The run-down on what I've been reading lately
A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Macmillian Children's Books, 12 Jan 2017
This is my most recent read, and oh my gosh, it's so good. I read Beautiful Broken Things by the same author last month, so it's no surprise that this book was wonderful. I did, however, enjoy A Quiet Kind of Thunder just a bit more. As I've said in various places on social media, this book is exactly what I like about young adult fiction. I love books that I can binge read across a day or two, that almost feel like an addiction. As you can probably tell by the cover, this book is centred around romance, but here it's the most adorable, slow-going, realistic and complex mix.
This book follows a girl called Steffi who is a selective mute, and a boy called Rhys who's deaf. I've never read anything about deaf people or selective mutism, so this was eye-opening to the struggles those people can have, but it shouldn't and doesn't define them. They meet in obvious circumstances, because they both 'speak' sign language, but their process of getting to know each other and maintaining a friendship is really unique, and difficult at times. This is some of the best, if not the best, romance I've read in YA - lots of squealing and putting the book down for a moment kind of thing (as pathetic as that sounds it's the truth)... This is definitely on my 'favourite books of 2017' list.
Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse*
Hachette, 9 March 2017
It's Sophia's last week in Tokyo before she has to move back to the US. She's lived in Tokyo with her mum for a while, and it's become her home... where her friends are, and the boy she used to have a crush on. As he comes back into the picture just before Sophia's due to leave the country, she has to make those last seven days count. I think the thing that made this book special was the setting - I absolutely fell in love with Tokyo reading this. I've never had a desire to visit the city, but this was like a love letter to Tokyo, as Sophia and the boy, Jamie, stay up the whole night and explore the city.
I had the feeling of being transported to Tokyo, and in that way, I really felt wrapped up in this book - it took me a mere day and a half to read it too. I always think that if I read a book in a day, there's something really good about it. While I did think the romance aspect of it wasn't as special as A Quiet Kind of Thunder, I enjoyed Sophia's adventures with her friends and Jamie rather than their actual relationship. That ending was a good one though, and I finished this one with absolutely no regrets ignoring the rest of life to read it.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas*
Walker Books, 1 March 2017
This seems to have slightly different release dates for various countries, but I'm pretty sure it's out now for most people. I'm sure you've seen this book everywhere at the moment - but in case you haven't - it's definitely one to watch. It's about a girl called Starr who is caught up in two different worlds... the poor neighbourhood where she lives, and her posh high school in the suburbs. She witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil, by a police officer. Sound familiar? This story is very reminiscent of events you've seen in the media, and is in fact inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Expect... "People like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice." This book is about what prejudice looks like in the 21st century, and how the fight for justice can be a huge struggle. I found this book to be very, very moving and just incredibly important. Not only is this book important and inspiring, it's also very accessible because it's YA - that means more young people will pick up this book. If there's one book you're going to read soon, make it this one because of the subject matter.
And I picked up a couple more books...
Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
Penguin, 1 Feb 2017
This is a book I've walked past a few times in bookshops and always liked the sound of it, but would never buy it. Sophie, always the enabler, kind of said I should get it so I did. This was actually the only book I bought this month, which is some kind of record or achievement (...wait, I just remembered there's something on it's way to me in the post). Anyway, while reading the blurb, the bit that intrigued me was "Ingrid writes letters to her husband Gil about their life together. But instead of giving them to him, she hides each in the thousands of books Gil has collected." So, yes please, I would quite like to read this book.
Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik
twenty7, 1 October 2016
I've just started reading this one, so I don't know a great deal about it, but from my understanding it's a bit like Bridget Jones, but maybe even better. Of course the difference is that Sofia's Muslim. After she breaks up with her boyfriend, she sets off to write a book about the Muslim dating scene and her experiences. When there's a quote from Mhairi McFarlane, you just have to go for it, don't you? I actually picked this one up from the library on a whim, so maybe hiring books out has hit a resurgence.
Are you interested in reading any of these books? Let me know!
*Sent for review