A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

A Map for Wrecked Girls

A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

For the first time, I was afraid we’d die on this shore. 

A Map for Wrecked Girls navigates the tempestuous relationship between two sisters, Henri and Emma. Although there is a plot background this is more of a character driven story. The setting and disastrous events that occur take a back seat.

I won’t let you fall.

I hardly noticed that they weren’t physically in a safe place because the focus is all on the head games and emotions of the sisters and the unfortunate boy who happened to be trapped with them. I wonder what his POV would sound like and how different the story would be if we knew what he was really thinking! Was he really necessary to the story? Many bloggers have mentioned they think he was not, but I think an additional character was necessary. My reason is spoilery so come back and visit once you’ve read the book.

Spoiler Alert!

Why Alex is necessary for the story

Without Alex I don’t think Emma would have realised how manipulating and toxic her relationship with Henri was. An additional character was needed to provide perspective.

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I didn’t know how to stay with her, and I didn’t know how to leave her behind.

Alternating between the past and the present, told only from the perspective of the younger sibling, the sister’s pretty toxic relationship is revealed. The flashbacks allow us to see how this relationship, exacerbated by family events, exploded out of all proportion.

I’d trusted Henri more than I’d trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I’d follow.

The growth of the sisters as characters and their relationship is what kept the story going. In particular, Emma (who I was rooting for) had the most to reflect on. I struggled with Henri as a character, feeling as though I couldn’t get a sense of her and what I did get I didn’t like.

We were no longer flesh and blood.

I don’t usually like survivor / deserted island storylines and was skeptical going in. But in this case, it is nothing more than a background which I find rather disturbing. The physical and emotional strain they endure as a result of the shipwreck came across as no worse than a week without pudding and the loss of an old, disliked T-shirt.

We sat at the edge of the ocean – my sister, Henri and I – inches apart but not touching at all.3 Star

 

 


Title:
A Map for Wrecked GirlsA Map for Wrecked Girls

Author: Jessica Taylor

Publication Date: 15 August 2017

Publisher: Dial Books

Source: Purchased

 

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A Map for Wrecked Girls

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Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them.

Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart.

To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

speak easy speak love

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

 

Whether it was the gun or the maniacal glint in her eye, they listened…

As a historical fiction story Speak Easy, Speak Love is a charming. As a retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing I a little disappointed it was so literal.

Hero went into it like a lioness.

I think by trying to squeeze the characters into the structure of the original story some parts of the book, such as the cupid plot, felt forced. I wish I could see how the book would have grown if allowed more freedom.

“I admit nothing except you are a madwoman with a severe lack of respect for proper clothing choices.

I love the quirky, devious characters and the air of mischief. Beatrice, in particular, is just as feisty as Felicity from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and they would probably be close friends. But is she just a little too like Felicity…?

Benedick had always liked Hey Nonny Nonny when it was empty – the promise of it.

The cover is stunning and is such a draw card! It’s pretty enough to frame.

“You are determined to drag this insufferable death rattle out as long as it will go, aren’t you?”4 Star

 

 

Title: Speak Easy, Speak Lovespeak easy speak love

Author: McKelle George

Publication Date: 19 September 2017

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Source: Review copy

 

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Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.   — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott

Grey Wolf Island

Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott

 

Gray Wolf Island is a story full of secrets, brilliant characters and an adventurous treasure hunt plot.

Tell the truth Ruby. Tell him what you did.

I was apprehensive initially; the unoriginal and boring cover doesn’t appeal to me but trusting the word of fellow bookworms who bestowed high praise on Goodreads I picked it up and am glad I did.

It’s no secret that somebody else has to die.

Although pacing was patchy and there were some parts in the build-up that I thought was over-explained, the storyline is solid with a slightly dark, sinister edge and a couple of unexpected twists.

I like that one girl’s voice could rattle the world.

The characters, an eclectic group of friends, are so believable. Their character development throughout the story, as their individuality is revealed and accepted, was so natural it was streamless. I’m not sure how to put into words that I found their presence comforting, and it’s this feeling that makes the book so captivating.

If I still have a heart, it’s not doing its job. It’s a stone in my chest, heavy like the rest of me.

And the ending? Unpredictable and satisfying.4 Star

 

 

Title: Gray Wolf Island Grey Wolf Island

Author: Tracey Neithercott

Publication Date: 10 October 2017

Publisher: Knopf Books

Source: Review copy

 

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Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

 

One of Us is Lying has a brilliantly thought-out, well-planned storyline. Every one of the protagonists are under suspicion and my theories followed wherever Ms. McManus led. At one point or another, I thought they were all guilty.

I know what it’s like to tell yourself a lie so often that it becomes the truth.

There are a lot of characters in this story, not only the individual POV’s of the multiple main characters but also the numerous secondary characters, including the siblings who got involved in the investigation,  which I found confusing and resulted in me paging back and forth to work out who fits in where.

You’re all walking teen-movie stereotypes.

The twists are very clever and the final outcome unpredictable, but I don’t think the story has enough depth. It lacks the intense, dark, formidable atmosphere I was hoping for and which would have taken the book to the next level.

I want to kiss her more than I want air.

As a huge The Breakfast Club fan I am sad that One of US is Lying has been compared to this movie by the publishers. Yes, there are a handful of stereotypical characters in detention, but that is where the comparison ends.

Things’ll get worse before they get better.

Did anyone else pick up Bronwyn’s ability to read Nate’s iPod playlist without her glasses?

4 Star

 

 

 

Title: One of Us Is LyingOne of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publication Date: 30 May 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Source: Purchased

 

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One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.  -Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

Troublemakers by Catherine Barter

Troublemakers

Troublemakers by Catherine Barter

Troublemakers is a beautifully written character-driven story. The rich multi-layered characters come to life on the pages against a well-developed background. But the pacing is slow in places and unless you’re as invested in the characters as I was this may bother you.

It’s like a second life, at the edges of this one, that comes into focus sometimes, and then fades away.

Focusing on the effects of grief and secrets big enough to destroy. On family dynamics and friendships. And at the centre is fifteen-year-old Alena and her family consisting of her older brother Danny and his life partner Nick. I loved that the family unit is not a traditional one, but that aside from the secret (and secrets have a way of getting out!) works really well. In all other respects, Danny and Nick make really good parents and Alena is so lucky to have them.

Everyone in the room looks pissed off and depressed so I fit right in.

Why then was I reluctant to pick it up? Although the abstract appealed enough to prod me into requesting the ARC (advanced review copy) it lay in my elibrary for ages before I literally had to read it or face a demotion in my Netgally percentage #bookwormproblems It was the cover that put me off. Please, publishers, take note: covers matter. This simplistic yellow cover is going to get noticed – for all the wrong reasons.

It’s hard not to feel self-conscious when someone is looking at you like you’re some tragic, miraculous woodland creature that’s just appeared.

The title is another bugbear. After reading the story I have no idea why it is called troublemakers. It gives the impression of a mischievous gang causing havoc. But does it portray the story? No, it really doesn’t. It portrays another story, one related but distant. Lena’s story needs her own title.4 Star

 

 

Title: Troublemakers Troublemakers

Author: Catherine Barter

Publication Date: 1 June 2017

Publisher: Andersen Press

Source: Review copy

 

 

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Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has grown up with her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick in the east end of London. Now the area is threatened by a bomber who has been leaving explosive devices in supermarkets. It is only a matter of time before a bomb goes off.
Against this increasingly fearful backdrop, Alena seeks to discover more about her past, while Danny takes a job working for a controversial politician. As her family life implodes, and the threat to Londoners mounts, Alena starts getting into trouble. Then she does something truly rebellious.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

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