Title: All These Things I’ve Done.
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Published: 26th March 2012
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: 368 pages
Wow I can not imagine living in the world Anya lives in. It’s crazy! It’s like being back in the 40s when food was rationed only it’s set some time in the future (2082) and it’s more extreme! Chocolate and caffeine are illegal for one! I mean, my god, can you imagine?? No chocolate? Whaaaa?! From a chocolate lover’s point of view it just doesn’t bare thinking about! And if you want to be a writer? You need a licence to do so! Oh and sending an email? You need a stamp for that. It’s like the world has gone mad! Actually, with the way our society is today? It wouldn’t surprise me if it headed that way too! That is probably why it’s one of my favourite dystopians; because it’s not too far from the truth and is believable. On top of all that, all Anya would like is for her and her family to be safe and to fall in love and be happy but unfortunately she unwillingly gets sucked into the family business making her life, and love life, more complex meaning she has to choose between love and her family. I felt so bad for her having to make such a decision but the ending of the book gives me hope.
I wasn’t sure about reading this to begin with because Anya is in a family which is part of the mafia so I was expecting it to be a little like The Sopranos or something, and it was but I really, really enjoyed it and, once I got to the end, wanted to read it again right away. Such a well thought out plot with twists here and there to keep you riveted to the very end. I love how she seems to have taken today’s society to a whole new level and put a spin on it. Bring on the sequel, “Because It Is My Blood” which is next on my to-read list.
“Everything that happened this past summer, and every summer before it, has all led up to this. To now. Every year Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends’ house. There’s the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of sandy beach …and the two boys. Unavailable, aloof Conrad – who she’s been in love with forever – and friendly, relaxed Jeremiah, the only one who’s ever really paid her any attention. But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It’s going to be an amazing summer – and one she’ll never forget…”
With the winter closing in on us and the summer leaving us behind, what better way than to snuggle up after a hard day at work/school/college than with a good summer read completely making you forget all about the cold chill in the air, and instead sweeping you away into a hot summer filled with romance and all the joys of first loves. The Summer I Turned Pretty is the perfect choice for this.
This was such a joy to read. It made me sigh dreamily, giving me the warm fuzzies as not only was I sucked into Belly’s story, but it also had me thinking back to *that* summer when I met *that* guy and experienced love for the first time. 🙂 I loved that each time Belly remembers what happens during a previous summer spent at the beach house, we’re taken back there in the next chapter to discover what happens.
There is a quote from the book that I absolutely love and I thought I would share it:
“It was a summer I’d never, ever forget. It was the summer everything began. It was the summer I turned pretty. Because for the first time, I felt it. Pretty, I mean. Every summer up to this one, I believed it’d be different. And that summer, it finally was. I was.”
I could really empathise with her feelings as that’s exactly how I felt, too, during *that* summer.
Not only is this book about romance, but it is also about family coming together, supporting each other when it really matters. There’s a moment in this story when, all of a sudden, things take a turn. You just don’t see it creeping up on you but then you realise there had been signs all along and it all just clicks into place. I can’t wait to read the sequel It’s Not Summer Without You to find out what happens next. Would definitely recommend to anyone who likes a sweet teen romance.
I rate this book 4/5!
To purchase this book from Amazon, click here
Thank you to Penguin for sending us this fab book!
Marshmallow Skye – Cathy Cassidy.
SKYE and SUMMER TANBERRY are identical twins, and SKYE loves her sister Summer more than anyone else in the world. They do everything together, but lately Skye’s been feeling like second-best – it’s the story of her life. And when her friend Alfie confesses he’s fallen not for her, but for Summer, it hurts.
Skye wants to be her own person, but with an effortlessly cool twin, how can she? Will Skye ever step out of Summer’s shadow and find her own chance to shine?
So, I have stepped away from the vamps and the werewolves, the Shadowhunters (or demon hunters for those of you who aren’t familiar with Cassandra Clare’s work), the demons, and faeries, to delve into a more, true to life story but, before I could even get as far as opening the book, I couldn’t help gushing and drooling over the cover. It’s gorgeous! It’s sweet and cute and was really making me crave chocolates. It’s so yummy looking!
The story was so beautifully written. It is aimed at a younger age group (9+) but it’s written in such a way that an older person -like myself- wouldn’t feel out-of-place reading it. I admit, I was a bit unsure about reading it at first because of the fact it was aimed at younger readers but I’m so glad I did. I could happily go back to the beginning and start all over again. There is such a fab twist to the story. I really wasn’t expecting it. I just kind of expected it to be about growing up and finding yourself etc but it isn’t quite. There is a lot more to the story than you may think when reading the blurb. Yes, it’s about a girl who feels she’s always in her twin’s shadow and it’s about becoming a teen and discovering boys and make-up and the usual teen-coming-of-age stuff but the story takes a different turn and after Skye and her sisters come back from trick or treating and telling ghost stories, they come home to see that their parents have been rummaging in the attic and have brought a few things downstairs including a trunk full of old clothes. accessories and letters. From there onwards, there is a deeper, spookier side to the story and I loved how the story unfolded and how there could be more to Skye’s dreams of “Ghost Boy” than you may think.
I think girls who read this book will be sure to empathise with Skye and her friends and all the things they are going through when it comes to turning the big ONE THREE. It also teaches them that it is perfectly ok to go against the grain, to be their own person and not to follow others if that’s not what makes them happy.
I rate this book 5/5
You can buy Marshmallow Skye here
You can find out more about Cathy and her books here . The site is awesome and is so gorgeous and pretty!
Thank you to Penguin for asking us to review such a fab book.