7 books to curl up with on a rainy day

I was taking part in a comment thread on Twitter the other day when I came across Bronia Jane’s blog. Now, ya’all criticise comment swaps (well, some people do – you specifically might not) as “fake interaction” but I may have never come across her blog had I not joined in and it’s quickly become one of my favourites. Not only is it super pretty but she posts fabulous content – right up my street as the type of blog I love reading with a bit of everything thrown in. I promise this isn’t a whole post of me gushing over (isn’t gushing an awful word?) her blog, I’m getting to my point, I just felt the need to grovel a little bit because I’m essentially pinching one of her post ideas. Although she said she didn’t mind so it’s all gravy, baby.

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2.5k blog followers celebration party! (& giveaways!)

I’m all for celebrating milestones. In blogging, in business, in life, damn it if you’ve done something you’re proud of, reached a goal or milestone then you should sure as hell celebrate that – however big or small. I’ve done that since I started blogging and 4 years down the line, I don’t plan on stopping. So… today I would like to celebrate hitting 2,500 unique blog followers. Eeeeek! That may seem like a miniscule number to some, a huge number to others; we’re all on different paths and different points in our blogging “careers” but I definitely believe that we should celebrate our own and other people’s achievements. And for me, hitting 2.5k blog followers is an achievement. Especially after so mny blogging breaks and periods of not knowing whether I even wanted to continue blogging.

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Book Review: The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern

Format: Paperback, gift
Links: GoodreadsAmazon UK
Blurb: A forgotten childhood. A discovered life. What if you only had one day to find out who you really were?

When Sabrina Boggs stumbles upon a mysterious collection of her father’s possessions, she discovers a truth where she never knew there was a lie. The familiar man she grew up with is suddenly a stranger to her.

An unexpected break in her monotonous daily routine leaves her just one day to unlock the secrets of the man she thought she knew. A day that unearths memories, stories and people she never knew existed. A day that changes her and those around her forever.

The Marble Collector is a thought-provoking novel about how the most ordinary decisions we make can have the most extraordinary consequences for how we live our lives. And how sometimes it’s only by shining on a light on someone else, that you can truly understand yourself. Continue reading

Quarterly Book Round-up (1/4)

2017 has been a fantastic year for books for me so far. I’ve not picked up a book which I’ve not finished nor have I awarded less than 3 stars to anything I’ve read! With so many others on my to-read list which sound absolutely amazing, 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty spectacular bookish year. So let’s go through the first quarter and take a look at what I’ve read, my favourites and what I’m hoping to read in the coming months! 

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What I Got For Christmas

On a whole, I’m not a huge fan of Christmas. And this year it was pretty similar to every other year I can accurately remember; same old routine and equally as stressful and ultimately underwhelming. Our family aren’t particularly close, we’ve never really done anything special or celebrated Christmas particularly elaborately. But… I am always incredibly grateful for the presents I recieve and buying gifts for other people is actually one of my favourite things to do. Yes, Christmas has become a materialistic spectacle but I got some lovely gifts and want to share them with you! Albeit, almost a month too late.

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April Wrap Up: NetGalley, New Books & Not Feeling Well

And we’re back here again! Another month gone; and although it’s not been the best month ever personally as I was struck down with a rotten cold for 2 weeks after not having a cold in 3 years, I have read some amazing books, taken part in #PaperbackMonth along with a bunch of other bloggers and started a few of my 33 Before 33 challenges including, reading all the books on my bookcase and taking 1 photo a day of something that makes me happy for an entire year. But anyway, onto the books!

What I’ve Received + Won

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Publishers: The Traitor by Jonathan Holt, Echopraxia by Peter Watts and The Atlantis Gene by A.G Riddle (I’ve been spoilt by Head of Zeus this month, so massive thank you for all these surprise review copies!) and Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog Book 2) by Anne Blankman (Headline) Continue reading

Books That Made Me… Think Differently About Life

Its time for another post in my ‘Books that made me… feature and today I’m welcoming Becca from Beccas Books onto the blog to talk about the books that made her ‘think differently about life’. Over to you…


Books That Made Me… Think Differently About Life

Firstly, thank you to the wonderful Jenny for including me this fabulous blog feature, ‘Books that made me…’ I was given books that made me think differently about life. I love books that have managed to make me think differently about my life. There’s just something amazing about words being able to do that to a person.

gThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini will always come to the forefront of my mind whenever I think of books that have affected me in such an incredible way. I read The Kite Runner during college and it has stayed with me ever since. This is probably one of the very first books that I read which was based on more than just romance and girly chick-lit. It affected me in such a way that I could no longer take things for granted in my life; people mainly. Honestly, I feel choked up just thinking about this book. It was insanely eye-opening to the different lives that people can lead, and how in the end, the time can come when it’s too late to make amends. I remember finishing this book and walking downstairs to my family, completely and utterly grateful for the fact that I had them. Books like this don’t typically fall into my usual genre, but readers, this has to be one that you read at least once in your life. Continue reading

March Book & Bookish Things Haul

This entire month has revolved around books for me. With my readathon, getting accepted onto bookbridgr (which may be the best website in the entire world!) becoming part of Sarah J. Pepper’s street team, my blogoversary and purchasing my very first Kindle! So I’ve re-named it ‘Book & Bookish Things Haul’ for this month so I have an excuse to take pictures of all my bookish things to share with you – not just books! Enjoy!

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My Blog Is One Years Old! Blogging Friends, This One’s For You…

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Roughly a year ago, I was sat in my room and I’d just set up my little blog. A year and 48 reviews later, I’m still sitting in my room but I am part of one of the best communities I’ve ever come across. It’s funny that just a year ago I never knew any of you and I didn’t even know book blogging existed. It’s like a whole other world that you don’t even know you’re a part of until you are and book blogging is one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s lead me to books I never thought I’d read, authors I always dreamt of talking to,  opportunities I would never have come across otherwise but most importantly, it’s lead me to you lot and without you lot, I wouldn’t be writing this post.

I’ve met so many different people of different ages, nationalities, some of which live all over the world. You’ve all got different lives, different families, different problems and that’s what I love about it – everyone is unique. You’ve all got a story to tell. My blogging friends are some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and despite the fact that some of you live hours and miles away, across oceans and on the other side of the world, you’re all there, every second of the day in almost everything that I do.

In the short time I’ve known you, I’ve come to know more about you than some people I’ve known for over 10 years. I don’t know whether it’s because we don’t know each other in person or whether it’s our love of books but I feel like I can finally be myself with you all. You’re all beautiful and inspiring human beings who I’ve learnt so much from over the past year. I don’t need to name everyone – you know who you are. I’ve gained some friends for life and it’s all down to our shared love of books. It’s amazing what a simple book can do isn’t it?

So anyway, I wrote this post specially for my blogoversary. Thank you to everyone who has supported my blog over the past year. Thank you to every single one of you who has followed me, liked or commented on a post, retweeted me on Twitter – it’s the little things that count. Also, thank you to all the authors that have sent me their amazing books and especially Janice and the LLM ladies for being amazing and letting me review for you. Blogging has helped me rekindle my passion for reading and reading really can save you at the darkest of times so no one should ever underestimate the power of a book so I give you all permission to eat as much chocolate and cake as you want today to celebrate. Here’s to the next year!

You can’t have a blogoversary without a giveaway so I’m giving away two books! The first one is a paperback copy of ‘The Time of My Life’ by Cecelia Ahern and the second one is a eBook copy of ‘Death of the Mad Hatter’ by Sarah J. Pepper. They’re both amazing books and all you have to do to enter and win both of these books is leave me a comment below with your full name and a means to contact you (you can include something like your favourite book ever, if you wish!) and if you win and on Monday 28th April I will put all your names into a hat (or a bowl as I don’t have a hat…) and randomly select a winner! Good luck! (This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, yay!)

My Top 10 Books of 2013

This seems to be a popular post going around at the moment about people’s top 10 books of this year so I decided to put together a list of mine. 2013 was the year I started blogging and it definitely opened my eyes to lots of books that I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise! So here’s my top 10 of 2013 in no particular order! Click on the title of the book to see my review – if I have one. (Please note that most of these probably weren’t released in 2013, it’s just the year I finally got around to reading them).

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1. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

What it’s about: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

The Fault In Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heart-breaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Why it made my top 10: This will always be the book that turned me into a blubbering mess and refused to let me think about anything else for about a week and a half afterwards. This book was so emotionally draining and I have never cried at a book so much in my entire life but It was all totally worth it. Every once in a while a book comes along that makes you think about life, death and everything in between completely differently and for me – this was that book.

2. The List by Joanna Bolouri

What it’s about: Phoebe Henderson may be single but she sure doesn’t feel fabulous. It’s been a year since she found her boyfriend Alex in bed with another woman, and multiple cases of wine and extensive relationship analysis with best friend Lucy have done nothing to help. Faced with a new year but no new love, Phoebe concocts a different kind of resolution.

The List: ten things she’s always wanted to do in bed but has never had the chance (or the courage!) to try. A bucket list for between the sheets. One year of pleasure, no strings attached. Simple, right? Factor in meddlesome colleagues, friends with benefits, getting frisky al fresco and maybe, possibly, true love and Phoebe’s got her work cut out for her.

Why it made my top 10: I only read this book recently after winning it in a giveaway and had never previously heard of the book or the author so I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading and found myself not being able to stop! This one definitely wins the funniest book I read this year award and it really is a little hidden gem. Would definitely recommend this one to someone who doesn’t take life too seriously and needs a light-hearted, funny read.

3. Fractured by Dani Atkins

What it’s about: The night of the accident changed everything… Now, five years on, Rachel’s life is crumbling. She lives alone in a tiny flat, working in a dead-end job, desperate with guilt over her best friend’s death. She would give anything to turn back the clock. But life doesn’t work like that… Does it?

The night of the accident was a lucky escape… Now, five years on, Rachel’s life is perfect. She has a wonderful fiancé, loving family and friends around her, and the career she always wanted. But why can’t Rachel shake the memory of a very different life?

Why it made my top 10: I know a few people who will agree with me on this one. I’d never previously heard of this book then all of a sudden it was everywhere! Everyone was talking about how amazing it was and when I decided to give it a go I understood what all the fuss was about. This is a must read. It will make you smile, it will make you cry and it will definitely make you wonder, what if?

4. Death of the Mad Hatter – Sarah J. Pepper

What it’s about: The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.

Heads would Roll… Hearts would Break… In the end, would it matter who Reigned?

Why it made my top 10: As most of you know, I’m a sucker for all things Disney related and this was probably my most anticipated book of 2013 because as soon as the author contacted me about it I knew I wanted to read it so I patiently waited 2 or 3 months for her to finish it. It was well worth the wait! This book was a weird, wonderful and dark take on the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland and I absolutely loved it.

5. The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson-Walker

What it’s about: What if our 24-hour day grew longer, first in minutes, then in hours, until day became night and night became day? What effect would this slowing have on the world? On the birds in the sky, the whales in the sea, the astronauts in space, and on a family and a young girl, who is already coping with the normal disasters of everyday life? One seemingly ordinary Saturday morning in a California suburb, Julia and her parents wake to discover that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. No one knows why, no one knows how to deal with it. The enormity of this change is almost beyond comprehension.

Told through Julia’s eyes, this beautiful and original novel shows how easily life can fragment, within a family, within a community, and on a far wider plane, when the rhythm of life as we know it is knocked so unexpectedly out of kilter.

Why it made my top 10: I may be cheating slightly with this one because I’ve read it twice and from what I can remember, the first time wasn’t in 2013. I read it for the second time in Summer of 2013 for the Richard and Judy Book Club. This is the only book I’ve ever read more than once so that’s saying something! This is such a strange book with a completely incomprehensible story line and I think that’s why I like it so much. It really shows the spirit of humankind.

6. Not Pretty Enough – Jaimie Admans

What it’s about: New Year’s Resolutions: 1. Lloyd Layton will know I exist. He once said three whole words to me, so this is obviously progress. If I don’t get a proper conversation out of him soon, then I’ll take my top off and streak through the cafeteria, because nobody could fail to notice these boobs. 2. I will not get expelled for streaking through the cafeteria.”

Those are the words that begin her mission. Chessie is fourteen, not pretty enough, and very much in love. Lloyd Layton is hot, popular, and unaware of Chessie’s existence. Her goal is clear: to get Lloyd to love her as much as she loves him, and she has exactly one year to do it. As Chessie’s obsession with Lloyd reaches boiling point and she starts to spin a web of lies that spiral out of control, Lloyd turns out to be not quite the prince she thought he was. Can Chessie avoid the gathering storm before things go too far?

Why it made my top 10: Jaimie is one of those authors that I probably would never have come across if it wasn’t for blogging. Not in a horrible way but she self-publishes all of her books and I wouldn’t have known where to look otherwise. Not Pretty Enough was a relatively short book that I reviewed for a blog tour and I am so pleased I signed up and was introduced to Jaimie’s work. Her stories are so fun and quirky and Jaimie herself is one of the nicest authors I’ve ever met! Plus she has the same tattoo as me so even if her books were rubbish she’d be on this list for that reason alone 😉

7. The Naughty Girls Book Club by Sophie Hart

What it’s about: A quaint suburb. A quiet little book club. A very naughty reading list.

When Estelle sets up a book group in order to increase custom to her struggling cafe, what follows is more mind-blowing than she could have ever imagined… As the first book club meeting flounders, Estelle suggests a spot of erotica to spice things up. Inspired by their naughty novels, this group of shy suburban readers shake off their inhibitions and soon discover that their own lives can be just as scandalous…

Why it made my top 10: If you’re looking for something sweet and saucy this is the book for you. The Naughty Girls Book Club is no Fifty Shades of Grey but it really shows the characters stepping out of their comfort zones to experience something new and exciting. I loved all the characters, I loved the story line and I actually cried with happiness at the end because everything worked out so well. I’ve never before read a book where I wanted a happy ending for the characters so much!

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

What it’s about: Charlie is a freshman and while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the side line forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming of age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant, roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Why it made my top 10: This isn’t just one of my favourite books I’ve read in 2013, it’s one of my favourite books I’ve read of all time! This is such an emotional and heart-warming book with a lot of messages in you can relate to.. I read this book at exactly the right time in my life and that’s why it’s always stuck with me. The film adaptation is perfect too!

9. The Fallen Stars (The Star Child trilogy) by Stephanie Keyes

What it’s about: Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to the Celtic Goddess, Calienta. But then everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when he and Cali end up on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why they’re being hunted.

Suddenly, Kellen is stuck in the middle of another prophecy that foresees him turning away from Calienta and embracing the dark. He’ll be forced to take sides in a struggle to claim his birth right, while discovering secrets about his father’s past. Meanwhile, his passion for Cali grows stronger, even as the prophecy threatens to tear them apart. In the end, will Kellen and Cali survive the fates? When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose?

Why it made my top 10: This is the second book in The Star Child trilogy and I was introduced to these books when I started reviewing for Loveahappyending Magazine. This is one of the most in-depth and surreal trilogies I’ve ever read – the definition of a Fantasy novel pretty much! I absolutely love this weird and mystical world and am eagerly awaiting the third book in the trilogy!

10. The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern

What it’s about: Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life – and she’s going to have to keep it. Lying on Lucy Silchester’s carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation – to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she’s been ignoring itand it needs to meet with her face to face.

It sounds peculiar, but Lucy’s read about this in a magazine. Anyway, she can’t make the date: she’s much too busy despising her job, skipping out on her friends and avoiding her family. But Lucy’s life isn’t what it seems. Some of the choices she’s made – and stories she’s told – aren’t what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory – unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.

Why it made my top 10: I love Cecelia Ahern’s books, she is without a doubt one of my favourite authors and all her novels are so heart-warming and thought-provoking and will leave you with tears in your eyes and a warm fuzzy feeling but I think out of all her books I’ve read, this one has been my favourite so far. It was such a unique and original storyline and not only was it quite funny but almost made you contemplate your own life by the end of it.

There have been tons of amazing books I’ve read this year but those are the ones that have stuck out and stayed with me. What have been YOUR favourite books of this year?

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