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! 

British Books Challenge 2014: The round up!

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. That’s equal to one book a month.

It’s safe to say that I exceeded this challenge this year.

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read. Now this could be for any reason. It could be intimidating, cringe-worthy, an uncomfortable subject, a controversial subject etc.

So here are mine, in no particular order…

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Golden BoyAbigail Tarttelin– This book was hard for me to read because of the subject matter. It’s heavy going and there’s some incredibly graphic scenes, but it is an absolute gem of a book and I’m SO glad I read it.

Pushing The LimitsKatie McGarry- Again, this book was hard to read because it was so intense, but I loved reading it. I love a bit of depth to my books!

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Me Before YouJojo Moyes- I wonder how many times I can put this book on a Top Ten list. I JUST LOVE IT. I can’t help it. It was hard to read because it broke my heart. *sniff*

The Bronze HorsemanPaullina Simons- This book is just SO long, but SO worth reading if you’re into historical fiction.

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ForbiddenTabitha Suzuma- Another book that was hard to read based on subject matter. This book deals with incest and it’s another heart breaker.

The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak- It took me a while to get used to the narration but it’s an incredible book!

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Second Chance SummerMorgan Matson- I went into this book not expecting to like it as (sorry) I wasn’t the biggest fan of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. I LOVED this book though. Argh ❤ I’m so glad I persevered with the author because it’s beautiful and I’ve since enjoyed Since You’ve Been Gone.

The Casual VacancyJ.K Rowling- This book was hard to read because I had such high expectations. Unfortunately I was disappointed by it.

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RedAlison Cherry- This book was hard to read because it was incredibly superficial. It had good heart, but I just couldn’t connect with the characters.

Thirteen Reasons WhyJay Asher- I had a hard time with this book because I was so divided on what I thought about it. On the one hand I thought it was brilliant, but then I had some trouble with the actions of the girl who committed suicide. Hmmm… I was very mixed up about it!

What books have you found hard to read? Feel free to link me to your Top Ten posts and I’ll stop by!

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they come up with a list for us to complete. This week the topic is Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry.

I haven’t full on bawled to a book very often, but many books have made me feel incredibly emotional, so I’ve listed them below in no particular order.

As ever, click on the book image to get to the Goodread’s page for the book!

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And For Your Information- Denise Deegan– This little trilogy isn’t well know enough for my liking. This book is the second in the series and in my opinion, the best. I really loved reading it and felt such a wide range of emotions all the way through it. READ IT!

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HurtTabitha Suzuma– This book was a slow burner for me, but I ended up feeling really moved by it.

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Me Before You- Jojo Moyes– I didn’t expect to feel so much for this book, but I really did! It’s possibly one of my favourite books of all time. I know they’re making it into a movie and I’m terrified. I really don’t want the movie to wreck this beautiful book. Argh, I love it.

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UndoneCat Clarke– This book left me speechless at the end. I was completely overwhelmed by it.

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The SonMichel Rostain- The author of this book lost his son to meningitis. With this book, he explains his grief for his son, using his son’s voice. So emotional. It really moved me and one I have to shout READ IT at you for. I apologise for shouting! 😉

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Cross My Heart And Hope To LiveCarmen Reid- This is another really emotional book. It was probably one of my favourites from last year. It takes place in Brussels in 1940, as the Nazi’s invade Belgium.

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The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak– I expect I’ll see this book around a lot this week. It really is a superb book. Again, I have worries about the movie adaptation but I hope it’s done well.

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Sarah’s KeyTatiana DeRosnay– I read this book pre-blog! It really moved me.

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A Child Called ItDave Pelzer– This book shocked me, moved me and disgusted me at points. A true story of a survivor.

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P.S I Love YouCecelia Ahern– I love Cecelia Ahern. Her writing is just brilliant! I thought this was an incredibly emotional read. This is a book that has been adapted to a movie and I have to say… the book is better! If you haven’t read the book, I’d seriously recommend reading it! Don’t be put off by the cover if you’re not a chick lit fan.. my sister enjoyed it and she HATES chick lit!

What books have made you cry? Please feel free to leave your link to your Top Ten posts and I’ll come by and visit!

Forbidden

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How did I get it?:
It was a birthday gift!

Synopsis:

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed.

He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future.

And now they have fallen in love.

But . . .

They are brother and sister.

Forbidden will take you on an extraordinary emotional journey. Passionate and shocking, this is a book you will remember long after you have put it down.

Thoughts:

I really don’t know where to begin with this review. It’s such a contentious issue. I wasn’t sure whether to review it or not, but then I decided to go through it. After all, although these kind of books are hard to review, they are the ones that deserve a review and deserve to be spoken about because they push the boundaries, and make us think about our own opinions on this subject. This has been classified as a young adult novel, I would definitely recommend it to the higher age range of young adult, purely because the content is quite extreme. The story is about a romance between a brother and a sister, but it’s also more than that.

Lochan is seventeen. He’s a complex character, suffering from social anxiety at school and the responsibility of looking after his three youngest siblings with his sixteen year old sister Maya. Their mother neglects her family. She’s an alcoholic, who prefers to spend her time away from her children and with her partner instead. Their father moved to Australia with his new wife years ago. Lochan is a high achiever, although he doesn’t speak at school, he regularly gets high grades. Lochan’s only good thing in his life is his sister Maya. Lochan and Maya heave never really been like brother and sister. They’re more like best friends, or even to some extent like a mum and dad to the three younger children. One night after a heated argument, they share a kiss, and their whole life is turned upside down.

Tabitha Suzuma spends the first third of the book, setting up their family life and letting the reader know how tough the whole family has it. Lochan and Maya are literally hanging by a thread. They have to keep up with their own school work and care for the other siblings. This means cooking, cleaning, shopping, supervising homework and bedtimes. They often have to cover for their absent mother as they really don’t want Social Services on their case, they might split up the family and that is Lochan and Maya’s worst nightmare. Kit, who is 13, starts to rebel against Lochan’s authority. The family situation is very, very bleak.

Once the kiss happens, their lives begin to change. They become very scared about the implications of falling in love with the wrong person. Their love grows, with the dread growing with it. They try to be rational and think about the implications on their family and also how much trouble they would face if they were caught. They know their love is wrong, yet they can’t help their feelings for each other. They’ve experienced so much together which has brought them even closer together. They believe they are soul mates, and they want to find a way that they can be together.

I really liked how Tabitha alternated between Lochan and Maya’s narrative. I think it really worked. I felt like I knew Lochan and Maya so well. There are some particularly powerful scenes, which Tabitha handles with such skill. The book is incredibly tense. There’s not much light relief. Yet, I couldn’t stop reading. The thought processes and feelings that the siblings experience are so well explored and written. It’s such an emotional read. I knew that it wasn’t going to end well. It can’t be a happily ever after ending and I was just waiting for that messy end for the two. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where I felt so conflicted to whether a couple should be together or not. I wanted them to have a happy ending, but I knew it couldn’t be that way.

I completely agree that this book makes you think, way after you’ve finished reading it. It’s taken me a while to write this review, to try to process what I’ve read and to make sense of it. I felt every emotion, but more often than not it was frustration, panic and despair. It’s definitely not a light read, and if you don’t think you’d like reading this book, then I’d say, don’t give it a go. I don’t want this book, which is beautifully written, to be slated, just because the subject matter makes the reader feel too uncomfortable. I definitely felt uncomfortable at points, but I like that it made me challenge my thoughts.

Would I recommend it?:
Ordinarily with books, I just give my rating, but this is a tough book to rate. I personally thought it was a four star read, which I answer the question as ‘Of course’ but given the subject matter of this book, I don’t think it’s for everyone. I do think some people might be very offended by the content. So, in this case.. read at your own discretion.

WWW Wednesday #50

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to my first WWW Wednesday post in 2014!  To participate in WWW Wednesday, you need to answer three questions.

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodread’s page for the book!

What are you currently reading?

18079527I’m currently reading The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. I’m enjoying it so far! I love Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing.

What did you recently finish reading?

7600924I’ve recently finished this powerful book. It’s quite an uncomfortable read given the content, but it’s so well written. My review will hopefully be posted within the next week or so.

What do you think you’ll read next?

15984267My next book is The Twins by Saskia Sarginson for my sister and I’s ‘Talking About’ feature. I’m intrigued by this book, so I can’t wait to get stuck into it. Hopefully we’ll both like it. Even though we have similar taste in books, we don’t seem to have much luck for liking the same book that we select for this feature.

What are you reading this week? Please feel free to leave your link or answer the questions in the comment section below.

End of Year Book Survey 2013

Click on the image to get to Jamie's blog!

Click on the image to get to Jamie’s blog!

I am linking up with Jamie from the fantastic blog The Perpetual Page Turner to fill in this bookish survey for 2013.

BEST IN BOOKS 2013

Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist -)

YA – Ooh this is a tough one. I’ll go for Undone by Cat Clarke!

Dystopian – This is so hard. I love dystopian reads. I think it has to be Divergent by Veronica Roth though. I read all of the Divergent series this year as I was so late to it. Divergent was by far the best!

Historical Fiction – It has to be Cross My Heart (And Hope to Live) by Carmen Reid.

ParanormalPivot Point by Kasie West.

Science FictionThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

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

Gutted by this answer, but it is definitely Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I couldn’t finish it. I was just so disappointed!

Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

And For Your Information by Denise Deegan. I loved The Butterfly Novels, (which I wasn’t expecting to love as much as I did) but the second book in the series nearly made me cry, and completely changed my opinion of a character I had previously disliked.

Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. I’ve got most people at my work to read it. It’s about autism from the point of view of a young boy with autism. It really opened my eyes.

Best series you discovered in 2013?

I’ve discovered so many new series this year, but I haven’t finished all of them yet. So I’ll go with one I have finished. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. I loved Unearthly and Boundless, but I think Hallowed suffered from middle book syndrome. Other than that, I really enjoyed the series!

Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Katie McGarry.

Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don’t often re-read books any more, but I could possibly re-read Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Favourite cover of a book you read in 2013?

I hate to mention it again, as I want to try and mix things up, but this cover is absolutely stunning…

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Most memorable character in 2013?

There could be SO many answers to this question. I think I’m going to have to say Tris from Divergent. I LOVE her.

Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Another hard question. I’ve read so many beautifully written books this year. I think it might have to be Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne.

Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

So many books have had an impact on me this year. But I guess, it’s one I’ve already mentioned, The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. Purely because I could relate to it so much and it had an impact on my working life.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

From The Reason I Jump:

“True compassion is about not bruising the other person’s self-respect. That’s what I think, anyway.”

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

(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.)

Shortest– Confession of A Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson (80 pages- novella)
Longest — Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese (541 pages)

Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. I’m just waiting for my sister to read it so we can discuss it! Hurry up, Beth 😉

Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Would it be completely pathetic to say Todd and Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go? Yes, I’m totally going with a friendship between man and dog!

Favourite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier! (Review to follow!)

Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else

A lot of my books are recommended by awesome people but I’d go for The Quietness by Alison Rattle. Recommended by the ever so lovely Luna from Luna’s Little Library.

Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Young Adult!

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Holder from Hopeless/Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover.

Best 2013 debut you read?

There could be so many answers for this, but I’ll go for The Name on Your Wrist by Helen Hiorns.

Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Divergent or These Broken Stars.

Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Adorkable by Sarra Manning.

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

And For Your Information by Denise Deegan and Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma.

Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I wish that OCD, The Dude and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn was wider read!

READING LIFE 2013

(optional)

New favourite book blog you discovered in 2013?

I can’t really highlight a particular favourite as I love so many book blogs. The blogger that inspires me the most is Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner/The Broke and The Bookish.

Favourite review that you wrote in 2013?

Hmmm… I quite like my Losing Hope review, but I often have issues of thinking my reviews are crap as I don’t have confidence in my writing! I just love to read and share my thoughts!

Best discussion you had on your blog?

By far… Is Reading An Admission of Defeat?

Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

I loved Jamie’s post about her experience of working with a life coach.

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

I loved going to Hay Festival with my sister Bibliobeth!

Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Meeting some brilliant book bloggers in person!

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

Boys In Books Are Better– Carrie Hope Fletcher

Review: Billy and Me– Giovanna Fletcher

(Side note- a bit weird that these girls are related! Sister-in-laws!)

Watch the brilliant video of Boys In Books Are Better:

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Sometimes (quite rarely 😉 ) I’m quite proud of reviews I write and they don’t seem to get as much love as I want them too.

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

I really love Ashley’s new book blogging community website. Check it out HERE!

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

I completed the British Book Challenge. I was supposed to read 12 British Books and I smashed that challenge. See how many I’ve read so far HERE. I didn’t quite complete my Classics Challenge. I’ve read some classics this year, but not all that I’d hoped I would.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

There are so many books that I need to get to, it’s insane! I really want to read Trish Doller though. So I’m going to start with Something Like Normal.

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy. I’ve seen it on so many Top Ten lists that I’m very intrigued…

Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Either Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi or again.. I’m sorry.. I’m a big fan.. The Retribution of Mara Dyer.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I want to keep book blogging, continue to read awesome books and blogs and hopefully connect and meet with many more bloggers.

If you have filled out this survey, please feel free to link me to your posts. I love this sort of thing! I’ll be sure to stop by and check out your posts.