A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall – Book Review

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I’ve been reading a lot of teen fantasy books lately, which I love, but I was wanting something a little different this time (pun intended). I love contemporary teen fiction books that don’t centre around high school life. I should clarify here, because until I started working in a bookstore I didn’t actually know the definition of Contemporary Young Adult Fiction. For those, who like me in the past, just have a vague idea of what this means here is an ‘official’ definition: Contemporary young adult fiction is a novel about a teenage character who lives in the current time and deals with modern day experiences and problems.

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Don’t get me wrong, I still read books set in high school (the physical place, not the time of a person’s life) and enjoy them occasionally. But I’m more of a fan of books that revolve around teenagers and their lives outside of high school. Ones that have a more intelligent and thought provoking narrative to them. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that some of my favourite young adult contemporary writers are John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Jandy Nelson (as of recently), and Stephen Chbosky. What I loved about reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell was that it was set in University. This gives the characters more freedom to explore who they are, and make hilarious and horrible and awkward mistakes. I love the sense of starting anew that you get from books set in the beginnings of university.

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That is why I was so excited when I picked up A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. Set in university, it follows the flirtation and will-they-won’t-they relationship of Gabe and Lea. The unique part was that the story is told from 14 different perspectives, none of which are Gabe or Lea’s. Each perspective is in some way connected to the two characters, and each offers a new insight into their relationship. I found this extremely adorable, especially since the way each character thinks is different.

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There were a couple things I wasn’t a huge fan of in this book. Two of the perspective were not human, one was a bench and one was a squirrel. The bench was pretty funny and allowed for some comedic relief in the story, which I kind of liked. I also understand the idea that Gabe and Lea wouldn’t always be surrounded by other people, thus making the perspective of an inanimate object necessary for a full picture into their lives. On the other hand, I really did not enjoy the squirrel’s perspective. I found the scenes with the squirrel almost irrelevant to furthering the plot, and kind of annoying and repetitive. Yes, we all understand squirrels love nuts and food, but couldn’t you give him a little more to work with?

All in all I quite enjoyed it, and would give it 3.5/5 . I would really love to read more contemporary YA fiction set in university in the future, and would love suggestions. If you have any recommendations message me 🙂

For Fans Of: Sarah Dessen, Meg Cabot, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson – Book Review

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Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.
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Read it. Read it. Read it. This is probably the best Young Adult novel that I’ve read in a long time.
Told from the alternating perspectives of twin brother and sister, Noah and Jude, you are piecing together what happened to the twins through incredibly visual narrative . Both artists, Noah and Jude see the world in swirling colours and magnificent pieces of art. I’ll Give You The Sun is one of the most beautifully descriptive books that I’ve read.
Seeing things as artists do, you can’t take the description literally, a lot of it is hyperbolic or metaphorical. If you don’t enjoy overwhelming use of artistic metaphors then this might not be the book for you, but personally I found it stunning. I honestly can’t do this book justice, you will just have to read it. It is one of those books that might even change your perspective on life.
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For Fans Of: John Green, Rainbow Rowell,  and David Levithan
P.S. All the photograph and GIFs were created by Penguin Teen

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – Book Review

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So it’s official. I’m addicted to this series. I simply must find out what happens in the end!

For a lot of series that I’ve read, the first book is usually the best in the series, it’s the one that gets you hooked. You then muster through the rest of the series with mild excitement, finished with disappointment. You will not find that with this series (well, at least so far I haven’t, but there is still one book left to read). The Evolution of Mara Dyer, the 2nd book in the Mara Dyer series, was even better than the first book.

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The Evolution of Mara Dyer delved more into both Mara and Noah’s family history, and had more interaction in general with their families. Some series remain entirely focused on the main characters, so I’m happy that this one gave me more insight into the main characters’ siblings and parents. I enjoyed how the book delved more into Noah’s point of view, and getting to experience the way he views things and how he thinks was one of my favourite parts of the book.

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This whole series seems to be about maintaining suspense and only revealing information slowly throughout the books, so I’ll keep my review short and sweet so as not to reveal too much. This book was incredibly suspenseful, and at times very creepy. I ended up staying up until 3am to finish it, I just couldn’t put it down!

For Fans Of: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, The Diviners by Libba Bray, and The Mediator series by Meg Cabot