Friday, 27 June 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - What I love on my covers

 Wonderfully hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Here are my ten things I love on book covers! Some of them are less trends then just individual books that grabbed my attention. :)

1) Black and white covers.

Hollow City by Ranson Riggs

 2) When the cover is relevant to the story.

(I also really like how the red stands out on this book cover.)

3) Simplicity.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell & A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

4) When it looks ethereal.

Splintered by A. G. Howard

5) Real people - when they're tastefully done.

(In all honesty, it's really rare to find one with an actual person on it that I like. I didn't like The Mortal Instruments covers, but I thought The Infernal Devices covers were really pretty. Especially this one.)

6) Moody looking book covers.

Stonewylde by Kit Berry & Ultraviolet by S. J. Anderson

7) Pretty fonts.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce & hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

8) Illustrated covers.
Sisters Red & Sweetly by Jackson Pearce 

9) When there's no advertisement on the front.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 

(So it's not really an advertisement in this case, but it really stands out over the cover and it looks like a sticker. It annoys me.)

10) When hardbacks have a pretty cover without the dust-jacket on.

Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales by Angela Carter & Hollow City (again) by Ransom Riggs 

Monday, 23 June 2014

Little English Book Shops - Daisy Lane Books

Went to Holmfirth today, a place which will be a key player in the kick-off of the Tour De France, but is normally just a gorgeous little village in West Yorkshire, surrounded by the beautiful country-side. It was a gorgeous day, as pictured above.

My mum spied just the word 'books', tucked into the nook of a little lane, from the pub we were having lunch in. So, we went on a little ramble in that direction and came across Daisy Lane Books. 

As we walked up to it, a man, presumably an owner, was pottering about sorting the books outside. But books weren't just outside they were practically crammed, stacked, and balanced in every corner of the two-storey shop, right up to the ceiling. 

It had that typical second-hand, magic book smell, and although it was cramped and the floor was a little thin and squeaky it was still everything you could wish for in a book store. It was pretty rustic and simple, with hand-written signs and myriad of different and probably very old books. 

Eventually, I picked out The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse, in preparation for a Victorian module I'm taking in university. With the blissfully small price of £2, I could hardly say no. 

So, if you ever get the chance to nip into Holmfirth, do, because it's beautiful and there's a lovely bookshop.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Currently reading! Only just got this baby! Finally back in the world of Shadowhunters and kick-ass characters.

Super pumped to read the final book of this series, though it's been such a long time since I last read any of the other books. Such a lot went on in them though, I hope it really wraps it all up, especially with The Infernal Devices being a sort of interlude to the books and adding extra information.

In all honesty, I did find The Infernal Devices a little bit better than some of The Mortal Instrument books, but I'm hoping this book brings back a little bit of the magic of the first book!

The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

The Review 
Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Rating: 5/5 moments of stunned silence

‘Who am I?
I am Todd Hewitt.
I am the biggest, effing waste of nothing known to man.
I can’t do it.’

A brief, tantalising synopsis:
The Knife of Never Letting Go follows the journey of Tod Hewitt, the youngest boy in Prentisstown and soon to become a man. In Prentisstown, a town of men, the noise means all thoughts can be heard and nothing is sacred, so how is it he found a spot of silence? All that matters is he has, and it changes everything. With all he's ever known falling down around him, he must learn to trust new allies in order to find the truth, but at every turn the past threatens to destroy him. 

The review:
I know I'm a little late on the uptake with this book, but I loved, loved, loved it and literally read it in record speed, I swear. 

There's a lot of amazing YA books out there that deal with potentially similar happenings, but this one stands out for me. Why does it? 

Well, Patrick Ness captures every emotion perfectly: I could emphasise with Todd when everything he knows starts to crumble because he feels like I probably would in the same situation. Same with Viola, I mean we’ve all been thrust into an alien (perhaps not as literally) situation before and had to deal. I didn’t feel like Ness had forgotten there was a reader on the other end of the book, who to be involved in the story, needs to feel the characters.

Plus, the fact that it was a first person narrative doesn’t hold anything back for me, in terms of getting to know other characters. In fact it exemplifies it, because we can see Todd as he learns to read and understand other people. But you’ll really have to read the book to find out more about that. *shifts eyes suspiciously*

It was quite fast paced, but that’s the way I like my dystopian stories – I’m not always particularly patient, fast action is best for me. Ness gives this whilst keeping just enough hidden so that you have to read the whole book in one sitting just to discover it. It has me hooked from start to finish, and by the end of it had be clenching my teeth in suspense.

From an aesthetic point of view, I thought the way that the chaos of the noise was brought onto page through fonts etc. really made me see what the characters hear, and the phonetic spelling used by the narrator (a.k.a Todd) highlighted the differences between their world and our world. It gave me an idea about Todd and how he speaks, which seems like a silly thing but it's important when you're trying to visualise someone. 

I also like my stories gritty and with lots of ugly bad-guys. In The Knife of Never Letting Go there's a whole herd of them, all on different bad-guy levels. And in terms of grittiness well it's plenty that as well, no roses and teddy-bears for this lot, just angst (both teenage and otherwise) mixed with some pretty heavy-duty action. Although it doesn't verge on being sickly. Don't worry though, it is lightened by the comedic lightness of characters such as Manchee ("Poo. Poo, Todd.") as well as all the developing feels that literally seep from the protagonists. And therefore into me. 

If I had to point out anything I didn't like about the book, I'd say that it does leave such an awful lot uncovered, and I know it's part of a series so it has to, but it was frustrating (probably in a good way). I hope that more is learnt about the Spackle and about the history of Prentisstown in the next few books! I guess I'll have to find out.

So give this book a go if you like dystopian fiction with a good amount of grittiness and some excellently depicted characters. And if you're reading this and have already read the book, what did you think? :)

New face on the book-block (hi there)

Hi, and welcome to my blog where, as the sidebar indicates, I'll be sharing my thoughts (and feelings) on the many different books I read.

This mainly includes YA books of all different genres, especially dystopian and fantasy books, from The Perks of Being a Wallflower to Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. As long as it catches my interest I'll read all the things.

I also read adult fantasy, classics, and a myriad of other things that entice me with their bookish ways. In this blog I'll be doing reviews for all of them, but sometimes I might do an additional post regarding some of the books key points, and how it made me feel, that won't be in the review for fear of spoilers. I'll always try and hide any spoilers, so any spoiler posts will have jump-breaks!

This is just a book blog ran by me on my own, that I'm doing for fun and because I needed a place for my thoughts and emotional crises that are the result of turning the last page on any book, be it good or bad.

Who am I: just an English Literature and Language student from England who is currently studying somewhere in the North of England and really enjoys reading.Oh, and I have a cat called Angus McGee, who's a big, fluffy fluff-ball of haughty catness.

Please enjoy my blog and leave a comment, if-ya-want. :)