Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #21

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers, and book lovers and share bookish lists. Every week is a different themed list, and you can join in on any Tuesday.

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is: Books I loved But Will Never Re-Read.

Am going to tweak 'never' to unlikely, as sometimes I'll think I'll never re-read a book, but then years later pick it up again. What books do you doubt you'll ever read again? Do you find it's a certain genre? Or maybe it's more to do with how big the book is. I know some of mine are pretty big books where I loved them, but due to the size, re-reading them seems unlikely.

  1. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
  2. Atlantia by Ally Condie
  3. Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
  4. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
  5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  6. Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
  7. The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt
  8. What Light by Jay Asher
  9. Shadow of the Wolf by Tim Hall
  10. Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon

Friday, 30 March 2018

Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus


Three Words: murder, lies, revenge

Just wow!!

Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars meets 13 Reasons Why, in this wonderfully gripping novel by Karen M. McManus. Five students enter detention, but four only come out alive. So who killed Simon?

Bronwyn (Geek), Cooper (Jock), Addy (Princess), and Nate (Criminal) become prime suspects after a their classmate, Simon creator of the high schools gossip app About That, dies under questionable circumstances during detention. The odds are one or all of them did it as Simon had gossip on each of them, and if word got out it would have a major impact on each of their social lives. At least that’s what you’d think, right? One of Us is Lying grips you from the first page, and constantly keeps you questioning who is the killer? Is it the Bayview Four as the news has dubbed them, or is someone else pulling the strings, and framing them in the process? Not only does the storyline grip you, but the characters, I love them! Each are so diverse and aren’t your stereotypical geek, jock, princess, and criminal, and they all develop fantastically throughout. Karen M.McManus has made me rethink about reading YA crime/thriller novels, and hope to see more of her books on the shelves soon.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #20

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers, and book lovers and share bookish lists. Every week is a different themed list, and you can join in on any Tuesday.

This Weeks Top Ten is: Books That Take Place in Another Counrty

  1. The Hate U Give (THUG) by Angie Thomas
  2. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
  3. The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson
  4. Half Hidden by Emma Blair
  5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 
  6. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  7. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
  8. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C.Dao
  9. The Diviner's by Libba Bray
  10. The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

Monday, 26 March 2018

British Book Challenge & Giveaway: The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven


Three words: Provoking, Funny, Betrayal

I really enjoyed reading Izzy's story, she's funny and pretty down to earth. Laura Steven has done an impressive job of exploring how females are taught one set of rules, whilst males are given another. For example a male who sleeps with multiple girls is hailed as a stud, & is praised for his sexual conquests. Yet if a female acts in the same way she is seen as a slut, & condemned for her conquests. This can have very damaging consequences, especially for young females, who have been programmed from a very young age that their only value is their looks, & how much sex they're having, or not having. It is quite possibly one of the biggest issues within the whole male/female divide, yet not the most important one & am not sure I completely agree with the message within The Exact Opposite of Okay.

Izzy is a young adult who was orphaned at a young age, & lives with her Gran in a pretty run down state of America. Her two best friends, Ajita & Danny are always there for her until puberty & all it's joys descend a upon them. Ajita is first to notice that Danny has a crush on Izzy, who in no terms lets him down easily. Her way of getting the message across, sleep with two dudes in one night whilst at the same party. Not exactly the best move to make when you know one of your best friends has feelings for you. Izzy's reasoning for this is witnessing Danny snogging another girl & more than likely trying to make Izzy jealous. This was the first flaw in Izzy's character that really stood out. Not her sleeping around, but her complete lack of care for her friends feelings, & it gets worse when she then outs Ajita's sexuality to one of the "fuckboys" she's hoping to have a relationship with via text. She even knows what she is doing is wrong, but still does it anyway, with no regards to Ajita, who hasn't even been able to admit it to herself yet. Totally not cool. Although I disapprove with her behavior, she most certainly doesn't deserve what happens next.

A website detailing her "sexploits", her nude pictures leaked online, being slut shamed, losing a friend (albeit briefly) due to her texts being leaked & worse of all, it all goes international due to a senators son being involved. Izzy's Gran is amazingly supportive when she finds out what has happened, & doesn't judge Izzy at all. She even takes on the headteacher, questioning why her granddaughter is being subjected to bullying & pervy teachers. Sadly cos the school is super conservative, all this continues on whilst the male counterparts who were also outed on the site are given special treatment. This is highlighted when Izzy's entry into a comic sketch competition gets revoked, as the judges believe it'll bring "unwanted attention" to the competition. On the other-hand the senators son who was photographed having sex with Izzy, gets into his first choice University. I would of thought a University of high prestige would be more concerned about it's image then a comedy sketch competition, but hey ho. There is one teacher however who does help Izzy, & that's her very cool drama teacher.

After going through all of this Izzy does manage to pull through, & surrounds herself with friends who are there for her. There's also a hint of a serious relationship on the horizon with one of the "fuckboys" she promoted to boyfriend potential. If you're wondering who set the site up, then I suggest you read the book.

I would love to hear their side of story, as I feel as though we've become so focused on how negatively females are treat by males, that it seems we're forgetting how badly females can also treat males, & other females. This in no way means I agree with the persons actions, just that we should all be looking at how we treat one another regardless of sex. Yes this book highlighted slut-shaming, but what it didn't mention is that us females, we're more to blame for this. We slut-shame other females so much more than males slut-shame females. I know this first hand. In my group of friends we did it, & in other groups too, along with other girls at school, & it was always other girls shaming another girl. Laura Steven did an amazing job on bringing up revenge pron & how damaging it can be. I was shocked to find out how in a majority of states & countries there are no consequences for those who use it as a means to sabotage another person. What niggled at me was should we not be encouraging young men to not sleep around a lot, instead of telling young women to sleep around a lot? I don't see anything positive about either sex having multiple different sexual partners. Being confident in yourself, and sleeping around a bit yes, but not to the extent that Izzy is portrayed to be doing in The Exact Opposite of Okay. For one, there's the risk of sexual diseases, another is unwanted pregnancies, & then there's the effect it can have on future relationships. The majority of people don't feel comfortable being with someone who has had more sexual partners than they have. It's uncomfortable because you'll question them & yourself. I've had partners in the past who'd been with more people than me, & I constantly doubted if I was really as good as they were saying, or if they were thinking about about so & so they'd hooked up with a year a go. Getting laid can be easy, but finding someone to share yourself with is hard & takes effort. So yea have sex, but think about the long term & what you want out of life, & for gods sake, don't lower yourself just cos guys are out having sex nearly every other weekend. That shouldn't be your reason to enjoy something that is imitate. It's like not following a fashion trend, & can have it's dangers & consequences. Most importantly though, please read The Exact Opposite Okay. It's so worth it, & I'd love to your thoughts on it! As you can gather it certainly made me think & question our society & the differences between men & women.

Thank you NetGalley for granting my wish for an early review copy.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #19

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share bookish lists. Every week is a different themed list, and you can join in on any Tuesday.

This weeks Top Ten is Books on my Spring TBR

  1.  Spark by Alice Broadway
  2.  State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury
  3.  The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
  4.  Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley
  5.  The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
  6.  Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
  7.  The Rose and the Mask by Victoria Leybourne
  8.  Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale by Molly Lazer
  9.  The Wolf by Leo Carew
  10.  The Mirror and the Mountain by Luke Aylen

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #18

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share bookish lists. Every week is a different themed list, and you can join in at any Tuesday.

This Week is Top Ten Books I Could Re-Read Forver

I used to re-read quite a lot when I was in my late teens, as money for new books was short. Although I don't re-read as much here are my favourite top ten:

  1. The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix. Sabriel was my first fantasy read that I fell in love with. Growing up with out my dad, I kind of felt really closed to Sabriel, and I loved how strong she is, even in the face of something scary and dark.
  2. Lucas by Kevin Brooks. I first read Lucas for the 2005 NETBA (North East Teenage Book Awards). I was so happy when it won, as it was my favourite book out of the six we were asked to read. Again I felt a strong affinity with Caitlin. Years later, and I still cry every time I read Lucas despite knowing how it ends.
  3. The Glass Mountain by Martina Evans. Honestly the best charity shop find ever! 
  4. Matched by Ally Condie. My first dystopia love. 
  5. Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto. I often find myself self narrating in Kishimoto's style. 
  6. The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick. William Marshal is truly an amazing person, and the first Knight. I wish his story was taught more in history lessons.
  7. Half Hidden by Emma Blair. Omg, the story is so sad! I picked it up whilst visiting and Grandma and fell in love with Blair's writing style, and the snippets of history within.
  8. Soulless by Gail Carriger. Werewolves and vampires, what more could you want? Perfect mix of steam punk and super natural.
  9. A study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway. Magic, and mystery in the good old Victorian era.
  10. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. This list would not be complete without it. Like Sabriel, this series got me through some dark days, and I still love being able to escape to Hogwarts.  

Friday, 23 February 2018

Review: After the Fire by Will Hill


Three Words: family, courage, truth

This book grips you from the first page, and I love how the topic of religious cults is explored. Inspired by the Waco siege which took place in 1993, After the Fire is truly a fantastic read being both intriguing and repulsive at the same time. Will Hill has done an amazing job portraying how easily a corrupt person can destroy innocent people’s lives.

‘The things I’ve seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.’

After the Fire follows 17 year old Moonbeam who is undergoing counselling after a tragic fire destroys The Lords Legion compound where she lived. During her sessions with FBI and psychologists we learn what life was like for her, and her Brothers and Sisters, as part of The Lords Legion both before and after fire. Moonbeam is an amazingly strong character, from discovering all she’s been taught is wrong, to losing family members, and putting trust in those she has been taught to hate. Honey, who is Moonbeam’s friend, also shows great strength and intelligence for her age. I felt very strongly for both of them, and their fellow brothers and sisters, who were exposed to such punishments and horrors. After the Fire provokes a roller coaster of emotions right till the end.

Top Ten Tuesday #21

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by  That Artsy Reader Girl  and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers, and book lovers and share...