Books I Need To Buy!

My bookshelf is already so full but I really want to buy a few more books! I have a list is 3 pages long. I've decided to condense it a little, and may even organize it by months...but knowing me I'll re-organized weekly so it'll change again and again!

These are the first eight books I am after in the next few weeks!

It's a mix of Historical novels, a few contemporary stories, some romance, a thriller-y kind of book (Flowers in the attic - at least that's what the film felt like!) What books do you want to buy and read soon?


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September TBR

So it is the 28th of August today and I re-organized my bookshelf...again. I realised that it is time to plan my September To-Be-Read collection! I will publish my Wrap-Up when it is actually September!

But my September TBR is as follows:

1. Another Way to Fall - Amanda Brooke

Now...I just said I'm not really a fan of sick-lit, but then comes this story. It is about a woman who has been told that her illness is terminal. Right...I'm a hypocrite. Well, kinda. This story is about happy endings as the protagonist, Emma, writes a story of how she wanted her life to be and it starts to blur the lines between reality and fiction. It sounds interesting, and I may read this before I go to Uni, but possibly not...we shall see.

2. Emma - Jane Austen

Why? Because I started to read this book in the summer of 2013 and I got half-way and my friend borrowed it from me by mistake. She left my bookmark in for me so I know where I left off but I just didn't fancy reading it when she gave it back to me a few weeks later...I lost my momentum. But recently I watched the BBC version of Emma with Jonny Lee Miller and I thought 'hmm...maybe I'll read it again' so I am going to.

3. Who Will Run the Frog Hospital - Lorrie Moore

For anybody that watches my Youtube channel - I'm spoiling the fact that I did not read this book as I said I would in my August TBR. Mainly because I just haven't read properly for the last week and a bit so I never got around to it. This is a relatively short book of 130 pages, about two friends. It is a set text I have to read before returning to University so I really have to read this book in September!

4. The Fault in our Stars - John Green

I know. The horror of meeting a book blogger who hasn't read TFIOS but don't be too upset I have seen the movie. I understand it's no way near the same thing but because I saw the film I wanted to read the books a few weeks later otherwise it would be like watching the movie twice in a day kind of thing. Obviously this has a lot of hype around it and I am hoping that I will enjoy just as much as everyone else but we shall see. I'm not really a fan of sick-lit to romance novels. (Don't hate me)

5. Wait for you - J Lynn

I purchased this book recently and I've seen some rave reviews of it, but I honestly don't know much about the story or the premise of it. Apparently it is a friends-to-lover story, a mix between One Day by David Nicholls and Fifty Shades of Grey. This description suggests that it is a erotica-to-romance story. Not my usual cup of tea but I'll give it ago.

But that is it for my September TBR. I hope you enjoyed. Let me know what you are reading in September and what you have read previously!

Book Review: Ketchup Clouds By Annabel Pitcher

Ketchup Clouds Review

Published: 2012

Author: Annabel Pitcher – also see ‘My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece’

Rating: ***


The Review

I wanted to love this book, and I did like it, but I didn’t love it. I purchased it after a short review I saw on Booktube, that being said the reviewer wasn’t over-whelmed either.

The story is written entirely in letter form, telling the story of the present day and the past events, to a convict on Death Row. Whilst the story is actually set in England it feels much Americanised, if you’ve read the book let me know what you think of this because I got very muddled to begin with.

The main character ‘Zoey Collins’ (not her real name – another confusion) narrates her guilty story from her shed at night. As a narrator I didn’t mind he, I thought she seemed sweet, family-orientated and a bit just-wanna-do-my-own-thing kind of girl but there was a naivety that was annoying. Also, as a ‘whiny teenager’ it does take a lot to listen to her story without thinking ‘was I ever like that?’

The story itself revolves around her and her relationships with two brothers – it’s a love triangle. It is evident from the first Part which brother she prefers and because of this there isn’t much of a surprise come the end. The ending itself has some twist to it, but only because when you read the blurb and see the cover with ‘Ketchup Clouds’ on the front you’re not expecting the storyline the book comes out with.

The title. So many people have questioned this title, and I am among them. I do not dislike the title, I think that it is eye-catching and different but it does remind me a bit of the pretentious short-story titles that I come up with for my University Creative Writing course. It doesn’t seem to fit the story like other books such as ‘Room’ By Emma Donoghue or ‘If I stay’ By Gayle Forman. I think the author knew this as well as there is a constant mention throughout the book of Ketchup Clouds but never any real description for why or why this is connected to the twist at the end? As a writer myself I don’t see the point of having a title that doesn’t coincide fluently with the story and the outcome because that would be like calling a block of cheese: a hammer. It makes no sense and has no connection to the actual product.

However, even with these minute dislikes of mine, I did find that when I was reading the story it was difficult to put it down. I never like to shut a book mid-chapter or mid-letter so I read this book with alarming speed, but not only because I wanted to finish the chapter but because I generally wanted to know what was going to happen. I have praise for Pitcher’s ability to create suspense, even if the finished twist isn’t as spectacular as I’d like.

The writing is good, and I will happily read Annabel Pitcher’s other novel: My sister lives on the Mantelpiece, which is currently sitting in my ‘TBR’ section of my bookshelf, but for this story it could have been better. But that being said I did enjoy it and I will keep it, but not necessarily to be read again…

I give it 3 stars out of 5 for writing, style and some characteristics but it only just scrapes the 3 due to lack of originality, a confusing title and a dud ending.

Let me know what you think.


Book Haul!

After a short book-buying-ban (say that three times fast) I decided to gorge myself on books. I bought ten in the space of a few days...and here they are!

Most of the books I have bought due to hype on Booktube,  some reviews I have seen and just general intrigue: Let us begin.

From WHSmith:
- The Winner's Curse By Marie Rutkowski: I have seen this everywhere recently and it sounds exactly like my kind of book. A little romance, a little intrigue, a trilogy...why have I never read this before! It is about a girl called Kestral who lives in a world or a time where slavery is still around, she purchases a slave (for more than he is 'worth') and she falls in love with him. This in turn causes scandal and intrigue and apparently fuels two more books so it sounds like a worthwhile romance! I purchased this full-price.
- Fangirl By Rainbow Rowell: Everyone has heard of this, or at least will by the time they have read a few book blogs! I loved Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, as you saw in my previous post, and so I thought I would give another one of her books a go, and this is the one that was recommended to me. I bought it, not only for the recommendations and the author, but because I find the characters easily relatable: the main character moves away to University, separated from her family, and her writes fan fiction as an escape. We have some similarities, although I prefer to write fiction in general.
From The Book
First of can I say how much I love this website! The books come brand-new but at discount shop prices! I purchased 8 books from here and 5 were pristine hardbacks! I mean come on, in terms of quality this is my new favourite book website!
Moving on...
- Across the Universe By Beth Revis: I first saw this book in a video by essiebutton and it stayed in my mind for a few weeks because it sounds amazing. So when I saw it on The Book People for only £2 I purchased it. It is a Sci-Fi book, with some romance and mystery by the look of it, and I have never really read sci-fi before so I see it as a challenge and a new experience. A group of people are sent into space and frozen cryogenically, only to be woken 50 years before they were supposed to.
- The 5th Wave By Rick Yancy: Another sort of sci-fi story, but it's set on earth and all these waves are killing people or making them disappear. I have heard little things about this book and seen on it many people's bookshelves so again when I saw it for £3.99 I picked it up. It's a lovely hardback addition and I look forward to reading it.
- The Care and Management of Lies By Jacqueline Winspear: I saw this on the website and threw it into my basket without any other whisper of it. It is set during the First World War, the cover is fantastic and it was only £4.99 for a hardback. The story sounds right up my street with it being about two women in world war one, whom are friends but one is a suffragette and the other is settling down to life as a married woman who must cook, clean and raise children. But when the war sets in this all changes. As a History Student at University, with a passion for World War One, this sounds awesome and I am so glad I picked it up. I will be doing a more in-depth review when I get round to reading this!
- The Land of Decoration By Grace Mcleen: I have seen this several times and I thought it looked pretty good. The cover is lovely, and it is again hardback and only £3.99, but I also liked the premise of the story. It is about a young girl and her father and it is about this girls faith in beauty, at the age of 10 years old she has a lot of imagination and innocence. It is also a different book for me to read as there is a lot about religion in this story, by the look of it, with the father being devout and the daughter being teased for her beliefs etc. I don't really read any books like this either, so it will interesting to see how much I enjoy this one. Again, I will review this book when I have time to read it.
- A Monster Calls By Patrick Ness: I have been after a Patrick Ness novel for quite some time and when I saw this one I thought it sounded incredibly moving and intriguing. The main character has a nightmare every night that the 'monster' calls, the monster calling is actually a nightmare about his mother, who has cancer, dying. It sounds tragic and poignant. I'm not normally a sort of sick-lit reader, I haven't even read 'The Fault In Our Stars' yet! But there is something new in seeing the death of a relative through the eyes of child, full of innocence and imagination. It sounds horrific but relatable as well.
- If I Stay By Gayle Forman: I was hoping to read this before the film came out, but since I think it came out today or in a few days time, I don't really have much hope. But that's ok, as this way this doesn't spoil everything to come in the movie. I love the book cover of this copy, it is the movie copy (which I generally hate) but this movie cover is actually very pretty, much prettier than the actual book cover I thought...any thoughts on this? I look forward to reading this after I watch the movie.
- The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight By Jennifer E Smith: An incredibly long title for a relatively short book. It is about a boy and a girl who meet in the NYC airport and, presumably, fall in love. It would seem a silly title if the characters were actually enemies with a simple airplane fetish now wouldn't it. I got this for £2.99 and it sounds like a good book to read when I'm feeling romantic.
- Everyday By David Levithan: And finally the last book I picked up was again on a total whim. I saw the author, I have previously read 'Dash and Lily's Book of Dares' which I am very fond of, and I thought that the premise of this book sounded incredible. As a creative writing student it sounds great, it's all about A who every night is moved from body to body and has to live as a different person everyday, until he goes into a boys, Justin, body and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon. It sounds complicated, intriguing, mysterious and romantic all in one and I look forward to seeing how it ends as I can't predict the ending of this one!
So that is the end of my incredibly large book haul! I hope you enjoyed. Let me know what other books I should be reading, or if you have read any of the books I have purchased!

Welcome! Top Ten Books!

Grab a cuppa, a book and an awesome seat because it is time to read some books! I thought that as my first EVER post on my blog I should do some sort of intro, but you can pretty much learn most of what you need to know about me in my 'About Me' or on my other blogs. So...instead I decided to do a Top Ten.

This is a very traditional blog, it's a bit like a make-up collection or a bookshelf tour as it changes so frequently!

But, this is my Top Ten Books!

(In no particular order...choosing a favourite book would be like choosing my favourite child or chocolate)

1. The Other Boleyn Girl - Phillipa Gregory: This book was all the rage a few years ago, not only because of the terrible but watchable film but because of its story and writing. Phillippa Gregory is a staple author in my house, she is my mum's favourite and we have every book she has written littered around my house. I have read others, but The Other Boleyn Girl is the one that I can remember reading and also re-reading. I enjoy the plot, the ability to pick-it-up and put it down and the writing is superb.

2. Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell: A very recent read but I adored this book. I read it in under a week and I looked forward to the moment that I could read it. I would give it 5 out of 5 stars, with only the tiniest deduction for a lack of believability in the middle - see a review I did on my booktube channel for more details! 

3. Apache: Girl Warrior - Tanya Landman: I read this in year 8 when it was nominated for the Carnegie Medal Award. I wanted it to win! I enjoy this story. It is about a girl in the Black Mountains Apache tribe who decides to be a warrior after most of her tribe as massacred by Mexicans. It is a children's story, a historical novel and a partial romance ravelled into one and it is beautifully written. I would highly recommend it.

4. Goodnight Mister Tom - Michelle Magorian: Another child's story I read at school. I can remember reading ahead at school with this novel because I enjoyed it so much, but I didn't mind it when I finished before everyone else because I got to read it again afterwards. I was probably only 10, about the same age as Willie Beech, the protagonist who is sent to the country during World War Two and billeted with a gruff old man: Mister Tom. It is a poignant historical novel, brilliant. I would happily re-read this again and again.

5. The Reader - Bernard Schlink: I read this novel in complete rebellion of my parent's wishes. It was just after the movie had won it's Oscars and everyone seemed to be talking about it, but my parents refused to let me watch it with them or learn anything about it. I must have been about 14-15 maybe? Maybe even older, but they wouldn't let me watch it. So when I spotted the novel in a charity shop I bought it and read it in secret in my bedroom. As you can tell I enjoyed it. It is moving and fast-paced and an easy-read, and it didn't shock me in the way that I suppose my parents thought it might. Yes it has rude imagery in it, so definitely not a child's read, but it is a very good book.

6. Where Rainbows End - Ceceila Ahern: I saw the trailer for 'Love, Rosie' the film adaption of this book and I thought 'I have to read this book!' So when I found it the next day in my local 'Books for free' shop I took it and I read it in a single night. The story is so sweet: It is about two
best friends, a boy and a girl, and their lives as they grow up separated from each other. There is a quote in the latest movie trailer that goes: 'We were inseparable, constantly being separated.' It sums up the book entirely, and also the romance that ensues it. Very 'When Harry Met Sally' with the age-old question, 'can boys and girls truly ever just be friends?'

7. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks: Another book I read in school, and another one that I read ahead of and adored. I have destroyed my copy of this book, not only with notes and highlighting, but with sheer handling. I have read and re-read this book in it's entirety about 10 times over the last 3 years and if I ever just need a book for a long car journey or because I just don't fancy any I will always pick this one up. Love it.
8. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins: How could I do a Top Ten without mentioning the Hunger Games. I read all of these books before the movies came out, and I read all three within 2 afternoons. I just sat and read, and it was wonderful. I love the films, I think they have done the books, so far,  justice, and I love the story. I'm not normally a dystopian fiction fan but there was someithng about these books that I couldn't pull myself away from. Really love these books!

9. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott: It took me forever to read this book, and Good Wives that technically is a separate story but really is just Little Women continued. The story of four sisters, living in poverty in New England America. There is something familial and romantic already. Each of the girls have their own set of personalities and I can't help but love everyone single one of them, although there is something about Beth - the quiet, loveable but humble Beth - that I prefer over all the rest. It is a sweet story of their lives as they grow from 'Little Women' to 'Good Wives' and it is beautifully written and realised. Amazing.

10. Harry Potter Series - J.K.Rowling: I'm British. Need I say, of course I do. I was very late to the Harry Potter book marathon, I only read the books when the last movie was on it's way out starting - terribly- with the last book. Like many people I just wanted to know who died in the Battle of Hogwarts. But after actually reading the last few chapters of Deathly Hallows I realised I had to read the rest. So I did. I now have a tradition of re-reading the series every summer. My parents no longer need a calendar to tell when it is summer as they have me and Harry Potter. People ask me all the time if I get bored of reading the same books again and again, but I haven't yet and I've been reading them every summer for the last 5 years...going well so far!

So that is my Top Ten Books! I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you know a little more about me! Let me know what your favourite books are!!!

Happy Reading!