Sunday, 20 December 2015

Review - What A Way To Go by Julia Forster

I very recently finished reading What A Way To Go by Julia Forster and honestly cannot get over how brilliant this book was. I think I felt every emotion whilst reading this book - from sadness to hope to happiness but at all times this book was nothing but consistent in that it was beautifully written from beginning to end and I completely fell in love with it. All I hope is that my review can do it the justice that it deserves. 

What A Way To Go told the unforgettable story of Harper Richardson whose parents got divorced when she was five years old. In 1988, and now aged 12, Harper predominantly lives with her mum, spends every other weekend at her dads and is growing up quickly, learning all there is to know about life, love and much, much more besides. 

Told entirely from the perspective of Harper, it didn’t take me long to connect with her and the story she had to tell. She’s an extremely admirable character who, often acting far older than her years, dealt with an array of issues in such a way that even some people much older than her would struggle to cope with. Let’s just say that even at my age I could and did learn a lot from Harper. 

From the minute I picked this book up I was hooked. I did not want to put it down and wanted to spend every spare moment I had reading it and say that this was a very impressive debut novel. I absolutely adored Julia’s writing style which completely transported me into Harper’s world. What A Way To Go offers an insight into what it’s like for a young person to grow up when things around them are less than perfect. At the same time it demonstrates how it is possible to survive the worst of times and how it’s always best to look on the bright side of life. 

Having loved What A Way To Go so very much, I really hope that this is not the first and last book I will be lucky enough to read by Julia Forster. I loved it and feel sure that many others will too. 

I would like to extend my thanks to the Lovereading Book Review Team for organising for me to receive a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. What A Way To Go is due to be published in January 2016 and I wish it every success. 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Review - Fracture by Ryan Mark

Earlier on this year I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Tremor, the first book in a new YA dystopian series written by Ryan Mark. I really enjoyed Tremor and was therefore delighted to be offered the chance to review the second book in the series, Fracture. Needless to say I had high expectations going into Fracture but I can safely say that it did not disappoint me - it was a real page turner that kept me hooked from beginning to end. 

After the drama and destruction that we saw unfold with the tremors in the first book, a year on life is starting to settle down for William and his friends in the Haven Development. However, the peace and quiet is not destined to last for long as trouble is brewing in the form of Enya who cannot forget past events and is very much seeking revenge. 

Throughout Fracture we are reunited with a number of characters who we first met in Tremor but we also meet several new characters along the way, my favourite of whom was probably Tripp who was accompanied by his loyal companion and four-legged friend, Midnight. I also particularly loved catching up with and getting to know William and Althea again, seeing how the bond between the pair has quite clearly flourished since we were last with them. William, Althea, Tripp and Midnight come together in Fracture to form a truly magnificent and formidable team who you cannot help but want the best for. 

Fracture was very easy to become immersed in, something which is undoubtedly due to Ryan’s fabulous writing style which I fell in love with even more as the book progressed. It was a wonderfully descriptive book that was full of intrigue and kept me wanting to turn the pages and find out more. 

Once again, like its predecessor, Fracture demonstrates the power of friendship and hope. It really goes to show how even in the most dire of circumstances we should never lose our faith or optimism and how we should never forget to look out for and help those around us - whether they are friends we’ve known for years or acquaintances we’ve known for mere minutes. 

I strongly believe that this series of books will appeal to a wide audience and highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for something new to try having enjoyed the Hunger Games or Divergent series of books. I’m now just really looking forward to reading what Ryan writes next - it cannot come soon enough!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Review - A Christmas Tail by Cressida McLaughlin

Everything about A Christmas Tail by Cressida McLaughlin, from the gorgeous cover with plenty of sparkle and glitter to the actual words on the pages, is absolutely superb. I loved every single minute I spent reading this delightful book which I was very grateful to receive from the publishers over at Harper Fiction. A Christmas Tail really was a little ray of sunshine on a cold, dark winter’s day. 

A Christmas Tail is a series of four novellas - Wellies and Westies, Sunshine and Spaniels, Raincoats and Retrievers, Tinsel and Terriers - that all form the Primrose Terrace series and have been brought together in one book. The series follows Cat who, after experiencing a very short career working at a local nursery school, sets up her own dog-walking business. At the same time we see her battling with her feelings for Mark who, it’s clear for anyone to see, has secrets to hide and many troubles - will they live happily ever after together or won’t they?

In addition to Cat and Mark there are many more unforgettable characters who make an appearance throughout and contribute something so special and unique to the series that transforms the story into one with a lot of heart and soul. There is a real depth to the story as we see Cat go above and beyond the call of duty to help and support those living in the community with whatever problems they may have, asking for very little in return. In a world where all too often people are so wrapped up in their own problems that they seem to have little time to help those around them, it was refreshing to read a book where this was not so. 

Prior to starting A Christmas Tail I hadn’t read any of the Primrose Terrace novellas and, despite how good they all were as individual stories, I’m really glad I hadn’t as it was such a pleasure to have been able to pick this book up and read them all in one go. I felt that I enjoyed them all more and gained a lot more from reading them all together than I would have from reading the novellas separately. Furthermore, each novella seemed to lead into the next novella perfectly which allowed the book to flow and made it seem like I was reading one entire novel. 

Reading A Christmas Tail, I laughed, I smiled and I cried (happy tears) and know that the story will stay with me for a long time to come and will certainly become one of those books that I keep on my shelf and re-read every once in a while around the festive period. Upon finishing A Christmas Tail I was so excited to hear that another series was coming from Cressida in 2016 and I now cannot wait to read it!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

WWW Wednesday - 2 December

I thought I’d take part in WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words which I first saw featured over with Hayley at Rather Too Fond of Books. Anyone can take part by answering three questions and sharing a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog. The questions are as follows:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next? 

What I’m currently reading now

Fracture by Ryan Mark

Having only just finished reading my previous read today, I’m not too far along in this book but from what I’ve read I can tell it’s going to be a compelling read. This is the second book in the YA Tremor Cycle and I really enjoyed reading the first book in the series, Tremor, earlier this year. 


The Earth is starting to recover from the onslaught of destruction left behind by the tremors and Terrafall. William’s life is settling and he has finally found a place where he feels he belongs. With the opportunity to flourish, the Haven Development has been able to secure the future of its lands and people, bringing forth a period of peace and stability. 

Yet something sinister quakes beneath the surface, hiding in the shadows, unknown to William and the Haven Development. Not a tremor, but a new enemy who threatens to tear apart everything William and his friends have fought so hard to protect. The peace is about to fracture…

What I’ve recently finished reading

Wendy Darling by Colleen Oakes

I finished this book at the weekend and posted a review of it on my blog but this book, a retelling of Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, was full of magic, suspense and intrigue and kept me turning the pages and hooked until the very end. It completely surpassed all of my expectations! 


Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller’s son. But while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children’s nursery and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning, to Neverland, a intoxicating island of feral freedom.

As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy’s paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter’s grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her—have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.

A Christmas Tail by Cressida McLaughlin

This is the book I only finished today and I haven't yet had a chance to write up a review of it so don't want to give too many of my thoughts away just yet but this was a gorgeous read that definitely put me in the Christmas spirit. I hope to have my review of it up by the weekend so keep your eye on my blog. 


Catherine ‘Cat’ Palmer realizes that bringing an adorable puppy into work is a bad idea, especially when it gets her the sack. Deciding it’s the perfect opportunity to launch her dog-walking business, Cat enlists the help of flatmates Polly and Joe. After all Primrose Terrace, the street where they live, is full of home-alone hounds.

Getting to know the owners and their precious pooches isn’t all plain sailing, but soon Cat is making friends, particularly with sexy Mark and his Collie, Chips. But is he the right man for her?

With her talent for misadventure, Cat’s new life starts to show some cracks, and when one of the street’s loveable schnauzers gets ill, it looks like this Christmas could be turning into a dog’s dinner. But Cat has never given up on anything in her life – and this is one Christmas that’s definitely worth saving…

What I think I'll be reading next

What a Way to Go by Julia Forster 

I think I'm going to be receiving an ARC of What a Way to Go by Julia Forster, courtesy of Lovereading soon, which I'm really excited for and would like to have reviewed by their deadline of the 20th December so this will be my next read. What a Way to Go is due to be published in January 2016 and its synopsis instantly intrigued me. 


1988. 12-year-old Harper Richardson's parents are divorced. Her mum won custody of her, the Mini, and five hundred tins of baked beans. Her dad got a mouldering cottage in a Midlands backwater village and default membership of the Lone Rangers single parents' club. Harper got questionable dress sense, a zest for life, two gerbils, and her Chambers dictionary, and the responsibility of fixing her parents' broken hearts...Set against a backdrop of high hairdos and higher interest rates, pop music and puberty, divorce and death, WHAT A WAY TO GO is a gorgeous, big-hearted debut novel, a warm, wise and witty tale of one girl tackling the business of growing up while those around her try not to fall apart.

It's been great to take part in this meme. I hope you all have a great week and see you next  time!