Tuesday, 30 June 2015

June review

June's reading has been awesome in some respects. I spent the first couple of weeks getting through loads but had to stop when my exam board marking started in the middle of the month. Hopefully I'll make up for it when the summer holidays get here.

Read in June
The Fill in Boyfriend by Kasie West (4 stars)
All the rage by Courtney Summers (3 stars)
The Devil you know by Trish Doller (4 stars)
The Next together by Lauren James (5 stars)
Oh Obviously by Laura Dockrill (5 stars)
The Lost and Found by Cat Clarke (5 stars)
Unbecoming by Jenny Downham (5 stars)
Lying out loud by Kody Keplinger (4 stars)
The Dark Light by Julia Bell (2 stars)
The Baby by Lisa Drakeford (3 stars)
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld (3 stars)
The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan (4 stars)
The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (3 stars)

Book of the Month

It has to be Unbecoming by Jenny Downham. You are all in for a special treat when it is released.

Events attended.

I have been to two lovely events this month.

Firstly I went to the launch for Being a Girl by Hayley Long at Norwich Waterstones. It was a brilliant event. I spent too much because I had free reign of a bookshop for a few hours.

I also went to an event at Bloomsbury with authors Jenny McLachlan and Sarah Crossan which was just awesome. I loved meeting both the authors and hearing more about their work.

On the blog
I've reviewed a far few books this month on the blog.
The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine
Being a girl by Hayley Long
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
It's about Love by Steve Camden
The Crowham Martyrs by Jane McLoughlin
Remix by Non Pratt
My secret rockstar boyfriend by Eleanor Wood
Air by Lisa Glass
In another life by Laura Jarratt
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

On July's TBR pile
For Holly by Tanya Byrne
Killer Game by Kirsty McKay
Darkest Night by Will Hill
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Liquidator by Andy Mulligan
Things we have in common by Tashsa Kavanagh
All that I am by Anna Funder
The Moment by Douglas Kennedy
Black Roses by Jane Thynne
Song in the daylight by Paulina Simons
Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Monday, 29 June 2015

DIMILY Blog Tour: Extract and giveaway

Today I am kicking off the DIMILY blog tour with a chapter extract and giveaway

Did I mention I love you by Estelle Maskame

When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden's parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she's about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler's group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can't understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't – her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler's clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there's secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?

Did I Mention I Love You is the first book in the phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, following the lives of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce as they try to find their way in an increasingly confusing world.

Read the first chapter here


Giveaway time !!

If you would like to win a copy of the book and a DIMILY TShirt please leave a comment below or tweet me @overflowingklc letting me know why you want to win to be in with a chance to win the prize pictured below

Monday, 22 June 2015

Can't wait to read

These are some of the books I am really hoping drop through my letterbox sooner rather than later as they all look awesome.

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 Polly...love and friendship have a funny way of going round in circles.

I love James Dawson's books. I cannot wait to get my hands on this.

Am I normal yet by Holly Bourne

All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?

I really enjoyed Holly's last book and this promised to be just as good.

What we left behind by Robin Talley

What We Left Behind follows a teen couple—Gretchen, who identifies as a lesbian, and Toni, who identifies as genderqueer—as they struggle to stay together during their first year in college, despite the growing rift caused by distance and Toni's shifting gender identity.

Another author whose previous book I loved. This sounds ace too.  

When we collided by Emery Lord

 Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.

I discovered Emery's books earlier this year and adored them. Therefore I am very much looking forward to more via this book.


Friday, 19 June 2015

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family

My thoughts
I've not read any Sophie Kinsella before so I came to this novel blind except for knowing that other people quite rated for adult novels. I am pleased to say that I really enjoyed it and now think maybe I ought to read more of her books.

The story itself is thoughtful and funny with real heart. I loved Audrey's family and their odd ways. Audrey's mother in particular made me laugh a lot in the way she dealt with her children especially Frank. Speaking of Frank. Frank had to be my favourite character. I loved how he typified that teenage computer gaming obsessive generation and the strain his obsession had on the relationship with his mother who just couldn't understand why he was so into it.

This book has a lot to say about OCD and how it is a really serious condition and not something to be made light of. The way it affects Audrey has a profound impact on the way she functions day to day it is really hard to see her struggling with it but equally satisfying to see her trying to work through it.

I am very much looking forward to more YA from Sophie Kinsella in the future.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

In another life by Laura Jarratt

American sisters Hannah and Jenny Tooley have spent their lives dreaming of flying to the UK and visiting all the places their English mother has told them about. But Jenny’s dream turns to a nightmare when she vanishes without a trace.

Hannah and her father arrive in England to a big police investigation. As Hannah gets to know some of Jenny’s friends and acquaintances, she realises that her sister is up to her neck in something – and the mysterious text messages she’s receiving bear this out. She is particularly drawn to Harry and, against her better judgement, begins to fall in love.

This book is awesome. I picked it up intending on reading a few pages before bed. Before I knew it I'd finished it completely and it was two in the morning but so so worth it.

This book keeps you guessing from the beginning through to the very end. I am deliberately not going to write much about what happened because I don't want to spoil it for anyone but I will say one bit was the most chilling scene I have ever read in a YA novel and I the way it worked out in the end is really shocking.

If you love Laura's previous work or YA thrillers this is definitely the book for you. 

Monday, 15 June 2015

Air by Lisa Glass

Being in a relationship with one of the hottest and most talented male surfers on the circuit is a dream come true… right?

Iris and Zeke get to travel to the most beautiful beaches in the world, competing in major surf competitions. Life should be perfect, but when Zeke is suspended from a surf tour in Hawaii, it’s clear there is some deep trouble in paradise. And then there’s Zeke’s romantic past: at every turn Iris is confronted by his old flames and his hordes of female fans.

Returning to Newquay, Iris finds that at home things have also changed. Her friends have moved on with their lives, and they sense Iris is keeping something – something bad – from them.

What really happened in Hawaii? Why was Zeke kicked off the circuit? And what secret is tearing Iris and Zeke’s relationship apart?

A quick review today because I don't want to spoil anything. If you loved Blue you will adore this book too. Air follows their story as they go off to America surfing in competitions and promoting various surfwear labels professionally. I loved getting back this world and them and becoming immersed in it all once again. I don;t want to say too much that goes on but I am guarantee if you are anything like me you'll finish it and be incredibly frustrated because you'll want to move onto the next book straight away.

Friday, 12 June 2015

My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend by Eleanor Wood

Geeky girl meets famous boy . . . what could go wrong?

Tuesday Cooper is happy being normal -doing her a-levels and indulging in her twin obsessions: buying weird vintage clothes in charity shops and writing her beloved music blog (which nobody ever reads). Her love for music started when she was thirteen and had a massive crush on Jackson Griffith, teen rock god and SUPER HOT LOVE OF HER LIFE. Now Tuesday's eighteen and has moved on to fancying boys in real life and Jackson went off the celebrity radar years ago.

So it can't be him that's messaging her on her blog, can it?

From one girl's computer to the pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival, this is a love story for anyone who has ever wished that someone would sing a love song just for them.

Dreams can come true . . .

My thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. It was really fun with a main character who I could really root for.

Tuesday Cooper is the girl I wanted to be when I was 13 but was too frightened to be. She's quirky and does her own thing regardless of what anything else thinks. She's clever and geeky focused entirely on her passion which is music which she blogs about regularly.

I love that this story focuses on a blogger and the insane hobby that it has the potential to be. Whilst blogging about one of her favourite bands Tuesday starts to get messages from someone claiming to be her favourite rockstar Jackson Griffith and it isn't until it goes on for a while that she gets confirmation that her new email buddy is the real deal.

Over the course of the book Tuesday connects with Jackson and they start to become close despite the issues they face to be friends discreetly when Jackson is constantly in the limelight. It comes to a head when Tuesday is invited by Jackson to Glastonbury and over the course of the weekend it becomes clear how much of a cost fame really has had on Jackson.

The story itself is laugh out loud funny in many places but also has real heart. I really enjoyed seeing the story unfold as Tuesday finds herself drawn into Jackson's world without really knowing what she is letting herself in for.

A fabulous book which you will love if you liked Non Pratt's Remix and CJ Skuse's Rockaholic

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Remix by Non Pratt

From the author of Trouble comes a new novel about boys, bands and best mates.

Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life... Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record.

Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.

My thoughts
It is no secret that I adore Non Pratt. I met her few years ago now whilst she was working for Catnip and she was one of those people I instantly liked most probably because we have very similar reading tastes and can quite happily chat for hours about books with her. I've loved books she's pushed into my hands by other authors since that first meeting and it meant when she told me she had got her first book deal that I was very excited indeed because I knew I was going to love it. As predicted I adored Trouble and very much the same is true for Remix.

I have been waiting to read Remix from the moment I finished Trouble because I knew whatever it was about I would adore it. It arrived at my house to excited book post dancing flailing and was gobbled up in one greedy go later on that evening.

I loved several things about this book.

Firstly I loved what this book had to say about friendship and in particular teenage girls. Teenage girls get it tough when it comes to being frinds in YA novels. Their friendships aren't seen as important, thrown aside for someone more popular or a over a boy and I feel that representation is doing them a real disservice. Remix goes a long way to remedy this through the friendship portrayed over the course of the novel between Ruby and Kaz. Don't get me wrong it isn't perfect. They fight and bicker like anyone but under it all it was nice to see two girls who were solid in their friendship and loyalty to one another.

I loved that this book was set at a music festival. I have been wanting more books set at one after reading and loving Sarra Manning's diary of a crush series years ago and this had a similar feel to it in that regard. It was really fun to see the girls go through that experience, bad toilets, crappy tents and unwashedness in all its icky glory.

I also loved the characterisation in this book. The teenage voices in this book are spot on and made the characters and the story feel so much more realistic for me.

All in all a book unsurprisingly a book I adored. I can't recommend it highly enough and will be buying multiple copies myself to give out to everyone.

Monday, 8 June 2015

The Crowham Martyrs by Jane McLoughlin

Could there really be witches and demons here at Crowham? Are the badness and fings real? And do all these things have anything to do with Hannah going missing? Do they have anything to do with me? Between growing up and boy trouble Maddy Deeprose may seem like your average 13-year-old girl, but there's something different about Maddy she can see ghosts. The new school term starts at Crowham Martyrs, but Maddy can sense that something is wrong. She begins to have disturbing visions and nightmares of suffering and pain and when her best friend goes missing and nobody will listen to her, Maddy knows it up to her to uncover the truth behind the Crowham Martyrs and stop history repeating itself. A spine-tingling mystery that will haunt you forever.

I love Catnip books. They publish some really unexpected gems and as a consequence I am always excited about reading anything they send me pretty much the moment it drops through my letterbox. This book is no exception. I started it knowing it was set in a boarding school and had ghosts in it and that was enough for me to want to read it. I love a good boarding school story at the best of times and this sounded like it had an edge and boy I wasn't wrong about the edge. This book is seriously creepy. The kind of creepy that comes back and plays in your mind long after you've finished it and gives you creepy nightmares. I'm not really one for getting freaked out about books but this did it. For me the main character Maddy drove this book. You warm to her from the outset and you find yourself draw into this incredibly odd situation she is in and feel her frustrations at all those people around her who don't believe what she is saying about all the weirdness around her. I loved that the story was suspenseful and kept me guessing to the point where I was reluctant to put it down because I needed to know what happened next. All in all superb read which I can thoroughly recommend. 

Friday, 5 June 2015

It's about Love by Steven Camden

Real life is messier than the movies. A bold, thought-provoking novel from the exceptionally talented, Steven Camden.

He's Luke. She's Leia.

Just like in Star Wars. Just like they’re made for each other. Same film studies course, different backgrounds, different ends of town.

Only this isn't a film. This is real life. This is where monsters from the past come back to take revenge. This is where you are sometimes the monster.

But real life? Sometimes, only sometimes, it turns out just like in the movies…

My thoughts
This book was a real thinker for me. I knew I liked Steven Camden's work before I started it but wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this novel. I am glad to report that it was as good as I had hoped it would be and left me with loads to think about. 

I loved the way the story was told. It was a mix of traditional narrative and screen play notes which makes sense when you know the two main characters meet during their film studies class. The way in which it is told gives you a real chance to get inside the head of the main character Luke and see what drives him to do what he does. For me he was a really interesting character caught between where he came from and his past experiences whilst striving to be his own person and make something of himself on his own without relying on his family connections or thuggish mates.

I enjoyed seeing the relationship develop between Luke and Leia, the girl he meets in his film class. The was it developed felt really real and therefore I felt like the chemistry was spot on. I loved seeing how things weren't straight forward them and this added to the realism for me as the story explored the many forms love can take and the role in can play in the lives of people.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

My thoughts
I love Sarah Dessen's novel and I have been waiting a long long time to get my hands on this. I don't know if as a result of all that waiting my expectations got set too high but I must admit I found myself wanting so much more from this book.

Don't get me wrong there were things I enjoyed about the story. I liked the main character and I loved Mac and his sister but I did feel like something was missing.

Firstly I wanted so much more time with the friendship group that developed over the course of this book. I loved them as a unit and enjoyed seeing how those friendships developed over the course of the book but I felt like I didn't see as much as I wanted of that.

This book clearly has the message that older men in their early 20s should not be hanging around with teenage girls and if they are then they are creepy perverts. There is a creepy character who is friends with the main character's brother and he is very very creepy indeed to the point where every scene with him in was unsettling. However I felt this was a bi over the top. Not every bloke who is a bit older is a perverted creep. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying teenage girls should actively hunt down older men to date but I felt that this book didn't them a bit of an injustice making them all out to be perverted sex pests in the making. 

I did take real issue with the mother in this book because I thought she was a complete bitch, one who pretended to have that holier than though perfect existence and was blind to how life really was. I actually couldn't stand her and she pretty much ruined any scene she was in for me.

So all in all if you were planning of reading a Sarah Dessen for the first time I wouldn't recommend you started here.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Being a girl by Hayley Long

A funny, frank and fearless guide to being a girl

Being a girl is not all sugar and spice. How can you possibly survive school and even think about talking to your crush when you have spots in places you didn't even know you had, your boobs are too big (or too small) and the friend drama is off the charts? Luckily, bestselling YA author and sixth-form teacher Hayley Long provides a straight-talking guide to puberty - from cattiness to kisses, and everything in between. With witty black-and-white illustrations by Gemma Correll throughout, BEING A GIRL tells you everything you need to know about surviving puberty, in an honest and humorous way

When being a boy came out I thought it was awesome but lamented the lack of a being a girl equivalent. I was therefore so pleased to find out that this book was in the process of being written.

Being a girl is funny, informative and  perfect for the intended target audience. It goes through a variety of need to know information that teen girls need to know especially when they live in a world where a huge variety of misinformation can be gained readily on the internet and when girls are so pressurised to follow certain stereotypes. 

Buy one for the teenage girl in your life as soon as possible.

Monday, 1 June 2015

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine

You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store!

Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and MYSTERIES around every corner. WONDER at the daring theft of the priceless CLOCKWORK SPARROW! TREMBLE as the most DASTARDLY criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, CRACK CODES, DEVOUR ICED BUNS and vow to bring the villians to justice…

My thoughts
If I had to review this book in a word that word would be charming. This book is utterly charming and I for one was utterly engrossed by it from the first to the last page and was left wanting more by the end.

Firstly I was utterly charmed by the history. I loved seeing London of the 1920s and the stark constrast between the rich and poor. The rich living life full of glitz and glamour and the poor working their socks off to scrape together a meagre existence. It really highlights the unfairness of the Edwardian age and how tough most found it in those post war years whilst others were living the high life.

I was charmed by the main character Sophie Taylor, a young girl who had come from a comfortable background but due to circumstances beyond her control found herself living a tougher life and forced to work for a living in an age when it wasn't seen as proper that she do so. She reminded me a lot of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart in her character and I loved the book for that. I love seeing these sort of characters in novels set during this period because they always tend to have something about them which makes them fascinating to read about.

The story itself is also charming. The story revolves around the mystery of the clockwork sparrow which is stolen from Sinclair's department store and Sophie ends up being the one working hard than the corrupt police force to find out more about what is going on and ends up finding out more than she bargained for as she uncovered connections between the robbery and underground gangs.

All in all a book I would highly recommend.