My posts may contain affiliate links, if you buy something through these links it doesn't cost you anything, but I may make a small commission which helps to keep this site up and running. Your virtual dog could be the next champion!

28 July 2016

Release Day Review: Songs About a Girl by Chris Russell

Charlie Bloom never wanted to be 'with the band'. She's happiest out of the spotlight, behind her camera, unseen and unnoticed. But when she's asked to take backstage photos for hot new boy band Fire&Lights, she can't pass up the chance. 

Catapulted into a world of paparazzi and backstage bickering, Charlie soon becomes caught between gorgeous but damaged frontman, Gabriel West, and his boy-next-door bandmate Olly Samson. Then, as the boys' rivalry threatens to tear the band apart, Charlie stumbles upon a mind-blowing secret, hidden in the lyrics of their songs... 

Source: NetGalley Request | Purchase

5 Words: Friendship, fame, betrayal, bullying, family.

This was such an addictive story, I seriously could not put it down.

This is another YA that acknowledges technology - it confronts online bullying and trolling head on and if anything the consequences of every action are even greater because of today's technology. But despite the serious issues it tackles, it still manages to stay relatively fun. And it makes the story very compelling.

I loved Charlie's insecurity and self doubt, and I loved when she had those "I am good enough" thoughts. I loved how she reacted to the situations she found herself in, it felt very organic and real. Okay, I love Charlie Bloom.

I was a bit torn about the ending. Ending it just a few pages sooner would have been perfect, with everything wrapped up yet still open enough for me to imagine what comes next. But then there's this little twist and everything changes and now I really need the next book and I have to wait a year... I don't think I can!

25 July 2016

Blog Tour: Review: Mata Hari by Michelle Moran

Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom… Or death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she’s been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers.

As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father’s cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe’s most infamous dancer.

Source: Blog Tour | Review Consideration

5 Words: Fame, fortune, propaganda, war, family.

This book pretty much delves straight into the life of Mata Hari as she desperately tries to survive having come to Paris. Starting this book, I knew little about her life, only that she was executed for espionage in World War One. Throughout the story, her past is slowly revealed, information is drip fed, and my own feelings and attitude towards the character changed completely.

By the end of this book, I felt a little empty, I was a little numb with shock. Because even though I knew the historical truth, in my head I still hoped that maybe there would be a happy ending.

A lot of the story focused on the protagonist's material belongings - what she wore, what she bought, what she was gifted. It felt very sumptuous, the writing itself was rich and colourful and glittering. This was an integral part to the character, in building her up and showing who she was and why. It felt right. And as much as it threw me a little, and at first it meant that I didn't like her so much, by the end I understood completely.

I have never read this author before, but I absolutely will keep an eye out in future. And I've reserved her back-catalogue at the library.

22 July 2016

Book Beginnings #22

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

I am currently reading Mata Hari by Michelle Moran.

We don't take a horse-drawn cab to his office. Edouard Clunet is a lawyer - he owns a car. He opens the door for me and I find a wilted rose on the black leather seat. I hold it up. "Recent lover?"
It has been a while since I took part in Book Beginnings, but this book is so good that I couldn't not share the beginning. What I do have to admit is that the first few pages really do not do this story justice and that I kept on because of the stunning cover and intriguing chapter titles. But by the time I reached chapter two, all hope of putting this book down was gone.

I am about a quarter through the book and absolutely loving it. With it being about an exotic dancer/courtesan/spy there was a huge chance that this book would be on the smutty side, but it's much more elevated and so far no sex scenes - just fade-to-black. Very refreshing!

21 July 2016

Blog Tour: Review: The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin

Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects...

Until Tristan Black bursts into an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.

Following your heart is a little like getting lost in Paris – sometimes confusing and always exciting! Except learning to trust her instincts is not something Anouk is ready to do when it comes to romance, but the city of love has other ideas...

Source: Blog Tour | Review Consideration | NetGalley Request | Purchase

5 Words: Antiques, love, betrayal, family, Paris.

This story was pretty perfect for summer. It was fun and light (but not too light) and the writing really brought Paris to life. I could smell the food, taste the wine, hear the chattering tourists. It's exactly the kind of book to get lost in.

You don't have to have read the first book in The Little Paris collection to read this, they do pretty much stand on their own. The links between the characters are minuscule, almost only the setting of Paris being similar.

I loved Anouk. I loved how she acted, she really was an old soul. I loved her passion for what she did, her search for the story behind every antique, her passion for her homeland. I also loved how she jumped to conclusions and all of the mayhem that followed.

The end of this book really hit home and kinda left me in tears. But it was in a good way. Because I had started to care so much for Anouk and I completely understood how she felt. The descriptions in the book took me back to the hospital over a year ago with my own dad, I felt the same worry, the same gut-wrenching despair. It was really powerful stuff.

12 July 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #64

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Ten Facts About Me.

I tried to make sure this wasn't a list of ten bookish facts, so you might learn something about me! In no particular order...
  • I love tea.
    All sorts of tea. I drink it by the pint-sized cup at a rate of about 1 per hour.
  • My favourite book is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.
    My school librarian recommended it to me when I was in Year 9 and I've never looked back
  • I am named after a waterfall.
    It made the papers in the local area when I was born because SOME CRAZY PERSON NAMED THEIR DAUGHTER AFTER A WATERFALL.
  • I miss Miss Bimbo.
    I used to be a mod on Miss Bimbo and I miss it so much. It was honestly the most fun I have ever had online and the community was amazing.
  • I procrastinate.
    A lot. With everything. Even reading.
  • When I was 18 I was asked to do a solo exhibition in a gallery.
    And I turned it down because of uni. And then I dropped out of uni. #Regrets
  • I have zero A-Levels.
    General Studies doesn't count. And guess what? It doesn't matter.
  • I have a cute little dog called Belle.
    Yes, after Beauty and the Beast. She's supposed to be a Lancashire Heeler crossed with a Jack Russel but she just looks like a Chihuahua.
  • I am a book hoarder.
    I get it from my mother. Our house is filled with books in every room, every bookshelf double stacked, piles of books precariously against walls and furniture.
  • I live with my mum and dad.
    But only while me and my other half are saving for a deposit. Good thing? We live in one of the poorest areas in the UK so house prices are low. Bad thing? We're poor.

06 July 2016

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway: Where is Emma Butler's Life Plan by Julia Wilmot

Emma Butler doesn’t know it but she is about to get bit more angelic help than she was banking on. Someone has messed up, or have they?

It appears that Emma is about to be ‘recalled’ to heaven but has completed none of the tasks she had set herself for this life time. They must be completed before she is recalled and time is running out. Arch Angel Gregory decides to take over. He will be her Guardian Angel to ensure it all gets done.

There’s a lot to do and a very short time to do it in. Gregory is determined that it will all be completed by hook or by crook. But where does that leave free will and what about Jack who has been chosen to be Emma’s love interest? How will this impact him? Jack and Emma have no idea what is going on, but it’s not going to be plain sailing.


Jack and Duncan were still standing in one of the aisles discussing the problem.
‘Well, it’s simple, isn’t it,’ Duncan said. ‘Just phone her and say you made a mistake with the book and picked up the wrong one by mistake and you would be embarrassed if she thought you had intended to suggest she read it and then…’.
Jack interrupted. ‘Oh, I’ve already got the book back from her this morning…’
‘Well,’ Duncan jumped in. ‘If you’ve already seen her and sorted this out, what’s the problem?’
‘Oh, I haven’t seen her,’ said Jack.
‘So how did you get the book back?’ asked a very puzzled Duncan.
‘I went round very early this morning and found the front door open. I knocked but couldn’t get any reply and then the door swung open and I saw the book and I just picked it up and left.’
In the telling of his early morning mission it suddenly dawned on Jack just how weirdly he had behaved. It also dawned on Duncan, who couldn’t really believe his ears.
‘You broke into the house of a woman you don’t know and stole a book?’
Duncan was amazed and his voice had begun to get louder and louder. People in the shop looked around at this last outburst and Jack shushed him and bustled him into the office at the back of the shop to try and explain.
‘I didn’t break in – the door was ajar and anyway the book was mine in the first place,’ he said, trying lamely to justify his actions.
‘How do you think she is going to feel when you tell her that you were prowling around her house in the early hours retrieving your lost property?’ asked Duncan. ‘She’ll think you are some sort of bonkers stalker and you’ll have a restraining order slapped on you not to come within 100 meters of her.’
‘Don’t be silly, I wasn’t prowling around I only took two or three steps over the threshold and grabbed the book and it wasn’t in the early hours – well not that early anyway.’
Jack came to a rather lame halt as he thought about Duncan’s reaction. If Duncan thought it was so out of order, he was right that Emma might well feel the same way.
‘I’d better phone her and explain everything,’ he groaned.
‘ You’d better have a good story,’ said Duncan as he left the office to go back to help in the shop.


You could win one of three papaerback copies of Where is Emma Butler's Life Plan - best of all, it's open internationally!

05 July 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #63

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

This week is Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads.

I found this a lot easier than I thought I would - I don't read so many new releases or the big, popular books so a lot of the many books I have read are applicable for this. That said, a few new releases have made it to my list, purely because I have enjoyed them so much. And there'a a lot of UKYA of course.

Cora's List

I would recommend these books to absolutely anyone and everyone.