A few changes to this blog...

Monday, 31 August 2015 0 comments
Hey guys, I'm here with a bit of a different post because I've decided there's going to be a few changes happening to this blog - some which are going to be effective immediately, and others which will begin to appear gradually over time. 

So while blogging is a hobby that I really do enjoy, I've found myself quite stressed in trying to get posts out. Now I know that my blog probably isn't the most original out there, and I've found this to be quite an annoying factor of late. I want my blog to be original and personal to me, and by replicating the same types of posts over and over again, I'm just not satisfying my craving for originality.

Therefore, I am deciding to put a stop to that.

Previously on this blog I had three main features that I tried my hardest to make appear weekly. These of course are Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday and Falling Behind on Friday posts. Although very quick and easy posts to type up, I found myself getting more stressed over them because I wasn't managing to keep up. My posts were slowly becoming a day late, and then two days, and even a week and I was just back scheduling the posts to coincide with the dates they were supposed to be posted. I shouldn't have to do that. 

Henceforth I have decided that I am no longer going to be continuing with the Waiting on Wednesday and Falling Behind on Friday feature on this blog.

It has been a decision that I have not made likely or on a whim - it is actually something that I have been considering for a while because they just aren't exciting me like they used to. It's the same old rubbish being posted each week and it's actually becoming strenuous to try and find appropriate books for these topics. It's just not original anymore. This news probably isn't going to come to a surprise to many of you considering I haven't posted a Top Ten Tuesday or Falling Behind on Friday in roughly a month... Oh well!

Meanwhile, I am going to be continuing on with the Top Ten Tuesday posts but I believe these may be spread out over a fortnightly basis. I enjoy the originality of thought that is associated with these posts so therefore I will be continuing to engage in them. However, the weekly reoccurrence may become to stressful for me at times to keep up with, so having them fortnightly will allow me to spread out the creativity across my blog - hopefully you guys won't be getting bored that way. If I find myself becoming to overwhelmed with the Top Ten Tuesday posts then this may change to the Top 5 Wednesday feature, because their shorter in demand and then I can integrate the books into my Instagram photographs and I'm really enjoying doing that at the minute. It's definitely something that is keeping me inspired and creative during these strenuous times!

Besides the weekly/fortnightly features, I would really like to integrate some discussion posts into this blog. Now these I can't imagine will appear immediately so don't expect them within the next week - however, I've recently been thinking that all of my favourite book blogs have some sort of discussion posts that interact with their viewers and that is exactly the type of engagement I want to have with my blog. I also really want to inspire my viewers and to make them think. I don't want it to be a place that people come once or twice, read a post and then forget it when switch their tab to Twitter and begin to laugh at pictures of cats. I want my blog to have some remembrance (well don't we all) and I think the only way to do this is through creativity and originality. Being a teacher I strongly believe I have both of these elements and I have to use them on a daily basis at work, so why can't I integrate them into my blog? It should be simple enough, right?

Anyway that's all I really have to say on the matter. I'd really appreciate some feedback from you guys about how you think bloggers can inspire creativity and originality into their posts because I'm thinking one of my first discussion posts is going to be around this topic. Perhaps I could even get some blogger interviews on the matter, what do you guys think?

August Book Haul

Hey guys! I thought I'd do a little post that amalgamates all of the photos I've put together on Instagram over the past few weeks to document the books I got in the month of August! Now these are a combination of books that I've either bought myself, have been bought as a gift or have been sent by the wonderful people in the publishing industry! I thought I'd turn this into a monthly segment for my blog so you guys can see the books that I'll be reviewing in the near future, and hopefully this builds up your excitement for them as much as mine!

So without further ado, here are the books that I received in the month of August!

I said last month that I felt extremely lucky because I got some wonderful books for review and picked up some amazing titles from bookstores! This month is no different and I am so ecstatic about one of these books in particular. As I have been away on holiday for 2 weeks of the month, I didn't actually get round to buying that many books, but I did receive some amazing books from review from fantastic publishers, as well as paying postage for some books someone was getting rid of! Some of these books I intend to get to as soon as possible because they're for review, but some I have had on my radar for a while and was glad that I could get them for cheaper than originally intended!


As aforementioned I received some wonderful books in the post for review and I am extremely grateful to the publishing houses for sending these my way! Some of these in particular I have had my eye on for a long time and they have been on my most anticipated books of the year.

This month I received books from: Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Mira Ink and Bloomsbury. 

These are the books I received and their release dates:
Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (6th October 2015)

The Last Ever After (TSOGAE) by Soman Chainani (21st July 2015)

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley (22nd October 2015)

Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (7th April 2015)

Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe (27th August 2015)


Similarly to last month I got in contact with someone who was offering up unwanted books for the price of postage. This month I contacted Charnell from Reviews of a Bookworm (link to Twitter here.) Charnell was lovely enough to send these books to me and they're wonderful. I'm so glad I have Sarah Crossan's dystopian series in time for when I meet her in September for her signing!

Charnell is such a wonderful person, you should go check her out!

These are the books I received and their release dates:
Breathe by Sarah Crossan (11th October 2012)

Resist by Sarah Crossan (10th October 2013)

Birdy by Jess Valance (2nd July 2015)

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher (18th June 2015)


This month while I was down in London I visited Watersones Piccadilly (which were both amazing experiences.) While I was in Waterstones Piccadilly I picked up We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sunquist, a book I have had my eye on forever! I also picked up a signed edition of The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson! I also picked up a Waterstones exclusive edition of The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, which has an exclusive signed print in the back!

These are the books I bought and their release dates:

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (1st January 2015)

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sunquist (29th January 2015)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (27th August 2015)

So there we have it! All of the books I received this month! 12! Jeez, the same amount as last month - I really need to slow down or I won't have the time to read all of these! All of the people who sent me books are so generous and I cannot thank them enough! I do not deserve all of these but it's kind that you think of me!

Let me know what books you guys have recently purchased/received for review etc in the comments below or on any of my social media platforms. I'd love to hear about them! If you have any specific recommendations then definitely let me know, I'm always open to suggestions!

Book Review # 59: Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Tuesday, 18 August 2015 0 comments
Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Bloomsbury.  I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review.

Title: Because You'll Never Meet Me
AuthorLeah Thomas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: July 2nd 2015
Pages: 344
SourceReview Copy from Publisher
PurchaseThe Book Depository / Waterstones

In a stunning literary debut, two boys on opposite ends of the world begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives forever.

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.

Until the lovely Katrina at Bloomsbury sent this out to me alongside One by Sarah Crossan, I had no idea that this book even existed! In regards to this, Up front I have to bluntly say that this book was absolutely fabulous! It was such an unusual concept to have two boys who physically could not meet and tell their story through their letter correspondences. I found it so unique and it worked extremely well to the author's advantage. So what did I think of it?

The Disney Book Tag

Sunday, 16 August 2015 0 comments
Hey guys! I'm here today with another book tag for you. Now I wasn't actually tagged to do this one, but as I'm scheduling posts to upload whilst I'm away (hello from past Daniel!) I thought that this was a really awesome one to choose. It was originally created by Kat over at Katytastic on Youtube in celebration of the release of Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz, the prequel novel to the upcoming movie 'Disney's Descendants.' I hope you enjoy!

1. The Little Mermaid - A character who is out of their element, a “fish out of water”

For this question I decided to Jason from the Heroes of Olympus series. In the first book especially he is thrust into the world of demigods with no memory whatsoever. He has to very quickly adapt to his surroundings in order to stay alive. He kind of freaks out about it too!

2. Cinderella - A character who goes through a major transformation

I think I'm going to have to go with Ruby from Remix by Non Pratt. In the beginning of the novel she is a cocky and confident individual with a strong ego, however as the novel progresses, Ruby's world begins to slowly unravel and we realise that she's not quite strong of a character as she first made out to be. For such a dynamic character I found Ruby to definitely go through such a dramatic transformation.

3. Snow White - A book with an eclectic cast of characters

This definitely has to be Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. In this peculiar world there are so many unusual and different characters that really bring out their own individual qualities in the story. Each of them is dynamic in their own right and when they're brought together, they become even more enigmatic than they first seem.

4. Sleeping Beauty - A book that put you to sleep

As much as I hate to admit this, but Splintered by A.G. Howard was one that definitely made me drowsy. The problem is, I really enjoyed that book. Thoroughly enjoyed it! It took a dark and mysterious take on Wonderland, but the pacing of the book was so incredibly slow and the slowness made me feel as if I was completely oblivious to what was going on plot wise. If I think about it now I'm actually struggling to remember what happened. Unfortunately this was quite a major thing for me, which is why I feel that I napped throughout reading this book!

5. The Lion King - A character who had something traumatic happen to them in childhood

A traumatic childhood? What a rare occurrence in YA! I kid, theres so much of it. I think the most traumatic impact I can think of right now is Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series. His parents were tortured by the cruciatus curse and Neville had to live with that through the entire series, constantly striving to make them proud. He even had his grandmother on his back about doing well. As if the boy needed more pressure - it's clear to see why he crumbled in Moody's defence against the dark arts lesson! 

6. Beauty and the Beast - A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful

Most definitely The Diviners by Libba Bray. That book is an absolute monster rocking in at almost 600 pages! It was ridiculous and I tried putting it off for so long, however when I got into it, the story just unravelled and I was instantly drawn into the world. It was so amazing (even if I'm in desperate need of a re-read because I've forgotten bits) and I can't wait to read the sequel 'Lair of Dreams', even if that book is even longer!

7. Aladdin - A character who gets their wish granted, for better or worse

I think for this one I'm going to go with Calypso from the Heroes of Olympus series. I'm not going to go into too much depth with this one because it's majorly spoilery, but lets just say her wish was to leave the island she was trapped on and leave it at that!

8. Mulan - A character who pretends to be someone or something they are not

For this question I think I'm going to go with Celeana Sardothian in the Throne of Glass book. In this novel Celeana has to pretend to be somebody else, using an alter ego so that nobody will guess who she truly is. Throughout the book although with the people she feels comfortable with she is Celeana, to those who she doesn't call friends she is the Lady Lillian. 

9. Toy Story - A book with characters you wish would come to life

Oh my goodness there are so many characters that I wish would just come to life, however I'm going to have to default and go back to the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. There are so many characters that I adore in that series and if I could have them step out of the page and into reality, then I totally would. Can you imagine Percy and Leo being your best friends? Ha, you'd have a blast!

10. Disney Descendants - Your favorite villain or morally ambiguous character. Both Disney or otherwise

Ooh this is an interesting one. For my favourite Disney villain it has to be Maleficent. I adore her character, I think she's so morally corrupt and genuinely just plain evil. I love it! As for my favourite bookish villain then I think I'm going to have to go with The Commandment from An Ember in the Ashes. Once again, she is just so deliciously evil and completely lacking in morals. She doesn't care at all, she just inflicts pain to get her way and I cannot think of a better villain!

Okay so there we have it, the Disney Book Tag! I'm not going to tag anyone specific in this post because I've done quite a lot of book tags recently and I think I end up mentioning the same people to do the tags because I love their answers. So, if you are reading this then I challenge YOU, yes you, do to this tag! As always, tag me in your post and on Twitter letting me know your answers because if I do manage to get wifi whilst I'm abroad, I'd love to read about them whilst I'm away. Taking a little bit of home with me!

Should we as readers feel guilty over large TBR piles? NO!

Friday, 14 August 2015 0 comments

Hey guys, I'm here today to discuss my thoughts on whether we as readers should feel guilty over large TBR piles, and also in relation to this – whether we should feel guilty prioritising our own books over ones for review. Now this was originally a guest post feature over on Faye's (A Daydreamer's Thoughts) blog about a month back, but as I'm currently away I needed something to schedule in to break up the gaps in my absence. Apologises to those of you who have already read this article, but here we go!

So I’m not one to deny that I buy a lot more books than I actually read. Anyone who knows me will know that this is an issue I struggle with. Am I bothered by it though? No, not at all. I am one of those readers who can walk into a bookstore knowing he has over 150 books to choose from on his bookshelf and can happily walk out with 5 more. Do I feel guilty? No, why should I? I often get told that due to the amount of books I have sitting there on my shelf that I should feel grateful that I have them at all, so why do I go out of my way to buy more books? Surely it’s just disrespectful if I’m not reading the ones I currently have, especially if some of those books were originally gifts. To this, I really only have one thing to say and that is that book priority shouldn’t necessarily be done based on when you buy the book, but in my mind should be focused on what you as a reader are in the mood for. I see too many people fretting over the issue that they’ve bought an x number of books but they’ve already got tens and hundreds sitting on their shelves at home and they feel guilty because in a way they are betraying their books.

For a minute lets examine this scenario by utilising our imaginations and picturing that books could actually form opinions. Would jealousy and rivalry occur between them? Quite possibly, but at the end of the day surely it’s better to have lots of friends than none at all? This is the way that I see my unread books on my bookshelves and I tweeted this out quite a lot in one of Lucy’s #ukyachat’s. I personally see each of my books as an adventure that can be explored. I know that sounds extremely childish but hey, I’m a teacher it’s my job to think of corny and childish comments. However, what I say is true, or to me it is at least. For me, books are an escape from reality – sometimes you just want to picture yourself in a world where life isn’t always that tough and even when it is, there is a definite ending. In life we’re on a constant journey and who knows where we’ll end up in the future – this uncertainty is what drives my passion for reading. Having a structure really reflects the lack of what we have in the real world. In our lives we have a beginning, middle and end but in the present there is an aura of uncertainty about that and in my opinion books can be there to reassure us of the fact that the future may be uncertain, but we need to make the most of today to make it happen.

Okay, enough of the philosophical ramblings and back to the topic in hand. Guilt over buying books. Should we have it? I’d like to argue no. As readers we treasure the stories we’re told – otherwise why would we be so fond of reading? To be exposed to such a large quantity of material it allows us the freedom to choose exactly what we want. We all love a good bookshop right? It’s the same principle. This is one of the reasons I’m slowly trying to build up my own personal library from the comforts of my bedroom. At the end of the day, we as readers are accomplishing an awful lot. Besides the reading community online, I don’t see that many people who can say that they openly have read 50-100 books in a year. Thanks to Goodreads I can keep on track of this. In my opinion that is something to be proud of! Books won’t ever go out of fashion as long as there are people there to admire them, and with a community this large there is definitely potential for it to stay in fashion indefinitely. Why should we feel guilty about keeping passions alive? Yes it might be nice to fly through your TBR shelves and to be able to say you don’t have a single unread book on your shelves, meaning you can go out and buy more.

Frankly this notion scares me! In life we’re not always given the opportunities (especially in my case) where you can go out and buy books all of the time. Money constraints, jobs ect. There are always reasons. So to limit yourself to only enjoying the one book you’re reading and not having the freedom to simply pluck another off of your shelves if you don’t like it – well why would we ever want to limit ourselves?

I know this post is getting a tad lengthy but another topic I want to explore is whether we should feel guilty for prioritising our own books over that of review copies. This is a tricky one to discuss and I’m sure there are people out there who would prefer to agree and disagree with one particular side. However, in this instance I’m going to argue for arguments sake that we shouldn’t feel guilty about it. You see the theme here? No guilt! I understand that review copies of books are important in the publishing world as it allows bloggers (whom most publishers trust wholeheartedly) to spread the honest truth about a publication. I also understand that in the case of review copies there is also an unwritten time scale in which you should really have the book read and reviewed by. In a lot of cases this is usually by publication date but as most bloggers know, this isn’t always possible. With such lengthy TBR piles, I have found in the past, both from observation and own experiences, that bloggers’ tastes will vary a lot and you can’t always commit yourself to reading a particular book in a particular genre. You’ll find that quite often this can subtly reflect in your review and half of the time you probably won’t even notice it. You can be reading a Sci-Fi novel, having read a steady stream of Sci-Fi over a long period of time, but really be in the mood for a light and airy contemporary. Are you really going to enjoy the book as much if you’re not in the mood for it? Food for thought. In the past I’ve found publishers respect bloggers for their love of reading and are patient when it comes to constructing your thoughts on a particular title, and quite often if that means relaxing with one of your own books that you know you’re going to enjoy (especially if that book is a re-read or a favourite) then who are they to say we’re wrong?

So I’ll cap it off there because unfortunately you’ll have me talking forever about the topic of book guilt. I could also talk a lot about guilt in terms of writing reviews and whether writing an impartial and not always truthful review for good publicity is the right thing to do. This was a topic that came up in a #ukyachat and oh I could argue that point again and again. Perhaps the opportunity will arise in the future to discuss that at another time. So until next time guys, stay awesome and be proud of your lengthy TBR’s! The adventures are out there for you to explore, never limit yourself to the endless possibilities.

The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag

Monday, 10 August 2015 0 comments
Hey guys! So while I'm on a brief hiatus, I have scheduled a wonderful post for you because I was tagged by Sofia at The Reading Fangirl (Blog link and Twitter link) to do The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag! It takes each of the deadly sins; Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth, Pride and Wrath, and associates them with a bookish question. This sounds like an awesome tag to do so thank you to Sofia for tagging me! Without further ado, here is The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag!

Greed - What is your most inexpensive? What is your most expensive book?

For inexpensive it's probably going to have to be my hardback copy of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I picked this up on my travels in brand new condition from PoundLand. It literally only cost me £1 to buy a new hardcover of a book I had had my eyes on for ages! As for the most expensive book, then it's definitely my Collector's Edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling. I forked out almost £70 for this bad boy because they were all of the range when they first came out. It's my pride and joy and contains gorgeous limited edition prints as well as a stunning edition of Tales of Beedle the Bard. Although the price seems a lot, you can find them for anything up to £150 now these days so I don't think I did too badly. I just had to have this gorgeous edition on my shelves.

Wrath - What author do you have a love-hate relationship with?

This is such a difficult question because usually I find myself either enjoying all of an author's work or loathing it completely. It's hard to try and find a balance in between. Let me see.... Oh okay I have one, probably Adi Alsaid because I recently read his new novel 'Never Always Sometimes' expecting to love it as much as I did 'Let's Get Lost', except I found it to be extremely cliched (which was part of the story arc) and very pretentious. It seemed as if Alsaid had used up all of his creative expertise in his debut novel but when it came to the follow up it seemed as if he threw everything he knew about writing and characters out of the window. It was such a shame because the overall premise seemed sound.

Gluttony - What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame?

Easy. I'd normally go for my default answer of Harry Potter but I'm actually going to go with The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Now I've only actually physically read the novel once, but I do own the audiobook of it and I've listened to that book on multiple train journeys, multiple times! I love the way the reader of the audiobook captures Hazel's voice as well as all of the other characters. I think she does a fantastic job and it really adds to the reading experience. I know a lot of people will probably bash it because TFIOS is so popular these days thanks to the movie, but hey, no shame!

Sloth - What book have you neglected due to laziness?

There are quite a few books on my shelves that I've neglected probably more than I should have but I'm going to have to go with The Mirror World of Melody Black by Gavin Extence. I've mentioned this recently in one of my 'Falling Behind on Friday' segments, but I received this book for review from Hodder and Stoughton back a few months ago, and whilst I was really excited for this book at the time, I've lost interest in it now and it's just pure laziness that has me not picking it up. I feel really bad about this book considering the publisher went out of their way to allow me to review it!

Pride - What book do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

Funnily enough, I actually don't do this at all. I loathe it when people try to big up their reading abilities or book choices in order to sound intellectual. I just think it makes them sound like a pretentious prat. However, if I was going to try and sound in the slightest bit 'intellectual' (if we're sticking with the assumption that intellectual means reading classics) then I'd have to go with Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It's one of the only classics that I've read and actually enjoyed. I do have a selection on my shelf to choose from but because we analysed this one in school, I took so much more out of it and really enjoyed the writing. So yes, Wuthering Heights is the book that will make me sound pretentious. 

Lust - What attributes do you find attractive in characters?

Although the sin of Lust focuses more on sexual attraction than anything, I can't say I've ever found myself lusting over a certain character. I mean, I've read some characters that I've had a 'hot damn' moment, but never anything major. As for the trait that I find attractive in characters, it has to be a decent sense of humour. I also find sarcasm to be strangely attractive. Like if a character is witty and is sarcastic as hell then I am ten times more likely to love them than if they we're bland. I just find that characters lacking this slight open humour are kind of boring otherwise - there's no substance to them and I think humour (in all of it's forms) can really emboss a character.

Envy - What book would you most like to receive as a gift?

This is such a difficult one and I struggle every time someone asks me this, because my answer keeps changing. At the minute with all of the new releases that will be coming out, I think I'd keep it simple and go with the new illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. As much as I'd love the Deluxe edition with the pull out map of Diagon Alley, I'm not actually a fan of the cover. I'd much rather have the standard edition to add to my collection.

So that was the Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag! I hope you enjoyed my answers, I really enjoyed writing them. As per usual with these tags we have to tag people who we want to see answer it so for this I am going to tag the following people:

I hope you guys have fun with this tag, I sure did! If you do it, remember to tag me in your post and on Twitter so that I can see what answers you've come up with!

Blog Tour Book Review: A Malmont Summer by Joshua J Johnson

Thursday, 6 August 2015 0 comments

Hey guys! I'm here today as part of the A Malmont Summer Blog Tour and today I have my review of the first book in what looks to be quite a promising series! 

Title: A Malmont Summer
AuthorJoshua J Johnson
Publisher: Amazon 
Format: eBook
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 320
Source: Digital ARC from Author
Purchase: Amazon Kindle

Set in Santa Monica, A MALMONT SUMMER follows four girls who attend St. Malmont—a boarding school for the teenagers of the extremely rich, located between golden sands and sparkling waters, raving nightclubs and fast cars—as they go about enjoying their summer.

But when a difference in views arises between Heidi and Danielle, their typical summer they had been expecting is turned upside down—almost literally, as they end up flitting to the other side of the globe to Australia, where their summer truly kicks off.

With their two other friends, Lottie and Hannah, the four girls make a plan to follow two very different bucket lists, based on two very different sets of opinions, in order to be able to settle their argument once and for all.

Along the way, however, their summer becomes much more eventful than they ever anticipated—secrets are revealed, love lives are tangled, and crimes are committed…and that’s just the start.

Because, when you’re the daughters of extremely rich families, the sky is the limit when it comes to proving your points…

I have to openly admit that I had been rooting for Joshua ever since he announced his new YA contemporary novel 'A Malmont Summer.' It sounded like such an interesting concept and it looked to be a combination of elements that I've really enjoyed in some of my favourite books. What I didn't expect out of a YA debut was the level of depth Joshua goes into in terms of discussing social classes and the morals that are usually associated with them. Did I enjoy this book? I really did. It was really stunning and I thoroughly enjoyed it but few books can be without flaws and unfortunately this was not one of them, but enough of the brief overview - what did I think about it?

Blog Tour: A Guest Post from Joshua J.Johnson!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015 0 comments

Hey guys! Today I'm here as part of the A MALMONT SUMMER Blog Tour and I am very excited to be hosting the author, Joshua J. Johnson on my blog who is here with a wonderful guest post that talks all about locations and the settings for his debut YA novel! I've had a read through it and its brilliant, so without further ado I'll pass you over to Joshua!

Hello! First of all, thank you so much to Daniel for having me on his blog. It's an absolute pleasure and I'm so excited!

Basically, I'm here today to talk about LOCATIONS, and why I love using different places as my settings in my books, especially in A MALMONT SUMMER, which came out yesterday!

A MALMONT SUMMER follows four girls who live in Santa Monica and attend a private boarding school there who proceed to flit across the world to Australia to figure out their issues and attempt to settle their dispute.

One of the biggest things readers of the book so far have commented on is the descriptions of these settings—in fact, I've even been asked if I've been to Santa Monica or Australia, which is a huge compliment that I am very thankful for, as I never been to either of those places!

As somebody who enjoys traveling and would love to see more of the world, as much as of it as possible, within my life (after all, don't you think that the world is too big of a place to stay where you are forever?), it only seems natural to me that I would explore the world within my writing and live and explore vicariously through my characters!

In my free time, I often find myself just looking at pictures of places abroad anyway, so writing them is something that I was able to put this to. I decide on the locations of my novel by simply choosing the places I would enjoy to go to the most, and then I look at pictures and maps and research the nightlife and the attractions in the day, and essentially everything you would try your best to find it if you were going there.

After all, in a way, you are going there! Myself and my characters spent day after day wandering around Santa Monica and various locations in Australia, even it was only by imagination! 

Looking at pictures definitely helped—you can literally write what you are seeing then. I also think about senses—if you walked down Ocean Avenue (one of the main roads in Santa Monica), what would you smell on the air? What would that air feel like? What could you see as to where that is coming from? Just thinking about these things and breaking it down helps make it more convincing.

Essentially, pick places that excite you as your settings, whether they're places you've made up or places that exist. You might not be able to get there right now, but you can spend time there through your characters, so choose places you're genuinely curious about, and that curiosity and excitement will reflect in your writing! :)

I definitely plan on having my characters visit more of the world in the next few books in The MALMONT Quartet! It would be a pleasure if you picked up Book 1 and came along for a quick flit around the world with my characters and I! :)

Thank you very much for taking your time to read, and again, a massive thank you to Daniel! :)

See you soon!
Joshua J. Johnson

Well there you have it folks! Wasn't that an awesome guest post? I loved it, especially how vividly Joshua talks about his inspirations for locations and how his writing process is simply formed from pictures! I've read the book and I have to say that Joshua's descriptions of Santa Monica are extremely detailed and to know he's never been there is outstanding!  If you're itching for an adventure abroad but from the comfort of your own living room then I would definitely recommend this one! You can pick up Joshua's novel by clicking following links! Click here if you're in the UK and click here if you live in the USA! For a self published novel I doubt you'll regret the splurge! If you do buy either the eBook/Paperback of Joshua's book then drop him a DM on Twitter letting him know and he will send you a personalised postcard of the cover design!

Thank you to Joshua for being such a wonderful guest host here on this blog, I definitely look forward to working with him in the future and I hope you guys will look forward to a future reoccurrence! Joshua you are welcome on this blog anytime! So if Joshua's guest post has intrigued you and you're looking for that little bit more information about the book, but are hesitant to dash right ahead and purchase it then I have a full review of the book coming up tomorrow so look forward to that! But be warned, it's a little bit spoilery, so if you're conscious of what I'm going to say then don't venture below the warning! I hope to see you guys there!


About the Author:

Joshua J. Johnson currently lives in England with a serious case of wanderlust and a wardrobe full of books.

He started writing as soon as he discovered that book didn't randomly appear, and that they were actually written by people. After growing up writing short stories by hand for his brother and his family-- including a weekly family newspaper-- he created a blog where his writing has been captivated, treasured, and enjoyed by thousands of people in nearly eighty countries around the world.
You can check out Joshua on Twitter @JoshuaJAuthor , through his blog http://joshuajstories.com or through his Youtube page!

Book Review # 58: Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

Sunday, 2 August 2015 0 comments
Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Simon and Schuster.  I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review.

Title: Night Owls
AuthorJenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: August 13th 2015
Pages: 272
Review Copy from Publisher

PurchaseThe Book Depository / Waterstones

Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she's ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?

It's not often that you find a book that you can deem to be perfect and can bring about all of the feelings for the characters. For me, Night Owls by Jenn Bennett (or The Anatomical Shape of a Heart in the USA) was one of those particular books. I can't quite put my finger on it and explain exactly what it was about this book that made it literary perfection for me, but it just felt right, you know? This book reminded me so much about what it means to slowly fall in the love and the dramatic dilemmas that often can come along with it. Not everyone's love story is as easy as it seems, I mean look at Romeo and Juliet and that's seen as probably the most famous love story there is. Beatrice and Jack's relationship is no different, and the beauty of it is that it's gradual. So going more in-depth about this book, what did I think?

Going Offline: My Temporary Hiatus

So as you can tell by the title, I'm going to be going offline soon. Don't worry, it's only a temporary thing! As it's the summer I'm going on holiday to Italy (somewhere between Pisa and Florence I believe) between Saturday 8th - Saturday 15th August and I'm not sure whether the place we're staying has any wifi connections. 

Unfortunately this means that I should be expected to be quite quiet on all of my social media's and a bit on my blog too. However, fret not because I am scheduling a bunch of posts to upload whilst I am away! I will try and still be reasonably active the week following my holiday, however as I will be down South with my girlfriend and we're planning to do lots of London based activities, I'm not quite sure how much time I'll have to write blog posts. Hopefully I can schedule enough to cover the week after! 

Unfortunately there won't be my regular weekly features of 'Top Ten Tuesday', 'Waiting on Wednesday' or 'Falling Behind on Friday.' They just take up too much time at the minute and I'm finding them very tedious to do. I'm contemplating dropping the features on Wednesday and Friday and just having a 'Top Ten Tuesday' post go up each week. I just don't like how repetitive it is. We'll see.

So here is a basic breakdown of just some of the things that you can expect to see uploaded on my blog during this time. There will be other things uploaded but here is what I have for now:
- Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas Book Review
- The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag
- The Disney Book Tag
- Should we feel guilty over TBR's? (Originally a guest post on A Daydreamer's Thoughts)
Those are just a few things that I'm hoping to schedule whilst I'm away. I might not get all of them written up due to packing and other commitments, but hopefully I can get some content for you guys whilst I'm away. If I can think of anything else, or if there are any topics you guys would like to see discussed, then feel free to drop me a message on Twitter or in the comments below letting me know if there are any discussion topics you'd like me to write about because I would love to take some suggestions from you guys! 

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