The A-Z Bookish Survey

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m going to be doing the A-Z Bookish Survey which I was tagged for by Kelly’s Ramblings. Onto the questions!


Author you’ve read the most books from: either Enid Blyton or Ann M Martin, I’d guess.

Best Sequel Ever: I think I’ll have to go for Arsenic for Tea, which is probably my absolute favourite of all the Murder Most Unladylike books, and more than topped Murder Most Unladylike (which I totally adored too)

Currently Reading: At time of writing, Skylarks by Karen Gregory.

Drink of Choice While Reading: I only really drink flavoured water, water or milk, so one of those.

E-reader or Physical Book?: Physical.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: Nick from Geek Girl is my ultimate book boyfriend.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: I wasn’t a huge fan of All of the Above when I read it, so I’m so glad I still gave Margot and Me a go as I loved it.

Hidden Gem Book: for me, the Children of Castle Rock, because although I’ve enjoyed books from the author in the past, I absolutely didn’t expect to be so blown away by it.

Important Moment in your Reading Life: when I discovered the Adventure Island series and the Laura Marlin Mysteries.

Just Finished: the Children of Castle Rock was my last completed book.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: I don’t really like dystopia, sci-fi or horror, and I’m fussy with YA in general, but particularly fantasy, where I’m willing to give almost any MG, even in the above genres, a go.

Longest Book You’ve Read: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the longest I can remember.

Major book hangover because of: I always feel quite bereft every time I finish the Geek Girl series.

Number of Bookcases You Own: None at all! I use storage boxes for my books.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen is probably the standalone I’ve reread the most.

Preferred Place To Read: I prefer reading anywhere at home, but take books almost everywhere. The only place I don’t usually pick up a book is on public transport, I find it often triggers my nausea/makes it worse if it’s already present, as does reading in the car (though only occasionally, which is why I still do that sometimes)

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: I can’t remember a specific quote, but the Japan pavement scene from Model Misfit gives me all the Freckles/Lion boy shipper feels. I love a lot of quotable moments in Geek Girl actually.

Reading Regret: spending so many years ashamed of DNFing and never doing it. Life’s too short for books I’m not enjoying; I read for escapism, so if a book is making me miserable I just get shot these days.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series): the Laura Marlin Mysteries and White Giraffe series, both by Lauren St John and both with only the 5th unread (mainly because they were released years after the others in both cases…)

Three of your All-Time Favourite Books: Boy in in the Tower, Love, Lies and Lemon Pies and Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: I’m probably most excited for the Storm Keeper’s Island at the moment, but I have tons of books I’m anticipating.

Worst Bookish Habit: Maxing out my library card all the time 😂🙈

Your latest book purchase: Eliza and her Monsters, which I’ve only ever seem get 5 star reviews so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): I can’t recall the last, but the one I’ve felt like this most with was How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss.


I tag whoever wants to do this, as I know loads of people I’d usually tag have done it already!

I’d love to hear some of your answers to these in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl, especially if we’ve got any in common!

Amy xxx

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Had for Ages but Still not Read

Hello everybody!

As today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by Jana of That Artsy Reader Girl) is a freebie, I decided to use a topic from before I started participating: books I’ve had for a while but still haven’t read! I have a lot more than 10 books on my TBR (over ten times that… oops), so these are mainly things I boughtat some point in the last few months or years. I’ve had to select these quite carefully, as there are other books fitting this description I have a different post planned for! Onto the post!

Anne of Green Gables– I’ve owned this in various editions since I was 6, yet I’ve never picked it up. I didn’t really enjoy the TV adaptation I saw, which has put me off a bit, but it’s one of my mum’s favourite classics so I will need to give it a chance at some point!

The Starman and Me- I was mainly attracted to this because of the cover, but the plot, of a boy meeting a prehistoric human, also sounds great so I really should give it a go soon! It looks like the sort of lovely MG I’m sure to enjoy at least a bit, if not love.

The Secret of Supernatural Creek– I’m actually quite ashamed I’m still to read this, because it was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017. I’m terrified to read it, as Laura Marlin is one of my favourite series ever, but I’m almost certain it’ll be as fantastic as the others so I will most certainly be slotting in a reread of the original quartet and this at some point this year.

The His Dark Materials trilogy– another one that I can’t believe I’m yet to get to. I feel like everyone has read these, and I’ve had them out of the library for ages, but part of the reason I haven’t read them yet is that I don’t know how on earthI’ll review them, as it somehow feels bizarre to do it in my usual way. I may just not review so that pressure is gone and jump in when i have a chance to read them all one after the other, as I do think I’ll quite like them.

Diamonds and Deception– this has been on my TBR for ages, and it sounds so up my street (a historica mystery), I really have no clue why I’ve not yet read it.

Operation Rhino– I’ve owned this book since the week it came out, and yet I’ve never read it. I think it’s because it had been so long since I’d read the series I wanted to reread, but I kept not doing so as I remember they made me really emotional the first time. I definitely need to read it soon, and potentially just skip the reread.

Little White Lies– I was given this book a couple of years ago for Christmas and it looks perfect for my very specific taste in thrillers, but I’m yet to read it. I only pick up thrillers on occasion, but I have a few on my TBR I love the look of so I plan to try and read a few in the next few months.

The Boy Who Went Magic– this sounds like a fabulous MG, and I was intrigued by the extract, so I must give this a try soon. I love MG fantasy as a genre, so I’m hoping it’ll be a good read.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase– I keep getting this out of thelibrary thenforgetting about it till it nas to go back, but it sounds fabulous. I’ve heard amazing things about Joan Aiken and I do really want to read this at some point. Hopefully 3rd time will be the charm…

The Boy With One Name– I was really excited about this debut before it came out, but I’ve still not got to it. Like The Boy Who Went Magic, it sounds like a super interesting MG fantasy, so I’m looking forward to trying it to see what I think. I saw it highly recommended the other week by an author whose book I really liked as well, which makes it even more of a priority.

What books have you had on your TBR for ages? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned, if you’ve read them? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

March Reviews

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m going to be sharing my reviews for all the books I read in March. Onto the post!


Truly, Wildly, Deeply by Jenny McLachlan (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

This is the story of Annie, who has cerebral palsy, as she starts college in a bid to make a more independent fresh start. We follow her as she makes new friends, and meets Fab, which sparks a will they won`t they romance I was rooting for completely. After being initially unsure, I loved them together, and there are some very swoony scenes between them. Annie was a wonderful main character; I loved her phenomenal, bitingly funny narration, which had little comments throughout that made me chuckle an awful lot as I read this. Though I can`t comment as to the accuracy of the cerebral palsy representation, it seemed well handled and I did like that Annie challenges the ableist attitudes she encounters. Another thing I enjoyed was the way Wuthering Heights was weaved throughout the plot, as despite never having read it, I never felt it was jarring and it added something to the plot. Finally, I have to mention that I loved seeing some cameos from characters who were in Stargazing for Beginners, in which Annie was a supporting character, and it`s made me very hopeful there may be a book for each member of the Broken Biscuit Club. 5/5

The Chocolate Factory Ghost by David O`Connell and illustrated by Claire Powell (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

Set in the fictional village of Dundoodle in Scotland, this tells the story of Archie as he inherits McBudge`s Fudge Factory and must solve a series of puzzles in order to find a hidden missing ingredient required to make the fudge special. I thought the characters were great, especially Archie though I did also quite like his new friends, and getting to meet some of the McBudge`s Fudge staff. The puzzles were so clever, so much so I can only wish I had been able to solve a few, not to mention that I liked them all the more for being themed around sweets. Though I didn’t get to see all of the illustrations as I read a proof, I really liked those I did see and I think this would be a great read for fans of Goodly and Grave. I`m looking forward to the next Dundoodle Mystery, particularly after the very interesting revelations at the end. 4/5

Inferno by Catherine Doyle

All through reading this, the question I couldn`t stop asking myself was why on EARTH it took me so long to get to it. It`s tense, dramatic and thrilling as Sophie continues to be embroiled in the feuds of Chicago`s dangerous mafia families. It`s absolutely edge of the seat material in a lot of places, with fast paced action and twists that left me reeling from sheer shock. I also adore Sophie, who was a brilliant main character. She`s incredibly strong but we also see her being relatable in how tough she finds everything she has to deal with. Her friendship with Millie was yet another fabulous aspect as they`re so supportive of each other, and Millie is a great character in her own right too. A final thing that contributed to my immense enjoyment of Inferno was the love triangle. There are some excellent romantic scenes with both Nic and Luca, including one that reminded me of Romeo and Juliet, and I`m personally Team Luca all the way! 5/5

Mafiosa by Catherine Doyle
After how much I loved Inferno, I didn`t waste any time in getting to Mafiosa, which was an unpredictable, explosive and wholly satisfying conclusion to this trilogy, which focuses on Sophie, whose life becomes entangled with mafia families. In this instalment, the blood war rages on, and it`s more dangerous than ever before, and Sophie must also make her final choice between Nic and Luca. The characters and their relationships with each other developed even more than they did in Inferno, and I found it interesting how my views on everyone changed (more than once, in most cases), and very dramatically in a few cases. It also delved deeper into the romances, with some amazing moments, and given my allegiance I especially enjoyed those between Sophie and Luca. Millie and Sophie are still total friendship goals, the action and drama the mafia war provides is tense (to say the least) as I had no idea whatsoever who I could trust and I cannot imagine a better or more bittersweet ending to this series. 5/5

The List of Real Things by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

As I was a huge of Sarah`s previous novels, I was looking forward to this, but though I liked aspects a lot, I had mixed feelings. It`s about sisters Grace and Bee as they navigate their grief over losing their parents a few years prior and another member of their family during the book, while Grace also attempts to teach Bee, who is perceived by her family to be imagining things, the difference between fact and fiction. I liked their complicated but ultimately loving sibling relationship, and those between them and the other members of their family, which were similarly troubled yet touching in how much they care for each other. The other thing I really enjoyed was the magical realism element, and I wish there had been some more of it, as the scene in which it is most prominent was wonderful. The final thing I liked about the book was that the prose was stunning, but there were also things I didn`t like as much, such as finding it really slow paced till around halfway through, and I found the blurb quite different to the events of the book. I`ll still be reading whatever the author writes next, but ultimately this wasn`t what I expected 3.5/5

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

In her debut novel, Sophie Cameron whisks us off to Edinburgh (YAY Scottish setting!), in a world where `Beings` have began to fall from the sky. The concept and worldbuilding was amazing, and I loved it. I also thought that Jaya was a great main character as she reacts in a very relatable way to finding the first live being, and attempting to hide it from her dad, who has made a hobby out of searching for one in a bid to cope with Jaya`s mum`s death. Both learning more about how Jaya`s mum died, along with Jaya exploring her grief in the present, and the plot of protecting the Being alongside her new friends Allie and Callum kept me completely hooked. Allie and Callum were great supporting characters; they had their own issues they have to address throughout the novel, and a bickering, fun sibling relationship which made me laugh. With an ending that both made me smile and shed a tear, this is a superb contemporary/magical realism hybrid that`s left me excited for whatever Sophie releases next. 4.5/5

A Far Away Magic by Amy Wilson

Once I adapted to the unusual, lyrical writing, I really enjoyed Angel and Bavar`s story. Angel is reeling from the loss of her parents in very strange circumstances, and Bavar is grappling with meeting his destiny, which is related to Angel`s parents` death. I loved watching their friendship develop over the course of the novel as it was so sweet in places yet still went through ups and downs, and I thought the magic was fascinating. It wasn`t quite like anything I`ve ever seen in a fantasy or magical realism before, and that there were several components to it made it even better. I also liked the little flashes of humour, particularly those provided by Bavar`s ancestors (who are one of the aforementioned components of magic). The book was hugely exciting towards the conclusion, and I`m excited to delve into Amy Wilson`s next imagined world. 4/5

Beyond the Odyssey by Maz Evans (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

I`m a huge fan of this series, which centres around the life of young carer Elliot Hooper as he meets the Greek gods, who have abandoned Olympus and now live on Earth with him and his mum, who has dementia. They`re searching for the Chaos Stones, to prevent Thanatos from ruling the world, and in this installment they`re also trying to track down a potentially mythical potion that could cure Elliot`s mum. This upped the game yet again from the excellent last book, maintaining the hilarious humour the series is known for, yet felt a little darker in tone and the stakes were incredibly high for Elliot. He has to face so much in this book, and every emotion he felt, I felt alongside him as I was so rooted in the world. We also get to see other characters we`ve met in the first two books, such as ultra-organised constellation Virgo and the gods/goddesses we`ve come to know and love, while also getting to meet some new ones who provided lots and lots of laughs. If you read my interview with Maz last year, you`ll know that I think her villains are truly awful, and much to my surprise they got even more evil this time. Some of their actions were utterly despicable, and the twists were so shocking I was left doing double takes at the book more than once. After the thrilling events of the climax and conclusion, I`m simultaneously desperate to get my hands on book four next year, and dreading how it`ll play with my emotions. 5/5

Smile by Mary Hoffman (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

In this historical novella, Mary Hoffman tells the story of Lisa, which is inspired by who could be the inspiration for the famous painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. It sees her from when she`s very young, to her marriage and adapting to that life in her teens. The narrative was pleasant and easy to follow, if a little heavy on exposition, and I sympathised with Lisa, who has spent her entire life being prepared for marriage. I also enjoyed the historical aspects of both setting and featuring historical figures. I`ve never seen a book focus on Savonarola before, so it was fascinating to learn about it in a bit more depth, and also find out more about da Vinci and other artists of the period. On the whole, this was an informative and interesting read that fans of historical books will likely enjoy. 4/5

The Buried Crown by Ally Sherrick (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

In a World War Two adventure story, Ally Sherrick tells the story of an evacuee boy George and a Jewish girl called Kitty as they become involved in searching for an ancient artefact, despite a dangerous opponent also being in search of the crown. The main thing I loved about this book were the characters. My heart was breaking for George at so many points, especially before he meets Kitty, and his kindness and bravery were wonderful. The prejudice Kitty and her grandfather faced made me livid, and I adored how clever Kitty was. My favourite though, was Spud, a dog who can only be described as a complete and utter darling, who I`d like for my own. I also detested the nastier characters, one of whom made my skin crawl. Though the book isn’t entirely historically accurate, I did enjoy the World War Two setting, and I especially liked that the book showed how the war tore families apart both in Britain and in Germany. The adventure plot is also lots of fun to follow, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which always had me desperate to keep reading. 4.5/5

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean (received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

Based partially on real events, this focuses on a group of boys who are stranded on Warrior Stac after fowling season, and are left believing the world has ended, as no one has come to collect them. I took a little while to get into this, possibly as it`s rather bleak (particularly given it`s aimed at an MG audience), but it was a good read overall. The observations it makes on human nature were thought provoking, and the writing style was absolutely beautiful. I also felt that I got to know all of the characters really well as they were so well drawn and seeing the relationships between them change over the course of the book was another thing I enjoyed about the book. The tension definitely increases the longer they are left on the island, reaching fever pitch at some points, and even though I struggled slightly with the book in places I very much wanted to know how it would all end. Speaking of the ending, the truth about why they were stranded is heartbreaking, and I could hardly believe it happened in real life. This is one to save for a day when you`re in the mood for something darker than most MG, but it`s well worth a read. 4/5


What books have you read this month that you’d recommend? What are your thoughts on the ones I’ve read? Are any on your TBR? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

Characters I Loved from Books That Weren’t Favourites

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana of That Artsy Reader Girl, for which the theme today is characters you liked in books that aren’t favourites. For me, I’m choosing to interpret non-favourite as 4 stars and lower, and my list only has 5 on it as I was struggling to think of 10. Onto the post!

Tippytoe from Squirrel Girl– aside from the hearing aid representation, Tippytoe was hands down my favourite part of this book, which didn’t really live up to my high expectations. She was super cool, I loved the way she led the squirrels and the squirrellanguage used is brilliant. I think I’d have liked this book a lot more if Tippytoe narrated the entire thing instead of just a couple of chapters.

Cameron from the Miseducation of Cameron Post– I had a few problems with Cameron Post as a book, but I thought the character was incredibly brave, and all round wonderful in the way she tackles all of the horrible things she needs to deal with.

Sammy from Alice Jones– this series might not be an all time favourite favourite, but it is very underrated! Sammy was a lovely character in book one, and I missed him an awful lot in book two. I’d like a couple more of these books, as I think the mysteries are clever and I’d like to get know the colourful cast of characters better (and see Sammy again ofc!)

Squeezjoos from Wizards of Once– right, don’t anyone do what happened last time and be horrid about me not loving this, please! I found the book very slow paced and difficult to get through, but the character of Squeezjoos was so cute I couldn’t possibly dislike them! They were one of the only reasons I didn’t DNF in fact, as I was deeply concerned over their fate…

The Creakers from the Creakers– I definetly enjoyed this book, but it’s not a favourite (and I didn’t think it was of the rather high standard set by the Christmasaurus, which I REALLY enjoyed). Though I didn’t expect to going in, I thought the Creakers were really sweet in general. I think was mainly due to Shane Devries’s fab illustrations, but I also just liked uncovering their nicer side as I progressed through the book.

A pattern of this seems to be cute sidekick characters save books I’m not so keen on for me… (except Cameron, who was a brilliant protagonist.)

Thank you so much for reading! Do you like any of these characters too? Who would be on your list? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

The Easter Book Tag

Hello everybody!

Today, since now it’s Easter weekend, I thought it’d be fun to do the Easter Book Tag, despite not being tagged (or celebrating Easter as a religious holiday) . Onto the post!

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Rabbits – A book that you wish would multiply – So a book you want a sequel to (that doesn’t have one)-

This is VERY hard, as my favourite standalone works so perfectly I don’t think it needs one. I think I’ll go for the Eye of the North, as unlike the other book I was considering (Brightstorm) I don’t believe one is in the works. I’d love to see Emmeline and Thing on another adventure!

Egg – A book that surprised you

At time of writing, I’m halfway through the Buried Crown by Ally Sherrick, which I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it, so this was a very pleasant surprise. I was absolutely blown away by Under Rose Tainted Skies a few months ago too, as I had no expectations going in and it was incredible.

Hunt – A book that was hard for you to get your hands on

This one’s a bit harder, so I’ll go for the Disappearances, which I was sent last summer. The reason it was hard to get my hands on was that it went missing in the post, and Pushkin very kindly sent me another!

Lambs – A children’s book that you still enjoy-

I still enjoy LOADS of children’s books, as you’ll can tell by other answers/my other posts!

Spring – A book with a cover that makes you think of spring

The two colours I most associate with spring are yellow and light green, so I’ll go for Battle of the Beetles, which fits the latter. It’s an absolutely brilliant ending to a phenomenal trilogy, which I highly recommend to fellow fans of MG.

Rising from the dead – A book from a deceased author

One of my favourite authors who is no longer with us is Enid Blyton, as I adored her school stories (especially Malory Towers) and the Five Find-Outers are brilliant.

Baskets – A book that is in your amazon cart or wish list right now

Ooh. There are many, many things on my bookish wishlist, both upcoming and backlist! I’m more likely to buy backlist from Amazon (so I’ll go for Boys Don’t Knit, which I’ve meant to pick up for years and have just never got to.

Thank you so much for reading! What are your favourite types of Easter eggs? Are you a fan of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl, and have a lovely Easter!

Amy xxx

Books Set in Other Countries

Hello everybody!

Today I’m taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, which the theme of today is books set in other countries. I absolutely love travelling elsewhere via books since I don’t do it in real life, so I had lots of fun with this prompt! As I wrote a guest post on this last year, I’ve mainly included books I’ve read recently, but there are also a few I never shut up about! Technically, I could have chosen almost every book I read for this since I don’t live in England, but I’ve not cheated…

Continue reading “Books Set in Other Countries”

Children’s Book Award Blog Tour- The Island at the End of Everything

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m taking part in the Children’s Book Awards blog tour, and I’ll be giving some information about the Island at the End of Everything and sharing a quote from the author about what it means to her to be on the shortlist. Onto the post!


Continue reading “Children’s Book Award Blog Tour- The Island at the End of Everything”