Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes? Book Review

Are We All Lemming & Snowflakes?
Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Pages: 348
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

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Synopsis from goodreads:

“Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at “normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?”

 

 

 

 

 

Will Holly Bourne ever write a book I don’t like? I don’t think so! Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes? is a book about a teenage girl with a beautiful message that sticks with you long after finishing that last page. I laughed, I loved and I raced through in under a day because I could not stop – this book is something very special indeed.

Olive is a sixteen year old girl that’s just finished her GCSEs, but she is struggling with her mental health. Welcome to Camp Reset! A state-of-the-art modern programme that brings in teenagers with mental illness to a purpose-built accommodation where for one month, they will receive one-to-one sessions, group therapy and CBT as well as lots of other therapies to help figure themselves out. It’s in the pilot stage, meaning it’s in its last testing phase before it’s rolled out to people that can afford such a thing. Olive is lucky to be there, or so she has been told.

Olive is such a likeable character but she’s not perfect. In fact, she rather hates herself. But maybe she’s not the problem? Maybe it’s the WORLD that’s the problem? Maybe we all need to stop focusing so much on treating mental illness, but rather preventing it? Stopping the triggers that means people get it in the first place?

If only it were that easy.

Olive takes this idea and runs away with it (literally, this girl never stops running) but life soon catches up with her. She makes decisions she’ll regret and mistakes she wishes she could undo. But that’s life! Nobody is perfect. We need to stop being so damn hard on ourselves and just step back a bit, sort ourselves out before trying to sort out anything bigger. As one of the doctors in the book says, sort out your own oxygen mask first before helping others.

IT’S SO TRUE! You can’t go round helping others until you’ve helped yourself. You know what you can do though? Be kind. Just be kind to others, and hopefully that will spread and they will be kind to others, then they will be kind…

Kindness as a virus. Kindness is contagious. That’s the message to spread long after finishing that final page.

AND I LOVE IT! I love this book and its message of simply being kind. I read it in under a day – it’s so page-turning that I couldn’t stop! Of course I love the message. I only wished we got a little epilogue to round things off, but maybe the last page with that little spark in the darkness is just what kindness can be to people.

So to spread some kindness of my own, I’m doing a preorder giveaway of a copy of this book! For a chance to win a copy of Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne, simply check out the latest post on my instagram @joareads (link here).

“I think real kindness, real compassion, is having the strength to stop and try and see where another person is coming from. To try and work out why they’re being the way they’re being. It takes time and patience. It’s not easy, but that’s real kindness.”

-Holly Bourne, Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes?

Floored Book Review

Floored
Author: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Sailsbury, Lisa Williamson, Eleanor Wood
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: 385
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Image result for floored book Synopsis from goodreads:

“When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.”

This book was AMAZING!!! Six fantastic and brilliantly thought-up characters come together as they meet under a chance circumstance and start a tradition to meet up every year since that first encounter in the lift…

I loved reading about each and every one of these characters, we’ve got:
– Dawson, the child TV star that’s grown up and now can’t find a role as an actor,
– Hugo, the posh thinks-he’s-better-than-everyone-needs-a-punch-in-the-face idiot,
– Joe, kind and driven with a career in television in mind,
– Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but doesn’t let that define or stop her strong and fiery attitude,
– Sasha, always looking out for others, she sometimes forgets herself,
– and Velvet who runs into a fair amount of trouble along the way.

They are all INCREDIBLE and grow so much from when we first meet them at fifteen, young and naive. Each one has they’re own shit going on; family life, sexuality, jobs, uni, friendships, self-confidence… All the stuff we never really stop struggling with but there’s something beautiful about seeing these characters struggling, but then growing from their mistakes and mishaps.

It’s a YA contemporary that has everything you could ever possibly need and want from a YA contemporary. It’s honest and beautiful, with a range of characters from the rich to the poor, thin to the large with some straight/gay/bi/confused/who even cares just go out with who you want to go out with, and I LOVE IT!

There’s such a The Breakfast Club vibe to this book, taking place over six years rather than in one afternoon but it’s equally as majestic in its description and portrayal of a story as six teenagers make firm friends for life. I honestly did not want to stop reading and read it in under a day, desperate to find out what happens to these characters that I’ve grown to love reading about. I was bittersweet to finish reading this fabulous book, with an ending that’s perfectly placed and exactly how it needed to end, but also leaving me pining for more and not wanting to say goodbye to these characters so soon, despite joining them on their six year journey.

This book was like a hug you didn’t know you needed.

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“Maybe disappointment does lie in the gulf between what you would do for someone and what they will do for you, but she knows then, in that moment, as she’s looking out of the rain-speckled window at the black, black sky, that she needs to stop focusing on what she’s willing to do for other people and start focusing on what she’s willing to do for herself.”

-Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Sailsbury, Lisa Williamson, Eleanor Wood; Floored

Eve of Man Book Review

Eve of Man
Author: Giovanna and Tom Fletcher
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Pages: 400
Rating: ♥♥♥

Image result for eve of manSynopsis from goodreads:

“All her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past.

But at sixteen it’s time for Eve to face her destiny. Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of humanity is in her hands. She’s always accepted her fate.

Until she meets Bram.

Eve wants control over her life. She wants freedom.

But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?”

 

My initial thoughts about this book were that it had an interesting concept, but it’s going to be a typical girl falls in love with boy and vice versa, the fact that they’re not supposed to be together drawing them ever closer to each other, but it actually didn’t turn out that way. This book was dripping in dystopia where humans have, of course, ruined the world but this time Mother Nature hits back, and there hasn’t been a female born for fifty years, until Eve comes along.

The book is split between Eve and Bram’s points of view; Eve kept safely away as the only one that can save all of humanity, and Bram, a worker to keep her safe and well. I love the obvious split in writing style between the two characters, which is sometimes not as evident when just the one person writes the book. I found Bram’s passages a bit witty at times which was in keeping with his character whereas Eve took on a more serious and erratic tone as her world crumbles around her. Things take a dark turn throughout the book and these two are thrown into a world of chaos.

It’s a dystopian with an interesting concept but I wasn’t gripped by the book throughout, it felt more like I was watching the ride rather than actually on it. Not a very dramatic book that evokes much emotion. It’s a book that’s great if you fancy a change of genre that’s quick and easy to read, but not if you’re looking for something more in depth with a bit of magic to it (for which to me, it lacked) then maybe try something else. But I loved the cover though – very in keeping with the mood of the book!

Now it’s onto a few quick spoilers – yes, the spoiler section is back! I can’t resist a few gifs which display so beautifully my reactions to the book I’m reading so look away now if you don’t want to be spoiled!

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It’s not the typical romance that you think between Bram and Eve, mainly because Eve starts falling for her one and only friend, Holly, (which also happens to be a hologram) because she is in fact, controlled by Bram (still with me?) so Eve is actually falling for Bram who is pretending to be Holly and Eve can tell between the three people that control Holly, that it’s Bram she is falling for.

They end up setting off a chain of events by Eve and Bram (who is actually Holly in this moment) just about kissing which throws everyone into a panic because Eve can’t fall for any old guy.

So Eve kisses Holly – her hologram friend. Who is actually being commandeered by Bram at the time.

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Call me crazy, but I don’t think I could fall for someone based on just their eyes and character, and the fact that they are a fake hologram being controlled by someone else but hey, each to their own.

This book focuses heavily on the fact that Eve is the only reproductively active female on the planet, and my god are they obsessed with her eggs! It’s like she’s the only chicken on a barren farm and they desperately need her eggs like they need air to breathe. She gets to choose between three guys which one she wants to, basically, procreate with. One throws up at seeing a sixteen year old female (fail), the other tries to kill her (maybe don’t text that one back for another date), and the other she never wants to meet because the first two went so badly, so Eve opts for just having a bit of his sperm to fertilise her eggs and procreate the good old-fashioned scientific way!

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Fair to say, none of this works out and Eve ends up escaping and running off to be with Bram. I have no idea how this will play out, and the ending didn’t really pull me in enough to really want to find out what happens in the sequel so I’m not sure if I want to carry on with this trilogy.

It was a quick YA dystopian to read and had some interesting concepts and provoked some thoughts about humanity and just what would happen if suddenly no females were born, but the characters were just a little bit too mellow to draw me into their lives so I think I’m happy to leave it at that – Bram and Eve got away together.

“I guess reality is just the world with which we are presented.”

-Giovanna and Tom Fletcher, Eve of Man

 

 

Long time no see

I can’t believe I haven’t published anything on my blog since May! I’m so sorry guys, I’ve been so busy with uni and rotations that I’ve barely been reading let alone writing! It sucks but I’m really going to try and keep up with posting every couple of weeks at least and bring you some bookish goodness!

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So what am I reading at the moment? I’m currently doing some reading for YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) which I am going to next week!! I’m so excited to meet more authors again – I went two years ago but couldn’t last year because of uni (stupid uni!) but I’m free to go this year so I’m trying to read as much as I can in time! I’m currently reading Eve of Man by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher and then I’ve got just a few more to get through…

  • Floored by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Not Pratt, Melina Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
  • Sorrow by Melinda Sailsbury

Five books in just over a week? I’m going to try!

Check out my post from 2016 about YALC and see what I got up to. I’ll be posting another recap after I’ve attended this year’s so I’ll let you know all about it!

If you don’t know much about YALC or what it is, then check out its page here and discover some more about this wonderful convention! It’s part of London Film and Comic Con but it is its own separate thing and it’s basically a room full of authors and bookworms and readers, with some talks and workshops and plenty of opportunity to meet your favourite authors and get your books signed! There are also loads of stands with books to buy so it’s an amazing day just surrounded with books, books and more books! I totally loved it when I went in 2016 and I can’t wait to go back this year!

Let me know if you’re going on the Saturday this year and feel free to find me and say hello! I love meeting fellow book bloggers and bookworms!

Oh, and side note – it’s my two year anniversary with wordpress! I’ve had my book blog for over two years now and I can’t believe how much it’s changed since that first day! Thank you guys for reading my blog and seeing what I’ve posted, without you I would just be chatting to myself about books so thank you so much for being there!!! ♥

Happy reading, bookworms x