Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cheezyfeet Books: UK ONLY Giveaway: Legend by Marie Lu!

Heres a giveaway on Cheezyfeet books blog - click on the first line below to enter

Cheezyfeet Books: UK ONLY Giveaway: Legend by Marie Lu!: "UK ONLY Giveaway: Legend by Marie Lu!
So, I actually have something else scheduled to be posted today, but it's 23:20, I'm tired, and I've just got back from seeing The Hunger Games and not in the mood to write a whole blog post, so I thought I'd put up a giveaway, because I haven't done one for agessss... So, in honour of The Hunger Games movie being released today (you have to see it, ASAP!!), I'm giving away a UK proof copy of Legend by Marie Lu - another fantastic YA dystopian!* *Open to UK RESIDENTS ONLY*"



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Monday, 26 March 2012

The Snow Child - by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow ChildThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh MY goodness what a wondrous magical, frosted, haunting journey this book took me on!

The first friends I made were Mabel and her husband Jack, eking out a living in the harsh wilderness of a 1920s Alaska, struggling to run an isolated homestead. Still grieving for the stillborn child she bore many years ago, I could easily relate to Mabels loneliness and inability to accept that in late middle age the solace of a child is as unlikely as the prospect of a winter without snow in this brutal unforgiving wilderness.

When she and Jack throw their usual serious matures to the wind and spend an evening frolicking in the snow ending up making not a snowman but a snow child, moulding the freezing crystals into the form of a little girl child.

When the following day dawns and the snowchild is mysteriously missing and they glimpse a child darting in and out of the trees wearing the red miitens they had placed on the snow creature its hard for Mabel to decide whether the child is a real girl who has playfully knocked down their sculpted model and taken the mittens - or something far more mystical and mythical - could she be a snow child like the fairy tales mention?

Although the book is about their developing relationship with this wild little girl, its also about how they adapt to life in this chillingly bleak and utterly stunning landscape. How they overcome disasters and mishaps and make unlikely friendships.

The other friend I made was Esther and her family, neighbouring homesteaders, an unlikely friend for Mabel yet to become best of friends two people as different as chalk and cheese thrown together with only their situations in common - I loved Esther she is larger than life and twice as loud and just so lovely I wanted to hug her.

The setting and style of this charming and delightful book reminded me very much of two of my other favourite books The Outlander and The Tenderness of Wolves

I'd love to read more books set in this harsh environment, yet doubt many can be as magical and poignant as this lovely, lovely book.

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Friday, 23 March 2012

The Palace Of Strange GirlsThe Palace Of Strange Girls by Sallie Day
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the publishers blurb: 
Blackpool, 1959. The Singleton family is on holiday. Seven-year-old Beth is trying to avoid her mother Ruth's eagle-eyed supervision, while her sixteen-year-old sister Helen has befriended a waitress whose fun-loving ways hint at a life beyond Ruth's strict rules. When a letter arrives from Crete, a secret re-emerges from the wartime past of Ruth's husband Jack that could destroy their marriage. As Helen is tempted outside the safe confines of her mother's strict edicts, and Beth forges her own path, all four Singletons must struggle to find their place in a shifting world of promenade amusements, illicit sex and stilted afternoon teas 

I was a bit disappointed with the style of writing of this book, it was my reading group selection for this month, and when I saw the cover I thought "great this is going to be my cup of tea". I loved the era and setting of the late 50s in a seaside holiday resort and liked how each chapter began with a paragraph from an Eye spy at the seaside book which brought back a lot of memories of my own childhood just a few years after this book was set, it was really well researched and descriptive, very evocative of the years of austerity and change in the 1950s and brought it home how much things have changed in such a short time span but I found the characters pretty one dimensional; found it really hard to relate to or warm to most of them.

Considering it was set in a holiday resort and from the picture on the front I expected a light fun holiday type read but it was pretty bleak and grim in most places. I wanted to know much more about the Palace of Strange Girls which was almost incidental to the storyline and wish it had focussed much more on Beth the little girl who was recovering from a major operation, as promised at the beginning rather than her very dysfunctional parents to whom I wanted to give a good shake.

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NetGalley - Browse our public catalog of pre-release titles

NetGalley - Browse our public catalog of pre-release titles: "
For all you ereader and kindle fans Netgalley have just added this new book by Chris Bohjalain which sounds pretty darn good, you can apply for an advance reading copy to review on your e-reader, kindle or ipad if you're a Netgalley member.


Sandcastle Girls
Chris Bohjalian
Doubleday

Pub Date: July 17, 2012
ISBN: 9780385534796
Genre:

“In his latest novel, master storyteller Chris Bohjalian explores the ways in which our ancestral past informs our contemporary lives--in ways we understand and ways that remain mysteriously out of reach. The Sandcastle Girls is deft, layered, eye-opening, and riveting. I was deeply moved.” —Wally Lamb"

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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Pen to Paper: Signed copy: Before I go to Sleep by S J Watson **International Giveaway**

Pen to Paper: Signed copy: Before I go to Sleep by S J Watson **International Giveaway**: "Signed copy: Before I go to Sleep by S J Watson **International Giveaway**

This is possibly the single most exciting giveaway I have run so far on Pen to Paper!
Earlier tonight, I went with two friends from University to an evening with author, S J Watson, who was talking about his writing process - the novel writing course with a publisher, and how he developed his idea - and also about the book that was produced by this.
Before I go to Sleep is his debut novel, and is already a huge success, having topped the British bestsellers lists and stayed there for many consecutive weeks. The film rights to the book have also been bought, and the film is now in the pre-production stage, but already eagerly awaited."

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Goodreads | First Reads: recently listed giveaway


There are loads of great books to be given away on Goodreads, if you fancy reading an advance reading copy in exchange for a review join Goodreads and you can apply for lots of lovely new book giveaways like this one. 

Goodreads | First Reads: recently listed giveaway: "Zen Under Fire: a story of love and war in Afghanistan
by Marianne Elliott (Goodreads Author)
Release date: Feb 28, 2012
In 2006 Marianne Elliott, a human rights lawyer from New Zealand, was stationed with the UN in Herat. Several months into her new role a tribal leader…more view details »
Enter to win
Giveaway dates: Mar 21-Apr 16, 2012
2 copies available, 209 people requesting
Countries available: US, CA, and GB more


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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Book giveaway

On my friend Annes blog Random things through my letterbox is a great interview and book giveaway of an A.r.c. of Diane Chamberlains new book The Good Father

Monday, 12 March 2012

The Unseen - Katherine Webb

The Unseen. Katherine WebbThe Unseen by Katherine Webb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I think this has to be my book of the year so far. I enejoyed it so much I really didn't want it to end. I loved her debut novel the Legacy too but this just blew me away.

The main characters are extremely well drawn, real and believeable. Hester recently married to mild mannered Albert Canning, vicar of a sleepy canalside village during a long hot summer in 1911.

Cat, come from London to work as a maid in their household, recently released from Holloway prison, struggling with her inner beliefs and desire for a better life.

We are introduced to Hester in a series of letters she has penned to her married sister and it becomes clear she is struggling to adapt to and understand what is expected of her in her new role as wife, sure any shortcomings are hers and no fault lies with her devoted and gentle young husband.

Cat finds it hard to settle to a life of servitude, bringing from prison a legacy of illness, mistrust of other folk, outspokenness and an overwhelming desire for freedom.

As the scorching summer heat continues, into their lives bursts Robin Durrant - a theosophist guest of Albert whose very presence threatens to affect all of their lives in different ways.

Life will never be the same again once the unseen is revealed.

This is written as a dual time novel as in the present day Leah is researching the story of these characters from some letters found buried, however although its well written and pertinent to the storyline the modern layer of the novel is almost surplus to requirements - the strength and events of the historical part being sufficient to intrigue most readers. (I got the impression that the author felt a dual time story would be more popular and tried to turn it into one for this reason).

It doesn't spoil an excellent book however, the issues covered have been well researched and fall into place beautifully. Victorian beliefs and attitudes regarding spirituality, equality, womens rights and class division, suffragettes, homosexuality all are covered in this lovely novel, which build to a quite shocking climax.

Lovely, lovely, book, beautifully written - I just adored it.