Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars: Trailer released today!



Review: Are We There Yet by David Levithan

Are We There Yet by David Levithan 

I must first confess that I read this book a fair few months ago, and in the fuss of university and going home for Christmas and coming back again, I completely forgot to review it. Another confession I'm going to make is that I re-read a loved novel The Faults in Our Stars by John Green. So instead of reading one of my many unread books to give you new reviewing material, I read a book you already have a review on. I apologise, but you know, some books are worth rereading, time and love. However, I devote myself to read much, much more! And to actually write the reviews more, so lets start of by writing this one...

 Danny isn't used to having something in common with Elijah, however slight. Their last name is the rope that ties them together.

Danny and Elijah's lives could not be more different. But a journey together sweeps them up in the romance, wonder and breathtaking beauty of Italy. And falling in love opens their eyes to the distance that's grown between them.

Can one girl remind them of want it means to be brothers?


Are We There Yet is the first book, for me, in a very long time, that I've sat down and read in one. I picked it up one day - hopelessly out of John Green to read, hoping there would be similarities as they wrote Will Grayson, Will Grayson together. 

I wouldn't say it is the kind of book that is so packed of action that you have to read it continuously. But it is mysterious, it raises questions for the characters in ways we think they'll show little humanity. The characters however show us the morals behind the book. 

The novel is based around brothers who lost their connection from when they were young, due to age differences and leaving home. They have been tricked into going on holiday together by their parents (mostly their mother) who wants her children to get along again.

For most of the holiday the brothers stick to their ways of shutting each other out and going about their own thing - what they want to do. This is until a girl walks into both their lives and changes their perspectives.

This character, I found, is not a particularly likeable character. She is indecisive and seems to use the main characters for what she wants. Her life seems a shambles and she wants to cause destruction in other's lives that she interrupts. 

However how the brothers deal with this interruption shows the strength of their relationship, whether they realise it is still there or not. She manages to remind one brother of his loyalty, which triggers his memories with his brother as a child. Once the initial walls come down both of the brothers become comfortable and less protective in each others company. 

This is not my typical type of novel to read, I thought the emphasis on love and relationship between the male and female characters would be more. However, I am glad I read this book as it shows how other types of relationships such as family ones, can be just as important. 

The moral of this story, to remember how much your family mean to you, and I think everyone needs to be reminded of this sometimes. 

On another note, isn't the cover simply beautiful? This is the edition I have, but look at this other cover design for the book... even more simple and even more beautiful... wow


Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me this lovely book to review!

Costa book of the year award!

The Costa First Novel Award of 2013 has gone to Nathan Filer and his novel The Shock of the Fall. 

I feel slightly privileged and that I have no choice but to blog about this event. As Nathan Filer is also a tutor teaching Creative Writing at Bath Spa university, where I attend and take this course, I heard him read out a section of this amazing novel. Unfortunately I am not one of his students, but I feel privileged none the less to attend the university and to have basically met him. This was around two months ago - and if I had money I would have bought one of his copies right there and then. I still await to purchase a copy and hunt him down on campus to sign it for me.

The Shock of the Fall 

‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’

There are books you can’t stop reading, which keep you up all night.
There are books which let us into the hidden parts of life and make them vividly real.
There are books which, because of the sheer skill with which every word is chosen, linger in your mind for days.
The Shock of the Fall is all of these books.
The Shock of the Fall is an extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness. It is a brave and groundbreaking novel from one of the most exciting new voices in fiction.

Both versions of the cover are beautiful and represent the emotion turmoil and distancing inside the book. 

As mentioned earlier, Nathan Filer is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University as well as a writer. He is 32 and a qualified mental health nurse. His book caused such a fuss in the publishing world that it became subject to an 11-way auction and was eventually bought by HarperCollins (the sum being six figures!) 

The Shock of the Fall has also been selected as BBC Radio 2 bookclub and Specsavers National book award!

I hope to soon purchase this book that has caused amazement in the writing world. So please look out for a review in the near future and if you have read it, let me know what you thought! Do you think it deserved this award? 
If not, why not see what all the fuss it about?

Guest post/blog tour: Looking at the Stars by Jo Cotterill

Looking at the Stars

Why Looking at the Stars?

We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars

I’m a romantic. There, I’ve said it. And an idealist. People who know me might be surprised at that because on the surface I’m a very realistic, practical sort of person. But deep down I passionately wish this was a better world. And I wish everyone could find happiness, whether with another person or alone.

So the quotation from Oscar Wilde has always appealed to me. I’m not a big one for poetry, oddly, but I love the way words can shape and inspire. What the phrase says to me is that no matter how bad things get, there is always something beautiful to find and appreciate. Even if you’re in the gutter, sitting in sewage, with nothing but the clothes you have on, there will still be stars in the sky that you can breathe in and allow their beauty to fill the empty space inside you.

In Looking at the Stars, Amina’s family loses almost everything. Through a sequence of events, Amina finds herself separated from her brother, young sister and parents, and walking to a refugee camp with her older sister Jenna. She has no idea if she will ever see any of them again – indeed, she can’t even be sure if they’re still alive. She could be crushed by grief, but she is an idealist. Amina loves to ask ‘what if?’ – something that has got her into trouble in the past but now is an invaluable skill. She looks up at the stars and suddenly stories are spilling into her head. She tells the stories to Jenna, and later to people in the refugee camp, and magic happens. For the duration of her story, people forget their grief and distress and are lost in her imagination. Amina’s stories provide much-needed balm for wounded souls.

I firmly believe that the arts – music, drama, dance, art, stories – are vital for people’s inner strength. I prize imagination above all else, for without imagination how can we ever improve our situations? And that’s why there’s a large part of me in Amina, and why I chose the title for the book that I did.

Follow the rest of the tour --->

Thank you to 
the lovely 
Jo Cotterill

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Back to Uni and Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Hey guys, 

I just got back to uni in Bath last night, after such a lovely three weeks back home in Cornwall for Christmas.

I've just realised I've forgotten to write up a couple reviews of books I've read recently... but on top of that I vow to try and read more books and review them regularly on the blog this year - it's one of my resolutions!

And one of the books I'm very excited about reading is indeed Allegiant by Veronica Roth, I wasn't sent the third book of the series this time, however I unwrapped it on Christmas day from my lovely boyfriend. I got him into the series too so he's just as excited to read it. It feels like so much has happened in my life since summer 2012 when I reviewed the second book in the series, so I may have to read them all again to read the final book!

Hope you've all had a lovely Christmas and got lots of books!