Today, I’m reviving one of my favourite occasional features of the blog, my Mini Review Mondays! In case you haven’t seen any of my previous posts, I do ‘mini’ reviews of books that I’ve read, loved and usually promised to review ages ago.
Today, I’m focusing on some very recent reads, which were kindly sent to me by some very generous publishers.
The Boy & Girl Who Broke the World:
Billy Sloat and Lydia Lemon don’t have much in common, unless you count growing up on the same (wrong) side of the tracks, the lack of a mother, and a persistent loneliness that has inspired creative coping mechanisms.
When the lives of these two loners are thrust together, Lydia’s cynicism is met with Billy’s sincere optimism, and both begin to question their own outlook on life. On top of that, weird happenings including an impossible tornado and an all-consuming fog are cropping up around them – maybe even because of them.
With a unique mix of raw emotion, humor, and heart, the surreal plotline pulls readers through an epic exploration of how caring for others makes us vulnerable – and how utterly pointless life would be if we didn’t.
Thank you so much to India Hill and Atom Books for sending me a finished copy of this awesome book in exchange for a honest review!
Reed has proved with this book that she can create relatable, totally authentic characters and the dynamic between Billy and Lydia was absolutely entrancing. I loved the main trio of The Nowhere Girls so much and now I have proof that her character building is just brilliant.
It’s a surreal tale, but I love being tripped up by the structure and the way that Reed brought in current political thoughts was really clever. Beneath the surface of the seemingly bizarre story is a great discussion around social class, heritage and small town life that really drew me in. She initially leads you to believe that this is going to be full of typical YA tropes, only to destroy those tropes one by one!
A complex, heart-wrenching and honestly ugly look at some of our most pressing issues, all wrapped up in a surreal, hopeful tale of friendship and legacies.
Deeplight by Frances Hardinge:
First of all, thank you to Sabina Maharjan and My Kinda Book for gifting me an ARC of Deeplight in exchange for an honest review!
Hardinge has such a beautiful writing style that I felt myself getting lost in this magical world through her story-telling and I loved the whole theme of the power of stories. Words have immense power and the legacy they leave behind is such a fascinating idea that she explored, particularly through the character of Hark. His relationship with Jelt formed a key discussion around toxic relationships, something that I’m glad to see tackled more in YA.
Selphin was my favourite character by far though: feisty, took no prisoners and strong, tackling her trauma. She also just happened to be deaf, with the sign language being seamlessly integrated into dialogue.
Her whole concept of the gods and the exploration of fear and abuse of power was exquisite, as was the world-building. I felt totally immersed in this rich, detailed world of sea creatures, pirates and this large cast of characters who all felt distinct with their own unique voice.
Deeplight publishes on 31st October and it is definitely one that you should pick up!