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    YA fiction reader, freelance editor, home-baker, moustache admirer and very small person.

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Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s theme is a really fun one. When I thought about it, it made me realize just how many times I’ve wished I could extend the alternate reality of books by trying things some of the things characters do in real life! Some of them more ill-advised than others…

 1. Move to New York and write YA fiction

In Scott Westerfield’s Afterworlds, Darcy Patel moves to New York to write a novel. She finds an amazing apartment (that she can just about afford out of her advance) and meets a whole host of other YA writers. To me this sounds like pretty much THE DREAM and makes me want to quit my job and book a flight immediately.

New York

2. Complete a list of challenges written for me by a friend

Since You’ve Been Gone is one of my favourite YA books about friendship. When her best friend Sloane disappears, Emily is left wondering what she is going to do to fill her summer: until she finds the list of challenges that Sloane has left her to complete. Each one tasks her to try new things and brings her out of her comfort zone. It leads Emily to try all sorts of new experiences she might never have otherwise. I would love for a friend to write such a list for me!


3. Run away and joint the circus

In Laura Lam’s Pantomime, Gene runs away to join a circus and becomes an aerialist. If I joined the circus, I’d be taking along my hula hoop.


 4. Be a ballerina and travel the world

Sometimes when I’m sitting at my desk working, I think of Harriet Morton running away to tour the Amazon with a ballet company in Eva Ibbotson’s A Company of Swans and wish I could do the same.


 5. Have a pet crow

Just like Saba’s pet crow Nero in Blood Red RoadHow cool would that be? He could sit on my shoulder and caw menacingly at anyone who bothered me.

blood red road nero

6. Kick zombies’ asses

I’ve read so many books about zombies, seen so many films, I almost want there to be a zombie apocalypse so I can have chance to put my acquired zombie-ass-kicking knowledge to the test! But until then, I’ll just have to settle for rereading Alice in Zombieland.


 7. Dye my hair blue or some other crazy colour

I wonder if Katy Perry had been reading about Karou’s adventures in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone when she decided to go for that do?

blue hait

8. Learn how to fly a plane

While I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to be an ATA pilot in World War 2 like Rose Justice of Rose Under Fire fame, this book did make me wonder how it would feel to fly a plane.

rose under fire

 9. Get dressed up as a giant ham

I am just waiting for someone to host a literary characters fancy dress party so that I can go dressed as Scout Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird on her way to the Maycomb County pageant.

giant ham

10. Find another world at the back of a wardrobe

Ever since I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe I have tested the back of many a wardrobe to see if it opens into Narnia or some other magical realm. So far I have only encountered moth balls and last season’s shoes. But I’ll keep trying…


What things have books made you want to do or learn about?

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my list!


Top Ten Graphic Novels I Want to Read


When I saw that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday’s topic was a freebie I knew straight away that I wanted to share ten graphic novels that are on my radar. I only got into graphic novels fairly recently, but already my TBR is filling up with titles that I can’t wait to get my hands on.  Here are ten, in no particular order – I’m sure more will follow!

1. Becoming Unbecoming by Una

Set in the 1970s against the backdrop of the hunt for the serial murderer known as the Yorkshire Ripper, this is the story of a girl who is the victim of gender violence. I flicked through this in a bookshop recently and was instantly drawn to the sparing artwork and the way every page seemed to have a different layout.


2. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

A story about a shapeshifter and a supervillain who are set to wreak some serious havoc. This sounds like a mischievous fantasy tale that progresses into something more intriguing.


3. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

A coming of age story about two young friends who spend their summer holidays together, described as ‘a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up’.  I’ve heard really good things about this one – looks like a perfect summer read too.


4. Blankets by Craig Thompson

Another coming of age tale, this time featuring two brothers growing up in wintery Wisconsin. At 592 pages this is pretty epic for a graphic novel, but I like the idea of getting stuck into a meatier read.


5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The combination of Neil Gaiman as author and the style of the illustrations made this one a no-brainer for me.


6. Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosada

I’m going to be honest: I picked this one purely because the cover looks so darned cute.


7. The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff

An ancient Chinese custom demands that every man must have a wife to keep him company in the afterlife. And so when Deshi’s brother dies unmarried, Deshi must quickly find him the right girl for the job. I am very curious about where this rather spooky sounding premise will lead!


8. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Another slightly spooky story – this one about a girl who struggles to fit in at school and makes friends with a ghost.


9. Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann

Described as an ‘anti-fairytale’, this one is about two humans who find themselves in a land of teeny-tiny people that at first seems charming but soon begins to unravel as the little people start to turn on one another.


10. Fables series by Bill Willingham

As a fan of shows like Once Upon a Time and Grimm I know I’m going to have to try this epic series about fairy tale and folklore characters who have been forced to live in disguise in exile in modern-day New York. This might turn into a long-term project – there are over 100 issues collected into various editions, and multiple spin-offs!


Oh, and one bonus – I recently discovered the wonderful world of free digital graphic novels that is Line Webtoon and I started reading Where Tangents Meet by Kaitlyn Narvaza (aka instantmiso). This high school romance is ever so cutesy and has some really cheesy lines but I’m finding it weirdly addictive!


Are there any other graphic novels I should add to my list?

Has anyone read any of the graphic novels on my list? What did you think?

Thanks for stopping by!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme devised and hosted by the wonderful bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish. Thanks for the freebie this week guys!

I’m reading… Front Lines by Michael Grant


1942. The fate of the world rests on a knife’s edge. And the soldiers who can tip the balance . . . are girls.

Set in an alternate World War II where young women are called up to fight alongside men, this is the story of Rio Richlin and her friends as they go into battle against Hitler’s forces.

But not everyone believes that they should be on the front lines. Now Rio and her friends must fight not only to survive, but to prove their courage and ingenuity. Because the fate of the world is in the hands of the soldier girls.

Front Lines is the first in a new trilogy by Michael Grant, who brought us the epic Gone series, as well as BZRK and The Tattooed Heart. Now he is back with an alternate history of World War II.

I am just eighty pages in, and already I am hooked on this story of three girls who decide to enlist to fight in World War II. Of course, this couldn’t have actually happened back in the day, because women were not allowed to enlist. I am already drawn to the three strong female lead characters and I can’t wait to see where Michael Grant goes with their stories.  If it’s anything like his other books, it will be both brutal and gripping.

The book is out now if you want to grab a copy and read it for yourself – otherwise stay tuned for my full review, coming soon!

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

One of my goals for this year is to review every YA book I read, even if I don’t like it. I had high hopes for this book. It was billed as a take on Beauty and the Beast (which I love) and I’ll admit I was drawn to the gorgeous cover. Plus, I have read so much praise about Sarah J. Maas, so I really wanted to try one of her books. Sadly, this one just wasn’t for me. I almost DNF it and kept putting it to one side but came back to it and managed to see it through to the end.

It started off promising. In the opening scenes Feyre comes across as a brave and determined character and I liked that she cared so deeply about her family, even though they seemed a pretty ungrateful bunch. Having lost their fortune they are struggling to come to terms with their meager way of life. They are completely reliant on Feyre and her hunting skills. So far, so good – I was really rooting for her. And I was also loving the ominous sense of threat building in the background, with so much uncertainty about the dangerous fae in the neighbouring kingdom and the reports of sightings of them.

Everything changes when Feyre kills a giant wolf that is actually a faerie. Then fae lord Tamlin arrives, in the guise of a beast, to come and claim retribution. And, just like dear Belle, she must pay the price by going to live with him in his enchanted castle. Forever. This is where it started to go wrong for me. When Feyre was hunting to keep her family alive she had fire and courage, but wandering around the castle grounds she was just… well, a bit boring.

If you’re familiar with Beauty and the Beast you’ll have guessed what comes next, so no spoilers here: she falls in love with Tamlin. He, of course, is actually pretty hot when in his fae form, though Feyre can’t fully admire his face because he has a mask glued to it (part of the curse his estate is under). If you’re looking for hot and steamy scenes you won’t be disappointed, that’s for sure. But for me the romance fell flat because it felt so cliched and predictable.

There are darker powers at play in the kingdom of the fae, and it’s not long before Feyre comes into contact with various forms of faerie nasties. This was what turned me off the book altogether! The Naga, Attor and various other creatures just seemed ‘made up’ – I don’t know how else to put it – and silly where they should have been terrifying. It was a bit like when you watch a budget horror film, and the monster is really scary until you actually see it – and then it becomes laughable.

In the latter third of the book Feyre comes back into her own a little again when she has to fight through a series of challenges in order to save all she holds dear, and much more. I think that’s why I did keep reading through to the end, to find out whether she would succeed or not. But I don’t think I will bother with the next in the series. One of my main problems with this book, in hindsight, was probably the fae theme – I think I realised that I don’t really like reading about faeries! So, I do still plan to read Maas’s Throne of Glass – a story about a bad-ass assassin has got to be good, right?

Christmas Book Haul

I have been a very lucky reader this Christmas – all of these were waiting for me under the tree! I suspect I won’t be leaving the house for a very long time…

This year my Christmas wishlist was filled with much talked about YA fiction books that I have been meaning to catch up on for a while, plus the latest from one of my fave adult fiction authors, Marian Keyes. I cannot wait to get stuck in to these beauts!


What books did you get for Christmas?

Happy Festive reading to all and may 2016 be filled with good books and good times!!



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