Book Review: Lockwood & Co; The Screaming Staircase

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co, #1)Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase

by Jonathan Stroud

Published: 29th August by Random House

Version: paperback ARC loan from Faye

Rating: 4.5 sofas

Hauntings are our business . . .

Ghosts crowd the streets and houses of London. Anthony Lockwood, with his slightly grumpy deputy George, and his junior field operative Lucy, make up LOCKWOOD & CO, the small, shabby yet talented ghost-hunting agency.

After a series of calamitous investigations into the supernatural go awry, the team are desperate to prove themselves. Their opportunity comes in the form of a terrifying ghost, the Red Duke. But little do they know what perils lie in store for them at the haunted Bliss Hall . . .

I’m going to be honest and say that if it wasn’t for Faye and Daphne I probably would not have picked up this book. Overall I’m not a huge lover of fantasy, but I think thats more because I haven’t read much of it, and I’m daunted by the level of detail and world building involved. However, when Faye offered me her copy of The Screaming Staircase to borrow, I said yes, because I’d heard such good things from them. 

Even so, I still put off reading it. The ARC does not have the pretty cover, and as such, looked quite scary to me. So if you are thinking that this is not a book for you, then THINK AGAIN. This is exactly the frame of mind I had, and I was wrong. 

The Screaming Staircase follows Lucy as she joins a new ghost-hunting team, and describes the adventures and the spectres they encounter. It backtracks into the past and shows how Lucy got into the world of ghost hunting and how she ended up working with Lockwood & Co. 

Lucy was such a likeable character. She is confident, smart, and most of all COOL. A teenage ghost-hunter is such a good role model, and I found myself wishing I was her quite often throughout the book. That is when I could stop picturing Lucy from Queen of Contemporary in my head! 

It also wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be. It very much reminded me of Doctor Who. In particular that episode where people are seeing ‘ghosts’, old relatives, who actually turn out to be Cybermen. And David Tennant tries to triangulate the signal with some gizmos. And this is exactly how I picture Lockwood; a bit scatty, a guy who obviously knows his stuff but likes to plow straight into it. 

I think this was a great beginning to what I hope will be a fantastic series. Lucy has such great potential, and I am intrigued to find out more about Lockwood and his past, as well as that of his assistant George. I get the feeling that the house may hold secrets of its own too! 

Overall The Screaming Staircase surprised me. It was fun and adventurous, with amazing characters. Even if you doubt this book is for you, I would urge you to give it a try. Definitely a series to look out for! 4.5 sofas! 

Readathon: David Levithan

So if any of you watched my Letterbox Love #28 vlog, or follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve decided to have a readathon of sorts. There isn’t any particular time or week. I plan to read as many of his titles as possible before his event on the 2nd October (5 weeks from today). I thought I would just spotlight his books here, since many people didn’t realise exactly how many he had written.

          Ten Things I Hate about You    The Perfect Score

Ten Things I Hate About You– I’ve seen the film but haven’t read the book, and had no idea it was written by him! Apparently only 170 pages, this sounds as though it pretty much matches the film. The Perfect Score– this is another novelization about seniors who plan to steal the answers to the SAT exam. I haven’t seen the film but it sounds really cute.

          Boy Meets Boy      The Realm of Possibility

Boy Meets Boy– I have already read this and adored it. I received a copy of the reprint last week so will be rereading this title! The Realm of Possibility– This title tells the story of 20 different voices in the same school. I think it would be awesome to see all the different perspectives.

           Are We There Yet?       Marly's Ghost

Are We There Yet?– Also reprinted by Harper Collins and arrived in my mailbox last week. Marly’s Ghost– a retelling of the Dickens tale, this is about loss and love.

           Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist       Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist– I received this title last week from Rebekah, and its so short! I will try and get my hands on the film too at some point. Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List– This and the above title are both written with Rachel Cohn. This is next on my want list as it sounds like it could be emotional; it involves the drama after Ely kisses Naomi’s boyfriend.

          Wide Awake       Love Is the Higher Law

Wide Awake– A gay Jewish man as US president? Sounds interesting to me! Love is the Higher Law– The lives of three teens are altered by 9/11. I can’t believe I have not read this yet. I need it my hands, like now. 

          Dash & Lily's Book of Dares          Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares– Also written with Rachel Cohn, I got this from the library last week. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but it sounds like a cute concept. Will Grayson, Will Grayson– Written with John Green, this is bound to be awesome. I bought this earlier this year and STILL haven’t read it!

            Every You, Every Me            The Lover's Dictionary

Every You, Every Me– A teen being stalked by photos? Eek! The Lover’s Dictionary– Although this doesn’t really sound like my type of book, quite a few people have raved about it, so I may just have to check it out for curiosities sake.

            Invisibility              Every Day

Invisibility– Again, I bought a copy of this a little while ago but still haven’t read it. The first couple of pages were awesome, but unfortunately other books took priority. Every Day– I received a copy of this and read it for Bout of Books. I adored it all apart from the ending (check out my review here).

Two Boys Kissing

Finally, his latest title, Two Boys Kissing. I plan to buy this very soon, and from what I have heard so far it is an awesome and emotional read.

I hope I’ve enlightened you to David’s backlist of titles. I currently own 6 of these titles (as well as one from the library). If anyone has any of the above titles I am missing and no longer want it or am willing to swap it, please let me know! I’d be very grateful 🙂

Waiting on Wednesday #38

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

What We Hide

Americans Jenny and her brother Tom are off to England. Tom to university, to dodge the Vietnam draft, Jenny to be the new girl at Illington Hall, which the students call Ill Hall. This is Jenny’s chance to finally be special and stand out, so when she arrives she tells everybody a lie. But in the small world of Ill Hall, everyone has secrets. Jenny pretends she has a boyfriend. Robbie and Luke pretend they don’t. Brenda won’t tell what happened with the school doctor. Percy won’t tell about his famous dad. Oona lies to everyone. Penelope lies only to herself.

The blurb for What We Hide sounds quite sinister. What did happen with the school doctor? O..O A long wait for this title, but hopefully it will be worth it!   

Due to be released by Wendy Lamb Books in April 2014.

 What are you looking forward to this week?  Please share your WoW in the comments!

Readathon: Bout of Books 8.0 Wrap-Up

bout of books 8

Bout of Books 8.0 was my first Bout of Books, and I’m so glad I took part. 

Book List



I plan to read three books

While I didn’t manage to read all the books on my goal pile, I did finish two of them. I have started Diary of a Mall Girl and have also read Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone. 

I want to participate in at least one Twitter chat

I took part in the Twitter chat on Saturday.

Complete two challengers

I completed the Bookish Bucket list and the TBR list (both in my Update post)

Write two reviews

My review of Every Day is already up and a review of The Screaming Staircase is going up on Thursday!

Comment on as many Bout of Books posts as possible and make some new friends! 

While I did speak to some new people during the Twitter chat I’m not sure I made any friends as such. I have been trying to comment on blogs overall but haven’t really seen that many Bout of Books posts in my blogroll. 

Overall I count my Bout of Books progress as a success! I’d only read about 3 books in a month prior to the readathon, so to get through that many in a week makes me really happy. It has definitely put me in the mood to read again, which is a priceless reward.

Did you manage to meet all your goals? 

Letterbox Love #28

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers can exhibit the books they received this week.

I hope everyone has had an awesome week. This week I created an impromptu readathon and went to the library!    

 Received for Review:

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan (x2)

Are We There Yet? by David Levithan (x2)

Thanks very much to Harper Collins for sending me these beautiful reprints. I’ve got duplicates as well which I will probably get signed and give away soon. 

Every Day by David Levithan

Thanks to Egmont for another copy of this! Will go in my giveaway pile.

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Hello Darkness by Anthony McGowan

BAHHHH MORE THAN THIS! I am so excited for this title. Huge huge thanks to Walker for these lovelies. 

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Thanks to Indigo for this new vampire novel! Gorgeous cover.



After Iris by Natasha Farrant

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider


Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Thanks very much to Rebekah from Reflections of a Bookworm!


Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez


What did you receive this week? Have you read any of my books and do you think it should be at the top or the bottom of my to read pile?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Bookish Events

This year I’ve been luckily enough to attend lots of bookish events. However, there are lots I missed out on but am planning for next year! I thought I’d just give you an overview of the types of event I have attended and the pros and cons of each. 


Usually reserved for popular books or authors, these signings are good for racking up signatures in books. Not usually so good for spending time with the author! 

The signings that I’ve attended like this include Cassie Clare, Stephenie Meyer and Michael McIntyre. While I was thrilled to be able to meet them and get a coveted signature, you do just feel like part of an assembly line. Often it doesn’t allow much time to speak to the author. It does, however, usually involve lots of waiting around in a queue beforehand!



I think so far this is my favourite type of event. The ones I have attended have mostly been at Waterstones Piccadilly, and involve one or more authors. They have an opportunity to talk about their book, answer questions and then have a signing at the end.

As well as getting a greater insight into the author and the story behind the book, it allows for talk with other bloggers while the signing line goes down!




Obviously exclusive for bloggers, these events are great in getting to communicate with authors and publicists. My first event as a blogger was Holly Smale’s Geek Girl party. Here I met some bloggers that I consider to be great bookish friends now, and often see at other events. It’s also nice to meet the publicists behind the emails and the proofs, and to get to know them personally. 

I can say the only real negative about blogger events is not getting invited to them, especially when it seems everyone else in the world is going. I’ve definitely experienced this more than once, but its still amazing to hear about them afterwards and see all the goodies! ggparty


The bonus of launch parties is that friends of the author quite often attend. And those friends are quite often authors themselves. I discovered this when I went to James Dawsons’ launch for Cruel Summer, and found myself face to face with people such as Patrick Ness and Tanya Byrne. While I didn’t speak to these personally (I was too in awe!) it gives an amazing opportunity to meet lots of authors in one place. The other plus is that it is such a relaxed environment, usually involving drinks and snacks and lots of conversation. 



I haven’t yet attended a book festival. I’m planning to go to one day of Bath Kids Lit Festival, but I would love to spend a whole weekend or week immersed in books. Earlier this year I swooned over all the people over the ocean going to BEA, and I hope in the next couple of years I can make this dream a reality.

A bit closer to home, and I also missed out on the London Book Fair this year due to other arrangements. Faye wrote a post about her experience, and the seminars sounded like a really awesome insight into the book and publishing world. I am definitely putting it on my calendar for next year, so watch this space!

What events have you attended? What is your opinion on the best format? Any events that you would recommend? 

Book Review: Every Day

Every DayEvery Day

by David Levithan

Published: 29th August by Egmont UK

Version: Paperback from publisher (review my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 4 sofas

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

As soon as I heard about this book I knew it was going to be pure gold. David Levithan’s writing evokes such emotion, and Every Day is no different. 

The book tells the story of A, who wakes up each morning in a different body. He lives out their lives, accessing memories to discover their every day routine. For A, the days blend into each other. Until he takes on the body of Justin, and he sets eyes on Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. He knows he has to do anything possible to stay in contact with her. However, this proves difficult when he has no way of telling where, or who, he will wake up tomorrow. 

As well as exploring the love for Rhiannon, A also mentions what it is like to jump between diverse groups of society. Man, woman, gay, straight, transgendered or blind, A has experienced it all. And this allows for so many questions. A notices that he receives more affection from girls when he is a cute boy as opposed to an obese one, or another girl. 

The whole question of love in terms of personality or looks is thrown on the table in this novel. David Levithan examines which is more important in society and whether long distance relationships are really possible. It gives us a huge insight into how people’s lives differ.


“This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.”


The only thing I think let this book down was the ending. I had a feeling how it was going to go, but that doesn’t mean I liked it! Ultimately I think this book could do with a sequel, or at least an epilogue. 

From a scientific perspective, the book opened a can of worms with questions that I want answers to. Such as where did A come from? Who are his parents? Is he human? A ghost? Could he jump from birth? Is there a way to make it stop? How exactly does he enter and exit peoples bodies? 

Every Day left me thinking about true love and the artificial nature of it all. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, the novel itself was beautifully written and took me on a journey inside myself as well as the characters in the book. Yet another David Levithan masterpiece. 4 sofas! 

Readathon: Bout of Books 8.0 Update

bout of books 8

Bout of Books 8.0 started on Monday. I did a lot of reading on the first day, but not as much since. I’m also going to use this to record any challenges.  


Number of pages read: 373 (technically I started this Sunday night, but I’m going to count them all)

Books: Every Day by David Levithan

Challenges: Bookish Bucket List



Number of pages read: 110

Books: Diary of a Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja (60 pages)

Vivian Versus the Apocalypse by Katie Coyle (50 pages)

Challenges: None


Number of pages read: 62

Books: Vivian Versus the Apocalypse

Challenges: TBR List Challenge



Number of pages read: 80

Books: Vivian Versus the Apocalypse

Challenges: None


Number of pages read: 96

Books: Vivian Versus the Apocalypse

Challenges: None


Number of pages read: 86

Books: Time Between Us

Challenges: None


Number of pages read:

Books: Time Between Us


Waiting on Wednesday #37

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

The Summer I Saved the World . . . in 65 Days

It’s the summer before freshman year in high school and Nina decides to follow what someone said at her middle-school graduation: “Be unnoticed, but be remarkable.” Her best friend Jorie is focusing on boys, clothes, and popularity, her lawyer parents are diving into a new case, and this is the first summer without her beloved Grandma, so she’s is feeling a little lost. She hatches a plan: every day, all summer, she’ll do one anonymous kind thing for someone at home or in her neighborhood. Her goal? To bring her family and her beloved community together again.

I adore the concept of random acts of kindness, and The Summer I Saved the World… in 65 Days looks like a really cute contemporary.   

Due to be released by Wendy Lamb Books in April 2014.

 What are you looking forward to this week?  Please share your WoW in the comments!

Book Review: Hurt


by Tabitha Suzuma

Published: 5th September by Random House

Version: manuscript from publisher (Review my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 4.5 sofas

Why? is the burning question on everyone’s lips. Why would a guy like Mathéo Walsh want to die? At seventeen, he is Britain’s most promising diving champion. He is a heartthrob, a straight A student and lives in one of the wealthiest areas of London. He has great mates and is the envy of everyone around him. And most importantly of all, he is deeply in love with his girlfriend, Lola. He has always been a stable, well-adjusted guy…

Until one weekend. A weekend he cannot seem to remember. All he knows is that he has come back a changed person. One who no longer knows how to have fun, no longer wants to spend time with his friends, no longer enjoys diving. Something terrible happened that weekend – something violent and bloody and twisted. He no longer knows who he is. He no longer trusts himself around people: he only wants to hurt, wound and destroy. Slowly, he begins to piece back the buried, fragmented memories, and finds himself staring at the reflection of a monster. Tormented, Mathéo suddenly finds himself faced with the most devastating choice of his life. Keep his secret, and put those closest to him in terrible danger. Or confess, and lose Lola forever…

Tabitha’s A Note of Madness was one of my favourite books as a teenager. I’ve lost count of how many times I have read it. So when I heard she was releasing a new novel, I squealed with excitement. But could anything live up to the emotional rollercoaster that was Forbidden? The answer is a resounding YES.

We follow Matheo, future diving Olympian as he juggles training between school and his girlfriend, Lola. Until one day something happens that changes him, and his perfect world shatters. We are taken on a journey with him as he tries to assemble his memories as well as his emotions.

I did get a bit frustrated around the middle of the book, but I think this is just because I was dying to know what had happened to Matheo, and I was racking my brain with all the possibilities. However, Tabitha’s writing is just so pure and the raw emotion had me gripped from the very beginning. Whatever Matheo was going through, I felt it. My heart went out to him and I had to find out what had made him feel this way and whether he was going to be okay.

As for the other characters, I sort of went in swings and roundabouts. I thought Lola, his girlfriend, was quite flaky, especially in the second half. Obviously she was dealing with Matheos emotions, but she was so inconsistent I’m not sure I could see Matheos obsession with her. That being said, as a reader I am getting a much greater insight to Matheos thoughts then Lola is, so her anger and sadness is probably justified against his actions. 

I can’t tell you how much THAT ENDING left my jaw trailing on the floor long after I had turned the last page. I just couldn’t believe it. Once again Tabitha had succeeded in turning everything I knew about humans and their emotions upside down, and I was left in shock.

Overall, Hurt is heartwrenching, emotional and gripping. If you enjoyed Forbidden, then this will knock your socks off. 4.5 sofas!