Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 review

I just wanted to finish the year with a simple post to finish up 2015 on the blog by saying as always thank you to all the wonderful publicists who continue to send me all the books, all the authors who indulge my fangirling and all my lovely bookish friends old and new I have made since I started my blog who are all brilliant and make this crazy hobby of mine worthwhile.

Total books read in 2014: 213
British Books Challenge final total: 121
5 Star Reads:36
Book of the year:  One by Sarah Crossan

I've read a lot of awesome books and I hate to narrow down but I've picked this because I still think about it six months after finishing it and I enjoyed the fact that it made me realise novels written in verse can be awesome.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

December review

The end of the year is here finally. I've spent the month reading pretty much whatever I fancy rather than worrying about review copies as such and dipping into a few adult books over the Christmas break.

Read in December
My sister's keeper by Jodie Picoult
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Wild Lily by KM Peyton
Who's that girl by Mhairi McFarlane
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen
Everyone Brave is forgiven by Chris Cleave
Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy
Operation Blackout by Victor Watson

Book of the Month

I have been waiting for a new book from Mhairi since I read her last book this time last year. I was so pleased when this arrived and loved it as much as I hoped I would.

Events attended
I went to a lovely event in London held by My Kinda Book seeing two of their 2016 debut authors talk about their books Harriet Reuter Hapgood with Square Root of Summer and Sara Barnard with Beautiful Broken Things . I've read both and they are awesome

On the blog
Not a lot this month but some very exciting things
I wrote a post about my favourite YA books this year. I couldn't get it down to a top 10 because there were too many awesome titles for me to pick between
I wrote my monthly Can't wait to read post

I am hosting the British Books Challenge in 2016. The sign up post for you to join in is here

All Wrapped up by Holly Smale
The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby

January's TBR pile
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
The age of reinvention by Karine Tuil
Stum by Jem Lester
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt
Underwater by Marisa Reichart
Burning Midnight by Will Mcintosh
The thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
Keep you close by Lucie Whitehouse
Changers by T Cooper
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
Eleanor by Jason Gurley
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy  Chevalier
Look at me by Sarah Duguid
Strange Girls and Ordinary Women by Morgan McCarthy
I'd Tell you I'd love you but then I'd have to kill you by Ally Carter
Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan line by Rob Thomas
The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman
Salem Falls by Jodie Picoult
Accidental Superstar by Marianne Levy

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The British Books Challenge 2016: Sign up here

I am very excited to be hosting the 2016 British Books Challenge 2016 taking it back over for the first time since 2013.

The British Books Challenge is a reading challenge to encourage you to read at least 12 books by British authors in a year. These can be fiction, non fiction, adult, UKYA, childrens whatever goes as long as they are by an author from Great Britain.

To sign up for the British Books Challenge all your need to do is to create a post or a page (bloggers) or a video (booktubers) to show that you are joining the challenge and link to that page / post / video in the Mister Linky below

The FAQs for the challenge are here
My personal challenge page is here

It'd also be fab if you could grab the British Books Challenge button (in my right side bar) and display it wherever you will be posting your reviews

Any questions tweet me @overflowingklc

Monday, 21 December 2015

Can't wait to read

Another pile of books I cannot wait for this month such is my reading life...

Keep you close by Lucie Whitehouse

When the artist Marianne Glass falls to her death, everyone insists it was a tragic accident. Yet Rowan Winter, once her closest friend, suspects there is more to the story. Ever since she was young, Marianne had paralyzing vertigo. She would never have gone so close to the roof's edge.

Marianne -- and the whole Glass family -- once meant everything to Rowan. For a teenage girl, motherless with a much-absent father, this lively, intellectual household represented a world of glamour and opportunity.

But since their estrangement, Rowan knows only what the papers reported about Marianne's life: her swift ascent in the London art world, her much-scrutinized romance with her gallerist. If she wants to discover the truth about her death, Rowan needs to know more. Was Marianne in distress? In danger? And so she begins to seek clues -- in Marianne's latest work, her closest relationships, and her new friendship with an iconoclastic fellow artist.

But the deeper Rowan goes, the more sinister everything seems. And a secret in the past only she knows makes her worry about her own fate

I don't read a lot of adult fiction but Lucie's books are ones I always seek out to read and this also looks fab

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She's a model daughter and sister, she's well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she's dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule. And now faces life-changing repercussions.

She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where obedience is paramount and rebellion is punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her-everything.

I've never read any Ceclia Ahern so maybe this is the place to start.

Wonderboy by Nicole Burstein

A funny and frank superhero story set in the world of Othergirl.
Joseph ‘Wilco’ Wilkes is one of life’s loser’s – he’s picked on, pushed around, and bullied by the rugby boys at the posh private school he attends on a scholarship. But his life is about to change: Wilco learns he can move things with his mind. Will this be his chance to play the hero, get the girl and finally stand up for himself? Or are things just going to come crashing down around his head? Becoming a proper hero will be quite the leap of faith...

I loved Nicole's first book and cannot wait to read this next. 

Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley

Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley

Eliza Camperdowne has always known that her fate is to marry a rich man. As the single heiress to her old but impoverished family, this is the only way she can save their beautiful, crumbling castle of Stoneton.

With her quick wit and dazzling green eyes, Eliza thinks that she has everything under control. But when she becomes a Maid of Honour at the Tudor court of Henry VIII, she finds herself disastrously underprepared for the treachery and whispers. Eliza doesn't know how to play the games that her glamorous cousin, and rival, Katherine Howard does.

And when Katherine wins the heart of the king and becomes the new queen, Eliza must sacrifice any chance of real happiness in order to keep a grave secret. One that could put both her and Katherine's lives in jeopardy

I'm both very very excited and a bit nervous about this book. I very much hope it is as awesome as it sounds. 

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has

I loved Alice's previous book and cannot wait to get my hands on this

Friday, 18 December 2015

2015 five star YA reads

I tried to do a top ten post but I really couldn't. Instead here are all my five star YA reads of the year. They are all books I adored over the last 12 months. Done in read order because I can't rank them at all.

The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell
I loved this book. I read it on one sitting and adored every page. It is truly just a beautiful, yet sad, book which I cannot recommend enough.

We are all made of Molecules
We are all made of molecules is simply brilliant. I love all the characters and it was enough book I devoured in a matter of hours.

Other Girl by Nicole Burstein
I thought this book was brilliant. So funny and it really appealed to my geeky side far more than it probably should have. I loved it.

This is not a love story by Keren David
Above all this book made me want to visit Amsterdam. Or go whole hog and live in Amsterdam. I loved the story and the characters and now desperately want more Keren David's to read.

The Beloved by Alison Rattle
Alison's books are very me. I love the way she tells historical fiction and I devour her books within hours.

Monster by CJ Skuse
Boy I loved Monster. I love boarding school stories and this was twisty and turny and made me want to not put it down for one second as I needed to know what happened next.

Remix by Non Pratt
I love Non. I love her books. I adored this. Funny and heartfelt and generally just brilliant. I want more Non books already.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
This book appealed to my Nashville / Taylor Swift obsession. I loved it. I want to read sequel after sequel for the rest of time.

Lorali by Laura Dockrill
Laura Dockrill is one of Life's wonderful people. I love her outlook on the world and I loved this. It was funny and quirky but packs a punch at the end.

One by Sarah Crossan
This book is told in verse. I didn't think I liked those sort of books but this proved me so wrong. The story is fascinating and it is so so brilliantly told. Truth be told this is probably my book of the year.

The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew
I was worried about this book. I really liked Julie's previous book but was worried that I wouldn't like it because I studied Nazi Germany at Uni and can get cross if alternative history is done badly. Thankfully it was awesome and one of those books you just need to read.

Birdy by Jess Vallance
I really loved this book. It's twisted and creepy and a cracking portrayal of a messed up toxic teen friendship.

Night Owls by Jenn Bennett
 I adored this book because of Jack. Jack is wonderful. I couldn't get enough of him and his relationship with Beatrix

The Next Together by Lauren James
If you love historical fiction you'll love this. If you love time travel books you'll love this. I loved every page.

The Lost and Found by Cat Clarke
I love Cat's books and this was as brilliant as I hoped. It's fast paced. It kept me guessing all the way through meaning I didn't want to put it down once.

Unbecoming by Jenny Dowham
Another brilliant read. I loved how it looked at three generations of the same family and delved into the relationships between them all.

Am I normal yet by Holly Bourne
This book is perfect in the way it really highlights the way in which some teens have to deal with mental illness in quite a hidden way. I thought it was brilliantly done.

Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Another one which appealed to my Nashville / Swifty obsession. I loved it

All of the above by James Dawson
I adore James's books.This one is brilliant. I love the diversity it portrays and how it explores the fluidity of teen sexuality

Asking For It by Louise O'Neill
Not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination but a really important one. I want to buy this for everyone.

Counting Stars for Keris Stainton
I love Keris's book and this book is fab. It is a perfect example of what I think New Adult should be.

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
I loved this book entirely. It isn't out until 2016 and it is well worth the wait. I loved the friendship portrayed within the story.

Front Lines by Michael Grant
Another 2016 release. Another alternative history done brilliantly well.

How not to disappear by Clare Furniss
Another awesome 2016 release. It is so so so good. I liked it for much the same reasons I like Jenny Downham's unbecoming as it had the same feel whilst being completely different in its own right.

In order to not make this list ridiculous I have left out rereads, Adult five star reads, MG five star reads, Not first book in a series five star reads, Only featured each author once but in case you were interested I also loved Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens, Spotlight on Sunny by Keris Stainton, Pea's book of holidays, Demolition Dad by Phil Earle, In a dark, dark wood by Ruth Ware, Oh Obviously by Laura Dockrill, Darkest Night by Will Hill, George by Alex Gino, After the last dance by Sarra Manning, Lily and the Christmas Wish

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby

After Iris
Blue Gadsby’s twin sister, Iris, died three years ago and her family has never been the same. Her histrionic older sister, Flora, changes her hair color daily; her younger siblings, Jasmine and Twig, are completely obsessed with their pet rats; and both of her parents spend weeks away from home–and each other. Enter Zoran the Bosnian male au pair and Joss the troublemaking boy next door, and life for the Gadsby family takes a turn for the even more chaotic. Blue poignantly captures her family’s trials and tribulations from fragmented to fully dysfunctional to ultimately reunited, in a sequence of film transcripts and diary entries that will make you cry, laugh, and give thanks for the gift of families.

Flora in Love
Just when Bluebell thought her crazy family were behaving normally, her parents make an announcement that could turn everything upside down. If only Zoran, their au pair, would come back to live with them. Unfortunately he's too busy teaching guitar to Zachary Smith. Blue is jealous at first, until Zach starts helping her little sister with a secret project and becomes a regular visitor at the Gadsby house. Then Zach goes missing. Blue needs her family to pull together if they're going to find him..

All about Pumpkin
It's the summer holidays and Flora has gone off with Dad to the exotic set of his new film and Mum is at home having a much-needed rest with baby Pumpkin. Bluebell, Twig and Jas have been sent to stay with Grandma at Horsehill in the countryside. With Grandma keen that the children get as much fresh air as possible, they are sent off on bikes to go wild swimming and befriend the boys next door. With so much freedom, they can't help but get into trouble, and Grandma doesn't seem to be as capable as looking after them as she should be...

I came to this series late. I'm going to be honest the thing that finally drew me into wanting to read them was the new front covers brought out this September and I'm so glad I finally did come round to reading then. I love this series. The family it revolves round are chaotic and everyone of them is a real character meaning whoever I'm reading about I just want to know more. They are full of heart and leave you with this lovely glow about families and their importance. I really cannot recommend them enough. 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

All Wrapped up by Holly Smale

All I want for Christmas is… a new GEEK GIRL story!
Harriet Manners knows a lot about Christmas.
She knows that every year Santa climbs down 91.8 million chimneys.
She knows that Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was almost definitely a girl.
She knows that the first artificial Christmas trees were made out of goose feathers.
But this Christmas is extra special for Harriet, because four days ago she had her First Ever Kiss.
Now she just needs to work out what's supposed to happen next…
A romantic festive treat from the internationally bestselling award-winning author of the GEEK GIRL series. Also includes a BONUS previously unpublished GEEK GIRL short story TEAM GEEK!

My thoughts
I was very excited to receive All Wrapped Up as a review copy last week and it didn't take long for it to creep to the top of my TBR.

This book is essentially two short stories bound up to look like a full sized novel. The publisher has even printed the words in the book slightly bigger to make it take up more space. Not a problem at all if you love the series but I can see some feeling a little cheated by it in that regard because of the RRP of £9.99.

That aside as a fan for the Geek Girl I very enjoyed All Wrapped Up and getting a new Harriet Stories. They were as funny as I have come to expect and full of heart. I always crave Christmas books for the Christmas holidays and trying YA Christmas books is hard so it is nice to have this to add to my annual Christmas holidays TBR.

You'll love this if you love the Geek Girl series