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Happy New Year from Mab is Mab


I just wanted to wish all of my readers, old and new, a wonderful 2015.

Here's hoping for many new books, never ending creativity, and more exciting stationery for you all.
Thanks for making 2014 a great year to be blogging in, and I hope to see you all in 2015 too!

Plans for Mab is Mab in 2015 include: more design, more books, more reviews to include stationery(!), more blog link ups, giveaways, creativity - and, no doubt, a theme refresh or two haha!

Resolution? Do More Of What You Love.



Much love,

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Best Books (and adaptations) of 2014

It's round-up time! There have been some absolutely amazing books released this year. Every year, I seem to find a new favourite! Here are some of my top picks from 2014 - I can't wait to see what 2015 brings, and I want to say a big thank you to anyone who has sent me a book this year, either as a gift, a prize or for review. You certainly made my TBR pile scary and wonderful all at once :)

I also want to say that 2014 was made exceptionally brilliant by the existence of YALC. I hope it comes back.

So, onto my favourite titles from the year...

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Why? It was incredibly creepy with a really unique premise. Being scared to see the unknown is one thing, but not being able to survive seeing the unknown is even scarier! I really recommend this book to fans of creepy horror.


My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/12/bird-box-by-josh-malerman-review.html



 The Fall by Bethany Griffin


Why? The Fall was incredibly gothic and paid homage to Edgar Allen Poe. In my teenage years, I would have been ALL OVER this book. As an adult, I am hugely thankful it exists. It was a wonderful, sweeping tribute to the original story that enhanced it rather than sacrificed it.


My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/10/the-fall-by-bethany-griffin-review.html


We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Why? The language! This book was hit and miss amongst bloggers, but I am definitely on the side of "OMG THAT WAS AMAZING!" The story itself wasn't as good as its presentation, but hey, it wasn't bad either. Dark and twisting, We Were Liars had me hooked.


My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/06/we-were-liars-by-e-lockhart-review.html


 Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas


Why? This book was a rollercoaster ride of a thriller. It was fast paced and unrelenting. Dark, twisted, messed up, amazing! I can't recommend it enough. So much outpour of love happened that Mily (The YA Nightstand) and I ended up doing a no holds barred virtual book club to discuss the spoilers, ha!

My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/08/dangerous-boys-by-abigail-haas-review.html 


We Used To Be Kings by Stewart Foster

Why? Another one I loved for the writing style, We Used To Be Kings is the emotionally wrought tale of a troubled teen and his younger brother, dealing with issues of mental health and grief. Deep, sensitive and wonderful.


My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/02/we-used-to-be-kings-by-stewart-foster.html



 Echo Boy by Matt Haig 


Why? Another fast paced thriller, I loved that Echo Boy was unafraid to ask challenging questions within YA. I loved the characters, and it was one of the few books in which I truly hoped for a romance. I've recommended this book a lot this year!

My review: http://www.mabismab.com/2014/03/echo-boy-by-matt-haig-review.html



PLUS SPECIAL SHOUT-OUTS TO: Trouble by Non Pratt, Tease by Amanda Maciel and The Girl With All The Gifts by M R Carey

And for your bonus films

I couldn't leave my "best of" post without a mention of the year's slew of wonderful book adaptations.
I have to say I think my favorite was Divergent (how could anything with a real life Four not be?!) I felt it kept very faithful to the book, and the cast were great. That said, The Fault In Our Stars, Before I Go To Sleep, Gone Girl and Mockingjay Part 1 were all AMAZING too. What a great film year for book geeks!




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Bird Box by Josh Malerman - review

It's better to face madness with a plan than to sit still and let it take you in pieces"  

Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman

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

Synopsis

Malorie is leaving her home with two four-year-old children. She has been training the children to rely on hearing more than sight since birth, and has been planning their route out for years. All of them are blindfolded, and while they are, they are safe. But at some point, Malorie knows, the mask must come off.

Review

Oh wow, where to begin with Bird Box... That this book is a debut novel is unbelievable. It's taut and frightening - playing masterfully on the fear of the unknown. The characters are wonderfully varied and the broken-up structure, giving glimpses of what is to come, is perfect for the mysterious atmosphere the book creates. Bird Box is true horror, complete with suspense, violence, stormy nights and a narrator to root for.

The whole idea of not knowing what the danger looks like, and as soon as you set eyes upon it, it being too late, is so clever. I found it quite mind bending if I thought about it for too long, and you feel the fear of unknown right alongside Malorie. One of the most affecting scenes of the book for me was "hearing" through Malorie the sound of a dog going mad and killing itself. You never "see" a thing, but the implied situation from the description of the sound is very vivid.

Malorie herself is a wonderful narrator. Calculating and thoughtful, she isn't the kind of woman who screams at the slightest sound. She is a determined mother, pregnant throughout most of the book but with the future and safe delivery of her child ever-present in her thoughts and actions. I wanted a successful journey for her very much!

Overall

A really atmospheric and clever horror, Bird Box gives as much attention to atmospheric build up and character motivations as it does to action and gore. Bird Box has a really unique premise and I HIGHLY recommend it to fans of horror writing. Loved it!

Score
 

★★
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Kawaii Wonderland Lucky Dip review

I love Kawaii! But you probably already know that.
Readers of Mab is Mab will no doubt be familiar with my monthly Kawaii Box deliveries from Kawaii Box Co which are amazing! So when I saw that Kawaii Wonderland do monthly Lucky Dip bundles, I thought I would buy one to see what it was like!

As it was my birthday this month, I treated myself to the December Lucky Dip:


The package arrived so quickly, and was adorably wrapped in shiny paper and pink tinsel. Inside, some of the items were wrapped up in Christmas paper for extra suspense and surprise along with a handwritten Christmas card which I thought was a really nice touch.

The items themselves were many and varied. I really loved the wide range of products offered in the lucky dip - squishies, stationery, sweets, accessories, household items... - and there were some truly quirky bits and pieces to boot. 

I love the paper goods included in the Kawaii Wonderland Lucky Dip. I can honestly say I will use each and every thing! The cat postcard and sticky notes are creepy-cute which is totally my thing, and the daily schedule sticky notes are going to be so useful at work!

I'm going to be using the squishy pandas as part of my Christmas gift wrapping (kawaii parcels!) and the panda sweets were devoured within minutes between my boyfriend and me!

As for the biscuit pen and the toothpaste squeezer, I am torn between giving them as quirky gifts and keeping them all for myself! haha

I absolutely loved the Lucky Dip selection, it's full to the brim, pleasingly unusual and lovingly presented. While it perhaps doesn't match my Kawaii Box Co box for well-established brands, it certainly does offer brilliant value for money to top up on the kawaii hit! One Lucky Dip cost just over £12 including postage which I think is an absolute bargain.

I'll be ordering again!

(Note: I bought the Kawaii Wonderland Lucky Dip for my own review purposes as I love kawaii surprises, and was not offered anything in return for this review)


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Mini Reviews: All The Truth That's In Me, The Queen's Fool and The Cure For Dreaming

Hello! So, I've recently read a lot of books that aren't "new", and although I've missed the review flurry around them, I still wanted to feature them on the blog!
I've decided to do a short series of "mini reviews" to round them up. If anyone want's to see my thoughts of any of them in the usual format leave a comment and I'll see if there's any popular ones!

My first mini-review post featured If I Stay, The Rosie Project and The List.
This time round; All The Truth That's In Me, The Queen's Fool and The Cure For Dreaming.


All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

In a nutshell: Girl with no tongue struggles with love, trauma and secrets.
Condensed thoughts: This was a really surprising book. I didn't know it was set in an historic time period, and the short chapters and sharp scene shifts were new and interesting. It was also written in the second person which I had never read before. All in all ATTTIM was very intriguing, exciting and very different to your usual YA mystery - definitely recommended!

Rating: ★★


The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory

In a nutshell: Girl who sees angels and predicts the future pretends to be a boy in the queen's court.
Condensed thoughts: I felt that The Queen's Fool was very different to previous books I have read by Philippa Gregory. The melodrama lacked in place of superstitious paranormal... It was a bit weird. Once I had surrendered to it, though, I liked the story, and Hannah's character was really likeable.

Rating: ★★


The Cure For Dreaming by Cat Winters

In a nutshell: Olivia is hypnotized to see where evil lies, and fights for women's rights.
Condensed thoughts: I really enjoyed The Cure For Dreaming for it's hypnotic themes and quirky characters. The descriptions of Olivia's "true sight" were brilliant and the whole book felt really well placed in it's time frame. I loved the not-so-subtext was of women's rights - and Olivia was the perfect character to play with these ideas and situations; strong willed and determined, but also young and quite innocent. This book has so many things going on, delivered in a fun and entertaining package!

Rating: ★★

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Christmas Gifts for Book Lovers and Stationery Geeks!

Here is my 2014 gift guide for the bookish and the writerly. Count out your pennies, you'll want to double up on these for yourself too! This year I am also supporting indie sellers - all links will go to Etsy shops :) Christmas is here!

I've admired the prints of BraveMoonman for ages - I love this tea one. Who doesn't love a good brew with their paper-y enjoyments?!


Last year I gave you Dumbledore's Office. This year, may I introduce you to Sherlock's Study?! Candles perfect for the reader in your life.


These personalised Penguin book covers are just adorable! If you want to be a bit thrifty with the gift-buying this year, this one covers two very lucky people! 


Pack your books and pens in style with these gorgeous leather book bags. With SO many colours to choose from. These are totally on my wishlist!


Wear your favourite book around your neck! This has to be one of my favourite recent Etsy discoveries. I want so many of them! Lots of YA titles on offer.


Finally, the bright and bold designs from Bread and Jam never fail to make me smile, and I'm very sure they'd be the perfect happy gift as well! This correspondence set is great!

Happy Shopping!

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