Monday, 31 July 2017

Mini Review | Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Image and video hosting by TinyPicFrostbite by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #2
Published On: April 10, 2008
Published By: Penguin
Genre: Paranormal
Pages: 327
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★½

Amazon | Goodreads

A massive vampire attack has put St Vladimir's Academy on high alert. With the deadly creatures closing in, this year's trip to the wintery peaks of Idaho has just become mandatory. 
But Rose Hathaway can't escape her (guy) troubles. Her relationship with gorgeous tutor Dmitri can never be and her closest friend has just confessed his huge crush on her ... 
The Glittering Winter Landscape May Seem Like The Perfect Hideaway - But Rose, And Her Heart, Are In More Danger Than She Ever Imagined.

Better than book one.
I enjoyed the first book in the Vampire Academy series but I think I liked this one just a little bit more. It was a fun, quick read and 'I really enjoyed revisiting the characters I grew to really like in the first book.

Interesting plot.
I thought the main plot of this instalment was very interesting and enjoyable. I found the attacks to be particularly interesting, especially seeing how they happened and how the characters chose to respond. It was quite different to the first book in that we got to see more of the vampire world outwith the school and were given more of an insight into the Strigoi.

Rose and Dimitri. Rose and Dimitri. Rose and Dimitri!!
Basically I needed more Rose and Dimitri. Can you tell I'm a fan? For me there wasn't nearly enough of their sexual tension and forbidden connection. Rose had too many other love interests in this book that she just didn't have time for Dimitri and that frustrated me a little.

Rose and Lissa!
Again, there wasn't enough Rose and Lissa for me either. I really loved their friendship in the first book but they both seemed to be too busy with other people, once again Rose's many love interests, to be spending time together. Their friendship is really adorable so I definitely hope to see more of it in the next book.

Great character introductions.
Speaking of Rose's many love interests, I really loved the introduction of Adrian. He seems a little bit shady but I thought he was hilarious and he did make me swoon just a little. I definitely want to see more of him in the future. I also really liked the introduction of Rose's mother. Rose's issues surrounding her mother made for an interesting addition to the story and I thought they explained a lot of things about her character.

Really great setting.
As much as I absolutely love the boarding school setting, I really loved the ski lodge setting in this book. Not only did I find it quite nostalgic of my own past skiing trips, I thought it made a great backdrop for everything that went on. It did remind me a little bit of a One Tree Hill episode at times, which made for an interesting reading experience. Though I really enjoyed it, I missed having the school as the main setting and am hoping to return to the school setting in the next book.

Overall, I think this series is improving with each book but it is still not up there with my favourite series. It's a fun series and I can fly through the books but there's something missing from me. There were a lot of things I really enjoyed about this book but definitely things I hope are different in the next book. I am interested in seeing how this series improves so I know I want to pick up the next book soon.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Top Ten | Favourite Covers

With Top Ten Tuesday taking a break until mid-August, I decided to take a loot back at some of the early topics and make some top ten lists inspired by them. One of the earliest topics was 'Top Ten Favourite Covers'. I know this is one I could have an endless list for and it was tough to narrow it down but I thought it would be fun to share some of the covers I love.

I'm quite easy to please when it comes to covers, if it looks pretty I'll like it. Colours and typography are the main things I look at, you might be able to tell from this list.

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10. Matched, Crossed and Reached by Ally Condie

What are your favourite covers? What do you like and dislike on covers?

Sophie :)

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Mini Review | Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Image and video hosting by TinyPicSince You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Published On: May 6, 2014
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 449
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.
On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?
Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um...
Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?
Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

The perfect summer read.
As is the case with all of Morgan Matson's books, this has everything you need in a summer read. It has friendship, romance, adventure and plenty of fun that just made me want to get out and enjoy my summer.

Lists are my thing.
I'm definitely a list person and I really love when lists are used within a book. This was a great summer bucket list with some really cool tasks on it. I enjoyed the way this list was used within this book as not only did it allow for some really fun adventures, it also provided for a whole lot of character development.

Emily is my favourite.
Of all of Morgan Matson's characters, Emily is by far my favourite. She was very genuine and also reminded me a lot of myself so I could relate to her quite a bit. It was nice to see her character grow and develop throughout the book into an even more likeable character.

Sloane is not my favourite.
I can't say I'm a fan of Sloane, her character just annoyed me and I was quite glad she wasn't feature too much. I understand that the whole idea of this list is for Emily to become her own person without Sloane, but to me it seemed that any time she had tried to be her own person with Sloane around she was shot down. To me, she was a very overbearing friend. She did redeem herself a bit by the end of the book but she's still not a favourite character of mine.

New friends are the best friends.
I really loved the developing friendships throughout the book, in fact that was probably one of my favourite aspects. These friendships illustrated the fact that sometime the best friends are people you don't expect to become friends with in the first place, that you can have unexpected things in common with a person and that can bring you together. And also Frank, he was pretty great.

Love playlists.
I had loved the playlists in Amy & Rodger's Epic Detour so I was glad to see some more playlists making an appearance in this book. I think the make a really nice, fun addition to the story as well as providing another layer to the characters since the music you listen to says a lot about a person.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and think it is the perfect book to read during the summer. It did a great job of getting me in the mood for summer, while also being a cute summer romance with a great emphasis on friendship. I would probably say this is my favourite of Morgan Matson's books so I would definitely recommend it if you are a fan of her other books.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

What I've Been Watching | April-June 2017

Over the past few months, I decided not to post a 'what i've been watching' as I didn't really feel like I had much worth talking about. While being on holiday from university, I have been reading quite a lot and I didn't think I had really been watching much. Apparently, I was wrong as I have finished a few seasons of TV shows and watched a lot more movies than I realised.


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Grey's Anatomy Season 13 - Grey's Anatomy is one of my all-time favourite TV shows but I just didn't love season 13 as much as the previous seasons. There wasn't a particular storyline that grabbed my attention and the finale was a bit underwhelming compared to previous seasons. I do still love the show and will continue to watch it, I just hope it gets back to its usual standard.

What It's About: "A drama centered on the personal and professional lives of five surgical interns and their supervisors."

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Pretty Little Liars Season 7 - Pretty Little Liars is over! This is another one of my favourite shows but I has started to lose interest in the most recent few seasons. Realistically, I think this show could have finished a few seasons ago and as much as I didn't want it to end, that may have been better for the show. I was quite disappointed with how it ended, particularly as it incorporated one of the theories I really did not want to be true. I do love the show and I'm sad it's over but it was definitely time for it to end.

What It's About: "Four friends band together against an anonymous foe who threatens to reveal their darkest secrets, while unraveling the mystery of the murder of their best friend."

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Chicago Med Season 2 - I love Chicago Fire so when Med first came to the UK I knew I had to watch it. I enjoyed the first season but wasn't quite as into it as I was with Chicago Fire. In the second season, I pretty much felt the same. I like this show but I don't love it and it doesn't completely grab my attention.

What It's About: "An emotional thrill ride through the day-to-day chaos of the city's most explosive hospital and the courageous team of doctors who hold it together. They will tackle unique new cases inspired by topical events, forging fiery relationships in the pulse-pounding pandemonium of the emergency room."

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Chicago PD Seasons 1-3 - Like I said, I love Chicago Fire but PD was never fully shown in the UK, they kept showing parts of seasons and then stopping. I got the first season on DVD for Christmas and flew through it before buying the second and third seasons. I didn't expect to love this and only really wanted to watch it for Sophie Bush but ended it completely obsessed.

What It's About: "Follows District 21 of the Chicago Police Department, which is made up of two distinctly different groups: the uniformed cops and the Intelligence Unit."

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Riverdale Season 1 - I have mentioned before that I randomly decided to start watching Riverdale and I was completely hooked from the first episode. Everyone seemed to love the first season of this show, and I was definitely one of those people. The reveal of what happened to Jason was a complete shock to me but I felt as though that second last episode had the most impact and was a bit confused by that not being the finale. I know the last episode was really setting things up for the second season but it felt like a bit like an epilogue.

What It's About: "A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale's wholesome facade."


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Mother's Day - Along the lines of Valentine's Day and New Years Eve, this follows several generations of various families over Mother's Day. I love films like this and really enjoyed both Valentine's Day and New Years Eve. I did enjoy this one, it was fun and had a good message about family, but I think this is perhaps the one I liked the least.

What It's About: "Three generations come together in the week leading up to Mother's Day."

Get A Job - I absolutely love Anna Kendrick and Miles Teller but unfortunately I did not love this film. It wasn't my kind of humour and for the most part I found it quite boring. This one was definitely a disappointment.

What It's About: "Life after college graduation is not exactly going as planned for Will and Jillian who find themselves lost in a sea of increasingly strange jobs. But with help from their family, friends and coworkers they soon discover that the most important (and hilarious) adventures are the ones that we don't see coming."

Sisters - Sadly this was another disappointment. I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, especially together, but this film fell a bit flat. There were some funny parts but I didn't find it as funny as I usually find their work. It just wasn't as good as I was expecting it to be.

What It's About: "Two sisters decide to throw one last house party before their parents sell their family home."

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How To Be Single - This movie was so much fun! With a cast like it has you would expect it to be and it didn't disappoint. I really enjoyed this, I loved the entire cast and it made me laugh out loud more than a few times. 

What It's About: "A group of young adults navigate love and relationships in New York City."

Daddy's Home - I knew this wasn't really my cup of tea before going into it and I was right. It wasn't bad but it was just OK. There were some funny parts and some sweet parts but a lot of it was quite forgettable.

What It's About: "Brad Whitaker is a radio host trying to get his stepchildren to love him and call him Dad. But his plans turn upside down when their biological father, Dusty Mayron, returns."

All Roads Lead To Rome - In all honesty, this film was so boring that I remember almost nothing about it. I like Sarah Jessica Parker and I love Rome so I had expected to enjoy it but I was just bored for the majority of the film.

What It's About: "Maggie is an uptight, single mother and college writing teacher from New York City. In an effort to reconnect with her troubled teen daughter Summer, she decides to embark on a journey to a Tuscan village that she frequented in her younger days."

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Jenny's Wedding - This was another kind of boring one. It was OK and the message was good but it didn't really keep my attention. Alexis Bledel could definitely have had more screen time and been made a bit more important to the story, considering it's her wedding too. 

What It's About: "When Jenny (Katherine Heigl) decides to marry a woman (Alexis Bledel), her conventional family must accept who she is or risk losing her forever."

Moulin Rouge - So many of my friends rave about this film and it is such a well-know, much loved film. I didn't understand what was going on and found it quite boring. I thought it was just me but I watched it with my mum who had previously seen it and enjoyed it and even she wondered why she had enjoyed it before.

What It's About: "A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets."

Two Night Stand - Another Miles Teller movie. I thought this one was pretty average, it was fun and Miles Teller was great but it wasn't anything special. I enjoyed it but it's not something I would rave about or even watch again.

What It's About: "A snowstorm forces two people who made an online connection to unwillingly extend their one-night stand as the blizzard goes through the night."

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Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates - Anna Kendrick and Zac Efron were the only reasons for me watching this movie and they didn't disappoint. I didn't love the movie, again it was average but nothing special, but I did enjoy the two of them. I was expecting this to be better but it was still fun to watch.

What It's About: "Two hard-partying brothers place an online ad to find the perfect dates for their sister's Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves out-hustled by an uncontrollable duo."

Bachelorette - I was warned that this wouldn't be as good as I was expecting it to be but I assumed it was because the person who told me that is quite reserved and doesn't tend to like things with too many sex or drugs references. Unfortunately, it actually wasn't as good as I was expecting. It wasn't as funny as I thought it would be just a bit of a disappointment.

What It's About: "Three friends are asked to be bridesmaids at a wedding of a woman they used to ridicule back in high school."

Over the past few months I have watched some of my favourite shows as well as a lot of movies that were meant to be comedies but weren't all that funny. Any good comedy recommendations would be much appreciated! What have you been watching recently?

Sophie :)

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Review | Trust by Kylie Scott

Trust by Kylie Scott
Published On: July 18, 2017
Published By: Kylie Scott
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 382
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley
Rating: ★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrols at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers. 
While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future. 
An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated. 
Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

*A copy of this book was provided by the published via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I had heard a lot of good things about Kylie Scott, particularly her Stage Dive series, so when I came across this book on Netgalley I was intrigued, even more so when I read the synopsis. This wasn't quite what I was expecting. I was expecting New Adult and was surprised to find the characters were still in high school, however the content was definitely more what I would expect in NA. Other than that confusion, I have some mixed feelings about this book but enjoyed it overall.

The start of this book is so intense that I was instantly drawn in and had to keep reading. I loved the intensity of the opening scenes, particularly as they were written so well that it made me feel like I was right there in the story. After such an enthralling start, the rest of the book wasn't quite as exciting and I wasn't as invested in the story as I previously had been, however it was still good.

It is frequently mentioned throughout the book that our main character, Edie, is a bigger girl, which made a nice change from having a super skinny protagonist as is quite often the case. I liked that this raised issues of body confidence and a lot of Edie's struggles with her weight were relatable. There were some comments about her weight, bullying and name-calling that I found a bit uncomfortable to read about, though, and I occasionally felt that it wasn't made clear how wrong and hurtful such comments could be.

There were a couple of things I had an issue with in this book, one being that I didn't like the way mental health was discussed. There were some good points in which Edie mentioned her mental health improving since starting to see a therapist. However, a lot of the discussion surrounding mental health could be potentially harmful. The characters have gone through such a traumatic experience at the beginning of book that it is not unexpected that they exhibit signs of PTSD and anxiety as the book develops. Edie often mentions experiencing symptoms of these things but describes herself as "crazy" for this, as well as for needing to see a therapist. For me, there wasn't enough discussion about the benefits of seeking help for mental health problems to outweigh the negative content regarding mental health. From a personal point of view, as someone who suffers from anxiety and frequently experiences panic attacks, I did not appreciate having a panic attack being considered a sign of being "crazy". I think this kind of thing could be potentially harmful to those going through similar situations.

Another thing I didn't really like within the book was the way virginity was handled. I more often than not find myself rolling my eyes at the discussions of virginity being so precious and the protagonist worrying about it being perfect. However, this went to the opposite end of the scale. Losing your virginity was treated like it was nothing. It was discussed as something that you just needed to get it over with with the first person you find. I don't think it needs to be made into such a big thing as is often the case in the books I read, but to discuss it as thought it is completely unimportant was uncomfortable for me.

Despite the issues I had with this book, one thing I really loved was the friendship aspect. There is an emphasis on friendship, particularly as Edie's trust is broken by a good friend so early on in the story, and I really enjoyed seeing her develop her trust with the new friends she makes. I absolutely loved Hang, I think because it seemed like such a different friendship than the one that had been broken and it illustrated the fact that all friendships are different but just as important.

My favourite friendship of them all, though, was Edie and John's friendship. For that reason, I didn't love the romance. I obviously knew it was coming and how their friendship would play out but I loved them much more as friends. They had a great friendship that to me didn't really evolve into a relationship, it just happened due to the circumstances. If it had been more of a gradual thing I would probably have liked the relationship more and it would have felt more natural to me, as it felt quite awkward and unnatural the way things happened.

Overall, though I had my issues with a few things in the book, I did enjoy it. It was a darker, more intense contemporary but still an enjoyable read. There were some more mature themes within the book so I would be aware that it is perhaps not suitable for younger YA readers. I would definitely pick up more from Kylie Scott in future and am now even more interested in her previous series'.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Top Ten | Popular Authors I Haven't Read Yet

I'm forever seeing videos around booktube about popular books or authors someone has yet to read. I love watching these kinds of videos, mainly to make me feel better about all the popular books I haven't read yet. There are plenty of them but I thought I would share the popular authors who I have yet to read any of their works, but definitely want to. I'm hoping this can give me the motivation to finally pick up some of these authors books.

1. Sarah J Maas
She is probably one of the most popular YA authors around at the moment, with two very successful series constantly being raved about, but I have never read anything by Sarah J Maas. I didn't really have much desire to read her books until I received Throne Of Glass for Christmas one year. Now I just want to see what all the fuss is about and if her books are worth the hype.

2. Marissa Meyer
How many times can I mention the fact that I have yet to read The Lunar Chronicles? I will read Cinder soon, I promise! Until then though, I haven't read anything by the also incredibly popular Marissa Meyer. 

3. Ann Brashares
I'm not sure Ann Brashares is quite as popular now as she has been in previous years but I know her Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants series is an incredible popular, well-loved series. I love the movies but have yet to read the books yet. I do plan for the first book in the series to be the next audiobook I listen to so hopefully she will be removed from this list soon.

4. Huntley Fitzpatrick
Huntley Fitzpatrick is one of my friends favourite authors and I own two of her books so I have no excuse for not having read anything from her yet. I've heard such great things and her books are definitely my kind of thing. I'm hoping to read What I Thought Was True pretty soon.

5. Liane Moriarty
With the TV adaptation of her book Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty has become more and more popular recently. I own The Husband's Secret and am very interested in Big Little Lies, both the book and TV series, so I need to get on this soon and read some of her books.

6. Giovanna Fletcher
I own almost all of her books, and adore her as a person, but they have sat on my shelves for years. In this case, I am putting off reading these because I love Giovanna so much that I don't want to dislike her books. I'm too scared to dislike them that I just haven't picked them up.

7. Colleen Hoover
This is another instance in which I own a lot of her books but haven't gotten around to reading them yet. I have heard really great things about her books and know I would like them, I just don't know where to start.

8. Marie Lu
I own the complete Legend trilogy and started reading Legend a while ago but wasn't in the mood. I ended up putting it down and haven't picked it back up yet. I do think I will like her books when I'm in the mood for them, I just need to give them a proper go.

9. Abbi Glines
Abbi Glines has an insane amount of very long series and I own the first books of two of them. I have heard a lot of mixed things about her books, some really love them and others absolutely hate them, so I think this has made me a little unsure. I will get to them eventually.

10. Adam Silvera
I have heard so many great things about Adam's books but was never very interested in any of them. However, his 2017 release, They Both Die At The End, sounds really good. I am definitely interested in picking that one up and if I enjoy it I will give his other books a go.

Which of these incredibly popular authors do I need to pick up immediately?

Sophie :)

Friday, 7 July 2017

Mini Review | Bridget Jones' Baby: The Diaries by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones' Baby: The Diaries by Helen Fielding
Series: Bridget Jones #4
Published On: October 11, 2016
Published By: Knopf
Genre: Chick-Lit
Pages: 219
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

8:45 P.M. Realize there have been so many times in my life when have fantasized about going to a scan with Mark or Daniel: just not both at the same time. 
Before motherhood, before marriage, Bridget with biological clock ticking very, very loudly, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at the eleventh hour: a joyful pregnancy which is dominated, however, by a crucial but terribly awkward question - who is the father? Mark Darcy: honourable, decent, notable human rights lawyer? Or Daniel Cleaver: charming, witty, notable fuckwit? 
9:45 PM It's like they're two halves of the perfect man, who'll spend the rest of their lives each wanting to outdo the other one. And now it's all enacting itself in my stomach. 
In this gloriously funny, touching story of baby-deadline panic, maternal bliss, and social, professional, technological, culinary and childbirth chaos, Bridget Jones - global phenomenon and the world's favorite Singleton - is back with a bump.

Completely exceeded my expectations.
I read the first book in the series last year and wasn't a huge fan (review here) so decided not to continue with the series. However, having seen the movie, I thought I would skip the two previous books in the series and give this one a go. I was very pleasantly surprised as I enjoyed it much more than the first book in the series.

Interesting that the book is based on the film.
As far as I am aware, this book was written following the film of the same name. I found that quite interesting as is different from the normal book to movie adaptations. I did prefer the film to the book, the film was absolutely hilarious, but I did really enjoy the different take on the story. There were a lot of things written differently in the book than the movie but also a lot of similarities, both of which I think worked very well.

No focus on weight.
One of my biggest issues with the first book was the constant discussion about weight and how, as a woman of a relatively good weight, Bridget was "fat". I was very uncomfortable with this aspect of the book. For obvious reasons, weight is not discussed in the same way in this instalment. I was very relieved to discover this as it made my reading experience much more enjoyable.

Great mix of funny, serious and sweet.
As you would expect from a book in this series, this definitely had some laugh out loud moments. I really enjoyed the humour in this instalment, more so than in the first book, and found it great fun to read. It wasn't all humour as we had some more serious topics being discussed, including the stigma around single parenting and pregnancy outwith marriage/long-term relationship. I think these were important things to discuss within the book. There were also some incredibly sweet moments that just added to the perfect combination of emotions.

This is a one-sitting book.
I don't know if this is due to the diary format of the book or just because it was so good but I flew through it. I read it all in one sitting and just didn't want to put it down. I was having so much fun reading that I wanted to immerse myself in it.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable instalment in the Bridget Jones series. It completely redeemed the series for me and I may consider picking up the books I missed out in future. I do still prefer the movie to the book, which is probably a lot to do with Patrick Dempsey, but would definitely recommend it to fans of the movie.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Wrap Up & Haul | June 2017

I really can't believe we're in July already! I know I say this every month but I this year is completely flying in. June was the last month of my summer break so I tried to get a fair bit of reading in and ended up having a pretty good reading month. I read 7 books, which is quite good for me, and even gave out a 5 star, something I seem to rarely do these days. I don't think July will be a great reading month now that I am back on placement so it could be a good job I managed to get 6 books ahead of my Goodreads goal in June.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness -
With the release of the movie late last year/early this year, this book has been everywhere recently. I decided to hop on the bandwagon and see what all the fuss was about. This is about a boy who is visited by a monster to help him through his mother's cancer. I really enjoyed this book, though not as much as I expected. It was emotional but I expected it to have more of an impact on me, specifically as I have a parent with cancer, though thankfully not at the stage of Conor's mother. I think I may have distanced myself from the story a bit for that reason, which is perhaps why it didn't have as much of an impact on me. It is definitely a book I think everyone should read.
Rating: 4/5 |  ATY Challenge: #33 A magical realism novel

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne -
I'm a bit behind the times with this one but I finally picked up what is considered (to some) the eight Harry Potter book, the play that takes place eighteen years after the final book. A lot of people dislike this book and have various problems with it. I, however, loved it! I had so much fun reading this and never wanted to put it down. I even said in my review that I preferred it to the original Harry Potter books, which I am not a hardcore fan of. I completely fell in love with Scorpius and Albus and wanted to reread it as soon as I put it down.
Rating: 5/5 | Review | ATY Challenge: #47 A past suggestion - script

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon -
This book is everywhere! Everyone seems to have been anticipating this book, myself included, and I was able to receive a copy via Netgalley. This book follows two Indian-American teens who have a kind of arranged marriage set-up, however only one knows about it, and meet at a summer coding camp. I went into this with great expectations due to the hype surrounding it but ended up being disappointed. I enjoyed it but it wasn't anything special. There were some really great aspects, but at the same time a lot of the things I was excited about fell flat.
Rating: 3/5 | Review | ATY Challenge: #14 Book with a strong female character

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson -
This was the last of Morgan Matson's published works (under this name) that I had to read and I finally got around to it after running out of time last summer. This follows Andie who's plans for the summer change due to a scandal surrounding her politician father and she ends up walking dogs for the summer. This book took me forever to read but I really enjoyed it. It isn't my favourite of her books but it was a fun slice-of-life story that made me feel very summery. I especially loved the dog walking aspect but wasn't in love with the romance.
Rating: 4/5 | Review | ATY Challenge: #7 Animal on the cover

Bridget Jones' Baby by Helen Fielding -
I had no intention of continuing with this series after not loving the first book but having loved this movie I decided to give the book a go. This follows Bridget as she finds out she is pregnant but doesn't know who the father is. I believe this book was written based on the movie rather than the other way around, which was interesting, and there were a lot of differences between the two. I ended up enjoying it much more than I expected to and a lot more than the first book in the series. It was great fun, with a lot of laugh out loud moments, and I flew through it in one day.
Rating: 4/5 | Review To Come | ATY Challenge: #39 An epistolary fiction

Trust by Kylie Scott -
I received this book via Netgalley having heard nothing about it but being intrigued by the synopsis. I have been interested in Kylie Scott's Stage Dive series but haven't read anything from her before. This book follows a girl who is almost killed in a robbery at a store where she meets a boy who basically saves her life. I liked this book but I had a few issues with it meaning I didn't love it. The story was good, if a bit predictable, and the characters and friendships are great. I didn't love the way the relationship developed and also had some issues with the way mental health was discussed, which I will talk about more in my review.
Rating: 3/5 | Review To Come | ATY Challenge: #29 Published outside major publishing houses

Frostbite by Richelle Mead -
Two years after reading the first book in the series I finally continued! This is the second book in the Vampire Academy series, the first book in which I liked but didn't love. I feel pretty much the same about the second book, although I think I liked this one slightly more. I liked the storyline in this book as well as the new characters that were introduced. I liked this setting but did miss the school setting and wanted to see more of that. My biggest issue, though, was the lack of Rose and Dimitri scenes, I need more!
Rating: 3.5/5 | Review To Come | ATY Challenge: #21 Continuation of a book already read

In terms of book buying in June, I think I did pretty well. I bought 2 physical books, after reading my 5 books of course, and one ebook. I also received 3 books via Netgalley, one of which I read in June.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows - I'm planning to read this for one of my Around The Year In 52 Books challenges but really hate the UK cover so I made my first Book Outlet order (and paid a fortune in shipping) to get the much nicer US cover.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch - Well if I was going to spend that much on shipping I might as well get two books, right? I'm not a fan of the UK cover for this one either and since I have been hearing good things about it I decided to add this one to my order.

Autumn Unlocked by Amy Sparling - This is the second book in the Summer Unplugged series. I bought this to read for an under 100 pages challenge in a readathon and then didn't end up taking part. I do want to continue with this series at some point though.

Welcome Home edited by Eric Smith - This is an anthology of short stories about adoption. I got this via Netgalley and I can't wait to read it as it is one of my highly anticipated books of the year.

Behind The Song edited by KM Walton - Another anthology from Netgalley, this time about music. I requested this on a whim but I am definitely really interested in it as a music lover.

Trust by Kylie Scott - I've already mentioned this one as I read it not long after my Netgalley request was accepted. Another one I didn't know anything about but was intrigued by the synopsis.

I'm quite happy with that reading month. I read some really great books and got some books that I am excited about. How did your reading go in June? Any 5 star books?

Sophie :)

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Tag | Life's A Beach Book Tag

Today is officially my last day of Summer! Everyone else in my area is just finishing school/work/etc for summer and making me incredibly jealous by posting pictures of beautiful beaches and poolside views on social media while I am preparing to start placement tomorrow. With it being my last day of summer, I thought I would make it a summery post and do the Life's A Beach Tag created by The Left-Handed Book Lover. This tag seems like so much fun and if you're one of the lucky people not having to work tomorrow, I hope this gets you in a summer mood.

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1. The Sand - A book that stuck with you long after you finished reading
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne was one of the first books I read in June and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I spent most of the past month wanting to reread it. It was just so much fun to read and the most enjoyable read of the year so far.

2. The Sun - A book that burned you
I'm taking question to mean a disappointing book, one that I expected to love and was let down by, so for that I have to go with Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I was so sure I would love this book but I really disliked it and it was such a disappointment that I felt like that about a Rainbow Rowell book since I usually love her work.

3. The Waves - A book that calms you down after a long day
For some reason I always reach for Twilight by Stephenie Meyer if I'm in a bad mood and need cheering up or if I need some kind of distraction. I think it's because I've read it so many times that I don't need to think too much about what I'm reading to know what's happening.

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4. The Bathing Suit - A book with a pretty, summery cover
The cover for Kasie West's 2018 release Love, Life And The List has just recently been revealed and it looks pretty summery to me. It's a pretty typical Kasie West cover but I think it's so pretty.

5. The Birds - A book that is everywhere
I have been constantly seeing Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch recently, so much so that I bought it to see what the fuss was about despite knowing nothing at all about it. It's another one with a cover I love.

6. The Fun Memories - A book you can't wait to return to
I'm desperate to reread Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern. It's one of my all-time favourite books but I have only ever read it once. I need to relive this story and remind myself why I love it so much.

I'm in a really summery mood now and I don't even have nice weather to go and make the most of on my last day. I guess I'll just have to read a lot of summery contemporaries over the next couple of months to make me feel like I'm still on holiday. What books make you feel the most summery? Any recommendations for me?

Sophie :)

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Review | The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Published On: May 3, 2016
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 519
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks). 
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

Oh my days, this book took me forever! It took me over a week and I can usually fly through contemporaries, even if they are 500+ pages like this one. I don't know what it was but I couldn't read more than one chapter at a time. I don't know what my problem was because I ended up really enjoying it. It took me a little bit of time to get into but after about 100 pages I was really liking the story. It wasn't my favourite Morgan Matson book but it was definitely good.

There isn't a lot to this book, no huge dramas or major tragedy, it's a slice of life kind of story. I thought that might be a bit boring for me but actually I really enjoyed that not a whole lot happened. It is basically just the story of a girl enjoying her summer that didn't end up being what she expected it to be and that was exactly what I wanted to read. It was a lot more interesting than I expected it to be.

The one 'major event' that we have in this book is this scandal surrounding Andie's father, which is obviously the reason her summer doesn't go to plan. In itself, this played a very minor part in the book as a whole but what happened as a result of this scandal really made the book for me. My favourite thing about this book was Andie's relationship with her father. It is pretty non-existent at the beginning but due to this scandal that has resulted in her father being around more over the summer we get to see it develop. I loved every moment that Andie was with her dad and was really rooting for them to have this great relationship that they both really needed.

As well as family, friendship plays a big part in this book. I wanted to be part of this friendship group so badly while reading this. Andie and her friends had so much fun and were all there for each other and, honestly, it made me quite jealous. I've never really had that group of girlfriends like this and they made me want friends like that. It was a very realistic portrayal of friendship, especially as they had their disagreements and fights like all friends do, but also how they dealt with their issues.

As can be seen from the cover, dogs are another major aspect of this book and I freaking loved it. I want every main character in every book I read from now on to be a dog walker. I found it so interesting and some of my favourite scenes in the book are just Andie walking dogs. She made me want to go out and walk my dogs. Bertie, who Andie walks regularly throughout the book, was my favourite character. I absolutely loved him, I think because he was basically a combination of my two dogs so I just fell in love.

The one thing I didn't really love was the romance. I liked Andie and Clark, they were a cute together, but I felt indifferent to the relationship. I was happy they were together but I would still have been happy if she stayed single for the summer or even got with someone else. Clark and Tom's bromance, on the other hand, that I loved.

Clark being a writer was an interesting aspect to the story. I liked that he was a writer and enjoyed the discussion about him not being able to write anymore and why that was. I didn't really like the excerpts from the books that he was meant to have written. I didn't really see the point in them, I didn't think they really related to the main story in any way but maybe I was missing something.

The great thing about reading Morgan Matson's books in order is that familiar faces make an appearance in subsequent books. I really loved the little cameos from other Morgan Matson characters. We got to see Taylor and her family from Second Chance Summer as well as Emily from Since You've Been Gone. Emily is probably my favourite of her characters so I especially loved getting to see her again in this book.

Overall, this is another great summer read from Morgan Matson. Her books always make me want to go to the beach or go and do some summertime activities with my friends and this one was no different. Though the relationship wasn't my favourite, the family and friendship aspects as well as some great characters made this a really enjoyable story.