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)
The Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins (4 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 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.

Monday, 13 July 2015

All my secrets by Sophie McKenzie

The shocking reality behind a GBP10 million inheritance turns Evie Brown's world on its head. Unable to find out the truth from her parents, Evie ends up on the mysterious island of Lightsea, where her desire for answers leads her towards a series of revelations that threaten everything she holds dear ...including her life.

My thoughts
It's ok. As expected it is tightly plotted and fast paced meaning I read it very fast as I needed to know what happened next.

I disliked how the main character treated her parents as soon as she found out a "shocking" truth. The reaction was pantomime OTT.

I also disliked the insta love triangle. Ffs this girl has found out massive things about herself and just needs to get her own shit together but of course she has time to forge a new relationship with a boy she has just met (0 to snogging in 10 seconds flat) and then discover a second boy who she has the 'chemistry' with 2 mins later. The story wouldn't have lacked anything without the kissing and actually detracted from the story for me. Maybe I'm just becoming old and grumpy. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

The Lost and Found by Cat Clarke


When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.


Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…

My thoughts
This is one of those books I do not want to say all that much about purely because I don't want to say too much and spoil it.

I have come to expect awesome things from a Cat Clarke Novel and this book was no exception. It is fast paced and kept me guessing through to the end.

I really liked the main character Faith as she comes to terms with the return of her big sister who was kidnapped years previously as a child and is returned to the family as a young adult. It was interesting seeing the two develop a relationship after Laurel's return after being missing so many years.

The role of the media in this book is interesting. It has a lot to say about they can both help and hinder situations in their wanting to get the story out there.

Special mention has to go to Michel Faith's step father and possibly the coolest step parent I have ever read about in a novel.I loved the relationship they are as all too often step parents are portrayed as almost evil and cast as a baddie of the piece.

All in all a book I really enjoyed and gobbled up with one greedy sitting. Fast paced and excited and definitely worth a look

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Lorali by Laura Dockrill

Colourful, raw, brave, rich and fantastical - this mermaid tale is not for the faint-hearted.

Looking after a naked girl he found washed up under Hastings pier isn't exactly how Rory had imagined spending his sixteenth birthday. But more surprising than finding her in the first place is discovering where she has come from.

Lorali is running not just from the sea, not just from her position as princess, but her entire destiny. Lorali has rejected life as a mermaid, and become human.

But along with Lorali's arrival, and the freak weather suddenly battering the coast, more strange visitors begin appearing in Rory's bemused Sussex town. With beautifully coiffed hair, sharp-collared shirts and a pirate ship shaped like a Tudor house, the Abelgare boys are a mystery all of their own. What are they really up to? Can Rory protect Lorali? And who from? And where does she really belong, anyway?

My thoughts
I knew this book would be special because it is written by Laura. Laura is one of those brilliantly unique human beings who shine without trying because they are just being themselves.

This book is absolutely bonkers. Quite literally like nothing you've ever read before. Just brilliant.

You will read it and want to be a mermaid. Or a pirate. Or both. The world that Laura writes just begs to be read about and I found myself completely drawn in and unable to put the book down and finished it in one sitting.

I loved the main characters Lorali and Rory. I love Lorali's naivety and how sweet and caring Rory was. I loved how the story was both heartfelt and funny throughout.

The end killed me and left me in pieces

If you want to read something truly unique pick this book up now

Friday, 3 July 2015

Lying out Loud by Kody Keplinger

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with— secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand—a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

My thoughts
I always do love a book by Kody Keplinger. I love her characters and the world she creates around them and to a certain extent this book was no exception.

Sonny is a flawed character and she herself knows it. She is a compulsive liar and that lying gets her into a tricky scenario which threatened to ruin her relationship with her best friend and the boy she likes.

What I really liked about this book more than anything was it showed how it was to be someone living on the fringes of a rich society without the financial means to fully take part. Sonny goes to school with rich kids and is friends with them but can't live the life style they lead because her family aren't rich. She has to work, her crappy car breaks down and she can't even contemplate college because she can't afford the fees. I liked this more realistic lifestyle because at the end of the day every few people are incredibly rich.

As much as I liked this book I do have questions but the biggest ones being about Sonny's homelife. Why weren't some form of social services involved with Sonny? Why were the school asking questions when she was turning up late regularly? Why didn't anyone question why her mother didn't seem to ever be on scene? I know this makes me old but really why was she just left to fend for herself?

All in all a book I really enjoyed. If you've loved Kody's previous books you'll really enjoy this too.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

My Name's not Friday by Jon Walter

'This boy has bought me. This white boy who don't even look as old as I am. He owns me body and soul and my worth has been set at six hundred dollars.'

Samuel's an educated boy. Been taught by a priest. He was never supposed to be a slave.
He's a good boy too, thoughtful and kind. The type of boy who'd take the blame for something he didn't do if it meant he saved his brother. So now they don't call him Samuel. Not anymore. And the sound of guns is getting ever closer...

An extraordinary tale of endurance and hope, Jon Walter's second novel is a beautiful and moving story about the power of belief and the strength of the human spirit, set against the terrifying backdrop of the American Civil War.

My thoughts
Another book which I picked up not knowing much and found myself completely hooked by the end

Now this book is historical fiction and not my sort of history which means it took me a while to get into it. I teach history and sometimes I can be a bit odd with it either loving it entirely or being put off instantly because it isn't really the sort of history I'm into. I must admit I was very aware of that as I started this book and made myself stick with it to start with and by the time I had got a little way in I was hooked.

My Name's not Friday is a fascinating story about slavery in America. It made me feel for the main character and the injustices he faces as the story unfolds. The life he ends up being forced to live purely because of the colour of his skin makes you want to weep for him and you see the real unfairness of it all.

Well worth a read.