Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Book Review: Girl Online Going Solo

Girl Online Going Solo

Author: Zoe Sugg
Genre:  YA, Coming of Age? 
Published:  Penguin Books Ltd
Pages: 352
Rating: 4.5/5
Read: December 2016

As Penny starts the school year she's ready to face the world - alone. Noah has gone off the radar after ending his world tour early and no one, including Penny, knows where he is. So when she accepts Megan's invitation to visit her performing arts school it seems like an opportunity to make some new friends.

Helping everyone else seems to be the right remedy - Elliot needs her friendship more than ever, and she meets Posey, who she can really help with her stage fright. But is charming Scottish boy Callum the right kind of distraction? And can Penny truly move on when Noah's shadow seems to haunt her round every corner?



Okay, so anyone who knows me well knows that I adore Zoe Sugg, and her YouTube channels.  If I wasn't a follower of her online then I don't think I would have been as crazy interested in her Novels as I have been.  Also, I haven't done a review on the first two novels in the series yet so if you would like one please let me know in the comments.

Zoe's main character Penny Porter is a sixteen year old girl with auburn hair, whose main "flaw" is her anxiety.  One thing that does bother me about this is that its not realistic.  I sort of wish she had a mole on her face or something so there would be something else that is a character flaw, even a bad habit she had to break.  I do however believe that Penny's character would help a lot of the readers who suffer with anxiety as she offers up lots of tips like thinking of yourself as a grounded tree, having a alias name which makes you feel stronger etc.

Zoe portrayed Penny as a very forgiving character, especially since in all three of her books the character Megan is repeatedly not a friend and then forgiven again.  I hoped that we would only see the back of her head by the end of the novel.  
I enjoyed how Zoe's writing made me feel included in the story.  Her use of first person ensured that I could see in my minds eye the words playing out, but also feel like I was in the room with Posey during her performance, it made me feel as though I was a part of something - which is a very rare and special gift to have as a writer.

Overall, the novel was quite cliched, and had many words to fill each page.  But those are it's only main faults.  It is a beautiful read which would have been finished quicker if it hadn't been christmas at the same time.  I adored the story, the plot and all the characters other than Callum and Megan.  Zoe and the team made this novel so interesting that I couldn't put it down unless I had to.

I'm awarding it 4.5 stars, removing the .5 due to the use of many words and the cliche's.

What did you guys think of the novel?  Have you read it read?

Laura xo

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Dream Catchers are not real!

Okay, so everyone and anyone who knows me personally would know that I have slept with a dream catcher above my bed since my first was given to me on my twelfth birthday!  I had a faith in my dream catcher like none I can explain.  Believing it warded away demons, negative thoughts, and especially bad dreams, of which I have had my fair share.

My bad dreams are so vivid and real that I wake up needing to cry, call the person I dreamt about or just lay there thinking of all the horrible things that happened to me.  Today I decided I needed a nap, and I was peaceful as I lay on my bed, cuddled amongst the blankets, at least until I fell asleep.  I had a horrible dream, from which I felt on awakening, that my soul was crushed and my heart was broken into a thousand pieces.  I messaged the person I love most, I looked up a prayer to reduce them and it feels as though you will fade away if these things are not done.

Once these things were completed I felt better, but still quite shaken.  God gave me a realisation during my prayer.  Dream Catchers are not real, at least they look nice, but they're not doing their job, at least not my current one.  Dream Catchers may work for some people, but for me they've become an object which can do more harm than good if a bad dream does manage to leak through.  I need to put my faith in mightier hands.

I choose instead to let God guard my dreams.  May He fill them with all of the things He intends for me.  May He use them so I can know Him more.  I don't want to be downcast and shaken the moment I awaken from a nightmare.  So I can't put my trust and faith in an inanimate object which doesn't work for me.  God knows.  God sees.  And God will watch over you if you ask Him to! <3  Below I'll link the prayer that got me through my latest mind attack, I pray it will bring you peace.

Photo found through searching 'bad dream' on Pinterest,
Thank you very much for reading my post, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.  God Bless and Goodnight! <3

Friday, 12 August 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author: John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
Genre:  Fantasy
Published:  Arthur A. Levine Books
Pages: 328
Rating: 3/5
Read: August 2016

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.



Okay, so as many of you may know the Harry Potter series is my favourite series of all time.  It's a series I find myself fondly going over time and time again.

This 8th installment I felt rather let me down.  I had no need to remind myself that this piece of work was not by J.K. Rowling, but rather her world written in someone else's words.  In someone else's handwriting.  It did give me an in to finding out how the lives of the characters in Harry Potter became after the final battle of Hogwarts, but it didn't let me live and breathe it.
In the previous books, Hogwarts was home.  The boys Albus and Scorpius didn't like Hogwarts during the play and this did not resonate well with me.  I would love to be at Hogwarts, this would be the ultimate dream!  But enough about that.  My main problem was the fact that the story was written as a play.  A play that could have been watched, but should never have been put into print.  Reading it slightly opened my heart more to the Harry Potter world, but my heart and mind absolutely blossomed under J.K. Rowlings care throughout her books.
I found the series was being meddled with when things ought not to be meddled with.  It's dangerous (Hagrid would say!)  I am grateful that I fell in love with the series so long ago, it will always remind me of my childhood.  The book was based more on conflicts between family members, and conflicts and problems which rose during the book.  
The finality of the seventh book gave me all I needed.  Harry's scar hadn't hurt in 19 years, all was well.  The continuation, in my opinion, was unnecessary, and though I read it fast, I often read it to find out more about the characters.
I enjoyed how the plot was organised, but there were a few holes here and there.  I wonder if J.K. Rowling had edited it at all.  I wish she had, we may have wound up with an exceptional piece of art to read.  The Cursed Child was different, and because it was so different it unfortunately, felt like a money spinner rather than something us Potterheads really need.

I enjoyed the book, but it wasn't quite right.  Those people who have read the book already probably know what I'm talking about!  What were your thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

Laura xo

Monday, 18 July 2016

Book Review: Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

Bridge to Haven

Author: Francine Rivers
Genre:  Christian Fiction
Published:  Tyndale House Publisher 2014
Pages: 468
Rating: 5/5
Read: July 2016

She's burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted.  Now all she wants is a way back home.  To those who matter in Hollywood, Lena Scott us the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe.  Few know her real name is Abra.  Even fewer know the price she's paid to finally feel like she's somebody.  To Paster Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven.  Zeke and his son, Joshua--Abra's closest friend--watch her grow into an exotic beauty.  But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding Abra's birth have etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking charmer who lures her to Tinseltown.  Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what's expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes.  She disvoers too late that fame comes at a devastating price.  In this riveting saga of temptation, grace, and unconditional love, the beloved author of Redeeming Love delivers big-canvas storytelling at its very best. 


Goodness me, this was a fantastic read.  I finished it in just over two days, whilst working a full Sunday.  I may have quite possibly neglected everything in life other than this book, and the joy God brought to me through reading it.

Abra is a young naive girl; she, like many young girls wants to be somebody.  Francine Rivers gives all of the characters flaws.  These flaws are the reason behind each character's success within the story, they're relatable and readers love them.  Joshua was my personal favourite character.  I love the way he approached the woman he loves, I love the gentleman manners and kind heart he possesses however he does not know how to let go.  When Abra leaves with Dylan he is so desperate for her return that he tries to seek her, ignoring the Lord telling him to let go.

Abra's character was interesting because she played two parts, Lena Scott and Abra Matthews.  Rivers showcased through the use of Abra's celebrity alter ego, that the easy option is not always the right option.  Sometimes we need to fight through the hard times, we need to turn to God instead of other people and ask Him what He has planned.  I enjoyed this revelation within myself.

If you're a Christian, this book will make your heart flutter.  The situations Abra finds herself will make you angry, scared, annoyed, happy, joyous and more.  The book showcased real joy, and how this incredible joy does not come from things, or even people.  Real joy comes from having a relationship with Christ, the most beautiful relationship of all.

If you're not a Christian and have come across this blog post, I hope this spoke out to you.  Know we have all been in pain, we have all had struggles.  I hope you allow God to help you to overcome yours.

May God Bless You!

Favourite Line:

She gave a soft, broken laugh of joy.  "You love me, Lord.  In spite of my stubborn and rebellious heart."
I knew you before you were born.  I've counted the hairs on your head.  I have written your name on the palms of My hands (p. 430).

Friday, 8 April 2016

Book Review: Love, Rosie (Where Rainbow's End) by Cecelia Ahern

Love, Rosie (Where Rainbow's End)

Author: Cecelia Ahern
Genre:  YA Romance
Published:  Harper 2014
Pages: 558
Rating: 3/5
Read: April 2016

Best friends since forever, Rosie and Alex have shared their hopes, dreams - and firsts. But one awkward moment at eighteen, one missed opportunity, and life sends them hurtling in different directions. Although they stay in touch, misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck seem to be conspiring to keep them apart. Can they gamble everything - even their friendship - on true love?

Okay, so this review might be a smidgen bias... only because Love, Rosie is one of my all time favourite movies and I did see this before I read the book.  And I'm glad that I watched the movie first!

I enjoyed the book, and was able to finish it in a couple of days.  However, I did find it hard to get into as the whole thing consisted of letters, emails and text messages.  Ahern seemed to make these very detailed.
There were many time jumps within the novel, which I personally found to be quite disorientating.  Sometimes I want to be whisked away, in fact all the time, I want to be whisked away to where the author has created their own fictional world.  I didn't have that experience with Love, Rosie.  I actually felt that reading this books felt more like work than it did a hobby or simply my love for reading.

I enjoyed the characters immensely.  But, this is one of those books that is quite cliche'd and actually irritating because really how hard is it for two in love people to just decide to be together.  I couldn't wrap my head around the insanity! Haha!  And it took the main characters until they were fifty years old to finally decide! Ugh!

Life definitely got in the way of the two main characters, Rosie and Alex... I found myself rolling my eyes whenever they would say that it wasn't meant to be.  I mean I've seen the movie... I know what happens.  But I can't imagine readers not knowing what happens...

Ahern seemed to use the mistakes each main character had made in order to prolong the story.  I wished it would have been a shorter novel, because they could have decided to get together within a few pages.  There was a big twist in the book (it's the same as in the movie) the kiss that happens at Rosie's 16th Birthday Party.  And this is what makes them both realise they could have been together from the very beginning!

Overall the novel is about missed opportunities, and that true love will withstand all... and you will find your soulmate, if you have enough guts to go out and chase them!
I still prefer the movie, but what do you think?  Many people rated this novel 5 stars, however I just couldn't justify it honestly.  Sometimes I had to put the book down to give my eyes and head a break from all the drama and emails.  I felt as though I was working at an office whilst reading it.  My favourite thing about it is the friendships I read about, especially between Rosie and Ruby.  I loved the characterisation and setting, and I enjoyed how detailed Cecelia Ahern was throughout the emailed messages.  However, all of this could have been written in a much smaller novel.  Just because Ahern did so well with her first novel, P.S. I love you (review here) doesn't mean the next needs to be prolonged to be just as good.  A shorter novel with a earlier stage in life ending would have pushed all the buttons for me... unfortunately this novel wasn't quite there for me.

Favourite Line:
“Our life is made up of time; our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. We grab a few quick minutes in our busy day to have a coffee break. We rush back to our desks, we watch the clock, we live by appointments. And yet your time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could. In other words, if you could change anything, would you?” (page # unknown)

Let me know your thoughts?  Did you enjoy the book or the movie?  Did you not enjoy either?
Leave me a comment and I'll get back to you! x

Book Review: Love by Lacey Weatherford

Crush Series - Love (#3)

Author: Lacey Weatherford
Genre:  YA Romance
Published:  Smashwords 2014
Pages: 223
Rating: 3/5
Read: March 2016

Living happily ever after has always been part of the plan for Cami and Dylan, but when strange things begin happening around the Wilcock household, Cami simply believes she’s becoming forgetful. 

However, when the incidents begin to escalate, both are left feeling vulnerable. Unable to figure out what’s going on, Dylan delves deeper into the mysterious happenings. But when the truth comes out, he finds himself faced with the biggest decision of his life—how far will he go to protect the one he loves?

The third instalment of the Crush Series, I thought was really well written and kept me gripped to the pages.  However this book broke my heart in many ways.  I felt as though I was going through the torment which was occurring to the young family.

Normally I believe that books should make you feel these feelings, however all I wanted to do was close the Kindle Cover, and crawl into a ball in the corner whilst rocking back and forth.  Cami and Hunter have to go into hiding and are sent to witness protection all while they are expecting their first child.

There is someone from Hunter and Cami's past who is out for blood... someone who had not bothered them since Hunter's drug bust in Cami's old high school.  I won't write exactly who it is because it was a little shock to me... I honestly thought Ripper had gotten out of gaol or something!

The book was much darker than the first two combined.  There were definitely dark characters, and neither protagonist knew how to be fully safe.  They would be continuously looking over their shoulder just to try and see if they were being stalked again.  People who are important to both Cami and Hunter get hurt in this book.  Animals get slaughtered and worst of all - everyone thinks Cami is responsible.
Don't get me wrong, everything in the book makes sense... it's just much darker than I'm personally used to from Lacey Weatherford.

Overall I enjoyed the third book - but it has left me unsure if I want to pursue the fourth book which is Hunter's Best Friend Russ' Story...

How did you find this book? x

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Book Review: Smitten by Lacey Weatherford

Crush Series - Smitten (#2)

Author: Lacey Weatherford
Genre:  YA Romance
Published:  Moonstruck Media 2013
Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5
Read: February 2016

Life is good. Cami is away at her dream college with her dream man by her side. She thinks if she can just get through with meeting Hunter’s family that everything will be perfect. Little does she know that life’s about to turn upside down again when Hunter is called to infiltrate a gang whose specialty is chopping and racing cars. His contact happens to be a beautiful curvy girl who is the gang leader’s sister and he has to pose as her boyfriend. Communication with Cami is basically forbidden to help keep his cover.

Hunter, however, can’t stand being away from the girl he really loves, and he sneaks away one night to meet her across town. He doesn’t know the gang leader, Ripper, has suspicions about him already and he’s following him to see where he goes. He surprises Hunter and Cami, and Hunter quickly introduces her as his foster sister who is having some car trouble. He thinks all is well until he discovers he has one serious problem. Ripper likes Cami and decides to pursue her, drawing her into the same dangerous world he’s supposed to bring down.

Can he keep his cover without having Cami get caught in the crossfire? Will the two of them survive having to watch each other fake it in the arms of another? Or will their hot stolen kisses destroy everything?


I really enjoyed this novel!  The second book to the Crush Series was full of action and several plot twists, from Cami getting caught up again in another undercover adventure, to the very end of the book.  One of the biggest twists was right near the end but Lacey Weatherford kept the reader on their toes throughout the whole thing!  In the end Roberta was the biggest enemy... but you will work that out as you read it... I don't want to give everything away!

For me I'm amazed that Ripper cannot see right away that the foster brother and sister are into each other.  But I think his character was meant to see only what he wanted to see, which in his case was Cami.  How awful!  I loved how Hunter and Cami's relationship had to change but they continued to steal moments away together to pursue each other!

It was a very lovey dovey novel, where Hunter/Dylan felt a huge amount of Love and lust for his girlfriend.  The novel when it is written through the hero's eyes made me think about how our own partner's might view us in such a nice light.

I enjoyed a lot of things from this novel.  I got the romance side of things just by reading about the interactions between Cami and Hunter... I got the adventure through the undercover mission and through the many stolen kisses.
Crazy things happen in this book, however I did feel that the ending closed the series quite well... it could have only been a two book series... but I am still looking forward to reading book three, Love... and I'm not going to lie... I'm already 100 pages in! <3

The line below is my favourite because even though Hunter is supposed to not to anything to jeopardise the operation, he still watches over Cami by whacking the person who has been holding her for a couple of weeks.  It probably helped get out a lot of frustrations due to Hunter not being allowed to hold his girlfriend, and Hunter having to put on a show with Rippers sister.

Favourite Line:
Hunter didn't reply to my remark, instead quickly jumping out of the door and striding towards Ripper.  I sat there, dumbfounded as I watched him swing back and punch Ripper in the face. (Ch. 22)

How did you find this book? x

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