Guest Post: Zoe’s Halloween Horror Recommendations

Happy Halloween everyone!

To celebrate the occasion, I asked my lovely friend Zoe, of the equally fabulous No Safer Place, who is a huge horror fan (unlike me, who is a huge wuss) to write some horror recommendations. Enjoy! 

Amy xxx

Over to Zoe 😊


I have loved horror for as long as I can remember. I believe books started this love. My earliest memory of horror is reading Goosebumps and Shivers books when I was around 7/8 and the love only grew from there. Today I thought I’d share my love of horror over the years, starting with my favourite horror book as a child, to my favourite horror book now.

A Ghostly Playmate (Shivers) by M.D. Spenser

So this book was the first horror book I fell in love with. I must have been around 7 when I read it and it terrified me. The idea of moving into a new house, feeling lonely and finding a friendly ghost who wants to be your friend – only to find out she wants you to be her friend forever and she’ll do whatever it takes to get you onto her side…I mean, that’s pretty terrifying. Shivers books are brilliant and if you haven’t read them, pick them up on Amazon!

Night of the Living Dummy (Goosebumps) by R.L Stine

Once I got the taste for horror, I couldn’t stop. Slappy is one of my all time favourite characters. I went to a Goosebumps Alive adult experience recently and I don’t think I’ve ever been as terrified as when I saw Slappy brought to life. Who doesn’t love a good ventriloquist dummy coming to life and trying to kill you? R.L Stine has been one of my favourite authors since I was about 8, and he still is!

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

Horror in YA is seriously lacking and this breaks my heart. As a lover of YA and horror, nothing made me happier when I found Alex Bell. I read Frozen Charlotte as part of the Zoella Book Club and completely fell in love. Creepy dolls that come to life and torture you and force you to do some truly horrific things. What’s not to love? The prequel Charlotte Says is even better – and even more brutal!

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

Adult horror. I hadn’t read this until a few months ago. Obviously I’d seen the film, loved the TV series and I really wanted to read the original material. It was so much better than the film (I expected no less) and honestly, some of the detail and description is so graphic, it made me feel physically sick…but isn’t that the best part about horror?

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Does this really need an explanation? Dracula is one of the most stunning books ever written and when I read Dracula, aged 14, it changed horror for me. I had a new found adoration for the genre, particularly for vampires and I still do. There is something about Dracula that is just so bloody (excuse the pun!) beautiful.

What are your favourite horror books? What are you reading this Halloween? Let me know in the comments below!

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#sixforsunday: Thrillers (Scary Books)

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m taking part in Six for Sunday, hosted by the lovely Steph and for today’s theme of Scary Books I decided to talk about some thrillers I really enjoyed

Onto the books!


Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy-
This is the story of Jennifer Jones, and what happened the day three friends walked out of town and only two come back. I think it’s better to go in blind for this to really enjoy it, but it’s a slow-burning thriller that’s also, in my opinion, incredibly touching.


The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke-
This is another slow-burner, but trust me, the shocking ending (I gasped, genuinely and audibly) makes it so worth it. It tells the story of Faith, whose sister Laurel was kidnapped when they were children, and how her life changes dramatically when Laurel very unexpectedly reappears. Faith is such a witty, complex character who I really enjoyed spending time, the flawed family dynamics are fascinating and as the subject matter would imply, is completley chilling in places.


Girlhood by Cat Clarke –
Yes, I’m including another Cat Clarke book. #sorrynotsorry. This was part of the Zoella Book Club earlier this year but I read it just before that was announced, and I loved it. It takes pkace in a very twisted boarding school called Duncraggan, and it focuses on toxic female friendships after new girl Kirsty arrives and starts behaving strangely. It’s not a conventional thriller in terms of it being about crime, and I’m not a huge fan of the ending, but it most definetely kept me on the edge of my seat.


The Day I Met Suzie by Chris Higgins –
this is about Indie’s life and how it unravels as Suzie arrives at college and turns everything upside down. It’s such a chilling story, as it feels like something that could happen in real life. Details are revealed at exactly the right moments, at the perfect pace and I genuinely felt awful for Indie when I was reading. I highly recommend this one!


One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
– Described as Pretty Little Liar meets the Breakfast Club, this tells the story of what happens when 5 teenagers walk into detention, and only 4 come back out. It’s fast paced, with characters I fell in love with, and I highly recommend it.


Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie-
This was the first thriller I read, and as that was quite a long time ago I can’t remember a huge deal about the plot. It’s about Lauren as she discovers her adoption possibly wasn’t totally legit, and her journey to discover what happened to her. It all got a bit nuts (even more so in the other books of the trilogy) but it was totally gripping and I loved side character Jam.


Thank you so much for reading! What are your favourite thrillers? What did you think of my choices, if you’ve read them? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl 😊


Amy xxx 

#sixforsunday: Books That Made Me Cry

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m taking part in Steph’s fabulous Six for Sunday meme, and today’s theme is books that made us cry. I cry at quite a lot of books, so I’ve decided to speak about six which particularly emotionally destroyed me! 😭

Let’s get started! (In noparticular order)

Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen – Im not sure what it is about this book that makes me cry. I think it’s Ade. His bravery and narration is wonderful; the real star attraction of the story, and also the community spirit we see as the book progresses. Even the opening pages make me well up now, because I know all of the journey that’s to come.

Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter- This has been one of my favouritereads this year, and it made me incredibly emotional. I cried quite a bit, but I also laughed and smiled. It’s a very special book, and I can’t wait to reread it and read more from Tamsin Winter. 

Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth- Like the above, this book is a total emotional rollercoaster, and I cried several times. In one scene involving the yaks (which I won’t spoil), Jess Butterworth broke my heart. She put it back together by the end though, and her writing is so stunning and special I don’t mind anyway.

Summer’s Dream by Cathy Cassidy- Summer’s struggle with anorexia, which we see in this book most prominently, is devastating, and certainly made me cry in places.

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls- Sam’s story tore my heart apart, and the ending cemented this. It’s such a beautiful, heartwarming and heartbreaking story, and even though I barely ever hear anyone mentioning it anymore I think it’ll stay with me forever. 

Trash by Andy Mulligan- this story tells of 3 boys in a 3rd world country, eho have to sift through trash to survive. The subject matter is heartwrenching, and all too real, and it’s the first book I remember being absolutely broken by. I can’t remember everything about it now, as it’s quite a few years since I’ve read it and I’m too scared to pick it up again, but it had a huge effect on me at the time. 

Thank you so much for reading! What books made you cry, if any? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

See you soon with a new post, 

Amy xxx

Some Slightly Spooky/ Autumnal Recommendations

Hello everybody!

As it’s almost Halloween, I thought it would be fun to share some recommendations for slightly spooky reads, and some set in Autumn.  I’m a total wuss and don’t like horror, so these are perfect for anyone who feels that way too!

Onto the books! (In no particular order…)

The Mystery of the Vanishing Skeleton by Helen Moss- This is very possibly my favourite Adventure Island story, which is set at Halloween in Castle Key. It shows Scott, Jack, Emily and Drift the dog try and work out who the mysterious figure in a skeleton costume commiting odd crimes around the island is.

The My Sister the Vampire series by Sienna Mercer– While this series is mainly contemporary, it also features vampires and has pretty cool worldbuilding, so it definetely deserves a place on this list. It’s about twin sisters Ivy and Olivia,  one a vampire and one a human, as they reunite and try and bond as twins while taking on the vampire world. I especially love the earliest books in the series, which are excellent mysteries!

Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens- This is easily the most sinister of the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries. It focuses on the murder of head girl Elizabeth Hurst, who dies at the Bonfire Night display, and Daisy and Hazel’s investigation to uncover her killer. This sent chills down my spine in places, and I devoured it in a single sitting.

The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol- This is such a cosy, warm fantasy and it gave me lovely autumnal vibes. It’s about apprentice witch Arianwyn as she moves to the small island of Lull and discovers that it isn’t as dull a place as she first thought. I’m so excited to return to this magical land when the sequel A Witch Alone arrives in March.

Vlad the World’s Worst Vampire by Anna Wilson, and illustrated by Kathryn Durst- I read this lovely younger MG and I’m so excited to write my review at the end of the month. I read it after a couple of books I didn’t like much and it totally lifted my spirits. It’s about Vlad, who decides to sneak offto human school because he feels he’s such a failure as a vampire. It’s the PERFECT read for younger children (and anyone who likes books for this age range!), particularly come Halloween.

Close Your Pretty Eyes by Sally Nicholls- I think this is aimed at MG, but it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever read. The ghost Olivia is haunted by in it is awful, and Olivia’s own story is horrifying in a much more realistic way. I don’t think I could ever reread it (I almost gave up more than once the first time because of the creepiness factor), but it’s a thought-provoking, chilling read that I’d highly recommend to anyone.

The Scarlet and Ivy Mysteries by Sophie Cleverly- This mystery series takes place in the creepiest boarding school I’ve seen in a book. I’d never want to attend Rookwood, but it’s a fabulous setting that makes these historical mysteries that extra bit spookier.

Strange Star by Emma Carroll- this is an atmospheric adventure based on the Frankenstein origin tale, and it would be super suitable to read on a rainy autumn evening, with it’s scary scientists and ghost stories fit to ‘chill the blood’

Lockwood and Co series by Jonathan Stroud- This is a hauntingly (pun intended) good series, about an alternative Britain where ghosts come back after their deaths to haunt their ‘Sources’. The smallest and best psychic detective agemcy in London, Lockwood and Co, are an excellent team and I love each and every one of them. This would be a fabulous binge read in the run up to Halloween 😊

Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade by Ann M. Martin- You didn’t really think I’d get through a list like this without a BSC mention, did you? This is my favourite of all the mysteries in the collection, and absolutely the one that scared me most (except maybe the Super Mysteries, which were mysteries 2 times as long and 200 times more dangerous) . It’s about the Halloween Masquerade being sabotaged and the BSC trying to work out exactly who is behind it all, and why. 

Thank you so much for reading! What do you think of these books,  if you’ve read them? Are there are any on your TBR this Halloween? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

See you soon with a new post, 

Amy xxx

Pick a Word and Pass it On Tag

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m doing the Pick a Word and Pass it On Tag, which was created by Life Has A Funny Way of Sneaking Up on You and I was tagged for by the absolutely lovely Faye.

The idea of the tag is to list all of the books you’ve read with a certain word in the title. I’ve decided to continue on with the word Faye chose, which is home.

Let’s get onto the books!

I can only remember 4 books which I’ve read with home in the title, so insead of just listing them, I’m going to tell you a little bit about them too! 😊

A Home for Shimmer- This book tells the story of Amy as her family move to the countryside and open up a vet practise, and what happends when a golden retirever puppy is dropped off and Amy falls in love with her.  As you may know if you follow me on Twitter, my dog is also called Shimmer, and as I’ve mentioned before the book Shimmer is based on mine. There are lots of little nods to my real girl in the book and it was such a special reading experience. It’s also a fab animal story in general, and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves those sorts of books.

Back Home by Michelle Magorian- It’s been several years now since I read this book, and I’m struggling to remember the finer points, but I can recall being captivated and enthralled by Rusty’s story of returning from her evacuation to America and attending boarding school in England. I also remember how tinged with sadness it was. I’ve since went on to read the also incredible Goodnight Mr Tom by this author, and I found it heartwrenching also. Michelle Magorian is one of the most emotive authors I’ve ever read.

I‘ll Be Home for Christmas by various authors (Stripes anthology in aid of Shelter)- While this does, like every anthology, have some stories I’m not so keen on, it also contains some total gems. My personal favourite from what I remember was Cat Clarke’s, but I’m planning to reread/review this anthology on here in the next few months (possibly as part of blogmas, which I am SUPER excited for already!). I’m also looking forward to finally getting round to Stripes’ new A Change is Gonna Come anthology, which I think is such a positive movement and is getting incredible reviews!

Fly Me Home by Polly Ho-Yen- Polly Ho-Yen is one of the most talented writers out there at the moment. You may be bored of me saying it by now, but I don’t care 😎😛. It’s true, though, and Fly Me Home confirmed it for me. After being INCREDIBLY disappointed in her 2nd novel, which just didn’t match the quality of her debut at all, I was so thrilled when her 3rd novel Fly Me Home blew me away with it’s brilliance. I think with a few rereads this could mean very nearly as much to me as Boy in the Tower does (although it’s my favourite standalone MG ever, so maybe not exactly as much 😉)

Thank you so much for reading! I’m tagging Bex and Sarah, and you, if you’d like to do this! Can you think of any other books with home in the title? Let me know in the comments!

See you soon with a new post,

Amy xxx

#sixforsunday : My Favourite Genres

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m once again taking part in Steph’s Six For Sunday meme. Today, the theme is our favourite genres. Let’s get started on mine, along with some of my favourite books/authors within them!

In no particular order…

Romance- I always enjoy a swoony romance. There’s just something about watching two characters falling in love that hooks me in to a book. Some recent favourites include A Quiet Kind of ThunderAnna and the French Kiss and the Start of Me and You. 

Contemporary- I also love contemporary novels without romance, such as Beautiful Broken Things and Wing Jones (I know this does have some fabulous romance, but it also has quite a separate storyline so I regard it more as contemporary than romance). Even though I barely ever see it, I also love contemporary MGs. Being Miss Nobody, which fits that description, has been one of my top three reads this year, and another great example of contemporary MG is Susie Day.

Mystery- Even though I said this was in no particular order, mystery may well be my favourite genre of all. It got me back into reading at a time when I fell out of love with it (I’m forever indebted to Laura Marlin and Adventure Island, which I still reread often) and I think the quality of MG mystery being released at the minute, for example Robin Stevens’s Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, is absolutely sublime. 

Adventure- Recently, I’ve started to read some more middle grade adventure stories. I fell head over heels for the lyrical contemporary adventure Running on the Roof of the World, as you’ll probably already know if you’ve read some of my posts before, and I also loved the more action packed Defender of the Realm. 

Fantasy- WhileI don’t enjoy some more epic fantasies, I do love some more understated ones. Prisoner of Ice and Snow is a wonderful MG fantasy and I can’t wait for the next in the series! Polly Ho-Yen’s stunning books also have some fantasy elements, along with contemporary and magical realism.

Historical- It’s absolutely fascinating to read about other times and places, and these books are often based on real facts and sometimes even events. Emma Carroll really is ‘The Queen of Historical Fiction’ and Karen McCombie’s recent historical/timeslip offerings are also excellent.

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear about your favourite genres in the comments down below or on my Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

See you soon with a new post,

Amy xxx

Wunderkids Blog Tour: Jacqueline Silvester’s Top Five Fictional Schools

Hello everybody! 
Today, I have a super exciting guest post from Jacqueline Silvester, author of Wunderkids, all about her favourite schools in books and what she’d get up to if she attended them! Over to Jacqueline!

Where

Constance Billard School for Girls

Why

Because attending Constance would likely mean that I am a rich Upper East Side society teen and that sounds pretty appealing right about now. * Searches sofa for lost coins* It also likely means that I have a stylish, ice-cold girl squad, VIP tickets to all of NYC’s hottest events and a window view of Chuck Bass. Yes, please, and thank you. 

Outfit

Headband! Jewelry to decorate my Constance uniform- Cartier bangles, Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra necklace and earrings. Celine Handbag, Chloe loafers and a Chloe coat. I have given this a lot of thought. Can you tell?

Food of Choice

Salad on the Met steps, duh! Brought to me by courier or one of my minions. Probably ordered from Serafina or Cipriani. If I’m feeling a little celebratory then I’ll order sashimi from Tanoshi. 

After school activity

My after school schedule is very packed. I help plan the Debutante Ball. I am on a bunch of committees, and model U.N, and then there’s my internship at Vanity Fair, private ballet-barre classes, not to mention all the openings I attend (my mom is on the board of like, every museum in Manhattan.)

2. 

Where

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters

Why

Well, because that would mean that I am a mutant and I would give ANYTHING to be a mutant. Like, anything. 

Outfit

Pretty much casual  jeans and loose T-shirts. I burn and ruin my clothes when I’m training so I like to keep it super casual. 

Food of Choice

I feel like the kitchen at Xavier’s mansion is very well stocked, especially with American snacks like pop tarts and rice krispie treats. We are not really supposed to have late night snacks or go to the kitchen at night but my roommate can teleport (like Nightcrawler,) so it’s not a problem. 

After school activity

Training for combat in the danger cave. Swimming in Breakstone lake. Trying to break into Hangar bay so that my friends and I can highjack one of the jets for a joy ride.

3.

Where

Camp Half-blood

Why

Not technically a school, but still! Attending Camp Half Blood would likely mean that I am the daughter of a god or goddess and YES PLEASE SIGN ME UP. I don’t even care that the lifestyle comes with troubles and dangers as long as I get to attend camp.

Food of Choice

I would eat lunch with Nico at Apollo’s table. Mainly because I love Nico but also because I’m likely a child of Apollo; with my gift for poetry and all that (and I also feel that my mom would have a had a soft spot for Apollo if you catch my drift.) I’ll have some barbecued fish, grapes galore, and fresh strawberries (whatever the wood nymphs are carrying around.) Since my goblet can magically refill itself with whatever drink I desire, I’ll opt for Dr. Pepper Cherry Vanilla

Outfit

Orange camp T-shirt. Obviously. My boyfriend is a son of Hermes so he made me this little necklace with wings on it, or maybe he stole it, I don’t really know, but it’s super cute and I wear it everyday. I also wear this little leather bracelet with an arrow charm on it to remind me of my dad. 

After school activity

Giving the climbing wall my best shot. Archery practice, obviously. I spend the rest of my time honing my writing talents and reading my poetry to my siblings.

4. 

Where

Wildwood Academy

Why

Yes, Wildwood academy has something sinister lurking beneath its amazing exterior, but that sinister thing only affects like 3% of students so I will take my chances! The food is to die for, the setting is beautiful, the classes are exceptional and funky, and if I got in that means I’m either very talented or very rich, so there’s that.

Food of Choice
Sums and I like to hit the all day Waffle buffet and experiment with the endless toppings. I also like the soft serve machine. The sashimi towers served at dinner. If I’m feeling healthy I will hit up Amber’s favorite- the yoghurt stand. 

Outfit

I like to wear this floor length black cashmere coat. It’s looks so ominous against the backdrop of winter mist and the redwood forest. Also it goes with my uniform and it isn’t technically a uniform violation

After school activity

I want to be on Stamos’s events committee and help plan the winter ball, the Halloween dance, and the Easter egg hunt (dubbed the Easter make-out hunt, as students tend to saunter off for make-out sessions instead of looking for the eggs.) 

When I’m free I like to sneak off to the Point. Once in a while ill go to town to Ye Old Ice Creamery or get a tarot reading in (mostly so that I can gawk at the off-limits townie boys.) 

5.

Where

Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Why

Because it’s Hogwarts. No explanation needed.

Outfit

My robes and my uniform. I have a lot of house pride so I tend to overdo it on the Ravenclaw accessories. My mom is a witch and a fashion designer and she crafted me these light silk pajamas that cool you down when it’s hot and heat you in the winter nights. They are in my house colors and that’s what I wear at night, or in the common room for all-nighter study sessions pre- O.W.L.s.

Food of Choice 

Sunday Roast except every day, pumpkin pasties and cauldron cakes to tie me over between meals and for late night studying. Hagrid invites me over sometimes for tea and rock cakes.

After school activity

I like to go to Hogsmeade for essentials, like to drink butterbear and gossip with my friends. But also for new quills from Scrivenshaft’s. I can be found in the prefect’s bathroom taking pink bubble baths, in the library or at quidditch practice.



Wunderkids is available to buy now

Thank you so much for reading! What did you think of Wunderkids? What are your favourite fictional schools? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl, I’d LOVE to hear from you! 

See you soon with a new post 

Amy xxx