Thursday, 23 November 2017

Christmas Secrets in Snowflake Cove by Emily Harvale




Christmas is a time for family and friends, miracles and magic, falling snow and roaring fires, fun, laughter and festive feasts. In Snowflake Cove, it’s also a time for secrets to be revealed…
Evie Starr is hoping for more than a sprinkling of magic this Christmas. The family-run Snowflake Inn is virtually empty and the Starr’s financial future isn’t looking bright. But Evie’s gran, Jessie has a secret that might help.
Enigmatic, Zachary Thorn is every woman’s dream. He’s also ex-SAS, so his secrets are classified. The Christmas Special of his feel-good, TV show is set in Michaelmas Bay – until a phone call means he’s spending Christmas in nearby Snowflake Cove.
Evie’s best friend, Juniper thinks boyfriend Darren has a secret. Evie knows he does. And Evie’s niece, Raven is hiding feelings for Juniper’s brother – who has a secret crush of his own.
But the biggest secret in Snowflake Cove is the identity of Raven’s dad.
With snow falling thick and fast and secrets being revealed one after another, will everyone be snuggling up by the fire on Christmas Eve, or are some secrets best kept hidden…?



Christmas Secrets in Snowflake Cove (Michaelmas Bay Book 1)Christmas Secrets in Snowflake Cove by Emily Harvale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fantastic, a brand new series for Christmas!

This story isn't too long, but has a lot of characters in it and at times I did feel a little confused, however if you invest some time in it at the beginning then you won't need to worry as you will quickly be transported to Snowflake Inn.

This story has a few twists and turns that will keep you guessing and it will definitely get you into the holiday mood.

This is a book I will be recommending to others this Christmas as you will not be disappointed with it.

I would like to thank the author for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Bad Brides by Rebecca Chance

Bad BridesBad Brides by Rebecca Chance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good brides promise to obey. Bad brides wouldn't dream of it… 

Milly Gambleis an up-and-coming actress, and the perfect English flower child. At 23, she's always been cast as the innocent heroine. But looks can deceive. Calculating and fiercely ambitious, Milly is determined to be the most famous star in England. And how better to achieve her goal than by dating Tarquin Ormond, lead singer of the biggest folk band of the moment? Tarquin is madly in love with Milly; Milly is only in love with herself. 

Brianna Jadeis an all-American pageant girl. The daughter of Tamra Maloney, a stunning billionairess, Brianna is a sweet, pretty girl who is more than happy to go along with her mother's ambitious plans for her. Now Tamra's brought her to the UK and hooked her up with an Earl. He has a crumbling stately home and needs a rich wife to help restore it to its former glory. Tamra is as ambitious and determined as Brianna is sweet and innocent - is this more a case of mother-in-law-zilla than bridezilla? 

Both Milly and Brianna's upcoming weddings will be huge, lavish events that garner national press. But with the cover of the biggest magazine in the country to be won, things are about to get very dirty…



If you love Gilly Cooper and Joan Collins you’ll enjoy Rebecca Chance novels. I had not read her before and although there was a lot of raunchy sex surprisingly the story wasn’t at all bad. Two very different girls both vie to be the cover bride of the glossy magazine Style Bride and the story follows their exploits getting there. The characters are rounded and believable even the secondary characters and as they battle to be top dog they discover more about themselves than they perhaps bargained for. Brianna Jade was much the more likeable bride and her mother Tamara ruthless in her ambitions to get her daughter married to an Earl.

There are some very graphic sex scenes but Rebecca Chance is known for her steamy novels. Despite this it was a well-constructed novel and a good holiday read would give it 4 stars

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 17 November 2017

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

There's Someone Inside Your HouseThere's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Over a year after her parents sent her away from Hawaii to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, Makani Young is still adjusting to her new life. She's made a small group of close friends and even flirted with romance, but her past in Hawaii is still hard to forget.

And then . . . one by one the students of her new high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders. Makani doesn't know who's next on the list. Between this, and a secret scorching relationship with the school weirdo, this school year may turn out to be one to die for . . . literally.

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins will have you swooning with fear and romance, and is the perfect page-turner for fans of Scream Queens and I Know What You Did Last Summer.



Stephanie Perkins is well known for her contemporary YA, which have all proved to be very popular. This was long awaited and I think had a lot of hype, it had been a while since the last Stephanie Perkins book and knowing how brilliant they are, expectations for this was high.

I feel Perkins really stepped out of her comfort zone for this one and decided to write something different, for which I applaud her, it is not easy when a formula is so successful to have the confidence to try something new, but she gave it a go.

Personally for me, this didn't work, the mix of genres was a challenge and one I feel didn't work that well. It was billed as a horror, I didn't think it was scary, there was a lot of romance in it and being such a short book, I feel perhaps too much was tried to fit into it.

There were gory scenes in the book and I feel Perkins wrote these well but the ending was a little of a let down. I recommend that if you like Perkins books, give this a go. Just try to go into it without really high expectations. I would like to read other genres from Perkins such as thriller/horror, however I feel she should try to stick to one genre instead of mixing them.

Overall it was an O.K read, I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Daddy and I by Lou Treleaven

  

Daddy and I by Lou Treleaven


Blurb:

Saturday’s Daddy day, just for us two. Making and baking – so much we can do. But I see fields and a big blue sky. We’re off for a walk now, my Daddy and I.


My Review:

This book was sent to me from the lovely Maverick books, thank you! I took this one into school, excited to read it with the children. I thought this maybe quite familiar for some children, perhaps those who spend their Saturdays or another day of the week with their daddy. Single parents are quite common now and for children to spend some time with one parent without the other being present, so I thought some children maybe able to draw similarities towards it. 

The children loved the story, it is of a child who spends her Saturdays with her daddy, he goes out for walks with her but they aren't walks at all for the girl, she goes on adventures. The illustrations were lovely with pastel type colours used throughout. 

It is a book that the children engaged with and interacted with. They liked the rhyme and noticed this early on. We also used the book for discussion on the illustrations, we had a discussion on what imagination was and what this meant. 

I would recommend this story for single parent families especially so the child realises that other children see their parents of separate days too. It helps them to realise this is normal and it is also O.K. It also can bring lots of discussion in the classroom both socially but also picking the text apart as we did. 

I will read this book again to them as they enjoyed it so much, but I have a feeling this will be one that they also go to, to read independently. 

I personally wasn't sure about this book before I took it into the classroom, I wasn't sure what reception it would get. However when I realised that the children loved it and how much we got out of it, this book has to get 5*. 

I would like to thank the publisher again for sending this in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 13 November 2017

Bonkers About Beetroot by Cath Jones

Bonkers About Beetroot by Cath Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sunset Safari Park could be in danger of closing down!
Zebra and his friends try to think about how to save their home, but they might have to go a little bonkers!


This is an utterly bonkers book.

I took this into the classroom to read to 30 5 year olds and to be honest I had no idea what to expect from them. I thought it was a bit of a nutty story but it turns out they absolutely loved it.

The illustrations are beautiful and the colours really draw you in, this attracted me to the book before the title or the story as it really stood out.

The zoo animals are all in despair, they are getting no visitors and they decide they need to do something to save the safari. The Zebra comes up with some wacky ideas, which leaves the penguin telling him he is bonkers. After some thought they decide to grow a beetroot, which gets so large they think it will attract visitors from miles around, but it gets too large and the story takes on an unexpected twist at the end.

The children thought that this was funny and they now choose to read it independently during reading time.

Overall although I thought it was a little strange initially the kids loved it and as a kids book, that is all that counts. :)

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Little Mouse's Christmas by Riikka Jäntti

Little Mouse's ChristmasLittle Mouse's Christmas by Riikka Jäntti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Little Mouse has a long time to wait for Christmas! Luckily he has lots of things to do to get ready!

It’s almost Christmas and Little Mouse is looking forward to celebrating with Mummy Mouse and Grandpa and Grandma Mouse. But Christmas Eve feels very far away and Little Mouse is very impatient!

Fortunately there are all kinds of things for Little Mouse to do, like cooking gingerbread and choosing just the right Christmas tree.

The curious and lively toddler Little Mouse is back in this beautifully Scandinavian Christmas story by Finnish author/illustrator Riikka Jäntti.


This is the third in the series, I have not read any other but this didn't matter, it can certainly be read as a stand alone.

This is a story about Little Mouse, he is getting rather excited for Christmas, the book is set over the month of November and up until before Christmas day.

This is really cute and explores all the fun elements leading up to Christmas and what things you can do. Little Mouse had little time to fit everything in!

If you have children, they are going to love this book this Christmas, I recommend it for smaller children from around 3 - 6.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine—self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson—from Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does.

Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.




I loved this book, I have the hardback of it but I decided to listen to it and dip into the book as and when I wanted. To be honest, I am not sure why it took me so long to read/listen to it!

This story is about a beauty pageant, Dumplin' AKA Willowdean is slightly larger than her peers and her mother is a pageant winner and she has a passion for pageants. I wasn't really sure what was going to happen in this story, whether the plot would focus solely on beauty pageants or not. I really enjoyed that fact it was more about Willowdean and her journey. Willowdean is a really likable character and she has great confidence, this book is a lot about body confidence and how to accept yourself.

This was a really great YA, which has something for everyone. Listening to the audio book really bought the story to life, the narrator was perfect for it. She got the characters voices down to a tee, she also really made the characters feel real.

I would recommend listening to the audio book to help bring the story to life, it really did add to my enjoyment.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.