Remember I said I was a fast reader? I picked up The sun is also a star - and didn't put it down until I finished it, only two hours later.
I have no idea where I picked it up from. I have a vague memory of seeing it and recognising the cover - probably from Instagram or something - and buying it as part of a deal (maybe a 3 for £5 in The Works, or even at a boot sale?) before promptly forgetting all about it.
It has probably sat for months on my bookshelf just waiting for me to find it - and would have stayed there for years if it hadn't been my next pick from the TBR (To Be Read) lucky dip that I set up this year.
(Side note: I set this up after giving myself a New Years resolution to read the books I already own before buying new ones. It's been brilliant so far so if, like me, your bookcases are out of control, I suggest you give it a go!)
I can only think that my reason for not choosing it in the past comes entirely down to prejudice. Put simply, it didn't look like a book I thought I would enjoy.
There, I said it. I broke the cardinal rule and judged a book by its cover. Do you hate me now?
In my defence, I have always been a firm believer in judging a book almost entirely by its cover. Do you know how much thought goes into creating one? How much time, effort, and anxiety goes into getting it just right? I do.
(And so does Andy, but that is a story for another day, since this blog post has already veered so wildly off course already! )
It's no coincidence that the majority of YA books have young girls on the cover - looking dangerous, strong, self-assured... and just at the right angle that hides their features, so that young, impressionable girls (or, you know, 32 year old women) can imagine themselves in their place.
Have a look and see. I'll wait.
Thankfully, that trend does seem to be fading, and authors and publishers are bringing out the most gorgeous covers at the moment - Again, another story entirely. (Will I ever get to the point?)
So, all that in mind, I looked at The sun is also a star, and decided that it wasn't going to be a book I would enjoy.
Oh silly, stupid me. To answer one of the questions in the book, if I had a time machine (or a do-over card) I would go back and smack that silly idea out of younger-me's head - because this book, without doubt, is the best thing I've read all year.
(Yes, I know it's only March. Shhh. don't take away it's glory.)
It's not YA Fantasy - my typical go-to genre. I would class it as YA Contemporary, which I don't tend to read very often, since I'm not a big fan of books about 'real life' situations. I read to escape this world, not to find new ways to live in it. (Yes, that says way more about me than I'm probably comfortable with, but I've said it now.)
But, honestly? I was hooked by the end of the prologue.
Now is the point that I usually give spoilers - and I want to. I want to tell you every single detail about this book, in the hope that you will revel in the magic of it with me. That we can share this moment of literary euphoria together, and bask in the glow of having our minds blown so thoroughly that they may never think the same again.
I want to, but I won't.
Because I want you to discover it yourself. I want you to laugh, to cry, to have to stop in various places, questioning your ideas, your beliefs, as this books turns you upside down, inside out, and back again.
I want you to love it as much as I did, and then spread the word, like the religious conductor on the subway did to Daniel.
Here, I'll even give you a link to find it. Just click the picture: