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Mini Reviews: Being a Girl and Almost Grace

Both reviews I’ve put together in this post are out from Hot Key Books! I received both at the bloggers brunch a couple of months ago, and they’re really great. I decided to do a mini-reviews post for these two, as they’re both quite short – and though one is fiction and one non-fiction, they’re both about growing and being a teenage girl – or on the brink of adulthood.

Being A Girl by Hayley Long, published by Hot Key Books. 24917649Goodreads Synopsis: Being a girl is not all sugar and spice. How can you possibly survive school and even think about talking to your crush when you have spots in places you didn’t even know you had, your boobs are too big (or too small) and the friend drama is off the charts? Luckily, bestselling YA author and sixth-form teacher Hayley Long provides a straight-talking guide to puberty – from cattiness to kisses, and everything in between. With witty black-and-white illustrations by Gemma Correll throughout, BEING A GIRL tells you everything you need to know about surviving puberty, in an honest and humorous way. My Review: I’ve read and loved some of Hayley Long’s fantastically funny fiction books before, so as soon as I’d heard that Being A Girl (a companion to Being A Boy by James Dawson) was to be written by her, I was really interested in reading it! She’s the perfect writer for a book all about growing up and, well, being a girl. Being A Girl is split into lots of informative and useful chapters, and Hayley’s writing spruces up even the worst bits with humour that will make you giggle out loud. My favourite part? Herstory! A whole chapter dedicated to some of the most important women in history! I loved reading it. Also, of course, the icing on the cake is Gemma Corrells’ illustrations: I love her work so much, as I’ve seen a lot of it in the internet. (sidenote: I want this shirt more than anything right now) Her drawing style is the perfect accompaniment to the writing. I really recommend Being A Girl – whether you’re a girl, boy, young or old. My Rating:

Almost Grace by Rosie Rowell, published by Hot Key Books.

24917629Goodreads Synopsis: Grace and her Cape Town friends are renting a house on the coast – after exams it’s their rite of passage into adulthood. Yet ‘maturity’ means different things to each of them. Brett and Louisa have plans – university, travelling – but Grace is uncertain of her future. Anxiety drives her to take control of whatever she can, starting with her own body, and it is starting to worry those around her.

When Grace meets Spook – an older, nomadic surfer – their attraction is instant and his relaxed familiarity and assured confidence catch her off-guard. Can she allow herself to lose control, and fall in love? My Review: I really enjoyed Rosie Rowell’s debut novel, Leopold Blue, and wasn’t aware that more of her work was releasing soon until a Hot Key Books brunch. I was lucky enough to get a copy, which I raced through in an evening! Rowell’s second novel is set also in South Africa, with yet even more unforgettable teenage characters. Grace was really likeable and it’s evident that she is suffering from an eating disorder, which as far as I remember, isn’t actually name specifically in the story.t. I’m really liking the fact that so many books on these topics are coming out at the moment – they’re eye opening, and so well written. Though I think Leopold Blue is my favourite Rosie Rowell book still, Almost Grace is still definitely worth a read – it’s the perfect, short-ish read to take on a holiday this summer! The story is really gripping, with a great ending. My Rating: 

I received copies of Being A Girl and Almost Grace from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

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