S4S – Diverse books

Good afternoon!

Sorry I’m late posting my #SixforSunday today! I’m not sure where my scheduled post disappeared to! It is most certainly a mystery! 

Today’s theme is: 

Diverse books

The list includes books I have read, are on my TBR and books I am yet to buy, but am so ready to! 

  1. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas (I haven’t read this yet, I think I may be the only person in the world to not!)
  2. The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan (side note: David Levithan is one of my favourite all time authors)
  3. Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman (yet to read, but SO WANT TO)
  4. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell (this is one of my favourite books that I’ve read recently… I just adored it!)
  5. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo (again, not read BUT MY GOSH I NEED TO NOW)
  6. Release – Patrick Ness (I met him a while back and his books are just so gorgeous that this is one of my must reads…)

This is just 6 of a growing number of books. I would love to take more suggestions for diversifying my book list! So please shout them at me… it’s always welcome!

Let me know your choices for #SixforSunday too! Link me or tweet me! 

Thank you for all your support with #SixforSunday, it is appreciated massively!

 S x

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The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Thank you so much to Kelly from Kelly’s Ramblings for tagging me in the ‘Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag’ (I know, it’s not the middle of the year, but shush!) I’ll share MG and YA books, if I can think of one each!

1. The Best Book of the Year So Far…

YA: The Scarecrow Queen – this rounds off the trilogy so perfectly. I was absolutely blown away by Twylla’s journey in this book and I just can’t praise this book enough!
MG: A Place Called Perfect – this book was the perfect amount of spooky, adventures and sheer brilliance. It captured my imagination brilliantly.

2. The Best Sequel of the Year So Far …

YA: Traitor to the Throne – I was over the moon when I got my hands on this and I consumed it exceptionally quickly. I love this world that Alwyn has created. I can’t wait for Hero at the Fall (2018 is so far away!)
MG: Simply the Quest – I loved Who Let The Gods Out? so so much and when I finally got my hands on STQ I was just as in love with it! I love this series so much… again 2018 is too far away!

3. A New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To …

YA: The Hate U Give – Everyone keeps talking about this and I just haven’t found the time to read it yet! I have it on my shelf though…
MG: The Nowhere Emporium – luckily we have this in the library at school so I will be borrowing it and will read it!

4. Most Anticipated Release for Autumn/Winter …

YA: It Only Happens In The Movies – I am a massive Holly Bourne fan and from the sampler I think this is only going to be incredible! Bring on October!
MG: The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club – I’ve seen this on a few twitter friends’ pages and they’re all very excited about it… I am v jealous they have it already!

5. Your Biggest Disappointment of the Year So Far …

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YA: Caraval – I had such high hopes for this book and I just didn’t love it. It was fine, it was alrite. Go read it for yourself to see what it’s all about. I know A LOT of people who loved it though.

6. Your Biggest Surprise of the Year So Far …

YA: After The Fire – absolutely incredible. I loved this so much. I strongly suggest you all go and read this NOW. It is SO good.
MG: The Last Wild – I had seen this everywhere and never picked it up and when I did I was blown away by how much I loved it.

7. Your New Favourite Author …

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Peadar O’Guilin is EXCEPTIONAL. I have read The Call and I was lucky enough to get a proof of the second book (The Invasion) and I just adore his writing. If you’re looking for an exceptional dystopian… look no further!

8. Your Newest Favourite Character …

YA: Ink – Leora is one of those brilliant characters who you come across every now and again who makes an impact. I can’t wait to find out where her story takes us next!
MG: The Explorer – there are so many things I loved about this book but the man they meet in the jungle is again one of those exceptional characters from stories that stay with you for a long time. I would love to know more about him. 

9. Your Newest Fictional Crush …

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Henry. Oh Henry. 

(Shout out to Jin from Rebel of the Sands/Traitor to the Throne… but he’s not a new crush!)

10. A Book That Has Made You Cry … (lol, all of them!)

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Countless is one of the most heartbreaking books I’ve read. It is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. I cried SO SO SO hard at the end. I can’t think about this book without it making me sad. Please go read it, but get yourself some tissues.

11. A Book That Has Made You Happy …

YA: Unconventional – one of those gorgeous books that comes along and just makes me smile. I loved it a lot. It was such a feel good book! 
MG: Bookshop Girl – this is one of my favourites this year! I can’t wait to use it with my kids! Just such a brilliant little happy book.

12. The Most Beautiful Book of the Year So Far …

YA: A Quiet Kind of Thunder – I have so so so many brilliant words to say about this book. You need to get on it if you haven’t yet. Sara is such a brilliant author and Steffi’s story is just incredible. This book inspired me a lot.
MG: The Island at the End of Everything – Kiran Milwood Hargrave writes these exceptional books (her other one The Girl of Ink and Stars deserves ALL OF THE PRAISE it gets) and this one just knocked my socks off. I absolutely adored it. Such an incredible story.

13. Some Books You Need to Read Before 2017 Ends …

So there we have it! My (no so) mid year book freak out tag!

That was quite the blog post!

Let me know your choices and link me to your blog posts, I’d love to see your answers!

S xx

#SundayYAthon TBR

Bank Holiday Monday is a perfect time to start a readathon! Luckily the wonderful Rachel (the #SundayYA boss lady) has started a brilliant Sunday YA readathon and I am excited about it! 

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She created this incredible bingo board style mission! I’m going across the middle! There’s so many ways I could’ve gone! I have about 600 books on my TBR (ha, this is a slight exaggeration… but I do have SO MANY BOOKS to read. I sorted them out in some fashion today and I had to NOT count them because I would’ve been a bit overwhelmed! Might do a book buying ban in September… get some of my books read! Anyway…)

WHICH BOOKS ARE YOU CHOOSING STEPH? WHICH BOOKS? WHICH BOOKS? TELL US! SHOW US! WE WANT TO SEE. 

I know. I can hear you chanting it now. 

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For SundayYA author I chose Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence.

My Free Choice book is Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll (I had to get some MG reading in there!)

The UKYA author I chose was Mind The Gap by Phil Earle (the lovely people at Barrington Stoke sent me this last week and I’ve carried it round ever since, I love the sound of it. I heard him at YALC talk about it and it’s going to break my heart).

I also have Wonder Woman to finish too… let’s hope I can manage it all!

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Are you joining in #SundayYAthon this summer?
What’s on your TBR list?
Do you like doing readathons?

It’s not too late to join in! Just follow the hashtag and show us your TBR. See you there!

S x

S4S: Diverse books

Guten morgen!

It's Sunday again. Where did last week go? I can't believe these weeks are FLYING over. 

It's Sunday therefore it's

Diverse books

  1. Radio Silence: Alice Oseman
  2. Lovers Dictionary: David Levithan
  3. A Change Is Gonna Come: various authors
  4. Eleanor and Park: Rainbow Rowell
  5. The State of Grace: Rachael Lucas
  6. A Quiet Kind of Thunder: Sara Barnard

As you can see diverse, to me, means lots of different people represented. There are SO MANY other books that could be on this list, so please don't shout at me. Just recommend them to me!

If you'd like to share your

What does "diverse" mean to you?
What are your favourite diverse books?
Is there still a part of being diverse that the world is missing in terms of representation?

Speak soon!

S x

BOOKBLOG: #ChangeBook

A Change Is Gonna Come: diverse, brilliant, necessary.

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(I think this is one of my favourite pictures I’ve ever taken. Shout out to Ru Paul)

“Featuring top Young Adult authors alongside a host of exciting new talent, this anthology of stories and poetry from BAME writers on the theme of change is a long-overdue addition to the YA scene. Contributors include Tanya Byrne, Inua Ellams, Catherine Johnson, Patrice Lawrence, Ayisha Malik, Irfan Master, Musa Okwonga and Nikesh Shukla. Plus introducing four fresh new voices in YA fiction: Mary Bello, Aisha Bushby, Yasmin Rahman and Phoebe Roy.”

Change is an incredible collection of short stories and poems from a collection of beautifully diverse voices. Men, women, new voices, established authors, story writers, poets – it’s all represented. I was sent a copy from the gorgeous Charlie from Stripes, as I was part of the blog tour (if you’d like to read that then check it out here: #ChangeBook blog tour) and I was SO EXCITED when I opened the envelope and saw the gorgoeusly yellow cover!

The thing that stands out most to me about #ChangeBook is how it so seamlessly celebrates diverse voices, diverse characters and diverse stories, but that at the bottom of everything there’s this humanity about it. We’re all human. Everyone deserves to be celebrated. It’s so incredible to read stories from people of different heritage and different backgrounds – so many books lack this.

My stand out stories from Change Book are definitely Aisha Busby‘s story: which was heartbreaking in a very quiet (but very teary) way. Anyone who’s ever loved something will feel this and Tanya Byrne‘s wonderful account of love: a total winner for me. It spoke to me in quite a deep way and the writing felt very personal. I want more from Byrne. So much more.

I would definitely encourage EVERYONE to go out and buy this. As someone who doesn’t openly embrace poetry, it was refreshing to read some poetry alongside wonderful stories!

Have you read Change Book?
Do you have a favourite entry?
What was the thing that stood out most for you?

Let me know on twitter, or in the comments! I would love to know your thoughts on this!

S x

#ChangeBook blog tour

A while back, I was sent an email by the brilliant Charlie from Stripes, asking me if I would be interested in taking part in the blog tour for #ChangeBook and I happily accepted. 

Today is that day.
Today I bring you Catherine Johnson’s brilliant blog post on her story ‘Astounding Talent! Unequalled Performances! which I have read and will happily tell you it is beautiful. 

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I am so thrilled that my story Astounding Talent! Unequalled Performances! has been included in the anthology. It’s been a real privilege to be a small part of the energy that’s gone into the book.

So why am I writing historical fiction? And why William Darby?

Well the reason I began was because it’s important to me, as a British mixed race woman, to say there have been people like me in our country for ever – not simply since the Windrush in the late nineteen forties but stretching back to at least the Roman conquest.

When I grew up British history was always totally white. Just like a Quality Tin lid or Downton Abbey. I hope some of my stories might go a little way to changing that.

And there are so many brilliant true stories that are more incredible than anything I could make up. Very often my stories are based on real people or include real people (Mary Wilcox in Lady Caraboo, Thomas Dumas in Blade and Bone) I get a bit carried away and want everyone else to know about them too, and that’s how I felt when I discovered William Darby, the main character in my Change story.

William Darby was born in 1811 in the Norwich workhouse, he became a successful – and the first non-white – circus impresario of the mid Victorian era.

The Illustrated London News said of one of his shows;

Mr. Pablo Fanque is an artiste of colour, we have not only never seen such riding surpassed, but never equalled. Mr Pablo Fanque was the hit of the evening.

He first performed as Young Darby, and it was not until he led his own troupe that he took the name Pablo Fanque.  My story is completely made up but I did wonder how he chose his stage name…

CJ

Catherine Johnson

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Thank you Charlie and Stripes for sending me a copy of #ChangeBook – a review will be up next week! I can’t wait for EVERYONE to read this book. Please, go out, buy it, get it from the library. Everyone needs to read it. 

Check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour! I can promise you it’ll be brilliant

Change Blog Tour

S4S – YALC books

Hello!

It’s Sunday again! How exciting! This week’s #SixforSunday theme is:

YALC books

Books that make me excited for YALC. Authors I am excited to meet.

  1. Sin Eater’s Daughter – Melinda Salisbury (BOOKBLOG: Queen Mel)
  2. A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard (BOOKBLOG: Sara Barnard)
  3. Ink – Alice Broadway (BOOKBLOG: ALICE BROADWAY)
  4. Truth or Dare – Non Pratt
  5. The Call – Paedar O’Guilin (BOOKBLOG: Peadar Ó Guilín)
  6. Traitor To The Throne – Alwyn Hamilton (BOOK BLOG: Alwyn Hamilton 2)

I talk about most of these books ALL of the time, but I can’t wait to see these authors for the first time/for the next time and tell them how much I love their book. I love all of the books. There are so many other books I am excited to YALC for. 

Are you coming to YALC?
What are your favourite YALC books?
Who are you excited to meet?

If you wanna join in use the hashtag #SixforSunday, I would love to see your posts!!

S x

Favourite Protagonists

Hello! Today we have a new guest blog – this time from my lovely friend Jess from Bookends and Endings and she’s telling us all about her favourite main characters! 

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Hi there! I’m Jess from Bookends and Endings, and today I’m sharing my favourite protagonists here on Steph’s blog. Something that can easily make or break a book for me is the main character. It’s all very well for a book to be well written, well plotted, just excellent in general – but if I dislike the protagonist, it’s almost certain that the book won’t be one of my favourites. They don’t have to be likeable necessarily, but they need to be interesting, and I have to be on their side, and want for things to turn out well for them.

First up has to be the protagonist from one of my favourite books of last year: Norah from Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall. Norah suffers from agoraphobia, anxiety, and OCD, and lives trapped inside her house, until the arrival of her cute new neighbour helps her to challenge her mental health issues. Norah is a protagonist you just can’t help but love; she’s quite vulnerable, and it definitely brought out a protective side in me as a reader. Her character arc and character voice were so compelling, and she’s a protagonist I’ve been left thinking about long since I finished the book.

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Amani from Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton is another main character who I simply love. There are lots of things I adore in her, but mainly for me it’s her wit that has kept her in mind for me as a protagonist I can’t get enough of. I don’t want to give any spoilers, hence I can’t say too much about certain aspects of her, but I can say that she’s witty (I honestly sit there laughing and smiling at the book because her humorous comments are too good not to laugh at), she’s brave, and she’s incredibly determined. Funny to read about but also courageous and strong – a wonderful combination!

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The next main character is from a book I’ve seen talked about a lot in the book blogging community, and that is Frances from Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. There was so much about Frances which I think just speaks to people, especially in the way she feels stressed by school and has a lot of exam pressure weighing down on her, and this definitely makes her realistic, I feel. She’s also such an easy character to relate to, and so representative of modern teenagers (lots of stuff to do with fandoms and the internet!), so she sticks out to me as an outstanding protagonist.

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Wing, the titular character from Katherine Webber’s debut novel, Wing Jones, is my final choice. I read this book very recently, especially in comparison to these other books, but I just think this shows what a great protagonist she is. She has such a wonderful emotional journey – she displays selflessness, but is also very human in the way she gets frustrated sometimes at those around her. On the whole, a stunning character!

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Thanks to Steph for having me on her blog – I hope you enjoyed this guest post! Who are your favourite protagonists?

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Thank you so much to Jess for sharing her favourite protagonists with us! If you’d like to follow Jess (which you should!), her links are below:

Twitter

WordPress

S x

June books

Hello! 

Long time no speak! Sorry about my hiatus last week! I hope you didn’t miss me too much! 

I never got round to doing a June round up… so here we are!

In June I managed to finish my 52 books 52 weeks challenge! How mad! I am now surpassing my challenge… reckon I can read 102? I’ll have to get all my reading done in the summer holidays! September onwards is going to be MANIC for me.

So what did I read in June? (There’s a few books missing!)

  • Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index – Julie Israel (BOOKBLOG: Julie Israel)
  • Anna and the Swallow Man – Gavriel Savit (review to come)
  • After The Fire – Will Hill (review to come!)
  • The Opposite of You – Lou Morgan
  • Radio Silence – Alice Oseman (BOOKBLOG: Alice Oseman)
  • The Humans – Matt Smith (review to come!)
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
  • Tilly and the Time Machine – Adrian Edmondson (review to come!)
  • Cell 7 – Kerry Drewery (review to come!)

Not pictured:

  • The Call – Paedar O’Guilin (BOOKBLOG: Peadar Ó Guilín)
  • Alex Sparrow and the Big Stink – Jennifer Killick (review to come)
  • The Bookshop Girl – Sylvia Bishop (BOOKBLOG: Sylvia Bishop)
  • The Glass Children – Kristina Ohlsson
  • Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse – Chris Riddell (review to come!)
  • Goodly and Grave in a Bad Case of Kidnap – Justine Windsor (review to come!)

15 books! In one month, that’s pretty good going. I think I have a half term at the start of June to thank. 

I genuinely loved all of the books I read in June for very different reasons. I can not pick a favourite book – they all stand out for different reasons. Tell me what you like and I’ll give you one of these to read! June was a brilliant month for books. Reviews for some to come! Putting my thoughts into words is HARD

What did you read in June?
Do you have a stand out June book?
What are you excited to read in July?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter – you know where to find me! 

S x

 

 

 

S4S – YA characters

Hello!

This week’s #SixForSunday is a bit later than normal… I do apologise! This week’s theme is:

Badass characters in YA books

(I am totally not prepared for how hard this is going to be…)

  1. Twylla – The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy 
  2. Jin – Rebel of the Sands/Traitor to the Throne
  3. Moonbeam – After The Fire
  4. Leora – Ink
  5. Hedda – Countless
  6. Amani – Rebel of the Sands/Traitor to the Throne

Ha, this list may not stand in a day, a week or a month. But go and read their stories. You’ll love them. I promise. 

Let me know your #SixforSunday use the hashtag on twitter! Share your links with me. I love seeing what others think! 

S x