Friday, 23 June 2017

Charlotte Somewhere

Hi All,

I've recently moved my blog over to WordPress, so you can find me at

Please come and have a look at my blog there!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Blog Tour: Louise Cole "The Devil's Poetry"

Can one Reader save the world from war?

Callie's generation are being conscripted. Tensions are building and World War III is on the horizon. Callie is given a book by a stranger in a club and told to keep it, but not read it. Can a true Reader ever resist that temptation? Callie hides books from her father all the time, but this book is different: this book is powerful, and it seems Callie is the only one who can harness its power to save the world. But at what price? She is being hunted by the Cadaveri, with their terrifying white eyes, and they will stop at nothing to prevent her Reading. The Order of Sumer are desperate to ensure she Reads, whatever the personal cost. Yet, it is not a simple story of good and evil; it is not always clear which is the "right" side or who cares most for Callie's wellbeing, and things are further complicated when she discovers a link to her mother that makes her question everything she has ever been told.

The Devil's Poetry by Louise Cole is set in a not-so-distant future world that could so easily be our own. The wars and conflicts are so similar to what is happening in our world today and there are descriptions of conflicts in familiar UK towns that gives the reader the sense of unease that this could be our world, that this could be happening right now.

The protagonist, Callie, is a fairly ordinary teenage girl. She has a tendency to break technology just by being near it and doesn't always understand popular culture references (but in both these respects she sounds a lot like me, so I can't hold those less common traits against her). More typically, she has a complicated relationship with her father, tempestuous romantic relationships and a beautiful but intense friendship with Amber. I enjoyed seeing how each of these relationships developed as the novel went on, and the effect that the book of poetry had on those around Callie. My only (slight) criticism was that the romance came on a little too suddenly for me, and felt out of place at first, but by the end I was absolutely rooting for them to end up together, so it didn't bother me so much that it detracted from my overall enjoyment.

Cole's world-building and characterisation are excellent and her prose is beautiful. The opening: "I never realised war could be so quiet. The National Service letters had whispered through our doors that morning" is so gentle and at odds with the expected descriptions of war, that I felt uneasy (in a good way) from the start. The move between this gentle pace and faster, more thrilling parts keeps the reader on edge from the beginning.

I loved the concept that one reader and one book could save the world. The book was full of little twists and suspense that kept me guessing to the very end.

I'm gushing, I know. This book is everything I love about YA literature. I didn't want it to end and when it did, I was relieved to see that a further book is planned. Highly recommended for anyone who likes thrillers. 

About the Author
Louise Cole is an avid reader and writer, enjoys gardening and walking her cocker spaniels around North Yorkshire. She is an award-winning journalist, former business magazine editor and director of a media agency. Her fiction includes short stories, young adult thrillers and other stuff she is working on (hopefully including the sequel to this book because I need it yesterday!)

The Devil's Poetry is available to buy now!

* I received an ebook copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own genuine thoughts and not in any way influenced by this. My thanks to Louise Cole and Faye Rogers for the copy and inclusion in the book tour.*

You can follow the rest of the blog tour for this fantastic book here:

Tour Schedule

Wednesday 14th June

Thursday 15th June

Friday 16th June

Saturday 17th June

Sunday 18th June

Monday 19th June

Tuesday 20th June

Wednesday 21st June

Thursday 22nd June

Friday 23rd June

Saturday 24th June

Sunday 25th June

Monday 26th June

Tuesday 27th June

Monday, 5 June 2017

June TBR

Setting out reading intentions in May went pretty well. My June TBR list is a bit more adventurous!

Ramadan Readathon
This month, I'm planning to read five books for the Ramadan Readathon (see my post here). That should keep me pretty busy, but I have other reading plans too!

Blog Tours

I am taking part in two blog tours this month. My first ever! So, I will be reading those books. I'm excited but also nervous, so if any book bloggers are reading this and have tips, let me know!

Books I Started in May
I have three books on the go that I started in May, which need to be finished this month:
  • Do What You Want (mental health zine) curated and edited by Ruby Tandoh and Leah Pritchard. 
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Yes, I am late to the party starting these)
  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.  This one I have on audiobook and I'm not very far in, so hopefully I'll get time to listen to that this month. 
If, and it's a pretty big if, I make it through all of those, I need to tackle some of my library books. Top on my list of those are Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows (I previously tried this on audio book but didn't get very far before realising that it was one I needed to read!) and Martha Stout's The Sociopath Next Door.

What are your reading plans for this month? Have you read any of the books on my June TBR?

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ramadan Readathon

This month, I'm taking part in #RamadanReadathon You can find out more about it here.

Essentially, the plan is to read books written by Muslims (though not necessarily about Muslims) throughout June. It's a way to support marginalised writers and celebrate diversity in literature and on our bookshelves.

For this readathon, I will be reading the following books:

• Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner

• Ayesha Malik - The Other Half of Happiness

• Sabaa Tahir - An Ember in the Ashes

• G Willow Wilson - Alif the Unseen

• Alsanea Rajaa- Girls of Riyadh

Are you taking part in the readathon? Let me know what you're reading!

What I Read...May 2017

Well, my initial plan of reviewing everything I read on here went awry. I read too much for that to be even slightly feasible. So here's what I read in May:

Doing It 

Loved this one and reviewed it in full here

The Heart Collector 

An amazing collection, which I reviewed here.

 How Not To Disappear

This is the story of Hattie and her great Aunt Gloria. They meet for the first time after Gloria is diagnosed with dementia, they go on a trip together and discover each other's secrets. This is a lovely story of discovery, family and friendships. It is well-written and heart-warning. There's a brilliant twist, which I guessed quite early, but knowing what it was didn't detract from my enjoyment at all.

The Graces

Having chosen two books in a row that I gave up on, I was pleased that this was the next book I picked up. I reviewed it in full here.

Strange the Dreamer

I've had this one since release day. It's as gorgeous inside as it is out. I didn't think Laini Taylor could beat the amazing Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, but Strange the Dreamer surpasses it. It's one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. A tale of gods, people and dreamers. If you haven't read it yet, you must.

 A Monster Calls

I've had this on my kindle for a ridiculously long time but had been putting off reading it because I'd heard it had broken stronger women than I. I decided now was the time for Patrick Ness to come at me and shatter my swinging-brick heart. He did not disappoint. I devoured this one in two sittings and then just stared into space for a while. It is the story of Connor, his mother (who is dying of cancer) and a monster who comes walking to save Connor from his nightmares. I don't recommend doing as I did and watching the film (which Patrick Ness wrote for) the day after finishing the book, unless you want to be reduced to a puddle of tears.

The Power

What would happen if the world were taken over by women with the power of electricity in their veins? This story tells of the rise of that power amongst young girls and what happens when they realise what they can do with it. It is a fantastic and chilling story, one that stays with you long after you finish it.

Books I Gave Up On

I've only recently started giving up on books I don't enjoy (I may write more about this in future). In May there were two:

Fates and Furies

Was it me? Was it the book? I don't know, but I couldn't finish it and bowed out after 100 pages. I wanted to love it. I loved the premise and I loved the descriptive writing. I just didn't love either of the main characters. I didn't hate them either, I just didn't care about them, and when I feel that way, I know I won't be interested enough to finish the story.

House of Windows

I made it to page 154 of this. I just didn't care enough about the characters to finish it. I loved the tutor character but I wasn't invested enough in anything else to finish it.

What did you read in May? How do you feel about giving up on books you don't enjoy? Let me know!

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Graces

After abandoning my previous two reads, I instantly sank into The Graces like I was wrapping myself in a comfort blanket. From the start, it reminded me of the books I sought out in my teens: magical with complicated friendships and brilliant twists. I loved the characters and their stories, the setting, the secrets and the magic.

The writing is wonderful. The characterisation and setting are magical. This extract summaries the novel well: the obsession with light and darkness, the complexity of their friendships and the escape they are all looking for.

Everyone thinks the Graces are witches. River is new to town and is smitten with them: she wants to be one of them. When she forms a close friendship with Summer, we discover that nothing is what it seems in this story and noone is who we think they are. The story takes a very dark twist and ends in a way that sets up the next novel in the series brilliantly:

I loved this one so much I sleep-ordered the sequel! Don't tell Husband!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Melinda Salisbury Broke My Heart (The Heart Collector : Review)

Melinda Salisbury broke my heart. Well, what was left of it after I finished The Sin Eater's Daughter trilogy.

When Melinda announced on Twitter that she was releasing The Heart Collector (short stories linked to the trilogy), I, along with every other fan, squealed incomprehensibly and immediately pre-ordered it. It did not disappoint.

There are three stories in the collection:
The King of Rats - telling the tale of the rats arrival in Tallith and the curse of the Sleeping Prince.
The Heart Collector - the story of the Bringer, Dimia's demise and the rise of the Sleeping Prince.
Mully No-Hands - the hilarious story of Mulgreen Grey (this one made me cry laughing).

The writing is exquisite; I love Melinda's use of colour and her world building.

An absolute must read for all fans of the trilogy. If you're not a fan yet, you really need to reevaluate that. Immediately.