Monthly Archives: February 2014

ALL THE BOOKS

The Ultimate TBR Pile of a Book Blogger

As a book blogger, I accumulate a lot of books, as the book bloggers reading will agree. Publishing events, signings, buying them ourselves, receiving them for review, they are everywhere! Avid readers will probably understand as well. If you’re active in the bookish community, whether it be blogs, vlogs, or book clubs in real life, we get recommendations. People rec us stuff. We want it. ALL THE TIME. Furthermore, I have a book buying problem. After getting a part-time job, I now have more money to buy books, and I have no restraint to stop me.

Perhaps some of you have seen my Instagrams, or book hauls, with my TBR list in different photos. Well, I thought I’d show you all my Ultimate To-Be-Read List. As in, aaaalll the books I haven’t read that I own. Note: I don’t have many classics on there because I read them on Kindle, and there will be some not in the pictures that are either lost in my room, or also on Kindle.

Without further ado:

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Those are all of them together^^

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What do your TBR list look like? Do you have less or more? Do you keep buying more books, or read the ones you have?

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The TMI Tag

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I was tagged by Stephanie, from Love, August to do the TMI tag. It looks pretty cool, so here goes! This is about to get deep.

1.What are you wearing? Jeans, a Christina Perri tour shirt and comfy knit socks.

2. Ever been in love? Lol, no.

3. Ever had a terrible break-up? Once in year one, a boy broke up with me for one of the popular girls.

4. How tall are you? About 5’6″.

5. How much do you weight? Pffft, none of your business.

6. Any tattoos? No, and I don’t think I ever will have, unless for a very good reason.

7. Any piercings? One on each ear, and trying to persuade my mum to let me get a nose piercing…so far unsuccessfully.

8. OTP? I’m gonna go with Romitri.

9. Favourite Show? THE WALKING DEAD. And Friends…because it always will be a favourite.

10. Favourite Bands? This is hard, because at the moment I’m listening to playlists with so many artists where I’ve only heard a couple of their songs, but I love them. Imagine Dragons, American Authors, They Might be Giants, Florence and the Machine, Of Monsters and Men, Arctic Monkeys, The Civil Wars.

11. Something you miss? My dad <3

12. Favourite song? I don’t ever have a favourite song, but I’m currently digging Believer by American Authors.

13. How old are you? Sweet 16.

14. Zodiac Sign? Aquarius!

15. Quality you look for in a partner? Someone who’s not intimidated by my bluntness and sarcasm. I’ve had conversations with people where I’m being 100% sarcastic and they thought I was being serious! Also, someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

16. Favourite Quote? ”I fell in love the way you fall asleep, slowly, and then all at once”–John Green.  I just…siiighh.

17. Favourite Actor? Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lawrence.

18. Favourite Colour? Red…and I love indigo.

19. Loud or soft music? Soft music usually, to chill and relax.

20. Where do you go when you’re sad? I either swim it out at the pool, or go to bed and read.

21. How long does it take you to shower? Without washing my hair, around 15 minutes. When I wash my hair it takes about 35 minutes. You have no idea what it takes to tame my hair.

22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Generally, about 10 minutes. As much as I love make-up, I stick to the basics before school, because who can be dealing with that at 7 in the morning??

23. Ever been in a physical fight? I’ve hit one of my older brothers, but it never ends well so I don’t do that anymore!

24. Turn on? Someone who’s really good with kids. I’m the younger sister in the family, and with two older brothers, I got a bit left out at times. But, mostly my brothers were really sweet to me, so seeing a guy playing with their little siblings is just so cute.

25. Turn off? Someone who doesn’t understand reading, or loving fictional characters.

26. The reason you started blogging? I saw other people doing it and wanted to join in the fun by talking to others about something I’m really passionate about.

27. Fears? Being alone, failing, cancer.

28. Last thing that made you cry? Oh jeez…erm, I think it was when I had an emotional, hormonal day and cried at practically anything. Does anyone know what I’m talking about here?

29. Last time you said you loved someone? Well, I say it to my family a lot soo…

30. Meaning behind your blog name? I was reading Urban Fantasy and really loved kickass heroines. Still do. But yes, I really hate the name now.

31. Last book you read? Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell <3 <3.

32. The book you’re currently reading? Harley Quinn comic and The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas.

33. Last show you watched? Modern Family.

34. Last person you were talking to? One of my older brothers.

35. The relationship between you and the last person you texted? School friend.

36. Favourite food? Profiteroles and spaghetti…preferably not together.

37. Places you want to visit? EVERYWHERE. America, Paris, Italy, Netherlands, Syndey, Hong Kong, India, Russia.

38. Last place you were? At the swimming pool.

39. Do you have a crush? Not even a little bit.

40. Last time you kissed someone? I kissed my nan on the cheek earlier. That so counts.

41. Last time you were insulted? My dog ditched me earlier for my brother. That still stings a little.

42. Favourite flavour of sweet? Raspberry. NOMNOMNOM. Who doesn’t like raspberries?

43. What instruments do you play? Acoustic guitar and voice. (I’ve got grade 5 singing next month and I’m FREAKING OUT.)

44. Favourite piece of jewellery? My dad got me one of those sphere necklaces and I wear it all the time.

45. Last sport you played? Dodgeball?

46. Last song you sang? 22 by Taylor Swift.

47. Favourite chat up line? Do you have a library card, ’cause I wanna check you out!

48.Have you ever used it? Lol, no.

49. Last time you hung out with someone? My friends and I went to a local restaurant the other day as a get-together in the half-term.

50. Who should answer these questions next? Francoise from My Crazy Bookish World, Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa, Sunny from A Sunny Spot and LUCY from Queen of Contemporary (because I love you Lucy)!! Considering you guys are book bloggers, you can do the book blogger tmi tag if you want, which Hawwa did HERE.

Of course, anyone who wants a go, can also do the tag as well! Link your posts in the comments and I’ll take a look.

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Mini Reviews: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton and Slammed by Colleen Hoover

by Alice Clayton, Colleen Hoover
Published by Omnific, Self-Published Genres: New Adult
Source: Bought

The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight…

Wallbanger, now this was interesting concept. It was pretty refreshing to read a more adult romance-y book. I’ve heard lots of recommendations about this, but was put off by the blurb. I simply don’t think it’s as witty as it wants to be. Sorry. However, I was pretty busy when reading this, and wanted something easy to read that I didn’t have to commit to and this was pretty perfect. The romance builds from the main characters hating each other, to friendship, to love. I really enjoyed all of the stages and how they grew to be the perfect couple. Simon and Caroline seemed to fit really well and I just loved reading about them.

I thought Wallbanger was funny (if a bit hit and miss at times), romantic and I thought Simon was pretty awesome and funny. It was great to read two people who didn’t take things too seriously, as some books are so melodramatic at times.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

Poetry is very prominent in Slammed, and although I wasn’t the biggest fan of poetry before, this book has made me realise that I haven’t read the kind of poetry I like yet. It blended really well into the romance and sad storyline. There’s an element of forbidden love here, not something I was massively keen on, but it ended up working out pretty well.

There’s a student-teacher relationship, something I don’t tolerate and think is creepy (with exception to Vampire Academy), but Will is only 21, and working as a teacher to pay the bills. His parents died and he’s had to take care of his younger brother since he was 18. I felt for his situation, which was ultimately awful, but Will’s utter love for Caulder was so nice to read.

These were some great New Adult novels, it was fun to explore this genre a bit more, and I will carry on looking for more great NA  novels.

Rating: 4 Stars

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The Perfect Valentine’s Day Reads

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Crash into You: People should know by now how much I loved this book. It gives the bad-boy image a shake-up and there’s an awesome drag racing plot-line, which I’ve never come across before.

Romancing Mr Bridgerton: There are no words for this series. It’s amazing! This is really the only Historical Romance I’ve ever read (although I’ve dabbled), and this is my favourite book in the Bridgerton series. If you want to try out HR or you’re looking for a new HR series–this is it. They’re so sweet and simply brilliant.

The Distance Between Us: The witty heroine in this really takes the cake for me. The main guy is rich, the main girl is poor. Together they deicide if love conquers societies constraints caused by money differences.

Anna and the French Kiss: This is so fluffy it filled me with warmth and fluffy goodness! Perfect Valentines read if you want a hilarious main character and *swooon* overload. (Plus a romantic setting in Paris!)

Skin Deep: If you want something emotional, thought-provoking and real. The main girl is scarred from a car accident and is living with the emotional effects. People treat her differently now…but not Ryan.

My Life Next Door: Literal boy next door. That is all.

Just One Day: A book in which accidents happen, and the main character goes on a journey of self-discovery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review: The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

Review: The Midnight Dress by Karen FoxleeThe Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee
Published by Hot Key Books on October 8th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Given From Publisher
Goodreads
three-stars
Quiet misfit Rose doesn't expect to fall in love with the sleepy beach town of Leonora. Nor does she expect to become fast friends with beautiful, vivacious Pearl Kelly, organizer of the high school float at the annual Harvest Festival parade. It's better not to get too attached when Rose and her father live on the road, driving their caravan from one place to the next whenever her dad gets itchy feet. But Rose can't resist the mysterious charms of the town or the popular girl, try as she might.

Pearl convinces Rose to visit Edie Baker, once a renowned dressmaker, now a rumored witch. Together Rose and Edie hand-stitch an unforgettable dress of midnight blue for Rose to wear at the Harvest Festival—a dress that will have long-lasting consequences on life in Leonora, a dress that will seal the fate of one of the girls. Karen Foxlee's breathtaking novel weaves friendship, magic, and a murder mystery into something moving, real, and distinctly original.

*Thank you so much Hot Key Books for this review copy, this in no way affected my review*

The Midnight Dress is very hard for me to describe, because it’s not my usual read. I was really fascinated with the blurb and the whole idea encasing it, so I decided to take the jump and request it. It’s a story about friendship, mystery and things that are not as they seem. First of all, Foxlee’s writing style is probably the most beautiful I’ve read in a while. I have certain preference when it comes to author’s writing; for example, I really don’t like Cassandra Clare’s writing. As much as I love her fantastic world and characters, her description is stuffy and feels like it’s suffocating me. I’m no expert, but I simply want it edited. Anyway, Foxlee’s vivid description is the kind that washes over you when you’re reading it. I also loved the fact that it was set in Australia, which made the description that much more captivating.

It was very different the way Foxlee carried me through the book and let me discover things, about Rose specifically. We learn about her mostly through the story and not through her thoughts, because it’s in a certain style of third person. There’s an incredibly subtle magical element that intrigued me, and weaves in the story quite well.

The thing that I didn’t like was the epic slowness of the book. I can appreciate the build of tension, but Karen Foxlee builds tension throughout practically the whole book, and things aren’t made clear until the very end.

I loved that every chapter is named after a stitch, for example ‘anchor stitch’ and at the beginning of each chapter a little snippet of the ending is revealed. We see the missing person’s case through the detectives eyes, and little pieces of what happens at the end are shown carefully. I thought that was really crafty and well-written. Except, it kept me wanting to know more, and then I felt like the actual chapter itself was a bit anti-climactic and boring. I mostly enjoyed the tension, and the way the characters developed different relationships. So much of the book tells what’s happening to Rose and about everyone else and their antics in the town it seems as if the ending was an afterthought, except it’s always present. I can’t help but feel that doesn’t make sense, but if you read it, hopefully you would understand my ramblings better.

The Midnight Dress is very hard to describe without giving anything at all away, but I can tell you, the ending is a shocker. Foxlee cleverly played against my assumptions and twisted it into something completely different. I was pretty shocked. This is a great read if you like tension, beautiful writing, ambiguity and slow-burning mysteries. It’s not something to read if you want something fast-paced and conventional.

Rating: 3 Stars– I guess it was the slowness that put me off. Nothing really happened for a good portion of the books as everything builds up. However, I did simply adore the writing style and the way the characters relationships developed throughout. I will definitely check more of Foxlee’s books.

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Contemporary Kick!

I was never a major Contemporary fan. Before I started blogging I though it was boring, depressing and uninteresting. I liked to stick to Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy and all the Paranormal books in YA. I’d read Contemporary before and found it so disappointing.

Last year however, this all changed. Other bloggers started recommending me books outside of Paranormal, and I started to read out of my comfort zone. I was really surprised, because I found I was enjoying myself! Even though I read so much more Contemporary last year than I ever have, I still wouldn’t say I read it regularly. However, this year (even though Paranormal will always be my fav!) I have been in a complete Contemporary kick. I’ve read so many more than I usually do; including Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt, Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller and so many more. Mostly they have romance in them, because that’s the way I like them, but it’s still surprising for me.

I will continue to read this genre until I get bored, and I’m really enjoying all of the recommendations people are giving me! It also makes me want to read some Adult Contemporary, something I’ve read but never enjoyed. This just leads me to think that I haven’t found the right book yet. There is still a lot in Contemporary that I’m not ready to try yet, books that I might never like, but as long as I’m stretching myself, I’m okay with that.

Do you have manic phrases where you read loads in one genre? Can you give me some Contemporary rec?

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Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie WestThe Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Published by HarperCollins, HarperTeen on July 2nd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Caymen and her mother live in an apartment behind their doll shop. Caymen’s mother (Susan) has issues with rich people. When Susan was young, she became pregnant and was given hush money from her boyfriends parents to keep quiet about it and disappear. Her boyfriend left without a backwards glance and her parents disowned her–this caused her hate for rich people. Susan believes that they have short attention spans and only care about appearance. I always thought this premise was kind of naive, because it’s such a massive generalisation and doesn’t make much sense. However, this affects how Caymen perceives people and when an attractive, rich guy walks into her mother’s doll shop, she knows not to get too interested.

Caymen’s sarasm and dry humour is practically identical to mine–except she’s way more witty than me! She’s so deadpan that sometimes people can’t figure out if she’s being sarcastic. Her reaction to Xander was actually really funny, and the book continues in this amusing fashion, with funny remarks on every page. Xander is not my favourite book boyfriend but he was really sweet and he got Caymen and her character. They were both a little lost and didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives. Caymen is really poor and trying to keep the doll shop afloat with her mother, and Xander is R.I.C.H. (seriously rich) and his dad expects him to take over his hotel business–something he doesn’t want to do.

The romance was full of miscommunication, doubt and insecurities. It was really interesting to see how the amount of money someone earns divides social groups in such a huge way. Caymen lives in a fairly small town and she hadn’t even met Xander before, because he obviously hangs around in completely different social circles and goes to private school. Caymen only really has one friend, but a sweet, genuine friend at that. The romance isn’t sizzling, which is what disappointed me the most. It didn’t make me want to fan myself or want to dive in the book and marry Xander because he’s so amazing. However, I felt like Caymen and Xander had a really great connection, in that they understood what the other needed, and got each other like no one else. That’s what made the romance special to me, but no, I will not be adding Xander to the top of my book boyfriends list, despite how awesome his name is.

The Distance Between Us was a really great read but I didn’t enjoy it as much as Pivot Point (something Kasie West has also written).  I would recommend it, because the premise was different and entertaining, with a hilarious MC and fairly intense storyline.

Rating: 4 Stars.

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Books with Bite Event!

Last Thursday I went to my first ever publishing event! It was situated in London by Hachette Children’s for the Books with Bite celebration. Books with Bite is a new website made by Hachette Children’s which is divided into 3 categories–Contemporary, Thriller & Sci-Fi and Paranormal & Fantasy. Their new website is designed to get people interested and talking about Young Adult. It welcomes discussions and you can put your own reviews on there. It’s not just for Hachette books, but also other YA books.

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Aaalllll the books muahahaha

It started with a presentation on 10 of the most anticipated YA books Hachette Children’s is releasing this year, with a really useful booklet of all of the books they’re releasing. I tell you, they are releasing some really awesome-looking books! Then everyone proceeded to another room with a table full of books guys! I was lucky enough to take home some of those awesome releases early! They gave us a cute Books With Bite bag to put them in and I picked out lots of titles including: Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington, Riot by Sarah Mussi, The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson, Dead Silent by Sharon Jones, Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton, Shattered by Teri Terry, Tease by Amanda Maciel and Rock War by Robert Muchamore.

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Myself and Ashleigh!

I simply cannot wait to read and review them! I also got Shattered and Rock War signed and had a chat with Teri Terry and Robert Muchamore. Apparently I was the first person to get that book signed by Robert Muchamore, as he’d only seen the finished cover at that event!

I met some awesome bloggers, some I’d only just met and some I’d talked to on Twitter including Ashleigh from Ashleigh Online, who I pretty much spent the entire event with! Ashleigh was new to the scene as well, and we both went around and chatted together, it was nice not to be shuffling around alone! I also want to thank Caitlin, who was so nice and showed me around a little and was such a friendly face in a crowd of people I didn’t know.

I had such an amazing time, and it was fun to get a little out of my comfort zone and meet new people who are passionate about the same thing as me. I will definitely go to other events like this, so thank you Hachette Children’s!

Have you guys ever been to a publishing event before? If so, which one?

Review: Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

Review: Skin Deep by Laura JarrattSkin Deep by Laura Jarratt
Published by Electric Monkey on March 5th 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 377
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
four-half-stars
Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them and turn away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people. Or that's what I used to think. Before I learned...After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found...

Skin Deep is about a girl who is in a car crash and suffers severe burns, causing a large, disfiguring scar to mar along one side of her face. This accident has happened less than a year ago and the wounds are still fresh (literally and figuratively). Jenna doesn’t often go out anymore, for fear of the pointing and whispering from other people. Naturally, as a 14-year-old, she’s already got some insecurities about her appearance, but after this accident,  Jenna has understandably become more reserved and has only one friend.

Skin Deep was an incredibly emotion-inducing read. It was a brilliant blend of romance and contemporary that I love. Ryan is a traveller, who’s mum has Bi-Polar disorder and never wants to stay in one place. This time though, Ryan puts his foot down, and is set upon staying in this town for longer than usual–perhaps permanently. I loved the way the scars were handled, and how Ryan treated Jenna with the scars. At first, Jenna is incredibly sensitive and takes offence at many words that were not meant to be hurtful. Soon though, she begins to crack out of her shell and do things normal teenagers should do without a second thought.

Ryan is goshdang special, there is simply no other word for it. I have read many Romances and I have a lot of book boyfriends and Ryan is so incredibly different and so the same. As Ryan and Jenna fall in love, I was so happy for them and loved the way it was written. Ryan had this way of making Jenna feel beautiful even with her scars, which was a hard feat. He helped build her confidence and I’m sure, without him it would have taken many more years to gain such confidence. I thought they were genuinely perfect for each other. Together, they had their own issues, and it was very balanced the way they both leant on each other, and helped each other when they needed to.

The only thing that annoyed me about this book was Jenna’s father. In the accident, Jenna was with her best friend friends, who were smoking and taking drugs whilst driving. No, Jenna did not have the imitative to make them stop and let her out, and this caused the crash. However, I’m pretty sure she learned her lesson by the months it took her scar to heal–and is still healing. Also, with the emotional trauma of her best friends dying, and another girl dying. This doesn’t stop her father from stunting her emotional growth when she’s trying to re-build herself though. He constantly questions what she is doing, and shouting at her for trying to go out with friend. I get that there’s a trust issue after that crash and Jenna was close to dying, but that’s his problem–not hers. Her father is just so incredibly angry all the time, and sets up a local campaign in their small town to take a stand against speeding. But he doesn’t listen to her. Jenna hates this campaign, she feels uncomfortable being looked at, and no one treats her like a normal girl. Her father continually calls her selfish. It looks to me like the father needs therapy and not her. Perhaps it’s just my family, but if I was this uncomfortable and hurt by this campaign, my family would stop immediately. Okay. Rant over. Word of warning, this never really gets resolved, but I still loved the book.

Jarratt has crafted such an emotional and amazing book about first love, trauma, insecurities and re-building oneself. I loved it. It was exactly my kind of Contemporary and definitely a re-read. I read it in about two days, because it’s the kind of book you make time for.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

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