18 January 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #2

by Lara Avery

Pages: 357 paperback
Publisher: Hachette
ISBN: 9781784299248


“They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember.”  
Samantha McCoy has it all mapped out. First she's going to win the national debating championship, then she's going to move to New York and become a human rights lawyer. But when Sammie discovers that a rare disease is going to take away her memory, the future she'd planned so perfectly is derailed before it’s started. What she needs is a new plan. 
So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. Realising that her life won't wait to be lived, she sets out on a summer of firsts: The first party; The first rebellion; The first friendship; The last love. 
Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it's not the life she planned.

26th of January 2017

What is your #WaitingOnWednesday this week? Comment below as I'm excited to see what everyone else is looking forward to! 

16 January 2017

REVIEW: Carry On

by Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 518 (paperback)
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: February 25th 2016
ISBN: 1447266943


Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who's ever been chosen
That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right. 
Half the time Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here - it's their last year at Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up. 


Anyone who knows me knows I'm a massive Rainbow Rowell fan! I can't even pretend I don't fangirl over her and when it came to Carry On I was so excited to sit down and read it. Fangirl is my all time favourite contemporary read and when it was released that Rainbow was writing the book Cath spent so much time swooning over I couldn't help but do my happy dance... yes there really is a dance. I wasn't able to get around to reading Carry On when it first came out due to uni commitments but I FINALLY get to share my thoughts on Rainbow's latest books... there will be gushing, you have been warned.

"Sharing a room with the person you want most is like sharing a room with an open fire."

Carry On follows the narratives of a group of wizards, also know as mages, as they try to complete their last year at Watford. However, Watford isn't any normal school it is a school where magic is taught and magical greatness is made. Over the last six years Simon Snow and his roommate Baz have tried to kill each other countless times and the reason for this is simple. Baz is evil and Simon is the 'chosen one' - even if he is useless at the job! However, in their final year at Watford everything changes and as in any good 'chosen one' tale there is a big bad wolf character out to blow down the world of mages... his name... the humdrum!

Okay, so to start with I wasn't actually that sure about Carry On and being a massive fan of Rainbow that is really hard to say. It felt a little on the babbley side and I struggled to get into it.

HOWEVER, it may have taken me a month to read the first 150 pages, I read the other 368 in less than twenty-four hours. I think the reason for this is that to begin with there is a lot of setting the scene (and rightly so) because as a reader we have to be filled in on the last 6 years of these characters lives before we can really get to the present day. But once I hit book two - it's in four sections - I was hooked and didn't want to put it down. I NEEDED to know what Simon and Baz where up to and that is one of the signs of a great writer.

The story does have a Harry Potter element to it, I mean HP has filled our lives - and hearts - for the last decade and a bit, so any story about witches and wizards at a wizardry school sparks comparisons. You also have the orphaned chosen one and school nemesis from a well known wizarding family. However, saying that there is a lot of originality to Carry On, especially when it comes to the way Rainbow creates magic. Rainbow plays with words, with her magical language built up of cliches and well known phrases. The theory behind the magic being the normals (that's us muggles by the way) give words meaning and the more they say certain saying the more power they give them. Things such as, Carry On, Take a Break Have a KitKat and even old nursery rhymes are spells and I have to say I loved that! Rainbow isn't an english author however, the continuity was perfect and the references were relevant which made me smile... especially the little nod to Ant and Dec!

The parts I really want to swoon over are total spoilers so I'm not going to say too much more. What I do want to talk about though is BAZ. Keeping in mind I'm now 24 it feels a tad strange gushing over an eighteen-year-old vampire but thats just what happened. Baz is one of the funniest and most sarcastic bastards I've ever read. He's a hat tilt to all the misunderstood baddies we've come to love to hate and he's just this bundle of sarcastic yummieness.

Overall though I really did love this book, yes it had a rocky start in my opinion but once I got into it it was perfect. Carry On is a love letter to fan fiction and just reading it you can see how much the author loves books. The references as perfect and the little nods to other well know books are effortless and respectful. I'm so happy Rainbow decided Simon and Baz's story needed to be told after Fangirl because as well as being a great stand alone book I also now understand Cath from Fangirl better. Mostly because I'm now fangirling with her!

"I know Simon and I will always be enemies...
But I thought maybe we'd get to a point where we didn't want to be." 

12 January 2017


- Losing Your Voice -

With the release of Sara Barnard's second novel A Quiet Kind of Thunder I've been asked to take part in something quite special, but I will get to that shortly because first I need to tell you why. You see every so often you get a book and you know it means something and A Quiet Kind of Thunder MEANS something. It is a rather special book as it gives a voice to a character that doesn't have one. It is a real and honest account of what it is like to deal with a crippling anxiety in todays society and it looks at the whys, the hows and ultimately the truths of one persons struggle with this condition. I've suffered from anxiety for many years and I sometimes cannot put into words what it feels like to be the way I am but A Quiet Kind of Thunder gave me the words to describe it. 

Now onto what we're doing today! As mentioned before with the lead up to publication day us bloggers were asked to take a moment and think what it would be like to not have a voice. Our mission, if we chose to accept it, was to think about the things we'd struggle with most in our lives if we couldn't simply use our words. In Sara Barmard's own words she said that these were the worst.

The Top Five Worst Times To Be Mute
As told by Steffi in A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard 
5) When you need the toilet 
4) When you’re bleeding
3) When you need a new pencil
2) When you look a bit suspicious 
1) When your best friend needs you

When I really thought about this it kind of hit a little too close for comfort. I went through a period in my life where I couldn't speak up, I was too scared to say what I felt because (whether is is rational or not) the idea of being mocked, judged or even questioned on my own opinion terrified me. I didn't want people to think I was stupid or wasting their time. I was never completely mute like our main protagonist Steffi but it isn't exaggerated when people refer to anxiety as 'crippling'. 

So in the name of A Quiet Kind of Thunder the list below shows the times that I think/know it would suck to be mute. These are the times that in my life I have struggled with simply because I couldn't open my mouth and say what I need to say. Some are the same as Sara's because quite frankly they are the worst times not to have a voice. 

My Top Five Worst Times To Be Mute

 When you need the toilet  
For the obvious reasons if you need to go you need to go and in certain situations you need to ask permission from a teacher or to leave a meeting to do this. However, imagine if you couldn't do that? As well as being mute this is also a really horrible one if you have anxiety because the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself. It might seem like something small but it becomes a big issue when you're too frightened to use your voice.   
 When you are lost 
Thank god for sat navs is all I have to say on this one. I've been in this situation before and my phone died so I couldn't use google maps and instead of stopping to ask directions I simply drove around until I found the right road... it added half an hour to an already long journey but I was too scared to ask someone.   
When you need to give a presentation  
THIS is hell for most people but just for a second think about the turmoil of giving a presentation IN FRONT OF PEOPLE when you struggle to simply ask to borrow a pen.   
When you are in trouble 
Okay I have the perfect example for this one! About a year and a half ago my car broke down on the motorway (in the fast lane just to make things worse) and I was stranded. I had people shouting abuse at me because I was holding up traffic and there was nothing I could do but call the breakdown people. LUCKILY I was at a point in my life where I was able to talk on the phone (a year earlier I struggled to do that due to anxiety) but if I couldn't make that one phone call I could have been in a lot of trouble. More trouble that I was already in. If I had been mute this could have been a life or death situation.   
When your best friend needs you 
It might be a broken heart, a failed exam, a bad day at work or simply they need an ear to bend. When your friends need you they need you and not being able to be there for them is heartbreaking. They feel let down and you feel like the worst friend possible. However, sometimes no matter how much you want to be there and say the right thing to make them feel better the words just don't come. It might not seem as bad as one or two of the others but this is the one thats hard to deal with. When you can't be there for your best friend because you can't speak is soul crushing. 

So that's my top five moments, but why not take a moment and think about what it would be like to lose your voice. To struggle with asking for help when you need it and write your own list. Comment bellow with your top times and let me know what you think it means to be mute. 

Pages: 320 
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: January 12th 2017
ISBN: 9781509810987
Received From:  Macmillan Children's Books


Steffi doesn't talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can't hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn't a lightning strike, it's the rumbling roll of thunder.
Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life - she's been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He's deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. 


11 January 2017

Waiting On Wednesday #1

So this year I'm reinstating Waiting on Wednesday on The YA's Nightstand and the first one is an exciting one!!! 

The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco

Pages: 400
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 1492635820


When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

The Bone Witch is out on the 7th of March and I'm so excited to read it! I currently have it sitting on my kindle and it will be one of the books I read over January but the hype around The Bone Witch is insane. Witches, family, resurrections and some dark and dangerous force lurking in the background? I can not wait!! Fingers crossed its as good as everyone says and I will let you know my thoughts as soon as I can. 

In the mean time what is your #WaitingOnWednesday this week? Comment below as I'm excited to see what everyone else is looking forward to! 

9 January 2017

REVIEW: A Quiet Kind of Thunder


by Sara Barnard

Pages: 320 
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: January 12th 2017
ISBN: 9781509810987
Received From:  Macmillan Children's Books


Steffi doesn't talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can't hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn't a lightning strike, it's the rumbling roll of thunder.
Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life - she's been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He's deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. 


I've been DYING to tell you all about this one for months now! A Quiet Kind of Thunder is one of my favourite books in a long time and I honestly can not wait for you lot to read it!! I connected so much with the characters in this book and it is a story about celebrating the small things and finding love and courage in the most unlikely of places. 

A Quiet Kind of Thunder is about a girl named Steffi. Steffi doesn't talk very much and over the years has lost her voice to anxiety and fear but on the first day of Sixth Form she is introduced to Rhys. Rhys is deaf and can not hear which leads to the unusual pairing communicating through sign language and hand written notes. They create their own little bubble of communication and an unlikely friendship becomes something quite wonderful. Throughout the book we follow Steffi as she learns to use her voice in situations she would have found paralysing in the past and discover the impact the pair have on each others lives. 

The characters in this book are endearing and unique in a way I wasn't expecting. I love that YA is becoming a massive genre in its own right but it means character profiles are getting used and reused over and over. In A Quiet Kind of Thunder we are introduced to two characters that, in my opinion, were a refreshing change from the usual YA protagonists. There is a fragileness to Steffi I think most people can relate to in one way or another, she is strong in her own way but it is a delicate kind of strength that is built up over time with the help from the people around her. A kind of strength she will have to fight to keep hold of. 

Then we come to Rhys... I think I admired him because he was so completely and utterly honest that at times he doesn't cope with his disability. He isn't a character that has the confidence to take on the world with a single charming glance, he has moments where he throws a strop, acts like life isn't fair and throws the towel in. However, it's moments like those that adds to the believability of him, it is what makes Rhys Rhys. Both Rhys and Steffi are 100% honest, they aren't sugar coated into high school stereotypes and that just makes them all the more engaging as a reader. 

Something you notice as a book blogger is that a lot of people in this community suffer from anxiety in one way or another and I'm no exception to this. Dealing with anxiety in a world that still - for the most part - doesn't understand what you are going through everyday is hard! However, A Quiet Kind of Thunder delves into what it's like to suffer with anxiety in a way I could never explain. Anxiety is a condition that can completely tare a part a persons life and it was overwhelming being able to read a book that completely epitomises the fear of anxiety while at the same time delivering a compelling and interesting story line. 

Overall I adored this book. I could imagine Steffi and Rhys walking down the halls at my high school (back in the day) and the story is charmingly addictive. I couldn't put this book down and I'm so excited you guys get to read it soon!! 

4 January 2017

REVIEW: What Light

by Jay Asher

Pages: 256
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 20th November 2016


Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon - it's an idyllic place for a girl to grow up, except that every year they have to pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life begins to eclipse the other...


Christmas has been and gone for another year but I can't be the only one having the holiday blues! I love this time of year and if you are the same as me and want to hold onto that holiday feeling for just a little bit longer this is the book for you! 

What Light is the story of Sierra and her two lives. For the majority of the year she lives her everyday life in Oregon - ON A CHRISTMAS TREE FARM - she goes to school, hangs out with mates and lives like any other teenager. However, from thanksgiving to Christmas Eve Sierra and her family move to California to run their christmas tree lot. For as long as she can remember she has had these two lives but that is all about to change. This year Sierra catches the eye of Caleb on the lot and from that moment on things start to change... and not all for the better. 

Okay so I will start with the negatives and I hate to say it but that mostly comes in the form of a teenage stereotype named Caleb. He has everything he needed to be the perfect book boyfriend however, there was something about him that didn't sit right. I think it was the predictability of him being misunderstood. I get that there was the whole "don't listen to gossip" moral going on but I guess I wanted more from him as a character. I feel like the reason he did what he did wasn't good enough and if I'm honest if I had been in Sierra's shoes I wouldn't have given him the time of day. I didn't feel like there was enough conviction to his arc and it made it a little two dimensional at times. A little hard to believe. 

However, saying that the story itself was very sweet and I think everyone can connect with the struggles of finding that balance between your friends and your first love. Its is very much the quintessential coming of age story with a rather adorable christmas spin. Not to mention it kinda made me want to open a Christmas tree farm somewhere... who knew they didn't just grown all pointy and christmas tree like? 

It was a sweet little book that tugged on the heart strings. If you want a book that will make you feel all warm and festive then this is definitely for you. It has all the YA requirements, misunderstood bad boy, friendship, protective farther and cute moral centre. Although I felt it might have needed a bit more depth to it if you want something easy to read and enjoyable then enjoy. Even though Christmas has past it is perfect for those upcoming winter nights. 

25 November 2016

BOOK BLITZ: Shadow Fall


Shadow Fallby Audrey Grey

(Shadow Fall, #1)
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.
The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.
When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.
The question is who?
You can get your copy now for the special release price of 99 cents, and be sure to meet us at the Facebook Party happening right now!


My legs wobble as I step into the now lukewarm water. I sink to the bottom. Tiny bubbles escape my nose as I watch all the ugly remnants from the last seven years leave my body.
Lungs burning, I rise and come face-to-face with Pit Boy.
I glare at him. “You really have to work on the knocking thing.”
Despite the fact that I’m indecent, his attention never falls from my face. I almost wish it would, just to give me a break from the intensity of his focus.
“I only get a few more hours to be the ‘one-eyed freak’ from the pit. Might as well take advantage.” He doesn’t dare crack a smile, so it’s hard to tell if he’s joking or serious.
“Don’t worry. In my heart, that’s exactly who you’ll always be.”
His words remind me that soon we’ll be reconstructed using forbidden nanotech. But it won’t just be our flesh they’ll reengineer. It will be our brains, too.
I don’t foresee my rewiring being too complicated, but Riser needs to upload almost twenty years of false memories. That will be tricky and time-consuming.
And time is the one thing we don’t have.
Riser flicks his gaze to the mirror. He lifts a hand, touches the patch of mottled flesh where his eye should be.
“How did it happen?” I ask.
“Careful, my lady.” His gaze settles on my face. “You’re beginning to sound like you care.”
I roll my eyes. “And I thought I was lacking in conversational skills.”
He focuses his attention on the graffiti sprayed across the mirror.
“It’s written language,” I blurt, even though all I want to do is end the conversation so Pit Boy can leave. His presence unnerves me more than the other Pit Leeches ever could. “It’s how we communicate.”
“I know what it is.” He examines his jagged thumbnail. “I just . . . can’t read it.”
“It’s just stuff about the Chosen. You know, insults.” The populace is finicky. As much as they love watching the Chosen with their petty intrigues and court life, they would be just as happy to see their heads on a pike.
Time to explain what you are, Everly, Nicolai’s voice grates inside my head. Riser’s eyes flutter just enough that I know he’s heard Nicolai’s voice too.
You do it, I think, watching Riser’s reaction. But his face remains emotionless; either he’s a good actor or only Nicolai can hear my response.
“The Royalist astronomers discovered the asteroid twenty-one years ago,” I begin. “It’s actually a slow moving planet called an earth-crosser, meaning its orbit and ours intersect every twenty-thousand years. Usually it’s too far away to affect us, but this time it will pass close enough to wreak havoc and make the earth uninhabitable for years.” I stir the water with my big toe. “Before I was born, the Emperor decided that creating a population of genetically superior humans would be a great idea, you know, just in case the Caskets don’t work or the asteroid does more damage than predicted.”
Riser’s hyper-focused gaze bores through me. “You’re one of them?”
“Yes.” I run my hand through the filthy water. “But my father’s a Bronze, so even though my mother comes from a Gold House, the Emperor only allowed them one Chosen instead of the customary twins. So it’s just me . . . not Max.”
“What makes being Chosen so special?”
“I don’t know . . .” I bite my lip, trying to remember everything my parents told me. “My genes are perfect, I guess.”
For some reason, talking about my body makes me remember that I am naked in a room with a boy. As if reading my mind, Riser slowly lets his gaze fall, his expression both curious and unapologetic as he takes me all in, his thoughts cryptic.
“What are you staring at?” I blurt, smashing my breasts beneath my hands. Not like there’s much there to cover. “Haven’t you seen a naked girl before?”
A smile twitches his lips. “Not one that’s genetically flawless.”
“It doesn’t work that way! You can’t just look at us and tell. We look like everyone else—”
“No.” Riser shakes his head, a dark swath of hair covering his damaged eye. “You don’t. Whatever you are.”
“You must be happy . . . about our reconstruction, I mean,” I mumble, trying desperately to change the subject. “They’ll fix your eye . . . and . . . and all those horrible scars.”
I freeze as he slides off the counter, unable to look away as he hooks one finger beneath his shirt and lifts.
Scars ravage his anemic body in varying shades of red and silver and white. Some deep and pitted like the craters of a far-away planet, others smooth and neat. One particular nasty scar carves down his shoulder, tunneling across his chest and stomach. A fresh red wound nestles just below his throat.
He carefully touches the long ugly one. “I’m not ashamed for surviving.”

Author Bio:
Audrey Grey lives in the charming state of Oklahoma, with her husband, two little people, and four mischievous dogs. You can usually find her hiding out in her office from said little people and dogs, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for her characters to live in.

1 November 2016

PRE-ORDER: Skipping Midnight


by Laura Kenyon

Pages: 343
Publication Date: November 16th 2016


One part Sex and the City. Two parts Desperate Housewives. Three parts Brothers Grimm. For the women of Marestam, “happily ever after" has always come with a grain of salt. Be it infidelity or aging, deferred dreams or lost love, or even the pressures of raising a family, they have always seen each other through life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a brand new take on old-fashioned chivalry. But when rage and treachery take over, everything they hold dear comes under attack.  Suddenly, the monarchies are crumbling, Cinderella is missing, Belle is harboring the secret of all secrets, Rapunzel is facing the one dilemma she spent her whole life trying to avoid, and Dawn could lose everything she’s finally learned to love. In order to save everyone and unmask the wolf in their midst, this iconic group of friends must follow a dogmatic fairy no one trusts, invoke a magic no one understands, and face a past they thought they had buried long ago. Rapunzel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the rest of Marestam’s favorite females return in this third and final novel in Laura Kenyon's Desperately Ever After series, which takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale princesses several years after true love’s kiss.  At heart, it’s a tale of ordinary women coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

The final chapter in the Amazon #1 bestselling Desperately Ever After series (women’s fiction fantasy, women’s fiction humor, and paranormal fantasy). Says New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Evanovich: “Laura Kenyon makes happily ever after desperately delicious!"

Click on Covers to Buy


Author Bio

LAURA KENYON is an award-winning journalist and the author of three novels, Desperately Ever After, Damsels in Distress, and Skipping Midnight. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, and online publications. The Boston College graduate does not live in a castle, but has been blessed with a heroic prince charming, two beautiful princesses, and a noble steed.

To learn more about Laura, visit her website at www.laurakenyon.com and sign up for exclusive updates. She also loves connecting with readers on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook. And for a peek at how she envisions Marestam, check out her Desperately Ever After board on Pinterest.

Pre-order Giveaway!

Pre-order a copy of Skipping Midnight between now and November 15, and you could win one of two enchanting prize packages inspired by the Desperately Ever After series!

Prize Pack 1
(US only):

A signed paperback copy of all three novels in the series: Desperately Ever After (Book One), Damsels in Distress (Book Two), and Skipping Midnight (Book Three)

A stunning “Live like there’s no midnight” charm bracelet, custom made by My Initial Charm and inspired by the Desperately Ever After series

An assortment of treats for your next girls' night in (sorry, rampion not included!)

A snazzy memory box to ship it all in ;)

Prize Pack 2

This fantastic set of six wine charms, handcrafted by Etsy artist Sarah VandenBrink (specifically for this giveaway!) and representing each of the six main characters: Belle, Rapunzel, Dawn, Penelopea, Snow White, and Cinderella

To enter, please e-mail your proof of purchase (a screenshot will do) to laura@laurakenyon.com by midnight November 15, 2016. Be sure to include your mailing address so you’re entered into the right contest(s). One winner will be selected via random drawing for each giveaway on November 16. Good luck!