Image

The Rapid Fire Book Tag

I found this tag over on Sarah’s blog and thought that it sounded really fun! The tag is full of rapid fire questions all about books – should be good right? Well if I can manage to make snap decisions, yes! Might be a bit tricky if there’s a troubling question…


1. E-Book or Physical Book?

Physical book

2. Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback!

3. Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

In-store book shopping, as I love to make sure I’m supporting bookshops.

4. Trilogies or Series?

Trilogies please!

5. Heroes or Villains?

Hah. Ahaha. Hahahaha. Villains.

6. A book you want everyone to read?

32613366

Please everyone read this. Then take a good, hard look at our world and wonder why this is classed as fiction.

7. Recommend an underrated book?

34887967

I never see anyone talking about this gem! Utterly gut punching verse novel, read it NOW!

8. The last book you finished?

That Asian Kid

9. The Last Book You Bought?

Haven’t bought one in a while but I’ve recently preordered Wayward Son!

10. Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

A Pokemon card…

11. Used Books: Yes or No?

Yes, always!

12. Top Three Favourite Genres?

Fantasy and contemporary are really the only things I read…

13. Borrow or Buy?

Buy!

14. Characters or Plot?

Characters. If a plot is bad then I can usually enjoy the characters – unless they’re bad too…

15. Long or Short Books?

Longish? 400/500 pages are good for me if they’re fantasy books! Anything over that then I’ll probably struggle to read it.

16. Long or Short Chapters?

Short chapters – they’re punchy!

17. Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

Six of Crows

Vicious

Tales of Beedle the Bard

18. Books That Make You Laugh or Cry?

Heartstopper makes me cry because it’s just so CUTE!

19. Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional, duh…

20. Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Haven’t listened to one in a looooooong time!

21. Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

I do!

22. Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Book to TV adaptations – there’s more time to get everything in!

23. A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

Simon Vs The Homosapien Agenda – Love, Simon is the film title!

24. Series or Standalones?

Standalones!


If you’re reading this and want to do some quick fire questions, I tag you!

Advertisements
Image

BOOK TAG – THE BROOKLYN NINE-NINE BOOK TAG

NINE-NINE!

I was tagged in a brand new tag by the lovely Meggan! It’s based on the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which I only started watching last year but really love and enjoy the show! If you haven’t watched it, make sure you do! Now…onwards to the tag!


Jake Peralta;
A protagonist that you can’t help but love

Crowley from Good Omens. Despite his demonly qualities, he’s incredibly clever and funny too. Every moment of Crowley in the book was met with a grin from me!

Amy Santiago;
Strong female character

Starr in The Hate U Give. Starr’s strength grows within the book, and it really shines as you read. Starr always had strength in her, it just took a bit of self-confidence to let it show.

Gina Linetti;
Favourite book including royalty

The Wicked King. Hot off of the heels of backstabbing royals in The Cruel Prince, TWK steps it up a notch, with Cardan becoming villainously clever and cunning to get his way – all while lounging on the throne.

Terry Jeffords;
Book that has the best character development

Heartstopper – specifically Nick Nelson! It’s always a joy to reread Heartstopper panels and see Nick growing in confidence, personality and life in general. It’s also great to see Charlie grow into a more confident person when Nick is around.

Raymond Holt;
Book that was boring at first impression, but turned out to be amazing

I might go for a classic here and say Dracula. A lot of the beginning was rather dull setting up, but it soon became an intense and dramatic read full of gasps!

Charles Boyle;
Character who provides the best comedy relief in tense moments

Finian from Aurora Rising. Fin always has a quip or comment to make about the situations the crew find themselves in, no matter how perilous!

Rosa Diaz;
A character you love, but who could kill you in a second

Victor Vale – easy! I adore him, but you know if you said one wrong thing then you’d be dead in seconds. Especially after the events of Vengeful, you know Victor isn’t one to be messed with.

Hitchcock & Scully;
Favourite duology

Six of Crows! Is there any other answer for this? Nope! My all-time favourite duology – it’s easily the best one for this list!

Cheddar;
Favourite furry companion

Does Mister Kindly from Nevernight count? I know he’s not furry but he takes the shape of a cat… I’m counting him! He’s always there for Mia and is rather witty too.


NOICE! That was so much fun! For this one, I’m tagging…:

Jemma @ Fantastic Book & Where To Find Them

Jemima @ Drinking Books

And if you’re reading this and you enjoyed the tag, I’m tagging you!

Image

BOOK BLOG TOUR: THAT ASIAN KID

Hello again lovely readers! Today, I’m the last person on the blog tour for That Asian Kid by Savita Kalhan. The book was released on August 29th, and there have been a whole host of fantastic blog posts about the book so far.

To finish off the tour, I’m excited to bring you an extract of the book – the very first chapter! Huge thanks to Troika Books for supplying me with this. Read on for the first chapter of That Asian Kid!


Chapter 1

I’m taking my shortcut through the woods, all innocent and minding my own business, when I hear the sound of laughter coming from somewhere behind me. I slow down. I’d know that laugh anywhere. It’s like a boom: loud and deep, a guffawing that emanates from the ground beneath his boots, and rumbles through the belly before erupting out of his mouth, Father Christmas- style, but raised to the power of ten. It can only be Mr Green, my History teacher. I glance back. It is Green. He’s with a woman, but I can’t make out her face. I grind my half-smoked cigarette under my heel, silently cursing my one-every-other-day habit (yeah, I know, I’m such a rebel), and Mr Green and his companion for invading my space.

Did he see me smoking? Cos if he did he won’t let me off with a simple lecture or a look of disdain. He’ll be massively disappointed – and he’ll make sure I know about it on a daily basis.

They’re coming my way. Damn. The smell of smoke is sticking in the air like an accusatory finger pointing directly at me. They’re still some way off, so I could easily make a break for it, but I hesitate, curious about who the woman is. It could be Mr Green’s wife, but I’ve never seen his wife and there’s something oddly familiar about this woman. I duck behind some bushes. As they approach, they slow down, and I get a good look at the woman walking beside him. What a shocker! It’s Mrs Greaves, my English Lit teacher.

I use this shortcut every day – the bus drops me off on one side of the woods and I cut through the woods to get home, shaving fifteen minutes off my journey. I’ve never once seen any teachers from school down here, and as for these two particular teachers, well, I’ve never even seen them speak to each other at school. Any thoughts I might have had about surreptitiously creeping away are fast disappearing as I wonder what the hell my favourite teacher and my least favourite teacher are doing skulking round the woods on a freeze-your-nose-off January day. Whatever they’re here for, I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s not for an innocent chat – you’d choose a warmer venue than these damp, cold woods for that. I hunker down further. There is a distinct possibility this could end in trouble – especially if they come any closer to the monster holly bush I’m currently being pricked to bits in.

I can hear them clearly now.

‘This will make you laugh – I asked one of the boys

how his Christmas was and this is what he said,’ Mr Green is saying. ‘His cat climbed up the Christmas tree and toppled it over. The tree hit the dining table, and scattered pine needles all over the roast potatoes and veg. Then the cat landed on the platter of sliced turkey breast, his mum screamed, his grandmother grabbed the cat, and the cat clung on to the turkey for dear life and took half of it with him. So his family ended up eating all the trimmings minus the turkey for their lunch, which his grandmother was ecstatic about because she’s a vegetarian and she said it served them right for forgetting to make her a special vegetarian dish.’

That’s my story!

Mrs Greaves laughs. ‘Shame he didn’t record it – it would have gone viral if it really happened. Cat videos get the most hits, apparently.’

‘I agree.’ Mr Green chuckles. ‘He’s got a way of putting things, that Jeevan.’

What? Mrs Greaves is laughing? Apart from the fact that I’ve never in the eighteen months she’s been my teacher seen her smile (it would put a serious crack in her face), much less laugh, the real surprise is that she’s laughing about my story.

‘I suspect he probably made the whole thing up.’  Mr Green shrugs. ‘He had the whole class in stitches –

me included.’

‘There’s a class clown in every form.’

That’s when an idea explodes into my brain and my

phone’s in my hand before I’ve given it another thought. You’d think I’d think before I acted – I mean, I get straight As in everything.

But I don’t stop to think.

The idea has me on autopilot – I’ve accessed the camera, flicked to Video and pressed Record faster than most people can blink.

‘Anyhow, good to see the smile back on your face,’ Mr Green says. ‘You sounded so upset earlier. Are you going to tell me what’s happened?’

‘It’s horrible, Daniel. I don’t really know where to start.’

Mr Green pats her arm. ‘It can’t be that bad.’

‘I wish you were right. The Head called me in for    a meeting. He wouldn’t tell me much except that he’s concerned.’

‘Concerned about what?’

Greaves looks away. ‘Someone’s sent in an anonymous letter.’

‘What do you mean?’ says Mr Green. ‘Never mind. It doesn’t matter.’

‘It obviously does matter. Isn’t that why you asked me to meet you here? You said you needed to talk.’

‘On reflection I think I would rather put all that out of my head – it’s very distressing.’

‘Hang on – distressing? What was in the letter?’ ‘Someone has made certain – allegations, in the note, which the Head says he feels bound to look into.’

‘Allegations? Christ. That sounds serious.’

‘Yes, it must be for Rawson to give it any credence.’ ‘So what are they alleging?’ And then it’s like the penny has dropped, because Mr Green’s tone changes. ‘You haven’t told anyone about what happened, have you? Because it was only the once, so—’

‘Of course I haven’t. Give me some credit. My reputation would be at stake too, you know.’

‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry. So what is the note alleging?’ ‘I’m pretty sure that one of the boys is playing the race card because he doesn’t like his grades. It’s utterly preposterous. What kind of person does that? Clearly one with very little going on up here,’ she taps her head, ‘or otherwise they wouldn’t be resorting to devious, underhand and frankly ludicrous tactics.’

Mr Green’s mouth opens so wide it almost hits the floor. ‘No!’ he says. ‘Seriously? I’ve never heard such a thing. I’m surprised Rawson’s bothering to look into it at all.’

‘I know. Unbelievable, isn’t it?’

‘What else did he say? What’s he going to do about it?’

‘Rawson said it’s a serious allegation and it doesn’t matter if there’s no truth to it, he has to look into it regardless. He said he wasn’t overly concerned, but I’m not sure what to think.’

‘Christ! I can see why you’re so worried. Something like that can get blown out of all proportion. Remember that case in the papers last year? You have to be careful. Things like that can stick – even when there’s absolutely no truth to them.’

‘I know. It’s so good to know you care, Daniel. It’s a real worry. I don’t even know exactly what the note said. Rawson wouldn’t show it to me. I wish he had – I’m sure I would have recognized the handwriting.’

‘Whoever wrote it would have disguised their writing, Nic.’

‘Yes, you’re right. Of course they would have. It’s such a cowardly act. If they really felt unfairly treated, they should have gone straight to the Headmaster instead of sending a backstabbing, slanderous note. I’ve never been accused of – of anything like this.’ She sobs. ‘It’s a total shock! I’ve been a teacher all my working life. I love the kids, and I love my job. It’s all I ever wanted. It’s all I know,’ she says, sniffing and wiping the tears away with her hands.

Mr Green rummages for a hanky and hands it to her. Greaves has put her hand on his arm, drawing him in. She lets her head rest on his chest as she cries. Mr Green pats her on the back, saying soothing words.

‘It’ll be all right. Don’t let it get to you. You have nothing to fear. Rawson won’t believe an anonymous note.’

‘I know, but still, as you said, lies can stick.’ She’s really sobbing now. ‘What should I do?’ Green puts his arms around her, hugging her.

I hear kissing noises, which would make me puke if I wasn’t so shocked.

They’re an item?

Greaves and Green couldn’t have picked a more romantic spot for their assignation.

I squat down, resigned to being stuck here a bit longer. It’s only half past four, so I’ve still got half an hour before I have to give Maji, my gran, her insulin shot. Besides, this conversation might get even more interesting.

Mr Green’s married. He’s always talking about how his wife prosecutes criminals for a living: ‘So you’d better watch your step, sonny Jim,’ he threatens us on a regular basis. No one pays his threats any attention, though, because Mr Green’s one of those all-right teachers. Unlike Mrs Greaves, who just doesn’t get us. Well, she doesn’t get me, that’s for sure.

What I cannot get my head round is how he can fancy her. Some of the boys at school think she’s all right,  pretty  attractive  even.  I’ve  told  them  there’s  a two-for-one offer on at Specsavers and they should get themselves down there sharpish. Greaves has long frizzy blonde hair and watery blue bug eyes that would win a staring competition hands down, and she wears dangerously low-cut, close-fitting tops to show off her ample cleavage. On no planet would that be considered professional when you’re teaching a bunch of hormonal teenage boys, imho.

‘Oh, Daniel!’ Mrs Greaves exclaims breathlessly. ‘It’s been too long.’

‘Too long? Hang on a minute, Nicola, please don’t misunderstand—’

‘I know I’m not misunderstanding this,’ Greaves replies, her voice suddenly low and husky.

Uh oh! I don’t want to know what’s happening – but at the same time, it’s way more interesting than EastEnders, which Maji insists on watching even though she can’t understand half of what the cast are saying. That’s why I have to watch it with her, so I can translate for her. It’s surprising how much of it she gets, though, just from the actors’ expressions and the way they say stuff. Not bad for a woman who’s never been to school in her life. What’s unfolding before my eyes is in a totally different league – it’s car-crash reality TV, and I’m hooked.

‘Look, Nicola. Stop, please.’ Mr Green seems reluctant. ‘We came here to talk.’

Mrs Greaves is leading him the few steps towards the large oak tree almost directly in front of the bushes I’m hiding in, and he’s allowing her to lead him.

What’s wrong with him?

My heart is thudding so loudly, I’m surprised they can’t hear it.

Sticking around for the show was not my best idea, I think.

And the camera is still recording.


 

Image

Book Tag – The OsemanVerse Book Tag!

So…I thought I’d try my hand at making my very own book tag! I’ve never done one of these before, and haven’t seen one themed like this either, so thought I would make my own. I present to you…

The OsemanVerse Book Tag!

Using characters from Alice Oseman’s wonderful books, I’ve made a tag that you can fill in all about the other books and characters you love! Interested? Read below for my answers!


Jimmy Kaga-Ricci
A character you love that overcame something huge

jimmy1

Mia from Nevernight constantly overcomes huge obstacles in her life, from when we’re first introduced to her as a scared child to when she’s learning to become a fierce and deadly assassin. Mia is tough and her past experiences prove how far she’s come!

Rowan Omondi
Favourite protective character

rowan1

Maverick from The Hate U Give. Maverick is a fiercely protective father to his children, and would stand in the way of anything that would put them in danger or get them hurt. He learned from his past and changed in order to protect them, and I love his character a lot!

Lister Bird
Character that oozes charm

lister1

I hate to say it, but Eli Ever from Vicious. As downright awful and cruel as he is, you’ve got to admit that there’s definitely a certain sense of charm about him, especially before the acquisition of his powers!

Angel Rahimi
Book you’re the most passionate about

angel

Six of Crows! I don’t think I’ve ever been as passionate for any book than I am for this duology. I’ve read it twice and enjoyed it both times, and will most likely reread it again one day.

Charlie Spring
Favourite bookish OTP

charlie

Kaz and Inej! Their relationship isn’t defined by kisses and cuddles, it’s formed from a huge respect of boundaries and understanding of each others personal traumas. Their relationship is one of the loveliest ones I’ve read because it is such a wonderful connection.

Tori Spring
Most mysterious book you’ve read

TORI

I’m not a huge reader of mystery books, but the mystery of Aurora Rising was definitely intriguing! I didn’t work it out until it was being revealed at the end and I was pretty surprised!

Nick Nelson
Favourite book that brings you joy

EDnDDkPUYAAv_6F

Out of all the books that I own, I think that it has to be I Was Born For This. The characters, the storyline, the friendships. Everything hit so perfectly. It’s a book that I think will constantly make me smile!

Nellie
Favourite book to snuggle up with

nfHXjE51

 

It has to be Heartstopper, always! It’s such a wonderful series to just get cosy with to read and feel happy. Heartstopper is definitely a comfort read no matter how many times I’ve read it!

Aled Last
A book that helped you get through a rough time

aled

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul – I know, it sounds completely cheesy. But when I was in school and going through a really rough patch, my teacher recommended this to me and it really helped. I still have it on my bookshelf today!

Frances Janvier
A character with tons of determination

frances

Lila Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic. She’s determined to follow Kell everywhere and learn more about magic and the different types of London. She doesn’t back down from a fight and never gives up – a true spirit of determination!


Thank you so much for reading my very first book blog tag! I had tons of fun writing it! I’m tagging:

Avery @ Red Rocket Panda

Cora @ Tea Party Princess

Ams @ Wasting Inks

Sarah @ The Little Contemporary Corner

Anniek @ Anniek’s Library

And if you enjoyed reading this tag, I’m tagging you to do so too! If you do use it, I’d love a link back to this original post!

All illustrations are used with permission from Alice Oseman. Make sure to check out her Instagram for illustrations of her characters!

Image

Anything But Books Tag

I’ve been trying my hand at a few blog tags recently and found this one that seemed really good fun! A blog tag…not about books! You may find it bizarre that I’m not blogging about books, but this is a tag where you can learn a little more about me!


NAME A CARTOON YOU LOVE

Steven Universe! It’s such good fun, and full of brilliant morals for kids and adults alike to learn and take away. Themes of self love, respect for others, learning boundaries and navigating relationships are all pretty common in Steven Universe, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to see such a wonderful show on screen in my lifetime!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG RIGHT NOW?

Okay, I usually listen to a lot of instrumental stuff – especially when I’m reading, but just because it’s either calming or from a video game. Currently, my favourite instrumental track is Cirrus by Bonobo – take a listen and see what you think! I’m also still loving Sunflower by Post Malone and Swae Lee – I love it!

WHAT COULD YOU DO FOR HOURS THAT ISN’T READING?

If I’m not reading and I have free time, you can find me playing video games. Some of my current favourites include Red Dead Redemption 2 and Spider-Man! I’ve recently started playing The Witcher 3 – despite me adoring the soundtracks and using them for reading, I’ve not played the game properly before. I’m enjoying it so far!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE UNNECESSARILY SPECIFIC THING TO LEARN ABOUT?

I love learning and discovering easter eggs – be they in video games, TV shows or movies, I love them! It’s always so exciting to spot something that the creators hid within their project and find out why they did so. Did you know that in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, on a particular stage you can tilt the camera at a particular angle and find a photograph of the creators cat? It’s completely unnecessary information for me to know, but I enjoy knowing about it!

WHAT IS SOMETHING UNUSUAL THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO DO?

I’ve been told I have a really good memory for film quotes – which is hilarious because I can recite lines from The Matrix and Harry Potter but have a bad memory with other things in life! I don’t know how unusual that is but it is to me!

TELL US SOMETHING THAT YOU THINK ABOUT OFTEN

Mental health, and how the world still isn’t doing enough to help those in need. There is not enough being done to help those suffering and in pain, and it really makes me angry and sad to see.

TELL US SOMETHING THAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE, BUT MAKE IT ODDLY SPECIFIC

I don’t know how I can make bold print trousers specific…but I love them!

SAY THE FIRST THING THAT POPS INTO YOUR HEAD

Strawberries are wonderful, but strawberry flavoured things are horrendous and should be banned.


Have you learned anything new about me?
Is there anything else you want to know about me?

Hey, that was pretty fun! It’s always fun to write about things other than books sometimes so that you can get an insight into me as a person! I hope you enjoyed!

Image

The Nice and Accurate Good Omens Book Tag

I got tagged to do this a little while ago when the Good Omens hype train had well and truly begun – and have only just remembered to do it! Huge thanks to Jemma for tagging me in this one!

So sit back and relax, angel. Make yourself a nice mug of cocoa – Aziraphale would be proud – and read on for my answers in The Nice and Accurate Good Omens Tag!


“Would be funny if we both got it wrong, eh? If I did the good thing and you did the bad one?” – A book you expected to like but didn’t and/or a book you didn’t expect to like but did or more than you thought you would.

Ah, this one is easy – Fruits Basket, Another! I am a huge, die-hard fan of the original manga series, so when I found out that there was a new series coming from the mangaka I was thrilled! I pre-ordered, I bought with anticipation, I read it and…oh. It was awful. The main character was so incredibly unlikable that it hurt my teeth as I was gritting them so hard while reading. Ugh. Needless to say, I haven’t continued with the rest of the series.

“Get behind thee, foul fiend…After you.” – Favourite flirty line

Do I have to choose just one? Can I just say absolutely everything that Jesper says to Wylan in Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom? Jesper is a huge flirt and definitely doesn’t hide it when it comes to trying to make Wylan blush, but I think I like this one the most: “Thought of me? Late at night? What was I wearing?”

“Somebody killed my best friend” – Book death that affected you the most

Ooh. Man, that’s a tough one. There have been plenty of book deaths that have affected me, but I think the toughest one had to be both Rufus and Mateo’s deaths in They Both Die At The End. Yeah, I know it’s already prophesied from the title of the book, but it was so distressing after seeing their relationship slowly come to life before being snuffed out by something preventable.

“You go too fast for me Crowley” – Favourite slow burn

Slow burn is far better than instalove – the characters have become friends, they know that there might be something more, they’re willing to take it slow, it just needs the right push to get the ball of romance rolling. Despite not reading many romance books, the slow burn between Tam and Kate in Redwood and Ponytail was absolute perfection for me, and I adored it.

“There never was an apple, in Adam’s opinion, that wasn’t worth the trouble you got into for eating it” – Have you ever been caught reading a book when you shouldn’t have been? Either for content or the situation. 

I think I actually got caught in class once reading manga – oops…

“Well, obviously. You’re a demon. That’s what you do.” – Favourite unapologetic villain. 

I tell you who is unapologetic in all of the villainous shit he does – Madoc from The Cruel Prince. Everything he does is cunning, malicious and done to help towards his endgame, which I won’t spoil here if you haven’t read it yet. He’s even murdering people in the very first pages and doesn’t care!

“He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, ie., everybody, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.” – Favourite Twisty book

Lost Boy by Christina Henry, without a doubt! This is a dark retelling of Peter Pan and it was brilliant! Full of twists, turns, untrustworthy characters that you thought you could trust and mysterious happenings on the island, this was a book that had me gripping the pages on the edge of my seat!

“Most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally evil, but by people being fundamentally people.” – Favourite complex or morally grey character

That would have to be Victor Vale from Vicious! He’s so complex – everything he does you have to stop and wonder whether he’s doing it for the greater good, to benefit himself or whether he’s just being a bit of a dickhead. Regardless, I love him utterly and think that his character only gets better and more complex in the sequel, Vengeful!


 

If you’re reading this and enjoyed Good Omens, I’m tagging you to fill this in yourself!

Image

BOOK REVIEW: Redwood and Ponytail

This book was beautiful in so many ways, and at times really hurt my heart with how good it was. Huge thanks to Abrams Publishing for sending me an early readers copy to read and review! I am, of course, always excited to read new LGBT+ fiction, so to read this book about two girls beginning to have feelings for eachother and letting those feelings grow and blossom was beautiful.


Kate and Tam meet and both of their worlds tip sideways. Neither quite knows why. Tam figures Kate is your stereotypical cheerleader; Kate sees Tam as another tall jock. And yet, the more they keep running into each other, the more their expectations don’t live up to the real thing. Beneath Kate’s sleek ponytail and perfect façade, Tam sees a goofy, sensitive, lonely girl. And Kate realises Tam’s so much more than a volleyball player: she’s funny and confident and everything Kate wishes she could be.


Redwood and Ponytail is a delicately written book overflowing with emotion. Set in a brand new year of high school, it focuses on the characters Tam (Redwood) and Kate (Ponytail). The two have seen each other in school before in passing, not knowing one another, but as the school year continues they begin to grow as friends while beginning to develop something more. Something new.

Although the main story of the book is the two characters beginning to fall for each other, there are lots of other things that help or hinder this. Kate is trying her hardest to break out of the mould that her mum is trying to determine for her, and ends up juggling her feelings for Tam, becoming the mascot of the school team, and even running for class president. We see Kate battling with the person she’s always been and this new side of her that she desperately wants to let shine. Through the book, you can see the weight that all of these things have on Kate, and how she tries to deal with each one, and also how they affect Tam indirectly.

This book is written entirely in verse, something that works so well for the story. It allows the characters thoughts to be free flowing and clear, even when they are entwined with another character’s thoughts. I found it to be very clever when there were parts of the book when both Tam and Kate had very similar thoughts – the stanzas were made up of the same sentences, just in a different order. It really gave the view that both characters were ‘on the same page’ – they just don’t know it. The verse style also worked incredibly well when characters were

I adored the narrators in this book too – aside from Tam and Kate, there are also narrators of the story named Alyx, Alex and Alexx. They act as a typical ‘fly-on-the-wall’ voice, observing everything happening to the two girls and reporting on it with ease. It’s great to have a third voice in this book discuss what the girls are missing when it’s obviously in their face. The Alexes are cryptic, observant, and very vocal about what they see, and it’s a clever addition to the book, although sometimes can be a bit repetitive at times.

On the surface, Redwood and Ponytail may look to be just a verse novel about two girls falling for eachother. But as you read the book, you discover that it is so much more. It’s a book about self affirmation, about standing up for yourself, about doing things that you want to do rather than what others want. It’s a stunning piece of literature, made even more accessible as it can be read for a younger audience too. The affirmation of these developing feelings that both characters are feeling and also having confusion over is very raw and real.

I know I say it with lots of my LGBT+ book reviews, but I really do think that young LGBT+ readers will be able to find solace with this book. New feelings are often scary and confusing, and this book captures that perfectly. The characters find people they can trust to talk to and rely on with these feelings; Tam seeks solace with her neighbours – without spoiling the book, the neighbours become incredibly helpful for Tam when discovering her own sexuality – and Kate reconnects with her sister to talk to her about her troubles and fears. It’s a good and healthy viewpoint to show characters struggling and turning to others for help – something that everyone needs to do at some point in their lives. It humanises the characters and makes them believable and even more relatable.

Final thoughts: A beautiful and affirming story, sure to tug on your heartstrings with every page. 4.5/5