Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Book Fests Awards Tag

I've been tagged by Sarah of Sarah Withers Blogs for The Book Fests Awards tag. I'm a big fan of tags, but don't get tagged that often, so I'm really looking forward to this. For the official rules of the tag, check out Sarah's blog, but I'm not following the rules exactly, so I'm not posting them. Ok, on to the tag!

A book you started and never finished, but want to finish? What stopped you from continuing to read it?

Animal by Sara Pascoe

Animal by Sara Pascoe. It's so interesting, looking at society, and at evolution and why society might be as it is in terms of inequality, and I really was learning a lot... but I was in the mood for some fiction, so I put it down, and I just haven't picked it up yet. I haven't read any non-fic since then. Fiction is where my real passion is, so, although I learn a lot through non-fic, I really need to be in the right mood to read it. I will pick Animal back up again at some point.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer by Laini TaylorStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (proof) - The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around — and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.
From Goodreads.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Review: When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemoreWhen the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (bought) - To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up. From Goodreads.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #2

Diversity Spotlight Thursday

Diveristy Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal of Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, we are to come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book we have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

A Diverse Book I Enjoyed:

Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise GornallUnder Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother.

For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …

An important and uplifting debut from a British author, which tackles mental health issues such as agoraphobia and OCD.
From Goodreads.

I have neither OCD nor agoraphobia, but I do have anxiety. When I read Under Rose Tainted Skies, I had just been diagnosed with anxiety - I was scared; scared what this would mean for my life, scared of panic attacks themselves, and was feeling like I had let my family down - they all have mental illnesses, but I was the well one, I was the one they didn't have to worry about. Then I was diagnosed, and I was adding more worries to their plates. But reading Under Rose Tainted Skies was so helpful to me. I saw a character who experienced some of what I do, and, in all honest, had more difficultly with her mental illness than I do, but this was a book about how you don't have to be defined or limited by your mental illness, by your anxiety, that there's help out there, and with that help, your life can be just as fulfilling as everyone else's. It was such a massive, massive help for me, and I recommend it to everyone. You can read my review here.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong by S. Jae-JonesWintersong by S. Jae-Jones (bought) - Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
From Goodreads.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #1

Diversity Spotlight Thursday

Diveristy Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal of Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, we are to come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book we have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

This is the first time I'm taking part in Diversity Spotlight Thursday, having just discovered it through Read Diverse Books. I think this meme is such a brilliant idea, and being so passionate about diverse books, it's one I can really get behind. I'm excited to post about diverse books each week, and discover new ones through other people's posts!

A Diverse Book I Enjoyed:

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah MoskowitzNot Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere—until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca might be Etta’s salvation…but can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?
From Goodreads.

I cannot properly express my love for this book. It's incredible! I absolutely loved Etta, and how she simply wouldn't except that she wasn't good enough in any respect for anything. And I love that she was intersectional; a bisexual woman of colour with a mental illness. This book is also #OwnVoices, as Hannah Moskowitz was also eating disordered not otherwise specified. You can read my review here.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

February's Diverse YA & MG UK Releases

As you may have seen, I have put together a list of Diverse YA & MG 2017 UK Releases to help readers in the UK find diverse books that are being published over here. To help you further, at the beginning of each month I'll be sharing the books that are being published that month - but do continue to check the list, as I may on occasion miss out a book I'm not aware of until later, and the list will continuously be updated.

Here are the diverse YA & MG books being published in February. (Here's the list for January.)

All About Mia by Lisa WilliamsonAll About Mia by Lisa Williamson

Published 2nd February 2017 From David Fickling Books.


POC: Biracial; half-Jamaican, half-Irish.

LGBTQ*: Gay secondary character.

One family, three sisters.

GRACE, the oldest: straight-A student.

AUDREY, the youngest: future Olympic swimming champion.

And MIA, the mess in the middle.

Mia is wild and daring, great with hair and selfies, and the undisputed leader of her friends – not attributes appreciated by her parents or teachers.

When Grace makes a shock announcement, Mia hopes that her now-not-so-perfect sister will get into the trouble she deserves.

But instead, it is Mia whose life spirals out of control – boozing, boys and bad behaviour – and she starts to realise that her attempts to make it All About Mia might put at risk the very things she loves the most.