Thursday 29 January 2015

Book Review - Cakes in Space

Title: Cakes in Space
Author: Philip Reeve
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 4 Sept. 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0192734563

Astra's family are all snoring in their sleeping pods, but Astra is WIDE AWAKE. With her friend, Pilbeam, she goes off exploring and soon finds out the ship is in deep trouble. It's been knocked off course and invaded by a gang of Poglites, an alien salvage crew searching for spoonage.
But even the Poglites need Astra's help when they discover something far more sinister lurking in the canteen. Sure, they're cakes; but no one would describe them as sweet.

My Review
It's that time of year again in our library service - 'Children's Book Day'. This is an annual event where staff at the library are given a set of books to read, we go through them over the next few months and then all meet up for a big day of book discussions, author visits and idea sharing. It's the high point of my year and is a great way for staff to expand their knowledge of current books and discover new books. This year I believe we have 4 Teen/YA titles, 4 children's titles and 6 picture books. If you have followed my blog before you will have seen write ups of the books the last couple of years. It's always a great mix.
I try to review from both my point of view and that of the target audience although that can be hard to do.
So Cakes in Space was the first one I picked up. Partly because I know Sarah McIntyre who has illustrated this book- (I met her when she did an event at our library last year and she was totally awesome.) But I also took it because it was the only one left at the time :P
Astra and her family are going on a journey to a new planet for a fresh start, but it's going to take a hundred years to get there so everyone has to go into a pod and enter a frozen sleep to preserve their bodies. But something goes wrong and for some reason Astra wakes up early. Everyone else is still sleeping soundly but her pod has failed, she then discovers that more than that has gone wrong with the ship - it's been invaded by aliens called Poglites, the systems are crashing and worse than that the ship is being over-ridden with giant man eating cakes. With vicious frosting, wicked cream-cakes and killer cupcakes. 
The illustrations are of course fabulous and match the story perfectly, but I have to admit it that I found the story rather annoying. It turned very silly very quickly and seemed to try and focus on too many aspects at once. It wasn't just the cakes, but the computers and the aliens and the spaceship. There were too many problems and a lot of messages hidden in there that it seemed a little jumbled to me. 
But it is a very simple read which only took me about 45 minutes in total and it is fun. Astra has a very spunky attitude and is fun and feisty. She doesn't shy away from trouble and faces problems head on. Her robot friend Pilbeam is quite funny and cute and the Poglites don't seem all that bad.
I can see kids loving this book and the mash of nonsense and fun with the illustrations to bring it to life more. But I have to admit it just wasn't for me- it was just too hectic and silly but I can admire the charm in it.

My Rating

Book Review - Au Revoir Crazy European Chick

Title: Au Revoir Crazy European Chick
Author: Joe Schreiber
Series: Perry & Gobi (Book 1)
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release Date: 5 Mar. 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1405259439

Fasten your seatbelts for a quirky, rapid-fire joyride through the streets of New York.

‘You shot him. You totally just shot that guy back there. I think I’m gonna throw up.’

One ordinary guy.
One female assassin.
When Gobi lands in Perry’s life, she rips is apart like a bombshell...

My Review
I actually listened to this on audio book in my car. The cover for that was so much cooler, I have to admit:
I actually knew nothing about this when I ordered it, I literally wanted something to listen too so just searched for YA Spoken word and started with 'a'. this came up and I thought it sounded funny- the title was unusual and that is all we still on our library catalogue (well, title and author). I requested it because with that title I assumed it would be like Louise Rennison or Cathy Hopkins - kind of chic lit, fun. Obviously when it arrived and I saw the cover I realised I judged the book by it's title and was certainly not what I expected. But i thought I might as well give it a go anyway.
We meet Perry, a typical high school boy but one who is also very focused and goal reaching. His dad is a big shot lawyer who expects Perry to follow in his footsteps. The only outlet Perry really has is his music - he belongs to a band 'Inchworm' and he's good. He has a big show coming up soon and it could be their chance to make it.
His mum sets up a chance for a foreign exchange student to come and live with them for a year. She is Lithuanian and goes by 'Gobi', mostly she seems quite, shy and fairly unattractive. She's more of a background noise and inconvenience - not the foreign babe Perry was hoping for. But then everything changes, Perry's mum makes him take Gobi to the Prom but things don't go to plan and they end up in New York. But Perry doesn't realise that this is what Gobi planned all along, and soon Perry is caught up in something he could never imagine. He witnesses murders, fights and high speed car chases. Gobi is certainly not what she seems. Perry just hopes he'll make it home in one piece with a clear conscience.
It took me a while to get into this and for the first half hour or so I had to stop myself from giving up and turning it off, but I wanted to give it a fair chance and the further I got, the more intrigued I became. I wanted to know who Gobi was and why she was doing the things she did. It wasn't the best story I had listened to and I wasn't desperate to hear more but I did enjoy it overall. Perry is a good character, he's a typical stroppy teenager but he also has morals and he certainly develops as a character as the story progresses and I actually began to like him towards the second half. 
Gobi was a bit of a mystery and I found her rather annoying, especially her changing attitude, one minute she would be nice and friendly and the next quite psychopathic. And it took me a while to believe that she really was this assassin, it just didn't seem to fit for a while.
I think if I had been reading it I may have given up earlier but listening to it in my car meant I didn't have to give it my full focus and by the end of it I did sort of enjoy it. I wasn't quite sure how to feel about it but it was mainly positive. It was very weird overall but a different concept and  quite well written.
It isn't suitable for younger readers as it contains a lot of violence and some references to more adult content and if I remember correctly some use of swear words.
If you like a good action mystery then this is worth a go for sure.

My Rating

Monday 26 January 2015

Book Promo - She Dreamed of Dragons

Title of Book: She Dreamed of Dragons

Trina is more likely to set the palace on fire with her powers than be a princess – could a dragon mage be the next ruler of the magical kingdom of Dorlith?

 Trina is a fifteen-year-old dragon mage in a kingdom ruled by witches and wizards – the same people who have brought dragons and other magical creatures near extinction. Trina can barely control her fire powers and is desperate for an apprenticeship, but finding a fellow dragon mage to be her teacher is proving more difficult than coming across an actual dragon. 

Then there’s the Royal Tourney – a competition presented by the Queen to find a successor to the throne. Trina heads to the competition in the hopes of sparking some interest in the mage society and earning herself an apprenticeship. 

She never intended to be a frontrunner in the competition. 

She never meant to catch the attention of the evil witch trying to take over the throne. 

She never expected to fall for a wizard. 

Now Trina must face tough decisions about who she is and who she could become. Trina must ask herself: Can she really win the Royal Tourney?

Author Bio:  
Elizabeth J. M. Walker has published zines for over a decade and lives in her hometown of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She Dreamed of Dragons is her first novel.

Links of Where to Buy:

Author website:

Thursday 22 January 2015

Book Review - Where She Went

Title: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay (Book 2)
Publisher: Definitions (Young Adult)
Release Date: 26 April 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1849414289

If you had a second chance at first love . . . would you take it?

It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life. And three years he’s spent wondering why. When their paths cross again in New York, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

My Review
When I finished listening to 'If I Stay' I was desperate to find out what happened next, I had this book ready and couldn't wait to open it. Life got in the way a bit and it was about 3 days before I was able to pick this one up, but thoughts of the characters and that world stayed with me, they were in my thoughts, I even had a dream about it which was weird. So I knew I had to get back to it as soon as I could.
My initial reaction when picking up the book was disappointment - it's set 3 years after the end of Stay. That is a massive leap and I was hoping it would carry on right where the other left off. But I loved the story and Forman's writing so I decided to persevere, hoping that those 3 years would be filled in at some point to let us know how we got here.
My next shock was that this one was told from Adam's perspective not Mia's which seemed a bit alien at first but I soon found myself enjoying his voice, fitting into his world, walking beside him as he went through each day.
The book is divided between current events of Adam's life and things that have happened over the past few years.
I don't want to give too much away as I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it, but I was shocked by some of the turn of events. Not Adam's job - I always knew he would make it, but the sheer loneliness of his life was shocking, and it was almost like his waves of misery would flow off the page from him. I wanted to reach in and reassure him that it would all be ok.
The more I read, the more the gaps were filled in and I felt myself settling back into the story, and realising why it was written that way - and I have to admit it was the perfect way to do it. Everything suddenly just felt right, made sense and worked out - I understood what had happened and how they had got here and the bonus is you get a bigger look at their future. 
I actually found myself disliking Mia a little bit - some of her choices were just mean and to be honest - selfish. But after all she went through you can kind of understand that, but I still don't think it's a real excuse. 
Adam weaves his world around you until you are absorbed and I didn't want the book to end, but at the same time I was desperate to find out how it finished. 
This is honestly one of the best series I have ever read, it's story swept me up and churned me through a whirlwind of emotions. It has stayed with me and the characters feel like old school friends. 
So although not what I expected at first, I would highly recommend these books to other people, only slight warning to younger readers - some content may not be suitable but nothing too bad or shocking. 

My Rating

Cover Reveal - Bound by Spells

Release Date: March 19, 2015
Aidan Montgomery hadn’t been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn’t expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he’s embracing it — finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia’s best friend, Bethany, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.

Amelia decided to stand by her duty, which meant walking away from her first chance at love. Trapped in Cresthaven at the Queen’s mercy, she spends her days with Micah — an ally she still holds at arm’s length — struggling to manage her heartbreak while keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. As she continues to unlock the secrets of the Keeper power, Queen Julia’s true motives reveal themselves, forcing Amelia to decide, yet again, how much she’s willing to sacrifice.

Will Aidan get to Amelia before it's too late, or will the very power that sustains them keep them apart?

Add it on Goodreads:

Haven't started the Bound Series Yet? Start reading Bound By Duty!
Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and she doesn't even know his name.
Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky Southern girl and to fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is and not what she'll be.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head or her heart win the battle?

Purchase on Amazon:

About Stormy Smith

Stormy Smith is the author of the Amazon best-seller, Bound by Duty. She calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly that stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.

Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

Blog Tour - Haven Waiting

Fifteen-year-old Jamie Peters is a Soul Saver. She helps ghosts finish their business and move on. When a mysterious map comes into her possession, she knows a new adventure is waiting. With the help of her friends, Peter and Camille, she follows the map. Her friends hope to find treasure, but Jamie suspects there is more to the map than riches. She never imagined the map would lead her to Haven—and a book of spells.
Haven Mills was accused of practicing witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. Unlike the other women hung during the trials, Haven wasn’t as innocent as she claimed to be. In one moment of weakness and desperation, she did something sinister—something that has been bringing evil to the world for centuries.
Jamie promises to help Haven, but the reality of what that promise entails comes back to haunt her as she fights not only for Haven’s soul, but for her own as well.   
Tifani Clark grew up on a farm in southeastern Idaho (yes, that’s where they grow all the potatoes) as the middle of five children. She had a lot of space to imagine and daydream and often pictured herself as a character in one of the many books she read. She was habitually found pretending to be Scarlet O’Hara. Tifani loves mysteries and hates it when one goes unsolved. She is married to the love of her life and is the mother to four fabulous children. When not writing, she enjoys playing the violin and piano and traveling to new places. She especially enjoys visits to national parks and places of historical significance.

 Haven Waiting - Amazon   
Shadow of a Life - Amazon  
Twitter: @TifaniClark  
Tifani Clark Blog

Friday 16 January 2015

Book Review - Frostfire

Title: Frostfire
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: Kanin Chronicles (Book 1)
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: 15 Jan. 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1447256649

Will she give up her dream to follow her heart?

Bryn Aven is determined to gain status amongst the Kanin, the most powerful of the hidden tribes. But as a half-blood, winning respect is a huge challenge. Bryn's almost-human community distrusts people, and those from other tribes are almost as suspect.
She has just one goal to get ahead: to join the elite guard protecting the Kanin royal family. And Bryn's vowed that nothing will stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss, Ridley Dresden.
But her plans are put on hold when fallen hero Konstantin starts acting dangerously. Bryn loved him once, but now he's kidnapping Kanin children - stealing them from hidden placements within human families. She's sent to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

My Review
I received an email advertising this book and it offered a copy of the book in exchange for honest reviews. At first I almost didn't reply - I read Amanda Hocking's first trilogy the "Switched" series and struggled a bit with it, although I know I enjoyed it in the end. So I decided it could be worth a try. I received my paperback copy (Thank you very much!) just after Christmas and thought straight away how gorgeous the cover was, all of Hocking's books always have such beautiful covers but I particularly loved this one. The striking red of her coat against the snowy back drop, just wow.
Anyway, I was a bit worried then that I wouldn't remember enough of the original series and this wouldn't make sense but don't worry there - you don't have to have read that series for this to make sense. If you have read them then you will recognise some names and possibly characters but if not then it's fine - this works perfectly as it's own stand alone series. Everything needed is explained and introduced and then you are off and away.
I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by this book, I don't have a lot of time to read at the moment so I have to snatch it when I can and unless I am hooked in a book I tend not to pick them up as much, but with this book I was immediately hooked and couldn't stop squeezing in every moment I could with it. 
The book starts off with a big event that gets you to know the main character - Bryn and makes you want to know more about what just happened and what is to come. 
We then follow Bryn as she seeks out answers, followers orders and breaks a few rules all whilst trying to find out the truth behind all these events and whether or not they are chasing the right guy. 
This book is a magical fantasy mixed with a little bit of a mystery crime story and it's woven together beautifully. Bryn is a fabulous character - quite fiery at times and she has a bit of a temper to her but she is also loving, caring, loyal, impulsive, quick thinking and brave. I really liked her attitude and dedication and we even glimpse at her vulnerable side. Although I would have liked to see a bit more about some of her personal issues, and I'm hoping we see more of her in the next book. But as a character she does keep her emotions close to her chest so who knows. I have a feeling she is a softy under that tough exterior.
The book is fast paced and is a real page turner, I just had to keep reading and in the end finished it a lot quicker than I thought I would. 
I am so pleased with this book and excited to see more - I will be waiting for the next book to come out eagerly and am so glad that I chose to give this a chance and grateful for the publishers for sending me a copy. 
Definitely worth a look!
My Rating  

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Book Review - If I Stay

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay (Book 1)
Publisher: Doubleday
Release Date: 7th May 2009
ISBN13: 9780385616201

For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a future that's brimming with hope.
But life can change in an instant.
A cold February morning . . . a snowy road . . . and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one.
As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.
Gripping, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, If I Stay will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lost - and all that might be.

My Review
I have heard a lot about this book over the years and always wanted to read it but never really made the time for it. Then I saw a movie trailer for it that looked really good and I knew I just had to read it. In the end I actually listened to this on audiobook - I always have one in my car and with studying and work at the moment I don't have as much time to read books for fun so utilizing my time in the car is the best way to discover more stories. I am going to review it as normal though as I am reivewing the story and content not the audio presentation - although I will say quickly that the narrator was very good and really presented the story well, the accent and emotion in her speech was just amazing.

The story is told from Mia's point of view and gives you a look into her life. Her dad used to play drums in a band, her mum is a cool rock chick, her little brother is 10 years younger than her but totally sweet and the apple of her eye. Mia herself plays Cello and is a fairly quite young lady. Then we have Adam her boyfriend who plays guitar in a band that is just becoming successful. Life seems to be going well, finally working out and exciting things are coming up. But then everything turns upside down. Everything gets shut for a snow day, but it's actually only a light covering, so Mia, her brother and parents decide to go out for a drive, maybe to visit some friends.
That's when it happens. In a horrendous road accident Mia discovers her parents have been killed on impact and she isn't sure where her brother is. She then discovers her own body and realizes that she is having some strange out of body experience. She can see and hear everything, she can open doors and move around but no one else can see, hear or feel her. She now has to choose, does she give up the fight and move on to join her parents wherever they may have gone - if there is a beyond. Or should she stay and face life, a life without her family but with the possibility of a future.
The story alternates between Mia's progress in hospital and her out of body experiences and her recounting times throughout her life - first meeting Adam, learning the Cello, family events, etc.
I found this book to be very powerful, right from the start I was hooked and wanted to know more. I found Mia to be a very well developed character and I immediately liked her. The writing punches you in the gut and wraps itself around your brain - refusing to let go, taking your breath away, absorbing you totally and I loved it. 
I would find myself leaving early so I could sit in my car for a few extra minutes each time just so I could hear more of the story, not wanting to get out. And then I would be desperate to get back into my car to hear more later, and it would stay with me. I would find myself thinking about it and wondering what would happen next. 
It's a very sensitive subject and quite disturbing in parts but very well dealt with and very moving and it really just makes you feel. I was involved in Mia's story, and I had to know what would happen to her.
I am now desperate to read book 2 and find out where she goes next and what comes of everything. I just can't get over this book, it really has moved me. It's amazing and the writing is just incredible. 
I will definitely be seeing the film too - I just hope it can live up to the book, which will be hard.

My Rating

Monday 12 January 2015

Book Promo - The Lebrus Stone

Title: The Lebrus Stone
Author: Miriam KhanGenre: YA Paranormal Romance

When eighteen-year-old orphan, Crystal Valdez, accepts an invitation to the small town of Blacksville, West Virginia, she hopes to have a summer to remember and a chance to learn more about her parents, to also get to know the family she never knew existed.
But the Lockes begin to act strange and erratic; eerie movements in the night fuel her vivid and gruesome nightmares. To complicate her summer further, she becomes attracted to the menacing yet handsome Cray Locke: her none blood related cousin.
He seems determined to keep his distance. The only bonus to her trip seems to be the housekeeper and gardener.
And when a local informs Crystal of the secrets buried at Thorncrest Manor, the kind consisting of a forbidden relationship and a war between hidden worlds, and witchcraft, she must decide whom to trust. Even if it means leaving behind those she has come to love.

“I was compelled to keep reading. It was brilliant.”
"I can't put my finger on it. But there is something about Crystal that makes you want to keep reading her story. I ate a whole bag of Haribos whilst reading the first few chapters without realising. I was that engrossed."
“A really great book like this gives you that feeling.”
“Cray being cast as a cold yet lust worthy hero who was just as broken was nailed.”
“I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know what happened.”
“Cray is delicious, manly, wanted by many, and a guy who know how to play the game.”
“Cray is at times a douche, but in a way he needs to be. It makes a woman want to know what makes a guy like him tick.”
"The writing, at times, is almost reminiscent of authors such as Daphne Du Maurier."
"A writer who seems to have a fine ear for dialogue. Every character seems to have a distinct voice."
"The descriptions are excellent. Very vivid. Some may think it slows the reading, but I love it." 

Author Bio
Miriam is from Cheshire, England and a family of six siblings. Her love for creativity led to acting at her local theatre before being a lead vocalist in rock bands. During those years, she often found solace penning her thoughts and feelings through lyrics or poetry. She chose not to continue singing in 2006, and two years later she woke up with the idea for The Lebrus Stone and began typing. revising and editing it for the next six years. She is now eager to see what readers will think.
Author Links:


Sweet Sacrifice – Evanescence
Weight of the World – Evanescence
Lithium – Evanescence
Like You – Evanescence
All that I’m living for – Evanescence
Good Enough – Evanescence
Where will you go? – Evanescence
Farther Away – Evanescence
Missing – Evanescence
Adam Lambert – Sleepwalker
Adam Lambert – Aftermath
Adam Lambert – What do you want from me?
Three Days Grace – Never too late.
Our Lady Peace – Not Enough
Our Lady Peace – Somewhere out there.
Our Lady Peace – Are you sad?
Linkin Park – What I’ve done

Friday 2 January 2015

Book Review - Girl With All the Gifts

Title: The Girl With All The Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: 14 Jan 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0356502731

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius."
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

My Review
I saw this on a display in my local book shop and thought it looked good, I had a quick read of the blurb and was intrigued so I went and ordered a copy from the library. I wouldn't say this was my usual sort of read but I have got quite into the whole paranormal genre and thought this may be good. 
I started to read it about a month ago and found myself getting into the story, it was a bit of a strange story and I as intrigued by the set up. The story starts in a base where kids are strapped to big wheelchairs and wheeled into a classroom every day, they are then locked into cells at night. 
This is a dystopian paranormal with a vampire twist. Set in the future, the world has been taken over by 'Hungries' - human mutations that basically have turned feral and eat humans, and once you are bitten you either become a Hungry or they eat you to death. The children are test subjects, brought in as young hungries to see if they can adapt, learn and also to be used as experiments. 
I found the start of the story interesting but I have to admit that it was also a bit slow, I kept waiting for something to happen and then I had to put the book down to do a Uni assignment and just didn't pick it up again for a while.
Turns out, I put it down right before it all gets exciting, I picked it up yesterday to do a bit more reading, to see if it was worth finishing and suddenly i was like 'whoa', the base gets attacked by Hungries and 'Junkies' -  humans who have learnt to survive and hunt in the wild and avoid the Hungries.
In the base there is one particular child that stands out - Melanie, she seems to be exceptionally bright and in control of her emotions and she gets on very well with her teacher - Miss Justineau. They form a special bond and they escape together during the attack, along with Sergeant Parks, Doctor Caldwell and another soldier called Callagher. Together they try to escape and make their way to another safe base, but running into all sorts of trouble on the way.

The book really picked up it's pace about halfway through and I found myself reading through quickly and not wanting to put it down, I wanted to know what would happen to these people and actually felt like I got to know them. Like I was part of their group. Melanie in particular was very interesting and unique and I like the way she was presented and grew as a character. She was very well written.
The group dynamics is also well set out, and although the people don't all get on, they learn how to survive with each other.

This book is actually set in my local area, Bedford and surrounding villages are mentioned and then they move into London districts. This was quite cool as it meant I could actually visualize some of the places and imagine it playing out. When Bedford was mentioned I actually gasped and got a bit excited. This added a bit of texture to the novel for me, made it feel more real.

The only down for me was that the ending isn't complete - it doesn't come to a conclusion as such but it does hint at what is to come. I don't know if there are plans for a sequeal, but as it was it left me a little bit disappointed. But only a little. Overall i really did enjoy the book and would recommend it to fans of distopian, paranormal horror.
I would give a word of caution though  - some bits are a bit gruesome and even made me look away or curl my nose in disgust. There are some fairly graphic descriptions and a lot of blood mentioned.

But overall a really enjoyable read, worth checking out.

My Rating

Summary of 2014 and 2015 Challenges.

Hey everyone, I can't believe we've moved into another year already, 2015 - just can't get my head around it.

Firstly I want to say thank you to all my followers, readers and fellow bloggers. Thanks for sticking with me and reading my blog.

2014 wasn't the best year for me books wise, usually I will read about 180 books a year on average. This year I only read 86. That's not even half.
Here are the books I did read:

There are a mix of reasons why it was so low, mostly personal, some academic. But it meant that I wasn't as active on this blog and I didn't spend much time visiting others either. So it's been a slow year for this blog wise, so I'm grateful to you all for being loyal to me.

Basically, I had a couple of months near the beginning of the year where I almost hit depression, I didn't get a job I wanted at work (a promotion) - one that I've been aiming for for years, and my boyfriend at the time broke up with me.  I sank very low and didn't see the point in anything - including reading. But my friends and family were great and I found some amazing books, both of which kept me from sinking entirely. That's the closest Ive ever come to being that down and I never want to get to that point again.

But life did turn around, I found a new passion for my current job and the people there, I realised just how appreciated I was and although I don't want to be in this job for the rest of my life, for now it will do whilst I work towards something else. I have found an amazing new guy who just blows my mind and has really turned my life around - he's like magic, he's my prince! and on top of that I have started a course with the Open University.

As I can't afford to stop working, the Open Uni is perfect for me, it's all done through online study and submissions, they send out all the required study materials and you just fit it in around your everyday life. This does mean I have to manage my time carefully and it can be very hard work, but I know it will be worth it.
I am studying a BA in English Literature, and it has a module that specializes in Creative Writing which is exactly what I want to look at.
I have decided that I would love a job in publishing. I have researched it a lot over the last couple of years and it's something I can honestly see myself doing and being good at. And this degree will help me get one step closer to achieving that goal.

However this does mean that I still don't have as much spare time to read; fitting in my job, study, my boyfriend, the sports I do and other bits and bobs leaves little time for reading. But I still have a book with me wherever I go and I will be squeezing pages in whenever and wherever I can.

I have currently set my target at 100 books in the year, and I am hoping that this will be achievable. I still have a lot of books on my shelves that I haven't read and I am way behind on Review Requests. Shockingly so, I really need to pull it together and least catch up with those. So just know that if you are waiting for a review from me, I am so sorry i has taken so long, but I am working on catching up. If you think I have forgotten about you - please feel free to drop me an email reminder.

In 2014 I signed up to 5 Challenges:
1) 100+ books in a year
2) Books you can read in a day
3) TBR pile challenge
4) Library Books challenge
5) Full House Challenge

I didn't manage to complete any of them. However I was only 1 away in challenge 2, 4 and 5 which I am actually quite proud of.

I am now going to sign up to some challenges for 2015.

First up is:
You Read How Many Books? This one's hosted by Book Dragon's Lair.
There are several levels to choose from
Level 1: 100 minimum
Level 2: 150
Level 3: 200
Level 4: 250 or more

I'm going for Level 1: 100 at least!

I was short of this number last year, but I'm going to aim for 100, hopefully I will manage more but we will see.


This challenge is the 'Library Books Challenge' hosted by Book Dragon's Lair. Basically it is to read as many books from the library as possible. As I work in a library this should be easy.

  • board book - 3
  • picture book - 6
  • early reader - 9
  • chapter book - 12
  • middle grades - 18
  • Young adult - 24
  • adult - 36
  • just insert IV - 50  
I'm going straight in for 'Just insert IV - 50'
Although I didn't quite make it last year, I was close, so going for the highest level straight away.


Full House Reading Challenge 2015
I'm signing up for the Full House Reading Challenge 2015 hosted by Book Date.
By the end of 2015 I hope to have read a book from each of the categories and achieved a 'Full House'



This challenge is hosted by Roof Beam Reader and the aim is to read those  books that have been sitting on your shelves for over a year. I have a lot of these and the list will be on my 'challenges' tab.

Fifthly and lastly:

alphabet 2015
The Alphabet Soup Challenge hosted by 'Escape with Dollycas' and the goal is to read a book that starts with each letter of the alphabet.

So wish me luck for the coming year.

I wish you all the best for the year too.

Happy Reading and Blogging!!!