Friday, 27 March 2015

Cover Alert: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten.

As you all know, I  just love a good cover!

I love a good cover comparison too.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls has very different UK and US looks.

Pitched as Gone Girl meets Thirteen Reasons Why, I've been totally intrigued by this book ever since I first heard of it. 

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls is released in July 2015 in the US and UK - so still a little bit of a wait to go. I have a feeling this one will be worth it!


UK Cover


When June met Delia, she was a lifeline. Their intense friendship gave her a sense of belonging, of security, that she’d never had before. She felt braver, smarter, funnier, more attractive when Delia was around. But then something went wrong, and Delia and June haven’t spoken for a year when an announcement is made at their school that Delia is dead.

June barely has time to mourn before Delia’s ex-boyfriend convinces her that Delia didn’t kill herself but was in fact murdered, and June is fast swept into a tangle of lies and deceit – and a conspiracy she can barely conceive of, never mind believe.

Stylish, sexy and atmospheric, with so many twists it will leave you breathless.


US Cover


So, which one do I like best?

I have to say that I'm having a really hard time choosing! I saw the US cover first and loved it: it's different to anything I've seen in YA in a while and I like that. I think it really stands out. It makes me want to know more about the story. Then, I saw the UK cover and...I really like that one too. It's not as standout different as the US cover but I think it would look really pretty on my bookshelf, nonetheless: and I really like the font they used on the cover.

I guess I'm on the fence with this one. Maybe. The UK cover is growing on me more and more with each passing minute...

How about you?

From Page to Screen: The Duff by Kody Keplinger - win a Prize Pack! - UK & ROI.




As you all know, Kody Keplinger's YA hit THE DUFF is about to hit the big screen! 

To celebrate the movie release - in theaters April 6th - I have a great goody bag up for grabs with thanks to Hatchette UK.

The goody bag includes the movie-tie in version of the book along with a host of other goodies - see pic below for details.  I am loving the tote!

To be in with a chance to win just fill in the Rafflecopter form below:








Labelling is a huge issue in our society today. 
 The Duff is partnering up with Ditch the Label - a charity who are trying to overcome this.  If anyone of you are suffering with any bullying make sure you check out www.ditchthelabel.org for advice and someone to talk to.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Serious Bit:
+Giveaway Open to Entrants in the UK & Republic of Ireland.
+Winners details will be supplied to Hatchette UK.
+Prize will be sent directly from Hatchette UK.
+I bear no responsibility for prizes lost or undelivered - alternative prizes will not be offered.
+This is a sponsored giveaway: please refer to T&C's for further information.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Five Years On: The Ever-Changing World of Books and Blogging.

Image via We Heart It

Well, I've just had a fun trip back through the blog archives. Let's rewind for a sec. The year is 2010, the YA paranormal explosion is in full swing, Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall is the book everyone's talking about, and somewhere out there, a lady named Veronica Roth is writing epic things about a girl named Tris and a boy named Four. But nobody has heard of Veronica Roth just yet. Oh, how things have changed...

There have been so, so many changes in the reading and blogging world in the past five years.  I don't usually do much to celebrate milestones on this blog, but it's five years later, and I fancied a look through the archives, so here we go.

Here are five big changes in books and blogging that have happened in the past five years.

The Death of Paranormal Fiction.
OK, OK, Paranormal fiction hasn't, nor will it ever, die. But you have to admit that it's taken a back seat lately. Cast your mind five years back. Thanks to the success of Twilight Paranormal fiction was EVERYWHERE. When I started this blog I was hooked on Shiver, Hush Hush and Alyson Noel's The Immortals. I couldn't get enough of Vampires, Demons and Werewolves. Funnily enough, as I'm writing this, I'm actually reading a Paranormal YA - something I have done for ages now. So, maybe it's making a comeback already. Remember the Angel explosion in YA of a few years back - and the Fae. Remember when Faerie books where the hot new thing?! Vampires are still my faves, FYI.  I'm old school like that. Although I'll have a forever soft spot for Cynthia Hand's angel-themed Unearthly series.


The Dystopian Fiction Explosion.
I just had a look through the Dystopian fiction archive on the blog, and let's just say that now I'm even more thankful for my guest reviewers!   It's safe to say that I didn't really welcome the explosion in popularity of Dystopian fiction with open arms. I'm not a huge fan. I guess I just find it all so bleak and depressing.  There are books that I like -even love-  in the genre: Never Let Me Go is one of my all time faves, I loved The Hunger Games series (when I finally got around to reading it!) and I'm a big fan of Divergent (and Four) but as for the rest, I can take or leave them. I haven't read any Dystopian Fiction in ages - not since I finished Allegiant, and I think the genre is a little worn out these days. I remember the fanfare around the release of Delirium, Matched and all the rest: and it seemed that every day I had an email in my inbox heralding the arrival of the new Hunger Games. For me, of the Dystopian fiction I've read, Divergent is the only book that even comes close to THG. A lot of the Dystopian fiction I read was really, really slow moving, and well, boring.


eBooks and how Netgalley Changed Everything
Ha! So in my trip back through the archives I happened upon a post in which I announced I had no intention of ever getting an eReader, proudly declaring in my review policy that I did not accept eBooks, thank you very much. Then Netgalley happened, I read a few books on Adobe Digital Editions my computer, and decided that yeah, that wasn't going to work, and soon I was sitting pretty with my shiny new pink eReader. Remember the excitement when HarperTeen signed up to Netgalley? Remember the joy of auto-approval!! Of course, today we have Edelweiss too, but that wasn't around back then, it was just Netgalley. Oh, and Galley Grab - but that didn't stick around.

Before Netgalley we had book tours. Remember them? Wow. The days of book tours (and having a week to read the book before sending it on) seem so long ago!


UKYA Totally Arrived
So, I'm pretty sure UKYA existed five years ago, but back when I started blogging, I didn't really know about it. The first UKYA book I remember hearing about in any great detail or with any great social media fanfare was Cat Clarke's debut, Entangled. Nowadays, Cat Clarke, along with James Dawson,  Sarah Alderson, Keren David and a whole host of others is a UKYA superstar and UKYA just seems to be growing in strength with each passing year. Also, in the past five years I've gone from reading absolute zero UKYA to counting down the days to certain releases: Dawn Kurtagich's The Dead House is top of my 2015 UKYA wish list. My all time UKYA faves are Cat Clarke's Undone and Cruel Summer by James Dawson. I also loved Lobsters by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen - such a great summer read!


New Adult Fiction Was the Hottest Thing Around.
New Adult Fiction or NA as we now know it arrived with a bang a few years back via the medium of self-publishing. New Adult fiction was fun, it was flirty and it was risque, crossing the PG boundaries of YA. I jumped on board, reading books by Molly McAdams, Tammara Webber, Cora Carmack and Colleen Hoover to name a few. Traditional publishers were quick to react: snapping up all these self-publishing superstars and their established fan bases. Suddenly NA was everywhere. Now, I'm not sure: I know Colleen Hoover is still really popular, but I have to admit that I haven't really been keeping tabs on NA. Most NA I read followed a formula, and I tired of it quickly. The only New Adult book I ever recommend as one of my favourites is Deeper by Robin York. During the NA Explosion years I read a lot of NA that was pretty, um, bad. This also happened with Paranormal YA during that explosion. Yikes.  Let's not even go there.

*****

There you have it. Five things that have changed in the world of books and blogging during the past five years. I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane!

What major changes have you noticed in the world of books and blogging since those days of crazy Twilight fandom when we were all so obsessed with Rpattz's hair?  Let me know in comments!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Celebrating Five Years with a UKYA Giveaway!



Can you believe this blog has been going strong for FIVE YEARS now?

I can't. 

I never thought I'd stick with it this long!

Anyway, I was thinking about that the other day. Five years: it's a long time in blogging.  A whole lot has changed in the world of books since I started blogging way back in 2010 - a whole lot has changed in the world of book blogging too, but that's another story.

So, this week I'll be taking a look back at the past five years in books. I'll be tracking those changes and telling you all about my favourite reads of the past five years.

Oh, and there may be a giveaway or two along the way, so keep your eyes peeled!
I decided to go all out for the fifth birthday since I managed to completely forget about the fourth birthday. Sorry blog. 

I'm kicking off the celebrations with a UKYA giveaway. Since I started this blog UKYA has happened in a major way so I thought this was a fitting way to kick off the 5th birthday celebrations.


One lucky reader will win copies of

Now You See Me by Emma Haughton
The Year of the Rat  by Clare Furniss
and
The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

All great reads!


This giveaway is open to EVERYBODY to say a big thank you for reading this blog!

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Under My Skin by James Dawson.


Product details:
Publisher: Hot Key Books.
Paperback, 302 pages.
Release date: March 5th 2015.
Rating:  4 out of 5.
Ages: 13+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

 Meet Molly Sue. Once she's under your skin there's no getting rid of her...

Seventeen-year-old Sally Feather is not exactly a rebel. Her super-conservative parents and her treatment at the hands of high school bullies means that Sally's about as shy and retiring as they come - but all that's about to change. Accidentally ending up in the seedier side of town one day, Sally finds herself mysteriously lured to an almost-hidden tattoo parlour - and once inside, Sally is quickly seduced by its charming owner, Rosita, and her talk of how having a secret tattoo can be as empowering as it is thrilling. Almost before she knows what she is doing, Sally selects sexy pin-up Molly Sue, and has her tattooed on her back - hoping that Molly Sue will inspire her to be as confident and popular as she is in her dreams.

But things quickly take a nightmareish turn. Almost immediately, Sally begins to hear voices in her head - or rather, one voice in particular: Molly Sue's. And she has no interest in staying quiet and being a good girl - in fact, she's mighty delighted to have a body to take charge of again. Sally slowly realises that she is unable to control Molly Sue... and before long she's going to find out the hard way what it truly means to have somebody 'under your skin'.


 Mean Girls meets Miami Ink with a murderous twist, Under My Skin is the latest in an ever growing line of must reads from UKYA horror aficionado James Dawson.

Seventeen year old Sally Feather is not one to draw attention to herself. She might have a voice that could see her shine like a star on any season of The X-Factor – even the Leona season, but when it comes to auditioning for the school play, Sally is a bundle of nerves and more than happy to take a bit-part – especially if it keeps resident mean girl Melody Vine off her back.  Sally’s life is one of rules and regulations: her parents are old, boring, set in their ways and strict as hell with it, ensuring that Sally never steps out of line. Sally’s only release is nights spent with her BFF’s Sid and Jennie watching episodes of Satanville – their CW obsession – on a loop.  Satanville, and its two dishy male leads are just about enough to keep a girl happy, but Sally’s got her eye on someone else. Todd Brady - the hottest boy in school (who just so happens to be Melody Vine’s boyfriend!)

Uh, not that Sally would ever go there. She values her life, boring as it may be, thank you very much.
However, one day, while in the seedy part of town, Sally is drawn, as if by an actual magnet, to a tattoo parlour where she’s suddenly convinced she needs a tattoo in her life. Enter Molly Sue, a tattoo that literally comes to life on Sally’s skin. Molly Sue is the talking – and very opinionated with it - tattoo that nobody ever wanted in their lives, but Sally’s stuck with her, so she just runs with it. Hey, Sally’s an easy-going kind of girl. And living with Molly Sue is not so bad – she gives Sally a sassy makeover which increases her popularity at school (and with the opposite sex) ten-fold. Best friend Stan (who so wants to be more than friends) is not impressed – he thinks Sally is changing too fast, moving with a new crowd,  and leaving him behind – but oh, if only he knew the truth! 

Molly Sue is not just about makeovers, though – she’s all about getting what she wants, even if that sometimes means breaking the rules. Who am I kidding? When Molly Sue is involved, rules are always broken – and sometimes heads roll too.   Soon, Sally is partying like a wild thing a hooking up with Todd Brady like it’s nobody’s business. Oh, but it is somebody’s business. And when Melody Vine finds out what her boyfriend’s been up to with Sally, things get really messy, ‘cos Molly Sue, as you might have guessed by now, likes to get her own way. And she’s not going down without a fight. 

I’ve read all of James Dawson’s YA to date and Under My Skin is one of his best. OK, so my personal favourite is still Cruel Summer (that one got ALL THE STARS from me) and will take some beating! Nevertheless, Under My Skin is a good, fun read with great characters, an intriguing storyline and Dawson’s signature strengths throughout – great dialogue, superb wit and characters that read very real. Under My Skin also has a trump card in Satanville – Sally’s TV obsession which may or may not be based on The Vampire Diaries – which injects a whole lot of fun into the text. 

In short: Under My Skin is another hit from James Dawson.  I would like to have known more about Molly Sue’s origin story –because the girl sure does have a whole lot of issues! -  but I guess she’s keeping that one a secret for now! 

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