28 April 2017

Book Beginnings #39

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence. This is my first time

I am currently reading Tennis Shoes by Noel Streatfeild.
The Heaths lived at Tulse Hill. Their father was a doctor. He had not meant to be a doctor. He would have liked to have been a soldier; but in an accident he was shot through the leg.
I feel that this start is pretty typical of the author so I'm excited to continue. I am just starting this as I type, so I don't have any thoughts beyond anticipation and hope that it will be as good as the magnificent Ballet Shoes.
It was no good. She always dropped the third ball.
Honestly, I know nothing that's happening in this scene. I picked the first line at 56% on my kindle. But I can't wait to get properly stuck in.

27 April 2017

Review: The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.

Grace has Asperger's and her own way of looking at the world. She's got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that's pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn't make much sense to her any more. Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it's up to Grace to fix it on her own.

Whip-smart, hilarious and unapologetically honest, The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas is a heart-warming story of one girl trying to work out where she fits in, and whether she even wants to.


Source: Purchase

5 Words: Family, friends, growing-up, first-love, control.

It took me about five chapters to settle into this book, there was something about the style that took me some time to get into. But once I was in that was me, and I couldn't put it down, I couldn't stop turning the pages.

I loved Grace and her relationship with her sister and her mother, and how it wasn't all sunshine and fluffy white clouds. Evie (booooooo) comes into their lives and just astonishingly awful, a big dark cloud that sets in motion so many little bad things. I loved Grace and her relationship with her friends, especially Anna. I loved Grace and her relationship with her horse and the people at the stables (even though I'm not a fan of horses).

Although not a huge amount happens in the story itself, it feels like an awful lot happens as you're reading. Grace goes through so many little things, so many little moments of her and her life are presented, and as a whole you feel like you've gone on an adventure by the time you finish.

This was a quick read that had me smiling and raging and laughing and shocked... It made me feel so much.
Friendship is a weird sort of thing when you think about it.

25 April 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #87

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book.

Judgey-judge-judge.
  • Hype
    Sometimes if a book is really super hyped it puts me off - what if I'm disappointed?
  • Ugly Cover
    I can't help it, I'm shallow and like pretty things.
  • Badly Behaving Author
    Sometimes an author will say or do something and I'm like NOPE. Sometimes it's not even a big, bad thing.
  • Sci-Fi
    The thing is, I actually like sci-fi, I just think that I don't. It's like it's ingrained in my head that I don't like it even when dystopian fiction is my auto-buy.
  • Time Travel
    I just over think it to the extent that I don't enjoy the story itself. I think I've only liked one or two time travel stories and I've tried hundreds.

  • All 5 Star Reviews
    I get that some books are awesome and amazing, but if a book only has five star reviews then I'm instantly suspicious. Not everyone likes everything.
  • Cookie Cutter Fantasy
    After a while, reading the same thing again is just boring and predictable. I want a different take, something unique!
  • Religion
    I actually love books that explore religion, but when it's preachy and shoved down my throat then no thanks.
  • Spoilers
    When a book hasn't been out for a month and there are spoilers everywhere I probably won't bother. And yes, I'm looking at you Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo fandoms because they are the worst at this.
  • Pretty Dresses
    I love the look of those books with the great big beautiful dresses on the cover, but honestly? 90% of the time I am disappointed when I actually pick it up, so generally I just look at the pretty and move on.

21 April 2017

Book Beginnings #38

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence. This is my first time

I am currently reading Crimson & Bone by Marina Fiorato.
They called it the Bridge of Sighs, because it barely passed a night without suicide. That night was no different.
What an opening line. Already I can sense the atmosphere building, the setting coming to life. I can't put in to words how excited I am to get properly into this story as Marina Fiorato is an excellent historical writer with a beautiful narrative style.
From her very earliest days she was at work for her father on the streets of the East End.
I tried to pick the vaguest quote on this page, as I really don't want to give anything away, but I think it perfectly captures Annie and her life and her struggles. This book is a stunner and promises to be a beautifully written tale of a desperately hidden past creeping up to threaten her.

20 April 2017

Release Day Review & Guestpost: Becoming Betty by Eleanor Wood

Lizzie Brown's life is one big to-do list: 
1. Start college
2. Become cool
3. Decide wtf to do with her life

So when she meets Viv, the crazy, beautiful lead singer in a band, she thinks she's on her way to achieving number two on her list. And when Viv asks her to be the bass player in the band, there's only one problem - Lizzie can't play a single note. And that she's nowhere near cool enough (ok, two problems). And that she has a huge crush on the guitarist (ok, three), who happens to be Viv's boyfriend (ok, this is a terrible idea).

But Viv won't take no for an answer, and decides that a makeover is the answer to everything. Boring Lizzie Brown is going to become Betty Brown the Bass Player and there's nothing Lizzie can do about it...


Source: Review Consideration | Purchase

5 Words: Music, friendship, family, change, growing-up.

Yep, she's done it again.

This is exactly the book I wish I'd had when I was sixteen. At times when I was reading I forgot I was reading about Lizzie and thought I was reading about myself. As much as I saw myself in the main character, it was still easy to escape into this story.

I loved how there were friendships that changed. I loved that first, desperate day at college. The whole book came to life as I read, played out in my head like I was watching it on TV.

Something Eleanor Wood does really well is writing about how actions have consequences. Whatever her characters do, right or wrong, there are repercussions within the story. It adds extra depth to the whole story, and makes her characters all the more human.
Behind Becoming Betty 
When I wrote Becoming Betty, the main theme I had in my head was: GIRLS DOING STUFF! Sounds very basic, I know… 
I was conscious that in my first book My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend, the heroine Tuesday (although she is super cool, and a blogger and a writer and a “do-er”) – she spends the entire story idolising a boy in a band, instead of being in a band herself. The whole book was about music, but from the point of view of being a fan rather than a musician. 
So, of course the logical next step was to write a book about girls in bands. It is very loosely inspired by the time I was in a (terrible) band when I was younger. Like Betty, I learned to play bass because it was known for being the easiest instrument. Unfortunately, I did not uncover any great hidden talent. However, I did have a brilliant time and learned to play a few songs on the bass (although mostly my friends and I sat around and drank tea and talked about how amazing our band was going to be at some unspecified point in the future). If we had spent that time actually practising, who knows where we’d be now?! 
Funnily enough, after I had written the book, I heard the term ‘girl band lit’ mentioned for the first time. During a Twitter chat about #boybandlit someone (actually the brilliant Chris Russell!) suggested that somebody needed to start writing ‘girlband lit’! It was only then it occurred to me, that’s exactly what I have written! 
While I was writing the book, I was really inspired by a few books about young girls in bands. Personally, I think these are fascinating reads whether you’re a fan of the music or not… 

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. by Viv Albertine

Isn’t that the greatest title ever? It’s a quote from the author’s mum, shouted during an argument: ‘all you ever think about is…!’ Viv Albertine was in The Slits, a girl band in London in the 70s. None of them knew how to play, they just made it up as they went along, then became an important band on the punk scene. Viv Albertine is the coolest. I love this book so much, I named one of my main characters after her. 

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

Not only was Carrie Brownstein in the amazing band Sleater Kinney – she then had a total career change when the band broke up and now writes the comedy show Portlandia. She also volunteers for a rescue dog charity. She is wonderful and inspiring. 

Paradoxical Undressing by Kristin Hersh

This memoir covers a year in Kristin’s life, when she was still a teenager. That year was a dramatic time to say the least: her band the Throwing Muses got signed, she was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and she had a baby. This woman is amazing and her book is beautiful.

18 April 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #86

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book.

OK let's do this.

  • A pretty cover, extra points for shiny and sparkly.
  • An interesting blurb that doesn't give the whole plot away
  • #SundayYA because it ROCKS and has the best books/authors/PEOPLE ever
  • A friend recommends it because bookish friends are the best
  • A bookseller recommends it because they know their stuff
  • An author I've read before, even if I haven't loved them..?
  • Upcoming TV/Film adaptation because I want to have read it first (usually)
  • Character named Cora, who doesn't love reading their name on page?
  • EVERYONE is talking about it EVERYWHERE
  • IDK I just saw it and thought why not?

12 April 2017

SundayYAthon at Easter


The amazing Rachel, the brains behind #SundayYA, is hosting another #SundayYAthon and I couldn't be more excited. This readathon runs from Thursday 13th April to Monday 17th April, and if you pop on the hashtag there is all sorts of fun and bookish chat.

Reading List

So here is my reading list! I'm aiming for four books over the weekend because I have to adult (boo) but hopefully I can squeeze a bonus one in there too and read one per day. And (surprise) they're all UKYA. Check back throughout the readathon as I'll be reviewing as I read.

❤ Becoming Betty by Eleanor Wood
 Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery
 Contagion by Teri Terry
❤ My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley

If you're taking part too, leave your links below and I'll add them on to my lovely Table of TBRs so I can keep checking back on your progress and chat books ❤

How Did I Do?

I ended up not having enough time to actually read very much over the weekend, but I still managed to get through three fabulous books which I would recommend to everyone. I didn't manage to pick up Cell 7 and I was a bit gutted because it has been on my TBR for ages, so I'm going to make it one of my next reads anyway.

Since I was short on time, I tried a few different techniques to get some reading done. The one I found worked best was setting a timer and doing a reading sprint, challenging myself to read an extra page each time I did it.

3 books
1168 pages

Keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks as I review the titles I have read.