Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Top Ten Books of 2014!

It's nearly 2015! Happy new year everyone! I read 61 books this year, which was one over my target, woop! Here are my top ten (in the order that I read them because I couldn't order them!):

here are eight, the other two were library or Kindle reads! 

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (review)
After all the hype I couldn't ignore this one, and I'm so glad I didn't! Possibly my favourite book of the year. A must read for all fans of YA!

2. Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison (review)
This had me laughing out loud in public places and making a fool of myself - and I couldn't care less. So funny and realistic and one that I'm sure I shall be revisiting whenever I need cheering up. 

3. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick (review)
I adore the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and so this was a dream of a book. It fills in all the gaps of events only upon in the video diaries, including those exciting dates with Darcy ;) A must read for Pride & Prejudice and LBD fans!

Boys Don't Knit (Boys Don't Knit, #1)4. Boys Don't Knit by T.S. Easton
Another one that had me cracking up! Such a fun book and so different to everything I've read before! I've had the sequel on my shelf for agesss now and I really must get round to it because this one was so fab.

5. Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead (review)
SO. MANY. FEELS. The Bloodlines series just keeps getting better and better! I'm super duper excited for The Ruby Circle but will be so sad when it's over. Just read them!

6. Department 19 by Will Hill (review)
I was surprised by how much I loved this. I've had it for years and I'm kicking myself that I only read it in the summer. Looking forward to more of the series next year!

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)7. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (review)
How could this not be on my list?! I think Anna's still my favourite but aww this is still just as adorable as expected from Stephanie's collection. Not to be missed!

8. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson (review)
I think this ties with Fangirl for my top book of 2014. I LOVED this and devoured it in just a couple of days despite it's enormous size (and I read slowly this year). Definitely my favourite of Morgan's novels and I cannot recommend it enough. READ IT. 

9. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (review)
So different to how I expected and so well handled. Absolutely beautiful. A must read! 

10. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (review)
So much fun! Even better than We Were Liars, which I adored too. Cannot wait to read more from E. Lockhart because each book I read just keeps getting better and better.

What were your favourite books of the year? 
What should I look out for in 2015? I'm so out of the loop so all recommendations welcome! 



Monday, 29 December 2014

Book Review: My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday StoriesTitle: My True Love Gave To Me
Authors: Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Series:  Standalone anthology
Pages: 355
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Date of Publication: 9th October, 2014
Source: Publisher from event*
Synopsis from Goodreads: On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.


My Thoughts:
My True Love Gave To Me contains twelve stories by twelve different authors, including Stephanie Perkins, Ally Carter and Rainbow Rowell. Of the twelve authors, I've read and enjoyed books by nine of them, and so while anthologies are not really my thing, I couldn't ignore the facts that:
a) here were new stories from some of my favourite authors
b) here were twelve new winter/Christmas romances (aka the best kind of romances)
c) the cover is super pretty with it's pale blue cover and shiny gold and bright pink fairy lights and page edges (which look WAY better in person than in that picture above!)
so, obviously, I had to give it a read.

Out of the twelve stories, there were only two I didn't really enjoy. Mostly they were really adorable stories that I could take half an hour to read quietly by myself, and during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas week, they were absolutely perfect.

My favourite story was 'Angels In The Snow' by Matt de la Peña. I'd not read anything by him in the past or even heard of him but I'd like to check out his other work now! The story is about a boy and a girl, the only two people snowed in in a huge apartment block. One's rich, the other a cat sitter. I don't want to say anymore as the stories are only short and I don't want to spoil them but it was just so adorable and cute and the predictability actually, in a rare case, just made it all the better.

To highlight just a few more, I also really enjoyed the stories from Rainbow Rowell, 'Midnights' and Stephanie Perkins, 'It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown' (obvs - these authors are my favourites). Holly Black's, 'Krampuslauf' was a lot of fun, and Kiersten White's 'Welcome to Christmas, CA' was super cute. I could go on though - they're all so shiny and cute and lovely.

I wasn't expecting wonders from My True Love Gave To Me, only twelve adorable winter romances that I could read and enjoy while all cosy and warm and relaxed at Christmas, and that is exactly what I got. I cannot recommend it enough for a really great read over the Christmas period, or any time you're feeling down or in need of a warm hug, because that is what it is. It's a big warm hug in the form of a book. Brilliant.


*Huge thanks to Macmillan for hosting the Christmas party where I acquired a copy of this book. In no way has this affected my opinion of it. 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Book Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksTitle: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Series:  Standalone
Pages: 352
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of Publication: 6th November, 2014
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Fifteen-year-old Frankie Landau-Banks has grown up a lot over the summer. She's no longer daddy's little girl - and almost immediately after starting the new semester at her highly prestigious school, she bags goofy-but-gorgeous Matthew Livingston as her boyfriend. They get along great but then Frankie discovers that Matthew is a member of a boys-only secret society that specialise in 'hilarious' pranks. Which hardly seems fair... especially when Frankie knows she's smarter than any of its members. And to prove this, she's going to teach them a lesson.

Impersonating lead member Alpha by using a fake email account is surprisingly easy, and soon Frankie is setting the boys up with all sorts of ridiculous schemes and sending them on wild goose chase after wild goose chase. Alpha's not prepared to lose face and admit it's not him sending the emails - but the fun can't last forever, and soon Frankie will have to choose between what she think she wants, and the reputation she deserves.


My Thoughts:
I'd not heard much about E. Lockhart before she burst into the scene earlier this year with We Were Liars. It seemed to take the internet by storm, me included. There was a live readalong on Twitter which was great and made it so enjoyable for me that despite there not being one for The Disreputable History (that I was aware of anyhow!) I still was super excited to get stuck in and had very high hopes. The Disreputable History is completely different to We Were Liars, yet still absolutely brilliant, if not even better!

I was not expecting anything like what I got from The Disreputable History. I absolutely loved Frankie's voice! She was funny, sarcastic, and just a little bit quirky (as all the best people are)! I really loved how she stood up for herself and for feminism when battling against a patriarchal and exclusive all-boys secret society that saw its member's girlfriends as cute and adorable but not much more than that. In the past I found that feminists can come across almost too strong and thus very intimidating, which I think was a huge problem, especially for me, in getting young women to stand up for their rights and to fight against the stereotypes (I just didn't really understand), however I think that Frankie has the happy medium of being strong and sure in her views without being intimidating. In short the novel is full of girl power and it's great!

The pranks that are such a huge part of the novel are fabulous. I absolutely loved the idea of the Basset Hounds' pranks that they carried out in their super prestigious private school setting. I read a lot of the novel on buses and trains and on several occasions I had to stop myself from laughing out loud, in an effort to stop myself from looking like a lunatic. (I was rather unsuccessful!) Perhaps I'm immature (or really there's no perhaps about it) but the Library Lady was great, and all of the stories of the Guppy pranks were really cool to read about throughout the history of the school and the Basset Hounds.

I think the one thing that perhaps let the novel down a little was Frankie's romantic choices. At first I thought I had it sussed and could guess the whole plot of the novel, but I was very wrong (and rather relieved!) However, I do not like Matthew Livingston one little bit and I didn't get the attraction he held over Frankie. After all the girl power Frankie was promoting their whole relationship just seemed a little hypocritical and contrived. Maybe E. Lockhart is trying to make a point, I dunno, but it just seemed all a little wrong to me.

That said though, I suppose Frankie had to have a way into the Basset Hounds and that was him. Either way it didn't detract too much from the novel and when I did get the chance to sit down and enjoy reading for a while to myself (which in my final year of school is a rare occurrence) I devoured The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and could not stop turning the pages, particularly towards the end. It's empowering and funny and I cannot recommend it enough, and having finished the review now I can definitely say for me it trumped even We Were Liars, so there's really no excuse for you not to add it to your Christmas lists!


*Huge thanks to Hot Key Books for providing me with this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Blog tour: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Title: Lies We Tell Ourselves 
Author: Robin Talley
Series: 
Pages:  336
Publisher: Mira Ink
Date of Publication: 3rd October, 2014
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.”

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the Lies We Tell Ourselves blog tour! 

My Thoughts:
Lies We Tell Ourselves is a fantastic read. I was surprised by how engrossed I was and how much it affected me emotionally. Despite reading the majority of the novel on a coach surrounded by my school friends, I found myself tearing up and getting angry, and smiling and laughing too. They looked at me funny but I was so engrossed that I didn't even care. 

I've never read anything like Lies We Tell Ourselves. Firstly, apart from Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (which was slightly different anyway), I've never read a book where racial discrimination is so prevalent. Secondly, I think this is only the second or third book I've read where the main romantic relationship is homosexual, and the first where it's girls. It was a novel of firsts for me and for that reason I found it to be really engaging and interesting. 

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first ever eight black American students to be integrated into Jefferson High, a previously white-only school in South America. I didn't have much prior knowledge about 1950/60s America, apart from a basic knowledge of Rosa Parks and the bus boycotts. While reading the first part of the novel (it's split into five) I was shocked and horrified by the cruelty of the white students. Luckily, I've never been witness to any kind of racial discrimination in my life, so while I know it is a huge issue still, I didn't really have any experience of it. I knew that things were bad and that racial discrimination could be very serious, but I had no idea to what extent. It was really interesting to read and to try to understand what the white people were thinking, but for the most part it just made me angry and upset for the poor black people. 

I really liked Sarah (the main black girl) though and I admired her strength and courage while she was at school. I also thought it was really powerful to show her vulnerability, like when she got home from school, or when she was with Linda (the white love interest) towards the end of the novel. I thought their relationship developed really naturally and I also think that Linda's character development in coming round to the idea of integration and the fact that black people are no different was gradual and realistic. 

Lies We Tell Ourselves was a great read and it really interested me in reading more about integration in 1950/60s America. I definitely 100% recommend this book to those who like historical novels or ones which are challenging and will really make you consider yourself and those around you. Brilliant! 


Lies We Tell Ourselves is out now in paperback, published by Mira Ink.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Blog Tour: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer - Review and Giveaway!

BelzharTitle: Belzhar
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Series:  n/a
Pages: 266
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's
Date of Publication: 1st October, 2014
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

My thoughts:
When I got back from holiday and found Belzhar waiting for me, honestly, I didn't really have a clue what it was about and wasn't that intrigued by the blurb. However, upon tweeting that I'd got it, I was told that it was a really great book and that I should definitely read it soon. So I picked it up and ended up devouring it. It was really, really good.

Belzhar is a book to read blind, but as a basic synopsis: Jam is sent to a boarding school for 'fragile' teenagers, after the death of her boyfriend, Reeve. Here she is enrolled in Special Topics in English, an exclusive lesson reserved only for five specially picked teenagers. No one knows anything about the class or what it entails, and the novel tells the story of what happens there and how it affects the five students, in particular, Jam.

The intrigue around Special Topics in English drew me in quickly and I was eager to find out what was so special about it. I really enjoyed reading about the time they spent in class, and I found myself quite envious of their work and teacher, Mrs Q (although I do love my teacher, my set books and lessons are dreadfully dull). Never before have I been curious enough about the subject matter to research it myself in my own time after reading, especially when that subject matter is poetry! I must admit I'm not a fan of poetry (perhaps I just haven't found the good stuff!) but I actually looked up a poem mentioned in the book and read through it side by side with the novel and that was actually really cool. Very nerdy, but really cool too.

I have mixed feelings about Jam. She kind of annoyed me in that she was so pine-y and mope-y about Reeve, and how she loved him so much and while I can only begin to imagine how difficult it must be to have your loved one die (having never been in such a situation), it did begin to grate on me after a while, especially since they'd only known each other for about forty days (instalove-blech). However, I did have a lot of respect for her, in her situation and can kind of see why she was the way that she was. It's quite difficult to discuss her properly without spoiling the end so while she did annoy me a little, I do have respect and sympathy for her too, and if you really want to understand what I mean you will have to read the book for yourself :P

Belzhar is one of those books that you really should read. It's branded as 'literary YA' and while I dislike that label, it is a great book for discussion and reflection, rather than a lighter-hearted read-in-a-few-hours-and-then-forget-about-it kind of novel. It's had very mixed reviews but I think it explores really well different emotions and the effects of many different experiences on different people, but I'm still very interested in reading other people's reviews and opinions too. With a surprising and unexpected ending it's definitely one to keep you on your toes, and with a potentially delicate subject matter it's very engaging, and I'd definitely recommend it to those wanting something that will challenge, but is still enjoyable.



For your chance to win a copy of this brilliant book, enter the giveaway below! All you have to do is leave me a comment saying why you want to read Belzhar, or if you've already read it, what you thought of the book!

The giveaway is UK ONLY and will end MIDNIGHT 14TH OCTOBER (next Tuesday!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Huge thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel. 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Blog Tour: Eren by Simon P. Clark

ErenTitle: Eren
Author: Simon P Clark
Series:  n/a
Pages:  208
Publisher: Constable & Robinson
Date of Publication: 18th September, 2014
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: People are keeping secrets from Oli - about where his father is, and why he hasn't come to join them at his uncle's house in the country.

But Oli has secrets too.

He knows what lives in the attic. Eren - part monster, part dream, part myth. Eren who always seems so interested, who always wants to hear more about Oli's life. Eren, who needs to hear stories to live, and will take them from Oli, no matter the cost.


My Thoughts:
I purposely did not read up about Eren before I started reading it, in order to avoid any preconceptions or expectations. I went in to the novel knowing very little, just knowing that it was a story about stories. I think that this made the book better for me - I enjoyed the mystery and the intrigue, so to keep that for you I won't say too much.

Oli has left his house in London with his mum, to live with his uncle in the countryside. The reasons for this are kept secret from him, but he's a smart kid - he knows there's something fishy going on with his dad, but frustratingly, no one will tell him anything. However, his family is not the only one who's keeping secrets. Oli has one of his own - Eren.

I enjoyed reading about Eren. Having finished the novel I'm still not entirely sure what Eren is - the novel is quite ambiguous, not gonna lie (so sorry if this doesn't make any sense!). I liked the mystery and hint of menace that surrounded him, and it was really interesting to read through the story and try to work him out. At the beginning of each chapter there's a small section where Oli and Eren are talking about telling stories and these bits, while perhaps a little abstract, were very engaging.

The rest of the chapters were Oli telling the story of his new life in the countryside, with his new friends Emma and Takeru, and his family. I liked the bits with Em and Tak most, when they were playing in the orchard and harvesting the apples, or telling stories and running through the woods. His home life I found to be a little tiresome because his mum refused to tell him anything and I think that they made quite a big deal of the whole dad thing when it was actually quite predictable and not overly interesting. It was a catalyst for them to move house to the country but storywise it didn't add that much - I was much more interested in Eren and the stories.

Overall though, Eren was an enjoyable read. I think it's best aimed at younger readers, however it's still good for a few hours relaxation on a Sunday afternoon, no matter your age. If you're in the mood for something mysterious and something just that little bit different, then this is the book for you.

*Huge thanks to Constable and Robinson for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel.

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Friday, 3 October 2014

It's Been Quiet!

So I came online to write my wrap-up for September, only to realise I only read one book (and it was short :S It was Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer - review and giveaway coming soon but you should definitely check it out!) and wrote one review. So there wasn't really that much point. It's been really quiet here and probably will be for the next few months and so I thought I'd just explain why.

September's been super busy because I went back to school, and it's Year 13. For those who don't know what that means, it's my final year of school before university next year, which means I am crazy busy with school work and university applications and personal statements and stuff, and I literally haven't had any time to read YA books. My four A-Level subjects (Classics, German, Latin and English Literature) are all very literature focused and so when I finally have got time to myself where I don't have to be doing school stuff, sometimes I just don't really want to read anymore. (Which sounds awful - I know!)

Hopefully in the next few months school stuff will get easier to manage and university applications will be over so hopefully then I'll have more time to read and get back to blogging. I have a couple of blog tours going up this week so there'll be those, but probably until November, the blog's gonna be pretty quiet still. Sorry!

I'll still be around on Twitter and Goodreads* to chat books and other stuff so don't forget me! I hope to be back to blogging regularly as soon as possible though and hopefully you'll still be here to read my posts and chat books with me!


*Did you know? I'm helping Chapter 5 Books, the YA department at Hodder & Stoughton, are running an online book club on Goodreads and I'm helping out this month by leading the discussions of The Giver by Lois Lowry! You should definitely check out the book and the discussion - they're both great!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Book Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The Iron TrialTitle: The Iron Trial
Authors: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Series:  Magisterium, #1
Pages:  295
Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
Date of Publication: 9th September 2014
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will -- is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It's a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.


My Thoughts:
I didn't really know that much about The Iron Trial when I first started it - only knowing that it was by Cassie Clare and Holly Black who are both pretty cool and so together would write a pretty cool book. The Iron Trial was completely different to how I imagined (I didn't even realise it's middle grade!) but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Once I'd finished the book, I headed over to Goodreads to see what other people had thought about it. A lot of reviews said that it ripped off Harry Potter, but while it did occur to me while I was reading that there were several similarities (eg Call, Aaron and Tamara were like Harry, Ron and Hermione), I think it stands on its own without having to be compared to Harry Potter.

Plot wise, it's quite simple. Call has been told all of his life that the Magisterium is a bad place, a place where young mages go and end up dead. Despite trying to fail the entry test, he's accepted in and forced to stay. He quickly finds that he doesn't hate it as much as he was told he would (surprise, surprise) and once he's accepted this he makes some friends and they have adventures together. I thought I had the whole plot of the novel sussed but was pleasantly surprised to find myself wrong. In retrospect the twists were not that remarkable but they were still interesting and I was quite engrossed by the end of the novel.

I liked reading about the magical world in which Call lives. I liked the system of magic - based on the elements of water, earth, fire, air and chaos. The elementals that Call and his friends had to fight were really cool to read about and I liked seeing him kick their butts. My favourite parts were Havoc and Warren though. They were really cool but you'll have to read it to find out what they are!

The Iron Trial is a really solid read that will easily be enjoyed by all. It's more suited to younger readers but there's enough in there that an older reader can appreciate and enjoy it too. Cassie and Holly's writing together was seamless and I'm looking forward to reading more from these two authors! If you're interested I definitely recommend it!


*Huge thanks to Random House and NetGalley for providing me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel. Also thanks Cicely! You're the best. 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

August 2014

Hey everyone! September means back to school (boo!) but summer was great fun! I roadtripped around Europe and spent two weeks in France, so I had a lot of time for reading and blogging. Here's what I read (and for the first time in I can't even remember how long I read TEN books - DOUBLE FIGURES :D )

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)  Department 19  The Giver

1. Zom-B Mission by Darren Shan
2. Zom-B Circus by Darren Shan
3. Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
4. Department 19 by Will Hill
5. Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
8. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
9. The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
10. Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman

I finally caught up a little bit on the Zom-B books (still got one more to go before I'm fully caught up but that's reserved at the library ;) ) which was really great because I do love them so! Silver Shadows is the fifth book in Bloodlines which is definitely one of my all time favourite series so I devoured that. Department 19 was AWESOME and I'm so annoyed I didn't read it sooner! Definitely will be catching up with that series as soon as possible! Let's Get Lost was a lot of fun since it's a roadtrip book and I read it on a roadtrip, which made it even better. The Giver was also really good and I'll be discussing that as part of Chapter 5 Books' new book club in October so do look out for that! The Iron Trial was a good read too and I'm looking forward to reading more of the series. Finally, Winterkill. Unfortunately this book really wasn't for me! I'll have a full review up soon, explaining, but I didn't really gel with any of the characters, there was some super instalove and also I just wasn't engaged with the plot at all.

My book(s) of the month were...

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)  Since You've Been Gone

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

I can't choose. Both Stephanie and Morgan write THE BEST contemporaries. I can't pick between them. They're both so readable and so heartwarming and you have so many feels while reading and GAH they are just the best. Definitely two of my favourite authors for sure and you should definitely have read their books! Get to it!

Reviews posted this month:


New books this month:


Thanks for Little, Brown, Chicken House, Mira Ink, Hot Key Books, Simon and Schuster, and Hodder for all my new books this month! I can't wait to read Eren, and I'll be on the blog tour for that so keep an eye out! Lies We Tell Ourselves looks really good so I'm excited for that one! The Memory Keepers looks AMAZING and I don't know anything about Belzhar but I've been told it's really good! I'm looking forward to finally reading Panic, and Red Rising looks quite interesting too. If any reviewer wants my spare copy of The 100 Day 21 you are welcome to it, tweet meh.

Some new releases to look forward to in September: 

Vivian Versus America (Vivian Apple, #2)  The 100 Society  
    

Thanks for reading!

Have you read any of these books?
What was your favourite book in August?
What are you most looking forward to in September? 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Book Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been GoneTitle: Since You've Been Gone 
Author: Morgan Matson
Series:  Standalone
Pages:  449
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
Date of Publication: 3rd July, 2014
Source: Publisher, for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just...disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night?
Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn?
Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger?
Um...

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she'll find?

Go skinny-dipping?
Wait...what?


My Thoughts:
I've been a fan of Morgan Matson for a few years now, ever since I read Amy & Roger's Epic Detour back in 2012. I then read Second Chance Summer and cried like a baby, and ever since then I've vowed to read everything that Morgan writes because no other book has made me feel as much as that (I literally cried for about an hour after finishing). So, naturally I had high hopes for Since You've Been Gone, and in no way did it disappoint.

What I particularly love about Morgan's books is that, even though there is romance in all three, the stories are also focused on friendship (and family) relationships too. Don't get me wrong, I love reading about a good romance, but I think girl friends (and boy friends!) are so important and I love reading about the bonds between best friends (even if they do go through their rocky patches - which all friendships do!).

Sloane and Emily are best friends. Sloane is outspoken and daring, while Emily is more of a wallflower. One summer, they have everything planned - they're gonna get a job together, spend time on the beach, have summer romances. But, one day, Sloane is gone, leaving nothing but a list of 13 things that Emily has always been scared of doing. Emily believes that carrying out all 13 items on the list - one of which is the terrifying skinny dipping(!) - will lead her to Sloane, and so she sets off to complete the challenges, initially alone, but before long she meets Frank Porter, Collins and Dawn, who grow to become her friends as they help her complete her list.

I loved it. The whole story, I just loved it. It's quite a beefy novel, at 450 ish pages, yet I still managed to read it in two days. I quickly connected to Emily, identifying with her wallflower personality, and knowing that if I were to be presented with the list, I would also be terrified. I felt like I was right there with her, feeling everything she was - when she first discovered Sloane had gone, when she went to the party in The Orchard alone, when she got to know Frank and realised her feelings might be a little more than just friendship. She just seemed so real, so normal, and I think I would genuinely be friends with her.

Morgan Matson is just so good at writing characters - the whole cast of supporting characters was also fabulously written. As the book goes along you get to know Frank, Collins, Dawn and Sloane just as well as you get to know Emily. I particularly love Frank - obviously! There's none of that instalovey rubbish either - it takes a long time for Emily to realise and accept that she might like Frank, and that's the way that it should be. They are friends first, and only then do you fall in love with Frank right along with Emily and it is just so adorable. Loved it!

Since You've Been Gone was an amazing read, one that I'm sure I will revisit in the future. Complete with playlists throughout the novel (which you should make and listen to while reading because it just makes it that little bit better!) this book is a perfect summer read that will get you feeling! I can't wait to read more of Morgan's books, and even though there probably won't be another one for a while, I am so excited already. If you haven't read any of them yet I really suggest that you do, and Since You've Been Gone would be a great place to start.


*Huge thanks to Simon and Schuster Children's Books for sending me this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my review of the novel. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Book Review: Department 19 by Will Hill

Department 19 (Department 19, #1)Title: Department 19
Author: Will Hill
Series:  Department 19, #1
Pages:  489
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Date of Publication: 1st September, 2011
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: Jamie Carpenter's life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein's monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.
"Department 19" takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond - from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it's packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.


My Thoughts:
I've had Department 19 on my bookshelf since it first came out in hardback in 2011. I wanted to read it, but it was huge and I have a hang up about reading big books... I don't dislike them, I just always choose a smaller book. Anyway, my friend began to nag me to read it, and a few twitter peeps too, so I thought it was time. It turns out that the length didn't matter at all - I loved and devoured it and now I WANT MOAR.

I'd heard that Department 19 was a bloody, action packed boys' book. I say, screw that. I'm a girl and I loved it. Yes, there's a lot of fighting, vampires exploding in splatters of blood and coating everything around them, and lots and lots of gore, but it's thrilling and exciting and I basically inhaled it. It's so readable and engaging and right to the very end, to the final cliffhanger, I couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages.

The plot's quite simple: Jamie's father is brutally murdered, and two years later his mother is kidnapped by Alexandru Rosmanov, the oldest vampire in the world. Jamie is lucky and manages to escape, by being taken to safety by Department 19, a top secret government organisation that protects Britain from the supernatural. Jamie vows to save his mother and with the help of Frankenstein and Larissa, he sets off on a seemingly impossible mission.

I loved reading about Department 19 and its history. I thought it was really interesting learning all about its founding families and the rivalries between them. I liked reading about what they do and the training they have to endure. I've not really read many books like this, based around a military organisation, so the fact that it was new and different was really cool.

The characters that Will Hill has created are fantastic. I immediately connected to Jamie and his story and was eager to see it through to the end. There are references to many classic novels in Department 19, such as Dracula, but my favourite was the character of Frankenstein. He's a hulking, seven and a half foot tall green monster with bolts in his neck, and he was great fun to read about. My favourite character though I think was Larissa. As soon as I first read about her, she stood out to me and seemed the most real, even if she was a vampire. Will did a really fab job of creating realistic characters, even in a paranormal thriller, so hats off to him for that.

Overall Department 19 was a brilliant read that I'm quite annoyed at myself for not reading sooner! In the future I'll be less picky about the length of books, I think! I can't wait to read more of the series, and I definitely recommend it, especially if you're like me and haven't yet got around to reading it. It's really worth it!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After 
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series:  Anna and the French Kiss, #3*
Pages:  375
Publisher: Usborne
Date of Publication: 14th August, 2014
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: The café is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee.
Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips: “Josh!”
His head jolts up. For a long time, a very long time, he just stares at me.
And then…he blinks. “Isla?”

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.


My Thoughts:
While it isn't a series, Isla and the Happily Ever After accompanies Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins' previous two books. I love both of those to pieces, due to their light and adorable romances, fabulously written settings, and particularly crush worthy male leads, and on these aspects, Isla and the Happily Ever After did not disappoint. I couldn't wait to get started and I devoured it in a matter of hours, and loved every single page.

The story in Isla returns to The School of America in Paris, where Anna was set. I was so pleased to be back reading about it after the break that we get in Lola, and I fell in love with this city I've never been to all over again. Stephanie is just so good at writing these beautiful, romantic places that I just long to go there myself. She also manages to do the same with New York and Barcelona, where Isla and Josh visit in the novel. One day I will go to them all!

As you're probably aware, the main plot is the romance between Isla and Josh. Josh is friends with Etienne and Anna from Anna, and so I was familiar with his character, but it was really cool to get to know him much better in Isla. Isla however, although briefly mentioned in Anna, is a new character and I adored reading through her eyes and getting to know her too. I felt like I could identify a lot with her, which of course helped me to become invested in the story and root for her and Josh. Their romance gets off to a fairytale start and then hits a wall, but at every point their relationship feels realistic and never too far fetched.

One of my favourite things about the novel was reading about all of Josh's drawings. I loved picturing them in my head, even though I could never do them justice, and I think it'd be really cool if they released a version of Isla that someone had illustrated in Josh's style. Or, perhaps someone could realise the graphic memoir that Josh is composing throughout the book. That would be awesome!

Isla and the Happily Ever After is the conclusion to Stephanie Perkins' collection, and I cannot fault it. I have loved these books ever since I read Anna for the first time so I think I'm a little biased and was always going to love Isla, BUT you should go out and pick up a copy regardless because I cannot recommend it enough. Or, if you haven't read Anna or Lola yet, go read those first and then wait for the fab finale that is Isla. You won't be disappointed!


*The three stories do not follow on from each other, as they are about three different sets of characters. However, they are set chronologically, so there are slight spoilers for Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door in Isla and the Happily Ever After, but nothing that you couldn't guess from reading their blurbs! So, you can read them in any order BUT I do recommend you read them in publication order anyway.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Book Review: Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Let's Get LostTitle: Let's Get Lost
Author: Adi Alsaid
Series:  ~
Pages:  352
Publisher: Mira Ink
Date of Publication: 1st August, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: One girl could change four lives forever…

Mysterious Leila, who is on the road trip of a lifetime, has a habit of crashing into people’s worlds at the moment they need someone the most.

There’s Hudson, who is willing to throw away his dreams for love. And Bree, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. Elliot who believes in happy endings…until his own goes off-script. And Sonia who worries that she’s lost her ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. But Leila’s trip could help her discover something bigger — that sometimes, the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way…


My Thoughts:
I was super excited to read Let's Get Lost, as it is a roadtrip book, and I love roadtrip books. I'd also read a lot of paranormal fiction, so I was looking forward to a nice light contemporary that I could read in a day and really enjoy, and that's exactly what I got.

What made it better for me was that I actually read it on a roadtrip around Europe. While my roadtrip and Leila's roadtrip in the book were completely different, it really heightened my experience of reading, as I could really connect with Leila and understand what she was doing and why she was doing it. I could imagine her sitting in her car, blasting the music and singing loud because that's what I've been doing for the last two weeks and so it was really cool.

The book is split into five parts, the first four of which focus on Hudson, Bree, Elliot, and Sonia, four teenagers that Leila meets on her travels, and the final part is when Leila finally reaches her destination and we find out her story. I really enjoyed each of the mini stories that Leila makes, especially with Hudson. I really liked how she had such an impact on their lives, and then moved on to help someone else. The lack of lingering sentimentality at the end of each story helped to keep the mood light but reminded me that there was something about Leila that I didn't quite understand yet, which kept the story suspenseful and exciting.

My favourite bit by far was finally finding out about Leila's past. I was thinking that I'd probably end up rating the book about three stars, but when I reached the end and read the fifth part about Leila, I bumped it up to four. I won't spoil anything but it was really heartwarming to read and I was actually totally surprised about Leila, which is always nice. I'm not the biggest fan of predictability!

Overall, Let's Get Lost was a good read that was perfect for holiday, when you've got nothing much to worry or think about. It's light and fun, but has an air of something more about it that isn't revealed until the end. If you're looking for something meaty and thrilling, then perhaps not, but if you're looking for a light contemporary, then this would be a perfect fit for you.


*Huge thanks to Mira Ink and NetGalley for allowing me access to this title in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Book Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)Title: Silver Shadows 
Author: Richelle Mead
Series:  Bloodlines
Pages:  380
Publisher: Penguin
Date of Publication: 29th July 2014
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.


My Thoughts:
I'd just left home for a week's holiday when I received a text from my dad, telling me that Silver Shadows had arrived in the post for me. To say I was excited is a little bit of an understatement. As soon as I got home and could get my greedy little hands on it, I devoured it, eager to carry on with Sydney and Adrian's story and find out what happened after the monster of a cliffhanger that The Fiery Heart left us with.

The Fiery Heart left us with Sydney separated from Adrian and taken captive by the Alchemists for what they believed was the worst crime possible - intimacy with a Moroi. In Silver Shadows, we see Sydney endure the Alchemists' awful re-education process, to try to re-programme her and make her realise that what she did was filthy and vile and very, very wrong. Naturally Sydney was stronger than their original efforts and so as the story goes along they try harder and harder to recondition her, and let me tell you I have not been so angry at a book for a long, long time. Good angry - I was just livid at the Alchemists for putting Sydney through everything - which I won't elaborate on so as not to spoil but GAH if you're going to read it just prepare yourself for something horrid.

The novel is told in alternating perspectives between Sydney and Adrian and so we get both of their stories running parallel to each other. I liked seeing Adrian grow significantly throughout the book and by now he's so different to the Adrian we first met in both VA and at the start of Bloodlines, and it's really great. Together the two make big steps in tier relationship and make bigger risks for each other and it was really heartwarming to read about that. There's just something about Sydney and Adrian that I just can't get enough of! I'm actually beginning to think that I like them more than I liked Rose and Dmitri in the original Vampire Academy series... Maybe!

I won't say any more about the plot to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but it's definitely a page turner! I couldn't read fast enough and when I had to stop reading to go to sleep or go out for dinner with my family I couldn't wait to get back to reading it just to find out what happens next. Overall it's a brilliant addition to the Bloodlines series - I think my favourite so far! - and I cannot recommend it enough.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

July 2014

Hello! School's out and summer's started, so I have lots of time for reading ahead of me! Here's what I've been reading in July:

Heart-Shaped Bruise  Boys Don't Knit  Bella's Reading...

1. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
3. Trouble by Non Pratt
4. Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne
5. Boys Don't Knit by TS Easton
6. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (DNF)
7. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I read quite a lot this month (especially considering I was on a summer camp for a week and didn't have much chance to read!) I started off the month with books by Sarra Manning, Non Pratt and Tanya Byrne so that I could get them signed at YALC, which was AWESOME. They were all really good and I recommend them completely! I then read Boys Don't Knit, continuing with reading UKYA (as most of the YALC authors were UKYA) which was awesome (it's about knitting - what's not to love?) and really funny, and I can't wait to read the sequel in August! I was super excited for Grasshopper Jungle, but unfortunately it bored me and also I didn't really like the writing style or voice, and I didn't care for the main character, Austin. I got about half way through - I might go back to it at some point but I probably won't, sadly! I decided then to read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen because I love her, and I was sure she wouldn't let me down like GJ did! Of course, it was really good and although it wasn't my favourite Austen, it was witty and fun and just brilliant.

Book of the month...


I just love the Pride and Prejudice story, and this companion to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, does not disappoint! I'll be reviewing it later this month so look out for that!

This month's posts...

REVIEW: Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski
REVIEW: Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens
REVIEW: The Worst Girlfriend In The World by Sarra Manning

New books this month...


I got quite a lot of books this month - some for review, some I bought, some gifted and some borrowed! I bought Vivian Versus America, The Coldest Girl In Coldtown and The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting at YALC and can't wait for any of them, and I borrowed The Iron Trial from Cicely (you can check out her awesome blog here) and it looks amazeballs, so thank you Cicely!. Also, a huge thank you to Hodder, Simon and Schuster, Faber & Faber and Penguin for my review books this month - especially for Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead which I am DESPERATE to read because I love the Bloodlines series so much, and for Winterkill by Kate A Boorman, because it looks super interesting. Thanks to Jim and Nina for Curtsies and Conspiracies, and Grasshopper Jungle and Purity too! :D 

Here are some of the awesome titles coming out in August:

The Illusionists (Fearsome Dreamer, #2)  An English Boy in New York (Boys Don't Knit, #2)  The Girl Who Walked On Air
Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie  Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)  Let's Get Lost

What were you reading in July?
Have you read any of these books?
What are you most looking forward to reading in August? 


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Book Review: The Worst Girlfriend In The World by Sarra Manning

The Worst Girlfriend in the WorldTitle: The Worst Girlfriend In The World 
Author: Sarra Manning
Series: n/a
Pages: 352
Publisher: ATOM Books
Date of Publication: 1st May, 2014
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: My best friend was now my deadliest enemy, the one person I'd hate beyond all measure for the rest of my life . . .

Franny Barker's best friend, Alice, is the worst girlfriend in the world according to the many boys of Merrycliffe-on-Sea. She toys with them, then dumps them. But she'll never dump fashion-obsessed Franny. Nothing and no one can come between them.

Not even tousle-haired rock god, Louis Allen, who Franny's been crushing on hard. Until Alice, bored with immature boys and jealous of Franny's new college friends, sets her sights on Louis. Suddenly, best friends are bitter rivals.

Is winning Louis's heart worth more than their friendship? There's only one way for Franny to find out.


My Thoughts:
I read Adorkable last summer, and I absolutely loved it. It was my first of Sarra's books, and I was super excited to read more. The Worst Girlfriend In The World was my second of Sarra's books, and while I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I loved Adorkable, it was still a good read.

I don't normally go for the typical two best friends both want the same guy story, because I'm always a little wary of situations that sound like love triangles. However, I had faith in Sarra's writing and was happy to find that it wasn't really a love triangle as such - it wasn't Louis, the guy, umming and ahhing about who he likes better, it was mainly focused on Franny's rocky friendship with Alice. Once you realise this, the title of the novel takes on a whole new meaning! In fact the whole book is based on the relationship between the two girls, with their romantic relationships taking a back seat, which I really enjoyed.

I have to admit it took me a while to really get into Franny's story and the novel as a whole, because I couldn't really identify with any of the characters at the beginning of the novel. However, as the story went along and we got to know more about Franny, I began to really enjoy it and by about half way through, I was flying through the pages. I think I read the last half in only two sittings? I really liked reading about all of Franny's fashion adventures and about her trying to make clothes in her fashion course at college. Last year I had a phase where I made a lot of clothes and so it was really cool to read about her trying to sew sleeves into her leather dress because I know from experience that it is bloody hard. Franny's experiences with her mentally ill mother were also really interesting to read about, since I've not read much about characters with mental illnesses. It made Franny seem that much more real and mature and I think that Sarra dealt with a sensitive issue really well.

I really like the supporting characters too. I loved reading about how Franny became friends with all her college classmates, and also her developing relationships with Frances, Louis and Raj. I think Raj was my favourite - he didn't have a massive part but when he was around he was really funny. I also really liked Frances, and I'm so happy with his storyline. I don't want to spoil anything so I won't say anything else but he was great. I couldn't get on with Alice though. She and I are like chalk and cheese and I couldn't really relate to her at all.

Overall though, The Worst Girlfriend In The World was a good read. I would recommend if you're looking for a story of the relationship between friends and family rather than just romance. Sarra's writing is enjoyable and easy to read, and the story gets better and better as it goes along and you get to know the characters. It'd make a really great summer read!


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Book Review: Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

Murder Most Unladylike (Wells and Wong, #1)Title: Murder Most Unladylike
Author: Robin Stevens
Series:  Wells and Wong, #1
Pages:  324
Publisher: Corgi
Date of Publication: 5th June, 2014
Source: for review from Corgi via NetGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Which they don't, really.)

But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident - but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there's more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.

Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning, scheming and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?


My Thoughts:
There was so much hype surrounding this book on Twitter that I couldn't not read it. Everyone was saying that it was like Sherlock Holmes, but set in a girls' boarding school in 1930s England, with Sherlock and Watson as two schoolgirls who have bunbreak everyday. That's all I needed to know to want to read it. I had high expectations and I was not disappointed.

Murder Most Unladylike is a middle grade title and reads really easily. The plot is simple and quite predictable, but it is very adorable and Robin Stevens really manages to bring Deepdean School for Girls in 1934 to life. Hazel Wong and her friend Daisy Wells are the only two members of Wells and Wong's Detective Society. Their usual cases are only trivial, until one day Hazel discovers the body of her Science mistress, Miss Bell, on the floor of the school gym. But, five minutes later, the body has gone. The pair are convinced it was a murder and are determined to deduce what happened, and so they embark on their hunt for the truth.

The book is told from Hazel's point of view, and I think that Robin got the voice of a young schoolgirl spot on. I was able to imagine life at Deepdean in detail and I really loved the feel of the school. I know I mention it a lot but I really love boarding school books (although I can't decide whether I'd love to go to one or hate it) and I was definitely not disappointed by Deepdean! I mean, how could I be? They have BUNBREAK. They literally stop lessons to go outside and eat cakes and biscuits. That is the point of bunbreak. Sounds AWESOME. (I have cake break at school half way through double lessons, but it's not nearly as cool as bunbreak sounds). Anyway, I digress.

I really liked reading about Hazel and Daisy's friendship as the novel progresses. Like with most friendships, Hazel and Daisy go through their rough patches and fall out, but I really enjoyed reading about how they patched things up and made up too. I used to fall out with friends a lot over silly things (I've got a lot better now) but it still happens occasionally and so I could relate to the girls quite well. That's not to say that they weren't friends for a lot of it - quite the contrary! I loved seeing the girls stick up for each other in front of the other girls, especially when Daisy stood up for Hazel when she was subject to racial prejudice (she's Asian). It was awesome. I think the racism was handled really well and added a little more depth to an otherwise fun and playful novel, but without weighing it down and being too serious.

The murder itself is quite predictable, however I still enjoyed reading about all the clues that the girls found and all their theories about who did it and how and why. I had some exams that needed revising for when I reached about half way through, which detracted from it a bit and caused me to lose interest a little, but once I'd got the exams out of the way I picked it back up and it didn't take me long to finish. Don't let that put you off though because it really is a great read that can be enjoyed by adults and young people alike! I can't wait to read more of Robin's books, and any more Wells and Wong stories that might be written in the future!


*Huge thanks to Random House and NetGalley for allowing me to access this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Blog Tour: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Hey everyone! Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick, which is the novelisation of the hugely successful Lizzie Bennet Diaries webseries on YouTube! If you haven't watched them yet, you simply must, for they are BRILLIANT! You can watch the first video below or on the Lizzie Bennet website itself, and enter a giveaway to win one of five copies of the book.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

Synopsis from Goodreads: Based on the Emmy Award–winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Twenty‑four‑year‑old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters—beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.

When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck‑up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets—and for Lizzie’s viewers. But not everything happens on‑screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet takes readers deep inside Lizzie’s world and well beyond the confines of her camera—from the wedding where she first meets William Darcy to the local hangout of Carter’s bar, and much more. Lizzie’s private musings are filled with revealing details about the Bennet household, including her growing suspicions about her parents’ unstable financial situation, her sister’s budding relationship with Bing Lee, the perils of her unexpected fame, and her uncertainty over her future—and whom she wants to share it with.

Featuring plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the web series phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like never before.








Here are the first three episodes to get you started if you haven't already watched them - I can't emphasise how much you need to watch them because they're fabulous! There are 100 episodes, as well as 10 Q&A videos, and some videos from Lydia Bennet too. It's so cleverly done and I cannot recommend it enough. The book is also AMAZING and it gives you even more about the things that Lizzie only talks about in her videos - particularly noteworthy is Lizzie, Gigi and DARCY's day trip... But you'll just have to read it to find out what happens! Don't have a copy though...? Well, today's your lucky day! *cue cheesy music*

Here's your chance to win one of five copies of The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet! All you have to do to enter is comment on this post and tell me:

If you could be a character in any of Jane Austen's novels, which character from which story would you be, and why? 

Once you've done that, enter all your details into the Rafflecopter widget below and come back in one week's time to see if you're a lucky winner! 


Thanks for stopping by! I really hope you'll read The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, and watch the videos if you haven't already, and enter the giveaway! Don't forget to check out all the other stops on the blog tour too.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...