YA Contemporary/Romance Mental Illness: 100 Days of Cake

Argh, firstly, I just want to say a huge sorry for not posting in ages! But I’m going to try and make it up to you, by posting more regularly! (yay)

Ok, so recently I’ve read a load of contemporary romance novels, and after a few, I realised that the only books I’ve actually really been reading are YA novels that have mental illnesses in it. I didn’t do it on purpose or anything, it just sorta happened.

I guess that reading it really helps me get into the book, because I can relate to a lot of it, and generally if you can relate to something, you’re going to want to keep finding more and more about it, and I guess that’s what’s been happening!

So today I’m going to be listing my the first in my Top 5 YA Contemporary/Romance Books With Mental Illnesses (apologies for the very long title)


26959141This is number 1: (although they’re not really in any particular order…)

100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen

I just finished reading this one day ago, and the whole way through the book, I kept saying to myself… ‘omg I so relate to that!’ and I really appreciated the entire book. It was really well written, it had amazing characters, and I laughed and cried a fair amount of times through out the book. I know that I first got stuck into it when I was at the gym – in fact, it was on my birthday (fun fact) – and I couldn’t contain a laugh or two, and a know for sure that I gasped out loud in a few parts, but luckily the gym was quite empty, and the radio was on, so hopefully no one heard me!

Anyway, the book was really good, but I was a bit unsatisfied with the ending. It is one of those books where you sort of get to make up the ending yourself, because it just leaves you hanging (no other spoilers xx).


Get well soon isn’t going to cut it in this quirky and poignant debut novel about a girl, her depression, an aggressive amount of baked goods, and the struggle to simply stay afloat in an unpredictable, bittersweet life.
There are only three things that can get seventeen-year-old Molly Byrne out of bed these days: her job at FishTopia, the promise of endless episodes of Golden Girls, and some delicious lo mien. You see, for the past two years, Molly’s been struggling with something more than your usual teenage angst. Her shrink, Dr. Brooks isn’t helping much, and neither is her mom who is convinced that baking the perfect cake will cure Molly of her depression—as if cake can magically make her rejoin the swim team, get along with her promiscuous sister, or care about the SATs.

Um, no. Never going to happen.

But Molly plays along, stomaching her mother’s failed culinary experiments, because, whatever—as long as it makes someone happy, right? Besides, as far as Molly’s concerned, hanging out with Alex at the rundown exotic fish store makes life tolerable enough. Even if he does ask her out every…single…day. But—sarcastic drum roll, please—nothing can stay the same forever. When Molly finds out FishTopia is turning into a bleak country diner, her whole life seems to fall apart at once. Soon she has to figure out what—if anything—is worth fighting for. (Goodreads summary)


I rated 100 Days of Cake 4 out of 5 stars!

Currently reading:

Everyone We’ve Been by Sara Everett

The Remedy, All The Bright Places & Beautiful Broken Things

Triple review time:

The Remedy, All The Bright Places and Beautiful Broken Things. If you have already read these three books, you will know that they all have one thing in common18460392.jpg. Mental Illness. I Really love about these books is that even though they all follow the same theme throughout, its really interesting because they are all completely different, because they are written in different points of view. For example, The Remedy is written as the main character being a ‘therapist’ for grieving and mental illnesses, plus the other books in the series, the main character has a mental illness. All The Bright Places follows two teenagers who have mental illnesses, and Beautiful Broken Things follows the friend of someone who is suffering.


22449285The Remedy, by Suzanne Young is the #0.5 novella of The Program series, also by Suzanne Young, but it is about how the world was, before the Program.

I really loved this book, especially to see how mental illnesses could be treated. Although, a month after I finished reading it, I still don’t know how I feel about the idea of the story line.


In a world before The Program…

Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill—she can “become” anyone.

Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.

Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start. (Goodreads summary)


All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”

51bbbjplfnlAll The Bright Places was… I can’t even express how good this book was. It was so interesting to see from different point of views, the stages of grieving, sadness and depression. Despite the theme of the book, there were some funny bits, and I just found that this book was so well written, that even if you didn’t like young adult contemporary novels, it would be hard not to fall in love with the characters.


Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. (Goodreads summary)


Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

“In every life, there’ll be a little rain.”

25437747When I started reading Beautiful Broken Things, I didn’t really know what I was expecting. All I wanted, was to read was a YA contemporary novel. By the end of the book, I was actually at a stand still. I was so emotional, yet I couldn’t figure out if I was happy, sad or shocked. All I know is that it was overwhelming. You know it’s an incredibly book when you feel so much emotion that you forget that it’s not real life.


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. (Goodreads summary)


I rated all of these books 5 out of 5 stars.

Currently reading:

With Malice by Eileen Cook

The Problem With Forever

The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of those books that the minute you start reading it, no matter where you left off, that you just forget it is even a book. You get so caught up in the world of the book that you don’t even realise that you’ve just read 200 pages. It’s like you can’t get enough of it. The way I see it, it’s like walking into Narnia, and as soon as you go back into the real world, you want to dive straight back into the fictional one.

The Problem With Forever is an incredible book that will make you laugh and cry. Sometimes you will want to punch the book, and other times you will want to go and give all the characters a big, giant hug. Out of all the books that Jennifer L. Armentrout has written, I’m happy that I chose this one, as the first of hers that I’ve read. I have been wanting to read one of her other series, Lux, but have been in the mood for Contemporary a lot lately, and I mean A LOT.

(And a little side note: HOW GORGEOUS IS THE COVER?! #imlovinit)


26721568For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard. (Goodreads summary)


I rated The Problem With Forever 5 out of 5 stars.

Currently reading:

Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel

Hotel Ruby

I have been wanting to read this for so long, so when I went to the library, and saw it just sitting there on the shelf, I snatched it straight away so no one else would take it!

I’d seen it on Goodreads so many times, and since it is by Suzanne Young, I couldn’t not read it. But the weird thing is, that I had actually never read the blurb.. not until I was halfway through the book anyway. I didn’t know really what I was expecting, but let me tell you… I was not disappointed! A little bit shocked, and emotional but not at all disappointed.

I don’t want to spoil it or anything, but Hotel Ruby is an exciting, romantic, slightly-haunting incredible book, and I recommend it to just about anyone who loves young adult fiction. I’m also happy that I started reading it, without knowing what it was about, it was surprising and really fun.

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Stay tonight. Stay forever.

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.

Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn’t have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she’s met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…

Welcome to the Ruby.


Currently reading:

Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen

 

The Program

So I’m sitting on my bed, looking at my bookshelf, trying to decide what to read, and, even though I still have 65 books, (out of the 140 books that I own), that I have not read yet, my eyes flick to The Program, which I have already read before! As soon as I start reading it, I remember how much I loved it the first time.

The Program, by Suzanne Young is a book about depression in teens, and if there was a treatment for it, this is how it could turn out, aka The Program. It sounds sort of morbid, but the romance, humour and drama makes it almost impossible to put down. I guarantee you won’t regret reading it!

The main character, Sloane, is a really strong-willed, and role model character that I found pretty relatable and basically… awesome.

the program


In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them. (Goodreads summary)


I rated The Program 5 stars.

Currently reading:

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) Sara Raasch

(I’ll be reviewing another one of Suzanne Young’s books pretty soon so stay tuned!)

A Court of Thorns and Roses

I am currently about 50 pages to finishing A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. This book is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and, if you must know, I have only watched the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast about 3/4 through, and that was about 10 years ago! But before you get really mad at me, as I have been reading it, I have decided that I much prefer reading retellings of fairytales when I don’t really know how the story goes, as otherwise I am anticipating things that may not happen for a while, or I might be disappointed. It’s sort of like watching the movie before reading the book, or looking up spoilers on the internet before reading the book or watching the movie (which, I may add HAVE NEVER DONE!)

Plus what I love about the physical copy of the book is that there are the gorgeous vine illustrations at the beginning of the chapters, and right at the end of the book, there is a name pronunciation guide, which, I think EVERY book should have!


77493_originalWhen nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. (Goodreads summary)

Check out my friend Lauren’s blog! She posts reviews, lists and recommendations and you should totally check it out for fun reviews 🙂

https://thebooknerd56.wordpress.com/

Reading next:

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Wolf Wilder

Firstly I would like to thank Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this book!

Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell is a book about a girl, Feodora who lives in Russia with her mother. They are both wolf wilders. Something I love about this book, even though I am only halfway through it, is that there are illustrations all throughout, even if they are just little trees on every few pages. Wolves, in my opinion are one of the most majestic animals, and to have these gorgeous illustrations on the pages really brought the book to life.


23257157Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.

When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves. (Goodreads summary)

Currently Reading:

A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas

 

 

 

 

Apple and Rain

 

Firstly, I wanted to start by thanking Bloomsbury for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

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When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is that she begins to see things as they really are.

A story about sad endings.
A story about happy beginnings.
A story to make you realise who is special.

(Goodreads summary)


 

Apple and Rain is the fourth book that I have read by Sarah Crossan, and I am so excited to see what else she has to offer in the book world. In both The Weight of Water (you can see my review here) and Apple and Rain, the main characters are younger than I was expecting. To see what some 12-14 year olds experience on a daily basis in their lives is a real insight into what others lives are like. Something I love about Sarah Crossan’s writing is that she doesn’t just write romance/contemporary novels. She writes fictional novels with a non-fiction perspective, eg. immigrants, conjoined twins, and absent parents. Apple and Rain is the perfect read for anyone looking for an emotional, loving, contemporary novel.

I strongly recommend any of Sarah Crossan’s books to anyone looking for emotional, contemporary, cute romances, hard relationships, even dystopian reads! She is an incredible author and I can’t wait to read more from her.

I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Currently reading:

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

One

Firstly, I want to start off by thanking Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this book in exchange for a review.

So I woke up this gorgeous Saturday morning, feeling guilty for not reading very much lately. I got up, got dressed, walked over to my bookshelf and after staring long and hard at it, I picked up One by Sarah Crossan, which Bloomsbury kindly sent me. As I snuggled back in bed, I opened up the beautiful hardback, to find that it was written in verse, like Sarah Crossan’s other book, The Weight Of Water (which I have also reviewed, and you can view here). I started reading it, and by the time I reached 20 pages, I was hooked. I read One in one sitting. #noregrets

‘Oh come on, Grace,’ she says, ‘all this you and me is a lie. There has only ever been .’


25366338Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins.

And their lives are about to change.
No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love?

But what neither Grace or Tippi realises is that a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead. A decision that could tear them apart. One that will change their lives even more than they ever imagined…

From Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate? (Goodreads summary)


Over the past few months, I have read a book about a girl who is blind, a book about a girl and her mother who are immigrants, and now I have read a book about two girls who are conjoined twins. Sarah Crossan has managed to somehow not only show such emotion and passion, but also include humour and a lot of information about what it would be like to live a conjoined life.

Throughout the novel, I was laughing, crying and writing down notes and quotes. It’s the type of book where you as soon as you have finished it, you don’t know whether to cry some more, start re-reading it, or just sit there, speechless.

I highly recommend One for anyone, whether you are a teenager, adult, non-booklover, or a total booknerd!

I rated this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Currently reading:

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins

Dangerous

Firstly, I wanted to start with thanking Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this book to review.

Dangerous, by Shannon Hale, is a YA/Teen Fiction novel about a group of teenagers that entered a competition to be able to go into space. The blurb for this book made me really want to read it, and going into it, I was still super hyped. When I got about 60 pages in, I was losing interest, and about 100 pages in, I realised that it was more of a Teen Fiction or Childrens (ages 9-12 year olds) rather than a Young Adult read. I think that if I had read the book when I was younger, I would have really liked it, because it is really well written, but going into it as a 16 year old, who prefers Young Adult books, I did not find it as engaging as I hoped.

9781408838853


Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There’s no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation.

From NY Times bestselling author Shannon Hale comes a novel that asks, How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else? (Goodreads Summary)

 


Disclosure: I was sent this book from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review.

Currently reading:

 Glass Sword (#2 Red Queen) by Victoria Aveyard