24 August 2014

Where am I  right now? In the windy [and probably wet] countryside, amidst trees and mountains, in Scotland. What am I doing? Probably reading curled up on a sofa with a blanket and a steaming slice of toast. Why? English weather. Need I say more?
When packing for a holiday, the books always come first. Always. Because what else am I going to do on the 6+ hour journey in the car there and back. What else am I going to do in my last summer holiday for a while without exams and revision looming on the horizon. Read. 
What books did I choose this holiday? Mostly books that have been lying on my bookshelf for a while, mostly books in a series [because those seems to be on my TBR pile a lot recently], mostly books I have been dying to read ever since I got them, but restrained myself so I would have something I knew I will like to read on holiday.
The Night Itself by Zoe Marriot
World After by Susan Ee
Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater 
Inland by Kat Rosenfield
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops & More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
The Illusionists by Laure Eve
Unravel by Imogen Howson
She has been waiting to read HEIR OF FIRE and ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER for so long she is going slightly crazy. But she'll survive. Because this post is scheduled so by now I will have read both and I WILL HAVE LOVED BOTH. Also. Right now [she has three days before she leaves], she has only chosen what books to take, she doesn't know what clothes she is taking, or what hiking shoes. Hiking shoes? Yes. We will be going hiking in the rain and wind and hail so please pray she comes back from this holiday and doesn't drown in a muddy bog.

[kiss me hardy] review: CODE NAME VERITY

20 August 2014

Title: Code Name Verity
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Egmont Press
Publication Date: February 6th 2012
Source/Format: Bought/Finished Copy
Summary: Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.
When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called "a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel" in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. -goodreads
Heart wrenching. CODE NAME VERITY made me want to bawl my eyes out and, if anyone says "Kiss Me Hardy" in my vicinity, get ready to catch me as I fall to the floor to writhe in pain. The emotions running through each page were intense, during the entire book [which I read in one sitting] my heart was beating as fast a bird's wings in full flight. Reading CODE NAME VERITY is like looking out of the window of a plane hovering above the world: all you can see is beauty. And mixed with that beauty there is destruction and pain and suffering. But there is also love and happiness and friendship. Elizabeth Wein is capable of taking all of these emotions, putting these ingredients into a recipe and mixing them up into a batter of one of the most perfect cakes you have ever set eyes on, let alone tasted. I read Rose Under Fire first, and in my review I said: "Elizabeth Wein has the talent to make you feel like you are living inside her book," and I stand by that quote. CODE NAME VERITY is one of the best historical fiction novels I have ever read. There are really no words to describe how utterly perfect this book was, but I can sum up the emotions within it using only seven words: Kiss me Hardy, kiss me quick. And now I have to go and cry...
Kiss me, Hardy!’ Weren't those Nelson’s last words at the Battle of Trafalgar? Don’t cry. We’re still alive and we make a sensational team. 

book palette || the sky is everywhere

16 August 2014

A new feature! Exciting! I hope! What do you think of the name?! [Enough exclamations now?] [Ok.] This feature was inspired by Elena and Jen's features [Arts and Crafts] and [The Writings on the Wall] and in it, I am going to be highlighting a book I loved, creating a desktop wallpaper from it, and sharing the colour palette of the versions of the covers I like the most, and the colour palette of how I feel the book is represented to me in my mind. [If that doesn't make sense I'm not surprised, I'm terrible at explaining things but bear with me, and hopefully by the end of the post you'll get what I'm talking about!]. My first pick?
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding. This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable -goodreads
This book, I couldn't rave about it enough. I don't normally read a lot of romance novels but I do enjoy novels dealing with grief and coming to terms with a death. So when I read this I expected to enjoy it. I didn't. I loved it. Completely, utterly and totally. I feel for Joe Fontaine, for Lennie 'John Lennon' for Big and Gram, Sarah [FLYING HORSES AND GIRAFFES] and the Spotted House Plant. I wish I could write like Jandy Nelson. If you haven't read this yet then I honestly think you should, even if this doesn't sounds like your sort of thing, give it a try. What harm could it do? Other than have yourself another horde of characters to pine and obsess over. Usually, during this feature's post, I would share a colour palette of how I feel the book is represented in my mind, not based on the cover. However, I chose this version of the cover because the colour palette was so spot on to the overall feel of this book. So instead, I'm going to do a little colour palette for some of the characters in this book. Lennie Walker [the main character], affectionately called 'John Lennon' by,: Joe Fontaine; and Lennie's best friend: Sarah, one of my favourite characters.
I'm not going to tell you which three [consecutive] colours belong to which character, because what would be the fun of that? Read the book and try and guess for yourself...


12 August 2014

I've loved Keri Smith's books for a long long time, but I've never really implemented my love IN them because they take a while and I usually had other art that I'd rather do because it took less time [lazy I know..] However, when I saw that Spinebreakers were holding a Keri Smith giveaway to win her entire backlist I FINALLY got out my barely used Wreck This Journal and got wrecking. And this is what I came up with:
And...I won! [Which you would know if you'd read my last post. *cough*. So now I have the entire Keri Smith collection which means a LOT of hours documented into those pages, I don't know how long it will take me to complete them all..all i know is it will take a long time. Am I ready for this challenge? We shall see. The problem is, once you start you can't stop, Keri Smith's books are addictive - and i start college in less than a month...
Have you got any of Keri Smith's books? And do you enjoy them? Have you completed any of the prompts? Or are you daunted by the time commitment?

doorstep delights // .11

06 August 2014

When was the last time I did a book haul post? i honestly can't remember. Since [whenever that was], I have acquired, as you can see, quite a lot of books. Is that a surprise? I think not. Some have been sent for review, one I bought, some I won, some were gifted to me [thank you Sabrina], and some are back in a book haul because they are now sIgNeD. Yes. RAINBOW ROWELL SIGNED MY BOOKS [again, *tackle hugs* Sabrina who let me pile them on her when she went to YALC. and when I didn't. *throws things*]
SIGNED BOOKS: Landline & Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Have a Little Faith by Candy Harper [Which I LOVED SO MUCH, even though I normally don't really like books like these], Say Her Name by James Dawson and Salvage by Keren David, which I have yet to read. And Cress by Marissa Meyer [See 'WON']
WON: Inland by Kat Rosenfield, with thanks to Anya who held a competition , the prize being a book under £10 from The Book Depository and the entire Keri Smith backlist [won from Spinebreakers - you will see what I won in my next post: Keri Smith Collection] which included: Finish This Book, How to Be An Explorer of The World [I HAVE WANTED THIS FOR SO LONG], Mess, The Pocket Scavenger [which as you can see I already had] and Finish This Book and Cress by Marissa Meyer, [I won a US writing competition - I didn't know it was US at the time but they let me win anyway!]
BOUGHT: The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson [for 99p!!!!]
SWAPPED: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins and Graceling by Kristen Cashore. [Thank you Elodie]
SWAG: Lots and lots of swag, all very pretty and THANK YOU SABRINA.
FOR REVIEW: Everything else.
And that is ''it''. LOTS OF THINGS. I really want a new bookcase but I have no space...:( Now - to the thanks..*settles down* Thank you to Sabrina, Elodie, Rainbow Rowell, Anya, James Dawson, Hot Key Books, Penguin Books, Faber and Faber, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Orion, Quercus, Chicken Hous and Amulet Books.
Did you get anything recently? And have you read any of these books? What did you think? And did any of you go to YALC? HOW WAS IT? Tell me things...

[a letter of tangled thoughts] review: ruin and rising

02 August 2014

Series: The Grisha #3
Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: June 19th 2014
Source: For Review
Summary: The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for. -goodreads

Dear Leigh Bardugo,
To be honest, all I want to do is collapse on the floor with exhaustion. Because I stayed up all night reading Ruin and Rising, because my emotions are tired of being taken control of, because my heart is so bruised and battered right now IT NEEDS TO REST. You're writing, your plots: good grief your plots. They are so intricate and complex and clever and stunning and when will you stop being so incredibly cruel? At some points in the book, YOU KNOW WHEN, YOU WROTE THEM, I literally had to just sit there and just, just. I don't know. At one point i dived face first into my duvet and had a mini-hyperventilation session. That happened a lot. In all seriousness though, I think my heart nearly fell out of my chest, I mean, it's majorly bruised and patched up and bruised over the patches. So-
You managed to make me laugh, cry, hyperventilate, cry some more, smile, laugh, crumple into a ball [rather like the tissue i had clutched in my fist]and feel so many things I was constantly in a whirlwind of emotions that all crashed into me at once like a tidal wave and I couldn't breathe and i was drowning and then suddenly my head was above the water and I could breathe again but barely just and after that i don't really know what happened but I'm here now and i survived. Barely. But I did.