harriet reuter hapgood

YALC Reading List Part 9!

It’s only THREE WEEKS until the big event, and only a few more books to go on our list! Thank you for sticking with it so far!

You can catch up on the earlier parts of the YALC Reading List here – one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight.

65. Alice Oseman

Book to read: Radio Silence

Alice, Alice, Alice, Alice, Alice. Radio Silence made me feel like Alice climbed into my brain and pulled this book out – she’s one of the best writers in YA at the moment, writing wonderfully diverse and original fiction that just gets pop culture and what it is to be a teenager. Radio Silence has been one of my favourite books of the year so far – it’s the first book I’ve read which tackles university applications and not being the best anymore, and I recommend it especially if you’re headed up to sixth form and starting to think about that dreaded UCAS form. Heavily recommended from me, and you can read my review here.

66. Jeff Povey

Books to read: Shift/Delete/Escape

Jeff is a screenwriter, writing for beloved BBC programmes such as Holby City and Eastenders and Shift was his first foray into teen literature. The series focuses on a group of teenagers who learn they can shift between worlds, and has been described as perfect for fans of Michael Grant, Charlie Higson and Antony Horowitz and for anyone who loves Misfits or Shaun of the Dead. The third book in the series, Escape, comes out January 2017.

67. Non Pratt

Book to read: Trouble/Remix

I remember Non from my first YALC last year, and picked up her debut novel Trouble earlier this year and loved it. You can read my review here. Trouble is the story of a pregnant teenager and her friend, who pretends to be the father, and I loved how it dealt with teenage pregnancy and the stigma around it. I’m overdue to pick up Non’s second book, Remix, which takes place over a weekend at a music festival, and I’m really looking forward to Non’s novella, Unboxed, which will be published by Barrington Stoke this August.

68. Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Book to read: The Square Root of Summer

Harriet’s debut novel features quantum physics, romance, and grief. I reviewed the book here earlier this year, and loved the family dynamics, and, of course, the physics. Gottie is mourning the death of her grandfather, and dealing with the return of a boy from her past, when she starts accidentally time travelling. This was a very promising debut novel (and a very pretty one too!)

69. Chris Russell

Book to read: Songs about a Girl

Songs about a Girl is Chris’ first YA novel , about a girl called Charlie who reluctantly becomes a photographer for the world’s hottest boyband, and then she gets caught up in a love triangle between two members of the band. This one has been a source of Twitter hype recently, has a gorgeous cover, and launches on July 28th (the day before YALC!).

70. Manuela Salvi

Book to read: Girl Detached

Manuela Salvi is an Italian author, with an illustrious career, who currently lives in London after her YA novel about underage prostitution was banned in Italy. Girl Detached is a novella for Barrington Stoke, about a girl who suffers from a stutter, except when she’s on stage, when she is hiding behind a character. This one launches in September, and is definitely one to look out for.

71. Lucy Saxon

Book to read: The Almost King

Lucy Saxon was a star at last year’s YALC with her amazing cosplays and brilliant Cosplay workshop. I haven’t read any of Lucy’s work, but I do know that she wrote the first book in this series when she was sixteen – Take Back The Skies – and the second book, The Almost King, was released last year before YALC. The first book is about a privileged girl called Catherine who runs away and pretends to be a boy and stows away on the sky ship Stormdancer.

72. C J Skuse

Book to read: The Deviants

This one is one I’m really excited for – it comes out in October and focuses on a group of friends struck by tragedy, whose friendship then deteriorates. Then, years later, they’re brought back together and must reveal their secrets to each other. I’ve heard amazing things about this book and the cover is just STUNNING.

That’s it for this week, I’ll be back next week with the penultimate part of the YALC Reading List!

annalsie

#ThisIsWhoIAm Time Capsule

To celebrate the release of The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood (review here), I’m going to be making a virtual time capsule, just like Thomas and Gottie do in the book (except theirs isn’t virtual).

First though, let’s appreciate the cover a little more…

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My Time Capsule

Favourite Photographs

So, it hasn’t happened yet, but in less than 3 months, I’ll be graduating! With some picturesque background, I’ll be all dolled up in my academic dress, this time with a big poofy gown (like a black cape rather than a ballgown) and a mortarboard – that will probably make for an interesting photo, so I’ll put it in here.

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I’d also put in a photo of my bookshelf, mostly because the book:shelf ratio is massively off, and I am struggling to fit all the books in my university room. (Pic above a little out of date – many books acquired since then). I’d also throw in a photograph of my collage wall (each room in uni comes with a huge noticeboard, and mine is covered in fashion advertisements and movie posters, as well as cinema tickets and Game of Thrones art prints). The photo below is my collage at the beginning of the year – it’s expanded a bit more now.

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Favourite Songs

This is a difficult one, so I’d probably put a copy of the ‘My Songs’ playlist from my Spotify account – it’s full of loads of random choices from pretty much every decade, and probably sums up my music taste quite well. (Think a lot of cheesy 90s stuff with power ballads, 00s R&B, and a bit of dance music thrown in).

If I had to pick three songs of the moment which I really like, it would be:

  1. Cheap Thrills by Sia; Sean Paul
  2. Me, Myself and I by G-Eazy, Bebe Rexha
  3. PILLOWTALK by ZAYN

Favourite Books

I mean, how am I meant to choose? My favourite books of 2016 so far have been:

  1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  3. How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne – review here
  4. Asking For It by Louise O’Neill – review here
  5. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – review here

However, the book that reminds me the most of SUMMER 2016 so far has to be The Square Root of Summer!

Favourite Films

My favourite film of all time is Confessions of a Shopaholic, weirdly enough.

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This year I’ve seen Deadpool (great), Captain America: Civil War (amazing) and Allegiant (a bit meh). I’ve posted about my most anticipated movies this summer here and here. I am looking forward to seeing Me Before You (but I need to read the book first!), Suicide Squad and Bridget Jones’ Baby.


If my time capsule has piqued your interest in The Square Root of Summer, the book will be available from all good bookshops, and online from Thursday 5th May – although I’ve seen some branches of Waterstones have them in early (and they have the most gorgeous sprayed pink pages!)


I’m so looking forward to meeting Harriet at YALC this year, although I may have to reread The Square Root of Summer first…

What would you put in your time capsule? Have you read The Square Root of Summer? What did you think? Tweet me at @annalisebooks or comment below 🙂

Annalise x

Review: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

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The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It’s a little bit like a black hole. It’s a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she’s hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone’s heart is about to be broken.

Firstly, I would like to that NetGalley for the preview of this book.

Secondly, I’m going to start with a disclaimer. I kept on falling asleep reading this book. I don’t know whether that’s because I had an exam this week (hence the short hiatus from reviews), but I’d guess it has something to do with the fact that the pace of this book is extremely slow (almost whimsical) and so don’t be fooled by the fact that this book is ‘only’ 300 pages – it took me a lot longer than usual to read (perhaps due to the aforementioned nodding off problem).

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Gottie Oppenheimer is a prospective physics student, who loves science. Last summer she had a summer romance with her brother’s best friend, Jason (her brother doesn’t know), and then her grandad died, and it took its toll on her. This summer, her childhood best friend is moving back home, and Gottie starts uncontrollably time travelling. Cool, huh?

I loved that Gottie loved science (a LOT of characters seem to love English Lit, hmm) and that science was theme through the book. STEM subjects are way underrepresented in YA literature, often because female characters are a little stereotypical – artsy, creative, usually not unlike the author themselves. I also loved that Gottie was in that AS/A2 gap (similar to Frances in Radio Silence, review coming soon) and trying to decide what to do with her life.

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I was also surprised to learn this is set in England (i’m too used to US-centric YA) and I liked the setting and backdrop to the story. The little droplets about UCAS applications, etc. really appealed to me, and I’d love to read more UKYA in the future (especially when they’re definitively set in the UK rather than some nameless place).

Something I find a lot of novels lacking is period talk. There’s a scene which I really appreciated – Gottie gets her period unexpectedly and stuffs her knickers with toilet roll to avoid a leakage. It’s a short and sweet passage, but there are no ramifications – periods are often only mentioned when they’re missed and a surprise pregnancy occurs. Please can we have more candid period/body talk – it’s something a lot of people experience and which is never discussed in literature (perhaps it doesn’t need to be explicitly).

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I loved the character of Gottie’s father – particularly that he was German, a real live parent with an interesting story. Firstly, often parents in YA novels are mysteriously absent, and they rarely have a backstory of being an immigrant – they tend to appear to have lived where they do their entire lives.

On the story of parents, it appears being the parent of a YA protagonist has a very high mortality rate. This isn’t necessarily a problem with the book, more of the genre in general – parents are always mysteriously absent (and often conveniently dead) and Gottie’s mum is no exception.

I also found that Gottie had a severe lack of actual friends – especially good female friends – as she shut everyone out. I’d love to see more female friendships featured in YA.

The love triangle didn’t feel forced or unnatural, and it was dealt with really well. Love triangles (or chevrons, as they should be called) are cliché, but this was different, and realistic.

Plot-wise, the time travelling got a little confusing – sometimes I’d imagine the characters one place, and then it’d turn out they were somewhere completely different.

Overall, a sweet time-travelly read which made me feel like it was actually summer (but it’s still March).

View all my reviews

The Square Root of Summer will officially be released May 5, 2016 (in the UK).

Annalise x