Friday, 31 October 2014

Books And Their Theme Songs - Volume 26

Happy Halloween! Before we go into the music for the past 2 months reads, let me throw this song at you...

Now we have that out of the way... ONTO THE MUSIC!!!

DAY 21 by Kass Morgan
"Bring On The Wonder" by Susan Enan

"I Caught Myself" by Paramore, "Love is a Camera" by Sophie Ellis Bextor, "Figure 8" by Ellie Goulding, "Black Star" by Eliza Lumley & "Only Love Can Hurt Like This" by Paloma Faith

"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by Kelly Clarkson

"Dreams of Gods and Monsters" by Lana Del Ray (BBC Eastenders Cut)

FRAIL MORTAL HEART (Advance Chapter Sampler) by Zoe Marriott
"Satellite Heart" by Anya Marina

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


I'm not sure how this happened but I was invited to got to a special event via Walker Books in connection with Zoe Marriott.

In case you are not aware, I ADORE Zoe's The Name of the Blade trilogy. So, of course, I had to go to get titbits! ANY INFORMATION WOULD DO!

So, last Saturday, I went to London and it was a weird day from the word go as, walking through a train station to get to the London Underground, I walked past Rob Lloyd Jones (author of Wild Boy - another Walker Book that I LOVE!). But as I wasn't sure if it was him and I didn't want to make myself look like a fool infront of a stranger, I tweeted Rob to check and - yep. It was him.

Damn it.

After meeting Luna from Luna's Little Library (who has lent me a book and dragged me into an awesome charity bookshop [the same that Stevie from SableCaught took me to! Completely forgot its existence!] and made me buy 3 books that sound interesting), we went to Walker Books to meet Zoe and other book bloggers I haven't seen in AGES! I missed you all and we need to meet up more often!

Zoe and everyone at Walker Books were lovely as we talked about Zoe's inspiration, Japanese mythology (something I really want to read more about!) and future novel ideas. Maybe. All of which sounded exciting and awesome. Laura from SisterSpooky and I got very excited over one idea which I hope does get written!

And while Walker very kindly offered mugs of tea (in Where's Wally? mugs), sandwiches and chocolate cake, Zoe read a tiny scene from the third and final book in the Name of the Blade trilogy, Frail Mortal Heart. And I think we were either clapped when she finished, shouted at her to keep reading or sat there in stunned silence, I can't remember.

And then, Zoe revealed the cover for Frail Mortal Heart. And Walker have sent a high-def photo to us to show on the blog, hence why I didn't write this Saturday night/Sunday. I wanted it here to show you! (Will keep you waiting for a paragraph or two. Hang in there!)

After that, Zoe were very kind to sign books (I had to get her to sign my copies of Name of the Blade. I'm sorry, but I HAD to!) and Walker very kindly offered some of her books to us. Which is lovely as I have plans to try and read at least ONE of Zoe's books. I hope it will be Shadows on the Moon. Well, I've told people I will have that read by Christmas and they will tell me off if I don't, but I hope to read that and one other before my next blog break!

Before I reveal the cover of Frail Mortal Heart, I just want to say thank you to Walker Books for inviting me to this event. Thank you for Zoe for reading, answer questions and making me both love/hate her. Thank you to all the bloggers who turned up - it's been so long! And thank you to Rob who I was too afraid to say hi to. Next time...

Anyway, the cover of Frail Mortal Heart. Are we ready? Three, two, one...


But yes, I can not WAIT to read this! But July 2015 is SO FAR AWAY!!! And because of this, all the bloggers who came to the event was given an advance chapter sampler of the very first chapter in this book.

I won't read it. I won't. I - SOD IT! AM READING IT.

*reads advance chapter sampler*

I hate myself.

Monday, 27 October 2014

GoodRead - The Testing

After reading The Guest Cat over a very short period of time (while I was away of holiday), I asked Twitter if I should read this or if I should read The Bone Season. Twitter, to my surprise, told me to read The Testing. Whenever I ask Twitter to pick my next read, you guys always surprise me...

Every year, the United Commonwealth invites the top students from each colony to take part in The Testing. If you are successful, you go onto University and, after that, help the Government rebuild the war-stricken world. If you failed... best not thinking about.

Cia Vale is one of the successful students going to take part in The Testing. But her father gives her one warning - Trust No One. And what Cia sees within The Testing will change her...

This book is a bit of mixed bag. While I liked reading it, I saw real issues with it and, because of these, it makes it hard to warm to the book.

I liked the idea of this story and the series - the idea of education becoming more lethal - and I know that the second and third books in this trilogy are better than this first book from several reviews I have read.

But, I hate to say this, the execution of this idea is lacking. I'm not sure if it's how the main character, Cia, told the story or the packing of the story. There were times where information was thrown in a paragraph to speed things along (when it might have been more interesting to read the characters talking about the same information). Also, with the four Tests that took part in The Testing, the first 3 test took part within the first 40% but the last test took part in, roughly, the last 40-45%.

What worse is that, at times, I couldn't help but compare to The Hunger Games. Which you should never do, as The Hunger Games isn't the be-all and end-all of YA dystopia novels, but when you have something so successful, you can't help but compare. And at times, you couldn't help but wonder if, because The Hunger Games was so successful, someone wanted something similar and wanted to publish it quickly and The Testing was what was written.

But, like I said before, I know from other book reviewers/vloggers that the series does improve and I do have Independent Study and Graduation Day on my kindle (all 3 of these books are 99p at the moment! BARGAIN!) so I will continue the series. But I don't think that this book is a great book to start a trilogy with.

SMILE - Imagination Encircles The World

Like with last week's SMILE, I saw this quote randomly in May and I wanted to share it with you! So, TA-DAH!!!

My thanks goes to Pinterest as this was the best picture I could find with this quote so THANK YOU PINTEREST!

Ok, the drill. I am on Pinterest so if you want to follow any of my boards (SMILE, Winter, Stories Read In 2014, Love, etc), go to and follow them all or the boards you want to.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

GoodRead - A New York Christmas

Ok, I am writing this blogpost in September, but I think I shall post this near the UK publication date so end of October, which means I am breaking my own rule of writing review when I finished the book and airing it when it's written. Oh well!

Jemima Pitt arrives in New York. The year is 1904. She's there to chaperone her friend, Delphinia, across the ocean to marry one of New York's richest men. But when Jemima discovers a secret that could ruin the wedding, she tries to protect her friend.

And it backfires. Soon, Jemima has to prove her innocence in an unfamiliar city...

I requested this from BookBridgr on impulse. Plus, was going through a phase where I wanted to read Christmas reads and was requesting them (this was my third, if I remember correctly) and I thought this would be a light, cozy read.

Which it was. It's a novella that I can imagine fans reading on Christmas Day after Christmas lunch and the Queen's Speech to past the time before the Christmas edition of Strictly Come Dancing or Downton Abbey started.

However, while I liked it, I sense this novella wasn't for me. I love a good cozy murder mystery (remember, I own two DVDs of Murder, She Wrote - DON'T JUDGE ME!), but it was a tad too cozy for my tastes. I feel that this story was aimed for an older target audience rather than someone in their late twenties.

But, it was a different read for me, and I always like to try something new. And while it has started to get me in the mood for Christmas (I hate Halloween so am ignoring that holiday!) and I wanted something fast to read before I dare tackle a beast of a book (which I sense I have reviewed already... hopefully...), this story just wasn't my cup of mulled wine.

Monday, 20 October 2014

SMILE - Imperfection is Beauty

I saw this somewhere and I have always found it such a cool quote, so I wanted to share it with you!

My thanks goes to Pinterest for the best pic I could find with this quote.

If you want to follow all my boards on Pinterest, go to Or, if you only just want to follow my SMILE board, go to

Thursday, 16 October 2014

GoodRead - The Guest Cat

I was meant to have this week off. This was meant to be a tiny RSM - my "radio silence" blog break. But I read this very quickly. Within 3 to 4 days so I thought I would quickly type this review up and then do the horror of "Picking My Next Read" (I shall ask Twitter to pick!).

In this translation, we follow a couple who rent a small cottage in the quiet side of Tokyo, who work as freelance writers. One day, a cat walks into their garden. After spending most of the day there, the cat's leave but returns the next day. And the following day. And the day after that. Soon, tiny joys that this cat brings towards this couple, and bring this couple closer together. And then something happens that changes all that. 

Now, because I read this on holiday, I can only really see this as a holiday read. I found this an easy read and the language used was simple yet there were times the writing was very beautiful. You can tell that Takashi Hiraide is a poet. His use of language is simple yet effective. You know he took time writing this story. 

However, because I read this while on holiday, it was an easy read and there was a few times I did wonder about the couple and the cat (I had cats in my life so I know that cats, while loving creatures, are only loyal to the person who feeds them. I know some cats that have food from several "owners"... don't ask), and there were paragraphs where it did feel like I was reading a translation because it felt "jarring" to read. 

It was a nice holiday read that I liked, so I sense some of you guys will love and some of you will hate. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Magnus Bane Quote Vote!

Also, you can have a look at in the coming dates for the sixteen quotes and watching them battle it out for the next few weeks! 

SMILE - What on Earth Am I Doing Here On This Beautiful Day?!

My thanks goes to Calvin and Hobbes (Not heard of them? GO! GO NOW!!!) and, of course, Pinterest!

If you want to follow all my boards on Pinterest, go to Or, if you only just want to follow my SMILE board, go to

Sunday, 12 October 2014

GoodRead - Last Days in Hunting Camp

As you guys are probably aware that I love The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Love it! So last Thursday, when I discovered by fluke, that there was a small eNovella linked to the character within the Snow Child, I instantly bought it (even though I am meant to be saving money).

Every year in their long marriage, Walt and Millie spend a month apart. Walt goes hunting for bear and moose while Millie takes to the concert stage with her violin. Throughout this month, they write letters to each other every week. But Walt begins to realise that this might be his last camping trip, and with a black bear prowling round the camp site, Walt begins to wonder if the letter he's written in his pocket will ever react Millie...

Ok, I am going to admit this here and now. I had my expectations of this short story REALLY HIGH because I loved The Snow Child. Because of this, Last Days in Hunting Camp didn't live up to my expectation. I'm not sure if it is because I had high expectations, if the story felt different compared to my memory of The Snow Child or if it's because there was the use of swear words (only twice, if I remember right) whereas I'm certain The Snow Child didn't.

But I did like it. It was interesting to have more insight into these characters's world before the events of The Snow Child and I did enjoy Eowyn's writing.

While this might not live up to the memory of the quietly beautiful Snow Child, it does get me excited for Eowyn's next novel, which should be out sometime next year (hopefully)...

Friday, 10 October 2014

GoodRead - Dreams of Gods and Monsters

As you guys are probably aware, I am a fan of this series. I liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone, loved Days of Blood and Starlight and I devoured Night of Cakes and Puppets. So, of course, I had to get my hands on a copy of Dreams of Gods and Monsters when it came out back in April. I got one of the special first editions that was signed and had a drawing (by the author) of Karou. 

So, why have I waited to review it now? Because I was just swamped with books. And it's size! I got scared by its size and, also, I had The Fear. The series was such a good urban fantasy that I was scared that, somehow, the final book in this series wouldn't live up to the hype. 

So, I held off. And then, the lovely Fliss from Midas (working on behalf of asked if I wanted an audiobook version of this and I said no. Then changed my mind. And Fliss was very kind to send me a credit to download the audiobook. 

Now, before I go, I would like to make clear that I only listened to under half of the audiobook and I read the rest. I have reasons which I will get to, but bear with me. 

In this, the final book in the series, Jael's forces have made their way to Earth. Pretending to be holy angels, they are playing on religion and the fears of the humans to get weapons to crush his enemies once and for all. 

But for Karou and Akiva are going to stop. Or die trying. They must ally their enemy armies to defeat Jael. It's a twisted version of their dream from previous life. But Jael isn't the only threat... 

Now, let me explain why I only listened to under the audiobook. It took me over a month or so to get to that point. I stopped because of two reasons. The first was the last chapter I listened to, a section was missing. I think this was because of the download or the file got corrupt on my laptop/iPhone. The second reason, and the most important, was that there were times when the audiobook didn't follow the text within the book. It wasn't a big deal when it was a sentence of a slang/saying. But in one chapter, a paragraph was added. Out of nowhere. Which makes me think the audiobook is read from the US edition rather than the UK edition... 

And with reader of the audiobook - Kristen Hvan. I liked her voice - it fitted well with Laini's writing style. Though it did take me a while to get use to Kristen's voices from Zuzana and Mik - well, they are my favorite characters and, when I first heard them, I thought Kristen was having a laugh! 

Now, my thoughts of this book. I really liked it. I didn't love it like Night of Cakes and Puppets and Days of Blood and Starlight, but I really enjoyed it. I liked the fact that we had the new character, Eliza - a character who became a fave of mine very quickly (although not as much as Zuzana and Mik. Who, while reading this book, I was scared that Laini was going to kill off! If she did, I'm not sure I could forgive her...). And with the plot and twists, I liked how this book ended the series. 

I can completely get why there are some people that didn't like it. Some people will say the ending was too open-ended (which means that Laini could return to this world), certain characters never really got their just-dessert... 

But I enjoyed myself once I got into my stride (which was when I actually read the book), and I'm quite excited to read more from Laini Taylor's pen. 

GoodRead - The Lady Astronaut of Mars

I read this earlier in the week but only just now have time to write a tiny review for this short eNovella. The story is part of anthology where each story takes the opening line/character from a "classic" but put it into a sci-fi setting. This story takes the opening line of Wizard of Oz.

Just so you know, you can read this story for free on or you can pay 36p on Amazon Kindle so either way, you can read this story for less that 50p. BARGAIN!!!

Sixty-three year old Elma is offered her dream - one last mission in space. It will be a three year-long mission. But there's a problem. Her husband, Nathaniel, has barely a year to live.

So, this a short sci-fi story that isn't sci-fi.

For a story that's inspired by the opening line of Wizard of Oz, we see very little of Dorothy, but we focus of the story/marriage of Elma and Nathaniel and I found this the main reason why I stream through this short story within an hour.

It's a sweet, yet sad and I feel you guys will enjoy this tale that will make you look at the stars (and your grandparents) in a slightly different way...

Monday, 6 October 2014


UKYA Award

Hello Everyone!

Today I (along with a ton of UKYA book bloggers!) are here to announce the winners of the Book Blogger UKYA Awards!

Before I do so, however, the Powers behind the Book Blogger UKYA Awards just want to send out a quick thank you to every single person who nominated and voted.

They also want to take another minute to thank all of the wonderful bloggers who helped out.

But now onto what you're all really here for...

The Winners!!!


Funniest Book3 Best First Sentence1
Best Ending1 Most Heart-Breaking3
best contemporary1 best historical1
Best Crime-Mystery1 Best LGBT1
Best Horror1 Best Paranormal1
Best Sci-Fi-Fantasy1 Best Adventure1
Best Protagonist1 Best Friendship1
Best Couple1 Best Villain1
Best Self Published3 Most Social Author Online3
Most Social Author Offine Author Whose Mind You Wish Was Yours2


Sunday, 5 October 2014

GoodRead - The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher

The lovely Fliss from Midas PR asked me a few weeks back if there was any audiobooks on that I would like to listen to for review. Two audiobooks caught my eye and, on a whim, asked if I could review them. The first was A Slip of the Keyboard by Terry Pratchett and the second was The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel.

Both of these caught my eye as both authors I know very little about, both books were in genres I don't normally read in (Terry Pratchett is a collection of non-fiction essays while Hilary Mantel is a collection of short stories) and I wanted to read something grown up. Something completely outside my comfort reading zone. And Fliss very kindly gave me audiobook copies of both these (so thank you Fliss). I shall starting listening to A Slip of the Keyboard in a few days time but I wanted to dive straight into this one because of all the drama surrounding this book.

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher is a collection of ten short stories: Sorry to Disturb, Comma, The Long QT, Winter Break, Harley Street, Offences Against the Person, How Shall I Know You?, The Heart Fails Without Warning, Terminus and The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher.

My thoughts of this collection... well... I'm disappointed and frustrated. Which is really sad as I really wanted to like this. I was really excited to start listening to this collection, but as each story went on, I found myself getting frustrated and, at times, quite angry at the stories.

I felt that, with each story, it had an interesting idea. However, the execution of each story always missed the mark. Plus, each story felt like it needed more pages or, in the case of The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, a page or two less.

Another problem I had was the audiobook read, Jane Carr. I never warmed to her voice. There were times, I felt the urge to turn the audiobook off because the way she read the story really annoyed me.

One huge problem I had was how certain issues were tackled. In one short story, The Heart Fails Without Warning, a sensitive issue was tackled but, in my opinion, it was tackled with the respect or care it deserved. Instead, it was tackled quite harshly and it felt to me that this story was written by the author, not because she wanted to raise awareness about it, but because she wanted to show that she could write a shocking moment in a extremely shocking way. It felt, dare I say it, as if she wrote it to boost her writing ego.

I have recorded a review of this on the BookishBrits channel, which I hope will air in the near future, in which I try to understand my reactions and feelings towards this, but this wasn't for me. I know there are people out there who will love this collection of short stories but, sadly, this collection wasn't for me and I think I might not try Hilary Mantel again for quite a while...