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.

elsewhere
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?

Summer Bucket List

Summer bucket list

Why are bucket lists called bucket lists? This is a question that has eluded me for many months: you’re supposed to put your list into a bucket? You should wear a bucket as you complete the tasks? The…letting go of yourself…symbolises, uh, throwing buckets of water into the sea?? Apparently, though, it’s from a film where some people decided to make a list of things to do before they kick the bucket. How wonderfully cheery is that?! I’m personally hoping to make it to September alive and well., but suit yourselves.

Though I complain about school, I’m a person who likes her life to be organised. I feel lost when I don’t have structure doing the holidays. Thus, I’ve come up with a REVOLUTIONARY and INGENIOUS plan – a bucket list!

ponyo bucket

I’ve never made a bucket list before. I’m not planning for this to end up in the direction of some of the complete-this-mysterious-list books I’ve read. But the summer holidays really give me some time to do some of those things that I’ve been wanting to do for ages but just can’t. Such as…

1. WRITE THAT DARN BOOK

I’ve had a strange idea wafting around my head ever since last November’s NaNo. I’ve got about 35k down, but since then my idea has morphed in rather a different direction. I’ve been thinking about it far too often for my own good; it’s sort of become my little…recurring daydream. I want to read it a lot. Summer should be an excellent opportunity to get myself sorted out.

2. Raid the library

I don’t mean in my normal fashion, though naturally that’ll have to happen too. 😉 I’m thinking more: READ THOSE CLASSICS YOU’VE BEEN EYEING UP FOR AGES. I’d quite like to read Les Mis before I got to Paris which I’m ridiculously excited about. I’m already far too emotionally involved in those characters anyway. I’d also like to try out Wuthering Heights. And Lord of the Rings. And poetry, and maybe some *gasps* non-fiction books as well. I like to learn. Speaking of which:

3. Learn some new useful things

It’d be helpful to sort out my miserably dismal html skills. I also rather fancy some language-learning, either of one I already study or something new WORDS ARE JUST TOO PRETTY OKAY. Maybe some science too, or history, or useless general knowledge trivia. My brain hungers for useless trivia right now.

4. Finish all those TV programmes (and watch some decent films)

I’ve started about a million series (Once Upon a Time, Avatar the Last Airbender, Supernatural etc.) and I still haven’t finished any of them. That’s something I’d like to do. I’m thinking a full day marathon, that sort of thing. Plus, because I’m apparently lumping all camera-film-related things together, I’d like to go to that new cinema nearby. And maybe finally finish all the Ghibli films, so that be all knowledgeable? 😛 It seems a bit of a shame to stay inside when it’s sunny, but British summers usually include a bit of rainy downtime.

5. Go see some art

I have fantasies where I go to visit places on my own and then can sit and admire things without feeling awkward. I’d quite like to realise one of them. Maybe visit the British Library too.

6. Do more origami

The only thing I can make is paper cranes. I’m not bad at it; it’s a very good de-stresser. This summer I’d like to either a) have a stab at the thousand cranes or b) learn some different origami. If it’s a choice, paper weapons that I can make/implement during school would be nice.

7. Stargaze

…did I say I wasn’t going to steal things from books? I might have lied there. I just really want to see some stars. One time I woke up whilst camping and it was insane. I don’t see many stars normally so it was insane to see stars falling everywhere. I’d like to stargaze officially (maybe get some constellation knowledge too.)

With any luck, I’ll be able to update you on my progress during summer! I kind of hope that writing all these down will encourage me. (If not, you’re welcome to write a comment with ‘HOW DARE YE’ or the like!)

If your holidays have started, how are they going? Do you have any more ideas for me, or a summer bucket list of your own? 🙂

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.

divergent
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 Pointless Ways to Procrastinate

7 pointless ways to procrastinate

Procrastinating is an art. Though social media is excellent, to be a true procrastinator you must also be able to perform your art in a variety of different ways – and if you have yet to embrace these during the joyful exam period, then here! Have a list that will effectively finish all productive revision!

(If you, like, me are actually in exam period right now then I’d probably advise not implementing any activities mentioned. Just saying.)

1. Play some oldey-timey games
Don’t tell me there wasn’t a fight for the one library computer in after school club. Seriously. That one with the green pipe and the bouncy ball one was my childhood (I’m very upset that I can no longer find it). If your memory is mysteriously blank then I’d suggest starting with Fireboy and Watergirl, Circle the Cat or Bloons Tower Defence. The sound of popping virtual balloons is strangely therapeutic.

2. Do some dumb calculations
‘How many books are in the library?’ ‘How many DVDs do I own?’ ‘How many teachers are teaching in my school at any one time?’ etc.

3. Find out dumb records
Again, the nostalgia from endless Guinness Book of World Records. What, you don’t have the newest edition? Never fear. The internet is your friend. My search history favourites include ‘longest piece of literature in the world’ (a Super Smash Bros fanfiction that clocks in at over 4 million words) ‘most married person’ (Linda Wolfe, with 23 marriages) and ‘farthest squirting of milk from the eye’ (279.5cm by Ilker Yilmaz).

4. Visit some pointless websites
My suggestions are Dot on the Horizon, Click to Remove, How Many Goats Are You Worth? and Please Wait.

5. Watch Pointless
You can say you’re watching ironically and because of my excellent pun, but we all know the truth. Pointless is the only game show worth any one’s time.

6. Find a playlist for every single action of the day
‘Saturday morning’, ‘Saturday breakfast’, ‘shower’, ‘getting ready’, ‘homework’, ‘making lunch’, ‘Saturday lunch’, ‘Oh look it’s started raining’, ‘Good job I don’t have to go out now’, ‘Let’s stay inside and watch Doctor Who instead’ ‘Wait, I have to publish this blog post first’ etc.

7. Learn how to say something in a language you’re not fluent in
This is probably the most productive items on this list. Quotes from your favourite books are especially fun – if you don’t want to buy a whole book and compare editions then you can get lots of sample chapters from Amazon.

I’m getting along well with my revision, as you can see. 😉 (No, seriously. I really am sorry for the lack of posts and such. It looks like this month is going to continue in this direction, unfortunately.)

Are any of you revising for exams at the moment? Is your studying going better than mine? 😛

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? 😉

Top Ten Favourite Authors

Top Ten Tuesdays

Welcome, welcome, to another mismatched edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and Bookish!

Just to clarify, this is not a list of the authors that I think are the best. I’m pretty sure that I’m not at all qualified (either in reading fodder or writerly knowledge) to judge that. Instead, in this edition of the kind-of-erratic Top Ten Tuesdays, I’m just going to be telling you my favourites. The ones that I would buy on sight. (Well, not just, since that wouldn’t amount to much. But along those lines.)

Crown of Midnight

1. Sarah J Maas Throne of Glass was probably my first real book obsession. I don’t even know what to say about it, but it’s just affected my life in such a way that I feel utterly indebted to Sarah J Maas. I also find it so encouraging how she progressed from writing fanfic and publishing on Fictionpress to becoming a real published author. It gives me hope that someday I can inspire others, too.

eleanor and park us

2. Rainbow Rowell Right, so Rainbow Rowell’s books are not always deep and profound truths. But sometimes, that’s not what I want; sometimes, I just want a book that will make me amazingly and wonderfully happy. Reading her books is like a warm hug and hot chocolate, except with much less effort. ❤ She also seems like a really cool person – being part of the fandom, and having the courage to switch genres, and just generally promoting fannish stuff. (Also, I own 7 copies of her books, and I don’t even own Landline. THE COVERS AND CHARACTERS ARE JUST SO PRETTY ASDFJKL)

red rising

3. Pierce Brown Okay, I get that he’s only written two books so far, but I really like Red Rising. Although Darrow’s not the best protagonist, I absolutely fell in love with the worldbuilding and the writing and everything.

i'll give you the sun

4. Jandy Nelson The first time I read The Sky is Everywhere, I loved it. It is the only book for which I have stayed up reading late into the night. I haven’t liked it so much on re-reading, but when I read I’ll Give You the Sun it was like falling in love all over again. Her writing style is wonderful, and I love the poetry interspersed. ❤ (She’s also a poet and editor! How about that?)

the dream thieves

5. Maggie Stiefvater I didn’t like The Wolves of Mercy Falls. I haven’t yet read her Books of Faerie. No, the reason that Maggie Stiefvater is on this list is for just one of her series: The Raven Cycle.

I don’t know why they’re so different to her other books, but they are. For me, they seem like they transcend some of the moulds of YA fiction. The poetic language is beautiful, yes, but the characters are just what brings it to life. I would like to write books like these. The characters feel so compelx and real and there we go again, I’m fangirling! Seriously, though. They’re AWESOME.

the knife of never letting go

6. Patrick Ness Patrick Ness’ books are perhaps more what I would call ‘library’ fiction – they’re the books that teachers are always trying to get you to read, the ones that appear time and time again on lists and awards and whatnot. I haven’t yet read all his books, but the ones I have read – Chaos Walking, A Monster Calls, More Than This, The Rest of Us Just Live Here – have been amazing.

solitaire

7. Alice Oseman Though I liked Solitaire, I think that the book alone wouldn’t have made it onto this list. What I love is how active and supportive with her fanbase she is (check out her tumblr!). She’s possibly the coolest author ever – I mean, she plays piano, writes, attends uni and is an awesome artist? WHAT IS LIFE?? So, yes, I’m very excited for Radio Silence right now.

skulduggery pleasant

8. Derek Landy I have no idea how Derek Landy has managed to write so many awesome books in such a short period of time. They’re hilarious, have an awesome magic system, and the characters are all asdfjkl. I’m somewhat miffed to have missed out attending an event of his, but my friends tell me that he’s a cool person as well.

clockwork angel

9. Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments & co. aren’t my favourite books. I don’t know what it is about them, but to me they always feel a little…disconnected. Vain. I don’t know. But I can’t deny the fact that I’m absolutely going to gobble up any more books she releases!

. . .

10. Unpublished authors I’ve met so many wonderful people since starting to blog. It’s opened my eyes to a whole writing community, and I’m honestly just astounded at how many beautiful pieces of writing are free and available to read. There are people who just work so hard at what they do, whether that’s a novel or short stories or poetry or fanfiction, and they really can brighten up my day. 🙂 (Okay, I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but I’M KEEPING THE CHEESE. It’s 100% true.)

Who are your favourite authors? 🙂

7 British Words (That Aren’t ‘Bloody’)

British words that aren't bloody

(WordPress is really not liking me at the moment. I hope this posts. Otherwise, come over to my actual blog page and view everything from there.)

I am tired of ‘bloody’ and ‘mate’ being the only words used to identify a person with a British accent in books. I hate to tell you, but there are actually other accents in Britain and not all of us drink tea. As such, I have a compiled a* list of words used by a knowledgeable Londoner such as myself, which authors should endeavour to use in their writing.

*(not entirely serious)

1. Naff Ooh, I’m feeling quite urban here, aren’t I? Naff is a curious word which means the opposite of tasteful, but not the same as distasteful. Synonyms include gaudy, trashy, a large proportion of Camden market.

2. Term I know I’ve said this before, but THE AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM IS VERY CONFUSING. (And maybe other places too. I haven’t read enough books to make judgements, really.) In this wonderful country, we have three terms instead of, like, two semesters, or whatever they have across they have across the Atlantic. I’m not really sure.

3. Converse It took me several re-reads and a film to discover that when Hazel Grace wears Chuck Taylors, she means converse. I just call all of those shoes converse, even if they’re actually £4.99 fakes from Primark.

4. Nick Something that will happen to your Liberty bag if you leave it on the bus, i.e. get stolen.

5. Train Do they even have much public transport in America? Characters seem to drive or fly everywhere. I know the USA is crazy big, but I managed to take an 8 hour train from London to Aberdeen. (On which I left my pencil case and books, by the way. Never going on it again.) And, just to confuse everyone, you’ve got the Tube and the Underground and the Overground and the Eurostar and the DLR. Fun times.

6. Shops Yes, I am going shopping to the shopping centre to visit the bookshop. IT’S IN THE VERB.

7. Lessons Because school does not deserve to be classy.

Oh, and one more: “Isn’t it just chucking it down?”

Dear authors, I hope you have taken note and will do your best to include these in your next novel, undoubtedly set on this glorious island of ours. Old chaps, thank you for reading, and cheerio; for those fellow Britons of mine, are there any I have missed out?

7 Worthwile Singles of the Week

7 singles of the week title

iTunes Single of the Week had been running since 2004 when it quietly finished at the end of last year. To be honest, I really don’t know why they did it, considering it provided both exposure to artists and free music to listeners, but hey. To celebrate/mourn its passing, here’s a list of my favourites from the ones I’ve downloaded. (Unfortunately, my toddler self was not up to checking iTunes every week. Sorry! 😛 ) sinners

Sinners Lauren Aquilina

I’d admittedly already bought the Sinners EP by the time this was made free, but whatever. The awesomeness of Lauren Aquilina transcends all boundaries. Plus, in a shameless advertisement for my ship, this is totally the Chaolena theme from early Crown of Midnight. roots

Roots Orla Gartland

Orla Gartland is a sort of more pop-y, guitar-tinged Lauren Aquilina. (Here! Let me take this opportunity to direct you to their wonderful collab cover of The Chain along with Dodie Smith.) Roots is a catchy song, and if you enjoy it then I recommend checking out her new Lonely People EP, which opens with the wonderful lyrics ‘We’re too young to know what love is/Our loss’. Orla also has the best music videos. fake you out

Fake You Out twenty one pilots

I didn’t really like this to begin with, but after some more listening it’s grown on me a lot. like the morning dew

Like the Morning Dew Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula’s voice is simply beautiful. Every time I listen to this song, it just reminds me of sunshine and summer and honey and everything warm. skinny love

Skinny Love Bon Iver

I cheated a little here, since I didn’t actually get the free version at the time, but I figured it would be stupid to leave it out because of that. THE LYRICS AND EVERYTHING just ugh buzzcut season

Buzzcut Season Lorde

The instrumental line feels a little wrong to me, but if I move past that I really like this song. I mean, I know Lorde doesn’t really need the exposure now, but that doesn’t change it. It feels like a song that would play whilst everything else is muted in a movie, you know? One of them. Another is Lauren Aquilina’s Forest Fires, by the way. bath is black

Bath is Black Marika Hackman

The catchy harp arpeggio thing combined with clever lyrics make for great listening. (I mean, LOOK AT THOSE GENIUS RHYMES.) Now, because it’s really hard to pick just seven, have a couple more. ramona laughter lines kodaline after the fall lies riptide tether home off to the races closer the throw

What are your thoughts on the now-no-more Single of the Week? Are there any I’ve missed?