Wednesday, 12 July 2017

This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
This is How it Happened
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened.

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.


This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars



This is How it Happened “I’m sorry, honey. Dallas didn’t survive. He’s dead.”


This was a YA contemporary story about a girl involved in a fatal car accident.

Genevieve was quite a strong character, and I felt bad for her when she heard the news that Dallas was dead, and again when she realised her part in the accident. It was brave of her to do what she did in the aftermath though.

The storyline in this was about Genevieve waking up after the car accident which killed her boyfriend Dallas, and about her getting plagued by the media as Dallas was a You Tube star and had just released his first album. Initially the accident was blamed on the other driver, but as Genevieve slowly got her memories back, she began to realise that maybe he wasn’t to blame after all. This was quite a difficult story to read in places, as Genevieve struggled with guilt and not knowing what to do, and it was quite hard hitting.

The ending to this was pretty good, and things were wrapped up realistically.



7 out of 10.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
The Art of Starving
Blurb (from Goodreads):
More Happy Than Not meets Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future in this gritty, contemporary YA debut about a bullied gay teen boy with an eating disorder who believes he’s developed super powers via starvation.

Matt hasn’t eaten in days.

His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal. But Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.

Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.

So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?

Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger… and he isn’t in control of all of them.

A darkly funny, moving story of body image, addiction, friendship, and love, Sam J. Miller’s debut novel will resonate with any reader who’s ever craved the power that comes with self-acceptance.


The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller

My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars


The Art of Starving “Hunger makes you better. Smarter. Sharper.
I have learned this through practical experimentation.”


This was a YA contemporary/magical realism story about a boy who thought his eating disorder gave him super-powers.

Matt was quite a quirky character, and I liked how he was openly gay and unashamed about being who he was. I did feel sorry for him though that he had so much stuff going on in his life to deal with though.

“My best guess is that a spell has been cast on me, so that everyone else sees me as a scrawny gangly bag full of bones, and I alone see the truth, which is, as I mentioned, that I am an enormous fat greasy disgusting creature.”


The storyline in this was about Matt’s eating disorder, his sister running away from home, and even a little romance. We also got a bit of a strange storyline about Matt thinking that the hungrier he was, the more his special powers worked, and he was able to smell people and know their secrets. This was a little strange, but it did seem like these weird things were really happening to him rather than him being delusional. I was also surprised by the romance in this story as I wasn’t expecting that at all, but I was glad that someone saw Matt and accepted him for who he was.

“I saw, heard, smelled things others could not.
Somehow, I had become Peter f*cking Parker.”


The ending to this was okay, but this did feel like rather an odd story overall.



6.25 out of 10