Letterbox Love #36

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

I have a sole book this week so no vlog to show you. The book deserves a post though!  

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Bought:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Eee! This is a signed copy purchased through Waterstones. Such an emotional book, I needed my own copy. 

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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! 

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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! 

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. 

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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!

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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!

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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

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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. 

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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: Ketchup Clouds

Ketchup CloudsKetchup Clouds

by Annabel Pitcher

Published: 2012 by Orion

Version: Hardback obtained from library

Rating: 4.5 sofas

Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece.

Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can’t confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.

Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can—in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.

I was quite daunted to read Ketchup Clouds. Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Prize 2013, I’ve heard a lot of praise about it. I had previously picked up Annabel’s previous book (My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece) but it started a bit too depressing for the mood I was in so I only ever read the first couple of pages.

However, Ketchup Clouds is very different. From the first page I was hooked. Written from the perspective of 15-year old Zoe, this brutally honest account of her secret which is so terrible she only feels comfortable sharing it with a man on death row via letters. The whole book is written in letter format, which just adds the uniqueness of the book. It is frustrating at times, as she finishes a letter just as it is getting good! But thats what kept me reading, and I actually devoured the book in a day.

Although Zoe is 15, the writing is quite young. At first I would have pictured her to be about 11 or 12, but things she says later on about boys and life hinted at her being older. Some of the sentences are quite simple, I suppose to make it clear it is written from a child’s perspective. What was confusing was that several scenes were quite graphic. I know kids can be blunt sometimes, but parts of it did shock me. 

What is awe-inspiring about this book is that it is based on the fact that Annabel herself wrote to a inmate on death row when she was a teenager. Its something that I always considered doing, as being in prison can be a really depressing time. This book got me thinking about real life prisoners and what it would be like to receive Zoe’s letters. I love books that leave me thinking about them for days after, and Ketchup Clouds certainly achieved that. 

Ultimately I adored this book. I love the perspective and the letter style gave it such a refreshing feel. I do think the book could benefit from an epilogue or sequel (hint hint!), but it has definitely inspired me to give Annabel’s first novel a go. It is very clear why she won the Waterstones award for this original novel, and I can’t wait to see what she brings in the future. Ketchup Clouds had me gripped from the beginning and I loved experiencing the emotional rollercoaster Zoe’s letters sent me on. 4.5 sofas

Letterbox Love #22

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

Up till yesterday this would’ve been a tiny haul. However, it was payday on Friday so I decided to splurge a little. I visited a nearby shopping centre, only to find that my favourite branch of The Works (Lakeside for you fellow Englanders) is closing down! On the plus side, this means SALE. However, they are moving to a smaller site. Long-term this sucks, as it will mean it will only have a tiny selection of books that will be basically the same as other stores. But anyway, onto my haul. I purchased 14 (I know, oops?!) books at The Works, and paid £12.25. Needless to say, I was a happy bunny. So first, the books I purchase at The Works: 

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I have read If I Stay by Gayle Forman but definitely will want to read it again at some point. I’ve seen the film version of He’s Just Not That Into You, but I thought it would be interesting to see what the book is like, written by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.  

I didn’t realize how many Sophie McKenzie books I had picked up! Girl, Missing has been on my to-read pile for a while. The Medusa Project: The Set-Up is the first of a series about kids with abilities, and sounds really interesting. Blood Ransom is the second in a series about clones. 

James Dashner’s The Kill Order is a prequel to the Maze Runner series (first film coming soon). It is actually in my pile of library books, so buying it means I can return the other copy to the library. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent is a bit paranormal for me, but I remember hearing other bloggers rave about it, so I thought I’d see what the fuss was about. 

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Joe Craig’s Jimmy Coates series is one I feel like I should have read years ago. About a teenage assain, it sounds like EXACTLY the kind of the thing I enjoy. So I decided to get one of the books (Power) to push me in the right direction. And then I spotted Sabotage for 25p so, you know. 

Dial L For Loser by Lisi Harrison is part of a collection of books that I have a couple of already. A Midsummer Tights Dream is part of Louise Rennison’s latest series. Although I’ve only read a couple of hers before, they seem perfect for a giggle. I actually spotted Wither by Lauren DeStefano after I had paid for all my goodies. But it was HARDBACK. FOR 75P. I nearly died, and couldn’t resist snapping it up. 

I also bought The Life of Riley and Back to Life by Joanna Nadin as these seem really cute contemporaries, and I’m on a bit of a high with them at the moment. 

I also got some other books elsewhere: 

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I picked up two books in Waterstones, both half price. Turf by John Lucas looks really gritty, and will contrast all the contemporaries above! I have already read Between The Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer is a book I read before (AND ADORED). It has just been released in paperback, but it is all in black and white. The hardback has coloured fonts and bea-utiful illustrations. P1060286

I raided the BHF charity shop, and snapped up a copy of …Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers by Louise Rennison as it was virtually unread. Numbers by Rachel Ward is a book I loved and would probably read again at some point. I also picked up a DVD of Two Weeks Notice because, you know, Hugh Grant.

Last but not least, one library book this week! I am really excited to finish Ally Condie’s Matched series with Reached. It will be nice to be able to wrap that one up, as one of the first dystopians I read. 

Phew! I have no idea where I’m going to put all these lovely books. Thankfully, I only received two ebooks this week, and one was a ‘read it now’ download. 

Blood FamilyBrooklyn Girls I haven’t read much by Anne Fine since the days of Crummy Mummy, but her new book Blood Family looks kind of dark and mysterious. Thanks to Random House and Netgalley for this. 

 Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess is meant to be a NA with a difference. I’m anxious to see whether it lives up to expectations! Thanks to St Martins Press and Netgalley. 

Life in Outer Space A book that looks amazing in all its geekery is Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil. It has a different cover on Netgalley so I didn’t link the two until I looked on GR, and squealed as this is one of my highly anticipated books. Thanks very much Peachtree Press! 

 

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 #19

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 2-week haul post! 

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Firstly, lots of goodies from the library this fortnight. Starting with Slated and Fractured by Teri Terry. I loved Slated, but read it so long ago I can’t remember what happens. So I will be having a double read to remind myself. Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher was the winner of the Waterstones’ Childrens Book Prize, so I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

Intrusion by Ken MacLeod is an adult book that sounds quite dystopian. I had taken out the hardback, but when I saw my library was getting a paperback I decided to put my name down for that instead. They are just so much easier to handle. The Baby Diaries by Sam Binnie is a book that my mum enjoyed, and I love a good girly book (especially about babies), so I ordered this one. A book that I very nearly bought a couple of weeks ago in Waterstones is Unremembered by Jessica Brody. It sounds a bit like the TV show ‘Lost’, which I adored, so I’m looking forward to checking this out. The last library book is ‘Boy Meets Boy‘ by David Levithan, ordered for the LGBT marathon hosted by Faye of A Daydreamer’s Thoughts. I don’t think I’ve every read any of his books, though a few are on my TBR list, such as Every Day.

Books that I received this week include New Girl by Paige Harbison and The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I won these from Becky at Becky’s Barmy Book Blog for her Spring Clean giveaway. I really loved The Immortal Rules, so I’m excited to see what Julie’s other series is liked. I’m really enjoying Mira Ink’s books at the moment, so fingers crossed for this and New Girl. Becky was kind enough to throw in some bookmarks and badges too which was really sweet. And did I mention the Julie Kagawa is hardback? And glittery! *drools* Thanks very much Becky 🙂

The second and third Metawars books by Jeff Norton, The Dead are Rising and Battle of the Immortal, were sent for review from Rebecca at Hachette. I really enjoyed the first book but wanted more from the characters, so I’m excited to hopefully see their development in the next two! Thanks very much Rebecca for these shiny beauties.

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Last week I was luckily enough to meet Andy Robb, author of Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind and Geekhood: Mission Improbable. Shamefully, I have yet to read the first book, even though I got in in my birthday haul early this year. Luckily, Andy forgave me (I think!) and signed both books (I had with me the first, and bought the second there). He was really lovely, and perhaps one of the nicest, most natural authors I have ever met. We talked for ages, and yet it still felt like I could talk more. From publishers to cover design, blogging and holidays, you name it. He was very nice, which made me feel extra guilty for not having read his books!

While in Waterstones, I also picked up Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I really want to read all of John Green’s books, so owning them is a good start. Oh, and my copy of Geography Club by Brent Hartinger finally came! This is also for Faye’s readathon. I was surprised at how small the book is, but I want to read it before the film is released, so it serves a double purpose 🙂

Ebooks:

Being Henry David

When Love Comes to Town
Thanks to Netgalley and Open Road Media for Being Henry David by Cal Armistead and When Love Comes to Town by Tom Lennon.

 

 

 

Animate MeLove is a Thief

I’m taking part in the blog tour for Animate Me by Ruth Clampett, so look out for my review in a few weeks! The cover is so adorable.

Love is a Thief by Claire Garber is a book I’ve had my eye on for a while. So thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for this!

FangirlAnd last, but certainly NOT least, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell!!! Although this book isn’t released till September, someone tweeted on Thursday evening that it was on Netgalley. Two minutes later, I had requested it, and thinking about the agony of waiting for the approval/denial. But then when the same person (I can’t remember who!) said they had been approved, it cued my frantic email refreshing. And I did get approved! And I finished it last night. WHAT A WHIRLWIND. St Martin’s Press, I owe you my heart for letting me read this, and approving so quickly.

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? Do you think its shameful to go to an author event without having read their book(s)? I’d love to hear from you! 

Letterbox Love #17

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 2-week haul post! It’s scary the amount of books I got this week O..O

Firstly, on the 19th I went to a book event for Lauren Oliver, to celebrate the release of her new book Requiem. It was really lovely to hear her talk about her inspiration and how she writes. Although I’m sad the series has ended, I’m really excited to read more things by her. I had a nice catch up with Stacey of The Pretty Books and met Lucy from Choose YA. Special thanks to Faye of A Daydreamer’s Thoughts and Daphne of Winged Reviews for keeping me company in the line! My lovely signed books:

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So while in the queue, discussing books (naturally), Faye was gushing about the Eternity Cure, and I said I had never read any of Julie Kagawa’s books. I also haven’t read Divergent yet (I know!), and Faye mentioned that she found a copy in The Works, which for those of you who don’t have one, is basically a discount store where they have books and stationary and things. The books aren’t in any order, which is quite frustrating! So I visited a shopping centre yesterday, and (having already indulged in a couple of books in Waterstones) decided to pop in the Works to check out what they have. Here’s what I came out with:

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I think I have a problem! In my defence, the books were 3 for £5, which means each book cost less than £2. At that price, how could I resist?!  

So I managed to find both of Faye’s recommendations; Divergent by Veronica Roth and The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. I also picked up a couple of books that I have read before, but wanted for my collection. These were Extras and Specials by Scott Westerfeld and The Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.

I also picked up some cute looking girly/contemporary YA. They had lots of Sara Shepard’s books, so I decided to get the first, Pretty Little Liars. The Pretty Commitee Strikes Back is actually the 5th in the series by Lisi Harrison, but was all they had so I decided to grab it! The Look by Sophia Bennett has pink edges. Need I say more.  Lucy Lord’s Revelry also looked a lot of fun, so it went in the basket.

The rest from the Works were just YA that I’ve heard about, or seen, and looked good! For that price, I think even if it is an okayish read, it’s worth it. Lots of people are talking about the sequel to Slide by Jill Hathaway, so I’m pleased I found the first one. Likewise with Pure by Julianna Baggott. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Adorkable by Sarra Manning looked like cute, geeky books, something which I greatly enjoy! Last, but not least, Night School by CJ Daugherty, because I love boarding school books, and When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle, because it sounds like an epic romance, and goodness knows I need more of that in my life!

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Blimey. So before this amazing trip I had already popped into Waterstones, where I picked up Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt and Insignia by SJ Kincaid, as part of their Waterstones Teen Shortlist offer. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini really took my fancy (psychiatric hospitals, yay!) and The Hit by Melvin Burgess was an impulse buy. It sounds amazing and the cover is SHINY. Ironically, I spent more in Waterstones (4 books) than in the Works (15 books). What madness.

Finally, in all the buying bonanza, I picked up one book from the library this fortnight! The Farm by Emily McKay is a vampire dystopian kind of book. I swear it was YA, but my library have shelved it in fantasy. Who knows.

Needless to say, this will keep me going for a good while! I totally blame Faye for making me going in there. And on payday! Recipe for disaster if I ever saw one 😉

And if you think I got off lightly on the ebook front, think again!  

I think someone at Random House must have been clicker-happy this week as I got approved for 4 books from them on Netgalley! Thanks you guys, I was very surprised for all the approvals, and they are all for amazing books, and ones that I really want to read.

Itch RocksFall Guy

Firstly, Itch Rocks by Simon Mayo, the second in his Itch series. I have read the first one, and thought it was a really good middle-grade sciencey actiony book. I have yet to write up my review, but I will try and get it up before I read this one!

Next is Fall Guy by Liz Reinhardt. This is the first in a NA romance series, a genre which I seem to be reading a lot of lately!

 

 

 

The Kissing Booth

Twerp

Next is a book I got sent an email about, and requested in straight away. Twerp by Mark Goldblatt is a bullying book, and you know how much I love those, so I’m looking forward to seeing how Mark tackles it.

And my last beauty from Random was The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles. This looks like such a cute contemporary, great at the end of a long day or maybe for the beach?

Storm (Swipe #3)I also got approved for Storm by Evan Angler, thanks to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley. This is the third in a series; I have the second in ebook but unfortunately not the first. However, they all look really good so I will try and get hold of the first so I can start these!

Bloomsbury kindly gave me access to The Academy: Game On by Monica Seles. There is a surge of sports/romance/YA contemporaries at the moment, and this looked really cute. So much pink!

I also got approved on Edelweiss for Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. This has gotten really great reviews so I can’t wait to read it!

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)

Last but certainly not least, Harper Collins gave me a copy of The Edge of Never to review. I have seen LOADS of reviews about this, and finally I get to see what all the fuss is about! It looks very 50 shades to be, but is marketed as NA so we’ll see how it goes!

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? Do you think I have a book-addiction problem? I’d love to hear from you!