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2013 review

2013 has been a really busy year for me. I've been working on getting myself back up to full fitness after last year's leg break and work has been insanely busy. That said I still have managed to read loads (227 at time of writing this although I'm sure it'll go up over the last 8 days of the month) and get down to London for some events

This year I have taken my foot off the pedal a bit. I've been reading lots which I haven't bothered to review including some adult books and I must admit it has been nice. Scheduling ahead has worked brilliantly for me and my TBR pile has been all but annihilated meaning I've been able to read well ahead and do some work around 2014 releases both for Bookish Brits and for We Love This Book.

Thanks for all my lovely blogging friends including Sarah, Lyndsey, Carly, Raimy, Laura, Darren Andrew, Jesse, Sammee and Sophie. I'm glad we are all going strong blogwise and I don't know how I managed to keep sane without you …

December review

Another slowis month for me reading wise on the whole helped only by the Christmas holidays

213) Johnny be Good by Paige Toon (British Books Challenge)
214) Baby be Mine by Paige Toon (British Books Challenge)
215) Johnny's Girl by Paige Toon (British Books Challenge)
216) Cowgirl by Giancarlo Gemin (British Books Challenge)
217) The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon (British Books Challenge)
218) The Absolutist by John Boyne (British Books Challenge)
219) The Madness by Alison Rattle (British Books Challenge)
220) How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (British Books Challenge)
221) Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon (British Books Challenge)
222) Lucy in the Sky by Paige Toon (British Books Challenge)
223) Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon (British Books Challenge)
224) One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon (British Books Challenge)
225) One Perfect Christmas by Paige Toon (British Books Challenge)
226) Salvage by Keren David (British Books Challenge)
227) Defy the Stars by Sophie McKenzie (Brit…

2014 recommended reads

Just wanted to let you know about a couple of things I have been involved in of late recommending books released in 2014.

The first was a blog post on We Love This Book where I recommend my top 10 UKYA reads for early 2014. All of them were books I have recently read and loved.

I've followed this up with a Bookish Brits vlog recommending some 2014 reads. Be warned I get far too excited in parts of this video




Best books of 2013

So with the end of 2013 almost upon us it is time for me to think about which of the numerous books I have read this year (total currently stands at 225 at time of writing this post) I loved the best. What follows, in no particular order are my best books of 2013. I deliberately am not going to include books with a 2014 release date as I'll deal with them in another blog post.

Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne


I loved this book entirely and devoured it in one sitting. It's set at a boarding school, it's twisty and turny and once I'd done it spent a long time thinking about it afterwards. Just fab.

More Than This by Patrick Ness



Another thinker. I couldn't review at the time apart from saying "wow buy this" because I didn't have the words to do it justice. Just Brilliant YA fiction

Battlelines by Will Hill




I don't read much horror and barely anything supernatural but I do love this series. It is action packed and gory and keeps you on your edge of your s…

Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Are you more than the number on the back of your neck?

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered. The same one that got her killed…and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand

My thoughts
I have mixed feelings about this book. I think I liked it but I must admit I…

Review: Crash into you by Katie McGarry

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

My thoughts ...

It…

Books I can't wait to read

Welcome to December's Books I can't wait to read post.

I have some real crackers this month. So many books I am just dying to read have had covers announced since I last did one of these posts. All links take you straight to goodreads so you can add them to your wishlists.

The Bubblewrap Boy by Phil Earle


Charlie Han's troubles are way bigger than he is. At school, he's branded an outsider, a loser - the tiny kid from the Chinese Chippy. His only ally is Sinus Sedgely, the only lad in school with a worse reputation than Charlie himself. Life at home isn't much better. His dad is better with a wok than he is with words, and his mum is suffocating the life out of Charlie, wrapping him in enough cotton wool to fill a pharmacy. But when a new passion leads Charlie to the mother of all confrontations, he finds his mum's been hiding a massive secret. A secret that whilst shocking, might actually lead Charlie to feeling ten feet tall. The Bubble Wrap Boy is ab…

Review: Roomies by Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr

Goodreads Synopsis
It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

My thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed Roomies mostly because I loved seeing a friendship develop via emails. The story is split narrative and tells the story of two girls who get in contact after they are assigned to be roommates f…

History Books I Rate: Victorian

Some of you might know I teach History at High School. I love finding good YA historical fiction which I can use in the classroom if only to recommend to my students as wider reading.

I do however find that I can be very critical of historical fiction and I do find myself having to give up on books others have raved about because I can't get over historical inaccuracies or stories where events are treated lightly.

This month I have a selection of books set in and around the Victorian period (some do slip into Edwardian too)

The Quietness by Alison Rattle

This book utterly fascinated me as a historian. It looks at Victorian baby farms and I was hooked right from the first page. As well as a fascinating story line the main characters were awesome and the ending is truly brilliant. I loved it.

Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman


I adore this series and possibly like it more than his Dark Material series. Sally Lockhart is an awesomely brilliantl female lead and I loved her coura…

We Love This Book: The best books of 2013

I just wanted to highlight for you the list of The best books of 2013 posted on We Love This Book today.

It is a list of 10 books picked by 10 UK bloggers picking out their favourite read of 2013 and I am featured on it talking about Heroic by Phil Earle. Check it out here