Thursday 31 October 2013

My Favourite Book Trailers

Book trailers are an expected and non-event event in the book world now, but I remember when they first started to appear. It was strange and exciting and most of us were pretty unsure about them. Then the truly excellent ones started to filter through and we all started to change our minds, but now, I barely notice them when a new one appears and that’s just Not Good. I decided to put all of my favourite ones together in a post to highlight the insane hard work and talent that goes into them instead!

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Written, drawn, animated, composed and performed by the unbelievably talented lady herself. She can do everything this woman. Everything is this trailer encapsulates the book perfectly and it gives me goosebumps. Gorgeous.

Torment by Lauren Kate
Short, sweet and full of punch, this makes me want to go back to this series and revisit these fierce characters in such an intense relationship.

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
If you know me even a little bit, then this won’t come as a surprise. Watching this trailer gives me a happy heart and I feel like I’ve been thrown right into Colby. If only I was...

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater
I know, I know, but really, Maggie Steifvater takes the crown of book trailers. As with Shiver, everything was done by Maggie and this one I think is just as good, maybe better in some ways. She blows my mind.

You might as well watch the ones for Shiver and Linger as well while you’re here. They’re all fantastic.

What’s your favourite book trailer? Any you think I should see?


Wednesday 30 October 2013

The Chronicles of Narmo - Caitlin Moran

Pages: 162
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Release Date: 16th October 2013
Edition: e-proof
Source: NetGalley

Other Titles by this Author: How to Be a Woman, Moranthology

Fifteen-year-old Morag Narmo objects on principle to go to school anymore. But she is stunned when her parents agree to get her leave (though probably on the dubious grounds that they don't ever again want to buy her another totally gross size 18 blazer). Not only that, but they whisk the whole family out of school (a potential saving of numerous blazers). And so the year begins...

But with five children, two struggling parents and a pair of dogs that resemble walking sofas, the Narmo family give a whole new meaning to the word ‘education’. Even simple things like going out for the day take on a whole new dimension of People Being Confused...

I’ve had How to be a Woman on my shelf for over a year and have been meaning to finally read Caitlin Moran for even longer so when her first novel (written at 15!!) popped up on NetGalley, I requested it straight away!

By about halfway through the author’s note, I was in love with Caitlin Moran’s writing. The confidence, flair and humour is right up my street and I vowed to read How to Be a Woman in the next month. Then The Chronicles of Narmo began and I fell in love with Morag too.

Each of the five Narmo siblings and their parents are vibrant and distinct and so well characterised that I felt like I’d known each of them for years and years. In such a short novel I was really impressed with how vividly they came across, and so instantaneously too. She’s a talented woman, that Caitlin Moran.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Chronicles of Narmo, I just wish it would be a little longer! And now for How to Be a Woman.

Thanks to RHCP and NetGalley for the review copy.


Tuesday 29 October 2013

Bite Size Books (10) Goblin Fruit, The Fall of Hotel Dumort and As Delightful as a Carrot

Goblin Fruit – Laini Taylor

Pages: 54
Publisher: Hodder
Release Date: 31st October 2013
Edition: Lips Touch promotional sampler

In Goblin Fruit, a girl who’s always been in the shadows finds herself pursued by the unbelievably attractive new boy at school, who may not may not be the death of her...

Man, this woman can write! Her prose is seductive, vibrant and enchanting. Kizzy’s desire leaps off the page and smacks you in the face. Her straight up want to be wanted and to be one of those girls that are is something I recognised in myself and Laini Taylor got it spot on. That atmosphere, tied up in a re-telling of Christina Rossetti’s dark and alluring poem ‘Goblin Fruit’ which I fell in love with at A-level, was electric and even though I knew it wouldn’t end well, I couldn’t wait for Jack and Kizzy to finally, finally kiss. Gorgeous.

I need this collection, containing another short story, Spicy Little Curses, and a novella called Hatchling that I’m dying to read while waiting for Dreams of Gods and Monsters.   

The Fall of Hotel Dumort – Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

Pages: 40
Publisher: Walker
Release Date: 15th October 2013
Edition: e-novella, purchased
Series: The Bane Chronicles #7

Fifty years after the Jazz Age rise of the Hotel Dumort, immortal warlock Magnus Bane knows the Manhattan landmark is on the decline. The once-beautiful Hotel Dumort has fallen into a decayed thing, a ruin, as dead as a place can be. But the vampires don't mind...

Fast forward a few years and Magnus finds himself arriving back in 1977 New York after a two year jaunt around the world. For the first time in, I think, ever, New York wasn’t described in such a way that I wanted to be there RIGHT THIS SECOND. It was stinking, sweaty and riddled with drugs and rabid vampires. It was like Magnus’ world had gone mad and it’s down to him to fix it.

I love how each instalment gives a glimpse into Magnus’s heart and mind and in The Fall of Hotel Dumort we really see the hold that Camille has on our favourite sparkly warlock. It’s fascinates me and really opens your eyes to his reaction to Alec in the TMI series.

As Delightful as a Carrot: How My Boys See the World – Keris Stainton

Pages: 50
Publisher: Amazon Media
Release Date: 23rd October 2013
Edition: e-book, purchased

Harry: “I knew this day would come!” Me: “What day?” Harry: “Today!”

“Kids say the funniest things.” We know this, right? And my kids do say a lot of funny things. They make me laugh, they make their father laugh, they make themselves laugh. And, thanks to my blog (and Facebook... and Twitter...) they seem to make other people laugh too. Loads of times, over the past few years, people have said I should put harry and Joe’s quotes into a book. They were probably just saying that, but I did it anyway...

Told Harry off for being cheeky and he said, “Don’t worry. Tomorrow I will be as delightful as a carrot!”

I’ve been reading and loving Keris’s tweets, Facebook statuses and blog posts about her boys and they things they say for years so I downloaded this as soon as I heard she’d published them in a collection.

Harry and Joe are hilarious. And so imaginative and intelligent! I found myself lying in bed, crying with laughter in the middle of night while reading this. Brilliant!


Monday 28 October 2013

The Iron Traitor - Julie Kagawa

Pages: 384
Publisher: Mira INK
Release Date: 29th October 2013
Edition: e-proof
Source: NetGalley

In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as “normal” as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for – his girlfriend Kenzie. Never mind that he’s forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, “normal” simply isn’t to be. For Ethan’s nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan’s and Keirran’s fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan’s choice may decide them all.

I love Julie Kagawa’s faery world and the characters in it, but I still feel like there’s a spark missing from this series in comparison to The Iron Fey.

It’s strange. Meghan, Ash, Puck, Grim and other characters that I feel in love and hate with over the course of Kagawa’s original series still play a fairly major part in this spin-off and yet I still miss them. I tend to spend pages wishing for them to appear and take over almost. And yet I love Ethan and Kenzie so it just doesn’t make sense! Saying that, however, I don’t think that as a couple they have the same levels of chemistry or forbading over their heads that Meghan and Ash did that makes my heart ache for them; I have no burning desire for their interactions or anything. I just can’t figure out what’s missing from this series...

By about half way, The Iron Traitor takes us back into the Nevernever. Now I love the Nevernever, worryingly so, in fact. As twisted and dangerous as it is, I want to go there. I want to fight redcaps, have a mysterious conversation with a dryad and be on the receiving end of Grimalkin’s chargrin. It’s a beautiful, enchanting and exciting world that I want to leap straight into, especially the Courts. Gah. I really enjoyed the foray into the New Orleans Goblin Market as well. I’ve had a fondness for them for years so seeing one woven into a magical, old city and get to experience it through Julie Kagawa’s exquisite description was a pleasure.

As well as a gift for setting and description, Kagawa really knows how to make the feelings of her characters something visceral for her readers. One of my favourite elements of The Iron Traitor was Ethan’s feelings regarding the whole Meghan/Ash/Kierran family situation. Ethan’s confusion of feelings towards Ash and Kierran because they took his sister away from him is kind of heart-wrenching, especially as his loyalty and general tendency towards being a good person means he can’t help but care and want to help them. And, oh Kierran. I simultaneously love and hate him. At certain points he was so much like Ash it broke my heart, but a darker, more twisted Ash. He’s incredibly powerful and I was scared what would come of that pesky prophecy as I was reading the novel. then came the ending and I exclaimed a rather loud and horrified ‘What?!’ while I was on the Tube. I got a few odd glances...

Although this series isn’t my favourite, I love Julie Kagawa’s writing and this world so I’m still looking forward to the next instalment.

Thanks to MiraINk and NetGalley for the review copy.


Sunday 27 October 2013

Letterbox Love #23

Letterbox Love came about after some drama with the American book haul memes, so the UKYA bloggers came together on Twitter to organise one of our own. Summaries are taken from the cover, or Amazon/NetGalley/Goodreads in the case of e-books, unless otherwise stated. Hosted by Narratively Speaking.

For Review:

Stay Where You Are and Then Leave – John Boyne (e-proof)

From the bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, a moving and uplifting  story of an ordinary boy’s  search for his missing father  during the First World War.

The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield’s father promised he wouldn’t go away to fight – but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn’t know where his father might be, other than that he’s away on a special, secret mission.

Then, while shining shoes at Kings Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father’s name – on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realises his father is in a hospital close by – a hospital treating soldiers with an unusual condition. Alfie is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place...

I wasn’t bothered by this until I saw the book trailer and fell in love. Then it appeared on NetGalley and I snapped it up! Thanks RHCB!

Lips Touch – Laini Taylor sampler

Everyone dreams of getting the kiss of a lifetime. But what if that kiss carried some unexpected – even deadly – consequences?

In GOBLIN FRUIT, a girl who’s always been in the shadows finds herself pursued by the unbelievably attractive new boy at school, who may or may not be the death of her...

LIPS TOUCH also contains two more stories of kisses and curses: the short story, SPICY LITTLE CURSES, and the novella, HATCHLING.

I really want a copy of this anthology so I was really excited to get this snippet. I love Laini Taylor! Thanks Hodder!

The Dark Inside – Rupert Wallis (proof)

“I’m not a bad person. But I’m not the person I used to be, either...”

When thirteen-year-old James discovers a homeless man in an abandoned house, the course of his life changes dramatically. Hoping to find a ‘cure’ for  dark curse inflicted on the man, the pair embark on a journey together not knowing that what they discover will impact them both in ways they never imagined...

A gripping and haunting story about loss and hope from a talented debut author. Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness and David Almond.

I’m really looking forward to this! Thanks S&S!

Allegiant – Veronica Roth (hardcover)

The faction-based society Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

Told from a riveting dual narrative, Allegiant, by No. 1 new York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Finally! After this weekend I’ll be able to look at Twitter without squinting in case of spoilers and actually go on Tumblr! Thanks Harper Collins!


Faking It – Cora Carmack (e-book)

Every girl likes a bad boy...

And Max’s current boyfriend is as bad as they come. She knows her family would freak if they saw his tattoos and piercings.

So when her parents turn up unannounced Max grabs the most wholesome guy she can to play her boyfriend.

But Cade Winston is so perfect that Max needs him to keep playing the part. And the more they have to fake their relationship, the harder it gets to just pretend.

I couldn’t resist. Cora Carmack’s books are becoming a guilty pleasure of mine. 

The Secret History - Donna Tartt (e-book)

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

I've wanted to read this for years so when Jenny tweeted that it was only 99p on Kindle, I snapped it up! It's still at that price as of writing this (Saturday afternoon). 

Charity shop/secondhand haul

I was miserable at work on Tuesday so in my lunch hour I ventured out in the rain to investigate a charity shop that I had glimpsed a few good books in. I scored: a huge selection of fantastic books all for £1 each!

Hate List – Jennifer Brown (US paperback)

The list was my idea.
I didn't mean for anyone to die.
Will you ever forgive me?

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Val was as shocked as everyone else – but, despite her own serious injury, she’s implicated in the crime because of the list. The list she and Nick made of the people they hated. The list Nick used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, her former friends, and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place, and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

An imported paperback for £1?! I couldn’t walk away, especially as I’ve heard amazing things about this.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernières (paperback)

It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals, but as a conscientious but far from fanatical soldier, whose main aim is to have a peaceful war, he proves in time  to be civilised, humorous – and a consummate musician.

When the local doctor’s daughter’s letters to her fiancé – a member of the underground – go unanswered, the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable. But can this fragile love survive as a war of bestial savagery gets closer and the lines are drawn between invader and defender?

I’ve wantd to read this for years so I’m really glad to finally have a copy! Look out for this as a Blast From the Past review at some point in the future!

Chocolat – Joanne Harris (paperback)

Try me... Test me... Taste me...

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock – especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer’s wares as the ultimate sin.

Suddenly Vianne’s shop-cum-cafe means that there is somewhere for secrets to be whispered, grievances to be aired, dreams to be tested. But Vianne’s plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community in a conflict that escalates into a ‘Church not Chocolate’ battle. As mouths water in anticipation, can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate éclair?

For the first time here is a novel in which chocolate enjoys its true importance. Rich, clever and michievious, Chocolat is a literary feast for all senses.

I used to pick this up in my school library every few weeks and yet never made it to checking it out. The time has finally come to devour this novel.

Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood (paperback)

‘Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor’ Grace Marks. Female friend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim?

Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery.

I think it’s about time I read something by Margaret Atwood!