Goodbye 2014, Welcome 2015!

 

2014 has been a wonderful year for books.

In total I have (somehow) read 107 books!51cKKNJKbqL__

To pick a top ten would be tricky, I’m not sure I could do it but here are some books which I have truly enjoyed reading this year:

The Witches of the Glass Castle by Gabriella Lepore.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham.

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

City of Heavenly Fire (TMI) by Cassandra Clare.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.imagesCAYX12D4

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings.Love rosie

When I joined #bookstagram back in April/May time I had no idea that I would ever start a book blog but at the end of August that is exactly what I did do. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone for being so kind and supportive as I find my way in the book-blogging-universe. Finding my fellow bookworms and fangirls has helped me through some tough times this year and has been such fun. Sharing book recommendations and reviews with you is easily my favourite thing to do after reading.

I am really looking forward to the bookish wonders of 2015. I’m just a girl with a bag (and bookshelves and boxes) full of books reading her way through a thousand lives.

May 2015 bring you love and prosperity and of course lots of books!

Happy New Year x

The Giver

 

The Giver.

By Lois Lowry.

Pages: 224.

Rating: 4.5 /5 the giver

From the Back Cover:

“Intelligence. Integrity. Courage. Wisdom. These are the qualities a Receiver of Memory must have. And one more can only be named, but not described. The Capacity to See Beyond.

Jonas lives safely within the community, a place where there is no war, no hunger and no pain. But when he is selected as the Receiver of Memory, he starts to discover dark secrets that lie beneath the surface of his perfect world. Secrets that will lead him to undertake an incredible journey…”

A short synopsis:

Jonas is an Eleven fast-approaching the ceremony day in December when he will become a Twelve and when he will receive his Assignment. Jonas is not sure what Assignment he will be given nor which he would like. One thing is for certain and that is that Receiver of Memory was not an Assignment that crossed his mind, nor that of his parents.

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Liebster Nominations!

liebsteraward

The Liebster Award is a blog award that one receives from another blogger. In order to be nominated you must be a newer book blogger.  Once you’re nominated, you get to nominate other book blogs.

The Rules:

Link and thank the person who nominated your blog.

Answer the questions they asked you.

Pick eleven bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate.

Ask them eleven questions.

Let them know by commenting on one of their posts.

*       *       *

I was very kindly nominated by the lovely The Writing Hufflepuff (go check out her gorgeous blog!) here are the questions that she asked me and my answers:

If you could live in any book, which one would you live in and why?

This is probably quite an obvious answer but it really is the truth – Harry Potter. If I had to pick a specific book from the series it would most likely be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as it is my favourite. I could eat ice cream sundaes at Florian Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour, I could use the Marauder’s Map to sneak into Hogsmead, ride on a Hippogriff and give those Dementors what for by learning the Patronus Charm with Lupin! Being at Hogwarts would be a (childhood) dream come true. Oh and I’d get to see Hermione punch Draco Malfoy!

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Balance Between Life & Blogging

 

On Monday I begin my preliminary placement, two weeks observing and assisting in a primary school, before my university course starts on Monday 15th September. I am going to be so busy! I’ll be at the school from 8.30am – 4.30pm, I’ll write up my notes and ‘reflecting’ when I get home, try to fit in a couple of workouts a week, try to read and blog. I don’t know if there are going to be enough hours in the day but I’m sure going to try and fit everything in.

I feel as though I will be living a bit of a double life. I have my normal day-to-day life as a trainee primary school teacher with lots of work to do, notes to write up and lessons to plan. I also have my life as a blogger and it’s important to me that I manage to keep them both running smoothly.

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July

 

July has been a wonderful month for books. I have managed to read so much. My working pattern will have contributed to that as I have done one week on, one week off. I had a lot of holiday to use up before I finish here next Thursday (the countdown has begun!)

I have read a wide range of books this month from children’s books to cosy-crime, general fiction to epic fantasy and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I took part in the Booktubeathon, the aim of which was to read 7 books in 7 days. I finished book 7 on day 8 but in my eyes that’s still success.

Books read: 20 imagesCAYX12D4

  • Dead Over Heels (Aurora Teagarden #5) by Charlaine Harris
  • A Fool and His Honey (Aurora Teagarden #6) by Charlaine Harris.
  • The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine
  • The Witches of the Glass Castle by Gabriella Lepore.
  • Evanescent by Gabriella Lepore.
  • How I Found You by Gabriella Lepore.
  • The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson.
  • The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.
  • Frostbite by Richelle Mead.
  • Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor.

Booktubeathon: Sinner book

  • A Symphony of Echos by Jodi Taylor.
  • Fractured by Teri Terry.
  • Shattered by Teri Terry.
  • Warm Bodies by Issac Marion.
  • Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira.
  • Hexed by Michelle Krys.
  • Spook’s: A New Darkness by Joseph Delaney.

Favourite book: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
Least Favourite book: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater.

Sinner

 

Sinner

By Maggie Stiefvater.

Pages: 387

Rating: 2.5 /5

Sinner book

From Amazon:

“SINNER is the book that every Maggie Stiefvater and paranormal romance fan has been waiting for! SINNER is a companion book to the #1 bestselling SHIVER, LINGER and FOREVER trilogy. You thought it ended with FOREVER, but there’s another story to tell – the one of Cole and Isabel…and this time they’re in LA. There will be wolves, and there will be yearning. But most importantly there will be love. And no one does love like Maggie.”

A short synopsis:

Cole and Isabel are both in L.A. Isabel is living with her Mum, Aunt and cousin and working in a stylish boutique whilst Cole is ‘back from the dead’ and promoting himself by doing a reality TV show. The show is to focus on the making of his new album, and be shown on a notorious web channel.

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Love Letters to the Dead

 

Love Letters to the Dead.

By Ava Dellaria.

Pages: 323.

Rating: 3.5 /5. 41wXZ99jp+L

From the back cover:

It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person – any dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain – he died young, and so did Laurel’s sister May – so maybe he’ll understand a bit of what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people – Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart …it’s like she can’t stop…But much as Laurel might find writing the letters cathartic, she can’t keep real life out forever. The ghosts of her past won’t be contained between the lines of a page, and she will have to come to terms with growing up, the agony of losing a beloved sister, and the realisation that only you can shape your destiny.

A short synopsis:

Laurel is grieving for her sister, May, and blaming herself for her death. She writes letters to famous people that died young and were troubled whilst they were alive. In these letters she talks about her life without May and how much it hurts her to be in a world without her sister.

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Waiting on Wednesday #2

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where you dicuss future releases that you are looking forward to.

This week I am waiting on The Children Act by Ian McEwan.

Release date: September 2nd 2014.

From Amazon:4180MTPOaiL__

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional  success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis.

At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith? In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.

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Gabriella Lepore.

 

Gabriella Lepore is a British author who lives in South Wales, she has so far written three books; The Witches of the Glass Castle, Evanescent and How I Found You.

Gabriella Lepore {Credit to WalesOnline}

Gabriella Lepore {Credit to WalesOnline}

Lepore’s speciality is injecting magic into real life, her characters and settings are so realistic that they materialise around you as you read. Her writing style is flawless and flows with a graceful ease missing from many books that I have read. She uses nature in such a way that I have never before experienced in a novel. The nature elements in her books reflect characters emotions, and harmonises with the atmosphere and events present in the book, truly remarkable.

Lepore’s use of magic is exceptional; there are no wands, no abracadabra moments, nothing cliché at all. The magic in each of her stories is so subtle that it’s almost hard to spot. Yes we have prophecies, rituals and of course witches but alongside this you have the most wonderfully matched settings and characters possible. In The Witches of the Glass Castle, Mia and Dino discover that they are witches and have magical powers; the powers with which Lepore gifts them are perfectly tailored to their individual personality. It is hard to imagine them with any other power than the one that they have.

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Interview with Gabriella Lepore

 

Having fallen in love with her work, I was so excited when Gabriella Lepore agreed to answer some of my questions! Here are the questions alongside the answers that Gabriella Lepore gave. I loved reading them, I hope you do too.

***

The settings for your novels are quite vague, as though they could be of this world or another, do you have a specific place in mind when you write?

Yes, I tend to base my books on real places, but I exaggerate them for the purpose of the story. When I’m writing I try to spend as much time as possible in the places I’m writing about. The Witches of the Glass Castle was set at Tortworth Court and Arboretum in Gloucestershire, and How I Found You was set in a manor house hotel in Redditch. Evanescent was a bit closer to home as I based it around Castell Coch in South Wales. The castle is only a few minutes from where I live, so when I was working on the first draft I would go there nearly every day and just sit in the courtyard with my notebook!

The main setting for both The Witches of the Glass Castle and Evanescent is a castle, is there a reason for this?

I love castles! I get inspiration from old buildings, or forests, and the stories and characters unfold from there.

I love the magical elements to your novels, particularly Mia and Colt’s powers, what made you write about magic and witches?

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