Saturday, 23 June 2012

Off To Foreign Lands...

Hey there, everyone! Just a quick note to let you know that I will be in absentia for the next week, as I am going on a very exciting school trip abroad , yay!

I will be back very soon, though, with lots of reviews and posts for you, so hold out til then!

See you soon :D xxx

P.S. Don't forget about my giveaway, which you can enter here ;)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

GIVEAWAY: The Brotherhood Of Piaxia by Michael Drakich

Okay, I'm really excited because, not only has Michael Drakich, author of The Brotherhood Of Piaxia, given me the chance to interview him (my first ever author interview (!!), which you can see here) but he has also given me the opportunity to host my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY! Yay! :D 

Michael has kindly offered an ebook copy of his epic fantasy novel, which was recently published on 15th March 2012, The Brotherhood Of Piaxia

 I hadn't read a fantasy book in a while when Michael emailed me asking if I would like to review his novel, but I'm so glad I decided to change that because I am currently in the middle of reading The Brotherhood Of Piaxia, and it is great so far ;) If you, like me, have been swept up by all the paranormal romance or dystopian books that seem to have recently taken the YA market by storm, you might like the chance to read something a little different...but just as good!

Here is a short synopsis of The Brotherhood Of Piaxia:

"Years have passed since the overthrow of the monarchy by the Brotherhood of Warlocks and they rule Piaxia in peaceful accord. But now forces are at work to disrupt this rule from outside the Brotherhood as well as within! In the border town of Rok, a young acolyte, Tarlok and his older brother, Savan, a captain of the guard, become embroiled in the machinations of dominance. While in the capital city, Tessia, the daughter of Piaxia’s most influential merchant, begins a journey of survival. Follow the three as their paths intertwine, with members of the Brotherhood in pursuit and the powerful merchant’s guild manipulating the populace for their own ends."
Thank you so much to Michael Drakich for providing the prize for this giveaway!

Terms and Conditions

-This Giveaway is International.
-You don't need to be a follower to enter (but I would love if it if you liked my blog enough to follow it!)
-If you have any problems/questions, please e-mail me at
-Giveaway ends 10th July 2012
-ONE winner will be picked at random, and I will announce them on the blog/email them.

Click HERE to enter the giveaway!

Good luck ;)

Monday, 18 June 2012

Recommend A... Book That Made You Emotional

'Recommend A... ' is the awesome new feature thought up by the amazing Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit. Each week there will be a different, creative prompt for us to recommend books that we sometimes maybe forget how much we love, giving us the chance to share book recommendations of books that might not get recommended as much as they deserve.

Title: Between Shades Of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
(Goodreads summary)

Such a sad and haunting book, yet beautifully written, Between Shades Of Grey really captured me and touched my heart. On the blurb of the copy I read, it said something like: "Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That day, my brother's was worth a pocket watch." I mean, you can just tell from that that it's going to be a book that will make you cry, can't you? And it really did. Make me cry, that is. But it was such as beautiful book at the same time. Read it. ;)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Author Interview with Michael Drakich!

Today, I am very pleased to be interviewing Michael Drakich, whose epic fantasy novel The Brotherhood Of Piaxia was recently released on 15th March 2012. I have already started reading The Brotherhood Of Piaxia and am really enjoying it so far! (Hopefully a review will be up soon.) 

This is my first ever author interview on The Book Parade (the first of many, I hope!) so I'm very excited! Anyway, on to the interview...!

*Hi, Michael! A very warm welcome to The Book Parade!*
Could you begin by telling us a little bit about yourself? 
– I have been writing for over six years now. This new release, The Brotherhood Of Piaxia, is my third to date. My previous releases are of the science fiction genre, a novel entitled, Grave Is The Day, and a novelette entitled, Vows Above. I am the father of three. My daughter Brooke, and two sons, Miles and Erik.

What five words would you use to describe The Brotherhood Of Piaxia? 
- Love, heroism, honor, magic and family.

Your characters have some rather outlandish names –‘Delphelia,’  ‘Tarlok,’ ‘Frollence’ and ‘Master Capolidu’, to name a few. How did you come up with these names? 

– There was some evolution involved in the naming process. Originally, all characters embodied the final letters of their home town, such as Tarlok and Delphelia, do, but after consideration, I decided to alter many so that the strong variation would ensure the reader does not get confused as to who is who. A lot of the names were of people I actually know, such as Frollence. Others were strictly unique constructs, as in Master Capolidu, in an effort to ensure variety.

Are any of the characters in The Brotherhood Of Piaxia based on people you know in real life? 

– In my dedication, I make note of my three children as models for the youth in this story. In the characters of Tessia, Savan and Tarlok, I have embodied some of the traits of each. For example, Savan’s size and wit is found in my son Erik who stands at 6-7. My daughter, Brooke, needed her own epiphany to go forward in life, much like Tessia.  My son Miles is autistic. Who better to represent Tarlok and the young warlock acolyte he is.

What was the inspiration behind the story of The Brotherhood of Piaxia
- This may sound silly, but I was motivated by reading a very poor fantasy novel. When I had purchased it, I had high expectations. After all, it was part of a very successful series and even had a television series modelled on it. But when I finished the book, I thought I could do better.

In the story, Tarlok joins The Brotherhood and learns to use magical powers. If you could have any magical power, what would it be? 

– One of Tarlok’s skills is the art of healing. I am selfish here in wishing for that skill as nothing would elate me more than curing my oldest son of his severe autism.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? 

– I think everyone at some point dreams of writing a book. But between raising a family, work, and facing the challenge, it took me a long time to take the plunge.

Who would you say have been the most influential people in your life as a writer? 

 – There are numerous authors who I have followed and cherished their writing, but I don’t believe any influenced me to be a writer. Rather, it was the realization that I finally had the free time to do it.

What are your hobbies, other than writing? 
– I do like to play Warcraft now and then, though I’m not very good.

*Thank you very much for the interview, Michael! It's been lovely having you!*

Find Michael Drakich on - Goodreads
                                      - Smashwords

****Look out for a giveaway where you can win a free ebook copy of Michael's book, The Brotherhood Of Piaxia, coming soon!****

Synopsis of The Brotherhood Of Piaxia:
"Years have passed since the overthrow of the monarchy by the Brotherhood of Warlocks and they rule Piaxia in peaceful accord. But now forces are at work to disrupt this rule from outside the Brotherhood as well as within! In the border town of Rok, a young acolyte, Tarlok and his older brother, Savan, a captain of the guard, become embroiled in the machinations of dominance. While in the capital city, Tessia, the daughter of Piaxia’s most influential merchant, begins a journey of survival. Follow the three as their paths intertwine, with members of the Brotherhood in pursuit and the powerful merchant’s guild manipulating the populace for their own ends."

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Recommend A...Trilogy

'Recommend A... ' is the awesome new feature thought up by the amazing Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit. Each week there will be a different, creative prompt for us to recommend books that we sometimes maybe forget how much we love, giving us the chance to share book recommendations of books that might not get recommended as much as they deserve.

When I saw this week's prompt I knew straight away what trilogy I was going to be recommending. Okay, so it's a very well known trilogy, one that I think most people will have read, and one that you probably don't need me to recommend to you to know how amazing it is, but, because I just LOVE it SO MUCH...I'm going to recommend it to you anyway!

What is this trilogy that I'm so in love with??? 

The Hunger Games!!!!!!!!!

The three titles in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins are:
  1. The Hunger Games
  2. Catching Fire
  3. Mockingjay 

Some of you may know, I am a MASSIVE fan of The Hunger Games, and if you didn't, you do! This was the series that first got me really into dystopians, a genre which I now love, but aside from that, it just is honestly an AMAZING trilogy!! I've been bugging all my friends to read The Hunger Games, and not one of those smart people who decided to listen to me has not absolutely LOVED it! You probably know all about how amazing The Hunger Games is, so you don't really need me to carry on enthusing about it (and really, I could go on about The Hunger Games and its utterly absolute amazingness for a LONG time, but I won't bore you with my gushing and least, for now...) so all I'm going to say is:

If you've read (and loved!) The Hunger Games, then I LOVE YOU! <3 And you officially make my list of cool people! ;)  
And...if you HAVEN'T...then...WHAT ROCK HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING UNDER?!?!!! Really! Go out and read The Hunger Games NOW!

;) xxx

Friday, 8 June 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Pages: 393
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Tagline: "What if love were a disease?"
" Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable... "

 So, I read Delirium when it first came out last year. Although I remembered that I really liked it, other than that, I couldn't really remember much of what had actually happened. Like, when I read other people's reviews of Delirium and they mentioned the *gasp* 'MASSIVE CLIFFHANGER' at the end, I was just left sitting there cluelessly, thinking, 'Hmmm, I really should probably remember what they're going on about...but I can't.'

But with Pandemonium having just recently been released, I figured I needed to re-read Delirium as I really could not remember what had actually happened in it. Of course, I remembered Alex, and I remembered that Lena fell in love...but other than that...nothing. Clearly, although I know I did really like it when I first read it, Delirium just hadn't made that much of an impact on me the first time I read it.

But the second time? Okay, maybe the one bright side to my forgetfulness which allowed Delirium to elude my memory is that it meant I could fall in love with this beautiful story, and be swept along in a wave of raw emotion all over again. Re-reading Delirium, I finally understood why I had loved it so much the first time around. 

This time, what struck me most was how utterly beautiful Lauren Oliver's writing is. Seriously. It's so beautiful. I felt like her words were casting a spell over me, I felt like her words were painting vivid, glowing, beautiful images in my mind. And I believed every word she wrote.

I feel like I don't really have much to say about this book, because it's almost so perfect that there is nothing to say apart's perfect.

It was sad, and rather scary, to see how brainwashed people in Lena's society were - Lena herself included, at the start of the book. Lena really grew and travelled through the book - at first she was a complete believer in her society, actually looking forward to the day of her procedure. And then she met Alex, and slowly, her life began to turn upside down until she was dreading the day of her procedure. The development of her love for Alex was really believable as well, because although she was drawn to Alex from the moment she saw him, she didn't fall in love with him straight away, and was reluctant to because of the deep-rooted beliefs that were instilled in every member of society that amor deliria nervosa (i.e. love) was extremely dangerous.

This is a book about falling in love, and Lauren Oliver will make you fall in love as you read this book. I did.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

JUBILEE JUBILATION WEEK: Diamond Jubilee Giveaway @ The Page Turner!

Heya guys! So, I  really  wanted to host a Diamond Jubilee giveaway here for you, but, unfortunately, I wasn't allowed :(

But, fret not! Because I am here to direct you to another fabulous book blog where you can enter a fabulous Jubilee giveaway!

'Where? Where? Where?' you are clamouring. 'Where is this awesome giveaway being held? And who is the awesome person hosting it?'

This giveaway is being hosted at  The Page-Turner  by the brilliant Beth!
You can win one of these awesome books...

D-Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I-Insurgent by Veronica Roth 
A-Angel by L.A Weatherley
M-My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher,  
O-Only The Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
N-New Girl by Paige Harbison
D-Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins 

Even if you don't want to enter the giveaway, you should definitely go and check out Beth's blog - it's really good (one of my favourites!) 
 Good luck if you do enter the giveaway :) xxx 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


Jubilee Jubilation Week is a special week I am hosting here, celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - so expect a fun week of all things British!

What would a celebration be without a feast, right? Now, while it would be pretty cool if we could have our own little British tea party up here with itty bitty cucumber sandwiches, strawberries and cream and little scones with jam - sadly, we can't. So, instead of a feast for our bellies, why not hold a feast for your eyes? Yep - go ahead and feast your eyes on these gorgeous book covers...!

Beautiful British Book Covers! ...
 (All summaries from Goodreads)

 Falling by Sharon Dogar

"Neesha is afraid - haunted by the fragments of a nightmare about a girl falling, far away and a long time ago.

Just when the echoes in her head threaten to overwhelm her, a boy unexpectedly comes to her rescue.

Handsome and talented, Sammy finds himself strangely drawn to Neesha - but it's only when they come together, that they begin to realise why.

Are they falling in love or being pulled into the past - fated to replay a love affair that ended in blood?"

Let's Get Lost by Sarra Manning

"Isabel is the girl who rules the school with an iron fist and a gang of minions who do her bidding. Her friends are scared of her, her teachers can't get through to her, and that's just the way she likes it. With her razor-sharp edges and tall walls, nothing gets to Isabel and no one, but no one, is ever going to discover her dark, sad secrets. Then she meets Smith. And Isabel learns that sometimes when all the expectations and pressures are too much, you just need someone to help you get lost."
Flyaway by Lucy Christopher

"In this touching novel for teenagers, Lucy Christopher explores the remarkable bond between a young girl, a boy and a damaged wild bird - a relationship that will touch everyone who reads it.

While visiting her father in hospital, thirteen-year-old Isla meets Harry, the first boy to understand her and her love of the outdoors. But Harry is ill, and as his health fails, Isla is determined to help him in the only way she knows how. Together they watch a lone swan struggling to fly on the lake outside Harry's window. Isla believes that if she can help the damaged swan, somehow she can help Harry. And in doing so, she embarks upon a breathtakingly magical journey of her own."
Numbers by Rachel Ward

"Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today's number. Today's date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem's world is about to explode!"


The Declaration by Gemma Malley

"It's the year 2140 and Longevity drugs have all but eradicated old age. A never-aging society can't sustain population growth, however…which means Anna should never have been born. Nor should any of the children she lives with at Grange Hall. The facility is full of boys and girls whose parents chose to have kids--called surpluses--despite a law forbidding them from doing so. These children are raised as servants, and brought up to believe they must atone for their very existence. Then one day a boy named Peter appears at the Hall, bringing with him news of the world outside, a place where people are starting to say that Longevity is bad, and that maybe people shouldn't live forever. Peter begs Anna to escape with him, but Anna's not sure who to trust: the strange new boy whose version of life sounds like a dangerous fairy tale, or the familiar walls of Grange Hall and the head mistress who has controlled her every waking thought? 

   Chilling, poignant, and endlessly though-provoking, The Declaration is a powerful debut that will have readers agonizing over Anna's fate until the very last page."

Sister, Missing by Sophie McKenzie

"It's two years after the events of Girl, Missing and life is not getting any easier for sixteen-year-old Lauren, as exam pressure and a recent family tragedy take their toll. Lauren's birth mother takes Lauren and her two sisters on holiday in the hope that some time together will help, but a few days into the holiday one of the sisters disappears, under circumstances very similar to those in which Lauren was taken years before. Can Lauren save her sister, and stop the nightmare happening all over again?"

Adorkable by Sarra Manning

"Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop talking to him?"

 I hope I've satisfied your hunger for beautiful book covers today! 
P.S. I also have it on good authority (i.e mine!) that, as well as being rather pleasing to the eye, these books are every bit as good on the inside as they look on the outside!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

JUBILEE JUBILATION WEEK: 60 Reasons Why Britain Is Brilliant

Jubilee Jubilation Week is a special week I am hosting here, celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - so expect a fun week of all things British!

So, the other day, I picked up the newspaper (it was the METRO - nothing intellectual or anything!) and on the cover in massive letters was: "WHAT MAKES BRITAIN SO BRILLIANT?" Of course, it caught my eye, as I thought, 'Hmmm, what does make Britain brilliant?' (Well, I know that Britain is brilliant, of course, I love it here - but I thought it would just be interesting to see what kind of reasons they came up with.) And so, anyway, there on the front and back cover of the newspaper they had a list of 60 reasons why Britain is brilliant. And because I found it VERY amusing, (although a few things I didn't really get - I think you'd probably have to be older to get/remember them) I thought it'd be nice to share it with all of you! (Oh, and by the way, it turned out this was actually an advert - for Carling - the beer. Just thought I should mention that!) I might not be old enough to appreciate the beer, but I am old enough to appreciate their advert! So, thank you, Carling ;) 

60 Reasons (one for each year of Her Majesty's reign!) Why Britain Is Brilliant! 

1. Marmite. Mmm…yuck.
. Our devotion to our wonderfully gripping soap operas.
. Vivienne Westwood’s heels. It’s worth the pain.
. The Earl of Sandwich’s groundbreaking concept of putting a savoury filling between two pieces of bread.
. Glastonbury – mud and all.
. Our modesty – we never boast how great we are, apart from today.
. The pound and our reluctance to adopt the Euro.
. The best selling music artists in the world, are our very own; The Beatles.
. Our politeness – no matter how irritated we get, we are always too British to say anything.
. Kate Middleton and her sister.
. The Great British Summer (don’t forget the brolly).
. Driving on the left (the right way to do it).
. No matter where you are in Britain, you’re never far from a pub.
. Any excuse for a cup of tea.
. Curry, the unofficial national dish, with a pint of cold lager.
. We don’t moan because we are miserable, we moan because it makes us happy.
. Our international language. Travelling abroad is a doodle.
. The Queen and her graceful wave.
. The Great British countryside, when you’re not stuck behind a tractor.
. Freedom of speech.
. Deep fried food, Fish, sausages, Mars bars… absolutely anything.
. Some of the very best museums and galleries on the planet. Free.
. The national tendency to cheer the underdog and ridicule the mighty.
. We apologise way too much. Sorry about that.
. Crisps. We eat more of them, in more varieties, than the whole of Europe put together.
. Shakespeare. When thou can understandeth it.
. Sir David Attenborough and his soothing voice on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
. British strawberries, perfect with cream.
. Our cobbled streets, watch your heels ladies.
. Chips with fish, or cheese, or beans, or pies, or steaks, or curries or in a sandwich. Chips with pretty much everything.
. We know the importance of a good queue.
. Beans on toast, brilliant no matter what your age.
. Court room wigs. Our great way of making very smart people look very silly.
. Pantomimes. The jokes never seem to get old.
. No matter how cold it gets, it will never keep us from our nights out.
. HP sauce. Chuck it on everything.
. The 3pm Saturday kick off.
. Cream teas. In case you are wondering, Cornish is jam first, Devon is cream first.
. Jellied eels. And jelly. Though not necessarily together.
. Beer gardens. Because we love our beer and we love our gardens.
. Saying ‘I’m fine’ no matter how we feel.
. A love of mowing the lawn.
. Plugs with switches. Amazingly nowhere else seems to do this.
. Tolerating nearly everything, but banning hosepipes.
. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysilio gogogoch in North Wales. Just wait till your sat nav tries that one.
. World Cup, 1966. We’ll be clinging to it forever.
. Egg and soldiers. Those brave and tasty souls.
. The BBC. The only time you’re not constantly reaching for the fast-forward button.
. Our British seasides. Watch out for the seagulls.
. Archie Gemmill’s goal against Holland.
. Prime Minister’s Question Time. A no-holds-barred, public bashing for whoever’s in charge. Every week.
. The Full English breakfast. Served all day.
. The weather. Although we get less of it than almost anywhere, it’s still the major talking point.
. The 99 flake.
. Morris dancing. We know how to move it 15th Century style.
. Allotments. Our very own little patch of the countryside.
. Our love of anything pickled.
. Carry On films. Oooer Missus.
. Our talent. Be it our artists, musicians, directors, actors or just dancing dogs.
. Carling (Well, it was an advert for Carling so I guess they were obviously going to include that as one of the reasons, but here I'm going to substitute my own reason in - one that I think we book lovers will find much more relevant...)
60. (My reason!) We're the home country of Harry Potter!!! (How did they manage to miss that one?!)

Hmm, I just realised, you non-British folk might not have found that as amusing...but still, hey-ho, I hope you did! And I hope you guys all now agree that Britain is brilliant!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Recommend A... Book With A Bad Boy

'Recommend A... ' is the awesome new feature thought up by the amazing Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit. Each week there will be a different, creative prompt for us to recommend books that we sometimes maybe forget how much we love, giving us the chance to share book recommendations of books that might not get recommended as much as they deserve.

Ooooh, I am LIKING this week's prompt! I will be definitely taking note of everyone else's recommendations this week, and checking them out! So be sure to leave a link to your 'Recommend A...' post or feel free to just leave a comment recommending a book :)

The "Bad Boy" that sprung to my mind first was Alex Fuentes from Perfect Chemistry...

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  "When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created 'perfect' life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect.

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart."

Okay, okay, I KNOW. So maybe this book didn't have the most original of storylines - a boy and girl from two completely different worlds, a forbidden love - West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet - you've heard it all before, yadda yadda yadda - but YOU HAVEN'T. Seriously, I don't care if it's cliche, there was something so irresistible about this book, something so irresisitible about the relationship between Alex and Brittany, who, at first, hated each other, but then, well, yeah, you guessed it - they fall in love. AHH! I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK!

Hooray for Shanyn for picking this prompt this week so I got to recommend this book to all you guys! Now what are you waiting for? Go read it!

:) xxx


Jubilee Jubilation Week is a special week I am hosting here, celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - so expect a fun week of all things British!

Heya! So excited as I am officially kicking off our Jubilee Jubilation celebrations here on The Book Parade. The country is in full celebration mode - yesterday was the Thames river pageant (which I watched from the comfort of my sofa at home rather than journeying down to London and attempting to brave the wind, the rain - TYPICAL British weather! - and the MASSIVE crowds.) Right now the special Jubilee Concert is going on, featuring artists including Jessie J, Kylie Minogue, Gary Barlow, Cliff Richard and JLS and then, later on will be the lighting of all the Jubilee beacons!

Anyway, back to the point. My post for today is:

"The Best Of British"...YA books!

Although it often seems like a LOT of the books I read are by American authors, probably the majority actually, there are lots of British books out there that I love. So, without further ado, here are my favourite books by British authors...

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman 
Malorie Blackman is EPIC. This book is EPIC. Really. Honest, this is an AMAZING book. It's sort of vaguely dystopian - but not at all like all the dystopians that are flooding bookstores at the moment, with all their futuristic, unique and very 'out there' worlds. This is just a world completely like ours apart from the very strong racism that separates the white 'Noughts' from the black 'Crosses'. This book follows the story of Sephy (a Cross) and Callum (a Nought), who have been close friends all their lives. Every time I read it, it evokes so much emotion in me and I ALWAYS cry LOADS, even though I already know exactly how everything is going to turn out!! Anyway, just trust me, you NEED TO READ THIS.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling 
HOW can we have a list celebrating the best of British books without including the beloved Harry Potter? You don't even need me to explain the magic spell that J.K. Rowling has cast over the world with the power of her pen.

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Okay, I don't technically know if I can classify Moira Young as a British author because I think technically she is Canadian but she's lived in the UK since 1992 so, you know what, because I love this book so much, I'm just going to cheat a little bit and include it on the list! Blood Red Road is a dystopian that I absolutely LOVED - it had just the right amount of action, adventure and romance - you can read my review of it here

Finding Sky by Joss Stirling, Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson and Angel by L.A. Weatherly
These three books are all super sweet paranormal romances that I LOVE LOVE LOVE! In Finding Sky, Sky discovers she's a 'savant' and meets her 'soulfinder', the gorgeous Zed; Lila in Hunting Lila 'has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she’s been in love with her brother’s best friend, Alex, since forever.' (from the blurb) ; and in Angel, Willow's life is turned upside down when she discovers she's part angel and has to go on the run with Alex after the Angels decide she's a threat to them.

You Against Me by Jenny Downham
Mikey's sister claims that she was assaulted by a boy.
Ellie's brother is the one accused.
"When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - for one's family and for another." (Goodreads)
I loved the relationship between Mikey and Ellie, ans the story was told really well - alternating between both of their viewpoints.

Adorkable by Sarra Manning
Adorkable made me laugh, yet it also made me cry; it was light-hearted, yet it also had a really empowering message behind it. Throw in some witty, unique, but totally realistic characters and there you have Adorkable - yet another amazing teen read from the amazing Sarra Manning. (You can read my review of Adorkable here)

Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
17-year-old Rosie is grief-stricken when her mum, Trudie, dies of Huntington's Disease, only to discover that Trudie was not actually her real biological mother at all! Someone Else's Life tells of Rosie's search for her real mother, her real life, the real her. Unpredictable, touching, and beautifully written, this is definitely a book well worth reading.

Numbers by Rachel Ward
Jem has seen the numbers ever since she was little. She can't help it - every time she looks into a person's eyes, she sees a number. A date. The date they will die. Scary, right? The premise of this intrigued me, and the story itself definitely lived up to my expectations. I was so lost in the story that I felt myself completely swept along and couldn't stop myself from crying at this one particular point in the story (won't spoil it for you by telling you what it was!) And, oh! That little twist at the end! (Won't spoil that for you, either!)

These are just some of my favourites - I hope you'll try some of them out and, if you do, I hope you love them as much as I did! 
If you've read any of these - what did you think of them?
And feel free to recommend any other British books that you loved in the comments!

:) xxx 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

I'm Back!!! + Jubilee Jubilation Week!

Hey there, peeps! Exams are over, school's out for the half-term holiday, and, boy, does it feel good to be back! It's been a stressful week cramming for those end-of-year exams, but HOORAY because it's all over! Now that I'll be having more time on my hands, (True, I do still have about five/six more weeks until we break up for the summer holidays - can't wait! - but generally the last half-term is more relaxed and all, so it's all good!) hopefully I'll be able to post more frequently.

I just wanted to quickly say thank you to all you guys who have still been dropping by The Book Parade, and commenting, (even whilst I have been an absent presence!) and thanks to all the new followers I've gotten whilst I've been away! It's nice to know I haven't been forgotten, lol ;)

ANYWAYS, what I wanted to announce was a special celebratory week that I'm going to be doing here on The Book Parade this week. As most of you probably know, it's a very special time of the year at the moment, here in England - it's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, celebrating her reign of 60 years so far! Lots of celebrations are taking place up and down the country, and I thought, what better way to take part in all the patriotic cheer than right here on The Book Parade?

So, throughout this week, I plan to be posting a range of British-themed posts to celebrate the awesomeness of this coutry, and its Queen, including...

  • The Best Of British...YA Books
  • The Best Of British...YA Authors
  • A Grand Feast...
  • 60 Reasons Why Britain Is Brilliant

Hopefully, this will be some fun, and I hope you guys will enjoy my Jubilee Jubilation week!