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review 2016-06-24 20:45
Welcome to the Wallops by Gill McKnight
Welcome to the Wallops - Gill McKnight

An enjoyable read that is *almost* a great one. Jane lives in Lesser Wallop and has the unfortunate luck of having her ex-girlfriend move in right next door, under the guise of doing a writeup of an upcoming festival. Jane's job is on the line due to seemingly low interest from the locals, her deadbeat father is in town, and this is one more thing she didn't need right now.

This is a lighthearted romp that is missing more time dedicated to the relationship between Jane and Renata. I don't really need it to be a "this is all about romance" book, but there was kind of a quick switch from NOT love to love for me to really find believable. There were also some misused words and mistakes that could have been caught with one more swipe by a proofreader. Without the noticeable typos and with more 'screen time' to build Renata and Jane's interactions, this would be a five star read.

Aside from that, good humor throughout (as I expect from any Gill McKnight) and enjoyable characters. I anxiously anticipate the sequel, because Wendy was actually my favorite character in this one, even though she was secondary. Full of loyalty, joy and interesting textures, that one.

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review 2016-06-14 21:08
Reasons you need this book
A Totally Awkward Love Story - Tom Ellen,Lucy Ivison
1. It is FUCKING HILARIOUS. It's also just got a very different sense of humor found in American YA novels. The straight-forward, British humor made me LOL a lot. Also British humor in general is pretty great. Lots of LOLs to be had. 

2. It is Sex-positive. It isn't just sex-positive in that it has one sex scene. This book is full of teenagers who think a LOT about sex (because TEENAGERS DO THAT) and also have sex often. The book explores teen-sexuality in a very true-to-life manner that isn't full of rainbows and roses but rather lots of awkwardness and self-doubt. 

3. Awkwardness. Just based on personal experience, being a teen is pretty hard. There are so many messages teens get from media and from one another and all they do is make us very aware of ourselves and the ways in which we are different from this 'idealized' image of a teen. While the book doesn't directly address the messages, it weaves them in with the insecurities the main characters have about themselves. 

4. Kids who don't always get into their top college/university. I know this seems really minor but I am so fucking tired of all the teens in YA lit who dream big and somehow always get into their top college/university. That doesn't happen that often in real life. What does happen is that you sometimes see the good in situations that aren't always that great and this book does a lot of that. 

5. Teens who drink. Whaat? Teens drink? What are you going on about? Given that it's the summer after high school, let me tell you, there is a lot of drinking involved and I appreciated the realistic ways in which the authors tackled teen drinking. 

This book will definitely not be for everyone because there is a lot of angst and drama, occasional toxic friendships and perhaps the kinds of situations these teens get into will make some readers uncomfortable. Hell, I was pretty uncomfortable sometimes. BUT, Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison do justice to teen experiences in the novel. Not every teenager will have had the same experiences as the main characters but I am sure everyone will be able to relate to some aspect of these teens' lives and will find something that makes them want to cheer the main characters on. 

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


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