The Real Neat Blog Award!

Happy Wednesday!

I’ve been nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by the wonderful Amanda (Literary Counsellor). Thanks Amanda! Please be sure to check out her blog!
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How it works:
1 )Put the award logo on your blog.
2) Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you & create 7 new ones
3) Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blog.
4) Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
5) Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog, etc.)

My answers:

1) What was the last (work safe) picture you took with your phone/camera? Share it?

The last photo I took was at the Andrew McMahon concert on Sunday (a review will go up next Monday!). You can see it on my instagram here (sorry it’s blurry!).

2) Do you have a favourite book that no one else seems to know about?

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty has been one of my favourite books for about ten years. I haven’t met anyone else who has read it, though!

3) If you were to get any quote tattooed on your body, what would it be?

Ooo, so many (especially if we’re including lyrics as quotes!). If I had to pick a bookish one, it’d either be “Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story” (Neil Gaiman) OR “Words…are an inexhaustible source of magic” (J.K. Rowling. Dumbledore, to be exact).

4) What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?

Sometimes I just want to cut off all my hair and rock a pixie cut (or half a shaved head), but my ears stick out too much.

I’m sure there’s a less superficial answer for this, but I can’t think of anything right now!

5) Who is a character from a book that you’ve always resonated with?

I’ve always connected to Audrey from Audrey, Wait!. Not because I’ve dated a musician or had a song written about me (yet!), but because we both understand the power of music.

6) If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?

Languages. Any and all. I speak French and can introduce myself in Spanish, but I think it would be fascinating to learn other languages, maybe ones that aren’t Latin-based. German, for example.

7) If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future? Why?

The Elizabethan era is my favourite, so I’d go there. The only problem with travelling to the past is the lack of hygiene, so I’d probably travel back-and-forth a lot.

Thanks again, Amanda! That was fun :)

Nominations:

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Books
Delirious Antidotes
Hidden Staircase
Insanity Talks
It Started in Oxford
Starlight Daydreamer
Words…I Need Words 

Questions:

  1. What is your dream job?
  2. Is there a post/photo/some sort of created content that you are particularly proud of? Link it up!
  3. Do you have tattoos/do you want any?
  4. What genre do you prefer reading?
  5. If you could have one Christmas wish, what would it be?
  6. Speaking of Christmas, what is your favourite holiday (doesn’t have to be religious)?
  7. What is one thing that is guaranteed to make you smile when you’re having a bad day (a book/movie/video/photo/song, etc)?

Mini Review Round-Up: September – October 2015

I realized the other day that I read a bunch of books in the past few months that I didn’t write reviews on. I’m not sure why, to be honest, but instead of writing eight (!) extra posts, I’ve condensed them all into one post of mini reviews!

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow – Katherine Woodfine

24463265A charming middle-grade mystery. I can see it appealing to people who’ve read/want to read The Adventures of Miss Petitfour (except a lot less cats). There were certain elements that seemed “older” than middle-grade, but I feel like people in the UK have different standards for children’s books. Also, LOVE the endpapers/spot illustrations by Julia Sarda.

Rating: 4 interrobangs


Knightly and Son – Rohan Gavin

17978149Mix Artemis Fowl (or really any Eoin Colfer boy protagonist) with a hint of Sherlock Holmes, a dash of Lemony Snicket’s All The Wrong Questions series, and a lot of Spy (the hilarious British show), and you get this. I think I literally laughed out loud a couple of times (or at least snorted). Another fun middle-grade mystery, not to be taken too seriously.

Rating: 4 interrobangs


The Ghosts of Ashbury High – Jaclyn Moriarty

0-545-06973-4I’ve been a big fan of Jaclyn Moriarty’s Ashbury/Brookfield books for many years, and I was so stoked when I realized there was a fourth book (they’re loosely connected so you don’t really need to read them in order). I liked what she was doing with it – ghosts! gothic fiction! exams! – but I found it took longer to get into this installment than the others.

Rating: 4 interrobangs


Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times – Emma Trevayne

18332010This cover kills me, it’s so pretty. It had a lot of elements that I really enjoyed – clocks and London and alternate universes, to name a few – and I would compare the tone to classic children’s books like Peter Pan or The Wizard of Oz. The only thing that stopped it from being perfect was the slow-moving plot: stuff happened, but it took a while for it to really pick up.

Rating: 4.5 interrobangs


Vivian Divine is Dead – Lauren Sabel

18651963I got an ARC of this last year when I was interning at HarperCollins Canada and then sort of forgot about it until last week. It started out great, then kind of sputtered along in the middle, and the end was good in a soap opera kind of way. Now that I think about it, it’s probably similar to a really dramatic Hispanic soap opera. Decent, but not stellar.

Rating: 3 interrobangs


Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean – Justin Somper

1721141This was a re-read. I know it sounds almost like a joke (vampires + pirates?), but it’s honestly such a good series, even if the second book is a little slow. Lorcan Furey is definitely one of my book boyfriends. And I know it gets better, especially when the badass lady vampirate shows up. Really, I was just glad to see it still held up after almost ten years!

Rating: 5 interrobangs


Why is This Night Different From All Other Nights? – Lemony Snicket

25229245I’ve been reading Lemony Snicket books for literally half my life, so you think by now I’d know that a series ending is just going to leave me confused. It was about as satisfying (that is, unsatisfying) as I expected, but still so Lemony Snicket (if you’ve read his books, you know exactly what I’m talking about). Loved the references to ASOUE characters!

Rating: 4 interrobangs


Whisky From Small Glasses and The Last Witness  – Denzil Meyrick

2482053222665422I liked book one more. It was well-paced and I could easily imagine the small Scottish town where it took place. It’s interesting because some of the characters, such as DS Scott had heavy Scottish accents which were depicted in the text (think Hagrid’s way of speaking x 1000). Book two was harder to get into for because the storyline was more complicated and DS Scott played a huge role, which made reading it a chore.

Rating (Whisky From Small Glasses): 4 interrobangs
Rating (The Last Witness): 3 interrobangs

Have you read any of the books on this list? Or do you have any recs for me now that I’ve read these? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter this giveaway for an ebook of J.P. Grider’s Naked and Far From Home, courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours!

Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty [re-direct to Mind the Gap]

I don’t usually read a lot of “adult” fiction, but when I do, it might be because the author is the sister of one of my favourite YA authors (Jaclyn Moriarty, who wrote one of my favourite contemporary series, the Ashbury-Brookfield books). Click here to read my review of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds. A couple of these characters are more “word nerds” (or writers) than “book nerds”, but I think all book nerds have an appreciation for words in general.

1) Matilda from Roald Dahl’s Matilda
2) Daphne de Luce from Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series
3) Hermione Granger from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
4) Catherine Morland from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey
5) Sadie from Sara O’Leary/Julie Morstad’s This is Sadie
6) Vander Burke from Page Morgan’s The Dispossessed series
7) Liesel Meminger from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief

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Word Nerds/Writers
8) Ambrose Bukowski from Susin Nielsen’s Word Nerd
9) Mia Thermopolis from Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries series
10) Lydia Jaackson-Oberman from Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Year of Secret Assignments

Those were the ones I could think of, though I’m sure I’m missing someone obvious. Who made it onto your lists?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Top Ten Books on my TBR for Summer 2015. Most of these are older ones that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. So in no particular order:

1) Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
2) The Ghosts of Ashbury High – Jaclyn Moriarty
3) Seraphina – Rachel Hartman
4) Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
5) A Whole New World (ARC) – Liz Braswell
6) The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak – Brian Katcher
7) I Hunt Killers – Barry Lyga
8) The Quick – Lauren Owen
9) Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
10) Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters You’d Like To Check In With

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Top Ten Characters You’d Like to Check In With and is described as being characters in books/series that are over “and you so just wish you could peek in on the “life” you imagine they are leading years down the line after the story ends”.

I can’t talk about them without spoiling the last book in the series, so here’s a list in no particular order:

1) Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire (and Beatrice Snicket!)

From Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (13 books)

2) Artemis Fowl (and Butler and Holly, obviously)

From Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series (8 books)

3) Charlie Bone and friends

From Jenny Nimmo’s under-rated Children of the Red King series (8 books)

4) Aislinn, Seth, Donia, Keenan, Niall, and the other faeries

From Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series (5 – technically 6 – books)

5) The Vampirates crew

From Justin Somper’s Vampirates series (6 books)

6) Gemma, Felicity, Ann, and (maybe) Pippa

From Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy (3 books)

7) Bartimaeus the demon

From Jonathan Stroud’s Bartemaeus Sequence (4 books)

8) Lydia, Emily and Cassie (and their respective boyfriends)

From Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Year of Secret Assignments (standalone, but technically part of the Ashbury/Brookfield books)

Sidenote: I love that it’s called Finding Cassie Crazy in the UK.

Fun fact: I have an ARC of it, and it was the first time I learned that there was such as thing as advanced copies (I was 14 and my sister had got it from work).

9) Audrey/James, Victoria/Jonah

From Robin Benway’s Audrey, Wait! (standalone)

10) ALL THE WITCHES AND WIZARDS FROM Harry Potter

Do I even need to tell you who wrote this series?

Sidenote: Yeah, there’s all the extra content on Pottermore, so maybe I’d get my fix if I actually logged in once in a while, but I’m sure most HP fans will agree: sometimes I just want random details about their day-to-day lives. In book form. So that I can read it forever.

BONUS:

Rachel Watts and James Mycroft

From Ellie Marney’s Every series

Technically the last book has not been released in North America, but I’ve read it and it was wonderful, and I just want 5346984 more stories about Rachel and James. Wattscroft forever!