Review: Coco’s Secret by Niamh Greene

June 12, 2014 2 comments

Coco’s Secret by Niamh Greene

Title: Coco’s Secret
Author: Niamh Green
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin (15th August 2013)
Source: Penguin Ireland
Format: Finished Copy
Blurb:

Coco Swan has always been embarrassed by her name . . .

With a name like Coco, people expect you to be as exotic and glamorous as the famous designer, not an ordinary-looking small-town antiques dealer who could win an award for living cautiously.

But when a vintage Chanel handbag turns up in a box of worthless bric-a-brac, Coco’s quiet world is suddenly turned upside down. Where did it come from? And is it just coincidence that it’s the same bag Coco’s late mother always wanted for her?

When Coco discovers a mysterious, decades-old letter hidden in the bag’s lining, she sets off on a quest to piece together the story behind it, stumbling across secrets that span three generations as she goes.

Could the beautiful Chanel bag be about to teach Coco more than she wants to learn? Or will it show her just where her heart can take her if she lets it lead the way?

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

COCO’S SECRET by Niamh Greene tells the story of Coco Swan who lives in Ireland and runs an antiques shop. Coco bids on and wins a box of odds and ends at a local auction, in which she later uncovers a vintage Chanel bag that contains a letter which sends her on an adventure.

Read more…

ICYMI Sunday 14 – The a “little bit” of news

June 8, 2014 6 comments

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ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) Sunday is a new meme that I am planning to feature on the blog every week. It is based on the Sunday Post  which is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, which was in turn inspired in part by the In My Mailbox meme. Basically, it allows me to let you know what went on the blog this week and anything interesting that is going on. It will also allow me to showcase any books I receive like the Showcase Sunday which is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

This week has been quite a quiet one irl, but on the plus side I do seem to have my reading groove back! It’s been interesting seeing people’s BEA wrap-up posts and hauls over the last week or so, it looks like there are going to be some really awesome books to look forward to later this summer/autumn. I am finally nearing the end of my tbr pile, so there might be some book buying from me soon. Maybe.

On the blog the last couple of weeks:

What else is going on?

  • Whispers of a Barefoot Medical Student talks about ‘Books as a Mirror for Attitudes towards Mental Health’ here. It’s a very interesting look at how books could be used as a medium to help lessen the stigma associated with Mental Health.
  • Leigh Bardugo author of the GRISHA series has released her UK tour dates and spots, which you can find here.
  • The Bookseller reports that the Foyles outlet at St Pancras International Station is to close on July 31st when the lease expires. You can find out more information here.
  • The Guardian reports than ‘Ebooks [are] on course to outsell printed editions in UK by 2018here.
  • Nick Ripatrazone posted a list of ’55 Thoughts for English Teachershere which is quite an interesting read if you like your literature.
  • Penguin Random House reveals what their new logo looks like here.
  • Helen Musselwhite is the overall winner of the V&A Illustration Awards. You can find the winning illustration here or read more about it here.
  • In response to a tweet by Richard Dawkins The Guardian asks ‘Are fairytales damaging to children?’ here. And this is my response kinda – it’s something I wrote re fairytales a while ago. Would love to hear your thoughts though.
  • Shelf Awareness has an interesting article about Amazon vs. Hachette with comments from Stephen Colbert, J. K. Rowling and many more. If you’re interested in reading their comments you can find it here.
  • C J Daugherty talks on The Book Seller about the stigma of writing YA and how she thinks UK booksellers could help change that here.
  • Dianna Anderson wrote an article titled ‘Why Criticizing Young Adult Fiction is Sexist’ in which she responds to Ruth Graham’s article in Slate, and puts forward the suggestion that YA literature is just as important as adult literature and just as diverse. You can read her article for yourself here.
  • The Guardian asked some authors to pick what books they would choose for their GCSE set texts, which resulted in some interesting choices. Hilary Mantel’s response in particular is an interesting one. You can find the authors and their picks here.
  • Alexandra Petri also responds to the criticism of YA in the article ‘Ashamed of reading YA? The fault lies not in our stars but in our stores’ which you can read here.
  • On a slightly lighter note, BuzzFeed has a brilliant post about people’s reactions to watching THE FAULT IN OUR STARS film titled ‘Everybody Who Saw “The Fault In Our Stars” Really Hates John Green Now’ which you can find here.
  • The Guardian has a timelapse video that shows the relocation of Foyles’ flagship bookshop (and you get a sneak peek inside the new store). You can find the video here.
  • Orli Vogt-Vincent asks if ‘LGBT relationships [are] the last taboo for teen fiction?’ You can read what she has to say and (if you want) respond here.

So yeah, as you can see there was quite a lot going on in the book blog/vlog sphere this week.

I think the furore over whether it’s “right” if adults read ya fiction is a tad disappointing. I haven’t actually read the article (nor linked to it) because I don’t want to give it any hits, and also because I’m of the opinion that it’s a waste of my time – obviously I disagree. However, some of the responses (which I have included) are interesting and raise some interesting questions.

No books for me this week.

I would love to hear what you’ve been up to this week and what books, if any, you’ve got so please leave me a link in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by :D

Review: A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton

June 5, 2014 1 comment

A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: A Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry #9)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Bantam Press (3rd June 2014)
Blurb:

I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. Legal name Meredith Gentry, because princess looks so pretentious on a driver’s licence. I was the first faerie princess born on American soil, but wouldn’t be the only one for much longer . . .

Merry Gentry, ex-private detective, now fill-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but it was only when she learned she was going to have triplets that she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has been the curse of the high ranks of faerie for centuries and now the nobility – of both sexes and of both courts – are coming to Los Angeles to woo the exiled Merry and her male courtiers. They will do anything to have children of their own.

But the attentions of Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, are a more pressing – and deadly – problem. He once forced himself upon Merry – and now he is claiming one of her children as his own.

To save herself and her babies, Merry calls upon the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They are her lovers, and they will confront the high courts of faerie – and do whatever it takes to contain the war that threatens to engulf the innocent humans who are now in very real danger of becoming collateral damage . . .

Five years after Divine Misdemeanors, Merry Gentry is back – and her life’s become a lot more complicated . . . and even more dangerous.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

A SHIVER OF LIGHT is the latest installment of Laurell K. Hamilton’s MERRY GENTRY series. A SHIVER OF LIGHT takes place several months after the end of the previous book in the series, DIVINE MISDEMEANORS, with Merry due to give birth only days away. Life is, of course, never easy or quiet for America’s only faerie princess.

Read more…

ICYMI Sunday 13 – The One Where I’m On Time?!

June 1, 2014 6 comments

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ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) Sunday is a new meme that I am planning to feature on the blog every week. It is based on the Sunday Post  which is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, which was in turn inspired in part by the In My Mailbox meme. Basically, it allows me to let you know what went on the blog this week and anything interesting that is going on. It will also allow me to showcase any books I receive like the Showcase Sunday which is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

This week I will probably be late in responding to comments as I’ll be out celebrating my parents’ birthdays. It’s been a while since I’ve managed to get an ICYMI Sunday post up because of bad timing on my part – Mondays keep creeping up on me! – so fingers crossed this post will be out on time.

Hope you’ve all had a good week.

On the blog the last couple of weeks:

What else is going on?

  • LeVar Burton has launched a Kickstarter project to ‘Bring Back Reading Rainbow for Ever Child, Everywhere.’ For more info and how to help click here.
  • Paralympian Ellie Simmonds will be signing copies of her new book ELLIE’S MAGIC BAKERY at the Birmingham New Street Waterstones on Saturday 7th June at 12pm. Click here for more info.
  • Don’t forget that the UK’s first ever Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) is being held in conjunction with the London Film and Comic Con on 12th and 13th July. You can book tickets and find out more here.
  • Hannah Gómez talks about ‘realistic’[1] adoption in Young Adult literature here.
  • The branch of Foyles Bookshop at 113-119 Charing Cross Road officially closed for the final time on Saturday at 7pm. It is moving down the road to 107 Charing Cross Road and a new flagship store. To celebrate this they are holding a 3 week Grand Opening Festival from 11th June to 5th of Julyclick here for more info.
  • Reading Groups For Everyone is ‘Seeking this year’s Hidden Gems for National Reading Group Day’. You can find out which books and authors have been nominated and vote for your favourite here.
  • On Tor.com Greg Ruth discusses ‘Why Horror is Good For You (and Even Better for Your Kids)’ in which he talks about how horror stories can help us understand the world around us. You can read his article here.

[1] I added the ‘realistic’ to the post because in the comments to the piece Gómez talks about how the book titles she focuses on in her piece are what she considers realistic fiction and that there are more books out there if the definition of adoption is broadened.

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I’m sad that the old Foyles bookstore has finally closed, but at the same time I’m looking forward to having a chance to visit their new one. I’m also toying with the idea of going to YALC but I’m not sure which day to go on as there are some wonderful authors on both days!

No books for me this week.

I would love to hear what you’ve been up to this week and what books, if any, you’ve got so please leave me a link in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by :D

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

May 29, 2014 3 comments

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (UK edition)

Title: Allegiant (Divergent #3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Collins (22nd October 2013)
Blurb:

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world beyond the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

ALLEGIANT brings Veronica Roth’s fantastic DIVERGENT trilogy to its conclusion. After the events and revelations of INSURGENT (review) Tris and her friends are left with a world thrown into chaos: everything they thought they knew was a lie. But it also offers them a world beyond the city they know, and Tris needs to know what’s out there.

Read more…

Review: Rags & Bones edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt

May 22, 2014 3 comments

Rags & Bones ed. by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt

Title: Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales
Editors: Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt
Genre: Re-telling, Short Story, Young Adult
Publisher: Headline (13th March 2014)
Blurb:

A unique short-story collection from the most unique imaginations.

There are some stories as timeless as they are involving.

There are some authors who can tell any story.

In RAGS & BONES, award-winning and bestselling authors retell classic fairytales and twisted tales in the way that only they can. With magic and passion they bring these stories – whether much loved or forgotten – back to life.

Read ‘Sleeping Beauty‘ as only Neil Gaiman can tell it. See ‘Rumpelstiltskin‘ through the eyes of Kami Garcia. And hear of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Man Who Would Be King‘ from the inimitable Garth Nix.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

RAGS & BONES is a collection of short stories that are retellings of works which mean something to the author. The collection contains re-imaginings of fairy tales as well as stories inspired by works of literature like Kipling’s THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING or Spenser’s THE FAERIE QUEENE. Each contributor adds an interesting twist to the work that inspired them. Contributors include the editors Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt, as well as Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, and Kami Garcia.

Read more…

Bout of Books – The End (Day 7 & Wrap-Up)

May 21, 2014 3 comments

This post was due to be posted on the 19th May, so you can tell I am running a little behind.

Day 7

Today was a good day, but . . . it failed on the Bout of Books front. Another day when I got zero pages read. But whilst I’m disappointed I didn’t read, I’m not unhappy. I had a great day with my family instead.

Books Read Today: 0
Pages Read Today: 0
Books Completed: 2 – DANCE OF SHADOWS, EVERNEATH
Total Pages: 711

Wrap-Up

At the beginning of Bout of Books 10 I set myself some goals I wished to achieve, as the finish line of Bout of Books 10 has now been crossed I guess it’s time to see how I did.

First I want to talk about the goals I did achieve. Read at least 100 pages a day. I might not have technically achieved this – as I didn’t read 100 pages every day – BUT I still managed to beat the goal (just) of 700 pages in a week. So I consider this a win! Finish reading DANCE OF SHADOWS by Yelena Black. This was a case of I started this book before Bout of Books and I wanted to finish it. Read at least one other book. And I managed this too. After DANCE OF SHADOWS I picked up and read EVERNEATH. I’m really proud of this, as it’s been a while since I’ve managed to fit two books into my week.

There were only two goals I failed to achieve in Bout of Books 10. I didn’t take part in a Twitter chat. This was mainly due to timing issues. I missed the first chat because it was dinner time, the second chat because I was too tired to stay up until 2am when it started, and the third and final chat I completely forgot about until it was over. I also didn’t participate in a Challenge. I totally meant to do this, it just didn’t happen.

Overall, I am very happy with how Bout of Books 10 went. Although I didn’t achieve all my goals, I don’t think 3 out of 5 is bad.

I am also planning to take part in Bout of Books 11 which will run from August 18th to August 24th. I hope to see you guys there, and I also hope everyone had as much fun with Bout of Books 10 as I did.

Categories: Challenge, Meme Tags:
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