Posts Tagged ‘Books’

So, as per my last blog entry, my reviewing pretty much came to a halt, and I’ve spent most of the year reading what I wanted to read, when it suited me.. and I’ve read some great books so far! I’ve still dabbled in reviewing though, and when I went to YALC this year, I was lucky enough to pick up 3 proof copies from publishers, and thankfully they were really rather good!


Dear Charlie by N.D Gomes


Death should never meet the young. But it did. Thanks to my brother, death made fourteen new friends that day. Maybe even fifteen, if you count Charlie.

This book deals with the aftermath of a school shooting, but through the eyes of his younger brother. It focuses on the bullying that Sam experiences himself, the media pressure, and the stress on his family.

It’s a part of the story I doubt many think about.. as a parent, or a brother, how are you supposed to feel about someone so close committing such an horrific event? Sam can not understand how the brother he knew could do such an unthinkable thing, and as readers we’re not given this insight either, but Sam’s journey in accepting events is emotional.

The book also shows that whatever happens, life needs to go on. His parent’s struggle with this, but Sam makes himself go back to school, and find friends. Despite events, he’s still a 16 year old boy growing up.

It’s fast paced, and held my interest all the way through, and it has a lot to offer.


Gilded Cage by Vic James


This is the start of a trilogy and I fell in love with the world. For me personally, I loved the world building from the author.. this alternative present-day England immediately felt real to me, and I dived straight in.

It tells of a world where there is a small ruling class, the Elite, but their power comes from the magic  they hold. All other citizens live normal lives, aside from the fact that they have to give up ten years to become slaves, many in heavy industry, some serving the Elite.

The Elite live in their own blinkered world, with their own power struggles, whilst the decade of slavery turns out to be worse than could be thought.

The other great thing is that the author doesn’t focus on just one of these groups, but she shows us the depths of both, with fascinating characters within both.

Abi makes a decision to try to keep her family together during their decade, by getting them all into the service of an Elite family – which she almost achieves. Both her and her younger sister find themselves wrapped with the families world, whilst her brother gets separated, and sent to a brutal factory town, where he starts to believe in revolution.

Meanwhile, the three brothers within the Elite family have their own stories, struggles and relationships, and they are more complex than you would expect.

This first book moves at a fast pace, and it certainly has plenty for both YA and older readers. It wraps up this particular story enough, whilst opening the way to the next volume. Thankfully the gaps between books is short, but also far too long, because I’m excited to get back into this amazing world!


Contagion by Teri Terry


I love the Slated series by this author, and just the brief details on the proof caught my attention, and I was very happy when someone at YALC managed to get me a copy. It would appear the publication has been pushed back a bit, but I’m still going to mention it, because I want it to go on people’s radars and wish lists.

There are two main aspects to the story.. the first being the mysterious illness which starts to sweep the county, highly contagious, and in most cases fatal. However, there’s also the second layer.. the fact that those who fall ill and survive appear to be changed by the illness, in ways which scare others.

Again, this is a fast paced book which should appeal to many. The characters are YA, but the storyline certainly kept this older reader intrigued. There is plenty of story within this first book, but it does feel like a trilogy, with a frustrating wait for the next part.

As I said, I loved all three books, and I’m very grateful to those who allowed me to get my hands on them early. All highly recommended.. keep your eye out for them! 




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This is going to sound bad, but I really don’t like writing reviews. I love pretty much everything else, I love buying books, getting books through the post, I obviously love the reading part, and I also love the discussing part. I just dislike having to sit and put my thoughts into words.

The main reason, I think, is that I don’t feel as if I’m very good at it. There are plenty of reviewers out there who can express perfectly how they feel about a book, be it good or bad, and most are a joy to read. Mine, I feel, just don’t live up to them. I never give away the main points of the stories, so sometimes it’s hard to know just what to say, and whenever I read them back, I always feel I’ve missed the mark.

What I am good at, is being passionate about books, authors and publishing. If I like a book, I’ll go out of my way to track down the author and let them know, and many of them I will continue to chat to. I also like getting to know publishing people, partly because I find the world of publishing interesting, and partly because most of them are very cool human beings!

So, I can be passionate about a book or an issue. I’ll post photos, talk to authors and publishers, and encourage others to read a book I love. I love to talk about the books I love, and their issues and their characters. I even run a book forum, even though the forum format doesn’t seem to be that popular these days.

When it comes to sitting and writing a review though, I’m not so keen, and I’m really sorry to authors and publishers if I don’t manage that part very well. I hope the rest makes up for it?!

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This is going to surprise a lot of people, but I’ve finally decided to read Twilight.

As I’ve said elsewhere, my main concern over Twilight is the hype and obsession surrounding it. Despite people saying it’s actually not that well written, it’s LOVED by so many, and they can’t stop talking about it – especially on the forum! 😉

When it comes to the actual book, I have heard things which I believe will greatly annoy me, but I obviously can’t say much until I’ve read it for myself.

Initial impressions? Well, I’ve read the first few chapters, and I have to say, the descriptions of the vamps are already very annoying. Ok, so they’re inhumanly beautiful.. I get it!!

Anyway, we’ll see how it goes.. don’t hit me if I criticise it, but I do promise that I’m trying my best to keep an open mind!

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Busy Reading!

I’ve previously mentioned reviewing books, and the book forum’s review blog is going from strength to strength. This means that I am getting lots of offers of books to read, some of which are even unpublished proof copies.

The wonderful owner of bluechrome publishing has introduced me to some great new authors, and I recently recieved a lovely box from PanMacmillan. Along with other connections, it means that I have lots to keep me going.. and what better way to escape for a while, than with a book? 🙂

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Need More Reading Time!

It’s very noisy on my book shelf at the moment, as I have so many books jumping up and down, and shouting for my attention! There are even some on the computer doing it aswell!

Here are a selection of those in progress, and those waiting…

Sarah Challis – Footprints in the Sand is in progress.. it’s fairly slow moving, but the settings are well written, and the characters interesting.

Patrick Gale – Portraits from an Exhibition is also in progress, and I’m getting very wrapped up in it. I’ll be looking out for more from this author.

Jennifer McKenzie – I have two ebooks on my computer, and Jenn, I PROMISE you I will get there very soon!

Lucy Diamond – Any way You Want Me has just arrived, and I’m keen to get going. Keep tuned for an interview with the author. (http://authorinterviews.wordpress.com/)

Imogen Howson – I’ve already read a little from this author, and am VERY keen to get to some more. Back to the Mobipocket Reader for me! Again, interview coming soon!

Rod Glenn – Sinema, which is something very different from the books I’ve been picking up recently. Should be interesting!

So, what are you keen to read, or enjoying right now?

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I’ve had a bit of trouble getting into my books recently, and I’ve just put a couple back on the shelf, unfinished.

Today I met one of the ladies from the forum, and we decided to meet in Lakeside. Not only did we have a lovely time, but the first two shops we walked into were Waterstones and The Works! In the first shop, I found a copy of Life of Pi.. this is a book we’re discussing on the book forum, but I hadn’t decided whether to read it. However, there on the shelf was the hardback, illustrated version, for just £4.99! I actually think that having it in that format makes it look more appealing, so I’ll be picking it up soon.

In The Works, I found a hardback copy of John, for just £3.99 – this is a biography of John Lennon, written by his first wife, Cynthia. I don’t often read biographies, but I’m looking forward to this one.

Oh, and from amazon yesterday came Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors, and Patrick Gale’s Notes From An Exhibition. I recently read Neverwhere, and I tend to enjoy short stories, so I’m looking forward to Smoke and Mirrors. And Notes From An Exhibition looks like the sort of thing I enjoy.

So… what am I doing writing on here.. I need to go read! LOL

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Kids and Reading

I love to read, and always have done. I am really hoping that my girls will be the same. At 3, Amy is very keen on books.. she loves going to the library, and will happily sit with someone whilst they read to her. I hope it lasts.

Bethany certainly has no problem with the ‘mechanics’ of books.. she whizzed through her reading stages at school, and I’ve recently noticed that she’s much better at understanding the story. She sometimes reads to Amy, and she makes them sound really good. 🙂

However, she’s not reached that point where she ‘enjoys’ her own books. When she says she’s bored, it has to be suggested that she reads, rather than her reaching for a book as I would do; and I’m yet to find a longer book that she will get into. She’d rather read short, easy books.

What about your children.. are they keen readers; any recommendations for an 8 year old who’s more of a tom boy? And what about you, were you a childhood bookworm?

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