Wednesday, August 15

Review: The Exact Opposite of Okay

The Exact Opposite of Okay
Laura Steven

Published By: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: March 8, 2018
Date Read: July 2, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 335
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35817737-the-exact-opposite-of-okay

From Goodreads:
Izzy O’Neill is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what the malicious website flying round the school says. Izzy can try all she wants to laugh it off – after all, her sex life, her terms – but when pictures emerge of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, her life suddenly becomes the centre of a national scandal. Izzy’s never been ashamed of herself before, and she’s not going to start now. But keeping her head up will take everything she has...

"Look at Vaughan. He's done everything I've done. He drank beer, had sex, sent a nude picture. And he just got an offer from Stanford. Why is his life worth more than mine, just because he's rich and male?"

The Exact Opposite of Okay is a book that I discovered while at YALC 2017, and it was almost a year later when I finally started to read it. I wasn't entirely sure what I would think about this book. I am not a major lover of contemporary novels but after hearing such great things I knew I had to give this book a chance. I am so glad that I did.

The Exact Opposite of Okay follows Izzy, high school student who after a drunken night that ended in two hook-ups and then some nude pictures sent later than week finds herself dubbed the 'slut'. With a website dedicated to hating on her, Izzy finds herself in the midst of a sex scandal. Can she overcome all of the hate she is getting from her classmates? And just who is behind the website?

Honestly, I thought the first 100 pages of this book were pretty slow. There had to be something about it that kept me reading as usually if I'm not enjoying a book I put it down after 50-100 pages but with this one I kept going. It was slow to start but then once we hit the 100-page mark, and the existance of the website, I couldn't put it down. I was so taken up in this story and found myself loving it.

The Exact Opposite of Okay is hilarious. Told from the point of view of aspiring comedian, Izzy, she is completely hilarious and flawed. I loved this about Izzy. Not only did she make mistakes at the start (I mean, she did sleep with two people in one night, and one of them outside in public) but she kept making mistakes as she dealt with the backlash. She was flawed but she owned her mistakes and took the flack for them. It was really great to go through this journey with her and I really loved seeing her grow as a person without changing her whole personality.

The message behind this book is so amazingly important. It's been dubbed as a 'feminist' book and if that puts you off I urge you to give it a go. I usually avoid books that have been dubbed as such as I expect them to be overly man-hating feminism but this one isn't. It's all about equality and how men and women should be treated the same and how it's not okay for one of them to be congratulated for having a lot of sexual experiences and women knocked down for the same thing. It also tackles the important issues of bullying and cyber-bullying and about the effect that can have on someone's mental health... particularly teenagers. It's got such a great message throughout this book and I am so glad I read it.

I didn't really expect much from The Exact Opposite of Okay but I absolutely loved it. It's meaningful and hilarious. Everything you could ever want from a good summer read. If you're looking for a new contemporary to make you laugh then I highly recommend The Exact Opposite of Okay.

"What do I want to be now? Bold. Fierce. Honest. A fighter. A revolutionary. A bitch. Because the way the world treats teenage girls – as sluts, as objects, as bitches – is not okay. It’s the exact opposite of okay."


 

Saturday, August 11

2018 Challenge 4: Zoella Book Club Challenge

Hey Guys,
Welcome to my fourth challenge post. This challenge is...

~ Zoella Book Club Challenge ~

So, those of you in the UK will more than likely be aware that vlogger Zoella joined up with WHSmith to bring us a book club filled with lots of different YA books. So far there has been three rounds of the Zoella Book Club and I really want to read all of them. I own all of them so my challenge this year is to read as many of them as I can.


Books I've Read So Far:

Round 1:


Round 2:

Round 3:


Have you read any of these?
Let me know in the comments.






Wednesday, August 8

My Time At #YALC2018

Hey Guys,

So I have a super special post for you today. I'm going to tell you about my amazing time at YALC. For those of you who don't know YALC is the Young Adult Literature Convention which takes place each summer as part of London Film and Comic Con (LFCC). It is the highlight of my year every year.





The Authors

I had such an amazing time meeting so many incredible authors over the three days of YALC.

~ Friday ~

 On the Friday, I was delighted to go to signings with 4 different authors. First up was one of my all time favourite people on this planet. The amazing Non Pratt. It's not a YALC without Non and I always love seeing her every single time. I loved her novel Second Best Friend and I was so thrilled to be able to buy her new book Giant Days while at YALC. I cannot wait to read it.

Second up was a huge author that I was thrilled to finally be able to meet. Author of the incredible If I Stay, Gayle Forman. She was absolutely adorable and although her queue was a mile long she was super sweet and nice chatting to everyone.

 Up next was the amazing Alwyn Hamilton. She even thanked me for waiting considering I'd already waited and seen her for the previous two years. She's so nice and is always walking around the floor chatting to everyone while she is at YALC.

The final author I saw on the Friday was the amazing Kristina Perez. We chatted over the fact that she totally broke my heart with her book but how much I can't wait for the second book. She was so sweet.

~ Saturday~

Saturday was the craziest of the days for signings for me. There was so many I wanted to do and although I spent the day sat in queues it was so worth it.

 The first two authors I saw on Saturday was Holly Bourne and Laura Wood. Holly Bourne is a favourite of mine and I just had to tell her how much I adored her debut adult novel, How Do You Like Me Now? I highly recommend it.

Second was the amazing Laura Wood, debut author of A Sky Painted Gold. I just pretty much fangirled to her over her stunning novel that is a romance wrote beautifully in a Gatsby era. I adored it and she was so sweet. I love her!

Next up was Tomi Adeyemi and I was so so excited. I absolutely loved Children of Blood and Bone and I have no idea what I was saying to her here but she looks super happy and excited in this picture. We talked about how we both were pretty new to African mythology and how much I adored it.

Following my super awesome chat with Tomi, I went and met the amazing Dhionelle, author of The Belles. I really loved The Belles and Dhionelle was super sweet. I can't wait for her next Belles book.

 The final authors of Saturday was Tom and Giovanna Fletcher and Laura Steven. Tom and Gi had the biggest signing queue I had ever seen. It had been ticketed till well over 300. It was insane but still they were super sweet and talkative and I just had to tell them how much I adored Eve of Man.

The final author of the day was the super adorable Laura Steven, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay. I'm not a big fan of YA Contemporary usually but I finished this book in one sitting and Laura even remembered my review from twitter. EEP.

~ Sunday~

 On Sunday I only actually did two signings as I was pretty exhausted by that point. I met the absolutely beautiful Juno Dawson. She is such an inspiration and is so kind and thoughtful.

The second was the great Vic James. She was so nice and took time to chat to everyone who was in her queue was great. I can't wait to read Bright Ruin, the final book in her trilogy.


The Bloggers / Friends

I managed to catch up with quite a few amazing blogger friends at YALC this year. I absolutely loved spending so much time with Chelley. We ended up staying in the same hotel this year so ended up having breakfast together most days and it was just lovely having some chill time with her.

I also managed to catch up with some other awesome bloggers, including two of my blogger besties Donna and Jess. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get many pictures with them but thanks to all the bloggers and readers who made my weekend amazing.





The Books
 


So... I went a little bit crazy over the weekend but the publishers had so many amazing deals on. My favourite was Harper who had so many amazing US Fantasy Hardback books for the amazing deal of 2 for £12. It also didn't help that on the Sunday afternoon they reduced them to £5 each. I just couldn't resist. I ended up coming home with an additional 14 books. Oops.




And Comic Con

One of the best things about YALC is that fact that it is part of London Film and Comic Con. Every year we always have one celebrity who is just always walking around YALC and this year it was the person who I was going to see anyway. Jason Momoa.... insert squals and happiness and swooning here. Seriously guys, he is the most beautiful person I've ever seen in my life so I am going to sign off and leave you with some amazing pictures of the God that is Jason Momoa *heart eyes*





Were you at YALC? Let me know how much you loved it too.
 


Saturday, August 4

Review: Red Queen (Chronicles of Alice #2)

The Red Queen (Chronicles of Alice #2)
Christina Henry

Published By: Titan Books
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Date Read: June 29, 2018
Genre: Adult - Retelling
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 313
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30196348-red-queen

From Goodreads:
The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll...
 
The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.

Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen...

"It's easy to forget the good things."

After reading the incredible Alice, I couldn't wait to dig in to the sequel, Red Queen. I was already so addicted to this dark and disturbing world and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. I have to say, I am a little bit disappointed in Red Queen. It is, in my opinion, no where near as addictive and thrilling as the first book but I did enjoy reading it.

Red Queen follows Alice and Hatcher as they leave the Old City and start their journey to find Hatcher's daughter Jenny. But on the way they encounter place ran by the evil White Queen. Suddenly separated from Hatcher, Alice finds herself on a journey alone so save not only Hatcher but the people who have been hurt by the White Queen. But can she save Hatcher and the people she has just met? Or does she have a big decision to make?

I did enjoy Red Queen. It was great to get back into Hatcher and Alice's world but after they left the Old City at the end of Alice it feels like a totally different book. Alice is dark and disturbing and I found myself utterly horrified all the way through reading. Red Queen has a totally different tone. There isn't as much horror going on out of the city so the whole feel of the book is totally different to that of the first book.

I found Red Queen incredibly slow in placed. The pacing of the book was completely mixed. I found myself unable to read fast enough and then it would have a lull, and rinse and repeat. At the middle of the book I was actually considering DNF'ing it because nothing was really happening and to be frank I was really bored. The only thing that kept me going with Alice. I love her character and she develops so much in this book.

While Alice was a very plot-driven novel, Red Queen is very much character driven. I am definitely a plot-driven reader. I usually end up DNF'ing most books that are very character-driven as I get bored. However, due to me already loving Alice it didn't bother me as much in this book. I loved the journey Alice went through in this book. As she was separated from Hatcher she had to really grow in order to survive. She becomes much more confident and kick-ass and I loved that.

Red Queen was a good follow-up to Alice. It's not really needed at all but if like me, you loved Alice and wanted to see what happened to the characters then I do recommend Red Queen. It is a lot slower paced but it will definitely be on my re-read shelf.

"She didn’t have to be Cheshire’s ideal of a Magician or Hatcher’s ideal of a lover or her parents’ ideal of a daughter. She could be Alice."


Wednesday, August 1

Wrap Up: July 2018


Hey Guys,
Can you believe another month has come and gone. I certainly can't. It has gone by so fast. Anyway this month was an amazing bookish month. I went to the Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) in London and it was amazing. Look out this week for a post all about it.

Here is my month in books.

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


Slay by Kim Curran
One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake
Paper Princess (Royals #1) by Erin Watt
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns #1) by Bree Barton
Ash Princess (Ash Princess #1) by Laura Sebastian
Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne
Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
Giant Days by Non Pratt
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Onyx and Ivory (Rime Chronicles #1) by Mindee Arnet
All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller


Books Read in July 2018:


The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven - 4 Stars
State of Sorrow (Sorrow #1) by Melinda Salisbury - 2 Stars
If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman - 5 Stars
Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves #1) by Kristina Perez - 5 Stars
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood - 5 Stars
Queen Song (Red Queen #0.1) by Victoria Aveyard - 3 Stars
Steel Scars (Red Queen #0.2) by Victoria Aveyard - 1 Star
Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard - 4 Stars
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J Maas - 5 Stars *RE-READ*


Reviews Posted in July 2018:
The Flame in the Mist Novellas by Renee Ahdieh
Children of Blood and Bone (Orisha Legacy #1) by Tomi Adeyemi
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Alice (Alice Chronicles #1) by Christina Henry


Top 3 Books of July 2018:  





How was your bookish month?