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!

Book of the Week – We Were Liars

Hello gentle reader,

I rarely read YA Contemporary fiction, but something about WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart grabbed me. I can’t remember if it was the blurb, or because it’s a bestselling book everyone’s been talking about on Twitter, or because the film rights have recently been sold, or because it has nearly 20,000 positive reviews on Goodreads. It was a mix of all of the above, I guess.

The result? I read this book in one sitting and loved it. The hype is completely deserved, in this case. Even if I sort of guessed the final twist one third into the book, I still thorougly enjoyed it. It’s incredibly well written and gripping. In some ways the fragmented writing style reminded me of Tahereh Mafi’s SHATTER ME trilogy. The plot is very clever and the ending utterly haunting.

I recommend it!

WeWereLiars-575x883

From Goodreads:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

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

Book of the 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 – The Agency Series

Hello gentle reader,

today I’d like to share with you a belated discovery of mine: The Agency series by Y. S. Lee.

The Agency series

It’s a YA Historical Mystery series set in Victorian London. It was published between 2010 and 2014 by Candlewick Press (US-Canada) and Walker Books (UK). It comprises four novels (A Spy in the House, The Body at the Tower, The Traitor and the Tunnel, and Rivals in the City). In the UK the books were published under the title: Mary Quinn Mysteries.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads for A Spy in the House:

Introducing an exciting new series! Steeped in Victorian atmosphere and intrigue, this diverting mystery trails a feisty heroine as she takes on a precarious secret assignment.

Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn is surprised to be offered a singular education, instruction in fine manners — and an unusual vocation. Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls is a cover for an all-female investigative unit called The Agency, and at seventeen, Mary is about to put her training to the test.

Assuming the guise of a lady’s companion, she must infiltrate a rich merchant’s home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships. But the household is full of dangerous deceptions, and there is no one to trust — or is there?

Packed with action and suspense, banter and romance, and evoking the gritty backstreets of Victorian London, this breezy mystery debuts a daring young detective who lives by her wits while uncovering secrets — including those of her own past.

The first book in the series won the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s inaugural John Spray Mystery Award in 2011. The following instalments were shortlisted for various awards as well.

I enjoyed reading these books because they have an authentic Victorian voice and fun plots. The main character is a strong female character who struggles with a criminal past and her Chinese origin. She’s clever, witty and tough, which I love in a heroine.

I recommend these books if you like Historical fiction and fun whodunits.

Have you read THE AGENCY series? What did you think?

What are you reading this week?

Book of the Week – The Shatter Me Series

Hello gentle reader,

if you’re looking for a great YA trilogy to read this summer, I recommend the SHATTER ME series by Tahereh Mafi.

ShatterMeSeries

It’s a YA Sci-Fi series which was published between 2011 and 2014 by Harper Collins. It comprises three novels (SHATTER ME, UNRAVEL ME and IGNITE ME) from the main character’s point of view (Juliette) as well as two novellas (DESTROY ME from Warner’s POV and FRACTURE ME from Adam’s POV).

Here is the blurb for SHATTER ME (from Goodreads):

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

What makes this series quite unique is Juliette’s voice and Tahereh Mafi’s writing (with the now well-known crossed-out words and lines). The character development of Juliette is one of the most impressive I’ve read, and Warner remains one of the most complex characters you’ll be likely to read in a YA book. Even if there’s quite a lot of action (especially in Book 3), the characters’ journey and the love story are what these books are about. These books explores themes such as the line between good and evil, as well as what makes a person a hero or a villain.

This is an amazing series and I do hope you’ll pick it up this summer (all books are available as paperbacks, both in the US and overseas).

Have you read the SHATTER ME series? What did you think?

What are you reading this summer?

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!