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Under Rose Tainted Skies – Book Review

I want to start by saying I hope this post turns out alright. I’m using the blogger app on my phone to type it, as I’ve been so busy the last few months since starting university. Trying to find the time to log on to my laptop and post has been REALLY hard, but I’m hoping I’ve cracked it now and found a way for me to sit and do it on my lunch break or whatever. 
Anyway! Let’s get on with the review! 

Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother. For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …”
What first drew me to this book was the anxiety factor. Anxiety is something I personally suffer with, and on an extreme level.  – Not Agoraphobia though. I often find that with some books on anxiety the author doesn’t quite “get it”. Louise Gornall however, is spot on with the feelings, and the overall reality of anxiety and self-harm (self-harm is included in the book) 
Norah is a darling, and a very realistic character, and despite me being able to connect with her personally, the story wasn’t predictable, and able to keep me guessing throughout the entire book.
I was able to both laugh and cry though the story, often because I could understand completely how Norah was feeling, but at the same time being on the outside being able to see how silly she acted in some situations. (Not discrediting her feelings, I understand those things were very real to her) 
I ended up getting so into this book that I had a “what do I do now” moment when it ended! 
Rated 5* 
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Sasha’s Secret – Book Review ** spoiler alert **

Book : Sasha’s Secret
Author : Cathy Cassidy
Release Date : 27th June 2019
Format Reviewed : Kindle eBook
Self-Purchased/Sent For Review: SP
About The Book 

Sasha has a huge secret which could jeopardise the bright future of the Lost and Found band.

Sasha seems to have it all. She’s the lead singer of an amazing band, she’s starting to get famous online and it seems like the coolest boy in school might have a crush on her. Nobody could imagine that Sasha has a huge secret that is growing too big to hide.

The band hasn’t noticed that her struggles with anxiety are overwhelming her, but when a world-famous rock-star invites the band to record music at his country mansion, and when Sasha starts having blackouts, she has a feeling that she won’t be able to keep it secret much longer…
My Thoughts 

** spoiler alert ** 

I debated whether or not to actually write this review, after some discussions with other bloggers and seeing/hearing that I’m not the only person with this opinion… It felt okay to do so.

Sasha’s Secret is a big improvement on the first two books in the Lost & Found. Overall it is better written and is more enjoyable to read. Hence the 3 star rating.

However… It does feel like Cathy wants to write more hard hitting topics. But either, doesn’t have the courage to explore them properly with depth or isn’t allowed to because of her publisher. I’ve noticed this before with her writing, she mentions subjects but never explores them completely with depth. They are glossed over and it never shows the true importance of the subject. As readers we want more emotive language, we want to feel what is happening. If you are going to explore a subject, do it properly. I really felt this with the LGBT character earlier in the series. It feels like these things get mentioned because they are popular and draw people to the book, but actually once you read the book. You sorta feel like “what’s the point.”
From the description of the book, you think that anxiety is going to be the main focus point, it’s mentioned repeatedly, yes. But you don’t feel for Sasha in that sense because it is glossed over by an epilepsy storyline. You could argue that it’s due to the age group she writes for, but many other children’s/pre-teen authors have managed it, and managed it well. Children need it how it is if they are going to connect with it fully.

Add more depth to your hard hitting topics Cathy, just dive in and do it. The readers don’t want the flowery cover ups.

Rated: 3 rainbows 

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The Paper and Hearts Society – Book Review

Book: The Paper and Hearts Society
Author: Lucy Powrie
Release Date: 13th June 2019
Format Reviewed: Kindle eBook & Audiobook
Self Purchased or Sent For Review: Self Purchased

About The Book 

Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn’t want to go to parties – in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.

It’s like she hasn’t found her people …

Then Tabby joins a club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING – especially when making new friends brings out an AWKWARD BUZZING feeling all over her body.

But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it’s the Austen-themed fancy-dress parties, or Ed’s fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins, or could it be Henry himself …

Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?

My Thoughts 

I wasn’t sure to begin with if I was going to like this book. – nothing on the book, it’s just that during 2019 so far I’ve been very Anti- YA. And I won’t lie, a free promo pin badge had something to do with my pre-order. But I did enjoy it A LOT. I love the idea of a book club, I only wish there had been one when I was at school. I also love the passion that the group have for books and the bullying storyline was a nice touch with anti bullying day on the horizon. A very lovely read. Looking forward to book two.

Rated: 4 Rainbows

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Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) – Book Review

Book – A Jack of Hearts 
Author – L.C. Rosen 
Format Reviewed – Audiobook 
Self Purchased/Review – Borrowed from library 

About The Book 

‘My first time getting it in the butt was kind of weird. I think it’s going to be weird for everyone’s first time, though.’
Meet Jack Rothman. He’s seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys – sometimes all at the same time.
His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, ‘it could be worse’.
He doesn’t actually expect that to come true.
But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he’s been getting take a turn for the creepy.
Jack’s secret admirer knows everything: where he’s hanging out, who he’s sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They want him to curb his sexuality, or they’ll force him.
As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous…

 My Review 

I got Thirteen Reasons Why vibes from this book, not because of the main content but because of the YA/Teen mystery ‘who dun it’. I totally loved this book, and it’s another LGBT read that I’ve added to my read list this year. There’s a lot of anal sex references included in this book though, so if that sort of thing makes you feel uneasy, you may want to give it a miss. I love Jack, he’s a completely open man slut, but you also get to see how vulnerable he is. I also love the close relationship he has with his mum, you often don’t get to see that in YA novels. This book will give you all the feels, and if you are gay and curious about sex. Jack might also be able to answer some of those hard embarrassing questions you have. 

Rated 5 Rainbows 
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Three Recent Reads

Snap by Patrice Lawrence 

World Book Day 2019 

When Soraya’s younger brother Farhad runs off into the freezing night, Soraya and her friend, Austin, are in a race against time to find him. High above the streets, Farhad’s guilt closes in. He doesn’t want to be found.
A story of two friends, one missing boy and a secret as precious as gold.

Having already read Orange Boy, I really enjoyed reading Snap. A great book for world book day, Decent in length, – many are too short. Can also be read as a stand alone.

Rated 3 Rainbows 

Nought Forever by Malorie Blackman

World Book Day 2019

I’ve never been shot before. It’s dark but I keep seeing white flashes before my eyes like spots of lightning jabbing at me. Am I going into shock? Must be. But I can’t pass out, not now. Then I’ll be dead for sure.
Dan is on the run – hiding from a ruthless gang who want him dead. 
It’s one of those nights. One of those nights where I sit alone and watch the world go by. One of those nights when if my hatred were fuel, I would happily light a match and watch the whole world burn.
Eva just wants to be left alone to mourn her daughter. But when a badly wounded Dan crosses her path, she’s compelled to help.
Both are hiding dark secrets from their past. Both have reasons to fear the other. But they are both connected to each other too, and before the night is over, Eva will be forced to choose: betray Dan, or protect him – whatever the cost.

I have to agree with some of the other reviews on this book. I expected more from such a popular author. Great if you have read others in the series, but if like me you where hoping to read this as a stand alone to introduce you to the books, best not to start here.

Rated 2 Rainbows 

Becoming Dinah by Kit de Waal

Review Copy via publisher 

Release Date 11th July 2019 

Dinah’s whole world is upside down, dead things and angry men and cuts all over her head that are beginning to sting….
Seventeen-year-old Dinah needs to leave her home, the weird commune where she grew up. She needs a whole new identity, starting with how she looks, starting with shaving off her hair, her ‘crowning glory’. She has to do it quickly, because she has to go now.
Dinah was going to go alone and hitch a ride down south. Except, she ends up being persuaded to illegally drive a VW campervan for hundreds of miles, accompanied by a grumpy man with one leg. This wasn’t the plan.
But while she’s driving, Dinah will be forced to confront everything that led her here, everything that will finally show her which direction to turn…

I really wanted to enjoy Becoming Dinah. I did enjoy it for the eight chapters, but after that I really struggled to keep going, which was a real shame. I unfortunately had to DnF it. Therefore I am not going to give a rating on the book. 
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Pages For You – Review (Spoiler Free)

Book : Pages For You 
Author : Sylvia Brownrigg
Format Reviewed : Paperback
Release Date : June 2017
Self purchased or publisher sent : Self purchased from Queer Book Box
Book Description 

When Flannery Jansen arrives at university, she is totally unprepared for an encounter that will rock her existence. But when she comes across Anne Arden in a local diner, Flannery falls dramatically and desperately in love. Flannery is quickly embarrassed in the face of the older woman’s poise and sophistication, and under the gaze of those impossible green eyes, but slowly their paths intertwine, and soon Flannery becomes Anne’s eager student in life and love.

My Thoughts 

If you are looking for a book that’s going to fill you with feelings and emotion, look no further. The intense relationship between Flannery and Anne will have you flying through this book, so much happens within those 288 pages. One second you’ll be gushing for them, the next you’ll be wanting to throw your book at the wall. The writing in this book is fabulous and the emotive language is spot on.  You could well be left with a book hangover, if this is the case, there is a sequel for your enjoyment. 
Rated : 3 Rainbows

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PRIDE MONTH BOOK REVIEW – Bingo Love (Spoiler Free)

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge, Joy San
Format reviewed : Kindle eBook 
Release Date : Original Feb 2018
This edition, Nov 2018
Self Purchased or sent via publisher : Self Purchased
If you like this book, you might also like : Pulp by Robin Talley 
Book Description 

When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage. 

This Jackpot Edition contains over SIXTY PAGES of bonus material, including the talents of MARGUERITE BENNETT (Batwoman) and newcomer BEVERLY JOHNSON, SHAWN PRYOR (Cash and Carrie) and PAULINA GANUCHEAU (Zodiac Starforce), award-winning historical romance author ALYSSA COLE’s comics writing debut with SHAE BEAGLE (MOONSTRUCK), GAIL SIMONE (CROSSWIND) and MARGAUX SALTEL (Superfreaks), and AMANDA DEIBERT (Wonder Woman ’77) and CAT STAGGS (CROSSWIND), with illustrations from MEGAN HUTCHINSON (ROCKSTARS) and ARIELA KRISTANTINA (InSeXts). Plus a sneak peek of BINGO LOVE, VOL. 2: DEAR DIARY, with an afterword from GABBY RIVERA (America).

My Thoughts

Bingo love had been a book that I had been wanting to read for ages. I’m glad I waited for the jackpot edition though. The main story wasn’t enough for me, I NEEDED that extra content and didn’t want the book to end. I love LGBT books that are set years back, as I feel it adds more to a depth to romance book because of how the LGBT scene was back then. Hazel and Mari have such a connection and you can feel their love coming through the pages. From what I understand this is only volume one, so I hope to be able to read more about Hazel and Mari shortly. 

Rated : 5 Rainbows 

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April Book Box Club + April Queer Book Box + April Books That Matter Box

My apologies, this is a VERY late post. Things have been mega busy at work recently, and I’m back at college so everything is everywhere. Things should pick up a bit more now.


April’s Book Club Box was fab! The book itself was The Hand, The Eye, & The Heart. (CR the book I got in my Queer Book Box) I’ve not read it yet, but it is firmly in my TBR pile. WE GOT SAMPLERS!!!! I absolutely love book samplers. It also came with a fab dragon bookmark, shopping bag, cookie, planner, postcard, AND lip balm. 

April’s Queer Book Box, featured Pages For You by Sylvia Brownrigg. I don’t want to go into too much detail on this book as I am currently reading it and LOVING IT.  – review will be coming soon. (T-shirt is my own, it didn’t come with the box)

What I love about Books That Matter is that they aren’t a monthly subscription box. You can order one off boxes when they tickle your fancy. – which is what I do. April’s box was all about diversity and race. BTM, cover .. Well.. Books that matter! I love the feminism and female voices of these books and stories. Waiting for the June box….. PRIDE MONTH!!! 
After note…. 
I do realise how behind on blog posts I am. Doing my best to catch up, just super busy with work and college atm. 

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The Punk Factor – Book Review (Spoiler Free)

Seventeen-year-old Frankie is obsessed with what everyone else is thinking. She can keep up with the chat – from feminism to tattoos – but when it comes to her own ideas, it’s not so easy to hide her lack of confidence. But there is one personal obsession she can’t deny – her art student drop-out ex boyfriend Doc.
With the help of her best friend, Haruna, Frankie forms a punk rock girl band to attract his attention. She’s got it all sorted; the Instagram page is live, the handmade posters are everywhere, and the band even has a first gig lined up (even if they are playing to a handful of retired bingo fans). But in her efforts to make the band a success and get Doc to notice her, Frankie starts to care less about what Doc thinks and more about how much she loves making very loud music. She finally feels a glimpse of who she can be, independent of anyone else. Then one day, Doc decides he is going to win her back . . .

My Thoughts 
I picked up The Punk Factor randomly in my local library. Recently I’ve been trying to break away from YA but it’s bright pink cover pulled me in. I then saw it contained punk, music and feminism and I was reeled in. To start with, I really struggled getting into the book. I have no idea if this the fact that I’m generally over a good chunk of the YA scene now, or it it was the book.. I got to around 100 in and very nearly put it down and didn’t finish. Gave myself another 50 pages and then I really started to get into the story. As a strong feminist I absolutely adore female fronted bands, and really enjoy the mix characters within this book. If you are looking for a YA books with feminism and edge. You should give this book a go. – Rated 3 stars.

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Last min Easter Readathon!

Hello Amigos! 

I’m taking part in an Easter readathon hosted by Kate over at Reading Through Infinity.

So what am I reading? 

Well, I have three library books that I need to get read before May. During May, I’m doing the readathin readathon to chomp down on some books that have been in my TBR for far too long, so I’ll be reading those. 

Book #1

 The Punk Factor by Rebecca Denton 

Seventeen-year-old Frankie is obsessed with what everyone else is thinking. She can keep up with the chat – from feminism to tattoos – but when it comes to her own ideas, it’s not so easy to hide her lack of confidence. But there is one personal obsession she can’t deny – her art student drop-out ex boyfriend Doc.
With the help of her best friend, Haruna, Frankie forms a punk rock girl band to attract his attention. She’s got it all sorted; the Instagram page is live, the handmade posters are everywhere, and the band even has a first gig lined up (even if they are playing to a handful of retired bingo fans). But in her efforts to make the band a success and get Doc to notice her, Frankie starts to care less about what Doc thinks and more about how much she loves making very loud music. She finally feels a glimpse of who she can be, independent of anyone else. Then one day, Doc decides he is going to win her back . . .

Book #2 

 The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences, plus six years, at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. Outside is the world from which she has been permanently severed: the San Francisco of her youth, changed almost beyond recognition. The Mars Room strip club where she once gave lap dances for a living. And her seven-year-old son, Jackson, now in the care of Romy’s estranged mother.

Inside is a new reality to adapt to: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive. The deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner details with humour and precision. Daily acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike. Allegiances formed over liquor brewed in socks, and stories shared through sewage pipes. 

Romy sees the future stretch out ahead of her in a long, unwavering line – until news from outside brings a ferocious urgency to her existence, challenging her to escape her own destiny and culminating in a climax of almost unbearable intensity. Through Romy – and through a cast of astonishing characters populating The Mars Room – Rachel Kushner presents not just a bold and unsentimental panorama of life on the margins of contemporary America, but an excoriating attack on the prison-industrial complex

Book #3 

Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride – 30 Years of Gay Britain

In 1984 the pulsing electronics and soft vocals of Smalltown Boy would become an anthem uniting gay men. A month later, an aggressive virus, HIV, would be identified and a climate of panic and fear would spread across the nation, marginalising an already ostracised community. Yet, out of this terror would come tenderness and 30 years later, the long road to gay equality would climax with the passing of same sex marriage.

Paul Flynn charts this astonishing pop cultural and societal U-turn via the cultural milestones that effected change―from Manchester’s self-selection as Britain’s gay capital to the real-time romance of Elton John and David Furnish’s eventual marriage. Including candid interviews from major protagonists, such as Kylie, Russell T Davies, Will Young, Holly Johnson and Lord Chris Smith, as well as the relative unknowns crucial to the gay community, we see how an unlikely group of bedfellows fought for equality both front of stage and in the wings.

If I get through these three, I have another book that I intend to finish reading. The readathon finishes on Monday. You will have my thoughts on the books above and all the info for how I did during the readathon next week.