Sunday, 19 January 2014

Letterbox Love #31

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.

I’m back! I know it’s been a few weeks, but I moved and was too busy before to even pick up a book, let alone blog about them, and I didn’t have internet for a few days after we moved in. But all should be back to normal from here on out. Here are all the goodies I got while I was gone.

For review:

A Breath of Frost, Alyxandra Harvey (paperback)

For Emma and her cousins, life in Regency London is a whirlwind of lavish balls and dashing suitors. But unlike other girls, they are not longing for marriage. A spell has been broken, a debutante lies dead at Emma’s feet, frost clinging to her lifeless body, and a bright light is being cast into the cousins’ shadowy past . now the girls must embrace the true Lovegrove Legacy  - even if that means risking their lives.

The first in a dramatic new trilogy of reckless romance.

Alyxandra Harvey’s books are always quick, fun reads so I’m really looking forward to this. Also: MAGIC. REGENCY. Win. Thanks Bloomsbury!

How They Met and Other Stories, David Levithan (paperback)

They met on a plane
At a coffee shop
In class

It was a set-up
It was completely random
They were dancing

It was love at first sight
It took time
It was a disaster!

A collection of stories about love from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Day.

Beyond excited for this. I’ve fallen head over heels for David Levithan. Thanks Electric Monkey!

Trouble, Non Pratt (proof)

A boy. A girl. A bump. Trouble.

Hannah’s smart and funny ... she’s also fifteen and pregnant. Aaron is new at school and doesn’t want to attract attention. So why does he offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby?

Growing up can be trouble but that’s how you find out what really matters.

I’ve heard many, many amazing things about this already! I can’t wait to see what Non has written. Thanks Walker!

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson, Paige Toon (paperback)

Meet Jessie, small-town girl turned wild-child...

When her mum dies, Jessie thinks any hope of finding her real dad is gone. As she goes off the rails, her stepdad makes a shocking announcement: her father is legendary rockstar and former hell-raiser, Johnny Jefferson. Now the daughter of a superstar, Jessie is suddenly sucked into the LA lifestyle – paparazzi, parties and hot guitar-wielding boys included!

But Jessie’s still reeling from her mother’s death and the truth about Johnny. Can he live up to her expectations and help her move on? One thing’s for sure, Jessie’s tiny little world just got a whole lot bigger...

YAY! My love for Paige Toon is no secret and I’m really looking forward to seeing Johnny and Meg from a different angle. BRING IT. Thanks S&S!

Suzy P and the Trouble With Three, Karen Saunders (paperback)

Suzy’s off camping with her family and best mate Millie. Yep, you heard right...camping!

As if being stuck in a caravan in rainy Wales for two whole weeks weren’t bad enough, to make matters worse, Mum’s best friend’s daughter, super-glam (and super-snooty) Isabella is coming too. When Millie starts spending all her time with Isabella, Suzy is devastated. Can her friendship with Millie survive when three is most definitely a crowd?

I really enjoyed Karen’s debut, and the first in this series, so thanks Templar!


Briar Rose, Jana Oliver (e-book)

For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairytale. She’s stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won’t let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who’s spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She’s tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she’s actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes... And then she wakes up. Cold, alone, and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can’t do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she’s met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.

I’d vaguely heard of this but didn’t really know what it was about, but then Jenny from Wondrous Reads told me it was 59p on Amazon so I thought I’d give it a try!

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, JRR Tolkein (e-book)

Continuing the story begun in The Hobbit, this is the first part of Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, featuring definitive text and a detailed map of Middle Earth.

Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power – the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

JRR Tolkien’s great work of imaginative fiction has been labelled both a heroic romance and a classic fantasy fiction. But turns comic and homely, epic and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scene and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, JRR Tolkein (e-book)

Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord b destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. They have lost the wizard, Gandalf, in the battle with an evil spirit in the Mines of Moria; and at the Falls of Rauros, Boromir, seduced by the power of the Ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape the rest of the company were attacked by Orcs.

Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin – alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, JRR Tolkein (e-book)

As the shadow of Mordor grows across the land, the Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, has joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isenguard, and takes part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by Orcs, escape into Fangorn Forest and there encounter the Ents. Gandalf has miraculously returned and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman. Sam has left his master for dead after a battle with the giant spider, Shelob; but Frodo is still alive – now in the foul hands of the Orcs. And all the while the armies of the Dark Lord are massing as the One Ring draws ever neared to the Cracks of Doom.

I saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at the weekend and remembered how much I love this world and vowed to read LotR this year. Think this is the easiest was to read such a mammoth trilogy!

Shadows on the Moon, Zoe Marriott (e-book)

Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to recreate herself in any form. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama, or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens, or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to capture the heart of a prince – and determined to use his power to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even love.

I’ve been meaning to read one of Zoe’s books for ages. Here’s my chance at only 99p on Kindle!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (e-book)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: modern, moving, terrifying and elegiac – as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark – from the storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond this world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defence is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

I’ve been wanting to read this since it first came out, but my hardback rule (won’t buy a HB that’s under 300 pages) stopped it. Rejoice for 99p Kindle deals!

The Rehearsal, Eleanor Catton (e-book)

A high-school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency and power. The publicity seems to turn every act into a performance and every platform into a stage. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of theatre are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve...

The Rehearsal is an exhilarating and provocative novel about the unsimple mess of human desire, at once a tender evocation of its young protagonists and a shrewd expose of emotional compromise.

I think this sounds really interesting and I’m eager to see what all the fuss about Eleanor Catton is!

Anatomy of a Boyfriend, Daria Snadowsky (hardback)

Before all this happened, the closest I’d ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it’s not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track-star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn’t believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing – and touching – parts of the body I’d only read about in my Gray’s Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.

Daria Snadowsky’s unflinching dissection of seventeen-year-old Dominique’s first relationship reveals the ecstasy and the agony of love, and everything in between.

I got the second book for review AGES ago without realising it was a sequel. I have to read books in order. Eventually I spotted a perfect condition hardback on Amazon for about £3 – result! It’s a bit banged up now though as it came all the way from Washington in only a plastic envelope...



  1. Great Haul! I also got A Breath of Frost recently. Ocean at the end of the lane and Suzy P sounds good. Happy reading :)

  2. Briar Rose was 50p?! Aw, missed that! We missed you, Sophie, but it looks like you have some great books to ease back into :)

  3. Aww you always have the best hauls Sophie!

    I've heard a lot of positive things about Trouble (it's supposed to be hilarious) and same goes for the Suzy P books. LotR is actually a guilty pleasure of mine, but I didn't enjoy the books quite as much as The Hobbit – loved The Desolation of Smaug movie also!

    OH and The Ocean at the End of the Lane is also very, very good… at times a tad confusing but always utterly beautiful. The Rehearsal too? I did enjoy The Luminaries and I've been dying to check this one out ever since (even if it sounds COMPLETELY different).

    Glad you're back & I'm super jealous of this haul! Happy reading. :)

  4. Great books Sophie. Hope you enjoy them all. Yay for Kindle bargains!

  5. I got A Breath of Frost as well. You got some amazing books this week. Come check out my stack as well.

    Books of Love

  6. What a fantabulous haul! Trouble is amazing so I hope you like it. And <3 for David Levithan. I haven't heard much about the Paige Toon so can't wait for your thoughts. And sad to hear about the hardback damage :( Silly Americans!


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