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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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!

Swimming To The Moon

Swimming to the Moon

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Hodder Children’s Books

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

‘Just call me Bee. Please, please call me that. If you call me Beatrix Daffodil Tulip Chrysanthemum Rose Edwards I shan’t answer you. I am not being rude or unfriendly, or insolent as Mrs Dixon my teacher calls me. I just don’t like my name. Well, would you?’

Bee stumbles through life in her stripy socks with her head in the clouds, doing her very best to keep out of the way of her bickering parents and avoid the bendy tap dancing freak Crystal Kelly – who makes her life a misery. But when Crystal double-dares her to volunteer for a sponsored swim in honour of her great grandmother Beatrix’s memory, Bee can’t back down. Even though she is terrified of water and cannot swim!

Then new boy Moon-Star gallops to Bee’s rescue on his horse and takes her to meet Old Alice, who lives in a beautiful painted wagon. As Bee enters this new world, her life is changed for ever.

Finally she has an ally. Down by the promise tree the new friends make a pact – Moon Star will teach Bee to swim if Bee will teach him to read. They spit on their hands and shake on their vow and a beautiful friendship begins.

Thoughts:

I love Jane Elson’s writing, so when I had the opportunity to read her latest book I jumped at the chance. I find Jane Elson’s books to be incredibly heart-warming and her latest, Swimming To The Moon, is no exception.

Swimming To The Moon follows Bee who has just lost her great-gran, Beatrix. Bee was incredibly close to her great-gran and struggles to come to terms with her loss. Bee promised her great-gran that she would learn to swim. One day, when a new boy Moon Star rescues her from a group of kids being unkind to her it changes Bee’s life. Bee gets to know Moon Star and his grandmother Old Alice who are travellers. She discovers that Moon Star can not read or read. Moon Star and Bee make a pact. They promise that Moon Star will help Bee learn to swim if she teaches him to read.

I thought this story was absolutely adorable. It was honest in the way it didn’t give its main characters a perfect family. Bee’s Dad wasn’t the most supportive and he infuriated me. He argued with Bee’s mum. She certainly didn’t come from a perfect family which is bound to be relatable to so many readers. Moon Star also didn’t have the ‘perfect’ family even though his rather eccentric grandmother did really care for him. Both characters are so lovable and easy to love as we watch them grow.

I love Jane Elson’s stories. They’re magical, fun and heart-warming at the same time. I always finish a Jane Elson book with a smile on my face. I highly recommend her books.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Another brilliant book from the wonderfully talented Jane Elson.

Top Ten Author Duos I’d Love To See Write A Book

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is the Top Ten author duos that we’d love to see write a book together. This list was really hard to put together but I’m pleased with who I came up with!

Click on the author’s name to learn more about them.

  1. James Dawson and Non Pratt– this would be hilarious!
  2. James Dawson and Louise O’Neill- a book by these two would be disturbing…
  3. Jane Elson and Emma Carroll– a book by these two would be adorable, that’s for sure.
  4. Giovanna Fletcher and Cecelia Ahern- a magical combination!
  5. Emery Lord and Kasie West–  the perfect contemporary?
  6. Patrick Ness and Andrew Kaufman– well written and weird!
  7. Louise O’Neill and Tanya Byrne– a disturbing book would be produced…
  8. Carmen Reid and Elizabeth Wein- an intriguing historical fiction!
  9. Rowan Coleman and Jojo Moyes– this would be heartbreaking.
  10. Holly Smale and Jenny McLachlan– a fun piece of teenage fiction!

Which duos would you love to see write a book? Feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten post and I’ll stop by!

Top Ten Books That I Am Going To Read To My Class

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught. I am actually a recently qualified teacher so this topic excites me very much! In fact, a week today I start my first position!

I have decided to slightly amend the topic and talk about books I hope to introduce to the children! This year my class are 6-7 year olds, so I will start with books for them! I will then list 5 books that I would use with older children (7-11 years)

5 books for the 4-7 year olds!

Roald Dahl- Matilda

Matilda

To be honest, I think I’ll read more than Matilda by Roald Dahl to my class!

The True Story of The Three Little Pigs- Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith

The True Story of the Three Little PigsThis is a reimagining of the Three Little Pigs from the Wolf’s point of view! I’m sure my class will LOVE it!

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Book?- Lauren Child

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?

Lauren Child is a popular children’s author. I think this book will appeal to a wide range of children. The main character visits many well known fairy tales! I love my fairy tale stories and so do children!

And Tango Makes Three- Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

3418700

I read this book earlier this year as part of my Banned Books feature with my sister, Beth. It’s the fictionalised tale of a true story of two male penguins raising a penguin chick. It’s cute and well worth reading, especially to show different types of families.

Handa’s Surprise- Eileen Browne

140499I love this story, it’s simple and fun and children seem to adore it!

5 books for 7-11 years old

The Girl Who Walked On Air- Emma Carroll

The Girl Who Walked On Air

This book is a fantastic adventure story which is incredibly descriptive and atmospheric. I imagine this book would inspire some fantastic creative writing!

A Room Full of Chocolate- Jane Elson

A Room Full of ChocolateThis book does deal with an illness, so I would have to be cautious which the children I used it with. It does however, deal beautifully with friendship and family.

Blackberry Blue- Jamila Gavin

Blackberry Blue: And Other Fairy TalesThis book has wonderful fairy tales within!

Gangsta Granny- David Walliams

Gangsta Granny

Children seem to adore David Walliams! I have this book ready and raring to go.

Cloud Busting- Malorie Blackman

Cloud BustingI absolutely adore this book which is written in verse. I can’t wait to explore it with children!

What books would you teach if you were a teacher? Feel free to leave a link to your post this week and I’ll stop by!

How To Fly With Broken Wings

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Hatchette Children’s Books!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
A Room Full of Chocolate

Synopsis:

Twelve-year-old Willem has Aspergers Syndrome and two main aims in life: to fly and to make at least two friends of his own age. But all the other boys from the Beckham Estate do is make him jump off things. First his desk – and now the wall. As his toes teeter on the edge, Sasha Barton gives him a tiny little wink. Might she become his friend?

Bullied by Finn and his gang the Beckham Estate Boyz, Willem has no choice but to jump. As he flies through the air he flaps his arms, wishing he could fly and escape into the clouds. Instead he comes crashing down and breaks his ankle.

Sasha, angry with herself for not stopping Finn and his Boyz, is determined to put things right. And soon, while the gangs riot on their estate, Willem and Sasha form an unlikely friendship. Because they share a secret. Sasha longs to fly too.

And when Magic Man Archie arrives with stories of war-flying spitfires, he will change the lives of the kids on the Beckham Estate for ever. And perhaps find a way for Willem and Sasha to fly.

Thoughts:

I lapped up Jane Elson’s debut novel A Room Full of Chocolate, so when I knew there was going to be another book released by her, I knew I had to read it. I went into How To Fly With Broken Wings with very high expectations. Whilst I didn’t enjoy it quite so much as A Room Full of Chocolate, I still thought it was a decent read. I really appreciate that Willem had Asperger’s Syndrome. I love books with diverse characters and How To Fly With Broken Wings definitely represents diversity.

How To Fly With Broken Wings centres around Willem who desperately wants to learn how to fly and how to make friends. He strikes up a friendship with Sasha who also has a desire to fly. How To Fly With Broken Wings is packed full of action, covering many themes such as bullying, friendship and love.

I think one of the strengths of this story are the characters who are well developed and realistic. I thought the way in which Willem’s Asperger’s Syndrome was covered was well represented. This book is well worth reading if you want to explore some very interesting characters. 🙂

Would I recommend it?:
Yes- 3.5 stars!

A book centred around many themes, How To Fly With Broken Wings is full of realistic characters which you easily warm to!

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

lunaspciks2

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

12458914 6728643

February

1335293610836484

 March

985943620561195

 April

1312167813043239

May

20359867 17696973

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

757576216280557

 July

1805306015726915

August

129629249460487

 September

186637225983694

October

66097488428195

November

17612596 20873172

December

13188003

17290261

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!