Friday, 9 December 2016

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, David Levithan & Rachel Cohn

Pages: 242
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release Date: 6th October 2016
Edition: UK proof, review copy

Other Titles by these Author: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Naomi and Ely’s No-Kiss List, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Dash and Lily have been dating for nearly a year, but when Lily’s beloved grandfather falls ill, the repercussions take their toll on everyone. Even though they are still together, somehow the magic has gone out of their relationship and it’s clear that Lily has fallen out of love with life.

Action must be taken! Dash teams up with Lily’s brother and a host of their friends, who have just twelve days to get Lily’s groove back in time for Christmas.

I adored the first instalment in Dash and Lily’s adventures a few years back so I was both excited and nervous to get back to them.

I can’t tell you how or why, but I can tell you that we get to go on another scavenger hunt with Dash and Lily and it made my heart all warm and bubbly. It was so cool that I’d been to some of the places in NYC that were mentioned this time around and it just seemed on a whole other level from book one. It was just SO CUTE.

As with anything David Levithan touches, there’s whimsy and intellect, words that teenagers definitely don’t use and whole load of book and literature love. There’s nothing like being in his world. And his writing works so perfectly with Rachel Cohn’s it’s crazy. There’s never a moment when you remember this book is written by two different people, instead I just continued to fall more and more in love with Lily, her family, Dash and NYC.

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily is a love letter to Christmas, to New York City and to love and I completely adored it. Can we catch up with these two in another year, please?

Thanks to Electric Monkey for the review copy.


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Books I Couldn't Finish (11): The Diabolic, Villette & Evelina

I used to finish every book I started, whether I was enjoying it or not. But life is short. I’ve realised that I don’t have time for books I’m not full involved in any longer so if I don’t like something or don’t connect with it as much as I want to, I’ll put it aside. It still makes me feel guilty though, especially if I received them for review so I still want to talk about them, explain why I didn’t like them. Here are the most recent books I DNF-ed.

The Diabolic, SJ Kincaid
This has been everywhere for months with two beautiful covers, a boatload of pre-pub buzz and rave reviews from early reviewers so I had high expectations. I was seriously disappointed - i didn’t even last 50 pages. The idea behind the Diabolics and this sci-fi world is wonderful and I was expecting it to be completely on point, but it was dull. The ideas were there but the execution and writing was missing for me.

Villette, Charlotte Bronte
When I didn’t fully click with Jane Eyre I thought it was just me. Then I hated The Professor and figured it was a fluke. But now I’ve DNFed Villette I’ve realised that while I love her sisters (especially Anne), me and Charlotte just aren’t meant to be. This one started off okay. I was engaged and curious about the very enigmatic start, but it didn’t take long for me to get bored and start to wish for it to be done.

Evelina, Frances Burney
I was beyond excited to get stuck into this. I’d seen people say that it was light-hearted and funny, that it was a favourite of Jane Austen’s and an inspiration to her - it sounded perfect. I just found it incredibly annoying. Evelina is a bit of a wet blanket and the stupid situations she gets herself into and the horrible characters in her society made me cringe. I loved the idea of it all, I just hate anything that makes me cringe. This could definitely be one to go back to when I’m in a different frame of mind, however.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

My Christmas TBR

Every December I get to reach back into the books I missed from earlier in the year and get caught up on some of that year’s releases, but I always try and get in a few Christmas books too. I accidentally (HA!) bought myself loads of Christmas classics this year as well as some gorgeous festive YAs that came through review so I’ve got a pretty stellar Christmas TBR lined up.

Penguin Christmas Classics
I saw these on one of my favourite Instagram accounts (you should all go and follow Emma at mistyangelofsky) and had to have them immediately. I’m still waiting for a few to arrive, but these are the beauties I have lined up. I’d love to get them all under my belt before Christmas, but I think that might be a bit too ambitious even for me…

Vintage Christmas Classics
This collection is also Emma’s fault… She posted the whole collection and shared that the set of eight books was available on The Book People for only £10 - I couldn’t ignore that kind of deal. I’ve successfully convinced a few other people to buy them, too! There’s a real mix of titles in here. Ones I’ve wanted to read for years and ones I’ve never even heard of. I’m only aiming to read one of these this year and I’m thinking Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveller.

The YA
Some wonderful Christmassy YA has hit shelves over the last few months and it’s made me excited about YA for the first time in ages. I’ve already devoured Jay Asher’s What Light and The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn and I loved them both endlessly - they were quick, fun, romantic and put me right in the Christmas mood. I’ve also got the I’ll be Home for Christmas anthology from Stripes on my Kindle and Abi Elphinstone’s Winter Magic which I’m super excited about.

What are you reading this month?


Monday, 5 December 2016

What Light, Jay Asher

Pages: 259
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: 20th October 2016
Edition: UK proof, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: Thirteen Reasons Why, The Future of Us

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon - it’s an idyllic place to grow up, except that every year they have to pack up and move to California and set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life begins to eclipse the other…

I was really surprised to see that Jay Asher was coming back onto the YA scene with a Christmas romance, but he did it perfectly. What Light was an amazing start to my Christmas reading.

This is such a quick read - I flew through it in only two sittings - but it also had a lot of depth I really wasn’t expecting. Sierra struggles with being torn between her two lives and being pulled in two different directions by her friends in Oregon and California; the financial struggles of maintaining the family business and Caleb.

Caleb has a murky past and the rumours surrounding him are NOT good, but she can’t help feel the way she does. I really loved the way Jay Asher confronted those rumours and Caleb’s history. Sierra questions her feelings, her attraction and her decision to be with him despite it all in a realistic, authentic way and I completely believed the way she approached their relationship.

Sierra’s story is set against the perfect atmosphere. Despite being set in California, the family tree lot, the countless peppermint mochas and cosy traditions made it feel warm, Christmassy and 100% festive. After only a few chapters of hearing about the love Sierra and her family have for Christmas and the tree lot I felt like I’ve seriously missed out by never having a real tree. One day! It’s also made me desperate to push through my hatred of coffee and try a peppermint mocha...

What Light is romantic, full of heart and all about love and second chances - it put me right in the Christmas spirit. You should all add it to your festive TBR!

Thanks to Macmillan for the review copy.


Saturday, 3 December 2016

My Favourite Lorelai Moment: 'Talking as Fast as I Can' Blog Tour

I was late to Gilmore Girls, not diving in until my final year of university in 2013. It was perfect timing. I was stressed and flailing, but I had the time to binge all seven seasons way too quickly. I fell head over heels with Lorelai, Rory, Luke, Jess, Sookie and Stars Hollow. I immediately introduced my little sister and she became obsessed too. We’ve both watch it right through a good two or three times since then.

These characters are firmly wedged in my heart now, and none more so that Lorelai.

To celebrate the release of Lauren Graham’s memoir Talking as Fast as I Can, I’m sharing my favourite Lorelai moment. And there were so many to choose from. I fell into a black hole of reading articles sharing the best Gilmore Girls moments, BUT I eventually decided on my moment.

When Lorelai and Rory are reunited in season six after not speaking for months, it’s a total sob moment. Go on, re-live it.


It’s such a true reflection of both of their characters and their relationship that even after such a huge fight a single phone call gets them back together again. That when Rory got good news she wanted to tell her mum. It makes me a bit teary even thinking about it.

“I love you, Mom.”
“You have no idea, kid.”

‘Talking as Fast as I Can’ by Lauren Graham is released on December 6th from Virago.