Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance SummerTaylor Edwards' family might not be close knit - everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled - but for the most part, they get a long just fine. Then Taylor's dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

As the summer progresses ad the Edwards become more of a family, they're more aware than ever that they're battling a ticking clock. Sometimes though, there is just enough time to get a second chance - with family, with friends, and with love.

Before I begin, I want to show you my original Goodreads review which I wrote minutes after finishing Second Chance Summer: 
"This is the first book I've ever cried at: the type of crying involving runny mascara and a lump in your throat. Enough said for now"
The key word in this is "cried". If you've been reading Lost in a Library for a while you'll know that I just don't cry at books, but Second Chance Summer effected me in a way that I don't know how to explain. 

Morgan Matson's books are always fun to read [I read both Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, and Since You've Been Gone last summer]. Filled with laughs, summery days and classic YA Contemporary moments. This book felt like all of that, but with extra sprinkles on top. 

Although the main plot of the book was about Taylor's father dying, multiple other plots were woven in as well; love, loss, friendship. None of these felt less important than the others, and I appreciated how the book wasn't just about death or just about Taylor's love-life. 

It's true, cancer books are becoming ever more popular since TFiOS. What I admire though in this book is how we learn about how the cancer is slowly destroying Taylor's father - little things like lack of appetite, and not wanting to drive anymore. Usually in cancer books you see the surface - the illness is diagnosed, and symptoms are given, but the clear progression of the disease is never truly covered, and I massively admire Matson for being so direct and upfront about the issues in Second Chance Summer.

Finally, Second Chance Summer is a story that no matter what your situation or relationships, will make you feel that little bit closer to the people you love. Taylor made me realise that I want to learn everything I possibly can about the people I love - their favourite film, colour, best memory etc, whilst we have time.

Whether I'll read this again anytime soon, I don't know. I'm not ready for that kind of hurt by paperback again, but I highly recommend you read this.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me this for review, in no way have my opinions been affected.

Holly x

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The Highest Cloud

So. I've started a lifestyle blog. 

For a couple of years I have been trying to incorporate some personal posts into Lost in a Library as well as ones that are bookish. This was just so you could get to know me better from a reader's perspective. I tried. Then I tried again. And... again.

It just wasn't working.

Nobody (or it seemed that nobody) read those posts, and so it kind of felt like I was writing them for the sake of nothing. Pointless. 

That didn't mean I didn't want to stop writing those posts. I need to write those posts, to release whatever the hell is going on in my head. Like Cat said "blogging is therapy." The key was it just wasn't best to post these posts here, on Lost in a Library. 

Back in June, once I'd finished my GCSEs, I came to the conclusion that starting a separate blog, where I can start a fresh, and just post these posts. A lot of time and work has gone into creating this lifestyle blog on my own. Finally, last Sunday, the first post on The Highest Cloud, went live. 

If you read this, and are interested, then please go and take a look HERE. I'm currently in the process of setting up a bloglovin for The Highest Cloud but there have been a lot of problems.  Bussiness will continue here at LIAL as per usual, I'm just trying to find a pattern for posting equally on both blogs. Bare with me, little bookworms.

Holly x

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Bookmarks, Book-Marks, Book Marks

What are you currently using as a bookmark?
I use a different bookmark every time I pick up a new book. I have a large collection of bookmarks, so I'm trying to make the most of all of them. The last book I read; Splintered by A.G Howard had a metal H from Waterstones that clips over your page in. The book before that contained this lovely bookmark from a Book Depository order last September. The CS Lewis quote reads "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Perfect.

Best thing you've used?
Last October I bought a collection of Beatrix Potter inspired bookmarks. They have beautiful art on, and are laminated, so don't get scuffed edges.

Weirdest thing you've used?
London Underground tickets are probably the weirdest things I've used, but they are so useful as bookmarks. I only needed them for one day, and so as soon as we'd used the Underground, I just started substituting them in for bookmarks.  

Do you ever write in books? Why or why not?
Depending on the type of book, the answer varies. I write in school books all the time, making annotations on texts really help me work. When I'm reading for pleasure though, I choose not to. I dislike the idea of annotating because I suddenly worry about how distracting those highlights and notes will be if I choose to read the book again sometime in the future.  As you can see in the photo, I do use sticky tabs to highlight quotes I love though. 

Share something you found written in a book.
In a copy of Once Upon a Time in the North by Phillip Pullman someone had wrote "Dear Tim, Happy 14th Birthday! Love Mum xx" 
Shame Tim did't like the book enough to keep it.

What books are in your collection by someone named Mark?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak [come on, maybe Mark is his nickname] which I unashamedly say I've not read yet. The time will come, but right now, it's not a priority

What book has made the biggest mark figuratively on your life?
I hate falling to the cliche, but the Harry Potter series can't not be the answer to this. Finding Harry Potter when I was going through a difficult time helped me to grow up quite quickly but without pain. Everything that I am today is down to Harry Potter; I would be writing this if that series didn't exist. Reading those books opened so many doors in my life, and lead to countless opportunities that would never have happened in another dimension. 

What books have you marked on you?
None, because of a) I struggle with the permanence of tattoos. They're not cheap to have applied or removed, and what if I change my mind years later? And b) I have a very low tolerance for pain - if pain can be avoided, then I will at all costs. 
I do like the idea of tattoos and maybe one day, I will get one, but if I ever did it would be Harry Potter related. The more I think about this, the more I want to get a tattoo.

In your opinion, which book(s) have made the biggest impact on your generation?
Again Harry Potter. I'm at the younger end of the scale for this generation. I'm 16, so I was too young to read most of the books as they were released. But my generation, most of us love Harry Potter, whether it be the books or the films. We are the generation in which 10 years from now, there will be children called Hermione, Luna, Draco, and Sirius to name a few. I actually wrote a thesis on the impact of Harry Potter for one of my courses at high school.