I am a huge fan of The 100 television series and an even bigger fan of the original book on which the show is based so I was extremely eager to get st...moreI am a huge fan of The 100 television series and an even bigger fan of the original book on which the show is based so I was extremely eager to get stuck into the sequel. I devoured it in one evening and enjoyed it immensely. Kass Morgan has kept the pace fast, the plot intriguing and the characters interesting and I enjoyed this one as much, if not more than the original. If like me, you are hooked on the show then I would definitely recommend getting your hands on the books.
It's twenty-one days since the hundred landed on earth and they have discovered that they are not alone. As the characters struggle to get along together and survive in their new environment, there is an even bigger threat to their safety lurking on the periphery.
The narrative once again alternates between Glass, Clarke, Wells and Bellamy. I love all four characters and I enjoyed getting to see their differing perspectives on events. Wells has always been one of my favourites and I liked him even more this time around as he tries to be a strong leader to the rest of the group. Glass really grew on me too and I was gripped to her part of the story which takes place back in space. The people who remain behind on the ships are in even more danger than the hundred but I thought that Glass handled the threat with real courage and bravery. She is determined that nothing will come between her and Luke and is willing to fight for their love.
I really liked the introduction of some new faces too, particularly Sasha who Wells gets on with extremely well. I was never keen on the love triangle between him, Clarke and Bellamy, so I'm glad Kass Morgan has introduced another female to the mix.
'Day 21' was sheer brilliance and definitely got me out of my reading slump. The only problem is that because it was so fantastic, I ended up reading it really quickly and now have a long wait for the next instalment. I'm going to be on tenterhooks until then!
Part memoir and part-guide, Nicole explores her own reasons for giving up sugar and the health benefits that this led to. I was particularly intereste...morePart memoir and part-guide, Nicole explores her own reasons for giving up sugar and the health benefits that this led to. I was particularly interested in the fact that she suffered from tonsillitis (as did I which led to me having a tonsillectomy as an adult) but after giving up her sugar consumption, states that she no longer suffered from repeated bouts of this. As this is my main reason for wanting to quit sugar, I found this truly inspiring.
I loved reading all of Nicole’s anecdotes from her childhood about her love of sweets and puddings, as I used to have an equally sweet tooth before completely overhauling my diet. Although I struggle with the absence of some foods, I’m gradually learning to live without chocolate and have tried to turn all of my previous chock-full of sugar cake recipes into healthier alternatives.
I found myself nodding along to many of the sections in the book where eating out is the main focus of the chapter. It’s all very well only having the right foods in your cupboards at home, but what about when your friends ask you to meet them for your usual Saturday morning tea and cakes? There is some handy advice in the book about how to deal with situations such as these, as well as useful tips about always being prepared with some sugar-free snacks of your own when you’re out and about.
There are some brilliant recipes in the back of the book which I will definitely be having a go at making, as well as a handy guide to which foods you should be avoiding. A lot of things are obvious, such as cakes, chocolate, fizzy drinks and sauces but then there are all the those items which contain hidden sugars and which aren’t so obviously bad for you.
As Nicole states, she is not an expert or a nutritionist but just someone that decided one day she was going to change her life around by giving up sugar. I admire her determination and her commitment and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone facing a similar situation. It has definitely inspired me and it’s a book that I will be reaching for again and again to keep me on the right path. (less)
'Eversea' is set in Butler Cove, South Carolina which is like my dream seaside town. It is small enough that everyone knows each other, with sea, sand...more'Eversea' is set in Butler Cove, South Carolina which is like my dream seaside town. It is small enough that everyone knows each other, with sea, sand and romance right on the residents' doorsteps. The main character Keri Ann has grown-up in Butler Cove and it is the only place that she has ever called home. With her older brother away at school and both her parents dead, she only has her best friend Jazz to rely on, until Jack Eversea - a gorgeous and famous actor, walks into her life and sets her heart spinning.
'Eversea' is a gorgeous romance which weaves a beautiful story about love against the odds. Keri Ann wasn't expecting to have her heart stolen by the handsome stranger who appears in her bar one night, but this is a love which although against the odds, will be hard fought for and cherished.
I really liked Keri Ann who is somewhat of an old soul. She is scared of opening herself up to anyone after having suffered terrible loss but Jack seems to wear down her resistance and makes her want to start living again and taking chances. She has settled for a life which she believes she must accept but he shows her that there is so much more out there for her to experience.
Handsome Jack Eversea is definitely my new boy crush! Phwoar, he is hot, hot, hot! I fell head over heels for him from the start. Although he is a famous movie star, he is incredibly down to earth and the sparks between him and Keri Ann are off the chart. I loved the way that the tension simmered away between them and built to a real fever pitch.
I was captivated and swept away by 'Eversea' which was impossible to put down. I would highly recommend this book to fans of the New Adult genre and I am utterly desperate now to read the sequel 'Forever, Jack' so that I can revisit my two favourite characters. (less)
This book left me feeling giddy with joy! It's a wonderfully imaginative reimagining of what happened after Dorothy saved Oz and helped to ensure that...moreThis book left me feeling giddy with joy! It's a wonderfully imaginative reimagining of what happened after Dorothy saved Oz and helped to ensure that the Tin Man got a heart, the Scarecrow a brain and the Lion his courage. I love The Wizard of Oz. I've seen the musical countless times and my heart always feels lighter after I've watched Judy Garland skip along that yellow brick road. I'm also a huge fan of Gregory Maguire's Wicked books, so anything to do with Oz lore and I'm your girl. I adored every page of Dorothy Must Die and I never wanted it to end. This is a book which I will be picking up to read over and over again and it's one of my top reads of the year.
The main character Amy Gumm is swept away to Oz by a tornado, only to find that everything she had assumed about Dorothy and co from the books and movies is completely wrong. Dorothy is sucking the magic out of the land and the boundaries between good and wicked have become blurred. Amy doesn't know who she can trust and soon finds herself becoming embroiled in the politics of Oz as she is recruited to be the girl who will kill the famous Dorothy. Wow, if that plot doesn't make you want to immediately run out and the door and grab yourself a copy of this book then I don't know what will. The storyline was amazing and brilliantly combined so many of the elements of Oz that were familiar to me, while at the same time, turning everything on it's head.
There are some truly wonderful characters in the book. I loved Ollie the monkey and the kindly witch Gert who is a member of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I also thought Amy was fantastic and such a likeable heroine. Prepare yourself though for finding out what Glinda is really like and get ready to run and hide when the Lion, who is now quite frankly terrifying, arrives on the scene.
I was enthralled in the story from start to finish. I can't believe Danielle Paige left readers hanging at the end where she did but this has only fuelled my desire to read the sequel even more. There is also an e-book prequel novella called 'No Place Like Oz' which I will definitely be buying.
Fans of Oz MUST get their hands on this book. I can't recommend it highly enough. The writing is lush and original and the narrative just carried me away. I now have a desire to dye my hair pink and get a plucky rat sidekick. Sheer brilliance in a book! (less)
Set in 1989, this series was originally published in the eighties. Janet Quin-Harkin was a huge favourite of mine when I was a teenager and so I was t...moreSet in 1989, this series was originally published in the eighties. Janet Quin-Harkin was a huge favourite of mine when I was a teenager and so I was thrilled at the news that the Heartbreak Café series was being republished for a whole new audience of readers. I thought that the story might feel a little dated considering it's over twenty years old but it didn't at all. It deals with so many universal themes which will resonate with teens today, such as trying to become independent and find your own way in life, juggling the demands of school and friends with a part-time job and facing the trauma of parental divorce, that it still feels as fresh and new as when it was first written.
'No Experience Required' centres around Debbie, whose parents have just split up. Finding it hard to cope with a mother who has decided to go back to school, Debbie decides to get a part-time job. When she stumbles across the Heartbreak Café her mind is made-up that this is where she's going to work, even though she has never flipped a burger in her entire life. She begins to work alongside the gorgeous Joe and they develop a bit of a love/hate relationship. But with sparks flying between them, could their wisecracks mean something more?
I adored the Heartbreak Café gang. There's cool Joe who all the girls are head over heels in love with, Ashley and her penchant for chocolate, plus geeky Howard and carefree Art. They are such a great gang that I wanted to scoot over on a stool, with a dish of chocolate madness in front of me and join in with all their fun.
If you're looking for hot and sizzling then you won't find it here but what you do get is a sweet, clean teen series where the romance is innocent and you won't catch the characters using any expletives, not even when things get steamy in the kitchen. It's such a refreshing change that I enjoyed kicking back and delighting in a wonderful slice of nostalgia.
I can't wait for the rest of the series to be published. Next up is 'The Main Attraction'. Will Debbie and Joe ever become a couple? You'll have to wait and see. (less)
I don't review many non-fiction books on my blog but anyone that knows me, knows that I am a huge baking fan and am absolutely hooked on the Great Bri...moreI don't review many non-fiction books on my blog but anyone that knows me, knows that I am a huge baking fan and am absolutely hooked on the Great British Bake Off. I was extremely excited to get my hands on Cathryn's new book as I was rooting for her to win Bake Off season 3. It's great to see the success she's had since appearing on the show and I couldn't wait to have a go at making all of her lovely recipes.
'Let's Bake' is aimed at encouraging baking with your family. There are recipes to suit all levels of bakers, from those just starting out to those who feel more confident in the kitchen. The book is divided into four sections, each one encompassing a different season and incorporating some gorgeous seasonal recipes. For example in Autumn when the blackberry bushes are straining under the weight of all those ripe, juicy berries, why not have a go at making Cathryn's drop scones with bramble butter and fresh blackberries. I know I'll be trying this one out!
Each recipe is very easy to follow and the layout is extremely clear with handy step-by-step photos to lend a helping hand. Even the more challenging recipes look achievable with some handy tips to ensure that your all your bakes turn out perfect.
Some of my favourite recipes so far include the malty moon custard biscuits, the gorgeous easy feta cheese triangles and the sweetcorn and chorizo cornbread muffins. I would recommend following Cathryn's advice on the latter and eating them warm straight out of the oven. I also can't wait to make the beautiful white rabbit cake, as well as the cheese and chive biscuits in the shape of little mice. I think children would love these.
A round of applause to Cathryn for writing such a wonderful baking book. My copy is already splattered with flour but isn't that always a sign of a well-used and well-loved recipe book. I'm looking forward to whipping up lots more of these delicious looking recipes and I'm sure my family will enjoy eating them! (less)
Abbi Glines can do no wrong and with 'Rush Too Far' she treats all of us Rosemary Beach fans by taking us back to the beginning of Rush and Blaire's r...moreAbbi Glines can do no wrong and with 'Rush Too Far' she treats all of us Rosemary Beach fans by taking us back to the beginning of Rush and Blaire's romance. We get to see events unfold from the point of view of Rush as he meets Blaire for the first time and falls ridiculously head over heels in love with her.
I have to say that at no point did the story feel repetitive, even though I already knew what the outcome was going to be. There were some new scenes featuring Rush which I loved and I particularly enjoyed the fact that even when he was trying to make Blaire dislike him, he was secretly already falling for her and falling hard. It was great to see how much he changes to become a better person for Blaire and the type of person that she can be proud to stand beside. He hasn't always made good decisions in the past but he determines that he will do better and be better and he really manages to turn his life around.
It was such a treat to see of my favourite scenes again from Rush's perspective. I am obsessed with the infamous 'peanut butter' kitchen scene which causes him to constantly want to watch Blaire eat (so sweet!) and I also love it when he sees her in her cowboy boots for the first time. No one else can leave him lost for words like Blaire can. It was also great to see how sweet and caring Rush was towards Blaire. Although he has been a big womaniser and has a chequered past, he comes such a long way in managing to put that firmly behind him.
Although I was already a big Rush fan, I think this book definitely gave me a greater understanding of his character and I ended up liking him even more than before. Although I don't agree with a few of the things he does in the first part of the book, I found that I was able to more easily put that to one side this time around. He and Blaire are such a wonderful couple and I loved getting to read their story again. It was truly magical! (less)
'Bad For You' is the seventh book in the Sea Breeze series and one of my favourites so far! I literally fell in love with this one and I can't wait to...more'Bad For You' is the seventh book in the Sea Breeze series and one of my favourites so far! I literally fell in love with this one and I can't wait to pick it up and read it all over again. In the meantime, I may just go back and re-read some of my favourite Krit and Blythe moments.
I wasn't too sure about Krit from the glimpses I'd had of him in the previous book 'Misbehaving'. Although he'd shown me some attractive qualities, he also came across as a real womaniser who found it impossible to be faithful to just one woman. What I love about Abbi Glines however, is that she really gets under the skin of a character and allows you to see their true personality. I ended up completely changing my original perception of Krit and by the end I had fallen for him and fallen hard. Blythe is one lucky girl! Krit's addictive personality means that he quite quickly becomes infatuated with Blythe - even when he is still trying to deny his feelings for her to himself. Although he is extremely experienced, she is not and I thought it was touching that he was so tender and caring where she was concerned, never making her take the next step until she was ready.
In comparison, I loved Blythe from the very beginning. We share some similar character traits and she is the kind of person who I would have liked to have had as a best friend. Although she is shy and hates to be the centre of attention, she never fails to speak up for Krit and sees the real him, underneath the tattoos and piercings and his rock star persona. I enjoyed seeing how she interacted with the other people in Krit's life too, especially his sister Trisha, who has always been the one to defend and protect him in the past. Even though she has had a really tough upbringing and has never been shown an ounce of love, she is still willing to open herself up to others and lay herself bare. I admired so many things about her that I think she may even be my favourite female character of the whole series.
I never want to leave Sea Breeze - I adore the characters and their stories and I could go on reading about them forever! Abbi Glines never disappoints me with her truly fantastic books and 'Bad For You' has shot right to the top of my best reads of 2014. (less)
'White Trash Beautiful' is a gorgeous book which really tugged at my heartstrings. I found it very moving and emotional and I got quite weepy in place...more'White Trash Beautiful' is a gorgeous book which really tugged at my heartstrings. I found it very moving and emotional and I got quite weepy in places. It's best read with a big box of tissues beside you.
The story revolves around the main character Cass who is desperate to turn her life around. She scrimps and saves but fears that with a drug addict boyfriend and a dependant mother, she will never be able to escape her dead end job in a small town diner and her trailer park home. Things are bleak for Cass until Tucker waltzes into her life and brings with him hopes and dreams for the future that she had never dared imagine. I really felt sorry for Cass. She tries to keep things together and tries to do the right thing but her life is so awful and she feels a misplaced sense of gratitude towards her boyfriend Jackson which means that she doesn't kick him to the curb like I thought she should have. It's Cass that keeps things afloat for the people in her life but she can't help but dream of something more.
I loved Tucker and I was rooting for him and Cass from the start. He truly is like a knight in shining armour to her and I appreciated the fact that he was defensive of her right from the start of their relationship. Their romance is gradual but like a fairy tale to Cass and provides her with the escape from reality that she needs. I wish she could have believed in herself a little more though as at times she seemed far too hard on herself and didn't think that she deserved any more than she already had.
This is my first Teresa Mummert book and I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. 'White Trash Beautiful' is a gritty, realistic romance which features characters who have to fight against the odds to be together but who you'll be desperate to see together. I am so happy that this is only the first book in a trilogy about Cass and Tucker because I want to see much more of them and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that they get the happy ever after that they both deserve. (less)
'The Fearless' by British author Emma Pass is pretty much awesome from start to finish. I was in a bit of a reading slump until I picked up this book...more'The Fearless' by British author Emma Pass is pretty much awesome from start to finish. I was in a bit of a reading slump until I picked up this book and it was just what I was looking for, a fast-paced story which led me on an exhilarating, terrifying and nail-biting journey. I haven't actually read Emma Pass's first book 'Acid' yet so I wasn't sure what to expect from her writing, but I loved it. The characters and the story concept were both brilliant and had me completely hooked.
I could definitely see the story transferring well to the big screen because everything was so well depicted and it had all the right ingredients to make anyone a fan of the series.
The plot is about a society which has been taken over by the Fearless - people who have been injected with a serum which takes away their emotions: fear, hate, love and their empathy for other human beings. Super strong and fast, they begin to destroy everything in their path, leading to families literally fleeing for their lives. The main character Cass lives on the island of Hope, where she and her younger brother Jori seek shelter from the horrors of the world. With her mother and father dead she is determined to protect Jori no matter the cost.
Packed full of suspense, the story hurtles along, hardly giving you time to breathe as Cass finds herself in some desperate and dangerous situations. I really, really enjoyed it and found myself unable to put it down. I was gripped by the adventure that unfolded but also liked the touches of romance and the strong bond between siblings that came across so well. It's nice to come across a British author who can more than hold her own with some of the most popular YA series in bookshops at the moment.
I'm extremely impatient to find out what lies in store next for Cass as the ending of the book signals more action still to come (I hope this isn't a stand-alone). I will definitely be along for the ride! (less)
This book sounded exactly like my cup of tea and proved to be a real five star read!
The story is about a group of teenagers who form an unexpected fri...moreThis book sounded exactly like my cup of tea and proved to be a real five star read!
The story is about a group of teenagers who form an unexpected friendship when they all join the school's new Bake Club. It centres mainly on Lottie, who, desperate to escape her problems at home, throws herself into her passion for baking - a way for her to feel close to her deceased father. Although she tries to keep the truth about her home life secret from her teachers and her fellow students, because of her involvement in the club she makes new friendships, finds romance and gradually learns how to open up to those around her.
I love the fact that the characters perhaps wouldn't have ordinarily have become friends but because of Bake Club they form a solid friendship through their shared love of baking. They begin to help each other with their personal problems and their bond with each other was something that I really loved. There are some great secondary characters in the story and I found myself wanting to know more about all of them.
The romance between Lottie and Mac is so sweet and cute. He's the school bad boy but underneath his tough exterior he is a caring and considerate boy. He's misjudged by a lot of the adults in the book but with Lottie by his side he begins to turn his life around and build a new future for himself.
What I particularly adored about this book was the way it combined my love of reading and baking. I am a massive baking fan and I never miss an episode of the Great British Bake Off, therefore I absolutely loved the bonus addition of some wonderfully tasty recipes. I've already made the pumpkin pie and blueberry muffins and the chocolate chip cookies are to die for! Like Lottie and co, when I'm baking, I can forget about anything else that I have to do and just focus on the mixing, beating, measuring and stirring. This is captured perfectly in the pages of the story and was something I loved about the overall book which was truly as sweet and delicious as a cupcake!
Katy Cannon's next book is out in February 2015 and will be called 'Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines'. It's already top of my list of books I absolutely need to buy next year. (less)
I'd heard so much about this book and read so many positive reviews that I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. When it arrived I'll admit that I...moreI'd heard so much about this book and read so many positive reviews that I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. When it arrived I'll admit that I spent a good long while just marvelling over the absolutely beautiful cover art before I even cracked it open. It's so pretty and looks so nice on my bookshelves!
The story itself is a blend of fantasy and historical fiction. The main character Kestral, is the daughter of a general. At the beginning of the book she bids successfully on a slave for her father's household. The winner's curse is the hugely inflated price that she pays for him. Arin, the new slave, will change everything. I really wasn't too sure about Kestral at the start. She came across as quite snobby and superior but as her personality began to shine through, I liked her more and more and I began to understand her motives and reasons.
There is quite a lot in the first half of the book about the history of the country. It focuses on the divide between the ruling Valorians and the suppressed Herrani, who they conquered and turned into slaves. This is quite detailed and complex and I had to really concentrate to make sure that I understood everything but it added such a rich layer to the story and helped when trying to appreciate the different standpoints of many of the characters.
Although I found the beginning of 'The Winner's Curse' a little slow at times, as the plot progressed I became more and more absorbed. I thought the scenes between Kestral and Arin were wonderfully written and I enjoyed the push-pull nature of their relationship, as the dynamics gradually start to shift. The ending left me on tenterhooks and desperate to know what would happen next.
This is the first book in a trilogy which I will definitely be sticking with. I'm eager for the story to continue and will be rushing out to get my hands on a copy when the sequel is published. (less)