Wednesday, 31 December 2014

December Book Haul!

With it being December, it means it's the magical month of Christmas, so I'm going to split this book haul into books that I purchased and books that I got given. Apparently, telling me not to buy books charms all charity shops into carrying books that I NEED, so I bought way more books this month than I intended to... (I don't feel guilty about that at all, not one tiny bit!) That means that this month, I got 46 books, 30 of which I purchased (12 of those being eBooks), and 16 books that were gifted to me (with 4 being sent from authors!).


The first eBook I bought this month was 'Ignite' by Lily Paradis. I've heard so many good things about this novel from people who got ARC's of it, so I've had my eye on this book for a while and I was beyond ecstatic when I purchased it for my Kindle for a measly 77 pence. 'Ignite' tells the story of a girl whose parents have left her and then her stepmother, leaving her to care for her three children. She's automatically apprehensive about it, but then she meets their neighbour and he's super attractive and they have a lot of chemistry, so she decides to stick around. I'm not quite sure what is going on with the neighbour, but I get the feeling that there's a lot he's hiding and it's a story about her finding about him and him learning to be open with someone. It sounds like a really cute contemporary novel and the cover is absolutely stunning, so I will be reading this as soon as possible. Furthermore, Lily's second novel, 'Volition' had it's cover revealed on the 14th of December, and I was involved, so I'm possibly even more excited for her second novel and will be ordering straight away in the New Year!

The second eBook I 'bought' this month was 'Tethered' by Brandi Leigh Hall, and the reason I say 'bought' is that it was free on Kindle, so I just obtained it, really. I don't know anything about 'Tethered', apart from the fact that it's a Young/New Adult Paranormal Romance, based on a girl who foreshadowed her parents death and has been avoiding magic ever since. Other than that I have no idea what goes on, but it's the first book in a trilogy and the fact that it was free made it an offer I couldn't refuse. 

The third eBook I bought this month was 'Altered' by A. D. Croucher (which I've since found out is a combined name for Angela and Daz Croucher, which is pretty interesting!). I don't know a single thing about 'Altered' apart from the fact that it's Young Adult sci-fi, but the reason I bought it was because I won the second book in the sequence, 'Corrupted', on Goodreads First Reads, so I needed to buy the first one to be able to enjoy the second one whenever it arrives. Seeing as the first novel was only 77p, it was an absolute steal, and I'll try and get around to it in January.

The fourth eBook I bought this month was 'Talon', the first book in a new series by Julie Kagawa, author of 'The Immortal Rules' series. I haven't read 'The Immortal Rules' yet, because I am beyond amazing at procrastination, but I bought 'Talon' because it was only 99p, so it was worth a shot. Besides that, I love dragons and one of my book groups is reading the book next month so I should be able to get around to it pretty quickly, if the rest of my reading schedule goes to plan. 

The fifth eBook I bought this month was 'The Shock of the Fall' by Nathan Filer. I can't find out much about this book anywhere, so I haven't got any idea exactly how it pans out, but from what I can gather it tells the story of a little boy with a mental illness whose brother dies in some way before the novel starts. The book is gorgeous, and the premise sounds like one of those books that I'm going to instantly love, so I couldn't help purchasing it. 

The next four eBooks I purchased were all in The 12 Days of Kindle deals, so all of them were 99p (well, apart from 'Since You've Been Gone', which was a massive £1.49...). 

Since I've already mentioned 'Since You've Been Gone' by Morgan Matson, I'll talk about that one first. It tells the story of Emily, who was shy and introverted, not really living her life - until her best friend, Sloane, disappears. leaving her a list of things she needs to do over the summer. It sounds really adorable and exactly like the kind of book I will love, but I'm going to try and save this one for when it's a bit warmer weather, so I'll be picking this up in a few months. 

I'll be leaving 'Let's Get Lost' by Adi Alsaid until summer too, because it tells the story of a girl who goes on a road trip, affecting the people who she meets on the road so that we get their stories more than we get hers. I've been interested in this book since it was released, because a lot of people were going crazy about it, so I really hope it lives up to the hype that it's experienced. 

Next up was 'The Sound' by Sarah Alderson, which focusses upon a music journalist taking a summer vacation - I was already grabbed, because my ideal career would be as a music journalist, so I was willing to dive into this no matter what. I don't really know what it's about, but the cover looks quite creepy and the blurb seemed really menacing, so I had to buy it.

The fourth book I bought from the 12 Days of Kindle deals was 'Unbreakable' by Kami Garcia. I loved the Beautiful Creatures quartet, so I just automatically bought this because Kami wrote it, but I've looked it up since and it seems like the kind of book I will absolutely adore. Kennedy finds her mother dead, and after two ghost-busting brothers (sadly, not Sam and Dean Winchester, but I can deal with that) burst into her room to exterminate a dangerous spirit sent to kill her she discovers that her mother was part of a secret society that protected the world from an evil demon. It kind of sounds like The Mortal Instruments, with the secret society that the mother is involved in, and it kind of sounds like Supernatural, because of the ghost hunting brothers, but I love both of those things so surely that can't be so bad... Can it?  

Again, I didn't technically buy 'Clarity' by Loretta Lost, because it was free on Kindle, but I heard about this book a few months ago so I've been keeping it on my radar, so I had to get it when it was free. It tells the story of a blind girl called Helen, who has something traumatic happen to her when she's in college so she becomes a recluse and practically drops off of the face of the earth. A doctor turns up at her door, where she's living in the middle of the forest, and offers her treatment to help her see for the first time. Other than that I don't know much about what happens, but I know that it's a trilogy (wrapped up with the snappily named 'Clarity: Book Two' and 'Clarity: Book Three' which really annoys me) so I'll see how I go with this one and look into getting the other two at some point. 

The penultimate eBook I bought was 'The Rain' by Virginia Bergin (which is also called 'H2O', but I think that's only in America) and I've heard great things about this book. The rain in the world gets contaminated by something, I'm not quite sure what yet, but anyone who touches it or drinks tap water dies. Ruby, our protagonist, is alone in the world, but for some reason she needs to try and find her father to save the world... I'm not quite sure in all honesty. I've heard great things about 'The Rain', but I've also heard absolutely terrible things about it, which is why I would only buy it because it was 59p on Kindle. I've since found out it's the first book in a new YA series, but that should have been obvious, because when is there ever a YA novel that stands alone anymore? 

The last eBook I bought in December was 'Asylum' by Madeleine Roux. This is meant to be a super creepy novel, because it's based on a boy who goes to stay in college dorms, and he then finds out that they are in an abandoned asylum, so I imagine that there are lots of haunting moments. I have my hopes set very high for this novel, so I'm probably going to end up being disappointed, but I'll still give it a shot.


When I went to London to see Bring Me The Horizon smash Wembley Arena we decided to go charity shopping the next day, because we didn't buy as much merch as we were expecting to at the show. Well, me and charity shopping always ends in a book overhaul, and seeing as the charity shop we found was selling loads of ARC's, I had to buy them all. I'll show the ARCs first, then the other books that I bought while in London.

From top left, we have 'The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother and Me' by Sofka Zinovieff, 'War Of The Roses: Trinity' by Conn Iggulden, 'The Kind Worth Killing' by Peter Swanson, 'The Restoration of Otto Laird' by Nigel Packer, 'The Illuminations' by Andrew O'Hagan and 'The Ploughmen' by Kim J. Zopan. The only books I had heard of before I found them in the charity shop was the War Of The Roses novel, because it's the second one in a series (I haven't read the first one yet, but I'll get around to it) and 'The Restoration of Otto Laird' because I heard it was similar to (but, apparently, better) 'The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared' which I read back in August. 'The Illuminations', 'The Ploughmen' and 'The Kind Worth Killing' seem much more up my alley, but seeing as they were only £1 each it didn't seem like too much to get all of them. 
'The Mad Boy...' publishes in March 2015, 'War Of The Roses: Trinity' was out in September, 'The Kind Worth Killing' is out in January, 'The Restoration of Otto Laird' was out in August, 'The Illuminations' is out in March 2015 and 'The Ploughmen' was out in September. The books that haven't been published yet are my priority, but I don't want to publish my reviews too early compared to the release date, so I'll be reviewing the two books that are out in March in the middle of February-ish. 'The Kind Worth Killing' should be up in the next couple of weeks, and the reviews of the books that published in August and September will come as and when I feel like reading them. 

I couldn't believe it when I spotted 'Wise Children' by Angela Carter, so I had to buy it. 1) because the cover is absolutely gorgeous - like, faultless and 2) because 'The Bloody Chamber' by Angela Carter was one of the best books I'd read in a very long time, so I couldn't wait to read more of her books.

If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know that I absolutely hoard any Vintage red spine books, so I had to get this one. 'When Love Speaks' is a collection of poetry, something that I have been trying to pursue more of an interest in, and it features poetry from Carol Ann Duffy, one of my favourite poets. I'll probably dip in and out of this, rather than reading it all in one go, because I find it hard to read poetry too much at once. Hopefully this'll be a nice little something to take on my bus journeys to work. 

It's funny, because out of all the books I bought in London, 'The Game' by Diana Wynne Jones was actually the most expensive - £2, because it was a hardback. I used to read a lot of Diana Wynne Jones books when I was younger, and 'The Game' looks really intriguing, because there are notes and doodles written all through the book, which is so cute and unique. 

Technically two books in one, this is a bind-up of Sally Gardner's 'The Red Necklace' and 'The Silver Blade'. All I can remember about this book is that it's set in the French Revolution, and one of my best friends recommended it to me a good few years ago and I couldn't find it anywhere, so it's better late than never that I've gotten this!

The last book I bought in London was 'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children', which is kind of similar to the premise of 'Asylum' from what I can gather, but I haven't heard a single bad thing about this novel. It has creepy pictures of creepy children all the way through it as well, and this is the American edition so the pages feel so much nicer than the UK edition, meaning I'm glad I waited before buying it. 

I never normally find books that I really, REALLY want to read in charity shops in Swindon, so when I stumbled across '13 Reasons Why' by Jay Asher I couldn't believe my luck. '13 Reasons Why' is the story of Clay, who finds a box full of cassette tapes sent to him by his friend Hannah, who killed herself two weeks earlier. The cassette tapes each feature a reason that she killed herself, comprising of the thirteen reasons why that are referred in the title. It sounds like it's going to be super heartbreaking, so I'm excited and apprehensive about reading it, but I'll be reading it sooner rather than later. 

I've been reading the Warrior Cats series on and off for as long as I can remember, because there are always more being published and I lost track for a very long time. The two books I bought this month are the first two books from the fourth series of six - 'Omen of the Stars' - and while I don't own all of the third series yet these were only 50p each, and I've never seen them in the UK before so I thought they were worth getting while they were still in the store. 

Next up, 'We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves' by Karen Joy Fowler, which was one of the novels on the Man Booker Prize shortlist this year. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and it sounds like an interesting book with some psychological twists, but I've heard that it's quite a difficult read so I'll be saving this up for a time that I want to really get my teeth into something. 

If you haven't heard of 'The Book Thief' I don't even know where you've been, because it was a huge film release this year, and I've been looking out for the novel it was based on ever since. I was so glad to finally find it, and I can't wait to get around to reading it, because I want to read it before I watch the film. 

The penultimate book I bought this month was 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' by John Green and David Levithan, another surprise find for a Swindon charity shop, especially considering it's the US edition with the beautifully shiny cover. I read the book a good few years ago and absolutely loved it, and since finding out that David Levithan has written a sequel based on Tiny, one of the most fabulous characters I've ever read, I've been dying to buy it so that I could re-read it. It's a really lovely story, based upon two characters who are both called Will Grayson, how they meet and how it changes both of their lives. Some of the quotes are always posted on Tumblr, such as the "I am constantly torn between killing myself and killing everyone around me," so even if you don't think you've heard of this novel I'm sure that you have. 

The last book I bought this month was 'Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock' by Matthew Quick (who is most famously known as the author of 'Silver Linings Playbook', the book that spawned the hit film with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence). I haven't managed to get around to reading this book yet, but I actually got it out of the library a couple of weeks before I found it in the shop and I got sixty pages in just during the car ride home because it is so absolutely addictive and the beginning is written so well. 


The first four books I got given in December weren't actually Christmas presents! I got sent three pdf copies of books from their authors, in exchange for honest reviews, so they do still count in my book haul, but they aren't Christmas presents exactly, even though they were gifted.

The first book that was sent to be in exchange for an honest review was 'Elsker' by S. T. Bende. If you've been following my blog, you've probably already seen the review I posted about this novel, so I'll only do a brief recap. 'Elsker' is the first book in a trilogy, telling us the story of Kristia Tostenson, a girl who decides to go to Cardiff University as an exchange student to get some more excitement into her life. When in Cardiff, she bumps into a mysterious hunk of a man called Ull Myhr, and even though there's something off about him, she just can't help but be drawn to him... 

The second pdf book I received was 'Savage Run', sent to me quickly by its author, E. J. Squires. I'm actually over half way into 'Savage Run', so I should be putting up the review of it in the next week - sooner rather than later - and it's quite interesting. It tells us the story of Heidi, a Laborer girl who runs away from home to take part in the Savage Run, an obstacle course that will allow Laborers or Advisors to become Masters, the rulers of their society. However, only teenage boys can take part in the Savage Run, so Heidi pretends to be a boy called Joseph in an attempt to get a better life for herself. I'm interested by the premise, but as is so often with dystopian novels it feels a little bit recycled, but that might change throughout the second half of the novel so I'm trying not to pass judgement too early. 

The third book that was sent to me was 'Stars and Other Monsters' by Phronk. I don't really know anything about this book, apart from the fact that it's based on a paparazzo who doesn't exactly get appreciated for his work, but then he discovers vampires. I like vampires, but sometimes I think that they're made too romanticised, so hopefully this will be a more violent vampire type of novel.

The fourth and final pdf that I was sent for review was 'Teeth' by Chele Cooke. I found this novel off of the other recommendations on 'Stars and Other Monsters', so it's not surprising that it's a vampire book, but I requested a copy from Chele and thankfully she sent me one through! 'Teeth' isn't actually published until January the 8th, so I'm lucky to have gotten this as early as I did, but unfortunately I have to finish 'Savage Run' and read 'Stars and Other Monsters' before I can get on to this novel, so it will likely have already been released when I get to it. It tells the story of Thomas, a medical intern who is turned into a vampire and has to be trained by another vampire called Spencer. I'm not quite sure what goes on in this novel, but I'm always up for vamp fiction, even though I will probably be quite critical about it when the time comes. 

I'd just like to say another big thank you to all of the authors for sending me copies of their books, and I am eternally grateful!

Now, onto my Christmas presents! It's not really surprising that I got given books, because I read all of the time, but I also got money to buy myself books from my grandad who didn't really know what to get me, so I've included those in here even though I bought them for myself. 

The first three books I received for Christmas were all in my Christmas stocking, so I thought I'd show them all together. The first book, 'Where's Santa?' impresses me way more than it should, because you need to hunt for Santa and for ten of his elves in every scene, and it's a lot more difficult than it should be, so this is going to give me hours of fun. The second book, 'Emma' by Jane Austen, I actually already own, but this is the Vintage red spine version, so hopefully that will persuade me to finish the book. I started reading 'Emma' two years ago, and I got through the first two parts before I stopped reading it because the character really annoyed me, but I'm going to finish it eventually, even though it's looking like I'm going to need to re-read the start to remember what's going on. The third and final book I got in my stocking was 'The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor Part Two' by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, which I have been meaning to get around to buying for a good couple of years. I read the first of the 'The Walking Dead' novels a couple of years ago, but I decided to wait for the third book to come out before I continued on with the series, so instead of getting the third book I just bought the first part of it, but now I can finally finish the series!

Another present I got for Christmas was 'Scaredy Cat' by Mark Billingham. I have all of Mark Billingham's novels already, but this is the first one that I've gotten... SIGNED! 

SEE! Look how beautiful this is. <3

The second book I got for Christmas was 'Flesh and Blood' by Patricia Cornwell, the twenty second book in the Kay Scarpetta series. I've only read the first two, but these are the kind of books that when I start them I finish them within a day, so I can't wait to get around to this one.

The third book I got from my mum for Christmas was 'Invisibility' by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan. If you've been reading my blog for a while you will have seen my review of 'Invisibility' and know that I wasn't one hundred percent in love with it, but I still really enjoyed it, and because of how much I love David Levithan I would have bought a copy to keep eventually anyway (because I borrowed the copy I read from the library), but this one is SIGNED.

Look, Andrea wrote a really cool little message, it's so awesome! My mother is the best person ever for buying Christmas gifts. Furthermore, it's a hardback book and it has the nice deckled edges, so it might be one of the best gifts I've ever received. 

The last book I got for Christmas from my mummy was 'The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and The Game Of Thrones', which is a massive hardback book that contains maps and descriptions of all of the places and people in Game of Thrones. I haven't read any of the books yet, because I think they're so massive I really need to be in the mood to commit to reading any of them, but I do really like the TV show, and I think I'll dip in and out of this as I get more withdrawal symptoms on the lead up to Season Five premiering in April. 

The last book I was given for Christmas was from my wonderful boyfriend, Tom, and he bought me 'Working Stiff' by Rachel Caine, the first book in the Revivalist trilogy. The Revivalist trilogy is my favourite trilogy of all time, and I have never been able to find a copy of 'Working Stiff' to buy, so the fact that he bought it for me - especially a signed copy - meant so so much! 

See, look how beautiful this is. I know a lot of people know Rachel Caine for writing The Morganville Vampires series, but I think the Revivalist trilogy is so much better and I can't recommend it enough, because not enough people have read it, or even heard of it. 

The next four books were technically Christmas presents, because my grandad gave me the money to treat myself to some books, but I went out and chose them all. I also bought a signed copy of 'Us' by David Nicholls, but it hasn't been delivered yet, so I'll have to put that in my January book haul. 

The first book I chose to buy for myself was 'The Bane Chronicles' by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. I own all of The Mortal Instruments series, and I own all of The Infernal Devices trilogy, so it felt right to buy a hard copy of 'The Bane Chronicles' even though I already own the first four short stories as eBooks. If you haven't heard of this book, it's a collection of a bunch of short stories based on Magnus Bane, the flamboyant warlock from The Mortal Instruments, telling his history, because he's been alive for hundreds of years. 

The second book I bought for myself was the hardback version of 'Let It Snow', featuring three short stories, one by Lauren Myracle, one by Maureen Johnson and one by John Green. Because it's hardback, it's a silver book with the snowflakes and the title in silver foil, hence the awkward camera angle where I was attempting to show how beautiful it was. This is a very hard book to photograph. This is the last John Green book I needed to buy, after getting 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' earlier in the month, and I think I'm going to fly through these three stories.

The third book I decided to buy for myself was 'The Infinite Sea' by Rick Yancey. I reviewed 'The 5th Wave' nearly two months ago, and I've been dying to buy the sequel ever since, so I couldn't resist getting it. If you haven't heard of 'The 5th Wave', it's the first book in a new YA dystopian trilogy, where aliens have invaded earth and killed nearly all of the humans in four waves, before moving on to the fifth attack on them. The third book isn't out until Autumn, but I'm going to be buying it the day it comes out, so I'm conflicted on whether to read 'The Infinite Sea' now, or later on in the year.

The fourth and final book I bought for myself was 'Raging Star', the third book in the Dustlands trilogy by Moira Young. I bought 'Blood Red Road' and 'Rebel Heart' a couple of years ago in a charity shop, so when I was browsing Waterstones and found the third book signed, I couldn't resist getting it.

However, as well as being signed it came with this really beautiful postcard, so I felt especially excited about buying it. 

 If any of my readers are in the Swindon area and you enjoy Moira Young, they have lots of copies of 'Rebel Heart' and 'Raging Star' still in there, signed, and they are buy one get one half price, so I'd definitely suggest going along and grabbing one while they're still in stock.

One of my resolutions for the New Year is to only buy one new physical book for every ten books I read (because I'm not going to stop buying Kindle books when they're on offer), so don't expect too much from my book hauls over the next couple of months. However, I'll probably fail this resolution when I go to Weymouth on holiday in March, so keep an eye out for my book hauls, and happy New Year to all of my readers! 

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