ARC August Sign Up Post

I have decided to join in with ARC August (hosted by Read, Sleep, Repeat) to keep up to date with those pesky ARCS. Don’t get me wrong, I love having ARCS but sometimes I’m not so good at keeping up with them. I’m getting better though and challenges like these often help out.

Here are the rules:

  • Any Advanced Reading Copy counts as part of this reading challenge; your backlist books count
  • No blog necessary to participate, but you’ll need to include some form of social media as part of your sign up
  • Use the #ARCAugust on social media to check-in

e-ARCS I aim to read

(Book images go to Goodreads!)

Indigo Donut Lola Offline The Treatment

‘Real book’ ARCS I aim to read

The House Charlotte Says (Red Eye)

I’m happy to say that only one of these ARCS are backlist ARCS which is Indigo Donut. The rest of them are either August or October ARCS. I’m hoping that getting these books read will keep me on track! I’m trying so hard not to request as many ARCS as I used to!

Are you joining in with ARC August? Please feel free to link me to your sign up posts so I can cheer you on!

Round up of Challenges 2016- How did I do?

Finishing The Series Challenge 2016

I have been working on finishing series for a few years now and I joined in with this challenge which was hosted by Bea’s Book Nook (Finishing The Series )

I signed up for the experienced challenge which meant that I aimed to finish between 3-6 series.

I finished:

I did add on Bad Girls Don’t Die because I couldn’t get on with my original pick which was The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater. I was really pleased to finish these series and I’ll definitely be looking at a similar challenge for 2017.

The British Books Challenge 2016

This was hosted by Kirsty at Overflowing Library. I read 66 British books in 2016! I will be continuing this challenge into 2017. It’s one of my favourites!

Banned Books 2016

My sister Beth and I read 12 more Banned Books this year. On every last Monday of a month we read a banned/challenged book and we talk about the reasons why!

  1. Persepolis– Marjane Satrapi
  2. It’s Perfectly Normal– Robie H.Harris and Michael Emberley
  3. Saga, Volume 1– Brian K.Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  4. A Stolen Life– Jaycee Dugard
  5. Drama– Raina Telgemeier
  6. The Adventures of Captain Underpants– Dav Pilkey
  7. A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl– Tanya Lee Stone
  8. Bless Me, Ultima– Rudolfo Anaya
  9. Bone– Jeff Smith
  10. The Glass Castle– Jeannette Walls
  11. Gossip Girl– Cecily von Ziegesar
  12. My Sister’s Keeper– Jodi Picoult

It’s been a great year of reading challenges which I feel really vary my reading choices. I’m hoping for more of the same in 2017.

Round up of The British Book Challenge 2016

It’s that time of year again… time to reflect on the British Books I’ve read this year for the British Books Challenge. I read a grand total of 66 British books! (I shall add anymore to this post if I read more between now and 1st January) Yay!

The challenge involves reading 12 books from British authors, so I think we can safely say I smashed that number! 😉 I really enjoy finding British authors to read as much of my reading is dominated by US authors (they are amazing though!) Linked below are the reviews of the 66 British books that I read!

  1. Lighter Than My Shadow– Katie Green
  2. For Holly– Tanya Byrne
  3. Am I Normal Yet?– Holly Bourne
  4. The Demon Headmaster– Gillian Cross
  5. The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig– Emer Stamp
  6. The Haunting– Alex Bell
  7. In A Dark, Dark Wood– Ruth Ware
  8. The Number One Rule For Girls– Rachel McIntyre
  9. Carrie’s War-Nina Bawden
  10. The Sin Eater’s Daughter– Melinda Salisbury
  11. Radio Silence– Alice Oseman
  12. The Samaritan– Mason Cross
  13. Moving– Jenny Eclair
  14. More Of Me– Kathryn Evans
  15. The Next Together– Lauren James
  16. The Boy In The Dress– David Walliams
  17. Consumed– Abbie Rushton
  18. V is for Violet– Alison Rattle
  19. Read Me Like A Book– Liz Kessler
  20. Follow Me Back– Nicci Cloke
  21. Noble Conflict– Malorie Blackman
  22. When I Was Invisible– Dorothy Koomson
  23. Poppy’s Place– Karina Charman
  24. The Horse and His Boy– C.S. Lewis
  25. Orangeboy– Patrice Lawrence
  26. Always With Love– Giovanna Fletcher
  27. The Moonlight Dreamers– Siobhan Curham
  28. According To Yes-Dawn French
  29. The Borrowers– Mary Norton
  30. Swimming To The Moon– Jane Elson
  31. The Castle– Sophia Bennett
  32. The Woman Next Door– Cass Green
  33. Songs About A Girl– Chris Russell
  34. Maggot Moon– Sally Gardner
  35. Shtum– Jem Lester
  36. The One We Fell In Love With– Paige Toon
  37. My Embarrassing Dad’s Gone Viral– Ben Davis
  38. Cuckoo– Keren David
  39. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child– J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
  40. All About The Hype– Paige Toon
  41. The Girls– Lisa Jewell
  42. Head Over Heels– Holly Smale
  43. Crush– Eve Ainsworth
  44. Perijee and Me– Ross Montgomery
  45. How Not To Disappear– Clare Furniss
  46. A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding– Jackie Copleton
  47. Looking for JJ– Anne Cassidy
  48. A Boy Made Of Bricks– Keith Stuart
  49. Robyn Silver- The Midnight Chimes– Paula Harrison
  50. Isadora Moon Goes To School- Harriet Muncaster
  51. The Last Act of Love– Cathy Rentzenbrink
  52. Time To Say Goodbye– S.D. Robertson
  53. On The Other Side– Carrie Hope Fletcher
  54. Beautiful Broken Things– Sara Barnard
  55. The Widow– Fiona Barton
  56. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase– Joan Aiken
  57. Dead Romantic– C.J.Skuse
  58. Haunt Me– Liz Kessler
  59. Missing, Presumed– Susie Steiner
  60. Strange Star– Emma Carroll
  61. Ballet Shoes– Noel Streatfeild
  62. The Lie Tree– Frances Hardinge
  63. Into The Trees– Robert Williams
  64. Lighthousekeeping– Jeanette Winterson
  65. Infinite Sky– C.J. Flood
  66. The Sleeping Prince– Melinda Salisbury

A massive thank you to Kirsty from Overflowing Library for hosting this challenge this year.

As this is one of my favourite challenges, I am definitely on board for 2017. In 2017, the challenge will be hosted by Michelle from Tales of Yesterday. Sign up here!

15 for 2015: How did I do?

In 2015, I highlighted 15 series that were on my radar- either to finish or to start! Here is how I did with this challenge…

Series I finished…

-Splintered-

Splintered (Splintered, #1)Unhinged (Splintered, #2)Ensnared (Splintered, #3)

I read Unhinged and Ensnared.

-Legend-

Legend (Legend, #1)Prodigy (Legend, #2)Champion (Legend, #3)

I read Champion.

-Burn For Burn-

Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn, #1)Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn, #2)Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn, #3)

I read Ashes to Ashes!

-The Summer I Turned Pretty-

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2)We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)

I read We’ll Always Have Summer (review to follow).

Series I’m nearly finished

-Something Strange and Deadly-

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, #2)Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly, #3)

I read A Darkness Strange and Lovely. Strange and Ever After is coming soon.

Series I didn’t finish and have no intentions of finishing…

-Birthmarked-

Birthmarked (Birthmarked #1)Prized (Birthmarked, #2)Promised

I didn’t enjoy Prized, so didn’t and won’t continue the series…

 -Unwind Dystology-

Unwind (Unwind, #1)Unwholly (Unwind, #2)UnSouled (Unwind, #3)

This one surprised me. I didn’t really enjoy Unwholly, so don’t want to read the rest. A shame!

-The Darkest Minds-

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

I didn’t enjoy this book, so won’t be continuing!

-Across The Universe-

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Unfortunately I didn’t connect with this book!

 Series I started-

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)The Giver (The Giver, #1)Awaken (Awaken, #1)Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths, #1)Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

Unspoken– I’m almost finished this trilogy! (Unspoken, Untold)

Shiver– I started this trilogy, not my favourite trilogy, but decent enough! (Shiver)

The Giver– I’m almost finished this quartet. One book to go! (The Giver, Gathering Blue, The Messenger (review to follow))

Awaken– I started this series, I remember enjoying it at the time, but it’s story isn’t sticking with me. (Awaken)

Ten Tiny Breaths– The ending really annoyed me, but I’m intrigued enough to continue! (Ten Tiny Breaths)

Anna Dressed In Blood– I enjoyed the first book! (Anna Dressed In Blood)

In 2016, I shall continue to conquer my series. Look at the page HERE for series I am aiming to finish!

British Books Wrap Up 2015

The British Books Challenge is something that I’ve really enjoyed doing since I began blogging almost 3 years ago. Every year I try to ensure I’m reading British writers because they are awesome and deserve recognition! This year I read 73 British writers. I’m SO proud of that total.

Linked below are my reviews for the books I’ve read by British writers. Feel free to take a look!

I will be participating in the British Books Challenge 2016. Link can be found on the page I dedicate to it.

 

Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit- Goodnight Mister Tom

Goodnight Mister Tom

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Synopsis:

The story is set during the Second World War, when Tom Oakley, an elderly and unsociable widower, finds himself with a young evacuee on his hands. Willie is a sickly, under-nourished and ill-treated London child, but we see him blossom in Tom’s care into a healthy, happy and talented boy. He makes friends for the first time, and is surprised to find that he soon forgets to be homesick, as there is always so much to do in the village. This tale traces the beautiful and profound relationship that develops between the man and the boy.

Thoughts:

This book is one of my absolute favourites. I was quite late to reading this book, reading it at the age of 13 at school. I remember studying it in my English class, and my teacher would only read one chapter a lesson with us. It was utterly frustrating and looking back on it now, I wish I had had my own copy to read at home! I probably would have devoured it over a weekend.

Goodnight Mister Tom is suitable for younger children though. Although, I personally  wouldn’t recommend it to under 9 year olds as I think some of the issues are incredibly dark. I know at my current school where I am a primary school teacher the Year 5/6 classes are studying it as part of their Evacuees topic.

Goodnight Mister Tom centres around a young boy called William, who is evacuated to the country to live with Tom Oakley. Tom is a widower and isolates himself from the rest of the community, so it is quite the shock to the system for him to have a young, dependent, unfortunately mistreated, sickly boy on his hands. However, Tom and Will develop a beautiful relationship. Mister Tom becomes a role model to young William, as he feeds him up, reads to him and gently teaches him how to read and write. He becomes the dad that William has never had. Will makes friends with the children in the village, but life isn’t rosy for him. His mum summons him back home and some dreadful things take place.

As I mentioned, some dreadful, dark things happen within this book, which is why I don’t think it’s a great book for under 9’s. It’s emotional, it’s heart-breaking and it’s true to the tough times experienced during the war, so I believe you need a certain amount of emotional maturity in order to tackle this book. I remember feeling moved by it when I was a teenager, and it still moves me now.

The writing in this book is so beautiful. It’s easy to read without becoming too twee which unfortunately some children’s books are that have been released in the ’80s. Goodnight Mister Tom is truly a children’s classic and I hope it continues to be read and enjoyed for many years to come.

For Beth’s wonderful review, please check out her blog HERE.

Next up in the Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit Challenge (November):
The Class That Went Wild- Ruth Thomas

Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit: The Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Synopsis:

Nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

Thoughts:

I never read this book as a young child. I wish I had though because it is one of the cutest children’s stories that I have read in a long time. It may be a really old book, but I truly believe it is timeless. Its message about true love being the only magic you need really touched my heart and I think it’s a lovely message to give to young children.

The story itself is really engaging and easy to read. I devoured it. It made me feel all snuggly and warm inside. The quote below just sums up the general loveliness of this book. It’s packed full of memorable, heart warming words.

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

This book will stay with me for a long time. I’m certainly going to get a copy of it for myself, because I think it’s should be a staple to every book lover’s collection. A gorgeous book that I highly recommend!

For Beth’s brilliant review, check out her blog HERE

Next up in the Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit Challenge (July):
Gangsta Granny- David Walliams