Thursday, June 22, 2017


Hi Everyone, Today I have something a little bit different to share on the blog with you all. Most recently bookish candles have been a big inspiration of all things YA, fantasy and well bookish. I've seen so many book type candles, they looked amazing and doubt smelt it as well, it wasn't until I discovered Bookworm Candles and Crafts by Donna from Book Passion For Life, who has her entire instagram feed covered in these amazing candles and it was about time I joined the club too. 

Here a little bit more about Bookworm Candles & Crafts by the wonderful Danielle.
Welcome to Bookworm Candles & Crafts. My name is Danielle and I thought it would be nice to tell you a little bit about myself, my love affair with books and why I started creating book-inspired candles and accessories. I started this little adventure in September 2016 and I am having an amazing journey so far. My love affair with books started when I was a child. I used to be read to, as most children are, by my dad. He is a massive bookworm, so buying books and a love for reading has always come naturally to me. We are lucky enough to have a library room at home.

I am also very artsy and did jewellery design at college and have always loved being creative. I decided on a career in the perfume industry and have done lots of research on scent and raw materials as well as aromatherapy courses and body products courses. That kind of brings me to the decision to start my book-inspired venture.

I was doing a training course in London and I live on a small island, so had a lengthy commute. Naturally, I was reading. I was actually re-reading Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas, and when I arrived this particular day we were smelling and identifying ingredients. One of the ingredients was pine. As I smelt the wood clean scent, I thought to myself: so this is what Rowan would smell like. I then started jotting down details and characters I would like to basically smell. Before the day was out I had 25 characters!
So after a little research and lots of shopping and testing, Bookworm Candles & Crafts was born. I hope you really like what you find. We are adding new stock, characters and sizes all the time, so if you don't find your favourite book or character please get in touch. I'd love to hear your ideas.

When I finished A Court of Wings and Ruin, that was the turning point for me. I mean I needed to be in the Night Court, and Feyre and Rhysand.

So yesterday they finally arrived and I squealed with delight, they look gorgeous and they smell divine. If I had these during reading ACOWAR, I would have felt like I was actually there. It's like the characters have come to life. You need to light them to get the smell as well. If I'm honest they look too good to light. Haha.

Scents - citrus, salt and sunrise - a masculine aquatic scent
Scents - daisies, Oakmoss and rainbows - an earthy comforting scent

I bought two 3oz  tins from The Inner Circle of ACOMAF set. I bought Feyre's Tin and Rhysand's obviously. The best couple of YA fantasy in my opinion. 

I've also bought a book hugger which is inspired yet again by ACOMAF and the Night Court candle with my second order. I wanted to show you just how amazing they are, how great and creative Danielle is too. So whether you love books, or you simple want to get someone a gift, I highly suggest going to Danielle over at Bookworm Candles & Crafts. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Hi Everyone, I'm excited to be part of Riley Sager's debut blog tour. Today I'm sharing with you my review. Please be aware that this is an ARC review for the UK publication of this book as it's not released until the 13th July. If you're in the US, there is a giveaway at the bottom of this post. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Publisher - Ebury Publishing
Release Date - 13 July 2017

Each girl survived an unthinkable horror. Now someone wants them dead...

They were the victims of separate massacres. Three strangers bound by similar traumas grouped together by the press.

When something terrible happens to Lisa, put-together Quincy and volatile Sam finally meet. Each one influences the other. Each one has dark secrets. And after the bloodstained fingers of the past reach into the present, each one will never be the same.
My Review
I mistook this book for YA completely but you know want I loved that I did. It's like it's a book wrapped up, you don't know what it is until you read it. This is book is a psychological thriller, an adult psychological thriller and you know what I bloody loved it!

It begins, on a weekend in the forest, Quincy and her friends stayed in Pine Cottage, one night it turned into something sinister and brutal. chilling. Him, had a knife and slashed through her friends one by one, until she was left. With 3 stabs wounds, she ran for her life, for an escape, into the arms of her survivor. On that night she became a Final Girl! There is only 3 Finals Girls, Lisa, Samantha and herself, Quincy. On the night of their traumas, the papers named them the Final Girls and now they have to live with that for the rest of their lives. It isn't until Lisa ends up dead that Quincy thinks she could be next...

 After her traumatic experience, Quincey has locked it away, she can't remember what happened during the attack, before and after is fine, but leading up to it, it draws a blur. Told from two perspectives, present day and the night of Pine Cottage, it unfolds as Quincey gets flashbacks to the most terrifying night of her life.

What I loved about this book was the unknown of it all, the writing, the characters, the plot. Everything and that's what kept me hooked. Page after page, it was a race to know what happened to her, to Quincey but also to Lisa. I loved that I was fooled by this book and these characters by Coop, the officer that saved and supported her throughout her life, Sam, the second Final Girl - there is something suspicious about her and even Quincey, her character slowly unraveled from being this neat, organised and controlled cooking blogger to in a way a madwoman - but I don't really blame her. Her whole life has been monopolised and trained about her being a Final Girl and it's about time she finally opened up and let it all out.

This being my first book into this genre, I've totally surprised myself. Riley said to me on Twitter that the genre has missed me, well if I'm honest I missed the genre completely, never for a second did I think to pick one up. It's amazing when a book like this lands on your doorstep...literally. Final Girls, is an addictive, horrifyingly chilling debut novel from Riley Sager. Each page feels like your heart is pounding with anticipation. If you've never thought about this genre before, or fancied reading something like that, but are curious, then I suggest you read this one first, it will open your eyes to this genre and more. Take it from someone who knows.

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Image result for riley sager author
About the Author
Riley Sager is a pseudonym for an author who has been previously published under another name. A native of Pennsylvania, Riley is a writer, editor and graphic designer who now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Riley's first novel, FINAL GIRLS (called "The first great thriller of 2017" by Stephen King), will be published in 2017 in the United States, the United Kingdom and more than a dozen countries around the world.

Follow the tour HERE!

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Thursday, June 15, 2017


Flight of a Starling 
by Lisa Heathfield 
Publisher - Electric Monkey
Release Date - 29th June 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Rita and Lo, sisters and best friends, have spent their lives on the wing – flying through the air in their trapeze act, never staying in one place for long. Behind the greasepaint and the glitter, they know that the true magic is the family they travel with.

Until Lo meets a boy. Suddenly, she wants nothing more than to stay still. And as secrets start to tear apart the close-knit circus community, how far will Lo go to keep her feet on the ground?

My Review
Warning - You will need a box of tissues. This is the only book that had me totally sobbing.
 I first fell in love with Lisa's books with Paper Butterflies, and I believe that I've found myself a new favourite author of 2017.

Told in the dual perspective, sisters and kindred spirits, Rita and Lo have been part of the circus all their lives, they were born into it and they will live out their days flying through the air. When Lo and Spider find out 'something', this secret could ruin everything they have and she feels obligated to protect Rita and to protect the family she has always known in the circus. Lo feels that what if there was more beyond the big top, to take her away from it all?  She finds herself attracted to the outside world and more specifically to a 'flattie' - a non circus being, called Dean.

This is my first book based in a Circus, an impenetrable family of talented gymnasts and artists, travelling the world by storm to share their way of life. That's what Lisa did and that's what Lo did to Dean. Rita and Lo have the most precious and unbreakable sisterly bond I've ever read. Lo is a little more daring as you can tell and she gets more so when she meets Dean. Experiencing life beyond the circus sets her flying in a different direction, one so new and fresh, it's almost too much for Lo to bear. Her way of life, is inspiring, everything she see's is so different than how Dean would see it or live it. Lo is almost innocent and that's refreshing to see how something so simple or small could mean so much, like leaving your footprint at the end of their time, so they will always be remembered. It reminds me of my own relationship with my best friend. Plus they both like hot blackcurrant, ha! I love when an author resonates with its readers, that's a sign of a truly brilliant story.I think it doesn't matter whether you're a flattie of circus star, the world continues to revolve around us and it's just how we see it.

I don't know what is is about Lisa's writing but she has this way of creating the most touching of characters that you can't help the way it captures your heart and never lets go till well after reading the book. Rita and Lo have found a special place in my heart with this book, it's just utter perfection.

I don't know really want to say - there is only emotions and feels for this book and I have them all. Flight of a Starling is Lisa's third novel, and it's as beautiful as it is raw than each of her previous novels. Lisa Heathfield has put her footprint on YA, Flight of a Starling is emotional enthralling, beautiful and uplifting. But don't be afraid to take over your emotions because it will.

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Note: this books contains themes that readers may find distressing, elements of suicide.
Thank you to Electric Monkey for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, June 07, 2017


The Hawkweed Prophecy (Hawkweed Prophecy #1)
by Irena Brignull
Publisher - Hatchette Children's Group
Release Date - June 16th 2016 (this edition)
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

The babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast.

Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes - one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil.

Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch. One of the Hawkweeds will be queen of the witches - but everyone knows it won't be Ember.

When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer - and the witches won't give up the throne without a fight.

My Review 

Raven and Charlock Hawkweed both grew up with the story of one of the Hawkweed sisters creating the most powerful witch and heir to the Northern clan. Raven was obsessed with being the best that she can be, but it cost her dearly. So when Raven was pregnant, she hoped and prayed that her daughter would be make the Prophecy come true. But, Sorrel was far from any high power or heir, her magic was neither up to standard of what a queen should have. But Raven masked that, she made out her daughter would be the queen, this illusion that was spread across her coven. When Charlock became pregnant, Raven knew that she would produce the heir, so she switched them magically at birth. Poppy and Ember, born at the same time, yet have lived two very different paths, in two different families. Now living just a stones throw away from each other, there lives have never been so connected.

The funny thing is Ember and Poppy are a lot like each other, secluded, alone, the odd one out so to speak, whilst also different from living in such different environments. It's like they are soul sisters, magical twins, they fall for the same boy as well, Leo. It's like I'm torn sometimes during this book do I want Poppy to fall in love, or give Ember her love story that she's only ever read. For Ember life is a journey to be discovered like she's opening her eyes for the first time, and Poppy feels that magic is her only hope to finding the truth as to why her mother is crazy and will never accept her. Their childhood, their upbringing has made them who they are now but not who they were prophesied to be. Poppy is more outgoing, bold, knowledgeable of life and society, whilst Ember is resourceful, a simpleton, old-fashioned, knowledgeable of recipes, remedies and magic. But they both need each other in order to survive, to fit in to where they belong. 

The Hawkweed Prophecy is as beautiful inside as it is out. I loved Irena Brignull's writing is seamless how we go from one character from another. it doesn't not focus on one sole character like Ember or Poppy. Raven, Charlock, Leo, Sorrel all have their own part in their story which makes this story a lot bigger than it is, it gives it its so much more of a bigger picture. The Hawkweed Prophecy has elements that every fantasy writer or reader will love, the atmosphere is dark, haunting, chilling with a dash of sunshine and fairy tale magic. If you loved The Witch's Tears series by Kate and Liz Corr then you will love this. I'm so glad that The Hawkweed Legacy has just come out I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to Hatchette for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 05, 2017


Hi Everyone, it's been a while again. I've just come back from a lovely week's holiday, so getting back into the swing of things, including back at work today. 

So to start off being back at home and getting back into blogging, I have a guest post as part of Sita's latest novel Tender Earth. They all have calls to action and links out to themed things to do (instead of feeling powerless) - and all link to Amnesty too (they endorsed the book). My themed topic is Women's March and Issues. Before you read the guest post, here is a little more about Tender Earth.

Tender Earth
by Sita Brahmachari
Publisher - Macmillan Children's Books
Release Date - June 1st 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Laila Levenson has always been the baby of the family, but now with her older siblings, Mira and Krish, leaving home just as she starts secondary school, everything feels like it's changing... can the reappearance of Nana Josie's Protest Book and the spirit it releases in Laila, her friends and her local community, help her find her own voice and discover what she truly believes in?

A powerful chime rings through Laila's mind, guiding her to walk the footsteps of the past on her way to discover her own future.

Tender Earth by Sita Brahmachari
‘A coming of age story for young protesters everywhere.’
Tender Earth is endorsed by Amnesty International UK because ‘it illuminates the importance of equality, friendship and solidarity, and upholds our right to protest against injustice.'

Here are some banners held up in Tender Earth:





Tender Earth celebrates the power of young women to stand up against injustice. As I write I think about all the young women and men and their families who have been attacked recently in Manchester. Those whose lives were cut short because of hate. I have written this poem in their honour, and it links to some of the things that Laila Levenson and her friends have to face in Tender Earth. Like many of my fellow authors I hope my stories will have a positive impact on young readers:

Let not this fill your hearts with hate
Let not this stop you dancing, singing, playing
This earth on which you lay your flowers of loss
is bruised and tender
The willow weeps
But still it grows in splendour
Underneath these concrete paths
Rivers flow
Entwined our branches far and wide
Drawing water from deep courses
All flowing to a human sea
Make it not poisoned
Drink from the earth with love not hate
Let not this stop you dancing, singing, laughing, playing
Protest, stand up, speak out!
Sit together in candle light
Find comfort in each other

Tender Earth is told through the eyes of Laila Levenson. She and her friends are searching to find themselves a place and voice in the world. Laila is becoming conscious of the inequalities that exist between men and women. Like the rest of us, she has heard the kind of things that world leaders have said about the rights of women and during the course of the novel she is becoming conscious that the right of girls to be educated, to be in control of their own bodies, their legal rights, their right to express themselves, are all far from equal.

When Laila learns that the first march her Nana Josie ever went on was a Women’s March, it sparks her imagination, and there are plenty of things that happen to Laila and her friends in Tender Earth that make her understand why her Nana will never forget her Women’s March.

Mrs Latif, Laila’s inspirational teacher gives her I am Malala to read. This is what Laila writes in her reading record at school after she has read it:

I’m sitting in my uniform at my desk, filling in my reading record.

Themes: A girl can change an unfair world. Adults should listen to children. Adults should protect children. All children should have access to education. Children can see what bad things adults do. Children can change the world.

Comments: This is the best book I have ever read. One day I would like to meet Malala Yousafzai.

My favourite quotes:

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

There are many powerful women characters in Laila’s past and present who guide her to become the person we see her growing into in Tender Earth.

Take a look at these links that I explored in my research… convert thought into action and, as soon as you are legally able to, VOTE for what you believe in.

This video clip from #BlackLivesMatter seems to speak to something at the core of Tender Earth where one generation of empathetic women seeks to hand over the baton to another.

Look up @womensmarch on Twitter

Image result for sita brahmachari
About Sita
Sita was born in Derby in 1966, to an Indian doctor from Kolkata and an English nurse from the Lake District. She has a BA in English Literature and an MA in Arts Education. Her many projects and writing commissions have been produced in theatres, universities, schools and community groups throughout Britain and America. ARTICHOKE HEARTS is her first novel for young people. Sita lives and works in North London with her husband, three children and a temperamental cat.

This is quite a powerful guest post and I'm honoured to be part of the tour to share it. I can't wait to read this book too. Please go a head a take a look at this one, and make sure to follow the tour around too. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 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


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

“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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