Ten Underrated Books That I’ve Read In The Past Year Or So

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, it’s all about underrated or hidden gems that we’ve read within the last year or so.

Some of these have got some good ratings on Goodreads but I don’t feel I see them around enough for how good they are!

For the Goodreads page, please click on the book image!

A Boy Made Of Blocks- Keith Stuart

A Boy Made of Blocks

I don’t know if I’ll ever stop promoting this book wherever I can. I thought it was an absolutely beautiful read which explores the relationship between a father and his child who has autism. It’s much more than just about relationships. It’s a stunning read and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Strange Star- Emma Carroll

Strange Star

Emma Carroll is another great writer who I wish more people read! 🙂 This is because I think her writing is so impressive. I always feel like I’m inside the story. This story is inspired by the creation of Frankenstein!

Dead Romantic- C.J. Skuse

Dead Romantic

Such a unique story. It’s about a girl who wants to create her perfect boyfriend from dead parts of others…

Crush- Eve Ainsworth

Crush

This book is incredibly raw. It centres around an abusive teenage relationship!

Orangeboy- Patrice Lawrence

Orangeboy

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book!

V is for Violet- Alison Rattle

V for Violet

Alison Rattle’s books are always underrated in my opinion.

The Next Together- Lauren James

The Next Together (The Next Together #1)

I know that this book has received mixed reviews, but I really hope people aren’t put off by it!

The Haunting- Alex Bell

The Haunting

Everyone’s all about the author’s book Frozen Charlotte which is awesome, but I prefer The Haunting.

Between The Notes- Sharon Huss Roat

Between the Notes

I really enjoyed this contemporary YA read.

Born Weird- Andrew Kaufman

Born Weird

A very unusual, unique read!

What are your underrated or hidden gems that you’ve read recently? Feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten post and I’ll stop by!

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Top Ten Favourite Reads of 2016

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, it’s all about highlighting the wonderful reads of 2016. I’ve had quite a few of these this year, so it was tricky to narrow it down. Here are some of the amazing books I read this year!

For the Goodreads page, please click on the book image!

A Boy Made Of Blocks- Keith Stuart

A Boy Made of Blocks

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. It was incredible.

Crush- Eve Ainsworth

Crush

A very intense read but so worthwhile. It might look like a cute read, but it really isn’t. It’s dark.

Highly Illogical Behaviour- John Corey Whaley

Highly Illogical Behavior

This is the first of this authors that I have read and I will be definitely checking out the rest of his releases.

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here- Patrick Ness

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

It’s Patrick Ness. Enough said.

One- Sarah Crossan

One

Easily one of my favourites of this year. So moving.

The Boy In The Dress- David Walliams

The Boy in the Dress

A wonderful book!

V Is For Violet- Alison Rattle

V for Violet

Alison Rattle can do no wrong in my eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Made You Up- Francesca Zappia

Made You Up

I thought I may have overhyped this book, but it was just as brilliant as I had anticipated.

It Ends With Us- Colleen Hoover

It Ends with Us

I was worried after not enjoying Confess as much as Colleen’s previous books, but I really enjoyed this one!

Son-Lois Lowry

Son (The Giver Quartet, #4)

A brilliant ending to The Giver quartet! This tied up a lot of the series for me.

What have been your favourite reads this year? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by! May 2017 be full of amazing reads too!

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!

Annual End Of Year Survey- 2016 Edition!

I absolutely love taking part in Jamie’s End Of Year Book Survey. It can be a little time consuming, but I absolutely love thinking about my reading in the year.

 

 

Number Of Books You Read:  So far…134
Number of Re-Reads:  2 or 3!
Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult

 

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

Oh my goodness, that’s hard. I think it would have to be Highly Illogical Behaviour, One or Paper Butterflies. I couldn’t pick one.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I thought I was going to love Ballet Shoes more than I did.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I still push Me Before You wherever possible. I can’t help myself.

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Ooh. I’ll go for series. This is a tough one because I have two I have really enjoyed. I’ll pick two! The Spinster Club by Holly Bourne and Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Holly Bourne

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Hmm… I’m not a big re-reader but I’ll say Harry Potter. I read the first book this year and it’s made me want to continue with the series.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2016?

Made You Up

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

Jeannette from The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

The Last Act Of LoveCathy Rentzenbrink

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

A Boy Made Of BlocksKeith Stuart

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

One by Sarah Crossan. I know it only came out in 2015, but still… I should have read it then!

 15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

“He was afraid of the world, afraid it would find a way to swallow him up. But, maybe everyone was sometimes.”   -John Corey Whaley- Highly Illogical Behaviour.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Longest- Carry OnRainbow Rowell- 518 pages

Shortest- To DanceSiena Cherson Siegel- 64 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Crush by Eve Ainsworth

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Celeste and Justin- Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Sam and Alex- A Boy Made Of Blocks by Keith Stuart

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

One by Sarah Crossan

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

Hmmm… this is a tricky one. I’m not one for fictional crushes. Justin from Flat-Out Celeste was adorable, I guess!

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Love That Split The WorldEmily Henry

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzinbrink

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas

book-blogging

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2016?

I am so bad at remembering how long I’ve been enjoying blogs, so I’ll pick a blog that I’ve enjoyed in 2016. That has to be Megan at Love, Literature, Art and Reason.

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2016?

I never like reading my own reviews as I always find flaws with them! I did enjoy writing A Boy Made Of Blocks.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I haven’t had very many this year. Definitely need to get my thinking cap on for 2017.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

The Transatlantic Book Project with some other wonderful bloggers.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

Winning an award at the UKYA blogging awards. A surprise to me that’s for sure as I didn’t ever anticipate winning!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Balancing blogging and reading with a full time hectic job!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Swimming To The Moon– Jane Elson

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Highly Illogical Behaviour– John Corey Whaley

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I really love the Reading Year subscription from Mr B’s Emporium in Bath that my sister and my mum got for my birthday.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

At this point not all of them, but by the end of the year I anticipate that I would have made my 140 book challenge and completed the series that I wanted to! I have completed the British Book Challenge that challenges its readers to read 12 books by British Authors. I’ve nailed that one with 64 read so far!

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

Perfect by Cecelia Ahern

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

I’m so bad at keeping up with series so I’ll mention one I’m anticipating to finish… What’s A Girl To Do? by Holly Bourne.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Continue to add different features to keep my blog fresh!

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

I’m just starting my 2017 ARCS so can’t comment on that yet. I have high hopes for The Edge Of Everything by Jeff Giles though!

Crush

Crush

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Seven Days

Synopsis:

The dark and compelling tale of an abusive teen relationship, told from the perspective of the victim, fourteen-year-old Anna.

Thoughts:

This book is intense. It had me gripped from the start. Seven Days was a dark read, so I expected something quite dark from Crush. I never expected Eve Ainsworth to write a story centred around an abusive teen relationship but I’m so glad she did as I think it’s such an important subject to be out there. It happens and it needs to be represented so teenagers and adults alike know that they’re not alone. As I mentioned, this book is intense, so I would say it should come with a trigger warning. It does cover both physical and mental abuse by a partner.

Crush is a really raw story. It’s so dark that I found it really uncomfortable to read at times. It tells the story of an abusive relationship between two teenagers. We start the story with Anna struggling with her change in family situation. Her mum has walked out on her family which includes her Dad and her younger brother. Anna starts off so in love with her boyfriend Will. She can’t believe that he wants to be with her. He takes her away from her horrible life at home and makes her feel loved. Slowly, but surely their relationship begins to spiral into a very unhealthy place.

I loved the pace of this story. We see the characters fall in love, we see things start to unwind and get unhealthy and we have the opportunity to read from both perspectives. Eve Ainsworth really captures every emotion both Anna and Will are feeling. It’s so tough to read because as a reader you understand something is really wrong with Will but at the same time, you can’t excuse his horrific behaviour towards Anna. I think if you haven’t experienced this awful behaviour, you can still feel every emotion that both characters are going through.

I feel like Crush was a reminder to others that there are usually reasons behind people’s behaviours and their experiences can shape them as a person grows. Eve never excuses actions that are done. She explains the history of the characters and that paints a clear picture as to why characters act in certain ways.

This is such an important book. It’s a real page-turner and I’m sure it’ll stick with me for a very long time.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

Eve Ainsworth’s writing is incredible! I was gripped from the start. I highly recommend this powerful book.

Stacking The Shelves #145

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:

Thanks to Hot Key Books/Bonnier

Nothing Tastes As Good Ruby Oliver 1: The Boyfriend List The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them (Ruby Oliver, #2)  The Yellow Room

Nothing Tastes As GoodClaire Hennessy– I have heard so much about this book, so I snapped up a copy when I was given a chance! This is my next read, for sure!

The Boyfriend List and The Boy BookE. Lockhart- This books have been out for a while, but I assume are being rereleased. They look like quick summer reads, so I decided to get my hands on them!

The Yellow  RoomJess Valance– I love that simple cover. It sounds really intriguing too.

Bought:

I’ve had my eye on these books for a while now…

Crush The Girl in the Blue Coat The Square Root of Summer  Lying About Last Summer Head Over Heels (Geek Girl, #5)

Crush Eve Ainsworth-Ooh, this book has really intrigued me. I really enjoyed Eve Ainsworth’s 7 days and  this book looks like it’s going to be just as gripping. It does deal with an abusive relationship so I think it’s going to be a tough read.

The Girl In The Blue CoatMonica Hesse– I have an interest in reading books set in World War II. This book looks like it’ll be another tough, but important read.

The Square Root Of SummerHarriet Reuter Hapgood– The pretty cover drew me to this book, I have to admit. I have also heard some wonderful things about it, so I look forward to reading this book, this summer!

Lying About Last Summer Sue Wallman– This book seems to be getting a lot of buzz around the blogosphere, so I’m intrigued!

Head Over Heels Holly Smale– I adore the Geek Girl series so I’m excited to get back to that world!

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

Seven Days

Seven Days

How did I get it?
I bought it!

Synopsis:

This bold, compelling and topical story about bullying is told from the perspective of the bully and the bullied. You won’t be able put it down until you’ve reached the conclusion. Jess’s life is difficult enough without Kez picking on her – it’s turning school from a safe place into a nightmare. Kez has plenty of problems too but she finds comfort in knowing she is better off than Jess – or so she thinks. A hard-hitting and even-handed look at bullying and the issues facing teenagers today.

Thoughts:

I had heard so many wonderful things about Seven Days. When I heard it was told from the perspective of the bully and the bullied, I was immediately intrigued. Seven Days was so compelling. I couldn’t put it down!

Seven Days follows Jess and Kez over the period of a week. Jess is the victim and is bullied by Kez and her friends. We hear from Kez too, who is the ringleader in her gang of friends. They pick on Jess because Jess doesn’t look like the rest of them. She’s not fussed about her appearance and she isn’t skinny like they are. What we gain from hearing from Kez’s point of view is that life isn’t easy for her either… I won’t say why, as it’s powerful to explore as the reader.

This totally doesn’t excuse Kez’s behaviour, and I don’t think that’s the author’s intention. It certainly shows that there can be more to the bully than meets the eye (which we know is often the case). I sympathised with Kez’s situation, but I certainly didn’t like her as a character. Hearing from both points of view really enhanced the story and made it much more hard-hitting. Some parts were very hard to read, but at the same time important to represent in literature. So many people suffer from bullying and this book just shows how brutal it can be!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A ‘real’ look at bullying. A hard hitting book that’s well worth reading!