#First8weeks Bookmail Book Haul!

I hate being ill once again, grrr, 2016 has proved so far to be a year where I have fallen unwell practically every few weeks. It’s such a bummer. However, this week, I marked the 8 week milestone from when I started this blog and a lot has happened in the first 8 weeks of my book blogging experience. Tonight’s post is quite an exciting one, I’m going to share with you all the books that have been sent to me in the mail by publishers and authors so far. And wait! Before you start jumping up and down in excitement, there’s still around 3 packages to come in the mail since… I kind of won some more book giveaways! It’s been a very exciting time for me bookwise, reviewing books for authors and publishers definitely makes me feel like I’m doing something right for once. So, with all that said, let’s get to the book haul. There is an order for this by the way, I’m going to go from the oldest to the newest bookmail. Let’s get started!

Kook by Chris Vick.

I won this book in conjunction with HarperCollins, Maximum Pop Books and the author Chris Vick for read and review which I have since gone on to post a review on this book on my blog. Feel free to check it out! It’s a young adult novel but some younger readers may find some scenes a bit uncomfortable.

And I Darken by Kiersten White.

This was sent to me by Penguin Random House, one of the head editors there called Ruth along with the author for read and review. This is again a YA novel with a release date of July 7th. This is the first book in a new trilogy which on the back of the ARC states that the trilogy stars the ultimate anti-princess. I’M SOLD.

Barrington Stoke Teen and YA Preview Summer 2016.

This is a little booklet promoting the new YA titles coming out with that publisher this summer. I contacted one of the team at Barrington Stoke after seeing a post about the sampler on Twitter and they sent me one. I will be reading and reviewing during the spring break so look out for that!

The Story of a Seagull and the Cat who taught her to fly by Luis Sepúlveda.

Funny story. One day on Twitter, a publisher followed me out of the blue called Alma Books and the first tweet that I saw posted by them was a request for book bloggers who may be potentially interested in reading and reviewing a copy of this story. It is a children’s book and once I found out that it was an international Bestseller, I had to get a copy. This was sent for read and review so the review will be posted here within the coming weeks.

Thanks For The Trouble by Tommy Wallach.

I won a copy of the book through a Twitter giveaway via Maximum Pop Books, the author and Simon + Schuster publishers. It is a signed copy as well. This is a YA novel that looks very mysterious indeed. This was not sent to me for read and review however as a gesture of goodwill, I will be reading and reviewing this book within the coming weeks.

Whisper To Me by Nick Lake.

I won a copy of the book via Hooked On Books on Twitter, the author and the publishers Bloomsbury. I was so happy to be one of six runners-up in this giveaway and won the book of my choice. I chose this book over the others because the main character is seventeen and is currently experiencing a broken heart. That is what I am going through at the moment and so, I could really relate to this novel. The release date is May 5th so I got the final version six weeks before release date so I’m excited to read. Again, this wasn’t for read and review however, I will be reviewing it on a post here as a gesture of goodwill.

The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola.

This actually came in the mail today during one of the biggest storms of this year. The release date for this is July 14th which just so happens to be my birthday! I got in contact with the publicity agent for this book who was offering ARCs for read and review and I got a copy today. This is an adult fiction historical crime novel set in Victorian London. The novel is actually based on a true real-life murder from that time period so I am ready to get scared out of my wits!

I also have 8 or 9 digital copies for read and review sent to me by authors who discovered my reviewing either through this blog or my Twitter feed (@marriedtobooks3). I’m super pumped for extreme reading!

I will sign this post off with a picture of all of the books that I have received so far in the first 8 weeks. By the way readers, if you know any UK based publishers that are giving away ARC copies of books or anyone offering print copies of ARCs that are international but can be shipped to the UK, then let me know either here or on my Twitter @marriedtobooks3. I read anything except extreme gore or violent novels. I read YA more but I don’t mind if it is picture books since I happen to know some young kids who like being read too!

Alice

#First8weeks

image

Advertisements

I’m Home When I Am In A Bookstore

For me, my love of books has spanned for well over a decade. At the tender age of just two, I was reading phone books and writing/speaking long numbers out loud to my parents who were just as amused as I was back then.

But where do I really feel at home? Obviously being under the roof of the home that belongs to you is home. The famous saying is that “Home is where the heart is.” And I agree with that but in my case, there is more than one place that I call home and all of them involve books. For this blog post, I will be talking about those places that I call home.

The title of this post is obvious, any bookstore that I walk into whether it be Waterstones or an independent bookstore, I immediately take in the sights of long, tall bookshelves stacked high with books. Fiction or non-fiction, my eyes cast over the front covers and spines of the books on display. Where I’m from in England, there’s a bookstore that is on three floors but I don’t go to all three floors. I stay on the main floor because that is where all of my reading material that I read can be found.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the sights of strangers sitting in these leather chairs holding a few books that they are flicking through and deciding what to buy but I prefer when no one is close to me at all and that includes being in the same section. I like to talk to myself quietly as I read the blurbs off the backs of books without any funny glances heading my way. I have two favourite sections at this bookstore and the particular thing is that both are next to each other on the same floor.

The first is the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section because there’s some pretty neat book covers in there. I like to look for any books written by Douglas Adams (I’m reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy for a local book club at the moment, review on my blog during my half-term break!) and George R R Martin.

The second and other one is the Young Adult section and this is where I look on every shelf, pulling out book after book, looking at the covers and blurbs with a smile. There are sale tables right at the front of this section so normally I look at them first before heading over to the main bookshelves. I could literally spend hours across both sections reading books because why not? I will put that as a goal to achieve on my bucket list then…

There are other bookstores that I frequently visit such as a couple of charity ones as well as an independent bookstore that sells a lot of signed book copies and have frequent author and guest visits. It’s not where the main shops are in my home city, it’s tucked away at the top of the city but my family love going there and buying books.

On travels with my family and on road trips, I always go somewhere with books. There has to be at least one bookstore or a charity shop at least so I can go and get some books. I would struggle to find books if there was no shop anywhere 😦

I also have a Kindle if you guys were wondering and he will soon have the honour of his own blog post here! It’s coming for you very very soon.

Other places that I call home are libraries, my dad works in one as a library assistant. I love that he gets paid to shelve and read books since I would be one of the first to know if any new books arrive in. And… my bedroom which has over 400+ books in! I’m not just a blogger/reviewer, I collect books too but seriously though, I’ve been accused in the past of being a hoarder and that’s simply not true. If you are passionate about collecting something worthwhile, you do it otherwise, you let the hoarder thing get to you, you’re basically a coward. Well… I do let other things get to me but not books though!

Any places other than home that you call home? Feel free to share in the comments section!

Alice x

Tackling my TBR lists and Multiple Reading Slumps

MY… TBR LISTS…ARE HUGE… I HAVE A BIG PROBLEM.

I don’t feel ashamed to have such a long collection of TBR lists on my Goodreads and also written down of books I see in bookstores and in magazines. The category that dominates the most in my TBR lists is YA Fiction which I’m not surprised at all about. YA is my main category that I stick to and will do until I’m 999 (if at some point in the future, people live to that age, I hope that happens…).

If you friend me on Goodreads, you will have witnessed multiple bursts of me adding new books to my lists in such a short amount of time that it leaves you gobsmacked. Please don’t be afraid to friend me on Goodreads. I’m Marriedtobooks44 there, should come up on an internet search. So, I’ve found an easy, practical way to sort out my lists somewhat. For any books that I have to read and review for authors/publishers, they are high priority since I don’t want to get in trouble for not reading and reviewing. Then, any books that I have to read for book clubs and events followed by other stories in general. From doing this, I have managed somewhat to determine what is high and what is low priority when it comes to reading books.

Reading slumps, yuck. I feel like a sloth when that happens. I think sloths are cute by the way…

For me personally, they occur when I read a bad book or two or more bad books in a row and for a spell of time, I lose my faith in Literature. It’s not a pleasant feeling considering that I love reading and reviewing so much. It’s a huge part of my life. I have found three ways to avoid reading slumps and I hope these tips work for you!

First, try to read two books on the go. A book that you’ve read before and absolutely loved and would marry the book if that was a legal thing and a book that you haven’t read before. If the book that you haven’t read before isn’t your cup of tea, instead of brooding about it, revert to the book you want to marry and hurrah! No reading slump. However, be sure that you have other books in the pipeline to read because having nothing new to read sucks.

Try to read at the same time everyday. I know that everyone has busy schedules to stick to like work, school, college, family life. But if you get yourself into some sort of reading routine, and stick to it, reading slumps will be a thing of the past.

And furthermore whilst reading a book if possible, try and get a photo off the internet of a sloth and put that next to you or close by you and everytime you feel like you want to stop reading, look at the sloth and that may put you off from slumping. Don’t make a fuss about how cute a sloth is. That’s a timewaster while reading about various romances and fantasy worlds. That is more important.

Your friendly advice writer, Alice x

(And no, I’ve never been an agony aunt!)

 

 

The Butterfly Code- Review

The Butterfly Code

My friends say Hunter’s dangerous
They say he’s a threat to everyone in town.
But I’m not so sure.
As he stands before me in this crowded club with the lights shining around us, I catch something good under Hunter’s dark facade. Something decent and profound.
I don’t know who or what to believe.
But I will find out the truth.

Aeris Thorne is expecting a restful vacation in the remote town of Deep Cove. But on a stormy night, she meets the alluring and mysterious Hunter Cayman, and her life takes an exhilarating turn. Aeris is both drawn to him and determined to find out what he’s hiding. But what Aeris doesn’t know is that he’s tormented by a secret: the truth behind his research. As he and Aeris are drawn together, the walls he’s built to protect himself threaten to crumble. At the same time, she uncovers clues to her own tragic past, answers she never thought to find–and a love she can’t resist despite the dark troubles it brings. When Aeris’s life is threatened, Hunter is forced to make an impossible decision about her future—one that could change everything.

This is a New Adult Romance Paranormal Adventure!

I would like to thank the Goodreads group New Adult Book Club and the author Sue Wyshynski for giving me a copy of The Butterfly Code for read and review.

I love the first sentence in this, “I stumble through the red-tinged nightclub haze and wonder if this is what purgatory looks like.”

The story revolves around violin prodigy Aeris who returns to her hometown to spend time with her father and pet dog. Her mother was killed at the age of five. A chance meeting outside a nightclub sparks up an adventure involving lies, horses, science and remembrance.

It was a very heart-pounding experience. A lot of events occurred throughout the story and every chapter hooked me more than the previous one. I can connect with Aeris as I am from a musical background, not as big and exciting as she experienced. I read this within a few hours, and didn’t find any of the story plot or the writing boring.

Without wanting to give anything away, this was an exciting read full of plot twists. The ending chapters were just so thrilling that it was very difficult to not stop reading. I had to read through to the end, no matter what.

Overall star rating- 5/5 stars

Would I recommend this to anyone?- HELL YES!

Catch-Up News, More Bookmail and list of upcoming posts!

Hey everyone! Ahh, I can’t believe all of the love that you guys are showing on my blog. It’s had likes on Twitter, visitors from Goodreads, talked about on Facebook. It’s amazing, so thank you all so much for visiting my blog and for following me, I really appreciate it!

This is a post with some news regarding the last few days of Twitter chats, bookmail and review requests. So, first, let’s go to Twitter.

I hit my first milestone about a fortnight ago with 50 followers, I’m hoping that the 100 mark may come soon. I’m extremely active and because of this, it has enabled me to be in contact with various publishers and authors and have a ton of exciting opportunities all book related so it feels great!

With bookmail, by chance, I happened to get in touch with an editor at Barrington Stoke Publishers and they sent me a free summer sampler of YA books being released this summer. It includes extracts from 6 books and I will be making a blog post about my thoughts on the sampler over my spring break which commences from April 2nd. Then, on Monday, I became in contact with Alma Books, a publisher based in the London area and today, they sent me a free children’s book for read and review which I will be making a blog post on within the next fortnight or so.

With review requests, I’ve had a few since I decided to let myself loose on Goodreads and formally introduce to the extended community there that I was a teen book blogger with six weeks of blogging experience and had ARCs sent to me by HarperCollins and Penguin Random House. A little buzz did trigger from my post and now, I have five copies of digital books that I am reading and reviewing for these authors! All of my reviews on these books will be posted here in separate blog posts to avoid confusion. The books are as follows:

The Butterfly Code by Sue Wyshynski

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman by Robin Gregory

Trina Bell’s Humming Summer by Silke Stein

Warlocks, Angels and Warriors by Luciana Correa

Now, the blog posts coming to a computer screen near you!:

  • I’m now storing  book packages in my bedroom!
  • Alice’s Crazy Easter Reading Challenge
  • (A delayed blog post from a few weeks back) Another Book Haul!
  • Turning to Twitter
  • Black-Eyed Susans Review
  • And I Darken Review
  • Tackling my TBR lists and Multiple Reading Slumps

See you all soon!

Alice x

 

 

 

Kook by Chris Vick- Review

This is a book review for an upcoming YA release called Kook. I would like to thank the Twitter account Maximum Pop Books, HarperCollins Publishers and the author Chris Vick for giving me a copy of the novel for read and review.

Kook blurb:

A heart-pounding love story that grips like a riptide, and doesn’t let go…

Fifteen-year old Sam has moved from the big city to the coast – stuck there with his mum and sister on the edge of nowhere.

Then he meets beautiful but damaged surfer-girl Jade. Soon he’s in love with her, and with surfing itself. But Jade is driven by an obsession: finding and riding a legendary huge wave no one has ever ridden.

As the weeks wear on, their relationship barrels forward with the force of a deep-water wave – into a storm, to danger … and to heartbreak.

First of all, the cover is gorgeous as well as exciting. It sets the tone for the novel which revolves around a group of young people surfing on the Cornish coast. I’ve been to Cornwall hundreds of times for holidays and love the county a lot. It is quite difficult to find a novel for teens that revolves around surfing. The book itself was a good length, I managed to read it within a couple of hours.

What gripped me the most was when Sam and Jade started surfing the waves off the coast, the descriptions of how they rode the waves I felt gave an accurate and detailed portrayal into both the excitement and danger of surfing.

At times within the novel, I felt a little uncomfortable with the drinking/drug scenes. I’ve never ever been involved in things like that. I felt that for the potential reader, there should be a warning on the back cover or in the front few pages of the book warning about those scenes so that it doesn’t make any readers feel uncomfortable.

The plot was refreshing and caused me quite a lot of excitement. Jade’s dangerous obsession thrown together with new boy Sam creates a story that I will remember long after reading Kook. The ending I found emotional and I did feel a few tears prickling in my eyes. I don’t want to spoil things but one important lesson that I will take with me after reading Kook will be cherish the people and the things you love because you never know what just might happen to you.

I would read another book by this author, I am excited for when Kook is released in stores. I feel that teen readers looking for a reading escape from well-used plotlines will pick up this one.

Once again, I would like to thank Maximum Pop Books for sending a copy of the novel to me, the first one I’ve ever won!

Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Would I recommend to others?- Yes.

28694932

 

 

The #BaileysPrize Longlist- My Reactions

How I found out about the longlist for the Baileys Prize- I was in class, during a quick break, went on my Twitter, saw the hashtag trending and the two massive piles of selected books, fangirled so hard and wished that I could have gone to a bookstore and brought them all instead of staring at a computer screen trying to conquer my designing issues.

Seeing the longlist and all twenty books was just a pure delight. I love it when shortlists and longlists for competitions and awards like The Baileys Prize happen because you get to see what books are the best of the best and extreme celebrations with the Literature and Publishing communities on Social Media. I know a few of the authors from the longlist but not all of them. However, all of the stories look fantastic in their own way. So, here’s a photo of the twenty longlisted books which was posted on the official Bailey’s Prize Twitter account of the selected books.

Baileys Prize Longlist

Any books there that immediately caught your eye? Any in those two piles that you’ve read? If so, feel free to message in the comments section below your favourites and what ones you are interested in reading! It would be pretty cool to start a discussion on this because I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see who will be crowned the winner this coming June 🙂

Alice x