01 February 2016

YA Shot Read-A-Long Review: All of the Above by James Dawson

When sixteen-year-old Toria Bland arrives at her new school she needs to work out who her friends are in a crazy whirl of worry, exam pressure and anxiety over fitting in.

Things start looking up when Toria meets the funny and foul-mouthed Polly, who's the coolest girl that Toria has ever seen. Polly and the rest of the 'alternative' kids take Toria under their wing.

And that's when she meets the irresistible Nico Mancini, lead singer of a local band - and it's instalove at first sight!

Toria likes Nico, Nico likes Toria, but then there's Polly...love and friendship have a funny way of going round in circles. 


Source: NetGalley Request

5 Words: Friends, family, love, school, discovery.


Oh man. That was amazing.

This is the book that I wish I had read ten years ago.

This book is the most honest portrayal of being a teen I have ever read. It was like reading my own teenage years, only we had cider and perry, not fizzy dessert wine. And we didn't have a crazy-golf course to hang around on, instead we had a den in the woods. But still.

All of the Above is absolutely fantastic. It will make you smile and cry and laugh and just stare into space, thinking. This book called to my soul.

It felt like the author had a "diverse book" checklist, ticked everything off, ripped it into millions of pieces and let them float away on the wind... Then did his own thing. And the result is breath-taking and real and utterly sublime. I recognised a little of myself in many of the characters, and I fell a little bit in love with all of them. So when my heart was broken, it was completely shattered.

Also, Polly all the way.

February's Book

Throughout February, we're reading Fearsome Dreamer by Laure Eve.

In the remote country of Angle Tar, apprentice hedge-witch Vela Rue has had strange dreams all her life: mysterious and incredibly real. Then she learns that her dreams mean something more - and that her government will do anything to nurture her talent.

Embarking on her clandestine training, she meets the enigmatic White, who has been forced to flee his own unforgiving country to the safer realm of Angle Tar. White is seen as a prodigy - perhaps even the ultimate weapon the government have been waiting for.

But the electric attraction between Rue and White may spell disaster... or change everything.

Join the Read-A-Long!

If you're not interested in this book, or if you've already read it and don't fancy a a re-read, still check the group out. There are monthly read-a-longs and buddy-reads and UKYA discussions and it's lots of fun. And closer to the YA Shot event you'll find author interviews and Q&As and features and all sorts of other fun goodies.

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