Book Review: A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt HaigAuthor:  Matt Haig

Genre: MG, Christmas

Publisher: Canongate Books

Publication Date: November 12, 2015

272 pages, hardcover

With illustrations by: Chris Mould

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Did you read up there where it says “Matt Haig”? You did? Have you ever visited my blog before? You have? Good, then you know how much I love that author. I pretty much mention one of his books every opportunity I can. Meaning I really don’t even have to do this review, right? You just KNOW I loved it. Actually, no. Any opportunity I can to word vomit my love for Matt Haig’s books is an opportunity I take.

You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.
It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible.
If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you.
Because this book is FULL of impossible things.

I adored this book. It’s the story of Nikolas, an 11-year-old boy who goes on the adventure of a lifetime. It’s full of magic and elves and pixies and snow. It was the perfect book to read to get me into the Christmas spirit. I’m one of those people who can’t listen to Christmas music until AFTER Thanksgiving, but this book just filled me with cheer and joy.

Nikolas was a poor, skinny boy who ventured north in search of his father, who’d gone off to find the city of elves. There is some sadness here, but there’s also joy and kindness, laughter and even some silly dancing. Gasp! It’s a beautiful story. Just an little tip: this would be a perfect Christmas gift!

The illustrations are amazing as well, the perfect touch. Here’s a few examples that Matt tweeted out:

The bottom line: Yet another book to add to my ever-growing Matt Haig obsession er…love. A perfect book to read with your kids at Christmas or with yourself to get you into the Christmas spirit. It’s fun and magical, and I loved it. It gives you that perfect sitting-in-front-of-the-fire-with-hot-chocolate feeling.

Shout out to the lovely people at Canongate Books for this copy! (Note: this did not sway my review in any way. You know it was already glowing because it’s Matt Haig)

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I’m Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Thanksgiving themed Freebie — ten books I’m thankful for, authors I’m thankful for, Ten fictional families I’d like to celebrate Thanksgiving with, a personal non-bookish thankful list, etc. etc.

I love the idea of listing ten of the books I’m thankful for, because there’s been a lot of books I’ve read in my life that furthered my love of reading, helped me, comforted me, and loved me like I loved them. Here are ten of the many, many books I’m thankful for.

Thank you to:

What books are you thankful for?

My Dream Literary Collection | Invaluable.com

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Invaluable.com, a really cool website with a HUGE collection of books (first editions, collectible editions, etc.) – plus other items – that they auction. They’ve asked a group of bloggers to write a post all about what they would like in their dream library. I thought that sounded super fun, because who doesn’t think about which ARCs or editions of books they’d LOVE to own?

——————-

I’m sure you’ll all be surprised when you see the very first thing I’d LOVE to own is a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, which are sadly very rare. And super expensive when they come up. For example, the edition in the picture below sold at auction for around $40,000 a few years ago. WOAH.

BOOKS POTTER AUCTION

Another you’ll probably not be surprised about – I would LOVE to own a copy of The Little White Bird or Adventures in Kensington Gardens by J.M. Barrie, which is the amazing first appearance of Peter Pan. Look at this gorgeous first edition that is SIGNED by Barrie. The book was published in 1902 and signed in 1921. I NEED it.

The Little White Bird

I also found a beautiful first edition of Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery that’s signed and numbered, which is freaking amazing. I adore this story and, like Peter Pan, it reminds to have a childlike curiosity about the world.

Le Petit Prince

FROM INVALUABLE:

I also browsed some of the past lots from Invaluable’s website and found some seriously amazing editions I’d love to put in my collection. For example,

LOT 197: I’m a huge fan of Robert Louis Stevenson. I found a GORGEOUS edition of Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which is the first book I ever read by him and one of my favorite books ever – it’s also a FIRST EDITION FROM 1886. WHY IS IT SOLD? I NEED IT.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

LOT 118: They also had beautiful first editions of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. *drools* I feel like I would cradle these like a baby if I owned them. Hahaha.

Sherlock Holmes

LOT 222: And last but not least, I found a current auction for a first edition of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald!! That would be amazing to own. I love that story SO much.

The Great Gatsby——————-

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there. What books do you have in your dream literary collection? Make sure you head on over to invaluable.com to browse their auctions – they’ve got some really wonderful stuff there.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

The Girl who Fell by Shannon M. ParkerPublisher: Simon Pulse

Author: Shannon M. Parker

Release date: March 1, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

His obsession.
Her fall.
In this dark kissing book, high school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.
Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.
But love has a way of changing things.
Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.
Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?
But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.
So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.
If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

Why I’m excited: I’m not even 100% sure on what this book is even about (I believe that’s the point), but I can tell it’s going to be powerful and emotional, and I’m probably going to cry. It sounds dark and heartbreaking and honest. I think Marci Curtis described it on Goodreads as raw an stunning – might I have this right now, please and thank you? I’m pretty sure I’m going to be the Girl Who Fell for this book. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes from the Past Year

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So

“When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.” Mosquitoland by David Arnold

“I will be STRONGER than my sadness” My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

“Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while, but the world isn’t going anywhere. Hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it.” Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

“No, Lila had been running toward something. Something better. And even if she hadn’t reached it yet. She would.”

AND

“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
“Seen what?”
Her smile widened. “Everything.” A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

“Because there’s no denying it now. I’m in the world
And, too, the world is in me.” Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing something that brings you joy.” A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

“I fall a little bit in love with everyone.” Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

“Quick, make a wish.
Take a (second or third or fourth) chance.
Remake the world.”  I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

“So now live for real, Craig. Live. Live. Live. Live.
Live.” It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

What are some of your favorite book quotes?

Cold Weather Happiness #4: Best Friend Time

image

Every Sunday during fall and winter (hopefully), I’m going to post what I’m calling “Cold Weather Happiness” – this could be anything from a song to a quote, a picture to a post about a person, lyrics to a description of a favorite place, anything that will remind me to be happy, to fight through the cold, dark place my mind goes to sometimes and remember that it’s not always like this. Read the full description in my first post.

Best friend time

I have a hard time making best friends. In fact, until the past few years, I don’t think I ever had what I now know as a best friend. And then in the span of just 3 years or so, I found TWO. I’ll be talking about the other soon, but today I want to talk about this weirdo – my ex-boss turned best friend, Matt.

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This post might get a little sappy, and I’d probably not say any of this to his face. And if he actually reads this, well, good. When I first started working with Matt last year, I wasn’t in a good place. But he was exactly what I needed. He made (makes) me laugh even when I don’t really want to (either because I’m sad or because he’s highly inappropriate). We have a lot in common and a lot we don’t have in common and that makes for some interesting conversations. He’s the person who got me into comics and who I now go to the comic book store with every single month. He protects me and would fight anyone for me. We’re both a little messed up, but that’s why we work so well, I think. He lets me talk about all my bookish shenanigans and even though he has no idea who or what I’m talking about, he still listens. And even though I no longer work with him, we still make time to hang out – like last night, when he drove the 35 minutes to my house so we could watch The Walking Dead together. I’m just really glad I have him in my life.

Cover Reveal + Giveaway – UNHOOKED by Lisa Maxwell

Today Lisa Maxwell and a few Blogger friends are revealing the cover for UNHOOKED a YA Fantasy releasing in February 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win an awesome book pack and an ARC of UNHOOKED!

On to the reveal!

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Title: UNHOOKED

Author: Lisa Maxwell

Pub. Date: February 2, 2016

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Hardcover: 352 pages

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks

From “talented wordsmith” (Publishers Weekly) Lisa Maxwell comes a lush, atmospheric fantasy novel filled with twists and turns about a girl who is kidnapped and brought to an island inhabited by fairies, a roguish ship captain, and bloodthirsty beasts.

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home. Her mother believes they are being hunted by brutal monsters, and those delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. Gwen’s only saving grace is that her best friend, Olivia, is with her for the summer.

But shortly after their arrival, the girls are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and dragged to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey. And Gwen begins to realize that maybe her mother isn’t so crazy after all…

Gwen discovers that this new world she inhabits is called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the Neverland you’ve heard about in stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through your fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and tries to find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the captivating pirate who promises to keep her safe.

Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself?

Lisa+Dunick-Outdoors-15-EditAbout Lisa: 

Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep (Flux, Fall 2015) and Unhooked (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). When she’s not writing books, she’s an English professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

Find Lisa: Website Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram

Giveaway Details:

As a thank you to the lovely authors who blurbed UNHOOKED Lisa is giving away…

(1) winner will receive Sara Raasch’s books, Snow Like Ashes & Ice Like Fire. Ellen Oh’s books Prophecy & Warrior. Christina Farley’s books Brazen & Silvern. AND an ARC of Unhooked! US Only.

Giveaway Enter//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi HeiligPublisher: Greenwillow Books

Author: Heidi Heilig

Release date: February 16, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.

Why I’m excited: I’ve already been talking about this one on Twitter, and I was lucky enough to be approved for an e-ARC of this one on Edelweiss, but I’m just so excited about this one that I had to do a WoW post too! I mean, did you guys read that synopsis?! The Girl from Everywhere sounds incredible – it’s got time travel, ships, charming thieves; I mean, what else could you possibly want? And honestly, another draw for this one is how absolutely sweet Heidi is! You should all go follow her on Twitter if you don’t already. T-minus just over 3 months until release!

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Book to Movie Adaptations

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I’m Looking Forward To or Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch

Here are ten of the 2016 book to movie adaptations I am most excited about in release date order. Book covers from Goodreads and movie posters from IMDB. Descriptions are also from IMDB.

THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey Arrow The 5th Wave movie poster

What it’s about: Four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother.

When’s it out? January 15

Watch the trailer & find out more on IMDB.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES by Seth Grahame-Smith

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Arrow Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie poster

What it’s about: Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge — an army of undead zombies.

When’s it out? February 5

Watch the trailer & find out more on IMDB.

DEADPOOL, created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld

Deadpool Arrow Deadpool movie poster

What it’s about: A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers and adopts the alter ego Deadpool.

When’s it out? February 12

Watch the trailer & find out more on IMDB.

BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, based on several comics

batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justicejpg-814ab02305c6f702

What it’s about: Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’ most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.

When’s it out? March 25

Watch the trailer & find out more on IMDB.

SUICIDE SQUAD, based on the organization in DC Comics

Suicide Squad Arrow Suicide Squad Movie poster

What it’s about: A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.

When’s it out? August 5

Watch the trailer & find out more on IMDB.

A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls

What it’s about: A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom’s terminal illness.

When’s it out? October 14

Find out more on IMDB.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Arrow Fantastic Beasts movie poster

What it’s about: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

When’s it out? November 18

Find out more on IMDB.

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Arrow Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children movie poster

What it’s about: Teenager Jacob follows clues that take him to a mysterious island, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores the abandoned bedrooms and hallways, he discovers that its former occupants were far more than peculiar; they possessed incredible powers. And they may still be alive.

When’s it out? December 25

Find out more on IMDB.

THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

What it’s about: A teenage girl misses her flight at JFK Airport and meets a young British guy who may turn out to be her true love.

When’s it out? 2016

Find out more on IMDB.

LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green

Looking for Alaska

What it’s about: A new arrival at a boarding school falls in love with a beguiling female student.

When’s it out? 2016

Find out more on IMDB.

Which book to movie adaptations are you looking forward to seeing?

Cold Weather Happiness #3: Mini Mississippi Bonfire Night

cold weather happiness

Every Sunday during fall and winter (hopefully), I’m going to post what I’m calling “Cold Weather Happiness” – this could be anything from a song to a quote, a picture to a post about a person, lyrics to a description of a favorite place, anything that will remind me to be happy, to fight through the cold, dark place my mind goes to sometimes and remember that it’s not always like this. Read the full description in my first post.

Mini Mississippi Bonfire Night

As most of you know by now, I lived in Scotland for over a year while I got my Masters degree. You might have heard of this celebration that happens every year on November 5 called Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night. If you haven’t heard of the actual celebration, you’ve probably heard the poem/verse, which was made pretty famous in Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta:

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Anyway, Guy Fawkes Night/Bonfire Night is a yearly celebration of the night that King James I survived the attempt to blow up parliament. People light big ol’ bonfires, there’s sometimes fireworks and usually lots of drinking. It’s a lot of fun, but since I’m back in Mississippi, I had to improvise a bit. I lit my own little fire, had a nice cup of coffee, and finished reading an incredible book (in case you’re wondering, it was The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner). I had a great evening with my parents around the fire, and though I missed the UK something fierce, I’m glad I got to have a mini bonfire night.

Bonfire Night