7 Awesome International Book Covers


When I go on holiday I love going into bookshops and finding different editions of books I’ve read. Sometimes I even buy them! (See the copy of Eleanor & Park I bought in Barcelona. It has SUCH LOVELY THICK PAGES aah.) And since I haven’t done much book design appreciation in a while, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite non-UK book covers!

I realise that obviously ‘international’ is going to be different for everyone since we all live in different places, but in this context I’m going for editions that aren’t available where I live. For a comparison, the non-UK one is on the left and the UK one is on the right. 🙂

fangirl alternate cover fangirl uk

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Indonesian edition) I do absolutely adore the UK edition of Fangirl — I mean, hello, Noelle Stevenson — but I thought this one was super adorable! I love the sort of craft/home-y feel it has. And the texture is LOVELY. It’s a lot less slick than the UK (and US) ones, despite their now iconic pink/green colour schemes.

my true love gave to me my true love gave to me uk

2. My True Love Gave to Me (US edition)
LOOK AT THIS. LOOK AT ALL THE TINY PEOPLE. I am endlessly upset that we didn’t get this in the UK. I mean, at least the winter and summer ones do go well together, but… IT’S NOT THE SAME. I wanted all the tiny people and nice illustrations. *cries*

the hunger games chinese the hunger games

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Chinese edition)
MAN, the ink stains here. *shakes head* They are really killing me. Although The Hunger Games has gone through many redesigns, I thought this one was rather nice! But, er, I’ve been using Google Translate to tell me where each edition is from if the summary isn’t a language I recognise, and it has produced a truly stellar one here:

“When I woke up the other half of the bed was cold . I reached tackling sister Sakura warm body, but only a mattress covered with coarse single touch. She certainly has had a nightmare, climbed mom went to bed. of course she would have nightmares, today is the day of the draw.” Thus began the novel.

Don’t use Google Translate for your homework, peoples! 😛 Although it is interesting to see how Prim has been turned into Sakura. ANYWAYS. Back to the task at hand.

harry potter italian harry potter uk

4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (Italian edition)
Many kudos to the colour scheme on this. The purple and the white glowing Patronus are seriously working for me. It actually sort of reminds me of the new Bllomsbury editions available? (Of course I didn’t buy the whole set, be quiet.)

harry potter persian

Bonus: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Persian edition) …yes, I know. This is completely insane. Where to look? The weird very non-Harry 8 year old, the badly edited figures at the bottom, the scenes fading in and out of each other. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO THINK.

catcher in the rye arabic catcher in the rye uk

5. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (Arabic edition)
I always feel like classics don’t get very good covers — often it tends to be super plain. Maybe that’s because everyone has a different idea of the story so they don’t want to spoil it? But anyway, that annoys me a lot. This one is absolutely lovely, though! Asdfjkl THE ILLUSTRATION. Holden’s face. That is impressive.

radio silence us radio silence alice oseman

6. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (US edition) I don’t mind the UK edition, but I don’t feel like it suits the book as well as the US one does. Faces tend to be a bit naff and the UK picture doesn’t suit Frances at all! SHE DOES NOT HAVE A NOSE PIERCING EVERYONE. It makes her seem way more supposedly ‘badass’ than she is. That’s not what this book is about. *huffs* I can’t complain too much, though, since the book hasn’t even come out in the US yet haha.

throne of glass spanish Throne of Glass

7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (Spanish edition) I’m a VERY big fan of minimalism and monochrome. I’ve never loved the Throne of Glass covers, to be honest, but I actually think this one is awesome! (The catchline font could be changed. But otherwise awesome.)

So that concludes my book covers! If you fancy checking some different editions out, then I find the Goodreads list of different editions extremely useful. And yes, sometimes I do browse Goodreads covers for fun. DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT. 😉 A reminder: this is a scheduled posts, and I am currently away with no wifi.  But I’m very keen to discuss the merits of various book covers when I return!

which of these covers is your favourite? did I miss any out? do you have any special editions of books?

Top Ten Books I Love But Haven’t Talked About in a While

Top Ten Tuesdays

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) in ages and…it’s a Tuesday so I thought why not! This week’s prompt is books we love but don’t talk about enough — which I have a lot of. Because I love Rainbow Rowell, but other books do exist.

a monster calls

1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness To be fair, this is talked about a lot by other people. Being a book of the what-I-like-to-call ‘library fiction’ genre. (No one else seems to understand what I mean by this. MAYBE IT’S JUST MY WEIRD HABITS OF GETTING BOOKS FROM EVERYWHERE.) Patrick Ness is a good library fiction author, though. His books are both actually extremely wonderful books and also perceived to be wonderful by adults who think they know what kids like to read. *coughs* And the illustrations in my edition are AMAZING.

cuckoo song

2. Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge Another library fiction. But this is a book from the last Carnegie shortlist I enjoyed a lot! Frances Hardinge recently gained a lot of publicity when her newest book — The Lie Tree, which is also excellent — was picked as the Costa Children’s Book, but I think Cuckoo Song deserves love as well. It’s delightfully eerie and gothic.

the big lie

3. The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew Man, the premise of this book is SO DARN COOL. I mean, quite scary. But cool. It’s an alternate modern setting where the Nazis won WWII, so it’s set in a contemporary Nazi England. There’s a lot of exploration of big ideas like morality and rebellion, as well as queer characters in an unaccepting society. It was very chilling, and very good.

red rising

4. Red Rising by Pierce Brown I do go through brief phases of discussion of this. Mostly when the newest book comes out. (Though I have yet to read Morning Star, #3.) I don’t read that much sci-fi, so I suppose it’s my default when talking abut the genre…? But I actually LOVE this. I think Pierce Brown takes from Roman history really well and creates awesome conflicts, Everything is just SPACESHIPS and DRAMA and ACTION YAY.

half bad

5. Half Bad by Sally Green Apparently this book is a little divisive…? I DON’T KNOW. Some of its tropes are a bit tired to begin with, but they totally get jazzed up by witches and a uniquely gritty + angsty writing style. AND HELL YEAH a) women actually are more powerful witches in this world and b) bisexual protagonist yay. More LGBTQ+ characters in fiction are always good.

fans of the impossible life

6. Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa I talked about this a lot when I got it at YALC. WHY HAVE MORE PEOPLE NOT READ IT? *cries* I am mystified. It’s sort of like Eleanor & Park but with three POVs and 1000% more diverse. It’s a coming-of-age story that…I actually liked a lot.(Please don’t shout me, but Perks of Being a Wallflower is not really my favourite.) Asdfjkl my feels are coming back now.


7. Ash by Malinda Lo Overall I don’t talk about Malinda Lo nearly enough. SHE’S AWESOME. In fact, I bought Ash far before I knew anything about her, so it feels sort of special to me. There are many Cinderella retellings, but this remains a firm love of mine.

in perfect light

8. In Perfect Light by Benjamin Alire Sáenz Everyone is in love with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. And I think that’s a great book! It’s how I found Alire Sáenz , and it’s wonderful. But he’s actually also a poet and an adult author before he wrote Ari & Dante — like, a great one. His writing style is just asdfjkl and I really wish more people knew about his other books.


9. Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys I’m a bit of a snob about historical fiction. I barely ever read it. That’s with the very large exception of Ruta Sepetys, who writes SUCH wonderful books. They don’t feel like they’re trying to teach you a lesson or anything; they’re simply excellent stories set in the past. Her characters are always amazing, and she writes in first person with such elegance and ease.

miseducation of cameron post

10. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth This is probably one of my favourite books ever. I have literally no idea why I don’t talk about it more. (Maybe because the author hasn’t written any other books so I’m not, y’know, flailing about news or whatever.) It’s stunning. READ IT.

Writing thise list has made me very excited about all these books I haven’t considered in a while. SHH THAT TOTALLY WASN’T THE POINT OF THE LIST. 😉 I’m very excited to say that at the end of this week, I’m off to New York! I’m SO SO SO excited for it, but I probably won’t be replying to the usual comments and tweets at the usual rate. I’m hoping to write about it on teh blog (asdfjkl EXCITE) but I’ll see you when I’m back! *waves*

are there any genres you read less of? got any favourite books you haven’t talked about in a while?

7 Things I Would Do If I Met Rainbow Rowell

rainbow rowell books

Okay, so: I LOVE RAINBOW ROWELL’S BOOKS. I have probably recommended a book of hers to you all at some point or another. I mean, objectively, they do have flaws, but I also love them with all my heart. Yeah. Rainbow is, um, probably my favourite author right now.

WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY WHY I NEED TO ATTEND ONE OF HER EVENTS. I am blisteringly aware of the ocean between me and the USA, i.e. where a lot of her tours seem to be. And because I was a complete numpty, I missed her last UK tour! *congratulates self*

Some parts of the internet insist that she has a UK event during March — and, to be fair, I haven’t actually seen any more news since November, but I live in hope. Obviously, because I am going to turn into an awkward flapping chicken during like the one time I will probably ever see her: I decided it would be prudent to make a list of all the things I need to do. LET’S GO! *throws imaginary Pokeball onto grass*

1. Listen to her playlists all the way to the venue

I do this on my train journeys anyway, because I like to be attacked by feels on public transport, but it would be like my own private joke. Ha. Also: RAINBOW HAS THE BEST MUSIC TASTE. Ahem. *coughs*

2. Wear all the merch I possibly can.

I’m assuming this whole thing is going to happen at a book event, so that I will get at least a tiny bit of prep. Of course, I need to be decked out in all my merchandise… Okay, maybe not all of it. Even though I don’t own nearly as much as I’d like. But we can either go with a) Cath’s Carry On t-shirt, b) full or selective elements of my Penny Bunce cosplay as well as c) the Tatty Devine Fangirl necklace I won at YALC (!!). I could wear a flannel shirt like Eleanor? No, okay, Eve. ONE OUTFIT HERE. Calm yourself.

3. Be this gif

admire someone gif

Just. I would make so many flustered hand movements to try and articulate how much I love all the books.

4. Talk to all the other Rainbow Rowell bookworms/Snowflakes

The name for the a Carry On fan is now officially a Snowflake. Hehe. (I think it comes from a mention of Cath visiting Snowflakes forums?) Anyway: flailing is WAY more fun with friends, and I’d love to meet up with fellow enthusiasts! XD

5. Ask a lot of questions about:

a) Diversity in YA What do you think is the next step for diversity in YA? As an author of both adult and YA books, do you feel representation is different in those genres?
b) The Eleanor & Park movie Eek, what’s the current situation!? ❤
c) Carry On locations CAN WE SET UP A SIMON SNOW MERCHANDISE SHOP IN WATFORD? Genuinely. I would happily work in it.

6. Bring my wheelbarrow of books up to be signed

Not my Kindle, though… I wouldn’t actually bring all of my books, because that would take forever and also I don’t think I would actually be allowed. It took me a while to stack up the 13 for the title photo. XD (HOW DID I GET 13 FROM 5 BOOKS DAMMIT.) Hopefully I can get my pretty special editions signed, though!

7. NOT ask what the three words are

I guess it would be nice to know what they meant? But I feel like I’m way less bothered than a lot of people. When I finished the book, that wasn’t the first thing on my mind — and we saw Park’s reaction, so I don’t think it’s anything awful. Plus: Rainbow would never tell us!

Hopefully I will get to actually carry on out this list someday. I am wishing really hard that this list doesn’t seem weird. (Also: I was also talking Carry On with Michelle, An Overthinking Teenager, and Evi, so BLAME THEM.) (Not really. I love you guys. :P)

Which authors would you like to meet? Have you been to any great author events? 🙂

Top Ten Quotes Worthy of Memorising

Top Ten Tuesdays

Ha. I am well known among my friends for my  tendency to memorise my favourite quotes… (And/or gett them on t-shirts *coughs* and scrawl them onto every surface I can find *coughs*) So this Top Ten Tuesday was of course excellent for me! The prompt was favourite quotes from books you’ve read over the last year or so — I mean, I HAVE PROBABLY COMPLETED WRECKED THAT TIMEFRAME. But ah well. Here we go!

“Quick, make a wish.
Take a (second or third or fourth) chance.
Remake the world.”

1. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson HOW COULD I NOT? I’ll Give You the Sun has so bloody many beautiful quotes, ugh. It’s honestly ridiculous. (But this one has stuck with me in particular. I think I might have stolen it at one point as a prompt.)

“There is no good word for the opposite of lonesome.
One might be tempted to suggest togetherness or contentment , but the fact that these two other words bear definitions unrelated to each other perfectly displays why lonesome cannot be properly mirrored. It does not mean solitude, nor alone, nor lonely, although lonesome can contain all of those words in itself.
Lonesome means a state of being apart. Of being other. Alone-some.”

2. Blue Lily, Lily Blue Another impossible decision — because Maggie Stiefvater’s prose is practically littered with quotable lines. Ugh. This is just a piece of writing I think about a lot. (God. ADAM.) (I like the Ronan one too, at the beginning and end of the dream thieves. Such nice circular imagery. *sighs*) I love definitions, and I love the poetry you can build from them.

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

3. Vicious by VE Schwab *gasps* HOW DRAMATIC IS THIS?!? Vicious is probably one of my favourite books, ever. And VE Schwab is one of my favourite authors. She doesn’t write as poetically as some of the others on this list, so there’s less pretty prose, but I don’t adore her writing style any less.

“People believe, thought Shadow. It’s what people do. They believe, and then they do not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjuration. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe; and it is that rock solid belief, that makes things happen.”

4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman Neil Gaiman actually is one of those insanely quotable writers. (I really should read more of his books.) American Gods was a slow read, for me, but it had so many complex ideas — and what I really enjoyed was his exploration of belief and the existence of gods. The idea that belief can bring something into existence, which is something that I connect with a lot.

“They rolled up the maps of their bodies until they were two continents of interlocking roads and rivers and dreams, and she thought, ‘This is how I will learn to live again’.”

5. Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa HI HI HI WHY IS THIS BOOK NOT MORE POPULAR. It’s Eleanor & Park but with way more diversity. It’s awesome. And this is a lovely quote from it. Like, woooow. ❤ ❤

eye_brows i don’t think i ship them, i just want them to go shopping for curtains and eat eggs for breakfast
and play cluedo forever
vaticancameltoes that is the legal definition of shipping

But our interconnections are basically Sherlock and a declared fondness for girlkissing.

6. Tumbling by Susie Day / Love Hurts Anthology edoted by Malorie Blackman I have probably professed my love for this short story before. It’s just an adorable thing about two girls who meet on Tumblr through Sherlock and then have their first date in Speedy’s Cafe. pleaaase someone write this as a full length novel! I need more Shirin and Candy! There are so many fandom references and aah it’s just such a lovely pick-me-up. And, um, I couldn’t pick my favourite quote sooo… HERE ARE TWO. There are many more. Sometime in the future, I need to make a t shirt with a Tumbling quote.

“We lead strange lives, chasing our dreams around from place to place.”

7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern May I suggest ‘ten gorgeously written books’ as an alternative title for this list? Because that’s what it totally is. The Night Circus could practically be an exercise in description. And there is beautiful magic and dreams and just….HELP ME.

“Not being heard is no reason for silence.”

8. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo Okay, there are a lot of quotes I could choose from Les Mis. But I love a lot of them simply because they’re from Les Mis — they don’t mean anything if you don’t know the characters and the context. The Amis descriptions can make me cry; it’s terrible. (And I wanted to find that one about, like, insurrections? But I have to wriiitteee eep sorry!) (I love you, but NaNo haunts my every step with YOU COULD BE WRITING NOW.)

“You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.”

8. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Well, duh. Obviously I had to put this. Simon and Baz and Penny have so much great banter, because Rainbow writes the literal best dialogue, but I LOVE THIS LINE. Call me a sap, but it embodies so much about the book and my poor oblivious Simon like honestly would you like to feel sad today? THINK ABOUT SIMON. And it just makes me thinking of Carry On and carrying on and all the songs with carry on in them and basically my feels are overwhelming me right now. *takes a deep breath*

“By this point Viviane Lavender had loved Jack Griffith for twelve years, which was far more than half of her life. If she thought of her love as a commodity and were to, say, eat it, it would fill 4,745 cherry pies. If she were to preserve it, she would need 23,725 glass jars and labels and a basement spanning the length of Pinnacle Lane.
If she were to drink it, she’d drown.”

10. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton I didn’t enjoy this book tremendously, but it had soooo many lovely quotes! I’m a sucker for angel wings, guys. And I’m a sucker for romantic things. It’s just a lovely quote! ❤

AND THERE YOU HAVE THEM. I’ll probably look back at this list later and wonder at how I managed to miss out some obviously very beautiful quote, but oh well. 😉

What are your favourite bookish quotes? Do you end up writing them all over your books in class like I do…? XD

5 Author Duos I’d Love to Read

5 authord duos i'd love to read

I think co-writing must be horrifically difficult. I mean, I’d definitely freak out if I had to send anything unpolished off, and WHAT IF WE HAD DISAGREEMENTS? It could ruin a friendship. (Or a stranger-ship. Ugh, that would be way worse.) I can see how people like David Levithan & John Green managed it with their alternating chapters, but…The Iron Trial? I have no clue how Holly Black & Cassie Clare co-wrote a whole cohesive – actually pretty decent – novel without any huge hiccups that I could read.

This was sort of supposed to be a Top Ten Tuesday, but I fell in love with the fabulousness of all the potential books. And then naturally I had to share them.

shadow and bone the bone season

1. Leigh Bardugo & Samantha Shannon There’s something about The Bone Season and The Grisha. They just…exude the same vibe. The magic system is rather similar – in The Grisha, the names are more Russian, but otherwise it’s actually pretty similar to the clairvoyance thing in TBD. The headstrong-slightly-bland-protagonist too. I’d personally like to see both authors utilise the settings a bit more? But I think they could write such a fabulous fantasy book. With a gorgeous setting. (I love these series, I swear! I know I sound very crabby in this, but really, I do.)

the dream thieves darkest part of the forest

2. Maggie Stiefvater & Holly Black These ladies write kick-ass fantasy with kick-ass prose, so obviously if they write a book together it would kick ass even more. Both of their books include elements of dark fantasy folklore in a contemporary setting. Dark fantasy in a contemporary setting is probably one of my favourite themes ever. Holly might give some more structure to the unpredictable whimsies of The Raven Cycle – which, you know, I do love, but sometimes it’s nice to have a bit more clue as to what’s happening.

i'll give you the sun aristotle and dante
3. Jandy Nelson & Benjamin Alire Saenz So, uh, the only book by Benjamin Alire Saenz I’ve read is Ari & Dante. But you know what? IT WAS SO IN THE STYLE OF JANDY NELSON. Whose I’ll Give You the Sun made me weep. Their books just feel like whimsically magical paintings in ever so slightly brightened colours. (With the volume turned up, even. *cackles*) Their books are realistic…but also, like, utterly ridiculous. Sometimes you just need an impossibly, ridiculously beautiful book like that.

A Darker Shade of Magic red rising

4. V.E. Schwab & Pierce Brown “Sci-fi and fantasy?!?” you scream, and I know, that’s a big divider. But their styles seem similar to me — CAN YOU IMAGINE THE KILLER PROSE. Both of them write so beautifully, so can you imagine what a beautiful book they would write together??! Dark fantasy with sci-fi and vicious characters would rock. (Maybe, like, a futuristic steampunk thing? I don’t know.) Their settings to me also feel more – wide-spanning? Like there’s a world and people beyond the characters. That’s something I enjoy a lot.

since you've been gone to all the boys i've loved before

5. Morgan Matson & Jenny Han I admit, I did this for the music-themed books. I wasn’t, uh, the greatest fan of Since You’ve Been Gone – everyone else seemed to love it but whilst I did enjoy it, it didn’t stick with me. Jenny Han & Morgan Matson would write a FABULOUS CONTEMPORARY THOUGH, am I right? Cute summer vibes all around. *hands ice-cream* You’re going to need them after all the other depressing co-writes.

What authors would you like to see co-write a book?

Top Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity

It’s that time again! I’ve noticed that I seem to be participating in TTT (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) round every month, so from now on I shall try very hard to do this meme monthly. (Permission is granted to bug me about if it I forget.) This week’s topic is my top ten books that celebrate diversity of all kinds. I’d like to read more diverse books, but these are the favourites from the ones I’ve read.

1. Adaptation by Malinda Lo What I love about this book is that it has exciting extraterrestrial-goings-on without erasing the diversity of the characters. I mean, all of Malinda Lo’s books that I’ve read so far are great, but this one is my most recent!

i'll give you the sun
2. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson I flail over this book a lot. There’s a lot of purple prose, but it’s an amazing book about family, love and not fitting in. It also has the most beautiful design ever so NO EXCUSES! (Just kidding, of course it’s totally your choice. But I did enjoy it a lot.)

love hurts
3. Tumbling by Susie Day Tumbling isn’t even a book. It’s an original short story published in the Love Hurts anthology – which in itself includes some great diversity such as in Humming Through My Fingers and Gentlewoman – but this one is my absolute favourite. It’s about two girls who meet through Tumblr (through Sherlock, at Speedy’s Café). There’s musings on popular culture and worrying about internet relationships and what happens when the freedom the internet allows is taken away. (“Tumblr is where I am the best me, ordinary, pain-free.”) I AM THE ONE-MAN FANDOM FOR THIS ALJIDFNA;DIkihfaedoi. It is SO BLOODY CUTE BUT ALSO SERIOUS AND if you don’t want to spend 8 quid on it then I wouldn’t blame you, but for sure flick to this story in the bookshop and give it a try.

merida gif

miseducation of cameron post
4. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth I’ve just read this one after hearing a lot of good things, and it was awesome. It’s about queer teenagers growing up in rural America (? I AM SORRY MY GEOGRAPHY) in the 90s and it was so great. I also wasn’t very educated about the issues it covers so it was really good to read about those whilst it still being a good book, you know?

shadows on the moon
5. Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott Another Cinderella retelling, yes. But this one is a Japanese-fantasy-fusion with a kind of fierce and not-so-nice Cinderella. Who is bitter and wants revenge. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a fun read and it does include diversity in many different respects.

every day
6. Every Day by David Levithan (Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve read this so I’m not 100% sure how much I’d enjoy it now.) Every Day is narrated by a character who changed bodies every day. There are so many different stories from the bodies A inhabits, and it’s a really interesting dynamic to explore – the person inside doesn’t change, per se, but everyone else has to see a different body.

eleanor and park us
7. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell God, you guys are probably sick and tired of me banging on and on about this book! I’m not entirely sure if it belongs on this list, since a lot of the issues like the racism Park experiences aren’t resolved (and also there’s to be a whole debate about Park’s eyeliner and is he gay?) but, yes. I feel like I haven’t included much on here in terms of social diversity, and Eleanor & Park addresses issues like poverty, abuse and body image alongside racism.

aristotle and dante
8. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz This one’s another recent read; I actually, um, read it all in one go, so I’m still slightly gathering my thought. I did enjoy it, though – it was cute and it includes some great diversity.

9. Wonder by RJ Palacio Wonder’s been thrown around a lot in bookish circles so, yes, it’s probably nothing new. I don’t know if it’s an accurate representation but it’s message is so uplifting, and all the viewpoints make it feel so honest.

the rest of us just live here
10. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness Yep. Here it is again. SORRYYY. I just seem to have a serious soft spot for this. Again, it isn’t perfect, but it covers a lot of different issues without it taking over the whole thing.

What do you think of participating monthly? What would you put on your list? Got any good book recs? 🙂

7 Books That Should Have Made the Carnegie Shortlist

7 books that should have been on the carnegie shortlist

I have quite mixed feelings on book awards. On one hand: author recognition! Cake and smoothie every Thursday morning! Exciting book events! On the other hand: seriously bad choices. Especially in children’s book awards, when to a young person (such as my good self) just reads the books and sees ‘This is what adults think kids like to read’. I spent 80% of my time at Carnegie Medal Shadowing ranting about the books. And a lot of that time is spent glaring at the bad books and saying that it would be a lot better if we were reading (insert book here) instead. So: THE BOOKS I WOULD ACTUALLY LIKE TO SEE ON THE SHORTLIST! As chosen from previous nominations! Because some people were really dumb when narrowing down the nominations.

out of the easy
1. Out of the Easy Ruta Sepetys This is a book that I mention a lot. You might be getting a bi tired of it now but it should have at least made the longlist. I don’t read much historical fiction, but I think it’s a testament to the author how much enjoyed it. Josie is absolutely fabulous. This book manages to capture the setting whilst still having an actually interesting plot. The writing is ridiculously amazing. I DON’T UNDERSTAND. I mean, seriously, it even has the morals and stuff which seem to be pretty popular with judges but at least doesn’t deliver them in a patronising way.

brides of rollrock island
2. The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan If this wasn’t a bloody well-written book then KICK ME NOW. It had scary beautiful mystic witches and mermaids and creepy islands and betrayal and families and I’m still in love. It had so many elements of fantasy that I love. Okay, maybe it was a little slow but HAVE I MENTIONED THE WRITING?!? (This also seems like quite a good sign.

killing god
3. Killing God by Kevin Brooks Killing God doesn’t really get any less weird than the title. It’s not an easy book. But I felt like it was a great book about being a teenager and dealing with trauma without (again) being patronising. Dark humour features. I don’t know, maybe people thought it was…too dark? At least Kevin Brooks’ The Bunker Diary got on the shortlist last time. (Though there was a lot of controversy over its win.)

the boy in the striped pyjamas
4. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne Another book that isn’t really a light read, but is still important nonetheless. It’s just so horrific to be reading and the narrator doesn’t know what’s happening but the reader knows. This seems to be a bit of a theme with my list, but maybe people thought it was too dark? I don’t think books should be censored like that. This was a great book. Not everything is fluffy and happy.

i coriander
5. I, Coriander by Sally Gardner I, Coriander reads like a dream, in the literal sense: half-nightmare, half-reality, with a good dollop of fantasy. It’s another historical fiction book that’s stayed with me… Maybe I wouldn’t like it as much now, but I loved it when I was younger and Carnegie technically is more geared towards that age group.

6. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin Okay, maybe this is a life-after-death book, but it’s a good life after death book. It’s another strangely fantastical book about love and grief and pain. It has a beautiful format – the end at the beginning! the beginning at the end! – and really, I love the world a lot. It’s a little slow and definitely crazy but…I still liked it. It was far more interesting than a good portion of the Carnegie books I’ve read.

how i live now
7. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff This book was painful to read. It’s in a sort-of-future with World War III and is written bluntly and without much punctuation from the point of view of a slightly bratty teenager. That kind of got on my nerves, but it was scary to see how possible it would be; that’s what makes it such a unique read.

Also! Yesterday same-sex marriage was legalised across the US (and also Mexico). This isn’t the be-all and end-all in equality, but it’s a pretty good step.

What do you think of book awards? Have you read any of the books on this year’s Carnegie shortlist? 🙂 Are there any ones you’d like to see on there?

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015

Top Ten Tuesdays

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday was technically supposed to be the top ten topics from the last five years, but alas I don’t think I’ve been doing this quite long enough. However! Don’t worry! Instead I’ve just chosen next week’s topic, my top ten books so far of this year. (I’m very sorry for ruining the consistency in your blog-reading.)

vicious ve schwab
1. Vicious by VE Schwab Think superheroes, but with a much more pleasing amount of viciousness. Yes: it was dark and it was violent and – okay, maybe I didn’t read it quite as fast as ADSOM, but it was still excellent.

darkest part of the forest
2. The Darkest Part of the Forest I still didn’t love it as much as the Curse Workers, because those books are my violent and murderous soulmates, but this was still wonderful. It had cool girls and tricksy fae and ridiculously effortless writing. *nods in approval*

trial by fire
3. Trial by Fire I devoured this. Literally. Like a cake. I was devastated when I found that I had to wait until SEPTEMBER to get the second one. It comes out the same date as Queen of Shadows, which only adds to my growing Throne-of-Glass-Rowan confusion…at least we’ll get all the pain out the way at the beginning of the month, I suppose.

the mime order
4. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon This was actually better than The Bone Season for me. I mean: London! Magic! Crime! What more could a girl want? Samantha Shannon is a very cool lady. (YALC HERE I COME.)

A Darker Shade of Magic
5. A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab With the FAR MORE PRETTY US cover What, my second VE Schwab book? I don’t know what you’re talking about *laughs awkwardly* See above. London, magic, and crime are my jams. This rocketed straight to the top of my favourites and honestly I don’t know how I survived before. The hype is real. The magic and characters and writing are all asdfjkl can we just talk about how amazing this book is?

the secret history
6. The Secret History by Donna Tartt Tumblr made me read it, I’ve got to say. I don’t think I understood about 70% of it but it was fun to read. (This and The Raven Cycle are almost the only things that make Latin seem cool.)

dreams of gods and monsters
7. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor I just quite like sequels. It made me sad to bid farewell to this world, but I found this a lot quicker to read than the others. Mate, the wordbuilding. *sighs happily*

the rest of us just live here
8. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness This was an ARC, but…IT WAS JUST SO GOOD. I mean, we already knew that Patrick Ness was cool, but this book is literally the epitomy of #VeryRealisticYA. So much snark.

dangerous girls
9. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas Another book I read based on recs. I don’t normally read mystery sorts of things, but the ending in this absolutely got me. Great for munching on when you’re in a book slump.

the song of achilles
10. The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller Um, this might also be a Tumblr read? Can I just say: don’t read it in public places unless you want to be an emotional wreck incapable of thought for the rest of the day.

Read any of these? What did you think? What are your favourite books of 2015?

Top Ten Books in my Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesdays

This title week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) is probably a little bit ambitious for me, but I SHALL FIGHT THE ENGLISH WEATHER, I promise! I’ll just have to, you know, sit huddled in my little beach tent on Camber Sands. In my jumper. And coat. And hat. (Okay, maybe not that last bit. But you get the idea.) Without further ado, here’s my ten books I think would make great beach reads!

dangerous girls
1. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas This might not be a good example to follow (what, like murder doesn’t make the best holidays?) but it’s really fun to read. You’ll race through it, and then you will scream. Whether in disbelief or fear, it’s hard to say.

the selection
2. The Selection by Kiera Cass Sparkleeess let me devour you like an episode of that awful singing competition. (I’m not kidding, this book has the same effect as the X Factor. A guilty pleasure/relaxation sort of thing in literary form.)

it's so fluffy

anna and the french kiss
3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Cutesy, cutesy, cutesiness. Gushing heroines, tooth-rotting fluff and horrendous British accent descriptions are abound, but still. Beach reads are for trashy books, and this is a good kind of a trashy.

attachments rainbow rowell
4. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell YOU WERE NEVER GOING TO GET AWAY WITHOUT ONE OF THESE. To be honest, I could have chosen any of Rainbow Rowell’s books (go read them all right this instance) but this for me was the most cute and light-hearted. I find it hard to read Fangirl anymore without craving October.

geek girl
5. Geek Girl by Holly Smale Harriet can be wince-inducing, but we laugh at her expense. (Wilbur is literally real-life Magnus Bane minus warlock powers. Well, I mean, not real life per se, but…yeah, no.)

magnus bane

clockwork angel
6. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare Speaking of Magnus Bane. The master of compelling books. (I liked TID a lot more than TMI.)

the maze runner
7. The Maze Runner by James Dashner This series has some gaping flaws – if you’re particular about writing styles, you might want to stay away – but the action should be enough to keep you going. Again, it’s a sort of good kind of trashy.


Throne of Glass
8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
I mean, we already knew how much I love this book. But it feels like it would be such a beach read for me.

shadows on the moon
9. Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott
Zoe Marriott’s books are the weirdest things for me? They all seem to feel so…created. Like they’re al debut novels. It’s so strange. I think it might just be my initial perception. Strange auras aside, they’re lovely to read; here, have a kick-ass vengeful Cinderella fused with some Japanese history and fantasy.

10. Divergent by Veronica Roth
There’s a reason popular books are popular. If you haven’t already read this series, go do so now; it wasn’t the most fulfilling read, but I absolutely devoured it. (It’s also okay if you miss a page or so. Or it gets destroyed by sand or something, because the cover is NO.)

Are you going anywhere sunny for the holidays? What would be your picks?

7 Reasons Carry On is Going to Be Awesome

carry on awesome

In case you missed the numerous incidents of fangirling, I’m a really big fan of Rainbow Rowell’s meta-series Simon Snow. It was absolutely CRAZY when she announced that she was writing a real book based on Simon and Baz and all the inhabitants of Watford. Now that the cover and (slightly ominous subtitle) have been announced, I thought it was time to tell you guys all the reasons that Carry On is set up to be the awesomest thing in the universe.

1. Simon and Baz are going to be in love. Obviously, this is a pleasing thing. Who doesn’t want their ship to be canon? 😛 But I’m also really pleased that it wasn’t passed up and relegated to subtext or snippets of Cath’s fanfiction. (See, I speak the truth!) I don’t know, I just feel like some things (coughSherlockcough, however much I love the show) string shippers along a bit.

2. There’s going to be some actual content to write fanfic from. Hurrah! The amount of Simon Snow canon is frankly miserable. Many details have had to be made up by the members of the fandom. Naturally, we’re going to need some fic to sustain us beyond October, and with luck Carry On will boost that a little. (I’m also not too sure if Pegatha is going to be a thing in Carry On, so I need that too.)

3. It shows that genre-hopping is 100% okay. I really have to rack my brain to think of an author who has made such a radical jump as the one from contemporary to fantasy. Rainbow’s said that whilst she reads and watched a lot of fantasy, she’s never written it – it’s a wonderful thing that an established author has the courage to do this!

4. And also that JK Rowling has not patented the ‘magic school’ trope. It’s hard to deny that there are Simon Snow/Harry Potter parallels. They exist. Rainbow ships Drarry. But if you want to take a look at this great post, hopefully you can see that they are different. Rainbow’s said that she just considers it to be straight-up fiction.

5. Plus that authors can do whatever the cheesecake they want with their writing. Carry On is, like, a book from a book within a book. THIS GENRE-SMASHING IS EPIC, GUYS.

6. It’s still a story with it’s roots in the fandom. Whilst Rainbow has said that she’d just like it considered as straight-up fiction, it’s also true that it has some connections with fanfic. After all, that was a big part of Fangirl. Fanfic can sometimes be shunned by people (go read this for why it’s awesome!) and it’s just nice to see a mainstream novel not doing that. Rainbow is a really cool fannish author and….BLEURGH. Simon Snow is a cool fandom to be in.

7. For once, the crazy hopes of the fandom are actually coming true! There was rumour-mongering. There were small hopes. Many people thought it was a little bit doomed. But no! This time, the crazy rumours are actually coming true. Authors, take note. 😉

What, were you doubting my ability to write an entire post on a book not yet published? O YE OF LITTLE FAITH. 😛 Hopefully you are now all sufficiently persuaded to buy and read the wonderful Fangirl, if you haven’t already. And also to pre-order Carry On, because it’s never to early.

Do I spot any fellow Simon Snow fans out there? If so, do feel free to discuss/flail with me. Otherwise: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? 😉