The Real Neat Blog Award

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m going to be completing the Real Neat Blog Award tag, which I was tagged for by Bex. Onto the post!


The Rules:

Display the award logo on your blog

Thank the folks who nominated you and provide links to their blogs

Answer the 7 questions asked by your nominator(s)

Nominate any number of other bloggers to share the award and give them some linky love

Notify the nominated folk

Ask the nominees 7 questions of your own


1. Which 2018 release are you most looking forward to?

I have lots! I’m excited the 2nd James Nicol is finally coming next month, and I can’t wait for Jess Butterworth’s new book.

2. Do you prefer watching Booktube or reading blogs?

I really like both, but think blogs have the edge for me. They’re quicker to read so I comment/engage more, and I definetely enjoy a lot more blogs whereas I’m much more more fussy wuth booktube. There are only 5 people I regularly watch, I think.

3. What is the best debut you have read this year?

Jess Butterworth’s Running on the Roof of the World in 2017, when I was tagged for this. It was an all enveloping middle grade adventure, and I adored it.

4. Be honest – how many unread books do you own at the moment?

Over 100, less than 150 at last count.

5. What is your favourite non-fiction novel?

I don’t actually read non fiction. 🙈

6. If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

I’d write a mystery, most likely for middle grade. Write what you know and all that jazz! (to clarify, I am not the real life Nancy Drew. I’ve just read so many I’m quite confident I could come up with one)

7. Name one thing you have done in 2017 that you’re really proud of.

I started my blog, and I’m really proud of what I achieved with it. I also passed my exams and I was very happy with my results.

I am not very good at coming up with questions, so not all of these are bookish! No one I tag is obligated to answer them. I tag Jo, Hannah and Rebecca, as I just recently did a tag where I tagged some others I know so don’t want to bombard them with another one!

1. If you were to get a tattoo, what would it be and why?

2. Do you use bookmarks? Do you have a favourite type/one?

3. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

4. Who is your favourite book character of all time? (Top 3 if you can’t choose)

5. Favourite book to film adaptation?

6. Who are your favourite singers?

7. If you were a teacher at Hogwarts, which subject would you teach?

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear your answers to these questions below or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

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Bookish Buddies- Authors We’d Love to Write To

Hello everybody!

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

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My Answers

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

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

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


Layla’s Answers

Shirley Hughes

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

J.K. Rowling

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

Jeff Zentner

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

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

Amy xxx

January YA Reviews

Hello everybody!

Welcome to my young adult portion of reviews for the month of January. If you want to read the MG post, you can find it here. Onto the books!


Continue reading “January YA Reviews”

The Valentine’s Day Book Tag

Hello everybody!

Since it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to do the Valentine’s Day Book Tag, which was created by CC’s Books. Onto the post!

1.) Stand Alone Book You Love

I won’t mention my favourite MG standalone ever as I want to use it for another question! Other MG I love Are Running on and Being Miss Nobody, and a YA standalone I thought was especially impressive is the Art of Being Normal. I love others too, such as Lobsters or Unboxed or Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

2.) Dystopian Book You Love

I’m not really a fan of this genre if I’m honest, and I tend to steer clear of it nowadays. That said, Boy in the Tower, my favourite MG standalone ever, does have some dystopian elements. I don’t really class it as that as it’s so hopeful and optimistic and Ade is a darling, but it answers this.

3.) A Book That You Love But No One Else Talks About

Um, Boy in the Tower is my go to for this, and Polly Ho Yen’s other book Fly Me Home also receives nowhere near the amount of love it deserves. I also love the 39 Clues series, and Adventure Island, which are now a bit older and also aren’t talked about often! I’ve actually been considering starting a series of posts about underrated books; would you read that?

4.) Favorite Book Couple

I wrote a full post about my top 5 a few weeks ago, but my ultimate favourite is of course Harriet and Nick from Geek Girl.

5.) Book That Other People Love But You Haven’t Read Yet

I think I have to go for the Northern Lights trilogy for this one, mainly for the sheer AMOUNT of people who adore them. I feel so scared to dive into them 🙈

6.) A Book With Red on the Cover

The first that springs to mind is Cherry Crush by Cathy Cassidy, which even has a shade of red in the title! It’s the first in the Chocolate Box Girls series and it’s narrated by Cherry as she moves in with the Tanberry family and her life totally changes.

7.) A Book With Pink on the Cover

I feel as though there are hardly any pink covers now. I’ll say Being Miss Nobody, and another I recently read was the Lights Under the Lake.

8.) You were given a box of chocolate what fictional boyfriend/ or girlfriend would given them to you.

Nick from Geek Girl or Sirius Black.

9.) You are Single on Valentines Day. What Book would you read? What TV show would you watch? What Movie would you watch?

I have no idea what I’ll be reading (though it coincides with my half term break so I should hopefully swallow a book in the day) or watching (again, I would like to watch at least one film as I’m off! Maybe Pretty in Pink for cosy romance vibes?)

10.) You are in the Book Store. All of a Sudden you get shot with an arrow by Cupid. What New Release will you love?

A book released just before this is due to go up (I am writing this in the past!) that I am 99.99% sure I will love is A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens. I am a HUGE Wells and Wong fan and it has been too long since Mistletoe and Murder 😭

Thank you so much for reading! I won’t tag anyone as this is somewhat seasonal, but if you feel like having a go please send me a link as I’d love to read it! Let me know what you think of my answers down below or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl, and if the underrated books I love series of posts would be of interest.

Amy xxx

The Eye of the North Blog Tour: Author Interview with Sinéad O’ Hart

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the Eye of the North, a fabulous new middle grade which is released this Thursday (you can read my review here) by interviewing it’s lovely author Sinéad. Onto the questions!

1. Can you please describe the Eye of the North in 5 words?

Exciting, friendship, secrets, scary creatures!

2. What inspired the book?

I got the ‘seed’ idea for The Eye of the North when I was about 21 (a.k.a a very long time ago), and I was working in an office job I really did not enjoy. I came up with a story about a girl named Emma Marvell working in an office job she really did not enjoy – that bit didn’t take much imagining – but her job involved the recording and cataloguing of artefacts relating to mysterious, mythical creatures which were sent in from all over the world by a team of roving explorers. (My job wasn’t half so interesting.) In the proto-story, when an explorer sends in a sample with a dodgy covering letter, Emma gets curious as to what he’s hiding and goes on the hunt to find out the truth. The published version is very different, but the core elements – mythical creatures, the North, a plucky girl and a stowaway boy – were there from the beginning. I have always loved mythical creatures and I’ve been fascinated with the polar regions all my life, so this story has been a long time brewing.

3. I saw lots of similarities between Emmeline and I. Which book characters would you say you`re most like?

I think I see bits of me in Arianwyn Gribble from James Nicol’s Apprentice Witch series, mostly in her serious and slightly worried/responsible approach to things, and in Hermione Granger (I am a bit of a swot), though the Potter character I’m most like, I think, is Ron – food-focused, loyal and a bit afraid of most things. I’m clumsy like Mildred Hubble, stubborn like Lyra Silvertongue, and I’m a hobbit all the way down to my toes (though luckily, they’re not as hairy!)

4. I also adored her sidekicks Thing and Meadowmane. Do you have any favourite literary sidekicks?

Siddy from Abi Elphinstone’s Dreamsnatcher trilogy always made me grin. I love all the kids in Katherine Rundell’s The Explorer, though I don’t think any can really be classed as a sidekick! Of course, the brilliant Malkin in Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart books is a sidekick we all need. The best hero/sidekick team in literature , though, is Pidge and Brigit from The Hounds of The Morrigan. I wish I had a Brigit to this day.

5. The adventure in the book is incredible. If you could choose any adventure, real or fictional, to take part in, what would it be?

Because I trained as a medievalist in another life, I feel I must say I wish I could have been a pilgrim on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. I think I would have enjoyed an ale or two with the raucous, brilliant Wife of Bath! I would have loved to take part in a polar expedition, too – perhaps Scott’s, except without the tragedy. And of course I would have loved to see the battle between Iorek Byrnison and Ragnar Sturlusson alongside Lyra and Pan.

6. The book also reads like it would make a fabulous film. If it was ever optioned, do you have a dream cast?

What a brilliant question! I think Ruth Negga would make a fab Sasha, and Oscar Isaac would be my choice for Edgar. I would love Dominic Monaghan for Mr Widget and Sophie Okonedo for Mrs Widget. As for the children – I think finding some new, undiscovered talent would be great!

7. This is your debut novel. What has been the standout moment of your journey to publication, and what are you most excited about after the book comes out?

The standout moment, for sure, was the day my agent phoned to tell me she had sold the book to my UK publisher, Stripes. We had been waiting so long for a UK/Irish deal that I had given up hope of ever getting one, and so that was a true joy. It has been a very long path, and there have been many highlights, but that’s my favourite one. As for what I’m most excited by – I can’t wait to meet readers, interact with people who have read the book, and talk about it with children. It’s such a privilege to write for young readers; they are the best readers. I’m hugely looking forward to learning from them and finding out how I can keep improving as a writer.

8. Finally, before our quickfire questions, can you divulge any secrets about what your second book might be?

The second book I have sold is the story of Tess, who has grown up with no knowledge of her parentage until the day a stranger comes to claim her from the loving home she has always known. She has to uncover who this man is, what he knows about her and her past, and how to get out of his clutches, all before he can use her unique abilities to bring destruction to her world, and many others… (Also, she has a pet tarantula called Violet, who is the real star of the show.)

QUICKFIRE

1. Hogwarts house? Ravenpuff? I am mostly Ravenclaw, a bit Hufflepuff!

2. Favourite chocolate bar? Plain and simple, Cadbury Dairy Milk

3. Favourite colour? Purple.

4. Top 3 books of 2017? The Huntress: Sky; The Explorer; A Skinful Of Shadows.

5. 3 random facts about you? I can read Middle English (and Old English, with a bit of practise); I used to work as a trainee butcher and could pick up a pound of mince, almost to the ounce, simply by eye; I have a fear of balloons

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the interview down in the comments or or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

My Top Five Favourite Book Couples

Hello everybody!

As it’s Valentine’s Day this month, I’ve themed a few posts in my schedule around love, and today I’m going to be talking about my favourite couples in books. Onto the post!

Harriet and Nick from the Geek Girl series – otherwise known as Lion Boy and Freckles, these guys are my top of top couples. They have so many romantic moments, and even through their ups and downs it’s so clear they’re perfect for each other. I think my favourite moments of their relationship are when they meet under a table, just after the chat show scene and basically all their scenes in Model Misfit.

Summer and Alfie from the Chocolate Box Girls series– of all of Cathy Cassidy’s lovely romances, Summer and Alfie’s is my favourite (I also love Kian and Scarlett, and Skye and Finch). It’s not the focus of Summer’s Dream, but the way Alfie supports Summer in that book through her eating disorder and with the subsequent loss of her ‘dream’ is incredible in my opinion. I only wish we saw more of them in the rest of the series!

Simon and ‘Blue’ from Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – I love Simon as a book, and I think I’ve decided I’ll give the film a go next month. I adore their online romance, and in jokes, and they’re such a sweet couple when they eventually meet in real life. Another thing that’s really fun is not knowing who Blue is and trying to guess, and it’s super cool to see all the clues I completely missed my first time reading as I was so caught up in the loveliness of it all.

Hannah and Sam from Lobsters– I really like Sam and Hannah’s will they-won’t they relationship throughout this book. It’s funny, awkward and reads like the best sort of romcom. I think my favourite moments between them is when they meet for the first time in the bathroom at the end of A Levels party!

Issie and Aidan from the Pony Club Secrets series– Issie and Aidan are probably the first couple I ever shipped (Pony Club Secrets is one of the first series I read, and on every reread it’s held up), and I cannot tell you how much I rooted for them. I love their flirtation during Destiny and the Wild Horses and the moment when they FINALLY get together, and just them as a couple in general until they break up later in the series. I seriously want to reread these books this year.

Thank you so much for reading! Who are your favourite book couples? Do you agree with any of mine? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

Guest Post: The Animal Crossing Book Tag by @aimee_louise_l

Hello everybody!

Today, I have a guest post from my lovely friend Aimee Louise, which is a book tag we created together. I’m answering the questions over on her blog today, if you want to see my answers! 

 Tom Nook – a book that fleeced you – Best twist/cliffhanger

The Great Chocoplot. HOW CAN WE HAVE A WORLD WITH NO CHOCOLATE? Seriously, if this isn’t a shock horror twist then I don’t know how we can be friends.

Harriet – a book that misses the mark

For me, this is One Of Us Is Lying. As much as I enjoyed the book, I didn’t love it. I’d guessed THAT twist almost instantly and I guess I was expecting more from it. The hype surrounding it was massive, and I’m probably going to get a lot of grief for my opinion. Sorry guys, I just didn’t love it. 

Celeste – an underrated character

There are SO MANY characters who are underrated and I’m finding it difficult to choose just one. For me, it is going to have to be Isabelle Richardson from Little Fires Everywhere. She has some wonderfully hidden qualities that could really blossom into something great with the right nuturing and I hate the fact that her own family don’t give her enough credit or allow her to be herself. 

Mabel – a book that’s bright and sunny
A joyful, uplifting read? I’m not entirely sure I know what those are. I have a tendency of going down the more dark and twisted bookish path so light-hearted, feel good reads aren’t really my thing. However, Sealed With A Kiss by Rachael Lucas fits this criteria perfectly AND it is such a gorgeous book. This book made me want to broaden my bookish horizons and it not only got me out of a MASSIVE reading slump but it also arrived at a time when I really needed something heart-warming and comforting. Set in Scotland, this book is perfect escapism.

Timmy and Tommy – a book featuring twins
Double Act. One of my absolute favourite childhood books which I read when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Ruby and Garnet are two very different twins and I loved that the fact they were a mirror image of each other did not reflect their personalities. 

KK Slider – a book featuring music

The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Oh how I LOVE this book. If you’ve not read this yet, then where have you been hiding because it is phenomenal. The music that is included within this book is brilliant. Seriously, perfect mixtape material.

Dr Shrunk – a book featuring an eccentric character

The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. I don’t think I need to say anymore than that really.

Crazy Red – a book with thieves

The Book Thief. Another one of my all time favourite books which is about a girl called Liesel who steals books and befriends a Jewish man. It is SO much more than that really. But, books are important for minds and friendships. Just saying.

Pocket camp – A book set in a camp

Ok, so I may be cheating slightly with this one by recommending The Dream Snatcher trilogy. BUT becoming a part of Moll’s tribe back in 2015 when she stormed her way onto the scene with a Wildcat in tow, I could NOT miss this out. Seriously, saying goodbye to Moll and her tribe was heartbreaking. I’m still not over it.

Gulliver – a book that takes you on an adventure

The Wolf Wilder takes you on a wolf-riding adventure. I mean seriously, do I need to sell this to you anymore? 

Kicks – a book that’s like a new pair of shoes – a book you really clicked with

I have clicked with SO MANY books. Seriously, some of the characters who I’ve journeyed with in their various worlds have really spoken to me and found a way into my heart. However, Under Rose Tainted Skies is the book which I resonated deeply with especially when trying to get a better understanding of my own Mental Health.

Porter – a book which transports you to a new world – a book with brilliant world building

Sky Song, without a doubt is a book which transports you to a whole new world. I was so engrossed in the world of Erkenwald, that reality just totally slipped away and left me to embark in some extreme wintry conditions in order to defeat the Ice Queen. 
I tag Rebecca @_rebeccastobart, Chelley @chelleytoy and Hannah @cupofwonderland


Aimee Louise