Friday, 20 October 2017

Review: Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.



Review: It's always really hard to review a book that has had a lot of hype around it isn't it?

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a real hon eat take on what it is like to be a teenager in today's society. It is also a good account of what it is like to be a young person struggling with mental health, and anyone struggling with their mental health really. It is very appropriate that it came out on World Mental Health day because I really think that this book tackles the issues surrounding anxiety and OCD really really well. It was encouraging to read, gave m hope and educated me to some extent.

I really loved Aza as a main character. She seems to have much more of a handle on life the  other people do, I have to admit I was a little bit jealous of that. She can recognise when she needs help, she doesn't always make the right decision when it comes too seeking help, but she also has a great relationship with her mother, which I love. There are far too many books out there that have main characters who have awful relationships with one or both parents and so it was really refreshing to read about a young person who has such a good relationship with hers.

Aza also has some great friends and these make for great characters to read about, whether they are new friends or old friends. The friendships are realistic and it is good to see them going through the usual ups and downs of high school life together.

This book gave me an education of not only someone else's mental health issues but also what a tuatara is! I loved the fact that i learned so much from this book as well as having it take me on a journey with a character and entertain me. A lot of people think that John Green's books will only make them cry but I did not cry over the course of this book, I did laugh though. Proper laughing out loud, this was definitely entertaining.

Of course one of the main selling points of this book to me was John Green's writing, i just love the way he writes, his turn off phrases is just lovely, there are so many beautiful metaphors and nothing is ever dumbed down, language that should be used is used. And then of course there is the fact that he is so honest with his audience. We don't need another story about someone with issues over coming them, we don't need a story where nothing realistic happens, this is honest writing about being in high school and all that that entails. It is about having issues in your life but learning to live with them and showing how the can affect your life.

I really did enjoy this read, it is a very different from John Green's last book but different isn't always a bad thing, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone out there.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Review: The Treatment by CL Taylor

“You have to help me. We’re not being reformed. We’re being brainwashed.”
All sixteen year old Drew Finch wants is to be left alone. She's not interested in spending time with her mum and stepdad and when her disruptive fifteen year old brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to a residential reform academy she's almost relieved.
Everything changes when she's followed home from school by the mysterious Dr Cobey, who claims to have a message from Mason. There is something sinister about the ‘treatment’ he is undergoing. The school is changing people.
Determined to help her brother, Drew must infiltrate the Academy and unearth its deepest, darkest secrets.
Before it’s too late.


Review: wow, this is going to be a hard book to review without giving away any spoilers because it is just so twisty and action packed with full of exciting characters and plot. I really enjoyed this book and it was a very different read for me! This is CL Taylor's first YA novel. I love her usual thrillers and this one had just as much action and set my pulse racing just as much as her adult novels do. This book has a slightly dystopian feel about it and is set in the near future. Don't let the dystopian feel put you off though, I could recognise everything in this book and it made for some familiar feeling and ` familiar setting but with CL Taylor's plot twists and a very uncomfortable reality. 

This book follows Drew and her quest to help her brother. Drew is a fabulously strong female lead. She fights for what she believes in and finds some incredibly clever ways to get her own way and to get exactly what she wants. She doesn't make friends in real life easily because she values her independence so much and i found this really relatable and also very admirable. Her bother Mason is a character in this novel but we don't get to know as much of his back story as we do Drew's therefore I didn't feel as much of a connection to him or the other characters in the novel as much as my connection with her. 

The adults in this book are definitely not to be trusted and that's what makes the kind of classic YA characteristics in this novel. I love the fact that we can solve to hate the authority figures here, especially since this is mainly set in a school so we can all hate the OFSTED inspector! Some of the plot lines of this book are definitely not for the faint hearted just because we don't know exactly what The Treatment is but we know its not a nice thing! And because we love to hate the authority, some may find the reasons why we hate them fairly shocking. But I loved all the dark and twisted bits of this book, they made for excellent reading and kept me on the edge of my seat right until the bitter end!

If you love CL Taylor's psychological thrillers already then you will definitely enjoy this read. If this is your first of her books then you are in for a treat! I would definitely recommend this book for older readers and you should definitely prepare yourself to be challenged, to be entertained and to be thrilled by this awesome novel!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Guest Review: Christmas on The Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley



For Maisie Samson, this Christmas is going to be different. After years working in a busy Cornish pub, she’s moved back to quiet Gull Island where she grew up, to help her parents run the family inn.
But even though she can’t wait for the festive season to arrive, Maisie cannot shake the memories of what happened to her last Christmas – the day she lost everything. She keeps herself busy, setting up the tree and hanging mistletoe ready for her first proper family Christmas in years.
Until a new arrival to the island walks into her bar and changes everything. Australian backpacker Patrick is looking for a job for the low season. When Maisie takes him on, she doesn’t expect him to last the week, but to her surprise Patrick is the perfect fit. Charming and handsome, could Maisie allow herself to hope that she and Patrick could be more than just colleagues?
As Christmas approaches, Maisie finds herself dreading the spring, when Patrick is due to leave. With the help of a little Christmas magic, can Maisie get the happily ever after she always dreamed of?
Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles is the first in a stunning new series from Phillipa Ashley. The perfect book to snuggle up with this Christmas.



Review: This is book 1 in the Little Cornish Isles series, a new collection from Phillipa Ashley. I very much enjoyed her last series, about the Cornish Cafe, and was interested to find out about the Cornish Isles, or Isles of Scilly. I have never visited this part of the world, but felt sure that Phillipa's writing would bring them alive for me; I was not disappointed. 

The story revolves around Maisie Samson and her parents, Ray and Hazel, who own the Driftwood Inn on the fictitious Gull Island. Maisie has returned home to help run the Inn after previously having worked in a busy Cornish pub. She is preparing the Inn for the festive season and also looking forward to her 40th birthday on New Year's Eve, all the time looking back on a less than happy time last Christmas. All is not well in the seemingly idyllic little island, as Hugo Scorrier, owner of neighbouring Petroc Island, is trying to expand his resort to encompass Gull Island and perhaps win Maisie's heart into the bargain. However, blond Australian Patrick McKinnon arrives on the scene and takes on the job of barman at the Inn, bringing with him a breath of fresh air for the islanders and a chance of romance for Maisie. 

This was a lovely story, really well written as you would expect from Phillips Ashley, and full of evocative details about these islands. I enjoyed the idea of people sailing between the islands in their day to day activities; it made me determined to go and visit one of these days. In addition to the call of the sea, there were the little cottages with stunning views and the flower farm, all adding to the charm of the setting. I would heartily recommend this book as a heartwarming Christmas read, perfect for getting you into the mood for the coming season. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Yummy Foods in Books 17/10/17



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!


There are some great books out there that are absolutely fatal to read when you're hungry. Bakeries and cafes have become the in thing to write about and so here are the books featuring yummy foods that I've read! I could've included way more than 10 but I've edited harshly!





(This one is full of coffee-I love yummy coffee!)




This whole series is full of great cooking!






Full of amazing ice cream!


Short but very very sweet!



What food books have you read recently?

Blog Tour: Extract from Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley


Today I am part of the blog tour for the very fabulous Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley. I have an exclusive extract for you further down this post. I'll also leave the buy links because I know this extract is going to make you want to download this book straight away!

Here's what it's all about...

Christmas has arrived on the Cornish Isles of Scilly, bringing mistletoe, surprises and more than a sprinkle of romance . . . Fans of Poldark and Carole Matthews will love this brand-new festive read from the author of the bestselling Cornish Café series.
For Maisie Samson, this Christmas is going to be different. After years working in a busy Cornish pub, she’s moved back to quiet Gull Island where she grew up, to help her parents run the family inn.

But even though she can’t wait for the festive season to arrive, Maisie cannot shake the memories of what happened to her last Christmas – the day she lost everything. She keeps herself busy, setting up the tree and hanging mistletoe ready for her first proper family Christmas in years.

Until a new arrival to the island walks into her bar and changes everything. Australian backpacker Patrick is looking for a job for the low season. When Maisie takes him on, she doesn’t expect him to last the week, but to her surprise Patrick is the perfect fit. Charming and handsome, could Maisie allow herself to hope that she and Patrick could be more than just colleagues?

As Christmas approaches, Maisie finds herself dreading the spring, when Patrick is due to leave. With the help of a little Christmas magic, can Maisie get the happily ever after she always dreamed of?

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles is the perfect book to snuggle up with this Christmas.


And here's the extract for you...

Extract Twenty from Chapter Twelve, pp 81-82
Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ was belting out over the speakers so that people had to shout above the noise. Patrick would have turned the sound system down but the music was in Ray’s hands and he didn’t want to interfere. 
There was standing room only in the bar. A corner had been cordoned off to create a makeshift stage with a speaker and a microphone, and was festooned with fake cobwebs with rubber bats hanging from the beams. He knew that this was his debut at the Driftwood, and that he was probably as much a part of the entertainment for the evening as any of the ‘acts’. He’d braced himself for the fact that being a newcomer in this tiny community would make him an object of interest, but he hadn’t quite been prepared for so much attention all in one go.
Ray was dressed as Dracula with Hazel as his bride. Maisie flitted about the bar in a slinky red ‘devil’ outfit and black pointy boots, which Patrick was finding a major distraction. She had a red plastic pitchfork behind the bar that she used to prod people at regular intervals.
In desperation, Patrick had decided on a makeshift Zombie outfit, ripping up an old T-shirt and, with the help of some of Hazel’s make-up and a YouTube video, had managed a passable impression of a rotting corpse. He wasn’t a natural costume-party person but had long become used to joining in themed events at the Fingle. Besides, the outfit gave him a literal and metaphorical mask to hide behind during his baptism of fire behind the bar at the Driftwood.
‘Nice costume,’ said Maisie briskly, when he’d arrived for work. 
‘You too,’ he replied, trying not to make the comment sound pervy in any way, even though she looked edible in the slinky scarlet Lycra. ‘Nice . . . um . . . horns.’
‘Thanks, and may I say, being one of the living dead really suits you,’ she’d fired back in return.
They’d barely had a chance to speak since people had started arriving as soon as the doors opened at seven o’clock. Patrick had been surprised at the amount of people willing to venture out across the seas on an October night. However, he’d soon learned that most of the islanders were skilled boatmen and women, used to navigating their way around the seas of Scilly even in the dark and less than ideal conditions. Really bad conditions did keep some of the smaller vessels in port at times, that was inevitable, but fortunately it was a calm evening and no one was going to miss the Hallowe’en party night – not to mention the added attraction of an exotic new face, even if that face did look like he’d risen fresh from the grave. 
Vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein’s monsters, witches, ghosts and ghouls piled into the bar. The costumes were largely homemade, some more convincing than others. In minutes, the questions and banter flew at him and he tried to give as good as he got, all the while serving drinks under Maisie’s watchful eye. You’re on trial, Patrick, mate, he told himself as she shot a sideways glance at him when she was collecting glasses. You always will be with this woman.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US


Friday, 13 October 2017

Review: There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Over a year after her parents sent her away from Hawaii to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, Makani Young is still adjusting to her new life. She's made a small group of close friends and even flirted with romance, but her past in Hawaii is still hard to forget. And then . . . one by one the students of her new high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders. Makani doesn't know who's next on the list. Between this, and a secret scorching relationship with the school weirdo, this school year may turn out to be one to die for . . . literally. There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins will have you swooning with fear and romance, and is the perfect page-turner for fans of Scream Queens and I Know What You Did Last Summer.


Review: Wow, I loved this book so much more than I thought I was going to! Now that makes it sound like I went into reading it with a negative attitude but I have just never read a book from the horror genre before, YA or adult so I was a little worried but boy was this a fab read. Stephanie Perkins just has this way of engaging you in her worlds and getting you to love her characters that works whether it is in the romance genre or in the horror genre. I really loved that this book was a young adult book but it has definitely encouraged me to read a little more into the horror genre!

This book features Makani and the other teens who attend her high school in rural Nebraska. The setting of this novel was perfect for what takes place at the  plot unfolds and it was really well described so i could picture myself there in the town with all of them. The storyline is generally fast paced. There is a balance of scene setting and then horror action with Makani takin every other chapter or very 2 our of three chapters so that we really get to know her as the main character, as well as what is going on with the murders. 

Makhani was a good choice of the main character because she is easy to like but shed also is a little different from the people in her high school. The fact that she stands out and also that she has some sort of secret to hide made her interesting to read about. I would say that Ollie is the supporting character in this book and I really liked him and reading about him. Him and his brother are not only key players in the novel, but also key players in the town where the novel is set. 

There are some other diverse characters in this novel, which is great to see because we definitely need to be reading about more diverse characters and more diverse books in general obviously, but I just felt at times that these diverse characters were accepted almost too easily by the town, I would have loved to have known the impact that they had on the community and how they managed to live so freely and be so welcomed by the community in this way. 

This book definitely scared me in part and really does compare well to the film suggested in the synopsis. I normally sleep with the window open, but the night that I read this novel, i got up to close the window, not that I was affected or anything! This had some great suspense but also some really storylines about each of the characters that made for a great read. As I said above, this author really knows how to engage an audience, whatever genre she is writing in and i would definitely recommend this book even if, like me, you are not usually a horror reader!

To order your cop now, just click the link: UK or US


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Blog Tour: Q&A with Catherine Ferguson Author of Christmas at Log-Fire Cabin


I am very excited to have an author interview for you today as part of the blog tour for Christmas at Log Fire Cabin. There are some great blogs on this tour so don't forget to visit the others for more excellent content. Catherine Ferguson has been kind enough to stop by the blog today to answer my burning questions but first, here's what her fabulous festive novel is all about...

Curl up by the fire this Christmas with the eBook bestseller Catherine Ferguson. 

When Poppy’s boyfriend Harrison proposes the week before Christmas and gives her twelve days to decide, she doesn’t know what to do. With the festive season in full swing, it’s make or break time for the couple and the clock is ticking… 

Meanwhile, Poppy’s best friend Erin is desperate for the pair of them to fulfil their dream of setting up a dinner party catering company – and when an opportunity arises at a luxury log fire cabin, the girls take their chance to impress. 

But they hadn’t bargained on the owner of the cabin being quite so attractive – or having quite such a sexy voice. As the twelve days tick on, will Poppy realise that Harrison is the one for her? Or will it be love in the lodge when the new year comes? 

Lose yourself this Christmas in the new novel from the brilliant Catherine Ferguson, perfect for cosying up with by the fire.


And here is the interview, all the buy links are below so you can order this festive novel once you've read all of Catherine's answers!

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

I’m not quite at the stage where I can afford to write full-time, although I do devote around thirty hours a week to writing my books. To keep the wolf from the door, I have a little cleaning job a few mornings a week, which serves the dual purpose of keeping me fit and helping me stay in touch with the world beyond my laptop! Plus I can be back at my desk, writing, by 9.30am, which is fab.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?

I love writing romantic comedies.

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

To make a character stand out, it’s important they have little quirks to their nature, and I do love dreaming these up. Rather than consciously basing them on actual people, I think mine emerge from the library of characteristics in my head, assembled over a lifetime of being nosy and observing people!

 What was the inspiration behind Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin?

I love spending Christmas at home with the family, but I’ve often wondered what it would be like to hire a cottage in the country and decamp there for the festive period, preferably a place with lots of woods where you could take endless snowy country walks and return to warm up with mulled wine by a roaring log fire. So I suppose Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin is a bit of a fantasy for me. Not that the guests in the book all enjoy the perfect Christmas. Far from it!

What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?

I’ve tried sketching out every chapter at the start but it just doesn’t work for me. The story changes so much throughout, as I slowly get to know my characters, that I find it best just to start with a rough idea of the themes in the book, and how the story will pan out, but allow inspiration to strike as and when. I get my best flashes of inspiration when I’m out walking, so I try to make this part of my working day. It’s always worth it for the gems that emerge. I’m often galloping for home at the end of my walk, terrified I’ll forget my brilliant idea before I can get it down on paper!

How much of you is reflected in your writing?

Probably far more than I’d like, is the answer to that!

What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin?

My heroine, Poppy, is a fantastic cook and particularly loves Italian food – so I was forced to do lots of lovely Italian cookery research. (Very hard work but hey, it had to be done!!)

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

A lot more than I should. It can sap your energy for the rest of the day, getting a horrible review, but I’ve realised that every writer gets them. Even the most popular. I’m slowly getting better at handling the bad reviews and not forgetting to concentrate on all the good ones, too!
Are friends and family supportive of your writing?
They’re all incredibly supportive, spreading the word about my books wherever they go and being excited for me as another launch day approaches. There are a few friends in particular who urged me to keep going, even when I was getting nothing but rejections and feeling it was all a bit hopeless. They told me I would make it eventually – and they were right! I will always be so grateful to them.
How do you feel leading up to your publication day?

Excited to finally get my book baby out there. But also nervous and apprehensive, wondering what people will think of it.

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

Corny, I know, but Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series first inspired me to start writing, and I loved the sharp irony in Jane Austen’s novels when I was growing up. Nowadays, I so admire Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella – both masters of their craft!  

Finally...what are you working on right now?

I’m absolutely loving writing my next book, which is due out in March. It’s called Love Among the Treetops and concerns a girl called Twilight Wilson who’s trying to save the family home and opens a café in a treehouse in order to do so! I’ve taken lots of inspiration from the incredibly magical Treehouse Restaurant at Alnwick Garden in Northumberland, close to where I live.

Click the links to order your copy now: UK or US

Thank you so much to Catherine for stopping by!