Books I Want to Read over Summer 2015 // TBR


Currently at 8:15pm in England, by my house, it is over-cast with a slight coolness in the air, but it is fairly warm.

It is Junethis is not my overall idea of Summer but I’ll take it for now! I would prefer some more sunshine, a little more heat and perhaps a few days off to enjoy it and/or write some more blogposts!

So, in the (lack of) heat in the moment, I have chosen to write about books I aim to read this summer!

1.   Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

-      I have never read this book, it has summer in the title and it is a YA fiction novelwhy would I not aim to read this in Summer!


2.   All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

-      I have heard that this is the new ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ and will make me cry as much aswell as much as everyone else cried at TFIOS. (As most of you know I didn’t actually cry at TFIOS and actually found it over-hyped) this book  is less hyped and yet just as powerful to most, it seems, so I want to give it ago!

 

3.   Station Eleven by Emily St John-Mandel

-      Another much-hyped novel which I think does deserve some attention from the praise I have heard of it. The plot line sounds really interesting in a group of touring Shakespearean actors, the lead drops dead of this strange virus which begins to kill off everyone, and this band of actors have to survive somehowsounds quite thrilling!



4.   The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes

-      With the wrap of the film adaption of Moyes ‘Me Before You’ (Which I am yet to buy) I have been feeling a lot of interest in her books as I have yet to read onethis one is about a girl during WW1 so I think this is the best book for me to start with!
 


5.   Paper Towns by John Green

-      Before I see the movie which does look surprisingly good I would like to actually read this story. The premise of the story the cool/gorgeous girl, breaks into her shy neighbour’s house and they have an epic over-night adventure before she disappears the next morning without a tracesounds quite intriguing. I look forward to reading this one!
 


So I’ll only do 5 books for now although Summer to me last until the last day of Augustbut I am working full-time, and I simply don’t have the time to read as much as I would like to! But we shall see what happens over the next few weeks and I shall keep you updated!

Happy Reading Folks!

 

Just Another Number // Book Review


Just Another Number
Review
Author: Maggie Young is a Southern woman who joined the United States Navy and experienced many turbulent affairs and events which led to her leaving the navy, going to UC Berkley, backpacking Europe and becoming a Writer. Her other works include My Dilemma.
This Review was requested.
Rating: ****
Review:
 
I started reading Just Another Number a few weeks ago at University and very much connected with it: the theme of women being used as sex toys and the lack of independence or power women have, even with the vote, the right to own property and many other legalities we have fought for over the years.
There is no way any reader could read Just Another Number and not feel a sense of feminism or anger at some ways women are used, although, as Maggie points out, this is not the point of the book. The book is an autobiographical tale of her life from when she was a southern teenager to a grown woman in the navy.
There are a lot of men along the way, some good and some not so good, each with their own personality traits which gives their numbered names, i.e. number 10, number 23 etc, a lot more meaning.
With these numeral men and the descriptions given about them and what they do, I would definitely say that this book is only for readers 18+, mostly because this book never falters in truth, which I give points to Maggie for, it’s a brave and powerful move. It is also a very adult one.
I also want to do a quick note on the cover of this book I love it! Isn’t it great??
Some of the lines within the book create a strong sense of thought provocation:
-      It was the man’s goal to catch the women and the women’s role to keep the men.
It is almost an argument and debate throughout, but as I said the book is autobiographical. I have said in previous reviews that whilst I enjoy autobiographies I do find that by the middle the stories tend to become a bit vain in tone, almost always not on purpose, simply because the books are about the person writing them and they can go on for a bit too long at random moments. I did feel that about Just Another Number but it was gripping for the first 200 pages for definite.
Maggie Young
As there are so many men and so many tales attached to them, along with numerous other events and descriptions within the book, the story really delves deep with conversations, descriptors and feelings which makes the book quite dense to read hence it taking me so long to get through but that does not make it bad at all, simply thorough and honest.
Overall, I would class this book as being a deeply honest and powerful but difficult to sell to an audience, not because it is badly written the writing style is actually very good, with a lot of thought provoking language but because the market for books about women telling the truth about their sex lives, and lives in general, with utter, shocking, honesty is not something you see every day: which is precisely why I enjoyed this book!
I give props to Maggie for her unrelenting access to the truth of her life and I would recommend this book to adult females looking for an incentive to get a grip of their own lives!
Happy Reading Folks!
 


Top Ten Inspirational Book Characters // Listopia


All of us, no matter how old or young we are, have one or several characters in books that inspire us. That one character was aspire to be, or be like, the one we love for making us laugh, cry or seek adventure.

A lot of characters inspire me, in some shape or form even if they are fictional!

1.   Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series the epitome of a bonkers girl who has nothing wrong with her and is merely imaginative, open and wise. I love her as a character! There are not enough Luna Lovegoods in the world!
 

2.   Eleanor from Eleanor & Park I like her bravery and diversity as a character this is partly to the author’s choices but I really like Eleanor as a character.

3.   Aibileen from The Help - It is hard to comprehend how dangerous it was for a coloured woman to speak out against her situation in 1960s let alone in 1960s Mississippi! And Aibilieen does it, along with Minnie and Skeeter. She is a beautifully written character and one of my many favourites in terms of strength.
 
4.   Jack Firebrace from Birdsong a heart breaking character, he survives so much of the war facing horrible things from the death of friends, horrific mercy killings, a nervous breakdown and the worst feeling a parent can go through. And yet through it all he remains loyal and valiant in the face of everything bad.

 
5.   Mister Tom from Goodnight Mister Tom I love Mister Tom for being so realistic and warm. As a character he is gruff and outward facing a difficult man but really he is simply warm and lonely. He does everything for William, loving him when no one else did, and he does simply for being a good man.

 
6.   August from The Secret Life of Bees an under-rated book and an under-rated character. August is the eldest of three black sisters in the 1960s. She owns her own honey business and is a deeply religious and kind woman, taking in Lily knowing full-well she was not who she says she was. She faces adversity and tragedy and she over-comes it all with a smile and devotion to her family and friends.

 
7.  Eoywn from The Lord of the Rings - it is official that after J.R.R.Tolkien wrote this book series authors and writers of any kind had to watch the whole ‘no man can kill me’ thing as Eowyn totally blew that sentence to pieces! Lord of the Rings doesn’t centre on women not a single woman in the Fellowship! but Eowyn is still pretty awesome for such a male-heavy novel!

 
8.   Sara from A Little Princess How can a child be as selfless as Sara in A Little Princess? I know I wanted to be her as a child minus the whole losing her dad and being kept prisoner aspect but I could never be as kind or noble as Sara was.

 
9.   Jo from Little Woman I simply love Jo. She is completely headstrong and has a fiery temper to match her vivid imagination, not to mention the deepest love for her siblings which runs deeper than blood and bone. Incredibly strong and incredibly fascinating to read about!

 
10. Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia I love Lucy. She is valiant and just, kind and loyal, and only a child! She guides her older siblings, helps strangers and forgives almost anyone of anything. I love her and her family.

 
Simple little list of characters that inspire me. Clearly I like characters with strong personalities, loyalty, selflessness and braverywho doesn’t! We all want to be good and kind, but it takes a lot of work even though books make it look easy!

Happy Reading Folks!

Beautiful Blogger Award

 
So the lovely Julia over at ‘For the Love of Books’ has nominated me for my first ever Blogger award! So firstly: Thank you very much Julia! (Go check out her blog!)

Here at the rules as listed on her blog:

-      Link to the blogger who nominated you: http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogspot.ca/

-      List 7 random facts about yourself

-      Nominate 7 creative, beautiful bloggers

-      Nominate the people you nominated

Right: 7 Random Facts About me:

1.   I have performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre as Celia in a re-imagined short piece of ‘As You Like It’.

2.   My favourite thing in the world to eat is Chocolate particularly Cadburys Dairy Milk with Oreo! (Mouth-wateringly good!)

3.   I have kept a diary ever since I was 6 years oldsomething to look back on when I am old or to give to my kids to pass down as I am extremely nostalgic!

4.   I play Swingball a minimum of 3 times a day! (Yes, on my own, with my ipod on full-blast!)

5.   I have a cat called Wendy, she is beautiful: insert picture below

 
6.   I have been best friends with my bestie Freyja (with a silent J) since I was 11 years old and she tried to cheat on my crossword at summer school! We have been Kangaroos, Buddha's, Witches and Shakespearean Actors together and I wouldn’t be without her!

7.  I work as a gardeneryet I don’t know how to gardenperhaps need to consider a job change soon

There are 7 random facts about me!

Now for the nominationsdrum roll please:

I nominate:




4.   Max, Tessa & Cassia @ http://4evercrazyforya.blogspot.co.uk/




So there are my nominations and random facts! I look forward to reading everyone else’s responses as I certainly enjoyed doing mine!

Happy Reading Folks!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books of 2015 // Listopia


Just a short list today inspired by the meme created Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

1.   Winter by Marissa Myer Release date: 10th November 2015

 
Can Cinder, Cress, Scarlet and Winter unite to defeat Queen Levana?

I really need to get back into this series!!!

2.   Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by lots of writers Release Date: 18th August

 
A YA Horror anthology with stories by Marie Lu, A.G.Howard and lots more

I’ve never really read YA horror so this sounds great to me!

3.   Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon Release Date:

A girl who is allergic to the world and has not her left her house or spoken to anyone besides her nurse or mother in 17 years sees her new neighbours moving in. One of them, Olly, wears black and spots her staring. This can only end in disaster.

I’m intrigued by this premise, how can this end and how will the story progress? Lots of questions!

4.   The Seed Collector by Scarlett Thomas Release Date: 2nd July 2015

 
Aunt Oleander dies and she leaves each of her remaining family members a seed. A haunting contemporary tale about a family secret.

The book cover caught my eye, got to be honest, but the story plotline has kept me in interested.

5.   A Whole New World by Liz Braswell Release Date: 1st September 2015

 
A Disney re-telling. What would have happened if Jafar had got to the genie’s lamp before Aladdin? A princess turned revolutionary, a poor boy turned saviour.

This is supposed to be a re-telling but it just seems like the same tale with a slight plot-twist but since I’ve never read Aladdin maybe it will be interesting to read the re-telling before the original

6.   The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness Release Date: 27th August 2015

 
What if you were not the chosen one, what if you were the best friend of the chosen one just trying to live your life: like Mikey? What’s your story?

Really interesting premise! It’s one of those stories that we’ve always wondered about but rarely ever get whole books about! Patrick Ness rocks!

7.  A Thousand Nights by E.K.Johnston Release Date: (expected) 6th October 2015

 
Lo-Melkhiin as already killed 300 girls he chooses the prettiest and takes them, like The Girls sister. She can’t let him take her so offers herself. But night after night he comes to hear her stories and night after night she survives. He was not always a cruel ruler.

This book caught my attention as its part-fantasy, part mystery, an odd mix. The bookcover is stunning and I really want to know what is happening! One to look forward to!

Happy Reading!

P.S. Did anyone else notice they released the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 trailer todayhow cheeky of them! Here’s a link for you to go watch if you didn’t know:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seHH66A0J3g





My Publishing Experience


 
 
This is a very odd post for me it is personal! (beyond the personal side of ‘Favourite’s’ and ‘preferences’ this is a real-life blogpost)

I just want to say in advance: I am not a publishing expert. I have never worked in publishing or know the ins-and-outs of publishing but this was my experience as a writer and I thought I would share it.

SoI write novels. Not as a day job (unfortunately) but I do write novels. I wrote my first one when I was 14 and I wrote my second when I was 16 and I am now writing my 3rd at the age of 19.

My 2nd novel was based on the life of my Great-Grandfather in the First World War. As you many long-time readers will know I am a history student and incredibly intrigued by the First World War, so upon hearing a family story about a soldier in the War I had to write it down using fiction to fill the gaps think Phillippa Gregory filling in gaps and adding conversations for the Plantagenet’s in the Cousins War seriesetc.

 Now what has this to do with publishing.well a few months my book was accepted for publication by a small publishing press called Pegasus.

And I turned the offer down.

I didn’t turn it down because the book wasn’t ready, I have been editing it for 3 years now, and I didn’t turn it down because I thought I could do better as a debut writer I am hard-pressed to even find publishers to take a look at my work.

No, I turned the offer down because they asked for money.

Tip 1. Know that there are more than one publishing contracts out there! And know that it is ok to ask publishing houses what type of contracts they work in before submitting work. (It shows interest as well as caution)

There are two main contracts within the publishing world, which I know of, one is an all-rounder publishing deal with the author gaining 5% royalties upon the book’s publication, which takes at least a year. Often the author will get a small advance anything from £100 to £2000.

 
The other type of contract is a Vanity Contract. When the publishing house requests that you pay them a fee to print and advertise the book in return for higher royalties for the author once the book is published. This offer came to me with a request for £2750.

Now, a vanity contract is not illegal and neither is it a scam. It is real. But it is ridiculous in my eyes particularly when the publishing house in question did not once suggest such a contract was what they worked with on their website, email or submission guidelines. Had they have said in advance I would have looked elsewhere.

This experience of getting a positive response and the interaction between publishing house and budding author is terribly exciting and nerve-wracking I received an email requesting the full manuscript and I had 5 days to polish it completely up to scratch not to mention the 6 week wait hoping that they liked the full-thing and it wasn’t just an email glitch!

It was an experience I am grateful for as it gave me the opportunity to experience the publishing world and to also read my novel over a matter of days rather than a matter of weeks Tip 2. Always read your manuscript wholly over a few days you will see the plot holes more deeply (and they’ll always be one! When the chapter ends too soon or the characters talk for too long)

 
But it was also disappointing. However, at the end of the day:

-      I lose no money even if I had paid the fee and had the book published it was unlikely, as a debut author, I would receive £2750 back in royalties without a strong marketing campaign on my behalf! (No company that deals in Vanity deals can cope with a marketing campaign as well!)

-      I got to read my work with a precise eye for detail

-      I got feedback upon my work

And most importantly:

-      I know that my book is something publishable. It peaked someone’s interest and it interested them enough to want to publish it.

I am in no doubt about the wait to get work published it takes years to get right so it can take years to get perfect but there really is no time-limit: I know of authors who were published aged 13 and I know of other’s published aged 90. It is a truly expiry-free process and one I look forward to getting into in the future.

For nowI think I am going to revise some plot-holes, finish university, live a little in the real-world, rather than the fictional world, and possibly wait and make contacts in the publishing world before rushing my work through as an inexperienced 19 year old.

 
At the end of the dayI write because I enjoy it. That should never change, even when trying to publish a book!

Happy Reading!