I was tagged for this by Shari at YA Book Monster so thank you very much to her! You should go check out her blog if you haven’t already and then return to see my answers to this tag.
- How long have you been a blogger?
I’ve been a blogger for over a year and a half now. I started in June of 2014 on a whim and I’ve honestly surprised myself that I’m still here and, more importantly still loving it!
- At what point do you think you will stop? Honestly, I don’t know, but I hope I never stop. I love book blogging so much, so the only reason I can think of stopping would be if I stopped enjoying it, but at the moment, I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.
- What is the best thing?
The best thing about blogging has to be the people you meet and all the fangirling you get to do with people who truly understand and share your passion – books! The friends I’ve made are great and I now can’t imagine life without this bookish outlet.
- What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?
The worst thing I find is the pressure I put on myself and when I look at other people’s blogs and feel like my blog is terrible in comparison to theirs. Sometimes I find it hard to remember I should blog for me and not for others. Then I get a lovely tweet or comment which reminds me that people enjoy reading my blog and I should be proud of it.
- How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?
Not that long, as I don’t use that many pictures in my posts. I take some myself, use pictures of covers easily found on Google or use gifs. I don’t really edit my pictures that I take, so none of these options take much time.
- Who’s your book crush?
Book crush, singular? How do you expect me to answer that one? All of my other book boyfriends would be hurt I didn’t pick them. To make it easier on myself, I’m going to pick my book crush from the books I’ve read so far in 2016 and that would have to be Arin from the Winner’s Curse.
- What author would you like to have on your blog?
The obvious answer is J.K. Rowling because that lady is amazing but failing that I’d love to have Marie Rutkowski as I love her Winner’s Crime series and I can’t wait for the next book. I’m dying to see what happens!
- What do you wear when you write your blog?
Baring in mind I usually blog in the morning on a weekend or in the evening, I pretty much always wear my pyjamas, usually one of my many Harry Potter sets of Pjs.
- How long does it take you to prepare? At the moment, not that long, since I’m quite a last minute person, however I am trying to get better by taking more of my own pictures of books, although I feel as if there is a lot of pressure as lots of people take truly beautiful photos. I’m also trying to make sure I schedule more posts and that my posts are aesthetically pleasing as well as interesting to read.
- How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?
99% of the time I absolutely adore the book blogging community as it is full of really nice and supportive people who I just love so much! Sometimes there is a bit of unpleasantness in the community which is a shame, but generally it is a great group of people to be friends with.
- What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?
It sounds really cliché and cheesy but be yourself. The blogs that are my favourite are those which have a clear and unique voice to them. Don’t feel pressurised to do what others do or change your blog. You have to blog, first of all, for yourself and secondly for your readers
- Who do you tag?
I’m sure you can remember a little while ago I was participating in an event called Bloggiesta where I had a list of things I wanted to do, so I thought I’d see how much I actually managed to achieve.
My To Do List for this Bloggiesta was:
- Beautiful People Link Up Post
Next 2016 Debuts Post 1 Review Flawed By Cecelia Ahern (scheduled)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Rewatch Post
Comment on 10 other participantsI actually commented on all 44 participant blogs
- Update Goodreads reviews
Change one thing about the layout of my blog.I simply shuffled a few things about, I didn’t really do much
So I managed to do 4 out of 7 things. Not bad really, especially for me. I didn’t get to writing all the posts I had hoped to, but I was super pleased I managed to visit every blog because it was a really nice thing to do and I discovered some new blogs.
I also managed to join in with part of the Twitter chat which again was a great way to get involved in the community.
Goodbye for now, sorry this is just a quick post, but I’m off to update my Goodreads reviews as I didn’t manage that one during the weekend!
I have more to say than could ever be squeezed into 140 characters so I’d thought I’d write a letter!
Don’t let anyone else define you. Being a girl doesn’t decide what career you can do or tell you that you can’t have a career – you must be a stay at home mother. Be a scientist, an engineer or doctor! But equally you don’t have to go into science or maths to prove them wrong. Be a writer, a translator or a teacher! Do whatever makes you happy and don’t apologise for it. You shouldn’t have to say sorry for doing what you love. Be unapologetically yourself.
Your beauty isn’t limited by someone else’s. For some reason, the world is trying to tell us there is only one definition of what beautiful is. That’s wrong. My beauty isn’t defined or limited by yours. We can be beautiful together and we don’t have to look at all alike. In the same way a rose and a sunset are beautiful, you and I are beautiful.
Help other girls out but don’t feel indebted to them. As girl, it’s easy to feel like you’re in competition with other girls, but that’s not true. You prove nothing by being better than her, you only put her down. Instead help her up and support her. Let her know she’s not alone. At the same time, you don’t owe everyone. Sometimes you just have to put yourself first and that’s okay. In fact, that’s better than okay, that’s a good thing.
Say No as often as you like. Don’t be afraid to say No. It is always your right to say no, regardless of the question or circumstances. Whatever the question is, you should never feel guilty for saying no and you never owe it to someone to say yes.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to say yes. Don’t turn down opportunities because someone else says you should. Go out and grab what you want, saying yes to everything that comes your way. Don’t think you don’t deserve it, becuase you do. You deserve the chance to try just like any man.
Lots of love,
Last week, we met the authors themselves, now it’s time to meet their books!
I can assure you, they’re wonderful!
The Serpent King
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, as he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and his very public fall from grace. The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia.
But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. The end of high school will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is happy wherever he is thanks to his obsession with the epic book series Bloodfall and the fangirl who may be turning his harsh reality into real-life fantasy.
But Dill’s only escape is his music and his secret feelings for Lydia—neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, Dill must cope with another ending—one which will rock his life to the core
Find your path.
In an almost-average society, there is one phenomenon no one has been able to explain: the Pains, a biological occurrence that causes soulmates to share each other’s wounds. From small bruises, to the pain of a broken bone, and even death, all is shared between two people. In this world, there are four lost soul’s amongst the crowd, desperately searching for their other half: Lauren Laveau, a 19 year old with a love for older men and a dark mental affliction; Andrew Donovan, an old actor who’s desperate to find his soulmate, but fearful of what society will have to say about it; Molly Brand, Lauren’s pun-loving best friend who’s madly in love with an older woman; and Sarah Goode, Andrew’s niece who is waiting for the true father of her son to come along and complete their family. The destiny’s of these four will entwine, but fear and doubt will play the role of the antagonists, fighting against their happy ending.
Crushes conventional standards
The Square Root of Summer
Gottie H. Oppenheimer is… Seventeen. Motherless. A maths genius. And she’s losing time. Literally.
When the fabric of the universe surrounding Gottie’s sleepy seaside town begins to fray, she is hurtled through wormholes to her past:
To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died.
To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral.
To the day her childhood best friend Thomas moved to Canada, leaving her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.
Although Grey is still gone, this summer Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide — and be changed forever.
With time travel, quantum physics, and world-stopping kisses, this stunning YA debut is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and figuring it all out.
Deutschland, physics, cats.
Indigo lives in the Lake District and spends his time exploring the mountains he loves. When an unexpected parcel arrives containing his grandfather’s satchel strange things begin to happen and Indigo finds himself treating an injured magpie-cat, curing a cockatrice of its death-darting gaze, and defending a dragon. Indigo realises he must uncover the secrets his family have kept hidden, and travels alone to the Polish mountains to search for his grandfather and the truth …
Fantastically monstrous secrets.
The Star-Touched Queen
Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.
But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.
Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.
THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.
Starry, hungry, eerie
After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.
Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.
Every city in the world is run by a clock tower. If one breaks, time stops. It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old Danny knows well; his father has been trapped in a town east of London for three years. Despite being a clock mechanic prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but time itself, Danny has been unable to free his father.
Danny’s assigned to a damaged clock tower in the small town of Enfield. The boy he mistakes for his apprentice is odd, but that’s to be expected when he’s the clock spirit who controls Enfield’s time. Although Danny and the spirit are drawn to each other’s loneliness, falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, no matter how cute his smiles are.
But when someone plants bombs in nearby towers, cities are in danger of becoming trapped in time—and Enfield is one of them.
Danny must discover who’s stopping time and prevent it from happening to Enfield, or else he’ll lose not only his father, but the boy he loves, forever.
Magical time boys.
Summer of Sloane
Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.
These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.
Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.
But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.
Hawaii. Heart-break. Possibilities.
Hadley St. Clair’s life changed the day she came home to a front door covered in slips of paper, each of them revealing the ugly truth about her father. Now as her family falls apart in the wake of his year-long affair, Hadley wants everyone-her dad most of all-to leave her alone.
Then she meets Sam Bennett, a cute new boy who inexplicably “feels like home” to Hadley. Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret about his family that could ruin everything.
Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate.
Betrayal, kissing, forgiveness.
These Vicious Masks
England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.
Jane Austen’s X-Men
Unscripted Joss Byrd
Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is “fiercely emotional,” a young actress with “complete conviction,” and a “powerhouse.” But on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called THE LOCALS, Joss is on the verge of colossal failure. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off an Oscar-worthy performance. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss goes off-script to stay true to herself and to make the impossible leap from child star to star.
Child star confidential
The Abyss Surrounds Us
For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.
There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.
But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she’s not about to stop.
Pirates. Kaiju. Future.
Liars and Losers Like Us
Keep calm and make it to prom night—without a legit panic attack.
For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High.
When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.
With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.
Lies, Loss and Prom
Waiting for Callback
Geek Girl meets Fame meets New Girl in this brilliantly funny new series!
When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent she imagines Oscar glory can’t be far away (all she has left to do is work out what to wear on the red carpet), but instead she lurches from one cringe‐ worthy moment to the next whilst (mostly) retaining her sense of humour. Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of “dead girl number three” without losing hope? And who knew that actors were actually supposed to be multi‐lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills? Off‐stage things aren’t going well either, she’s fallen out with her best friend, she’s stuck in the friendzone with the guy she has a crush on and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra’s life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring – waiting for callback
Try, fail, try-again.
Girl in Pieces
Charlie Davis is in pieces. At seventeen, she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget it through cutting; the pain washes out the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. She doesn’t have to think about her father or what happened under the bridge. Her best friend, Ellis, who is gone forever. Or the mother who has nothing left to give her. Kicked out of a special treatment center when her insurance runs out, Charlie finds herself in the bright and wild landscape of Tucson, Arizona, where she begins the unthinkable: the long journey of putting herself back together.
Heartbreaking, funny, right-on.
Beautiful Broken Things
Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realizes, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.
Friends surprise you.
Shroud is the story of fifteen-year old Gemma, who accompanies her uncle Norm, a botanist, to a prehistoric rainforest in Southeast Asia for a two-week research expedition. Things quickly go wrong once they reach their destination. Unbeknownst to them, the rainforest is home to supernatural beings with a wicked agenda of their own. When Norm falls ill, and they are suddenly cut off from civilization, Gemma must face a series of frightening events alone. She has only her wits to save herself and Norm from their foes’ sinister plans in a world full of enchantment and trickery. How will her nightmare end?
Shroud also contains a novelette, The Disappearance of John Sable, which traces the origins of the otherworldly beings and their ruthless nature.
Compelling, uncanny, enjoyable.
Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her saving grace has been her quirky little family in the grief support group she joined as a freshman. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one, and they’ve stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.
When Riley thinks she spots her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress. Then Jay and Kate report similar experiences. Only Noah hasn’t had some kind of vision, which is perhaps why he’s become so skeptical and distant.
When Noah disappears, Riley fears she’s lost another loved one. As they frantically search for him, she, Kate, and Jay are drawn into the mystery surrounding a relic that belonged to Jay’s dead father and contains clues about the afterlife. Riley finds herself wrestling with her feelings for both Noah and Jay—which have become clear only in Noah’s absence. If Riley is to help those she loves, and herself, she must set things right with the one she’s lost.
Mystery. Spirits. Love.
Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.
You could find this book on Goodreads here.
I have no words to describe how much I loved Beautiful Broken Things. It captures the messy, nitty gritty reality of a teenager’s life. It was a breath of fresh air in a world full of contemporaries where it’s all about love and finding that perfect guy. Beautiful Broken Things focuses on the ups and downs of teenage friendship. And it tells no white lies. Friendships can be messy. Best friends fight and argue, but that doesn’t make them bad friends, which is one the important things this novel portrays. Friendships are often overlooked in YA, in favour of romance and those that do feature tend to be flat and unrealistic.
I loved the dynamic between Caddy, Suzanne and Rosie. At different points throughout the novel, I could relate to each of them. Any teenage girl that says she hasn’t experienced at least some of these girl’s feelings is lying. That’s one thing I loved about this novel, I could relate to the girls, even when they were being frankly quite horrible. Every fight they had I feel as if I have already had with my friends, but at the end of the day, they were still friends. I find in YA, friendships tend to either be perfect or completely terrible, resulting in the friendships ending. I appreciated the realistic balance that this book portrayed, no friendship is perfect and they all involve working for.
Regarding the issue tackled in this book, which is abuse, I think it is handled very sensitively and carefully, which is really important as this is a difficult topic that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This book mainly focuses of after effects of the person who has been abused but it also looks at why abuse isn’t stopped or reported, which I found really interesting. Despite the fact that her brother never stopped the abuse, he loved her and she loved him, which is something I find a bit tricky to get my head around. This book looks at the often forgotten impacts of abuse on young people, such as having to move to live with another relative, not wanting to tell new friends and still being in contact with your family. These are aspects of abuse I and I’m sure many others have never considered so it was really interesting that this is what Sara decided to write about.
Moving on to the different families portrayed in the novel. First off, we have Suzanne’s family, where her Dad abused her, but her Mum and brother did nothing to try and stop but still love her and she loves them. Then you have her aunt, who she stays with for the duration of the novel who seems to care about her, but by the end of the book is sending Suzanne into care, claiming she is too hard work. There is also Caddy’s family, her parents who are protective and try to shield her from everything, discouraging her friendship with Suzanne becuase they think she’s a bad influence. You also have Caddy’s sister Tarin, who seems to be a wise soul who cares about Caddy and her friends and wants the best for them. She has her own back story though and I’d absolutely love a novel all about her. Despite being a minor character, she is one of my favourites now I think about it. I loved the range of different familial relationships shown in this book, which is yet another thing to applaud Sara on.
Overall, I’m so pleased this was my first ever ARC. I absolutely loved reading it and am super happy to award it with five stars.
Let’s start with the basics, what is bloggiesta?
In short, Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon revolving around ticking off those items on your to-do list and improving your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta
On the 16-17th January, a mini bloggiesta is taking place and I’m going to join in, why you ask?
Because it’s a fab way to get stuff done and be super productive, which is often something I struggle with. Also it gives you the chance to make new friends and discover new blogs which is always good.
My To Do List for this Bloggiesta is:
- Beautiful People Link Up Post
- Next 2016 Debuts Post
- 1 Review
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Rewatch Post
- Comment on 10 other participants
- Update Goodreads reviews
- Change one thing about the layout of my blog.
So, there we have it! My list of things I want to do this weekend. Mainly they’re posts I want to write, but I also want to interact with other people, so I’ll be commenting on as many blogs as possible.
That’s all for now! Are you joining in? If so, link me to your post!
I know I’m super late on this but I’ve been wanting to sign up for ages, I just haven’t got round to it.
So, #RockMyTBR is a challenge hosted by Sarah @ the YA Book Traveller where basically you aim
To read a minimum of 1 book per month you already own (published book). This challenge is totally what YOU make of it! You can do 5 books a month, 10, WHATEVER! Anything you accomplish is fantastic. This challenge is really what you make of it.
Since I’m signing up so late I’ve already read January’s book – Thorn By Intisar Khanani, a book I requested on NetGalley last year but never read.
To read as many ARC ebooks as possible from NetGalley is my aim for 2016. They have all been on my TBR for at least 4 months but they’ve never been read. So I want to read and review these books in order to bring up my NetGalley ratio.
However as well as them I will be aiming to read as many other book that are on my TBR bookshelf, particularly those that have been there a while.
I think this will be a great challenge that will really encourage me to get reading some of those backlist books!
Despite the fact that I’m not usually an impulse buyer, I must confess this one was a real impulse buy for me. I saw the beautiful cover and picked up to read the first few chapters in Waterstones, and then rushed home to buy the eBook for my kindle. I then promptly read over the next two days.
This book was so unusual. I don’t quite know how to describe it, so you’ll all just have to read it yourselves. One of the things I have to say I loved about this book is the wonderful imagery. There were vivid pictures created with her fantastic writing of wonderful dresses, breath taking scenery and mind blowing magic.
The characters in these books, despite the fact that only one of them was given a name were so wonderfully crafted and really came to life off the page. I loved our main character and her bravery and cleverness. She wasn’t trying to be the hero, she didn’t want to change the world. She just wanted to save her sister and then when she arrived in the qasr, she just wanted to stay alive. I admired how she was thrown into completely new surroundings but was capable of keeping her fire and standing up against the evil that had conquered and killed so many before her.
The plot of this novel twists and turns throughout, leaving me constantly wondering about what would happen next. I certainly wasn’t expecting the ending but I was surprisingly pleased with it. When it was getting close to the end, I had no clue how it was all going to wrap up nicely, however she managed it and with great talent and finesse.
I loved the elements of magic that were woven into this book. It wasn’t your traditional magic, there were no spells or magic words, but this magic was beautiful and powerful and fit with the setting and story. I also liked the reference to small gods which was a type of a magic and power I had never heard about before. One of the things I found most fascinating about this book was the cultural background behind lots of the elements. It really interested me and made me feel as if I had been transported into another world.
This book was a great high to end 2015 on and it’s such a unique, original read, I would definitely recommend people pick it up.
4.5 stars from me!
I’d like to introduce you to my (well, they’re not really mine but I’m claiming them to be for now!) group of wonderful 2016 debut authors!
In no particular order we have…
Jeff Zentner is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who has recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. In addition to writing and recording his own music, Zentner works with young musicians at Tennessee Teen Rock Camp, which inspired him to write for young adults. He lives in Nashville with his wife and son.
Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a freelance journalist who has worked with Marie Claire, ELLE, and InStyle in the UK. The Square Root of Summer was inspired by her German mathematician grandfather and her lifelong obsession with YA romance, which includes an MA thesis on Dawson’s Creek, and a dissertation on romantic comedies at Newcastle University. She lives on a train between Nottingham, London and Brighton.
Marisa Mohdi When I was five, I picked up a book by Enid Blyton and became addicted to reading. I loved spending rainy afternoons (I’m from a tropical country) getting lost in magical worlds, exciting adventures, and spooky situations. I used to write my own stories on pages torn from my older brothers’ notebooks. I stapled those pages together, drew a cover with color pencils and proudly called myself an author.
I’m lots older now, but I become that excited little five-year-old each time I find a book I want to read, and each time I think about writing. I’m a Malaysian, have lived in five different countries, and studied Psychology and Counseling in the United States. I try to include elements from Malay/Malaysian culture and Psychology in my writing. I’m also a married mom of two, and I spoil my cats rotten.
Sara Barnard lives in Brighton and does all her best writing on trains. She loves books, book people and book things. She has been writing ever since she was too small to reach the “on” switch on the family Amstrad computer. She gets her love of words from her dad, who made sure she always had books to read and introduced her to the wonders of second-hand book shops at a young age.
Sara is trying to visit every country in Europe, and has managed to reach 13 with her best friend. She has also lived in Canada and worked in India.
Sara is inspired by what-ifs and people. She thinks sad books are good for the soul and happy books lift the heart. She hopes to write lots of books that do both. BEAUTIFUL BROKEN THINGS is her first book and a dream come true.
Perdita Cargill: I used to be the least numerate tax barrister ever to practise at the English bar but now I’m writing at last and it’s the best ‘job’ in the world – not least because I’m writing funny teen books with my daughter.
Honor Cargill: I’m 17, I’m in my last year at school doing A levels and yes, weirdly, I’m co-writing funny teen books with my mum and having so much fun with it. I used to do a bit of acting (mostly school but a tiny bit professional) and although Elektra, our main character, is nothing like me, I suppose that’s where the germ of the idea for Waiting for Callback came from.
Emily France graduated from Brown University before going on to law school, where she was the editor-in-chief of the law review. She finds creative inspiration in all things spiritual, from sitting with Benedictine monks for 4 a.m. vigils in a Rocky Mountain monastery to trekking to Buddhist and Hindu temples in India. Now she writes full-time and lives with her husband and their fearless Tibetan Spaniel in sunny Colorado—the closest place to Nirvana she’s found. SIGNS OF YOU is her debut novel. Visit Emily online at http://www.emilyfrancebooks.com and follow her on Twitter @EmilyFranceBook.
Dana Longston is a sixteen year old writer from Pensacola, Florida. Currently, I attend West Florida High School of Advanced Technology in the Criminal Justice program. I enjoy learning about the universe, philosophy, and human behavior. My urban fantasy novel “November 21st” is coming out on December 11, 2015. You can learn more about it at langstonwriting.com.
Sofi Croft grew up in Swansea, studied in Liverpool, and has worked as a geologist and science teacher in several parts of the UK. She now lives in the Lake District with her family where she loves to walk the fells, canoe the lakes, daydream, drink tea, and read and write stories.
Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she’s learning a new kind of storytelling.
Lygia Day Penaflor is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included the young casts of “Gossip Girl” and “Boardwalk Empire,” as well as I AM LEGEND.
Originally from the Windy City, Julia Ember now resides in Sunny Scotland where she learned to enjoy both haggis and black pudding. She spends her days working as a professional Book Nerd for a large book distribution firm, and her nights writing YA Romantic Fantasy novels. She also spends an inordinate amount of time managing her growing city-based menagerie of pets with Harry Potter themed names. Presently, she is the haggard slave Sirius Black and Luna Lovegood the cats and Bellatrix Le Snake. She also owns a freakishly adorable cob pony called Africa.
A world traveller since childhood, Julia has now visited over 60 countries. Her travels inspire the fictional worlds she writes about and she populates those worlds with magic and monsters.
Tara Sim is a YA author found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not writing about magic, clocks, and boys, she drinks tea, wrangles cats, and sings opera. TIMEKEEPER, her debut novel and the first book of the Timekeeper Trilogy, comes out Fall 2016 from Sky Pony Press. Follow her on Twitter: @EachStarAWorld.
Erin L. Schneider is native to the Pacific Northwest, attended college in Honolulu – and although Hawaiian – should never be allowed on a surfboard. With more than twenty years in corporate merchandising, she’s now a full-time writer living in Seattle with her husband, Neal; their baby boy, Kellan; a rowdy German shepherd named Ronin; and two crazy cats, Ono and Poke. She’s a member of both the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and SCBWI, and is also co-founder of the YA Buccaneers.
SUMMER OF SLOANE is her debut novel, out May 3, 2016 from Disney-Hyperion. Visit Erin online at Erin L Schneider or on Twitter: @ErinLSchneider1.
Erin is represented by literary agent Lisa Grubka of Fletcher & Company.
Ashley Herring Blake used to write songs and now she writes books and reads them almost incessantly. She likes coffee, her boys, gloomy music, guitars, anything with pumpkin in it, stuff hued in Tiffany blue, scarves, and walks. She doesn’t like olives or soggy asparagus, or humidity and has not a lick of visual artistic talent. Ashley lives in Nashville, TN with her witty husband and two boisterous little boys. Previous and/or current jobs include songwriter and performer (though she made about enough money to cover the gas to the gigs), teacher, barista, Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapist, and, the hardest job in the world, mommyhood. SUFFER LOVE, a YA contemporary novel that follows two teens as they wade through an intense relationship complicated by their parents’ infidelities, is her first novel and will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BFYR in 2016.
Mild-mannered assistant by day, milder-mannered writer by night, Tarun Shanker is a New York University graduate currently living in Los Angeles. His idea of paradise is a place where kung-fu movies are projected on clouds, David Bowie’s music fills the air and chai tea flows freely from fountains.
Kelly Zekas is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good historical romance.
Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later. It is their first novel.
Emily Skrutskie is six feet tall. She was born in Massachusetts, raised in Virginia, and forged in the mountains above Boulder, Colorado. She holds a B.A. in Performing and Media Arts from Cornell University, where she studied an outrageous and demanding combination of film, computer science, and game design. Her short fiction has been published by HarperTeen, and her debut novel, THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US, will be published by Flux in February of 2016.
Ami Allen-Vath was born and mostly raised in Minnesota.Since college, (SCSU, Hunter College, City College) Ami has performed with Just The Funny improv troupe in Miami, FL. She’s also performed in two productions of The Vagina Monologues in Atlanta, GA, the state she met her husband.She now lives with her family, including their dog Yoda, in New Jersey. Ami loves great and terrible TV, ice cream, books, and vacations. She loathes cilantro, live birds, and when guys do cartoon impressions.
Her debut novel, LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US is forthcoming from Sky Pony Press in March of 2016.
Kathleen Glasgow lives in Tucson, Arizona and writes for The Writer’s Almanac. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota. Her first novel for young adults, Girl in Pieces, will be published by Random House/Delacorte in September, 2016.
And there we go, you’ve been introduced to all 18 lovely debut authors. Keep an eye out, they’ll be another post soon introducing you to their even more wonderful books! (Am I allowed to say that? Is it a compliment or insult to them? Who know! Authors are mysterious creatures!)
Let me know in the comments. Which authors do you already know of and who are you meeting for the first time? Are there any authors in particular whose answers you’re excited to read?
I am in the lucky or unlucky dependent on how you look at it, position that I have birthday and Christmas together so I receive a whole ton of books in December. My birthday is the 31st of December and I was very fortunate to receive 15 books in total for birthday and Christmas. Since we have that long list to get through, let’s get started!
I am Malala
The Winner’s Crime
The Revenge Playbook
Severed Heads, Broken Hearts
Shadow and Bone
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
And there we go!
Which book should I read first? Let me know!