Saturday 29 August 2015

The Self-Esteem Team Blog Tour | 5 Minutes With The Girls!

Hello readers, and happy Saturday to you! Today I am on another very exciting blog tour- the last one of the summer *sadface*. It has been very fun, but also a bit stressful to be part of so many blog tours, but I am nonetheless grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given. Today I am on The Self-Esteem Team Blog Tour, in celebration of the Self-Esteem Team's brand spanking new book The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!!. This marvellous book is written by the 'Charlie's angels of mental health' Grace Barrett, Nadia Mendoza and Natasha Devon, with a foreword by teen idol Zoella. I received the book from FMcM Associates and absolutely LOVED it! You can read my review here.

And because I loved the book so much, I am super excited to be part of this blog tour! After reading the book and discovering the back stories to the girls and how very awesome they are, I wanted to find out more about them, and why they make it their mission to inpire teens all over the UK, all whilst spreading the message that it is more than okay to completely be yourself!

 What made you guys want to write the book? 
We love meeting teens in schools and troubleshooting at the end of a workshop. But 10mins at the end of class is never enough. Having something to carry around with you and refer back to can be so useful. This way we can reach more teens in a really effective way.

What is the one thing you wish you could have told yourself as a teenager?
You're doing better than you think. There's so much pressure to get great grades, have everything worked out, have millions of snapchat followers and look amazing whilst you take on the world. The truth is, everyone's just doing their best and you are doing much better than you think.

How much support do you think is out there for teenagers who are battling with issues?
I think we're lucky to have people like the Samaritans and young minds to call on if we need them, the trouble is we're not talking about these things enough yet in our own communities. Between our friends and families, we all need to engage with how we feel and what we think more often if we're going to raise our self-esteem for the long term.

If you all ran the country for the day, what three things would you do?
Nadz - Revolutionise the education system, our #LetterstoDave campaign is the start of that. 365 letters (one for every day of the year) arriving in David Cameron's letterbox urging him to take the mental health of our teens seriously, with solutions about how's best to do that.
Tash - Make Sir Ken Robinson Education Secretary.
Grace - Give every teen a copy of SDWTFs

What was your favourite thing about writing the book?
We were able to spend a lot of time with each other, really getting to the nitty gritty of each topic. Learning the story behind certain things that we didn't know before was great, I recommend writing a book to help any friendship grow! Ha!

What one message would you want young people to take from the book?
I guess the real message is that there is no definitive answer to anything. Across most of the chapters there are at least two, most of the time three, different angles to come at any given conundrum from. Understanding that if your focus is finding the RIGHT answer or the RIGHT path you may be restricting or inhibiting yourself is important. Knowing there's plenty of ways to skin a cat takes the pressure off and I really hope our book is testament to that. We're such different people, we've had wildly different journeys and we're all (if I do say so myself) pretty content, living the kinds of lives we want to live. No magic potion, no quick fix having just fathomed our way through.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, guys! As you can see, these three girls are INCREDIBLY AWESOME and I recommend all of you to check out The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!! for all the answers you might need to questions about life as a teen.

Check out the rest of the spots on the blog tour!

Buy The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!! here:

Check out the Self Esteem Team's website here:

Until next time :)

Friday 28 August 2015

Liz Fenwick's Cornish Summer | Bumper Summer Blog Tour- BOOK AND BEACH TOWEL GIVEAWAY!

Hello readers! I hope it is a lovely sunny summer afternoon where you are- at the moment I am having a wonderful afternoon reading and relaxing in the sun in the garden of my cottage in Cornwall! What, I hear you say, Sun?! In Cornwall of all places?! But alas, my friends, it is true.

And what better way to celebrate a rare sunny day in Cornwall with Delightful Book Reviews' spot on Liz Fenwick's bumper summer blog tour! This week various bloggers have hosted some very exciting posts on their blogs to celebrate Liz Fenwick's wonderful books, set in Cornwall, with just the right mix of drama, romance, humour and emotion- the perfect summer beach reads!

Now I know that summer is drawing to a close but I thought the perfect way to celebrate this would be to offer my readers a little present to ease you all back into September and the normality *ergh* of everyday as summer comes to an end. 

So I am delighted to tell you that I have a bundle of Liz's books and a beach towel to giveaway- for you to take with you on your next holiday- summer or not! To enter the giveaway just comment below your favourite summer read. Check out Delightful Book Reviews giveaway Ts and Cs. 

To tempt you into wanting your hands on these books, here's the blurb of Liz Fenwick's latest novel, Under a Cornish Sky...
Sometimes home is where you least expect it…
In UNDER A CORNISH SKY Liz Fenwick weaves another deliciously irresistible tale set in the heart of her beloved Cornwall.
Demi desperately needs her luck to change. On the sleeper train down to Cornwall, she can’t help wondering why everything always goes wrong for her. Having missed out on her dream job, and left with nowhere to stay following her boyfriend’s betrayal, pitching up at her grandfather’s cottage is her only option.
Victoria thinks she’s finally got what she wanted: Boscawen, the gorgeous Cornish estate her family owned for generations should now rightfully be hers, following her husband’s sudden death. After years of a loveless marriage and many secret affairs of her own, Victoria thinks new widowhood will suit her very well indeed . . .
But both women are in for a surprise. Surrounded by orchards, gardens and the sea, Boscawen is about to play an unexpected role in both their lives. Can two such different women find a way forward when luck changes both their lives so drastically?

I hope that has spurred you on to enter the giveaway!
Just comment below your favourite summer read... and good luck!

As you can see by my picture, I have been loving Liz's books in the garden in my cottage in Cornwall! If you win the giveaway, you could do the same.

Check out Liz Fenwick here:

Until next time :)

Sunday 23 August 2015

The Great Mistborn Read Along | The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (*****)

A very good afternoon to you readers! Today I have a very exciting post for you- the wrap-up of the first part of The Great Mistborn Read Along.

For these next few months, I am lucky enough to be participating in the Great Mistborn Readalong, to celebrate the publication of the 5th book in the Mistborn series- Shadows of Self- in November. Since 3rd August and running until 4th October, every Monday is donned #MistbornMondays, and you may have noticed that I have been tweeting a lot on Mondays, keeping you all up to date on my progress with the first book: The Final Empire. Well, it has come to the end of the first three weeks of the readalong, and so it is time for the first of three reviews for this Mistborn Readalong- a 5* review of The Final Empire by the amazingly talented Brandon Sanderson!

When I was first approached and asked if I wanted to be part of this readalong, I didn’t know a huge amount about Brandon Sanderson or his work, but I’m always eager to take part in readalongs and delve into new series, as I’m not very good at completing series on my own- it’s much easier when you have an enthusiastic group of your blogger friends encouraging you! Although when I get stuck into a fantasy book I always end up enjoying it, it definitely isn’t my favourite genre, and I wouldn’t ever pick up a random fantasy in a bookshop. I also had no idea that each of the Mistborn books were 600+ pages each! When a book in your least favourite genre is more than 600 pages, it can be quite daunting to pick that book up and get into the story straight away.

That being said, I experienced no such problem with The Final Empire.

As soon as I began on the first page, I was automatically immersed in a world so distinctly and beautifully described I could envision every single detail in my mind. It reminded me of Medieval England, with the mass of peasants and the jaunty nobility; the two groups so strictly divided they are like two different worlds. In between this dividing line, however, are thieving groups that act as middle fingers stuck up to the Establishment and the Lord Ruler- a terrifying tyrannical that legend dictates is immortal and cannot be defeated. Thus the reader is introduced to Kelsier and his loyal crew, and Vin, the orphaned Skaa child who trusts no one. Combine this all together, and you have the perfect fantasy novel that kept me hooked from the very first page until the very last.

Aside from the beautiful and detailed scenery descriptions and the witty narrative that unarguably drove the plot forward, the strongest aspect of The Final Empire were the characters. There were no needlessly created characters or plot fillers; each served a purpose and they made the book less of a fantasy ordeal for me, and more of a well-rounded good story. Vin was the perfect protagonist who was brave and loyal in equal measure, and her relationship with the other characters in the story made the whole read immensely enjoyable. Kelsier was one of the best heroes I have ever come across- funny, kind, courageous. This goes for the rest of the crew- they were such a well-crafted group of characters and I loved the part they played in the story.

So, overall, I absolutely adored The Final Empire. I’m so excited to start the second book, The Well of Ascension, tomorrow on the 24th August. 

If you're participating in the readalong- let me know below!

Buy The Final Empire here:
Check out Brandon Sanderson here:
Check out my announcement of The Great Mistborn Read Along here:

Until next time :)

HIGHER ED BLOG TOUR | Review and Extract!

Hello, readers! This summer, I have been completely inundated with requests to participate in blog tours- and I love it! Blog tours are not only great opportunities for authors and their publicists to promote their work, but also for people to discover new bloggers and spread the word about wonderful books.

This is especially the case for a newly released, or not well-known book.

Therefore, when I was approached by Scribe UK publishers if I wanted to review Tessa McWatt's new novel Higher Ed and participate on the blog tour later in August, I simply couldn't resists.

Higher Ed is a novel that chronicles the lives of five radically different, similarly passionate Londoners who are trying to get to grips with the city that they reside in and the people that live in it. It is a novel full of curiosity, of questions and of the one undying question that each person is forced to confront at some point in their lives. Who will bury us? It is a novel that is as philosophical as it is anthropomorphic. It didn't try too hard to be something it wasn't. It was beautiful in its simplicity of exploring the complexity of human existence, and for this reason, I loved it. 

Here's the blurb...

London. Now. And here come the new Londoners.

Francine would prefer to be thinner, but is happy enough to suffer her boss' manhandling of her ample hips if it helps her survive the next cull in Quality Assurance. She just wishes she could get the dead biker's crushed face out of her mind's eye.

Robin is having a baby with the wrong woman, wishes he were with the perfect Polish waitress instead, leans hard on Deleuze for understanding, and wonders if his work in film will continue to be valued by the university management.

Olivia is angry — angry with her layabout mother, with her too-casual BFF, and with her own timidity and anxiety. Perhaps the wisest of her lecturers will help? Knowledge is power, right? And she's beautiful when she's angry.

Ed wishes he’d never gone back to Guyana to help his rass brother as it lost him his mini-Marilyn wife and the possibility of watching his only child grow up — until someone surprising crops up at the crematorium.

Katrin is starting not to miss Gdansk or Mamunia so much, and starting to understand London living. But if she works and hopes harder, maybe she’ll secure a full British future for herself and her mother with the Good Englishman.

The five of them cross paths and cross swords to bring London living unforgettably to life. Real London lives.

This book truly is fabulous, and I was hooked from the very first page until the very last. If you're intrigued to find out more, I have an exclusive guest post for you from a chapter with the narrative Katrin, a Polish waitress who wants nothing more than to get to grips with the complexities and heartache that comes with the day-to-day of London life.


This morning she has no paper for the toilet. Forgotten yesterday, no time, too tired, passed the shop, to bed. To sleep. She washes herself in the basin, on tiptoes, thigh on the sink, water splashing on the floor. Washes her hands a second, third time. Glances out of the window at the flower box, the frost that didn’t come, and feels again the waiting inside. The tick-tocking of morning, watching. But she must go to work. Work takes her away from the window boxes, the waiting on the shoots in the soil, but in the café there is the man who comes every day now, to smile at her. He will never love her if she cannot even have paper for the toilet.

Outside: the crocuses, purple, white, maybe, the ones she saw last year and named Beata one, two and three, for her mamunia, but cannot remember which is which, along with the toilet paper. The tips, there, just beneath the dirt around the tree. This makes the hair on her arm stand up. This England sight, this not-Poland sight, this evidence that she is making her life on her own and for her matka when she will come in May. February in Gdansk is snow. February in London is the poking heads of purple and white.

Katrin swallows. The taste of marmalade. In the coffee shop there is angry Claire from Tottenham and Alejandro from Madrid and she is Katrin not from anywhere now, not from Gdansk, not from her father who left, not even from her mother who sleeps at the edge of the big bed where the pillow beside her is still dirty with her husband’s hair oil.

“You take your time,” Alejandro says, as she walks in, and she looks up at the clock to see that she is not yet late.

“You take the piss,” she says, and they smile, because this is a sentence he himself has taught her. “Second person singular, showing improvement,” he says, and her day will go well, now, here on Upper Street where the man might come back and Alejandro will make her laugh.

But Alejandro is not fun today, having a fight with his girlfriend by text, and there is a sourness from Claire: “This country is fucked. They are ripping us off.” And when police sirens sound in the street: “It’s all kicking off.” These words make Katrin go curly inside. Claire throws slitted eyes at her and complains that Katrin is not doing enough refilling of the coffee machine. And when the man comes to the Epicure Café at the end of her shift she tries not to look unhappy.

“You need a pastry, too, sir,” she tells him, holding the smile in her mouth and his coffee in her hand.

“You must call me Robin,” he says, and she looks away, not because she is shy but because she loves this name. This man is one of the birds, the early morning bird, she has learned in English.

“Robin,” she says and waits to see if he will take up her suggestion, but she thinks he is not really a pastry man. He has long eyelashes under his glasses. He is a man who lives through his eyes not his mouth.

“Nothing else, thanks. This is fine,” he says and his long fingers, the fingers of someone who plays the piano, take hold of his coffee cup. “Did you see that film?” She does not remember the name of the German-Turkish director of this film, but its title in English, Head-on, is a way of speaking in this language that she must practise.

“Not yet, I will, I will,” she tells him, and wishes she was not so tired at night. And there is Claire with a look like there is a snake in her throat, watching her, so Katrin moves to clean the table beside him, even though there is not dirt there, but there is the ribbon of the sun. When London first loved her it was always night time, Soho, films to help her English, and quiet bars on nights off from the loud one where she worked with Ania who went back to Poland, Ania who could not love these English men. Ania said, you are educated, they think you are cheap because you work in this bar, and they will never treat you as you deserve. Katrin would loosen the pony tail of her straight blonde hair, letting it fall towards her face to make it look less angular, more oval and English, but Ania said she would never fit in. Ania went back to Gdansk, where she is working in an office for less than one quarter of what Katrin makes in the café. Okay, so it is not anymore a bar; things are better: she works in the day.

A tall woman with a pink scarf wrapped high around her neck, covering her chin, enters Epicure. She walks like a soldier towards another woman at the back table, who stands in time for the pink woman to fall towards her and into her arms crying, like she is remembering what children do. The friend holds her tight, while the pink-scarfed woman cries and says not a word. They stand like that for a long time. Katrin watches until both of them sit down. When she looks back over at Robin he is staring at the women, before he looks at her. He nods at Katrin with a face that says, yes, sometimes things are exactly so.

Ania told Katrin’s mother a lie. A lie that Ania knew was the only thing to say to her best friend’s mother, because mothers are all the same. She told Beata that by the time May came and she was ready to move to her daughter in Islington, England, that the twenty-six-year-old Katrin would be married to an Englishman who would help her to find a job suited to the economics degree her daughter achieved at the University of Gdansk.

No matter. This is Robin, who teaches at a university and said her English is perfect, and this is a job in the day, and the crocuses are coming up.

I hope you loved that extract and have enjoyed this spot on the Higher Ed Blog Tour. Make sure you check out all the other spots as the tour goes on!

Buy Higher Ed here:
Check out Tessa McWatt here:
Until next time :)  

Tuesday 18 August 2015

BLOG TOUR | The Dead House Mirror Tour- Favourite School Subject

Good morning, readers, and happy Wednesday! Two posts in two days, you say?! Good grief, Alix, you're actually being productive for once! All joking aside, I am extremely priviledged to be the third stop on the blog tour for the chilling YA debut novel by Dawn Kurtagich, The Dead House. I received this book from Orion, and I read it a few weeks ago. Blimey, it's a creepy read. It is definitely one of my most anticipated and highly recommended books of 2015. 

Therefore, I was so happy when I was asked to take part in this blog tour! This particular tour has a special twist- it is a mirror tour- so each day on the tour there are two blog posts, one published in the US, and one published in the UK. Today, my US blog buddy is WhoRuBlog, so after you've read this, pop over and say hello! My post is from the perspective of Carly, and the US post is from the perspective of Kaitlyn- the 'two' protagonists of this creepy novel. 

Intrigued? Here's the blurb...

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin...

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you've finished reading.

So, without any further ado, let's get on with the tour! Below is Carly discussing her favourite school subject...

Diary of Carly Johnson,
Date Unspecified

I like things that make sense.
Most things don’t.
I don’t know why my parents are dead.
I don’t know why I feel so strange sometimes.
I don’t know what Kaitlyn and I are, except real. That we are real is one of the only things that I do know for sure.
With Maths, there’re only two options. Correct. Incorrect. Right or wrong.
And if you’re wrong, you can find the answer. All you have to do is to look back at the journey that brought you to that conclusion. Follow your footsteps across the page and see where you went off course.
And Chemistry. Taking two elements, combining them and making something better. Like Kaitie and me. Finding the new combination and then finding a use for that. Chemistry is art and creation, but there are rules and formulas—a set path. Right or wrong. Reaction or none.
Physics. The study of motion, the study of our world and beyond our world. What better way to spend your time than studying the truth? Finding formulas and explanations for the reasons things are the way they are. Predicting what objects will do when you exert certain forces on them—magic.
There is a lot I don’t know.
But if I have a map and a set of rules, then I will get there.

Suitably creeped out yet? Hungry for more? Then don't forget to pick up a copy of The Dead House, and follow the story on the blog tour! 


Check out Dawn Kurtagich here: 

Buy The Dead House here:  

Until next time :)

YALC 2015

Good evening readers, and happy Tuesday! Today is exactly a month since the wonderful event that is YALC, and instead of doing an event wrap-up like I usually do, I thought I would do an event throwback, a month after YALC, so that we can all revel in the lovely squishy nostalgia that always follows an event like YALC. I don't want to make this too long-winded, as I have filmed not one, but two videos about my day at YALC on my booktube channel, but I thought it would also be nice to write a blog post about the day as well. 

Before I get started, I would just like to thank the absolutely brilliant Georgia (who blogs at The Bibliomaniac Book Blog) for the pictures she has kindly given me to make this post pretty. I am not only awful at taking pictures (you should see my attempts at YALC pictures, believe me, they're a sight for very sore eyes), but Georgia also has a fancy pants camera and she was organised enough to be taking pictures of all the fun stuff at YALC, whilst I was turning around in circles mouthing books. so many books omg. So thank you, Georgia, for the pictures! I'm pretty sure that my readers would have known these pictures were not taken by me, even if I hadn't given you a mention!
But now onto the actual YALC stuff.

My day started off swimmingly *note the sarcasm* when my alarm failed to go off. When people are late for things, I always think it's a pathetic excuse when they blame an inanimate object that has absolutely no control over itself, for their tardiness. However, when I experienced this mysterious phenomenon for myself, it really was a complete freak incident. Fortunately, my lovely mother dropped me at Hammersmith which was a huge help. The blogger breakfast that I had been invited to started promptly at nine am, which would have been a bit of an issue, seeing as I only woke up at around eight am. So let's all give a HUGE round of applause to Mrs. Long, everyone.

The bloggers brunch was just as fabulous as last year, and it was a wonderful opportunity for the community (gosh, I'm a poet) to get together, celebrate amazing authors, and get our mitts on some truly lovely books. Oh, also there was coffee. And pastries. Yum. I was extra excited this year to see Louise O' Neill, Annabel Pitcher and Patrick Ness, who are three of my favourite authors ever. I'm still kicking myself that I was too shy to speak to Patrick Ness, but my fangirling mostly consists of me standing in a corner wide-eyed and waving a book in said author's face. Not cool. So I am glad that I spared poor Patrick Ness that, at least. I was very happy about talking to Annabel Pitcher and Louise O' Neill, as they are both fabulous authors, and people generally.

The Mental Health in YA panel was wonderful, and authors Holly Bourne, Brian Conaghan, Annabel Pitcher and Matt Whyman (and chair Imogen Russell Williams) were great speakers. The panel further emphasised that no topic in YA is left undiscussed, and that it is a genre that is all-inclusive and gives voices to the most marginalised in our society.

After the Mental Health in YA panel, it was definitely time for a spot of book shopping! Shopping for books at YALC (even if you have about 30 at home you still need to read *slaps wrist*) is a huuuuggggeeeee investment if you think about it, because there are amazing deals like three paperbacks or two hardbacks for £10, a lot of £5 book deals, and also because you can buy YA you have meant to purchase since forever, then get the author to sign it! So it really is a wise decision to buy books at YALC, even if you wallet (or shelf space) says otherwise. So fortunately, and unfortunately for my tote bags, I came away with five books in the first ten minutes of book shopping. But I felt very satisfied, so that's all that matters, right?

The Bringing Sexy Back panel was definitely the highlight of my day at YALC. I, along with everyone else in the audience, soon had tears of laughter streaming from our eyes at the hilarious James Dawson, Non Pratt, Louise O' Neill, Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison. However, it wasn't only a thoroughly entertaining panel; it was incredibly informative and I came away with several questions like, 'Why is PSHE so crap in schools? What happened to sex ed? Why don't we include all sexual orientations when talking to teens about sex?' Seriously, if you didn't attend this panel at YALC, you were missing out big time.

Next I went to my very first workshop at YALC (ooooh, swish) and it was so rewarding and interesting. I went to Taking Your Blog to the Next Level, hosted by Andy Robb and featuring Vivienne Dacosta, Lucy Powrie and Jim (one of my favorite bloggers, check out his site here). I was also very excited to meet Michelle, who blogs at Tales of Yesterday, another of my favourite blogs. She was so lovely too, and saved me a goody bag filled with gorgeous books! 
The LGBT in YA panel was also a must-see, and it featured many of my favourite authors: Liz Kessler, James Dawson, Den Patrick, Lisa Williamson and chair Julia Bell. I have read so many AWESOME LGBT YA books this year, and it is definitely a genre that continues expanding and growing all the more great. My favourites have to be 100% This Book Is Gay and Read Me Like a Book. I also picked up The Art of Being Normal and can't wait to read it!

The final event I attended was the panel Booktubing for Beginners with the wonderful Sanne Vliengenthart, Lucy Richardson and Amy Thurgood, who are three of my favourite booktubers! So it was really rewarding to attend this intimate panel and hear their top tips firsthand, as well as their advice for making your booktube channel as successful as possible. I definitely took a lot away from this workshop, and I hope that my channel benefits from it!

All in all, YALC 2015 was bloody brilliant. The atmopshere, the authors, the books... everything was marvellous in every way imagineable. The new venue was perfect; it didn't get too hot or too busy, but the atmosphere was electric from the morning until the evening. There is no other event that encapsulates so perfectly the fact that YA books are the best ones out there, and the books as well as the authors that wrote them can change the world in more ways than you can imagine.

Check out my videos for YALC 2015:

Check out the official YALC page here:

Until next time :)

Sunday 16 August 2015

'The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!!' By Grace Barrett, Nadia Mendoza and Natasha Devon (****)

Hello, readers! Today I have an exciting book review for you, of an amazing new non-fiction book out called The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!! by the 'Charlie's angels of mental health' Grace Barrett, Nadia Mendoza and Natasha Devon, with a foreword by the teen idol Zoella. I have been very fortunate to be involved in this book, as I received a review copy by FmCM Associates and am taking part in the blog tour later this month. This really is a fantastic book, and I recommend it to any teenager, young or old, as it really does deal with every issue under the sun.

Intrigued? Here's the blurb...

Sometimes being a teenager can seem like a relentless merry-go-round of people telling you how to dress and behave, who to be friends with, what grades you must get in order to avoid a destiny of failure and, most importantly, why you're spectacularly effing it all up. The Self-Esteem Team know this - because they were teenagers once. Obvs. In fact, they were teenagers enduring bullying, chronic skin issues, 'puppy fat' that refused to budge and 'I'm different from everyone else'-related angst. 

Later, they battled self-harm, depression and an eating disorder. That's why The Self-Esteem Team started travelling the UK: to give teenagers the tools they need to navigate life on their own terms. Natasha Devon, Grace Barrett and Nadia Mendoza - now a successful journalist, singer/songwriter and showbiz editor respectively - have worked with more than 50,000 young people helping them tackle mental health, self-esteem and body-image issues. This book contains everything you really want to know, but are too embarrassed to ask your teachers, from 'How do I know if I'm healthy?' to 'What's it like to take drugs?' 

They won't tell you that if you have sex you'll definitely get an STI and die, but they will help you decide if you're ready. They won't tell you never to watch porn, but they will help you decipher what you see. They won't ask you not to embrace fashion, fitness or beauty, but they will give you the info you need to rock your own brand of gorgeous.

To be honest, if my PSHE lessons at school were as frank and honest as the chapters in this book, I would have been a whole lot better off. Not only is this guide open and completely candid, but it's also incredibly uplifting. It doesn't only give you the hard facts that you absolutely need to know to get through adolescence, but it also includes heartwarming messages that every teenager needs to hear, especially at the low points that everyone goes through. There are chapters that will appeal to everyone, and it's universality is what makes it great. The girls take into account the fact that there is not an ultimate state of 'teenagerdom' and that, whatever those pesky adults in the world say, we are not all grumpy, bitter, smelly sub-humans. The girls don't promise to solve every problem, answer every question, but what they do promise is that they will show you the road down which you will find the answer. This book isn't described as 'self-help', because it isn't. Reading this book is kinda like having a big sister holding your hand through the biggest and most terrifying of teenage troubles, to the tiny mind niggles that everyone experiences. 

All I can say is, I loved this book and found it the most useful guide to adolescence that I've ever had the pleasure of receiving before. I'm sure that, if you're a young person and you can read, you're 100% sure to find it useful too. For a non-patronising, honest and heartfelt guide to 'the difficult years', The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!! is the go-to read for everyone!

Buy The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!! here:

Check out the Self Esteem Team's website here:

Until next time :)

Wednesday 12 August 2015

'The Dead house' by Dawn Kurtagich (****)

Hello readers! Today I have ANOTHER book review for you (ooooh you lucky things!) and it is a review of the ever so talented Dawn Kurtagich's The Dead House. I received this book from Orion Books aaaagggggeeeesssss ago, but I only got around to reading and reviewing it a few weeks ago. Did I mention my TBR pile is ten miles long? Anyway, I was really excited to start reading The Dead House as it has been getting a lot of hype all over twitter and on the blogs I read, and also because when I received it in the post, it had a creepy post-it note on it cursing me so...... Yeah. I love a good creepy read right before bedtime. 

Intrigued? Here's the blurb...

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin...

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you've finished reading.

I loved the format of the book and found it really interesting how instead of straight narrative, we were told the story through video footage and interviews with police and therapists. We were allowed an insight into Carly/Kaitlyn's brain that through a normal narrative, we would not have gained insight to. It also made the story a whole lot creepier, as I felt a bit detached from the characters, leaving me with a birds-eye view of everything that went on. This lack of understanding made me feel very on-edge, which was exactly what The Dead House was about. 

That being said, the characterisation was excellent. Each character complimented the other perfectly, and added to the whole creepy atmosphere that was really unsettling. The narrative embodied a frenzied madness, and a feeling of everything spiralling out of control- it felt like a psychological horror thriller movie, all mixed in one. The end of the book definitely left me asking more questions than being satisfied with answers, but the thrill that it gave me was worth it. I haven't been terrified by a book for a while, but Kurtagich's writing definitely chilled my blood. I can't wait to read more from her! However, now I feel like I have no other choice but to sit on the beach with Sarah Dessen books all summer!

Make sure to keep an eye out for my spot on The Dead House blog tour!

Buy The Dead House here:

Check out Dawn Kurtagich here:

Until next time :)

Tuesday 4 August 2015

#MistbornMondays Readalong!

Hello, readers! As you are probably aware, the title of this blog post and the day on which it will be posted does not completely correspond, and I must apologise for that- life has been very hectic recently! I was supposed to post this yesterday, but I'm sure you won't mind if I upload it today.

Aaannnyyyyywhooooo today I want to talk to you about a very excited readalong I am lucky enough to be participating in- Brandon Sanderson's hugely popular Mistborn series! I am so excited to be joining in on this because I haven't read any of the books before- So I can't wait to fall in love with a new series! 

Every Monday during the readalong will be adequately termed #MistbornMondays and if you tweet the hashtag, blog about it or Instagram it, one lucky winner will win a signed copy of Shadows of Self, Sanderson's new book. There will be one winner a week!

This is my schedule for reading the series- 

Monday 3rd August - Sunday 23rd August: The Final Empire (Book 1)
Monday 24th August - Sunday 13th September: The Well of Ascension (Book 2)
Monday 14th September - Sunday 4th October: The Hero of Ages (Book 3)

At the end of each three weeks, I'll be posting a review of the book I've just read and I'll also be tweeting and (sometimes) Instagramming my progress every Monday using #MistbornMondays.

I really hope you check out the Mistborn series and enjoy keeping up to date with my readalong!

Until next time :)