January 2015 on Lipsyy Lost & Found // February Releases

Better late than never, right?

Well, what to say about January…it came and went in the blink of an eye as always. It was a slow start for me as I took the first two weeks off from blogging, for a much needed rest, but I’ve thrown myself back into it with gusto. I also posted less in order to build up some content for the future in an attempt to BE.MORE.ORGANISED. Seems to be working so far…ahem.

January 2015 Stats

Total Posts: 12
Books Read: 5

Reviews (3)

  • Mr Miracle by Debbie Macomber, 2/5 (View)
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, 4/5 (View)
  • Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell, 4/5 (View)

Read But Not Yet Reviewed: 2

  • Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell
  • Sixteen, Sixty-One by Natalie Lucas

The Breakdown

Most Surprising: Frozen Charlotte
Most Disappointing: Mr. Miracle
Most Exciting: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Most Swoon-worthy: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Most Beautifully Written: The Darkest Part of the Forest

Genres: YA (3/5); Fantasy (2/5); Romance (1/5); Horror (1/5); Non-Fiction (1/5)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (3/5); Digital (4/5); Hardback (1/5); Owned (2/5)

Friday Features:

  • It’s all about the bass Thrones & Thorns (View Post)
  • Moustache Questions: About Me! (View Post)

Guest Posts, Promos and Other Highlights:

    • This Week in Books (RIP WWW Wednesdays) (View Post)
    • Lipsy Lost & Found Vintage Bookshop Now Open! (View Post)

Most Viewed Posts:

This Week In Books 21/01/2015 (RIP WWW Wednesdays)

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I only realised last week that WWW Wednesdays is no more. Sad face.

I really like having a weekly reading round-up and Wednesday always worked for me as I used to get most of my reading done over the weekend. Things have changed a little now with different work patterns and such, but I think I’m going to stick to Wednesdays regardless.

This also means that I can tweak the format for my own. Mwahahahahaha…

So here’s what Wednesdays will look like on Lipsyy Lost & Found from now on (I’m basically cramming 3 memes into one because I don’t like doing too many!)

This Week in Books


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Now: Frozen Charlotte ~ Alex Bell

OMG this has been such a pleasant surprise, if being totally creeped out can be pleasant (it can in my world). I’ll be finished with this today and I’m itching to review it already!

Then: The Darkest Part of the Forest ~ Holly Black

Loved!!! My rather rambling review went up yesterday.

Next: ???

On the ARC front, I need to start Red Queen, but I also got so many awesome books for Christmas & my Birthday (post coming soon!) that I can’t wait to start.

New on the Shelf

Titles Approved from Netgalley:

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The Alex Crow ~ Andrew Smith
Once again blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith tells the story of 15-year-old Ariel, a refugee from the Middle East who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel’s story of his summer at a boys’ camp for tech detox is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century. Oh, and there’s also a depressed bionic reincarnated crow. Released March 5th 2015 by Electric Monkey
 

Me & Mr J ~ Rachel McIntyre
Fifteen-year-old Lara finds her soulmate. There’s just one problem – he’s her teacher.

Lara’s life is far from perfect, but being an upbeat kind of person she saves her venting for her diary. It’s the only place she can let out her true feelings about the family dramas and hideous bullying she has to face every day.

And then a shining light comes out of the darkness – the new young and MALE teacher, Mr Jagger. The one person who takes Lara seriously and notices her potential. The one person who is kind to her. The one person who she falls madly and hopelessly in love with. The one person who cannot love her back … can he? Released February 5th 2015 by Electric Monkey

Borrowed Books:

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Thanks Dora!

New on the Wishlist


I saw this post on Flavorwire about books that will make you more interesting – not that I necessarily agree that reading certain books can make you more interesting – but I definitely wanted to add a few of them to my wishlist regardless.

The one that completely stood out though, was this:

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White is for Witching – Helen Oyeyemi

As a child, Miranda Silver developed pica, a rare eating disorder that causes its victims to consume nonedible substances. The death of her mother when Miranda is sixteen exacerbates her condition; nothing, however, satisfies a strange hunger passed down through the women in her family. And then there’s the family house in Dover, England, converted to a bed-and-breakfast by Miranda’s father. Dover has long been known for its hostility toward outsiders. But the Silver House manifests a more conscious malice toward strangers, dispatching those visitors it despises. Enraged by the constant stream of foreign staff and guests, the house finally unleashes its most destructive power.

With distinct originality and grace, and an extraordinary gift for making the fantastic believable, Helen Oyeyemi spins the politics of family and nation into a riveting and unforgettable mystery.

I’m Waiting on…

 
(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

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Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2) – Rachel Hartman

I can’t wait to get my hands on this! I think I’ll have to reread Seraphina first though. (Oh what a chore, not!)

The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny? Released March 10th 2015 by Random House Children’s Books

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (solidarity!) or want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #ThisWeekInBooks, and I’ll come and visit!

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Series: N/A
Edition: Digital ARC, 336 pages
Publication Details: January 13th 2015 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an HONEST review.

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Review

YES! This is what I’ve been waiting for by Holly Black.

Since absolutely loving The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I knew I needed to read more by her. I had planned on reading her back catalogue but you know how it is…so little time. Therefore, I was pretty thrilled when I got approved for an advanced copy of this one. And rightly so!

The Darkest Part of the Forest is a fairy book with bite. It reads like a deliciously dark classic fairy tale, but it’s thoroughly modern too.

In the small town of Fairfold, humans go about their days like any average community, but there’s just one difference, faeries also exist. On the whole, faeries have come to be accepted and their magic is seen as harmless. However, many people in Fairfold continue to abide by certain rules and superstitions in order to make them immune to their magic, making you raise an eyebrow as to whether they are as harmless as everyone thinks they are.

The town has an interesting history to say the least. And at the centre of it all, is the horned boy who sleeps in the glass coffin in the middle of the forest. He’s been there for as long as anyone remembers and he never wakes up, or ages.

Protagonists Hazel and Ben have fawned over the horned boy since they were little, naming him their Prince, they both dream of kissing him and they long for him to wake up.

But then he does…. and Hazel and Ben’s lives soon start to unravel. Can they protect themselves and save their Prince, or will their secrets come between them and destroy everything ?

To show your regard, you give each other other lovely bouquets of lies.”

I’m finding it so hard to review this book, which is always a sign that I loved it! There are just so many things I liked about it, it’s hard to put into words.

For starters, I found the writing style beautiful. It’s one of those books where I just wanted to highlight passage after passage. It was honest and heartbreaking, and magical all at once.

Hazel never cried. She was forged from iron, she never broke. No one was tougher than his sister. The worst part was how quietly she wept, as if she’d taught herself how, as if she was so used to doing it that it had just become the way she cried.”

Hazel and Ben really stand out as great protagonists for me. I loved how close they were but that they had so many secrets from each other which twisted and tainted their lives. I loved that they were both in love with the horned boy, and that there was never any hoohaah about Ben being a young gay character – which is exactly how it should be – but you still rarely get gay characters in stories without their sexuality being a big issue, or the driving force of the plot.

I was blown away by how Holly Black built this world of fae but made it so modern. It felt like such a perfect juxtaposition, something I haven’t seen pulled off so well before. For example, she uses age-old folklore such as the residents of Fairfold filling their pockets with iron and oats to protect them from faery magic and in the same breath, the horned boy attracts tourists wanting to take selfies with him.

I loved that Hazel was a Knight. I loved that the kids of Fairfold seemed so normal despite living amongst faeries. I mean, they get wasted  and dance around (and on top) of the the horned boy’s coffin… so much to love.

I can’t even get started on the romances. Seriously. I’ll just stop now.

The only reason I’ve given it 4 unicorns instead of 5 is because it took me quite a few chapters to get into it. But that’s the only tiny grumble I have.

unicorn rating 4Available now in hardback!

WWW Wednesday 14/01/15

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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?

Hope you guys are well!? I’m feeling refreshed after a couple of weeks off, so here’s to my first WWW Wednesday of the year.

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Currently Reading: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black. Loving this modern-day fairy tale so far!

Recently Finished: I finished Sixteen Sixty-One by Natalie Lucas which was a mixed-bag for me. I’m trying to get ahead of myself as far as reviews are concerned so non-ARC reviews such as this one are going to be a bit delayed. However, I also finally finished Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber which I should have reviewed ages ago (sorry), so that one will be up soon.

Up Next: So many to choose from! I can’t wait to start on all the books I got for Christmas and my birthday (which I’ll be posting about soon), and I have Red Queen from Netgalley which looks so awesome!

Leave a link to your post and I’ll come have a gander! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Releases

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 2015 Releases that I can’t wait for.

Excuse the lack of pictures/links in this post. It was a rush job before I left for work this morning – you know how it is. But I really wanted to do this list – because, excitement!

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1. The Heir (The selection #4) – Kiera Cass: Obvs. Released in May. SAD FACE.

2. The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black: Released January 13th

3. Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard: Released Feb 10th.

4. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) – Marissa Meyer: November 2015 – TOO LONG!

5. Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2) – Rachel Hartman: March 10th

6. The Orphan Queen – Jodi Meadows: March 10th as well!

7. The Girl at Midnight – Melissa Grey: April 28th

8. My Heart and Other Black Holes – Jasmine Warga: I’ve heard good things about this from fellow bloggers. Feb 10th

9. The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness: There’s not much info about this one yet…but NESSSSS! August 2015

10. Second Life – S.J Watson: Feb 12th.

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter Reads!

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 On My Winter To Be Read List

Winter is my favourite reading season. Most people love Summer reading, propped up against a tree, or on a beach. But I prefer a cosy open fire (a radiator), an afghan throw (a snuggie) and steaming cup of hot chocolate (mulled wine).

Here are the top ten books I’m looking forward to reading this winter. They fall into two categories, advanced copies I have queued up, and a few stragglers that either I didn’t get through last year, or have on the top of my TBR pile.

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The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black: I hope this is a bit more adult than Doll Bones was. I love Holly Black though, so have high hopes for this! Released January 13th

Mr Miracle – Debbie Macomber: Last Christmas I read my first Debbie Macomber in Starry Night and really liked it. Hoping for more great festive trash in this one.

Snow Angels, Secrets & Christmas Cake – Sue Watson: You may sense a theme here.

A Christmas to Remember – Jenny Hale: All the festive reads!

Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard: I can’t tell you how happy I was when I got approved for this. It looks amazing. Released Feb 10th.

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An English Ghost Story – Kim Newman: This was the only book I didn’t get round to reading on my Horror October list. It looks perfect for a dark and dreary night!

Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant #8)- Derek Landy: I’ve had this book on my TBR pile all year. I am determined to finish this series. This is the penultimate book, and the last one was released recently.

A Christmas Visitor – Anne Perry: I’ve never read any Anne Perry before. I bought this one last year but didn’t get round to reading it, so I’ve been saving it for the festive season. 🙂

The Magic of Christmas – Trisha Ashley: I fell in love with Trisha’s The Twelve Days of Christmas and have read it the past three Christmasses running, so when I saw this one in a charity shop I couldn’t resist. I’ll give this one a go this year instead.

The Maze Runner – James Dashner: I did the bad thing of watching the movie before reading the book. I actually really liked the movie though and now I neeeeeeeed to know what happens next. I’ll probably try and get through this one as quickly as possible just to get to book 2!

I look forward to seeing what’s on your lists. My bookshelves are groaning at the thought though.

Friendship is a Haunted Doll

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Doll Bones by Holly Black

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Title: Doll Bones
Author: Holly Black
Series: N/A
Edition: Paperback, 256 pages
Publication Details: February 27th 2014 by Corgi Childrens
Genre(s): Children’s; Supernatural
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed a copy.

Goodreads
Purchase


My name is Eleanor Kerchner.

You can call me the Queen.

I died in 1895.

Now it’s time to play.

A chilling ghost story by the bestselling author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, Holly Black.

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

I loved everything about this book in theory. Unfortunately in reality, it didn’t quite deliver.

Doll Bones is very much a book with a message, or rather multiple messages.

Zach’s often absent father is back in his life and decides that it’s time for Zach to grow up. He believes he’s too old to play with action figures and dolls, and should be playing basketball instead of hanging around with his two female best friends.

So, in a moment of madness, and without warning, Zach’s father throws away all his toys, ending Poppy, Alice and his ongoing game of make-believe. Whilst Zach is trying to come to terms with this Poppy believes an old china doll they call The Queen is possessed with the spirit of a girl who was murdered, sending them on a real life spooky adventure.

I’ve heard Holly Black talk about this book and the messages within it, so I should have known what to expect. But I was a little disappointed. I didn’t expect these messages to be so blatant and overbearing. I realise that Doll Bones is aimed at a sightly younger audience than the books I usually read, which could explain it, but I really wished the story had a bit more of an edge.

I feel like the cover art and the synopsis suggests that this book is a lot more spooky than it actually was. I mean, I’m terrified of china dolls, so the idea of a doll made out of the ground-up bones of a little girl, and possessed by her should have at least resulted in a slight shudder, but it just didn’t.

It was too nice.

I’m sure if I’d read this when I was nine I would have liked it a lot more, but I still think I would have wanted more of the creep-factor.

That being said, it was a really adorable story about the pressures of growing-up and how it can affect even the closest of friendships. I also thought it was written really beautifully, so all is not lost.

I definitely want to read Holly Black’s YA books. I’m certain they’d more to my taste.

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Doll Bones is available in hardback and paperback at Waterstones now.

WWW Wednesday 15.10.14

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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?

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday! Here are my answers this week:

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Currently Reading:
I’ve just started Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner. Not much to report so far but I’m really intrigued by the premise.

A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.

Recently Finished:
I’ve been on a bit of a Horror October roll and have finished Doll Bones by Holly Black, Printer’s Devil Court by Susan Hill and Dark Satanic Mills by Julian and Marcus Sedgwick this week. All reviews will be up soon, Doll Bones, hopefully tomorrow.

Up Next:
More Horror October madness in the shape of Killer Spiders by Lex Sinclair (shudder) or Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory.

Horror October: Revisiting The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

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This review was originally posted a year ago today, and it was my favourite Horror October read of 2013. I still find myself thinking about it now and again. I want to reread it so bad but it’s just finding the time. Anyway, I thought I would start a tradition of reblogging my favourite Horror October read from the previous year.

And so here it is….

12813630 Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

I think I speak for many when I say that the vampire genre has been somewhat lacking since a certain series, let’s call it Smylight emerged.

Now, I’m not a Twilight hater by any means, quite the opposite, but it has opened up a whole world of shit and lameness when we come to YA Paranormal Romance and of course, vampire lit. I miss the good old days when vampires were actually supposed to be scary (sexy too of course, but scary first and foremost!), and pretty far from ‘normal’.

I miss the days of the more traditional vampire in fiction: Dracula, Carmilla, Lestat. I miss the fucked up worlds of Poppy Brite’s Lost Souls and Robin McKinley’s Sunshine…and here we have it. In The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black has taken these sinister and seductive vampires of legend and brought them into a modern, urban world. YES!

Tana is a great protagonist. Prone to inappropriate giggling fits, but other than that pretty awesome. She had it tough when her mum went ‘cold’ which is Black’s take on the vampire infection that has spread from city to city. Once you have been bitten by a vampire, the infection sets in and you begin to crave blood and nothing else. If you can survive without feeding for 88 days the infection passes but y’know, easier said than done.

That’s where the Coldtowns come in. Each city has one, a walled prison in which to quarantine the infected and house the already turned vampires. In Black’s world, the Coldtowns and certain vampires within them have become famous and alluring and they even have live feeds broadcast on TV so everyone can see into the lives of those inside.

Tana wasn’t one of those who dreamed of partying with the beautiful creatures she’d seen on TV, or of living forever but when she finds her best friend infected and chained up with a crazy, weak-looking vampire she knows there is only one place she can go.

Gavriel, the said vampire, is rather messed up which is totally hot. Oh how I’ve missed an insane, unpredictable and brutal vampire character. I’d like to see him and Edward Cullen go at it.

I loved that Holly Black managed to create this dystopian world in the internet age yet hang on to the feel of the traditional vampire. This is is the first novel by her that I’ve read (if you don’t count The Spiderwick Chronicles) and I was deffo impressed. You can tell that she’s a fan of the genre, and for me, she has done it justice. Hurrah!

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Details: Paperback, 432 pages. Published September 17th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
If you like this try: Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black is available in paperback from Waterstones, where you can also download a free preview.

WWW Wednesday 08/10/14

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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?

I hope you guys are enjoying Horror October so far! I haven’t been able to post or read as much as I’d have liked due to annoying life things but I will catch up, promise. It’s only week 1 afterall!

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Currently Reading:
I’m almost done with Doll Bones by Holly Black, which I’m enjoying but not loving. Dolls totally creep me out, but so far it just hasn’t been creepy enough!

Recently Finished:
I finished Stephen King’s Needful Things. It wasn’t my favourite by him but I’m still not sure if I just wasn’t in the mood.

Up Next:
Next will be graphic novel Dark Satanic Mills by Marcus & Julian Sedgwick, or Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner. I really want to read The Maze Runner too, before I see the film… but that be would throwing another spanner in the Horror October works. Gah!