Author: Lisa Williamson Publisher: David Fickling Books Release Date: 2nd February 2017 Genre: YA, Contemporary Pages: 360 ––– One family, three sisters. GRACE, the oldest: straight-A student. AUDREY, the youngest: future Olympic swimming champion. And MIA, the mess in the middle. Mia is wild and daring, great with hair and selfies, and the undisputed leader of her friends – not attributes appreciated by her parents or teachers. When Grace makes a shock announcement, Mia hopes that her now-not-so-perfect sister will get into the trouble she deserves. But instead, it is Mia whose life spirals out of control – boozing, boys and bad behaviour – and she starts to realise that her attempts to make it All About Mia might put at risk the very things she loves the most. ––– I’m writing this review right now, fresh off the bat from finishing this utterly amazing book. I have waited so long for this book. Ever since I heard about it at Deptcon2 back in October, I knew I was in desperate need of it. I actually picked up a teaser at the book while I was there, and I have been bringing it into school since for when we get to read for 15 minutes each morning. I feel like I could quote the first 60 pages inside-out, and although I’d mainly brought it in because it was skinny and fit in my bag, it didn’t stop me from enjoying it any less!
Where, oh where, do I honestly start? This book made me laugh so much throughout it. At points it was just so funny that I had to tell someone about it.
Mia Campbell-Richardson is a middle child, and one stuck between two mega-talented sisters. She feels worthless compared to them, but that doesn’t stop her from enjoying her life with her three best friends. When her older sister Grace turns up on their family doorstep, back from Greece and heavily pregnant, Mia is delighted and thinks that Grace will finally get in the trouble that she’d always hoped she would. But quite the opposite happens, as her Mum and Dad are over the moon excited for the baby on the way.
There’s so much humour in this book, and it’s something I adore about Williamson’s style. I loved The Art of Being Normal and I certainly loved this! The characters were totally engaging, also, and I am literally obsessed with them all. Like Audrey was freaking adorable, Mia was a wreck but completely hilarious and Mikey and Kimmie were superb supporting characters.
Also, it’s one of those books where you’re crying when you read the last line. It doesn’t even have to be a sad ending or a really happy ending, because you’re just crying because it’s an ending. Full stop. The fact that it’s over and I’ll never experience Mia’s story for the first time ever is a really upsetting thought, so I’ll leave this review of this incredible book here.
Publisher: Stripes Publishing Release Date: 22nd September 2016 Genre: YA, Short Stories Pages: 384
The UK's top Young Adult authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home. Contributors include: Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon , Cat Clarke, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick, Lisa Williamson and Benjamin Zephaniah. GBP1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity.
I think it’s quite obvious from the books that I’ve read that I was really excited to get this book. I feel like I’ve been saying I’m excited for this book repeatedly in my last few blogs, but I can’t help it, I just am really excited about lots of books, lmao… Anyways… the main authors I was looking forward to reading in this were HOLLY BOURNE (AKA MY QUEEN), LISA WILLIAMSON and my recently discovered new favourite NON PRATT! It’s hard to talk about this book without going into too much detail about each and every individual story. If I had to pick my top three it would honestly be Lisa Williamson’s, Non Pratt’s and Juno Dawson’s! I know, I know, Holly’s name isn’t in my top three and I feel like I’m saying the biggest sin right now but her story just didn’t do it for me. I found it (not dissimilar from a few others, might I add) to be a bit boring. I think my problem with it is that maybe I wanted more because I didn’t really feel like it told a story with a beginning, middle and end. Anyways, I’m going to STOP myself right now from slating Holly Bourne because she is a cinnamon roll and does not deserve it. Overall, I was a bit disappointed with the stories because most of them I found to be too short but I think that his kind of anthology is a great way to discover never-before-read UKYA authors! Like for example, I’ve read nothing by Cat Clarke before but now I’m more than ever eager to get my hands on The Lost & the Found!! Yeah…so, it was a small tiny bit disappointing but some of the stories hit home for me (Juno) so I’m glad that I read it. Also, it put me in a real Christmassy mood so only 11 months to go!!!
I’m gonna give this 3 stars out of 5, although my Goodreads differs :/
The Art of Being Normal is Lisa Williamson's first novel. For this author who is involved so much in acting, I was pleasantly surprised how well-written this book was.
This, and I'm saying it without a doubt, was one of my favourite reads of this year. Upon meeting the author herself at a convention where she discussed how she worked for two years with young people who struggled with their gender identity. As she listened to their stories, she was inspired to write a novel regarding the elements of gender and the like.
Williamson's main character, David, is a young cheerful teenager who hides a secret: he wants to be a girl. Sharing only this wish with two of his closest friends, he's not prepared for when Leo Denton walks into his life, grumpy and wanting to be invisible. The novel tells the story of how Leo and David meet, and how they bond with each other and learn more about one another.
In the middle of the book as it reaches its climax, David finds out a shocking secret of Leo's; the real reason he left his old school and moved to David's school. A plot twist that I did not see coming, nor one that I will be forgetting anytime soon.
I easily fell in love with these characters, as Williamson writes them oh so marvellously well. The lot was quite engrossing throughout the entire book that I simply couldn't put it down. And bravo to Williamson, who unlike many other YA authors, for showing some representation of the trans community in her books and not making them so miserable.