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.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

‘Park noticed the new girl at about the same time everybody else did. She was standing at the front of the bus, next to the first available seat.’

Eleanor and Park; two names everybody thought wouldn’t go together. Eleanor is the new girl; a girl very different from other girls. With her red hair and mismatched clothes, she was an easy target for Tina and her boyfriend Steve. Park just wants to be invisible; invisible to his parents, his brother, his classmates, the world. Headphones on, head down, he wants nothing to do with Eleanor. But will they be able to ignore their gut feelings forever?

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages, so when I saw it in my library, I was thrilled. Let me say this; it did not disappoint. A very realistic love story, the book captures exactly what school relationships are, and exactly what they aren’t. The situations that Eleanor and Park find themselves in are very relatable, and I found myself willing them to do what’s right. They are very likeable characters, also very complex, which I liked because often people don’t just have one feature or personality that stands out. Because it’s told from both points of view, it’s interesting to see how they react and what each other’s feeling’s are. The story ends abruptly, which was frustrating but satisfying at the same time. Usually in books the author’s try to wrap it up by the end, but Rainbow Rowell decided to leave it open: open, I guess, for us to choose what happens next.

I would recommend this strongly, to everyone aged above 13. The publisher is Orion, and I give it a five star. I loved this book!

Breaking Butterflies by M Angelais

‘We, under the old sheet of the fort, two eggs out of millions.
We were there.’

When I was browsing Google to see what other people said about this book, I was shocked. The reviews rated the story either one star or five stars. Some people said it was terrible, some said it was amazing. But every single review said something along the lines of, ‘There are no words.’ And I agree completely.

This book is fantastic. The first time I read it was over two years ago, and since then I have read it maybe fifty times. The story is about two girls, Leigh and Sarah, who made a plan when they’re seven years old. The plan shaped their entire lives; careers, houses, children. Sphinx and Cadence. Two eggs out of millions. Sphinx and Cadence grew up to be perfectly ordinary children- it was only at five when something seemed wrong. Cadence always seemed to shine, eyes glowing, dazzling smiles. But when he killed a butterfly on purpose, Sphinx was horrified. What normal person would do that, even as a toddler?

This story is like no other. It may be quite small but it’s worth the read, because you’ll never forget it. Many people dislike it as you ‘can’t relate to any of the characters’, but I think you can. There are few characters that are named, but they all have an important role. It also teaches you things you need for life. I would love to see this turned into a film!

Anyone, from 10 to 110, whatever gender, would adore this book, because it is both interesting and easy to read. The great thing about Breaking Butterflies, is that it divides people’s opinions. It is a book that needs to be discussed about, and I think, that’s what great books are all about. Definitely a five star. The publisher is Chicken House. I recommend that you read this book.

Minus Me by Ingelin Rossland

‘Hesitantly she lifts one foot. Then she jumps, even though her heart is stuttering so unevenly. Then suddenly her body pops to the surface like a cork, and the silence is filled with loud screams’

Linda is only twelve. She is young, and is surrounded by people who admire her. But when she suffers from a rare heart condition and does a risky dive in her diving competition, she can only wait for a donor to save her life. Except she doesn’t want to wait, she wants to live. She wants to do things any teenager does. She wants to have a first kiss, go to a rock concert, travel on her own. But will the fact that she’s dying hold her back? Will she push herself too far? All will be revealed in Rossland’s amazing new book, Minus Me.

For one, the cover is really eye-catching and colourful, drawing the attention in from the reader. The title, Minus Me, is powerful and makes you want to know more about what’s inside. My favourite character is Linda, the protagonist, and Zac, who helps her along the way. It teaches you that you should be able to love life and do what you want, but know that your choice can affect other, especially people who care about you. My favourite scene was when Linda performed a dive and her heart stopped in the water. I recommend this to boys and girls of the age of 11-14, because it is quite easy to understand and the characters are 12-13. I give it a four star and the publisher is Oneworld Publications.

 

My Smoky Bacon Crisp Obsession by J. A. Buckle

‘Things I need to do this year:

1. Move on, finally, from that one-second kiss.
2. Get a band together!
3. Get a tattoo. Absolutely. It will definitely happen this year.
4. Get a C in atleast one of my A-Levels. Ugh.
5. Stop making lame lists!!!!’

An new year, a new start, a fabulously shiny new leather notebook: Josh Walker is back, and he’s ready for whatever faces him. He has a girlfriend and three friends who will support him all the way (no matter how crazy they are). Except, by the end of the first month of sixth form, Josh is involved in a fight, nearly faints when dissecting a heart, and is banned from Scouts. His life is ‘ruined’. But will he be able to complete his to-do list by the end of the school year? Will he be able to balance his problems with his A-Levels? And what secrets are his friends and family hiding from him this time?

I cannot begin to put my love for this book into words. It is a great read which is fast paced and swallows you whole. The characters are all so relatable, especially Davey and Josh, my two favourite. Sometimes I find sequels are not as good as the first book, but I think this was as good as Half My Facebook Friends Are Ferrets, if not more! As well as being hilarious, the novel teaches you lifelong rules that school doesn’t: everyone has things they don’t want other people to know, as Josh finds out later on in the book. It also teaches you to be kind and selfless. I love the ending too, but I won’t give it away!

In conclusion, this is more than a diary. This is more than a ‘book’. A five star.

Boys and girls will find My Smoky Bacon Crisp Obsession amusing, from the age of around 12 to 17. I’m reviewing this for the publisher, Curious Fox.

 

The Beneath by S. C. Ransom

Lily lives with her Nan. She has no friends. Her family is thousands of miles away. All she wants is for someone to be there for her. But when Lily saves Aria from getting crushed by a train, she didn’t realise what she’s getting into. Little did she know that Aria is part of something out of this world, and by talking to her she is risking her life. Little did she know that a whole community lives right under her nose. Little did she know that the community needs her help before everything spirals out of control.

This fantastic story hooked me in on the first page- I couldn’t stop reading until I finished it a day later! The story line is very original and thought-provoking; I love books that make me think, and S. C. Ransom has done just that. There aren’t very many characters, but those that are there, are very likeable and realistic. I especially like Will and his dog, Foggy. I also liked the main character, Lily; her heroic personality keeps the book going. The book is extremely fast paced, although the pace did get a little slow around the end. One of my favourite scenes is when Aria and Lily are being chased by the mysterious Crop- sometimes I skip words in other books but in this scene I was gripped and read every single word.

Boys and girls of an age range of 12-15 would like this great book, and the publisher is Nosy Crow. I give this book a five stars, and I reviewed this book for lovereading4kids

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

‘Get out of here while you can.’

This incredible book hooks you in on the first page. The story starts off when Sophie finds a mysterious jar of honey propped up on her restaurant’s counter. The situation gets even worse when five boys arrive in her neighbourhood. Who are the boys and why did they move to Cedar Hill, the most boring village in the world? And why are Sophie and her best friend irresistibly drawn to them?

I love this book because it has a lot of twists and turns -just when I think it’s going to be happily ever after, something goes wrong and Sophie is (once again) in danger. The story line is always captivating, but what I like the most is the fact that nothing is cliché. The romance between Sophie and Nic is original and, at most times, is not cheesy. I think what helps this is the plot, and how original it is. My favourite moment is when Sophie meets the five boys the first time, because it was full of suspense. The publisher is Chicken House, and the age range is for girls aged 14+. I rate it a 5 star, with no hesitation!

 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

‘An hour ago, nothing that happened felt real to me. Now it does.’

Tris, a different person from book one, has changed to become the new, guilty Tris now. Things are falling apart for Tris. Dauntless is crumbling. Her relationship with Tobias is being destroyed. Everything is falling down; all because of the Erudite taking over the system. It was bad before, but it’s worse now. Much worse. How will Tris stop Jeanine Mathews from becoming the leader of all five factions? Will Tris help Marcus, Tobias’ father? Will things get better for her, or will she give up?

This book is a great sequel to Divergent, the original book. I love how Tris changes, but sometimes, I almost lost hope- it was quite depressing. As different situations give Tris different problems, I became more entranced by Roth’s world and more gripped by the second. There is only one slightly bad thing with this book. It’s the sort of book that you can put down easily. You need the time, concentration and focus to read this book, and if there are any distractions nearby, you may miss an important moment. Because there are so many problems, dillemas, climaxes in this book they all need equal attention. And sometimes I can’t give that.

Nevertheless, this book is amazing. Roth continues to astound me, and I hope that happens in the last book which I can’t wait to read. My favourite character in this b0ok is Tobias.

The age rang is 13+, and the publisher is Harper Collins. It is the second book of the trilogy, and I am more than happy to give this book a four star review.

Solitaire by Alice Osman

‘ What a pointless, pointless day this is.’

There are typical people in schools all around the world; the popular ones who attention seek to make everything seem better, the ones who have everything they could possibly have but will always feel alone, and the ones who can’t be bothered to do anything in life because they have no life. That’s who Tori Spring classifies herself as.

Tori Spring is ‘boring’. She gets up in the morning to do what everyone does in the morning. She goes to school. Nothing much happens there, of course. She then gets back from school and sits on her laptop for about 10 hours. That’s Tori’s life. Full stop. Until Solitaire arrived. With a bang. And a few streamers and sparks.

Tori knew something would happen after she met Michael Holden, something bad. Then when all those mysterious incidents occurred, she began to wonder, are all the clues left for her? Lucas, Michael, Becky, are they all connected? Instead of Tori revolving around everything is everything revolving around Tori?

I loved this book so much you wouldn’t believe! I think I loved it so much because I can relate to Tori, along with all the other teenagers around the world, I guess. Everyone feels self-hatred at some point in their lives, whether it be a second or a year, and this book depicts that feeling beautifully. I loved reading about Lucas, Michael and Tori as I never, EVER knew what was going to happen next. Which got me a bit frustrated.

This has definitely got to be a five star, although, if I have to be VERY critical, the climax wasn’t climaxy. It lacked a little drama, because this book needs drama to be a success. Apart from that, there is nothing wrong with this book. I would say this is for 14+ readers, just because there is quite a bit of swearing. Well, I guess there has to be when the point of view is from a self-pitying pessimist.

The publisher is Harper Collins.

Shift by Jeff Povey

“…after the door close behind him there’s a flash of light that seems to illuminate the whole room. Carrie jumps in her seat, letting out an involuntary scream. It’s like someone put million-watt bulbs in all the light sockets, and the flash all but blinds me.”

One moment Rev was in a boring detention, and the next there was a massive blinding flash of a light and everyone in the whole world has disappeared. Apart from the people in the detention with her. What should she do? Should she run around, go crazy? Or should she stay low and try to work out where the others have gone? But it seems like she and her friends aren’t the only ones; there are others out there, exactly like them, but with supernatural powers. Now this new world isn’t as safe and fun as it was before- the fact that everyone’s gone and Rev is alone with these monsters is now extremely scary… But what if it’ the other way round? What if she’s disappeared, into a mirror image of their world?

A gripping and captivating book, Jeff Povey has definitely convinced me that there’s something out there which is dangerous! All of the made up characters are intriguing and loving especially Rev, Johnson, GG and the Ape. For me my favourite character is the Ape (“it’s Dazza”) because of his cute fondness for Rev and his insistence that he should save the others, even when the worse comes round. This book is so good it blew me off my feet and I would be insanely proud if I was the author of it. With so many twists and turns, this book is best for it’s spellbinding words.

The age range is 13+ but 10 year olds can read it too as it took me two days to read, and trust me I was busy! This book is mostly for girls because of it’s romance and characters. The publisher is Simon and Schuster and I give it a four star.