This is 4 mini reviews that I am trying to catch up on – they were all read last year. 3 Young-Adult and 1 mystery/thriller. These were all part of my beat the back list reads.
Author: Ann Morgan
Published: 12th January 2016
Date read: 23rd October 2017
Beside Myself is a literary thriller about identical twins, Ellie and Helen, who swap places aged six. At first it is just a game, but then Ellie refuses to swap back. Forced into her new identity, Helen develops a host of behavioural problems, delinquency and chronic instability. With their lives diverging sharply, one twin headed for stardom and the other locked in a spiral of addiction and mental illness, how will the deception ever be uncovered? Exploring questions of identity, selfhood, and how other people’s expectations affect human behaviour, this novel is as gripping as it is psychologically complex.
*I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion*
I love a family drama mystery and the synopsis instantly pulled me in. Identical twins that swap places! surely the mother would realise or friends and family? Apart from the twins being identical in appearance their personalities are very different. Helen is the devious one, she has loads of friends and is confident, whereas Ellie is perhaps a bit behind for her age and has some social problems. One day Helen thinks it will be fun to play tricks on people by swapping identities and seeing whether they can tell. Only for Helen this is the biggest mistake of her life as Ellie doesn’t want to return to her former self and starts to reinvent herself and be Helen permanently. This lead Helen’s mental health to spiral out of control and becomes instantly labelled as a troublemaker by family and friends as she constantly tries to tell them that they have swapped. Years later when Helen has been cast out by her family, it’s only when a tragedy occurs that she is swept back into the drama by meeting her sister’s husband and daughter.
This book got a little confusing for me, I was having a little of a hard time of trying to keep up with who was who. At times I was skeptical towards the plot as it felt unrealistic in parts.The Mother was just an awful human being and treated her children badly.. This was difficult to read as Helen had such a tragic life and everything and one seemed to be against her. I would recommend reading if you enjoy family psychological drama.
Overall I rated this book 3/5 stars.
Author: Jim Carrington
Published: 19th November 2015
Genre: Sci-fi, Young-Adult
Date Read:6th November 2017
Boy 23 isn’t in My Place any more. He can’t see The Screen, he can’t hear The Voice. Boy 23 is alone.
One dark night, Boy 23 is thrown in the back of the van and driven out of My Place – the only home he has ever known. He is abandoned in a forest with a rucksack containing the bare essentials for survival. Before the van drives away, a voice tells him he must run as far as he can. His life depends on it. Boy 23 has never known another human. Boy 23 has never even been outside. So who is he? Why do people want to kill him? And more to the point, who is the voice that wants to save him?
A hugely fast-paced dystopian page-turner which by the end will leave you in a state of shock. For fans of Chaos Walking and Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
I think this was one of the very first books that I requested on Netgalley and I can’t even remember why I requested it, it’s not really something that I would go for. However I requested and finally read it and now reviewing :). This is a science-fiction/dystopian Young adult book, it is hard to categorise as it felt like several genres. We follow this boy and he is known as Boy 23 and lives in ‘My Place’ he doesn’t have any human contact and has no idea of the outside world, he communicates with ‘The voice’ who tells him his schedule and is a role model of such.One night Boy 23 is bundled in to the boot of a car and dumped into the woods with a backpack and ‘the voice’ telling him to run as far away as possible. With never being outside before he doesn’t know foe from friend. Someone is out to get him but he needs to let the right people know that he exists before he is captured. This book was OK! It was fast paced with an air of mystery, however it took a long time for the big reveal and I was getting a little bored to be honest. The writing was not the greatest and the use of ‘Squizz’ and ‘yomping’ was way too much and started irritating the hell out of me. The world building was pretty non-existent, we knew that it was set in Germany but we didn’t get much more than that.
I rated this 2.75/5 stars.
Author: Anne Cassidy
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Published: 21st September 2017
Genre: Young-Adult Contemporary
Source: NetGalley and Publisher
Date read: 13th November 2017
The powerful companion to NO VIRGIN.
From the author of the critically acclaimed, LOOKING FOR JJ, shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize in 2004 and the Carnegie Medal in 2005.
Stacey Woods has been raped and now she has to go through a different ordeal – the court trial. But nothing in life it seems is black and white and life is not always fair or just. Suddenly it seems that she may not be believed and that the man who attacked her may be found not guilty . . . if so Stacey will need to find a way to rebuild her life again . . .
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*
This is the companion novel to ‘No Virgin’ which I read in November 2016. This is the court trial that Stacey has to go through to get justice. She wants to see the man who raped her sent to prison and for him not to be able to prey on innocent young girls and carry out such a heinous act again. We see Stacey question herself whether she is strong enough mentally to go through with the trial and face her attacker once again. Stacey needs this to start rebuilding her life and looking to the future of university. She tries to convince another girl who has been attacked to go to the police to build a stronger case. I really think that both of these books could have been one book together than two separate novellas, However I did like seeing the court case and how brutal it can be when things are twisted and people appear to be something they are not. We still had her best friend included and the court case brought her family closer together. This again had powerful messages of seeking justice and support.
I rated this 3 out of 5 stars
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Mira Ink
Published: 7th April 2016
Genre: Young-Adult Contemporary
Source: NetGalley and Publisher
Date read:26th November 2017
An intense look at the rules of high school attraction – and the price that’s paid for them.
It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn’t matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.
This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, “pretty” and “ugly.” And it’s also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
This is the first time I have read anything my Siobhan Vivien, so I didn’t quite no what to expect. This is told by multiple characters attending high school. Every year a list is created naming the ugliest and prettiest girls – no-one know who creates this list but it can be brutal and we see the impact that it has on our characters and how they deal with bullying. I didn’t really like this story there were too many perspectives and I felt that nothing really felt resolved at the end. What I did like was that it allowed us to see how it affects people and how they are treated when something so superficial is posted around high school – the characters are at an impressionable age and something like this can scar you for life.
I rated 2 out of 5 stars
Thanks for reading