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Showing posts from August, 2018

Review Books I've read this summer: YA fiction

I've read lots of awesome YA fiction for review over my summer holidays. These are the ones I loved.

You only live once by Jess Vallance


The start of a hilarious new teen series for fans of Geek Girl.

Gracie Dart has always worked hard and she's got a wall covered with revision timetables and French verbs to prove it. But now GCSEs are behind her and she suddenly starts to think: what was the POINT of it all?

When Gracie thinks she's dying of a disgusting tropical illness, she starts to worry she's been wasting her best years being sensible. It's like people say: you only live once - so isn't it about time she started LIVING?
(OK, so the tropical illness turned out to be a fake-tan miscalculation. Anyone could make the same mistake.)

When Gracie decides to do something, she does it properly. Gracie Dart is about to live out her dreams. However embarrassing.


I enjoyed this book because it was funny and sweet. The main character has just finished school and i…

Review books I've read this summer: Adult fiction

I've read some brilliant review books this summer. These are the adult fiction titles I've read and loved.

The story of our lives by Helen Warner


Four friends. Twenty years. One powerful secret. Everyone remembers where they were on 31st August 1997, the day Princess Diana died.
Sophie, Emily, Amy and Melissa certainly do -– a beautiful cottage in Southwold, at the start of an annual tradition to have a weekend away together.
Every year since, the four best friends have come back together. But over time the changes in their lives have led them down very different paths. And it’s when those paths collide that the secrets they’ve been keeping come tumbling out.
One Day meets Big Little Lies in this unputdownable read about four friends, one long-buried secret and the histories we all share.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It features a group of friends and comes back to them every year. I enjoyed it because I liked seeing how their story developed over the years and se…

Library books I've loved this summer

I have managed to read a lot this summer and luckily my local library service has been brilliant at getting me books in.

These are the books I've read over my 6 week summer holiday and loved.

Are we all lemmings and snowflakes by Holly Bourne


Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at “normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?

I love Holly's books and this was no exception. Awesome characters, feminist and lots of thoughtful things to say about mental health. I really enjoyed it. 

The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley



1995, London.
When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of ninety-five he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family and a wealth of memorabilia from his long career…

The house we called home by Jenny Oliver

The house where Stella and her sister Amy grew up never changes – the red front door, the breath-taking view over the Cornish coast, her parents in their usual spots on the sofa. Except this summer, things feel a little different…

Stella’s father is nowhere to be seen, yet her mother – in suspiciously new Per Una jeans – seems curiously unfazed by his absence, and more eager to talk about her mysterious dog-walking buddy Mitch.

Stella’s sister Amy has returned home with a new boyfriend she can barely stand and a secret to hide, and Stella’s husband Jack has something he wants to get off his chest too. Even Frank Sinatra, the dog, has a guilty air about him.
This summer, change is in the air for the Whitethorns…


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've liked Jenny's books so far but I think is my favourite to date.

I particularly enjoyed what this book had to say about family and being true to yourself rather than putting on a front for others. There is so much in this book I…

All these beautiful strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth

In the last day of summer, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Allister Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions.

Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding her mother. Determined to finally let go of the past, she throws herself into life at Knollwood, the prestigious New Englandschool she attends. Charlie quickly becomes friends with Knollwood’s “it” crowd.

Charlie has also been tapped by the A’s—the school’s elite secret society well known for terrorizing the faculty, administration, and their enemies. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood.

As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie beg…

Library Loans June and July

I haven't had huge amounts from the library over the past few months but I have read some real crackers. Here are the highlights of the books I've borrowed and read.

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke


Whoever wrote the uniform policy decided (whyyy?) that girls had to wear skirts, while boys were allowed to wear pants.

Sexist. Dumb. Unfair.

“Girls must wear a black, pleated, knee-length skirt.”

I bet I read those words a hundred times during summer vacation. The problem wasn’t the last word in that sentence. Skirt wasn’t really the issue, not for me.
The issue was the first word. Girls.

Here’s the thing:
I may seem like a girl, but on the inside, I’m a boy.


I really enjoyed this book and what it had to say about gender stereotypes. Thoughtful and sweet and definitely recommended.

A Thousand perfect notes by CJ Drews



An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano t…

Reviews catch up

Over the past six weeks I've been ridiculously busy with work and not had a chance to review much so this is my attempt to catch up and share with you the books I've read for review and loved.

Mud by Emily Thomas


It's 1979, and thirteen-year-old Lydia has no idea how she'll cope when her dad announces that the family has to sell up and move onto a Thames sailing barge in Essex. With his girlfriend. And her three kids. Between trying to keep her clothes dry in a leaky cabin, disastrous hair-dye attempts, awkward encounters with local boys, and coping with her suddenly enormous and troublesome family, Lydia fears she'll sink rather than swim . . . At turns heartbreaking and uplifting, through Lydia's innocent and perceptive voice we find out that while the mud may stick, the tide can turn - and in unexpected and joyful ways.

I really enjoyed this book. It felt like a cross between Adrian Mole and Georgia Nicholson set in the 80s and told via a diary. The l…

Can't wait to read

You don't know how pleased I am that it is the summer holidays. The last six weeks have been insanely busy for me workwise (day job plus exam marking) but I've just now finished all the mark so August is when I will be catching up and getting back on track blog wise. Over the next few posts I'll be catching you all up with my wishlist for the coming few months, reviewing a whole pile of review books I received in the last month or so and catching you up on my library reads.

So without no further ado here are all the books that have caught my eye over the last few weeks.

Secrets of the Sun King by Emma Carroll


It's November, 1922. In a valley in Egypt the tomb of a long dead pharaoh is about to be discovered. The world watches and waits for news with baited breath. Thirteen-year-old Lilian Kaye is eagerly following the story. One morning the news takes a sinister turn: a man- a famous Egyptologist- disappears. All that remains of him are his feet. Then Lil's gra…