Sunday, May 14, 2017

MASH-UP REVIEWS - A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES & A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses & A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1 &2)
by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher - Bloomsbury
Release Dates - May 5th 2015 & May 3rd 2016
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
***
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

My Review(s)

So I read A Court of Rose and Thorns last year when A Court of Mist and Fury was coming out and I absolutely loved it! I never reviewed it though, so I thought after finishing ACOFMAF only a few days ago I thought I would do a non-spoiler mash review of both book - with lots of fangirling over two particular High Lords in the book too.

With the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin also by far the most beautiful cover in the series, that I can't stop stroking it. Haha. I found that hype didn't matter about this book because you can't help but be completely submersed by Sarah's writing and the of the world she creates...Prythian. I don't know what it is but I found this series of Sarah's to be here best out of the Throne of Glass series, I found it more beautiful I guess, the worlds with the realm are just dream-like almost, you can find yourself just sitting there reading ACOMAF in the Night Court under the stars, or reading on the balcony of Tarquin's house in the Summer Court.

What I also loved was the depth of characters we had, Feyre being the obvious choice to be a kick-ass heroine, whether she is mortal or immortal her character never ceases to amaze me with her courage, her strength, her bluntness or her lack of honesty. This is what every female character should resemble because I love her. Plus the fact she has quite a few Fae admired by her, that of Tamlin and then Rhysand. Speaking of the two - I found that I each loved them and hated them at certain times of this series, I can't confirm nor deny that one of these High Lords is just utterly magnificent in every sense of the word. But let me tell you this - don't judge a book by it's cover, this applies to the characters because you'll be surprised that what's on the outside is only a shell, a void that cover what they a truly are like. Behind closed doors and secret cities, they become the person they are, and Feyre soon realises this. Feyre, Tamlin and Rhysand aren't the only the characters that make this series, it's also The Inner Circle like Mor, Amren, Azriel, Cassian and Lucien. They craft their persona's through each other and they would always want to be part of their lives, they are family which I found to be beautiful. 

Sarah J. Maas is an incredible author that you can't help but feel entranced by her novels, By the end you feel drained and full of emotions because you know that nothing else will live up to these glorious books. Until the next one... 

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thursday, May 04, 2017

RELEASE DAY REVIEW: WINDFALL by Jennifer E.Smith

Windfallby Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher - Pan Macmillan
Release Date - May 4th 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

My Review

The last time I read a book by Miss Smith is The Geography of You and Me (find my review here) and I absolutely adored it. Can you believe that is...... years ago and I can't believe I haven't read anything by her since. After reading Windfall lets just say's I missed her, her bright covers, her gorgeous prose and her gorgeous romantic-filled story from start to end.

After her parents died,, Alice has lived with her aunt and uncle, since she was 9. Her cousin, Leo is just so amazing and so cute too, that he protects her like his own sister. Alice has been in love with their best friend Teddy for as long as she can remember. On his 16th birthday she bought him a lottery ticket... 6 numbers including number 13...Alice didn't believe in luck until that day. Windfall is a windfall of life, in just one day everything can change, and everything can spiral out of control.
I think having this newfound wealth can be a curse in the beginning because it's falling into that uncertainty again of life, that they have both experienced. But it's the smallest things that once again brought them together. Money can never buy you everything you desire, it can pay for your happiness or love, so it's the person, it's up to both Alice and Teddy to see what it can do and how far it can go. 

What would you do with $140 million? If you won the lottery what would you spend it on? Teddy got kind of hot-headed when he won the money, he also changed him as well. He never had money before after his dad completely wiped them out. So he wants to give his mum a proper home, the home they had before, he wants to give her that back and it's those acts of kindness that really shine through his character, that's the Teddy we all love including Alice. Alice chose that ticket, those numbers, and she never knew that what would bring them together would be this piece of paper. Although Teddy offered half, she declined it, as her random act of kindness was not taking the money because she felt she didn't deserve it when it was her present to Teddy. It would also feel wrong in her parents passing they saved a trust fund for her and her future. She would feel wrong not to honor that. Alice not only found herself in this novel, but together Alice knocked some sense into Teddy. That you always need that someone even when your high above the clouds, to gradually get you back down to reality.   

This book is breath-taking, uplifting and it's a ray of sunshine to read. You can't not laugh, smile and cry and how kind and loving these characters are to you. What I felt that it was a reflection of life, that sometimes your so self-absorbed that you need a bit of perspective. You find yourself wondering what you can you do to make someone else's life just that little bit brighter. I like to smile and say hello to the bus driver, and thank you when I get off, that certainly just either starts and the ends the day in a smile. Like I said it's the smaller things that have the most impact and Alice and Teddy are a reflection of that. This book not only focuses on love and romance, but also kindness, family friendship and grief. Windfall has everything and more, you don't realise how much it impacts on you until you finish it. 

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to Pan Macmillan for the review copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

ARC REVIEW - PASSING FOR WHITE by Tanya Landman

Passing for White
by Tanya Landman
Publisher - Barrington Stoke
Release Date - May 15th 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

It's 1848 in the Deep South of America. Rosa is a slave but her owner is also her father and her fair skin means she can 'pass for white'. With the help of her husband Benjamin, she disguises herself as a young southern gentleman - and Benjamin's master. In this guise, the couple flee the South, explaining away their lack of literacy, avoiding those they have encountered before and holding their nerve over a thousand miles to freedom.Inspired by the amazing true story of Ellen Craft who escaped a life of slavery through a daring disguise and won freedom for herself and her husband. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 13+




My Review

Passing for White is the first book from Tanya Landman I have read and I absolutely loved it. I know Tanya by reputation of the Carnegie Medal for Buffalo Soldier as well as her upcoming novel Beyond the Wall - which I can't wait to read. 

Written in over 100 pages, Passing for White is an inspiring novel about how two slaves, who want freedom from their masters, have to runaway and 'pass for white' to do so. Rosa is a 'white' slave. Ben is a carpenters slave and the first time they met, he assumed that Rosa was the white master, the way she held herself and spoke, but she is far from that. Rosa has been a slave to this family for all her life, what she endures is quite simply awful and I hated to read what happened to her. But when she meets Ben it's like she can finally breath. As they embark on their journey to freedom we find ourselves experiences what life was like for a slave in the 1850s.

This is a beautifully raw novel and I was totally mesmerised by it. Rosa's character really struck a cord with me, I found that what she went through, the abuse of her master's husband every night that could impact on the life she could have with Ben was horrific. Both Rosa and Ben are the braviest characters I will ever know. I find myself not having read these types of books very often, awed and equally I guess educated in a way to recognise the depths that us humans had to go through in a time like that. A very dark and almost inhuman time unless you were literary, privileged and rich.

Tanya Landman's books are a force to be reckoned with and I can't wait to delve more into her prose. Next on my list has to be Beyond the Wall and then Buffalo Soldier

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


Thank you to Barrington Stoke and Nina Douglas for sending me a proof copy in exchange for an honest review - which I think I just did. 


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BLOG TOUR - CHLOE SNOW'S DIARY: CONFESSIONS OF A HIGH SCHOOL DISASTER by Emma Chastain

Hi Everyone, I'm so excited to be part of this blog tour for Chloe Snow's Diary: Confessions of a High School Disaster! This is an amazing book and you should read it if you love Geek Girl, Waiting for Callback or if your older a Bridget Jones's Diary for Teens. I posted my review of this book yesterday so click here if you want to take a look. Before I continue with my blog tour piece, here is a little bit more on the book...




Fourteen-year-old Chloe Snow is about to start ninth grade when her mum announces she can’t create art in suburban Massachusetts, and goes to Mexico to work on her novel. As she is left with only her (socially awkward) dad as company, Chloe faces multiple new challenges as she begins high school.

Told in hilarious, heart-warming and awkwardly honest diary entries, this is Bridget Jones’s Diary for a new generation. and is set to make you laugh, cringe, and possibly cry throughout!


How to Write a Novel in 6 Easy Steps
Emma Chastain

I’ve wanted to write a book since I was in first grade, but for three and a half decades, I didn’t. Below, I’ve listed the six things that helped me finally get off my butt and do it. I’m an internet-addicted lazybones, and the tactics I used might not be relevant for more organized, motivated writers, but if you’ve ever found yourself watching videos of otters holding hands when you’re supposed to be working, one or more items on the below list might be useful. I hope so!

1. Write the book you want to read yourself.
Every writing teacher tells you this, but it took me a long time to grasp the profound wisdom of the advice. For a long time, I felt I should write a searing, slightly dour work of literary fiction. Finally it dawned on me that the books I love, the books I read and reread, are comic epistolary novels narrated by well-meaning but completely clueless characters (to name just a few: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Diary of a Nobody; I Capture the Castle; Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging; Bridget Jones’s Diary), and that I wanted to write something that would fit on a shelf with these books.

2. Outline. Have you started umpteen novels, only to abandon them 1,000 or 10,000 words in because you have no idea where you’re going or what the story is? Me too! Plenty of writers can feel their way along, seeing only as far as their headlights, but I can’t. I need Waze.

3. Write a little bit every day. My goal is to write for 20 minutes a day. Twenty minutes is nothing, obviously—I could spend that long editing a tweet, or tweezing a single eyebrow. But I make the goal tiny on purpose, so that I’ll feel embarrassed if I can’t pull it off. Sometimes I write for 20 minutes, sometimes I write for two hours, but I never write for long. I think most people (including me) underestimate how much work they can get done in small increments. The every-dayness is important, too. If I stay away from my manuscript for longer than a day, I start to lose my intimate knowledge of it, and my interest in it.

4. While you’re writing, write. When I have my Word doc open, I don’t let myself open tabs, eat, listen to music, or even stand up. If I need to Google something, I make a note so I’ll remember to do it later. When I get a little stuck and feel the familiar urge to escape by looking at my phone, I don’t let myself. I force myself to be uncomfortable and work out whatever small problem I’m facing. Maybe you have better self-control than I do, and can glance at Twitter for a minute and then get back to your manuscript. I have zero self-control, so I have to abstain completely.

5. Leave yourself instructions. When I’m done writing, I jot down a quick note about where to start the next day (“keep figuring out Halloween dance,” “fix fight scene on p. 132”). You think you’ll remember where you were and what you were doing, but you won’t.

6. Give up things you enjoy. If you have kids or a job or school commitments and you want to write a book, you’re probably going to have to stop doing stuff you like to do or feel you should do. I don’t watch TV or movies anymore, and I don’t exercise. And I hate it! I desperately want to binge “Big Little Lies,” and I desperately want to feel like I’m a human being with muscles and not a quivering mass of Jell-O wearing yoga pants. But writing is more important to me than doing that stuff, so for now, I’m a gelatinous non-human who has not seen Nicole Kidman breaking down in her therapist’s office (does she break down, or is she icily composed? I have no idea!).


Emma Chastain

About Emma
Emma Chastain is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and the Creative Writing Program at Boston University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.



My #DailyConfession is this book is ingeniously funny and every teen girl should read it! - Check out my review here and be sure to check out the rest of the tour this week.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

REVIEW - CHLOE SNOW'S DIARY: CONFESSIONS OF A HIGH SCHOOL DISASTER by Emma Chastain

Chloe Snow's Diary: Confessions of a High School Disaster
by Emma Chastain
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Release Date - April 20th 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Fourteen-year-old Chloe Snow is about to start ninth grade when her mum announces she can’t create art in suburban Massachusetts, and goes to Mexico to work on her novel. As she is left with only her (socially awkward) dad as company, Chloe faces multiple new challenges as she begins high school.

Told in hilarious, heart-warming and awkwardly honest diary entries, this is Bridget Jones’s Diary for a new generation. and is set to make you laugh, cringe, and possibly cry throughout!




My Review

Would you believe me if I told you I've never read Bridget's Jones's Diary - I've only watched them. Would you believe me when I say I don't really read diaries in fiction much - that aside I feel Chloe Snow has certainly changed my tune on this - I LOVED IT! 

Chloe Snow's story was told through an entry in her diary every day - it all begins just before freshman year of high school, Chloe Snow has high hopes, new year new school, she has expectations to live up too one of which to have her first kiss, - I mean every one else has and already on second base so she feels she needs to have it by New Year's Eve. Along the way she meets the heartfelt Tristan, her best friend and not so nice people as well. Her freshman year takes her on a journey of self discovery, facing new challenges and also exceeding her own expectations but at the end of the day it's being herself that trumps all. 

Chloe Snow reminds me a bit of me - I think we all have those thoughts about boys, friendships, school life at that age. Chloe isn't a stranger to making bad decisions, and she messes up a lot which you will get annoyed at, but its her quirks and redeeming qualities that make her who she is. What I loved was that aside from the funny, the cringe and the constant smile you display on your face when your reading it is that it focused lightly on the serious of your teenage years too. I learned something too: Did you know you should say Rabbit Rabbit at the beginning of the month, for good luck all month and it derived from Britain? Nope I didn't. 

This is the perfect book if you loved Waiting for Callback series by Perdita and Honor Cargill and also Flirty Dancing series by Jenny McLanan.  I hope we see Chloe Snow a lot more - I'd love to go through her sophomore and senior years and see what other trouble and cringe worthy moments she gets up too. My #DailyConfession is this book is ingeniously funny and every teen girl should read it!

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

REVIEW - A QUIET KIND OF THUNDER by Sara Barnard

A Quiet Kind of Thunder
by Sara Barnard
Publisher - Macmillan Children's Books
Release Date - January 12th 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Steffi doesn't talk, but she has so much to say. Rhys can't hear, but he can listen.Their love isn't a lightning strike, it's the rumbling roll of thunder.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life - she's been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He's deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. 

From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.

My Review

First, let's appreciate and look at this cover. I mean it doesn't do any justice on a computer screen when you look and feel it in your hands, that it's embossed and everything and not just on the outside either, the beauty continues to the inside and every page after that until the end. THIS BOOK people, THIS book, this is what it's all about right now, especially when you meet Rhys and Steffi! You will just melt and be completely mesmerised by their relationship.

Steffi is a selective mute, or as shes says it "I'm a natural introvert with severe social anxiety and a shyness that is basically pathalogical." But when she was little, her shyness manifested into her mutism, you can only really know it though only if she's at school with people she's not familiar with, or strangers on the street, that's where the selectiveness comes in. As she enters 6th Form without her best friend Tem, she is approached by the head and introduced to a boy named Rhys. He's deaf and the only communication they know and use is BSL, British Sign Language and this is where their story begins...

Steffi and Rhys just clicked, maybe it started with their shared BSL communication, maybe that was the way to open a lock between both of their hearts, but I think as they got to know each other more, they found themselves becoming stronger individually, they did depend on each other for that strength but it also gave them the inspiration to try new things and to go outside of their comfort zone. What I loved about them was that they aren't so different from everyone else. We treat them that way, we label them that way, there BSL separates them from people, they distant themselves instantly from the real world. But what's really inspiring is in BSL itself, it's a language, just like french and Spanish, you learn it, you say it, you develop into something beautiful. Steffi and Rhys might stand out from others because they might have something less, but what they do still have is a voice to be heard and seen. All they need is a little guidance and encouragement so they can do just about anything and that's their relationship, finding a life's path and finding each other.

Steffi and Rhys is a set of characters that is unlike anything I've ever read in a long time. Their relationship begins the moment they sign hello to each other. It's a communication that isn't explored enough or the fact that it's only really used to a selective group of people. I know a bit of sign language, my mum works with special needs and has loads of books on it. I used to read them and practice myself. Using your hands to convey and interpret your life, your meaning is such a touching and almost awe-like expression to have between two people or a group. But putting such a unique communication style into a romance, contemporary novel like this, is just simply beautiful especially with two persona's as Steffi and Rhys.

Meeting Miss Barnard 2 times this year in different events, I really got the sense for her book event after reading it. I saw the research, her inspiration for this novel come through like a lightening strike. I read Beautiful Broken Things when it first came out and I really enjoyed it, but for me, this is Sara's best book to date. Read it please. It's as beautiful on the outside as it is in...

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

REVIEW - PAPER BUTTERFLIES by Lisa Heathfield

Paper Butterflies
by Lisa Heathfield
Publisher - Electric Monkey
Release Date - January 12th 2017 (this edition)
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

June's life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net.

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom . . . But at what price?

Paper Butterflies is an unforgettable read, perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Jandy Nelson, Sarah Crossan and Louise O'Neill.


My Review

Wow, I finished this book last night and I didn't think I could make it what with the words starting to blur with tears. I actually started reading this book in a reading lesson as part of the scholastic book fair. The cover is striking and beautiful which exactly reflects the book inside as well as out. I read the first few pages of the book and I knew I had to continue it...

{From the first page - what I read at the book fair - no spoilers.}
June's being forced to drink warm milk and water, her bladder full, needing the loo. She's not allowed to go. Her step-mum Kathleen, says it's time for school, she ties a ribbon in her hair and off she goes with her step-sister, Megan. She gets to the bus stop, she see a elephant in the clouds so she focuses on that, anything that isn't...well wet. She gets on the bus and sits. It's so painful, she can't help it, she couldn't hold it in...

June lives with father, after her mum died, Kathleen and Megan came into their lives as step-mum and step-sister, but the worst possibly family you could imagine. When I first read this I thought it was going to be like a Cinderella sort of storyline - only so much darker. Kathleen despises June, so she torments her everyday, feeds her huge portions of food to make her go fat, make her ugly and basically brings out the worst in June. Megan just follows like the good little daughter she is. June wants to cry, shout, talk about what's happening even to a stranger but she can't find the words...she was too scared and I don't blame her.

Not until she meets Blister with his taped up glasses and his paper figures that she actually finds some solace and safety in their relationship. Their friendship, their bond, their love for one another you were totally transfixed.That beyond everything that was happening, Blister and his family were the only ones that really treated her for her. They made June a stronger girl for it whilst not letting Kathleen and Megan strip her down till there is nothing left of her own persona for anyone to care about... Blister is her escape, she is the butterfly that is able to fly free.

This book gives you so many feels, good and bad. Miss Heathfield's writing is moving and addictive at the same time. The structure of the book is split in two times Before and After. For each After we get a glimpse at what life is like for her presently but not really knowing what has happened and I loved that. I felt that the After chapter was a light relief of the heavy and the emotional that came with each passing week and year that June has to endure this suffering. What you felt for this book was the most out of body experience because you couldn't compute what it was that's happening or feeling. It was horrific at time, it was hard to read, it was raw to imagine a child going through this abuse. But that's why I couldn't stop myself from being dragged in, you totally at the mercy of the author and how uncontrollable your emotions are. The passion you find yourself feeling towards the characters and not always good, speak volumes as to how magnificent this book really is.

This book is a roller-coaster of emotions and it will rip you apart from each page of the book. Paper Butterflies is a darkly heartbreaking and raw novel with such a gentle touch. Miss Heathfield's book is like a fold of each of Blister's paper creations, constructed passionately and yet beautiful to see (and read). Nominated for the Waterstones Children's Book Award and the YA Book Prize 2017, Paper Butterflies is well deserved to have both of these nominations and you all need to read it.

Rating - 5

Thank you to Electric Monkey (Egmont) for a copy of this book provided on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, March 03, 2017

REVIEW - ALL ABOUT MIA by Lisa Williamson

All About Mia 
by Lisa Williamson
Release Date -  February 2nd 2017
Publisher - David Fickling Books
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

From no. 1 Bestselling YA author Lisa Williamson, comes another insightful and unputdownable teen drama - All About Mia. A brilliant look into the mind of a teenager stuck in the middle.
One family, three sisters.
GRACE, the oldest: straight-A student.
AUDREY, the youngest: future Olympic swimming champion.
And MIA, the mess in the middle.

Mia is wild and daring, great with hair and selfies, and the undisputed leader of her friends – not attributes appreciated by her parents or teachers.
When Grace makes a shock announcement, Mia hopes that her now-not-so-perfect sister will get into the trouble she deserves.

But instead, it is Mia whose life spirals out of control – boozing, boys and bad behaviour – and she starts to realise that her attempts to make it All About Mia might put at risk the very things she loves the most.

My Review

This is my first novel from Miss Williamson, and although my students keep telling me to read The Art of Being Normal I never really got round to it if I'm honest. When I saw this coming out, I knew it was a book that I had to get, I don't know what it was about it but it was calling to me. All About Mia is just such a real, raw and a genuine joy to read. I look forward to meeting Lisa in the next couple of weeks.

Being a Campbell-Richardson is nothing short of being exhausting especially for Mia. Grace, the eldest is the first born, A-student to go to university. Audrey, the youngest, is set for Gold, training to swim for Olympics and champion of the pool at such a young age. And Mia, well she's the middle sister, she doesn't have a thing, she's the disappointment, she getting through college with a sticker on her saying 'Failing Campbell-Richardson'. That's the brutality of it really. That's Mia's life. It's not until, the star of the family comes home early with her boyfriend with a bun in the oven... at 19 years old.....at the point of her career, you would really think this would ruin her name wouldn't you? That's what Mia would think, but to her disgust, everyone is just completely over the moon and that just makes it a whole lot worse for her.

I adored Mia's character, she's completely off the rails, ha. You couldn't help but not smile, laugh, occasionally cringe or at times think, 'Oh Mia, whhhhhhyyyyyy'. But truth be told you can totally relate to it in some way, shape or form. I feel for Mia, I can understand her rebellious nature and her jelousy that it borders pure hatred at some point towards to her sister Grace. That's not surprising really. She adores her little sister, she's trying to be the bigger sister to Audrey but she doesn't want to be like her big sister, Grace either. I think she tries to act up as the middle sister, but it always backfires on her. Her parents are no better, my god did I feel very antagonistic toward them. Seriously, they didn't help Mia, they are all about Audrey and Grace. They were belittling her at every point, they didn't consider her opinion or just her side for once. It was frustrating and this is where I found I related with this novel.

Miss Williamson took a very realistic approach to society nowadays. There's a lot of pressure on teenagers. From a librarian's point of view, I see the stress they go through, 5 years of studying for realistically 1 hour exam for each of their subjects. But I digress, what I mean is that the weight of their future on girls is unimaginable but we've all been through it, or going through it. Does it get easier? No and society isn't helping with that. Relationships and friendships will always be effected by it for better or for worse. We have to work harder, be a role model, we have an expectation, and Audrey and Grace are the epitome of this. Well Audrey more so, she has to go to training at half 5 every morning, her passion is in the pool but when she's out of it, she just like any other teenager, struggling to get through the rest of her life.

For Mia however, it's even harder because her sisters have a 'thing', Mia doesn't know what that is, she 16 years old, life isn't given to you on a platter straight away, she will find her thing in her own time. But everyone is different. Mia needs to be given a chance, she needs some time with her parents, to actually think 'you have me too, I need you guidance as well.' I think that what lead to her very colourful nature. Life is like a jigsaw puzzle, just like the cover. Pieces will fit together in it's own time. But don't give up, continue your passions even if it doesn't lead you down the path you thought you would. I think that's the message of the book but also from me too.

All About Mia, is a perfectly imperfect novel on self discovery and the reality of being a teenage girl. Mia embodies an imperfect nature to and perfectly normal part of society. Sometimes we all need a bit of our time, we should have a All About...[insert name] to figure life out. It's where our most valued perception of us as individuals come from.

Rating - 5

Friday, February 03, 2017

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY- LONG WAY HOME by Katie McGarry

Displaying LWH Tour Banner.jpg
Hello Everyone, Today I'm part of the Long Way Home blog tour, and I have for you an excerpt. Sadly I was meant to do a Review also but I've been doing lots of events at school and Harry Potter Book Night that I haven't had the time sadly. This is one of my favourites from her in comparison to the Pushing the Limits series. So before I share my except, here is a brief description of the this wonderful instalment to the Thunder Road Series...




Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.
Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.
 Buy - Amazon 

An Excerpt

VIOLET
“You can do this.” I take Brandon’s hand in mine and give a reassuring squeeze. “I know you can.”
Brandon swallows hard, but nods. A combination of nervous energy and pride rushes through my veins as he grasps my hand in return and fists the cash in his other hand. He’s going to face his fears. The lift of my lips is genuine now. My brother believes in himself, and I believe in him and maybe we’re both going to be okay.
Right as Brandon takes a courageous step forward, two black leather vests slip in front of us and staring back at me is a half skull with fire blazing out of its eye sockets.
The world surrounding me turns red, and my blood begins to boil. “There’s a line and you just cut.”
Eli, one of my father’s once best friends, glances over his shoulder and winks at us as he pulls out his wallet. Like always, he has dark hair cut close to his head, plugs in his ears and a huge grin like we should be glad to see him. “I got you covered.”
Fabulous. Here comes the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club riding in on their black Harleys determined to save the day of people who really need to learn how to save themselves.
“No really, we got this,” I insist.
I try to muscle my way past to pay, but Eli’s right hand man, Pigpen, plants himself in front of me like the towering sack of testosterone and annoyance that he is. Then he’s on the move and I somehow find myself away from the ticket booth.
“Surprised to see you here, Violet.” Pigpen is in his late twenties and thinks he’s all handsome with his blond hair and big muscles. Because he was a Navy SEAL or Army Ranger or something outrageous like that, he also thinks he’s awesome, but he doesn’t impress me. “Surprised you’re here, but happy to see you. You haven’t been at a game all year.”
“I’ve been busy,” I say.
“Is that what you call avoiding anyone from the Terror? Busy?”
“Works for me.”
“Hi, Pigpen!” Brandon is lit up like a firefly who was convinced the rest of his species was extinct. Eli, of course, enjoying the role of savior, has his arm around Brandon’s shoulder as they join us.
“Hey, Stone.” Pigpen calls my brother by the stupid nickname the club created for him. “How’s it going?”
“Good. They bought our tickets, Vi!”
“Yep, they sure did, because little ol’ me couldn’t’ handle the big ol’ ticket booth on my own.” Heavy on the sarcasm and then a hard glare at Eli. “Brandon was going to buy his own ticket.”
Eli rolls his neck like  he’s the one who owns the right to be annoyed. “Most people say thank you.”
“You’re missing the point.”
Eli pats my brother’s back. “Why don’t you head in with Pigpen? I’d like to catch up with Violet.”
Brandon bounces like a damn puppy dog given a treat and then rushes off into the stadium, leaving me with Thing Two. And to think my brother called me Vi. The little traitor.
“Pigpen,” I call out. “Don’t leave him.”
I forced my brother to tattle today and while the football game will make him smile, I’m also taking a calculated risk that the people he told on won’t be here. If they are here, I’m betting they won’t mess with Brandon as long as I’m around.
“You worry too much,” Pigpen answers without glancing back.
When it comes to my brother, they don’t worry enough about the right problems.
Eli watches as Brandon and Pigpen go into the stadium. Instead of taking a left for the bleachers, they go right for the concession stand, and I’m contemplating how to stab Pigpen in the jugular. Concession food brings my brother into a near state of euphoria, and because of the crappy day my brother and I had, I wanted to be the one that made him happy with a hot dog, nachos and a slushy.
Motorcycle men around the world, as far as I’m concerned, can just plain suck it.

Sounds amazing doesn't it! Really can't wait to get stuck into this novel when I get round to it!



About the Author
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.


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Thursday, January 26, 2017

BLOG TOUR: THE WITCH'S TEARS by Katherine and Elizabeth Corr


HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO THE WITCH'S TEARS!!!! 
This week has been a week of blog tours for me and a week of releases that's for sure. One of which is this beauty. I've read both in one week and they are incredible. I haven't read a witch/fantasy book like this in a long time. My reviews will be up shortly. But before I go onto my post for the tour, I wanted to say that I met these lovely sisters, at my school, at my event that I created and it was amazing. The students loved it and the atmosphere was just something to be deeply proud of. Plus I was just as excited as the girls too, almost like a dream this job. Ha. 

Anyways back to the blog tour, The Witch's Tears is the second in the series. So before you read the synopsis of The Witch's Tears - which maybe have to subtle hints about what happened in the first book, you HAVE to read The Witch's Kiss first (obviously)!


Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse. Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?


Can true love's kiss break your heart...? The spellbinding sequel to THE WITCH'S KISS by authors and sisters, Katharine and Elizabeth Corr. It's not easy being a teenage witch. Just ask Merry. She's drowning in textbooks and rules set by the coven; drowning in heartbreak after the loss of Jack. But Merry's not the only one whose fairy tale is over. Big brother Leo is falling apart and everything Merry does seems to push him further to the brink. And everything that happens to Leo makes her ache for revenge. So when strangers offering friendship show them a different path they'd be mad not to take it...Some rules were made to be broken, right? The darkly magical sequel to THE WITCH'S KISS burns wickedly bright.


Our Favourite YA Boyfriends

This has been a tough post to write, particularly given the number of gorgeous, (and, let’s face it, often very brooding) YA boyfriends out there! But here is a selection of our favourites. They’re all from fantasy YA, but that’s how we like them…

Baz – Carry on, Rainbow Rowell

‘And when I felt myself slipping too far, I held on to the one thing I’m always sure of. Blue eyes. Bronze curls. The fact that Simon Snow is the most powerful magician alive. That nothing can hurt him, not even me... And I’m hopelessly in love with him.’

After spending several years as roommates at Watford’s School of Magic, Baz and Simon have cultivated a mutual and steadfast dislike of one another. At least, that’s what Simon believes. As far as he’s concerned Baz (a smug, ruthless ‘tosser’, who also happens to be a vampire) is just waiting for the chance to kill him.

The truth, however, turns out to be quite the opposite. Baz is in love with Simon, even though he’d much rather not be; a lot of the time he regards the scruffy and rough-around-the-edges ‘Chosen One’ with disdain. He doesn’t for one second expect Simon to reciprocate his feelings (Simon has a girlfriend), but he can’t stop himself being in love with him.

What makes Baz one of our favourite YA boyfriends is that he loves Simon for who Simon is, not for how Simon makes him feel about himself. It’s romantic love at its purest. On top of that, Baz is smart, funny, good-looking and possesses superhuman strength – who doesn’t love a YA love interest with superhuman strength? A sort of bad-tempered, sarky, less-weird version of Edward Cullen. We think he’d be a great boyfriend.

Prince Ash – The Iron Fey Series, Julie Kagawa


‘Then, through the trees, I a saw him, a lean figure on a huge black horse. The boy from my dream…His cruel, angelic face wore a smile as he drew back a large bow, an arrow, glistening at the tip.’

Ash, a faery prince from the Winter Court, is in many ways the archetypical brooding YA boyfriend: mysterious, handsome and powerful. Not only is he an accomplished warrior, as a member of the Fey, he also possesses various magical powers.

The first time we meet him he is in pursuit of his sworn enemy, Puck, a faery from the Summer Court. Meghan – his future love interest – simply gets in the way. From then on there is a lot of Ash either trying or threatening to kill everyone, including Meghan. Of course, by the end of The Iron King, Meghan gets to see the other side of Ash and the pair fall in love. Turns out, that underneath his ‘treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen’ exterior, Ash is a beautiful soul; caring, deeply honourable and committed to keeping Meghan safe from harm, no matter the personal cost to himself.

A sort of bad boy version of Legolas from LOTR (at least initially), we think he’d be an interesting individual to go out with. Indeed, as writers and lovers of all things fantasy, we find Prince Ash highly appealing…

Lucas Delos – Starcrossed Series, Josephine Angelini

‘He had short black hair and a dark end-of-summer tan that brought out his white smile and his swimming pool blue eyes. Meeting his eyes was an awakening. For the first time in Helen’s life she knew what pure, heart-poisoning hatred was.’
The fates seem to be determined to keep Helen and Lucas apart. As members of opposing Houses, and as descendants of the gods, they are sworn enemies, and are thus compelled to try to kill one another. However, eventually, in the face of their obvious mutual attraction, and after Lucas saves Helen’s life, they overcome the compulsion to hurt one another and become friends.

They are on their way to becoming lovers when the fates intervene once more. Helen and Lucas are told (falsely) that they are blood relations, first cousins in fact. Mortified, they try to stay away from one another, but of course they find this almost impossible to do so.

Lucas makes the list of favourite YA boyfriends for various reasons. Obviously, he is a total ‘hautie’ (over six foot tall, athletic, tanned and muscular – what’s not to like?). And as a demi-god he has a whole host of supernatural powers, including the ability to fly. What makes him most loveable, however, is his complete devotion to Helen, even when he thinks there is absolutely no chance of them ever being able to be together.

What follows are lots of fights between Lucas and other demi-gods in his attempts to try and protect Helen (and her honour). It’s all a bit swoon-worthy.

Puck/Robbie - The Iron Fey Series, Julie Kagawa


‘Hi, princess. Sorry I’m late. Traffic was a bitch.’

Puck is Prince Ash’s former friend, and the other guy vying for Meghan’s attention. In the mortal world Puck posed as Meghan’s best friend, Robbie, his task being to keep her safe from all things Fey. When they cross over into the NeverNever (the Fey world), Puck continues to appear at exactly the right moments to save Meghan from various dangers, whilst tormenting the life out of Prince Ash at every available opportunity.

We have a real soft spot for Puck. He’s an extremely mischievous and meddlesome faery, with a truly wicked sense of humour. Unlike Prince Ash, he rarely stops joking around. Okay, so he’s a little bit ‘Jacob Black’: completely devoted to Meghan, even though Meghan is completely devoted to Ash… But, he still deserves a mention on the best YA boyfriends list.

Not only is Puck devilishly handsome (wild red hair, captivating green eyes), he too has magical powers, including the ability to change himself into a raven. He’s also really fun, providing some of the best dialogue in the series. There’s no chance of a date with him being boring. And he definitely doesn’t brood.

Magnus Bane – The Mortal Instruments Series, Cassandra Clare

‘I’m tired of watching you be in love with someone else – someone, incidentally, who will never love you back. Not the way I do.”

‘You love me?’

‘You stupid Nephilim,’ Magnus said patiently. ‘Why else am I here?’


Magnus Bane - an extremely powerful Warlock - is also ‘very, very sexy’, attracting the attention of men and women alike. On top of that, he’s rather sparkly and likes to party. Hard. But there’s another side of him, revealed as he develops feelings for Alec Lightwood, one of the demon-fighting Shadowhunters. When they first meet, Alec is in love with fellow Shadowhunter Jace Wayland. However, after Magnus saves his life, and then keeps turning up to help his friends, Alec starts to see Magnus in a different light, and the pair embark on a secret fling. Alec finally acknowledges the relationship by kissing Magnus in front of his family.

We love Magnus. Not only is he the experienced older man (roughly 800 years old), he’s also sarcastically funny, sweetly patient, and cute (spiky black hair, a lean, muscular build, and the green/gold eyes of a warlock). We also love Magnus because of his fashion sense: glittery eye-shadow, bold lipstick choices, rainbow leather pants and a blue sequined hair band – can you tell that we’re jealous? He definitely knows his designers. All in all, there aren’t many other YA boyfriends quite like him…



About Katherine and Elizabeth Corr
We are sisters and best friends (try writing a book with someone else and you’ll see why that last bit is kind of important). After spending our childhood in Essex, we now live ten minutes away from each other in Surrey. We both studied history at university and went to work in London for a bit. When we both decided to write novels – on account of fictional people being much easier to deal with than real ones – it was obvious we should do it together.

Stuff Katharine likes: playing instruments badly; dead languages; LOTR; loud pop concerts; Jane Austen; Neill Gaiman; Loki; the Surrey Hills. Killing off characters.

Stuff Elizabeth likes: sketching, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, cinema, long baths, kitchen discos, Terry Pratchett, Thor, London. Saving characters.

Thank you so much to Katherine and Elizabeth Corr for being part of my blog and part of my week. Don't forget to follow the rest of the tour this week and read these amazing books!


Monday, January 23, 2017

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - WAITING FOR CALLBACK: TAKE TWO by Perdita and Honor Cargill


Hi Everyone, and welcome to DAY 1 of Waiting For Callback: Take Two Blog Tour. 
I reviewed this books only days ago and it's the highlight of my month so far, just scroll down a little further and your will find a glowing and fangirling review. I would recommend it as it's just makes you smile and love so much. 😍 Not only is their sequel is even more amazing than the first, but Perdita and Honor are the loveliest of people too. The tour is themed by incorporating the stages of movie/book production and as I'm first up and it's all about PRE-PRODUCTION - What we learned from book one and there is also a SIGNED Copy of Waiting for Callback: Take Two up for grabs at the bottom so make sure you enter! But before my post, here is a little bit more about the book. 


Elektra has finally landed a part in a film. It's the dream. Well ...until she works out that Straker is a movie so dystopian that within weeks most of the cast and all of the crew wish that the world had actually ended (preferably in scene one). And while it's obviously great news that she's moved from the friend-zone with Archie to become his almost-girlfriend, it would be better if he hadn't immediately relocated to Transylvania to play a vampire hunter surrounded by 'maidens of peerless beauty'.
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

It’s Day One of our Take Two Blog tour and Hon & I are chatting all things Pre-Production. – how we got here and are we older and wiser now we’ve got a second book coming out?

The short answer is that we’re definitely older (debut year is like being aged in the mystical flames…) but the ‘wiser’ bit needs a bit of interrogation.

Amazing things we learned  

H : Seeing a real actual book you’ve written on a real actual shelf is unreal. And signing is extremely satisfying. I possibly got a bit over-excited, there were occasions when the sharpie had to be prised from my hand. If left alone in Waterstones I’d probably have started signing everyone else’s books too.

P : Hearing from kids that like your book is an amazing feeling.

H : Let’s not lie, hearing from anyone that liked our book is an amazing feeling. People have been lovely to us and I bet they have no idea how much it means when you get positive feedback. That probably sounds super needy but, yes, it’s so nice! Also authors are less intimidating than I thought they would be (maybe that’s a children’s author thing?). There was a whole ‘come on in, the water is warm’ vibe.

P: And ‘if it gets stormy we’ll try and stop you drowning’. There was that vibe too…

The hardest things we learned

P : For me definitely the hardest thing was stress.

H : The stress of waiting for reviews?

P : Not only that - just about everything. You know me; I worry. *Hon shakes head despairingly. When you’ve got a book coming out you want it to do well and you don’t really know what that means. You don’t want to let anyone down. Also you feel quite exposed. It’s like standing naked on stage. OK, how I imagine that might feel…

H : I wish you’d come up with a different simile. It’s a lot of work. It should be a lot of work. I’m OK with that and I’ve learned a lot, not least how to juggle the writing with exams and now Uni stuff. But I’ve made big sacrifices - Binky is having a baby and I don’t even know who the baby daddy is. This is serious.


The wiser bit - what we will do differently with Take Two

H & P: Be more chill. That’s it. That’s all we’ve learned. But it’s a good lesson. More of an aspiration than anything else but we’ll try!

And breathe…


Thank you so much to Emma for hosting us! Tomorrow we’ll be talking about ‘Scouting’ (all the fun we had researching Take Two over on Book Lover Jo. Come and join us!


Honor5 copy
About Perdita and Honor Cargill
Perdita Cargill: I used to be the least numerate tax barrister ever to practise in the English Courts. Frankly it was a relief all round when I hung up my gown & wig and turned (after a bit) to writing. I'm a bit of a wimp. On the upside I do like teenagers. Actually I like quite a lot of people.

Honor Cargill: I'm in my first year at Oxford University studying Classical Archaeology and Ancient History (niche...). I've done loads of acting mostly just school plays but a tiny bit of professional too and although I'm nothing like Elektra I feel her pain because her most humiliating moments are strangely similar to mine. Actually she has it easy not only was my first kiss on stage but it was in front of my parents and my headteacher. So naturally I decided to write about it so all you guys can mercilessly take the piss out of me too. Enjoy.

GIVEAWAY!
It is an UK ONLY (Sorry INT!)
It will end at the 6th February 2017!!!
Once it finishes I will select a winner and email you. Then I will pass your details directly to the authors so you can receive this prize. I am not responsible for any losses of books once I've passed the information forward.
Good Luck!

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