Category: Contemporary


Review: 4.5 stars to Forever Geek (Geek Girl #6) by Holly Smale

Posted 16 March, 2017 by katheryn13 in Contemporary, Funny, Middle Grade, Reviews, Updates, YA / 0 Comments

My name is Harriet Manners and I’ll be a geek forever…

Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is.

Modelling isn’t a sure-fire route to popularity. Neither is making endless lists. The people you love don’t expect you to transform into someone else. Statistically, you are more likely to not meet your Australian ex-boyfriend in Australia than bump into him there.

So on the trip of a lifetime Down Under Harriet’s to-do lists are gone and it’s Nat’s time to shine! Yet with nearly-not-quite-boyfriend Jasper back home, Harriet’s completely unprepared to see supermodel ex Nick. Is the fashion world about to turn ugly for GEEK GIRL?

It’s time for Harriet to face the future. Time to work out where her heart lies. To learn how to let go…

Review:
Forever Geek was a somewhat perfect ending to the series. However the ending killed me.
In this episode of Harriet Manners Goes Wild (lol!) Harriet is off to good ole Australia with her best friend Natalie and her grandmother Bunty. All on the pretence that she will be getting some new cool modelling jobs Wilbur has set up for her. Unfortunately things go slightly off kilter and Harriet starts taking matters into her own hands.
Never a good thing.
Sometimes, Harriet, you just need to listen when they say be patient! Oh my God. She ditches all her plans and that’s not a thing you want with this girl. Nuh-uh.
I kind of missed Team JRNTH but they still popped up in odd ways like phone calls and texts. The whole mystery about whether Harriet might bump into her ex boyfriend Nick was one that I truly kinda hoped wouldn’t happen as I rather like Jasper.
Harriet’s escapades were hilarious as usual, and some were rather cringe-worthy like ‘oh my God what are you doing?’ You know? It was a bit extreme even for her at times.
There were parts near the end that had me in literal tears and I’ll never forgive it for that. Why couldn’t we go the whole book without tears? Fml. Anyway, I’m really sad this series is over but am super excited about what Holly has next to publish. I know it’ll be great!
There were so many highs and lows throughout this series and I got to join Harriet on so many adventures. I don’t regret it for a second, however the second hand embarrassment could have been dialled down a bit. Haha.
I’ll miss all the characters, and the fun times. I’ll miss the modelling shoots and the crazy fashion. I’ll even miss Yuki Oto. I spelt that right, right?
I give this a 4.5 stars purely because of a certain thing that happens that I won’t mention. While it isn’t a bad thing, or a good thing, it just… Could have done without.
Good bye Harriet.

 

-Kat
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Review: 5 stars to Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt

Posted 5 March, 2017 by katheryn13 in Contemporary, Funny, Reviews, Romance, Updates, YA / 0 Comments

Lexi Angelo has grown up helping her dad with his events business. She likes to stay behind the scenes, planning and organizing…until author Aidan Green – messy haired and annoyingly arrogant – arrives unannounced at the first event of the year. Then Lexi’s life is thrown into disarray.

In a flurry of late-night conversations, mixed messages and butterflies, Lexi discovers that some things can’t be planned. Things like falling in love…

Unconventional is a story that completely blew me away. It’s relatable but not in a sad way, but a way in which it brings back memories of good times. Reminding me why I love conventions, and also just reminds me of the funny and somewhat chaotic things that can, and will, happen at them.
Lexi Angelo is just downright ordinary, but in the best way possible. There are no airs and graces, and right from the start we can get an idea of who she is. Her voice is bright, down to earth and not at all pretentious. There wasn’t a moment where I was irritated by her.
Aidan is my new book boyfriend, I’m sure. Though the slow burning romance was more fade to black than I expected, it wasn’t annoyingly so, and it worked perfectly. He’s open, friendly, but also has flaws and isn’t just…a cardboard cut out of himself, you know? He’s an author with a pseudonym and so it’s also tricky for us, the readers (at least I found it to be so) to know which side of Aidan  we’re getting to know, which side is talking at any time, right along side Lexi. I love how nervous and vulnerable he gets when having to do public appearances, it makes me wonder how I’d be if I ever got published.
The convention family made me feel like I was actually there and experiencing it all with them. My personal favourite was Sam – Samira- but really everyone was entertaining in their own ways. Lexi’s dad was refreshing to read, because a lot of YA doesn’t involve the parents as much as in this one. I can in some ways relate to Lexi wanting to stay in her own little world, but I wish it was as easy to expand ones horizons as she makes it out to be, not to mention the whole being a lover-of-books thing. I could fully understand the feeling behind feeling so close to a book and not wanting to share it with others. It’s a little how I feel with this book.
The way Lexi and Aidan grew closer together seriously gave me butterflies like never before and I squee’d so much I’m pretty sure I sounded like a kettle boiling. It was a subtle romance, and nothing overwhelming. In fact, it had more of an effect on me than if it had been all kissing and bed-time antics. Personally I prefer the tension, the over-all build up than just…let’s get it on. 😛
Sometimes I’d think I’d know what would happen next only to be shown I was wrong, and then all the twists and turns that went on throughout, had me feeling like a wrung out cloth at points, but I didn’t mind because it was keeping me on my toes and excited for each page yet to read.
This was one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I know I will go back to it again and again in the future, because it’s one that makes me feel at home. The only criticism I had, to be honest, was a bit near the beginning when a few authors were mentioned. Not made up ones, but ones that aren’t necessarily high profile like J. K. Rowling or Stephen King. I partly found it a bit dating and tacky but it didn’t linger for long so I soon got over it, and once I did, I forgot all about it (though obviously not in terms of adding it to this review…)
I had no expectations when I first started Unconventional, but by the first page I was hooked and even if you’ve never been to a convention in your life, I have no doubt you’ll be hooked too. It’s hilarious, charming, sweet and very very relatable as I said, and certainly unconventional in all its glory.  
A full five stars from me. Not to mention, this book got me out of a reading slump! 🙂

 

-Kat
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Cool story bro… | My Writing Journey (PART 4)

Posted 1 February, 2017 by katheryn13 in Adult Fiction, Booktube, Contemporary, Fun, Kat's Writing, Romance, Updates, Video / 0 Comments

Part 4
Hey again. So it’s probably no surprise to you that I have a youtube channel. I mostly chat about books on it, but lately I’ve been sort of branching out, and incorporating things like tv, movies, my writing… as there are only so many things about books I can, you know, talk about. Kinda gets exhausting after a while. (But I love books…I really do!)
Anyway, I thought for this week’s update I’d do something a little different – not to mention it kinda helps to add more to my channel – by, yep, you guessed it! (if you didn’t, that’s okay. I forgive you.) I made a video! It’s all about the things that I…er…well I call it ‘confessions’ but really it’s about what I don’t do that others do? I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s not serious as such, I mean, I realise I won’t be the only one to do things the way I do. And not everything’s set in stone.
Before I let you watch the video I shall attach hereafter (I got that right…right?) I just thought I’d tell you how things are coming along!
My current story word count (as of when I am typing this) is 26,820 words. Not too shabby, eh? I hope to achieve at least 5k a week, at most 10k a week (because doing 20k in a week was a fluke and no way in hell will I ever get that done again…well….I guess never say never. Damn you bieber!)
I’m still no more wiser as to where the story is heading, besides the obvious romance plot, but all is well…I think I’m just going with the flow. It’s a contemp…I can do that.
AAAAANYWAY… enough rambling. I hope you enjoy what I have to say in this video (and I am sorry if a lot of it is stuff I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts. It’s mostly for the benefit of the watchers on my channel – not that I have many.)

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Review: 4 stars to Love Song by Sophia Bennett #YA #BoyBands #Funny

Posted 25 September, 2016 by katheryn13 in Contemporary, Funny, Reviews, Romance, Updates, YA / 0 Comments

 

A million girls would kill for the chance to meet The Point, but Nina’s not one of them.
She’s the new assistant to the lead singer’s diva fiancée, and she knows it’s going to suck. She quickly learns that being with the hottest band on the planet isn’t as easy as it looks: behind the scenes, the boys are on the verge of splitting up.
Tasked with keeping an eye on four gorgeous but spoiled rock stars, Nina’s determined to stick it out – and not fall for any of them …
Review:
I have been in a real contemporary stage lately, and have basically read all the contemps I have available. It’s annoying. 
Love Song was a gem. I loved every second, and laughed at the most ridiculous things that happened. I mean, this is VERY British, and it was lovely. The band, The Point, reminded me a bit of Mcfly, but more in the sense that they’re a British band and well…yeah okay so the similarities end there. haha. 
Nina is only 17 but she’s like Mary Poppins with all her skills. It’s unnerving. Her parents say she’s too responsible and needs to get out there and live. So after a disastrous meet and greet with The Point, her younger sister – Ariel’s-  favourite band ever, Nina didn’t expect to ever see them again. Which is why it’s a shock when the band’s manager visits to offer her a job. To be the lead singer’s fiancée’s assistant. It seemed simple enough, but it turned out that Sigrid is a complete bitch. 
It’s a hilarious and somewhat awful time and when it’s over, it’s over, except it’s not…
She’s then asked to help the boys on their secluded trip away. Which is where it gets tricky because Nina thinks she’s going somewhere exotic. HAHAHAHAHA no.
I won’t spoil but I tell ya, it’s utterly ridonkulous! I loved every second, even if Nina was being a bit stupid in her thinking sometimes. The boys were fun, sexy, talented, and I so badly wish they were real now. Sigh. There’s a definite romance which feels a lot like a typical Rom-Com movie where things go wrong and then at the last minute they realise their mistake. Still, it’s brilliant, and – though I must admit, a little long-winded – so sweet. 
What confused me a bit was how Nina’s A-Levels were mentioned twice, but you never actually read about her taking them…or studying…so I was like “Wait…did they disappear or something?”
Ariel is adorable but annoying at times, but then..she is 13. So yeah. The rest of the family are included, which is great, and a change. I loved how the dad didn’t want her going anywhere, but the mum was like *dreamy face* >_< There were the usual bitchy girls, and the best friends, and the song lyrics. 
I wanted to rate this 5 stars, but despite me having read it in 2 days – which, to be honest is like light speed for me – it wasn’t one that hit the target completely, but very very nearly. I had an enormous grin on my face most of the time though, so there’s that.
-Kat

 

 

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Review: 5 stars to Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Posted 24 September, 2016 by katheryn13 in Contemporary, Mental Health, Reviews, Romance, YA / 1 Comment

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.
Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.
Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.
Review:
I was recommended this book via booktube, and I have to say, I was not disappointed. I went into this knowing it was about a girl with schizophrenia paranoia but to what end, that was not known.
Alex is a ‘one of a kind’ kind of character, who made me laugh, cry, and generally love so much. She has so much going on, and doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not. It’s almost heartbreaking at points because you, the reader, have been taken through this journey, only for the rug to be pulled out from under you. I was right there with Alex, horrified, scared, confused. It was a mish-mash of feelings that utterly made me love this book so much.
Miles was my second favourite, and the one that intrigued me just as much as Alex. I had, to be honest, wondered if he was real, just like with a lot of the characters, I was waiting for the catch. You’re left hanging, waiting in the balance for the penny to drop. Sometimes it dropped, sometimes it didn’t.
I loved the whole gang of friends Alex ended up having, and the mystery behind the Headmaster and what he was up to. Her parents were a bit hot and cold, but then it’s surprising they even appeared as a lot of YA has non-existing parents, you know? Actually it was more the mother that annoyed me. She seemed so quick to want to send her child away.
I know it’s weird, but I have this fascination with books about characters with mental health and where hospitals are involved. It might say a lot about me. They really interest me; even if it is brushed up to be less accurate, it’s STILL made aware. I don’t understand the people that get mad because it’s not 100% how it is. Sometimes you have to embellish to make a story, and still remain loyal, and I felt like this one matched that. I got the pain of someone who was suffering, and still I got the love story, and the trauma of things going wrong. It was all there.
I wanted more when it ended, I wanted to know what happened next, but it was still a relatively happy ending, even with flaws. It almost made me want it to be a series. LOL I know. Anyway, I think you’d like this, even if the subject isn’t necessarily something you’re happy with, there’s a whole different story within it. 
A definite 5 star read for me!
-Kat
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Review: 3 stars to Paperweight by Meg Haston #BookBloggers #thegirlgang

Posted 2 July, 2016 by katheryn13 in Contemporary, Mature, Reviews, Updates, YA / 0 Comments

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Struggling to deal with her brother’s death and a past she refuses to confront, Stevie knows she has problems. But she’s still furious about the fact that she’s been packed off to a health clinic, in the middle of nowhere, where mobile phones are banned and communication with the outside world is strictly by permission only. The regimented and obtrusive nature of the clinic and its staff is torture to the deeply private, obstinate Stevie – and don’t even get her started on the other ‘inmates’. All she wants is to be left alone…
But as Stevie is about to find out, life is full of surprises. And she will prove herself stronger than she knows – even when her past finally catches her up in the most shocking and brutal way possible.
Review:
I’ll start off by saying that if I’d known, when I got this, that the story was about a girl suffering from anorexia…I probably wouldn’t have bought it. That being said, I did find this rather interesting. I, unfortunately, being a lover of food and not anywhere near that state of mind, couldn’t relate at all with Stevie, who is our main character. Her voice was full of angst and, I want to say, obnoxious know-it-allness, as well as her illness. I mean, there were a lot of moments where I found myself ready to yell at the book because of how annoying she was being.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that many people go through this problem, but because I can’t relate, I try to think of this more on the fiction side of things, so whiny characters who don’t listen to reason just bug me. 
The back of the book says about how Stevie wants to disappear and in 27 days she’d do just that. Now, to me, not knowing the full extent to the story, I thought this would be about a girl in rehab or somewhere, and in 27 days she planned to run away or something. Get the hell out of there. That sort of thing. 
Not disappear as in…yknow…die. 
I generally like stories about characters being in therapy, etc. I like the whole psychological aspect.
I found myself liking Ashley, who is Stevie’s roommate, a lot more than Stevie, and she made me laugh / and worry, when there was a moment of pure hyperness during the night. I honestly thought they were going to diagnose her with bipolar. So when things kinda went south, I was crossing my fingers for things to turn out well. Well, not really, because I literally can’t cross them, but you know what I mean.  The other characters were okay, but no one really stuck out to me as much as Ashley, and I really felt sorry for her when she told her backstory.
Stevie’s flashbacks to how she ended up in rehab, and the whole incident with her brother, were a fun tool to show rather than tell. I wanna say more but then it goes into spoilers and that’s bad. Bad spoilers!
It wasn’t until the last quarter of this very-short-story (but actually didn’t feel short at all) that I began to like Stevie more and there was hope and light at the end of the tunnel. I was glad I didn’t give up half way and skip to the end because it would have killed the effect. Though it would have been nice to get maybe a view of how things went after the end of the book…and I usually hate epilogues, but this could have done with one.
As a story, 3 star rating is valid. As an insight into what real people deal with, I’d have said this was 5 stars.There’s a part of me that can’t really understand it, personally, but that’s me. I mean, I knew bits and pieces, but not to the extent described – if most of it was indeed correct, or similar – so it really opened my eyes. Though the descriptions that Stevie gives is almost stomach turning at points.
I suppose I should say that if you do suffer or have suffered from any of these illnesses, there should be a ‘trigger’ warning. Well, I just did. Either way, it’s still worth a read if you’re so inclined. 🙂
-Kat
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ARC Review: 5 stars to Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt

Posted 26 May, 2016 by katheryn13 in Contemporary, Funny, Reviews, Romance, YA / 0 Comments

Seventeen-year-old River doesn’t know what to do with himself when Penny, the girl he adores, breaks up with him. He lives in LA, where nobody walks anywhere, and Penny was his ride; he never bothered getting a license. He’s stuck. He’s desperate. Okay . . . he’s got to learn to drive.

But first, he does the unthinkable—he starts walking. He stumbles upon a support group for teens with various addictions. He fakes his way into the meetings, and begins to connect with the other kids, especially an amazing girl. River wants to tell the truth, but he can’t stop lying, and his tangle of deception may unravel before he learns how to handle the most potent drug of all: true love.

Review:

 

So. I received this as an ARC from Rock The Boat, but this does not sway my vote. I thoroughly enjoyed this incredibly short book. Only something like 200 pages? Honestly, I could have read another 200 pages. It was so good.

The basis of this story is that River has just been dumbed by his girlfriend – the completely and utter bitch that is Penny – and he doesn’t know what to do with himself anymore. He walks home – all 10 miles of it – and discovers a sign promising a new chance at life. Second Chances. He goes in there, completely heartbroken, lost, and confused. Only, the circle of people he comes across all have far deeper, far more serious problems than River.

When River is asked what he’s there for, he doesn’t know what to say. He can’t exactly just say it’s because of a girl. So instead he says he’s addicted to weed. I mean…why? WHY WEED, IDIOT?! I’m laughing and cringing so hard by this point, I can barely see the page. It’s unreal how deep he virtually digs his own grave with his lies. It never gets any better, and soon he’s making friends with his group and falls for girls way out of his league.

Penny dumps him for not thinking things through enough (among other reasons) and by golly does he end up thinking about everything afterwards.

Daphne is one of a kind and she grew on me the more I read of her. Whereas Penny was just annoying and so ungrateful. All the characters in this were unbelievable in the sense of brilliance and no one was left out, no one was useless. Natalie, River’s sister, was cute and fabulous. Even his parents were funny and involved in his life, unlike some parents in books.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

There’s humour to tickle your funny bone, heartbreak to make you cry at night, enough angst and seriousness to have you thinking and the romance is cute and adorable at every angle, that you won’t go away empty handed.

I rated this 5 stars, and I do not regret it. It’s been one of the best reads of 2016 (so far. I mean, we’re only in April.)

Guys, this is a winner! 😀

 

-Kat

 

(p.s. I was going to do a video review and then got half way and realised I suck at them so yeah…here we are. )

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

Posted 24 May, 2016 by katheryn13 in Blog Talks, Contemporary, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Reading Challenges, Top Ten Tuesday, YA / 5 Comments

 

 

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
So hey guys! Long time no see on a Tuesday! I bring you today’s installment of 10 books…and this time it’s Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed, whether that be less love, more love, complicated feelings, indifference or that I thought it was great in a genre until I became more well read in that genre, and on and on. You get the idea. I had to really think hard about this one because I either lose love or gain love, I don’t really get many feelings in between when I haven’t read something in a while. I’m usually not thinking anything at all, to be honest. So maybe that’s called indifference or just plain ignoring …I don’t know. Ha ha. So the list below is pretty…well…obvious, if you know me well. It’s not to say I dislike any of these books, but you’ll see my reasons behind them anyway. 

 


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1: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer- I absolutely loved this when I first read it. Maybe not so much the writing, although I certainly didn’t know a lot better than I do now. But the story hooked me. Perhaps I read it too many times, but now, years later having read so many different kinds of books, I can’t get through it again. I tried, multiple times, but I’m always snagging on things that bother me – grammar wise, or just phrases – and I can’t go past. This makes me sad, but the series will always hold a dear place in my heart.

 

2: Sabriel by Garth Nix- Another one I adored when I first read it a good ten or more years ago. It was brilliant, and I devoured the entire series. But now, I’ve tried to reread it, and it’s just not the same. Maybe it’s me, maybe I’m just not into that kind of fantasy or maybe it was the mood I was in at the time. I will never know.

 


3: Darren Shan Saga by Darren Shan (duh! 😛 ) – As with the ones above, I read this series a long time ago, and since then have read all sorts and I guess my style or taste has changed because I’ve tried to reread this series and it’s just not…agreed with me.

 


4: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- Now here’s one that I can safely say I have loved more and more each time I read it. Four times! I’ve read it 4 times and have not yet become bored. 

 


5: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins- The love I have for this book is ever growing and no matter how many times I read it (3 times!), I’ll never get bored.

6: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – Now here’s one that I’ve read at LEAST 5 times, maybe 6? I lost count, honestly. It’s not that I’ve lost love for it, but the more I reread it, the less excited by it I am. I still love it, don’t get me wrong, but I suppose there is only a certain amount of times within a certain time period that you can reread something. 

 


7: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – much like City of Bones, I’ve reread this between 4 and 5 times, but unlike with above, my love has grown. Though I still get irritated by certain things (like Jem, and the Magister, among other things) but my love for Will Herondale supersedes anything that might hinder my enjoyment. 🙂

8: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I loved this originally, but I tried rereading it recently and, maybe I wasn’t in the right mood, but it didn’t…sit well like before. It wasn’t as gripping. I’m hoping it was just mood, because I want to, NEED TO, read the rest of the series. I hate Chaol, but I can ignore that…I hope. 

9: Poison Study series  by Maria V. Snyder – Okay, this is one where I’ve not recently tried to reread, but thanks to someone claiming Valek is actually in his 40’s <_<, It’s put me off completely. I loved this series when it first came out, like 10 years ago or more, but now…I guess it’ll always mean something to me, but it’s ruined the images I had in my head, and ruined the character for me. So yeah.

 


 

10: Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan – Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Rick Riordan’s writing, and storytelling, but I have to admit, since reading Heroes of Olympus, I prefer that 100% more than Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Sorry not sorry.

Tell me, what books have you felt differently about since you first read them? 
-Kat
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