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.’

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Bee: This was my individual pick. We both have e-editions of The Sky is Everywhere from that time it was free to download, so this is the holiday where I’ll read Jandy Nelson. I’ve heard nothing but good things – admittedly quite a while ago because the hype for this author has more than died down, but maybe if we like these books enough we’ll be able to inject some life back into the excitement surrounding this author!

Inkheart and Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

Bee: I read 50 pages of Inkheart from by secondary school library almost ten years ago(!) and I’ve been meaning to pick it up again ever since! Now, Inkspell is for Maddie who has re-read Inkheart more times than I can count, but has never made it to picking up the sequel. Hopefully, I can persuade her to not put it off any longer!

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Maddie: It’s finally time! This book really excites me at the moment because Bee and I are working on a joint project and doing a lot of prep for July Camp Nanowrimo, so reading about a girl that’s having her NaNo novel published is all the inspiration I need. The format of the two stories, the one Darcy wrote and the one she’s living, also sounds like it’ll keep me interested the whole way through. I wonder if I’ll like one more than the other…

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

Maddie: This is the tome-iest of tomes that I’m taking with me, and one that screams summer, along with sci-fi utopia and love triangle. I absolutely love the film and I’m so pumped to read it in novel form, and see how the sister-like relationship between Melanie and Wanda develops, and whether it’ll play a bigger role in the books.

Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson

Maddie: Last summer, Bee and I went around collecting every Jacqueline Wilson book we could find, from a charity shop, a library or a supermarket – they were all in our hands. Opal Plumstead is one of the more recent releases, with a slightly YA feel as it focuses on a teenage girl who works at a sweet factory as she becomes more involved in the suffragette movement in the early 20th century. I really want to get into some more historical fiction as well, so…

All the Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls

Bee: This is another suffragette book, but with the addition of an F/F romance! We heard about this at the Anderson Press YA Book Bunch and the buzz was permeable! While one of us reading Opal, the other can dive into this to keep the girl power vibe going.

The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

Maddie: It’s always good to have a shorter book on hard (much shorter at under 300 pages!) for when we’re in the airport and don’t feel like doing any heavy lifting. To spice up this TBR, let’s read about a very drawn out break up in the vein of Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith!

So, that’s all of the physical books that will be making their way into our suitcases and touching Bavarian soil! We’ve also got a whole bunch on our Kindles to look forward to, so hopefully, this holiday reading schedule will be a complete success!

Summer Reading Recommendations!

Today’s Top Five Wednesday is all about your favourite books to read over the summer. So, basically, your favourite contemporary books. If you don’t pick up at least one YA romance in the next four months, you’re a monster (I’m sorry, fantasy loving friends!)

The Names They Gave Us by Emory Lord – In a summery read, you’re looking for a sweet, flawed main character, diversity (of course, that’s criteria for all books!), a slow-burning romance, a conflict that strikes just the right level of melancholy without ruining the cute vibe and preferably adorable kids. The Names They Gave Us gives you all of this and more. I haven’t read a better contemporary since my last Morgan Matson read, so this comes this more than a glowing recommendation. It’s a glowing command to read it (please?)

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer – Following the summer camp theme, this tells the story of four friends reuniting after a long time apart and sharing a time-travelling adventure to when they first got to know each other. Missing pieces of that summer together fall into place and it’s an absolutely heart-warming and heart-wrenching story of friendship and being there for each other no matter what. Definitely pick this one up if you want to feel glittery, for lack of a better word!

Continue reading “Summer Reading Recommendations!”

Review: Contagion by Teri Terry

Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Teri Terry is one of my favourite writers. I’ve read everything she’s written bar the sequel to Dangerous Minds. Contagion is the start of a new series, and since Slated is one of my all time favourite dystopian stories, there was a lot to live up to. And what’s the number one thing we always end up saying about high expectations? It’s pretty much our motto… Continue reading “Review: Contagion by Teri Terry”

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

This is probably THE MOST topical book to read about right now. After the release of the TV show, and all the problems that came with it (seriously, research the well-deserved uproar about the representation of depression and suicide) this book has been getting a lot more attention. And yes, I was desperate to read it to see how it all matched up, and nervous, too, that the portrayal would be potentially triggering or harmful. You can’t avoid it. While I’m sure the message of the book isn’t to condone revenge suicide, or suggest that bullying others is the best response to being bullied yourself, I was so aware that those are things you could take away from it. Keeping all that in mind, here are my thoughts.  Continue reading “Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher”

Top 5: Books as Event Themes!

Maddie: Neither Bee or I are really party people. The closest we’ve got to a book party is listening to Hailee Steinfeld while we read.  This Top Five Wednesday theme encourages us to think outside the box to create the perfect themed get-together and a couple of books instantly jump to mind!

First, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I’m not suggesting that we all sit around and write letters to past crushes, but can you imagine the aesthetic of the party? It would be pastel confetti, tea dresses and homemade baked goods galore. We’d make each of the sisters’ favourite cookies and then play the ninja-warrior-hide-and-seek-tag game from the second book. Now that’s the kind of party I’d attend in a heartbeat.

Next, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. Everyone would be claimed by their godly parent, when they arrived, with a fun personality quiz. Then we’d play Capture the Flag. (I just like parties with games, okay?) If there was some real planning involved, we’d stage a quest to find…something. Or go in a maze.

Continue reading “Top 5: Books as Event Themes!”

(Spoiler) Review: Aurabel by Laura Dockrill

Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

I first heard that there was going to be a sequel to one of my favourite books, Lorali, at an event that Laura Dockrill did in the spring. Since then, Aurabel has been one of my most anticipated releases, as the first book left me on quite the cliffhanger. In order to discuss everything, I’ll have to spoil some of the events, but don’t worry, asterisks will warn you!  Continue reading “(Spoiler) Review: Aurabel by Laura Dockrill”

(Spoiler) Review: Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield

Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Lisa Heathfield has quickly become one of my auto-read authors. I’m sure that no matter what she writes, I’ll read it. She’s really nailed this odd balance between intriguing and creepy – a vibe I don’t get from any other author. From her previous books, Seed and Paper Butterflies, I should have been expecting something with a darker edge. But, Flight of a Starling called out to me as a new take on The Little Mermaid. It’s not a retelling, but there are definitely strong and unavoidable links between the two. When we did get to the plot twist, I wasn’t shocked so far as confused. So, let’s discuss.  Continue reading “(Spoiler) Review: Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield”