snailycanflyy Book Award 2018

Last year, I hosted my first snailycanflyy Book Award, where I narrowed down my top books of the year, and after a fab reading year the award is back for 2018! Last year saw some tough competition from some amazing books featuring amazing authors and illustrators with the overall winner being the very worthy The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson which still stands out as one of the best books I’ve ever read!

The award is split into three categories – Best Picture Book, Best Middle Grade and Best Young Adult, with a winner in each category and an overall winner. The criteria is simply that it has to be a five-star rated book published in 2018 and one that I want to talk about, one that has stuck with me since reading and one that I would recommend wholeheartedly. So, without futher ado, here are the category nominees:

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BEST PICTURE BOOK:

Oscar the Hungry Unicorn – Lou Carter, Nikki Dyson
The Bear, The Piano, The Dog and the FiddleDavid Litchfield
Ruby’s Worry – Tom Percival
Space Tortoise – Ross Montgomery, David Litchfield
The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty Jessica Courtney-Tickle

BEST MIDDLE GRADE BOOK:

The Truth PixieMatt Haig
Death in the Spotlight – Robin Stevens
The Eye of the North – Sinead O’Hart
The Light Jar Lisa Thompson
The Secret Seven: Mystery of the Skull – Pamela Butchart

BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK:

I Was Born For ThisAlice Oseman
To Kill a KingdomAlexandra Christo
LegendaryStephanie Garber
Sunflowers in FebruaryPhyllida Shrimpton
The Exact Opposite of OkayLaura Steven

AND THE WINNERS ARE…drumroll please!

oscar the hungry unicornBEST PICTURE BOOK
Oscar the Hungry Unicorn

death in the spotlightBEST MIDDLE GRADE BOOK
Death in the Spotlight

to kill a kingdomBEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK
To Kill a Kingdom

OVERALL WINNER
The Truth Pixie

A massive congratulations and thank you to all of the authors who’s books made it to the shortlist! All of these books are so incredible and I’ve loved reading them in 2018!

kayleigh

 

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WWW Wednesday: 7th November 2018

I’m so mad that I forgot to do this last week – it was the last day of Blogtober too! Anyway, I’ve read a fair bit this week considering that I have a load of exams and studying to do for my job, and I bought two BEAUTIFUL picture books!

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What are you currently reading? 

I’m really in the mood for middle grade mysteries at the minute since my last couple of reads, so I am about to start Peril in Paris! It’s long overdue!

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What did you recently finish reading?

I think I’ve found my new favourite Murder Most Unladylike book – Death in the Spotlight! It was just such an intricate and gripping murder mystery!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Next up I think I shall continue making my way through my NetGalley TBR…I haven’t decided which one yet!

Six for Sunday: 14th October 2018

Hello and welcome back to Six for Sunday (you can find the prompts here!). I hope you’ve all had a good week. Today I’ve been down to see my friend for dinner so she can meet the other half and we can talk wedding plans for her (I’m Chief Bridesmaid. I’m very excited) and am now looking forward to an evening of sorting out my blog! I’ve found this week’s topic to be fairly easy, but also tricky; there are so many to choose from! The topic is:

Favourite series

1.  Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens

Guaranteed to break any reading slump, this series is addictive and makes for such an enjoyable read! Each book has an intricate mystery that keeps readers hooked and guessing.

2. Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

Another reading slump buster, this series is just incredible. It sparked my love of Sarah J Maas and YA fantasy, and is just a gripping series.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas

Rhysand. Need I say more. I hated this one at first because I didn’t like Feyre  much as a narrator, but once I was gripped, I was gripped!

4. Children of the Red King – Jenny Nimmo

One of the most underrated series of all time, the series had me hooked from book one, Midnight for Charlie Bone, and it deserves as much love as Harry Potter. Speaking of which…

5. Harry Potter – JK Rowling

Are you surprised to see this one on here? Me too.

6. The Doomspell Trilogy – Cliff McNish

Another incredibly underrated series, The Doomspell is like a dark Narnia series that is just exquisite! 

There were so many more that I could’ve chosen from – I loved so many series growing up and still do so narrowing it down was actually really tricky! Have you read any of these series?

Spooky Reads for Children

Welcome back to my Spooky Reads recommendations, and this time I am looking at books for older children. That said, this list includes some timeless classics that everyone can love! So without further ado, here are some of the best books for reading this Autumn and October!

The Black Book of Secrets – F.E.Higgins

The Witches – Roald Dahl

The Witches (Dahl Fiction)

Which Witch – Eva Ibbotson

Which Witch?

 

 

 

 

Monster Mission -Eva Ibbotson

Monster Mission

The Beasts of Clawstone Castle – Eva Ibbotson

The Beasts of Clawstone Castle

The Secret of Platform 13 – Eva Ibbotson

The Secret of Platform 13

 

 

 

 

A Place Called Perfect – Helena Duggan

A Place Called Perfect (Place Called Perfect 1)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K.Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: 1/7 (Harry Potter 1)

Midnight for Charlie Bone – Jenny Nimmo

Midnight for Charlie Bone

 

 

 

 

The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens

Murder Most Unladylike: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery

The Clockwork Sparrow – Katherine Woodfine

The Clockwork Sparrow (Sinclair's Mysteries)

 

 

 

 

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror – Chris Priestley

Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror

The Apprentice Witch – James Nicol

The Apprentice Witch

The Weather Witch – Paul Stewart

The Weather Witch

 

 

 

 

Have you read any of these? What would you recommend for children as perfect reads this Halloween?

 

 

 

WWW Wednesday: 10th October 2018

Welcome back to WWW Wednesday and this week I’ve still not read much. But I have acquired a few books that I am super excited to get to!


What are you currently reading? 

I AM SO EXCITED TO START THIS BOOK! I’m classing it as my currently reading as it is 100% the next book I’m starting!



What did you recently finish reading?

Recently I picked up one of my most anticipated picture books of this year; how cute is Oscar?! It’s such a fun story and has brilliant illustrations.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m thinking it’ll be Wish for a Witch or Amelia Fang.

Six for Sunday: 7th October 2018

I haven’t done one of these for a while…I’m sorry! Welcome back to one of my favourite tags on the internet – Six for Sunday (you can find the prompts here!). I’m actually keeping up with Blogtober too which I am very surprised about! What an excellent topic to get back into S4S with this week with:

Best debut books

There are so many amazing debuts out there, but I will narrow it down to six which absolutely stand out for me!

1. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Still in the running for Best YA Book 2018, this amazing debut all about sirens and pirates is still getting lots of praise, and very deservedly! I LOVE IT!

2. Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton

Another fantastic debut from 2018 which is up there is this title, focusing on life and death in a warm and moving way.

3. Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

Always guaranteed to get me out of a reading slump is this incredible series which started as a debut author and has just gone from strength to strength. A must read for all murder mystery fans!

4. The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

Another one that’s in the running for Best YA Book of 2018 is this hilarious yet important title about the culture of slut shaming, feminism and just the awkwardness of being a young adult that I think everyone can relate to.

5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K.Rowling

It wouldn’t be a list of the best debuts without Harry Potter featuring. It’s a phenomenon. It’s Harry Potter. I need not say more!

6. The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

I saved this until last because it’s the first book that came to mind when I saw this tag. Are you surprised to see this on here? You shouldn’t be. Without a doubt, this is one of the best debuts I’ve EVER read. 

Have you read any of these? Would you have included any other titles?

If you didn’t like that book, you might like this book…

There have been a few videos floating around Booktube lately focusing on recommending books based on books you don’t like, which is a really interesting concept! I believe that this idea originates with Emmmabooks and it’s one that really intrigued me, so I thought I’d have a go at it on here!

If you didn’t like the Twilight Saga, or Fifty Shades of Grey for that matter, you might like the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Disclaimer: I used to love Twilight; I was fifteen. It was the in thing.

It’s a well known fact that Twilight, and its fan-fiction Fifty Shades of Grey, are both poorly written disasterous love stories that have very weird relationships at their heart. So, if you’re looking for a good series that’ll keep you hooked, has supernatural creatures and a bit of smut then look no further than the ACOTAR series from Sarah J Maas. I ADORE this series so much. Give it a chance, because by the time you’re a few chapters in you’ll be eagerly turning every page. Book two A Court of Mist and Fury…phwoar that book makes you get a little flustered. Sarah J Maas does write some good fae smut!

If you didn’t like Paper Butterflies, you might like Differently Normal.

Paper Butterflies, despite all the rave reviews, is one of my least favourite books of all time. It was a traumatic read all about race and child abuse and made for very uncomfortable reading, and not in a good way. Differently Normal, however, is a beautiful book that has some truly heartwarming moments in it whilst having characters put in difficult situations. It’s more than just a beautiful love story.

If you didn’t like books by Enid Blyton, you might like Murder Most Unladylike.

Enid Blyton is one of my favourite authors of all time, and it’s because of her books that I truly got into reading. However, I do appreciate that for some people these books are dated and not something that they enjoy to read. So, if you’re one of those people, you might like the Murder Most Unladylike series as, whilst it’s set in the same time period as Enid Blyton’s books, there’s a breath of fresh air to them that makes them feel very modern. Plus, they’re just fantastic mysteries!

 

Have you read any of these and would you agree with any of my suggestions? If you liked this post and would like to see more like it, please let me know in the comments!

 

THE CASE OF THE DEEPDEAN VAMPIRE – Robin Stevens

4.5/5

Another fabulous mini-mystery from the Wells and Wong Detective Society.

The Case of the Deepdean Vampire is the second of the two mini-mysteries written by Daisy, who is a brilliant narrator! She’s very quick-witted and blows her own trumpet in a way that’s highly entertaining to read.

In this mystery, Daisy investigates the rumours of there being a vampire amongst the fifth-formers. Yet again, despite this not being a murder case, it was full of twists as Daisy tries to solve the case.

I didn’t like this one quite as much as The Case of the Blue Violet, possibly because it’s not as deep a case to solve which made it slightly less interesting. That said, it’s still a solid 4.5/5 read and definitely worth it!

A SPOONFUL OF MURDER – Robin Stevens

5/5

Our favourite schoolgirl detectives uncover another murder, this time whilst they’re in Hong Kong!

Robin Stevens has done it again! Another murder mystery that had me hooked right from page one with two murders and kept me guessing right up until the end. I absolutely adored A Spoonful of Murder!

I wasn’t too sure how I’d feel about the change of scenery to Hazel’s home in Hong Kong (my favourites in the series always take place at Deepdean – stems from my Enid Blyton fangirling), but I really enjoyed the setting and honestly felt like I was in Hong Kong with Daisy and Hazel!

We start off at Deepdean when Hazel receives the sad call from Hong Kong to inform her that her beloved grandfather has passed away and she must return to Hong Kong to visit. Of course she takes Daisy with her (we see a very soft side to Daisy in this book which is very endearing!) However, upon arrival, things start going wrong and it’s not long before the girls are faced with their first murder of this case…

This is one of the first books in a while that I simply haven’t been able to put down and have been totally absorbed in, which is testament to Stevens’ fantastic storytelling ability. I do have to reference one of my favourite quotes from Daisy in the whole book – “It’s always frightfully annoying to have relatives isn’t it? If I could I’d have come out of an egg.” It was little things like this among the seriousness of a murder case that make the Murder Most Unladylike series such a joy to read. I can’t wait for the next installment!

 

 

THE CASE OF THE BLUE VIOLET – Robin Stevens

5/5

A delightful murder-less mystery for our favourite schoolgirl detectives to solve.

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get my hands on these – hurrah for finally getting the Kindle app!

The Case of the Blue Violet is the first of two mini-mysteries that accompany the Murder Most Unladylike series. In this mystery, Daisy takes hold of the writing reins as she is asked to take on a romantic mystery for one of the Big Girls at Deepdean.

I loved how this was just a nice bite-sized mystery to solve, yet was still complex enough to get your teeth into. Robin Stevens is incredible at writing mysteries, and this one was no different despite being so short and lacking murder!