Monday, 23 November 2015

Can't wait to read

So I spent a bit of time of Goodreads lately and added loads of 2016 releases to my wishlist. Ended up doubling my wishlist within a couple of hours full of books I am dying to read. Here are a few of them

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave Published May 2016

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Little Bee, a spellbinding novel about three unforgettable individuals thrown together by war, love, and their search for belonging in the ever-changing landscape of WWII London.

It’s 1939 and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin.

Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known.

A sweeping epic with the kind of unforgettable characters, cultural insights, and indelible scenes that made Little Bee so incredible, Chris Cleave’s latest novel explores the disenfranchised, the bereaved, the elite, the embattled. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, and incredible courage.

Not YA but I'm in the mood for some awesome WWII fiction and this looks like it could fit the bill 

Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar out February 2016 in Australia

Jess Gordon is out for revenge. Last year the jocks from Knights College tried to shame her best friend. This year she and a hand-picked college girl gang are going to get even.

The lesson: don't mess with Unity girls.

The target: Blondie, a typical Knights stud, arrogant, cold . . . and smart enough to keep up with Jess.

A neo-riot grrl with a penchant for fanning the flames meets a rugby-playing sexist pig - sworn enemies or two people who happen to find each other when they're at their most vulnerable?

It's all Girl meets Boy, Girl steals from Boy, seduces Boy, ties Boy to a chair and burns Boy's stuff. Just your typical love story.

A searingly honest and achingly funny story about love and sex amid the hotbed of university colleges by the award-winning author of Raw Blue.

I need a publisher in the UK to pick this up. I want this book now! 

The Bombs that brought us Together by Brian Conaghan out January 2016

Fourteen-year-old Hamish Law has lived in Little Town, on the border with Old Country, all his life. He knows the rules: no going out after dark; no drinking; no litter; no fighting. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the people who run Little Town. When he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country, the rules start to get broken. Then the bombs come, and the soldiers from Old Country, and Little Town changes for ever.

Sometimes, to keep the people you love safe, you have to do bad things. As Little Town's rules crumble, Hamish is sucked into a dangerous game. There's a gun, and a bad man, and his closest friend, and his dearest enemy.

Hamish Law wants to keep everyone happy, even if it kills him. And maybe it will ... But he's got to kill someone else first.

I love Brian's last book. I need this 

Monday, 16 November 2015

When I was me by Hilary Freeman

One girl, two lives. Which is real?

When Ella wakes up one Monday morning, she discovers that she is not herself and that her life is not her own. She looks different, her friends are no longer her friends and her existence has been erased from the internet. Even worse, years of her history appear to have been rewritten overnight. And yet, nobody else thinks that anything weird has happened.

A tense and dark psychological thriller full of unexpected twists and turns about the random events and decisions that make us who we are. If you can't trust your own memories, then who can you trust?

My thoughts 
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't really sure what to and I've been in a weird reading mood of late DNFing books left, right and centre but this managed to keep me hooked right the way through.

When I was me is the sorry of Ella who wakes up to find everything in her world is similar to before but slightly different. She spend the book trying to get her head around what is going on and the ideas behind why things have changed are really thoughtful. I really made me think about the different choices a person makes in their life and the impact those choices have on the direction their life goes.

All in all a book I enjoyed and would happily recommend.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

October Review

Another quiet month for me book wise sadly. Here's what I managed to get through over the past month.

Books Read in October
Royally Obsessed by Meg Cabot (4 stars)
Tonight the Streets are ours by Leila Sales (3 stars)
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone: Illustrated edition (5 stars)
Life and Death Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer (3 stars)
Prom Princess by Meg Cabot (4 stars)
After Iris by Natasha Farrant (4 stars)
The Hollow Boy y Jonathan Stroud (4 stars)
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly (3 stars)

Book of the Month

Yes this is cheating but the pictures throughout this book are so beautiful that it couldn't not be my book of the month this month.

Events Attended
None sadly.

On the Blog

Blog Tours
Zeroes Blog Tour
Railhead Blog Tour
Monsters Blog Tour

AWOL series
A series of posts from me catching up with reviews
AWOL intro post
Activity books
Books I wished I'd DNfed
TV and film tie ins
Books I loved

I also blogged about the 2016 releases I am looking forward to.

November's TBR pile
Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
The Boy who drew the future by Rhian Ivory
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
Beetle Boy by MG Leonard
Monsters by Emerald Fennell
The Boy who sailed the ocean in an armchair by Lara Williamson
The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
The Honours by Tim Clare
When I was me by Hilary Freeman
The Icarus Show by Sally Christie
Confession of an Imaginary Friend by Michelle Cuevas
The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi
Anything that isn't this by Chris Priestley
When everything feels like the movies by Raziel Reid
Whisper by Chrissie Keighery
Waves by Sharon Dogar

Monday, 26 October 2015

Can't wait to read

Another month and another set of books I cannot wait to get my hands on. I'm mostly focusing on 2016 releases this month ready for the new year.

Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens - Out March 2016

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have returned to Deepdean for a new school term, but nothing is the same. There's a new Head Girl, Elizabeth Hurst, and a team of Prefects - and these bullying Big Girls are certainly not good eggs.

Then, after the fireworks display on Bonfire Night, Elizabeth is found - murdered.

Many girls at Deepdean had reason to hate Elizabeth, but who might have committed such foul play? Could the murder be linked to the secrets and scandals, scribbled on scraps of paper, that are suddenly appearing around the school? And with their own friendship falling to pieces, how will Daisy and Hazel solve this mystery?

I  love this series. I cannot wait for this to be released.

How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss - Out January 2016

Hattie's summer isn't going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to "find himself" and Kat's in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum's wedding.

Oh, and she's also just discovered that she's pregnant with Reuben's baby...

Then Gloria, Hattie's great-aunt who no one previously knew even existed comes crashing into her life. Gloria's fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia.

Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery – Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her past before they are wiped from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future.

I loved Clare's first book. I cannot wait for this.

Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivson - Out January 2016

Kicked out of ballet academy and straight into a school ski trip, Mouse knows certain classmates can't wait to see her fall flat on her face. Meanwhile, Jack looks forward to danger and girls, but hasn't a clue about either. That's until French teen sensation Roland arrives in the resort - who Jack's a dead ringer for. When Roland persuades Jack to be his stand-in for a day, Jack, in disguise, declares his feelings for Mouse. But what happens when he's no longer a pop star - will it be music and magic on the slopes?

Another book by authors whose previous books I loved. I am hoping it is as brilliant as Lobsters.

 After the Last Dance by Sarra Manning - Out December 2015

Two women. Two love affairs. One unforgettable story. Kings Cross station, 1943. Rose arrives in London hoping to swap the drudgery of wartime for romance, glamour and jiving with GIs at Rainbow Corner, the famous dance hall in Piccadilly Circus. As the bombs fall, Rose loses her heart to a pilot but will lose so much more before the war has done its worst. Las Vegas, present day. A beautiful woman in a wedding dress walks into a seedy bar and asks the first man she sees to marry her. When Leo slips the ring onto Jane's finger, he has no idea that his new wife will stop at nothing to get what she wants. So when Jane meets Rose, now a formidable older lady, there's no love lost between them. But with time running out, can Rose and Jane come together to make peace with the tragic secrets that have always haunted their lives? After the Last Dance is an extraordinary story of two women, separated by time but connected by fate, that will make you believe in the redemptive power of unexpected love.  

I love Sarra Manning. I love Historical Fiction. I cannot wait for this.

Whisper to Me by Nick Lake - Out May 2016

"I love you. I'm sorry for what I did to you. I'm going to write it all down, explain everything that happened, why I broke your heart, and then I'm going to email it to you. I will be waiting for you at 5 pm Friday by the windmill hole at the crazy golf at the Pier where we played once. If you still want me then, when you're done reading this, come and get me. OK? Consider this the most screwed up love letter ever."

So begins Nick Lake's brilliant tour de force romance which introduces readers to Cassie, a New Jersey shore teen who, over the course of one summer, experiences the exhilarating highs of new love, the frightening free-falls of personal demons and family tragedy, and the bumps along the way to forgiveness, acceptance, and self-discovery. Told entirely through flashbacks, readers will savour every moment of Cassie's relationship with a boardwalk boy and race to the last page to discover how it all ends.

I want to try some Nick Lake and this seems a perfect place to start.

When Everything feels like the Movies by Raizel Reid - Out April 2016

School is like a film set. There's The Crew who make things happen; The Extras who fill empty spaces in rows of desks; and The Movie Stars, who everyone wants to tag in their Facebook photos.

But flamboyant Jude Rothesay, who lives for Louboutins and celebrity magazines, doesn't fit into any of these categories. Jude is the boy who wants to burn the whole damn set down . . . but not until he gets Luke Morris to be his date to the Valentine's Day dance.

Inspired by a true story, When Everything Feels Like the Movies is an edgy, extravagant novel full of gender-bending teen glamour, dark mischief and melodrama. A boy who smells like Chanel Mademoiselle, calls Blair Waldorf his biggest childhood influence, and reads Old Hollywood star biographies like gospel doesn't have the easiest path to travel in life, but somehow, Jude paves his own yellow brick road and makes us all wish we could join him over the rainbow.

I know very little about this but I am really keen to get a copy asap to read.

How hard can Love be by Holly Bourne - Out February 2016

All Amber wants is a little bit of love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to California, got remarried and had a personality transplant. But Amber's hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that.

And then there's prom king Kyle, the guy all the girls want. Can he really be interested in anti-cheerleader Amber? Even with best friends Evie and Lottie's advice, there's no escaping the fact: love is hard.

I loved loved loved Holly's last book and I cannot wait to read this too.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson - Out May 2016

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check.  Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing - if everything's planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

This sounds brilliant and I always love Morgan's books.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Monster Blog Tour

Today I have been offered an extract from Monster by CJ Skuse to share with you all as part of the Monster Blog Tour

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Mini Reviews: Books I loved

I wanted to review this books separately because I loved them all. It didn't happen because of life so I want to at the very least give them an airing on here so you all know how awesome they all are.

All of the above by James Dawson

This is a funny and moving love story about friends, first loves and self-discovery by Queen of Teen 2014. When sixteen-year-old Toria Bland arrives at her new school she needs to work out who her friends are in a crazy whirl of worry, exam pressure and anxiety over fitting in. Things start looking up when Toria meets the funny and foul-mouthed Polly, who's the coolest girl that Toria has ever seen. Polly and the rest of the 'alternative' kids take Toria under their wing. And that's when she meets the irresistible Nico Mancini, lead singer of a local band - and it's instalove at first sight! Toria likes Nico, Nico likes Toria, but then there's and friendship have a funny way of going round in circles.

I've been waiting for this book for a long time having chatted to James about it almost a year and a half go. It is very very good and shows how versatile James is an author. It is a realistic portrayal of what it means to be a teenager and how crazed it can be as you are trying to work out who it is you want to become. It covers friendships, sex and sexuality in such a funny and poignant way. I really loved meeting the various different characters and would not hesitate to recommend it to others.

George by Alex Gino

BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy.  With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

George is just a perfect read. Every child and parent should have to read it to open their eyes to how important it is that children should be allowed to be the person they want to be. Words can't do justice to just how good it is.

Counting Stars by Keris Stainton

 Big city, big dreams, no money, no problem...

Six 'friends', one flat, big dreams... what could go wrong? When eighteen-year-old Anna leaves school and moves to Liverpool, she feels like her life is finally beginning. She's landed her dream job at a theatre, and she's moving into an exciting (if not slightly run-down) flat on a buzzing street lined with shops, bars, and buskers. Best of all, her new flatmates are kind, welcoming and a lot of fun - what more could she ask for?

But although her new life is fun, it's also a little overwhelming. Anna's job quickly falls through, and then she realises that although her new friends are great, they're also a little mixed-up... and it's not long before Anna starts using her blog to talk about her experiences, from the hilarious to the ridiculous to the little-bit-scary. But when Anna spills a bigger secret than she can handle, suddenly the consequences are all too real. She'll have to prove she has the mettle to make it in the big city, or risk losing everything she thinks she wants

There was no doubt that I was going to love this book. I adore Keris and her books and this was just as awesome as I had hoped it would be. I loved how it portrayed that time in your life when you move out of home and have to learn to stand on your own two feet and deal with all the crap life throws at you. It did take a little bit to get my head around who everyone was but once I'd got that down it was all good and I wanted to know about what was happening to all of them .

Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

The Race to the Top of the World! It comes around once in a lifetime, and the prize? Your heart's desire. Shen and Sika can't resist the chance to win, but competition is fierce. The path to victory is littered with snow trolls, sea monsters, and a gang of particularly hungry yetis. But Shen and Sika have something the other contestants don't have. Actually, they have 66 other things; pugs to be exact. That's a 264 paw-powered sled. Let the race begin!

This book is so cute. Pugs. In snow> What more do I have to say? Oh the story is pretty cute too. I really liked the message it had to say and the artwork throughout is awesome.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Mini reviews: TV and Film tie ins

I received these two books in the last month to dip in and out of

Buffy: Demons of the Hellmouth

Demons of the Hellmouth is a fully licensed guide to the vampires and other demons that flocked to the Sunnydale Hellmouth in Joss Whedon’s cult TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This in-universe illustrated guide is written by Rupert Giles, and also contains handwritten notes from Buffy and Willow. This unique book promises a diabolical romp through the highlights of the beloved show.

I love Buffy and was therefore excited to read this. However I must say it didn't really do it for me. There was nothing in it I didn't already know and the 'notes' from Buffy and the gang didn't feel like them enough for me to buy it which put me off sadly.

Harry Potter: The Character Vault

Unlock new information about your favourite characters from the Harry Potter movies with this definitive coffeetable book profiling the good, the bad, and everything in between within the Harry Potter universe. Dive into the personal journeys of beloved Harry Potter heroes, and an insightful look at the motivations and actions of the films’ most notorious and complicated villains.

Concept art, behind-the-scenes imagery, and film stills track everyone from Harry, Hermione, and Ron to Dobby, Mad-Eye Moody, and Dolores Umbridge, telling their complete stories as they evolve throughout the film series. A comprehensive collection of the movies’ beloved characters, this beautifully designed book is the ultimate Harry Potter character overview.

This isn't the sort of book I read cover to cover. This is the sort of book that sits on my coffee table as I dip in and out of it which is exactly what I have been doing and I have to say I am fascinated. Loads of interesting snippets which I am really enjoying.