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    Book Review: I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

    I Wanna Be Where You Are.pngSecret road trips, childhood-friend-turned-enemy-turned-love-interest, a cute dog, and of course several bumps along the way, I Wanna Be Where You Are is chock-full of all sorts of typical tropes from YA romance – AND I LOVED EVERY BIT OF IT.

    If you have read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, you may feel like you are reading its cousin here. Definitely in the same family, but enough differences to not be identical. As it turns out, I loved Matson’s book when I first read it a few years ago and have re-read it a couple of times since. I have a feeling the same is going to happen with this one because I just can’t get enough of it.

     


    Synopsis (from Goodreads):

    When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot a the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbour Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the East Coast – two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.

    Published: 4th June 2019

    Read: 20th August 2019


     

    There was nothing overly complicated or unexpected about this book, but sometimes that works best. No extra fluff or overly dramatic, just a plain old good YA romance. It has been a while since I read a YA book actually, not to mention a half decent one, so I welcomed this one with open arms right from the very first page. I am also making a conscious effort to not just read books with white female protagonists written by white authors, which again made this book stand out to me in Forest’s description of looking in the mirror at ballet and realising that her body was different to all the other girls.

    There was no hanging about at the start of this, which I liked, and it was pretty much straight into the road trip. This just worked. We were introduced to all the necessary people, we knew everything we had to know so far. As someone who waffles A LOT when they write, I can appreciate a nice tightly-written story.

    Although this is a fairly bright and breezy book, there certainly were more meaningful themes discussed throughout, in particular the pressure Chloe felt to be perfect and live up to expectations following trauma.

    Chloe’s love of dance was a welcome aspect to the story, and not something that has come up in a lot of YA books that I have read before. It is quite clear throughout that Forest also has a love of dance. Those feelings and experiences definitely felt like the truth, making it all the more believable and relatable.

    I read this in one sitting, in the space of a few hours. It was nothing ground-breaking in terms of plot, but altogether a pretty wonderful representation of real life.

    Also, can we just agree on the fact that this is one of the prettiest covers you have seen in a long time?

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    book review, books, fiction

    Book Review: A Keeper by Graham Norton

    A Keeper.png

    Honestly, I had no idea that Graham Norton could write.

    I had totally missed the boat and didn’t realise that he published a fiction book back in 2016, Hiding, so, as I said this week in my WWW Wednesday #5 post, imagine my surprise seeing his name in WH Smith in Heathrow Airport when I was looking for something to occupy my brain for the last leg of my 30-hour journey back to Scotland from Sydney. My plan was to buy the first book that caught my eye, and this was it.

     


    Synopsis (from Goodreads):

    When Elizabeth Keane returns to England after her mother’s death, she’s focused only on saying goodbye to that dark and dismal part of her life. Her childhood home is packed solid with useless junk, her mother’s presence already fading. But within this mess, she discovers a small stash of letters – and ultimately, the truth. 

    Forty years earlier, a young woman stumbles from a remote stone house, the night quiet except for the constant wind that encircles her as she hurries deeper into the darkness away from the cliffs and the sea. She has no sense of where she is going, only that she must keep on. 


     

    One of my favourite styles of writing is when two stories are beautifully interlinked with one another, and this does exactly that. While hearing from Elizabeth in some chapters as she travels Ireland searching for the truth of her mother’s – and her own – past, this is perfectly punctuated by Patricia, her mother, and her surprising story.

    I have to admit, for the first half of the book I was enjoying it but not adoring it. It was definitely still a good book and I still wanted to keep reading and find out what happened to the two women, but it wasn’t going to make it to the top of my favourite books of 2019. However, I found there to be a sudden shift around the middle of the book and then I couldn’t put it down. As pieces of the story finally came to light, everything slotted together and became a work of art. I definitely think this is one of those books that you shouldn’t go into knowing too much about it, so I’m going to stop right there in the hope that you still get the full effect if you read it too (which I definitely think you should).

    As it turns out, Graham Norton should not only be known for his hilarious TV interviews with celebrities. He is a truly gifted writer too, with the ability to craft a story as beautiful and haunting as this one. This tale about family secrets, loss, identity and belonging is one that will stick with me for a while.

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    books, currently reading, fiction, list, recommendations, WWW Wednesday

    WWW Wednesday #1

     
    WWW WEDNESDAY is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words
    After randomly coming across Books and Sensibility on Bloglovin and deciding to follow Jess’s blog, I also spotted a blog post titled “WWW Wednesday”. It had a cute little graphic and so I clicked on it, to find it was a lovely little weekly post with a very simple idea behind it, and I knew I had to start doing it too.
    THE THREE W’S ARE:
    • What are you currently reading?
    • What have you recently finished reading?
    • What do you think you will read next?
    CURRENTLY READING
    I am currently reading I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson. It was specially written for World Book Day 2018 and focuses on a fourteen year old girl with severe cerebral palsy. She can’t walk or talk or communicate at all, but her mind is completely intact. She can see and hear everything happening around her, something which she says people often forget. She relies on her family and her carer for everything, and knows all sorts of secrets about everyone. These are harmless, until someone tells her a secret that changes everything. I am really enjoying this so far and I love how unique the perspective is!
    RECENTLY READ
    I have just finished reading A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. I have always said I’m not much of a fantasy gal, but this has totally changed the game for me. I don’t want to say too much on this subject right now because I am planning on doing either individual reviews for the books or a series review once I have read Wings and Ruin. If you follow me on Twitter, you will know how much I have been raving about this series recently and how much I feel like I have missed out on by not reading much fantasy romance till now!
    READING NEXT
    Carrying on from that, I plan on reading book 3 in the ACOTAR series, sooner rather than later. I also want to read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng which has had a lot of hype surrounding it recently, and The Party by Elizabeth Day.
    What are you reading at the moment?
    *****
    Help a fellow book gal out – shop your TBR list on Book Depository using my affiliate link here. Thank you so much! Will pay back in long rambly blog posts and overly enthusiastic book reviews.
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