Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Cover Love

I've never joined in with Tuesday Top Ten, from The Broke and the Bookish, before. But this week it is all about covers, so I had too.

I always judge books by their covers! Sometimes I'm disappointed, sometimes very pleasantly surprised.

So my (current) favourite book covers

And a special mention to the UK covers of Sarah Dessen's books. I love the level of detail they include.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A Few Adult Books I Have Loved this Year

As the title says this is a blog about reading YA, but I've read some fabulous adult books lately. So I'm going to do a few mini reviews.

The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand

This book, this book! I absolutely loved it and I am craving more, lucky me there are two more books in the series - hoo-ray. It is the tale of Cade Corey, the american heir to the Corey chocolate bar fortune (33c a bar) and Sylvain Marquis, the Parisian Chocolate Artisan (he definitely needs those capitals!).

It is the clash of two worlds and two very determined people.

It made me laugh, swoon, and CRAVE chocolate. Highly recommended, although I will remind you that it's an adult book and things do get steamy.

I downloaded this this after reading Angie's rave review, thanks Angie!

Someday, Someday Maybe By Lauren Graham

I bought this because I have a deep, abiding love for Gilmore Girls. This read a lot like Gilmore Girls episode, it had the same tone and humour, which more than made up for a plot that had few surprises. I really liked main character Franny and was imagining Lauren Graham playing her the whole time I was reading. Also, due to me muddling names, I was imagining James Franco as the love interest James Franklin, the whole way through. I kept thinking it was odd she was writing about a real person and wondering if it was semi auotboigraphical - ha - it's not I'm just bad at names.

Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson is one of my auto-buy authors. I adore her. Her new novel is utterly brilliant. The kind that gets stuck in your head and makes you think, the kind you keep coming back to.

It follows Ursula Todd as she lives and dies, again and again, and again.  Recommended for anyone whose ever thought "What if?"

(and the war part is outstanding)

The Girl You Left Behind - JoJo Moyes

If a book is set in WW2 I will buy it, this period of history fascinates me. The Girl You Left Behind was and excellent addition to my collection.

It moves between the lives of two women, Sophie and Liv, and two periods of time, occupied France and present day London. I adored how and why Sophie and Liv's stories were interwoven, and, unusually, I liked both stories equally. I'm normally weighted towards one in books with split narratives. I'll definitely be reading more by JoJo Moyes.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Book Review - SHADOWS by Paula Weston

It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, is a standout paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare. (from Goodreads)

I bought Shadows on the strength this fantastic review, by Nomes. She is not normally a fan of paranormal, so I knew this must be something special.

It was.

I started Shadows at 9pm on a Wednesday night and was still reading at 2am. Despite knowing that my son would be waking at 6am, I just couldn't put this down. Paula Weston is an absolute master of the cliff hanger. Every. Single. Chapter ends with one. Making this a breathless, can't read it fast enough book.

Given the cover I don't think it's giving much away to say it's about Angels. I'm not well versed on angel mythology, so I can't say if Paula Weston's take is unique, but I can say it is brilliantly done. The world building is fantastic. I loved the way information was dripped to us. I loved how I would start having doubts about a certain characters actions, or motives, or explanations and then, bam, I'd find out I was right to be having doubts. I am still slightly unsure about certain things, but I fully expect them to be addressed in Haze, Book 2 of the Trilogy.

The break neck pace of Shadows doesn't mean characterisation is sidelined. I loved Gaby from the first pages, she has a great voice, and her grief is believable and heart wrenching and I was on her side completely. As for Rafa I was swooning from his first meeting with Gaby and kept swooning for the whole book. I loved his banter with Gaby, it was reminiscent of the way Sarah Rees Brennan's characters converse,  spiky sarcasm and sharp edged one liners, which made the swoony parts even more swoony.

I really can't wait for Haze to come out so I can continue with Gaby's journey. Highly recommend.

The first three chapters of Shadows, the first chapter of Haze and, Blood Song, the story Gaby posts online are all available on Paula Weston's website.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Friday Five - So Many Good Things

There has been so much fabulous book news while I've been off line! Here are a five of my favourites.

1) Melina Marchetta was answering questions on Goodreads.

 I'm so excited to hear that Jimmy (from Saving Francesca) is camping out in her head. I long,  LONG for another book about those characters. I also love the sound of her new book.

2) Four books from my Top Ten to Read in 2013 list got covers.

They'll be such a pretty additions to my bookshelves  Although I am sad that they dropped the silhouette covers for The Lynburn Legacy books, I loved them. The new look is pretty striking though, I really like the font they picked.

3) Elizabeth Scott has a new book coming out on September HeartBeat. I'm so excited, Elizabeth Scott is an auto buy author for me and this sounds so good.

Life. Death. And...Love?
Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.
But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.
Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.
Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

4) The Countdown to The Great Gatsby is on. 16th May here in the UK! I kind of want to buy a hat or a headband to wear to the cinema.

5) I've read a lot of blog posts over the last month, but this one, by Jo Knowles, is the one that stuck in my head the most - The Smallest Gesture

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Month Is May*

My poor neglected little blog. I've only posted 7 times this year and it's already May! I have been writing, and reading, and playing on Instagram though. I've been taking part in the EstellaGram and Fat Mum Slim photo challenges. It's great fun.

These are some of my favourite photos I took last month.

The Doctor and the TARDIS is Trafalgar square. It was quite a surprise to round the corner and see them.

My baby at the beach.

The first 99 of the season.

A Hobgoblin house at Sissinghurst Castle

Rocky Road Brownies - yum!

Let me know if you're on Instagram. I have quite a lot of trouble finding people!

Anyway hopefully May will be a more reviewed filled month, as I've read a few brilliant books so far this year that I need to talk about.

* Every May I think "The month is May" which is a quote from the film Anne of the Thousand days. It's about Anne Boleyn, who was queen for 1000 days. When she says that line in the movie she's so sad because her life has changed so much in a year, it's always stuck in my head.