Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Welcome Back Foyles Book Haul

Soooooo…since I lasted posted in August about my sailing course, a number of things have happened: I went to Scotland and avoided spontaneously combusting (read the last post if you don't get that), started school again, realised that despite the hype Year 8 is really not that different to Year 7, turned thirteen and went up the Shard (for all you non-Londoners, this is a skyscraper and one of the tallest buildings in Europe) to celebrate, also went to India in October (and unfortunately had to do holiday homework there so couldn't blog) to revel in tuk-tuks and ancient forts, and also spent a lot of potential blogging time on either Instagram or writing/practising songs for my YouTube channel (I don't mean to be a billboard in disguise of a blog but do take the time to look at that.). Sorry about that, I'll try to divide time more equally in the future. But anyway, those are all tales I'll probably fondly recap in the future because they'll bear an inch or two of relevance to the post I'll be writing. Now though, I'll celebrate my return with a post theme we all love in the blogging circles: a book haul.

My mum and I were Christmas shopping in the Covent Garden/Tottenham Court Road area today, a place which automatically drags me to the Foyles book store. Handy, especially when you have nearly £50 worth of book tokens like me. And no, I'm not a book hoarder who actually buys book tokens FOR THEIR OWN USE. I actually acquired that many as prizes for being in the winning team of the UK National Final of the Kids' Lit Quiz. Those of you who've followed my blog for a long time will also know that my school and I did this international quiz on childrens' books last year, were North London champions but failed at the national hurdle. 

But enough rambling, onto the books I bought…

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Yay, I got a signed first edition! When and if this book becomes famous in fifty years time, I can show off that I have a first edition! But about the actual book, Ness's award-winning last book A Monster Calls about a boy haunted by a monster while his mother dies of cancer, was both haunting and moving without being overloaded on either, not to mention the equally amazing, roughly sketched illustrations, so I don't need to spell out why I wanted to read this one. Also, this book is based around a recently dead boy exploring life after death, and seems as I enjoy similarly themed books such as White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick, this appealed.

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

As with Patrick Ness, I'd previously been slightly obsessed by Rebecca Stead's previous book When You Reach Me, so much that just the author's name now jumps out to me as an essential buy. And with the unique premise of a spy organisation made up of two twelve-year-olds, and if it weren't for my school's Christmas reading challenge of five dull books of the school's choosing, this would be high on my holiday reading list.

A World Between Us by Lydia Syson

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but this vintage-style cover is beautiful and will draw any book store browser immediately in. Aside from that, while I haven't heardof this book or author before, and while the love-in-wartime theme seems clichéd, the Spanish Civil War is a period relatively undocumented in YA literature, so I'd be willing to give this a go.

Ink by Amanda Sun

Another beautiful cover here. As the style of the cover might suggest, this book is set in Japan, more specifically about a girl moving there and befriending a tough and aloof artist. All sounds fairly unoriginal, until his drawings come to life. A premise which I think could make a very visually attractive film, but I suppose all those thoughts depend on whether I like the book…

Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares by Rachael Cohn & David Levithan

I know what you're thinking. More than one author = trashy. And quite possibly this book is, but again I was hopelessly intrigued by a premise. Girl leaves notebook full of dares in a book store, boy finds it and participates in the dares, each time he does one the girl refreshes the notebook with a new one, they fall in love in this bizarre, old-fashioned form of communication. The kind of flukey situation everyone dreams of, and I'm sure I'll soon be looking in every book store for a dare notebook.

Every Day by David Levithan

Another book by one half of the above writing duo, and I bet you also assume this book will be trashy too. But I still think looks can be deceiving, and this in fact seems to have quite a unique premise: a boy wakes up as a different person every morning, an arrangement he is fine with, until he falls in love with a girl he will never see again from the next morning on. One of those bizarre ideas us normal people would never think up, but I'm interested to see how the author writes this without it seeming fantastical.

Once I read these (which probably won't be for a while thanks to that irritating reading challenge), I'll review them as soon as I can. It should be interesting comparing what I think when I read them to what I thought when I wrote this post. But for now, sorry for the long posting break, and thanks to all of you for not giving up on me returning! 
-DP :)

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