Brief blogs for busy bees

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July wrap-up

Somehow we’re nearly three weeks into August and I’ve only just realised that I didn’t post a July wrap-up. Whoops. So here it is! Personal: Work has been CRAZY. Last month I said that I hoped the amount of extra shifts I was asked to […]

Review: SLAY by Kim Curran

Review: SLAY by Kim Curran

‘Slay did two things, and they did them well. Play killer music and kick demon butt. Music done. It was butt-kicking time.’  If you love One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer and McFly, you’ll love Slay. JD, Tom, Connor, Niv and Zek are the next […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite bookish websites

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite bookish websites

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl

 

I’ll be honest, most of the bookish websites that I visit are blogs. That means this post is going to be a sprinkling of sites I think you should visit and a huge dollop of love for my favourite fellow book bloggers.

10) My Friends Are Fiction

I used to visit Kristen’s blog very regularly, but she hasn’t been posting as regularly as she used to. One of my favourite things about My Friends Are Fiction are the LEGO cover redesigns she posts: I can’t imagine Mindy McGinnis’s A Madness So Discreet any other way.

9) Epic Reads

I used to watch all of Epic Reads YouTube videos, but then Margot left and I kind of lost interest in their videos. That being said, I still find myself visiting their website very regularly. Every month they showcase the most exciting titles they’re releasing that month, and they release most of the extremely popular YA fiction. Their cover reveals are also always beautiful – I add so many books to my TBR every season just based off of their covers.

8) Tales of Yesterday

Chelley hasn’t been very active for the last few months, but everyone is allowed to take a bit of time off. Until her recent break Tales of Yesterday was one of the blogs I visited the most, and the British Books Challenge which she was hosting challenged me to discover new authors who I hadn’t tried before (including Robin Stevens, who is one of my favourite authors now!).

7) Tea Party Princess

Cora’s reviews stand out for one reason: she always chooses five words to describe each book, giving you a nice taste of the title before you read on. I’ve been reading her reviews on Goodreads for years and only realised she had a blog at the beginning of last year, but I’ve been an avid reader ever since.

6) Queen of Contemporary

Lucy, host of #UKYAchat, is one of the best UK book bloggers out there. Her website is so aesthetically pleasing, and with her debut novel – The Paper & Hearts Society – being published next summer I’m looking forward to getting some insider info from the author herself.

5) Bustle

Honestly, I haven’t visited Bustle much this year. I used to use it a lot while I was working in the library, as they recommended a lot of new titles and it kept my finger on the pulse of a wide range of genres… But then I kind of forgot they existed until I was writing this topic. I think I’m going to have a read through some of their recent articles and see if I still like them as much as I used to, but it’s certainly easy to waste HOURS on this site.

4) Booker T’s Farm

I’ve been visiting Barb’s blog for the past few years, because she has great taste in books. Instead of reading YA, she reads a lot of crime and horror books (and has a special penchant for books with dogs on the cover!). I have always gotten great recommendations from Barb, and constantly add the books that she features on her TTT posts onto my Goodreads TBR.

3) Goodreads

Predictable? Probably. But Goodreads is the bookish website which I use the most, so I had to feature it.

2) Golden Books Girl

I only discovered Amy’s blog towards the start of the year, but I love it. As well as writing about books Amy also writes about Disney and films that she’s seen, and the more she blogs the more I realise that we have basically the exact taste in EVERYTHING.

1) Paper Fury

Cait is my favourite book blogger. With over 25,000 Twitter followers, I’m sure a lot of people agree with me! Not only is Paper Fury a visually attractive site, Cait’s book reviews never fail to make me laugh and she also writes a lot about writing (which meant it wasn’t a huge surprise when her debut novel, A Thousand Perfect Notes, was published a couple of months ago).

 

Are any of these bookish websites on your list this week, or are you looking forward to discovering new bloggers?

Alyce

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Blog tour: In Bloom by C.J. Skuse

Blog tour: In Bloom by C.J. Skuse

Hi there, and welcome to my stop on the In Bloom blog tour. This post contains spoilers for Sweetpea, so please look away if you haven’t read it yet! I only reviewed Sweetpea a couple of weeks ago, but I couldn’t resist taking part in this tour and getting to […]

Blog tour: Love the Stationery in Your Classroom by Rebecca Palliser

Blog tour: Love the Stationery in Your Classroom by Rebecca Palliser

Welcome to the first of two blog tours which I’m taking part in today. The two titles couldn’t be much further apart – this is a book aimed at young school children, while I’m also on the blog tour for C.J. Skuse’s second adult crime […]

Review: My Box-Shaped Heart by Rachael Lucas

Review: My Box-Shaped Heart by Rachael Lucas

“I don’t really know what sort of person I am,” I say. “But I think it’s time to find out.” 

Holly and Ed both use their local swimming pool as a way to escape from the things that are troubling them. Holly’s mum started hoarding after breaking up with Holly’s step-dad, Neil, and their house is overwhelmed with stuff that never gets dealt with. Meanwhile Ed and his mum have only just moved to the area and he doesn’t want to share much about his past, but Holly can see that the fancy labels on his clothes don’t mean a thing anymore.

Bonding over their mutual love of swimming, Holly and Ed’s friendship quickly blossoms, and suddenly Holly doesn’t want to be invisible anymore.

The thing I liked the most about My Box-Shaped Heart was that there is hardly any exaggerated conflict in this story. Holly and Ed like each other and there’s no will-they-or-won’t-they, they just start going out. Rachael Lucas perfectly describes the excitement and nerves which accompany the beginning of every relationship, but I didn’t feel anxious or concerned while reading this book. It was a breath of fresh air.

They each have their own trials and tribulations – Holly’s mum breaks her ankle, while Ed eventually reveals that his dad was abusing his mum – but their relationship is a safe haven for them both. I can’t think of another YA book where this is the case: normally the familial problems take their toll on the relationship and that’s the main conflict which drives the plot, so it was great to read something different.

There is still conflict (there wouldn’t really be a story without it!) but it’s mundane, ordinary conflict which most readers will be able to empathise with. I’m a bit of a hoarder myself, so I could definitely relate to Holly‘s embarrassment about the state of the house and not feeling able to invite her friends over. Although this is a short book, clocking in at just over 250 pages, it deals with a lot of topics which aren’t commonly focused upon in YA which made it an even more compelling read.

The moral of My Box-Shaped Heart is that you can choose your own family, and that blood isn’t thicker than water (which made the setting of the swimming pool a clever choice!). This is a highly important message to convey to younger readers, particularly those who may have parents going through divorce or separation. They’ll be learning to come to terms with a different family structure to the one that they’ve always had, which is exactly what Holly and Ed have to cope with. Families come in all different shapes and sizes – nothing is normal or abnormal anymore!

 

If you’re interested in learning more about My Box-Shaped Heart, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!

 

If you know a teenager who is having a tough time with their family, I’d highly suggest you recommend this title to them. I think it would have made me feel a lot better if I’d been able to read it when I was younger.

Alyce

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Review: Deaf Havana – Sound Knowledge Marlborough, 09/08/18

Review: Deaf Havana – Sound Knowledge Marlborough, 09/08/18

With the heatwave over and a cool breeze in the air, it was the perfect day for a family-friendly acoustic set. Taking place in the courtyard outside Sound Knowledge and Cafe Thirty8 at lunchtime, an eager group of fans were thanking their lucky stars for […]

Review: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Review: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

“What’s the point of being a billionaire if I can’t have a little fun?” I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Batman. In my opinion he’s not really a superhero, just a rich asshole. I only decided to read this book because I’d […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d mash together

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d mash together

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl

I’ve found this topic really, really hard. I’m not the most creative person, so trying to visualise a world in which two of my favourite books collide has not been the easiest. For that reason, I’m making this a top five list (but with two books mashed together in each of the five, it’s still technically a top ten list – don’t fight me on this!).

5) All of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor meets Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse

All of This is True by Lygia Day PenaflorSweetpea by C.J. Skuse

All of This is True is a story of betrayal, while Sweetpea tells the story of a girl who kills as a response to her boyfriend’s infidelity. If Fatima Ro had betrayed Rhiannon, I can imagine her reaction would have been rather explosive…

4) Paper Towns by John Green meets The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Paper Towns by John GreenThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This was actually my boyfriend’s suggestion, but I think it’s absolutely genius. Imagine if Margot ran away, but instead of Q being able to hop in a car with his friends and find her again after a couple of hours he had to embark on a race across the galaxy to track her down? Add in the cast of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and it becomes a riotous, hectic adventure.

3) The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage by Enid Blyton meets Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage by Enid BlytonMurder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

The Five Find-Outers were my favourite detectives when I was a little girl, while Daisy and Hazel are my favourite detectives now. The only problem that would occur with this collision of great young minds would be that the mysteries would be solved far too quickly – they could definitely only team up for a novella!

2) Asking For It by Louise O’Neill meets The Call by Peadar O’Guilin

Asking For It by Louise O'NeillThe Call by Peadar O'Guilin

In The Call, Irish teenagers are taken for three minutes to the land of the Sídhe, and the majority of them don’t come back alive. Asking For It tells the story of a girl who is sexually assaulted and then victim blamed by almost everyone around her, and I would love to see some of the people who wronged Emma torn limb from limb by the Sídhe.

1) The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr meets The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily BarrThe State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

I think Grace and Flora could be the greatest of friends. Grace is autistic and struggles to connect with the people around her, while Flora has anterograde amnesia and can only remember her childhood. Grace cares a lot about her friends, though, so it’s obvious that she’d look after Flora, while Flora wouldn’t be able to remember any faux pas that Grace made, making her feel more comfortable.

 

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link (found in the book’s title). If you’d like to read more about each book, please click their cover: you’ll be redirected to their Goodreads page.

 

Would you read any of my mashups, or would you prefer to mix two other books together? Leave your comments down below!

Alyce

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Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve been resisting picking up The Language of Thorns since it was released, as I haven’t yet read the Six of Crows duology and was worried about getting spoilers. For anyone who has been avoiding it for the same reason, fear no more! The Language of Thorns might be part of […]