I was watching some of my favourite booktubers whilst forcing down a mug of beechams (not a fan of the taste, but oh boy does that stuff work!!) and a couple of them mentioned The Book People because they'd been sent some books to review (sidenote: a brilliant example of how to reach out to youtubers. PR done well). It had been a long time since I'd had a good ol' peruse of the website so I thought I'd have a quick peep because they usually have some pretty good deals. I wasn't planning on buying anything though. But half an hour and a found-on-the-internet discount code later there were nine books heading my way in return for twenty five pounds. Well, Paypal pounds. And we all know Paypal money isn't real money. So they were technically free. Almost. That's what I'm telling myself.
More Than This by Patrick Ness | £4.99
This was the book that sparked off the whole order. It's been on my radar for a little while, sitting in my to-read list on Goodreads and on my Amazon wishlist. I have looked at it in Waterstones a few times, the cut out detail on the front cover is amazing and a real example of how being a little bit different with cover design can really pay off because it was attracting a lot of attention. But I didn't really want to pay full price for it because I've had a bit of an expensive book buying few months after a pretty extensive University set book list hitting my inbox. That's a really weak excuse, but sometimes I just want a bargain. And £4.99 for a hardback is an excellent bargain. Into the basket it went. And then I obviously had to pick some more books to hit the £25 free shipping thing. Right? Right!
"A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked, bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange, deserted place? As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?"You know when you get that feeling that a book is going to be pretty special, even before you've started reading? This is one of those for me. I've heard a lot of good things from a lot of people who tend to enjoy the same books as I do. I might have to start this one first.
The Book People do collections really well, and by really well I mean really cheap. Under £7 for a whole trilogy? Yes please! It's been a long time since I've read a series and I also don't read a lot of fantasy/dystopia but I'm pretty keen to broaden my reading horizons.
"Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown. But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Or are there? Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence. Which is impossible. Prentisstown has been lying to him. And now he's going to have to run..."Yes! Sounds pretty exciting to me! Fun fact, anyone else being able to hear my thoughts is one of my irrational fears. Not because I have bad thoughts, but because they're horrendously embarrassing. Sometimes these ridiculous thoughts somehow find themselves into everyday conversation, which confirms how ridiculous they are. For example, the World Cup is currently on TV ALL THE TIME (ew) and instead of trying to enjoy watching it (never going to happen) I sit and imagine how much more entertaining it would be if all the players had to wear fancy dress. Notably Big Bird from Sesame Street. I still think it would make it more entertaining. Apparently it's not going to catch on though... Anyway, back to books!
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira | £5.59
This was most expensive single book I bought but still incredibly good value. This has been getting a lot of hype recently and for that reason I would usually avoid it for a little while, but there's something about it that has caught my interest. It's probably Ava's connection with Stephen Chbosky to be honest, because Perks will always have a special place in my heart forever and ever.
"Sometimes the best letters go unanswered. It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse... It's like she can't stop. She writes about her new high school, her new friends, her first love - and her shattered life. But the ghosts of Laurel's past can't be contained between the lines of a page forever. She must face up to them - before they consume her."I think it has the potential to be a real love/hate kind of book. I'm not convinced that the blurb on the back is particularly attention grabbing, but I'm hoping that I'll like it. Young Adult is an interesting genre, there's so much potential within it and there are so many good YA books. But I also think it's quite easy to get wrong and I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed this one isn't disappointing.
The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence | £3
Admittedly I clicked on this initially because it was a truly bargainous price for a hardback but the blurb soon caught my attention...
"Alex Woods knows that he hasn't had the most conventional start in life. He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won't endear him to the local bullies. He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen - he's got the scars to prove it. What he doesn't know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he'll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing."Goodness knows I'm a sucker for a good coming of age novel, especially one that includes an unlikely friendship and an unexpected hero. Promising to potentially strike me as one of the funniest and most heartbreaking novels I've ever read, it's safe to say I'm pretty excited about this one. Please be good!
Fortunately The Milk by Neil Gaiman & Illustrated by Chris Riddell | £2.99
What's a big book order without a little bit of Gaiman? Not a very successful one is the answer to that. Neil Gaiman gets a lot of praise from a lot of people. I have Stardust on my shelf, which I haven't read yet (note to self: no more book buying until you've read everything you already have!) and when I saw this I had to have it.
"It begins and ends with milk. Without milk, there can be no breakfast. Without breakfast, the day cannot start. The delicious Toastios are dry and the children are hungry. But today, the fridge is milkless. From the moment Dad pops out to buy some and gets abducted by aliens, swashbuckled by pirates, nearly sacrificed to a volcano god and rescued by a time-travelling dinosaur in a hot-air balloon, it's clear that breakfast is going to be delayed by some quite unusual events. Fortunately, the milk will arrive at some point in the future. Or the past. Won't it?"The shiny cover is perfect, the blurb is hilarious and intriguing at the same time and the illustrations and typography throughout look incredibly well done. Maybe I'll read this one first... I know I'm going to love it already!
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki | £4.99
This was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013 when The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton won. The Luminaries is sitting on my shelf, waiting for a week when I can devote some serious time to reading it because it's pretty long and I have a feeling it's one that will demand a fair amount of concentration. A Tale for the Time Being looks like it'll be a little easier to get through and I'm interested to see what makes a Man Booker Prize winner different from others that were shortlisted, if that makes sense?
"Within the pages of this book lies the diary of a young girl called Nao. Riding the waves of a tsunami, it is making its way across the ocean. It will change the life of the person who finds it. It might just change yours, too."I hadn't seen this particular edition before now, but I think it's beautiful. And it's a hardback without a dust jacket, which I always adore! A lot of reviews have described this as a triumph, being moving and profound. I think I'll really love this, and it's one I'm looking forward to a lot.
The Slightly Annoying Elephant by David Walliams & Illustrated by Tony Ross | Free gift but usually £4.99
When I was checking out there was the option to choose a free book from a list of around 7 or so. I think they were all children's books (I have a terrible memory) and because I kind of collect children's books after my children's lit Uni module I was all over that list! I settled on this one because David Walliams has received all kinds of praise for his books and I was curious.
"What's big, blue, bossy, and turns up uninvited? A slightly annoying elephant, of course!"I flipped through this as soon as I opened the box and was giggling away instantly. This is a really fun addition to my children's book collection and I can imagine it's a lot of fun to read with a small person!
So those were my purchases. Needless to say I'm excited about them all and I now just want to lock myself away in a room and read them all right now. I think it's going to be nice to read some of these in between some of the twentieth century classic novels I'm reading for University. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving those (I think I've just discovered a new favourite author in Katherine Mansfield), but I also like to have a variety of things to choose from. Sometimes a bit of contemporary is necessary after a tough read!
Have you read any of these?
Which do you think I should read first?
- Jennie xo
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