Friday, 28 November 2014

Perks of Being a Bookworm: Review Copies

It's been a while, quite a long, long while since I last did a feature post like this, and before it slips out of my grasp, I thought I ought to reach out, and actually start typing while I have ideas in my head.

This isn't specific to bookworms, but to book bloggers, because a lot of us do get books to review. So I wanted to talk about the positives and negatives that come with working alongside publishing houses to promote books.


+ ARCs (advanced reader copies), clues in the phrase, ADVANCED BOOKS
+ Getting to work in somewhat close contact with publishing houses
+ FREE BOOKS. Need I say more?
+ The other things that come along with reviewing books - Blog Tours, getting your name out there  - publishers can promote your review on twitter, gaining more blog attention


- Pressure - you can pressure yourself into reading things that you're genuinely not in the mood for.
- Deadlines - from what I have experienced I've never been set a deadline, but I've talked to other people who've said they've got emails from publishers if they haven't reviewed a book yet
- You may have to put books that you own and want to read to the side to read review copies.
- TBR's can go out of the window
- It doesn't feel great if you have to DNF a review copy - because you'll still have to review how little you read and send that review to the publishers.
- ARCs can sometimes be uncorrected proof copies and so while that is a brilliant thing to own, you don't read the final book.

I love getting review copies and working alongside publishers, but there are a lot of negatives that come with this - just a heads up if you're thinking about, contacting publishing houses.

Holly x

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

Love, AubreyAubrey has suffered an unbelievable loss, and goes to live with her grandmother in Vermont in order to heal. There she makes new friends, learns to cope with what has happened, and begins to figure out how to move on.

You probably won't remember, as you probably weren't reading this blog at the time, but August 2013 I reviewed Love, Aubrey and gave it a rather low rating.
The reality is that I never finished that book at the time, and reviewed only what i'd actually completed. This is a book that was given to me 4 years ago when every pupil in my year group was given a free book of our choice out of a selection to encourage everybody to read more. The book that I chose was Love, Aubrey and for some reason I never finished it.

This book carries so many good memories from such a dark time, I was reading this when I met one of my best friends and she asked "What are you reading?". It was also the book that I read sat alone in the school library at lunchtime when I was friendless. I think the fact that this book held memories like that stopped me reading this, but I'm so glad that I picked it up again 4 years on.

Love, Aubrey is about Aubrey who after the deaths of her father and sister is abandoned by her mother who can no longer take the pain of their loses. Aubrey lives alone until moving across states to live with her grandmother, whilst still dealing with the flashbacks and memories of the traumatic experience in which she lost 2/3 of her immediate family.

The thing that impressed me the most about this is the way that it stuck in my head for so long and didn't leave my mind after reading it. This originally happened 4 years ago and Aubrey narrated my thoughts as I sat in English. She seems to do this every time I read about her, and it's lovely. It's enchanting how a character can invade your mind so wonderfully.

Aubrey's story is one that will stick with me for a very, very long time. The way she coped with death really brought back to me how I've coped with death and how many people I know have done so. It's heartbreaking to read through her moments of panic when she realises that her Dad and sister should be there with her. And the character development of Aubrey from the lost girl who had been abandoned to the girl with a life and a friend (Bridget) was so, so interesting. 

This comes across as such a rambling review... I know, I know, but I find it very difficult to describe to you how brilliant this book is. Read it. Just read it.

Holly x

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Soulmates by Holly Bourne:: Review

SoulmatesEvery so often, two people are born who are the perfect matches for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love…thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems.


Generally speaking, I don't get angry when I finish a book. If I don't like it, then I may be a little disappointed, but that's it. Soulmates was different. With Soulmates, I wanted to throw the book at the wall. That never normally happens.

Soulmates is about Noah and Poppy, two people who in a chance meeting, happen to be Soulmates. 

Now, I don't really have much to say about this through the build up of anger, but the main problem that I had was that this was ridiculously cheesy. I know it's called Soulmates and the title in itself can be considered cheesy but everything about this was just like reading a very bad script for a very bad rom com.
There are just parts of this that are incredibly frustrating because the characters aren't particularly well developed and although there is this twist that is building up throughout the book, it is very vague and not too shocking, so call me heartless but I don't understand what all the fuss is about.

One thing that did secure this book just a single star, which is more than it would have got had I not thought about this little thing - Poppy was a sufferer of Panic Attacks. Panic Attacks aren't often brought up in YA, just like a lot of things enveloped in mental health and as someone who does suffer from Panic Attacks, this was something that was really interesting to read about and something that was really appreciated.

Pretentious, and just too predictable overall.

Holly x

Friday, 14 November 2014

2nd Blogoversary: Giveaway

So if you remember my post a few days ago, then you'll remember that Monday 10th November was Lost in a Library's 2nd blogoversary. In celebration of that, I've decided to host my first giveaway on this blog. 

Obviously it is book related - and I'll be giving away The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
If you want the opportunity to win either of these two books, then please enter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:
You MUST be a resident of the United Kingdom
Once the Giveaway is over, an email will be sent to you confirming your win. If you do not reply to this within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.
The winner will be announced below this paragraph....

Good luck!

Update: So the winner has been announced (Cat from Through a Cat's Eyes !). Just a note there were originally 97 entries were made but a lot had to be disqualified for not actually completing a task correctly, or living out of the UK.

Holly x

Monday, 10 November 2014

Lost in a Library 2nd Blogoversary

So today is Lost in a Library's Second Blogoversary! Right now I'm staring at an empty blog post because I don't have the words to describe how happy I feel to be here, and to still be blogging. I know this time last year I said I'd be back right now, but there have been so many times this year when I've questioned if I wanted to carry on with this -  as is evident in my This is a Book Blog post. Outside of blogging, this year has been incredibly difficult for me, but we got there in the end and I just want to write this to say thank you to a few people.

Thank you's were done last year but I feel the need to reiterate those since I've been come a lot closer to a few people and have met some new people too. Hands down one of my favourite things about blogging is the people I've met. The reality is that I don't have that many friends in real life and although it's via the internet some of you have become my closest friends. I don't think I pictured still blogging two years ago, but I'm so glad I have. Lost in a Library has changed so much in the past 12 months - new blog name, new design and button, more book related posts. Not many things make me feel this, but looking back on what I've done with this blog this year makes me feel so proud. I have a lot of people to thank for that.

 Any time I just need to talk to someone, I can guarantee that speaking to you will make me feel better. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done. You're a wonderful, amazing friend and I'm so glad to know you.

There are things that you have done for me that I will always be grateful for. You talked to me and helped me calm down after my first panic attack. You are a lovely person and thank you for sticking by me over the past couple of years.

You're such a fun and lively person. I can always rely on you to put a smile on my face whether it being having the same favourite book in common FANGIRL and talking about Cath Avery or Hogwarts Houses and Luna Lovegood. You're awesome Lucy Powrie.

I'm pretty sure that this time last year, I didn't know you and I can't believe it took so long to start talking. You ALWAYS ask if I'm alright- which doesn't sound like much but actually for someone who doesn't have many friends it really, really is. Obviously as book bloggers we talk about books a lot, but we talk about books SOOOO much! Through twitter, you've made journeys  so much more enjoyable!

We have too many texting conversations that involve hashtags #justsaying. Although we haven't had one for a while. We've started to talk a lot more recently and our conversations are either extremely random or really interesting and I'm rambling now. I really enjoy talking to you and hope we continue to do so.

There are many people I want to say thank you to, but these five the most out of anybody. And also, thank you to you for reading Lost in a Library you may have been here since the very beginning or this may be your first post, but either way THANK YOU SO MUCH. Hopefully we'll still be going bigger and better this time next year. Here's to a third year!

Holly x

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The TBR Tag

How Do You Keep Track of your Tbr pile?

I use Goodreads - simply because it has both unread owned books and wishlist books combined. So everything is in one place. 

Is your Tbr mostly mostly printed or ebook?

I don't have a kindle or any form of ereader, so all of the books on my TBR are physical copies.

how do you determine which book on your tbr you read next?

Usually it just depends on what i feel like reading on that day. I look at the books that I own on my TBR pile, and pick depending on mood and size of the book.

A book that's been on your tbr the longest?

Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson. This is a book that I feel truly awful about because my Mum bought it me for Christmas in 2009, so nearly 5 years ago and I STILL haven't read it...

A Book on your tbr strictly because of it's beautiful cover?

I don't have anything that is purely because of the cover -  but Mimi by Lucy Ellmann started of as being because of the stunning cover but also sounds like a pretty good book.

A book on your tbr that you never plan on reading?

After the End by Amy Plum - I was doing one of my Published In... posts and saw this. It look interesting but I'll probably never get round to read it.

An unpublished book on your Tbr that you're excited for?

Whatever Rainbow Rowell publishes next. I will read literally anything by her.

A book on your tbr that basically everyone has read but you?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I've tried reading it twice now and haven't gotten into it. But given how interesting it sounds, it'll remain on my TBR until I've read it.

A book on your tbr that everyone recommends to you?

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. This book sounds incredible and so, so many people have recommended it to me at some point or other.

A book on your tbr that you're dying to read?

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler. My Dad bought this for me in September and it is at the top of my TBR on Goodreads. Currently I'm saving it for December, as it feels like a warm, cosy read.

How many books are on your goodreads to-read shelf?

As it currently stands (29/10/2014), I have 94 books on my Goodreads To Read shelf. Every couple of weeks I seem to add or remove a few so I can't guarentee how many will be on it from day to day. To me 94 is a lot but I've seen people will 500+ on their shelf.

Thank you to Rachel from Booktastic Reviews for tagging me to do this. I now tag Hawwa from It Was Lovely Reading You, Orli from Blame My Bookshelf, and Zoe from Books For Birds.

Holly x

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Published in November

A Thousand Pieces of You
A Thousand Pieces of You
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him. Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

Author: Claudia Gray
Date: 7th October 2014  (HarperCollins)
1st in Series

The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3)
The Retribution of Mara Dyer
Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told. There is. 
She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead. She should. 
She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance. 
She will now.

Author: Michelle Hodkin
Date: 4th November 2014 (Simon and Schuester)
Last in Trilogy

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart. Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.
Author: Kimberly Griffiths Little
Date: 4th November 2014 (HarperCollins)
Standalone Novel

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Mini Reviews #1

FangirlCath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life. Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...

This book is simply stunning. Rainbow Rowell is a genius.
Every time I think of this book, I'm consumed by happiness, joy and I just want to go and shout from the rooftops how much I love this book - okay so I'm fangirling over Fangirl.
Fanfiction is something that makes you an introvert and you become engrossed in the characters you write about (trust me, I'm a Harry Potter fanfic writer) and so writing a book about this in someways really shouldn't work, but this works brilliantly. 
The characters are well rounded and individuals who aren't just there to serve Cath but have their own backgrounds too. You love the characters you're meant to love, and hate the characters you're meant to hate.  The plot was detailed and uplifting -  I simply wanted more, and more, and more.

“Just... isn't giving up allowed sometimes? Isn't it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.” 

Matched (Matched, #1)
In Cassia's society, Officials decide who people love. How many children they have. Where they work. When they die. But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own.
I don't really know how I feel about this one. The reality is that I've never been a big fan of dystopian fiction, but this was something that I had high hopes for - and it really let me down.
Gradually, dystopians start to become unoriginal and blend into one another, and I feel like Matched was put in the blender before it had a chance to reach its potential. The premise is great - a world where all your life decisions are made for you - and the first few chapters were great. Then it started to mirror the likes of The Hunger Games, Divergent and Delirium before it just spiralled out of control and was seemingly dull. I love the characters on a positive, but the book was terribly slow paced as well. This could have been so much better, and really, really wasn't.

Artichoke HeartsTwelve-year-old Mira comes from a chaotic, artistic and outspoken family where it’s not always easy to be heard. As her beloved Nana Josie's health declines, Mira begins to discover the secrets of those around her, and also starts to keep some of her own. She is drawn to mysterious JidĂ©, a boy who is clearly hiding a troubled past and has grown hardened layers - like those of an artichoke - around his heart. As Mira is experiencing grief for the first time, she is also discovering the wondrous and often mystical world around her
I must say that I'm sad how disappointed I was with Artichoke Hearts. This is a book that sounds incredibly interesting but sadly wasn't too my taste like I thought it would be. The plot was rather slow paced and the story felt rather dragged out. It felt like it could have been taken in a different direction or been improved upon. Many people love this but I guess that it just wasn't for me. 
On a more positive note, the characters were great and very easy to become attached too, Mira was especially great. It was just the plot that unfortunately let this down.

Thank you to Macmillan for sending me Fangirl and Artichoke Hearts for review.

Holly x