Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The Queen of Teen Fiction has a New Look!

Do you like what I've done with the place? I sure hope so because it's only taken me since the start of 2018 to redecorate. Since I last changed my blog design in 2015, I figured I'd stuck with the same look for long enough to have earned a change. So one of my goals for this year was to work on a new design, and this time I wanted to completely change things up. As you may have noticed, I've lost my little book queen, who has been on my blog for the best part of seven years. 

When I first started my blog back in 2011, everyone else seemed to have their own vector boy or girl in their header, and I wanted one too! Which is how my queen came to be. But after all these years, I think it's time to give her a rest. As much as I love her, I felt like it was finally time to go for a more simple and minimalist look.

It certainly hasn't been easy to get this design the way I wanted it. Back when I first started blogging, I had zero knowledge in design. And I mean literally nothing. I was a complete mess. I was also a very poor mess, which meant I couldn't afford to buy any sort of custom design (i still can't). So I had no choice but to try and learn things myself. Despite my hatred of HTML, I'm super proud of how far I've come in being able to handle my own blog design! As well as the new look, I've also decided to try changing up my reviews a little as well, so stay tuned for some new content in the future.

Whilst making this new design, I've made use of so many amazing free resources that I've come across online, so I'm hoping to create a masterlist of useful websites for a blog post on design. If any of you have websites you use to help with your own blogs, please feel free to share them in the comments and I'll include them. Hopefully it can make life a little easier for bloggers who want to create their own designs in the future!

There will probably be more than a few teething problems with the new design over the next few weeks. No matter how many times I check things over, something always manages to go wrong. So if you happen to notice anything acting a little strange on my blog, please do let me know so I can (try to) fix it!


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

REVIEW: Tender by Eve Ainsworth

Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Scholastic
Topics: Realistic Fiction, Illness, Mental Health
Release Date: March 1st 2018
Buy The Book: Book Depository - A Great Read

Touching on mental health, family, friendship and the pressures that teenage carers face, as author Cat Clarke says, TENDER is a compassionate, compelling and unflinching novel . Marty and Daisy spend their lives pretending. Marty pretends his mum's grip on reality isn't slipping by the day. Daisy pretends her parents aren't exhausting themselves while they look after her incurably ill brother. They both pretend they're fine. But the thing about pretending is, at some point, it has to stop. And then what?  


My Thoughts:
This story deals with two incredibly difficult living situations for teenagers, Daisy and Marty. Whilst one must deal with the physical battles her family has to face with her brother's muscle wasting disease, the other has to cope with the mental health issues his mother deals with every day. The two contrasting families fight very different things, but somehow Daisy and Marty manage to find common ground in the position their lives have put them both in.

The two main characters are so interesting to read about. Though it's difficult to see them bury their thoughts and feelings away, I'm glad that as readers, we get to see them finally able to share their worries with each other, and eventually open up to those around them as well. So many younger people like Daisy and Marty are facing situations where they have to give up large parts of their lives to care for those around them.

This story, although aimed at teenagers, is also an important tool for showing everyone what young carers have to go through. Both Daisy and Marty feel as though they have to hide their own difficulties because they don't want to make a fuss or cause more problems. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like for people genuinely facing situations like this. I'm so glad that this story was able to show the characters realising that it's okay to think about themselves as well.

Daisy and Marty find comfort in each other throughout the story and the small amount of romance between them is sweet and refreshing. Ainsworth manages to perfectly capture the butterfly-filled feelings that spark between them. I also adored the scenes that took place in the group for young carers. If there had been more time within the story, I'd have loved to have gotten to know the characters within the group a little more.

Despite the difficult situations that Tender revolves around, it leaves readers with positive messages that everyone should think about. As the characters learn, we definitely need to start living for the right now because we never know what's going to happen tomorrow. I'm always pleased whenever books include useful information links at the back relating to the subjects covered within the story, which this one did. It's a simple way to provide support and comfort for the readers who might pick up the book whilst struggling with similar situations. 

Royal Rating:

 
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