Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Since We Last Spoke

So, it has come to my attention that it's been a little while since I posted anything. If you don't count the post yesterday, which I don't, because of reasons I decline to share. Basically, I want to start updating the blog again, though I might try to find something to post other than reviews, since I don't actually really enjoy writing them, but I do like talking about books. We'll have to wait and see what that actually looks like in terms of blogging, but for now, here's a little run-down of what I've been doing in the three months since I last posted properly.

- Started editing my epic fantasy novel
- Saw Dara O'Briain live
- Bought tickets to see Fall Out Boy in October

-Went to New York and didn't see any polar bears
- Saw Book of Mormon (in the West End, not on Broadway)
- Editing started kicking my ass.

- Rode the Hogwarts Express at the Harry Potter studio tour
- Started watching Pretty Little Liars (finished season one in a week)
- Editing continued kicking my ass.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (14)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created/hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find out all the important stuff here.

Ten Books You Recently Added to Your To-Be-Read List

These books are the last ten to be added to my to-read list on Goodreads, except for one that doesn't have a cover yet (Summer Days and Summer Nights, an anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins and containing a story by Leigh Bardugo (!!)) because I like pictures.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (13)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created/hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find out all the important stuff here.

Top Ten Books of 2014

I might technically be a week late with this one, but personally I think all these "best of" lists come a couple weeks early in the month. I mean, do no good books get read in December? Sure, in my case, pretty much everything I read in December is a book I've read before because I'm allowed to buy books in December, what with Christmas coming at the end of it and...and I think I've forgotten my point. So, let's just get on with the list. Starting with 10...

10. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
9. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
8. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

7. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
6. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
5. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
4. Pivot Point by Kasie West

3. The List by Siobhan Vivian
2. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
1. If Your Find Me by Emily Murdoch.

Okay, so, for the record, to make this list a book had to be read by me this year, obviously, but not necessarily released this year, though. I think only three of these were released this year (feel free to correct, it's nearly Christmas and I'm too lazy to Google right now). It also had to be read this year for the first time, re-reads don't count, otherwise you'd be looking at the whole Grisha trilogy, the first three books of the Uglies series, Neil Gaiman's Stardust, Kathryn Stockett's The Help and If You Find Me. It wouldn't still take the top spot, but it would definitely make the top ten!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (12)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created/hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find out all the important stuff here.

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2015

So, I've been hiding in the writing cave for a month now and I have emerged to tell you all about the books I'm looking forward to getting my hands on next year!

All the Rage by Courtney Summers (April)
I adore Courtney Summers, I do. I am so excited for this book and luckily I have the sequel to This is Not a Test to tide me over until this arrives in April.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (May)
I have basically become a HUGE Sarah J. Maas fan this year. Last year, I liked her work but after meeting her this summer and reading Heir of Fire, I am a fully paid up member of the fan club. And now we'll be getting two books a year instead of one! Could not be more excited.

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski (March)
I really liked The Winner's Curse, despite the patchy war-bit that lost me for a while in the middle and I'm keen to see where the sequel goes. Probably more war stuff, probably I won't actually like this book, but I am totally going to take a chance on it!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (October)
Leigh Bardugo. Enough said. Want. Now. Please.

The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson (February)
I feel like I have been waiting for this book for my ENTIRE life. And I will finally get to read it in a little under three months. Think I might be due a re-read of the first two to prepare. I can't wait.

Tonight the Streets are Ours by Leila Sales (September)
I loved This Song Will Save Your Life. I took a chance by reading it, I picked it up on a whim after hearing a few people chat about it and I loved it. It was such a surprise and I'm looking forward to reading something else by Leila Sales.

Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes (March)
I know very little about this book except that I want it. It's a very Lesley book.

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (March)
How pretty is that cover? (I realise I could have said this about almost every book on that list, and that is no way indicative of how I choose which books to read.) I liked the other two books of hers I've read and I hope I'll like this one, too.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (February)
Again, look at that cover. I don't know much about this book either, but it was described as being like X-Men, and how could that be a bad thing? Seriously, how? (Unless it's like Days of Future Past, I cannot even talk about that movie.)

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (May)
I have to admit, I didn't really like Cruel Beauty, despite its AMAZING cover. I'm hoping I like this one a little more. I think going in with slightly lower expectations will help!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (11)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created/hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find out all the important stuff here.

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait to Get

So, it would appear I'm really not that into series at the moment. Or sequels. Or perhaps nobody is writing sequels to the books I want sequels for. Or perhaps all my favourite series recently ended and I'm waiting for Leigh Bardugo's people to hurry up and put Six of Crows in my hands already. Basically, this is my long-winded way of saying I couldn't think of ten sequels I was excited for. So here are six.

The blank gap represents the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, which doesn't have a cover yet. Or a title. Or a plot. Or any kind of details whatsoever because it's not coming out for a ridiculously long time. But I still want it.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (10)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created/hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find out all the important stuff here.

Top Ten Books on my Fall To-Be-Read List

Are there any books you're particularly looking forward to this autumn? Let me know in the comments - I'm always keen to hear about new releases!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Summer Snapshots

I haven't been blogging much over the summer - okay, I haven't been blogging at all - but I have a whole long list of excuses. I've been writing a lot and there's been so much going on at work, not to mention some fun excursions I've been on recently. So I'm hoping to get back into blogging again soon, now that things have settled down a little, but I thought I'd share some of the things I've been doing over the past few months. Mostly because I met Leigh Bardugo and try to brag about this at every opportunity I get!

- Leigh Bardugo - The Millenium Bridge in Newcastle - Sarah J Maas -
- Cocktails - My Current Project - More Cocktails - 
- The Crucible at the Old Vic - Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson - Thorpe Park - 

Thursday, 14 August 2014


On the Fence by Kasie West

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Oh, this was not a good reading experience. And I thought Kasie West could do no wrong. Literally, no wrong. I loved Pivot Point and The Distance Between Us, and I'm sure I'll love Split Second when it finally arrives in paperback form. So I figured I would love this. And that was probably part of the problem - my expectations were high. Like, basketball hoop high.

There's little plot here, which I expected, except for a strange "twist" that smacks you over the head even though you saw it coming a mile off. It was just so unnecessary and shoe-horned in, it made me cringe. And then there's the lazy characterisation. Charlie has three brothers, but only one of them has any sort of personality, and even then it's slight. The other two...well, my suspicion is that she was given three brothers to explain her being a tomboy. Um, why does she need any brothers to be a tomboy? Some girls just are. Even if we're going with this, she really only needed the one brother, and maybe then Gage could have been a little bit more developed (I can't even remember the names of the other two and I literally finished this book yesterday.)

Charlie herself fares a little better in the characterisation game, though her love interest Braden is about as interesting as the fence she talks to him through. Maybe I would have liked Charlie a bit more if she'd decided she wanted to be more girly, rather than feeling like she had to. I get that this book is all about the message be yourself and I can respect that, but honestly, it wasn't really that interesting to read. And the dialogue isn't up to much either. It's so stilted, in a lot of places, which strikes me as very strange because West's other books didn't suffer from this. I don't have my copy to hand or I'd quote a few, but I vividly remember cringing every few pages at the cardboard teenagers and their equally flat dialouge.

My favourite bit was Caymen's cameo appearance, which probably says an awful lot about this book. It just wasn't as good as its predecessors, and, honestly, it might even have soured my opinion of them a little bit. I don't know what happened, but this book most definitely did not work for me.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the negihborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

I'm not a big reader of contemporary romance and I've basically read nothing but fantasy for the last couple of months (it's been distracting me from writing my manuscript, so I'm switching to contemporary until I can get my hands on SJ Maas's Heir of Fire), but I saw a lot of people getting excited about the third book in this series and thought it was about time I checked out the second instalment, since I surprised myself by enjoying the first (though looking back at my review of it suggests I'm remembering it differently to how I felt at the time!)

The weird thing is, I see other readers gushing over St. Clair and Cricket all the time, but I don't really have much interest in either of them. I prefer Cricket to St. Clair, but neither of them really does anything for me. I do, however, like the female characters in the books. Both of them are smart and no-nonsense, but at the same time flawed and vulnerable. They're human. Completely relatable, even if I never thought I'd have a single thing in common with someone who could be described as "outrageous, sparkly and fun," as I am none of those things. And I totally kept picturing Lola as a young Garcia (from Criminal Minds, who I love anyway).

I'm running out of things to say, mostly because I quite liked this book. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. And as Anna says to Lola on page 62:

"It's easy to talk about things we hate, 
but sometimes it's hard to explain exactly why we like something."

From which I can only assume that Stephanie Perkins is inside my head. I've been saying this, or some variation of it, for years now. I rarely know what it is I like about a book - or a movie or a TV show or a real live person - but I can reel off its flaws without a second thought. Whatever the reason I don't have anything much to say about this book, I have to admit I'm kind of looking forward to the third one, Isla and the Happily Ever After.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created/hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find out all the important stuff here.

Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From

I just knew that one day keeping an Excel spreadsheet of all the books I own would come in handy. Making up this list was a breeze, if slightly embarrassing in places. Some of the books on it, I don't even like, I just can't get rid of anything. I'm such a hoarder when it comes to books.

How about you? Which authors feature most on your bookshelves?