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

#EasterReadathon round up

During Easter weekend, the brilliant Kate (of Reading Through Infinity fame) was hosting the #EasterReadathon. I don’t know if I ever officially signed up… I didn’t have a TBR. I’m very much a mood reader. However… I had a VERY productive #EasterReadathon, so I thought I would share the books I read with their synopsis and short thoughts about the books! Full reviews will come in time, do not fear guys. 

During #EasterReadathon I managed to read 7 books. 7 books in 4 days is not bad going!

Book 1
The Company of Eight – Harriet Whitehorn 

(left: my proof copy/right: finished cover)

“When Ravellous’s Circus Ship comes to Minaris, Cass is determined to audition despite her guardian Mrs Potts’s disapproval. But when her chance is snatched away from her, Cass refuses to give up. She sets out to follow the Circus Ship and the journey leads her into dangers that challenge even her adventurous spirit. Will she succeed in following her dream, or is her destiny something altogether different?”

I really enjoyed this. It was fast paced and full of danger and peril. The main character was really likeable, I want to be her friend! The language was beautifully rich. I want to join the company! Sword fighting and badass women? SIGN ME UP. Thank you so much Stripes for my proof copy!

Book 2
Spark – Alice Broadway

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“Leora is reeling: questioning everything she has ever known about her family and herself. As half-Marked and half-Blank, can she ever wholly belong in either fractured community? Mayor Longsight wants to use her as a weapon: to infiltrate Featherstone, home of the Blanks, and deliver them to him for obliteration. Leora longs for answers about her mysterious birth mother, and Featherstone may reveal them. But will she find solace and safety there or a viper’s nest of suspicion and secrets?”

Man. I have COMPLEX emotions about this book. I love Leora so much. I just can’t process how I feel about this book yet. A full review of this is to come because I can’t put into words how much I loved it. The story telling, the world building, the interwoven fairytales (comnpare these to Ink and your brain will explode). It’s just majestic. I love Alice so much. I can’t wait for book 3 of this trilogy… I only have to wait a year!

Book 3
The Storm Keeper’s Island – Catherine Doyle

(left: my proof copy/right: finished cover)

“Fionn Boyle and his older sister Tara have been sent to stay with their grandfather on the remote island of Arranmore for the summer. Though Fionn has never met his grandfather before – an eccentric old man who lives in a tiny cottage filled to the brim with candles – he knows he comes from a long line of brave lifeboat men, who wear the sea behind their eyes. Fionn is scared of the sea. He has no interest in adventure or shipwrecks or the restless wind that rustles through the island, as though in search of something. But an old magic is stirring deep inside the layers of Arranmore, and it is calling out to Fionn.”

This book is INCREDIBLE. I read it in a matter of hours. I just adored it. Fionn is a remarkable young man – his progression from scared young man, to quite a brave and bold man is wonderful. The magic, the island, the mystical nature of the situation, the relationships with his family. I can’t wait for this to come out (July, I believe!) and everyone to experience this wonderousness. (A full review will come closer to release!) Thank you so much to Kids Bloomsbury for my proof! 

Book 4
Skylarks – Karen Gregory

“When she was little, Joni used to have dreams that she could fly. But these days her feet are firmly on the ground – they have to be when money’s tight and her dad can’t work and the whole family has to pull together to keep afloat. Then she meets Annabel. Annabel is everything Joni isn’t, and yet there’s a spark between them. Though Joni barely believes it at first, she thinks they might be falling in love. But when Annabel’s parents find out about the relationship, it’s clear they believe there are some differences that are impossible to overcome…”

This was an interesting one! I absolutely ADORED Countless by Karen Gregory (even now it makes me blub thinking about it!) and was looking forward to this! Skylarks explores social class, injustice and the power of money. It’s refreshing to read something where the person is a little bit more real. It packs a punch too. I love the Cooper family a lot. Thank you so much to Kids Bloomsbury for my proof!

Book 5
The Buried Crown – Ally Sherrick

“It’s World War Two and Britain is on the brink of invasion. Londoner George has been sent to live in in the countryside while his brother and guardian, Charlie, fights overseas. But the war is closer than he thinks. An ancient burial ground nearby contains a priceless treasure, a magical Anglo-Saxon crown Hitler is desperate to possess. Alongside Kitty, the granddaughter of a Jewish archaeologist, George must find and protect the crown from the Nazi invaders before it’s too late…”

This was a SURPRISE entry. The lovelies of Chicken House sent it over to me and the gold made me pick it up. AND MY WORD, WHAT A BOOK. I absolutely adored it. It was full of adventure. I’m a sucker for a WW2 book, so this was RIGHT UP MY ALLEY. A brave young man protecting something unique from the hands of Hitler himself? YES PLZ. Memorable characters and a brilliant plot – watch out for a full review coming up!

Book 6
Me Mam. Me Dad. Me

“Danny’s mam has a new boyfriend. Initially, all is good – Callum seems nice enough, and Danny can’t deny he’s got a cool set up; big house, fast car, massive TV, and Mam seems to really like him. But cracks begin to show, and they’re not the sort that can be easily repaired. As Danny witnesses Mam suffer and Callum spiral out of control he goes in search of his dad. The Dad he’s never met.”

I don’t want to say too much about this because I have a blog post coming up about it, but I need to tell you guys how much I loved it. Look, I’m a Geordie. There are VERY FEW books set in Geordieland. To read a book written by a Geordie, set in Geordieland, with a LIKEABLE Geordie main character is a rare occurance for me. This story had my guts in knots for 99% of the time. I love Danny. So much. Thank you so much Head of Zeus for sending this to me. It’s made an imprint in my heart.

Book 7
Max the Detective Cat: The Disappearing Diva

“Max, chief mouse-hunter at the Theatre Royal, is up to his whiskers in his first mystery! Max is a pampered cat, used to the finer things in life, until a fun mouse chase goes badly wrong and he finds himself scruffy and alone and hiding out at the Theatre Royal. It’s here that Max takes on his first case as a detective cat, when he notices that famous singer Madame Emerald is acting strangely. Why is her maid so terrified? And what kind of singer doesn’t like to sing in public? Soon Max is trapped in a complicated web of crime, dashing round dancers’ legs and over the rooftops of London in a race to catch a clever thief…”

The lovely Nosy Crow gang sent me this book and it was a properly fun caper. It gave me such Aristocat vibes too, in the very best way. I really enjoyed it. Super readable and interesting. The illustrations were great too! A detective cat, living in a theatre, foiling a theft? Yes please! 

And there you have it! My haul of #EasterReadathon books! I don’t always get through 7 books in one weekend, I’ll have you know! It’s a testament to how brilliant these books were that I got through them all! Thanks so much Kate for hosting! 

Did you join in #EasterReadathon?
How many books do you reckon you could get through in a weekend?
Are there any on this list you’ve read, or would like to read?

Speak to me! Comment me, tweet me! 

S x

Spoooooooooky boooooooooks…

Hello there! 
It’s Hallowe’en tomorrow! 

Today I thought I would share a few of the brilliant Hallowe’en-ish books I’ve either been sent or bought over the past few weeks! I’m featuring picture books and MG books today and would love more recommendations!

First up the lovely people of Puffin sent me ‘Hortense and the Shadow’. A gorgeous picture book, written like a brilliant fable. It’s dark and beautiful. The kids at school absolutely loved this. The art work is just brilliant

“Hortense is a kind and brave girl, but she is sad–even angry–that her shadow follows her everywhere she goes. She hates her shadow, and thinks her shadow must hate her too. But one cold, dark night, when bandits surprise her in the woods, Hortense discovers that her shadow is the very thing she needs most.”

Next up, I saw this gorgeous ‘First Day at Skeleton School’ in a bookshop and I’m not going to lie, I bought it purely for the amazing skeleton teacher on the front cover! Just look at him! It’s a fun book incorporating starting school and the characters we associate with Hallowe’en! Looking forward to passing this on to one of the younger classes to read!

“Listen … can you hear it?
There’s a creepy noise …
‘Welcome!’ smiles Mr Bones.
‘Meet the spooky girls and boys.’
At Skeleton School they howl in assembly, fly broomsticks in the library and learn how to float through walls! Join in the fun with this comic caper from a bestselling author/illustrator of Calm Down, Boris, Mr Pusskins and First Day at Bug School – it’s perfect for back to school and Halloween.”

The final picture book is another the brilliant humans of Puffin sent me – Hide and Seek by the incredible Anthony Browne. His books all have a little bit of dark and deception about them and this one is no different. Despite it not actually being a Hallowe’en book, I think the illustrations in this book are PERFECT for this time of year! This book is one which definitely kept my kids engaged. Lovers of Anthony Browne will NOT be disappointed.

“When their dog goes missing, Cy and Poppy play hide and seek to distract themselves. Poppy counts to ten and looks for Cy – but she can’t find him anywhere. But then there’s a rustling from the woods – maybe someone else can help her find him…?”

Now, some MG books. 

First up, I have had my eye on Amelia Fang for a while. That cover is EVERYTHING about Hallowe’en to me. There’s a pumpkin, it’s orange and black, she’s clearly a witch, there’s a bat: all of the Hallowe’en. It’s absolutely spot on for this time of year and I can’t wait to get to read this!

“Welcome to the world of Nocturnia, where darkness reigns supreme, glitter is terrifying, and unicorns are the stuff of nightmares! Amelia Fang would much rather hang out with her pet pumpkin Squashy and her friends Florence the yeti (DON’T CALL HER BEAST!) and Grimaldi the reaper than dance at her parents’ annual Barbaric Ball. And when the King’s spoiled son Tangine captures Squashy, Amelia and her friends must escape the party to plan a daring rescue! In their race against time, they begin to realise things in Nocturnia may not be quite what they seem . . .”

Another beautifully orange book is the brilliant Jack Beechwhistle: Rise of the Hairy Horror by Kes Gray. When I saw this on the Puffin list, I knew I needed to get my hands on this for the kids at school – they love these books. This book has been in the hands of a few of my kids and they’ve all loved it! It’s grizzly, fun and “miss, it’s just brilliant!”. 

“The world’s a dangerous place. Luckily, Jack Beechwhistle is around to protect it. He might look like an ordinary boy, but really he’s a junior secret agent. He’s tackled all sorts of missions – exploding conkers, zombie sweet-shop owners, and man-eating giant slugs – with a bit of help from his best friends and sidekicks, Colin and Harry (as long as it’s not past their bedtime). Then Jack notices something strange and suspicious about the hairdresser in town, Valentino. Every time Valentino cuts someone’s hair, he sweeps the hairs up and collects them in a big plastic bag. But what is he using them for? Everything points to Valentino being an evil enemy agent! And Jack Beechwhistle’s on the case . . .”

The last book I’m going to feature today is an anthology of sorts – Stories of Wizards and Witches by Enid Blyton. As a child, I loved Enid Blyton books and when I saw this in the supermarket, I picked it up. It’s brilliant and packed full of short stories all about wizards and witches. These short stories have been brilliant to read at the end of the day or during down time in school!

Get ready for broomstick rides and bubbling cauldrons in these magical short stories from Enid Blyton – ideal for reading aloud, or for children over 7 to read alone! This bumper collection of 25 short stories is populated by every sort of magical and mysterious creature, from a grumpy wizard who is outwitted by an elf to pixie who rides on a rabbit. The stories are the perfect length for reading aloud in a classroom or at bedtime. With lots of humour and fantastic characters, these will appeal to newly confident readers to read alone as well as to younger children being read to.”

And that’s the books I’ve collected this year! 

Can you recommend any more spooky reads?
Do you have a favourite time of year?
What are your plans for Hallowe’en?

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter! 

S x

YALC haul

So… unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that this year was my first year at YALC. If you’re curious as to what my highlights of YALC were then check out my 2 posts about it: YALC #1 and YALC #2. These posts were dedicated to my highlights… today’s post is dedicated to my haul. ALL OF THE BOOKS. I hope you’re ready!

Samplers
(These are snippets of books that are to be released in the future. Generally a chapter or two)

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Hole In The Middle – Kendra Fortmeyer
Spare and Found Pars – Sarah Maria Griffin
Fire Lines – Cara Thurlbourn
The Space Between The Stars – Anne Corlett
Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
It Only Happens In The Movies – Holly Bourne
Floored – Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson, Eleanor Wood

(also pictured: my gorgeous bag from Mel’s Books to Bags workshop… LOOK AT IT)

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Grave Matter – Juno Dawson
Clean – Juno Dawson
Hope – Rhian Ivory
A Shadowful of Shadows – Frances Hardinge
The Last Days of Archie Mazwell – Annabel Pitcher
Tangleweed and Brine – Deidre Sullivan

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT SOME OF THESE. So so excited. Like I can’t wait for 2018 because SO MANY GOOD BOOKS. 

ARCs

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Blackbird – ND Gomes
The Truth and Lies of Ella Black – Emily Barr
There’s Someone Inside Your House – Stephanie Perkins
The Sacrifice Box – Martin Stewart
The Invasion – Paedar O’Guilin
The Arsonist – Stephanie Oakes

I wasn’t expecting to get so many ARCs! However, I was not leaving without The Invasion. Once I knew it was going to be given out, I NEEDED IT. So chuffed I got it. Can’t wait to read it!

Books I bought

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The Loneliest Girl In The World – Lauren James
(Early selling at YALC and I NEEDED TO GET ONE. Can’t wait to read this!)
One Italian Summer – Keris Stainton
(This was from my gorgeous friend Lizzie!)
Stolen – Lucy Christopher
(Someone in one of the queues recommended this to us, so Kelly and I had to buy it!)
Exodus – Julie Bertagna
(MyKindaBook were doing a ‘Mystery Book’ for £5, so I went for it! I have neither read nor heard of this, so I am excited to dig in!)

LOOK. I didn’t buy as many as I expected. And I didn’t even buy 2 of these! What a good human I am! I showed good restraint. 

So there you have it: my YALC haul. I’m sure there’s a few bits and bobs that I missed, but this is the vast majority of it!

What did you get at YALC?
Which of your books are you most excited for?
HOW EXCITED FOR FLOORED AND SORROW BOOK ARE YOU THOUGH?
(I may be a little excited)

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter! I would love to see your YALC hauls! 

S x

#Bookpost appreciation post

Dear publishers, friends, wonderful authors,

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful book post. You don’t have to send them to me and I am so eternally grateful for when you do. There is no joy quite as incredible as when I get home after a tough day to an envelope which I KNOW contains a book (my mam often jokes that it’s a football/bread/statue of liberty). It never gets old receiving book post. It never stops being amazing that you are kind enough to send me book post. I’m just a little blogger, reading and reviewing books and it means the world that people send me books.

Once books have been read they go 1 of 3 ways:

  1. To the school library: if they’re kids books, I’ll send them to my school library. If they’re YA books or books which are too old for my kids, I’ll send them to a local secondary school.
  2. Stay on my shelf: if I loved it and know I’ll reread it, I’ll place it on my shelf. That’s where the “to stay” books go.
  3. Pass it round: I love passing books round to my friends. You’ve shared books these amazing books with me, so I get to share them with others.

Love, alittlebutalot xxx

In light of this, I’m going to share a monthly #bookpost appreciation post to show you some of the incredible bookpost I’ve received.

This time round I have to share one of the most incredible #bookpost hauls I’ve ever had. Courtesy of the incredible people at Puffin, I received: 

Check out that haul. *makes heart eyes*

The Cow That Fell To Earth – Nadia Shireen (an amazing looking picture book, I love cows!)
Grumpy Frog – Ed Vere (I am SUCH an Ed Vere fan, his books are lush)
Wave Me Goodbye – Jacqueline Wilson (one that I’ve been VERY excited to receive, it’s about a WW2 evacuee!)
Little Women – Louise May Alcott (this is from the incredible new versions of classics, I read this as a child and am looking forward to reading it again)
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame (I don’t think I’ve EVER read this, but now that I have it, I definitely will be!)
Tilly and the Time Machine – Adrian Edmondson (I think this is one that will DEFINITELY be going to the school library; just from the cover, it’ll be a hit!)
The Guggenheim Mystery – Robin Stevens (I haven’t read the first book of this series yet, I must before I read this one!)
Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index – Julia Isreal (Oh man, I am a SUCKER for YA novels and that cover is EVERYTHING. Can’t wait to read this!)

Thank you Puffin so much for my incredible bookpost. 

What’s your favourite kind of post?
What book post has been your favourite of all time?

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter (@eenalol). I would love to see your bookpost!

S x

April Books

It’s that time again, April has come and gone! This year is flying by! We’re in the final term… (as a teacher, I count my life in terms ha! This means I have only 1 term until I start training… this makes me wanna vomit. We will get to that in a future blog post!) We have another round up and an update on my 2017 challenge!

April was a BUSY book month! 

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This was part of my TBR:

Also added to this list:SOGI

There was a wonderful mix of some MG books and a lot of YA books and some non-fiction in there too! If there isn’t a review currently up for the book there will be one coming up in the coming weeks! I also read some picture books this week, but I (controversially) don’t count them towards my book count of the year! This stack ended up lookin so healthy because of SundayYAthon @ Easter which I managed to devour about 5 books, alongside 2 train journeys to London to meet my lovely friend Kelly! Find out about my SundayYAthon reads here: SundayYAthon at Easter!

Shout out to Grandad’s Secret Giant by David Litchfield though… incredible picture book! (BOOKBLOG: David LitchfieldIMG_4370

This year I pledged to read 52 books. I committed myself to that on Goodreads and so I have to do it. I refuse to fail now! That’s 4 a month, that’s good going! So far I have read:

25/52 books

Apparently, that’s 9 ahead of schedule! I started Countless this morning and I’d like to get that finished today, which would mean I’m HALF WAY through my challenge and it’s only been 4 months. That would be something else!

What did I buy/acquire?

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  • Mad Girl – Bryony Gordon
  • The Stars at Oktober Bend – Glenda Millard
  • Chasing the Stars – Malorie Blackman
  • Anna and the Swallow Man – Gavriel Savit 
  • Radio Silence – Alice Oseman (my gorgeous Rachel sent me this!)
  • Super Awkward – Beth Garrod
  • Wintersong – S. Jae Jones (my lovely friend Kelly sent me this!)
  • The Fallen Children – David Owen
  • I Have No Secrets – Penny Joelson

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  • Doing It – Hannah Witton
  • The Cows – Dawn O’Porter
  • Happy Mum, Happy Baby – Giovanna Fletcher (my lush cousin Kate sent this to me to borrow. I’m not a mam but I love Gi and Tom)
  • The Adventures of Owl and the Pussycat (keep your eyes peeled this coming Sunday! I’m involved in the blog tour for this!)
  • Grandad’s Secret Giant – David Litchfield (I have read this, so it should be in my other pile but I did acquire it this month, the lovely publishers sent me a copy and I am so gratefuk… see my review here: BOOKBLOG: David Litchfield)
  • The Covers of this Book are Too Far Apart – Vivian French and Nigel Baines. 
  • Beards from Outer Space – Gareth P Jones (the amazing publishers sent me this this month too! It’s currently in school!)
  • Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink – Jennifer Killick (I am very lucky that the author sent me this! Taking it into school telling the kids it came from the author made it so special!)

Wow. I acquired a lot of books this month. Sorry bank balance.

So that’s it for April. It’s been a joy reading this month. I read some absolutely incredible books and I am looking forward to seeing what May has in store for me! More tears, laughter and incredible books I am sure of it!

What did you read in April?
Have you read any of the books on my list?
What was your favourite book of the month?
How are you doing with your challenge?

I’d love to hear from you all! Leave me a comment or speak to me on twitter (@eenalol) I’m always open to talk! 

S x

March books!

PHEW. WE HAVE COME TO THE END OF MARCH. 
What. How. When did that happen.
(I realise it was when the past 30 days passed but whatever!)

As it is the end of March, here we are with our round up of the month!

Books I acquired:

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Goodly and Grave – Justine Windsor*
How To Capture an Invisible Cat – Paul Tobin*
How To Outsmart A Billion Robot Bees – Paul Tobin*
Twenty Questions for Gloria – Martyn Bedford (I won this in a competition, I think)
Unconventional – Maggie Harcourt (My lovely book fairy sent me this! TY!)
If Birds Fly Back – Carlie Sorosiak*
Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake (recommended to me by a wonderful friend… I can’t wait to dip into it!)
The Beast Within – Serena Valentino (obv being a massive BATB fan, I bought this)
Nowhere Near You – Leah Thomas*
Stargazing for Beginners – Jenny McLachlan*
Noah Can’t Even – Simon James Green
As Old As Time – Liz Braswell (again, I bought this because BATB)

Now, picture books!

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Message in a Bottle – Matt Hunt*
Pilot Faye and the Runaway Plane – Caroline Baxter* (BOOKBLOG: Caroline Baxter)
Beauty and the Very Beastly Beast – Mark Sperring* (BOOKBLOG: Mark Sperring)
We’re All Wonders – R.J.Palacio* (BOOKBLOG: R.J.Palacio)

(Books with * beside them were sent to me by publishers! Thank you so much everyone! Reviews are either live or will be up in the coming weeks!)

Books I read this month: (looking a bit sparse BUT I am still ahead of my Goodreads target, thanks to an awesome read over February half term!)

Image result for caravalImage result for ink alice broadwayCaraval – Stephanie Garber (BOOKBLOG: Stephanie Garber)
Ink – Alice Broadway (review coming next week!)

So there we have it, my March round up!

S x

January wrap up…

I am really looking forward to doing these monthly wrap up posts! It’ll be so incredible to look back over the month and see how much (or how little during term time) I have managed to read. It’ll also be great for me, who has a TERRIBLE memory to take a look over all of the books I’ve read. I hope you guys will enjoy these posts too! I love reading other people’s wrap up blog posts to see what they’ve been up to in the past month. This will encompass books I’ve read and books I’ve bought/obtained over the month.

Here we go with January…

jan-reads

This doesn’t look all that impressive. Nor does it feel impressive!! I have failed in January’s books haha! However in my defense after Christmas holidays and #SundayYAthon ANYTHING looks like a rubbish pile of books! Term time is always a shocking time to read because I’m always tired. However I’ve read 2 books and I’m reading the other 2 simultaneously! That’s something.

BOOKS I READ:

Wing Jones – Katherine Webber.

I don’t have words for how much I loved this. It was truly wonderful. I loved Wing. I loved the story. I loved the honesty of the characters. I loved the supporting characters as much as the main characters. I loved how it was written. Katherine Webber is a total wordsmith (I don’t even know if this is a real word but I am using it. I am using it to mean someone who has an incredible way with words, who writes like they were born to write, who is just magical with a pen/keyboard). You can see my review hereBOOKBLOG: Katherine Webber. I implore you all to find out about it and buy it if you can. It is absolutely splendid. 

The Monstrous Child – Francesca Simon

If you’re a lover of Norse mythology then this will be totally up your street. It is told from the POV of Hel. You go through her life from the beginning and learn all about how she becomes the ruler of Hell itself. I enjoyed it. It took me a while to get into it – Hel is a troublesome narrator. She’s sassy, sarcastic and sardonic… one you’ll either love or hate. I had taught Norse mythology a few years ago to a Y5 class so it was lovely to see some of the names I had taught creep back into my memory again. I’m a sucker for mythology so that was a plus point for me. If Norse mythology is your cup of tea then you’ll enjoy this! 

BOOKS I’M CURRENTLY READING:

Traitor To The Throne – Alwyn Hamilton

I AM SO SO SO SO SO SO HAPPY. I properly squealed when I got an email from Netgalley to tell me that I had access to this book. I was a happy bunny. For those of you who don’t know/haven’t read Rebel of the Sands (you will find my review hereBook blog: Alwyn Hamilton) then you properly should. I’ve been waiting for Traitor 2 SINCE FOREVER. I am quickly speeding through this and can’t wait to finish it (although I don’t want it to be over!) Watch out for a review blog on Thursday as that is Traitor To The Throne release date! 

Winter Magic – curated by Abi Elphinstone

I was lucky enough to receive this incredibly well signed copy of the book from my amazing friend Aimee for Christmas. I’m not usually one for short stories but having read 4/5 of them I’ve loved each and every one. This is obviously a MG book rather than YA but I am game for reading MG books just as much as YA. Plus Abi is amazing so I knew this was going to be a winner. I’m waiting to read this in its entirety to start planning lessons for next winter around some of the stories! This could potentially be incredible for my teacher training year. 

BOOKS I OBTAINED:
(through always entirely legal means… aka my friends are all amazing and my bank balance is always sad with me)

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YA books:

Maresi: Maria Turtschaninoff
I was sent this by her publicist and I can not wait to get my teeth stuck into it!

The Call: Paedar O’Guillin
My lovely friend  Lily (of Youtube  fame) sent me this in a book swap! Along with…

The Diabloic: S.J.Kincaid
I’ve heard so many good things about this that I was over the moon when Lily said she had a copy I could swap with her for!

Word Nerd: Susin Nielsen
I received this book as part of the #SundayYA Secret Santa wonderment – you could choose to send a birthday present to your recipient too! Woo!

Orangeboy: Patrice Lawrence

A Quiet Kind of Thunder: Sara Barnard
I loved this book so much and the cover is so pretty that my gorgeous friend Rachel (of #SundayYA fame and twitter fame) sent it to me for my birthday. I’ve read and reviewed this (BOOKBLOG: Sara Barnard) and I have a giveaway running currently (see this blog post + twitter for more details) with this book included because I loved it SO SO SO much and I think everyone else should too. 

The One Memory of Flora Banks: Emily Barr
Gorgeous friend Rachel also sent me this! I am so lucky! I almost bought it! We recently had a #SundayYA chat with the author and I am so glad that the book arrived not long after that. I can’t wait to read it.

The Reader on the 6.27: Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
I got this from one of my lovely work friends and I had seen it in Waterstones but didn’t pick it up at the time but when I got it for my bithday I was over the moon! Thank you wonderful work friends!

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Kids lit:

I’ll Wait Mr Panda: Steve Anthony

There May Be A Castle: Piers Torday
My gorgeous friend Grace (of Almost Amazing Grace fame) sent me this… I’ve seen so much 

So that was January in books for me… it seems I have A LOT OF READING to do. This is not a problem! 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post! It was lovely to catch myself up on what a mad month January has been! I can’t believe it is almost over already! 

S x

 

December books

As December occurred and is now over I thought I would look back at some of the books I read, bought for myself and gifted. December is a funny month for me. There are still books I want to buy but I know that Santa is coming so I have to stop myself! 

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These are all of the books that I acquired in December (I decided to not show the picture books!). It is quite an impressive pile, even by my standards! What can I say?! I love all of the books!

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These 4 beauties I was gifted by Secret Santa people and my wonderful friend Aimee – my copy of Winter Magic is signed and it is SO WONDERFUL. I think I might be greedy and read it all to myself before I share it with the kids at school! I was very lucky to be included in the Maximum Pop Secret Santa and the SundayYA Secret Santa too and my secret Santas were so spot on with their book presents! I can’t wait to read them all!

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These 4 gorgeous books are ones which I read for #SundayYAthon (which happened between Christmas and New Year) for which there is a blog post for AND separate book reviews for them are coming… because I have ALL OF THE WORDS to say about them! 

Books are absolutely my favourite gift to receive and my favourite to give too! I gave away so many beautiful books this year, for my Christmas presents AND in my mystery box for work! I hope all of the recipients enjoyed their books as much as I enjoyed giving them!

Did you guys get many books for Christmas this year? My 2017 reading list certainly keeps on getting longer! This bodes well for my reading challenge of 2017!

S x

#SundayYAthon

Once again I put myself through the torture misery delight of #SundayYAthon. Rachel made these categories for those of us who wanted to use, but they weren’t compulsory!

It took me a while to get my reading pile sorted. I just wasn’t sure what I was going to read or what I would be in the mood to read. I decided on the pile below…

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Carrie Hope Fletcher – Winters’ Snow
I’ll Be Home For Christmas – various authors
Patrick Ness – A Monster Calls
Holly Bourne – …And A Happy New Year?

I had heard SUCH good things about all of the books, I knew that I needed to have them all! I managed to get And A Happy New Year when I went to YAShot in October and held out on reading it until an opportune moment – what more of an opportune moment did I need? I got my hands on I’ll Be Home For Christmas after all of the #SundayYA folk were raving about it and the Patrick Ness book I was warned about. I am so glad I got the warning. 

The pile was a wonderful pile to read! Lots of happy, lots of tears but lots of amazing amazing stories. That’s why we read, for the stories. There are review blog posts coming for all of the books in the next few weeks but let me tell you they are ALL AMAZING and I would recommend each and every one to you. If you’re looking for a great book, choose one and enjoy! I even managed to fulfil all of Rachel’s categories!

  • A Christmas novel? And A Happy New Year
  • A novella? Winters’ Snow
  • A short story collection? I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • A new book? ALL OF THEM, technically.
  • A book from your TBR? And A Happy New Year

So there we go! If you’re a reader and love a challenge #SundayYAthons run every now and again and we love having new people on board! Come along and say hi, say Steph send you! 

What have you all been reading for #SundayYAthon? Or just in general? Let me know in the comments or on twitter!

S x