A range of titles including poetry, middle grade and YA, have been selected to be part of London’s BIG READ 2019, the winter will be announced at a gala fundraising dinner in September. The shortlisted books are all available to buy from the LIBRARY members club, with £1 from each sale going to the Children’s Literacy Charity and a further £1 going to the Ndoro Children’s Charity.
Londoners will be able to vote for their favourite book online at http://www.londonsbigread.com from World Book Day through to 30 June.
You can check out all of the brilliant shortlisted books on their website, but for now I'm going to be reviewing one of the fantastic YA books on the shortlist - Katherine Webber's Only Love Can Break Your Heart.
I was kindly sent a copy of this book by Literally PR, in exchange for an honest review and sharing with you all this great initiative! <3
Check out the blurb below...
From the author of the acclaimed Wing Jones comes a 'break-up' book about a Japanese-American teenager, set in the Palm Springs desert, California. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon's Everything, Everything and Sara Barnard's Beautiful Broken Things.
Sometimes a broken heart is all you need to set you free…
Reiko loves the endless sky and electric colours of the Californian desert. It is a refuge from an increasingly claustrophobic life of family pressures and her own secrets. Then she meets Seth, a boy who shares a love of the desert and her yearning for a different kind of life. But Reiko and Seth both want something the other can’t give them. As summer ends, things begin to fall apart. But the end of love can sometimes be the beginning of you..
Only Love Can Break Your Heart is a beautifully written, intensely heartbreaking novel about falling in love, family and heartbreak, set against a backdrop of the mysterious and haunting Californian desert. It follows Reiko, who is struggling to put back the pieces after her sister's death, alongside trying to figure out who she really wants to be. She knows that everyone at school and her family expect her to be Homecoming Queen - she is Reiko Smith-Mori after all - but no crown can fix what happened to her sister, who was supposed to be the one who had it all...
I loved the main character Reiko; she was authentically teenage and made lots of mistakes, but also a lot of good choices. I particularly enjoyed her relationship with her parents and her little brother, Koji, and her best friend Dre. I loved the dynamics between these characters so much that I think we could have actually gone without Seth, who was the other principle character in the book, but then again their relationship did a lot in terms of shaping the plot and who Reiko turned out to be.
Webber's writing is flawless; I loved her style with Wing Jones and it got even better than this. Her writing smelt like long, hot summers and cold starry nights. I thought the desert backdrop really added to the magic of the story, and drew me into the book even further.
I guess it's no suprise to you guys that I will definitely be voting for Only Love Can Break Your Heart for London's BIG READ - but what book will you be voting for?! Let me know in the comments below or over on my Twitter!
Don't forget to check out London's BIG READ here: http://www.londonsbigread.com
Until next time :)