Monday, 17 October 2016

Review: Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan


Author: Tijan
Series: -
Publisher: Allusion Graphics
Release date: 22nd August 2016
Pages: 321

Synopsis (Goodreads)

He told me to 'settle, girl.' 
He asked if 'something was wrong with me?' 
He said I was an ‘easy target.’ 
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks. 
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha. 

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother. 

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming. 

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

I had seen this book around the blogosphere and I was quite intrigued so when I hit a reading slump I downloaded it and devoured it in a short amount of time.

Our MC is Summer Stoltz, a college freshman who has been in love with her step-brother Kevin for years. When she goes off to the same college she thought things would be different between them but when she catches him in an awkward position she soon realises that her feelings are most certainly not reciprocated.

Summer was a great character, she was a little lost navigating college life initially and her pining after Kevin was a little frustrating but she was a kind, quirky character that I came to adore.

Summer literally runs in to Caden Banks, the anti-stepbrother and smexy as hell! Caden was an all-round nice guy, kind, caring and really sweet! I loved the way he looked out for and protected Summer, I also love the way they had a friendship first, they complimented each other well. His back-story was interesting and dealt with well.

Kevin on the other hand wasn’t a likeable character, his hot and cold frustrated me as did his attitude, and I couldn’t see the appeal at all.

There is a fair amount of drama In this book which I usually can’t stand at all but I didn’t mind this; we have unresolved family problems, a love that shouldn’t be and also one that should – there is heartache and pain but there are also sweet friendships, a blooming romance that was slow to build and a resolution that was believable and not instantaneous.

This was my first Tijan book and it won’t be my last, it was well written with an interesting storyline, I was initially hesitant because a step-brother possible romance isn’t for me but with a great cast of characters and an even pace with enough drama to keep things entertaining, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Review:The Dead Boyfriend by R.L Stine (Fear Street relaunch)

The Dead Boyfriend by R.L. StineThe Dead Boyfriend

Author: R.L Stine
Series: Fear Street relaunch
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Release date: 27th September 2016
Pages: 288

Synopsis (Goodreads)

R.L. Stine's Fear Street series is back, and in The Dead Boyfriend, he tells the frightening tale of teenage love - and how it can go terribly, murderously wrong. 

Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Colin, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends who warn her that Colin may be a phony and that she is taking the whole thing too seriously. Caitlin is smitten. She doesn't care if she loses her friends. All she wants is Colin. When Caitlin approaches Colin with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Colin is dead - and she has killed him. 

But if Colin is dead, how is he staring at her across a crowded party? 

Terrifying from the first page to the last, The Dead Boyfriend is a heart-racing young adult novel from the master of teen screams himself.

Review: 2 out of 5 stars (me) & 4 out of 5 stars (my son)

My son has recently started to read the R.L. Stine Goosebumps series which he has thoroughly enjoyed so we decided to do a read-a-long of this title but unfortunately it failed to wow and impress me, my son on the other hand thought that it was pretty awesome (his words).

A lot of the book is told in the synopsis so I won’t recap, we do get a lot of freaky moments, the typical mean girl, an unusual mystery and a freaky weird romance gone wrong!

The MC Caitlyn is crazy weird, she is unusual and impulsive as is gothic girl Deena Fear! The only normal characters seem to be Caitlyn’s best friends.

My son asked many questions as we were reading along and I was constantly shaking my head wondering WTF but thankfully Stine had answered the questions by the end of the book.
We also get a small twist but it was quite obvious and didn’t have us going oh wow as we have in the Goosebumps books. The ending though I felt was a  huge let down and definitely not what we expected but we really should know better after having read so many of Stine’s books.

I think this is a great book for a teen, my adult self couldn’t really get into it but my son enjoyed it immensely.

*ARC Provided by St Martin’s Press via NetGalley

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Review: Letting Go by Kate L. Mary

Letting GoLetting Go

Author: Kate L Mary
Series: -
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Release date: 8th November 2016
Pages: 304

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Some people like a little chaos. Not Sarah. Growing up in a house of humiliating filth means she has three crystal-clear goals:

1. Get through college, however she can.
2. Keep her three-year-old sister away from her mom's hoarding.
3. Never, never let disorder take over her life.

Of course, studying, working, and taking care of a toddler mean Sarah has no time for fun. Until she meets Zac.

He’s sweet, he’s funny, they have compatible plans for the zombie apocalypse. But Sarah can’t let him in. It’s not just his three drooly, sloppy dogs—with him in her life, the pristine future she’s working for would be shredded before you can say 
Down, boy!

Sometimes falling in love is really all about letting go

Review: 2 ½ out of 5 stars

Thank you to Lyrical Shine via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Letting Go by Kate L. Mary.

I was initially intrigued by the premise of this book, it interested me but unfortunately the MC and the easy resolution at the end let it down for me.

Sarah’s mother has a problem, she is a hoarder and it made for a difficult childhood for Sarah and now her younger sister, it’s caused her embarrassment and pain so she left home at an early age and now lives with her best friend, trying to get through college, work part-time and be the primary caregiver for her sister.

When Sarah meets Zac, things start to look up but there is a problem; Zac’s life isn’t organised and she is extremely put off by his three dogs.

I found Sarah to be a judgmental, critical character; for someone her age she never really let loose and had any fun and when she did it was always a whingy negative; I couldn’t really take to her personality. Zac on the other hand was a fun, easy going character and was pretty wonderful in the way he was with Sarah; he had the patience of a saint. I suppose they complimented each other well but I wasn’t a fan of her negativity.

I couldn’t fault the authors writing style and she touched on some difficult situations, it was engaging and dealt with realistically. The pace was slow for me up until the ending where the resolution was sorted with little complication, I felt that it was too ‘easy’.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read but my feelings towards the MC let it down for me.

Kate L. MaryAbout the author: Award-winning author of WHEN WE WERE HUMAN and the Amazon best-selling BROKEN WORLD series, Kate L. Mary writes everything from post-apocalyptic tales of the undead to new adult contemporary romance. A mother of four and an Air Force wife, her days are divided between keeping her household in order and creating new worlds for readers to get lost in.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Review: Shadow of a Girl by Shannon Greenland

Shadow of a GirlShadow of a Girl

Author: Shannon Greenland
Series: -
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release date: 19th September 2016
Pages: 238

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Use cash and keep moving.

After I ran away from home, these were the two rules that dictated my life. Scoring a job as a roadie fit perfectly for what I needed. Traveling, cash, and life out of the spotlight. But when my path collides with West, the lead singer of Bus Stop, I can’t seem to stay out of his spotlight—especially since we’ll be touring together for an entire year.

West is determined to break down my walls. He won’t give up. And little by little they come crumbling. But if he knew what lurked behind them, he wouldn’t be so eager to get rid of them.

The more time we spend together, the more the lines of our friendship become blurred. He makes me dream of things I never thought possible. But while our friendship has been evolving into a romance, my secrets have been closing in. And just when I’ve decided to reveal my past to West, I’m confronted by it. The cost of my freedom could ruin the life of the guy I love...

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s going to be difficult to review this book without revealing too much.

Our MC, Eve has lived an interesting, yet abusive life and as the book progresses we find out just how hard things have been on her. With the help of her best friend, Eve runs away from her home and gets a job as a roadie for a band known as Bus Stop.

West is the lead singer of Bus Stop and an absolute delight of a character! I adored his patience, his kindness and the strength he showed with Eve; things weren’t always easy but the way he treated her melted my heart.

With books like this comes secrets and deceit, not always intentional but needed and along with it there is drama; I felt so sorry for Eve, my heart broke for her but her determination and courage was wonderful but we also saw her fear and her distress; as the book progresses you really see a positive change in her character, she went from strength to strength and this was thanks to her best friend and West.

We see slow development of romance between Eve and West, their lives couldn’t be more different but they interacted well and had a sweet friendship and eventual relationship that was filled with many mushy moments, you couldn’t help but hope for a happy ever after for them both.

Shannon Greenland’s writing is crisp and engaging, I was hooked on this wonderful book from the very first page, I wanted to know what was going on with Eve, who the mysterious person was that she was hiding from and why and of course what the outcome would be.

This book tugs at the heart strings, there is mention of abuse but there is also a lot of hope, it was an empowering read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank you to Entangled Teen via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Shadow of a Girl.

Shannon GreenlandAbout the author

Shannon Greenland is the award winning author of several novels including the teen spy series, THE SPECIALISTS, and the YA romance, THE SUMMER MY LIFE BEGAN. Her latest teen novel, SHADOW OF A GIRL, is due out 9.19.16. She also writes thrillers under S. E. Green and lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her at

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Review: Olivia Decoded (Olivia Twisted #2) by Vivi Barnes

Olivia Decoded (Olivia Twisted, #2)Author: Vivi Barnes
Series: Olivia Twisted
Publisher / Source: Entangled Teen
Release date: 6th September 2016
Pages: 320

Synopsis (Goodreads)

This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.

This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.

I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

I was quite intrigued by the Olivia Decoded blurb so I was eager to read it, unknowing that it was the second book in this series (oops). I never at any time felt confused or lost as enough background information was given to fill in the blanks.

After the events that took place in the first book, Olivia is now living with her grandfather, attending a private school and living a life of privilege; she has left her old foster family life behind – including Jack ‘Z’ but when she starts to receive gifts that include expensive jewellery, she starts to question the sender and whether Jack and her past has returned.

Jack is a criminal hacker along with a foster family of teens that are trying to keep a low profile and start afresh but he isn’t finding the change easy, especially without Liv but he easily slots back into her life despite their differences to help her find her mysterious stalker, especially when clues start to point his way.

The characters were great, Olivia is a determined and resilient young woman whose computer skills and her desire to find a place where she fits in make her seem vulnerable, her inner monologue was quite sad. Jack was a conflicted character, he has suffered loss and can’t see a life away from hacking despite his potential; I enjoyed their interactions and the way that they complimented one another.

This book was light on the hacking and romance and focused on the mystery surrounding the cryptic gifts, roses and events surrounding Liv; to be honest I was completely clueless about who was behind it all and in the end I was wrong in my guesses.

The book is very well written, I was glued to the pages right from the beginning; I was engrossed in the story-line and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the characters. I will definitely be reading more books by Viv Barnes.

Thank you to Entangled Teen via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Olivia Decoded.

Vivi BarnesAbout the author: Vivi Barnes was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. Now living in the magic and sunshine of Orlando, Florida, she divides her time writing, working, goofing off with her husband and three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes.

Find her on her blogs: and

Find her on twitter:

Find her on facebook:

Check out for the Olivia Twisted official trailer!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Review: Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton

Diplomatic ImmunityDiplomatic Immunity

Author: Brodi Ashton
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release date: 6th September 2016
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Aspiring reporter Piper Baird decides to write a scathing exposé on the overprivileged students at an elite Washington, DC, school, only for her life to change when she begins to fall for the story's main subject, in this new realistic contemporary romance from Brodi Ashton, the author of the Everneath trilogy.

Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.

Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the country’s most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—and winning will ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.

Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the intense competition in the journalism program—and the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school. And Piper knows access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.

The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s chance to get the full scoop. But as they spend time together, Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it could destroy the boy she just might love?

Review: 3 out of 5 stars

I’m still unsure how I completely feel about this book, I fell for the interesting synopsis but there were aspects in it that I didn’t fully connect with at all.

Our MC is Piper Baird who has earned a scholarship to the exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington with an opportunity to compete for the Bennington journalism prize which will ensure her receiving an offer to one of the best schools in the country. She is willing to do anything it takes to win, including writing a piece exposing her wealthy classmates.

Piper is a character that needs to grow on you, she is a little too self-absorbed yet focused, passionate and driven but also blind to the fact that she’d be hurting others, especially Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish ambassador and the boy at the centre of the scandals.

Rafael was an interesting character, I quite liked him but I couldn’t work out his motivations when it came to Piper. He was smart, intelligent and funny and I enjoyed getting to know him.

One of the main things that I didn’t like in this book were the stereotypes, rich kids versus the poor and of course the diplomatic immunity in which the privileged were exempt from certain laws. You could tell from the onset the dramas that would arise from Pipers investigations, I honestly couldn’t see how things would work out in her favour.

There is a small amount of romance, it certainly wasn’t at the forefront of the story and for me it wasn’t believable, it felt forced and they weren’t a couple I completely loved together.

This book was well written and kept me interested but I didn’t completely love it, that may be because of the MC or me wanting more from the storyline overall.

Thank you to Balzer and Bray via Edelweiss for the opportunity to read Diplomatic Immunity.