Matching Music to Books – Top Four

I like reading and I like music. Sometimes I listen to music while I read. Sometimes I’ll be listening to music, thinking ‘did they write this song after reading this book?’. In my head, everything has different groups and everything can link up in weird little ways so I figured I’d share some of those weird little ways with you…enjoy!

The 100 (Kass Morgan) and The Pretty Reckless. I don’t actually know anyone who’s heard of this band, butfile_000-12 the lead singer is Taylor Momsen (Jenny from Gossip Girl, and ironically Cindy Loo from The Grinch). They’re a kinda rock/grunge band and they’re very dark and a lot of their music is about revenge/sins/not obeying rules and I think The 100 is similar in the way that the kids are all criminals in some way, they all want to get back at the government and they all end up fighting and generally being very aggressive and violent.

Geek Girl (Holly Smale) and Taylor Swift. I’m a huge swiftie and a huge Geek Girl fan so there’s the first link. But also, Taylor is beautiful but oh so incredibly clumsy; the amount of times she’s fallen over in public, despite the fact that she can dance in heels (how??) is astonishing. She’s also not afraid to laugh at file_001herself, and not scared to stand up for herself. Harriet Manners is clumsy, beautiful and a funny individual who can also laugh at herself and sometimes defend herself. Taylor’s songs are also very well-written and witty, with puns, rhymes and rhythms and lovely wording/descriptions of feelings. The Geek Girl series is beautifully written, clever and depicts everything in a way that’s easy to understand and relate to whilst still being emotional because of the way every feeling is described.

file_002Heartless (Marissa Meyer) and Panic! At The Disco. One of my favourite books with my favourite band; how fitting. Not only that, but these are both absolutely insane. Heartless is set in Wonderland and so is weird as hell (in a very good way; I honestly did love it!) and Panic! used to be/kind of still is a very weird band. If you actually listen to the words(especially in the first couple albums, although it creeps into a few songs later on), the lyrics are so strange and mainly about sex, but also just don’t make a whole lot of sense until you look at deeper meanings etc. I do love Brendon Urie but he isn’t half insane. Both the book and band are crazy but in good ways.

Only Ever Yours (Louise O’Neill) and Fall Out Boy. I haven’t read Asking For It but I want to a lot, and I know roughly what it’s about so I think this links too, but Only Ever Yours addresses issues such as body image, anorexia, eating disorders and sfile_003elf confidence, as well as misogyny and sexism. These are important and not talked about enough, but are somehow controversial as if people want to ignore that they exist. Fall Out Boy (in their earlier albums) discussed issues such as depression, anxiety, suicide attempts, self-help and other mental illnesses not talked about enough and when they are talked about, it’s often made pretty or more appealing so it doesn’t scare people. Their songs talked about the less pretty aspects and how it isn’t just crying in the shower and how it doesn’t just affect women. I think all these issues should be talked about more, and have less of a taboo on them, which is why they’re linked in my head.

Have you thought of any links between music and books? Feel free to leave a comment or tweet me (@furrybookshelf), I’d love to know what you think!

Review: If I Was Your Girl (Meredith Russo)

file_000-11Title: If I Was Your Girl

Author: Meredith Russo

Publisher:  Usborne

Release: Out now!

Genre: Contemporary

Which animal is similar to this book? To me, this book is a bee because I personally don’t know a whole lot about bees, but I do know they’re incredibly important to the environment and that if they die out, our whole eco system is in a lot of trouble. In the same way, I know trans people, I know what it means but I would never say I know much about it all, but I support it of course, and I know that each person is important and it’s incredibly important to talk about it more. On a darker note, thousands of bees die a year, and every year the situation becomes more serious as it becomes more apparent that the bees are dying out. Trans people are at risk due to so many judgmental people and the lack of help it can be hard for them to get, but they are valuable and the more of them that speak out, the better.

The blurb says: Amanda Hardy is the new girl at school. Like everyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is holding back. Even from Grant, the guy she’s falling in love with. Amanda has a secret. At her old school, she used to be called Andrew. And secrets always have a way of getting out…

This is the first book I’ve read about being trans and it was the perfect book. As I said, I don’t really know much about it, and it was so interesting to read it from that perspective.I feel like this book is so important and a must-read for anyone whose friend is trans, or for someone who wants to understand it more.

I loved the voices and different characters, I feel like I would love to know Amanda, and I loved the way everything flowed together in the writing; it was witty, honest and lovely. I especially loved the ‘note from the author’ at the end; there’s one for cis readers, and one for trans readers and I felt like that was a lovely, thoughtful touch. The book touches on friend issues, bullying and family issues along with learning how to deal with new experiences.

It really hurt me to see all the thoughts which had been built into her brain from past bullying, thoughts which must be built into the minds of so many trans people and teens in various situations. It really made me think about how many people must live with these thoughts daily, how many people must see a group of lads walking towards them and instinctively expect abuse and how many people must live in fear of girls at school finding their history in case they spread it around their classmates. Despite the fact that I’m cisgender, and despite the fact I can’t relate to the themes in this book a whol20160804_163103e lot, it made me want to change things for the people who suffer, or live in fear, and I think it’ll make a lot of people feel this way.

So if you’re cis and want to learn a bit, or if you’re trans and want support, you should read this because it’s a beautiful, emotional story and it really made me feel things. Definitely 10 out of 10 paw prints from me; there should be so many more books like this.

National Pet Show 2016

So, being an Animal Management student means I have a desire to go to animal-related events, and also gives me a legitimate reason: education! I went to Crufts last year (which was fab, you should go if you have the chance!) and when I heard about the National Pet Show earlier in September, I badly wanted to go!

First off, there were some really interesting stands, about things like cat care (of which I know nothing), wildcat conservation and also (my personal favourite name) The Fancy Rat Society. I liked learning about their views, the facts they had to offer and the ways in which they were telling me I could get involved. There were also a lot of food stands for dogs and cats, each claiming to be the best, handing out free samples with the promise of curing our dogs of any and every problem they may have…As well as that, there were stands selling essentially animal merch; pillows, keyrings and mugs, along with accessories sucfile_000-10h as leads, collars and cute little bandannas. If I was a frivolous spender, I would have bought so much for my dogs; it was just all so beautiful! Some were pretty standard stalls with shelves tables, but some went all out and made it look absolutely beautiful; for example, the Guru Pet Foods stand was stunning. It was themed to be natural and outdoorsy, with bales of hay used as chairs, grass on the floor and a lovely old-fashioned feel to the decor. I just had to take a photo…

 

Another big selling point of the National Pet Show is the area where you can meet animals…of course, file_000-8my favourite was the dog area, where we met some gorgeous staffies, a wolfdog (*insert heart eyes emoji*), some dalmatians, a couple Manchester terriers and so many more…We also met cats (they were cute and fluffy but I’m awful with cat breeds being a dog person, so forgive me, I was more excited about dogs), but there were also donkeys, alpacas, reptiles, parrots, chickens, ferrets and rabbits. It was great to see them all being fed/petted and loving life!

There were also shows like a staffie display (showing they’re cute and clever, not aggressive), a guide dogs file_007display, heelwork to music, agility and even a show of dogs in the media showing how they’re trained for TV.

 

I personally loved it, and if you get the chance, you should definitely go because it’s not expensfile_000-9ive to go, everything’s fun and relaxed, it’s all animal people so they’re nice, it’s really interesting and if nothing else, it’s nice to stroke a load of animals! The only downside was I felt as tired as this greyhound (her name is Judy if you were wondering) looks…

 

Review: Girl Online On Tour (Zoe Sugg)

file_000-7Title: Girl Online

Author: Zoe Sugg

Publisher: Penguin

Release: Out now!

Genre: Contemporary

Which animal is similar to this book? I would say that this book is similar to a bloodhound, because I already reviewed the first in the series (and compared it to a panda, you can read the review here: Review: Girl Online (Zoe Sugg) and the second is quite different to the first. For starters, there are more emotions involved and I felt so sorry for Penny a lot more in this book and (to me, at least!) bloodhounds always look incredibly sad. They also have a lively and funny side though, and this book is very fast-paced and there’s some good witty humor in it!

The blurb says: Penny’s bags are packed. When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can’t wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend. But, between Noah’s jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she’s really cut out for life on tour. She can’t help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot… and her blog, Girl Online. Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?

As I said, this book is much more emotional than the first because I found myself rooting for Penny to survive tour and I felt every struggle she had. Having anxiety myself, it’s easy to see why she would want to put herself in that situation to prove she could cope, but it was also easy to see every struggle she would have and how hard it would be to actually cope, especially with Noah busy a lot of the time. I love how the book addresses anxiety, and how it makes it so realistic and easy to understand; I think it’s a good way of getting it read about without being a sad book about just anxiety which some people are less likely to read. What I mean is, Zoe Sugg’s audience is much more likely to read a book like this with anxiety not quite the main/only focus instead of other, heavier books. I just think it’s a very good description of it without scaring people.

I’ve seen quite a few negative reviews of this, and the first one, purely because Zoe Sugg is a youtuber, so people believe it’s going to ‘boring’ and like ‘every other book by a youtuber’ but I genuinely believe that while Zoe had help, the ideas, the structure and the characters are from her. Penny is similar to Zoe and I think often people will write about a character similar to them, especially when addressing disorders and experience the author suffers with too. I also think it’s written in a witty and often funny way, apart from the sections dealing with the anxiety and other difficult topics; those are dealt wi20160804_163746th appropriately without being too heavy on the reader.

I really enjoy this series and with the release of Girl Online Going Solo tomorrow, I thought now was a good time to post this review! Obviously I’ve pre-ordered the third in the series and I will likely review that too! I give this 9 out of 10 paw prints!

Review: The Baby (Lisa Drakeford)

file_000-6Title: The Baby

Author: Lisa Drakeford

Publisher: Chicken House

Genre: Contemporary

Release: Out now!

Which animal is similar to this book? For me, this book represents a husky because huskies are quite a common breed (teen pregnancy is common too, I’m not calling the book common!) and there are a lot in the world, of varied levels of obedience training. Teen pregnancy is becoming more and more common and because pregnancy overall is obviously very common, it seems like it’s easy. Some people find it harder than others, some have less support than others and some find it hard to balance a child’s needs with their previous life. This is especially true for teen mothers, which this book is about. Huskies are also incredibly difficult (in general) to train since they’re stubborn and intelligent. Having a baby is often a lot harder than people expect, especially as a teen mother without the support of the father or in some cases, the parents and other family members. It’s much harder to do alone, so that’s why the book is a husky; a common/popular situation but a lot harder than it seems from the outside.

The blurb says: It’s Olivia’s seventeenth birthday party. The last thing she expects to see when she stumbles into the bathroom is her best mate Nicola giving birth on the floor. How could she, when Nicola had no idea this was coming either? She’s so not ready to be a mum, and she needs Olivia’s help. But Olivia has her own problems – a controlling boyfriend, Jonty, and lonely little sister Alice, for starters. And then there’s their friend Ben, with secrets of his own. The party to end all parties has started something epic…

I really enjoyed this book; I don’t tend to read so many stories like this one but I bought it on a whim, based on just the blurb but I did enjoy it more than I thought I would. Honestly, I thought it’d be kind of a tacky comedy book, but it was quite a bit more serious than that, and although I did enjoy the sarcasm and witty jokes, I also liked how it addressed certain issues.

As it says in the blurb, Olivia’s boyfriend is controlling and violent, which I liked because it gave the book the opportunity to explore that and really go into details with it from different angles. It also Olivia’s sister is also a bit ‘weird’ and she struggles with social interactions and with understanding what’s ‘normal’ and what isn’t, so it was so interesting to read the chapter from her point of view, which leads me to my next point…

Each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective, which is so interesting to see all the different opinions and aspects of each character’s life and actions which have contributed to the story. I don’t often like books with different perspectives with each chapter, but this is quite a short book, so it really crams in (in a positive way!) the getting-to-know parts so you feel connected to the characters and it’s good to read the different perspectives in each chapter, because of it. For me, I felt that the characters’ voices weren’t quite as defined and different as I would have liked, but there were some 20160802_160912clear differences within their voices which I liked. I also quite liked the way the book was actually written; there were a lot of short/minor sentences which made it feel less formal and more like the voice of people seventeen years old.

Overall, I liked the story, the characters and the way it was written, though I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, because I still had some questions, but I’m very picky with my endings and I think most people will like it! The Baby gets 8 out of 10 paw prints!

Review: Sunny Side Up (Holly Smale)

file_000-5Title: Sunny Side Up (A Geek Girl Special)

Author: Holly Smale

Publisher: Harper Collins

Genre: Contemporary

Release: Out now!

Which animal is similar to this book? I already reviewed the Geek Girl series altogether (you can see it here: Review: Geek Girl series (Holly Smale) and I compared the whole series to a young giraffe, but I don’t like to repeat comparisons so this time, I’m comparing it to a swan. Harriet, despite all her issues, is a model and quite a good one considering her steady stream of jobs and the reputation she has. In this way, the similarity is the grace they both share; a swan glides across the water in a balanced and elegant way, just as a model floats along a catwalk in impossibly high heels (seriously, how?). However, have you ever seen a swan take off on water? It flaps its wings firmly and smacks the water loudly with each stroke; it looks clumsy and messy, but it gets the job done. It flies, it can fly very well, it’s just the actual take-off which looks messy. Harriet does some silly things and she often appears clumsy but most of the time, she ends up okay. Harriet = swan.

The blurb says: Harriet Manners knows MANY facts. But none of them are going to help her survive Paris Fashion Week…

A short blurb, but if you know Geek Girl, you don’t need anymore details to know it’s going to be hilarious, eventful and probably emotional. The story follows Harriet through various modelling jobs around Paris Fashion Week, and in true Harriet-style, the excitement becomes a bit too much for her of course. With Harriet’s blinded optimism, what could possibly go wrong? Unless your answer to that was “literally everything”, you are wrong…

I love each and every one of the Geek Girl books; they’re just beautifully written, hilarious and so witty. People have films they watch when they’re ill; I have Geek Girl. It’s the first series I ever properly obsessed over, and one of the reasons I got into blogging; I know everyone knows the series is amazing but I wanted to say it out loud publicly and maybe let other girls find it the way I did.

I think it’s a good series for young girls to read because Harriet’s a bit of a social mess, she has friends who accept and love her so in the end, it almost doesn’t matter 20160804_163103at all. Sunny Side Up is a beautiful display of Harriet’s optimism and I love that there’s a bonus story from Nick’s perspective of the first time him and Harriet met! It’s a lovely moment and made me want to reread the whole series again!

I love every Geek Girl book, so of course, 10 out of 10 paw prints! I can’t wait to read the final book in the series (although I’m slightly heartbroken it’s ending so I’m really hoping Holly Smale writes new books I can enjoy…).

Guest Review: The Dream Snatcher (Abi Elphinstone)

So today we have a very special guest on the blog; it’s my thirteen year old sister! No idea what to call her…maybe myfurrytable or something like that? Not a clue, but she’s here to review The Dreafile_000-4m Snatcher since she loved it so much! Here we go…
Title: The Dream Snatcher

Author: Abi Elphinstone

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Genre: Middle-grade, fantasy, mystery

Release: Out now!

Which animal is similar to this book? I would compare a wildcat to this book as they are solitary creatures and hunt alone. The story has a very unique plot and characters. Despite the fact that they are solitary, wildcats can be very loyal to family members and protective of their young. This reflects the theme of friendship that is covered in the book. Wildcats are also very cunning and clever in the way that they hunt, much like the clever twists and turns of this book. In addition to this, the villains of the story are very sly, rarely without an intelligent backup plan to get what they want.

The blurb says: Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Because Moll is more important than she knows… The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Dream Snatcher for so many reasons. It has such an interesting and exciting plot to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout and the characters develop so much during the story. Whether they’re good, bad or just a bit strange, you get to know them so well and really feel strongly towards them.

This book made me panic for the characters, sympathise with them and triumph alongside them. I also really liked how fast-paced it is as it somehow balances information and realistic amounts of time to figure out clues with extremely tense action perfectly! Not to mention how good and suitable to the story the ending was. Elements of it 20160804_163103were unexpected and packed with suspense and others were exactly what I’d expected however, in a very satisfying way.

I would give The Dream Snatchers 10 paw prints out of 10 because I absolutely loved it! I would definitely highly recommend it to anybody aged nine plus!

Review: A Quiet Kind Of Thunder (Sara Barnard)

file_000-3Title: A Quiet Kind Of Thunder

Author: Sara Barnard

Publisher: Macmillan Books

Release: January 2017!

Genre: Contemporary, mental health, disabilities

Which animal is similar to this book? An owl is known to be wise, beautiful and elegant; all qualities shared with this book. The book is witty and intelligent and addresses everything in a mature and delicate but brutally honest way. The blossoming friendship and subsequent romance is beautiful and real and the way in which the story plays out is very elegant and not rushed at all. Owls are also considered funny since they have problems flying in the rain and they also look quite funny bobbing their head around too. This book is mainly serious but there are aspects of humor within the dialogue, including a lot of sarcasm and some awkward miscommunication.

The blurb says: Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say. Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen. Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder. Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.

The story follows Steffi and Rhys, each dealing with their own problems (although it’s told from Steffi’s perspective) and how they can actually help each other to deal with them. It’s a beautiful story of how love and compassion can influence the recovery of someone suffering with mental health issues. Sara Barnard writes it exactly how it is; friendship or romance (in some cases) can be really useful with mental health issues because it gives the sufferer someone to rely on as well as someone to try hard to recover for.

The characters are realistic and easy to relate to since they’re very serious but also very sarcastic and funny and actually I was reading it and realising I’m very similar to Steffi. She suffers with anxiety a lot worse than mine since she has selective mutism, but she wants to work with animals and is looking at training. Her dog also gives her confidence and she finds it a lot easier to talk about things that she’s passionate about (eg: animals) which is something I can definitely relate to. The way it’s written is so accurate and honest and there’s no “glamorising” it.

It’s also very emotional, I found myself actually crying at some points because I understood what the characters were going through and I knew how hard it would be for them. There are aspects of family issues, friendship and romance as well as the obvious mental health/physical health issues but everything links very well and it was an absolute pleasure to read. It took me under five hours to read and I stayed up very late to finish it (which doesn’t happen often!). It’s a real beauty of a book and I feel like more people should read it just so they can understand things like anxiety/selective mutism/d20160804_163103eafness and the impacts they can have on someone’s life, because it isn’t as simple as they can’t go to parties, or they can’t hear. There’s a lot more to it and I think this book should be taught in schools or at least promoted in school libraries because reading this could maybe make someone feel less alone in their own struggles.

Overall, I loved it, so 10 out of 10 paw prints! I would love to read more about Steffi and Rhys because I feel somehow connected to them now, and I will definitely be buying the finished copy when it’s released!

Review: Heartless (Marissa Meyer)

file_000-2Title: Heartless

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Macmillan (Mykindabook)

Release: 9th February 2017

Genre: Fairytale prequel/twist (Is that the right thing to say??)

Which animal is similar to this book? The mandarin duck is found in East Asia primarily but most zoos will have them in their bird exhibits because they’re the funniest looking ducks literally ever…They’re so colourful and bright that they almost don’t look real; they’re covered in bold reds, yellows, oranges, blues, greens and vibrant white. Compared to your standard mallard, they’re positively stunning. But they do look absolutely insane and wacky, which is the link between this beautiful creature and this story. It’s set in the wonderland laid out by the original book and the films that followed it so you can imagine just how crazy the environment is, but the story is just so beautifully written that I found myself thinking logical thoughts about the absurd plot lines in the overall story. This book is a mandarin duck because it is just wacky but somehow beautiful in its insanity.

The blurb says: Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen. At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

This was such an emotional roller coaster that I genuinely think I have the right to skip college for a couple of weeks to mourn the end of  the book. If you read this (and you should!), prepare to fall madly in love with each and every character, expect to  feel their pain and their triumphs and eventually expect to have your heart broken. Right from the start, it’s known that she will be crowned the Queen of Hearts because it’s the story before she’s the Queen from the famous stories, and yet I still spent the whole story hoping it wouldn’t happen.

The characters are beautifully written, each in enough depth to feel like you know them well and you will inevitably become attached to them all. I don’t often enjoy such ‘out-there’ books with weird characters and funny lands, but this is possibly my favourite book of ever and it’s not even out yet! You will find yourself rushing to finish it at four in the morning because it’s just impossible to put down and I just loved everything about it.

The story is well-written, the characters are interesting and keep you hooked, but my favourite aspect was how it all links to the original story of Alice in Wonderland. Honestly, I haven’t read it, but I’ve seen the Disney and the Tim Burton films (don’t hate me, I’ve just never got round to it…) but even I know that Marissa Meyer is an absolu20160804_163103te genius in the way she’s written it. I don’t want to give anything away of course, so you’ll have to read it but it’s little things like why the Queen of Hearts’ most famous phrase is “off with their  heads”. I love that it’s an origin story that doesn’t seem like it will end the way we all know it will. Honestly I cannot say enough good things about this book and I desperately need a finished copy because have you seen it?? It’s absolutely gorgeous!

10 out of 10 paw prints, just buy it, okay? I’ve never read anything like it; definitely a book I recommend to everyone. You won’t regret it.

Review: Girl Out Of Water (Nat Luurtsema)

file_000-1Title: Girl Out Of Water

Author: Nat Luurtsema

Publisher: Walker Books

Release: Out now!

Genre: Contemporary/humor

Which animal is similar to this book? This book is fast-paced, hilarious and the main character is very clumsy. Therefore, it’s obviously a bulldog puppy. Bulldog puppies are gorgeous and very popular but when they’re small, their feet are huge and they don’t really know how to control them yet so they end up falling over a lot. I knew one bulldog puppy who would do some kind of comically slow fall everytime she was scared or if something made her jump. Of course they’re lovely (as is this book) but when they’re not asleep, they’re running around at top speed and falling over a lot. This book is the same in the sense that it is fast, funny to read and a lot of the humor is at the expense of the characters.

The blurb says: Stars in her eyes, water in her ears, boys on her nerves… Lou Brown is out of her depth. A thoroughly British teen comedy starring a hilariously flawed heroine with a quip for every occasion – perfect for fans of Holly Smale, Holly Bourne, Caitlin Moran and Sophie Kinsella. Lou Brown’s life is going down the pan. Best friend Hannah sailed through the Olympic time trials and is off to her fancy-pants new swim training school, while Lou’s own failure to qualify leaves her without a hobby – or a friend. As Lou tries to navigate her post-swim world, a chance encounter with three boys with stars in their eyes takes her life in a surprising new direction. One that leads to a crazy world of underwater somersaults, talent show auditions, bitchy girls and one great big load of awkward boy chat.

I just love this book, Nat Luurtsema is a comedy genius. I saw her talk at YALC 2016 and met her as well and that was the reason I decided to read this book actually. She was just so funny and honest with everything she said that I knew I’d love her book. It’s not often I laugh out loud at a book but she achieved it multiple times. Everything is unexpected and insane and wacky but at the same time, it’s quite easy to see how everything links together and how it could actually happen in real life, put into those circumstances.

It’s a very light-hearted, warm book but there are aspects of more serious themes such as jealousy and family problems. There’s also a small aspect of body image provided by Hannah (Lou’s best friend). It follows Lou’s journey after failing to get into the swim school with Hannah as she attempts to fit in at school and find new things to do with her new, increased free time. There are emotions involved and even a couple of boys but the focus isn’t on the romance. The story is predominantly humor and I love how 20160804_163103beautifully insane the plot is.

This book truly is a work of art; the perfect balance of serious situations and sarcastic one-liners along with slightly awkward situations with the odd hilarious anecdote thrown in there. I feel like I need to read more about Lou’s tragic mishaps to be honest though. *insert broken heart emoji* I’m genuinely starting to miss her since I finished this book a day ago…Anyway, 10 out of 10 paw prints, beautifully, hysterically funny story, all should read!