How to Write a Love Story Blog Tour: Katy Cannon’s Top 5 Romance Book

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m super excited to be on the blog tour for Katy Cannons new book How to Write a Love Story, which I really enjoyed, as you’ll know already if you read my latest monthly reviews post a few days ago! Onto Katy’s post, all about her top 5 romance books!

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I love reading romance every bit as much as I love writing it. Narrowing down my favourites to just five is almost impossible, but here a few titles that always pop into my head when someone says ‘romance’.

1. Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen was one of the first great romance writers (if you ignore the Greeks) and for my money, P&P is one of the best romances ever written. It has everything I love – a hero and heroine working towards understanding each other, a great supporting cast, and a blissfully happy ending. (Plus some fantastic one-liners!) That’s why it actually features in How To Write A Love Story at quite a pivotal moment!

2. Fangirl: Rainbow Rowell has that uncanny ability to make me feel eighteen again, exactly as it felt the first time around. I loved this book so much, mostly because I felt like I might have lived it, rather than just read it.

3. In The Hand of the Goddess: Tamora Pierce is famous for her fantasy YA novels, of which this is one of the best. I couldn’t begin to claim that romance is the main focus of this book, but there’s definitely enough romantic scenes for me to count it! More importantly, this was the first book I read as a teenager where I realized that however great the plot, what interested me most in books was the characters, and the friendships, relationships and romances they experienced with others. (Plus I had a total book crush on Prince Jon.)

4. Saint Anything: Sarah Dessen is a writer who draws me into the worlds and families she creates, until by the last page I’m devastated to have to leave them. She also writes incredible teen romances – true and heartbreaking and hopeful. I love all her books, but I think this is my favourite.

5. Shadow of the Moon: M M Kaye wrote sweeping historical fiction with romance at its heart, set in India and Zanzibar. She also wrote fantastic short crime novels (with a romantic subplot) set in many of the countries she’d lived in or visited, set during the forties and fifties. What I love about her books is the period details and political background she includes – as well as the drama and the romance! I was hard pressed to pick a favourite, and almost went for her most famous novel, The Far Pavilions, but Captain Alex Randall from Shadow of the Moon will always hold my bookish heart.

Thank you so much for reading! What are your favourite romance books? Do you agree with any of Katy’s choices? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

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5 Books Which Feature Exams

Hello everybody!

As I write this, my exams are due to start in a few days’ time, and by the time this goes live I’ll have sat my first. Because of this, I thought it would be fun to make a list of books that feature exams taking place, or are referenced. Onto the post!

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Radio Silence– this has to be top of this list. I read it last May, on the day before/day of my last exam, and it’s amazing. It captures the pressure to do well, particularly when you’re seen as clever, so we’ll, and I related to it hugely. It’s also just a REALLY bloody good book. I was gripped, I was invested in the characters, I loved them so much turning the last page was bittersweet. Highly recommended. I have a bit of study leave with no exams after I sit all of mine, and I’m going on holiday, so I plan to read LOADS. I’ve decided to save Alice’s newest I Was Born For This as a treat (though looking at it every day is torture 😂😂), along with some others I think will be extra amazing.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix– the OWLs, the wizarding equivalent to GCSEs or National 5s, take place in this book. Even though they’re fictional, they still show how stressful exams are and lots of other little details I thought were very true, like people trying to show off how much they revise which then panics others and all the teachers bringing it up all the time. This is my favourite Harry Potter book for lots and lots of reasons, and I can’t wait till I have time to reread them all again, hopefully before the end of the year.

Goodbye, Perfect– this is Sara Barnard’s latest book, and it takes place just before, during, and after the GCSE period. It touches on the pressure exams put on people, and they’re mentioned quite a lot throughout. The book is about Eden, the best friend of Bonnie who has run away with a teacher she is in love with, and explores how this affects her, which I thought was a super unique perspective. Eden is quite frankly amazing, as are her sister Valerie and boyfriend Connor, and it’s well worth a read if you’ve not yet picked it up! All of Sara Barnard’s books are, in fact.

Out of the Blue– this takes place in the summer, and is about a magical realism adventure in our world, but a version in which ‘Beings’ have started falling to earth, so it’s not the most obvious choice for this list. However, it does touch a little on the anxiousness before results day, AND it’s set in Scotland and mentions the actual exams I’m currently sitting (Highers), so also earns a place for that reason.

Magic in Manhattan– it’s been a while since I read this book (The 4th and final in the brilliant All About Rachel series), and I don’t think Rachel and Mike’s Samsorta ceremony to make them fully fledged witches is technically an exam, but they do have to take lotsof classes for it and prepare, so I thought it would be good to give it a shout out ! The books are about two sisters, Rachel and Miri, as they discover they’re witches and navigate how that affects their families, friendships and in Rachel’s case, romances. I so wish I knew where my copies were so I could reread!


What books can you think of that feature exams? Are you a fan of any I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

My Most Anticipated May-June Books

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m going to be sharing a list of my most anticipated May-June releases. Though there are (rather a few) more I’m desperate to get my hands on in both months, I’ve narrowed it down to a list of eleven I’m desperate for, that I know are definetly coming out (which are, unusually for me, mainly YA 😱, though there are MGs I’m still excited for). Onto the books!


Note- I have been lucky enough to read some anticipated releases for these months already, so those haven’t been included, and at time of writing I’ve not read any of these (though I have a couple of review copies and I am VERY excited to get to those, hopefully soon).


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Kat Wolfe Investigates– Lauren St John’s other mystery series is one of my favourite series, full stop. It’s one of two I credit with keeping me a reader whenI thought I didn’t love it any more. If I love this new series half as much you’ll probably be hearing me rave lots about them.

Gangster School– A friend of mine has already read this and has told me she thinks I’ll love it, so I’m so excited to read it! It sounds like very classic MG with a bit of a new twist and I can’t wait to try it out.

I Was Born For This– Radio Silence was one of my absolute favourites of my favourite books last year, and I’m so looking forward to diving into Alice’s next novel. I think they strike the perfect balance between being dramatic and funny, and I am very hopeful I love it just as much as Radio Silence! I also need to get to her debut Solitaire at some point because I have heard so many amazing things about it.

Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury– the first book in this series was super sweet and fun, plus I’ve heard this contains a rather adorable hedgehog called Mr Prickles. I’m excited to have more fun with Alex, Jess and their animal friends (very hopeful for a return of Bob the goldfish especially…)

It’s a Wrap– this comes out at the end of May, and though I’m sad the series is ending, it’ll be great to be back in the slightly bonkers world aspiring actress Elektra inhabits, and I’m excited to see the bizarre, brilliant situations that are sure to befall her…

Leah on the Offbeat– as you might know, I’m a MASSIVE fan of Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and I’m so excited to have a sort of sequel from the POV of his best friend Leah, who is bi but scared to come out, despite Simon being openly gay. I love Simon Vs, I love Upside of Unrequited, and I’m pretty sure I’ll love this book too. It’ll be interesting to see things through Leah’s eyes, not to mention seeing more of Simon and Blue as a couple! I’m unbelievably excited about seeing the Creekwood gang again, can you tell?!

The Last Chance Hotel– This was the winner of the competition the Times/Chicken House run every year, and I’ve really enjoyed some past winners so I’m pretty sure this will be great. It sounds like a blend of fantasy and mystery, both of which I totally love, AND if all this wasn’t enough to make me want to read it a faithful animal companion is mentioned in the blurb and the cover is so pretty.

Bookshop Girl– I love bookshops, I love funny books and I love rallying behind a cause as I read. I’m pretty sure I’ll love this, and I’ve been unbelievably excited to get my hands on it since the very day it was announced!

Boy Meets Hamster– I’ve heard brilliant things so far about this funny romance about two boys and their summer holiday romance, so it sounds like the perfect thing to read one sunny afternoon over the summer if possible!

Lou Out of Luck– Girl Out of Water was such a funny, fantastic debut and it’s been so long since I read it I’m totally dying to get my hands on the sequel.

Noah Could Never- I thoroughly enjoyed Noah Can’t Even last year, and I’m so excited to jump back into Noah’s world and see what will happen next in his relationship with Harry, not to mention seeing what hilarious hijinks he’ll get up to this time.


Thank you so much for reading! What books are you most excited for in these months? Do you agree that the amount of amazing stuff coming out in them is bananas, or is it just me who’ll be buying/borrowing tons? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

Guest Post: Books About New Beginnings

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m really excited to welcome Jo to my blog for a guest post, all about books with themes of new beginnings. Over to Jo!


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Why I Love Geek Girl

Hello everybody!

Today’s post is a tiny bit different to usual (more in format than anything else), so onto the post! I hope you enjoy it 💜

Of all the books that I count as favourites, the Geek Girl series is one of the very closest to my heart. There are so, so many reasons why I love this series and I decided, since it’s now almost a year since the final book came out that I wanted to write about it.
It fits my taste perfectly.

Harriet’s voice is incredibly unique, and her dry sense of humour throughout never, ever fails to make me laugh at least once a chapter. We’re very different in a lot of ways, though I see similarities too. I don’t rattle off facts or love maths and Science, but I adore history, and books, and I’m the first to admit I’m not all that into fashion. There is a passage in the first book about that very topic that speaks hugely to me, and I’m often heard saying ‘they’re just clothes!’

That’s something Geek Girl has given me. There are whole sections of this book I can rhyme off by heart; Harriet’s vocabulary has seeped into mine. Ostensibly, which features in one of the most uncomfortable bullying scenes throughout all 6 books is one of my go to phrases in an essay, and it’s one of my favourite words ever. I also try and learn some of the glorious facts sprinkled throughout that always fit just right with the narrative, which never feel jarring as they could be in other hands.

The rest of the cast are just as special. Eccentric agent Wilbur; so bizarre I can’t help but giggle when he’s on the page. Her parents; clever and caring, and undoubtedly my favourite book parents of all time. Toby; initially an irritation, but someone I came to care about by the end of Forever Geek. Best friend Nat; ferociously protective of Harriet, hilarious, a true ‘girl bomb’. Scary fashion designer Yuka Ito, whose terrifying manner provokes Harriet into some of the best moments of the series for me. And Nick. Lion Boy. A character I’m unashamedly in love with. He’s funny, charming, gorgeous and I can picture him so vividly throughout. He’s perfect for Harriet, to me, and she’s perfect for him.

Watching them grow over the course of the series is a pleasure, and letting them go in Forever Geek was difficult (I spent the entire sitting in which I read it in tears, even as I inevitably laughed). I don’t think I’ll ever stop rereading them though. At the end of any especially tough week, or in preparation for something I’m dreading, I go to the drawer in which I keep these (the most easily accessible I have), pull them out and start reading. And it feels like going home.

Why do you love Geek Girl? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

Amy xxx

Top Ten Inspiring Female Characters

Hello everybody!

Today, as it’s almost International Women’s Day, I’m going to be writing about five female characters I find especially inspiring. It was SO hard to narrow this down as I think so many are incredible, but onto my list!

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Bookish Buddies- Authors We’d Love to Write To

Hello everybody!

Today I’m delighted to have my lovely friend Layla here for our first bookish buddies post of 2018! Last month, we read Letters to the Lost (and both had mixed feelings) and today our post themed around this is authors we’d write letters to. Onto the post!

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My Answers

Holly Smale- I’ve actually written a fullpost about some reasons I love Geek Girl, which goes up next month that will go into more detail about this, but Holly is definetely an author I’d love to write to. I think she is absolutely hilarious and amazing (her pre author career blog the Write Girl is uttterly glorious to the point I reread it) and the Geek Girl series means the world to me. My PS would apologize for being a bit of a blithering idiot when I met her at the Edinburgh Book Festival!

Ann M. Martin- another series I really loved was the Babysitters Club, and I’d love to let Ann M Martin know how obsessed with this series I was from about the ages of 9 till 12. They invoked my love of mysteries (which was why I was given Dead Man’s Cove and Adventure Idland at a time where I wasn’t really in love with reading.), and provided me with plenty of rather fantastic reading material. Even now, when I’m really tired or ill, and can’t focus on my main read, I often turn to these. The mysteries are a delight (though there is amarked improvement after 10), the super specials are varied and fun, plus it’s so cool to see some perspectives we don’t usually, andthe little known about portrait books are so interesting.

Stacy Gregg- sticking to theme of series I loved, this was the first series I was a fangirl for. I was obsessed with this world, these characters and these stories, and I remember screaming out loud at the ending of one (Flame and the Rebel Riders, if you’re interested). Gettimg the newest installment was a total treat every time and I read them the moment they came into my hands. I’m planning to reread these this year at some point, as I don’t think I got to it in 2017 (I usually reread them all at least once a year!), and I’m so, so excited. If I love them even half as much, I’ll have a ball. So yeah, Stacy would get a rambling letter on all of the above.


Layla’s Answers

Shirley Hughes

I think I’d definitely want to write a letter to Shirley Hughes. I’ve mentioned her a few times over on my own blog, and I’m grateful for her books for sparking an interest in me when I was so young. I’m always telling the customers at work how much I love her art and it’s lovely to see her books still as popular as ever. Plus it would be wonderful to get her signature.

J.K. Rowling

This letter would just be a whole list of thank yous. J.K. Rowling gave us the wizarding world, and those that love Harry Potter as much as I do will know how special and important that is. We’re all a mixture of houses who have been brought together by this one special series of books, and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to read, love and cherish them.

Jeff Zentner

I’ve really enjoyed the two books Jeff Zentner has written; both books made me sit and weep in my bedroom, but I still really enjoyed them and have become a huge fan. I’d love to just write him a letter telling him how much I enjoy his writing style and how he makes all of his characters come alive so well.

Thank you so much for reading! What authors would you like to write letters to and why? Let us know in the comments or come chat to us on Twitter!

Amy xxx