Wednesday 29 May 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #27

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

Charm & Strange - Stephanie Kuehn @Twitter
ISBN UK - 9781405267847
          US - 9781250021946
Publisher UK - Electric Monkey (Egmont)
                US - St. Martin's Griffin
Expected release date UK - June 3rd 2013
                                    US - June 11th 2013
Find - Book Depository/Goodreads

'When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.'
- Goodreads

I've heard lots of good things about this one, it sounds intriguing and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #9

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is -

Top Ten Tuesday Freebie

This threw me into a panic! Did I choose a topic I'd previously missed? Did I make one up? After many minutes hours deliberating I came up with -

Top Ten Authors I'd Like To Have To Dinner!

The authors I've chosen all seem like they would be great to have as friends, particularly as bookish friends and it would be a great bunch of people to have to dinner! Each one is represented by a book they've written which everyone should read - in my opinion...

Neil Gaiman

Juliet Marillier

Freda Warrington

Charles de Lint

Joe Hill

Stephen King

Holly Black

Kate Forsyth

Susan Cooper
Sarah Pinborough

Monday 27 May 2013

Reading RoundUp #23

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

A better week for reading but still not great! This week will be an off week as I'm currently with the terrible twosome at my sister's house, not much reading again as I take advantage of going to bed early and sleeping! I've also fractured my right elbow and as I am right-handed things are awkward to say the least! It's currently strapped up while my docs deliberate over whether I need surgery or not...


The Program - Suzanne Young

Killing Rachel - Anne Cassidy

Undone - Cat Clarke

Wickedness - Deborah White

The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau

Don't Look Back - S B Hayes


A Ranger's Tale - Mysti Parker

Hysteria - Megan Miranda

The Crimson Shard - Teresa Flavin

Up next

A Kiss At Midnight - Eloisa James

Working Stiff - Rachel Caine

The Leaping - Tom Fletcher
Very exciting happenings in the life of the Bookish Outsider on Wednesday, there will no doubt be photos at some point! I'm away now until Thursday but there are posts scheduled to go up and I will try to catch up with comments when I'm back. Have a great week everyone!

Sunday 26 May 2013

Midwinterblood - Marcus Sedgwick

Midwinterblood - Marcus Sedgwick @Twitter
ISBN - 9781780620206
Publisher - Indigo
Release date - May 3rd 2012
Find - Book Depository/Goodreads

Warning: This review may contain vague spoilers!

'Have you ever had the feeling that you've lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you've never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens. In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visiting journalist, Eric Seven, and a young local woman known as Merle are ritually slain. Their deaths echo a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire they come close to finding what they've lost. In a novel comprising seven parts, each influenced by a moon - the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter's moon, the blood moon - this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting.' - Goodreads

Deliciously creepy, two words that are overused - especially by me - but these words describe Marcus Sedgwick's Midwinterblood perfectly. The writing is sublime, unique and oh so beautiful. Somehow, Sedgwick has managed to write almost the perfect book for me! A blending of folklore and mythology, horror, fantasy, mystery and a dash of science fiction. One of the seven stories - The Painter - even has a dash of fairy tale to it. The main consistent theme throughout though is romance and how two souls are bound together through time.

Eric and Merle, the main characters of the story and how their love connects them together over centuries against the backdrop of Blessed Island with echoes of The Wicker Man, a closed off community and an outsider who actually turns out to be a huge part of the island's island's of life. Eric Seven comes to the island in June 2073, month of the Flower Moon, having never been there before. He's a journalist and is investigating why there are no more children on the island. On meeting Merle he is struck by the knowledge that he knows her although he has never seen her before in his life.

From here on in the tale cycles back through seven different incarnations of Eric and Merle - as lovers, as husband and wife, brother and sister, mother and son and always on the island. The only exception to this is the story set in World War II, The Airman (in August 1944, the Grain Moon) when Eric is an islander but Merle is the daughter of the man he reluctantly rescues. I love how each of the seven tales are are linked to the different moons from the farmer's almanac, this has always fascinated me so it was great to see this used in each of the different chapters.

Midwinterblood is classed as YA but it has more than enough adult issues to ensure that anyone would enjoy it without finding the book too simplistic. The writing is unsettling and disquieting, the horror is never obvious - just understated - but it's enough to send a shiver down your spine. Ultimately Midwinterblood is about reincarnation, eternal love and even acceptance. This is evident in the epilogue which swings all the way back through to 2073 where Eric and Merle's reaches its tragic, inescapable conclusion, showing that not even true love guarantees a happy ever after. This is one book that will stay with me for some time to come and reinforces my love of Marcus Sedgwick's writing. I've now read seven of his books and each one has been better than the last!

Saturday 25 May 2013

Book Haul #26

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews and Letterbox Love is a UK edition hosted by Narratively Speaking. Here we can share what new books we've picked up this past week. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

I think this may be was the smallest ever book haul post I've done! I've been incredibly restrained reckless this week and bought nothing too much, including the Cassandra Clare pre-order for my Kindle!


Rivers Of London - Ben Aaronovitch

Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch

Don't Look Back - S B Hayes

The Leaping - Tom Fletcher

Kindle Buys

The Runaway Queen - Cassandra Clare & Maureen Johnson

 Kindle Freebies

How To Talk To Girls At Parties - Neil Gaiman


Silent Saturday - Helen Grant

From the publisher

Dead Ever After - Charlaine Harris
Silent Saturday was a nice surprise, I requested it quite a while ago on Netgalley and completely forgot! I now have two copies of Dead Ever After, I've already read it so when my review goes up (next week?) I'll be having a giveaway for the second copy - make sure you enter if you really want to know what happens to Sookie!

What did you get this week?

Friday 24 May 2013

Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

Life After Life - Kate Atkinson
ISBN UK - 9780385618670
          US -  9780316176484
Publisher UK - Doubleday
                US - Reagan Arthur Books
Release date UK - March 14th 2013
                     US - April  2nd 2013
Find - Book Depository/Goodreads

Ursula Todd is born on a snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd dies on a snowy night in 1910. And so the story begins... Ursula is destined to be born, live and die many, many times in many varying ways. Each time she lives a little bit differently and a little bit longer. In some lives she dies as a child, some as an adult, whilst on holiday or working as an air raid warden or even simply rescuing a dog. When approaching what might have been her death in a different life she experiences deja vu, a sense of urgency that maybe she's done this before and something's not quite right and though she doesn't know why, somethings needs to be done differently.

Behind the scenes are Ursula's family - parents, brothers, sisters and an outrageous aunt - who are all caught up in the constant circle of living and dying. Her parents (especially her mother) know there's something different about Ursula and even send her to a psychiatrist after one incident in which she tries to alter history. Her younger brother Teddy is also caught up in the living/dying cycle, sometimes dying young, or as an adult. My favorite members of the family were solid, dependable Pamela and the completely irreverent Aunt Izzie who was a law unto herself, especially given the time period.

Ultimately, the aim of the story appears to be whether Ursula succeeds or not in her goal of killing Hitler as is seen in the prologue, and to see how or if the world changes by altering things with the killing of a major historical figure. I don't read much about World War II - fiction or non-fiction - but Kate Atkinson's attention to detail is impeccable, it definitely kept me turning the pages as the chapters become longer when Ursula stays alive for longer periods after she changes her choices in each life and we become more immersed in wartime London (or Germany/Austria). I had a couple of niggles about Life After Life, firstly I didn't really like the inclusion of Eva Braun as a character, as a friend of Ursula's and felt that her story went on a bit too long for someone who wasn't a major character. The second niggle was the ending as it just... ended! I was left a bit adrift and wondering if I'd missed something, skipped a few pages or something but my sister said something along the same lines so definitely not just me!

I'm a huge fan of Kate Atkinson's work and have been since I read Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Human Croquet and Not The End Of The World. Most people though know her for her Jackson Brodie detective books, and the television adaptations starring the rather lovely Jason Isaacs as Jackson! Life After Life is definitely up there with the rest of them and I look forward to seeing what Ms Atkinson comes up with next.

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #26

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

Unthinkable - Nancy Werlin
ISBN - 9780803733732
Publisher - Dial Books
Expected release date - September 12th 2013
Find - Book Depository/Goodreads

Be aware, this is a sequel to Impossible and therefore may be slightly spoilerish!

'Fenella was the first Scarborough girl to be cursed, hundreds of years ago, and she has been trapped in the faerie realm ever since, forced to watch generations of daughters try to break this same faerie curse that has enslaved them all. But now Fenella’s descendant, Lucy, has accomplished the impossible and broken the curse, so why is Fenella still trapped in Faerie?

In her desperation, Fenella makes a deal with the faerie queen: If she can accomplish three acts of destruction, she will be free, at last, to die.  What she doesn't realize is that these acts must be aimed at her own family and if she fails, the consequences will be dire, for all of the Scarborough girls.

How can she possibly choose to hurt her own cherished family not to mention the new man whom she’s surprised to find herself falling in love with? But if she doesn’t go through with the tasks, how will she manage to save her dear ones?'
- Goodreads

Squee! I can't wait to read this one! I was completely oblivious to the fact that there was going to be a sequel to Impossible until a few weeks ago but rest assured it's been preordered now!

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #8

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is -

Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I've Read

This was harder than I thought it was going to be! As soon as I started thinking of covers that I'd loved on books I've read my mind went blank so here's what I've got so far. And yes, I noticed that the majority of the covers below are all quite 'samey but I like them :)

Bitter Greens - Kate Forsyth

Seraphina - Rachel Hartman

Elfland - Freda Warrington

Midsummer Night - Freda Warrington

Alphabet Of Thorn - Patricia McKillip

Dreams Underfoot - Charles de Lint

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Splintered - A G Howard
Wildwood Dancing - Juliet Marillier

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