My posts may contain affiliate links, if you buy something through these links it doesn't cost you anything, but I may make a small commission which helps to keep this site up and running. Your virtual dog could be the next champion!

31 December 2016

British Books Challenge 2017

If you know me, then you'll know that I have a huge and profound love of UKYA. So this challenge is right up my street.

The following criteria decides whether an author can count towards the challenge:
  • Authors who were born in the UK, live in the UK and are published in the UK
  • Authors who were born overseas but are CURRENTLY living in the UK and his/her books were/are being published in the UK first
  • Authors who were born in the UK are currently living overseas but his/her books are being published in the UK first
Each month, I am planning to read two books that fit the criteria. But, I am a mood reader, so planning out exactly what I'll read for the next year just won't work. There are several books I would like to tackle, so I'm listing out twelve of them and resolving to read them upon release.

Twelve brand new books I will definitely, absolutely read in 2017:
  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
  • Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
  • Mind The Gap by Phil Earle
  • Margot & Me by Juno Dawson
  • Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
  • Waiting For Callback: Take Two by Perdita and Honor Cargill
  • Forever Geek by Holly Smale
  • Becoming Betty by Eleanor Wood
  • One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton
  • The Fallen Children by David Owen
  • Contagion by Teri Terry
  • Songs About Us by Chris Russell
Check back each month to find review links and monthly wrap-ups below! I'll be adding them as I finish.
To come

To come

To come

To come

To come

To come

To come

To come

To come

To come

To come

To come

28 December 2016

I'll Be Home for Christmas Stripes Anthology

I already love anthologies, but I'll Be Home For Christmas from Stripes went straight into my favourites. There really is something for everyone, and I loved how many amazing UKYA authors wrote their own take on the theme.

I'll Be Home for Christmas Stripes Anthology coverAdd to Goodreads button
The UK's top Young Adult authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home.

Contributors include: Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon , Cat Clarke, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick, Lisa Williamson and Benjamin Zephaniah.

£1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity.

To find out more about Crisis, see

Source: Purchase

5 Words: Home, Christmas, family, friendship, warmfuzzies.


Just a peek at the names contributing and you *know* it's going to be special, before you even open this book up. And once you do? Well, I was blown away.

As a collection, I think this worked fantastically. There was something for everyone to love within these pages, and I loved the range of styles and interpretations of the central theme. I do have my favourites, but there wasn't a single story I disliked.

At the end of each story - and the poem - I wanted more. The authors wrote with such passion and compassion that I was sucked right into each world, despite often being outside of my comfort zone. There were a few surprise stories in this book; as varied as I knew that content was going to be, I was a little blindsided by some of them (what is going on?) and I loved that my expectations were blown away.

This is a very special book.

27 December 2016

SundayYAthon at Christmas

The amazing Rachel, the brains behind #SundayYA, is hosting another SundayYAthon and I couldn't be more excited. I've already hit my reading target for the year, but after utterly failing the last readathon, I am GOING TO COMPLETE THIS ONE.

What I'm Reading

I've decided to read five books this time, as well as completing the challenge. I'm working over the readathon, so as well as discreetly reading under my desk when it's quiet, I will likely be listening to at least one as an audiobook on my way to/from work. Some of the books hit multiple categories, so I've got that one nailed in just three books.

I'll tick them off as I go, and if you click on the title it'll take you to my review. Here are my books:

I'm using my KnockKnock You Are Here bookmarks to make notes, drinking lots of tea, and stuffing my face with chocolate oranges. Nom nom nom. So expect reviews to finish up the end!

I'd better go pick up a book now...

16 December 2016

Book Beginnings #27

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.

I am currently reading The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher.

This story starts like all good stories do, a long time ago. Not just a long time ago, but a very, very, very long time ago. Squillions of years ago, in fact. Long before your granny and your grandad were born. Before there were any human beings at all. Before cars and aeroplanes, even before there was the internet, there was something better...

This is going to be so much fun to read to my nephew! I'm sneakily reading ahead so I can get the pacing right and figure out how to personalise it for him. Knowing where granny and grandad will pop up means I'm already prepared to change it to nana and grandpa without stumbling.

I love the lyrical qualities to this story so far, it's very easy to read aloud and is promising to have the same humour and the author's other books. Also, my nephew loves dinosaurs. I think I'm on to a winner.

12 December 2016

Twelfth Day of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...
🎄A Blogger's Best Friend Kit🎄

I love book blogging and I love the bookish community, and instead of more books (although books are great!) I thought I'd put together a little blogging kit. This little kit is packed with the things I find most helpful when blogging, the things that help keep me on track and make reviewing books easier.

The contents are a bit of a surprise for you, but will include things like a 2017 diary, bookmarks you can write on, and tea to keep you going.

10 December 2016

Tenth Day of Christmas

On the tenth day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...
🎄A signed copy of Unbecoming by Jenny Downham🎄
Here we have another of the wonderful signed books I picked up at YA Shot! I'm not joking when I say that I came back with a suitcase full of books, and it was the most fun I have ever had at a bookish event.

Three women - three secrets - one heart-stopping story.
Katie, seventeen, in love with someone whose identity she can't reveal. Her mother Caroline, uptight, worn out and about to find the past catching up with her. Katie's grandmother, Mary, back with the family after years of mysterious absence and 'capable of anything', despite suffering from Alzheimers.
As Katie cares for an elderly woman who brings daily chaos to her life, she finds herself drawn to her. Rules get broken as allegiances shift. Is Mary contagious? Is 'badness' genetic? In confronting the past, Katie is forced to seize the present. As Mary slowly unravels and family secrets are revealed, Katie learns to live and finally dares to love.

09 December 2016

Book Beginnings #26

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.

I am currently reading Bertie's Gift by Hannah Coates.

'Wheeee!' I launch myself across the wet kitchen lino on my rump for the seventh time. The world spins brilliantly with my body, and my ears begin to lift. 'Look at me, Molly, I'm skating.'

A Christmas story from the perspective of a Beagle? Colour me intrigued.

I've read a lot of books by this author writing under various pen-names, so I have very high hopes. I'm a little unsure to start with, because I know that the perspective will be a bit weird, but at the same time I' quite excited to be reading something so different. I don't think I've read anything from the perspective of an animal since I was thirteen, reading Animals of Farthing Wood.

Ninth Day of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...
🎄A signed copy of Acid by Emma Pass🎄
I absolutely love every book by Emma Pass, and Acid is probably my favourite. I first read it a few years ago now, and I still haven't managed to coherently review it, because it absolutely blew my mind. So when I went to UKYACX I not only took my books to be signed, but I picked  up some extra copies got them signed too.

The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong's world, ACID - the most brutal controlling police force in history - rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed - or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna's violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary. 

When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID, and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They have taken her life, her freedom, and her true memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn't know who to trust?

08 December 2016

Eigth Day of Christmas

On the eighth day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...
🎄A signed copy of The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury🎄
Don't you just love bookish events? I picked this beauty up at Seven Stories, where Melinda Salisbury and Leigh Bardugo were talking all things fantasy and magic and girl power. And also Harry Potter, because 90% millennials are in love with it still. During this talk, the marvellous Melinda talked about how TSD was a bit of a retelling and that got me thinking...

Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court. She's the executioner.
As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.
But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

07 December 2016

Seventh Day of Christmas

On the seventh day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...

🎄A signed copy of Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery🎄
You know what the best thing about bookish events is? Meeting the authors. After hearing the author talking about this at UKYACX I couldn't not pick it up. It sounded incredible. So not only did I pick a copy up for myself, I picked up a spare and got it signed to give away!

Should she live or die? You decide. 
An adored celebrity has been killed. Sixteen-year-old Martha Honeydew was found holding a gun, standing over the body.
Now Justice must prevail.
The general public will decide whether Martha is innocent or guilty by viewing daily episodes of the hugely popular TV show Death is Justice, the only TV show that gives the power of life and death decisions - all for the price of a phone call.
Martha has admitted to the crime. But is she guilty? Or is reality sometimes more complicated than the images we are shown on TV? 

06 December 2016

#YAXmasTour2016 - Cora's Last-Minute Christmas Book Guide

Cora's Last-Minute Christmas Book Guide

Sometimes you remember, pretty last minute, that you forgot to get someone a gift... So thank goodness the bookshop is open on Christmas Eve! Here's a quick - last minute - gift guide to get you sorted.

Best for Wee Kids

I don't think you can get any funnier than this when it comes to Christmas books for kids, it's lots of fun and will have the big kids laughing too. Excellent illustration and lyrical writing make this perfect for bed time.

Best for Bigger Kids

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
This is a classic with a strong, girl-power core. It gives a good lesson in humility and what really matters in life.

Best for Young Teens

Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens
Even if they've never read Wells & Wong before, they'll be sucked right into the mystery, trying to work out whodunnit.

Best for Older Teens

This a a very sweet anthology, filled with festive cheer and a good dose of the Warm Fuzzies. There's something for everyone in this collection.

Best for Reluctant Readers

The mix of poetry and prose, and the different writing styles offered, makes this perfect for reluctant readers. Well, perfect for everyone.

Best for the Romantic

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan
I don't think you can get any more romantic than Snow Crystal at Christmas, and this start to the O'Neil Brother series is the perfect festive treat.

Best for the Bitter Cynic

Dying For Christmas by Tammy Cohen
This book is perfect for those who just don't want to feel the warm fuzzies. This book messes with your head, with a fantastically unreliable narrator.

Best for Any Age

V&A: The Twelve Days of Christmas by William Morris, Liz Catchpole
This book is absolutely beautiful! Mixing stunning historical works from William Morris with Liz Catchpole's sympathetic illustrations, this books makes the perfect gift for anyone.

Sixth Day of Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...
🎄A signed copy of Lydia by Natasha Farrant🎄

This was one of the YAShot Group Reads this year and it was so much fun. I picked up a signed copy at YA Shot especially for this giveaway. I had already heard a lot about the book at YALC when I attended a workshop by the author on re-imagining classics. It was my favourite workshop and I wish I know who I'd been grouped with, because I think our Mrs Norris story idea was amazing.

Lydia is the youngest Bennet sister and she's sick of country life - instead of sewing and reading, she longs for adventure.
When a red-coated garrison arrives in Merryton, Lydia's life turns upside down. As she falls for dashing Wickham, she's swept into a whirlwind social circle and deposited in a seaside town, Brighton. Sea-bathing, promenades and scandal await - and a pair of intriguing twins.
Can Lydia find out what she really wants - and can she get it?
“It has started to snow. We all ran out when it began, and played at catching flakes as we used to when we were children. But it was cold, and our boots and gloves and cloaks were soon wet - you feel these things more when you are grown-up.” 

05 December 2016

Fifth Day of Christmas

On the fifth day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...
🎄Book and a Brew Limited Edition Christmas Box🎄
Book and a Brew was the first subscription box I ever got, and it is absolutely the best value for money. It must be coming up two years now that I have been getting it. So I can't wait for one of you lucky people to get this limited edition Christmas box, complete with a selection of festive books and some delicious tea, all in time for Christmas!

This giveaway is UK Mainland only.

04 December 2016

Fourth Day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...

🎄Signed copy of Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens🎄
Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are spending the Christmas hols in snowy Cambridge. Hazel has high hopes of its beautiful spires, cosy libraries and inviting tea-rooms - but there is danger lurking in the dark stairwells of ancient Maudlin College.

Two days before Christmas, there is a terrible accident. At least, it appears to be an accident - until the Detective Society look a little closer, and realise a murder has taken place. Faced with several irritating grown-ups and fierce competition from a rival agency, they must use all their cunning and courage to find the killer (in time for Christmas Day, of course).

This giveaway is UK/Ireland only.

03 December 2016

Third Day of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...

🎄Signed copy of ...And A Happy New Year? by Holly Bourne🎄
This was a surprise pick up at YA Shot - when I'd been helping out the night before it wasn't on the book stand, but in the morning there is was - and I'm pretty sure that I ran faster than ever before making from my workshop to her signing. And I don't run. But it was worth it!

Evie, Amber and Lottie are having a new year party to remember.
For the first time since leaving college, all three girls are back together. It's time for fun and flirting, snogs and shots.
(And not tears or tantrums or terrible secrets)
Because everything's going great for these girls - Spinster Club for ever! Right?

This giveaway is UK/Ireland only.

02 December 2016

Second Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...

🎄Signed copy of The Look by Sophia Bennett🎄

When  I was at YA Shot I picked up a second copy of one of my favourite Sophia Bennett books and she very kindly signed it for me. The Look is perfect for fans of Geek Girls and Fashionista.

Ted doesn't think of herself as glamorous. But her gorgeous sister Ava is.
So when it's Ted who spotted by a model agency, at the same time that Ava is diagnosed with cancer, things have clearly gone very wrong. Ted isn't interested in modelling but Ava wants her to give it a try.
Just how far will Ted go to please her sister? And what sacrifices will she have to make?

This giveaway is UK/Ireland only.

01 December 2016

First Day of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, Cora gave to me...

🎄William & Joseph Scent Library Melt Edition🎄

The scent library is a monthly box of bookish scented surprises. In this festive themed box there are eight individual wax melts, with scents inspired by books from the likes of Charles Dickens, CS Lewis and Dr Seuss.

Get 10% off your first order by following this link.

This giveaway is mainland UK only.