Monday, 31 December 2012

December review

Books read

From what I remember by Stacey Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Losing it by Cora Carmack
Sister Assassin by Kiersten White
Grounding Quinn by Steph Campbell
Irresistible by Liz Bankes
None of the regular rules by Erin Downing
When Summer ends by Isabelle Rae (DNF)
Heroes by Tim Sale
Shadowhunters and Downworlders by Cassandra Clare
Beyond Courage by Doreen Rappaport
Shadows of the silver screen by Christopher Edge
Horrible Christmas by Terry Deary
Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Unsticky by Sarra Manning
OMG This is actually my life by Rae Earl (DNF)
Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller and Zach Stentz
Skylark by Megan Spooner





Graphic Novels
Charmed season 9 volume 1
Serenity the official visual companion
Firefly the official visual companion
Serenity: Those Left behind
Serenity: Better days
Serenity: The Shephard's Tale
Tales of the Vampires
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The origin
Angel: aftermath
Angel
Spike: The devil you know
Spike: after the fall



Book events attended
None as I'm still off my feet :(

Book of the Month



Geek Girl by Holly Smale

I loved it completely. Out in March so look out for it!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 review

2012 has been a strange year for me personally with circumstances leaving me housebound  with a broken leg for the last 4 months of the year. However this has left me with an insane amount of reading time which is going to make writing this following post hard to do as I have so many books to pick between!

The blog
A year of insane amounts of reading has meant I've had a chance to reorganise myself somewhat mainly because I have pretty much wiped out my TBR pile entirely. This has been brilliant because it has given me the chance to read loads of 2013 books and have a lot more flexibility about what I read and when without the pressure of release deadlines!



before I move onto the books just a quick thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who make this insane habit of mine brilliant each and everyday. I love you all to bits but a few of you deserve a special mention or two
- Sarah for putting up with my random text questions, for letting me crash at your house, for looking after me on the tube when I was making a drunken menace of myself for coming and looking after my sorry broken legged self even though I couldn't do or go anywhere exciting and being the crazy girly you generally are (even if you have disturbed my mind of late with some of the racier titles you read
- Carly for being the fabbest and coolest person I know who geeks out to books as much as I do. I love our gossiping sessions!
- Lyndsey another special mention for looking after me in my broken legged state but also for the lunch time cocktail drinking (while not in a broken legged state) and for getting my OCD ways and for finally giving me someone to save me from the insane schemes of the boys in my life
- Laura for being your generally fab and spooky self. I love our geek out sessions on twitter
- Raimy again for being your dino loving geeky self. I think you are fab



plus Jesse, Caroline, Cicely, Sophie, Sammee, Emma, Viv, Keris, Casey, Liz, Essjay, Bella, Raimy, Michelle, Matt, Darren, Lynsey, Faye, Lucy, Susan, Leanna, Jess, Nicole, Melissa, Non, Andy, Kristi and SJ (plus anyone else I've missed ... I blame the broken legged mushy brainness I've been having of late)

A special mention to my reading group at school *waves* you girlies make me smile with your book excitment. Cheers for not telling the entire world / school about my geeky ways!

To all the lovely publicists & authors I have met online and in person this year and have tolerated my geeky fan girling, invited me to events, sent me stuff to read (especially those who sent me broken legged care packages!) and generally been your fab selves. You all inspire me every day!


ONTO THE BOOKS!!!!

This isn't a top 10 list. I don't think I could even write one. If you want to see the books I enjoyed each month check out my month review posts as I've picked out some fab titles as and when I read them each month which are all excellent. This list is something a bit different designed to make me think as I read the huge number of books I have the chance to read this year (280 and counting as of 9/12/12)


MOST SURPRISING BOOK READ IN 2012: What's up with Jody Barton by Hayley Long


I love this book but can't tell you why! It is brilliant and perfect and just fab. I ended up with a box of samplers which Hayley sent to me and lost a good 20 minutes of a lesson whilst every child in the room sat and read it. Just brilliant!

BEST SERIES OF 2012: Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare


I love it! I can't wait for the next one! I need more Jace and Clary! I can't not wait for the film next year!

NEW AUTHOR OF 2012: James Dawson


Mr James Dawson quite honestly there aren't the words to do him justice. I love his writing style. I love his humour. I loved Hollow Pike completely. I'm expecting great things in 2013 from this fine young gentleman.

MOST UNPUTDOWNABLE BOOK OF 2012: All these things I've done by Gabrielle Zevin





quite honestly I loved this book. It is brilliant in every way but I particularly loved the main character because she was so strong and awesome.


MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2012: Adorkable by Sarra Manning

I read Sarra Manning as a teenager in J17. When I heard about this book I needed it! I read it and loved it!

BOOK THAT HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT IN 2012: Wonder by RJ Palacio


It just made me want to be nice to people all the time.

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK OF 2012: The terrible thing that happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne






Just a gorgeous book on every level!


BOOK I WOULD MOST RECOMMEND IN 2012: Arabesque by Colin Mulhern



I loved it. I love Colin's writing and the ending is pure evil genius!

BOOK I CAN'T BELIEVE I DIDN'T READ UNTIL 2012: The Perks of Being a Wallflower


 such a brilliant book! Why wasn't this brought into my life sooner??

BEST BOOK READ IN 2012: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar



Without a shadow of a doubt this is the book I loved most this year. It is just wonderful on every level. Pure quality, gorgeous, heart-breaking. Just read it!

Here's to a fab 2013. Bring on the books!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy christmas

Today I break up from school for the christmas holidays so I'm giving it a break on here until after christmas.

I'll be back before the new year with a few end of year posts to tell you all about my favourite books of 2012

Happy Christmas. I hope the holiday is book filled for you all!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Review: None of the regular rules by Erin Downing



Sometimes, a few dares can change lives…

The weekend before the start of senior year, Sophie Erickson and her best friends, Ella and Grace, discover a handwritten list of dares tucked away in the glove compartment of Sophie’s beat-up old Toyota. But this isn’t just any list; it’s a dead girl's bucket list.

Sophie's beloved aunt Suzy died as a teenager in a fatal fall, leaving Sophie with an overly cautious family, a few fading photographs, and a bucket of bolts that barely passes for a car. But now, Sophie has Suzy’s list of the things she wanted to do in her last year of high school. Sophie can't help but wonder: What would happen if she tried to fulfill Suzy’s last wishes, to live out the longed-for life of her aunt, her hero?

As Sophie and her friends attempt to knock off the things on Suzy's list of dares, love blossoms in unexpected places and Sophie begins to feel that her life is finally coming together...when in fact, everything is slowly unraveling around her. When the truth about a long-held family secret threatens to shatter everything she believed to be true, Sophie is forced to question everything she knew about the life and people she believed in, and ultimately herself.


My thoughts

This book is a cute read which I really enjoyed.

What I really liked about this book is that it wasn't all about a love interest (although there is one) and actually more focused on the main character in her own right. Sophie is a cracking main character and her story is interesting and engaging throughout.

Sophie has recently inherited a car from her long since decreased aunt. Her aunt died when she was young and Sophie always looked up to her and has always been keen to know more about her even though the rest of the family don't bring her up a lot. By chance Sophie finds a list of dares in the glove box of her aunt's car and decides to complete them in a bid to get to now her aunt more. This follows a fun story following Sophie and her friends as they try to complete the tasks. I really enjoyed following them and seeing their relationship develop over the book.

So this story isn't about a love interest and I really liked that. I enjoyed that it was about a girl who was happy on her own and didn't need a boy. That said there is a love interest in the form of the ever mysterious Johnny Rush. Johnny is the boy next door and he is soooo cute. I enjoyed every page with him on and while he isn't central to the story I did love the scenes with him in and the relationship that develops between him and Sophie.

All in all an enjoyable read which kept me quietly amused.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Review: The Vincent boys by Abbi Glines


Beau Vincent is rude, bad, and dangerous to know. So why can't good girl Ashton Gray keep away from him? She already has the perfect boyfriend - her town's local Prince Charming, Sawyer Vincent. But Sawyer is away for the summer, and in the meantime Ashton is bored, and the heat between her and Beau is undeniable - as well as irresistible. Ashton is about to unleash her bad girl - but what will she do when Sawyer comes home? And how will Sawyer react when he returns to find his girlfriend in the arms of his best friend - and cousin?

The Vincent Boys is a sexy, exciting and enjoyable romp through one steamy Alabama summer


My thoughts 

I needed this book the weekend I read it.

Of late I have been struggling to read. I need something light and engaging which would get me back into reading compulsively and this book did it for me.

The story revolves around the love triangle that is Ash, Beau and sawyer. Sawyer is Ash's boyfriend who is away for the summer. Beau is her former best friend and Sawyer's cousin whom she hasn't spoken to properly in years. One evening that changes and suddenly there is a spark which brings them together and brings out the real Ash after she has spent so many years playing the good girl.

For me this book is all about the relationship between Beau and Ash. It isn't perfect especially in the way it starts but it is honest, loving and downright hot in places. I loved Beau as he is such a complicated character with really simple dreams and wishes underneath his macho front.

I won't go into too much detail about where the book goes and what happens but I will say that I was left completely satisfied with it all and thoroughly surprised by the twists that popped up. I can't wait for book two!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Review: Losing it by Cora Carmack


Virginity.

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.


My thoughts


I really enjoyed Losing it. A nice offering in the New Adult genre.

Losing it is the story of Bliss. Bliss is about to graduate from college and is worried because she she is still a virgin. Her friend decides to help her change this by taking her out to meet a man. They both get dressed up and head out to a club where Bliss meets a gorgeous blonde and British man who she ends up taking home but before the deed is done she bails and ends up leaving him naked in her bed. If that was embarrassing enough the next morning when she arrives at her class the gorgeous blonde is teaching her class!

I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between the two unfold in this story. Garrick is gorgeous and kept me reading. I did find myself swooning a little bit (and cringing every time he referred to Bliss as love). Bliss made me laugh. She is a real drama queen and I found her really funny and enjoyed seeing the pickles she got herself into.

The only thing the really really irritated me about this books were the names of the characters. I don't know if it is an American thing but all of them are odd. Garrick? Seriously I have never ever heard of it being used as a name in the UK ever. I hate is when Americans come up with 'British' names they really aren't.

A quick and enjoyable read which I'd recommend.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Bookcase Showcase: Kat from Simon and Schuster



Let me preface this piece by saying that if I lived on my own, or in a giant house that was all mine, I would have a wall - nay, a ROOM - of books, all together and in perfect order. Sadly, I share a flat with three other lovely girls and therefore my books are unable to line up all together in harmony. Hence why exploring my bookshelves take a few photos, for which I apologise!
The one lovely, lovely thing about working in publishing is of course that I get to play with books all day. It's not quite as simple as that, but essentially my working day is books, books and more books. So it's unsurprising that I've grown quite a collection over the years, not to mention my time as a bookseller before. There are also a lot of books living in my mum's house, all alone :(  One day they will live in my dream library of Beauty and the Beast proportions. But until now, I do my best to make sure they all feel loved in equal measure.


This first shelf of books is where my extensive YA collection begins. I'm a huge YA geek and I read most genres, and as you can see these are mostly new titles, from Lauren Oliver to Michelle Harrison and back again. I also have a rather battered set of ORIGINAL COVER Hunger Games books. None of these classy iconic covers, I've got the Mockingjay that I like to describe as 'Sainsburys orange', and the original cut-out cover of Hunger Games. I love them!


The way I order my bookshelves is a bit strange. I get quite twitchy if anybody intervenes and messes it up.  There are rules, that are very specific! They don't make much sense, those rules. This shelf is a prime example - Dystopian > spooky > fairies > paranormal > BIG CHUNK OF CASSIE CLARE > someslightlyyoungerbooksthatdon'tliveanywhere> HARRY POTTER. See? Senseless. But to me, they look perfect!
There are some DVD boxsets underneath. I'm very happy for my Glee DVDs to nestle near my YA.
 





My one full bookshelf that belongs to me and only me starts here, with the continuation of my YA collection. This shelving arrangement is pretty much wholly contemporary. John Green and David Levithan live together side by side with other masters of contemporary such as Morgan Matson and Jaclyn Moriaty (check out the beautiful old editions!), and a whole wall of Sarah Dessen up on that top shelf. Sarah Dessen was one of my first loves in YA and I have devoured every one of her books since. I also have full collections Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson series. Again, check out those super old Piccadilly press A-format books hidden in the top shelf! Once again the order here is a bit weird. I have funny British girly > 'gritty' British YA (including my good buddy, Phil Earle, who I'm sure would be thrilled to know he is next to Kevin Brooks) > then 'sad books that made me cry' > SARAH DESSEN > girly contemporary > more sad books that made me cry > JOHN GREEN > the rest of my YA.
Seriously, does anybody else understand this?




Then we have - shock horror - some adult books! These are books that I've either loved over the years and brought along with me from home to home, and some new series. We have a book group at work in which we are only allowed to read non-children's/teen books, and I've discovered some real gems there such as The Help, and Pigeon English.
The bottom shelf is the start of some of my non-fiction, including a whole stack of Beat generation books. I read Allan Ginsberg's biography recently and fell rather in love with this incredible man. He's a real hero and it was one of my favourite reading experiences of 2012.
 

Those bookshelves are in my living room, and then the madness continues into my bedroom, including the last of my non-fiction and some picture books! The non-fiction in my room is mostly gender and sex studies works, from my uni days. If you look closely you can see some cracking titles, snuggled right up with Pippi Longstocking and Oliver Jeffers. :) They also live on storage shelves with my jewellery and nail polishes and stationary. Needs must.




Then I have a shoe-rack-turned-bookshelf. I have literally appropriated just about everything with shelves on it to keep as many books in my flat as I can. On the right, you can see neatly ordered shelves that are a mishmash of YA but they're mostly either S&S titles or proofs that bloggers and fellow publicists have been kind enough to gift to me over the past few years. In the left photo is what I can only call my 'pile of books that I can't fit on my shelf'. These are usually recently acquired and waiting in line for prime position on the shelves. It varies in size but it's the bane of my life. Books! Homeless!! Argh!!!
So those are my shelves, almost in full. But this post would no longer be complete without including a shot of my Kindle, which houses my e-shelves! As you can see, most of it is manuscripts and YA and some NA, too. It's an absolute blessing in terms of reading for work, where I previously used to print hundreds of pages of paper to get manuscripts home.
 

Many, many thanks to Kirsty for having me, and now you all know what a terrible shelver I am. This is not so much as a bookcase showcase as it is an ashamed confessional. Je ne regrette rien!
Merry Christmas - happy reading!
Kat x