Monday, March 14, 2016

MINI REVIEWS #2 - BEAUTIFUL BROKEN THINGS by Sara Barnard & THE LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Beautiful Broken Things
by Sara Barnard
Publisher - Macmillan Children's Books
Release Date - February 25 2016
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

My Review 
Beautiful Broken Things was an amazing debut novel. I read this in September of last year as part of the MyKindaBook book club event that a bunch of went too. We met Sara and Harriet (debut author of The Square Root of Summer). I hasn't forgotten to post a review, I just couldn't find the words until now - which is a good thing. 

Rosie and Caddy who are the epitome of friendship that you have or aspire too. Then when Suzanne is introduced, well you what they say - "too many cooks spoil the broth" or " twos company, threes a crowd". That's how it plays out in the beginning of the book, only for the second half for Caddy to "live a little" part and in this case a little too much and ruining much of the friendships that were pretty much her life worth. You don't often find a book that is solely based on friendship, there is always something else that has to take over the friendship which is usually boys. Not that I have anything against boys in the slightest - but it takes away from the people you have around you, you forget them. BBT brings you back to the origins of who you are you and the relationships and friendships you have including your family. 

What I loved about this book is that it was based purely on the highs and lows of friendship and family. Sara went back to the roots of friendship, what can be the special and unique aspects to your friendship together. But also how toxic it can be when other friends can change you, which isn't how it supposed to be. Between friends like Suzanne and Caddy you think, why? constantly but then its also a lesson to be taught as well. It's a harsh reality but one we need to be faced with sometimes. We've all had some semblance of that in high school and college and I just loved how it really does pertain to any teenager or reader of YA. 

Rating - 4.5




My Life Next Door
by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher - Electric Monkey
Release Date - January 7th 2016
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them... until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

My Review 
When a Huntley Fitzpatrick book was listed on Netgalley and finally being released in the UK, I was so excited - I haven't read anything by this lady and I have heard nothing but high praise of her contemporary YA. I thought it would be a lot like Katie McGarry or Stephanie Perkins, and in a way it was but if I'm perfectly honest it didn't live up to my expectations and standards of those two authors.

This is your perfect summer read from the beginning, you have the perfect family, the pushy and posh mum, the aspiring and daring sister and then you have the family and the boy next door. All things considered this book has everything. Samantha, watched the family next door since they moved in 10 years ago, now faced with her mum becoming senator and her personal assistant in all mannerisms of the word, she finds solace and adventure by accident when Sam and Jase meet for the first time. Her mum was a nightmare, god I really wanted to slap her half the time. She needed to get her head out of the clouds and actually focus on what is really happening with her daughters. But the Garret family was just so amazing - I felt I was a part of their family when I read through Sam. There relationship and their outcomes of family life and of life in general was so special to learn and read. 

As a first novel from Huntley Fitzpatrick, - I loved it! But he problem for me was that I read them too late, what do I mean? - well if I read this when it first came out in 2012, my views might be different, but I found it cliche, too cliche even for me. I wouldn't usually say this but it was simnilar in a lot of ways and I think that's what disappointed me a little. Your thinking this is quite the negative review, but it's a mistake on my part. I've read so much contemporary romance, that I think to myself when reading this "It's already been done." That why it knocked a bit off my rating but I will continue to read her novel when they come out. Fear not, this hasn't deterred from her writing because I will always love a contemporary romance like this. 

Rating - 3.5

10 comments:

  1. My Life Next Door was a similarly mixed bag for me--I adored the romance and the sex-positivity but the drama was...eh. But I really, truly loved Fitzpatrick's sophomore novel so I highly recommend giving that one a try. I haven't heard of Beautiful Broken Things but your review has me itching to give it a go. Great mini-reviews, dear!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad you enjoyed these both! I haven't read the first but it definitely looks like something I need to add to my pile!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I absolutely loved My Life Next Door. I'm not quite familiar with the first one, though. It sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love a great friendship in books, so I like that that is the basis for the first book.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very astute observation, Emma, about timings and how it can impact the reception of a novel. Too bad too, as Huntley Fitzpatrick's book does sound good. As for Beautiful Broken Things, I suppose I'll just have to try it out for myself :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm sorry that you weren't able to enjoy Fitzpatrick's book as much as you were hoping Emma, I remember reading that book a few years ago and absolutely loving it, but when I recently picked up her newest book I didn't enjoy it as much. And I really need to give Barnard's book a try, I don't know why I keep putting it off!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Everyone keeps telling me that I need to read a Huntley Fitzpatrick book, but I haven't gotten around to acquiring one. I may check my library soon.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I know just what you mean on My Life Next Door Emma - there have been a number of books I've read that have made me go "if I picked this up 2 years ago I would have LOVED it". The things I've read before certain books make a huge difference in how I react to a current read. I loved MLND when I read it a couple years ago, but it's entirely possible I would have been underwhelmed if I picked it up for the first time last week:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. The cover of Beautiful Broken Things is so mesmerizing! I'm thrilled the book is as beautiful as that jacket! Thanks for your review and happy reading! :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. I felt quite the same about My Life Next Door, and any Huntley Fitzpatrick
    books, actually. I wanted to like them so much because everyone loves them so maybe my expectations were just a bit high. Haven't heard of the other book but it looks like it's worth checking out!

    ReplyDelete

Hello and thank you for visiting Never Judge a Book by its Cover. I read and appreciate all your comments. I now reply to them so make sure you check back! And I will try and comment on your blogs in return.
My blog is now a award-free zone.I appreciate the thought but I do not have any time to spare for them.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...