Posts Tagged ‘Reviewer-Caroline’

Hold Back The Stars

Katie Khan

Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left.
None of this was supposed to happen.
But perhaps this doesn’t need to be the end…
Adrift in space with nothing to hold on to but each other, Carys and Max can’t help but look back at the well-ordered world they have left behind – at the rules they couldn’t reconcile themselves to, and a life to which they might now never return.
For in a world where love is banned, what happens when you find it?

What are your overall thoughts?

Despite the old adage about book covers and judgment, I’ve admitted more than once that that I’m a sucker for a pretty cover. I was powerless to resist when faced with Hold back the stars. It’s absolutely beautiful. With is hand drawn stars and character silhouette, it perfectly reflects the books content. Some of the stars are picked out in foil so that the stars actually twinkle- total book porn for book magpies like myself.
But even for me, a beautiful cover alone does not a purchase make, the blurb had completely ensnared at high stakes, Sci fi, love story and Hold Back The Stars quickly went from compulsive one click purchase to top of TBR.

While my love for the aesthetics of the book are clear-cut my feelings for the content are a little more complicated. I’m a total sucker for romantic love stories, caught breath, tentative, tension fill touches and impassioned declarations of love totally float my boat. Hold Back the stars is not a romantic love story and my pre conceived notions about the kind of love story I was going to read almost made me quit the story half way though.

Due to the peril the characters find themselves in it is understandable that they would want to look back at the significant events of their relationship and the events that led them to their current predicament. Like in life the significant events are often the more upsetting and unpleasant ones. While I appreciate that this is in keeping with the story and the dramatic device of the looming disaster, as a reader it made connecting with the characters and their relationship harder. If had been shown a few more tender moments of their relationship, it would have been easier to relate to the characters and the choices they made for themselves and each other, however with hindsight I can recognise the authenticity of the authors choices to the story being told and my own preconceptions about what that story would look like.

In the end it was the tension-building countdown that kept me turning the pages and my determination to finish was rewarded with a unique and surprising final third.

What was your favorite aspect of the book?
The concept is what drew me to the story and ultimately it was the concept that kept me reading.

I thoroughly enjoyed the world building. I liked Khan’s unique take on the utopian society and its effect on the individual. The concepts felt well conceived and grounded in logic, in so far as a post apocalyptic utopia can, not just pulled from thin air to act as a dramatic device to get the characters to a certain point.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This is the sticky point for me. As well as my love for fluffy romance the main thing that attracts me to stories and keeps me reading are the characters. For the most part a story can be set anywhere, in any time, be fast or slow paced, contemporary or fantasy, and I will enjoy it if I can relate to likeable characters.

Neither of the protagonists was particularly likeable. In fact, it was my absolute dislike of Max, the male protagonist, and his actions that almost has me giving up on the book midway through.

As a result this wasn’t an easy read for me, however the rest of the book, and the subsequent actions of the characters, made up for this and having completed the book and stepped back to review the story as a whole I can see why the author made the choices she did.

Would you recommend this book?
Yes, surprisingly, despite my inability to really connect with the characters and their love story, I still really enjoyed this story. The dramatic devises held the story together and had me racing to turn the pages late in to the night. The final third of the book surprised and delighted me.

Verdict: Leave your preconceptions on earth to fully enjoy this page turning, unique, concept driven love story.

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: January 2017
Format: Hardback
Pages: 304
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: Debut author
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The Positive Birth Book: A New Approach to Pregnancy, Birth and the Early Weeks

Milli Hill
Work out what kind of birth you really want, and learn how to maximise your chances of getting it, in this refreshing, warm and witty guide to pregnancy, birth and the early weeks. Packed with vital and cutting-edge information on everything from building the ultimate birth plan, to your choices and rights in the birth room; from optimal cord clamping, to seeding the microbiome; from the inside track on breastfeeding, to woman-centred caesarean, The Positive Birth Book shows you how to have the best possible birth, regardless of whether you plan to have your baby in hospital, in the birth centre, at home or by elective caesarean. Find out how the environment you give birth in, your mindset and your expectations can influence the kind of birth you have, and be inspired by the voices of real women, who tell you the truth about what giving birth really feels like.
Challenging negativity and fear of childbirth, and brimming with everything you need to know about labour, birth, and the early days of parenting, The Positive Birth Book is the must-have birth book for women of the 21st century.

What are your overall thoughts?
It’s rare for Big Book Little book to feature a non-fiction book, even more so to feature a pregnancy book. For the most part, while I love to indulge my passion for all things birth, I rarely read pregnancy and parenting books, my tastes tend to be a little less mainstream-parenting handbook, more evidence based textbook. Despite my own leanings I realize that for the the number of BBLB readers who would be interested to read an entire book on the hormone oxytocin are likely to be fewer than those who are interested to hear my thoughts on the latest speculative fiction offering from Maggie Stiefvater!

However, when I heard about The Positive Birth Book, I just knew that I was going to have to make an exception, I just had to take a look to see if it lived up to its promise- a no nonsense, factual evidenced based, relatable book about birth with a positive birth slant.

It is fair to say that I started reading The Positive Birth Book with high expectations. On finishing the book I have to confess to feeling torn. On the one hand, The Positive Birth Book completley fulfilled its promise as the new birthing bible. On the other hand, I feel as though the book so successfully covers all of the essentials in the lead up to birth and the birth itself, that my job as an antenatal educator is now redundant!

Hill beautifully manages to balance a humorous and relaxed approach to birth with her informal chatty and friendly tone while managing to clearly explain and explore complex biological, scientific, political and legal issues.

Not only is The Positive Birth Book filled to the brim with evidence based information, explained in clear lay language, Hill also explores exactly where that evidence comes from and provided reliable resources for the reader to obtain further information should they wish to.

The book has a fabulous practice element, in addition to providing an excellent explanation to the well known decision making “BRAIN” mnemonic, Hill has created HEART, a wonderful concise tool to help couples who births might not be following plan A.

She strongly encourages couples to research and develop their own unique birth plans (and plan B’s and C’s…) providing different examples for illustration, and she has co created some beautiful iconography for couples to use when developing their very own visual birth plans.

One of my favorite element of this book is the fantastic use of content from experts. From obstetric consultants, midwives and lactation specialists through to the biggest experts, mothers, Hill has found birth story’s, experiences, tips and examples across the birthing spectrum and in all settings to inspire and reassure any kind of birth can be a positive birth. This liberal sprinkling of women’s lived experiences is very reminiscent of the inspirational stories in Ina May Gaskin’s 1975 Spiritual Midwifery, but with the language and sensibilities of 21st century couples.

Would you recommend this book?
This well written and well-researched book aligns so well with my professional philosophy of care and information provision as a Midwife and antenatal educator, that I am happy to recommend this book with no hesitations. In fact I have already gifted a copy to a soon to be birthing mother!

The Positive Birth Book is a wonderful resource for all pregnant women, whether they are setting out on their pregnancy journey and getting to grips with all of the birth choices before them, or have already developed a strong sense of where and how they wish their birthing experience unfold.

It would also be a valuable resource for birth workers starting out in their career and experienced even for birth workers looking for inspiration for way to effectively communicate complicated ideas.

Verdict: Spiritual midwifery for the 21st century mother

Reviewed by Caroline

*I need to take a quick moment to disclose that although I have never met the author Milli Hill personally I am aware of her work though The Positive Birth Movement (see website here), for which I am a group facilitator. It is through the Positive Birth Movement that I first became aware that Mill was working on and later publishing this book. This has no way affected my review.

Publisher: Pinter and Martin
Publication Date: March 2017
Format: eBook
Pages: 352
Genre: Non-Fiction Pregnancy, Birth
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book
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Five Fabulous Beauty and the Beast Re-imaginings

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

I’m a huge fan of Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast. It is my favorite Disney animation and the Disney film I related too most growing up. Not only is Belle a brunette and a bookworm, she was the first Disney “princess” I recall who seemed to have a choice about who she would go on to marry.

I loved that the beast and her developed a relationship rather than being victims of the insta love- I’ve met you once, you’ve saved me and now ill marry you- that Disney’s early incarnations had suffered from. While its wonderful to see Disney developing more realistic relationships and fewer teen brides, for me it started with belle. Even now I can’t get enough of the slow burning misunderstanding and dislike to love and respect romance trope.

Of course my daughter and I just had to go and see the movie on opening weekend and I have to say that we did not leave disappointed. If you are reluctant to see the movie as a big fan of the animation, let me reassure you that the story line pretty much follows its animated predecessor with the exception of clearing up the large plot holes from the original. Add to that some original songs, beautiful costumes and ensemble dance numbers, it reminded my of my childhood curled up on the sofa with my mum on a Sunday afternoon watching elaborate Technicolor musicals. I loved sharing the experience with my own daughter.

I have to admit that I’ve never actually read the original story, my love for all things Beauty and the Beast originates from the Disney classics, never the less this love has led to a passion of one of my favorite sub genres- the fairytale retelling- and today oday I would like to share with you five of my favorite Beauty and the beast reimagines.

Beastly by Alex Flinn
I am a beast.
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L Jensen
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…
But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for…

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.
Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Wish List
My obsession doesn’t stop there. I have many Beauty and the Beast inspired titles on my wish list. At the top of the list is Hunted by Meagan Spooner which is being released on the 20th April in hardback
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.
So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronesses…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Posted by Caroline

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Five Fabulous…Things That Make Me Choose A Book

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

” Ip, Dip, Do…”

1. The Cover or any other prettiness
If there’s an map or prettied chapter headings, some foil, a book mark or any other adornment, the magpie in me cannot resist.

2. Blurb
Ok so this is hardly earth shattering but after the shiny has caught my attention I will turn the book over to see if the blurb hooks me in some way. I am attracted to lots of different genres and will usually pick my read based on my mood, going through phases where I read more contemporary, historical or fantasy. More often than not my choice will contain 3 in some form and very often 4.

3. Romance/ romantic tension
I just love reading about human connection, particularly developing relationships. I love the build up and the tension, usually more than the pay off of the established relationship.
I simply can’t resist a book that hints at a “will they, wont they” relationship with antagonistic origins.

4. Speculative fiction
I’ve already said that my reading habits are dictated by mood and what takes my fancy at the time, but more often than not I am drawn to books with fantastical elements. I think that this is because reading for me is formost about escapism. I find it easiest switch off and become absorbed when there is some element of other about the book.

5. Recommended by one of my blogging friends.
I am so lucky to be surrounded by a wonderful group of friends who share my passion for fantastic reads. I haven’t been let down yet by any of their recommendations. Handily for you they also share their thoughts to the wider world through their fantastic blogs and vlogs. I thoroughly recommend that you take some time check out these wonderful YA blogs:

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
Snuggling on the Sofa
Ya Yeah Yeah
Bookish Brits
Winged Reviews

Posted by Caroline

How do you pick books to read? Do you have less conventional methods of book selection? What patterns do you notice about your favourite books?

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Five Fabulous… Auto Buy Authors

fab-five-logo-e1397403514389Five Fabulous Books is an original feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books and bookish things, with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and sharing recommendations for similar books. We love to share contributions from fellow bibliophiles, bloggers, vloggers and twitter users. We love to hear from you too, so don’t forget to comment with your favourite themed books. You are very welcome to use the Five Fabulous feature on your own blog just be sure to link back to Big Book Little Book and leave your link in the comments below so we can check out your recommendations! Feel free to copy and paste our Fabulou5 graphic or create one of your own.

Every bibliophile has as least one.

An author who’s work is a automatic must buy.

One author who’s work inspires joy and excitement, WANT and NEED. MY PRECIOUS.

We don’t need a cover image or even a blurb.

We only need the the promise of hours of escapism and guaranteed reading satisfaction to reach for the preorder button.

In no particular order I present to you my top five must buy authors.

Zoe Marriott
Zoe is one of the most reliable authors on my bookcase. Now I realize that on the surface referring to Zoe’s work as reliable might seem like a luke warm complement. For me reliable is that friend you can call day or night, who will be there without fail, laugh with you until you need to pee and hold your hand, or your hair back, through the tough times.

I honestly don’t think that you can underestimate the pure joy of finding an author who’s work you just click with, who’s work that is guaranteed to enthrall, entertain, and even educate. I have loved every single Zoe Marriot book I’ve read and I cant wait read her next book Barefoot On The Wind (due for publication in September).

Check out Zoe’s Goodreads author page (here) to learn more about her work, including Barefoot on the wind.

Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie writes one of my favorite genres Speculative Fiction (read about it on Wikipedia here), unapologetically and seamlessly combining magical, fantastical, historical and horrific elements with complex characters and beautifully, poetic prose.

I credit Maggie with being one of the authors that got me completely hooked on the Young adult storytelling as a not so young adult. Maggie is one of my favorite authors and as such I’ve written about Maggie’s work many times (here) but you don’t even need to take my word for it, you can read some of her work for yourself, for free ,over at the Merry Sisters of Fates site (here)

V E Schwab
ARRRGGGG I can’t tell you how much I love Victoria’s characterisation. Not that her plotting and world building isn’t also first class, but she creates such three dimensional, interesting and at time surprising characters that I can’t help but squee at the thought that I have her new book sat on my shelf right now with at least two wonderful new beings to meet and two interesting new lives to explore.

Stephanie Perkins
Not only is Stephanie a talented writer, who’s contemporary romances are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, she is also a fantastic editor. Her My True Love Gave To Me, Christmas anthology has already become a part of my seasonal ritual, I re read it last year and have every intention to re read it again this year. I enjoyed the collection so much that when I saw that she had edited a Summer anthology, Summer Days and Summer Nights, I one clicked and ordered the hardback without even looking to see who else was involved in the project.
Click here to visit Stephanie’s Goodreads authors page to learn more

Melinda Sailsbury
I don’t think that it is premature to add Melinda to my must buy list. She may have only published two books, but I was so completely blown away by both of them that I don’t have any doubts that I will immediately buy whatever she publishes, particularly if it is the third installment in the Sin Eaters Daughter trilogy. If I enjoy it as much as the second instalment I will be a very happy book worm.
You can read about how much I and my fellow Big Book Little Book team members love her work here. If that isn’t enough of a recommendation you can learn even more about Melinda and her work by clicking here to visit her Goodreads authors page

Posted by Caroline

Who are your auto buy authors?

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#FinishItFeb 2016 Challenge Round Up

FinishItFeb1

Personal Target: Finish two series

Books read this week: 1/4

Total books read: One and 1/2

Series completed for challenge: None (up to date with one series)

Faye’s Challenge Update: You can read about how the third week of the challenge went for Faye over on her personal blog (here).While her challenge wrap up can be found here.

General Feedback
Week three, half term week, when as well as I expected. I’m sure that you can surmises from the tardiness of this post that the forth and final week didn’t go much better. Over the last two weeks I have only managed to read about one half of This Shattered World. This has absolutely no refection on the book itself, which I am enjoying as much as I loved the first, this is due entirely to my current reading habits.

I have little opportunity to read paper books. Unlike ebooks, which set to dim are unobtrusive to baby nap/bed times, I am only really able to read paper books in the evenings. Unfortunately my evenings at present are currently filled with work and studying, a situation I don’t see improving in the near future.

While I can’t really say that this years #FinishItFeb has been a success in regards to my physical TBR pile, every year I am amazed at how the act of taking part in this challenge sheds light on my reading habits. This years challenge has confirmed to me that at this time and place in my life, I really need to embrace ebooks and the extra reading opportunities they afford me. Alas, the Starborn trilogy is not yet available for my Kindle ( I had planed to re buy on Kindle to enable me to finish the series sooner) and as such completing this series is going to be a slow but steady affair. Meanwhile I am going to develop the skills I gained during last years challenge of multi book reading over different formats.

How did you find the challenge? Will you be joining us next year?

Posted by Caroline

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#FinishItFeb 2016 Week 2 Round Up

FinishItFeb1

Personal Target: Finish two series

Books read this week: One (kind of)

Total books read: One

Series completed for challenge: None (up to date with one series)

Faye’s Challenge Update: You can read about Faye’s week here

General feedback: While I had every intention of reading the books I had designated for the challenge. I got distracted by the very shiny, recently released, gorgousness of The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury (you can read Pruedence’s glowing review and check out the gorgeous cover here).

Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater’s Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

I confess I am unrepentant. Firstly, the book is the second in a series, so really reading it was in keeping with the spirit of #FinishitFeb. Secondly, it was so good that I could never be sorry for spending time in Melinda’s dark and twisty world!

I do love being able to get my teeth in to a meaty series, absorbed in familiar world and spending time with beloved characters but I have to admit that I sometimes suffer from series, or rather trilogy fatigue. While there is something undeniably comforting about the familiarity of the trilogy formula, watching your favourite characters be pitted against increasingly complicated and horizon expanding situations, your favourite ships develop and then get pulled apart only to be reunited for the final push. Comforting isn’t always challenging or edge of your seat exciting.

I can’t tell you how totally refreshing it was to pick up and devour Melinda’s rule breaking, second instalment. I love how she so unceremoniously tosses in opinion changing, gasp out loud, head spinning plot points with nothing more than an casual unapologetic shrug. Oh so you though it was going to go differently? I guess you’d better hold on tight and enjoy the unpredictable ride!

Very often book two is a bridge between the world building of book one and the world conquering and redefining of book two. The Sleeping Prince, while a fantastic edition to the Sin Eaters series, leaving me itching for the next instalment, stands on its own merits and could be read and enjoyed without knowledge of it predecessor*

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: February 2016
Format: ebook
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book

This week is half term which traditionally has had a negative impact on my #FinishItFeb efforts. I’m hoping that I will get at least part way through one of my challenge (paper) books.

How have you found week two of the challenge? Will half term be a help or hindrance for your personal targets?

Its not to late to join the challenge. Check out this post(here) for more details.
Posted by Caroline

*Not that I’d want to deny anyone the pleasure of reading Melinda’s debut novel

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#FinishItFeb Caroline’s Week 1 Round Up

FinishItFeb1
Personal Target: Finish two series

Books read this week: None

Total books read: None

Series completed for challenge: None

General feedback:
This week hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped! Unfortunately between illness, my own and my baby’s, work and other commitments I haven’t had the opportunity to even start the challenge.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The baby is sleeping so I’m going to take the opportunity to crack open one of those gorgeous hardbacks!
How has your week been?

You can read how well Faye has been getting on this week by clicking here You can also add your round up posts to the linky.

How have you found the first week of the challenge? Its not to late to join the challenge. Check out this post(here) for more details.

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Caroline’s #FinishItFeb 2016 Goals

FinishItFeb1

Wow! I can’t believe that this is the third year that Faye and I are hosting Finish It February, A month-long event dedicated to reading unfinished books and series.

In 2014 I managed to read four books and finish three series, making a small but satisfying dent in my personal TBR pile.

Last year, with my change in circumstances ( the birth of my third child), my aim was to match 2014’s results and I selected the four books, out of all my unfinished series, I was most desperate to read. Life with a newborn was hectic and I was happy to finish one and half books, completing two series. While this certainly didn’t rank as the most successful reading challenge result, personally it was very satisfying to know that I was still able to carve out a bit of time for myself despite a young family.

Following on from #FinishItFeb 2015 I have found that with a few adjustments, mainly developing a love affair with ebooks, I have been able to include at least an hour of reading in to most days ( who knew that juggling a newborn, two older kids, a husband, job, labrador and house renovations would be so time consuming?! 😉 ). While this is nowhere near the amount a self confessed bookaholic like myself is used to consuming, I find that a little sniffle every day keeps me from going sir crazy.

Although I have managed to reincorporate reading in to my everyday life I haven’t found much time to attend to the blog. If it wasn’t for the contributions of my fellow BBLB team mates, this blog would have fallen in to disrepair over the last two years from neglect. While the focus of this challenge is to catch up on unfinished reads, I am setting myself the personal challenge of writing weekly updates for the duration #FinishItFeb in the hope that It will reignite my passion and help me find space in my life for blogging.

Caroline’s Goals

*Write a goal post– don’t you love an easy task you can quickly cross off of your to do list 😉

*Write and post weekly updates

*Co-host/join at least one #FinishItFeb related Twitter chat

*Finish the Starbound series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
I absolutely loved the first book in this series, so much so that I preordered the second and then the third book. Both books have sat, unread, gathering dust on my TBR since their bubble wrapped arrival on my door mat. I anticipate that this will be the hardest element of my challenge as they are both hardbacks and not as easy as ebooks to read while multitasking.

*Finish the audiobook of Rachel Hartman’s Shadow scale- Audiobooks the perfect multitasking reading tool ( then why haven’t I finished this book?!). I see some looooong dog walks in my future.

Wether your goals are large or small, your TBR mountainous or molehill like, we would love you to join us. You don’t even have to have a blog to participate. Feel free to add your twitter (#FinishItFeb) or Facebook updates to the link below.

If you wish to write a sign-up post, we would be incredibly grateful but it is not mandatory to join the event.
Posted by Caroline

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#FinishItFeb2016

FinishItFeb1

Hello All!

Today I am happy to share with you all that Caroline and I will be hosting #FinishItFeb again this year!

The idea of #FinishItFeb is to read either books that you’re halfway through and finish them OR to read books that you have left in a series to finish the series!

It will run throughout Feb and is a chance to finish those half-read books and part read series!

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. You do not have to have a blog to participate, feel free to link to your twitter or facebook!

Throughout the event Caroline 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 the last few books in the series, we recommend you have a look at Recaptains, an incredible blog that sums up what happens in the previous books in a large proportion of series.

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

Posted by Faye

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