Tuesday, 28 May 2019

The Space Between Time

Curveball time! Why yes, it's not a post from me, but a guest blog post from Charlie Laidlaw, author of Love Potions and Other Calamities, The Things We Learn When We're Dead and his upcoming novel The Space Between Time. 

Now, this is a little hard to explain so I hope Charlie's guest post about what inspired him to write this will help and explain better but let me try...

Emma Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. Daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, her father one of the most famous film actors and her grandfather an eccentric yet obscure astrophysicist.

But Emma's life begins to unravel after several horrible events... And it's here, in this darkest moment, her psychiatrist suggest writing a memoir of her life, in the hope it makes her understand and comes to terms with everything that has happened...

I know, this is a bit of a curve ball for the Pewter Wolf, but I was intrigued and seeing as I fancy mixing things up this year on the blog, reading and posting wise...

Before I hand you over to Charlie, I want to thank you for finding time to write this post! If you want to say hi to him, check out his website - charlielaidlawauthor.com - or tweet him at @claidlawauthor. Plus, if you want more info on The Space Between Time, you can check out either Accent Press or Book Depository.

Now, over to Charlie!

Thursday, 23 May 2019

RSM

Ok, this is a bit out of the blue, I know, but I have decided to take a small blog break or RSM (Radio Silence Month as I like to call it as the first few times I did this, it was for a month but I use this now as shorthand when I need a blog break for a few weeks.)

Now, I don't think this is gonna be a month as I have no idea how long this break is going to be. And this break is a little out of the blue as I kept changing my mind of when to have it. I originally thought Easter or mid-May to co-inside with my birthday, but I kept going "I feel ok to keep going". Until a few days after my birthday, when I went "Actually, I need to go on a little break..."

I can say a number of reads - lack of time to read, the lengths of the books, money and being a grown-up - but the main reason that made me go "I need a break" is a fear I've been happening for quite some time but it came to surface when the UKYA Blogger Awards longests and shortlists nominations were announced.

Like most of you know, I came into book blogging by sheer fluke and happy accident. I have, since I started taking my book blogging seriously back in 2010, mainly read Young Adult. I love reading YA. But recently... I've noticed something the past few months... that I'm eyeing up more grown up reads and I've started to feel more comfortable and more challenged reading more adult novels.

This normally doesn't bother it (why would it? A good story is a good story, regardless of the age it's written for).

But the past few months, I feel like I'm ... how can I write this in a way that makes sense to you and myself? ... I feel like I am a YA book blogger, and yet I'm not. I feel like I am part of this wonderful YA book blogger community, and yet and on the edges and am slowly edging out.

Basically, I can't help but feel that maybe I don't exactly fit in the YA book blogging community like I used to. And that's kinda freaking me out.

In the past, this would never bother me. I would read what I like and to hell with it. But recently... I feel a little out of place with blogging. I don't want to quit, but I seem to have lost my identity a little, or I've shifted/grown-up a little in my tastes, and the Pewter Wolf needs to catch up and figure out where I fit in this book blogging community.

Or maybe I need a blog holiday to recharge.

So, that is what I am going to do! I am taking a book blogging break. I am still going to be reading and am still going to do what I have planned for the blog (the polls are on hold for a little while but keep eyes peeled on socials, all my guest post/blog tours are still gonna happen as promised) though I put hold fire on my His Fair Assassin and Inheritance Cycle Year Challenge read as I am failing beautifully on that front. But I need a recharge.

You will know when I am back properly as I will be screaming it! But bear with me for a while as I need to find my reading, then my blogging voice again... While waiting for that day, here is a gif of a cat that I saw at work a few days ago and I laughed over for nearly 15 minutes solid!

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Audiobook Review - Printer's Devil Court

  • Title And Author: Printer's Devil Court by Susan Hill
  • Publisher: Profile Books
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed by BorrowBox & Essex Libraries
  • Length: 113 Pages or 1 Hour and 42 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible
I don't understand why, after all this time and the mental note to self to not read or audiobook a Susan Hill ghost story after being disappointed with my last outings (The Man in the Picture and The Small Hand), even though I was chilled with The Woman in White back in my early days of book blogging (ta-dah to the link if you are curious). But with me wondering if I should cancel my Audible subscription due to money and seeing if Essex Libraries do really good audiobook selection. While I'm not thrilled by the selection which is really smaller than I hoped and expected, but when I saw this, I thought I would use this as an experiment. 

A mysterious little manuscript has appeared on the stepson of the late Dr Hugh Meredith. In it, he writes about a chilling events that happened years ago when he was training as a junior doctor near London's Fleet Street. Living with two other medics, they ask for his help with their research...

Friday, 17 May 2019

Mini-Reviews - Nought Forever & For Every One

Well, this is gonna screw up my Affiliates as I like to start each review with info and links (to keep as transparent as possible) but I decide to put these two together and I don't really have much to say on them but I love and hugely respect both authors but, hang on... let me get this out of the way then we can start! 
  • Title And Author: For Every One by Jason Reynolds and Nought Forever by Malorie Blackman
  • Publishers: Knights Of & Penguin respectively
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical for For Every One and eBook for Nought Forever
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 112 pages each
  • Buy For Every One From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones
  • Buy Nought Forever From: Foyles - Waterstones
Well, that was a little easier than I thought. 

Anyway... For Every One is a poem (or is a letter?) talking about the importance of going after your dreams, whatever they are. 

Whereas Nought Forever (a World Book Day short story for this year) follows Dan and Eva, two Noughts who paths cross where Dan is on the run from a ruthless gang and Eva is grieving for her daughter yet compelled to help, even though it's the last thing she wants... 

I decided to pop these together as I love and respect both these authors. And yet... these aren't for me. 

Yeah, it's a "It's not you, it's me" situation. 

For For Every One, I can see how clever, how powerful, how inspiring this poem is. I can see that. But poetry isn't a genre I am well read in and I struggled to read this and get into the flow. Plus, I have a funny feeling I read this at the wrong time for me. If I reread this in the future and in a different mood, my reaction would be very different. 

With Nought Forever, I loved the writing and the story Malorie was writing. But it ended a tad too soon for my taste. I just needed more one line. Plus, I can't escape the feeling that this was a marketing ploy by the publisher to get readers excited for the fifth instalment in the Noughts and Crosses series, Crossfire, and with the series and author having huge fan following (and the BBC is adapting and airing Noughts and Crosses later this year), his marketing ploy isn't really needed. 

Like I said, I love and respect both authors and I see how both titles affect other readers, but for me, in this moment in time, it doesn't work for me. It's very much a "Me Thing" as I sense I wasn't in the right headspace to read these so I am thinking to returning to both in the future when I am ready. Who knows - my reaction to these two in the future might be completely different! 

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Audiobook Review - Beneath The Sugar Sky

  • Title And Author: Beneath The Sugar Sky by Senan McGuire
  • Publisher: MacMillian Audio
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 176 Pages or 4 Hours 11 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Waterstones - Audible
I have been dodging listening to this instalment of the Wayward Children series, even though it has been calling me for quite some time. Main excuse I had was I didn't want to spend so much money on an audiobook which was just over 4 hours long. But when I decided that I might - MIGHT - cancel my Audible account, I knew that I would use one of my credits on this. Then I held back because I wanted to listen during the Bookemon Readathon I decided to take part in throughout May. 

With this being a direct sequel to Every Heart A Doorway (both Down Among the Sticks and Bones and In An Absent Dream being prequels), Beneath The Sugar Sky follows a character called Rini who literally fell out of the sky and splashed into a pond of Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, desperate to find her mother, Sumi. But Sumi is dead. She was murder in Every Heart's A Doorway, and now, Rini's reality is changing and slowly, she is being wiped out of existence. 

Sumi must come back to life, because Reality is going to notice that a girl that shouldn't exist is existing. It's a good thing that Rini has landed in a school where the student body is well equipped for a quest...

Ok... so... where the hell do I start with this?

Friday, 10 May 2019

eBook Review - Return To Wonderland

  • Title And Author: Return to Wonderland by Various
  • Publisher: Pan MacMillan 
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange from an honest review/reaction
  • Length: 240 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones

Though I have my issues with the original Alice in Wonderland, I am a sucker for it. I love the weirdness and the strangeness of it. I love the characters and how, no matter how many times you’ve read the book, seen the films, or anything related to it, it’s still just as odd as before. 

So, when Return to Wonderland was first announced, I did something I don’t normally do: I emailed the publisher, asking if I could have a copy for review. We chatted and exchanged info but nothing came from it, which is ok as I planned to buy this or get it from my library when it came out. Then I saw it on NetGalley and, though I have far too many books to read, I requested and, when I was approved, I decided to forgo my “Pick My Next Read” poll and read this as soon as I could (as well as Red Sister by Mark Lawerence, which I should be Buddy Reading with Luna’s Little Library and I am, currently, failing at!) 

In this collection of stories (written by - hang on, deep breath time! - Peter Bunzl, Pamela Butchart, Maz Evans, Swapna Haddow, Patrice Lawrence, Chris Smith, Robin Stevens, Lauren St John, Lisa Thompson, Piers Torday and Amy Wilson), we return to Wonderland and we ask, what happens in Wonderland without Alice? And the stories answer questions such as why does the Cheshire Cat grin so, has anyone barring Alice ever visited Wonderland, will the Mad Hatter ever host a sensible tea party and other questions…

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

eBook Review - Sanctuary

  • Title And Author: Sanctuary by V.V. James
  • Publisher: Gollancz
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction
  • Length: 320 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones

As I told you a while back, I first heard of this at the Gollancz Book Blogger/Bookseller Event and it was one of the few books that made me sit up in my chair a little straighter. The idea of a modern day witch-hunt intrigued me hugely and hearing the author V.V. James (or Vic James, author of the Guided Cage trilogy [only read the first and need to read the rest!]) chat about her research and inspiration (#MeToo movement), I knew I wanted to read thus as/when I could. So when I saw I could get my hands on the eProof of this, I requested and popped it onto one of my “Pick My Next Read” polls (yes, I suck at doing and sticking to these polls, aren’t I?), I was glad it won (though it was a real close between that and From the Wreck by Jane Rawson) 

The small town of Sanctuary, Connecticut is a perfect little town where everyone gets along. But behind perfect hides some dark secrets as Detective Maggie Knight is about to find out. She has been asked to go to Sanctuary to investigate the tragic death of Sanctuary’s star quarterback. It was accident, a terrible accident. 

But the rumours start. Rumours that his ex-girlfriend killed him using witchcraft. She’s the daughter of a town’s witch and, even though she doesn’t have magical abilities, is that the truth? 

Bereaved mother Abigail will stop at nothing until she has justice for her dead son. Sarah, Abigail’s best friend, will do whatever she can to protect her daughter. And both women share a secret that could shatter the fragile peace of the town and their lives. 

Maggie must find out the truth and prevent the town from spiralling dangerously out of control. But mob mentality is slowing being to take its grip the town… Sanctuary no longer feels safe.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Audiobook Review - The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

  • Title And Author: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 400 Pages or 12 Hours 10 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

It feels like everyone - and I mean everyone - has read Evelyn Hugo and is raving about it. And it was’t till recently that I decided to go for it with this, though I have been eyeing the audiobook for months. 

Monique Grant just can’t believe what’s happening to her. Her professional life is going nowhere and her husband has left her, so when she is picked to do an interview with ageing and reclusive Hollywood icon, Evelyn Hugo, she can’t believe her luck. And the fact that Evelyn demanded her or she wasn’t going to do the article makes everyone astounded. Why did Evelyn Hugo, who could have anyone she wanted, want Monique, a nobody of a journalist? 

But it gets weirder as, when Monique meets Evelyn, Evelyn tells her that there will be no article. Instead, Evelyn wants Monique to write her biography and publish it after Evelyn’s death. It would be a bestseller without even trying as Evelyn is Hollywood royalty and her love life and her seven husbands filled articles throughout the 1950’s all the way through to the 1980’s when she left the industry. Monique wants to do it as she has two questions she wants answered: why did Evelyn so desperately wanted her to write her biography and who was the love of Evelyn’s life? 

The answers to both are surprising and devastating.