AF,  Books,  YA

Sunday Summary: 23rd December 2018

weekly highlights

Weekly Highlights is a feature that I used to do a few years ago that I have deicded to revive and revamp! So on Sunday’s (hopefully every one but it may be every other!) I plan to do a Sunday Summary, detailing what books I have read or am reading, what posts I posted, what books I received or bought and what posts/books are upcoming next week.
It is inspired by The Story Sirens In My Mailbox, Books, Biscuit and Tea’s Showcase Sunday, Kimba Caffeinated’s Sunday Post, and the British Letterbox Love, and Kris’ Wednesday Weekly.

Posts From the Week

This has been a busy week with the run up to Christmas and getting everything ready to leave work for two weeks. But I still managed to get two posts up which I’m really happy about.

The first was a post about an important journey in my life – to tie in with Rosie Loves Jack and the important journey she goes on in the book. You can read about it here.

Secondly was a post that I finally got around to writing about my hike up Snowdon! To read about my adventure, just click here.

Current Giveaways I’m Running

As I usually run quite a few giveaways, I thought it would be good to add this section so you can make sure you don’t miss anything!

At the moment I just have the one which is the chance to win a copy of Rosie Loves Jack. To win, all you need to do is comment on this post.

Books I’m Reading

Hard Copies Reading
Title: Dumplin’
Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 28th January 2016
Pages: 284
Format: Hardback
Source:: Bought
Add It: Amazon UK Goodreads.
Summary:Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.

With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any girl does.

Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: 25th February 2016
Pages: 496
Format: Paperback
Source:: Review Copy from Publisher
Add It: Amazon UK Goodreads.
Summary:Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, is cursed. Forced to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he can only be freed by love. But at the end of each autumn he is transformed into a beast hell-bent on destruction, and after so many failed attempts, his kingdom and its people are barely holding on.

Harper’s life has never been easy, but she’s learned to be tough enough to survive. She won’t let anything hold her back, not her cerebral palsy or her mother’s deteriorating health. But when she is sucked into Rhen’s world, nothing is as it seems. Powerful forces are standing against Emberfalll … and it will take more than a broken curse to save it from utter ruin.

Audiobooks Reading
Title: Missing, Presumed
Author: Susie Steiner
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 25th February 2016
Listening Length: 13 hours and 15 minutes
Format: audiobook
Source:: Bought
Add It: Amazon UK Goodreads.
Summary:Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date – the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.

Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman – door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor. Manon knows the first 72 hours are critical: you find her, or you look for a body. And as soon as she sees a picture of Edith Hind, a Cambridge post-graduate from a well-connected family, she knows this case will be big.

Is Edith alive or dead? Was her ‘complex love life’ at the heart of her disappearance, as a senior officer tells the increasingly hungry press? And when a body is found, is it the end or only the beginning?

Letterbox Love


Here are the books that I’ve received this week!

Hard Copies

Introducing The Valentines. Fame – It Runs in the Family!
Sisters Hope, Faith and Mercy have everything: fame, success, money and beauty. But what Hope wants most of all is love, and it doesn’t matter how far she has to go to find it.

Except real-life isn’t like the movies. Even if you’re a Valentine . . .

Happy Girl Lucky is the first hilarious, heart-warming book in The Valentines series. From the internationally bestselling author of Geek Girl, Holly Smale.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was when I was approached about reviewing this book! I absolutely love Holly Smale’s Geek Girl series (although I am not up to date with them!) and so I am very much ready to jump in with a new series by her! I’m also going to be on the blog tour for the book and I cannot wait to participate in it! Many thanks to Harper Collins for this review copy.

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

This is a book that I found out about when I was e-mailed about it but upon reading the synopsis, I jumped at the chance to read it. It just sounds so stunning and that cover definitely helps to make it sound even more exciting! I’m also going to be on the blog tour for this. Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s for this review copy!

A high-fantasy gothic fairytale inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea.

Once upon a nightmare, her fairy tale begins…

After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest … disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra’s rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to wed the princess of daylight, for she is his true equal. As Lyra rediscovers her identity, an impostor princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests—ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not.

Once again, I cannot tell you how excited and happy I am to have this book in my hands! I was honored to be asked – and selected – to be a part of the Bookstagram tour in January! I absolutely love A. G. Howard and her fairytale adaptations so I am so sure that I am going to love this one. Huge thanks to Abrams for this review copy!

SLAY are BACK…and this time they’re headed to Tokyo to track down another hell-raising demon. When they’re invited on tour with a super-cool band of holographic girls, SLAY find themselves whisked off around Japan – until strange things start happening on their tour train. Suddenly it seems it’s not just SLAY’s fans following their every move…

Yet another book that I was very excited about receiving! I love Kim Curran‘s books and devoured Slay this year so I cannot wait to dive into the second book of the series very soon! Once again, I’m going to be on the blog tour for this one as well. Many thanks to Usborne for this review copy.

Athan Wilde dreams of flight. When his friend, Mr Chen, is murdered, Athan must rescue the flying machine they were building together and stop it falling into the wrong hands. But keeping the machine safe puts his family in terrible danger. What will Athan choose – flight or family?

From the acclaimed author of Murder In Midwinter, Fleur Hitchcock’s The Boy Who Flew is a thrilling murder-mystery set among the steep rooftops and slippery characters of Athan’s intricately imagined world. Perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Peter Bunzl and Philip Reeve.

This one was a new to me book but it sounds really fascinating. I’m definitely looking forward to giving it a read. Thank you Nosy Crow for the review copy!

When eleven-year-old Georgie befriends an eccentric retired scientist, she becomes the test subject for a thrilling new experiment: a virtual-reality 3D version of the future.

But then a deadly disease threatens the life of every dog in the country and Georgie’s beloved dog, Mr Mash, gets sick. And that’s only the start of her troubles.

Soon, Georgie and Mr Mash must embark on a desperate quest: to save every dog on earth, and maybe even all of humanity …

… without actually leaving the room.

This is another one which turned up out of the blew but it also sounds really interesting and I have heard so many good things about Ross Welford too, though I’ve not read anything myself. Thank you to Harper Collins for this review copy.

When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.

Lots of thank yous go to my wonderful friend Ray for this beauty! It was on my TBR and was one of the books that she bought me for Christmas! I cannot wait to dive into it and see if it reaches the hype I’ve heard about it!


Fifteen-year-old Ilyas is under pressure from everyone: GCSE’s are looming and his teachers just won’t let up, his dad wants him to join the family business and his mates don’t care about any of it. There’s no space in Ilyas’ life to just be a teenager.

Serving detention one day, Ilyas finds a kindred spirit in Kelly Matthews, who is fed up with being pigeonholed as the good girl, and their friendship blows the social strata of high school wide open. But when Kelly catches the eye of one of the local bad boys, Imran, he decides to seduce her for a bet – and Ilyas is faced with losing the only person who understands him. Standing up to Imran puts Ilyas’ family at risk, but it’s time for him to be the superhero he draws in his comic-books, and go kick the moon.

I, admittedly, have not yet read Muhammad Khan‘s debut novel but I absolutely loved the sound of this one so I jumped at the chance to read it. I’m also looking forward to being on the blog tour in January! (Keep an eye out as I’ll also be running a giveaway!) Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s for this review copy.

The blur of shapes began to sharpen, forming a clear picture that stood out against the darkened background. For a moment he couldn’t move, his fear rendering him immobile. He needed help. He turned to run.

On a dark night, on a mountain road, a young couple, Matthew and Stacey, are on their way home from a night out. Their car breaks down and Matthew leaves to look for help. By the next morning, Stacey is found murdered in the car and Matthew is missing, presumed guilty of her murder.

Called to the scene, Detective Alex King and her team soon see some terrifying links – to another local young man who is missing, and to the discovery of a body from 30 years ago.

Alex knows that the missing and the dead have a story to tell her. But will she hear it in time to uncover the killer before they strike again?

Yet another book that I jumped at the chance to review upon hearing about it. It sounds so thrilling and enthralling. I’ve not read the first few books in this series but I’m still very much looking forward to reading this one. Many thanks to Bookouture for this review copy.

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

Many thanks once again go to my friend Ray for this book. It was another on my wishlist and one that I was really excited to read and I am so glad I now can – just in time for the second one to come out next year!

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best-friends-turned-worst-enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day version of the Montagues and Capulets. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to try to make their way to safety. But as the two travel deeper into the rugged Californian countryside, secrets and hidden feelings surface. Soon it’s not simply a matter of enduring each other’s company, but taming their growing feelings for each other.

Lastly, but certainly not least, another big thank you to Ray for this third and final book that she got me for Christmas! Another one on my list and one that I cannot wait to give a read!


I am trying to get better at this blogging thing again so I’ve scheduled a few posts that should *hopefully* appear on the blog! I’m also sharing the next book(s) I’ll be starting too!

Blog Posts

At the moment I don’t have anything scheduled for next week due to the holidays but if I get a spare moment than I may pop up a review or two!

To Read Next

I will be hopefully finishing, Dumplin’. I then want to start Slay: On Tour and Stain by A. G. Howard but it’s also going to be quite a busy week so I may not get much done at all!

And there you have it, my Sunday Summary!

What Did You Get This Week? What Cool Blog Posts Did You Write? What Are You Reading This Week?


One Comment

  • Justine

    About to read Dumplin too this January! Interesting list! I had my eyes set out for Starry Eyes and Tyler Johnson was here. Hope to get on it this 2019. Happy New Year.

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