June Round-Up

I read 13 books in June, 8 of which were YA. I did DNF quite a lot of books, so I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a slump. However, I did read some lovely books too. Here are the reviews!

Any marked with a * were received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All links to the Book Depository.

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford*    23605009

If you’re a fan of Prep, you might want to read this book. It’s set a couple of years after graduation, when a girl who rejects her upper class heritage finds that she needs to insinuate herself back into the world of polo matches and lake house weekend parties for work. She struggles to reconcile her own disdain for the world, with her determination to get ahead at work.
It’s full of rich details of NYC bankers and blue blood supermodels, and it was a really interesting read. It was a little too long for my taste, but for most fans of these kind of books, like The Secret History, that probably isn’t a bad point.
22392935This Side of Home by Renée Watson

About a pair of young black twins, and how they resolve the different ways they treat their race. This is an important, educational and uplifting read.

Poorly Drawn Lines: Good Ideas and Amazing Stories by Reza Farazmand*24611872

I’m a huge fan of this webcomic. The book is a compilation of them all, with a few new extras, and some short prose pieces. I would have liked it if it was twice as long, to be honest.

Really fun, and original.


Sedition by Katharine Grant

Well, that was brilliantly, ridiculously mad. This book is the exact definition of a wild ride from start to finish.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik*25068467

I’m kind of obsessed with this book. The Dragon is the grumpiest, most problematic fave I’ve had in a while. He’s angry about EVERYTHING, and it just makes me want to pat him gently on the head while he hisses at me like a cat. THE DRAGON!! Ahem. And, the rest of the book was good too.

The plot is very reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast, which is not a criticism at all because somehow this story NEVER GETS OLD. I want all the young girls wandering around cavernous empty castles in gold encrusted ballgowns, stealing books from libraries and 25022128discovering magic. MORE.  In summary: this book is great, READ IT. It’s long and delicious and has come fantastic worldbuilding, and I loved it all.

Inferno by Catherine Doyle

Reviewed in my June Favourites here.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon*18692431

A lovely story filled with beautifully drawn graphics, with memorable characters and an interesting concept. I did guess the plot twist very early on, but still a worthwhile read.

Online bits and bobs

This month I also filmed a video with the lovely Lucy the Reader, which was super fun and silly. Thank you so much to Lucy for having me!

I also did an interview with Marci Lyn Curtis, a guest post on researching for historical fiction for Beth Reekles’ Writing Wednesday series.

Also: my old school wrote about my book, Louise O’Neill mentioned TNT in the Guardian, and most excitingly, people have started reviewing TNT. Here are some of my favourite reviews:

More than just a hobbit said:

The couple themselves are sweet without being too adorable, honest without being too gritty. Katherine is a feisty, comical character that will appeal to teens and her chemistry with Matthew feels comfortingly real. I feel like they really existed, and I loved their banter!

I didn’t want this book to end, I paced myself so as not to read it too quickly and waste the magic, but to be honest I could have read it in one sitting (though my mind may have exploded!).

Sofia at The Reading Fangirl said:

Katherine and Matthew were amazing lead characters. I loved how different they were in each time period but also how similar they were. I honestly could not pick my favourite Katherine and Matthew because I loved them all so dearly and I didn’t want any of them to get hurt. They really are the leaders of this book and without these two main characters, it would really fall apart.

Ayesha at Twins turn pages said:

As for the characters, I fell in love with them. Katherine had a very witty sense of humour and she was utterly hilarious, I just wanted to be best friends with her! Matthew was just so adorable and nerdy and he definitely pulled at my heart strings. I found myself always rooting for them to get together and fall in love no matter what they had experienced or despite their backgrounds. They both felt like real people that I could relate to.

So I’m a very, very happy author right now! Thank you to everyone who has reviewed the book so far. ❤

Published by Lauren James

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including Green Rising, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. She is a RLF Royal Fellow, freelance editor and screenwriter. Lauren is the founder of the Climate Fiction Writers League, and on the board of the Authors & Illustrators Sustainability Working Group through the Society of Authors. Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide and been translated into six languages. The Quiet at the End of the World was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and STEAM Children’s Book Award. Her other novels include The Next Together series, the dyslexia-friendly novella series The Watchmaker and the Duke and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. She was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and many of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. She sold the rights to her first novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Den of Geek, The Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2022. She has taught creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands.

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