Saturday, 31 August 2019

BOOKS | Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Name: Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Author: Louise Gornall
Publisher: Chicken House
Date published: 2016
Genre: Contemporary, young adult, mental health, romance
Pages: 275
Rating: 4/5

Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother.
For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …
- From Goodreads.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies was a wonderful story to read, and about an area of mental health I had not read very much about before. I thought Norah's condition was portrayed in a very thoughtful, respectful and emotional way that gave real insight into what a life like hers would be like.
I thought it was so fascinating to read a story that really focused on one setting and very few characters. It meant you could really come to understand the characters and their feelings, and the close examination gave an opportunity to make everything feel very real.
In terms of plot, there was a twist in the story towards the end of the book that I did not see coming, but that was very well set up and helped bring a satisfying conclusion to the novel.
The romance in the story was very heartwarming and although both characters made mistakes with each other, those mistakes were understandable and they tried to work through problems and actively worked to act kindly and thoughtfully towards each other.
Overall, although of course some parts of the book made me feel anxious and emotional, I finished the book feeling happy and hopeful, and when I think back to the book I am very glad I read it.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

BOOKS | Review: The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

Name: The Paper & Hearts Society
Author: Lucy Powrie
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date published: June 2019
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Pages: 365
Rating: 4/5

Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn't want to go to parties - in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.
It's like she hasn't found her people ...
Then Tabby joins a club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING - especially when making new friends brings out an AWKWARD BUZZING feeling all over her body.
But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it's the Austen-themed fancy-dress parties, or Ed's fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins, or could it be Henry himself ...
Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?
- From Goodreads.

The Paper & Hearts Society was such a sweet and lovely read that I really related to. It made me feel very nostalgic and took me right back to when I was Tabby's age, how my love for reading felt at that point in my life, and how I had a countless amount of insecurities but really valued the friendships I managed to find and the friends who really understood me and my interests.
Tabby's voice was so endearing and funny, I found myself smiling and laughing a lot while reading the book. I especially enjoyed her relationship and interactions with her grandmother as I thought they felt very warm and real. I also rooted for the romance that develops through the story, Tabby and her love interest really suited each other and I thought it was a very well protrayed teenage romance.
I thought the topics of anxiety, depression, bullying and family relationships were dealt with well and all of them were addressed in a comforting and satisfying way.  I did see where the story was going mostly and guessed a couple of the plot points but I did not feel that ruined the story for me and I think all of the plot points were executed in an interesting way.
There were a couple of points where there could have been slightly more editing to tidy up a little awkward piece of writing, but overall it was very easy to read and a very good debut novel. And I definitely enjoyed all the pop culture references (especially the Taylor Swift mentions).
If you are looking for a sweet, upbeat, contemporary story that deals well with serious topics, I definitely recommend giving this a try! I will definitely be picking up the sequel.

UNBOXING | FairyLoot: A Different Kind of Magic - June 2020

I was very excited when I saw the description for FairyLoot 's June box, the theme of A Different Kind of Magic , along with the hints a...