ICYMI Sunday 9 – The ban is back


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 a quiet week, which has been nice 🙂 I managed to finish one book this week and make inroads into another which I am very happy about – steps in the right direction, finally.

On the blog this week:

What else is going on?

  • The 2014 Pulitzer Prizes have been announced, you can find out who won what here. At the bottom of the article there is also a link to the Nominated Finalists.
  • Business Matters on the BBC World Service discussed whether winning a Pulitzer Prize helps book sales, you can find out more here.
  • Jennifer E Smith is interviewed in The Guardian about her new book THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME, if she believes in love at first sight and where she finds inspiration. You can read the interview here.
  • A survey commissioned by the Reading Agency has found that 63% of men don’t read as much as they think they should. You can find the article here.
  • The Guardian has a list of female characters who are admired by men, you can find the list here.
  • SF Signal asked some authors if they could only read one author for life who would they pick? You can find out how the authors picked.
  • Julie Kagawa was interviewed on GoodReads by GoodReads users.
  • GoodReads has now enabled US, Canada, and Australia members to add books purchased on Amazon to their GoodReads shelves – you can find out more about the new feature here.
  • The Guardian asks ‘What are your reading habits and quirks?here.
  • Simon Kids UK revealed the covers of THE THIRTEEN CURSES and THE THIRTEEN SECRETS here.
  • CJ Daugherty has a prequel to her NIGHT SCHOOL series up on Wattpad called THE DAY THE LIGHTS WENT OUT. You can find it here.
  • George R. R.. Martin has released an excerpt from his upcoming companion novel books to his SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series. You can find out more about it here.
  • Brain Pickings talks about J. R. R. Tolkien’s little known children’s book here.
  • You can find a fantastic response and expansion of JK Rowling’s comments about Susan from C. S. Lewis’s NARNIA series here.

There was some interesting news this week. As per normal I haven’t read any of the Pulitzer Prize books. To be honest, I’d be surprised if a book whose name I recognised won. Both author interviews are fun, and the final bit of “news” is part monologue and part stream of consciousness. I quite enjoyed it, though I have to confess how Lewis handled Susan in NARNIA had never occurred to me before.

After last week’s buying spree, there were no books for me this week and the ban is back in place.

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

ICYMI Sunday 5 – The one with a new Harry Potter Cover link!


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.

My moods have been all over the place this week, and Mum and Dad have been awesome about it. It’s partly down to grief and partly down to tiredness/lack of food/no energy. It’s also meant I haven’t really felt like reading this week, which sucked but hopefully next week will be better.

We were back to just one post on the blog this week:

What else is going on? I seem to have found a lot of “news” this week again – it seems to come in swings and roundabouts! I hope there’s something interesting on here for you.

  • Guardian Books had a “fiendishly difficult” St. Paddy’s Irish fiction quotes quiz, which you can find here if you want a go.
  • Cayce at Fighting Dreamer and Laura at Laura Plus Books are hosting a LGBT Month in April. If you want to sign up or just find out more then follow the link here.
  • Angry Robot Books are giving away ten copies of THE BOOK OF THE CROWMAN on Goodreads, you can enter here.
  • The Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader announced the finalists for the seventh annual Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards, but this was not without controversy, as it has emerged that one of the finalists is Rush Limbaugh – a controversial radio talk show host. You can find out more here about how the CBC and ECAR responded to the criticism.
  • Simon Kids UK shared the cover of ON SUDDEN HILL by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies on their Facebook page. You can find the gorgeous cover here.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien translation of BEOWULF to be published in May after 90-year wait. The Guardian has an article about it, which you can find here.
  • On her blog Julie Kagawa is giving away a signed copy of FOREVER SONG and one of her dragons. The giveaway is international, and you can find out more about it here.
  • According to The Bookseller, Amazon Publishing UK plans to release more than 500 titles this year. You can find out more about that here.
  • BIBLIOdaze have an article titled ‘Things YA Readers Are Sick of Hearing & How To Respond’ which is an interesting read that you can find here.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation talk about the U. S. Copyright Office updating the copyright act and what it means for everyone here.
  • Amy Lynn Andrews discusses on her blog how as an Amazon Associate you may be unwittingly breaking the Terms of Service – you can find out more here.
  • Bloomsbury have got some fantastic new jackets for the HARRY POTTER series, which have been created by award-winning artist Jonny Duddle. These new covers will be published on September 1st 2014. You can see the cover and find out more here (there’s also a Q&A with Duddle).
  • The Guardian Books Blog talks about ‘The underrated books whose reputation you want raised’ which has some interesting author picks. You can find the post here.
  • Brain Pickings has an article based on Neil Gaiman’s TED talk in Vancouver in 2014 (along with video) where Gaiman talks about the art of fear in children’s books. You can find out more here.
  • The Guardian Book Blogs discuss spoilers and the impact they can have on books. You can find more here.

Fifteen things I found interesting this week – wow. I’m really excited about the new editions of the HARRY POTTER series – depending on how the rest look, I may have to invest in them. I’m also curious about Tolkien’s adaptation of BEOWULF, as adaptations are always interesting in terms of what is kept in and what is taken out. As far as books and spoilers go….well, I think a spoiler can mean you won’t read a book because you know what will happen – but that’s just my opinion, I’d love to know your thoughts.

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: This Is What HAPPY Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What HAPPY Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: This Is What HAPPY Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Headline (4th April 2013)

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

It’s June – seventeen-year-old Ellie O’Neill’s least favourite time of year. Her tiny hometown is annually invaded by tourists, and this year there’s the added inconvenience of a film crew. Even the arrival of Hollywood heart-throb Graham Larkin can’t lift her mood.

But there is something making Ellie very happy. Ever since an email was accidentally sent to her a few months ago, she’s been corresponding with a mysterious stranger, the two of them sharing their hopes and fears. Their developing relationship is not without its secrets though – there’s the truth about Ellie’s past…and her pen pal’s real identity. When they finally meet in person, things are destined to get much more complicated. Can two people, worlds apart but brought together by chance, make it against all the odds?

Spanning one fateful summer, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel proves that life – and love – are full of unexpected connections and happy mistakes.

Rating: ** (2 stars)

THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE is the second stand-alone novel from author Jennifer E. Smith. It tells the story of Ellie O’Neill – a seventeen-year-old who lives in a coastal town in Maine. The story takes place between June and July, whilst a film crew (and the typical holiday makers) invade the town. The narrative is split between emails between Ellie and her mysterious pen pal, and chapters following the story of Ellie and her pen pal.

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday (24)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They’d love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!





This weeks Top Ten topic is …

Top Ten Nine Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

My list includes books that are coming out between June and August, as well as books that I want to read during the summer. The list is made up of a mixture of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult books. As always blurbs are taken from Goodreads.com and the release dates are according to Amazon.co.uk.

Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun [Goodreads]



Katie Greene is lost in the wake of her mum’s death. Sent to Japan, she meets gorgeous but aloof artist Tomohiro, whose tough attitude intrigues and scares her. Then things get really strange. When they’re near each other, Tomohiro’s drawings start to come to life…

Soon the wrong people begin to ask questions, and Katie and Tomohiro must risk everything to protect the truth.

I’m actually currently reading this book as I managed to get a copy via NetGalley 🙂 I think the cover is gorgeous, and the concept of the book is really interesting. It’s released in the UK on 5th July 2013.

Doll Bones by Holly Black [Goodreads]

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

This book is already released, and there is in fact a copy of it sitting in my TBR pile. I really liked some of Holly Black’s books so I thought I would give this one a try as it sounds quite spooky.

Affliction (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #22) by Laurell K. Hamilton [Goodreads]

Micah is called back home by his estranged family, because his father, a county sheriff, has been attacked and is terribly injured. Anita and Nathaniel are going with him for moral support and to meet his family under very trying circumstances.

Micah has been estranged from his family for a decade, deliberately turning his back on them to protect them from the sadistic killer who once led his leopard pack. But now Micah’s father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”

Anita—who understands zombies better than anyone—knows there’s more to it than that. While zombies have unlovable traits, being one doesn’t cause human beings to rot in agony. She needs to solve that mystery—but now a more immediate issue is pressing: Micah’s father may have only five days to live.

I have to say I’m really looking forward to reading this Anita book. I think it will be interesting to finally know a little more about Micah’s family and actually get to see them. It’s released in the UK on 2nd July 2013.

Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages #1) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr [Goodreads]

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters–wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history–because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids–led by Matt–will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

I already own a copy of this, but I am looking forward to diving into this. Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors, and I really enjoyed Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series so I thought it might be fun to try this book written by both of them.

Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong [Goodreads]

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

As I mentioned above, I am a HUGE Kelley Armstrong fan and as she has recently finished her brilliant Women of the Otherworld series I thought I would try her new one. Oh, and I really love the cover It is released in the UK on 20th August 2013.

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smitih [Goodreads]

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith’s new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don’t even know each other’s first names.

Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don’t tell each other everything; Graham doesn’t know the major secret hidden in Ellie’s family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham’s new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie’s mom want her to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

Just as they did in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the hands of fate intervene in wondrous ways in this YA novel that delivers on high concept romance in lush and thoughtful prose.

I have a copy of this already sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read. I’ve heard some really good things about both the author and the book itself, so I’m interested to see if it lives up to the hype.

US cover

Biting Bad (Chicagoland Vampires #8) by Chloe Neill [Goodreads]

Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.

Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.

Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.

I’m really loving this series. Merit is a brilliant character, and I love the way vampires and politics are handled in this series. It comes out in the UK on 8th August 2013.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein [Goodreads]

Rose Justice is a young American ATA pilot, delivering planes and taxiing pilots for the RAF in the UK during the summer of 1944. A budding poet who feels most alive while flying, she discovers that not all battles are fought in the air. An unforgettable journey from innocence to experience from the author of the best-selling, multi-award-nominated Code Name Verity. From the exhilaration of being the youngest pilot in the British air transport auxiliary, to the aftermath of surviving the notorious Ravensbruck women’s concentration camp, Rose’s story is one of courage in the face of adversity. Code Name Verity is shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

This is already out and sitting on my shelf. I loved Code Name Verity when it came out, so I’m hoping that this book will live up to my expectations!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas [Goodreads]

Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.

Love or loathe Celaena, she will slice open your heart with her dagger and leave you bleeding long after the last page of the highly anticipated sequel in what is undeniably THE hottest new fantasy series.

I really enjoyed Throne of Glass when it came out last year, and thought Celaena was a kick-ass character. I cannot wait to see what Mass has done with this book. I also think the cover looks gorgeous. It comes out in the UK on 15th August 2013.

I cannot believe that I have come up with a list of just nine again – sorry!

What are the top ten books on your summer TBR pile? Let me know in the comments below, or link back to your Top Ten post so I can see what makes your list.