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Blog Tour: Love songs for sceptics by Christina Pishiris

I am delighted today to be part f the blog tour for Christina Pishrirs's brilliant book love songs for sceptics. I was lucky enough to read a copy a while back and found myself hooked to every page as I rooted for the main character from the outset.

I have been asked today to share my favourite sceptical love songs and after lots of deliberating I've picked one song that I think fits the bill from Striking Matches a band I am currently obsessed with after seeing them live in London over half term. The song I've picked is Make a Liar out of me which I really think fits the bill of a sceptical love song and the video I've picked is an acoustic recording of them which shows off how brilliant the duo are.




When she was thirteen, ZoĆ« Frixos fell in love with Simon, her best friend and the boy next door. Though they’ve been friends for over twenty years, she’s never found a way to tell him how she feels. Now Simon is returning to London, newly divorced and as devastatingly ch…

Snowed in at the practice by Penny Parkes

Welcome to the Larkford Surgery in the Cotswolds, the heart of a tightknit community as well as a hotbed of drama, rivalry, resentment and romance - and that's just the doctors …

Dr Holly Graham is finding life with two sets of twins exhausting. Even with husband Dr Taffy Jones and devoted friend Elsie by her side, she is completely outnumbered. Making the transition back to work will be no easy feat but a regular slot on Radio Larkford as their on-air doctor might be the perfect stepping stone, until an unexpected job offer changes everything.

Dr Alice Walker’s new canine clinic at Larkford Surgery with Coco, her assistance dog, has been a storming success. If only shipping her best friend, Dr Tilly Grainger, in from South America to cover for Holly had been such a smooth transition. It seems that Tilly isn’t finding life in the peaceful Cotswolds valley as rewarding as she’d hoped, and she is causing chaos ..


I discovered The Larkford Series about a year ago and read the three book…

The Christmas Wishlist by Heidi Swain

After being let go from her job in a swanky hotel just weeks before Christmas, Hattie is feeling lost. Even more so when her high-flying boyfriend announces he’s landed his dream job in Abu Dhabi and asks her to move with him. Luckily, Hattie’s long-time friend Dolly is on hand to help and invites Hattie to spend one last holiday in the small, festive town of Wynbridge, determined to give her a Christmas to remember . . .

Upon Hattie’s arrival, holiday preparations are in full swing. But for Hattie, whose Christmas cheer has long since run out, it’ll take more than mince pies and mistletoe to open her heart to the season once more. Relishing the task of reigniting Hattie’s Christmas spirit, Dolly suggests they create a wish list of all the things the season can offer, and with the helpful hands of Wynbridge’s resident handyman, Beamish, Hattie finds her frosty exterior is starting to thaw.

As Wynbridge prepares for its most spectacular Christmas yet, will Hattie leave snowy England behi…

The Photographer of the Dead by Caroline Scott

 Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own...
An epic debut novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I

1921. Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search.

Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his …

White Eagles by Elizabeth Wein

Summer 1939. With Europe on the brink of war, eighteen-year-old Kristina Tomiak has been called up to join the White Eagles, Poland's valiant air force. When the Nazis reach the town where she is based, Kristina makes a daring escape, but she doesn't realise that she's carrying a stowaway in her plane. Will Kristina be able to navigate the most challenging flight of her life and reach safety amid the turmoil of war? Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+

I love Barrington Stoke's books. They have a huge range of accessible titles written by some awesome YA authors which are always cracking reads. I particularly love their historical fiction range for using at school so I was very excited indeed when I heard this book was coming from them written by Elizabeth Wein.

White Eagles is the story of Kristina as she escapes the Nazis as they reach the town in which she is based during their invasion into Poland flying her own plane. What I l…

Talking about books on BBC Radio Norfolk with Jack Jay

At some point in the middle of the summer holidays I was contacted on twitter by a producer at BBC Radio Norfolk asking if I'd be interested in going on the radio to chat about my book blog and I must admit I was intrigued by the idea and I agreed to go on at the start of September as a guest on The Jack Jay Show.
The first few days of September rolled round and I suddenly found the day was upon me. I booked to go in on a Monday which also happened to be my first day back at school after the six week break and after a busy first day of meetings I drove to Norwich to the Forum where the BBC is based in Norwich ready for the show.
I had no idea really what to expect from being on the radio not having anything to really compare it to but pleased to report I had the loveliest time whilst there. I was met by the series producer who chatted with me about my blog and the books I read as well as what to expect from the experience. Shortly afterwards I was taken into the recording studio. …

The Love Child by Rachel Hoare

London, 1917

When nineteen-year-old Alice Copeman becomes pregnant, she is forced by her father and stepmother to give up the baby.  She simply cannot be allowed to bring shame upon her family. But all Alice can think about is the small, kitten-like child she gave away, and she mourns the father, a young soldier, so beloved, who will never have the chance to know his daughter.

Edith and Philip Burns, a childless couple, yearn for a child of their own. When they secretly adopt a baby girl, Irene, their life together must surely be complete. Irene grows up knowing that she is different from other children, but no one will tell her the full truth.

Putting hopes of marriage and children behind her, Alice embarks upon a pioneering medical career, striving to make her way in a male-dominated world. Meanwhile, Irene struggles to define her own life, eventually leaving her Suffolk home to find work in London.

As two extraordinary stories intertwine across two decades, will secret…

Living my best life by Claire Frost

Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong . . .

In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters.

It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes? 



I thoroughly enjoyed Claire Frost's debut n…

Her Last Promise by Kathryn Hughes

Tara Richards was just a girl when she lost her mother. Years later when Tara receives a letter from a London solicitor its contents shake her to the core. Someone has left her a key to a safe deposit box. In the box lies an object that will change everything Tara thought she knew and lead her on a journey to deepest Spain in search of the answers that have haunted her for forty years.
Violet Skye regrets her decision to travel abroad leaving her young daughter behind. As the sun dips below the mountains, she reminds herself she is doing this for their future. Tonight, 4th June 1978, will be the start of a new life for them. This night will indeed change Violet's destiny, in the most unexpected of ways...


This is one of those books I really struggle to review because so much happens that anything I say is a potential spoiler so this will be brief.

I loved it for several reasons. Firstly I loved the mystery element and thoroughly enjoyed following the story as Tara goes…

No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter

'It's not my body that's holding me back. I think it's more of a problem that people tell me my body should hold me back.'

Meet Emily Daly, a stylish, cute, intelligent and hilarious seventeen-year-old about to start her last year at school. Emily is also fat. She likes herself and her body. When she meets Joe at a house party, he instantly becomes The Crush of Her Life. Everything changes. At first he seems perfect. But as they spend more time together, doubts start to creep in.

With her mum trying new fad diets every week, and increasing pressure to change, Emily faces a constant battle to stay strong, be her true self and not change for anyone.

A warm, funny inspiring debut YA novel from Bethany Rutter: influencer, editor and a fierce UK voice in the debate around body positivity.


Just fabulous. Such a brilliant YA novel which I really loved.

Emily is fat. She doesn't care but everyone else seems to and are constantly telling her what they think about…

The Million Pieces of Neena Gill by Emma Smith-Barton

How can I hold myself together, when everything around me is falling apart?

Neena's always been a good girl - great grades, parent-approved friends and absolutely no boyfriends. But ever since her brother Akash left her, she's been slowly falling apart - and uncovering a new version of herself who is freer, but altogether more dangerous.

As her wild behaviour spirals more and more out of control, Neena's grip on her sanity begins to weaken too. And when her parents announce not one but two life-changing bombshells, she finally reaches breaking point.

But as Neena is about to discover, when your life falls apart, only love can piece you back together.



The Million Pieces of Neena Gill was a really interesting read.

Neena's family are strict, even more so after her brother's disappearance. She tries to be good and do as she's told but it's hard being a teenager with someone breathing down your neck especially when they regularly threaten to take the one t…

Anna at War by Helen Peters

As life for German Jews becomes increasingly perilous, Anna’s parents put her on one of the last trains leaving for England. But the war follows her to Kent, and soon Anna finds herself caught up in web of betrayal and secrecy. How can she prove whose side she’s on when she can’t tell anyone the truth? But actions speak louder than words, and Anna has a dangerous plan…

A brilliant and moving war time adventure from the author of Evie‘s Ghost.


Anna at War is the story of a young girl who arrives in the UK as a refugee on the Kinder transport fleeing Nazi Germany on her on. The story follows her trip to the UK and her story as she settles in with her foster family and life in the UK.

I obviously loved the historical elements of this book. I have always enjoyed learning about 20th European history with the Blitz and the Holocaust being two topics I continue to be fascinated about. This book is special for several reasons. Firstly it gives a voice to those children who arrived here look…

The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn't want to go to parties - in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.

It's like she hasn't found her people ...

Then Tabby joins a club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING - especially when making new friends brings out an AWKWARD BUZZING feeling all over her body.

But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it's the Austen-themed fancy-dress parties, or Ed's fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins, or could it be Henry himself ...

Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?


Just lovely. Such a brilliant read with a fantastic message about finding your people. I wish I'd had this book when I was 15.

Tabby moves to a new area and whilst at the library sees a notice about a reading group. She decides to go along and meets the members of the group that shortly after becomes The Paper & Hearts S…

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.

Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s his…

No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton

Aya is eleven years old and has just arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria.

When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship.

But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves, and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria.

With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope and humanity.

No Ballet Shoes in Syria is such a heartfelt and thoughtful read which I am really pleased I took the time to read.

The story follows Aya a 11 year old refugee who has ended up in Manchester. Following her story broke my heart as it really shows the reader exactl…

If you could go anywhere by Paige Toon

Angie has always wanted to travel. But at 29, she has still never left her small mining town in the Australian outback. When her grandmother passes away, Angie finally feels free to see the world – until she discovers a letter addressed to the father she never knew and is forced to question everything.

As Angie sets off on her journey to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will enigmatic stranger Alessandro help guide the way?

Another awesome read from Paige Toon. I loved it.

I you could go anywhere follows the story of Angie and what I liked about it that whilst it had the usual romantic story that we all want from a Paige Toon novel it was also a coming of age novel. Angie has never left her small town and after the death of her Nan she has the opportunity to go to Italy to find the father she never met. I loved seeing her go on this adventure and find her feet in a new setting completely out of her comfort zone as she meets new relatives and fri…

The Opposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . .

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else …

The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum

“I was special. I was a hero. I lost the best friend I ever had.”

Eleven-year-old Maggie lives in Fennis Wick, enclosed and protected from the outside world by a boundary, beyond which the Quiet War rages and the dirty, dangerous wanderers roam.

Her brother Jed is an eldest, revered and special. A hero. Her younger brother is Trig – everyone loves Trig. But Maggie’s just a middler; invisible and left behind. Then, one hot September day, she meets Una, a hungry wanderer girl in need of help, and everything Maggie has ever known gets turned on its head.

Narrated expertly and often hilariously by Maggie, we experience the trials and frustrations of being the forgotten middle child, the child with no voice, even in her own family.

This gripping story of forbidden friendship, loyalty and betrayal is perfect for fans of Malorie Blackman, Meg Rosoff and Frances Hardinge.

I'm deliberately not going to say much about this book. It's awesome and reminded me so much of How I love …

The quiet at the end of the world by Lauren James

How far would you go to save those you love?

Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.

Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .


I loved this book. For me what was really wonderful about it was the characterisation and the setting.

I loved the two main characters and their relationship as the youngest two people alive. I loved seeing how they saw the world and how different a future London might be. You really got the sense of a world on the brink of extinction and I was fascinated to see how the last few humans w…

The boy who steals houses by CJ Drews

Can two broken boys find their perfect home?

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he's ever known. Now Sam's trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he's caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing - each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.

This lovely book made my heart ache for the main character and the situations he finds himself in. Sam is 15 and homeless. he makes do by breaking into empty properties and living in them whilst the owners are away which works fine until one day when he breaks into a home where the family aren't ass away as he thinks.

He finds himself caught …

The disconnect by Keren David

Could you disconnect from your phone for six weeks? An eccentric entrepreneur has challenged Esther's year group to do just that, and the winners will walk away with £1,000. For Esther, whose dad, sister and baby nephew live thousands of miles away in New York, the prize might be her only chance to afford flights for a visit ... But can she really stay disconnected for long enough to win?

Keren's novels are always thoughtful and this was no exception. I really enjoyed this book because it had a really interested concept. The main idea of the novel is that the teenagers are offered £1000 to give up their phones for six weeks. I really enjoyed seeing how the characters dealt with that. As always with Barrington Stoke novels it was so readable and accessible.

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

Tiffy Moore and Leon Twomey each have a problem and need a quick fix.

Tiffy’s been dumped by her cheating boyfriend and urgently needs a new flat. But earning minimum wage at a quirky publishing house means that her choices are limited in London.

Leon, a palliative care nurse, is more concerned with other people’s welfare than his own. Along with working night shifts looking after the terminally ill, his sole focus is on raising money to fight his brother’s unfair imprisonment.

Leon has a flat that he only uses 9 to 5. Tiffy works 9 to 5 and needs a place to sleep. The solution to their problems? To share a bed of course...

As Leon and Tiffy’s unusual arrangement becomes a reality, they start to connect through Post-It notes left for each other around the flat.

Can true love blossom even in the unlikeliest of situations?
Can true love blossom even if you never see one another?
Or does true love blossom when you are least expecting it?


I absolutely adored this book. It is such a lov…

Unspottable by Dan Freedman

Secrets and lies...secrets and lies...

Fourteen-year-old twins, Kaine and Roxy, used to be close, but now they can hardly bear to be in the same room.

Roxy hates the way her brother behaves - Kaine might be brilliant at football, but he's always in trouble and seems determined to tear the family apart.

And Kaine despises the way his supposedly perfect sister dominates their parents in her ambition to reach Wimbledon.

But the twins are both hiding dangerous secrets of their own, secrets that could destroy everything they are working towards - and both Roxy's and Kaine's survival hangs precariously in the balance.

Gripping, unstoppable and real; this book is UNSTOPPABLE.

I loved this book. It was a fantastic example of what a good UKYA novel should look like. It had an addictive storyline and a cracking step of characters. I found myself unable to put it down as the gritty story had me gripped. If you love Sophie McKenzie's novels you'll love this too.

The Burning by Laura Bates

A rumour is like a fire. You might think you’ve extinguished it but one creeping, red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back into life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames ...

New school.
Tick.
New town.
Tick.
New surname.
Tick.
Social media profiles?
Erased.

There’s nothing to trace Anna back to her old life. Nothing to link her to the ‘incident’.

At least that’s what she thinks … until the whispers start up again. As time begins to run out on her secrets, Anna finds herself irresistibly drawn to the tale of Maggie, a local girl accused of witchcraft centuries earlier. A girl whose story has terrifying parallels to Anna’s own…

I really enjoyed this novel for a variety of reasons. I loved the contemporary story within the novel following Anna after her transfer to a new life to escape a mistake from her past. Seeing her settle in and then deal with situations as her past starts to haunt her was fascinating. The look at the…

Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale

Introducing The Valentines. Fame – It Runs in the Family!

Sisters Hope, Faith and Mercy have everything: fame, success, money and beauty. But what Hope wants most of all is love, and it doesn’t matter how far she has to go to find it.

Except real-life isn't like the movies. Even if you're a Valentine

I'm not going to lie. I hated this book and a month after reading I'm still disappointed that I feel that way.

For me the thing that ruined this book was the main character. Hope is almost 16 by quite honestly she acted like a 10 year old for most of the story. She was ridiculously naive and had these silly ideas about her life and what is was going to be like once she was allowed to be famous. She didn't have any awareness of what was going on around her at all. The bits where she played out scenes like a script of what she was going to do later was so juvenile.

In short don't waste your time. It's overlong and so boring. I really regret the time I spent reading…

Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard

'This time around, I'm going to be so much better. I'm going to prove to them that it was worth waiting on me.'

Two years after a downward spiral took her as low as you can possibly go, Suzanne is starting again. Again. She's back in Brighton, the only place she felt she belonged, back with her best friends Caddy and Rosie. But they're about to leave for university. When your friends have been your light in the darkness, what happens when you're the one left behind?

Fierce Fragile Hearts is the stunning sequel to international bestseller Beautiful Broken Things.

I adored Beautiful Broken Things and was so excited to get my hands on this book. It is such a wonderful YA novel. It picks up two years after the previous book and returns to Suzanne as she begins again starting a new life in Brighton.

Suzanne's story was really heart wrenching as her story develops. I was particularly struck by her loneliness as she adapts to living by herself for the firs…

Cover reveal: Poppy's recipe for life by Heidi Swain

I am very excited to be able to be part of today's cover reveal for Heidi Swain's newet book. I love Heidi's books and get particularly geeky about the fact that they are all set in and around where I live. This cover is also very exciting because I was lucky enough to be involved in a blogger brunch at Simon and Schuster last September where we all sat around discussing ideas about how this cover might look and therefore I've been looking forward to seeing what was finally decided about the cover.

So with no further ado here it is