Wednesday, 24 June 2015


I've not read a book since April. 
My first exam was on April 30th (Art), and the sudden realisation of the fact that GCSEs were around the corner kicked in. The fear of exams meant I couldn't focus on reading, anytime I did try reading, I would feel sickened with the worry of exam pressure and revision. So... I stopped.  It was for the best. Now I can see how there was no way I could have attempted to enjoy a book whilst everything else was hanging over in a fluffy, dark cloud. Now that I'm free (I'M FREE!!!!), I've composed a TBR for the summer. 

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill// We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach// I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson// Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Only Ever Yours and Solitaire are both for YALC next month (I CAN GO!!!!) And the other two are books I've just been dying to read. Also, We All Looked Up has been compared to The Breakfast Club meets Seeking a Friend for the End of the World in book form; how does that not sound like a fun time?! Well, apart from the asteroids.

 All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher - Ever since I met Carrie at a signing in early May, it's been on my mind that this would be one of the first books I'd read after finishing my exams. This is a book where I want to be in the right frame of mind and stress free to read and absorb. 

The Catalyst by Helena Coggan - Now, this is a tricky one as, I'm not desperate to pick this up. Actually, it was a very unexpected arrival. Hodder & Staughton gifted me with this book (I'm guessing it's a gift as there was a note saying "with our compliments"). Paper Fury's review of this has persuaded me to read The Catalyst sometime soon!

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Gee from The Books Bandit and I are buddy reading this book in mid-June, so that should be exciting. It sounds cute, fluffy and like a good way to start a summer of reading 

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - [I've now read this. I cried.]
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven - Had this since February, but bought it with I Was Here, and wasn't up for too many suicide-y books in one go. 

The reason I don't ever do TBR's is because I'm awful at sticking to them. Being a mood reader, my reading plans can easily change. But I've got an 11 week summer, so I'm sure I'll be able to get through these. There is also the BookTubeathon from July 27th- August 2nd which God help me as I've never participated in a readathon before. It'll be interesting.

What are you planning on reading this summer?

Holly x

Friday, 19 June 2015

MINI REVIEWS: One Thing Stolen & The It-Girl

One Thing StolenPublisher: Abrams & Chronicle
Publication Date: 14th April 2015
Pages: 272 (Hardback) 
Genre: Contemporary 
Source: Publisher 
Rating: 3 Stars 
Something is not right with Nadia Cara. She’s become a thief. She has secrets she can’t tell. And when she tries to speak, the words seem far away. In Florence, Italy, with her epicurean brother, professor father, and mother who helps at-risk teens, Nadia finds herself trapped by her own obsessions and following the trail of an elusive Italian boy whom no one but herself has seen. While her father researches a flood that nearly destroyed Florence in 1966, Nadia wonders if she herself can be rescued—or will she disappear?

One Thing Stolen was mystical, artistic, and elegant. The surface was just the tip of the iceberg with dark, intricate plots running deep into the heart of the story. It is by all means intriguing. But it wasn't for me. 

I thoroughly loved the description and the majority of the writing. The way that Nadia sees the world and the way she talks about everyday objects and sights made me want to write and paint and create; not many books do that for me. The backdrop setting  of Florence was a character itself, and I wanted to know more and more about Nadia and her life simply from the first few pages. But that's as far as my love for this book goes.

There were some aspects that personally, I feel didn't work. LACK OF SPEECH MARKS. I know this helps to describe Nadia's condition and is a constant stream of thought, but I found that incredibly hard to read. Also I know it adds to the mysteriousness of the book, but I feel that Nadia's condition could have been explained a lot better than it was. One Thing Stolen was a lovely read, but it just had a lot of things missing in my eyes.
The It-GirlPublisher: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: 7th May 2015
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Anna Huntley's aims in life: 1) Must keep my two lovely new (and only) school friends by not doing anything in usual manner of socially inept dork and outcast. 2) Train Dog (my labrador) to high-five. This is probably the most ambitious life goal on this list. 3) Do not set the school's Deputy Queen Bee mean girl's hair on fire (again). 4) Work out whether 2) and 3) constitute being socially inept or outcastish. 5) Go to Africa and give out rice. 6) To hide in a cupboard FOR LIFE with Dog now Dad is engaged to one of the most famous actresses EVER, the paparazzi want to smash my face all over the papers and everyone in school (and The World) is soon to discover the level of my social ineptitude.
Laugh-out-loud funny running with parallels to Geek Girl by Holly Smale, this is a truly great read. With a concise, flowing plot, this was really easy to read at a time when I felt quite low and I can guarantee Anna and her antics will bring a smile to your face. Although she is particularly clumsy; accidentally setting fire to a girl's hair etc, anyone who is socially awkward and struggles in new situations will heavily relate to our main character.

The plot of being thrown into the spotlight for reasons out of your control was incredibly interesting. Because really, how would you react if you were put into Anna's situation? The way this aspect of the book developed was really well done, and this is an admirable debut novel. Sadly I don't have much more to say, because all I can keep saying is that this book really made me laugh. At times, this wasn't always my kind of book, but nevertheless, if you need cheering up, I'd highly recommend this. 

Thank you to Abrams & Chronicle, and Electric Monkey for sending me these two books for review. It was really appreciated.
Holly x