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January Round-Up: Our favourites from last month


January was a month full of amazing new releases – what a way to start 2016! We’re still fighting Mount TBR at MP!, but we did read some really excellent books over the last month. If you’re still struggling to decide which January releases to pick up, look no further!

‘Mind Your Head’, Juno Dawson

Mind Your Head

‘Mind Your Head’ is a non-fiction release from the marvellous Juno Dawson, which she wrote with the help of her uni bestie and fellow psychology graduate Dr Olivia Hewitt, the clinical psychologist. The book is a mere 200 pages, but for a small book it really is packed to the brim with helpful – no, invaluable – information on various mental health problems ranging from milder issues to full-on disorders. Tough topics such as anxiety, depression, addiction, self-harm and anorexia are all covered in a warm and gentle manner. The illustrations by Gemma Correll are ingenious, too! (Gracie Latter)

‘Front Lines’, Michael Grant 

Front Lines

A gripping alternative history lesson. Following the story of three girls living in second world war America where men AND women can join the war effort on the front line. It’s fascinating because their ‘band of brothers’ style experience is no different than if they were, indeed a band of ‘brothers’ instead of ‘brothers and sisters’. Just like the young men that went off to war, these girls suffer the same fears and doubts and struggles and disillusionment. The only thing holding them back is a culture’s perception and expectations in regards to a woman’s ‘role’. With moments both hard hitting and tender, this re-imagining of the theatre of war is a real page turner. (Sarah Clare)

‘Dumplin”, Julie Murphy

Dumplin'

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean is confident and comfortable in her body, until she gets the boy of her dreams, gorgeous Bo, who she works with at fast food joint, Harpy’s. This book is so much fun, but it also delivers a healthy dose of empowerment and girl power. Julie Murphy approaches Willowdean’s weight without dishing out numbers and sizes, but still remains honest and real and empowering . The beauty pageant angle was really interesting as well as they’re not really something we encounter much in the UK. I’ve come to the conclusion that Texas may well be an entirely different planet… ‘Dumplin’’ is both fun and full of heart and we highly recommend it. (Sophie Waters)

‘Carry On’, Rainbow Rowell 

Carry on

We knew we were going to love this and yet we still, somehow, weren’t quite prepared. We loved ‘Fangirl’ when we read it (it was a book read in a single-sitting!) so when we heard that the fanfiction Cath had spent the whole book writing was going to be its own book, we were over the moon. And this is on top of the fact that Harry Potter fanfiction is just the best (Harry/Draco, of course). This reminded us of everything that is great about fanfiction, fantastic characters and fantastic settings but ultimately falling in love, regardless of race, gender or the fact that you’re a vampire and he’s the chosen one. So beautifully done, we wish there really were an entire eight books on Simon Snow. (Stevie Finnegan)

‘Ms Marvel’ by G. Willow Wilson

Ms Marvel

As of January we have now read all four ‘Ms Marvel’ books there are out there and we’re sad, because this means we have to wait to read more! These are the kind of graphic novels the superhero world has been desperately in need of for a long time. Kamala Khan steps out into a mysterious mist one evening and becomes transmorphic – she can change her appearance and the shape and size of her body at will. And thus she decides to become the new Ms Marvel and stop bad guys. It sounds like your typical superhero story but it is so much more. With diversity to the max, visits from all your favourites (such as Wolverine, Spiderman and Loki), and absolutely stunning artwork – Ms Marvel is just head and shoulders above everything else out there. (Stevie Finnegan)

What were your favourite reads of January? Chat books with us @maximumpopbooks!

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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