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Beautiful Books - September 2014 edit

Every month, I will be rounding up some of my favourite book cover art from the month's new releases. As a designer during out-of-blog-hours, I love cover reveals and Q&A's with the artists! It's a bit of a dream job of mine to one day become a book cover designer, so I'm considering this good source for inspiration too ;)


Here are my favourites from September 2014


 I love the leatherbound look of this cover for The Girl Who Couldn't Read by John Harding. It's quite a departure from the look of its prequel, but I think it has much more of a gothic feel, which can only be a good thing!


 One of my most anticipated September releases! Rooms by Lauren Oliver is wonderfully simple, and I love that it stands bold in orange and yellow - not the traditional ghost story hues!


 I love the contemporary feel of Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang. The fresh blue and white makes it stand out and the graphical elements are intriguing, as they don't seem to relate to the title?


Ive seen two gorgeous versions of this cover - green and white. My favourite is the emerald green. I don't think green is seen enough on covers! Once again, the beautiful illustrations of the series take centre stage on Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas.


Finally, m y wildcard this month is one I missed from the tail end of last month! Servants Of The Storm by Delilah S Dawson is just wonderfully creepy. The oil-painting style is great and I'd certainly pick this up off of a shelf!

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This Book Is Gay by James Dawson - review

This book is Gay is a collection of facts, my ideas and my stories but also the testimonies of more than three hundred amazing LGBT people who shared their stories in July 2013. I conducted an international survey from which many of the quotes are taken, and also carried out more in-depth interviews with some selected participants."  - James Dawson 

Title: This Book Is Gay
Author: James Dawson

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: ARC from publisher
Available: Now
Buy it: Here

Synopsis

Former PSHCE teacher and YA author James Dawson tackles the much neglected subject of LBGT* lifestyles, in this non fiction book for teens. Featuring real quotes from LBGT* contributors, This Book Is Gay is a no-subject-left-unexplored education.

Review

This is a book that has been too long coming (and yes, I'm sure James Dawson would congratulate me on that first sentence ;)) There is a spectrum of human states out there, and it's crazy that society expresses, largely, only one! If this book had been around when I was at school, I think it would have made some of my closest friends' lives so much better - if only so they could feel that what they were experiencing wasn't "wrong", or "just them".

Funny, on point, honest, sensitive and informed, This Book Is Gay makes non-fiction fun. Not only that, but I guarantee everyone can learn something from it, whether you are LGBT* or not. James Dawson's enthusiasm for his subject shines through on every page, making is almost irresistible to finish the book in one sitting. Which is exactly what I did!

And then, there are the illustrations. Without them, This Book Is Gay would have been a whole other book. I don't even think one should exist without the other! The drawings often brought a smile to my face, and complimented the writing perfectly.

Thank you, James Dawson, for writing this book.

Overall

Brilliant. Every library, school and bookshop needs a copy of this on their shelves. The warmth of delivery and inclusive theme is nothing but positivity. And we all could do with more of that.

Score
 

★★
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Literary Dinner Party Tag!

I was tagged by Becky to do the Literary Dinner Party Tag! Thanks Becky :) I've been seeing this one around a lot so it's really fun to get to do it myself! The idea of this tag is that you are hosting a Literary Dinner Party and are allowed to invite 10 guests who have to fit in each category...
1. A character who can cook/likes to cook.

Don from The Rosie Project. He has his quirks, but his cooking sounds amazing! Lobster? Mmmm.

2. A character who has money to fund the party.

Francis Abernathy from The Secret History. He was one of the most intriguing characters in the book; rich, mysterious and fragile. Also I don't think he would settle for the £4.99 special offer wine from the local shop ;)

3. A character who might cause a scene.

Cersei from Game of Thrones. I love her scheming and unflinching devotion to her own best interests. I'm sure she would make the dinner party interesting in some way or another ;)

4. An amusing character.


Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. Shes amusing in an "I want to know much much more about you and listen to you talk for days" kind of way!

5. A character who is super social/popular.

Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games - to bring a bit of Capitol flair to the table, which, at the this point, probably needs a bit of colour!

6. A villain.

It's probably a bit worrying that I have a huge list of villains I'd like to invite but struggled with a few before! It would have to be Andreas Corelli from The Angel's Game because I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS! (But Heathcliff, you come a close second ;))

7. A couple (doesn't have to be romantic).


Temple and Moses Todd from The Reapers Are The Angels. Not a "couple", but the intricate relationship between "hunter and hunted" was so intriguing. I'd love to see them cross paths again!

8. A hero/heroine.

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Love her!

9. An under-appreciated character.


Will from His Dark Materials Trilogy. I always wanted him to be my friend when I was growing up. He's such a sweet, honourable, tough, broken and wonderful character!

10. A character of your choosing.


*rifles through all the villains*! Actually, I was left so aghast at the abrupt ending of Trouble that I would absolutely need to invite Hannah. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!

So, I hope you enjoyed this tag! I'm going to tag these lovely bloggers:

The Reading Residence
Paper Obsessed
What Danielle Did Next

If you guys have done it, I apologise but I would love to see your answers to these questions!

Who would you want at your dinner party?

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The One with Asti

Hello! Today I'd like to welcome Nerissa to Mab is Mab! Asti blogs at Oh, The Books! and you can find her on Twitter @abookishheart



Here are Asti's picks for "The One"!

The One you always recommend:

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness! Patrick Ness is my favorite author, and TKoNLG was my introduction to him so it's only right that I help it become The One for others. I love the original concept that it's built upon (being able to see what everyone is thinking at all times) and all the FEELS it provides (and believe me, there are a LOT of feels in this series). Seriously, just read it. You won't regret it!

 The One that was a gift:

The book I'm currently reading now, Stormdancer, was a birthday gift to me by one of my best friends. I am SO glad she got it for me. Sure, it was on my wish list so it wasn't like it was a complete gamble that I would like it, but it was just one of those books that I thought might sit on my wish list forever, you know? There were always other books I wanted to read instead and I just didn't know if I would ever actually pick it up. So I'm so happy she got it for me because I'm reading it now and am absolutely loving it!



The One that got away:

There are so many books that I really want to read but keep getting away from me! If I had to choose one that I've been really wanting to read but keep putting off, it'd be Smoke by Ellen Hopkins. I have read all of her books, and I generally love them all, and yet though I ordered this book as soon as it came out I just haven't been able to sit down and read it. I'm not quite sure what it is. It may have something to do with the fact that she doesn't get a lot of attention in the blogosphere and so I find myself wanting to catch up with all the other hot books first because moving on to the ones I want to read just for me? I'm not quite sure, but whatever the reason I need to fix this soon!

The One that makes you cry:

Usually if I cry, it means I really love a book. So one book that I cried reading and that I really, really love is The Book Thief. It's such a touching story with the strong relationships that are built inside of it, and it's really hard not to find yourself getting emotionally involved with everything that's going on. Even if you've already seen the movie, I say read this one. It's a keeper.

The One that still haunts you:


Hm... I don't know if I've ever really been haunted by a book. I'd say the closest I've been to haunted by, or really just disturbed by, is More Than This by Patrick Ness. It's sort of philosophical and deep in a strange way, and my mind just couldn't quite handle it all...

The One you always go back to: 

Definitely Harry Potter. (How cliche, I know!) It's the one book I grew up with and that will always hold fond memories for me. I actually haven't read the series since the final book was published, so I'm sort of saddened by it's absence in my life. Another book (or books) I need to read soon to fill my bookish heart!


Thanks Asti! Harry Potter has been a popular book to go back to, and for good reason! I also second the sentiments on The Book Thief - beautiful book :)




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BOY21 by Matthew Quick - review

You have a calming presence, Finley"  

Title: BOY21
Author: Matthew Quick

Publisher: Headline
Source: Giveaway prize
Available: Now
Buy it: Here

Synopsis

Finley is focused 100% on basketball - he's even dumped his best friend and girlfriend Erin for the season, so that he doesn't get distracted. Finley also doesn't talk much, and has a complicated and painful past. So when Coach shows up at his house, and asks Finley to help new kid Russ fit in at school, he doesn't know how he can help. But it's Coach, and you always do what your coach asks.

Review

It took me a while to want to read this book. Books centered around sport are not something I would typically reach for, but I was interested in reading more from Matthew Quick after loving Silver Linings Playbook. Once I began reading, I found so much more than a basketball try-out novel. BOY21 is endearing, highly readable and presents some very deep issues in it's short length.


I instantly loved Russ, who is struggling terribly with grief while hiding his secret; that he is a brilliant basketball player. I loved Finley for his terrible innocence, and his silence. I loved Erin for her hopelessness. These characters are all doing that they can to work their way out of their town, and hide from their own truths. Each of them are sacrificing something for each other. Argh, it's just too cute!

Once again, Matthew Quick explores mental health, and the fragility of grief. I found this to be sensitively done and actually created some of the most beautiful scenes of honesty in this book. Basically, read it!

Overall

I read this book in a day and loved every second. BOY21 is a bittersweet novel of friendship and understanding, of words unspoken and of love. Very highly recommended.

Score
 

★★
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Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson - review

I wasn't sick. I was strong."  

Title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Purchased from Kindle Store
Available: Now
Buy it: Here

Synopsis

Lia receives 33 missed calls on the night her best friend Cassie dies alone in a motel room. The quest to find out why, and what happened, brings Lia up against past struggles and anxieties, an uncomfortable relationship with food, and an even bigger uncomfortableness in her sense of self and belonging.

Review

I might just save myself a long review and bow down before the throne of Laurie Halse Anderson right now. If you are after a dark, emotionally fraught and - at times - terrifying picture of a young girls capacity for self destruction, you may find no better. To say I loved this book would be misleading, it is not a happy ride. However, it is by far a 5-star read, and one that is an important read for many young people (and adults alike!)

Wintergirls is a novel that talks about eating disorders in a very unflinching fashion. It is a deeply unsettling journey through Lia's unwell state of mind. Laurie Halse Anderson doesn't hide the details of the illness from the reader and never apologises for it. There are scenes that are disturbing, upsetting and heartbreaking. Wintergirls is no glorification of the size 0, and it has very honest representations of the lengths those with eating disorders will go to in their search for perfection, and their need to be strong, exploring not only the physical effects, but the psychological triggers, too.

Deep subject matter paired with engaging and original writing makes Wintergirls a book that I hope, if read, would encourage those needing it to seek help, not further suffering.

Overall

Wintergirls is a book I have been trying to track down to read for a long while. It's not on any shelves in my local bookshops. Eventually I gave in to the digital copy and after reading it, I feel like I want to launch a personal campaign to get it back on real, actual shelves. This book needs to be available.

Score 
★★
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The One with Nerissa

Hello! Today I'd like to welcome Nerissa to Mab is Mab! Nerissa blogs at Rireading Book Reviews and you can find her on Twitter @RiReading

Here are Nerissa's picks for "The One"!

The One you always recommend:

Harry Potter. Surprisingly, there are people who have not read it. If there are people who want to start reading YA, or just start reading great books. I will always ask if they have read the Harry Potter series. If they haven't, this is one of the books that I will always recommend.

The One that was a gift:

The Rainbow Magic Books 1 - 7. I first received those books when I was 7 from my mum. Even though I don't read them anymore, they still mean a lot to me because they are the first books that I can remember my mum gifting to me!

The One that got away:

The Infernal Devices. I love the Mortal Instruments series but I just never got to reading TID. I am hoping to remedy this as soon as possible but it seems that I will have to wait until the end of the year for the chance to read it!

The One that makes you cry:

Sing me to Sleep by Angela Morrison.

Not many people really know of this beautifully tragic story but it's one that always makes me cry no matter how many times I read it. It's a really sad but satisfying book that will not fail to bring tears to your eyes.


The One that still haunts you:


I haven't read many Horror books or books that haunt me yet so I guess NIL.

The One you always go back to:

The Mortal Instruments. The TMI series will always be my top favorite series of all time. I love it so much! From the characters, to the plot, to the writing. I just can't stop loving it!


Thanks Nerissa! I just bought the first book in the Mortal Instruments series and am feeling like I really need to get round to reading it quickly now! 




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Beautiful Books - August 2014 edit

Every month, I will be rounding up some of my favourite book cover art from the month's new releases. As a designer during out-of-blog-hours, I love cover reveals and Q&A's with the artists! It's a bit of a dream job of mine to one day become a book cover designer, so I'm considering this good source for inspiration too ;)


Here are my favourites from August 2014

 

Not just an amazing story, Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas has a great abstract cover, telling of the fireworks to come ;)



Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre wins the prize for the best typography this month - I love a handwritten script! As for the textures and colours, it reminds me a lot of my Myspace profile when I was a tortured teen!



This book cover for The Islands At The End Of The World by Austin Aslan would definitely call my attention in the bookshop. Love the overlapping font and the bright green. It reminds me a lot of the first series of His Dark Materials covers.



This dark and delicious cover for The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco is really atmospheric, but graphic at the same time. I like the mix of silhouette and realistic sky. Not to mention the water-y pallette.



I usually throw in a wild-card as my last book of the month, but August was just too good! This gorgeous cover for A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall reminds me of intricate paper cuttings. It also feels very romantic.

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