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I finally read Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

I am very much aware I am late to the party with this one.

Last night I finally read Heartstopper by Alice Oseman. It was one of those books that I’d had my eye on for a while but kept getting pushed back for whatever reason. Now everyone around the world is finding themselves in lockdown and with some extra time, I thought it would be the perfect time. – Plus that fact that it’s only 99p on kindle currently, helped.

Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they’ve never met … until one day when they’re made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance.

Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised.

Description taken from Amazon

I’m new to Alice Oseman. Although I had heard her name before, I wouldn’t have been able to put any books to it. I loved the build up of Charlie and Nick’s friendship, and then watching it blossom into something else. I also love how normal sexuality is in this book. Just as it should be. I love how there is no “big shock” when someone slips into a conversation that they are gay. It’s normalised and doesn’t faze anyone. I devoured this book from cover to cover VERY quickly, and I absolutely cannot wait to read Volume 2.

Rated 5*s

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Sticks and Stones – Cover Reveal!

Sticks & Stones
Dianne Beck
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: March 18th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

When fifteen-year-old Emily Greene wakes up to police banging on her door, she is shocked to see her mother arrested on drug charges.

Uprooted and in disbelief, Emily moves to a new town to stay with her grandmother, known as Crazy Carol for her outspoken faith and quirky behaviors. As if the arrest isn’t enough, kids at her new school immediately begin to stereotype and judge her based on the news they’ve heard about her mom.

Emily is sure her mother’s fiancé is to blame for the crime. He has conveniently disappeared since the day of the arrest. She’s determined to find him, and prove he’s at fault. But something awful happens, shaking her world yet again.

After this string of tragedies, Emily starts to question God, but is gently and consistently reminded by her grandmother, through stories she tells of all the sticks, leaves, and stones she collects, that God is her good and faithful parent.

Emily must learn that the words others say about her don’t matter, that her mom’s mistakes don’t define her, and she is always deeply loved by her heavenly father. If only she can learn to forgive herself.

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Author Bio:

Dianne Beck has spent the majority of her career teaching students ranging from Kindergarten through adult. No matter what age, her biggest goal is to encourage her students to be their own unique selves, to have confidence in who they are, and to follow their passions.

Dianne’s debut young adult novel, Sticks and Stones, was inspired by her years of teaching, where she saw so many students struggle with varying issues, and also experienced how an understanding ear and relevant literature could make a significant impact on their lives. She hopes young people as well as adults can find faith and strength, like her main character Emily does, even when things seem to be falling apart.

Dianne is motivated daily by her faith in God, her husband, and her four adult children. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, sipping coffee, browsing a bookstore, or pursuing a part-time faith and fitness ministry at www,



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Book Club Box – January 2020

Deadly Secrets January 2020

I’m really loving this month’s box. The first item I have is the Dracula’s Castle Pouch by Iron & Ink. It’s a beautiful soft pouch that has already made it’s way into my work bag, now filled with chewing gum, lipstick and pens. The second item is a promo bookmark for an upcoming release called The Unforgetting. Third item, is a Blackcurrant & Clove scented candle by Amelia’s Kitchen. It reminds me of a winter berry candle that you get around Christmas time. Forth Item, Deadly Bath Skull by Pretty Suds. I’ve not used this yet, but I’m seriously hoping it turns my bath blue.

Fifth item, is a Lord Voldermort bookmark by Magic Bookmarks. Can you see how adorable the art work is? Beautiful.

The Books

There are TWO books in the box, the first is The Good Hawk by Josepth Elliott. – released in February.

Agatha patrols the sea wall with pride, despite those in her clan who question her right to be there, because of the condition she was born with.

Jaime is a reluctant Angler, full of oubt and afraid of the sea.

When disaster strikes, the pair must embark on a terrifying journey to a land where forgotten magic and dark secrets lurk in every shadow…

The second book is The Pure Heart by Trudy Tweedie again, released in February.

When Iseabail is employed by a wealthy merchant to be his daughter’s companion, her life changes forever. Transported from her remote island home to the Scottish borderlands, Iseabail is unnerved both by her precocious young charge and the house’s secrets: a hidden chapel, servants who speak in a foreign tongue, a mute stableboy. And then the merchant returns with a mysterious cargo. Why has Iseabail really been summoned here? And will she ever make it back home?

As already stated, I am loving this month’s box and can’t wait for next month’s. You can subscribe to Book Box at – not sponsored, I just love them

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On The Come Up by Angie Thomas – Book Review (Spoiler Free)

“Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But when her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, Bri finds herself at the centre of controversy and portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. And with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it – she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.”

On The Come Up, was another one of those great gripping books. Honestly I’ve read so many brilliant books recently. It’s full of those real life struggles, not just the dramatic teenage ones, REAL ONES. Like, drugs, guns, and racism. OTCU, is unlike any other YA book I’ve read, (and listened too as I also have the audio book now) I’ve not read anything else by Angie Thomas before, but she is officially on my book heroine list now!

Rated 5/5

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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.