Monday, 30 September 2013

Musing Mondays #2


This is a weekly meme hosted by shouldbereading, which is where you can post your musings of the week. 

This week the main muse was: 
What do you do when life gets in the way, and you just don’t have much time to read? Do you complain? Do you accept it? Do you do everything in your power to make time to read? Share your thoughts!

I personally always try to make time for reading. Whether it is on my lunchbreak, in the bath, before bed or whenever. I just hate if I go a day without reading, especially if I am halfway through reading a book that I am loving. Then I can't seem to get enough and all I do is read, read, read until I finish. 
I am 84 books into my goal of 100 this year so I am pretty happy with how much time I am finding to read.


13522285 This week I am also musing the fact I forgot to mention that the wonderful Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider, that I reviewed last week, is also known by a different name - The Beginning of Everything. Which also means that it also comes with another cover and I must admit I think I love it more than the Severed Heads, Broken Hearts cover!  *Gasp* I know!                                              But also the fact I forgot to mention how I loved how the book kept referencing The Great Gatsby, a book that I read and adored this year. I loved where Ezra is staring out his window and across the park hoping to see Cassidy flash her light on and off to him. I just loved how it matched so perfectly with the many times in the Great Gatsby where Jay stands on his dock and looks out across the water hoping to catch a glimps of Daisy's light.


 
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This week I am reading Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone. I am almost done and luckily have the sequel Time After Time waiting for me already. I will be posting a review of Time Between Us soon, so check back in for that.


Crazy Library Story No.2

So this week I have a story about a customer who had his bag 'stolen'. This story, to this day, still makes me laugh as much as it did when it first happened. I was doing extra time at a different library and obviously  with my luck  I had to get the crazy drunk library user.

So I am standing behind the counter when this middle-aged grey haired man comes stumbling towards me and shouts at me that his bag has been stolen and I best 'call the f***ing police'. Now the senior who I am working with that night is obviously not very happy with this man swearing at us and tells him if he wants to report it stolen he must go phone them himself or walk down to the police station. It soon becomes clear that he has been in before, is a regular nuisance there and is usually always inebriated. Which I soon realise as he gets closer to me and I can smell alcohol on him so badly I'm almost gagging.

He reiterates the fact his bag and belongings were stolen from right next to him as he sat there on the computer. But as he is swearing and being aggressive (threatening to hit a father with his two young children) we demand he leaves. He becomes very aggravated and verbally aggressive; calling us more swear words than I even think I know. He finally gives up and stumbles out and as he turns around I see a giant (and I mean giant) bottle of vodka hanging out of his jogging bottom pocket. 

Not two minutes later someone from the computer room comes out carrying loads of paper and some pens and tells us the man had left them behind. We check the CCTV to see what happened to his 'stolen' bag and what we discovered still makes me laugh. He is sitting with all his belongings at a computer when he gets up to go to the toilet. When he stumbles back he heads to a different table, sits down and then gets up and knocks over a computer screen in anger and then he marches/stumbles out to the desk. 

So as it transpires this borrower who was adamant that us 'stupid b***hes' best call the police to report his bag stolen had actually been sooooooooo drunk that in the space of the two minutes he was in the bathroom he had forgotten where he had been sitting.

I grudgingly went after him and gave him back his belongings but I was really loathe to do it.




Hope you enjoyed my little musing and that if you ever get a moody librarian serve you one day that you realise it might just be because they had to deal with someone like the person above.

Next weeks crazy library story is a good one, so check back next Monday !
Post your links to your own musings and I shall come check them out.





Friday, 27 September 2013

In My Mailbox/Letterbox Love #2

In My Mailbox & Letterbox Love

 IMM is something that was started on TheStorySiren so click on the link and check out her blog if you want to find out more about it and how to participate. Letterbox Love was started over at NarrativelySpeaking and is a more UK based version of IMM. This is basically a way for me to show what books I have received, borrowed or bought each week.
STSmall http://shouldbereading.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/fridayfinds_bringontheink.png
Also check out Friday Finds over on ShouldBeReading and Stacking the Shelves over at TyngaReviews, I am in love with all of these as I love finding other blogs to follow and books to read through these! So check them all out and see what you find, Stacking the Shelves has a lot of participants as well which is great.


Warning: This weeks haul was huge!




This week  I bought:

All adult fiction surprisingly!
 

by 
Gillian Flynn

Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars. Since then, she had been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben's innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother's? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm, or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?
 She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day... especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find out.

I was interested in this since I had heard a lot of good things about it. Plus it is also being made into a movie and I am a sucker for movie adaptions of books (even though most of the time they disappoint). I have read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and it was okay, but a little weird at times and I wasn't 100% sold on it. So let's hope this is really good as I am really intrigued by this one.



Snow White Must Die
by
Nele Neuhaus

In a small town in Germany a boy is accused of murdering his beautiful girlfriend.
On a September evening eleven years ago, two 17-year old girls vanished without a trace from the tiny village of Altenhain, just outside Frankfurt. In a trial based on circumstantial evidence, 20-year-old Tobias Sartorius was convicted and imprisoned for the murder of his childhood friend Laura and his beautiful girlfriend Stefanie - otherwise known as Snow White.
After serving his sentence, Tobias returns home. His presence in the little German village stirs up the events of the past. Events that the locals would prefer to remain hidden. When the Sartorius family is subjected to a number of attacks, Detective Inspector Pia Kirchhoff and DS Oliver von Bodenstein are tasked with monitoring the tense atmosphere in the tight-knit community. As the village's inhabitants close ranks it becomes apparent that the disappearance of Snow White and her friend was far more complex than was first imagined. 


I saw this on the Richard and Judy Book Club website. I don't read a lot of crime fiction, but I do enjoy them and this had some really great reviews.



The Husband's Secret
by
Liane Moriarty

Mother or three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband's hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death. 
Curious she opens it - and time stops.
John-Paul's letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others.
Cecilia wants to do the right thing, but right for who? If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will worm through her heart. But if she reveals her husband's secret, she will hurt those she loves most...

I saw this in a book store and then realised it is also on the Richard and Judy Book Group list. I read What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty and really enjoyed it so I am looking forward to this one. Loved the blurb as I immediately wanted to know what the secret was!



 Never Coming Back
by
Tim Weaver
 
It was supposed to be the start of a big night out. But when Emily Kane arrives at her sister Carrie's house, she finds the front door unlocked and no one inside. Dinner's cooking, the TV's on, Carrie, her husband and their two daughters are gone.
When the police draw a blank, Emily turns to investigator David Raker. He's made a career out of finding missing people. He knows how they think. But it's clear someone doesn't want this family found.
As he gets closer to the truth, Raker begins to unravel a sinister cover-up, spanning decades and costing countless lives. And worse, in trying to find the missing family, he might just have made himself the next target...


It will be no big shocker for me to reveal that is is also a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. I can't help myself, I read the blurbs on them and I instantly think: I need to read this book! But the worst thing is that it will probably sit on my bookshelf for months before I manage to get to it.


 
 The Shining Girls
by
Lauren Beukes

The girl who wouldn't die...
Kirby is lucky she survived the attack. She is sure there were other victims less fortunate, but the evidence she finds is... impossible.
Hunting a killer who shouldn't exist 
Harper stalks his shining girls through the years - and cuts the spark out of them. But what if the one that got away came back for him?


I actually saw this for the first time in, the amazing, Forbidden Planet in London. It had an amazing looking cover and I immediately picked it up to see what it was about. The blurb of the hardback was different from the one above, off of the paperback. It seemed clear from the other blurb that this was going to be a science fiction meets crime thriller  book and I was really excited. But again it's probably going to be sitting, abandoned, on my shelf for quite some time.



This week I borrowed

All teenage fiction and most new in this week!


by
Tamara Ireland Stone


Chicago, 1995
Anna is sixteen, and fiercely determined to travel the world.

San Fransisco, 2012
Bennett is seventeen... and desperately tying to stay in one place.

Their paths are never supposed to cross. But Bennett has the incredible ability to travel through time and space, and suddenly finds himself in Anna's world.
They are inescapably drawn together - but it can never last. For no matter how hard Bennett tries to stay with Anna, his unpredictable gift will inevitably knock him right back to where he belongs - and Anna will be left alone to pick up the pieces.

I really, and I mean really, lucked out on this one. I was doing extra time at a different library when I saw this on the new books display there. I had seen this in the giant Waterstones(if you ever go London make sure you go there) at Piccadilly during a London Day but hadn't picked it up at the time. I lucked out because I had requested a title on Netgalley called Time After Time, which, it turns out, is the sequel to this book. I'm starting it straight aways as I am really intrigued. Since I read the amazing Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger and absolutely loved it, I have been really trying to find another time travel based romance that I can love as much as that. So here's hoping this is it!



All Our Yesterdays
by
Cristin Terrill

Yesterday - Lover
Today - Tormentor
Tomorrow - Liberator
Yesterday - Eliminator

Yesterday Marina was safe, privileged, wealthy. She was falling for James - the super-brainy youngest son of a very powerful family. Yesterday ended badly.
Today Em is in a cell she may never get out of alive. There's a flicker of hope when she talks to the boy in the cell next to hers - and when she remembers who she used to be... Yesterday.
Tomorrow Em has a mission. She must escape and travel back in time. She must kill the boy Marina loved - to save her future.

Another book with time travel in, I am so excited to read all of them that it really sucks that I will have to wait so long before I get to them all!!! I never look up extra information about a book other than what it says on the back; so this one is keeping me guessing for the minute.



Briar Rose
by
Jana Oliver

Briar Rose believes in fairy tales.
And now because of a family curse, she's living one. Doomed to fall asleep for one hundred years on her sixteenth birthday, Briar has woken up in the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever  dream of - miles away from the safe, boring small-town life that she has left behind.
Briar must fight her way out of the story, but she can't do it alone. She always believed in handsome princes, and now she's met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up...

 I am not so sure about this one, I can't really make up my mind if I want to read it or not. But the idea of a reworking of Sleeping Beauty seems like such a cool idea. Who knows, maybe it'll end up just going back to the library. If anyone has read it and loved it, let me know!



 The Elites
by
Natasha Ngan

'You might be an Elite, Silver, but remember that in the end you're nothing more than a dirty Red.'

Hundreds of years into the future, only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a melting pot of cultures and peoples - and fear and discrimination. As a 'Red'- an ethnic Chinese - Silver could never have dreamed of becoming an elite, a guard of the city's council, yet she is now on the brink of her first major covert assignment.
But when Silver's parents go missing, she is forced to confront the Outside - life beyond the walls of Neo-Babel. Silver is plunged into a strange new world of slums and dissidents, of secret splinter groups and deeply guarded secrets. And as the dirty truths about Neo-Babel begin to reveal themselves, Silver has to search deep within herself for the strength to fight against all she has ever known.

I hate when new books are delivered as I immediately grab anything that I like the look of an borrow it. Regardless of the fact I don't actually have the time to read even half of them. I borrowed this as I loved the cover, I didn't even really read the back of it to find out what it was about.


 Ender's Game
by
Orson Scott Card

To save mankind
they need a hero
but are they creating
a monster?

 That is literally all the back of this book says about what the book is about. But this comes highly recommended by one of the people I work with, who adores it. So let's hope it's good because the movies coming out and I want to be able to go see it and sit there being all judgemental going "That's wrong!" "They left that out!".



by
Jennifer E. Smith

If fate sent an email, would you answer?
It's June - seventeen-year-old Ellie O'Neill's least favourite time of year. Her tiny hometown is annually invaded by tourists, and this year there's the added inconvenience of a film crew. Even the arrival of Hollywood heart-throb Graham Larkin can't lift her mood.
But there is something making Ellie very happy. Ever since an email was accidentally sent to her a few months ago, she's been corresponding with a mysterious stranger, the two of them sharing  their hopes and fears. Their developing relationship is not without its secrets though - there's the truth about Ellie's past... and her pen pal's real identity. When they finally meet in person, things are destined to get more complicated. Can two people, worlds apart but brought together by chance, make it against all odds?

I read Jennifer E. Smith's other novel The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and really enjoyed it. I thought it was one of the best purely romance novels I had read in a long time. So I am hoping this is god as well. Although her pen pal's identity is quite obviously Graham Larkin!



by
Meg Rosoff

Mila has a gift.
She can read a room,
a person,
a situation - 
and tell if you're happy,
or pregnant,
or having an affair.

When her father's best friend, Matthew, goes missing, Mila joins in the search. She sees clues no one else notices, facts everyone else overlooks.
But the answers refuse to line up and Matthew refuses to be found.
Is there something Mila has missed?
Something closer to home than she ever imagined?

Love the cover. Love the premise. Love everything. I wish I had time to read all of these; I wish I could book time off work just to sit at home and read constantly so I could get through most of these! 


by
Risa Green

In ancient Rome, it was whispered that the great philosopher Plotinus could project his soul into another human in a ritual that hinged on a kiss.
In present-day Delphi, California, the sole remaining guardians of the Plotinus Ability hide in plain sight as members of the exclusive Oculus Society - until their leader, Octavia Harris, is killed in her own home. With no leads in the case, Octavia's daughter, Gretchen, vows to find her mother's murderer at any cost.
One piece of the puzzle falls into place when Gretchen's best friend, Jessica Shaw, discovered the Plotinus Ability. Skeptical but curious, the two can't resist trying the ritual, but they're not alone. Ariel Miller, an outsider with a well-known hatred of all things Occulus Society, films the friends exchanging their first kiss, and it isn't long before the YouTube video ("Popular Girls = Secret Lovers") goes viral. As Ariel's guilt and the girl's suspicions of her mount, the three must forget the past and trust one another if they are to find the murderer still in their midst.

Another new book which I picked up because of the cover. After reading the blurb it does seem kind of weird and I am not so sure about it. The whole ancient secret society meets viral YouTube videos just seems so funny to me. Loved to hear if someone has read it and if it is actually any good.


This week I received for review:


 Time After Time
by
Tamara Ireland Stone


Calling Anna and Bennett's romance long distance is an understatement: she's from 1995 Chicago and he's a time traveller from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn't. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.
It's not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they'll find a way to make things work...until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn't want?

Told from Bennett's point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what's next for Time Between Us's Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.


Sometimes I really hate sequels that are essentially the first book from a different character's point of view. But I have just started Time Between Us and am already hooked so I am actually really looking forward to this one. Especially in a book where one of the characters time travels I believe it is really useful to have both points of view. EXCITED! Got this for review from the wonderful Netgalley.



 Alienated
by
Melissa Landers

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 
Handpicked to host the first-ever L'eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she'll have inside information about the mysterious L'eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara's blog following is about to skyrocket.
Still, Cara isn't sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L'eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn't seem more alien. She's certain about one thing though: no human boy is this good-looking.
But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realises that Aelyx isn't just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life-not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet. 

I really can't help myself. I read the descriptions and I just have to read it even if I don't have the time. Another Netgalley ARC.



The Naturals
by
Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But, it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie. What Cassie doesn’t realise is that there's more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms close. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive. 

Sounds intriguing. Thanks again Netgalley, I adore thee. 



And...
DONE.



So sorry there are so many but I really went book crazy this week. So many new books were delivered at work and I just can't help myself. I have to take them! Please leave a comment if you have read any of the above and tell me what you thought about it. Could use some ideas as to where to start after I have finished Time Between Us and Time After Time.


Please leave links to your own IMM or LL as I always love checking them out & am always looking for new blogs to follow so I can share the love!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider: The Review

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts
by 
Robyn Schneider

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Buy This Book: Amazon



Seventeen-year-old Ezra Faulkner believes that everyone will experience their own personal tragedy. For Ezra, the junior class president and captain of the tennis team, this comes in the form of a careless driver slamming into his car; shattering his knee, his tennis dreams and his seemingly perfect life. Ezra no longer feels like he is part of his popular crowd of friends or the life he was living before the accident. When he returns to school he finds himself falling back into a friendship with Toby Ellicott, the boy, who up until his own personal tragedy age twelve, used to be Ezra's best friend. Through his friendship with Toby, Ezra finds himself signed up to the debate team, hanging out with Toby's eccentric friends and getting to know the mysterious new girl, Cassidy Thorpe. Soon Ezra is beginning to see that maybe his accident didn't destroy his life but actually helped to really start it.


I loved this book. L.O.V.E.D it! 
To the point where I really just want to be able to scream that at people but I'm not sure that's appropriate. I was actually really excited when I received this book at work because when I had read the back I thought it sounded ridiculously interesting. So I was happy to find that this book didn't leave me disappointed and actually made me fall in love with it! 


Now I am really trying to do a review of this book that doesn't just have me screaming at you all through the blogosphere READ IT!!! Even if that is all my brain is telling me to do right now. So I shall at least try to coherently write down some of my thoughts and feelings on this book; because I really do have a lot of them. 

I have to start off by saying that thanks to this book I now have a new author to look out for. As soon as Robyn Schneider releases another book I will be buying it. So I guess I will be virtually stalking her in order to catch any mention of a new book. The cover of the book shows part of a review from Publishers Weekly that says "I couldn't help but think of John Green's novels - I think his fans will eat this up.". As a fan of John Green I do have to agree with that, I did eat it up. I loved the fact I found another author who manges to write characters that actually make me laugh out loud (even if this does get you odd looks from people on public transport).

This book had me laughing right from the beginning. The story of how Toby met his moment of tragedy was so hilarious to me that I choked on the juice I was drinking and almost spurted it out of my nose. I wish this were not true, and my poor burning nostrils at the time also really wished it wasn't true but it was. I think I was guaranteed to love Toby after that, and I did, I really did. I think that was one of the reasons I loved this so much; it gave me so many characters to love. Which is something I really adore in a book, I mean it's part of the reason I will always hold Harry Potter so dear to my heart. While we are talking about loving characters I must say:

Cassidy Thorpe, I love thee.


Cassidy Thorpe had me as a fan the minute she turned up to the debate tournament in a Hogwarts uniform. I could picture it so clearly and I adored her for it. I think the debate group as a whole was one of my favourite things about this book. I enjoyed all their back and forth, their quick witted jokes and the crazy things they got up to. I am jealous that I don't get to go to the Floating Movie Theatre, which are film screenings that are held in secret in different locations of their school. As I was reading it I was just thinking that it sounded ridiculously epic and that I wished I could go.


If I had to say one thing I didn't like about it, it would probably be the end. I saw the revelation coming and it just didn't end how I wanted it to. I guess I was left feeling dissatisfied with it. I think it's partly to do with the fact I am still reeling from the Dexter finale and I just want something, anything, to end how I want it to end!


This book had everything that I needed and the fact it didn't end the way I wanted it to didn't make me love it any less. I would highly recommend it and urge you to all go out and read it. I loved the fact the characters had me laughing from beginning to end, they all had such individual personalities which most books I have read lately have been seriously lacking. If you read or have read it I would love to hear what you thought.

4/5 Stars

P.s. I  must admit to over thinking some things way too much when reading a book. Ezra has a poodle named Cooper who he got from his aunt when he was nine and the dog was eight. Now at age sixteen the dog is still running about, chasing rabbits and this bothered me. I'm sitting there thinking that poodles average twelve years and that it is highly unlikely it would be so fit and healthy. This actually bothered me for about another three chapters and I suddenly realised: I THINK TOO MUCH!
     

Monday, 23 September 2013

Musing Mondays






This is a weekly meme hosted by shouldbereading, which is where you can post your musings of the week. Whether it be about your reading habits, what you're reading right now, a bookish rant of some sort or just a general ramble about anything to do with books. It sounds really fun so I am going to try and take part every Monday if I can!




First of all I want to share with you all the fact that I am currently reading Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider, which so far I am loving! I am not too far in to it and when I have finished I will post my full review but so far I am happy with it. It had me laughing from the first couple of pages; which is always amazing to find in a book. Let's hope it stays this good all the way through!!! Check back in a couple of days for the full review!





My main musing for Monday is actually about the wonderful world of libraries. In case you didn't know I actually work in a library as a Library Assisstant (we don't use the term librarian!) and I have noticed how many misconceptions people have on libraries and I would just like to discuss them on here. Most of these have been said to me by people who have little experience with libraries or haven't been in one in years but even so I want to show what libraries are really like.
They are not quiet. Well at least mine isn't (at times I really wish it was).We are our boroughs main library, which means we get over 1,000 visitors a day. So today I would like to share with you some library stories so that you can see what libraries can really be like. A library is a public building and as such we really have no control over who is going to be walking in on any given day. This can lead to you meeting a lot of interesting people, shall we say.

Customer S, as I shall refer to him, is a regular, a regular nut job some might argue. When he comes in you know something interesting but hopefully not too violent is about to happen (he has been known to attack staff). For example the time he demanded print outs of all the train lines in Iceland, every single one. But, alas, he was shocked to discover Iceland has no public rail system, OH NO! But this is not my favourite Mr S story, my all time favourite is about how he is going to kill Clint Eastwood. Yes the Clint Eastwood.
                   So one day he comes to the counter and without so much as a hello (as usual) he demands: "I want to know about Sondra Locke!". So I say okay and start to google her, as I have never heard the name before and am sure he is not looking for a book. But before I can even click on her Wikipedia page he has chimed in with: "I want to know if it's true Clint Eastwood made her have three abortions!" (This is shouted at the top of his lungs so all eyes are on us). I don't really know how to respond to this, other than to say "I'll just have a look." So with some searching I am able to say that yes she had two abortion and a tubal ligation (basically a permanent method of sterilisation) whilst in a relationship with Clint Eastwood. So after a few more "So she had two abortions", "Clint Eastwood made her have two abortions", "She had two abortions!" and my reiterating what I had found out, he suddenly declares (at the top of his lungs and in a library full of people no less) "Thats it then! I'm hiring a hitman to kill Clint Eastwood!!!!" and then immediately stormed out of the building. Cue confused vistors turning to me as if to say "What the hell was that about?" and me trying not to look shocked or highly amused, whilst also fighting the urge to laugh.


Now I actually love borrowers like this, they are entertaining, always have an enquiry for you and keep the day interesting. But from my experience with people, whenever I say I work in a library they usually respond with "Wow, bet that's quiet. You must get to read all day." and I want to respond with "Have you ever been in a library?!?". So I just want to be able to share a few of the funnier, more crazy times that we librarians face! Some honestly will sound too crazy to be true. For example would you believe a human being actually chose to drop their trousers and do a 'number two' in the middle of the floor. But even more crazily, in the middle of the floor just outside the public toilet that they are free to use whenever they want. This actually happened. So maybe now you can understand why sometimes I really wish you could just read all day!

But, I need to tell you, I love my job! I am surrounded by books all day and am constantly meeting other book lovers who want to talk about the books they've just read or their favourite author or just a general discussion on books! What more could I ask for in a job? Please feel free to share any interesting stories about your local libraries as I would love to hear them!!

If you have your own Musing Mondays please post a link in the comments so I can come check them out!




Sunday, 22 September 2013

Every Day by David Levithan: The Review

Every Day
by 
David Levithan

 Title: Every Day
Publisher: Egmont
Buy This Book: Amazon



For as long as A can remember, every morning A wakes up in a different body. A doesn't know who it will be or where it will be, A just knows that this is what will happen. So A has spent a lot of time learning to never get attached, to never form attachments to anyone; A has learned the hard way that the pain of the seperation when he wakes up somewhere else the next day is never worth it. That is until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon. Rhiannon is someone A feels an almost immediate connection to. A feels like A has met someone who is worth getting to know, A feels A has met one of the only people who might accept A for what A is. Rhiannon makes A want to break every rule A has ever made. But can A really find a way for them to be together every day.




When I read the blurb to this book I knew I just had to read it. I loved this whole idea of it and really thought it was an intriguing and orginal premise. So when the book finally arrived I stopped what I was doing and immediately started reading it. I was left feeling disappointed and a bit annoyed by the end of it but I will try my best to explain why. 

What I liked about the book was also one of the things that caused so many issues for me. That was the whole idea behind it, of waking up every day as somebody else. Never having your own body, your own identity, your own family. It just sounded so intriguing, but such an unusual idea like that is bound to cause issues. Which it did, but I will get to those later. 

I need to say that I didn't completely hate this book, but I didn't completely like it either. I believe the most I can say about it was that it was at times interesting but for the most part infuriated me beyond belief. The book is crammed full of so many marginalised groups it comes off as ridiculous. One day A is a gay man, the next a girl who wants to kill herself, a drug addict, a lesbian, a transgender. Instead of coming across like the book is trying to champion these groups or highlight any important issues to do with them; it comes across as these groups of people are being used so that the author can say "Look at me! I am so tolerant of all kinds of different people." It seemed unauthentic and left me feeling kind of offended by the whole thing. 

I believe the first thing that truly wound me up about this book though, was how the blurb refers to A as he. But A is neither gender, A has no body, no voice, A is just a guest in someone each day. But as A is referred to as he in the blurb I went into the book thinking of A this way. But as I read I realised A isn't really anybody, there is nothing to even support the fact A is human nor any explanation as to what A is. This book left way too many questions unanswered and also starting to add/ make stuff up as it progressed that contradicted what had been said at the beginning.

A has no idea how it works; whatever it is that happens to A every day. And yet magically halfway through the book when one host has some memories left over; A is suddenly aware of the fact that A can leave the hosts with whatever memory A wants. Not sure how this suddenly becomes apparant but don't worry, have no fear this does not need to be explained, just accepted. Don't question anything; obviously. 

A also falls for Rhiannon straight away. She is clearly A's true love, despite having very little personality and also the fact she is kind of a doormat. Why she is the one person A has felt a connection to I will never know. And how she so readily accepts that A is something that switches from person to person everyday is also something that infuriated me. It does not ring true, it would take a little while for that to sink in but oh no one minute A is a boy and the next A is a girl and Rhiannon just deals with it and makes out with both. I felt bad for the people who A was inhabiting, being made to kiss a stranger they do not know. Seems like a gross violation, A is not these people, A is no one, A has no identity; A just steals one for a day.

This book seems to be trying to shove the idea of acceptance down our throats. "Accept people for who they are no matter what" unless of course they are fat. If the person is fat we get these charming insights into who they are: 
"his size comes from negligence and laziness, a carelessness that would be pathological if it had any meticulousness to it. While I'm sure if  I access deep enough I will find some well of humanity, all I can see on the surface is the emotional equivalent of a burp."
Charming. This actually really infuriated me, that we are having this message of acceptance rammed down our throats but then A has so little tolerance for someone just because of their weight. A wants Rhiannon to accept A no matter what, whether one day A is a boy or the next a girl and yet A is unable to accept someone because of their size. The word hypocrite springs to mind and I could no longer feel any sympathy for A or his situation. 

I also struggled to believe that if A really had switched bodies everyday since the beginning of A's existence, he would really be that normal. You grow up surrounded by the same people each day, who shape who you are as a person and teach you certain values. But A wakes up every day with different parents, siblings, guardians, teachers. Teaching conflicting ideas and values; how would A really have grown up so well rounded. 

The only redeeming part of this book was the end, and not only because of the fact it was ending (finally!). But the fact that A seemed to finally have gotten on to my wave length and realised just what A was actually doing. Was a satisfying ending to the book I must say. 

I really found this book infuriating, it wound me up beyond belief. I had already tried to read another book by David Levithan that I had also not enjoyed and so maybe it was my own fault for not learning from that disaster (The book was Invisibility)

I would never read this book again but that's not to say that I wouldn't tell anybody else to read it. I actually would  urge others to give it a try. This is one of those books that just isn't for everybody. It has had so many other glowing reviews that I really do believe it's like marmite. You either love it or you hate it. You can either ignore or get past the gaping holes in the plot or you can't. I couldn't. Maybe I think far too much about these things, but I would much rather think too much than too little. If you read and enjoyed this book I would love to know why.



2/5 Stars





Friday, 20 September 2013

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: The Review

Code Name Verity
by
Elizabeth Wein

 
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Electric Monkey 
Buy This Book: Amazon


'Verity' has been captured by the Gestapo after looking the wrong way before crossing the street, a rookie mistake for an undercover British spy in Nazi occupied France to make. She has been tortured and given the choice to write down everything she knows about the British War Effort or she will be executed. So this is what 'Verity' does, she writes down everything she knows. How she met Maddie, the girl who flew her in to France and her best friend. How she came to be a spy and how she came to be in France.

I have put off reviewing this book for quite some time for one simple reason: I hated it! But not just because I hated it but because I hated it any everybody else seemed to love it. I had tried reading this book twice before but had given up and returned it back to work. But as I was looking for books for my teenage reading group at work I had seen it on so many recommended books lists along with many books I had read and loved. So I began to think maybe I had been too hasty and maybe it takes a while to get into and maybe it's worth a read in the end. So I picked it up again, with my expectations not too high but with a slight hope that it was as amazing as all the reviews I read were saying. IT WAS NOT!

Now when I say it got amazing reviews, I mean amazing! So when I finished it feeling like I had wasted precious hours of my life on some beyond awful book, I felt that maybe there was something wrong with me and not the book. But after some digging I managed to find quite a lot of people who felt the exact same as I did - just one example

I want to explain why I disliked this book so much, so here goes nothing:

My main issue with this book was probably how beyond boringly dull it was. 'Verity's' life is on the line and she is talking about picnics that Maddie went on and what she ate and what she felt because they obviously had so many in depth conversations about picnics. I wanted to fall asleep and put the book down pretty much constantly and yet, like an idiot, I stuck with it. Really wish I hadn't, as it was so not worth it.

It was also unbelievable. I think this may be from the part of me that studied History at college and for GCSE. You pretty much learn about Nazi Germany every year, it's an interesting and important part of history. And everything I know about Hitler and the Nazi's made me want to scream at this book. If I was falling asleep at her confessions I am sure they were too. She put in barely any useful information and filled them full of useless drivel. I am certain that if she were really being tortured she would not be so light hearted about it. I don't believe her captors would be happy with her confessions and they would probably have killed her barely a day in to it unless she had started coughing up something substantially better. So I literally could not get past that the entire time I was reading her boring stories.

Also her friendship with Maddie, this amazing friendship that makes them want to save one another, I didn't get it. I'm sure I felt a stronger bond and better understanding of Maddie's friendship with Beryl than I did hers and Verity's. I wish we had more stories of their friendship together so that maybe I could understand what made them such great friends.

I just really can not fathom all the glowing reviews. I found it so unbelievably boring that I wanted one ofVerity's captors to shoot her in the head so that it would be over and I didn't have to keep reading it. This felt way too young for me and nowhere near adult.


1/5 Stars


I could not recommend this to anyone, unless they are hoping to die of boredom. Much too young and not enough adult in there anywhere. As I was reading this I felt like Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer: 

Please someone, anyone tell me you didn't enjoy it either! I need to know I'm not the only one!

In My Mailbox/Letterbox Love #1

In My Mailbox & Letterbox Love




IMM is something that was started on TheStorySiren so click on the link and check out her blog if you want to find out more about it and how to participate. This is basically a way for me to show what books I have received, borrowed or bought each week.

Letterbox Love was started over at NarrativelySpeaking and is a more UK based version of IMM. I kinda love both so I want to take part in both.

Working in a library can be a blessing and a curse for any book lover.You are surrounded by books all day and get to browse all the new books as they are delivered. But you do end up with so many more books than you could ever hope to read! 

Burn for Burn is the only one that I own and when I saw the sequel come in today it made me realise I better hurry up and start reading the first one. 

Have never read any of them so let me know if you have and what ones you would recommend!


Every Day - David Levithan
Tomorrow When the War Began -  John Marsden
Crash - Nicole Williams
Rot and Ruin - Jonathan Maberry
Burn for Burn - Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian
Fire with Fire - Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian
Let it Snow - John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle
The Waking Dark - Robin Wasserman
Severed Heads, Broken Hearts - Robyn Schneider
The Twins - Saskia Sarginson


Here's hoping I can get through at least a few of them before the end of the month!
Let me know if you've read any and what ones you would recommend.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Slammed by Colleen Hoover: The Review

Slammed 
by 
Colleen Hoover

 Title: Slammed
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Buy This Book:  Amazon



The sudden death of Layken's father put not only emotional strain on her family but also financial. So when her mother gets offered a higher paid job by an old school friend she takes it; even if it means moving the family from Texas to Michigan. Layken is less than happy to be leaving her life behind, the home she grew up in with her father, the place that helps her remember him and the times they had together. But when she arrives in Michigan and meets her new neighbour, the rather attractive Will Cooper, she meets someone who might just understand how she feels. They are alike in more ways than one, both experiencing painful losses and dealing with grief, both older than their years and both have a love for the band The Avett Brothers. They feel a connection almost immediately and when Will introduces Lake to the wonderful world of slam poetry she gets to see him for who he truly is, through his poems and performances he can show her how he is really feeling. But when a shocking revelation brings to light all the reasons they can't be together, they must fight their feelings for one another and the quick bond they had formed. But that's always easy to say and hard to do and along the way they will discover all the reasons why they need each other. 




I have to admit that I almost didn't read this book, but I am so so so so so soooooooooo glad I did. When I ordered it in at the library it was because it had been recommended so many times and kept popping up on lists of great Young Adult fiction and I really wanted to see what it was like. When it arrived at my library with the UK cover (very Fifty Shades) and with the words "Tragedy and romance entwine in a fated love story" written across it I inwardly cringed. Oh no, I thought, I am about to read another badly written romance story that's trying to cash in on the Fifty Shades hype and I was fool enough to actually listen! But I was oh so wrong and glad to admit it. 

The blurb and the cover had given me the impression this was going to be just another badly written, soppy, cringe-worthy, melodramatic romance story with more plot twists than a bad soap opera. But luckily for me this was none of those things. This was Amazing! 

I feel this novel deals really well with the topic of grief, and I believe this is why I connected with it so much even though it was a romance novel and that's one of my least liked genres. At the time of reading it I was dealing with my own, very sudden, loss and this book actually really helped me with that. It made me feel like I could really relate to the way Lake and Will are feeling during this novel. They are both dealing with their own losses in their own way and it seemed like a really honest portrayal of how people grieve. 

This is the first time I have read about slam poetry and that was another reason I really loved this book. After reading it I wanted to go online and just watch as many clips of slam poetry as I could find. The poems in this book were a great part to the story and really touched me at times. Will's poem "Death" I found really moving and it described perfectly how I was feeling at the time. It's such a beautiful poem and I just want to put a little part of it on here for you to enjoy.


"Death. The only thing inevitable in life.
People don't like to talk about death because
it makes them sad.
They don't want to imagine how life will go on
without them,
all the people they love will briefly grieve
but continue to breathe.
They don't want to imagine how life will go on
without them,
Their children will still grow 
Get married
Get old...
They don't want to imagine how like will continue to 
go on without them,
Their material things will be sold
Their medical files stamped "closed"
Their name becoming a memory to everyone they know. "


My first experience with slam poetry and so it was interesting imagining how Will would perform this. The way it was written out helped me see what parts he would empathise and I could almost see him doing it in my mind. This book kinda made me fall in love with slam poetry.

What I really loved about this book what how much life Colleen Hoover breathed in to her characters. They all had such individual personalities to me and they could make me laugh or tear up quite easily. Lake and Will were such great characters and their relationship seemed like a much more realistic romance than those I am used to seeing in romance books (part of the reason I usually try to avoid them at all costs). It wasn't too over dramatic and it kept the "cringe" moments to a minimum.

I fell in love with the secondary characters in this book as much as I did the leads. In my everyday life I am absolutely terrible with children, they seem like a foreign species to me, when young kids try talking to me it seems like a different language and I am just awkward as hell. Not the biggest kid fan you could say and that can work the same with kids in books. Luckily for me, Colleen Hoover gave me two kids that I actually wanted to meet and spend time with. Kel, Lake's brother and Caulder, Will's brother were conveniently neighbours and in the same year at school so destined to be the best of friends, but I quickly got over that fact because I loved them so much. Both equally crazy, quirky and hilariously funny at times, I could understand why their older siblings loved them so much. Lake's mother Julie was also a great character and I really loved her relationship with her daughter and how that developed over the course of the book.

My favourite part of this story was the first night Will took Lake to see slam poetry. It was something I had never experienced myself and I was just as captivated as Lake was. I wish I could personally thank Colleen Hoover for introducing me to the world of slam poetry. 

I was pleasantly surprised by this book and how much it got to me. It made me laugh, made me cry, made me feel weepy and made me deal with my own emotions to do with grief. It was the perfect book I needed at that time but a truly beautiful story that I am so happy I read. I can't recommend it enough, to anyone who loves a good romance or to those who just love to read something interesting, different and enjoyable. 

If I had to pick anything about the book I didn't like it would probably be the more ridiculous story lines and the ending. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who will read the book but I just feel every romance book ends this way and I wanted something a bit more original. But please don't let that put you off, it really was a great book. 


This is a truly amazing book, that made me discover the wonderful world of slam poetry and made me see that not all romance books are trash. A book that I wanted to go recommend to people, to others who aren't so big on romances and tell them to give it a chance. I hope others enjoyed it and if you did I would love to hear your thoughts!

4/5 Stars



And Another Thing....

I need to admit that I almost missed out on this rather uber awesome book for the mere fact that I did not like it's cover. That may sound crazy but when it turned up at my library with what looked like another "Fifty Shades" inspired cover I really didn't want to waste my time on it. I had read Fifty Shades because I was intrigued by the fact it had over 500 reserves placed on it but it was what it was: a badly written Twilight inspired fanfic. That was a few hours of my life I will never be able to get back and can imagine myself on my death bed "My only regret was reading Fifty Shades". 

It has sparked a surge in random inanimate objects on black backgrounds being the covers of books with words like 'forbidden', 'desire' and 'surrender' in the title. Here's just a few examples: 





I don't think I can completely blame Fifty Shades of Grey for this as it's covers were probably inspired by the books the stories were inspired by, Twilight. They also have simplistic covers but it was the sudden popularity of the E. L. James books that seemed to spark all these romances, new and re-releases suddenly having almost identical covers. I look at them and think trash, which is a shame because I'm sure (well I hope) they are not all boring drivel. 

So many of these book had popped up on Best Read and Must Read lists along with books I have loved and enjoyed that I even gave a few others a try in hopes they were good. Alas, they were not.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire needs to just be renamed Disaster; as that would adequately describe what it is. The male lead in this book is a crazy, psychotic violent guy who makes Edward Cullen look like the least possessive jealous boyfriend in the world and that is truly saying something. He is like a crazed stalker and we are supposed to see the things he does as romantic. Beating his friends up for making sexual innuendos about Abby (the main character) even though he constantly says rather degrading things about women himself. Sleeps with her and quickly informs her he is her last first kiss, he is obviously hers forever and when that creeps her out he smashes his flat up. Wow such a catch, where can I find one. VOMIT


Thoughtless by S. C. Stephens is pretty much along the same lines as the book above; but at least this is titled correctly. Keira the lead character is infuriating beyond belief, I wanted to reach inside this book and bitch slap her as no one in the story had the good sense to do it.
Cheats on loving, loyal boyfriend with his douche best friend and room mate and then strings them both along for months. How two people, let alone one person wanted to be with her is beyond me.
 

And that was enough for me, I am officially put off by these types of books now. The mere sight of a cover like this and I want to hurl it across the bookshop/library regardless of whether I will hit some poor unsuspecting old lady in the face with it. They say never judge a book by it's cover, but sometimes you really can't help it. 

Anyone else fed up with these covers and these types of books?