June Book Haul

Hello everyone!

Today I’m going to share my book haul for the month of June. I had a lovely trip to Waterstones last week to stock up on new reads for the summer, and there are quite a lot to get through because I can’t say no to pretty books, as you’ll know if you read my last book haul post here.

Let’s get started!

The first book I bought was Eden Summer by Liz Flanagan, which I’ve had my eye on since it first came out but didn’t want to buy in hardback, so when I saw this in paperback I snapped it up.20170617_091506

Another book I hadn’t wanted to buy in hardback was Paedar O’ Guilin, mainly because I’m a huge scaredy cat and I’m not sure whether it’ll be too dark for me, but the new paperback was on buy one, get one half price so I decided I had nothing to lose by giving it a go.20170617_091650

My next choice was one I’ve had my eye on for ages, Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. The combination of romance, a foreign setting, a bit of mystery and of course ice cream sounds like EXACTLY my sort of read, particularly in summertime. Also: who could resist a cover this gorgeous?!

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My next pick was a middle grade book which I also think sounds perfect for summer: Bigfoot, Tobin and Me by Melissa Savage, which explores grief, friendship and hope as two children set up a detective agency to hunt for Bigfoot. I first heard about this book on its blog tour (I especially love this post, hosted by Michelle at Tales of Yesterday) and from then on I’ve been super excited to read it.

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Another book I loved the blog tour for was Simon James Green’s debut Noah Can’t Even, which I’m planning to make my first read for the #LGBTQIARead which starts tomorrow and one of my 2 books for the Reading Double readathon, which is starting today.

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Two other debuts I picked up were When Dimple Met Rishi and One of Us is Lying, both of which I’m seeing a lot of love for on my Twitter feed. I’ve already read and loved One of Us Is Lying, and I can’t wait to get round to When Dimple Met Rishi (which I’ve decided to try and save for my summer holiday, which starts a week today 😁😁😁)

 

I also picked out a few excellent middle grade debut novels : The Legend of Podkin One Ear (which is the Children’s Book of the Month for June, and sounds like a lot of fun. I mean, who doesn’t love rabbits?!) and the Amber Pendant by Imogen White, which sounds like a fantastic mystery (and as you’ll know if you’ve read pretty much any of my posts, there really isn’t much I love more than a good mystery).

 

My final choice was the Smoking Hourglass by Jenifer Bell, which has been probably my most anticipated book of 2017. I fell in love with the Crooked Sixpence last year (and it was my favourite debut of 2016 I think), so I cannot wait to dive back into the magical world of Lundinor.

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Harry Potter Moment of the Week: Favourite ‘Order of the Phoenix’ Quote

Hello everybody!

I was very excited to discover the Harry Potter Moment of the Week meme (hosted at Lunar Rainbows Reviews) recently, and even more excited to write my first post for it, which is about my favourite quote from the 5th book, which I absolutely love.

There are so many parts of this that love, but Dumbledore’ escape has to be top of the list. Even just typing this makes me giggle, but it was also the moment when I began to grasp just how remarkable Dumbledore was as a person and a wizard.

‘Well- it’s just that you seem to be labouring under the delusion that I am going to- what is the phrase- “Come quietly”. I am afraid that I am not going to come quietly at all, Cornelius. I have absolutely no intention of being sent to Azkaban. I could break out, of course – but what a waste of time, and frankly I can think of a host of other things I would rather be doing.’

An honourable mention also must go to the full scene with Harry’s careers interview with McGonagall and Umbridge, which is absolutely hilarious, as well as Fred and George’s flight of freedom.

So there you have it, my favourite moments from Order of the Phoenix. Do you agree with these as top moments of the book? What are your favourite scenes/quotes? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

Amy ❤

 

Review: Jack Dash and the Summer Blizzard

Hello everyone!

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. Today I’m reviewing Jack Dash and the Summer Blizzard by Sophie Plowden which was very kindly sent to me by Catnip Publishing via Bounce Marketing (which did not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review). Let’s get started!

As I haven’t read the first book in this series, I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in, but I was very pleasantly surprised by this book.

It tells the story of a boy called Jack, who owns a magical feather quill which brings anything he draws with it to life, as he starts his new school (run by the most evil headmistress I’ve read since Miss Trunchbull in Roald Dahl’s Matilda) and tries to stay out of trouble by hiding the feather.

Everything goes wrong however, when his neighbour Coco McBean takes the feather and draws a penguin called Pablo (who was very cute, but also causes a lot of problems for Jack and Coco) and everything gets worse from there…

The two main characters  Jack and Coco were really sweet, and even though I hadn’t read the first book I found it very easy to understand their personalities and their friendship.

The surrounding characters were also well written and all felt very different to each other, and it was mainly the dialogue between them which made me laugh when reading (and also pretty much every scene with Pablo).

Another thing I liked about this book was the concept itself, as most books with a plot like this end up being very dark and danger filled,  but this felt super sweet and fun, despite characters such as the previously mentioned horrible headmistress Miss Frostbite.

I loved how the plot develops in this book too, and there were a lot of scenes that really made me smile as Jack and Coco tried to solve the problem of Pablo the penguin in increasingly desperate ways.

Finally, the fantastic illustrations by Judy Brown really added to the book and it’s humour, and I’d recommend this to parents/teachers looking for a fun chapter book to read aloud (Jack Dash would be especially good for this as it has sound effects in bold, which I think children would have joining in with, and I think it would also be perfect for fans of Karen McCombie’s younger fiction series such as You, Me and Thing and St Grizzle’s.

4/5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

 

 

 

I Dare You Book Tag

Hello everyone!

A few days ago, Donna at The Untitled Book Blog tagged me in the I Dare You Book Tag.

The rules are: you must be honest, you can’t not answer a question and you have to tag 4 people to join in

Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

The honest answer to this is I’m not sure, but one of the first book series I ever loved was the Pony Club Secrets books by Stacy Gregg so I’m going to say them. My copies are now incredibly tatty, but I still reread them at least a couple of times a year as I love the world so much and I know it so well.

What is your last read, current read and the book you’ll read next?

My last read was This Beats Perfect by Rebecca Denton (which is excellent), my current read is See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (also excellent!) and my next read will probably be Running on the Rooftops of the World by Jess Butterworth (but I only really decide on the day)

What book(s) did everyone like and you hated?

There are a lot of books like this (although I never really HATE books,  I just don’t like some as much as I do others), but recent ones include Time-Travelling with a Hamster and the Girl of Ink and Stars.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but you probably won’t?

I tend to get round to everything eventually, but I have a copy of a Pseudonymous Bosch book from their new series and I’ve had it for YEARS. I think it might be time to admit to myself I’ll never read it…

Which book are you saving for ‘retirement’? 

Um, I’m quite a long way off retirement, but a book I’m saving for a special occasion is Emil and the Detectives, because I find it hard to get into classics sometimes (although if you want to find out some classics I really love, you can read the post I wrote about it on Friday!). I’ve had this recommended to me lots so I really want to get to it soon!

Last page: read it first or wait till the end? 

Wait till the end, always!

Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside? 

I love acknowledgements, it’s always super fun to see that there are lots of people involved, not just the author. It also lets you see a little bit of the author’s personality sometimes.

Which book characters would you switch lives with? 

Most of the books I read are things I like to read about, not necessarily live through, but there are two worlds I would love to be part of; Harriet’s in the Geek Girl series by Holly Smale, or Skye in the Chocolate Box Girls series by Cathy Cassidy.

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

The one that sticks in my mind most are the last two Malory Towers books, which were read to me in hospital after my brain surgery at the point when my eyesight hadn’t yet returned. People might not think Enid Blyton (or Pamela Cox writing as her) is the best author in the world, and neither do I, but those books were the light and enjoyment in some very dark days.

Name a book you acquired in an interesting way

One book that I really love (ancient acquired in an interesting way) is Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg-Sloan, which was given to me by Helen Moss the day she came to meet me (my prize from the Authors for the Philippines auction), which is a book that moved me in so many ways I couldn’t list them. So thank you Helen!

Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

The only book I remember loaning to someone ((that I didn’t have another copy of) is Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls (which I can’t do justice with any superlative. Just read it, and you’ll see what I mean) and they didn’t give me it back, which is why I don’t much like lending books to other people! I sent someone my spare copy of the Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud though, as I know they love the Lockwood and Co series just as much as I do.

Which book has been with you most places?

The honest answer is I don’t know, but if I was guessing I’d probably say Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison, which I take on most holidays because I reread at regular intervals as I love it so much.

Any required reading that you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad a few years later?

I’m still AT high school, so I haven’t really revisited anything I’ve studied as there are always new things. I tend to enjoy most things my current English teacher (who I’ve had for two years and am probably getting next year) chooses, but I didn’t love Noughts and Crosses or To Kill a Mockingbird as much as I have the plays we’ve studied like Tally’s Blood and the Merchant of Venice.

What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

I don’t think I’ve ever found an item in a book. I’ve found some drawings in 2nd hand ones though.

Used or new?

I prefer new (from a bookshop), but a good book is a good book, no matter how it looks.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Yes, the movies of John Green books. I really didn’t like John Green’s books (Sorry to any fans reading, just my personal taste), but I completely LOVE the film versions of Paper Towns and TFIOS.

A book that never should have been published

Unless a book is actually offensive in a very serious way (e.g racist or homophobic or ableist, all of which I’ve seen in books and generally put straight back down) I think all books deserve to be read by an audience they appeal to.

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry? 

Yes! I love books with food in them! Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike books are excellent for this, as are the Chocolate Box Girls  (I really wish The Chocolate Box existed in real life).

Who is the one person who’s book advice you will always take? 

There are lots of people whose recommendations I trust, such as book bloggers and authors I like, but there isn’t any one person who I trust absolutely for recommendations, as everyone’s taste varies.

I don’t know who has or hasn’t done this, so I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you’ve enjoyed reading my post, why not give it a go? I’d love to read it!

Amy x

 

 

 

 

 

5 Children’s Classics I Think You Should Read

Hello everybody! Happy weekend!

Today, I’ve decided to write about my top five children’s classics that I think everybody should read. I really got into classics a year or so ago, but over the past few months I’ve barely read any, so with this post I want to spread awareness of some amazing books, and also remind myself why I love reading them.

Let’s get started!

5. Five Children and It by E. Nesbitt– I read this on my summer holidays last year (or possibly the year before) and thought it was a great adventure story not unlike ones being published now. The characters were great (especially the Psammead), and if you enjoy this I’d also recommend Kate Saunders’ Five Children on the Western Front, which explores what happens to these characters years later during World War One.

4. White Boots by Noel Streatfield- this book is just as lovely and well written as everything else I’ve read by this author, but it’s much easier to identify with this than something like Ballet Shoes, in my opinion, as it mainly deals with the complications of friendship, jealousy and rivalry, all of which are still relevant to young people now. It’s an immersive story you can truly lose yourself in, and I highly recommend fans of contemporary middle grade to seek it out.

3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett- This was sent to me as a birthday gift, and I put off reading it for ages as I thought classics would be boring. How wrong was I? I picked it up when I was off school ill, and for a few hours I wasn’t in this world suffering from a chest infection (which I’ve had a quite a few of; they’re not fun), I was in Mary Lennox’s, meeting Dickon and Colin and discovering the secret garden. It’s a magical book, despite the unusual Yorkshire dialect,  and I think every child should read it.

2. Goodnight Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian – I can’t remember how I came to buy this book, but I read it a few months ago and spent the day in tears. The characters are still with me months on, and I definitely want to reread this soon. Willie and Tom’s relationship is so special, and this book powerful and moving, that I absolutely can’t recommend it enough, though I think most children would probably find it too upsetting at a young age, so would probably be best with a parent or being a bit older if reading independently.

I couldn’t choose between these next two- so there are two books in the top spot 🌟🌟🌟

1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B White- it’s been a while since I discovered this, but I absolutely adored it. It captures the farm setting so well, and even though he’s a pig Wilbur is one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever read in any book, and I genuinely can’t find words to describe how much I love it and how special this book is. It’s completely perfect for anyone who loves animals, even though the ending will probably make you cry .

1. Also perfect for animal lovers is my other favourite classic The One Hundred and One Dalmatians. I read this a few years ago when I got into Disney films, before I watched the 101 Dalmatians film, and I fell in love with this book. It’s charming and funny and clever (and Cruella de Vil is one of the most EVIL villains ever) , and it was so good that I’ve still never seen the film as I’m worried it won’t compare well.

Do you have any favourite classics you’d recommend to me? What do you think of my choices? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

Have a great weekend!

Amy x

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite Fathers/Father Figures in Books

Hello everybody!

Today I’m taking part in another Top Ten Tuesday (created by and hosted at The Broke and the Bookish ). Today’s theme is anything connected with Father’s Day, so I’ve decided to write about my favourite fathers and father figures ( the latter mainly because so many parents are killed off/disappear in children’s and YA fiction, and I couldn’t find 10 fathers I genuinely love).

In no particular order…

  • Richard from the Geek Girl series by Holly Smale – Harriet’s dad in these books is one of my favourite things about them. He’s funny (sometimes ridiculously so), but also really cares for his family and does everything he can for them. Also, his relationship with Harriet’s stepmum Annabel is fantastic and just so well-written. Fun fact: he’s based on Holly’s own dad, which she mentioned at her show at the Edinburgh Book Festival last year.
  •  Charles from Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell- Charles isn’t Sophie’s real dad in this book, but he’s still an incredible father figure. He goes above and beyond to help Sophie find her mum, and I love how ahead of his time he is (thank you for writing him like this Katherine!) and his dry, witty remarks make me laugh every time I reread  . He also has some very quotable lines, my very favourite of which is ‘Never ignore a possible’ , which I think is very valuable advice for everyone outwith the book as well as all the people in it.
  •  Uncle Calvin from Lauren St John’s Laura Marlin Mysteries- Calvin Redfern takes in his orphaned niece and quickly becomes the closest thing to a parent she’ll ever have. He tries to protect her from the Straight As, he gives her an amazing life despite him not being that rich, and I loved unravelling the mystery of his past in the first few books. He’s also quite funny, in a dry, sardonic way that really appeals to my sense of humour and I’m so excited to see more of him in the 5th book, which comes out in September (4 years after the last one)
  •  Lord Hastings and Mr Wong from the Murder Most Unladylike mysteries by Robin Stevens – Daisy’s dad Lord Hastings is one of the best parts of Arsenic for Tea (he’s so delightfully eccentric!) and I really liked Hazel’s in First Class Murder too (even though he tried to stop Daisy and Hazel from solving the murder), so I’m very pleased he’ll be back in book 6, along with all the other members of Hazel’s family we haven’t met yet.
  • Jasper from the Girl Who Walked On Air by Emma Carroll- Jasper isn’t in most of the book, but I adore him when we do see him. He’s so sweet and level-headed, and his love for Louie, who was abandoned at his wagon when she was a baby, shines through and influences how she reacts to the challenges she faces throughout the book.
  • Sirius and Lupin from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling- While Harry doesn’t have his own dad in the books thanks to Voldemort being evil, he does have the next best thing in his father’s best friends. They’re loyal and caring and true friends to Harry, as well as being a little bit rebellious and encouraging Harry to break a few rules now and then( although Sirius is much more guilty of this than Lupin), and they both really contribute to Harry as a character.
  • Watson Brewer from the Babysitters Club-  Kristy’s multi-millionaire stepdad is by far my favourite parent of the club members, mainly because he’s ALWAYS there for Kristy, unlike her real dad. He was there when she wouldn’t accept him as part of her family (and won her over with love, not money), and there through everything else she dealt with throughout the series. He doesn’t have to love Kristy, but he chooses to, and that’s why he’s my favourite parent of all the girls every time he appears when I reread.
  • Charles Vega from the My Sister the Vampire books- it’s really hard to write about Charles without giving spoilers away, especially for the early books (which I think are really excellent mysteries as well as fun contemporaries/Vampire stories), so all I’m going to say is that he’s enigmatic and mysterious, really grows as a character and that I totally love his relationship with Ivy and Olivia.

Do you agree with my choices for this? Who are your favourite fathers or father figures? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

Amy x

 

 

#sixforsunday: Favourite Book Covers

Hello everyone!

Today I’m participating in the #sixforsunday meme hosted by Steph at A Little But A Lot. Today’s prompt is six types of book covers that I love, so let’s get started!

1. Bright colours- I really love a book which stands out on a shelf e.g the Murder Most Unladylike mysteries (designed by Nina Tara) or the covers of the Geek Girl series by Holly Smale.

2. Books which just look beautiful somehow, such as Unboxed by Non Pratt, the cover of which is designed by Kate Alizadeh, ( which I actually wasn’t going to read till I saw how amazing the cover was) and the cover of Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny Mclachlan.

3. Pretty sprayed edges- I’m not a big fan of these in most books, but there have been 3 this year that I think nailed sprayed edges as in these cases they really added to my love for their covers/the books in general ; Wing Jones by Katherine Webber (which goes from pink to purple), Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans  (which has orange with a lightning bolt) and Beetle Queen by M. G Leonard, which is yellow with black polka dots)

4. Julian de Narvaez covers- I only know of one author whose covers this illustrator works on, but they’re probably my favourite covers ever; Emma Carroll’s. I’m a huge Emma Carroll fan in general, and her covers fit her books perfectly. They’re pretty, and intricately detailed, and they always show some of the key points of the book. The cover reveal for an Emma Carroll book never fails to get me even more excited for it’s release date, and there’s never been one yet that isn’t totally gorgeous.

5. Unique covers – I really like covers which just look a little bit different to others at the moment and my best example of this are the Spinster Club trilogy by Holly Bourne. They’re black with brightly coloured lettering and spines instead of the opposite way around, and I just love them, as they stand out straight away in bookshops.

6. I’m struggling to come up with another type of cover for these books, other than they have the main character on the front, so I’m just going to mention a few that I love- I adore the covers of the Laura Marlin Mysteries by Lauren St John (designed by David Dean) and also the covers for the Uncommoners series by Jennifer Bell, which I probably wouldn’t have took a chance on had I not really liked the cover (designed by Karl J. Mountford)

Do you agree with my favourite types of cover? What are yours? Let me know what you think in the comments/on Twitter.

Hope you enjoyed the post, and have a great Sunday!

Amy x