A Lyrical, Consuming Read // REVIEW: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Title: We Come Apart
Authors: Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
Publication Date: February 9th 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Flipkart || Infibeam || Kobo || Wordery || Amazon US || Amazon UK || The Book Depository || Books A Million || Google Books || Indigo || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Barnes and Noble ||
Blurb Description: From two acclaimed authors comes an emotional story told in verse about friendship, love, and overcoming unbeatable odds.
Authors Brian Conaghan and Sarah Crossan have joined forces to tell the story of Nicu and Jess, two troubled teens whose paths cross in the unlikeliest of places.
Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess's home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?For fans of Una LaMarche’s Like No Other, this illuminating story told in dual points of view through vibrant verse will stay with readers long after they've turned the last page. 
“We Never Get Lost
When I Wake
I fear that our love will never be

I read We Come Apart in one sitting.

In fact, I think it’s the quickest I’ve ever read a full-fledged novel. Despite the fact that it was told in verse (like the quote above), We Come Apart was SUCH a different, thought provoking and consuming book to read.

In fact, I found it VERY DIFFICULT to NOT put down.

I’ve never read a book like this one before – told in verse, that is (is that what I should call it?) – Mostly because I never actually thought I’d like it. Poetry has never appealed much to me but after falling for this book, I feel like I should reconsider it.


1.       NICU: It’s very hard NOT to love someone who a) only wants a better life than the almost homeless, below the poverty line life that he was living in Romania before he came to England and b) who only wants to be GOOD, to make a life for himself in this county and BE ACCEPTED. I hated how EVERY SINGLE PERSON, even the adults and HIS TEACHERS judged him based on his language, his accent, his skin colour and the kids abused him and tortured him and yet HE WAS STILL A HOPEFUL FLOWER, because all he wanted was a good life for himself.
I especially hated the school kids that beat him up and Meg (UGH) who said he touched her just FOR ATTENTION TO BE ON HER and it broke my heart that there was ALMOST NOBODY that would be nice to him, or cut him some slack.

2.       THE REAL RAMPANT RACISM: Students enrolled in US universities after working twice as hard as any “white” kid aren’t allowed to return to STUDY. A Minister in India claims he will kill a hundred Muslims for even a single Hindu who dies. WE LIVE IN A HIGHLY RACIST WORLD, and We Come Apart captured the worst of it in a heart wrenching manner.

3.       THE WRITING STYLE:  Like I said before, I LOVED THE VERSE STYLE OF WRITING. It was a really raw form of writing, that managed to capture all the emotions of the moment and yet it wasn’t a rambling piece. I also loved how Nicu’s language problems were handled because English IS A COMPLICATED language and I smiled and felt for him when he spoke it.

The only reason that this isn’t a Five Star Read for me is because:

a)      WE SAW SO MUCH RAMPANT RACISM AND ABUSE (and that was the point of the book, I’m guessing, to see how rampant it was and to see and FEEL what immigrants/ abused kids must go through)

b)      AND YET NOBODY – NOBODY – Said ANYTHING to the entitled White British Kids, not even Jess. There was no defining moment to the story that at least TRIED to teach those kids to be better (even if they won’t change) but there was NO TRYING. You’re supposed to say something, right?

I guess I just wish that the ending, and the lesson about being conscious about how you treat ANYONE was better put forth.

We Come Apart was a harrowing, eye-opening tale told in Lyrical prose that will consume you, and I highly recommend you dive in. 
Sarah CrossanSarah Crossan is Irish. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Literature before training as an English and Drama teacher at Cambridge University and worked to promote creative writing in schools before leaving teaching to write full time. She completed her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Warwick in 2003 and in 2010 received an Edward Albee Fellowship for writing.
Brian ConaghanBrian Conaghan was born in 1971. He was raised in the Scottish town of Coatbridge but now lives and works as a teacher in Dublin. He is the author of The Boy Who Made It Rain and has a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. 

His second novel When Mr Dog Bites was shortlisted for both the 2015 Carnegie Medal and the Children's Book Award Ireland, while his novel, The Bombs That Brought Us Together won the 2016 Costa Chilrdren's Book Award. His new novel, We Come Apart, written in verse, and co-authored with multi award winner, Sarah Crossan was released in Feb 2017. 
Have you read any books by Sarah Crossan or Brian Conaghan before?
What are some of the contemporary novels that moved or consumed you?
Have you heard about or read We Come Apart?

A Little Cheesy // REVIEW: How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne

Title: How Hard Can Love Be? (The Spinster Club #2)
Author: Holly Bourne
Publication Date: February 1st 2016
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 2/3 of The Spinster Club
I Got A Copy Through: Usborne Publishing (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon UK || Foyles || Wordery || Waterstones || The Book Depository || Kobo || Google Books || WHSmith || 
Blurb Description: Amber, Evie and Lottie: three girls facing down tough issues with the combined powers of friendship, feminism and cheesy snacks. Both hilarious and heart-rending, this is Amber’s story of how painful – and exhilarating – love can be, following on from Evie’s story in Am I Normal Yet?
All Amber wants is a little bit of love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to California, got remarried and had a personality transplant. But Amber's hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that.
And then there's prom king Kyle, the guy all the girls want. Can he really be interested in anti-cheerleader Amber? Even with best friends Evie and Lottie's advice, there's no escaping the fact: love is hard. 

Actual Rating 3.5 stars!

One of the first things that struck me about this book was how EASY it was to slip into it all – Holly Bourne’s writing is simple and yet designed to make you think about all things Feminism, Family and Friendship that I’ve fallen in love.

Amber has always been the odd duck. She’s 5’11, her mother left her for a bum-face and skipped continents with him, her father had an affair and her step-family is horrible and now she’s boarded a plane to fly across continents to be with the woman who she hasn’t seen in two years.

Combine hyperactive in a camp in the mountains, a mother with barely any time for her, cliché American Girls who make her blood boil and a Prom King perfect boy, this book promised to be A WHOLE TON OF FUN!
And it really truly was.
Image result for how hard can love be

Until Kyle (aka the more gorgeous than life Prom King) turned out to be THE BEST HUMAN IN THE WORLD WITH LITERALLY 0% FLAWS. 0%. ZILCH. He comforted Amber when she was drunk and puking, he took her on magical trips to National Parks, didn’t mind when she didn’t kiss him back, he wanted to hear all about her past and apologized and he also went “OH WE’RE SUCH A CUTE COUPLE.” I’VE MET GUYS. I KNOW PEOPLE. NOBODY IS THAT PERFECT.
He was too much perfection and ZERO FLAWS and I honestly couldn’t even believe/ fathom/ trust/ like him.

Another thing that made me cringe was that ENDING. After TWO YEARS of nothing, and YEARS BEFORE THAT OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE, all we get is a THREE PAGE TALK? And a one paragraph apology from her mother. THAT’S IT. MEH.

Amber storyline with her mother was one of the things I LOVED THE MOST because like Amber, I’m a repressor. I have so much stuff pent up inside me that I WON’T SAY OUT LOUD and I GET WHAT IT MEANS TO BE LIKE THAT. And for all that GREAT STORY to end with practically nothing felt off. And wrong. And that THE TOO PERFECT FOR LIFE PROM KING KYLE was more important than her mother. REALLY?
If I shove all that aside, because this all turned into something frustrating only in the end, there are a LOT of great things about the book.
Image result for how hard can love be
1.       THE SETTING: I don’t think I’ve read enough books with camps or fun nature stuff but I REALLY TRULY LOVED THE SETTING. Also, there were so many Harry Potter references and hyperactive little kinds (I get it, I’ve got cousins) and camp was SUCH A FUN PLACE TO BE.

2.       THE FEMINISM: Everyone’s definitely had that one girl who you just NEED TO HATE – and the ladies of the Spinster Club handle it BEAUTIFULLY. It’s all about supporting women, and not hating/ being jealous of other women no matter how different you are and I REALLY LOVE THE WAY IT WAS HANDLED.
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3.       THE EASINESS OF THE WRITING: Like I said when I started this review, this book was a REALLY EASY READ. HONESTLY. I think it’s the fastest book I’ve read in 2017 despite the fact that it’s almost 500 pages long. It was an easy and fun story to slip into.

Honestly, I SO BADLY WISH that the ending was extended and handled better. I wish that there was more of a reconciliation and bonding between Amber and her mother, I wish Kyle was LIKE 0% FLAWED because that would have made How Hard Can Love Be? One of my best reads of the year.

Definitely worth a read for a few smiles, and some thought provoking feministic ideas but I KNOW it could have been better. 
Holly BourneHolly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her favourite things to complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women's rights, and the under-appreciation of Keanu Reeves' acting ability.

Holly's first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the 'Normal' series, Am I Normal Yet?, has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and has inspired the formation of Spinster Clubs around the country.

Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor and relationship advisor for a charity website.
Have you read this series yet? Does it get even better? Who's your favourite - Evie, Lottie or Amber?
What are some AWESOME (fictional) books on with a strong feminism theme that you've read?
I can't wait to hear from you!

Top Ten Authors I'm DYING To Meet (Top Ten Tuesday #26)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely folks at The Broke and The Bookish!

The minute I read this topic the only thing I thought was.. UM, EVERYONE? Being such an avid reader and talking to so many authors I haven't been to a) A SINGLE BOOK LAUNCH or b) MET EVEN ONE AUTHOR IN PERSON!

And this is because I a) live in India and b) live in India which is no-mans land and AUTHORS NEVER COME HERE. Actually, Mark Zusak, author of The Book Thief came for a literary dest earlier this year, but I lost my book and I couldn't go!
I have SO MANY AUTHORS that I'm dying to meet and I'm also really SCARED because I am an AWKWARD HUMAN and what would I say in front of the people that have me crying my heart out/ smiling like an idiot and pining for characters that don't exist?
Image result for sarah maas1. Sarah J Maas (Author of Throne of Glass Series and A Court of Thorns and Roses)
Image result for sarah maas booksIf you're a YA fan, you know that this lady is the QUEEN! If I was ever in front of her, I would LITERALLY choke and not know what to say despite having practiced lines in front of the mirror for days on end!
I NEED HER TO SIGN my copy of A Court of Mist and Fury (aka the GREATEST book ever) and just be in her presence because she CREATED RHYS, OKAY?
Image result for victoria aveyard2. Victoria Aveyard (Author of the Red Queen Series)
Image result for victoria aveyardThe Red Queen series is ONE OF MY FAVOURITES and I would KILL TO MEET VICTORIA! She is an amazing writer and such a passionate person (as I see on Twitter) and I would LOVE TO HEAR HER Talk all about Cal and Mare and Maven and sign my multiple copies of her books (both the big and small paperbacks)
I'm STILL WAITING on the Indian release of King's Cage (the date keeps being thrown back) but I CANNOT WAIT TO START WHEN IT DOES ARRIVE HERE.
Image result for shannon parker author3. Shannon Parker (The Girl Who Fell and The Rattled Bones) 
Image result for shannon parker authorI had the pleasure of talking to Shannon Parker last year when she came onto my blog when her debut novel, The Girl Who Fell, and she is ONLY THE SWEETEST HUMAN IN THE WORLD! She already sent me a signed copy of her book, all the WAY TO INDIA, but I would love to meet her and get a signed copy of her latest book.

Also, she's awesome and well, it would be AWESOME to meet her!
Image result for leigh bardugo4. Leigh Bardugo (Author of The Grisha Trilogy and the Six Of Crows Duology)
Image result for leigh bardugoThese books haven't even been released in my country (although they will be this May) but I've read ALL OF THEM! They're such wonderfully crafted books (even though I ruined the ending of Ruin and Rising for myself) and I LOVE THEM. I love the Six Of Crows duology more than the Grisha and I AM SO EXCITED that there is going to be a short story collection (even though I don't really like short stories that much) but I AM SO EXCITED that we get more stories from this world.
Image result for sarah dessenImage result for sarah dessen5. Sarah Dessen (author of Once and For All)
Sarah Dessen is honestly one of my FAVOURITE authors because it was her book - Just Listen - that got me into young adult books in the first place. I'm SO EXCITED for her latest release this June (it sounds ADORABLE and I LOVE IT!) and I would love the chance to meet Sarah and get my whole collection signed!
Again, I would have no idea what to say to her because she's such an inspiration!
Image result for illuminae6. Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman (authors of the Illuminae Files)
(Yes, I'm adding both of them under this one listing)
Image result for illuminaeI recently fell in love with the Illuminae Series and I NEED THAT THIRD INSTALLMENT and also they seem like such FUN authors to get to meet with their snarky humor and kill everyone attitude and well, I LOVE AUSTRALIAN ACCENTS, OKAY?
I would love to get my ARC's and hardcovers signed and just be in their presence (and also HEAR ABOUT THEIR NEW SERIS TOGETHER EEEK!)
Image result for jeff zentnerImage result for jeff zentner7. Jeff Zentner (Author of The Serpent King and Goodbye Days)
After having Jeff as a part of my second blogaversary last year, and buying his debut novel on a Kindle deal, I recently read it and found myself CURLED UP IN MY COMFORTER with tears sobbing down my face. I'm so excited for Goodbye Days, and I would LOVE TO MEET JEFF as he is all kinds of awesome!

Plus, have I mentioned how MUCH I LOVE SIGNED BOOKS?
Image result for julie eshbaugh8. Julie Eshbaugh (Author of Ivory and Bone and Obsidian and Stars)
Image result for julie eshbaughI read Julie's Debut NYT Bestselling novel when it released last year and I was SO HAPPY when she agreed to come onto the blog for Meet The Authors in January. She is one of the sweetest people I know and even though she send me a signed copy of her book, she is one author I WOULD LOVE TO MEET!
I can't WAIT for her next book, Obsidian and Stars which releases June 2017!
Image result for sandhya menon authorImage result for sandhya menon author9. Sandhya Menon (Author of When Dimple Met Rishi)
Sandhya Menon is an Indian American writer with an Indian American book coming out this May and I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR IT! When Dimple Met Rishi is on the TOP of my TBR and it sounds like such a cute book. We occasionally chat on Twitter about Samosas and me fangirling over her book and I AM SO EXCITED FOR IT TO REACH THE WORLD!
Also, as soon as I get my hands on a copy, I'M SO RE-CREATING THIS COVER because it is so pretty!
Image result for alwyn hamiltonImage result for alwyn hamilton10. Alwyn Hamilton (Author of Rebel of the Sands Series)
I first tweeted to Alwyn last year when her debut novel was about to release and she is SUCH A WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING! I love watching her Instagram stories, and following her tours. I'VE ALSO BEEN QUOTED IN HER SECOND BOOK and it would be a dream come true for me if I ever get the chance to meet her!

Also, I'm DEFINITELY one of those humans who think that the UK covers are SO MUCH PRETTIER than the US ones - don't you?

I'm not even NEARLY done with this list, in fact, I'm pretty much restricting myself. I'd just sit beside my bookshelf and list out EVERYBODY if I could, but UGH.
I would also LOVE TO MEET Roshani Chokshi, Breeana Shields, Laure Eve, Tricia Levenseller, Samantha Shannon, JK ROWLING, Susan Dennard, Adam Silvera, Rosalyn Eves, Sabaa Tahir, VE Schwab and EVERYONE ELSE. *bursts into tears*
 Have you met some of your favourite authors in the world? 
Have you met some of the authors on my list?
Which authors are you dying to meet? Tell me in the comments below!