The Chosen – Blog Tour

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Synopsis:
Introducing an epic new trilogy from Taran Matharu, author of the New York Times–bestselling Summoner series. 
Throughout history, people have vanished with no explanation. A group of teenagers are about to discover why.
Cade is settling into a new boarding school, contemplating his future, when he finds himself transported to another realm. He soon discovers their new world is populated with lost remnants from the past: prehistoric creatures, ancient relics, and stranger still — people. Overwhelmed by his new surroundings, Cade has little time to adjust, for soon he and his fellow classmates are forced to become contenders in a brutal game, controlled by mysterious overlords.
But who are these beings and why did they choose these teens? Cade must prepare for battle . . . because hiding is not an option.

Book Information
The Chosen (Contender #1)
by Taran Matharu
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: June 4th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Book Links

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My Review

Dinosaurs. If anyone knows a way to make me happy, add dinosaurs, I will faithfully read and love your book on that premise alone. Thankfully Matharu had some other points I really enjoyed about his novel so it wasn’t just the dinosaurs. [But I mean, come on, dinosaurs.]

Cade is a great protagonist, he is a history ‘nerd’ and someone who has kinda tried to stay out of the limelight but this doesn’t seem to particularly work for him as he ends up thrust into focus constantly.  The boarding school scenes are short and quickly disappear as the current situation of being in a new place that is possibly not even Earth just grows more and more ‘real’ to the students who have been placed in this predicament. Cade isn’t the only one, but, that may not necessarily be a good thing as at least one boy seems to have decided Cade is his target for bullying and now in a high stress situation, Cade is having to watch some of his fellow students and the other threats in this new place. [Did I mention dinosaurs?]

I loved the other cast of characters as well, in fact I would say that Quints and Spex were my favorites along with Grace, purely because she seems like she could kick so much butt and that is so cool, so I hope we learn more about her in book 2.

As noted this is the first book in a new series and the ending will certainly leave you wanting to read book two to find out what happens.

Besides the obvious parts I favored, I also enjoyed the history tidbits and the mystery of it all, it had some elements that slightly reminded me of Maze Runner but to Matharu’s credit, this is unlike any other plot I’ve encountered before. And this book was so quick to read as I just kept pressing for one more chapter to find out what on earth was going on/going to happen next.

I will say that I wish some other things had happened sooner than later in the novel as a lot is crammed in a little time and with how the ending is, I really wish that all of the teenagers would have known the purpose of it all as I feel like they deserved that much, I’d like to say more, but, spoilers! I also felt like though everything felt so quick there was a little too much build up for the end and as I said I thought those events should have shifted sooner, but, this is a perfect ending to leave us on edge to find out what happens in book 2. Well played Matharu, well played.

Cade and the others have some tough challenges to face and they’ll have to work together if they want to have any hope of going home. But will it be enough?

How long until book 2?? UGH.

Thanks to The Fantastic Flying Book Club, the publisher, and Matharu for the copy of the book and being part of the tour!

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Mood Board from the Author!

My Playlist

 

About the Author

AUTHOR

Taran Matharu is the New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series, which has been translated into 15 languages and has sold over a million copies. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for writing during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.
Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013. 
Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’ and sharing his work on Wattpad.com. The shared sample of the story went viral, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months. Taran went on to launch his professional writing career, and has never looked back.
His SUMMONER series is published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey, Forlaget Forar in Denmark and Unieboek in the Netherlands.

Author Links

WebsiteGoodReadsTwitterFacebook, Instagram

 

Rest of the Tour Schedule

[Click on the picture for the link to it]

TOUR BANNER

 

 

 

Blitz Writing ARC Review


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GoodReads:
Emerging out of the 1940-1941 London Blitz, the drama of these two short works, a novel and a memoir, comes from the courage and endurance of ordinary people met in the factories, streets and lodging houses of a city under bombardment. Inez Holden’s novella Night Shift follows a largely working-class cast of characters for five night shifts in a factory that produces camera parts for war planes. It Was Different At The Time is Holden’s account of wartime life from April 1938 to August 1941, drawn from her own diary. This was intended to be a joint project written with her friend George Orwell (he was in the end too busy to contribute), and includes disguised appearances of Orwell and other notable literary figures of the period. The experiences recorded in It Was Different At The Time overlap in period and subject with Night Shift, setting up a vibrant dialogue between the two texts.
Inez Holden (1903-1974) was a British writer and literary figure whose social and professional connections embraced most of London’s literary and artistic life. She modelled for Augustus John, worked alongside Evelyn Waugh, and had close relationships with George Orwell, Stevie Smith, H G Wells, Cyril Connolly, and Anthony Powell. The introduction and notes are by Kristin Bluemel, exploring how these short prose texts work as multiple stories: of Inez Holden herself, the history of the Blitz, of middlebrow women’s writing, of Second World War fiction, and of the world of work.

Thank you Handheld Press for sending me a review copy, in exchange I’m providing you all with an honest review.

This book was a nice change of pace to my other recent reads. I’m a huge history buff and I had done a lot of WWI and Russian Revolution reading for my nonfiction so to have a change of pace with WWII was great. Not to mention this is a 2 for 1 really, we get Inez Holden’s novella Night Shift along with her wartime memoir, It Was Different At The Time.

Both had their own slice of history to bring to the table, they are both pieces though that are exploring the sort of people that exist in this time period. This isn’t a look at WWII as an event as much as a time period in someone’s life. Holden has a talent for describing people as an outsider that’s a joy to read and the details she provides are unlike other accounts I’ve read. In her novella, she describes the work week, and this includes the machinery that many of us now forget were used to help so much in the war and that was manned quite a bit by women at that point in time. She also recalls things as ‘mundane’ as the buses, and bicycles people used to get around during air raids, and this goes for her memoirs as well.

Oh to be a fly on the wall for Holden’s life, she knew an amazing group of people and thanks to the introduction by Kristin Bluemel we get to know more of what an amazing woman Inez Holden was herself. This is not for reading to get to a plot or experience a satisfying ending, it’s for just plain enjoyment and observation. I can’t say I recall being on the edge of my seat while reading this but I did thoroughly enjoy it for what it was, the small nuances and bits of information were a true delight. I am happy to say that I look forward to reading more about and by Inez Holden.

I would recommend this to any History Buff especially those interested in WWII.

4/5 Cups of Coffee from this caffeine addict! This book will be launched on May 31st at The Second Shelf Bookshop in London!

 

Charity Shop Finds!

We actually had like two HUGE hauls but it was so ridiculous I didn’t even bother sharing because we deserved to be in timeout after those sprees.

But it looks like we kinda mostly got it out of our system, slowly I’ll update the list on the Charity shop page to less publicly shame myself and my spending habits lol but today I’ll share with you what I bought this weekend.

It was the one store we tend to frequent where it was 2 for .99P so I just ended up taking two instead of one.

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2 for .99P!

I’ve really been wanting to read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and not to mention as much as I love reading history books I couldn’t just leave The Holocaust The Jewish Tragedy behind, especially because most books are about WWII itself, the battles and the like and of course we do have books about the horrors of it all from the concentration camps to the battles but I liked that this one was focused on the people persecuted the most in that tragic time in history.

I’ve finished reading I Will Find You by John M. Taylor and will have the review up tomorrow but feel free to click on the link to the GoodReads page to learn more about it if you’re curious.

I know this is a  short post but it’s Sunday and I’ve spent the day at the beach and just want to sit here and pay Dragon Age II but I actually have to go read more now lolol, go see my book reviewing, a process post to find out which part of the never ending cycle I’m at!

Mini Reviews

**Thanks to Kelly from BookGlow for sending me these two copies to read and review, in exchange for my honest review**


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GoodReads Blurb:
From USA Today featured novelist and Western Writers of America Spur award finalist Milana Marsenich, The Swan Keeperis an historical, coming-of-age novel set in 1920s Montana.

On her eleventh birthday, Lilly’s family visits the Cattail Marsh to see the newly hatched cygnets. The family outing turns tragic when Dean Drake shows up with his shotgun. Lilly sees him kill her father, injure her mother, and slaughter the bevy of trumpeter swans. The sheriff, her mother, sister, and best friend all think Lilly is trying to make sense of a senseless accident by blaming Drake. But Lilly knows the truth. Left alone she must bring him to justice. 

“Author Milana Marsenich has penned a dramatic page-turner brimming with authentic detail. She knows this Montana countryside inside and out, her vivid descriptions capturing the spirit of the craggy Mission Mountains.”—Maggie Plummer, author of Spirited Away – A Novel of the Stolen Irish and Daring Passage: Book Two of the Spirited Away Saga

Lily’s 11th birthday was supposed to be one filled with the magic turning 11, after all  Nell, Pa, and sister Anna told her it was a magical age to be. Instead she witnesses her father and mother shot along with the swans her family loved so much. Her sister too far to witness the shooting or Lily trying to save the swans and no one believes her when she says she saw who shot them.

Using a bit of mysticism in the form of swans and a bit of spirituality, Marsenich brings to the table a rather beautiful coming of age tale. The story makes you feel as if you’re there breathing the air with Lily, soaking in Montana and the beauty of the trumpeter swans. I really enjoyed this so much more than I thought I would after reading the first chapter.

With no one believing her, her Pa dead, and her mother unavailable to the world let alone her daughters, Lily finds strength in taking care of Pearl a trumpeter swan. Along the way though she doesn’t give up in her determination to catch the man who killed her father, taking the matter of the law into her own hands.

Along the way Lily does get a little help but being 11 means that the adults just will not listen, and the magic of 11 seems like a thing of the past when her family was still whole, and unfortunately 12 doesn’t look any brighter with Dean Drake the murderer still on the loose. Why he’s killed her Pa and why her mother survived is a tale as old as time: jealousy.

Lily searches for clues, protects swans, and battles with the stubbornness of the Sheriff and the right just to be heard.

I did enjoy this but do remember that this had an element of spirituality that may not be to your liking. I wouldn’t say it was overpowering but I just want to to make sure it’s mentioned.

 


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GoodReads Blurb:
The Ballet Lover exposes the beauty and cruelty of ballet, the performances, the back stage moments, and the personal dramas of the famous ballet dancers Rudolf Nureyev and Natalia Makarova as seen through the eyes of an American female journalist.

Paris, 1970s: the orchestra plays the first ominous note of Swan Lake. In the audience sits Geneva, an American journalist and ballet lover, waiting for the heart-stopping beauty and seduction of the romantic duet to start, but instead she witnesses Rudolf Nureyev failing to catch his Russian partner Natalia Makarova, allowing her to fall with a crash upon the stage. 

Geneva interprets the fall as an act of cruelty, a man with all the fame and power in the world brutally letting fall his delicate, wraith-like artistic partner. When other critics defend Nureyev and accuse Makarova of causing her own tumble, Geneva vows revenge on the page, creating havoc in her own career and discovering surprising parallels between herself and the fallen ballerina.

The Ballet Lover is a refined, mesmerizing, fictional account of two of the most celebrated dancers in the dance world, how one compromised the other, and how the drama on the stage often mirrors those played out in real life.

Geneva’s dedication to her writing is great and I love that this turn into a grand love story, her focus is writing about dancing. She holds fast to her opinion even when others disagree and I think that the ending of the story was perfect for her considering the bond she has with her Aunt.Baer mixes in tidbits of historical ballet facts with a novella that focuses on two ballet dancers in particular. Nureyev and Makarova.

The MC is the journalist who captures the feeling of the dancers on stage, watching the progress of the two dancers through out their careers. At the beginning of each chapter Baer gives us a snippet of a performance and though it doesn’t seem to add to the story itself as far as plot I feel it helps set the stage each time and those little snippets were my favorite part!

This is novella and not a fully fleshed out book, so that expectation could be kept in mind before diving in. It can easily be read in one or two sittings and if you enjoy ballet history I would recommend this.

Kaerou Time to Go Home Review

Thank you B. Jeanne Shibahara for sending this book to me! I am providing my honest review to you all on my blog in exchange!

GoodReads Blurb:

In Japan…everywhere…red strings tie all people we meet together. Some strings are weak. Some have tangles. Some strong.

Meryl—Vietnam War widow—misses her grown son, feels left out after her father’s recent marriage. A WWII Japanese flag falls into her hands. The gentle push of a love-struck professor starts her adventure—take the flag home. From the neon of Osaka, to the ancient capital Nara, to the forests of Akita, the trail follows a newspaper reporter, factory manager, ikebana teacher, a Matagi hunter and winds through Japanese culture, past and present. A story of shared humanity and love in the simplest things.

This book was hard to define in simple terms, I did really enjoy it, especially at around page 25 I think something just really really clicked for me. There were elements here that I typically enjoy in a book, the history of things, the going back and forward of thinking of the past and progressing in the present, these are always huuuuuge pluses for me.

This story is more than just about Meryl, and in fact, the quote at the top of the blurb is my favorite in the book and is said by my favorite character, Ms. Kawanishi. The landscapes that Shibahara describe are utterly beautiful and it makes you want to go hop on a plane and go explore Japan. There’s an ample cast of characters and they’re all a variety of personalities.

Shibahara not only does a great job describing gorgeous locations, she also has a rather poetic or lyrical style! It actually took me a little while to get into it but it’s something I enjoyed after adapting to it [Note, probably about 25 is when I got used to the rhythm of it.]

The book is about finding love and about letting go of those we love as well. Meryl is delivering a flag to a man’s family who never thought they would get him home again, but she’s bringing them a beautiful chance while also dealing with the fact that despite her love for her husband she couldn’t condone everything he did and it makes her connect with the man she’s bringing home and his family. An unknowing level where thoughts are shared between her and the family as they have to face the brutality of what war cost in a time of peace.

There were some small issues, I wasn’t sure I always appreciated some of the stereotypes of some of the characters, or always completely enjoyed Meryl but as I said my favorite character was Ms. Kawanishi anyway, and I really thought this book was just a very lush one in its details of Japan and elsewhere. I would definitely recommend to those who like Eat, Pray, LoveUnder the Tuscan Sun, or The Sandalwood Tree. Not to mention the covers both front and back are absolutely lovely as you can tell from the featured image, front on the left, back on the right.

I enjoyed this and I foresee myself reading it again in the next couple of years and I am already planning on sending it to my sister who I think will really enjoy it too. [But her own copy damn it cause she doesn’t understand what the word borrow means] This go around I didn’t want to put a rating, I want you all to read the review and decide for yourself if you’d like to give it a read and if you want to discuss it more with me feel free to reach out to me!

Charity Shop Finds!

Hey all

It’s Sunday, I’m picking my daughter up from her Brownies trip and yesterday we had an unexpected charity shop spree. We went to one but it was just choc-full of amazing books. So.

We did it. That was our adventurous thing to do while the daughter is away, buy books.

Also, I forgot to show these off last week:

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These are actually from last Sunday, we were dropping off a stack of books, came home with four.
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These are actually from last Sunday, we were dropping off a stack of books, came home with four.

The total from last Sunday was £4.49

Finally, the ones from today

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We were able to pick up a couple of more classics that matched some we already have. Grabbed some great nonfiction reads, and well, went overboard. But we hadn’t really planned on buying books today and the shop was all the way in Edinburgh so we wouldn’t be back to that part of the city anytime soon. We live in Fife and if we go into Edinburgh it’s usually for shows or the museum.

  • The Diary of Anne Frank £2.00
  • The French Revolution, Christopher Hibbert £2.00
  • The French Revolution £4.00
  • The Russian Revolution 1917-1932 £2.00
  • Naming Jack the Ripper £4.00
  • Bletchley Circle £2.00
  • The World According to Garp £2.00
  • The Way of the Flesh £2.00
  • Usher Hall £2.00
  • Lenin £2.00
  • The Happy Prince and Other Stories £1.50
  • Count Karlstein £1.50
  • Hocus Pocus (Kurt Vonnegut) £2.00
  • The Little World of Don Camillo £2.00
  • The Wife of Bath £2.00

A total of £33.00 for today

Come about October/November I’ll probably have donated at least a 1/3 of everything I’ve been buying lately.

Anyway, that’s it, not much of a post but I’m always excited to share our finds.