poetry

Review: The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

The Princess Saves Herself in this One
The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve had my eye on this book for a while, and I finally got to read it, and it is seriously beautiful.

Amanda Lovelace crafts some beautiful, relatable poetry from her own experiences. I’m always amazed at how poetry can make you feel *something* in such a short space of time.

My only hesitation with this book is that I read it so quickly. Lightning fast. The art of Amanda’s poetry means that there are actually very few words, and so this book is a very fast experience. It was also fairly expensive (£10 in the UK).

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annalsie

Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

We Come Apart
We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**Disclaimer: eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

First off, One was one of my favourite books of last year and so when a new Sarah Crossan book came across the horizon, I pounced on it. If you haven’t read One yet, just know that it’s a beautiful and quick read, and well worth the hype.

We Come Apart is a new book from Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan, told from dual perspectives. Nicu is a Romanian immigrant, who has come to the UK with his mum and dad to earn some extra cash for his upcoming arranged marriage. Jess is a British girl who has fallen in with the wrong crowd, and who is experiencing domestic violence at home. They meet at a youth reparation scheme, picking up litter, and become friends.

I love reading novels in verse since I picked up One – it’s a really powerful medium, but also really quick and accessible to read. The writing here is also really clever – Nicu’s broken English was difficult to get used to at first but really brought life to a character struggling with his English language skills.

This book was especially poignant regarding racism in the wake of Brexit, and the bullying Nicu faces is worsened by taunts of ‘I though we’d voted you out of this country’.

Due to the topics discussed in this book, I imagine some readers might find it difficult to read and please do keep that in mind before picking this one up.

I only had two issues with the book – one is that I wanted more from the conclusion, and the other that I felt Jess’s storyline coming from a working class household blighted with domestic violence was a little cliché and perhaps dangerous (but this is a symptom of fiction in general I think).

If you enjoyed One, We Come Apart is another great novel from Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan and well worth the read. I’m looking forward to more books from these two authors!

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annalsie

Review: You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

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You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publication date: 7th June 2016

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

Disclaimer: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t really know where to start with this review, so here goes…

You Know Me Well is a story told over the background of Pride Week, told in the alternating views of Kate and Mark. Kate and Mark happen to have sat next to each other in calculus for an entire year, until one night, at Pride, when Mark loses his inhibitions and dances in his underwear on a bar, and Kate spots him, while she hides from the girl she can’t stop thinking about – but has never met.

The characters, especially Kate and Mark, are realistic, and both dealing with their own issues. Mark, in love with his best friend Ryan, deals with his unrequited love and Ryan’s new boyfriend, the older, tattooed Taylor. Kate, enamoured with her best friend’s cousin Violet, shies away from the girl she loves, despite having never met. When Kate and Mark run away from their problems to a party, they are photographer and Kate’s artwork is thrust into the limelight.

I loved the other themes in the book – the juxtaposition of Ryan, still closeted, and Mark, openly gay, proud and accepted was one – and Kate’s worries about going to university, despite already having accepted a place, were reminiscent of the wonderful Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.

There are a lot of pop culture references throughout the book, but I liked the musical references – they didn’t feel dated, and they added to the atmosphere of the book.

At first, this book reminded me a lot of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, also by David Levithan, and both books take place over a short period of time. There’s perhaps a little insta-friendship between Kate and Mark, but I think we all find friends we feel like we’ve known for years.

A realistic, relatable tale of friendship, love and embracing not only both, but accepting yourself in the process.

I’m also looking forward to seeing both authors at YALC, where there’ll be a You Know Me Well poetry slam!

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Have you read You Know Me Well? Are you planning to? Let me know by commenting below or tweeting me at @annalisebooks!

Annalise x