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!

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How Not To Disappear

How Not to Disappear

How did I get it?:
I won a copy during the British Books Challenge

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Year Of The Rat

Synopsis:

Hattie’s summer isn’t going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to “find himself” and Kat’s in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum’s wedding.

Oh, and she’s also just discovered that she’s pregnant with Reuben’s baby…

Then Gloria, Hattie’s great-aunt who no one previously knew even existed comes crashing into her life. Gloria’s fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia.

Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery – Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her past before they are wiped from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future.

Thoughts:

After enjoying The Year Of The Rat by Clare Furniss, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of her second book, How Not To Disappear. I thought this was a fantastic book. It had some real heart-breaking moments and moments which made me stop and reflect.

How Not To Disappear tells the story of two characters with two perspectives. We hear from Hattie, who is a pregnant teenager and her great-aunt Gloria. Gloria is in the early stages of dementia. Hattie hears about her estranged great-aunt from one of Gloria’s neighbours. She takes it upon herself to visit Gloria and finds herself bonding with Gloria. Gloria recalls her past and in doing so, takes Hattie on a journey which will help her in the future.

I really enjoyed Gloria and Hattie’s characters. I loved seeing their relationship grow over time. They both had their problems/secrets and it was heart-warming to see them come together and support one another. I was captivated by their stories and loved following them on their road trip. Dual narration doesn’t always work for me, but with How Not To Disappear I found it very refreshing. It helped me to get to know the characters deeply which I appreciated.

It’s refreshing to see tough subject matter like dementia written about in YA literature. It was really upsetting to read at times, with some incredibly poignant moments, but I feel like it was handled with care and sensitivity. Clare’s writing really made me feel for both Gloria, Hattie and anyone that has had to suffer at the hands of his disease, be it the person themselves or the family members.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A beautiful thought-provoking book!

Stacking The Shelves #138

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 Goodreads page!

NetGalley:

Radio Silence

I’m excited to read Alice Oseman’s new book, after enjoying her debut novel. This book looks like an intriguing read!

Sophie

I was pulled into looking at this book by its plain cover. It caught my eye and the synopsis sounds intriguing! We’ll see….

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

I’m expecting a mix of good/weird/bad in this book as I’m sure I won’t like all of the stories, much like the last anthology that I read edited by Stephanie Perkins (My True Love Gave To Me) I’m looking forward to dipping into it though.

Bought:

Nimona

I have seen this graphic novel around everywhere! It’s been recommended by so many of my favourite bloggers that I felt compelled to get my hands on a copy!

Won from The British Books Challenge

How Not to Disappear

I’m so excited to read this book! I was thrilled to win it!

What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave a link to your haul and I’ll stop by! Happy Reading 😀

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!

The Year Of The Rat

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How did I get it?:
I borrowed it!

Synopsis:

Grappling with grief is hard enough without repeat visits from the deceased. Pearl deals with death, life, and family in this haunting, humorous, and poignant debut.

The world can tip at any moment…a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mom dies after giving birth to her baby sister, Rose.

Rose, who looks exactly like a baby rat, all pink, wrinkled, and writhing. This little Rat has destroyed everything, even ruined the wonderful relationship that Pearl had with her stepfather, the Rat’s biological father.

Mom, though…Mom’s dead but she can’t seem to leave. She keeps visiting Pearl. Smoking, cursing, guiding.

Told across the year following her mother’s death, Pearl’s story is full of bittersweet humor and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mother, but also the fact that her sister—The Rat—is a constant reminder of why her mom is no longer around.

Thoughts:

I haven’t really read a book that I adored for quite a while now, so I was apprehensive to go into reading The Year Of The Rat. There was no need to be. I absolutely loved this touching and thought-provoking read.

The Year Of The Rat follows fifteen year old Pearl. Pearl’s mother dies unexpectedly, after becoming unwell soon after delivering Pearl’s 2 month premature sister Rose. Pearl believes that if it wasn’t for her sister Rose, then her mother would still be alive. Pearl nicknames her sister The Rat as she believes she resembles a rat, rather than the gorgeous, cherub baby that she was expecting. Pearl feels like she’s lost everything. She’s lost her mother, and her father is spending time at the hospital with her little sister. Pearl also feels isolated from the family, as the man she calls her dad, isn’t actually her biological father.

Pearl begins to see and have conversations with her mother, and it is through these conversations that Pearl slowly begins to heal. The Year Of The Rat follows the first year of Pearl’s life without her mother. It beautifully deals with grief, the past and how life can change dramatically.

I think this book is such a powerful read, especially for those that have experienced losing a close family relative. It’s definitely a story that benefits from having such memorable characters. Pearl isn’t easy to like, yet it’s easy to understand why she acts the way she does. Pearl has to learn at a young age how to live without her mother. She also has to deal with her feelings about her non-biological father. On top of that, there’s The Rat. The Rat that she can’t welcome into the family with open arms, because of what happened to her mother. Pearl distances herself from her friend Molly, because she feels like Molly is more concerned with her new boyfriend Ravi, then being there for Pearl. (Even though, we see as readers that this isn’t the case) So whilst she may take some warming to, Pearl was ultimately realistic.

I loved the relationships within this story. The relationship that Pearl had with her mother, the tough relationship between Pearl and the man she saw as her father, the changing relationship between Pearl and The Rat, the interactions with Finn- the next door neighbour and the friendship between Pearl and Molly.

I was touched by this debut novel by Clare Furniss. I thought it was emotional, thought-provoking and real.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!