Thursday 31 March 2016

HALF LOST | Q&A with 'Half Bad' trilogy author Sally Green!

Hello readers, and happy Thursday! I have an incredibly exciting blog post for you today... a Q&A with the amazing author of the Half Bad trilogy, Sally Green! I interviewed Sally for the first time in November 2014 (which you can check out here) just after the publication of the first book in the trilogy, Half Bad, so I think it's perfectly fitting that I interview Sally again on the very date of the publication of the last book in the trilogy: Half Lost. I don't know about you guys, but I am super excited for this last book, and can't wait to see how the story ends.

I was kindly sent Half Lost by Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review :)

Half Lost by Sally Green is out now, published by Penguin, £7.99.

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...

A stunning, magical world. An international sensation.

Nathan Byrn is running again. The Alliance of Free Witches has been all but destroyed. Scattered and demoralized, constantly pursued by the Council’s Hunters, only a bold new strategy can save the rebels from total defeat. They need the missing half of Gabriel’s amulet—an ancient artifact with the power to render its bearer invincible in battle.

But the amulet’s guardian—the reclusive and awesomely powerful witch Ledger - has her own agenda. To win her trust, Nathan must travel to America and persuade her to give him the amulet. Combined with the Gifts he has inherited from Marcus, the amulet might just be enough to turn the tide for the Alliance and end the bloody civil war between Black and White witches once and for all…

Doesn't that sound incredible? Let's find out more about Half Lost, the amazing YA fan community, and Sally Green's plans for her next YA novel...

Hi Sally, thanks for appearing on my blog! How do you feel about the Half Bad trilogy coming to an end?

Emotional - all the feels!

Half Bad has been with me in one form or another for my whole (admittedly quite short) writing life. I love all the characters from the trilogy and Nathan, the protagonist, feels like a real person to me. I’ve been writing from inside Nathan’s head for the last four years and I’ll miss him desperately.
I’m incredibly proud of the trilogy and it will be wonderful to see all three of my books next to each other in bookshops.

Has your approach to writing changed at all since you started Half Bad?

Yes, in some ways. I’ve always been serious and professional about any work I do, but writing is how I make my living now, so I’m even more serious! 
I’ve tried ways to make the process of writing a book easier, planning more at the start being the obvious example. I did little planning for the first and second books and a lot more for the final book including discussions with my editor about the plot. Whilst this did remove lots of rewriting, which had been a real burden for the second book, I didn’t enjoy the writing process anywhere near as much as writing the first book where I did hardly any planning at all. And enjoying the process is important – I want to enjoy my job.
Writing a novel requires time and space for me to immerse myself in the characters and that hasn’t changed.

How has the YA community’s reaction been to the trilogy?

Fantastic – with the emphasis on FAN. I’ve had lots of support from wonderful bloggers from the UK and all over the world, and there’s a growing community of Half Bad fans on Tumblr, and most amazing of all is the fan fiction on AO3 (which I love). There’s a lot Nabriel shipping (Nathan and Gabriel) which I do support, though I try to be kind to the Annalise lovers too. I post my own fan fiction style scenes on Tumblr (sallygreenhalfbad) where I imagine my characters are living at home with me (under #at home with sallygreen), which sounds rather weird and self-indulgent and probably is. 

What has been your highlight of this journey (since you began the trilogy)?

Having fans. I don’t mean for my ego (though it’s a lot nicer to have people love the books than hate them), but really it’s because fans connect with Nathan and the other Half Bad characters: they spend time discussing Nathan and how he might react in different circumstances and they think about the issues he and the other characters face. It’s the biggest compliment and was something I hadn’t expected at all. I’ve done some great things because of the book - travelled to Russia and the USA, got a Guinness World record and a film deal etcetera – but the fans are the best.

What can readers expect from Half Lost?

More dead bodies. 

Yes, it’s true the body count keeps going up. But there is also a lot of love and some more mystery and magic and a couple of new characters. Nathan has taken magical Gifts from his father so he has to learn to use them. And there’s a lot more of Gabriel in the final book too.

When did you realise how the trilogy would end?

Quite early on when I was writing the first draft of the first book I had an image of the final scene of the third book in my head. This is what I’ve been working towards from that time and although it has grown in detail and how I got there has changed this final image is the same. The image I had of the end was influenced, I realise now, by my favourite piece of writing by Hemingway and the location is described in all the books of the trilogy. It reflects what is for me one of the main issues in the book – how war affects those who fight.

What was it like writing the very last chapter of Half Lost?

When I was starting to write Half Lost I wrote the final chapters first because I knew the end and I wanted to get it down on paper and show it to my editor to get his feedback.  I wanted to be certain that this was where I was headed – it would have been awful if he’d said, ‘No, that doesn’t work at all.’ 
The final piece I wrote for Half Lost was the acknowledgements. Goodness me that was an emotional experience! I had a box of tissues by me when I was writing that.

Which character in the novels do you think you’re most like?

I do think there’s a bit of me in each of my characters – there has to be. Even for the evil characters I have to put myself in their shoes and imagine what I would do if I didn’t have any morals at all. I know people might be surprised but I think the fifteen year old me was most like Annalise in that I wanted to do the right thing but was afraid and wasn’t sure what the right thing was. This aspect of a character – not being sure – to me seems the most true of what it’s like to be a teenager (and indeed an adult) and isn’t explored enough in YA fiction.

Do you have plans to write more YA in the future?

Yes, I’m working on my next book at the moment.

Sum up Half Lost in three words

Wounded not lost. 

Thanks, Sally, for an amazing Q&A! Guys, make sure you pick up Half Lost (and the rest of the trilogy if you haven't read them!) because you will not be disappointed! 

Check out Sally Green here:

Buy Half Lost here:

Until next time :)

Monday 28 March 2016

5 Minutes with Knights of the Borrowed Dark author Dave Rudden

Hello readers, and happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend of reading and whatever else you got up to! <3

Today I've got a really exciting author interview to share with you- below is my interview with Dave Rudden, author of the amazing new MG (middle grade) book Knights of the Borrowed Dark! As soon as I received the press release for this book I knew it was something I'd have to try and I am now the lucky owner of an advanced proof copy (review will be coming soon people!) 

Knights of the Borrowed Dark is a 9+ adventure trilogy that fans of Eoin Colfer, Rick Riordan and JK Rowling will adore. As an action-packed modern fantasy novel, Knights of the Borrowed Dark is set to be a trilogy that will capture the imaginations of whomever is so lucky to read it.

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...

Denizen Hardwick is an orphan, and his life is, well, normal. Sure, in storybooks orphans are rescued from drudgery when they discover they are a wizard or a warrior or a prophesied king. But this is real life—orphans are just kids without parents. At least that’s what Denizen thought. . . . 

On a particularly dark night, the gates of Crosscaper Orphanage open to a car that almost growls with power. The car and the man in it retrieve Denizen with the promise of introducing him to a long-lost aunt. But on the ride into the city, they are attacked. Denizen soon learns that monsters can grow out of the shadows. And there is an ancient order of knights who keep them at bay. Denizen has a unique connection to these knights, but everything they tell him feels like a half-truth. If Denizen joins the order, is he fulfilling his destiny, or turning his back on everything his family did to keep him alive?

Doesn't that sound amazing?! I was so excited to get the opportunity to interview Dave Rudden, to find out more about the inspiration behind the book, the main character Denzien Hardwick, and what Dave Rudden loved to read as a kid...

What is the inspiration behind Knights of the Borrowed Dark?

The inspiration for Knights of the Borrowed Dark came from lots of places. Firstly, I’m fascinated by the question am I brave? I’ve read books and seen films where the protagonist never experiences self-doubt or worry, where for them bravery is automatic. I don’t think that’s true for most kids. I think bravery is a choice, and I wanted to make Denizen Hardwick shy, and self-conscious, and real, and see will he do the right thing despite all that.

The Knights of the Borrowed Dark wield magic as powerful and volatile as the heart of a sun. This power comes with a Cost, slowly turning its user to iron. I wanted magic, like bravery, to leave a mark, because what makes a Knight is the fact they still choose to stand and fight.

I love villains, and while I do like those who are clever and noble and almost admirable in the scale of their evil, I wanted to explore something different. The Clockwork Three are cruel and they’re petty and they’re small. They make things personal. They twist the knife. They’re bullies, essentially.

Also Denizen is ginger and so am I. That one is fairly obvious.

Tell us a bit more about the hero, Denizen Hardwick. Do you have anything in common with him?

Aside from the hair? Denizen is a bookworm, like me, and like me grew up reading books about prophecies and destiny and knowing that were he in this situation, he’d find it all extremely stressful. If Denizen were to offered magical powers, he’d ask for the magical power of not being offered magical powers. Children who get magical powers are soon put in the position of having to use them.

He’s a sceptic. He is overly fond of sarcasm. And there is a tiny part of him that wants a destiny to show up, to see would he actually be able to fulfill it.

What did you like to read as a kid?

I was (and am) a huge Harry Potter fan, and I loved the Lemony Snicket books, the Tamora Pierce books, and writers like Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine. I loved books that didn’t talk down to kids, that trusted my ability to understand complex words and complex themes.
My all-time favourite writer is Terry Pratchett. I read a Discworld book at least once a month and it’s like coming home to an old friend.

Do you have plans to keep on writing? Are you working on any other projects at the minute?

I’m currently working on the third book in the Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy, and I love dipping into short fiction and screen-writing. And yes, I plan to write forever.

Sum up Knights of the Borrowed Dark in three words.

Iron and fire…

Thank you so much, Dave, for appearing on my blog and answering my questions!

Check out Dave Rudden here:

Check out Knights of the Borrowed Dark here:

Until next time :)

Thursday 24 March 2016

BOOK REVIEW | 'Glass Sword' by Victoria Aveyard (****)

Hello readers, and happy Monday! I hope you have all had a lovely weekend and are looking forward to Easter this week <3

Today I've got a book review for you- of the amazing Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard- the second book in the Red Queen series! Now, I am the first person to admit that I am not the hugest fantasy fan (I have admitted it many times on this blog and my YouTube channel), however I will forever and always say that Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen series is my exception. The first two books are beautifully written, exhilarating, atmospheric and just simply fantastic. If you haven't read them already, I highly encourage you to do so- they are the kind of books you can get lost in, fangirl over, and shout from the rooftops about.

If you haven’t read Red Queen or don’t want any clues about Glass Sword, you probably don’t want to read this review- I haven’t written any blatant spoilers, but you may be able to guess some things if you have read Red Queen! So just be warned :)

Glass Sword is the second book in Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series- a story following ‘Lightning Girl’ Mare Barrow’s journey as she unites with her own kind (newbloods) and the Reds, the group who has been oppressed since the beginning of time, to fight against the Silver King and the tyrannical state that has been set up to control them. 

I was kindly sent the second book in the series, Glass Sword, for review by Orion Publishing, so I hurriedly bought the first book, Red Queen, on my Kindle to try out first. Safe to say, I was not disappointed in the least. Today I'm going to be reviewing Glass Sword (which I was sent in exchange for an honest review!) Read the blurb below...

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. 

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. 

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. 

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

One of my favourite things about Glass Sword was that I felt the characters were developed so much more and I learned a lot more about them. In Red Queen it took me a good while to learn to like Mare Barrow and be able to empathise with her character. I found her slightly annoying and unrealistic in the way she just adjusted to her new life and the new people in it. I felt like she had little to no loyalty to her family and was slightly self-centred.

However, I felt like this side to Mare's character was developed so much more in Glass Sword. Mare hadn't undergone a massive transformation from book one to book two, which made her a whole lot more realistic, and also made her character development throughout the book a lot more interesting. Mare has to deal with the two worlds’ she is now part of clashing together and her feelings of betrayal and forbidden love still left over from the ending of Red Queen. Particularly in the last few chapters of Glass Sword, I really got a sense of Mare's conflicted feelings towards her supposed loyalties and her powerful influence. Although this is a fantasy novel, Aveyard wrote Mare as a realistic seventeen-year-old, which surely makes Glass Sword not only an exciting fantasy novel, but also an important YA one too.

As for the plot development, I thought this book went by a lot quicker than Red Queen. Although extensive world-building is inevitable in the first book of any fantasy series, it can get a little tiring when you just want a bit more action, however in Glass Sword Aveyard did not skimp on the action at all. I found almost every single chapter thrilling in one way or another, and the way the story developed was flawless. Also, no reader could hope for a better ending- although it did kill me slightly (when is the next book coming out- please?)

There were so many parts of the book I wanted to highlight and sticky-note and keep forever, and here are a couple of my favourites below:

I am a weapon made of flesh, a sword covered in skin. I was born to kill a king, to end a reign of terror before it can truly begin. Fire and lightning raised Maven up, and fire and lightning will bring him down.’- page 250

They were nothing like us, unable to feel pain or remorse or kindness. But people like Cal, Julian, and even Lucas have shown me how wrong I was. They are just as human, just as full of fear and hope. They are not without their sins, but neither are we. Neither am I.’- page 256

If those quotes don’t tempt you to read Glass Sword, I honestly don’t know what will! Even if you don’t normally like fantasy novels, or don’t normally read fantasy novels, pick up Red Queen and Glass Sword- I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Check out Victoria Aveyard here:

Buy Red Queen here:

Buy Glass Sword here:

Until next time :)

Monday 21 March 2016

Maybe She's Born With It...

Hello readers! A bit of a different post today. I was going through some reallllyyyyyy old family photo albums yesterday to find some pictures of my grandad, and came across a few pictures of baby Alix... with books! I was so delighted and surprised at the same time. It also got me thinking, that maybe reading is something some people are born loving, as if holding a book in your hand is something that seems comforting, exciting, intriguing... almost from the very moment you are able to hold one.

From the age of fourteen there are many pictures of me with books, at book launches, on my bedroom floor reading, and at the olympic cycling event (cycling is not my favourite sport, I'm afraid) however I thought these baby pictures would be slightly more entertaining for you. I hope you guys enjoy!

If there are any baby pictures of you guys with books, I'd love to check them out! Let's all swoon at each other's cuteness together <3

 Back when I couldn't read for myself...
                Forever blocking my siblings out with books...
Posing with books from an early age, it seems...

And when I hit a reading slump, the solution is always bingeing on TV (in baby Alix's case, it's most likely to be Teletubbies)

Until next time :)

Find me on these sites:

My Blog- http://delightfulbookreviews.blogspot...
Huffington Post-

Thursday 10 March 2016

YA BOOK PRIZE: The Shortlist 2016

Hello readers! Today I am very excited to be writing this post- the shortlist for the YA Book Prize 2016 was finally announced at 2pm today, and although I was in a seminar, I seriously couldn't wait to find out what books were on the shortlist this year. Twitter exploded with news of the shortlisted authors, and I was so happy when I saw the list. SO MANY AMAZING AND WONDERFUL BOOKS AND AUTHORS people! 

If you don't know what the YA Book Prize is, it is the first book prize in the UK and Ireland to specifically focus on fiction for young adults, open to young adult novels published between 1st January and 31st December 2015. The prize celebrates great books for teenagers and young adults, which is awesome obviously, and shows just how prominent the YA book industry has become in recent years.  To be eligible, a book can be written in any genre – romance, realism, dystopia or fantasy. The only requirement is that the author must have been resident in the UK or Ireland six months prior to publication.

Authors Catherine Johnson, Sarah Crossan, Frances Hardinge, Holly Bourne, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson, William Sutcliffe, Patrick Ness, Louise O’Neill and Jenny Downham are all in the running for the £2,000 prize, which will be awarded at a ceremony at Hay Festival on 2nd June 2016. 

The ten books on the shortlist for this year’s prize are:

 Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne (Usborne)

One by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury Children's)

 Unbecoming by Jenny Downham (David Fickling Books)

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)

 The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson (Corgi/Penguin Random 
House Children’s)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)

 Asking for It by Louise O’Neill (Quercus)

 The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (Scholastic)

Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury Children’s)

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (David Fickling Books)

Charlotte Eyre, Children's Editor at The Bookseller, says: ‘We have a fantastic line-up of diverse YA books on the shortlist this year, from contemporary fiction to historical novels, showcasing the brilliance of the YA fiction market at the moment. I'm also thrilled that so many wonderful judges have agreed to help judge the prize. I can't wait to see which book they pick as a final winner.’

Check out my interview with Charlotte Eyre from last year here!

 (the gifs sum up my feels)

Isn't that the most incredible shortlist you have ever seen? Do you have any favourites you're rooting for? Let me know in the comments! Keep an eye out for a lot more posts about the YA Book Prize as the weeks go on. 

Check out the YA Book Prize here:

Until next time :)

BLOG TOUR: Hilary Spiers' Hester & Harriet | Inside The Mind of The Author

Hello readers! I am so excited to be on blog tour once again- I haven't participated in a blog tour in so long and I am so happy to be on this one! As the second last stop on the tour I can safely assure you this blog tour has been so successful and I hope you have enjoyed all of the posts so far!

I am delighted to welcome Hilary Spiers to my blog today, where she is going to talk about what it's like inside the mind of an author! But first, here's the blurb to Hilary's wonderful new book Hester & Harriet...

When widowed sisters, Hester and Harriet, move together into a comfortable cottage in a pretty English village, the only blights on their cosy landscape are their crushingly boring cousins, George and Isabelle, who are determined that the sisters will never want for company. Including Christmas Day.

On their reluctant drive over to Christmas dinner, the sisters come across a waif-like young girl, hiding with her baby in a disused bus shelter. Seizing upon the perfect excuse for returning to their own warm hearth, Hester and Harriet insist on bringing Daria and Milo home with them.

But with the knock at their front door the next day by a sinister stranger looking for a girl with a baby, followed quickly by their cousins' churlish fifteen-year-old son, Ben, who also appears to be seeking sanctuary, Hester and Harriet's carefully crafted peace and quiet quickly begins to fall apart.

With dark goings-on in the village, unlooked-for talents in Ben, and the deeper mysteries in Daria's story, Hester and Harriet find their lives turned upside down. And, perhaps, it's exactly what they need.

Doesn't that sound like a delightful book? I am so grateful to Hilary Spiers for appearing on my blog today; here is what she has to say about what goes on in the mind of an author!

It's 3 am. I know because I've squinted at the luminous hands on my watch, cursing. Just as I squinted (and cursed) at one o'clock, two o'clock ...
'Will you just let me get some sleep?' I say irritably to Hester , eyeing me beadily from somewhere in my spongy brain. 

She snorts. 'White wine with lasagne! Seriously?'
Whatever possessed me to make both my sisters oenophiles? When I only drink bubbles? (It doesn't have to be champagne, but if you're offering ....)
'And Chardonnay! Please!' 
'OK, OK,' I say, knowing better than to argue with Hester, for whom the phrase 'doesn't suffer fools lightly' might have been invented.
Harriet chips in. 'While we're having this chat–'
'We are not having a chat! I am trying to get some much-needed sleep. Besides, I've just sent the proofs back.'
'Get onto your editor first thing,' snaps Hester, in a tone that brooks no argument. 'Do you want to look a complete idiot? Correction: do you want me to look a complete idiot?'
I drop – at last – into an exhausted sleep. 

Since Hester and Harriet erupted into my life (initially in a short story I wrote while on my MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University), it's fair to say my life has been turned upside-down.  There isn't an hour when they don't pop up to offer a comment or what both sisters would undoubtedly consider a 'helpful' suggestion. 
I write plays as well as novels and short stories, but Hester and Harriet are no respecters of the different calls on my time. No matter that I'm trying to fashion a tricky scene or weave a number of different plot lines into a coherent denouement, they'll march in and take over the show on the flimsiest of pretexts.
7 am most mornings finds me ploughing up and down the length of our local leisure pool. More often than not, as I dodge around the other swimmers jostling for space, Hester and Harriet are swimming just behind my right shoulder, talking. Lordy, for two women who claim to like a quiet life, they certainly can talk!
After a couple of hours at my desk (still trying to get this last scene right), I decide to stretch my legs with a walk into town. Perhaps catch a coffee with a friend. I no sooner settle down for a natter with a cup of black coffee than Harriet is whispering in my ear, 'That woman in the corner? Don't you think she looks just like ...' And of course, she does, the poor unsuspecting shopper minding her own business. So out comes the notebook, and shushing my long-suffering friend, I'm desperately trying to eavesdrop to catch any bon mots my target may drop for this scavenging writer to snaffle.
'Incidentally,' I say to Hester and Harriet as I wrap up the day at about 5pm, looking forward to a session in the kitchen as a break from writing, 'it's just occurred to me. About that lasagne. I think white wine would go perfectly well with a seafood lasagne ...'
Harriet laughs; Hester's face tightens. She hates to be outflanked.

A small victory. I have to take them where I can.

Thank you so much for appearing on my blog today Hilary! Make sure you all check out the rest of the posts on the tour <3

Buy Hester & Harriet here:

Check out Hilary Spiers here:

Until next time :)

Monday 7 March 2016

BOOK REVIEW | 'Sweet Home' by Carys Bray (****)

Hello, readers! I hope you have all had a good weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead (especially those of you who were lucky enough to experience snow!) Today I'm really excited to share with you a book review- of Carys Bray's delightful book of short stories Sweet Home. I love a good book of short stories and am always on the lookout for new ones- but more often than not they slip under the radar of novels and are hardly ever on the bestsellers' list. Therefore, I was so happy to get my hands on a copy of Sweet Home- which was kindly sent to be by the author herself in exchange for an honest review! Sweet Home is a collection of short stories particularly on parents and parenting, but also just on life and the many foibles of humanity. With an eccentric and ethereal voice Carys Bray explores what it means to feel, what it means to live and what it means to simply be.

Intrigued? Here's the blurb...

A bereaved mother borrows her next door neighbor’s baby. An outsider builds a gingerbread house at the edge of an English village. A woman is seduced into buying special-offer babies at the supermarket. A father is reminded of his son as he watches the rescue of a group of Chilean miners. A little boy attempts to engineer a happily ever after following the death of his sister. 

With psychological insight and a lightness of touch frequently found in fairy tales, Bray delves under the surface of ordinary lives to explore loss, disappointment, frustrated expectations and regret. Described as ‘not just excellent, but significant,’ by poet and critic Robert Sheppard, these dark and lyrical stories illuminate extraordinary and everyday occurrences with humanity and humour.

To put it simply, I adored Sweet Home. As with all good short story collections, each story brought something different to the mix: humour, lyricism, grief, regret, and hope. Each story has a steady grounding in suburban life, but some stories also have a touch of fairytale to them, making for a closely tied together yet utterly distinctive set of short stories. The one thing that makes all the stories similar is the strong element of truth: each story is told in a way that is achingly honest, utterly pained and unflinchingly real. Carys Bray captures exactly what family is and how dark and complex family life can sometimes be- but she does this in a way that still radiates hope.

 The length of each story was perfect and I didn't feel unsatisfied which can happen with some not-so-great short story collections, where it is clear the author wants to write a whole novel. Carys Bray is clearly a passionate and accomplished short story writer, who can effortlessly dive into the minds of her characters, and keep the reader hooked from the first page to the very last one. The writing was beautiful and haunting, and I hung onto every single word. I felt so close to each and every character, and this kind of feeling can only be achieved by superbly crafted writing. 

My favourite stories in the collection have to be The Rescue (a story about a drug-addicted young man and the affect this has on his family), The Ice Baby (a story about a baby who is carved out of ice for a woman yearning for a baby) and Baby Aisle (a story commenting on 'falling' into parenthood and class divides, imagining a world where one can buy babies from the 'baby aisle' in Tesco). Each of these affected me in different ways, and they all commented on different aspects of grief, loss and parenthood, but I adored them all equally.

I would highly encourage you all to read Sweet Home, even if you've never read a short story collection before! Carys Bray is a wonderful writer and I can't wait to read her novel The Museum of You very soon <3

Buy Sweet Home here:

Check out Carys Bray here:

Until next time :) 

Thursday 3 March 2016

My Favourite Bloggers and BookTubers!

Hello readers, and happy Thursday! I hope that you all had a lovely relaxing weekend and are having a good week. I had a pretty eventful weekend; from going to see a play on Friday night and staggering back in the wee hours on Sunday morning after a night out (with a trolley, I may add, but more on that later) it's safe to say I am exhausted and so not ready for another week of uni and essay writing *sobs*.

But it's another new week, and so time for another blog post! Today I wanted to talk to you about my favourite bloggers and BookTubers, seeing as I love getting recommendations for new people to check out, so hopefully this will give you inspiration to get some new blogs and YouTube channels on your reading list!

1. Rosianna Halse Rojas (

Although not exclusively a BookTuber (her channel covers everything from beauty to food to film reviews to feminism), Rosianna is a production executive with John Green and 20th Century Fox and so she is basically KILLIN' LIFE. The one thing that oozes from her videos is passion- whether she's talking about a political issue, her favourite independent bookshops or avocados, and that's what I love about her. Also, she loves The Alligator's Mouth in Richmond, which just happens to be my favourite bookshop <3 I was lucky enough to meet Rosianna last year at the YA Book Prize, and believe me, I died of fangirliness.

2. Michelle (Chelley) Toy (

As well as being a completely lovely person, Chelley Toy is also a fabulous book blogger, who is passionate and excited about books and reading- making her blog a delight to read. Chelley writes post on exciting events, author interviews, book reviews and many more. The chatty, warm writing style that is so distinctive to Tales Of Yesterday is one of the reasons that this blog is bookmarked on my laptop and read regularly <3

3. Whitney Atkinson- WhittyNovels (

Whitney and I are the same age, we both are studying English at University, we both live on books, however Whitney is the most hilarious person on the planet and I couldn't even make a clown chuckle. Honestly guys, this girl is awesome. Her videos are insightful, witty (haha) and deeply entertaining. I could be having the crappest day ever and her videos never fail to make me laugh. Also, her book recommendations are always on point (THE AWAKENING- EVERYONE!) And I know she's going to do really big things in the future.

4. Georgia Blackhart (

Georgia has been blogging since 2011, which seeing as she's fifteen, makes her a pretty awesome person. But also her blog is one of the best book blogs out there- definitely one of the most diverse blogs I know in terms of content. Georgia has written about the best YA reads, book to film adaptations, the GCSE curriculum and much, much more. Her blog is just so well written I almost can't stand it, and it's pretty swish too. On top of that, Georgia is one of the loveliest people out there!

5. Sanne Vliegenthart - Booksandquills (

Sanne is totally knowledgeable and passionate about what she does- which is books. But more than that, she manages to translate that passion into something that is completely watchable for everyone, she is that much of a fabulous person. Her videos cover all sorts- vlogs, book hauls, unboxings, advice videos and so much more. All of her videos are so informative and interesting and beautifully creative. Definitely well worth checking out :)

And there we go, people! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and that you are having a good week (sorry this is so late!) Obviously I have many more bloggers and BookTubers I read and watch, but this is probably my top five <3

Let me know in the comments your favourite bloggers and booktubers, I'd love to find some more to check out!

Find me on these sites:

My Blog- http://delightfulbookreviews.blogspot...
Huffington Post-


Until next time :)