ARC Review: Floored

floored

Floored 

by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood

YA Contemporary, Mystery

Buy HERE on Book Depository!


The Breakfast Club meets One Day in Floored, a unique collaborative novel by seven bestselling and award-winning YA authors: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood.

When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.


*Thanks so much to the publisher and Beatrice May for sending me an ARC in exchange for a review, as well as giving me the opportunity to be on the blog tour!*

If you haven’t heard about Floored yet, you seriously must be living under a rock. It is, without a doubt, one of the most highly-anticipated books of the decade and a collaborative novel between seven of the UK’s leading, bestselling YA authors. And after reading this book, the hype is damn well worth it.

I’ve only read Barnard, Bourne, Pratt and Williamson’s works but that didn’t matter. I was thoroughly able to enjoy this fantastic book without reading any of Salisbury, Wood or Byrne’s. And better yet, Floored has definitely made me want to check them out.

All of the characters in this novel are so well-polished and though they’re all bizarrely different, they complement each other so well! The mystery of the book too is built up so well from the very first page. It was such a hard book to put down! Every time I stopped reading I was just dying to know what was going to happen next. Also, I think it was such a clever idea to set it over a couple of years and give each character a chapter per year. Being an avid Holly Bourne fan going in, I thought I’d immediately be able to suss what character was hers but I just couldn’t! My guesses are on my Twitter if anyone wants to look but I cannot wait to find out.

I would 100% recommend this book to you all if you haven’t already got it on your wishlist! It comes out on the 12th of July, in just five days’ time!

floored blog tour

 

 

You can also check out my next Floored post on the 14th of July, which is part of a really special blog tour or this! There are some amazing bloggers involved so I would really keep an eye out for it!

I hope you enjoyed this review and can’t wait to see what you all thought of this fantastic book in the comments below!

 

Until next time, Ross!


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Review: Trouble by Non Pratt

Trouble

Author: Non Pratt

Publisher: Walker

Release Date: 6th March 2014

Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 381


In this dazzling debut novel, a pregnant teen learns the meaning of friendship—from the boy who pretends to be her baby’s father.

When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”

Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love.


Trouble may be Non Pratt’s debut, but ironically it’s the last book of hers that I’ve read. But speaking off first books – this did not seem like a debut at all! Why? Because Pratt has officially mastered the talent of writing and I can thankfully say now that I adore all of her books.

Trouble, I’ll start off by saying was absolutely hilarious. It was a real page-turner, so much so that it rescued me from my slump while I was on holidays. Pratt’s characters were totally unique and some of the things they said and did made me laugh out loud. Pratt really captures perfectly what it’s like to be a teenager and dealing with school and relationships and parents.

It follows Hannah Shepard, a fifteen year old who finds out that she’s pregnant. She has a reputation of sleeping around, so nobody knows for definite who the father is. And the identity is something Hannah knows – and wants to keep a secret. So when new boy Aaron transfers to Hannah’s school with a secret of his own, the pair decided to help each other – by Aaron pretending to be the father of Hannah’s baby.

There’s certainly an element of mystery in this book too – regarding Aaron’s secret before he transferred school and also who Hannah’s baby daddy is. I couldn’t put it down because I was so engrossed and I would definitely recommend this for fans of the UKYA contemporary community!


Rating:

★★★★★

#LGBTQMonth: Author Interview – Non Pratt!

 

Hey guys!
Today we want to thank the wonderful Non Pratt for agreeing to an interview for #LGBTQMonth! She is the author of Trouble, Unboxed, Remix  and most recently, Truth or Dare.
Check out her books if you haven’t already and check out the interview below. (Also you don’t want to miss her answer to question #1, because it is hilarious!)

1. Who is your favourite LGBT+ character in literature?
If it wasn’t cheating, I’d say Remus Lupin (as far as I’m concerned he’s bisexual), but unless an author takes the time and care to write sexuality into canon, then it doesn’t count as representation. And my other pick is a bit of a plot spoiler (why am I making this so hard?!). SO I’m going for a non-spoilery, totally canonical pick of Mum K – the spikier and more sarcastic of the two mums in Susie Day’s excellent The Secrets of Sam & Sam. It’s a younger book (ha, you didn’t specify YA!) but the reason I love Sam and Sam’s mums is that it shows us that we can all have a ‘traditional’ happy ending, even if was hard to start the journey. And Mum K has excellent sass.

2. Have you come across unfair or offensive LGBT+ representation in literature? *Without naming*
I probably have, but wouldn’t necessarily have been aware of it at the time – I used to be a largely uncritical reader and it’s taken time and energy to educate myself as to what constitutes fair representation. I’d say the biggest injustice isn’t specifically bad rep, but the absence of rep. There are fewer bi and ace characters than gay characters and fewer f/f romances placed at the forefront of stories compared to m/m. And that’s not even starting to address characters transitioning, or identifying as non-binary having stories that aren’t dominated by that aspect of their life.

3. Do you actively seek out LGBT+ fiction or if a book includes it, that’s a bonus?
I’m a very lazy reader, although occasionally I take a little more agency in my reading habits and try to steer myself towards books I know are more inclusive. Having said that, I’m usually more inclined to read something if I’ve heard good things about it – and the people I listen to care enough about diversity and representation that I get steered in the right direction! I now have a lot less patience for an all-white-straight-cis-able cast.

4. Do you think that the literature today is more open and diverse or have we a long way to go yet?
*More* open and diverse, yes. That doesn’t mean we haven’t a way to go. Few stories centre LGBTQ+ characters and sometimes I get a sense that publishing thinks it’s checked the ‘coming out’ box and doesn’t need to produce new material. We should have gay superheroes and ace romances and anything intersectional. There’s always further to go.

5. Out of all of your works, which was your favourite to work on and why?
Unboxed. It was by far the easiest to write. Most of my books take about 18 months, Unboxed took one month to draft. It was a dream of a book. Looking back, I think it was because Alix, the narrator, is a character that’s close to me in terms of the way she looks at the world. That and the fact that it’s a novella, so it’s meant to be about a quart the size of the others!

6. Do you have an essential LGBT+ literature recommendations?
I love love love The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson. Leo is one of my favourite characters in all of literature. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman is also fantastic – Alice writes like no one else and she cares so deeply about her characters and how she represents on the page. No one in her main cast of characters in this book is white/straight. Love it. I’m also a big fan of Juno Dawson. Her non-fiction voice is a joy to read in This Book is Gay so I’m sure I’ll love her latest, The Gender Games when I get my hands on it.

7. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Always the same advice: if you are young, be patient. It can take time to work out what you want to say and how you want to say it. Writing is not a race. Also, do it for love. If publishing is your goal and not the act of writing, why are you doing it? Writing takes ages, but the reward of publishing is short-lived. If you love it, crack on, keep loving it, never stop.

8. What was the most interesting thing you learned while working on your books?
While I was researching traumatic brain injuries for my latest book, Truth or Dare, I learned a lot of different things about how the brain works and all the things it controls. I’m not sure interesting is really the right word, though as so much of what I learned has such a profound effect on real people’s lives that reducing it to an anecdote feels wrong. So instead, I’ll say that the most interesting thing I did was visit the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability and talk to the staff and patients there.

9. What do you think makes a good story?
The burning desire to inhabit a fictional world, your brain imagining what those characters are up to long after you’ve put the book down.

10. How long did it take to create your books?
As I said before, my novels take about 18 months from first idea to ‘finished’ draft – by which I mean that if someone intercepted the email and published whatever draft I’d sent to my editors, I wouldn’t self-combust in shame. There’s a lot more usually happens after that though! For my novella, Unboxed, it was a dream. I reached the end of the story within a month, spent another month editing myself, then sent it off. If it had been published the next day, I’d have been happy.

 

 

Review: Truth or Dare, by Non Pratt

TOD

Author: Non Pratt
Publisher: Walker
Release Date: 1st June 2017
Genre: YA, Romance
Pages: 384

A powerful and moving novel about bravery from the Guardian’s “writer to watch” Non Pratt, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, John Green and Holly Bourne. How far is too far when it comes to the people you love? Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take. Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you’re willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?

I’ve read both Remix and Unboxed by Non Pratt so Truth or Dare was definitely one I was looking forward to getting my hands on!
I was not disappointed. This was both a tear-jerking and jaw-dropping read. Pratt’s style of writing allows you to feel all kinds of emotions – one moment you could be sobbing uncontrollably when Sef or Claire are getting deep with one another, and the next you could be on the edge of the seat, example: the second ‘proper’ dare that Sef decided to do. Yeah, that one…
What I also loved about this book is the excellent diverse cast of characters. This is a fantastic read if you’re looking for some asexual/aromantic representation (which is hard to come across!) then I urge you to pick up this fab read. Also a Pakistani main character is something that’s not explored that often in YA.
Claire was so sweet and Sef was flirty and hilarious and they were a pair that I adore. I also loved how much of an idiot Rich was and how empowering Seren was. These are definitely some characters that I’ll not be forgetting. They were brilliantly wrote.

I also loved the layout/structure of this book. It was a very creative thing to do to make the reader turn the book upside down halfway through and basically start the story all over again from somebody else’s POV.

I would definitely recommend this heart-stopping read from Pratt, and I’ve decided that I just need to get my hands on Trouble!
5 out of 5 stars! I also have to thank this book for getting me out of the mini-slump I was in!

Review: Unboxed, by Non Pratt

unboxed

Author: Non Pratt
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Release Date: 15th August 2017
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 140
–––
Unboxed is about four teenagers who come together after several months apart. In previous years, they had put together a time capsule about their best summer with a friend who was dying. Now that their friend has passed, they reunite to open the box.
–––
Hello Non Pratt, my new favourite author.
No, but seriously, I was expecting really good things from this book because I’ve read Pratt’s other book, Remix, and boy I was not disappointed.

Alix is such a cinnamon roll that needs to be protected at ALL COSTS. I’m so glad Pratt chose Alix to be the narrator because it probably wouldn’t have been as good with any of the other characters telling the story.

Ben and Zara were such a pair of cuties that I loved and shipped since almost page one. I despised Ash but, to be honest, I think he was written to be despised.


“I know why we all fell apart, that’s just what happens. But things that fall apart can be put back together, right? Even if there’s a piece missing.”


Pratt also has this exceptional fluidity to her writing. It’s just so easy to read as the words flow along with you as if you were reciting the alphabet. It’s utterly unique and distinctive and if I had to read one of her works without knowing she wrote it, I would probably be able to guess it was her.

Such a strong, solid story that dealt with cancer in a different way but I’m gonna say it loud and clear: it was just as effective as The Fault in Our Stars and tbh, more so.


“But the thing about knowing you’re about to die is that you spend a lot of time thinking about being alive. Way more than you do if you’re actually going to live – living takes up so much brain space that it squished out the other stuff. The important things. Like when you feel like the best version of yourself. Who was there when you did. Whether you’ve been chasing that version of yourself ever since and never found her.” 


Now I just have to get my claws on Trouble or I’ll go mental. At least I have Truth or Dare to look forward to as well!!!
I’m very excited and I loved this emotional rollercoaster of a story that almost left in tears (especially Millie’s letter omfg).

My only, only complaint is that this amazing story was CERTAINLY NOT LONG ENOUGH.

5 stars out of 5.

Review: I’ll Be Home For Christmas

ibhfc

Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Release Date: 22nd September 2016
Genre: YA, Short Stories
Pages: 384


The UK’s top Young Adult authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home. Contributors include: Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon , Cat Clarke, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick, Lisa Williamson and Benjamin Zephaniah. GBP1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity. 


I think it’s quite obvious from the books that I’ve read that I was really excited to get this book. I feel like I’ve been saying I’m excited for this book repeatedly in my last few blogs, but I can’t help it, I just am really excited about lots of books, lmao…
Anyways… the main authors I was looking forward to reading in this were HOLLY BOURNE (AKA MY QUEEN), LISA WILLIAMSON and my recently discovered new favourite NON PRATT!
It’s hard to talk about this book without going into too much detail about each and every individual story. If I had to pick my top three it would honestly be Lisa Williamson’s, Non Pratt’s and Juno Dawson’s!
I know, I know, Holly’s name isn’t in my top three and I feel like I’m saying the biggest sin right now but her story just didn’t do it for me. I found it (not dissimilar from a few others, might I add) to be a bit boring. I think my problem with it is that maybe I wanted more because I didn’t really feel like it told a story with a beginning, middle and end. Anyways, I’m going to STOP myself right now from slating Holly Bourne because she is a cinnamon roll and does not deserve it.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed with the stories because most of them I found to be too short but I think that his kind of anthology is a great way to discover never-before-read UKYA authors! Like for example, I’ve read nothing by Cat Clarke before but now I’m more than ever eager to get my hands on The Lost & the Found!!
Yeah…so, it was a small tiny bit disappointing but some of the stories hit home for me (Juno) so I’m glad that I read it.
Also, it put me in a real Christmassy mood so only 11 months to go!!!

I’m gonna give this 3 stars out of 5, although my Goodreads differs :/

Review: Remix, by Non Pratt

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This was such a beautiful story about two lovely girls. The plot was fast-paced and full of every problem you could imagine that left me hungry for more whenever I put it down!

Ruby and Kaz are your typical teenage best friends who both have boy troubles. And they go to a music festival – Remix – to try escape them, but it turns out they’re going to have a harder time hiding from their problems…

I love Pratt’s style of writing too – it’s easy, understandable and moves along simply. The last page especially really got to me.

Overall, I really really enjoyed this read and I shall soon be trying to get my hands on Unboxed and Trouble 🙂

Anyways, I’m gonna give this a definite 5 stars out of 5!