Monday, 31 August 2015

Fangirling for Fangirl

This month I've reread Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for a twitter book group I joined. While I thought about re-reviewing it as I have a lot more to say about it, in the end I decided it would be more fun to pick out some of the most awesome related products I'd love to own and showcase them here!

First up I love this card from mimiboo on Etsy! 
I Choose You Over Everyone Fangirl Rainbow Rowell quote doodle art card
Then there's this Watford School of Magicks T shirt from Society6

Watford School of Magicks, Simon Snow - Large Logo, white by dporcupine

This charm bracelet really features all of Rainbow's books, but since they're all fantastic and it's beautiful, why not? 

Fangirl/Eleanor and Park/Attachments/Landline by Rainbow Rowell Book Locket Bracelet/Necklace/Bookmark/Keyholder/Bag Charm

I'm always on the lookout for ways to take tea with my places, so this travel mug would be perfect!

ClearClearFangirl - Rainbow Rowell Travel Mugs

I think I want this throw pillow more than anything else. I LOVE it!

Fangirl + Quotes Throw Pillows
And this tote bag. Amazing.

I object to every single thing you just said Tote Bags

Vinyl sticker with this brilliant quote. I also love the iPhone case but don't have an iPhone...

So many other things in the same prints e.g cards, postcards, posters of the throw pillow design, cards, t shirts of the travel mug design. I could go on, but I won't. 

I don't get enough time to browse the internet for bookish related ephemera anymore. I might make this a semi regular thing, anytime I really love a book and want things to remind me of how awesome it is. 

If you'd like to check out my Fangirl review you can do that here. I stand by everything I said except that I like it less than Attachments. I'm sure this will change once I finish my reread of Attachments, but at the moment it's right up there behind Eleanor & Park. Rainbow Rowell can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes, and her books just get better on rereading. Keep it up please, Rainbow!

Check out the discussion on twitter by searching #IftheShelfFits. 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

A Way into YA Wrap Up & GIVEAWAY

This week has been a fantastic insight into the variety of titles available within the genre of YA. Definitely nobody should feel that there's nothing they will like, and I know I've added several to my wishlist already!

To wrap up the event I thought I would talk about some of the titles I've particularly enjoyed. Most of these are very well known so I apologise that I'm probably not telling you anything new. On the other hand if there happen to be any you haven't read you almost definitely should add them to your TBR!

In no particular order:

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - This was one of the books that first convinced me that YA was a genre I wanted to read more of. It's a really sweet story about Amy and Roger and their unexpected road trip across America one summer. For some reason I never reviewed it here, but it's highly recommended and if you don't have a massive grin on your face by the end your heart is probably made of stone!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - I was sent this for a Ninja Swap after seeing it absolutely everywhere and it was great. Another really sweet read, Anna is starting her senior year of High School in Paris and is not excited about it, until she meet Etienne... I can't wait to read the other two in the series. They also have the bonus of having the most gorgeous covers!

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan - Gah I loved this book. Lily leaves a book of dares on the shelf of her favourite bookstore. When Dash finds it he must decide whether to accept her dares. Will they hit it off in real life or not? See my review here.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - I just recently reread this and it's still totally amazing. Possibly one of my favourite books I've ever read. Eleanor is the new girl at school, and when Park moves over to let her sit next to him on the bus they start a relationship. Eleanor's home life is difficult and there is tension and awkwardness and just incredible sweetness throughout. If you haven't read this yet, where have you been? For some reason I never reviewed it and I don't know why because I talk about it all the time.

Every Day by David Levithan - This book followed me around libraries until I relented and borrowed it. Such a unique story told from the point of view of A, who wakes up in a different body each day. This is an incredibly sweet love story that brings up all kinds of important questions and is so well written. I have it's companion Another Day on my wishlist. See my review here.

The Geek Girl Series by Holly Smale - I picked up the first in this series on a whim from the library. Harriet Manners is super smart and about to take her GCSEs when she accidentally falls into the world of modelling and the orbit of Nick, otherwise known as Lion Boy. From struggles with her best friend to problems with her nemesis and her 'stalker' plus her slightly crazy Dad this series is really lovely. All the books have been really easy reads and they really put a smile on my face. I do love Harriet.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - I think everyone in the world knows what this is about, but in case you don't; Katniss Everdeen volunteers herself in place of her sister as the participant from her district for the Hunger Games - a Battle Royale style 'game' in which teenagers are forced by the Capitol to fight to the death to be crowned victor.

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - This had a very similar atmosphere to Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, and I'm now super excited for Second Chance Summer which I have on my shelf! When Emily's best friend Sloane leaves town without a word leaving behind a to-do list with thirteen tasks Emily would never normally try, it is up to Emily to see if by doing them, she can bring Sloane back...

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan - I'm going to hold up my hand and admit that I'm really not a massive John Green fan. I've read all his books except Paper Towns, which I own, and they're all OK, but this was the only  one I've really loved so far. Featuring a larger than life cast of characters, including two guys named Will Grayson - one straight, one gay. One written by Green, one by Levithan - and a larger than life guy named Tiny, this book has love, life and a high school musical. It's also really beautiful in parts. See my review here.

All links are affiliate meaning that if you purchase through them I will receive a small commission. Apologies to my UK readers, I've not yet found a UK affiliate to replace Hive who are discontinuing their program.

That was quite a few more books than I anticipated talking about in this post, but I hope that they've added to your (already overflowing, I'm sure) TBR lists! If you'd like to share any posts you've written on the subject of recommending great YA please do so in the comments and thank you for following along with the series!

Because I've enjoyed this series so much I'm hosting a giveaway! This will run all week and there are things you can do to enter each day. There are two amazing prizes. The first is courtesy of lovely Sanovia at Creatyve Books. She has offered the winner a book of their choice up to the value of £10/$15 from The Book Depository.

The second prize is from me. I'd like to offer the winner the chance to win one of the books featured in the series this week (except The Fault in Our Stars which there has already been a giveaway for)! To win either of these amazing prizes please just fill in the Rafflecopter form. Winners will be drawn next Sunday (9th) and both prizes are available internationally.

The list of books you can pick from for my prize:
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Clean by Amy Reed
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Dating Down by Stefanie Lyons
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Elusion by Claudia Gabel
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Lifeless by Adrianne Strickland
Madame Tussaud's Apprentice by Kathleen Benner Duble
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Sketcher by Roland Watson- Grant
Skid by Roland Watson - Grant
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Cage by Megan Shephard
The Firebug of Balrog County by David Oppegaard
The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas
The Vow by Jessica Martinez
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Where You End by Anna Pellicoiolli

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you need to catch up I'll link up each days post below!

Make Mine an Indie: Alma Books
Day One: Science Fiction
Day Two: Backlist Books
Day Three: A bit of Everything!
Day Four: Some More Great Books
Day Five: Across the Genres
Fairytale Fridays: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Make Mine an Indie: Flux 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Make Mine an Indie: Flux

Welcome to the other end of A Way into YA and another week of Make Mine an Indie. 

Shockingly, to find an independent publisher dedicated to young adult fiction I had to go across the pond to the USA. If anyone knows of a UK based publisher I've missed I'd be really glad to hear of them! 

So, todays indie is Flux; a new imprint dedicated entirely to young adult literature. As they say:
young adult is a point of view, not a reading level
Given the popularity of young adult as a genre at the moment I was really surprised to find that more independent publishers and small presses haven't really branched out into it and as I was searching through the internet for a publisher to feature this week I was getting increasingly annoyed by my inability to find anything UK based. (To clarify, a lot of indie publishers include YA in their catalogues, I was just surprised to not be able to find one whose main focus was YA). That said I know a lot of my readers are based in the US so it will be nice to focus on a publisher nearer you for a change!

Now that's out the way, here are some awesome titles to look forward to!

The Firebug of Balrog County by David Oppegaard 

From the Flux website:

The Firebug of Balrog CountyDark times have fallen on remote Balrog County, and Mack Druneswald, a high school senior with a love of arson, is doing his best to deal. While his family is haunted by his mother’s recent death, Mack spends his nights roaming the countryside, looking for something new to burn. When he encounters Katrina, a college girl with her own baggage, Mack sets out on a path of pyromania the likes of which sleepy Balrog County has never seen before.
A darkly comic tour-de-force, The Firebug of Balrog 
County is about legend, small towns, and the fire that

Where You End by Anna Pellicioli

From the Flux website:

Where You EndMiriam Feldman was attracted to the artists, the musicians, the boys who wore broken-down cardigans. Boys like Elliot.
Their relationship was intense, passionate, all consuming. When they were together, Miriam knew who she was, in the way you can only know when you're deeply in love.
Now that it's over, Miriam has to pick up the pieces.
Even when Elliot starts seeing someone else. Even when she impulsively knocks over a priceless work of art. Even when she's blackmailed by the mystery girl who saw her do it.
Without a map, Miriam has to find her way. If only she knew how.

Dating Down by Stefanie Lyons
From the Flux website:
Dating DownAt Café Hex, Samantha Henderson can imagine being the person she really wants to be. It’s her place to daydream about going to art school and getting away from her politician father. It’s her place to imagine opening herself up to a new kind of connection, away from her family and the drama of high school.
Enter X—the boy she refuses to name. He’s older, edgy, bohemian . . . in short, everything she thinks she needs. Her family and friends try to warn her that there may be more to him than she sees, but still she stays with X, even as his chaos threatens to consume them both.
Told in waves of poetry—whispering, crashing—Dating Down is a portrait of exhilaration and pain and the kind of desire that drives a girl to risk everything.

Lifeless by AdriAnne Strickland
From the Flux website:
LifelessWhen Tavin Barnes escaped Eden City with Khaya, the Word of Life, he became a most-wanted fugitive overnight. But he never expected his flight would end with the ultimate curse: becoming the next Word of Death. Now he’s a prisoner inside the Athenaeum, where his new life under the Godspeakers’ control has begun.
As the Word of Death, Tavin can kill with a touch, an ability he must learn to harness or risk hurting the people he cares for. But Ryse, the Godspeaker charged with Tavin’s training, is pushing him to be as ruthless as she is. Her goal: make Tavin an elite assassin, whether he wants to be or not. His first target: the Chinese ambassador to Eden City. And that’s just the beginning . . .

Find Flux at their website and on twitter @fluxbooks
So although I said I was only going to feature UK based publishers in this feature, browsing Flux's catalogue has made me think again! They have so many great titles I'm genuinely excited to read that it makes me wonder what else I'm missing by staying so close to home! From now on this series will remain primarily dedicated to UK based independent publishers with the occasional overseas entity making an appearance, just to shake things up a bit!

Check back next Saturday for more indie fun, and be sure to check out the series so far!

Make Mine an Indie featuring...
And the A Way into YA series so far:

A Way into YA Day 1: Science Fiction
A Way into YA Day 2: Backlist Books
A Way into YA Day 3: A Bit of Everything!
A Way into YA Day 4: Some More Great Reads and a Giveaway! (win a copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - runs till Sunday evening, open intl)
A Way into YA Day 5: Across the Genres
The Lunar Chronicles Readalong: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Friday, 28 August 2015

The Lunar Chronicles Readalong: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This post is part of so many things! It ties in so well with Fairytale Fridays and with A Way into YA but is actually part of this readalong...

lunar chronicles read along

I saw on Twitter a while back that Brittany was hosting a readalong of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, the first one of which everyone in the world seems to have read except me! It seemed like something fun to do and I am obviously a huge fan of fairytale retellings so Cinder had been on the peripheries of my TBR for a while. I also knew that the library had it in because I used to periodically pick it up and put it down again while the boys were in the children's section. 

I had been putting it off because so many people love it and I wasn't sure what I would think. For those who don't know, Cinder is part cyborg, living in New Beijing which is under threat of attack by the lunar people, from space. Her stepmother hates her and blames her for her stepsister's illness, but then she meets Prince Kai and everything starts to change... 

So far, so Cinderella, right? But there is a lot else in this story. I loved the sci-fi twist Marissa Meyer puts on the tale and I really liked the evolution of the story away from the 'marry the prince, live happily ever after' traditional fairytale ending. Obviously as this is a series, the last part of which isn't even out yet, I don't know how it will end. It may well end that way. Honestly I really liked Prince Kai so I have my fingers crossed, but I'm sure those of you who have already read Scarlet and Cress will be laughing at me. I thought I knew what would happen going in because of the Cinderella connection, and while I did up to a point there's so much more in the story than just that. 

Personally I've always found Cinderella to be a bit less than exciting as a character, but Cinder I really liked. Actually all of the characters were great, even if it was just because I hated them so much. I physically wanted to slap Cinder's stepmother Adri so many times. The woman is just awful! It's quite an achievement to make me really dislike a character - more so than loving them as I do that often - so I'm impressed with this series already and excited to start Scarlet!

Reading about The Lunar Chronicles I particularly like that each book introduces a new fairytale, I don't know why I haven't started before!

Check out the readalong fun at Book Addicts Guide.

The #AWayintoYA series so far:
Make Mine an Indie: Alma Books
A Way into YA Day 1: Science Fiction
A Way into YA Day 2: Backlist Books
A Way into YA Day 3: A Bit of Everything!
A Way into YA Day 4: Some More Great Books and a Giveaway! (win a copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green until Sunday evening, open Intl!)
A Way into YA Day 5: Across the Genres

Check back tomorrow for another amazing independent publisher of Young Adult fiction!

This is also my Fairytale Fridays post for this week.

Fairytale Fridays runs the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month. Please link up your fairytale related posts (they can be old or new as long as you haven't linked them up before) below!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

A Way Into YA Day Five: Across the Genres

Welcome to A Way into YA; a series of guest posts where some lovely YA loving bloggers will give you their best recommendations and try to get you to love YA as much as they do! If you've always wanted to give it a go but have been overwhelmed by the amount of choice then hopefully this week will help you find a place to start!

Hopefully you've been keeping up with all the great guest posts and YA related greatness we've had going on here all week. If not feel free to catch up, we'll wait!

Now that that's done, the final guest blogger in this series (but by no means the final post of the series) is Rachel of Confessions of a Book Geek. She is an eclectic reader as you will see and is here with her recommendations of amazing books from across the genres!

I’ve been reading Young Adult books for quite a while, in fact I’m now considered to be an Adult (whether I like it or not!) who reads YA fiction. But that isn’t all I read. In fact, I read across a broad range of genres and age ranges, so when I find something I really like, I think it makes for a quality recommendation!

YA literature has gone through a *boom* in recent years, with new book-to-movie adaptations being announced every other week (at least that’s how it feels!), and “hot” new authors springing up regularly. It’s not surprising then that knowing where to start with YA can be daunting, thanks to Bex and this feature, I’m bringing you some of my top YA picks!

Contemporary - I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

I'll Meet You There by Heather DemetriosWhen I’m reading a great contemporary YA, I like to feel the realism of the story, and I love being able to relate to the characters – not necessarily through like-for-like life scenarios, but at least relate to their thoughts, dreams and emotions. I love it when contemporary stories have “issues”, when there’s grit to the storyline and when characters face real-life predicaments that result in character development. I’ll Meet You There has all of the above by the bucket-load, and some beautiful writing, and a great romance. I highly recommend this read!

Romance - Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover (New Adult Cross-over)

Maybe Someday by Colleen HooverAlthough many of my recommendations from other genres may feature a romance, or elements of one entwined throughout the plot, my actual romance recommendation is anything by Colleen Hoover, but for newbies I’d specifically recommend Maybe Someday. Colleen Hoover is the master of the NA genre, which can still be overlooked sometimes, as early-NA had a bad rep for being soft erotica. Do. Not. Fear. Colleen Hoover is rarely that steamy (though if a little more steam is what you are after, then I recommend Ugly Love ;) ). Maybe Someday is a mixed media collaboration that has its own custom soundtrack that you can listen to (for free) as you read the book. It is immense!

If you still need persuading, just check out this non-spoiler, fan-made trailer, featuring the title track, Maybe Someday (coincidentally, also my favourite song from the book!).

Fantasy – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and RosesI believe someone else pipped me to the post to recommend Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, so I’ve chosen her most recent release, A Court of Thorns and Roses, affectionately referred to as ACOTAR by the fans! Inspired by Beauty and the Beast, this story has amazing world-building, Fey, and a great romance element. Speaking as someone who was epically terrified of Fantasy for the longest time, I can safely say Maas is a sound choice to dip your toes in the water.

Dystopian - Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie BlackmanI’m sure everyone is familiar with The Hunger Games and the Divergent series, but one of the first dystopian novels I ever read (at the tender age of 12) was Noughts and Crosses. I reread the whole series at the age of 24, and loved it just as much as I did the first time around. Throughout the Noughts and Crosses series we follow different character points of view, across multiple generations, in a world where white people are heavily discriminated against, and black people hold all the power. It takes the world as we know it, and tilts it on its axis, offering fresh insights, and heart-breakingly good story-lines.

The titles all link to my review of each book or series, except for A Court Of Thorns and Roses, which I’ve yet to review on my blog. Many thanks to Bex for having me on her blog today, and I hope from my recommendations you find a new YA book to love!

twitter - @bookgeek90

I read a lot of Malorie Blackman when I was an actual young adult and she's fantastic. I also have A Court of Thorns and Roses on my wishlist, I'm desperate to read it! The other two are new to me though and I'll definitely be checking them out! Anybody else have the song from that trailer in their heads now?

Check back tomorrow for my thoughts on Cinder by Marissa Meyer. One Saturday I'll have another edition of Make Mine an Indie featuring a YA publisher, and on Sunday I'll finish up with my own recommendations for some great titles and a giveaway. 

The series so far:
Make Mine an Indie: Alma Books
A Way into YA Day 1: Science Fiction
A Way into YA Day 2: Backlist Books
A Way into YA Day 3: A Bit of Everything!
A Way into YA Day 4: Some More Great Books and a Giveaway