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We love to talk all things books, sharing reviews, features, lists, interviews and more, all penned by our team of six writers.

Getting lost in a book is escapism at it's finest and it's what everyone who contributes here thrives on.

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Friday, 31 July 2015

The Young Elites | Marie Lu | Review



“Everyone has darkness inside them, however hidden.” 

I had known about this book for a little while before I read it. It was the announcement that it was going to be a movie that really made me make a conscious effort to find and read it. With all the hype I had heard/read about it I was ready for it to be amazing. And for the most part, it was.

"Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumoured to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites...Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her." - Good Reads

This isn't really a dystopian novel, although I thought it was before reading it. It's more a fantasy story, with magic and powers, and princes trying to take back their throne. It's about villains who are more than just the bad guy, and about a girl who isn't really a hero at all, at least not your typical one. Adelina is broken and hurt, and scarred, literally. But she's strong in her darkness and her pain, and she kicks some serious butt with her powers.

While easy enough to read, the way it was written was a little strange. Adeina's voice was in first person, but then there were the occasional chapters where the story was told from the perspective of Enzo, the leader of the Daggers, a secret society that aims to protect the Young Elites, and Teren, a young man searching for Adelina, and the 'villain' of the story...but the chapters are in third person. I guess it was so you heard their side of the story, but it wasn't as personal as Adelina's. It was well written, and, as I mentioned, easy to read and had great flow, it was just a little jarring at first jumping from first person to third, and then back again.

If you're after a young adult novel, with a dark fantasy feel, and characters who are magical and powerful, and a land wrought with conflict, pick up a copy of The Young Elites. The second in what will be a trilogy, The Rose Society, is due for release in October this year.

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Features | Controversial book opinions

Warning: This post contains mild spoilers for A Court Of Thorns And Roses and Allegiant. If you don't want to read these, only read up to number 4.

Most of the time, I do seem to agree with what everyone else appears to be saying in the book blogger world. However, I definitely have some opinions about certain books that not many people seem to agree on and I thought it would be fun to share them with you...*prepares to be attacked by fangirls for daring to say I don't like a certain book*. Anyway let's get started with he one which is probably already obvious from the picture which is,

1) I like Twillight 
Yes this book had problems. And yes, the Edward Jacob love trying did get a little tedious at times. However, as a whole I enjoyed the series. It was exactly what I hoped it would be, which was a vaguely entertaining romance with elements of fantasy and action in there as well. I personally don't think its as badly written as people that it is.

2) I didn't like The Dealthy Hallows
I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter but the last book was such a disappointment to me. I hate to say this but I found it kind of boring. They spent what felt like the entire book doing nothing but camping. Maybe it was because I had such high expectations for it considering the other books, and its the only book I've ever been so excited for that I bought it on the day it came out. However, I far preferred the previous 6 books.

3) Will Grayson Will Grayson is my favourite John Green book
Everyone goes on about TFIOS and paper towns, and whilst I do love both those books I think Will Grayson Will Grayson is better and doesn't get the hype that it deserves. Having two authors with completely different writing styles writing alternating chapters could turn out so wrong, but the contrast works amazingly. While we are on the topic of John Green...

4) I really didn't like Looking For Alaska
I expected to love this book and did enjoy the first half, the second half was, in my opinion, awful. In fact I disliked it so much I didn't even finish the book, and I very rarely do that. After the event in the middle of the book the rest of the story felt pointless, and I didn't bond with the main character at all. I just couldn't get into it. I'm still a huge fan of John Green, but I think that being a fan of someone doesn't mean you can't be critical of what they create and that you have to like everything they produce as some people seem to think.

5) I ship Lucien and Feyre
I just finished A Court Of Thorns And Roses and loved it, but I kind of felt like Tamlin was a bit of a meh character. There wasn't anything wrong with him, he was just a bit boring. By far my favourite character in the book was the hilariously sarcastic Lucien who I think would have been a much better fit for Feyre.

6) I loved the Allegiant ending
Yes it completely ripped my heart out. However, it was a great decision, and it made the trilogy as whole a little bit more powerful. If I had the chance to change it, I wouldn't.

So those are some of my controversial book opinions. I'm sorry if I just dissed your favourite book, but hey everyones allowed to express their own opinion sometimes  (although if you choose to express your unpopular opinion of a fandom on tumblr then I am not responsible for the consequences)
Katie x

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Lie | C.L. Taylor | Review


I've been reading a lot of YA lately and the need for a Gillian Flynn-esque adult thriller was very high. Psychological thrillers, in general, can be hit or miss for me. Either they're predictable and I dislike them, or I become obsessed. The Lie is one of the latter. 

The Lie tells two stories, in alternating chapters - the present day, and the past events of five years ago. The present day follows Jane, a homebody who has a love for animals, her caring partner and his young daughter. But Jane doesn't actually exist, the life she has built for herself is all a lie. Her name isn't even Jane. 

Five years ago, Jane (then known as Emma) and her three best friends set off on what should have been a trip of a lifetime to a yoga and meditation retreat in the mountains of Nepal, but the trip quickly turns into a nightmare of lies, deceit and disturbing secrets. 

There is so much more I want to share about the plot of this story, but the less you know, the better when going into this book. Firstly, the characters were perfectly flawed in a way that made me love and hate them all at the same time. When I say love, however, I mean they're so great to read about. They are all so flawed it feels amazing, and a little bit scary, to get lost in their world. Whilst the book is mainly focused on Jane/Emma, we get to understand a lot of the other friends' thoughts, personalities and motivations - and that was one of the greatest things I liked about this book. Secondly, the friendship dynamics. Whilst there are a lot of themes that run throughout this book, female friendship group dynamics is undeniably one of the most prominent. The book explores not only the surface appearance of a close-knit female friendship group, but it looks beyond it, to the envy, anger, jealousy and other negative feelings that may bubble just below the surface. The messages within this book are so loud, I was thinking about them for days after putting this book down. 

Finally, the storyline itself. The twists and turns were unexpected - something that is quintessential to a good psychological thriller - and I was really enjoying the feeling of being surprised. Saying "I couldn't put it down" is such a cliche when it comes to defining a good book, but it couldn't be more true for The Lie. Whilst this isn't exactly a good thing to admit, I'll admit it anyway, for the sake of an honest review: it takes a lot to disturb me. I watch/read/listen to a lot of crime/thriller type content and when something truly makes me feel uncomfortable, I know it's good. This book made me feel uncomfortable so many times. As well as the disturbing content, there was a general vibe of uneasiness and mistrust throughout the whole book and I could feel it even when nothing particularly disturbing was happening. 

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say this is one of my favourite books of the year. I would highly recommend reading this book if you like good thrillers that will disturb you in all the best ways. 
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Remains | Belle Antoinette | Review

Monday, 27 July 2015

Remains | Belle Antoinette | Review

*Image and ebook provided by French Press Bookworks in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Victoria Wesley is a witch. Her parents and twin brother are also witches, or at least they were until they were killed by vampires and werewolves respectively. Victoria, a teenager, finds herself wandering, looking for answers, never staying in one place for very long. She accidentally builds herself a reputation as The Lone Witch and becomes a bit of a supernatural celebrity.

Review:

This book was sold to me as "a paranormal romance for those who don't like paranormal romances." As someone who has always failed to be interested in that genre, I was intrigued. Not to mention, French Press Bookworks has yet to really let me down.* True to their word, I did like this book. Any story lines that were romance or love based were secondary, if not tertiary, to the overarching story line about a powerful teenage witch looking for who killed her family and why.

The story is very interesting, though at times heavy on "teenage drama". The characters and their roles in the group are thought out and not two-dimensional. The villain of the story definitely appealed to me. He had the charm, intelligence and touch of crazy that I enjoy seeing in bad guys. Stories are always more interesting when the antagonist knows so much more than the heroes.

I will say that the second half of the book had a handful of spelling/grammar errors, but I received an ARC so hopefully those are corrected in the final publication.

Antoinette does a great job of setting Remains up for a sequel. While this isn't my genre, I will say that I am interested in reading the next one. This is an interesting world with many avenues (i.e. military labs that "study" the supernatural) still left to flesh out a bit more. So, if you are looking for a paranormal story with blood and fire, I do recommend this Remains by Belle Antoinette. 


*I'm still waiting for Grim Hearts to be published.
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Group Collaboration | Fandom Pride

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Group Collaboration | Fandom Pride

Summer is just around the corner and hopefully this means you guys have a little more free time to indulge in. For some of us - well, lets be real here, most of us - this means delving right back into our beloved literary fandoms. 

We know you guys love sounding off about books you love here on Blogger's Bookshelf but this month we got our blogger's talking beyond the books and about the communities surrounding them...
*image via Open Book

While I think I'm part of more TV show fandoms, when it comes to book-based fandoms, I'm most certainly a part of the Harry Potter generation and will be part of the wonderful fandom always. I'm also a big fan of the Shawdowhunter world, created in the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, and will never pass up an opportunity to spend hours scrolling though images, memes, gifs and the general awesomeness that is Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit.
Of course these are also movies, and while I love them too, the books always win. I used to really like the Twilight series, and had read the first book or two before they became cool. My friend and I used to talk about it a lot (when it came out we were only 15), but I think the hype and the movies definitely pushed me out of that world, and I found myself no longer caring. Funny how that happens sometimes. 
- Anjali 

I'm still waiting for the day that I get thrown into a community in the depths of Tumblr and obsess over it until something more important comes around, which probably won't ever happen. I find it pretty admirable that some people's levels of dedication to their fandoms range from casual browser to complete die hard obsessive. I've also found myself at levels of astonishment at the effort people put into fan-art, and I see it and wish I had the talent to do what these fandoms do.

I may not be part of one, but if you are part of one, rest assured, you can keep up the good work and be applauded and not judged by me. Until you write creepy fanfiction. That gets creepy… 
- Joshua

I grew up in Potter Madness. I was desperate to receive a Hogwarts letter on my eleventh birthday, and truly believed that it was possible. For the release of the final book I remember queueing up outside W H Smith at midnight while I was on holiday in Cornwall, there were so many people there and the queue went back down to the beach, it was a wonderful excited atmosphere. Even though I haven’t read the books for a number of years I will always be a fan, and although I never thought the films did justice to the books I still loved those too, and went to the Harry Potter studio tour as soon as it opened. 
- Cat

I started my 'fandom' journey like many through the Harry Potter books and I haven't really left - I'm definitely a person on the periphery now but I've loved being a part of the online aspects and going to Harry Potter conventions. After that I pretty much went along most of the 'big' fan eras since then. I'll begrudgingly admit to being a Twi-hard back in the day, but I was also super into the Hunger Games (totally the feels after finishing Mockingjay when it came out and all the JLaw casting drama!) and Divergent communities for a while.

Nowadays I'd probably identify myself first and foremost as Nerdfighter, which in all honesty is a community that stretches far past John Green's books. Over the years a lot of my books I read are less 'series' based so I find myself just being a lukewarm fan of most things. I'm still waiting for the day I get suckered into my next huge fandom phenomenon! 
- Ria

What about you guys? 
Which book fandoms have you stuck with till the very end? 
Are there any you've dropped from your lives? 
Or are you still searching for that one book that will take hold of your life beyond the novel?
Leave your comments below! 

Next month we wanna get an idea of where you read and your reading routines. If you fancy getting featured in the post just email bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com or drop us a tweet @blog_bookshelf!

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Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Gabi aka BooksABlog

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Gabi aka BooksABlog

It's time for another Being A Book Blogger post! Today we're talking to the lovely Gabi who blogs over at BooksABlog. Read on to find out what Gabi's had to say about blogging as part of a team, her top book recommendations and her favourite ship...

BB: Hi Gabi! For anyone who hasn't read BooksABlog yet could you tell us a little bit more about the girl behind the reviews?

Helloooo, I'm Gabi and I am the girl that owns BooksABlog. I'm a fangirl from the Sunshine State (but originally from Brazil) that likes chocolate, Herondales, Perseus Jackson, TV, French fries and LOVES to read. I would describe my reviews more as rants because I have a lot to say when it comes to books

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BB: Just like BB, BooksABlog is a collaborative project. How did this come about, and what do you think are the biggest advantages of blogging as a team?

Well when I first started off with BooksABlog I had no idea that we could even have partners. By one day I decided that I needed someone other than me to be a part of BooksABlog and Eli was the first one to climb aboard this train. Then a couple months later one of my bestest friends (who also LOVES books) asked me if she could also be a part of it and I gladly accepted. It's just so much fun having someone you can talk to about these stuff and I know one day I might even add a few more people to this family :)

BB: Of all the reviews you've written so far which one are you most proud of?

Probably my latest ones likes My Heart and Other Black Holes or The Wrath and Dawn. I just put a lot more effort into those reviews and the whole layout of it. And I liked both of those books so I had a lot say about them.

BB: As well as books your blog also includes some TV posts. Are there any particular books or book series you would love to see come to life on the small screen?

I would love to see any of Jennifer L. Armentrouts books come to life. (Mostly Lux Series) in fact any type of alien book I would love to see in film. *caugh Alienated *caugh Lux *caugh Gravity

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BB: We're always looking for book recommendations to share, which book or series do you think our readers should know about?

Lux series and Alienated are always my go to recommendation, but other books that I would recommend would be the Fallen Trilogy and the Residue Series both by Laury Falter.

BB: Just for fun, if you could host a dinner party for 5 fictional characters who would you invite?

Firstly WILLIAM FREAKING HERONDALE AND THE PERFECTION THAT IS TESSA GREY! If you can't tell I'm a Wessa girl ;) Warner from Shatter Me because I love him. Cassie from 5th Wave because she is kickass. And finally.....Magnus Bane because the party wouldn't be complete without him and his glitter.

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BB: Finally, we're always looking for new book blogs to read, do you have any favourites?

Oohhh I love BookAddictsGuide, ReadWriteLove, QuietConcert, and sooo many more! Plus some Booktubers like PolandBananasBooks, Katytastic, JesseTheReader, Tashapolis, TheBookOwl, and ABookUtopia!

Where to find Gabi online:

- Blog: BooksABlog

- Twitter: @booksablog
- Instagram: @booksablog and @gabimohrer
- Wattpad: @gmohrer (I have ALOT of recommendations for you there)

I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Gabi for taking part in this interview. If you are a booktuber or book blogger and would like to be featured in a similar post we'd love to hear from you - just email us at bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com for information!

Images c/o Gabi
1 comment

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Features | What Makes a Book YA?


I think the most important thing to get out of the way when discussing what makes a book YA is the fact that although a lot of people mistakenly think of YA as a genre it is actually an age group. So the simple answer to what makes a book YA is that teenagers and young adults are its target audience. But, aside from looking at what shelf the book is stacked on in your local bookshop, how can you really tell what the target audience for a book is?

YA books have teenage protagonists, but then so do a lot of books for adults. Some people would probably say that the language of a YA book would be more simplistic than in a lot of adult books. I think those people probably haven't read a lot of YA. They might also suggest that the subject matter isn't often as heavy, which proves that they definitely haven't read a lot of YA.

The problem with pinning down exactly how to tell if a book has been written for teenagers probably stems from the fact that it is a relatively new target audience, because teenagers are a relatively new concept. Your great grandparents didn't have the chance to be teenagers, until the middle of the last century most young people went straight from being children to being adults, without those in between years. They still had the in between years, of course, but they were never given a name, and so there was no need for a shelf in the bookshop specifically for stories about them. Now those in between years are acknowledged, they have a name, and books that deal specifically with the problems that you might encounter in that time between childhood and adulthood.

So is that what makes a book YA? That it deals with the problems that teenagers and young adults often face? I don't know about you but I was certainly never chosen as the face of any kind of rebellion during my teenage years. Although, of course, even the protagonists in dystopian fiction still have families and love interests to deal with. A teenager is a teenager no matter what circumstances they find themselves in.

Honestly, I'm not sure what does make a book YA. I would say that having a teenage characters who experiences typical teenage problems is good enough but I've read books with teenage protagonists that I wouldn't categorise as having been written for teenagers. So I want to know what you think. Do you think it's as simple as the story just being about teenagers, or do you think there's more to it than that?
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 Never Be Younger: A YA Anthology | Various Authors | Review

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Never Be Younger: A YA Anthology | Various Authors | Review

*image via Goodreads

Shakespeare's classic plays are given a modern twist in this new YA Anthology.

There's high school drama and space explorers, dreamy love stories and darker tales of magic and witchcraft. The book brings together all the best bits of the timeless Bard's work, including revised versions of A Midsummer Nights Dream, Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet, providing a unique collection of short stories for the Millennial generation.

What’s my verdict?

The easiest way to review this one will probably be to take each story individually - they're all very different and penned by an array of authors.

Star Cross Lovers: The first story eases you into the anthology with a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet. The two star crossed lovers are literally living in among the stars in this Utopian space adventure, which I could totally picture turning into a fully fledged series.

The Scarf: A revenge based story based on Othello (without the death and stuff - this is a theme with these adaptations). I really enjoyed the high school politics of this one, as it focused more on the relationship dynamics and characters than a super complicated plot.

A Day of Errors: Total teen comedy fodder very much in the same vein as a lot of Shakespeare's modern adaptations have been done (think She's The Man/10 Things I Hate About You). This short story - inspired by A Comedy of Errors - is the type that'll give you so much second hand embarrassment for everyone involved. It's super fun and probably the quickest story to read in the Anthology.

Any Way the Wind Blows: I would say this one was probably the most confusing and the least similar that I know of to it's original text. Inspired by the dark tragedy of Macbeth, the macabre tone of the original play is still there in the themes of this one.

To Undreamed Shores: The most dreamy out of all of them. Romantic and fairytale-esque, this story was a nice change of pace from many of the others. From what I know of The Winter's Tale, this adaptation is probably the most similar to the original.

A Witches Life: My brain immediately flew to American Horror Story: Coven reading this one (and you'll have no problem picturing Talia and Evan in the lead roles). I liked the paranormal element of warring witches and warlocks (based on ??), but felt the short story format didn't suit the plot line of this one and I finished it feeling a bit rushed.

Mark the Music: Merchant of Venice is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays so this was a really interesting one for me to read. I did enjoy the complete modernisation of Belmont into a EDM club, and it totally reminded just how gross and the original text was. In terms of style, this one felt a bit 'fan-fic-y' for my liking.

A Gargoyle's Prom Nightmare: Based of A Midsummer Night's Dream, this is pretty close to the original but I didn't enjoy it as much. The magical elements and tom foolery of love spells and cases of mistaken identity were all still present, but it kind of mad it more confusing.

Overall, Never Be Younger was really fun to read and perfect if you have a short attention span for long YA novels/series. The great thing about this anthology is that you don't necessarily need to know the original text. Each story stands alone as a unique piece, but if you have read any of the plays it's cool to try and find the similarities. The short story format at times can feel a bit stop/start and some resolutions come about far quicker than I'd like them to - but this is totally expected considering the need for short page counts. 

My own personal favourites - if you could tell from the mini reviews - were the stories based of Romeo & Juliet, Othello and The Winter's Tale. These ones in particular were great standalone stories, as well as cool tributes to the Bard's work.

For lovers of...Baz Lurhman's Romeo & Juliet; She's The Man; and 10 Things I Hate About You.

Disclaimer: Review copy c/o Netgalley
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Features | Keeping Track Of Your Reads When Offline

Monday, 20 July 2015

Features | Keeping Track Of Your Reads When Offline

Whether book bloggers or just avid readers we all know Goodreads is a great tool for keeping track of our reads online, and I'm sure many of you are taking part in their reading challenge this year. But what about when the computer is switched off? 

This year I made the decision not to participate in the Goodreads challenge. Whilst I am still updating the site when I finish a book I'm also keeping a note of all the books I read throughout 2015 with the intention to count them up when the end of the year rolls around. Of course being a blogger I also need to store notes for reviews here at Blogger's Bookshelf and keep a track of my Netgalley shelf - two other things I would also usually do on my laptop... Of course a laptop isn't always to hand when that perfect word for a review or a brilliant idea for a new blog post strikes.

With many people also making the effort to switch off and take a little downtime away from technology, especially over the summer months, this got me thinking that perhaps some of our readers may also be keen to find new ways of recording their reading habits and making review notes whilst offline. So today I thought I would share a quick look at how I've been keeping track of my reading this year!

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1. The Jar Of Stars

As I'm not using the Goodreads challenge to tally up my reads this year I wanted to find an alternative way to keep track of all of the books. Although I considered just keeping a list within my planner once I saw this star jar idea from Priscilla (you may recognise her as The Readables on YouTube) I knew it would be the perfect way for me to keep track of all my 2015 reads.

Not only is it a pretty way to do the job but it also allows me to record my re-reads, something which I wouldn't ordinarily do on Goodreads. This was important to me as my only personal reading goal for 2015 was to re-read five books, as I can usually never find the time for them. I decided to colour-code my stars by rating and also designated a colour for the re-reads. So far this method has worked really well for me and I can't wait to count them all up at the end of the year!

2. Book Mark Pad & Book Journal

For keeping track of books I'm planning to review, or may potentially review, I have a word document where I make notes and begin to form the final sentences. Whilst this does work well for me and provides a great starting point when I sit down to type up the posts, it isn't always practical to reach for my laptop. As I like to read in the evenings when I don't have the word document to hand I always end up making these review notes the next day, however sometimes the perfect word just pops into my head whilst reading and I know I won't remember it by morning. For this reason I find it handy to have somewhere to make real pen-to-paper notes which can then be transferred to the computer at a later date.

For ebooks I like to use my Paperchase book journal which has pages specifically designed for reviews, including space for the title, author and notes. For physical books I've found that my bookmark pad (kindly gifted to me by Ria) definitely comes in handy! It's sort of like a mini version of a book journal with sections for the title, author, date started, page number/notes and date finished. It's perfect for noting down page numbers you want to remember or any quick shorter notes, plus it obviously also functions as a bookmark which is always useful!

3. Planner Pages

Although I'm not using my planner (which if you're wondering is an A5 ARC) to list all of the books I've been reading I do use it to keep track of review books, and have a page dedicated to Netgalley. Here I list each book I have received for review, along with the release date and tick boxes in columns labelled 'read' and 'reviewed'. This is a simple way for me to have an overview of my review titles whilst away from the website and helps me to make sure I'm working to share my thoughts around the same time as the book is published. I haven't personally used this method for any other books but I also think it would work well for tackling a more general TBR list.

How do you keep track of all the books you've read? Do you rely on technology or keep your own written lists?
Don't forget to let us know in the comments section below!
4 comments
Features | Thoughtful Quotes

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Features | Thoughtful Quotes

So because I'm extremely disorganised, I only just remembered I had to post today. I also have nothing to write about. I have been staring at a blank page for around half an hour, starting posts, writing about 3 sentences then giving up. I guess I have writers block. Therefore, I decided to do a post that involved no thought from me, and share some of the quotes I have highlighted on my kindle. There will be a more interesting post from me in two weeks time, I just can't think of it today. All of these quotes made me think about something in some way, though, so hopefully you will enjoy them.


"You don't drift, not if someone matters to you" - Abigail Haas, Dangerous Girls  

"It's hard to believe in coincincidence but it's even harder to believe in anything else" - John Green, Will Grayson Will Grayson

"A lot of people want to become someone, but we are scared if we try, we won't be as good as everyone imagines we could be" - Ava Dellaria, Love letters to the dead

"Double locking the front door seemed pretty insignificant compared to dying" - Non Pratt, Trouble

"Hello, my name is your potential. But you can call me impossible. I am the missed opportunities. I am the expectations you will never fulfil. I am always taunting you, regardless of how hard you try, regardless of how much you hope"  -  Nathan Filer, The shock of the fall

"If you don’t eat, you’re going to die. And more importantly, men don’t find skinny women attractive." - Louise O' Neill, Only ever yours 

"Part of growing up is making sure your sense of reality isn’t entirely grounded in your own mind" - David Levithan, Every day

"I have never fallen in love with a gender. I have fallen for individuals." - David Levithan, Every Day

"People love the idea of a paper girl" - John Green, Paper Towns

Katie x 
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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Memory Hit | Carla Spradbery | Review



Please bear in mind that this review contains very mild spoilers - but nothing major. 

The Memory Hit focuses on the lives of a few teenagers and the ways in which they get caught up with a drug called Nostalgex: a pill that allows users to access memories from their past as well as remember recent things like chapters from a textbook. The book is from the perspective of Jess and Cooper, in alternating chapters, although at times it could be hard to tell who was who, as they sounded so similar and even with the headings, it took me a moment to get into each character's side. 

When I saw a quote from James Dawson on the cover, I knew I needed to read this book. With thriller themes and fast-paced action, it's certainly a book you can speed through at an enjoyable pace. However, I had a few issues with this book that I just couldn't ignore. Firstly, Jess has a complete disregard towards people dying - it's just kind of brushed off and whilst it would have been more realistic to show her emotions as more than just a quick shock, I understand that the author was trying to get as much action in as she could. Secondly, I feel as though there were so many things happening that it didn't feel realistic. The action and pacing was good, but the events in the book didn't seem to make much sense in the real world. For this reason, I had to separate myself from reading a contemporary thriller and pretend I was almost in a fantasy book, in order for it to feel more real. I didn't really connect with any of the characters and I can't say I particularly liked any of them either. 

One aspect of the book that I approved of was the portrayal of an abusive relationship. From the beginning of the book, we learn that Jess' boyfriend is an abusive one and whilst some YA books glorify this kind of behaviour, this one didn't. We clearly saw Jess' thoughts before and after she realised this wasn't okay and it was clear she wasn't putting up with it anymore. 

Overall, the book was okay. I would recommend it if you like fast-paced action thrillers but if you want something hard hitting or realistic, this probably isn't for you. For the most part, I felt as though the book was trying so hard to be a twisty thriller, it forgot to make sense.
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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Book Confessions #4 | Unread Books

Today we're back with another Book Confessions post and this time we're talking unread books. We shared the anonymous confession "I love buying books. I have sixty books in my room which still haven't been read yet!" with our contributors and asked for their thoughts on the subject...


"Do I have unread books? Excuse me a minute while I roll on the floor in laughter. *takes a minute* At the last Dewey Readathon, I thought a good challenge would be to make a dent in the books I haven’t read yet. I quickly had to change this challenge because there were just too many books. And this isn’t even counting all of the free ebooks that I’ve never even looked at after buying! Free ebooks are just so tantalizing! Book sales are almost impossible to ignore! The only time I hesitate to buy books that I’m not sure I’ll read right away is when they are full price. It’s just gotten so much easier to amass large quantities of books. I’m actually interested to see at what point the availability-to-read-time ratio levels out or bottoms out."

"I have a ton of unread books on my TBR list, which keeps getting a little bigger every time I watch a Booktube video, or I read a blog post/review. I keep meaning to get the books but I keep forgoing that in favour of buying all new books each time I'm in the bookstore. Oops!"

"I don't even want to think about the amount of books I have on my shelf that have been sat there unread. The thing about buying books is that I rarely feel guilty about buying them. It's not like new clothes or make-up or even a cheat meal. 'Books are good for me. They further my knowledge of of the world!' I tell myself as the cashier at Waterstones rings up another three...that will inevitably find themselves sat on my TBR shelf months on end..."

"I don't generally buy books unless I know I will read them, although I do have a number of 'double' copies of books that I've read, because I've found newer editions with fun covers, such as when the Jane Austen novels were revamped."

"I don't actually have a tbr pile because I buy books when I want to read them. However, I am guilty of taking way too many books at a time out of the library!"

"I have a TBR stack that I don't have any hope of getting through. I can't stop buying books (this week I picked up 11!) and they go on the top of the pile. The ones I have had a while just don't look as appealing anymore, languishing at the bottom of the stack..."

"I'm a sucker for bargain bins and charity store finds. You can pick up so many books for so little money! But it does mean that, yes, probably over half the books in my room are unread. I've just count, and I currently have 305 books on my shelves, and 142 are unread. That's pretty bad. However! I am reading the books I own, and haven't been to the library in months, so I can actually get through these ones."

If you have a book confession of your own let us know via email & we may feature it in a future post! - bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com

Thank you to all of our anonymous contributors!
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Voyage of the Basilisk | Marie Brennan | Review

Monday, 13 July 2015

Voyage of the Basilisk | Marie Brennan | Review

*Image courtesy of Ann Arbor Digital Library

Summary:
In the third installment of the Lady Trent Memoirs, we follow Isabella on her sea voyage around the island nations of her world. Naturally nothing goes as planned and Isabella finds herself getting into trouble with the locals and two of the most powerful governments. All she wanted to do was study dragons!

Review:
I have to say, the Memoirs by Lady Trent get better with each new book written. I thought the first one, A Natural History of Dragons was only okay, but now, with this third book, I'm hooked on the series. Isabella is definitely aging like fine wine and I greatly appreciate the insights maturity and age have been bringing her. 

Brennan certainly has a talent for writing interesting characters. The book may center around Isabella, but there is a full cast in this book that add even more flavor to the book. From a potentially mentally unstable ship captain to a transgender woman with a dragon's spirit, the characters give this book so much life. 

So if you're looking for a book to take you to another world and think about the science of dragon anatomy, taxonomy and preservation while also putting you into the middle of a war, I highly recommend this book. Brennan is getting better with each one. 

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News Round Up!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

News Round Up!

Since last month, a lot has happened in the world of books. I'm back at it for this month, bringing back all the stuff that's happened in the last month, and what's happening in the near future too!

But seriously, where do we start?

Perhaps it's pretty important to start with the CILIP Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Award. If you're unfamiliar with the Carnegie Medal or Andrew Carnegie at all, here's a brief introduction: Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was a Scottish philanthropist. He once said, "if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries." By his death, he'd paid for 2800 free libraries in the English speaking world and by his death, over half of library authorities in the UK had Carnegie libraries. Kate Greenaway is definitely someone to be reckoned with too: she studied at the Royal College Of Art, and her first book was published in 1879 and it was a bestseller. Known for her set ways of illustrating children with late eighteenth-century and Regency fashions, she died at the age of 55 of breast cancer and is buried in Hampstead Cemetery, London.

In memory of them both, CILIP (Chartered Institute for Librarians and Information Professionals) run an annual Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway, now the UK's oldest awards. This year's winners, as voted for by UK librarians, were Tanya Landman's Buffalo Soldier, which is based on the story of slave Cathy Williams, the only known African-American to enlist in the US army posing as a man and who served for three years before she was found out. The Kate Greenaway Award goes to William Grill for Shackleton's Journey, making William the youngest ever winner of the Award. 

If you'd like to read more, check out this press release from CILIP.

Staying on the theme of awards, on Friday the United Kingdom Literary Awards were announced and the winners were:

  • For the 12-16 category: Every Day by David Levithan
  • For the 7-11 category: Oliver And The Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
  • For the 3-6 category: The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.
The UKLA spoke about each book, describing Every Day as a “highly original book which is handled with real integrity”, billing The Day The Crayons Quit as a a very funny book that encourages children to be adventurous and creative,”, and on Oliver And The Seawigs, saying, "it has been written and illustrated with such wit and so many highly original ideas that it reaches out to everyone.” The awards were announced at a ceremony in Nottingham, and for more information, check it out over at The Bookseller!

The Guardian run their Children's Fiction Prize every year, and they've just announced their longlist (hot off the press this!) for the Prize, which last year went to Piers Torday. Eight books have found themselves on the longlist, and they are:

  • Five Children on The Western Front by Kate Saunders
  • My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
  • An Island Of Our Own by Sally Nicholls
  • The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
  • El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • A Song For Ella Grey by David Almond
  • All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Apple And Rain by Sarah Crossan
Plus, any young person can enter their Young Critics Competition too, and it's never too early to enter either! Entries have opened, and you can find out all the information here!

Like many other book lovers, I think everyone's been on the edge of their seats anticipating Tuesday 14th July, but in case you have been living under a book world record, this Tuesday sees the highly anticipated launch for Harper Lee's sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, as Go Set A Watchman is released. Everyone has gone Harper Lee mad in the days leading up to the event, as many prepare to storm bookshops for her latest novel. There's still time to pre-order it, so make sure you guarantee yourself a copy! I myself have gone and bought To Kill A Mockingbird, having not being familiar with Harper Lee, and I intend to read it before Tuesday too!

But let's not forget a UK annual tradition in our libraries: the Summer Reading Challenge is back! The theme this year is Record Breakers, and just like last year, the goal is the same: read 6 books over the course of the summer holidays from your local library! Run by The Reading Agency, it launched yesterday and runs through until the 5th September 2015, so get any children you know registered, and show a tiny bit of appreciation for the volunteers (like me!) who are helping their local libraries make it happen. If you are one, good luck to you over the summer too!

It's come to near the end of this round up, but what incredible books have been released over the last few weeks? Here are some of my picks!

  • Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
  • Lorali by Laura Dockrill
  • The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward
  • Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
  • The Baby by Lisa Drakeford
  • Way Down Dark by James Smythe
All curiously enough released on the 2nd July! 

That's it for this month! Let us know what stuff you want included in next month's round up by emailing bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com and I'll see you next time!

Adios booklovers! 

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Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Rebekka aka Forever Rebekka

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Rebekka aka Forever Rebekka

It's interview time again! Today I'm chatting to the lovely Rebekka who blogs books and more over at Forever Rebekka. Here's what she had to say about her favourite reads of the year so far, visiting Pemberley and a Divergent/Hunger Games crossover...

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BB: Hi Rebekka! For any of our readers who haven't yet discovered Forever Rebekka could you tell us a little bit more about the girl behind the blog?

I’ve always had this passion for writing. From such a young age I wrote poetry, I wrote stories, and I was always writing – or reading. At the time of starting my blog, I wasn’t going through the best time, and through my blog I was able to reinvent the person behind it, and as a result reinvent myself. Although my blog may not have a huge following, it’s given me so much confidence and so much certainty that writing is what I want to do. 

BB: Where does your love of reading come from, and what made you decide to start blogging about books?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read excessive amounts of books if I’m honest. My Nanna and Grandad used to take me shopping at the weekends and would always buy me a book. I used to read lots of Jacqueline Wilson, The Faraway Tree Stories, and there was this book about ballet which I loved but have no idea what it was called! I started blogging about books only recently because I found myself loving reading other book blogs, I have such a passion for reading and writing that I needed to talk about the book I’d just read, and my blog seemed like the best place to do that. Plus, how can I possibly keep those pretty spines to myself?

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BB: We're always looking for recommendations! What has been your favourite read of the year so far?

I’m proud to admit that I’ve read 19 books this year. It may not be a lot to some but in the entirety of 2014 I only read 22 books so it’s quite the achievement for me. I think my favourite book of the year has got to be The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, it’s such a brilliant story that deserves much more hype than it receives. I’ve also loved Just One Day by Gayle Forman, Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and Paper Towns by John Green. 

BB: You recently shared some beautiful photos from a visit to the place used as Pemberley in the latest adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Do you have any other favourite adaptations you think our readers would enjoy?

I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice so I’m intrigued by the settings and history of these 18th century authors. There are so many books that are being made into amazing movies nowadays that I’ve found it difficult to decipher which are better. I know, how shocking! I love PS I love you, although it is very different from the book. I’ve also loved Love Rosie, Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars, and of course The Time Traveller’s Wife.

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BB: Just for fun, which two fictional characters from different books or series would you like to see appear together in a new story?

Hmmm, good question. I think Four and Katniss would make a good book, especially since I find Tris and Peeta incredibly annoying. Alternatively I’d love to put a modern day character inside a book of the past. I think we depend on technology and materialistic things too much these days, so I’d love to be able to time travel back to then and forget about all the social media, and experience the simplicity of their lives. And why not live that through the characters of a book, I’m not sure which modern day character I’d place but I’d definitely mingle them with Mr Darcy, because why not. 

BB: Finally, we're always looking for new blogs to read, which book blogs are your favourites?

Being more of a lifestyle and book blogger, I read so many lifestyle blogs as a result. Although some of these mentioned aren’t exactly book blogs, their posts are equally as good and I find myself constantly looking back for new posts. So instead of featuring my favourite book blogs, I’ll feature my favourite blogs of all time, and I suggest you take a look.

-       http://www.thequietpeople.com
-       http://www.thebookjournal.com
-       http://hannahdelacour.blogspot.co.uk

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Where to find Rebekka online: Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin'

I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Rebekka for taking part in this interview. If you are a booktuber or book blogger and would like to be featured in a similar post we'd love to hear from you - just email us at bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com for information!

Images c/o Rebekka
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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Features | Where Are All The Parents?


Have you ever noticed that there is a bit of a problem with parents in YA fiction? There just aren't many of them around.

It's easy to see the narrative benefits of absent parents. It's a lot easier for a teenage girl to save the world if she doesn't have a worried parent hovering over her while she fights the bad guys and it's easier for a teenage boy to come of age and experience his first heartbreaking love if he's free from parental rules at boarding school.

But, in my opinion, for all of the benefits of the absent parent, there as many for the present one. Some of my favourite YA novels include parents, really include them, and they add as much drama and plot to their stories as the absence of parents does in others. 

In Stephanie Perkins's Lola and the Boy Next Door Lola has to deal first with the fact that her dads don't like her boyfriend, and later with her strained relationship with her mother. All three of Lola's parents add drama to the story and, far from hindering her growth as a character, they are instrumental to it. Rainbow Rowell uses parents as a huge driving force in both Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. Eleanor and Park both have very different issues at home, but they both have family situations that they must overcome or learn to deal with. In Fangirl, although Cath is at college, she spends a great deal of time worrying about her father, and he plays a far more instrumental role in her and her sister's stories than their absent mother does.

Of course, as with everything else, the benefit of having parents around changes with every story. Harry Potter's story would not have been possible if Lily and James had still been alive, and 13 Little Blue Envelopes wouldn't have worked if Ginny's parents had tagged along with her. But I personally would love to see more YA authors utilise parents in their protagonist's stories. If nothing else, parents are always ripe for an embarrassing scene or two.

What do you think? Would you like to see more parents in YA novels? Or do you think it's generally better for the story if a character has distant or absent parents? I'd really love to hear your recommendations for books that feature great parents, if you have any!
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Everything, Everything | Nicola Yoon | Review

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Everything, Everything | Nicola Yoon | Review

*image via Goodreads

Maddy has spent her entire life in a literal bubble. Allergic to the outside world, she's housebound due to Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and subject to the most clinical of conditions, with only her mother and Nurse, Rosa, for company. She doesn't know anything else outside of this life and she doesn't really mind - that's what books, TV and Skype are for right? Plus it's the only one she's lived for the past seventeen years, surely she's not missing out on much?

One day, a moving van rumbles into her street, depositing a new family across the road and a boy named Olly into Maddy's life. What happens over the course of the next few weeks will challenge and change everything she's ever known about herself, the world and love itself.

What’s my verdict?
How do you revamp the girl falling for the boy next door YA trope? Everything, Everything manages to do that and more. The whole premise of the book is super interesting and it's fascinating seeing the world through Maddy's eyes - she's a bit like Rapunzel, but is completely content in her 'tower' until Olly comes along. Personally I though the plot itself was very cliche - and very Insta-love-y, which may put some readers off - but juxtaposed next to the characters the story feels fresh.

The romantic tension between Maddy and Olly within the first few chapters of the book is so damn palpable. There's almost an innocence about their relationship at first, because of Maddy's condition, that you don't often see in YA - don't worry though you do get the full flush of young hormonal love too, and honestly it's pretty electric when it happens.

In terms of other characters, I adore Rosa - she feels more like a mother than Maddy's own mum and she's utterly endearing. Others are less memorable, but the dynamic between Maddy and her actual mother is definitely worth a mention and I love reading the change in the power play between the two as the book goes on. I also just need to give a shout out for diverse representation - Maddy is half Japanese, and half African-american - but the plot is nowhere near centered around her race. In fact the only mention is when Maddy is describing herself and all the times Olly tells her she's beautiful - Awwww!

Overall, call me a romantic but Everything, Everything made my heartache in the best way possible. But as much as I got the warm and fuzzies reading about this unique against-all-odds young love story, there slightly more serious tones were also really great to see as they added a bit of depth to the story.

Reading soundtrack
Other Side Of The World: KT Tunstall; Just Keep Breathing: We The Kings; Ordinary Day: Vanessa Carlton; First Day Of My Life: Bright Eyes; Gravity Happens: Kate Voegele; Time Bomb: All Time Low

For lovers of...The Fault In Our Stars, All The Bright Places, and A Walk To Remember.

Disclaimer: Review copy c/o Netgalley
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Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls | Lynn Weingarten | Review

Monday, 6 July 2015

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls | Lynn Weingarten | Review

*Review copy & description c/o Netgalley, image via Goodreadssuicide notes from beautiful girls

"When June met Delia, she was a lifeline. Their intense friendship gave her a sense of belonging, of security, that she’d never had before. She felt braver, smarter, funnier, more attractive when Delia was around. But then something went wrong, and Delia and June haven’t spoken for a year when an announcement is made at their school that Delia is dead.

June barely has time to mourn before Delia’s ex-boyfriend convinces her that Delia didn’t kill herself but was in fact murdered, and June is fast swept into a tangle of lies and deceit – and a conspiracy she can barely conceive of, never mind believe."

Similarly to my last YA review this is a particularly tricky one to write without giving away too much. As with any book that has some sort of mystery element I don't want to say too much as it's best you go into the book knowing as little as possible!

One element I really enjoyed, and am able to talk about without including spoilers, was the format which included chapters from the present time as well as flashbacks that gave a clearer picture of June & Delia’s intense friendship. In general I think mystery books work best with this type of structure as the reader isn’t given all of the facts and has to guess along the way as more snippets are revealed and the bigger picture begins to form. Whilst I wasn't crazy about the characters themselves I was definitely intrigued enough by the plot and format to continue reading and discover more about their complex situations.

For me this particular novel felt a little like two books in one, as after the first big reveal about what happened to Delia (right on the halfway point) the tone and style seemed to change. On the one hand this could be seen as a positive, a good way to keep readers on their toes. However if you particularly enjoyed the first section then you may feel a little disappointed by the different direction the story takes in the second half.

In all honesty I found this book pretty difficult to rate as there were both parts I really enjoyed and other aspects that just weren’t for me. Having said that I would like to read more from this author in future and recommend picking this one up if you enjoyed darker YA books such as Dangerous Girls (Abigail Haas) and Dead Girls Don’t Lie (Jennifer Shaw Wolf).
2 comments

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Bookish Links #6


Welcome to another Bookish Links, the monthly post where we share some of our recent favourite reads from around the web!

1/ The Best Bookish Apps! - we're always on the look out for apps that will help us get our book fix on the go and Rita's list is full of great suggestions - time to get downloading!

2/ An Interview With Neal Shusterman - in this Goodreads interview Shusterman talks about his popular YA series (the Unwind Dystology) as well as latest release Challenger Deep. An interesting read for both fans of his work - it has exciting news about a new collection of Unwind stories! - and those who are thinking about picking up one of his books.

3/ Beautiful Book Covers - this article showcases the stunning work of Aniko Kolesnikova who creates intricate designs on journal covers (submitted by BB reviewer Anjali).

4/ What's The Point Of Book Blogging? - over at The Review Diaries Rosy shared an interesting post in response to an author's tweets referring to book blogging as 'pointless'. The post explores the importance of bloggers in the publicity process and how many of us have read the books we love because of blogs.

5/ Divergent Fan? You'll Love These Reads - if you enjoyed the Divergent series and are seeking out similar reads, look no further than Brittany's post. There are eight fab suggestions to add to your TBR lists this summer!

6/ Providing Hope - blogger Michelle posed an interesting question to several well-known authors; "Do YA writers have a responsibility to provide hope at the end of their stories? Particularly when it concerns potentially vulnerable readers such as LGBT teenagers or those with mental illness?" - this post shares their responses.

7/ Ideas For Unwanted Books - whether it be a small pile or a whole shelf we all have those books we know we'll never read again or just don't have the space for anymore, but what should we do with them? Joy's post has some good ideas to help declutter your shelves.

8/ Too Busy To Read? - we all know that with everything else going on in our lives it can be tricky to find the time to read all of the books we want to. If you're struggling with this be sure to check out Angela's top tips for making the time to read.

9/ Diversity In YA! - we also wanted to give a shout out to one of our favourite authors James Dawson who recently shared this great, and much needed, list of YA books featuring diverse characters.

10/ Love Thrillers & Crime Novels? - on 11-13 of July there will be an online festival called BritCrime taking place on sites such as Facebook & Twitter. You can find out more, including the list of participating authors, over on the official website!

Don't forget to leave us links to any bookish articles you've written or enjoyed reading recently!  
2 comments

Friday, 3 July 2015

Salt & Stone | Victoria Scott | Review

Image from GoodReads

The second in the Fire & Flood series, as soon as I saw Salt and Stone was out I grabbed a copy. I loved the first one, so was really looking forward to the second one. And it did not disappoint. Head on over here to read my review on Fire & Flood. Don't worry, I don't think there are any spoilers in here. You're all good.

Tella is still in the running to becoming America's Next Model the Brimstone Bleed, racing through treacherous terrains to win the Cure for her brother, Cody. After battling her way through Jungle and Desert, Tella and the friends and allies she's made along the way, along with their Pandoras - creatures given to them to help and protect them -  begin the third and fourth terrains: ocean and mountain. With each part of the Brimstone Bleed becoming harder, with contenders dying on her every side, with corrupt members in leadership, and secrets being kept, Tella struggles to decide who to trust, how to use the resources they've been given, and how to win the cure for Cody.

Once again, I really liked this book. I love the race that Scott has created and the characters she's included in the story. Like I said in my review of the first book, I really like Tella as a main character. More often than not the main character in a story erks me, but Tella is funny and sarcastic, and she is a wonderful voice for the story. If you're into your dystopian YA novels (think a kind of Hunger Games meets Maze Runner sort of story), pick up a copy of Fire & Flood and let me know what you think. I'm really looking forward to the next one (which I think will be the last one?), although considering that Salt & Stone only came out this year, I will be waiting a while.

What about you? Have you read this series? 
2 comments
Features | Getting out of a reading slump

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Features | Getting out of a reading slump

We all know the feeling. Your to read pile is as high as the ceiling but you can't actually motivate yourself to read any of them. Reading slumps suck, and they can be so difficult to get out of. Here are my tips to motivating yourself to read again.

Don't finish bad books
Often I get into reading slumps in the middle of books. I can't motivate myself to finish the book that I'm reading, but I don't want to start another book. Recently though, I've realised that persevering with bad books is just a waste of time. Reading should be fun, and so if you are not enjoying a book, leave it and move on. If you're that desperate to know what happens just Google the plot (not going to lie, I have done that on several occasions)

Go back to what you know you love
If you fall into a reading slump because you've tried a new genre or author that you don't really like, go back to what you usually read. Reading a book you will probably enjoy, even if its a re read, can help to get you back into reading as it helps to remind you why you love it in the first place.

Allocate time to read
I know that I often say I will start reading again and then I put it off and never end up doing it. Instead, give yourself a specific time or place that you will read and make a conscious effort to pick up a book, Chances are, once you start you wont be able to stop.

Remove distractions
Kind of an obvious one, but you will never be able to get into any book if you're on your phone at the same time.

Read book blogs
Reading about books and seeing people rave about them always inspires me to start reading. Just be careful you don't end up going on a book buying spree afterwards (although in my experience that is kind of inevitable!)

Finally, remember you don't have to feel guilty about not reading. It should be something you do for fun, not because you feel you have to!

Katie x
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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

We'll Always Have Summer | Jenny Han | Review



We'll Always Have Summer is the third book in the Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy but despite that, this review won't contain spoilers from the previous books. The series follows Isabelle, also known as Belly by her brother and two boys she spends her Summer with at their mother's Summerhouse. She has known the boys, Conrad and Jeremiah for as long as she remembers, but has always had feelings for both, Conrad in particular. The series follows Belly as she grows up, becomes a young woman and has to choose between the two boys. 

The third book was possibly my favourite of the three, with the first being my least favourite. By the third book, the characters had grown up and developed a romantic history, one that I'm not sure I liked. There's a lot of debate in the contemporary world about whether or not Belly ended up with the right guy and I don't feel like she did. The book was a great way to end the series and I felt like nothing was left unanswered, however unhappy I was with the conclusion. I would highly recommend reading the Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy if you're a fan of contemporary. 
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