where our team of writers love to talk all things books, sharing reviews, features, lists, interviews and more.

Getting lost in a book is escapism at it's finest and it's what everyone who contributes here thrives on.


Monday 27 April 2015

The Jewelry Recipe Book | Nancy Soriano | Reviewed By Erin

Review copy c/o Netgalley

The Jewelry Recipe Book is a great new guide to creating statement jewellery pieces and encourages readers to express themselves through crafting.

One of the great things about this tutorial book is that the projects aren’t just focused on one material or technique. Instead, they are split into sections depending on the materials used including ribbon, studs, paper, shells, leather, shrink plastic, felt and many more.

Each tutorial features a beautiful full-page colour photograph of the finished piece as well as smaller images to accompany the short step-by-step instructions. In addition the book offers lots of handy tips for not only basic techniques but also related topics such as necklace lengths, choosing colours and ways to make the designs suit your body type.

A lot of the projects in The Jewelry Recipe Book are simple but very effective and there is a wide variety of styles to suit different tastes. Although I can see the book appealing to a wide audience I think it would be particularly well suited to creative teens as many of the jewellery projects appear to be targeted at this age group.

Although as someone who has created and shared tutorials not all of the ideas in the book were new to me, I still think there is a nice selection of projects here. My two top picks would have to be the Asymmetrical Rings made from wire & crystal beads and the pretty Woodland Crown made from tiny pinecones.

With projects that are great for beginners this is a neat little jewellery craft book full of fun ideas that will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and leave you feeling inspired. 


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Saturday 25 April 2015

Group Collaboration | Ficitonal Dinner Parties

Welcome to another group post where this month we're talking dinner parties! One of our favourite questions to ask fellow book bloggers is which five characters they would love to invite to a dinner party so we thought it might be fun to ask the same question to our team here at BB! Here's the characters that made the cut....

Don't forget to leave us a comment letting us know who you would choose!

fictional dinner party guest list

All all of my guests are all inherently nerdy and feel really passionate about something - whether that's books, video games, or magical creatures! After some coercing (and maybe some ice-breakers) I reckon they would all come out of their introverted shells and make fantastic company at the dinner table. I feel like Luna especially would bring out the best of everyone in the group - though Cath may have to contain her inner fangirl speaking to actual Luna Lovegood.

fictional dinner party guest list

  • Edward (Teddy) Todd - after reading this book I would have loved to see things from Teddy’s point of view, I would ask him lots of questions
  • Brian Jackson - he would be able to provide entertainment
  • Luna Lovegood - one of my favourite characters from Harry Potter, I’d love to learn more about her
  • Finnick Odair - because he would be able to add a bit of cheekiness and fun to the evening
  • Haymitch Abernathy - he’s quite a character and would add an extra element to the evening

fictional dinner party guest list

fictional dinner party guest list

I would think you would never run into danger of conversation running out with this group of dinner guests. All five are incredibly intelligent and quick witted, so I feel that the flow of dinner talk would not only be intellectually stimulating but would get pretty philosophical very quickly - especially with Albus and Mr Penumbra in the room. I do worry about the atmosphere turning heated though, with great minds comes even greater and polarising opinions. We may end up having to wrestle Elphaba and Jo off Sherlock at the end of the night...and not in a good way.

fictional dinner party guest list

dinner party 58

  • Elizabeth Woodville - I'd like to ask her if she knew her sons (the princes in the tower) were dead or not. And if she knew they weren't, did she know what happened to them?
  • Anne Boleyn - she is one of my favourite English queens. I'd like to know if all the wrong that has been done to her was deserved or not.
  • Katherine Of Aragon - was she, or was she not married to Arthur, Prince of Wales? She was an amazing woman and stood her ground, no matter what. And it'd be fun to sit with her and Anne Boleyn.
  • Joan of Arc - she would get along great with Katherine of Aragon I think! What inspires me in Joan is her faith and how it got her to do things that are unimaginable. I'm not religious, but it's still incredible what she pulled off.
  • Lord Voldemort - why has he become such a dark, evil wizard? What has led him to become so cruel? I know he's the odd one out here, but still.

All base images sourced from

Who would you invite to your dinner party?

Our May group post is all about audiobooks! If you'd like more information about getting involved email us at or tweet @blog_bookshelf

Friday 24 April 2015

The Reaper's Daughter | KM Randall | Reviewed by Anjali

"You may have​ heard of her before ... They call her the Grim Reaper."

Blake is a pretty normal teenage girl - she's got an amazing boyfriend, a funny best friend called Shelby, she is on the cheer-leading squad, and is an adrenaline junky. Things start to change when she turns 18 however, starting with catching the eye of a strange boy in the bleachers, and then with the death of her boyfriend. Blake is suddenly thrown into a world she didn't know, didn't believed, existed. Not only can she see dead people, but they want her to help them cross over. The strange boy in the bleaches turns out to be Rishi, a young death deity, who tries to explain to her that her mother, whom she thought was dead, is alive and wants to meet with her. He fails to mention, however, that her mother is actually pretty well known, at least in some circles; she's the Grim Reaper.

As Blake tries to come to terms with the fact that her mother is the Grim Reaper, and her best friend, who dabbles in the occult, is all rather accepting of this news, and that she herself is a death deity, she must travel with Rishi and Shelby to the Underworld, a place where her mother has been banished from, to retrieve the scythe, which is the source of Grim's powers and ability to be able to reap people. To do so they have to sneak into the place where Hades has it, and get back out alive.

I enjoyed this book. It was a fun (if not deadly) take on the story of the Grim Reaper, and was full of travel and adventure. The characters were great, and I especially liked Shelby, and how she is connected to the story so much more than some of the other books these days. The best friend had a key role in the story, rather than being someone who was sort of put to one side as new people and characters and drama take over the protagonist's life. I did enjoy the story line, and the explanations given for the things, like how there are different death deity for different parts of the world, and how some of the supernatural things work. I find that sometimes in supernatural/paranormal stories little details are overlooked and you just sort of have to accept them for what they are, and not think about the flaws too much. But I think that Randall did a great job in creating a whole world, rather than just bits and pieces sort of story.

While there were parts that were predictable, and moments I got really frustrated with Blake (something that's quite normal for me and main characters), I did really enjoy the story. I think I would have liked to have read more about Grim and have her in more scenes, but it's the beginning of a series, so I suspect she'll be more in the follow book/s. The Reaper's Daughter comes out on May 9th, so if this sounds like your type of book, make sure you grab a copy.

Thank you to KM Randall, via Erin Latimer, for providing me with a copy of this book for an honest review. 
Image from Good Reads

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Wednesday 22 April 2015

Pretty Girl-13 | Liz Coley | Reviewed by Christina

Pretty Girl 13 is about Angie, a thirteen-year-old girl who gets kidnapped whilst out camping with her friends. Fast forward three years and she is outside of her house with no memory of what has happened whilst she was missing. Angie begins to uncover the darkest corners of her mind with help from a psychologist in order to find out what happened, who is responsible and why she can't remember.

I have very mixed feelings about this book. Whilst I was reading it, I enjoyed it and I was gripped by the plot line so it kept me turning each page. However, some parts made me question the psychology behind the ideas. I'm a psychology student but haven't studied the aspect that is relevant to this story (saying what it is would be a spoiler) so I'm not sure how accurate the therapy and psychological theories were, which annoyed me a bit and is definitely something I'll be looking into. Whilst reading the story, I found it was intriguing, if not slightly predictable. The main storyline and previously mentioned spoiler is the most obvious to me, as I had predicted it practically from the start, but that didn't take away my enjoyment when reading this book.

Angie was an interesting main character and I liked the little glimpses of her personality that we saw. The book was mainly written in third-person, which I found a little jarring, but was necessary for the storyline to be communicated to the reader effectively. I couldn't pick this book up then put it down, as it took a while to get back into the writing style - this book calls for longer reading periods so you have as little stop time as possible. I would definitely recommend reading this book, particularly if you are a fan of psychology and mental health. The twists and turns towards the end were what tipped this book into the four-star realm for me. If you're looking for a psychologically disturbing thriller, this one may be for you.
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Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Rachel aka Purple Owl Reviews

Monday 20 April 2015

Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Rachel aka Purple Owl Reviews

Welcome to another edition of Being A Book Blogger where today I'm talking to Rachel the author of Purple Owl Reviews! Here's what she had to say about her most memorable review, an exciting dinner party and her blog's unique owl theme...

purple owl reviews

BB: For any of our readers who haven't yet discovered Purple Owl Reviews could you tell us a little bit more about the girl behind the blog?

I’m not sure there’s much to tell. I’m a native Michigander and have only ever left to go to Iowa for college (Midwestern, through and through). My hobbies are pretty basic: reading, quilting, and baking. I’m currently a cubicle troll, looking for a library job. I am right-handed but am getting closer and closer to being ambidextrous.

BB: How did you get into book reviewing? And what has been the biggest challenge so far?

I didn’t intend to do a lot of book blogging. Some friends and I were doing a reading competition and I thought it would be fun to start up a book blog to keep my friends updated on what I was reading (this predates Purple Owl Reviews).

Then, last April, I stumbled across the Dewey 24-Hour Readathon. It was such an immersive, social experience that I found myself actually wanting to do more blogging and interacting further with other readers. Quite an achievement for the book blogging community given how anti-social I can be.

As for challenges, I’d say the biggest one is figuring out a comfortable pace for reading/reviewing to keep it in balance with everything else going on in my life.

BB: Which of your reviews are you most proud of? Which was the hardest to write?

I don’t know that it’s the one I’m most proud of, but it is my memorable for me: Grim Hearts by JD Fitzgerald. I remember this one the most because it was one of the first ARC’s I ever received. The publisher told me, before I finished reading, that they had to postpone the publication date because no one liked the ending. I loved the ending and had no problems saying so in my review. The book still hasn’t been published, last I checked.

As for the most difficult to write, there are several contenders. Most of them have the keyword “meh” associated with them. Any book that leaves me feeling “meh” is the most difficult to review because I have nothing to say. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t noteworthy, either.

BB: You have a unique rating system of 'hoot's on Purple Owl Reviews. How did you come up with this idea and the owl theme?
I’ve always liked owls, especially when I was a night owl (I’ve since established myself as a morning person). When I was in Iowa a barred owl flew within arms reach of me on my walk home. Owls, in mythology, can see when others cannot, so what better symbol of a reviewer?

The Hoots as a rating system stems from two phrases: “I don’t give a hoot” and “what a hoot!” I could have used this as the basis of a thumbs-up/thumbs-down rating system, but I prefer the flexibility of my current system.


BB: Which 3 books or series are at the top of your TBR list right now?

I really need to get caught up on the Ex-Heroes series by Peter Clines. I only have one more book to read before I’m caught up, but so many other books get in the way. I also want to read the book my husband got me, The Complete Book of Swords. And, if my reading ever slows down, I’d love to re-read The Silmarillion, my favorite Tolkien book.

BB: Just for fun, if you could invite just five fictional characters to a dinner party who would you choose and why?

- Barry/Zzzap from Ex-Heroes, because every party needs someone who has a limitless supply of pop culture references and bad jokes.
- Kyrtian from Elvenborn, because I want to know what happens in that world after the books left off.
- Mike Ross from Pennies for the Ferryman so he and Barry could discuss the differences in ghosts from their respective worlds.
- Archivist Fable from The Realmsic Conquest: The Hero of Legend, because I’m hoping to get some lessons from her on archival magic.
- Natani from TwoKinds (webcomic), because I want to know more about Keidran culture.

BB: Finally, we would love some recommendations, which book blogs are your favourites to read?

Without a doubt, Estella’s Revenge and Bibliognome

Where To Find Rachel Online: Blog | Twitter

Images c/o Rachel, interview by Erin

I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Rachel for taking part in this interview. If you are a booktuber or book blogger and would like to be featured in a similar post we'd love to hear from you - just email us at for information!

We're very pleased to announce that Rachel is also the newest member of our review team here at BB! Look out for her first post next month :)
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Saturday 18 April 2015

Bookish Links #3

bookish links

It's time for another Bookish Links roundup! Here's what the team have been reading and loving lately...

1/ Books In A Box! - in a recent post Jamie shared a brilliant comparison between two of the most popular bookish subscription boxes; Owl Crate & Uppercase.

2/ All About The Heroines - this article we found over on Mashable has an interesting insight into the favourite heroines of a whole bunch of authors. Who would be your top pick?

3/ A Bookish Survey - the results of Book Riot's reading habit survey are a fascinating read! Click through to find out more about their reader's book buying habits, which formats were most popular and how many books were read.

4/ Six Degrees Of YA - ever wondered just how many of your favourite YA Reads are connected? This fun graphic shows how many popular adaptations are connected by the amazing actors they share.

5/ #HufflepuffPride! - we couldn't resist including this cute post from Buzzfeed which shares 19 reasons everyone should want to be a Hufflepuff.

6/ Upcycled Book Displays - if you're looking for a little unusual bookshelf inspiration, look no further! This roundup showcases book storage created using everything from skateboards to ladders, lego and even a piano!

7/ The Young Elites Is Set To Hit The Big Screen! - Marie Lu's 2014 YA novel is on the path to becoming a film, adapted by the company who brought The Maze Runner to life. We can't wait to see it!

Don't forget to leave us your favourite bookish links in the comments! 
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Guest Post | The Rise & Lure Of Bookstagram

Friday 17 April 2015

Guest Post | The Rise & Lure Of Bookstagram

Bookstagram Hashtag

Introducing Bookstagram 

Simply put, bookstagram is a bookish community on Instagram, books + Instagram. In more elaborate terms, bookstagram encompasses photos related to books that are shared on Instagram. This extends to the people who dedicate their time and effort to photographing their books and posting them on Instagram under the hashtag #bookstagram.

You already knew what bookstagram was? Well then, have you ever considered its popularity? It has quietly gained traction over the past two years and yet when you google bookstagram, you'll find a mere 20 pages worth of results, most of which are mirror sites that display photos originally posted on Instagram. Very little has actually been written about it.

If you hitherto had no idea what bookstagram was, launch your Instagram app (or download it if you haven't even done that) and search the hashtag. You'll find an ever growing number of photos with at least 790,000 and counting.

Sharing the Love for Books 

As a community of book lovers, users engage on Instagram through the main medium of photos to share book-related posts. By focusing on books instead of one's personal life, bookstagrammers take part in 'communal photographic exchanges' (Digital photography, van Dijck 2008, p. 63) that reinforce their place in the community. Book-related photos then are the basic currency that allows them access to the bookstagram community.

Although, all one needs to join the bookstagram community is access to Instagram. It isn't even necessary to post photos. I'm certain lurkers gain from bookstagram as much as content producers because it is an overflowing source of book recs.

Visual Appeal 

What makes bookstagram so attractive surely applies to Instagram as a whole: it is a visual social network. Who doesn't love eye candy? The collision of books and Instagram has got to be a bibliophile's dream, except it is reality.

Visual Primacy 

Photos are important media that can be much more pervasive than text. Viewers need to spend less time looking at photos than reading text and yet photos tend to be much more memorable (The Effects of Verbal Versus Photographic Self-Presentation on Impression Formation in Facebook, Van der Heide et al 2012, p. 101). This I think is why Instagram has attracted more than 300 million users.

Scrolling through Instagram means looking at individual photos posted by other users. Instead of looking through albums as on Facebook with countless photos, Instagram makes it easy to engage for a few seconds and then move on.

Book Covers Trump Book Titles 

Given how much more memorable images are than text, bookstagram is the perfect community for bibliophiles. With the proliferation of exquisite book cover designs, there's a vast treasure trove of books one can feature. Plus, research on visual primacy would suggest that seeing a book on Instagram is much more likely to compel someone to pick up a book than seeing the same (textual) title on Twitter.

Personally, I've found that my reading choices are influenced a whole lot more via Instagram than Twitter. Sure, I've read plenty of books upon book recs I received on Twitter. However, that was because these recs came from people whose opinions I value. On Instagram, I can be much more passive and yet find myself buying a book a month later that a random bookstagrammer raved about.

Reading Lifestyle

Another aspect of bookstagram that I've observed is the presentation of reading lifestyles. By sharing photos of books one is reading as well as book hauls, bookstagrammers are sharing a part of their lives with the world.

There's a wide spectrum of bookstagrammers, some of whom won't even show a glimpse of their faces, while others invite followers into other aspects of their lives. Yet, no matter how private or open bookstagrammers are, there is no denying that books are an integral part of their lives.
The more bookstagrammers emerge, the more attention is raised about the normalcy of reading. For book nerds who have been labeled as shy or anti-social, the bookstagram community demonstrates that book nerds actually evade labels.

Some book nerds are introverts and some are extroverts; some are into sports and others are into art; some are quiet and others are loud. In spite of their personalities, reading is a lifestyle and bookstagram offers up acceptance, particularly for bibliophiles who don't have friends or family who read.

Getting Involved with Tags 

Bookstagram is a very vibrant community. Posting and commenting on photos is the first step to get involved. The next step is taking part in tags. When someone tags you in a photo, you're supposed to take a photo related to the primary hashtag of the photo. Tags revolve around a particular theme like #mappedbooks, #seaofbooks or my personal favourite, #essentialsforbiblio.

The great thing about hashtags is that they offer a source of inspiration when bookstagrammers run out of ideas and tags also link up the community. The web of tags connects everyone and tells people who else is part of the bookstagram community. I've discovered some fellow bookstagrammers simply because we were tagged in the same photos.

Joining In 

Technical prerequisites 

As I mentioned before, all one needs to join bookstagram is access to Instagram. Set up an account you want to use to follow others and maybe even post your own photos.
Be sure to look out for book-related hashtags such as some of the following:
  • #amreading
  • #bibliophile
  • #bookhaul
  • #booklover
  • #booknerdigans
  • #bookshelf
  • #bookstagram
  • #currentlyreading
  • #instabook
  • #yalit
There are many more book-related hashtags but these ten are a pretty good starting point. Others include book titles and authors of books you like, so you can find bookstagrammers with similar reading tastes. Check out whom bookstagrammers are following as well to discover interesting accounts.

Warm Welcome 

Above all, the bookstagram community is very friendly and welcoming. That to me is the biggest draw. As with any community, there are cliques but even the more popular bookstagrammers gladly reach out to newcomers. They actively answer questions in their comments as well.

Many are also very supportive towards newcomers by posting shout-outs, encouraging their own followers to also follow the accounts they have just discovered.

Summing Up 

There you have it; a quick overview of what bookstagram is all about. The visual culture and openness of the community have come a long way in contributing to the rise of bookstagram and has done well in luring bibliophiles into the wondrous world of social book photography.

This post was written by guest blogger Joséphine. Find her online at: Word Revel | Instagram: @wordrevel | Twitter: @wordrevel
The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks | E. Lockhart | Reviewed by Ria

Wednesday 15 April 2015

The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks | E. Lockhart | Reviewed by Ria

*image via GoodReads

One year ago Frankie Landau-Banks was on one of the lowest rigs of the social ladder at Alabaster Prep School. This year Frankie’s all grown up (and filled out), is now a Sophmore poised for big things when she graduates and has gotten herself a enviably handsome senior boyfriend - who also just happens to be Matthew Livingston, one of the most popular students on campus. On paper Frankie has a pretty sweet life, but standing in the sidelines and playing the 'good wife' isn't cutting it anymore.

When Matthew starts sneaking around and ditching her in favour of his friends to meet in the middle of the night, she follows him. Turns out Matthew is part of an all-male secret society who go around drinking beers in abandoned parts of the school or golf courses at midnight and generally being a bit stuck up about it. This in itself is not was pisses Frankie off - her own father was an alumni of the same society, she knows what's up. What's annoying is that she's not allowed to be a part of it. No matter how intelligent she is the boys will always think of her as the sweet little Sophmore girl on Matthew's arm.

Oh how wrong they are! Frankie may be a girl, but she's smarter than all of them put together...and she's gonna prove it to them once and for all.

What's my verdict?

There are two main things I took away from this book. 1) Lockhart is an absolute master at capturing the gated world of the upper class American teenager 2) I think we all have a bit Frankie Landau-Banks within all of us - whether that’s a good or bad thing you can read the book to decide.

In essence Frankie is a little bit different to your stock-YA protragonist. At the beginning of the book she starts of with the life that most YA women crave - a great school education, good group of friends, a hot-a-f*ck boyfriend, and gets the best of both worlds in terms of social standing (she's a member of the 'geekier' societies at school but still gets to hang with Matthew and his senior friends). She's equal parts Kat Stratford, Veronica Sawyer and Rory Gilmore with a bit of the wicked philosophical feel of Magro from Paper Towns.

Whilst reading this it actually hit me how unusual it is to see a YA protagonist who isn't governed by her lack or self esteem. If anything Frankie knows EXACTLY who she is and her self worth. One of the popular comments on Frankie's character is that she'll probably grow up to be a politician one day and I whole-heatedly agree. Frankie is no First Lady, she'll settle for no less than being President thanks.

She's also not a perfect role model though. She's scheme-y, can be irrational and gets easily heated in an argument. It's arguable that she over analyses every situation she's in - probably part of her debate team brain getting the best of her. She's also 15 year old hormonal teenager and a girl in love with a boy who rather infuriatingly doesn't see her as anything more than his pretty yet witty girlfriend. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but as someone who has lived her life with a chip on her should I can see why this is irritating.

In the end it's not Matthew she's actually in love with, it's the idea of power and the privilege that comes from being him and his all-male secret society. Frankie's a total feminist and there's a running theme how gender inequality manifests itself within the school setting as girls grow up.

Despite its more serious hidden themes, the book still manages to be a heap of fun. As I said Lockhart really captures Frankie's boarding school world so well and even the gender politics are given a light-hearted spin through Frankie's well-laid plans.

Reading Soundtrack:
Bad Reputation: Joan Jett; Beautiful Dirty Rich: Lady Gaga; I'm a b*tch: Alanis Morisette; No Sleep Tonight: The Faders; Black Sheep: Gin Wigmore

For lovers of...The Riot Club, The Heathers, and Gilmore Girls.

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We All Looked Up | Tommy Wallach | Reviewed by Erin

Monday 13 April 2015

We All Looked Up | Tommy Wallach | Reviewed by Erin

we all looked up

Review copy c/o Netgalley, image via Goodreads 

We All Looked Up is a contemporary novel which follows a group of four teens after they find out that an asteroid named Ardor is set to potentially collide with the Earth in just a few weeks time. The book follows Peter, Eliza, Anita & Andy in alternating chapters as they each decide what they want to do with the time they have left. Although not already a group of friends the four characters are linked in various ways and as the story progresses their lives become intertwined by Ardor.

Although a lot of the story is focused on the connections between the characters rather than the actual end-of-the-world element (and there are some quite far-fetched scenarios!) the book also explores some very interesting questions through the character’s actions, making the reader question what they would do if faced with the same situation.

My personal favourite parts of the novel weren’t the interactions between the characters, or their weird and wonderful adventures, but rather the little snippets sharing hints at what was happening to the wider world around them. One scene that particularly stood out to me took place at the supermarket, where the author described what this everyday task would be like with the threat of the asteroid looming, with rationing and strict rules enforced.

Whilst I found that the characters weren’t really for me and I would have enjoyed learning more about how the asteroid threat was changing the world around them, I do think that We All Looked Up is a thought-provoking read with an interesting concept that many teens will love.
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Want To Write For Blogger's Bookshelf? We're Recruiting!

Saturday 11 April 2015

Want To Write For Blogger's Bookshelf? We're Recruiting!

Love books? Want to write about them and share your thoughts with our readers? If so, we need your help!

We're happy to announce that we have recently recruited two awesome new team BB members (look out for their first posts soon!) but we still have another position available and would love to hear from any of our readers who would like to take on an active role on the blog!

If you're interested in joining our team here's a little more information on the role we currently have available...

1 x Features Writer
We would love to share more opinion pieces and non-review articles here at BB so the perfect person for this role would be creative and think outside the box.

- this role would involve writing opinion pieces or features on any book-related topics (this could be anything from debate topics to book-related places to visit, events, lists etc)
- we would be looking for you to write 1 post per fortnight (this is negotiable)
- as part of the team we would love for you to be involved in contributing to our group collaborations each month

If you think you would be well-suited to this role please feel free to email us your details (including your name & blog link if you have one) - - we don't bite, promise! :)

Don't forget, we're also always looking for guest bloggers! If you don't feel like you want to join the team but would like to submit a guest post or review we would love to hear from you. In particular we are looking to expand our non-review content so if you have a creative article, or list you'd love to share with our readers please do get in touch!
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Friday 10 April 2015

Death Wish | Megan Tayte | Reviewed by Anjali

Book review: Death Wish, by Megan Tayte...

"Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense. 

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to the isolated cove of Twycombe, Devon, with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need. 

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death. 
To believe the impossible." - description on Good Reads. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a great combination of chick-flick-let's-fall-in-love, of supernatural/ paranormal, of suspense and mystery, and a definite sense of 'what till happen next'. Scarlett as a character is very likeable. She is young still, but so much has happened to her that she has a strong character and she is has this great sense of determination about her. But it's her friend Cara, whom I really love. She is everything a side-kick, best friend should be: funny, loyal, a little bit crazy, and everything that Scarlett needs. Cara's brother, Luke, who teaches Scarlett to surf, is just the sweetest and from the beginning I wanted he and Scarlett to be together. On the other hand, there's Jude, the mysterious guy who shows up at random times, just when Scarlett needs him most. Dun dun DUN! (that was me singing dramatic music, guys)

In terms of story line, I really liked the plot and the flow of the story. Tayte has a brilliant writing style and it was easy to follow, and easy to read 'just one more chapter'. One thing I did find a little annoying was the paranormal/supernatural element didn't really kick in until well into the last 3rd of the book. There were snippets of strange things happening throughout, of course, but it didn't really come to light as to what was happening until right at the end. I think I would have liked to have read more about it a little early on, but I know that there are several more books to come, so no biggy. 

If you're after a pull-you-in sort of supernatural story with great characters and a fun storyline, give Death Wish a read. You can get it as an eBook from Amazon. You can also get the second in this series, Forget Me Not, on Amazon. I know I'll be reading the next one. 

Thank you, Megan Tayte, for providing me with a copy of Death Wish for an honest review. 
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Wednesday 8 April 2015

Wither | Lauren DeStefano | Reviewed by Christina

Wither is the first book in The Chemical Garden Series and is my new obsession. Although Wither came out in 2011, it has only just found it's way onto my bookshelf and I'm so annoyed I didn't pick it up sooner. Lucy reviewed this book here on Blogger's Bookshelf back in 2013 but I'm so in love that I couldn't help but re-review it. 

Rhine is a sixteen-year-old girl living in a world where a brutal virus kills girls at age twenty, and boys at age twenty-five. Geneticists are experimenting with possible cures to restore the human population and the need to reproduce is a vital importance to every young child. The book begins with Rhine being kidnapped and sold to a man who will make her his wife and potentially have her bear his children, alongside two other girls - one as young as thirteen. The story develops around these three girls, their husband Linden and their lives within his luxurious mansion. 

This story was one that had me loving the plot but hating the events at the same time. DeStefano's writing had me imagining a world in which this would happen and to see the way the girls were expected to behave made me feel sick. Whilst it was a dystopian world I would hate to live in, I was fascinated to read about it and I wanted to know more. The girls were stuck between living a life of luxury, getting to know the man they thought they hated and reminding themselves how they got to be where they are now - the confusion in Rhine's mind was so realistic, as a reader I really got to understand how she was feeling the way she was, through DeStefano's amazing writing style. Whilst I sped through this book, I wouldn't particularly say that it was fast-paced. It isn't an action-packed book with twists and turns, but it still had me hooked as though it was. The focus is mainly on the girls and their relationships with one another, their husband and the other characters within the mansion - and it was fascinating to read about. I would definitely recommend that you start this series - Wither has definitely been added to my favourite books of all time.
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Guest Post | The Hard World For The Readers

Monday 6 April 2015

Guest Post | The Hard World For The Readers

The other day, I was on my way home from school in the subway, with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak in my hands, the subway was full, and I was trying to balance in it, with one hand hanging in the handrail, my heavy backpack and the book in my other hand. I think that you can guess what happened. The subway stopped in the next station and I almost fell, almost taking like 4 people with me.

This is what I learned: full subways and books, are not a great combination.

Another annoying thing about reading in public spaces is all the noise that surround you. You just want to be focused on your reading sometimes but it's kind of impossible.

But let's not talk just about the bad things that happen to us, the readers, in these situations.

Reading leads you to a lot of awesome and fantastic worlds to escape of all of the stress that surround you, that's why we love to read, am I right?

This post was written by guest blogger Seba (@normalmistakes_) from the blog Paperback Worlds.
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Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Sophie aka The Ombre Diaries

Sunday 5 April 2015

Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Sophie aka The Ombre Diaries

It's time for another edition of Being A Book Blogger! Today we're welcoming Sophie, the girl behind brilliant new book blog The Ombre Diaries. Here's what she had to say about her favourite series, 2015 reading goal and being a witch for the day!

blog header

BB: Hi Sophie! For any of our readers who haven't yet discovered your blog The Ombré Diaries could you tell us a little bit more about the girl behind the blog?

Hello! My name is Sophie (as you probably know), I'm 12 years old and I am the founder of The Ombré Diaries book blog. I absolutely love historical fiction, contemporary and a little romance.

BB: You're fairly new to the book blogging world, what made you decide to start a blog and what has been the biggest challenge so far?

Well it was actually my best friend Erika from The Red Bookmark who told me I should start my own blog since I love to read. I'm glad I did, as I've realised how much I love blogging about books! There hasn't been very many 'big challenges', the biggest I can think of is probably choosing my blog name, and making sure you guys always have a new post to read!

BB: Do you have any reading goals for 2015?

I'm actually doing the Goodreads 2015 reading challenge. I've chosen to try and read 100 books. I know it's a lot, but I just seem to eat my way through books, and before you know it, you're out of things to read!

BB: You recently posted about the books you wish were made into movies. What are your favourite existing adaptations?

I'm going to say The Hunger Games. To be honest, I much preferred the books, I watched the film before them, but I was disappointed at how much they missed out from the books to put in the films. I understand that they can't put everything in the films otherwise they would be too long. I'm just saying I preferred the books.


BB: We're always looking for new books to read, which 3 series would you recommend everyone should pick up?

The Hunger Games (definitely), the Secrets and Spies series by Jo MacAuley and the Firelight series by Sophie Jordan.

BB: Just for fun, if you could switch lives with any fictional character for just one day who would you choose and why?

Ooh this is a good one! A hard question - but a good one. Probably Hermione Granger. She's super clever, keen for school... but best of all, she gets to do magic and fly on broomsticks!

BB: Finally, we would love some recommendations, which book blogs are your favourites to read?

There are quite a few that I like to read, my 3 favourite are:

What She Reads
The Red Bookmark
It Was Lovely Reading You

I have so many more, but I'm pretty sure It would take too long to name them all. A Blogger's Bookshelf is on my list too!

Where To Find Sophie Online:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Images c/o Sophie

I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Sophie for taking part in this interview.
If you are a booktuber or book blogger and would like to be featured in a similar post we'd love to hear from you - just email us at for information!
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Saturday 4 April 2015

Bookish Links #2

Happy Saturday everyone! It's time to round up some more of our favourite bookish articles, here's what we've been enjoying lately...

1/ Just How Much Work Goes Into A Review? - in a recent post Jenny broke down the steps to creating each of her book reviews, highlighting just how much time and effort goes into what we do as book bloggers.

2/ Wearable Books - if you're looking to make a bookish themed gift for a friend check out this tutorial from Live Craft Love for a step-by-step on how to turn miniature books into a necklace!

3/ Happily Ever After? - where do you stand on epilogues? Rachel's interesting opinion piece talks us through the different reactions we can have to epilogues and how they can change your thoughts on the whole story.

4/ One For The 90's Kids... - Clarissa Darling is back in a new novel! The character we all know and love thanks to the popular Nickelodeon series is now in her 20's and tackling a whole host of young adult problems.

5/ World Book Night Is Back! - it's World Book Night this month, don't forget to visit the website to find out more about this year's books and the events happening where you live!

6/ Ready Player One Is Coming To The Big Screen! - here at BB we're huge fan's of ernest Cline's geeky science ficition novel and can't wait to see it come to life on screen! The latest news is that iconic director Steven Spielberg is going to be directing the film.

7/ The One Where... - to finish off this roundup we've found a fun post from Brittany which includes book suggestions based on Friends episode titles as well as YA recommendations for each of the beloved Friends characters. If you're a fan of both YA reads and Friends marathons you'll enjoy this one!

Don't forget to leave us your favourite bookish links in the comments!
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Book Tour | Rumors | A.C. Arthur

Friday 3 April 2015

Book Tour | Rumors | A.C. Arthur

*Review copies c/o Sparkpoint Studio & Netgalley

rumors by a c arthur

"Her death tore them apart. Will solving her murder bring them back together?

Best friends Landy, Tenile, Nicole, Nathan, Justin, and Kareem were the golden children of Tanner University. Their paths were set: doctors, lawyers, business moguls, they were going to light the world on fire. Then, two weeks before graduation, Landy was murdered—and Nathan was blamed. Though he was never charged, vicious rumors drove him from town, and the circle of friends broke.

Ten years later, Nathan is back in Tanner, determined to clear his name. He’s asking questions no one wants answered, and soon rumors threaten to divide the community once more. Everyone in this small town is keeping big secrets—especially Landy’s old friends—and someone is willing to kill to keep their darkest deeds buried...
- description & image via Goodreads


Today we're taking part in a book tour for this late 2014 contemporary murder mystery release. The book is set out in your classic whodunnit format as we meet the group of ex-best friends torn apart by Landy's murder ten years earlier. As you make your way through the novel both searching for clues and following the complicated relationships between the characters play a key part. If you enjoy a mystery novel and don't mind committing to a two-part series to find out the truth Rumors may be one for you to pick up!

Note: we feel it is also important to mention that although we heard about Rumors through a YA press release the book does contain adult themes and would be better suited to a slightly older audience.
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Noise | Brett Garcia Rose | Reviewed by Ria

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Noise | Brett Garcia Rose | Reviewed by Ria

*image via GoodReads

Where is Lily?

After the disappearance and apparent suicide of his adopted sister Lily, Leon has been searching for answers. Guided by a handwritten postcard, his quest for answers takes him to New York City and cold-hard truths that send him into a spiral of hatred and on the trail of a sadistic Russian crime lord.

Noise is a dark and dirty look at the grimy criminal underbelly of New York city and one man's quest for justice and asks dark questions into how far we'd go for the ones we love.

So what's my verdict?

I'm not gonna lie this book was a pretty tough read. Not because it was particularly difficult, but the themes presented are particularly sensitive topics and the Garcia really delves into some horrible criminal situations too.

Our protagonist (or antagonist depending on your stance), Leon, is such a compelling character. A total anti-hero, deeply affected by his upbringing in Nigeria, he was taught from a very early on to fend for himself. He's violent, angry and vengeful, but he's also passionate, with strong sense of justice despite his questionable ways of going about it. He also cares deeply about what happened to Lily to the point where he feels personally responsible - she is very much part of his heart and soul.

This is less of a plot driven novel (the plot itself is one I've seen in crime novels and TV shows all the time) and much more of a character piece for Leon. Very few other characters actually make an impact on the reader as Leon is our eyes into this world. His world view is dark but, as I said, he's an anti-hero so we see the world just as cynically too.
What is actually interesting is presence (or lack thereof) of Leon's disability. As the book's blurb hints, his deafness is hardly a hindrance in the story but does at times fuels his rage in a really interesting way.

The end of the novel is a fittingly tragic conclusion to Leon's story and there's almost a sad, resignation as he accepts his fate. All in all, Noise is certainly worth reading, if anything, for Leon's journey as a character and the great character building Garcia has laid out in the book.

Reading soundtrack:
Take Me To Church: Hozier; Elastic Heart: Sia; Street Spirit: Radiohead; Glory & Gore: Lorde; Unfinished Symphony: Massive Attack; You Learn To Live Without: Idina Menzel; Beside You: Marianas Trench

For lovers of...Luther, Law & Order: SVU, and CSI: New York.

*review copy c/o Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.
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