The Valentine’s Day Book Tag| 2019 Edition

Hello everybody! Today, given what day it is, I decidèed to do the Valentine’s Day Book Tag that Amy tagged me for last year, which was created by Taiwo at Stuffed Shelves. Onto the post!


1. What book(s) have you been given as a gift that you loved?

There’s been quite a few over the years, but one I especially rememeber is Stardust and the Daredevil Ponies. I got it for Christmas, and it sparked my love of the Pony Club Secrets series, which was my favourite as a child.

2. What book(s) would you like to give as a gift to someone else?

Ooh I’m not sure; it would really depend on the person! If it was just a random pass on a book thing, I think it’d probably be Boy in the Tower, because I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t enjoy at least one thing about it regardless of their taste. Some of my other favourites are more subjective and perfect for my tastes, but Boy in the Tower isn’t something in a genre I typically favour and I LOVED it.

3. If you could gift a random person any bookish item, what would it be?

I’d probably go for a Hogwarts house mug (depending on which they were in/I thought they’d be in!). There aren’t many people who don’t like Harry Potter!

4. If you could gift a random person any non-bookish item, what would it be?

DVDs are a go to gift for me! I base which one on the person’s taste, of course, but they’re fairly easy to get hold of and you can find something for just about anyone!

5. What do you say when a person gives you a gift you don’t like?

Thank you, I guess, and try and be grateful. Then I’d either donate it to charity or regift it to someone I think would like it.

6. Mention a book based around Valentine’s Day.

I don’t actually think I’ve ever read one? I do quite enjoy reading romance though, so please do recommend me one if you’ve heard of any!

7. Mention any two tips for blogging as a gift to other bloggers and to those who may want to start a blog.

Despite the fact I have been blogging for almost two years, I still feel very underqualified to answer this, but I’ll try!

-Don’t do things you don’t want to do, or feel pressure to write certain kinds of posts. Be selfish. Cater your content to yourself, and hopefully others will enjoy it too. For example, I used to despise writing book hauls, and so I stopped doing them. I used to feel really guilty for it but now I really don’t!

-Scheduling is your friend, and I highly recommend planning out all of your posts and trying to get them written and scheduled in before the day you want the post to go up. Even if you only hit schedule the night before you want the post to publish, it makes it much easier to have regular posts on your blog (which can be helpful for building a following)

But also, disregard these completely if they don’t fit with what you want to do! My absolute best advice is just to be yourself and do whatever you want, basically!

8. Link to some posts by other bloggers that you loved or were very helpful

I won’t link to any specific posts/people as I would be sure to forget someine and then feel like a crumb for doing So! I really enjoy reading all of the blogs I follow, but if you’d like to see some specific people who I have read books because of, you can have a look at this post. A type of post I particularly like is anticipated books posts for each month, as things often come onto my radar because of them!


What are your thoughts on these books? Are any on your TBR/wishlist? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

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The Totally Should Have Book Tag

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be doing the Totally Should Have tag, which I found on Charlotte’s blog. Onto the post!


1. Totally should have gotten a sequel

I would really like a sequel to the Eye of the North by Sinéad O’ Hart, and I really wish Brightstorm had been a series too! I’m very excited to read their respective authors’ new standalones though.

2. Totally should have had a spin-off series

Ooh this is hard. I’d quite like a spin off series about the Junior Pinkertons from Murder Most Unladylike, I think.

3. An author who totally should write more books

I desperately need more upper MG from Lari Don and Polly Ho-Yen!

4. A character who totally should have ended up with someone else

I honestly can’t think of anyone. I guess I’m pretty lucky with ships…

5. Totally should have ended differently

The only thing I can think of is How to Bee. I didn’t hate the ending, but I found it very confusing and it didn’t fit the book, in my opinion.

6. Totally should have had a movie franchise

I would love for Nevermoor/Wundersmith to be adapted! But only if they were done faithfully and fantastically, obvs.

7. Totally should have had a TV Show

The Murder Most Unladylike books would work really well as TV shows. You could have a mini series of 3 or 4 for each book!

8. Totally should have only had one point of view

I’d keep two viewpoints of this (Blanca and Roja’s), but it could have done without Yearling and Page’s to be honest. They were really confusing at the beginning!

9. Totally should have a cover change

The Summer of Telling Tales has a horrible cover that definitely doesn’t fit the tone of the book, and it really deserves a better cover design!

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

Ooh this is hard! It was never actually printed because it got changed pre-release, but I much preferred the original cover of Paper Avalanche. I’m still very much looking forward to reading it, but I don’t like the new one very much at all!

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

While I did like Lou Out of Luck, it wasn’t a patch on Girl Out of Water and so I kind of wish it had just been left as a standalone…


Do you have any thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned? Are any on your TBR, or do you want to read any now? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

My Most Anticipated February Releases

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about all of my most anticipated releases for February (I’m so happy it is finally February tomorrow because dear God January has lasted a century!), and the reasons why I want to read them. Onto the post!


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The Star-Spun Web– the main reason I want to read this is that I loved the author’s debut the Eye of the North, but if it hadn’t been on my radar already there are several things that would have put it in on this list. First up, have you SEEN the cover? What a beauty it is, especially as it’s my favourite colour too. Also, the history/fantasy mix sounds really interesting, and I am never not up for a great animal companion (you have no idea how much I’m hoping for Violet to be somewhat Charlotte-esque!). Finally, my friend Louise had an early copy and has let me know I’m in the acknowledgements (I’ve never been in a book’s acknowledgements before and I’m thrilled!), so I’m even more excited to finally have it in my hands now that I know that.

When We Were Warriors– if you’ve heard me mention Emma Carroll before then you’ll know how unashamed I am in fangirling over her books, so obviously I’m dying to read this- a collection of three World War Two stories. Two will return to settings/characters We have seen in her previous books, and if I don’t cry when I return to Frost Hollow Hall especially I’ll be gobsmacked. And if I see Tilly, someone’s going to need to peel me off the ceiling. The new character in the third story sounds great too!

Happy Girl Lucky– Holly Smale is another author I literally never shut up about. The Geek Girl series means a vast amount to me, and while I am extremely nervous to read something from Holly that is not that series, I am also incredibly excited. It’s about three sisters, and specifically Hope in this book, and I think it focuses on her trying to find love? I deliberately haven’t read too much about it. I have so much faith in Holly that I am almsot certain I will fall just as hard and fast for these new characters as I did for the cast of Geek Girl, and there is no doubt that it will make me laugh a lot.

Call Me Alastair– this book is about a parrot named Alastair as he is separated from his sister when they’re bought by different people, and him attempting to reuinite them. I’m a little bit wary of the poetry mention in the blurb, and I’m a bit nervous about Alastair being the narrator (at least I think he is?) but I’m optimistic about giving it a go nonetheless, and I think I might love it if it’s done well.

Jack of Hearts and Other Parts– this is about out and proud, self-proclaimed slut Jack Rothman as he’s roped into doing a relationship advice column on the school blog, and begins to recieve increasingly sinister notes from an anonymous admirer. I’ve heard that this is Simon Vs, but more sinister and a bit less innocent, and if you compare something to Simon Vs in almost any way I’m totally here for it.

Song for a Whale– I’m going to be completely honest here, I hadn’t heard of this until I saw the cover on Twitter and decided that I needed that sort of gorgeousness in my life. Luckily, the plot also sounds fantastic- it’s about a deaf girl named Ella, who feels very alone, trying to communicate with a Whale who can’t communicate with any others, which just sounds so beautiful and sad and perfect to me. Another thing that really excites me is the fact that there is a Road trip, because I love road trips in books more often than not. There’s a very high probability of me full on weeping when I pick this up!

The Closest Thing to Flying– I have somehow missed reading Gill Lewis’s last couple of releases (I particularly love the sound of Sky Dancer !), but this dual narrative about two girls- one in the present, one in the past- sounds like a bit of a new direction for her and I’m really interested to see what it’s like. It definitely sounds great!

Guardians of the Wild Unicorns– I have only read one Lindsay Littleson years ago, and I must admit that I wasn’t that impressed by it, but this sounds like so much fun- it’s about best friends called Lewis and Rhona becoming involved in saving the last remaining unicorns (who are nothing like the the stereotypical image of them, apparently). I can’t wait to meet them, and it has a Scottish setting too which is always fun!

Storm Hound- this is the new release from Claire Fayers- who wrote Mirror Magic, which I really enjoyed- and I’m so excited about it. It’s about Storm of Odin as he is separated from the rest of the Wild Hunt and is adopted by a girl called Jessica. This synopsis gives me slight Lilo and Stitch vibes and I love that film an infinite amount so if this IS anything like that I’m sure to have an excellent reading experience!


What February releases are you most excited for? Do we have any in common? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

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