Round Up of British Books Challenge 2017

The British Books Challenge is hosted by Michelle at Tales of Yesterday. Find out more about it HERE.

The British Book Challenge was set up to show support for British Authors. By signing up I promised to read at least 12 books by British Authors. I smashed it once again this year by reading 63 books by British Authors.

Here are 2017’s efforts!

  1. The One Memory of Flora Banks– Emily Barr
  2. Paper Butterflies– Lisa Heathfield
  3. We Come Apart– Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
  4. How Hard Can Love Be?– Holly Bourne
  5. Disclaimer– Renee Knight
  6. Margot & Me– Juno Dawson
  7. The Trouble With Goats and Sheep– Joanna Cannon
  8. The Witchfinder’s Sister– Beth Underdown
  9. London Belongs To Us– Sarra Manning
  10. The Cuckoo Sister– Vivian Alcock
  11. The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time– Mark Haddon
  12. The One– John Marrs
  13. Mad Girl– Bryony Gordon
  14. Lie With Me– Sabine Durrant
  15. Pilot Jane and The Runaway Plane– Caroline Baxter
  16. Fish Boy- Chloe Daykin
  17. Awful Auntie– David Walliams
  18. The Last Beginning- Lauren James
  19. Girlhood– Cat Clarke
  20. One Italian Summer- Keris Stainton
  21. Release- Patrick Ness
  22. Unboxed- Non Pratt
  23. Follow Me– Angela Clarke
  24. Watch Me– Angela Clarke
  25. Trust Me– Angela Clarke
  26. Truth Or Dare– Non Pratt
  27. I See You- Clare Mackintosh
  28. Blood Sisters– Jane Corry
  29. The Prime Minister’s Brain- Gillian Cross
  30. The Nearest Faraway Place– Hayley Long
  31. The Graces– Laure Eve
  32. Miss You– Kate Eberlen
  33. Damage– Eve Ainsworth
  34. Indigo Donut– Patrice Lawrence
  35. Gone Without A Trace– Mary Torjussen
  36. Her Husband’s Lover– Julia Crouch
  37. He Said/She Said– Erin Kelly
  38. Cartes Postales from Greece– Victoria Hislop
  39. Fortunately, The Milk– Neil Gaiman
  40. Good Me, Bad Me– Ali Land
  41. The Scarecrow Queen– Melinda Salisbury
  42. Charlotte Says– Alex Bell
  43. Close To Me– Amanda Reynolds
  44. Coraline- Neil Gaiman
  45. The House– Simon Lelic
  46. The Betrayals- Fiona Neill
  47. The Trophy Child– Paula Daly
  48. Saffy’s Angel– Hilary McKay
  49. Behind Closed Doors- B.A Paris
  50. No Virgin– Anne Cassidy
  51. No Shame– Anne Cassidy
  52. Then She Was Gone– Lisa Jewell
  53. The Treatment– C.L Taylor
  54. Letters From The Lighthouse– Emma Carroll
  55. Black Hearts In Battersea– Joan Aiken
  56. The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club- Alex Bell
  57. 13 Minutes– Sarah Pinborough
  58. The Hours Before Dawn– Celia Fremlin
  59. Noah Can’t Even– Simon James Green
  60. Witch Child- Celia Rees
  61. The Friend– Dorothy Koomson
  62. A Quiet Kind Of Thunder– Sara Barnard
  63. Finding Jennifer Jones– Anne Cassidy

The (slightly late) Mid Year Freak Out Tag

Today I thought I’d join in with the Mid Year Freak Out Tag after being tagged by my sister over at Bibliobeth.

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

The best book you’ve read so far this year?

George

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. Its narrative really grasped me and I felt captivated by the main character.

Your favourite sequel read this year?

Watch Me (Social Media Murders, #2)

I was really impressed with this sequel to the Social Media Murders series. I liked the first book, but this one made me love the series!

A new release that you haven’t read yet but really want to?

Eliza and Her Monsters

I really enjoyed Francesca’s debut and although I’ve heard mixed things about this book, I’m intrigued to see what it’s like! I always form my own opinion.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

All That She Can See

I enjoyed Carrie’s debut and look forward to seeing what her next book is like!

Your biggest disappointment?

The Cuckoo Sister

I was really looking forward to reading this book after loving it when I was younger. I have to admit to being a little disappointed by it when re-reading!

Biggest surprise of the year?

As I Descended

I wasn’t looking forward to this book, as I didn’t get on well with Robin Talley’s second book. I did enjoy this one! 🙂

Favourite new-to-you or debut author?

Countless

I really enjoyed this debut novel! I enjoy reading books that centre around mental health and this was a good one!

Your new fictional crush?

I fail! I don’t have one!

New favourite character?

The Upside of Unrequited

Molly from Becky Albertalli’s sophomore novel. Loved her!

A book that made you cry?

One Italian Summer

This didn’t make me actually cry, but it did move me at points!

A book that made you happy?

Awful Auntie

I love David Walliams. His writing is fabulous! There were some darker moments, but on the whole it made me happy.

Your favourite book to movie adaptation this year?

Beauty and The Beast!

Favourite book post you’ve published this year?

I’m cheating a bit here and adding my favourite new feature… A Spotlight On.

The most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year?

Lyrebird

What are some books that you need to read by the end of the year?

Damage by Eve Ainsworth, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.

I am not going to tag people in this (as I’m sure many people that follow me have done it!) if you do decide to do it, please link me so I can read yours!

 

One Italian Summer

One Italian Summer

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Hot Key Books

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

It’s been a year since Milly, Elyse and Leonie’s dad died, and a year since their last trip to Rome. Summer’s here again, and once again they are heading with their mum to Italy – but what’s it going to be like going without Dad? Rome still holds its familiar charms – the sun is still as warm, the gelato as delicious, the people as welcoming. But nothing is quite as it once was …

With grief still raw for all of them, Milly is facing the additional awfulness of having to see Luke again – gorgeous, gorgeous Luke, who she had a fling with last year, and who she made a total fool of herself with – or so she thinks. What’s going to happen this time? What’s more, things between Milly, her sisters and their mum are rocky – Leonie is being tempestuous and unpredictable, Elyse is caught up with her new boyfriend, and Milly feels like she just doesn’t know how she fits in any more.

Over one Italian summer, can Milly find a way back to the life she once had?

Thoughts:

I thought this book was going to be a really cute, fluffy contemporary. The cute part was right, there are some incredibly cute moments in Keris Stainton’s One Italian Summer, however, it has depth to it that I certainly wasn’t expecting. It didn’t take me long to devour this book and I will certainly be recommending it as a summer beach read. I was transported to Italy and loved following this dear family who had been through so much.

It centres around three sisters who have recently lost their father. Everything is still raw for them, especially the thought of going back to Italy, where their father used to work and they often visited for family holidays. They have to return for a family wedding, but everything is of course, different.  It being a contemporary YA book, there’s also romance involved!

I really enjoyed the characters in this book, especially the sisters. I really enjoyed Milly. I loved how fiercely loyal she was to her sisters and her mother. She was honest about her grief and things didn’t just get easier for her once on holiday. Sure, she had some fun and distractions, but her dad was constantly in her thoughts which I thought was believable. The romance between her and Luke wasn’t vital to the story, but it certainly had its cute moments. I love reading books about sisters, especially when the author captures the true sister relationship. They ripped into each other as much as they loved each other which was so realistic!

I would’ve loved to have read some more descriptions and adventures between the sisters in Italy, but that is me being particularly nit-picky. As a whole, I thought the story was a fun, yet touching read about a family reconnecting after an unexpected and heart-breaking loss.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!- especially if you’re into contemporary YA!

A touching read- perfect for summer!

This Week In Books #62

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Click on the book to get to Goodreads!

One Italian Summer Girlhood A Snicker of Magic

NOWOne Italian Summer Keris Stainton– I’m just about to start this book which looks like an ideal contemporary read. I’ve read other books by this author before, so I’m looking forward to it!

THEN Girlhood Cat Clarke– I enjoyed this book. Cat Clarke doesn’t always write about easy subjects. It’s about girls’ at boarding school. It’s not my favourite book by Cat, but it’s still a decent read.

NEXTA Snicker Of MagicNatalie Lloyd- This book is the next in the Kid-Lit series that I do with my sister, Beth. Our review will be out on Sunday! I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, so I’m looking forward to it!

What are you reading this week? Feel free to let me know or leave a link to a similar post that you do and I’ll stop by! Happy Reading! 🙂

End of Year Survey 2015

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This is one of my favourite surveys to do, by one of my favourite bloggers, Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner/The Broke and The Bookish. For some reason, I hadn’t noticed her post this year, but was pleased to see another blogger do the tag, so of course I jumped on board.

The links either go to my review of the book or Goodreads if I haven’t reviewed it already!

reading-stats-2015-1024x278

Number Of Books You Read: 144
Number of Re-Reads: 8
Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Simon Versus The Homo Sapiens Agenda– Becky Albertalli. This book warmed my heart. I can’t speak highly enough for it!

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

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley. After devouring her debut, I really wanted to like her sophomore novel. I didn’t. I was very disappointed.

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

I didn’t expect to like Cruel Beauty as much as I did. I had heard so many bad things about it that I was expecting not to like it.

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

Still Me Before You. I will ALWAYS push that book.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Started: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Sequel: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E.Pearson

Series Ender- Winter by Marissa Meyer

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Becky Albertalli!

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

Lighter Than My Shadow– Katie Green. My second graphic novel of the year.

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

I Let You Go– Clare Mackintosh

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’m not so sure I’ll re-read a book so soon. I tend to leave it a while in-between!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Simon (from Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda). I’m totally the heart emoji over that.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

My Heart And Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. I really resonated with this book!

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Reasons To Stay Alive– Matt Haig

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Rites of Passage– Joy N.Hensley

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.” – Err… Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda (again, sorry!)

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: Dream A Little Christmas Dream by Giovanna Fletcher- 69 pages

Longest: Winter by Marissa Meyer- 824 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Ice Twins– S.K Tremayne

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

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

I’m sorry not sorry- Simon and Blue- Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I’m going for friendship and I adore the friendship in The Ladybirds series by Jenny McLachlan

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Ensnared by A.G Howard

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

The Last Leaves Falling– Sarah Benwell. I’m not sure this book would’ve been on my radar otherwise.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

I don’t have one! Sad times.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

Simon Vs…. you get the idea!

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

I’m loving the worldbuilding in the Throne of Glass series. I read Queen of Shadows this year.

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

Lily and The Christmas Wish– Keris Stainton. All the cuteness.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

The Last Leaves Falling- Sarah Benwell

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Boy In The Tower- Polly Ho-Yen

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman. Highly intriguing but it made such an impact.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Born Weird- Andrew Kaufman. It totally lives up to its title!

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

Hmmm… Those Girls by Lauren Saft. This book just really didn’t sit right with me. At all.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I haven’t discovered many new book blogs this year, but I need to get on that. I’m looking forward to seeing how Outlook on a Book grows.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

I liked how I did Reasons To Stay Alive.

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

Unhauling Books. I need more discussion posts this year!

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

YA Shot by far. I loved being part of a blogger workshop.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Continuing to blog even though my life got a hell of a lot busier.

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

Balancing it with teaching. I had one day where I almost forgot to schedule a post.

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

Top Ten Books For Readers That Like Plot Twists.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Gracefully Grayson– Ami Polonsky

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

I haven’t really discovered much bookishness this year. A goal for next year?

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

I’ve read more of the series that I wanted to and I think by 31st December I should have completed my Goodreads challenge. Fingers crossed!

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley Doyle

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

When We Collided by Emery Lord

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

A Court Of Mist and Fury– Sarah J Maas.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Find some sort of schedule that I can keep to for visiting other blogs.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

This Is Where It Ends– Marieke Nijkamp!

Feel free to leave me a link to your survey if you’ve done it too. I love reading these!

Comparing ‘Lily And The Christmas Wish’ by Keris Stainton

Lily and the Christmas Wish

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

When a town’s Christmas wishes get mixed-up, can one little girl and her dog put them right?

The little town of Pinewood can’t wait for Christmas this year. They’re going to celebrate by putting up a giant Christmas tree in the town square, and asking all the townspeople to hang a Christmas wish on its branches. Everyone is feeling very festive, including nine-year-old Lily – although she’s not sure she believes in wishes. Then a very strange storm blows in, scattering all the wishes…and Lily wakes up the next morning to a bit of a surprise. Bug, her adorable pug puppy, can talk! It’s magic – and a wish come true! But it’s not Lily’s wish…

Lily and her little brother James soon discover that something must have happened during the storm – the town’s wishes have been granted, but to all the wrong people! Lily, James and Bug must work out which wish belongs to who, and sort everything out before Christmas Eve – otherwise no one will get what they want for Christmas.

Thoughts before you started reading Lily and the Christmas Wish?

CHRISSI: I thought it looked SO cute!

LUNA: Keris Stainton = good reading

What did you think of Lily?

CHRISSI: I adored Lily. I think she’s a great character for children to look up to. She’s caring and thoughtful.

LUNA: Lily is an endearing character that guides you through the mishaps of Pinewoods wishes coming true. This book is quite short but I thought Lily was a fully developed character; she cares about her brother and is very affected by what happened the last time she made a wish.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: Just how utterly adorable it was. I can easily see children relating to the story and I love how it’s got some depth to it, especially because it’s a short book.

LUNA: I think I’m going to pick Grandmother’s arrival, partly because it’s such a big plot moment in the book but also because I really like her as a character.

Worst bit?

CHRISSI: I really don’t think there was anything I disliked about this book. It was cute, endearing and so well written.

LUNA: There’s nothing that I disliked about Lily and the Christmas Wish. Personally I would have liked more story but I understand why the book the length it is.

Favourite character/moment?

CHRISSI: Ooh that’s a tricky one, as I liked so many of the characters. For me though, Lily is the star of the book. She’s adorable.

LUNA: I really liked Bug. If pets started talking that would probably be terrifying but it’s something what you do always wonder about, what if they could? Bug voice/personality is great and I enjoyed reading those parts a lot. (Also see my answer for “Best bit?”)

Was Lily and the Christmas Wish what you expected?

CHRISSI: It was much better than I had anticipated, and I was expecting a lovely read. I didn’t expect it to steal my heart so much. I wish I had read it sooner, so that I could read it to my class. Maybe next year!

LUNA: Quality wise I’d say I was spot on. I didn’t exactly know how the story was going to go but I knew Keris Stainton would deliver a lovely book to I’d enjoy from start to finish.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: Without a doubt!

LUNA: Absolutely

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

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February

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 March

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 April

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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

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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!