Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #176

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!


Forever
by Judy Blume

Synopsis:
Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love.

It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart...

"Forever" is written for an older age group than Judy Blume's other novels for children. It caused a storm of controversy when it was first published because of its explicit sexual content.

It was a book ahead of its time - and remains, after thirty years in print, a teenage best-seller. America's No. 1 children's author has written some of the best books of our time about real-life issues - family stress and pressures, what happens when your parents divorce, the problems of growing up and sexual awakening, bereavement - with insight, sensitivity and honesty.

The response of readers all around the world continues to make her one of the best-loved writers ever published.
This one popped up online earlier in the week, but I can't remember where for the life of me. I think it may have been in a blog post somewhere about books that you read way too young to appreciate them, and someone had finished their post with 'thank god I found Judy Blume's Forever afterwards'. Or something along those lines. And it made me realise that, although Judy Blume is one those authors, the ones that everyone seems to have read, I am yet to pick up one of her books myself. This is the moment I hang my head in shame (call myself a reader? Pah!).
So I'm going to rectify this! Forever is now on my wishlist, and I will be getting it onto my shelves as soon as I hit a bookshop with it in stock!

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 :) 








Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Duff: Movie Goody Bag Giveaway!


Hey guys! I have another really exciting post for you today, courtesy of the guys at Hachette Children's Books and Entertainment One.
To celebrate the release of The Duff movie on 6th April, you could win an exclusive goody bag, which includes the movie tie-in version of the book, an awesome DUFF tshirt, a Duff phone case and a super-cute tote bag! I'm so, so excited about this, but before we get started with the giveaway stuff, I'm going to tell you a little bit about The Duff!

The Duff
Series: None
Pages: 343
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release date (movie ed): 25th February 2015

Add to Goodreads

The Duff follows 17-year-old Bianca Piper, an ordinary girl with two best friends, a cynical outlook on life, and a particular hatred of the slimy (but attractive) man-slut, Wesley Rush. During a night out at their local teen hangout, The Nest, Wesley approaches Bianca in an attempt to attract one of her 'hottie' best friends ... but why Bianca? Because she's the Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend. If Wesley speaks to their Duff, he'll stand a better chance of bedding one of the two hottie friends, right? But things end up being far more complicated than just protecting her best friends from the man-whore and getting him to stay away from her.
Desperate for a distraction from a disastrous home life, Bianca seeks distraction in all the wrong places, and soon things are going wrong in ways she hadn't thought possible.


I'm reading The Duff at the moment, and I'm absolutely adoring it – Bianca's snarky, sarcastic and humorous voice really comes through in the writing, and I've found myself laughing out loud more times than I can count, and I'm only a third of the way through! The story grips you straight away, and I loved Bianca and her friends from the start. I'm looking forward to seeing where it's going to go next.

One obvious issue that the book raises is bullying, and more specifically, bullying because of a label. That's why Entertainment One and The Duff have joined forces with Ditch the Label, a UK-based anti-bullying charity that focusses on ridding the world of these labels. If you, or anyone you know is suffering from bullying, make sure to check out the Ditch the Label website for advice or someone to talk to.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #175

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!


Smart
by Kim Slater

Synopsis:
I found Jean’s friend dead in the river. His name was Colin Kirk. He was a homeless man, but he still wanted to live.

There’s been a murder, but the police don’t care. It was only a homeless old man after all.

Kieran cares. He’s made a promise, and when you say something out loud, that means you’re going to do it, for real. He’s going to find out what really happened. To Colin. And to his grandma, who just stopped coming round one day. It’s a good job Kieran’s a master of observation, and knows all the detective tricks of the trade.

But being a detective is difficult when you’re Kieran Woods. When you’re amazing at drawing but terrible at fitting in. And when there are dangerous secrets everywhere, not just outside, but under your own roof.
I see things about this book just about everywhere, and more recently, when I've been going to author events, people have been mentioning it in person as well. It's quite difficult to ignore this many recommendations!
The synopsis also reminds me a little bit of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, which is one of my favourites (and I just saw the West End stage show in London last week, which was incredible), so I'm really loving the idea of reading something similar to it at the moment. I just hope that Smart lives up to my expectations! I doubt it will be long before it's on my shelf and I can find out!

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, 1 April 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #174

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!


A Thousand Nights
by E. K. Johnston

Synopsis:
LO-MELKHIIN KILLED THREE HUNDRED GIRLS before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.
This one popped up on Twitter only yesterday, when the publishers posted a photo of the (rather beautiful) proof copies that had arrived in their office, and my interest was immediately piqued. As soon as I read the synopsis on Goodreads, I knew I had to get it on my wishlist straight away, even though it's not being released until the autumn.
This sounds like a wonderful mixture of Fairy Tale and what I would call here 'real fantasy' - or perhaps I should say 'a fantasy with a drop of fairy tale', because the uniqueness of the fantasy story really shines through (at least it does in the synopsis).
I'm really excited about this book being released in October – hopefully that will be here sooner than we think!

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 :) 








Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Split Second by Sophie McKenzie **Review**


Split Second
Series: Split Second #1
Pages:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Release date: 12th September 2013
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads synopsis:
2:02...2:01...2:00

What the hell was this? I stared at the numbers, numb with horror. The box was a bomb. And it was going to go off in two minutes.

Charlie's life is torn apart by a terrorist bomb in a London market. Months later she meets Nat, whose family has been left devastated by the same explosion. But as Charlie gets closer to Nat she starts to wonder if he knows more about the attack than he is letting on...

Life can change in the blink of an eye - whether you're ready or not.

The new bestseller from the award-winning Sophie McKenzie.


I have to admit that I was a little skeptical of Split Second - I believed, even before I started it, that I wouldn't like it. I was simply reading it because it was my YA Book Club's choice for the month (that and I had a free copy for review). This skepticism came from having read one of Sophie's books before. This book was Girl, Missing, and although it was about 3 years ago that I read it, it remains with me, and not for entirely complimentary reasons. I didn't enjoy Girl, Missing, mostly because it was quite a young teenage book and because I found it an incredibly difficult story to believe in. Why would a teenager suddenly decide that they were kidnapped as a young child? It just doesn't make sense. Although it was an easy read (see previous comment about young writing style), I was bored by it, and didn't plan on reading another of the author's books.
This is one of the reasons I am glad for my little YA Book Club, though. It means that I read books that I perhaps wouldn't otherwise have picked up, mostly with positive consequences - and this is definitely one of those times. Split Second could not be more different from Girl, Missing!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor **UK Giveaway!**


When I met Laini last year in Birmingham!
Guys! I am literally so excited right now!
Thanks to the lovely people at Hodder and Chapter 5, I have a seriously awesome giveaway for you! To celebrate the paperback release of Dreams of Gods and Monsters, the final instalment in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, I have one copy to give away to one lucky follower of Pen to Paper!

It's been ages since I've hosted a giveaway, and I can't think of a better author to help kickstart them again! I had the pleasure of meeting Laini at a signing in Birmingham (I was also working the event) last year, and she's an incredibly friendly and inspiring author (and that hair! LOVE).

If you've not heard of the series before, here is a little bit of info to get you started!


Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Pages: 613
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release date: 26th March 2015 (PB)
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads synopsis:
This is the final book in the trilogy – if you've not read the other books, this synopsis will contain spoilers.

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Read about the previous two books in this trilogy, click on the cover images below!

 photo DaughterSmokeBone_zpsn9lag63h.jpg  photo DaysBloodStarlight_zpsjewdxm2b.jpg

 
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