Eurgh November, I decided to do a course online with Tel Aviv University and NANOWRIMO and my boss was away and I had an entire paper to put together and edit for two weeks. Why do I keep making myself as busy as I possibly can?! Anyway, here is this month’s offerings!
I’ll give you the sun – Jandy Neilson.
I heard so many good things about this and the cover is really bright and happy looking, so I thought it would be perfect for those dreary November evenings. Turns out, this is actually really bitter sweet. Sometimes, you just need something that is style over substance, a bloody love Fitzgerald and he is definitely style over substance, this had a lot of substance, granted and that ending was so satisfying because I had literally waited an entire book for all the pieces to come together. But it was substance with a shedload of style. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it gets a thumbs up from me.
Simon vs the Homo Sapien’s Agenda – Becky Albertalli.
Wow, what a delightful story. Honestly, I loved everything about this book, I loved the quirky, profound thoughts that Simon had, I loved the high school dynamics and the friendship dramas and the cute family. It’s always really nice to read an LGBTQA+ book which isn’t all doom and gloom. Seriously, has Becky Albertalli written anything else? Can I read it? Like, now?
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting – Holly Bourne
So many people on my goodreads feed have raved about this, so when I found it on offer on the kindle store, I knew it had to be mine. While it was a fun, fast paced, enjoyable and an easy read, it wasn’t anything particularly original. And by that I mean that this was Mean Girls, but English. I loved the dynamic between Bree and her parents, I loved her whole characterisation and Holly Bourne is a fantastic writer of youthful dialogue. I know I left my teenage years a long time ago, but I know how people speak. You know, being a person and all and thats something that so many YA writers seem to forget. It was great fun, but a little too much like Mean Girls for my liking. Also, as much as I love the idea of an introverted writer doing all they can to keep writing, I do dislike the idea of someone changing who they are to suit someone else, no matter what their motivation is for doing it. Either way, I liked it and I’ll be checking out more Holly Bourne in the future.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green and David Levithan
Would you believe that this is the first time I’ve read Will Grayson Will Grayson? I know, it’s weird because I list both John Green and David Levithan as two of my favourite writers and yet, here is something written by both of them that I’ve never picked up. I don’t know why, I guess I’ve never gotten around to it… Now though, it has been done. Despite the fact that I love John Green and David Levithan, I can’t say that this was a particularly strong novel from either of them and neither of the Will Graysons were characters that I enjoyed reading about they were both a bit too whiney white boy for me, but it was still a fun book nonetheless!
Hold me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story – David Levithan
Confession time, I picked this up because I love David Levithan and I didn’t realise it was a companion novel to Will Grayson, Will Grayson until I decided to start reading it. So, then I had to stop and track down Will Grayson Will Grayson, which honestly I should have probably already read. Anyway, I was a bit disappointed with this. Like, Tiny Cooper was a great character in the original novel and this musical was one of my favourite part of the book, so I figured that the story of the musical would be an interesting insight into Tiny Cooper and it was just a bit dull. Maybe I should have had a break between the two… Either way, I probably won’t come back to it.
Love Letters to the dead – Ava Dellaira
I loved this, like I really loved this. It was slow burning, but beautifully so. I tend to have a thing about novels that aren’t told in a conventional way, like this, for instance, was chronological, but featured a lot of memories, it was also written entirely in letter format to dead celebrities that our lead character, Laurel, had been introduced to, either by her sister, May, or by her new found friends and they were interesting celebrities too, who, like Laurel, had somewhat tragic backstories. While this was great, it should come with a lot of trigger warnings, if you are in any way affected by mentions of drinking, sexual assault, physical abuse, mental health, divorce, deaths of family members, don’t put yourself through it unless you think you can handle it.
Anyone else read any of these or can think of any recommendations based on these books? I’d love to know!!