My first exam is in 29 days, and my last is in 51. That last exam will be the last exam. The last exam of my life. Unless I decide at some point that I do want to go to university, in which case... really, future Amber? You're going to put us in all that debt? Rude.
51 days, then, is how long I have to wait until I can tackle all the books I've been wanting to read for forever. We're on the home stretch, now. It's weird, though - I realised the other day that it's been close to a decade since I completely had time to myself; no homework to guilt-trip me into putting my book down, no seemingly-endless revision plans... I am very grateful to have been educated so well (and in so many different forms!) especially when so many people in other countries aren't; in fact, so many people in this country aren't. But it's weird to look back and see how much time it's taken out of your life, and how much time you'll have afterwards (well, until someone finally decides I would make an excellent employee, which I WOULD, by the way.)
Every year as it gets closer to exam time, my unread books look more and more inviting - but I resist, for the most part. Here are the books from which I'm having to restrain myself this time...
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
If you watched my January book haul, you'll know the story of how this came into my hands - and yet, as excited as I was, I still haven't had time to read it! I am no less excited, though, as this book focuses on racism and classism, and was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
This was unsolicited, and usually the unsolicited review copies that end up coming through my letterbox aren't really up my street. However - this one seems to be! Described as a 'compulsively-readable romance', protagonist Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, and can't resist opening up and writing back to this 'perfect' stranger. But neither of them knows that they're not actually strangers... intriguing.
Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
Ah, the sequel to an amazing book, and even featured in my list of most-anticipated reads of 2017... and yet, despite my proof copy, I still haven't got to it. However - silver lining - the later I leave it, the closer it'll be to the next book in the series, meaning I won't have long to wait...
Wanderlost by Jen Malone
IT'S A ROMANTIC ROAD-TRIP THROUGH EUROPE. I DON'T THINK I NEED TO SAY ANYTHING ELSE.
My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger
A dark Hollywood novel in which our protagonist is offered a job researching the murderous Manson girls for a film. But soon enough, according to the book's synopsis, among the fake smiles and glitter-fuelled parties, things turn from strange, to dark, to dangerous. I seriously do not know how I haven't got to this sooner. Come on.
The Selection by Kiera Cass
This book has fallen into my hands so many times, it must be fate. The first time was years ago when it first came out in the UK and I was sent a review copy. It didn't look like my kind of thing. It somehow ended up under my bed, discovered years later and given to charity. A few months later, I wanted to do a nice thing for a friend (shout-out to you, Charli) and so I tricked her into telling me what book she was after at the time. It was this one. Of course. So I bought it for her as a surprise. THEN, everyone seemed to be freaking out over the series and how good it is, so I bought ANOTHER ONE. FOR MYSELF. AND I STILL HAVEN'T READ IT. AND NOW IT'S BEEN UNDER MY BED FOR GOD KNOWS HOW LONG, AND THE CYCLE IS REPEATING ITSELF. I will get to it one day. I will.
The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
I remember seeing this on Twitter and remarking at how brilliant it sounded, and the next thing I knew, it was sliding through my letterbox from the lovely team at Bloomsbury. I was so happy! But also under a mountain of schoolwork. I cannot wait to finally read this - especially as Bloomsbury was kind enough to send it to me when I was fangirling over it.
Room by Emma Donoghue
My mum read this before it was cool. I didn't. So annoying. Before anyone even knew it was going to be a film, she read it, loved it, and recommended it to me so much that she ended up just giving me her copy. And then I didn't read it. And now it's a really popular film. Why am I like this?
Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley
This has had so many good reviews, and it's about a guy who's agoraphobic, and I very much enjoy seeing how authors tackle the topic. SOON.
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
This will be my first Adam Silvera book! I don't know anyone who doesn't love his work, so I can't wait to read it for myself, especially as it contains themes of OCD, LGBT, and a whole lot of drama...
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Soooo... confession: I haven't read this. I know. I can't quite believe it, either. I can't wait to see what all the hype is about, though.
The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Set in 1970s Alaska, four very different people come together under unlikely circumstances. The cover and title are beautiful - and, according to reviews, so are the words inside.
Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon
I've had this proof for a long time - a long, long time - and even now, my Twitter feed is often full of people tweeting their thanks to the author, and recommending it to anyone who will listen.
The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
I bought this a while ago on the recommendation of @DailyJulianne on Twitter. The book is described on Goodreads as 'a fast-paced international escapade ... perfect for fans of Ally Carter', which sounds exciting! I think I got this during my GCSEs which is why I never got round to it... oops.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Okay, so I actually picked this up and read a fair amount, but then I got busy and it somehow dropped off my radar... aka I lost it. From what I read, it seemed pretty good, so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in again... although I'll have to start from the beginning.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick is one of my favourite actresses, and I find her hilarious. Like, even her tweets have me in stitches, and they're cut down to 140 characters, so... a book of full-length essays is probably going to hospitalise me. We shall see.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
The release of its film trailer last month caused a lot of hurt to disabled people due to inaccurate and unrealistic representation. As this is a book I've wanted to read for years, I will still be reading it, but I'm glad this discussion took place as I can now go into it more critically, and aware of its issues.
The IT Girl by Katy Birchall
The IT Girl has been compared to Waiting For Callback by Perdita and Honor Cargill, one of my favourite books, and seeing as I have the trilogy (thanks Egmont!) I cannot wait to give it a go. Plus, the author is lovely!
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
I think I picked this up at the Pan Macmillan blogger's brunch in December 2015 and, similarly to The IT Girl, it has been compared to a book I loved: Asking For It by Louise O'Neill. This book tackles some important subjects and I can't wait to finally read it.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
The second book by the author of Everything, Everything... interestingly, this book has been praised for its representation of POC, so perhaps this will be better. Also, I literally just found out that this is set in New York City, aka my fave. Pleasebebetterpleasebebetterpleasebebetter.
Two Summers by Aimee Friedman
Something tells me this is going to be an awesome book to kick off the summer... it's set in France and New York. I LOVE BOOKS SET IN THESE PLACES. ASDFGHJKL.
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
The first thing I noticed when I received this was the strap-line, which is 'five strangers walk into detention. Only four walk out alive.' Need I say more?
Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
To be honest, I don't even know when I got this. It's been that long. It sounds interesting though, set in the unusual location of a boarding school for ill teens.
The Last Beginning by Lauren E. James
I LOVED the first book in this series, The Next Together, and pined after the second instalment for ages... and then, when I got a copy, I didn't actually have time to read it; always the way. I highly recommend the first book - it's so cleverly done.
Ink by Alice Broadway
Ink is the book everyone's been talking about recently - and the cover is beautiful; you can see it in action here!
This Beats Perfect by Rebecca Denton
From what I've heard, a girl finds herself backstage at a gig, and expects to hate it... but accidentally goes viral. I love music in YA, so I can't wait to get to this one!
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I've never read anything by Stiefvater. I know, terrible. I actually read a chapter of this AGES ago and just couldn't get into it, but lots of people have told me to persevere, so I will. It'd better be good, guys.
Rebel Bully Geek Pariah by Erin Lange
Another popular author whose books I haven't read... oops. Rebel Bully Geek Pariah is said to be like The Breakfast Club rebooted, and the coming together of these four strangers will change their lives forever.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I bought this when it was reduced after the film came out, because I wanted to see if all the hype was true. Unfortunately, I haven't got round to it yet, and to be honest it's not really one of my priorities. It sounds interesting, though, and once I have time - I'll read it!
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
I LOVE CAITLIN MORAN. Seriously, if you haven't seen her TV show Raised by Wolves (axed, sad face) you absolutely need to - I'm sure it's online somewhere. She is awesome and I cannot wait to read this (as well as Moranifesto!)
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
I have this rule about reading a book before seeing its film adaptation, so when I won a copy of the DVD but not the book, naturally I had to get the books. And I still really want to see the film... but I haven't read the book. @ myself: hurry up, please.
Which books will you be reading after exams? Have you read any of these, and what did you think?