Friday, 23 January 2015

YA Series I haven't started yet and really should

Five YA series I haven't started yet and would really like to at some point soon:

Newsoul by Jodi Meadows

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Corpus by Jessica Khoury

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Half Bad by Sally Green


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Air Front Cover Sneak Peak

Last week I put together most of the front cover for Air. Currently, the only thing missing is the elemental power, which I'm still brainstorming some different ideas for. However, I thought I would share a quick look at what the bottom of the cover (which is finished) will look like, to give you a preview. Fire was red, Water was blue and Air is.... purple!

I'm hoping to post the finished cover (and a release date!) soon. In the meantime, let me know in the comments if you have any good suggestions for the elemental component of the cover.

Monday, 19 January 2015

The Male Perspective...

So my 2014 reading round up revealed that my reading has a definite female focus. Not that there is anything wrong with this, I just like to make sure my reading is really varied, so that I don't like to feel like I'm reading only books by female authors, or only books by male ones. YA tends to be dominated by female authors, so I often end up reading a lot more of them. The following are some YA books, either by male authors or just with male protagonists which I'm going to try and read this year.

1) The Scorch Trials 
I read the Maze Runner at the end of the year and am really looking forward to checking out it's sequel.

2) The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Has been on my to-read list ever since I saw the film. One of the very few occasions where I've checked out the movie before reading the novel.

3) Paper Towns
This will be my fourth John Green novel. I tried to borrow the library copy but his books are never in stock.

4) More Thank This
This will be my third Patrick Ness novel

5) Say Her Name
He won Queen of Teen 2014 and my sister heard him at a YA talk in London last year and says he's amazing.

6) The Infinite Sea
I loved the 5th Wave and am excited to find out what comes next.

7) Gone
My students love this book and I picked it up for 99p on a Kindle sale recently, so I will definitely give it a try soon.

There are also four male authors on my Classics TBR list, taking the total up to eleven. It perhaps interesting to note that most of my 'classic' books are by men and most of my YA books are by women. There's probably a full blog post in this, which I will work on once I've thought about it a bit more...

Do you find you read more female authors and about female characters more than male ones? Does it even matter?

Friday, 16 January 2015

Classics Reading List for 2015

To readdress the YA imbalance, these are the classic novels I really should have read already so will try to get through this year. In general, I haven't done too badly when it comes to classic novels (largely thanks to my English degree) but it's always nice to make sure I've read a few more each year. 

1) Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
I have no idea why I haven't already read this. I've read all of her others, just not Mansfield Park for some reason. In 2015 this is going to have to change!

2) 1984 by George Orwell
One of the original dystopian novels.

3) The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
I've already tried to read this twice and gave up on both occasions. I'm hoping that watching the films might help me to get into it.

4) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This one was recommended to me on NYE

5) Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
I really enjoyed the Return of the Native, so should try something else by Hardy at some point soon.

I'm going to leave the list at that, since it's two more than last year, although hopefully I'll find time to squeeze a few more in too.

What are your thoughts. Have you read and enjoyed any of these? And are there any classics on your TBR list for this year?

Monday, 12 January 2015

2015 Books I'm most excited about

These are the books I can't wait to be released this year. Top of the list, of course, has to be Air. Unfortunately it is still cover-less. But I'm only about 10 chapters away from having the whole thing edited and ready to go!

This has to be the prettiest book cover I have ever seen! Plus I love the twist on the original plot. It's kind of like having fan fiction written by the original author! 


Both will hopefully be worth the delay to The Lunar Chronicles and Throne of Glass


A couple which mostly caught my eye due to their interesting covers, but also have some great synopses. 

Plus there are a few without covers/titles yet:

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (yes I know I complained in my 2014 roundup post that she should just leave the series alone. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to hypocritically read every new book that comes out...)

Winter by Marissa Meyer

The Rose Society by Marie Lu

Throne of Glass book 4 by Sarah J Maas

So it would appear that all of these are by female authors with female protagonists. Not the greatest of starts to my year of balanced reading, but all far too good to resist!

Which books are you most looking forward to in 2015?

Friday, 9 January 2015

Reading in 2014: the stats

So I thought it would be really interesting to take a more general look at what I read in 2014. I like to think of myself as quite a varied reader, but I wondered if my reading list backed that statement up...

Total new books read in 2014: 41

Of those 30 could be classed as YA or Middle Grade

11 were 'adult' books

Only 1 was non fiction

2 were plays (both by Shakespeare - I took an online course this autumn)

17 could be classed as fantasy

12 were contemporary/realistic

3 are considered to be 'classics'

3 were self published.

15 were by male authors, so 26 were by female ones.

10 had a main protagonist who was male

24 had a main protagonist who was female (although quite a few of these, such as Heir of Fire, followed male characters' perspectives as well)

I also reread 7 novels (the Harry Potter series) and 6 Shakespeare plays.

Looking at this, I definitely read more books about female characters and written by female authors. I might challenge myself to see if I can aim for a more even split this year. It would be interesting to see how doing so effects my reading list. 2014's list is also YA heavy, although I was actually surprised by how many adult books made it on there. I definitely need to read more classics this year, to balance out all of the new authors I'm checking out. There's no excuse really, given I can download most for free onto my Kindle. 

Overall it's not too bad, although I'm going to get to work on some reading lists now for an even more balanced 2015! How does it compare to your reading list? I would love to know. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Fire on Wattpad

Fire has almost 150,000 reads on Wattpad! I am amazed at how many people have now read the book and are hopefully hooked on the series. I have received so many nice comments, which have been a great confidence boost while I finish up on Air.

If you haven't checked out Fire, COMPLETELY FREE, on Wattpad, then do so now:
click here to read for free

Monday, 5 January 2015

2014 Reading Round Up

I'm posting this a few weeks later than planned, following a busy but brilliant Christmas period. I read some great books this year and I'm so thankful I have Goodreads to help me keep track of them all, otherwise I would have never been able to compile this list! These are my top ten books of 2014.

There was no competition for my favourite book of 2014. It had to be Heir of Fire. Celaena gets better with every book and I can't wait to see where the series goes next. 

The One was - I thought - the perfect ending to an amazing series. However, it turns out the awesomeness continues with The Heir next year!

Three and Four on my list are The Rosie Project and the Rosie Effect. Hilarious and heart breaking all at once. Reading the Rosie Effect with a newborn gave it an even greater emotional impact. 

It took me far too long to read Dreams of Gods and Monsters because I'm not used to carrying bulky hardbacks any more. But it was worth it as I now get to see my gorgeous (signed!) copy on my bookshelf. 

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my most recommended series of the year. Cress was superb.

The Young Elites made it on to the list despite how depressed it made me about the Elements of Power series; it's everything I wish my writing could be, but isn't. I loved the Legend series too, which I read earlier in the year. 

Wonder should be compulsory reading in every school. 

A great ending to a great series. Or at least it should be. I love the Shadowhunter world, but it kind of feels like a big money making machine now... Everyone's happy, let's just leave them be!

It read like a Sci-Fi/action movie and deserves to be one. 

2014 has been a year of amazing books. Next week I'm going to look at some of the novels I can't wait to get my hands on this year.