Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Books That Hold Memories

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and now lives at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's theme is "books with sensory memories", such as books you remember reading while on holiday or while eating, or whatever. I'm going with books that I distinctly remember reading at a pivotal time in my life, like a big holiday or during an interview - if that doesn't quite make sense, I'm going to explain the whole situation after each book. And, as usual, this list is not in any particular order. Ok, let's go!

1 - The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Stevens - I was reading this earlier in the year while on a study trip to Krakow and Berlin. I started it during the second half of the week and distinctly remember reading it to distract myself on the plane journey home. By the way, great book!

2 - It Only Happens In The Movies by Holly Bourne - I couldn't work on my essay for university before I finished this book, and even then, I was seriously distracted by how much I adored the ending!

3 - Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon - my first book for my MA course, I was surprised by how much I loved this, and I can remember reading this on my lunch breaks at work, to finish it before we discussed it in class.

4 - Freshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison - I laughed out loud while reading this on the sofa, scaring my mother who was trying to watch TV!

5 - We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - borrowed from the library, I read this the day I got it, on the train home from work. I can remember because it was surprisingly sunny for January and my seat on the train was bright and hot.

6 - We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - again, borrowed from work, I remember reading this on my lunch break and having a great conversation with a colleague about Merricat.

7 - Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson - my first classic of 2016 and my second book of that year, I read this on my fiance's bed and read bits aloud to him, whether he liked it or not!

8 - The Duff by Kody Keplinger - I know I was reading this when I was interviewed for a job at Waterstones because my soon-to-be manager asked me about it!

9 - The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderon - can't remember the story but do remember I was reading this at the same time I had an interview to be a local school's librarian because I had it in my bag and read some while I was waiting for my lift home. Didn't get the job, by the way.

10 - Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - read in the rented cottage while on holiday in the Dordogne. Beautiful weather, great family holiday, also (randomly) can remember watching the London Olympics while on holiday there too!

Monday, 9 July 2018

Top Books of the Year So Far!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and now lives at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Reading speed has been bad for me this year because I've been prioritising my university reads, and so it turns out I don't have a full top ten list! I've read loads of great books so far this year, lots that have pushed me out of my comfort zone, but these are my top five, most memorable books:

1 - The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
2 - World War Z by Max Brooks
3 - Obsidio by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
4 - The Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton
5 - The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Stevens

Let me know what's on your list, what books have really stood out for you this year!

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Top Ten Series I Might Finish At Some Point (Maybe...)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and now lives at That Artsy Reader Girl. As usual, this list is in no particular order.

1 - Talon by Julie Kagawa - read three books
2 - Blackcoat Rebellion by Aimee Carter - read two books of trilogy
3 - Dark Elements by Jennifer L Armentrout - read two books
4 - The Rain by Virginia Bergin - read book one
5 - The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski - read two books
6 - Lois Lane by Gwenda Bond - read two books
7 - The Great Library by Rachel Caine - read book one
8 - Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - read three books 
9 - The Immortals by Alyson Noel - read two books
10 - Geek Girl by Holly Smale - read four books

Geez, this is terrible, I didn't realise there were so many! For pretty much all of these series, I haven't intentionally given up on them, it's just been so long since I read the previous book, I didn't want to read the next one confused and I don't have time to re-read. That makes it ok, right? 

Oh, apart from The Immortals, those books were just awful.

Let me know what series you've practically given up on, so I don't feel as bad!

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Top Ten Books that Inspire Me to Travel

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and now lives at That Artsy Reader Girl.

I actually struggled with this topic and so only reached 7. Let me know if there are any books that inspire you to travel, whether that's realistically or not! As usual, this list is not any specific order.

1 - Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - there's nothing like a road trip story to make me want to travel!

2 - One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton - the family goes to Italy, to their regular holiday town, the year after the father passed and while the memories can be painful, having a place that beautiful to remember him by must be special.

3 - Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham - four girls, four parts of London, tied together by their dreams for more, Siobhan does a great job in describing the city and making me wish for more time to explore every hidden corner.

4 - Passenger by Alexandra Bracken - exploring all corners of the Earth in multiple time periods, if that doesn't make you want to travel then I give up!

5 - Love Song by Sophie Bennett - the band reconnects by spending time in the English countryside, just breathing in nature and enjoying each other's company. What more could you ask for?

6 - Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon - when a girl risks her life to travel to Hawaii with her love, you can't not want to join her and her brave spirit!

7 - How to be Bad by E Lockhart, Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski - a road trip with three very different girls, crashing house parties and making friends with a stuffed alligator. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Min reviews: The Exact Opposite of Okay and Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
Izzy O'Neill here! Impoverished orphan, aspiring comedian and Slut Extraordinaire, if the gossip sites are anything to go by . . .

Izzy never expected to be eighteen and internationally reviled. But when explicit photos involving her, a politician's son and a garden bench are published online, the trolls set out to take her apart. Armed with best friend Ajita and a metric ton of nachos, she tries to laugh it off - but as the daily slut-shaming intensifies, she soon learns the way the world treats teenage girls is not okay. It's the Exact Opposite of Okay.

This book basically broke the book community when it was announced and released, and for good reason! It was funny, cringe-worthy, adorable, clever and so damn good! It dealt with, and beautifully, by the way, themes like slut-shaming, teenage sexuality, male entitlement, the friend-zone (ha, social construct!) and friendship. Izzy is my new heroine, she had such a great voice, so charming and self-deprecating, yet completely lovable. The things she had to deal with were quite rage-inducing - the whole situation was such bullshit and I hope it teaches plenty of young women, and men, how to act and not act when it comes to discussing sex, sexuality and relationships. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sam and Ilsa's Last Hurrah by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Sam and Ilsa Kehlmann have spent most of their high school years throwing dinner parties, and now they’ve prepared their final blowout, just before graduation. The rules for the twins are simple: they each get to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn’t know who’s coming until the guests show up at the door. With Sam and Ilsa, the sibling revelry is always tempered with a large dose of sibling rivalry, and tonight is no exception.

One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right – in rather surprising ways.

Unfortunately, this missed its mark with me. I was never really sure whether I was supposed to feel sorry for the twins; they both came across as "poor little rich kids", which got old fast. The story was one of those one-day moments, and I think that did work - everything was smushed in there, all the drama and tantrums, and that was kinda the point. The whole group had one last evening together and the twins wanted to go out with a bang, but for me, the characters didn't work. All of them were too weird and wacky, and I get that this is New York but really, how can two people pick just a few others and end up with ex's, bitches and the socially-awkward ventriloquist that talks through his sock puppet? It was all really annoying and pretentious and unfortunately did not get any better.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Top Ten Books I Loved But Will Never Re-read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and now lives at That Artsy Reader Girl. As usual, these are not in any particular order.

Edit: made a whoopsy and messed up the scheduling so have this post really late!

1 - Broken Harbour by Tana French - read for university, I think this is one of those 'it's not the same when you know what's going to happen' sort of stories.

2 - Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy - a great book, a fantastic story but one of those subjects that, of course, deserves more attention but makes it difficult to read about

3 - The Island at the End of Everything by Karen Millwood Hargrave - maybe a little young for me but still a moving story and one I will happily recommend, just not re-read.

4 - I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith - a classic growing-up story but a little dated, obviously. Loved it, glad I read it, but don't need to read again.

5 - The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke - as with most of Clarke's books, they hit you hard, right in the feels, and although amazing I'm not sure I can go through that again!

6 - Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison - I adore their books, would quite happily re-read Freshers again and again, but this one was a little young for me.

7 - We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - loved it but think this is another 'can only read it once' kind of books.

8 - Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Scheider - although I love a good contemporary, they do tend to follow the same lines and I don't really feel the need to pick this up again.

9 - All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven - similar to Cat Clarke, this was a stunning story but with a gut-wrenching ending that I'm not sure I could handle again.

10 - The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard - this is becoming a thing with crime stories, apparently: it's not the same, reading them when you know what's going to happen but this duology was great fun.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Books I'd Slay A Lion to Get Early (But Not Really Because Animals are Precious)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and now lives at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Kinda struggled with this one because my studying means I've lost touch a little with the book world and also literally cannot afford to get excited about new books!

1 - How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne - due 14th June - will happily devour anything and everything written by this woman.

2 - The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill - due 3rd May - ok, so I really don't have very much longer to wait for this one but chances are I'm not going to be able to read it for months anyway.

3 - When the Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher - due 12th July - I adore Carrie's videos and her writing style, and this one, about ghosts in a theatre, is right up my alley!

4 - Floored by Sara Barnard, etc. - due 12th July - a collaborative novel with all of my favourite authors? Yes please!

5 - Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West - due 29th May - I love Kasie West, her books are the epitome of a good summer rom-com and her latest sounds great.

6 - I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman - due 3rd May - not long now!

And that's about it! Like I said, so out of touch with new and upcoming releases so if there's something I missed that you think I should have my eye on, please let me know!