Tag Archives: high school

Changers Blog Tour: Book Review + Unselfies!

Today the Changers blog tour is stopping here at The Bibliomaniac! Enjoy my post ^_^

CHANGERS BOOK REVIEW

Published 12th January 2016 by Little, Brown.

27256347Goodreads Synopsis: Changers book one: DREW opens on the eve of Ethan Miller’s freshman year of high school in a brand-new town. He’s finally sporting a haircut he doesn’t hate, has grown two inches since middle school, and can’t wait to try out for the soccer team. At last, everything is looking up in life.
Until the next morning. When Ethan awakens as a girl.
Ethan is a Changer, a little-known, ancient race of humans who live out each of their four years of high school as a different person. After graduation, Changers choose which version of themselves they will be forever – and no, they cannot go back to who they were before the changes began.
Ethan must now live as Drew Bohner – a petite blonde with an unfortunate last name – and navigate the treacherous waters of freshman year while also following the rules: Never tell anyone what you are. Never disobey the Changers Council. And never, ever fall in love with another Changer. Oh, and Drew also has to battle a creepy underground syndicate called ‘Abiders’ (as well as the sadistic school queen bee, Chloe). And she can’t even confide in her best friend Audrey, who can never know the real her, without risking both of their lives.

My Review: As soon as I heard about Changers, I was so eager to read it – and it really didn’t disappoint. As it’s now out in the UK, I can’t wait to see what other people think of it!

The premise of the book reminded me of Every Day by David Levithan, which was why the book piqued my interest. However, getting into it, I realised it’s definitely quite unique – Changers is a rather interesting blend of contemporary and fantasy, as the Changers are actually an underground, secret species of humans.

I wasn’t too sure on the beginning – the scene where Ethan wakes up as Drew seemed a little cheesy in its dialogue and stuff, but the story definitely does improve. With many scenes conveying the general awkwardness of high school and growing up, it’s almost possible to forget the fantasy element in places! I really love how Changers openly discusses identities – I think the premise of this whole series is a brilliant, accessible approach to an important topic for teenagers.

Drew is an incredibly relatable character – taking out the shape-shifting element, she’s such a realistic teenage character. She’s working out life, high school, crushes, and forming her own opinions about the world around her and the situation she’s been thrown into. I really liked how the authors made sure she was still very ‘Ethan,’ the person she was before her Change – Ethan’s identity is still there and the blend of two very different high school students is so interesting to read about.

Overall, Changers is a really great (and relatively short) read that I would undoubtedly recommend to anyone who wants an engrossing story. It’s got a really important message at its core, woven into the plot, and I just really love the whole concept. I’m excited to read book two, and see what the protagonist’s next Change has in store for them!

My Rating:

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I received a copy of Changers from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

CHANGERS UNSELFIES

In Changers, there is a references to a site called wearechangers.org, which is set up by a separate group of Changers who are kinda rebellious. wearechangers.org is actually a website, run by the authors of the book, and coincides with the book’s message about identity and aims to spread positivity and empathy. I think it’s such a great idea!

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Checked out the website? Awesome, so you might have seen the #unselfies project on there. This is my favourite thing about the movement – the idea of turning the camera away and ‘focusing your attention outward.’. So, here’s my #unselfie!

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i thought this photo i took would be a cool unselfie because  ooh calm waves and disrupting the norm and ooh metaphors

Enjoyed this post? Check out more about Changers on the rest of the blog tour stops, and be sure to share your own #unselfie online and on the wearechangers.org project!

Book Review: Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

Published September 2nd by HarperCollins US.

18340210Goodreads Synopsis: Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika — from laughter to tears, and everything in between.

My Review: This caught my eye online and I was so excited about reading it! From the blurb, it sounded like a really funny but dark contemporary, a little like Looking for Alaska. It really was, though I’m really mixed about it. Anatomy of a Misfit is definitely going to be well loved – I think I’m in a minority of people still unsure.

I liked Anika, needless to say. She’s a very relatable protagonist, and I think Andrea Portes has captured the social hierarchy competition in high schools really accurately. Anika had a greatly developed back-story that’s the reason for most of her social struggle. The way she deals with things is often really funny. The protagonist did have a good voice but I didn’t click with her like I do with other characters.

There are two love interests… something which I instantly worried about because I can hardly ever tell either love interest apart. I’m useless. And truthfully, I got so mixed up with them… Even with the shocking ending, I had to reread earlier bits to make sure I was getting everything right. It’s probably mainly me being really forgetful though…

The plot is enjoyable and there are so many things dealt with in it. Every event was either really funny or really hard-hitting. There were some things, though, that seemed to just be forgotten about after a while – there’s one minor character’s story that could’ve developed more especially, I think.

On the back of my copy it talks about the story having a dark undercurrent flowing through the story, and lots of foreshadowing towards an unbelievable ending. That’s completely true. Every few chapters, there’s one that’s a flash forward, that’s so sinister sounding I struggled to figure out what could possibly happen! The last few chapters really do hit you like a punch to the gut. I could never have predicted it. At first I didn’t see how it was… There are hints in the plot, but because I got so confused between parts I don’t think it hit me as hard! The foreshadowing is very hard to see, but reading over bits made me kick myself a little. Portes leaves you in a bit of a daze at the ned of the story.

Overall, Anatomy of a Misfit was an enjoyable novel, but one that I expected to love more than I actually did. I think the protagonist was likeable, but didn’t really completely stand out to me – though I’m sure that many other readers will love her! The plot was so memorable and I’m sure I won’t every forget that ending… There were aspects I couldn’t get on with, but I’m sure I’d read another YA title from Andrea Portes!

My Rating:

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I received a copy of Anatomy of a Misfit from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Graphic Novel Review: Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Published 2011 by First Second books.

9615347Goodreads Synopsis: Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part.
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.
Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining début from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

My Review: Anya’s Ghost was such a brilliant graphic novel! It caught my eye in the library earlier in the month, and I’d read a couple of great things online. I couldn’t wait any longer to read it… Whilst in the middle of loads of titles, I picked it up. Once I had, it was hard to put down! It’s original, compelling, and has some of the most beautiful illustrations.

I wasn’t expecting so much from the 200 page story. It deals with an insecure teenage girl who doesn’t quite fit in, paranormal murder mysteries, and above all friendship… it’s all blended together to make a really emotional and addictive story! I guess I do read a lot of paranormal books… but none that deal with friendship as opposed to a romance story which is more often seen. This story made for a really fresh look on things. And it quickly turns from heart-warming to sinister and terrifying… I really wasn’t expecting the plot twists!

Anya was a very relatable character; she’s a teenager under exam pressure, finding it hard to fit in with anyone in school, struggling to maintain a friendship with the one girl who hangs around with her. It was easy to understand her and I grew really attached to Anya! She develops so much through the book, as she discovers certain things about people in her life and begins to make different and life-changing decisions. Anya’s ghost, Emily, also develops a lot in a really unpredictable way. She’s a really complex and unpredictable character. I didn’t see the ending for the story coming.

The artwork is absolutely beautiful. The style of drawing is simple and cartoon-y, but it really just… went with the story. I loved it. I was really absorbed in the drawings, and I found myself going back over pages after I’d finished just to admire some of the panels! The colour scheme is really pretty, all dark shades of grey and purple.

Overall, I’d really highly recommend Anya’s Ghost to anyone, whether you’re a reader of graphic novels or not! The story was really complex and riveting, with some unpredictable twists that leave readers in a daze. Vera Brosgol has created some very memorable characters that I was left thinking about long after the last page. It was breathtaking, and probably one of the best débuts I’ve read in a while!

My Rating:

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I borrowed a copy of Anya’s Ghost from my local library.