Monday, 3 August 2015

House of Windows by Alexia Casale

'The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.' Robert Louis Stevenson

Nick hates it when people call him a genius. Sure, he's going to Cambridge University aged 15, but he says that's just because he works hard. And, secretly, he only works hard to get some kind of attention from his workaholic father.

Not that his strategy is working.

When he arrives at Cambridge, he finds the work hard and socialising even harder. Until, that is, he starts to cox for the college rowing crew and all hell breaks loose...

My thoughts
I really enjoyed this book.

I really liked seeing how Nick dealt with going to Cambridge University at such a young age and seeing how he coped with the challenges that brought with it. It said a lot about whether children should be pushed to advance beyond their years when you saw the social isolation he felt because he was such an oddity amongst his peers and for that alone I really felt for him.

I loved how this book showcased Cambridge as a city and it has left me desperately wanting to go back and visit again as it has been far too long since I had the chance to wander around the city.

This book also had a lot to say about family which was really heartfelt and thoughtful

All in all definitely a book I would recommend although be warned it is rather a slow burner

Friday, 31 July 2015

July review

It has been a funny reading month for me. For the first two weeks of July I didn't read a thing because I was exam marking but as soon as that finished I have read loads.

Read in July
X Files Season 10 Volumes 1 - 4 (4 stars)
Buffy Season 9 Volumes 1 - 5 and Faith and Angel Volumes 1 - 5 plus Spike and Willow spin offs (4 stars)
I knew you were trouble by Paige Toon (4 stars)
For Holly by Tanya Byrne (4 stars)
First Class Murder by Robin Stevens (4 stars)
The Secrets and Sam and Sam by Susie Day (4 stars)
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (4 stars)
Darkmere by Helen Maslin (3 stars)
When I am happiest by Rose Lagercrantz (3 stars)
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure (3 stars)
Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine (3 stars)
The Girls by Lisa Jewell (3 stars)
Things we have in common by Tasha Kavangh (3 stars)
The Readers of Broken Wheel recommend by Katarina Bivald (3 stars)
Darkest Night by Will Hill (5 stars)
Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally (4 stars)
Sunkissed  by Jenny McLachlan (4 stars)
I've got your number by Sophie Kinsella (3 stars)
Am I normal yet by Holly Bourne (5 stars)]
Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally (5 stars)

Book of the Month

It has to be Darkest Night. I've been waiting for it for a long time and I am so pleased that it was awesome

Events attended
None sadly. Too much work stuff going on. I couldn't even go to YALC because I was stuck on a school trip

On the blog
Just a few reviews this month
My Name's not Friday by Jon Walter
Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
Lorali by Laura Dockrill
The Lost and Found by Cat Clarke

All my Secrets by Sophie McKenzie
Birdy by Jess Vallance
The rest of us just live here by Patrick Ness

On July's TBR pile
The Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins
The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons
About Last Night by Adele Parks
Girl from Station X by Elisa Segrave
Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson
A Royal Disaster by Meg Cabot
Princess in the Middle by Meg Cabot
All sorts of possible by Rupert Wallis
Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher
The paying guests by Sarah Waters
Here's looking at you by Mhairi McFarlane
In the unlikely event by Judy Blume

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Colour me Mindful

I have been a fan of colouring books as a way to zone out long before the whole adult colouring book thing hit a few months back. When I was broken legged anything to pass the time was gratefully received. Therefore when I was offered a selection of the Colour me Mindful colouring book series for review I jumped at the chance to crack out my colouring pens again.

These colouring books are brilliant for a variety of reasons. Firstly they are a brilliant size because they are smaller than an average paperback which which they are perfect for carrying around in your handbag. The images in them are really pretty and details and leave loads of options for you to do your own thing with them. I also love the fact that when I colour in them I can really zone out and not have to think too much. I have a busy job and lifestyle and it is really nice to have something that really takes me mind off everything else if even for 20 minutes or so.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Darkest Night by Will Hill

The brave men and women of Department 19 have fought Dracula at every turn, but now Zero Hour has passed and the ancient vampire is at full strength.

Inside Department 19, the Operators are exhausted and fractured. Jamie, Larissa, Matt and Kate are each struggling with their own demons. When the friends need each other most, they are further apart than ever.

Outside the Department, the world reels from the revelation that vampires are real. Violence and paranoia spread around the globe and, when it finally comes, Dracula’s opening move is more vicious than anyone could have imagined.

A final battle looms between the forces of darkness and the last, massed ranks of those who stand against it. A battle that will define the future of humanity. A battle that simply cannot be lost... 

I am so pleased to have finally finished the Department 19 series. It has bee an awesome series which I have consistently enjoyed from beginning to end.

I love that this series stays across from beginning to end. I loved it from the first book and stayed so excited for every book across the series. It is rare for me to get beyond the first book in a trilogy lately so for me to get through five books and still be excited is a rare thing and says an awful lot about how awesome these books are.

I won't tell you too much about this book because I will spoil things and simply say the quality of this installment was exactly what I had come to expect from Will Hill. The action pulls no punches and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The story is fast paced and exciting and the resolution at the end is very satisfying indeed.

All in all a series I wouldn't hesitate to recommend highly.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Can't Wait to Read

Another month, another pile of books I am dying to get my hands on. Such is life

Asking for it by Louise O'Neill

It's the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O'Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there's a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can't remember what happened, she doesn't know how she got there. She doesn't know why she's in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don't want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town's heroes...

I liked Louise's first book and I definitely saw why it got the attention it did. I am very much looking forward to this one as I think it'll be very good indeed. 

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep

I very much enjoyed Jennifer's previous books so cannot wait to get my hands on this. 

George by Alex Gino


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.

I've heard good things about this book and it sounds really interesting. Looking forward to tracking a copy down.

Friday, 17 July 2015

The Rest of Us just live here by Patrick Ness

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshiped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable

My thoughts
I enjoyed the take this book took on the end of the world scenario focusing on the ordinary people whose priority wasn't saving the world but just trying to live their lives as normally as possible. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer if the story wasn't focused on the scoobies but instead a group of people you see as the extras in the background who are just trying to get to the end of the year and finish high school as normally as possible in a world where the extraordinary keeps getting in the way.

Really loved all the characters. The writing was clever and funny all the way though as I've come to expect from a Patrick Ness book.

For me this book was particularly poignant in the way it portrayed OCD not as a fun little quirk but as something that can be incredibly life debilitating when it takes over. It really made me think how tough it can be for people who truly suffer from it and the change it must make to their daily lives which most of us don't even consider.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and would highly recommend to others.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Birdy by Jess Vallance

A darkly compulsive tale of friendship and obsession.

Frances Bird has been a loner for as long as she can remember. But when she is asked to look after the new girl at school, the sparky Alberta Black, they soon become inseparable, doing everything together, and even creating their own sign of togetherness - a blackbird. After a while though, Bert wants to do things without Frances, and see other people without her there. And that won't do...No that won't do at all...

My thoughts
I picked up Birdy after hearing about it at Hot Key's Blogger Brunch and because it sounded brilliant I found myself unable to leave it on the TBR pile more than couple of days.

Oooh this is good is book. It is dark and creepy with an unreliable narrator who you know you can't trust from the outset. From the start you just know it isn't going to end well and find yourself unable to put it down because you need to know what is going to happen next.

I don't want to go into anymore detail because I don't want to say anything to spoil for anyone. Just read it.