Thursday, August 17, 2017


I'm so excited to be part of this tour guys. I mean this was my first book by Tom and Lucy, (I know right, terrible reader) but I have to say I'm glad I started with Freshers first. It totally has you wetting your pants and snorting out loud. It's pure genius. Anyways that's enough of my fangirling, you can read more of that further down the post with my review. But first I have a guest post from the lovely Tom and Lucy with pictures too. So before you read that, here is a little more about Freshers.

by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison
Publisher - Chicken House Books
Release Date - August 3rd 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Uni beckons. Phoebe can't wait to be a fresher - especially since her crush from school will be there too.

She'll be totally different at Uni: cooler, prettier, smarter ... the perfect potential girlfriend. She'll reinvent herself completely.

But Luke's oblivious: still reeling from the fallout of the break-up with his ex.

Thrown head first into a world of new friends, parties and social media disasters - can Phoebe and Luke survive the year, let alone find each other?

Guest Post


Early on in our new book, FRESHERS, the two protagonists, Luke and Phoebe, do what all new students tend to do and head to the Freshers Fair. For the uninitiated, this is where you either a) sign up to lots of new and exciting sporting, cultural and political societies, or b) collect lots of free pens. Joining 'socs' was a massive part of our university experience, so we knew we wanted to make it a big part of our campus-set novel, too. 

In FRESHERS, our main characters sign up for Quidditch Soc which, unfortunately, did not exist during our time at York University (if it had, we would DEFINITELY have signed up). Back in our real life Freshers' Week, in the Early Noughties, we signed up to Yoga Soc (Lucy) and Skateboarding Soc (Tom). 

Lucy went to Yoga Soc with the primary goal of making friends, rather than doing yoga; so when, during her first session, she met Nell (who is still now one of her best mates), she never bothered going back (hence why there are no existing photos of her doing yoga, so we'll have to make do with a pic of University Card...). 

This is the thing about university societies; you soon learn that meeting nice people is much more important than doing whatever activity you're supposed to be there to do. Tom enjoyed a slightly longer stint at Skateboarding Soc (please see embarrassing photo, below). When he went to sign up at Freshers Fair, he found that Skateboarding Soc had been slightly unfairly placed right in between Football Soc and Rugby Soc. Both these tables were crowded with people, shouting and cheering and jostling to sign up. And in the middle was Skateboarding Soc, which consisted of just one bloke, sat by himself. When he went to sign up, the bloke's first question was: "Would you be prepared to be Chairman of Skateboarding Soc next year?", which gave Tom the (correct) impression that Skateboarding Soc did NOT have many active members… 

One comment on my part - I'm disappointed that there's no Quidditch Society, I think uni goers need to start a petition. I would go to uni just for that.

My Review

So Freshers was an experience for me, why? because I never went to University. I was in the undecided path when I left 6th Form, but in a way I'm glad for it as I'm proud of what I've achieved and where I am now. But then sometimes I will always wonder what would have happened if I went to university, would I enjoy it, make friends for life, be more social, enjoy the experience? I don't know, my experience in school and 6th Form wasn't exactly great, but then people always told me that Uni is different. 

Freshers takes two very different perspectives of uni life with Phoebe and Luke, they both went to the same high school together. Phoebe has always had a crush on Luke, but I think the years between she hasn't been brave enough to be who she is, to be finally come out of her shell. Phoebe feels now that she's in university it will be different from high school. While she tries to contain her feelings for Luke, both Luke and Phoebe try to fit it, or not fit in as the case maybe, the thrills of nights out, uni societies and occasionally ride on a broomstick and striking a goal. Two weeks of Freshers begs to be the most dramatic, crazy, and compulsive ride of their life that will reveal their true selves at the end of it. 

The line ''you can be surrounded by people but be completely alone.'' by Cordelia in BTVS springs to mind with this book. University isn't all sunshine and unicorns, and it can effect everyone in different ways. Take Luke, I really loved him because he had fragility and a vulnerability to him. He was no longer the high school jock with the hot girlfriend prepared to go long distance. Luke changed, he became human, real, by noticing that living in a dorm can be difficult, that it's not home and not your family either. It's about building a life of your own, with you leading it on your own. It's daunting and scary, and freshers isn't getting any easier, it's only a taster for the next 3 years. I fell that Luke grows balls in the end. Phoebe on the other hand, grew out of her crush phase, she valued her friendship, fitting in or not fitting in on occasion, being played by guys and the reality of how ugly they can be (Damn you Will!). But what I loved about her was that she proved to herself that she can do it, she can survive, with or without love, it's focusing on yourself, whilst also embracing uni life for what it really is. 

What was thrilling was diving into the unknown of Tom and Lucy's writing. Yes you've heard it, this is my first book by these two geniuses. During the book it was full of laughing-out-loud-to-the-point-of-snorting moments, in public I might like to add. (There is one scene that to this day, still cracks me up but then scares me at the same time.) In the end... I was sad that it was over but also just simply awed by it, and I was like that for a quite a while. I believe that this book was the one that Tom and Lucy have been meaning to write, a story that they needed to write all along. Luke and Phoebe were them, you can see so much of themselves in each of their parts of the book. It felt real, like you were there with them in university, that takes great skill and you can feel the passion in their writing style and I felt that not only with this book but with Lobsters too. 

It's obvious that this book is for those who are or have been of 'Freshers age',  this is totally the book for you. But from my non Fresher perspective I got from this is that in the end its the making of who you are, coming out of your shell and learning to be the person you want to be for the rest of your life. Also Uni sounds completely bonkers! Haha. Freshers is addictive and the funniest book I've read all year.

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


One of Us is Lying
by Karen M. McManus
Publisher - Penguin Random House
Release Date - June 1st 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he's doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won't ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it's no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you'll go to protect them.

My Review 
Sometimes when you've just read one book and dive into the next, your brain has to catch up especially with how different the writing style and plot line was from my previous read. But once I got into it there was no stopping me. One of Us is Lying is one of those books you have to know what happens, it was just such a refreshing, engaging and thrilling ride from start to the end of the book. You won't want to put this one down.

When 5 students each get detention for getting caught with a phone in Mr Avery's class, they didn't realise they were being set up from the beginning. A car accident happens, outside the window of the detention, they get distracted, they all get up but then one is lying on the floor. One is having an allergic reaction, and then he's pronounced dead at the hospital. Simon is dead and it's not over yet. Those four students, Bronwyn, Nate, Addy and Cooper each have secrets and Simon had something against them, they are all suspects in Simon's death and it's only going to get worse for them.
What I found interesting was as the book progressed it didn't solely focus on the mystery. Karen very much focused on life of an senior, student identity, how social media can inflict pain and targeting people, that was very much Simon's agenda using his blog 'About That' to relay gossip to one another. 

“She's a princess and you're a jock," he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. "And you're a brain. And you're a criminal. You're all walking teen-movie stereotypes.”

It will probably become no surprise that my favourite characters are Bronwyn and Nate, Bronywn  has this uncanniness and strength of always looking on the bright side along with 'bad boy' Nate. I couldn't not love him, I'm a sucker for bad boys like anyone. They themselves can seen as the power couple of the book, they strike an unlikely romance between each other which given the circumstances becomes so much more than that. But the character I saw the most potential and grew most as a person was Addy. She was the princess at the beginning, the one who had the jock of the boyfriend and did exactly as he said. I loved how she became into herself, she cut her hair, she focused on herself and that everything else like boyfriends became second nature. Her family, her sister and getting her life back on track was more important. Cooper, sweet Cooper, a jock with the fastest hand and has a boyfriend, is the most likeable of the group, kind of adorable as well. Cooper has the trouble of his family and friends dealing with his identity and how batting for the other team, shouldn't stop him from batting on the pitch at all.  These 5 students proved to be beyond that. As their personas grew, they supported each other, they became The Murder Club but so much more than that, they became friends. 

This is Karen's debut and it's a belter! It's addictive, fast-paced and really does keep you guessing to the end. What I loved was the writing style of the book, every chapter is time-stamped, it kind of reminded me of an episode of Law and Order. Alongside the storyline of each of the suspects, they supported each other in it's own way as well as their own story outside of Bayview. Karen's writing can totally throw you off your game, ring circles around you when you think you might know who it is. I thoroughly enjoyed the unpredictability of the book, this is a cleverly crafted YA mystery thriller. 

“Things'll get worse before they get better.”

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Friday, August 11, 2017


SweetFreakby Sophie McKenzie
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Release Date - August 24th 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Get ready for a brand new edge-of-your-seat read from bestselling author Sophie McKenzie!

When everyone thinks you're a liar, how hard will you fight for the truth?

Carey and Amelia have been best friends forever. Then Amelia starts being trolled by SweetFreak, a mysterious and hateful online account, and Carey is accused of being behind the vicious comments and threats.

Shut out by her other friends and shunned by Amelia, Carey is determined to clear her name and find out who’s really sending the messages. But as the online attacks spill over into real life, events start spiralling out of control… Can Carey expose the real SweetFreak before it’s too late?

A gripping page-turner from the award-winning Sophie Mckenize, SweetFreak will keep you guessing until the very end…

My Review
It's been a good long while since I've read a Sophie McKenzie novel, the last had to be when I was a teenager, Six Steps to Being a Girl, I absolutely loved that one but for some unknown reason I never really continued. Sophie's latest book was offered to my book group of Year 7's and then my copy came through the post a week later. This one really has to be a favourites of mine from her's but also one of my favourites of 2017 too. 

Carey isn't afraid that she's popular at school, she gets a long with everyone and she has the lead in the play. However her best friend Amelia is getting bullied online by the alias name of SweetFreak, first it was little gags but then it got really serious with a death threat. Her family got the local police involved and accused Carey of her whereabouts of when the message was sent. Later into turned into a whirlwind of accusations and liars, and Carey at the center of it and the fact is she DIDN'T do it, and no one is listening or believing her. All the evidence is against, her friends turned against her and Amelia completely not talking to her and her mum unsupportive of her. All she has is the stranger with the mismatched trainers and her sister. 

This book was so frustrating because the fact is we, the readers know Carey is innocent and all we can do is fight her corner by keep turning the pages of the book until that culprit is finally revealed. I couldn't get there fast enough, as soon as one message by SweetFreak died down, something else has to ruin it, like the dead pigeon in Amelia's locker, the one exactly from her rubbish bin. Carey can't catch a break and chance to really find who it is. Amelia is a B*****, at first you want to pity her I guess, but then as the book goes on it's like she doesn't care anymore and she just wants the world focused on her and make Carey the enemy. Believe me there is some underlining problems there. Also keep your heart out for Blue, he is adorable...

What I loved about this book was the important topics that it addresses, the awareness of cyber bullying through how dark social media can be and also toxic friendships. Working in a school, an all girls school, constant picking at each other or where apps and smartphones have never been more the rave. I'm very aware of this, I have to promote possible social media and a calm environment.  But outside of school we have no control over it, Snap Chat the form also known as Natter Snap in SweetFreak, can ruin people lives, their friendships it can lead them to do such nasty things. 
This is a perfect book from Year 7 up, it really highlights these issues as well as reading a page turner, a thriller that we keep you guessing till the end. 

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


Today I'm very excited to be part of the blog tour for Nicola's latest book, Lola Offline. It is an amazing premise and next on my list to read. I admit that I haven't read anything by her in the past but that will change. Today I have a guest post prepared, How Running helped her with life in Lola's eyes and but also in Nicola's. It's such a great piece that it makes me want to run too. But before that, here is a little more about Lola Offline

Lola Offline
by Nicola Doherty
Publisher - Orion Books
Release Date - 10th August 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

A teen romantic comedy set in Paris - perfect for fans of Holly Bourne, Sophie Kinsella and Stephanie Perkins.

Delilah Hoover has gone dark.

She's left school, changed her name and moved to Paris. It's not what she planned but there's no other choice, because she did something bad. Something nobody will forget. It made her trend on Twitter, and it's the first thing that comes up when you google her.

Paris is a new start, with new friends - like socially inept geek Ben, keyboard warrior Vee, and the impossibly perfect Tariq, but could the City of Lights offer more? Awkward dates, accidental afternoon drunkness and a perfect kiss; Delilah's life as a normal teenager is seemingly back on track, or is it?

Sometimes learning to be happy with yourself is the hardest lesson of all.
How running helps me write 

In my latest book Lola Offline, the heroine Lola amazes herself by taking up running. I was similarly amazed that I got into running. Before 2009, I never, ever would have thought that I could run for more than ten minutes without collapsing. But in April that year, I joined a running club; in June I started writing a novel. In October 2009 I ran my first half marathon, and just over a year later I got my first book deal. For me, taking up running has really helped me pursue writing as a career.

Of course you don’t have to be a runner to write. Dickens never owned a pair of Asic trainers or nutrition gels. But it helps. Running gives you physical stamina, which is useful when you’ve been going for six hours and still have 10 pages to rewrite. But even more important is the mental stamina it develops – the ability to keep on going through doubts and rejections, and eventually get to where you want to be.

Here are the 5 pieces of running advice that have helped me most with writing …

1) Just do it
You can talk endlessly about form, nutrition, high-tech fabrics … but running comes down to getting out there and pounding out the miles. Similarly, you don’t need writing classes, special software or a sabbatical: just the willingness to sit and claw your way through the story, one page, paragraph or even line at a time.

2) Aim to complete, not compete
When I entered my first half marathon, I was advised not to worry about my time, but just focus on getting over the finishing line without an injury. This is great advice when you’re working on your first draft – of any work. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it doesn’t even have to be any good. You just have to finish it, and then you can improve it.

3) Get a support group
Running is highly individual and suited to people who like to be alone, but there’s also a lot of solidarity. As soon as you start running, all kinds of running fanatics will come out of the woodwork and start cheering you on. You’ll run faster with a running club than you ever would on your own. Similarly, joining a writer’s group – real or online – is a brilliant way to get feedback and encouragement.

4) Run when you’re tired
At one point, when I was rewriting my first book, I became so fed up with it that I nearly abandoned it. I felt it was pointless, and as a friend put it it felt like going back to a ‘congealed meal’. But then I remembered my running coach telling us, ‘You’ve got to learn to run when you’re tired’. It sounds brutal, but it’s true – keep going and eventually you’ll get your second wind.

5) Prepare to amaze yourself!
If, like me, you were allergic to sports in school, there’s nothing like the feeling of running (or limping) across the finishing line, having run 13.1 miles. Or maybe there is – the feeling of writing 'The End', or pressing send on a submission to an agent! Running and writing both have a way of uncovering your potential and taking you places you’d never have thought possible. Which is somewhere we all deserve to go.

About Nicola Doherty
Nicola grew up in Monkstown, Co. Dublin and went to university in Dublin and Oxford. She worked in publishing as an editor for several years before writing her first book The Out of Office Girl, which was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Awards in the Romantic Comedy category.

If I Could Turn Back Time and Girls on Tour are both out now from Headline, and her first young adult romance, Love and Other Man-Made Disasters, is due out in 2016 from Orion. Her books have been translated into Italian, French, German, Polish and (soon) Turkish.

She lives in Highbury, north London, with her husband and no cats (yet).

Monday, August 07, 2017


Songs About a Girl & Songs About Us (Songs About a Girl #1&2)
by Chris Russell
Publisher - Hodder Children's Books
Release Date - July 28th 2016 & July 13th 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Charlie Bloom never wanted to be 'with the band'. She's happiest out of the spotlight, behind her camera, unseen and unnoticed. But when she's asked to take backstage photos for hot new boy band Fire&Lights, she can't pass up the chance.

Catapulted into a world of paparazzi and backstage bickering, Charlie soon becomes caught between gorgeous but damaged frontman, Gabriel West, and his boy-next-door bandmate Olly Samson. Then, as the boys' rivalry threatens to tear the band apart, Charlie stumbles upon a mind-blowing secret, hidden in the lyrics of their songs...

Two months on from the explosive finale to book one, Charlie's life is almost back to normal again: rebuilding her relationship with her father, hanging out with best mate Melissa, and worrying about GCSEs. All the while, Gabe's revelations about her mother are never far from her mind. And neither is Gabe.

It's not long before Charlie is pulled back into the world of Fire&Lights - but the band seem different this time. But then again, so is she...

Meanwhile, tensions between Gabe and Olly continue to run high, leading to more turmoil between the band members and press than ever before. But when Gabriel and Charlie stumble upon yet another startling truth that links them together - everything they have stands to implode in front of them.

My Review(s)

"Well butter my face and call me crumpet!" - that is what I think of Songs About a Girl series. If you familiar that saying you'll know it comes from the bonkers, gorgeous and hilarious Melissa, Charlie's best friend. This is one rockin' series and I loved it!

Songs About a Girl starts off with Charlie, a girl that likes to be invisible and loves to do photography, she never dreamed that the most popular band in the world, Fire and Lights would put her in the spotlight. Olly, one of the band members used to go her school, he went on Make or Break - basically the X-Factor, then wound up with Yuki, Aiden and Gabe to live his dream as a signer and guitarist. It's not until Charlie receives an email from him, to ask to do some photography from a groupie stand point that her life suddenly changes. She didn't realise how being roped into something so glamourous could turn something so ugly. How being caught between the smoldering, and bad boy Gabe and the the thoughtful gentleman Olly could be exhausting and emotional.

 It doesn't stop there, Songs About Us, follows on, with much more mystery, that links Charlie  more intimately with one member of the group. There are secrets that bind them together yet it's ugly affairs threaten once again the bands reputation and relationship to be released to the public. Being 'with the band' can be amazing on the outside, but beneath it all, on the inside you can really see how backstage bickering can tear it apart and Charlie at the center of it.

I loved all the characters especially Melissa who I mentioned in the beginning. She is just the bomb, completely nuts mind you, Mel really reminds me of a young Penny from the Big Bang Theory. Melissa really lens perspective on the band but also to Charlie, being her best friend. She isn't perfect, and the beauty of her. Oh and the band, Yuki, Aiden, Olly and frontman Gabriel, if I'm honest I really loved Yuki and Aiden especially in book 2, but each them really valued Charlie even when sometimes she felt she wasn't welcomed. She became such good friends with them all and she knew she could get to the heart of them and really see them for who they really are.

Chris's writing is completely addictive, it's unputadownable. It was his take on a romance, I mean there is very few male authors that write a typical YA romance. But I think the boy band aspect really took off. Obviously Chris being in a band of his own Light Years has made this book, looking on the inside of what it can be like for them. I was certainly intrigued as to whether this really does happen in the music industry. Whilst we followed the boy band through Charlie's adventures what I felt was that their is a fragility, a vulnerability to them. We see them as huge musicians, rocking that industry, we see the blood, sweat and tears in their songs, we see them as a band and not individuals and Chris really captured that through Charlie and through the honesty of her lens. All Yuki, Aiden, Olly and Gabe really want is to be normal too.

However, I felt there was so much more to this book than 'being with the band', it highlighted so many key issues in teenage life, including Charlie's relationship with her father and how strained it's become since her mum died. How Charlie's life can turn upside down from a single post on a blog and being constantly stalked and trolled online. Also that being an instigator to main school bully. Throughout the two books, Chris really explores this as well as how Charlie has grown and changed as a character.

Songs About a Girl Series is more than being part of a band, it has everything you need in a novel, family, friendship, love, romance, music, truth, lies, and even a slice of mystery as well. Oh and so many laughs, I loved every second of it, and I need more. I recommend it for those who loved the DIMILY series Can't wait for the release of Songs About a Boy next Summer of 2018.

Rating -
Songs About a Girl - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Songs About Us - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to Hodder Children's Books and Team BKMRK for the review copies in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017


The Hawkweed Legacy (Hawkweed Prophecy #2)
by Irena Brignull
Publisher - Orchard Books
Release Date - June 1st 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Poppy Hooper doesn't want to be the queen of the witches.
But some problems can't be left behind.
Some love stories can't be forgotten.
Some friendships won't be broken.
And some enemies won't stay dead…

The battle for the throne isn't over yet.

My Review 
It's been a long time since I enjoyed a fantasy series on witches, covens, clans and magic with spell books, potions and cauldrons. The Hawkweed Legacy, the sequel to The Hawkweed Prophecy (find my review here) was a startling surprise in the best way possible, it made me love this series and Irena's writing even more.

The Hawkweed Legacy follows on from Poppy's story, as a child magically switched at birth she find herself finally in the arms of her birth mother and surroundings of where she is suppose to belong. Although she feels that this huge responsibility, this prophecy of becoming Queen is beyond her. Poppy isn't ready, she may have the power and knowledge but within herself she is nothing more than a girl seeking for something else. Poppy rebels against her prophecy until she can find who she truly is and where she truly belongs.

Irena's writing was magnificent and skilled with how she created so much more to the sequel. I admit my surprise was that it didn't follow a cliche setting of Poppy's story, it led to a family of stories which made it so much more poignant and beautiful. What I loved about this sequel was that we got so much more in this story, so many more sub plots that seamlessly wove into each other. Whilst Poppy's main story weaves throughout the book, we get introduced to whole new to side to the story, with Poppy's mum, Charlock and her story alongside her best friend Betony. We also see where Leo fits in as well, and his story and how Leo and Poppy finally come together. He isn't just some outsider, he is so much more than that. Whilst also cherishing our original characters with Ember and her mum and how her life within the city has changed and inspired her so much.

 Set a duology, The Hawkweed Legacy is a quest to truly find where they belong but also what their purpose is in life. That nothing is set it stone and it can't be, because what if your will changes that, what if Poppy, Leo, Ember and Betony are meant to make something of themselves, beyond that of magic and prophecy.

Full of magic and witches comes a beautiful tale of family, friendship and love in an original and modern fantastical setting. 

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to Orchard Books from providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER: A Summer of Reading

@SummerBreak summer beach ocean sunset GIF
Oh my gosh what a year! It's gone by so quick and yet so long at the same time. Now I know why teachers and school staff need those six weeks off. Ha. So I survived my first year as a secondary school librarian, it was challenging, amazing, inspiring and I can't believe I've done it. I feel like I've done so much, I've got the library how I want it to be and it took the whole year to do it and I've never been more prouder. Managing a library is one hell of a job, and we, librarians don't have it easy, plus how the government can think we can supply literature for all children and students on the budget we have is plain bonkers. 

But enough of me ranting, I just wanted to say hello to everyone and that I know the blog has been a bit sporadic with my reviews and reading of late, but I hope to really catch up on everything as I have the time too. I have two blog tours taking place, getting some author content, and picking my reading from these glorious books. So many gorgeous titles it's hard to choose half the time. If you have any suggestions which ones first, then let me know in the comments. 

My little book corner in my room - the books I bought but mostly received from the lovely publishers. I've also got a reading list to read too for a challenge we host to our students in the new term. So lots to be done and read. If you have similar books, then I'd love to buddy read. I know I'm reading the latest Paula Stokes book with Jasprit. So it will be nice to get back into the blogging community. 

So that's it for now - do come say hi to me. It will be nice to chat all things books and catch up with you all. 


Monday, July 10, 2017

REVIEW - LOBSTERS by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison

by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison
Publisher - Chicken House Books
Release Date - June 5th 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Sam and Hannah only have the holidays to find 'The One'. Their lobster. But instead of being epic, their summer is looking awkward. They must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins for ever to find happiness. But fate is at work to bring them together. And in the end, it all boils down to love.

My Review
Lobsters is the first book that Tom and Lucy wrote together and the second that I've read of theirs. After reading their latest, Freshers, I wanted another book that had that same effect, the infectious smiling and laughing-out-loud moments, a book that totally brightens your day! 

Hannah and Sam have both finished their exams, the exams that will decide their fate and whether they will go to their desired uni they want. Whilst their worries are on their exams or how much they thye might have messed up History or French, one more pressing matter at hand, the summer of love, the summer where they hope to lose their virginity. Hannah and Sam meet at the end of exams party at her best friend's, Stella house. Meeting in a bathroom couldn't be more romantic, they proclaiming their love for hot ribena, later becoming their own love for each other. Hot Ribena Girl (Hannah) and Toilet Boy (Sam) get pulled into different directions, each thinking about each other whilst also thinking about their summer to come.

I adored Hannah and Sam as a couple they are so cute, and I love a couple that enjoy a good cup of hot ribena! Hot Ribena is awesome, I'm in that club and it's what started their relationship, it couldn't get more cuter than that. What I love also is that I can imagine that Lucy wrote Hannah's side and Tom, Sam's narrative of the novel, giving it that totally honest and realistic approach to the book. Characters like Hannah's Nan with her crazy and bright outlook on life, almost refreshing to see and Sam's friend Robin who follows Harry Potter as his philosophy of life. Lobsters has so much to offer and characters that you can totally resonate with. 

I loved this book! I love its realistic and an honest portrayal of teenage life and nothing is sugarcoated at all. Lobsters is teenage life at it's more awkward and most important too, our turning point from teenage to a young adult. What I also loved was that this book is sex positive, nowadays, sex is such a 'thing' in teenage life, all about who have you pulled, oh have you had sex etc. It's like teenagers have to grow up so quickly now, with the worrying of when or who to lose your virginity too. Sex doesn't just happen, it's certainly isn't like the movies or some books they we compare it too, there is so much more to it, to think about, to know about. I urge teenagers to read this book, working in a school of girls, this is an important as it is funny and romantic book to read. Tom and Lucy have nailed it on their first book. 

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Friday, June 30, 2017


After the Fire
by Will Hill
Publisher - Usborne Publishing Ltd
Release Date - June 1st 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

The things I’ve seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.

Father John controls everything inside The Fence. And Father John likes rules. Especially about never talking to Outsiders. Because Father John knows the truth. He knows what is right, and what is wrong. He knows what is coming.

Moonbeam is starting to doubt, though. She’s starting to see the lies behind Father John’s words. She wants him to be found out.

What if the only way out of the darkness is to light a fire?

My Review
Finishing After the Fire, it's a powerful, chilling yet such a paramount novel of one girl's story of survival and freedom. I can't recommend this book enough, it's utterly mind-blowing, unlike anything I have read before, a page-turner from the start.

Before, Moonbeam was part of this religious cult, the Lord's Legion with it's leader Father John, a direct messenger from the Lord himself. Everyone believed that he was this almighty man of healing, faith, righteous and reason. But Moonbeam began to lose her belief, she didn't know what's real and what was hokum. After, a great fire raged through the camp she is taken into the care of the FBI and the psychologists to try and understand inside the cult, and finally reveal what really happened. This was such a fascinating and compelling story. Mr Hill's has an intense way of writing that it just sucks you in.

Moonbeam is...there are just no words for her character! She's an inspiration which is a total understatement. The fire didn't just leave scars on her hand, on the outside, the fire is within her. It burns so bright inside of her, it's almost blinding, that what I feel about her she can't be touched. Moonbeam is a beautiful and powerful voice to be reckoned with. She is the most bravest, soulful and courageous character I have ever come across YA. As you go through the book, Before, her life living in that hell, you see how her character has transformed from this girl of belief and faith to a shell of a girl not knowing where her path lies. After, she became hardened with fear, fear of trusting, fear of guilt, fear of what will happen to her next. Moonbeam has this fighting spirit, unparalleled to what I've read before, she magnificent and if I could meet her I would be in awe of her.

Alongside Moonbeam, Agent Carlyle was my favourite character, there was some bond between them that made it feel like it was only she was talking to him, the spotlight was on them, in Interview Room 1. Their relationship was just so touching, almost like a father-daughter relationship. What he brought out in her, compelled her to continue her story, it was his persona, he's calm, friendly and emotional connection that made this story. 

What I found incredible was also the Author's note of this book, I don't really read them I admit, but I was curious on the the inspiration and take on the plot of this book. What I found was that it was based on something true, although his character and his plot entirely his own. He felt compelled to write something based on the Waco siege. That event resonated with him, and this book resonated with me so much on such a deeper level, I felt quite chocked up I admit.  This book brings out so much in you, so many emotions and feelings. As you read through the book you get this build up of everything that happens and what Moonbeam feels until that final page where it sort of just releases, a relief, a moment of clarity. But still after so many days of reading it, it's stays with you, I don't really know how to explain it. Will Hill is an incredible writer, flawless even, this is one my first books by him and this certainly won't be the last either.

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

After the Fire has been picked for the Zoella and Friends Book Club and quite rightly so! 

After the Fire

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Hi Everyone, so today I part of Paula's Book Blast of her latest book, THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENED, hitting the shelves in July, which isn't long away. I've only read one other book and that's The Girl Against the Universe which you can find my review here. I absolutely loved that one and I can't wait to finally read this. It's been on my kindle for a while and I hope to buddy read it with the lovely Jasprit soon. Anyways onto the post - here's a little more about the book as well as a giveaway. So spread the word of this amazing book. Go go go!

This Is How It Happened
Release Date - July 11th 2017
Publisher - HarperTeen
Pre-Order - Amazon | Book Depository 

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.

Paula StokesAbout Paula
Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she's not working (rare), she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She's petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant's trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.
Enter to win a finished copy of THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENED by filling out the Rafflecopter below. The comment question is about the best book you’ve read in 2017, so don’t be shy—share the love :)

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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.