Thursday, 31 March 2016

BOOK BOX SUBSCRIPTION: FOTM MARCH


Feels like yesterday I was writing the post for February's box! How time flies. Anyway, I was greeted with this month's Fandom of the Month box by the postman this morning, and I completely forgot what the theme was. I was already aware before but my memory is like a sieve. 

Anyway, it's that time again for bookish and fandom goodness! I look forward to this every month, and it's always such a delight everytime I open the box of fun.



I'll give you a bit of a warning - well, not a warning, but a note - that this box isn't that bookish. It's more....comic-y. Is that a word? Not really, but you get what I'm saying. But it's very popular! Not with me though, I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject, so you can all help me out with it.

Come take a peek!


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

TOP 10 WORTHY SERIES ENDINGS

Two weeks ago on a Tuesday, we were visited by a Dark Cloud of Negativity. The resulting Top 10 Series That Started Strong But Let Us Down was therefore utterly delightful. We only managed thirty-four complaints and sixty-five lamentations over how disappointing disappointing endings are.

So in honor of karmic balance and our future reading lists, this week we are featuring the 10 series endings which we feel measured up to the loveliness of the series as a whole.

There's nothing better than closing the book you've just absolutely loved with nothing but good things to say about its ending. And we aren't kidding, either, lovelies - we all know a satisfactory ending is book-hangover-worthy. And many a book hangover was to be had as a result of this list.

So without further ado - and with no spoilers ahead - here are our top 10 picks.


Sunday, 27 March 2016

BOOK REVIEW: SPLINTERED BY A.G. HOWARD


This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.





Friday, 25 March 2016

BOOK REVIEW: ABOUT A BOY BY NICK HORNBY




'How cool was Will Freeman?' Too cool! At thirty-six, he's as hip as a teenager. He's single, child-free, goes to the right clubs and knows which trainers to wear. He's also found a great way to score with women: attend single parents' groups full of available (and grateful) mothers, all hoping to meet a Nice Guy.





Thursday, 24 March 2016

THE BLOG DIALOGUE: WHO DO WE COMMENT FOR?




In this wonderland that we call a book-blogging community, we are mostly tit-for-tat. You show me yours and I'll show you mine. (Comments. I'm talking about comments.) It's amazing. Welcoming. Friendly. Helpful. And, at times, exhausting.

Our entire comment culture is, theoretically, a wonderful thing. And I'm not just saying this because 99% of all our bloggish friendships and connections were made that way. (Though possibly I am.) It's a way for a new blogger to discover a community, and for a community to discover new blogs. It's a way to make blogging into an interactive experience it was meant to be. It's also a way to gently insert yourself into your favorite bloggers' heads and hearts and take over their brains.

What was I saying? Oh, yes. Comments. Recently in the book-blogging community alone, the comment-for-comment principle was criticized by Tonyalee @ LilyBloomBooks, where she argued against the obligation to leave comments as a form of 'thanks' rather than because we have something to contribute to a post. And Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight wrote a wonderful (and infinitely relatable) post about the general feelings of inadequacy when we fail to respond and comment back in a timely fashion. 

And people think blogging is a relaxing hobby. (Hahaha. No.)

The art of commenting is at times strenuous and difficult and takes up exactly 29 hours in a day.


But both the up sides and the down sides of blog comments do raise a question: who is it that we actually comment for? And why do we take the time to do it?

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

TOP 10 BOOKS WE DON'T MENTION ENOUGH

Mark this day down in history! It's a Top 10 Tuesday list where we are effectively forbidden from featuring Harry Potter, and Lexie is prevented from mentioning Maggie Stiefvater. That's as close as we get to scandal most days. And the withdrawal pains have already started.

This week also marks the first time we are linking up with The Broke And The Bookish's official Top 10 Tuesday prompt rather than playing at hipsterdom and choosing our own bizarre Top 10 topics. (Progress? No? We can't tell. We do so love our particular brand of randomness.)

So this week we are featuring the foremost ten books that we really love but hardly ever mention or discuss on the blog. We also offer these books/series a formal apology, a hug, and conciliatory Nutella. We promise we'll do better, books. (Just not at the expense of HP mentions, 'sallwe'resayin'.)

Monday, 21 March 2016

'WHAT ARE YOU WRITING', 'WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING' AND OTHER WRITERLY QUESTIONS

Human: So, you write?
Me: Do you have time for this conversation?
Human: It's okay. I have an hour.
Me: You do not have time for this conversation.

At The Honest Bookclub, we make small, achievable goals. Our first was world domination via the subliminal messages in our social media posts*. (Small and achievable. Just the way we like it.) So we've set out to conquer Instagram, Bloglovin, and - yes - Twitter.

On Twitter, however, we split our interests three-way: one part overlording, one part readerly triumphs and woes (mostly woes, let's be honest), and one part writerly triumphs and woes (mostly woes, let's be honest).

There's a lot out there about writing. We discuss it at length - our refined name-selection process, our outlook on other authors, our character-killing philosophy, our overall writing philosophy, etc. In 140 characters or less, it is a refined collection indeed.

But what, you ask, are we actually writing? Who even are we? Where did we come from? And why are we suddenly renaming months of the year to match our favorite books?

In recent months, we've gotten these questions and more. (Maybe not that final one. We aren't quite there yet. But soon.) And what better way for a book blogger to answer questions than in a majestic blog post?** So without further ado...



* Fear not! When we conquer the world, the first overlordly decision will be to instate a Reading Day. It's like the day of rest, except people will actually be forced to do what the title says. In this case - read. And to whom it may concern, we'll pluck it out of the workweek. Aren't we just the best future tyrants?

** The majesticness of a post is directly proportional to the overlord's personal enjoyment of it. We like to be objective in all things.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

BOOK BOX SUBSCRIPTION REVIEW: FOTM FEBRUARY

Hello again, my bookish friends. That marvelous time is upon us again, and that is book box subscription time! Bookish goodness!




I know that The Fandom of the Month Club is not always 100% bookish but this month it darn well is. I've only subscribed to FOTM so far, but I think I shall consider future ones (hopefully in Europe because damn, those shipping prices get me)!



But for the moment, the little magic box arrived again, and it's time to review it.



Tuesday, 15 March 2016

TOP 10 BOOK SERIES THAT STARTED STRONG BUT LET US DOWN

There are few things more disappointing to a book dragon than enjoying a series, and then have it fall... flat. The rest of the books in the series just don't measure up to the magical, magical potential it once had. We've all had our fair share of them. And often we can't decide if it's worse that we invested our hopes and dreams in the series, or that we invested our time and money. Whichever of the two you go for, the bottom line is...

Disappointment. Bitter disappointment.

That we have enough of these books/series to fill a Top 10 list probably says nothing good. We're still unclear as to whether it says nothing good about us, or about these series themselves. But either way, we were let down.

These are the top ten offenders.


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

TOP 10 UNDERRATED FEMALE CHARACTERS

Happy International Women's day! Unlike the National Cereal Day before (and no, we are not kidding), this one:

  • actually stands for something
  • has wider implications
  • is celebrated in various parts of the world.


(But then again, we do love our cereal, too. One ought never to underestimate the power of good breakfast food.)

So this Tuesday, in honor of March 8th and all it should stand for, we are picking the ten characters from various known YA series (and adjacent) who we feel ought to have been given more credit. Or at least a cookie for their troubles. (Though maybe they'd prefer cereal?)

Proceed carefully and beware the spoilers ahead. We tried to keep them light... and failed.


Friday, 4 March 2016

BOOK REVIEW: HOW TO FALL IN LOVE BY CECELIA AHERN





She has just two weeks. Two weeks to teach him how to fall in love – with his own life.

Adam Basil and Christine Rose are thrown together late one night, when Christine is crossing the Halfpenny Bridge in Dublin. Adam is there, poised, threatening to jump. Adam is desperate – but Christine makes a crazy deal with him. His 35th birthday is looming and she bets him she can show him that life is worth living before then.

Despite her determination, Christine knows what a dangerous promise she’s made. Against the ticking of the clock, the two of them embark on wild escapades, grand romantic gestures and some unlikely late-night outings. Slowly, Christine thinks Adam is starting to fall back in love with his life.

But has she done enough to change his mind for good? And is that all that’s starting to happen?
 




Wednesday, 2 March 2016

SIX FACTS AND A LIE ABOUT HOW TO DISAPPEAR BY ANN REDISCH STAMPLER


This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed? —and the boy who's sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she's pretty sure she can get away with anything...until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette's house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A's and athletic trophies can't make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.








ARC graciously provided by the publisher (and the author, because I'm nothing if not a professional beggar) in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

TOP 10 YA BOOKS THAT RAISE MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

As it turns out, diversity is an astonishingly diverse concept. We invoke it when raising racial issues. We invoke it when raising political issues. We invoke it when we really, really want to make a room full of movie industry bigleagues squirm in their seats at the Oscars.

And we sometimes, rarely, invoke it to discuss mental health issues. And when we do, we make it borderline incomprehensible and more than a little boring.

I would know. I'm a psychology major. There's nothing quite like a monotone regurgitation of textbooks and slides for three hours to take care of that pesky insomnia problem.

But mental health is a topic prevalent in more than textbooks, and which touches more than mental health professionals and textbook millionaires sellers. It affects everyone. And more often than not, those same mental health professionals and textbook millionaires sellers are at a loss as to how to approach and inform the younger generation on matters of mental health and mental disorders.

YA. That's how. (Trust us. We know things.)

So today, in honor of Self Injury Awareness Day, we are compiling a list of the ten YA books which have in many ways succeeded where many a textbook has failed. These are the fiction books which tackled the issues of "abnormal psychology" in such a way that it united us in a stance that "abnormal psychology" is a ridiculous term.