Young adult

The Weight of Water – Sarah Crossan ★★★★

Blurb; Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother’s heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat.”The Weight of Water” is a startlingly original piece of fiction; most simply a brilliant coming of age story, it also tackles the alienation experienced by many young immigrants. Moving, unsentimental and utterly page-turning, we meet and share the experiences of a remarkable girl who shows us how quiet courage prevails.

My Review; After enjoying Toffee by this author I decided I was going to read all her other books starting with this one. Yet again I was not disappointed! Sarah has a unique way of setting of her stories and telling them, she sets them out in a poetry format, but it’s not poetry its the actual story. Making them easy, quick and effortless reads. Which sometimes is just what I need. I know not everyone would enjoy this writing style but for me it works and I love it.

I read this in just over an hour. After her dad moves to England, UK, Kasienka and her mother set off to go and find him. What they find is not what they expected! It’s an honest story for many immigrants that enter the UK. Living in a studio, sharing a bed and being bullied at school is just the start of it all. But Kasienka finds something she can lose herself in – swimming. And boy is she good at swimming. She find a few friends and tries to get back on track, but is it ever that easy?

Brilliant. Loved it. An eye opening read about what many young immigrants face. A well deserved four stars. Aimed at young adult readers. Highly recommend.

Amazon Link UK

Amazon Link US

fantasy · Young adult

The Girl in the Tower – Katherine Arden ★★★★

Blurb; The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

My Review; The Girl in the Tower is book two in the Winternight trilogy, best read in order. I loved the first one so had high expectations for book two. However, I must say I prefered book one. This one dragged a little for me personally and it was going to be a three star review until the last 100 pages. Boy did it pick up then and get me excited and flicking the pages.

We see most of the characters in book one in this story with the main character Vasya yet again causing more trouble while trying to be a hero. But the end was worth it all. I can’t wait to see what happens in the final book of the trilogy. I need answers. Because of the end it deserves the four stars. I have seen from other reviews that other readers didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the first too, so I am not alone. Is there anything Vasya can’t do?

Amazon Link UK

Amazon Link US

chick-lit · Young adult

Toffee – Sarah Crossan ★★★★

Blurb; I am not who I say I am,
and Marla isn’t who she thinks she is.

I am a girl trying to forget.
She is a woman trying to remember.

Allison has run away from home, and with nowhere to live, finds herself hiding out in the shed of what she thinks is an abandoned house. But the house isn’t empty. An elderly woman named Marla, with dementia, lives there – and she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past called Toffee.

Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be. And so, Toffee is who she becomes. After all, it means she has a place to stay. There are worse places she could be.

But as their bond grows, and Allison discovers how much Marla needs a real friend, she begins to ask herself – where is home? What is a family? And most importantly, who am I, really?

My Review; I picked this one up in the library purely for it’s cover. It’s a young adult story but I am so glad I picked it up. Sarah has a unique writing skill in the way the story is told. It is very easy to read and could easily be read in one sitting. Different. But I absolutely loved how it was set out and told, it worked for me but wouldn’t work for everyone I guess. Had me flicking through the pages for fun.

A little breakdown of the story… Alison leaves home, finds a house to stay in but there’s a woman living there Marla with dementia and they spark the most beautiful relationship together even through the dementia. Sometimes are tricky, others beautiful. I personally felt that in the end they both needed each other and the company, that fate brought them together especially towards the end of the book.

Absolutely loved it. I enjoyed it that much I’ve ordered all the other stories the author has written to binge. A well deserved four stars. Highly recommend.

Amazon Link US

Amazon Link UK