The A-Z Bookish Survey

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m going to be doing the A-Z Bookish Survey which I was tagged for by Kelly’s Ramblings. Onto the questions!


Author you’ve read the most books from: either Enid Blyton or Ann M Martin, I’d guess.

Best Sequel Ever: I think I’ll have to go for Arsenic for Tea, which is probably my absolute favourite of all the Murder Most Unladylike books, and more than topped Murder Most Unladylike (which I totally adored too)

Currently Reading: At time of writing, Skylarks by Karen Gregory.

Drink of Choice While Reading: I only really drink flavoured water, water or milk, so one of those.

E-reader or Physical Book?: Physical.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: Nick from Geek Girl is my ultimate book boyfriend.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: I wasn’t a huge fan of All of the Above when I read it, so I’m so glad I still gave Margot and Me a go as I loved it.

Hidden Gem Book: for me, the Children of Castle Rock, because although I’ve enjoyed books from the author in the past, I absolutely didn’t expect to be so blown away by it.

Important Moment in your Reading Life: when I discovered the Adventure Island series and the Laura Marlin Mysteries.

Just Finished: the Children of Castle Rock was my last completed book.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: I don’t really like dystopia, sci-fi or horror, and I’m fussy with YA in general, but particularly fantasy, where I’m willing to give almost any MG, even in the above genres, a go.

Longest Book You’ve Read: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the longest I can remember.

Major book hangover because of: I always feel quite bereft every time I finish the Geek Girl series.

Number of Bookcases You Own: None at all! I use storage boxes for my books.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen is probably the standalone I’ve reread the most.

Preferred Place To Read: I prefer reading anywhere at home, but take books almost everywhere. The only place I don’t usually pick up a book is on public transport, I find it often triggers my nausea/makes it worse if it’s already present, as does reading in the car (though only occasionally, which is why I still do that sometimes)

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: I can’t remember a specific quote, but the Japan pavement scene from Model Misfit gives me all the Freckles/Lion boy shipper feels. I love a lot of quotable moments in Geek Girl actually.

Reading Regret: spending so many years ashamed of DNFing and never doing it. Life’s too short for books I’m not enjoying; I read for escapism, so if a book is making me miserable I just get shot these days.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series): the Laura Marlin Mysteries and White Giraffe series, both by Lauren St John and both with only the 5th unread (mainly because they were released years after the others in both cases…)

Three of your All-Time Favourite Books: Boy in in the Tower, Love, Lies and Lemon Pies and Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: I’m probably most excited for the Storm Keeper’s Island at the moment, but I have tons of books I’m anticipating.

Worst Bookish Habit: Maxing out my library card all the time 😂🙈

Your latest book purchase: Eliza and her Monsters, which I’ve only ever seem get 5 star reviews so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): I can’t recall the last, but the one I’ve felt like this most with was How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss.


I tag whoever wants to do this, as I know loads of people I’d usually tag have done it already!

I’d love to hear some of your answers to these in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl, especially if we’ve got any in common!

Amy xxx

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Make More Noise Part 1 Reviews

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m going to be sharing my reviewsof the first half of the Make More Noise anthology, published by Nosy Crow to celebrate the centenary of the Representation of the People Act in 1918. The reason it’s going to be in halves is that I read it with my friend Louise, and we’ve swapped a few posts with each other; Louise will be reviewing this half here too, and my reviews for the second half will be on her blog. Onto the post!

Continue reading “Make More Noise Part 1 Reviews”

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Had for Ages but Still not Read

Hello everybody!

As today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by Jana of That Artsy Reader Girl) is a freebie, I decided to use a topic from before I started participating: books I’ve had for a while but still haven’t read! I have a lot more than 10 books on my TBR (over ten times that… oops), so these are mainly things I boughtat some point in the last few months or years. I’ve had to select these quite carefully, as there are other books fitting this description I have a different post planned for! Onto the post!

Anne of Green Gables– I’ve owned this in various editions since I was 6, yet I’ve never picked it up. I didn’t really enjoy the TV adaptation I saw, which has put me off a bit, but it’s one of my mum’s favourite classics so I will need to give it a chance at some point!

The Starman and Me- I was mainly attracted to this because of the cover, but the plot, of a boy meeting a prehistoric human, also sounds great so I really should give it a go soon! It looks like the sort of lovely MG I’m sure to enjoy at least a bit, if not love.

The Secret of Supernatural Creek– I’m actually quite ashamed I’m still to read this, because it was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017. I’m terrified to read it, as Laura Marlin is one of my favourite series ever, but I’m almost certain it’ll be as fantastic as the others so I will most certainly be slotting in a reread of the original quartet and this at some point this year.

The His Dark Materials trilogy– another one that I can’t believe I’m yet to get to. I feel like everyone has read these, and I’ve had them out of the library for ages, but part of the reason I haven’t read them yet is that I don’t know how on earthI’ll review them, as it somehow feels bizarre to do it in my usual way. I may just not review so that pressure is gone and jump in when i have a chance to read them all one after the other, as I do think I’ll quite like them.

Diamonds and Deception– this has been on my TBR for ages, and it sounds so up my street (a historica mystery), I really have no clue why I’ve not yet read it.

Operation Rhino– I’ve owned this book since the week it came out, and yet I’ve never read it. I think it’s because it had been so long since I’d read the series I wanted to reread, but I kept not doing so as I remember they made me really emotional the first time. I definitely need to read it soon, and potentially just skip the reread.

Little White Lies– I was given this book a couple of years ago for Christmas and it looks perfect for my very specific taste in thrillers, but I’m yet to read it. I only pick up thrillers on occasion, but I have a few on my TBR I love the look of so I plan to try and read a few in the next few months.

The Boy Who Went Magic– this sounds like a fabulous MG, and I was intrigued by the extract, so I must give this a try soon. I love MG fantasy as a genre, so I’m hoping it’ll be a good read.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase– I keep getting this out of thelibrary thenforgetting about it till it nas to go back, but it sounds fabulous. I’ve heard amazing things about Joan Aiken and I do really want to read this at some point. Hopefully 3rd time will be the charm…

The Boy With One Name– I was really excited about this debut before it came out, but I’ve still not got to it. Like The Boy Who Went Magic, it sounds like a super interesting MG fantasy, so I’m looking forward to trying it to see what I think. I saw it highly recommended the other week by an author whose book I really liked as well, which makes it even more of a priority.

What books have you had on your TBR for ages? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned, if you’ve read them? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

March Reviews

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m going to be sharing my reviews for all the books I read in March. Onto the post!


Truly, Wildly, Deeply by Jenny McLachlan (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

This is the story of Annie, who has cerebral palsy, as she starts college in a bid to make a more independent fresh start. We follow her as she makes new friends, and meets Fab, which sparks a will they won`t they romance I was rooting for completely. After being initially unsure, I loved them together, and there are some very swoony scenes between them. Annie was a wonderful main character; I loved her phenomenal, bitingly funny narration, which had little comments throughout that made me chuckle an awful lot as I read this. Though I can`t comment as to the accuracy of the cerebral palsy representation, it seemed well handled and I did like that Annie challenges the ableist attitudes she encounters. Another thing I enjoyed was the way Wuthering Heights was weaved throughout the plot, as despite never having read it, I never felt it was jarring and it added something to the plot. Finally, I have to mention that I loved seeing some cameos from characters who were in Stargazing for Beginners, in which Annie was a supporting character, and it`s made me very hopeful there may be a book for each member of the Broken Biscuit Club. 5/5

The Chocolate Factory Ghost by David O`Connell and illustrated by Claire Powell (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

Set in the fictional village of Dundoodle in Scotland, this tells the story of Archie as he inherits McBudge`s Fudge Factory and must solve a series of puzzles in order to find a hidden missing ingredient required to make the fudge special. I thought the characters were great, especially Archie though I did also quite like his new friends, and getting to meet some of the McBudge`s Fudge staff. The puzzles were so clever, so much so I can only wish I had been able to solve a few, not to mention that I liked them all the more for being themed around sweets. Though I didn’t get to see all of the illustrations as I read a proof, I really liked those I did see and I think this would be a great read for fans of Goodly and Grave. I`m looking forward to the next Dundoodle Mystery, particularly after the very interesting revelations at the end. 4/5

Inferno by Catherine Doyle

All through reading this, the question I couldn`t stop asking myself was why on EARTH it took me so long to get to it. It`s tense, dramatic and thrilling as Sophie continues to be embroiled in the feuds of Chicago`s dangerous mafia families. It`s absolutely edge of the seat material in a lot of places, with fast paced action and twists that left me reeling from sheer shock. I also adore Sophie, who was a brilliant main character. She`s incredibly strong but we also see her being relatable in how tough she finds everything she has to deal with. Her friendship with Millie was yet another fabulous aspect as they`re so supportive of each other, and Millie is a great character in her own right too. A final thing that contributed to my immense enjoyment of Inferno was the love triangle. There are some excellent romantic scenes with both Nic and Luca, including one that reminded me of Romeo and Juliet, and I`m personally Team Luca all the way! 5/5

Mafiosa by Catherine Doyle
After how much I loved Inferno, I didn`t waste any time in getting to Mafiosa, which was an unpredictable, explosive and wholly satisfying conclusion to this trilogy, which focuses on Sophie, whose life becomes entangled with mafia families. In this instalment, the blood war rages on, and it`s more dangerous than ever before, and Sophie must also make her final choice between Nic and Luca. The characters and their relationships with each other developed even more than they did in Inferno, and I found it interesting how my views on everyone changed (more than once, in most cases), and very dramatically in a few cases. It also delved deeper into the romances, with some amazing moments, and given my allegiance I especially enjoyed those between Sophie and Luca. Millie and Sophie are still total friendship goals, the action and drama the mafia war provides is tense (to say the least) as I had no idea whatsoever who I could trust and I cannot imagine a better or more bittersweet ending to this series. 5/5

The List of Real Things by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

As I was a huge of Sarah`s previous novels, I was looking forward to this, but though I liked aspects a lot, I had mixed feelings. It`s about sisters Grace and Bee as they navigate their grief over losing their parents a few years prior and another member of their family during the book, while Grace also attempts to teach Bee, who is perceived by her family to be imagining things, the difference between fact and fiction. I liked their complicated but ultimately loving sibling relationship, and those between them and the other members of their family, which were similarly troubled yet touching in how much they care for each other. The other thing I really enjoyed was the magical realism element, and I wish there had been some more of it, as the scene in which it is most prominent was wonderful. The final thing I liked about the book was that the prose was stunning, but there were also things I didn`t like as much, such as finding it really slow paced till around halfway through, and I found the blurb quite different to the events of the book. I`ll still be reading whatever the author writes next, but ultimately this wasn`t what I expected 3.5/5

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

In her debut novel, Sophie Cameron whisks us off to Edinburgh (YAY Scottish setting!), in a world where `Beings` have began to fall from the sky. The concept and worldbuilding was amazing, and I loved it. I also thought that Jaya was a great main character as she reacts in a very relatable way to finding the first live being, and attempting to hide it from her dad, who has made a hobby out of searching for one in a bid to cope with Jaya`s mum`s death. Both learning more about how Jaya`s mum died, along with Jaya exploring her grief in the present, and the plot of protecting the Being alongside her new friends Allie and Callum kept me completely hooked. Allie and Callum were great supporting characters; they had their own issues they have to address throughout the novel, and a bickering, fun sibling relationship which made me laugh. With an ending that both made me smile and shed a tear, this is a superb contemporary/magical realism hybrid that`s left me excited for whatever Sophie releases next. 4.5/5

A Far Away Magic by Amy Wilson

Once I adapted to the unusual, lyrical writing, I really enjoyed Angel and Bavar`s story. Angel is reeling from the loss of her parents in very strange circumstances, and Bavar is grappling with meeting his destiny, which is related to Angel`s parents` death. I loved watching their friendship develop over the course of the novel as it was so sweet in places yet still went through ups and downs, and I thought the magic was fascinating. It wasn`t quite like anything I`ve ever seen in a fantasy or magical realism before, and that there were several components to it made it even better. I also liked the little flashes of humour, particularly those provided by Bavar`s ancestors (who are one of the aforementioned components of magic). The book was hugely exciting towards the conclusion, and I`m excited to delve into Amy Wilson`s next imagined world. 4/5

Beyond the Odyssey by Maz Evans (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

I`m a huge fan of this series, which centres around the life of young carer Elliot Hooper as he meets the Greek gods, who have abandoned Olympus and now live on Earth with him and his mum, who has dementia. They`re searching for the Chaos Stones, to prevent Thanatos from ruling the world, and in this installment they`re also trying to track down a potentially mythical potion that could cure Elliot`s mum. This upped the game yet again from the excellent last book, maintaining the hilarious humour the series is known for, yet felt a little darker in tone and the stakes were incredibly high for Elliot. He has to face so much in this book, and every emotion he felt, I felt alongside him as I was so rooted in the world. We also get to see other characters we`ve met in the first two books, such as ultra-organised constellation Virgo and the gods/goddesses we`ve come to know and love, while also getting to meet some new ones who provided lots and lots of laughs. If you read my interview with Maz last year, you`ll know that I think her villains are truly awful, and much to my surprise they got even more evil this time. Some of their actions were utterly despicable, and the twists were so shocking I was left doing double takes at the book more than once. After the thrilling events of the climax and conclusion, I`m simultaneously desperate to get my hands on book four next year, and dreading how it`ll play with my emotions. 5/5

Smile by Mary Hoffman (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

In this historical novella, Mary Hoffman tells the story of Lisa, which is inspired by who could be the inspiration for the famous painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. It sees her from when she`s very young, to her marriage and adapting to that life in her teens. The narrative was pleasant and easy to follow, if a little heavy on exposition, and I sympathised with Lisa, who has spent her entire life being prepared for marriage. I also enjoyed the historical aspects of both setting and featuring historical figures. I`ve never seen a book focus on Savonarola before, so it was fascinating to learn about it in a bit more depth, and also find out more about da Vinci and other artists of the period. On the whole, this was an informative and interesting read that fans of historical books will likely enjoy. 4/5

The Buried Crown by Ally Sherrick (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

In a World War Two adventure story, Ally Sherrick tells the story of an evacuee boy George and a Jewish girl called Kitty as they become involved in searching for an ancient artefact, despite a dangerous opponent also being in search of the crown. The main thing I loved about this book were the characters. My heart was breaking for George at so many points, especially before he meets Kitty, and his kindness and bravery were wonderful. The prejudice Kitty and her grandfather faced made me livid, and I adored how clever Kitty was. My favourite though, was Spud, a dog who can only be described as a complete and utter darling, who I`d like for my own. I also detested the nastier characters, one of whom made my skin crawl. Though the book isn’t entirely historically accurate, I did enjoy the World War Two setting, and I especially liked that the book showed how the war tore families apart both in Britain and in Germany. The adventure plot is also lots of fun to follow, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which always had me desperate to keep reading. 4.5/5

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

Based partially on real events, this focuses on a group of boys who are stranded on Warrior Stac after fowling season, and are left believing the world has ended, as no one has come to collect them. I took a little while to get into this, possibly as it`s rather bleak (particularly given it`s aimed at an MG audience), but it was a good read overall. The observations it makes on human nature were thought provoking, and the writing style was absolutely beautiful. I also felt that I got to know all of the characters really well as they were so well drawn and seeing the relationships between them change over the course of the book was another thing I enjoyed about the book. The tension definitely increases the longer they are left on the island, reaching fever pitch at some points, and even though I struggled slightly with the book in places I very much wanted to know how it would all end. Speaking of the ending, the truth about why they were stranded is heartbreaking, and I could hardly believe it happened in real life. This is one to save for a day when you`re in the mood for something darker than most MG, but it`s well worth a read. 4/5


What books have you read this month that you’d recommend? What are your thoughts on the ones I’ve read? Are any on your TBR? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

My Top Ten Disney Animals

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m finally getting to a post I’ve fancied doing for months about my favourite Disney animals! I’m a huge animal lover in general (as you’ll know if you’ve read this blog before/know me on Twitter) and so it seemed perfect. Onto the post!

Disclaimer- because I found this hard to narrow down, double acts/animals from the same film are counted as one entry on the list.

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Chip n Dale– these two are my fave “classic” Disney characters. They’re so cheeky and mischevious; which is what made them some of my favourite characters I met at Disneyland Paris when I went years ago (Remy and Emile, who very narrowly missed being on this list, were also hilarious). I lovethem so much I even asked for a mug with them on it for my birthday last year (which you shall see in a post I have coming up in a few months…)

Olaf– I know Olaf isn’t technically an animal, but he also isn’t human and this is my list, so he counts. Olaf is the sweetest character ever, and I adore him. He’s wonderful in Frozen, adding humour and heart, not to mention a brilliant song to the soundtrack, and I cannot tell you how excited I was going to see Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. In it, he’s even better, and I’m not in the slightest bit ashamed to tell you I wept openly throughout because I was so worried about him. I love how wholeheartedly kind he is and how much he cares about his friends. I cannot wait to see him again come Frozen 2.

Stitch– Like Olaf, Stitch is another not quite animal who I adore. I love how he changes from an evil alien into a loving companion for Lilo, and I also love him because he reminds me of my younger dog. Not because she’s an alien (though she’s definetly odd enough to be from another planet…) but because when she’s playing and particularly hyper, she makes a noise much like Stitch does before he can speak a bit, and it makes me laugh. Plus, he has a super cool Elvis costume.

Flounder– Flounder is one of my favourite Disney sidekicks! He’s so sweet, and I like how wonderful a companion to Ariel he is by following her into lotsof dangerous situations to help her despite his fears. Personally, I wouldn’t have ditched him, but I suppose that’s Ariel’s choice 😕

Gus and Jaq– I love mice/rats in fiction, I really do. These two are particularly adorable, and the dress scene(s) where the mice make her a dress for the ball made me weep. I’m welling up just thinking about it. I really want to watch Cinderella again, but that scene made me cry so much last time I keep putting it off!

Nick Wilde– I also love Judy, but this is a rare case of me actually being able to pick a favourite. I love Nick from the moment he’s introduced as a wisecracking, sneaky con artist to the end of the film, when he’s quite different altogether while retaining his brilliant sense of humour. I firmly believe Zootopia is the most underrated Disney film, and it’s hilarious and heartwarming, and I highly recommend it.

Pascal and Maximus– their rivalry/grudging friendship is amazing, but I also love their relationships with Rapunzel and Flynn. I love how Maximus is loyal to Rapunzel and helps her, and how amazing a companion Pascalis both in the tower and on her adventure with Flynn. Their antagonistic behaviour towards Flynn is HILARIOUS.

Bambi and Thumper– Bambi breaks my heart, but I love Bambi and Thumper a huge amount. They’re both utter darlings in their own right and I loved watching them become friends, alongsude Flower. Writing this has reminded me how much I like Bambi, and that I really should rewatch soon!

Simba– Simba is phenomemal, and I really like how much he grows as a character. He’s a super fun cub (I especially love him in the ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King’ sequence) and he grows into such a strong adult, when he must face his uncle in battle to save his pride.

Koda- I love Brother Bear, and Koda is the main reason for that. I love that he loves Kenai so much (even though he inititally doesn’t show kindness in return), and how adventurous and fun-loving he is. I also feel incredibly sorry for him, as his mum has went missing and he has to deal with that.

Oliver– I cannot understand how no one wanted to take Oliver at first. It boggles my mind. He’s so adorable and I have a huge fondness for ginger cats, so I kind of have to love him, but I also love how brave he is throughout all the situations he’s put in throughout Oliver and Company, and how loyal he is to his friends.


That was TOUGH! I could honestly have included basically every Disney animal ever on that list, tbh (and the ones who JUST didn’t make it were Lady and the Tramp/aforementioned Remy and Emile/EVERYONE from Winnie the Pooh/Nemo, if you’re interested). Who are your favourite Disney animals? Do you agree with any of my choices? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved But Will Never Reread

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m going to be taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana of That Artsy Reader Girl, for which the theme today is books I loved but (probably) won’t re-read (leaving that nice and open for myself, because there are a couple I would consider rereading in the future 😉). Like last week, I ound this quite a tricky topic to come up with books for, so I’ve only managed to come up with eight. Onto the post!

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved But Will Never Reread”

Bloomsbury Spring YA Tour: Author Interview with Jenny McLachlan

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m really excited to have an author interview with Jenny McLachlan, to celebrate the release of her latest YA book Truly Wildly Deeply (which shall be in my March Reviews post this Saturday!). Onto the post!

Continue reading “Bloomsbury Spring YA Tour: Author Interview with Jenny McLachlan”