Author: Laura Dockrill
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Colourful, raw, brave, rich and fantastical – this mermaid tale is not for the faint-hearted. Looking after a naked girl he found washed up under Hastings pier isn’t exactly how Rory had imagined spending his sixteenth birthday. But more surprising than finding her in the first place is discovering where she has come from. Lorali is running not just from the sea, not just from her position as princess, but her entire destiny. Lorali has rejected life as a mermaid, and become human. But along with Lorali’s arrival, and the freak weather suddenly battering the coast, more strange visitors begin appearing in Rory’s bemused Sussex town. With beautifully coiffed hair, sharp-collared shirts and a pirate ship shaped like a Tudor house, the Abelgare boys are a mystery all of their own. What are they really up to? Can Rory protect Lorali? And who from? And where does she really belong, anyway?
*This review may contain slight spoilers*
I was sent an ARC of this book from Hot Key Books via lovereading.co.uk in return for an honest review. Lorali had been on my summer TBR, so when lovereading gave me a chance to review the ARC I couldn’t reply fast enough!
Where do I start? This book blew me away completely. I haven’t read a mermaid book before, but Lorali was everything I imagined and so much more. Goodness, I’ve been missing out. Dockrill’s writing is honestly out of this world. Her poetic skills are portrayed beautifully in her writing, and she has you hanging off every word leaving you mesmerised. It was such a pleasure to read.
One of my favourite things of the book is that it was written in 3 voices- Rory, Lorali and The Sea. The great thing was, all the voices were distinctly different. Each voice had a particular style of writing which made the book so refreshing to read. At first I was a bit wary of 3 voices, because from my experience, multiple voices tend to blend into one but that did not happen when I was reading Lorali. I enjoyed every voice, but I have to say The Sea was definitely my favourite. I mean, what an amazing idea. I loved how Dockrill portrayed The Sea to be really sassy but wise all at the same time. She did an amazing job of writing from The Sea’s perspective, and it was so darn clever!
I loved how as the book went by, Dockrill gave you more and more information about Lorali’s past leaving you to piece together what happened at her resolution. Lorali was a great protagonist that really left you empathising with her and her situation. As the story unfolded, I found myself rooting for Lorali and loving her as a character. Her love for “The Walkers” and her bravery were so wonderful to read about. I loved reading about Lorali’s experiences out of the mermaid world. Her reactions to normal human experiences such as eating cake were so heart-warming to read about.
As for Rory… He was such a kind hearted soul. Dockrill accurately wrote in a perspective of a 16 year old boy. For example, when worrying about his date ordering an expensive bottle of wine, Rory replied with “who does she think I was, bloody Jay-Z?!” I loved Rory’s voice and the humour he brought to the book. The pirates were also a wonderful part of the book, and I loved how scary and brave pirates cared so much about their cuticles and conditioning their hair.
The book was so fun to read as it contained newspaper clippings and chatrooms as well as the 3 voices. I especially loved the chatrooms that were created when Opal swam into the river Thames and demanded to speak to the Prime Minister. The whole world blew up; fandoms were created for Opal, and Vogue and Elle both wanted her on their covers. The chatrooms were so hilarious, there were people sharing tips on how to grow a tapestry and how to get Opal’s perfect waves.
As I’ve said before, Dockrill’s writing was absolutely beautiful, so I’m just going to leave you with some of my favourite quotes from the book: “You have to live your life like you’re pretending. An actor living in a character’s life. Otherwise you won’t take the risks. You won’t live.”
“When I’m older I want to be a unicorn.” (This is me all day every day.)
“Her hair flowing like music.”
“Ghosts of our laughter haunt the air like a waft of a burnt matchstick.”
Thank you for reading everyone! Do you have any mermaid book recommendations for me? Please leave them in the comments!
The wonderful Katytastic over on Youtube basically put our favourite things together (books and Disney) and came up with this amazing tag! We were so excited when Kristin @ SimplyBookishThings tagged us and we apologise it has taken us so long to post it!!!! But anyways, let’s get into the questions!
The Little Mermaid: A character who is out of their element, a ‘fish out of water’
For us, this was definitely Cath from Fangirl. A quiet, shy girl who writes fanfiction moving into her dorm room in College, it’s enough for anyone to feel like fish out of water! It’s scary to think that this is probably going to be us next year… except we don’t write fanfiction, we read it.
Cinderella: A character that goes through a major transformation
The first person that came to mind was Twylla from the Sin Eaters Daughter. From acting like the Queen’s slave at the start of the book to taking her life into her own hands at the end of the book… her transformation was huge and we loved reading about her growing as a person and finding herself.
Snow White: A book with an eclectic cast of characters
There is no other adjective to describe the cast of I’ll Give You the Sun other than eclectic. From crazy artists, to “bad boys”, gay couples and the ghost of Grandma Sweetwine, the character list covers a whole range of people. I honestly think that is the reason why so many people loved this book, because so many people were able to relate with the vast range of characters.
Sleeping Beauty: A book that put you to sleep
The Immortal Series by Alyson Noel. The first two books were good, but then Ever kept making stupid decisions after stupid decisions and it kinda got boring, and very annoying.
The Lion King: A character who had something traumatic happen to them in their childhood
Even though Cammie is basically living our dream by being a teenage spy, she had quite a traumatic childhood. Her father never came back from a spy mission, and she had to live her life not even knowing if he was dead or alive. We can’t even imagine what that would feel like.
Beauty And The Beast: A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to beautiful
We read the Twilight Saga when we were quite young, so Breaking Dawn was very intimidating. At 756 pages, we are pretty sure this book can qualify as a beast, but we loved it. Sorry not sorry.
Aladdin: A character who gets their wish granted, for better or for worse
Rudy from The Book Thief got his wish granted. He finally got his kiss from Liesel… Oh god. We’re getting emotional.
Mulan: A character who pretends to be someone or something they’re not
Mr Gatsby from The Great Gatsby pretends to be something that he isn’t to please Daisy. Not quite sure it worked out for him though..
Toy Story: A book with characters you wish could come to life
Yep, you guessed it, the cast of Harry Potter. We’re sorry for giving such an un-original answer, but is there even another answer to this question??
Disney Descendants: Your favourite villain or morally ambiguous character.
Caleb Prior from Divergent, does he even count? Well we both had a bit of soft spot for him (probably because he was played by the gorgeous Ansel Elgort).
Ayesha and Monisah xxx
Title: The Next Together
Author: Lauren James
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: 3rd September 2015
How many times can you lose the person you love? Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different… A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about time-travel, fate and the timelessness of first love. The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet articles.
I received this ARC edition for The Next Together from lovereading.com in return for an honest review!
Okay, I don’t even know where to start, I was expecting this to be a soppy love story (which honestly I wouldn’t have minded) but The Next Together definitely surprised me! The storyline was so much more than I was expecting, there was action, a little bit of history, humour and Lauren James’ take on what life would be like in 2039.
The storyline was centred around a love story between Matthew and Katherine, in different time landscapes, 1745, 1854, 2019 and 2039. I felt as though I was hooked from page one. I always found myself wanting to keep reading, whether it was to explore the personalities of Matthew and Katherine in each time landscape, or to unravel the cleverly crafted storyline Lauren James has put together.
As for the characters, I fell in love with them. Katherine had a very witty sense of humour and she was utterly hilarious, I just wanted to be best friends with her! Matthew was just so adorable and nerdy and he definitely pulled at my heart strings. I found myself always rooting for them to get together and fall in love no matter what they had experienced or despite their backgrounds. They both felt like real people that I could relate to.
Now for the writing, Lauren James was born to write. She can write in any time period. Whether it is re-writing her take on historical events or writing about the future. Another original and personal detail were the little snippets of articles or letters at the start of every chapter (my favourites were definitely the refrigerator notes written between Matthew and Katherine in the time landscape 2019).
On a minor down side, I did find it a little unrealistic that the Matt and Kate in 2019 were the aunt and uncle of the Matt and Kate in 2039, but let’s just ignore that small detail because this book was honestly just perfect. It was everything I looked for in a book, fun, exciting and gripping. Oh, and the ending… I was turning the pages to try and find more, I hope with every bone of my being that there is a sequel.
I would recommend this book no matter what genre you normally read! This is such a versatile story that I will be recommending to all my family and friends! I would definitely recommend everyone pick it up when it is released on the 3rd September 2015. The Next Together has been one of the best books I’ve read so far this year!
I hope you all enjoyed reading, and please let me know your favourite books that you’ve read this year in the comments! Have a wonderful day!
Title: Someone You Already Know
Author: Sarahbeth Caplin
Publication Date: October 1st 2012
Two teenage girls, two experiences with sexual assault: one committed by a stranger, the other by a relationship partner. Neither girl quite believes the other when she shares her story: wasn’t she ‘asking for it’ by walking home alone so late at night? Why didn’t she just end the relationship if he really treated her that way? Someone You Already Know is a raw, emotional book that explores the impact of rape culture on modern society. Told in alternating perspectives from two survivors, it unpacks the common myths of sexual assault, revealing important truths that every woman needs to know.
Today I am reviewing a book I was sent from an author in return from an honest review. Thank you Sarahbeth for sending me this book to review! I wanted to pick up this book because it was totally different from anything I’ve ever read before.
The story was told in two perspectives, Katherine and Elisabeth, both girls who experience sexual assault in different ways. Katherine, who was raped by a stranger and Elisabeth, who experienced assault from her relationship partner. I thought the idea of this story told in two perspectives was very original and it gave the book even more meaning. As a reader, I could see the different perspectives of the two girls as they had both experienced different things. Reading this story was so inspiring, to see how Sarahbeth took a negative experience and told it in such a raw and emotional way. It was intriguing to see how the girls dealt with their experiences and how this affected their friendship. Sarahbeth used their friendship to portray the different views of rape, shown in the story as Katherine and Elisabeth’s friendship suffered as a result of their experiences.
The book did an amazing job of raising awareness of sexual assault. I learnt so many new things, and my perspective of rape culture in general has definitely changed. As for the characters, I loved the way they both showed feminism and strength for women. It was lovely to see strong feminine characters in a contemporary book. Every character stood for something different, and explored a new area of rape and rape culture.
Although the story did really well in raising awareness of this subject, I felt as though nothing really happened in the story. I felt like everything mentioned in the blurb of the book was everything that happened. It wasn’t really what I was used to, but I know the main point of the book wasn’t the storyline, but to raise awareness of sexual abuse. Also, I read this while I was sitting exams and the short chapters were really helpful to read while revising.
Overall, I am very happy I picked up this book! I learnt so many new things, and the story raised certain issues concerning women and society which has always been an important issue for me. I would give this novel a 3/5. I would have wanted more from the storyline, to engage the reader with more of a busy storyline, because I felt like the story was predictable, it was everything I was expecting.
If you are interested in any of the issues mentioned in the book, I would definitely recommend it! Thank you for reading, I hope you have a lovely day!
I have something really exciting to share with you guys! As you know, I recently reviewed All I’ve Never Wanted by Ana Huang (which you can read here), and I absolutely loved it. I wanted to know more about Ana and her characters, so I asked Ana if she would be interested in an interview, and she said yes! This is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this, so I’d like to thank Ana for being the sweetest person ever, and making the process so easy! I hope you guys enjoy reading Ana’s answers as much as I did!
You can read more about Ana on her Goodreads page here.
Thank you everyone!
We have finally set up a twitter account for our blog! You can go give us a follow @twinsturnpages we’ll look forwards to seeing you over on twitter!
Hope you all have a good evening!!
Ayesha and Monisah xx