Saturday, 31 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME BY AWESOME AUTHORS GALORE

A collection of joyful festive stories that will keep you warm during the cold winter months
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .
This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.



A collection of short stories is, by its very definition, a versatile sort of thing. A collection of short stories by a myriad of authors is even more so. If you go into it armed with the certainty that some stories will warm your heart and others will leave you unmoved, you're likely to be just fine.

And this was pretty much what I did. In the end, I found it worked out better than I hoped. (Expectation management. There's something to be said for it.)

Monday, 26 January 2015

TOP 10 BOOKISH WEBSITES WE LOVE

This week for our Top 10 Monday, we've decided to share with you our favourite bookish websites. If we're being perfectly honest, most of the sites we go on daily are book related so we're no strangers to these ones. We have them all bookmarked in our browsers and ready to use for our daily book/author stalking. If you know of more that we haven't listed, don't hesitate to mention it to us, because there's nothing better than chatting books with fellow book lovers. Sometimes people around us don't read as much or even understand how excited we get over a character or a story, so we need you guys to share in our excitement.

We didn't include this blog because that wouldn't be appropriate. And, well, you all know of it as you're reading it right now. (Having said that, don't forget about it as you stray to all those other, grander websites.) 

So come look at our list of our favourite bookish websites!



Friday, 23 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE BY JENNY HAN


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.




It feels condescending to deem a book "cute", but in this particular instance, it's anything but. To All The Boys I've Loved Before an incredibly cute, uplifting read, and I am all but certain that it's one of those books capable of putting a smile on anyone's face. In equal parts cringeworthy, hilarious and moving, Jenny Han's latest will remind you why you love good YA contemporaries - or start your love for them if you don't.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

2015 BOOKISH RESOLUTIONS

At The Honest Bookclub, we've really set out to make January the month of the new year. From end-of-the-year tags, all the way to our favorite books of the past year, and to our most anticipated releases of the new year, we're making sure to differentiate between the old and the new, and to step into the new year with fresh perspectives, fresh goals and - most importantly - new books.

We're not exactly the type to make New Year's resolutions. But when it comes to resolutions about reading, blogging and writing in the upcoming year - we're more than willing to try.

So here are our 2015 bookish resolutions, in all their idealistic glory. :) 


If you have some which we have not covered, feel free to share them with us in the comments below! We're open for any and all recommendations.


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

TOP 14 BOOKS OF 2014

There are more than a few releases to look forward to in the upcoming year. In our Top 10 Monday post on the subject, we've each shared our ten most anticipated books due to come out in 2015. But not acknowledging what an amazing year 2014 has been would be impossible. As many readers out there, we've discovered new favorites and learned new things. We've each tried our hand in serious writing for the first time. We've dissected and analyzed our favorites in hopes of bottling their brilliance for our own use, but we've also just let go and immersed ourselves in stories with abandon. We've learned, in short, just how many new worlds 365 days can hold. And spoiler alert: it's a lot.

2014 has been the year we started blogging.
2014 has been the year we've met and become friends.
2014 has been a year of grand achievements.
2014 has been a year of great literature.

2014, we salute you. And we share our favorite reads of the year below. Not all of these have been written in the past year - but all of them have turned up on our radar in the past year - and done a remarkable job inspiring, moving and motivating us. Choosing a handful was difficult, and choosing an order would have been impossible. So consider the order random and the placement accidental. These are the pages that have brightened our 365 days of 2014. And for that, they'll hold a special place in our heart - and on our favorites shelves for a long, long time to come. 



Monday, 19 January 2015

TOP 10 PLACES TO READ

We're changing things up just a little. This week, we're dreaming not so much of a specific kind of books, but of the places where we can read the ones we've already started. Some readers out there prefer to live in a single place which they come to associate with books and which in turn prompts them to be in a reading mood every time they near this place.
We are not so choosy.
At The Honest Bookclub, reading is done in-between schoolwork and actual work (and sometimes during actual work, too), between get-togethers with friends and errands and chores. We don't choose a place to read. Much like a wizard's wand, the place to read chooses us.
But we are choosy enough to have favorites, of course, so this week for our Top 10 Monday, we're picking our top 10 favorite places to read. We're always up for alternatives, of course, so feel free to let us know what yours are in the comments below!


Monday, 12 January 2015

TOP 10 BOOKS WE DIDN'T THINK WE'D ENJOY (BUT DID!)

The thing about running a reviewer blog of any kind is - you are essentially a critic. And more often than not, we come to equate critique with criticism (and not the constructive kind). It's altogether too easy to get lost in a world of underwhelming reads, overhyped books and all manner of disappointing bookish experiences. But here at The Honest Bookclub, we do our best to promote optimism and a positive attitude towards reading. We firmly believe, after all, that there's something - an author, a genre, a movement - for everyone to enjoy.

So instead of focusing on the books we found sub par and unworthy of the praise, for this week's Top 10 Monday, we've chosen to showcase the exact opposite. Down below are the ten books we were most pleasantly surprised by - ones which tore down our prejudice and which managed to conquer our flimsy expectations.


More often than not, these are the books which one of us has read, raved about on this blog and proceeded to encourage the other to read. The benefits of having a co-blogger, all. The benefits of having a co-blogger.





Saturday, 10 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: THRONE OF GLASS BY SARAH J. MAAS



After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. 

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.





Spoiler-free.

Friday, 9 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: NEVER NEVER BY COLLEEN HOOVER AND TARRYN FISHER




Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. Complete strangers since this morning.

He'll do anything to remember. She'll do anything to forget.







Spoiler-free review

BOOK REVIEW: UNRAVEL ME BY TAHEREH MAFI





tick
tick
tick
tick
tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.



Contains spoilers.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: THE GIVER BY LOIS LOWRY


Life in the community where Jonas lives is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce newchildren, who are assigned to appropriate family unites: one male, one female, to each. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs. No one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. The community is a world without conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment, injustice... or choice.

Everyone is the same.

Except Jonas.

At the Ceremony of Twelve, the community's twelve-year-olds eagerly accept their predetermined Life Assignments. But Jonas is chosen for something special. He begins instruction in his life's work with a mysterious old man known only as The Giver. Gradually Jonas learns that power lies in feelings. But when his own power is put to the test - when he must try to save someone he loves - he may not be ready. Is it too soon? Or too late?




As the blurb on the back cover informs us, the New York Times dubbed The Giver "a powerful and provocative novel". And of all the adjectives in the world that could be bestowed upon it, provocative feels like the most appropriate one. In the spirit of the precision of language so frequently called upon in The Giver, provocative feels like the most precise adjective of them all.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM BY NEWT SCAMANDER



A copy of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them resides in almost every wizarding household in the country. Now Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl. 

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Comic Relief, which means that the pounds and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope that passing wizards feel more charitable if they see you being attacked by a Manticore.

- Albus Dumbledore







Monday, 5 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: DESTROY ME BY TAHEREH MAFI




In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me,Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45


May contain spoilers

TOP 10 AUTO-BUY AUTHORS

Welcome to our first Top 10 list of 2015. We've discarded some of the old traditions and introduced some new ones (look up the 2015 TBR challenge - it's excellent). But the one tradition we love and never wish to dispense with is our Top 10. So Shady's back. (Tell your friends.)

This week, we have compiled a list of authors whose books need no marketing, as far as we're concerned. These are the authors so well-loved and so well-known in our own little corner of the world, that a new release will prompt an instant buy. While illogical, this instant love of their books before they're released hasn't let us down yet. It comes down to the simplest of concepts - they write it, we'll read it. And we'll love it. The authors we love seem to always come out with incredible stories and the characters we always enjoy reading about, so there's not one shred of doubt that we'll enjoy their next release.

We all have those authors and it's always hard to only pick 10. Both of us here at The Honest Bookclub share a similar taste in books, so we've put together a joint list of 10 amazing authors. If you haven't read anything by these talented people, you should definitely look them up. We tend to worship them just a little.



Thursday, 1 January 2015

'TIS THE SEASON BOOK TAG

Deck the halls with boughs of holly!

Welcome to 2015, fellow book addicts readers! And welcome to our first tag in the new year. If Christmastime in the book community had a bucket-list, doing a winter-inspired tag would be about the only item left unchecked for us this season. And thanks to Richard over on BookTube, we're about to check it off our lists and move on to new achievements. We haven't been tagged by anyone, but we have read enough dystopian novels to have a comprehensive know-how as far as breaking the rules goes. It's more or less something like this...