Annual End of Year Book Survey 2018

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

2018 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 138 (thus far… writing on 8th December!)
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read The Most From: Thriller

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

Tough one. I really enjoyed Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke.

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

Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington.

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

This Is Not A Love Letter by Kim Purcell. I liked it much more than I thought I would.

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

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

5. Best series you started in 2018 ? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Cheating because it’s a re-read but Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. It wasn’t released this year but it was still the best sequel I’ve read this year.

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2018?

Cara Hunter! She’s awesome

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

Eek! I can’t say I’ve read outside my comfort zone this year.

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

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’m not a massive re-reader. I don’t think I’ll re-read a book from this year.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2018?

The Surface Breaks

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Zach from Only Child

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

Number The Stars by Lois Lowry

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

Not life changing, but thought-provoking… Anatomy of Scandal by Sarah Vaughan.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe. Not an old book but I wish I had read it last year.

15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“Getting smacked in the face with a Harry Potter book does not qualify as a fight,” Charlie says.
“First of all, it wasn’t just any Harry Potter book. It was Order of the Phoenix.”
Matt gasps. He knows that Order of the Phoenix is the longest and most potentially dangerous of all the Harry Potter books when used as a weapon.”

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

King & King by Linda De Haan and I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jenningd- both 32 pages (as part of a banned books feature)

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne- 736 pages

How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios. A beautiful book, but so tough to read.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Mateo and Rufus- They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Stevie and Hafiz from Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios!

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. I’m not a fan of Mr Green, but I wanted to read it because it was recommended so highly.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

I don’t have one this year!

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Soloman

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

The Showstopper series by Hayley Barker.

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

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R Pan

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

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings- the fact that this gentle picture book is challenged really makes me mad.

book-blogging

1. New favourite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

That’s far too hard. I have loads of favourites. Check out some of them here.

2. Favourite post you wrote in 2018?

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- Girls, girls, girls

I loved the support I got for this post.

3. Favourite bookish related photo you took in 2018?

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

Ooh I haven’t. I must participate next year.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

Seeing my statistics grow more. I’m not focused on them, but it’s nice to see improvement year by year rather than a drop.

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

My reading has slowed considerably due to the busy nature of my job.

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

Top Ten Shows/Movies To Binge Watch

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

They Both Die At The End

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

I haven’t discovered anything new.

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

Yes! I have saved £1 for every book I’ve read.

I’ve also read over 12 British books… my current total being 65 books. Check them out here. 

I also think I’ll finish my Goodreads target of 150 books.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

The Dangerous Art Of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

Fame, Fate and The First Kiss by Kasie West- I love Kasie’s books!

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Wilder Girls– Rory Power

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

I don’t have one!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

Step outside my comfort zone with genre!

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

I haven’t read one at the time of writing this, but I have an ARC for The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts that I’m really looking forward to.

Please leave me a link if you do this survey. I LOVE reading people’s answers.

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Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

How did I get it?:
I was sent a copy from the publisher, Walker Books.

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Fourteen-year-old Stevie lives in Lewes with her beloved vinyl collection, her mum … and her mum’s depression. When Stevie’s mum’s disability benefits are cut, Stevie and her mother are plunged into a life of poverty. But irrepressible Stevie is determined not to be beaten and she takes inspiration from the lyrics of her father’s 1980s record collection and dreams of a life as a musician. Then she meets Hafiz, a talented footballer and a Syrian refugee. Hafiz’s parents gave their life savings to buy Hafiz a safe passage to Europe; his journey has been anything but easy. Then he meets Stevie… As Stevie and Hafiz’s friendship grows, they encourage each other to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. 

Thoughts:

It’s been a while since I’ve read Siobhan Curham’s work, but oh my goodness it was lovely to get back to her writing. There’s something about Siobhan’s writing that makes me feel like I’m wrapped up in a cosy blanket. Her books are adorable and so heartfelt.

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow centres around Stevie and Hafiz. Stevie is a bit of an outsider at school. She’s dealing with a lot. Her father died a few years prior and her mother became incredibly depressed. She was unable to look after herself so certainly was neglecting Stevie’s needs. Stevie struggles to get food together and her uniform is a bit small/worn. Stevie does a paper round to try and raise some more funds. She’s also saving for a guitar because music is what makes her feel better.

Hafiz has just travelled to the UK from Syria to live with his Aunt and Uncle. He’s left his family behind and is feeling incredibly worried about their safety. Hafiz has a passion for football as an escape from his problems. He is soon picked for the school team, however, he has some troubles fitting in with some of the team who only see him as a refugee. Stevie and Hafiz are put together on Hafiz’s first day of school. The two become close and develop a friendship that supports one another. They both search for their own stories and attempt to find their purpose in life.

I really enjoyed this book because it felt realistic to the world that we live in today. I really loved Stevie and Hafiz’s friendship. The characters felt so well developed that it felt like they were real people that I was observing. I loved the alternate chapters because I wanted to read more from their points of view. I never felt confused with who was narrating a chapter. Each character had their own identity. This book really makes you think about others. It packs a powerful punch, that’s for sure. I also appreciated the focus on mental health. We do need to be speaking about it more and I was impressed with the representation of depression in this story.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderful read! It touched my heart.

This Week In Books #134

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!

Book images go to Goodreads!

NOW-

Mine

I’m almost halfway through this book which is very much intriguing me. I keep trying to work out what’s happened. I hope to get some more read tonight after my very long meeting…

THEN-

Number the Stars

I really adored this book which I know I’m very late to read. It was this month’s kid-lit pick. Look out for my review (and Beth’s!) on Friday! 🙂

NEXT-

Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

I am looking forward to reading this book. I’ve had it for ages, but you know what the life of a bookworm is like! Eek. I’m hoping to be on this book by the weekend. It’s a YA read with a focus on mental health.

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

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!

Comparing ‘The Moonlight Dreamers’ by Siobhan Curham

The Moonlight Dreamers

How did I get it?:
I received an ARC from Luna!

Previously read by the same author:

Dear Dylan
Finding Cherokee Brown
Shipwrecked
True Face

Synopsis:

A inspirational, heart-warming book about four girls trying to find their place in the world. Siobhan Curham celebrates very different but like-minded friends in this captivating novel.

Amber craves excitement and adventure. Instead, she’s being bullied at school for having two dads, and life at home isn’t much better. Inspired by Oscar Wilde, Amber realizes that among the millions of people in London, there must be others who feel the same as she does; other dreamers – moonlight dreamers. After chance encounters with Maali, Sky and Rose, Amber soon recruits the three girls to the Moonlight Dreamers. It’s high time they started pursuing their dreams, and how better than with the support of friends?

Thoughts before you started reading The Moonlight Dreamers?

CHRISSI: Excited. It’s Siobhan Curham. I adore her writing.

LUNA: Very excited.

What did you think of Amber, Maali, Sky & Rose?

CHRISSI: I thought all of the girls were fantastic characters that readers will find incredibly relatable. The characters are well developed and interesting to follow.

LUNA: Because each girl is different I think each reader will find a connection one character, probably more than one. I know that each one of them had moments that spoke to me. I actually thought it would be Amber that would be “my” character, but it turned out to be Maali. This surprised me but while her dream was not something I would have picked but Maali’s uncertainty I could definitely connect with.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: How ‘real’ the characters were. They were flawed, that’s for sure, but that’s what makes a story realistic. No-one is perfect. I love the messages Siobhan Curham always portrays in her stories.

LUNA: I enjoyed the turning points, especially the one for Sky and Rose (I’m not going to give anything away). Another thing I liked about the The Moonlight Dreamers is that all the girls are very convincing, there were a couple of moments were I thought “ugh brat” or “why are you doing that” and “please no”. But it’s what made the book more real.

Worst bit?

CHRISSI: I can’t really pinpoint a worst bit if I’m honest!

LUNA: The German Tourists. It’s not even a whole page out of the book. But you know that thing where you can make fun of your family/friends but if anyone else does it you’ll defend with teeth and claws? Well it’s the same.
I can say my pedanticness is my German heritage or roll my eyes of at the summer fashion of socks & sandals, but when it’s by someone else – not cool. Don’t assign a nationality to the tourists in that scene, just say tourist. It saves somebody getting the hump about it. Like me.:P

Favourite character/moment?

CHRISSI: I loved the character growth. I was impressed!

LUNA: There were quite a few but I’m going to pick the readers introduction to Maali, as she goes to find that unicorn. I knew instantly I’d adore her.

Was The Moonlight Dreamers what you expected?

CHRISSI: Of course! It made me feel warm and fuzzy!

LUNA: Yes, Siobhan Curham doesn’t let me down.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: Definitely!

LUNA: Absolutely.

Stacking The Shelves #142

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!

From Luna’s Little Library

The Moonlight Dreamers

Luna had a spare copy of this ARC by the wonderfully talented Siobhan Curham. I really enjoy Siobhan’s writing and think her books always have so much heart. I’m looking foward to reading this book!

Bought:

The One We Fell in Love With

I adore Paige Toon’s writing. I used to read books like this all the time, but now I tend to just dip in and out of the genre with particular authors I enjoy. Like Paige Toon.

Another small haul for me this week, but I am excited to read these books…eventually!

What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave me a link! Happy Reading! 🙂

Top Ten Freebie: Top Ten British Writers

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is a Top Ten Freebie, so we get the chance to make up our own topic. In celebration of all things British, I’m going to list my Top Ten British Writers. This list constantly changes but these authors always seem to crop up at one point or another!

Click on the book title to get to the Goodreads page!

In no particular order:

James Dawson

james dawson

Hollow Pike, Cruel Summer, Say Her Name and Under My Skin are James Dawson’s fiction books, all of which are fabulous. For an LGBT non fiction read, I highly recommend This Book is Gay.

Emma Carroll

emma carroll

Emma Carroll is a brilliant writer. I loved Frost Hollow Hall and The Girl Who Walked On Air.

Alison Rattle

alisonrattle1

I have given The Quietness, The Madness and The Beloved 5 stars. I have loved every YA book Alison has come out with. I highly recommend her work if you’re into historical YA!

Cat Clarke

catclarke1

Undone and A Kiss In The Dark are my two favourite Cat Clarke books. They both deal with serious issues in a sensitive and very readable manner.

Non Pratt

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Non Pratt’s debut novel Trouble was one of my favourite books last year! I am looking forward to reading her next book, Remix soon!

Jojo Moyes

jojomoyes

It’ll be no surprise for regular readers of my blog to see Jojo Moyes on my blog. I absolutely adore Me Before You and also enjoyed The Girl You Left Behind and The One Plus One too.

Alexia Casale

The Bone Dragon

I loved the unique The Bone Dragon by Alexia and I am very much looking forward to reading her next book, House of Windows. 

Siobhan Curham

siobhancurham1

I absolutely loved Shipwrecked (note to self… need to continue with the next book!). True Face is an inspirational non fiction book!

Dorothy Koomson

dorothykoo

It’s hard to pick my favourite Dorothy Koomson book, but I adore My Best Friend’s Girl, The Ice Cream Girls, The Flavours of Love and The Rose Petal Beach.

Patrick Ness

patrick

I know that Patrick Ness was born in the U.S but he’s an honoury Brit! I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go (…Manchee!) and A Monsters Calls.

What have you picked for your Top Ten Freebie? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!