Monday, 27 November 2017

Killer Diamonds by Rebecca Chance

Killer DiamondsKiller Diamonds by Rebecca Chance
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After decades in the spotlight as an Oscar-winning film star and famous beauty, Vivienne Winter is one of the most recognizable women on the planet. When she decides to auction her multimillion dollar jewellery collection for charity, there's no shortage of people eager to buy a piece of her incredible history.
Young, ambitious Christine Smith is a jewellery expert working for a centuries-old auction house. But in a world of aristocratic snobs, her working-class origins are holding her back. She's desperate to secure the sale of Vivienne Winter's gem collection: it's set to be the biggest auction since Elizabeth Taylor's. However, meeting the Hollywood star is just the first hurdle Christine has to jump.
Vivienne's handsome, spoilt and sexy playboy grandson Angel is the heir to her fortune. The anger and resentment he feels towards his grandmother for selling what he'd counted on as one day being his inheritance sets in motion a series of events with deadly consequences. Angel is totally unscrupulous, and no one will emerge from his plotting unscathed. For it seems that family secrets cut sharper than diamonds . . .

Wasn’t really into this book – I felt the story line was weak and the characters didn’t gel with each other or with me as a reader. Having opened up with a murder the book then goes back in time with the central character Vivienne living out her somewhat hedonistic life and neglecting her daughter Pearl who goes on to have her own son Angel and is forced by Vivienne to hand him over to her care in exchange for Vivienne hushing up a rather nasty murder. Angel is damaged and grows up to be outwardly the perfect playboy who eventually ends up working closely with a gems curator Christine Smith who has been asked to catalogue Vivienne’s vast jewellery collection. It sounds like a good plot line and it is but it seemed for me to loose its way and I struggled to finish this one. Yes it had all the trade mark raunchy scenes so that should keep fans happy but I felt it lacked the killer punch so can only give this 3 stars.

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

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


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.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

When Time Runs Out by Elina Hirvonen

When Time Runs OutWhen Time Runs Out by Elina Hirvonen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The world is on the brink of catastrophe. If we lose hope in a better future, what are we left with?

A young man is shooting people from a rooftop in downtown Helsinki.

An unsuspecting mother is confronted with a horrifying scenario she's powerless to stop.

A sister can only watch events unfold from afar.

Over the course of a day, one family fractures and with lives at stake each member must examine everything that brought them to this moment. But this crisis goes beyond their small lives; Aslak is not the only boy on a rooftop with a gun today. He is part of an international group set on stopping environmental disaster by killing as many of those they deem responsible as they can.

Can a desperate mother reconcile her complicated feelings towards her son and reach him in time to stop a catastrophe? This is the story of the lives on the brink and finding hope in the face of despair.

Reading the blurb and looking at the front cover of this one I thought I would whiz through the novel and it would be fast paced and a top thriller, unfortunately for me, I found it a little boring in placed and found myself skim reading parts.

Initially I found the book a bit of a struggle to get into, I was a little confused as to who was who. After a while the chapters began with a characters name and it made it easier to follow. The chapters were really short, this was great as you could read a little bit and come back to it. I did read this in one sitting but it took me a lot longer than I anticipated and I think this was due to the pace and the fact I found it a little boring at times.

This is a book that is very topical now, unfortunately and I feel the story could have been told better. It was just an O.K read for me.

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

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Girlboss Workbook: An Interactive Journal for Winning at Life by Sophia Amoruso

The Girlboss Workbook: An Interactive Journal for Winning at LifeThe Girlboss Workbook: An Interactive Journal for Winning at Life by Sophia Amoruso
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hot on the heels of the new Netflix show based on #GIRLBOSScomes Sophia Amoruso's workbook of tips, doodles, and fill-in-the-blanks that will help you become your best Girlboss yet.

A graphic and whimsical easy-to-carry life bible filled with to-do lists, timelines, exercises, illustrations and plenty of scribble room, The Girlboss Workbook is fit for both the dreamer and the doer. It invites you--hell, implores you--to get in there and mess it up a little. Write in the blank spaces and in between them.

#GIRLBOSS started as Sophia's story, but The Girlboss Workbook is your story. It includes the best advice from #GIRLBOSS, of course, and will remind readers of the story of the girl who got her start fumbling and failing hard, but now it is time to take her story and use it to help you write your own.

Use The Girlboss Workbook to design your own freak flag to your heart's content. Ask yourself (or your mom) what makes you special and then draw in your own special snowflake. Revisit #GIRLBOSS's sage career wisdom and then use it to draft your own dream cover letter and answer your own practice interview questions. Fill in the blanks with your turn-ons and turn-offs, your most badass accomplishments, your mistakes. Write your own lemonade recipe with your own personal lemons. Use this workbook as a diary, a mood board, a stress ball.

No need to handle this book with care and no need to live a typical, cookie-cutter life. Sophia's has been anything but.

When this fell on my door mat yesterday I thought it looked really fun. I hadn't read Girl Boss but I didn't think that mattered, after reading this I know that I am right.

This book is one of advise on getting a job and such things, there are also motivational pages and it is inspirational. It is great that it is interactive and you can document your thoughts and feelings throughout. There seems to be more information to begin with and it becomes more of a motivation journey you fill in towards the end.

It was a very quick read, but it is one of those books that you will go back to and pick up time and time again, flicking to the part that is relevant to you for that particular day.

This is a book that would be useful even if you are not the 'boss' or have your own business. You can still take elements from the interactive part of the book. You can also link it to your own life, for instance there is a part of debt and how to ensure you get out of it, this could apply to you even if you don't have a business.

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

Friday, 3 November 2017

#scandal by Sarah Ockler

#scandal#scandal by Sarah Ockler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A private, high school senior gets an unwanted turn in the spotlight when a Facebook scandal goes viral after prom in this comedic, edgy novel from the author of The Book of Broken Hearts and Bittersweet.

Lucy's learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart's all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don't feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole's date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she'd rather stay home shredding online zombies. And especially the one where she's been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after-party with a kiss under the stars, it's everything Lucy has ever dreamed of...and the biggest BFF dealbreaker ever. But before they get the chance to 'fess up to Ellie, Lucy's own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising photos of her and Cole, along with tons of other students' party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy's been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal, just weeks before graduation.

Lucy's been battling undead masses online long enough to know that there's only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. There's just one snag--Cole. Turns out Lucy's not the only one who's been harboring unrequited love...

I have had this book on my shelf for a while now and finally got round to picking it up. I have an interest in books that are in modern time and use technology to help tell a story, I thought this one I would really enjoy.

Right from the beginning you are thrown into the middle of the story, Lucy at Prom, attending with her best friends boyfriend as her friend is sick and wants her to go with him. This is the first part of the story I just couldn't get on with, I mean why? Why would you want your best friend going with your boyfriend to a potentially romantic venue? It just didn't make any sense and was very predictable.

I enjoyed the 'Gossip Girl' style of writing, with someone behind a screen, knowing all the gossip but no one knowing who this person is. So Lucy head off to an after prom party with Cole, her best friends boyfriend and seems to loose all her belongings, including her phone, in the morning she still can't find it but discovers the person who has it has been sharing images of that night.

I thought that the book grabbed me in the beginning and I thought I was really going to enjoy it but then I found it a little boring. I don't know if this is because I am not in the target audience for this book and perhaps I am outgrowing YA, or just that it was really predictable and I lost interest in it.

This was the first book I have read by Ockler and to be honest I don't think I would read another by her. You may love this book and if you like reading about social media and the effects it can have on teenagers today then you will probably enjoy this, unfortunately though it just wasn't for me.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

My Encyclopedia of Very Important Animals by DK Publishing

My Encyclopedia of Very Important AnimalsMy Encyclopedia of Very Important Animals by DK Publishing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For little animal lovers who want to know everything. From birds and frogs to sharks and dogs, this book is perfect for the curious little animal lover in your life.
Mixing photography and charming illustration, kids will discover important facts about the wonderful world of animals - from what they eat and where they live, to why people are animals too.
My Encyclopedia of Very Important Animals is a friendly book that gets children learning, reading, and laughing!

This is a very beautiful book, it is slightly padded front and back, it is A4 in size and has high quality paper and ink.

This is very easy to follow and understand, perfect for when children want to research on their own. I was impressed with the variety of animals in this book, not all you would think of straight away.

Each page has many interesting facts on it, it is perfect for children to read alone but also a book you could share. This is a brilliant book for helping children understand non - fiction as the features are very clear for them to be able to use independently. This is also the type of book children would enjoy reading just before bed.

Taking this into school, my class got a lot of use and enjoyment out of it, it also helped to enhance their learning and made them realise that non fiction books can also be fun.

This is a book that I would recommend to children as there is so much they can learn from it, it would also keep them entertained for hours.

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