Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon **Review**


The Bone Season
Series: The Bone Season #1
Pages: 452
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release date: 20th August 2013
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads synopsis:
The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

My initial reaction to The Bone Season was definitely one of excitement. I knew it was mostly set in Oxford (albeit an alternative, future version of Oxford), and this being a city I both love and know fairly well, I was looking forward to seeing how it would be adapted for a fantasy novel. I was also quite excited by the idea of different kinds of clairvoyants, or voyants for short. Add to that that the main character was obviously in constant danger just for being what she is ... I was expecting to be immediately hooked. And I was. The beginning was instantly engaging. Straight away you learn so much about Paige, her abilities and how she puts them to use in the criminal underground of Central London, now known as Cohort I. The opening chapters are full of action, and it was fairly easy to get to grips with the world and its inhabitants.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern **Review**


Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
Series: Flawed #1
Pages: 400
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Release date: 24th March 2016
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK

Add to Goodreads
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy of the book.

Goodreads synopsis:
The stunning YA debut from internationally bestselling author Cecelia Ahern.

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

In this stunning novel, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

I first read Cecelia Ahern when I was about 17, starting off with A Place Called Here, a book that I really loved. Despite that, though, I haven't really read too many of her books, mostly because I rarely read the kind of books she writes. But when I heard she was publisher her first YA novel, my interest was immediately piqued, and I knew I had to read it. Her style was always easy to get on with when I did read anything of hers, so I expected it to be similar with Flawed. If anything, I think Flawed was even easier to get on with than her adult books, and I was drawn into the story almost immediately.
But it wasn't until things started to go seriously wrong that I became totally engrossed.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Wishlist Wednesday #216

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

So what do you need to do to join in?
  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  • Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!


Baba Yaga Laid an Egg
by Dubravka Ugrešić
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Baba Yaga is an old hag who lives in a house built on chicken legs and kidnaps small children. She is one of the most pervasive and powerful creatures in all mythology. But what does she have to do with a writer's journey to Bulgaria in 2007 on behalf of her mother? Or with a trio of old women who decide to spend a week together at a hotel spa? Startlingly original, "Baba Yaga Laid an Egg" takes a traditional myth and spins it afresh. The result is an extraordinary meditation on femininity, ageing, identity, secrets, storytelling and love.
In the space of just a couple of weeks, I've gone from having never heard much at all about Baba Yaga to having seen it everywhere. It started when I was watching some comic book recommendations on YouTube and I think about three different YouTubers mentioned Baba Yaga's Assistant (with mixed reviews).
All I really know from watching these videos is that Baba Yaga was a Slavic folklore character with some sort of supernatural presence, and she would either help or harm those who looked for her. Since I watched those videos, she keeps popping up everywhere, and then I'm in one of my local bookshops, looking for something entirely different, and I stumble on this book.
This takes the Baba Yaga figure and puts her in several different forms and tells her story based on what form she takes. This has me really intrigued, and I would have it on my shelf already, but the bookshop's copy was damaged, so I will be keeping an eye out for it on my trip to London in a week and a half.

What's on your wishlist this week? Let us know in the comments below, or link to your own Wishlist Wednesday post in the Linky :) 








Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Wishlist Wednesday #215

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

So what do you need to do to join in?
  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  • Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!


Giant Days Volume 1
by John Allison & Lissa Treiman
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery mold, nuchauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Collects issues #1-4.
I haven't picked a graphic novel for my Wishlist Wednesday for a little while, so I thought I would today, especially as I seem to have added so many of them to the Wishlist recently.
Giant Days is one that I've actually looked at a couple of times in Forbidden Planet, but decided not to pick up in favour of other comics. However, I've been watching some YouTube comic book reviews this past week and Giant Days has been mentioned quite a lot in these videos. Everyone has been saying how great the story is, and it has me intrigued enough to make sure that on my next visit to the comic shop, this is a priority pick!
As I'm taking my brother comic shopping at the weekend for his birthday, it won't be that long until this is on my shelves, awaiting my attention.


What's on your wishlist this week? Let us know in the comments below, or link to your own Wishlist Wednesday post in the Linky :) 








Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Wishlist Wednesday #214

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

So what do you need to do to join in?
  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  • Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!


We Are the Ants
by Shaun David Hutchinson

Synopsis:
Henry Denton doesn’t know why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

Since the suicide of his boyfriend, Jesse, Henry has been adrift. He’s become estranged from his best friend, started hooking up with his sworn enemy, and his family is oblivious to everything that’s going on around them. As far as Henry is concerned, a world without Jesse is a world he isn’t sure is worth saving. Until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.
This was released in the US yesterday, and I'm SO excited about it. I discovered it at the weekend, and now I'm desperate to get my hands on a copy. It already has a great rating on Goodreads, and I can see why. I think this story has the potential to be funny in places, but also life-affirming and thought-provoking. I'm also really enjoying that it has a gay main character, but without making that a central theme of the plot (in other words, having a gay main character is normal and something we don't need to make into a discussion point).
This sounds like quite a unique book and I know it won't be long until I get this off the Wishlist and onto the TBR.


What's on your wishlist this week? Let us know in the comments below, or link to your own Wishlist Wednesday post in the Linky :) 








Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Wishlist Wednesday #213

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

So what do you need to do to join in?
  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  • Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!


The Martian
by Andy Weir

Synopsis:
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars's surface, with no way to signal Earth that he's alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, Mark won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

Armed with nothing but his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength--Mark embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Obviously the first time I heard about this book was a long, long while ago – especially with the film having been released last year, it would be hard to miss it. It's lingered on my wishlist for a while, but I've been unsure until the past couple of weeks, when it started appearing on EVERYONE'S favourite books of 2015 lists. I don't think I've watched a single Favourites video on YouTube or seen a Favourites post on blogs without this book being mentioned somewhere. And everyone is not only saying that it's a fantastic read, but that it's also surprisingly funny, which I have to say has warmed me up to the idea of this book a lot more! Therefore, this book will probably make its way onto my shelves in the very near future.


What's on your wishlist this week? Let us know in the comments below, or link to your own Wishlist Wednesday post in the Linky :) 








 
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