Tuesday, 30 June 2015

See You In August!


As I warned you at the beginning of this month, July is going to be my month off. 

Well, next month is July so I will be taking my blog holiday from tomorrow till the end of the month. I will be back every now and then as I sense I will be breaking my holiday due to be doing some blog tours or just because I want to annoy you all with surprise blog posts! 

I will be very active on Twitter and Pinterest, so please check me out at https://twitter.com/PewterWolf13 and at https://www.pinterest.com/pewterwolf/.

I will, also, be at YALC on Sunday 19th. Not sure where I will be, but I will be taking part in a panel that takes place from 12:30pm to 1:15pm. So, you want to know about Blogging 101, come along! Will be fun to see you! 

Nervous? Me? Heavens no! 


Ok, am terrified! But you know what, it's going to be an experience! 

Anyway, I am going away now. But shall leave you with this pic...


See you in August!!!

Monday, 29 June 2015

Books And Their Theme Songs - Volume 30

30 BLOGPOSTS LINKED TO MUSIC I LISTEN TO WHILE I READ! 30!!! The same number as my age (say nothing! I AM STILL YOUNG ON THE INSIDE!!!)

Anyway, before I take my RSM, I am going to share my reading music for the past two months. I hope you like and I feel the urge to apologise for these choices. I'm not sure why I'm apologise, but I feel I should...

Anyway, let's get the music playing, shall we?



THE HEIR by Kiera Cass
"How To Be A Heartbreaker" by Marina and the Diamonds


SPEAKING IN BONES by Kathy Reichs
"Can't Deny My Love" by Brandon Flowers


ONE by Sarah Crossan
"Breath (2am)" by Anna Nalick (& cover of song by Kelly Clarkson), "A Cold Wind Will Blow Through Your Door" by Bill Ricchini (Also, Dolly Parton - if you've read the book, you understand why...)




THOR: THE GODDESS OF THUNDER
"White Lightening" by Rogue Traders


THE ART OF BEING NORMAL by Lisa Williamson
"War Paint" by Kelly Clarkson (As side songs, "The Outsider" by Marina and the Diamonds & "1000 Stars" by Natalie Bassingthwaighte)




Friday, 26 June 2015

JK Rowling News!


It's been a busy few months for JK Rowling. And it's going to get busier for her. 

As we all know, JK Rowling released Very Good Lives earlier this year and she also wrote the script for the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, which will be staring Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston. She will also be the producer for the film, which is rumour to be released next year. 

Plus, later this year, she will be releasing the third book in her Cormoran Strike series, Career of Evil, under the pen-name, Robert Galbraith. And publishers round the world will be releasing an illustrated edition of her debut, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in October 2015. 

But this week, two new bits of information has come out which means JK Rowling fans are going to be extra busy! 

The first is Harry Potter Book Night. Earlier this year, the UK Publisher, Bloomsbury, organised a Harry Potter Book Night to celebrate the books. Over 10,500 parties and celebrations were thrown round the world. Because of this huge success, Bloomsbury is doing it again! on the night of 4th February 2016, fans will come together again to celebrate their love of all things Potter. 

If you want to be involved, check out the Harry Potter Book Night website at www.harrypotterbooknight.com or you can use the hashtag #HarryPotterBookNight on Twitter. 

The second news was only just released today! Today, 18 years ago, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published in the UK. But, also, JK Rowling announced on Twitter that she has written a play. Not just any play. A Harry Potter plan! 

Of course, the Internet freaked out (with the wonderful news about Love in the USA). 



It has been long rumoured that this was happening. But this is the first time it has, to my knowledge, been confirmed and the fact we have quite a few details about it. It is called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (sounds like a Doctor Who episode title, doesn't it?) and it won't be a prequel. It will be shown in London's Palace Theatre next year and you can look up all the details (and join the email list for ticket information) at http://www.harrypottertheplaylondon.com

One of the interesting titbits of news I read/heard about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is that there will be music by Imogen Heap. Now, as a sidenote, I love Imogen Heap and her music. But in one music video, she is seen using an instrument called the Mi.Mu Gloves where a high tech glove is being created to control music and visual art via movement. Now, I can't help and wonder if these gloves will be used...

You never know. For more info on the Mi.Mu Gloves, go to http://mimugloves.com/ or you can watch this video of Me The Machine by Imogen Heap below.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

GoodRead - The Art of Being Normal

Ok, this book has been in my TBR pile since the beginning of the year. And before that, I was excitedly await this book's release. It got so much online buzz and I wanted to read it. Took me a while, but my local Waterstones finally got them and I bought the last copy they had.

And then, for some reason, I didn't read it. No idea why. I just... well, didn't. Then Bookish Brits made it this month's Book Club group. And, for once, I actually had this book to hand. And I wanted to read it! BONUS!!!

David has secret. People see his as an outsider, a gay guy still hiding in the closet, a freak. Only his best friends know the truth: David wants to be a girl.

On his first day at a new school, all Leo wants to be is invisible. Bit hard when the most beautiful girl in Year 11 sees him. Plus, when Leo stands up for David in a fight, a unlikely friendship between the two begins, which is definitely not part of the plan.

But Leo also has a secret. And the thing about real life is... secrets come out. Both secrets are going to come out... one way or the other...

Now, before I go any further, I want to say that this is an important book. This is the first real book I have read that tackles the issue of transgender, and this has become an important issue in the past few months. So to have a book in easy access that tackles this subject matter and tackles it with care and respect is very important!

The story itself is an interesting one. In other books, this would be a book about "teens who go on a journey of self-discovery". And while this is true here, I have a horrid feeling that some people will go "This is a book about transgender." There will see that one word and won't see the rest of - about first love, friendship, discovering who you are and respecting yourself.

This story was told in dual narrative - David and Leo. Now, with one female author writing two points of view and both male, this is going to be the big thing. But I thought Lisa got it. She got the voices to sound different enough to make the story flow.

Information was a thing that worried me. When some authors write a book and have it tackle a subject matter like this, you are judging it from the word go. You don't want it to be scandalised. You want it to be done right. With care and respect. Lisa did that, I feel. She had worked, in the past, at the Gender Identity Development Service, a specialist NHS service for young people who are struggling with their gender identity. So I felt that she knew this stuff and she was going to get it right.

I had two tiny faults. But these are me things and one of them, I get way Lisa did this.

The first was Leo. For the first 80 or so pages (till Leo stood up for David, actually), I found Leo hard work. I really disliked him. And I get why Lisa did this. Because of Leo's secret and events linked to it, Leo has put walls up. But as the book goes on, we see his walls slowly coming down. Character growth!

The second was language. Again, because of the subject matter, there were use of terms in the this book that aren't pleasant. But, they seemed on the mild side. It wasn't as dark as I thought this book was going to be. But, I get this also. Yes, words like that are used in real life, BUT this is a hopeful and positive books. We saw a character use one of these words and another character, or several, would jump in and go "No. No, that isn't on." and this is great.

While there are a few things that didn't sit well with me, I read this over the course of a long weekend. I devoured this important book and I hope this book helps someone out there. Either to better understand or to make them feel less alone.




Saturday, 20 June 2015

#WalkerFictionFest

I must sound like I lead an exciting life when I start a blog post with the term "I went to a blogger event". I don't. Am a very dull human creature. But, I was invited to a blogger event at Walker Books and, today, I was in Walker Books HQ, trying to figure out how to steal a giant hare from their reception and chatting to other bloggers/vloggers - some that I know and other I have only met today. If I chatted to you, scare me online! I would love to stalk you on Twitter and YouTube.

So, after tea, snacks and a lovely catch up, all us bloggers were whipped into a room and Walker shows us the pretty titles in the coming months. The theme to this was a music festival, to celebrate the recent release of Remix by Non Pratt (which I still need to read. I know - BLAME MY REAL LIFE!)

Now, there are loads of books I want to talk to you about. Some that I loved and made noise over and others that I have reread my notes over while at home now and gone "Actually... This sounds cool". But first, I shall talk to you about the authors who were there and other odds and ends. I have put some pics on my Twitter, some videos on Vine and I will put some other stuff up on my Facebook so check them out!

The first author to excite us was Katie Everson, who's debut novel, Drop, will be released in early August. She chatted about what it was like to get this book published and other little titbits over this book before reading a tiny snippet from the book.

The book itself will excite some of you guys who like dark contemporary. Carla has moved to London and changed schools. Again. She just wants to fit in. But when she meets the good-looking Finn and is swept into his world. A whirlwind romanic that takes a dark turn of parties and drugs. Soon, Carla's grades begin to slip and people are warning Carla to stay away from Finn.  Even Finn's brother, Isaac. But does he have an ulterior motive, and are either brother right for Carla?

Now, I never heard of this book before today (am so out of the loop), but this sounds gripping with an edge of humour. Plus, this book is getting compared Junk by Melvin Burgess. So, if you like your contemporary with grit, this is for you.

The second author to excite us is Lauren James. Her debut novel, The Next Together, is already making waves online with being one of this year's most highly anticipated novels of 2015. She talked about writing this book while studying for her Masters degree in Natural Sciences, and how this idea has been with her since her teens. After this, she read a tiny extract (I popped this on Vine), where we see one of the greatest love stories ever told: a man and his pen...

I jest, but for those of you unsure over this, The Next Together is the story of Katherine and Matthew, meeting and falling in love with each other. Only this takes place over four timelines, centuries apart. But why do Katherine and Matthew keep coming back? Why do they keep falling in love with each other and cruelly separated? Will the next together be different?

I am really excited over this book. It sounds yummy. Plus, we have been warned that this book has a lot of kissing.

The third and the final author to talk to us was Zoe Marriott, chatting about the final book in her Name of the Blade trilogy, Frail Human Heart. Chatting about the series as a whole, her future plans and answering some questions, Zoe read a tiny scene.

Now, I love this series and I know talking about this book would reveal spoilers so, here is me trying to talk without spoiling. Milo isn't having a good week. Having just banished the Goddess of Death's plague-spreading monsters, Mio doesn't think she has the emotional strength to go on. She's already lost one person she's cared about, she doesn't want to lose any one else. But she has no choice. The war between the gods is drawing closer and with hell breaking loose in London, Mio is the only thing standing in the way of apocalypse. Her and her sword. But will it be enough?

We also had two designers, explaining how their designed the covers of The Next Together and the new Mortal Instruments covers. I found that really interesting!

After this, we chatted about more books that Walker will be publishing in the coming months. There are a few I want to chat more about so am pick'n'mixing here.

The first is The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. Yes, I know I have already read and reviewed this but I love it and want to push it on you. Not going to talk too much about that. Nor will I about the new covers for the Mortal Instruments series. But they are very pretty - and designed by Mila Furstova, who did Coldplay's album cover, Ghost Stories.

Now, to some other books.

Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman is inspired by the true story of Thomas Benson, an eighteenth century smuggler. The story follows Caleb, who's father is wrongfully accused of theft. When he is sentenced to transportation, Caleb is alone and in danger, due to the fact he is mixed race boy, living in a era of slavery. To stay safe, he is forced to seek out his estranged aunt in Dorset. But when he is there, a boy washes up on the beach and soon, his new life and the lives of his family are put in mortal danger...

Another historical that caught my eye was 101 Pieces of Me by Veronica Bennett. Set in the era of The Great Gatsby, this follows the story of Sarah Freeboy when four seconds of her life is caught on film - 101 frames of film (aka pieces) - change her life. A producer sees her and becomes obsessed with her, desperate to have her in his next movie. Soon, Sarah is Clara Hope, living the glamorous life as a film starlet. But behind the glamour, there is a side that Sarah begin to question whether life in film is right for her...

The River and the Book by Alison Croggon is a surprise book to catch my eye. The main reason it does is because Amnesty International UK endorses this as contributing to a better understanding of human rights and the values that underpin them. In Simbala's village, there are two treasures: the River and the Book. The River is the road to their god. The Book is their history, oracle and their soul. Like the women before her, Simbala is the Keeper of the Book, finding answers within to answer the villager's questions. When the Book predicts change, Simbala thinks it's the developers who are poisoning the River. But it's not. It's when a sympathetic Westerner who causes the greatest damage...

My last is a middle grade book and, again, this is a surprise! Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans is a strange mix of Madagascar and Gladiator from Gary Northfield, the man behind The Terrible Tales of the Teenytinysaurs!. Taken from his watering hole, deep in the heart of the Serengeti, Julius Zebra and his friends are forced to gear up and be gladiators. Only when they win the love of the Romans crowds will they win their freedom. From the look of the trailer, this is going to be a laugh a minute and I can't wait.

There are more books, far too many to write up when you're trying to write up a blog post and your kitten goes insanely hyper. Yes, that is what happening at the moment. So, I shall end this post here. I must take everyone at Walker for organising this! Was a great morning! Thank you to the authors who were great with us and we cornered them and asked them questions. And yeah to the other bloggers - we need to do a real catch up soon!

But thank you. And thank you for the goodie bag. There's one or two books in here that I mentioned above that I am very excited to read and shall be starting in my month off from blogging. Thank you!

Friday, 19 June 2015

So... I Have Something To Tell You...

So... I kinda have something to tell you...

I will be at YALC this year. Not sure how it happened but yes, I shall be there! And... oh yeah... I might be on a panel.

Ok, I am on a panel. I'M GOING TO BE ON A PANEL. TALKING TO PEOPLE.

... excuse me while I try not to hyperventilate in the corner...


Not sure how that happened but yes, one day over that weekend, I will be sitting on a panel chatting about blogs. It's all very exciting! I only really asked to do this a few days ago so am in that state of "This is gonna be awesome" one moment and going "I'm gonna be s***!" the next!

And all because I won the UKYA Blogger Award. Yes, that award has come back and bitten me in the butt. As now, I have to talk to people about blogs. Trying to pass the knowledge and wisdom I have learnt to other people. People who probably know more about blogging than me, or to people who want to start blogging and  think I know some secret to blogging success...



But yes, I will be at YALC, chatting about UKYA Blogger Awards and other bloggy things.

Now, I don't have all the details as of yet so please bear with!

There should, to my knowledge at time of typing this, two panels in connection with the UKYA Bloggers Awards. The first is Blogging 101 (aka Blogging for Beginners) and the second is Taking Your Blog to the Next Level.

I should be on Blogging for Beginners/Blogging 101. I should be joined by the awesome Michelle from Tales of Yesterday and Laura from SisterSpooky (both who will be making sure I don't make a dive for the nearest exit!).

Taking Your Blog to the Next Level panel should have Lucy from Queen of Contemporary, Vivienne from Serendipity Reviews and Jim from YA Yeah Yeah.



Both these panels should be fun and chatty, but should be informative so if you are a blogger or thinking of starting a blog, you can come, make new bloggy friends, learn from our mistakes (Oh, I made LOADS!) but also get upbeat and excited about blogging.

I suddenly am feeling the pressure now. I hope I don't let the you guys down!

If you are coming to YALC and you fancying popping in on either/both panels, that would be awesome of you!

I hope you see you there!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

GoodRead - Thor: Goddess of Thunder

I am trying to get better with graphic novels. I always like looking at them in bookshops but I always feel overwhelmed by them. I'm still new to this world and each character or series has an arc and is linked to the previous storyarc.

So, kinda scary.

But Thor: The Goddess of Thunder welcomes a new era where we have a female Thor. And it's an interesting tale... I have been curious over this since the news came out. So when I saw it in Waterstones this past weekend, I picked it up and walked to the till without much of a second thought.

Thor is no longer worthy of his hammer, Mjolnir. But Mjolnir needs a companion to restore the balance between the Ten Realms. And with the dark elf, Malekith and the Frost Giants on the rise, who will lead the charge against them?

A mysterious woman who is deemed worthy...

Now, this is very interesting. It's a little different to Young Avengers: Volume One as while this is a good place to start with Thor, there are moments where it does back to previous story arcs. For example, until I read the blurb, I didn't know who had whispered to Thor which, in turn, made him unworthy of Mjolnir.

What I found interesting, story telling wise, is making Thor female. This is flipping Marvel on its headband it feels refreshing. We have two Thors fighting and coming to a point of understanding, all the while having other characters coming to terms with these turns of events. Thor's father, Odin, is furious and becomes determined to get Mjolnir back, while Thor's mother, Freyja, takes this news in her stride.

Another interesting thing I like about this is that the new Thor's identity has been kept a secret. She wears a helmet over her face and the only time her identity could have been revealed, Mjolnir returned to her. While the old Thor and other characters saying that there's something familiar about her, it hints that she is a person from the Thor history.

From what I understand, her identity will be released in Issue 8 (or Volume 2) and this is both a good thing and a worrying thing. Good as it means we warm and like this new Thor, but I am worried over whether this is a long term move, or whether this is more short-termed and, because of this, a publicity stunt.

In this volume, there are five issues and, within the first four, I really liked the art work. It was clean and smooth. But with the fifth and final issue, the art changed and it becomes jarring. It doesn't flow and, personally, I don't like this artwork. It looks oddly clay-like.

I do like this and I will read the next volume, but I wasn't 100% convinced over the artwork and the style.

Monday, 15 June 2015

GoodRead - Night School: Endgame

So, we're here. The final book in the Night School series. And if you have followed my blog for a while, you know I am a bit of fan of this series. Not sure how that happened as, when I first read the first book in the series, I was "I like this, but there are far too many loose ends for a standalone" (oh yes. I thought Night School was a standalone book) and now, I was freaking the heck out over how Night School: Resistance ended.

So when I was sent the final book in the series, Endgame, via the publishers, I was happy. At last, we're going to find out how this series was going to end. And, at the same time, I was very uncertain over it. This is the last book in the series and I, like other fans, was a little worried over these characters.

At the end of Resistance, Allie was thrown into the back of a car, shocked beyond words over the events that happened to her. Lucinda is dead. Carter is missing. And Nathaniel has won. Or has he? Allie must recover quickly if there is any hope to end this war. But first, she and Cimmeria Academy have to find Carter before ending this terrible struggle for power. And not everyone will walk away from it unscarred...

Throughout the course of this series, CJ Daugherty has this great writing style where she can write foreboding really well. You get a sense of uneasy throughout the series. But in Endgame, all that is gone. We are thrown in the action and it is all hitting the fan. And CJ can write this just as well. There are moments when I was speeding through the pages, not sure I could put the book down in case it kept speeding forward when I wasn't look.

Plus, CJ gave us character development. Now, if you are aware, in my previous posts on this series, I have said CJ can write slow burning thrillers. And it's only now I have realised that she has done the same with character development. Allie in Endgame isn't the same girl she was when we first met her in Night School. It's the same with the other characters and, because of this, their relationships with each other - friends, enemies, lovers.

There was one relationship that I suspected in Resistance, maybe even earlier in Fracture, and I was excited when I saw I was right about it and I was thrilled over how CJ handled it. No drama. And that is how it should be.

This series, at times, reminds me of The Hunger Games. Yes, I know that sounds weird, but it does. Yes, Night School is completely different to Hunger Games (one is modern day conspiracy theories while the other is dystopian), but both have the same vibe to it. And, unlike how The Hunger Games forced itself into three books, CJ was allowed to take her time to explore the themes.

Speaking of Mockingjay, I have a horrible feeling that some readers will not be happy with how CJ ended the series. Some readers might feel that it was like Mockingjay and both ended with more of a whimper rather than the bang it deserves.

But with the secret conspiracy world that these books are set, the ending does feel right somehow. Maybe that's a me thing.

I really liked this series (maybe I need to do a reread soon) and I am both excited and intrigued over CJ's next project, The Secret Fire, which is out later this year.