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Reading in Winter

2016

On the coldest of winter days, there is nothing better than curling up, cocooned in blankets. With a cup of tea in one hand and a good book in the other, life couldn’t get much better than that. So, as January looms, here are my 5 favourite books to read when its cold outside.

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  1. Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy- 

I got this book for Christmas and was intrigued by the title. Yuri is a genius and he knows it,  but I didn’t at any point find him to be condescending. With humour, swearing and an asteroid hurtling towards LA, what’s not to love?

2. Inferno by Catherine Doyle-

This is hands down my favourite book ever. All about the Mafia and the complex roles of the families within it, and with a relatable heroine, I couldn’t put this down. I’ve waited a year for the sequel, Mafiosa, to be released and in four days nothing can stop me from finally reading it.

3.  And I Darken by Kiersten White

This book was dark in the best way. Lada is without fear and at times conscience, and I loved it! Set in the Ottoman Empire, it was hard not to be drawn into the scheming politics and life of the court.

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This books reached my expectations and then surpassed them. The world seen through Karou’ eyes was vibrant and the writing was beautiful. The humour in the book brought tears to my eyes, as did the moments of sadness and despair. I don’t think I’ll have any problems completing the rest of this series by the end of the month.

5. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson 

I haven’t read all that many graphic novels, but after reading Nimona I couldn’t help but wonder if I had been missing out. You’ll race through this book in no time at all but the characters will stay with you for much, much longer. This is definitely a graphic novel I would want to own.

So that’s my top 5 books, what are yours?

My Dream Book Conference Panel

img-20161213-wa0001I haven’t ever posted anything like this before, but I thought I would give it a try. In all my life, I’ve only ever been to two book panels (I know, the horror)! If you’d like to find out about conferences in your area, you could use Eventbrite, to help find and plan conferences. So without further ado, here is my dream panel:


 

  1. Catherine Doyle

Without a doubt the Blood for Blood novels are my favourites books of all time. So it goes without saying that top of my list would be the author behind this series. Among the many questions I would serenade Catherine Doyle with, I would most like to know the inspiration behind her work and what she has planned for the future.

2. Leigh Bardugo

I read the final instalment in the Six of Crows duology and while I loved the involvement of a realistic ending, at the same time a part of me wants to have all the characters live happily ever after. I think, it would be very interesting to see hoe Bardugo came up with the characters and what how why she decided to end the series the way she did.

3. Kiersten White

‘And I Darken’, surprised me in the best way. The sequel is set to release in June next year and during the long wait, an opportunity to pick White’s brain about what we can expect would probably help bridge the gap… ( the early release of Now I Rise would much appreciated too…)

4. Holly Bourne

I think on this panel Holly Bourne would be the perfect moderator. Her books are a perfect mix of humour, feminism and friendship. She writes books I’m proud to read, and I would love to hear her talk about her passions.


Who would be on your dream panel? I’d love to know in the comments!

DNF Reads

20161201_162008To begin with I would like to apologise for not posting for a VERY long while. I realise that consistency is key and really there is no excuse for my slacker-ish behaviour. However, with school-work dominating almost all free time I have, I haven’t had a chance to read, and therefore review all that much.

While I find I fall in love with almost all of the books I read, there are a few that I cannot come to terms with. Recently I found that a lot of the novels I’ve started to read, I never got around to finishing (maybe I’m in some sort of reading slump?!?) for a variety of reasons. None of these books were bad, rather they just didn’t appeal to me. Even so, I still thought they would be worth writing a little about…

  1. Gemina by Amie Kaufmann and Jay Kristoff-

Illuminae was one of my favourite reads from last year and I was counting down the days until the sequel, Gemina, was released. Now though, after trying and trying again to finish the book, it just sits on my shelf, looking sad and unloved. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong for me. The plot and format, something I love from Illuminae, was once again unique and grabbed my attention. However, the characters, Nik in particular, were one of the reasons I stopped reading Gemina.  They did not seem realistic and were frankly quite annoying. Added to that, while I may be wrong,  I don’t think I’ll ever meet someone who says “feel me” quite as much as Nik does.

      2. Kids of Appetite by David Arnold-  

Thank you to Headline for sending me Kids of Appetite through Bookbridgr, in exchange for an honest review. While I haven’t yet read Mosquitoland, another novel written by David Arnold, I was compelled to request Kids of Appetite due to the high praise Mosquitoland got. Kids of Appetite is good. I liked the writing and I liked the characters, yet I still didn’t finish it. I want to finish it, but I haven’t. Maybe I’ll try it again in a few weeks?

      3. Alienated by Melissa Landers-

I got this book sometime Christmas last year and I still haven’t finished it, though not from lack of trying. The blurb caught my attention immediately. I haven’t read a book featuring any sort of aliens ever before and Alienated sounded like a good place to start. However now, I don’t think i’ll be reading any alien books for a while. To be honest, I fell like I’ve read this book before just with different characters, and as a result I couldn’t finish Alienated.

As of today, I am starting The Secret History by Donna Tartt and fingers crossed that I’ll  be able to finish it, too.

~ Kaavya xx

 

 

 

My Favourite Book Ever + Giveaway

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I love books. It’s no secret. I have many favourite books, but the book that really made me  want to just read and read and read, was Vendetta by Catherine Doyle. I first picked this up in a library and I whizzed through it in a matter of hours. Afterwards I immediately wanted to know what happened next, but I had to wait until January this year for the sequel, Inferno, to be released. I was blown away. I thought that nothing could beat Vendetta but I was wrong. Inferno was something else. I could not get enough and all I would talk  about for the next few days was my love for the book. I now own many copies of both Vendetta and Inferno, and I am so excited for January to finally come so I can read Mafiosa, the third and final instalment in the Blood for Blood series.

3 Reasons You Should Also Read This Series:

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  1. IT WILL KEEP YOU HOOKED FROM THE START                                                            There is nothing like a  good book that can keep your interest from the beginning to the end, and this series was it for me. It was fact-paced and edgy, keeping me on my toes, wondering what would happen next. I could not put it down, not that I tried.
  2.  A FEMALE FRIENDSHIP TO BE ENVIOUS OF                                                                                                                  Our main character, Sophie, would be dead without the support of her truly awesome best friend: Millie. She is the ultimate friend and I look forward to her rants and hilarious comments in the third book. I want a Millie 🙂
  3. ITALIAN BROTHERS                                                                                                                    The Falcones are 5 brothers who play main roles in the books. Without giving away too much, I can say that they are ones too watch carefully. As Sophie gets tangled further up in their business we see a unique view of the mafia and family structures within it. Although they might be similar in looks, the brothers couldn’t be more different in personality and you will be sure to fall for at least one of them.   

 

                                                               


GIVEAWAY TIME:

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To enter to win a copy of Vendetta by Catherine Doyle and various other bookish goodies from YALC, just follow this blog and leave your name and twitter handle in the comments. The competition runs from today (August 27th) to 3rd of September.

Thank you for visiting my blog and may the odds be ever in your favour!

 

July/August Book Haul

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Almost all of these books came from YALC. I went there for the first time this year and had the most amazing experience. I met so may fabulous authors and met many more fellow book lovers like me. I can’t wait to go again next year and I’m hoping that YA Shot will help bridge the gap, before I get too YALC deprived 🙂

I have been meaning to read How to Build a Girl for a while know and of course i couldn’t miss the chance to buy What’s a Girl Gotta Do? and  complete the wonderful Normal series by Holy Bourne.

The books I bought this month and the last were:

  • The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me by Laura Tate
  • How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
  • Kook by Chris Vick
  • What’s a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Panther by David Owen
  • Sugar Rush by Julie Burchill
  • Finding Sky by Joss Stirling
  • Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
  • Under Rose- Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Which books did you buy this month? Did you go to YALC? What did you think of it?

2016 UKYA Book Blogger Awards

ukyabookbloggerawardsIn 2016 UKYA Book Blogger Awards Nominations are now open!

Before we begin, please let me introduce you to the wonderful bloggers who’ll be helping:

Aditi @ A Thousand Words A Million Books

Amy McCaw @ YA Under My Skin

Andrew @ The Pewter Wolf

Annalise @ AnnaliseBooks

Aurelija @ myblinddatewithbooks

Chelley Toy @ Tales Of Yesterday

Chloe @ Writer-On-Wheels

Cintia @ Reflection of the Books

Emma @ Howling Reviews

Georgia Stencel @ The Books Bandit

Jesse @ thatjessebloke

Kaisha @ thewritinggarnet

Rachel Kennedy @ Ya-bberingBooklover

Rebecca @ Rebecca McCormick’s Authorial Blog

Virginie @ Chouett

Big thanks to them and to Faye @ A Daydreamers’s Thoughts for letting Luna’s Little Library host this year.


Let us start!
In 2016 UKYA Book Blogger Awards there are 15 categories to vote in.

Please submit your nomination via the form below. You can nominate up to 3 Bloggers per category. Make sure to include both the Blogger and Blog Name to make it a valid nomination.
Nominations close at midnight on the 15th May 2016.

Don’t forget to share the love! #awardukyabbloggers

CATEGORIES:

*Best Blog Design*

*Best Feature*

*Best Newcomer*
under 1 year

*Best Growing Blogger*
1-3 years

*Best Oldtimer*
3years+

*Best on Social Media*
be it Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, etc… The Blogger in question doesn’t have to be on all types of social media, they can be you favourite on Twitter for example.

*Best Booktuber*

*Best Overseas Blogger*

*Marvellous Blogger Award*
combining the Sweetest & Friendliest Blogger category

*Best Team / Co-op Blog*

*Best Female Blogger*

*Best Male Blogger*

*Blogger Spirit Award*
combining the Most Enthusiastic & Most Passionate category from 2015

*Best Teen Blogger*

*Best Adult Blogger*

Are you looking forward to the UKYA Book Blogger Awards? Who are you going to nominate?

Kaavya xx

The Rose and the Dagger- Release Day Blitz

23308084Title: THE ROSE & THE DAGGER

Author: Renée Ahdieh

Release Date: April 26, 2016

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Pages: 432

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks 

 

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as “a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance.”

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

I am so excited that THE ROSE & THE DAGGER by Renée Ahdieh releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Renée Ahdieh, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN and a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER and an awesome candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only! So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

To get you in the mood, here is a little sneak peak of The Rose and The Dagger!

 

 

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN, a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER, and a His Calipha candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only.

To enter click the just click here!Giveaway!

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About Renée:

Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.
She’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

The Sky is Everywhere

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Where did I get it? I bought it

519evqn2bpbl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Summary: Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

 

My Thoughts:

This is the second of Jandy Nelson’s books that I have read and again I have been drawn in by the plot and characters of this story. To start with, I couldn’t get enough of Lennie’s grandmother who brought much needed light relief with her witty comment.

However saying this, I did not enjoy this novel as much as my previous read by the same author. I can’t really pinpoint why this was but I wasn’t able as invested in these characters relationships as I was with Jude and Oscar’s and Noah and Brian’s in I’ll Give You the Sun. 

As well as this, I found myself attention wavering only slightly  around the middle of the novel but I was son hooked agin as Lennie tried to work out her feelings for Joe and decide if she should salvage their relationship.

I laughed a few times in this novel, but primarily it was one of finding yourself and learning to cope with grief and what went over really well for me was the growth in strength and courage our protagonist undertook.

Rating: 4/5

I’ll Give You The Sun

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Where did I get it? The local library

ill-give-you-the-sunSummary: Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

 

My Thoughts:

” People die, but your relationship with them doesn’t. It continues and is ever-changing. “

I have never read any other books by this author but when I heard so many people raving about this book  a little while ago, I knew I had to pick it up.

Noah and Jude are twins who although were originally extremely close, have slowly drifted apart over the years as they deal with individual and shared tragedies in their lives. There were so many complex layers to this plot and I was kept guessing at the reason behind the twins fallout until the author revealed it.

The illustrations on pages added a really nice touch to the novel and I couldn’t wait for those special pages to come along again. Jude used to be a daredevil, however when we are introduced to her at the start of the novel, she has lost her spark. The novel is told from alternating points of views as well as at different stages of the twins lives and that helps us to see not only each individual feelings but how time has changed them both.

My favourite person was probably Noah but I was immersed in each and everyone of the characters stories especially Guillermo who was suffering so much heartache but still managed to irrevocably help Noah and Jude to patch themselves back up.

Rating: 5/5

The Last Kiss Goodbye Blog Tour: Tasmina Perry on Living the French Life

last-kiss-goodbyeI really delighted to be hosting a spot on The Last Kiss Goodbye Spring Blog Tour.

Here’s guest post from the author on Living the French Life

 

I love France, particularly Paris and the gorgeous Cote D’Azur and many of my books are partly set there, including Perfect Strangers, Original Sin and The Last Kiss Goodbye.  I try and visit as often as I can but there are ways to add a little Frenchness to our lives without getting on a  plane…..

Wear a White Shirt

I worked for a fashion magazine for a long time and some of the most stylish people I knew in the industry channelled the Parisian look to great effect. The best way to nail it is with a crisp white shirt. Slip one on and you can’t help but feel like Jean Seburg in A Bout De Souffle.

 

Have a French Café soundtrack

One of my favourite cafes in London plays French café accordion music all day long and it makes me feel as if I am in Montmartre rather than London every time. So I have some French café CD’s at home, which I enjoy listening to with a baguette and strong coffee!

 

Sit and enjoy a coffee

Speaking of coffee, one thing I have always noticed about the French is how they sit and enjoy le café rather than drinking it on the hop. Coffee is not an on-the go drink. It’s something to savour and enjoy. So next time you are at Starbucks (or preferably your little independent,)  don’t go for the take-away option. Grab a book or a broadsheet,  drink and savour the moment.

 

Make time for the odd indulgence.

Signature Gallic style is elegant yet simple, but the French also loves their indulgences. My French friends often buy the best they can afford, whether it is a beautiful cashmere coat that will last a decade or a delicious Laduree macaroon that will be enjoyed over a few minutes.

 

Drink hot chocolate in a bowl

My sister used to live in Paris and when she returned to the UK and came to live with me for a little while, I found it strange that she used to drink her hot chocolate from bowls rather than mugs. It is of course, the French way of doing it, and very soon I was joining in with her bowls of chocolate chaud which always made us feel very chic!

 

Carry a straw basket.

A straw basket is so French. So Bridget Bardot. So chic! I bought one from a Farmers market for under £20 and if I close my eyes on a warm summer’s day I can pretend I am walking to the market in Nice.

 

Save up for a pair of K Jacques sandals.

The most stylish summer French can often be found wearing K Jacques sandals. They are not cheap but they will last many years.

 

Scent your life with Lavender

Lavender is so quintessentially French and the fields in Provence in summer are just gorgeous. I have a Lavender patch outside my house and squirt my pillow with some lavender whenever I remember!

 

Paint your nails nude or dark red.

It’s indisputable that many French women have great style. What’s interesting about those I have met, is that they don’t necessarily spent a great deal on clothes. They have their own style and are impeccably groomed. Think signature haircut and manicured nails in either nude (try Chanel’s Ballerina) or deep Red.

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you all have some ideas on how to Live the French Life.

Check out all of the other blog tour stops:

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The Last Kiss Goodbye by Tasmina Perry is out now in paperback (£7.99, Headline Publishing) and you can find out more about the author at http://www.tasminaperry.com