Going Over – Beth Kephart

“We live with ghosts. We live with thugs, dodgers, punkers, needle ladies, pork knuckle. We live where there’s no place else to go. We live with birds – a pair of magpies in the old hospital turrets, a fat yellow-beaked grebe in the thick sticks of the plant trees. A man named Sebastien has moved into the Kiez from France. My mother’s got an eye on him.”

Ada is almost 16, a day care worker by day and a graffiti artist by night she specialises in telling stories. The stories she shares with the children are about not being afraid and being the person you want to be. The strories she tells through her art are about people she knows – on both sides of the wall. Ada lives her life on the West of the Berlin wall with her mother and her Omi. Stefan lives on the East of the wall, with his grandmother, who is best friends with Ada’s Omi. He is mad that his life has been dictated for him and constantly has his grandfathers telescope pointed at freedom. The two of them are in love but with a barricade full of danger separating them the only chance of being together is a daring escape. Can Stefan find the courage to make his escape? And can Ada keep waiting for the boy she believes she loves, who she has only seen four times a year for as long as she can remember?

***

A love story separated by one of the most powerful regimes of the past 50 years. The story within the pages of Going Over was incredible and is, in my eyes, a must read.

I found this book captivating and I honestly couldn’t put it down. I got so sucked in on my train that I didn’t realise where I was when I looked up and saw the train pulling into my stop in Manchester. I fully expected to look up and bear witness to the comings and goings around the squat that Ada and her family lived in or the Stasi listening in on the conversations around me. The affect that this book had on me was incredible and it helped me learn a fair bit about a period of history that I honestly don’t know a lot about at all.

The writing is what captivated me and I loved the interchanging chapters, flitting between Ada and Stefan in a seemingly random but in my mind perfect pattern. I loved that we got to have some insight from Stefan and that it wasn’t all about Ada because his life was changing so drastically because of Ada that I wanted to know more about how he felt about that. I loved the switch in pronoun use that Kephart did when switching between the two characters too with Ada always talking about herself as “I” and Stefan talking about himself as “You”.

The only think I honestly wasn’t impressed with with regards to Going Over was how ridiculously short it was. At only 200 pages I thought there was a lot squeezed into one short book and I think there could have been even more if it was given the space it needed. I think most of all though I just wanted more, more of Ada, of Stefan and more of the world they lived in. It was a horrible world but it intrigued me and I love getting history lessons from books so I really, really loved this one!

This is the second Beth Kephart book I have read and honestly I can’t get over what an incredibly awesome author she is. I really do recommend her especially if you like gritty, truthful stories that will pull at your emotions without getting stupidly soppy.

Going Over was published on April 1st by Chronicle Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
To buy the book or to find out more please visit: 
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Author Website

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Letterbox Love (#96)

Letterbox-Love

Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that is hosted by Lynsey at Narratively Speaking and is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e-books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about.

Letterbox 23:11:14

For Review: 

A Whisper of Wolves – Kris Humphrey (Unsolicited)

This arrived in a beautifully presented way, wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with twine, with a white feather enclosed within the package and a letter from the publisher, sealed with wax, explaining what the book is about. I love it when publisher do that, especially with books that you haven’t heard of because it made me excited for it. Its a middle grade book from Stripes and is the first in a series which sounds fantastic. Its not out until March 2015 so I might not get round to it very quickly but I will definitely be reading this one at some point. Thanks Stripes!

Published: 2nd March 2015

The Sky is Everywhere – Jandy Nelson (Unsolicited)

I have actually read this book already but in anticipation of Jandy Nelson’s second book, I’ll Give You The Sun, coming out Walker sent beautiful new copies out to bloggers. I loved The Sky is Everywhere so will never moan about having multiple copies especially when my other one is a hardback and now I have a paperback to go with it. Thanks Walker! My review of The Sky is Everywhere can be read here.

New cover edition published: February 2015

Atlantia – Ally Condie (Unsolicited) 

I hadn’t heard of this one before it dropped through my letterbox and in all honesty I’m not convinced it sounds like my kind of thing. I wasn’t a massive fan of the Matched series, in fact I only managed to read one book in it, but I will try and give this one a chance but I’m not sure I’ll review it. Thanks to Penguin though for sending it over!

Published: 28th October 2014 

The Map to Everywhere – Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis 

This sounds like a lot of fun and I will definitely be diving right in as soon as possible. I have had experience with Carrie Ryan’s Forest of Hands and Teeth and whilst I didn’t enjoy it, I do think that was more because I was trying to listen to it as an audiobook in the car. This is a middle grade book and completely different so we shall see what I think of it soon! Thanks Orion Children’s Books for sending this over!

Published: 20th November 2014

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The Liebster Award

I’m a bit rubbish at doing things like this, mainly because I have this theory that most people don’t want to know much about me an are here to read my thoughts about books. However I have been nominated by one of my favourite blogger Jesse (That Jesse Bloke and Books4Teens) so I thought I should join in!!

In this post I am to share 11 facts about me and answer questions that Jesse has set out for me! I will also be nominating other bloggers at the end of it, so watch out, your name could be on there! Let’s see if I can actually find 11 decent facts about me to share…

11 facts about me

ice skating1. I spend approximately 60% of my waking weekday hours on wordpress. I work as a web editor for a construction media company (UK Construction Media if you are interested!) and my job is basically writing for and uploading content onto its website which is built on a wordpress platform. Add that to my time spent blogging and seriously I feel like I stare at this dashboard forever!

2. I believe there are dinosaurs present in over 50% of the rooms in my house, which is a tremendous feat considering I don’t exactly live in a tiny house! They also appear regularly on items of clothing…

3. I failed my driving test three times before I passed. The fourth time was lucky for me, however I did still pass within 4 months of my 17th birthday so I still think it was a major achievement.

4. Amazingly I didn’t always love reading. While I was at school I kinda hated reading because it reminded me of school. But thankfully I still read a little bit and that developed into a lot during uni and especially afterwards!

5. Another great love of mine is music, I love all kinda but my favourite genres are definitely rock, emo and alternative. If I can’t sit in and read (or blog) my second favourite past time is going to gigs and seeing bands I love live…

6. Because of my love of live music I have a terrible habit of going to see my favourite bands as much as possible. Two of them are US bands and I have only managed to see them a few times each. However one is a Welsh band, Funeral for a Friend and I have seen them live close to 20 times now since 2006.

7. Funeral for a Friend will actually be my baby’s first gig, thats right, I’m going again and its just in time for when my baby starts hearing things from outside my body. I love the idea that a band that means so much to me will be the little un’s first gig, even if its technically not born for another 4 months afterwards!

8. I managed to get through sixth form, university AND get a job writing for a living even after failing my English GCSE. I had to resit of course but considering my GCSE English Teacher told me to give up as I’d never go anywhere with my attitude and grades I think I did alright for myself.

9. I am often called a technophobe because I like reading actual books and not ebooks. I don’t get this as I love technology and it does actually excite me (yes I’m a geek) sometimes. I just prefer the feel of actual paper as I’m flicking through my book rather than the swipe of a screen.

10. I’m a hufflepuff, and I’m proud. I’m also a bit of Whovian, dauntless and personally believe that steal is earned. This fact should basically say that I can be a massive fangirl, but I love it.

11. I really want to cosplay at a convention at least once. Its on my bucket list but as I know I’m rubbish at making outfits it will probably be something rubbish and shop bought, I have no idea what to go as either.

Questions from Jesse.

1) Why did you start blogging?

I started working for a construction magazine (the magazine branch of the company I still work for) and loved to write but hated that I was only getting to write about boring things. I wanted to write about things I loved and my main love is books so I started blogging about them. Seems so long ago now but also so recent too!

2) How did you come up with your blog name?

I have written about this many times. I wanted something very personal to me but related to blogging. I love dinosaurs and playing around with dinosaur names and types. Readasaurus Rex was an option but when I looked around I noticed that the T-rex had been changed into so much and the poor Velociraptor was left out so I decided to use Readaraptor. I love it because it gives the impressed of devouring books, even if it is in a slightly savage way!

3) What’s the best piece of blogging advice you’ve received?

Oh I don’t know… probably to just do your own thing and not feel the pressure of the mounting TBR pile. For book bloggers reading to review can be quite stressful sometimes so you need to actually just take a step back and say “I want to read something for pleasure and then if I want to review it fine, if not my blog won’t suffer if it goes without a post for a day!”

4) What is your favourite book?

Honestly, not a clue. I love the Naughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman, the Grisha series from Leigh Bardugo, the Fairytale Retellings series by Jackson Pearce, everything that Zoe Marriott has ever done, Marcus Sedgwicks She Is Not Invisible, and the Harry Potter series.

There are actually 132 five star books on my read shelf on Goodreads and I don’t know which my favourite was. I even have four star books that I think would be listed as favourites above some of those five star ones because its not always about quality when it comes to a favourite book… So I have no clue.

5) What is your favourite film?

I have three:

Ten Things I Hate About You, come on, its based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew!

Thirteen – a little known indie starring Evan Rachel Wood about two 13 year old girls who live their life completely differently to how I lived mine at 13!

Hard Candy – A kinda sick twisted dark drama starring Ellen Page in one of her most haunting roles. I adore Ellen Page, she is like one of my all time favourite actors and this film, and Juno of course, is why I love her so much.

6) What’s your favourite type of post to write?

I’m torn. I love discussion posts but a lot of the time I really struggle to find good things to talk about. I think I enjoy sharing my top books of the year the most because I get to glance over everything that I’ve read and remember how awesome some of them were!

7) If you could blog about something completely different what would it be? (yes, I borrowed this question)

I have actually just started a new blog which is very sparse at the moment but its going to be about my pregnancy and parenting, however often I get to blog on it! I have been thinking about doings a lifestyle type blog for a while and having a baby has definitely given me a good platform to start with.

8) What do you do to relax when you’re not blogging?

When I’m not reading or going to gigs I’ll be either playing video Darkness Hiddengames or watching TV with the boyfriend. At the minute we’re mostly waiting for Smash Bros to come out for Wii U and watching The Walking Dead and The Leftovers!

9) What question would you love to be asked?

Oh, I have no idea… possibly “If you could be one book character from any book you’ve read who would you choose?”

10) How would you answer this question?

I would probably say Jack from Zoe Marriotts The Name of The Blade series because I think she’s awesome, even if she has a bit of a crappy time in the second book. I love her all the same.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I will tag just three people and please, do not feel any pressure to join in, if you want to do this post then please do, if not I understand completely. I am nominating Michelle from Much Loved Books, Jenni from Juniper’s Jungle and Carly from Writing from the Tub!

And here are the rules

  • Link back to me in the blog post
  • Tell us 11 facts about yourself
  • Answer the questions above
  • Nominate other bloggers with less than 200 Followers on bloglovin (You are meant to nominate 10 but I didn’t feel right nominating that many so I nominated slightly less)
  • Create your own 10 questions
  • Let those you’ve nominated know
  • Let me know you’ve taken part so I can see your answers

The questions I would like my nominees to answer are:

1) What do you love the most about blogging?

2) Is there anything you dislike about blogging?

3) Why did you start blogging?

4) What is your favourite book?

5) Do you have a favourite reading snack?

6) If you could be a character from any book who would you choose?

7) What TV show could you not live without?

8) What did you last see at the cinema? (Did you enjoy it?!)

9) What do you enjoy doing other than reading?

10) If you could have one thing more than anything else, be in possession, skill or anything like that, what would it be?

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The Boy with the Tiger’s Heart – Linda Coggin

“The snow falls heavily that night and in the morning lies in deep drifts, which smooth over the shapes of the jagged rocks and grassy knolls. It hides the bog holes that lie at the edge of the marshes and covers the wrecks of the burnt-out cars. It sparkles like crushed diamonds. It is pure, white and perfect, but to the girl when she looks out from her hiding place it is a bad omen.”

A girl raised by wolves, a scientist with a soft spot for animals and a world where animals are seen as dangerous and left either trapped or dead. The scientist teaches the girl to talk and act human, but never gives her a name. His animals are some of the few left in this twisted world yet the man has no permit, and the police eventually come. The girl with no name has to leave, she has to run away, but the question is can she and Able Dancer, her bear companion, really get away and not get caught? In their bid for freedom they meet two boys, Caius and Jay who are both willing to help the pair hide. together the four of them will make the deadliest of enemies in their desperate bid to reach The Edge, a forbidden place where nature is unrestrained and there are no shackles or boundaries.

***

 

This is a beautiful, poetic story which will melt any heart and have any reader backing the characters on their journey. The Boy with The Tiger’s Heart reminded me of what it is to be human and why there is more to fear than fierce animals in our world.

The story follows a character who eventually finds a name as Nona, or No Name. She was raised by wolves until the authorities performed The Cull, a desperate attempt to rid the populated world of animals before they fought back at the fact their habitats were disappearing. That in itself is crazy and makes for an exceptionally brilliant plot line within the story. Nona’s adventure running away from the farm which has been home puts her in the path of Jay and Caius, but also in the path of some horrible characters which really aren’t very nice.

This will be a relatively short review as in all honesty the book is relatively short itself. It was only around 190 pages and I completed it very quickly. I liked the story and it was sweet. It made me fear for the safety of Nona and her companions, reminded me that sometimes animals can act like humans just as much as humans can behave like animals and think about how horrible the world could be, in not much time at all really. It was obviously set in a future society and one that was dystopian in its feel, but not so dystopian it was fantasy, not really anyway.

I really enjoyed the conspiracy element about The Edge and how the fear of that part of the world was enough to keep people away. I thought the end of the book was brilliant and although there was a lot of death and destruction, it was an incredible book all in all. I will definitely be on the look out for more by Linda Coggin.

The Boy With the Tigers Heart was published on August 28th by Hot Key Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
To buy the book or for more info please visit: 
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Author Webpage

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Cold Spell – Jackson Pearce

“There were plenty of reasons to love winter. 

Warm fireplaces, stews, Christmastime. In her head she listed everything pleasant about the season, yet she still puled a handmade quilt closer around her body, like a shield that could protect her. 

It rarely snowed here – Atlanta usually settled for a motionless, quiet winter, with the sort of cold that carpet into her bones and was hard to shake. Before Christmas the cold seemed a necessary price for the holiday, the presents, the celebration. Now in January, still months to go till spring, the weather was hateful.”

Ginny and Kai have been in love for as long as Ginny can remember, but Kai’s grandmother always seemed to hate their friendship. On the day of her passing Grandma Dalia warns Kai to stay away from a ‘her’ they both believe to be Ginny. But as the pair start to drift apart and another girl sweeps in to enchant Kai, Ginny can’t help but think there was something else to the warning. As Kai disappears into the mystery surrounding this intoxicating Snow Queen Ginny must remain strong and pursue him. In the face of mortal danger will their love hold strong and will Ginny be able to help banish the demons Grandam Dalia was always so afraid of? 

***

What an incredible love story, one that really shows that in all honesty, loving someone and doing the right thing for them don’t always go hand in hand.

Cold Spell is the fourth in a series by Jackson Pearce simply called the Fairytale Retellings series. It follows the lost love of a guy enchanted by an evil Snow Queen, who is to become one of her faithful followers. Kai is an aside character, even though it doesn’t feel that way at the beginning of the book. He is the motivation of the main character Ginny throughout but in all honesty this love story is Ginny’s story and hers alone. She is the one who goes on the adventure, she is the one who faces the brunt of the scary stuff that goes down and she is the one who has to find herself within the story, more than she has to find her loved one.

This story shows just how much you need to be your own person and thats what I loved about it. Ginny had seen her mother and father drift apart until they broke and her mother was scared she would do the same but it became apparent to me that the reason they drifted is because her mother didn’t have chance to become her own person before she married her father. Ginny gets that chance because of the events of Cold Spell and it honestly made me adore this book. In addition the lore and the myth and magic linked to this book was fantastic and I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved the idea of Mora even if the character put a shiver down my spine and made me hate every second she was on the page.

The best and my most favourite, thing about Cold Spell was its links to the other books in the series. None of the books carry on from one another so even though this is book 4 it doesn’t necessarily follow on from Fathomless. However,s saying that, there are interlocking characters and it is a good idea to read them in the order of the series, I reckon. The links aren’t obvious, or at least they weren’t to me because it has been just under a year and a half since I read the previous book in the series, but once I thought about them and I remembered certain things I realised they were genius. I love the way Jackson Pearce interlocks the stories in this way and think she is damn clever in the way she does it!!

I really am hoping there are more fairytale retellings books on the horizon from Pearce as I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get enough of them. Even though a lot of them focus on love and I’m not a fan of love stories most the time, I really do think they are brilliant. If you are a supernatural YA fan then you really must read these books if you haven’t done so already.

Cold Spell was published on November 6th by Hodder Children’s Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
 
To buy the book or for more info please visit: 
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Author Website

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Circus of The Unseen – Joanne Owen

“Long ago, when the world was young and people still thought of the marsh and the mists and the witch in the woods, there lived a girl called Vasilisa, whose mother fell gravely ill. On her deathbed, Vasilisa’s mother called for her daughter. She took a little wooden doll from beneath her pillow, saying, ‘When I am gone, I shall leave you this doll with my blessing. Promise me you’ll always keep her with you, and promise you’ll never show her to another soul. Whenever you need guidance or comfort, give the doll food and she will ease your troubles.’ Visalia promised her mother all of these things.”

Rosie’s grandmother loved to tell old wives tales, and no one but Rosie believed there to be any truth in them. Since her Grandmother took her own life a few months ago Rosie has felt uneasy, like she is missing a piece of her grandmothers puzzle. Whilst clearing out the house Rosie has an accident and finds herself in a strange circus, where a Mother presides over all and its inhabitants seem to be fascinated by Rosie. She is unlike anyone there and anyone who has been there before but according to Mother Matushka, Rosie must stay. Rosie has to complete a cryptic trail in order to get home but as she awaits the beginning of this trial she finds clues to the missing pieces of her grandmothers puzzle. Can Rosie free herself and her family secrets of will the Circus of the Unseen claim her forever. 

***

Wow. What a book! I had high hopes for this one just judging by its cover which I know I shouldn’t do but I had to, just look at the pretty! Thankfully as I started reading and I was drawn into the tales of Rosie’s grandmother and the Circus of the Unseen I learnt that in this case I was right to judge and the book was just as good as its cover.

The story is unlike anything I have read before. I worked out pretty early on why Rosie was there but thats not really what it was about, it was about Rosie discovering the truth about her grandmother’s tales and why they were so important to listen to. It was about coming to terms with what life throws at you and the fact that sometimes it goes in a different direction to what you expect it too.

The book is only short and the fact that so much was packed into as few pages as it is, is an incredible feat. The atmosphere created within the book is incredible, especially once Rosie gets to the Circus and I loved that I felt like I was there, I could see the mist and feel the wrath of the other performers when they were unhappy, and I felt the overbearing presence of Mother Matushka, who for such a small bag of bones managed to really stand out from the crowd.

It is, like I said, a very unique story and I say that in the fact that although the basic premise of the story is something I have actually seen before, its done in a way that blew my mind. The mismatch of characters and the incredible stories they all had was something that really pulled my heartstrings and I loved getting to know them. Rosie was in fact probably the least interesting character there but that isn’t to say she wasn’t at all interesting, the others just overtook her.

I loved Circus of the Unseen and really would recommend this book to anyone. Its interesting and intriguing and puts a whole different spin on the idea of myths and tall tales. I loved every page and will definitely be on the look out for more by Joanne Owen.

Circus of the Unseen was published on November 6th by Hot Key Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
 
To buy the book or for more info please visit: 
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Author Website

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A World Without Princes – Soman Chainani (The School For Good & Evil #2)

“There is an uneasiness that remains after your best friend tries to kill you.

But as Agatha gazed out at her and Sophie’s golden Statues, towering over the sun-speckled square, she swallowed it away.

‘I don’t know why it has to be a musical,’ she said, sneezing from the carnations on her pink dress.

‘No sweating in your costumes!’ Sophie barked at a boy struggling in a ferocious plaster dog head, while the girl roped to him stumbled around in her own cuddly dog head.”

Agatha and Sophie are back in Gavaldon, living out their happy ever after together. But Agatha is missing her prince. A brief moment brings about a longing wish which sees Agatha and Sophie transported back to the School for Good and Evil but everything has changed. There’s a price on Sophie’s head and the schools have been transformed into a school for girls and a school for boys. The result of Agatha and Sophie’s Ever After no longer seems so happy.

***

The second school for good and evil book was a bit mixed for me. I really loved the first one and how it seemed to challenge everything that traditional fairytales teach but this seemed to really go against that premise in places and the consequences of going against the stereotype seem to be ridiculously drastic in A World Without Princes.

The story takes place not long after the first books story ended. Agatha and Sophie have been home a few months and they are struggling. Sophie to stay good and not hate the fact her father is remarrying and Agatha to be happy with the life she chose. The day of Sophie’s fathers wedding things go drastically wrong and the pair find themselves on the path back to the schools. The characters were really interesting as they were in the first but I found that the story was a little predictable in places. The twists and turns were highly visible to me before they happened and on the odd occasion they weren’t I found that the big reveals fell flat and then led to an obvious conclusion.

The book was obviously very readable and something really made me want to carry on. I think I was hoping that it would be like the first in as that made me feel uneasy about the stereotyping of good and evil and then portrayed a great conclusion to twist those stereotypes. Unfortunately this one didn’t and I may be missing something but I really didn’t like the way it came across as very anti-feminist in places. I know that’s probably quite a harsh way of describing it and that’s probably not what the author really wanted to put across but that is unfortunately something that struck me about the book.

As with the first the pictures in this book really helped me imagine the world Chainani created and I loved them. I loved the way that the more magical of creatures are made more real by the pictures and really love the inclusion of the map at the beginning.

I wanted to love A World Without Princes as much as I love School for Good and Evil but things got in the way and I found myself counting down the pages, especially earlier on in the book, it had a slow start for me. Thankfully the last 80 or so pages turned the book into a fast paced adventure like the first and I think it pushed the book up in my opinion.

A World Without Princes was published in May 2014 by Harper Collins. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
 
To buy the book or for more info please visit:
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Author Website | Series Website

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Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens

“This is the first murder that the Wells & Wong Detective Society has ever investigated, so it is a good thing Daisy bought me a new casebook. The last one was finished after we solved The Case of Lavinia’s Missing Tie. The solution to that, of course, was that Clementine stole it in revenge for Lavinia punching her in the stomach during lacrosse, which was Lavinia’s revenge for Clementine telling everyone Lavinia came from a broken home. I suspect that the solution to this new case may be more complicated.”

Welcome to the Wells & Wong Detective Society. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up the society they had no idea things were about to get so interesting. Now they are investigating a murder no one knows even happened, except the murderer of course. Miss Bell’s body was lying on the Gym floor one minute and then when Hazel returned with Daisy a few minutes later was gone. The girls simply must solve the murder before the killer strikes again, but how when their mistresses are all acting strange and Deepen School for Girls is the hardest place to investigate without being found out?

***

Oh what a fantastic book. I wasn’t big on the older ‘boarding school books’ when I was a kind and much preferred other things like animal ark and babysitters club, much to my sisters dismay. To this day she complained loudly about the fact I’ve never read any Enid Blyton or the like and I can honestly say I regret it. This book was enough to make me realise how deep that regret goes and in all honesty made me want to dig out any schooldays book I could find and devour it.

The story follows Daisy and Hazel on their detective mission to find out who murdered their school mistress. It is technically historical fiction and that much can be gathered from the way Hazel speaks and the things she mentions about the school, like the class (its name escapes me) where they have to walk with a book balanced on their head! I love historical fiction at the best of times but coupled with a mystery to make any young person want to dig out their parents/grandparents copies of Agatha Christie’s books Murder Most Unladylike really hit the spot.

It took me a little while to get into the book but I think thats more me than the book itself. Once they were deep into their detective mission though I was immersed and I honestly didn’t want it to end. I thought it was brilliant and am so happy to know there are two more books to come in this series.

I very much appreciated Hazel as a character more than Daisy and loved that the book is all told from her point of view. Daisy bugged me a little bit and Hazel having to run around after her a lot got annoying but at least she does get a little better towards the end of the book. They make a good pair because they kinda balance each other out a bit and they have one of those friendships that you can tell will last.

I think this really is a school days book for the modern reader, which shows how good it is considering its set in the 1930s. Robin Stevens did a brilliant book of making it show the age of its setting without making it sound too old for readers from our modern age. You will be hard pressed to find a reader who didn’t enjoy something about this book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who asked for a great middle grade/young teen book about friendship, crime or those oh so glorious school days!

Murder Most Unladylike was published on June 5th by Corgi, a Random House imprint. My copy was purchased at my favourite indie bookstore Storytellers Inc. 
 
For more info, or to buy this book please visit: 
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Author Website

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Letterbox Love (#95)

Letterbox-Love

Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that is hosted by Lynsey at Narratively Speaking and is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e-books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about.

Letterbox-02-11-14 This is an entire month of books, not just this week! I have been a bit slow in putting a letterbox love post up but I have been keeping the books to one side so I could share them with you all!

For Review: 

The Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer (Unsolicited) 

This turned up at my work (I’m still investigating that one!) and I seriously was not expecting it at all, but I am so happy it did as it was on my list of things to ask for for Christmas anyway! I love Amanda Palmer as many long time readers of my blog will know so I am definitely looking forward to reading this soon! Thank you so much Piatkus for sending this!

Published: 11 November 2014

Cold Spell – Jackson Pearce 

This is from Hatchette, thanks guys, and I really can’t wait to read it. I adore Jackson Pearce’s fairytale retellings so I am hoping to get to it soon, I’m kinda sad I didn’t have it in time for a Halloween read (It arrive on actual Halloween) but It’ll do nicely in winter I’m sure!

Published: 6th November 2014

The Art of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson 

If you follow me on twitter you may have noticed I changed my avatar to be part of the flashmob for the cover reveal of this book because I love its cover! I also love the sound of it and with comparisons being made to David Levithan I’m sure it will be brilliant. Thanks DFB for this book!

Published: 1st January 2015

Opal Plumstead – Jacqueline Wilson (Unsolicited) 

I got the manuscript for this through in September but I haven’t read it yet unfortunately. The lovely people at Random House sent through a finished copy too and I am definitely going to read it soon! Thanks guys!

Published: 9th October 2014

Captive – AJ Grainger (Unsolicited) 

I actually squealed when I opened this envelope. To my knowledge I am not on the S&S list so I wasn’t expecting Captive but I wanted it as I know Annalie from her role at Walker Books and it sounds amazing. I am so grateful to whoever sent me this over from S&S and will be reading very soon!

Published: 29th January 2015

Shiver The Whole Night Through – Darragh McManus

This creepy looking and sounding book made its way through to me from Hot Key, thanks guys! It sounds intriguing and scary and I love to read horrors just to see if they can actually scare me! We shall see!

Published: 6th November 2014

The Secret Gift – Ian Somers (Unsolicited) 

Unfortunately I hadn’t heard of this before it arrived and I don’t think its one thats really for me. It is also the third in a series which I haven’t read so I’m not convinced I will get round to it any time soon… I may have to find a new home for this one.

Published: 29th September 2014

Winters Bullet – William Osborne 

Another William Osborne war story which sounds amazing. I loved Hitler’s Angel and I hope this one is just as awesome as that was. Thanks Chicken House for sending this over!

Published: 2nd October 2014

Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell 

This sounds creepy and just look at that cover! I love horror books and when I heard Stripes were creating a horror imprint I knew I needed to give it a go. This sounded like the best on their list so I requested it and I can’t wait to curl up on a cold winters night reading it! Thanks Stripes!

Published: 5th January 2015

Circus of the Unseen – Joanne Owen 

Another creepy book with an awesome cover! This is set in a Russian Circus I believe which is something I have never read about before. It looks as creepy as it sounds and I really couldn’t stop myself from asking for it for review. It’s taken a lot of willpower not to rip it open and start reading since it arrived yesterday afternoon but I have another book that needs finishing first! Thanks Hot Key for this one too!

Published: 6th November 2014

Borrowed: 

Beastly – Alex Flinn 

Summer in February – Jonathan Smith 

Why We Took The Car – Wolfgang Herrndorf 

These have been borrowed from my Sister who dropped them off when she came to visit. I was with her when Katie from Storytellers Inc convinced her to buy Why We Took The Car which is a German book which ha been translated and sounds really good. It apparently wasn’t what Kel expected so I am looking forward to seeing if its what I expect. Summer in February is an adult book but apparently one which I will love and as I trust her opinion I’m willing to give it a go, and as for Beastly, well I’m still not convinced as its had a lot of hype but we shall see if I enjoy it!

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No Books Allowed (#19)

No-Books-Allowed

 

Welcome to No Books Allowed. This is a new monthly feature hosted by me, used to  discuss things things in life which aren’t connected to books. This post can be used to talk about days out, music, TV, video games, films etc for all those book bloggers out there who do occasionally do stuff other than read and go to book events! The feature is usually posted on the last Thursday of the month unless that coincides with a blog tour/other book event.

October 2014

So you may have noticed a few changes around here. No where near as many as I have, trust me. October was a manic month for me and to be honest, so was September – so manic that there wasn’t even a No Books Allowed post last month!

My daily 7.30am view

This is because things have seriously changed for me over the past couple of months. First of all work has gotten ridiculously busy and I have moved to the Manchester office. unfortunately this means early mornings, later finishes and by the time I get home I just want to climb into bed. I feel like all I do at the minute is work and sleep!

 

I took some time to myself, and spent time with my lovely boyfriend and friends and family over the past few months instead of reading and its been nice but I do miss curling up on the couch with a good book. Because of this Readaraptor hasn’t been updated as much as it should have been and I took the downtime to rejig the site and move it over to wordpress. I hope you like it!

I have been watching some awesome TV shows with the Mr too, like The Leftovers – which I keep recommending to anyone who will listen! – Our Zoo – which is a must watch if you haven’t already! – and the new series of The Walking Dead. I am loving the new Walking Dead episodes and they are making me want to get back into the graphic novels so expect them soon!

baby-scan

Thank you so much to Mike for this! Hehe

As some of you may well have noticed (a lot of you actually, thanks for your tweets and instagram and Facebook comments!) there’s another reason why I have been so out of the loop with books the past couple of months, and why I wanted to keep quiet about everything non-booky! I found out right at the beginning of September that I’m having an ickle baba! I am so, so stupidly excited about it and I am looking forward to May 2015 soon much! I am already planning the nursery and there may have been some dinosaur purchases already been made, which won’t surprise you! I am very much a preperation is everything kinda girl when it comes to my life and I like to know everything in advance so I am very glad this was planned and I now have the next 6 and a half months to plan everything!

I won’t be using Readaraptor to talk about Baby G very much as such. I want to blog about pregnancy and baby stuff but he or she will feature on a new subdomain I am in the process of sorting out. It will be linked to Readaraptor but the following system should be separate so if you aren’t interested then you should be ok just following this one!

Anyway, now that I don’t want to just shout that from the rooftops with every non-bookish post there will be more talking about TV shows and games and other stuff each and every month, until you get bored of them! Thanks for stopping by!

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