Wednesday, 11 April 2018

{Review} Lure of Oblivion (The Mercury Pack '3) by Suzanne Wright

35228099
Posted by Donna
Release Date: November 1st, 2017
Finished Date: April 6th, 2018
Publishers: Montlake Publishing
Genre: Adult, Romance, Paranormal
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 333
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
Gwen Miller may be a human, but she has no problem taking a stand against her own kind. She’s going to testify against the teenage boy she saw viciously assault a lone shifter female—and no amount of pressure from the boy’s wealthy family will make her back down. But when the harassment turns violent, help comes in the form of a lean, toned wolf with winter-gray eyes.

As a guest at Gwen’s inn, shifter enforcer Zander Devlin can’t help but notice that the fierce and leggy brunette is in serious trouble. Since she’s putting herself at risk for one of his kind, keeping her safe is the least he can do. That’s not the only reason Zander wants her close. He desires her, even as the wolf inside him backs away from her. But his feral instincts are hard to keep down, and as they take shape, they’re harder for Gwen to resist. Then again, embracing them could be the only thing that could save her life.

The Review: I love The Phoenix/Mercury Pack series. I love them both and I don’t really see them as different series because they are linked in so many ways still but after a little break from this world, I’ve finally read Lure of Oblivion and it was really good. 

Lure of Oblivion follows shifter enforcer Zander Delvin and human Gwen Miler. Zander and Gwen meet while Zander is staying at Gwen’s family Inn in Oregon after his Uncle passes away and has to be present for the reading of his will. However while staying at the Inn, Zander quickly comes to realise that Gwen has problems because she is trying to help a female shifter who was recently drugged and beaten by a group of local boys. Now Gwen is paying the price for standing up to the family. 

This was so good. I really enjoyed this book! Mainly because I loved that the romance was drawn out – there was no insta-love or instant connection etc. It takes a while for things to heat up between the two characters, not ages but it gave the story the suspense to make it very enjoyable. I really like Zander and Gwen as characters, they certainly weren’t expecting each other and I loved seeing their reactions as the story unfolds. Even though Gwen is human she is far from weak and definitely the perfect match for Zander.

It will be interesting to see where this series goes next and whose story will be told as well. So hopefully we won’t have to wait long for some news! I can’t wait either way. 

Thank you to Montlake Publishing for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 9 April 2018

{Review} Defending Taylor (Hundred Oak #7) by Miranda Kenneally

29347915
Posted by Donna
Release Date: July 5th, 2016
Finished Date: April 3rd, 2018
Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 304
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor's always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that's what is expected of a senator's daughter. But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for her boyfriend-and Taylor's kicked out of private school. Everything she's worked so hard for is gone, and now she's starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor's escape from the pressures of school and family, but it's hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she's going through is her older brother's best friend, Ezra. Taylor's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it's hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

The Review: I’ve been reading the Hundred Oak series since the first book Catching Jordan released and it’s great that this series is still going strong. Defending Taylor is book seven in the series and like all the other books this is another great addition to the series. 

Defending Taylor is about a teenage girl who comes from a wealthy family. Her father is a senator and has the help of from mother, while her brother and sister both attend Ivy League colleagues. Taylor herself wants to attend Yale and then go on to work at her family’s company, however one mistake lands Taylor being expelled from private school and having no choice but to enrol at Hundred Oaks High. While Taylor tries to deal with the pressure from her family to be perfect, not get into trouble and stay away from boys, Ezra Carmichael walks back into her life – the boy who she has been in love with for years but is determined to not let hurt her again. 

I really enjoyed Taylor’s story that I actually managed to read it within a 48 hour period. I honestly can’t remember the last time I did that because it normally takes me at least a week to read a book nowadays. As soon as I started reading her story though, I instantly liked her and was invested in her from the start. I really liked her brother and sister but her parents were really hard to like. They grated on my nerves and I hated how they didn’t support her but constantly applied pressure to her. I love how Taylor stayed strong through the whole story and didn’t crack under pressure. 

Taylor and Ezra are of course the highlight for me. You all know I love a good romance book and Miranda Kenneally never fails to deliver and this is definitely a good one. I absolutely adore Ezra. He was just what Taylor needed. Their story is a little insta-love but they have a connection already so I didn’t mind.

Defending Taylor is a good, light hearted read that I’m sure anyone will enjoy. I can’t wait to read the next book Coming up for Air. 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, 31 March 2018

{Review} I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

38474445Posted by Laura (Guest Review)
Release Date: April 5th, 2018
Finished Date: February 1st, 2018 
Publishers: Simon & Schuster 
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 258
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. 

When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in help­ing the others out of theirs.

The Review: “Tears are not blood coloured, and no one cries for him. Still, he is riveted by the trail the bloody tear tracks down her cheek. It is the prettiest of the flowers, the loveliest of scars.”

Gayle Forman is one of my favourite authors so with each new release I always find myself eager to get my hands on a copy of her book and so far she has never let me down. 

I Have Lost My Way is the story of three teens and how they meet in Central Park. It’s about how different people measure sadness, complex relationships and just wanting someone to understand you and still want to know you after that.

I adore how Gayle told this story being using three different narratives/points of view without getting confusing or losing each separate voice. I Have Lost My Way is a powerful novel and completely relevant. 

Thank you to Simon Kids UK for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 20 November 2017

{Review} Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

35060362Posted by Donna
Release Date: July 27th, 2017
Finished Date: August 10th, 2017
Publishers: Simon & Schuster 
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.


The Review: I adored Jenn Bennett’s Night Owl a few years ago so as soon as I heard she had a new release coming out I dived at the chance to read it, so thank you Simon Kids UK for the review copy.

Alex, Approximately is everything a summer read should be and so much more. It’s a heart-warming retelling of the movie You’ve Got Mail but written to reflect our modern times with a sweet YA setting. The story is compelling, fun, sweet, romantic and suspenseful story and did I say sweet? It’s super sweet to the point where I couldn’t stop grinning all the way through. From the banter between the characters to the romance, this really is a stinking cute read. But not only that but it does touch of some heavier issues such as drug addiction and abandonment, so it’s not all hearts and flowers all the time but gives the reader a more entertaining read.  

I adore the characters and I seriously loved their communication texts is written. It makes you feel like you are really there with the characters who are going through this journey of self-discovery and to finding each other. 

So when someone asks me what my favourite read of Summer 2017 is, my answer is so simple. It was Alex, Approximately! If you love YA reads then this one is definitely for you. 

Loved this book?
Then I highly suggest you checking out Bookworm Candles and Crafts Alex, Approximately inspired candle smelling like emails, vesta rides and moon muffins.

You can purchase this candle here:  
http://bookwormcandlesandcrafts.bigcartel.com/
and don’t forget to use DONNABOOKWORM20 to save you 20% on all purchases. 

Thank you to Simon Kids UK for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

{Feature Post} BookBud - Better than a Beau?


Today I’m excited to speak with Gabriel Lea, first time YA author and creator of BookBud. Her little Etsy shop is creating quite a stir with her beautifully designed and professionally sewn book sleeves that have customers coming back for more. Why? Gabriel has cleverly applied her college education in fashion design and manufacture to creating book sleeves that are not only stunning to look at but are made differently to other sleeves on the market. When I asked Gabriel what sets BookBud apart, here’s what she had to say.

So how are your sleeves different to the rest?
Gabriel: All the book sleeves I know of are lined with foam which seemed weird to me for a few reasons. Firstly, you want to be able wash your sleeve when it gets grubby…it’s made of fabric…duh! You can’t just throw foam in the washing machine. It would need to be hand washed - not very practical or user friendly. Second, foam tends to compress and dent. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that their foam-lined sleeve is permanently dented where books have squished it out of shape. And third, it can be a struggle to wriggle your book in and out of a foam sleeve. So I wanted to make a better product for people.

Well, it seems that you have, given all of BookBud’s glowing reviews on Etsy and IG. 
Gabriel: Thank you. I started the store in February this year and I’m thrilled with how it’s slowly been building recognition. People are loving the thick, fleecy lining as a better alternative to foam. 

They’re also loving how well your sleeves are made and all the extras and add-ons they can choose from to customise their sleeve.
Gabriel: Yes, people can choose to add pockets, a cute button flap or a velcro tab, to name a few of the extras. 

And your prices are much cheaper than many other book sleeve stores too.
Gabriel: Well, I guess having worked as a designer, pattern maker and seamstress for many years, my sewing skills are pretty speedy and I use industrial sewing machines which are SUPER FAST! I have no interest in overcharging people. I think my prices are fair for a hand-made product and I intend to keep my product and postage prices as low as possible so everyone can afford a Bud! 

You also have Designer BookBuds in your store. Tell me about those.
Gabriel: I wanted to be the first to create book sleeves with original fandom designs, so I did. The Harry Potter houses were popular, as was the ACOMAF quote. I create the graphic designs and have them custom printed onto fabric and then sew them into BookBuds. I’m a huge advocate for saving our environment so the fabric is printed with eco-friendly, non-toxic ink. I’m hoping to have some new fandom designs finished in time for Christmas. I wish I didn’t have a day job to go to. Otherwise I’d just sit at the computer and write my next book and design cool book sleeves all day…bliss.

Well thank you so much for joining us Gabriel! 

You can visit Gabriel's Etsy Store here: 
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BookBudByGabrielLea
Instagram here: 
https://www.instagram.com/gabriellea.author/



Monday, 11 September 2017

{Review} Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

31449227Posted by Donna
Release Date: August 10th, 2017
Finished Date: August 13th, 2017
Publishers: Harper360 UK
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Source: For Review
Format: Hardback
Pages: 432
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

The Review: Ramona Blue is a story about a gay teenage girl who is struggling through each day dealing with the suffering from Hurricane Katrina which ruined her family home years before, her mother leaving, her older sister becoming pregnant by some loser guy and now she is questioning her sexuality. Ramona knows she likes girls, she has done since she can remember so there has never been any doubt there until her long lost friend Freddie moves back to her hometown and her feelings for him make her question she thinks she knows about herself. 

Ramona is a strong character who despite her family’s problems, she loves very much. She is very caring and loving for her sister. Despite their limited space in her family’s trailer she appreciates how much her father works and tries to care for them despite his low earnings. It’s why Ramona tries to help her sister so much. This proves how much of a loving character Ramona is and how loyal she is to her family. She really is a fab character! 

I have to say I think (from what I can remember) that this might be the first book I’ve ever read about a bi-sexual character. I like to think as an open minded reader I’ve read my share of diverse reads but then once in a while a new book will come along and then it’s opened me up to something different. I really enjoyed Ramona’s story. It’s different, it’s honest, it’s raw and it’s definitely an eye opening read that makes you understand what real people might just be going through on a normal day to day basis.

Now if you ask me what’s my favourite between Dumplin’ and Ramona Blue, I have to admit, Dumplin’ is so far my favourite. I guess the one problem I had with Ramona Blue is how long the book is. It needed at least 100 pages taken off but other than that, I really enjoyed it and I can not wait to see what Julie will do next.

Thank you to Harper360 UK for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

{Review} Spindle Fire (Spindle Fire #1) by Lexa Hillyer

30163661Posted by Donna
Release Date: April 11th, 2017
Finished Date: July 27th, 2017
Publishers: HarperTeen
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 351
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.

The Review: Spindle Fire has only been on my radar for a few months after I kept seeing it pop up every now and then over Instagram. I decided to look it up and even though there are quite a few mixed reviews, I was intrigued enough to want to try it. I’m always looking for new retelling stories and with this being a retelling of both Sleeping Beauty and Alice in Wonderland I was immediately excited to see how the author could combine both stories into one but I was honestly just disappointed when I started.


The story is told by two different narratives, Isabelle & Aurora. Isabelle and Aurora are very different. For starters, Aurora is the illegitimate daughter of the king while the other, Isbe is not as she was born out of wed lock and has a different mother to Aurora. Aurora is lost her sense of touch and her voice to faeries as payment, while Isbe loses her sight. I actually really liked this aspect of the story and thought it was unique and interesting. I’ve read a lot of faery books in the past and haven’t come across this as yet so it was definitely something new and fresh. But just this one likable thing couldn’t hold my interest for long.
As the story progresses both of the girls start their own journeys which leads them onto different paths but ultimately trying to reach the same ending. This is where the problem for me lies. Once their journeys start I actually started to lose interest in the story. Each sister is basically telling each retelling, and for me it just didn’t work. I found the stories became confusing and as we get further into the faery world, it didn’t make sense. The girl’s stories were going in completely different situations that once again didn’t make sense – more so Aurora’s story.
I have to admit I’m not a patient reader. If a book doesn’t grab me within the first 100 pages or so then I start to lose interest. And I lost interest very quickly with this book and this why I decided to not finish the book at around 47%. If anything I actually gave this book more time than I normally would.
Thank you to HarperTeen for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.