News | January YA Releases & Debuts

So a new year is quickly approaching, and I am absolutely stoked for all the wonderful releases the new year is going to bring. Hopefully I get to spend more time reading next year – I’ve really missed my regular fix of fiction.

I have to admit, a lot of the books being released in the next few months are going to be amazing. This list is sixty-five books long, and I know for a fact that as the year unravels, the number is only going to get bigger.

My aim for next year is to try and read every book on my lists. Yes, this sounds like an impossible challenge, and I’m probably letting myself in for something terrible – but let’s see how long it lasts.

Week 01 – Jan 1st – Jan 6th

So the first week of January brings us five new YA reads – a wide range of genre and themes. I’m lucky enough to have a sneak peak at The Similars, one of 2019’s hottest debut releases.

DateBook TitleAuthor
Tue 1stThe SimilarsRebecca Hanover
Tue 1stThe Me I Meant to BeSophie Jordan
Thu 3rdEvermore (Everless #2)Sara Holland
Thu 3rdOh My GodsAlexandra Sheppard
Thu 3rdOutsideSarah Ann Juckes

Personally, I’m actually looking forward to all five of these releases. The only one I’m not one-hundred percent sure on, is Evermore by Sara Holland – purely because it’s fantasy and the second in a series. I’m going to attempt the first book, and if I like it, then I’ll be continuing with the new release on January 3rd.

The exciting thing is that The Similars, Oh My Gods and Outside are our first two debut author novels of the year! There’s a high standard to live up to, but I can see these ladies meeting the expectations.

Week 02 – Jan 7th – Jan 13th

Seventeen books are released this week, and quite honestly, I’m not sure about the compatibility of a lot of them with my personal reading preferences. However, I’m willing to give any book a try – so I hope you can too!

DateTitleAuthor
Tue 8thYou Won’t See Me Coming (BA, #3)Kristen Orlando
Tue 8thTwo Can Keep a Secret Karen M. McManus
Tue 8thThe Wicked King (Folk of the Air, #2)Holly Black
Tue 8thThe Girl KingMimi Yu
Tue 8thSlayerKiersten White
Tue 8thIn An Absent Dream (Wayward Ch, #4)Seanan McGuire

The first six books are already a pretty big deal, with debut author Mimi Yu’s The Girl King joining company with some pretty BIG young adult names!

DateTitleAuthor
Tue 8thWhite StagKara Barbieri
Tue 8thEven If I FallAbigail Johnson
Tue 8thTo Dream is to Die (Dead Dreamer, #1)Sarah Lampkin
Tue 8thAnaliese RisingBranda Drake
Tue 8thMatch Me If You CanTiana Smith
Tue 8thA Sky For Us AloneKristin Russell

Perhaps a lesser known bunch of releases, this set of six are more obscure, newer releases for newer authors. While only a few have grabbed my attention from this list, I’m looking forward to seeing whether the reviews correlate with the story.

DateTitleAuthor
Tue 8thWhen the Truth UnravelsRuthAnne Snow
Thu 10thThe BindingBridget Collins
Thu 10thBlackberry and Wild RoseSonia Velton
Thu 10thWhiteoutGabriel Dylan

The last four of these books are going to be interesting when I get my hands on them. I’m actually quite interested in reading these – with When the Truth Unravels and Blackberry and Wild Rose both being debut novels.

Week 03 – Jan 14th – Jan 20th

Mid January promises some brilliant releases, with some of my favourite young adult authors releasing new works.

DateTitleAuthor
Tue 15thThe Gilded Wolves (Gilded Wolves, #1)Roshani Chokshi
Tue 15thOur Year of MaybeRachel Lynn Solomon
Tue 15thEcho NorthJoanna Ruth Meyer
Tue 15thFamous in a Small TownEmma Mills
Tue 15thStainA.G. Howard
Tue 15thFirestarter (Timekeeper, #3)Tara Sim
DateTitleAuthor
Tue 15th96 Words for LoveRachel Roy
Tue 15thLet’s Go Swimming on DoomsdayNatalie C. Anderson
Tue 15thPretty in PunxsutawneyLaurie Boyle Crompton

Week 04 – Jan 21st – Jan 27th

So a lot of our new releases are published in this week, with so many catching my interest. I seriously don’t know how I’m going to afford all these books.

DateTitleAuthor
Tue 22
The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2)Maureen Johnson
Tue 22Circle of Shadows (Circle of Shadows, #1)Evelyn Skye
Tue 22Imprison the Sky (Elementae, #2)A.C. Gaughen
Tue 22Undying (Unearthed, #2)Amie Kaufman
Tue 22Song of the Dead (Reign of the Fallen, #2)Sarah Glenn Marsh
Tue 22Someday We Will FlyRachel DeWoskin

Notable to mention, The Birds, The Bees and You and Me is another wonderful debut for this month. I’m REALLY excited to give it a read.

DateTitleAuthor
Tue 22The Cold Is In Her BonesPeternelle van Arsdale
Tue 22Only a Breath ApartKatie McGarry
Tue 22The Birds, The Bees and You and MeOlivia Hinebaugh
Tue 22No One Here Is LonelySarah Everett
Tue 22Kingdom of Copper (Daevabad, #2)S.A. Chakraborty
Tue 22All Is FairDee Garretson

Both Our Child of the Stars and When All Is Said are debut releases. It’s also important to note, for all US readers, that When All Is Said won’t be available in the United States until March 3rd.

DateTitleAuthor
Tue 22Ship of Smoke/Steel (Wells of Sorcery, #1)Django Wexler
Tue 22Cities of Dead (Casquette Girls, #3)Alys Arden
Tue 22Field Guide to the North American TeenBen Phillippe
Thu 24Our Child of the StarsStephen Cox
Thu 24When All Is SaidAnne Griffin

Week 05 – Jan 28th – Jan 31st

January 29th brings us sixteen releases, and it is also my twenty-first birthday. I can’t wait – it’s like a birthday present from each publishing house!

DateTitleAuthor
Tue 29thKing of Scars (Nikolai, #1)Leigh Bardugo
Tue 29thGoodbye, PerfectSara Barnard
Tue 29thRansacker (Beserker, #2)Emmy Laybourne
Tue 29thA Curse so Dark and LonelyBrigid Kemmerer
Tue 29thThe Lies & Love of Rukhsana AliSabina Khan
Tue 29thDeath Prefers BlondesCaleb Roehig
DateTitleAuthor
Tue 29thDream KeeperAmber Duell
Tue 29thSpinLamar Giles
Tue 29thCome Find MeMegan Miranda
Tue 29thThe Wild LandsPaul Greci
Tue 29thJust for ClicksKara McDowell
Tue 29thThe CeruleanAmy Ewing

In terms of debut author releases this week, we have four. This includes the highly antticpated The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali, Just for Clicks, The Dead Queens Club and Here and Now and Then.

DateTitleAuthor
Tue 29thThe Music of What HappensBill Konigsberg
Tue 29thThe Dead Queens ClubHannah Capin
Tue 29thHere and Now and ThenMike Chen

That is my list of every young adult book coming to us in January 2019! Seen one you can’t wait to read? Let me know in the comments below.

Also, a massive thank you to Tale Out Loud for the information on next years debut authors! Go over to her page and give her a little bit of love.

Peace x

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Mini Reviews | Books I Didn’t Enjoy

If you’re like me, and you hate giving out negative reviews, then you tend to avoid posting them. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve been so disappointed in. Well actually, that’s a lie. I’m about to lay down all the reviews I wanted to get out the way before we go into a new year. So, buckle up, because this my list of books I didn’t enjoy reading this year.

The Bad Boy's Girl, Wattpad, Book Review

First of all, I should have known with this book. When I first encountered The Bad Boy’s Girl, it was on Wattpad. The author dedicated a lot of time and effort into writing the plot, and I absolutely adored it. However, the book was written years ago and I was a lot younger. I recently revisited this, but bought the version available on Amazon. I’d expected there to be a brush up, it to be a little more professional but I was wrong. The plot seemed to drag on forever, the story seemed a little problematic and though I eventually started to enjoy it a little, it should not have taken so long to get into the story. The only reason I stuck around was because I was stubborn and didn’t want to add it to my ‘did not finish’ list. And the worst part? It ended on a cliff-hanger – and I really don’t want to have to read the second book and go through this all again.

Towne Square, Dianna Wilkes, Book Review

I read Towne Square months ago – I mean, actual months ago. The book was released in February and I got it around that period. I hadn’t read the first book, so that really didn’t aid my case. My main issue with this book was that I didn’t think it really stood out. It was an enjoyable read at the time, and I finished it. But I can’t remember the plot or the characters. I wouldn’t happily read the author’s next work or even continue down the line of the series. I don’t even want to check out the first book.

The Tethered Mage, Melissa Caruso, Book Review

The Tethered Mage was a bargain buy at my local TheWorks shop. It was cheap, thick and promised an interesting storyline after hooking me with the first chapter. But somewhere along the lines, my interest in the story just fizzled out. Fantasy books have never been my calling, and I generally struggle to get to the end. So I wasn’t surprised when this book made it onto my ‘did not finish’ list. Though, I will admit I’m not ruling this book out completely. There is definitely potential for me to revisit this in the future. Until then, I’m good.

Furyborn, Claire LeGrand, Book Review

I don’t think I ever really understood the real buzz that circulated Furyborn. I was drawn in by the promise of assassins, but couldn’t really focus my attention any further than the first few chapters. It was disappointing, as I heard nothing but good things from other people. However, in hindsight, I see I’m not the only one who didn’t finish, as the ‘did not finish’ genre was tagged by 136 other users on Goodreads.

Released back in 2013, The Rosie Project went on to win several fiction awards. It didn’t win over my heart. I read this book as part of The Book Club, here at Peaceful Oblivion. I found the ending predictable and dull.

I won’t be checking out the next book in the series for this, no matter how much other people enjoy it.

I’ll be leaving these books back in 2018, but feel free to check them out. I’m loving the new feature which allows me to easily add links to the picture. So (all being well), you should be able to just click on the picture now and it’ll take you to Goodreads.

Peace out guys x

12 Days of Christmas | ‘Tis the Season Tag

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‘Tis the Season to be jolly, and jolly you may be. Today’s post is short and sweet – but it touches on some things outside the bracket of the book world. Today’s tag comes from ‘Eve Messenger’s OtherWORDly Endeavours‘ and it is called the ‘Tis the Season Tag’.

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Do you have a favourite Christmas read?

There isn’t any particular book that I love to read over the Christmas period – it’s usually the only time I have off university so I try and read as much as I can. But the perfect Christmas read this year is going to be a cute, fluffy romance novel – probably something by Entangled: Crush.

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Find a book cover that is blue.

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The Love Letter of Abelard and Lily | Laura Creedle

This book has already made it onto the list of books I need to find under my Christmas tree this year, and it just so happens to be a pretty blue book too.

While I know that the design is a load of scribbled out hearts, it kind of looks cool from a distance, so brownie points on that!

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What book would you use as a star on a Christmas tree?

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The One | Kiera Cass

The gorgeously flawless design of the girl supposed to be America on the front of the cover would top any tree this Christmas. Although one of Young Adult’s older books, The One springs to mind whenever thinking about Christmas.

I’d love to see this on top of a white tree this year.

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Pick one place that would be perfect for a Christmas vacation.

Either inside Hogwarts’ dining room – this view and food = happy Cody.

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Outside in the Hogwarts’ Castle grounds in the snow.

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Or making a visit to Hogsmeade.

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Pick one character you’d love to take on holiday with you.

Alex Steward from Cecelia Ahern’s Where Rainbows End (now renamed as Love, Rosie).

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Name one book on your wish list this year.

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Love, Life and the List | Kasie West

Kasie West writes some of Young adult’s best romance and contemporary fiction – so here’s hoping that this little gem makes its way into my shopping bag in the new year.

Also, cover appreciation – look how gorgeous the cover is!

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Favourite holiday drink, treat and movie?

My favourite holiday drink has to be hot chocolate! Every year where I live, a massive German Christmas market comes to town for a month – and the hot chocolate from there is simply divine!

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As for my favourite holiday treat, that has to be toffee apples/chocolate apples. Again, they are everywhere at the Christmas market and super cheap as well. My absolute favourite one is a chocolate apple where it has been dipped in coconut flakes.

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So finally, my favourite holiday movie is Love Actually.

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and to all the lovely people reading this, remember to have a Merry Christmas!

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12 Days of Christmas | Christmas Song Tag

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If there one thing I love about the weeks leading up to the big day, it’s the Christmas songs. I need no excuse to sing a little bit, and with some of the best Christmas songs of all time hitting the radio stations – I have no excuse not to get involved. Similar to the Jingle Bell Tag, this tag gives song lyrics and I have to give something to correspond. I originally found the tag on ‘Fandoms on the Run‘, but I’m not 100% sure whether this is where it began.

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“You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”
Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

When I read Serena Valentino’s Fairest of All, I couldn’t help but love the Wicked Queen as a villain. Fair enough, the book was written to invoke some sort of sympathy toward her – but I just really really liked her character. So sue me.

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“All I Want for Christmas is You”
Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas Tree?

I’m aware that I have already filled this position – see The Jingle Bell Tag for the answer to this one folks.

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“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

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So I had to read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini for my A-Level English Literature course. It is an amazing story that highlights how we have to learn to forgive ourselves as well as letting others forgive us.

Amir’s personal guilt in the story lays out a perfect tale of redemption and freedom.

 

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“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?

I’d like to imagine that if anyone deserves to be on the top of Santa’s naughty list, it’s going to be Draco Malfoy. He certainly has some terrible moments in Harry Potter. But if it’s not going to be Draco, then it better be Dudley.

Which character do you think would be on the top of the nice list?

Thinking back to the summer on this one, I’d have to give this spot to Maddy in Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything. Her pure kind-hearted spirit and passion to see the world despite her ‘condition’ is amazing. And she’s pretty kickass for escaping.

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“Frosty the Snowman”
Which book just melts your heart?

Literally every romance book ever written. Except Twilight.

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“Feliz Navidad”
Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Hard to answer since most of the mainsteam Young Adult fiction is set in America! Let the UKYA scene run this for a bit guys …

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“Sleigh Ride”
Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with? This does not have to be a love interest.

Luca from Catherine Doyle’s Blood for Blood series. ‘Nuff said.

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“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Which book (that you didn’t like) would you sacrafice to a fire to keep yourself up in the cold?

Literally anything that is described as paranormal, dystopian or fantasy. And anything that even mentions the world apocalypse.

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“Do You Hear What I Hear”
Which book do you think everyone should read?

Again, revisit my Jingle Bell Tag!

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and, to all my faithful reader, remember to have a Merry Christmas!

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12 Days of Christmas | The Jingle Bell Tag

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Today’s Christmas festivities are going to be kicked off with the wonderful ‘A Novel Glance’s‘ Christmas book tag, The Jingle Bell Tag. The tag itself mentions festive songs or themes and then asks the blogger a question to match. Feel free to leave your own responses in the comments below, or if you steal the tag, remember to credit A Novel Glance!

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“All I Want for Christmas is You’
What book do you want to see under the Christmas tree this year?

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The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily | Laura Creedle

This wonderful little gem of a book hit the shelves last Boxing Day, so it’s highly likely I will be able to find it under the tree this year. I’ve had all year to give a chance, but just never got round to it. However, it is high on my list of TBR!

Hopefully this is going to be a wonderful story to warm my heart this Christmas. But who knows? The book is about two protagonists with mental health, and young adult teaches you that anything can happen.

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“Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time’
Name a book that you read this year and absolutely loved.

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The One Memory of Flora Banks | Emily Barr

Such an unexpected story that really touched me – this book started out as something to read on a trip to a close by city. Flora has earned a place in my heart, and with that the tale of her adventures are something I’m sure I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Hopefully there is a bit of Flora in all of us.

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The Elf
What book unleashes your inner child?

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Monkey Puzzle | Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Words cannot describe how nostalgic this book makes me feel. Back in 2004, when a little six-year-old me was running around Primary school, I was cast as the lead in the school play of the story.

My heart still gets a little giddy when I heard the name ‘Julia Donaldson’.

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‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’
Which book has the most festive look to it this year?

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Christmas at Mistletoe Cottage | Lucy Daniels

I think this story has an unfair advantage, because it is first and foremost a Christmas story. But whenever I look at the cover of this book, I can almost feel the cold chill of the snow. Or maybe that’s just because I’m constantly eating ice cream?

But honestly, this book hands-down has the Christmas look.

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The Grinch
Who is your favourite villain?

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Valentino | Mafiosa | Catherine Doyle

So in the epic conclusion to the fantastic story of love and war between Sophie and two rival gangs, there is no greater villain to the story than Valentino – a boy who turns on his closest of family and orders such terrible things.

Guess that’s just mafia families.

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The Holiday
Name your two favourite couples.

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder | Sara Bernard

A newer couple in the young-adult game, Sara Bernard’s Steffi and Rhys were the epitome of adorable earlier this year. I fell in love with their story within minutes of reading about them.

This will probably remain as one of my favourite contemporary romances to be released in the past two years.

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Noughts and Crosses | Malorie Blackman

A particularly special love of mine, the story of Persephone and Callum both built up my heart and broke it within the first book. Like Romeo and Juliet, their doomed romance was something that a twelve-year-old me fawned over.

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The Present
What book would you like to give all your followers?

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Stick Man | Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Okay, okay. I know most of you reading this blog are not of younger origin. A book like Stick Man might seem incredibly basic – but it’s a beautiful children’s tale of a man’s journey home. It also helps that it was adapted for television, with the trailer just below.

But even if this book is above your age range, this is still one of my favourite little gems – so give it a try this Christmas season.

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And remember, above all – have a Merry Christmas!

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12 Days of Christmas | Dashing Through the Snow Tag

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So it’s just a little over ten days until we finally reach Christmas and I have to admit, I’m pretty damn excited. Not for the presents, but to spend the day with nearly everyone I love. (Nearly because my partner will be in his home town this year.)

I’m wearing Christmas jumpers 24/7. I have this cute little one with Olaf on, and I get to wear it for work. Happy #ChristmasJumperDay to everyone in the UK, and if that’s a thing in other countries, let me know!

Today, we will be completing the Dashing Through the Snow book tag!

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Though I originally met this book tag on My Tiny Obsessions, it was originally started by A Stranger’s Guide to Novels!

The tag follows three rules:

  • Thank the curator.
  • Tag 5 people to continue the Christmas spirit.
  • Have fun!

I don’t know too many people in the book blogging world personally; but I absolutely adore these blogs. So I’m going to be tagging:

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One book you would love to see under the tree this Christmas.

Okay, so this is going to sound like blasphemy, so bear with me. But I don’t actually want any books this Christmas! It sounds terrible, but I have so many that I want to get through, and I’m trying to make the switch to digital due to my limited storage spacing.

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Name one book you’ll be reading over Christmas.

Unfortunately the only book I’ll be reading this year is my Law textbook. Deadlines are a bitch.

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Name your favourite Christmas movie.

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Do you like the snow?

I feel the question should be, who doesn’t like snow? Also, we never get it here so …

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Name a character you’d love to spend Christmas with.

I always wanted to spend Christmas with Clara from The Nutcracker. Maybe then I’d actually learn ballet.

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To give or to receive?

To give, always.

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What fictional place would you love to spend Christmas at?

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Fondest Christmas memory?

I was about six or seven, and my mum had got me this fabulous purple satin dress with a little pink flower belt. I slid myself into it, and spent most of the day spinning around because the skirt flared out like a ball gown.

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Can you say ‘Christmas tree’ ten times in a row (pronouncing it correctly)?

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12 Days of Christmas | Books to Recommend This Season

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December 1st | Books to Recommendation This Season

When you think about Christmas, it creates images of families gathering around Christmas trees, couples kissing under the mistletoe, and an uncle who gets far too merry on the alcohol given as presents.

My Christmas is a little different. I spend it with my dad, and something new for this year is that I will travel to see my partner and his family. I’m excited to celebrate the holiday season with all my favourite people.

But, I’m more excited to spend it curled up in bed with a good book.

I’m here to help you find the perfect Christmas book.

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romance

Who doesn’t love a little romantic read to snuggle up with?

What Light
What Light

Snowed In
Snowed In

Pretty much a staple diet on this website of book reviews, I adore my romantic fiction. Here are two of my favourite romantic reads – with one for the YA audience and the other for our adult readers.

Of course there are plenty of other romantic Christmas stories out there, so feel free to follow this link and find one suiting you.
short stories

Short stories are perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time to be reading.

Let It Snow
Let It Snow

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
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Whether you’re responsible for the cooking, travelling to spend time with your family over the holiday season or just not in the mood to read a full novel, these books are ideal to pick up and put down when needed!

I love how quick and easy these types of books are! If I have a book hangover, short stories such as these tease me back into reading.

 

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Have little feet running around this Christmas? Children love bedtime stories, and these will be perfect to read the little ones in the countdown to Santa’s arrival.

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Gruffalo’s Child

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The Stick Man

The beauty of these little stories is that Julia Donaldson, one of my favourite children authors, has allowed many of her works to be turned into BBC movies.

Why not read the stories with your little ones, then spend some time watching the movies?

 

12 Days of Christmas | Giveaway

 

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So we just couldn’t help it, we launched our Christmas GIVEAWAY early!

 One of the books below + £/$10 Amazon voucher!

 RT + follow to enter

 Open INTL if bookdepository ships to you

♥️ Ends 25/12 at midnight (GMT)

You have TWO chances to win – twitter and instagram

 

 

Please note, the choice will be one of the three books below. Covers may vary.

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Review | Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

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From the Broken Things official book trailer: Summer Marks.

Broken Things
Title | Broken Things
Author | Lauren Oliver
Genre | YA Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy
Pages | 416
Publisher | HarperCollins
Series | None
Release Date | October 2nd, 2018

It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods. 

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it. 

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous. 
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Lauren Oliver is one of those famous American young-adult authors that I often have to question. I find her books pretty hit or miss at the best of times, with the large majority being benched before hitting the one-hundred page mark. So when I found out that she recently released another story, I was pretty on edge about it. Then I learnt it was a mystery and/or thriller and I knew that it would be worth giving it my attention. I have spent the last two hours devouring this four-hundred page book and let me tell you, I was enthralled.

That’s the problem with lies. They aren’t solid. They melt, and seep, and leak into the truth. And sooner or later, everything’s just a muddle.

Broken Things follows the aftermath of the accusation of three teenagers, Brynn, Mia and Owen, who were ostracised by their small-town for the mysteriously horrific childhood murder of their friend Summer. While the story switches between Brynn and Mia, the some-what protagonists of the story, it’s pretty easy to understand what is going on. The plot was pretty interesting, and though not entirely unique within the mystery genre, it successfully had me hooked until the very end. I was unable to guess the murder off the bat, making the story all the more intriguing. I hate being able to predict the story before it happens. I loved the direction the story went in, and though there were certain parts I would be hesitant to re-read in the future, the story progressed brilliantly.

Pacing and style of the story was certainly interesting. As mentioned before, the story is told from either Brynn or Mia’s perspective – shifting back and forth between when they were children and the current time. Oliver also uses certain spaces and chapters in the book to include quotes from the childhood book they adored, and edits from the story they were collectively scripting before Summer’s untimely death. Lauren Oliver executed this very well – I think they added a little bit of spice and context to the story. They weren’t boring or unnecessary – they served their purpose incredibly well. As a result, the story had a steady, constant pace. Sure, it dragged in places but filler chapters have that effect. It would unfair to judge this book entirely based on small fillers. The chapters were of reasonable pace and size – not too much information and not too little. I appreciated that while it was descriptive, it wasn’t too much: the perfect amount of flowery.

Visually, the book was incredibly pleasing too. I could shout from the rooftops about the importance of a pretty front cover, and Broken Things certainly delivered. I was so interested in finding out the reasoning behind the design. I adore it. Also, it was incredibly easy to sympathise with Brynn and Mia. To live in a town where such a horrendous crime occurred would be terrible – for the victim to be your best friend, horrific: but then to be accused of said murder? Unimaginable. Their daily struggle with their treatment from the townsfolk is really eye-opening to the true effects of rumours, lies and injustice. It makes me sad to thing there are people out there living lives like Brynn and Mia, only with no way to clear their names. It was also great of Oliver to include the LGBT references scattered throughout the book. Sexuality plays into the story a lot, with two of the main themes being homosexuality and paedophilia. Both are executed respectfully, with relevance and great understanding put into their inclusion.

In rehab, I can be whoever I want. And that means, finally, I don’t have to be a monster.

I didn’t expect to like Broken Things as much as I did, and I would have to admit that I did really enjoy it. Was it the best book I’ve ever read? No. Will I be recommending this book to my friends? Yes. Do I recommend you to go and read it? Yes, I do. If you adore mysteries and crime fiction, you’re going to love this. If you want to read something different, this is a great book for that too.

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But don’t take my word for it – because now there are things called book trailers. Not going to lie, we didn’t have these when I was growing up. But then again, we didn’t have book blogs either. Check it out below!

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Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Confessions of a YA Reader says “Broken Things grabs you right from the first chapter.”

Nia @ Shades of Paper says “The ending was a bit disappointing to me.”

Bella @ A Bella Fairytale says “This book was a quick read. I did enjoy every minute of it.”

Review | How Not to Disappear by Claire Furniss

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How Not To Disappear


Title |
 How Not to Disappear
Author | Clare Furniss
Genre | YA Contemporary, Romance
Pages | 320 pages
Publisher | Simon & Schuster
Series | None
Release Date | July 14th, 2016

Our memories are what make us who we are. Some are real. Some are made up. But they are the stories that tell us who we are. Without them we are nobody.

Hattie’s summer isn’t going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to ‘find himself” and Kat is in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum’s wedding. Oh, and she’s also just discovered that she’s pregnant with Reuben’s baby.

Then Gloria, Hattie’s great-aunt who no one even knew existed, comes crashing into her life. Gloria’s fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia. Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery — Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her past before they are erased from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future.

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Moving, heart-wrenching and completely unique, Clare Furniss has a real little gem here. Having bought her earlier work, The Year of the Rat, but never having gotten around to actually reading it, it is fair to say that my expectations from this author are high. So damn bloody high – she has turned me into a quivering wreck.

The story focusses on the lives of Hattie and Gloria, distant relatives who had little knowledge of either one’s existence until a nosey neighbour calls up and intervenes. Now, if I were to receive a call out of nowhere claiming that a distant and unheard of relative of mine were I’ll, I would think someone was pulling my leg. Clare Furniss made this such a brilliant novel through her careful twisting of the past and the present, and the old and the young. While defined as a young adult novel, this is a book I will be recommending to the older generation. It is incredibly eye-opening, no matter how old you are.

Some serious issues are touched upon here. I haven’t read or encountered a lot of books that focus on teenage pregnancy. Those that I have have never seemed to delve into such depth that Clare Furniss has. Hattie’s story is absolutely memorising. Something I really liked was how Hattie and Gloria’s stories seemed to run alongside one another. Another serious issue mentioned in this story is dementia. This is a personal issue for me, as I had a relative who suffered for nine years with dementia. Clare Furniss deserve such admiration for her portrayal of Gloria in struggling with this degenerate disease.

The characters are all likeable, and while Reuben is ultimately a shitty guy, you can’t help but fall under his charm much like Hattie did. Hattie is the little girl inside all of us. Her childhood has ended and she faces a serious decision ahead of her. She probably is one of my favourite lead characters I have ever read about. Gloria is hilarious and never stopped me from laughing. Yet her story is incredibly tragic and I can’t help but feel a deep remorse that somewhere out there in the big bad world, there is or was a real life Gloria.

When looking back on this novel, it was probably one of the most time costing books, but the investment was really worth it. It changes your outlook on certain aspects of society and really makes you question the world we live in. If this book doesn’t win an award, then I will be thoroughly disappointed. Clare Furniss is easily one of my favourite UKYA authors.

5 stars

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Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Sarah @ Written Word Worlds saysHow Not to Disappear is a poignant and moving book.”

Jenna @ Reading With Jenna says “I really enjoyed the plot of the story.”

Carol @ Reading, Writing and Riesling says “I enjoyed every moment of this.”