Sunday, 21 August 2016

The List by Vivian Siobhan : Review

The List by Vivian Siobhan
Publication date: April 1st
Published by: Push
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic

An intense look at the rules of high school attraction - and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

My Thoughts
I picked this book up for a bit of a trashy read that didn't have much depth but was good fun, and it was. This book is not a piece of fine literature but it was great fun and perfect for after a couple of fantasy books or a very sad book.

It constantly switches from person to person and I actually really liked it. I loved watching all the storied slowly come together and interlink. At no point was I confused by who was speaking i think Vivian did a great job at developing a different voice for each character.

The characters were all very real even if I didn't like some of them. They all had a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses, which was nice. I think it gave a really realalistic view on high school and all the friendship dramas.

My only problem with this book was the endings of some girls stories, some of them I thought were done and finshed but others I could just have done with another chapter to wrap things up. I would also like to know if the list continued the next year or whether it finished there.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book. It was great fun and gave a honest view on girls friendships. I'm giving this book 4/5.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes (Queen of Hearts Saga #1) : Review

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes (Queen of Hearts Saga #1)
Publication date: May 3rd 2016
Published by: HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Retelling, Fantasy

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinah's furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

My Thoughts
I found this book on goodreads a while ago and desperately wanted to read it but I only found it in stores last week. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite stories and recently more retelling have come up. Sadly this book wasn't the perfect Alice retelling I have been looking for.

I expected a very dark and scary wonderland but it wasn't the book never really took any twists I wasn't expecting and while you could tell Colleen was trying to build up tension it fell flat because of a lack of connection to the characters.

I was impressed by how smart Colleen was with how she fit the character from Alice into the Queen of Hearts story. They weren't there in theway that they were in Alice but maybe that will tie together at the end of the series.

I loved the descripton in the book, everything was described perfectly I could imagine each and every scene and character. Unfortunately, while the book had a plot that sounded interesting I just never connected with Colleen's writing style. I found it a bit dull and drawn out. That was the main problem with this book rather then anything else.

In conclusion, this book was not as amazing as I had hoped due to me being unable to immerse myself into Colleen's writing. Hopefully the book series will pick up. I think I will read the next book and I hope to ennjoy it more. I'm giving this book 3/5 stars.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Solitaire by Alice Oseman : Review

Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Publication date: July 31st 2014
Published by: Harper Collins Children's Books
Genres: YA, contemporary, romance, mystery

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

This incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers.

My Thoughts
This was the weirdest book I have ever read, without a doubt. I was sat in class and it was pretty quite as I yelled 'Psychopath. Absolute psychopath'. It was one of those books where you felt like you had to say what you were thinking otherwise it wasn't true.

The main character irritated me so much. She was super miserable and pessimistic and I couldn't really see why. she had a pretty lucky life. her brother had an eating disorder which is obviously awful but seriously there is no need to be that depressing. Aside from Tori, the rest of the characters where great. I might be a little in love with Michael, he was amazing.

The plot was weird and messed up. the way Alice described something left me so confused to what was going on. I didn't see much need for the finale. It was a bit pointless.

In conclusion. I didn't really like this book but it was well written. it was just the story wasn't for me. I think I will try to borrow her next book form the library rather than buying it. I'm going to give this book 2/5 with both stars.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider : Review

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
Publication date: May 26th 2015
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: YA, contemporary, romance, sad

From the author of The Beginning of Everything: two teens with a deadly disease fall in love on the brink of a cure.

At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it's easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.

There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.

But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down.

Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.

My Thoughts
Extraordinary Means is one of the saddest books I have read in years. My friend gave it to me for my birthday and I didn't speak to her for the rest of the day once I had finished it because of how traumatised the book had left me.

The characters where incredible in this book. I loved all of them. They were very realistic in their flaws and characteristics. My favourite character was Charlie, he was probably the least interesting which for whatever reason made me instantly love him.

The plot was obviously very hard to read at point because of the severity of TB. I thought it was great how the character would joke about how they were going to die because I think it would be something you would do. I know I definitely would.

In conclusion, this book will wreck you but it is worth it. I learnt loads from this book and cared so much for the characters. I'm giving this book 3.5/5.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach : Review

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
Publication date: February 23rd 2016
Published by: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: YA, contemporary

“I’ve got some questions for you. Was this story written about me?”

I shrugged.

“Yes or no?”

I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty. It brought a bloom to her pale cheeks and made sharp shelves of her cheekbones.

“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.

I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote I can’t on my palm.

Then, in tiny letters below it, I finished the thought: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?

Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.

My Thoughts
Tommy Wallach's first book 'We All Looked Up' was one of my favourite  books of last year. I loved how it united all walks of life, so when I saw his next novel had come out I bought it without even reading the synopsis and started to read it straight away.

The plot for this book is a bit all over the place, I think the point of the synopsis is to intrigue you while also completely throwing you off what the book is really about. And I don't understand why because I could think of a million and one better ways to sell this book that what they have done. Any way that is not the point of the review.

'Thanks for the Trouble' is about Zelda and Parker, who meet at a hotel after Parker tries to rob her. Zelda tells Parker she is going to kill herself by jumping off the golden bridge and Parker tries to tell her that there are more things in life left to live for. That's the main plot of the book but sometimes it went quite off track and added in extras that where definitely not needed.

The characters in this book where great, each very individual and unique but still 'realistic'. My favourite character was Alana, she was super spunky and a bit of a nerd but still had a social life, which most authors don't add to a nerdy character. Tommy Wallach is amazing at character building I obviously knew this from 'We All Looked Up' but he blew me away once again with his incredible characters.

I loved how the book was written. I had never read a book that was written as a college essay and I loved it. If anyone has any other books written similarly to this one please tell me. It was great how he manage to break the fourth wall while still making it part of the story.

The ending was the best part of the book. It left you feeling like the book had really given you something. The way nothing changed yet everything changed and he summed it up so perfectly in the last paragraph or two.

In conclusion, 'Thanks for the Trouble' wasn't as spectacular as 'We All Looked Up'. It was still a great read that made you think about who you let into your life and how we shape other people. I will be buying/reading his next book for sure. I'm giving this book 3/5.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery : Review

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Publication date: 1908
Published by: Signet
Genres: Classic

Everyone's favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

My Thoughts
This book is one of my mum's favourites, for years I thought I had already read it but it turns out I had gotten Pollyanna confused with Anne of Green Gables. I think the next classic I read has to be Pollyanna again, since I obviously don't remember it. It took me forever to read this book. I started reading this book at the beginning of the biggest reading slump I've ever had.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a nice break from the fantasy books that I seem to be reading so much of right now. All the character were who they said they were, which was a nice change. I loved seeing the development in Anne and Marilla's relationship. It was one of the happiest things ive read in years, the devotion between them is unparalleled in books.

The plot was great, it was like a gentle meander. Not a lot happened but Anne's dramatic reaction to everything made it feel ten times more exciting. It did break my heart a bit when a certain character died. I could see it coming but they were my favourite character so I was in denial. I'm still convince I misread it.

My favourite part of the book was definitely the ending. I love how perfectly ever tied together without making it feel like the story ended right there. It gave you the idea that Anne still continued her life after the book finished.

In conclusion, this is a great book to read after a depressing book or super fast paced. I don't think I'm going to read on in the series. I loved the ending so much that I'm  not sure I want anything to ruin it in anyway. I'm giving this book 4.5/5.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Half Lost by Sally Green (Half Bad Trilogy #3) : Review

Half Lost by Sally Green (Half Bad Trilogy #3)
Publication date: March 29th 2016
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Romance

This is the final battle.

The Alliance is losing the war, and their most critical weapon, seventeen-year-old witch Nathan Brynn, is losing his mind. Nathan’s tally of kills is rising, and yet he’s no closer to ending the tyrannical rule of the Council of White Witches in England. Nor is Nathan any closer to his personal goal: getting revenge on Annalise, the girl he once loved before she committed an unthinkable crime. An amulet protected by the extremely powerful witch Ledger could be the tool Nathan needs to save himself and the Alliance, but this amulet is not so easily acquired. And lately Nathan has started to suffer from visions: a vision of a golden moment when he dies, and of an endless line of Hunters, impossible to overcome. Gabriel, his closest companion, urges Nathan to run away with him, to start a peaceful life together. But even Gabriel’s love may not be enough to save Nathan from this war, or from the person he has become.

Set in modern-day Europe, the final book in the Half Bad trilogy is more than a story about witches. It’s a heart-achingly visceral look at survival and exploitation, the nature of good and evil, and the risks we take for love.

My Thoughts
This is the final book in Sally Green's Half Bad Trilogy. I was so excited for this book, I read it in a day. It was everything I had expected it to be and more. There were twists and turns that I didn't expected but there were also some that I did.
There was so much Nathan and Gabriel in this book. I screamed on multiple occasions. They're just so adorable. I want one book just dedicated to them like 'Half  Love' or something and it will be a paranormal romance between them.
It was completely action packed without a single dull moment the hours just flew by. It was also fantastic how Sally manage to keep the over all them of the book (war and uprising) going throughout the whole book. even in happy additional scene there was an underlining tension between every action that the characters made.
I think that Sally Green is great at description and coming up with fantastic new places, so I loved that we didn't revisit a single place. All the setting were new and unexplored, which could sometimes give you a nice break from the intenseness of the rest of the book.
My only complaint with this book is the ending. It felt very rushed. In the last two chapters I didn't really know what was going on. She first of all gave me false hope that one of the characters were still alive then took you to a random place which I had no idea what it was. It was disappointing to finish such an incredible series on such a  low note.
In conclusion, this was an incredible book and I shall dearly miss this series. I look forward to whatever Sally Green has up her sleeve for me to read next but until then I'm giving this book 4/5 stars.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Pieces like Pottery by Dan Buri : Review

Pieces like Pottery by Dan Buri
Publication date: October 2nd 2015
Published by: DJB Publishing
Genres: Short Stories
Filled with graceful insight into the human condition, each linked story presents a tale of loss and love. In Expect Dragons, James Hinri learns that his old high school teacher is dying. Wanting to tell Mr. Smith one last time how much his teaching impacted him, James drives across the country revisiting past encounters with his father's rejection and the pain of his youth. Disillusioned and losing hope, little did James know that Mr. Smith had one final lesson for him.

In The Gravesite, Lisa and Mike's marriage hangs in the balance after the disappearance of their only son while backpacking in Thailand. Mike thinks the authorities are right—that Chris fell to his death in a hiking accident—but Lisa has her doubts. Her son was too strong to die this young, and no one can explain to her why new posts continue to appear on her son's blog.
Twenty-Two looks in on the lives of a dock worker suffering from the guilt of a life not lived and a bartender making the best of each day, even though he can see clearly how his life should have been different. The two find their worlds collide when a past tragedy shockingly connects them.

A collection of nine stories, each exquisitely written and charged with merciful insight into the trials of life, Pieces Like Pottery reminds us of the sorrows we all encounter in life and the kindness we receive, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places.
My Thoughts
This book took me forever to read, not because it's a bad book but because it is an extremely heavy book. The topics that are covered are all quite deep and challenge the reader.
The stories were absolutely beautiful and Buri had a way of writing so the effect of the story got through to you but didn't overwhelm you. It delt with many different hard subjects; alcoholism, catholic priest scandals, depression, anxiety, losing a son.
My favourite story was Twenty Two. It really got across the message Buri was trying to get across,
In conclusion, this book is definitely worth the read but it is probably better to read a story between a book rather then the whole thing at once. I'm giving this book 4/5 stars.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

antcipated realeses for 2016

Hi guys

I for once actually have some books I'm super excited for this year rather than having to scour goodreads for books that sound interesting,

Heartless by Cornelia Funke
No released cover in English yet
There is no official release date yet for this book but it was published in German last March, so it can't be that long now. I'm so excited for this book the Mirrorworld series is possibly my favourite series ever, though I think I'm going to have to reread the series before the third one comes out.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
'Red Queen' was one of my favourite books of 2015, so I'm super excited for the next one. I think it's going to be even better then the first. The epilogue gave the impression that there was going to be some intense character development in the next book.

Half Lost by Sally Green
I can't believe it is almost the end of this series. I'm so excited but at the same time I never want to read this book because I am not ready to end this series. There is also the obvious fear that Sally Green is going to kill Gabriel or Nathan and Gabriel aren't going to end up together.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Night Owls by Jenn Bennett : Book Review

Night Owls by Jenn Bennett
Publication date: August 13th 2015
Published by: Simon and Schuster UK
Genres: YA, Romance, realistic, mental health

Feeling alive is always worth the risk.

Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco's night bus—turns Beatrix's world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive...and possibly one of San Francisco's most notorious graffiti artists.

But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.

My Thoughts
I read this book wanting a happy romantic book that was extremely cutesy and while it was a romantic book that gave me the feels, it wasn't all that happy. Jack and Beatrix's lives are a bit all over the place and not very organised with their lives falling to pieces numberous times throughout the book but without it being to dramatic and just getting on my nerves.

This book really is a book that is better going into blind because of all the twists and turns that it takes throughout the process of the story. It does contain some scenes with mental health, not from the perspective of the main character, which I found very refreshing and much easier to read about because sometimes I find books that deal with mental health are a bit too much for me.

In conclusion, this is a phenomenal book that has characters that deal with real situations in realistic ways. I'm giving this book a 5/5 stars. Truly stunning.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins : Review

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Publication date: August 24th 2010
Published by: Scholastic Press
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Action

My name is Katniss Everdeen.
Why am I not dead?
I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans--except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.

My Thoughts
This book was amazing. A great ending to a great series. I was in floods of tears for the last quarter of the book, so I would recommend having a super happy book to read next.

The characters were great. We got introduced to Annie Cresta who thought she doesn't say a lot is my new favourite character ever. I liked how Peeta was portrayed throughout the books because I think it would have been easy for Suzanne to have turned him into a villain.

The plot was realistic or at least as realistic as a dystopian could be. It was fast paced yet still had all the impact that was in the previous books.

In conclusion, this review sucked, sorry. This book effected me so much I'm not sure words could ever be able to describe how much I loved it. I give this book 5/5.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Love, Sex and Violence in YA Fantasy Novels by Louise Herman : Guest Post


Happy holidays everyone, and I hope you are enjoying the break.


I have decided to take a week’s respite from writing the third book in my YA urban fantasy series, Split Blood, to catch up with author interview and guest post requests. I am looking forward to discussing my thoughts and opinions on love, sex and violence in YA books and how I have dealt with these themes in my own stories.


What is YA?


Many of my friends and family have asked me what YA books are, and with the new introduction of the New Adult genre, the YA audience has become even more specific.


My explanation used to be that YA books are aimed at young adults. However, today I would say that YA audiences are split into two categories with respect to storyline and levels of violence and profanity.


Personally, I would class a book that has no references to sex, violence or profanity in it as suitable for pre-teens (9-12 years), but a story like Split Blood: The Ancient Codex – Part One I would class as suitable for ‘teen’ readers, as it tackles issues that include sex, as well as challenging issues such as arranged marriages, torture and murder.


What themes and scenarios are appropriate for YA readers?


I have read many articles arguing that some readers feel that YA authors are pushing the limits of what they class as suitable storylines for YA audience, with some so far as suggesting that books should have a visible certification rating, like films, to warn readers that such story refer to these sensitive topics.


As an author, I personally do not have a problem with this because my books are aimed at the ‘teen’ end of the spectrum, and as a teacher from the UK, I know that students aged between 13 and 15 years are taught sexual education in their ‘Citizenship’ lessons, which are part of the UK curriculum. Therefore, I would rather portray a sexual situation that contains respect, mutual understanding and a loving relationship than a glorified situation in which a character is in a sexual situation that is filled with dark undertones.


When does it go too far?


I am not a big fan of books aimed at pre-teens or ‘teens’ in which the sexual situations have sadistic elements (such as using force) or murder scenes that show endless enjoyment being gained from preforming these acts, because although I know that some characters are dark and it would be a part of their personality to act in this way, I would personally prefer such stories to be listed under the NA genre, as a college student would have a better grasp of these topics due to their older age and greater experience (this is my opinion, but I know that there are many teens who can understand and not be affected by such storylines).


How far have I taken it in my own books and why?


I don’t think I have taken such themes too far in my books because, as I mentioned earlier, in the UK children receive lessons in sex education from the age of 13-15 in school, and teenage pregnancy is also studied in Citizenship lessons; therefore, this was a topic that I wanted to approach, and hopefully I managed to do this delicately.


Louise Herman Bio


Louise Herman is a North London Fantasy author obsessed with pear drops sweets and 80s Fantasy films.

In between reading James Herbert novels and drinking too much coffee, she writes Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance novels.

Louise Herman has currently written five YA Fantasy books to date (December 2015); The Orcus Games Prequel Trilogy and The Split Blood series, which take the reader on a journey of magic, mystery, obsession and forbidden love with seductively dark consequences.

For more information, please go to:


Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Savages by Matt Whyman : Book Review

The Savages by Matt Whyman
Publication date: June 6th 2013
Published by: Hot Key Books
Genres: Ya, Horror

They'd love to have you for dinner . . .

Sasha Savage is in love with Jack - a handsome, charming ... vegetarian. Which wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that Sasha's family are very much 'carnivorous'. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha's father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother's culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel - as does their sinister taste in human beings . . .

My Thoughts
I have wanted to read this book for a couple of years ow, so when I got it on Christmas I was super excited. From the review I had read I had got the impression that this was a very thought provoking book that made you wonder whether eating animals was any worse then eating people. Unfortunately that is not wha this book is about.

All the characters are quite psychopathic with a slight exception of Oleg but that could just be because he is less featured in the book. There were points where characters train of thought would really creep me out particularly Iva, Sasha's brother. I thought that Sasha's character was a bit pathetic, letting Jack treat her like that.

The plot was okay, my favourite parts where the points that involved Vernon. I thought he was a nice non-psychopathic character. The parts that involved Russia in the World War were also quite interesting but otherwise super disturbing.

In conclusion, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone because it was super disturbing but not disturbing enough to really scare you. The plot wasn't great and the characters were weak. I'm giving this book 2/5 stars.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

November / December Wrap up

Hi Guys

I only read 2 books in November, so I thought it would make more sense to put both November and December together then create the smallest blog post ever..

The 100 Series by Kass Morgan
I actually really enjoyed this series. I know most people hate this series but I thought it was a good light-hearted series that had one of the best endings ever. I still need to watch the show though. I have a review of the first book here.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I read 'The Hunger Games' ages ago but after seeing 'Mockingjay Part 2' and falling in love with Finnick I knew I had to finish the series. I was a bit disappointed about how long the build up to even the announcement of the games is but once the plot picked up I was captivated desperate to know what happened next. My full review is here.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
This was one of my favourite books of this year. It's phenomenal. It was fast paced yet all the characters where very relatable and as realistic as they could be. My full review is here.