Monday 23 July 2018

Review on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

When Simon Spier's classmate reads his emails, his whole world comes crashing down. Simon has been anonymously emailing Blue, a boy who is also hiding his identity. Simon knows that Blue goes to his school and is in his year, but has no way of discovering his identity. However, Simon shares a secret with Blue, something they have never shared with anyone else, which is they are both gay. Simon finds himself falling for Blue, and wanting to know his real identity, but will Simon feel the same way about Blue when he discovers who he really is?

OKAY I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING!! You're thinking this book should be right up my alley, why on earth haven't I read it sooner? I have no answer other than I'm a terrible person who procrastinates a lot. Honestly the only reason I read it when I did was because I was going to see Love,Simon, and refused to be one of those people who see the movie without reading the book. I'm also writing this review right before I see Love, Simon, so I don't get book details confused with movie details! Anyway, on with the review!

So if you've been living under a rock, the book is about a boy called Simon who has been emailing a boy from his school who he knows only as Blue. Both Simon and Blue are gay and in the closet, and find comfort in talking to each other about things they can't tell their friends or family. However, Simon's secret is in danger of being revealed when his classmate Martin reads his emails, and blackmails Simon into trying to get his friend Abby to go out with him. This review is just going to be me gushing about how much I love this book. I'm a pretty slow reader, but I read this in two days, and honestly didn't want it to end! My only regret is that I didn't read it sooner, as I have really been missing out on having Simon in my life.

One of the many things I loved about this book was the theme of friendship. Simon has a tight knit group of friends who he does everything with, and I was actually quite envious of this! True friendships are difficult to come by, and I hate to agree with Martin, but Simon was lucky to have such great friends who accepted him no matter what. I loved that the group wasn't perfect, and Simon argued with them all at some point, but what I loved was that although they fell out and disagreed, they always came back together. I felt that this was a sign of a strong friendship, as it's so easy to fall out with a friend and never speak to them again. I also loved that Abby was a part of their group, as she was a new addition. I feel as if it's difficult to get into a group of friends who have been friends for years without feeling like an outsider, so I loved how Simon seemed just as close with her as he was with Nick and Leah.

One of the main plot points is Simon trying to guess Blue's identity, and I was surprised that I correctly guessed who Blue was about halfway through the book. I'm not sure if it was obvious or if I'm the next Sherlock Holmes, but I seemed to be picking up on clues that Simon wasn't. I thought that Simon would have figured it out before meeting Blue, but I have to admit that their first meeting was completely adorable.

With the exception of Martin I adored all the characters, and I especially loved how the typical American high school cliques weren't a thing. Simon was friends with both the football players and the theatre geeks, and I loved how certain stereotypes were broken, such as the lead in the theatre group being nice instead of being bitchy, and the jocks being smart. I particularly loved Leah, and the fact that she loved anime and shipped Drarry made me wish she was a real person so I could be friends with her! I did feel sorry for Leah at times, especially when her friends went out somewhere without inviting her. It's horrible feeling as if your friends don't want you around, so I related to how horrible it made Leah feel.

Just in case anyone hasn't read the book or watched the movie I won't reveal Blue's identity, but I have to talk about the romance as it was completely adorable. I'm all for including sexy times in YA, but the fact that there wasn't any of that didn't bother me, as the romance was just so pure and adorable! My heart couldn't cope with the cute, and Blue was the purest cinnamon roll who instantly clicked with Simon when they met. They were both so cute and shy around each other and honestly I think I have a new OTP!

I'm really looking forward to seeing the movie which I will have seen by the time this review goes up. (Update from me in the future: IT WAS AMAZING!) and I think I am now officially a Becky fan!

  | Amazon Book Depository

Monday 16 July 2018

Blog Tour- A Bad Boy Stole My Bra

Hellllooooo, welcome to my stop on the A Bad Boy Stole My Bra blog tour. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the book with you all with a good ole fashion review.

When Alec Wilde moves in next door, the last thing Riley expects is to find him in her room in the middle of the night holding her bra! When Alec refuses to give it back (it was a dare after all) Riley decides to get her revenge with a series of pranks. Riley soon discovers that Alec isn't just the bad boy everyone thinks he is, and there may be a reason as to why he acts that way. However, Riley has her own secret, something so terrible that she hasn't even told her best friend. Riley must decide between revealing her secret to her friends or cutting herself off from them, but which will she choose?

So the cover of this book is eye-catching to say the least! The title of this book is brilliant, and it immediately reminded me of the Georgia Nicolson books. I love reading funny books, so I was excited to read this one.

The book follows Riley, a girl who wakes up in the middle of the night to find her attractive new neighbour in her room stealing her bra! After trying and failing to get it back, Riley decides to get him back by pranking him. I loved the pranks and how Riley got herself into some hilariously awkward situations. The pranks often backfired on her and I loved the playful relationship she had with Alec. The lighthearted funny moments were exactly what I had expected from this book!

I usually love a good plot twist, but I didn't really enjoy the subplot involving Riley's cousin. I felt as if it made the story too dark, and this wasn't hinted at in the summary, and definitely didn't fit in with the bright yellow cover! I feel as if people who read this book wanting a funny, cheesy romance probably won't enjoy this part, as to me it just didn't fit in with the rest of the book.

Apart from Riley and Alec, the rest of the characters were pretty two dimensional, especially Alec's friends who were practically interchangeable. The majority of the side characters lacked personality, and even the physical descriptions of the boys were identical. I wish fictional teenage boys would stop being described as having “chiseled abs”, as I'm pretty sure not one boy in my school had abs. Teenage boys usually don't have the time or money to hit the gym every day.

Riley was a likable character, and was easy to sympathise with. I loved that she was a geek and was obsessed with horror movies, and how she was constantly getting herself into awkward situations. I felt as if her mental health problems needed more research, as although she is described as having anxiety, to me it looked a lot more like PTSD, something that isn't brought up as often in YA. Riley's anxiety and panic attacks are always triggered by memories of a certain traumatic event from her past, but the fact that what she has is actually PTSD is never brought up. Something else that I didn't like was how Riley constantly described herself as being a loner and an outsider, which obviously isn't the case, as she is invited to house parties and is friends with some of the most popular boys in her school. As someone who went through school being constantly bullied and having one or two friends, I don't think Riley truly understood what being an outsider was.

I have mixed feelings about Alec. I found him to be sweet, kind and funny at times, and I particularly enjoyed his terrible pickup lines. However, he was also quite possessive and got angry and jealous whenever a boy showed interest in Riley despite Riley not being his girlfriend. Instead of admitting he had feelings for Riley, he acted as if he didn't care about her, which I felt was quite a childish reaction. To me, his reactions seemed too aggressive, as he even got angry when one of his friends was interested in Riley. There were times when I really wanted Riley to call him out for his behaviour, but she was quite passive.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the laugh out loud book I thought it was going to be, and although it started out promising, it soon took a more serious turn. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had just stuck to being a funny, lighthearted book, as sometimes I just want to read something happy without the characters going through life-changing trauma. I loved the pranks, the banter, the bad pick up lines and the chemistry between Riley and Alec, but unfortunately, everything else fell a little flat for me.

Monday 9 July 2018

Floored Blog Tour

So I have something a little different for you today. As you may know, Floored is a collaborative novel written by seven amazing authors! MyKindaBook came up with the awesome idea of seven bloggers collaborating to create seven different posts in whatever format we want, as long as it celebrates the release of Floored. We were each given a line from one of the first seven chapters to focus on and base our post around, and my chapter 's first line was “The woman on the reception desk knew.” This chapter was narrated by Kaitlyn, but it made me wonder what would have happened if this first line had been another character! I noticed that Kaitlyn doesn't properly interact with Hugo until they are inside the lift, so I thought it would be interesting to write a fanfiction on what I think might have happened if they had talked sooner. This is of course completely my take on things, and has nothing to do with the actual canon of the story (which is far better than my fanfiction of course!) Even though Hugo was an awful person at this point, I actually found it really fun writing a fic from his point of view!

The woman on the reception desk knew. I could tell she was trying to be subtle, trying to act as if I was just another nobody kid here for work experience, but the way she looked at me gave her away. How did she know? It's not like my face is plastered all over the front page of the tabloids like my father. Maybe mother has been talking about me? She works here, so of course the woman would know her. Everyone knows her. She probably saw the name “Delaney” and instantly knew who I was. I mean it's not exactly a common name, not a name that people around here would have. I wanted to see the look of surprise on her face when I told her that mother was actually Margot Delaney, but no, she ruined that by looking up my damn name before I could even get the words out, then stuttered something about having to do some stupid health and safety thing on the ninth floor. She didn't even tell me where the lifts were! Maybe I should tell mother about how she is clearly inadequate at her job, I'm sure she could get her fired.

The lobby looks like a zoo. People are mingling around the lifts, watching as the numbers slowly come down to the ground floor. The thought of being stuck in one of those boxes with these sweaty morons for nine floors is making me feel ill, but climbing up nine floors in this heat doesn't seem like a much better option. Someone suddenly barges into me from behind, making me stumble into the woman in front who looks at me as if I just kicked her dog.
“Don't blame me. Blame the moron who walked into me.” I turn around to see who the hell it was, and see a girl with a blue streak in her hair like some sort of crackhead smurf. Seriously, how does she think that looks good? If people from around here actually do shit like that, the north is even worse off than I thought. She hasn't even apologised for nearly knocking me over, honestly the nerve of some people.
“Oi!” I say, waving my hand in front of her face. “You blind or something?”
“Yes, actually,” she says before looking horrified. “I mean no! I'm not blind, you were just in my way.”
Oh no, this chick is actually blind. I'm officially the worst person in the world. I'm not going to apologize though, that's not what I do.
“Well you need to watch where you're going,” I say, trying to keep my voice harsh. What am I even doing? I'm yelling at a blind person. But is she really blind? She's glaring at me, her eyes practically boring into my soul. Honestly if looks could kill.
“I'm sorry your highness,” she says, the sarcasm practically dripping off her. “I'll look where I'm going next time.”
Who the hell does she think she is? I swear she better not be here for work experience too. I don't think I can cope with a week in her company. Will everyone be like her? God, I hope not or I might just have to hurl myself out of the 9th story window.
The girl smirks, obviously thinking she's got the better of me.
“You here for work experience?” I ask, hoping to god the answer is no.
“Not that it has anything to do with you, but yes,” she answers. Of fucking course. “I assume I'll have the pleasure of your company for a week.”
“Unfortunately for me, yes.” Why am I even still talking to her? Normally I wouldn't give someone like her the time of day. I mean she's pretty enough I guess, but I can't look away from that stupid blue streak for long enough to find out if I'm actually attracted to her. My guess would be no, I mean I do have standards after all.
“Dawson Sharman is here,” she blurts out before immediately looking as if she regrets it.
“Who the hell is that?”
“From Dedman High. Sorry I just, he's a bit of a dickhead actually.”
“Dawson Sha-” I trail off as I finally recognise the name. “You're fucking kidding me, the guy who had the unfortunate incident with his face?” That's what he's famous for now, the child actor who got fucked over by puberty. Honestly I thought puberty was meant to make you more attractive, but Dawson looks like he got beaten with the ugly stick. “Where is he?” I stand on my toes to try to get a better view over the lift crowd.
“Talking to the guy with the bleached teeth,” smurf girl replies.
“Ah! I see him.” I immeditetly get my phone out to snap some pictures. God, he really is hideous. I'm pretty sure he looks even worse in real life. David is going to love this.
“Do you think he's on the work experience with us?”
“Doubt it,” smurf girl replies. I should really get her name if we're going to be working together for a week. Not that it matters, after Sunday I'll never see her or her stupid hair ever again, but I guess it wouldn't be too bad to have someone to talk to.
“I'm Hugo by the way,” I say as one of the lifts finally arrives. Thank god.
“Kaitlyn,” she replies. “Nice to meet you.

 Be sure to check out the rest of the dates on the blog tour!!