Friday, 13 July 2018

BLOG TOUR - THE YEAR OF LIVING AWKWARDLY by Emma Chastain

Hi Everyone, I'm so excited to be part of this blog tour. Last year I discovered Chloe Snow's Diary Confessions of a High School Disaster courtesy of the lovely people at Simon and Schuster and it was the funniest book I read in a long time, it's one you can't stop smiling and laughing throughout. These are the books that will get you out of reading slump, easy to read, relaxing and completely contagious of laughter. Read my review here.

Sadly due to work, I couldn't read this book in time but it's on the Summer Holiday to be read pile. So today, I have a Chapter 1 of The Year of Living Awkwardly. So enjoy it and definitely buy it, it is out now! 

But as an intro here is a little bit more about the book.

Image result for the year of living awkwardly
It's Chloe Snow's sophomore year of high school, and life has only grown more complicated.

Last year, Chloe was the star of the musical. This year, she's just a lowly member of the ensemble. Chloe’s best friend, Hannah, is no help: she’s been sucked into the orbit of Lex, evil Queen Bee of the class. Meanwhile, Chloe’s dad is busy falling in love with Miss Murphy, and her mother is MIA in Mexico with her much younger bullfighting boyfriend, Javi...

If only Chloe could talk to Grady about it - he's easy to talk to. Or he was, until he declared his love for Chloe, she turned him down because despite all her rational brain cells she can't seem to get over Mac, and then Grady promptly started going out with Lex. GAH!

As the performance of the show approaches, Chloe must find a way to navigate all the messy elements of her life and make it through the end of the year.

Read Chapter 1 of this cracker of a book... and don't forget to follow the rest of the tour. 

***

Wednesday, August 10
OMG. I think Grady likes me.

Maybe! I mean, I’m not positive. But work today was weird.

It was hot, but there were big rain clouds overhead, so no one came to the pool. Grady and I sat on our stools in the concession stand, eating Twizzlers and talking about where we’d most like to live when we finally escape our hellishly pleasant New England suburb.
Grady said, “Probably Berlin, or Istanbul.”

I said, “New York, definitely. Or maybe Bermuda, so I can ride around on a scooter.”

He shook his head. “No way. It’d be too boring, living there forever. We could go there on our honey-moon, though.”

I whipped my head to the left to look at his face. My mouth was hanging open from the shock. He’s never said anything like that to me before! He’s a year younger than me! He knows I just got dumped by Mac, my pre-tend boyfriend who had a girlfriend but made out with me constantly anyway!

He looked a little nervous, but also pleased with himself.
“Sure,” I said finally. “I hear they have pink sand.” The thing about Grady is, he’s basically my height, so it’s easy to stare into his eyes, which are deep-set, and to notice his eyelashes, which are so long they get tangled sometimes.

I see that he’s handsome, but I don’t feel it in my bones. Could I ever like Grady? Good old Grady, my co-worker, the guy who burps the alphabet for my enter-tainment when we get bored?

Thursday, August 11


OK, I think yesterday was all in my head. It was about a thousand degrees in the concession stand today, and I was dying.
“I’m sweating like a pig,” I told Grady. “I think I for-got to put on deodorant.”
He tried to smell my armpit and I pushed his head away.
“You definitely forgot,” he said, fanning his hand in front of his face.

This is how we normally treat each other: like sib-lings. Disgusting siblings.

Then we talked about (a) whether or not dogs have a sense of the future, (b) gross smells we secretly like (gasoline, skunks), and (c) earbuds versus over-ear headphones. Hardly a sexy, tension-filled conversation, thank God.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

BLOG TOUR: MY CHAPTER - FLOORED NOVEL: a collaborative novel

Hi Everyone, today I'm so excited to be part of a blog tour for a collaborative novel by so many inspiring UKYA authors.7 days, 7 bloggers we collide to create our own story. We each took a line from each story, and created our own creative work from it. Some have written stories, so have thought outside the box and done Pinterest boards, photography. It's really is something special.

Today I share of piece of my writing. These characters have nothing to do with the novel itself, it's totally my own fanfiction. I'm nervous because I've haven't written something like this before, I haven't created my story before and it's been such an amazing experience so thank you to all the bloggers who have been part of this journey. It's long so make sure you click 'Read More'. I really hope you enjoy it and I would love your opinion too.

Please make sure you start the story from the beginning with these blogs and continue the story afterwards. Each of them act as their own story like mine. But we have weaved little bits from each of our chapters together.



I wake up with a jolt when one of the packages slides off the pile on my lap and into the footwell.
“Eurgh” I mumble.
I look around, the world whizzing past me in a blur, I hear the engine purring underneath me and it always makes me feel content, relaxed and on this journey, it clearly sent me off to sleep – a deep one. In a dreamy daze, I remember the presents lying on the floor, I've been away with my best friend for over a week, and one of our weakest points is shopping, we say we are going to window shop but we never do. Nor do we listen to our bank accounts either.
I pick them up and as I sit up- whack - my elbow connects with the guy beside me.
“ARGH.”
“Oh my.” My hands instinctively want to comfort him, but I restrain myself when I remember that he is a complete stranger. I’m not sure what to do, so I let my hands just hang there. “I’m so sorry are you okay?”
The guy grunts - winded he replies “Yeah – I think so.”
He takes a deep breath. We both look up, I offer a strained smile.
“I’m really sorry - I’m such a klutz sometimes!”
And then I do the worst thing possible, I snort. I smack a hand over mouth, I’m not sure that I could possibly utter a word that won’t humiliate me even further. The guy looks over, I don’t think he knows how to react, he seems honestly dumbfounded. His gaze hasn’t left mine yet and then the corners of his mouth quiver into the start of a smile. I can’t help it, I let it out. I laugh! Not just a little bit, but a proper belly laugh, it turns the heads of the other passengers, they must think I’m crazy. But wait, I whip my head around and he’s joining in with me.
With tears in my eyes and my tummy in knots, I sheepishly look back over at him and he’s got this twinkle in his eye, his face lit with amusement.
“Hi.” he says.
“Hi.” I say shyly.
“I’m Justin, in case you’re wondering.”
“I’m Marina.”
“Nice to meet you Marina - elbows and all.” He winks at me. Is her flirting with me?
            “I’m really sorry, I don’t usually elbow people I just meet and then laugh in your face. I think we certainly livened up this carriage a bit, don’t you?” – I honestly have this giddy smile on my face. What’s is wrong with me, I’ve just met the guy.
            “Ha. Don’t worry, it’s certainly a first in my book and the most interesting way I’ve met a girl before.”
            This guy is flirting with me and I’m quite clearly flirting with him back. Then Justin gives me a smile that just seems so genuinely sweet with just the right touch of shyness that unexpected warmth rushes through me. It’s been a long time since a guy has made me blush. I mean what could possibly go wrong on this train journey. Nothing, exactly.

…or maybe something.

 Please continue the story by clicking read more... there is more to come for these two I promise. So I will leave you to Marina and Justin. Hope you enjoyed it. Please leave your comments at the bottom.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

JUNE WRAP-UP & JULY TBR

Hi Everyone, it's been somewhat glorious weather in the UK although far too hot for my liking. You will find me in the shade reading or in front of a fan. Although I am craving some beach action right about now with this sunshine. July is here and for me and many others in schools it's the end of the school year and starting to think about summer holidays and finally relaxing. I can't wait. I've got so many books to read and the pile is getting bigger and bigger these days but with a month and half off I will get that pile down. Unless I buy more. Ha which is indeed possible. It's YALC for a lot people this month as well, and sadly I won't be going but I will be in bookish spirit. I'm part of so brilliant blog tours this month though and I can't wait to share my reviews with you all. Most of all here's to the end of term!

πŸ“šBooks I ReadπŸ“š

Eve of Man by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher - 5/5
Arrowheart by Rebecca Sky - 4/5
The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse - 5/5
Just Don't Mention It by Estelle Maskame - 5/5
Super Awkward by Beth Garrod - 5/5

πŸ“šBooks Reviewed πŸ“š

Best Book of the Month
It was so tough to choose as I read such a variety but JDMI of the DIMILY series is just one of my ultimate favourites. Tyler. 😍

This month I received - Thank you so much lovely publishers.
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It's been a light month in comparison too May which I'm kind of thankful for only because my summer pile is already getting so big. I've got so many most anticipated in this list and some perfect summer reads so I'm saving them for the summer holidays.

Most Anticipated this Month
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Even though I already have these books, these are my most highlighted books that I will be reading and reviewing this month. I'm on blog tour for both Theatrical and Access All Awkward so watch out for my review. 

June TBR 
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These books are most importantly on the highest on the TBR and I'm loving the Awkward series already. You all need to read it but I'll be fangirling all about it with my series review on the 20th. I'm currently reading Book 2 - Truly Madly Awkward.


How was your month? What are your July TBR plans?


Tuesday, 26 June 2018

BLOG TOUR REVIEW - JUST DON'T MENTION IT by Estelle Maskame

Hi Everyone, I'm so excited to be part of the fourth book in the DIMILY series, Just Don't Mention It. DIMILY is one of my all time favourite series, it's like a guilty pleasure of mine, they are really so addictive. It was only when I saw a tweet on Ink Road's that I couldn't believe there was another book and even better from Tyler point of view. Before I share with you my review of this gorgeous book - here are my reviews to the first 3 books in the series: Did I Mention I Love YouDid I Mention I Need You and Did I Mention I Miss You .


Just Don't Mention It (DIMILY #4)
by Estelle Maskame
Publisher - Ink Road Publishing
Release Date - June 21st 2018
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Tyler Bruce – hell raiser and bad boy – tells his story in his own words.

Alternating between past and present, Just Don’t Mention It is narrated from Tyler’s perspective. We see his life as a twelve-year-old boy suffering physical abuse at the hands of his dad. We see him as the daredevil seventeen-year-old we first met in Did I Mention I Love You?, the stepbrother who falls head over heels for Eden.

In these parallel timelines we finally understand the enigmatic Tyler’s complex story and his innermost thoughts – on his dad, his mom, on Tiffani and Eden – all the things Eden wasn’t witness to. And, crucially, the reader gains heartbreaking insight into why Tyler becomes the self-obsessed, angry and unhappy guy we encounter in DIMILY.

This utterly addictive rollercoaster of a novel gives voice to one of the most adored characters in Estelle Maskame’s extraordinary international bestseller, Did I Mention I Love You?

I have loved this series back in 2014 when it first came out. As I think about it now it’s like a guilty pleasure of mine this series. It has everything you could have in a romance book, passion, family, insecurities, growing up, finding yourself and most off it’s a forbidden romance between Step-siblings. It was addictive then and 4 years later Just Don’t Mention It is born and it’s even more so yet more poignant. 

Just Don’t Mention It is taken from Tyler’s point of view, spilt into two perspectives of the book, five years ago and present day. Five Years Ago really focuses on the how Tyler became ‘Tyler’, how his childhood really shaped the man that you come to hate and love all at the same time. That’s all down to his father, and how his frustration, anger and guilt became a fist of push or shove to Tyler. How everyday he was riddled with bruises, his constant need to just zone out, how he became scared of his father and scared to tell anyone. I found that I really, I’m not sure is enjoyed is the right word - maybe found myself really seeing who Tyler is and connecting to this part of the story a lot more. The emotional connection was really strong, young Tyler is helpless yet strong at the same time, brave is one way to describe it to endure all of that. The need for him to tell someone, that surely breaking your arm three times in a year isn’t normal, he isn’t just ‘clumsy.’ Young Tyler will break your heart, but then each piece returns to you with with more love for him than ever.

Present day is all about how he tries to be the Tyler Bruce that people have learnt to deal with, his habits of drinking, drugs and his constant need to pretend, because he needs a distraction. What his father did to him has scarred him for life. So his life is turned upside down when stepsister Eden comes into his life. You pretty much know the story from then on with the previous DIMILY series, but what you don’t see is how Tyler really changes. How he finally starts to feel all because of her. Eden changes his life, whether his family approves or not, they are meant to be together. Not only that but Tyler’s love for his brothers, protecting them from any evil, bad things or becoming like him is commendably and beautiful. Tyler’s mum is also the bomb in this, she was in a way victim too, to be blinded by love to truly see what was happening to him and from that day she found till present day, she has supported him and comforted him wholeheartedly.

Just Don’t Mention It, is everything that the previous DIMILY books has and more. I felt that this book, took a whole dimension and light to the characters of this world. It made the DIMILY universe a more honest and tangible reality that we as readers can relate too. Just Don’t Mention It is a beautiful extension to this series. It works just as good a beginning or a standalone, but I would recommend reading them all because they will always be an all-time favourite of mine.

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Ink Road, an imprint of Black and White Publishing for the copy in exchange for an honest review during this blog tour. 

Friday, 15 June 2018

INTERVIEW with Cecilia Vinesse - author of THE SUMMER OF US


Hi Everyone, earlier this week I posted my review of what I think to the summer read of 2018, The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse. Today I'm so excited to interview Cecilia, I had such fun with this interview and her answers crack me up. She's so bubbly and adventurous you can tell that through her writing and this interview.

The Summer Of Us released yesterday and I urge you to pick it up. Here's a little more about the book...

Aubrey and Rae have been planning their trip around Europe practically from the moment they became BFFs in primary school. And, now, it ought to be the perfect way to spend their last summer together before university.

But things are more complicated at eighteen than they were at ten. There's Jonah, Aubrey's seemingly perfect boyfriend, and his best friend Gabe, the boy Aubrey may have accidentally kissed. And there's Clara, the friend Rae is crushing on, hard, even though there's no hope because Clara is definitely into guys, not girls.

Five friends. Ten days. Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Florence, Barcelona. And a messy, complicated, can-this-really-be happening love story, or two ... because how could there not be?


Hi Cecilia, thank you so much for being on my blog today. I absolutely loved your book if you haven’t already guessed from the tweets and I had to ask you so questions about it.

What was your inspiration behind The Summer Of Us?

HI Emma! I’m so delighted to be here. Thanks very much for having me, and thank you for all your lovely words about The Summer of Us. They really mean a lot to me.

As for this book, when I first started thinking about it, the only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to write about friendship. Not just about two best friends (although definitely that, too!) but about a friend group and all the ways that different relationships within that group overlap. I decided to put them on an interrailing trip because I don’t think anything tests a friendship quite like traveling together! And I also love writing about places, so I was being a little sneaky and making lots of opportunities for me to write about different cities that I love. Once I had those elements together, the characters and their worlds started presenting themselves to me slowly—very, very slowly! But I think a lot of this book was about me taking separate elements of different things I wanted to write, putting them in one place, and seeing what happened.

What’s your favourite European country you’ve visited? And which one was your favourite to write about in The Summer of Us?

Ooooh, such a difficult question. I have a soft spot for Paris, because it has a grand, romantic feel to it, but it’s also quirky and cozy, which is such a lovely combination. And the pastries! I can never resist pastries, and why on earth would I want to?! I think my favorite city to write about might have been Prague. There was something hushed and fairytale-like about that city, and it felt like such a gift to be able to lose myself in that feeling while writing.

One thing I have to ask, why did Aubrey take Chamber of Secrets when she was packing for Columbia? (Ha-ha. I don’t know why I picked up on this but of all the HP books Aubrey picks the second?)

Ha! I love this! I love that you picked up on it. I guess it’s almost an inside joke with myself, which has to be the most niche form of inside joke, right? I moved around a lot growing up and the Chamber of Secrets was my favorite Harry Potter book, so I used to read it over and over again when I first moved somewhere new. I guess that book was almost like a safety blanket for me and I wanted to pass that safety blanket on to Aubrey. As for why the Chamber of Secrets was my personal favorite? Hmmm. I’m not sure. Maybe I just wanted a pet Basilisk.

Which character perspective did you enjoy writing more, Rae or Aubrey?

Aubrey is much more like me than Rae. Aubrey and I are both anxious over-thinkers, and we both struggle to move on from people and places we love. Rae is much more free-spirited—or at least, she tries to appear that way. Both their perspectives presented their own challenges. I’d sometimes catch myself getting a little too close to Aubrey. For example, if I was in a bad mood when I sat down to write, Aubrey would end up being in a bad mood, too. And Rae was difficult, because I shared fewer qualities with her. Although, in other ways, that did make her quite fun, because her perspective was almost like an escape for me. I think ultimately they both balanced each other well. And I mean, obviously I love both my children equally! πŸ˜‚

Aubrey read The Waves in the book, what’s the story behind it and would you recommend it?

The Waves is a novel by Virginia Woolf that I read in university and it really stuck with me for years afterward. It’s told from six perspectives about a group of friends who meet while in school. I was re-reading it late at night while drafting The Summer of Us as a break from thinking about my own writing, and it struck me that this book is so much about the space between being in school and then leaving to become the person you’re going to be. I think that’s why it resonated with me so much in university, and it was resonating with me again as I was working on these characters who are in a similar time of life and facing similar questions. I would absolutely recommend it, although it’s deliberately quite difficult to comprehend because Woolf often doesn’t even draw boundaries between the different perspectives! Honestly, I’ve read it a few times now, and I still struggle with it. But if you’re willing to put up with that, I really think it’s worth it.

What is your next adventure? Both in real-life and your next writing adventure?

I’m going to travel around Scotland for a little while this summer, which I’m really looking forward to, because I lived in St Andrews for a few years, but I didn’t do much exploring in Scotland itself while I was there. As for writing, I’m playing with a lot of different ideas right now, which feels adventurous because nothing is as terrifying as a blank page if you ask me!

For someone like me who hasn’t been abroad before where would recommend I’d go first?

I’d say pick somewhere that already has some meaning to you—maybe a book or a movie you love is set there, or there’s a particular food or restaurant you want to try, or a museum you’ve always wanted to visit. The trips that have meant the most to me are the ones where I feel like I’m going to seek out some small connection I know already have to a place, even if I’ve never been there before. It can also make somewhere new feel a little less intimidating when I know I’m there to search for something in particular.

What would be your advice to those who are leaving college to start a new path in their life?

Please, please don’t feel discouraged if you have moments or days when it feels awful or overwhelming. I had so, so many of those moments when I started college, and one thing that helped me was remembering that this was just one moment. It didn’t define my whole experience. Homesickness and uncertainty really do pass, and you’ll be amazed by how quickly and sneakily a new place can start to feel—at least a little bit—like home. Also, make sure to create space for things that make you feel like you. Phone your best friend, read your favorite book, plug in your headphones and get lost in a Netflix show. It’s so important to take breaks and check in with yourself while you’re adjusting to someplace new.
Thank you so much Cecilia, this was so much fun and thank you for coming on my  blog today.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

BLOG TOUR: GUEST POST - ARROWHEART by Rebecca SkyπŸ’˜


Hi Everyone, this week continues with another amazing book from publisher Team BKMRK and I'm so excited to be part of the Rebecca Sky's debut novel blog tour for ARROWHEART! 

I'm almost finished the book and it is riveting and a brilliant plot line so far. It really brings out some strong emotions though. I will have a lot to say about this book when I finished. All good things though so don't worry about that.

Rebecca is on my blog to share with you how her brother helped her find her passion. (Warning it contains, siblings painting them LED green.) But before that here is a little more about her debut novel.

Kiss the boys and make them cry...

The gods are gone.

The people have forgotten them.

But sixteen-year-old Rachel Patel can't forget - the gods control her life, or more specifically, her love life.

Being a Hedoness, one of a strong group of women descended from Greek God Eros, makes true love impossible for Rachel. She wields the power of that magical golden arrow, and with it, the promise to take the will of any boy she kisses. But the last thing Rachel wants is to force someone to love her . . .

When seventeen-year-old Benjamin Blake's disappearance links back to the Hedonesses, Rachel's world collides with his, and her biggest fear becomes a terrifying reality. She's falling for him - a messy, magnetic, arrow-over-feet type of fall.

Rachel distances herself, struggling to resist the growing attraction, but when he gives up his dream to help her evade arrest, distance becomes an insurmountable task. With the police hot on their trail, Rachel soon realizes there are darker forces hunting them - a group of mortals recruited by the gods who will stop at nothing to preserve the power of the Hedonesses - not to mention Eros himself, who is desperate to reverse the curse . . .

Rachel must learn to do what no Hedoness has done before - to resist her gift - or she'll turn the person she's grown to love into a shadow of himself ... for ever.

PAINTING MY BROTHER GREEN LED TO MY DEBUT NOVEL πŸ’˜

My little brother and I are close. We grew up with no TV or Computer and had to find ways to self-entertain. Often that meant me doing things to him to make a quick buck, like the time I proudly caught frogs at the local pond and got it in my head that we could sell them to passersbys with the help of a mascot. And so I made one, by painting my brother with green oil paint – all of him, from his eyelids to his toes. It took weeks and two bottles of turpentine for my mum to get it off. In my defence, I did sell three frogs to one nice couple, though they did pull to the side of the road some ways down, open the door, and let them out again. Still, a sale’s a sale.

              There are many things that don’t involve paint that you can do to keep a close relationship with your siblings. But being their boss isn’t one of them. Yet somehow, I found myself supervising my brother at a real estate investing firm one summer. My day consisted of asking him to do a task, then sitting through his pitch of some story he found on a website called Wattpad in a desperate attempt to avoid working. The problem was, the little brat knew me, and he knew the way to my heart was through a good read – plus I never stopped feeling guilty from the frog incident and sometimes, in certain neon lighting, I swore his skin had a slight tinge of green.

              I hadn’t heard of this Wattpad place, but I soon found myself reading stories from up-and-coming authors instead of filing client forms and calling back developers. We got into this routine of binge reading, then binge working to catch up. I eventually got wise and the next time my brother pitched a story, I said no. Besides, I was already reading on the Wattpad app at home by then. So he did what any little brother desperate not to work does, he found my next weakness and encouraged me to write one of the fanciful stories I’d make up as a kid when we stared at the cardboard box we pretended was a TV – we seriously did this – I’m not sure why it surprises you, I did paint my brother green.

              I was scared at first. My imagination got me through so much of my life, but to put it out into the world and share it with someone other than my family made me feel as vulnerable as a green boy before a turpentine-soaked rag (have I pushed this metaphor too far?). Eventually I gave in and tried posting on Wattpad, though I wrote under a pen name for fear of what people would think. For weeks my brother was the only one who read it. He told me it was good and encouraged me to keep going – to this day I still don’t know if he read it because he genuinely liked it or if he was trying to get out of work again. But then something magical happened, I got a reader, a real reader that wasn’t my brother. And she left a comment, and suddenly all the fear of sharing my imagination with someone else slipped away and I was hooked on the idea that something as beautiful and personal as imagination could connect us. I owe a lot to my brother, it was because of him that I began to write and found myself and my passion. And now my story Arrowheart is a book, a tangible daydream that I can hold and share and turnover to passerbys… hopefully this time they won’t pull over and let my prize out. Maybe I need a book mascot. Come to think of it, my brother does look good in blue.


By
Rebecca Sky
www.RebeccaSky.com



Thank you to Team Bkmrk for letting me part of this blog tour. 

Monday, 11 June 2018

πŸ“šARC REVIEW - THE SUMMER OF US by Cecilia Vinesse

The Summer Of Us
by Cecilia Vinesse
Publisher - Little Brown Book Group
Release Date - June 14th 2018
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Aubrey and Rae have been planning their trip around Europe practically from the moment they became BFFs in primary school. And, now, it ought to be the perfect way to spend their last summer together before university.

But things are more complicated at eighteen than they were at ten. There's Jonah, Aubrey's seemingly perfect boyfriend, and his best friend Gabe, the boy Aubrey may have accidentally kissed. And there's Clara, the friend Rae is crushing on, hard, even though there's no hope because Clara is definitely into guys, not girls.

Five friends. Ten days. Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Florence, Barcelona. And a messy, complicated, can-this-really-be happening love story, or two ... because how could there not be?

This book is simply utter perfection. This is the first book I've read from Cecilia and I couldn't honestly put it down. I have to say it was probably the quickest I've read in a long time. It kept be hooked, is was beautiful, full of meaning, full of adventure and for me full of dreams.

Best friends Aubrey and Rae, are taking their very last summer trip together before everything changes. Together with Jonah, Aubrey's boyfriend, Gabe, he kissed Aubrey and Clara, Rae's massive crush, things couldn't honestly be more awkward. Aubrey is very much a girl with a plan, she has had since well forever, her life plans are set, Columbia, Jonah and happily ever after. Rae is very much a last minute kind of girl, an all-in bet, she intends to go to the furthest place possible to live, study, a life of adventure and a life of forgetting the one person she's had a crush on her best friend. Told through alternate POVs, travelling isn't all it's cracked up to be and living with your best friends for 10 days can certainly have a strain on all your relationships.

I absolutely adored this book, it's the perfect summer read and the best YA one I found in such a long time. The romance, the secret rendezvous, the bittersweet kisses made me smile so much and the fact I haven’t read something like in a long time spoke volumes. Whilst the plot was centered a lot around Aubrey and Rae dramas and romances,  the whole backpacking around Europe was the perfect backdrop and just made the whole book. It was romantic and adventurous and Cecilia has a beautiful way of describing the surroundings that just make you feel that you are there with them. I loved how it was captured in such different lights, artistic in Rae’s eyes and touristy in Aubrey’s. It was serene and captivating and I really want to see why sights are so much more surreal at night! I think there’s something about the atmosphere and you honestly can’t help but just want to transport there instantly. It makes me want to travel, I’ve never been abroad and I think I felt quite jealous and yet giddy at the prospect that I have all that to come.

This may be a love story but I also felt it’s about finding yourself. Aubrey had these life plans, in he beginning she was scared of leaving her friends and family. This trip kind of defines that, it’s wrapping up that part of her life. Rae is going on a adventure, to Australia with her mum Lucy and studying art, but she almost feels that maybe she’s running away from something. But what if plans change uncontrollable, that people change all the time and yet some can really surprise you.  As Lucy said it’s about being aimless and you have all the time in the world, enjoy life while you can not plan your future. I really emphasized with that, because when I finished 6th Form, I didn't know what I wanted to do, I've been very lucky where I am now, I've fallen in love, my job is amazing and so rewarding and right now I really couldn't be happier. Sometimes having no plan can be the best plan of all.

With the world as your oyster, travel and witness the love story of the summer. The Summer of Us, is the perfect YA contemporary of 2018 and ones the best one I’ve read in a long time.

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐️

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

Friday, 8 June 2018

BLOG TOUR: GUEST POST - A THOUSAND PERFECT NOTES by C.G. Drews


Hi Everyone, I’m very excited to end the A Thousand Perfect Notes Blog Tour by C.G. Drews. It’s been an incredible week hasn’t it? Inspirations, Cover designs, reviews and interviews and today I bring you how C.G wrote her beautiful book. If you haven't followed the rest of the tour, make sure you do so. Also I’m hosting a giveaway on my Twitter so please to head over there @NverJudgeaBook. But before that here is a little bit more about C.G’s debut novel.


An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music - because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?


One of the most magical things about being an author is how there are a million and two ways to write a book. No two writers are the same! I thought I’d take you on a stroll through how I wrote A Thousand Perfect Notes, which is basically cobbled together with love and a few shrieks.

  1. I’m a plotter! I can’t work without a very detailed outline and I’ll spend months thinking through my story until it runs like a movie in my head – then I’ll jot down the outline. It’ll be a bullet-point list with lots of snarky comments to myself because what’s writing if you’re not having fun, hm?! My outlines are usually between 12,000-20,000 words long…which is pretty intense! But I never get blocked while drafting so it’s worth it. 
  2. I’m a fast writer. I typically write a first draft in under 10 days. I know it’s going to be a mess so why not get that gnarly draft out of the way so I can get onto rewrites and polishing?! My first drafts are for exploring: meeting the characters, discovering how they tic and react, and envisioning my world. I’m free to make a lot of mistakes with this process, and it’s fun. 
  3. A lot changes when I rewrite my first draft. For instance, with A Thousand Perfect Notes, the first draft didn’t even have the fearsome Maestro, who is Beck’s mother and tormentor. “How did the book even work then???” you’re probably asking. I have no idea, OK. I just…nope. Beck also used to have two little sisters! But one thing that never changed is the very first line! I’m pretty amazed at that, but it’s the first line I ever wrote for this book and here it still is! 
  4. I write in third person/present tense. It’s my favourite style to write in, and I write it in a very close and personal way, so you’ll hopefully get thoroughly absorbed in Beck’s perspective. 
  5. I secretly fail a lot of writer stereotypes. I don’t drink coffee or wear glasses or own a cat. (Although I do have a little dog, but he wasn’t even born when I first wrote A Thousand Perfect Notes.) The lack of coffee is the most tragic thing, but I make up for it by intending to build myself a house of chocolate and eat it. 
  6. While my book is about music, I actually don’t listen while I type! I listen while I plot, but I find writing while having music going is too distracting. However I mention a few classical pieces in A Thousand Perfect Notes, so you can look them up and see what Beck played. 
  7. Some of the things that influenced the story are…I also play piano (but I’m no prodigy like Beck - oops) and I had lovely teachers unlike Beck. I based the setting loosely off my hometown in New South Wales. And this book includes beetroot cupcakes which my family has made and my opinion was: no. I also was inspired by the Cinderella fairy tale and the life of a famous classical composer (you’ll know who when you read my book!) who allegedly forced their son to play piano all night long. 
Thanks so much for reading this little peek into my writing process! I hope you fall a little bit in love with Beck and August. A Thousand Perfect Notes is a story of music and darkness, friendship and bittersweet dreams, and a boy who both loves and hates the piano that rules his life.



Thank you to Team Bkmrk for letting me be part of this blog tour.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

πŸ“š REVIEW - SLAY by Kim Curran

SLAY
by Kim Curran
Publisher - Usborne Publishing
Release Date - May 3rd 2018
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Meet SLAY – SLAY do two things and they do them well: they play killer music and they slay killer demons.

When Milly, the lonely daughter of a world-famous opera singer, arrives home to discover that her mum has been taken over by something very evil, she finds herself in mortal danger. But the last people she expects to rescue her are the hottest boy band on the planet…

Enter SLAY: playing kickass gigs in the spotlight, and saving the world from demons in the shadows… Suddenly, Milly’s on the road with JD, Tom, Niv, Zek and Connor, racing against the clock to stop the demons who killed her mum… One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be a hell of a show!

When I first heard about this book it was pitched as “If you love Buffy...then you’ll love this”. It had me written all of this book. Slay kind of bashes all of the best things about demon hunting, history combined with music, hit boy-bands with an array of characters to boot.

Slay follows Milly, a young girl who’s overshadowed by her famous mum, an oprea singer. So after they move to LA for her career, Milly, feels very disconnected from the life she once had in another country. One night she stumbles in on her mums manager, summoning a demon into her mother. It’s not until badass demon-hunters smash her door down that she knows she’s in a whole heap of trouble and danger. SLAY brings together the lost boys of society, their vocals only as a cover for what they really do to fight back against the demons that have been spilling through the crack of the Neatherland and one particular Demon, the Big T wants to bring the demon world crashing onto the humans and Slay needs to stop them.

Slay was born! But where does Milly fit, she's there to find her mum and be rid of the thing living inside of her. She finds herself conflicted with emotions for her mum, how should she take Slay, what is really happening between her and JD? All these questions and no answers. Milly struggles to find herself, she's been locked away in this luxury with her mum that she honestly doesn't know what her life will take her? She's lost and SLAY might be the only way to finally answer those questions. That's what I loved about this book, the demon-kicking and heroics is the fun side of the story that only touches the surface of the book. There is so much more at the root of it. SLAY are a family, finding trust, solace, friendship, and a place to be truly themselves and Milly is in the perfect place to be.

I’d say this is one book band that you wish was real because they have the right amount of personality to make it, their persona really shines through the book. So we have the broody leader of the pack, JD who instantly reminded me of Angel in Buffy. Niv and Zek twin brothers, one is a silent partner and the other is certainly loud enough for the both of them, quite the comedians in their own way. Milly really identified with Zek. I loved how Kim incorporated sign language with the fluency and familial connection he has with Milly and the band. She adds a texture to their friendships, even if they appear different they are more connected than you know. Tom is the poster boy of the group, the one that all the girls fall for, but behind that, he is so down to earth and has such empathy with people, I think that's why he great at interviews and including Milly as part of the group. Last but no means least is Connor, you find him quite the surprise, a moody band member between stupid and smart. He's unafraid of blurting whatever comes to mind. Other characters like Gail, the manager of the group who is kickass and strong even if she does have one leg and one eye and Diaz, who is basically the Giles of the story they really made the story come together.
"What? Oh, no, I much prefer my books. In fact I am going to go home and consult them."
Kick-ass, funny, laugh-out-loud book about a boy band that slays demons! It’s classic cheesiness and that’s the best thing about it. Slay is one of those that is like guilty pleasure with a mixture of Mission Impossible action and gadgets, with the twist and badass of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Usborne for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 4 June 2018

πŸ“šMAY WRAP -UP & JUNE TBR


        Hi Everyone, I thought I would try and do a wrap up monthly post no matter what I've read. This month has been pretty steady with my reading. Although work is still really busy I'm really pleased with what I've read. I actually stuck with my TBR apart from one book which I think is progress don't you think. I read 3 of most anticipated this month and reviewed last week during my week off from work which was nice to really catch-up on things without the pressure of work and getting enough sleep etc. I was also mentioned in the Acknowledgments of Perdita's and Honor's last book in the Waiting for Callback series and that was truly an honour. May is a good month, here's hoping June is even better!

πŸ“šBooks I ReadπŸ“š

πŸ“šBooks ReviewedπŸ“š

πŸ“šBest book of the monthπŸ“š

I don't know if I can choose I've had some outstanding books this month - It's between It's A Wrap and The Extinction Trials: Exile.... can I choose. Okay I'll going to have to say Exile it was an exceptional sequel and with the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom coming out it's the perfect series to get into, if you haven't already.
πŸ“šThis month I received - Thank you so much lovely publishers 😍
Image result for the outcast taran matharuImage result for theatrical maggie harcourtImage result for last time i liedImage result for queens of fennbirnImage result for sarah driver booksRelated imageImage result for Sea by sarah driverImage result for grace and fury by tracy banghartImage result for holly bourne are we all lemmings and snowflakes

πŸ“šMost anticipated this month:πŸ“š
Image result for holly bourne are we all lemmings and snowflakesImage result for save the date morgan matsonImage result for a thousand perfect notes
Well Holly Bourne has an adult book coming out this month and I can't wait to pick my copy up. It will be so different from her YA but that's the point. Morgan Matson is the queen of romances, she is my go to author and I've loved them all. Last but no means least A Thousand Perfect Notes, I'm on a blog tour next week and although I've had the book for ages, I will be picking it up this month because it sounds amazing. J

πŸ“šMAY TBR - well a choice of books I will look at...πŸ“š
Image result for holly bourne are we all lemmings and snowflakesImage result for theatrical maggie harcourtImage result for the summer of usImage result for last time i lied
I'm currently reading Eve of Man by Tom and Giovanni Fletcher which is AMAZING by the way. So I'm choosing these books this month - Okay so basically I've a huge range but I'm not going to stick to some like last month, I have such a range that I'm going to see what I feel like at the time. Next I think will be The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse. 


How was your month? What are your June TBR plans?