Sunday, 29 November 2015

Weekly Highlights: the 'December TBR' edition



Weekly Highlights is a feature borrowed from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, where I get to highlight my posts of the week, show you my new books and talk about bookish things!

So it's been a while, unintentionally! But guess what? It's getting colder, I've nearly finished shopping and I've seen the Coca Cola advert - that means it's Christmas!

On The Blog
Review of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (5 stars)
Review of Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider (4 stars)
Review of Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (4 stars)
Review of Winter by Marissa Meyer (5 stars)
Review of Othergirl by Nicole Burstein (3 stars)

Currently Reading
Splintered - a library book that I've been eyeing up for ages, because Alice in Wonderland! 

On My Bookshelf
Inferno by Catherine Doyle
Sophie's life has been turned upside-down, and she's determined to set things right. But Nic, the Falcone brother who represents everything she's trying to forget, won't give up on their love - and it's Luca's knife she clutches for comfort. Soon another mafia clan spoils the fragile peace - and with her heart drawn in one direction and her blood in another, Sophie's in deeper than ever.

Ah, I am so excited for this! I can't remember details of Vendetta but I know I loved it and can't wait to find out what happens next. Thank you Chicken House!

The Island by Olivia Levez
Frances is alone on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. She has to find water and food. She has to survive. And when she is there she also thinks about the past. The things that she did before. The things that made her a monster. Nothing is easy. Survival is hard and so is being honest about the past. Frances is a survivor however, and with the help of the only other crash survivor, she sees that the future is worth fighting for.

The Island is a gripping and thoughtful story about a girl who didn’t ask to be the person she is but is also determined to make herself the person she wants to be.
 

I'm not sure what to make of this but am intrigued. Thank you Rock The Boat!

Unsticky by Sarra Manning
STATE OF GRACE
Money makes the world go round - that's what twenty-something Grace Reeves is learning. Stuck in a grind where everyone's ahead apart from her, she's partied out, disillusioned, and massively in debt. If she's dumped by another rock-band wannabe, squashed by anyone else at her cut-throat fashion job, or chased by any more bailiffs, Grace suspects she'll fall apart...

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE
So when older, sexy and above all, wealthy art-dealer Vaughn appears, she's intrigued against her will. Could she handle being a sugar daddy's arm-candy?

SAVING GRACE
Soon Grace is thrown into a world of money and privilege, at Vaughn's beck and call in return for thousands of pounds in luxurious gifts, priceless clothes - and cash. She's out of her depth. Where's the line between acting the trophy girlfriend, and selling yourself for money? And, more importantly, whatever happened to love?
 


The Girl In The Mask by Marie-Louise Jensen
Set in Georgian England, fifteen-year-old Sophia is trapped by the limitations of living in a man's world. Forced by her father to give up everything she loves, Sophia is ordered to make a new life in Bath. By day, she is trapped in the social whirl of balls and masquerades. By night, she secretly swaps her ball gowns for breeches, and turns to highway robbery to get her revenge ...When one man begins to take a keen interest in her, Sophia must keep her distance, or risk unmasking her secret life. 

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

On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is. But Jack is hiding much more - and can she uncover the truth that leaves him so wounded?

A unique and profoundly moving novel, Night Owls will linger in your memory long after the final page.


As for these three, they were all 99p on kindle and I couldn't resist!

December TBR
Apart from the above books, most of which I probably will read this month, I would love to completely finish my current physical-book TBR before Christmas - where, let's face it, even if I don't get books, I'm going to buy them!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Othergirl by Nicole Burstein

Louise and Erica have been best friends since forever. They're closer than sisters and depend on each other for almost everything. Just one problem: Erica has superpowers.

When Erica isn't doing loop-the-loops in the sky or burning things with her heat pulse powers, she needs Louise to hold her non-super life together. After all, the girls still have homework, parents and boys to figure out. But being a superhero's BFF is not easy, especially as trouble has a way of seeking them out. Soon Louise discovers that Erica might be able to survive explosions and fly faster than a speeding bullet, but she can't win every fight by herself.

Life isn't a comic book - it's even crazier than that.


Louise doesn't just have the normal school, homework, boys and friends stuff to worry about, she also has best friend who might set fire to something while trying to save it! As Erica's back-up, Louise has made her costume, helped her find out more about her powers, train with her and down everything she can to get the attention of the Vigil's, the official superhero team. 

I'm in a superhero binge, so I did really like this. Plus it was a girl superhero! However, not only did it feel a bit young and simplified, there was also no in-depth explanation for the superhero's and where their powers came from. That back story I would have loved; we did get Erica's progression, which showed how far she'd come and her strength, but beyond the fact that she suddenly had powers, it wasn't explained. 

I love a good and healthy girl friendship and these two might have had their ups and downs but in the end, they were there for each other. Having said that, it did feel quite one sided at times; Louise was the one stuck at home, doing both of their homework, keeping Erica's secret, while Erica apparently just needed Louise around as a confidence booster. I don't know, it was from Louise's perspective so maybe Erica really did need her support but I got annoyed with her, I don't know how Louise didn't! 

Maybe a little young for me, but definitely enjoyable and refreshing to see a female, not to mention still learning, superhero and the emphasis on female friendship.

Published 2nd April 2015 by Anderson Press.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?


Ahhh, it's finally here! The fourth and final book of this incredibly epic series, re-telling classic fairy tales and Winter, a.k.a Snow White, is the latest. We've seen some of her before, and there's a lot of background in Fairest, but hearing from her first hand made things clearer about her... condition. Beautiful and kind, Winter refuses to use her gift and the biochemistry has addled her brain. She has Jacin to look after her, her oldest friend and royal guard, to help her distinguish the illusions from reality. 

Winter and Jacin was so damn adorable! I'm no longer sure who my favourite couple is - actually, Cress and Thorne totally made me swoon, I think Thorne is my favourite. Oh but Kai and Cinder! Dammit, my poor heart cannot choose!

Even though it's over 800 pages, this never felt sluggish to read. Flicking between so many characters, it was bound to take a while, and of course they just couldn't stay together, they had to get separated! The plan is to overthrow Levana, but they had to get onto Luna first, and then get around the city without being found and killed. And then get the people on their side and their trust in Cinder, a.k.a Princess Selene. So, you know, not too much work to do! It was complicated and heart-stopping and all sorts of other tough-sounding adjectives that doesn't quite show how utterly horrible it was to think of the outcome if they failed. 

I adored this so much I can hardly stand it! The perfect balance of action and romance, Cinder and her crew overcome a whole lot of terrible things to get to where they end up. Everything has worked up to this moment and I loved how everything came together, even things that didn't go according to plan worked out all right in the end. And after everything they've all been through, I'd say they deserve their happily ever after! Definitely a favourite series that I can see myself re-reading again and again.

Published 12th November 2015 by Puffin.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road -- diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself. 

Amy has it tough at the moment; her brother in rehab, dad died in a car accident that she caused, and her mum moved on to a new life before Amy's school has finished. But after being on her own for a month, she needs to get the car from their old house to the new one, only she hasn't driven since the accident. So enter Roger, who will act as her driver.

What I loved about this was the literal and metaphorical journey that Amy and Roger go on. It was a proper road trip, with little detours and sight-seeing, making random friends and going to college parties. As for metaphorical journey's, they start the journey as strangers - its amazing how a stranger can be the best person to talk problems with. Amy's problems were obvious, she's still grieving her dad and her broken home. Roger had some relationship trouble, his girlfriend dumped him and then refused to talk to him; he just wants an explanation, some closure, and so is trying to track her down. Things came trickling out as they got to know each other, trust each other, and especially in Amy's case, find the courage to speak things out loud that she hasn't before.

The random trouble they get into was very fun, from pretending to be newly weds to get the last hotel room, to eating a picnic on a golf course. The people they met also helped in bringing Amy out of her shell and push her and Roger closer together. It was a story of finding yourself while travelling, seeing the sights and driving for hours on end, just talking about anything and everything. I loved the character progression, the scenarios that explored trust and getting to know new people, and of course the back roads of America. 

Published 4th May 2010 by Simon and Schuster. 

Friday, 20 November 2015

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

When he's sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.
But when he meets Sadie and her friends - a group of eccentric troublemakers - he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn't have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.

Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about true friendships, ill-fated love and the rare miracle of second chances.


Told over alternate chapters between Lane and Sadie, we hear of Lane's new life at Latham, a boarding school for teens with drug-resistant TB. Apart from the medical sensors, it had a very old-fashioned boarding school vibe, complete with sneaking out into the nearby woods and a strict curfew. 

I liked both main characters but especially Sadie. She's made a new life for herself at Latham and wouldn't know what to do with herself if she went home. I could really feel for her; the TB had been part of her life for so long, it was strange to think of getting better. Plus she was adorably awkward and witty with a turn of phrase.

While the characters weren't developed enough for my liking (they were all nice enough but could have been so much more), I especially liked the medical twist on the social structure of a high school. All the coughing, the fear, the death, meant that there was no homework, no PE, nothing to add to the stress of getting better. For Lane, a high achiever with hopes set on Stanford, the notion of taking it easy for completely foreign to him and it took him a while to put his health first - which, by the way, seems beyond stupid to me!

Along the same lines as a classic teen contemporary, this is a welcome addition to the genre with interesting characters and a fresh take on so-called "sick-lit". 

Published 4th June 2015 by Simon and Schuster. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savour his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he'll be safe. Simon can't even enjoy the fact that his room-mate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can't stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you're the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savour anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.


Practically everyone I know has already read this and loved it, so this review with probably repeat points and with definitely gush at the awesomeness!

Simon Snow is not your typical hero; stubborn, kind of daft, not very good with his magic, and stupidly obsessed with his room mate. Speaking of which, I am completely in love with Baz. Snappy, dark, a vampire with a good heart, the way he interacts with Simon, winding him up just because and then being so careful when Simon kisses him, Baz is just perfect. I loved how the hero was a bit of a douche and the supposed bad guy was actually really sweet. And of course the real bad guy was a surprise! 

This was a brilliant ode to the Harry Potter fandom, with random little references and clever parallels with Harry and Draco rivalry and Harry's relationship with Dumbledore, but it was completely its own magical story, from the modern appliances in the magical world to the power of words for spells. 

One of my new favourites and I know it will be re-read many times!

Published 8th October 2015 by Macmillan Children's Books.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Weekly Highlights: the 'Winter Is Coming' edition



Weekly Highlights is a feature borrowed from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, where I get to highlight my posts of the week, show you my new books and talk about bookish things!

It's been quite a slow week for me. I've had the days to myself while the fiancĂ©e was at work and the parents away so I've been reading and watching too much TV and I've even started Christmas shopping! By the way, I kind of hate myself for that reference in the title. 

On The Blog
Review of The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud (5 stars)
Review of Did I Mention I Need You? by Estelle Maskame (4 stars)
Review of Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider (4 stars)

Currently Reading
Winter! It's ridiculously huge, just over 800 pages, and I'm loving it. It's taking me ages to read it though, and I don't want it to end but I really want to know what happens!

On My Bookshelf
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend--the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?


After The last Dance by Sarra Manning
Two women. Two love affairs. One unforgettable story.

Kings Cross station, 1943. Rose arrives in London hoping to swap the drudgery of wartime for romance, glamour and jiving with GIs at Rainbow Corner, the famous dance hall in Piccadilly Circus. As the bombs fall, Rose loses her heart to a pilot but will lose so much more before the war has done its worst.

Las Vegas, present day. A beautiful woman in a wedding dress walks into a seedy bar and asks the first man she sees to marry her. When Leo slips the ring onto Jane's finger, he has no idea that his new wife will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

So when Jane meets Rose, now a formidable older lady, there's no love lost between them. But with time running out, can Rose and Jane come together to make peace with the tragic secrets that have always haunted their lives?

After the Last Dance is an extraordinary story of two women, separated by time but connected by fate, that will make you believe in the redemptive power of unexpected love.
 


I have loved everything from Sarra Manning and this romantic historical fiction doesn't sound like it will break that tradition. Thank you Netgalley!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them - a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His own tragedy waited until he had everything to lose - in one night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his athletic career, and his perfect life.
No longer part of the popular crowd, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters Cassidy Thorpe. Intelligent, effortless and wonderfully weird, she is unlike anyone Ezra's ever met before. Together they discover flash mobs, buried treasure, secret movie screenings and a poodle with a questionable history.
But as Ezra dives into new friendships and new love, he is forced to ask: if you've managed to survive disaster, what happens when it strikes again?


Ezra thought he knew who he was - tennis star, most popular guy, great girlfriend on his arm - until a car accident screws the ligaments in his knee and he can't play again. His friends don't visit him at hospital and he is lost without purpose. But he finds new friends and a new reason to have fun in his life.

Alongside Ezra we had a mad collection of supporting characters. Toby was hilarious, an old friend from Ezra's childhood but fate, or maybe Ezra's ambition, let them drift apart. The rest of the guys, the debate team, were all funny and smart and bought out the best in each other. As for the love interest, Cassidy was an interesting character. Obviously she works very hard to appear as carefree and without worry but she doesn't reveal anything about herself.

Ezra basically rediscovers himself; though it might have been a horrible accident that made him this way, it actually allows him to shed all preconceptions about himself and start anew. It was all about being yourself and not letting the public perception of you get in the way of happiness. It was so very funny and very well written; the debate group always spoke like they were trying to win a game by out-witting each other using one liners. But the tragedy isn't out of Ezra's life and things get a little complicated when Cassidy finally reveals something about her past and why she moved here. All in all, a great story, amazing characters and an unforgettable message of being happy with yourself.

Published 15th August 2013 by Simon and Schuster.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Did I Mention I Need You? by Estelle Maskame

It's been a year since eighteen-year-old Eden Munro last saw Tyler Bruce: her stepbrother… and her secret love. Although they called time on their forbidden relationship for the sake of their family, Eden can't help but feel excited when Tyler invites her to join him in New York City for the summer.

Anyway, Eden is happy with her boyfriend Dean, and surely Tyler has moved on too. But as they spend a long, hot summer in the excitement of the city that never sleeps, it soon becomes obvious that they aren't over each other. But can they resist temptation?

In Did I Mention I Need You?, the second volume of Estelle Maskame's phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, Tyler and Eden must face up to their feelings and decide what to do next. Is their love strong enough to face the challenges that lie ahead?


I started this almost as soon as I finished the first book. Its been just over a year since Eden last saw Tyler, and it's been 18 months since they decided to give each other space. But Eden has been invited to spend 6 weeks with Tyler in New York. Never mind that they are step-siblings, never mind that Eden has a boyfriend, as soon as they see each other again all their feelings come rushing back.

New York was an amazing setting; the city was alive with people and more importantly, no one who knew them and their history. It allowed them to indulge in some PDA and an almost-real relationship. The mild panic of being found out is still there but they are both older and Eden especially now fully understands her feelings towards Tyler aren't just going to go away. As they grew closer after so long apart, the chemistry is practically palpable and I was swept up in their city romance. But things come crashing down soon enough!

While in New York, they were visited by old friends and Dean, Eden's boyfriend, and Tyler's ex-girlfriend. Told you things were crashing! With them comes epic secrets,  blackmail and a few fights, a few of them physical. The whole story was an emotional roller coaster, ending in such a shocker, I had tears my eyes. 

Published 19th October 2015 by Black and White Publishing.

Monday, 9 November 2015

The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud

Lockwood & Co. might be the smallest (some might say shambollic) Psychic Detection Agency in London. But its three agents - Lockwood, Lucy and George - are exceptional Talents. And they get results. When an outbreak of ghostly phenomena grows to terrifying levels in Chelsea, Scotland Yard is left baffled.

Even more baffling is that Lockwood & Co appear to have been excluded from the huge team of Agents investigating the Chelsea Outbreak. Surely this is the perfect chance for them to show once and for all that they're actually the best in town? Well, that's if they can put aside their personal differences for long enough to march into action with their rapiers, salt and iron . . .


Book 3 in Lockwood and Co series, I absolutely loved seeing the gang again. In this instalment, the Problem is getting worse and Chelsea is seriously haunted. So bad in fact that the agencies are grabbing anyone and everyone they can to assist in the ghost hunting. 

The balance has been upset by a new addition: Holly. The boys of course are utterly smitten by her and her amazing organisation skills but Lucy is annoyed by her. Petty and childish yes, but completely normal for a teenage girl and I loved seeing this side to Lucy. She's so professional and good at her job, you forget how young they all are. And then of course there's the skull. Rude, annoying, likes to throw insults around and only be helpful about half the time, the skull is an unwilling member of the team with Lucy acting as interpreter. 

There was also some pretty impressive character growth; with some unwanted insight from the skull, Lucy is now confused about her feelings for Lockwood, Lockwood is starting to open up about his past and his family, and George is... well George! They've all been together long enough to have that group dynamic that Lucy didn't want changed but Holly does make them better and it takes Lucy a while to get over that. In fact, it takes a life-and-death moment with a dangerous poltergeist to get the two girls to open up.

I love this series so much, the characters are funny, the plot intertwines everything neatly so we see both character development and action sequences, and the ghosts are awesome. I can't wait to see what happens next, there was something of a shocking ending and I need to know how things work out!

Published 24th September 2015 by RHCP Digital.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Weekly Highlights: the 'Keep Calm and...' edition



Weekly Highlights is a feature borrowed from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, where I get to highlight my posts of the week, show you my new books and talk about bookish things!

Two things to say: I've got extra hours at work so I worked Friday and all weekend, which is great. Other thing: I flew through Carry On and it was amazing! I can't say how much I loved it - at a few parts near the end, I was both shaking it and hugging it!

On The Blog
Review of Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith (4 stars)
Review of Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame (4.5 stars)

Currently Reading
At time of writing (Friday), I've just started Extraordinary Means, after loving Severed Heads, Broken Hearts. Next up will probably be Amy and Roger's Epic Detour.

On My Bookshelf
A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston
Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife. When Lo-Melkhiin - a formidable king - arrives at her desert home, she knows that he will take her beautiful sister for a wife. Desperate to save her sister from certain death, she makes the ultimate sacrifice - leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man. But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king ...if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster.

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
When he's sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.
But when he meets Sadie and her friends - a group of eccentric troublemakers - he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn't have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.


Both of these are hand-me-downs from Sophie (of So Many Books, So Little Time), both of which I am super excited for so thank you Sophie!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame

When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden's parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she's about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler's group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can't understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't – her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler's clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there's secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler? 


Eden's estranged father has finally made contact, after abandoning her and her mother 3 years ago, and Eden has made the somewhat courageous decision to spend summer with him and his new family in LA. The only thing is, the new family is a bit different to what Eden expected: she now has to get used to suddenly having 3 teenage step-brothers. Brothers are bad enough, a 17 year old with anger issues? Talk about a handful!

Right from the off, Eden had to deal with some very complicated family dramas. Her dad is barely trying to get to know her, and Tyler is.. well, Tyler. Moody, stubborn, rude, not to mention drinking and doing drugs, Eden is annoyingly drawn to him. I loved this hyped-up tension; it wasn't sexual to begin with, just Eden attempting to unravel the enigma that is Tyler. They grow closer until they can't help but admit attraction. Even though Tyler is still being a jackass keeping secrets, there is something about him that Eden can't turn away from. Typical bad boy who wants fixing.

Living in another state bought other problems to Eden's door, like not knowing anyone, getting into glaring contests with Tyler's psycho girlfriend and playing nice with her new brothers and stepmother. The friends were one thing, from making new friends in the first place to finding out years of in-jokes and past relationships, but the family drama was balanced out too. Eden's dad never really proved his worth as far as I'm concerned but Ella and the two younger boys welcomed the new addition rather well. 

The awkwardness of falling for your new step-brother was dwarfed by Eden and Tyler's chemistry. The whole situation pretty much sucked but they complemented each other really well and I'm looking forward to seeing how their relationship progresses.

Published 1st December 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith

One night. A life-changing decision. And a list...

Of course Clare made a list. She creates lists for everything. That's just how she is. But tonight is Clare and Aidan's last night before college and this list will decide their future, together or apart.

It takes them on a rollercoaster ride through their past - from the first hello in science class to the first conversation at a pizza joint, their first kiss at the beach and their first dance in a darkened gymnasium - all the way up to tonight.

A night of laughs, fresh hurts, last-minute kisses and an inevitable goodbye. But will it be goodbye forever or goodbye for now?

I have loved everything I've read of Smith's, they're all so fluffy and adorable but with real relationship problems. In her latest installment, we see Clare and Aidan struggle with the inevitable end of their relationship before they go off to college. 

The whole thing was bittersweet; Clare and Aidan have been dating for two years, they were a solid couple but college was pulling them to different corners of the country and logic dictated that they break up. Trouble is, logic doesn't have much of a place in relationships and things aren't as simple as just turning their love off. 

Clare has a list, a little nostalgic scavenger hunt for their last night together, but things quickly get out of control. I adored how Clare just wanted to keep their feelings from getting hurt, especially in such a difficult situation. Everything sucked, it was heartbreaking how hopeless it seemed, but Clare thought practically while Aidan was the romantic. I loved their relationship, they balanced each other out and had this relaxed chemistry of a couple in love. 

All through this, you thought you knew what was coming. To save future heartbreak, Clare wanted to break up as friends before they went away and got really paranoid. But Aidan wanted to prove they had way too much history to give up on each other. I loved how this portrayed real love and real problems of growing up. I especially adored the hopefulness of the ending and that Aidan was right: they were too good together to just give up entirely. 

Published 1st September 2015 by Headline. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Weekly Highlights: the 'November TBR' edition


Weekly Highlights is a feature borrowed from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, where I get to highlight my posts of the week, show you my new books and talk about bookish things!

Holy crap it's November! Christmas is nearly upon us! Well, maybe not quite but now it's acceptable to get excited about it! Anyway, life is a strange balance of a bit of work and a lot of lounging; I'm filling my week with reading, blogging and volunteering. Oh and before I forget: good luck to everyone starting NaNoWriMo today!

On The Blog
Review of The Winner's Curse and The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski (3/4 stars)
Review of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles (4 stars)
Review of Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (4.5 stars)
Review of The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas (5 stars)

Currently Reading
Just finished DIMINY, which was pretty amazing. Next up is Severed Heads, Broken Hearts, which I am really looking forward to.

On My Bookshelf
Did I Mention I Need You? by Estelle Maskame
It's been a year since eighteen-year-old Eden Munro last saw Tyler Bruce: her stepbrother… and her secret love. Although they called time on their forbidden relationship for the sake of their family, Eden can't help but feel excited when Tyler invites her to join him in New York City for the summer.

Anyway, Eden is happy with her boyfriend Dean, and surely Tyler has moved on too. But as they spend a long, hot summer in the excitement of the city that never sleeps, it soon becomes obvious that they aren't over each other. But can they resist temptation?

In Did I Mention I Need You?, the second volume of Estelle Maskame's phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, Tyler and Eden must face up to their feelings and decide what to do next. Is their love strong enough to face the challenges that lie ahead?


I read the first book and immediately bought book 2, it was that good!

The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud

Lockwood & Co. might be the smallest (some might say shambollic) Psychic Detection Agency in London. But its three agents - Lockwood, Lucy and George - are exceptional Talents. And they get results. When an outbreak of ghostly phenomena grows to terrifying levels in Chelsea, Scotland Yard is left baffled.

Even more baffling is that Lockwood & Co appear to have been excluded from the huge team of Agents investigating the Chelsea Outbreak. Surely this is the perfect chance for them to show once and for all that they're actually the best in town? Well, that's if they can put aside their personal differences for long enough to march into action with their rapiers, salt and iron . . .


Book 3 in Lockwood and Co series, I've already read this and it was amazing! I adore this world so much and am already looking forward to book 4!

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road -- diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself. 

Just a little treat to myself, it was 99p on ebook, and I like Matson's writing.


November TBR
First up is Carry On, which I can't believe I haven't read yet but want to get to it asap! I've pre-ordered a copy of Winter which is due out on the 12th, and I also want All In, book 3 in The Naturals series, due out on the 3rd.