Tag Archives: young adult

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. Review 

Read no further if you haven’t read the first book Outlander as there will be spoilers from the first novel, but none from Dragonfly in Amber

I really enjoyed Outlander where I was swept into the world of Claire and Jamie Fraser. Claire travels back through time to the 1700s where she meets a young highlander Jamie Fraser who she falls in love with. These are hefty books but beautifully written with amazing language, wonderfully put together passages of language. 

We return to this world in Dragonfly in Amber but twenty years on, Claire is back in the 1960s with a grown up daughter, returning to Scotland to reveal several truths that will blow the worlds of those near to her wide open. But fear not avid readers, we return to Claire’s memories to find out what happened next in her love saga with Jamie.


This sequel has all the passion of the first book in the series but tinged with sadness, knowing that Claire is back in present day means that the reader is second guessing how this could have happened and what may happen next. Some of the old friends and foes return and in places it’s a case of life and death! It’s another bulky novel but it doesn’t feel that way because of how engrossed you become in the storyline and needing to know what happens next. 


From a historical fiction lover’s viewpoint, I was really enamoured with understanding the rising of ’44 and the historical perspective not only of Bonnie Prince Charlie who I had heard of but never really studied, but also the court of the Parisian King Louis and his followers. It was interesting to see how much more advanced the French were in those days than the English. For example, I’m sure this doesn’t count as a spoiler but there is a very funny scene where Claire’s French friend gets her to wax her legs and armpits and Jamie’s reaction to this is just hilarious. I can’t wait to start Voyager

Darkling by KM Rice. Review 

Woaaaahhh… I’m still reeling from this one. This is a self published book and I can’t remember where I heard about it but it’s been on my tbr for quite a while and I’ve just read it through kindle unlimited. It’s not a long book, only about 170 pages but wow does it cut you deep! 

Willow lives in a village where darkness has fallen forever. It’s been a long time since the people of her village saw the sun. All they know is that something out in the woods brought this darkness, and it will take a sacrifice to bring back the sun. 

This book is one of the darkest, most incredible books I’ve ever read. Wintersong meets Roseblood this was creepy as hell but so, so good. I slipped inside this story and it consumed me, I was there, seeing events unfold with my own eyes, feeling the passions, the fear, no the terror of the characters. And for once there was no disappointing back story, this back story was fantastic. Yes there were a few holes in the plot but we’re talking about a book that hasn’t been through the process a traditionally published book has and frankly I was impressed with how well put together and how well edited it was. 

I don’t want to say anything else about the plot because it would spoil it and that’s why I haven’t included my usual gifs and pictures either, all I can say is seriously go and get yourself a copy of this book, I guarantee that you will not be able to put it down! 

Launching a New Book Product! 

Hi everyone, thanks for visiting my blog again! 
Just a quick post from me today to say that after a long time thinking about it I’ve decided to go ahead and launch my own book related product!! It’s really exciting but before I can proceed I need to do some research into what my potential customers would like to see and the sort of cost they would expect to pay. Subsequently I’d really appreciate it if you could take 2 minutes to take my survey 
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KR7XVQV

Fireblood by Elly Blake. Review 

Thank you to Netgalley, Hodder and Stoughton and Elly Blake for my ARC of Fireblood

Fireblood is the sequel to Frostblood and if you haven’t read Frostblood you should stop here as there may be a few spoilers of the first novel. You can however read my spoiler free review of Frostblood here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/frostblood-by-elly-blake-review/

At the end of Frostblood the Frost King’s evil reign of terror was over when Ruby and Arcus melted the frost throne and vanished the Minax who inhabited it, but now it’s back. Ruby is haunted by dreams of the Minax and is terrified she will hurt those she loves. Not to mention the reception she’s getting from the Frost court is shall we say… frosty…. 


Despite Arcus’ warnings, Ruby travels to Sudesia with a roguish Fireblood called Kai, Ruby is sure that all the answers to the past and the future lie in the library of Sudesia. But maybe they’re not the answers she was looking for after all… 


The second book in the Frostblood Saga is a lot more fast paced than the first one, the action begins almost immediately and we are thrown into the middle of wars woven in secret and deliciously hidden secrets. Nobody is who they seem and Ruby can no longer be sure of who she is.


I cannot wait for the third book in this series now, I need to know what happens next!! 

July Wrap Up 2017 

I read 25 books this month and in the fashion of Kristin at Kristin Kraves Books I’m going to give the total pages as well: 7,736 

So here goes! I’ll not go into descriptions as there’s just too many! But I’ll give a sentence or two for each. 


Frostblood & Fireblood by Elly Blake. There are two types of people here those that fight with frost and those who fight with fire. There’s action romance and plenty of wit! 


The Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson. I read these as a child and they were just as good now! The Manth people combat different evils in the search for thei home land. Dystopian. 


The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black. 3 children are drawn into a magical world unseen by everyone else and battle ogres and goblins to save the world. 


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Girl travels back in time to 18th century Scotland where she embarks on an adventure with a hunky, kilt wearing Scotsman. 


The Break by Marian Keyes. Relationship breaks down when husband goes on a break, cue Marian’s unique style of humour. 


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. The loneliest girl in the world learns how to make friends. 


The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks. Boy puts things in a magic cupboard and they come to life! 


Final Girls by Riley Sager, girl survives murder only to be targeted by another killer. 


The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson Girl goes missing and comes back years later, is it really her though? 


Rusticles by Rebecca Gransden beautifully put together short stories with phantasmagoric themes. 


The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz. Author gets installed in his own story and becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. 


Victoria by Daisy Goodwin the tale of one of the great monarchs of the 20th century. 


The Friend by Dorothy Koomson a woman is embroiled into a mystery around an attempted murder and poisonous friendships. 


The Overneath by Peter S Beagle a gorgeous collection of short stories from the author of The Last Unicorn. 


Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. A woman and her family on the run become the target of a murderer. 


Storm Front by Jim Butcher a series about a wizard detective. 


Friend Request by Laura Marshall a woman becomes the victim of a stalker who appears to be an old friend who died at school. 


House of Shadows by Nicola Cormick. After the disappearance of her brother a woman finds herself embroiled in a historical mystery, a time slip between present day and Stuart England.

July Book Haul 

Where has this month gone?? Not a huge one this month and it’s going to be getting much smaller as I’m trying to read the books I have before I buy anymore, we’ll see if I stick to that though! 

So here we go! I hauled 27 books this month including ARCs. 


The Friend by Dorothy Koomson 


The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz 


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 


Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo 


Frostblood by Elly Blake 


Fireblood by Elly Blake 


The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid 

Final Girls by Riley Sager 


Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine 


Friend Request by Laura Marshall 


The Break by Marian Keyes 


The Overneath by Peter S Beagle 


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 


Gilded Cage by Vic James 


All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris 


Orphan Sisters by Lola Jaye 


Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon 


My Not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella 


Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare 


The Woman in Black by Susan Hill 


Above Suspicion by Lynda La Plante 


Good Friday by Lynda La Plante 


Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris 


Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas 


Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas 

Forgotten YA Gems 

I decided to write this post as I’ve recently bought loads of my old childhood books to read again, it made me think about what my favourite books were and a conversation with my lovely friend (and author) Lauren McNeil made me realise that not only could I help other people remember their favourites but I could also recommend some oldie but goodie fantasy novels which may have become ‘forgotten’. So here are a few of my favourites from my official ‘YA’ time I hope you find some that you remember and maybe some new ones to enjoy too! 


The Prophecy of the Gems by Flavia Bujor was a book which stayed with my all my life because Flavia wrote this book when she was only 13!! 13 and she had a published novel, as an aspiring teen writer she was my idol! Anyway, the premise is three girls; Amber, Opal and Jade who are chosen to fill an ancient Prophecy on the fourteenth birthdays. The girls set out on a quest in a magical realm called Fairytale. Magic rules there and evil is completely unknown… meanwhile in the real world, or a parallel universe as it is known in the book, a young girl named Jo is in a coma and dreaming of three girls completing an epic quest, only armed with their magical stones. Fairytale’s fate lies with them… 


Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism was a firm favourite of mine growing up although I only read the first two. Molly lives in an orphanage and isn’t treated very well, when she finds a book of Hypnotism her life changes dramatically for the better and the fun really begins. 


The World of Chrestomanci by Dianna Wynne Jones. This is a 6 book series of which I read the first four and now have the last two to read. Magic, mayhem, rules about magic, parallel worlds, doppelgängers, this series has it all and it’s wonderfully magical from start to finish. 


The Wind on Fire Trilogy by William Nicholson, I’ve just finished re-reading there and they were just as awesome the second time round. The Manth people live in the shadow of the Windsinger which no longer sings after they were attacked by the Morah. But twins Bow and Kestrel set out to save the day and bring the Windsinger’s voice back. 


The Arthur Series by Kevin Crossley-Holland. If you like your action packed stories with a hint of magic and fortune telling them these are the Arthur book for you, blurring the lines between children and adult fiction these are a great alternative tale to the traditional Arthurian Legends. 


I probably don’t need to actually say that this is forgotten,  because I know there’s loads of other Le Guin fans out there but believe it or not some people genuinely haven’t heard of her or her amazing books. This is absolutely one of my favourite series. This series follows the story of the wizard Ged (same name as my boyfriend by the way complete coincidence I promise). Ged who becomes known as Sparrowhawk, is a talented magician and soon becomes an archmage. There’s plenty of good vs evil and the series has been described as on a par with Tolkien and CS Lewis. 


The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle is an absolute classic and really appeals to any age! It’s also an amazing film and one of my absolute favourite books and films of all time. The story of a Unicorn who believes she is the Last Unicorn in the world. Cue an epic adventure involving a bumbling magician and a King’s curse. 


The Earthaven Series by Katherine Roberts begins with Spellfall which is a wonderful story of magic and curses, kidnapping, spells and an enchanted world full of spell Lords and giant giant soul trees. The follow up book Spellspring was published 15 years later in 2016. 


The Magician’s House Series by William Corlett, three siblings find themselves in a mysterious house for the school holidays where they enter The Magician’s House and a world of magic unfolds. The children become the Magician’s students and epic adventures begin. 


Another series that perhaps doesn’t need to be listed under ‘forgotten’ especially with the new one coming out in October (yay!) but this is another of my absolute favourites. His Dark Materials what I loved most about the series is the fact that everyone has a Dæmon, a little animal which belongs to them, like their soul but on the outside. Lyra travels around her parallel world to save her friend. 


The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix. Surprisingly few people have read Hess or even heard of them and yet I personally consider Garth Nix to be one of the greatest authors in the genre of all time. Sabriel, Lireal, Abhorsen were all books I read when I was younger and I have since happily enjoyed Across the Wall, Clariel, Goldenhand and To Hold the Bridge.  The Old Kingdom are fantastic tales of an amazing fantasy world where evil is close and visits to death are like visits to the local shop.


Not exactly Fantasy but definitely YA the Sally Lockhart Series by Philip Pullman is another great series by this author. Set in Victorian London these are stories of mystery, penny dreadfuls, opium dens and the dark secrets of Asian culture at a time when it was pretty much unknown. Absolutely fascinating. They’re engrossing I’ll warn you! 


Finally Artemis Fowl I only ever read the first three books although I see now there have been many others. Eoin Colfer’s twelve year old millionaire, genius protagonist mixes science and futuristic technology with magic for an eclectic but fascinating story. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of my favourites and hopefully reconnected with some of yours. Please feel free to comment your own recommendations!