Behold the Pretty Books! / August Book Haul

Behold the Pretty Books! / August Book Haul
Here are the books I added to my shelves in August!

I received two very exciting proofs from Penguin Books last month: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I’ve not read All the Bright Places or Everything Everything but both are on my TBR. All the Bright Places is sitting on my desk as I type and I’m very much looking forward to tucking into all four books.

We also received two books in the latest Illumicrate (a fantastic YA subscription box): Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (a high fantasy novel about the art of assassination) and The Graces by Laure Eve (about witches, magic and obsession). I’m not usually much of a fantasy reader, but I’ve heard excellent things about both books!

Behold the Pretty Books! / August Book Haul

And I received a few more lovely review copies from publishers. Stripes Books sent I’ll Be Home for Christmas, which I included in my recent post on ten young adult books I’m excited about. I’ll be picking it up as soon as December hits! Scholastic also sent Super Awkward by Beth Garrod, which was so much fun – a contemporary novel about one girl, one boy and a plethora of awkward situations, for fans of Geek Girl. It’s one I’ll be reviewing very soon. And lastly, Electric Monkey sent Kevin Brooks’ Born Scaredthe story of Elliot, a boy who is scared of everything and has to enter the outside world after his medication runs out. I haven’t yet read a novel by Kevin and so I am intrigued and unsure what to expect!

Have you read any of these?

Behold the Pretty Books! / August Book Haul
Continue Reading

What I’ve Read: Life As We Knew It, Songs About a Girl & Roller Girl

What I've Read: Life As We Knew It, Songs About a Girl & Roller Girl
Here are three reviews of books I’ve read recently to get me get out of my reading slump – everything from survival stories to boyband lit and awesome girls doing sports!

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, narrated by Emily Bauer (Audiobook)

I first read Life As We Knew It five years ago when I couldn’t get enough of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. This time, I was looking for an audiobook to listen to on my commute and after a few failed attempts at reading paperbacks while squished on the train, a re-read seemed like the perfect choice!

I loved Life As We Knew It originally because it made me feel like I was surviving alongside Miranda after a meteor collides with the moon, altering the Earth’s climate, making it almost impossible to continue with life as it was. If anything, the audiobook was even more atmospheric. Miranda reading her diary aloud meant that I caught little bits of the story that I think I missed the first time – Emily Bauer has done a fantastic job at narrating the audiobook. It’s been 10 years since it was first published, but Life As We Knew It is still one of the few YA post-apocalyptic novels that had me thinking about it after I put it down.

Songs About a Girl by Chris Russell

I was introduced to Songs About a Girl at a blogger event at Hachette Towers, and this is where we also got to meet the fabulous author, Chris Russell, who’s an utter delight and self-confessed fanboy. He’s in a band himself – The Lightyears – and has previously written for a One Direction fansite, so is in a perfect position to write about the world of music.

I assumed Songs About a Girl would be told from the point of view of Fire&Lights – a hot new boyband – but it’s actually the incredible Charlie Bloom we get to hear from. 15-year-old Charlie is invited to be the band’s photographer after Olly, one of the band members, comes across her photos. Charlie’s a refreshing protagonist who’s simultaneously unaffected by the boy’s popularity and intrigued by their music and complicated friendship. Plus she’s being targeted on social media by jealous Fire&Lights fans; has discovered a baffling secret about her mother, who passed away; and is stuck between frontman Gabe and bandmate Olly and their curious conflict. (I prefer Yuki myself!).

Songs About a Girl was a fun story to read over the summer and I’m looking forward to meeting up with my new friend Charlie in the sequel next year.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Oh, I loved Roller Girl. I came across it during a shopping trip at Gosh! Comics with my friend Daphne and one glance at the cover me it was the graphic novel for me! Roller Girl is the heartwarming tale of friendship and roller derby over one summer, beautifully written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. It perfectly captures what it’s like to be growing up when you’re not a child, but not quite a teenager.

Astrid is 12-years-old and does everything with her best friend Nicole – until Astrid signs up for roller derby and Nicole starts making new friends at ballet. I wish there were more contemporary graphic novels because it’s a wonderful, underrated format for them. Not only do we get a fantastic story, but are able to experience visually the pain, frustration and heartbreak of real life.

I love coming-of-age stories and in Roller Girl, we get everything from realistic confrontations with parents to what it feels like to be the worst at something you so desperately want to conquer. I also learned a lot about roller derby and feel like I got bruises from just reading about it – ouch!

Top Ten / YA Books I’m Excited About

Top Ten / YA Books I’m Excited About
I thought I’d talk about my top anticipated July-December books today since I first blogged about this topic for Top Ten Tuesday in December.

JULY (even though it’s a bit late!)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
I wasn’t too fussed about the script book until I saw the play and now I’m really looking forward to revisiting the story! I know it’s not a possibility for everyone, but if you can, definitely see it before you read it.

AUGUST
What’s a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne
I adored Holly’s Am I Normal Yet? – a fantastic story of mental health, friendship and feminism – and so I’m delighted there are three more books to go, including the sequels How Hard Can Love Be? and What’s a Girl Gotta Do? Bring on the Spinster Club!

Unboxed by Non Pratt
As Non is one of my favourite authors, I was super excited to hear she was writing a new novella, about four teenagers who reunite after their friend passes away. I’ve heard such amazing things from everyone who’s read it so far, so I’m making it my next book!

SEPTEMBER
I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Various
As soon as it hits December, I’ll be reading I’ll Be Home for Christmas, a collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home. It includes some of my very favourite YA authors, such as Holly Bourne and Lisa Williamson.

OCTOBER
The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
If I needed an excuse to re-read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares once again, this would be it! Dash and Lily have been dating for nearly a year, but when Lily’s beloved grandfather falls ill, the repercussions take their toll on everyone.

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
This is a dèbut I’ve seen a lot of excitement around – about the unlikely love between Henry and Grace – so I was happy to get my hands on a copy at this year’s YALC. 

Replica by Lauren Oliver
I’ve not read a Lauren Oliver novel in a while (not by choice – my TBR is just towering!), but I really want to make time for Replica. I’m intrigued by how this science fiction story is written; you can read Gemma’s story first, or Lyra’s, or in alternate chapters!

The Last Beginning by Lauren James
I’m looking forward to delving back into the tricksy world of Matthew and Kate, and meeting new characters Clove and Ella!

NOVEMBER
Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin
As Wolf By Wolf was my favourite book of 2015, Blood For Blood must be my most anticipated book of 2016! I haven’t even looked up what it’s about because I’m going to read it no matter what.

…And a Happy New Year? by Holly Bourne
Aaaand finally, another new story from Holly, this time a novella. I’m delighted that we get not one, but three new festive YA stories this year!

Will you be reading any of these?