Just to let you all know that Katie Dale will be stopping off for an interview on 4th February as part of her blog tour for her debut novel, Someone Else's Life. Due to Blogger being annoying, I can't seem to put up the blog tour banner on my sidebar so I thought I would write a little post to let you all know! So hope you'll stop by on Saturday!
Chinese New Year usually means money in little red envelopes from friends and family! I've realised that I haven't bought any books to read recently so I'd like to spend some of the money I received on a book. But I CAN'T decide which one to buy, can you help me out? I've compiled a 'shortlist' and I would really appreciate it if you could tell me your thoughts!
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler: This sounds like a great book, I've read many good reviews of it. It seems like an interesting book because it's set in the year I was born and it would be cool to find out what teenagers were like then!
Kiss Date Love Hate by Luisa Plaja: This looks like such a cute little book but it comes out in February. Do you think it will be worth the wait?
Marshmallow Skye by Cathy Cassidy: I've read the first book in the series, Cherry Crush and it was fabulous! And I've wanted to read this for a long time but is it chocolate-sweet or bitter like dark chocolate?
Torn by Cat Clarke: Looks like a fab book full of secrets and mystery, definitely interesting judging by the glowing reviews I've read!
Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez: I love how this revolves around a teenage girl who plays the violin. As I'm pretty musical myself I'd love to read this: boys, music, what else could you wish for?
Please leave your comments below, I really appreciate your help!
When Rosie Kenning’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s disease, her whole world falls apart. Not only does Rosie desperately miss her mum, but now she has to face the fact that she could have inherited the fatal illness herself. Until she discovers that Trudie wasn’t her biological mother at all... Rosie is stunned. Can this be true? Is she grieving for a mother who wasn’t even hers to lose? And if Trudie wasn’t her mother, who is? But as Rosie delves into her past to discover who she really is, she is faced with a heart-breaking dilemma – to continue living a lie, or to reveal a truth that will shatter the lives of everyone around her...
Someone Else’s Life revolves around Rosie, a girl who has to deal with the pain of realization that the mother she had loved for seventeen years was not actually her birth mum. Desperate to find her real mother, she tags along with her boyfriend Andy to the United States as he embarks on his gap year. While she discovers shocking secrets that break her heart, she stands strong and perseveres with what she believes.
When I was told that this book is like Jodi Picoult for teenagers, I jumped at the chance to read it, being a fan of Jodi Picoult and her skilfully written, realistic books. Reading the synopsis made me even sure that this was my type of book. As soon as I started to read it, I was engrossed, pulled in by all the different emotions and feelings of the characters. Although most of the book is told from Rosie’s perspective, all the other characters are developed brilliantly and their personalities shine through. I loved Rosie and her fresh, honest account of how she handled all the secrets, lies and truths. She is a character that you can easily warm to and I really did empathise with her throughout the book; I could feel her grief, her joy and everything in between. The emotions seem to jump off the page and penetrate your heart and that is the one of the things that makes this such a fascinating read.
Another praiseworthy feature is its predictability or should I say unpredictability. An anonymous character contributes to the narration of this story and this person is revealed in Part Two of the book, so no peeking! I honestly thought that I knew who this person was but it turns out I was wrong, adding to the unpredictable element of the story. When you think you’ve got it all sussed, Katie tweaks the story and surprises you with the unexpected.
It hits all the right notes: it has action, romance and adventure all mixed into reality. Right now there are too many books that don’t have a deeper meaning but Someone Else’s Life has taught me to ‘make the most of the time we’ve got, seize the day, treasure every moment with the people we love’ (quoted from p475). This message is entwined throughout the book and reminds us that we should live life to the full, no matter what. It is utterly flawless and is perfection in the form of a book; it has everything you could wish for in a book and had me hooked from page one (I had to sneak off to the library at lunch so that I could continue reading it!). Overall it is a warm, poignant novel with a unique story-line that is sure to touch your heart and stay in its treasured place on your bookshelf for years to come. It deserves all of its 5 stars and I would recommend it to teenagers who aren’t just ready for Jodi Picoult books and young adults who enjoy reading real-life stories. I hope Katie Dale continues to write more amazing novels for us to read!!!
Click HERE to pre-order it, or buy it as soon as it hits the shops!
Thanks must go to Luisa at Chicklish for sending me this utterly amazing book!
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's the place for me to talk about the fabulous books I have received each week.
Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
I was told that Someone Else's Life is like Jodi Picoult for teens so because I'm a great fan of Picoult, I jumped at the chance to read this book. I have nearly finished reading it so look out for the review which will be up soon. It's not officially out until February so huge thanks must go to Luisa for giving me this heartbreaking, inspiring novel to read and review for Chicklish!
Celebriteens: In the Spotlight by Joanna Philbin
I'm quite excited to read this actually. After discovering the wonderful TV series Gossip Girl, this is the perfect book to read to find out more about the lives of the daughters of famous stars and Joanna Philbin will know what she's talking about because she is the daughter of a television host! I can't wait to read this! (For Chicklish review, thank you Luisa!)
Wuthering Hearts by Kay Woodward
This looks like a cute, light read. Even though it's targeted at a younger age group, I have read many reviews praising it and saying how older teenage readers (like me!) will enjoy it too. Look out for the review in February!
Brave New Girl by Catherine Johnson
Again, this is a book for younger readers but it looks like a good, quick read to lighten up my day and it comes without the pressure that I need to get through a 400-page book as quickly as possible to write a review!
Kiss Date Love Hate postcard
Check out this fab postcard that came with the package! Isn't it so cute?! I can't wait for this book by Luisa Plaja to come out: I have a feeling it will be just as cute and wonderful as its cover!
Thanks again must go to Luisa for sending me these books! I promise I won't let you down! Everytime I know that a package is coming for ME from Chicklish, I get up early and wait for the postie to deliver my goodies because I cannot wait to start another amazing book!
Cal hates: What humans are doing to the planet - and his dad, most of the time. Cal likes: Music - and Kerry from Australia, who's so beautiful it hurts. But when liking turns to love, everything changes...
No Ordinary Love Song revolves around sixteen-year-old Callum McCasky and how he experiences first love in the summer with a girl who has just arrived with her family on the Scottish island where he lives. It is like a breath of fresh air for him: away from his eccentric family and time for him to forget that humans are destroying the earth. But life at home and family troubles are the least of his worries when Kerry tells him that she is pregnant...
Callum struggles through school and his parents and teachers pester him to make more of an effort so that he can go to university even though he enjoys and wants to pursue music. Life at home isn't any better for him and I felt very sorry for him when both his parents, embarrassingly, started affairs. At the start of the book he does not have a good relationship with his parents - especially his father, who is portrayed as the alpha-male - but over the course of events the family become much closer and begin to realise what they had missed before. Callum also matures as a person, from an orange-haired sixteen-year-old boy to a young adult who takes responsibility for his actions.
At first, I didn't really enjoy this book but I must admit that it gets better towards the middle. It was interesting to read a love story from a boy's point of view because most books like this would be written from the girl's. I particularly enjoyed reading about the way he dealt with Kerry's pregnancy and how he was so responsible and stuck by her through everything. He was successfully portrayed as a typical moody teenager but his views of the world and human beings were quite complex and mature from the start, which gave the book a unique voice. Some of the book is also written from his mum Elaine's point of view and this certainly adds a more realistic touch to the overall story because she is an 'outsider' to Callum and Kerry's relationship. The tone of the whole story varies from witty to serious and in places I appreciated Prince's unique style of writing. It addresses many different issues like first love, teenage pregnancy, breakdown of families and global warming. I give this 4/5 and would recommend it to those over the age of 13.
Thank you to Luisa for sending me this book to review for Chicklish. To see the review on the Chicklish website click HERE.
Cathy in Paris researching for new younger book, Daizy Star Ooh La La...
I was over the moon when Cathy Cassidy agreed to do an interview for A Reading Daydreamer!She has written many best-selling books that are popular among girls around the world and I am sure that you have read at least one of her fabulous books.She founded the My Best Friend Rocks Award (of which I was a finalist in 2008!), giving us a chance to nominate our wonderful best friends and highlighting just how important friendship is.Let me hand over to Cathy (Queen of Teen 2010), who answers questions about writing, daydreaming and more…
Welcome to A Reading Daydreamer.Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello, all you daydreamers! I'm Cathy Cassidy and I write books for young teens and pre-teens... and I'm a daydreaming addict!
When did you decide that you wanted to become an author?
I've wanted to be writer since I was very small... it seemed the most logical thing to do with a head full of stories!
What did you work as before you became an author?
Lots of things! I studied to be an illustrator, then worked as a magazine journalist on the legendary Jackie magazine. I've worked as an art teacher, a magazine agony aunt, an illustrator and a freelance journalist, as well as stints as a waitress and petrol pump attendant!
What was your reaction when you found out that Dizzy was going to be published and what challenges did you overcome to see your writing in print?
It felt like the best thing ever, a dream coming true after many, many years. The biggest challenge to getting published was learning to write a book length story - it takes some discipline! I'd trained myself to write short stories but getting a whole novel written was a big challenge to me.
Which of your books was the most fun to write and why?
Probably Dizzy, the first - no deadlines, no worries about whether my publisher or readers would like it, just the excitement of knowing I had finally pushed past chapter two or three and was actually writing a book!
Which character out of all of your books do you think you are most alike?
I've been told that Miss Quinn, the art teacher in Driftwood, is a thinkly disguised version of me...
What gives you inspiration for your books?
Everything - things I see, hear, dream, remember, imagine. Inspiration is all around. Once an idea takes hold, I daydream about it - and if I am lucky a story unfolds.
Summer’s Dream, the third book in The Chocolate Box Girls series, is out in June.Can you tell us a bit about it?
It picks up the story from the point of view of Summer Tanberry, whose dream is to be a dancer. The story opens with a fantastic new opportunity for Summer, one that soon has her pushing herself to the limits. Can she handle the pressure, or will the dream turn into a nightmare?
Are you planning to write a book that’s aimed for older teenagers?
Well, Honey will be 15 or 16 in the final Chocolate Box Girls book, Sweet Honey, which should please my older readers! There are no plans to write older teen books however, apart from that - I wouldn't want to write anything that was 'unsuitable' for my current readers to enjoy!
How does it feel to be such a popular author?
It's awesome... my dream was to be a published author, so to be popular as well is the icing on the cake. I get countless emails and letters from readers who have connected with the stories and loved them, and that means the world to me.
And finally, do you like to read and daydream?
I love reading, and if I am especially busy I sometimes set my alarm an hour earlier so I can squeeze in some reading time! Daydreaming is something I just can't help doing. It's how all my stories start, a delicious creative state halfway between imagination and reality.
Dogs or cats: Both, but tending towards dogs at the moment...
Coffee or hot chocolate: Again, both, but a skinny latte is my perfect treat.
Mac or PC: Mac. Always. No contest.
Reading or writing: Both... I couldn't have one without the other!
Early bird or night owl: Early bird.
Sam or Shay: Hmmm. So hard to choose! I'd probably pick Sam, but I have a soft spot for all of my boy heroes...
Book or e-book: Book. I don't have an i-pad or kindle yet, although I wouldn't rule it out... but cannot imagine anything taking the place of a fabulous book.
Thank you very much Cathy for taking time to answer all my questions; it has been a pleasure interviewing you!
Just a short post to say that I am really happy that I already have 6 followers and since the 4th of January, I have had a total of 340 pageviews! Maybe I'm getting chuffed over nothing but I am VERY HAPPY with the progress A Reading Daydreamer has made!!! So thank you to those of you who are following and who have left such lovely comments on my posts. I promise I will post more reviews and other book-related things! Tempted to follow? Haha! Hope you all have a great weekend xx
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I know the blog isn't completely up and running but I couldn't resist putting up my own IMM after so many months of looking at other bloggers'. So here is my FIRST ever IMM:
Getting into Veterinary School: This was a Christmas present from my parents. If you've read the 'About' page, you'll know that I want to be a vet when I am older.
P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern : A novel about holding on, letting go, and learning to love again. Holly couldn't live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other's sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed. The kind of enchanting novel with cross-generational appeal that comes along once in a great while, PS, I Love You is a captivating love letter to the world!
I bought this a while back but I thought it deserves a mention!
Bumped by Megan McCafferty: When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food. Read the full synopsis HERE.
This was a Christmas pressie from my friend.
Shug by Jenny Han: Annemarie Wilcox, or Shug as her family calls her, is beginning to think there's nothing worse than being twelve. She's too tall, too freckled, and way too flat-chested. Shug is sure that there's not one good or amazing thing about her. And now she has to start junior high, where the friends she counts most dear aren't acting so dear anymore -- especially Mark, the boy she's known her whole life through. Life is growing up all around her, and all Shug wants is for things to be like they used to be. How is a person supposed to prepare for what happens tomorrow when there's just no figuring out today?
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella: Becky Bloomwood has what most twenty-five-year-olds only dream of: a flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is, she can't actually afford it --- not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn't pay much at all. Still, how can she resist that perfect pair of shoes? Or the divine silk blouse in the window of that ultra-trendy boutique? But lately Becky's been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank --- letters with large red sums she can't bear to read --- and they're getting ever harder to ignore. She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something ... just a little something ... Read the full synopsis HERE
I also got this one a few months ago but it deserves a mention!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
Nonie's passion is fashion. Edie plans to save the world. Jenny has a part in a Hollywood movie. But when the three best friends meet a young refugee girl called Crow, wearing a pair of pink fairy wings and sketching a dress, they get the chance to do something truly wonderful - and make all their dreams come true.
When I first saw this book in my school library about a year ago, I thought it would be another one of those whimsical fairytales where the girls live perfect lives and achieve all their dreams. But how wrong was I! So if you ever got that same first impression as me, FORGET it and read the book! I promise you won't regret it. The book is much more than just a 'fairytale'. It's about making a difference to other peoples' lives and that giving is so much better than receiving.
I have never admired fictional teenagers in a novel as much as Nonie and her best friends Edie and Jenny. They happily take in Crow, a young refugee girl, once they discover her passion for designing and making clothes and encourage her to follow her heart's desires. I love all the charitable things Edie does and wish I had a friend like her. She's the sort of girl who always has something one, from volunteering with special needs children to setting up a website to raise awareness of child soldiers in Uganda. It is amazing that while she is enhancing her CV, she's helping so many others. Jenny is almost the opposite of Edie: she's starring in a movie and is working alongside Joe Yule (definitely one of my fictional crushes!). Her character adds humour to the story and reveals what it's actually like to be working in a Hollywood film. The narrator of Threads is Nonie. I appreciated her wit and sarcasm that's intwined throughout the book. She's the one who isn't particularly good at anything and wants to be a designer. But by the end of the book, she is like a mentor to Crow and she has done so many amazing things like organising a charitable fashion show. I love how she is such a good friend and despite the fact that it is her ambition to be a fashion designer, she still tries her best to help Crow achieve her dream. I want these girls to be my friends!
I also love the references to big fashion names like Dior and Chanel because they make the story feel much more realistic, as if somewhere out there a tween is actually rubbing shoulders with famous designers. The descriptions are also amazing...I can picture in my head every one of Crow's dresses. They sound gorgeous and it makes you wish that Crow would design a dress just for you!
I have been thoroughly impressed by Sophia Bennett, considering that Threads was her debut novel. It's such a captivating, enchanting story full of fashion and dreams. A well deserved 5 stars!
BTW, after I borrowed it from the library and read it, I went out and bought myself a copy!
Cherry Costello's life is about to change forever. She and Dad are moving to Somerset where a new mum and a bunch of brand-new sisters await. And on Cherry's first day there she meets Shay Fletcher; with suntanned skin and sea-green eyes he's the kind of boy who should carry a government health warning. But Shay already has a girlfriend, Cherry's new stepsister Honey. Cherry knows her friendship with Shay is dangerous - it could destroy everything. But that doesn't mean she's going to stay away from him...
This is the first book in Cathy Cassidy's series The Chocolate Box Girls and revolves around Cherry, a half-Japanese girl who has longed to fit in all her life. In order to fit in, she makes up extraordinary things and her vivid imagination lands her in all sorts of trouble. In Glasgow, she doesn't have any friends and is constantly bullied by Kirsty McRae. It looks like things could get better for her when she moves to a new home. Skye, Summer and Coco Tanberry all welcome her and treat her as if she is their sister but Honey develops a sour hatred for her, especially when she catches Cherry with her boyfriend. The story mainly centres around the 'love triangle' between Cherry, Shay and Honey.
Cherry was a very believable character: I felt her happiness and her vulnerability Everything is described so well and I felt as if I had been thrown in her situation: I could feel her desperation to fit in and the glowing pride she had when she was with Shay.
I liked all the other characters especially Skye because of her quirky, laid-back personality and also Shay because I could almost visualise how gorgeous he was in my head!
I really enjoyed this book and Cathy Cassidy continues to write superbly with her usual charm. She uses her typical writing style: simplistic yet full of feeling and emotion. The plot isn't too complicated but like all Cathy's other books, you learn so much from it. It's a delicious book full of love, friendship, dreams and chocolate! It definitely deserves 5 stars!
Sister, Missing by Sophie McKenzie begins two years after the events of Girl, Missing.
After the death of a family member, Lauren's birth mother takes Lauren and her sisters, Shelby and Madison, on holiday so that they can spend more time together. But something terrible happens: one of her sisters goes missing and it all seems startling similar to when Lauren was taken years before. Can Lauren save her sister before it's too late?
When I started Sister, Missing I had slight reservations. I loved reading Girl, Missing and thought it was perfect as a stand-alone book. I was still eager to read the sequel but I did wonder if it would live up to the first book. But as soon as I picked up the book and read the first few pages, I was engrossed and could not put it down. It seemed like I was in the adventure and action along with the characters. It is very fast-paced and action-packed, it doesn't slow down! I honestly cannot find a page where there is no action. The storyline twists and turns where you least expect it and is a rollercoaster of thrilling writing. At times, when the book slows down, for example the conversation between Lauren and Shelby, a poignant profound atmosphere is created and works nicely as the two sisters come to terms about their dislike for each other. The ending is something I didn't expect and I did wonder why Sophie McKenzie decided to end it like that but once I left the book for a few days, I understood why she did.
Sophie McKenzie is successful in creating believable characters. Although the book revolves around saving the missing sister, it continues subtly the theme of identity and Who Am I? that appeared in Girl, Missing. It charts the development of Lauren as the main character and how she matures as time goes on. She begins to realise that she herself is not perfect and that no one is and she confronts this strongly. All the characters are thoroughly likeable. I fell in love with Jam who continues to love and support his girlfriend, and the innocence of Madison was portrayed perfectly.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Sister, Missing and won't hesitate to read any other books written by Sophie McKenzie. 5/5!!!!
Thank you Luisa at Chicklish for giving me this book to read and review!
Hi! Welcome to A Reading Daydreamer! This is my first post and I would just like to say how excited I am to be starting my own book blog! I have been inspired by so many wonderful blogs and I hope that you enjoy browsing around. My aim is to share my passion for reading and encourage others to take it up. I always find myself reading an amazing book and I just want to tell everyone how good it is so I think that ARD is the place for me to shout out! I have named the blog 'A Reading Daydreamer' because I love to read and I'm always daydreaming when there's nothing to do. Obviously I don't do both together!
You can click on the About tab above to find out more about me!