Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Rees Brennan’

Finish It February 2015: Week Three Round Up

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

Books read this week: Half

Total books read: Two

Series completed for challenge: Two

General feedback: With the bigs off for half term I was expecting this week of the challenge to be a struggle. As a result I am actually really pleased that I managed read half a book.

Having taken the last three weeks in to consideration, I know that I am unlikely to meet my personal target of four books. While I am really excited to read This Shattered World by Kaufman and Spooner I have decided to prioritise Ensnared by A G Howard. Finishing this book will allow me to “cross off” one of my outstanding series.

If I do happen to have any additional time this week I will try to finish some of my half written reviews from last years reading and reviewing slump.

Meanwhile, for those of you who are interested, my Downton obsession is still going strong and I am just about to start season three.

Currently reading: Ensnared by A G Howard

Faye’s week:Faye shares her Finish It February update post over at her personal blog (here). I am excited to see that Faye is currently reading C J Redwine’s Deliverance and I can’t wait to sit down with her and discuss it over coffee.

Other Participants:Debbie of @Snugglingonsofa fame is speeding through this challenge with seven books read!

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
unmadePowerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?
Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.
Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.
This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end.

Sarah Rees “I feed on the tears of my readers” Brennan’s The Lynburn Legacy trilogy turns me in to a two year old. One minute I’m smiling and laughing and clapping with glee, then in the next I’m shouting, stomping and flinging myself and my toys (the book) on the floor*. Like any fickle toddler I’m easily distracted by shiny things and guided back to the cooing happy version of myself** before, with very little warning , I’m repeating the cycle again.

What I am essentially trying to communicate is that SRB has a way of leading you in to a false sense of security before pulling the rug out from under you. Her use of sparkling dialogue, laugh out loud quips and loveable*** charismatic characters make you wish that you could visit Sorry-In -The -Vale, become a member of the Scooby gang and fight blood thirsty sorcerers. Despite having experienced SRB’s own brand of evil genius before (in the first two books) I was unprepared for each gasp of shock, cringe of horror and snot bubble of sadness. I felt so emotionally involved with the characters, that at one point I actually had to take a break from the book.

I loved this series and will be seeking out more of SRB’s books in the future.

Verdict: A series for people who like their angst sprinkled with snorts of laughter.

*Ok I didn’t actually throw the book across the floor. I would never do such a terrible thing to one of my beautiful, beautiful hardbacks.
** No I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with this analogy either. I blame half term and a continuous child filled week.
*** Also despicable. She writes despicable very, very well

Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: September 2014
Format: Hardback
Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy, Magic
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: Finish It February

Posted by Caroline

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Finish It February 2015: Week Two Round Up

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

Books read this week: Half

Total books read: One and a half

Series completed for challenge: One

General feedback: I am continuing to read and love the final instalment in Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy. Making slow but steady progress of a few chapters every evening. While i’d like to blame my slow progress on my newborn, it is equally due to my new box set addiction. I am halfway through season two of Downton Abbey *sobs*.

Currently reading:Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Faye’s week: You can catch up with how Faye is getting on over at her blog, A Daydreamers Thoughts (here).

Other Participants: Melissa (follow her on Twitter here)is making great tracks through her TBR with three books read and just four to go.

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Finish It February 2015 : Week One Round Up

FinishItFeb1

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

Books read this week: One

Total books read: One

Series completed for challenge: One

General feedback: Although I have only managed to finish one, already started, book and read about a third of my second, I am really pleased with my progress. After a bit of a reading slump (pregnancy tiredness and newborn sleepless night will do that to you!) I am glad that I have to have managed to carve out some time each day to read.

Faye’s week: You can read all about Faye’s progress over at her personal blog A Daydreamer’s Thoughts here

Other Participants: Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies (here) has set herself the challenge of finishing as many series as she can, from a VERY impressive TBR pile. As of this morning she had crossed two titles off of her list.

deliveranceDeliverance (Defiance #3) by RJ Redwine
Everything hangs in the balance, and nothing is certain: Rachel has been kidnapped by enemy forces and is being taken to Rowansmark while Logan, imprisoned and awaiting trial, is unable to leave Lankenshire. Separated from each other and their Baalboden comrades, each must find a way to achieve what they desperately want: to rid their world once and for all of the Commander and the tech that controls the deadly Cursed One.
Fighting through her pain and embracing the warrior she’s become, Rachel will do whatever it takes to escape her enemies’ clutches and join Logan in his fight. But when she learns a secret that changes everything, she realizes that escaping Ian and his tracker friends is no longer an option if she wants to save the people she loves. Instead, she’ll have to destroy Rowansmark from the inside out—if she can survive the journey through the Wasteland.
Logan needs allies if he wants to thwart Rowansmark’s power grab and rescue Rachel. But securing allies will mean betraying his beliefs and enlisting the help of the man he hates more than anyone: Commander Jason Chase. Driven by his fierce love for Rachel and his determination to make their world safe, Logan may be just the weapon the city-states need to defeat the Cursed One.
But as Rowansmark bears down and uneasy alliances are tested, will Rachel and Logan’s love for each other be enough to surmount the unbelievable odds against them?

When I first decided to embark on this challenge there was no doubt in my mind which book I was going to pick up first. I’d actually started reading Deliverance as soon as the pre-order landed on my doormat, but due to my afore mentioned reading slump I hadn’t managed to finish it.

It was so very easy to get back in to the story, and in to the world C J Redwine has created and I adored being re united with Logan, Rachel and their friends.

At the end of Deception (Defiance #2) the group was a mess,they had experienced devastating losses and the challenge ahead of them appeared insurmountable. I love how CJ wasn’t afraid to break her characters emotionally and physically and show us the gritty reality of their actions. They were allowed to dwell and regret decisions, grieve for their losses, celebrate their achievements and slowly rebuild themselves, all without interrupting the pacing of the story.

What I have really enjoyed about this series is the character development. When we first met Rachel and Logan they were already strong but inherently flawed characters. Over the course of three books we have followed as the challenges they faced have shaped them as individuals, as a couple and as a society. In the case of Deliverance I particularly enjoyed how C J manipulated you in to empathising with the antagonists motives, even if you can’t agree with their methods.

Verdict: A fitting and exciting end to a fabulous series.

Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: August 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 480
Genre: Dystopian
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: Finish It feb

Currently reading: Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Finish It February: Caroline’s Goals

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I really loved co hosting the inaugural Finish It February, A month-long event dedicated to reading unfinished books and series.

I found the whole experience, from co creating the challenge, publicising it through social media and discovering new blogs through to prioritising my TBR for me, rather than for publication dates, very positive and invigorating as a blogger and reader.

Last year I read four books and finish three series, making a small but satisfying dent in my personal TBR pile. Given the recent changes in my personal circumstances my goal for Finish It February 2015 is to (exactly) match this modest success.

Read Faye’s personal goals for the challenge over at A Daydreamers Thoughts (here).

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 (#FinishItFeb) or facebook!

deliverance

unmade

ensnared

this shattered world

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Bookish Brits: Six Degrees Of Separation

6degreesThis video is based on a feature I first came across at YA Yeah Yeah (here) and is inspired by the Meme, Six Degrees Of Separation, created by Anabell Smith and Emma J Chapman (here)

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Five Fabulous Books…Which Feature Imaginary Friends

fab five logo Five Fabulous Books is a new feature here at Big Book Little Book. The aim of the feature is to showcase fabulous books with connecting themes, there by promoting reads we have enjoyed and share recommendations for similar books. We hope 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. If you create your own Fabulous Five posts 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!

Playmate, confident or scapegoat?

The five fabulous books I have selected to showcase this week span the age categories and all feature imaginary friends (or do they?!).

I find the idea of Imaginary friends fascinating. Perhaps it stems from enviously watching my younger brother with his imaginary friend. The tale of his epic meltdown, when my aunty forgot his best friend “Boy”, is legendary within our family. He refused to calm down, or leave the building until he and my aunty had retraced their steps, taking a lift back up to the twelfth floor to collect Boy!

I suppose that my attachment to fictional characters is like having hundreds of imaginary friends within the pages of my beloved books.

dino bath tubThere’s A Dinosaur In My Bathtub by Catalia Echeverri
Only Amelia can see Pierre, because he is very good at hiding. The two have the most amazing summer full of adventures at sea, on the moon and in all kinds of magical lands. But everyone knows that French dinosaurs like Pierre only get to stay in people’s bathtubs for the summer.
This lovely picture book from Bloomsbury showed up on our door stop unexpectedly one morning and has become a firm favourite of both my four and six year old, a rarity recently, resulting in a harmonious shared story time.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Publication Date: April 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Dystopian
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge:

squishySquishy McFluff by Pip Jones
Can you see him? My kitten? Close your eyes tight
His fur is so soft and all silvery white
Imagine him quick! Have you imagined enough?
Oh, good, you can see him! It’s Squishy McFluff!
When Ava discovers an imaginary cat in the cabbage patch, she knows she’s found a new best friend. Together, Ava and Squishy McFluff get up to all kinds of mischief…

This gorgeous rhyming book has delighted both myself and my six year old daughter. The rhyme, the font and the division of the story in to chapters all led themselves to independent reading however, the cheeky humour is a delight for early and *cough* more mature *cough* readers alike. I defy you to not gobble this up in a single sitting, with or without your own mischievous Ava as a captivated audience.

Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: February 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 80
Genre: Children’s, Humour
Age: Early Reader
Reviewer: Caroline and Ava
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book

a monster callsA Monster Calls by Patric Ness and Jim Kay
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.
But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.

Karen says “Verdict: This is a book, even in it’s Paperback form that will be treasured for it’s outer beauty and for the heart wrenching story within”
Read Karen’s full review here

Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: February 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 216
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Karen
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book

unspokenUnspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.
But all that changes when the Lynburns return.
The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

OMG I absolutely loved this book, but my goodness Sarah Rees Brennan is a cruel, cruel woman who survives on the tears of her readers! Do your self a favour and check it out, but make sure that you have the second book ready to go because you are not going to want to wait to read the second instalment. The wait for the third and final book (September 2014) is going to be excruciating.

Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: September 2012
Format: Hardback
Pages: 272
Genre: Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book

if you could see meIf You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern
Readers and critics alike adore Cecelia Ahern for her lighthearted yet insightful stories about modern women and their often unusual situations. In If You Could See Me Now, she takes that theme a step further, offering us a heroine who is entirely believable, and the new man in her life who is, well, slightly less so.
Elizabeth Egan’s life runs on order: Both her home and her emotions are arranged just so, with little room for spontaneity. It’s how she counteracts the chaos of her family — an alcoholic mother who left when she was young, an emotionally distant father, and a free-spirited sister, who seems to be following in their mother’s footsteps, leaving her own six-yearold son, Luke, in Elizabeth’s care. When Ivan, Luke’s mysterious new grown-up friend, enters the picture, Elizabeth doesn’t know quite what to make of him. With his penchant for adventure and colorful take on things large and small, Ivan opens Elizabeth’s eyes to a whole new way of living. But is it for real? Is Ivan for real?
If You Could See Me Now is a love story with heart — and just a touch of magic.

I have to admit that I felt a touch apprehensive at reading what was my first adult novel for some time, not to mention that it is a favourite of a good friend of mine. My apprehension was all for nothing. I loved the combination of contemporary setting, magical realism, laugh out loud moments and poignant, touching scenes. A lovely, lovely read. I will definitely be checking out some more of Ahern’s work in the future.

Publisher:
Publication Date: November 2005
Format: Paperback
Pages: 410
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Borrowed
Challenge:

Honourable Mentions:
Jack’s Amazing Shadow by Tom Percival and Memoirs Of An Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.

Twitter Recommends:
A Dog So Small by Philippa Pearce (@dark_Fell), Dr. Bird’s Advice For Sad Poets by Evan Roskos(@musingteacher), Who Framed Klaris cliff by Nikki Sheehan (@daydreamin_star)and The Perks Of Being A Wall Flower by Stephen Chbosky(@barbaralib0202).

Did you have an imaginary friend?
Are you as protective of your fictional friends as I am?
What are your favourite reads featuring imaginary friends?

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Unspoken


Sarah Rees Brennan

Kami Glass is in love with someone she’s never met – a boy the rest of the world is convinced is imaginary. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she doesn’t complain. She runs the school newspaper and keeps to herself for the most part – until disturbing events begin to happen.
There has been screaming in the woods and the dark, abandoned manor on the hill overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. As Kami starts to investigate for the paper, she finds out that the town she has loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets- and a murderer- and the key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy who everyone thought was imaginary may be real…and he may be dangerous.
Kami talks to Jared in her head, it doesn’t seem strange to her as it’s always been that way. Others think she is a little strange she tries to hide her conversations with the boy she assumes is her imaginary friend. Then the Lynburn family return, the family that ruled the town in the past, the family that the town does not seem happy to see again, a family with a past full of secrets and mysteries. Suddenly the boy in Kami’s head, Jared, is in front of her and on face value seems to be the most dangerous Lynburn of them all.

Unspoken is a brilliant atmospheric, gothic piece, but at no point does it take itself seriously.The dialogue, especially that of Kami, can be wonderfully witty and sarcastic whilst staying on just the right side of feeling forced.There are some group scenes and misunderstandings that had me laughing out loud, not something that happens all that often to me when I read.

Sarah Rees Brennan has managed to find a perfect balance between creepy and comedy. The comedy halts any idea of the pretentiousness trap that gothic literature can sometimes fall in to.The humorous sections also break up the tension, but in a good way, I often don’t cope well with books that ratchet up the tension, the needing to know can often make me give up, but that was not the case here. I needed to know but could wait to find out.

Unspoken is mainly told from the point of view of Kami, though occasionally we see what is happening through Jared’s eyes.Though this isn’t made obvious the writing style changes enough that it is easy to recognise most of the times it happens. Kami and Jared are very definitely the main characters but that hasn’t stopped the author building up a set of very believable characters who are all very different. Even characters that aren’t seen often have definite individual characteristics. The ending didn’t leave me hanging to the extent that others books have, but I will be watching out for the time that the second book in the trilogy comes out.

Verdict: Creepy and atmospheric but at the same time laugh out loud funny. Believable characters and a very enjoyable read.

Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: August 2012
Format: eARC
Pages: 336
Genre: Supernatural, Gothic Mystery
Age: YA book review
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Netgallay
Challenge: None
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Love Books Will Travel

What: Book Talk and Signing.

Who: Cassandra Clare
Hosted by Sarah Rees Brennan

Where: Foyles
Charing Cross Rd

When: 26th October 2011

Why: To Promote City of Fallen Angels,the forth book in the Mortal Instruments series.

The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power.Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And-most important of all-Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering the shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out that he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side-along with the power of the curse that’s wrecking his life. And they’re all willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls-neither of whom knows about the other.
When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of the mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves.Even Jace.
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Foyles, Charing Cross Rd, London

I can’t let the opportunity pass without commenting on my first visit to the spiritual home of UK book bloggers. With the help of the Foyles very useable website and only one slight detour the wrong way around some serious looking tube improvements, I managed to find the flagship Charing Cross Rd store. I wandered throughout the rabbit warren of book shelves, my eyes alighting on gorgeous cover after gorgeous cover, the need to touch, examine and smell the many fantastic books on offer undeniable. If like me you have a thing for signed books, you will be interested to know that I spotted at least half a dozen autographed lovelies in the Young Adult department alone!

Lynsey and Casey!

Eventually though, I had to drag myself away from all of the shiny gorgeousness and make my way to the main event. Following signs for the third floor and looking out for a blogger in a maroon top, I managed to rendezvous with the fabulous Lynsey Newton who had kindly said that I could tag along with her for the event. After introducing me to Casey, from Dark Readers, we waited at the front of a very impressive queue. Finally we were shown in to The Gallery, festively decorated in cobwebs, rubber rats and sparkly skulls. Complete with Halloween masks, bookish feebees and even goodie bags for a lucky few.

The Event was hosted by Sarah Rees Brennan, YA author and friend to Cassandra Clare. Sarah was vibrant and witty,with just the right amount of kooky excentricity. I immediately warmed to her and I’m looking forward to adding The Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy to my bookshelf. Cassandra and Sarah had a natural and wonderfully funny rappour as they bounced off of each other and the audience.

Following some very amusing anecdotes about borderline criminal activity, all in the name of research you understand, question time commenced…for the audience! Boy was I under prepared, I mean who knew Simon even had a cat?! While Sarah questioned the audience about The Mortal Instruments Series, Cassandra provided gorgeous Mortal Instrument charms and jewellery as prizes for the more knowledgeable fans. Then finally it was our turn to grill Cassie. Cassie managed to keep tight lipped about the future of The Mortal Instruments and Infernal devices series although Sarah was less reserved and may have let a few juicy morsels slip 😉 While Cassandra doesn’t rule out the possibility of  ever writing for the “adult” market, should an appropriate idea grabbed her, with two new series in the pipe line, it appears YA reader will have have her to themselves for quite a while longer. The Dark Artifices series will be set in present day LA and feature grown up (hot) versions of The Mortal Instruments tweens. Providing us with the opportunity to check in on surviving (gasp!) characters from The Mortal Instruments Series. While not categorically stating that this is what she will focus on next, Cassandra did admit to tentatively working on this series as her “Mind wanders, where it wanders“. Cassandra also has plans for a fantasy series set in an entirely new, shadow hunter less world.

Cassandra Clare, Caroline and Sarah Rees Brennan. While waiting to meet Cassandra I was introduced to lovely bloggers Viv and Yvette.  Despite a two hour wait everyone was good humored and friendly, sharing book recommendations, blogging experience and general YA book love. Some well timed boiled sweets from the Foyles staff boosted our sugars at the optimum moment and finally we got to meet the lady herself.

Cassandra gave her time generously to each fan, signing any number of books, taking pictures and providing us with a little something extra: Magnus’s Vow, a bonus short story set during City of Bones.

Verdict: Foyles certainly know how to host an event! I had a brillant day. I got to meet Cassandra Clare, one of my favourate YA authors, I was introduced to Sarah Rees Brennan and I got to talk books all day with a group of fantastically friendly bloggers (LynseyCaseySarahKirsty, Viv, Leanne, Laura and Andrew).

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