Escapology by Ren Warom
Today I have the lovely Ren Warom on the blog with a guest post about writing with children. It’s a brilliant piece that I’m very glad to be sharing with you all.
But first, here’s some more information on her book, Escapology.
Shock Pao is the best. In the virtual world the Slip there’s nothing he can’t steal for the right price. Outside the Slip, though, he’s a Fail – no degree, no job. So when his ex offers him a job, breaking into a corporate databank, he accepts—it’s either that, or find himself a nice bench to sleep under. Amiga works for psychotic crime lord Twist Calhoun so when Shock’s war comes to her, it’s her job to bring him to Twist, dead or alive.
Writing with Kids: A brief sort-of guide
by Ren Warom
I’m a single mum of two teens and a pre-teen, so my life tends toward thechaotic (and melodramatic). I’ve been writing seriously again for only six years, butthe plot twist in parenting is that kids don’t really get to be less work at any point, norany less hands on (even with nappies/noses and nights out of the equation), soconsider the following my mini four-point guide for writing whilst parenting. I like to call these my Write Club Rules:
First Rule of Write Club: Never try and write when your children are home or awake unless you’ve super glued them to the TV/their computer/a book/a videogame and can guarantee quiet. If you have even as much as 0.01% of a doubt about guaranteed quiet then do not sit down to work. This is ironclad.
Second Rule of Write Club: If the above is not an option (and let’s be fair, with kids it’s often not), set a definite writing time and guard it like DeCaprio’s bear-husband guards his honour. It is sacred. Sacrosanct. If you allow your children to think they can interrupt it for any reason, you will never get it back. EVER.
Third Rule of Write Club: Explain why you write. What it means to you. Kids are filled with enthusiasm and zest for life, they might resent the time you give to words but if they understand how much it means to you they’ll really try and respect it, even when they’re pissier than DiCaprio’s bear husband (and that happens a lot.) Trust me on this. Kids are hella smart, even the mini ones.
Fourth Rule of Write Club: Share your love of books. If your children love books they’ll have a greater grasp of why you love writing. They may even start to write as well, and encouraging creativity in your kids is about as rewarding as it gets. Besides, when they’re engrossed in reading the latest must-have picture book, MG or YA, you can whip out your laptop/ipad/notebook and sneak some words in. Win/win situation.
Fifth and Final Rule of Write Club: Coffee. Wine. Cake. Chocolate. Gin. Books. TV. Art. Knitting. Name your pleasure and dive in headfirst (within reason, naturally). Chase your joy, it finds its way into the words you write and the things you say and do as a parent. A good parent is a happy parent; a good writer is a happy writer. Stupid simple, but in the many stresses of parenting/life we often forget to take care of ourselves too.
Okay, so those aren’t really rules per se, they don’t give you a way through if you’re struggling to balance kids and writing, but here’s the thing––there are no real answers to the conundrum. Write Club is fight club. It is and always will be a juggling act, with no right way or wrong way, and no easy way. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and that definitely stands for parenting and writing both.
Did you find this advice helpful?
Getting A Sole… or Two!
When I was training for my 10K run last year, my little sister told me about this new thing that you could get done in London where they filmed you running and told you what shoes would work best for your running style to make sure that your posture was good and that you weren’t doing any long lasting damage. At the time I didn’t think I could afford to get it done and it seemed like a little bit of a waste of money to me so I shrugged the idea off.
Fast forward to a year later and I was standing in a sweatshop, asking to try their machine. It was a bit of a spur of the moment decision but it was also because I went with my housemate who wanted to do it as well. I was still a bit skeptical of the whole thing but that changed when I saw the film clip of myself running.
And it was not good.
As I put my foot onto the ground, I witnessed as my legs went over my ankles because my foot wasn’t landing straight on the floor. It looked awful. And I think I can suddenly understand why I’ve twisted my ankle while running a fair few times. I also realised later, that I also walk this way. I can feel my feet landing awkwardly and it’s really not great at all. This is also because I have a fairly high arch on my feet and generally should be wearing shoes with arches built in already, but I don’t!
After the treadmill, some soles were made up of my foot shape. Soles that would, essentially help to get my posture back on course. I was then given some different sets of shoes to try on. All of which felt like they could definitely help my posture but were all, sadly, completely out of my price range.
However with the new soles and new pairs of shoes on, I stepped up onto the treadmill again to see if they were actually going to help.
And it looked so much better.
My legs were almost completely straight, obviously it would take some getting used to but I could really see ow the shoes and soles would eventually help my posture in the long run. Unfortunately, it also hurt my ankle – but that was mostly to be expected as my body wasn’t used to running in that position.
But as mentioned above, I could not afford the shoes. I did, however, buy the soles. These are now comfortably in my shoes which I have been wearing out and about as well as for my running training. And already I am seeing a big difference in the way I walk both with and without my shoes. This is a confident step forward for me.
So if you’re not sure about trying the treadmill test yourself, I say go for it. You can always say no to purchasing soles and shoes afterwards but it might just show you something important about your posture that you didn’t know before!
All Together Now by Gill Hornby
Today is my stop on the All Together Now blog tour and I have for you all a little information on the book, a few reasons why you should read it (I haven’t yet finished it due to life stuff so it’s only based on the beginnning) and a giveaway for you to win a copy of the book! UK and IRL only.
Four strangers in the midst of difficult life transitions find friendship, purpose, and perfect pitch in in this heartfelt comic novel.
In the small English village of St. Ambrose, the members of the Bridgeford Community Choir have little in common. But when their singing coach dies unexpectedly before a big contest, the motley group must join forces — and voices — in pursuit of an impossible-seeming goal. Featuring an eclectic cast of characters — including a mother suffering from empty nest syndrome, a middle-aged man who has just lost his job and his family, and a 19-year-old waitress who dreams of reality TV stardom — ALL TOGETHER NOW is a poignant and charming novel about small town life, community, falling in love, and the big rewards of making a small change.
A Few Reasons You Should Read This
(based on half the book)
It’s really gripping and interesting. From the first page I was invested in the book and intrigued as to what was going to happen next. As the book continues I have no clue where it is taking me and I am very much wanting to find out.
It is written beautifully. This is the best way to describe it anyway. This is my first Gill Hornby book and it is really easy to read as it just flows so well and everything is so well described and it’s just wonderful to read!
It has a wonderful array of characters. Seriously. I always worry about books that have a lot of characters but Gill Hornby has really managed to make all of the characters have their own distinct voices and it’s really brilliant to read about.
The setting is so interesting. I’ve never lived in a small town but I love reading about this small town. It really adds that extra something to the book and makes it that much more compelling to read about.
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
Follow the Tour!
I have one copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky person! To be entered into the competition, all you have to do is comment below with the answer to this question:
If you could have (or do have) a musical talent, what is it?
Remember to make sure you enter your e-mail address when you post so that I can contact you if you win!
Giveaway will end on Friday 17th June. Open to UK and IRL residents ONLY.
Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.
When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.
When We All
One of the reasons that I got this book for review was because a lot of people I knew were talking about it and it sounded like a good read. So I’m happy to report that it is in fact a great read. It took me a short while to get into this book and to get the characters settled in my head but once that happened, I stormed my way through the book, loving it more and more as the story continued. I finished it feeling full of hope and happiness.
Seven Ways We Lie follows seven different and unique characters who all have their own personal demons (“sins”) that they’re fighting internally. Which, you may realise, makes this book very character driven as they all go on a journey whereby they become “better” people than they were at the start. I love these kinds of books but what I loved about this book was the way all the individual stories intermingled and collided and how all the characters helped each other along the way. It was such a brilliant plot device!
Who Will Put
As mentioned above, there is quite a few characters in this book so there is a real danger that they could all sound the same or merge together as one but fortunately this was not the case. Riley Redgate has done a fantastic job of keeping all the voices distinct and unique. I thought all the characters were really intriguing to read and I admittedly loved them all. However, my favourite was definitely Olivia Scott. Not sure exactly why but I just loved her that little bit more.
Us Back Together
Upon finishing this book, I exclaimed on twitter about how I really enjoyed it – and I really did. It was well written, addictive, enthralling and just kept me wanting to go back for more. It had a fascinating plot that unveiled in a very intriguing way. I also loved how diverse this book was. So, if you’re looking for a fast=paced and captivating book the you should definitely give this book a go!
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
Today is my stop on the Tommy v Cancer blog tour! The aim of this blog tour is to spread awareness of Tommy Donbavand’s current battle with the big C and to help raise some donations for him as he can no longer do the full time work of an author that he was doing before so he needs as much as help as he can get.
To find out more about his fight, you can check out his brilliant blog here: www.tommyvcancer.com.
You can also purchase any of his collection of brilliant books! So, without further ado, here’s a review of one of his books! (And if you read all the way to the end, there’s a giveaway too!)
Author: Tommy Donbavand
Published: 6th October 2008
Source:: Bought from Amazon
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository
Luke and his parents have found Scream Street to be a nightmarish world of the undead. Collecting six relics left behind by the founding fathers of the community is the only hope of opening a doorway out of the street, so with the help of his friends Resus and Cleo Luke sets out to retrieve the first item.
What Do You
The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. It looks fun and interesting and mildly terrifying too. Add in that intriguing synopsis and you might just see why I gave this book a try. I was very glad I did choose this book as I ended up really enjoying it. It was a quick read but it packed a real punch and I am now very excited to continue on with the series and see what other adventures these vibrant and lovely characters go on! If you’re looking for a book that is entertaining and fun, definitely give this book a read!
Do When You’re
This book starts in a really interesting way that grips you and makes you really curious. I thought it was brilliant and a fantastic way to start this book. The plot as a whole was so fascinating and I loved it so much. I really enjoyed the new town that the protagonist moves to and the friends that he makes along the way. The book is full of little twists and turns that make it fun and entertaining too, perfect for keeping the children interested in the storyline.
Not Happy In
I thought all of the characters in the story were really well thought-out and great to read about. I particularly liked Resus and Chloe. I thought they were wonderful characters to read. I also thought that the trio of characters worked really well together, especially as they’ve only just met! I loved all of the individual quirks to the characters and I am one hundred percent sure that children will love these characters as much as I had – especially Resus and his eccentricities and Chloe and her issues.
Your New Home
All in all this book was a quick, fun, entertaining read that I very much enjoyed and know that a lot of children would really enjoy as well. It is a book that is full of imagination. There’s always something going on and it is full of twists and turns that you don’t see coming. I am very glad that I read this book and am very excited to continue the series and see what this incredible trio of characters get up to next! If you’re in the mood for something a little bit different, but which is still fun and a real page-turner, do make sure that you give this book a go!
About the Author
In theatre, Tommy’s plays have been performed to thousands of children on national tours to venues such as The Hackney Empire, Leeds City Varieties, and Nottingham Playhouse. These productions include Hey Diddle Diddle, Rumplestiltskin, Jack & Jill In The Forgotten Nursery, and Humpty Dumpty And The Incredibly Daring Rescue Of The Alien Princess From Deep Space. He is also responsible for five episodes of the CBBC TV series, Planet Cook (Platinum Films).
As an actor, Tommy played the Clearlake MC in the West End musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story for over eight years, in addition to roles in the movies Zombie Love Stories (where he battled hordes of Scottish undead) and Going Off Big Time (where he was beaten up on a bouncy castle). A veteran of pantomime, he has portrayed just about every comic character from Abanazer to an Ugly Sister.
Tommy lives in Lancashire with his wife and two sons. He is a HUGE fan of all things Doctor Who, plays blues harmonica, and makes a mean balloon poodle. He sees sleep as a waste of good writing time.
To end this tour, Vivienne and Chelley will be hosting a twitter chat that you do not want to miss!
This will be on 30th June 2016, 8 – 9pm
The hashtag for the chat is #tommyvcancer
There will also be ANOTHER giveaway!
See you there!
Follow the Tour!
As part of this tour, a lot of lovely publishers, authors, bloggers and agents wanted to dip into their own resources and have thus donated lots of fab prizes. The key part about this tour is to help Tommy and his family while he fights cancer and the best way to do this is by buying his books (like this one above) or donating directly.
To have more chances to win, you do this.
It’s unusual to ask for pennies for a giveaway but consider it more like a raffle prize. You can donate any amount from £1 upwards to get FIVE entries and then there is loads of options to get additional FREE entries. If you are selected the winner; you’ll need to present your Paypal receipt as proof of the entry so PLEASE KEEP THIS RECEIPT!
This Prize is a a set of Secondary school age books by Tommy from Badger Learning!!!
The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall by Karen McCombie
Today is my stop on the Whispers of Wilderwood Hall blog tour and I am here today with ten reasons why I think you should be reading this book!
*DISCLAIMER* I helped to organise the blog tour for this book. However it has not affected my views or opinions on it.
Ellis is losing track of time…
After leaving her friends to move to a crumbling Scottish mansion, Ellis is overcome by anxiety and loneliness. Then she hears whispers in the walls…and finds herself whisked back in time to 1912.
At first, she feels like she’s finally home. But the past may not be as perfect as it seems – and is there more to hope for in the present than she first thought? (less)
Top Ten Reasons to Read The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall
It is a quick, addictive and lovely read.
The main protagonist, Ellis, is a very relatable character. She is also a wonderful character to follow.
The writing style flows really easily. Right from the first page, you get pulled into the story by the strong solid voice of Ellis.
The setting of the book is wonderful and really adds that extra dimension to the book. It brings with it such vivid imagery.
It was the perfect mix of past and present.
It was a magical story. That left you feeling hopeful and wonderful. It should definitely not be missed for this reason alone.
Every single character is unique and has a wonderfully interesting background that really comes across as the book continues on. You can tell Karen has worked really hard on this book.
The main protagonist, Ellis, suffers from bouts of anxiety and panic attacks and I love that it’s been dealt with in a very sensitive way.
It was really fascinating the way the book jumped between time periods and how what happened in the past, helped Ellis in the future. It was such a unique and interesting plot.
This book is just a really wonderful read that you should not miss.
Follow the Tour
Saturday 11th June
Luna’s Little Library
Sunday 12th June
Dropped Third Strike by Micah Chaplin
I’m here today to share with you all Dropped Third Strike by Micah Chaplin!
This book releases today and I am so excited to get my hands on it! Doesn’t it sound amazing?
Kate Marks is hitting it out of the park as general manager of the Portland Pioneers. Her childhood friend Reid Benjamin is struggling to hit anything at all and, as a result, has suddenly found himself out of a job. When Kate hires him as hitting coach for the Pioneers, she’s determined to keep everything strictly professional, but she has underestimated Reid’s charm. His proximity has forced her to face a past she would rather forget. Reid wants another chance, but Kate isn’t convinced he’s changed his game.
About the Author
Micah K. Chaplin is an Iowa girl with a passion for writing, live music and Texas Rangers baseball. Sometimes the three loves combine.
Earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communication from Buena Vista University in 2002. Published her first novel in 2003.
When the credits rolled, Kate began flipping through the channels. Unable to find anything else she could get into, she finally stopped it on the MLB Network, where they were discussing some of the latest transactions. It might have been a little too work-related for what was supposed to be off-time, but Kate couldn’t resist. Even before she’d entered the baseball industry as a professional, she’d had a hunger for constant information on the sport and the business behind it. As a GM now, she was always interested to see what her colleagues were doing. Most of the topics were old news to her, as she’d received calls and e-mails about various transactions and happenings all day. However, there was one announcement that nearly made her trip on the treadmill.
“After designating him for assignment early last week, the Mets have released outfielder Reid Benjamin. A one-time top prospect, Benjamin’s stock has been steadily dropping since his debut. He hit .250 with 30 walks and 120 strikeouts in his second season as the starting centerfielder after signing a five-year contract worth $100 million. Despite tallying 89 RBI, 20 home runs, and 40 doubles last year, he has not been able to put together a full season without injury or incident. His troubles off the field have also undoubtedly influenced New York’s decision. In the last few years, Benjamin has been arrested a handful of times on charges ranging from public intoxication to disorderly conduct. Just two weeks ago, he was kicked out of a popular nightclub after punching a bouncer. That appears to have been the final straw for the Mets. Benjamin now becomes a free agent. Between the size of his contract, his offensive troubles, and the late off-season nature of his release, finding work will be quite the scramble for him.”
Kate’s gait stuttered a bit as the segment started. Fortunately, she was able to stop the treadmill and find the side rails with her feet before looking like a klutz in the near-empty gym. For several long moments after the TV had gone to commercial, Kate’s gaze remained on the screen, letting the name resonate through her brain – Reid Benjamin.
From a professional standpoint, Kate was not all that surprised by the news of Reid’s release. His off-field headlines combined with his declining value and a saturated outfielder market would likely leave Reid without a job this season. She actually felt a bit sorry for him, and that sympathy annoyed her. Why should she feel sorry for Reid? He certainly hadn’t done anything to deserve it.
Kate knew Reid well – far better than any of those scouts, managers, or GMs who had been drooling over him for years. Reid also knew her quite well – in ways she preferred not to think about. Much to her chagrin, they occasionally snuck up on her. Usually on nights when she let her mind wander a little too far into the past.
This is not going to be one of those nights.
She unplugged her headphones and went over to the free weights section of the facility. For the next hour, Kate drove Reid Benjamin from her mind with every lunge, squat, and curl. After she stretched and cooled down, she showered and headed home for a quick late dinner and bed.
Kate’s reprieve from hearing Reid Benjamin’s name didn’t last long. Even though she was at her office by the ungodly hour of six, she already had three voicemails mentioning his name. The last one was from the team’s owner. She shook her head and took a sip of her coffee as she picked up the phone to dial his number and set him straight.
“Please tell me you’ve already set up an interview with Benjamin,” Mr. Scott blurted out, almost before Kate could even say “hello.”
“I haven’t,” Kate managed to answer.
“And why not?” Mr. Scott demanded. “He would be perfect.”
“For what?” Kate asked. “You’re aware of his history, right? On and off the field, he’s a huge liability. I wouldn’t sign him as a player, and I definitely don’t want him coaching and mentoring. Even if he wasn’t such a bad influence, he has no experience.”
“Clearly, you are the one who has not looked at his résumé,” the owner replied. “During the off-seasons, he went to his alma mater and helped fine-tune the mechanics of many players there. Most of them have been or will be drafted.”
“Then why was he so horrible at the plate?” Kate asked.
“You know what they say – those who can’t do teach,” Mr. Scott said. “Interview and sign him. Fan Fest is in two days. I want to make the announcement then.”
“OK, I’ll interview him, but I can’t guarantee I’ll hire him,” Kate said.
In her mind, the possibility was very doubtful. Her personal bias against Reid Benjamin aside, she could not imagine him as a proper fit for the Pioneers – professionally or otherwise. Neither his batting stats nor his rap sheet inspired her. Besides, who was to say he would be interested in a coaching position? Regardless, the owner had given her an order. She had to carry it through. Honestly, it wasn’t as though she had many other options. The other candidates had failed to impress her. Reid was likely to follow suit, but at the owner’s command, she had to at least interview him.
Now she needed to figure out how to get in touch with Reid. His information was still in her phone contact list, but she wasn’t sure the number still worked. Years had passed since she’d even attempted to use it. Trying to shake that memory, she turned on her computer and opened her e-mail. The answer was in her inbox. More than one of the replies to her plea for help had suggested Reid and included his contact information. Some of them were time stamped before the evening announcement, so either they had insider information or they’d seen the writing on the wall. Interestingly enough, his number was still the same as it had been five years earlier. She took a deep breath and picked up the phone, dialing the number slowly.
When he answered sounding sleepy, Kate inhaled quickly. Knowing how his voice had once affected her – particularly when laced with the sexy, barely awake tone it carried now – why hadn’t she rehearsed something to say?
Fortunately, “Professional Kate” mode kicked in.
“Reid Benjamin?” she asked in a cool, even manner.
“Yeah,” he mumbled. “Who is this?”
He didn’t recognize her voice. Given their history and the time that had lapsed since their last conversation, this shouldn’t have shocked her or even bothered her. But it did. She felt a distinct and familiar twinge of pain. Somehow, she found a way to push on without sounding affected.
“Kate Marks, general manager of the Portland Pioneers,” she said. “I’d like to talk to you about the hitting coach position in our organization.”
There was a silent pause on the other end, and she wondered what was going through his head. Then she heard a rustle of fabric, which suggested he was sitting up or getting out of bed. The mental picture rattled her as much as his voice had. She closed her eyes, but that only made the image more vivid. She snapped them open and turned to look out the window, nearly pulling the phone off the desk in the process. She scurried to catch it and reposition it smoothly. She wondered if he had heard any of the clatter in his silence.
“Sorry, you woke me up,” Reid said finally. “Can you repeat that?”
Kate repeated what she had said, though she could hear a slight tremor in her voice that hadn’t previously been there. She hoped he didn’t notice it. The odds were in her favor though as Reid had never been particularly observant where she was concerned.
“Oh,” Reid said. “I guess the good news of my release traveled fast.”
She heard a catch in his voice. She couldn’t tell if it was hurt or annoyance, maybe a combination of both. Kate, in turn, felt a little bad for her negative thoughts about him.
“Yeah, I heard it last night,” Kate admitted. “I know it’s probably too soon for me to be calling you about this opening, but I felt like I needed to jump on you before someone else did.”
Kate immediately regretted her choice of words, especially when she heard him chuckle. Apparently, he heard the unintended innuendo as well.
“Well, you might be a bit late for that,” he said in a low voice, still clearly amused. “Except in terms of employment; I’m still open on that front. I could fly out next week.”
“Actually, I’d like to talk to you sooner than that,” Kate said. “I could make arrangements for you to be here this afternoon. We would cover the costs, of course.”
“This afternoon?” Reid asked. “Wow…you must really be desperate. Well, OK, but I can handle the costs. As you know, I made a pretty good living while I was employed. I’ll call the airline and get back to you with my ETA. What was your name again?”
Kate rolled her eyes and gave him her name again along with her number.
As he hung up the phone, Reid smiled to himself. He hadn’t heard that voice in a long time, but he’d recognized it instantly. He’d never heard the woman speak in such a business-like tone – but he still knew who was on the other end of the line before she identified herself. Despite the years that had passed and the substances he’d ingested in the interim, Reid had never managed to erase Kate Marks from his memory, even though he preferred to have her believe that was the case. He would have preferred that to be the case too, but it hadn’t happened. Clearly. His reaction to hearing her voice on the phone was unsettling, to say the least. And now he would have to face her in a matter of hours.
Are you excited to read this book?
The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.
Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.
Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.
Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.
But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.
Admittedly, it took me a short while to get into this book but I’m really glad that I persevered because I ended up really loving the book. It was a wonderful story that was really cute. I loved how creative the main characters were and how well-rounded the plot was as well. I loved how the book had museum articles for each chapter so you sort of knew what would appear in each chapter but not how it would connect the story together. This just gave it that little bit of extra-ness to the story that I really enjoyed. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a cute romance book, very Dash and Lily-esque!
This book started off slowly, took a while to really get into its groove but once it did, it became very difficult to put the book down. Before I knew it, I was thinking about the story and the characters when I wasn’t reading the book and wondering how it was all going to end. Meg Leder has done a very good job at creating a storyline that flows really well and keeps the reader addicted. I loved how everything intertwined and came together. I felt myself reacting to the characters and the relationships as the story progressed and I ended up absolutely loving the ending. It was just so perfect!
How Do You
Another reason I struggled to get into this book to begin with was that I didn’t particularly like the main character, Pen. She really grated on my nerves to being with and I wanted to scream at her to make better life choices. But I think this is sort of how the story was perfect because Pen begins to realise her problems and works to solve them. And I think that’s wonderful to read about. My favourite character, by far, was Ephriam. He was incredibly sweet, sensitive and funny all at the same time. He was geeky and dorky and loved dinosaurs and he was just wonderful. He obviously has flaws but I just thought he was adorable! I also really liked Miles and Grace. There is a really great cast of characters in this book.
Overall this was an enjoyable read that I am very glad I read. I would definitely suggest persevering if you too are having trouble with the beginning as I promise it is eventually worth it. I found this to be a really cute romantic and friendship filled book, my favourite kind of book – basically! I loved the museum side of things, I loved the focus on dinosaurs and books, and graphic novels and coffee. It was just a lovely read that eventually left me feeling hopeful and happy. So if you’re looking for an easy and lovable read, you should definitely give this book a go.
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
Liv Bloom’s life is even more complicated than that of your average fourteen-year-old: her father walked out on the family when she was young, her mother is in a recovery centre for alcoholics, and her older sister is struggling to step into Mum’s shoes. The only person she can turn to is her best friend Sarah, who gets out of scrapes at school and is a constant source of advice and companionship. One day Liv discovers a book of recipes written in her mum’s handwriting, which sets her off on a journey towards self-discovery and reconciliation – but a theft, a love rivalry and a school bully are just some of the many obstacles on the way.
Structured around real cake recipes, Caramel Hearts is a coming-of-age novel about love, disappointment and hope, and discovering the true value of friends and family, no matter how dysfunctional they are.
Caramel Hearts is a strong, moving, and wonderful piece of fiction that I am incredibly glad that I have had a chance to read. When I first discovered this book, I was ithcing to get my hands on it as it sounded like the perfect book for me and yet, despite it not being exactly what I first thought, I still very much enjoyed the book. From the title and description, I thought this book would be a light, fluffy and fun read but that is not the case. This book, instead, deals with sensitive topics, and has depth to it that I absolutely loved. On top of all of that, I also really enjoyed the recipes that ran alongside the story as well, and how it all linked in with the story too.
What really drew me into this book was the brilliant plot. It was captivating, well thought-out and really gripped me from beginning until the end. There were times when I just wanted to scream at the main protagonist but this just added to my overall enjoyment of the book. E. R. Murray has really thought the story out and intertwined a really interesting and fascinating plot onto the pages. I was reading and knowing that if the book did not end how I wanted it to, I was going to very much dislike the book but, fortunately, while it wasn’t exactly the ending I had hoped for, it wasn’t the one I did not want. Plus, it just really worked for the book.
If there is one thing that I love in books, it is in depth and moving characters and Caramel Hearts had this by the shedload. From our main protagonist, Olivia, who has a lot going on in her head and more flaws than you could count on one hand, to the side character of Mad Dog, this book was flowing with wonderfully vibrant characters that were all unique. Personally, I have to say my favourite characters was probably Jack. He was so kind and gentle and I just loved reading about him a lot. He had his issues to deal with too but he was just such a well-rounded and wonderful character that you just cannot help to love him, or I couldn’t anyway!
Overall, I very much enjoyed this book. It was addictive and gripping; I simply had to know how it was all going to end. I loved the characters, the setting, the issues. It was all so different to what I normally read but a lot closer to the school I went to as a teenager. I just very much enjoyed the entire book and am so glad that I read it. I would highly recommend it, especially if you love books that handle deep issues and are about lower-income families from not-so-nice backgrounds. Also, if you love books that are full of depth with vivid and wonderful characters, then you should definitely give this book a try!
Title: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Published: 7th June 2016
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
Are We All
Being a large fan of V. E. Schwab, there was absolutely no way I was going to miss the chance to read This Savage Song. And when I finally had it in my hands, I wasn’t going to waste any time! Which in a way, I’m glad I didn’t but also cursing myself that I didn’t wait a little while because I am now desperate to get my hands on the second book in this duology! Once again, V. E. Schwab has written a spectacular story that is sure to blow you away. I got pulled straight in to the story and was able to just imagine everything so vividly. I loved all the characters and the whole idea of the world was simply stunning. This is definitely not a book to be missed.
This is the kind of book that makes me wish I could live in the authors head. I wish I could know where her imagination takes her but I’m also incredibly glad that she’s able to put her imagination into words and create a story that flows so well. I loved the entire world that this book is set in. From the way it turned out the way it is now, to the way the Monsters were created and how the different species worked, I just thought it was all incredible. Add to that a twisting and turning plot that leaves you feeling unsure who to trust, and you might just see why I enjoyed this book so much. I am in so much awe of V. E. Schwab.
A Life We
Alongside a wonderful world, V. E. has also created brilliant and vivid characters that I truly enjoyed reading about. First up is Kate. Kate was such a fantastic character to read about with an indepth and fascinating history too. She was closed off and hard but also had a really vulnerable and sensitive side as well. She was snappy and abusive but also kind and caring. I loved how she was a hard one to get to know until you got under her skin. And then there was August. He was an incredible character whom was very interesting to read about. Conflicted in so many ways, strong, protective, trapped, and caring. He was such a unique character to read about.
So, all in all, This Savage Song is an absolutely amazing book that I read quickly and impatiently as I loved being in the world and was fascinated by the characters and I simply had to know what was going to happen next. I needed to know where the book was eventually going to take me as well. It was a vibrant, powerful and energetic read that kept me entertained and hooked from the first page until the very last. And that last page! Boy, that is one way to end a book. I am so excited for the next book in this duology now. It is quite clear that it is going to be an absolute page-turner just like this one! So, if you’re looking for a book that will take your breath away in the best possible way, pick up this stunning book!