Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What I've Been Reading Lately (UK Giveaway!)

I wrote a blog post recently about the books I've been reading lately and it was strangely more popular than I'd imagined it would be.  And as I didn't fancy this week's Top Ten topic (Desert Island reads) I thought that today I would walk you all down my reading journey of late...

Where we left off last time I had only just started with Pantomime by Laura Lam.  You'll be seeing a review of this book on the blog shortly but the short version of my review is: This book is amazing!  I love, love, love the characters and the setting and especially, ESPECIALLY the huge secret that is contained within these pages.  Absolutely wonderful.  This book is not out for ages, but seriously. You need to read it.  Which is why I'll be giving away my proof copy. Details below.

I had no idea how to follow up such an amazing book.  But in the end, I chose Infinite Sky by CJ Flood, mostly because I'd been hearing wonderful things about it already.  And oh, it is a beautiful book.  It's got a lovely cover, and I really fell in love with the story and the characters.  I found myself crying my eyes out, and I do so love such an emotional story that it written incredibly well.  Again, this book is not out until February, but I really want more people to read it, so I shall be passing along my proof copy to one of you, lucky readers.  See the end of this post for more info!

 Again with the difficulty of following such a great book, so I ended up picking up a book by one of my favourite authors.  I'd recently bought her latest in hardback, Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols and I flew through the pages of this one.  I loved how real the flying experience felt as the main character is so involved in flying lessons and works as a pilot alongside two hot boys she's fancied for ages.  I found it to be very interesting as well, that the main character deals with the negative attitude towards living in a trailer and wearing a certain type of clothes.  I always find it interesting when a character is battling other people's perspectives and attitudes. 

 I also read The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt as I was feeling in a contemporary YA romance mood.  I've read other books by Lauren Barnholdt and really enjoyed them (Two-Way Street, One Night that Changes Everything and Aces Up) and they've all been quite gentle and satisfying stories.  Much the same with The Thing About the Truth about a couple who start dating but where one is not quite so truthful about some things that have happened in the past.  I was sort of expecting the 'truth' that is revealed to be more shocking than it is and I wanted the ending to be less sweet, but all in all, I still really liked this one.

Then I picked up Mystic City by Theo Lawrence, as I was feeling in the mood for a bit of magic.  I found it a bit difficult to find my feet with this book, but once I got going with it, I was very intrigued.  I've seen this book described as 'Romeo and Juliet meets X-Men' and that really perks my ears right up. Plus, I find it quite interesting when books such as this include memory loss into the story.  I think what I wanted was the addition of Hunter into the story a bit earlier than he was, besides these fleeting bits here and there.

And then, going along with a bit of magic, but this time with psychics and ley lines and true loves dying with a kiss, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.  I'd been slightly worried when reading mixed reviews of the books on blogs recently, but I don't know why I worry.  I love Maggie's stories.   I wasn't too sure at the start about the distant third person and the numerous narrators.  I thought that perhaps I might not really connect to any of the characters, but again, I was wrong.  I'm now dying to know where and how this story will continue.  I'm really quite excited about this story.  There is a bit of a love triangle going on here with Blue and two of the 'Raven boys' Adam and Gansey.  As with most love triangles, I have a favourite but with this story, the romantic relationship is only one aspect of a fascinating story.

It isn't too long before I'll think to myself 'I should read something by a British author now' and in the past few weeks, I've read two UK YA books.  I have a review for Another Life by Keren David coming up later in the week, so please look out for that.  But I was quite excited to also read Forget Me Never by Gina Blaxill.  I had really enjoyed her previous book, Pretty Twisted, so jumped at the chance of reading Forget Me Never.  Especially with it's concern around the mental health issues of the main character's cousin.  I found right from the start that I was drawn into this story of a girl grieving the loss of her cousin and also trying to work around this broken friendship with her male friend.  I really liked how they investigated the death of the cousin together and went to places dangerous.  I really liked the two main characters and their relationship together. 

In the last few weeks, I've also gone a bit crazy reading books that I've downloaded onto my Kindle via NetGalley. I find it incredibly easy to forget or overlook books gotten from NetGalley, but lately I've found the books there to be incredibly exciting and not to be passed over.  Speechless by Hannah Harrington, The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson, Uses For Boys by Erica Lorraine Schmidt, and Hysteria by Megan Miranda. Aside from Uses For Boys which I found to be lacking in any real emotion, I've loved all of my Netgalley reads of late. 

I found Speechless to be incredibly thought-provoking.  It made me really think about what I say and also the things that should be said. The Madness Underneath is the second book in the Shades of London series and it is wonderful. Loved it! The only negative that I would say is that the ending is maddening and the wait for the third book in the series is going to be long and hard.  But Hysteria was my favourite!  After reading two incredible books by Megan Miranda (Fracture and now Hysteria) she has launched herself into my list of favourite all-time authors.  I really found this story to be wonderful - with a girl dealing with a huge trauma and being haunted by the ghost of the boyfriend she killed.  I loved unravelling the memories of the night of that event and especially her relationship with her best friend. 

So here's the part that (maybe?) you've all been waiting for, the giveaway...

I'm giving away any of the books pictured above (Pantomime (ARC), Infinite Sky (ARC), Such a Rush, The Truth About Forever, Mystic City, The Raven Boys (ARC) or Forget Me Never) to one lucky winner.

UK only, I'm afraid. 

You don't have to be a follower to enter, though that is always appreciated.

One entry per household. 

Just leave a 'PICK ME' comment on this blog with some means of contacting you (email address or Twitter address)

I'll pick a winner one week from today and good luck.

What have you been reading lately?


  1. Ooh, yes, please, pick me! I'm curious about ALL of these books - and no matter who wins the giveaway, I'll be looking for them now, especially Such a Rush and Infinite Sky!

    ( @stephanieburgis )

  2. Ooh, pick me, please pick me! I've been wanting to read Pantomime for ages but haven't been able to get an ARC from the publisher :( It sounds so great, and I really, really, really want to find out what the big secret is!


    I really enjoyed Forget Me Never, too. :)

  3. I've been in two minds over Raven Boys. I keep seeing it in the library and putting it back but I'll pick it up next time if it's still there.

    Hope you pick me :)
    Karen @eurocrime
    (Currently reading Dork Diaries 4)

  4. Pick me, pick me! PICK ME!!!
    Yeah, I kind of want to read those books (I am desperate for Infinite Sky in particular)
    I really enjoyed Hysteria, but like you found Uses For Boys lacking. I think the detached style could have been effective if used less frequently, but having the whole novel like that took away the effect and made it hard to feel anything for the character.
    Also, if you liked Hysteria I definitely think you'll like Annabel Pitcher's new novel, Ketchup Clouds, if you've not already read it.

  5. Pick me, pick me! :) I'm so glad you managed to pull yourself out of your reading slump with some amazing books.


  6. Ooooo pick me! Pick me! I cannot wait for Pantomime - I keep seeing fantastic things about it all over the interwebs! Glad you've had a good run of books - The Raven Boys is really something isn't it?!
    Thank you, as ever, for running a UK giveaway :)

  7. Pick me...please? ;)

    I have a review copy of Pantomime and I'm really excited to read it, especially as you loved it so much. I'm intrigued to read the Raven Boy, I've seen some mixed reviews too and I'm hoping that it's at least as good as her Wolves of Mercy Falls series.

    Thanks for the fabulous giveaway! :)
    PS - did you get my interview answers OK?

  8. Brilliant selection. Loved The Raven Boys and am intrigued by the rest! @splendibird

  9. Pick me pretty please ;) heard about some of the books listed just haven't had the chance to buy any :(


  10. Oh man Clover you have been reading some fab books lately! I went a bit wild on netgalley too recently I always try to put myself on some sort of ban but I fail miserably at it! Pick Me!!! If I could win one of these books I'd love Infinite Sky it looks and sounds so beautiful! Thanks for the giveaway! :) @jaskaur11

  11. Looks like you've been reading some really interesting books lately!
    The only one up there I've already read is Mystic City. I didn't like it so much. Found it too predictable, and i couldn't stand the protagonist :(

    PICK ME! :D

  12. *flails* Pick Me!

    I am lusting after Pantomine after reading everyone's reviews of it. It sounds like one of those books... Although, Infinite Sky does look very interesting and cool...


  13. I would Love to try Such A Rush! Sounds great and have wanted to read a book by Jennifer =)
    booksforcompany @ gmail.com

    Thanks =)

  14. Pick me! please :D

    Thanks so much for such a fantastic giveaway!


  15. Oh please pick me!I'd love to read 'Pantomime' in particular,I love the cover.

  16. AHHH! Pick me! :D Pleaasse!

    I'm glad that you enjoyed Such a Rush and the Truth about Forever because I have wanted to read them for a looong time. Mystic City also looks absolutely gorgeous *Happy sigh* A Romeo and Juliet meets X-Men book sounds incredible.

    Thank you for this amazing chance,
    Sam :D

  17. Pick me pick me! *Waves hand up and down* I recently won an ARC of Pantomime so I'm looking forward to reading it! Infinte Sky sounds really awesome- must check it out soon :)I must read a Jennifer Echol book soon as I simply adore contemporary and they sounds like my type of read!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway, Clover <3


  18. Would love to be picked :) Really like the 'what I've been reading lately posts' and hope you do more. leoni_4[at]hotmail.co.uk

  19. Pick me, please! :)

    Email: joannestapley[at]gmail[dot]com

  20. I would like to thank you so much for such an amazing giveaway, and i am more than a little excited that it is for UK readers! It would really make this year Christmas very special if i was lucky enough to win a book, to read and review. The fantastic titles above are wonderful, and i would have to choose 'the Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater' Thank you x

    PICK ME please!

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk
    *GFC Follower: lfountain1*
    UK Resident

  21. Blimey! With so many enteries I have no chance of winning. Still I'll say
    *waves hands and even feet for added effectiveness*
    Pick me! Pretty please.

    My twitter handle is @Escapismfanatic



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