Book of the Week – Echo Boy by Matt Haig

Hello gentle reader,

ECHO BOY is a book I was really excited to read (see my Waiting On Wednesday post back in February 2014) and after its recent release in paperback, I finally got my hands on it. I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. It’s an A-MA-ZING YA Sci-Fi novel, which I recommend if you like this genre. It’s about robots, global warming and what the future could be made of, but it’s also about grief, love and what makes us human. It’s a wonderful read.

The Echo Boy

From Goodreads:

Audrey’s father taught her that to stay human in the modern world, she had to build a moat around herself; a moat of books and music, philosophy and dreams. A moat that makes Audrey different from the echoes: sophisticated, emotionless machines, built to resemble humans and to work for human masters.

Daniel is an echo – but he’s not like the others. He feels a connection with Audrey; a feeling Daniel knows he was never designed to have, and cannot explain. And when Audrey is placed in terrible danger, he’s determined to save her.

And here is my favourite quote from the book:

“A book is a map. There will be times in your life when you will feel lost and confused. The way back to yourself is through reading. There is not a problem in existence that has not been eased, somewhere and at some time, by a book. I want you to remember that.The answers have all been written. And the more you read, the more you will know how to find your way through those difficult times.”

 

What have you been reading this week? Any YA novels you’d recommend?

Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Books recommendations – Historical Novels

Hello gentle reader,

This week I’d like to share with you a few reading recommendations. My most recent reads have been great Historical novels, which you should check out if you like this genre! (All blurbs are from Goodreads)

Here lies Arthur

Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve (2007)

Gwyna is just a small girl, a mouse, when she is bound in service to Myrddin the bard – a traveller and spinner of tales. But Myrdin transfroms her – into a lady goddess, a boy warrior, and a spy. Without Gwyna, Myrddin will not be able to work the most glorious transformation of all – and turn the leader of a raggle-tagglear-band into King Arthur, the greatest hero of all time.

Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2011)

Greece in the age of Heroes.

Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia.

Achilles, ‘best of all the Greeks’, is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

Dark Aemilia

Dark Aemilia by Sally O’Reilly (2014)

The daughter of a Venetian musician, Aemilia Bassano came of age in Queen Elizabeth’s royal court. The Queen’s favorite, she develops a love of poetry and learning, maturing into a young woman known not only for her beauty but also her sharp mind and quick tongue. Aemilia becomes the mistress of Lord Hunsdon, but her position is precarious. Then she crosses paths with an impetuous playwright named William Shakespeare and begins an impassioned but ill-fated affair.

In rich, vivid detail, Sally O’Reilly breathes life into England’s first female poet, a mysterious woman nearly forgotten by history. Full of passion and devilish schemes, Dark Aemilia is a tale worthy of the Bard.

What have you been reading this week? Any Historical novels you’d recommend? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Book of the Week – Fallen Beauty

Hello gentle reader,

this week I’ve been reading FALLEN BEAUTY by Erika Robuck (published in March 2014 by NAL Trade). It’s a Historical novel set in 1920’s New York. I’ve had this book on my To-Be-Read list for a while, and this weekend I found out it was less than £2 on Kindle UK, so I bought it on a whim. I’m about 2/3 in now, and I’m not regretting picking it up. The writing is gorgeous and the world building is great. The dual POV gives an interesting insight into the lives of two very different women in the Jazz Age. It reminds me of The Scarlet Letter, of fairy tales and of F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s definitely an intriguing read, and I recommend it.

Fallen Beauty

From Goodreads:

Upstate New York, 1928. Laura Kelley and the man she loves sneak away from their judgmental town to attend a performance of the scandalous Ziegfeld Follies. But the dark consequences of their night of daring and delight reach far into the future…

That same evening, Bohemian poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and her indulgent husband hold a wild party in their remote mountain estate, hoping to inspire her muse. Millay declares her wish for a new lover who will take her to unparalleled heights of passion and poetry, but for the first time, the man who responds will not bend completely to her will…

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Book of the Week: The Lynburn Legacy trilogy

Hello gentle reader,

today I’m over at The Great Noveling Adventure sharing my review of the Lynburn Legacy trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Lynburn Legacy

Take a look maybe? And let me know below what you’ve been reading this week!

The London Scene by Virginia Woolf

Hello gentle reader,

last weekend I went to the National Portrait Gallery to visit the temporary exhibition about the Life, Art and Vision of Virginia Woolf. It’s an amazing exhibition and I really recommend it if you find yourself in London before 26 October 2014. I find there’s nothing quite as inspiring as seeing a great writer’s personal notes, letters and photographs. It gives us a ‘behind the scenes’ look at their life, struggles and inspiration.

VirginiaWoolf

Following my visit to the National Portrait Gallery, I decided to read one of Virginia Woolf’s works. I chose The London Scene, and again, I recommend it if you’re interested in London and beautiful writing.

The London Scene

From Goodreads:

Virginia Woolf was already an accomplished novelist and critic when she was commissioned by the British edition of Good Housekeeping to write a series entitled “Six Articles on London Life.” Originally published bimonthly, beginning in December 1931, five of the essays were eventually collected and published in 1981. The sixth essay, “Portrait of a Londoner,” had been missing from Woolf’s oeuvre until it was rediscovered at the University of Sussex in 2004.

A walking tour of Woolf’s beloved hometown, The London Scene begins at the London Docks and follows Woolf as she visits several iconic sites throughout the city, including the Oxford Street shopping strip, John Keats’s house on Hampstead Heath, Thomas Carlyle’s house in Chelsea, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of Parliament.

These six essential essays capture Woolf at her best, exploring modern consciousness through the prism of 1930s London while simultaneously painting an intimate, touching portrait of this sprawling metropolis and its fascinating inhabitants.

It’s a very short read (about 100 pages), yet incredibly powerful. Virginia Woolf managed to capture the essence of London in these essays, showing both what the city was like in the 1930s and what makes it utterly timeless. If you love London as I do, or if you dream of going there one day, then I strongly suggest you read The London Scene. You won’t regret it.

What have you been reading this week? Have you read any of Virginia Woolf’s books? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Book of the Week – Every Ugly Word

Hello gentle reader,

You may remember that in November 2013, I interviewed my friend Aimee L. Salter as she self-published her debut BREAKABLE. Today I’m delighted to share with you some fantastic news about Aimee’s book: it has been acquired by Alloy Entertainment and it’s being published TODAY with the new title EVERY UGLY WORD.

Here is an extract from the press release:

Today, Amazon Publishing and Alloy Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Television Group, announced a digital-first imprint that will focus on young adult, new adult and commercial fiction.(…) Every Ugly Word will be one of the first of three titles to be released under the newly launched imprint. Alloy Entertainment will also look for opportunities to develop acquired titles as television series, feature films, and digital entertainment.

Here is the book’s new cover:

Every Ugly Word

And here is the book’s new blurb:

When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school, bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

Perfect for fans of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and THE LIST, EVERY UGLY WORD is a gripping and emotional story about the devastating consequences of bullying.

Aimee L. Salter2

Here is what Aimee says about her book’s shiny new version:

“It’s slimmer, richer and 100% better than the original, in my opinion. Same premise and basic plot, same characters – but a lot of new content and a completely new delivery of the ending.

I’m so excited because this story, which has always been so close to my heart, has finally found a home — a home with people who are mind-blowingly talented, passionate about my characters and story, and so much fun to work with that I’m keep waking up and pinching myself to make sure it’s all real.”

And here are a few quotes from other authors who’ve read EVERY UGLY WORD:

“Original. Authentic. Heart-breaking….Officially one of my favorites!”
— Cora Carmack, New York Times Bestselling author of Losing It.

“A gripping story about a teen facing her demons with twists you won’t see coming, Every Ugly Word is a chilling and heartbreaking debut with raw emotion searing every page. I couldn’t put it down.”
— Katie Sise, author of The Boyfriend App.

“Every Ugly Word is a punch to the gut from chapter one. The tension and mystery build through every page to an inevitable showdown that left me breathless. With a splintered protagonist you can’t help but root for, you’ll battle through the worst of humanity’s ugliness to emerge at the end dirty and broken and full of hope.”
— Mary Elizabeth Summer, author of Trust Me, I’m Lying.

And here is where you can buy EVERY UGLY WORD for your Kindle.

Congrats, Aimee!

Book of the Week – 26

Hello gentle reader,

A while ago I wrote a post about the books which successfully build a bridge between literary and genre fiction. The book I just finished reading belongs to this narrow category. It’s entitled NIGHT FILM and it was written by Marisha Pessl. It’s a literary thriller which was published in January 2013.

Night Film

From Goodreads:

Everybody has a Cordova story.

Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova hasn’t been seen in public since 1977. To his fans he is an engima. To journalist Scott McGrath he is the enemy. To Ashley he was a father.

On a damp October night the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Her suicide appears to be the latest tragedy to hit a severely cursed dynasty.

For McGrath, another death connected to the legendary director seems more than a coincidence. Driven by revenge, curiosity and a need for the truth, he finds himself pulled into a hypnotic, disorientating world, where almost everyone seems afraid.

The last time McGrath got close to exposing Cordova, he lost his marriage and his career. This time he could lost his grip on reality.

You may remember Marisha Pessl’s debut novel, SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS, is one of my favourite books of all time. Needless to say, I was eagerly anticipating her second book, NIGHT FILM. I had to wait 7 years for it, but it was definitely worth the wait. This book is amazing. Buy it or borrow it now, and read it as soon as possible.

Have you read NIGHT FILM? What did you think? What are you reading this week?

Feel free to leave me a comment below!