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First Lines Friday: 9th June

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!

She was waiting for him – or someone – though he had not phoned ahead.  ‘Where’s the boy?’ she called from her porch.


Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

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The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

29758030

INFO | Goodreads

BUY | The Book Depository


Summary:

The story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don’t they teach you anything at school?

So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who’s been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she’s confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades.

One Saturday, he doesn’t show up. Ona starts to think he’s not so special after all, but then his father Quinn arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son’s good deed. The boy’s mother is not so far behind. Ona is set to discover that even at her age the world can surprise you, and that sometimes sharing a loss is the only way to find yourself again.


Oooh, I know this book is going to break my heart.  It’s wonderfully written, with an engaging plot and lots of character development – I can’t wait to finish it!

Check out the First Lines Fridays archive for more posts like this!

Happy reading,

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

June 9, 2017
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First Lines Friday: 5th May

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!

Carl Sagan said that if you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. When he says “from scratch,” he means from nothing. He means from a time before the world even existed.


Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

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The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

28763485

INFO | Goodreads

BUY | The Book Depository


Goodreads Summary:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?


This is my current read at the moment, and I’m loving it!  Nicola Yoon has such a natural way with words, and the writing is effortless to read.  I’m also enjoying the dual-narrative aspect and the chapters providing backstory to more minor characters – in that sense it reminds me of the narrative style in The Book Thief.  It’s quirky; I like it.

Though for some reason I can’t wrap my head around the title.  I seem determined to accidentally call it “The Sun Is Not A Star” whenever anyone asks me what I am reading, which I’m quite sure ruins the entire message of the book…

Check out the First Lines Fridays archive for more posts like this!

Happy reading,

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

April 28, 2017
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First Lines Friday: 17th February

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!

It had certainly been a wild end to the autumn.  On the Heath a gale stripped the glorious blaze of colour from Kenwood to Parliament Hill in a matter of hours, leaving several old oaks and beeches dead.


Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

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The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

The Loney

INFO | Goodreads

BUY | The Book Depository


Summary:

Two brothers. One mute, the other his life long protector.

Year after year, their family visits the same sacred shrine on a desolate strip of coastline known as the Loney, in desparate hope of a cure.

In the long hours of waiting, the boys are left alone. They cannot resist the causeway revealed with every turn of the treacherous tide, the old house they glimpse at its end…

Many years on, Hanny is a grown man no longer in need of his brother’s care.

But then the child’s body is found.

And the Loney always gives up its secrets, in the end.


I don’t know how exactly, but I picked up this book thinking it would be just a piece of general fiction about two brothers and a mystery.  In fact, I can be quoted somewhere saying, “oh, I am hoping it will have similarities to The Shock of the Fall“.  Wrong.  This book is a horror story.  I’m so glad I found that out before I continued reading it at 11pm in bed.  As for the story itself, it is wonderfully descriptive, though it is a little slow waiting for the action to start – I’m 50 pages in and a whole lot of not-very-much has happened so far.  But this story won the 2015 Costa Book Awards, so I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt.

Read this book?  What are your thoughts on it?

Check out the First Lines Fridays archive for more posts like this!

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Facebook

February 17, 2017
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First Lines Friday: 10th February

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!

Inner North London
top-floor flat.
All white walls
white carpet
white cat.


Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

Arrow

Arrow

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Storm by Tim Minchin

22997383

INFO | Goodreads

BUY | The Book Depository


Summary:

A storm is brewing at a London Dinner party.  When Tim meets the mysterious fifth guest at the table, small talk descends into a battle between science and belief.


I have so much love for this book.  I am a huge fan of Tim Minchin, and was fortunate enough to see him perform in Cardiff in Jesus Christ Superstar a couple of years ago.  I enjoy his comedy too, and let’s face it, pretty much everything else he has dabbled in.  I even donated to MND Australia when I was moved to tears by his contribution to ‘The Fading Symphony’.  So I am biased, completely biased, but you really should read this book – it is witty and wonderfully written.  I’ll be reviewing it in the weeks following Gra-fix Novel Week, so watch this space.

Want more First Lines Fridays posts?  Check out the First Lines Fridays archive!

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Facebook

February 10, 2017
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First Lines Friday: 16th December

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Feel free to comment below or tag me in the post, so I can check it out and maybe share it on Twitter.

Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.


Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

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Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

825840

INFO | Goodreads

BUY | The Book Depository


Summary:

Every weekend, in basements and parking lots across the country, young men with good white-collar jobs and absent fathers take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded for as long as they have to.  Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything.  Fight Club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter and dark, anarchic genius.  And it’s only the beginning of his plans for revenge on a world where cancer support groups have the corner on human warmth.


This book has been sitting on my shelf for way too long.  I recently signed up to Rock My TBR for next year, with the intention of doing some much needed TBR tackling.  This is one of those books that I’d love to read – it’s only short and I already know I’ll enjoy it.  It’ll be hard to read it without imagining the characters as they are in the film though!

Want more First Lines Fridays posts?  Check out the First Lines Fridays archive!

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Facebook

December 16, 2016
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First Lines Friday: 9th December

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Feel free to comment below or tag me in the post, so I can check it out and maybe share it on Twitter.

It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.


Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

12478803

INFO | Goodreads

BUY | The Book Depository


Summary:

When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther’s life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into depression and eventually a suicide attempt, as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take women’s aspirations seriously.


Someone recently recommended The Bell Jar to me, so I thought it was about time I gave it a shot – it isn’t the longest book, and I need something completely different to help me recover from my Ready Player One book hangover.  I know from what I’ve heard of it that The Bell Jar is quite an intense read, dealing with mental illness and feminist issues – I look forward to reading it, and seeing how these topics are handled.

Want more First Lines Fridays posts?  Check out the First Lines Fridays archive!

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Facebook

December 9, 2016
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Top Five New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016

This year my reading speed slowed right down to a snail’s pace, but somehow I still managed to actually finish some books!  I may have read less than previous years, but I have discovered some truly brilliant authors over the last twelve months.

(I’ve adapted this post from The Broke & the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday theme this week, but I didn’t really have ten new authors I wanted to rave about – less is more!)

So, here’s my top five new-to-me authors of 2016 who have blown my mind with their wordsmithery:

1.) Ali ShawFinish The Trees

I received a copy of The Trees as an ARC to review, and it took me such a long, painstaking amount of time to finish.  But I knew I wanted to finish it, because Ali Shaw’s writing style and character development were incredible.

By the time I reached the end, I loved every single one of the main characters – even the (let’s face it) pretty-pathetic-at-times Adrien.  The feisty Hiroko even formed the foundations of a character I created for a game of Vampire: The Masquerade (a tabletop RPG where vampires live among humans in modern times).  This one gave me one bad book hangover!

Read my book review of The Trees here.

2.) Noelle Stevenson

My friend lent Nimona to me back in the summer, and I instantly fell in love with Noelle Stevenson’s style.  The story was hilarious and the illustrations really worked for me.  I’ve already got Lumberjanes lined up to read next, as I want more!

Read my book review of Nimona here.

A Court of Thorns and Roses3.) Sarah J. Maas

Can you believe that 2016 was the year I discovered Sarah J. Maas?  We covered A Court of Thorns and Roses in the Words & Geeks Book Club earlier in the year, which gave me the opportunity to find out what all that hype was about!  And Sarah J. Maas has continued to stamp on my heart ever since, with A Court of Mist and Fury, which threw the book community (me included) into hysteria.  I owe many a book hangover to this fabulous author.

Check out my book reviews of:

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Mist and Fury

4.) L-J Clements

This year I discovered the wonderful L-J Clements!  She is the geek behind My Big Geek Adventure, and she was kind enough to participate in a Q&A for Wandering Words earlier in the year, which you can check out here.  I’ve really enjoyed reading her two books this year, and can’t wait to read more of her adventures!

5.) Sylvain Neuvel

One of the best books I read this year was Sleeping Giants, and it was Sylvain Neuvel’s debut novel – incredible!  I received it as an ARC, and was completely blown away by the entire concept.  Also, Neuvel is one super smart cookie; check out his About Me on his website – that intelligence certainly comes across in his work.  The sequel, Waking Gods, is set to be released April 2017, but I just don’t think I can wait that long!

Read my book review of Sleeping Giants here.


Which authors have you fallen in love with this year?

Happy reading, everyone!

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

December 6, 2016
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First Lines Friday: 4th November

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Copy and paste the text and banner (or make your own!) above for your own First Lines Fridays posts.  Make sure to comment your first lines below so that other people can check them out!

Most embarrassing moment ever?  I’ve had a few.  One was when I walked down Harborne High Street with my skirt accidentally tucked into my knickers.


Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

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Sweet Temptation by Lucy Diamond

7264944

INFO | Goodreads

BUY | The Book Depository


Summary:

Maddie’s getting it from all sides. Her bitchy new boss at the radio station humiliates her live on air about her figure, her glamour-puss mum keeps dropping not-so-subtle hints that Maddie should lose weight and her kids are embarrassed to be seen with her after the disastrous Mums’ race at their school sports day. Something’s got to change…


I got this book second-hand from my friend recently.  Lucy Diamond is a name I’ve heard about for a good few years now, but I’ve never actually read anything by her.  It’s about time I read another chick lit!  Plus, the cover for this book is adorable, and the first lines are hilarious!

Liked this post?  You can browse the archive of all First Lines Fridays posts by clicking here – enjoy!

Happy reading!

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

November 4, 2016
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First Lines Friday: 5th August

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Feel free to comment below or tag me in the post, so I can check it out and share it on Twitter.

Once upon a time in Westphalia, in the castle of Monsieur the Baron von Thunder-ten-tronckh, there lived a young boy on whom nature had bestowed the gentlest of dispositions.


Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

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Candide by Voltaire

545085

Goodreads | The Book Depository


Summary:

Brought up in the household of a German Baron, Candide is an open-minded young man whose tutor, Pangloss, has instilled in him the belief, inspired by Leibniz, that ‘all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds’. But when his love for the Baron’s rosy-cheeked daughter is discovered, Candide is cast out to make his own fortune. As he and his various companions roam over the world, an outrageous series of disasters befall them – earthquakes, syphilis, a brush with the Inquisition, murder – sorely testing the young hero’s optimism.


I thought I would share the first lines of one of the most bizarre adventures I have ever read.  It has been several years since I read Candide but it still stands out in my memory, seeming to flow from one crazy scene to another.  I can’t say I would recommend it for everyone, though it is considered a true classic.

Check out the First Lines Fridays archive for more posts!

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

August 5, 2016
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First Lines Friday: 22nd July

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Feel free to comment below or tag me in the post, so I can check it out and share it on Twitter.

It was the closest kingdom to the queen’s, as the crow flies, but not even the crows flew it.  The highest mountain range that served as the border between the two kingdoms discouraged crows as much as it discouraged people, and it was considered unpassable.


Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

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Arrow

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

23301545

Goodreads | The Book Depository


Summary:

You may think you know this story. There’s a young queen, about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle, shrouded in thorns; and a princess, cursed by a witch, so rumor has it, to sleep forever.

But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines. A queen might just prove herself a hero, if a princess needs rescuing…


I’ve seen this around, and was so happy to find it at the library!  It just looks incredible – written by a great author and with the most beautiful illustrations too.  I can only imagine how long some of these full page drawings took to complete…  The whole book looks really unique, so I hope it’s as good as it looks.

Check out the First Lines Fridays archive for more posts!

Emma

Follow me on: Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

July 22, 2016
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