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.

Flawed by Cecilia Ahern

Flawed is a unique book about a society where people are split into two groups: normal and flawed. The flawed are the people you don’t want to be, the outsiders. Celestine thought she was safe from the government. She thought her family and friends would protect her. But when she does the right thing in a bad situation, she is put on trial and her life is literally changed forever. I really liked this book because it shows what it’s like to be on both sides, and makes you wonder what our society will be like in the future. I loved the character of Celestine but I feel like a few of the characters weren’t as developed. Overall, it was a gripping read and I recommend it to teenagers who enjoyed Divergent! I rate it 7 out of ten.

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Hi guys!

So I was at Foyles the other day, and I picked up this book because I thought it looked intriguing. I’m so happy I did because it’s such a beautiful book! You learn about mental illnesses and how hard it is to cope with them, and also feminism, two things I think are very important after reading this book. I loved the characters Evie, Amber and Lottie- they stayed with me long after I put the book down. Honest, gripping and insightful, I rate Am I Normal Yet a five star.  Also it’s very easy to read, it’s not for the younger readers- a more YA focused book.

Holly Bourne’s twitter

All My Secrets by Sophie McKensie

‘A riddle wrapped in a coincidence, bound tightly by a lie. And covered up with a massive secret…’

When Evie Brown inherits £10 million pounds from a mystery person, she is gob smacked. Who would give her this much money and why? But when she is told that her whole childhood and the people closest to her was a lie, she is transported to the eerie Lightsea Island by her parents and her Uncle Gavin. Lightsea Island was meant to be a place for teenagers to take their minds off their problems at home. But during the meditation lessons, while she is cleaning the kitchens, she can’t help feeling suspicious. What is that flash of red and black that she keeps on seeing in the window? Is someone watching her? Could it be the person who gave her the large amount of money? Should Evie listen to her gut feeling, or what people keep on saying: It’s just the trick of the lights…

I really liked this book! I liked all of the characters, especially Josh and Pepper (great name, by the way!), and how they worked together to get what they wanted. Personally, I think they all acted a bit younger than their actual age, so I think they should’ve been fourteen instead of sixteen. Despite this, I got quite attached to a few of the characters, which made me even more gripped as I wanted to see how they would turn out. There are a lot of twists and it’s very fast paced (I finished it in a day!). I would recommend it to girls and boys who like a bit of romance and adventure, around 12-15 years old. The publisher is Simon and Schuster, and I would rate this book a four star.

To sum up in three words, this book is: captivating, unique, unpredictable. A must read.

All My Secrets will be published in July, 2015.

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.

 

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

Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossman

‘It was quiet again.
No shouting.
And no thunder either.
“Mummy,” I whispered.
“Mummy’s gone, pet,” Nana said. She climbed the stairs, opened the gate at the top and lifted me into her arms. She was shaking. Her eyes were wet. “It’s you and me now. You and me, OK?” ‘

Apple’s Mum left her when she was little. No goodbye parties. She just left. There, then gone. Apple grew up with her Nan, but always wanted the perfect mother figure in her mind. She was doing well in school, with her best friend Pilar on side, no one bothering her that much. Until she wished for her mum to come back. Then everything went out of control.

If you like Jacqueline Wilson, then you’d love this book. Not only is it gripping and fast paced, the novel has a deeper meaning behind it too. I love Apple, the main character, and I also like Del, her friend. The book deals with all sorts of problems which is why I like it so much. Friendship problems, bullying, love, family- you name it- they’re featured in this book. This is also the first book I felt satisfied with after finishing. It just rounds off everything neatly.

The age range is around 11+ and mostly for girls. The publisher is Bloomsbury and I give it a five star.