Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2014 Blogging Resolutions

As the big night approaches us I (along with the rest of the blogging world!) want to share my blogging resolutions for 2014 with you guys. I'm not picking quantitative resolutions as it always feels like that's setting yourself up for failure. Instead, I just want to pick a few things I'd like to work on for myself and to make the blogging experience more enjoyable and less stressful next year.


1. Worry Less

This is the big one and something I'm applying to my whole life, not just book blogging. I'm a terrible worrier and if I spent half as much time being productive as I do worrying about things I'd get so much more done.

I need to stop worrying about where everybody else is, what everybody else is doing and what everybody else thinks of me. It doesn't matter.


2. Use Social Media More

My boyfriend has worked on a new website for me and a new look for my blogs (which will be fully live tomorrow!) so to go with my new look Internet presence I want to use social media a lot more than I currently do.

I want to use Twitter to interact more with authors and other bloggers and keep my new Facebook page (which is here if anybody would like to stop by and give me a like!) up to date with all of my new posts.


3. Spend More Time Visiting Other Blogs

This is one I always promise myself I'll do but never seem to stick to! I love reading blogs, I spend so much time doing it but I never get round to commenting and chatting with bloggers about their posts. I always seem to talk to my blogging pals about other things, so this year I want to expand my list of blogs I visit and take the time to comment.


4. Film More Videos

Yes! I'm excited about this one! I joined the Bookish Brits earlier this year and I've really enjoyed making videos for our Youtube channel. I got a swanky new camera for my birthday so I want to use it to film more videos for both Bookish Brits and my own (soon to be live) Writing from the Tub Youtube channel.


5. Dedicate More Time to Reading:

This is the big one... How many of us bloggers adore reading but never find enough time to read the books we're desperate to start? Far, far, far too many of us. Reading is one of my favourite hobbies, obviously, but it always seems to be something I do when I've finished everything else on my to-do list. Well, I want that to change and I want to make reading a bigger priority for me.

6. Enjoy Writing:

In terms of writing my only resolution is to chill out and enjoy it. It's such a fun thing but I find myself getting too bogged down with pressure I put on myself to write quickly, or finish a book as soon as possible, or get ready to look for an agent is. The truth is I know I'm not quite at that stage yet, so I just want to relax and enjoy the book I'm writing without rushing myself through it.


So, what are your resolutions for 2014? Let me know!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas: 4 debut novels I read in 2013

Hello everybody and welcome to today's 12 Days of Christmas post! Today's post is about 4 debut novels I read in 2013.

As you saw last week, I have a big wishlist for debut novels in 2014 and these are a few of my favourites that I read this year. 

Broken - A. E. Rought // The Tragedy Paper - Elizabeth Laban // Splintered - A. G. Howard // The Dark Inside - Rupert Wallis

What were your favourite debuts of 2013?

Friday, 20 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas: 5 new (to me) authors I read in 2013

Hello everybody and welcome to today's 12 Days of Christmas post! Today's post is about 5 new (to me) authors I read in 2013.

I was really lucky to discover some brilliant new authors in 2013 so I can't wait to read more of their books next year. 

C. J. Harper // Abigail Haas // Gillian Flynn // Eleanor Updale // Annabel Pitcher
I've only just noticed that all five of my picks are women - go ladies!

Who were your favourite discoveries this year?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas: 6 books I STILL haven't read that I'll be reading in 2014

Hello everybody and welcome to today's 12 Days of Christmas post! Today's post is about 6 books I STILL haven't read that I'll be reading in 2014.

I do one of these lists every year and the same books keep cropping up time and time again - I'm a nightmare for never getting around to a whole stack of books I really do genuinely want to read so I'm determined to get to these next year!

Forever - Maggie Stiefvater // Cracked - K. M. Walton // This Is Not a Test - Courtney Summers

TFIOS - John Green // Days of Blood and Starlight - Laini Taylor (I'm reading this now so I may finish it before 2013 is up!) // The List - Siobhan Vivian

So, what books are still on your shelves that you want to get to in 2014?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas: 7 2014 Book to Film Adaptations

Hello everybody and welcome to today's 12 Days of Christmas post! Today's post is about 7 book to film adaptations that are coming out next year.

I'm hoping the release dates with these are correct - I've checked on IMDB etc and they all had 2014 release dates but apologies if any of these change!

Divergent - Veronica Roth // The Fault in Our Stars - John Green // Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
Fallen - Lauren Kate // Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn // Mockingjay (part one) - Suzanne Collins
The Maze Runner - James Dashner
I'm hoping to catch all of these when they come out - we're getting thoroughly spoiled with YA film adaptations! Which of these are you hoping to see at the cinema next year?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas: 8 2014 Most Anticipated Non-Debuts

Hello everybody and welcome to today's 12 Days of Christmas post! Today's post is about the top 8 non-debut 2014 releases I can't wait for.

As I've said before, I always try to read a lot of debut novels each year but I also can't resist pre-ordering the books that my favourite authors release - and, trust me, there are lots of look forward to next year!

To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han // 16 Things I Thought Were True - Janet Gurtler // #Scandal - Sarah Ockler

Panic - Lauren Oliver // After the End - Amy Plum // Hollow City - Ransom Riggs

Isla and the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins // Dreams of Gods & Monsters - Laini Taylor

Are any of these on your wishlist for 2014? I think the ones I'm most excited about are Dreams of Gods and Monsters and #Scandal!

Monday, 16 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas: 9 2014 Debuts I Can't Wait For

Hello everybody and welcome to today's 12 Days of Christmas post! Today's post is about 9 debut novels that I cannot wait to read in 2014.

I always try to make an effort to read a lot of debuts each year to support new authors and find some new favourite writers so I had a great time poring over lists of 2014 debuts to pick my top nine most anticipated reads.

Side Effects May Vary - Julie Murphy // The Truth About Alice - Jennifer Mathieu // No One Else Can Have You - Kathleen Hale

The Break-Up Artist - Philip Siegel // Nearly Gone - Elle Cosimano // Banished - Liz De Jager

Dorothy Must Die - Danielle Paige // Pointe - Brandy Colbert // Far From You - Tess Sharpe
Are any of these books on your 2014 wishlist? And how incredible are some of these covers? Just take a look at Dorothy Must Die and No One Else Can Have You - those are my two favourites!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas: 10 Favourite Books of 2013

Hello everybody and welcome to today's 12 Days of Christmas post! Today's post is about my top 10 favourite books of 2013.

I didn't read a whole lot of books in 2013 but I was lucky that most of those I did read I really enjoyed, which made putting this list together very easy indeed.

Every Day - David Levithan // Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn // The Killing Woods - Lucy Christopher

The Last Minute - Eleanor Updale // The Bunker Diary - Kevin Brooks // You Don't Know Me - Sophia Bennett

The Prey - Andrew Fukuda // The Tragedy Paper - Elizabeth Laban // Dangerous Girls - Abigail Haas

The Dark Inside - Rupert Wallis (this is a 2014 release but I read (and loved!) it in 2013)

What were your favourite books of 2013?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas: 11 Favourite Covers of 2013

Hello everybody and welcome to today's 12 Days of Christmas post! Today's post is about my 11 favourite covers of 2013.

Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz // Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - April Tucholke // The Rules for Disappearing - Ashley Elston

Paper Valentine - Brenna Yovanoff - The End Games - T. Michael Martin // Hysteria - Megan Miranda

Splintered - A. G. Howard // In the Shadow of Blackbirds - Cat Winters // OCD Love Story - Corey Ann Haydu

The S-Word - Chelsea Pitcher // Out of the Easy - Ruta Sepetys

Gorgeous, aren't they? I think The End Games is my favourite - lots of red, white and black in covers this year! What were your favourite covers of 2013?

Friday, 13 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas: 12 2013 Releases I Still Want to Read

Hello everybody and welcome to today's 12 Days of Christmas post! Today's post is about the top 12 books released in 2013 that I didn't get a chance to read this year.

The Madman's Daughter - Megan Shepherd // Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis // Dear Love, You Suck - Scott Blagden

The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey // The Moon and More - Sarah Dessen // Going Vintage - Lindsey Leavitt

Me, Him, Them, and it - Caela Carter // OCD Love Story - Corey Ann Haydu // Premeditated - Josin McQuein

The Murmurings - Carly Anne West // If You Find Me - Emily Murdoch // Allegiant - Veronica Roth

So which 2013 releases did you guys miss out on this year? Let me know!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas is Back!

So I've decided to run my 12 Days of Christmas feature again this year after a few people requested it, which was very sweet so a big thanks for that!

I've changed a lot of the themes this time so in case anybody wanted to join in I'm going to post the schedule up here - I don't run this as a meme but if anyone does fancy it do feel free to join in with a few days, or all of them, whatever suits. If you could pop a little link back to this post if you do decide to take part I'd really appreciate it.

Without further ado, the schedule for this year's Writing from the Tub's 12 Days of Christmas is as follows:

Friday 13th: 12 2013 releases I still want to read

Saturday 14th: 11 favourite covers of 2013

Sunday 15th: 10 favourite books I read in 2013

Monday 16th: 9 2014 debuts I can't wait for

Tuesday 17th: 8 2014 non-debuts I can't wait for

Wednesday 18th: 7 book to film adaptations in 2014

Thursday 19th: 6 books on my TBR for 2014

Friday 20th: 5 new to me authors I read in 2013

Saturday 21st: 4 debut novels I read in 2013

Sunday 22nd: 3 biggest blogging achievements in 2013

Monday 23rd: 2 things I learned about blogging in 2013

Tuesday 24th: Book of the year, 2013!

Keep an eye out for these posts starting this Friday, the 13th!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas Book Wishlist!

Every year I'm always surprised by the books I put on my birthday/Christmas wishlist. I'd assume I, like all readers, would have a huge wishlist of fiction but in reality I tend to put very few novels on my Christmas list. It's almost all non-fiction.

I don't review non-fiction so it's not something I talk about much here but I'm a huge non-fiction reader. I love learning, I love educating myself and if there's something I don't know about I'll teach myself about it, which is why I have almost as much non-fiction as fiction on my shelves.

I haven't bought myself too many books this year, as I've been going through the world's longest reading slump so I really haven't read very much in 2013 - maybe 30 books in total? My fiction slump means I've been reading even more non-fiction than usual but there are a few books I haven't bought for myself that I'm really, really lusting after - these are the, um, slightly more expensive ones, naturally!

That said, there are a few novels on my wishlist this year, which you can see below:

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell // Hyperbole and a Half - Allie Brosh // Information is Beautiful - David McCandless // OCD Love Story - Corey Ann Haydu // The Power of Doing Less - Fergus O'Connell // Picture Me Gone - Meg Rosoff

Don't Peek - Martia Hansen // Face Forward // Kevyn Aucoin // Five Summers - Una LaMarche // The Elements - Theodore Gray // The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott - Dr David Wilson

Which books are on your Christmas wishlist this year? Are there any non-fiction gems you think I'm missing?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Top Five Paranormal/Supernatural Reads

For today's post I wanted to share my top five paranormal/supernatural reads with you guys. I don't read a massive amount of paranormal but I do have a few favourites so I thought I'd put a little list together for anybody else who isn't a big reader of these genres.

Perfect for fans of the dark and kooky, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a beautifully presented book and the cover is just as strong as the story inside. Click here for my review.

Fracture was one of the most pleasantly surprising books I read in 2012 and I'd really recommend this one for any contemporary fans who are looking to read more books with supernatural elements. Click here for my review.

Oh, this is just such a fun, well-written series. Alyxandra Harvey is the queen of snappy dialogue and this is, hands down, my favourite paranormal series that centres around vampires. Click here for my review of book one.

Simply put, this is one of the most stunning, beautifully-written novels I've read in years. Absolutely unique in every day, this gem of a book deserves to be read by every fiction fan. Click here for my review.

Paranormal romance is not usually my bag, but I fell completely under this book's spell and would recommend this to any fans of a gorgeous love story. Click here for my review.

So which books would you put in your top five paranormal/supernatural books?

Monday, 25 November 2013

End of 2013 Reading List

This is a really weird statement to type: There are only five weeks left of 2013. SAY WHAT?

It's flown by, hasn't it? I know everybody's saying the same thing but it really is strange to think in such a short space of time we'll be heading into 2014. Golly gee.

So, it's a month today until Christmas, which means the nights are going to get even longer and the weather colder so it's the perfect opportunity to hibernate with a nice stack of books for the next few weeks. Well, that's my plan anyway. Reading and eating is the basic gist.

I've had a rifle through my shelves and pulled out a few books I've been meaning to read for ages and ages but, as is always the case, haven't got round to.

So there are the books I'm hoping to read before the end of 2013:

Weirdos vs. Quimboids - Natasha Desborough

Days of Blood and Starlight - Laini Taylor

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Let It Snow - John Green/Maureen Johnson/Lauren Myracle

She Is Not Invisible - Marcus Sedgwick
Have you read any of my picks? What did you think? Have you got yourself a reading list planned for the end of 2013?

Monday, 18 November 2013

Egmont Press Acquires Lynn Weingarten YA Thriller in Two Book Deal

Morning all, hope you're all having a good Monday!

I've been sent the following press release by Egmont and I wanted to share it with you all today as I can't wait for Suicide Notes for Beautiful Girls to come out. We have a long wait, unfortunately, as it isn't out until 2015! For more information about Suicide Notes for Beautiful Girls, have a read of the below:

Egmont Press is delighted to announce the acquisition of two books by Lynn Weingarten, an exciting YA novelist with a dedicated following in the US. Her first book Suicide Notes for Beautiful Girls will publish in the UK in Spring 2015.

Stella Paskins, Fiction Publisher at Egmont Press, bought UK & Commonwealth rights in the two-book deal from Nicola Barr at Greene and Heaton.

Sexy and stylish, Suicide Notes for Beautiful Girls is a breathless tale of lies and deceit as the protagonist, June, is swept in to a conspiracy she can barely conceive of in the wake of her best friend’s death.

Stella Paskins commented ‘I rarely take a risk on partial manuscripts, but with its clever, atmospheric writing, edgy themes and addictive storyline, I just had to buy it for Electric Monkey.’

Nicola Barr at Greene and Heaton said, ‘Suicide Notes for Beautiful Girls is not just the best title I’ve come across in ages, it’s simply the best thriller, YA or otherwise. If Gone Girl made you think a twist would never surprise you again, think again. Egmont will do the most exciting job of bringing the novel to UK readers.’

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Review: Every Day - David Levithan

Published: 29th August 2013, Electric Monkey
Pages: 384 pages, paperback
Series/standalone?: A companion novel will be released next year - yeahhh!

Summary (from Goodreads):  Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

My review:

First impressions: From the moment I read the press release for this book I was desperate to read it. David Levithan = check, excellent premise = check, what's not to love? While I could take or leave the cover I was completely intrigued by the premise and bumped this one right to the top of my TBR list. Luckily, my first impressions were correct.

Plot: Completely unique and not like anything I've read before, our protagonist, A, wakes up every day (get it?) in a different person's body. A isn't tied to any gender, race or religion, just that each body A inhabits is the same age as A currently is. In a market so saturated with similar stories it's always wonderful to pick something up that feels refreshingly new and like undiscovered territory. One of Levithan's strengths is his individuality as a writer and he's done is yet again with Every Day. I'm sure we'll see a whole host of books coming out in the next couple of years that try to do with Every Day does, but I don't think anything will match up to A's delicately and beautifully told love story.

Writing: Oh, the writing! Instead of talking about sentence structure and pacing I just want to tell you my reaction to the last third of this book because it absolutely ripped me a new one (heart, not rump, just in case you were concerned). I woke up early one morning so decided to finish off reading Every Day in the living room, to give my boyfriend a lay in. By the time I reached the final twenty pages I had tears streaming down my cheeks, I'd underlined tens of lines because the quotes were so beautiful and was, basically, an absolute mess. I finished the book and, still weeping, climbed back into my bed with my boyfriend and soaked his shoulder with my tears. When my incessant sobbing woke him up he was convinced something terrible had happened and kept asking me what was wrong. My response? "It *sob* was *sob* so *sob* SAAAAAAAAD." Love is what really gets me in books; real, true love that makes my heart hurt. And, boy, does Every Day pack a powerful punch when it comes to love.

Characters: A is such a wonderful character and a clever creation. With A having no body, no ties to any race or background or sexuality, A is extremely accessible to anybody who picks up this book. Every Day includes everybody, it's for everybody, it's about everybody. The characters span all walks of life and, due to the nature of the story, there's something in this book for all kinds of readers. You will resonate with at least one of the characters, and that's something that certainly can't be said for a lot of books out there at the moment. As well as being a wholly entertaining book, I'd say Every Day is an important one, too.

Final thoughts: Rivalling The Bunker Diary as my favourite read of 2013, I haven't cried so hard at a book since The Knife of Never Letting Go.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Hello, Bookish Brits!

Hopefully you've seen the tweets and videos from the Bookish Brits crew over the last few weeks - if not then please pop over to our Twitter and YouTube to learn more!

Basically, ten of us UK book bloggers have joined forces and stared a Youtube channel all about YA. I'm in the company of some of my very favourite bloggers and it's an absolute joy to be part of something with so many fantastic people.

Our first two weeks of videos are introductions to each member of the group and mine goes live today! To check it out head over here and witness the rambling! My editing skills leave a LOT to be required but video editing is something I've always been interested in so hopefully I'll get a lot better soon!

Filming is a lot of fun and we've all got some great videos planned so please do keep an eye on our channel and Twitter and come over to say hi any time.

Thanks guys, see you soon!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Blog Tour: Andrew Fukuda - The Trap

Today is the day! The Trap is finally out in the wild and out there for you all to enjoy. After two fantastic installments the final part of the trilogy promises even more action, scares and excitement and I for one fully intend to spend all afternoon with my nose in a copy.

I'm lucky enough to have the author of the series, Andrew Fukuda, here at Writing from the Tub to talk about his feelings on finishing the final book of the trilogy. I want to say a huge thank you to Andrew for taking the time to stop by during what must be an insanely busy time - thanks, Andrew, I appreciate it. Folks,  I would write more about how excited I am about this book but, well, I'm off to get started on it right now!

On Finishing the final book of THE HUNT trilogy

Many authors cry after writing the last sentence to their trilogy or series. I can definitely empathize with that sadness – after all, you’ve lived in the universe of that series for years, grown to care for the characters, and writing THE END does feel like saying farewell to your best friends. 

But what I felt most keenly when I finished writing the last sentence in The Trap wasn’t so much sadness as it was relief and excitement.  

Do you remember how stoked you were by The Matrix? It was an incredible film that held so much promise for an awesome film trilogy. And do you remember how bitterly disappointed you were by the two Matrix sequels? Major letdown! 

Over the past two years, a cloud of fear and doubt hung over me – after a promising Book One (The Hunt), I wondered if I would be able to deliver two more books that would please The Hunt fans. In my darker moments, I wondered if the trilogy would end with a whimper like The Matrix trilogy did. Even after writing the second book of the trilogy (The Prey), and loving both the direction it took the series and its execution, I worried about whether I could just as successfully close out the trilogy with The Trap.

When I finished writing The Trap a few months ago, I felt an incredible sense of relief. I knew I’d delivered. This wasn’t going to be a letdown for the Hunt trilogy fans. I remember writing the final sentence, the final word, the final period, and then putting my forehead down on the desk . . . and just exhaling. A weight – that I hadn’t fully realized had been there – lifted off my shoulders. I knew in my heart that I’d finished writing a trilogy that would not only please The Hunt fans, but would enthrall them. I don’t want to be patting myself on my back too much, but folks, this series finale kicks. I’m so immensely pleased with how it turned out.

So that’s why in addition to relief, I also feel excitement. It’s the same kind of excitement I experience when I buy really great Christmas gifts for my boys and leave them under the tree. I can’t wait for Christmas to arrive – I’m counting down the days, as impatient as the boys. Come Christmas morning, I’ll be the first one flying down the stairs just so I can hand them the gifts, just so I can see the expressions on their faces as their tear off the wrapping. And that’s how I feel about October 24th. I can’t wait for all the Hunt fans to tear the wrapping off The Trap and plunge into this book. I so wish I could see your expressions and hear your thoughts as you see what lies in store for Gene and Sissy and Ashley June. It’s going to be cracker of an end for you.

Monday, 21 October 2013

I'm baaack!

So, I'm back from Florida!

It was a fantastic two weeks away, so fantastic that I'm still on such a high I'm not even dreading going back to work too much. It was the perfect holiday and I loved spending two weeks relaxing, shopping and eating with my lovely family and boyfriend.

For today's post I wanted to share a few of my favourite photos from my holiday... because who doesn't love boring everybody with their holiday snaps?

Boyfriend at the Ripley's rifle range // Bubba Gump's shrimp feast // Kate Spade at the mall

Our gorgeous pool overlooking the lake // GIANT pumpkin at Walmart // Cocktail at Red Lobster

Hello cheese fries! // Boyfriend drinking Mountain Dew through a Twizzler // Sky writing above the villa // ME

Halloween Horror Night (AWESOME night) // I miss this pool // American flag // Couple selfie // Me and the eye popping guy at Ripley's

The pool // My lovely mum and nan // Me and my chap // Gorgeous sky // Ripley's Believe It or Not Sign // Johnny Rockets - BEST BURGERS EVER

Oh, Florida. I miss you already.