My Awesome August Book Haul

Hello everyone!

It’s almost the weekend-yay! Today I’m going to share my book haul (I don’t know why, but I seem to prefer writing these midway through the month instead of at the end 😂❤). If I get any post during the rest of month, it’ll pop up in my September haul 😊

My book haul is, as usual, quite big, so let’s dive in!

 BOOKS I’VE READ ALREADY

I won’t go into too much detail about these ones, as I’ll be speaking about them in my August Reviews in a few weeks 😊

  • THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF OKAY- I won a copy of this on Twitter, in a giveaway ran by Laura. I’ve been desperate to read it since I saw the announcement for it and I dropped everything to read it as soon as it arrived! It was definitely worth it too, it was fabulous…
  • GASLIGHT- I received a copy of this from Firefly Press, and I read it right at the beginning of the month and enjoyed it.
  • SIMPLY THE QUEST- I bought this at my trip to Waterstones last week and I read it last weekend as it’s been one of my most anticipated reads of the summer. It was even better than the first book, and I’m excited for the 3rd already.
  • QUEST- I’ve not read all of this, but I’ve read quite a few stories for an exciting guest post with my friend Louise.
  • THE GUGGENHEIM MYSTERY and FRESHERS I’ve read in the past few days, and I loved both of them a huge amount! (Huge thanks to the lovely Jess for sending me Freshers!)

WATERSTONES HAUL

As well as Simply the Quest, I ordered in a few other books I really wanted; The Secret of Supernatural Creek (it has been a LONG 4 years since the last Laura Marlin Mystery, but I want to wait and reread the White Giraffe series and previous Laura Marlins before I read this), A Change is Gonna Come anthology (made up of BAME authors, published by Stripes) and The Starman and Me, which I’ll admit I wanted because of the beautiful cover. 

My next choices, History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera and Another Place by Matthew Crow, are books I mainly bought as I’ve hear a lot of positive comments about them on other blogs. I’m really hoping I’ll enjoy them as much as others have 🙂

I picked up a classic this month too as I really want to get back into reading them. This looks utterly adorable from the bit I read in the shop, and I’m very excited to get to it!

Lastly, I picked up the Children’s Book of the Month: A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan. It looks really interesting and I’ve heard it has mystery elements, so it’s super high on my TBR!

LIBRARY 

I’ve had a few visits to the library this month, and I’ve came home with lots of books each time (hence why I have more books than I’m actually meant to on my card, oopsies 🙈)

These are the books that I had to order in from other branches, and I’m super pleased I was able to get these from the library. I love these authors’ other books, and I’m particularly excited about the Starlight Barking as I totally adore of the One Hundred and One Dalmatians and I only just learned this existed a few weeks ago 😍 

I also picked up a few books based on blurbs, and in one case, a cover so stunning I couldn’t leave it on the shelf (I’m looking at you Chasing the Stars!). I’m hoping these end up being as good as they sound.

RECIEVED

I was lucky enough to receive a few books this month, both from publishers, giveaways and one from a friend.

Along with Gaslight, Firefly also sent me a few of their other titles, which I’m really grateful for.  All of these sound fantastic; I’m hoping (pun intended) to get round to all of them soon, particularly Hope, as it has a hospital setting and it’s had amazing reviews so far.

I also recieved a copy of The Disappearences from Pushkin Press. This sounds really interesting, and I’m excited to read it!

I was super excited when I won a giveaway for these books on Twitter. I’ve wanted to read them for ages and just never got round to buying them, but now I have copies I really want to read them as soon as I possibly can.

Finally, my friend Louise sent me a copy of When We Collided by Emery Lord s i loved her other books so much!

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear what books you’ve added to your TBR this month or which of mine you think I should start with in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl 

See you soon with a new post 

Amy xxx

Review: Confetti and Cake by Laurel Remington 

Hello everybody!

Today I’m reviewing Confetti and Cake by Laurel Remington, which I feel very lucky to have received for review, seeing that the Secret Cooking Club was one of my favourite books of 2016! Let’s get on to the review!

The book, and Bella the Bear (the bookmark 😊)

*I received a copy of this book from Chicken House in exchange for my honest review*

In her second book, Laurel Remington continues the story of Scarlett, a young girl who loves to bake and whose mum is a career blogger. In this book, Scarlett’s mum is getting married (I won’t say to who in case you’ve not read The Secret Cooking Club), and the plot follows Scarlett navigating how this will change her life. Her mum, who is slightly obsessed with fame, has also insisted that the run up to the wedding, Scarlett making her cake, and the wedding itself is filmed for a TV show.

Confetti and Cake is a really lovely book. The writing style is fast-paced and very easy to read, and the plot moves along quickly (I’d actually have liked some of the plotlines to last a little longer, such as Scarlett ‘s best friend Violet’s issue with adjusting to life without her parents who have died in a car crash). In terms if the writing, I also loved the descriptions, especially in the baking scenes! I don’t even like cakes and my mouth was watering after reading this. If you, like me, aren’t planning to watch the Channel 4 version of the Great British Bake Off, I would seriously getting copies of this series to plug the gap!

Another reason why I adored these scenes is that we got to see the other members of the Secret Cooking Club (which Scarlett set up in the previous book, and in simple terms is  a group of people who get together to cook and bake). I didn’t feel like some of the original members like Gretchen or Alison were just as prominent in this book, but I loved getting to know Violet and Nick better, and getting to see how the dynamics of the group changed with some new additions such as Fraser.

The book deals with some interesting issues too. It explores Scarlett’s difficulty understanding her mum’s attitude to fame, Scarlett’s newfound fame as ‘The Little Cook’ blog and her struggles with that (I personally especially enjoyed seeing her grapple with how it changed her friendships with some of the original members of the Secret Cooking Club) and also Scarlett’s troubled relationship with her dad, who has came back into her life, and her being unsure of whether to forgive him for leaving in the first place.

Finally, I liked the ending a lot as it neatly wrapped up all of the plot lines, left me with a really happy, cosy feeling, and left it open to having a 3rd book, which I’ve already got my fingers crossed for. I have a great time spending time in Scarlett’s world and I’d love to see more books featuring her and the rest of the club!

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you so much for reading! Have you read this book? Would you like to after this review? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

Amy xxx

Blog Tour: Confetti and Cake by Laurel Remington

Hello everybody!

Today I’m really excited to share a guest post from Laurel Remington, author of The Secret Cooking Club and Confetti and Cake. Thank you so much to Jazz at Chicken House for allowing me to be part of the blog tour for the book. If you’d like to chdck out the other posts, here’s where to find them 😊

Over to Laurel!

I’m delighted that my second book with Chicken House, The Secret Cooking Club: Confetti & Cake, was published last week. The book is a sequel to The Secret Cooking Club, my debut children’s novel, and winner of the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2015.

Confetti & Cake is a standalone book, but for those who read the first book, it follows the further adventures of Scarlett, her mum, and her friends who are members of The Secret Cooking Club. In this book, Scarlett now has her own blog and runs The Secret Cooking Club Online, and her mum’s ‘tell-all’ blog that used to embarrass Scarlett has been turned into an inspirational blog for parents.

It was interesting to explore how Scarlett’s life has been transformed on the outside – to the world, she is a confident young girl with a vibrant personality and a bold online presence – whereas in reality, she is still a little shy and has a lot of self doubts. In other words, no matter what her social media presence says about her, in real life she is a normal girl.

In a way, I lived a little bit of what Scarlett experienced over the last year since The Secret Cooking Club was published. I had the privilege of getting to meet a lot of young readers during school visits. They made me feel very welcome, and almost like a celebrity sometimes! But giving a talk in front of so many young people was a bit daunting, especially at first. I suppose it’s because children are generally a lot more honest than adults, and haven’t had all the years of experience learning to hide their feelings. That’s what makes it so exciting to write for young readers. They definitely keep you on your toes!

I hope that Scarlett’s situation may help other young people to see that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, not what someone may broadcast to the world on social media. It’s easy to look on Facebook and Twitter and imagine that everyone else is living the perfect life – and maybe feel a little bit bad about ourselves as a result. Scarlett has a bit of the opposite dilemma – after building herself up as The Little Cook and inspiring others, she secretly wants them to know that she still has problems too, and is just like them. In today’s world, sometimes we can feel like we have a split personality – online and real life. Scarlett learns that at the end of the day, it’s a luxury to be able to tell the truth and be herself.

Laurel Remingtons new book, Confetti & Cake, is out now. Laurels first childrens book, The Secret Cooking Club, was the winner of the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2015, and has inspired many young readers to try their hand at cooking and baking. She lives in Surrey, UK with her partner and three daughters.

Thank you all so much for reading everyone! I’d love to hear what you think of Laurel’s books if you’ve read them, and also just for fun, your favourite cake/biscuits! Personally I don’t like cake, but I’m partial to a choc chip cookie or a Bourbon 😊. Let me know yours in the comments below or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl 

Amy xxx

My Dream Reading Room

Hello everyone! 
Last week, I saw a post by Jess from Bookends and Endings talking about her dream reading room, and I absolutely loved her post, so when she suggested in her reply to my comment that I gave it a go too, I immediately started thinking up my own ideas. (My lovely friend Louise over at also Book Murmuration also wrote a post about this a Little while ago)

Let’s get started!

Continue reading “My Dream Reading Room”

Character Q&A… Noah Grimes from Noah Can`t Even

Hello everybody!

Today I have a super exciting post to share with you all- a character Q&A with Noah Grimes from the hilarious Noah Can`t Even! I hope you all enjoy reading his answers as much as I did when they pinged into my email inbox…

Hi Noah. Welcome to Golden Books Girl, I`m so excited to have you!

Thank you, Amy. It is a delight and pleasure to be here. I am sick of Simon getting all the glory for what is basically MY WORK. He is like that person who does a group project with you at school, DOES NOTHING, makes you do EVERYTHING, and still takes the credit. Anyway, this is not about him, so let’s get on with it…

For anyone who hasn`t read Noah Can`t Even, can you sum it up in 5 words or less?

Load. Of. Badly. Written. Lies.

On a similar note, can you describe yourself in 140 characters?

Intelligent and nice boy, nearly 16, probably going to be a Prefect next year (not bragging but it’s true).

One of the first things that attracted me to the book was the cover. Did you/Simon have any say on it, and do you feel it suits the book?

No, it was all done with anyone bothering or having the common decency to mention it to me! The cover is appalling and is clearly meant to titillate. I would have preferred a nice flower on the front, a majestic bird of prey, or maybe a picture of all my awards and certificates from school. If the book is about me, shouldn’t the picture be something to do with me?! I don’t even like bananas. They are a devil fruit.

One of my favourite things about the book were the embarrassing situations you got yourself into. If you were to choose your most embarrassing moment ever, what would it be?

Well, the time when I wet myself on the Year 8 trip to the London Dungeon was pretty awful. Everyone thought it was because I was scared when the out-of-work actor dressed up as blood-crazed monster jumped out at me, but the truth was I was suffering from a bladder infection, which is a genuine medical condition and NOT A LAUGHING MATTER. However, everyone did laugh and they had to cordon off a section of the attraction for health and safety reasons. I had to wear a pair of PE shorts for the rest of the day, with no pants underneath, which was very drafty and unpleasant.

And, if you`d like to get your own back on Simon for writing about all of your mishaps, would you be able to tell us one of his most cringeworthy moments?

Oh, I would never be so petty and cruel as to tell you about any of Simon’s cringeworthy moments, like the time he was 13 and doing the high jump at sports day, and was only wearing loose-fitting boxers under his PE shorts, causing him to accidentally reveal his BOY PARTS to the Year 10 girls who were doing the judging… oh whoops, I’ve said it now, oh well. SEE SIMON, IT’S NOT VERY NICE HAVING ALL YOUR PRIVATE EMBARRASSMENTS BROADCAST FOR THE WORLD TO SEE, IS IT?

I know you have a complicated home/school life, and face quite a few problems throughout the book. If a genie granted you three wishes to change anything about your life, what would they be?

To be a self-made multi-billionaire with all the trappings of wealth, including a private island, massive yacht and a Nespresso machine.
For the school to guarantee that I would definitely be Head Boy in the Sixth Form, and it didn’t need to be voted on or anything.
For gran not to have dementia and to be alive as long as I was.

Related to the above question, if anyone reading was facing similar issues to you, what advice would you give them?

Talk to a responsible adult. Unfortunately, all the adults in my life are COMPLETE MORONS who are SELFISH and completely wrapped up in their own SORRY CATASTROPHES of lives, so are useless and I’m better off sorting things out myself. (Except for Gran, of course, who is quite helpful, so if you’ve got a gran you’ll probably be OK).

From reading the book, I don’t think you`ve ever been abroad on holiday. If you could choose any country to visit, where would you want to go and what would you want to do there? And who would you take with you?

Well, NOT FRANCE, because of the incident on the Year 8 French residential trip… um, maybe Iceland, because I don’t really like a lot of heat / people being naked on the beach, and Iceland is nice and cold. I would definitely take Harry as he is my favourite person and the ideal travel companion in that he doesn’t selfishly hog all the arm-rest.

Tell us 5 random facts about you, preferably ones that DON`T appear in Noah Can`t Even

My middle name is a closely guarded secret. It begins with ‘O’ but that’s as much as I will tell you – other than it was my mother having a laugh.
I can’t do mental arithmetic.
My favourite breakfast cereal is Coco Pops.
When nobody is looking I sometimes still get my Lego out and build designs for airports, high security vaults and secret government research facilities because I find it quite interesting and it’s a legitimate academic exercise, I’m not playing with toys or anything.
My favourite Agatha Christie novel is ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’.

Finally, can you give us any juicy titbits about your 2nd adventure, which I believe Simon is currently writing?

Well, it all starts when the French Exchange students come to visit, and like everything in my life, nothing runs smoothly. There’s a drag queen involved, quite a lot of cheese, and an aggressive goose.

Quick-fire round:

Favourite animal?

A Noah-potamus. Lol!

Favourite chocolate bar?

A Cadbury’s Flake. Very sensuous!

Haribo or Skittles?

I like both, but probably Skittles because they’re just a bit more mature, you know? Haribo is kind of for kids really.

Miss Marple or Poirot?

Miss Marple. Especially when she is played by Joan Hickson, who was my favourite TV Miss Marple ever.

Inspired by your mum`s job- Beyoncé or Jay-Z?

My mother and her excuse for a ‘tribute act’ has put me off all forms of popular music. Instead, I enjoy listening to my ‘Spa Reflections’ album, which is a compilation of haunting chords and various wispy sounds of waves and wind, designed to relax you, during a massage treatment, for example.

Thanks again for being interviewed Noah. Hope you enjoyed answering these as much as I enjoyed writing them 🙂

Thank you. I feel I have been a good guest and I’m sure you are grateful. May I just remind everyone that I am on Twitter – @noahgrimes12 – unlike certain members of my Year who are busy snap-chatting appalling parts of their body to one another, I am making witty observations and informing people about my life, like a responsible, law-abiding citizen.

Thank you all so much for reading my interview with Noah, I hope you enjoyed it! If you did, I seriously recommend following both Noah and Simon on Twitter; they`re hilarious! If you`ve read Noah Can`t Even, I`d love to hear what you think of it in the comments below or on my Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

See you soon with a new post,
Amy xxx

Summer Holiday Book Bonanza!

Hi everyone!

Today, I’m going to show you all the books I’ve bought whilst I’ve been away on holiday this month. I am addicted to books and have no self control, so let’s get started as there’s quite a few!


These books are all ones I’ve already read; I read Moonlocket when it came out and enjoyed it so much I wanted my own copy, and I read Moxie a couple of weeks ago and thought it was superb. I mainly bought the Emery Lord books for their stunning covers, and I really enjoyed reading them last week. Keep an eye out for my reviews of Moxie, The Start of Me and You, and the Names They Gave Us in my July Wrap Up on Saturday!


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My next three picks were all some exciting middle grade novels. Polly Ho-Yen’s debut the Boy in the Tower is one of the best books I’ve ever read so I can’t wait to get stuck into Fly Me Home, I finally remembered to order the 4th Sophie Cleverly book The Lights Under the Lake, and I also got The Griffin’s Feather by Cornelia Funke since it was Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month and the bookseller recommended it.


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My other middle grade choices were The Boy Who Went Magic by A.P Winter, which I read a teaser of and have wanted ever since, and Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter, which I’ve heard phenomenal things about.


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The next four books I bought are ones I really want to read before the end of my summer holidays, as they look like brilliant sunshine reads ; Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais (which I mainly chose as my friend Louise from Book Murmuration highly recommends it), One Silver Summer by Rachel Hickman, If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak,and the Girl’s Guide to Summer by Sarah Mlyknowski.

 


My last two books from Waterstones were both YAs; I’ve wanted to read Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall ever since it came out, and even though I only read Songs About a Girl a few months ago I’ve been eagerly anticipating the sequel Songs About Us ever since.

 


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My last 3 choices were from WH Smith’s 3 for 2 offer, and with the exception of the Moonlight Dreamers which I’ve had my eye on for a while, they were chosen just on the basis of reading their blurbs.

Did you buy any books during July? What do you think of my choices? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl 

Amy x

 

 

The Books Which Made Me a Reader

Hello everyone!

Linked to the guest post I had on Tuesday, by the fantastic Zoe of No Safer Place, today I’ve decided to talk about the books which had the biggest impact on me when I was younger and that made me want to keep reading.

1. Pony Club Secrets by Stacy Gregg – this is one of the first series I remember loving, and I still reread them at least once a year (usually more). I had a thing until I was about 11 that I barely ever read new books and only reread them, but every time a new book about Issie and her dreams of being an equestrian superstar came out I had it devoured in a single night. These have recently been rereleased with STUNNING new covers (which I am only just managing to resist buying), so if you ever fancy a thoroughly enjoyable adventure with horses, romance, friendship and a little bit of magic, these are perfect for you.

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2. Mates, Dates series by Cathy Hopkins- even though these sailed over my head quite a bit when I read them, I still really liked them. They, along with other of Cathy’s books (such as Zodiac Girls, which were what interested me in star signs and where most of my knowledge about them comes from), were books that I absolutely loved and are one of the reasons I still love funny contemporaries.

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3. Electra Brown series by Helen Bailey- As you’ll know if you read my post last Saturday, another series that had a huge impact on me was Electra Brown.  This series was, and is, incredibly special to me, as it not only made me laugh and cry along with Electra and her friends, but taught me about some important issues. If you’d like to read the post about what this series means to me, click here.

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4. Ally’s World by Karen McCombie- Even though this wasn’t the first Karen McCombie series I read, and I read them all out of order, these are by far my favourite Karen McCombie books. They’re funny, quirky, light reads with unforgettably wonderful characters and a big family dynamic I just love.

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5. The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin- These are probably quite a weird choice for someone my age, but hear me out. I can’t remember how old I was when I started reading the BSC but I do remember that I thought they sounded pretty boring when they were given to me. I was pretty bored when I picked one up (Mystery #15, Kristy and the Vampires, if you’re interested) and I was also pretty confused as I didn’t know any of the characters, but it made me want to read the rest. I don’t think I’ve read every single one (in my defence, there’s are a lot of them!) but I’ve read the majority, and working my way through these made up most of my reading for over a year. I’ll admit I find a few of the normal ones a little boring these days, but I still love to reread the mysteries and super specials now.

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6. Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton- this list would never be complete without a bit of Blyton! I’ve enjoyed most Enid Blytons I’ve read, but Malory Towers have to be very favourite. I think I especially love these as a lot of the characters are actually quite flawed and layered, and I think each book captures the overall spirit of the series but feels unique. My other favourite Enid Blyton books are the extremely underrated Five Find Outers books (MUCH better than the Famous Five in my opinion.) but I didn’t read them till a bit later in my reading life.

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7.  Adventure Island by Helen Moss- It’s very rare that a series which promises to be like Enid Blyton delivers, let alone exceed Enid Blyton. I read this in the summer holiday of 2012 and devoured the rest of the series the same year, and waited eagerly for the rest to be released in 2013. These were The Books that introduced me to my love of mysteries, and to this day most of the books I love contain mystery in some way, shape or form. Not to mention the fact that the first review I ever wrote was for Adventure Island, so without these books this blog probably wouldn’t exist!

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So, these are the books that have had the biggest impact on me and my reading, what are yours? I’d love to know either in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl.

Amy xxx