From Bad To Cursed (Bad Girls Don’t Die #2)

From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die, #2)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Bad Girls Don’t Die

Synopsis:

Alexis is the last girl you’d expect to sell her soul. She already has everything she needs–an adorable boyfriend, the perfect best friend, and a little sister who’s finally recovering after being possessed by an evil spirit, then institutionalized.

Alexis is thrilled when her sister joins a club; new friends are just what Kasey needs. It’s strange, though, to see how fast the girls in The Sunshine Club go from dorky and antisocial to gorgeous and popular. Soon Alexis learns that the girls have pledged an oath to a seemingly benevolent spirit named Aralt. Worried that Kasey’s in over her head again, Alexis and her best friend Megan decide to investigate by joining the club themselves. At first, their connection with Aralt seems harmless. Alexis trades in her pink hair and punky clothes for a mainstream look, and quickly finds herself reveling in her newfound elegance and success.

Instead of fighting off the supernatural, Alexis can hardly remember why she joined in the first place. Surely it wasn’t to destroy Aralt…why would she hurt someone who has given her so much, and asked for so little in return?

Thoughts:

I think I’ve made it known here on my blog that horror isn’t usually my sort of thing. Then I read Bad Girls Don’t Die and absolutely loved it. I finally got around to reading From Bad To Cursed and I absolutely loved it. It’s a very different book to the first. It still has some of the same characters but I felt this one had a different vibe. I found it to be incredibly unsettling but utterly gripping at the same time.

From Bad To Cursed follows Alexis and her sister Kasey. Kasey has finally come home and is attempting to go to high school following the awful things that happened to her. Alexis is thrilled when Kasey joins The Sunshine Club. Kasey is in need of some friends. However, there is something different about The Sunshine Club. Alexis finds out that the girls have pledged an oath to a spirit called Aralt. The Sunshine Club are getting more beautiful and popular by the minute. Alexis is worried that Kasey will get in all sorts of trouble. Alexis and Megan join The Sunshine Club and find themselves intrigued by the increasing confidence, elegance and success. Alexis becomes completely enveloped in The Sunshine Club and begins to forget her reasons why she joined the club in the first place.

As I mentioned, I’m not one for scary. I’d definitely describe this book as creepy and unsettling but nothing that’ll keep you wide awake at night or cause you to have nightmares. Yes, this sometimes happens to me, I have an overactive imagination.

I thought Katie Alender’s writing was superb in this sequel. I find it simple, but engaging to read. It captured my attention throughout the story. The plot is fast paced and the changes on Alexis creep up on you and before you know it, you realise Alexis is deep trouble. I am so intrigued to see what happens in the next book as it ends in such a gripping manner. I’m just pleased that it’s already out so I can read it as soon as I can slip it in!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic, creepy sequel! I loved it!

This Week In Books #46

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Click on the book title to get to Goodreads!

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1) How Hard Can Love Be? (The Spinster Club, #2) P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)

NOWDumplin’Julie Murphy– I’m about a third of the way through this book which has a self proclaimed fat girl at the centre of the story. I’m enjoying it so far. It’s not blowing me away, but it’s a decent read.

THENHow Hard Can Love Be?- Holly Bourne– I love this series which make look light and fluffy, but does deal with some serious issues. I love the talk of feminism and the consistent theme of friendships.

NEXTP.S. I Still Love YouJenny Han– I was supposed to read this book several weeks back, but other books got in my way! The life of a bookworm…

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post or any similar posts!

Top Ten New To Me Authors That I Read in 2016

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. For this week’s list we’re listing our favourite new to us authors that we’ve read this year. I’ve discovered some gems this year but I have to admit, I have returned to old faithfuls more. I must get better!

Courtney Summers-

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I started with All The Rage and have since caught up on all things Courtney Summers. I think she’s such a powerful, edgy author.

Keith Stuart-

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I really enjoyed Keith’s debut novel Boy Made of Blocks which was about an autistic boy and his family. Heartwarming.

Carrie Hope Fletcher-

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I’ve known about Carrie for years, so was happy to read her debut novel On The Other Side.

John Corey Whaley-

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Highly Illogical Behaviour blew my mind.

Lauren James-

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I didn’t expect to like The Next Together as much as I did!

Francesca Zappia-

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Made You Up was one of my favourites of the year!

Katie Alender-

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I have thoroughly enjoyed Katie’s creepy series Bad Girls Don’t Die.

Holly Bourne-

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Am I Normal Yet? is one of my favourite YA books of the year!

Jenny Lawson-

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I really enjoyed Furiously Happy. It was different to read about anxiety and depression in this way.

C.J. Flood-

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Infinite Sky was a stunning read!

Which authors have you discovered this year? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Furiously Happy

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

According to Jenny: “Some people might think that being ‘furiously happy’ is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he’s never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.”

“Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you’d never guess because we’ve learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, ‘We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.’ Except go back and cross out the word ‘hiding.'”

Jenny’s first book, LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it’s about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways-and who doesn’t need a bit more of that?

Thoughts:

Furiously Happy had been doing the rounds on the blogosphere for a while and I was intrigued. I decided to pick up a copy and read it as soon as I could. I always feel slightly iffy going into reading a book that I know is about mental health. I’ve had a long term battle with anxiety and often feel books don’t represent it as well as they could. So what better than a memoir/non fiction book? Yes. Furiously Happy is fantastic. It’s funny. I really appreciate that. Anxiety isn’t always doom and gloom and there are definitely funny things that have happened to me due to my anxiety that I may not feel like laughing at during the time, but often look back and laugh or roll my eyes.

I was really impressed with how Jenny Lawson wrote about mental illness. She really portrays her anxieties wonderfully. I imagine that people that haven’t experienced it themselves or experienced a close family member with anxiety might think her thoughts and stories are far fetched. However, Jenny makes each and every one of her stories relatable, especially to those with a similar mindset. There may be a little bit of hyperbole but I think that makes it even more believable.

I don’t want to spoil this book too much. I just implore you to read it. It is a random book. It is a little strange. It is a little weird, but it’s a good weird. I promise.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course! 4.5 stars

A fantastic read about mental illness!

A Week In The Life of A Primary School Teacher- First observation as a ‘proper’ teacher is done!

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my life as a primary school teacher. I currently work at a primary school teaching Lower Key Stage 2. My training posts on this subject were really successful and so therapeutic for me, therefore I’ve decided to continue posting on the topic. I will not be naming any children, or the school where I work. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind! Bookish goodness returns as normal Monday-Saturday!

This week brought my first observation as a ‘proper’ teacher. What I mean by that is that I am no longer in the induction period of my career. I’ve finished my newly qualified year and now I have no excuses!😉 I was super nervous to be observed for the first time in my new year group. I never anticipated that I’d work with junior school children, I always thought I was an infant school teacher but I’m thoroughly enjoying my time in Key Stage 2.

My observation was in Maths. Not my favourite subject personally, but I do have a class who are quite solid with Maths so I’m pleased that it was Maths first! (My English one will follow later in the year!) Even though I was nervous, it went really well with only a few pointers to help me grow. I’m a big believer in always being a learner, even as a teacher. There’s always new ways to develop as a teacher and I’m so early in my career. I’m finding my teaching style and growing always. After all, I need to remember that it’s my second year of teaching and first year of teaching juniors. I’m way too harsh on myself.

It’s definitely getting ultra Christmassy in school at the moment and the children are starting to get super hyped up for Christmas. Christmas is a fun time in a school, but it can also be quite stressful for the teachers trying to peel the children off the ceilings and keep them calm so they’re still learning something. I decorated my classroom this week and have started to let them listen to Christmas music. I’m going to be all Christmas-ed out soon, I’m sure. We have so much going on within the next two weeks, it’s going to fly by!

Infinite Sky

Infinite Sky (Infinite Sky, #1)

How did I get it?:
I received it as my 2nd book in my Reading Year from Mr B’s Emporium.

Synopsis:

A truly beautiful book about the summer that changed one girl’s life, as her mum leaves home, travellers set up camp in the family’s field, her older brother goes off the rails, and she falls in love for the very first time. Opening with a funeral, Iris is mourning the boy in the casket – but who is it? Sam, her tearaway brother, or Trick, her tentative boyfriend? Over one long hot summer, we find out just how their three lives were turned upside-down.

Thoughts:

I was pleased when Infinite Sky turned up on my doorstep as part of my Reading Year from Mr B’s. I had given up on this book before so it certainly tempted me back in. I’m not sure why I gave up on it before as this time around I thought it was a highly enjoyable book that didn’t take me long to tear through. I thought it was highly compelling. I’m glad that they’ve changed the cover of Infinite Sky as the cover I’ve put in this post reflects the story so much more than the cover with the girl under a tree which seemed to give a cutesy vibe to it. It’s certainly not that kind of story.

Infinite Sky tells the story of Iris, a 13 year old girl who has so much going on in her life. Her mother has left her and her family. Her dad is struggling and drinking a lot. Her brother is angry. A group of travellers settle down behind their house. Iris is intrigued by their life style, but her dad is furious that they are there. Both her dad and her brother are quite prejudiced towards them. Despite their opinions, Iris makes friends with Trick, a slightly older boy. They get on so well despite their very different backgrounds. It’s not long before trouble brews between the families which leads to an awful event…

I absolutely loved the character of Iris. I think she came across as much older than her years. She hasn’t had it easy and you can see her struggle between wanting to do right and follow her father’s instructions and wanting to make friends with the travellers. The characters are so well developed, despite it being such a short read. It really has depth to it which I never anticipated.

Infinite Sky has some really heartbreaking moments, but it’s such a beautifully written story. I think many readers would enjoy it!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Infinite Sky stole my heart!

Fairy Tale Friday- The Ugly Duckling

This week’s fairy tale is The Ugly Duckling, a very well known and loved fairy tale. It was nice to explore the original version, which I don’t recall ever doing!

The story starts with a mother duck’s eggs hatching. One of the ducklings is seen to be ugly in the eyes of other birds and animals. The poor duckling gets so much abuse from them! :-( The duckling wanders far away from his home and lives with some wild ducks and geese until hunters kill the flocks. The duckling then finds home with an old woman but even there her cat and hen tease him until he again, leaves home. Poor thing!

The duckling sees a flock of wild swans who are migrating. He’s desperate to join them, but can’t because he’s too young and can’t fly. In the winter, a farmer finds him freezing. The farmer takes him in, but the farmer’s house is far too loud for the duckling and once again he leaves. The duckling spends a winter alone in the outdoors- cold and miserable. Spring arrives and a flock of swans arrive.

The ugly duckling throws himself at the flock of swans deciding it’s better to be killed by beautiful birds than have another lonely season full of ugliness and misery. He is surprised to see the swans welcome him and it is only when he sees his reflection that he realises he has grown into a beautiful swan himself. He joins his new family and finally begins to feel accepted and loved.

I know that this story has been adapted so many times, but the original shows that the ugly duckling suffered for a long time with feeling unwanted and ugly! Sad times!

Next Fairy Tale- Under The Willow Tree