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Book Review UKYA

REVIEW: Seed by Lisa Heathfield


I haven’t read a book in a long time that has completely blown me away and given me an “OMG!” moment. Seed completely changed that, however. It was AMAZING!

Pearl has always lived in Seed, a community that worships Nature. When a new boy and his family are welcomed into Seed, Pearl starts to notice the cracks in her seeminly perfect world. Why doesn’t she know who her mother is? Why aren’t they allowed medical care? Seed is a crazed cult, and Seed will never let her go.

Heathfield has created a dangerous but charming community with enigmatic Seed. I could feel myself sinking into Seed’s mindset whilst reading it and I could feel myself being pulled towards it. The worshipping of nature particularly appealed to me and so it was almost as if I was Pearl fighting to find out the truth behind a seemingly perfect world.

One part I specifically loved was the opening scene because it’s one of the only YA books I’ve read that talks about menstruation, which I think is important to be acknowledged because it barely is for something so major in a teenager’s life.

Whilst Pearl could be frustrating at points, I completely understood why. It was fascinating to see her internal struggle between wanting to love Seed and knowing that it was corrupt.

The ending had me reeling! It was SUCH a shock! You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about if you’ve read it; I still haven’t quite recovered from it!

I was so happy to have loved one of my most anticipated UKYA reads of 2015 so much and I can’t wait to read the next installment in 2016. Phenomenal!


Book Review UKYA

REVIEW: Cruel Summer by James Dawson

If you know me at all, you’ll know that I’m a big champion of UKYA, and Cruel Summer has been flitting across my radar since it was released. Having not read many books like this one, I was a bit hesitant beforehand but I was super pleased when the opportunity to review it came up and I jumped at the chance.

When Janey Bradshaw is murdered on the night of Telscombe Cliffs’ prom, nothing is brought up until her group of friends meet up the summer after in Spain. There’s Ryan, Katie, Alisha, Ben, Greg, and Greg’s girlfriend, Erin. But when events are brought up to the surface again, one thing is made clear: one of the gang murdered Janey Bradshaw, but which one of them was it?

I haven’t read a book in a long time that gripped me as much as Cruel Summer did. One of the things that I loved the most was that it engaged the reader and I was certainly involved; I felt like I was a spectator and was constantly wondering who the murderer was, much like the friends would have been doing.

5 stars is not a high enough rating for this book. I want to create a whole new rating system for it. It’s a book that I’m going to be recommending non-stop and I just want to gush about it.

I really loved Ryan and his way of thinking. He would imagine life as a TV programme in scenes and series and it’s something that, with my wild imagination, I would probably do myself and that was his coping mechanism. I know that sometimes I’ll imagine I’m somebody from a book or a TV show because it’s a way of explaining life and getting through the day. It helped Ryan detach himself from the drama that was going on and I liked that.

Alisha was another of my favourite characters and the novel alternated between following Ryan and Alisha so it was fitting that I loved them both. Alisha was more fiery and spirited than Katie or Erin and I found her a lot more interesting and easy to get to know. I felt comfortable reading about her and wanted to know more. She was one of the reasons for me being so hooked.

Without giving anything away, Dawson is able to write mystery perfectly. There were so many twists and red herrings. I was sure I knew who the murderer was and then something would happen and I would change my mind. There was always an inkling of doubt in my mind whenever I thought I knew who it was and it was easy to put myself into the characters’ minds.

Cruel Summer showcases effortlessly how fab UKYA is and I know that I will be thrusting it into the hands of whoever is brave enough to come near me when I have my bookish head on. Everybody must read this book!