Luna’s Picks 2014: The Books Are Now Reviewed!

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My good friend Luna at Luna’s Little Library recommended some awesome books for me. Each month of 2014 she gave me a selection of choices out of her collection of books. I picked one and then I left it to readers to decide my next read. Here are the books that I reviewed over the year.

January

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February

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 March

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 April

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May

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May brought me the first book that I didn’t agree with Luna with. That is Riot. Please check out my review if you’re interested in why I didn’t enjoy it as much. You’ll find a link there to Luna’s review so you can read a differing opinion.

June

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 July

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August

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 September

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October

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November

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December

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As you can see, I had an amazing year with the books Luna recommended! I have found some authors that I will certainly looking out for in the future. Luna’s Picks will return again, but not this year as both Luna and I are incredibly busy! Thanks once again to Luna for providing this wonderful feature for me!

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Top Ten Underrated Authors

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they come up with a list for us to complete. This week the topic is Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in any given genre. I found this list really hard to complete so I thought I’d talk about ten underrated authors in a range of genres.

Click on the book image to take you to Goodreads!

HISTORICAL

Alison Rattle

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I have read two brilliant books by Alison Rattle. The Quietness and The Madness. Alison’s books fit into the historical/YA category. They’re so well written and evocative.

Suzy Zail

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I read The Wrong Boy earlier this year and I was absolutely blown away. A beautiful book that’s so well written. If you’re interested in the Holocaust then definitely check out this little gem.

Anne Blankman

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Here’s another historical/war story. Prisoner of Night and Fog was something different to anything else I’ve read in the genre. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

THRILLER

Paula Daly

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Paula Daly is another author that I’ve read two brilliant thrillers from. These were Just What Kind Of Mother Are You and Keep Your Friends Close. I loved them both. They’re pieces of adult fiction, but definitely ones that young adults could enjoy as well.

Kate Karyus Quinn

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Even though I know quite a few people that have read Another Little Piece and (Don’t You) Forget About Me, I’d love more people to read them. I realise that this author is very unique and her books can be a little confusing, but I LOVE them!

MIDDLE GRADE

Crystal Chan

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Bird is an absolutely beautiful book which I devoured. The writing is stunning. I don’t want to say too much about it. Just read it!

Candy Gourlay

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Another very unique middle grade read that I think should be read more widely.

DYSTOPIAN

Helen Hiorns

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Helen’s debut The Name On Your Wrist really impressed me and I can’t wait to read more from this talented young author!

NEW ADULT

Jessica Park

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I enjoyed Left Drowning but I absolutely adored Flat Out Love and I’m looking forward to reading Flat Out Matt and Flat Out Celeste too. I don’t often read New Adult, but I do like Jessica Park’s writing.

YOUNG ADULT FANTASY

Alexia Casale

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The Bone Dragon is a beautiful book that I think a lot more people should be reading and talking about!

Who are your ten underrated authors? Let me know in the comments or feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week I’m listing the Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far this year. Oh my goodness, this was hard work. I have read some good books so far this year, so I’ve had quite a few to choose from. With the help of Goodreads, I looked at what I’ve rated highly so far this year!

As ever, click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page! The title links to my review, if you’re interested in reading my thoughts!

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A Kiss In The DarkCat Clarke– I rated this book five stars, because I thought it was incredible. Cat Clarke is one of my auto-buy authors. I adore her stories, but at the same time, they usually destroy me! I can’t say too much about this one, as it would completely ruin the story. If you’re a fan of gritty writing, then I’d definitely recommend it!

The MadnessAlison Rattle- I rated this book five stars. Alison Rattle is an amazing writer. Her writing is beautiful and I could easily picture the scenes and I fell in love with the main character Marnie.

TroubleNon Pratt– This book pulled me in from the start and kept me gripped throughout!

BirdCrystal Chan– I rated this book five stars. Bird is a wonderful, middle-grade book that I think people of all ages would enjoy. It’s beautifully written. Jewel is an amazing character.

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Everneath Brodi Ashton– This year I’m trying to start and finish some more series. Everneath was on my radar to start this year. I’m glad I did, as I thoroughly enjoyed the first book! I hope to continue with the series soon!

Ignite MeTahereh Mafi– I was pleased with the ending of this series. I rated it five stars, it was my favourite book in the trilogy. I found it gripping to the very end. Wonderful writing.

The One Plus One Jojo Moyes– I really love this author’s writing. I was pleased to be able to read her newest book early, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, rating it five stars. Jojo writes such real characters.

The Shock Of The Fall- Nathan Filer– This book is incredibly emotional, but powerful too. It was a five star read for me.

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Liv, ForeverAmy Talkington– An accomplished debut novel. I was really impressed!

Dead SilentSharon Jones– Oh, I loved this book! It was a great mystery with wonderful writing.

Other notable mentions go to Shine by Candy Gourlay, A Room Full Of Chocolate by Jane Elson, Hollow Pike and Say Her Name by James Dawson and Cress by Marissa Meyer.

What are your top ten reads so far this year? Please feel free to leave a link to your posts so I can visit and inevitably add more books to my TBR list!

Shine

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Monsters are in the eye of the beholder.

Rosa suffers from a rare condition that renders her mute. She lives on the strange island of Mirasol where the rain never seems to stop.

In the gloom of the island, its superstitious population are haunted by all sorts of fears . . . they shun people who suffer from Rosa’s condition, believing them to be monsters. So Rosa must live hidden away in an isolated house with its back to the rest of the world, with only the internet for a social life.

But Rosa has no desire to leave Mirasol. This is where her mother died and every night she lights a candle on the windowsill. The islanders believe this is the way to summon ghosts, and Rosa wants her mother back.

One day she is befriended by a boy online who calls himself Ansel95 – and she quickly realizes that this is one friendship that can take place in the real world. Can she really trust him? What does he want from her?

And then Mother turns up at the front door.

Thoughts:

Shine was recommended to me for the Luna’s Picks feature. I hadn’t read Candy Gourlay’s debut novel, but on the strength of Shine, that is something that I shall be hopefully rectifying very soon.

Shine is set on the island Mirasol, an island where it always rains. The main character is 13-year-old Rosa. She lives with her father, her mother died when Rosa was five. Rosa has the medical condition The Calm. The Calm has left marks around Rosa’s neck and has left her unable to speak. Those that live on Mirasol, are very superstitious about The Calm. They believe that suffers are monsters. Rosa sticks to the house to avoid these people and uses the internet to make friends. Rosa makes friends with a boy called Ansel95 who she becomes close to. She’s worried that when she finally meets up with this boy, she’ll have to reveal the truth of her condition. However, there are many more secrets in her family that she never knew about. And they’re starting to unfold.

I thought Shine was a particularly moving, unique book. It felt magical to read. Rosa was an incredible, believable character. I thought she was easy to love. Her relationships with her father and her housekeeper Yaya, were so well developed. I loved Rosa’s relationship with Yaya. I thought Yaya was a great, quirky character. It’s clear to see how much Yaya cared for Rosa. I thought it was lovely that she had such strong relationships with her father and Yaya, as she was so isolated from the rest of the world.

The story is split between Rosa’s story and chapters from another character’s perspective. They take the form of letters to a person called Kat. I won’t reveal who Kat is, or who the author of the letters is, as I think it really adds to the story, when it all unravels. I have to admit, it did confuse me at first, but once I realised what was happening, I thought it was a really unique way to slowly feed the reader with more background information.

I think one of the things I loved most about the story, is that I really believed in Rosa. I understood how insecure she must have felt, suffering from a condition that everyone considered monstrous. I completely understood why she felt like she had to hide away from society. I could imagine how lonely Rosa must have felt, so she did turn to the internet for socialisation. She was nervous about developing a friendship with Ansel95, because she was scared he would judge her like so many others had. I also totally believed in Rosa’s anger at discovering some deep family secrets.

Whilst this wasn’t a perfect read for me, it came pretty close. It reads almost like a fairy-tale. A fairy-tale well worth checking out.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

WWW Wednesday #64

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday!  To participate in WWW Wednesday, you need to answer three questions.

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodread’s page for the book.

What are you currently reading?

13121678I’ve just started Shine by Candy Gourlay. I’m only 50 pages in, but already the writing is beautiful and I think this is going to be a good, memorable read. I picked it out of my Luna’s Picks for this month.

What did you recently finish reading?17286807Last night I finished Dead Girl’s Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf. I had wanted to read this book for a while, so my sister bought it for me for Christmas.  It was enjoyable enough, but I wasn’t keen on the frequent reference to the character’s religion. I don’t think it really did much for the story. It was never forced upon the reader, but it was frequently mentioned. My review will hopefully be up within the next couple of weeks.

What do you think you’ll read next?

17307098I’m playing catch up with a lot of paperbacks as I’ve been reading a lot on my Kindle. This is my next paperback. I’m excited to read this, as my sister really enjoyed it when she read it as an advanced reading copy.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Please feel free to leave your answer to the questions or your links in the comments section below! Happy Reading 🙂

 

Stacking The Shelves #65

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more!

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to the Goodread’s page!

With thanks to Piccadilly Press:

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With thanks to Hot Key Books:

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With thanks to Headline:

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NetGalley:

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Bought:

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Apologies for the lack of chatter about the books, but I’ve had a formatting nightmare this week, and really couldn’t be bothered to play around with it. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into the series by Caroline Green. I’m intrigued by the non-fiction book because it has a psychological element. I also can’t wait to read Shine!

What are you reading this week? Please feel free to leave a link to your Stacking The Shelves/haul post and I’ll stop by! Happy Reading! 🙂