2 July 2018

June Reads


Even though I'm 21 (eek) I still find myself gravitating back to young adult fiction. Every year, more great books from this category get released and it's all about sifting through the ~crap~ to find those hidden gems. This month I read three YA books and I enjoyed each of them for different reasons; they explore different but at times similar themes. As always, I hope you enjoy reading these reviews and let me know if you'll pick any up!

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
This book is pretty well known within the YA community and I've always wanted to read it. From the beginning I fell in love with the two main characters, who seem to be opposites of each other, but it turns out they have way more in common than they thought. Declan comes across a letter written by Juliet to her dead mother at a grave where he does community service, and he feels compelled to write back. Gradually, Juliet and Declan find out they aren't so different from one another as they exchange letters anonymously. Soon, Declan is sharing his pain with a stranger, except they're not really strangers at all. While Declan could have been seen as a typical 'bad boy', I think his character was much more complex than that, and Juliet comes to realise this. I think what I liked about this book was that it wasn't so much about romance, but about grief and family. The majority of the book explores the characters' past and internal pain rather than their romantic relationship. Unlike some other books, the characters don't fix or rescue each other which I really appreciated. Overall, this was a pretty good book (but not necessarily my favourite) that I would recommend if you love YA. 4 Stars.


Clean by Juno Dawson
Juno Dawson writes about a number of topics, but this time she's explored addiction. I've never read about drug addiction, especially from the perspective of a rich teenage socialite. Described as a bit like a dark Gossip Girl, Clean follows Lexi as she hits rock bottom. From here, she's forced into an exclusive rehab facility with other young, rich addicts. It's not just drug overdose that these patients are in for, also everything from eating disorders to alcohol addiction. In here, she gradually gets to know the other inmates even though she doesn't want to and would rather get back to her old life. For the first time she realises the effect her privileged life has had on her mental state, and how she should probably let go of those unhealthy, damaging relationships she left behind. In the midst of everything, she is drawn to the mysterious Brady. What I loved about this book was the variety of interesting characters and how through everything Lexi can relate to them even though they seem so different at the beginning. I did think the book could have been slightly shorter as I found the ending slightly unnecessary. One thing it did well was show that setbacks are part of life and recovering from addiction doesn't happen at the click of fingers. If you're looking for something new and interesting, give this a go! 4 Stars.


The Way Back From Broken by Amber J. Keyser*
Although this book looks pretty inconspicuous from the front, I was so pleasantly surprised by it and it's become one of my favourite reads from the year. I was initially drawn to it because it takes place in the Canadian wilderness and I'm going to Canada next month; since reading I can confirm the setting sounds absolutely beautiful and Amber's writing made me feel like I was there. This book isn't really about the scenery though, it follows Rakmen Cannon who is swamped with grief and guilt after his baby sister died in his arms. He's shipped off to a cabin in Canada with ten-year-old Jacey and her mother, who go to his support group. Although he initially finds Jacey annoying and the cabin suffocating, he starts coming around to her and spending more time in the wilderness. This is a really short book but I found it was actually the perfect length for the story. I didn't know there was going to be quite so much adventure and suspense by the end of the book; by the time you're halfway through, you won't be able to stop reading. I could say a lot more about it, but I'll just say I think this is definitely a hidden gem. Even though you've probably never heard of this, I would SO recommend you pick this up. 5 Stars.


*Review Copy


-Emma

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