Countless by Karen Gregory ~ A Review

‘Love means holding tight
Love means letting go’

Countless is a moving and emotional novel that follows the story of Hedda, a girl very much controlled by her mind. She struggles with her eating disorder on a day to day basis, and until she takes a pregnancy test, her life has quietened down. She knows deep down that she cannot give up this baby, but she is also terrified of the weeks that will follow.

Countless is raw, and treats mental health the way any teenager would who has been fighting one as long as she can remember. It felt uncomfortable at times reading parts of the novel, but I understand that it is an important issue to tackle today in society. Gregory uses this novel as an allegory to show that many other girls are facing similar problems which they find themselves struggling alone. Countless reminds the reader that we are not alone and things will get better.

I loved the characters and Hedda in particular – I feel like her character was already developed from the start which added to the plot and gave the reader a reason to carry on. Why has her life ended up like this? Will she be able to cope with the bump and her eating disorder at the same time? At first, I had my doubts about Robin, the boy next door. He sounded very cliche to me but as the novel progressed he reader learns more about his character that sets him apart from other characters.

All in all, I didn’t enjoy Countless as much as I thought I would, but it is an acquired genre and I felt myself likening to Hedda as I read more. A sensitive topic that Gregory captures successfully through Hedda’s fight story.

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

A simple concept that not many people take the time to think about: what would you do if you won the lottery? And I’m not talking about the standard lottery winnings- I’m thinking of the jackpot. Millions upon millions of pounds are won across the world by few lucky individuals. But what many don’t consider is if it is luck or if it’s something else entirely? Smith explores this in her new book, Windfall, when Alice buys a lottery ticket as a one-off for her best friend’s birthday. The events that unravel are so spectacular that I found myself thinking that fate isn’t such a weird idea any more. I read this book (bearing in mind it was over 400 pages) in less than a day- it was so easy to read but funny and engaging at the same time. I recommend any young adult to pick it up as it’s the type of book you could leave on the side and would still be loved months later. I found myself laughing out loud and pining for the characters as if they were my friends. Loved it!

*this review was for lovereading (link on the side)*

We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

I received We Come Apart, a novel narrated in poetry from LoveReading (their link is on the side) that I have been excited to read for a while now. The cover is effective and stylish, but as I’m sure you’re all aware it’s what inside that counts! Fortunately the content matches the cover and exceeds all my expectations of Crossan and her amazing writing. The introduction of Conaghan and a very different writing style brings the two characters to life on the page. With Sarah’s being quite brutal and honest, Conaghan depicts Nicu as sweet and loved-up. Two very different personalities ending up in quite similar circumstances proves that we can all do wrong, but can also find love within ourselves. We are all capable of loving, and being loved, however hard it may be. I loved Jess’ and Nicu’s relationship; young love is displayed here as raw as it can get and I love that. I love reading about things that can relate to me and I think this book can relate to all of us- whether that be children or adults trapped in our society where there is nowhere to run when it’s all too much. We Come Apart is a refreshing read that brings to mind the hardships people face everyday and the fact that we do NOT have to face them alone. Brilliant.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

* this book was reviewed for LoveReading and will be featured on their site *

Hello all! As Christmas is approaching and we have entered the holidays I have had a lot more time to read, and The One Memory of Flora Banks is the one novel to read on those cold, icy days. It follows the tale of Flora, a seventeen year old girl suffering from amnesia – this means that she is unable to make new memories and can only access the ones before she was ten. She feels like she is a girl living in a much older, woman’s body, and it’s not until she kisses her best friend’s boyfriend that she wants to find out who she really is and what she has been missing all this time.

I LOVED this book so much, I feel like it will go off with a bang in January and come next year, everyone will be talking about Flora. I love reading about places and people through Flora’s eyes and the fact that the protagonist is going on an adventure to find themself. The plot was enthralling and nerve-wracking as we sense that Flora is in grave danger (most of the time) but can’t do anything to help herself. Captivating and unexpected, I’ve never read anything quite like this book.

The Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Here’s a review of the book I’m currently reading and my thoughts of it so far (reviewed for Love Reading, link on the side)

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The Bone Gap is a unique and fascinating book that, can I just add, has an amazing front cover! I know covers don’t mean everything but generally when you get a cover this good, with an intriguing title and questions left for the reader in the first chapter, you know it’s going to be a good read. Despite it being an obvious young adult’s book, it is relatively easy to read. Ruby creates magic through the words – every character and plot twist is there for a reason and this becomes more apparent as the book progresses. I really like the quote, ‘the bones of the world were a little looser here… leaving spaces one could slip into and hide…’ – I think this one quote depicts Ruby’s beautiful use of language and the powerful world she creates with it. Whimsical and fantastical, this tale is perfect for a winter’s day read.

I hope everyone’s having a great day! The Sweet Review x

Autumn and what it holds | The Sweet Review

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Autumn – the crisp smell of leaves and dry air; warm jumpers and dressing-gowns – is definitely my favourite time of the year. Yes, Summer and Spring is equally as lovely, but there’s something about Autumn that just screams books (and hot chocolate, of course). In this post, I will be exploring why that is, and how best to enjoy an afternoon on a rainy day.

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First off, you need to set the scene. This won’t take long if you want to read a page or two, but for those long hours reading, I strongly suggest to do this. Whenever I get time to read bucketfuls, I find the sofa the best place to sit. Make yourself a hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows and cream, and light a scented candle for the best results. Here I have Our Own Candle Company’s Lemon Pound Cake; my go to when reading. It’s the perfect scent for Autumn and smells DIVINE!

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Then of course, you need to choose a book. My two favourite types of books to read in Autumn are my old favourites, and horrors. The two oldies I’ve grabbed for this pic are Harry Potter and Eleanor and Park. Both are magical in their own way, which is perfect for Autumn. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire’s my fave- it’s set around Autumn/Winter also! And of course, horrors. I adore scary books, especially around Halloween time. Here I have Say Her Name, my favourite horror (partly because it’s a children’s book!). An easy read, you could get through this novel in one night.

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So there you have it! That’s how I like to spend my afternoons, but let me know what you like to do in Autumn, and if you like the season in general.

~The Sweet Review

 

 

200 followers and winner of giveaway | The Sweet Review

Hello all!

You must be wondering, who is this person who’s suddenly appeared in their inbox? I have finally sat down again after what seems like forever (just checked- it’s been over two months. Oops.) and it does feel weird. A lot can happen in two months and I’m really sorry I haven’t been posting within that time!

First off, I’ve reached 200 followers. What, just what?! The fact that 200 people pressed that button for some reason or other is amazing. It makes me feel good to know people care about what I post, so thank you. We’re just two off 200 WordPress followers which is insane as well!

Secondly, I completely forgot to let you know who won the giveaway I hosted a while ago for Flawed by Cecilia Ahern- I pulled one lucky blogger out of the hat and it turned out to be The Crazy Chic! Thank you for everyone who took part, it made it all the merrier! However, from now on giveaways will mostly be UK based, as it does cost quite a bit to send books around the world, despite how fun it is 🙂

A lot of eventful things happened between May-September time also; for instance, I went away to Spain for a week with my trusty little book Lady Susan by Jane Austen. My english teacher gave it to me for doing a favour and I absolutely loved it! Guaranteed, it’s not an easy read, but for all Austen fans it’s definitely one to slip into your bag. I also stayed in Croatia for three weeks (the most gorgeous place- I recommend it strongly for a summer holiday with the family!). I took both my Kindle and a few books, and as a result, read a lot! I also vlogged quite a bit: if I have time, the footage may be turned into a YouTube video sometime soon!

That brings me onto an important point. I’m entering a very important year at school; the year of my GCSE’s. Of course, I will still try to blog, but sometimes I may have to take breaks, however sad that is. Juggling one GCSE with extra things going on was hard enough, but I’m taking 11 this year. As all my teachers have been saying since we got back, this is my year. This is it. Unfortunately, priorities have got to shift, so that may mean late posts. I will do my best though 🙂

I think I covered about everything, but what about you? How was you summer? Do let me know in the comments!

~The Sweet Review 

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