Thursday, 31 October 2013

Author Interview! Sinead Moriarty

So not only did I receive a gorgeous review copy of the fabulous new novel, as well as a copy to give away to you lucky lot, I was also privileged enough to be granted a fab interview with the author herself!

I keep my interview questions the same so that readers can compare answers different authors gave to those questions. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen I give you-Sinead Moriarty!

1. First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?
I have always wanted to write. My mother is a writer, she wrote children’s books and I secretly harboured the desire to be a writer too. I always found writing essays came easier to me than any other subjects at school.

2. Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?
I wrote my first book while working full time as a journalist on a Marketing Magazine in London. But after the success of that book, The Baby Trail, I gave up my job and I now write full time which is just wonderful.

3. Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?
Natural. I always say to aspiring writers, trust your own voice. It is unique. Don’t try to imitate anyone, the reader will see right through it.

4. How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?
My characters are a mixture of everyone I have ever met in my life, or read about, or seen in films or plays. I don’t believe that any writer truly knows their characters until the book is finished. We get to know our characters as we write them. It’s an amazing process.

5. What was the inspiration behind This Child of Mine?
I really just want the novel to make people pause and think. It’s about the moral dilemma of ‘would you take a child if you thought their mother was endangering their life?’

6. What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write a bit at a time?
I’m a real plotter and planner. I do a full chapter breakdown before starting any book. It’s a technique I learnt at a creative writing course and one I’m still using on book 10!

7. How much of you is reflected in your novels?
My first book was inspired by my real life struggle to get pregnant. The Baby Trail is a bitter-sweet comedy based around a couple trying to have their first baby. But since then I have written about a range of issues that I don’t have personal experience of but that I feel passionately about.

8. What kind of research do you do before/during writing your novels?
I do a lot of research before writing my novels. I think every writer has a responsibility to research their subject matter thoroughly. I’ve written about anorexia, breast cancer, mixed race relationships, adoption, infertility and many other topics, so research is a huge part of every book.

9. Do you have any plans to develop any of your novels further, write sequels, turn them into a series?
My first three books are a trilogy. And I’m currently working on a sequel to Me and My Sisters. It’s a ‘what happens next’ to the three very different sisters.

10. How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?
You have to be careful. The good ones make you feel wonderful and the bad ones can crush you. I always just throw the bad ones out and focus on the positive.

11. Are friends and family supportive of your writing?
They are all incredibly supportive. I am blessed with my family and their cheer-leading. Although my young children think writing is  ‘a really boring job’!!

12. How do you feel leading up to your publication day?
Very nervous. Even after nine books, I still feel nauseous when a new book comes out. I can’t imagine everbecoming complacent.

13. Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?
I admire every single person who has ever finished a book whether it has been published or not. It is an incredible achievement and a lot harder than it looks.

14. Finally...what are you working on right now?
My current book is the sequel to Me and My Sisters. It’s about three sisters who are all going through very modern day problems. It’s a funny and moving story about modern life and all of its trials and tribulations.

Sinéad Moriarty's novels have sold over half a million copies in Ireland and the UK and she is a four times nominee for the popular fiction Irish Book Award. She has won over readers and critics telling stories that are funny, humane, moving and relevant to modern women. This Child of Mine is Sinéad at her very best.

Sinéad Moriarty lives with her family in Dublin. Her previous titles are: The Baby Trail; A Perfect Match; From Here to Maternity; In My Sister's Shoes; Whose Life is it Anyway?; Pieces of My Heart and Me and My Sisters.

Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed! 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Review: This Child of Mine by Sinead Moriarty

Sinéad Moriarty's breathtaking eighth novel, This Child of Mine, is the story of two daughters, two mothers and the extraordinary bond of motherly love. It's a unique blend of the storytelling genius of Jodi Picoult and the compassion and humour of Marian Keyes, in a complex and deeply involving story that will have readers arguing about the nature of motherhood and the rights and wrongs of the characters' actions.

Sophie is a happy 18-year-old living in London with Anna, her Irish mother. Anna has devoted her life to Sophie. It may be just the two of them but Anna has more than enough love to give. Sophie has everything she could ever need.

Laura is a not-so-happy artist. She too has a daughter, Mandy. But Laura is haunted by the loss of her first child, Jody. Happy-go-lucky as she is, Mandy lives in Jody's shadow and wonders why her mother can never let go.

Both mothers carry secrets and cannot forget the day their paths crossed. But a chance discovery is about to bring everything into the open and mothers and daughters, love and lies, past and future, will spectacularly collide.

Review: wow! I was really blown away by this novel. It's been a while since I've had such a reaction to something I've read, where I find myself calling out in surprise or anguish, urging characters not to do things and almost not wanting to turn the page because I am afraid of what might happen but this is what this fabulous novel brought out in me. Since I've read this I've been urging people to go and pick it up and I definitely urge you to do the same! 

I really wasn't sure about the subject of this novel but I am always looking for new things to try and so when I received the opportunity to review this, I went for it and I am glad that I did. I really enjoyed the dual narrative. To begin with the story is written from 2 points of view, Young mum Laura's and Anna, someone who continues to have difficulty with her pregnancies. The start of the novel is truly heartbreaking, and although you can see what is going to happen a while before it does (not always a bad thing) it's still shocking and surprising. After the initial part of the the story, we skip forward to almost present day and a new voice joins the story telling, so us lucky readers get to hear everything from 3 points of view. I always find that this kind of writing makes the novel go a lot quicker, you want to carry on turning the pages so that you know what someone else thinks of a development in the storyline! 

Although I feel I ought to have disliked both of the mothers in this story, I really didn't. I could completely sympathise with both of their points of view and thought whilst both of them were in the wrong, neither of them deserved to suffer because of what they had done. This also made the story easier to read, because I wanted the best for both of them, as well as wanting the best for Sophie. The only character I really didn't like was Joan, the interfering grandmother, right up until the end I thought she was entirely disagreeable and judgemental but also fundamental to the storyline and the novel as a whole! 

Although the storyline was somewhat controversial, I think that it was a story that needed telling and no part of it was unrealistic. I do feel that somewhere along the line, the media would've been more involved than they were, especially since Laura was such a prominent figure in the art world, but you do hear about things like this slipping though the net all the time, so I suppose this is just another one of those cases. It is really hard not giving away any spoilers here, but I am doing my best! 

It had the lovely dual setting of London and Dublin, as well as some great supporting characters which contributed really well to the structure of the novel and were all really realistically described. Although this was a fairly long novel, I got through it really quickly and actually stopped the other book that I was reading to carry on with this one, so drawn in was I! This definitely comes highly recommended, you will cry, you may be angry, you may find yourself shouting at the book as I did, but what you will have is an entirely gripping read containing some excellent writing, wonderful characters and a storyline that will have you guessing right up until the end! 

To order your copy now, click here

Check back tomorrow for a fantastic giveaway of this novel so that you can read it for yourselves, and get ready for a super duper interview with the fabulous author on Friday! 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Ok so I wasn't sure whether we had to do books we'd actually read, I don't tend to pick up books with particularly scary covers so this is going to be a hard one for me but I'll give it a go. I may have to go way way back to childhood books in order to find some scary covers of books I've read...

1. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath-this cover really spooked me! 

3. 5 children and It by E. Nesbit-a childhood favourite with a spooky cover! 

4. The Arcade Episode 10 by Kitty Charles, perfect for Halloween! 

5. The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell, lovely but scarily hypnotising! 

6. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Macguire 

7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak-terrifying! 

8. Lord of the Flies by William Golding-seriously this cover totally gave me nightmares! 

9. Lockwood and co. by Jonathan Stroud.

10. Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith-I love this cover but it is rather spooky to me...

So there you have it, my version of the spooky covers! Not very spooky I'll grant you but them I really don't read spooky books so I have to go for my version of spooky, I hope you can suggest some better titles for me...

Monday, 28 October 2013

I'm on Holiday! So what's coming up?

Ok so I am on holiday this week in a mystery location. I am so so excited about it but it means I won't be communicating quite as much as usual, but it DOES mean that I will be doing tons and tons of reading. I also have some really great stuff scheduled for whilst I'm away to keep you all entertained, so here's what you can look forward to...

I have a review, a giveaway AND an author interview this week. Sinead Moriarty's latest novel, this child of mine was absolutely amazing! You can read my review on Wednesday, have the chance to win the book on Thursday and read my interview with her on Friday! Tons of fab stuff!

Whilst I'm away I am intending on reading the latest Bridget Jones novel by Helen Fielding, so you can look forward to a review of that very very soon. I also intend on reading all of Alexandra Brown's cupcake novels (and novella). I have been looking forward to reading both of the full novels and have recently downloaded the novel so I decided to marathon this lovely author whilst on holiday.

I am taking my Kindle with my, but might just shove in a couple of paperbacks in case my technology lets me down! I have The Proposal by Tasmina Perry to read as that is out on 7th November (when I get back) and I I'll probably pop in a couple of the paperbacks I have featured in my Letterbox Love posts for the past few weeks...

I am toying with the idea of taking my beautiful hardback of The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani because it is set around the area I shall be holidaying, however I'm really not sure whether I can take the weight or not, so its a wait and see on that one!

When I return I shall be participating in NaNoWriMo so I want to have as much stuff scheduled on the blog as possible before then, and who knows, the beautiful landscape and scenery I visit, may inspire my writing! Or more likely, I will be too stuffed full of pasta and Pizza and will crash and burn!

Have a great week!

Friday, 25 October 2013

An evening with Miranda Dickinson...

On Wednesday night I was lucky enough to be invited to an intimate book launch with Miranda Dickinson, her publisher and publicists and three other readers. This fantastic afternoon/evening took place in a trendy Soho eatery and our bookish discussions were accompanied by mini burgers and deserts all washed down with Prosecco and iced tea!

Miranda talked to us about her book and the reviews that had been coming in so far (mine included) as well as her previous four novels and her exciting exciting plans for book 6-which I cannot reveal now but I'm sure she will be letting readers know soon-it's seriously good stuff! 

She told us about her writing process, how she feels about being a full time writer now, and of course the fabulous news of her pregnancy. It was such a lovely evening because it was intimate and casual but we were all really excited about the book and she was even kind enough to sign our very own copies for us. The food was delicious although I don't know how Miranda had any time to eat hers as she spent so much time chatting to us individually. 

Her novel was published yesterday and if you've read my review which was posted on Wednesday you'll know how much I loved it. Thanks to Avon and Miranda for such a fab evening and the great company! 

Miranda was lovely enough to sign an extra copy of Take A Look At Me Now for me, and you guys have the chance to win it! All you need to do is comment below which of Miranda's novels is your favourite and why. I will pick a winner next weekend and notify the winner at the start of November. 

Remember to keep your eyes peeled to the blog for those exciting revelations about Miranda's next novel! 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Review: Geli Voyante's Hot or Not by Elle Field

'I think I will always be known as the Hot or Not girl, defined by it for the rest of my career. Even my tombstone will read: Angelica “Geli” Voyante, beloved trendsetter. Death? Not Hot.

Yet, it doesn’t sound right. Why won’t anyone realise that there is more to me than this fickle persona I have inadvertently become?'

Geli Voyante is bored of being the Hot or Not girl, even if it has the perk of sitting next to Theo, the newspaper's very Hot political columnist. She's also getting a little lonely being single.

When her arch-nemesis Tiggy Boodles gets engaged, and other loved ones start to settle down, it's time for Geli to convince Theo that she’s not as shallow as her column suggests and, more importantly, she’s the one for him. Geli should remember though that there are always two sides to every story, and that applies to people too...

Review: I was lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for this book and I was really excited to revisit Elle Field's writing again after enjoying Kept earlier on in the year! This was a completely different tale and yet had the same moral message about being able to reinvent yourself running right the way through it which I was pleased to find! 

Geli is a pretty easy character to like. She has certain advantages in life but doesn't really exploit them the way she could have done because she does have morals and values that are underlying. She is not really happy with her and job and I think that this is something a lot of us will be abe to relate to and is realistic in today's climate. There are other characters in the book who come and go but Geli is the main star of this one. There is rival Tiggy, best friend Glinda, Geli's parents and her workmates and finally love interest Theo. I wasn't keen on Theo at all and was very suspicious about him the entire way though the book. He did do the typical man thing of being full on one moment and then entirely aloof the next, which means that he was an entirely realistic character! 

I loved the fact that this novel was set in the Gherkin, was a great setting for a modern romance! The characters do travel to Durban for a wedding, however, which I found really interesting as it is not somewhere that has ever come up on my radar of places to visit before, but it was beautifully described and made an excellent backdrop for the drama of the story! 

This novel is definitely not short of drama, every page turn has some new revelation or rivalry going on, this did get a tiny bit tiresome at points but on the whole I didn't mind it too much and it definitely kept me turning the pages! This was a fairly quick read for me because I was dying to know how the Geli/Theo love story was going to turn out, and I am a pleased to reveal that I was happy wit the eventual outcome for all the characters! This is definitely worth a read as is Kept, Elle's previous novel! 

Click here to grab a copy for yourself. 

Click here to read my review of kept. 

And click here to read my interview with the lovely author herself! 

Elle is very kindly offering a giveaway too, enter below for your chance to win £10/$20 Amazon gift card! 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Review! Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickinson

How far would you go to make a new start?

When Nell’s on-off boyfriend Aidan calls her into his office, losing her job is the last thing she expects.

Heartbroken and unemployed to boot, she makes a radical decision to blow her redundancy cheque and escape to the untested waters of San Francisco.

But is the glamour of the city too good to be true? And can Nell leave her past behind?

Review: I seriously couldn’t wait for the latest novel from wonderful writer Miranda Dickinson and this was well worth the wait. My absolute favourite thing about this book, aside from the fabulous characters and amazing storyline was the setting and so I’m going to gush about that particular feature first! I knew that this novel was going to be set in San Francisco, but I didn’t know just how wonderfully realistic and well described it was going to be! When Nell loses her job and decides to go and visit her cousin in San Fran, I thought we might have a few scenes of outdoor action, but that it would predominantly be her and her cousin hauled up in the flat talking boys and jobs and life in general. Boy was I wrong. San Francisco is definitely the supporting star of this novel. I need to go there now! The diners the streets, the parks, the Golden Gate Bridge, all described amazingly, I defy anyone to read this novel and not want to take a trip there immediately!

Nell is, of course, an equally wonderful character. In true Miranda Dickinson style, she is always optimistic, evidenced by the fact that she takes her redundancy money and plans a trip to San Francisco with it. When her cousin asks her to help out with baking at her after school club, she is all for it. When she meets a new man, she doesn’t question it, but decides to go for it head on! I loved her. I wanted to be her friend and I am so pleased with the ending that she gets!

Lizzie, Vicky, Annie, Max and the children from the after school club all play incredible supporting characters as well. Each of them is fully developed and all play realistic roles in real life. Ex-boyfriend Aiden I feel is not to be trusted; this author has cleverly made me hate a fictional character, whilst loving another-that’s just how fab the writing is!

The love story that flows through this novel is definitely painful to follow just because it is such a slow burn, there is a lot of will they won’t they, and you may loose hope that things are going to work out the way you want them to. It’s definitely worth sticking out the tantalising twists and turns, however because the ending is one you’re definitely not going to want to miss!

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it impossible to put down and completely swept up in the story from the minute I picked it up. I am so grateful that I received an advance copy because I think the wait would’ve been even more agonising if it had been even a minute longer! It had reality, it had romance it had friendship, it had San Francisco, it had diner food-it really was the complete package. If you haven’t secured yourself a copy yet, I urge you to do so now, definitely a great book to snuggle up with on a cold autumn evening, and definitely something anyone would enjoy!

To order your copy now, just click here

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Character Names I loved

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Ooo this is a good topic, I really love some of the character names I've discovered in the books I've read recently so this is a very easy one for me to write about. 

1. Romily from It Started With A Kiss by Miranda Dickinson

2. Bliss and Garrick both from Losing it by Cora Carmack

3. Dougal Trump from the Dougal Trump series by Jackie Marchant (such a satisfying name)

4. Madison/Dice from Rolling Dice by Beth Reekles

5. Cassie from SECRET by L. Marie Adeline

6. Coco Swan from Coco's Secret by Niamh Greene

7. Rush from Fallen Too Far By Abbi Glines

8. Smith from Ralph's Party/After the Party by Lisa Jewell

9. Ticket from By My Side by Alice Peterson

10. Lila from The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell

These 10 are just from books I've read this year, I could delve right back into my reading history and find loads more that I liked but I decided to keep to just this year. I've also tried to include a balance of American vs British authors although a lot of the names that I really like are from New Adult authors interestingly. Let me know what names you like, or if indeed you've chosen your own name from a book! 

Monday, 21 October 2013

One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson

The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record. 
       The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.

     All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.

I am a massive fan of Bill Bryson's writing, I have read all of his books and thoroughly enjoyed them, they've made me laugh and I've learned a lot. I was very excited to receive an advance review copy of his latest book, and I set about read it right away. Now it is a massive book, very heavy so it didn't fit in my handbag. In the end I read the book until the audiobook that I had pre-ordered downloaded and then I finished it off in audiobook format. I had the best of both worlds-the audiobook is read by bill Bryson and I could listen to it in the car on my commute, and the hardback is gorgeous with wonderful photographs, a super storable cover and a nice stocky length of book!

I really enjoyed this latest book. Although it wasn't as funny as some of his other writing, I learnt an awful lot about America during this period, a time that I actually learnt about during my history GCSE! The structure of the book was one of the things I enjoyed the most. Everything linked into something else. Lindbergh crossing the ocean had an impact on one thing and president Coolidge deciding not to run for president had an impact on something else, it was well structured and chronological at the same time. Bryson knows when a reader is likely to get fed up of one subject and swiftly moves onto another subject.

Even though this is a history of America and I live in the UK it stil, had an impact on things like television, war, flight, cars and so It was really interesting to learn about the origin and development of many of these things. I found the sections on prohibition and the movie industry really enjoyable and my knowledge of baseball has increased now by at east one thousand percent! Bill Bryson's tone is its usual chatty self meaning that, as a reader, you feel at ease with the narrative, you feel as if Bryson is talking to you and only you. His writing never makes you feel stupid and yet he doesn't really assume any prior knowledge, great when you are a Brit learning about American history and culture! 

The best part of this book for me in the end was the epilogue. Now I love an epilogue in any kind of writing and love it in a fiction book when I get to find out what happened to all the characters, how they ended up and what the consequences of their actions were. This book did exactly that. Bryson wrapped up his book by revisiting all of the names mentioned in previous chapters and told us what had become of them all. I won't spoil any of it for you, but there were some real shockers there! I really enjoyed this book and if you have the time to read this, it is well worth it, I can recommend it in either format, or do as I did and read both! 

Click here to grab a copy and see for yourself! 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Letterbox Love #10

Now I haven't actually received any books for review this week either paperback or ebook but I DID buy some books-I know terrible! I got 6 books this week, I didn't actually buy them myself, they see bought for me because I was feeling all poorly and sorry for myself. I want to read all of them now but there just isn't time, but I know I will get round to reading most of them very very soon!

Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke, I've heard fab things about this one, and the cover is just so so storable! 

Penelope by Rebecca Harrington, as you can see I bought this in Waterstones, it's been on my wish list for a while now, I know nothing about it other than the fact I fancy reading it! 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, I've been meaning to read this one for ages, I've been warned to keep the tissues handy though...

The Moment by Clare Dyer, this one sounds great as One Day is one of my all time favourites, and the author is local to me too! 

Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream by Abby Clements, this is just a gorgeous cover and I plan on reading the other one of her novels that I have sitting on my kindle alongside this one-author marathon! 

The Guest List by Melissa Hill. I love this author and I thought that I would read this one before her latest novel came out, at this rate I'm going to be reading them both together, another totally stroke able cover though! 

Those are all the books I got, aren't I a lucky blogger?? Just click the title of each book if you fancy getting a copy yourself. I'd love to hear what books you received/bought this week so just leave me a comment below and let me know! 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Review! The Arcade Episode 10 The Gift Shop by Kitty Charles

Pam Watson feels like her life is not her own. Running All That Glitters Gift Shop with her daughter Erin is more challenging than she thought it would be and their relationship is showing the strain. To make things worse, everyone around her seems to be finding their happy-ever-afters.

In the run up to Halloween, mysterious happenings at unlucky Unit 13 are unnerving the residents of Angell’s Arcade. Could it really be haunted, as security guard Jason suspects? Things come to a head on the last night of October, a ghostly light in Unit 13 heralds the beginning of a terrifying night that will change Pam’s life forever…

Review: Another great instalment from this monthly serial. As expected, this particular episode was a slightly spooky one, what with the Halloween type of cover and it being the Month of October. As usual, there was a high amount of drama in this book; we are given unexplained goings on in unit 13, someone being taken hostage and a fight scene involving characters you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be fighting!

As usual, the episode also revisits characters from previous episodes so we get to find out what is going on with Rachel and Danny, how Eden’s blossoming relationship is faring and we get a little whisper from Joan, arcade owner too. This is always done in such a brilliant way, the characters simply pop into the storyline and then back out again. This episode deals predominantly with the gift shop and the characters of Pam and Erin. We know there has been previous drama involving Erin and this definitely does come to a head in this episode, which was wonderful!

As is often the case, I was definitely left wanting more from this episode. The ghostly goings on is only touched upon, as are the consequences following the dramatic fight scene and I just really really want to find out what the fallout from all of it is! I have no complaints when it comes to the Arcade as a whole though; I love my monthly instalments and think that everyone needs to get in on this fabulous fiction action! Lets all keep our fingers crossed that this drama continues with an Xmas omnibus, and maybe even a new start in January…

To get your copy of this month's installment, just click here

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Review! The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?


I have to say right from the beginning, this book wasn’t for me. I decided I wanted to write a review anyway because a lot of people recommended this book to me, and I could definitely see why they enjoyed it, and what a well-written book it is! I also wanted to give my opinion on this book because, despite not enjoying all of it, I thought it was a great concept for a book, with strong characters and a well thought-out storyline, and I listened to this book right to the end to find out what happened!

The whole concept behind this book, there being a town where everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts, and all the women of the town are banished once they reach the age of thirteen, I thought was great. I loved the idea of people being able to hear what each other think and the fact that main character Todd can communicate with his dog I thought was very amusing! After a while though, I thought that the idea that your ‘noise’ could give away what you were going to do next, no matter how much you controlled it, was a bit difficult and it made it harder for me to follow the book.

Up until Todd meets Viola I was really enjoying this book, but the fact that she came down in a ship and from another land or town, her mother and father being dead, it just all became a little improbable for my tastes. The fact that Patrick Ness has built this whole other world and way of thinking I think it just amazing, however and I really admire him as a writer. Also the fact that this is part of a trilogy is pretty impressive too.

I listened to this book on audio book and I thought it was really well narrated and added to the enjoyment for me. I listened right to the end, but the ending was a little disappointing from my point of view. This book is part of a trilogy and whilst I was hoping for some kind of resolution at the end, the fact this it is part of a trilogy meant that there was no resolution. The ending is left open, leaving you wanting more and wanting to buy the next book. Whilst I will not be doing this, I can see why other people would do.

If world built up like this are your kind of thing and you are more familiar than I am with other races and rules surrounding killing and living, this will totally be your kind of thing. It was gripping and well-written but it wasn’t for me!

To get your cop, just click here

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten books I Was FORCED to read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

I like this weeks's topic, I think sometimes people make you read books and this can be a good thing, I have discovered many authors this way. It can also be a bad thing, there were books I was forced to read at school that I absolutely hate today but I may not have felt that way had I been able to read them simply for pleasure. So here is my list...

1. Lord of the Flies. I had to read this book for GCSE and now I absolutely hate it. It is the only book I've thrown away, it was falling to pieces from all the highlighting and notes, but still! 

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Another teacher and massive John Green fan thrust this into my hands and said 'you must read this' and that was my discovery of John Green, awesome! 

3. Walking disaster by Jamie Maguire. I had this sitting on my shelf for ages, had to read it for a book club and really didn't like it! But as least I read it...

4. Losing it by Cora Carmack. I was given this book by the Lovely Amanda from Onemorepage and felt I had to read it for this reason. I had been wanting to read it for. While but this gave me the push that I needed. I was so glad I did and thank goodness I read it the day before Faking it was released, I was able to move straight on and carry on reading this fabulous author! 

5. S.E.C.R.E.T by L Marie Adeline. Another book club read that I totally loved. Am about to start the sequel and am very much looking forward to it! 

6. Girl Friday by Jane Green. One that was leant to me by a friend, and unfortunately, one I was an,e to finish. I just couldn't get past the content and couldn't finish it even though she had forced me to read it! 

7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Another GCSE read but one I actually enjoyed, I ended up having 3 copies of it and was glad to have the chance to read it! 

8. The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell. This book was recommended by Cesca at Novelicious and I received a proof copy of it. I so enjoyed it, I think I may have been lynched had this not Ben the case! 

9. Bad Angels by Rebecca Chance. I received this one from a bloggers event at Simon and Schuster and it sat on my shelf for a while, then I attended a special Christmas event featuring her and many other lovely authors and so I had to finish this one a little quicker. I'm gold that I did, I really enjoyed this twist on the festive novel! 

10. The Stag and Hen Weekend by Mike Gayle. Another one that I wanted to read before an event. I actually downloaded this one on audiobook and finished it shortly before arriving at the event-I found it to be a totally awesome dual narrative. 

Let me know what you think of my top ten, its always interesting when you are forced to read something, you definitely come to it from a different point of view, so I'd love to see what made your lists!