Saturday 12 December 2015

Book Review - The Two Towers

Title: The Two Towers
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Series: The Lord of the Rings (Book 2)
Publisher: HarperCollins;
Release Date: 30 Aug. 2012
First published: 11th November 1954
ISBN-13: 978-0007488339
ISBN-13: 978-0007141302 (Audio CD)

The second part of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic adventure THE LORD OF THE RINGS

The Company of the Ring is sundered. Frodo and Sam continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin - alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

My Review
Although I didn't really get along with part one, I've heard the story gets better as it goes so I thought I would persevere.
I started out without much hope, here I must point out that it is the audiobook that I listened to in my car as it is the easiest way for me to 'read' books these days as I am studying and working so my free time is limited. After the first disc I found myself enjoying the story more and becoming more interested in events. 
The story is a little bit slow but compared to the first part it's picked up a lot. I have some characters I like more than others, Merry and Pippin are fun, but I actually came to like Sam a lot more in this book, he looses a bit of his bumbling attitude and picks up a bit more courage and involvement. And although Gollum is still a creepy little thing, i started to understand a bit more about his character and history and his interaction with Frodo and Sam was fascinating. 
As the book progressed, I found myself getting more and more interested in the story and wanting to listen to the rest and by the end of the story I was emerged and wanting to know more. 
I wouldn't say it was the most amazing story in the world but I have to admit that it certainly gets better and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.
Definitely worth a read.

My Rating

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Cover Reveal - Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully

Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully cover reveal


With her mother’s life hanging in the balance, Scarlett is devastated – and done with being in the dark. She wants answers, all of them.
But when was her pursuit of the truth ever straightforward?
Pulling a single thread triggers a great unravelling. And each revelation will force Scarlett to rethink what she thought she knew about the Ceruleans, the Fallen, her family – herself.
All that came before was a mere prelude to this, the last journey. From London to Twycombe to Hollythwaite to Cerulea, Scarlett will be stalked by the ghosts of what has been, what may have been and what may come to pass. Until she reaches the place where it all began, and it all must end.
But in the final reckoning, none will survive unscathed. And some will not survive at all.
In this explosive conclusion to The Ceruleans series, all must be defined by their actions: sinner, saint… or something more beautiful entirely?


Pre-order links

(Publication date: 16 February 2016)

Friday 27 November 2015

Book Review - Endgame (Night School)

Title: Endgame
Author: CJ Daugherty
Series: Endgame
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: 11 Jun. 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0349001722

Broken. Scattered. But not defeated.
The spy is gone but the cost has been high - the rebels at Cimmeria Academy have lost their leader and Carter West is missing. Nathaniel can taste victory. But Allie and the other survivors aren't done yet. First they have to get Carter back. Then they plan to make Nathaniel pay.
One way or another - the game must end.
Endgame is the thrilling fifth and final book in the internationally bestselling Night School series.

My Review
I have fallen behind with my reviews since July and I apologise for that, but I have good reason, I moved house - moving in with my boyfriend but the house needed renovation work, then I got engaged so I've been planning a wedding as well as the usual work and university course from home meaing my blog has been neglected. 
I actually read this book in July, I remember this because I read it whilst waiting in line at LFCC/YALC in London to meet CJ Daugherty herself. She was very nice and really easy to talk to and signed all of my books for me.
So I will do the best review I can, luckily it was an awesome book and one that has left an impression on me so I remember it quite well.
I love the Night School series and I know I was waiting for this book to come out with high anticipation. 
It starts right after the previous book has ended, right in the middle of the action and continuing on with the story. Carter has been taken, Ally wants him back but Nathaniel is up to his usual tricks and no one really knows who to trust anymore. 
Throughout the series we have seen Ally grow from a rebellious teenager to a mature crime fighting, sarcastic young lady. She is one of my favourite heroines as she isn't afraid to say what she thinks, she's determined and very loyal. She has her weaknesses too which makes her human and even more realistic. 
I read this book in a couple of days and found it hard to put it down, it was full of intrigue and loads of twists and turns throughout kept me guessing until the end. 
I am sad this is the last one as I love this world and the story writing, but it ends satisfactorily, actually very well, so whilst I am sad to be leaving Cimmeria accademy behind, i loved it whilst it lasted, and I know for sure that I will be re-reading the series numerous times to visit my old friends again.

My Rating

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Book Review - Unspoken

Title: Unspoken
Author: C C HUnter
Series: Shadow Falls After Dark
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: 13 Nov. 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1250067098

Despite her superhuman strength and enhanced senses, Della Tsang's life as a vampire certainly hasn't been easy. Especially since she was reborn and bound to the mysterious, infuriating, and gorgeous Chase Tallman.
But if there's one thing that's always kept Della going, it's her dream of being an elite paranormal investigator. Her newest case is the opportunity she's been waiting for, but as Della tries to solve the twenty year old murder and clear her father's name. She uncovers secrets about the vampire council. And about Chase.
Feeling betrayed by all the secrets he's kept hidden from her, Della is determined to keep him as far away from her heart as she can. But she'll need his help to solve the case that will lead them into the darkest and ugliest vampire gangs in town and into the scariest reaches of her heart.

My Review
If you have followed my blog for a while you will know that I am a huge fan of CC Hunter and her amazing Shadow Falls world, I am a member of her 'Street Team' meaning I help her promote her books and get the word out. I would only do this for a series I seriously love and truly believe in so that tells you how good this series is. I am fortunate enough to recieve a goody pack from CC and her publishers and every time one arrives it totally makes my day, no my week even, and this time was no different. I got a Shadow Falls bag, notebook and ruler/band and of course a copy of Unspoken with a few other goodies (Thank you!!!) 
I couldn't wait to get stuck in, I am currently working full time and doing an English Degree from home in my 'Spare Time' meaning I am reading a lot of course material and writing a lot of essays and not getting much time to read for fun. So I had this book sitting on my side table for about 3 weeks before I got the chance to pick it up and resisting the urge to just dive straight in was truly difficult. 
So needless to say when I did finally allow myself to pick it up, not much else got done and I had finished it within a couple of days, and immediately I felt like I was missing my friends and I wanted to go straight back and read the whole series again.
This series follows Della, she has now been turned into a Super Vampire and she is learning to adapt to her new powers and more importantly her bond with Chase, but things do not ever run smoothly for Della so why should this be any different? Not only that but her father is facing a trial for the murder of his sister and Della must try to figure out who did it and see if she can bring them to justice before her dad gets taken down. But not knowing where to start or who to trust it's just one more thing to make complications. 
I love Della, she is a truly feisty, kick-butt young lady but as the series progresses you see more of her history and more of her softer side, she has her moments of break-downs like anyone and it's actually reassuring to see that she can experience these emotions and just makes her that much more likable. She's not afraid to say what she thinks and she has a very quick wit. I love that we still get to be i the Shadow Falls world and see our other favourites like Kylie, Miranda, Holiday and of course Burnett along with all the others of that world.
This book was very exciting, there were a number of twists and turns and unexpected events that would have you questioning everything you had thought you had figured out. But that is one thing that makes these books so awesome and so addictive - I literally struggled to put the book down and was even late back to work after my lunch break because I lost track of time between the pages (luckily i didn't get into trouble!)
CC has a real way with words that just make them leap off the page and make the characters so realistic, I honestly think of them as friends and want to go back and visit as soon as possible, even to see Burnett who may be a pain in the ass but is actually a really nice guy and you can see why he is in charge.
If you haven't read any of these books then you are truly missing out, but I suggest you go right back to the start and begin with the original 'Shadow Falls' series following Kylie first, in 'Born at Midnight'. You won't regret it I promise!!!

My Rating

Book Review - The Fellowship of the RIng

Title: The Fellowship of the Ring
Author: JRR Tolkien
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 1999 (this edition)
ISBN-13: 978-0007488315

The first part of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic adventure THE LORD OF THE RINGS

In a sleepy village in the Shire, a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task. He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power - the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord's evil dominion.

My Review
So, I read the Hobbit and enjoyed it, so naturally I decided that I was going to move onto the Lord of the Rings series and this is where it starts. I listened to it on spoken word in my car as I don't have as much free time to read at the moment. I started out with high hopes but soon felt disappointed. 
The story seemed very slow and long winded and there were periods of time where I found myself completely tuning out and missing chunks of the story, at first I would go back a couple of tracks and try to pick it up again but to be honest I didn't really care, I found it so slow and boring that I just wanted to get it finished. i persevered all the way through as so many people love it I thought I was missing something, but after finishing it all i can only say that I really didn't care and had no real idea what was happening. I asked my fiance for a summary and gave up and handed the book back.
I don't really know what didn't click for me, but it just seemed so long winded that it never really gets anywhere. I do have to say that there were odd moments that made me perk up and pay attention and that I enjoyed more but overall it just fell flat.
However I have heard that 'The Two Towers' is much better so I am going to persevere once more and give that a go, I just hope it's better than this one.
Sorry Tolkien, but maybe this series is just not for me.

My Rating

Sunday 22 November 2015

Book Promo - Freaksville

"Pipe it down there, Dracula. I'm trying to be your friend here, and if you piss me off I'll knock those fangs right out of your mouth."--Nessa Gilmore 

Welcome to Westera, here you’ll find the most amazing views. This is the mountains, of course. If you look to your left you’ll find a nice couple cuddling on the park bench. It is chilly today, oh, wait…why is there blood coming from her neck?

Yes, here in Westera you do get those interesting views of the beautiful landscape. The waterfalls, the nice people. It’s a wonderful place to reside.

What most people don’t know is…that it’s also where the freaks reside.

Hello all, my name is Nessa and I’m a witch. My friends are vampires. We’re not evil, at least I’m pretty sure we’re not. And I do like people…for the most part.


About the Author:
Ashley’s favorite thing to write about is basically anything to do with myths, supernatural, paranormal…but upon occasion she’ll write about normal teenage life. It comes somewhat naturally to her considering she’s nineteen herself.
If the vampires or other supernatural beings still haven’t claimed her, you’ll most likely find her with her computer, working on whatever story plots invaded her mind at that time. Like most teenagers, she’s still unsure of what all she wants to do with her life. Become a marine biologist, graphic designer, editor, fashion designer? Or maybe just stick to writing, we might find out one day.
She hopes to one day travel the world, take her mom to swim with the dolphins, and let her sister finally visit Graceland. She currently lives in North Carolina with her mom, sister, and three crazy dogs who think they’re human.

You can find her on her website:, or on pretty much any other social media site as AshKat174. You can probably find the links to those on her website.

Monday 9 November 2015

Elementals Cover Reveal

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #1
Format: eBook
ISBN: 2940152448849


When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.
Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.
When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks

Rafflecopter for Cover & Blurb Giveaway:

Michelle is offering one lucky winner a signed paperback ARC of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link:

About the Author:
Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Sunday 27 September 2015

Book Promo - Here be Dragons

Ellie Morgan wants a boy who’s all hers. Just for once, it would be nice to meet someone that Sheila the cow hadn't got her claws in to.
A remote farmhouse on Mount Snowdon is hardly the ideal setting for meeting anyone – unless, of course, you count her best friend George or creepy Darren (which Ellie doesn’t). But when a boy, glimpsed through the mist and snow, lures her up to the Devil's Bridge, Ellie realises the place she knows so well still has its secrets ...
The stronger her feelings for this strange boy become, the more she is in danger: a battle as old as Snowdon itself has been raging for centuries and now Ellie’s caught in the middle.
Something has left its lair.
It’s out there stalking her.
Who ever said true love was easy?

The book can be purchased direct from our website 
or via Amazon 

Here be Dragons is showcased in the People’s Book Prize. You can vote for the book here:


Sarah Mussi is a multi-award winning author of children’s and YA fiction. Her first novel The Door of No Return won the Glen Dimplex & Irish Writers’ Children’s Book Award and was shortlisted for the Branford Boase, amongst others. Her second novel The Last of the Warrior Kings was shortlisted for the Lewisham Book Award and inspired a London themed walk. Her thriller Siege was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal (2014) and won the BBUKYA award for contemporary YA fiction and received many short-listings. Her novel Riot won the Lancashire Book of the Year Award 2015. Bomb, 2015, was listed in The Guardian New Best Kids Books 2015 list.
Sarah grew up in the Cotswolds, went to school in Cheltenham and graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Winchester and an MA from the Royal College of Art. Sarah teaches English in Lewisham and offers author school visits. Her latest novel Here Be Dragons, Sept 2015, a romantic thriller set on Snowdon, featuring the timeless myths of Snowdonia and the Mabinogion, has already been showcased for the People’s Book Prize.

Monday 17 August 2015

Book Promo - The Magik Collector

The Magik Collector - The Magik Series (Book One):

Book Info:
The magical Realm of Lameere, once prosperous and just, has fallen under the evil rule of Queen Ayanna. Now it is a land filled with depression and poverty.... a place where magic is being stolen and freedoms have been unknowingly taken. Out of this totalitarian nightmare comes the story of Faye and Declan Willows, siblings who discover that life as they know it is a lie and in the blink of an eye their world is changed forever. When the siblings learn that they are Magiks, a race of supernatural beings who have incredible powers, they are pulled down two very different paths. Seventeen year old Faye, a quiet but seemingly ordinary high school girl, finds herself orphaned and sent to Pembleton Sanitarium in the Realm of Lameere. A prisoner in this new world, she is told that her incredible powers are the very thing that could kill her. But when she discovers one of the government's biggest secrets, Faye decides to act on her own terms and forms a meaningful alliance. Declan, Faye's older brother, joins the Resistance, a group determined to destroy Ayanna. Charged with the task of working undercover and posing as one of Ayanna's Council members, Declan will try to bring down the Queen's corrupt government. But when he learns that his sister has been taken to Pembleton, he is willing to do anything to protect her. Will Faye's powers ultimately lead to her death? Will Declan succeed or will Ayanna learn of his treachery and condemn him to an unimaginable punishment? The siblings have entered into a dangerous world where the government controls everything and defiance means death. The Magik Collector takes readers on a wild ride that they will not want to end.

Author Info:
Colleen is a young adult author who lives with her husband and three children in New York.  She has always loved to create stories and has a particular fascination with folklore and mythology.  The Magik Collector is her debut novel.

Excerpt from the Magik Collector

I never asked to be a Magik...but here I am lying on the cold floor of my prison cell, surrounded by darkness.  The smell of rotting corpses from those who did not survive the Cure permeates my nose.  Every day for three months I have been dragged into the procedure room...everyday I have had to endure the hellish Cure...and everyday they have been unsuccessful.

My body is weak from malnutrition, and my mind is disoriented from sleep deprivation...but no matter how hard the Parliament of the Amarati have tried, my spirit is still strong.

I remember a few nights before I came to the Realm of Lameere, when I was blissfully ignorant to magic.

I knew nothing of Lameere and its seven provinces.  I was not a supernatural being, a Magik, as they call me here.  Nor was I aware of elemental powers known as Talents. I was just a semi-ordinary teenage girl in her senior year of high school.

I recall fighting against heavy eyes a little before midnight, as I tried to focus on my history textbook.  I had a test in the morning, and like always, I procrastinated till the very end.  But what I remember most from that night, is my dream.  One filled with death, that turned my life upside down and landed me prison.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Cover Reveal and Promo - Defects

Defects - The Reverian Series (Book One):

In the happy, clean community of Austin Valley, everything appears to be perfect. Seventeen-year-old Em Fuller, however, fears something is askew. Em is one of the new generation of Dream Travelers. For some reason, the gods have not seen fit to gift all of them with their expected special abilities.

Em is a Defect—one of the unfortunate Dream Travelers not gifted with a psychic power. Desperate to do whatever it takes to earn her gift, she endures painful daily injections along with commands from her overbearing, loveless father. One of the few bright spots in her life is the return of a friend she had thought dead—but with his return comes the knowledge of a shocking, unforgivable truth. The society Em thought was protecting her has actually been betraying her, but she has no idea how to break away from its authority without hurting everyone she loves.

Preorder here:

HTML: Ebook - Defects book 1 in the series

Monday 20 July 2015

Book Review - The Heir

Title: The Heir
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection (Book 4)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 7 May 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0007580224

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

My Review
The Selection series has become one of my all time favourites, and I was so excited when I saw that there was a new one out. i thought that it was just going to be a trilogy so was so pleased to have more. This book is set quite a few years in the future, Maxon and America are King and Queen with grown up children. Eadlyn, their daughter and first born is next in line for the throne but not entirely sure she wants it, but when trouble starts she agrees to follow her parents plan and start her own Selection process, never believing it could ever work.
I love Eadlyn as a character and she is the perfect mix of America's fiery passion and perseverance and Maxon's sense of duty and witty humour. She is instantly likeable but still has moments where you want to tell her to be less self-obsessed. She can be annoying, but still in a way that makes you realise she is human and i couldn't help but route for her.
I never imagined a Selection with male candidates but it works very well, and gave the series a refreshing feel. It's amazing how different the dynamics are but still so addictive and brilliant. Just like the original Selection, I couldn't decide who i wanted to win Eadlyn's heart and I'm still not sure even now. I think there are about 3 men I would say are good choices but all for very different reasons, and I can't wait for the next book to find out which one Eadlyn picks - if any!
Kiera Cass writes in a way that just sweeps you off your feet and into the pages of her books and I just can't get enough!

My Rating

Book Review - Jane Eyre

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Publisher: Chivers Audio Books; Unabridged edition
Release Date: May 2000
ISBN-13: 978-0754053415

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

My Review
This is a very famous book, of course it is, it's had numerous tv shows and films based on it and everyone talks about it at some point, but I had never read it nor had I any intention to. However I always have a book on CD to listen to in my car and I had just finished one and my next choice had not yet arrived so my colleague pulled this off the library shelves and suggested I give it a go. I wasn't at all convinced but decided it was better than nothing so I agreed.
I was quite hesitant for a while and not sure but soon (about halfway through the first disc) I felt myself become more interested and before long I wanted to know what would happen to poor little Jane. I had to keep listening, she had captured my imagination and a bit of my heart and I had to know how it all turned out. 
I found Jane to be very matter of fact but she also had a good witty sense of humour and could give as good as she got with a quick word or quip. I found myself lost in her story. 
I think listening to it served me very well as the language is of course very old fashioned and having someone speak it aloud to me made it easier to understand, I may have given up if I was reading it myself, but the narrator did a fabulous job and kept me hooked. 
It was lovely to see Jane grow up and become a very confident if not sometimes foolish young lady. Mr Rochester was a bit of a mystery to me at first, I couldn't decide if i liked him or not but soon found myself hoping that they would find a way to work together. 
I can see why this book is so popular and has lasted over time, I really enjoyed it and am actually really glad I 'read' it. It's a wonderful, heart-warming story that will stand any test of time.

My Rating

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Book Promo - Puppet

Puppet by Pauline C. Harris

Penelope never dreamed she’d become a superhuman experiment masquerading as a puppet. She never dreamed everything would be taken from her; even her ability to lie. Nor did she ever dream that she would become something so unreal. Penelope lives in a world of advanced technology. Marionettes have advanced in the form of robots; lifelike creations remote controlled to perform super human tasks. When Penelope makes a deal with Jed, a marionette-obsessed scientist, she doesn’t fully realize what she’s getting herself into. In order for Jed to take her away from the orphanage she lives in, she must first agree to undergo his experiments and tests, ultimately creating something no one ever dreamed possible; the first living marionette. As Jed shows off his scientific creation to the world, concerns arise surrounding Penelope’s abilities and what she’s capable of doing. Ordered to somehow lessen her abilities, Jed makes a desperate attempt to change Penelope to make her more human, more vulnerable. After Penelope lies to the officials about her past, Jed makes sure it’s the last one she’ll ever utter. The truth is now the only thing she is capable of telling. As Penelope struggles with her past, her disturbingly new present, and her uncertain future, she is thrust into a magically twisted world of mayhem in search of the one thing she wants, but knows she can never have. The chance to be just a girl again. To be normal. To be real.

Author Info
Pauline C. Harris is the author of middle grade and young adult science fiction novels and published her first book at the age of fourteen. She's currently working toward a degree in English. Other than writing, her time is consumed mainly by reading, playing the violin, watching old black and white movies, and trying to survive her college classes.


Thursday 2 July 2015

Book Promo - Don't Ever Change


After graduation, Eva Kramer’s classmates wrote things like “stay cool” and “don’t ever change” in her yearbook—but Eva’s planning to do the exact opposite. Before heading off to college, Eva is determined to spend the summer shaking things up a bit. See Eva wants to be an Author, but she’s just now realized that she can’t write what she knows because, in reality, she hasn’t really begun to live yet.

But revisions are never as easy as they seem. Eva has to be prepared to try new things (like working as a camp counselor without any prior experience). She has to be okay with letting go (like when her new/first boyfriend leaves town to go on tour with his band). She can’t be afraid to let her story go in unexpected directions (like falling for someone else, someone she always thought of as a rival). And by the end of her summer, Eva will have to decide for herself how she’ll want the story to end.

Author Bio
M. Beth Bloom is a musician, video artist, and writer.  Her fiction has appeared in StoryQuarterly and Dave Egger's Best American Non-Required Reading series.  She is also the author of Drain You.  M. Beth lives in Los Angeles. 

links to amazon and to harper teen:

center of gravity - yo la tengo
you’re the good things - modest mouse
hello rain - the softies
here’s where the story ends - the sundays
kid in candy - the spinanes
cybele’s reverie - stereolab
the book lovers - broadcast
coffee and tv - blur
hypocrite - lush
breathe your name - sixpence none the richer


I meet Michelle and Steph at the Thousand Oaks Mall on the Friday before our last weekend as do-nothing ex-Seniors.  Michelle’s been hired as a personal assistant by some rich woman who makes jewelry in Santa Monica and Steph got a job folding at The Gap.  What I like about Michelle is that she’s tough, and never moody, and what I like about Steph is that she’s sensitive and really pays attention.  I guess I round out the group by being some mixture of both.  I like to think of myself as the glue that holds us together, and I also like to think that if I wasn’t around maybe Michelle and Steph would never really see each other, that’s how much I connect us all.
 Michelle’s trying on a fitted blazer which feels very East Coast, very Boston, so I try one on too.  Someone makes a Sisterhood Of The Traveling Blazers joke and it kind of makes me feel old, like I wish it was the summer before Senior year and not the summer after.  I don’t want to get a job or, rather, I don’t want to have a job, but I do, and can’t stop complaining about it.  What I don’t like about Steph is that she lets everyone complain, on and on, because she thinks it’s therapeutic to just get everything out, even though sometimes it isn’t. 
The three of us are definitely clique-ish though, which has been getting a bad rap lately in movies and books and overall culture.  There’s this backlash against people “wanting to belong,” but the truth is I don’t want to belong in general – I want to belong to these two, and I want them to belong to me.  Courtney says that being too close to people can become toxic, and that you have to watch out for that, especially with high school friends.  She also says I shouldn’t forget to “spread my wings” because in a year I might not even know them – maybe in less than a year.  Which makes this blazer, this iced coffee with soy milk, these receipts for candles and hoop earrings, all feel like ticking bombs, and that gives me an idea for a story: a seventeen year-old girl is visited by two forty-seven year-old women claiming to be the future versions of her two best friends from high school come back to make sure the girl keeps up their friendships so as to change the course of all three of their lives.  This is a good one; Mr. Roush might like it.  I scribble it down on something.
“Anyway,” I say, “Foster will be at camp with me.  So that’s something.”
“Foster, huh,” Michelle says.
“Don’t say his name like that.”
“I like Foster,” Steph says.  “We all think he’s cute.”
“We don’t all think that,” I say.
“What about that guy Elliot?” Michelle says.
“Has he called?” Steph asks.
“He texted.”
“That’s better,” Michelle says.  “It’s like, ‘Hey boys, text me don’t call me, okay?’”
“Calling is committing,” Steph says.
“And Eva doesn’t want to commit.”
“You’re leaving for Boston in like two months anyway.”
“And he’s leaving for tour...”
“There’s also Foster...”
“Guys,” I say, interrupting.  “I’m not the protagonist in some rom-com and you aren’t my pushy, sentimental sidekicks.”
“Hmm,” Michelle says and then Steph says, “Yeah, hmm.”
Later we’re at the food court and since I can’t find anything vegan at Panda Express I just watch Michelle and Steph go wild on some chicken chow mein.  Michelle keeps dangling the noodles in front of me, saying if I want to take a bite she won’t tell anybody.  This is what everyone thinks: that I’m dying for their chicken chow mein but because there’s some noble agenda, some lofty idea to stand behind, I won’t let myself indulge.  They think at home, alone in my room, I’m slamming turkey cheddar sandwiches and they also think I just need a friend, or anyone, to convince me to chill on my principles for a minute so I can enjoy life and a big piece of lasagna.  But what they don’t know is that their egg rolls are time bombs, that they’re ticking, because these could be the last egg rolls Michelle and Steph ever share, and isn’t that a bigger deal than my dietary choice to slowly save the planet?  I tell them all of this, then pound on the food court table and take away their forks so I can hold their hands. 
“You have to stop listening to Courtney so much,” Michelle says.
“Your sister doesn’t know how it is with us,” Steph says.
“Yeah, we’ll be friends for a supremely long time,” Michelle says.
“We’re in no danger of not being friends,” Steph tells me.
“And didn’t someone say something about absence and the fonder heart?”
“And don’t our keychains say something about friends and forever?”
“Guys, are we being na├»ve?” I ask.
“Of course we’re not being naive,” Michelle says, and then Steph says, “Two of us are eighteen, Eva.”
I force Michelle and Steph to make firm promises for the summer concerning multiple weekly hangouts and lengthy phonecall catch-ups and constant text and email updates.  I don’t know why but I feel a little desperate, and even though I’m not that interested in the daily business of handmade jewelry from Santa Monica or ribbed v-neck tees and tanks, I feel like I need to hold on to this connection or else I’ll be so lonely.  So I promise not to slip if they won’t slip, and I know that I won’t slip because it’s summer camp and, really, after a long day of being stuck with nine nine year-olds all I’ll want to do is bond with my friends before we have to say goodbye in August. 
“You’ll also want time to write though,” Michelle reminds me. 
“And talk to Elliot on the phone,” Steph says.
“And what about Foster?”
“Or some other counselor you might meet that you want to hang out with.”
“Guys!” I say, frustrated.  Then I pick up Steph’s fork and shove a big bite of greasy noodles in my mouth, to show that I can commit and that I will commit, all summer long, until the day I get on the plane for Boston.  I think they’re impressed because they immediately feel bad and hug me and tell me I don’t have to swallow the chow mein. 
So I don’t; I rush to a trashcan and spit it out before it explodes.  

Monday 29 June 2015

Book Review - All That Glitters

Title: All That Glitters
Author: Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl (Book 4)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 26 Feb. 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0007574582

Harriet Manners has high hopes for the new school year: she's a Sixth Former now, and things are going to be different. But with Nat busy falling in love at college and Toby preoccupied with a Top Secret project, Harriet soon discovers that's not necessarily a good thing... 

My Review
I adore the Geek Girl series, they are genuinly funny, light-hearted reads that make me laugh out loud and just feel better about myself. I see so much of myself in Harriet that I have a real connection with her and I can't wait to see what her next misadventure will be.
Harriet is growing up, she's now entering sixth form but it's not all she hoped it would be, suddenly Toby doesn't seem interested and Nat has no time for her anymore with a new boyfriend and Harriet is more lost than ever. Not only that, she misses Nick and is trying to figure out exactly what her life is supposed to be and what she really wants. A lot of teenagers will relate to this because even though very few of us are accidental models, Harriet deals with some real issues - boyfriend trouble, friendships, clicks and groups, school stress, and feeling like you just don't belong. 
I love her quirkiness and really do read this with constant giggles. I will never get enough of this series and hope that I get to meet Holly at the Young Adult book convention this July, and I also hope there will be a lot more from Harriet.

My Rating

Book Review - The Selection Stories

Title: The Selection Stories: The Prince and The Guard
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection (novella)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 27 Mar. 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0007587094

Two novellas set in the world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series are now available in print for the first time. The Prince and The Guard both offer captivating views into the hearts and minds of the two men fighting to win America Singer's love. This collection also features exclusive bonus content, including a sneak peek at The One, the eagerly anticipated third novel in the Selection series.

Before America arrived at the palace to compete in the Selection, there was another girl in Prince Maxon's life. The Prince opens the week before the Selection begins and follows Maxon through the first day of the competition.

Raised as a Six, Aspen Leger never dreamed that he would find himself living in the palace as a member of the royal guard. In The Guard, readers get an inside look at Aspen's life within the palace walls—and the truth about a guard's world that America will never know.

My Review
I love the Selection series and always try to get as much as possible to do with it, so when I saw these two novellas were out I knew I had to read it. I had to wait for it to come back into the library but as soon as I got it, I abandoned everything else I had going on and got straight into this.
The first novella 'The Prince' follows Maxon the week before the Selection starts and gives you an insight into his life and thoughts. I always knew there was more to his persona and this story lets us see it. I really felt for him and the pressure that is put upon him and all the expectations.
The other novella 'The Guard' is told from Aspen's point of view which was refreshing to see the other side of that relationship. Aspen was always a little bit of a mystery to me, I was never quite sure what his angle was and if he was true, but this really changed my mind about him and I found myself with more respect for him. 
They are only short but they offer a real insight into the world and i found it interesting to see America from someone else's point of view not her own. 
This book is perfect for fans of the series and a must read.

My Rating