October – January Wrap Up

So since I’ve been taking a break from blogging I’ve obviously read quite a few books that I haven’t spoken about so I figured I’d just do a huge wrap up rather than posting small individual ones (as I really didn’t read a lot per month). I’m trying to get back into regularly posting now as things have been hectic these past few months so try to bear with me. You also may notice that I haven’t been reading a lot of books and that’s because I’ve been having vision problems that are making it hard to read and I’m currently having that looked at to see what the problem is. I have been trying to listen to audio books though but I just haven’t been able to get on with the narrators so feel free to recommend some good audio books if you know of any. Thanks for reading this long paragraph and sticking with me! (BTW sorry if this is a bit slap dash as I just really wanted to get this posted.)

the-girl-with-all-the-gifts-by-m-r-careyThe Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An original and exciting  apocalyptic novel that takes the typical zombie lore in a completely different direction. Melanie is a young girl who knows nothing of the world outside of the school she lives in, every day she is taken from her cell, strapped into a wheelchair and taken to class. This continues on and on and slowly Melanie notices things are changing, her classmates seem to disappear randomly and things are tense in the compound. i just had so much fun reading this book, it’s fast paced and exciting and just so easy to read. I loved the character development of both Melanie and the people around her as they accept the world that they live in. I really liked this and I can’t wait to see the film.

bones-and-allBones and All by Camille DeAngelis ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This book is kind of a magical realism take on cannibalism, i know that sounds really strange but it’s such a good story. Maren and her mother have to move every few months, every time they settle down for too long Maren ends up eating somebody. Yes, eating somebody. On her eighteenth birthday Maren wakes to her mother gone, leaving only enough for her to get by, she’s been abandoned. This leads Maren to search for the father she’s ever known and possibly the answer to her cannibalistic problem. Maren is such an interesting character and I enjoyed reading from the perspective of a sort of anti-hero as she struggles to control her urges. It’s definitely not a happy story (note – cannibalism) but it’s so interesting to read. I loved following Maren’s journey as she is thrust into the real world after being protected by her mother her whole life whilst also trying to be a normal teenage girl. It’s definitely an underrated novel that I think’s worth a read.

faithful-placeFaithful Place by Tana French  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Another great addition the Dublin Murder Squad series! This time the story focuses on Frank, an undercover officer who we met in the second book. I enjoyed his story a lot more than I thought I would and Frank quickly grew on me despite my issues with him early on. Faithful Place focuses on the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Frank’s first love and the resurfacing of her suitcase in the rundown house they used to meet in. I had an inkling to the plot twist early on but I still really enjoyed it and I loved the dynamic between Frank and his family, it came across as really authentic. I can’t wait to get around to the next book as this has quickly become one of my favourite series.

172-hours-on-the-moon-by-johan-harstad172 Hours on the Moon by Jonah Harstad ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5)

172 Hours on the Moon is a science fiction YA horror novel about 4 teenagers who all win a trip to Mars on the first space mission since the moon landing. The book focuses on the different perspectives of the people involved in this mission as well as the teenagers as they prepare for this mission, it also has interesting pictures and mixed media aspects to add to the reading experience. To be honest after hearing how terrifying this book was supposed to be I was slightly underwhelmed. It’s creepy but not terrifying as I’d hoped, I think I expected a more exciting reveal to all of the secrets and hints to what lay on the moon. Despite this it was a fun book and the ending went a totally different way than I was expecting.

defender-by-g-x-toddDefender by G. X. Todd ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’m going to be writing a full review ASAP. Quick thoughts though – this book was so action-packed and fast paced that I genuinely couldn’t put it down. It has so many unexpected twists and turns that you never know what may happen next so you have to keep reading. It’s set in a post apocalyptic world and was a really fun read. More in my review!

forgive-me-leonard-peacockForgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’ve had this book for a while and picked it off of my bookshelf on a whim one day when I was looking for a stand-alone book to read and I was actually pleasantly surprised with how this book turned out. Leonard is a teenage boy who decides that the only option for him is to kill his ex-best-friend turned bully and then himself. But first, he has to say goodbye to the few friends he has and it doesn’t exactly go the way he expects. As expected this is a sad yet sometimes funny story that focuses on the struggles of a teenage boy as he has to deal with things that no child should have to deal with. This is my first Matthew Quick novel and I own a few others and after this I can’t wait to pick them up. Definitely look up potential triggers for this book though as it does deal with some sensitive subjects.

you-know-me-wellYou Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

You Know Me Well is one of the cutest and loveliest books I’ve read. It tells the story of two gay teens, Katie and Mark as they deal with their respective relationship problems and how they help each other after meeting at a gay club during Pride. I love stories that focus on friendships and I think this book kind of took the ‘whirlwind romance’ trope and applies it to the friendship between Mark and Katie. As mentioned though there is a little bit of romance in this book as both of our protagonists are dealing with crushes that they really want to work out, Katie on her best friend’s cousin and Mark on his lifelong best friend. This book deals with a lot of different topics such as unrequited love, toxic friendships and just generally being a teenager whilst also being a fun and light read which I really liked. I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for something quick and easy to break up you’re reading.

a-monster-callsA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book is genuinely one of the most beautifully told stories I’ve ever read. I read from the edition that featured the illustrations and tied with Patrick Ness’ writing it definitely made for an emotional read. A Monster Calls is about a young boy called Connor who is visited by a tree monster at night and in the weeks that follow the tree monster tells him three stories that change everything. I absolutely loved this book, as always Patrick Ness writes beautifully and the story is wonderfully told. I just loved it and I think it’s an important read for people of all ages. I also went to see the film adaptation in the cinema and it’s just as amazing as the book.

everything-everythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A really sweet and lovely story about a young girl who hasn’t been able to leave the house for most of her life due to severe allergies and what happens when a new family (and boy) move next door. This was such a quick read as Nicola Yoon’s writing is so addictive and the romance is so compelling that you just have to find out what happens. I haven’t read a lot of romance based YA in a while but this has definitely made me want to pick up more which is great seeing as I received Yoon’s newest novel, The Sun is also a Star for Christmas.

sherlock-holmes-and-the-disappearing-diamondSherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I posted a full review here as part of a blog tour.

Thanks for reading! 🙂



Blog Tour/Review – Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn


Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ | 4 Star Rating
Goodreads | Book Depository | Author’s Site
Published by Scholastic – Out Now! 
This book was sent to me for review as part of a blog tour.

John Watson has barely settled into his new school, Baker Street Academy, when his teacher announces a trip to one of London’s top museums, home to the world’s most famous jewel. But it’s been stolen! When police catch the thief it seems the case is closed. Can Sherlock Holmes uncover the mystery behind this extraordinary gem?

Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond makes a much loved classic story readily accessible to a new generation. The story begins with a young John Watson moving to a new school called Baker Street Academy and befriending two fellow students Martha Hudson and Sherlock Holmes. Obviously a mystery needs solving but that is only one of the most interesting things about this book (though it is very interesting), a really compelling part of the story is the layout. The story is told in mixed media format, some parts of the story are told in blog entries, others in comic format and some are just different articles involving the mysterious diamond case. There are different styles and tid bits to discover on each page and I really liked it.

I especially loved how fun this book was and I can imagine it will be very popular among young children and it’ll probably create a new generation of Sherlock Holmes fans. The art is fun, the writing is fun and even the style of the book is fun. It’s just a really entertaining story. I love the modernisation of the Holmes story and how Sam Hearn brought new and exciting things to the classic lore to entertain the readers. It won’t only entertain children though, I reckon a lot of older fans will enjoy the story too as it frequently references the original ACD canon and fan favourite characters such as James Moriarty make appearances. It’s just a really quirky and lovely book and I definitely recommend picking it up for yourself or a younger reader.

Check out the other stops on the blog tour!BSA-BLOG-TOUR-03 (1).jpg

BLOG TOUR – Defender by G. X. Todd – Five places that will feature in the Voices series

Hello again! Today I’m back from my mini hiatus (hopefully ending soon) to bring you a post featuring a book I read recently and really enjoyed, Defender by G. X. Todd. I’ll be posting a full review as soon as I can because it was the only book that managed to break my reading slump so look out for that in the near future. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this guest post and a huge thanks to the author and the publisher for including me in this blog tour! 

Road Trippin’ – Five places in the USA will feature in the Voices series

Vicksburg, Tennessee

This location plays a huge role in book 1, Defender. It’s the end destination for Lacey. It’s the place where her sister and niece live, the last two surviving members of her family. I’m awful with dates so won’t remember the exact year I visited Vicksburg (I’m guessing 2009), but I remember being enchanted with it. I could describe it here, but I do a fairly good job of it in the book, so I’ll tell you a quick story instead.

A friend and I had been travelling around this part of America as part of coach tour. We were the two youngest people on that bus but a good twenty years. After so much travelling, sat on our butts, I ended up with a singular soreness in my tailbone. It became so painful, in fact, I ended up having to buy a travel cushion to pad my butt whenever I was sitting. I suffered through a fair bit of mocking (one fellow passenger even nicked my ass cushion at one point as a joke. Oh, the hilarity). The night we stayed in Vicksburg, I was exhausted, having spent most of the day in pain, and crashed as soon we got into the hotel room with an ice-pack resting on my rear-end. My friend left me and went off investigating. She ended up watching the world’s best sunset over the Mississippi River and all I got was a wet ass from a leaky ice-bag. Despite all that, I love you anyway, Vicksburg. Here’s a picture of me there under a gnarly oak tree.


Emerson Inn by the Sea in Rockport, Massachusetts

I refer to this inn as the Norwood Cove Inn in book 2 of the Voices series, which I believe is the name the Emerson used way back in the day. As with a lot of fiction, I use the Emerson as a template and then take artistic licence from there. I even pick it up and move it south to fit the story’s purposes. Us writers are naughty like that. Rockport is the furthest north I’ve been up the East coast of America. It was 2011 and the very first trip we decided to rent a car and drive ourselves around, and then I promptly got food poisoning on the flight over and was ill for the duration of the holiday. I’m painting a picture that I’m always ill or afflicted with ass injuries, aren’t I? I promise I’m not. Our plan had been to drive up to Maine and see Stephen King’s home. My stomach wouldn’t allow us. Here’s a picture of a decidedly foggy view of the Atlantic from the back porch of the Emerson Inn.

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Estes Park, Colorado

We drove through Estes Park in 2013 on our way to…somewhere. I have an awful memory for location as well as dates, which probably means I shouldn’t have offered to write this blog post. Oh well. We drove through Estes Park and it was beautiful. A huge lake spread out in its valley, and winding canyon roads with sheer wall rock-faces on one side and fast-moving streams on the other on our climb out—I loved that drive. I’d have loved it even more if I’d realised it was the area The Shining was set and where the hotel the Overlook is based on was located. Alas, I didn’t.  I guess it just means I’ll have to go back there again someday. Here is the tree in Estes Park Library which inspired the tree in the Children’s library in Defender.

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Cody, Wyoming

This is one of those places that’s always stuck in my mind. I’m not even sure why, it was just a lonesomely wide and long main road with a Walgreens on. I loved how the Stars and Stripes flag and its flagpole had been randomly jammed into the sidewalk, as if that was a perfectly normal place for it to be. Look out for reference to it in Book 3. Cody was also our gateway into Yellowstone Park, which I think is my favourite place in the whole of the States.
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Chimney Rock, North Carolina

Will I manage to fit Chimney Rock into the series? Yes, I will! It was hidden away in a deep valley surrounded by mountains and trees and we stayed in the best rustic cabin-styled hotel I’ve ever been in. There was something extremely isolating about the place, despite it being a tourist attraction (we visited outside of tourist season so missed all the crowds). I think it was due to the weather. Rain, rolling fog—it wasn’t long before hurricane Joaquin hit the east coast back in September 2015. Chimney Rock is also home to the waterfalls that featured in The Last of the Mohicans. The huge funnel-like rock formation that overlooks the valley is what gives the town its name and it normally affords a stunning view of Lake Lure below (the very lake where that scene from Dirty Dancing was filmed) but when I climbed up the 3,234,523 steps to reach the summit it was swathed in fog. THANKS, HURRICANE JOAQUIN. Here’s a picture of me doing what I do best: pretending to read in a rustic cabin.
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Thanks for reading! 🙂

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. This meme involves answering three questions. What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’re going to read next? I figured I’d just give a quick reading update despite my semi-hiatus as I’ve kind of missed posting about books.

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading a few books at the moment but the one I’m primarily focusing on and really enjoying is Defender by G. X. Todd. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where one day voices appeared in the heads of the majority of the population driving them to do terrible things which lead to collapse of society and the world as we know it. Defender focuses on our two protagonists Pilgrim and Lacey and switches between their POV’s. Pilgrim is a man who has been hardened by the world around him and stays far away from people due to the voice in his head until he meets Lacey on the side of the road. Lacey has been pretty much sheltered by her grandmother from what has happened in the world and has lived a relatively safe life since the start of the apocalypse. She only ventures out of the safe haven of her farm house once her grandmother dies which then leads to her meeting Pilgrim when she looks for somebody to give her a ride to find her sister. I’m around half way through and it’s really interesting so far, it’s been pulling me out of my reading slump. The plot is fast paced and so fun to read and I can’t wait to find out how the story unfolds. A quick disclaimer though, I was sent my copy of the book unsolicited from the publisher though obviously this won’t change my opinion. If this does sound interesting to you though Defender comes out in January 2017 and so far I definitely recommend checking it out. My review should be out late December/early January.  (TW – This book contains graphic violence and rape. Feel free to ask if you’d like to know about anymore possible triggers.)

What did you recently finish reading?

I wouldn’t say I recently finished this but the last book I was able to finish was 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad. I gave this four stars and it was a pretty fun, quick read. It’s a science fiction book that centres around a group of teenagers that win a trip to the moon but pretty soon it’s revealed not all is what it seems. I liked it well enough but I thought the ending seemed a bit rushed and didn’t really live up to my expectations. It also contains little photos and articles which I found really added to my reading experience.

What do you think you’re going to read next?

I’m not exactly sure what to read next but I know I want to read a stand alone as I’m falling behind on a lot of series. I think I might read Fingersmith by Sarah Waters because I’ve been wanting to read it for ages and even though I’ve been spoiled for the plot twist it seems like a really great book. Sarah Waters is supposed to be an amazing writer so I can”t wait to finally read one of her books and hopefully have a new author to read as I own all of her books.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Blog Update #8

Hello. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted so I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about this blog. Some stuff has happened in my life and I’ve had a lot to deal with so I kind of lost track of everything. I will be coming back to this blog soon but I just needed a bit of a break, eventually everything should return to normal though.  Until then posting may be a bit irregular so I hope you all bear with me. Thank you for reading! 🙂

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. This meme involves answering three questions. What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’re going to read next? This is just a quick filler post as I skipped my September wrap up because the books I read were all part of a series (the Peter Grant series) and I’m going to do a full series review once I’ve fully caught up. Sorry for the lack of posts but hopefully some more will be coming up soon!

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just started Faithful Place by Tana French and it’s pretty good so far. It’s the third book in the ‘Dublin Murder Squad’ series and focuses on Frank who is forced to return to his home town when the suitcase of his childhood sweetheart who left over twenty years ago turns up in the abandoned house they used to meet up in. It’s really interesting so far and I’m looking forward to the ‘big reveal’ as I do with all of Tana French’s books as she is such an amazing writer.

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently read The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey and it was phenomenal! I gave it 5 stars and I can’t wait to see the film adaptation next week. It’s a post apocalyptic thriller that focuses on a little girl who is locked up everyday and night in a cell and only brought out for lessons and food whilst in restraints. It’s such an interesting premise and it lived up all of the hype, I loved it. I’ll be posting more in my wrap up so if you’d like to know more then watch out for that at the end of the month.

What do you think you’re going to read next?

I think I’ll read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins next as like with TGWATG I want to see the film adaptation soon. I’ve tried to avoid spoilers so I only know vaguely what it’s about, I know it involves a divorced woman who whilst traveling on a train witnesses a crime but that’s pretty much it. I can’t wait to read it and I really hope I like it as much as everybody else seems to.

Thanks for reading! 🙂


Autumn TBR

Hello! Since it’s now autumn I thought I’d do a quick post to remind myself to read these five books during the season. I always like to read more thriller and historical books so you’ll probably notice a theme on my TBR. Hopefully I’ll have read these by the end of the year at the very least. If you’d like to find out more about each book I’ve linked the Goodreads pages in the titles. Anyway, the books I’d like to read in Autumn are –

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

I’ve owned this book for quite a while and recently I’ve been thinking about it a lot as the blurb is so interesting.  From what I can gather it’s about a girl named Westie and when she was a child cannibals took her arm and her family whilst they traveled a wagon trail and she is now seeking revenge. She is then adopted by an inventor named Nigel who goes onto build a machine that can harvest magic from gold, there is a problem though – the main investors in Nigel’s invention seem to Westie to be the family that killed hers and took her arm. The book seems to focus on Westie’s adventure to prove their guilt and possibly get revenge for her family. Doesn’t that sound amazing? I definitely want to pick this one up as soon as possible.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton

I picked this up not too long ago after hearing a lot of buzz on twitter and the inner history buff in me couldn’t resist. It’s a funny and fantastical retelling of the adventures of Lady Jane Grey – the nine day queen. I love historical fiction and retellings as they always bring something new to a sometimes stale subject even if it doesn’t exactly tell the truth. I’m also looking forward to seeing how having three different authors changes the storytelling.

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Again, another book I’ve had for a while but I’m still really excited to read. I follow the author, Marieke Nijkamp on twitter and immediately wanted to read This Is Where It Ends when she announced it as I love her tweets. The focus of this book is a school shooting and is told from the perspective of four different people at said school. I don’t know much else about it as I really want to go into this book without preconceptions but I think this is going to be a really gripping read.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Though I’ve had this on my TBR for ages I recently read The Likeness by Tana French and it is now one of my favourite books and every book list I’ve seen says people who love that will love The Secret History. I actually don’t know much about the plot as I kind of want to go in without knowing anything but from what I can gather it involves a group of students and a murder. That’s all I know but it’s more than enough for me to want to read it ASAP!

The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

To be honest my main reason for wanting to read this book sooner rather than later is that I really want to see the film. I love anything zombie related so once I saw the trailer I knew that I needed to watch it (it was amazing and Gemma Arterton is in it!) but I usually like to read the book beforehand so I think I might read this book next.

Thanks for reading! 🙂