THE GRAVEYARD BOOK – NEIL GAIMAN

Processed with VSCO with a4 presetThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Chris Riddell (This piece of information is so very important because he’s only like one of the greatest illustrators out there)
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, London, Oxford, New York, New Delhi and Sydney
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Children’s literature, Paranormal
Rating: Am I allowed to go above 5 stars here?!
Post Book Thoughts: I currently cannot think of a thought worthy of this book so leave me alone.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard. But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.

A deliciously dark masterwork by bestselling author Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by award-winning Chris Riddell.


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IDA – ALISON EVANS

30720860Ida by Alison Evans
Published by: Bonnier Publishing Australia
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
For fans of: wonderfully diverse books, time travel, alternate universes!
My rating: 2 stars out of 5

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?


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AND THE WINNER IS…

So, our first giveaway Celebrating Freedom and Diverse Books has come to a close!

For the entire month of February, So We Read This Book hosted a giveaway to promote some of Sri Lanka’s wonderful local literature. The prize? One of three incredible books written by Sri Lankan authors. The giveaway ended yesterday, and we’re all super thrilled to announce the winner.

So, without further ado:

*Opens envelope*

*looks at band*

Drum roll, please.

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Congratulations Akiel!

We’ll contact you later today to let you know that you’ve won, and also to double check on which book you want as your prize.

To everyone else: thank you so much for following us, and for entering the giveaway. We’re sorry that we can’t give all of your gifts (we really wish we could) but we hope that you’ve got a few more books on your TBR and have learned a few things about our island.

Stay tuned for more reviews, giveaways and other bookish things, you guys!

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR A SECOND-HAND HEART – TAMSYN MURRAY

31760965Instructions For A Second-Hand Heart by Tamsyn Murray
Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Romance
For fans of: The Fault in Our Stars, If I Was Your Girl, stories that deal with illness, disability and depression
My rating: 3 stars out of 5

Jonny isn’t like “normal” teenagers. Every day he wakes up in hospital, kept alive by a machine. Every day he wonders if this is the day they’ll find a donor match for his heart. Every day he wonders if this is the day he’ll die.

Every day, Niamh fights with her “perfect” brother Leo. Every single day, Leo wins. Every day, Niamh dreams of a life without Leo. But all that changes on the day of the accident: the day EVERYTHING falls apart.

This is a story about facing the future no matter how frightening. This is a story about healing your heart, no matter how much it hurts.


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THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE | THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE #1

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The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Published by Del Rey
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, YA
For Fans of:  Uprooted, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cruel Beauty
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.


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WAVE – SONALI DERANIYAGALA

16269945Wave: A Memoir of Life After The Tsunami by Sonali Deraniyagala
Published by Virago
Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction,
For fans of: books that will give you Sads, stories about surviving grief and healing
My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

On the morning of 26 December 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami that she miraculously survived.

In this brave and searingly frank memoir, she describes those first horrifying moments and her long journey since. She struggles through the months following the tragedy, furiously clenched against a reality that she cannot face and cannot deny. Then, over the ensuing years, she emerges reluctantly, slowly allowing her memory to take her back through the rich and joyous life she’s mourning, from her family’s home in London to the birth of her children, to the year she met her English husband at Cambridge, to her childhood home in Colombo.


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CHINAMAN THE LEGEND OF PRADEEP MATHEW – SHEHAN KARAUNATILAKA

img_20170213_180102Chinaman The Legend of Pradeep Mathew  by Shehan Karunatilaka
Published by Penguin Random House India Pvt Ltd
Genres: Fiction, Sports and Games
Rating: 4/5
Post Book Thoughts: I need to read more local literature stat!!!!

Retired sportswriter W.G. Karunasena is dying. He will spend his final months drinking arrack, upsetting his wife, ignoring his son, and tracking down Pradeep S. Mathew, an elusive spin bowler he considers the greatest cricketer to walk the earth.

On his quest to find this unsung genius, W.G. uncovers a coach with six fingers, a secret bunker below a famous stadium, an LTTE warlord, and startling truths about Sri Lanka, cricket and himself.


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FUNNY BOY – SHYAM SELVADURAI

1075662Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
Published by Penguin India
Genres: Historical fiction, Coming of Age, LGBTQIA
For fans of: diverse books, bittersweet stories of coming-out in times of war.
My rating: 4 stars out of 5

In Shyam Selvadurai’s remarkable debut novel, a boy’s bittersweet passage to maturity and sexual awakening is set against escalating political tensions in Sri Lanka during the seven years leading up to the 1983 riots. Arjie Chevaratnam is a Tamil boy growing up in an extended family in Colombo. It is through his eyes that the story unfolds and we meet a delightful, sometimes eccentric, cast of characters. Arjie’s journey from the luminous simplicity of childhood days into the more intricately shaded world of adults – with its secrets, its injustices and its capacity for violence – is a memorable one, as time and time again the true longings of the human heart are held against the way things are.

Exquisitely written, and masterly in its mingling of the personal and political, Funny Boy has established itself as a classic.


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