Posted in Books, Reviews, ya

Freshers | Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

If there’s one thing I don’t like about the current state of publishing, it would be the almost complete lack of books focused on the experience of anyone aged 18 to 25. There are plenty of angsty sixteen-years-olds in YA (why are so many of them sixteen? I was sixteen once and it wasn’t as life-changing as I was led to expect), but after that we’re left with full-on adult fiction. You’re either reading about schoolkids saving the day or adults balancing work and home (yes, I know that is a very brief generalisation). The crazy gap between these two age groups is largely missed even though there’s all kinds of exciting stuff going on. Continue reading “Freshers | Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison”

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Posted in Blog posts, Books, Path to 100k, Writing

The Writing Path is Laid | August Writing Updates

Stupidly or wisely (because who knows where this will go, really?) I have set myself a goal for the end of the year. It’s very simple and very daunting all at the same time.

I want to reach 100,000 words in my current draft by the end of 2017.

I can hear it already: someone is flipping their hair and saying ‘Mimi, I wrote 50k in just one month for NaNoWriMo one time.’ And, yes, a lot of people are super speedy writers who practically set the keyboard on fire but I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. I am both a terrible overwriter and a terribly slow writer and when both of those of those come together you have a problem. Continue reading “The Writing Path is Laid | August Writing Updates”

Posted in Books, Children's, Feminism, Reviews

The Lie Tree | Frances Hardinge (not like other ladies)

It took me forever to get into this book. I got into a massive reading slump and kept staring at the book and thinking ‘Why must I read you?’ and that isn’t the best precedent to set before getting to a hundred pages. However, once I finally got into The Lie Tree, none of that mattered because, wow, this book has a lot to say.

When Faith’s father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets.

But as Faith’s untruths spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter… Continue reading “The Lie Tree | Frances Hardinge (not like other ladies)”

Posted in Books, Reviews

All That She Can See | A book let down by the little things

I wasn’t going to buy this book. Carrie’s previous book, On The Other Side, left me underwhelmed and I didn’t have high hopes for improvements. But then I was taken in by the pretty cover and the pre-order prizes and, as a book deal aficionado, I managed to get it for under £6. And I was surprised: this book is a huge improvement, but, and I hate to say this, I don’t think Carrie’s writing is at publishable standard just yet. Continue reading “All That She Can See | A book let down by the little things”

Posted in Books, Reviews, ya

Release review | AKA Patrick Ness is the best

Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy is my favourite series after Harry Potter, only missing out on the top spot for these reasons: a) there are fewer books and b) the fandom is smaller so there is less prolonged excitement. But still, it’s brilliant. I don’t think I’ll ever read a better science fiction series.

What this means, however, is that my relationship with his other book always goes something like ‘it’s not Chaos Walking, but it’s still Patrick Ness so I like it anyway.’ The same is true for Release. Good book. Good read. Probably won’t be obsessing over it six years after first reading it. Continue reading “Release review | AKA Patrick Ness is the best”

Posted in Books, Children's, Fantasy, Five Stars, Reviews

The Girl of Ink and Stars | Beautiful cover, beautiful story

I said the other day that Radio Silence might just be my book of the year, but already there’s a new contender competing for this year’s place: Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s The Girl of Ink and Stars.

The Girl of In51HhcQYpC3L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_k and Stars surprised me with how much was packed into two hundred or so pages. I pretty much only bought the book because I liked the cover (I know, I’m terrible) and I was worried that it would be a case of all-boasting, no-substance. Some books can be a bit over-produced but lack the content to make this seem worthwhile. This one has fold-out endpages that reveal two maps of the Island of Joya, the book’s main setting, and illustrations in the margins of every page. But, far from being a needless addition, these features actually add to the reading experience. Continue reading “The Girl of Ink and Stars | Beautiful cover, beautiful story”

Posted in Books, Five Stars, Reviews, ya

Nine reasons to read Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence

This is a strong contender for my book of the year. I’m so glad I managed to fit this one into my increasingly limited reading time. I could ramble on about all the little details that make it so great, but for fear of boring everyone, here’s a list of reasons why you should grab a copy right now: Continue reading “Nine reasons to read Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence”

Posted in Books, Fantasy, Reviews, ya

Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo

shadow-and-bone-the-grisha-1-leigh-bardugoShadow and Bone, the first book in the Grisha trilogy, has all the promises for a wonderfully original fantasy series, but it suffers from two problems that are difficult to ignore: it lacks plot and character development, and the world building really isn’t there.

There is a simple reason for this: Shadow and Bone is about a hundred pages short of where it should be. Clocking in at just over 80,000 words, it’s only the average length of a contemporary. There just isn’t the time and space to fit in all the details needed for the reader to connect with the characters and the world. Continue reading “Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo”

Posted in Blog posts, Books, Discussions, ya

Tower of Dawn: Cover Reveal (and my unnecessesary stress)

As I am behind the times, I’ve only just seen the cover for the next Throne of Glass book. (I am also behind the times in the sense that I have not read Maas’ other book series.)

So here it is:

31450852It’s, well – it’s a deviation from the norm, isn’t it? We’re all used to Celaena/Aelin/whatever-she’s-going-by-nowadays taking up the cover with weapons of choice, and I don’t think I was the only one who assumed Chaol would be adopting a similar position (this one was literally referred to as the ‘Chaol novel’ until it got a proper title). Continue reading “Tower of Dawn: Cover Reveal (and my unnecessesary stress)”

Posted in Books, Reviews, ya

The Sun is Also a Star | Nicola Yoon

imagesI wanted to like Nicola Yoon’s books. I really wanted to.

They’re everywhere. Since bursting into the YA scene with Everything, Everything in September 2015, her books have amassed an impressive 151,000 GoodReads ratings between them and her debut novel has just entered cinemas *stares suspiciously at the 18th August UK release date*

It’s easy to understand where all the hype is coming from. The books are wonderfully written, weaving factual knowledge with emotional understanding. Continue reading “The Sun is Also a Star | Nicola Yoon”