Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew

A startling coming-of-age novel set in a contemporary Nazi England.

Jessika Keller is a good girl: she obeys her father, does her best to impress Herr Fisher at the Bund Deutscher M├Ądel meetings and is set to be a world champion ice skater. Her neighbour Clementine is not so submissive. Outspoken and radical, Clem is delectably dangerous and rebellious. And the regime has noticed. Jess cannot keep both her perfect life and her dearest friend. But which can she live without?

THE BIG LIE is a thought-provoking and beautifully told story that explores ideas of loyalty, sexuality, protest and belief.

My Thoughts
Really chilling and thoughtful read.

I was concerned about reading this book. I love Julie Mayhew's previous book but I am very picky at all about anything with made up Nazis because they can make me really really cross. Throwing the book across the book cross.

I am very pleased to say this book did the Nazi side very well indeed and was obviously well thought out and researched which meant I could believe in the world building and get behind the story.

The world set up in The Big Lie is a terrifying one. The Nazi state controls everyone and every aspect of their lives. Those who don't conform are treated ruthlessly and as a consequence most who haven't been fully brainwashed into believing in Nazi ideology are too scared to stand up against it and keep quiet to save their own skins.

The story itself really made me think as you see the story progress.

Highly recommended indeed.

Monday, 31 August 2015

August review

I started August reading everything put in front of me and because I was off work that meant I read loads. So much so my TBR pile is now pretty much empty. I've therefore spent a fair bit of time twiddling my thumbs or reading stuff (without much enthusiasm I might add. I have to be in the right mood to reread. Turns out this summer not so much)

Read in August
Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher (3 stars)
Here's looking at you by Mhairi McFarlane (3 stars)
A royal disaster by Meg Cabot (4 stars)
About last night by Adele Parks (3 stars)
Princess in the Middle by Meg Cabot (3 stars)
In the Unlikely event by Judy Blume (4 stars)
Della says OMG by Keris Stainton (4 stars)
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (3 stars)
Fans of the impossible life by Kate Scelsa (2 stars)
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (2 stars)
Black Cairn Point by Claire Mcfall (4 stars)
Early One morning by Virginia Baily (4 stars)
Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick (2 stars)
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman (4 stars)
The Twins at St Clares by Enid Blyton (5 stars)
The Fault in our stars by John Green (5 stars)
All of the above by James Dawson (5 stars)
Buffy: Demons of the Hellmouth (3 stars)
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (5 stars)

Book of the Month by James Dawson

It is not secret I love James's books so book of the month for this month should come as no surprise. Very much enjoyed it and everything it stood for with regards to diversity and fluidity of teen sexuality.

Events attended
None. I wanted to get to a couple over the summer but they clashed with other things I had planned.

On the blog
House of Windows by Alexia Casale
I Knew you were Trouble by Paige Toon
First Class Murder by Robin Stevens
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Sunkissed by Jenny MacLachlan
The Secrets of Sam and Sam by Susie Day
Darkmere by Helen Maslin
Dark House by Dawn Kutragich

Blog Tours
Black Cairn Point Author Guest Post
Dead House: Truth or Dare Carly guest post

On September's TBR pile
Paper Towns by John Green
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Friday, 28 August 2015

One by Sarah Crossan

Grace and Tippi are twins - conjoined twins. And their lives are about to change. No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world - a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love? But what neither Grace or Tippi realises is that a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead. A decision that could tear them apart. One that will change their lives even more than they ever imagined...From Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?

My thoughts
There are no words to do justice to how perfect this book is. Just wonderful.

I didn't think I liked books that were written in prose but boy was I wrong. This book had me hooked from the first line and a sobbing mess by the end. It is so beautifully written.

The story revolves around the story of Grace and Tippi conjoined twins and the challenges they face on a daily basis are fascinating. Beyond the obvious physical challenges the way in which they are treated by people who meet them and treat them like they should be an exhibit in a zoo made me cross at humanity even though you can see why people are so curious about them.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough and am probably going to reread very soon.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

Feeling alive is always worth the risk.

Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco's night bus—turns Beatrix's world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive...and possibly one of San Francisco's most notorious graffiti artists.

But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.

My thoughts
This book is wonderful. It was one of those books that I knew very little about when it first arrived at my house and I wasn't really all that sure what to expect when I did finally pick it up but boy I glad I did read it. I love this book and adore Jack and Bex

For me this book was all about the mysterious boy. I adored Jack from his first scene and as the story progressed I fell for him hard. I think it was all the charm that made me swoon. He's just so awesome in his ways.

I really loved Bex as a character too. She's so interesting in her outlook and the way in which she lives her life. I loved her for herself and shipped her and Jack so hard because they are a brilliant couple.

I won't go into too much detail about the story itself because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. Needless to say I adored the story and will be pushing it onto anyone and everyone who will listen

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Dead House Mirror Tour: Truth or Dare Carly


25th August 2015:
Truth or Dare?



Q: Are you in love?

Yes. But since you didn’t ask whom I’m in love with, I don’t need to say. I will tell you that if you read between the lines, it will be very, very obvious. Worse for me.

Check out my US tour buddy's post at http://ratherbereadingblog.com/ 
for Kaitlin's version of today's post

Follow the rest of the tour on twitter #thedeadhouse @bookswithbiteUK

Monday, 24 August 2015

Can't wait to read

I've done the virtually impossible and managed to clear my TBR pile after a long summer of reading. Therefore these are the books I am dying to get my hands onto next and desperately waiting for so I have something new to read.

Crush by Eve Ainsworth

Love hurts ... but should it hurt this much? Reeling from her mum's sudden departure, Anna finds the comfort she needs in her blossoming relationship with Will. He's handsome and loving, everything Anna has always dreamt of. He's also moody and unpredictable, pushing her away from her friends, her music. He wants her to be his and his alone. He wants her to be perfect. Anna's world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control... Eve Ainsworth's gripping second novel is a pitch-perfect exploration of love at its most powerful, addictive and destructive.

I enjoyed Eve's last book and I'm very much looking forward to reading more from her.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

I've heard nothing but awesome things about this one. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy because if it is even half as good as I've been promised it'll be brilliant. 

Anything that isn't this by Chris Priestley

Seventeen-year-old Frank Palp lives in a grim little apartment, in a grim little building, in an exceedingly grim (and rather large) city. Cobbled streets and near-destroyed bridges lead one through Old Town and Old New Town, and war-damaged houses stand alongside post-war characterless, concrete hutches. Most people walk hunched over, a habit from avoiding snipers, but others are proud to stand tall and make the world take notice . . . This is a city full of contradictions, and Frank is no exception.

He mostly hates his life, he definitely hates the ludicrous city he is forced to live in and he absolutely with complete certainty hates the idiots he's surrounded by . . . and yet he is in love. A love so pure and sparkling and colourful, Frank feels sure it is 'meant to be'. His love is a reward for all the terrible grey that he is surrounded by - which would be great, if the girl in question knew he existed. And then one day, the perfect sign lands in his lap. A message, in a bottle. A wish, for 'anything that isn't this'. The girl who wrote this is surely his soulmate - and now he just needs to find her.

Another one where I want to read it purely because of the author. I've not read a new Chris Priestley in ages and this looks awesome.

Here we lie by Sophie McKenzie

On holiday with family and her adoring fiance, Jed, Emily couldn't be happier. But overnight, the idyllic trip turns into a waking nightmare when one of the group is found dead in what appears to be a terrible accident.

The devastated party returns to London to cope with their loss while trying to resume their normal lives. But new revelations shed a shocking light on the holiday tragedy and set Emily on a perilous journey to discover the truth about what happened.

Soon a terrifying series of threats and lies bring her face to face with the dark truths at the heart of her family - and into life-threatening danger...

I love Sophie McKenzie's books and cannot wait for this one. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you've finished reading.

My thoughts
This book is messed up.

Dead creepy and completely unputdownable. I loved how it was told via a variety of mediums including diary extracts, interviews and reports. The whole idea of one body hosting two different people was a really weird one to get your head around. You just can't quite work out what is going on and as a consequence the entire book is dead creepy.

I can't do the book justice in words just go out and buy it read it and be totally freaked out.