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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Book Review | Puppet by Pauline C. Harris

I want to start my review by saying that Puppet* was amazing and will probably be one of my favourite books I've read this year. As with all books I love, I searched for the author on Twitter and found out she was just nineteen - NINETEEN! I'm now a follower of both her twitter account and her Youtube account and I'm going to be buying a paperback copy of this book as soon as I can. 

Puppet is about Penelope, a 'living marionette' in a world of advanced technology and mind-controlling science. Marionettes are a lifelike robot created to perform superhuman tasks such as extraordinary strength and fast reflexes. When Penelope makes a deal with Jed to swap adoption for being a test subject in his experiments, she doesn't realise it's going to cost her her freedom. 

The book starts off with great world-building. I really felt as though I was involved in the world and that it was realistic and extraordinary. The characters were well-written and I loved all of them, even the 'baddies.' Penelope's battle between her love for Jed and her inability to control herself was realistically portrayed and it was clear how torn she was. I just loved absolutely everything about this book and will definitely be reading more from Pauline C. Harris. 

My rating: 5 out of 5 

*I received this book for an honest review through NetGalley.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Books | Anna & The French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins

I absolutely love Stephanie Perkins. Her writing is like magic to me and reading one of her books feels like a giant hug from somebody wearing a really comfy soft jumper. This blog post, however, will focus on her Anna and the French Kiss series, consisting of: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After. If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of these books, they are basically a companion novel series. Put simply, this means there are three stand-alone books each focusing on different characters and their romances, but each one subtly intertwines the characters from the previous book, so it is best to read them in the published order, but you won't miss too much if you decide not to do that. Anna, the first book, is definitely my favourite. I connect well with her character and the character's interests and it's probably one of my favourite books of all time. My second favourite, surprisingly is probably Isla, the last in the series. I've heard a lot of people say that Isla was their least favourite, but I really enjoyed the ups and downs of the romance and the way the whole series tied together in the end. Finally, Lola is my least favourite, but I still loved it and gave it five stars. I found myself connecting with Lola the least of the three, but it was still a lovely read. 

Anna and the French Kiss is about a young schoolgirl, Anna, who gets sent away from her home in Atlanta to live in an American boarding school in Paris. Anna deals with loneliness, the idea of making new friends, boys and a new city with maturity I wouldn't have expected from someone as young as her. As the name suggests, the book is a romance novel - but not all the way through, which makes it a lot more interesting in my opinion. The book is multi-dimensional and kept me entertained throughout, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from start to finish.  This book combines some of my favourite things: Paris, Film and perfect male characters. I loved the fact it was set in a school - this may actually be one of my new favourite settings for contemporaries (this obsession started with Fangirl, of course.) The characters were lovable (and some hate-able) and I was sad when the book came to an end as I wanted to know these characters for longer. I fell in love with St. Clair and was absolutely thrilled with the ending of this book - although it was frustrating me throughout the book how blind Anna was to his affections. I would highly recommend reading this book - everything about it was just lovely.

Lola is a young girl living with her two dads in San Francisco, wearing lavish costumes and spending time her best friend Lindsay and her boyfriend Max. Right from the very start of the book, we find out that Lola has some new neighbors, but she prays it's not the same ones from her past moving back to the neighborhood. I connected with this book a lot, Lola's situation in particular, which would be a spoiler to discuss. Lola was a lovely character, who developed throughout. The book is mostly about the plot and the relationship between several characters, but it's also about Lola finding herself and discovering that her lavish outfits she likes to wear isn't something to hide herself behind, it is herself. The book was so enjoyable to read and the characters were lovable.

Isla, like Anna, goes to the boarding school for Americans in Paris with her best friend, Kurt and has been in love with Josh for as long as she can remember. However, until recently Josh had always had a girlfriend, and they had only had four very awkward interactions. The two go on several dates and spend a great deal of time together and become a couple, in-love, very quickly. Whilst I do have a problem with "I looked at him and I was in love" kind of instalove, I didn't feel as though Josh and Isla were like that. I've read some reviews that disagree, but I feel as though the relationship, whilst moving quickly, was realistic as they spent almost everyday together and we saw their feelings grow. 

Read my full review of Anna & The French Kiss

Read my full review of Lola & The Boy Next Door

Read my full review of Isla & The Happily Ever After

I'd love to know your opinions on the series as a whole - which is your favourite? Have you read all three? Who is your favourite couple out of all of the books?

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Book Tour | The Letting by Cathrine Goldstein


What if the Devil doesn’t know he’s the Devil?
This is the question Veronica “Ronnie” Billings poses to Phoenix, her sworn enemy, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution, and the one she loves.
Kidnapped by Phoenix’s rebels, Ronnie learns how wrong she has been. She had no idea that her patriotism was wasted on a corrupt government. Ronnie was proud to be a Leader; taking hundreds of harvested girls to the Letting facility. After all, she was saving them from future Couplings and bringing them to the safety of the New World. Or so she thought…
Confused, Ronnie realizes the only way to discover the truth is to trust her heart. Together, Phoenix and Ronnie devise a plan to stop their corrupt government and preempt the dangerous rebel coup which is approaching. But when their plan goes awry, will Ronnie be strong enough to save Phoenix, her country, and herself?

Goodreads | Book TrailerAmazon - Available from December 15th 

My Review

The Letting is an incredibly captivating dystopian novel. From the very first chapter, I was hooked. The book is well written and the world building is second to none. The characters are all well-written and relatable and Phoenix is a swoonworthy guy that leaves readers wanting more of him! I'm so happy to hear this book is part of a series and I can't wait to carry on reading about this world. 

About the Author

Given my love for cities and all that is gritty, my new obsession with trees really has me stumped. (Sorry.) Maybe it's because trees are the inspiration behind my new YA/NA novel, theLETTING.
Whatever the reason for my new infatuation, some things remain constant -- like my love for: coffee (although sadly, it's now decaf); yoga; Luna bars (I am petitioning for them to bring back Chocolate Raspberry!); running in my neighborhood; Hemingway; Bukowski... and, above all, my husband and my girls.
I am the author of the bestselling novel, Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress, and I'm also a playwright. I have my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Theatre. 

Book tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours. The Letting is released 15th December 2015.

Christmas Giveaway

If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know I love hosting giveaways and with the holiday period starting, now's the perfect time for another one. I've selected some of my favourite Christmassy things for one reader to win, all they have to do is follow the instructions on the raffle copter below. 

The giveaway will be live for just under one month, ending on 2nd January and each entrant may only enter once. All entries will be moderated and any duplicated/false entries will be disqualified. After entries have been moderated, the winner will be selected at random via the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will then be announced on my blog and contacted via email. If the winner does not reply within 3 days, another winner will be announced and the same rules apply. The giveaway is open internationally but please ensure you are over 16 or if you are under 16, that you have your parents permission since I will need the winners address to send the prizes. One winner will receive the following prizes:

My True Love Gave To Me - Edited by Stephanie Perkins
This gorgeous UK-edition has the most beautiful cover I've ever seen, complete with a built-in bookmark and hot-pink pages. With twelve short stories all Christmas-themed written by some of your favourite authors, this book is the perfect holiday companion. 

Rebel lipstick by MAC
The perfect winter shade for the Christmas period and any Christmas parties. If you're not feeling bright enough for a red lipstick, this darker shade is perfect with an LBD. 

Snow Fairy Gift Box including four Lush products. 
The four products you will win are: Snow Fairy Shower Gel, Snow Fairy Sparkle Shimmer Bar, The Godmother Soap and Magic Wand Bubble Bar, all presented in a pretty pink gift box. 

Christmas Cupcake Yankee Candle - Medium Jar
This candle is Christmas wrapped up in a candle. It's a sweet candle that will look pretty whilst it coats your house with a lovely scent. 

Happy Christmas and Good Luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Books | Girl Online Was Ghostwritten?!

Okay, the cat is out of the bag. Whilst there have been rumors making their way around the internet even before the release of Girl Online, nobody really knew whether or not Zoe Sugg had written Girl Online. Like most people, I had my doubts but I really hoped she had written it. Just over an hour ago, this article was posted on The Telegraph, stating the publishers had announced it was, in fact, ghostwritten. 

Girl Online smashed record sales with an amazing 78,109 copies sold in the first week and I was one of those sales! Because of its success, Girl Online and it's "author" Zoe Sugg are everywhere at the moment, but with the rumors about ghostwriters, it was only a matter of time before the truth slipped out. In her Telegraph article, Runcie writes "Today, a spokesperson for Penguin Random House told the Sunday Times that "to be factually accurate you would need to say Zoe Sugg did not write the book Girl Online on her own"." It is still unclear how much Zoe has written (if any) and who exactly has written it, although Siobhan Curham's name has been thrown about a lot. 

Whilst I'm aware that a lot of authors, celebrities in particular, use ghostwriters, I really hoped Zoe wasn't one of them. Spending a lot of time online (either in the form of Youtube or Twitter), Zoe's followers are often aware of what Zoe's doing. The lack of time spent working on her book was evident, in my opinion. Writing a book takes an incredible amount of time to write, never mind the editing after the initial writing process. Watching somebodies life play out on a daily basis and reading their blog posts, you get to know somebodies "voice." Several times throughout the book, I felt as though it just didn't sound like Zoe. I quickly pushed this out of my mind, however, convincing myself that my writing doesn't exactly sound like the way I speak in real life, either. I did feel as though the blog posts in the book sounded like Zoe, however. 

It is disappointing that she has written things like "I also have Alfie Deyes to thank for putting up with all of the nights I chose to write and re-read this book over and over again." in her Acknowledgements. She has always seemed really genuine, in my opinion and if she knew she hadn't fully written the book herself, she should have been keeping as quiet as possible about the process, so as not to come off as a liar. Which, in my opinion, is the way she has now come off, rather than just somebody who has put her name on somebody else's writing. So this reveal has made a load of things make sense, particularly her boyfriend, Alfie's lack of interest in reading her book as discussed several times on vlogs (bitchy, but true.) What are your opinions on Girl Online being ghostwritten?