Weekend Reads #82


Happy Friday Readers!

I’m sure you are glad to see the weekend come around unless of course you work weekends which is true for so any individuals. I’m very lucky as I am off this weekend however I have lots of meetings scheduled for the wedding and a dress fitting to go to. I am looking forward to sitting down on Saturday night with a glass of wine and relaxing after a long week of planning and working.


img_3073This week I have been reading a few books and I am hoping to spend a bit of time on Sunday evening writing up reviews and finishing up some books. I will be continuing with The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez which I am really enjoying. It’s an insightful read into the world and customs of Afghan life. The opening pages really put into perspective the inferiority of woman in this culture and not just how they’re treated but how trapped woman are into accepting this treatment and their limitations in what they can do. I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the book and reviewing it at the end.


I also want to get further into The Muse by Jessie Burton, I only got reading the first few pages before so I might go back and start it again in case I missed any details. After reading The Miniaturist I have become a massive fan of Jessie Burton and I want to devour this book and savour every detail because she is a very talented writer.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!


Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige


When I picked up this book I didn’t know what to expect, I assumed it would be a parody of the Wizard of Oz, one of my all-time favourite movies and books by Frank L. Baum. When I was a child I watched this movie on repeat and fell instantly in love with Judy Garland and her ruby slippers. This book was on a new level compared to the movie and book I know well. Oz has been ripped apart by Dorothy who is draining the land of it’s magic, she has created her team of horrific officials made out of the scarecrow, the lion and the tinman and the only person who can stop them is Amy and the wicked witches.

There are some minor plot details below so continue with caution.

This book doesn’t hold back, opening with the tumultuous relationship between Amy and her mother. Amy’s mother is depressed and depends on drugs to get through her day, they live in a trailer park and Amy isn’t very popular at school, with her fellow classmates or teachers. At first I was interested in Amy, she didn’t have it easy but within a few pages it’s easy to see she isn’t a character that gets pushed around and stays quiet about it. Amy has her guard up, her attitude ready for anyone who challenges her and her strength both physical and emotionally had me hooked; I’m a sucker for a strong female protagonist.

As I said earlier this book did not hold back and some of the details were much darker than I expected; animals dying, torture and a lot of death. To be honest Dorothy was a right bitch in this book and even the descriptions of her and what she wore painted the picture of the queen bee from high school. One of my favourite characters in the book was Star, Amy’s pet rat, being an owner of two rats I was really proud to see Star feature in the plot and for her to have an important part.

I did find it a little strange that Amy landed in Oz after a tornado and within a day befriend people, believe what they say and fit in with only a grumble of confusion and disconcertion. There are points in the plot where she wonders how she ended up there, why this is happening and when she finds herself in a sticky situation she takes the only opportunity she can to get out. She weighs up her options to go home but then she faces an inside battle whether she even wants to go home? The fact that she comes from a single parent family, low income and a mother fighting her own demons brings this ‘fairytale’ and magical retelling into the real world. I enjoyed the fact it started with a realistic family representation even if it wasn’t expected. However I will be greatly disappointed if we get to the end of the series to find out the whole scenario is in Amy’s head as a form of escapism from a tough family life. It better not go all ‘Lost’ on us!

Overall there were parts of the plot that were slow, I did struggle sometimes to get through the book and as much as I wanted to read what happens next I found it equally as difficult to pick the book up at the start. Towards the middle the action started to unfold but it did take a long time to settle into the plot.

Although I want to know what will happen in the rest of the story I have a feeling it will be a while before I rush out and buy the next books in the series. I am also a little hesitant because I know this is a long series and I do wonder how many books have I to get through before Dorothy gets what she deserves. The ending to this book was exciting, fast paced and left me wanting more but a great ending didn’t compensate for a tedious beginning.

I gave this book 3 and a half stars out of 5 on goodreads because overall the plot was interesting even if I do harbour a little bit of resentment for darkening one of my favourite movies/classics. However I found the last third of the book intriguing and I was interested to see what was going to happen. I’m going to keep a lookout for the next book in the series and depending how I feel on the day, they may get added to my collection.


Daily Reads #96


Hello fellow readers,

I have been off the radar the past while because I have been so busy with work and wedding stuff. It is currently 6 weeks away until the big day and at this stage there is a lot of planning and confirming and counting to do. I’m finding my evenings filled with meetings and plans, however it has come to the stage when I need to relax and of course I turn to my books. For me reading has always been a form of escapism, disappear from the real world for a few hours and find a new place to explore. Last month I didn’t get the time to do a wrap up and therefore I will be continuing on with any books I was reading and my chosen reads for October.

This week I will be continuing with reading some books off my TBR and hopefully starting a new read. Despite it being October I am looking for a sweet, light read so I have turned to a book that has been sitting on my shelves for some time. I want to be in the right mood to read it and I think this will be a good time to take my mind of any tough days at work and any last minute wedding mishaps. This week I am picking up The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez, it sounds wonderful set around the friendship of 5 woman in Afghanistan. I have a fascination with the Middle East and love reading books set there, I enjoy reading about different cultures and exploring new worlds therefore I can’t wait to start this book.


So readers I hope you are having a great week and are enjoying the perfect reading season. I will be posting some reviews over the next few days so don’t forget to check in.


Autumn Reads 2016



Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year, I think for me it is equally tied with Winter. I love the feeling of being cosy, the excuse for open fires and of course the hot drink assortment of teas, coffee and hot chocolate. I also find this time of the year one of the best for exploring because the weather isn’t too cold, it’s crisp and fresh as the cold sweeps in. However it’s just cold enough to break out the jumpers and boots and there’s nothing I love more than keeping warm and feeling relaxed. I love settling on the sofa with a mug of tea, a crocheted blanket and a good book. So I have listed some of my favourite Autumn Reads to enjoy with this magical season.

The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist

This might seem like a strange reading choice but when I read this book I kept thinking how nice it would have been to read this next to an open fire. The plot spans a few months leading into different seasons but I remember the descriptions as the cold sets in or ice and snow and thought it would be a great book to read with the back drop of Autumn.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine

I think I will always associate this book with the Autumn now that the movie is being released at the end of this month. Not to mention it has the perfect spooky and creepy tones to get any reader ready for Halloween just around the corner. I thought this was an excellent book because it’s not dark enough for Halloween and what better way to experience the setting of the UK than with the rain and cold coming in.


The Archived – Victoria Schwab


I loved this book and will probably reread it at some point. This book has haunting tones and the setting is a style of library but instead of books, it stores the dead. It’s the perfect read to cosy up on the sofa with as the night creeps in, candles are flickering in the background and steam laps off a freshly poured cup of tea. It’s not a scary book so I wouldn’t class this as a Halloween Read however it’s the perfect novel for leading up to it.


The Book Thief – Markus Zusak




Coming into the Autumn I always think of Remembrance Sunday and the World Wars, it’s always the time of year that I turn to a novel set during the war. The Book Thief is by far one of my favourite novels set during the wartime. It’s a fascinating book narrated by death that follows the life of a young girl as she grows up and comes to terms with the war and what it means for her and those around her.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone




I’m sure this is a book I don’t need to promote with readers but September always brings around the start of the school year again and there are no greater school stories than the Harry Potter series. The first book for me is magical as it marks the start of a grand adventure, the sparks of friendship and a new world to get lost in.


The Collected Poems of Robert Frost


Robert Frost has written some of the most beautiful and scenic poems I have ever read. They are perfect for the backdrop of Autumn, he writes for the seasons and the natural landscape. I truly recommend his works and of course one of the most thought provoking is The Road not Taken, pour a cup of tea and ponder over this one.

Well I hope you enjoy my Autumn reads, don’t forget to make the most of the Autumn and all of its beautiful colours.



Daily Reads #95


Happy Monday Readers,

I have had one of the most amazing Mondays ever because I became an Auntie to a beautiful nephew called Arlo. I got to cuddle the little bundle of joy earlier and I am so in love with him already. I can’t wait to see him again and I feel so lucky to be a part of his life, see him grow and come into his personality.


Due to all of the excitement over the weekend my books have been set to the side, but this week I am hoping to finish off a few reviews and start a new book. To finish off September and start into October I will be picking up The Muse by Jessie Burton. I am lucky to have pre-ordered a signed edition of Jessie Burton’s second book and I cannot wait to get started with it. Her first book The Miniaturist is one of the most intricate and beautifully written books I have read this year so I know The Muse will take me on a unique journey.

I have some new posts coming up over the next few days so keep checking back.



Weekend Reads #81


Happy Friday Readers, this week has flown by so quickly, it feels like only yesterday I was writing the Weekend Reads for last week, it’s hard to believe how quickly time is going. This week in particular it has started to feel like Autumn, some days this week I’ve wondered if we skipped Autumn and went straight to Winter it’s been so cold. If I’m honest I secretly love it, there is nothing more perfect than the rain hitting the window, the cold weather and dark evenings. This is my favourite time to light a few candles and make the evening my own by reading my books, sipping warm cups of tea and putting a warm blanket over my knees for my cat to curl up with me. I find comfort in the small things and a change in the weather this week has secretly put a smile on my face; Autumn and Winter are my favourite times of the year.

Due to the prime reading conditions this week I have been flying through some of my books and I will hopefully have a few more reviews up in the coming days. This weekend I want to tackle a book that wasn’t on my TBR for this month but it has been jumping out at me from the shelves and it’s a story I have wanted to finish for a long time. I want to read the second part of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I really enjoyed the first part of that book and I want to delve back into it. I’m hoping to read it all at the weekend whilst finishing off some of my other reads and writing reviews so no doubt it will be a full weekend.


Well I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, I am looking for some new graphic novels to read so if you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments. I really enjoyed French Milk, Persepolis and Maus; the style of graphic novel that is contained in one or two books because I love The Walking Dead and Saga yet I find it hard sometimes to pick up the volumes. I can read one in a sitting so I tend to buy them in bundles which is draining my bank account; not so great with a wedding in a few weeks. So any recommendations would be much appreciated!

Happy Reading!



Unhooked – Lisa Maxwell

I started reading this book because I needed my fill of fairytale retellings. As a massive fan of the TV series Once Upon a Time and an addictive reader of fairytale retellings, I knew I needed to read this book when it came out. 
I started this book what feels like ages ago and it took me a long time to get into it. Being the type of reader that needs to start and finish a book within a week, it wasn’t long before I set this book down and found it tough going back. I found Unhooked difficult to read because the main action of the plot didn’t start for over 150 pages. In the first few pages I was intrigued because Gwendolyn has a rocky relationship with her mother who I originally thought suffered from a mental illness. She finds comfort in her friend Olivia who is staying with them whilst they settle in their new home. It isn’t long before the two girls are whisked away in the night by a shadowy creature and find themselves stranded in Neverland. 

This book paints Neverland in a different light to what we’re familiar with in the books and movies. It gives the power not just to the characters like Pan and the Captain but instead to the island. There are many interesting and strange characters but they don’t start to appear until 2 thirds of the way through. I would have loved to have seen more of these creatures earlier in the plot. 

I liked some of the characters in the plot like Pan and the Captain however I was indifferent to Gwendolyn who seemed a little neutral to the situation, yes she wanted to go home but she was stuck in an awkward position. She didn’t know who she could trust or how to get home yet she was very quick to jump between different situations such as the Captain’s ship and Pan’s layer. I found that given her situation her reaction was bland and she was numb to what was happening to her. Again two thirds of the way through she seemed to sense her own strength yet she still depended on either Pan or Hook for help. 

There is an element of love in this plot too yet I felt it was too quick to properly form and was a relationship that could have been expanded. I loved the relationship between the Captain and Gwendolyn and would have enjoyed reading more about it yet it was reserved until the end of the plot. 

I feel like this book had a very slow start and middle compared to the end which I had no problem flying through. The ending was filled with action, creatures, love and distrust. It was exciting and intriguing, yet it only spanned a third of the book. The final 50 pages of this book is the best section and the plot really expands, shows the reader more of the island and even more of the characters but there was too much setting the scene compared to the action.

I gave Unhooked a 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads as it was an interesting idea yet I feel it wasn’t fully formed for the plot. The characters were likeable and intriguing and I would have liked to read more about the Captain’s origin story and even Pans, like how did they get there? I did enjoy this book but at times felt it was more of a task, there are many fairytale retellings about Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty yet not enough about Neverland so I was a little disappointed with this read as I expected more from it. 


Scarlet – Marissa Meyer


Scarlet is the perfect carry on novel from Cinder and I found it very hard to put down. Capturing from page one when we are introduced to a feisty young girl who’s grandmother has been missing for over two weeks. Scarlet is scared for her grandmother’s life as she knows this isn’t something her grandmother would do yet nobody believes her so it is up to her to find her. Whilst trying to keep the farm running and solve the mystery, Scarlet meets someone that could help her and bring her to her grandmother.

This plot was gripping and the pace picked up in less than 100 pages. The chapters also jump between Scarlet and Cinder as we carry on her story from the first book. It was refreshing to see Cinder still playing a big part in the plot and seeing how her character has developed from the first chapter in the first book. She is noticeably stronger and more confident as she starts to see where she fits into the societal norms of this new world. Despite Cinder discovering her identity throughout the first book she has another identity crisis in this book as a big mystery unravels around her.

For Scarlet she is brought into a world, unthinkable outside of her farm life with her grandmother. Before this she had a pretty normal and enjoyable life working for and with her grandmother. All of that changes the minute her grandmother is kidnapped and she is forced to face a moment from her childhood that makes her grandmothers past seem less innocent than she thought. I thoroughly enjoyed this modern twist on the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, because it takes an old story that has been passed on throughout the years and has changed to suit the times and here we see it happening again.

The characters that come into this plot are intriguing and full of surprises, for example Cinder meets someone very early on in the book who I was very wary of at the start and grew to love. I am very excited to see his character develop in the next book. Scarlet also meets someone called Wolf who is very mysterious and interesting from his first appearance. As the plot continues and Scarlet learns more about him I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to read more about him. He really is a mystery for most of the plot but it added to the suspense in the story because you didn’t quite know whether he was trustworthy or not.

This series gives old fairy tales a new life and reinvents the characters to fit into societal norms. Although the plot develops in a new world and new set of people and technologies we are seeing modern ideas. It’s not unusual to see strong female characters, magic abilities and technology pushing the limits which makes this a great series to pick up and get lost in. I gave Scarlet a 5 out of 5 stars and I cannot wait to continue this plot in the next book Cress. I know this book blew up the internet when it was released; it was all over Tumblr, Instagram and Booktube so I expect great things from it. To be completely honest I think it is going to be great and introduce yet another female character that will be strong and confident, I am really struggling to finish my other reads before picking this one up.



Daily Reads #94


Happy Monday Readers!

Today I definitely have that Monday feeling, I have a book hangover and want nothing more than to go home, curl up in bed and read some more. Over the weekend I finished reading Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and I want to start right into Cress and see what happens. However I am also reading 5 other books at the minute so I want to try and finish up a few of these first.

Over the weekend I also finished reading Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell and it took me a good few weeks to really get into this book. I’m hoping to get both reviews up in the next few days so keep checking back.

On Friday night I started reading Digital Fortress by Dan Brown and I am immediately hooked on the plot. I love how the protagonist is a strong, intelligent woman working in a high powered government job. The concept behind this plot is very interesting as well and like all of Dan Browns books this involves a mysterious idea surrounding the government and an infiltration. I can’t wait to continue with this plot.


I am still reading Hollow City by Ransom Riggs and I haven’t had a chance to read as much of this book as I want to so I’m hoping to devote a bit more time to it. The clock is ticking until the release of the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie and I want to have the second book finished by then.

Throughout the week I will be continuing reading Digital Fortress by Dan Brown and Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. These are two very different books but equally addictive and fast paced so I know I will be spending a lot of time with them over the next few days.

So have a great reading week and don’t forget to check back!


Weekend Reads #80


It’s Friday people, time for the weekend to start and I cannot wait. Tomorrow I have a dress fitting for the wedding and I am so excited, it is 10 weeks exactly until the big day and I can’t believe how quickly it has flown in. Everything is speeding by and I’m trying to keep up!


I will be spending this week starting a new book and I am a little indecisive over which one to read next, either way I’ll probably pick up the other one in a few days due to sheer impatience anyway. So over the weekend I am hoping to start Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. I am really looking forward to this read, as many of you will know I am very slowly becoming a massive fan of Dan Brown and his work. I am especially intrigued to read this book because the main character is not Robert Langdon and as much as I will miss him on this adventure I am looking forward to meeting a new character. I don’t know a lot about this book other than the main character is an intelligent female who cracks a code sending the National Security Agency into a panic.

I just know this book is going to hook me so I am hoping to start it on Saturday night so I have all day Sunday to get lost in its plot. So I hope everyone has a great weekend and keep on reading!