Category: Contemporary


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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I’m doing the…Dewey’s 24hr Readathon April 2016

Posted 22 April, 2016 by katheryn13 in Blog Talks, Contemporary, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Readathons, Reading Challenges, Updates, YA / 2 Comments

Are you?
I’ve not done a readathon in ages (and I can’t exactly say the TBRtakedown was a success), but now, in the middle of all the writing I’m SUPPOSED to be doing before I go away, I’ve decided I’m going to take one day out to READ. Not that I haven’t been reading all this time, because I have been. Even if it’s just a couple hours here and there, I manage it. But I’ve been so disconnected with books lately, what with me writing my own one. 
So here’s my choices to read (because lord knows I’m not going to manage more than one book):
Passenger
Blood of Olympus.
I’m going to try one of these, and of course if within the first hour or so I decide I’m not feeling it (though I’ve tried the second one and I love the story, but maybe it’s clashing too much with my own story), then I can change.
Let me know if you’re taking part and what you’ll be reading. 
-Kat

 

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Event Round Up: Geek Fest @ Waterstones: Holly Smale (talk and signing)

Posted 7 April, 2016 by katheryn13 in Blog Talks, Book Promo, Book Tour, Contemporary, Interviews, Middle Grade, Updates, YA / 0 Comments

Hey guys! So on Wednesday 6th April I attended a book event of Holly Smale’s (author of the wonderful Geek Girl series) to promote book 5 “Head Over Heels” (released 7th April – TODAY! GO GET IT!)

Head Over Heels (Geek Girl #5) by Holly Smale

Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books

Summary from Goodreads: “My name is Harriet Manners, and I will always be a geek.”
The fifth book in the bestselling, award-winning GEEK GIRL series.

Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is.

She knows duck-billed platypuses don’t have stomachs.
She knows that fourteen squirrels were once detained as spies.
She knows only one flag in the world features a building.

And for once, Harriet knows exactly how her life should go. She’s got it ALL planned out. So when love is in the air, Harriet is determined to Make Things Happen!
If only everyone else would stick to the script…

Has GEEK GIRL overstepped the mark, and is following the rules going to break hearts all over again?

It was so much fun and I learnt a lot, which is always a plus. I was front row and centre. Felt a bit self conscious but it was okay. Holly was asked a number of good questions, including one from yours truly. Most of which I’m going to talk about with you now.
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When asked if she would show her early work to family or friends, Holly said she used to show it to her mum but soon lost confidence with her after she was told “it’s good but it won’t sell.”
There were a few writing questions asked, which I always like to hear. She explained how she writes one first draft and then completely rewrites it for second draft. Then there’s small amounts of editing done after that.
Holly said that when she goes to bed, she’ll close her eyes, and let her imagination weave a story and the characters develop in her head, though not always the names. She uses baby books for those. For some names she uses friends names, too. I thought that was interesting because sometimes my ideas come when I’m trying to sleep, but as I told her, I mostly forget to write them down. Haha.
Her mum inspired her to start writing at a young age and she was read poetry as a kid. 
Good news: Holly has a short story coming out in the summer, which isn’t actually that short anymore. She said about how it was supposed to be like the Christmas story – length wise – but has turned out to be a lot longer. She’s also writDSC_0089ing another short story to go at the back of that, which will be from a different characters POV, showing their view of Harriet. She won’t say who, though. Sigh.
When asked if there would be a film on her books, she said there may be some news in the pipeline (on film/tv adaptation for Geek Girl.) Fingers crossed! I’m not sure how I feel about that, but it’d certainly be interesting to see how they’d portray it. 
All of the trips involved in the book were places she’s been to: Russia she went to on a school trip. She lived in Japan for 3 years to teach, that’s why there’s a lot of detail in second book. Book 3 was set in New York, and she went there as a research trip. Book 4 was Morocco, which she went back to for research. Book 5 is set in India and she went there for 3 months. Holly explained how Book 5 was originally going to be set in Cambodia but she found it didn’t feel right so she changed it.
When it comes to the romance, Holly states that Nick, the so-called hero of the series, hasn’t been present since book 3. She wants to make the relationship between Harriet and Nick healthy and logical. Harriet’s life doesn’t end when she doesn’t have love in it.
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I braved my anxiety and asked whether any of the characters were based off people she knows or if they just popped into her head…here’s her answer. (Paraphrased. Obviously.):
Some of the characters are based off real people like Richard (based off her dad), her dad would give a list of jokes to add to the books. Harriet is loosely based on her. She based Toby off Edward Cullen, stating that if you take away the hotness, the behaviour isn’t good. Rin is based off a friend she made in Japan. And in general she picks up seeds of different people and combines them.

There was much more that Holly said, and was asked, but I felt like these were the more relevant points to mention. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I’ll have another one up tomorrow in which I talk about seeing Alexandra Bracken, Melinda Salisbury and Eliza Wass.
Oh and here’s a mug shot of me with Holly:

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That’s all from me.
-Kat
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