Book Review | Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles

Image result for bookshop girlPaige Turner works at Bennett’s Bookshop in her small town of Greysworth. It’s her safe haven, her escape from her life… and it’s about to close. Another ‘casualty of the high street’, Paige and the team have only four weeks to try and save the bookshop from permanent closure. Can they protect it from closure? And… can Paige stop herself from falling for bad boy Blaine?

This was such a cutesy book but there were a fair few things I didn’t like about it that stopped my enjoyment of the book whilst I was reading.

Okay so to start with, I liked the idea of the book. It’s about books and a bookshop and the main character is actually called Paige Turner. The actual bookshop was adorable and I would love to work in one just like that myself.

Paige’s best friend, Holly, was also such a sweetheart and I really liked her. I wish that their friendship had been more fleshed out.

That was the main downfall, I think, of this book – it was so short. Some books are short but just the right length, but this one wasn’t. Nothing felt fleshed out – the characters didn’t have much scope, some of the scenes felt so slow, and I felt no connection. I also feel like Coles tried to do too much – it should have just been about Paige and the bookshop. For example, the love interest that was introduced for Paige just felt awkward and out of place, and the bookshop and the boy seemed to be fighting for stage time each scene. I wish that Coles had just picked one or the other to really focus on instead of attempted to do 50:50 and not really making it work very well.

It had its merits of course, although predictably, if you’re a well-read reader, you probably know the outcome before going in. Also, I did love that Paige was a 16 year old girl, but the love interest was bad news from the start and it kind of irked me that no one said. Well, Holly did. Hence, Holly is my favourite characterrrr and I love her and the book should’ve been about her tbh.

Overall, this was a cutesy, funny read, but I wanted a lot more from it and it just didn’t live up to what I hoped it would be.

Rating: 2.5/5

Goodreads
Personal source: I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. As always, opinions are entirely my own! 


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley 

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Poetry Review | Honeybee by Trista Mateer

36206132In this poetry collection, Trista Mateer explores heartbreak, love, loss, and walking away. Honeybee is a memoir in verse, collecting snapshots from a time of ripples in one poet’s life. 

I really liked the style of Mateer’s poetry, and I think that for that reason, Honeybee and I resonated fairly well together.

The topic of heartbreak has been one that poets have written about for centuries, but Mateer’s situation was entirely unique, because she was the one who walked away. This book explores how her own experience with leaving still affected the heartbreak that both sides of the relationship experienced, and I think it’s a side I don’t often read about in poetry, because normally the one who is left is the one who writes the sad poems.

I feel like I wasn’t in quite the emotional state to connect to anything truly (probably didn’t help I read like 75% of this in the doctors’ waiting room), but I did feel it. Mateer pours her whole heart into these poems about her ex and I think that for her, it was probably a really cathartic exercise to do.

A lot of time was really spent writing about her ex, though, and it was quite overwhelming. Obviously a poet should be separated from their poetry in terms of autobiographicalness unless they say it’s an autobiography, but some of what Mateer said surprised me. Even though she was in a new relationship (both sides of the couple), Mateer was still writing very emotive poetry which, if I were reading it as this girl, I would find it a little…. close? maybe? is that the right word? Whichever word, I hope you get the gist – even after one year, two years, Mateer still seemed to be pining for this girl despite being in a new relationship.

I kind of get it, I do, having gone through a difficult break up a year and a half or so ago, but I don’t think I could write this type of poetry about that person now. I miss them sometimes, yes, but I think to write this deeply about them… that’s a whole other level, and despite the fact I was thoroughly enjoying the beautiful phrases Mateer strung together, I was still slightly reserved from the poems, trying to remove myself from how I was feeling at the back of my head the entire time.

Honeybee is a poem about breakup, but not all breakups. Whilst I didn’t -connect-, I could feel the pain that was poured into these poems. From a stylistic point of view, these poems were 100% my cup of tea. I loved Mateer’s writing style, and will definitely be looking to read more of her books in the future. I especially enjoyed how the titles of the poems seemed to almost be another line. Mateer didn’t put a word down without a reason for doing it.

Overall, I think that this was a book Mateer needed to write, but not necessarily one I felt needed to be published. I think that her writing is, honestly, stunning and engrossing, but I felt a little uncomfortable reading it, as I was looking at it from both perspectives: Mateer’s, and the person she left. It’s unfortunate that I had this ticking voice in the back of my mind, otherwise I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. However, I still gave this book a fairly good rating, because I feel like the writing truly deserves it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads
Personal source: sent as an eARC from NetGalley. As always, opinions are entirely my own.


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… milk and honey by Rupi Kaur 

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Book Review | To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

34499221With the hearts of seventeen princes underneath her bed, Princess Lira is known as the Princes’ Bane. She’s the most ruthless siren of them all, but when all begins to go wrong, Lira is transformed into the thing she hates most of all: a human. With one goal in mind, Lira finds Prince Elian – in order to steal his heart.

Prince Elian prefers to be known as Captain Elian, the Siren Killer. He and his band of loyal misfits roam the seas, killing sirens and searching for the power to win the war against land and sea. But just how many deals will he have to make to succeed at his task? When Lira asks to join his expedition, Elian knows something isn’t quite right about her, but just how much can he really trust her? 

The blurb of this book kept begging me to read it, and I was so excited when I finally got around to picking it up. A siren murderess and a prince on one ship? Who doesn’t want to read that?!

I frickin’ loved the sirens, to start with. Most of my experience with sirens (hah) comes from Homer and classical mythology, so I loved how they were reworked in this really dark turn of a story. They were ruthless and barbaric, and just absolutely fascinating how they worked. I think the connection they had with the hearts was written really well, how important they were made out to be.

I just absolutely love it when mythology and world building is done well. Christo’s world building was done brilliantly (although I wish there had been a map!), and she really made me believe that this was a world that could exist somewhere. I loved that each country/state had its own kind of trait – like being the centre of invention, or war, or romance. It kind of reminded me of the factions in Divergent a little, but with less fighting between them.

The war against land and sea has long been one that people have written about, but Christo really put a great turn on it. Also, the Sea Queen was a fantastically murderous character. She was so frickin’ ruthless! (And I don’t know about anyone else, but I was getting major Disney’s The Little Mermaid Ursula vibes.)

The whole structure of this book was really well put together and Lira and Elian were both such great characters. Where can I find me an Elian? (But seriously, though.) Their romance was done so well that I didn’t even realise they were changing towards each other at first! This is enemies-to-lovers done at its best, my friends.

I feel like the only let down, for me, was the plot. This was a book very much propelled by characters, and although I was of course interested in their quests, I just loved “being” around the characters and reading their conversations and interactions. That’s not saying that the plot wasn’t good – I think it was, and it featured just about everything I love about plots – but the characters were for me the main focus, and I think that Chriso loved her characters a lot and it kind of showed. The plot was good, but it didn’t get me as excited as just reading Elian and Lira and Kye and Madrid banter with each other.

Overall though this was a great read – the characters were absolutely fantastic, and the idea of the whole book was a brilliant new spin on the Little Mermaid. I never really liked the Disney film as a kid, but I couldn’t help but borrow some of the cartoon’s imagery to help bring the characters to life in my own head.

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads
Source: borrowed from the library. Thank you for NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I actually read this book from the library because it was easier for me at the time. As always, though, my opinions are my own! 


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… Labyrinth Lost by Zoradia Cordova [review coming soon]

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Review | The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

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img: goodreads

Be brave.

With only those two words inked on her hand, Flora loses her short term memory each day. The removal of a tumour took some of her memory with it. Until the day she kisses Drake; the first memory to remain in her mind since she lost it. 

Determined to try and regain her memory, and convinced that Drake is the key, Flora travels across the globe to follow him – and her memories. 

So, Flora forgets everything that she is told. It kind of reminds me of the Silence from Doctor Who; she writes things on her hands, has a journal that she reads when she forgets, and yet. And yet. She goes on a trip across the world because of a BOY. *sigh* Continue reading

Book Review | Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

32048554Alice doesn’t believe in luck – at least, not the good kind. But she does believe that she is in love; with her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday, she buys him a lottery ticket as a joke – but to their astonishment, he wins $140 million and changes everything. 

At first it seems like a dream come true, but it quickly spirals into more of a curse than a windfall and Alice begins to wish she could take the ticket back. But she knows that you can’t change time, better than anyone. Will she and Teddy ever find their way back to each other? 

I really enjoyed this novel. I think it’s a really feel-good YA, and I got through it so quickly which was an added bonus. It’s a real dreamy book – both in the way of winning the lottery, and the way it was written! I felt so relaxed reading it, although I was completely unable to put it down. Continue reading

Book Review | The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

32187354Grace is a teenager. She also has Asperger’s, and a unique way of looking at the world. With her horse and her best friend, she has everything that she needs. But then Grace kisses Gabe and her home starts to change… and the world doesn’t look the same anymore. Everything begins to fall apart, and Grace has to pull it back together again. 

loved this book. It’s a brand new YA novel about a girl with Asperger’s – and I think it might be the first I’ve read about Asperger’s (I’ve read from the POV of someone with Autism before). I want to read more about Asperger’s and autism (is that capitalised) though. The State of Grace however was a great way to start! (And it’s #OwnVoices!) Continue reading

Book Review | The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

25546710A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend. Hawthorn doesn’t mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie. In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie’s life. That includes taking her job… and her boyfriend. It’s a huge risk — but it’s just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world.  – blurb from GoodReads Continue reading

Book Review | Fates & Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini

fates-traitorsIn 1865, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln shocked America. It was an act committed by John Wilkes Booth, the son of an actor and a Covent Garden flower girl. In FATES AND TRAITORS Jennifer Chiaverini looks into the life of Booth through four woman: his mother, Mary Ann, his sister Asia, his lover Lucy and a co-conspirator, Mary Surratt. 

Well.

Let me say that I gave this book 4/5 overall. I actually really liked reading it. I didn’t know much about Booth before (actually, I didn’t even know his name. Sorry, American people, American history isn’t really taught over here. I obviously knew who Abraham Lincoln was, and about the Civil War, and the assassination, but not much else. It’s just not something we learn. Anyway), so this was a really interesting read.  Continue reading

Book Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

y648From Goodreads: Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything. But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.  The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.

The shadows love her. And they drink her fear. Continue reading