Top Ten Cosy/Wintery Reads To Curl Up With

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s prompt is all about cosy reads. There’s nothing better than curling up when it’s cold outside, with a blanket and a warm drink. Perhaps the fire on too? Mm. I’m now dreaming of a snow day. These books are those that are good for reading in one sitting! They’re not necessarily deep reads, but they’re either heart-warming or atmospheric. Perfect for a cosy read, I say!

As ever, book images go to Goodreads!

The Snow Child

A perfect winter’s tale. 🙂 I really love this book and don’t see it around often enough for my liking!

Sister

I think this is an incredibly gripping read. Perfect for curling up with.

The Gift

This is one of my favourite books!

Let It Snow

I enjoyed these cute holiday romances.

Bittersweet

This sort of book is so easy to read all curled up and warm!

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

I wasn’t the biggest fan of all of these stories but there’s some good ones to get stuck into. That’s why I like anthologies.


A Christmas Carol

I think this book is perfect for near Christmas time!

Eleanor & Park

A book like this I could easily see being read in a day!

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

This book was so easy to read. It could easily be devoured within a few hours.

The Ice Twins

Thrillers are great to curl up with and this is a brilliant one!

What did you put on your list this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by.

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Banned Books #40- ttyl

Welcome to this month’s edition of Banned Books. This month we read TTYL by Lauren Myracle.

ttyl (Internet Girls, #1)

Synopsis:

Audacious author Lauren Myracle accomplishes something of a literary miracle in her second young-adult novel, ttyl (Internet instant messaging shorthand for “talk to you later”), as she crafts an epistolary novel entirely out of IM transcripts between three high-school girls.

Far from being precious, the format proves perfect for accurately capturing the sweet histrionics and intimate intricacies of teenage girls. Grownups (and even teenage boys) might feel as if they’ve intercepted a raw feed from Girl Secret Headquarters, as the book’s three protagonists–identified by their screen names “SnowAngel,” “zoegirl,” and “mad maddie”–tough their way through a rough-and-tumble time in high school. Conversations range from the predictable (clothes, the delicate high-school popularity ecosystem, boys, boys in French class, boys in Old Navy commercials, etc.) to the the jarringly explicit (the girls discuss female ejaculation: “some girls really do, tho. i read it in our bodies, ourselves”) and the unintentionally hilarious (Maddie’s IM reduction of the Christian poem “Footprints”–“oh, no, my son. no, no, no. i was carrying u, don’t u c?”).

But Myracle’s triumph in ttyl comes in leveraging the language-stretching idiom of e-mail, text messaging, and IM. Reaching to express themselves, the girls communicate almost as much through punctuation and syntactical quirks as with words: “SnowAngel: ‘cuz–drumroll, please–ROB TYLER is in my french class!!! *breathes deeply, with hand to throbbing bosom* on friday we have to do “une dialogue” together. i get to ask for a bite of his hot dog.'”

Myracle already proved her command of teenage girl-ness with Kissing Kate, but the self-imposed convention of ttyl allows a subtlety that is even more brilliant. Parents might like reading the book just to quantify how out of touch they are, but teens will love the winning, satisfyingly dramatic tale of this tumultuous trio. 

First published: 2004
In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2011 (source)
Reasons: offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: If you’ve been following our Banned Books series for a while now, you might remember that I don’t see any reason for a book to be banned outright. Handled delicately in certain situations – yes, of course but banned? Never! Then there’s the other books that pop up on our list where I can see no reason on earth why they should be banned/challenged and ttyl is one of those cases. I don’t remember there being much offensive language to be honest, but if there was it wasn’t overly offensive to me if I didn’t even notice it. Certainly, it’s no worse than what teenagers would hear on a daily basis – at school, on the streets, on the television…need I go on? And excuse me, we are challenging a book for having a religious viewpoint now?! I’m not particularly religious myself but I quite enjoy reading about different religions (especially if it’s done in a non preachy type way) so I could never accept this as a reason for preventing access to a book.

CHRISSI: I don’t agree with any of the reasons for this book being challenged at all. To me, it just read like a realistic conversation between three teenage girls. Challenging it doesn’t sit well with me because it’s completely sending the wrong message. Why should normal teenage conversation be censored? It’s not a surprise to me that teenagers discuss sex and swear a little. As for the religious viewpoint, that’s ridiculous. Religion isn’t a strong topic within this book!

How about now?

BETH: It’s been thirteen years since ttyl was first published and I don’t think attitudes have changed extraordinarily in that time. When I first came to this book I thought the reasons for challenging it would be entirely different and I was surprised to read what they were. I guess because this book is written as a series of messages between a group of friends and a small portion of it is written in “text-speak” or acronyms like ttyl (talk to you later), I assumed that the main complaint would be that it encourages poor communication between teenagers! Imagine my surprise when instead they quote sexual explicitness and inappropriate for age group reasons! I don’t believe that you’re going to find anything in this book that is shocking or not what normal, healthy fifteen year old girls talk about with their close friends.

CHRISSI: No. This book should not be challenged in my opinion. Like Beth, I could understand if there was a problem with communication/text speak as that’s something that does annoy me (not enough to challenge the book!) I actually wondered if it might be about internet safety and that something terrible might have happened (even then those books have a place, an educative place!) but no… it was normal teenagers speaking about normal things in their lives as they grow up.

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: I have to say, I approached this book with slight trepidation – I wasn’t sure I would enjoy an entire novel written in message format and I definitely wasn’t the target audience for this book! It’s not really for me, to be honest but I can see why teenage girls would love it and I really appreciate the strong female friendships that the author wrote about which are so important in the turbulent time of adolescence.

CHRISSI: I wasn’t a fan of this book. It took me a while to get through and I found it a little bit tedious in places. Remember though, I’m not the target audience for this book. I can totally see why teenagers would enjoy this book though. I love that the characters have such strong friendships. So whilst it wasn’t for me, I’m sure others would love it!

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: Probably!

CHRISSI: Yes! (to teenagers)

Stacking The Shelves #176

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!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Bought:

ttyl (Internet Girls, #1)

I’m currently reading this book for the Banned Books feature that I do with my sister, Beth. Look out for our post on Monday!

Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles, #2)

This is another book purchased for a feature with my sister, Beth. This is our kid-lit choice for this month. Our reviews will be coming this week! 🙂

A small haul for me this week, but I’m happy with what I picked up! What did you pick up this week? Let me know!

Banned Books 2017… REVEALED!

Banner made by Luna @ Lunaslittlelibrary

JANUARY – Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak OutSusan Kuklin

FEBRUARY – The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night TimeMark Haddon

MARCH – Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

APRIL –  HabibiCraig Thompson

MAY – Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story From AfghanistanJeanette Winter

JUNE – Saga – Volume 2Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

JULY – The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini

AUGUST – Thirteen Reasons WhyJay Asher

SEPTEMBER – Scary StoriesAlvin Schwartz

OCTOBER – ttylLauren Myracle

NOVEMBER – The Color Of EarthKim Dong Hwa

DECEMBER – The Agony Of AlicePhyllis Reynolds Naylor

How To Be Bad

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How did I get it?:
I requested it from Hot Key Books in exchange for a honest review!

Previous books reviewed written by E.Lockhart
We Were Liars
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Synopsis:

Jesse, Vicks and Mel couldn’t be more different. Jesse, a righteous Southern gal who’s as thoughtful as she is uptight, is keeping a secret that she knows will change her life forever. Vicks is a wild-child: seemingly cool, calm and collected on the outside, but inside she’s furious at herself for being so anxious about her neglectful boyfriend. And Mel is the new girl in town. She’s already been dismissed as just another rich kid, but all she wants is to get over some of her fears and find some true friends.

But for all their differences, the girls discover they’ve got one thing in common – they’re desperate to escape. Desperate to get the heck out of Niceville and discover their true ‘badass’ selves! Even if it’s just for the weekend… One ‘borrowed’ car later, it’s time to hit the road and head for Miami. Hearts will be broken, friendships will be tested, and a ridiculously hot stranger could change the course of everything.

Thoughts:

I have to admit that I haven’t always been the biggest fan of E.Lockhart’s books. I didn’t quite ‘get’ We Were Liars as much as the rest of the blogosphere did. I did enjoy The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks more than We Were Liars and I’m happy to say that there’s a trend going on, because I enjoyed How To Be Bad much more than any book I’ve read by E. Lockhart (so far). I don’t think this is because there was more than one writer, I have always enjoyed E.Lockhart’s writing, it tended to be the plot that I had a problem with!

How To Be Bad isn’t the deepest read out there, but it’s one of those books that I think is a great read for summer. It’s a road trip book, which always bodes well for a summer read in my eyes. The story is told in alternating chapters from the point of view of three girls who are incredibly different from one another. The girls have different reasons for going on the road trip, but they get to know each other even better as they go through many different things together.

I think Jesse might be a character that ends up grating on a few people. She is judgmental from the start when she judges Mel for being rich. She then judges her friend Vicks for the choices she makes in her love life. She improves though, so stick with her! I think all of the girls aren’t perfect in this book and it is interesting to read about them and see them grow throughout the story. None of them claim to be perfect which is definitely a redeeming factor.

The road trip element was fun and a lot happened to the girls, some of which wasn’t totally believable, but it was still really fun to read. The reason why I haven’t given this book higher than three stars is because I don’t feel it had enough depth to it and the ending was rather abrupt. Still, I would recommend it for a summery read and especially to those that enjoy road trip stories.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! Certainly for fans of the genre!

Fun and easy to read. A good beach read!

Stacking The Shelves #121

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 title to get to the Goodreads page!

NetGalley:

25580993I enjoyed Sinead’s first novel, so I quickly snapped up a copy of her next book!

Hot Key Books

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I requested these two books from Hot Key Books. I thought Almost Grace sounded really intriguing! I think How To Be Bad could be a good, quick read as well. It always interests me to see how the book is with more than one author!

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

Love Hurts

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Random House Children’s Publishers UK

Synopsis:

Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.

Thoughts:

I was SO excited about this book. However, I was a little disappointed when I got to it. I thought that this book was going to be original stories from some authors that I loved. There are some great original stories in there, but they’re few and far between. What I actually found was that I skipped a lot of these stories- either because I had read them already and didn’t feel like reading them again…or I have the full book waiting to be read and I didn’t want it to spoil it.

I don’t want to put people off this book though as the extracts from the authors I love like Malorie Blackman and Patrick Ness are such high quality writing- it’s just not what I wanted from this collection of short stories. James Dawson’s original story is good and well worth reading.

This book would be perfect for those wanting to dip into some of these author’s writing or to read the original content that there is. I love the range of diversity there is within this collection.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Some good original content, but don’t expect to go into the book with fresh, new material from all of the authors!