First Line Friday #98

Today’s First Line Friday is a short YA novel by Lucy V Hay. It is book one in the Intersection series. 

First, the line to show it worked. Then, a second one: faint, but very definitely there. Oh my God.


‘I’d literally had to try my hardest at everything I’d ever done before now … Study like mad for tests? Check. Take three separate auditions for the netball team? Check. It had even taken me about twenty goes to climb the rope ladder into our old tree house! But this? First time: score!’

On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Lizzie finds herself pregnant: she’s literally days away from her exam results and university beckons around the corner.

The bright Lizzie has big plans, but can she have the life she wanted, with a baby in tow? What will her family and friends say? And what will the baby’s father choose to do … Stay out of it, or stand by her?

Proof Positive is powerful, pro-choice YA that is perfect for fans of John Green, Judy Blume and Sarah Dessen. Book 1 in the Intersection Series, a teenage character is presented with a dilemma and then ALL the potential ways the situation *might* work out. You, the reader, have the final say … What would YOU choose, in Lizzie’s place?

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Birthday Blitz: The Ghostly Father

Today I am part of the Book Birthday Blitz for The Ghostly Father  by Sue Barnard. Today is this book’s birthday and I absolutely loved this one! There is a bonus for those of you in the UK that I am quite envious of as I am in the US: There is a giveaway going on to win a signed copy!

Book Description:

Was this what really happened to Romeo & Juliet?

Think you know the world’s most famous love story?  Think again.  What if the story of Romeo & Juliet really happened – but not quite in the way we’ve all been told?

This part-prequel, part-sequel to the original tale, told from the point of view of the Friar, tells how an ancient Italian manuscript reveals secrets and lies which have remained hidden for hundreds of years, and casts new doubts on the official story of Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers.

If you love the Romeo & Juliet story but are disappointed with the way it ended, this is the book for you.

Author: Sue Barnard
256 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 24-29, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

Ever since we had to read Romeo & Juliet in ninth grade, I have been a fan of the story.  I don’t know why it resonated with me so much. We watched the 1968 film version in school which I also loved.  And while I was in high school, the 1996 version with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes came out and I loved everything about it, including the director’s new take on the ending! I have not watched either movie in years, but reading The Ghostly Father had me wanting to watch these films again!

The Ghostly Father is a very unique retelling of Romeo & Juliet: What if the story we all know was actually real and was very different in reality?  The Ghostly Father takes place in present day with Juliet Roberts translating a very old Italian manuscript for her grandfather.  Once she realizes this is the real story of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ she is transported into the past and has no idea how this ‘story’ will end.

I highly enjoyed that the manuscript takes place with a different character perspective: ‘Friar Lawrence’ (Brother Lorenzo) is our narrator!  I always liked him, but why was he so interested in these young people’s lives?  I enjoyed that we got to know him as a person. Barnard gives us her take on the story and it does not disappoint!  She is faithful to Shakespeare and the original characters and makes it her own including many twists; you really don’t know what will happen next or what Barnard will change from Shakespeare’s story. Will different people live and die? How will this version end?

If you are a fan of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, give The Ghostly Father a read. You will not be disappointed.

The Ghostly Father is very highly recommended!

About the Author:

Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet.  She was born in North Wales some time during the last millennium, but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester.  After graduating from Durham University she had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent.  If she had her way, the phrase “Non-Working Mother” would be banned from the English language.

Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.

Sue speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.  She is also very interested in family history.  Her own background is far stranger than any work of fiction; she would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue now lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

Buy The Ghostly Father here.

Contact Sue:

Blog   G+   Twitter   Instagram   Amazon  Goodreads  RNA



Win a signed copy of The Ghostly Father!

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*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: April 11, 2017
336 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 24-31, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Jessica’s Review:

Please Note: To shorten the review instead of saying the entire titles throughout the review, I have shortened them to one word:

Upside- The Upside of Unrequited
Simon- Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Leah- Leah on the Offbeat

Upside is not part of the ‘Simon’ series, but it is in the same universe as Molly is Abby’s cousin. I listened to the audio of Upside after listening to Simon and Leah.

I liked Molly; she is what Leah could have been. Also being  a ‘fat girl’, Molly has had many crushes (26 exactly), but nothing ever came about them. Then suddenly two guys come into the picture: One Molly meets via work and the other via her friends. I know who I was rooting for Molly to end up with by the end.

I enjoyed how Upside was connected to the other books through Abby; She and Simon even make some appearances throughout the novel!  I did not like the narrator’s portrayal of Abby: she made Abby seem whiny with the way she narrated Abby’s voice.  I enjoyed the narration of Abby’s voice much more in Simon.

I really liked Molly’s moms and enjoyed hearing from them; they are just as important to the story as Molly is.

As with the other two novels, Upside has foul language including the ‘f’ word. The language is not as extreme as it was in Leah. Of course, Of course, this series is about teen drama so be prepared for lots of it; if that’s not your thing it may be disappointed.

I enjoyed reading these three books, Simon  is my favorite.  If you read and enjoyed Simon, give Upside a read. Becky Albertalli: Please write more books with these teens! I really enjoyed them over the course of the three novels!. 

The Upside of Unrequited is recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK