Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My World Book Night Nominations

There are 2 days left to nominate books for World Book Night 2013! Go here if you want to nominate  book you love - WorldBookNight - you can nominate up to ten books that you love and think would make someone else fall in love with reading,as long as they have been published in paperback, in the UK.

Here are my ten. I'd love to see any of them on the list! 




















Friday, 17 August 2012

Flat Out Love by Jessica Parks




Usually I do not pay a huge amount of attention to Amazons recommendations, especially recently when they seem obsessed with me buying Fifty Shades of Grey. However, when they recommended Flat Out Love by Jessica Parks, something went ding in my brain and, sure enough, I did have it on my book list. So I give it whirl.

I'm so glad I did, because Flat Out Love utterly charmed me.

The story starts with Julie arriving in Boston for college and finding the apartment she'd thought she'd rented is a burrito restaurant. In fact the line that hooked me completely, and my first laugh out loud moment was;

"Burritos! Holy mother of God!"

"I know burritos are always alarming."

Julies mom's old college friend, Erin Watkins, quickly comes to rescue, and Julie moves in with her and her delightfully quirky family.

There is nothing I like better then a delightfully quirky family, and I really did love this one. Parents Erin and Roger, workaholics who serve up take out every night, but who bike to work. Oldest son Finn who is travelling and having adventures, but who begins a facebook relationship with Julie. Middle child Matt, highly intelligent, owner of a collection of wonderfully geeky t-shirts and complete sweetheart. Then there is baby of the family Celeste, who carries around a cardboard cut out of her absent brother, known as Flat Finn. Clearly something is up with the Watkins family, and Julie finds herself in the middle of a whole lot of lies and guilt. All while dealing with her own issues; absent father, starting college, unexpected romances.


Jessica Parks has an extremely addictive writing style and she creates wonderful characters, who I really came to love and care about. I wasn't reading fast to see if someone jumped off a roof, or survived a werewolf attack, I was reading fast because I needed to know these characters were going to be alright. I was interested and invested in them, they felt like friends. It helped that the dialogue was so sparkly and funny and real sounding. I loved Julie and Matt's arguments and I loved Julie and Finn's facebook messages, especially a certain chat that takes place in an elevator!

I really adored this book, and my anticipation levels were sky high for the ending. As a reader you become aware of certain facts before Julie, and wondering how she was going to react and what the fall out would be had me superglued to my Kindle until I found out.

Flat Out Love is charming, engaging and well worth a read.





Sunday, 12 August 2012

For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund


It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's "Persuasion", "For Darkness Shows the Stars" is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it. (from Goodreads)


My expectations were sky high for this book ~ a Jane Austen retelling by an author I love. It doesn't get much better than that.

When I finally got my hands on the book, worry clouded my anticipation. I had heard great thing about For Darkness Shows the Stars, but still, I was expecting a lot.

Thankfully it delivered on every level. It's one of my favourite books of 2012 and Diana Peterfruend remains one of my must buy authors.

Although I have read Persuasion, it was while ago and I only had a hazy recollection of how the story unfolds. Two particular scenes stood out in my mind, a fall from the rocks and THE LETTER. The letter needs those capitals, it is one of the most amazing in literature. I was wondering how they would fair in the retelling and, happily, Diana Peterfreund completely makes them her own.

I smiled, I teared up, I got butterflies (of both the anxious and tingly varieties) and I was completely captivated by Elliot's world and Elliot herself. She, like Amy and Astrid before her, stole my heart. I was completely invested in her and quite frequently wanted to give certain other characters a sharp smack around the head when they hurt her. I felt her joy, her pain, her regret and her wistfulness and I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough - except I forced myself to turn them slowly because the writing is so gorgeous I didn't want to miss out by flying through it.

To just return to THE LETTER.  Letters are made use of throughout the story, as Elliot's and Kai's childhood letters to each other are slowly revealed. This worked so well. I would never have been as invested in Elliot and Kai's story without the background of what they once were to each other. It was also a great way to tell us about the world they live in (which is fantastic), without overwhelming the story.

This is a perfect retelling, that will delight Jane Austen fans, but also captivate those who don't know the story. Highly recommended.

Diana Peterfreund's blog.

A free prequel short story Among The Nameless Stars. I highly recommend this one too.


Friday, 10 August 2012

Cover Love & Book News

While I was out the county both Laini Taylor and Sarah Rees Brennan shared UK covers of their upcoming books. I LOVE them and have both pre-ordered because they sound amazing.






Maggie Stiefvater also posted about the starred reviews The Raven Boys is gathering. This is the third in my Autumn pre-ordered must reads. I really can't wait for these three books.

In other books news that has me excited Stephanie Perkins announced her new book - although I may not be able to read it, I am a complete wimp about horror.  I was also excited to see Magan McCafferty is writing about a 12 year old Jessica Darling, I adored the Jessica Darling books.




 Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar was finally released in the  UK, and SkyLark by Megan Spooner was came out. Looking forward to both of those.

Finally World Book Night 2013 are looking for nominations.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Books I Read on my Holidays

I'm back from a wonderful two weeks in France. The weather was fabulous, there was sun! Yes actual sunshine! I ate way too much and I even managed to read a few books. Holiday reading took a nose dive after my son was born.

The first week I read


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - this absolutely blew me away. I am so in love with this book. It's one of my top five books of the year and a rave review will be up shortly.

Among the Nameless Stars by Diana Peterfreund - a short story set in the world of For Darkness Shows the Stars. I enjoyed this a lot.

Foundling by Diana Peterfreund - another short story, that I really enjoyed, but which gave me the shivers, to close for comfort. I can imagine this happening.

Quiet The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain - absolutely fantastic. A must read and if you're uncertain just check out Susan Cain's amazing TED Talk

French Children Don't Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman - very enjoyable with quite a few good tips on raising confident, polite children. Although I did see a child throwing food while in France ;)

Week two saw a dip in reading because THE OLYMPICS began. With a fantastic, quirky and very british opening ceremony, then the swimming ~ I LOVED Ian Thorpe's commentary ~ and now athletics. I can not believe how well we are doing. It's all so inspiring and I seem to be constantly in tears.

 GO TEAM GB!

Now I have to go and find out what I missed in two weeks away from the internet! Links to exciting things will be appreciated :D