Review – Wishbones

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Feather Tucker has two wishes:

1)To get her mum healthy again

2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problems run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.

Over time, Feather’s mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather’s starting to uncover when her mum’s life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?

This book is such a beautifully sweet book. The characters are lovable and I loved the coverage of real issues at both ends of the weight spectrum. I felt that the issues were dealt with perfectly and compassionately.

Feather herself is really inspirational. Her hope, will power and perseverance is just amazing and she is an amazing fictional role model. Through out the book I cheered her on, along her journey to help her mum and do well in her swimming competitions. My favourite character other than Feather is her eccentric neighbour Mrs Zas. Her help and story was lovely.

I was so happy with how the book ended and it was fantastic to read the reveal of many twists at the end.

Overall this is such a lovely book and a definite recommended read for anyone wanting something heart warming,

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YALC Haul

This last weekend I attended YALC (the young adult literature convention) and came away with quite a few things, so I thought I’d show you guys what I got. 20170731_104841Firstly, I came home with 18 more books than I took with me. (oops 😀 ) The books on the left are the books I bought. I purchased Resistance, The Mime Order, The Hate You Give, Change, Editing Emma, Cell 7 and Stags. The stalls at YALC had some fantastic offers on their books so I’m surprised I didn’t buy more but I had to be restrained due to limited space to bring them home. BOO!! (Next year I will have to bring a suitcase)

The books of the right are ones I got for free. The bottom two I exchanged in the book swap, the two above those I got from the book swap on the Sunday when they were just getting rid of the books. The other ones are all proofs I was lucky enough to receive. I’m super excited to read them especially the Treatment and The Fandom.

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I also got loads of awesome free swag. I won some awesome bits from the Fairy Loot stand, got some totes, sweets and I counted and I got over 30 badges – don’t worry though as I’ll be adding them to a fab piece of art I have in my room. (I’ll show you all when it’s complete – I love it so far) I was also very grateful that the swag item of 2017 was a fan as it was so warm in Olympia.

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Whilst there I also bought a YALC T-shirt, a YALC travel mug (for uni) , some Muggle Raspberry fudge from the LFCC floor and I also got my photograph with Mark Sheppard aka Crowley in Supernatural.

I am very pleased with my haul this year and thankfully my purse isn’t crying too much after the weekend. Now, just to sort out my bookshelf…

Let me know which book you think I should read first in the comments below.

P.S If you went to YALC I’d love to read your blog posts or watch your videos – please share your link in the comments 😀

Review – Seed

seedFifteen-year-old Pearl has lived her whole life protected within the small community at Seed, where they worship Nature and idolise their leader, Papa S. When some outsiders arrive, everything changes. Pearl experiences feelings that she never knew existed and begins to realise that there is darkness at the heart of Seed. A darkness from which she must escape, before it’s too late

This book is absolutely amazing! I’ve never read a book quicker out of being so gripped. It was sad, thought-provoking and mind opening. It made me feel lucky especially with my periods (If you’ve read it you know what I mean). The introduction was so unusual but I loved it, it was certainty an effective way of getting the reader hooked fast.

The characters were fabulous too. Pearl was so innocent and loving. It’s easy to see why she believed Papa S, having never known any different. Papa S (and the Kindreds), however, are disgusting. Their manipulative actions to abuse these people is abominable. Lisa has perfectly created two opposite characters who are easy to love and hate.

And that ending! The ambiguity hurt me as I need to know what happens. But it does mean that I can form my own ending and decided myself what I want to happen to them. (Though I seriously want to know!)

I’ve loved Lisa’s writing so much that I can’t wait to read her other two books, however I don’t know which to start first. Comment below whether you think I should read Paper Butterflies next or Flight of a Stirling.

 

What’s in my YALC bag?

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With YALC just a few days away, I thought I would show you what’s in my YALC bag just in case you needed some tips as to what to bring or if you were just interested.

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Firstly, books (Obviously)! I separate my books into days and keep the ones for the next/previous day in my overnight bag. I’m only bringing a few books a day for ease and so that I have more room in my backpack to buy more.

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Next is food and drink. Although there are places to get food in the venue it’s very expensive. And as I’d rather spend my money on books, I’ll be bringing my own food. I recommend food in packets that won’t easily melt or squish too much as it will get very warm in the venue.

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I also always carry a few essentials with me. A packet of tissues, body spray, medicine, plasters, glasses cleaners, a portable charger, money (cash and card as not all venders/stalls accept card), my phone, a bookmark (in case you start reading any of the brilliant books you buy) and tote bags. Although publishers do give out tote bags, I find it handy to have some with me anyway. I also like to have a tote bag with my blog and twitter name on so that if any of you see me, you can come and say hi without wondering if it is me or not.

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Last but not least, I carry with me the paperwork I need for the weekend; my tickets and the schedules so I know what events are on and when. I also bring a notepad (with my plan for the weekend) and a pen.

All of this will be put in my big, sturdy backpack so that the weight is evenly spread out across my back and shoulders.

So, that’s what is in my YALC bag. What are your YALC essentials for the weekend? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

Waterstones event with Lisa Heathfield

LHEOn Saturday 15th July I went to my local Waterstones for a talk and signing with YA author Lisa Heathfield who has written the books Seed, Paper Butterflies and Flight of a Starling. Here is my round up of the event.

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Lisa talked to us about her books, her writing methods and her writing tips. Lisa told us that whilst she writes by hand, she doesn’t plot out her books. She very kindly showed us the notepad of her draft of Seed which was magnificent. I’ve never seen a notebook so neatly written in with so few crossings out or additions in the side of the page. My notepads are usually a mess.

Lisa also gave us some wonderful tips for aspiring writers and then kindly signed our books. I already own a copy of Seed but whilst I was there I also brought Paper Butterflies and Flight of a Sterling. I am very ready to cry when I read these. I have tissues ready.

This was my first author event that isn’t YALC and it was so good. It may have been small but the personal feel was lovely. Thanks again to Lisa Heathfield and to Portsmouth Watersones for organising the event.

Have you been to any non-YALC author events? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear about it.

 

Beautiful Broken Things – Review

 

BBTBest friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realizes, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard is a heart-breaking book that explores deep female friendships in a honest way.

I really liked this book a lot; the plot, the characters and their relationships were brilliant and formed really well. Sometimes I found it difficult to read their arguments between the friends as they felt a bit over-the-top however I could see the importance in the plot. To be fair though, I bet if you wrote my arguments down they would be very dramatic too. 😛 I loved the fact that the girls could still remain close friends despite these fall-outs. It made me glad of my own friendship groups’ bond and banter.

Caddy is such a sympathetic character, you can feel her pain as she tries to navigate the complications of teenage friendships, self-expectations and unexpected chapters. Her relationship with both her friends and family are brilliantly developed, especially her riffs with her parents which felt so real. It’s definitely something that teens can resonate with.

This book has such a bitter sweet ending which was beautiful and sad. I cried. I cried so much. Sara Barnard, why did you have to break my heart?!?!

Overall, Beautiful Broken Things is a beautiful, eye-opening contemporary book that is seriously outstanding. I absolutely loved this book, and it certainty lived up to my expectations. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves YA.

Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

18 things repost : July 10th 2016 #YALCchat roundup

Last year @ReadDreamLive13 decided to create a Twitter chat called #YALCchat for those going to YALC at the end of July to chat about fears, tips and what they’re looking forward to. On my old blog (18 Things Before) I decided to summarise the tips and hints that were shared during the chat. Here is the post from that blog again as a reminder before the next chat Friday 7th July 2017 at 8pm UK time.


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Me at YALC 2015

1) Chat with those in the queue
@yalc_uk said “It really is one of my favourite things about the event. Love seeing people make new friends in queues! #YALCchat”
@ReadDreamLive13 said “the queues do seem the perfect place to meet people #YalcChat
Don’t be afraid to chat to those in the queue or even to ask them to take a picture of you getting your book signed.

 

2) Book signings
A big query is what happens with book signings – do we have to get a ticket or just queue?
Well the answer is – it depends as @yalc_uk explains
“In most cases, just turn up and join the queue. If queues are long, we may introduce virtual queuing (1/2) #YALCchat”
“This works like a deli counter – you get a numbered ticket and come back when your number is called (2/2) #YALCchat”

Also don’t worry because as @iloveheartlandX says “The authors are really nice, not scary at all, honestly! #YalcChat”

3) Purchasing books
There are many stalls selling books. There will be a Waterstones stall selling many of the books especially for authors who are signing. There are also many publisher stalls who as @yalc_uk says “our publishers love the chance to chat with readers”. Last year they were really friendly and they are great at recommending books to make your TBR even bigger. Some of them also had special deals and competitions running throughout the weekend so don’t forget to check them out.
Remember to take cash! I can’t stress that enough and neither could @yalc_uk who said “…Lots of stands (including our #YALC merchandise) are cash only so make sure you come ready #YALCchat”

4) What to wear
A general consensus from the chat was to wear comfortable shoes as you will be on your feet most of the day.
In terms of clothes, some people like to cosplay and feel free to if you’d like. Many people will be doing it so you won’t be alone.
(With regards to cosplay, make sure it fits. You don’t want to be spending your day trying to fix it when you could be doing something else.)
You could also just wear a fandom t-shirt. I’m probably just going to wear a Hogwarts one. Overall though, just wear what you feel comfortable in as @yalc_uk said “Wear whatever you like and feel comfortable in. We love #cosplay, but don’t feel any pressure if it’s not for you! #YALCchat” Remember though, it gets very hot in the venue so bear that in mind when choosing what to wear.

5) Food and Drink
My advice would be to bring food and drink. You will get hungry and thirsty and you won’t want to pay venue prices or wait in their queues. @AddyPNewton agrees and said “Defs bring your own food and drink. Venue f&d is expensive, tho there is a handy Tescos across the road #YalcChat”

6) Other tips and hints
@AnnaliseBooks said “Take cash, expect to buy books! Get there early and check out the rest of the show at some point! #YalcChat”
You are definetly going to struggle if you’re on a book buying ban and you will break it. And I completely agree, LFCC was great last year and had amazing merchandise on sale so you won’t want to miss out.

Have some restraint. You will want to buy everything. So my advice would be to follow @ChloeSeager1 ‘s words of wisdom “It’s my first #YALC but think I’ll bring enough £ to buy a good no. of books, but not so much I can’t afford to eat through August #yalcchat”

Keep your water away from your books. A lesson many have had to learn including @iloveheartlandX “Yup. Lesson learned, keep your water bottle far, far, far away from your books. #YalcChat

Bring a well charged camera or phone. You are going to want to take loads of pictures. If you’re lucky enough, you might get one with your favourite author.

If you’re unsure about carrying all your books, don’t fret. There are many stragegies to help. Either have lots of totes or have a large rucksack or suitcase. The lovely @yalc_uk also reminded us “For those of you who want to bring/buy lots of books, remember we have #YALC cloakroom facilities where you can put bags #YALCchat” The cloakroom does have a small cost at around £1 a small item and £2 a large item.
Or you could just move closer just like @AnnaliseBooks is planning to do “Also planning on moving closer next year so can actually get them all signed! #YalcChat”

Finally, have fun, it’s the most important thing.

If you have any more questions feel free to comment below and I will do my best to respond or tweet @yalc_uk.

Note: I have edited this post slightly so that any dates mentioned are up-to-date