Sunday 31 July 2016

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

293 Pages

Rating: 3.5/5

More info: goodreads

If I Was Your Girl is the story of a transgender girl called Amanda as she aims to start a new life in a new town, hiding her past. Amanda is escaping those who knew her as Andrew and the abuse she faced as a result of living her life as who she really is. As things often are, however, it is far more complicated than just moving to a new town and starting fresh.

I really enjoyed this book. Although in many ways its your classic teenage love story, I really enjoyed the unique twist it had because the main character was transgender. When I saw the themes this book contained it struck me how little I've seen of this topic in young adult literature. Maybe transgender people are well represented and I've just missed it somewhere along the line but this is the first book I've ever come across which deals with the issue. While I hate that its taken this long for me to read something about this issue I'm glad I have now.

One thing I do think this book does so well is reminds you that the stories of transgender people are first and foremost the stories of people. This book is not about Amanda who is transgender, its about Amanda who is your typical teenage girl who happens to have had a different past to most of the people she's around. There are times in the book where I completely forgot about Amanda's past and I liked that the book helped remind its readers that 'transgender' is not the defining feature of her and people like her. It is important that the people around her acknowledge the struggles she's been through, which they do, but its equally important that they do not dwell on them, but instead allow her to live the life she's always wanted to live.

Although I have a limited understanding of what its like to be transgender as I cannot personally relate to Amanda's struggles, as a character she felt real and her struggles felt understandable and not out of reach for someone who hasn't experienced the same things. I think this book does a fantastic job of introducing people to the concept of transgender people and is positive and accessible in doing so.

Have you read this book? If not, I definitely recommend it! If you have, let me know your thoughts on it in the comments!

Lucy x

Sunday 24 July 2016

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

453 Pages

Rating: 4/5

More info: goodreads

My Life Next Door follows Samantha Reed who falls for the boy next door who belongs to a family her mother despises. As Samantha gets closer and closer to the family next door, more and more problems begin to arise.

This book, in my opinion, is the perfect summer book. If you like Anna and the French Kiss and desperately want to jump back into a similar book I can't recommend this enough. While it arguably is very typical in its plot etc, it executes it perfectly. If you're looking for a nice YA romance to read on holiday that you won't be able to put down, you've found it in this book. I picked it up in Waterstones because I'd heard its title thrown around on booktube and although I didn't know much about it decided to buy it for my holiday. It didn't quite get 5/5 because I did have a few questions at the end, but all in all its a fantastic book and I would definitely recommend it!

Have you read My Life Next Door? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments!

Lucy x

Sunday 17 July 2016

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

357 Pages

Rating: 3/5

More info: goodreads

Set in the 1990s, Attachments follows Lincoln who is tasked with monitoring emails at a newspaper office and Beth and Jennifer, whose emails often end up getting read by Lincoln. As he reads more and more of their exchanges, Lincoln begins to feel as if he knows Beth and Jennifer, but they still only know him as the guy they occasionally see around the office. The more Lincoln wants to introduce himself to the girls, the more he realises that its much too late.

I've read a few of Rainbow Rowell's books before and as a result I have very high standards when it comes to her writing. I'm such a huge fan of Fangirl and Eleanor & Park that although I will always read Rainbow Rowell books, this just didn't quite live up to the expectations I had because of the other two books. 

I did enjoy this book. I found it interesting to read something set at the end of the 1990's and the start of my life (although before I can remember anything) as I don't remember reading anything set in that period. I found the cultural references of the time interesting too, although being 19 and not knowing what things like the Y2K bug were I did have to ask my parents a few things! That being said, I am always more than happy to read a book that makes me learn about other things, such as these things that happened in my lifetime but beyond my memory. 

While this isn't a bad book in any way, I gave it 3/5 because although it was a nice plot it was predictable and it just didn't feel up to the same standard as I've come to expect from Rainbow Rowell. I would recommend reading it if you've read and loved her other books like I have, although I wouldn't recommend it as the first of hers to read, as in my opinion it doesn't show how awesome she really is.

Have you read Attachments? If so, what did you think of it? Do you think it was as good as other Rainbow Rowell books? Let me know in the comments!

Lucy x

Sunday 10 July 2016

Exciting News!

This is a little bit different to the kind of thing I normally post but it felt like the kind of thing I should let you all know. It's not book related but it is writing related so it seemed relevant for ABookAndABrew.

I am an editor for The Tab Reading!

I found out last week and the new (and first) editorial team was announced on social media a few days ago meaning I can now let you all know. 

I am joining a group of people to help produce online content for The Tab. If you've not come across the name before, the easiest way to explain the site is a hugely popular online student newspaper. I'm super excited to be joining the team, mainly because I love the site so much myself. Being able to get involved in something I'm really passionate about it so exciting!

If you want to see who else is on the editorial team you can read the article The Tab Reading posted here.

Are you interested in staying updated with me and The Tab? If so I can do updates every now and then with articles I've been involved with. Let me know if you think that's a good idea in the comments below!

Lucy x

Sunday 3 July 2016

June Book Haul! (2016)

So I don't normally do book hauls because it is rare that I get a lot of books in one go but clearly June was an exception! After finishing my exams I decided to treat myself a little bit and get some books since I've not been able to read much for ages because of the exams!

I took a little trip into Waterstones while I was in town one day and decided to get a few holiday reads. When I'm on holiday I like to read things that are easy to fly through and don't take much thought which usually means I go for something YA and romance. I picked up My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick because I'd heard people talking about it and thought it fitted the occasion. I also saw a stand of books on 2 for 1 and couldn't resist so picked up If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo purely because it said on the back it is about someone who is transgender and I've never seen any books on this topic and The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood because it seemed like my kind of summer read.

I couldn't resist buying a few books online. I got Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates (not pictured because I forgot it was in my currently reading pile-oops!) which I am currently reading and loving. It essentially states the facts proving sexism is still a huge issue in our society and uses statements from real people to explain the facts. I love the way its written and will definitely be reviewing it when I'm done with it so keep an eye out for that! I also bought Room by Emma Donoghue and A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara because I've heard so much about them. With both of these books I've heard them mentioned everywhere and every time I am interested and want to read them. I decided it was time to finally buy them and I'm going to try not to get intimidated by the size of A Little Life and actually read it!

I also bought two books by Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Rest of Us Just Live Here. After reading A Monster Calls I was craving more Patrick Ness and after a conversation with a friend who shares my love for his writing (thanks Sophie!) I settled on these two to read next. I absolutely loved A Monster Calls so I'm hoping I enjoy these just as much!

So there we go! All the books I bought in June! Have you read any of these? If you have, what did you think of them? If not, would you like to read any of them? Let me know in the comments!

Lucy x

Guess Who's Back...

 So... it's been a while! So looking at my most recent post, it's been a grand total of 7 years, 4 months and 12 days since I last u...