What I’ve Read: Life As We Knew It, Songs About a Girl & Roller Girl

What I've Read: Life As We Knew It, Songs About a Girl & Roller Girl
Here are three reviews of books I’ve read recently to get me get out of my reading slump – everything from survival stories to boyband lit and awesome girls doing sports!

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, narrated by Emily Bauer (Audiobook)

I first read Life As We Knew It five years ago when I couldn’t get enough of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. This time, I was looking for an audiobook to listen to on my commute and after a few failed attempts at reading paperbacks while squished on the train, a re-read seemed like the perfect choice!

I loved Life As We Knew It originally because it made me feel like I was surviving alongside Miranda after a meteor collides with the moon, altering the Earth’s climate, making it almost impossible to continue with life as it was. If anything, the audiobook was even more atmospheric. Miranda reading her diary aloud meant that I caught little bits of the story that I think I missed the first time – Emily Bauer has done a fantastic job at narrating the audiobook. It’s been 10 years since it was first published, but Life As We Knew It is still one of the few YA post-apocalyptic novels that had me thinking about it after I put it down.

Songs About a Girl by Chris Russell

I was introduced to Songs About a Girl at a blogger event at Hachette Towers, and this is where we also got to meet the fabulous author, Chris Russell, who’s an utter delight and self-confessed fanboy. He’s in a band himself – The Lightyears – and has previously written for a One Direction fansite, so is in a perfect position to write about the world of music.

I assumed Songs About a Girl would be told from the point of view of Fire&Lights – a hot new boyband – but it’s actually the incredible Charlie Bloom we get to hear from. 15-year-old Charlie is invited to be the band’s photographer after Olly, one of the band members, comes across her photos. Charlie’s a refreshing protagonist who’s simultaneously unaffected by the boy’s popularity and intrigued by their music and complicated friendship. Plus she’s being targeted on social media by jealous Fire&Lights fans; has discovered a baffling secret about her mother, who passed away; and is stuck between frontman Gabe and bandmate Olly and their curious conflict. (I prefer Yuki myself!).

Songs About a Girl was a fun story to read over the summer and I’m looking forward to meeting up with my new friend Charlie in the sequel next year.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Oh, I loved Roller Girl. I came across it during a shopping trip at Gosh! Comics with my friend Daphne and one glance at the cover me it was the graphic novel for me! Roller Girl is the heartwarming tale of friendship and roller derby over one summer, beautifully written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. It perfectly captures what it’s like to be growing up when you’re not a child, but not quite a teenager.

Astrid is 12-years-old and does everything with her best friend Nicole – until Astrid signs up for roller derby and Nicole starts making new friends at ballet. I wish there were more contemporary graphic novels because it’s a wonderful, underrated format for them. Not only do we get a fantastic story, but are able to experience visually the pain, frustration and heartbreak of real life.

I love coming-of-age stories and in Roller Girl, we get everything from realistic confrontations with parents to what it feels like to be the worst at something you so desperately want to conquer. I also learned a lot about roller derby and feel like I got bruises from just reading about it – ouch!

11 thoughts on “What I’ve Read: Life As We Knew It, Songs About a Girl & Roller Girl

  1. Omg I haven’t met anyone whose read Life As We Knew It!!! I read it a while back too and it made me really think about what would happen if the world did come to an end. I have to say it’s probably my favourite dystopian because it’s so realistic and it’s something everyone can relate to or see it happening to themselves. Have you read the other books in the series?

    • I haven’t! I have heard they’re not as good so I’ve been reluctant. Have you read them?

      • I have, except for the fourth one. They were pretty good from what I remember. Not like the first one though, but different. The second book follows completely different characters and takes place in New York, and the third book goes back to where the first book was. I’d still check them out though. I seriously need to reread the series and read the last book!

  2. I’ve been in the mood to read a good Post-Apocalyptic book!! I think Life As We Knew It sounds super good and I’ve been meaning to read it foreverrrrrr. It’s one of those dystopian-type books that I’ve thought of reading a lot over the years (not like most of them which I forgot about a long time ago). Glad it held up on your re-read!!

  3. I LOVED Life As We Knew It. It’s probably the best book in that genre I’ve read actually, seeing as I hardly ever go for the specific genre.

  4. So great to see more YA/children’s graphic novels coming out. It’s such a good format!

  5. […] Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson I love coming-of-age stories and in Roller Girl we get everything from realistic confrontations with parents to what it feels like to be the worst at something you so desperately want to conquer; a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and roller derby over one summer. […]

  6. Thank you very much for the recommendation. I am very interested in reading all three books. I hope I can get at least one before the end of this month. Greetings and congratulations for the blog.

  7. Bookywookadoodah

    So excited to find this blog! Following and hopefully it will inspire me for great ideas with my new blog 😊

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