S4S – Characters you’d love to see together

Happy Sunday friends! 

How are we all? Are we all ready for more #SixforSunday? 

Today’s challenge is a TOUGHIE. Just as I have the past few weeks, I have TOO many options for the 6 I’m allowed to choose! Today I have to only find 6:

Characters you’d love to see together

  1. Jack (from Jack of Hearts and Other Parts) and Simon (Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda)
  2. Jupiter (Nevermoor) and Felix (The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club)
  3. Stella (The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club) and Owl (A Girl Called Owl)
  4. Twylla (The Sin Eater’s Daughter) and Sorrow (State of Sorrow)
  5. Twylla (The Sin Eater’s Daughter) and Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows)
  6. Tilly (Pages and Co) and Property Jones (The Bookshop Girl)

There we go, some MG and some YA choices! This was a lot of fun! My list surprises me… I definitely have a whole chunk of others I’d love to see. If you’re interested, talk to me! I’d love to share more of my ideas! 

S x

The 90s Movie Tag

Hello there!

How are we all? It’s Friday again! It is FINALLY half term. My first half term over as a teacher – prepare yourself for quite a mammoth blog post next week about what I got up to in my first 8 weeks as a teacher!

Today I’m taking on the ’90s Movie Tag’ which I saw on my brilliant friend Aoife’s blog. You should go read her post and follow her blog! I loved the premise of this tag, so thought I’d take it on.

She’s All That – Name a book couple that is an odd pairing but they still fit perfectly together

Lukas and Nell from The Hurting by Lucy van Smit. He’s pretty much a rich wolf boy and she was brought up with a drunken dad, a poorly mam and a little sister. They have an interesting dynamic. The Hurting is one of those books that pushes you to think for a while after you read it.

10 Things I Hate About You – A book/series you have a love/hate relationship with

OH MY WORD. For me, there is only one candidate. Gone Girl. I have SUCH a complex relationship with this book. I HATED the characters. So much. Man, I think I need to write a blog post about my feelings about this book. However, I did think it was so cleverly written. But yeah, this book makes me want to shake my fist (yknow, like the gif of the little girl?)

Clueless – A character who is totally clueless but you love them anyway

I don’t know that I have a character who is Clueless quite like Cher. I’ve gone for Citra and Rowan from Scythe. They had NO idea about the corruption and horrendous acts in Scythedom, but I loved them.

Titanic – Name a book that made you cry

LOLOL. Hello, do you know me AT ALL? I could list almost every book I’ve ever read. I am a crier. You’ll get used to it. However, if we’re going for books that have had a lasting impact on my emotions, I’d have to go with Countless by Karen Gregory. I can’t think about that book and not tear up.

American Pie – A book that makes you laugh

This was another one where I was like ‘I KNOW THE ANSWER STRAIGHT AWAY’. Guys, if you’re yet to read The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven, then you need to get on it. I remember reading the first chapter of that book and cackling SO SO MUCH. Izzy O’Neill is just remarkable and hilarious. Everyone needs her in their life.

Can’t Hardly Wait – A book with a crazy party

I don’t know that I can recall many books with parties in (which, considering I read a lot of YA books, does blow my mind slightly). But, after some thought, Clean by Juno Dawson features some wild parties. It must, right? It’s all about drugs and alcohol and sex.

Cruel Intentions – Name a character you can never fully trust

I 100% do not trust Mael from State of Sorrow (by the Queen Salisbury). I am still suspicious of him. I won’t say what it is, incase you haven’t read it, but if you have and wanna know… hit me up. I NEED SORROW 2 NOW PLZ THANKS.

Drive Me Crazy – Name your favourite “boy next door” or “girl next door” couple

I mean, Simon and Blue from Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda are pretty much “boy next door/boy next door” vibes for me. I adore them. I want a book of just Simon and Blue romantic fluff.

Scream – A book with a memorable villain

Every time I do one of these tags and a question about vilains comes up, I think of the SAME character. J from The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. I mean, that’s gotta be some memorable character.

The Craft – Name a book with witches

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw was my first thought. A brilliant book about witches and falling in love and being who you really are.

Why don’t you take on this tag? I’d love to know your thoughts on my choices!

ALSO, if you do a tag you’d like me to take part in, let me know! I’m loving tag life!

Speak to you soon!

S x

Mini reviews: London edition

Last week, I was very lucky to spend time in London with one of my favourite humans in the world, Kelly. While we were in London, we spent much time reading, drinking tea and having a lovely relaxing time – perfect for bookworms like us! 

I thought I’d share mini reviews from the 6 books I managed to read in the 4 days I was away. I love a mini review – bitesize bookish love is always good! 

Book 1:
The Light Between Worlds – Laura Weymouth
Released November 1st from Chicken House

(proof cover!)

I absolutely adored this story – it was pretty unique. There was lots of juxtaposition in this book – the harshness of war vs the freedom of the forest, a need to be in the moment vs a want to be elsehwere – which made for brilliant reading. I adored Ev’s friends and family and I genuinely felt their love for her, but she frustrated me at times. There’s a lot of emotions explored in this book, and there’s some dark themes explored. 

Book 2:
Mr Lemoncello’s Great Library Race – Chris Grabenstein

Again, this was one that I thought was just wonderful. It was good for my brain to go from something quite dark to this library based caper. It is such fun! I would love to visit Mr. Lemoncello’s library and take part in his fun games. I hadn’t read the first 2 of these books before this one, but that didn’t spoil it whatsoever (I have since bought book 1 and 2!). This book is all about sharing the love of libraries, making friends and the power of the truth. I can’t wait to recommend this to the kids at school!

Book 3:
Oliver and the Seawigs – Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

I actually managed to pick this up from Oxfam Book Shop and it’s a good job too, because I finished Mr. Lemoncello quickly so needed a back up book to read! This is a funny, irreverent adventure with a young boy who makes friends with a mermaid and an island (I know right?!) and they have to fight off some baddies. I really enjoyed it, it’ll fit perfectly in our school library! I’d love to pick up more from these authors!

Book 4: 
More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera

(yes that is more tea!)

When I finished this book I was very much not ok. I’ve been in Aaron’s shoes – wanting to be someone I’m not. I’m so sad for him. I can’t imagine going through what he ends up going through. This book is littered with love and the struggle with accepting who you are. Even now thinking back to this book, I am so sad for him. This book is one I would recommend EVERYONE READS. It is HEARTBREAKING. I didn’t see the twist coming, it shocked me. Adam Silvera continues to write incredible books. 

Book 5: 
Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

(hey look at that guys, more tea!)

OH LEAH. I really wanted to love this. Don’t get me wrong, I did really enjoy it. There’s just things about it that frustrate me. I didn’t ship it, which as a serial shipper is a MASSIVE surprise to me, so it made it hard for me to get fully into. Having read Simon, I wanted to just swoon over everything, and I didn’t. I would recommend this book though, it is good. I think there’s a bit of me in Leah and there’s some of Leah’s personality I don’t like… so yeah. I have complex emotions about this book. 

Book 6:
The Friendship Fails of Emma Nash – Chloe Seagar

Friendship Fails of Emma Nash

This made me chuckle a lot. It’s funny and relatable. There were many moments where I cackled out loud. This is a book that teenagers will love. It’s well worth a read if you want something witty. Emma Nash goes through a LOT. 

So there you have it! My mini London reading haul!

Have you read any of these books?
Do you have thoughts about Leah that we can talk about?
Does Adam Silvera continue to break your heart too?

Lets talk!

S x

The Bank Holiday Tag

Happy bank holiday everyone! Last one of the year! 

Today I’m taking on the Bank Holiday Tag, made up by my lovely friend Cora. Check out her original post here. I’ve actually done this post before, back in April – if you’d like to see my answers and compare them, you’ll find that post here. I’m going to try and complete this based on the books I’ve read so far in 2018!

Have a lie in.
Which book could you lounge in bed with all morning?

40203682Snowglobe – Amy Wilson
This is a lush story with magic and lush friends. It’s one I’m definitely going to reread!

Oh my goodness, it’s actually sunny outside!
A book that makes you feel optimistic.

19547856Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
Simon and Blue are EVERYTHING. But also, Simon’s parents and his sister.

Spend some time outdoors.
A book that reminds you of nature.

38210965When The Mountains Roared – Jess Butterworth
I’ve never been transported to the mountains in India surrounded by big cats before this book and it was incredible.

Make some punch.
A book that you find difficult to classify into one genre.

38600182The Secret Deep – Lindsay Galvin
This book is so intricate and brilliantly written that it would happily sit in many different places in a bookworm’s world.

Pass some food around.
A book you want to share with everyone.

26030734The Wild Robot – Peter Brown
I ADORE this book with all that I am. I have read the sequel now too and I just… it is such a love. Roz is an excellent main character. (This could also be the answer to the nature question!)

Light the BBQ.
A book that took a while to get going.

39127492The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green
It’s a shame this book takes like 60-70% to get going, because once it’s going I quite liked it! 

Failed BBQ.
A book that ultimately disappointed you.

35068735All of this is True – Lygia Day Penaflor
Oh friends. 

It’s raining. Of course.
A book to curl up with when it’s raining outside.

23437156Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
I can’t wait to reread this book. I love Kaz Brekker so much. This is the perfect rainy day read because let’s be real, it’s always raining in Ketterdam.

Let’s just eat the chocolate.
A book that’s super sweet.

34615412Theatrical – Maggie Harcourt
I love Maggie’s books. They always just make me smile and that’s what you need sometimes!

There we go! Join in the fun, and do the tag yourself! Enjoy your bank holiday everyone!

S x

S4S – books on my TBR forever

Morning pals!

How are we all today? What does this Sunday have in store for us all? Is anyone up to anything fun? I shall probably be spending my Sunday doing some planning as it is almost back to school time!

Today’s #SixforSunday post queries:

Books that have been on my TBR forever

See last weeks post for even more books that have been on my TBR forever too! I’m actually consulting my bookshelves and my Goodreads to aid this week!

1. The Next Together – Lauren James

2. Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

3. Trouble – Non Pratt

4. The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli

5. They Both Die At The End – Adam Silvera

6. Flight of a Starling – Lisa Heathfield

Whats on your TBR? Share your books on your TBR using the hashtag #SixforSunday!

See you next week!

S x

Brilliant YA still to come!

You may have seen a few weeks ago that I did a post all about the MG books that I’m still excited for in 2018, so I figured it was only fair to do a YA version of this list… because there’s a lot of YA books I’m excited for which are still to come this year. (There’s also a lot of books I’m excited for whicha re to be released in 2019… but that’s a post for a different day!)

So here we are…

2018 ya

Someday – David Levithan (I think this may be the US cover?!)
(I adore everything David Levithan has written and this book will be NO exception. I love this world he’s created for A, so I’m very excited for this!)
“For as long as A can remember, life has meant waking up in a different person’s body every day, forced to live as that person until the day ended. A always thought there wasn’t anyone else who had a life like this. But A was wrong. There are others. A has already been wrestling with powerful feelings of love and loneliness. Now comes an understanding of the extremes that love and loneliness can lead to — and what it’s like to discover that you are not alone in the world.”

What If It’s Us – Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
(I’ve had the pleasure of reading this book and I’m excited for everyone else to read it!)
“Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things. But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?”

Summer Bird Blue – Akemi Dawn Bowman 
(I heard Akemi speak at YALC about this book and instantly added it to my “must buy” list!)
“Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea. Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.”

Life’s a Beach – Chloe Coles
(I recently read The Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles, who is an absolute babe, and I adored it. I’m so excited for book 2!)
“Holly and Paige are at a literary festival in Skegton-On-Sea. They’ve been looking forward to it for ages. It’s one of the biggest book festivals around – and there’s a pop up bookshop tent and a lot of Big Shot Writers. It’s basically like they’re being PAID to go on a BFF HOLIDAY and SELL A FEW BOOKS! They had to beg their grumpy boss Tony to put their names forward. He ummed and ahhed and said he wasn’t sure it was a good idea. But they’re here at last and it’s brilliant. Well, kind of. It’s true that there’s a diva of an author called Minnie, who dresses head to toe in pink, and insists that Paige picks fresh flowers for her signing table every day, even though it’s raining. But along the way, Paige begins to find that there’s quite a lot to learn from Minnie – not least, how to reach out for the things she wants . . . and the boy she likes.”

The Curses – Laure Eve
(I read The Graces last year and i absolutely loved it! I managed to get a sampler for The Curses at YALC, so I’m very excited!)
“Picking up the pieces after the chilling events of the previous year isn’t easy, but the Grace siblings are determined to try and get things back to normal – and if that means papering over the cracks, so be it. Summer has had enough of secrets, but sharing a house with someone who’s been resurrected from the dead isn’t something you want the neighbours to know about. As ex-best friend River wreaks havoc with her twisted spells, can the Graces ever escape the curses that have been tearing their family apart for generations?”

The Light Between Worlds – Laura Weymouth
(I was very lucky to be sent a proof of this from the publishers, so watch out in the coming weeks for a review!)
“Six years ago, sisters Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell were swept away to a strange and beautiful kingdom called the Woodlands, where they lived for years. But ever since they returned to their lives in post-WWII England, they have struggled to adjust. Ev desperately wants to return to the Woodlands, and Philippa just wants to move on. When Ev goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.”

And the Ocean Was Our Sky – Patrick Ness and Rovina Cai
(I am a massive fan of Patrick Ness, so this jumped straight on my list when I saw it was coming out in the coming months!)
“Call me Bathsheba.” The whales of Bathsheba’s pod live for the hunt. Led by the formidable Captain Alexandra, they fight a never-ending war against men. Then the whales attack a man ship, and instead of easy prey they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps the devil himself… With their relentless Captain leading the chase, they embark on the final hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of whales and men.”

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
Now, this isn’t a new release… but it’s the collectors edition and I’m excited for its release OK?????? JUST LOOK AT IT. (You can find my fangirling about Leigh Bardugo here)

And there you have it. 8 of the books I AM MOST EXCITED FOR OK???

2018 continues to be a TREAT FOR THE BRAIN. 

Which 2018 books are you still most excited for?
Have you read any of the books on my list?
Are there any books you think should’ve made my list but didn’t?

Share your thoughts with me! I’d love to know which YA books you’re still most excited for!

S x

 

S4S – Books that made you fall in love

Hellooo my friends!
How are we all? It is Sunday of YALC and I am excited!

Today on #SixforSunday we’re celebrating:

Books that made you fall in love

Books that you fell in love with the characters, the stories, reading… whatever. Books that made you fall in love! I could have a much longer list than 6 FYI.

  1. A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
    Man, Steffi and Rhys. That’s a ship I will DIE FOR.
  2. The Sin Eater’s Daughter – Melinda Salisbury
    This book is the reason I love Mel and Twylla so much. I so wish I could be Twylla’s friend, yknow if she were real.
  3. Simon vs the Homo Sapien’s Agenda – Becky Albertalli
    AGAIN… I will go down with the Blue/Simon ship. I ship that so hard.
  4. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell
    Gosh. That book.
  5. The Bookshop Girl – Sylvia Bishop
    This book is 100% wonderful. Even if you don’t read MG I implore you to read it… now
  6. Me Before You – JoJo Moyes
    Yes, yes, this is also on my “crying” list, but I fell SO HARD for this book. It’s such a shame the second one didn’t capture me.

And there you go. My original list only had 2 of these choices on, so it proves how long my list could’ve been! 

Join in the fun using the hashtag #SixforSunday and tag me on twitter! I love all of your posts! 

S x

BOOK BLOG: Becky Albertalli

Simon vs the Homo-Sapiens Agenda: possibly the cutest ship I’ve ever shipped.

img_3017

“Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.”

(I didn’t need to give you all the blurb. I think I might be the last person on planet Earth to read this, but hey ho. Here we go!)

A while back, I got the chance to see Love Simon (the movie adaptation of this book) and I absolutely adored it. It’s just the sweetest thing, so when my friend Aoife said she wanted to make Simon vs the Homo-Sapiens Agenda our “travelling book”, I was delighted. I’d avoided picking Simon up for SO LONG (I’m not quite sure why, but I think my angst around hyped books played a part!) but now I had a real reason to WANT to read it and to have to read it too… and my god, I just loved it. 

I would’ve been more than happy if this book had just been a book filled with Blue/Simon emails to be honest. Because I am a TRUE SHIPPER. I love a bit of romance. Romance, especially this kind of romance, is something I can TRULY get behind. I loved the emails so much. I looked forward to the email chapters massively. The progression of emails from quite proper, advice emails, to sheer and unashamedly flirting emails was something I could get behind entirely. The emails made me laugh and cry in equal amounts. (I have to say the fact I knew who Blue was didn’t spoil it too much… but I wish I’d read the book before seeing the film!)

Moving on from something I loved about the book, to something (or rather someone) that I wasn’t too keen on. Oh, Leah. (Now I’ve not read Leah on the Offbeat yet, so I could eat my words when I do read it) Part of me can see the beef Leah has with Simon, but part of me (a larger part of me) just found her a bit unbearable. I felt like she wanted to make the WHOLE situation about her and that didn’t sit well with me. 

On the other side of the coin, I ADORED Abby. SO MUCH. She’s a brilliant egg. 

I have a few personal reasons why this book meant quite a lot to me, but I think the message Simon delivers to Martin is something that EVERYONE should listen to. Coming out is something that you should be able to do on your own terms. No-one should dictate that for you. Coming out is NOT a tiny little thing (why is straight the default?!), so choosing WHEN and HOW you do that is something that absolutely should be the choice of the person coming out.

Martin, for me, is possibly one of the most problematic characters in YA. I just can’t stand the dude. Nothing about him makes him a redeemable character. Straight up blackmailing someone is not OK. Ugh. 

But back to the lovely things – the support Simon receives from the people around him when he does come out made me SO happy. Not only from his parents (although that’s a touchy subject, drunk Simon isn’t a great role model on how to speak to your parents!), his sisters, but his teacher too. I will stand on my pedestal of WE NEED POSITIVE TEACHERS IN BOOKS forever and this book is a shining example of that. 

(There’s a scene with an Elliott Smith t-shirt and a note that made me weep – tbf I wept a lot!)

The film is quite different to the book, but I guess that’s necessary because of the constraints of film. You get the same warm, fuzzy feeling from the book and film. I would recommend both whole heartedly. If you’re looking for something that will make you happy, I’d go with this – just focus on Blue and Simon.

Have you read Simon vs?
What do you think of Leah?
Is LEah on the Offbeat worth reading? Will she redeem herself?
DO YOU SHIP BLUE AND SIMON WITH ALL YOUR HEART TOO?

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter. I have a lot of feelings about this book! 

S x