Review: This Winter (#0.5) by Alice Oseman

54294206. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

The festive season isn’t always happy for Tori Spring and her brother Charlie. And this year’s going to be harder than most.
I used to think that difficult was better than boring, but I know better now…

This is a short story from Tori and Charlie’s perspectives (and a little bit of Oliver’s perspective (their little brother)). It is set over the course of Christmas Day in their house, with the perspectives told in a linear order. It is set before Solitaire and in the same timeline as Heartstopper Volume 4, so if you have read Solitaire you’ll be fine for spoilers, but you will get spoilers for the Heartstopper timeline if you haven’t read Solitaire. Hopefully that makes sense for anyone wondering whether you want to read it yet!

I really like the balance in all of Alice’s novels between hopefulness and sadness. Even in her short stories she manages to make me cry and break my heart. This novel discusses a lot of Charlie’s history with having an eating disorder, but it felt really well discussed. I really liked that this wasn’t shied away from and was also discussed in relation to Christmas and family gatherings, which can be hard for everyone but especially those with eating disorders.

I also really liked that this was told from all of the siblings points of view. They felt familiar, having read Heartstopper and Solitaire before (which is told from Tori’s perspective), and I really liked reading their takes on Christmas day. Of course Nick is amazing too, and such a supportive boyfriend to Charlie. It was so heartwarming to see him supporting Charlie. Having little Oliver in at the end with a little heartwarming scene with his mum was very cute.

I’m really glad I read this on Christmas Eve night, it felt like the perfect time to read it with Christmas the next day!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

40119231

Goodreads | Waterstones

Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying.
Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As.
You probably think that they are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and she is a girl.
They don’t. They make a podcast.
In a world determined to shut them up, knock them down, and set them on a cookie cutter life path, Frances and Aled struggle to find their voices over the course of one life-changing year. Will they have the courage to show everyone who they really are? Or will they be met with radio silence?

This was my last Alice Oseman novel and I had no idea that I would fall in love with it the way I did. I’ve heard mixed things about this and I was unsure how I would feel about it. Even the first hundred pages or so, I was unsure about it and how I would end up feeling about it by the end of the book.

And then I absolutely fell for it. Oseman has a way of writing that has this raw and beautiful honesty, like the characters are speaking directly to you. Like they are hiding nothing. And they are broken, and they are emotional, and they are real. I loved them for it.

I wonder- if nobody is listening to my voice,

This story follows Frances, the listener of a podcast, and Aled, the creator. It is about how they find each other in a time when they both need somebody to save them. It is about friendship, not romance, which felt so refreshing. I love how Oseman decided to write about a friendship and face it up front, even addressing it in the book (You probably think that Aled Last and I are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and I am a girl. I just wanted to say—we don’t). It felt so amazing to have such a diverse cast of characters with different friendships and relationships, with no relationship being the focus of the story.

It dealt closely with sexuality in places, with one of the characters discussing demisexuality which I was surprised by and absolutely warmed my heart, identifying as demi myself. This book also dealt with emotional abuse and family issues, all the while showing an absolutely heart warming family in Frances and her mum that felt so incredibly well done. The diverse friendship group was amazing and supported each other through everything. I loved them.

The plot had just enough mystery in it that I never wanted to put it down, and I read this in less than 24 hours. I read some of it on audio, but at least half in physical format, and I couldn’t put it down. The podcast being woven into the story played into this, as I wanted to find out what happened in the Universe City world too.

am I making any sound at all?

It also discussed a lot of issues surrounding school and university, which as somebody who could be classed as a ‘school refuser’ at one point in my life, I related to and found it such an important conversation which I’m so glad Oseman faced head on. It was fascinating and encouraging to see a book that talked about healthy alternatives to higher education, and I loved it.

Overall, wow did this blow me away. I had no idea how much I would fall for it and that it would become my favourite Oseman book!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Nick and Charlie (#1.5) by Alice Oseman

49438663

Goodreads | Waterstones

CHARLIE: “I have been going out with Nick Nelson for two years. He likes rugby, Formula 1, dogs, the Marvel universe, the sound felt-tips make on paper, rain and drawing on shoes. He also likes me.”
NICK: “Things me and Charlie Spring do together include: Watch films. Sit in the same room on different laptops. Text each other from different rooms. Make out. Make food. Make drinks. Get drunk. Talk. Argue. Laugh. Maybe we’re kind of boring. But that’s fine with us.”
Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie are the perfect couple – that they’re inseparable. But now Nick is leaving for university, and Charlie will be left behind at Sixth Form. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question – they’re ‘Nick and Charlie’ for God’s sake!
But as the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Or are they delaying the inevitable? Because everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever … 

I wasn’t sure whether to do a review for this book or not seeing as it is a short novella I flew threw in an hour or so. But I found myself finishing it with so many thoughts I just wanted to write them all down!

Firstly, you’ve got to have some talent to make me laugh, cry and break my heart all in 158 pages. But Alice Oseman can do that. I know we’re not necessarily introduced to the characters in this novella, as I have been reading about them in my much loved Heartstopper for a year and a half, but it still shocked me how quickly I built up an emotional connection with these boys.

Charlie curled up so beautifully in my bed, the orange street-lamp light shining on his skin,

This novella hit me so hard because it’s something so real and raw that so many teenagers go through – I certainly did as a young adult – and I related to it so much. Although I am much more secure and confident in myself now, I could still see myself reflected in Nick and Charlie’s insecurities and it made me so emotional.

I can’t write this review without mentioning the physical book itself. I have the Waterstones limited signed edition and it is beautiful. I loved the chapter pages, I loved the illustrations. It was all just downright adorable. I have read other reviews expressing concern for the publishers money-grabbing by this being a thing, but although I agree, I can’t be mad. Because I want this on my shelf so badly. It is utterly gorgeous, and looks amazing with her other books. It made me so happy.

and I felt like if I was going to die, this would be what I wanted to see last.

Overall, this was the sweetest and softest novella about Nick and Charlie from Heartstopper. I would definitely recommend it for all Heartstopper fans, it is just so adorable and you won’t be able to put it down! It was much more hard-hitting and raw than the graphic novels, showing a tougher side to teenage relationships, which I loved. I don’t think I can rate this anything less than 5 stars!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Stacking the Shelves #23

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought or received this week. Find out more and join in here!

Hi all! I’ve bought a few books recently that I’m super excited for and thought I’d share with you all tonight.

49438663

Goodreads | Waterstones

CHARLIE: “I have been going out with Nick Nelson for two years. He likes rugby, Formula 1, dogs, the Marvel universe, the sound felt-tips make on paper, rain and drawing on shoes. He also likes me.”
NICK: “Things me and Charlie Spring do together include: Watch films. Sit in the same room on different laptops. Text each other from different rooms. Make out. Make food. Make drinks. Get drunk. Talk. Argue. Laugh. Maybe we’re kind of boring. But that’s fine with us.”
Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie are the perfect couple – that they’re inseparable. But now Nick is leaving for university, and Charlie will be left behind at Sixth Form. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question – they’re ‘Nick and Charlie’ for God’s sake!
But as the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Or are they delaying the inevitable? Because everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever…

I’m so excited for this one and it looks amazing with Alice’s other books. As I’m sure you know, I adore Heartstopper and I can’t wait to read this!

36314220. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires. There the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray.
Follow Brother Zachariah and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealings and festive celebrations, Anna Lightwood’s first romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin and Tessa Gray plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah…

I’ve been told to read this before carrying on with Clare’s other books (i.e. The Red Scrolls of Magic), and I’d been waiting for the paperback to come out to match my set. Now it’s out, I finally decided to pick it up!

What did you buy this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Loveless by Alice Oseman

42115981. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.
As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.
But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.
Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?

Oh my gosh. We don’t need to talk about how much I love Alice Oseman, but it has to be said that this is her best writing yet. I just clicked with it immediately in a way I haven’t with her other books – it captured me from the off and I didn’t want to stop reading. Georgia was such a relatable character who was struggling with finding out who she is, which I think is something we have all found in life, whatever sexuality.

Although I’m not asexual myself, I found Loveless made me reflect a lot on my own sexuality. Almost a year ago, I realised I am demisexual/demiromantic, which means I am only sexually and romantically attracted to people I have an emotional connection with. Some of the stark and raw conversations Georgia and her friends have about sex were so bold and relatable and we simply need more of this in YA. These conversations not only made me chuckle, but it taught me a lot about why I am the way I am with relationships and my sex life.

Give your friendships the magic you would give a romance.

I (mostly) loved the cast of characters. Although they could be annoying at times, I think it was only because they were all learning and discovering things about themselves, which only prompted the story to be more realistic and relatable. The discussions the characters had were not only heartfelt, but incredibly sex-positive and funny. Hardly any books make me actually laugh out loud, but I couldn’t stop chuckling!

The plot was entertaining, and even if a little predictable at times, I still loved it. The diversity was amazing. The casual way Oseman would drop in white privilege and racial issues had me reeling. If she can do it, anybody can do it. It’s just not that hard. The diversity felt natural, added to the story, avoided stereotypes and tokenism. It was executed with grace and thought.

The friendships were also so great and well written. The way this book showed how friendships are just as important as relationship is perfect. I have felt this so many times in my life, and I definitely agree that friendships are just as important and meaningful as romantic relationships are. There is still love and adoration and fear and intimacy. I cannot express how grateful I am for Alice to writing this and these characters and this book.

Because they’re just as important.

I think the underlying most important thing about this book is we need it so badly. We need more books discussing sexuality. Exploring how identifying as a certain sexuality might mean a different life and that this is not weird or bad. We need more sex-positive books that talk openly about sex lives and masturbation and how it varies for different people. We need for teenagers, children and adults to be able to see themselves in books. Loveless taught me so much about asexuality. If all books did what Alice Oseman has done, how much could we learn?

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

34325090. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.
Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

Wow. What a book. I am on such a contemporary kick right now and I knew Alice Oseman wouldn’t let me down! I think this ended up being my favourite novel of hers so far, and she is definitely worthy of auto-buy status.

First off, the characters in this book are just brilliant. Angel reminded me of myself from my early teens, with a passion and love for her friends I only hope has remained with me now. The cast of characters were immense and real, with each character dealing with their own problems. Angel herself is open about her own struggles throughout the book, and her friends are discussed in detail too. The band are vibrant and emotional, and I loved having the POV of both Angel and Jimmy – at first I questioned whether they would have too dissimilar lives from each other but their narratives work together beautifully.

That’s why people get into fandom and bands and stuff. 

The plot, especially once it picked up, was so compelling I couldn’t put it down. The ending all happened so fast, but it meant I just wanted to rush through it and find out what was going to happen. If I had any small complaints about this book, it would be that the ending came across as a little rushed and I didn’t feel as satisfied as I hoped by the outcome of all the character ARCs.

But other than that, this book was excellent. I was blown away by the raw discussions it has about fandom, facing the good and bad side of fame and fortune and the internet. The most important factors for me were the blatant discussions about mental health, paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks that felt so real and naked. I went through everything with Jimmy and Angel, and I felt grateful for being allowed to be a part of it.

They just want something to hold on to something that makes them feel good. 

Overall, another Alice Oseman gem! I can’t wait to read the last one for me, Radio Silence, and for Loveless to come out later this year.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Heartstopper Volume 3 by Alice Oseman

43449920. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

In this volume we’ll see the Heartstopper gang go on a school trip to Paris! Not only are Nick and Charlie navigating a new city, but also telling more people about their relationship AND learning more about the challenges each other are facing in private…
Meanwhile Tao and Elle will face their feelings for each other, Tara and Darcy share more about their relationship origin story, and the teachers supervising the trip seem… rather close…?

Yay! Heartstopper 3 is out in physical form! My lovely friend Chloe introduced me to the Heartstopper Webcomic around a year ago now and I ended up reading it in one sitting and absolutely adoring it. I’ve been keeping up to date with the online comic every time it’s updated and have introduced a few of my friends to the graphic novels too!

I was lucky enough to go to Alice’s signing on 6th February, which also happened to be the release date of the third graphic novel. I’ve been collecting the physical graphic novels as they are released, as I adore them so much it’s simply a joy to reread them.

The differences in the third book are apparent – this one explores quite difficult topics such as eating disorders. I really appreciated the delicate insightful way Oseman approaches these topics. After some heavy topics in Solitaire, which is the novel Charlie first appears in, Heartstopper can come across as very different in tone.

Another difference in this novel is that it’s set in Paris! I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris a few times – once on a college trip – and I adore the city. It was so fun to read about Nick, Charlie and their friends in such a beautiful city.

These books are some of the few I see reading again and again. They comfort me so much and have such a lovely, soft aura about them.

You can also keep up to date on Tumblr or Tapas!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman

43307358. sy475

Goodreads | Amazon

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the second volume of HEARTSTOPPER, for fans of The Art of Being Normal, Holly Bourne and Love, Simon. 
Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t. 
But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family … and himself. 
Heartstopper is about friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us. 

What can I say other than I love Heartstopper and having these books in physical form makes me so happy? I’m actually up to date completely with the webcomic, but I love reading these as they come out.

Anything Alice Oseman ever does will warm my heart and being able to sit down and just devour these books makes me feel so cosy. I read this in about half an hour in the middle of a thunderstorm and it was perfect. Oseman’s art style is lovely and has such a good flow, I can easily flick through the pages.

Volume 2 focuses a lot on Nick coming out and discovering himself, and normalising that it’s okay to question who you are was such a central theme of the book. As always, Nick and Charlies’ friends and family are great and make for entertaining scenes. Some of my favourite scenes are naturally with Nick’s dog and the little ‘borks’ never fail to make me smile!

Overall, if you’re looking for a cute, heartwarming graphic novel that flows beautifully and centres around LGBT characters and coming out, please pick this up.

Or, go and read it on Tumblr or Tapas!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |