Wednesday, 22 March 2017

GIVEAWAY & GUEST POST BY ASHLEY POSTON: 10/10 Would Watch Again: Best Sci-Fi Shows

I received Ashley Poston's Geekerella a few weeks ago, and it sounds right up my street. Unfortunately, I'm still waiting to read it, although I don't have long to wait because my coursework deadline is TODAY, so as of right now, I have a little more time for reading...

The book even came with an amazing candle (I can't get enough, help) and I'm hugely excited about it. Here's what Geekerella is about:

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad's old costume), Elle's determined to win... unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons - before he was famous. Now they're nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he's ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake - until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

HOW. GOOD. DOES. THAT. SOUND. I'm so ready. I should also probably shush and pass you over to the author, Ashley Poston, who is here with her list of the best Sci-Fi shows ever.

As a girl who wrote a book about an imaginary sci-fi TV show, I’ll admit that I've watched quite a few sci-fi shows in my time. My father is a sci-fi junkie. Whether it was a b-movie flick on SyFy or Lost in Space, thanks to him I've seen them all. So, to save you the absolute horror of watching someone's face melt off in space (also, that doesn't happen - you can survive in space without a helmet for a few minutes with little more than a sunburn), I have compiled a list of 10 of my favorite sci-fi shows for you to dip your space boots into, my fearless cadets.

1. Star Trek: The Next Generation: Some say Deep Space Nine is better, others Voyager, some Enterprise... as for me, I will always have a soft spot for Data, a sentient android. If you don't want to sit through all the wonderful seasons, I suggest you at least watch The Offspring, The Measure of a Man, and Best of Both Worlds I & II.

2. Firefly: Even with its pitfalls, Firefly still has me sobbing every time I hear someone say, 'I am a leaf on the wind.'

3. Battlestar Galactica: Speaking of sentient androids... if you are in the mood for a war in space, look no further. Battlestar has become a staple with sci-fi nerds everywhere. It's smart, it's nuanced, and the gals in this show kick some serious butt.

4. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood: Not all sci-fi is in space, as FMA:B proves. Using the power of alchemy, two brothers commit the ultimate taboo to try to bring their dead mother back from the grave, and set in motion a plot that will shake their country's power to the core. Also, I will go down with my Riza/Roy ship.

5. Doctor Who: I fell in love with Eccleston's portrayal of the Ninth Doctor, and the romance between Ten/Rose broke my heart. If you haven't dipped your toes in, I'd say start at the beginning of the reboot (the Ninth Doctor) and if you find yourself straying when Moffat takes over as show-runner, don't worry - a lot of us did.

6. Sense8: The Wachowskis at their best. While Jupiter Ascending was beautiful, Sense8 is compelling and structurally sound, and still so gosh-darn beautiful I can't even.

7. Stranger Things: 80s nostalgia, D&D references, and a hella creepy monster? Yes, please!

8. The 100: This show will make your ships and break them - because like George RR Martin, they're very good at killing off your favorite characters.

9. Cowboy Bebop: What would this list be without Cowboy Bebop? The godfather of the modern space western, this anime combines the best of sci-fi with a killer jazzy soundtrack and a heart-wrecking finale. And it's gorgeous, as if you needed any more convincing!

10. The X Files: Because you know you want to believe.

Happy watching!

Ashley Poston's fangirl heart has taken her everywhere from the houses of Hollywood screenwriters to the stages of music festivals to geeky conventions (in cosplay, of course). She lives in South Carolina, where she hangs around the internet tweeting at @AshPoston.


Geekerella is published by Quirk Books on 4th April. To win a copy of Geekerella and an (amazing) limited edition candle, follow me on Twitter @MileLongBookS and RT the below tweet. UK only, ending on 29th March. Good luck!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Title: We Come Apart
Author: Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 9th February 2017
Pages: 312
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess's home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?

A timely read, We Come Apart follows the life of Nicu, a boy from Romania who has just moved to England with his family so they can earn enough for his arranged marriage; and Jess, whose outlook on life is tainted and bruised due to her abusive step-dad, Terry. Racist comments are thrown at Nicu daily, and Jess always finds herself in a bad situation, whether that's at home with Terry, or on the run from a security guard. Both stuck in a world that doesn't want them, they find comfort in each other. But they're against the clock, because Nico has a wedding to attend; his own.

Like One, Crossan's previous novel, We Come Apart is written in verse. I love this style of writing, and Crossan and Conaghan pulled it off well; this style doesn't detract from the emotion or the complexity - in fact, there were some really harrowing scenes in there. Additionally, Nicu's broken English and Jess's slang adds to authenticity and encourages us to delve deeper into the story, beyond language. For what is a fairly short read, it truly packs a punch. However: We Come Apart is a glimpse, a window, a crack in a door. It's one of those books that continues without you, way beyond the ending. It's one of those books where you'll always wonder how things actually turned out. Lots of people like that - I do too, sometimes - but with this particular book, I simply wasn't satisfied. Sad times.

Unfortunately for me, the ending let it down, but that's not to say it's a bad book overall. We Come Apart is unique, beautifully written, and vital reading at this time of burning hatred and constant change.

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Liar's Handbook by Keren David

Title: The Liar's Handbook
Author: Keren David
Published by: Barrington Stoke
Publication date: 15th January 2017
Pages: 125
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

River's life is blown apart when his mum invites her new boyfriend into their home and their lives. River is instantly suspicious of Jason – he seems fake, too good to be true.

At school, River's routine fibs are escalating into something more serious, and his teacher gives him a notebook in the hope he can channel his fantasies into creative writing instead.

And so, River begins The Liar's Handbook, and an investigation into Jason.

The Liar's Handbook is the latest YA release from one of my favourite authors, Keren David - but this time, it's in the form of a short story, and has been designed in a way that makes reading easier for those who struggle with it. And it is brilliant.

River is a liar. At school, half of his year still believes that he was a champion snow-boarder at the age of six, until his career was wrecked by a polar bear during the world junior snow-boarding championships. As the saying goes, it takes one to know one - and River is certain that his mum's new boyfriend, Jason, is a massive liar. The Liar's Handbook follows River's investigation into his mum's boyfriend, and his search for the truth.

Like with Unboxed by Non Pratt - another fabulous Barrington Stoke title - it feels special. A pleasingly small paperback, it has thick, creamy pages; the chapters are punchy, dynamic, and brilliantly twisty; and the overall design is bold and eye-catching. I'm an avid reader who has no trouble with reading (unless finding the time for it counts...) and even I felt the satisfaction and encouragement that comes from reading an entire book in a short amount of time. Because, as bookish as I may be, reading a full-length novel can be difficult when life insists on butting in at every available moment, and it was amazing to be able to read a review book in under an hour. I think I've said this before, but... more YA short stories, please, publishing industry!

The Liar's Handbook is well worth the read, as are Keren's other books, regardless of whether or not you struggle with reading. Barrington Stoke is an absolutely genius publisher, and I cannot wait for more.