Reading Round-up: August 2017 #MiniReviews

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Welcome to my monthly post where I discuss any books that I read during the month which for one reason or another didn’t get the full review treatment. This is a way for me to keep track of what I’ve read but without the pressure of having to write comprehensive reviews for every single book. 

There were three books that I read but didn’t get round to reviewing in August…

Spectacles ~ Sue Perkins

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When I began writing this book, I went home to see if my mum had kept some of my stuff. What I found was that she hadn’t kept some of it. She had kept all of it – every bus ticket, postcard, school report – from the moment I was born to the moment I finally had the confidence to turn round and say ‘Why is our house full of this shit?’

Sadly, a recycling ‘incident’ destroyed the bulk of this archive. This has meant two things: firstly, Dear Reader, you will never get to see countless drawings of wizards, read a poem about corn on the cob, or marvel at the kilos of brown flowers I so lovingly pressed as a child. Secondly, it’s left me with no choice but to actually write this thing myself.

This, my first ever book, will answer questions such as ‘Is Mary Berry real?’, ‘Is it true you wear a surgical truss?’ and ‘Is a non-spherically symmetric gravitational pull from outside the observable universe responsible for some of the observed motion of large objects such as galactic clusters in the universe?’

Most of this book is true. I have, of course, amplified my more positive characteristics in an effort to make you like me. 

Thank you for reading.

This book was a total shock for me. I picked it up on a whim. I used to love Light Lunch (showing my age there) and also loved Sue in the Supersizers Eat series but other than that I didn’t know much about her, so I totally wasn’t expecting to get so hooked on this book. I couldn’t put it down and read it in about two sittings.

The beginning had me in stitches when Sue was talking about her family’s reaction to her writing a memoir, and there were lots of things I was surprised by in it, all carried off with Sue’s slightly self-deprecating, intelligent humour.

unicorn rating 4

 

Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads ~ David Almond

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Fleeing persecution in his homeland, German refugee Klaus Vogel arrives in a small English town where the local gang take him under their wing. They call themselves the Bad Lads, but it’s all mischief and harmless tricks, never any real trouble.

But then leader Joe starts to encourage increasingly hateful pranks and Klaus has to make a stand for what he thinks is right.

Poignant and powerful tale set in the wake of World War II.

This was another one I picked up on a whim. It’s a short easy-read book which is dyslexia friendly that I found in my library. I’ve enjoyed a few of David Almond’s books before so I read this over a lunch break. It’s a nice story with a good message about bullying, persecution, and standing up for yourself and others.

unicorn rating 4

 

The Way it Hurts ~ Patty Blount

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There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there’s only one way to set things right…

Music is Elijah’s life. His band plays loud and hard, and he’ll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he’d rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town…until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother’s. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program—and being the star in her high school musical isn’t going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can’t take his eyes off of Kristen’s performance, and he snaps a photo of her in costume that he posts online with a comment that everybody misunderstands. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don’t stay online…they follow them into real life.

I’m afraid I didn’t get very far into this one. It’s nothing personal, I think I just wasn’t in the mood for a contemporary YA. The writing seemed fine but I didn’t gel with either of the protagonists at all, and all the integrated tweets and social media put me off. I’m sure this will be a hit for contemporary fans, but it wasn’t for me.

AOB

{that’s any other business for those of you that’ve never had the misfortune of having a job where people say that all the time}

 

 

Well, that really is a wrap on August now!  How did you get on?

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This Month in Books: August 2017 #TMIB #MonthlyRoundup

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August. What happened in August? I went to a few excellent birthday parties including my Dad’s 70th but other than that I’m drawing a blank. LOL. I’m so over the Summertime now and I’m already looking forward to Winter! I plan on started my annual hibernation ASAP. 😉

August 2017 Stats

Total Posts: 14 (+7 from previous month)

Books Read: 6 (=)
Spectacles ~ Sue Perkins
Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads ~ David McAlmond
The Way it Hurt ~ Patty Blount (DNF)
Retribution Rails ~ Erin Bowman
The Ice Dragon ~ George R.R Martin
Prince of Shadows ~ Rachel Caine

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (3/6); Fantasy (1/6); Non-Fiction (1/6); Children’s (2/6)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/6); Digital (2/6); Hardback (1/6); Paperback (3/6) // Owned (1/6); Borrowed (3/6); For Review/proofs (2/6)

Most Surprising: Spectacles
Most Disappointing: The Way it Hurts
Most Exciting: Retribution Rails
Most Swoon-worthy: Retribution Rails
Most Beautifully Written: Prince of Shadows

Reviews

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Book Promo: Manipulated Lives by H.A Leuschel
  2. Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books of 2017 (so far)
  3. This Week in Books 09.08.17

Promos, Guest Posts & Other Highlights

Awards

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TBR Shelf Update

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Last year I decided I HAD to do something about my physical TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here. 

Previous TBR Count: 82

Books Added: 4

Books Read: 1

Remaining: 85

That was my month, how was yours?

Look out for my reading round-up next week!

This Week in Books 09.08.17 #TWIB

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone. I’m looking forward to checking out what everyone’s been up to this week. Here’s what my week looked like…

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Now: Retribution Rails ~ Erin Bowman 

I’m really enjoying this YA western. It’s a companion novel to Vengeance Road which was great.

Then:  The Way it Hurts ~ Patty Blount // Spectacles ~ Sue Perkins

I really wanted to love The Way it Hurts but I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t gel with the main characters and it just seemed a bit too juvenile for me. I gave up after about 20% so I haven’t rated it as that would be unfair. I also read Spectacles and I liked it a lot. It was a lot funnier and interesting than I thought it would be. I couldn’t put it down. My review will be up next week.

Next: ???

I’m not sure this time. Maybe The Last Dog on Earth which is my next ARC due (Sept 7th) or something from the TBR monstrosity.

New on the Shelves

Wait for it…..I didn’t buy, borrow, or request any ARCs this week. Hurrah. Well done me.

I’m Waiting On…

…Girls Made of Snow and Glass, because… it had me at Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber.

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Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale.

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

 Expected Publication: September 5th 2017 by Flatiron Books

 So that’s been my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?