Author: Amber

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Heretics Anonymous by Katie HenryHeretics Anonymous by Katie Henry
Release Date: 7th August 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.

I was a bit hesitant to go into Heretics Anonymous because I don’t tend to read books about religion or religious characters, but this year I’m really trying to make my reading more diverse. I have to say, I’m really glad I did pick this up because I had a lot of fun reading it.

I liked the main cast a lot, and I could definitely relate to the main character, Michael. He reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger. It was a really diverse group of characters, and they all had something to say, which was great. I really enjoyed the inclusion of a character who – I think – could be autistic.

Heretics Anonymous is really light and entertaining, and I’m really glad I read it!

Spookathon & 24 Hour Readathon TBR

24 hour readathon

There are a couple of readathons coming up this week that I’m suuuuper excited for, so I thought I would share my TBR with you all. I’m probably (definitely) not going to get to all of these books but I’m going to give it a good go. Firstly, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon will be happening on 20th October. I take part in this every year, and while I might be busy on Saturday night, I’m planning on getting some reading in early.

24hrat1

For Dewey’s, I’m planning on finishing off Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. I’m about 15% of the way through and it’s going slowly, but I need to get past the beginning so I can (hopefully) start to love it. Then there’s Dry, which I’ve been waiting to read since it was announced. I love Shusterman’s writing and I love apocalyptic stories, so I want to read this one so badly!

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A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh MafiA Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 16th October 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

This. Book. Was. Incredible. I am super impressed by A Very Large Expanse of Sea. I was very hesitant to read it at first because I hated Shatter Me and Adam and Warner were both awful, but I thought I would give it a go to see if Mafi’s writing has improved. And it really has!

This story was absolutely wonderful. The book follows Shirin as she deals with life and arsehole classmates and neighbours. I did wonder if Shirin was a bit of a self insert by the author, but to be honest I don’t really care if she is. Shirin was a lovely character to read. She’s just so good, and I can’t even explain why. I just really enjoyed reading about her and her life and her struggles. I liked how fierce she is.

Also, I have to mention the romance. The romance! I loved it! I can’t remember the last time I said this about a book but OH MY GOD it was so great. I ship it. Ocean, the love interest, was lovely.

One thing that I was wondering was why it was set one year after 9/11. I’m not sure how much it really added to the plot, since I’m sure Muslim girls go through all of this stuff nowadays in 2018. If anyone is able to enlighten me, please do! This isn’t a complaint, I’m just really not sure what the point was.

Sana loved it as well, and I think we should all trust her opinion.

I really hope Mafi writes more contemporary because I loved this and I will definitely read more from her. Unless it’s YA paranormal/dystopia because I’m not sure I can trust that.

Drop by Drop by Morgan Llywelyn

Drop by Drop by Morgan LlywelynDrop by Drop by Morgan Llywelyn
Series: Drop by Drop #1
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 26th June 2018
Publisher: Tor
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-half-stars

In this first book in the Step By Step trilogy, global catastrophe occurs as all plastic mysteriously liquefies. All the small components making many technologies possible―Navigation systems, communications, medical equipment―fail.

In Sycamore River, citizens find their lives disrupted as everything they've depended on melts around them, with sometimes fatal results. All they can rely upon is themselves.

And this is only the beginning . . .

To be completely honest with you, this book was shit. I am so disappointed because the premise had such promise. A world in which all the plastic starts to melt? Yaaaassss. Computers would break down. Cars would fall apart. There would be no more television or phones, and if you didn’t have a completely metal radio you’d be screwed. But instead of focusing on society breaking down and something actually exciting, the author chose to focus on a small town that could no longer use pens.

Everything about this book disappointed me. I’m a huge fan of the apocalyptic genre and I thought this was going to be great. Unfortunately, it was boring, somewhat underdeveloped, and the characters were dull and unlikeable. I obviously won’t be carrying on with the series.

 

Horror and Thriller Recommendations for October

I don’t normally do themed reading months but October always gets me quite excited for spooky reads! I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite horror books, but in case ghost stories aren’t your thing, I’ve also included some thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat. So grab a blanket and some steaming coffee, and we’ll get started. Let me know which books you’d recommend for the upcoming spooky month!

Graphic Novels

horror recs

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

The first story in this one was definitely the strongest, but it was all pretty enjoyable.

Locke & Key by Joe Hill

I love this series so much! It’s super dark, so be cautious going into it, but it’s so good. It’s about a family who have to find various keys that do different things before the villain gets them.

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