Saturday, 28 August 2010

Here comes the Sun, do do do do

So guys. I'm jetsetting away tomorrow morning (I have to get up at 6am...eurgh, how will I do it?) for a bit of sun before it's BTS (Back to School for anyone) so there will be no answer from me for about a week unless I find an internet cafe that's free or we magically have wireless internet. HAPPY DAYS!
So this is my actually lovely montage of books I am bringing with me to read. I must admit, I am proud of this picture so PLEASE comment. I will be a happy bunny upon my return if that happens.


See ya when I'm back. And keep posting comments etc. If anyone does...

Outside Beauty - Cynthia Kadohata

This isn't quite the cover of my copy of the book but that picture is on it. I picked this up, thinking it was a romance novel of those that I absolutely love but it wasn't, surprisingly. I've really enjoyed reading this one. It's been a bit busy this week, I only have one week left of the holidays and then it's Back To School time...yay? And for me, my last year at secondary school or for any one American, high school but I leave at 16 and go onto college or a sixth form. Anyway. Back to le livre.

First Sentence: "Please?" My little sister said. "Pleeeeease? Let me push you in the shopping cart. I promise you won't fall."

Outside Beauty follows Shelby through about two years of her life in the 80's. She has the perfect, beautiful mother who she inspires to be like and  three close sisters, Marilyn, Lakey and Maddie. Four children from four different fathers (You can probably tell what I was thinking as I read that) After their mother is involved in a serious car accident, Shelby's life is changed as her and her sisters are separated to go and live with their fathers. But Maddie, the youngest, is so terrifed of her frankly idiot of a father who I wanted to punch throughout the whole novel, it's stupid, that she withdraws herself from her sisters and as Shelby realises, she knows she has  to do something drastic to save her sister and her family.

I don't know about this book. I feel like I had no emotion either for it or against it. Actually, thinking about it, I liked it. It was something different to read. It was beautifully written and had quite a good plot and well...interesting characters. However, some of them did get on my nerves. And I did feel a little for Shelby nearer the end. They were doing something dangerous but then, they kinda had to do it. At the beginning, I was sitting there thinking 'Oh my god. Get on with it.' and even Shelby was starting to get on my nerves.
Mr. Bronson, which is like their enemy, even though I hated him, he was written because Kadohata wanted you to hate him. He was such a tiresome, irritating character.
On the blurb, it said 'At times wickedly funny...' Erm, really? I don't think so. Like yeah, there was funny moments but I think I laughed out loud once. And that was only because it reminded me of something equally funny.
I would recommend this to anyone that's willing to sit down and just read it and doesn't get too bored easily AND can cope with irritating characters.

Author's Website: http://www.kira-kira.us/

Friday, 27 August 2010

Along For The Ride giveaway!

Okay. So I'm going for YET another contest. But this one is about winning a SIGNED copy of ALONG FOR THE RIDE by the absolutely amazing SARAH DESSEN. Enough said.
So. You're quacking in your boots (phrase. Hopefully you're not wearing boots in August. Well, actually I was yesterday...), I shall tell you the details for this pretty amazing contest.

It's on Reviewer X 's blog. All you have to do is go to the contest page and in the comments box answer either of these questions with your email: 
  • What was your favorite Sarah Dessen novel & why?
  • Who is your favorite Sarah Dessen character & why?
  • If you've never read a Sarah book somehow, tell us how the heck did you manage that!

So go to that all important contest page, click here
And for my wonderful review of Sarah Dessen's Along for the Ride, click here
Oh. My first ever post. On the tears :'(

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

On My Bookshelf (1)

So this is my version of 'In My Mailbox' because honestly, I'm not known well enough to have publishers and authors to send me books - and I'm still working out how that can happen. So here is my lovely selection of books that I have required in the last week: 


Outside Beauty - Cynthia Kadohata (Library)
When her mother is involved in a terrible car crash, Shelby's world is torn apart. She and her three sisters are separated and sent to live with their fathers. The girls struggle to adjust to life without each other but Maddie, the youngest, is so terrifed of her father that she withdraws into herself and from her sisters. Shelby realises that something must be done - something drastic - to reclaim her family. 

The Summer I Turned Pretty - Jenny Han (Waterstones)
Every year, Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends' house. There's the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of beach - and the two boys. Conrad: unavailable, aloof and who she's been in love with forever. Jeremiah: friendly, relaxed, the only one whose ever really paid her any attention. But this year, something's different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It's going to be an amazing summer and one she'll never forget.  (Part of a series)
(Oh my god. I want to read this book. Even though it's a summer read and it's practically the end of summer. Who cares? I'll read it in the winter and pretend it's summer!)

The Other Countess - Eve Edwards (Waterstones)
England 1582. Lady Eleanor Rodriguez of San Jime is in possession of a worthless title and a feisty spirit that captivates the elite of the Queen's court and none more so than the handsome Earl of Dorset. William Lacey has inherited his father's title and his financial ruin. Now the earl must seek a wealthy heiress and restore his family's fortune. Will's head has been turned to Eleanor but their union can never be. Will is destined to marry a lady worthy of his status but who will it be? 
(Yep. Another historical romance. Oh I love it so much....)

The Sky Is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson (WH Smiths)
What kind of girl wants to kiss every boy at a funeral, wants to maul a guy in a tree after making out with her (dead) sister's boyfriend the previous night. Speaking of which, what kind of girl makes out with her sister's boyfriend at all? 
(Yes. It is in my hands. It is sitting next to me in pride and joy on my desk. I am so happy, it's unbelieveable. And I even got my friend, Joey to buy it when I got it. See this book brings happiness!)

Bog Child - Siobhan Dowd (Library)
Fergus finds something which makes his heart stop. Curled up deep in the bog is the body of a child. And it looks like she's been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him, a little voice comes to him in his dreams and the mystery of the bog child unfurls. 
(I've decided not to read this one because for 1. It sounds downright depressing and 2. Apparently it's not too amazing. But I took the picture already so...I had to include it or it would feel lonely.)

Auslander - Paul Downswell (Library)
When Peter's parents are killed, he is sent to an orphanage. But Peter is of German Blood. With his blond hair and blue eyes, he is a perfect Hitler Youth specimen, Someone important will want to adopt Peter. They do. Professor Kaltenbach and his wife are thrilled to welcome such a fine Aryan to their households. But Peter is not quite the specimen they think. He is forming his own ideas. Peter doesn't want to be a Nazi, so he takes a risk. They most dangerous risk he could possible take in Berlin in 1943. 
(I do History and we do about Nazi Germany and that so I am looking forward to this. Not my normal type of book. But who cares, sounds good!)

And to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay...while I was out, my friend brought it and thought we'd add it to the pile. I've heard to much praise for this series that she's making me read it when I'm done with my library books. So, yeah that could be fun. From her description, it sounds pretty good. So I'm all set bookwise. :)


Joey with her 'Hunger Game' book and 'The Sky is Everywhere' :)


SEQUEL TO 'IF I STAY' BY GAYLE FOREMAN

I found out on La Femme Readers that Gayle Foreman is writing a sequel to If I Stay and going to be called....*drumroll* Where She Went !
Supposedly the book coming out on the 5th April 2011 but let's be honest, nothing in books or films gets to the UK that quickly if it's an American writer so it's going to be a couple more months for us English folk.
Anyway, it got me excited at least.
The book, for those who have read it and will understand, is from Adam's, Mia's boyfriend, point of view three years later. This is definitely one that I'm looking forward to reading :)

To see my own review of the first one, If I Stay, click here

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Secret Countess - Eva Ibbotson

So, there I am pondering along the rather uninspiring bookshelves of my local library hoping to God that I don't have to get the bus all the way into Twickenham, my feet aching from London the day before, and simply: I couldn't be asked. So, hopefully, you're picturing that.
Then, WHOOSH. I come across this book, just being replaced on the bookshelf. Pick it up before the greedy looking girl standing next to me does (*gives me a dirty look*) & read the blurb. Sounding interesting, I escape after grabbing yet another Mary Hooper book. After having the librarian smile at me & I can tell thinking 'I remember when she was a little girl', I go out in the pouring rain of lovely summery England & 10 feet down the road, I open the book, whack my Ipod in and start reading. And boy, I love that librarian who put it out on the uninspiring bookcase....

First Sentence: In the fabled, glittering world that was St Petersburg before the First World War there lived, in an ice-blue palace overlooking the river Neva, a family on whom the gods seemed to lavished their gifts with an almost comical abundance.


 St Petersburg 1917. Anna's world is under threat in the dangerous Russian Revolution. The countess, who has lived in a life of luxury all her life, has to escape the country with her much loved family before it's too late.
    London 1919. Now, penniless, Anna starts work at Mersham as a servant to the aristocratic and, like her own family, well loved Westerholmes. But as the young new Earl, Rupert, comes home from war, it's harder for Anna to keep the secret of her true identity from him as she, unaware, starts to fall in love with him...

This book, previously published in 1981 as A Countess Below Stairs (I think I prefer that title), was, I must say, surprising. I've seen it before in Waterstones but it never appealed to me for some reason even though this is the type of book I love. The book has some well loved characters, great story line and a probably not surprising ending. The storyline is the basic normal love story. A girl loves a guy but can't have him and then something happens and it ends happy ever after. But Eva Ibbotson has made it different, you wouldn't guess their feelings if you hadn't read the blurb which I must admit, made it much more enjoyable.
      However, there are a lot of characters involved, I found at times I had to go back and see who said what. Also, there are some sentences that just don't make sense to me or are referring to something that I didn't know happened. The book is well written but at 8am in the morning, lying in bed reading this, my head started to hurt at the beginning of the novel with some of the complicated words Eva has used - I didn't know what half of them meant! Like protuberent, beleagured, buxom. Huh? Dictionary, where are you?
  I would recommend this to anyone that like me, likes a bit of romance and history. It's a classic, brillant, old novel that I think a lot of people would enjoy.

Author doesn't have a website. 

Hope you like the updated look and new tabs to the site. Send us a comment if you have any ideas for the site :)

Sunday, 22 August 2010

CONTEST!


Last night, I found on In which a girl reads Blog, that she is holding a 'very humongous blogoversary contest'
 where 3 lucky winners can win books out of a selection of 25. I had a look at the list and there are some pretty good books there that I would like to read so I entered.
To enter yourself, just go to the contest page and fill out the form at the bottom of the page. It's INTERNATIONAL as well, which is good for me :) And I think you need to have a blog to enter.
Contest closes 19th September 11pm - US which is between 4am - 7am on the 20th for anyone in the UK depending on where the girl holding it lives in the US.
So check it out and good luck to anyone that does enter :)

Friday, 13 August 2010

If I Stay - Gayle Forman


I had never seen or heard about this book before. I just literally fancied reading it when I was in the library the other day. But now, I swear I keep seeing it everywhere! On people's book blogs, in Oxfam today, in Selfridges, in Waterstones. It's following me! It's so weird hah :)

First Sentence: Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I supposed that's true

This story is all about the choices we make, before and after. Seventeen year-old, Mia has (possible) the perfect family, an amazing best friend, Kim and a gorgeous supporting boyfriend, Adam. She would rather, unlike most teens, go out with her family on a drive or play her cello.  She has lots of choices about her life and even though decisions are tough, they are mostly about her music (she's a cello player), school life or love.
    But then, one snowy February morning, something tragic happens and all her choices are gone. Except two (in the book it says one, but I think it's more two): to stay or to die.

This book had me on the verge of tears. Which is hard for someone like me where it takes a lot to cry. Even though the book is only 210 pages, so relatively short, it is so powerful and makes you think. We follow Mia as basically her conscience, she's in a coma but her conscience can walk around, see people but people can't see them. It's through this that we read her, trying to decide and for practically the whole book, I really didn't know which she would choose. The tense, sad moments are broken up by mostly funny moments and for me, I found some of Kim's comments, hilarious. Through her decision making, she is reminded of her past and we find out what happened leading up to this moment. Even though the flashbacks aren't in chronological order, we can still understand them easily and get things from them. Adam. You just have to love him. He is from a completely different 'group' but he falls in love with Mia and makes an effort and supports her. I want a boyfriend like that, basically. I mean who wouldn't, girls?
This is a really deep, gripping, heart breaking but somehow uplifting that makes you appreciate your life at the moment.
Will you cry? Probably
Will you laugh out loud at Kim's comments? Yep.
Should you read it? Definitely. Just go out there and get this book.

Author's Website: www.gayleforman.com
There's also a really good If I Stay Book Trailer to watch!

Related Posts: 
Book #2: Where She Went

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

I WANT THIS BOOK!

This is a vibrant, deeply romantic and unmissable debut. Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to centre stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, with a nearly magical grin. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But the two can't collide without Lennie's world exploding...
(From Waterstones.com)


    This looks like such a good book. I know if you did read the first page on the preview, some people out there would be like 'Oh dear god. Teenagers shouldn't be reading that.' 
However, I still want to read this. 
I was in Selfridges today looking at the teen books while my mum was in the loo and I saw it, even though I've seen it before and thought instantly 'That looks so good. I want to read it.' 
And to add to my wanting, I picked it up. It's made so it looks like a journal or a diary, not like an actual normal book. So...I've decided. When I have some cash to buy it, I will. Or if I see it in the library. Actually let's face it. I never buy books. I borrow them. ha :)
     So...Watch this space :)


Look at it on Waterstones :)

Monday, 9 August 2010

What I Saw and How I Lied - Judy Blundell

I've seen this book loads of times in those books with books teenagers 'should' be reading and in Waterstones and that. But for some reason, even though it looked and sounded good, I never wanted to read it until, like normal, I saw it in my library and went for it. And I'm glad I did.

First Sentence: The match snapped, then sizzled, and I woke up fast.


It's the end of summer 1947, 3 years after the Second World War has ended. Evie's Stepfather is finally home and Evie is tired of being her mother's little girl at the age of 15. When they decide to go to Florida, a mysterious, handsome, ex-GI stranger turns up (Peter), having served with her step-father. Evie realizes she is falling in love with him who has a strange control over her parents. When a sudden tragedy (And it's a pretty big one), Evie has to choose between her family and the man she loves; she had to betray someone, just who?
     I was reading this over the weekend when I went to Hungary and even though I was sightseeing and eating, I just HAD to make time to read this. There are so many things that when you first read them, don't mean anything but at the end, it all makes sense. Me myself, had many weird looks from my parents when I said aloud 'Ohhh that makes sense now.' or 'That's clever.' It is written so well, that you just have to keep reading because you want to know more. And also, it's set in two of my favourite places: New York and Florida :)
It starts, kind of at the end and then goes back. The way it's written, is like Evie is telling you the story in person which I really liked. I also loved Evie as the heroine and I can see why she would fall in love with someone like Peter. It's also a lovely coming-of-age story and as said by Sunday Times, 'Memorable and compelling...a book to grown up with' That is so true.

I give it 3.5 out of 5

Author's Website: www.judyblundell.com/index.html

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

13 Little Blue Envelopes - Maureen Johnson


So...I was reading a bit more of Rosie Rushton but I don't know...I got bored with her and really wanted to read this one that I'd heard about. And I glad I did.

First Sentence: As a rule, Ginny Blackstone tried to go unnoticed - something that was more or less impossible with thirty pounds (she'd weighed it) of purple-and-green backpack hanging from her back. 

The story is about Ginny who receives mysteriously thirteen little blue envelopes from her free-spirited artist aunt...whose dead. In the first envelope there is money and instructions to go to England from her home in New York City. In the second one, there are directions to a specific London Flat. And because of the third one, she meets a playwright, Keith Dobson who go to Scotland that leads to a journey around Europe that have disastrous - and romantic- results. Everything will change for Ginny that summer just because of thirteen little blue envelopes....

I really liked this. Basically. There was a few boring bits and a few times where I didn't understand what was happening or like it felt like a bit was missing. Like she would be doing something and I'm thinking 'Hang on, when did this happen?'
It was also funny however and had really good characters like Richard, Ginny and Keith that you kind of have to love. It's nice how she goes around all the different countries to find something, feeling like a normal tourist when really she isn't. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but that's because there's a sequel which I'm looking forward to getting my hands on!
There are loads of surprises. You start with not knowing much and by the end, you know pretty much everything about Ginny's life. Read it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

The sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope, is due out in Spring 2011.
Author's Website: www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com/index1.html

Monday, 2 August 2010

100+ Reading Challenge

I found this when I was looking on other Book Blogs and thought 'Whoa. The amount of books I must read. This is probably the perfect thing and I know what books I read in January before the book blog started. So...I went for it. :)
        The goal is to read 100 or more books in a year starting from January 1st through to December 31st 2010. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. All you have to do it go to J-Kaye's Book Blog and sign up for it. 
The 100 books can be: Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, Young Adult, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Non-fiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased, the book counts.


I don't think I'm going to be able to do this, so I'm going for...75 books or more. :) (Okay, now 43)


Here are mine so far:
1. The Luxe by Anna Godberson
2. Rumours by Anna Godberson
3. Envy by Anna Godberson
4. Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen
5. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
6. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
7. Splendor by Anna Godberson
8. Lady Grace Mysteries: Loot
9. The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness
10. Drawing With Light by Julia Green
11. The Silver Blade by Sally Gardner
12. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
13. Everything Beautiful by Simone Howell
14. Shadow Web by N.M.Browne
15. Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter
16. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
17. Lifted by Hilary Freeman
18. Love, Lies and Lizzie by Rosie Rushton
19. Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
20. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
21. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
22. This Summer by Sarah Dessen
23. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
24.  What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
25. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
26. By Royal Command by Mary Hooper
27. The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson 
28. Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata
29. Auslander by Paul Dowswell
30. The Other Countess by Eve Edwards
31. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
32. The Declaration by Gemma Malley
33. The Resistance by Gemma Malley
34. Infinity by Sarah Dessen
35. Diving In by Kate Cann
36. The Betrayal by Mary Hooper
37. Star-Crossed by Rachael Wing
38. The Lady In The Tower by Marie-Louise Jensen
39. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
40. Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
41. Pretty Things by Sarra Manning
42. Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur
43. A Song for Summer - Eva Ibbotson


(Yeaaah at the beginning of the year, I have a bit of an Anna Godberson and Sarah Dessen spree :S )

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Pictures from Losing It :)

Here are pictures of my books that got signed at the Losing It book launch. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look at the post in July named 'Losing It book launch with Patrick Ness, Mary Hooper and Sophie McKenzie.' Or something like that. Enjoy :) 
The 'Losing it' Book signed by all of them. :)

The Remarkable Lifes and Times of Eliza Rose.
An amazing Book and very...worn from my
many times of reading it. 
'For Rebecca, Excellent to meet you in person! Patrick.'