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Giveaway: Win A Signed Copy of This Savage Song

August 25, 2016 in Bookish Posts, Current Giveaways

It’s been far too long since I ran a giveaway. So, today I have an exciting prize for you – a SIGNED copy of V.E.Schwab’s This Savage Song.

This Savage Song Signed Giveaway (1)


If you read my review back in May you’ll know that I loved this book and so when ordering my signed edition I decided to pick up a copy for one of you too.


This Savage Song Signed


So, to be in with the chance of winning a signed UK edition paperback, just use the rafflecopter form below. You can do as many of the entries as you wish. Oh and it’s open INTERNATIONALLY too!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Illumicrate #4: Unboxing

August 16, 2016 in Bookish Posts, Illumicrate, Unboxings

It’s kind of scary how quickly Illumicrate time has come round again – scary but awesome ;D

A quick intro if you aren’t familiar with Illumicrate. It’s a quarterly bookish subscription box. 4 times a year you’ll get a box with a copy of a new release and lots of bookish goodies. You can see what arrived in the first three boxes here. Oh and they ship internationally too. For all the info, check out the Illumicrate website.


So I’m a bit delayed in getting my post up this month but hopefully that will reduce the risk of spoilers for you. As ever though, I’ll put my unboxing in a spoiler section below.

View Spoiler »

I’m completely delighted with this box. Once again Daphne at Illumicrate has done an incredible job. She has set such a high standard! I believe you can now sign up for the November box, I am genuinely excited to see what it contains!

What do you think of the August Illumicrate box? 

Did you manage to get your hands on one?

Blog Tour: Rory Dunlop, What We Didn’t Say

August 5, 2016 in Blog Tours, Guest Posts

Earlier this week I shared my thoughts on What We Didn’t Say, if you missed it you can find it here, but basically I loved it. So I’m delighted to welcome the author Rory Dunlop to the blog today to share the inspiration behind his debut novel.

Rory Dunlop


The Inspiration Behind What We Didn’t Say

I’ve always loved unreliable narrator novels – Lolita; The Sea, The Sea; The Black Prince etc. It can be funny and satisfying, as a reader, to see things the narrator can’t. The first germ of an idea for my novel was to have a therapist as the narrator, writing unreliably about the unreliable things he was told by his patients. In my first draft Jack was a lot less sympathetic and more Nabokovian. I then realised (with a little help from those who read my first draft) that I couldn’t write like Nabokov. Without his incredible linguistic skill and wit, Humbert Humbert would be a monster no one would want to read about. Also, I realised I wouldn’t want to write another Lolita, even if I could. I love fiction, like Anna Karenina or The Wire, where the characters are likeable in spite of their flaws and where you can sympathise with each of them, even if they’re in conflict with one another. I couldn’t finish Mme Bovary, even though the prose was beautiful, because there was no one I was rooting for.

So when I came to write a second draft, I tried to make Jack more sympathetic and to focus less on Jack’s relationship with his patient and more on his relationship with Laura. This change of tack allowed me to develop Laura’s character and I had the idea of having two unreliable narrators telling the same story. I’ve often thought that most communication is miscommunication – that we seldom say what we mean or understand what the other person said. I’m a barrister and so my day job is all about communication. Lawyers are more precise with their words than most and yet it’s very common for judges to misunderstand what barristers are saying and vice versa. A story about a couple that love each other but break apart through miscommunication was the perfect way of exploring that idea.

Another theme that’s always intrigued me is jealousy. It’s an irrational and primitive emotion but all the more fascinating for it. If we think rationally, we shouldn’t be surprised if the person we love is attracted to other people. Human nature being what it is, those attractions will sometimes be acted upon. And yet, for many men, it’s unbearable to think that our wives or girlfriends might even want to sleep with someone else, let alone that they might actually do it. It makes sense on an evolutionary level but it’s interesting how that primitive instinct plays out in the modern world. It’s no coincidence, I think, that many of my favourite novels feature jealous men – Gatsby, who can’t accept that Daisy might have loved Tom when he was away; Swann, who falls in love with a courtesan precisely because she is sleeping with others and he can’t bear it; Charles Arrowby, who finds himself in his retirement (adorably if absurdly) skulking below the window of a married old woman he loved when they were both teenagers.

Thank you so much Rory for joining us and sharing your inspiration. I always love to hear the story of a novel and its progression.

Today is the last day of the blog tour, but if you missed the other days with more guest posts from Rory then don’t worry, you can find all of the stops below!


What We Didnt Say Blog Tour_Banner LARGE (1)


Review: Here I Stand: Stories That Speak For Freedom

August 4, 2016 in Book Reviews, Charity, Short Stories, YA

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Here I Stand: Stories That Speak For FreedomHere I Stand: Stories That Speak For Freedom Published by Walker on 4th August 2016
Genres: YA, Short Stories
Format: Hardback
Source: Publisher

Did you know that ... government spies can turn on your phone and use the microphone to listen to your conversations? ... that lesbian and gay relationships are illegal in 78 countries and can be punished by death? ... that Amnesty recently recorded the highest number of executions globally for more than 25 years?

Through short stories and poetry, twenty-five leading authors and illustrators explore the top human rights issues facing young people today.

Contributors include:

*Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell
*Newbery and Carnegie Medal winner Neil Gaiman
*Scottish poet laureate Jackie Kay
*Costa winners Frances Hardinge, AL Kennedy, Christie Watson and Bryan and Mary Talbot
*CILIP Carnegie Medal winners Sarah Crossan and Kevin Brooks
*Australian author Tony Birch
*Irish Book Award winner John Boyne
*Waterstones Prize winner Sita Brahmachari
*Graphic Novel of the Year winner Kate Charlesworth
*Newbury Honor winner Jack Gantos
*Much-lauded Ryan Gattis
*Multi-award-winning Matt Haig, Elizabeth Laird, Bali Rai, Tim Wynne-Jones and Sabrina Mahfouz
*Best-selling Liz Kessler
*Performance poet and singer Amy Leon
*Betty Trask Award winner Chibundu Onuzo
*Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning, currently serving 35 years in US military prison
*Prominent human rights lawyer Jules Carey

Amnesty International have teamed up with Walker Books and numerous bestselling authors to publish a compilation of stories and poems that explore human rights.

Within the pages of this book, you’ll find poems and short stories addressing a huge range of issues from race, identity, exploitation and bullying, to slavery, refugees, beliefs and FGM. This little book packs a huge punch!

Before I go on, I have to first mention the stunning cover of this book, illustrated by Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell. Believe me when I say it’s even more stunning in real life and absolutely captures the contents.

As is the case with any short story collection, I had my favourites, stories that I found incredibly powerful. However every single piece in this book makes an impact. Had I to pick three stories to share, Matt Haig’s The Invention of Peanut Butter, A Suicide Bomber Sits In The Library by Jack Gantos and The Colour of Humanity by Bali Rai would top my list.

This is a truly thought-provoking, emotional collection of works. For a relatively short book this covers a vast amount of ground.

While it may be more aimed at a YA audience, there is absolutely no reason adults shouldn’t be reading it. Indeed, in our current society, where hate is on the rise, I implore all to read this!

I can’t praise this book enough. That such high profile authors contributed to this book speaks volumes about its importance and Amnesty International as a whole.

All royalties from the sale of this book go to Amnesty International, which, personally, I think adds yet one more reason to buy it. For more information about the book see here.



6 Reasons To Pre-Order Nevernight!

August 2, 2016 in Book Reviews, Fantasy

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

6 Reasons To Pre-Order Nevernight!Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #1
Published by Harper Voyager on 11th August 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.

The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.


I recently saw a tweet from a fellow blogger addressing the fact that sometimes the books you enjoy most are the most difficult to review. I fear that this might be the case with Nevernight. Why? Well I want to share my love for this book with you, without any spoilers! This could be tough…

With this in mind, my post today is going to be a little different from my usual reviews. I’m going to share with you six reasons why you should be pre-ordering this book NOW, ready for its release on the 11th of August. (See bottom of the post for details on the various editions available in the UK).

Right, so here we go. Six reasons why you NEED to pre-order Nevernight!



#1 a strong, feisty, kick-ass female protagonist

Mia is an awesome character. I love her banter, her bluntness and her deadliness. She’s isn’t without flaws – exactly how I like my characters!


#2 a rich, absorbing and creative world

Seriously, this world is fascinating! The Gods, the suns, the politics, the history – I loved uncovering and understanding more of this world. Admittedly I wasn’t sure about the footnotes that adorn this novel to begin with, but these are awesome! They add to the story, help us to understand the world and they’ll make you chuckle too.


#3 assassins

Moreover, a school for assassins.  A ruthless environment where only three of the best will become coveted ‘blades’. Need I say any more?


#4 it’s deliciously dark

Oh so dark and oh so brilliant! As you’d imagine in a book about assassins there’s death, blood and gore. There’s monsters, loss, hatred and revenge. There’s back-stabbing, savagery and deep, dark shadows. I could go on…


#5 a narrator who’ll make you chortle

Those footnotes I mentioned that help us further our understanding of the world and its history? They are also where our narrator adds his own two cents – or rather two ‘beggars’.


#6 the beautiful spell-binding writing

… and the profanities!

Oh there’s more. There’s so much more – friendships, family, fear, fraternising to name but a few.

I could’ve devoured this book whole, but I loved it so much that I savoured it. I didn’t want it to end. What’s exciting though is that this is just the first book of a trilogy. Kristoff stomped all over my emotions in this book and (the glutton for punishment that I am) I cannot wait to see what he brings us in book two!

Get your pre-order in!

If you are in the UK there are a couple of different Nevernight editions available for order. You probably want to be quick though as stock will be limited.

  • Goldsboro have a signed first hardback trade edition complete with sprayed edges.
  • Waterstones have an exclusive hardback edition with black edged pages.