THE VALENTINES: HAPPY GIRL LUCKY – Holly Smale

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RELEASED: 07/02/2019
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
GENRE: Teen, Young Adult, Contemporary

Introducing The Valentines. Fame – It Runs in the Family!

Sisters Hope, Faith and Mercy have everything: fame, success, money and beauty. But what Hope wants most of all is love, and it doesn’t matter how far she has to go to find it.

Except real-life isn’t like the movies. Even if you’re a Valentine . . .

Happy Girl Lucky is the first hilarious, heart-warming book in The Valentines series. From the internationally bestselling author of Geek Girl, Holly Smale.

Growing up, my favourite books as a teenager were your typical teen books such as those from Cathy Hopkins and Jacqueline Wilson, so when Holly Smale burst onto the scene with the Geek Girl series I was delighted! Her writing was something new, combining the things that I love about young adult contemporary fiction with the best part of teen fiction thus making books that were perfect for both markets. The Valentines is no different; whilst it tackles genuine issues that affect teens, it’s not romanticised or overly fluffy yet it gives you all the feels and enjoyment that you’d get from a nice light teen read.

I was very quickly drawn into Hope’s world in Happy Girl Lucky and found her to be an adorable main character. She’s not perfect; she’s ditzy and has her head in the clouds, but that’s what makes her such an interesting narrator! The story moved at a good pace which is what kept me reading on and on, and it touches upon some heavier topics that many teenagers deal with relating to dysfunctional families and first love. That said, Hope’s love interest was…interesting!

Going into this book, I did expect to like it, but I didn’t expect it to necessarily be a five star read, but I was so pleasantly surprised and couldn’t put it down! It’s the perfect read for younger teens right the way through to adults, so I’d definitely recommend it.


Thank you to HarperCollins via NetGalley for the eBook of this title.
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WWW Wednesday: 6th February 2019

This week I’ve not really got around to reading much; it’s been rather hectic and I’ve just felt too tired to read! That said, I’ve started two books that, from what little I’ve read, are really good, and I’ve spent a lot of time reading tweets…that counts right?!

i owe you one
What are you currently reading? 

I’m currently reading I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella, which, no surprises, is off to a good start! I love Sophie’s writing style so it’s nice to be back reading one of her books. I’ve also started The Valentines: Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale, which, again, is very good so far!

the star-spun web
What did you recently finish reading?

I finished The Star-Spun Web last week, and I REALLY enjoyed it! It’s such a good middle grade mystery and adventure, and I’m very excited for my blog tour post and review to go live next week!


What do you think you’ll read next?

I think I shall continue working my way through my NetGalley list, and get on with reading The Colour of Shadows by Phyllida Shrimpton!

kayleigh

My Year of NetGalley 2018

This year has been the first year that I’ve been properly using NetGalley, and what a year it’s been! I’ve been approved for 86 titles, and have provided feedback for …%. I did go a bit crazy at the beginning; I’d never really used NetGalley before December 2017 and so at first I was requesting titles that, whilst I did have an interest in reading, I wasn’t overly desperate to read. As the year’s gone on, I’ve really learnt how to use NetGalley properly to get the best out of my experience both for myself and for the publishers who so kindly approve my requests. I do still have quite a few books from earlier in the year that are outstanding, and are on my NetGalley TBR, but I am really proud of how many books I’ve been able to read and review!

I’m particularly proud this year of some of my achievements; I’ve been auto-approved by two imprints which I am now on the blogger list for, I’ve had invites to blogger events from another publisher (I think I’m sort of on their mailing list; I get requests every so often!) and I’ve been involved in a blog tour through NetGalley! Through submitting my review of Sunflowers in February on NetGalley, I also gained my highest number of views on a single post on here!

Reviews Published80%25 Book Reviews

Do you use NetGalley? How has your year been?

kayleigh

2018 Titles That I Still Need To Read!

So 2018 has seen some AMAZING books come out, and there are many books that either I own or want to own that came out this year that I just haven’t got round to reading yet! Here’s a selection that come to mind as being high up my TBR:

the trouble with perfectThe Trouble With Perfect – Helena Duggan

a darkness of dragonsA Darkness of Dragons – S.A.Patrick

img_3179Peril in Paris – Katherine Woodfine

 

 

 

img_3178The Last Chance Hotel – Nicki Thornton

img_0742-1Boy Underwater – Adam Baron

img_0746-1Ella on the Outside – Cath Howe

 

 

 

img_0686-1The Uncommoners: The Frozen Telescope – Jennifer Bell

img_0692The Surface Breaks – Louise O’Neill

img_5144-1The Peculiars – Kieran Larwood

 

 

 

img_3284Skycircus – Peter Bunzl

img_3339Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers – Anna James

i stop somewhereI Stop Somewhere – And the Ocean Was Our Sky

 

 

 

And The Ocean Was Our Sky – Patrick Ness

40337922_313615062521646_4768739448783359826_nTheatrical – Maggie Harcourt

37753642_268992100547899_3607785125779079168_nEditing Emma – Chloe Seager

Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?

 

 

Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes – Holly Bourne

Kingdom of Ash: INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER (Throne of Glass)Kingdom of Ash – Sarah J Maas

notes on a nervous planetNotes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haig

 

 

 

Have you read any of these – would you recommend them?

kayleigh

 

 

 

 

OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS – Justin A. Reynolds

opposite of always4.5/5

Opposite of Always is a little gem of a YA contemporary that is so brilliantly written and unique, with a host of characters who aren’t perfect which makes them so real. I found this book impossible to put down, highly relatable and full of purpose. It’s about living and how things can’t always be how we want them to be and how every action can have an impact.

This may be slightly controversial to say, but I do tend to struggle to get into books that I’m unable to relate to – such as teen books set in America or with a lot of diverse characters that I may not have much in common with. So, Opposite of Always, a book set in the black community in a small town in America, is not the sort of book I would expect to find myself particularly enjoying, but I loved it! The way that Justin has created his opposite of alwayscharacters makes them come to life, and, whilst you know which community they represent, it doesn’t define the whole book and felt just like reading any other brilliantly written YA book that’s sole purpose isn’t to be diverse. That in itself felt quite refreshing. Next, add in that I’m not a massive fan of time travel, and we have here a book that in essence I should not have liked!

I’m so glad that I gave this book a chance and requested it, and I strongly urge fans of authors such as Sara Barnard and Phyllida Shrimpton to get their hands on a copy as soon as they can! It’s a wonderful book!


Thank you to MyKindaBook via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

FIERCE FRAGILE HEARTS – Sara Barnard

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So…as I write this review it’s 2018. I’ve already decided what one of the top books of 2019 is, and it’s this one – the sequel to the equally wonderful Beautiful Broken Things.

I was so desperate for a copy of this book, and I’m so glad that I was approved on NetGalley to read it early! The only reservation I had was that it was so long ago that I read Beautiful Broken Things that I thought I wouldn’t remember anything about it and would struggle to get into the new title, but how wrong I was! It’s a testament to how brilliant Sara’s writing and characterisation is that I was thrown straight back into the world with some of the most wonderful characters!

img_3606A key factor that makes Sara’s books so popular and loved is that her characters are real. They’re perfectly flawed, relatable and diverse. For example, as we’ve previously seen in her books, mental health is a key theme that she gets right – in Fierce Fragile Hearts, whether or not you have experience of anxiety, depression or bipolar, there’re parts of Suze (our main character) that are highly relatable to all readers on some level. However, the thing that I love is that those heavy topics that in so many books you have to put them down, such as abuse and mental health, don’t define the book and overshadow the story. I guess what I’m very badly trying to say is that a subject that could be incredibly triggering is presented in a way that doesn’t detract from your enjoyment of the book.

I could witter on about how much I love this book for ages, and as the day has gone on the intensity of that feeling has grown, along with my feelings for Matt *swoon*. Yet again, a five-star read that I urge everyone to get their hands on!


Thank you to MyKindaBook via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

THE BANDIT QUEEN – Natalia and Lauren O’Hara

the bandit queen4.5/5

I went into this book a bit blind; I was literally going on the fact that it had a beautiful cover and is published by Puffin, and then I realised that it was from the pair behind Hortense and the Shadow, which explains why it’s so beautiful!

The Bandit Queen is a poetic story with morals intertwined that are subtle and open to interpretation. This makes for a really engaging story since you can get a lot out of it with each reread. I personally loved the message about needing structure and support in order to grow up, and how you can have everything that you think you want, but ultimately it’s family and friends who make the difference. That said, you could just see this as a fun children’s rhyming story, full of chaos and mischief!


Thank you very much to Puffin via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

WWW Wednesday: 7th November 2018

I’m so mad that I forgot to do this last week – it was the last day of Blogtober too! Anyway, I’ve read a fair bit this week considering that I have a load of exams and studying to do for my job, and I bought two BEAUTIFUL picture books!

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What are you currently reading? 

I’m really in the mood for middle grade mysteries at the minute since my last couple of reads, so I am about to start Peril in Paris! It’s long overdue!

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What did you recently finish reading?

I think I’ve found my new favourite Murder Most Unladylike book – Death in the Spotlight! It was just such an intricate and gripping murder mystery!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Next up I think I shall continue making my way through my NetGalley TBR…I haven’t decided which one yet!

That Never-Ending NetGalley TBR – October 2018

Back in April, I posted my first NetGalley list of books that I had been approved for but had not yet got around to reading, and I figured that 6 months is a long time and I have had the pleasure of reading some amazing books since then, and have been approved for more that unfortunately I just haven’t got round to yet! However, I really want to give a shoutout to these books and the publishers, and I promise that I will get around to reviewing them soon!

Reading slumps suck, and the past few months have been insane so I’ve kept up to date with all the new releases…I just haven’t read them yet!

So, without futher ado, here is my current TBR on NetGalley (pictures to come!):

A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

  • 29 January 2019
  • Bloomsbury

Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers – Anna James

  • 18th September 2018
  • Harper Collins

Peril in Paris – Katherine Woodfine

  • 9th August 2018
  • Egmont

The Cradle of All Worlds – Jeremy Lachlan

  • 9th August 2018
  • Egmont

Songs About a Girl – Chris Russell

  • 28th July 2016
  • Hachette

When The Curtain Falls – Carrie Hope Fletcher

  • 12th July 2018
  • Sphere

Have you read any of these and recommend them? Luckily, my TBR isn’t as big as it was before, so I should get to all of these soon!

A STAGE FULL OF SHAKESPEARE STORIES – Angela McAllister

5/5

A beautiful introduction to some of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.

I don’t like Shakespeare.

I chose to download A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories to see if it would make a good gift for my friend who has a degree specialising in Shakespeare, and had very little expectation of enjoying it much myself.

I can’t put it down.

This book is simply stunning with just enough illustrations to add depth to the text without making it too focused on the illustrations, and the stories have been adapted in a way that really explains the original plays (which made no sense to me when I read them) and makes them enjoyable to read! I’ve loved every story in the book, and found that it was a lovely book to dip in and out of.

I can’t recommend A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories highly enough as an introduction to Shakespeare or as a gift for someone who loves Shakespeare already! It’s definitely one to be loved by all who read it, whether you’re young or old.


Thank you to Quarto via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!