Posted in 2015

Book Review – Brooklyn Girls: Coco

📚 Brooklyn Girls: Coco by Gemma Burgess.

⚪️ Source: review copy courtesy of Quercus – thanks guys!

  

 ⚪️ Blurb: Sweet, innocent Coco has always been the good one. But when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her, she decides it’s time to break bad.Coco swiftly goes from spending all her time baking and reading to working nights in (and dancing on) a bar, falling in and out of love (and lust), stealing education – and along the way discovers that she is stronger than she ever knew… In a time when her best friends are suddenly plunged into break ups, break-downs, big breaks, and on the verging of quitting New York City altogether, it’s up to Coco to keep them together and find herself along the way.Gemma Burgess’ “The Wild One: A Brooklyn Girls Novel” is the inspiring story about the turmoil, uncertainty, and heartache that every twenty something faces and survives – with the help of her friends.

⚪️ Review: If you’re like me and possibly every other book geek in the world, when you read you make deep connections with the characters within the pages. You find bits of yourself in them and find situations and troubles and happiness that are meaningful to you and can actually help you out. The Brooklyn Girls series so far has been exactly that. Friendship, loyalty, and somewhere you can turn if you need cheering up or to laugh. So as you can imagine when I got my hands on an e-proof of book #3, Coco or if your international then, The Wild One, I was seriously delighted.

Told by the baby of the group, twenty-one year old Coco Russotti, a preschool assistant and total goody two shoes with a serious self-esteem issue, we are taken on a deep and enlightening journey of self discovery.

I loved being back in Brooklyn with the girls. Catching up and finding out the gossip. Being with Coco was so refreshing and so different from the other two books. To finally be able to get underneath Coco’s shy and timid demeanour to find out what was going on in her mind, was so good. She is a fantastic heroine even if she is a bit of a Debbie downer like, but you’ll let that slip like I did because she’s seriously strong and fantastic.

The plot is Burgess brilliance. It’s diverse and controversial and deep and hard and lovely and sexy and intense and dramatic and clever and has a serious hot Irish man in it for you to fall in love with.

Can you tell I liked it? 

Gemma Burgess you are a legend. Bring on book #4

5/5

⚪️ Link to buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00TOOS2WQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr=

⚪️ About the author: Gemma is the internationally-acclaimed author of Love and Chaos, The Wild One, Brooklyn Girls, A Girl Like You and The Dating Detox. Her books have been translated into seven languages and published in over 20 countries.

She is currently writing the movie Undergrads for New Regency Studios with Locomotive Films, and recently rewrote the movie Lovestruck for Maven Pictures and Pretty Matches HBO.

She lives in New York City and grew up everywhere else, mostly Hong Kong, Australia and London

You can get in touch with Gemma on social media and through her website. 

Website: http://www.gemmaburgess.com/index.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GKateB

Instagram: https://instagram.com/gemmakburgess/

Posted in 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Burn Girl

📚 Burn Girl by Mandy Mikulencak.

⚪️ Source: review copy courtesy of Albert Whitman & Company – thanks!

  

⚪️ Blurb: Arlie’s face was disfigured by burns when her stepfather’s meth lab exploded. After that, Arlie discovered the street smarts and survival skills she needed to shelter her addict mother, since the law and Lloyd, her deranged stepfather, are both looking for them. People died in the explosion and everyone wants answers. But Arlie’s carefully constructed world is ripped apart when her mother commits suicide shortly after Arlie’s sixteenth birthday. Now she can no longer remain hidden. Social Services steps in and before Arlie can make sense of anything, she is following the rules, going to school, and living in a thirty-one-foot Airstream trailer with an eccentric uncle she didn’t even know she had. Then she meets a boy who doesn’t care about her scars or her past. Just when she begins to think a normal life might be possible, Lloyd shows up. He’s looking for the drug money he insists Arlie’s mother stole. Will Arlie be able to shield her uncle and her boyfriend from Lloyd? Did Lloyd somehow play a role in her mother’s death? And can she get rid of him once and for all before her world blows apart again?

⚪️ Review: Sometimes books are hard to read because they are so heartbreaking. They take you to places and into situations that you never ever thought would be possible. They open up your eyes, your heart, your mind, your spirit, they lock you into the pages with the pulling of your emotions, and when you finish they stay with you in your heart. Burn Girl with its constant struggle, heartache, danger and utter fabulousness is one of those books.

With fast, sharp and empathetic writing. An intense plot so deep, and horrifying. And, a heroine at only sixteen years old who is stronger than you could ever be, Burn Girl is certainly something so very, very special. I fell headfirst into destruction and a life that was so hard and with so little, but I was soothed by friendship, truth, love and the courage of one very special girl.

Fantastic read!

5/5

⚪️ Link to buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Burn-Girl-Mandy-Mikulencak-ebook/dp/B012UYCU60

⚪️ Book Details:

Publsher: AW Teens

Publication date: 01/09/2015

Genre: YA

Book length: 288 pages

Format: print/digital 

ISBN-10: 0807522171

ISBN-13: 978-0807522172

⚪️ Author Details: Mandy Mikulencak has been a writer her entire working life. First, as a journalist then as an editor and PR specialist for two national nonprofits and a United Nations agency. Today she lives in the mountains of Southwest Colorado with her husband, Andy. She writes YA and adult fiction.

Posted in 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Monsters

📚 Monsters by Emerald Fennell.

⚪️Source: review copy courtesy of Hot Key – thanks guys!

  

⚪️ Blurb: A blackly comic tale about two children you would never want to meet. 

Set in the Cornish town of Fowey, all is not as idyllic as the beautiful seaside town might seem. The body of a young woman is discovered in the nets of a fishing boat. It is established that the woman was murdered. Most are shocked and horrified. But there is somebody who is not – a twelve-year-old girl. She is delighted; she loves murders. Soon she is questioning the inhabitants of the town in her own personal investigation. But it is a bit boring on her own. Then Miles Giffard, a similarly odd twelve-year-old boy, arrives in Fowey with his mother, and they start investigating together. Oh, and also playing games that re-enact the murders. Just for fun, you understand… 

A book about two twelve-year-olds that is definitely not for kids.

⚪️ Review: Oh please tell me this is part of a series? Seriously, I won’t be able to cope not knowing what will happen next summer.

This is a fantastic read. It’s gruesome, and dangerous, and dark. I’ve never met characters as evil as some in this either. The plot is gold. We are taken on a mysterious journey with twelve year old ??, yes ?? We know she’s female but we never get told her name. Personally I think it adds more mystery) Anyway, as her and her new friend Miles who both love murder stories become fascinated with the murders that have happened in the town they are holidaying in. Both sociopaths and to be honest a bit damaged from certain circumstances that have arisen in their home lives. Because of this you find yourself sympathising with ?? and being dragged under with her.

I have to say that the ending is dynamite and as you can tell from my first sentence, I need and want more. As a children’s book I found it exciting, broody, surprising and extremely intense. For me to feel like that I can only guess at how much that will grow for a child reading it.

Murders + ?? + monsters + the seaside town of Fowley= a holiday in hell.

Awesome

5/5

⚪️ Link to buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00XTB0JQ2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr=

⚪️ Book Details:

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Publication date: 03/09/2015

Book length: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1471404625

ISBN-13: 978-1471404627

⚪️ Author Details: Emerald Fennell is a writer and actress, she studied English at Oxford University and lives in London. Emerald’s debut children’s novel SHIVERTON HALL (Bloomsbury 2013) was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2014 and was followed by its sequel, THE CREEPER. She is also known for her roles in Any Human Heart (2010), Anna Karenina (2012) and Call the Midwife (2014). Follow Emerald on Twitter: @emeraldfennell 

Posted in 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Misadventures of a Playground Mother 

📚The Misadventures of a Playground Mother by Christie Barlow.

⚪️Source: review copy courtesy of Bookouture via NetGalley.

  

⚪️Blurb: New term. New dramas. New friendships. And that’s just the parents…

After a year of country living, Rachel Young is finally getting into the swing of things. Her four kids are happy and content at the village school, and she’s managed to navigate the choppy (shark-infested) waters of the playground mafia. 

Or… so she thought. 

When playground mum Penelope Kensington moves herself and her kids into Rachel’s home, after discovering husband Rupert has been having an affair, Rachel knows she must ask them politely to leave. The problem is, Penelope never takes no for an answer. 

As Rachel tries to deal with Penelope, she also meets new school mum Melanie. Melanie is a breath of fresh air, but her arrival sends ripples of gossip through the playground. Melanie has a few secrets in her closet, and it seems she’s not the only one… 

⚪️Review: There are times in our lives that we just need good old fashioned fun. Something to take our minds of our own worries and to just relax and try to de-dress. The Misadventures of a Playground Mother is the perfect read for when you are in need of that good old fashioned reading fun. It’s fast, it’s sharp, it’s rich in sarcasm, it’s incredibly funny, but most of all it’s totally honest, and that is what makes it great.

We follow thirty-five year old mum of four Rachel Young as she marches on throughout what can only be described as one chaotic and turbulent year. A sarcastic and a wear your heart on your sleeve kind of girl, Rachel has you warming to her straight away. As she starts to make new friends and battles the playground mafia, you are there by her side. She is a fantastic heroine.

I can’t really say that there was an actual plot here though because to me it just didn’t have one. Three quarters of the way through even though I was enjoying it I did start thinking surely there must be a point to all this, but nope it’s basically just an insight into a mother’s life. Regardless of that though it just works.
The only criticism I have is that I found from around 80% into the read it started to drag and the ending was not something that thriller me in the slightest.

With one liner’s like ‘Your eyes are like spanners, every time you look at me my nuts go tighter and tighter.’ Plus, sex addictions, hairy muffs, speed dating, birthday sex, mammograms and prostitutes You can only imagine what fun you’re gonna have with this one.

3.5/5

⚪️Link to buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B01302UGUI?ie=UTF8&redirectFromSS=1&pc_redir=T1&noEncodingTag=1&fp=1

⚪️Book details: 

Publisher: Bookouture 

Publication Date: 11/09/2015

Print Length: 284 pages

E-Book Size: 1549 KB

ASIN: B01302UGUI


Posted in 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Sophie Someone

📚Sophie Someone by Hayley Long.

⚪️Source: review copy courtesy of Hot Key Books – Thank you!

  

⚪️Blurb: ‘Some stories are hard to tell.

Even to your very best friend. 

And some words are hard to get out of your mouth. Because they spell out secrets that are too huge to be spoken out loud.

But if you bottle them up, you might burst.

So here’s my story. Told the only way I dare tell it.’

Sophie Nieuwenleven is sort of English and sort of Belgian. Sophie and her family came to live in Belgium when she was only four or five years old, but she’s fourteen now and has never been quite sure why they left England in the first place. Then, one day, Sophie makes a startling discovery. Finally Sophie can unlock the mystery of who she really is. This is a story about identity and confusion – and feeling so utterly freaked out that you just can’t put it into words. But it’s also about hope. And the belief that, somehow, everything will work out OK.

⚪️Review: What a crazy and wonderful book this is. I have just put it down with a huge smile on my face. It is a book full of warmth and life and secrets and family and friendship, but most importantly it’s about you. How you should try to be strong when you’re at your weakest, to hold your head up high when you want the ground to swallow you up, to be kind to yourself, because only you get the right to do that, and when you start to treat yourself right and see yourself for who you are and what you can be, then the world is your playground and you will always be happy knowing you are real and true and brilliant!

Sophie Someone is a story written by fourteen year old Sophie Nieuwenleven who lives in Brussels. She wants us to know her truths and her life up until the point of now. She takes us on one hell of a journey. We follow her across Europe, we learn her special language, we meet her best friend Comet Kayembe, we basically become a part of Sophie’s story and she becomes a part of us as readers.
The plot is deep, eye opening and full of fortune cookies. It has your emotions running wild and your brain working over time. Written in a way that I can only describe as unexpected and very peculiar you really do have to read carefully. I know that makes no sense, but when you read the book you will know what I mean straight away. The great thing about it is when you’re reading words that you know are wrong, you just know exactly what they are. I have to praise author Hayley Long highly for this because it can’t have been easy for her to get this book finished.

Overall, I really did enjoy this read. I loved how it pulled me out of the norm and had me thinking about my family and friends. I loved how it allows readers to take something away from it. It’s a book teens can relate too and find comfort in. A book that empowers you to be a better, stronger you. One that will lift you up when you’re down or feeling excluded or scared. It’s awe-inspiring!

I’ll finish with a quote from the book that I found beautiful. A quote that I know I’ll use in my life, whether it be for myself, my children, my family, or my friends. I just know that in time of need this quote is a huge comfort.

‘Time and space don’t matter when you’ve got unlimited broadband straight to someone’s heart.’

5/5

⚪️Link to buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00YLQYCY4?ie=UTF8&at=aw-iphone-pc-uk-21&force-full-site=1&ref_=aw_bottom_links

⚪️Author Details: Hayley Long began writing teen fiction while working as an English teacher in Cardiff. Her first teen novel, LOTTIE BIGGS IS NOT MAD was awarded the White Raven label for outstanding children’s literature by the International Youth Library. Since then, her fingers haven’t stopped typing. Hayley has been a winner of the Essex Book Award, and WHAT’S UP WITH JODY BARTON? was shortlisted for a Costa Book Award. Hayley has also enjoyed the razzle-dazzle of being a Queen of Teen nominee. BEING A GIRL is Hayley’s first non-fiction title, and she’s also working on her next novel. Follow Hayley on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HayleyLongAuthor or on Twitter: @hayleywrites

⚪️Book Details:

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Publication Date: 03/09/2015

Print Length: 272 pages

E-book file size: 2803 KB

ISBN-10: 1471404803

ISBN-13: 978-1471404801

Posted in 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Fans of the Impossible Life

📚Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa.

⚪️Source: review copy courtesy of Pan Macmillan Kids – thank you! 

  

⚪️Blurb: Mira is starting over at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with mischief glinting in his eye.

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

⚪️Review: I actually don’t really know what to say about this book you know? I honestly have no words. Being totally honest with you I just couldn’t get into it. I felt it was bland and a bit pointless to me. It just wasn’t my thing.

Take a chance on it though. Remember we all have completely different tastes and opinions.

2/5

⚪️Link to buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fans-Impossible-Life-Kate-Scelsa/dp/0062331752

Author Details: Kate Sclesa has performed in New York and around the world with experimental theatre company Elevator Repair Service in their trilogy of works based on great American Literature, including an eight-hour long performance that uses the entire text of The Great Gatsby. Kate lives in Brooklyn with her wife and two black cats. Fans of the Impossible Life is her first novel.

Posted in 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Zayn – A New Direction

📚Zayn – A New Direction by Sarah Oliver.

⚪️Source: personal copy.

  

⚪️Book Details: Zayn: A New Direction provides an in-depth exploration into the world of Zayn Malik, from boyhood in Bradford, to his heyday with One Direction and what the next step will be for Zayn and the rest of One Direction

⚪️Review: So straight in I was confused, as it progressed I was confused, when it ended I was confused. Was I reading a biography or was I reading a scrambling of writing from someone who has just watched every One Direction YouTube video available, grabbed every quote she could find and copy them word for word, and talked to a few Directioners on Twitter? I mean come on? It’s not hard to know that if you write a book about one of the biggest boy bands on the planet or even one of the biggest stars on the planet, you’re going to rake it in with their fans! 

It’s ludicrous! You can’t just use someone’s fame for self benefit. Don’t get me wrong I knew I was reading an unofficial book, but still I expected decent research. I mean why put a book out if you have nothing worthy or new to contribute? Does she know the subject? Does she know the subjects family or friends? Has she had any form of contact with them? It’s super frustrating! Surely a biography about a single person should actually be about them and not the band they were in?

It’s really not good. It’s disjointed and fumbled and seriously poor quality. It even has errors in it that any Directioners or fan would know about. And it has a lot of untrue facts.

It is diabolical that this has a £12 price tag. Like I said though, it’s not been written for anything but the cash in that is guaranteed by fans. The quality of the book proves that it had been rushed to get out quickly whilst the whole Zayn saga was still relevant. I find that extremely shameful. And I think his fans deserve more than someone giving them nothing because they know they’ll buy it. Him and his family deserve more than that too, especially if you’re cashing in on their fame and name.


It doesn’t deserve no stars.


Posted in 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Paperweight

📚Paperweight by Meg Haston

⚪️Source: Personal copy

  

⚪️Blurb: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Struggling to deal with her brother’s death and a past she refuses to confront, Stevie knows she has problems. But she’s still furious about the fact that she’s been packed off to a health clinic, in the middle of nowhere, where mobile phones are banned and communication with the outside world is strictly by permission only. The regimented and obtrusive nature of the clinic and its staff is torture to the deeply private, obstinate Stevie – and don’t even get her started on the other ‘inmates’. All she wants is to be left alone… 

But as Stevie is about to find out, life is full of surprises. And she will prove herself stronger than she knows – even when her past finally catches her up in the most shocking and brutal way possible.

⚪️Review: Do you know what? I really expected a lot more for some reason. The hype surrounding it was so intense and brilliant that I went in ready to be wowed.

Yes, I admit it’s a good book, but it’s not as deep and emotional as it could have actually been. I felt like there was always something missing , or that I’d forgotten something. Because of that it unfortunately at times became flat and I’m sorry to say boring. 

However, it is worth a read. And as always the pleasure in reading is our difference in opinions.

3/5

⚪️Link to buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00QMBXJ36/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr

⚪️Author details: Meg Haston is both a survivor and a mental health counselor. Meg first conceived of PAPERWEIGHT when she spent time in a treatment center for disordered eating in Arizona. Like her character Stevie, she could bring nothing but a small suitcase of clothes – no books, no phone, no computer. But she was allowed to write. In between group meals and individual sessions, Stevie was born into the pages of Meg’s journal.

Meg now practises at a women’s clinic and a school in Florida, and has worked in conjunction with Projection HEAL (Help to Eat, Accept, and Live), spreading awareness about eating disorders and the recovery process. She is also a regular contributor to gURL.com, where her video series, ‘How to Deal with Meg Haston’, addresses mental and emotional health concerns for adolescent girls. Meg is also the author of the middle grade series HOW TO ROCK… which inspired a Nickelodeon TV spin-off. Follow Meg on Twitter: @meghaston


Posted in 2015, News

NEWS

📰

Hi everyone, Instead of trying to pack something into 140 characters that made no sense to you all on Twitter I decided to do it here. As most of you are aware I am not too well. Every once in a while I’ll go MIA and then return. However, this year I have been gone a lot more. Not to worry though I’m not giving up on TBGWP or anything, in fact it’s one of the things that keeps me going. I’m just getting ready for my next operation and a few tests at the hospital. The last time I had this operation I was out of action for a good eight weeks, but I’m hoping I’ll be up to reading through around six of them. 

We have also had some devastating news to our family recently that has and will keep me away. I won’t go into detail as I know you will all respect mine and my family’s privacy. I just didn’t want anyone thinking I was slacking or that I just didn’t care about TBGWP, the authors, the publishers, the readers anymore. If anything it’s always been you guys that have pulled me through the hard times of the past few years and I can’t thank you all enough for that. 

I’ll still be reading and posting reviews on NetGalley when I can. Once I’m back to some kind of normalcy I’ll overwhelm you all with about 7000 reviews. 

I’m so sorry to the authors and publishers that I’ll be letting down during this time, I hope you all will understand. 

Lots of Love

N x

Posted in 2015

Book Review: Lying Out Loud

📚Hamilton High: Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger.

⚪️Source: e-copy for review courtesy of Hodder via NetGalley.

  

⚪️Blurb: Revisit Hamilton High in this MUST READ for all fans of The DUFF – co-starring Bianca and Wesley.

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend’s house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with – secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder’s the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can’t stand – a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually ‘like’ him. Only there’s one small catch: he thinks he’s been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she’s the girl he’s really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

⚪️My review: Returning to Hamilton High was intense and emotional. Following Sonny Ardmore and her constant lies left me appreciating the little things we all have and moan about and also a little heart broken.

Being totally honest, I did have one little issue with LOL. At times I felt a bit bored. It lacked another dimension in the plot and I found myself frustrated and thinking ‘oh just get on with it’ quite a lot.

It is a nice little read though, and nothing at all like Duff which I appreciated, but I think a lot of people may be a bit disgruntled with that. At the end of the day though it’s not a sequel.

An emotional tale of friendship and love. 

3/5

⚪️Link to buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00WR70G7Q/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr=