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  1. Unless you've been living in the deepest climbs of Outer Mongolia these past four years, then you've probably probably heard of her. But if you haven't, Zoe Sugg, better known as  Zoella is a popular Youtuber and Internet personality who has scooped up masses of awards during her years on YouTube, coupled with the 6 million subscribers and subsequent book deal. Add to that, the beauty collection Zoe is really making waves in the beauty and media world. With her easy-to-follow tutorials and often humourous follow-me-rounds (commonly referred to as Vlogs in the Youtube world), it's easy to see why Zoe has gained all the media attention, Zoella is a role model for many of the younger generation and this shows in her easy-going videos and yet like any Internet personality, she faces backlash on an almost daily basis. Mostly from people who don't even think before posting their comments. She's very open about her struggles with panic disorder and anxiety, and it's this more than anything that gives me the utmost respect for her, having had panic attacks and anxiety since I was too young to even use the Internet. Expanding on this, Zoe has just been announced as an ambassador for the Mental Health charity Mind to raise awareness on Anxiety and Panic Attacks, a subject which still very much has a stigma attached to it. 

    But now, to why we came here in the first time. Her book!


    Having discovered Zoe through Youtube and not through her blog, I hadn't really had a feel for her writing. So I was going in quite blind. And even though her book is aimed at a younger audience (12-18?), It was the cute sort of contemporary romance that I just devour in one sitting.

    Girl Online revolves around Penny, who is suffering from panic attacks after a car accident. She blogs about this in her blog (Girl Online) which at first has a small but dedicated following.  Her best friend Elliot is the only person who knows of her blog, so it's something of a secret. What I love about Penny is that she's so relatable. I actually thought I was reading a pen and paper version of me. What I love about her, is she's real. She's not too fierce or sassy, but she's clumsy, awkward and just completely kind-hearted. She's so relatable and unique in that she's actually the first character that I've read of that suffers from anxiety. I found myself getting attached to her immensely.

    Zoe's writing itself is cute and simple. There were so many times that I just laughed out loud at certain lines, and then in other parts, I was a blubbering mess (No spoilers, that's naughty!). The whole story had me hanging onto every word, wanting to read more and more. By the end of the book, I felt a little hollow, which is rare for me. In all, this is probably one of my favourite books I've read this year, and even though the target audience is quite a lot younger than me -because you know, I'm an old fart apparently - I couldn't recommend this book highly enough.  Loved. Every. Single. Freaking. Second. Of. It.

  2. Interview: Beth Reekles

    Tuesday, 12 August 2014

    If you're in with the times then you're probably heard of her.

    Beth Reekles is the author, who at only 17 obtained a three book deal with Random House for her book The Kissing Booth which obtained an amazing 19 million reads on the writing site Wattpad. When she isn't at university studying for her physics course, she enjoys reading, blogging and hanging out with her friends. In many ways, Beth is an ordinary teenager, but her story is extraordinary.

    In this interview, Beth will talk about her writing journey, how she managed to get a deal with Random House and about what inspired her to write The Kissing Booth.

    It's been quite widely publicised (for those of Wattpad at least) that you got a three book deal from Random House while you were still in school. How did you feel when your agent/editor got into contact with you to tell you that they wanted to publish your book?
    I remember sitting looking through some private messages on Wattpad one evening and then seeing one that didn’t start ‘OMG I love your book!’ – and as it turned out, it was from a commissioning editor at Random House wanting to publish The Kissing Booth. I skimmed the message a dozen times before letting out a weird shriek and running to my parents to tell them. I couldn't believe it. It was like a wild dream, only it was real!
    What lead you to start writing the Kissing Booth and uploading it to Wattpad?
    Beth: pictured above, probably
    didn't expect to open that message
    telling her they wanted to publish
    The Kissing Booth
    I’d been looking for a regular high school romance to read, but every YA romance had vampires or werewolves or something, or the protagonist fell for her (possibly gay?) guy best friend. It wasn't what I wanted to read so I thought, ‘I’ll write my own’ – and I did. That’s how I came up with The Kissing Booth, and figured I may as well upload it to Wattpad, since I didn't have anything to lose by it. I’d never expected it to become as popular as it did!
    After being offered the initial deal. Was there a time frame for editing the novel before actual publication?
    I’d already edited the book ruthlessly a few months after finishing it, and Random House were hoping for a Boxing Day ebook release (it actually came out December 13th) so it would have to be a quick turnaround since I’d signed the contract at the start of November. The editing was actually minimal and done within about three weeks, with a proof-edit done about a week later.
    If you could give an aspiring author any advice, say if perhaps they're struggling with confidence issues, particularly after being knocked back by publishers or receiving harsh criticism. What advice would you give them?
    Write because you want to. Write a book you feel passionate about and write because it makes you happy. Remember that. If you can get published, then it may well be the best feeling in the world, but try not to be to put-down by rejections. Try publishing online – I never had confidence in my work until Wattpad. Even just seeing people read my stories was a huge encouragement, and rejuvenated my enthusiasm for writing, so I’d definitely recommend putting your work up online!
    You're also taking a physics degree at university. How do you juggle this with writing?
    It can get quite difficult at times, but I've been lucky that my university have been supportive in letting me take days out for book events (like awards ceremonies) and I've had to work hard to catch up on anything I've missed. Sometimes I have to tell my friends I can’t go meet up with them, tell my flatmates I can’t go out, and put off watching the latest episode of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! when everyone else is watching it. It’s a lot of self-discipline and to-do lists and time management, but since I love writing so much and enjoy interacting with my fans online, it doesn't always feel too much like hard work!
    You talk a lot about Wattpad when you speak of your novels being published. Do you think that Wattpad has played a big part in gaining confidence in, and improving your writing ability?
    Definitely! I had zero confidence in my writing but when I found Wattpad, I thought, ‘why not?’ Everyone else seemed to be posting their work, and it was the first time I’d found a community where writing at a young age, instead of being on Facebook or something, was accepted and celebrated. Without the support of my fans, I likely wouldn't have had the opportunity to be published so young.
    Beth with her first two books
    The Kissing Booth has just got a script writer (Am I correct), which actors/actresses would you prefer to see play your characters?
    Yes that’s right, we have a scriptwriter for the movie now (which is really exciting!) – but I'm really not sure which actors I’d pick. It’s really difficult, and I only have one actor in mind - maybe Dylan O’Brien for Lee!
    What was your reaction when you saw that you'd made it onto the Times most influential teens list alongside Justin Bieber and Malala?
    I was in total disbelief for a minute, before sending out a Tweet, texting my parents, and running to wake up some of my flatmates to tell them. I was so excited to be on a list with so many well-known teenagers and to be recognised for my writing!
    How long have you been writing?
    It might sound cheesy, but for as long as I can remember. When I was little, if we wrote short stories in school, I’d often go home and carry on writing them. Then when I started comprehensive school at 12 my parents gave me an old laptop to do homework on, but I used it mostly to write – and I haven’t stopped!
    Can you remember the very first thing that you wrote?
    I remember waiting for the fifth Harry Potter book to come out, and wondering what might happen next, and how Harry would leave the Dursleys this next time. I remember writing the start of that story (Fred and George stopped by Privet Drive with a Portkey) – but at the time, I had no idea that fanfiction was really a thing.
    Do you think writing talent is a natural ability, or can anyone learn it?
    I think writing is mostly the perseverance and the effort you're willing to put in. I've had messages from people who say their spelling and grammar isn't great, but they really love to write – so they write. It’s something I think anyone can do, as long as they have the drive, passion and imagination for it.
    Ebooks or Paper books?
    Paper books!
    Finally, do you have any websites that you'd wish to share?
    I do my best to reply to all my fans on Twitter (I’m @Reekles) but I mostly use my blog ( to share info about 

    So there you have it! As you can tell, Beth is an all round amazing person, I'm sure we can agree and an inspiration to writers everywhere. Below are her three books and the purchase links if you're interested in reading her works, all of which have been released

    Meet Rochelle Evans: pretty, popular - and never been kissed.
    Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile - and a total player.
    When Elle decides to run a kissing booth at the school's Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer - this romance seems far from fairy tale and headed for heartbreak. But will Elle get her happily ever after?

    Rolling Dice

    They say that the higher you climb, the harder you fall - and Madison Clarke will do anything to keep her new life from crumbling to pieces. Moving from a small town in Maine to Florida, Madison grasps the opportunity to reinvent herself, to forget about those days of being a lonely, loser outcast, and jumps at the chance when the popular kids decide to take her under their wing. A hot boyfriend, parties, friends... If only there wasn't the slight problem by the name of Dwight, a cute, funny and totally nerdy guy in Madison's physics class who she can't help but enjoy spending time with. Running from her past and stumbling through the present, who knows what lies ahead in this new life in Florida?

    Ashley Bennett is a straight-A student in her junior year of high school, and life is looking good: she's got a boyfriend whom she loves, a group of friends who love to party... But really, Ashley loves to curl up at home with a good book, and she can't wait to go to college. When junior year starts, the life Ashley's settled into is turned upside down - the empty house next door has finally been sold, and moving in is Todd O'Connor...
    When Ashley first meets Todd, he seems aloof and cocky, and she's reluctant to share a ride to school with him as her mom tells her to. As the two get to know each other, though, Ashley comes to realise that the mysterious, brooding Todd O'Connor, who all the girls are swooning over, is actually bookish and shy, and a little bit lonely. His parents split up and he has moved away from his mother to live with his father, and since then Todd has mostly kept to himself, his books, and his guitar.
    And as Todd gets to know Ashley, he forces her to realise that her relationship with her boyfriend, Josh, isn't really making her happy - Josh is selfish, arrogant, and domineering. Will Ashley find the courage to forge her own path?


  3. Second Guessing Your Writing Ability?

    Wednesday, 6 August 2014

    We've all been there. If you're a writer, there will come a time when you will trawl through the piles of words that you've written and think: "What is this rubbish? My writing sucks."
    I could tell you not to think like this, but that would be pointless. Because you're going to think like this anyway. I can tell you that everyone feels like that: Published authors, indie authors, Wattpad authors, hell I would guess that even J.K. Rowling has doubts over her writing, and she's one of the best writers out there. My point is if you're sitting in front of your computer screen (or notebook) and doubting your ability, then the chances are that you have talent . 
    I'll admit. I was 19 when I first started writing but I used to write little stories and magazine articles when I was younger. But I really only got into the writing bug when I was 19. I was craving more Harry Potter related stuff. And after a lot of hesitance I made a Fanfiction.Net account and started reading there. The longer I read, the more I wanted to write. And when I finally got an idea, I started to write and posted it to the site (Excuse the rhyme). I got a lot of feedback, most of it along the lines of: "Please write more!" or "This is the best fic ever!". I could have let all of this go to my head and not take any constructive criticism. But I realised suddenly, just how serious and important writing was to me. So I took the criticism and the flames and worked it to my writing ability until I felt confident to start my own original works with my own world.
    I still doubt my ability every day. Even when I've got a hundred people telling me I'm a good writer. I'm always seeking to improve, to be the best at what I do. But I quickly realised that this is impossible. You could be an amazing writer, but there's always going to be someone better. You shouldn't compare yourself to other writers, because this is your style. There's no need for big words and fancy prose. If you have awesome characters and decent sentence structure, then you're already halfway there.
    Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect writer. We each have our own quirks and idiosyncrasies that set us apart from other writers. Think you use a phrase or sentence too much? Don't worry, because a lot of it will get cut out during publication anyway. You should never let your doubts get in the way of doing what you love. Chances are, if you're reading this right now, if you sit there and write every day then you're a writer.
    And just remember. All stories, big or small. They all started with a good idea.

  4. All good writers know, that when it comes down to perfecting your art, your story is nothing without a real, meaningful character. Sure, you might have a kickass plot and poetic prose, but it will all fall flat if your character is a cardboard or just a flatter version of yourself. So how do we remedy this situation? By adding quirks and habits of course. Now I'm not saying that this is the only thing you should consider when writing a kickass character, but it can really help to know your character once you give them these idiosyncrasies. I have compiled a list of traits and quirks that I have borrowed from my nearest and dearest, workmates and complete strangers. I highly recommend people watching (Without venturing into creeper territory of course!), it's a pretty tight way of being able to compile your own list and giving your character endless depth.

    Note: Some of these are physical distinguishing features so they may focus on appearence somewhere along the line.

    1. Smacking lips while speaking.
    2. Saying “Like” after every few words.
    3. Rubbing elbow.
    4. Playing with fringe
    5. Tossing head to get hair out of eyes
    6. Playing with hair.
    7. Clasping hands together and rubbing right thumb over left thumb or vice versa
    8. Jogging legs
    9. Saying “Um” a lot.
    10. Humming when trying to think of something.
    11. Gesticulating heavily while speaking.
    12. Laughing when nervous/uncomfortable.
    13. Pulling sleeves/hem down on shirt.
    14. Pulling trousers with feet
    15. Sticking nose up in the air when up to no good.
    16. Pursing lips when embarrassed
    17. Placing hand on arm whenever you talk to someone.
    18. Pulling ponytail over shoulder and then back again
    19. Crossing and uncrossing legs
    20. Exhaling heavily through nose
    21. Constantly clearing throat
    22. Sucking teeth.
    23. Constantly checking and re-checking the time
    24. Walks fast, head down. Can walk three miles in under an hour.
    25. Corrects grammar/pronunciation
    26. Doesn't cover mouth/nose when sneezing or coughing.
    27. Gets irrationally angry at noisy eaters/breathers/clicking buttons
    28. Never gives change to homeless people.
    29. Constantly complains about the weather. Even when the weather is good.
    30. Cracks all joints in body.
    31. Bends body backwards to stretch muscles in back.
    32. Puts hands on hips when surveying a room.
    33. Gets jealous of people they think is a threat to their “perfect” world.
    34. Wipes forehead and licks lips constantly.
    35. Has a hairy chest.
    36. Indecently proportioned feet/hands for height.
    37. Always carries an odour of B.O.
    38. Is very jumpy.
    39. Always asks people to repeat themselves when asked a question with “What?”
    40. Shuffles feet when walking.
    41. Gets irrationally angry when hungry or tired.
    42. Stands with their feet wide apart, rocks hips back and forth unconsciously.
    43. Left eye twitches.
    44. Has uneven stubble.
    45. Constantly plucking upper lip/eyebrows.
    46. Distinct accent, not related to region they are in.
    47. Always speaks about his/herself.
    48. Uses words in the wrong context.
    49. Interrupts people during conversation.
    50. Slowly trails off when they believe no one is listening.
    51. Digs nails into palms when angry.
    52. Cries when angry.
    53. Swears when startled.
    54. Punctuates every sentence with a vulgarity.
    55. Compulsively sniffs.
    56. Clears throat obnoxiously.
    57. Spits.
    58. Ends each sentence, so that it sounds like a question, even if it's not.
    59. Softly spoken.
    60. Doesn't speak unless spoken to.
    61. Has no sense of personal space.
    62. Tells cheesy jokes.
    63. Speaks rapidly when happy/excited.
    64. Over uses  malapropisms (e.g. My sciences are blocked - My sinuses are blocked)
    65. Laughs at random intervals. Even if no one is around at the time.
    66. Stutters when nervous.
    67. Voice goes low/quiet on the verge of tears.
    68. Has a dirty laugh.
    69. Calls all women “Love”, calls men “Mate”
    70. Struggles to start a conversation.
    71. Always under the impression that they are hated/disliked.
    72. Has little or no modesty.
    73. Sings under breath when they think no one is looking.
    74. Stares off into space when they fall into a daydream.
    75. Taps feet against the floor when sitting down.
    76. Taps fingers on the table.
    77. Blows upwards on fringe.
    78. Holds an obsession with famous people/people of power.
    79. Social Media addict.
    80. Pulls on bottom lip when trying to think.
    81. Taps coins on the counter, when waiting to pay for something.
    82. Cries at sad movies.
    83. Listens to music obsessively.
    84. Rubs thumb on inside of wrists.
    85. Restless. Can't stay still for more than five minutes.
    86. Taps wrist when asking for time.
    87. Tilts hand in drinking gesture when offering a drink.
    88. Constantly taking glasses off and cleaning them.
    89. Tears up pieces of paper and scatters them.
    90. Pulls grass up from its roots, every time they sit on it.
    91. Ums and ah's before answering a question.
    92. Gets irrationally angry when waiting in long queue.
    93. Gets flustered when confronted with attention from the opposite sex.
    94. Serial farter. Makes no attempt to hide this.
    95. Swings arms and claps hands. May also kick legs when feeling out of place.
    96. Starts their sentences with “So...”
    97. Twists a swatch of fabric around their fingers.
    98. Pings an elastic band on their wrist.
    99. Bobs head to music.
    100. Stops and looks into every mirror they pass.

    So there you have it. Please feel free to use these for your own characters!

  5. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

    A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

    It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

    Very rarely now, do I come across a story that manages to capture my utmost attention the whole way through. For me, a novel needs to have mystery, awe-inspiring prose and a sparkling kind of magic that enchants and entrances the whole way through. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar is one of those rare gems, sparkling amidst the blackened coals.

    This book has it all. It's mysterious, original, slightly twisted in its own intense way, thought provoking, flawless, fantastic, magical to name a few! With the startling imagery and creepy photos that seem so unreal that they have to be manipulated, mixed with the realistic prose and dialogue, makes for a very startling, very visual story. One which can redefine not just fantasy, but storytelling as a whole.

    I loved everything about this book. I loved how the author used poetry and letters and photographs to tell the story. I loved the characters, who in themselves were enigmas of the finest. I loved the scenes that he depicted that provided some very startling pictures in my head. Which seemed to unfurl before me by the pictures also provided. All which aided in telling the story.

    For those of you who don't know, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children centres around our protagonist Jacob, a young boy who had a very close bond with his grandfather. As a young child, Jacob's grandfather used to regale him with stories of fantastical beasts, of peculiar children with spectacular abilities: children that could levitate, a scrawny boy that could lift boulders probably ten times his weight, a man with a mouth in the back of his head to name a few. Naturally, as he grew older, these tales became fairy stories, and were soon lost to his grandfather's mind. When tragedy strikes, and Jacob sees something unexplainable, something that he had heard of only in his grandfather's stories, his mind is thrown into jeopardy which ultimately ends up with him deciding to visit this island, Cairnhorn, where Miss Peregrine's Home is based. 

    This book had it all. It had creepy houses and it had children with superpowers, it had time travel and a woman who can turn into a falcon, because why the hell not? Each sentence was both moving and haunting, each sentence delivered a blow and touched somewhere inside of me. I really grew to know Jacob's character and his close relationship with his grandfather, I grew to understand his father's own relationship with his father and learnt some surprising discoveries that should have been obvious but they weren't. Because they were delivered in such a way that you were left wide eyed when things were finally revealed!

    I can't say I had a favourite character. I loved them all! They each had their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. Traits that made them unique, though I did have a bit of a soft spot for Bronwyn, the girl with gargantuan strength. For me, she was exactly what her power represented. Strength, and definitely some courage thrown in there.

    Much like Harry Potter, to which this had been compared, this story has some dark undertones but they are done so flawlessly, so subtly that you wonder if it was ever intentional. If you want a beautiful gem of a story, one that will inspire and awe you, then pick this up. It may just be the best thing you read this year!


  6. My Summer TBR

    Friday, 6 June 2014

    Okay, hands up. I admit it. I'm a terrible person. Unless a novel is absolutely fantastic, then chances are I'll find one I want to read more, and read that one instead. And thus, the book takes the back burner on the dustiest, most unexplored plains of my bookshelves. And over time, these books piled up. So in lieu with my recent book-buying ban. I've come to the realisation that I need to read the books I started before buying anymore. No matter how much they call out to me on their shelves.

    If You Find Me
    Emily Murdoch

    Carey is keeping a terrible secret. If she tells. It could destroy her future. If she doesn't, will she ever be free?

    For almost as long as she can remember, Carey has lived in the heart of the woods with her drug-addicted mother and her six year old sister Jenessa.

    Their mother routinely disappear for weeks at a time, leaving the girls to cope alone. Survival is Carey's only priority - until strangers arrive and everything changes . . .

    I think I bought this one on the summary. For me, it was perfect. It gave that sense of mystery that enticed deep shivers within me. The sort that promised a riveting read. But unfortunately, I set it aside and moved onto other projects. I'm hoping to get it finished by the end of Summer. 

    The Book Thief
    Marcus Zusak

    This is the tale of the book thief. As narrated by death. And when death tells a story, you really have to listen.

    It's just a small story really, about amongst other things:

    A girl

    An accordionist

    Some fanatical Germans

    A Jewish fist fighter

    And quite a lot of thievery.

    I know. I know! I'm terrible. You don't need to tell me. Everyone and their dog has read this book. Everyone except me that is . . . I bought this book during the massive hype over it but never really got started. This will go towards the top of my TBR list!

    Anna and the French Kiss
    Stephanie Perkins

    Anna is less than thrilled to be shipped off to boarding school in Paris, leaving a fledgling romance behind - until she meets Etienne St Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all... including a girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with a longed-for French Kiss?

    I'm actually still reading this one. So far, I've been eh about it if I'm completely honest. Having bought it together with Eleanor and Park and My Life Next Door, I thought that I would love this book just as much. But to be honest, I haven't felt any sparks with this novel yet. But I'm nothing, if not persistent. So I will finish it. And I will give a fair, but honest review.

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane
    Neil Gaiman

    It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. 

    His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang. 

    THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.

    I haven't even started on this one yet. I got it in Tescos on a 2 for £7 deal alongside another book. But I've heard so much good stuff about it. And everyone I hear talk about it, raves about its amazingness. (Yes, that's a word now!)

    Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
    Rick Riordan

    Half boy. Half God. ALL Hero.
    Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God.
    I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. Now I spend my time battling monsters and generally trying to stay alive.
    This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I've stolen his lightning bolt - and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.

    So. Kind of ashamed that I still haven't read this. But be fair here, I was still shivering uncontrollably from Harry Potter feels. Let's hope this book doesn't entice the same!

    Why We Broke Up
    Daniel Handler

    "I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened." Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship.

    Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped. In Why We Broke Up, international best-selling author of A Series of Unfortunate Events – made into a Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey – writes about romance and breaking up in his first book for young adults with every bit as much skill as he does gothic humour.

    I am rather ashamed to say that I bought this book over a year ago and still haven't gotten round to reading it. I will definitely read it this Summer. Promise!

    Well. That's all for now. I'm sure that many other books will pop up on my TBR list over the coming months, and I'll be sure to note them all down. But for now, happy reading! 


  7. Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

    Publish date: February 18th 2014
    Published by: HarperCollins Australia
    Page numbers: 386

    Goodreads Summary: 

    Zoe and Olivia have always been best friends. And becoming professional ballerinas has always been their goal. But when they turn sixteen the unthinkable happens as Olivia is diagnosed with leukaemia. Falling in love, coping with school and falling out with each other - everything is thrown into a whole new light. A heartbreakingly bittersweet tragedy that reveals profound truths about loss, love and the friends who mean the world to you

    I bought this book almost as soon as I saw it on the shelves in Smith's. And honestly, I read it all in two days. But if I'm going to be brutally honest here, I didn't enjoy it as much as other books of this composition such as The Fault in Our Stars, or Before I Die by Jenny Downham. And even though these are all completely different books, and it would be unfair to compare them, I feel like it has to be said. 

    I did enjoy this book. Don't get me wrong. I liked the characters and the setting and the adorable relationship between Zoe and Olivia. They have the sort of relationship that I share with my best friend, and it managed to stimulate a fond, nostalgic smile. This book has to have the best friendship there ever was. Not many friends would make so many sacrifices or drop everything at the first hint of trouble for their best friend. They say "I love you" to each other every time they say goodbye, and just generally know how the other is feeling without having to ask.

    But for me. Things got a bit predictable. It was quite obvious who the love interest was to be. And what the fate of Zoe's friend would be. But it also dealt with raw emotions that seemed to overshadow its flaws. I think I cried before I was even halfway through the book. just by their adorable relationship, and perhaps because I knew what was going to happen. Their fate sealed before they had anything to do about it. I also think that there wasn't enough emphasis on the whole ballet side of things. I'd have liked to have heard some more on that. It's something that hasn't been done before in fiction.

    And though it was cute and the relationships were wonderful. It seemed to be lacking something. That single something that would make it spectacular. That one book that would keep you up at night thinking about it. 

    Maybe One Day is about Zoe, whose best friend gets diagnosed with Leukaemia, which (yes you guessed it), quickly becomes terminal. I'm not giving away spoilers here, that's just what it says on the blurb.We all have that one friend that we would do absolutely anything for. And if we lost them. It would kill us too. For me, the end came too quickly. So quickly, that I wasn't prepared and the buckets of tears that were brewing exploded out of me at insane force.

    In all, I was quite disappointed with this book. I expected a lot more. But I need to give credit where credit is due. It's well written, with real relationships and many layered characters. It was just missing the spark that would have made it a gem. 

    Amazon/Goodreads rating: 3 stars