Pick n Mix?!

I LOVE A PICK AND MIX. I would have MANY fizzy blue bottles in my bag if it were up to me… but this is to do with books, not sweets. Boo.

Pick n Mix.png(Credit: Kelly’s Ramblings for the graphic!)

Fizzy Blue Bottles

They look strange, and they taste strange, but you like them. Name a book or series with a really strange plot that you couldn’t help but love.

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I don’t know that it’s so much strange as a little bit quirky. And I don’t know how many people have read it. I ABSOLUTELY adored this trilogy. I can’t wait to have more time to reread these. Please people read.

The Metre

It goes on forever. Name the longest book series you have read.

It’s gotta be Harry Potter. I haven’t read another series that has so many books? I tend to like trilogies at the most? I don’t think I’ve read anything longer than HP.

Chocolate Raisins

No amount of chocolate can hide what’s inside. Name a book with a great cover but a disappointing story.

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I didn’t hate The Miniaturist but even now I don’t quite remember what it was about? It just didn’t tick boxes for me.

Chocolate Mice

They look sweet, but they’re secretly vermin. Name a book that surprised you with it’s villain. (Be careful not to give spoilers!)

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Not YA but I was shocked and appalled by the villain in this. I have love/hate feelings about this book!

Hard Gums

You take a bite but almost break your teeth. What book or series was hard for you to get into?

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I loved bits of this and I just enjoyed other bits. The description is beautiful it just lacked a bit of urgency, or pace for me.

Cola Bottles

Some are sweet, some are sour. Name two similar books, one you liked and one you didn’t.

I enjoyed Divergent WAY more than I enjoyed The Hunger Games. I went through a phase of reading a LOT of dystopian fictionand definitely think that Divergent bests Hunger Games for me. I know, controversial.

Fried Eggs

Some love them, some hate them. Name a book that matches the way you feel about Fried Eggs.

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I didn’t get on with Freshers as well as everyone else did. I don’t really know why, I just didn’t get it? But there are so many people who love it!

Smarties

No matter what you do, they’re everywhere. Name a trend or trope you are tired of reading.

Oh god. SO MANY. However I think the ones I hate most are “good student becomes a bad student to impress the cool kids” or “girl needs saved by boy”. These both bother me incredibly and I could dedicate hundreds of words to them both.

Gummy Bears

Name your favourite fictional creature or animal.

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So many of the characters in ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ – Mr Tumnus, Aslan… this book makes my heart so happy!

Pick ‘n’ Mix!

So many sweets, so much variety. Name some of your favourite diverse books!

If you fancy doing this tag then feel free! Most of the people I want to tag have already done it! Knock yourself out! 

Let me know on twitter, or in the comments, if you disagree or agree with any of my choices, I love a good natter! 

S x

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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

S4S – Halloween books!

Hello there!

Who stole my half term!? Where did it go? Never mind, to keep me going on this last day we have another #SixforSunday! This week’s theme is:

Halloween books

Now I’m not one for scary books to be honest, I’m much too much of a wuss BUT I’ve collated a list of 6 “scary” books I would like to read, ONE day.

  1. The Shining – Stephen King
  2. Charlotte Says/Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell
  3. A Skinful of Shadows – Frances Hardinge
  4. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  5. Dracula – Bram Stoker 
  6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

There you have it!

Talk to me, use the hashtag #SixforSunday and tell me the books you’re excited to read this Halloween! Or recommend me some books, I don’t read many scary books!

S x

S4S – Sad Books

Hello Sunday! 

How is everyone today? It’s half term! Woo! 

Today’s #SixforSundayis

Books that made me cry

Now, I have to preface this with MOST books make me cry. I am just an emotional person. I cry at most books. These will be books that really broke my heart, in one way or other (be it loveliness or brokenheartedness)

  1. Countless – Karen Gregory
  2. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  3. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
  4. Paper Butterflies – Lisa Heathfield
  5. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
  6. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell

There you have it! Like I say I cry at EVERYTHING, but these books made me cry more than any. I definitely think the first 2 have made me cry the MOST ever. 

Share your #SixforSunday on twitter and link me to your blog! I would love to see what books make you emotional. There’s nothing wrong with a good cathartic cry! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Lauren James

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe: a gripping, unique heart-racer

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“Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away? 
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J. Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love. But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean? Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .”

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (I’m going to call it Loneliest Girl in this blog, because well it’s a LONG title!) tells the story of Romy, who is the captain of a ship on its way to a new planet, with hopes to make it hospitable. She’s all alone on this rocket, with only audio/email messages coming from her therapist Molly. Something changes and suddenly there’s a mysterious stranger on the scene. This stranger is J, the captain of another ship, and Romy quickly finds herself falling for this mysterious stranger. When things start becoming a bit suspect, Romy discovers that J isn’t quite who he says he is…

I had seen SO MUCH about this book on twitter! Everyone was talking about it. I was SO ENVIOUS of all of the people who had advance copies. I needed to get my hands on it. I was elated when I heard they would be selling them at YALC. When it came to YALC, Kelly and I rushed to buy a copy (because we were afraid they’d run out of copies!) just to be sure we would get one. It has sat on my shelf since YALC but I was determined to read it before we did a SundayYA chat about it. AND READ IT BEFORE SUNDAYYA I DID. It took me all of about 4 hours to read. It is THAT GOOD. It’s so readable. Gripping. The kind of book that takes you by surprise (it certainly took me by surprise!) 

This book is very character centric and luckily for me, I loved the characters. Romy (the main character) and her story were very well written. The flashbacks of her memories growing up, her memories of the rocket were gorgeous to see. Her parents are very important to herboth in very different ways – I loved her relationship with her dad. Her relationship with her mam kept me very curious. The other character in the space world in Loneliest Girl is J: mysterious, handsome, seemingly perfect. Romy definitely falls for him fast. Her trust of him pulled the wool over my eyes. I didn’t like him from the start… there was something about him I didn’t trust. He was too convenient. He was the perfect, most sinister, creepy baddie though. He adds a brilliantly sinister dynamic to this book. Definitely kept me on my toes. 

I would recommend this book to EVERYONE. It is one of those that would appeal to SO MANY PEOPLE. It’s so clever and devious and delicious. I’m curious about the rest of the author’s work now… if they’re all this good I need to get them NOW (well, when September is over cause y’know book buying ban and all that!)

Have you read Loneliest Girl?
What did you make of J?
Do you think you’d cope with Romy’s life?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter! I’d love to talk about this book! 

S xx

S4S – Recommended books

Morning! SUNDAY AGAIN? Where did last week go? How was your week? 

What has everyone been reading this week?

This week’s#SixforSundayis:

Books people keep recommending to me

  1. Gilded Cage (Liv is responsible for this recommendation)
  2. Department 19 (Zoe, you are the reson behind this… but also After The Fire was exceptional)
  3. Anything written by Leigh Bardugo (Wonderful Kelly is responsible for this… I know. I will get on it)
  4. Station Eleven (one of my favourites, Sara Barnard, raves about this! I have it on my shelf!)
  5. Kevin Brooks (My friends Rachel, Aoife and Cora all rave about him… I will read them one day)
  6. The Hate U Give (everyone… basically everyone recommends this. It’ll happen one day soon!)

So there you have my#SixforSunday this week! 

Have you read any of these?
Can you recommend me a book? 
What books do people keep recommending to you?

Let me know if you post a#SixforSunday! Use the hashtag and link me to your post! I would love to see what books people keep recommending… not that I need more books recommended! My TBR is a monster!

S x

BOOKBLOG: Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying: kept me guessing the entire time. I LOVED IT.

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“Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.
Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.
Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.
Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.
And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again. He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.
Everyone has secrets, right?
What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.”

So I didn’t know that much about One of Us Is Lying before YALC – I had seen it being talked about and I had seen ALL OF THE PRAISE for it, but it didn’t quite ding my radar. However, having hear Karen talk about this book at YALC, I wanted to get my hands on it. I wanted to make my own judgement on it. 

It’s not a book that I would usually pick up BUT I am glad I did. My friend Kelly read this and kept telling me to read it, so I picked it up to read at the end of the #SundayYAthon (I had finished my 3 books, so was just looking for another book to tide me over). I read this book in a day. One day. All in all it probably only took me a few hoursit is THAT good.  

The story gripped me straight away – these 5 kids go into detention but one of them ends up dying and the rest of them are the suspects… what ensues is a rollercoaster of emotions, twists and turns galore and one almighty shock at the end. I personally didn’t see the suspect being the person it ends up being… I had my suspicions ALL ALONG. (Kelly had an immense amount of fun being the recipient of all of my texts about who I was suspicious of!)

I loved learning their secrets. I did not expect ANY OF THEM. 

The exploration of family relationships in this book is special too. There’s pushy dads, absent mothers, alcoholic fathers, run of the mill lovely parents, poorly sisters – all encapsulated in these 5 very complex kids. There’s scenes between father and son, with revelations really turning a father/son relationship on its head, which I loved seeing explored too. 

I loved Nate. Read this and try to tell me you don’t love Nate. Because we can’t be friends if you don’t (only kidding, but I do love him). He’s tough as a nut but then a total softie. Bronwyn was an interesting character – I definitely grew to like her. 

This book is brilliantly paced. I didn’t want to stop reading. I wanted to know what was happening at EVERY POINT. My suspicions of the killer changed every page. I just adored that. It’s such an easy book to read and read because the story is gripping

My goodreads review:

“What an absolute winner. 
Amazing plot. Characters. Stories. Surprises. Twists. I did not see them coming. I was led down many a wrong path. I had my suspicions and they were all wrong. 
All of this and a romance that I just adored? YES THANKS.”

I’d love to read more books like this! 

Have you read this?
Did you have a favourite kid?
CAN WE TALK ABOUT WHO YOU THOUGHT IT WAS?

Do you have any recommendations of books like this? Cause this was BRILLIANT and I want more like it in my life! Let me know! 

S x

S4S – 2017 books

Morning! 

It’s Sunday again! How is everyone? Are we all good? 

This week’s #SixforSunday theme is:

Books I’m excited to be released in 2017

So which books are you most excited to come out in the rest of this year?

  1. Holly Bourne – It Only Happens In The Movies
  2. The Creakers – Tom Fletcher
  3. Grave Matter – Juno Dawson
  4. The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club – Alex Bell
  5. The Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo
  6. Turtles All The Way Down – John Green 

I am excited for all of these for different reasons! But I can’t wait! 

Which releases are you excited for?
Have you read any of my list? What did you think?

Share your #SixforSunday on twitter or share your blog post in the comments! I love seeing you guys joining in! 

Watch out for an exciting #SixforSunday update coming at the end of September!

S x

BOOKBLOG: Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman: Warbringer –  adventure filled, witty and fast paced

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“She will become a legend but first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning… Diana is desperate to prove herself to her warrior sisters. But when the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mere mortal, Alia Keralis. With this single heroic act, Diana may have just doomed the world. Alia is a Warbringer – a descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies, mortal and divine, determined to destroy or possess the Warbringer. To save the world, they must stand side by side against the tide of war.”

Wonder Woman: Warbringer tells the story of Diana (Wonder Woman) and her struggle with her life as an Amazon, doing the right thing and jeapordising her life as she knows it. It is one not to be missed! The girls of SundayYA were raving about it in the chat and I knew from the chat that I needed to get onto it and I do not regret it!

One of the things that stood out to me about this book was that I really loved the characters. Diana is brilliant: she’s witty, funny (generally unintentionally, brave, honest and badass. Like, she saves someone’s life. I know, I know, she’s Wonder Woman, it’s what she does. But like, how many other characters do you know that save lives in such an epic way? I liked her instantly. She goes from the underdog to hero, all in secret. She’s not the only interesting character in this book though, don’t be fooled. There’s the warbringer herself, Alia. She’s a bit more tough, a bit more intense, taken by surprise by this new life that she is now being made to live. Things are coming to light in her life that make so much more sense to her now. She is the warbringer (I think she copes with this information much better than I would!) and wants to do the right thing. That’s always noble. She was another hit with me straight away.

OH JASON! JASON. JASON. JASON.

Those of you who have read Warbringer will know what my despair is all about. Oh Jason. I won’t spoil anything. But Jason. I have complex feelings about him. There was an audible gasp when it comes to Jason and his behaviour. (Go on, read it, you know you want to! You want to know why Jason made me gasp. Then we can talk about it!).

The other thing that I loved about this book was that I learned a lot without being overloaded with information. There were little threads of information throughout the whole book – THIS is a much better way to educate readers on superhero information than a total information dump, so I am grateful for that! 

I completely and utterly loved this book. It took me a while to get through (blame a stupid reading slump) but I would recommend it to everyone. it is just wonderful. Leigh Bardugo is magnificent and this has definitely spurred me on to read the rest of her books! 

My goodreads review:

I do not have enough words to praise this book. I loved it so much. Diana is incredible. The way the story is woven is just exceptional. I was really rooting for Jason, I trusted him and then BOOM. I audibly gasped. What a VILLAIN. I love how Diana stood for what she knew she believed in. She believed in Alia. I cried at the end. Just magnificent.

Have you read Warbringer?
Which superhero would you like to be?
Would you like to rewrite anyone’s story? If so, whose?

Thank you so much to my gorgeous book fairy Sarah at Penguin for sending this over to me! 

S x

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