. Tess is one of the 10 female characters I aspire to be because of her fearless attitude towards life and not being afraid of who she is.

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2. Tracy Beaker

I adore Tracy. She’s one of the female characters I aspire to be because of her can do attitude and the fact she still acts like a child. I recently read My Mum Tracy Beaker and it was adorable. Tracy deals with so many issues in her life and makes up porkies. But she gets away with it because of her confident bravado. She is such a character, I would love to be her real life friend (although I think I’m a bit too timid.)

3. Kaitlyn from Floored

Floored is a YA novel I adore written by tons of authors, including Non Pratt and Lisa Williamson. Kaitlyn is going blind in the book and she struggles knowing she’ll have to rely on people one day. But she is a strong minded person who takes no shit and is the wisest one in the group.

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4. Sam from Sasquatch, Love and Other Imaginary Things

Another YA novel with a big twist. This family go on a TV show to look for Bigfoot. Sam, the middle child in the Berger family is bold and courageous. She pretends not to notice her parents are struggling with money so she goes along with the plan to win a TV show. She tries everything she can to beat the other team for her family and she values her family and their support. I aspire to be as caring and supportive as Sam is.

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5. Stevie from Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Stevie is a quiet girl who lives with her depressed mother in Lewes in the UK. She makes them dinner, cleans and goes everywhere because her mother can’t get to the shops. She’s tired but she takes on another job to support them. She even makes a friend who’s a refugee and helps him paint his community centre as it was vandalized. Stevie would do anything for her friends and family and that’s why she’s one of the 10 female characters I aspire to be.

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6. Penny Lee from Emergency Contact

Penny Lee starts college and meets a cute guy but she’s so shy and introverted. However, Penny has her own style and won’t let anyone come in the way of that. She knows what she wants and goes for it. She keeps herself to herself which is what I do. But Penny grows in the book and blossoms. I hope to always keep my authentic self, even if other pressure me to change.

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7. Rhiannon from Every Day

Rhiannon from David Levithan’s Every Day starts off a quiet character, not wanting to upset her boyfriend Justin and keeps out of everybody’s way. However, as the story goes on and she meets A, she slowly discovers who she is and fights for what she wants. She breaks up with her boyfriend and goes on the hunt to find A. I hope to be as driven as Rhiannon is.

8. Isabel from Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy

Isabel is your typical high school bitch who is hard on the outside but soft on the inside. She has problems opening up but it doesn’t mean her heart isn’t full of love. Throughout the books her character develops more and she starts to let people in. She still acts like a bad bitch and I hope I can be soft on the inside while having a thick skin like her.

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9. Grace from Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy

Grace wants to be with Sam and she will make that happen no matter what. Grace does what she can to be with him and take care of him. She hates disappointing her family but I found myself cheering her on when she left them behind. Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do. I hope I can be as loving and take care of my own needs as Grace does.

10. Lucy from The Light We Lost

Lucy is in love with Gabe but she is also in love with her career. He goes off to do photographer in Europe while she stays behind in the US to pursue her dreams. Even though they love each other deeply, they both have things they want to do. I admire Lucy for sticking to her job and doing what she loves and not running off to be with Gabe when he asked. Love is about give and take, not just take take take.

So there you have it, my 10 female characters I aspire to be. I hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll see you next time. Love, Vee x

An Evening with Hank Green

An Evening with Hank Green

I went to see Hank Green tonight on the ONLY UK tour he was doing for his new book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. It was set in the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square and tickets were sold out.

There were some hilarious laughs, one of them being John Green roasted by his brother (John was not there, I know, disappointed😂).

We were told at the start of the evening there was a raffle and only 100 people could have a meet and greet with Hank. I was a lucky winner! I got to take a photo (albeit blurry) and took a stranger’s picture in the process.

There were really deep chats with Holly Bourne who chaired the event about humans, what Hank’s most remarkable thing is and if his book was predicting the future when he started writing it in 2014. It was really interesting.

I haven’t read the book yet but I’m definitely going to after meeting Hank. He’s such a down to earth person, and we got to laugh about Trump, so what could be better!?

I love being surrounded by bookish people and I saw some familiar faces, including ‘the large ginger man’ from Waterstones as he calls himself.

Thank you to Waterstones for setting up such an event! I had an amazing night (apart from running for the train!). Vee x

Book Review: Bookshop Girl

Book Review: Bookshop Girl

This week I’ll be reviewing Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles.

Blurb

Bennett’s Bookshop has always been a haven for sixteen-year-old Paige Turner. It’s a place where she can escape from her sleepy hometown, hang out with her best friend, Holly, and also earn some money.

But, like so many bookshops, Bennett’s has become a ‘casualty of the high street’ – it’s strapped for cash and going to be torn down. Paige is determined to save it but mobilising a small town like Greysworth is no mean feat.

Time is ticking – but that’s not the only problem Paige has. How is she going to fend off the attractions of beautiful fellow artist, Blaine? And, more importantly, will his anarchist ways make or break her bookshop campaign?

Review

I picked this book up on a whim in my local library because of its title. I love anything bookshop so this felt ideal.

I was right to love it! It’s full of books, quirky personalities and friendship. It’s a heartwarming read about the things that matter in life. Paige wants to study art and the only thing keeping her going in the town is Bennetts Bookshop which she adores working at with her bestie Holly.

This book is full of laughs and I loved every second of it. Paige reminded me of me, but so did Holly. They’re both bookworms who are weird but wonderful. I found myself wishing I knew these girls because they would probably be my best friends in real life.

I can’t wait to read the next installment of Paige’s adventures!

Until next time, love, Vee x

Book Tour: Man VS Happiness

Book Tour: Man VS Happiness

In this week’s post I’ll be interviewing Freida Kilmari, the author of Man VS Happiness.

Man VS Happiness

The Mental Health Disaster has destroyed half the population of Earth.

Humanity is at crisis point.

It’s the chosen Legacy Scholar’s job to document the journey, but when his only window into the outside world breaks, he’s in a race against time to fix it before the Library of Time is lost forever.

Take a read through his adventure, and through humanity’s journey, in a beautiful collection of short stories, poetry, and essays.

Man VS Happiness will be available on 14th February.

Interview With Freida Kilmari

1. What made you come up with the idea of Man VS Happiness?

Man VS Happiness came from frustration actually. When you go searching for information about mental illness, you’re bombarded with statistical reports, news articles, and science papers. It seems as though the only people allowed a voice about mental illness is everyone other than those suffering. And isn’t the point of awareness to encourage people to open up more, to talk to those around them? How are we supposed to do that when the only news stories we see are negative? Where’s the hope? Where’s the story about someone who nearly died and then recovered miraculously afterwards? I want to help make the world a brighter place, especially for those suffering from mental illness.

2. What is the most challenging aspect of being a writer? And the most rewarding aspect?!

The most challenging aspect is probably time. Most writers earn under $10k a year, which means we have to hold down full time jobs. But if we’re doing that, where the time to write? It’s an endless cycle. You know that if you had more time you could produce more content, but if you have more time to write you might be taking a pay cut. It’s challenging. I’m lucky that I’m a freelance fiction editor, because it means I can flex my job around my writing schedule; plus, I love what I do.

The best part is seeing people enjoy your work. I love it when someone sends me a message with something like, “Hey, just started the book and am loving it.” It’s those simple messages/emails that make all the hard work pay off.

3. How do you cope with writer’s block?

I’m not someone who suffers from writer’s block. I’ve been writing almost every day since I was 12, and I’m now nearly 24, and I can honestly say that I have never suffered from writer’s block. There have been times when I’ve needed a break or needed to rest and think about a part of a book I’m stuck on, but I’ve never not been able to write. I think it’s partly because I write more than one project at a time, so if I get stuck with one I can just work on the other for a bit. And then I usually unstick myself after taking a break from that difficult project.

4. Have you got any other books planned for the future?

Yes. Man VS Happiness is part one of a collection that will be slowly released over the next decade, but I’m also working on a multi-series fantasy universe, called the Ennéa Vasileía Universe. It’s a fantasy universe based on my own unique take on Greek mythology. The first book for it comes out in spring, The Keepers’ Origin—the first book in the Erimish Saga. It’s a Young Adult Epic Fantasy about an ancient war that’s about to come back into the fold. Four sixteen-year-old girls suddenly possess elemental powers in a world that hasn’t seen the likes of magic in over a thousand years. It’s full of friendship, magic, action, romance, and LoTR-style word building.

5. What was the best part about writing Man VS Happiness?

The best part was being able to put a voice to some of those indescribable feelings. What does it feel like having a panic attack? What does it feel like to be so depressed you can’t even lift your pinkie finger? These are things that are hard to describe, but by writing fantasy-related stories and poetry, I’ve managed to find my voice.

6. If you were stranded on an island and had to pick 3 items and 3 people to accompany you, what and who would you take?

I’d take His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, because I can’t live without those books. I’d also be practical and take some kind of weapon and maybe a map of the island? I’d bring along my fiancé (obviously), but also maybe a wildlife expert who knows about plants and animals so we could know what to eat and what not to eat. Perhaps then a survival specialist so we could know how to build shelter, start a fire, etc.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Freida’s writing and I do hope you read her book, Man VS Happiness. Until next time, love, Vee x