Saturday, 4 July 2020

BOOK REVIEW ~ No Regrets by Tabitha Webb

* I was sent an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you HQ for this opportunity.*

Hey lovelies, welcome back!

They say that you’ll be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did, and for lifelong friends, Stella, Anna and Dixie this couldn’t be more true. They’ve all lived fulfilling lives – Stella had a dream career as a magazine editor and is now married with two children, Dixie married young and now lives the glamorous life of a bachelorette since her divorce, and Anna has spent her life finding the optimal partner, who she’s found in Rex, and is now trying for a baby. All three should be happy right? Wrong! Each feels that something is missing from their lives and when a series of opportunities present themselves the girls decide that it’s time for no more regrets…

No Regrets by Tabitha Webb is raunchy, comical and real, making it an upbeat read!

I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would, what with my go-to genre’s being YA Fiction or Fantasy, but I received an ARC at the Harper Collins Showcase in February and when they released the call for the blog tour I thought why not! 

This is such an easy read and I found myself speeding through. It's the perfect book to pick up for a holiday (admittedly non-existent holiday thanks to Covid-19).

Comprised of alternative chapters from all three pov’s, we experience everyone's story from the third person narrative which creates an omniscient feeling. Webb uses the varied pov to drive the plot forward, which captures your intrigue and keeps you turning the page. While I preferred some story-arc’s over others, each was entertaining and charming and were woven together effortlessly.

What I admired most was that the characters are flawed and do make mistakes, just as humans do, which makes them easier to connect with. They all emanate a warmth that instantly makes them loveable. Personally, Stella was my favourite - she is headstrong, independent and utterly hilarious!

The ending felt a little unstable as we had all the story-arc's wrapped up in one chapter which left me feeling a little dizzy. While this is an obvious choice for the ending, I'd have preferred to title the ending chapters as "Bitches" rather than a specific character to make it clear all three are merging together. Nevertheless, the ending is beautiful and leaves you feeling content.

If you're looking for a hot, sassy read then look no further!


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

BOOK REVIEW ~ The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Hey lovelies, welcome back!


I, just like everyone else, have been horrified by recent events and have wanted to do my bit to help. I decided the first step was to educate myself, for me the best way to do that is through reading. So, after reading some reviews and a quick browse of the Waterstones website later I compiled a list of books I want to read this summer as the first step to educating myself on the BLM movement. 

 First up is The Hate U Give (THUG) by Angie Thomas. This one I'd started reading when it first published and won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2018 but had to put it down as book club reads and blog tours took priority and I never got around to picking it back up, until now. 

Starr moves between two worlds and even identifies as two separate people – “Garden Height’s Starr” who lives in the poor, “ghetto” neighbourhood and works at the store and “Williamson Starr” who attends the private schools in the rich, preppy neighbourhood a few miles away. Starr doesn’t really mind, just as long as the two worlds never meet! That all changes one night when Starr witnesses her friend Kahlil get shot by a cop on their way home from a party. Shaken too her core, Starr is determined not to let it happen again. What follows is a journey full of self-discovery and an agenda - Get justice for Kahlil, challenge and change the system, and above everything else make sure that she too doesn't wind up getting shot, even if that means merging her two worlds...

 This is an extremely powerful read! Within the first few pages I was hooked - captivated by Thomas' candour and realism.

At times, it felt quite disorientating to read - the action resembles that of a dystopian novel, and it’s easy to get caught up in it. However, it quickly dawns on you that reality of the action. This is happening, right now, and for me that brought the novel closer to home and heightened my reading experience.

What stood out the most for me was how thought provoking it was. All throughout it had me thinking and unintentionally asking myself questions. Of course, it contains the usual tropes of YA fiction, friendships, relationships and the struggles that go along with those, but Thomas uses them as a plot device and as a way to further the over-arching message rather than for the sake of it. It is through these tropes that the questions are posed - Starr’s relationship with Chris explores the struggles of an interracial relationship and his interactions with her family encourage you to think more broadly about racial stereotypes. Hayley, one of Starr’s best friends, is the embodiment of white privilege! Thomas has written her so well that it got me wondering if I picked up on this purely because of the context I was reading her in, and if I’d even notice this if the character featured in another book.

Amongst all the grit, Thomas keeps it accessible for her intended audience while creating an appeal for older readers. As previously mentioned, this is a powerful read and an important one too! The Hate U Give should be one everyone reads. Whether you are a young adult, someone who enjoys reading YA fiction, or, like me, is looking to educate yourself, this book should be top of your TBR pile.