” I might be a disappointing student, without many close friends, with a life of mediocrity waiting for me back home – but I will always have this.
In an otherwise mediocre life, we choose to feel passion ”
Alice Oseman is one of the greatest writers of our time. Big claim, but nonetheless true. Both Solitaire and Radio Silence managed to hit me in ways I hadn’t expected to be hit and yet so subtly. Prepare for a film reference now: her work reminds me of the Cornetto Trilogy co-written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, who once described their films as having “a Trojan horse element” in the sense that each one has an honesty and relatability hidden in them. Do you see where I’m going here? Alice’s novels have this same element; you go in expecting a YA mystery, a podcast-based adventure, a boy-band book, but by the time you’ve finished you’re sobbing.
So what this long-winded introduction is trying to say is that I was very excited for this book, and it truly did not disappoint!
What’s it all about?
“For Angel Rahimi life is about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything she loves – her friend Juliet, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band with his mates is all he ever dreamed of doing.
But dreams don’t always turn out the way you think and when Jimmy and Angel are unexpectedly thrust together, they find out how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.”
“Tears running down my face. Tears and snot. Same as always.
Why me? Why me every time?
Tonight was supposed to be different.
But I messed up…
I did this…”
This volume leapt onto every comic-book fans radar when the news came that Bryan Lee O’Malley – the graphic novelist famed for creating Scott Pilgrim – would be bringing out his first monthly comic which would later turn into this beautiful volume. And believe me, it is beautiful, despite being full to the brim with blood, snot and tears!
However, aesthetics aside, this volume is messy, but perhaps uses this to its advantage.
Image from Walker Books
“It’s hard to focus on the future when the past is so distracting”
Although I am always reading there are surprisingly few authors whom I follow religiously; stopping my mindless scrolling to check out their latest Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube posts. But, as you might have guessed by now, Lauren James is one of those people. When I was offered her latest book, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, I snatched it up before you could say “YA SCI-FI”. Once it had slid into my letterbox I began reading it straight away, immediately falling for the main (and almost only) character Romy. I finished the rest of it off on one train journey to London: this is testament to the brilliance of the book since I was suffering from motion sickness but refused to give up and put the book down!
* The Shakespeare Series is a series where I look at a different Shakespeare play, tell you why you might like to read said play, and then briefly review it! I hope you enjoy 😊 *
As You Like It
What’s it about?
After the Dukedom of the father of the play’s headstrong heroine, Rosalind, is usurped by her Uncle, she soon finds herself fleeing to the Forest of Arden disguised as Ganymede, a handsome young man, accompanied by her loving cousin Celia, in the guise of shepherdess Aliena. There she finds not only safety but love, in the form of the brave Orlando.
Why should you read it?
○ It features one of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches and other now common phrases – Even those who aren’t Shakespeare fans will have heard of the speech made by Jaques: ‘All the world’s a stage’ and the following ‘Seven ages of man’. It’s so wonderful to read the speech in its entirety and is brilliant in every sense of the word. Not only that but the phrase ‘too much of a good thing’ and many others were coined by Shakespeare in As You Like It. They’re certainly some fun easter eggs to find while reading!
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts
– Jaques 2.7
* The Shakespeare Series is a new series I’ll be doing here on Reading in the Rain and will involve my good self looking at Shakespeare plays, telling you why you might like to read said play, and then briefly reviewing them! I hope you enjoy 😊 *
What’s it about?
Prospero – the magician, rightful Duke of Milan, and father to Miranda – employs his spirit Ariel to bring on a tempest in order to gather the men who betrayed him onto his island, to seek revenge for himself and a love for his daughter. We follow the character’s as they set out on their respective journeys of punishment, love, forgiveness and the fantastical.
Why should you read it?
○ It is beautifully lyrical – Not only does Shakespeare create a vivid image of the island through reported speech but also the recurring references to the environment, the metaphysical, and the mythological are wonderful to read.
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to dream again.
“I could tell I was standing too still and breathing too silently. I prayed she didn’t notice, but she must have, she was so close to me.”
I was sent this book by Walker Books a couple of months ago and I was immediately intrigued by the the idea of it as a ‘Graphic Memoir’. I know that this isn’t the first graphic memoir, in fact there are many that I’d love to get my hands on, but this is actually the first one I have ever read and boy did I enjoy it! If I had read this a while ago it most certainly would be on my list of Top 5 Graphic Novels. It has everything you would want from a graphic memoir; a compelling and moving story, beautiful artwork, and hilarious writing. Let’s briefly sum up the story:
“Judge people on what they have control over. Judge them on the way they treat their friends, or whether they persevere when they can’t do something… Be careful not to confuse a beautiful face with a beautiful heart”.
This book was kindly sent to me by Walker Books, but this has no impact on my review!
When ‘Truth or Dare’ slid through my letterbox and into my hands I have to admit I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t really know anything about the plot and I’ve never actually read any of Non Pratt’s other works (much to the dismay of my friend Jasmine who convinced me to buy Trouble, which I have only read one chapter of!) So seeing as I had some free time and a new book I thought I’d dive in blind – and boy, was it worth it! I read it in just a handful of days because it was so addictive; never was there a moment of boredom and I just thoroughly enjoyed it!
‘Truth or Dare’ is a contemporary YA novel that deals with family, friendship, and love – but really that doesn’t even scratch the surface.
I’m always that friend who gets overly excited for Halloween; pumpkins will litter my bedroom throughout the month of October, every detail of my costume will be planned for, and I’ll have a precise template for my pumpkin ready to carve! So I couldn’t wait to share some of my favourite halloween reads and watches.
If you’re looking for some spooky books then check out my video, if you want some ghoulish films and shows to watch then keep on reading!
Delving into… is a new series I wanted to start here on my blog to give book recommendations for people wanting to start a new genre!
You may know that I am currently studying the genre of Crime at school – we’ve read Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by S.Coleridge and When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson. Before I started this course I really wasn’t a huge fan of crime novels myself; I’d pick them up from time to time and I did enjoy them but they weren’t the books I would naturally gravitate towards. However I decided to read some more before I started the school year and now it’s safe to say I’m hooked! (Last year around 10 of the 50 books I read were crime!) Before I came a crime-fiction-addict (Crifidict? No? Okay then…) I remember feeling this dread, “Which author do I begin with? What type of crime do I want? WHERE DO I START?!” This genre is so wide and so can definitely be pretty daunting. If you feel like this then fear not, I’m going to give you 5 recommendations to help guide you into this weird and dark world of crime!
Here’s a quick review of One by Sarah Crossan; a Contemporary YA novel written in verse! I really enjoyed reading this book despite the intensity of the plot. Crossan takes on a really interesting subject matter and presents it in a unique and stylish way. Have you read One? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments!
I wanted to take a bit of a spin on my usual Book Reviews and I have to admit I’ve really enjoyed being a bit more creative with my videos here and on my YouTube Channel. Be sure to let me know what you think of it and if I should do more like!