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!

Ten Books Set Outside The U.S.

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are my Top Ten books set outside the U.S. This has been quite a tricky list, not that I don’t read books set outside the U.S…. I do read lots and that’s been the problem…narrowing it down to 10!

In no particular order, here they are (images go to Goodreads)

Harry Potter- J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Harry Potter is such an amazing series and it is a series that will forever stay with me! I love that it’s British!

Geek Girl- Holly Smale

Geek Girl (Geek Girl, #1)

Geek Girl is such a fun series. I’m slightly addicted. It does have some ridiculous moments but at the heart of it is a fun and heart-warming story. Harriet, the main character, is utterly relatable!

V Is For Violet- Alison Rattle

V for Violet

This wonderful book is set in London in the 1960s. I thought it was utterly gripping!

Noughts and Crosses- Malorie Blackman

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)

We don’t know for sure that this book isn’t set in the U.S. However, I see it as a book set in the U.K. It’s a wonderful, gripping read with diverse characters and dystopian settings.

Radio Silence- Alice Oseman

Radio Silence

I loved this book. It surpassed Alice’s debut novel for me. Such an interesting concept and really well written.

Hollow Pike- Juno Dawson

Hollow Pike

I thought this was an incredibly atmospheric read.

Undone- Cat Clarke

Undone

This book had me frantically turning the pages and had one hell of an ending!

Trouble- Non Pratt

Trouble

Non Pratt is a fantastic author. I love how raw her books are. This one centres around teenage pregnancy.

Dead Jealous- Sharon Jones

Dead Jealous (Poppy Sinclair, #1)

Poppy Sinclair is one of my favourite YA characters. She’s brilliant in this, very British, YA thriller/mystery.

Fallen Grace- Mary Hooper

Fallen Grace

This book is set in Victorian London. I didn’t expect to fall in love with it as much as I did, but I thought it was a brilliant piece of historical fiction.

Which books have you enjoyed that aren’t set in the U.S? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit- Noble Conflict

Noble Conflict

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Noughts and Crosses
Knife Edge
Checkmate
Double Cross
Pig Heart Boy
Cloud Busting

Synopsis:

Years after a violent war destroyed much of the world, Kaspar has grown up in a society based on peace and harmony. But beyond the city walls, a vicious band of rebels are plotting to tear this peace apart. It is up to the Guardians – an elite peacekeeping force – to protect the city, without ever resorting to the brutal methods of their enemy.

When Kaspar joins the Guardians, he has a chance encounter with a rebel – a beautiful girl named Rhea. Haunted from that moment on by strange visions and memories – memories that could only belong to Rhea – he realises he hasn’t been told the truth about what the rebels really want, and what he’s really fighting for.

Thoughts:

As you can see, I’m a big fan of Malorie Blackman. I really enjoyed her Noughts and Crosses series. I loved Cloud Busting and Pig Heart Boy too. It’s safe to say that I went into Noble Conflict with very high expectations. Unfortunately, they weren’t met. I thought Noble Conflict was a decent read, but it didn’t capture my attention as much as I wanted it to.

The book starts off incredibly well. The plot, whilst a little predictable in parts is interesting enough to continue reading. I was intrigued at the start when we meet Kaspar, on the day of his graduation. Straight away the action starts and the reader wants to know more about the Guardians. The first section of the book was particularly exciting and fast-paced, but for some reason, my interest waned and I didn’t feel connected to Kaspar as much as I wanted to. In fact, I was more intrigued by Rhea, the girl that saved Kaspar’s life. I would have liked to have read more from her perspective. I think it would have added some more depth to the story and given the character a lot more life. I’m sure she had an intriguing story to tell.

That’s not to say that this book isn’t well written. It is. I liked the mysterious element to the book. It kept me questioning and interested enough to carry on reading. For me, it simply just does not stand out in the YA dystopian genre.

For Beth’s brilliant review, please check out her blog HERE. Her review will go live tomorrow I’m interested to see if a fellow Malorie Blackman fan feels the same…

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Next up in the Beth and Chrissi do kid-lit challenge (May):
The Horse and His Boy- C.S Lewis

This Week In Books #31

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!

As ever, click on the book image to get to Goodreads!

Noble Conflict Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories Symptoms of Being Human

NOW- Noble Conflict- Malorie Blackman- I am currently reading Noble Conflict as part of my kid-lit challenge with my sister Beth, I’m about a quarter of the way through and I’m very much enjoying it so far.

THEN- Summer Days and  Summer Nights- Various authors- This was a cute (but not amazing) selection of short love stories.

NEXT- Symptoms of being Human- Jeff Garvin- I am really looking forward to reading this book which about a gender fluid character.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to let me know in the comments or leave a link to a post that you do! 🙂 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!

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

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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!

The Ones That Got Away #6

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This feature is going to showcase some recent reads that I haven’t fully reviewed. This may be because I didn’t finish the book or that I didn’t have enough to say to warrant a full and fair review of a book that I’m sure others will absolutely adore. I figure this way the books will be highlighted and someone somewhere might find the right book for them!

(BOOK IMAGES GO TO GOODREADS)

Numbers- Rachel Ward

Numbers (Numbers, #1)

 

Since her mother’s death, 15-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else’s, a number pops into her head – the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together, her life takes a new twist and turn.

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Because You’ll Never Meet Me- Leah Thomas

Because You'll Never Meet Me

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.

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The Stuff of Nightmares- Malorie Blackman

The Stuff of NightmaresSynopsis:

Kyle has always been afraid of things, especially dying. Whilst on a train on a school trip, Kyle realises that he isn’t the only one who has buried fears and, more importantly, he now burns with the desire to live, and to live without fear. But will Death release him?

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Rock War- Robert Muchamore

Rock War (Rock War #1)

Synopsis:

Meet Jay. Summer. And Dylan.

Jay plays guitar, writes songs and dreams of being a rock star. But his ambitions are stifled by seven siblings and a terrible drummer.

Summer works hard at school, looks after her nan and has a one-in-a-million singing voice. But can her talent triumph over her nerves?

Dylan is happiest lying on his bunk smoking, but his school rugby coach has other ideas, and Dylan reluctantly joins a band to avoid crunching tackles and icy mud.

They’re about to enter the biggest battle of their lives. And there’s everything to play for.

imageMonsters- Emerald Fennell

Monsters

Synopsis:

Set in the Cornish town of Fowey, all is not as idyllic as the beautiful seaside town might seem. The body of a young woman is discovered in the nets of a fishing boat. It is established that the woman was murdered. Most are shocked and horrified. But there is somebody who is not – a twelve-year-old girl. She is delighted; she loves murders. Soon she is questioning the inhabitants of the town in her own personal investigation. But it is a bit boring on her own. Then Miles Giffard, a similarly odd twelve-year-old boy, arrives in Fowey with his mother, and they start investigating together. Oh, and also playing games that re-enact the murders. Just for fun, you understand…

A book about two twelve-year-olds that is definitely not for kids.

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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

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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!