So, I’ve had a bit of time out of blogging due to a hectic month, which means that I haven’t quite be as regularly posting as I’d hoped to be.
However, I want to make up for this today with a couple of reviews for some books that I think need a lot more love.
First up is A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom.
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful Review
For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out…
As her world begins to crumble, she fears the worst—that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she’s been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?
Mel is a great protagonist: fierce, funny and intrinsically complex. You root for her as she grapples with her family relationships, friendships, her internal ‘animals’ and her deepest, darkest secrets.
I loved how although Mel’s bipolar disorder was a main factor of the plot, it wasn’t her defining factor. Her story was far more complicated than that, intertwining with themes of friendship, love and loss. To me, her disorder only highlighted how multi-faceted her relationships were and that made Mel a human being, instead of being just a mental illness (unlike some other YA novels I could mention). In the same spirit, sexuality is discussed in a refreshingly open and honest way.
A Tragic Kind of Wonderfulis a captivating story about dealing with mental illness, friendship problems and first loves that’s perfect for fans of YA, or those who are looking for a unique and phenomenal new book to lose themselves in.
Second up, I’ve chosen The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M.Romero
The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M.Romero
One night a little doll named Karolina comes to life in a toyshop in Krakow, Poland, in 1939, and changes the life of the gruff, broken-hearted Dollmaker. And when the darkness of the Nazi occupation sweeps over the city Karolina and the Dollmaker must bravely use their magic to save their Jewish friends from a terrible danger, no matter what the risks.
This is a gorgeously written short story blending magical realism and history, so it was definitely my cup of tea. The way that the fairy-tale story complemented the main plot as these entwined metaphors was just brilliant.
The illustrations were beautiful and really complemented the story, bringing these vibrant characters to life even more. Every character was fleshed-out and it felt like they were jumping off the page.
Romero creates these two interwoven stories of oppression, both in The Land of Dolls and in Poland and makes them just so poignant that you can’t help getting swept up in the story. As a lover of history, I know a bit about the period and the eloquent way that she writes her author’s note shows just how much research she did. It is a powerful author’s note that has stayed with me since.
In short, The Dollmaker of Krakow is an astounding debut novel that I adored.
Finally, I’ve chosen the wonderful and thought-provoking but bizarre Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos.
Life in a Fishbowl Review:
Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumour and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.
Her sister’s trust is gone, ever since she’s been dazzled by the cameras and her new-found infamy. Her privacy is gone. The whole family’s dignity is gone, as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be . . . gone.
Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death.
Life in A Fishbowl by Len Vlahos is one of those books that stays with you long after you’ve read the final page.
I loved this book. I’m going to be honest though, you will need some tissues while you’re reading it as there are a few highly-emotional moments.
Vlahos deals with issues in such a sensitive, poignant and searingly honest way to create this intensely realistic book that you just can’t put down. It certainly doesn’t pull any punches, with harrowing opening pages and a twist that will leave you reeling.
There is a highly-entertaining cast of characters that range from an unhinged billionaire playboy to a fame-obsessed nun. Each character is developed over the course of the book and their stories intertwine, weaving an intricate tapestry of what fame really costs. Above all of those, is a unique and thought-provoking perspective that changed the entire plot and for me, was what really made this book stand out. However, I can’t mention any details without giving away parts of the plot, so trust me when I say it’s just a brilliant idea.
Life in A Fishbowl is a bittersweet fusion of emotions that won’t let you go.
Those are my three reviews for today, but later on this week, I’ll be sharing my first-ever TBR that I’m hoping to complete before 2019.
Over To You:
Have you read any of the books I’ve reviewed today? If so, what did you think of them?
Which books do you think need more love or to be shouted about more?