Sunday, August 07, 2011

In my mailbox 34

Hello and welcome to another edition of In My Mailbox. As always, this meme is hosted by the lovely Kristi of The Story Siren, in which people share the books that have come into their homes over the past week.

These are the books that I recieved in the past two weeks. All books are either bought new, sent via the publisher or author, bought in charity shops, swapped using a book swapping website or borrowed/gifted by friends or other book bloggers. It's gone a little bit out of control but at least I have some pretty awesome books to keep me company...

Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery by Keren David - Money can't buy you love. But it can buy many other very nice things. Lia's mum is a nag, her sister's a pain and she's getting nowhere in pursuit of the potentially paranormal Raf. Then she wins GBP8 million in the lottery, and suddenly everything is different. But will Lia's fortune create more problems than it solves? Everyone dreams of winning the lottery - but what's it really like? Find out in this hilarious story by Keren David, whose acclaimed debut novel, When I Was Joe, was Highly Commended for the Booktrust Teenage Prize.

I absolutely adored Keren David's previous two books, so I was always really looking forward to this one. I was very lucky and ended up winning this book in a Twitter competition held by Frances Lincoln!


Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy - In the tradition of SHABANU, DAUGHTER OF THE WIND and THE BREADWINNER, a beautiful debut about a daughter of Afghanistan discovering new friends and opportunities after the defeat of the Taliban.

Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her--"Inshallah," God willing.

Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to the village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha--but can she dare to hope they'll come true?

Along with Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery, Frances Lincoln also sent me this book and the book below. Yay for unexpected books. I love the multicultural aspect to the books that Frances Lincoln publish, I think it's very important to provide stories from and about a diverse range of people and topics.


Sea of Tears by Floella Benjamin - Jasmine's parents are increasingly worried about the dangers to their precious only daughter in South London so they have decided to move back, after 20 years, to Barbados. Her friends all think it's a wonderful opportunity, but all she knows is that she will miss them and the only life she has known. In Barbados her initial attempts to make friends with local teenagers meet with ridicule and she steals a motor yacht in a foolish attempt to get back to England. Rescued by a fisherman and his son, Jasmine begins school and encounters more prejudice and dislike because she is English, until she is saved from a group of bullies and befriended by the fisherman's son, Devlin. Devlin is fascinated by her stories of England and agrees to help her stowaway on a ship to get back there. This exciting adventure story explores issues involved in migration and feelings of loneliness and being trapped in a place where one doesn't want to be.

Aww. I hadn't heard of this book before, but I'm really looking forward to reading it now that I have a copy. It certainly feels like a book I could relate to.


Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur - Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them. There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor.

When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn...

I've already read and loved this book. Hopefully you'll already have seen my review. I think Suzanne LaFleur writes so beautifully on difficult topics.


Pod by Stephen Wallenfels - POD's - strange alien spheres hover menacingly in the sky, zapping anyone who ventures outside.

Josh is 15 and stuck in his house with his OCD dad. They're running out of food... Megs is 12, alone and trapped in a multi-storey carpark. The hotel next door is under the control of dangerous security staff, but Megs has something they want, and they'll do anything to get it...

When the aliens invade, the real enemy becomes humanity itself.

What would you do to survive?

I've already read and loved this book as well. I don't often read very much scifi, though not for any particular reason as I really enjoy it when I do. Look out for my review and a guest post from the author in the near future! :)


The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean by David Almond - This tale is told by 1 that died at birth by 1 that came into the world in days of endles war & at the moment of disaster.

Billy Dean is a secret child, growing up in the dark heart of Blinkbonny. He has a beautiful young mother and a father who arrives at night carrying the scent of incense and cigarettes. His world is just a bed, some pictures of the holy island and a single locked door, but his father fills his dreams with mysterious tales and dreadful warnings.

When his father disappears, Billy's mum brings him out into the world, and he learns the dreadful truth of what happened in Blinkbonny on the day he was born. Gradually he finds he has the gift of helping to rebuild what has been broken. But there is one figure who is beyond healing, who comes looking for Billy himself and is determined on a kind of reckoning.

I am Billy Dean. This is the truth. This is my tale.

David Almond's extraordinary first novel for adults is the story of a child, born of sin, who emerges into a post-industrial, almost apocalyptic world where the force of his innocence is tested to the extreme.

I heard David Almond read from Billy Dean earlier in the year and I've been excited since then to read it.


Crypt: The Gallows Curse by Andrew Hammond - Meet Jud Lester: Paranormal Investigator. When a crime is committed and the police are at a loss, the Covert Response Youth Paranormal Team (or CRYPT for short) is called in to figure out whether something paranormal is at work. Jud is their star agent. Jud, unwillingly paired with new recruit Bex, has just landed his biggest case yet...people have been disappearing in mysterious circumstances while others are viciously attacked - yet there are no suspects and a complete lack of hard evidence. The only thing that links each attack is the fact that survivors all claim that the culprits were 17th century highwaymen. Can Jud and Bex work out what has caused the spirits of these dangerous men to return to the streets of London before they wreak more death and destruction?

This was an unexpected review copy that randomly showed up through my letterbox. It looks quite fun though and I shall be reading it for my 'paranormal' themed month in October.


The Demon Trappers: Forbidden by Jana Oliver - Riley's beginning to think being a demon trapper isn't all it's cracked up to be. Her dad's been stolen by a necromancer, her boyfriend's gone all weird and she's getting warm and fuzzy feelings for someone who's seriously bad news. It's tempting to give it all up and try to be normal, but that's not an option. Because the demons have plans for Riley. And they're not the only ones.

Forbidden is of course is the second book in The Demon Trappers series. And ahem, I still haven't read the first book. But I've heard really excellent things about the series and I will get to these books sooner rather than later!


Blood Ninja by Nick Lake - Taro is a boy from a coastal village in rural Japan, fated to become a fisherman like his father. But in just one night, Taro's world is turned upside down - and his destiny is changed forever.

I had a lovely email recently offering me this book and the sequel, Lord Oda's Revenge and I jumped at the chance to read and review them. They sound super fun and I'm hoping I read this books and am left thinking 'why on earth are there not more books about ninjas?!' I hope so anyway. I shall keep you posted! :)


Between by Jessica Warman - Elizabeth Valchar --- pretty, popular and rich --- wakes up the morning after her 18th birthday on the yacht where she’d been celebrating with her closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, she finds her own drowned body is hitting the side of the boat. Liz is dead. She has no memory of what happened to her, and can only observe in horror the fallout of her death.

She’s also soon joined by Alex Berg, a quiet boy from her high school who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The two keep each other company, floating in and out of memories and trying to piece together the details of what happened to each of them.

In her regular life, Liz was a runner. It wasn’t abnormal for her to run 8-10 miles per day. But as memories from closer to her death begin to surface, Liz finds that she’d been running much more than normal, and that she’d all but stopped eating. Liz’s mother, who died when Liz was nine, had battled with anorexia as well, and those around her worried that Liz was following in her mother’s footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out..

I hadn't heard of this book before the publishers sent an advanced reader's copy, but it sounds quite good. I've been hearing squees about the book on Twitter and I love getting swept up into other people's excitement. I'm also not entirely sure if that's the UK cover or not? I really know nothing about the book yet!


Lottie Biggs Is Not Tragic by Hayley Long - Just when things were starting to look up for Lottie her life's gone a bit pear-shaped, wonk-ways and downside up again. Her mum's all soppy over a bloke with a horrible shemo daughter, her best pal Goose has disappeared in a cloud of nerd-gas and Lottie's in the midst of an existential crisis. There's only one thing to do - get the hell out of Cardiff and go on the road with the gorgeous Gareth Stingecombe (and his manly thighs). But things don't go to plan, and Lottie starts to realise she might have been a bit me me me lately...a female emo, obviously The wit of Louise Rennison meets the depth of Jacqueline Wilson.

Oh I do so love Lottie Biggs. I've been really excited to get back to her story with this, the third book by Hayley Long. Very exciting stuff. Quite possibly my next read.


Story of A Girl by Sara Zarr - When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother's best friend - Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of "school slut," she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, The Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption.

I've recently read this book in a single sitting with tears absolutely pouring down. I really admire Sara Zarr's beautiful writing style. She's quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. Look out soon for my review!


But I Love Him by Amanda Grace - Tonight was so much worse than anything before it. Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap.

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved — and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything — and everyone — in its path.

This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.

This is a book that arrived recently, a swap with another UK book blogger. It's a book I've been wanting to read for awhile, but it's not a book that I'll be rush to read down to its subject matter. It sounds very sad and emotional and powerful.


And that's it from me. What books did you acquire recently?


  1. WOW! Girly, you have had an AWESOME book week! :D


    Also, Story of a Girl because I'm just not terribly sure about that plotline and need an opinion first.

    Kate read and adored But I Love Him and it's high up on my reading pile.

    Is off to read everything I missed this week...

    - Elle

  2. Oooh! POD looks great, so does but I Love Him!

    Forbidden is amazing, you really, really need to read the series! Yay!

    here is mine!

  3. POD sounds great doesn't it. I have that one too. I really like the sound of Between too.

  4. Brilliant books Clover! Between sounds amazing, and so does But I Love Him. I realy want to read Lia's Guide and POD, I'm so jealous!!! I've never heard of Sea of Tears, but it does sounds great.

  5. Great week! Really like the sound of Between though I haven't heard much about it, and I can't wait to read POD, it sounds fascinating! Happy reading :).

  6. Elle - It was a pretty awesome week of books :) I will definitely let you know about Billy Dean. I can say right now that I ADORED Story of A Girl. And I am a massive fan of Sara Zarr :)

    Jade - Pod was definitely a very interesting read and I'm looking forward to But I Love Him. I PROMISE I shall get to the Demon Trappers very soon :)

    TSB - POD really was great :) And Between is definitely a book that makes me think 'ooh'

    Cliona - Thanks :)

    Liz - You as well :)

  7. You got some great books this week! :D I really cant wait to get a hold of the next Lottie Biggs book, Thank you for shouting out about that series, you got me hooked! :D

  8. I'm really looking forward to reading Between and Lia's Guide. hope you enjoy them!

  9. Raimy - No problem at all, I love that you started reading them after my reiews :)

    Sophie - I'm really looking forward to both of those as well :)


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