IMI RECOMMENDS | Socially important millennial fiction

We always hear about the books that shaped history, the classics which were ahead of their time, leading social change. Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, Orwell’s 1984, Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and so many more. But what about the books of our generation, which are shaping our lives and socially important now? Well, here’s my list!

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OCTOBER & NOVEMBER WRAP UP

So the end of October got a little manic and then NaNo took over November so I never got around to doing my wrap up last month, so now you have a double bill! October was been a month of book slumps, fanfiction and starting work. I ended up in a weird vampire mood (maybe it was due to Halloween), but I actually read quite a few books in the end and even extended my goodreads goal to 75! Then, this month, NaNo meant that I didn’t read as much as I wanted at first but then when my writing brain started shutting down, I picked up reading again. I really wish I could balance it out better.

So here’s my October/November double bill wrap up…

O C T O B E R

 

 

Solis Invicti series by Josie Jaffrey ★★★★☆
A Bargain in Silver (Solis Invicti #1), The Price of Silver (Solis Invicti #2), Bound in Silver (Solis Invicti #3), The Silver Bullet (Solis Invicti #4)
KEYWORDS: Vampires, Zombies, End of the World, Roooooomance + Bonds + Love Triangles.

This series was the perfect thing to drag me out of my reading slump. The vampire premise was original and interesting, I enjoyed the character arcs and I shipped a couple like mad, and that’s a definite plus. I would thoroughly recommend this series to anyone who likes paranormal romance, vampires, and zombies.

See my full spoiler-free review here.

GOODREADS | BUY

Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead ★★★★★
Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4), Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5), Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6)
KEYWORDS: Vampires, Sassy/Badass Female Heroine, Romance
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After reading the Solis Invicti series, I was in a vampire mood so I finished off my Vampire Academy reread. I will always adore these books and this reread only reminded me of my love.

GOODREADS | BUY

 

 

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover ★★★★★
KEYWORDS: Dysfunctional family, Mental health, Love at first sight.

Coleen Hoover’s 2017 release is a return to her YA roots, exploring the lives of one family – the Voss family both reminds you of your family and makes you glad that your family is nothing like them. I connected with Merit from the start and it’s a truly beautiful novel. Read it.

See my spoiler-free review here.

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Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher ★★★★☆
KEYWORDS: Psychopath, Villainous Women, Motherhood.

Yet another look into Tarryn’s messed up mind and yet again, I loved it. Bad Mommy is a look into the mind of a stalker/psychopath, the mind of a sociopath and the mind of an author trapped in between the two of them. I loved the unreliable narrators and it was really intriguing. Everything Tarryn writes is fantastic.

See my full spoiler-free review here.

GOODREADS | BUY

N O V E M B E R

 

 

 

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★★
KEYWORDS: Shadowhunters, Demons, Badass Females, Forbidden Love, Investigating.

Another fantastic book from the Shadowhunter universe. I loved the characters, the mystery and I should really read more urban fantasy because I do love it. Also, Emma Castairs is wonderful.

See my full spoiler-free review here.

GOODREADS | BUY

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff ★★★★★
KEYWORDS: Outerspace apocalypse, Non-Prose
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My best friends have been pestering me to read this on and on and on for ages and I finally got around to it. I know now why they wanted me to read it! A fantastic story and an incredibly intriguing way to tell it. All through IMs and surveillance footage. It somehow makes it seem more real and I LOVED it.

Spoiler free review coming soon!

GOODREADS | BUY

As you can see, November didn’t go quite as planned but hopefully December will be the month where I hit my goal and smash it out the park! Wish me luck!

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What books have you read this month? What was your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

REVIEW | Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

without-merit-9781501170621_hrName: Without Merit
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: US Paperback
Source: Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★★
GOODREADS | BUY

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

KEY WORDS: Dysfunctional family, Mental health, Love at first sight.

Without Merit is a return to Colleen Hoover’s YA roots, much like that of Hopeless and Slammed. It tells the story of the Voss family, specifically following Merit, an identical twin, and her feelings towards her siblings, parents and step-mother. This dysfunctional family, proclaimed by Merit’s own words as “an atheist, a home wrecker, an ex-wife suffering from agoraphobia, and a teenage girl whose weird obsession borders on necrophilia,” is both the problem and resolution of the story. Everything revolves around family and I really connected with that. Hell, the Voss’ lack of communication to each other what so much like mine, it scared me a little.

However, I felt like the romance was very much a sideline in this book. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it was just so different to what I was used to from CoHo. I find her books cathartic – I read them and spend the day crying from the heartbreak before she slowly stitches my heart back together. Without Merit was completely different in that respect. The focus was more on Merit’s mental health struggles, the dysfunctionality of her family and how they can overcome their difficulties to come together when necessary.

I really loved the way this book made me feel. No, it didn’t have the same cathartic punch that the other novels do, but there was something heartwarming about it which made me feel closer to my own family. I really loved this book, and I hope you do too.

Also, even though romance wasn’t the main plot point in the same way as before, this quote has become everything to me. Please appreciate it’s romantic beauty.

Tuqburni is used to describe the all-encompassing feeling of not being able to live without someone. Which is why the literal translation is, ‘You bury me.’”

morelikethis

Colleen Hoover is fantastic, here are my four favourites:

  • November 9 ★★★★★
  • It Ends With Us (TW: domestic violence) ★★★★★
  • Slammed ★★★★★
  • Ugly Love ★★★★★

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Have you read Without Merit yet? Do you love CoHo’s stuff as much as me? Let me know in the comments!


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CURRENTLY READING | Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: US Paperback
Source: Book Depository

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

GOODREADS | BUY

you

What are you reading right now? Are you enjoying it? Tell me in the comments!


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OCTOBER TBR

As ever, my TBR is way too long and I certainly don’t help myself by constantly buying more books. I’m sure you can all empathise, right? It’s got to the point now where I have a spreadsheet of all the books I need to read, otherwise, I can’t keep up!

Anyway, here’s a more concise list of the books that I am hoping I’ll get around to tackling this month. Due to my diminished success last month, I’ve got some of the same books back again!

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  • The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (releases 26th September) GOODREADS | BUY
  • Without Merit by Colleen Hoover (released 3rd October) GOODREADS | BUY

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  • Ringer (Replica #2) by Lauren Oliver (releases 3rd October) GOODREADS | BUY
  • The Fandom by Anna Day (releases 5th October) GOODREADS | BUY
  • Can You See Anything Now? by Katherine James (releases 10th October) GOODREADS | BUY

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What’s on your TBR for this month? Do you have a stupid amount of books on your bookshelf that you still haven’t read? Let me know in the comments!

TOP TEN TUESDAY | Top Ten Books on My Autumn TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and I love a good list so here goes!

I have so many books on my TBR that I actually have a spreadsheet detailing what I need to read and by when. It’s long and organised and mad but these ten books below are the ones I’m most looking forward to!

Ringer (Replica #2) by Lauren Oliver
Release:
3rd October 2017

I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of Replica this time last year and absolutely adored it, so when Ringer was released on Edelweiss, I snapped it up! It’s next on my TBR once I finish Tower of Dawn!

The Replica series tells the story of two girls, Lyra and Gemma, when their lives become intertwined after Lyra and a boy known only as 72 escape the Haven Institute, a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.

GOODREADS | PRE-ORDER/BUY

The Fandom by Anna Day
Release:
5th October 2017

I somehow managed to get this beautiful paperback ARC at YALC, moments after I walked into the convention hall. I am really intrigued by the concept and will definitely be reading this one soon.

A YA fantasy, set within a YA fantasy. Cosplayers go to comic-con and, after a freak accident, find themselves trapped within the fantasy world from their favourite fandom.

GOODREADS | PRE-ORDER/BUY

A Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Release:
26th September 2017

I am unbelievably excited to be transported back into the incredible Grishaverse. Leigh Bardugo is one of the best world-builders out there right now and I have loved everything she has written. Give me more.

Six short stories set within the Grishaverse which explore familiar lands and new, inspired by myth, fairytale and folklore.

GOODREADS | PRE-ORDER/BUY

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
Release:
3rd October 2017

I have read every CoHo book, some more than once, and her books mean so much to me. They tear me apart and stitch me back together. I cry a lot. They are my catharsis and I’ve heard lots of good things about her next novel, her first YA since Losing Hope.

Without Merit explores family dynamics and the layers of lies that tie a family together through the eyes of the imperfect daughter, Merit Voss. 

GOODREADS | PRE-ORDER/BUY

Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher

Much like Colleen, I love Tarryn’s writing. Plus, sometimes it hard to like one and not the other considering what a double act Hoover/Fisher are. Bad Mommy is one of the few that I haven’t yet read along with the new release Athiests Who Kneel and Pray. Both are on my bookshelf begging to be read.

When Fig Coxbury buys a house on West Barrett Street, it’s not because she likes the neighbourhood, or even because she likes the house. It’s because everything she desires is next door: The husband, the child, and the life that belongs to someone else.

GOODREADS | BUY

Illuminae series by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

My friends kept going on and on at me telling me I would love this series so I decided to buy them and now they’ve been sat on my shelves a month or so, waiting to be read. I guess I’d better get on with it!

Kady’s planet has been invaded and she and her ex-boyfriend need to work together to fight their way to an evacuating fleet. Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews and more.

GOODREADS | BUY

False Hearts by Laura Lam

Having read the Micah Grey trilogy and fallen in love, I figured I should add Laura Lam’s other novels to my TBR. I’m sure I’ll love this adventure just as much as the last.

Two formerly conjoined sisters are ensnared in a murderous plot involving psychoactive drugs, shared dreaming, organized crime, and a sinister cult. 

GOODREADS | BUY

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Top of the NY Times bestseller list since its release, The Hate U Give, has been widely recognised as the book to read in 2017… so I read it I must!

A young, black girl, trapped between the two worlds of her poor neighbourhood and surburban preparatory school, has her life turned upside down after she witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed, childhood best friend by a police officer.

GOODREADS | BUY

And I Darken by Kiersten White

I purchased this and its sequel, Now I Rise, at YALC having had it on a long list of books I should get for a while. Yet, since its purchase, I have had more pressing things to read. It sounds just like my kind of book so I would love to get around to this soon.

A gender-swapped, historcal YA retelling the story of the Prince of Wallachia, also knowsn as Vlad the Impaler. Political and historical with a ruthless heroine, stabbing, murder and volatility.

GOODREADS | BUY

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Another novel that I haven’t stopped hearing about since it’s release so I feel the need to see what all the fuss is about. Especially with the tv series going ahead, I want to read it before that comes out.

A murder mystery surrounding five high school students who have detention together, but only four come out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

GOODREADS | BUY

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What’s on your Autumn TBR? Have you read any on my list that I should read sooner? Let me know in the comments or link me to your TTT for me to check out!


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TOP TEN TUESDAY | Back To School Freebie: Ten Books That Should Be on the School Syllabus

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and I love a good list so here goes!

 

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
(Primary/Secondary/Sixth Form)

I think I will probably end up having Harry Potter on most of the lists I do for this. It has influenced so much of my life that it seems reasonable for it to continually appear. Rowling, through a magical world of wizards, witches and Hogwarts, taught us all the most important life lessons which we will always hold with us – love, friendship, bravery, loyalty – and these fantastic stories should undoubtable be told and taught in schools for the rest of time.

GOODREADS | BUY

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven 
(Secondary)

Laura Steven’s debut novel which is to be released in March 2018 discusses the incredibly important topics of high school bullying, slut shaming and revenge porn. If nothing else, the themes within this book are ones that need to be addressed in schools and, for me, this is the most important release of 2018 which I have read so far.

GOODREADS | PRE-ORDER

 

Gone series by Michael Grant
(Secondary)

This came to me like a revelation because it’s been years since I read this series but it truly is fantastic. Set in a dystopia where one day all the adults just disappeared and this world is now run by adolescents – it has a similar feel to Lord of the Flies but with mutants thrown into the mix. Basically, it’s the perfect update for the GCSE syllabus if you want a more modern story which young people are more likely to connect with.

GOODREADS | BUY

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
(Secondary)

Another debut novel, this time from Katie Webber, telling the tale of determined Wing Jones who, following a family tragedy, goes out and makes something of herself for the sake of the ones she loves. Heart-warming and inspiring and the perfect addition to English for Years 7-10.

GOODREADS | BUY

 

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

I strongly believe that Laini Taylor is one of the greatest writers of this generation (with the other two also entries on this list) and the beautiful way she crafts worlds, lives and stories should be studied by all. Her metaphors and similes, especially in this fantastic novel, deserve to be on the syllabus.

GOODREADS | BUY

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

Narrated by Death, a novel set within the depths of World War II which I wouldn’t be surprised to already find on the syllabus – it just wasn’t when I was still at school. Historical background, while conveying the power of literature, all with a far more interesting narrator than your average GCSE or A Level text.

GOODREADS | BUY

 

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

Entry number two in the greatest writers of this generation category is Leigh and her incredible spin-off duology in the Grishaverse. Her world-building is easily the best I have encountered and this tale of gangs, magic and mystery is undoubtably a favourite. If it had been on my syllabus, maybe I would have done better in A Level Eng Lit.

GOODREADS | BUY

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

Easily the most important book I read during my school years which has stuck with me ever since and I still quote as being the best book I’ve ever read. The Kite Runner was on my A Level syllabus so why can’t this masterpiece be on it too? Following the life of a young Afghan woman through war, loss, life and fate.

GOODREADS | BUY

 

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

I would say this is probably my wild card entry. I am a sucker for a CoHo novel and It Ends With Us is the one that impacted me most. I spent all night sobbing into my pillow until I could compose myself. A heart-breaking story of domestic abuse and the strength required to live through and confront it. It allowed me to question whether I could leave someone in the same situation and that is important for everyone to question.

GOODREADS | BUY

A Darker Shade of Magic series by V. E. Schwab
(Secondary/Sixth Form)

The third and final, ‘greatest writer of our generation’ for me goes to the Queen of all things fantasy, Victoria Schwab. Everything she writes deserves to be taught to all and read by all. This particular series is rife with detailed characters, intriguing plots and the most beautifully built worlds – three different Londons to be precise.

GOODREADS | BUY