Book Playlist: ‘All The Places I’ve Cried In Public’

Do you ever find a song that just sums up a book?

Not always. But sometimes it just clicks, in fact I try and put a song on all my reviews but its often quite hard! A few months ago, I read All the Places I’ve Cried in Public and there was a lot of songs that came to mind. (Admittedly most of them by The Smiths or Louis Capaldi. This book made me cry a lot – although mostly in private). I enjoyed the book but I honestly wasn’t prepared for what it was about. The title and almost cartoony cover really didn’t hint at it’s plot – the haunting story of an older teen who is manipulated and abused by her boyfriend. It was my first read of Holly Bourne, and whilst I really liked her style, I think a lot of her books are about similar themes. Maybe some for after the global pandemic? (Although I really want to read Am I Normal Yet?).

Anyway. Here’s the playlist I made; I had to screenshot it from my Spotify account. Have you read this book? Or got any other ideas for songs the playlist (also if you’ve done a book playlist on any other book put a link in the comment. I’d love to see some others).

Am I the only person who hated this book?

Name: Every Day

Author: David Levithan

Published: 2012

Song: Nightswimming by REM

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone A wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

I think I’m part of the small percentage who really disliked this book.

I’ve been trying to find others who share my view, but all I can find is beaming reviews – which, to some extent, I agree with. The concept behind ‘Every Day’ was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time – it follows A, who wakes up in a different body everyday (I wonder where David Levithan got the title from?!). A does question his gender throughout the book, but the blurb refers to him as male so I will too. I felt like there was so much Levithan could have done with this idea, but instead of an epic journey confronting human nature, I just trudged through 350 pages of overly detailed Young Adult romance-rubbish.

Maybe a bit harsh? Sorry. ‘Romance’ might be too extreme for the creepy relationship between A and Rhiannon. The book opens with A in Rhiannon’s boyfriend’s body; he then meets her and instantly falls in lurrvee. He was dreaming about marrying her by page 20. In various different ways, she tells him to leave her alone and yet time and time again he finds her. However, luckily, she eventually returns his feelings (that’s really not a spoiler) although I’m not really sure why. Both of them had little in the way of personalities, all I could pick up was that Rhiannon was a bit homophobic. Although A did try and kiss her in a girl’s boy. And she did say tht she was straight. That side of the book was interesting.

Every Day did cover various issues including depression, drugs, suicide and gender. I read a review of the book that said it felt as if the author was just trying to tick off all major issues, but personally I thought that this side was written well. What do you think?

This book is a film! I thought this was honestly so funny… because A is in a different body every day. How would that work? Basically the only consistent character in the story was Rhiannon, so would it literally just be her at the premier? (She’s also be kissing a lot of different people 😉 )

Another thing I liked about the book was it’s side plot – one of the bodies A was in believed he had been possessed by the devil (I think I would too to be honest) and he enlists the help of an evil vicar who might know more about what A is going through than he lets on….


It felt almost Twilight-esque in that it was just randomly thrown to pad out the make-out sessions. I guess this subplot was kind of refreshingly unexpected. But before we could learn literally anything about the vicar, the book ended! There is a sequel but I’m honestly not sure I could take any more of A and Rhiannon. Interestingly, Levithan also wrote another book in the series that just seems to be the plot of Every Day but from Rhiannon’s pov – kind of like the new twilight book Midnight Sun (I’m seeing a lot of similarities between this and Twilight. Guess Stephanie Myers isn’t the only author running out of money…)

Soooo, baisically Every Day wasn’t the best. A wasn’t even that likeable and I thought that his and Rhiannon’s love was unrealistic. The book did cover a lot of prevalent issues – I think a lot of his books do – and I liked how each body had a message. Swapping bodies every day is a clever idea but personally I thought it was let down by the characters. However, it was easy to read? Let me know if you’ve read this and what you thought – I need some help!

Have you read this book? Got any recommendations or book memes that I should try? Please like and let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Six For Sunday: Favourite LGBTQ+ Characters

I recently found this tag (and I’m honestly running out of inspiration) so I thought I might give it a try! It was created in June 2017 by Steph over at A Little But A Lot, and each week is a different topic. For June, it’s all about Pride and this week’s topic is your favourite LGBTQ+ characters…

What If It's Us (What If It's Us, #1) by Becky Albertalli
  1. Arthur from What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

His Broadway knowledge is amazing. As is his personality and hotdog ties.

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK

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2. Jesper from the Six of Crows duologyby Leigh Bardugo

I am ever in is debt for his comic relief throughout the series. (Plus him and Wylan are extremely cute).

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK

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My Brother's Name is Jessica by [John Boyne]

3. Jessica from My Brother‘ s Name is Jessica by John Boyne

This book is honestly so beautiful.

CLICK HERE OR MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK.

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4. Baz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

One of my all time favourite characters.

( “Go ahead and shoot me. This isn’t my favourite shirt“. Need I say more?)

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK.

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5. Leah from the Simonverse by Becky Albertalli

Leah is amazing – and she’s in a band! She plays the drums! Her taste in music is awesome! Leah is amazing!

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK.

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6. Julius from Arctic Zoo by Robert Muchamore

Arctic Zoo eBook: Muchamore, Robert: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

He deserved so much moreee (I am never forgiving Robert Muchamore for this book).

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK

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Who are your favourite LGTBQ+ characters? Please like and let me know in the comments!

MINI REVIEW: Down Under

This is my 50th post! Thankyou to everyone who has supported me over the last few years, all your comments and love means the world to me 🙂

Travel literature is not normally my scene.

See the source image

But lockdown has us all doing things out of our comfort zone – be it having our hair cut by parents or running out of books published in this decade. But everything is working out okay because I have successfully warded off my mother so far – and because this book was pretty good!

Discovered in a box in the attic, Bill Bryson’s ‘Down Under’ was a pretty exciting find. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia and seeing as most flights have vbeen cancelled for the foreseeable future, why not travel there in a book?

I’m not entirely sure I want to visit anymore.

It wasn’t that Bryson didn’t paint the continent in a good light, it’s just that I’ve recently learnt exactly how many things can kill you in Australia. It’s terrifying. I knew there were a lot of sharks, but I have a newfound respect for all the Australians who haven’t been eaten alive by giant spiders (yet).

Normally, I’d be reviewing the plot points of this book but… I mean, there wasn’t a plot? It was just Bill Bryson wandering around making (admittedly hilarious) observations about the landscape and hotels and these tiny towns.

But this was a surprisingly interesting book (even the lists of deadly animals on every other page were interesting, just too frequent for my liking). Did you know that some Australian schools have catchment areas double the size of France? This is a massive country.

(This photo was one of the most terrifying I could find of said Australian animals).

Sooooo. ‘Down Under’ was hilarious, full of interesting facts but it took SO LONG to read. I don’t even know why, it wasn’t that long. I guess there was just so many jokes and quips on every page, it took forever. It was also pretty interesting to see what Australia was like when the book was published compared to now – although because it was from the 90s there was a lot less mention of Aboriginal culture than there might have been if the book was more recent. Like I said: interesting!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Starless Sea

Name: The Starless Sea

Author: Erin Morgenstein

Published: 2019

Song: The Man Who Sold the World by David Bowie (or Nirvana?)

Are you lost or are you exploring?

When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood.

Determined to solve the puzzle of the book, Zachary follows the clues he finds on the cover – a bee, a key and a sword. They guide him to a masquerade ball, to a dangerous secret club, and finally through a magical doorway created by the fierce and mysterious Mirabel. This door leads to a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.

When the labyrinth is threatened, Zachary must race with Mirabel, and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, through its twisting tunnels and crowded ballrooms, searching for the end of his story.

This book that walks the thin line between sensational and just a bit weird – and for the majority, I wasn’t sure which side it strayed.

The Starless Sea is set in my dream location – a young man called Zachary discovers a secret infinite library underground. With endless amounts of books. And a Kitchen that will prepare whatever food you want. Forget about Narnia, this is what I want in the back of my wardrobe! Erin Morgenstern has such a beautiful style that sometimes I would forget that that’s literally all the plot was – a grown man wandering around a mad library.

Or is plot the right word?

There were hundreds of storylines in the book, but not really a main PLOT. Each chapter was separated by a passage of a different made-up story – and it was 500 pages long. That’s a lot of stories! It got to a point where almost every chapter was ending on a cliffhanger; I had to endure an admittedly very nice, but very LONG description of the moon before I could discover if someone had died. Whilst a few tied together eventually (in a ‘Oh wait, we have to include this’ sort of way) so many of these, arguably very beautiful, stories seemed extremely random. I got the impression that I could read the book again and again and pick up different references each time. However, that would take at least a few years and I really don’t have that sort of time.

By the end of the book, I had lost track of all the stories (something I think was intended) which created a strange sense of an overwhelming amount of characters and tales – which was how Zachary described being in this infinite library. It was quite clever.

So, I’ve seen films that acknowledge themselves as films, an alarming amount of pantos where the characters accept themselves only existing for the shows, but never a book that acknowledges itself to be a book. Apart from the occasional wHaT iF tHiS iS alL a sToRy, I’ve just never seen it before. However, Zachary reads the books between the chapters with you, even that beautiful cover looks as if it’s a collection of books and, when it was nearing the end, certain characters began to say that it was the end too. It’s hard to explain. You’ll just have to read it!

“But the world is strange and endings are not truly endings no matter how the stars might wish it so.”

– Erin Morgenstein, The Starless Sea

TALK ABOUT A ROLLERCOASTER OF EMOTIONS. This book is the Smiler of fantasy novels. Reading this book involved a fair share of screaming, laughing and smiling through tears – I may have become slightly too invested in some of the characters. Preferably, there would be a bit more focus on developing Zachary’s personality (and his reason for staying in this weird library. Or for falling in love with someone he had never even held a full conversation with) but it was brilliant all the same.

I read this book at the same time as my friend; which was a really cool experience to have someone going through the same kind of emotions as you and discussing what you thought would happen. There was a lot to discuss. From the plot to all the characters and Morgenstern’s beautiful description, I couldn’t (can’t) get enough.

I loved the world building, characters and plot; whilst I’m not entirely satisfied with the final ending, this was an amazing book. I hovered over 3 stars (and honestly 6 if that was an option) but I think it’s a solid 4.5. I’ve got The Night Circus by the same author in my Book Deposit basket and I can’t wait to read it! Fingers crossed it’s as beautiful as The Starless Sea.

😍 Top 5 Most Aesthetic Books 😍

Do you ever turn to the cover of a book and start internally screaming (occaisonally externally)? Sometimes this may be to mourn the death of my favourite character, or as a kind of shield between me and any cringeness occuring inside, but often it’s beacause the cover is so beautiful. So today I’m counting down my top 5 most aesthetic books – what would yours be?

5. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I recently finished this one, and it’s as beautiful on the outside as inside. There are also symbols printed down the side of the pages that all match up when you close it – it’s always very satisfying when you can see you’ve finished a shape! I also love how it’s so busy, and a bit mental, like the book – although I’m not sure I’m the biggest fan of the silhouette?

Click HERE for my review of this book

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Salt to the Sea: Amazon.co.uk: Sepetys, Ruta: 9780141347400: Books

4. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

This book was one of my first posts on this site, and I think the cover was what really drew me to it. Ruta Sepetys is such a good writer (maybe a bit too depressing for lockdown!) but all of her books have great covers. And content.

Click HERE for my review of this book

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3. Encounters by Jason Wallace

I LOVE the style of this cover. The creepy silhouette in her glasses is just perfect… although I do have to wonder if those freckles are real! Another weird thing is that this girl really wasn’t the main character, although maybe the only one of them who would wear sunglasses.

Click HERE for my review of this book

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2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

You couldn’t have an aesthetics list without including at least one of Bardugo’s books. Six of Crows’ cover is amazing, but Crooked Kingdom goes above and beyond – like the book. In my opinion.

My friend was trying to tell me that the limited edition covers were better, but I’m not sure. This one is pretty snazzy… and it’s about a tenner cheaper, so who am I to complain 🙂

Click HERE for my review of this book

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And Number One Goes To…

1. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

This list couldn’t be complete without this gorgeous novel. STUNNING both inside and out, I implore you to read They Both Die at the End! Normally, I prefer the original covers of books – Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Need I say more – but this second edition is beautiful. (I’m running out of adjectives!).

In short, this book is so great, the first cover’s ugly and this one I’d date.

Click HERE for my review of this book

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Do you agree? Or do you have any other ideas? Please like and let me know in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you!

Were They Really Holding Up the Universe?

Name: Holding Up the Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven

Published: 2016

Holding Up the Universe: Amazon.co.uk: Niven, Jennifer: Books

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. However, after years of homeschooling after her mother’s death, now Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognise faces. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. 

It took me a while to figure out what the main problem with this book was. I think it was just badly written.

The main reason I was drawn to this book was because last year, I read All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven; fell in love and then had my heart broken into a million pieces. That book is just beautiful (click here for my review). I figured, another book by the same author is going to be of a similar standard, right?
I was so WRONG.

When I first picked up the book, I was really interested by the characters. Libby was once dubbed as the ‘American’s Fattest Teen’ and Jack had a condition called Prosopagnosia. This means that he can’t recognise faces, so his brothers, friends and even himself are complete strangers. I thought this would make for an interesting plot, especially if he can’t recognise his girlfriend – but I sort of forgot that he had the condition near the end of the book and I think the author did too. There was so much potential for her to work with but instead of using Jack’s condition and Libby’s past to inspire the characters forwards, it just seemed to define them. One of Jennifer Niven’s main points was that people need to look past others’ weight or conditions to see the person underneath, but she seemed to do exactly that by not giving the characters proper personalities. I thought these factors weren’t supposed to define them?

*** I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve recently discovered all the free WordPress photos. I’m making the most of them. ***

There were a few things like that: moments where both characters seemed to display traits solely for the purpose of just having these problems in the book, not because it added to the story. For example, there were a few darker thoughts from jack, but all of sudden he seemed to be considering suicide without any spiralling or progressively darker thoughts? It felt a bit like Jennifer Niven had realised that this topic had worked well in All the Bright Places and was just trying to cram it into situations and characters that it didn’t fit. (No spoilers…)

Both Jack and Libby seemed to think that they could become better people if they fell in lurvee, which is not a good plot.

“Somewhere in this school could be a boy I fall in love with. One of these fine young men might be the one who at long last claims my heart and my body. I’m looking at all the boys going by. It could be that guy or maybe this one.”

– libby strout, holding up the universe

The above quote underlines most of my other problems with the book. A lot Jennifer Niven’s dialogue was very cringey and unrealistic; peppered with random inspirational quotes whose sole purpose seemed to be aesthetically displayed on Pinterest. What teenage girl calls guys ‘Fine Young Men?’ Some of the scenes were very strange (No, high school students do not have random ‘dance parties’ in the middle of detention with their PE teacher. Although, it did give Libby and Jack the opportunity to slow dance and stare into each other’s souls… so it’s fine).

However, Holding Up the Universe was extremely readable, and the pages went by quickly. I loved how much detail was put into the side characters – Jack’s little brother Dusty was by far my favourite character. Jack’s condition and Libby’s past could have made for a really interesting story but I felt like the author focused too much on these traits rather than giving the characters’ personalities.

What are you reading at the moment? Have you tried this one, got a book to recommend or any ideas for my site? Please like and let me know in the comments section!

The Mystery Blogger Award

A big thanks to Notts Reader (find their blog here) who tagged me in the Mystery Book Award. This is such a great tag I thought I would try it!

What is the Mystery Book Award?

Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma

This award was originally created by Okoto @ Okoto Enigma’s Blog.

The Rules

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s

Three Things About Me

  • Aside from books, I’m really into musicals, Stranger Things and procrastinating
  • I try and keep anonymous (ish) on this blog, so this is actually quite hard – but I guess that’s a fact about me?
  • My family refuse to play board games with me anymore because apparently ‘I cheat’. I like to think of it as bending the rules. (They’re very flexible.)

My Questions from Notts Reader

  1. What is your favourite book TV show/film? Aside from Harry Potter, one of my favourite book films has to be Little Women from last year. Like many readers I’m sure, I normally hate book adaptations and how nothing looks likein my head, but I was never the biggest fan of Little Women the book. Also, this adaptation had Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan – and Timothee Chalamet.
  2. Who do you miss the most in Lockdown?
    To be honest, I miss my friends the most. It’s hard being away from my grandparents but Facetime is no replacement for my besties. Don’t even get me started on Zoom…
  3. What book had the most affect on your reading life? I think Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda opened me up to a whole new genre of Young Adult books – it’s also going to always be one of my favourites. Click here for my review!
  4. What is your claim for fame or you biggest achievement outside of blogging? I once ate 27 different cheeses at a cheese factory (Yes, that’s a thing. I don’t think I will be going back.) The day after wasn’t pretty.
  5. Who would you want to play yourself in a film or TV show? One of the few good things that have come out of Lockdown is that I’ve rediscovered Stranger Things and I’d love to meet Milly Bobby Brown – or have her play me in a film?

The Amazing Blogs I Nominate

Click on their for link to their sites

Alison in Bookland

The Infinite Library

Lois Reads Books

Pjinkskies

Pages Unbound

Nomadic Worlds

I‘m All Booked Up

Wacky Words

Hammock of Books

Cup of Books

Hit or Miss Books

Bookforager

Syl Reads

And anyone else who wants to! You have been nominated for getting this far 🙂

Questions For Those I’ve Nominated

  1. If you could visit anywhere from a book, where would you go?
  2. What’s the first thing you will do once you get out of Lockdown? (Or if you already are out, what did you do?)
  3. Which fictional character do you most relate to?
  4. What’s your favourite quote from a book?
  5. And for the weird question…. would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vader?

Unpopular Opinions: Fangirl

The world of unpopular opinions. It’s a controversial place, from if they were on a break, to whether or not Snape is a massive creep (he is.) In this post, me and my friend over at Wacky Words on Instagram tried tackling ‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell.

It follows Cath, an introvert who loves and writes fanfiction, at college – and her fanfiction was turned into a full novel in 2015 following the success of this one (It’s called ‘Carry On’, is amazing and you can find my review of it here). So, let’s get straight in with our top ten unpopular opinions on Fangirl (please no hate, especially for number 9…)

1. We loved the plot. I’ve heard some people say that nothing really happened, but it was a college based drama… so let’s face it, nothing happening is realistic. I prefer novels that aren’t all about the plot because it gives you more of a chance to get to know the characters.

2. We’re sorry Cath but your fanfiction isn’t the best! Like said before, we just didn’t think it added much to the book – and none of the scenes she writes in Fangirl are in Carry On, even though it’s supposed to be her fanfiction? Maybe I’ve just read too much SnowBaz, but the standard out there is so high. Cath really needs to up her game…

See the source image

3. Read Carry On first! This was something that we couldn’t agree on. I read Fangirl second and it kept Carry On comes as more of a shock. (It also made it so much clearer how MUCH Simon and Baz’s characters change between the books. Its kind of hilarious.)

4. There were extracts from fanfics and the original Simon Snow books between chapters that were just a bit random. They didn’t add anything to the story either.

5. Personally, I think ‘Carry On‘ better than ‘Fangirl’. It’s quite a slim gap, but I preferred the characters and the plot. ‘Any Way the Wind Blows’ has big shows to fill! (‘Wayward Son’ need not be mentioned. It’s nowhere near the standards of the other two, but it wasn’t too awful on the fourth or fifth reread?)

See the source image

6. Single dads need more page time. One of our favourite parts of the book was how the Mum (sorry mom) was the parent Cath had grown up without. This does happen in real life and needs to become common! (I’m looking at you Jaqueline Wilson).

7. Introverts need to stop being portrayed in this stereotypical way. Some people don’t like to socialise and that’s fine – authors need to stop writing them as either really moody or all iM sO qUiRKy. Rowell did quite a good job though. Yes, Cath wasn’t parting every night, but that’s realistic.

8. Reagan was honestly the best character. Sorry Cath, but your punk roommate was just more likeable than you! I did like how their relationship developed throughout the book – Rainbow Rowell is really good at that.

9. I’m sorry fandom but you can do better than Levi! Don’t get carried away by that cute farm boy persona, sometimes he didn’t come off as the nicest. We like that he’s complicated – a love interest that isn’t 2D, shocking, I know – but sometimes it went a bit too far. But, he did come through by the end… although I’m sorry but I’d pick Baz any day. If he wasn’t gay. And taken.

See the source image

10. However, Fangirl doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. This is an entire book dedicated to fanfiction, how can it not be amazing? The 500 pages go by so quickly; it’s full of comedy, romance, feminism, LGBTQ awareness. Despite its flaws, this is one of our favourite YA novels, and would highly recommend it 🙂

Do you have any other unpopular opinions, on this series or any other books? Like and let me know in the comments! And if you enjoyed me and my friend’s crazy ideas, you might like the other tag I’ve done on this account with her so far: ‘Top Ten Titles That Would Make Great Band Names’. Check out her amazing account too at Wacky Words on Instagram.

2 Star Review: I Am Not a Number

Name: I Am Not A Number

Author: Lisa Heathfield

Published: 2019

They promised to make the country better for everyone. They didn’t promise this.

The Traditionals have been voted to lead the country, winning people over with talks of healing a broken society, of stronger families and safer streets. They promised a happier future for everyone. They didn’t promise this.
When Ruby is swept up with protesters from the opposition, her life is changed forever. Locked in a prison camp far from home and with her belongings taken from her, she’s now known by the number 276. With horror escalating in the camp, Ruby knows that she has to get her family out – and let the world know what’s happening.

This book was A LOT.

It follows a 15 year old called Ruby and her family as they are sent to a re-education camp in what seems to be a futuristic Britain (I was a little confused.) This was a pretty original storyline… although the author seemed to have just PG’d so many aspects of the Holocaust that I wasn’t sure why she hadn’t set it in Nazi Germany. But the whole ‘dystopian England’ thing was a fresh take, and I thought that some of the characters were really well written. Key word: SOME.

Ruby really irritated me sometimes. I thought that her reaction to what happened to her was realistic – which was nice for a change. She acted how a 15 year old honestly would! Although the author may have got a bit too excited with the whole 15 year old girl thing, seeing as there were whole pages dedicated to how worried Ruby was that her boyfriend was making eyes at another girl. And I get that she may have been occupied with that in another setting but seriously. Priorities!

Because in time I will tell all who will listen that prejudice is poison. That power can turn people ugly and disintegrate souls, but love’s roots are stronger than hate.

– Ruby, I Am Not a Number

That leads me onto my next point – I’m honestly not sure what the age range for ‘I Am Not A Number’ is. As we’ve already established, Ruby is 15, so you’d think that it was aimed at 11 or 12 year olds. And yeah, it was a bit tame for a YA but by the end this book was CLEARLY not for 11 year olds. (I was slightly traumatised by the end.) The back did say ‘Contains Adult Themes’, but this can literally mean anything…

My Top Tips For Translating ‘Contains Adult Themes’

  • Go off the size. If the warning is literally in the tiniest font, covered by the barcode (and generally published by someone like ‘Puffin’) the book may have a side character in a relationship, but otherwise you should be safe.
  • HOWEVER, if the warning is larger, by a more well known YA author or the title hints at Not So Fun Stuff (I really should have thought about this before buying ‘All the Places I’ve Cried in Public‘), you have been warned.

I also wasn’t sure exactly where ‘I am Not a Number’ is set. At first, I just assumed your typical dystopian YA setting (see The Extinction Trails) but this sort of fell apart after the first Harry Potter mention. Yes, you heard me correctly. And then the author seemed to make up her mind about the setting and we were getting Cornwall holidays and 2000s bands all over the place. I guess introducing it slowly was a good way to build up the setting but I still want my post apocalyptic wasteland! 😦

Finally, what I most liked about this book was honestly how terrifyingly close to home it hit. Despite moaning about all the Harry Potter references (ugh) , this future version of England truly seemed only a few dodgy governments away and it really worked. I also loved a lot else, from how much diversity was represented, to the citations at the start of the chapters and the surprisingly inspirational quotes throughout. So, in spite of preferring a stronger story line and maybe a bit less ‘teenage-ness’, I want to try Lisa Heathfield’s other book Paper Butterflies and I honestly enjoyed I Am Not a Number. I think you will too.

What are you reading at the moment? Have you tried this one? Or have you simply got a book to recommend (song recommendations also excitedly accepted) ? Please like and le tme know in the comments section!