Sunday, 16 October 2016



Should she live or die? You decide 

An adored celebrity has been killed. Sixteen-year-old Martha Honeydew was found holding a gun, standing over the body.
Now Justice must prevail.
The general public will decide whether Martha is innocent or guilty by viewing daily episodes of the hugely popular TV show Death is Justice, the only TV show that gives the power of life and death decisions - all for the price of a phone call.
Martha has admitted to the crime. But is she guilty? Or is reality sometimes more complicated than the images we are shown on TV?


Wow! What a brilliant book! This is the first of a series and it is well worth starting. 

I love the way this one has been written, with chapters written from multiple points of view from different characters. The only points I didn't like this so much was the chapters written as script for the tv show, however I think this is more a personal preference as it did work and I can see why the author wrote in this style. It takes a little getting used to but stick with it. 

Each character has more depth to them than you are expecting, the story line was a little predictable in places. You can easily work out where the main plot was taking you but there were a few nice curve balls in there as well.

Cell 7 is set in the UK, so many books that try to say something more about the world we live in do it by being set in the US or on in completely different world. I think UK readers are going to love the connections they can make.

I think if you loved books such as The Hunger Games then you are going to love this as well, I'd say I even enjoyed this more than The Hunger Games. It's about time we had something that has the potential to rival such a big series! 

Dramatic and tense. Love, love, love it!

Thursday, 4 August 2016


Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe 

An inspiring, uplifting and sympathetic story about sexuality and self-acceptance, Lucy Sutcliffe's debut memoir is a personal and moving coming out story. In 2010, at seventeen, Lucy Sutcliffe began an online friendship with Kaelyn, a young veterinary student from Michigan. Within months, they began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in the summer of 2011. Lucy's video montage of their first week spent together in Saint Kitts, which she posted to the couple's YouTube channel, was the first in a series of films documenting their long-distance relationship. Funny, tender and candid, the films attracted them a vast online following. Now, for the first time, Lucy's writing about the incredible personal journey she's been on; from never quite wanting the fairy-tale of Prince Charming to realising she was gay at the age of 14, through three years of self-denial to finally coming out to friends and family, to meeting her American girlfriend Kaelyn.


This book wasn't quite what I expected. I'd been eyeing it up for a while now simply because I'm drawn to all things LGBT+. I am so glad I did end up reading it. 

Please don't be put of by this being about the LGBT+ community, it is a perfect read for anyone who has ever had an opinion on the community. Part of it or not this is a beautiful insight into it. 

I'm not going to review this one in the same was I normally would, this is clearly a very personal story for the writer and no one should put down her experiences. However I feel this could help so many people out in the world so this is more of a this is out there post. 

This is a super quick read, I managed it in an evening after work. I couldn't put it down. Having no knowledge of the author (She's quite a big vlogger etc.) I just need to know if her life ended up being everything she wanted it to be. The world is such an awful place at the moment, this book really made me believe that things can be great. That we can love each other and there is hope for all of us.

Such a heart warming read!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads Week

It's time for Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and Bookish! I've not done one of these in a long time to lets get started! What are you're top beach reads this year?

I feel the beach is the best place to not be scared when reading a ghostly book. I've heard to many good things about this one that it's a must read for me this summer.

Summer is meant to be full of adventure this sure is the perfect book for anyone looking for one! Also it is beautiful!

Just too excited to read this I can't wait past the summer to read this book full of magic. 

Is this so many peoples favourite book, it's been sat waiting for me to read it since christmas. It's time to actually read it.

I discovered a lovely copy of this in a second hand book shop last week. Why haven't I heard of it before?! It sounds so good!

Summer is a time for love. Time to feel smushy on the inside.

I loved Lobsters so much! It was so light hearted. Beach reads are all about enjoying life, just like the characters in these books. 

I've not read these yet... so many books I haven't read and really should! Better use holiday beach time to catch up!

The last book from the late Pratchett with came out a few weeks go in paperback,  I feel this summer deserves a small nod to a writer that inspired so many. Time to finish the Tiffany Aching collection. 

This has always been my favourite of these classics however I have never actually read the book. Shame on me! I better put that right!

Friday, 13 May 2016



Father wants sixteen-year-old Castley and her five siblings to hide from the world. Father wants to bury their family's secrets where no one will ever find them.


Father says they are destined to be together for ever. In heaven. Father says the sooner they get there the better. But Castley wants to be normal. She wants to kiss boys and wear jean shorts.


Review: There are few good points that I can think of for In the Dark, In the Woods. The plot seemed to have so much potential which didn't go very far. It was also very easy to find many plot holes.


This was a quick one to read, which I am thankful for as I really didn't enjoy it. 

The main character was fine I liked her. However the adult characters in the book just made me so mad! The mother seemed to do nothing to help the poor children and get them away from such an awful father. I don't want to judge people in real life who find it hard to get away from these types of situations, however there wasn't enough depth given to her character that explained why she couldn't or wouldn't help.

The father is meant to be hated. That is fine, every story needs someone or something we hate.

The plot line where the neighbour turns out to be an uncle? Now that really did feel forced just to give the story a happy ending. I really felt this was going to go somewhere interesting. It didn't. We discover something quite major which was then dropped and not really mentioned again until the very end when the children went to live with him. It felt like the author just wanted a way to keep the children from being split up and put into care. I'm all for happy endings, just not when they are so clearly forced.

Are you really telling me that the whole family managed to get as far as they did without any adult thinking something odd was going on?  Scary things can and do happen in real life like this, but with the children being known around the town, going to school and an uncle knowing all about the family, could it have been that easy to do?

I was so disappointed with this read. It started with so much potential.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Synopsis: Sam and Hannah only have the holidays to find 'The One'. Their lobster. But instead of being epic, their summer is looking awkward. They must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins for ever to find happiness. But fate is at work to bring them together. And in the end, it all boils down to love.

Review: Ugh! Being a teenager was so much hard work! Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison capture this perfectly. Lobsters feels like it was written by teens, how did you remember how awkward and embarrassing it can be so perfectly?!

After reading a couple of books that made me ball my eyes out, Kendra Leighton suggested that I gave this one ago as it wasn't so heavy going. Thanks for the suggestion, it was certainly a good read! 

Although Lobsters manages to take you back to all the awful parts of being a teen it also makes you laugh along with some brilliantly funny moments. A real pick me up after a long day. 

From page one you find yourself wanting to shout at the book because you want Sam and Hannah to stop being so stupid and just get together already! The thing is though, everything the characters think and feel are thoughts that most teenagers will have.

A great read for teens and adults alike. There are moments that will have you squirming in your seat and seconds later have you crying with laughter. 

I just need to know what happens next! Tell me everything works out great for Sam and Hannah, please?! 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


Synopsis: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in thrilling reading experience. 

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. 

As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive.

Review: Read the book before the film adaptation comes out. 

This is yet again another lovely book to look at. The use of unusual vintage photos to create a plot is a brilliant creative idea. Some of the photos were a little bit creepy.

At the start of this book I was expecting it to be scarier that it turned out to be, which I am glad about but a little bit sad about all at the same time. Sometimes it's nice to be a little scared. All those fellow wimps out there will find this a safe read before bed!

I love the first half of this book, it set up the idea that the children under Miss Peregrines care could be dangerous. I was sadly disappointed that it turned out they we're just children with odd skills or talents. It felt a little bit like the idea behind the X-men. Having said that I did enjoy this read.

There are a another two books on this series. Reading the second would mainly be to find out what happens next, rather than because I have a love for the books. Maybe I'll be wrong and it'll turn out to be the best book I've ever read.

It'll be interesting to see what Tim Burton has done with this book in the film.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016



The witch hunter
Elizabeth Grey may look harmless, but don't let that fool you. She can take out five necromancers with a single sword and slay a wizard at fifty paces.

Accused of witchcraft
But when she's found carrying witch's herbs, she's thrown into jail with no chance of escape. Only magic which she's fought against all her life, can save her...

Rescued by the enemy
Now, with Elizabeth's chances of survival in the very hands of those she has been trained to fight, she faces an impossible choice:

Magic or Murder?

Review: I genuinely can't remember the last time I loved a book so much I want to read the next one straight away. It was probably the first book I loved all those year ago when I was 13 that got me interested in books. Thanks to Virginia Boecker I now have a new love. 

I'm really glad to see a book about magic in the 16th century doing so well, as at the moment the thing seems to be dystopian worlds. Which I love but magical books have always been more me. 

The Witch Hunter has a classic plot, maybe Elizabeth has been fighting on the side of the wrong people her whole life. I really enjoyed watching the character realise and understand the people she's being fighting against. She even grows to love them. The story's a lovely moral (even though it's not designed to) of there being two sides to every story, and you should really get all the facts before taking a side.

The only problem I found with the book is that toward the end I found it a little bit hard to follow and had to read it twice. That might have been because I was reading it on the bus home from work though! I'm not going to go into to much detail about it because I don't want to spoil the ending for you.

I was delighted to find out that the second novel The King Slayer comes out June 2016! Safe to say that's on pre-order! 

Friday, 15 April 2016


From an original idea by Siobhan Dowd

Illustration by Jim Kay

Synopsis: The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth

Review:  Read before the film comes out! This is simply one of the best books I have read in a long time, I have nothing but praise for it. It is however one of the saddest I have read. If you plan on reading this make sure you have a few boxes of tissues with you!


Although I love this book so very much, it does deal with what it is like to watch someone battle cancer. If this is a subject close to you it might be best to give this one a miss. To make this story even sadder Siobhan Dowd who had the original idea for this book died of cancer herself. Aged just 47. A Monster Calls is a perfect tribute to Siobhan Dowds. Her work lives on.

I really enjoyed the Monster character. It's very much a love/hate feeling towards him. His relationship with Coner is so perfectly written by Patrick Ness/Siobhan Dowds, you can't help but read on to find out where their story will take you. I can't wait to see how they portray the Monster in the up coming film.

Jim Kay (who many people will know from his work on the illustrated Harry Potterwas involved with this book. He is clearly a very talented man! Making this another beautiful read.

Having nothing but love this A Monster Calls of course I'm going to tell you to go and read it. Just don't read it in the staff room like I almost did! You'll need a box of tissues and a cuddly cat to cheer you up afterwards.

Thursday, 31 March 2016


So after month of thinking about signing up for a book subscription box I finally found one that didn't cost all the money in the world. Prudence and the Crow  is a lovely vintage book box. oh my! Am I glad I finally took the plunge! I love this so much because everyone who signs up gets something a little bit different. It's also prefect for anyone that want to read something different. You might just be surprised at what you end up falling in love with!

What my box contained: 
Two tea bags
A glow in the dark star
Book Plate
Two Fruit-tella sweets
A postcard drawing 
Prudence and The Crow pencil
A library card with the date the book was dispatched, each one is stamped with a new number depending how many books you have had from them. (Eg mine was stamped No.1 as it was my first.)
A hand made book slip to protect your book.

The lovely people at Prudence and the Crow ask you to fill out a questionnaire when you first sign up so they can match you to a book they think you will love. You also get a few little things along with your book, the amount of love and care that Prudence and the Crow have for this box is clear. If you haven't already, go and check them out!

My book this month was one I wouldn't normally go for and one I have never heard of The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. 

Synopsis: According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

Book Review: I really looked forward to being able to pick The Outsiders up each time. I also love that this book came before YA fiction became something with a name and as much right to the world as adult and children's fiction. 

It makes me think of a cross between Grease and West Side Story, but with less about teenagers falling in love. It was so refreshing not to have to read about love sick teenagers for once! 

The main character Poneyboy is brilliant character, you can't help but want everything to work out right for him and his brothers. This is a classic coming of age story.

Admittedly I was a little bit worried that there would be too much violence for my cup of tea.It turned out to be a wonderful book about making the most of what you have even when the going gets tough.

I can't believe this book slipped under my radar and I'd never heard of it. It's time to go back and visit some of these gems from the past.

I can't wait for my next surprise read from Prudence and the Cow.

Thursday, 3 March 2016


Synopsis: Lose yourself in incredible tales of bravery, brilliance, battles and banquets. There are fearsome tigers, greedy elephants, mighty gods and goddesses, and even a dancing goat. beautifully illustrated with exquisite detail, this wonderful collection captures the magic of India.

Review: Yet another lovely book to look at and yet again I am falling in love with India. As children we all read/listen to those stories with a moral. This book contains beautiful moral stories which include well known gods and goddesses. Making you feel just little a child all over again. 

Each story is nice and short, perfect for bed time reading... or in my case reading in my lunch break at work!

My favourite short story included is Tigers and Cats. Any cat lover will enjoy this one as it explains how we ended up with the domestic cat. Who (as many of us will know) think they are mini tigers!

Every story has a lesson to teach. No matter how young or old you are, it is never too late to learn something new. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the good in the world as we get caught up in our own day to day life's. 

This book is a wonderful way to introduce children to a new culture and new ideas. It's also perfect for adults that have fallen head over heels in love with India. 


Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Darkus Cuttle’s search for his kidnapped father leads him to discover a mountain of extraordinary beetles, and pits him against the mad-scientist of the fashion world, Lucretia Cutter, an haute couture villainess with an alarming interest in insects. 

Review: Can we all just take a moment to enjoy the page edges? Look at those beetles! The world can never have too many beautiful books!

While Beetle Boy is aimed at younger children and not for people in their 20's I can't help but loving this one. After reading the synopsis I really don't think it would have been one that I would normally go for, but when working in a bookshop you have a range of wonderful staff that are constantly telling you about their amazing reads. This is one of the staffs favourites at the moment. I just had to find out what all the fuss was about. Now I know!

Drarkus is a wonderful character with a brilliant plot. The story reminds me of 101 Dalmatians with a Cruella De Vil type character which gets the reader screaming at the book in anger (and a little bit of fear). Lucretia Cutter is the scariest children's Villain I've come across in a long time.

The writing style reminds me a bit of David Walliams. Lovers of his work will enjoy this one just as much. 

This would be the perfect book for children learning about beetles as Beetle Boy teaches without you know you're being taught.

Saturday, 20 February 2016


Synopsis: It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

Review: I first read this book about 7 years ago when I was 16ish. I remember I didn't think much of it them, but everyone deserves a second chance.

Sadly I didn't perticulary enjoy A great and Terrible Beauty the second time round either. I seem to say this quite bit with my reviews, (maybe I just really like fast paced books) it took so long to get going! It wasn't until about the last 50 pages that I started to enjoy it. Which normally isn't too bad but this was a 400 page book. The setting up of action just took a little bit too long.

Having said that I didn't like the characters that much either. I found the four main girls far too stuck up and bitchy. That could be why I don't rate the book every much, I know so many girls that that in real life. I don't want to read about them in my world of books as well!

This book had real potential with the plot and had some really nice ideas that I did love. As a believer in not giving up I think I'll read the second in the series just to just if it is any better. Now that the action is all set up and ready to get moving it might be a faster paced. 

Saturday, 9 January 2016


Synopsis: On the day that he retires Inspector Ashwin Chopra inherits not one but two unexpected mysteries. The first is the case of a drowned boy, whose suspicious death no one seems to want solved. And the second is a baby elephant. As his search for clues takes him across the teeming city of Mumbai, from its grand high rises to its sprawling slums and deep into its murky underworld, Chopra begins to suspect that there may be a great deal more to both his last case and his mysterious new ward than he has at first thought. For when the going gets rough, a determined elephant may be exactly what an honest man needs . . .

Review: I wasn't sure at first about reading this book because I heard it was similar to The No.1 ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith which wasn't my favourite book, but I am now glad I read it anyway.

I really enjoy the fact this was set in Mumbai and loved the fact that it featured my favourite animal, an elephant. How can you not fall in love with a baby elephant who saves the day? He really is the unlikely hero.

Unlike the The No.1 ladies Detective Agency, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra has a few running main story lines. I feel you can really get into the characters and mystery involved. 

The only fault I can find with this book is that every now and again the book would reference something Indian I have no idea about. I would have to look a couple of things up to understand. Luckily this didn't happen too often and it didn't effect the over all plot.

I loved the ending of this book. It really got to grips with some of the nice parts of India. Far to often we see plots that portray a negative image of a beautiful country. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra restores your faith in good coming out on top.

 The very end of this book contains a preview of the next one which will be out in May 2016. Better put that one on the calendar! 

Such a good read for anyone who loves crime, India or elephants.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling. Illustrated by Jim Kay

Synopsis: Prepare to be spellbound by Jim Kay's dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters in this full-colour illustrated hardback edition of the nation's favourite children's book – Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Brimming with rich detail and humour that perfectly complements J.K. Rowling's timeless classic, Jim Kay's glorious illustrations will captivate fans and new readers alike. 

When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he's the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord's curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers, which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Review: I have truly fallen in love with this book! I have only read (or rather my mum read to me) the first three Harry Potter books, but that was so long along when I was really young. It's about time to read the books properly and what better way to do it than with this beautiful illustrated version?

Jim Kay really did the magic of the story justice. I loved how he managed to make his own mark on how he pictured the characters. For anyone who has seen the films there is all ways the risk that reader will want the images to match the picture they have of characters from. This book manages to bring the characters to life without just sticking to these, you can really love each character again.

I really hope that they bring out the rest of series in this edition. If you have read Harry Potter before I would suggest reading this one as it brings the magic alive all over again. For those who haven't then you are in for a treat! Potter heads are going to love this.