Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard Review (No Spoilers)

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Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan Publishers for sending me an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, all opinions are mine only.

Title: Beautiful Broken Things

Author: Sara Barnard

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Pages: 326

My Rating: 5/5 stars

I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

Okay, wow, I don’t even know where to begin with this book… Do I start with the end or the beginning…? Going into this book, I had no idea what to expect, but coming out of it, I was so pleasantly surprised, no wait, overwhelmed at what I just read. This story was absolutely phenomenal and something that I think the YA community has really been missing out on! A brilliantly poignant tale of how friendships are the most crucial part of teenage life- I fell head-over-heels in love with it!

So I think it’s fair to say that I was really affected by this book… the friendships and the characters were so realistic that I genuinely felt like I was reading about real people. Rosie, Caddy and Suzanne certainly were not perfect and at times they were annoying but I didn’t mind that! It made them seem more human, and then to me, all the more likeable. Barnard’s characters are so different and yet their sparse similarities are what pull them together and make their unlikely bond a lot stronger.

Like I said, at the beginning, I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, and even 100 or so pages in, I still had no idea where the story was going to go and I loved that! I loved the feeling of complete uncertainty and having no clue what was going to happen to create the inevitable story arc.

Shall we just skip to the ending? and my feels… It’s the first time I’ve talked about this since it happened but it was just beautiful. Well, not my tears. I remember really clearly the whole scene when I finished. I was lying on my bed with my head hanging off so everything was upside down and suddenly the water works just came on and I started sobbing my eyes out! I just remember my forehead getting really wet and thinking ‘this is really weird, I’m crying backwards’ but at the same time thinking ‘whyyyyy, whyyyyy!’

Ugh, I know, the feels.

For anybody who’s a fan of books, I seriously consider checking out Sara Barnard’s debut novel on the Goodreads and definitely pre-ordering it on the Amazon, you will not be disappointed!

Goodreads link- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25437747-beautiful-broken-things?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon link (pre-order)-http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/150980353X?keywords=beautiful%20broken%20things&qid=1446151419&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1

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Liquidator by Andy Mulligan Review (No Spoilers)

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Thank you so much to David Fickling Press for sending me a press release copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. This does not affect my opinion, all opinions are mine only.

Title: Liquidator

Author: Andy Mulligan

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Comedy, Thriller

Pages: 416

My Rating: 4.5/5

LIQUIDATOR! The brand-new, delicious and wildly popular energy drink. “For those who wanna win!” The company that makes it is set to earn a fortune, with its global launch climaxing at an international rock concert that will SHAKE the planet. The only problem?An innocent child is dying. Meet Vicky and her class-mates – their work experience is about to spin totally out of control as they uncover a secret that could change the world. And put them all in mortal danger …From the award-winning author of TRASH comes an action-packed thriller full of danger, hilarity and – above all – friendship.

When I first got my hands on this book, my first impression was how intriguing the book looked as a whole. That sounds weird but honestly this book has the full package. Spread throughout this book are emails, posters, text conversations … Everything that is mentioned in the book is visually given and that is one of my favourite things ever. I love when a book has visual elements- it really adds to the whole experience! Also, I really liked the ‘spillages’ on every page. Seeing as this book is about a drink that may not be what it seems it was really fitting to have spillages of the drink everywhere. I found it so clever how the number of spillages on each character’s pages corresponded to their traits. That sounds confusing but you’ll understand when I talk about the characters.

Okay, plot. The whole pacing of the book was so, so fast because the story was just so fluid and easy to fly through. It made me feel really great that I managed to get through a 400 page book in three or four days. I loved the whole idea of setting the story around work experience, especially as I have already don’t some work experience and I will be doing it again next year. So I really related to the feelings that the characters, especially Vicky, felt- all the stress and the tiredness and just the general teenage feels. One of the really amazing things about this book is the speed at which we got into the action. Literally, there was action 50 pages in and it was actually crucial to the story line rather than early action that doesn’t mean much… I can’t really say too much more about the plot without giving away spoilers but just know it was such a fun, fast-paced read. A hell of a ride.

Yay! Let’s move on to my favourite part of the story which was the characters! When I first saw that this book was going to be written from no less than 10 perspectives, I was a little nervous because I sometimes find it really difficult to distinguish between different character voices- sometimes they just seem a little bit too similar to me. But here, it was as if every character was a real friend of mine and I was reading about a story they’d all been on together. Also, every single character was different. Take Vicky for example. I knew from the moment i started reading about her that she was the dominant one, the leader of the group. It was the fact that she had so many more chapters than anybody else that told me that. Edgar. I could tell that he was gay and that he had a crush on….. someone, I’m not going to say who- read it to find out! He was my favourite character because he gave me all the feels and he was just so adorable. I won’t comment on all ten characters but there are two more that deserve honourable mentions. First is Michael. Remember earlier when I said that the spillages on the pages represented each characters traits? Well Michael’s pages were completely clean if that tells you anything. I sussed him out to be the OCD, scared of everything child who wanted to be somebody but was brought up in such a way that he didn’t know how. And I was right, hopefully. Lastly is KatKat, wow she was a character. I think she was a little full of herself but didn’t exactly know it. She just had little touches. Like the way she named all her chapters dramatic things and no one else did. She made me giggle.

As you can probably grasp by now, there is a hugely eclectic mix of characters and character traits which I absolutely loved and gave the story a whole new dimension. Each character went on a completely different work experience but the way in which Andy Mulligan weaves it all together is practically ingenious. I loved his writing style and the way everything flowed so fluidly, it was just perfect. There was never a moment where I felt confused or as if the story was lacking in some sort of edge or plot twist. This book covers every genre and I had such a good time reading this.

Highly, highly recommended and I wouldn’t mind giving this a re-read some time in the future!

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27223936-liquidator

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Review (No Spoilers)

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This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…

I’m sure most of you will know about this book and there have definitely been some incredibly mixed things going around about it. I mean, some people really hate this book and they just cannot see and differences between this and any other YA books and then there are some who absolutely love this book and have it as one of their favourite books of 2015.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this and I really don’t see how people could hate it as much as they do. but I’m also not obsessed with it like some people. That does not mean it’s a bad book, honestly I really enjoyed it and I read it so fast and trust me, the betrayal was on point!

Okay, let’s back up a bit and talk about plot. The initial plot of this, I felt, was a dead end and I couldn’t see anywhere it could go. I also thought the separate elements didn’t fit together and I was so so confused… But when I persevered and pressed on and everything began to unravel I was so surprised! There were actually times when I was reading the book and something happened that was so unexpected, I had to put the book down and go for a walk and generally catch my breathe. No joke.

The idea of separate societies is definitely not unique, but the idea of division by blood is something that I really enjoyed and was really unique to me. I really like how Victoria Aveyard made you question something that should be so obvious- who was Silver and who was Red and then once you think you’ve finally sussed it out, everything just flips around and confuses you! I think I yelled multiple times whilst reading this book. Honestly, if you want all the fangirl feels then you should really check out this book!

I think my favourite character in the whole book was… Cal. Or Mare… I can’t tell. But let me tell you, I ship those two so much! I can’t tell whether there was a purposeful love triangle going on… I don’t think I ever hated Cal who I think we were pushed to try and hate for a while. The only thing I could possibly question about Mare is that she doesn’t like any other female character and I think that’s really sad and maybe she’d be happier if she had just one girl she could connect with… that’s all I can say…

I absolutely loved Victoria Aveyard’s writing style. I found it to be so fluid and I just whizzed through the book so fast because her writing was so suspenseful and mysterious and I just needed to know what happened because every chapter ended on a cliffhanger which resulted in me reading 100s of pages in one sitting.

I would highly recommend this book to anybody who is looking for a suspenseful dystopian with all the fangirl feels and a fast pace. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I recommend it to anybody who just likes books!

Red Queen Goodreads link- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17878931-red-queen?from_search=true&search_version=service