Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A Year In Review

So, another year has been and gone, and it has flown by, am I right? And once again, I’ve had the chance to read and review some of the most incredible stories, and I’ve also had some fantastic and exciting opportunities. On this final day of 2014, I want to take a look back over the past twelve months, and tell you what bookish things I loved and loathed about it.

Okay, so I watch my fellow book bloggers go to so many exciting events in London, and I stare sadly out of the Twitter window, always being left out because I live too far away to join in. This year, I was invited to several blogger events and book launch parties for books I’ve read, reviewed, and adored. But I couldn’t go to any of them. Note to self: teleportation would be a good skill to learn. But it wasn’t all bad, because I did, at least, get to go to the one launch party that meant the most to me. City of Heavenly Fire! My bestie, and fellow book blogger Rachel, won tickets to the launch party of the final ever Mortal Instruments book, and as you know, I’m a huge fan of the series. So getting to go to the launch, see my fellow fans adorning their runes, and getting the book a day early, was definitely one of my blogging highlights. (You can see my post from the day here.)

Another highlight was getting to meet the fabulous RainbowRowell! I’m a huge fan of her stories, so to get the chance to meet her this year was amazing. Plus, we discussed Johnlock, and she said my outfit was totally cute. Life = complete.

Just some of the amazing books I've had the chance to review this year.
I also connected with so many fabulous authors and publishers this year, and I’ve been lucky enough to interview some fantastic people, including Moira Young (whose books I adore). And as every year, one of the best parts about blogging is discovering stories I probably wouldn’t get a chance to read otherwise. Some of the highlights have been to read the first two books in The Go Girls Chronicles by Leigh Hutton, and a delightful debut novel, Minty, by Christina Banach.

So thank you, blogging community, for another fantastic year. And thank you to all the authors and publishers that take the time to get in touch. It’s an honour to be able to be among the first to read and review your wonderful stories!

A very happy new year to you all!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Festive Reads!

Not in the festive spirit yet? Well, there’s nothing like a cute Christmas story to stop that pesky bah, humbug feeling. Here’s a few of the stories I like to cosy up with before the big day.

Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle
Amazon - Amazon UK

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

Ex-Mas by Kate Brian
Two Exes. One holiday adventure. Merry Ex-Mas?

Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith's parents just left for vacation, and Lila's all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa.

Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler's older brother, Beau — a.k.a. Lila's musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.
 It'll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love...all over again?

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
Amazon - Amazon UK

When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realise what adventures are about to unfold. And as the story of Narnia begins to unfold, so to does a classic tale that has enchanted readers of all ages for over half a century.

This stunning version of the classic The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, illustrated by Christian Burningham, comes with a special recording of the story which features a full production and specially composed music which transports the listener straight to the heart of Narnia. An absolute must for Narnia fans, and an excellent way of introducing the magical story to a new generation of readers.

Clara Claus by Alexandra Lanc

Jack Frost is about to lose everything. After attempting to again destroy Christmas, the Holiday that he hates more than anything, he is threatened with losing his job, and his Immortality. But, he is given one last chance at redemption.

That last chance lands Jack in the North Pole the week before Christmas, in order to help Santa Claus prepare for his busiest night of the year. There, Jack is tasked with the job of “Tour Guide”, in order to show Santa’s granddaughter, Clara, the sights of the Pole.

As Christmas draws nearer, and Jack’s time begins to run out, he finds himself becoming fond of Clara, who attempts to show him the real meaning of Christmas, all while shocking him with her unique view of the world.

But, the past proves hard to reconcile, and soon, Jack hatches one last plan to destroy Christmas, a plan involving Clara, which may prove fatal not only for the Pole, but for her, as well -- unless Clara can melt his icy heart in time.

The first book in the fan-favorite series, the Snowflake Triplet, Clara Claus is a fantastical adventure that reminds us of the importance of hope, and the real meaning of Christmas.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
“I’ve left some clues for you.If you want them, turn the page.If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

This one is probably one of my favourite books to read at Christmas time. There was even talk of a movie adaptation possibly being made, which I hope works out because I think it would make a wonderful film! 

So, I hope you've now found a new book to read this December. If you don’t have time for a full-length novel this holiday season, last year I wrote my very own short Christmas story, and I’ve just uploaded it to Wattpad! You can check it out here

Have a fantastic Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Review: JUMP GIRL by Leigh Hutton

Bookish Details:
Series: The Go Girl Chronicles #2
Pages: 333 Paperback
Release Date: November 22nd 2014
Buy It From: Amazon - UK - AU - CA



Imagine being dumped by your mother as a newborn and shifted between foster homes your entire childhood. Imagine being taken in and offered hope for your future by a kind, loving show jumping socialite.

Imagine falling in love with some of the most gorgeous horses in the world, and making a life in the thrilling and glamorous sport of international show jumping.

Now imagine it all being taken away.

Ebony Scott Harris is painfully close to making her dreams a reality when the only mother she has ever known mysteriously dies. She’s forced from their home to live with the gold-digging aunt, who takes her in only to ride the prized show jumpers she claims are now hers.

Teetering on the edge of a hopeless depression, Ebony is saved by the discovery of a forgotten horse nearly starved to death, and an unlikely partnership with a handsome stranger, whom she must learn to trust if she is to uncover the truth about her mother’s death and reclaim her home.

But with the evil aunt selling her best and beloved horse, a maniacal ex-coach out for revenge and more savage competitors than she can count, Ebony has a lot more at stake than proving the truth, saving her horses and jumping for gold at the World Equestrian Games . . .

The highly anticipated second book in The Go Girls Chronicles - stories of gutsy girls in action sports.

My Review:

Okay, so I’m torn here. On one hand, I want to discuss every aspect of this novel so I can gush about everything, but on the other hand, I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone because I want you all to go and read this book. So I’m going to keep things as spoiler-free as possible for now.

During the four years I’ve been reviewing books, I’ve not once encountered a story based around show jumping. So, needless to say, I was intrigued and excited by getting to reading something completely new to me. And after reading Rev Girl, I had high hopes for another fantastic story.

What can I say about Ebony Scott Harris, our fabulous protagonist of Jump Girl? She’s pretty much everything you want in a lead character. She’s feisty, has attitude, she’s courageous, and she has a fierce passion for her horses. The emotion she showed throughout the story, especially during the high and lows of competing, was honest and believable. I adored every scene between Ebony and her horses. The love she had for them and the lengths she’d go to protect them was truly heart-warming. I felt the strong bond she had with her horse, Monster, and it gave me a new appreciation for the special relationship that forms between a horse and their rider.

The story also gave me an insight into a world I knew very little about. As with any sport, there are lies and manipulation around every corner. Some parts of this story truly broke my heart because it forces you to think about the similar situations that actually do occur in real life. But of course, there were also plenty of happy and light-hearted times. Ebony gets to meet some wonderful people and make such great friends. As competitive as the sport may be, it also proves that life-long bonds can, and often do, come from it also.

I loved having some of the characters from Rev Girl play a bigger part in this book, especially Dallas. I didn’t really warm to him in the first story, and I wasn’t bothered about what happened to him in the end. But this time around, he had wonderful character development and I got to see a whole different side of him.  Ebony was definitely a better match for him than Clover had been. I also adored Clover’s sister, Jazz, being added to this story. All of the new characters we get to meet are also brilliantly written, even the not-so-nice ones, like Annika.

What I expected in this story was drama and action, which I got plenty of, but what I didn’t expect was the mystery element. And it worked brilliantly. This really is one of those rare books that manage to scratch upon every genre: action, adventure, romance, drama, and even a thrilling mystery.

Just a fair warning to you all, you may not want to read this book whilst on public transport. One time, I very almost missed my stop because I got too hooked into the story. Then I had the misfortune of reading a certain scene towards the end whilst I was on an extremely busy train, and I had to stop reading so that I wouldn’t end up crying in public.  

Despite the lows that Ebony has faced throughout her life, her story is definitely one of hope. Fictional it may be, but there are real situations like hers, and more than anything, this book proves that you can make your own success with enough determination.

I could talk on for hours about everything I haven’t already spoken of, but like I said earlier, I’d rather not spoil anything! Instead, you should just make sure you add this book to your reading pile so you can discover Ebony’s story for yourself. This book will take you on an emotional roller-coaster. You’ll fall in love, you’ll have your heart ripped out, and then you’ll have it mended again. And stories like that stay with you for a long time.

I’d just like to say a special thanks to Leigh for once again giving me the fantastic opportunity to read and review her wonderful story, and thank you so much for mentioning me and my blog in the acknowledgements. It’s a pleasure to help share Jump Girl with the world!

Royal Rating:

You can read my interview with Leigh here, and check out my review of the first book in The Go Girls Chronicles, REV GIRL, here.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

JUMP GIRL Book Blitz: Interview with the fabulous Leigh Hutton!

Hello, everyone! Today I'm honored to be taking part in the book blitz for the release day of JUMP GIRL, the second book in The Go Girls Chronicles! Since the books follow some amazingly strong, young adult characters, Leigh recently took the time to answer a few questions about her own time as a teenager. 

When I was a teenager, my…

Favourite movie was:
Everafter, Clueless, Black Beauty, Crusty Demons, The Candy Man - sorry, I guess that's a few, lol.

Favourite singer/band was:
Hmmm, I had so many favourites! I loved Disturbed, Nirvana, Eminem, AFI, Dixie Chicks, and in my late teens, P!NK (still do).

Favourite place to go was:
My husband's going to laugh at this one, as he's always called me a "mall rat", but I reckon that's a toss up between the local motocross park and the mall.

Dream job was:
Working at a motorcycle dealership as an accessories/clothing salesperson, which I did from the age of 16.

Most treasured possession was:
My Chevy truck and my dirt bike.

Worst habit was:
Chewing nails.

Celebrity crush was:
Josh Hartnett and Heath Ledger!

Favourite book was:
The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank.

Most embarrassing moment was:
Crashing multiple times at a stadium motocross in front of several of the most popular guys from my school. Never lived that one down.

Thank you, Leigh, for the great answers! 

You can read my review of Jump Girl here. Scroll down for more information on the book, Leigh, and a super awesome giveaway!

Show jumping is an extreme sport with a dress code, one this girl doesn't follow... Imagine being dumped by your mother as a newborn and shifted between foster homes your entire childhood. Imagine being taken in and offered hope for your future by a kind, loving show jumping socialite. Imagine falling in love with some of the most gorgeous horses in the world, and making a life in the thrilling and glamorous sport of international show jumping. 

Now imagine it all being taken away.  Ebony Scott Harris is painfully close to making her dreams a reality when the only mother she has ever known mysteriously dies. She’s forced from their home to live with the gold-digging aunt, who takes her in only to ride the prized show jumpers she claims are now hers.
Teetering on the edge of a hopeless depression, Ebony is saved by the discovery of a forgotten horse nearly starved to death, and an unlikely partnership with a handsome stranger, whom she must learn to trust if she is to uncover the truth about her mother’s death and reclaim her home.

But with the evil aunt selling her best and beloved horse, a maniacal ex-coach out for revenge and more savage competitors than she can count, Ebony has a lot more at stake than proving the truth, saving her horses and jumping for gold at the World Equestrian Games...

The highly anticipated second book in The Go Girls Chronicles - stories of gutsy girls in action sports, by Leigh Hutton.

"I am excited for the Jump Girl book because it will be something that riders can actually relate too. It’s nice that there is a book that reveals the excitement of the sport while showing there can still be problems and a lot of times things won’t go as planned!"
Shelby Edwards
Real Life Jump Girl

"Leigh has a talent for making the reader be captured in their imagination. I was able to imagine scenes, accents, and how people looked. It was different and refreshing."
[review of Rev Girl]
Angel Reads
Book Blogger

"[Jump Girl] gives us a look into the fierce yet glamorous world that is Show Jumping, as well as; Love & Romance, Action & Adventure, Murder & Mystery, Redemption & Self Discovery, all woven together beautifully in this fast paced coming of age novel. I have been lucky enough to read Jump Girl before its release and let me say it is brilliant. Awesome job Leigh. It made me yearn to have a Monster or Gallant of my own. I immediately fell for Ebony. Her life felt so real and I was drawn into it heart first. I could not put the book down. I practically read it in one sitting... Five of five stars for Jump Girl."
Sarah Fairbairn
Author and Goodreads Reviewer
Also available on iBooks and Nook from Barnes and Noble

Paperback available from The Book Depository

The paperback edition will be available via Amazon, and check out Leigh's Blog for more
information where to purchase Jump Girl.  

A portion of every JUMP GIRL book sold goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Leigh Hutton is a former News Ltd journalist and champion dirt bike racer and horse show jumper. She was born and raised in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and now lives with her husband and three young children in southeast Queensland, Australia. When she isn't wrangling the kids, swilling coffee, or writing, she loves to read, watch good TV and movies, shop, hit the beach, ride her motorbike and daydream about gorgeous horses.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Review: Amazon Burning by Victoria Griffith

Bookish Details:
Pages: 279
Publisher: Astor & Blue
Release Date: November 7th 2014 (Paperback)
Buy it From: Amazon - B&N


When 22-year-old aspiring journalist, Emma Cohen, is forced to flee the comforts of her NYU student life, she maneuvers an internship from her father at his newspaper in Rio de Janeiro. There, Emma is immediately swept into a major news story--and a life-threatening situation--when a famous jungle environmentalist, Milton Silva, is mysteriously murdered. Emma must now enter the Amazon rainforest with her father to investigate; both awed by the enormity and beauty of the Amazon, and appalled by its reckless destruction. Not only will Emma have to brave the primal world of the Amazon, she must fight to survive the kidnappers, villains, corrupt activists, and indigenous tribes that lay in wait along the ever-twisting trail of the murder case. Stretched to the brink, it s up to Emma, her father and the dreamy news photographer, Jimmy, to unravel the mystery and live to tell the tale. Amazon Burning by Victoria Griffith is a spectacular debut Young Adult novel. Griffith's powerful rendering of the Amazon rainforest forms the perfect, wildly exotic backdrop for this extraordinary tale of a young urban woman coming of age in the midst of intense conflict.

My Review:
First things first, I love the Amazon Jungle. I’ve even written a few essays about Indigenous people. And of all the years I’ve been reviewing books, I’ve never once been asked to review one set in the Amazon Jungle. So needless to say, I was really happy when this arrived in my inbox.

The plot for this story is unique and intriguing. And, of course, the setting was one of the highlights for me. There’s a murder mystery going on amongst a ton of action and romance, so there's plenty to keep readers entertained. There are also quite a few darker elements to this story, which I really enjoyed.

The characters were fantastic. I do wish we’d seen a little more of Emma’s father though, because I found him interesting and thought he had more potential. Emma herself was a wonderfully strong character. I loved her view of the Amazon and her passion to tell the world her stories from her time there. Jimmy was equally as great. He struck me as kind-hearted and streetwise. You'd feel safer travelling with him!

My favourite parts of this book had to be the scenes set within the Amazon itself. The culture was utterly compelling. The descriptions of the tribes and their way of life were fascinating and well researched. I like a book that lets you learn something from it, and I think this story will definitely get its readers thinking.

The mystery element to the story is also super exciting! It keeps you guessing throughout each chapter, adding in plenty of twists and turns, building to a shock-worthy ending.

What didn’t work for me in this book was the romance. I liked both Emma and Jimmy, but the romance, for me, just didn’t have that spark that I felt it would. I wasn’t drawn in by it, and I wasn’t rooting for them to finally be together. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t as exciting for me as I’d hoped.  But as I said, I liked both of the characters.

I must admit, Jimmy’s story felt a little unresolved at the end of the book. Since his past as a doctor was brought up quite a few times, I expected some sort of conclusion from it. I know he explained why he gave up working as a doctor, but I still felt like it was all building up to something else, like maybe he’d put it behind him and try and get back into it?

As I see this blog as a place purely for YA reviews, I do feel the need to point out that this book feels more like a New Adult novel to me, rather than YA. The themes are more mature and the romance scenes are quite full-on. Just a heads up to any younger readers!

Overall, I’m happy I had the chance to read a story set outside of the usual locations. The way of life in a different part of the world definitely added the intriguing spark within this book. If you want to try something a little different, this story might just be one for you. 

Royal Rating:

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Trailer Reveal: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

6 Days Teaser

We are so excited to bring you the Trailer Reveal for Julie Cross' WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU! WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU is a YA contemporary romance published by Entangled Teen, and is releasing on October 7th!!

Whatever Life Throws at You

Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas is too young to remember her dad’s glory days as a pitcher for the Yankees. So when her father is offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, Annie is intrigued to see the baseball side of her dad. Of course, knowing he’ll be a mentor to hot young rookie pitcher, Jason Brody, certainly makes it more enticing.

After an awkward first meeting with “Brody” involving very little clothing and a much-too-personal locker room interview, Annie’s convinced she knows Brody’s type: arrogant, self-involved, bossy. As her dad grows closer to the pitching phenom, the friction between Brody and Annie increases. But when opening day arrives and it looks like both her dad and Brody may lose their dream jobs, Annie steps up and offers support. She and Brody call a truce that grows into friendship—and beyond. Falling for a rising star who’s quickly reaching a level that involves rabid female fans is not what Annie would call smart, except suddenly she’s getting hints that maybe this crush isn’t one-sided after all. Could someone like Brody actually fall for a girl like her?

Julie Cross Author PhotoJulie Cross Bio:

Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast and longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former gymnastics program director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credentials, Julie is a committed—but not talented—long-distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar-weather survivor, and expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym-shoe addict.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Bookish Details:
Pages: 421
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: January 1st 2011


Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

My Review:
I have no idea why it took me so long to read Bloodlines, I really don’t. I adored Vampire Academy, and one of the things I loved most about the series was Adrian, so I should have jumped on this series straight away, but I didn’t. It had been lying on my bookshelf, looking up at me with puppy dog eyes for so long that I finally took pity and picked it up. And God, I wish I’d done it sooner.

Even though I already loved Adrian and Sydney, I had a sinking feeling that I just wasn’t going to like Bloodlines as much, and it was only going to make me want to go back and re-read Vampire Academy again. It didn’t. Sydney is a much stronger character in a series of her own. I had doubts about whether she’d be interesting enough for me to continue with the series, but I was totally surprised.

What’s also great is that romance isn’t the main plot in this first book. It’s very much about Sydney being taken out of her comfort zone and her reactions to it all. I have no doubt that a romantic plot will feature later in this series, but for the first book, I love that we’re simply getting the chance to get to know the characters separately without them being thrown into relationships. I think it’s pretty obvious as to whom the romance will eventually revolve around, but we’re being treated to a better build up towards it. You’ll find no ‘love at first sight’ stories here.

I liked having a new and interesting plot, but with the familiarity of the wonderful world that Mead created in Vampire Academy.  I also loved Jill and Eddie being included in the story. I really liked the two of them in the original series, so I was glad to see the again. I love how the secondary characters from the VA books have been given a chance to shine on their own in this series.

The plot was really intriguing. It started out quite slowly at first, with little hints of something more sinister being at work. I liked the build up towards the bigger problems in the story. It kept me guessing. There are also plenty of questions left to be further explored in the series. And then there was the last line. That really made me excited to read the second book.

So overall, I’m excited to continue with this series, and I am definitely kicking myself for not picking it up much sooner. 

Royal Rating:

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Blog Update!

Hi guys!

As you can see, the blog has been a little empty lately! I had a bunch of reviews planned for last week, but I had quite an unlucky few days and ended up being ill for most of the past week. But I'm back to myself again now and ready to get back to blogging! This update is mainly to let authors know that I am now once again accepting review requests for eBooks. Please check out my review policy for more details.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

REVIEW: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Bookish Details:
Pages: 422
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: August 7th 2014
Source: Sent from publisher
Buy it From: Amazon UK


Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control...

My Review:
Sometimes, I get so sucked into fantasy worlds and paranormal stories, that I forget good contemporary novels exist. And then I pick one up, and can’t put it down for two days straight, reminding me just how much I’ve missed them. This was that book for me, the book that reminded me that the woes of a junior in high school can still make an exciting and dramatic story.

Lara Jean writes a love letter to every boy she’s ever loved. She doesn’t do it in the hopes of them reading it and returning her feelings. She doesn’t write them with intention of the boys in question ever reading them. She writes the letters purely for herself, to help her get over her feelings. She pours her heart out onto the paper, before folding it away. It’s her own way of getting over the boys she loves. But then her letters get sent out to those boys.

I have to say, I was immediately intrigued by the concept. It’s such an awesome idea for a story! But this book isn’t all about the complicated boy issues that stem from the letters being sent. It also has a strong family element running throughout. It shows the realistic relationship between Lara Jean and her older sister Margot, who moves away to college in Scotland. Being an older sister myself, I could relate to the strains that appeared in their relationship.

Lara Jean is also a relatable character throughout the story. Yes, she’s a little naive, but that’s what I love about her character. I enjoyed reading her progression and how she learnt to deal with the situations that are being thrown at her. Before the letters are sent out, she’d never had to come clean about her feelings with a guy before. Seeing her finally face up to that was touching to read.

I loved Kitty, the youngest sister of the family. She made the story a little more entertaining at times. Again, the older sister in me couldn’t help but relate to Lara Jean’s relationship with Kitty. Even though she’s the youngest, her advice appears to be the wisest at times, and it’s adorable.

And then there are the guys who the letters were about, the main two being Josh and Peter. Josh was Margot’s boyfriend, which instantly makes the whole ‘love letter’ dilemma a little more dramatic and embarrassing for Lara Jean. Josh is a close friend to her, and had no idea of her feelings towards him, so it sends their friendship hurtling into complications.

Peter, however, is the complete opposite to Josh. He was Lara Jean’s first kiss, but now he is one of the most popular guys in school, and has an over-controlling ex girlfriend. I knew I was going to like Peter more and more as the story went on. I liked seeing the popular, cool guy soften down a little, and show a bit more of his real personality. Although the boys are completely different, I loved them both. It was easy to understand why Lara Jean had feelings for the two of them in the first place.

This is a touching story, with adorably quirky characters to love. Jenny Han has a wonderfully entertaining writing style that’s easy to read. If you want a cute, relaxing summer read, this is the next book you should pick up.

Royal Rating:

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Just a Heads Up

Hey guys!

Hope you're all having a fantastic summer so far! I just wanted to let you all know that I'm taking a week away from books to take part in a charity scavenger hunt for the next seven days. I will get back to blogging after August 10th. I have loads of reviews planned for the next month, including my review of City of Heavenly Fire, which took me forever to write because I couldn't put it into words!

Have a great week, and I'll speak to you guys soon!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Book Blitz: Winter Angel by Mia Hoddell!

Winter Angel
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA Romance
Release date: 25th June 2014
Length: Novella


She was on holiday. He was tricked into returning.
Neither of them wanted to be there, but neither could avoid it.

Amy wants to be back under the sun in Portugal. However, when her suggestion is overruled in favour of a skiing holiday, even she can't turn it down. What she couldn't have predicted is that the holiday could make her break the one, and only, rule she has: not to get into a serious relationship again.

When Amy first sees Luke, she knows something is wrong. He's struggling to cope with everything and her need to help people makes him the perfect distraction from the cold. He hasn't been to the Alps in five years and he swore to never ski again. But as his defences are broken by Amy's persistence, the winter paradise begins to reawaken his desires.

However, with constant flashbacks triggering his anxiety, he's torn, battling conflicting emotions as he becomes increasingly captivated by Amy. She has a rule though. She didn't go on holiday to fall for someone and the last thing she needs is to ignore her own advice. Whether or not she can move past her insecurities will depend on whether Luke can face his biggest fear.

Winter Angel is a standalone, young adult romance novella, but is the second book in the Seasons of Change series.

Download in now for FREE!
Only free 19th & 20th of July

Add to Goodreads

You can also download Summer Demons: the
first, bestselling, standalone novella in the Seasons of Change series for
99c / 77p.

White. Gazing out of the small, circular window, it
was the only colour he could see surrounding him. The bursts of light—which had
broken through the heavy, grey clouds—were reflected back as the ground grew
closer with each passing second. Not too long ago he had been blissfully
unaware of the location his sister was dragging him to for a holiday. A bubble
of excitement had surrounded him throughout the early morning as he got up, and
stayed with him through travelling to the airport and catching the flight. However,
it had burst as soon as the icy tips of the mountains appeared and the plane
began its descent. Until that moment, he had hoped his guesses had been wrong.
His sister had carefully planned
the trip, making sure to hide all clues as to where they were heading, and as
she glanced across at him, it seemed as if she had been successful. Luke’s
knuckles were white on the arm rests. He had claimed both of them, gripping
them so hard they looked like they would snap under the force, or at least be
moulded to the shape of his hands when he removed them.
Ellie watched as he took in a
shaky breath, but she heard no exhale.
The silence that filled the space
around them was icier than the Alps they had just flown over. Her brother’s
gaze remained fixed on the window, watching as the ground, and his fate, drew
ever closer. Deep, ragged breaths steamed up the window, which was almost
touching his nose. Desperately, he tried to control the tremors shaking his
body, and his pounding heart, from the fear that washed over him in waves.
“Luke, please, say something.”
Worry had crept into Ellie’s tone. She had thought her idea would do him good,
that forcing him to face everything would turn him back into his old self.
Ellie missed the brother she had grown up with and wanted him back. However,
seeing his eyes wide with fear, his jaw clenched in anger, and his arms tense
with both, suddenly she wasn’t so sure about her plan.
“You promised, Ellie. You swore
you wouldn’t pressure me, and I trusted you with that. You know how I feel
about this.” His voice was sharp and curt as he spoke through clenched teeth,
trying to keep a hold on his emotions.
The urge to flee surged within
him. He wanted to go home, to get off the plane and board the next flight
straight back to England, but he couldn’t. Not only was the plane still minutes
from landing—trapping him in the confines of economy class, which felt even
smaller as realisation forced him to understand Ellie’s plans—but he also
refused to waste more money on the pointless trip Ellie had conned him into
taking. If he was going to use the money he had earned from before everything
changed, it would be on his own terms.
“You’ll enjoy it when you’re
there,” Ellie stated, brushing off his comments like they meant nothing to her.
“That’s easy for you to say. You
don’t have to live with, or through, what I have.” Luke was trying hard to
control his voice. Had they been in private, he would have already been
shouting. The cramped environment meant that Ellie was getting off lightly, but
he swore that when they reached their chalet, he would not hold back. She had
no right to interfere with his life.
“Never tell me I didn’t live
through it, Luke. I was there when it happened, in the hospital, and when you
got home. I was there through it all. It may not have been me, but it wasn’t
like it had no effect on my life,” Ellie hissed. It was the only way she could
convey her anger without disturbing other passengers.
“Why though, Ellie? Why is this
such a big deal to you?” Luke’s eyes were full of sorrow as he turned to face
his sister for the first time, begging to understand her reasoning for putting
him through something she knew would hurt him.

About the Author
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything paranormal and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of
the morning.

With three poems published before the age of sixteen, Mia moved on to short stories but finding she had too much to tell with too little space, Mia progressed to novels. She started her first series (The Wanderer Trilogy) at the age of fourteen and since then hasn’t stopped writing. Elemental Killers is her second series and with an ever growing list of ideas, Mia is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination
generates them.

Connect with Mia:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon Author Page

or subscribe to Mia's Newsletter for information on:

 ARCs, giveaways and new releases

Saturday, 12 July 2014

An Evening With Rainbow Rowell!

Hey, everyone! So yesterday, I was lucky enough to attend an evening with the fabulous Rainbow Rowell in Liverpool. It was a sold out event, so I was glad I managed to get my ticket back in May! 

The place was already crowded when I arrived half an hour early. Rainbow is definitely one popular lady. I was a few rows away from the front, though, so I had a good view!

Rainbow started the event by showing us the gorgeous heeled shoes she was actually planning to wear for the evening, but couldn’t because she’d hurt her ankle! The shoes were totally cute, so I could understand the disappointment.

She then went on to talk a little bit about her books and how she was supposed to write Landline before Fangirl, but decided to switch it around. We were then treated to a reading of a scene from Fangirl.

Then the Q&A got underway and we learnt a lot about Rainbow’s book and how she came to write novels after being a journalist for many years. We also discovered that she’d like nothing more than to right a screenplay for Benedict Cumberbatch to play a romantic role!

After the questions, we were than allowed to go and get our books signed. It was lovely to meet Rainbow, she was so fun! She told me she loved my outfit and I was stupidly happy.   

It was an amazing evening and since Fangirl is one of my favourite reads in a long time, I was thrilled to get my copy signed! Rainbow is wonderful and made for a greatly entertaining evening. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of her events, definitely do so! You won’t regret it. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Review: Kissed by Kimberly Loth

Bookish Details:
Series: The Thorn Chronicles #1
Pages: 250, Kindle Edition
Release Date: April 21st 2014
Source: Provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Buy it From: Amazon UK -


Trapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father.

Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses. Kisses that bring her a supernatural strength she never knew she had. As the big day approaches, Naomi unearths more secrets of about her father’s cult. She learns she has power of her own and while Kai may have awakened that power, Naomi must find a way to use it to escape Dwayne and her father—without destroying herself.

My Review:
Within the first few pages of this book, I was completely intrigued by Naomi and her story. Although it appeared her parents were some sort of religious fanatics, I knew there was so much more to it than that. I found the scenes with her father very disturbing and, at times, difficult to read. I desperately wanted her to find an escape from the nightmare she was living. It was quite confusing at first, and I didn’t really understand what was going on, or why her home life was the way it was, but it compelled me to continue reading and find out.

Kai was an interesting aspect of the first few chapters of the story. I figured that he was going to be a love interest, and I liked how he was helping Naomi, but I just didn’t know what to think of him. I also didn’t know whether or not to fully trust him, even when he was helping Naomi get to safety.

The story really took off for me when Naomi went to Vegas and met up with Ginny. I loved the setting and all of the exciting new characters that were introduced. It was entertaining to read Naomi entering this brand new world, and begin to experience ‘normal’ things that she’d never been able to do before, like going to a party or getting her hair done. 

I absolutely adored meeting Puck. I have to admit, I like Puck more than Kai. I didn’t expect to love him as much as I did! I found myself looking forward to the scenes he shared with Naomi. I wanted to know more about him than I did Kai. There is a certain little plot twist in the book that really got me excited, but I’m not going to say anything, of course. No spoilers here! But it really added to the story and made me think ‘oooooh this is going to cause some drama!’ I’m definitely looking forward to how this part of the story plays out in the next book.

I was really intrigued by the whole idea of Guardians and Destroyers, and the powers that they each have. It’s quite fascinating and I’m keen to read more about what they can do. However, I definitely don’t blame Naomi for being more than a little annoyed when she discovered how Guardians replenished their energy!

The final couple of chapters were thrilling to read. I was not expecting the story to take the turn that it did. I was reading it whilst traveling on a train at the time and I was just like this for the entire journey:

I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens next in the series. I’d love to see Naomi kick a little more ass in future, which I totally think she will. Also, I’m looking forward to finding out more about the characters. I want to know all about Alejandro, Puck, and the mysterious Kai, who I still can’t quite figure out. Bring on the second book!

Royal Rating:

Friday, 13 June 2014

Patience, My Friends!

Hello, everyone! This is just a little post to say that there probably won't be any posts for the next week. My WiFi is down until June 20th, so it'll be quiet around here until then. Speak to you all soon!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Code Red Lipstick Blog Tour: Interview with Sarah Sky & Giveaway!

Hello, everyone! Today I'm pleased to welcome the wonderful Sarah Sky to The Queen of Teen fiction on the first day of her blog tour for Code Red Lipstick! Sarah took the time to answer a few questions for us. Enjoy!

Can you tell us a little bit about your book, Code Red Lipstick?
Jessica Cole’s an average teenager, except when she’s modelling and helping out her private investigator dad, Jack, on surveillance jobs. When the former MI6 spy vanishes mysteriously, the 14-year-old takes matters into her own hands.

Following her dad’s trail to Paris, her investigation leads her to AKSC, the beauty headquarters of former supermodel, Allegra Knight, and a conspiracy involving an MI6 double agent. Jessica needs her wits about her and lots of gadgets to help give her the upper hand against dangerous adversaries.

What inspired you to write the story?
I'd read a newspaper interview with a famous supermodel while she was still at school, talking about juggling school work while modelling at Paris Haute Couture Week. Immediately, the idea of a teenage spy came to me. Fashion is a good ruse for travelling the world alone - investigating conspiracies while maintaining a legitimate cover. I liked the idea of a girl having to negotiate the trials and tribulations of leading a dangerous but thrilling double life.

The book is your debut novel, what was your favourite part of the writing process, and did you learn anything new about yourself?
I really enjoyed doing the research for the book - I read up on MI5 and MI6, gadgetry and pretty much any spy-related story I could get my hands on while trawling the internet. I also visited an annual security conference in London, which was pretty thrilling. I experimented with the latest tactical ladders used in hostage situations and the high-tech grapnels used to scale submarines as well as encrypted mobile phones and facial recognition technology, which can spot even the partly obscured face of a target in a crowd. I was shown how to use the hidden gadgets in armoured car to disable or even destroy a vehicle in pursuit. I learnt that I'd quite like to have been a spy if I hadn't been an author and journalist!

During the actual writing, I loved the action scenes and trying to get Jessica out of difficult situations. I also enjoyed re-writing - cutting out sections I wasn't happy with and starting some chapters all over again. It felt really satisfying to know I was improving the book. I learnt I wasn't afraid to cut and change things around or even start from scratch. 

Did you relate to your main character, Jessica, at all whilst writing the story?
I'm very close to my mum - who lost her own mum at a very young age. It still upsets her now whenever she talks about her. For Jessica, her mum's death years ago is crucial to who she is and what she's going to become. I could identify with how hard is for Jessica growing up without a mum because of the experiences my own mum went through.

Code Red Lipstick is the first book in a series, Jessica Cole: Model Spy. How is the rest of the series coming along?
I've already written book two and book three. Book two's currently being edited and will be published in January 2015. Book three comes out in June 2015.

Did you always plan for the story to be a series?
As soon as I finished book one, I realised I wasn't done and wanted to write more adventures for Jessica. Another idea for a gripping conspiracy came to me and I started planning and writing book two pretty much straight away. While I was doing that, I made notes on the main plot for a third book. I then made another file for possible plots for future adventures. I think I was pretty fired up that day!

What made you decide to write for a teen audience?
I have vivid memories of my own teenage years - at heart I still feel like a teenager, even though I don't look like one!

What were some of your own favourite books to read as a teenager?
I loved Wuthering Heights, To Kill A Mocking Bird, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Daphne du Maurier books, particularly Jamaica Inn and Rebecca, and other authors including Agatha Christie, Judy Blume and Stephen King - a lot of very different books.

Finally, can you give us a random fact about yourself?
I'm a brown belt in karate, about to grade for brown with white stripe. Fingers crossed!

* Code Red Lipstick is published by Scholastic.

Buy the book now on Amazon!

Would you like to win a copy? Then enter the giveaway below! Good luck!


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