The End of Year Reading Survey | 2018 Edition

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be doing the Perpetual Page Turner’s Annual End of the Year Reading Survey, even though we’re now almost a full month into the new year. This is mostly because I was more than a bit intimidated by the sheer length of this tag, and as such dithered about whether or not I was going to do it for a REALLY long time. Shout out to Charlotte for finally getting me to just do it! Onto the post!


2018 READING STATS

Number Of Books You Read: 159 (I initially thought this was 160, which is a nice, round number but alas I was wrong because I cannot do maths.)

Number of Re-Reads: 2

Genre You Read The Most From: I haven’t actually counted, but I’m pretty sure it’s fantasy.

BEST IN BOOKS

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

It’s a tie between When the Mountains Roared and the Children of Castle Rock, and has been since April.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I had very high hopes for the Lost Magician by Piers Torday, because I LOVE the Last Wild books but it was such a letdown for me. I don’t think I’m going to continue on in the series, but I’ll probably continue to give anything else he writes a try.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

I was so surprised by how much I loved Children of Castle Rock. I really like everything else I’ve read from the author, but I loved this book so much.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I got several people really into the Murder Most Unladylike books this year.

5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

I read several amazing series starters, but I think my very favourite was Ellen Renner’s Storm Witch. Best sequel would be either Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury or the Elsewhere Emporium. Best conclusion would definitely be Battle of the Beetles.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

I’ve only read one of her books, but I think it’d be Matilda Woods if this means an author who’s had books out other years that I’ve never never read anything from.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don’t read very many YA fantasies set totally in a fantasy world, but I really enjoyed State of Sorrow.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Elephant Thief was totally unputdownable. I was so worried about the characters.

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Probably When the Mountains Roared.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

Ooh this is so tricky! There are so many stunning covers out there. I think my very favourite belongs to Wild Folk.

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

I feel like I actually know Daisy and Hazel from the Murder Most Unladylike books personally, so them. But Cara from the Year After You if I’m picking a new to me character. Or Sami from the Eleventh Trade if I’m picking a new to me character that I’ve not mentioned elsewhere in this tag.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

Ooh there are so many I could say for this! Since I’ve mentioned most of them more than once already, I think I’ll go for When We Collided by Emery Lord.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

I found Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes really thought provoking- it discusses some really interesting ideas.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, or maybe Under Rose Tainted Skies!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

The passage where you first meet Fergus properly in the Children of Castle Rock.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

According to Goodreads, the Mystery of Me was the shortest and State of Sorrow was the longest. I really enjoyed both.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The twists in Beyond the Odyssey were mind-bending, and definitely shocked me.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Up till December, it would have been Finch and Hector from Flying Tips for Flightless Birds, but Cara and Hector from the Year After You stole it at the last minute.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I think this has to be the friendship between the main group in either the Children of Castle Rock or the one between the young explorers in Explorers on Witch Mountain.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Both my ultimate favourites of the year were by authors I’d read previously.

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc

I would never have picked the Elephant Thief up if Louise hadn’t told me it was brilliant.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Matt from Open Road Summer. A singer-songwriter who’s caring and compassionate and romantic? Be still my beating heart.

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

I think this has to be Sophie Anderson’s the House with Chicken Legs. It’s such a unique and compelling book.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Most vivid setting definitely goes to Jess Butterworth for When the Mountains Roared, though another great one was Katherine Woodfine’s Paris in Peril in Paris. I think my favourite fantasy worldbuilding was A Darkness of Dragons or Storm Witch, because those were both exceptionally well done.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Children of Castle Rock was a joy to read.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

I used to think I wasn’t a big crier at books but talking about what I read more since I started blogging has taught me that I cry at basically everything. I think When the Mountains Roared made me cry most though.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I really wish a Darkness of Dragons got a bit more love, because it’s so good and I only know of about two other people who’ve read it.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Fierce Fragile Hearts crushed my heart at numerous points, and then put it back together. So did the Year After You, but I’ve already made my love for that very clear, I think!

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

I know everyone has said Floored for this and I really did try to come up with something else, but Floored. You can’t get much more unique than a book written by seven of UKYA’s biggest stars, can you?

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

I remember being livid while reading the Buried Crown on behalf of both George, darling Spud the dog and Kitty because some of the people in their town were vile to them.

YOUR BOOKISH/BLOGGING LIFE

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

Because I am indecisive, I have numerous answers to this. I don’t really follow many bookstagram accounts, so I’ll leave that out. My favourite new blogs I’ve started reading are Alyce’s and Rachael’s. I share a lot of opinions with both of them, and I’ve really enjoyed reading their content and interacting with them since I found their blogs. For booktube, I’ve absolutely been loving Books and Lala!

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018?

I think it has to be my review of Staying at Tamara’s, because both George Ezra and this album mean a lot to me. My top 3 has completely changed bar one song, but I still stand by all the gushy things I said about it.

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018?

I love this one of Shimmy and Sami’s Silver Lining, and one I can’t find except on my Instagram of Saffy holding the Midnight Hour.

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)?

I loved MG Chat, which Jess ran on Twitter last year. I really wish I’d managed to make it to more.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

Winning my UKYABA was a pretty special moment. I had been out at a birthday party and came home to discover I’d won Best Teen, and promptly burst into tears.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

My health was pretty bad in 2018, and I’m so proud that I managed to keep blogging and reading through what was a pretty difficult year.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My reviews post for November/December 2017, though I’m not quite sure why!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I wrote a post about how much I love Geek Girl, and I really wish it had done a little better because it was one of my favourite posts of the whole year.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I honestly don’t really know for this one? The only book related sites I read are blogs, and I’ve already covered those.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

The short answer to this is kind of. I completed most of them, and I’m not too fussed about the ones I didn’t because I did other things that I’m happier about than I would have been meeting my original targets. If you’d like to hear more about my goals, you can read the whole post I did about it here.

LOOKING AHEAD


What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned here? What are your bookish plans for 2019? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Amy x

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SLAY: On Tour Blog Tour- Kim Curran’s Writing Playlist

Hello everybody! Today, I’m thrilled to be sharing a guest post from Kim Curran, author of the fantastic Slay books, about her playlist for the book as today’s stop on the blog tour for her new release Slay: On Tour! Onto the post!

Continue reading “SLAY: On Tour Blog Tour- Kim Curran’s Writing Playlist”

Little Bird Flies Blog Tour: “How I Found My Little Bird” by Karen McCombie

Hello everybody! Today, I have a fabulous guest post from Karen McCombie to share, as part of the blog tour for her latest wonderful book Little Bird Flies. Onto the post!


Once upon a time, there was a young girl who lived high up in a tower…

Okay, so the young girl was me (you guessed that right away, didn’t you?), and as for the tower, I lived on the 15th floor of a high-rise block, slap-bang in the centre of Aberdeen, Scotland. I loved to perch on my windowsill (inside!), wondering at the outside world – especially focussing on the historic buildings I could see dotted around the patchwork centre of the city. I’d wonder about the all the people who’d lived there in decades and centuries gone by and what their version of the city might have looked like… And if I wasn’t daydreaming out of the window, I’d be lost in the world of my books, almost always borrowed from the huge, Victorian central library just across the road from my block of flats.

But once in a while, my parents would take me to a bookshop where I was allowed the rare treat of actually buying a book (they were both passionate library users). I still have those beloved books now, and it wasn’t until I tidied them up on the shelves of my office recently that I realised they ALL have an historic theme…

So maybe it’s no surprise that – after years or writing mostly contemporary books – I’ve written a historic novel, set in Scotland. It might not be my part of Scotland (a bustling city) but it’s certainly the Scotland of childhood holidays, where my family would drive around visiting the lochs and mountains and castles practically on our doorstep, or further afield in the Highlands.

And so the story of Bridie – known as Little Bird to her best friend – has been brewing for the longest time. It’s set on a small island off the west coast, with mainland Scotland to the right and the endless expanse of the Atlantic Ocean to the left. Bridie is feisty and full of dreams she thinks will never come true, because she’s poor, because she’s a girl. But as new people arrive on the island, things start to change; some for the better, with unexpected friendships blossoming, and some for the worse, as danger and cruelty begin to take their toll.

The backdrop to the adventure of ‘Little Bird Flies’ is the Highland Clearances, a part of Scotland’s history that’s little known outside of the country. Having the rumbling threat of this real episode certainly ramped up the drama of Bridie’s predicament, and made it so absorbing to write. And now ‘Little Bird Flies’ is out in the world, I hope it finds a few readers who’ll enjoy reading Bridie’s story as much as I loved writing it!


Little Bird Flies’ by Karen McCombie is out now (Nosy Crow) and if you’d like to read about all the reasons why I adored, you can find them here.


Is Little Bird Flies on your TBR? Have you already read it? What are your favourite historical books? I‘d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

Our Castle By the Sea Blog Tour: Lucy Strange’s Lighthouse Quest

Hello everybody! Today, I’m really excited to share a guest post from Lucy Strange, the author of Our Castle By the Sea, which I read and really enjoyed in December (as you’ll know if you read my December reviews post yesterday!). Onto the post!

Continue reading “Our Castle By the Sea Blog Tour: Lucy Strange’s Lighthouse Quest”

December Reviews 2018

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be reviewing all of the books I read in the final month of 2018 (which I still can`t believe is over, to be honest!). Onto the books!


The Girl with the Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burgis

In this companion to The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart, we follow Aventurine`s friend as she is enlisted to spy on the highly secretive fairies- those responsible for the disappearance of her parents years prior to the novel`s beginning- who have just emerged from a long period of hiding in order to visit Drachenburg. It was great to see characters I knew and loved again, such as Aventurine (who is as hilarious and daring as ever, and a truly wonderful friend to Silke) and Marina, as well as to gain much more insight into Silke, whose talent for talking herself out of trouble and determination made her such an enjoyable heroine. I also loved learning more about Princesses Katrin and Sofia and I thought that the fairies made for excellent villains; they are so menacing and sinister even before we know their true intentions and how cruel they really are, and I was on edge every time they were on the page. Finally, I think Drachenburg is such a well-built world- the writing style conjured up such an image of it in my head, and Silke knowing the city so well meant that the reader also gets a great deal of insight into the different areas of the city and the people who live in them. I`m so looking forward to reading Sofia`s story after it comes out next summer! 4.5/5

Our Castle by the Sea by Lucy Strange (received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

In her 2nd novel, Lucy Strange tells the story of a girl called Pet, who lives in the lighthouse that serves her small coastal town, as World War Two and the policies it triggered begin to tear her family, and subsequently her rather idyllic life, to shreds. My heart was more or less in shreds from the opening too (and things remained that way throughout, and if anything got progressively torn to bits even more!) because the situations that Pet and her family face are all heart-rending and so hideously unjust. First of all, I absolutely adored Pet, and it`s actually quite to difficult to explain just how much. Everyone, including Pet herself, sees her as mousy and a wimp, but in reality she has a quiet strength that I admired so much, and it brought me so much delight to see her self-confidence grow as the book progressed. This understated bravery was especially noticeable due to the contrast between Pet and her sister Magda- who I loved very much too- who is fiery and much more overtly strong, and the way that both are instrumental in their lives improving. I also loved the writing style, which is so beautifully descriptive and evocative that I felt as if I was watching the action rather than reading it, and I had a vivid picture in my mind of each setting. Another element I really appreciated was that the book focuses on an area of the war I have never seen explored before, and I found so interesting as it really highlights what the struggles of being on the home front would have been like. The different mystery elements that Pet sets out to solve throughout were all incredibly intriguing, and between these, the amazing reveals they result in and how worried I was for her and Magda, it was almost impossible to stop reading this for even a moment. I strongly suggest picking it up, and also saving it for a day where you won`t need to drag yourself away from this gripping, stunning adventure. 4.5/5

The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods by Samuel J. Halpin (received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

In his debut novel, Samuel J. Halpin tells the story of a girl named Poppy, who goes to stay with her grandmother in the eccentric town of Suds, and is caught up in investigating why children frequently disappear under unusual circumstances, and have done for many years. First of all, the mystery is super intriguing, and I really enjoyed following along as Poppy and her friend Erasmus uncover more and more of the truth. Poppy and Erasmus made a great detective duo, and I thought the development of their friendship was wonderful, and it was lovely to see them trying to distract each other from both the magical and more realistic dangers they`re facing at different points. Speaking of the book blending magic and realism, it was expertly done and tackled both perfectly. I also appreciated the way that the inclusion of the fairy tale really added to the story in the present day, as well as being interesting to read in their own right- I don`t always enjoy that sort of thing, but this was so well done that I couldn`t not enjoy it. The climax of the book was thrilling, and the reveal of who the Peggs were and the extent of their evil actions was so satisfying; they lived up to the sinister, creepy villains I had expected from what we know about them by the time they are unmasked. I`m looking forward to seeing whatever the author writes next. 4.5/5

Sami`s Silver Lining by Cathy Cassidy

I have loved Cathy Cassidy`s books for a long time, and this was no exception. Much like her Chocolate Box Girls series, each book of the Lost and the Found series focuses on a different member of the titular band, and this one is Sami`s story. Sami is a refugee, who has only newly arrived in England, and his book sees a new relationship and his involvement in the band beginning to bring down the walls that he has built up around himself to protect him from the incredibly harrowing experiences he has had since war broke out in Syria. In addition to this, the other main part of the plot is a truly terrible keyboard player replacing the one who was forced to leave, and this has some pretty hilarious results The members of the band are all so much fun, and I just adore all of them- my particular favourite is Marley, but I wanted things to go well for all of them, and there isn`t a single one of the core group that I don`t love. Seeing things from Sami`s perspective was so interesting, as well as utterly heart-breaking in places, and the progress he makes in coming to terms with his past and trying to build his future is so heart-warming and emotional, as is a certain unexpected event that I don`t want to spoil. I can`t wait to read Sasha`s story in the 3rd book, especially given the hints as to what issues she is facing given in this book, and frankly I`d love it if I got a book for every single member, even though this band is considerably larger than the average group. 4.5/5

Little Bird Flies by Karen McCombie (received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

Karen McCombie seems to be able to turn her hand to any genre, and while I adored her contemporary series and then her more magical releases, I think this book has confirmed that my favourites of her work are the historical novels- I loved Catching Falling Stars, and I thoroughly enjoyed this too. It`s set on the small Scottish island of Tornish, and follows a girl named Bridie (also known as Little Bird) and her family, who are forced to flee the island after a new oppressive laird gains control of the island. As someone from Scotland, I know disgracefully little about its history, and it was really interesting to get a glimpse into what life in the era might have been like- especially since Bridie`s voice felt so authentic. The book was incredibly compelling, and it felt like the sort of historical drama that makes for an excellent adaptation because I got so invested in all of the characters` lives- from Bridie herself to her family and even the members of the new Laird`s household that aren`t necessarily there by choice. This feeling was added to even further by how beautifully the setting of Tornish was depicted as, and how well the later settings following the escape from the island were described. I`m so excited to continue on in the family`s journey in Little Bird Lands, whenever it comes out. 4.5/5

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

This book is the story of three siblings- Grace, Maya and Joaquin- who were given up for adoption when they very young, and what happens when they all discover that the others exist now they are teenagers. I loved how unique this concept was, and I adored the relationship that develops between the siblings. I also enjoyed that we saw things from all three perspectives, and I grew so attached to Grace and Joaquin- I couldn`t wait to see the way that their stories would turn out (spoiler: I was delighted with how it ends for them, and I shed several tears at the final chapters for each sibling!). Additionally, and somewhat hypocritically given my praise of the fresh concept, I thought Grace and Raf`s flirtatious friendship/romance was utterly lovely, and I thought he was such a supportive, kind love interest. However, I couldn`t really gel with Maya`s narration, and as such her chapters didn`t hold my interest as much, even though I did feel sympathy towards her as her family situation is so tough and she has a lot to deal with, and I liked her development as the book progressed. Overall, this was a really interesting contemporary that tackles a variety of topics (such as teenage pregnancy and the foster care system) that aren`t seen that often in books. 4/5


Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard (received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

Beautiful Broken Things was one of the first YA books I remember reading and loving, and ever since that day in 2016 when I devoured it in a single sitting, I have thought often of Suzanne, who was Caddy`s new best friend in that book who had to leave Brighton at the end due to difficult circumstances. In this sort of sequel, set two years later, we see things from Suzanne`s point of view as she returns to Brighton and attempts to build an adult life for herself after leaving the care system, while also having to deal with her past and her abuser continuing to torment her, a romance with a handsome musician she`s been warned off of and the way that her friendships with Caddy and Rosie shift when they leave for university. As you might have guessed, I already really loved Suzanne, and her narration only added to this; she is so flawed, yet utterly loveable, and I admired her so much for how far she has come since Beautiful Broken Things, and how hard she is still trying to create a happier life for herself, even though it is so unfair that she has to. I also love the portrayal of the friendship between Suze, Caddy and Rosie, Suzanne`s romance with Matt was gorgeous (I can`t tell you how hard I was rooting for them) and I adored the new additions of Kel and Dilys too. They all felt so real to me, and I think this was due to the super natural dialogue and inclusion of messages/group chats between them. I couldn`t put this down because I so desperately needed to see how everything was going to turn out, and the writing is so beautiful that it was very easy to lose myself in Suzanne`s story. I don`t think I`ll ever stop thinking about how Suzanne might be getting on, but I really like where we left her at the end of this. Prepare yourself to feel every emotion possible, and pick up Beautiful Broken Things and then this. I really don`t think you`ll regret it. 5/5

The Midnight Hour by Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder (received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

This middle grade fantasy tells the story of a girl named Emily as her parents vanish into the world of the Midnight Hour (a Victorian London frozen in time, where lots of weird and wild magical creatures live) and she must set off to save them, accompanied only by a runaway mouth that lands her in trouble a lot, a hedgehog and some sandwiches. I initially struggled a little to understand the world and what it was, which made it slightly tricky for me to get into the book, but I really started to get into it once the plot got properly going, and I thought the 3rd person narration was really funny and enjoyable from the very start. The world was so interesting and I loved learning about some of the types of magical people and the really cool abilities they had, and it was lots of fun following Emily as she tries to rescue her parents from a dangerous enemy. Information was revealed slowly about not just where they were throughout, but also who had taken them, why they had done so and the nature of Emily and her family`s connections to the Midnight Hour, and I thought all of these reveals were super intriguing and made known to the reader at just the right time. Additionally, I thought Emily was a fantastic character- she is feisty and funny and full of bravery- and her sidekick Tarquin (also known as Tarkus) was great too; they make an excellent team, and I loved how clever they both were in terms of bringing down the villain (or trying to, anyway…). The villain was also absolutely brilliant- she was so horrible and sly- and her evil plot is certainly suitably awful. After the thrilling climax, I`m looking forward to seeing more of this world and these characters in the next book of the trilogy, and I`m interested to see what will happen next. 4/5

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

I didn`t love this finale to the Lara Jean trilogy quite as much as I did the second instalment of the series that I read the month before this, but I still had such a great time reading it. This book sees Lara Jean applying to colleges and navigating her last few months of high school, and as I too have just applied to universities, I could really relate to the former of those, and loved seeing the insecurity it provokes captured so well on the page. My very favourite thing about this series though is just how cosy a vibe all of the books have; I`ve seen a lot of people criticise them for being light on plot, but while I agree that that`s true it just somehow works in these in a way it doesn`t in most books for me. I find spending time with Lara Jean telling you about her life is incredibly relaxing and fun, regardless of what`s happening in it, and I love her as a narrator. I also can`t begin to describe how much I love her family, friends and boyfriend Peter, because they`re all so distinctive and because we see them from Lara Jean`s perspective I almost feel like they`re people I know, if that makes any sense. I especially love Peter and Kitty, because they have made me laugh so much throughout the series. The romantic moments of this book were all super lovely too, and I think they`re fabulous examples of YA romance books; if you haven`t picked them up yet and enjoy that genre, I definitely think you should give them a try, because I`ve had so much fun reading all three in the series this year. I`m so sad that this is probably the last time I`ll get to read about LJ and her life and the people in it, but I look forward to seeing the adaptations of books two and three on Netflix, hopefully not too far in the future. 4.5/5

The Year After You by Nina de Pass (received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
I had expected to like this book, but I don`t think I could ever have predicted how much it would blow me completely and utterly away. It is the story of a girl named Cara- who is grieving the death of her best friend G who died in a tragic accident that Cara blames herself for on the New Year`s Eve nine months prior to the book`s opening- and how her being “exiled” to Hope Hall, a boarding school in Switzerland known for helping troubled teens, and meeting new friends there helps her begin to heal. This book has one of my favourite first lines ever, and I knew from the moment I read it that I was going to fall in love with this book. Cara is such an engaging, complex narrator, and even though she has shut herself off from the world when we meet her, every emotion she is having comes through the text and I just wanted things to get better for her so badly. She makes a lot of mistakes both in the past, which we get flashbacks of, and present, but I still loved her so much as a main character. The supporting characters are also exceptional, particularly the friend group Cara accidentally joins upon arrival. They all have their own problems and Hector and Ren`s home lives both made me cry (as did Cara`s situation; I basically spent most of this book with tears streaming down my face…), but they all do their best to support each other and their dynamic is the absolute best. Cara and Hector`s slowburn romance was incredible too, and their chemistry was palpable from the moment they met. I could barely breathe at some points when I was reading this because I was so stressed and upset on all of their behalves, and because I was desperate for things to end well. I won`t say what happens, but I 100% thought the ending was perfect, and I know her debut hasn`t even been officially released yet, but honestly, I already can`t wait to see what Nina de Pass does next, because if this book is any indication, she`s going to be one of my new favourite authors. 5/5

SLAY: On Tour by Kim Curran (received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

In the 2nd book of the Slay series, we follow the demon-slaying boyband to Tokyo, where there has been a spate of recent demon sightings, as they join the tour of a group of hologram girls as a support act and are targeted by an unknown enemy who seems to cause the group great harm. The characters in this series are all fantastically done- heroine Milly and the members of Slay are all wonderful and I adore the band`s manager Gail so much I can`t find the words to explain how much, but the sinister demons and new supporting characters are all so well-characterised too. One of my favourite things about book one was how action-packed it was, and while this certainly kept that up, I also really liked its quieter moments where the dynamics between characters shift (I`m a BIG fan of the love triangle in these books!) and also where they reflect on the various life-changing events of book one and the effect it has had on all of them. That said, the book isn`t sombre in the slightest, and the banter between the band is still absolutely hilarious. I was hooked on the mystery of who was responsible for the various accidents on the tour throughout (as well as the other mysteries that spring up as you get further in) and the reveal was better than I could have ever guessed, and I was so shocked by it. I haven’t heard anything about there being further books in the series yet, but if there are I will absolutely be reading them to see where Slay goes next, and who they come up against when they get there. 4.5/5

The Dog Who Saved the World by Ross Welford (received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

This was my final book of 2018, and this sci-fi adventure was a lovely way to finish off my reading year. It`s the story of a dog-obsessed girl named Georgie and what happens when every dog in the world- including her beloved pet Mr Mash- become infected with a deadly virus, and she must enter the future via a virtual reality machine created by an elderly eccentric scientist she has become involved with recently in order to save not just Mr Mash, but everyone in the world. Georgie is a fabulous character with a unique and funny voice, and I liked her a lot for many reasons, but most of all for her unswerving love for dogs and desperation to protect them throughout. Her relationship with Mr Mash is incredibly touching, and I also loved the loyal friendship she shared with Ramsay, as well as finding her rather complicated with Jess super interesting. Other than the characters, I thought the book was really well paced and I often found myself saying just one more chapter every time I picked it up. Also, I really appreciated how well the science elements were explained, as I often struggle to understand books that feature it heavily, and though the concept of this was pretty difficult to wrap my head around, I actually managed to grasp it and could follow everything that was going on. There are some incredibly sad moments and I was very worried while I was reading, but there is also a lot of comic relief and some lovely relationships between the characters to add some lightness. This is a really quirky and enjoyable read, and I`m looking forward to picking up some of Ross Welford`s back catalogue now. 4.5/5


Have you read any of these books? Are some of them on your TBR, or are you going to add them now? I`d love to hear in the comments!
Amy x