Book Review | Bookishly Ever After (Paper & Hearts Society #3) by Lucy Powrie

Ed is excited. He’s landed his dream job at Woolf and Wilde, the beautiful independent bookshop in town. On his first day, his colleague Hannah doesn’t hold back from telling him exactly how to do things. Although Ed is intimidated, he soon finds himself wanting to impress her… Then, Ed discovers his mum is dating for the first time since splitting up with his dad. It feels like a huge change, much too fast. But with the help of his friends, and embracing Hannah’s way of seeing the world… Can Ed let his guard down?

I finally got around to reading the final book in this glorious YA series, and I am so sad to let it go!

Continue reading “Book Review | Bookishly Ever After (Paper & Hearts Society #3) by Lucy Powrie”

Book Review | Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Trigger warnings: transphobia, cyberbullying

Transgender, gay teen Felix Love has never been in love, and he is aware of the irony. When someone begins posting his old, pre-transition pictures, and sending him transphobic messages on Instagram, Felix devises a plan of revenge. Along the way, he learns about one of the most important relationships in his life: the one with himself.

Felix Ever After is a YA book that should be on every library’s shelves. At the fundamental core of the novel, we have a teenager who is learning about themselves, and how to navigate the world around them.

Continue reading “Book Review | Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender”

A New Book Box! | Books By Nature February 2021 | Alternate Realities

Today I am super excited to be sharing with you an unboxing of a new UK book box called Books by Nature! I found this book box on Instagram and bought their first box which arrived in February.

This book box is bi-monthly, so releases every other month. At present, you have to buy each box individually, although I think I’ll want to get every release of this box so I hope a subscription will be added in the future!

Continue reading “A New Book Box! | Books By Nature February 2021 | Alternate Realities”

Week 24 in Books | 2020

I thought I’d start doing weekly “weeks in books” to showcase some of the novels I’ve bought and consumed every week! Im starting to read a lot more that I’m not at work everyday and my masters is over, and I wanted to share it with you! Every week I’ll discuss my haul, read books, and do a mini review for every book I’ve read.

Haul

  • The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi
  • Good Girls, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
  • The Weight of the Stars by K Ancrum

Read

  • The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Corbelo
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Total read this year: 70

Challenges completed: 0

Reviews

The Austen Girls

Rating: 3/5

This was a really cute read! It follows two cousins, related to author Jane Austen, and how they navigate growing up in the Georgian era.

Our main character is Fanny, and I really enjoyed her character growth from beginning to end. I wish there had been a bit more internal thoughts going on – we knew somewhat what she was thinking, but I just wanted to hear more from her!

The plot itself turned a bit crimey part way through, but it did end unsatisfactorily which is why I gave it 3 rather than 4/5. The resolution just didn’t feel like it had done the rest of the book justice. This felt the same for the rest of the novel: the romance just sort of tapered off at the end, for example. I know it’s a children’s book and therefore length has to be taken into account, but I would have rather have an extra 50 pages wrapping things up properly than this quick deviation to the end. The author’s note/epilogue was also needed to add to the reader’s feeling about the book, which I don’t always agree with as I think a piece of work should be able to stand alone.

Nevertheless, this was such a cutesy read and I will be looking for others by Lucy Worsley because I really enjoyed the experience!

The Alchemist

Rating: 2.5/5

I’ve heard the Alchemist be hailed as life changing and to be honest I was expecting something wonderful. Whilst it was a thought-provoking, interesting tale, life-changing is not what I got.

It tells the story of a shepherd called Santiago and how goes searching for his “personal legend”; his journey from Spain to Egypt and back, discovering things about “his soul” and talking to the wind and other rubbish. It’s not that this book was rubbish, but it delved quickly into magical realism.

I am confused on the message of this book. On the one hand it seemed to tell me that everything I’ve ever wanted is right under my feet. On the other hand, I got the idea that I had to go on a great adventure to discover what my heart truly desires.

The world presented in the Alchemist is a utopia, where, whilst there are thieves and wretched, everyone helps one another and goes out of their way to make the world a better place.

Overall, a fairly nice fable, for anyone who isn’t me.

The Raven Boys

Rating: 4/5

I thought I would hate this book. I’d seen it all about on tumblr and thought, arrogantly, “It’s one that’s too popular and I won’t like it.”

Well, turns out, as per usual, I was wrong. This book was funny and strange and magical and I loved it!

Admittedly it had a slow beginning, and those initial thoughts seemed to be confirmed, but once I got about 1/3 of the way in, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I really enjoyed the character development, the magic, and the plot itself.

I think that, because it’s a sequel, this book did feel incomplete. It’s so obviously set up for book 2 that I have this real sense of wanting more, which is both good and bad. Good, because it means I want to read on. Bad, because it means this book can not stand alone. Either way, I’m getting the next ones!

What did you read this week?

Book Review & Blog Avalanche | Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson

I was so excited to be contacted by the publisher of Lisa Williamson’s newest YA book to read and review a copy and join in with their Blog Avalanche to celebrate the release! 

This is the first Lisa Williamson book I’ve read, and I absolutely loved it. Without further ado, let’s get into the review… 

Continue reading “Book Review & Blog Avalanche | Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson”

Do I Have a Favourite Genre? | blogmas day 10

When people ask me what I like to read,  I normally just say “just about anything, throw it at me!” And that’s not a lie – I genuinely will try absolutely any genre, from young adult to romance to horror to Western to crime to memoir.

If you look through my book review directory, you will see an entire library’s worth of genres. Manga? I’ve got something. Cosy crime? Sure. Memoir? Funny, that. YA? Oh, absolutely. Classics? Got one (and more) for that, too

So… what actually is my favourite genre? 

Continue reading “Do I Have a Favourite Genre? | blogmas day 10”

Book Review | Save the Date by Morgan Matson

34839193For Charlie Grant, this weekend is way more than just her big sister’s wedding: it’s the first time in years that she and her siblings will be under the same roof. Desperate for one last, perfect weekend before their house is sold, Charlie focuses on trying to save every problem that goes wrong. A neighbour bent on sabotage, an alarm that won’t stop ringing, an unexpected dog turning up, the groom’s missing tuxedo… and that’s only the beginning. In one chaotic weekend, Charlie will learn more about her family than she thought, and realise that, sometimes, living in the past means missing out on the future. 

If I had to sum up this book in three words, it would be messy family fun. This book was just so enjoyable to read!

Watching everything go wrong in the wedding gave me a huge sense of Schedenfraude – it was both hideous and hilarious reading about everything going wrong all the time! I think that a wedding, where we all know that everything pulls together in the end, was the perfect set up for this huge, messy family.

Charlie is a teenager in her last summer before university – although she hasn’t exactly decided where she wants to go yet. I related so much when she said that she wasn’t really that bothered about university – don’t get me wrong, I love where I am now, but if you’d told 16 year old me how happy I’d be, I would’ve laughed. I feel like I relate to Charlie so much! I also loved how fiercely protective she was of her family, but the thing I liked most was that, even though the book only takes place over three days (plus an epilogue), she had so much character development.

The “romance” wasn’t really a romance, which I absolutely adored – normally in a book like this, the character would fall in love in a matter of days. But it was just so realistic! The guy was cute, and I think that Matson played it really well between the both of them.

I also loved how Matson had cameos from her other novels! I’ve only read The Unexpected Everything, and when one of the characters from there appeared in this book, I squealed a little! I LOVE books that exist in the same universe but are disconnected from one another, and it was so well done, so casual! If you me to go all literature degree reading on you, I would say how it shows that you are the protagonist in your own story, but only a background character in other people’s etc. etc., but let’s not get into that right now…!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Save the Date and would definitely recommend it. I loved the characters, the location, and the plot, and although it was fun and lighthearted it was also realistic and dealt with actual real-world issues. I would love to pick up more of Morgan Matson’s novels in the future!

Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads
Source: bought from Waterstones


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (film review)

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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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Book Review | Remix by Non Pratt

30369794Best friends Ruby and Kaz have been looking forward to Remix for months. Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life; Ruby is tired of hearing about it, and wants her friend back. Three days. Two friends. One festival. Zero chance of everything working out. 

I love being in the mood for contemporaries, and finding one that is just right for you. Because Remix was perfect for me, exactly when I wanted it.

First offs, I loved the characters. Ruby and Kaz had a dual narrative throughout the book, and I liked how it switched back and forth – sometimes, there was only one sentence of one of them before it went back to the other. It was so interesting reading about best friends who have started to keep secrets, because the reader has the knowledge behind both characters that they don’t have of each other. I’m not always a fan of dual narrative books, but this was done so well. Each character had their own distinctive voice, and it was just written stunningly.

The plot was also really interesting. Throwing the characters together in an enclosed space like a music festival is always a way to get good dynamics going between them, and Non used this to her advantage. The festival felt so real!

There was so much going on in this story, and quite often that can be overwhelming, but Pratt balances it really well. Each character had their own relationships and troubles going on, and I thought that they all got an equitable amount of screen time; there was never really a moment when I wanted us to stop focusing on one character and move onto another. In this way, it felt very much like real life, as there was so much going on but it wasn’t too much at all.

Three of my favourite characters were Lee, Owen, and Lauren, who were three side characters. Lee and Owen were in a relationship, which I thought was really interesting as Non wrote about the deterioration of the relationship, often not a plot that happens to secondary characters. And Lauren was a character I initially wanted to not like, because I am one who normally roots for the main character and she was a love rival for Kaz’s love interest. But, she was such a lovely, likeable character, and out of all of them probably the character I a) related to the most, and b) would most like to be friends with!

Non chose to write about female friendship rather than romantic relationships, and I really appreciated it. I am a person who values strong friendships, and I thought that the dissection of Ruby and Kaz’s friendship was a perfect focus point for this book. It was written really well, and is one that I think I’ll keep coming back to when I want to try and explain how much I love my friends!

One of the main reasons I didn’t give this book 5/5 is because there was a scene that I felt was very unbelievable. SPOILER PARAGRAPH Basically, Ruby sleeps with the main singer of her favourite band. As much as I liked this being a plot idea, and her realising the “you should never meet your idols” kinda thing, I just thought it was so unbelievable that to begin with I thought it wasn’t actually going to be the lead singer! I get why it was put in… but just too far-fetched for me. END SPOILER PARAGRAPH

There’s so much to talk about and unpick about this book that I might end up doing another review/blog post about it in the future, but it had everything I wanted: great, 3D characters, a great plot and setting, and a fantastic writing style. Non Pratt is an emerging writer, but definitely one to watch and I will be reading many more books of hers.

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads
Personal source: bought from YALC


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne 

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