{Aside} Rating On Goodreads Before You’ve Read It.

A brilliant post about something that has been annoying me for a while now. Also the reason why I don’t read the reviews of books on goodreads before reading the book myself!

Book ★ Bastion

Fair Warning: Unpopular Opinions Incoming!

I’ve been debating writing this post for quite some time now. I’ve titled it “Unpopular Opinions” for a reason. I’m fully expecting this to spark a bit of discussion and yes, disagreements, but given that we’re all civilized people with strong opinions that are all worthy of merit, I felt more and more compelled to share my thoughts.

I wanted to talk today about the state of Goodreads; in particular a disturbing trend I’ve been witnessing of people maliciously rating books before they’ve actually read them.

For the record, I also take issue with people rating upcoming books that they’re looking forward to 5 stars before the book has even been published, but that’s really not what I want to focus on here. Yes, that equally skews the ratings of any book, but I think it’s more pressing that we talk about the…

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Review: ‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ by Emily Barr

‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ by Emily Banks

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Blurb: The most unforgettable book of the year!Memento meets Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything in thisbreathtaking page-turner about a girl with no short-term memory and her remarkable journey, against all odds, to find the one boy able to penetrate her fractured mind.
Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.
With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway the land of the midnight sun determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.
A remarkable and powerful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the mind against all logic.”

Review: ‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ by Emily Barr is one of the books I managed to get my hands on during this summers YALC 2016, but I haven’t a chance to read it until now.
When I eventually started this book, I had no idea what it was about and went in totally blind. It turned out to be a brilliantly unique reading experience!
Flora Banks has a broken memory and is living her life sheltered, with notes on her arm, her notebook and literally everywhere to get by, day by day. As the story is told from her point of view, we constantly get repetitions of what happened in previous chapters due to her reading and rereading her notes throughout the book. It also made it difficult to know what other people’s intentions were and who Flora could trust. Slowly we learn about her past, what happened to her and I just couldn’t help getting emotional while reading and cheering her on through her adventures. There are some twists that I did not see coming and i was hooked to the last page. Flora is a lovely character and she will certainly stay with me for a while! Definitely recommended!

This book on Goodreads

Expected publication: January 12th 2017 by Penguin


Stacking the Shelves ~20th November 2016

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This week I have added six books to my shelves!


‘Hamilton – The Revolution’ 

This book is actually going to be my Christmas present this year and I am having a really hard time keeping my hands off it until then!

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Blurb: Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country’s origins for a diverse new generation.

HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages–“since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda–traces its development from an improbable perfor­mance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.

Their account features photos by the renowned Frank Ockenfels and veteran Broadway photographer, Joan Marcus; exclusive looks at notebooks and emails; interviews with Questlove, Stephen Sond­heim, leading political commentators, and more than 50 people involved with the production; and multiple appearances by Presi­dent Obama himself. The book does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don’t throw away their shot.


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‘An Almond for a Parrot’ by Wray Delaney

I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of this book earlier this year and enjoyed it immensely and I couldn’t resist to get myself the finished hardback when I spotted it at work this week!

My Review

Blurb: I would like to make myself the heroine of this story and my character to be noble – an innocent victim led astray. But alas sir, I would be lying…

Tully Truegood: Orphan, Magician’s apprentice, Whore.

In prison, accused of murder, Tully begins to write her life story. A story that takes her from a young daughter-skivvy in the back streets of 18th Century London to her stepmother Queenie’s Fairy House – a place where decadent excess is a must…

Trained by Queenie to become a courtesan, and by Mr Crease – a magician who sees that Tully holds similar special powers to his own – together they make Tully the talk of the town.

But as Tully goes on a journey of sexual awakening, she falls in love with one of her clients and the pleasure soon turns to pain. Especially when the estranged husband she was forced to marry by her father suddenly seeks her out. Now Tully is awaiting her trial for murder, for which she expects to hang…and her only chance of survival is to get her story to the one person who might be able to help her.


‘Lyrebird’ by Cecelia Ahern

Blurb: Life is in two parts: who you were before you met her, and who you are after.

A documentary crew discover a mysterious young women living alone in the mountains of West Cork. Strikingly beautiful she has an extraordinary talent for mimicry, like the famous Australian Lyrebird. The crew, fascinated, make her the subject of her story, and bestow the nickname upon her.

When they leave, they take Lyrebird with them back to the city. But as she leaves behind her peaceful life to learn about a new world, is she also leaving behind a part of herself? For her new friend Solomon the answer isn’t clear. When you find a rare and precious thing, should you share it – or protect it…


‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ by Kerri Maniscalco

I am so excited about this book and so happy to finally have it in my hands!

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Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.


‘How Much the Heart Can Hold’

This lovely book was sent to me by Hodder & Stoughton.

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Blurb: ‘No one has measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.’
Zelda Fitzgerald

Love is not a singular concept.

In this collection, seven award-winning authors explore seven concepts of love: from Philautia, self-love, to Agape, love for humanity; and from Storge, a natural affection for family, to Mania, a frenzied, obsessive love.

Seven authors; seven short stories; seven flashes of love.


‘Nemesis’ by Anna Banks

This is the book from this months Fairyloot Box! Looking forward to finding out what it is all about!

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Blurb: Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora’s gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?


Stacking the Shelves ~ 13th November 2016

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Thank you to Charlotte C. at Macmillan Children’s Books for sending me this book! I am really excited to start reading this! 

‘Heartless’ by Marissa Meyer

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Blurb: Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Expected publication: February 9th 2017 by Macmillan Children’s Books

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Stacking the Shelves ~ 9th October 2016

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This week, I have received 3 pre orders, bought one book in my local bookshop and had one sent to me by the publisher!


‘Six of Crows’ Duology Set by Leigh Bardugo

Pre ordered this a while ago when they first announced this and it finally arrived! Can’t wait to read ‘Crooked Kingdom’!


‘The Hobbit’ – Facsimile First Edition

I pre ordered this edition years ago, but the release date constantly got pushed back, but now it’s finally here!

‘This sumptuous gift set includes a replica of the very rare first edition of The Hobbit, the only edition where one can now read the original version of the story before Tolkien re-edited it to become the one enjoyed by readers since 1951.

The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937, with a print run of 1,500 copies. With a beautiful cover design, nearly a dozen black & white illustrations and two black & red maps by the author himself, the book proved to be popular and was reprinted shortly afterwards. History was already being made.

The scarcity of the first edition has resulted in copies commanding huge prices, way beyond the reach of most Tolkien fans. In addition, subsequent changes to the text – particularly those to chapter 5, when Tolkien decided in 1947 to revise the text to bring it better into accord with events as they were developing in its ‘sequel’, The Lord of the Rings – mean that the opportunity to read the book in its original form and format has become quite difficult.

This special printing reprints the first edition, so that readers of all ages – not just ‘children between the ages of 5 and 9’, as Rayner Unwin famously declared in his report on the original submission – can finally enjoy Tolkien’s story as it originally appeared.’


‘Midnight Star’ by Marie Lu

Another pre order. The third instalment in ‘The Young Elites’ series. Excited to see how Adelina’s story will end!

‘The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu.

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina’s story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series.’


‘Love Song’ by Sophia Bennett

Since I have read ‘Songs About A Girl’ by Chris Russell, I keep hearing about this book. So when I found it while looking around my local bookshop, I had to buy it. Can’t wait to dive in!

‘A million girls would kill for the chance to meet The Point, but Nina’s not one of them.

She’s the new assistant to the lead singer’s diva fiancée, and she knows it’s going to suck. She quickly learns that being with the hottest band on the planet isn’t as easy as it looks: behind the scenes, the boys are on the verge of splitting up. Tasked with keeping an eye on four gorgeous but spoiled rock stars, Nina’s determined to stick it out – and not fall for any of them …

The new novel from the popular and highly-acclaimed author of You Don’t Know Me, The Look, and the Threads series.’


‘Dear Charlie’ by N.D Gomes

Thank you to Cara Thompson at HQ Young Adult for sending me a copy to read and review on my blog!

‘Death should never meet the young. But it did. Thanks to my brother, death made fourteen new friends that day. Maybe even fifteen, if you count Charlie.

At sixteen, Sam Macmillan is supposed to be thinking about girls, homework and his upcoming application to music college, not picking up the pieces after the school shooting that his brother Charlie committed.

Yet as Sam desperately tries to hang on to the memories he has of his brother, the media storm surrounding their family threatens to destroy everything. And Sam has to question all he thought he knew about life, death, right and wrong.’


The Happy Book Club ~ October Package

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The Happy Book Club ~ October Package

Last monty I was lucky and won one of the Happy Book Clubs subscription package. It arrived today and it’s so cute!

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This month’s Theme is Imagination! 

Both books supplied in this package are a perfect fit for this months theme and I am already looking forward to sharing them with my niece and nephew.

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‘The Wonder’ by Faye Hanson

This is a story about a boy whose head is always full of wonder. We follow him on an average-seeming school day, where his daydreams transform the world around him. Unfortunately lots of other people – the park keeper, the bus driver, the lollipop lady – all tell him to get his head out of the clouds. It is only in art class that he realises he can bring the wonder out of his head for the whole world to enjoy.

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‘Use Your Imagination’ by Nicola O’Byrne

Rabbit is bored. What shall he do? Luckily, Wolf has the perfect solution. “Why not write a story?” he suggests. Rabbit thinks this is a great idea! And so Wolf teaches Rabbit to use his imagination to create the perfect story with lots of exciting props and interesting characters. Rabbit is desperate to know what happens next when it suddenly becomes clear that Wolf is very hungry —uh-oh, so that’s how the story ends. But Wolf hasn’t reckoned on Rabbit’s excellent imagination. . . .

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The package also includes some activity suggestions and and a little bag of crafts. Make something creative out of it and be in to win a prize!

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All together a lovely package and  I will definitely order more in the future!

The Happy Book Club Website:

http://www.thehappybookclub.co.uk/


Stacking the Shelves ~ 11th September 2016 ~

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This week, I have added a total of 8 books to my shelf. Two I have found in our local Bookshop, two were prizes in a Giveaway, one I was approved for through NetGalley and the other three I have purchased online.


I was really excited this week because I have finally completed my ‘History of Middle Earth‘ Series when I found a matching copy of ‘The War of the Ring‘. Another addition to my Tolkien collection is an older edition of ‘The Fellowship of the Ring‘ which I found in our local Bookshop.

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Another book I have found in our local Bookshop this week is this…

‘Vicious’ by V.E. Schwab

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Blurb: Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?


On NetGalley I have been approved for this book, which first caught my eye because of the beautiful cover…

‘Gilded Cage’ by Vic James

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Blurb:

starred review – Publishers Weekly “Brisk plotting, sympathetic characters, and plenty of intrigue will keep readers on the edges of their seats, eager for the next book in a very promising series.”

For readers of Victoria Aveyard and George RR Martin comes a darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule and commoners are doomed to serve.

NOT ALL ARE FREE.
NOT ALL ARE EQUAL.
NOT ALL WILL BE SAVED.

Our world belongs to the Equals—aristocrats with magical gifts—and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

Expected publication: January 26th 2017 by Pan Macmillan


And of course I received my copies of the Throne of Glass Colouring Book and ‘Empire of Storms‘! I can’t wait to start colouring and also diving into the book once I caught up with the rest of the series!

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Lastly, I was lucky to win a giveaway on Twitter and received my prize this week. Signed editions of ‘Rebel of the Sands’ and ‘The Bone Season’. 

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