ALL ABOUT MIA – Lisa Williamson

5/5

One of the best UKYA contemporary releases in recent years.

All About Mia focuses on Mia as we see her develop from this self-centered teen into a more mature teen/young adult over the course of this story. What’s so likable about her is that she isn’t perfect; she’s very much her own character and she’s very real, and that is something that is so important for teens and young adults to connect with. To top off an awesome book, Lisa Williamson’s writing style is flawless and touches upon so many important/diverse topics in such a way that it isn’t thrust in your face like many other books can be – in this book there are hints of feminism, multiculturalism and relationships to name a few.

I didn’t expect to love this book quite this much, but honestly I couldn’t put it down! Mia is such a lively character who literally leaps off the page – whilst I probably have more in common with Grace, I could totally relate to Mia, and I think that everyone (whether or not they’re the middle child, or even have siblings) can understand how she’s feeling and why she acts like she does. We get to learn so much about all three sisters, who are all at different stages of their teen years and all have feelings that we can all connect with or remember from being those ages.

It’s been a fair while since I read this book, and I still think it’s a firm five star read that I would highly recommend.


Thank you to David Fickling books for my copy of this title!
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THAT’S NOT MY UNICORN… – Fiona Watt, Rachel Wells

5/5

A magical addition to the That’s Not My… series that doesn’t disappoint!

I have been so excited for the 50th title in this series for months since I heard about its release, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint! Easily my favourite book in this series, That’s Not My Unicorn is the perfect book for little ones to love, bigger children to love, and grown ups to love. Basically, it’s perfect for everyone. As an adult, I just had to buy a copy of a touchy-feely book for myself, and I have no regrets.

That’s Not My Unicorn, like the other books in the series, follows a simple yet fun format of discovering each unicorn through the touchy-feely pages and trying to find the right one at the end. What makes this one so special is just how shiny it is; inside, the cover, even the page edges – everything about this book screams unicorns and magic!

THE STORY ORCHESTRA: FOUR SEASONS IN ONE DAY – Jessica Courtney-Tickle

4/5

The beautiful first title from The Story Orchestra series.

This book is simply gorgeous, with a lovely story to accompany Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. It is a bit more of a wordy book, but it’s fun to be able to press the buttons and hear different parts from the music which correlate to what’s happening on that page – this makes it a really good introduction to music for little ones and for the understanding of how music can tell a story. It’s definitely more of a gifty book and older children will probably appreciate the music leading the story and the facts about the orchestra and score itself a lot more than younger children.

Personally, I really hope that there are even more stories to come from The Story Orchestra (Beethoven please!) as it is something different, I’d have to say it’s probably the best noisy book available (it’s not just sounds…I can deal with my sister pressing all the buttons. It’s good!), and it can help to spark a love of music as well as reading!


I received this book when I was a bookseller from the publisher, Quarto – thank you!

THE BEAR, THE PIANO, THE DOG AND THE FIDDLE- David Litchfield

5/5

A stunning sequel to The Bear and the Piano from one of the brightest talents in children’s books today.

Generally, if a book involves David Litchfield illustrations, you can be guaranteed that it’s a good one, especially when he’s also the author. Grandad’s Secret Giant was my picture book of the year for 2017, and The Bear and the Piano is definitely a favourite and very much deserving of all the love surrounding it. The Bear, the Piano, the Dog and the Fiddle, no surprise, is just as good.

I actually love this sequel more than the first book; it was heartbreaking and heartwarming with a very clear and meaningful message about friendship and sharing, and how things may not always work out how you expect but true friendship will always shine through. It is such an important book for adults as well as children to read and love.

I can’t recommend The Bear, the Piano, the Dog and the Fiddle enough and it’s one that I hope finds as much love as the first book! Fans of David Litchfield will not be disappointed, and I hope that he finds many more new fans with the release of this title!


Thank you so much to Christopher and Ellen at Quarto for my copy of this book!

Six for Sunday: 5th August 2018

HELLO FROM DISNEYWORLD!

I couldn’t resist checking in for Six for Sunday this week! You can find the second half of the year’s prompts here! This week’s is:

Authors you’ll always pick up

1. Sara Barnard 

2. Lisa Thompson

3. Jenny Nimmo

4. Jennifer Niven

5. Sophie Kinsella

6. Cliff McNish 

Problems of a bookworm…lots of authors who’s books I will automatically pick up! Have you read any of these author’s books (if not, check them out!) and who are your top authors that you’ll always read books by?

Six for Sunday: 29th July 2018

Hello and it’s that time again! Continuing with the second half of the year’s prompts which you can find here, this week’s is:

Books that made you fall in love

I have so many book boyfriends…it’s normal right?!

1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas 

Rhys and his impressive wingspan.

2. The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Luke Brandon. *swoons*

3. Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella

Another one that Sophie Kinsella is guilty of creating…this time my much older man, Jack Harper.

4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Will Traynor. Oh god. This book made me laugh and fall in love…then it totally DESTROYED me.

5. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch is just, ahhhh, I love him. By the time this post goes live, we shall know who is playing him in the film!

6. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas 

Oh Sam Cortland.

I feel all giddy thinking about all of these amazing book boyfriends haha! Would you agree with any of my choices or do you have some totally different books that made you fall in love?

ARCACIA – T.A.Barua

Good evening! I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for Arcacia by T.A.Barua, a new children’s fantasy book. It’s been receiving some good reviews! Here’s the premise:

When a beautiful sorceress-queen, Selina, spurns Setanor, a powerful, jealous northern warlock, an invasion of Western Arcacia begins. To save her newborn triplets from death, they are cast down a magical river to the New World, a place called, ‘London, England.’

Thirteen years later in a cold, Victorian London attic… The future of Sophie, an impoverished orphan looks bleak but everything changes, to her astonishment after a young witch arrives through her bedroom window with an incredible message and a warning. So begins her life in a beautiful, enchanted ancient world…

How do Sophie and her four friends summon the tremendous courage to rescue her long lost family while restoring Arcacia from dark, ruling forces? Mystical beasts, sceptres, powerful witches and daemon-trolls are just some of their challenges. Meanwhile, the dreaded terrifying warlock, Setanor and his witch-consort Lilith have sent a secret enemy to plan their downfall…

Check out the rest of the bloggers involved in the tour!

You can get a copy of Arcacia here.

Have you heard of or read Arcacia? What did you think of it?

Six for Sunday: 22nd July 2018

Hello and welcome back to another Six for Sunday (you can find the prompts here!). This weekend I’ve made more Minnie Mouse ears (if you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram you’ll have seen my first pair!) and then haven’t got as far as planning today! Anyway, this week’s Six for Sunday is:

Books that made you want to shout

I’ve gone for positive shouting, in the sense of these are books that I just want to shout out about as much as possible, throw into people’s hands…quite literally.

1. The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

I ADORE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. PLEASE READ IT.

I want everyone to read this book to truly get an idea of what OCD is like. Plus, it’s a fab mystery. It’s a win-win.

2. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

The anxiety representation in here is fantastic! My YA Book of the Year 2017.

3. Worries Go Away by Kes Gray, Lee Wildish

GAH! THIS BOOK! I am literally the little girl, and I think so many people will relate. This book is essential for little people, for big people…for everyone! Plus, Kes Gray signed my copy and wrote the cutest message and I love him for it.

4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I understand that this one is a little bit more controversial, but I LOVE it. For me, the main message is about how your actions can impact upon others and it’s about making the right choices and so many people would benefit from learning that.

5. Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo

I. Love. This. Series.

The Children of the Red King series is one of the most underrated; jenny Nimmo’s writing is exquisite and she’s crafted an amazing story set within our world. Fans of Harry Potter will LOVE this, and I want more people to read it!

6. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

So, last but not least, and no list would be complete without this one, is Harry Potter. BECAUSE HARRY POTTER IS THE BEST. If you’ve been living under a rock, or just have never fancied reading it because of the hype…IT IS THE BEST SERIES OF ALL TIME FOR A REASON.

I really enjoyed today’s topic! Would you agree or disagree with any of these? What books would you shout about?

TO PIXAR AND BEYOND – Lawrence Levy

5/5

A fascinating insight into the beginnings, ups and downs of Pixar.

*DISCLAIMER – I am a borderline obsessive Disney/Pixar fan.

I loved the idea of a brand new book all about Pixar, but I didn’t realise that this was a business book. So, when I picked it up I was a tad hesitant about whether I’d enjoy it and how long it would take me ’cause it would probably be a heavy slightly dull book.

I WAS SO WRONG.

I couldn’t put this down. Seriously, I got home from work and just read, read, read. It was addictive, entertaining and fascinating. I thought I knew a fair amount about Pixar (someone who wears Hawaiian shirts…I know exactly who you’re on about!) but this book truly opened my eyes. Pixar is such an incredibly innovative company, full of some of the most talented people in the world who are so passionate about Pixar that that emotion literally leaped from the page. Levy takes you on a journey from him joining the company during the production of Toy Story where you see a floundering company full of creativity but a lack of momentum, and we see this life injected into it. I felt transported back to 1995 and I cried at their triumphs and worried for Pixar during their difficult times. I honestly didn’t expect to cry at a business book. But there you go.

Taking aside the element of being a Pixar fanatic, this book was highly interesting to read to gain a better understanding of business and the insane money involved in finance and Hollywood. Pixar’s success has been aided by people taking chances and risks, and it could so easily have been a completely different outcome! It was fascinating to learn about how fundamental Pixar is to the world as we know it today – without Pixar, Disney would be a totally different company (my life would certainly be very very different!), Apple would be totally different or possibly not even exist and lots of the technological advances we saw in the 90s wouldn’t have happened.

I did think as I came towards the end that I was going to have one criticism, and that’s the way that after the Disney takeover is covered this book seemed to lose momentum. However, it turns out that those philosophical chapters were actually important, and carry one of the main messages of the book and of Pixar’s legacy.

Pixar definitely can be a way of life (I’m taking this book as evidence).


Thank you to Oneworld Publications for my copy!

Panic! At The Disco Tag

This Panic! At The Disco book tag was created by Jess at Read By Jess, a fellow Panic! fan. As soon as she put out a tweet about if there were people who liked books and Panic! I just had to respond, and I’m very glad that she tagged me to do this tag! 

The Death of a Bachelor – a romance book

the kissing boothThe Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles. Of course this book had to make its way onto this list, although I didn’t expect it to be the first answer! This is just a perfect YA coming of age romance book that I can’t recommend highly enough.

High Hopes – a book you’re really excited for

I can’t wait to read Ella on the Outside by Cath Howe. This came highly recommended to me by my bestie who usually is very spot on with her recommendations for me so I can’t wait to get into this one!

Miss Jackson – a book with a betrayal

I could choose quite a few books for this, but I’m going to go with my gut instinct and choose The Assassins Blade by Sarah J Maas. I LOVE THIS SERIES. It’s so blimming good, and my favourite is this book (made up of five novellas) although it completely BROKE me. The betrayal in here. OMG. The feels.

Girls/Girls/Boys – a LGBTQ+ book

i was born for this

I’ll be honest, I haven’t read a whole lot of LGBTQ+ books despite owning a few, but one that stands out is I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman. With a whole host of diverse characters including a trans narrator, this book is one of the best books released this year.

I Write Sins Not Tragedies – a book featuring a wedding

Shopaholic Ties The Knot by Sophie Kinsella. How I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series, and this book is no exception. I won’t give too much away, but this installment features a very exciting wedding that’s full of all the humour and happenings you come to expect from a Sophie Kinsella book.

Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time – a book featuring a partying protagonist or a party scene

I’m going to choose All About Mia by Lisa Williamson for this one; although it’s been a while since I read it, I remember Mia being a bit of a party girl and there being a party scene. Double tick.

Say Amen (Saturday Night) – a book with an unapologetic main character

the exact opposite of okayThe Exact Opposite of Okay, which fits quite a few of the prompts for this tag, has one of the best main characters in YA – Izzy is hilarious and what you see is what you get. She makes mistakes, she’s flawed, and she knows it. It’s brilliant.

This Is Gospel – a book from a trilogy

So many amazing trilogies…one that stands out is one of the most underrated books EVER. The Doomspell by Cliff McNish is ah-mazing and is like a darker Narnia with scarier witches and an amazing world to get lost in.

Emperor’s New Clothes – a hardback that looks beautiful naked

notes on a nervous planetNotes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. IT’S A RAINBOW WHEN NAKED. IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

Victorious – an empowering book

Following on from my previous answer, I’m going with Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig. One of the most exquisitely written books of all time, it’s just incredible. Read it.

Impossible Year – a really sad book

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield. And no, I do not recommend it. It’s not a good sad; it’s a blimming uncomfortable read that’ll make you feel sad sad. I can’t fault Lisa’s writing (she’s an amazing writer) but I absolutely hated this book.

King Of The Clouds – a prize winning book

I am definitely going with The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson. It’s won a few prizes, was shortlisted for some bigger ones and, not forgetting, it was Book of the Year 2017 in the Snailycanflyy Book Award. It’s a book that I want to throw into everyone’s hands and make sure they read; it’s a the most accurate portrayal of OCD that I’ve ever come across, and it is brilliant.

Hey Look ma, I Made It – a debut author

There are so many I could’ve chosen for this one! This year has seen some amazing debuts, but the first one that I thought of was Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton. This is a YA contemporary book that, although it was about death, was really enjoyable and had lots of warmth and humour in it. Plus, Phyllida is easily one of my favourite authors on social media; she’s so lovely!

 

I really enjoyed doing this tag! It was fun to reflect on some of my favourite books and how they fit in with some of my favourite songs! I would like to tag anyone who loves Panic! and books to have a go at this brilliant tag!