Saturday 2 July 2016

Six Degrees Of Separation: YA Edition! (#ZoellaBookClub Choice)

Every month I look forward to joining in with this meme, and this month is no exception! Jim from YA Yeah Yeah is exceptional when organising it and I am becoming a huge fan of the book choices based on themes rather than a specific book (last month's focused on #ReadProud, find my choices here). This month's 'theme' is Zoella's brand new book club! For those who haven't heard of it, then google her eight choices because there are some really good ones. I've read two of the eight and only hadn't heard of one of them, so I'm excited to eventually get stuck into them all!

My #ZoellaBookClub choice is 'All The Bright Places' by Jennifer Niven! I actually only finished this book a couple of days ago, but boy is it worth a read. I loved it! It handles some tough topics sensitively and builds some really great characters to get attached to and fall in love with. If you've seen Zoella's recommendations and simply don't know where to start then I would personally suggest this one. If you're a fan of road trips, teenage romance, contemporary YA or reads that make you cry then definitely read this.

Speaking of crying, you may have gathered that 'All The Bright Places' made me shed a few tears. In fact, I bawled like a baby. A book that easily springs to mind when I recall books that have made me ugly cry is 'The Fault In Our Stars' by John Green. It's an obvious choice I know but there's no denying that these two books are similar. Both are full to the brim of a slightly morbid obsession with death, eccentric characters who think ridiculously deeply into things and speak metaphorically, and plenty of travel here there, and everywhere. And while I don't want to spoil either of their endings, both books are incredibly sad.

'The Fault In Our Stars' predominantly focuses on Terminal Illness, a topic rarely found in YA. But it's not the first book I read on the subject: 'Before I Die' by Jenny Downham is. My friend at school (all those years ago) allowed me to borrow this from her and I have to say that it broke my heart in so many ways but also became one of my favourite books that year. There are elements to 'The Fault In Our Stars' that grate on people's nerves, and this is a much realer version of that book. The teenagers speak normally, there's a bucket list, and of course a romance that made a younger me melt.

Ahh Summer 2010. Such a long time ago, and I barely remember it, but I read a lot. As well as 'Before I Die', I also managed to get into Stephanie Meyer's 'The Host' which was basically my attempt to reconcile with Meyer's writing. I'm going to promote this book a lot because I really preferred it in comparison to her other work: body stealing aliens, a love triangle that was actually important to the plot, and an ending to die for. There were rumours of a series that never materialised, but I much preferred it as a standalone anyway. I urge people to give this book ago, even if you're feeling sceptical.

Of course you can't talk about Meyer without talking about...'Twilight'. The very name of this book makes me shudder nowadays, but while I didn't overly enjoy it as a young teen, I didn't hate it nearly as much as I do now (I didn't fully understand the huge problems in this series). Anyway, aside from the two books having the same author there's not a huge amount that they have in common (love triangle aside). I much prefer 'The Host' and I really wish that 'Twilight' and it's sequels had been at the same standard.

'Finding Sky' was also a pretty old read of mine. In fact , it must have been a couple of years ago that I picked up this book and read it in my boyfriend's room at his Uni Halls while he was at a lecture. This was the book that 'Twilight' should have been, and it runs with very similar ideas: a large family of 'gifted' individuals, a heroine freshly moved into a new, American town and a 'bad boy meets good girl' romance. Even the villains are very reminiscent of the Volturi. But it just doesn't have the same level of creep factor that 'Twilight' has, and Sky is a billion times more likeable than Bella. 

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