Top 5: Children’s Books

Although it’s a little late, I really liked the idea of sharing our favourite children’s books, based on last Wednesday’s (12th) Top 5 topic! I like to think of all of these books as the books that have made me the reader I am today, the books that have shaped my reading taste and drawn me towards young adult series that became my new favourite books.

(Backstory: Bee and I have always been readers, for sure, but it was never a huge priority in our lives until we were in secondary school. We spent most of our childhood playing role-play games with our dolls and watching Winx Club)

Fairy Dreams by Gwyneth Rees 

Because we loved animated fairies so much, it only made sense to seek them out in book form. When we were younger, I always wore my hair in bunches, so we thought that the two fairies on the cover looked like us! The story is about a girl who finds the fairies and when she goes to sleep, gets transported to the magical world! There was also something called The Book of Fairy Fun with every Gwyneth Rees character, full of word games and puzzles. When Bee and I shared a room, and when we were meant to be asleep, we’d allow ourselves to complete a couple puzzles a night, crouching up to our windowsill to get light from the streetlamp outside.

Anything by Jacqueline Wilson 

She was as big in the early 2000s as she is now. I have such fond memories of finding a Candyfloss hardback for 50p at a car boot sale with our grandparents, and reading Bad Girls for a reading level assessment. Of course, we lapped up Double Act and I always had a soft spot for Midnight (again, fairies. It’s a phase I hope to never grow out of!)

Anything by Cathy Cassidy

For our tenth birthday, I got Sundae Girl and Dizzy and Bee got Driftwood and Scarlet, and to this day, they will always be our favourite books by Cathy! Since then, we’ve been to three signings, one of which we won tickets to in a Mizz magazine contest. It was for the launch of Angel Cake and we got these glorious goodie bags and the chance to interview Cathy in a small group. It was one of the best days ever.

Judy Moody by Megan McDonald

I don’t remember how we got hold of these books, but they were fantastic. So great, in fact, that Bee and I are currently re-reading them just for fun! They’re about Judy, who really wants to be a doctor when she grows up, and each book is about her taking on these wild ideas like trying to get famous, or pretending to have ESP and running with them. Essentially a female Phineas and Ferb before the show existed.

Rose by Holly Webb 

Rose was Bee’s special thing. It was a four book series about this little orphan girl who discovered she had magical powers before she went to work for a renowned magician. She gets trained, along with the magician’s apprentice and helps to solve magical crimes like kidnappings and blood lettings. It was a bit more…grizzly than I was expecting when I first read it on a train back from London. I can remember, instead, choosing to focus on the scene where she goes to the candy store, and the big cat, Gus.

These are all the books that stick out in my mind as the ones we loved the best, and also the ones we’ve chosen to keep hold of, just in case we want to take a trip down memory lane.

Series To Read Before 2018!

What time is it? TBR Shame Time! Around the middle of the year, it’s always a good plan to re-evaluate what’s on your TBR and what your priorities are before 2018 rolls around, because it’s going to come sooner rather than later if January to June is anything to go by. I swear we were making our reading resolutions a week ago…

Tiny Pretty Things by Donielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra

This is only a duet, so really I have no excuse for not starting it because it’s not a lifetime dedication like Cassandra Clare series. But, it’s TOP of my list because I’m desperate to read about ballerinas at a boarding school. Ever since Bee and I got hooked on Dance Academy at the beginning of the year, ballet has been my favourite topic and this will be fabulous, I know it.  Continue reading “Series To Read Before 2018!”

Favourite Fictional Father Figures!

Richard Manners in Geek Girl

It just so happens that any one of these favourites posts can be used to promote the Geek Girl series. Funny, that. Richard is a fantastic dad. He may not always make the right decisions, or completely understand his daughter, but he’s there to support her (by taking free trips to Russia!) and generally be a maverick of the household. We absolutely love that Holly Smale wrote a family that inverts the tradition of the mother to be the one to stay at home and the dad to do the work. It’s so positive to see.

Hagrid in Harry Potter and Whatever He’s Up To

Every one who’s ever compiled a list like this is guaranteed to have any male character bar the Malfoys and Voldemort from Harry Potter. Out of every other contender for best father figure, I’ve chosen Hagrid because he’s the only one, in my opinion, who loves Harry because he wants to. Lupin and Sirius love him because he’s a miniature James, and brings back a piece of their shared past. Dumbledore cares for him because he turns out to be a selfish pusher of his own agenda. Hagrid loves him, full stop. Yes, he may put Harry in the radius of dangerous magical creatures, but whatever.

Dad Edwards in Second Chance Summer

I may not know his name, but he’s crucial to the story, and still manages to give Taylor some beautiful life lessons with the time he has left. This was a difficult father-daugther relationship to read about because illness gets in the way, and neither of them want to admit that their time is limited, but I think this story really proves how much loved ones matter to a person, and that no matter how much time you have with someone, it’s always worth being together. Excuse me while I go sob now.

Mr Bennett in Pride and Prejudice

A man that loves his daughters and irritating his wife. Although P&P definitely isn’t a comedy, Mr Bennett provided the light hearted jokes just when you needed them, and didn’t really care about what society thought of his family, as long as they were happy. I also really appreciated how he didn’t shame Lydia for what happened to her, whereas Mrs Bennett was distraught for days. No wonder everyone likes their father best!

Dad Marx in The Museum of Heartbreak

He just loved dinosaurs and wanted to share that love with the world, even in inappropriate scenarios. Dinner party conversation? Dinosaurs. Break up conversation? Dinosaurs. Definitely one of the stand out characters of a rather wishy-washy read.

Top 5: Side Relationships!

Before you wonder, this Top 5 Wednesday topic is not about your favourite relationship that had a side piece, like I first thought 😂 No one wants to promote disloyalty in relationships, for sure! This topic is all about your favourite couples that never got the spotlight. We’re big fans of secondary characters, and love it even more when they get their happily ever after. BUT, this week also meant that I had to delve back into the 2013-2014 archives of my reading tastes because secondary characters are only usually granted well developed relationships in series with three books or over, and seeing as I’ve managed to complete a measly two series this year, I was limited for choice. So, get ready for some oldies but goodies! Continue reading “Top 5: Side Relationships!”

Books We’re Taking on Holiday!

It’s going to be a holiday of tomes! Since we’re going to be spending 85% of this holiday reading, we decided that the physical books we took had to be over 400 pages, and preferably a book we both haven’t read (there are two exceptions, though!) I mean, isn’t that the best thing about going on holiday when your sister has the exact same bookish taste as you? Sharing books!

A lot of these books have been on our shelves unread for a seriously long time, and what better time to read them than practically stranding yourself on a desert island with them? Okay, so maybe substitute ‘stranding yourself’ with ‘going willingly’ and desert island with ‘really nice hotel.’ Continue reading “Books We’re Taking on Holiday!”

Top Ten: Favourite Book Covers With Models!

When it comes to book covers, I’m not that picky. It’s the story that matters, right? But, I always find myself reaching for books that have pretty typography or gold lettering (*cough* A Quiet Kind of Thunder *cough*) rather than books with actual people on them. But, when I looked at my shelves and books on my TBR, some of the covers I really gravitate towards have models. Who would have thought? Let’s appreciate them and all the good casting that goes with that.

Run by Kody Keplinger and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Put together because I love them for the same reasons: the girls look identical to the characters and do a great job of giving you a sense of their personalities by the poses and their proximity to one another, the backdrop…just looking at the cover tells you so much about the book and I adore it.  Continue reading “Top Ten: Favourite Book Covers With Models!”

Top 5: Authors We Want to Read More From!

In order to bring some life back to this blog, (it’s exam revision time and that means that all blogging motivation is zapped right out of our system by evil flashcards and quote tests), we thought it might be time again to participate in the classic weekly ‘Top X No.’ posts! This week’s is all about authors you’ve read marvellous books from already and want to devour more…not a hard list to make when there’s so many books on our TBR that fit the bill!

Richelle Mead
Maddie: I’ve been meaning to pick up the Bloodlines series for the last…forever. When did I finish Vampire Academy? *checks Goodreads* November 2015?! Oh wow. Yep, Bloodlines needs to be my next series to conquer. The whole six book thing is a little off-putting, but if I’ve done it once, I’ll do it again, and I absolutely love how much voice Richelle Mead manages to give her characters. They really leap off the page!

Victoria Schwab
Maddie: This fabulous woman keeps coming out with new books and I’m tripping over the little V TBR pile I have. This Savage Song, Vicious, A Conjuring of Light…all books I’m itching to get round to, especially because Our Dark Duet is coming soon and there’s nothing sweeter than finishing a series. Two is way more manageable than six! (You hear that, Richelle Mead?)

Josephine Angelini
Bee: Maddie has already read the Starcrossed series, and we own all three of the World Walker books so it’s about time I got round to them. Starcrossed comes with a glowing recommendation (if I’m willing to put up with some angsty romance!) and World Walker is all about witches, my favourite of all the supernatural beings and a total buzzword.

Cat Clarke
B & M: Between us, we’ve almost managed to read all of Cat Clarke’s books, and already have our hands on Girlhood, her next release, but we’d both really like to read the ones we’re missing. For Maddie, that’s The Lost and Found, about a girl who’s sister went missing when they were kids and has suddenly returned to a media frenzy around the family. And for Bee, that’s Undone, about a girl dealing with the loss of her best friend to suicide. Heavy stuff, but from what we’ve already read, it’s guaranteed to be good!

Nina LaCour
B & M: The only thing we’ve both read from this author was her short story in the Summer Days and Summer Nights collection, edited by Stephanie Perkins. But, that little taster was enough to have us hungry for more, especially because her most recent release We Are Okay has been getting a lot of praise, and it’s focused on a college-student which is awesome because finding YA set out of high school is almost impossible. Nina La Cour’s first book Everything Leads to You is also on our radar because of the lesbian protagonist (and the set designing career) because we can’t get enough of diverse books!