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The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young – Blog Tour Book Review

Earlier this year I got to read Sky in the Deep which I reviewed here. As you can see I was a fan so I jumped at the chance to read the companion novel The Girl the Sea Gave Back.

I also got to meet Adrienne at YALC this year. She was lovely and I got both my books signed.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is set in the same world ten years later With familiar characters grown and new characters joining them to threaten the peace if you enjoyed Sky in the Deep dive in without hesitation.


For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, The people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the run stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again – a home.

Huge shout out to the cover designer for another stunning book.


ADRIENNE YOUNG is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee.

What I Thought

It’s always interesting to see what happens after a happily ever after. War is over – or is it? The world was one of the things I loved most about the first book with it being something fresh. The almost simplicity of its brutality with fighting being about survival gives rise to an ability to truly focus on the characters and their relationships. The quiet moments in contrast to war is a theme that is further explored here.

Companion novels are funny beasts especially when you’ve grown so invested in the main characters of the first book to have them not be the main focus. Like meeting new friends in real life, you don’t forget what or who has come before but assimilate them into your world. Fiske and Eelyn from Sky in the Deep do appear and Halvard we met as a young boy. Tova and her community are new to us and the additional aspect of her being an outcast within her own tribe meant there was a twist on this not being a straight replay of the first book.

Universality in young adult stories in providing commentary relevant to our current world is what brings me back to books aimed at teens. Age is but a number and any fantasy fans should enjoy this. As long as you like a side of romance.

I also love it when you know how the book gets its title and in the Prologue we get the answer straight away. The question we are left with is why?

I’m not sure if there will be more stories told in this world but I am enough of a fan of Adrienne’s writing to follow her back or forth to new worlds.

Do check out the rest of the tour stops.

Thank you to Titan for my gifted copy of the book for the purposes of an honest review.

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank #ClassicsChallenge2016

Image from Goodreads

I chose to read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank as my January Classics Challenge book (Read 15th – 26th Jan 2016). I actually listened to the audiobook of the 70th anniversary edition which was read by Helena Bonham Carter who was an excellent narrator.

I’m going to structure this post by answering the questions that Stacey suggests.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic

I’ve known about this book at least since my early teens, if not before.

WHY I Chose to Read It

Because despite knowing about it for around 20 years I hadn’t read it already. World War II and the treatment of Jews in the Holocaust is a topic that is so important to be aware of. I find having a personal story to connect to these bigger events useful. If I ever visit Amsterdam I would want to visit the house so knowing the full story would make that experience more insightful.

WHAT Makes It A Classic

As I’ve written above, this is a human story that connects us to a great atrocity. Reading the diary of a girl who we know dies in tragic circumstances adds a certain sense of poignancy to what she writes.

WHAT I Thought of This Classic

This is what I wrote immediately on finishing the book – “It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, in a way that made it better.”

I guess going into this I expected Anne to write more about the war, but, although aspects of this are highlighted the focus is the thoughts and experiences of a fairly typical teenage girl in non-typical circumstances.

Anne, her family, and some other Jews hid in a secret annex in a warehouse from July 1942 until August 1944 when they were discovered by the Nazis and taken to camps. Anne comments on the circumstances leading to the decision to go into hiding, the personalities and relationships between everyone in the annexe, the food they ate, clothes, birthday presents (life went on), the help they got from those who hid them, what she was learning and thoughts about books she read – she’d be a book blogger in today’s world.

I immediately connected with Anne on a personal level – she was a writer and aspiring novelist. She was also pretty witty, and bitchy, much like the narrators in modern young adult literature. She was a deep thinker and constantly trying to discover and ‘better’ herself. Most importantly though she wasn’t perfect, she was flawed and says some fairly mean things at times. We see her development across those two years, as well as hints at a growing romance that was never to come to fruition.

The closing comment in the diary definitely bought a tear or two to my eye. I won’t spoil it though, it’s more important for you to come to that end on your own.

Rating – 5 stars

WILL It Stay A Classic

As long as war continues to be a problem and people are affected by it, this will remain a classic, so yes. It will definitely be a book I listen to again.

It is a classic ‘Young Adult’ book that deals with finding one’s identity.

WHO I’d Recommend It To

Everyone. In particular I think it would speak to young girls, Anne talks about boys, periods, her relationship with her family – siblings and parents and generally about everything that interests her.

Quote I highlighted

“Paper has more patience than people.”

Further Reading

I’ve purchased this book of stories (including an unfinished novel) and essays written by Anne. Will be interested to see how it lives up to the diary.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a mini site dedicated to Anne as a writer.

Anne Frank Fonds – founded by Otto Frank her father

Have you read – The Diary of a Young Girl – what did you think?

Again Again by E Lockhart – Blog Tour Book Review and Extract

Again Again cover image
Click cover for Goodreads Link

About the Book

In this novel full of surprises from the New York Times bestselling author of WE WERE LIARS and GENUINE FRAUD, E. Lockhart ups the ante with an inventive and romantic story about human connection, forgiveness, self discovery and possibility.

When Adelaide Buchman’s younger brother succumbs to a drug overdose, she saves his life. In the aftermath, looking for distraction, she becomes a stylish, bright charmer who blows off school and falls madly in love – even though her heart is shattered.

Adelaide is catapulted into a summer of wild possibility, during which she will fall in and out of love a thousand times while finally confronting her brother, their history, and her own strength.

A raw and funny story that will surprise you over and over, Adelaide is an indelible heroine grappling with the terrible and wonderful problem of loving other people.

About the Author

E Lockhart is the author of many novels including the bestselling WE WERE LIARS, a New York Times bestseller, and GENUINE FRAUD; also THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS, a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book, a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Cybils Award for Best Young Adult Novel; FLY ON THE WALL, DRAMARAMA, and the Ruby Oliver quartet: THE BOYFRIEND LIST, THE BOY BOOK, THE TREASURE MAP OF BOYS, and REAL LIVE BOYFRIENDS. She co-authored HOW TO BE BAD with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski. Her latest book is AGAIN AGAIN. Visit her online at:




What I Thought

Unfortunately due to what’s going on I’m the world I only got my copy yesterday but I’ve already read the first 20% and it has reminded me how much I love E Lockhart’s writing. It’s both lyrical and accessible. I loved We Were Liars and I can see this being the case with Again Again too. Adelaide already has such a powerful voice, and you aren’t really sure how much to believe her. What is she hiding from herself?

The style of the different conversations, presumably in the different multiverses, is interesting. Check out the extract to see how it’s laid out (which isn’t quite coming across on the netgalley ARC I am reading) but I think when reading the finished copy you’ll know which conversation is the one in the current reality though it will be exciting to see how the different options interact as we move forward. I suspect it will be similar to Sliding Doors.

At the moment the love seems very instalove on Adelaide’s side at least but because of the other things going on I’m her life with school, her brother etc I can see how love is being used as an escape. And bonus points go to this book if you love dogs because there’s lots of them running round this tale. I think one of them is only talking to Adelaide metaphorically rather than literally but with E Lockhart who knows!

I’ll come back later when I’ve finished and add some more thoughts but for now I’m intrigued, drawn in and want to see how this all plays out.

On finishing here are my additional thoughts. I like how the focus on the sibling relationship becomes more prominent and the characterisation stays strong throughout. I’m not sure the multiverse element fully paid off for me but I suspect that this will be one that you’ll spot more on subsequent readings.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour stops here. Thanks to Faye Rogers PR and the publishers for the gifted review copy. All opinions are my own.

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