BOOK BLOG: S.A. Patrick

A Darkness of Dragons: a brilliant adventure!

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“After playing a forbidden spell-song to save a village from rats, 12-year-old piper Patch Brightwater is thrown in jail. But there he meets Wren – a noble girl under a rat-shaped curse – and together they befriend Barver, a fearsome dracogriff, and set off on a grand adventure filled with sorcerers, dragons, bandits…and one very deadly enemy.
From the depths of the Tiviscan dungeons to the highest peak of Gemspar Mountain, this stunning book reminds us of the soaring joy of adventure, the captivating danger of magic, and of the delight of finding friends in unexpected places.”

The brilliant humans of Usborne sent me a copy of A Darkness of Dragons a while back, but I’ve been in a bit of a state of reader’s block (as I explained in my November wrap up post). I’ve just been unable to read/do anything bookish of late… blame it on tiredness/SAD/general life. I read the first five chapters of this before said reader’s block started. Then, on Saturday, I picked this back up and within the space of a few hours I had CONSUMED the whole thing – that’s how good it is! 

This book is based in the world of the Pied Piper of Hamelin (which for me made my heart SO SO HAPPY – I love when books are based around traditional tales. If someone could write a book like this based on Rumplestiltskin, that would be incredible! I am a massive Rumplestiltskin fan!). Obviously, the Pied Piper is a terrible man and in this world, pipers are well loved and respected people. I loved the world of the pipers – the thought that music and magic were very much intertwined was a sheer delight to read. This was one of those books that once I was there, I was immersed in the world. I was walking through the forest with Patch and co. It’s an incredible world to be part of too… although I don’t know that I’d survive ha!

As well as this book being an incredible adventure, a young man, his dragon friend, his rat friend and an adventure to save their world, it features some absolutely incredible characters. Patch (the main character) is an incredibly brave and somewhat stubborn protagonist that I think kids will absolutely adore. Throw in Wren, a brilliant young girl who has been hexed into being a rat, and an incredibly sarcastic and dry dracogriff in the mix and you have this excellent bunch of characters who I just wanted more from. (I can’t wait for book 2 because I am a SUCKER for sequels!)

There’s some brilliant themes of friendship in this story. Unexpected friendships particularly. I loved the friendship that grew between Patch and Wren in particular. It showed that friends are there to support and guide each other through everything. These friends don’t have it easy, but they stick through the thick and the thin with each other! I mean, how many friends would stick by you when you’re thrown into one of the worst prisons imaginable?!

I think this book is going to go down a STORM at school. I can’t wait to hand it to some of the readers in my class. 

Have you read A Darkness of Dragons?
Can you think of a story you’d love to see revived?
Would you like a dragon friend?

Talk to me! Send me a dragon… please… someone?! Massive thanks to Usborne for sending me a copy!

S x 

Six For Sunday 2019!

Well hello friends! 

Today I have some exciting #SixforSunday things to share with you! I just wanna take a minute to thank each and everyone of you for joining in, reading or sharing any of the #SixforSunday posts that have been posted this year! #SixforSunday was something I started one Sunday and I had no idea anyone else would join in! I absolutely love doing #SixforSunday, it’s one of my babies. 

Thing 1: There is a #SixforSunday logo in the making that I will share with you all when it is ready! 

Thing 2: Below are the prompts for the first 6 months of 2019. As ever, you needn’t do the prompt that is suggested… just remember to use the hashtag #SixforSunday

#SixforSunday 2019… take 1

January – bookish beginnings

6th: New year, new books
13th: Bookish wishes
20th: Bookish loves
27th: Bookish hates

February – Celebrating LGBT books!

3rd: Favourite LGBT books 
10th:  Favourite LGBT characters
17th: Characters I’d love to go on a date with
24th: LGBT books I still need to read

March – An ode to…

3rd: Favourite author
10th: Favourite illustrator
17th: Bookish couples
24th: Favourite genre
31st: Debut books and authors

April – Kids lit represent

7th: Children’s books I love
14th: Books from my childhood
21st: 2018 kids lit must reads 
28th: 2019 kids lit must reads

May – The ever growing TBR pile

5th: 2018 books still unread
12th: 2018 books I want to reread
19th: 2019 books I want to read
26th: 2019 books I’m excited for

June – Bookish wishes

2nd: Books I want to be written
9th: Characters who deserve another/their own book
16th: Baddies who deserve their own story
23rd: Couples who need a sequel
30th: Characters I want to be friends with

And there we have it! Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting developments in the #SixforSunday world! 

See you on Sunday!

S x 

 

 

S4S – Bookish highlights

Hello there! Here we are for #SixforSunday again! 

(Sorry I’m late today… I don’t know where my draft of this post went!)

Today we’re here to talk:

Bookish highlights

I’m going to use this prompt to count down 6 books that surprised me and blew my socks off this year!

  1. Show Stopper and Show Stealer by Hayley Barker
    I BLOODY adored these two books. I knew I would enjoy them, but I wasn’t expecting to love them just as much as I did (I almost used a swear word there… that’s how much I loved them!)
  2. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
    This is one that I’d seen EVERYONE talking about… which always makes me suspicious… but my word, guys, THIS BOOK.
  3. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
    I hadn’t read an Adam Silvera book before, but guys… this book broke my heart SO MUCH. I have such vivid memories of sitting in Waterstones Piccadilly crying my heart out. 
  4. Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes 
    This isn’t out til next year but I won a proof at YALC. I just can’t with this book. It’s so heartbreaking, but so so brilliant. It made me go WTF at a few points, but it’s such an incredible story. Please PLEASE get this read next year when it comes out.
  5. The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin
    THIS BOOK MAN. I read this book MONTHS ago and it’s still one of those books that I want everyone to read. I just adored it. I think it matters so much cause it hit a chord with me too. 
  6. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
    I knew nothing about this book when I read it, but I ADORED IT. It’s dark and twisted and delicious. Go read it man, you won’t regret it!

And there we have it! Six books which surprised me this year! Thanks for popping by for this week’s #SixforSunday.

See you next week!

S x 

Christmas Songs book tag

christmas songs

Halo, halo, halo! 

It’s Friday… that means it’s TAG DAY. (I should start posting tags on a Thursday cause alliteration is my jam… but old habits die hard, maybe in the new year!) 

Today I’m taking on the Christmas Songs Book Tag. I saw this while browsing the interwebs for different tags and thought it was the perfect FESTIVE tag to be involved it. Plus, I bloody love a Christmas song! If you fancy joining in the fun, feel free! I don’t remember where I saw this first!

“You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch” – Name a Villainous Character You Couldn’t Help But Love.

I’ve gone with Kaz Brekker for this one. I don’t know that he’s VILLAINOUS to be honest, but he’s not a good man… but my gosh, I adore him.

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Which Book Do You Most Hope To See Under Your Christmas Tree.

Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury. It’s not out til next year, but my word. I am SO READY for this book. (Hello Mel, or Scholastic, I love you guys).

“Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer” – Name a Character That Overcomes Major Obstacles and Learns To Believe in Themselves.

Steffi from A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard. I think this book is one of the greatest things to exist. I love everything about it. 

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”:
a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list? 

b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?

Top of the nice list for me would be Rhys from A Quiet Kind of Thunder.
Top of the naughty list for me is Scythe Goddard from Scythe. He is a TERRIBLE man.

“Frosty the Snowman”: Which book just melts your heart.

All of them?! I cry at EVERYTHING. However, Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda made me so happy. I ship Simon and Blue so so much.

“Feliz Navidad”: Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Jack of Hearts and Other Parts by L.C. Rosen. Set in America, but I’m not sure why this was the first one to pop into my head since a lot of the books I read aren’t even set in the UK. 

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

I’ll Be Home for Christmas. This is an anthology that I read last Christmas that I just ADORED. I don’t read many Christmas books, but this one is MAGNIFICENT.

“Sleigh Ride”: Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)?

Hahaha! I went down the “not love interest” route, and decided on Tilly from Pages and Co by Anna James because I’d like to spend my Christmas holidays reading and book wandering please!

“Baby It’s Cold Outside”: Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Either Caraval or Freshers. I don’t hate either of them, but I didn’t particularly enjoy them either. 

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”: Which book do you think everyone should read?

The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig. It’s just exceptional. It will 100% be in my ‘Best Books of the Year’ list. Please, all of you, go and buy it, get it from the library: something. Read it. You won’t regret it.

And there you have it! My take on the Christmas songs book tag!

Are you surprised by any of my answers?
Would you agree or disagree with any of them?
Are you brave enough to take on the tag?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

S x 

 

When life throws you lemons…

find the things you’re most grateful for. 

My little Christmas tree in my classroom. My kids loving doing the Advent calendar. My kids making me smile EVERY DAY. Laughing at the Christmas play (despite the fact I’ve seen it a fair amount of times). Being able to brush myself off. My cousins. My goddaughters. Books. Hot chocolate. Good news. A free slice of banana bread. Having tea with one of my favourite people. Quilliams. Being a Geordie. My brother and his sheer ridiculousness. Nachos, cake and tea. My family. Watching my best friend be brilliant and brave. Book post. Cats. People of twitter being lovely. Blogging. Finding that one song that you need to make you feel better. Little Mix. Cosy scarves. Hilarious Christmas presents. Looking forward to the future. Leaving work after a tiring day, knowing that I’m doing the thing I want to do forever. Being told I’m doing a good job. Overhearing my kids say how much they love coming to school. Singing the songs for the school play in the classroom. Walking into my classroom every single day. The sun. Reading to my kids. Seeing my class and their excitement when I bring in the book they won’t shut up about. Being proud of my kids. Working with some of the best, most supportive people in the world. Reading that book you’ve been waiting months for. New pillows. Books. Always books. 

Friends tag: Charlotte edition!

Good morning friends!

Today I have another taker for my Friends tag. My brilliantly hilarious friend Charlotte (yes, Charlotte of Charlotte Somewhere) has taken on the challenge of the Friends Tag. For those of you who don’t know Charlotte, she’s a brilliant book blogger and one of my best friends. Her blog is full of brilliant reviews from both her AND her brilliant son, S. His reviews are some of my favourite ever blog posts! (I’m hoping that I can convince her to get S to take on the Friends challenge… or at least SOME of the challenge. Watch this space!)

You should 100% check out Charlotte’s blog. It’s well worth a read AND a follow! 

Over to Charlotte and the Friends tag…

Ross: Seems harmless, but problematic – Name a book you had problems with

A Court of Thorns and Roses. The main character in this book starts off brave and feisty. I gave up after a few chapters when she became a whiny, simpering wreck hell bend on bedding a fairy.

Monica: neat and tidy – Name a book/series that ends satisfyingly

Holly Bourne’s It Only Happens in the Movies. I like to see a girl who stands up for herself and puts her own needs and self care first.

Chandler: funny and relatable – Name a firm fave

Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights. Forever and always one of my favourites.

(Charlotte is the reason I read Northern Lights in the first place)

Phoebe: reliable and friendly – An author you always rely on

Melinda Salisbury and Sara Barnard. Both can absolutely be relied upon to shatter my swinging-brick heart with every book they write.

(You can tell Charlotte is my friend… I would like to say I influenced Charlotte’s fan girling of both of these authors!)

Rachel: she grows on you over time – Name a book/series that’s grown on you over time

I didn’t have an instant answer to this one. A book that grew on me more the more I thought about it after reading was A Prayer for Owen Meany. A friend recommended it and pushed me to keep reading, I’m so glad I did because all the bits I read wondering WTF was going on became instantly clear and highly relevant in the last few chapters.

Gunther: always there, always ignored – A book you’ve had on your TBR forever

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It’s been on my shelf forever. I have not read it yet.

Carol and Susan: keeping it diverse – An LGBT+ book you love/hate/wanna read

Noah Can’t Even. This book had me laughing so hard I was crying. I just adore Noah and the crazy things he gets home to.

A massive thanks to Charlotte for coming along to join in the Friends tag fun! Go read and follow her blog. You won’t regret it!

S x

November wrap up!

It may be December 10th, but I still am yet to round up my (rather pitiful looking) November reads!

In November, I:

Only read 3 books!
Started a few books, but my brain wouldn’t let me read.
Suffered from some pretty bad SAD.
Was a bit poorly.
Slept a lot.
Started rehearsing for the Christmas play at school.
Experienced my worst reading block for a while.
Did some Christmas shopping!

My November in books is a pretty TINY pile comapred to some months… but hey, when you’re not in the mood, you’re not in the mood!

The books I managed to get through were:

2 YA books and 1 kids book. 

I was SO VERY FORTUNATE to be send a proof copy of Fierce Fragile Hearts and I consumed it in a matter of hours a few weekends ago. I’m currently still trying to process my thoughts on it, but I tell you this guys, you NEED to get on it. It’s out next year and I just think Sara Barnard has yet again written an absolute winner. She is 100% one of my faves.

I’ve written a review of The Boneless Mercies here and my review of Fortunately, The Milk is to come!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 105/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 92/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 152/52

Now, for all this month wasn’t a GREAT success reading wise, I am still streets ahead of my yearly goal… which pleases me to no end! I’m hoping to read 4 books in December, so that I’m on 156 books (300% of my original target). Bring on the Christmas holidays!

How is your yearly goal looking?
Are you looking forward to Christmas festivities too?
What’s on your Christmas to read pile?

Let me know in the comments!

S x

S4S – Blogging highlights

Hello hello hello!

It’s Sunday again! Time for some reflections on what have been some of my top moments of the year! Today’s #SixforSunday looks at:

2018 Blogging Highlights

2018 has been QUITE THE YEAR for me… so let’s find some of my highlights.

  1. Winning a UKYA Blogger award. 
    I’m still not sure how I won the ‘Best Newcomer’ category, but my word, what a moment that was!
  2. Chairing an event with my absolute queen, Melinda Salisbury, and the brilliant Alice Broadway
    I was SO NERVOUS for this, but it was absolutely incredible. I love both Alice and Mel so so much.
  3. Chairing Laura Steven and David Levithan
    HE’S A MASSIVE AMERICAN AUTHOR and she’s one of the best people in my life, so this was an absolute honour. I’m still not sure how I was asked to do this event.
  4. Hitting 30,000 views on my blog
    I NEVER thought I’d get to the point where I thought 10s of 1000s of people would view my blog, but here we are and I legit cried when I hit 30,000 views. It’s insane.
  5. Watching #SixforSunday get some new friends
    Any time someone has joined in #SixforSunday, my little heart grew exponentially. I’ve absolutely loved creating and doing #SixforSunday. Watch this space for the prompts for next year! 
  6. Having my words immortalised in books!
    This year has seen some of my blogging words included on books and that is INSANE. It’s an incredible feeling and I am ALWAYS here to shout about books! 

These are not in any order really, but there’s so many amazing things that happened in 2018. It’s been such an incredible year for blogger me. I can’t believe this is quite my bookish life.

S x

The Bookish Naughty or Nice tag

Morning troops!

How are we all? What’s going down this here Friday morning? Has Christmas reached your house yet? 

As we all know, Christmas is the time when you are deemed “naughty or nice”, so I thought I’d find a naughty or nice themed tag to do! I luckily found the perfect one… a bookish one on my friend Amy’s blog. You should check out her post here.

Received an ARC and not reviewed it: Naughty

Now I have never done this on PURPOSE, but I can imagine there’s an ARC or two in my collection that I’ve not reviewed.

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley: Nice

I’ve not used Netgalley for ages as my Kindle has been dead for a good few months. I need to find my charger lead. There’s so many brilliant books on the old NG that I need to get on!

Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did): Naughty

Again, not purposefully. I ALWAYS intend on reviewing, but there’s bound to be one that’s slipped under the net. I always review on GR as I use it to track my books.

Folded down the page of a book: Nice

This is sheer heracy. I am a page rememberer (much to the dismay of my best friend!)

Accidentally spilled on a book: Nice?

I PROBABLY have in the past, but keep your hot drinks away from my books thanks.

DNF’d a book this year: Nice

Nope. I’ve read and finished EVERY book I started this year. I’m not one who DNFs very often.

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it: Nice?

I THINK. But let’s be real… I probably have. I’m sure one of my friends will correct me on this one haha!

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework): Naughty

Guilty as sin. Some weekends all I need to do is switch off and read.

Skim read a book: Naughty

Yep. Who hasn’t?!

Completely missed your Goodreads goal: Nice

Nope, I always hit my goal. I aim for a book a week, so I always hit it.

Borrowed a book and not returned it: Naughty

I still have one of my friend Charlotte’s books from like a few months ago. I’ll get round to reading it EVENTUALLY.

Broke a book buying ban: Naughty

MORE THAN LIKELY.

Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about: Naughty

LOL, I’m a book blogger. What do you expect?

Wrote in a book you were reading: Naughty

My friends and I used to do a thing where we’d send a book around – it was so lush to see what each of us thought of the different scenes!

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads: Nice

TECHNICALLY, I’m naughty for this because I don’t add picture books to my GR… I know I know, I need to.

Let me know your thoughts about my responses! I’d love to hear how you would answer these prompts!

S x 

Looking for a brilliant read for a teen in your life?

Here we are, day 3 of my gift guide. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them! It’s been a blast looking back at my year in books and thinking which ones I would recommend people buy and read AND SHOVE IN EACH OTHERS FACES *ahem*.

Today, on this here final day of recommending, I’m sorting through the MANY MANY YA books I’ve read this year and giving you 12 that you ABSOLUTELY need to buy for the YA fan in your life! (Just as the past few days, none of these books will REALLY come as a surprise!) Without further ado…

2018 ya recs

Scythe/Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (while we’re at it… The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy too, LBR)

Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard (and ANY of her other books too)

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Show Stopper/Show Stealer by Hayley Barker

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin

Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

Clean by Juno Dawson

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber (and Wing Jones too)

Floored by the Floored Seven

TADAAAAH. You made it. This list could’ve been so much longer. GO AND BUY THEM ALL. READ THEM ALL. LOVE THEM ALL.

Do you agree with my recommendations?
Can you add any to my list?
Which of these books have you loved most?

Talk to me in the comments! Are you SHOCKED by my choices?

S x