Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Friendship

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Books About Friendship.

I actually found this topic harder than I expected to, but I think I’ve managed to come up with ten books that I love (OK 9 – I cheated on one) and that hopefully won’t be on everybody else’s lists.

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The BFG by Roald Dahl: This book is definitely in my top 3 Dahl books! Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant are just so cute together. He even makes her a dress.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson: This one is the cheat because I haven’t actually read it yet…I have no idea how or why! However, if the film is anything to go by, the friendship between outsiders Jess and Leslie is beautiful, and inevitably heart-breaking.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: I really didn’t rate the film, but this is one of my favourite books, and definitely one that will make you think about how important friendships can be.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan & John Green: This is one of my favourite coming of age stories, set around what sounds like an amazing high school musical.

A Million Little Pieces & My Friend Leonard by James Frey: Sometimes in the unlikiest places with the unlikliest of people, friendships can strike and that’s what happens in Frey’s controversial books about one man’s struggle with drink, drugs and rehabilitation.

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The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak: Oh this book. Has friendship ever been so dangerous?

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Anne Brashares: I really liked the first book in this series, but the second one just didn’t have the same magic so I read no futher. If I’d read these when I was at school though I’m absolutely positive I would have loved them. Every girl longs for a close circle of friend like these girls have.

Let the Right One in by John Ajvide Lindqvist: A lonely, bullied boy and a strange, wild girl who only seems to come out at night makes this the epitome of an unlikly friendship story.

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman: If you think Romeo & Juliet had problems just see what Sephy and Callum have to put up with. This story of racism and prejudice blew me away, and at the heart of it is such a beautiful friendship, despite everything going against them.

What would make your list?

You’re the One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher (Out next week!)

youreMaddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob – the man she’s about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben – best man and the best friend any two people ever had.

And that’s the problem.

Because if it wasn’t Rob waiting for her at the altar, there’s a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned round and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right?

Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it…

When I heard that Giovanna ‘Mrs Tom McFly’ Fletcher had ventured into the world of Chick-Lit I didn’t know what to expect. I have to admit I did the usual well it’s easy to get published when you’re already famous by default thing, which I realise is a horrible thing to think, but I’m cynical like that.

And then I saw some really good reviews of her first book, Billy and Me, so I decided I should check them out for myself. I never did get round to Billy and Me but as soon as I saw this one on Netgalley I decided to request it.

You’re the One That I Want pleasantly surprised me and would make a great beach read, but I wasn’t completely won over by it.

Maddy has grown up with two best friends who just happen to be boys. They’re inseparable from childhood to adulthood, through thick and thin. But when adolescence hits, things begin to change. Both boys start to see Maddy as more than a friend, but which one will declare their feelings first? And which one, if any, will Maddy end up with?

I’m not a hater of the love triangle trope like a lot of people are, so I wasn’t put off by that aspect of the book. I was interested to see how the choices that were made could affect the strongest of friendships and I definitely found myself engrossed in the story. Like Maddy, I was torn between Robert and Ben at different stages of their lives.

But there were a few things that prevented me from really loving this book. The writing wasn’t bad, but I felt like the tone, and some of the ideas were way too immature, even as the characters got older. I mean, I know people mature at different ages but it seemed like these friends led pretty sheltered lives until they got to Uni. They were climbing trees and not allowed out after dark at the age of 15 which didn’t strike me as being very realistic – or maybe I just grew up different!??

When they go away to Paris for a 6th Form trip, it’s like they’ve never been away from home before, and when they get to Uni, it’s like they’ve never got drunk before – I found it odd. However, I loved the second half of the book – once they were at Uni – finding it much more riveting and realistic than the first, and I was eager to find out who Maddy had chosen, and if they would all be able to remain friends.

I thought the structure of the book really worked too. I’m not always a fan of multiple narrators, but it was definitely the way to go for this book. I also liked that it was written from the present time of ‘the wedding’ but not knowing who she had chosen, and looking back in chronological order as to what had led them there.

You’re the One That I want developed into an interesting story of friendship and love, how those lines can be easily blurred, and how one decision can change the course of your life forever. I was impressed by Fletcher, even if I didn’t completely love it.

It makes a really nice summer/holiday read. Give it a chance.

unicorn rating 3

Disclosure?: I received a copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review
Title: You’re the One That I Want
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Details: Paperback; Kindle; 320 pages
Published: May 22nd 2014 by Penguin
My Rating: 3/5

Friday Feature: The Best Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years? Part 1 (0-5 Yrs)

As I mentioned in my Bookish Thoughts post yesterday, I’ve noticed in blogland that this week America is celebrating Children’s Book Week. It doesn’t look like it’s one that we celebrate over here in the UK (there are so many it’s hard to keep up)but it got me thinking about my favourite children’s books, (also so many!).

I came across this list from October last year, of the 100 Best Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years compiled by Booktrust.org.uk, so I thought it would be a good excuse for me talk about what I think of the choices, and maybe add a few of my own.

They have split the list into four year groups, 0-5, 6-8, 9-11, and 12-14 with 25 books in each. I’m going to look at a different category at a time. Click on the heading to go to the full list.

0-5 Years

It’s been a long time since I’ve read any books aimed at 0-5 year olds. A few of my friends have young kids, but there are none in my immediate family so I’m not exactly up-to-date where they are concerned. However, a lot of the books on this list are classics that most people will be aware of.

The notable classics that made the cut include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where’s Spot, Room on a Broom and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, but I don’t actually remember those from my childhood at all. Well, maybe Room on a Broom.

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I am pleased to see The Snowman on the list, although I don’t think I had the book, I just watched the animation at Christmas (and still do), Where the Wild Things Are is a book that I ADORE but I came to it later in life, and Dr Suess’ The Cat in The Hat will always be a favourite, along with many of his others.

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But the nostalgia really hit me when I got to Not Now, Bernard – I’d completely forgotten that even existed and did a proper gasp when I saw it!!! Meg and Mog (I was all over anything with witches – nothing has changed) and Dear Zoo. I definitely remember loving those books.

Favourite on the List:
It’s a tough one. I own versions of The Cat in the Hat, and Where the Wild Things Are and would happily read them over and over, but now I’ve remembered about Not Now Bernard I’m leaning towards that one. I think I’ll have to find a copy!

Missing from the List:
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I always preferred Green Eggs and Ham to TCITH so I think that should be in there. I also really vividly remember A Big Ball of String by Marion Holland. I loved that book so much!

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And lastly, there is one book that I’ve never been able to find. All I know is that it was about a unicorn who gets lost and ends up cold and wet and covered in leaves. I can picture it well, but haven’t been able to find it because I have no idea what it was called or who it was by. ONE DAY I WILL FIND IT. Any ideas??

What would make your list in the 0-5 years category? I’d love to know!

Next time I’ll look at the 6-8’s Category! (Blyton…Dahl…ahh so good!)

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #4

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

1. I’ve been ill on and off for the past two weeks and it’s really starting to piss me off. It all started with a sore throat, and then my right ear went weird and hurt when I swallowed and I thought I was going deaf. And now, I just have a cold that won’t budge. Even trusty old Lemsip isn’t working. Ugh. I’m putting off going to the doctors because I generally think time heals most things. HURRY UP, TIME!

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2. Despite being ill, last Saturday was Eurovision day and I had a little house party for it because Eurovision is like the best thing ever. As tradition dictates, I instructed everyone who came to bring something to represent the country they were backing, whether it was food, drink or outfit based. Oh man, there was a lot of food. It was awesome.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about (you guys are missing out) you can read what Eurovision is all about on the link above, but basically, it’s a great excuse for a party, and the campest thing ever. BEST NIGHT!

The UK did rubbish, as always, even though we had a pretty good entry this year, but I was glad to see Conchita Wurst, the Austrian drag queen win – screw you Russia! My other favourite was Iceland…oh Iceland you make me happy. Check it out:

3. Eurovision also made me realise that my blog must be coming up to its one year anniversary as I remember my introduction post was a picture of me standing over one of my best friends who had partied a bit too hard at last year’s Eurovision. Whoop…I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I’ll be doing some birthday/round-up posts next week. I think my first post was on the 22nd May 2013. EEEK!

4. I’ve been seeing a lot about Children’s Book Week in blogland this week, which I guess is like America’s version of our World Book Day…anyway, it got me thinking about all the children’s books I love so I’m planning a special post for it on friday – if I have time to write it!

5. And while we’re on the subject of children’s books, I came across this awesome article by John Green, discussing why he thinks YA fiction appeals to adults – YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD FOR YA FICTION… it does surprise me that besides from a few of my friends and the book/blogging world, most people don’t understand why I read so many books aimed at teenagers when I’m 30 years old! BECAUSE THEY ARE AWESOME, HELLO. I hate when it gets looked down upon too, but it’s nearly always non-readers that do that. Idiots.

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6. I bought a little rose plant a few weeks ago. I don’t really do flowers or plants usually, I’m just not that person, but I saw it and thought it looked cute, and now I’m having a bet with myself to see how long I can keep it alive. I’m pretty rubbish with these things. The label on it said that the soil should always be moist and it needs feeding twice a week. Is feeding the same as watering? Seriously guys, I’m clueless. And people ask me if I think about having kids…LOL@YOU…I don’t even know how to keep a plant alive!!! I’ll probably get drunk and try to eat it or something. The plant, not the fictional baby.

7. I really need to get back into writing. As much as I love doing this blog, it’s completely taken over the time I used to spend writing (plus all the time I spent doing god knows what…). I have a YA novel and a handful of short stories that still need work (especially the novel…it’s so terrible ATM) and about a million other ideas for things I want to write but haven’t gotten round to. I really need to set aside some time each week to do that!

WWW Wednesday 14.05.14

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump of late. I think it’s a mixture of being busy at work and home, being ill (stupid cold just won’t budge) and not wanting to start anything substantial because I was waiting on the 3rd book in The Selection Series, but IT STILL HASN’T ARRIVED. They’ll be a whole a post on this so I’ll just continue that rant in my head for now.

So basically, I gave up on waiting for The One, and started You’re the One That I Want which is my next ARC to be reviewed, but I wasn’t really feeling it. So eventually I reached for my go-to book when I’m feeling a bit meh…yes my friends, it’s Twilight time. Which works out perfectly because it’s also one of the books in my reread challenge. Hurrah.

And as always, it’s worked in pulling me out of my reading slump and I’m starting to enjoy the other one too.

Recently Finished: The last one I finished was After Wimbledon, which I finally got round to reviewing here.

Up Next: I would say The One, BUT IT’S NEVER GOING TO ARRIVE. So I don’t know. I have lots of review request books, and ARCs to get through as ever. AND a TBR pile challenge that is going terribly (1 BOOK SO FAR!)

After Wimbledon by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

wimbAfter 12 years on the pro. tennis tour and four years with her sort-of boyfriend, Lucy Bennett has had enough. She wants real life… and real love.

Her life, her decision. Right? Well, no one else seems to think so. With opinions on all sides, Lucy’s head is spinning. And she’s stumbling right into the arms of long-term crush and fellow player Sam. Shame her boyfriend – his arch-rival – would sooner smash a racquet over their heads than agree to a simple change of partners.

As the Wimbledon Championships play out, Lucy fights for her life on and off the courts. The question is: what will she be left with after Wimbledon?

This book has been at the top of my review request book list for a few months now but I kept having to push it back because of ARC deadline books, and the fact that I couldn’t wait to read some sequels (Frostbite, Scarlet, Insurgent), but in a way I’m glad it took me this long to read it.

Not because it was bad (at all!), but because After Wimbledon is what I’d refer to as a seasonal book. It was such a perfect read for a sunny May bank holiday, I raced through it in two sittings! And also because I’m a British tennis fan, Wimbledon is one of the highlights of my year, and there’s nothing like the first warm days of the year to get me in the mood for that…so waiting a bit longer to start this book really paid off. I am well and truly excited for the summer now!

I think Lucy Bennett is a protagonist that most female twenty-somethings can relate to. She’s approaching thirty and having a bit of a premature mid-life crisis. Tennis is her life, but she’s had enough. Even Wimbledon, the greatest championship of all (even if I do say so myself) has lost its magic.

And it’s not just her career, she’s in a relationship that seems to be going nowhere, and the more she thinks about it, the more she realises how wrong they are for each other.

Enter Sam, who is everything Joe, the current (rubbish) boyfriend isn’t. Not only is he swoon-worthy, and Lucy’s long-term crush, but he too is planning to retire from pro tennis, and coach at Lucy’s parents Tennis club.

I couldn’t help but compare this book to the film Wimbledon, which isn’t a bad thing as it’s one of my guilty pleasure films! I loved the growing relationship between Lucy and Sam, and the drama that them spending more time together created, given that he is her boyfriend’s main rival on the tennis tour. And from my albeit limited knowledge, I thought it portrayed quite a realistic view of life as a professional tennis player. I was especially impressed with Roberts’ simple but effective description of Lucy’s matches and of Wimbledon itself.

That being said, there is also a lot to like about this book if you’re not so keen on tennis. The romance was sweet but not too cliched, and I liked that there were enough complications to keep the story interesting. The cast of characters surrounding Lucy are diverse, and all added something to the story – I especially liked Libby the journalist. And, I couldn’t fault the writing, it’s such an enjoyable read!

I’m totally excited for Wimbledon to start now. Roll on June!

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Disclosure?: Yep, I received a copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review
Title: After Wimbledon
Author: Jennifer Gilby Roberts
Details: Kindle; Paperback; 264 pages
Published: December 4th 2013 by Createspace (first published November 29th 2013)
My Rating: 4/5

If you like the sound of this, you can also read Jennifer’s inspiration behind the novel on a guest post she did for my blog earlier in the year HERE.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Almost Put Down But Didn’t

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Ten Books I Almost Put Down But Didn’t.

I wasn’t sure whether to interpret this topic as books I wanted to give up on but didn’t, or books that were so good I couldn’t put down. I’m guessing it’s supposed to be the former, so that’s what I’ve gone for, even though it’s a tricky one for me.

I probably struggled because I sort of have some rules when it comes to giving up (or not) on books. If I haven’t enjoyed a book from the off, I give it about 70 pages, and then give up. If I make it past the 150 page mark however,(or about half way through) then I refuse to give up.

So most books that I want to give up on, I usually do earlier rather than later! But here are a few in which I made it past the point of no return therefore had to slog out until the end.

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: I loved the illustrations in this, but controversially, I didn’t love the story at all! Thankfully it was only a small book so I finished it anyway. I could still take it or leave it. Meh.

The Wildfire Season by Andrew Pyper: I really liked this book in the end so I’m glad I didn’t give up on it, but it was verrrrry slow in the middle and took a lot of effort to get to the end!

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld: Ugh Tally was so annoying in the first book in this series that I almost didn’t make it, but I’m really glad I did. I loved the 3rd book, and I think what Westerfeld was trying to say with this series was pretty epic!

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende: As the title suggests, this book goes on a bit. And in a weird complete 180 to the norm, I think if I didn’t love the film so much I would have never made it to the end of the book.

Cell by Stephen King: Oh Stephen King, I have such a love/hate relationship with you. Like most King books, I was completely hooked with Cell for most of the book (and it’s pretty long), but the closer to the end it got, the more frustrating it was. The ending was so terrible I wanted to throw it at a wall!

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson: This book involved a present day story, entwined with one from the past. The present day parts I loved so I had to keep reading, but the other one was a bit of a yawn fest, until it all came together at the end.

The Passage by Justin Cronin: I felt like I’d invested too much time in this book to give up on it, but man did I want to. I’m glad I made it to the end though, it was pretty epic, but I never did pick up thew second book!

Book Promo: Slip by Leslie J. Portu

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Title: Slip
Author: Leslie J. Portu
Series: Slip #1
Genre(s): YA; Contemporary;
Pages: 400
Format(s): Paperback; Kindle (Only £1.85/$3.11 at time of posting)
Published: June 19th 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Links:
Goodreads
Facebook
Purchase:
Amazon

Synopsis

As Vivien Allen begins her junior year of high school, her expectations are flat.

While the status quo has always been a source of comfort, she can’t silence the small voice inside of her that yearns for something out of the ordinary. When her crotchety old French teacher is replaced by Christophe, an attractive young newcomer, she senses the possibility for change, and a strange, indefinable relationship begins.

But, luck, it appears, has arrived in pairs, and Vivien soon finds herself the object of attention of Declan Mieres, the star senior lacrosse player. As her intimacy with both grows, so, too, does her unease. It becomes increasingly difficult to keep her two worlds separate. When at last they collide, the repercussions are far worse than she ever imagined.

Meet the Author

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5 Things With Leslie Portu:

1. I believe reading novels is one of the best ways to increase your knowledge on just about ANY subject. As you follow the characters into their world you can’t help but soak up all sorts of new information. There is nothing like the feeling of losing yourself in a good book.

2. Most kids/young adults these days do not read enough due to an overabundance of competing distractions. (Obviously this does not apply to YOU, since here you are on a blog about books! So congratulations! Take a second and give yourself a pat on the back).

3. I am so glad that I have found writing later in life, and it is my great, great aspiration to make a connection with all of you voracious readers. It would be especially great to hear your thoughts: Do you identify with any of my characters? Do you hate/love one in particular? Would you act the same in a similar situation? The questions are endless…

4. Other factoids: I attended the University of Wisconsin for four of the best years of my life (Go Badgers!). After spending hour upon hour sitting in a chair, I love to head for the stair climber and lift weights (my family will tell you I am a serious grump without exercise). I love the beach and the sun and chicken lettuce wraps and coffee and atomic fireballs. Currently, I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan (not a Wolverine fan, sorry) with my husband, four children, and two dumb dogs. In the summers I can be found in Carolina Beach, NC where I have recently converted to a country music fan (the most touching lyrics! seriously!).

5. More books are coming.

Slip: Top Ten Eleven Playlist

Hi all!
I would like to share with you some of the music that was my inspiration while writing Slip. Music is a powerful generator of all kinds of emotions. These are the songs that helped me to visualize my characters more clearly, and access the emotions of a particular scene. The list (more or less) follows along with the storyline. Happy listening! And, more importantly, happy reading!

– Leslie J Portu

1. Live: Lightning Crashes (What’s this? Could it be love?)
2. Marcy Playground: Sex And Candy (Riley’s Halloween Party)
3. Big Data: Dangerous (Things are not always what they seem)
4. Tame Impala: Feels Like We Only Go Backwards (When is it OK to lie?)
5. Icona Pop: Good For You (Dinner party at Lauren’s)
6. How To Dress Well: Cold Nites (Turn up the heat (Ch. 20))
7. City and Colour: Weightless (Declan’s world crashes down)
8. Prince: I Would Die 4 U (The chase)
9. Death: Denial of Life (In the mind of a killer)
10. The Limousines: Wildfires (Passion in the winter woods)
11. Ghost Beach: Miracle (Love trumps all: final scene)

Excerpt

And so it begins…Boy Meets Girl

Vivien heaved open the gym door to be greeted by the thunder of bouncing balls. Kids were running in all directions, shrieking and shouting at each other. She stood uncertainly, her eyes sifting through the chaos for any sign of an adult in charge. By sheer luck she managed to dodge an errant basketball just before it collided with her face. At last, near the center of the gym, she spotted a bald man wearing an ID badge and she made her way toward him.

“Excuse me!” she shouted, extending her hand. “I’m one of the volunteers. Vivien Allen.”

His hand gripped hers in a firm shake. “Another one. Fantastic! Wonderful! We’ve got a nice-sized group this fall. Excellent!” He spoke every word without ever losing his broad grin. “I’m Mr. Peterson. Bob, you can call me. Where would you like to start?” He gestured toward the basketball nets. “We’re about to get a game going in a minute here.”

She hesitated, eyeing the net with suspicion. She knew nothing of the rules of basketball. In fact, she avoided all sports whenever possible. To say she was unathletic was putting it kindly. As her gaze dropped, the sight of a small boy crying caught her eye. One of the volunteers was crouching before him, his back to Vivien. He appeared to be listening thoughtfully as the child sobbed and pointed his finger at the accused (another small boy who, upon being singled out, promptly split the scene). Slowly the volunteer rose to his feet: faded jeans, cardinal-red Eastbrook Lacrosse sweatshirt, perfectly tousled dark hair. Oh no. She sucked in a breath. He remained still, hands on hips. Then at last, Declan Mieres turned and looked straight at her.

She swallowed, eyes darting away, but not before he’d caught her staring. Great. “Um…are there any other choices?” she asked.

Bob managed to reveal an even more spectacular view of his back molars as he nodded and signaled for her to follow. She trailed along behind, flinching every now and then as a basketball whizzed past her ears.At the opposite end of the gym were another set of doors through which they passed, ending up in a small cafeteria. Here she saw three rows of long tables set up for various arts and crafts. Much better, she thought.

“Jules is in charge of this room,” Bob explained, indicating a frazzled-looking woman cradling a large tub of crayons. “She’ll get you situated.”

Before she knew it, her two hours had gone by and she was letting Jules know it was time for her to leave. Most of the afternoon had been spent showing a second-grade girl how to make cootie catchers. She’d been drawn to this particular girl when she saw her sitting glumly, methodically kicking her foot against the table leg. None of the other children sat by her or paid her any attention whatsoever. She seemed in dire need of a friend.

“See you next week, Dashayla,” Vivien promised as she headed for the door. But Dashayla protested her departure by wrapping her chubby arms around Vivien’s thigh and clinging to her the entire length of the cafeteria. Gently she peeled the fingers off one by one. “You better go back before you get in trouble.” Dashayla put on a pout. “Don’t worry. I’ll be here every Wednesday.” Vivien bent down and gave her a big hug.

Smiling to herself as she headed toward the front office, she couldn’t help but marvel at the easy affection of her newfound friend. Everything seemed so simple in elementary school. If you liked someone, you showed it. Had she really been that way once? She couldn’t remember at what point she’d begun to tuck away her true feelings…just in case.

Her head in the clouds, she failed to notice the three Eastbrook seniors as they crossed paths exiting the office.

“Oh!” she gasped, stumbling backward. “Sorry!”

Directly in front of her, Declan stood gaping, as if he’d just come upon a perplexing riddle.

“Dude!” Nathan shouted over his shoulder. “Watch where you’re going. You almost ran right over this fine girl.”

Vivien returned Declan’s stare. Never before had she been this close to him; he traveled in packs made up of lacrosse players and the most attractive senior girls. Now at last she had a golden opportunity to see for herself what all the fuss was about. He was nice-looking, she gave him that. Yet his striking presence failed to induce rapid heart palpitations, as all the other silly girls claimed was the case. Maybe he did have soft brown eyes, the kind that looked like pools of melted chocolate. And maybe they did go flawlessly with his olive skin and his wavy dark hair. And he wasn’t exactly hurting physically, either; his muscular body towered over hers by a good twelve inches (she’d inherited the “short genes” from her mother’s side of the family and was finally coming to grips with the fact that she was never going to be much over five-foot-two). But none of these things could make up for the fact that he was nothing but a player.

“Don’t worry about it,” she said. “I’m fine.”

“Don’t you go to Eastbook?” Declan asked, still gawking. “You look…familiar.”

She nodded, trying with difficulty to pull her gaze away. And then, strangely, absolutely nothing happened. The four of them stood trapped in an uncomfortably prolonged moment. A moment of complete and utter silence. The spell was broken at last by Thomas as he cleared his throat, and time was permitted to resume its natural progression.

A self-conscious dance variation followed—a simultaneous shuffle in one direction, then the other as the four bodies attempted to navigate the narrow confines of the doorway. She managed at last to slide past the three leering Neanderthals, stomach sucked to her spine as if it was essential to create as much space as possible between their species and hers. Despite this superhuman effort, she felt the tiny hairs on the back of her neck rise and stand at attention as she and Declan shared the intimate space of the doorframe.

“Nice set of DSLs,” she heard Nathan mutter once she was several feet away. She had no idea what this meant, but coming from Nathan, the king of crass, she was certain the comment was hardly complimentary. She made a beeline for the sign-out sheet, fighting the urge to look back. The sound of laughter drifted in as the three boys headed out to the parking lot.

It took a minute before she’d regained the mental capacity to sign her name. She didn’t know how they’d managed to fluster her so badly. Why should she care about them? She had nothing but contempt for the entire lacrosse team and their social circle. They breezed through the halls like they were some kind of royalty. And she was only a minor character—the lowly chambermaid—in their star-studded cast.

One thing was for sure: hell would freeze over before Miranda could talk her into going to Nathan’s Friday night.

Purchase:

Amazon

Huge thanks to Leslie for taking the time to talk to me about herself and her book!

The Unicorn Thief by R.R. Russell (Released 06.05.14)

uniA dangerous thief is at work in the land of the unicorns…
Twig and Ben are hard at work taming the last free unicorn herd on Lonehorn Island when Ben’s loyal unicorn, Indy, disappears. When their search leads them to the island’s secret passageway to Terracornus, the land of unicorns, they discover a bold thief at work.

There Twig learns the tangled truth about Ben and the evil queen who’s enslaved all of the unicorns. Now all of the captive unicorns are in danger and only Ben and Twig, the last unicorn riders, can save them.

Like Twig and Ben readers will be drawn to a beautiful and mysterious world where unicorns roam wild. R.R Russell’s storytelling is sure to captivate unicorn lovers of all ages.

It saddens me to say that I didn’t enjoy this book very much, but I don’t think it’s the book’s fault really. When I requested it from Netgalley I didn’t realise it was the second book in a series. I wanted to give it a go anyway…because UNICORNS…but I just couldn’t get into it at all.

I was kind of confused about how Twig and Ben had ended up on The Earth Lands instead of Terracornus, and why they keep some unicorns with them but not others. But that being said, there were some things I did enjoy about The Unicorn Thief.

Once Twig and Ben move into the cave to be herders, (which I assume is like a birthright?) and then set out to find Indy the missing unicorn, the pace increases and I did eventually feel involved in the story. It’s a story that’s full of adventure and action, and a quick read to boot.

If I’d been up to speed with the first book, I’m pretty sure I would have loved that this book gets straight into the action, but as it was, I was just a bit lost.

I enjoyed the characterisation here too. Ben and Twig have a nice relationship which is tested throughout the book, and the bond between unicorn and rider was evident, making it realistic that Ben would go to such lengths to find Indy.

All in all, don’t be put off by my rating, I just felt like I was coming into the middle of a story with no background, which I guess I was. I’d really like to go back and read the first book to see if that’s all it was preventing me from loving it.

unicorn rating 2

Disclosure?: Yep, I received a copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review
Title: The Unicorn Thief (Unicorns of the Mist #2)
Author: R.R. Russell
Details: Hardcover, 288 pages
Published: May 6th 2014 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
My Rating: 2/5

WWW Wednesday 07.05.14

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

So from the picture it looks like I’m on a right chick-lit, summer-reading fluff binge…and maybe I am. But let me expand OK….

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Currently Reading: I’m not actually reading anything right now (as in since yesterday)…shock horror! I’m clearly waiting for The One (The Selection #3) to arrive. Seriously, DON’T MESS WITH ME AMAZON! (It’s also nice to have a wee break).

Recently Finished: I finished After Wimbledon by Jennifer Gilby Roberts which was a nice light read; Perfect Bank Holiday reading. My review will be up soon. I also finished The Unicorn Thief which I was disappointed in. But it’s probably my fault as it was book 2 in a series and I didn’t realise. Doh!

Up Next: Too many to choose from! Obviously The One, and about a million on my TBR pile. I’ve been so rubbish with this year’s challenges I think I’m going to have to dedicate a whole month to each (TBR and Reread challenges – see sidebar) to catch up. I also have You’re the One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher to review in the next week or so.

Leave your link in the comments and I’ll come take a look!