where our team of writers love to talk all things books, sharing reviews, features, lists, interviews and more.

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


Saturday 31 October 2015

Edward Scissorhands Volume 2: Whole Again | Kate Leth & Drew Rausch | Review


*Review copy c/o Netgalley, image via

The second volume of this Edward Scissorhands reboot takes place after our favourite outsider has won over the town’s residents as we tag along on another of Meg and Edward’s adventures.

Alongside a couple of new characters the pair find themselves headed out to meet Dr Wells, queen of the makeover. You see, Edward has just had a TV installed in his castle for the first time and stumbles across the Dr’s popular reality series, and becomes fixated on being ‘normal’. Soon the group find themselves at the centre of Dr Wells next big episode, with Edward becoming somewhat of a celebrity. Meg however isn't the Dr's biggest fan and has her suspicions that things may not be quite what they seem.

In this volume we also get to see Kim through some flashback sequences. These show snippets of her life across the last twenty years, between the events of the 1990 film and the previous graphic novel, including interactions between her and her young family as well as Edward. I really loved this addition to the graphic novel's fresh story as it perfectly ties the new adventures of Edward back to the original film.

I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy the story of Whole Again quite as much as Parts Unknown but it was still a good quick read with awesome illustrations. Once again, I hope to see more adventures starring Edward, Meg and co. in the future!

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Friday 30 October 2015

Edward Scissorhands Volume 1: Parts Unknown | Kate Leth & Drew Rausch | Review

 Review copy c/o Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion, images via goodreads &

Edward Scissorhands and I go way back. I’ve been a big fan of the 1990 Tim Burton film for a long time and even used it as inspiration for a project whilst at university back in 2008. Unfortunately that particular idea didn’t end up working out and whilst I still love the story I haven’t watched the film since. I always thought that one day I would revisit the characters and the story however I never imagined it would be through a graphic novel. A few months ago I noticed the cover for this book pop up on Netgalley and couldn't resist taking the opportunity to snap it up, and I'm happy to say that I'm glad I did!

As this is an adaptation of a film with such a distinctive style I want to kick off by talking about the visuals. I have to say I honestly really loved the style of the illustrations in this book, particularly those of Edward and the interior of his castle, which I preferred over the more brightly coloured scenes set outside of his lonely world. With reference to the original film the illustrations had a bit of a Burton-esque feel to them and I really felt that Drew Rausch’s style was perfectly suited to this quirky project. With this in mind I would really love to re-read the story, perhaps next time as a physical book, to catch all of the little details I must have missed first time around.

As for the story itself it’s important to first note that Parts Unknown is not a re-telling of the film’s plot but is actually a sequel. Set years into the future we are introduced to teenager Meg who is the granddaughter of Kim (Wynona Ryder’s character in the film). The plot follows Meg as she looks for Edward and tries to prove that her late grandmother’s tales of the mysterious but lovable character are more than just make-believe. Another new character is introduced in the form of Eli, one of the inventor’s failed projects who becomes the villain of this piece, an interesting twist on the events of the original story.

Personally I loved that this graphic novel offered a different spin on the world of Edward and brought new life to the character so many fans love. It also gave an interesting insight into what could have happened after the events of the film or what we may have seen if there had been a cinematic sequel. I did however feel like the story could have been padded out a little more, although I understand that this isn’t always easy with the format of a graphic novel.

Overall I think Edward Scissorhands Volume 1: Parts Unknown is a great little graphic novel and love that the story of Edward is being shared with a new generation. As it looks like this is just part one of a planned series I’m really looking forward to finding out where the story will go in the next instalment and what future adventures Edward and Meg may go on together!

This review was originally published over on my blog e-elise etc in May. Don't forget to check back here tomorrow to read my review of Edward Scissorhands Volume 2: Whole Again!
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Thursday 29 October 2015

Features | 5 Spooky Reads For Halloween

Today I'm talking Halloween appropriate reads. I'm not really into super scary horror books, but I like a little spooky as much as the next person, so I'm here to share a few spooky recommendations with you to get you in that Halloween spirit!

1. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is definitely not the most original Halloween recommendation in the world but the story of Dr Henry Jekyll and the sinister Mr Edward Hyde has been chilling the bones of readers for well over one hundred years now and for good reason too! You may think you know the story already, but I highly recommend reading the novel if you never have. No one tells it better than Stevenson himself.

2. Shiver the Whole Night Through by Darragh McManus

Shiver the Whole Night Through starts with a young Irish boy choosing not to end his own life. He wakes the next morning to find that a girl he sort of knows didn't make that same decision that night. Then he finds an icy message on his bedroom window, which makes him wonder if that's really the whole story. I actually read this one a few days ago and it took me all of two days to read because as soon as I started it I was hooked and just wanted to see what happened next in the spooky Shook Woods.

3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein is another novel, like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde that you might think you already know all about but which will definitely surprise you if you've never read it before. I read it for the first time this month and, although I am a self confessed classics-phobe, I loved every minute of it. Frankenstein's story of his hideous creation and the consequences of his tampering with nature is every bit as chilling as you would expect and it's an excellent and intriguing read from start to finish.

4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

For those of you who really aren't into spooky stories but still want to get into the magical spirit, I highly recommend Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys series. There are three books so far, following Blue and her raven boys as they search for the ancient Welsh king Glendower. Blue's whole family are psychics and the search for Glendower is shrouded with mystery and magic, as are a few of the boys themselves, so there's no shortage of Halloween spirit here.

5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Ransom Riggs's Miss Peregrine series is already pretty creepy, with its mysterious monsters and even more mysterious Peculiar children, but what really takes it over the edge are the antique photographs Riggs uses to illustrate the stories. In my opinion the second book in the series, Hollow City, is the creepiest of all but all three books manage to be pretty creepy in their own rights and I would highly recommend the series, if only for the experience of getting to really see the Peculiar world that the protagonist, Jacob, discovers in their pages as well as reading about it.

What spooky books are on your reading list this Halloween?
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Tonight The Streets Are Ours | Leila Sales | Review

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Tonight The Streets Are Ours | Leila Sales | Review

*image via Goodreads

Like all the stories, the one you are about to read is a love story.
If it wasn't, what would be the point?

Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of people is just was she does, especially when it comes to her family, boyfriend - Chris, or her best friend Lindsay. Being self-sacrificing has been her thing since she was a child. She does it completely out of love. Her loyalty is such a part of her identity she was even immortalised in perfect porcelain doll form, when she had an American Girl Doll named after her.

One day he stumbles upon 'Tonight The Streets Are Ours’, a blog written by a teenage boy called Peter who lives in New York. She soon finds herself fascinated by Peter’s life and his story. His life in Manhattan is so far removed from her own in small-town Maryland. When Peter writes on the blog that he’s been dumped suddenly by his ‘perfect’ girlfriend - Bianca - Arden takes a risk and decides to road trip to the city to see him. In one crazy whirlwind night out, with Lindsay in tow, Arden soon discovers things aren’t as they seem with Peter. And maybe Arden will learn a little bit about herself along the way too.

So what’s my verdict?

I have a lot of feelings about this book. 

First of all the choice of first person perspective was totally apt and necessary for this story to work. We only see Arden, her friends, her family, and even Peter through her eyes. Her story is one of awkward self-discovery, and whilst it can be frustrating it’s so important to remember she’s only 17 years old. Yes, she’s incredibly loyal, but she’s also in some ways, naive, self serving and (as I’ve seen some reviews) incredibly unlikable. But that's the thing, Arden will obviously paint herself in a good light. In her own mind she's always strives do good and to be good, but as it turns out is not the best way to live your life sometimes.

As for the other characters, again, as we’re seeing them through Arden’s eyes they aren’t painted in the most favourable way. Her father is a workaholic, her mother an deserter, her boyfriend is kind but totally goal orientated, and her best friend Lindsay at times is a bit of a freeloader. Peter is portrayed her escape. Through his blogs she sees him as the ultimate good. He too is just trying to do the right thing - something Arden clearly identifies with.
With these characters in place it was hard not to predict that the inevitable tensions buried under the surface explode - sometimes at the worst possible moments. Not only does Arden learn a lot about herself but we also see everyone else growing and developing throughout the story.

All in all what's most interesting about the story is not Arden herself or even her story, but the running themes of perception, self-sacrifice and love in all forms. Sales captures the reality that we can never really know the full story and whilst we want to believe we’re always the good guy in the story, sometimes we’re our own worst enemy too.

Reading Soundtrack:
A Place In This World: Taylor Swift
Fools: Troye Sivan
This City Is Contagious: The Cab
Friday Night: McFLY
Manhattan: Sara Barielles 
The Mixed Tape: Jack’s Manequin 
Daydreaming: Paramore
Just Watch Me: Kate Voegele 

For lovers of…Paper Towns, Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist, and Jennifer E. Smith.
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THREE | Happy Birthday Blogger's Bookshelf!

Monday 26 October 2015

THREE | Happy Birthday Blogger's Bookshelf!


Today's post is an extra special one for everyone here at team BB as we're celebrating three years since Ria & Erin launched the blog!

We're very proud of everything we've achieved so far, including the fact that according to Bloglovin' our number of regular readers has almost doubled over the last twelve months! We're also very grateful to our current team lineup for all of their hard work in keeping Blogger's Bookshelf full of interesting new content, as well as everyone else who has written for us along the way.

Finally, we'd like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all of our readers, both old and new, for joining us on our book blogging journey! We hope you'll all stick around to celebrate our fourth year with us too.

3rd-bday-giveaway2 3rd-bday-giveaway3 3rd-bday-giveaway1

And to celebrate our 3rd birthday we have a very special giveaway to say thank you to all of our readers! Included in this awesome YA themed literary bundle:

The official YALC 2015 goodie bag, complete with a tote bag, pens, badges, postcards, and bookmarks
A handful of preview reads including All Of The above, The Art Of Being Normal and Demon Road
An uncorrected proof copy of The Baby by Lisa Drakeford* 
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below! The giveaway is open to everyone (including you International folk!) for the next two weeks and will end on the 8th November 2015

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

*c/o Chicken House 
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Saturday 24 October 2015

Bookish Links #10

1/ Ways To Wear Books - this roundup from Buzzfeed shares tons of awesome bookish accessories and clothing items bibliophiles everywhere will adore! Let us know which item is your favourite in the comments below.

2/ Preserving Paperbacks - if you can't stand the sight of cracked spines this one is for you. In this recent post Joséphine shares her clever method for preserving paperbacks.

3/ Twists & Turns - in this thoughtful post all about twists in novels, Faye sparks an interesting discussion on how knowing in advance that a book has a twist can affect our reading experience.

4/ Favourite Formats - in this post blogger Laura looks at the pros and cons of new books, second hand books and ebooks. Which format is your favourite and why? Let us know in the comments!

5/ Book Club Tips! - ever wanted to join a local book club but had no luck in finding any that are right for you? This informative post written by Janssen is full of advice on how to start your own.

6/ Dangerous Games - great news for fans of author Teri Terry, her brilliant YA novel Mind Games is getting an ebook sequel in December! The book is set to follow the daughter of Mind Games' main character Luna, 16-years after the original novel was set.

7/ Booktube Reccommendations! - it's no secret we love watching a bit of booktube and Lorna has some great recommendations for channels we should all go and subscribe to ASAP. Which booktubers are your favourites?

8/ 2015's Best - if you're looking for your next read this list is the one for you. Business Insider's article shares the 21 most popular fiction titles of the year so far and includes something for everyone! How many of these have you read?

If you've read or written an interesting bookish article you think our readers would enjoy please let us know - it may be featured in a future post!  
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Friday 23 October 2015

Features | Books I'm saving for my children

Most of the books we read as children are forgotten about. However, some of them stay with us even when we are "too old" to read them anymore. Some of my favourite books as a child were given to me by my mother, and I know that, if I have children, there are definitely some books that I want them to read.  

First of all, Alice in Wonderland, one of my all time favourite books as a child. I re read it so many times. This was one that was given to me by my mum, and there's something really special about it. From the beautiful illustrations to the way it smells old, it's just a really nice book to own. I even like the fact that it's slightly dog eared as it adds to the charm. Added to this, it's such a magical story, and I would enjoy introducing my children to the crazy world of Alice. A classic kid's book. 

Another one that was given to me by my mum. This story stuck with my a long time after reading it, perhaps because it's so sad, or perhaps because I was (and still am) really into horses. Either way, this book was one the of the ones I read when I was younger that I've always remembered reading and loving.

Like every little girl, at one point I wanted to be a ballerina. For this reason, I was fascinated by Dancing Shoes and Ballet shoes. I wanted so desperately to be a part of their world, and to be a dancer like the characters in the book. I would go as far as to say ballet shoes is my all time favourite book. I've probably read it at least 10 times. Even as a young adult, when I'm feeling low I will sometimes go back to this, because it reminds me so much of my childhood and makes me feel happy whenever I read it.

Last but not least, I could not make this post without mentioning Harry Potter. I think everyone from my generation is in agreement with me here - we grew up with the Harry Potter books coming out, and as a result it was a huge part our childhood. The world of Hogwarts was somewhere I loved to escape to, and somewhere I will always, always come back to. The thought of being able to share that with someone else, and see them experience it for the first time like I did, is truly magical.

Katie x
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Thursday 22 October 2015

Binge | Tyler Oakley | Review

Despite being 23-years-old, I'm not ashamed to admit I love Tyler Oakley. In fact, I'm a big fan of a lot of Youtuber's and whilst I'm not the typical screaming fangirl, I do look forward to hearing more about my faves so when Tyler announced he was writing a tell-all memoir, I couldn't wait to pre-order it. Tyler has always been one of those people whose personality just radiates - whether that be through a screen or off a page, so reading Binge was just like having a nice conversation with a friend over a glass of wine. 

Binge features stories that we've never heard before, photographs from his childhood and exclusives that we never expected (PS. His name's not really Tyler!) I loved reading each and every page and learning more about a man I've grown to really admire - and it was all told in a voice that was very "Tyler" using his catchphrases and terminology, I could hear his voice reading the lines as I read them. The one aspect I had a slight issue with was that the stories switched from one to another very quickly and it all felt very rushed. I'm not a fan of comparing books, but I can't help but draw a comparison to Shane Dawson's I Hate My Selfie. In Shane's book, he had a chapter for each story - so you knew where each started and ended. I liked that. It was clear, concise and I didn't need to pause and think "oh, this is a different story now" as I felt myself doing whilst reading Binge. Tyler would finish one story and move onto another within the next paragraph, with very little separating the two. I found this to be a little disjointed whilst reading but understand that he had a lot he wanted to share, and only one book to share it in. 

I really enjoyed reading Binge and I feel as though people who don't know Tyler would enjoy it too. His comedic way of speaking is portrayed really well through text and his witty humour is one of the main things I love about him. Reading this book made me happy and whether you're a fan of Tyler or not, I'd strongly urge you to pick up Binge. 
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Heal | Amy Weintraub

Monday 19 October 2015

Heal | Amy Weintraub

*Image and book provided courtesy of NetGalley


After losing her sister to gastric cancer, Weintraub begins looking for answers on cancer research. Her search leads her to the relatively new field of comparative oncology. In this field, dogs with cancer help find cures for other dogs and people. 


I'll admit, when I first requested this book, I thought it was going to focus on helper dogs that can smell when their human has cancer. I had no idea that the focus of the book would actually be cancer treatments and drug development. Apparently the molecules that form DNA in dogs are a closer match to those in rats. Combine this with the fact that dogs naturally get cancers similar to humans, while lab rats have to be engineered to get cancer, dogs are clearly better test subjects for medicines for humans. Another boost is that, because there are so many detailed records of dog reactions to traditional medicines alone, no dogs have to get a placebo.

This leads to one of the most interesting parts of this book, for me, the difference between how veterinarians treat their animal subjects versus how doctors treat their human patients. For the veterinarians and veterinary students who helped with the studies, the dogs' quality of life was of the highest priorities. Meanwhile, Weintraub's sister receives several surgeries and medicine that almost eliminate her quality of life and is even called "an experiment" by her surgeon.

Weintraub's biggest challenge in this book is finding the right balance between the heavy science and the heavy emotions of Comparative Oncology. Ultimately, I feel she succeeds in this. There is enough real science for the reader to educate themselves, but not so much that they get bored. There is enough emotion to keep the reader engaged and empathetic, but not so much that the book is just too sad. If anything, the reader is left with a feeling of hope for the future of oncology treatments.

So if you have an interest in oncology, have been affected by cancer, or just want to know more about how dogs are truly man's best friend, I recommend picking up a copy of "Heal" by Amy Weintraub. 
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Saturday 17 October 2015

Features | Blog Posts To Bookmark For NaNoWriMo!

Image source

November is just around the corner and for a lot of our readers this means it's time to get writing! In honour of NaNoWriMo, today we have a quick roundup of some blog posts full of tips, advice and stories to help you along the way to finishing your novel.

NaNo Stories & General Tips

1. 10 Things You Can Do To Conquer NaNoWriMo (via From L&P To English Tea)
2. 10 Reasons Why You Should Participate In NaNoWriMo (via She's Novel)
3. How To Survive NaNoWriMo (via Blots & Plots)
4. Making NaNoWriMo Work For You (via Tomi Adeyemi)
5. 4 Ways To Prepare Yourself & Your Story For NaNoWriMo (via The Sprint Shack)
6. NaNoWriMo 2012 Experiences (via Blogger's Bookshelf)

Chapters, Planning & Structure

1. 4 Ideas For Ending Book Chapters So Readers Will Kill To Know What Happens Next (via Helping Writers To Become Authors)
2. How To Cut The Crap & Research Your Novel Effectively (via She's Novel)
3. A Novel Idea: How To Make A Plot Board (via Going Reno)
4. Where To Find Story Ideas So Good, They Practically Write Themselves (via Mandy Wallace)
5. How To Write The First Chapter Of A Book (via Writer's Muse)
6. Outline Your Novel: The 5-Step Game Plan (via Helping Writers Become Authors)
7. Researching Your Novel (via Susan Dennard)
8. The 5 Best Ways To Start Your Novel (via Blots & Plots)
9. An Introduction To World-Building (via She's Novel)

Creating Characters & Dialogue

1. 33 Ways To Write Stronger Characters (via She's Novel)
2. How To Create A Remarkable Villain (via Better Novel Project)
3. Naming Characters (via Writer Owl)
4. Creating Lifelike Characters (via Hub Pages)
5. 7 Unreliable Narrators To Twist Your Next Plot (via Mandy Wallace)
6. Building Character Maps (via Ginger & Books)
7. 7 Tips For Writing Realistic Dialogue (via Better Novel Project)
8. The Badass Guide To Creating Natural Dialogue (via Ginger & Books)

Will you be participating in NaNo this year?
If you have any great NaNo tips don't forget to share them in the comments section!
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Thursday 15 October 2015

Features | 5 Cosy Autumn Reads

Autumn is not my favourite time of year but there are certain things that I can't help but enjoy, like apple and spice scented candles, hot chocolate, and getting cosy with my thick winter duvet and a good book without feeling like I'm going to suffocate from the heat. So today I'm going to share with you 5 books that I think are perfect for this time of year, for snuggling under duvets as the evenings get longer, and to draw your mind away from how cold your feet are when they accidentally poke out of the end of your swathes of blankets.

1. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

Okay so maybe murder and intrigue aren't the first things you think of when you think 'cosy' but this time of year, with the bitter chill in the air and the long nights closing in, is the perfect time for an old fashioned mystery, and there's a good reason why people are still reading and adapting Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories even now!

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Although school is most definitely a thing of the past for me now, thanks to the old academic term dates, autumn will forever have just a little tinge of that back to school feeling for me, which makes it the perfect time to snuggle in and read a good college-set story. Plus this is the perfect time of year to try and perfect your own version of Levi's pumpkin mocha breve.

3. Starter For Ten by David Nicholls

Similarly to Fangirl, Starter For Ten is perfect for this time of year thanks to its university setting. It's an excellent reminder of how starting uni can sometimes feel. (Although thankfully my experience was nothing like Brian's!) A very good one for those of us who have been there and done that, but I think anyone planning to go to university soon would enjoy this a lot too.

4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Autumn is definitely a time for magic and sorcery, and The Night Circus has that in bucketloads. It's completely atmospheric, sucking you right into the magic of this travelling circus, and it's absolutely perfect for this time of year, with Halloween coming up, the leaves changing, and the nights gradually getting longer. 

5. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Admittedly, a lot of the action in I Capture the Castle happens during summer months, but from the moment this book starts, with Cassandra's feet in the kitchen sink of the crumbling down castle she and her family call home in the middle of the English countryside, everything about it screams 'cosy'.

What cosy books are on your reading list for autumn? 
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The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss | Max Wirestone | Review

Wednesday 14 October 2015

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss | Max Wirestone | Review

*image via Goodreads, advanced readers copy c/o Netgalley

Dahlia Moss is a hot mess. 
And nothing great on the horizon.

So when she's offered a chance to play detective and recover a spear from an online MMORPG called Zoth for a huge wad of money she shrugs her shoulders and thinks 'why not'.ure, whatever, she's not a detective and the guy is a little nuts but it's not like she has anything better to do, other than mooch around her friend Charice's apartment and eat ramen until her next disastrous job interview.

It's all fun and games - literally in this case - until her 'client' shows up dead. The stakes are higher for Dahlia and time is running out.

So what’s my verdict?
If there's one thing I love more than a geeky novel, it's a geeky novel with a sarcastic and cynical protagonist. Sitting on the right side of 'quirky' and opinionated, without the lack of self confidence and self awareness attributed to the manic pixie dream girl trope. Dahlia is no damsel in distress nor is she a warrior woman, she's confident, intelligent but other than that she's pretty normal. Her YOLO - slightly Millennial - attitude is what drives the book where she literally has nothing better to do than investigate a Cyber crime/murder in an MMORPG. Despite this, she's a realist. There's plenty of moments where you can almost feel her side-eyeing a hidden camera with an 'are you actually kidding me' look.

And Dahlia isn’t the only person in the story who feels fresh, there’s also a colourful mix of characters - my favourite is Dahlia's ridiculous roommate Charise, who has a thing for over the top hijinks most of which Dahlia turns a blind eye to because she’s so used to it. The great thing about many of the nerdier side characters is that they don’t just fall into the ‘geek’ character trope. They all feel like fleshed out people - weird as it sounds I’ve definitely come into contact with personality like some of the Zoth gamers she meets during the story.

Plot-wise it's refreshingly fun, and the right amount of geeky and full of pop culture references without being condescending or inaccessible to a non-nerd audience. Yes, there are parts of the story where Dahlia is knee deep into playing Zoth, but that comes secondary to solving the murder mystery and delving a little more into her character development. And for those craving that satisfying ‘detective story end’, this one comes with an amusing twist on the usual cop/criminal showdown.

For lovers of…Scott Pilgrim, Ready Player One and Veronica Mars
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Sunday 11 October 2015

One Two Three | Elodie Nowodazkij | Review

One Two Three is about seventeen-year-old Natalya, a talented ballerina who had everything taken away from her when she experienced a car crash which took her father and her dream of being a famous dancer. Natalya must navigate a new high school, her mother's drinking problem and the realisation that she may never dance again. 

I had high hopes for this book as the concept seemed interesting and for the first 30% of the book, the characters were intriguing. However, after that point, I found myself becoming annoyed at the speech and the storyline. The speech seemed unnatural throughout and whilst I liked the mixture of languages and felt that aspect was realistic to those characters, the speech in general felt stilted and uncomfortable. I became disinterested quite quickly and found myself skim-reading to get to a better part. 

I didn't particularly feel connected to any of the characters, even our main character, and for that reason, I didn't really enjoy reading this book. I probably wouldn't recommend picking up this book due to the issues I've mentioned, but for the most part it had a promising storyline, a good amount of diversity in the characters and a drama-filled plot. I can see why others would love this story but unfortunately, it just wasn't for me. 
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Group Collaboration | Literary Halloween Costumes

Saturday 10 October 2015

Group Collaboration | Literary Halloween Costumes

This month we wanted to celebrate Halloween in style and asked our team which literary characters they would love to dress up as for the occasion! It's clear to see that if we were to host a real-life Blogger's Bookshelf Halloween party we'd certainly have some amazing costumes to show off! Here are our top costume picks...

bb silver
Image sources -1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

bb buffy
Image sources - 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

bb coraline 4
Image sources - 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

bb hannibal
Image sources - 1 | 2 | 3

bb violet b
Image sources - 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

bb mary
Image sources - 1 | 2

Thank you to all of this month's contributors - Ria, Cat, Erin, Amelia & Rachel

Who would you like to dress up as this Halloween? Don't forget to let us know in the comments!


Next month we're talking about the kinds of books we want to see more of! In celebration of NaNo we want to hear about the stories you think are missing from the literary world.
If you'd like to get involved just email or drop us a tweet @blog_bookshelf!
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The Realmsic Conquest: The Candle of Crest | Demethius Jackson | Review

Monday 5 October 2015

The Realmsic Conquest: The Candle of Crest | Demethius Jackson | Review


Welcome to Realm, a land of magic that has never known peace. The king has just been wounded and there's a massive army at the castle doorsteps. Leoden, the Hero of Legend, must find the Candle of Crest if King Maebus is to have any chance.


Last year I read and reviewed the prequel to this book and absolutely loved it. I still recommend it to friends. So when I found out that Jackson had written another Realmsic book previously, I started stalking the used book sites for a good copy. I was not disappointed.

Jackson wrote Realmsic Conquest: The Candle of Crest entirely in verse. Four line stanzas with rhymes that go back and forth between true rhymes and some slant rhymes. I got so into this book that I even started thinking in rhymes. He did this because he wanted "to demonstrate the use of rhyme as an art form beyond the scope of music and poetry." As someone who grew up on stories written in verse form, it was very easy for me to get into flow of the story. And for those that worry that writing in verse takes a lot from the story, Jackson also includes chapter summaries at the end.

As for the story, it is in true Realmsic format and reads like a myth or legend from ancient times. You have heroes, villains, wars, magic and more. It is a delightful, quick read that satisfied my need to read something different. If you find yourself a copy, I recommend picking it up.
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Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Bethany aka In The Clouds

Saturday 3 October 2015

Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Bethany aka In The Clouds

It's interview time again! Today I'm chatting to the lovely Bethany who blogs about books and more  over at In The Clouds. Here's what she had to say about being a bookworm, the sequel she'd love to read and seeing her own name in print...

interview with bethany from in the clouds

BB: Hi Bethany! For anyone who hasn't yet discovered In The Clouds could you tell us a little bit more about the girl behind the blog?

I first starting blogging in February 2014 after I came across a few blogs and was intrigued by what I saw. The idea of writing about pretty much anything I wanted and people actually tuning in to read it sounded like a dream to me, after years of writing things down in notebooks and keeping them hidden from the world. I blog about my life, loves and the struggles of being a teenage bookworm (joking it's not a struggle at all!)

BB: Where does your passion for reading come from? And what made you want to start blogging about books?

When I was younger my parents used to read to me each night before bed and even now those comforting words from all of the stories are still swimming around in my brain. From then I progressed to more complex and longer books and I guess my love for reading just grew from there. Now I couldn't imagine a life without a book permanently glued to my hand. Its just in my blood, I guess. So with this burning passion inside me, how could I not want some part of In The Clouds to be about books? I just love being able to share the books that I enjoy with other people and it's a great conversation starter as well!

BB: If you had to list your favourite reads of the year so far which books would make the cut?

Ah that's a hard one- I love them all! But if I did have to pick I would say that Lisa Lynch's The C Word was a very powerful and eye opening read (I actually reviewed it here) as was Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and Malorie Blackma's Noughts and Crosses. All well worth the read!

BB: We really enjoyed reading your thoughts on Go Set A Watchman. Are there any other standalone novels you would absolutely love to read sequels to?

One of the books I always said that I would really love to read a sequel to was The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Now I know both the main characters will have realistically passed away by then but I would love to know what happens to their friend Issac and also Hazel's parents. It would be a interesting to read a portrayal of how a child's death can affect a family- will they or won't they stay together?

interview with bethany from in the cloudsinterview with bethany from in the clouds

BB: We also noticed that last year you had a short story published, could you tell us a little bit more about the experience and how it felt to see your name in print?

That's right! I entered a Short Story Writing Competition that I fell upon on the Born Free Foundation website, an international wildlife charity that works tirelessly to help animals in need. The competition needed people to write about what it means for an animal to be truly free and bring to the attention of the public some of the horrific dangers they face. So I quickly wrote up a story about a Polar Bear, submitted it and thought nothing of it. And then a few months after, I got email telling me I had come runner up in my age category and that my story would be PUBLISHED in a book, with the royalties going to the Born Free Foundation!

Obviously I was over the moon as for as long as I could remember my dream had been to publish a book and this was just a small step closer to being a real published author. Seeing my name in print here was amazing!

BB: Just for fun, if you had the power to bring one fictional character to life who would you choose and why?

Without a doubt it would have be Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird because I just love how despite what everyone else in the town says she point blank refuses to conform to being a lady and would much rather be rolling around in the mud with her brother Jem!

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

My fav book blogs at the moment are: Gingerly Pale, VivaTramp, Ali Caitrin

Where To Find Bethany Online: Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter

I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Bethany 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 for information!

Images c/o Bethany
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Thursday 1 October 2015

Features | Making It To The End

My least favourite book that I have ever read is The Time Traveler's Wife. I know this for a fact because I read it all the way to the end. For about three quarters of the book I was fully expecting to start enjoying the story eventually, and then I had just read so much of it that I didn't see any point in not making it to the end.

This is generally what happens with me. If I'm really not enjoying a book I might put it down but usually with the intention to pick it up again at some point in the future, thinking I'm probably just not in the mood for this particular story right now. Often that works but recently I picked up a book for the second time and after reading about a third of it realised that it wasn't my mood, I just didn't like this book. I knew there was a chance that things might get better later on but there are so many other books on my shelves that I want to read, and I didn't want to spend weeks forcing myself to read this book, when I could spend that time on books I would enjoy a lot more.

Unless you're a super fast speed reader, reading a book takes a lot of time, so why do I and many others force ourselves to spend that time on books we aren't enjoying? I think for some it can feel like an opinion is less valid if you haven't read the whole book, but I think there is usually a strong opinion behind choosing not to finish a book, which is just as valid as any other. Personally, I tend to push through to the end of a book in the hopes that things will get better, but I do find that if I haven't enjoyed the first half of a book, I probably won't enjoy the second half either. Most of the time it's just curiosity. If I have already read the first 100 pages of a book, even if I haven't particularly enjoyed it, I usually still want to see how it ends.

So if I was reading The Time Traveler's Wife for the first time now, would I still make it to the end? Probably. I'm just not sure I'll ever be able to get over that little niggle of curiosity that makes me want to see a book through to the end, even when I know I won't enjoy it.

What about you? Are you the type of person who always has to make it to the end of a book, no matter what? Or do you know when to call it quits?
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