A Bundle of Books Posts

Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Publication Date: 10 September 2013

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Where To Purchase: Takealot, Exclusive Books, Book Depository

Rating:Star2 Star2 Star2 Star2

 

Fangirl is a novel I immediately knew I would relate to before even opening to the first page. I saw a lot of myself and my own life in the book’s synopsis and was confident that I would empathise with the experiences that the main character, Cath, goes through. However, I also knew that I do not tend to enjoy YA contemporary novels as much as other people, so I went into this novel slightly hesitant. By the end of it, I really enjoyed following Cath and her journey in what is ultimately a coming-of-age story. I gave Fangirl a 4-star rating based on the characters and the focus on family dynamics. However, I do not think that this is a 5-star read owing to the fanfiction elements and the underwhelming ending.

Becky Albertalli’s debut novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, tells the story of Simon Spier, a sixteen-year-old gay teenager who has yet to come out to his family and friends. It’s not that Simon is necessarily afraid to come out, he’s simply not ready to do so. Yet, the one person who does know about Simon’s sexual identity is his anonymous gay pen-pal, Blue, who attends Simon’s school and with whom he develops a close relationship with despite not knowing who he is. However, when one of their private emails falls into the wrong hands, it is used to blackmail Simon into doing their bearer’s will. Should he not do what is asked of him, Simon’s sexuality will be revealed to the world – and Blue’s privacy put on the line.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda became a staple read in the bookshelves of contemporary book lovers everywhere in 2015. When the film adaptation, renamed as Love, Simon, was announced the YA contemporary world went absolutely wild. I’ve owned the novel for a couple of years now and hadn’t gotten to it just yet but the excitement around the film’s release made me want to read it immediately! I wish I read this book sooner because it is such a heart-warming and funny read despite the serious topics it deals with. There are trigger warnings for bullying, outing, and harassment in this story yet these, as well as the complex themes, are dealt with gently in the novel and the film. Being a straight woman, I cannot speak for the queer representation but what I do know is that this is a light-hearted and positive take on the coming out narrative. But this is not the main focus of the novel. Rather, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda focuses on the convention of coming out and subverts this by emphasising the importance of being who you are unapologetically.

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor

Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks

Publication Date: 5 August 2012 (First published 27 September 2011)

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy

Where To Purchase: TakealotExclusive BooksBook Depository

Rating: 

Laini Taylor is an author who is known for her strange and enigmatic stories. Her books have always intrigued me with their unique synopses, but also intimidate me immensely with just how vague they are. I’ve been unsure about giving Taylor’s books a try for years because of these contradictory feelings but I decided to finally take the plunge and read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. All I knew going into this novel was that the main character is a talented, blue-haired artist living in Prague, leaving me absolutely clueless about what the story is. However, I’m quite happy that this was the case! Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a mystical, spellbinding novel that takes your imagination for the ride of its life! Taylor’s writing is absolutely exquisite, the perfect fit for this transcendent story. Whilst I enjoyed the novel overall, I did have an issue with the way other storylines were incorporated into the main plot arc, making the reading experience feel quite disjointed. Otherwise, I gave Daughter of Smoke and Bone a well-deserved rating of 4 stars!

Title: Everless

Author: Sara Holland

Publisher: Hachette UK

Publication Date: 4 January 2018

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Where To Purchase: Takealot, Exclusive Books, Book Depository

Rating: 

Sara Holland’s debut novel, Everless, is perhaps one of the most underrated YA Fantasy releases of the year. There has been very little attention given to the novel and those that have read it are indifferent in their opinion. Whilst the story may have some issues that many debut novels suffer with, it is one of the least predictable and dare I say original YA fantasies that I have come across in a long time. The infusion of mythology into an archaic world makes for a fantasy that reads more like folklore and creates quite an immersive reading experience. I loved the journey this book took me on with its many twists and turns; however, there were a few issues with the characters that I could not overlook, resulting in my 4-star rating.