Book Review ~ ‘The List’ by Patricia Forde.

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The List by Patricia Forde.
Genres: Middle-Grade, Fantasy/Sci-Fi.
Release Date: 1st August 2017.

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SYNOPSIS

Fahrenheit 451 meets The Giver for tweens in this gripping story about the power of words and the dangers of censorship.

In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.

On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.

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Book Review ~ ‘The List’ by Patricia Forde ~ 4 Stars!

A heartfelt and inspiring tale set in a scarily recognisable near future, The List is a wonderful middle-grade tale of the power of words.

Cleverly twining etymology into her dystopian world, Patricia Forde allows us to see the strain that comes within a society where words are controlled by the regime. As a lover of words, and fiction, it was uncomfortable in such a brilliant way to see Letta and her fellow companions in Ark speak only List approved words. It was so intriguing to see how when you get rid of one word, how easy it is to then follow suit with others.

I adored Letta’s character and her love for words leapt from the page. In her battle to find out what happened to her long-lost family and her master, the Wordsmith Benjamin, you will root for her as she forges unexpected alliances and battles for the rights of words.

A really powerful book aimed at a middle-grade audience, this will make the reader think. There is also some set-up for future books in this world, which will give the reader a bit more closure, as I feel the end to this book was quite rushed. Nevertheless, I definitely recommend to readers aged 9-12, who want something that will challenge their thoughts and beliefs.

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


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Patricia Forde

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Book Review ~ ‘Ever the Hunted’ by Erin Summerill.

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Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
(Clash of Kingdoms #1)
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: 27th December 2016.

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SYNOPSIS

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, a legendary bounty hunter—that is, until her father is murdered. The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart.

She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a force to be reckoned with.

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Book Review ~ ‘Ever the Hunted’ by Erin Summerill ~ 4 Stars!

An exciting and engaging debut from author Erin Summerill, Ever the Hunted highlights this author’s talent for storytelling and world-building, and starts us on a journey that will take you across kingdoms in the fight for truth.

Ever the Hunted introduces us to Britt, a young girl left to fend for herself after her father’s murder months earlier. Britt is a strong character and I loved seeing her develop throughout the novel, especially as she becomes softer in heart, yet harder in mind. Her prior relationship with her father’s accused murderer added an exciting element to the story, and I loved seeing how she had to question what the evidence suggested, and with what her heart was telling her.

There is some gorgeous world-building in this novel, and I loved the story behind the clashes of the two kingdom’s (something I’d like to see further explored in future books in the series).

Overall this was a superbly written adventure through foreign lands in search of the truth, and I am excited to see where the series will take us next.

4 Stars!

*Review copy was kindly provided by the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*


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Erin Summerill

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Blog Tour + Review ~ ‘Freeks’ by Amanda Hocking.

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Freeks by Amanda Hocking
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Romance
US Release Date: 3rd January 2017
UK Release Date: 2nd February 2017

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SYNOPSIS

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodes are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

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Book Review ~ ‘Freek’s by Amanda Hocking ~ 4 Stars!

What an exciting, intriguing and spine-tingling novel! A travelling Carnival with paranormally talented members and acts? Count me in immediately!

We follow Mara, a young girl who has grown up as a member of Gideon’s sideshow, as she is pulled in different directions as she enters her final years as a teen. Desperate for an occasional escape from the sideshow, where the locals don’t view her as a freek, and she can be her own person, without the pressures of having to look after her clairvoyant mother and the sideshow family, she meets Gabe at a party, and suddenly she realises all that she has been missing out on. But even as their relationship deepens, darker forces attacking the sideshow mean that they aren’t safe, and no local person can be trusted.

I adored the carnival feel to the book, and loved getting to know the characters, the animals and seeing the feats of supernatural talent that the sideshow members could perform. Although I loved Gabe and Mara’s growing relationship, and their sweet scenes together, it was the times I spent with the sideshow cast and crew that I loved the most. I really connected to their world, their views of each other as family, and you could really get that sense of the members ‘Running off to join the circus’! I would have loved to have seen more of their acts, to experience more of the magic which we saw second-hand through Mara.

I loved how dark this story got. As a dark force hunts down the members of the Sideshow, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. What I really admired was how Mara wasn’t the girl to always save the day, but was hunted along with the others, and her powers are only discovered towards the end of the story, and not at the beginning like many ‘Chosen One’ stories.

An exciting story which packs a punch, Freeks is a definite must-read for fans of mystery, magic and family!

4 Stars!


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Amanda Hocking

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Book Review ~ ‘Stealing Snow’ by Danielle Paige.

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Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
Stealing Snow #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling,
Release Date: September 20th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn’t belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a door – and Snow knows that she has to leave.

She finds herself in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change everything. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate.

A wonderfully icy fantastical romance, with a strong heroine choosing her own destiny, Danielle Paige’s irresistibly page-turning Snow Queen is like Maleficent and Frozen all grown up.

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Book Review ~ ‘Stealing Snow’ by Danielle Paige ~ 4 Stars!

Stealing Snow was an exciting and engaging first installment to Danielle Paige’s new series, which showcases her ever-growing literary talent. In a very different world to Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series, Stealing Snow takes us on a very different adventure which sees the Snow Queen retold as never before.

My favourite part of this novel, strangely, was the opening chapters. The atmosphere that Paige created throughout the scenes in the Institution were brilliantly claustrophobic, haunting and nail-biting. I really got to know and root for Snow early on, even though we didn’t know who she exactly she was. Her lack of knowledge of the real world made her escape that much more exciting and frightening.

The world of Algid was brilliantly built, and I loved entering this magical world, where not everything is as it seems, and where the Snow King’s power is held over everybodys heads. Seeing Snow struggle to accept the new knowlegdge of her birth right, and the part she must play in fulfilling her destiny, was pitched perfectly, and I loved how she was unwilling to be a hero, and only wanted to save the boy she loves.

My favourite character was Kai. I LOVED LOVED LOVED him. I cannot wait to see more of him in the rest of the series, and hopefully he and Snow can be reunited.

My only issue was the love-square. Three love interests in the space of 375 pages was too much. Particularly for a girl who has spent her life in an asylum. I felt it was unnecessary to make Jagger a love interest, as their relationship would have been stronger, and more rounded without a romantic interest. I felt she needed an older-brother style protector in Jagger, and would have benefited better from that, and hurt more from his subsequent betrayal.

Nevertheless, bring on Book 2, I say!

4 Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


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Book Review ~ ‘You’re the One That I Want’ by Angela Britnell.

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You’re the One That I Want by Angela Britnell
(Nashville Connections #4)
Genres: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: 17th September 2016.
Publisher: Choc Lit

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SYNOPSIS

What if you didn’t want to fake it any more?
When Sarah, a teacher from Cornwall, and Matt, a businessman from Nashville, meet on a European coach tour, they soon find themselves in a relationship …

Except it’s a fake relationship. Because Matt is too busy for romance, and Sarah is only trying to make her cheating ex-husband jealous … isn’t she?

As Matt and Sarah complete their tour of Europe, they do all the things real couples are supposed to do – from visiting fairy-tale castles in Germany to recreating the scene from Romeo and Juliet in Verona. And, of course, for every picturesque destination there’s a loved-up selfie and Facebook post to match.

But as their holiday comes to an end, Sarah and Matt realise that they’re not happy with their pretend relationship. They want the real thing.

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Book Review ~ ‘You’re the One That I Want’ by Angela Britnell ~ 4 Stars!

A gorgeous little story, perfect for a cozy evening in, You’re the One That I Want is a lovely addition to the Nashville Connections series that will leave you with that feel-good vibe.

A shorter read, but no less impactful than a full-length novel, Angela Britnell creates a beautiful relationship between Matt and Sarah as they find themselves on the same coach trip on a tour around Europe with their mothers. The only two people under the age of 50, Matt and Sarah quickly get to know each other, but it’s safe to say that neither give the best first impression.

Britnell timed this story to perfection. Despite the short length, I believed the pace of the book, and could feel the claustrophobia that was getting to Matt from the hours on a coach away from his work, and how him and Sarah connected over the little snippets of information they gained of the other in the hours they had to spend together. Sarah’s annoyance at Matt’s attitude greatly echoed the annoyance she felt at herself for how childishly she was using Matt to make her ex-husband jealous.

You’ll love Matt and Sarah from the get-go, and will root for them to make it, through meddling mothers, nosy tour-guides and a distance of Cornwall to Nashville.

The only thing I hoped for was a little more closure. I had that moment of turning the last page, thinking another chapter could have seen Matt and Sarah talk through the problems of long-distance relationships and discuss a final solution to give the characters and readers some closure. Fingers crossed we’ll see a snippet of these great characters in future Nashville Connections stories to see how they fare!

4 Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


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Angela Britnell

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Book Review ~ ‘House of Secrets’ by Lynda Stacey.

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House of Secrets by Lynda Stacey
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Choc Lit
Release Date: 19th July 2016.

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SYNOPSIS

A woman on the run, a broken man and a house with a shocking secret …

Madeleine Frost has to get away. Her partner Liam has become increasingly controlling to the point that Maddie fears for her safety, and that of her young daughter Poppy.

Desperation leads Maddie to the hotel owned by her estranged father – the extraordinarily beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire. There, she meets Christopher ‘Bandit’ Lawless, an ex-marine and the gamekeeper of the hall, whose brusque manner conceals a painful past.

After discovering a diary belonging to a previous owner, Maddie and Bandit find themselves immersed in the history of the old house, uncovering its secrets, scandals, tragedies – and, all the while, becoming closer.

But Liam still won’t let go, he wants Maddie back, and when Liam wants something he gets it, no matter who he hurts …

Winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks 2015 Search for a Star competition.

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Book Review ~ ‘House of Secrets’ by Lynda Stacey ~ 4 Stars!

A beautiful tale of love and survival, ‘House of Secrets’ really strikes at the heart and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat one moment, and tearing up the next.

 Maddie’s story is heartbreaking, and sadly all to recognisable in today’s society. In an emotionally abusive relationship, whilst desperately trying to keep her family life together for the sake of her young daughter, when push-comes-to-shove she takes the chance and seeks out her long-absent father for a home and protection.

I adored Maddie’s character. Her inner strength was inspiring, and to see how much she had been manipulated through her life, yet how strong she remained for her daughter really made me respect her, and long to finish her story alongside her. Her relationship with Bandit was perfectly depicted and I loved the slow-burn, but also respectful nature of their friendship that turned to romance, a huge departure from her relationship with Liam.

With some fantastic secondary characters, like Maddie’s sister and daughter, the brilliant staff at the Hall who all rally alongside each other, this was at times funny, sad and scary. A great mix in my opinion.

However, I did feel that there was too many storylines going on at times. I adored each separate storyline; Maddie’s escape to her father’s hotel; Liam’s continued psychotic spiral; the tale from the past of a love pulled apart by war and station, but in some ways I felt that I didn’t need the World War tale in the background, as it didn’t add much to Maddie’s story.

Nevertheless, I thorougly enjoyed this story, and will be eagerly awaiting the next book from Lynda Stacey!

4 Stars!


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Book Review ~ ‘Hawaiian Heartbreak’ by Libby Cole.

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Hawaiian Heartbreak by Libby Cole.
Hawaiian Heartbreak #1
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: 29th August 2015.

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SYNOPSIS

What do you do when you meet someone who could be the love of your life, but to be together, one of you will have to give up everything?

Kayla had her life all mapped out, before her ex-boyfriend tipped her world upside down by cheating on her. But she’s had her time licking her wounds. Now she’s ready to take time out for herself on a dream vacation in Hawaii. If that won’t pull the shattered pieces of her heart back together, nothing will.

What she hadn’t planned on was falling for someone new. Especially someone tall, tanned, and distractingly sexy. What starts out as a fun holiday fling quickly turns into a full-blown love affair, with neither wanting to face up to the fact that the clock is ticking until Kayla has to return home.

The first book of three in the Hawaiian Heartbreak trilogy. This book is recommended for readers over the age of 18 due to explicit sexual content.

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Book Review ~ ‘Hawaiian Heartbreak’ by Libby Cole ~ 4 Stars!

I loved this first instalment of the Hawaiian Heartbreak Trilogy. Fun, flirty and fiery, it fits the bill for the perfect afternoon read.

Libby Cole did a brilliant job at setting the scene for this story. I’ve never been to Hawaii myself, but reading Kayla’s story, I felt like I was there, experiencing all the new things she was seeing, and falling in lust with the sexy tour guide like she was. I loved the scenes when she was exploring the island with Jay, as we see some serious issues being discussed, such as the water life, and the damage done by tourists in the past. Kayla was so eager and enthusiastic about learning new things that I just connected with her straight away. She was a smart girl, eager to learn new things but just didn’t have the chances in life to show her full potential. Her and Jay set the pages on fire, and it wasn’t just their insanely hot chemistry, but also their witty banter, and their obvious connection with each other, both emotionally and in their intelligence.

This is more than just a fun short story, it packs the emotional punch as well, and the ending will have you begging for the next instalment. I really admired how the story unfolded, and it has me desperate to know what happens to Kayla and Jay next.

I also have questions, I’m excited to see answered. What is the painful past that Jay has been keeping hidden? How do Jay and Adam know each other? All things I’m looking forward to in the next books.

Just a small thing, but I’d also like to see Kayla interact with some other characters. Other than the brief interaction with Adam, I feel like Kayla has only seen Jay. I’d love to see her get to know some other locals, or meet a newly married couple, or make friends with some other young tourists.

Gorgeously written, this is a wonderful read! Looking forward to Book 2!

4 ‘Fiery’ Stars!


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