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I'm a librarian based in the UK who loves books. I'm happiest when I'm either talking about them, reading them or buying them. This blog is dedicated mainly to my addiction to YA fiction but you will also find some adult and non-fiction book reviews as well.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Wereworld: Storm of Sharks - Curtis Jobling

Wereworld: Storm of Sharks by Curtis Jobling, published by Puffin on 21st May 2013

Goodreads synopsis:
The epic Wereworld saga continues as Drew Ferran—werewolf, leader of people, and the rightful king of Lyssia—battles the evil Catlords who seek to oppress the kingdom. As the war’s scope widens, Drew and his allies take the fight to the high seas. But just as many terrors await them on the water as on land, with pirates and scoundrels abounding and a host of previously-unknown werelords emerging to take sides in the war that threatens to destroy the Seven Realms.



Review:
This is the fifth book in the fantastic Wereworld series by Curtis Jobling and is the penultimate title. I don't know what I'm going to do when it's all over because I've loved it so much.  It's going to leave a big void in my reading calendar as I always look forward to each new instalment being published. 

The story picks up with Drew still fighting for Lyssia's freedom while his allies are scattered and his enemies closing in.  The action packed storyline grabbed me by the throat from the opening chapter and never let go the whole way through.  I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes in the book which took place at sea.  I'm also a fan of Vega the Sharklord and I thought the twist involving him and Casper was perfectly executed.  I certainly didn't guess the truth about them both.    

Whitley has gradually become one of my favourite characters.  She has really grown and matured and is now quite a force to contend with.  There is a romantic undercurrent between her and Drew and I enjoyed the fact that Drew may be a Werelord but he's still pretty clueless sometimes when it comes to the opposite sex.   

I'm looking forward to seeing Trent and Drew finally reunited.  It will be interesting to see what kind of reunion the two brothers have, particularly now that Trent has grown much closer to Gretchen.

I've been Team Hector from the word go and have always believed that he will finally be redeemed.  He comes tantalisingly close to this but Jobling still leaves us hanging about whether or not Hector can ever truly make amends for his actions.  I'm hoping so because I always think back to the type of person he was at the start and those qualities must still be buried deep inside of him. 

I've been a fan of this series from the very beginning and I'm so attached to all the characters and the world that Curtis Jobling has created.  He literally never takes his foot off the gas with some superb storytelling!  I'm excited to find out how it's all going to end in 'War of the Werelords' which is being published in October 2013 but I'll also be extremely sad to wave goodbye to the world of the Seven Realms.  

Monday, 29 July 2013

Review: Up in Flames - Nicole Williams

Up in Flames by Nicole Williams, published by Simon and Schuster on 1st August 2013

Goodreads synopsis:
Elle Montgomery is a good girl. Born and raised in a small town in Washington State, she's always done exactly what she's supposed to and what everyone expects of her. She helps out at the cafe her family owns, and has been dating the pastor's son, Logan, since she was allowed to go on her first date at sixteen. Cole Carson's life couldn't be more different. An adrenaline junkie, he has worked as a smokejumper for the past three summers, roaming from town to town following the fires. Cole lives his life day to day and dreads the thought of putting down roots or being tied to one person.

Following an awkward, embarrassing first meeting, Elle knows she should keep away from Cole and the feelings he ignites in her. And Cole just can't help but pursue Elle, the girl who seems immune to his charms. But as summer heats up, their attraction grows, and as tensions between them run high, Elle and Cole realise that one way or another, they're going up in flames...




Review:
This is my first Nicole Williams book but it definitely won't be my last because I loved it.  This was a five out of five star read featuring hot new couple Elle and Cole.  Although I thought it was fantastic I was also pleased to discover that it was a stand-alone novel because I'm getting a little bit tired now of every new book being part of a trilogy.

Main character Elle has her whole life mapped out for her by her father and longstanding boyfriend Logan.  According to them she'll stay in the small town where she has grown up.  She'll take over the family diner and she and Logan will get married and settle down together.  Then she meets Cole and he turns her whole life upside down.  Suddenly she has to start making some decisions of her own, even if they hurt some of the people she loves the most.

I found it difficult at times to reconcile the character of Elle with the picture she paints of herself prior to meeting Cole.  Then again he is the catalyst for her finally opening her eyes and embracing the person she really is and wants to be in the future.  She has let others control her actions and decisions and has put aside her own hopes and dreams to make them happy but in the process she has become someone she's not.  It was great to see her finally opening up and standing on her own two feet for once.

There are some hot, hot, hot scenes between Elle and the gorgeous Cole who share an instant chemistry which you can almost feel crackling off the page.  She can breathe and be herself with Cole without any pretence.  Every time they are together, it's like two magnets being drawn to each other and although Elle tries to resist at first, you feel it's almost inevitable that they will succumb. 

If you're a fan of bad boys who also happen to be sexy as hell and have hearts of gold then you need to meet Cole Carson who has shot into my list of favourite boys in books.  He not only got Elle's pulse racing but mine as well! 

'Up in Flames' was an addictive read which I could not put down.  I now can't wait to read more by the tremendous Nicole Williams. 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays - Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, published by Bloomsbury on 1st August 2013

Goodreads synopsis:
Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.



Review:
It's no exaggeration to say that this is the must-read book of the year.  Whether you've got to beg, borrow or steal a copy, I implore you to get your hands on it.  Utterly tense, exciting and gripping, this book will keep you up all night reading, as well as the night after that when you'll be re-reading it all over again.

The opening chapters of the story were superb and provided a stunning start to a book which was consistently brilliant from start to finish.  The plot centres on Em and Finn who must travel back in time to stop a catastrophic event from occurring. Guided by a note which Em discovers, she sets out to complete the hardest challenge she will ever face, attempting to avert tragedy in the process.     

Time-travel is something which I love but it can often be confusing with time frames changing rapidly and characters jumping backwards and forwards throughout the story.  In 'All Our Yesterdays' the time travel element of the story is executed brilliantly.  Concentration is needed to keep the two strands of the plot separate but the reward is well worth it.  There are no plot holes, no questions left unanswered and everything ultimately makes perfect sense to the reader by the end of the book. 

This is not a straight-forward romantic novel but it features a romance which is not limited by the bounds of time.  It's clear from the start that Em and Finn have been bonded together by their shared traumatic experiences and this links them in a way like no other could.  While Em takes the leading role in the book, Finn is always there by her side.  He's her strength when she doesn't know if she can go on and he's her other half, the one who understands her and loves her for the person she is and was.   
     
Although compared to 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Time Traveller's Wife' which are two of my favourite books, these pale in comparison to 'All Our Yesterdays' which was truly amazing and extraordinary and which I'm already certain will be the best book I'll read this year.  Featuring fierce characters, a plot which twists and turns through time, romance and a mission with life and death at stake, it delivered everything I want in a book.  It had me on the edge of my seat, it made me smile, laugh and cry and at times it stopped my heart.   

Cristin Terrill may be the new kid on the block, but she's certainly made her mark on the YA market with this tremendous debut novel.  'All Our Yesterdays' left me breathless and in awe of it's sheer brilliance.  If you only read one book this year, make sure it's this one. 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Blog Tour: Scissors, Sisters and Manic Panics - Ellie Phillips

Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for 'Scissors, Sisters and Manic Panics' by Ellie Phillips.  Ellie has written a fantastic guest post about the setting of the book so you can visit some of the places that are special to the main character Sadie.  


Both Dads, Geeks and Blue-Haired Freaks and its sequel Scissors, Sisters and Manic Panics are set in East London – for those keen on a postcode; E9, and for those who know E9; – Vicky Park to be even more precise.

If you don’t know Victoria Park it’s a little oasis – one of the biggest parks in the East End of London. These days it joins onto Mile End Park via a ‘green bridge’ that was built as a project for the millennium I believe. So it’s a vast green space, often used for concerts and ‘happenings’ these days like ‘Lovebox’ and ‘Underage’ and ‘Field Day’. I lived right by the park – at Mile End and later in E9 for a number of years and there was always something going on around there. There were heaps of kids – there was a school on Victoria Park Road, and it felt as if there was life and drama everywhere. Oddly, even though it was slap bang in the middle of London, the area itself felt small and enclosed – flanked by a park at one end and by a main road at the other – quite like an island. I’m not going to use the word ‘village-y’ or I start to sound like an estate agent. But it felt self-contained and manageable as a location for a novel.
 



I am very bad at geography, maps and just about anything that requires me to visualise spaces. So I had to use the space I was living in at the time to set my novel in. I imagined looking at it through my heroine, Sadie’s, eyes because I know those streets so well. I know all the businesses around those streets too – so that helped. There are characters who appear in the books who are completely real; Ken from the Newsagents, the 50p Lady, Colin from the Vietnamese restaurant - they are all real.

In Scissors, Sisters and Manic Panics there’s quite a lot set along Roman Road in Bow - where the salon Stylee Stylee is situated. And again, this is a road I know well – with its schmatter market and shops, so it was very easy for me to visualise Sadie’s view out of the shop window as she washed and swept and foiled up the clients.

I like to think that Sadie is a realistic character from a realistic setting. She’s a great, confused ethnic combination for one thing – just like the East End used to be and still is in parts - and with that combination comes colour and noise and a clash of cultures. There’s also grim determination in there – Sadie aspires to leap beyond the bounds of her milieu. She’s also a bit dismissive of, for example, what her Aunt has built up with her hairdressing business. Sadie wants something decidedly more shiny and exciting. The East End of London – especially that particular pocket of Hackney, E9 – has changed so much even over the last 10 years with all the young incomers and new businesses, I think it must have an affect on young people growing up there. There will be some who feel alienated and pushed out of ‘their area’ – and quite rightly so, but there will be others, like Sadie Nathanson, who see the glamour and the shine of the new businesses and the fashionable incomers, and who just want a piece of it.

Ellie has also created a brilliant hair-quiz here.  Give it a go and see if you are a sister of the scissors or a manic panicker.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Review: Scissors, Sisters and Manic Panics - Ellie Phillips

Scissors, Sisters and Manic Panics by Ellie Phillips, published by Electric Monkey on 3rd June 2013

Goodreads synopsis:
Sadie Nathanson's back - with more style and tangles than ever before. "Mrs Nellist came in for her cut and colour while Auntie and Tiffany were out the back having a coffee, leaving me to sweep up, and that's kind of where everything got really ugly. It was the hairstyle that Mrs Nellist never knew she wanted. That's all it was about. I don't know why everyone had to go so completely hysterical about it, but that's my family for you." Sadie Nathanson is back! After sorting out exactly who she is, she now feels ready to tackle who she is going to be! With hair as her focus, Sadie decides to enter a major hairdressing competition - though she has her work cut out for her when she gets fired from her Saturday job in Auntie Lilah's salon. And if that's not bad enough, it turns out there are yet still more surprises in store Dadwise...


Review:
Sometimes there is nothing better than kicking back and relaxing with a good book and checking in with a familiar face.  That's exactly how I felt when I picked up Ellie Phillip's new book and plunged back into the crazy, hairstyle loving world of irrepressible heroine Sadie Nathanson. 

Sadie is now working in her Auntie's hairdressing salon as a Saturday assistant but spends most of her time sweeping the floors.  She dreams of winning the Thames Gateway Junior Apprentice Hairdresser of the Year Award but things get off to a bad start when things go awry in the salon.  In addition, after previously finding her biological Dad, there's also another surprise in store for her as she discovers a new family link. 

I loved the way in which each chapter begins with some advice and guidelines for budding hairdressers.  This was a nice touch and often linked neatly with what was actually happening to Sadie in the story.  Her determination to follow her dream of being the best hairdresser ever is admirable.  For Sadie, cutting hair is like a vocation and she definitely has a talent for knowing what style suits each individual. 

There's a lovely relaxed style to Ellie Phillip's writing which instantly puts you at ease and allows you just to sit back and enjoy the story, forgetting about everything else going on around you.  There's humour, warmth and drama and plenty of fun unfolds along the way.  Sadie is a fantastic main character who I found myself cheering for, along with the rest of her huge extended family. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Blog Tour: Spy Society - Robin Benway

I have a great guest post today from Robin Benway who has put together her own 'Spy Society' soundtrack.  There are some fantastic songs here!



Do I have a music playlist for AKA???? Of course I do! I'm always obsessed with making playlists for my books. This one is up at Spotify and 8tracks.

*******

I'm obsessed with making playlists for my books and listen to music constantly while writing them. (Also, for you aspiring writers, making playlists is an excellent procrastination tool!) I always think that if movies can have soundtracks, why can't books?

SPY SOCIETY SOUNDTRACK

1. La Roux, "In For the Kill" (Skream's Let's Get Ravey Mix)

The book opens with Maggie breaking into a safe in Reykjavík and I listened obsessively to this song while writing that scene. It's creepy and eerie and then kicks into high gear at the very end.

2. The Kills, "What New York Used to Be"

This song is pure Roux. Roux is very New York and very tough...or so she seems. She's the first person Maggie meets in New York and manages to make quite an impression.

3. Charles Trenet, "Que Reste t-il de Nos Amours?"

Whenever I wrote Angelo, I always found myself listening to a lot of Charles Trenet and Django Reinhardt songs. It's very mellow and calm and assured, just like Angelo.

4. Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, "Two Against One" (feat. Jack White)

I quote this song in the beginning of "Spy Society", and to me, it's a great description of Maggie and Jesse's first meeting, of Maggie learning to reconcile the two very different parts of her life. "It's just you and me against me."

5. Kasabian, "Club Foot"

The soundtrack song for house parties everywhere. I listened to this at top volume while writing the Halloween party scene.

6. The Sounds, "Goodnight Freddy"

There's a sweet scene between Maggie and Jesse right after the Halloween party and to me, this is what their conversation would sound like.

7. Django Reinhardt, "Please Be Kind"

Another Angelo song. Maggie confides in him when things start to get difficult for her and I always imagined that this is the song that would be playing in the background while they spoke.

8. Rosie Thomas, "Snow Day"

I love Rosie Thomas's songs so much. Without giving too much away, this is the soundtrack for the ice skating scene. I can't say anymore!

9. Hurts, "Unspoken"

Maggie has to have a serious conversation with Jesse.

10. Foxes, "Youth"

To me, this song has always represented Roux and who she becomes at the end of the book. She grows up a lot over the course of its pages and ends up having quite an effect on the plot.

11. The Prodigy, "Voodoo People"

The perfect song for a chase scene. Ah, I've said too much!

12. Pictureplane, "Goth Star"

I've been trying for several years to get this song onto one of my book's soundtracks, and it finally fit here. If a book had end credits like a movie, this is the song that would play during them.

Happy listening!
 
 
You can find out more about Robin Benway by visiting her website or follow her on Twitter @robinbenway

 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Review: Fallen Too Far - Abbi Glines

Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines, published by Simon and Schuster on 4th July 2013

Goodreads synopsis:

When Blaire Wynn's mother passed away, Blaire's life changed in an instant. Having cared for her sick mother for the last three years, suddenly Blaire has to leave the small farmhouse in Alabama they shared, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. But what she isn't prepared for is the lifestyle change that comes with the move, and she knows she'll never fit into the new world of luxury and extravagance that suddenly surrounds her.

Even worse, her father has run off to Paris for the summer with his wife, leaving her stranded with Rush, her new stepbrother, who's irritating, arrogant and… seriously sexy. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous; his famous father's guilt money, his mother's desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no. Blaire knows he is anything but good for her, but somehow she can't fight the attraction she's feeling, especially when she starts to think the attraction might be mutual… Rush is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that Blaire just may have fallen too far.

 

Review:
I'm always excited to read a new Abbi Glines book and I couldn't wait to start this one as soon as I got my hands on it.  I stayed up late to finish it because it was so good I couldn't possibly put it down!

Blaire's mother has died so she reluctantly goes to live on a temporary basis with her father and his new family.  Once there she meets her step-brother Rush with who she shares an instant connection.  I really liked Blaire.  She's a small town girl and has devoted her teenage years to caring for her sick mother.  She's kind and compassionate and has a big heart.  She is determined to get by on her own terms and doesn't want anyone to think she's a freeloader like her father.  She soon gets a job at the local country club and isn't afraid to work hard if it means paying her own way.  She sticks to her principles which I admired and generally tries to be positive about things even when things get rough.

It took me a lot longer to warm to Rush which I was surprised about because I normally fall head over heels for Abbi Glines male leads.  My immediate impression of him was that he was quite arrogant and unfeeling and a bit of a spoilt, rich kid.  He gradually grew on me but I still think he needs to redeem himself and luckily, as this is only the first book in the series, there's still plenty of time for him to win me over.

There are some pretty steamy scenes in the book but also some really tender moments between Rush and Blaire who seem to share the same magnetic pull to each other.  That's one of the reasons why the ending was quite a shock and completely unexpected.  I need to know what's going to happen next...immediately! 

There were lots of great secondary characters in the story too.  I would love to know more about Woods and Grant and I liked Bethy who Blaire takes under her wing and tries to help get back on the right path. 

I can't get enough of Abbi Glines's books.  She really can't write them fast enough for me.  They are sooo good!  The second book in the series is 'Never Too Far' and I have a feeling there will be plenty more twists and turns in the journey of Rush and Blaire before they hopefully get there happy ever after.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review: Spy Society - Robin Benway

Spy Society by Robin Benway, published by Simon and Schuster on 18th June 2013

Goodreads synopsis:
Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.




Review:
If you love the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter (as I do!) then you'll adore 'Spy Society' which is a fun read about a teenage spy cracking her first big solo case.

Maggie is a great character.  She and her parents, who are spies, work for a secret organisation called the Collective.  She is an expert safe-cracker - capable of breaking even the toughest combination locks.  Being part of the spy world is in her blood and it is a life she loves.  As a family, the Silvers end up moving to New York where Maggie is assigned her own mission.  This turns everything on it's head because now she has to face the teenage realm of school, try to be a normal teenager and crack the case at the same time.  This will be the biggest challenge Maggie has had to face so far. 

Brave, smart and funny, I really loved her as a main character and she makes a great lead.  She has to get close to Jesse Oliver as part of her assignment but things don't quite go to plan when they have a lot more in common than she expected.  It's not a typical YA romance but some of their scenes together were among my favourite in the book. 

The story is fast-paced and the plot fairly speeds along with some big twists and turns along the way.  I enjoyed every second of reading it and really didn't want to get to the end!  Robin Benway has hit upon the perfect formula for a fabulous series with brilliant characters and plenty of intrigue and excitement to keep you gripped from start to finish.  It was a big winner with me.   

I'm so glad that this is going to be part of a series because I can't wait to catch-up with Maggie Silver again and follow her on her next big case.  'Going Rogue', the next book, is due to be published in 2014.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Blog giveaway winner: Angelfall - Susan Ee

Thank you to everyone that entered my giveaway to win a copy of 'Angelfall' by Susan Ee.  If you weren't successful this time then check back again soon when I'll be having another giveaway on the blog.  


I'm pleased to announce that the winner is:
#1. Avril Luke

Congratulations! You will be receiving an email from me shortly requesting your postal details so that your book can be sent out.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Cover reveal: Becoming - Samantha Summers

I am a massive fan of the Project Five Fifteen series by Samantha Summers so I'm thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for 'Becoming', the third book about Kalen and Ronnie which is set to be published on 31st October 2013.  This is probably my favourite cover of the series so far and is going to look fab on my shelves!   


Turning his back on the killer he was trained to be wasn’t as easy as Kalen Smith had hoped. They’d tried to run. They’d tried to hide. People had lost their lives. The wrong people. Now, driven by a thirst for revenge, Kalen and his team are preparing to take down those responsible.

But vengeance comes at a price and Ronnie can feel the boy she fell in love with slipping away from her as the darkness he’s been running from for so long threatens to consume him.

With danger looming in every direction, the possibility of a happy-ever-after is looking bleak, but The Agency isn’t the only obstacle in the way of Ronnie and Kalen’s future. Ronnie’s harbouring a tragic secret that isn’t hers to keep and the truth could destroy not only their relationship, but what’s left of Kalen’s humanity.

One way or another, everything is about to change..



If you don't already have this book on your wishlist then click here to add it to your Goodreads shelf.  I'm incredibly excited about it and will be reviewing 'Becoming' nearer to the publication date.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Review: Bodyguard: Hostage - Chris Bradford

Bodyguard: Hostage by Chris Bradford, published by Penguin on 2nd May 2013

Goodreads synopsis:
In a dangerous world, everyone needs protection.

No one suspects that a teenager could protect someone – but Connor Reeves is no ordinary 14 year old. He’s a professional bodyguard trained in surveillance, anti-ambush techniques, hostage survival and unarmed combat. When he’s summoned to protect the President’s daughter, his protection skills face the ultimate test.

Alicia doesn’t want to be guarded. She just wants to have fun. With no clue that Connor is her bodyguard, she tries to escape the Secret Service and lead him astray. But unknown to her and Connor, a terrorist sleeper cell has been activated.

Its mission: to take the President’s daughter HOSTAGE.


Review:
I love books about boy spies and the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz is one of my favourites.  This series is in a similar vein but with a twist - instead of spies it focuses on teen bodyguards who are recruited and trained to protect people of importance.  As teenagers they are able to go places where a standard protection team are unable to go. 

The author, Chris Bradford, underwent professional bodyguard training in preparation for writing 'Hostage' and his dedication shows in the authenticity of the story.  There's a lot of detail about the extent of the training that someone must undergo to become prepared to protect someone else's life and that was a really fascinating element of the book which I enjoyed reading about. 

Being a bodyguard is a tough, dangerous job, not suited to everyone, but fourteen year old Connor Reeves, who is the central character in the story, seems to have a talent for it.  Recruited to join the team, he is soon sent on his first job - to protect the daughter of the President of the United States.  Connor is tough and resilient but is facing the biggest and most dangerous challenge of his life. 

I loved this book and read it in one sitting.  The plot was utterly gripping and compulsive and each chapter was packed full of moments which left me on the edge of my seat.  If you're still mourning the end of Alex Rider or Young Bond and looking for something to fill the void then let me tell you, this is it!  Fast-paced with non-stop explosive action, boys and girls alike should gain a lot of enjoyment from 'Bodyguard: Hostage' which showcases action-adventure at its very best. 

Chris Bradford is currently hard at work on the next exciting instalment 'Bodyguard: Ransom' which is set to be published in May 2014 and I for one can't wait. 

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Writer's Nook - C.J. Flood

Today I'd like to welcome C.J Flood, author of 'Infinite Sky' to A Dream of Books for my feature Writer's Nook.  This explores a writer's space and the objects they like to have around them for inspiration, pleasure or just general enjoyment.


I wrote Infinite Sky in bits and pieces before I was a full time writer, which meant I worked in lots of different places: libraries, cafes, living rooms and bedrooms in Derby, Norwich and Spain.

Since becoming a writer full time, I have a much more established writing routine, and a proper place in which to write. Sort of. Okay, it’s a corner of my bedroom, but it does the trick.


 My bookshelves are above me, which means I can find inspiration from great writers or read a little about story structure when I get stuck – which is very, very often.


There are pictures of my mum, dad and brother when they were a lot younger than today: on a camel, at my graduation, looking miserable on a holiday, as well as various cards and trinkets that people have given me. A favourite of which is the delicate white cup on the second shelf up. My friend made it for me. On it, is a three-headed, moustachioed man-monster-thing that she’s painted. In the frame to the left is a poem an old boyfriend wrote for me. And then there’s my table tennis bat, which teases me constantly.



Another object I like to have near me as I write is this zine I made. I really like it. It reminds me that it’s easy to make things besides books, and makes me laugh whenever I look through it, because it’s so stupid. Don’t tell my editors that I made it when I should have been writing Book Two. The front cover alone took an hour, and look at the state of it! It’s such a scrappy little thing, but sometimes I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever made.


And finally, the most recent addition to the Objects Collection is this kitten-y fella. I bought him for my beloved best friend, but haven’t been able to part with him yet. He watches over me with just enough quizzical curiosity not to put me under pressure as I write.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Giveaway: Angelfall - Susan Ee

To celebrate the official print edition release of Susan Ee’s hugely successful self-published book Angelfall, I have been provided with the opportunity to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a copy of the book.


Angelfall is the new publishing phenomenon, currently being adapted for film by Sam Raimi. Thrilling, smart and terrifying, Angelfall is a fiercely compelling debut that tells the addictive story of Penryn, fighting for her and her sister's lives after angels of the apocalypse destroy the world as we know it.

You can read my review of Angelfall here

To be in with a chance of winning this great prize simply complete the form below. 
 



For more information on Susan Ee and Angelfall please visit: www.susanee.com  
Terms and Conditions
  • Competition will close on 14th July 2013
  • Open to UK participants only
  • Prize for the main winner is a copy of Angelfall
  • In the unlikely event the prize style has discontinued a similar model to the same value will be provided
  • There is no cash or other alternative to the prize stated and the prize is not transferable and no part or parts of the prize may be substituted for other benefits, items or additions.
  • Winners will be picked at random and contacted by the site. The prize will be delivered to the winner within 28 days of confirmation of delivery address.
  • Winners name, contact number and address will be passed to a third party provider for delivery.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Review: The Moon and More - Sarah Dessen

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen, published by Penguin on 4th June 2013 

Goodreads synopsis:
Emaline is spending her last summer before college in her home beach town of Colby. Everything is familiar - from working for her bossy sister Margo at the family rental company to Emaline's gorgeous (and regularly shirtless) childhood sweetheart, Luke.

But when an out-of-town brash New York filmmaker, and her young assistant Theo, come to stay at one of the beach houses, everything Emaline thought she knew about herself changes.

But can her heart let go of a life she's loved for so long?




Review:
My immediate thought while I was reading 'The Moon and More' is that I want to live in a beach town like Colby.  There's a huge appeal to a place where everyone knows each other, the sea is right on the doorstep and where the tourists may go home at the end of the summer but the year round residents remain to enjoy peace and tranquillity.  I adored the setting for this book, which also features in several of Sarah Dessen's other novels and I loved the laid-back vibe that Colby has.  There's a real sense of comradeship among the people who live in the town.   

The story revolves around the main character Emaline, who has grown-up in Colby and is now anticipating the next phase of her life after graduation.  She is spending her last summer helping out with her family's business, as well as contemplating going to college and leaving everything she knows so well behind.  She came across as extremely likable and the kind of person who is a good friend, daughter and sister. 

There's a big emphasis in the book on Emaline's broken relationship with her biological father, who she interacts with mainly via email.  They don't seem to understand each other very well and they find it hard to communicate.  I enjoyed the family aspect and really liked the sweet scenes between Emaline and her younger half-brother Benji who is so cute.

I would have liked to have seen more romance throughout the story and this was a little bit of a let-down.  I instantly adored Emaline's boyfriend Luke, who seemed lovely but I wanted to see much more of him and a lot less of Theo who I never really warmed to.  Luke isn't perfect but he genuinely cares about Emaline and they share a long history which I would have enjoyed hearing more about.   

'The Moon and More' is a great summery beach read about learning who you are and embracing change.  Fans of Sarah Dessen will, I'm sure, love this new addition and will want to pick up a copy and head to the beach, to dig their toes into the sand and burrow their head into the pages of this book.        
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