Archive for February, 2014

Finish It February: Week One Roundup

FinishItFeb1 Finish It February is a month long event where we try to finish as many of our half read books and incomplete series as possible.

Personal Target: Finish/get up to date with four series

Books read this week: One

Total books read: One

Series completed for challenge: None

Currently reading: Into The Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

General feedback:
This week got off to a bit of a slow start, ironically, because I had to finish a review book before I could focus on the challenge. Now that I have gotten into the challenge and finished my first book, I am really excited to make my way through as many of my neglected novels ( visit here to see the full list) possible.
I am also a little hyper because this is the first challenge I have helped to organise ( please excuse the Re-Tweet over load!). It has been fantastic to see other book lovers responding to the challenge and attempting to wrestle their TBR’s in to submission.I am delighted that fellow Bookish Brit Michelle has decided to join us. In her introductory post (here), not only does she share her reasons for joining the challenge, she has also filmed her entire unfinished series TBR!
Faye has done so well this week that she has had to create new targets for the challenge. Read her update (here) and let her know what you think of her cheating ways!

Don’t forget that you can learn more about Finish It Friday including how to join the challenge at the challenge sign up post here. To follow the challenge and join in the fun on Twitter search for #Finishitfeb

Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
It’s been months since Aria learned of her mother’s death.

Through the evernightMonths since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.
Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It’s a moment they’ve been longing for with countless expectations. And it’s a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at first.
Then it slips away. The Tides don’t take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry’s control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?
Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?
In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and sci-fi elements to create a captivating adventure-and a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ THIS BOOK? WHY?
I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to read this amazing sequel to Under The Never Sky (read my review here). Under The Never Sky was one of my favourite reads of 2012, I loved that book- the world building, the characterisation, the plot, the slow building love story- so, so much that Through The Ever Night was one of my most anticipated releases of 2013. I loved it so much that I pre-ordered both the second and third books in the trilogy! I loved that book so much that the arrival of the third instalment is what promoted this month long reading challenge. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t return to this series sooner.

Despite being nearly two years since I read and reviewed Under The Never Sky (22 months to be precise), Rossi’s writing immediately transported me back in to Perry and Aria’s world. Everything I adored about Under The Never Sky, the emotions, the fast paced plot, unique world building and the healthy relationships, I found in its superb sequel, which I could help but gobble up in two delicious sittings.

Verdict: I’m kicking myself for not reading this sooner. However, I can’t help but smile delightedly at the prospect of starting Into The Still Blue tomorrow.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date:
Format: US Hardback
Pages: 341
Genre: Dystopian, romance
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: Finish It February

Posted by Caroline

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Switching To Teens

After producing five books for adults, award-winning novelist Martyn Bedford now writes teenage fiction. Here he explains why he made the switch to a different readership.

never endingWhen a family holiday ends in tragedy, the grieving parents’ marriage is left in ruins and, Shiv, their 15-year-old daughter, is tormented by what happened … and her part in it. Off the rails and unable to live with her guilt, Shiv is sent away to an exclusive clinic that claims to “cure” people like her.
But this is no ordinary psychiatric institution and Shiv discovers that her release – from her demons, and from the clinic itself – will come, if it comes at all, at a bizarre and terrible price.

I have a former editor to thank for my first novel for teenagers – I wrote it because he advised me not to. After more than 12 years writing fiction for adults I had an idea for a story more suited to a younger audience.

When I mentioned it over a pizza one day, the editor shook his head.

“You don’t want to write one of those.”

‘Why not?’ I asked.

He didn’t really give a reason, just shook his head again. With the teen market so buoyant, perhaps he thought I was jumping on the bandwagon, or that I wouldn’t be able to write well for that readership. Maybe he foresaw a “re-branding” problem.

Whatever, I came away from that lunch feeling cross. Like any author, I resented being told what to write – or what not to write (he hadn’t even asked what the story was about!) I decided to go ahead with my teen novel and to hell with him, even if he had just paid for my pizza.

And so I started work on Flip. It tells the story of Alex, a 14-year-old who wakes up one morning to find that his soul (consciousness, spirit, psyche, or whatever you care to call it) has switched to another boy’s body and he faces a life-and-death quest to return to his own skin or be trapped for ever in the wrong existence.

As soon as I had the idea, I knew it was a book for teenagers – not just due to the age of the hero but because of the story’s themes of identity, self-awareness and self-image. As a teenager, I didn’t much like myself. I often wondered what it would be like to be someone else. Someone better looking, more popular, more athletic, more successful with girls. Someone who didn’t have asthma. Real life never made that possible so I created Alex and let it happen to him.

Having decided this was to be a teen novel, the odd thing was that – as I tapped away at my laptop – I never really felt like I was writing ‘for’ teenagers. I wrote in much the same way as I’d always done: I had a tale to tell and characters to bring alive. The only teenager I was writing ‘for’ was the teenager I once was. I just hoped it would strike a chord with today’s teens.

The same is true of my latest novel, Never Ending, about a girl torn apart by grief and guilt after the death of her brother on a family holiday. If I lay down on a psychiatrist’s couch, she might ask if I was really using the book to work through my ‘issues’ of having grown up as an only child.

Who knows? All I can say is, I’ve enjoyed writing these books so much I have no plans to return to adult fiction.

With both teen novels, I have received helpful feedback on various drafts from teenage readers – my older daughter, a niece, a friend’s son and daughter – and from my wife, who was until recently a high-school librarian. But perhaps the biggest thanks are owed to the editor at that pizza restaurant, whose advice is the best I’ve ever ignored.

Post by Martyn Bedford

Martyn Bedford author picMartyn Bedford’s first novel for teens, Flip (Walker Books 2011), won four regional prizes and was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards. His second, Never Ending (Walker), is published on February 6th. He is currently working on a third.

Never Ending is published today by Walker Books. For more information visit the Never Ending Goodreads page (here).

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Bookish Brits Book Club: Witch Finder

In January the Bookish Brits Selected Ruth Warburton‘s Witch Finder as their Book Club read.
witch finder coverLondon. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.
Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

Publisher: Hodder Children’s
Publication Date: January 2014
Format: eARC
Pages: 374
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Age: YA
Reviewer: Bookish Brits
Source: Via Netgalley
Challenge: British book
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Finish It February Sign Up!

FinishItFeb1

Faye at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts and I decided (very late notice) to host Finish It February. A month-long event in which we will read as many unfinished books and series that we can.

This idea came to us when Faye did her vlog on unfinished reads ( watch her video here) and when I realised that Veronica Rossi’s Into the Still Blue had been published and I still hadn’t read the second book in the trilogy. Thus we decided to throw caution to the wind, throw our review piles out of the metaphorical window, and spend February focussed on reading all of those neglected novels.

When I tweeted about catching up on all my unfinished series, I had a good response from other bloggers. Thus we decided to create #finishitfeb. This blog event will allow other bloggers and readers to join us so that we can all support each other in this endeavour.

To sign up for this fun-filled event, all you need to do is add your link to the linky post below. If you wish to write a sign-up post, we would be incredibly grateful but it is not mandatory to join the event.

Throughout the event Faye and I will be posting weekly updates to let you all know how we are doing with this challenge and add a linky to our posts so that you can all link to your own updates as well.

Lastly, if you need any help remembering what happened in earlier books, we recommend you have a look at the Recaptains (here), an incredible blog which provides summaries for lots of book series.

Aside from all of that, let’s have some fun!

My Goals
I started out thinking that I had four series to finish and that I was behind with one or two more. However, the more I explored my TBR bookcase (yes bookcase!), the more unfinished series I uncovered. On the positive side, this gives me plenty of books to choose from!

My Aim for Finish It February is to finish/get up to date with four series.

the fall

mine

crown of midnight

edge of always

Through the evernight

In to the still blue

ask and answer (chaos walk 2)

reached (matched 3)

rapture (fallen 4)

perfect chem image 3

perfect chem image 2

bitten kingdom

monsters of men (chaos walking 3)

geek girl 2

forever too far

Posted by Caroline

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