Caraval by Stephanie Garber | Book Review

*** Thank you Hodder & Stoughton approving me to review this tittle on Netgalley as an eARC. This dos not affect my opinions in any way.***

Oh wow. This book might have been the best thing I’ve read all year. I loved it. It is a magical and wonderful read full of surprises.


Caraval by Stephanie Garber tells the story of two sisters who escape their horrible father when they enter the world of the legendary game of Caraval.

We are following our main character Scarlett and both her and her sister Tella have never left the small island where they live in with their dad. He is a horrible and abusive man and the sisters can’t wait to get away from him but, obviously, he doesn’t make it easy.

Scarlett is soon to be married to a Count in a marriage that her father has arranged for her. She sees this as the opportunity she and her sister have been waiting for. But before she gets married, her sister and a mysterious sailor (hi there Julian I love you) who has just arrived on the island ‘kidnap’ her to take her to Caraval where Scarlett has always dreamt of going and experiencing its magic.

Remember, it’s only a game.

Caraval is a once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show and was described to Scarlett by her grandmother as the ‘closest thing you will ever come to magic’. No one knows what actually happens in there and the only thing you are told as you are going in is to “remember, it’s only a game”.

In my opinion, the less you know about this book before you go into it, the better. Even now after I’ve read it, I am having trouble finding the words to say what this book is about and make justice to how amazing it is.

As a character, I found Scarlett quite annoying, especially in the beginning of the book. However, the reasons why she was being annoying were understandable and rational and she grew on me the more I read.

This is a debut novel but it definitely did not feel like one when I was reading it. I cannot find words to describe how much I loved it.

My rating – 10/10

Release date in the UK: 31 Jan 2017

Pre-order it here.


Asking For It by Louise O’Neill | Book Review

To me, Louise O’Neill is the face of feminism in UKYA. I have seen her speaking at panels many times. I follow her on social media. I love her. But I had not yet read her books.

25255576Asking For It is Louise’s second book and it tells Emma’s story. And what an important and infuriating story it is.

Emma is eighteen and beautiful and she knows it. She is confident, she likes that she attracts male attention, she likes being the most beautiful girl she knows, and she likes people telling her that. If she’s not sounding like a very likeable person to you, you are right, she’s not. She’s not even a terribly good person. But the thing is, one night Emma goes to a party and is gang raped by a group of boys in the local football team. And even though she is the person we do not particularly like, she did not deserve it. She was not asking for it. And that is the point Louise is making.

It made me so angry to be reading this. To be reading people’s reactions to what happened to Emma. People doubting her, people saying that ‘really, what did she expect dressing and acting the way she does while looking the way she looks’. And you know that this isn’t just Emma’s story; this happens to so many women all over the world and some people, unfortunately even most people, still don’t see them as the victims.

It is so easy for people to dismiss rape culture. To say there is no such thing. That we are just exaggerating. I wouldn’t say that this was an enjoyable book to read simply because it’s so horrible, saying that I ‘enjoyed it’ doesn’t feel right. But it is good and well written and it starts a very important conversation that we all need to have.

My rating – 9/10

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover | Book Review

This is only my second Colleen Hoover book. I read Ugly Love last year after hearing so many things about it and before even starting this blog but unfortunately I was disappointed. It was an entertaining book, sure. It read fast and it got me out of a reading slump. But I did not love it. I had many issues with it and I thought, if that was Hoover that everyone loved, maybe her books just weren’t for me.


But then It Ends With Us happened. People were saying that it was beautiful and powerful. That it was unlike anything else she had ever written. The latter sounded particularly appealing to me if I’m being honest. I was once again in a slump and decided to give it a go on my kindle.

And I am so glad I did. I will try not to say much of what the book is actually about because I think that is the best way to go into it. And if you do really want to know, I’m sure you can find it all over the internet at the moment.

We follow Lily Bloom, a woman in her early 20s. The book is written from her perspective and we feel everything she feels. That is the most powerful thing. There are also diary entries that Lilly wrote in her teenage years to Ellen Degeneres. She wrote them in her diary and nothing ever got sent to Ellen, which I thought was a bit of a weird thing to include in a book but I ended up really loving that aspect of it.

Just keep swimming.

Lily hasn’t had an easy life in so many aspects that this makes it one of those books that are painful to read. You read about things that you know are happening somewhere in the world all the time but you never really stop to think about them. And reading it from a point of view of someone who is experiencing them is almost too hard.

As I mentioned before, I don’t really want to get into the plot of this book but I strongly believe that everyone should read it. It covers very important topics and does it perfectly, it has great love stories and an amazing female friendship. Seriously, Allysa is the best friend a person could have and she says something so perfect to Lily that I’m itching to quote but I don’t want to spoil it for you!

This has made its way up to one of my favourite books. I am so glad I gave it a go. Now all I need is a physical copy of it so I can love it even more in all its glory.

My rating – 10/10

Accidental Hiatus: Life Update!

So it seems like I accidentally took a break from blogging and from the Internet in general. I don’t know how and when exactly this happened but I decided to do something about it and be more active again. And there’s no better place to start than telling you guys what I’ve been up to.

I haven’t been reading much – hence the tittle “Life Update!”.

So I had my uni exams and finished my second year of uni with a First yay go me \o/ I have now started a full time internship that I’ll be at for a whole year before I go back to uni to finish my degree. I’m like adulting now or something.

I had a little holiday time in Portugal and it was soooo good I loved every single thing about it. In case you didn’t know, I used to live in Portugal so it’s always nice to be back there ❤ I also got my first ever tattoo and the tattoo artist was a bit creepy and made me uncomfortable but I’m loving my tattoo so much I want to get all the tattoos now. Why did no one tell me that getting tattoos was so addictive?

And as I said, I haven’t really been on top of my reading game but I’ve been binge watching all the fun things like Sex and the City and having some much needed “me time”.

I’ve been at my internship for a week now and I’m settling in which should leave me more time to blog and read. I actually have more free time now that I’m working full time than when I’m just going to uni which is crazy.

That’s it! That’s what I’ve been up to.


The Crown’s Game Blog Tour – Author Interview!

Hey everyone! I apologise for being so absent lately, I went away for a dew days and had an amazing time in Portugal! Now I’m in back in London with this not so great weather but what can you do.


I am so honoured to be participating in my first ever blog tour. The Crown’s Game is a highly anticipated YA fantasy and I had a great time interviewing the author Evelyn Skye. I hope you guys enjoy reading it!

1. What attracted you to Tsarist Russia as a setting for The Crown’s Game? This is a quite different setting to most YA Fantasies out there. Why do you think so many YA fantasy authors are attracted to archetypical medieval world?

When I was studying Russian literature and history, it was always the 19th Century that drew me in the most. I loved Tolstoy and Turgenev’s works, particularly their depictions of the Russian countryside and the contrast to the aristocratic city.

There’s a fair amount of fiction about the later Romanov era–Rasputin, Anastasia, etc.–but not much about the earlier Romanovs, and I wanted to bring that to life for modern day readers. Hence, Tsar Alexander I’s reign as the background for Vika and Nikolai’s magical battle.

As for the medieval world that other authors build upon, I don’t know the answer to that because all I know is what is in my own head, but I do love reading those medieval-based fantasies, too!

2. It’s really good to see another strong female character in YA fantasy. Do you think this is something that writers should make a conscious effort to do more of?

I think authors can simply focus on writing strong characters, and if they draw from real life experience, there will naturally be lots of strong females. I know that my life is full of incredible girls and women; I didn’t set out with a specific goal to write Vika in a certain way, other than to have her mirror the many role models I have come across in my own world. And I absolutely love that she turned out to be as amazing as she did, because that’s a reflection of reality!

3. When writing this book, did you always intend for it to be a YA novel or did that develop later?

Always YA. This is my absolute favourite genre to read and to write. I loved my own teenage years, and I love that age still, because there is such passion and hope and endless possibility when you are 16, 17, 18… I try to channel that energy in my life now, and I am happier than I was in my 20s, when I was trying so hard to be what I thought an “adult” ought to be.

4. You’ve now worked selling books and writing them. How has becoming a writer changed your perspective on YA and writing?

It makes me appreciate even more every single book that is out there, because I know how hard the author has worked, not only in writing that story, but in all the stories attempted before. I have eight unpublished manuscripts on my hard drive, and I worked for years without being able to sell my stories. So I have the utmost respect for every writer out there, no matter what stage you’re in–just starting, learning the craft, newly published, veteran, and everything in between.

5. And finally, any tips for aspiring authors out there?

I do, the most important of which is, keep writing and keep believing!

The Crown’s Game is being released on the 30th of June and you can order it from here.

Keep an eye out for the other amazing stops in the tour:

Crown's Game blog tour graphic


ARC Review: Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

*** Thank you Electric Monkey, Egmont UK for sending me this ARC for review. This dos not affect my opinions in any way.***


I finished this book three weeks ago. I think this is the longest I’ve gone waiting to write a review after finishing a book. I have been thinking about it for all this time though, I just didn’t know how to put everything in words!

Paper Butterflies follows June, a girl whose mum has passed away and she currently lives with her dad and and her new stepmother with her daughter. She is physically and mentally abused by her horrible stepmother and stepsister, but it’s always just enough for her dad not to suspect anything.

Then one day June meets a wonderful boy in the woods, Blister, and his wonderful family and they’re her little piece of Heaven on Earth. They help her escape the horrors she lives at home.

Throughout the book we follow June from her very young life and it’s intertwined with her life now as an adult as she is trying to cope with what she experienced.

Lisa Heathfield does such a wonderful job at making this book feel so real. When I first started it, I literally couldn’t read more than five pages without needing to take a break. June experiences so many horrible horrible things that it are hard to read about and hard to believe that anyone could do that to a child. Yet, we all know that it happens everyday all over the world. This is a very important read but it’s not easy.

Bad things after bad things just keep on happening to June and all I wanted was for something good to happen for once. For her dad to see the truth in everything. I wanted justice.

I had a very hard time rating this book, because it is a brilliant and real and so important but it’s also so hard to read. I balled my eyes out for about an hour after I finished it. I was having a full on sob.

I definitely recommend it to everyone. But be aware of the abuse and bullying that happens.

My rating – 8/10

Paper Butterflies is being released in the UK on the 30th of June, you can preorder it here! This is the author’s second book and I’m dying to get my hands on her first book, Seed, which I’ve heard amazing things about.


Illumicrate #3 Unboxing

It’s time to do another Illumicrate unboxing! Illumicrate is a UK based subscription service and I’ve done two unboxing of their boxes before. You can check them out here and here!

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Let’s get straight into the goodies that came in this quarter’s box! (Illumicrate is a quarterly subscription box)

1. When We Collided by Emery Lord

I have already read and reviewed and loved this book on the blog as I received it from the publisher as an ARC. You can check it out here. The book also came with a signed bookplate and some postcards.

2 and 3. To Be Read List Notepad by Goodnight Boutique and Ex Libris Stamp by Little Stamp Store

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I love this little notepad and will definitely come in handy to keep track of my books. However, not everyone reviews books so I’m not sure if everyone receiving this box will make use of this little notepad. The stamp is pretty cute but it doesn’t come with any ink so if you actually want to use it you have to get it, which I’m not sure I’ll be doing for the purpose of this one stamp…

4 and 5. Book Club Mug by The Art of Escapism and Bookworm Clip by My Bookish Mark

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I got SUPER excited when I saw a mug. I love me some mugs and this one has a super cute design. However, it’s a plastic mug? Does anyone actually want a plastic mug ever? I’m probably going to end up using this just to keep my bookmarks in or something. And I’m not a huge fan of the paper clip. I think it’s meant to be used as a bookmark but using a paper clip as a bookmark is not that practical in my opinion.

6. Readers Gonna Read Pin by Literary Emporium

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It saddens me to say that this is the only item in the box that I completely love. It is just so darn pretty! It went straight on my backpack ❤

7. Extras from Strange the Dreamer, The Square Root of Summer, Mystery and Mayhem, the Ladybird series

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My Overall Thoughts:

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These are my honest opinions and I do not wish to offend anyone but I was quite disappointed by this quarter’s box. I have mentioned a few of the points of what I didn’t like in the different sections of the post but I think what really did it was the book. I loved When We Collided and was planning on getting the final copy of the book anyway. But this book had been out for OVER A MONTH when I received Illumicrate! And I did not receive it late. I don’t think that’s acceptable for a subscription box at all. A few people who got this box actually already had the book.

I did not think the contents of this box were worth the £30 I paid for it, especially when the book is not even that new of a release and you can get it on BD for £5.

My rating – 5/10

I have cancelled my Illumicrate subscription for now and I’m on the lookout for more UK subscription boxes!

If you have any recommendations for UK subscriptions boxes please let me know in the comments! And did you receive this quarter’s Illumicrate? What did you think of it?