Top Ten Tuesday: Top books recently added to the dreaded TBR pile. #TTT

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

This week the topic is… Top ten books recently added to your TBR pile.

Well, this is a nice, easy topic, although I have been buying more books recently so it’ll be hard to choose just 10.

Added from Netgalley:

The Silent Songbird ~ Melanie Dickerson: I shouldn’t have requested this book because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it read and reviewed by the pub date (today!) but I just couldn’t resist. I really fancy an epic historical YA. The opening line of the synopsis had me instantly…I mean castles =  DONE. “Evangeline longs to be free, to live in the world outside the castle walls. But freedom comes at a cost”

The Girl Who Saved Christmas ~ Matt Haig: You should all know by now that I love Christmas, and festive reads. I’ve wanted to read Matt Haig’s books for ages so this one was also impossible to resist.

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily ~ Rachel Cohn & David Levithan: I didn’t even know this book was on the cards until I saw it on Netgalley. I loved Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares so I’m thrilled that these authors have got together once again for a sequel. This time, Dash and Lily’s brother have just 12 days until Christmas to cheer Lily up after her grandfather became seriously ill. Can they recapture the magic of Christmas in New York for her?

Shock and Awe ~ Simon Reynolds: This book chronicles the legacy of glam rock from the seventies to today and as such will heavily feature my hero, David Bowie. I don’t often read non-fiction, but I’m really looking forward to this one.

Recently Bought:

The Red Eye Box Set ~ Various: This set of four YA Horror books from Stripes Publishing arrived at the beginning of October. I’ve already read one of the books, Frozen Charlotte and really loved it so I hope the others are as good too.

A Christmas Party ~ Georgette Heyer: I picked this up from a charity shop recently. ‘Tis’ the season for…Murder‘ is the perfect tagline that enticed me.

City of Dark Magic ~ Magnus Flyte: I bought this book in an English bookshop I found in Prague. It sounds amazing.

“Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.”

Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo: This arrived just this week. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

Borrowed:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here ~ Patrick Ness: It’s Ness. I don’t have to say much more. Other than perhaps my shame that I haven’t read it yet.

Koko Takes a Holiday ~ Kieran Shea: I think I can safely say that this will be my first ever Cyberpunk book. It sounds mad, in a good way. My friend Dora enjoyed it and passed it on to me.

Have you read any of these? What should I go for first?

 

 

Lazy Saturday Review: Save Me, Kurt Cobain #BookReview #YA

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I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

2016debuts6Title: Save Me, Kurt Cobain
Author: Jenny Manzer
Series: N/A
Format: Hardback, 272 pages
Publication Details: March 8th 2016 by Delacorte Press
Genre(s): Contemporary YA
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it from my friend Dora. Thanks Dora!

Goodreads 

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What if you discovered that Kurt Cobain is not only alive, but might be your real father?

Nico Cavan has been adrift since her mother vanished when she was four—maternal abandonment isn’t exactly something you can just get over. Staying invisible at school is how she copes—that and listening to alt music and summoning spirits on the Ouija board with her best friend and co-conspirator in sarcasm, Obe. But when a chance discovery opens a window onto her mom’s wild past, it sparks an idea in her brain that takes hold and won’t let go.

On a ferry departing Seattle, Nico encounters a slight blond guy with piercing blue eyes wearing a hooded jacket. Something in her heart tells her that this feeling she has might actually be the truth, so she follows him to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. When she is stranded there by a winter storm, fear and darkness collide, and the only one who can save Nico might just be herself.

Review

Save Me, Kurt Cobain was a super quick, entertaining read. I loved that Manzer used her love of Nirvana to shape this quirky story about an angsty teen who runs away from home to find out what happened to her mother who had disappeared years earlier.

did find parts of the story slightly unbelievable, and it drove me mad that Nico never told ‘Cobain’ who she thought he was which made me think that even she didn’t believe it, but the rest of the story was full of intrigue and successfully evoked that sense of confusion or feeling lost that so many teens go through… even when they don’t have an actual mystery to solve. 

I really enjoyed the relationship between Nico and her best friend, and that he was always in her mind – he was her rock without even knowing it. And the dynamic between Nico and Cobain was entertaining too. 

Overall, this was a solid contemporary read with some really great moments, but essentially, I didn’t quite fall in love with it. It is an absolute must read for Nirvana fans though, the author clearly knows her stuff/did her research. 

unicorn rating 3

Save Me, Kurt Cobain is out now!

Top Ten Tuesday: Music & Books #TTT

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

This week the topic is…all about music & books

I haven’t joined in with TTT for a while now. I decided I wanted to concentrate more on original blog content than too many memes, but I’ll still be joining in when the topic excites me. For my take on this topic I’ve chosen to do books I love that have a musical theme or characters.

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  1. Lost Souls: Poppy Z Brite
  2. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist: Cohn & Levithan
  3. Stargirl: Jerry Spinelli
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Stephen Chbosky 
  5. To Major Tom: Dave Thompson

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  6. The Crow: James O’Barr
  7. Will Grayson, Will Grayson: John Green & David Levithan
  8. The Morganville Vampires series: Rachel Caine
  9. The Vampire Lestat: Anne Rice
  10. Seraphina: Rachel Hartman

Have you tried any of these? What did I miss out?

 

Lazy Saturday Review: Hold Me Closer by David Levithan

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Title: Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story
Author: David Levithan
Series: Companion to Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Edition: Paperback, 256 pages
Publication Details: March 17th 2015 by Puffin
Genre(s): YA; LGBT
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it

Goodreads // Purchase

Larger-than-life character Tiny Cooper, from the bestselling novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, finally tells his own story the only way he knows how – as a stupendous musical.

This is the full script of Hold Me Closer, the musical written by and staring Tiny Cooper, from the New York Times bestselling novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, written by David Levithan and John Green. Filled with humour, pain, and ‘big, lively, belty’ musical numbers, readers will finally learn the full story of Tiny Cooper from his birth and childhood to his quest for love and his infamous eighteen ex-boyfriends.

Review


I loved John Green & David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson. It’s a beautiful coming of age story about two different Will Grayson’s who both struggle to be open with people for different reasons, and whose lives intertwine during the makings of the biggest, gayest high school musical in the history of high school musicals.

When I finished reading WG, all I could think was that I wanted to watch (or read) Tiny Cooper’s musical so badly, it was definitely one of my favourite things about the book – and here it is; The story of Tiny Cooper, BFF to Will Grayson, hopeless romantic, and self-proclaimed biggest, gayest, most fabulous human there ever lived!

Hold Me Closer is a funny, adorable, sometimes sad, but always fabulous story of Tiny cooper’s life, written as a musical, the very musical Tiny and Will worked so hard to produce in Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I loved it. The songs were great and funny, and I could picture exactly how it would look on a stage – it totally needs to be a stage show now, right?

It was exactly what I imagined from reading Will Grayson, I only wished it was longer! Hold Me Closer is an extremely quick read and easily devoured in one sitting. I highly recommend reading WG first, but it would probably still be a fun read regardless!

unicorn rating 4

Available now in hardback, paperback and e-book from Waterstones

Top Ten Tuesday: Books/Authors that made me a reader.

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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 or authors that we credit with our bookishness.

It’s quite hard to single out just 10 books/authors that I attribute to my love of reading but there have definitely been a few significant periods of my life which got me into, or spurred on my obsession love of books.

Childhood Favourites

Roald Dahl: I have a feeling Dahl will be on a lot of people’s lists this week. His books were definitely the first to really capture my imagination and made me realise how much fun reading can be. The Twits was always my favourite, still is.

E. Nesbit: I first discovered E. Nesbit from seeing a film of The Railway Children which my mum loved. I was never such a huge fan, but that led me to 5 Children and It which remains one of my all-time favourites. And it wasn’t until much later that I came across The Enchanted Castle, which is probably what kick-started my love of castles just as much as the next book(s) on the list.

The Chronicles of Narnia: I didn’t truly love these books until after I’d seen the (now hilarious) low-budget BBC adaptation which I still watch now again for a laugh. Thinking about it, TV and Films were strangely enough what got me into reading a lot of the time.

Lewis Carroll: Again, I have a film to thank for my love of this one. I definitely saw the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland first and I think it took me until my college years to be able to actually appreciate the book.

Those pesky teenage years

Point Horror/ R.L Stine: By the time I was 12/13 I don’t think I was reading much at all. It wasn’t cool to read. And it definitely wasn’t cool to read the kind of books I wanted to read. But somewhere along the line I’d developed a love of horror, and when I discovered the point horror series, it was suddenly OK to be a reader again. R.L Stine’s were always the best!

L.J Smith: I can still remember getting a free copy of Secret Vampire with one of the girly magazines I used to buy – I think it was Mizz or something – and I LOVED it so much, I just used to read it over and over. I didn’t even think to look for anymore of her books, I was content with just that one tiny one. Weird. This was probably where my love of vampires came from too. L.J Smith has a lot to answer for.

Music Biographies: It wasn’t always about books for me. When I was well into my teenage years I more interested in music than anything else. I picked up books now and again but music was always more important. I was interested the history of music (I’d gotten good taste off my mum who played David Bowie, T-Rex and Rick Astley (LOL – OK I didn’t appreciate that last one) around the house and I started getting biographies from the library. I was mainly into the sixties, and remember loving ones on The Byrds and Syd Barrett.

Full Circle

Darren Shan: In my twenties, I went to Uni to study creative writing and journalism which also involved a lot of English Lit classes and I realised how much I hate being told what to read. I always did the bare minimum but got through it fine anyway. And I would literally read anything that wasn’t on my syllabus. Bad Student. That’s pretty much when I started reading again, and The Saga of Darren Shan was the first series I really got into.

Twilight: You all knew it was coming right? I remember the first time I saw Twilight in Borders (RIP Borders 😦 ) It had its own display and everything, and I knew from the cover that I needed it. I didn’t even need to read the blurb. I never looked back. And as trashy as it is, Twilight is without a doubt what got me back into YA fiction, and reading as obsessively as I do now. Plus it was the first series that I read where I was counting down the days until the next book was released….sad but true.

Favourites Friday #4: To Major Tom – The Bowie Letters

So I went AWOL for a week, sorry about that. I’ve had some evil strand of the common cold, or Man Flu as I like to call it and it really knocked me for six. (Six what??) It also didn’t help that my Mum was visiting and we had loads of stuff planned so I had to man up and get on with it which probably hasn’t helped with the recovery process. But I did manage to have fun despite the feeling of impending death so all was not lost.

I’m just starting to feel a bit more human now. Today was the first day I’ve had chance to pick up a book since last week too…I am officially the worst book blogger ever. Oh well.

That being said, on Sunday, my lovely, crazy Mumsy and I went to the V&A to see the David Bowie exhibition David Bowie is and it was amazing. It also reminded me of one of my favourite books.

Photo & Synopsis from Goodreads. Click to view.
Photo & Synopsis from Goodreads. Click to view.

A meditation on the relationship between pop star and pop fan, this intriguing and thoroughly entertaining epistolary novel tracks a 30-year, one-way correspondence from devoted music fan Gary to rock icon David Bowie. Beginning as an angst ridden teenager, Gary writes letters to Bowie, sharing his thoughts on everything from Ziggy Stardust and Glass Spiders to his boarding school days and adult life as a husband and father.

I like to think that this book would appeal to anyone, not just Bowie fans. I love how we enter into the world of Gary Weightman – a normal boy who is sent away to boarding school – through his letters to Bowie. He tells Bowie and, therefore us all of his secrets, his worries and his feelings on life and growing up. It’s a great coming of age story which reminds you just how passionate and intense only teenagers can be. And on the other hand it gives someone like me who wasn’t born around the time of Ziggy Stardust a first-hand account of the world’s reaction to David Bowie and the whole glam movement.

The book chronicles all the way through to the release of the film Velvet Goldmine in 1999 (one of my favourite films) in which Gary writes an angry letter to Bowie chastising him for objecting to the film and not allowing his songs to be used. I felt exactly the same way.

To Major Tom is a book of nostalgia and a profound reflection on life in general. Gary himself sums it up pretty well in his introduction:


I could not believe how much of my modern mental furniture was installed by my devotion – musical, cultural and otherwise – nor how hard in recent years it’s become to keep that furniture polished and dusted. Times change, people change, dreams explode and worlds collide. And, if you think it’s foolish to spend your life living in the past, imagine what it’s like to live in somebody else’s. Sometimes I wish Ziggy had played the flugelhorn instead.
[2002]