A Girl Called Shameless By Laura Steven. My Hero!

Published by Electric Monkey

“My heart filled with pride and joy. The experience  and support most women will give to each other is beautiful”

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If you read my last post you will know how impressed I was reading The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven. Like a lot of YA over the past few years it respects its readers, it handles subjects that are experienced by young people in one way or another. Women are taking over Ya and they have something important to say. Togeather we can achieve phenomenal things. So it is no surprise that when I finished the sequel A Girl Called Shameless I was inspired.

Young people are speaking up for their beliefs, they are changing laws, they are organising protests and becoming super heroes. Izzy is nothing short of heroic.

We pick up a few months after THAT website. Things have died down, the whispers still happen but at least her birthday suit isn’t viral anymore. After accidentally outing her best friend to the world, Ajita and Izzys relationship is mended and better than ever. Added to the mix is new friend Meg who reached out to Izzy when the world had turned against her. Speaking of relationships Carson and Izzy are the pinnacle of young love, there are complications in the relationship and it is handle unlike anything I have read before, but I don’t want to spoil that for you.

Suddenly whispers start again, the pointing and laughing but this time not at Izzy.

When Hazels sex tape is released on twitter it all starts again. This time Izzy witnessed this horror from the outside and decided she isn’t going to stand for another girls life being destroyed by revenge porn. That’s when Bitches Bitches Back bite hard. Unlike the UK, in some states in the US revenge porn is not illegal. After much research and rallying the threesome manage to secure a meeting with councilman Vaughan.  Izzy, Ajita and Meg are met by an assistant of Vaughan, after providing all the facts, figures and supporting evidence and petitioning for revenge porn to become an offence. After showing little to no attention to all the information laid out in front of him, the assistant quickly makes excuses and tells the girls he will attempt to pass the information to the Vaughn.

That was the spark that ignited the fire that Izzy and company are about to unleash on the world.

Izzy, Ajita, Meg, Hazel and a growing number of supporters take on the world to protect anyone experiencing the same situation.

A Girl Called Shameless is the perfect sequel, it was needed for closure not just for the reader but the characters also. The book handles so many different and difficult subject matter such as race, class, religion, disability, sexual assault and sexuality. I felt so proud of feminists everywhere, contributing no matter how big or how small to making a difference in the world and shouting loud for what they believe in.

 

A Girl Called Shameless is a solid 5/5

 

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The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

The Exact Opposite of Okay

By Laura Steven

Published by Electric Monkey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I recently went to a panel with Laura Steven at UCLAN book festival. She was so passionate about shame and positive female characters in modern literature so I picked up The Exact Opposite of Okay straight away.

I laughed within the first few pages where I learned the new and glorious word of Vagenda.

Within chapter one I felt a connection with the main character, Izzy, she is the queen of self depicting jokes and I’m a nearby villager.

Izzy is intelligent, funny, articulate and passionate.

I read YA (when I was actually a YA) and I gave up on it very quickly. Like many 90s movies the books I picked up fixated on the same things. The girl spoke in made up words (FETCH ISN’T HAPPENING) and always seemed to have the same plot. Boys, babysitting or prom. But now I’ve become quite the fan of the genre. Now these main characters are feisty, smart and usually fighting for something they believe in. Izzy O’neil embraces all these characteristics.

The plot focuses on revenge porn and delves in to the harm in can do.

Proven within The Opposite of Okay. Izzy is confident, she embraces her hornyness and is not shy in acting on it. So while at a party Izzy ‘scores’ ( I use this word because if this happened to a guy it would be high fives all over) with two guys (different times). The first conquest is Vaughn (the son of let say the BNP leader in the UK or Donald Wotsit Dump) and then Carson.

A few days later a website pops up. “Www.Izzyoneilworldclasswhore” vengeful, dark little webpage exposing Izzy in all her glory even her “foof”. There’s a photo of her grinding away on Vaughn and a bunch of naked selfies to and from each other. The backlash is viral and Izzy tries to handle it with her head held high but you can only have so many people see your birthday suit with out your permission. Vaughn unfortunately has the opposite experience. No website for him, no whispers and accusing looks. It’s not news worthy another guy sent a dick pic and probably won’t be the last.

There are other subjects handled so perfectly and truthfully.

Hidden sexuality, unrequited love, judgement and shame.

I’ve never read a female teenage character who is so calm, collective and empowered to change the world.

The book really is a 5/5 and deserves more. It’s a mystery as well as essential young adult and just so hilarious so don’t read it on the train you’ll get a few funny looks. I’m just about to read the sequel “A Girl Called Shameless” and I am so excited to read more about the characters progression and what more could happen to Izzy.

This Lie Will Kill You …. with boredom By Chelsea Pitcher

This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster – 2018

🌟 🌟1/2/ 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

 

You are cordially invited to tell the truth, or face the consequences…

One year ago, there was a party. At the party, someone died. Until now no one has told the truth about what happened.

Tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion expecting to compete in a contest with $50,000 prize.

Nobody questions the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it’s too late…

Five arrive, but not all leave…

Will the truth set them free? Or will their lies destroy them all.

 

 

 

So I spotted this book in Waterstones, it was part of the buy one get one half price offer and I thought I may as well pick it up mainly because I noticed the sticker on the front “For Fans of One Of Us Is Lying”.

One Of Us Is Lying (review on instagram – @bookishly_kerrie) was super entertaining, I think I finished it in one day, it was smart and witty also the characters were really likeable.

This Lie Will Kill you was a let down. The first 100 pages had me gripped I love the idea of Clue meets I Know What You Did Last Summer, but the last 200 pages seems rushed and slow at the same time, the characters choices where also unbelievable and pretty annoying.

The book reads like most early naughties teen horror movies reminding me of the revenge horror Valentine from 2002, scream, IKWYDLS and Urban Legend. I loved this, I adore the genre and it was nostalgic which is what all is 90s kids want at the moment.

The characters were 2 dimensional and predictable, each falling in to the standard roles of most books based around teens in these situations. The geek, prom queen, jock and so on.

There is a section describing our two high school sweethearts, Ruby and Shane, meeting for the first and it is incredibly cringe worthy and bizarre. I had to re read the paragraph a few times to make sure it wasn’t a dream.

Ruby is the most bearable of the group, a girl who has battled with one tragedy after the other, most people she loved disappear from her life and it’s left her a little harder and smarter then others in the situation. She also have secrets of sadness that make her more appealing.

It begins with 5 high students recieve an invitation confirming each had been chosen to attend a mystery murder competition, each character has something in common, they have the same secret buried.

Each character attends the game in a clue styled mansion and that’s when the confusion starts. I’m going to be vague because I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

Characters explore the mansion discovering and exploring different rooms (even though a character states that splitting up is a stupid horror movie no no) each room is dedicated to each contestant, photos and nik naks to trigger there emotions. Once they have taken in their rooms, confronted some things they would rather forget and tried to attempt to over come there suspicions that this may not be a game, they rally together in the main lounge.

While in here the conversation seem mixed up, characters express concerns and points of view that didn’t suit earlier personality traits.

Shadows are featured heavily, nearly every chapter someone “backs away in to the shadows” I’m was beginning to this these shadows where teleportation devices because in the next few lines they seem to in a different surrounding. It appeared to me to be slightly lazy round ups to scenes.

For example one moment Ruby and Brianna (our other female lead, like Ruby she has worries of the past and a hanging guilt around her neck) are trapped in one room while being watched from a hidden camera but continuity becomes an issues, the way all the characters communicate is  off, Brianna, one moment is locked in with Ruby, but then seems to be having a conversation to the other scared guest while Ruby is locked up alone.

Others similar unexplained happenings is a mask is described as being cracked and slightly broken, again a few pages later the mask is fine and being broken again.

A scene where a character described as thin and weak is fighting for her life with an ex boxer but the sickly young girl over powers the large and athletic brute.

I found myself re reading pages just to check I hadn’t missed a section or a page.

I mean, the beginning is great, but the ending moved a bit to fast, there could have been much more descriptive language to give the reader a chance to imagine the settings and styles or at least to build a image of each person.

The “first act” is gripping, I desperately wanted to know what was going to happen but eventually became very predictable, I may have watched to many horror movies to foresee the characters fate.

I would definitely read something else by Chelsea Pitcher, too compare if anything, but I must admit this book wasn’t created for me.

I’d love to hear other people’s views and really hope you enjoy it if you pick it up. Everyone has different tastes.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean…. I will miss you.

I have completely eaten up the Lara Jean Series but I am excited to get back to my usual gritty read. These books where like taking a break from horror to watch Disney and I think we all need a Disney break every now and then.

So the ending of Lara Jean, Margot, Kitty, Pete, Chris, Josh and Lucas as they all spread their wings and start a new chapter of their lives.

We pick up not long after P.S I Still Love You ended. Pete and LJ seem to have got over the John Ambrose situation and are back in the swings of young love.

High School is coming to an end and LJ has, as always, everything worked out about what is going to happen or at least what she hopes is going to happen but that all comes to a halt when LJ doesn’t get in to the college she has set her sights on. Not only is it the college her mother attended but it’s where Pete is going to be. It’s time for LJ to decide if she wants to settle at another college until a place opens up to transfer or have a new plan and succeed in a new college.

I had some issues with Lara Jean in this book, she seemed really unconfident and like she was constantly pandering to Pete.

Every other chapter Lara Jean was being a bit of a buzz kill and unable to make any choices alone and I didn’t like that. Lara Jean had been a pretty prudish but a fun girl in the first two books and she seems to have lost some brightness.

At the end of the school year the finishing class get to plan and take part in a class trip, this year it’s to the bright lights of New York. A first for a lot of the class and a chances to explore what it like to be away from home. I am sure I’m not the only one who thought that this could be the moment Lara Jean and Pete take the next step in their relationship and have sex but Lara Jean seems to be come more stand offish than ever regarding her relationship, she takes no chances at all. I just want to shake her and tell her she may not have a connection like this until her 20s.

From the minute she found out she didn’t get in to the college with Pete I felt she was subconsciously destroying her relationship with off remarks and questions, which at the end she tackles and realises is true.

Until the last few chapters Lara Jean was speaking as though once high school ends her life is over, done. I think my bitter 31 year old self just wanted her to realise it’s the actual start of a whole new life!

The book is filled with the ever expanding space between Pete and LJ, the relationship seems doomed but there are some bits in the book that I absolutely loved.

Trina and LJs Fathers relationship is my favourite part of all the books, I’m so happy that, In the future, once Kitty has started college both Daddy and Trina have each other. I loved Trina.

Even though LJ appeared out of character for most of the book things are settled in the end.

I’ve never read a complete series in one go, I tend to bore quickly but I couldn’t put these books down. My favourite relationship was definitely between Chris and LJ, Chris is destined to become the coolest auntie in all the land, she will have wild stories of far off travels and LJ and Chris will always be best friends I feel it in my bones.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean is the perfect end to the series. We still get a happy ending for each character and it is basically a hug in a book.

4/5 stars.

P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han.

I am continuing with my easy reads. Honestly Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow gave me all the trigger warnings.

So as soon as I put down TATBILB I went straight out and picked up the sequel P.S I Still Love You.

LJ and Pete are happy and in love and enjoying the high school romance dream when a video appears on line of them getting hot and heavy at the schools ski trip. LJ is obviously blasted as a slut and Pete is “The Man” all high fives and toxic masculinity crap which LJ calls out very quickly. I love that Jenny Han tackles this, many people don’t believe this still happens, but it does and especially in high schools across the world. If you look at the stats for teen suicide and compare them to the slightest bit of cyber bullying it will blow your mind. She calls out the bullshit of high school.

LJ is mortified, the entire school thinks she has had sex in a hot tub when really they caught her first real make out session on camera. LJ knows who did this and she is not taking going to let them grind her down.

Peter really got Under my skin in this book, I was literally warning him “if he breaks LJs heart he will have hell to pay” (I should remind myself more characters are fictional). With the rumours surrounding the “sex tape” and Peter spending a worryingly amount of Gen, his conniving ex, the relationship becomes rocky. So there is no other perfect time for John Ambrose to return to LJs life. Yes, another letter recipient and a long time admirer of LJs.

oh John Ambrose, he really does get a bit of a raw deal in the book, he is everything that is perfect for LJ, he ticks every box but I guess the heart doesn’t want what the heart doesn’t want.

There are a few things missing from this book that featured heavy in the previous. I would have liked more Josh, I felt sad that he seems to have disappeared from LJs life. Even if he does seem happy it was a long friendship that isn’t there anymore. I also wasn’t a fan of the side storyline of the retirement home and Stormy, I really disliked her character she seemed pushy and childish and just rubbed me the wrong way.

The one thing I absolutely loved was more of an insight to LJs Father and his life and I’ve got my fingers crossed we will be finding out more about him and a certain neighbor in the next book.

Still as gripping and lovely as the first, such an enjoyable modern romance that I would never have imagined myself reading. 9/10

The “LJ series” are literally the most wholesome books I’ve ever read and I think we all need a bit of wholesomeness in our life in 2019z

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

I needed something to get me out of my reading slump and Jenny Han pulled me so far out I can’t put her down.

Like everyone I watched To All The Boys I Loved on Netflix and it was ridiculously cute and wholesome and felt a very strong urge to read the book.

I was not disappointed, and as what I’m sure one day will be on my grave stone, the book was soooo much better. I needed more information about these characters and I got it. The character dynamics and relationships really made the entire book loveable. The familiarity of different family life and friendships really hold together the story, Laura Jean Song Convey lives with her dad and 2 sisters (until Margo goes to college in Bonny Scotland) each taking on different aspects of their mothers role since she passed, Josh comes from a home where his parents seem to argue a lot and don’t notice that Josh is hiding out at the Conveys Home and my favourite is Chris and LJ, a million light years apart in differences but best friends. I wish we could have had more focus on this friendship.

Even for me, in my early 30s, the book was very relatable because we never forget about our first crush and the drama that plays out when you are young and In love.

An old romantic, LJ, lives what I’d describe as a sheltered high school life, she doesn’t really go to parties, flirt with boys, have a large friend group but she is happy until the old romantic in her is forced to the surface, when love letters she had been keeping locked up like her heart are mysteriously mailed to 5 boys who at one time or another had made LJs butterflies flutter. 5 boys now know LJ has had a crush on them, LJs older sisters recent ex boyfriend now knows she had a crush on him. Poor Josh, dumped by Margo before she left for Scotland, confused and heartbroken has learned that his best friend has been in love with him for at least 3 years. LJ needs to cover her tracks quickly and that is where Pete Kavinsky comes in. Pete is the average jock, smooth, handsome and vain. He also received a letter. Recently dumped himself. LJ and Pete plan to portray a loved up high school couple. Pete gets to make, Gen, the ex, jealous and LJ gets to prove she isn’t in love with Josh. Win win. Wrong.

While things seem to go smoothly at first jealously shows up to ruin everyone’s party.

How do you know if someone has fallen for you if you have a contract to say to will act out a love affair?, how do you know someone isn’t in love with their ex anymore if they are still trying to make them jealous? and how does LJ know that Pete would ever really want her over Gen.

The entire book just tugged at my heart and I loved it. I am not one to read a series together but as soon as I had finished the 1st I had to get the 2nd and 3rd. A classic modern love story that can light up even the coldest of hearts. 10/10

Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Maybe one day I’ll be able to write a full review on this amazing book but it’s been a few months since I had finished it and I still find it really hard to talk about.

It has taken me a long time to write this review because I think it really stuck with me. After reading this book I couldn’t read anything else until very recently.

I’ve never needed a trigger warning before, of course I know the need for them and the reasons behind them but I guess I’ve never really had my mental health affected by anything else but myself, then I read Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow and I can’t put this out there enough, it is an incredible work of fiction that brought back a lot of memories for me. The book is so deep in my brain that it’s really hard to write about.

Charlie is our main character and is the strongest lead I have read in any book in my entire life. A self harmer, a survivor, an artist, a poet and I must say now a personal hero of mine. Charlie is forced start life again after being basically kicked out of a mental health unit because of insurance (America should really be ashamed of their healthcare). Charlie needs to start fresh, she needs to become someone else. She doesn’t want to be the cutter anymore and tries to begin her new life. Agony follows.

.

I’d love everyone to read this book just to understand some very important messages it sends out. We are not always as alone as we feel, follow your gut instincts and never fall for the rock “star” has been junkie. They will make life much harder.

10/10