Blogger Spotlight! – The Reading Fangirl!

Posted on 30 April, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment

SofiaSpotlight

blogger spotlight!

SOFIA! (The Reading Fangirl!)

Every month I choose a new Blogger to spotlight on my blog. This blogger is usually someone who I have come to know through blogging, someone who I admire and whose blog should be getting a lot more traffic! Being a part of this means that the blogger gets their website “stickied” to the top of my blog *points to left-hand corner*, they get an interview and a few other things here and there throughout the month! It’s a way for me to share my love of them to you, and for you to find a new and amazing blog!

Got that? Good.

So, this month’s Blogger Spotlight is Sofia from The Reading Fangirl!

Why is Sofia Chosen?
Sofi is a lovely, energetic and passionate teenager that is easy to get along with. She is incredibly friendly, super sweet and just has an enthusiasm that oozes out of her. She helped me with the UKYA Awards I hosted and was easy to work alongside too. On top of all of that, she is also just a girl with a great personality who I think that everyone should go and meet.

For reasons to follow her blog, I would definitely say that Sofia is one of the most creative bloggers I’ve met. She’s always coming up with great ideas to run on her blog and she even gets other bloggers to help out too which I think is really fun. Her reviews are really great to read about and her enthusiasm for books just oozes off her blog completely. She’s a teen blogger too so that just makes it all the more authentic and brilliant.

To see what I mean, go follow her now!

faye1

Posted on 30 April, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment


Book Review; Me Since You by Laura Weiss

Posted on 29 April, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment

Title: Me Since You
Author: Laura Weiss
Publisher: MTV Books
Published: 18th February 2014
Pages: 368
Format: E-book
Source:: Netgalley Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository

Summary:
Laura Wiess captures the visceral emotion of a girl’s journey from innocence to devastating loss and, ultimately, to a strange and unexpected kind of understanding–in this beautiful and painfully honest new novel.

Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?

Before and After. That’s how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old–a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.

If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger’s shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother–and herself–from the endless replay of heartache and grief.

Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again?


When It All

Every now and again you find a book that blows you away. It talks to your soul and just enraptures you completely. This is what happened with Me Since You. This was a book that I requested for review a long time ago and then never got around to reading. So when I finally picked it up and ended up loving it, I definitely felt shame for waiting so long. This book deals with depression, suicide, friendship, love and family so well. It is addictive, emotional, wonderfully written and just captivated me throughout. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this author for more of her work.

Falls Apart

At the start of this book, I have to admit that I almost put it down. It starts with a teenager who seems quite irksome. A bit of a brat, a bit too “party-girl” and someone who was hanging around with someone who didn’t really feel like her friend. I thought it was going to be this irritating story about how this girl becomes better. But I was wrong, and I loved that about this book so much. She does grow in this story but in the most perfect way. I love how loyal she becomes, how her emotions dictate her life, and how realistic the portrayal of her life felt. I could honestly imagine people responding that way about it all. This story has a plot that works so well. It is beautiful, soul-crushing, and it just a wonderful portrayal of depression and suicide and how it affects more than we may think.

Can You Pick

As mentioned above, there is a lot of character development in this book and what I loved most is that every character in the book changes. There are characters that show their weakness, characters that show their true colours and characters that show their strength. It is littered with it all and is one of the reasons I loved this book so much. You find yourself caring about them all with a fiery passion. I loved reading about Rowan’s story. Her words made me emotional and they made me see who she was inside and to empathize with her situation. Eli was also a wonderful character. I loved that he felt so real. He had his faults, his weaknesses and his overwhelming doubts and worries but on top of that he was strong and brave. These two were my favourites but I also loved Rowan’s mum and her dad too. All the characters were just wonderfully written.

Yourself Back Up

This book blew me away. Honestly, it did. I was expecting to find it sad. I expected to find it difficult. But instead it was excruciating. It caused tears to flow rapidly but not just because of what happened, but because I could understand and feel what Rowan was going though – and all of the characters she spent time around as well. The book, however, isn’t all doom and gloom. It is also enlightening and wonderful and shows how much strength we can all have while also reminding us that we don’t have to be strong one hundred percent of the time. It was a moving story that I very much enjoyed reading and would read again. I would also highly recommend it, especially if you know someone who suffers from depression, or if you know someone who knows someone who has committed suicide. It is a heart-breaking, but wonderfully uplifting book that you really shouldn’t miss.

Four Stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

faye1

Posted on 29 April, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment


Blogger Spotlight; Guest Post

Posted on 27 April, 2015 by Faye - No Comments

georgespotlight

Hey Guys!
Today I am pleased to introduce you again to George who is going to be telling you all about how he landed an agent!


Hello to all! First, a quick thank you to the lovely lovely Faye for letting me guest post on her marvellous blog. I said I would write about me getting an agent.

Quick note: Everyone’s submission experience is different. It’s all a part of what I find/found interesting about reading posts like these.

So, a bit of background, in June 2014 I decided I was ready to go out on submission with the book I wrote in November 2013 for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Well, I say I decided, it was actually my friend Victoria Walters who said (paraphrasing) “The concept of the book is great, what have you got to lose?” I will be forever thankful to her for that, no matter what happens. So I’d had it be read by people, I’d edited it from the utter mess that it was after I’d written it and gotten it sort of ready. I was prepared for the pain, the waiting, the rejection.

Quick note: I had submitted to agents before, half heartedly doing it with a Middle Grade novel that had been redrafted and reworked and changed multiple times over the course of around 8 years.

(Cray!)

First of all came research. I had never done *proper* research before. When I was submitting the Middle Grade I just used the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook (which I swear by!) did a small amount of googling and then off I jolly well went. Well, this time I went hard.

I picked up a book called “The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook Guide To Getting Published” by Harry Bingham, which I have still not finished by the way. You see the book is split into sections and I decided to read the sections that were relevant to me. I read the first section “Getting Ready” while I prepared my submission. It had all of the information I could possibly need. It was so incredibly helpful.

I then looked into the agents I wanted to submit to. This was a combination of looking in the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, googling my favourite author’s agents and checking acknowledgement pages of my favourite books to track them down. I came to a shortlist of 8, with the intention of submitting to more if it didn’t quite work out. Then I got mega organised. I made a spreadsheet with multiple columns and whatnot, detailing each agent I sent stuff to and stuff. Then I submitted to them all and then everything went crazy for a little bit.

I submitted it at 12:08pm on the 12th June 2014. The waiting game began.

At 3.13pm, on the same day, Sam Copeland got back to me asking for the full manuscript. Shortest waiting game ever.

Quick note: This had *never* happened to me before. I entered major panic stations. I never got to send out the fabled e-mails giving the other agents a nudge that you’d had interested. I was used to the whole wait for six weeks, get a rejection model. I may or may not have freaked out.

I got to tell the other agents. I got to be all happy and buzzy and high off life for the whole weekend. And I was at work as well. I bet everyone *hated* me. I was pretty much on fire for the whole weekend and I was so good and don’t actually think I tweeted about it at all.

A couple of other agents requested the full manuscript over the course of that week (What?! Why?! ARE YOU GUYS CRAZY?!) and the waiting game continued. Until Sam requested a meeting. And I read the next section of the book; “Planet Agent.”

I met with Sam and had the best time. We had tea and chatted for a little bit first, getting to know each other a bit, talking a small amount of smack about Miley Cyrus. (I knew we were going to get on once Miley was mentioned. #Realness) Then went through his thoughts on the book, thoughts which I shared. His worries were the same as my worries, his thoughts on potential changes making perfect sense to me. I then proceeded to be embarrassing and ask him the questions I had written down in my notebook. (Questions I had lifted from the “Getting Published” book. See? Mega helpful.)

I then spoke to a couple of other agents who had expressed interest in the book. It was a very nervous time for me. I told Sam that I would get back to him in a week. I had a decision to make and anyone who knows me will definitely know that I am completely and totally rubbish at making decisions. But this one just seemed easy.

Long story short, I signed with Sam Copeland at RCW and am still super excited and still can’t quite believe it happened. I feel absolutely honoured to be a part of Team Copeland, or whatever twitter team name we have (do we have one?!) and I feel so incredibly lucky!

So these tweets got a lot of love, which made me feel like I could explode with absolute outrageous happies! So I thought I would share them! :)

And that’s not the end. In November my first novel went out on submission. Let the adventure begin…

Onwards.


I definitely am crossing my fingers that something else exciting happens for George soon as I cannot wait to read his book!

faye1

Posted on 27 April, 2015 by Faye - No Comments


Spring Clean Your TBR; Update #4

Posted on 25 April, 2015 by Faye - No Comments

wpid-springcleantbr4.jpg

Hey Guys!
The fourth week of April is almost over (WHAT?) and so it is time for me to post my updates! This linky will be open for another week so you can add your updates at a time that suits you.

My Goals

To try and read eight books from the bottom of my TBR pile.

My Progress

Books Read: 1!
Books Started: 2
Pages Read: 250 and 100%
Comments: I’m still so behind on this challenge but ultimately happy because I FINISHED A BOOK and also, I’M NEARLY FINISHED WITH A SECOND BOOK! It is awesome guys. I also added in a sneaky book that was on the top of my TBR (shhh). And today at 1pm, I’ll be joining the 24 hour readathon and hope to read two books so wish me luck on that! – One may be another top-of-the-pile review book though (don’t hate on me! :P).

Finished Books

me since you

Currently Reading

The Oathbreaker's Shadow

How are you doing on your goals?

faye1

Posted on 25 April, 2015 by Faye - No Comments


Faye’s Thoughts on… Characters

Posted on 24 April, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments

fayesthoughtfulfriday1

One of the things that I love most about reading is being introduced to a wide-range of characters, personalities and cultures. But characters have the power to make or break a novel so today I wanted to discuss characters with you.

The Relatable Character

This is probably my favourite character to read. These are the ones that you can relate to in some way because you can see them in yourself, your friends or someone you know. They’re the characters who you feel close to, cry when they cry and feel all the injustices of their world alongside them too. Reading a book with a relatable character can make the book more enjoyable, and you’re able to connect with the book on a more personal level. However, the drawback is that it can be difficult to read if it is too personal, actually causing the book to stop being an escape.

The Difficult Character

These are the characters that you simply cannot, on any level, sympathize with. They’re difficult because you don’t understand them or the actions they are taking and you perhaps want to throttle them. These characters can make or break a novel. Personally, I can read books with frustrating protagonists but they’re not always the ones I find most enjoyable. But I also know that difficult characters can help to make us more empathetic humans and are often used in books to make us really think.

The Two-Dimensional Ones

These are the characters that are flat. They are the characters that don’t have strong backgrounds, feel very stereotypical and are not able to be conceived as realistic. These are the types of characters that are more likely to ruin books. They have the power to force a reader to stop reading in frustration. However, depending on the book and writing, there are cases where these characters actually work well but this is very rare.

The Unreliable Characters

These are the ones that you trust who end up betraying you. It could be that they’re an unreliable narrator or that you thought they would change but they didn’t. These characters are ruthless but can often really work to keep the plot of the novel interesting and relevant. Of course, they can also ruin the book by breaking your trust in the whole story. They’re very pesky characters to write.

The Anti-Villains

These are the characters that you should hate but you can’t help but love. They’re usually bad characters who treat people harshly but you also get their back story and can’t help but see a softer side of their hearts; or you understand why they do what they do. Done well, these characters can make books truly encapsulating. Done wrong and the book will be a disaster.

There are many more character types I could mention but instead of making this post too long, I’m going to stop here. I still think my favourite characters are the relatable ones and I definitely enjoy the story more when I’m not frustrated with the characters in it, but I do like that every book is not the same.

What character types are your favourite? What other character types would you add?

faye1

Posted on 24 April, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments


Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon!

Posted on 23 April, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments

Hey Guys!
Going to be a quick post from me today to let you know that I’m joining in with the Dewey 24-hour Readathon! The plan is to read for the majority of that time but I also know that I will need sleep, will be in the company of my family and will probably need to some walking around but if I can even read for 10 of the 24 hours, I’ll be happy!

Goals

I’m starting to realise that I’m quite awful at setting goals for myself and actually reaching them but I am hoping to finish at least two books during the readathon!

These are the books I will be choosing from:

The Moment Before Parallel Visions


What do you think I should start with? Are you joining in?

Wish Me Luck!

faye1

Posted on 23 April, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments


Countdown to 7th May; Keren David!

Posted on 22 April, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment

countdown7May

Hi Guys,
Today I am super excited to introduce you to the wonderfully talented Keren David! (Can I squeee please?)
Keren is here today to talk to you all about bisexuality and her upcoming release, This Is Not A Love Story. I hope you find this post as inspiring and wonderful as I did – and obviously I hope you love her novel too, I personally cannot WAIT to read it!


Bisexuality

Remember when Tom Daley made that video? The one about his sexuality?

He’d realised he liked boys as well as girls. He shared this with the world, which was obviously a scary thing to do. He seemed vulnerable and nervous, but happy and honest.

Mostly Tom’s announcement was greeted with a flood of love and acceptance. But there were also plenty of people lining up to tell him that he was really 100% gay, as though they knew him better than he knew himself. In fact, Tom made a new public statement a few months later, telling the world that he was definitely gay. It was wonderful that he felt ready to say this, and yet the response from some seemed to reinforce the message that bisexuality wasn’t an acceptable permanent choice.

It reminded me of friend of mine, who found it annoying that when she said she was bisexual, people thought she was trying to find out whether she was gay or straight. When she married a man, people assumed that she was no longer bisexual, even though that remained an important part of her identity.

As John Forde wrote in the Huffington Post: ‘It’s a sad truth that even in our post-Bowie, post-Gaga culture, bisexuality is still viewed with suspicion and confusion. Even within lesbian and gay communities, bisexuality is often dismissed as a temporary pose rather than a permanent status, a form of sexual fence sitting before the neophyte subject acquires sufficient courage to settle into their permanent, essentialist sexual identity.’

I suppose I had this in mind when I created a bisexual character in my new book This is Not a Love Story. In fact my rationalisation came later. He was one of those characters who just sprang fully formed from my head into the book. He let me play around with the love triangle trope that’s so popular in YA romance, and his sexuality is just one aspect of his personality. I don’t believe he’ll ever stop being bisexual, even if he ends up staying with his first real love.

If we clear away our prejudices and the social constructs that ask us to choose groups and not people, then who knows what would happen? That’s what This is Not a Love Story is about. I hope you enjoy it.


this is not a love story Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that’s impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father’s unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to try a new life, Kitty doesn’t take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect?

In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time.

But will love be everything she expected? And will anyone’s heart survive?

Goodreads. Amazon UK. The Book Depository.


Will you be reading this book now?

faye1

Posted on 22 April, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment


Book Review; The Rain by Virginia Bergin

Posted on 21 April, 2015 by Faye - No Comments

The Rain Title: The Rain
Author: Virginia Bergin
Publisher: Macmillan’s Children’s Books
Published: July 17th 2014
Pages: 384
Format: Ebook
Source:: Netgalley Copy
Add It: Goodreads, The Book Depository, The Book People

Summary:
It’s in the rain…and just one drop will kill you.

They don’t believe it at first. Crowded in Zach’s kitchen, Ruby and the rest of the partygoers laugh at Zach’s parents’ frenzied push to get them all inside as it starts to drizzle. But then the radio comes on with the warning, “It’s in the rain! It’s fatal, it’s contagious, and there’s no cure.”

Two weeks later, Ruby is alone. Anyone who’s been touched by rain or washed their hands with tap water is dead. The only drinkable water is quickly running out. Ruby’s only chance for survival is a treacherous hike across the country to find her father-if he’s even still alive.


When One Drop

The concept of this book really caught my attention and it was the best thing about this book. I can not imagine how difficult it would be if the rain was contaminated and had the potential to kill you. Hell, I struggled to live without running water in the flat for two days! Sadly, however, the concept was also one of the only things in this book that I enjoyed. I found the main protagonist extremely hard to read about and there were a few too many inconsistencies for me. So while I liked this book, it wasn’t anything spectacular or amazing and probably not a book that I would revist.

Can Kill You

Alongside the concept, I did like how this books plot went. I was very interested in following the journey that the characters took and liked all the different turns that appeared throughout the book. There were a few moments that I didn’t like and just didn’t work for me personally but overall I did like everything that occured in the book. This is the kind of book that makes you think things might finally be okay and then a curveball gets thrown and ruins that which is something that I do like in books.

How Do You

The reason I struggled to fully enjoy and engage with this book is because the main protagonist, Ruby, irritated me so much. She was our narrator and I know that if I met her in real life, we would not have been friends. She was shallow, selfish, and a snob. I believed that by the end of this novel this may have changed but no, she was still just as frustrating and thus it ruined my enjoyment because I wanted to throw her across the room throughout the entire book. I can only wish that she really does change and grow in the next book; The Storm.

Learn to Survive?

This book had so much potential. I have heard a great many good reviews about it too but it simply did not work for me at all. I am probably being nitpicky and irritating about the reasons why I didn’t love it but as a reader, I’m allowed to do this. But before you believe I hated this book, remember that I finished it. I also found it to be addictive, fast-paced, full of action and incredibly eerie and creepy. It could have been an exceptional and unique dystopian but instead it was just an entertaining and emotional read that didn’t quite hit the mark.

Three Stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

faye1

Posted on 21 April, 2015 by Faye - No Comments


Spring Clean Your TBR; Update #3

Posted on 19 April, 2015 by Faye - No Comments

wpid-springcleantbr4.jpg

Hey Guys!
The third week of April is almost over and so it is time for me to post my updates! This linky will be open for another week so you can add your updates at a time that suits you.

My Goals

To try and read eight books from the bottom of my TBR pile.

My Progress

Books Read: 0
Books Started: 2
Pages Read: 200 and 20%
Comments: Wow. I am failing miserably at this challenge! I just haven’t been in the reading mood at the moment. It’s getting a bit better so I hope this week I will read more but who knows. Either way, I’m really glad I’ve read something. That for me is already an accomplishment.

Currently Reading

The Oathbreaker's Shadow me since you

How are you doing on your goals?

faye1

Posted on 19 April, 2015 by Faye - No Comments


Book Tour; The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones by Anna Mainwaring

Posted on 15 April, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments

jesobeljonesbanner

Hi Guys
Today I have a fun post detailing reasons why I think you should read The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones by Anna Mainwaring.


The lives and loves of jesobel jonesAuthor: Anna Mainwaring
Publisher: Portal Press
Published: 25th March 2015
Format: Paperback
Source: Complimentary Copy from Author
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Summary:
Jesobel Jones can bake. In a truly triumphant, appearing-on-TV kind of way. But this means nothing to the rest of the world, because apparently all that cake mix is starting to show – in all the wrong places. So when she lands an invite to the Party of Year by the Boy of Her Dreams, she wonders whether it’s time for a new, improved Jess. But will life still taste as good?

Anna Mainwaring’s debut is a light-hearted and sometimes poignant take on the pressures that face teenage girls. It’s hard to smile in all those selfies when you don’t like the girl who looks back at you. But which is more important – looking perfect or being happy?


Ten Reasons to read The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones

It is a brilliant and realistic teen read

It deals with issues that real teens may end up facing

It is addictive, funny and a very cute read

Jesobel Jones is a great protagonist that is easy to connect with.

It is a book that as a girl on the chubbier side, I wished I had at my disposal as a teen

If you like contemporary books, it is very likely to be a book you’ll enjoy

If you love or hate food, it is a book that you will be able to take something away from

There is a very cute, very lovely boy at the center of the story who is truly adorable

On top of that, this book truly treasures friendships and shines a wonderful light on how powerful they can be

It is a book that perfectly celebrates being different and being yourself.


About the Author
Anna PicAnna Mainwaring first read ‘The Lord of the Rings’ when she was seven and she hasn’t stopped reading since.

Her debut novel, “The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones”, follows Jess through the joy and pain of being a teenager in the modern world; first love, friendship, embarrassing families, and asks the big questions in life: how much cake is it really acceptable to eat?

After studying English at university, Anna made the foolish decision to work in corporate finance, not the best career choice for someone who a) is number dyslexic b) hates anything corporate. After travelling, Anna re-trained as an English teacher and works in a girls’ school in Cheshire. When not writing, teaching, or looking after her children, Anna can generally be found walking up a big hill, looking for inspiration.

You can find out more about Anna on her website or by following her on twitter


About the Tour

jesobeljonestourbanner

Monday 6th April
Writing From The Tub

Tuesday 7th April
Luna’s Little Library

Wednesday 8th April
Ya Yeah Yeah
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Thursday 9th April
Fiction Fascination

Friday 10th April
Live to Read. Read to Live.

Saturday 11th April
Joshua J Stories
Serendipity Reviews

Sunday 12th April
A Thousand Words, A Million Books
Becca Talks YA

Monday 13th April
Chrissi Reads
Marie’s Journal

Tuesday 14th April
An Awful Lot of Reading

Wednesday 15th April
The Book Moo
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Thursday 16th April
Music Books and Tea

Friday 17th April
The Page Starts Here

Saturday 18th April
Snuggling on the Sofa

Sunday 19th April
Tales of Yesterday

faye1

Posted on 15 April, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments