Sunday, 25 September 2016

7 Reasons You Need to Read The 100 by Kass Morgan

Title: The 100
Author: Kass Morgan
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 29th August 2013
Pages: 323
Genres: Young Adult/Sci-fi
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought.

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries - until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents - considered expendable by society - are being sent on a dangerous mission: to re-colonise the planet. It could be their second chance at life... or it could be a suicide mission.

Clarke was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. Wells, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves - but will she ever forgive him? Reckless Bellamy fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only siblings in the universe. And Glass managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.

1. It's set in space and on Earth. It's the best of both worlds, literally.

2. This trilogy is a space-age Titanic with hints of Divergent and Monument 14. I mean, really, what more could you want?

3. The world-building is absolutely believable, especially at the rate we're destroying our world... (I'm a cheerful little soul)

4. I flew through the entire trilogy in a weekend. NO REGRETS.

5. Usually with books that have alternating POVs, there's one character's POV that you really don't care about and you always want to skip it, but - in my opinion - that's not the case with The 100. I was interested in each of them, and the pacing was spot-on.

6. The TV series looks pretty cool, but if you're a stickler for reading before watching, then, well... you'll just have to read them, won't you.

7. It's original, clever, and suspenseful. I wish there was a fourth book because, damn, that ending...

Have you read/watched The 100?

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

5 Teen Bloggers You Should Check Out

If you don't know what #teenbloggerschat is, it's a weekly Twitter chat aimed at teen bloggers which myself, Jack, Hannah and Holly set up earlier this year. I've already written a blog post with all the info, so today I'll be telling you about some of my new favourite teen bloggers... all of whom I discovered through #teenbloggerschat!

In no particular order...

1. The Savage Savannah

I think this is the only blog that can make me laugh out loud. Feel free to try and prove me wrong. I mean, it's more of a sudden exhalation through the nose than a proper laugh, but not many blogs can even make me do that, so the thought is there. (In all seriousness, there's a brilliant mix of posts there.)

Check out: Slut Shaming | Struggles of Wearing Glasses #2 | Guy Reacts to Beauty Products

2. Twist in the Taile

Eve writes so eloquently, has a ridiculously pretty blog, and is so lovely. My favourite thing about her blog posts is that they combat stereotypes and prove that young people do actually have opinions on some of the things that effect us (who knew?).

Check out: Gender and School Sport |  Why is My Blog Like This? | Why I Love LGBTQ+ Retellings

3. Blue Books and Butterflies

Chioma's posts are so thought-provoking and I always enjoy her contributions to #teenbloggerschat. Blue Books and Butterflies is a book blog, but Chioma posts about a variety of other things, too, which is my personal must-have when it comes to finding new favourite blogs!

Check out: Reading Experience vs Literary Analysis | Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee | Bright Lights, Dark Nights by Stephen Emond

4. The Amanda Way

You know by now that I love a varied blog, and The Amanda Way definitely is. With travel, photography, music, beauty, fashion and more, there's something for everyone. I especially love her gorgeous photos. (Also, irrelevant, but she's really pretty. Like, how? #Goals.)

5. A Hufflepuff's Thoughts

Elly is one of the nicest people ever and her blog title is a Harry Potter reference. HELLO. Her blog is pretty and there's something for everyone - I especially like her more personal posts, like 'Writer's Block' which I very much relate to at the moment...

Check out: Writer's Block | Conversations with Friends | Who Am I REALLY?

Who are your favourite bloggers?

Friday, 16 September 2016

Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

Title: Holding Up The Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Published by: Penguin Random House UK
Publication date: 6th October 2016
Pages: 388
Genres: YA Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout. But no one's taken the time to look past her weight to see who she really is. Since her mum's death, she's been picking up the pieces at home, but now Libby's ready for high school.

I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he's got swagger, but he's also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack can't recognise faces, a secret he must keep at all costs.

Be charming. Be hilarious. Don't get too close to anyone.

Then Jack meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game, they're both angry, and then surprised. Because sometimes when you meet someone it changes the world - theirs and yours.

At the beginning of last year, my blog was consumed by all things Jennifer Niven - and so was everyone else's. All The Bright Places was the new and exciting debut that everyone was talking about, and since then, readers have been eagerly but nervously awaiting Niven's second novel.

Holding Up The Universe didn't have the most graceful of reveals. Nine months ago when the book was announced, the online world was once again freaking out over one of Jennifer Niven's books - but not in a good way. "This sounds so horribly offensive" and "no no no no" are just some of the early comments that you can see on Goodreads, next to a billion one-star ratings based on the synopsis alone. Here's an extract from a review I found on Goodreads, which pretty much sums up all the rest from that time (before anyone had even read the book, I should add.)

[sic] "'She had to be lifted from her house by a crane' WHO THE FUCK WROTE THAT SYNOPSIS. THATS NOT OKAY. JUST DON'T SAY SHIT LIKE THAT. YA is so inclusive to the tiny, skinny pretty girls that when we get a fat character, she's viewed as the butt of a joke. And that is not diversty. 

And the boy, who most likely will be seen as some odd feature of society whose mental illness is viewed as a quirk that can be changed with love and a relationship. NO THANKS.

As someone with mental illness and is also fat (and proud af about it), I can say for 100% certain that I will NOT read this book."

I'm just going to address a few things. Okay, first: there are people in the world who have had to be lifted from their house with a crane. That's a thing that people deal with. Why shouldn't they be included? The girl in the book who is lifted with a crane is confident, badass and proud of her size. She is definitely not the butt of a joke.

As for the boy, Jack? He doesn't even have a mental illness. Prosopagnosia is a neurological condition that can lead to mental illness but isn't one itself, and it's not a quirk that can be changed with love. Prosopagnosia doesn't have treatment or even a cure, and isn't a changeable condition.

So... yeah. I'm not overweight and I don't have Prosopagnosia, so I might not be the best person to say this, but I couldn't see anything offensive. I actually thought everything was handled very well. I loved Libby's confidence in herself and admired her courage to start living again after her mother's death. Jack fascinated me, and I actually learned a lot from this book. Like, did you know that one in 50 people can't recognise faces? And that Brad Pitt is one of them? Or that the part of your brain that recognises faces is above your right ear? Me neither. I'd never even heard of Prosopagnosia before reading Holding Up The Universe. It was clear to me that a ridiculous amount of research had been done, and it lists in the acknowledgements the amount of experts Niven spoke to to ensure the novel's authenticity. 

I liked All The Bright Places, Niven's debut, but this is miles better and I loved it. If you're one of the people who saw the old synopsis (that I don't think Niven herself even wrote, but I could be wrong?) and decided against reading this: I recommend giving this book another chance. It's brilliant, hopeful, exhilarating and, frankly, very interesting; I could hardly tear my eyes away from the page.