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!



  1. Nice haul this week, Sophie! I think you'll really like Alias Grace, it's very good :D My copy of Allegiant hasn't come yet, which means it'll turn up tomorrow. At least it better do, I've been waiting a week for it!

  2. Lots of awesome books! I also got Stay Where You Are from Netgalley as it looks really interesting. Where did you find Hate List for £1?! Great find! I loved Faking It so hope you do too :-)

    1. I spotted it in a charity shop in Horley - the town I work in - I think it was a St Catherine's Hospice one. I couldn't believe it!

  3. Hey Soph, lots of ace books this week! I loved Hate List when I read it a few years ago (where does time go?!) and read and loved SWYAATL this week - John's best since Striped Pyjamas. I've wanted to read The Secret History for years too. Yay Kindle!

    Oh and hope you like Faking It. It's my least favourite Cora book but still good!

  4. Lips Touch looks interesting! And I cannot wait to get my hands on Allegiant because I've heard that the ending is very marmite; you will either hate it or love it.

    I really want to start Cora Carmack's books cause they look so good!

    I hope you enjoy all your books,
    Sam @ Falling Books

  5. I need to read Allegiant soon because I'm walking on Twitter bird eggshells at the moment. So many spoilers circulating! Luckily I haven't seen any yet.

    Happy reading, Sophie!

  6. Ooh! Stay Where You Are And Then Leave is so, so good - I'm sure you'll love it! I can't wait to start Allegiant (being really careful about how I use social networking sites at the moment hehe.)

    And Chocolat - how I love the film, I'm sure the book will be awesome too.

    Happy Reading :D

  7. You may already know this, but the first three (I think it's three) chapters of Captain Corelli's Mandolin are really hard work (I think LDB said you could actually skip them and it wouldn't make much difference...) but after that it's wonderful. So don't give up! :)


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