Friday, 27 July 2018

BookTube-A-Thon TBR

I'm really excited to be taking part in the BookTube-A-Thon this year. This is the first readathon I've ever done. I've always wanted to take part in one but I've always been busy to working and I knew I just wouldn't be able to join in as much as I would like but, I've finished work this week for the summer so I have loads of free time to read and what better way to celebrate then by taking part in the BookTube-A-Thon. So I've chosen by TBR based on the challenges which I will tell you about in a second but I've not tried to complete all 7 I've been conservative and chosen 4 books. So here are the books I've chosen. 

A book with green on the cover - Ash by Malinda Lo
Read and watch a book to movie adaptation - Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo 
A book about something you want to do - Fandom by Anna Day (I'd love to attend a convention)
A book with a beautiful spine - Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Let a coin toss decide your first read - I will do this with the above books when the time comes 

Are you taking part in the BookTube-A-Thon? I'd love to hear about your TBR. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Review - Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Published 10th July 2018 by Macmillian
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 16/75

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for and honest review.

Synopsis (From Goodreads)
Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders... but her father isn't a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife's dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty--until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers' pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed--and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it's worth--especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

My Thoughts
When this turned up unexpectedly through my letterbox from the publisher I was absolutely thrilled! I've not read Uprooted, Naomi Novik's first novel, but I've heard so many good things about it and when I heard this one was based on the story of Rumpelstiltskin I was excited to dive into this one too. As I said I've not read Uprooted but as far as I'm aware Spinning Silver isn't a sequel it's just set in the same world so your okay to read this one first, as I did. 

This whole book was highly atmospheric and magical. The fantasy world that Naomi Novik created was fantastic. She weaved familiar folklore and fairytale with some more unique elements to create a truly magical story. The writing was wonderfully lyrical and flowed so well. As a reader you felt truly immersed in the story. This wasn't a rip roaring fast paced adventure story and at times the writing could be described as a little bit slow however, I think this fit well with the story and it enabled you to fully experience the world building and thoughts and feelings of the characters. 

The story is told from several perspectives however, there are three main female characters that we follow. These three females all have their own story to tell and slowly but surely these stories begin to intertwine and continue to merge until we reach the climax of the story. Each of these three characters begin their stories following along in other peoples footsteps and as the story progresses they all grow into themselves. They become much stronger and independent individuals and this character development was done really well. 

Overall I really enjoyed this story. It was a really magical read with beautiful writing and strong female characters. After this I will definitely be checking out Uprooted and anything else Naomi Novik writes.

Overall Rating

Monday, 23 July 2018

(Several) Weekly Book Haul - 23.07.18

Sorry I've been a bot AWOL recently! I've been super busy at work with end of term things but now schools finished I should be back to posting regularly and that includes making sure I post my weekly book hauls. So for now here are all the books I have acquired over the past couple of weeks. 

Ascension by Victor Dixen

I received this proof copy from the publisher, Hot Key Books, in exchange for review. 

Zero Repeat Forever by G. S. Prendergast
Eon Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman
Wildboy by Rob Lloyd Jones

I bought a mystery book bundle from a buy and sell book group on Facebook and these are the three books plus goodies that I received. The only one of these I've heard of is Eon but they all sounds great and I can't wait to dive in. 

So considering I haven't posted a haul for a couple of weeks I haven't actually received that much which is good as I'm quickly running out of space. Although, I do have a parcel waiting for me at the post office but you'll have to wait until next week to see that one. 

Are there any here that you have read and would recommend? Let me know. 

Monday, 9 July 2018

Weekly Book Haul - 8.7.18

Another week, another haul! I seem to be acquiring books quicker then I can read them but I don't mind that much. I received 5 books this week and here they are. 

The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente 

I was very lucky to receive this one in the post unexpectedly from the publisher. It sounds really good! 

Ash by Melinda Lo 
Fellside by M R Carey 
Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu 

I bought these from a buy and sell book group on Facebook. 

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

This was from a #booksfortrade on Twitter.

I'm really excited to get to all of these, especially The Con Artist which I'm planning on reading next once I've finished Spinning Silver. Are there any here you would recommend? 

Friday, 6 July 2018

Review - The Golden Child by Wendy James

The Golden Child by Wendy James
Published 17th May 2018 by HarperCollins
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 15/75

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Blogger Lizzy's life is buzzing, happy, normal. Two gorgeous children, a handsome husband, destiny under control. For her real-life alter-ego Beth, things are unraveling. Tensions are simmering with her husband, mother-in-law and even her own mother. Her teenage daughters, once the objects of her existence, have moved beyond her grasp and one of them has shown signs of, well, thoughtlessness ...
Then a classmate of one daughter is callously bullied and the finger of blame is pointed at Beth's clever, beautiful child. Shattered, shamed and frightened, two families must negotiate worlds of cruelty they are totally ill-equipped for.
This is a novel that grapples with modern-day spectres of selfies, selfishness and cyber bullying. It plays with our fears of parenting, social media and Queen Bees, and it asks the question: just how well do you know your child?

My Thoughts
I was sent this book for review by the publisher and I can say it definitely didn't disappoint. I'm not sure which genre this would fall under I wouldn't say it was a thriller, even though it reads like one at times. More of a intense domestic contemporary (if that's even a thing). No matter how you describe it this book has several things that kept me hooked and that, ultimately, meant I finished this book in a day!

This novel is so relevant in today's society. It tackles the very real issue of cyber bulling and its consequences in such a hard hitting way. I think this is such an important read in this day and age because, unfortunately we are seeing these issues become more prevalent. The author didn't shy away from tackling important topics and made us as readers face them head on along with their harrowing consequences. We read from the perspectives of several different characters involved and this allowed us, as readers, to experience how different parties were feeling, the guilt, remorse and anger that came through these individual voices was insightful. The author also includes extracts from different types of media related to the story including online blogs, website pages and social media accounts and this helped to emphasis the importance of the internet in our lives nowadays. 

I was hooked throughout this novel from beginning to end. The author did a great job of building suspense and anticipation and just when you thought you knew what was happening things definitely took an unexpected twist. Although, I feel like I had an inkling of what was happening as we neared the end and this is the reason why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars. Like I said before I wouldn't describe this as a 'thriller' as such but it definitely had some aspects of a thriller novel that ensured you are kept guessing until the very end. 

Overall, as you can see, I really enjoyed this novel and I feel it's a very important read that should be read by everyone. It really showed us, as readers, just what devastating consequences cyber bulling can have and how social media and the internet has become highly influential in everyone's lives today. I would definitely recommend this one.

Overall Rating 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Review - Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy Edited by Ameriie

Because you Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy Edited by Ameriie
Published 24th July 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 14/75

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Leave it to the heroes to save the world—villains just want to rule the world. 

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view. 

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," "Sherlock Holmes", and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage—and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from...

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel)

My Thoughts

So I've read a couple of adult short story collections before as I always love the sound of them but often they never hit the spot for me. This is the first YA anthology I've read and this was just what I have been looking for!

There wasn't a story in this collection that I didn't enjoy. Some I liked more than others but I had fun reading each and every one. They all had their own personal take on what they perceived as villainy and I loved reading these. I'm also ashamed to say that I've only read work from one of the authors featured in this collection however, I do own books from several others and I will definitely be picking up some of these very soon. My favorite stories included Venom by Cindy Pon, The Blood of Imuriv by Renee Ahdieh, Death Knell by V E Shwab and You, You, It's all About You by Adam Silvera.

Each of these stories were paired with a prompt from a popular booktuber and although I found these interesting I didn't feel they really added much to the stories. It also would of be beneficial, in my opinion, to have these prompts at the beginning of the story as opposed to the end. So we could get a fuller picture about what the author was trying to depict within their story. I also didn't feel their essays added a massive amount to the collection however, I did really enjoy Ben's essay paired with Cindy Pon's story. 

Here are my thoughts on each individual story. 

The Blood of Imuriv by Renee Ahdieh
What a great way to start this anthology off! I really enjoyed this story. I loved her writing style. The way she was able to create such an interesting and complex world full of politics and a fascinating social structure in just a few pages was fantastic. I'd love to see this turned into a full length novel!

Jack by Ameriie
This was another enjoyable one, this time a spin on Jack and the Beanstalk which was interesting, especially as I've been enjoying retellings lately. This one went in a bit of a different direction than I expected, with a little bit of a twist near the end. It amazes me how authors can lead you in unexpected directions in such a small amount of pages!

Gwen and Art and Lance by Soman Chainani
This is one of my least favorites but that's not saying I didn't enjoy it. The text format it was written in was interesting but I don't think it worked for a short story as I felt it lacked the detail that the others had. I think it did a good job of portraying a different type of villainy though.

Shirley and Jim by Susan Dennard
This is another one that didn't necessarily blow me away. It was a take on Sherlock Holmes and although the story was enjoyable whilst I was reading it didn't stand out to me. I wasn't a massive fan of this one. 

The Blessing of Little Wants by Sarah Enni
I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It was an original story, not based on another fairy tale, and it felt quite unique but I'm not sure I really connected with any of the characters, which I know is hard to do in a short story but still I like to feel something.

The Sea Witch by Marissa Meyer
I knew I would enjoy this one! I love Marissa Meyers writing and story telling and I also love mermaid stories so this was a winner for me. An interesting twist on The Little Mermaid where the main character was not necessary what you would call a villain but definitely morally grey.

Beautiful Venom by Cindy Pon
This is one of my favorite stories in this anthology. It was such an interesting and unique twist on the Medusa legend and it really got me thinking about what truly makes a villain. I thought it commented on the emphasis put into woman to be beautiful and perfect fantastically and Ben's essay on the topic was so insightful.

Death Knell by V E Shwab
This one was definitely another favorite. I've never read anything by V E Shwab but I will be picking up something very soon, I love the way she writes! Another interesting take on a perceived villain and you could feel the emotion written into the one.

Marigold by Samantha Shannon
Yet another favorite and another author whose books I now need to read! I loved the idea behind this story and the way she depicted strong female characters. This was another one that was able to create a great twist in a short amount of pages.

You, You, It's All About You by Adam Silvera
I was looking forward to reading Adam Silvera's story. I've heard such good things about him as an author but I don't really read contemporary so haven't actually read any of his work but it's safe to say he didn't disappoint! This story was dark and gruesome and his character was ruthless. Definitely what I could call a true villain!  

Julian Breaks Every Rule by Andrew Smith
I wasn't a massive fan of this one. I could understand his take on the villain prompt and I thought his ideas were good I just didn't like the way it was written. I wasn't a fan of the writing style and this stopped me from becoming involved in the story.

Indigo and Shade by April Genevieve Tucholke 
This was another enjoyable one. Before even reading the prompt you could see it was a re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast but with a gender swap which I quite enjoyed. The author did a good job of depicting the 'beasts' internal struggle with being 'evil'.

Sera by Nicola Yoon
I thought this final story was a great way to end. I enjoyed this one too. The flashbacks created such an ominous feeling and the ending felt quite powerful. The story, and in fact the whole collection, really ended with a bang!

Overall I really enjoyed this collection. It was a great opportunity to experience several popular YA authors and now, because of this, I'm sure my TBR is larger than ever. I would recommend picking this one up and I for one will be seeking out more YA anthologies in the future. 

Overall Rating

Monday, 2 July 2018

June Wrap Up

So I managed to read 4 books this month which I was pleased with as this month and next are always busy with work and things. I enjoyed all of the books I read this month and as always I will link to my reviews in case your interested. 

Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Published 7th June 2016 by HarperTeen
Star Rating - ***
Goodreads Challenge - 12/75
Review - Blog Review

Jiddy Vardy by Ruth Estevez
Published 21st June 2018 by ZunTold Publishing
Star Rating - ***
Goodreads Challenge - 13/75
Review - Blog Review

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury 
Published 23rd February 2016 by Razorbill
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 11/75
Review - Blog Review

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy Edited by Ameriie
Published 24th July 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 14/75
Review - Blog Review

Have you read any of these? I'd love to hear what you thought of them. 

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Weekly Book Haul 01.07.18

I can't believe we are in July already! Where has the year gone? Only 3 books this week, all of them I'm looking forward to getting too. 

Weekly Book Haul w/e 01.07.18

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Lee
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

I recieved these two older ARCs from the book for trade hashtag on twitter. 

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen 

This one came from a charity shop. I love browsing in these for new books. 

That's all for this week. Have you read any of these? Are there any you would recommend getting too sooner rather than later? Let me know.