Saturday 20 April 2019

Book Review | Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II by Robert Matzen

*This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Title: Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II
Author: Robert Matzen
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback (Uncorrected Proof)
Rating (out of 5): 📘📘📘📘

I've been a fan of Audrey Hepburn's work since I was very young. I remember growing up with her movies and loving her style. This book isn't the first I've read about her life, not even the first that's touched on her childhood. However, this book provides such a unique perspective.
Before reading this book, I was unaware of the experiences that she'd had during the war. Which made this book incredibly appealing to me.
The depth that this book goes into was incredible. It provides an interesting and honest look into the early life of one of the worlds most loved stars, and the inclusion of photographs adds a whole extra layer.
I found myself falling into this book, wanting to know more and more. 
I've always had an interest in wartime experiences, which made this book even more compelling to me, and I was interested in the parallels between Audrey and Anne Frank.
This book gave a lot of information and was written in an interesting way, that kept me turning the pages.
I'd say, even if you've read other books about Audrey's life. This one is definitely worth a read as it goes into areas that a lot of other books hadn't touched.

Thursday 15 February 2018

Cover Reveal | Something of Substance by Tia Souders

Hi all, 
Today I am thrilled to be taking part in a cover reveal. As soon as I read the blurb for this book, I knew I wanted to be a part of the release and also read it! Review coming soon.
Today, I'll be sharing with you the beautiful cover as well as some extra goodies and a giveaway. So, let's jump right in.

About the Book

Something of Substance
By: Tia Souders
Releasing March 28th, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Grace Michaels is determined to be thin, even if she dies trying.

Part of the in-crowd at Providence High, she is steps away from being asked out by the most desired guy at school, winning a prom queen nomination, and her parents’ approval. If she can just get skinny enough, be pretty enough, and popular enough.

But Grace is thin on the outside and fat on the inside. No amount of weight-loss ever seems enough. Convinced the melting pounds will solve her problems, every pound lost brings her closer to her goals. But flesh and bone can only hide the weight of her secret for so long before it kills her.

Fans of the emotional and thought-provoking contemporary YA fiction, such as Before I Fall, Tell Me Three Things, and All The Bright Places will fall in love with Souder’s heart-wrenching novel, SOMETHING OF SUBSTANCE.


I count the days until prom like I count calories. Ninety-eight days. Thirteen hundred calories.
I almost puke at the number.
Thirteen hundred. Maybe. I’m not even sure, which scares me more than the weight of the number.
How could I not keep track? And how could I go over? Do I really have no self-control? If I keep this up, I’ll be right back where I started—fat and unpopular.
My forehead beads with sweat and my fingers twitch, as I glance at my alarm clock—only three a.m. I turn on my side, then get up, knowing there’s no falling back asleep now. Not with all the numbers running through my head. Not with the fat I must’ve stored throughout the night resettling on my thighs like it found its way back home.
I tip-toe away, out of bed, afraid someone might hear me, which is unrealistic since my mother’s snore rivals a bass drum and my father sleeps like the dead. As for my sister, Kelly, she couldn’t care less what I do.
When I come to a stop in front of the full-length mirror on my bedroom door, I don’t even take the time to assess my silhouette in the moonlight. Instead, I lift the soft cotton of my t-shirt. My eyes home in on my ribs, barely visible under a layer of fat, then move to the paunch above the drawstring of my pajama bottoms. I poke at the skin there and grimace at the cushion I find. All I see are the two cookies I ate at Cara’s house last night and I wonder how many calories were in each bite. Fifty? Twenty-five? I have no idea and my ignorance scares me. I had fun and felt too safe, too included. I let those feelings cloud my judgment and lull me, blanket me into false security, where I allowed myself to lose control.
As I lower my shirt, I silently berate myself, then drop to the floor and lie on my back. With closed eyes, I cross my arms over my chest and start sit-ups. I count as I go. One. Two. Three. I do this until the memory of the cookie fades and my abdomen aches. When I can do no more, I stand back up and bend forward in a deep lunge. I ensure my knee touches the ground each time, my legs at perfect ninety-degree angles. Ten laps around my room, I tell myself, then I’ll try and go back to sleep.
I once read sleep burns more calories than lying awake, something about your body recalibrating your metabolism. I don’t buy it. Regardless, there’s no way sleep burns more than lunging, so as my thighs begin to burn and catch fire, I allow the sensation to ease the fluttering in my chest and the rise of bile in my throat.
Right lunge. It will be okay. Left lunge. I’ll be okay.
I won’t gain ten pounds from two cookies.
But I could gain one.
When I finish, slightly sweat-damp and out of breath, but feeling a tiny bit better, I get back under the covers of my bed. Though I’m too hot with the thick comforter pulled up tight under my chin, I leave it there because it will make me sweat. And while perspiring won’t burn excess fat, it might help me lose water weight, giving me the tiniest bit of peace to help me relax into the mattress and slip off into a light slumber.

Like What You See?

Enter to Win a Copy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday 1 February 2018

What I Read | January 2018 Wrap Up

Hi all,
January is usually my best month when it comes to reading, that and December. It has a lot to do with starting or ending a new Goodreads reading challenge.
This year, I set my goal at 100 books and I made quite the dent this month.
Here's everything I read in January.


🏘 Library
📖 Netgalley
🔖 Physical Book
📱 Digital
🎧 Audiobook
📚 From my TBR

Books I Read

  1. Wayfayer by Alexandra Bracken 📚🔖
  2. Giant by Mikael 📖
  3. A Dream for Three by Jerome Hanon 📖
  4. Valentine by Vanyda 📖
  5. Songs with our Eyes Closed by Tyler Kent White 📖
  6. The Last Time I'll Write About You by Dawn Lanuza 📖
  7. 147 Things by Jim Chapman 📖📚
  8. Anxiety is Really Strange by Steve Haines  📖
  9. Honeybee by Trista Mateer  📖
  10. An Aid to the Amateur Sailor or Aspiring Land Lubber by Alice Pattullo 🔖
  11. Helium by Rudy Francisco 📖
  12. Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed 📖
  13. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart 📖📚
  14. Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav 📖
  15. The End of Chiraq: A Literary Mixtape by Javon Johnson 📖
  16. See All The Stars by Kit Frick 📖
  17. Experiences in Life by Gillian McCahey 🔖
  18. Clara by Christophe Lemoine  📖
  19. Forgiveness is Really Strange by Marina Cantacuzino 📖
  20. Layover by Amy Andelson 📖
  21. i Tulips by Marion Petrucci 🔖
  22. Tears of an Afghan Warlord by Thomas Campi 📖
  23. Daubigny's Garden by Bruno De Roover 📖
  24. Second Generation by Michel Kichka 📖
  25. The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven 📖
  26. Aina by Alain Dodier 📖
  27. Piecing me Together by Renee Watson 📖
  28. La Casti by Vanna Vinci 📖
  29. More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer 📖
  30. Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major 📖
  31. Herding Cars by Sarah Anderson 📖
  32. Wild Night by Sappho 📖
  33. Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott 🔖📚
  34. Dancing on a Powder Keg by Ilse Weber 📖
  35. Algeria is Beautiful Like America by Olivia Burton 📖
So, I didn't do that well on my TBR, reading just three books from my list of ten. I also didn't get a lot of reading done from mu extensive shelf collection, but I am pleased I managed to get through so many NetGalley books. Amongst them, I found some amazing graphic novels, poetry books, and novels. I'm also thrilled I managed to finished thirty-five books. It's given me a very nice boost for my 2018 reading goal.

Until next time,


Tuesday 23 January 2018

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson | Review


Title: Piecing Me Together

Author: Renee Watson
Format: Digital (provided by NetGalley for an honest review)
Pages: 272


When I saw this book, I have to admit that the cover and title alone didn't immediately grab me and honestly, I probably would have skimmed past it if I hadn't noticed the words John Green wrote about it on the front. I've long been a fan of his work, so I figured if he was recommending it, then it was worth a deeper look.
I'm so glad that it caught my eye because as soon as I read the synopsis that I was clicking on the request button.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Whilst I did have a few issues with the characters and wanting a little more depth and development to them. On the whole, it was a great book.
It deals with a lot of really important issues in a sensitive and very real way. Delving into the emotions of situations and how different people see things in different ways.
While, as I mentioned, I did want a little more character development. Jade was a realistic, likable main character who kept me interested in the book.
I'm so glad I requested this one that almost got away.



Monday 15 January 2018

Layover by Amy Andelson & Emily Meyer | Book Review

Title: Layover

Author: Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer
Format: Digital (Provided by Netgalley)
Pages: 272


This was a very enjoyable book. It was a quick read which I found myself not wanting to put down.
Told in three perspectives, it explores a lot of different things including a complicated family dynamic and mental health issues.
One of the things I liked so much about this book, was the inclusion of Poppy's narrative. As the youngest, she offered a unique perspective on things and I enjoyed how she was the one keeping her two siblings together. Holding their family together.
What you get with this book is a highly enjoyable contemporary, with a decent dose of romance and family drama thrown in.
I enjoyed it a lot.



Sunday 14 January 2018

See All The Stars by Kit Frick | Book Review

32718970Title: See all the Stars
Author: Kit Frick
Format: Digital (Provided by Netgalley)
Pages: 320


Adopting the Then and Now narrative style which I'm a fan of, See all the stars slowly unravels the events of Ellory's Junior year and the effects it's had on her senior year.
As far as the pacing of this novel goes, I thought it was pretty good. Nothing was revealed too soon and it didn't feel like it was dragging on, which can so easily happen when you're switching from past and present narratives.
The characters all felt honest, well fleshed out and interesting. 
The book has just the right amount of mystery.
I found myself getting some Pretty Little Liars vibes when I was reading this. Which isn't a bad thing.
One thing I liked a lot, was that it wasn't completely predictable, which kept me interested.
Overall, I found this book a really good read, one which I'd definitely recommend. 



Saturday 13 January 2018

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart | Book Review

Title: Genuine Fraud

Author: E. Lockhart
Format: Digital (Provided by Netgalley)
Pages: 264


I loved We Were Liars, so when I saw that E.Lockhart had a new book coming out, I was instantly excited by it.
Genuine Fraud did not let me down, even though I had high expectations going in.
What you get with this book is a dark, twisty story that will keep you guessing. With an incredibly interesting and unique narrative style, I found myself unable to set this book down.
The characters were all well thought-out and were brought to life incredibly well.
The pacing was spot on. I never found myself skimming over a chapter wanting to get back to the action, because there was always something going on, without seeming overly heavy on drama.
Truly, a fantastic read and I'd highly recommend it.



Friday 12 January 2018

Sugar Lump by Megan Gaudino | Book Blitz + Giveaway

Sugar Lump by Megan Gaudino

Genre: YA Mystery

Published January, 2018

Published by Evernight Teen

Seventeen-year-old travel blogger CC is stuck on a never-ending road trip with her wanderlust-addicted father. When her dad lands the job of his dreams in Sugar Lump—wedding capital of the world—CC finally finds a place to call home. Complete with two quirky best friends and a quixotic guy to crush on, Sugar Lump is more shades of perfect than she can possibly count.
But when CC accidentally overhears the mayor complaining that she has to “take out” a rogue employee for not fulfilling the terms of his contract, the idyllic town’s facade crumbles. Devastated by the possibility of having to move yet again, CC discovers everyone has been keeping a massive secret from her—including her own father.

About the Author:

Megan Gaudino works in a high school library by day and on her own books by night. She’s made up of a mixture of black clothing, iced coffee, and a desire to go adventuring. Those things sort of come together naturally to form a writer. She lives in Pittsburgh where you can find her reading, writing, and Instagraming.

$20 Amazon GC; open INT
Read Below for an excerpt from the book:

He moved a little closer, his jeans gliding easily over the leather, and put his right arm on the back of the seat too. Despite looking like he rolled out of a dumpster, he didn’t smell like it. He smelled like Irish Spring soap.

“When did you move to town?”He wasn’t looking at me, or anything in particular for that matter, but I could only assume the question was for me.


“Will you be at school Monday?”

“Yeah.” I wasn’t playing his game. If he wanted to have a conversation with me, he was going to have to look in my eyes and address me like a human being.

“Are you a senior?”

“Junior.” I flashed him a fake smile he didn’t see.

Thorn raked his hands through his thick, gray-tipped hair, then clasped them behind his head. That position only lasted for a few seconds then he lurched forward, resting his elbows on his knees. I couldn’t tell if he didn’t want to be near me or if he just couldn’t keep still. I slid away from him either way.

“Is she always like this? Really, Henry. I know you haven’t known her long but she can speak in sentences, right?”

“Clearly CC has good taste and knows not to even bother talking to you.” Luna’s dislike for him made me think my snap judgement was sound. He was probably some kind of hot, crazy-haired womanizer.

The easy balance of our trio had turned into a volatile quartet. I pulled a curl though my fingers to keep my hands busy.

“Thorn, don’t. Be nice.” Henry said it in a genial way, but Thorn seemed to take it as law. He sat back, flung his knee up, rested his left elbow on the back of the seat, and unleashed the full force of his wide-set, honey-brown eyes on me. They were so clear and so deep it made me wonder if he hadn’t been looking at me on purpose to save me from how cosmic they were.

“CC, it’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry if I scared you or made a bad first impression, but as I’m sure you could sense, my situation was dire. My situation is dire.” His tone changed from confident and clipped to languid and loose, but I couldn’t tell if it was sincere.

“I accept your apology.”

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed | Book Review

Title: Love, Hate & Other Filters 

Author: Samira Ahmed
Format: Digital (Provided by Netgalley)
Pages: 288


What can I say? I loved this book from start to finish. Full of interesting characters, I was hooked from the very first line. I read the book basically in one sitting, stopping only to get a cup of coffee. I didn't want to put it down.
I loved the balance in this book between the romance and the more serious plotline, and the way the main character Maya handled situations both at home and at school. This book shows her growing into herself in an uncertain, often scary world and I loved that.
This book felt honest, heartfelt and it was written so well.
There wasn't a single part that I didn't like and I would highly recommend it.



Wednesday 10 January 2018

147 Things by Jim Chapman | Book Review

Title: 147 Things
Author: Jim Chapman
Format: Digital (Provided by Netgalley)
Pages: 288


This book was a bit hit and miss for me. On the whole, I liked it, but there were also a lot of parts which I found dull to read. Which, I suppose it only to be expected when it's a collection of random facts, some will inevitably be more interesting than others.
The parts I found most enjoyable were the stories which related directly to his life. The stories about sleep-talking and how he met his wife, were to me at least, way more interesting than the random stories thrown into the mix.
I found myself wishing, on more than one occasion, that this was more of a memoir than the book that it was.
Having said all this, however, there were enough enjoyable stories contained in this book, to make it an interesting read and if you love random facts and weird observations, then this will definitely appeal to you.



Monday 8 January 2018

A Dream for Three (Emma and Violette #1) by Jerome Hamon | Graphic Novel Review

37534167Title: A Dream for Three (Emma and Violette #1)
Author: Jerome Hamon
Format: Digital (Provided by Netgalley)
Pages: 51


The story inside this graphic novel was immediately compelling to me. The two sisters are written so wonderfully and illustrated well. It's such a short installment but it left me desperately wanting more so this will be a series I'll be continuing.
I really liked the art style as well as the story and I can't wait to read more of this.

Rating - 🕮🕮🕮🕮🕮