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No Use Crying: Zannah Kearns

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No Use Crying; Zannah Kearns. 311 pages.

FROM THE BOOK JACKET:

The discovery of a grandfather Niki thought had died years ago means a sudden move to London and the start of a whole new life.

Niki has to learn quickly to fit in and survive in the school halls and on the tough streets. And at the same time she must get to know her grandad and come to terms with the fact that her mum has been hiding the truth.

But when Niki suddenly discovers her mum’s biggest lie of all, could it change their relationship – and Niki’s own sense of identity – for good?

This warm and powerful coming-of-age story is a sparkling debut from a brilliant fresh talent, filled with colourful characters that will stay with you long after the book is finished.

While this book didn’t really leave any impression on me, it was an interesting read. The story follows Niki, her mother, and her grandfather when the three begin living together in London. Niki meets and assortment of wacky characters that she befriends and begins to feel like she belongs in this huge city. Having moved around quite a lot due to her mother’s job, though, she doesn’t know if she is secure in this new life, especially with all of the secrets.

Niki struggles with the secrets her mum’s been keeping, trying to fit in at her eccentric new school, and finding her father once she learns he is living nearby. Niki’s mother wants to keep her daughter safe from her own past, and is confused about the side of her father she hasn’t seen. Niki’s grandfather is regretful of mistakes he made with his wife and daughter, and is looking to rectify them now that he somewhat has his family back. All must deal with their own and each other’s issues and come to resolutions as a new family.

This book is diverse and deals with relevant issues related to being raised by a single parent and fitting in to a new environment, all while trying to establish identity. For the older characters, it is about finding peace with the past and trying to start a new chapter. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t connect with the characters and story, but I found the book just okay.

Books & Cupcakes: July Book Photo Challenge
27. Vacation
These are the books I took on vacation. Yes, I went to the library for vacation books even though I have a pile of my own to read. It’s called ‘I have a problem.’

Books & Cupcakes: July Book Photo Challenge

27. Vacation

These are the books I took on vacation. Yes, I went to the library for vacation books even though I have a pile of my own to read. It’s called ‘I have a problem.’


This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers. Designed for senior thesis.

Books & Cupcakes: July Book Photo Challenge
26. Black and white

Books & Cupcakes: July Book Photo Challenge

26. Black and white

No and Me: Delphine de Vigan

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No and Me; Delphine de Vigan. 246 pages.

FROM THE BOOK JACKET:

Lou Bertignac has an IQ of 160 and a head full of questions. Her father secretly cries in the bathroom and her mother hasn’t left the house in years. But Lou is about to change her life - and that of her parents - with a school project she spontaneously decides to do on the subject of homelessness. Through the project Lou meets No, a bold and smart teenage girl living on the streets. As their friendship grows, Lou cannot bear the fact that No doesn’t have a family, and even though her own is saddened and desolate, she asks her parents if her new friend can come live with them. To her astonishment, her parents eventually agree. No’s presence forces Lou and her parents to finally face the unhappiness that has enveloped them for so long - but not without a few bumps on the way.

I don’t know if this is a testament to the author or the translator, but this is a beautifully written novel. I really liked reading it because of the language and narration, which are so lovely. I liked reading from Lou’s perspective as she deals with being a quiet student, family issues, and her passion for learning about and helping the homeless - in particular, a teen girl named No.

The school project and forming a friendship with No completely changes Lou’s life. She begins to interact more at school and her family finally works through the horrible incident that has been hanging over them. Lou’s bond to No is strong, and Lou will do anything to make No feel at home, and like she belongs. Lou’s plight for No is so sincere and heartfelt, but she must learn the hard way how truly difficult it is to help someone that doesn’t want to be helped. It’s an honest and wrenching story that I enjoyed reading through all of the ups and downs. 

Books & Cupcakes: July Book Photo Challenge
25. Sunset
Ish? 

Books & Cupcakes: July Book Photo Challenge

25. Sunset

Ish? 


This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. Designed for senior thesis.

Books & Cupcakes: July Book Photo Challenge
24. Cupcakes
A few weeks ago my family had a graduation party for me. I got this book and cupcakes, how wonderful!

Books & Cupcakes: July Book Photo Challenge

24. Cupcakes

A few weeks ago my family had a graduation party for me. I got this book and cupcakes, how wonderful!

There Is No Dog: Meg Rosoff

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There Is No Dog; Meg Rosoff. 243 pages.

FROM THE BOOK JACKET:

In the beginning there was Bob.

And Bob created the heavens and the earth, 

and the bests of the field,

and the creatures of the sea, 

and twenty-five million other species,

including lots of gorgeous girls.

And all of this he created in just six days.

Six days! Congratulations, Bob.

No wonder Earth is such a mess.

Imagine that God is a typical teenage boy. He is lazy, careless, self-obsessed, sex-mad - and about to meet Lucy, the most beautiful girl on earth.

Unfortunately, whenever Bob falls in love, disaster follows.

Let us pray that Bob does not fall in love with Lucy.

The sole reason I picked up this book is because of the description. I was so taken with it. I imagined if that if the whole book was written with such whimsy, it would be an entertaining read. And while the book is slightly amusing and is, for the most part, written with satire and a story-telling voice, it’s also not as hilarious as I expected. Turns out, a full book written this way can get very tiring very fast.

The premise is quite interesting, as are the points Rosoff makes. Bob has been undeservedly handed the job of God, a job he does not take seriously. He is whiny, annoying, and selfish, which makes the parts of the book he’s in so painful to read. Yes there is a point to his behaviour, but that doesn’t make it any less grating. Bob’s mother, Mona, is super flighty and irritating, which is where Bob gets it from I suppose. Also, his emotions control the weather, which is the cause of many natural disasters, especially as he sorts out how to ‘get’ Lucy. Poor Mr. B, Bob’s second-in-command, is left to pick up the pieces and try to answer as many prayers as he can.

The book goes all over the place, with third person perspective chapters from Bob to Mr. B to Lucy to Bob’s pet, Eck. Lucy’s chapters were probably my favourite to read, but it was also refreshing to read from the cool and collected perspective of Estelle, a girl in Bob’s part of existence. 

There are a lot of interesting theories and commentary on religion and why certain things happen in the world, all connected to God’s role. While I see the whole purpose of the novel and feel, in that respect, that it’s fairly well done, other than the things I mentioned I didn’t fully enjoy reading this book. It was all a little too much for me, though I (kind of) appreciate what it was trying to do.

Books & Cupcakes: July Book Photo Challenge
23. Summer Love
I love Sarah Dessen’s books, and they usually involve summer and love. Also: summer love includes loving your skin. SUNSCREEN IS SO IMPORTANT. 

Books & Cupcakes: July Book Photo Challenge

23. Summer Love

I love Sarah Dessen’s books, and they usually involve summer and love. Also: summer love includes loving your skin. SUNSCREEN IS SO IMPORTANT.