Letterbox Love #37

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

I was good this week and didn’t buy any books 🙂 

Received for Review:     

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Thanks to Harper 360 for sending over this gorgeous hardback!

Gifted: 

The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

When I said that I had never read a Sarah Rees Brennan novel, my lovely friend Caitlin offered to buy me one. So thanks very much to Caitlin for this!  

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! 

Letterbox Love #34

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

Double event time this week! Apologies for the lateness of this post, but it has been manic.        

Received for Review:

Geek Girl 2: Model Misfit by Holly Smale

I’m SO happy to finally have my own copy of this, thanks to Harper Collins! I read the ebook version, and review to come soon! (Spoiler: It was epic 😀 )  

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Thanks very much to Quercus! Look out for the cover reveal posted on Monday for this one.

Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner

Thanks Random House! This looks good but is the second in a series so not sure when I’ll be able to read it.

Bought:

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

The Running Dream by Wendelin van Draanen

Won:

Love Is a Number by Lee Monroe

This is a second copy. I originally won this from Michelle at Much Loved Books, but thought it had got lost in the post so they kindly sent a second copy, and now I have both of them! I don’t understand the postal system.

Swapped:

Call Down Thunder by Daniel Finn

Vanished by Meg Cabot

Thanks very much to Georgia for these! I love a good book swap 😀

Tempest and Vortex by Julie Cross

Shift by Em Bailey

Dead to You by Lisa McMann

Thanks Lucy! I can’t wait to read the Julie Cross books and Dead to You was a lovely surprise.

The Farm by Emily McKay

Thanks to Katie for this one which I’ve had my eye on for a while!

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! 

Waiting on Wednesday #44

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

Here's Looking at You

The new novel from the bestselling author of You Had Me At Hello. What if the last person you wanted to see was the person you needed? After the runaway success of You Had Me At Hello, Mhairi McFarlane is back with a new cast of characters in her second book, Here’s Looking At You. In essence it’s an ugly duckling tale. Our heroine Aureliana returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion. School doesn’t hold happy memories for her, as being a roly poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly throughout her years there. Now in her 30s, Aureliana wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell. But she is much-changed from the girl she once was – all curves and because I’m worth it hair – and no one recognises her when she arrives. Losing her bottle, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again. But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James – major hunk and Aureliana’s major crush back at school. But alas, as a cronie to the bullies, Aureliana to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior. As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like…Full of Mhairi’s trademark laugh out loud humour, Here’s Looking At You is a novel about facing your demons and being happy with who you really are.

I adored Mhairi’s first book, so I’ll definitely be snapping up Here’s Looking At You. Sounds perfect for a cosy winter’s night.       

Due to be released by Harper Collins in December 2013.

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

Book Review: Boy Meets Boy

Boy Meets Boy

Boy Meets Boy

by David Levithan

Published: May 2005 (originally). Reprint 1st August 2013 by Harper Collins

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

Rating: 4.5 sofas

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance. 

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

I originally read this book earlier this year for Faye’s LGBT Readathon. I loved the book, but didn’t document my thoughts. However, Harper Collins decided to do a reprint of this and another David Levithan book and I snapped at the chance to reread it!

We follow Paul as a kind of ‘out and proud’ gay boy in a town where there isn’t a lot of discrimination. Many of the LGBT books I have read deals with the hardship of discovering and categorising sexuality, and sharing this decision with friends and family. It was refreshing to see it from the other side; Paul’s parents are very accepting, and in this respect he has an easy life.

Although Paul is the main character, I don’t think the story would be half as amazing without the strong side characters. Paul’s best friends are Joni (who has problem boyfriends) and Tony (who is gay, but has to hide it as he has very religious parents). As well as helping to deal with their issues, he also has to tackle feelings for his ex, Kyle, who has ignored Paul ever since they split up. So when he meets Noah in the bookstore, he has yet more emotions to deal with.

Although the theme in this book is primarily LGBT, it also explores a lot about friendship and high school life. I think this is most prevalent in the bond between Tony and Paul. They’ve never dated but have an ever better connection. I really rooted for Tony throughout and felt his struggle more than anyone else.

———————————————————-

“In other circumstances, this would have been the start of a romance. But I think we both knew, even then, that what we had was even more rare, and even more meaningful. I was going to be his friend and was going to show him possibilities. And he, in turn, would become someone I could trust more than myself.”

—————————————————————–

One of the things I love about David Levithan is the way he describes the world and relationships. It is just so beautiful. I found myself wanting to mark lots of passages because quotes really stood out to me, and I feel like I highlighted the whole book!

I think the only down side if this book was that it felt a bit safe for me; I would say it is aimed at younger YA audiences. The main boys are quite stereotypical; the out and proud, the shy one and the confused one. It is quite ‘safe’, and personally I would say unrealistic. It was good to show homosexuality in a more accepting light, but I just couldn’t believe that this world exists, sadly.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, and the romance was very cute. I liked how the side characters were just as important as the main ones, and look forward to reading more by this author! 4.5 sofas.

“If you want to be loved, be lovable.”

Letterbox Love #31

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

Yay book post 😀     

Received for Review:

Siege by Sarah Mussi

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

Thanks to Hodder for sending me these lovely copies! 

Shine by Candy Gourlay

I love surprise books! Thanks very much Random House.

Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

Eek! I requested this a little while ago and Harper Voyager have kindly sent a manuscript. 

Geek Girl 2: Model Misfit by Holly Smale

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Perhaps my MOST anticipated book of 2013, I am absolutely dying to read this. Drop everything, this book is next to read 😀 Thanks Netgalley and Harper Collins. 

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Bought:

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman

Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin

 Won:

Shipwrecked by Siobhan Curham

Thanks to Siobhan for signing and sending me this! I can’t remember where I actually won it from, so if it was you then let me know 🙂

Swapped/Gifted:

Winter Damage by Natasha Carthew

Drummer Girl by Bridget Tyler

Eep! Thanks Hawwa from It was Lovely Reading You for sending these over! Sooooooooooo excited for Drummer Girl! 

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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! 

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.

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Bought:

After Iris by Natasha Farrant

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider

Gifted:

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

Thanks very much to Rebekah from Reflections of a Bookworm!

Library:

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

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez

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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! 

Letterbox Love #26

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

Welcome to my book haul this week! I haven’t received any ebooks or books from the library, but I was bad and bought quite a few this week!   

 Received for Review:

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone 

Thanks very much Random House! If this is anything like Time Traveller’s Wife I will adore it.

Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke

This looks really cute and sad and the cover is gorgeous! Many thanks Harper Collins 

Bought:

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Reached by Ally Condie

Wonder by RJ Palacio

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth

Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron

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Won:

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

The Taming of the Tights by Louise Rennison

The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox

The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton

Thanks very much to Caroline from Big Book Little Book! 

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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! 

Book Review: Icons

Icons (Icons, #1)Icons

by Margaret Stohl

Published: May 2013 by Harper Voyager

Version: Paperback from publisher (all views are my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 3.5 sofas

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol’s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn’t know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside — safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can’t avoid.

She’s different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador’s privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn’t a coincidence. It’s a conspiracy.

Within the Icon’s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions — which they’ve always thought to be their greatest weaknesses — may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts — in order to save the future.

At first it sounds very War of the Worlds-esque, as we learn of the icons that have descended around all the major cities on Earth.  On The Day, a billion people were killed instantly, including Dolly’s parents. Since then, the icons have been in charge of all power. Anyone who gets close enough is wiped out by an electrical pulse.

From the beginning we know that Dolly and Ro are different, bonded together by the dots on their arms. With only each other to rely on, immediately I am backing their side. But when they are captured by the Embassy,  Dolly starts to really think about and question the way icons changed the world, and her purpose in it.

This book was paced really well, it made me want to continue reading. As the book progresses it involves quite well, and we begin to know more about the Embassy and the world as whole, rather than being thrown into it at the beginning.

Character wise, Dol is the only real likeable one out of the bunch. There is the classic love triangle going on, and I can’t really understand Tima’s motive. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, I’m not even sure whether I’m meant to like her or not. Baring in mind they are meant to be the ‘good’ team, I expected to like them more. As such they are just irritating. I’m also not really sure if the meaning (point?) of the binding of dots, but I hope this is explained more in the next book. 

This is a dystopian I would definitely recommend for fans of War of the Worlds. Although I found the characters quite unlikeable, I did enjoy the world building. I will be picking up the sequel to find out more about the aliens and how the story ends up. 3.5 sofas! 

Top Ten: Books on my Summer 2013 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Today I’ve decided to highlight the top ten books on my physical TBR shelf that I will be reading over the summer. And I know it isn’t Tuesday, but I saw other people’s posts and thought it would be a good list to do! 

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Geography Club by Brent Hartinger: I wanted to read this for the LGBT Readathon but didn’t get chance. I definitely want to read it before the film is released, and its only small so I’m hoping to slip this one in. 

Icons by Margaret Stohl: This is the first in a series which looks really exciting. It’s also a review copy from Harper Collins, so I want to get this one read soon.

Geekhood: Mission Improbable by Andy Robb: I ADORED Andy’s first book (review here), and I am really excited to read the sequel. Here’s hoping for lots more books by Andy, as he is a great writer.

Every Time We Say Goodbye by Colette Caddle: I plucked this from my library pile as a good summer read for the beach. I love a good, funny romance, and I hope this lives up to my expectations.

Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne:  Everyone has been raving about this and Tanya’s next book, and I feel like I missed the train slightly! So I am trying to catch up by reading this.

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From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas: I wanted to take this book on holiday but it just missed the cut! Described as The Hangover for teens, this looks like a lot of fun.

The Look by Sophia Bennett: I recently read Sophia’s latest book (You Don’t Know Me) and really loved it. Luckily I had scooped up this one in The Works (I know, right?!) a couple of weeks ago, AND it has pink edges! ❤

Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt: I’ve heard lots of good things about this book, and I love ‘issue’ fiction, which I’ve heard it described as, so it sounds like a perfect UKYA read for me! 

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan: Another book leftover from the LGBT Readathon, I STILL have only read one John Green book, and this needs to change! I’m also hoping to go to a David Levithan event in October so would like to read more of his books too.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen: This just sums up ‘summer read’ completely. I’ve never read a book by Sarah Dessen but I am eager to delve into her contemporaries as they all sound amazing! 

So there you have it folks! Which of these would you recommend (or not?!) ? What books are on your TBR pile this summer? Is there anything I’ve forgotten that I shouldn’t miss out on? Let me know! 

Book Review: Revenge Wears Prada

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil ReturnsRevenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns

by Lauren Weisberger

Published: 20th June 2013 by Harper Collins

Version: Paperback from publisher (all views are my honest opinion)

Rating: 4 sofas

Revenge Wears Prada picks up eight years after Andy parted ways with Miranda on bad terms. Andy is now editing The Plunge, the hottest bridal magazine around, alongside Emily, her one-timeRunway nemesis turned current BFF. While Andy is planning her own wedding to Max, a handsome media scion, she remains haunted by her impeccably heeled former boss — and the magazine world being as small as it is, it’s only a matter of time before she hears the dreaded syllables “Ahn-dre-ah!” again.

Possible spoiler alert for the first novel, but if you haven’t read it or watched the film adaptation then you must be living in a cave.

One of the great things about this novel is that it is so easy to pick up. I’ve never read the first book (Devil Wears Prada), although I have seen the film numerous times. But I managed to leap straight into it, and it made me wonder why the sequel has been such a long time coming.
Andy is such a likeable character; having finally stood up for herself at the end of the first book, she is the girl next door who got lucky. But she learnt that Miranda isn’t this almighty god to be feared. And yet, just hearing her name still sends Andy into a panic eight years later.
As well as the fear of her old boss, Andy has to deal with lots of other things, such as a business to run with her ex-Runway colleague Emily, a fiancee-come-husband who may be hiding a secret, and a mother in law that hates her.

Full of drama and laughter, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the first. Andy, Emily and Miranda are just the same characters that we know and love (or hate). Although it has been so many years since Lauren Weisberg originally wrote Devil Wears Prada, she still has an amazing charm and the story just flows seemlessly. I want to keep reading, and I do.

Having devoured this in a day, the only thing I’m left wondering is why this isn’t a bestselling series already. Witty, romantic and fun, this is a chick fic that stands out from the crowd; something which is insanely hard to do. Lauren’s effortless writing is something which I would love to read more of. Undeniable talent. I know I’m not the only person who will be left yearning for a film adaptation after reading this novel. 4 sofas!