Book BlogMAX – ‘Tis the Season Tag ’17

‘Tis the Season to be jolly, and jolly you may be. Today’s post is short and sweet – but it touches on some things outside the bracket of the book world. Today’s tag comes from ‘Eve Messenger’s OtherWORDly Endeavours‘ and it is called the ‘Tis the Season Tag’.

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Do you have a favourite Christmas read?

There isn’t any particular book that I love to read over the Christmas period – it’s usually the only time I have off university so I try and read as much as I can. But the perfect Christmas read this year is going to be a cute, fluffy romance novel – probably something by Entangled: Crush.

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Find a book cover that is blue.

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The Love Letter of Abelard and Lily | Laura Creedle

This book has already made it onto the list of books I need to find under my Christmas tree this year, and it just so happens to be a pretty blue book too.

While I know that the design is a load of scribbled out hearts, it kind of looks cool from a distance, so brownie points on that!

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What book would you use as a star on a Christmas tree?

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The One | Kiera Cass

The gorgeously flawless design of the girl supposed to be America on the front of the cover would top any tree this Christmas. Although one of Young Adult’s older books, The One springs to mind whenever thinking about Christmas.

I’d love to see this on top of a white tree this year.

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Pick one place that would be perfect for a Christmas vacation.

Either inside Hogwarts’ dining room – this view and food = happy Cody.

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Outside in the Hogwarts’ Castle grounds in the snow.

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Or making a visit to Hogsmeade.

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Pick one character you’d love to take on holiday with you.

Alex Steward from Cecelia Ahern’s Where Rainbows End (now renamed as Love, Rosie).

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Name one book on your wish list this year.

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Love, Life and the List | Kasie West

Kasie West writes some of Young adult’s best romance and contemporary fiction – so here’s hoping that this little gem makes its way into my shopping bag in the new year.

Also, cover appreciation – look how gorgeous the cover is!

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Favourite holiday drink, treat and movie?

My favourite holiday drink has to be hot chocolate! Every year where I live, a massive German Christmas market comes to town for a month – and the hot chocolate from there is simply divine!

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As for my favourite holiday treat, that has to be toffee apples/chocolate apples. Again, they are everywhere at the Christmas market and super cheap as well. My absolute favourite one is a chocolate apple where it has been dipped in coconut flakes.

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So finally, my favourite holiday movie is Love Actually.

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and to all the lovely people reading this, remember to have a Merry Christmas!

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Book BlogMAX – The Christmas Song Tag ’17

If there one thing I love about the weeks leading up to the big day, it’s the Christmas songs. I need no excuse to sing a little bit, and with some of the best Christmas songs of all time hitting the radio stations – I have no excuse not to get involved. Similar to the Jingle Bell Tag, this tag gives song lyrics and I have to give something to correspond. I originally found the tag on ‘Fandoms on the Run‘, but I’m not 100% sure whether this is where it began.

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“You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”
Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

When I read Serena Valentino’s Fairest of All, I couldn’t help but love the Wicked Queen as a villain. Fair enough, the book was written to invoke some sort of sympathy toward her – but I just really really liked her character. So sue me.

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“All I Want for Christmas is You”
Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas Tree?

I’m aware that I have already filled this position – see The Jingle Bell Tag for the answer to this one folks.

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“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

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So I had to read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini for my A-Level English Literature course. It is an amazing story that highlights how we have to learn to forgive ourselves as well as letting others forgive us.

Amir’s personal guilt in the story lays out a perfect tale of redemption and freedom.

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“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?

I’d like to imagine that if anyone deserves to be on the top of Santa’s naughty list, it’s going to be Draco Malfoy. He certainly has some terrible moments in Harry Potter. But if it’s not going to be Draco, then it better be Dudley.

Which character do you think would be on the top of the nice list?

Thinking back to the summer on this one, I’d have to give this spot to Maddy in Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything. Her pure kind-hearted spirit and passion to see the world despite her ‘condition’ is amazing. And she’s pretty kickass for escaping.

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“Frosty the Snowman”
Which book just melts your heart?

Literally every romance book ever written. Except Twilight.

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“Feliz Navidad”
Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Hard to answer since most of the mainsteam Young Adult fiction is set in America! Let the UKYA scene run this for a bit guys …

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“Sleigh Ride”
Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with? This does not have to be a love interest.

Luca from Catherine Doyle’s Blood for Blood series. ‘Nuff said.

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“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Which book (that you didn’t like) would you sacrafice to a fire to keep yourself up in the cold?

Literally anything that is described as paranormal, dystopian or fantasy. And anything that even mentions the world apocalypse.

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“Do You Hear What I Hear”
Which book do you think everyone should read?

Again, revisit my Jingle Bell Tag!

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and, to all my faithful reader, remember to have a Merry Christmas!

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Book BlogMAX – The Jingle Bell Tag ’17

Today’s Christmas festivities are going to be kicked off with the wonderful ‘A Novel Glance’s‘ Christmas book tag, The Jingle Bell Tag. The tag itself mentions festive songs or themes and then asks the blogger a question to match. Feel free to leave your own responses in the comments below, or if you steal the tag, remember to credit A Novel Glance! Merry BlogMAX!

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“All I Want for Christmas is You’
What book do you want to see under the Christmas tree this year?

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The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily | Laura Creedle

This wonderful little gem of a book doesn’t hit the shelves until Boxing Day, so it’s highly unlikely I will be able to find it under the tree this year. However, it is high on my list of TBR!

Hopefully this is going to be a wonderful story to warm my heart this Christmas. But who knows? The book is about two protagonists with mental health, and young adult teaches you that anything can happen.

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“Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time’
Name a book that you read this year and absolutely loved.

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The One Memory of Flora Banks | Emily Barr

Such an unexpected story that really touched me – this book started out as something to read on a trip to a close by city. Flora has earned a place in my heart, and with that the tale of her adventures are something I’m sure I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Hopefully there is a bit of Flora in all of us.

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The Elf
What book unleashes your inner child?

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Monkey Puzzle | Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Words cannot describe how nostalgic this book makes me feel. Back in 2004, when a little six-year-old me was running around Primary school, I was cast as the lead in the school play of the story.

My heart still gets a little giddy when I heard the name ‘Julia Donaldson’.

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‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’
Which book has the most festive look to it this year?

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Christmas at Mistletoe Cottage | Lucy Daniels

I think this story has an unfair advantage, because it is first and foremost a Christmas story. But whenever I look at the cover of this book, I can almost feel the cold chill of the snow. Or maybe that’s just because I’m constantly eating ice cream?

But honestly, this book hands-down has the Christmas look.

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The Grinch
Who is your favourite villain?

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Valentino | Mafiosa | Catherine Doyle

So in the epic conclusion to the fantastic story of love and war between Sophie and two rival gangs, there is no greater villain to the story than Valentino – a boy who turns on his closest of family and orders such terrible things.

Guess that’s just mafia families.

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The Holiday
Name your two favourite couples.

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder | Sara Bernard

A newer couple in the young-adult game, Sara Bernard’s Steffi and Rhys were the epitome of adorable earlier this year. I fell in love with their story within minutes of reading about them.

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Noughts and Crosses | Malorie Blackman

A particularly special love of mine, the story of Persephone and Callum both built up my heart and broke it within the first book. Like Romeo and Juliet, their doomed romance was something that a twelve-year-old Cody fawned over.

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The Present
What book would you like to give all your followers?

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Stick Man | Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Okay, okay. I know most of you reading this blog are not of younger origin. A book like Stick Man might seem incredibly basic – but it’s a beautiful children’s tale of a man’s journey home. It also helps that it was adapted for television, with the trailer just below.

But even if this book is above your age range, this is still one of my favourite little gems – so give it a try this Christmas season.

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And remember, above all – have a Merry Christmas!

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Review | Still Me by Jojo Moyes (First Chapter)

Still Me (Hardback)
Title | Still Me
Author | Jojo Moyes
Pages | 480 pages
Series | Me Before You, #3
Publisher | Penguin Books
Release Date (UK) | January 25th, 2018
Release Date (US) | January 30th, 2018
Find it on Goodreads, Amazon and Waterstones

From the sensational #1 New York Times bestselling author Jojo Moyes, a new book featuring her iconic heroine of Me Before Youand After You, Louisa Clark

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is thrown into the world of the superrich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world.

Before she knows what’s happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. In Still Me, as Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets–not all her own–that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

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When I checked my emails this morning, I never expected an email alerting me to an exclusive preview of Jojo Moyes’ Still Me – the brilliant third instalment of the Me Before You series. Naturally, I jumped at the offer and gratefully read the first eighteen pages of the upcoming book. And from first impressions, I just know this book is going to fly off the shelves when it lands in January.

Lou is back – plain and simple. Her personality, her experiences and literally everything else that we love about her is already being channelled into this story and I cannot be more thrilled. What I adored about the first two books in the series was the effect that went into Louisa as a character. Within the first page or so of chapter one, Lou’s personality shines bright.

The plot for this book sounds absolutely amazing as well – so I can’t wait to get my hands on a full copy of the book. I expect wonderful things from Still Me. It would be unjust to give the first chapter a score, but it has definitely set me up to finish the full edition when released. Waiting for January …

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Different cover variations may be available depending on who and where the book has been published. It is normal for books to circulate different publishing houses from time to time. Still Me will be available in the following covers.

Still Me (Hardback)

UK Edition

US Edition

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Danish Edition

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French Edition

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German Edition

 

Review | The Scent of Rain by Anne Montgomery

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Title | The Scent of Rain
Author | Anne Montgomery
Pages | 386 pages
Publisher | Treehouse Publishing House
Series | None
Release Date | March 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl–Rose–running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

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When asked by the author whether I would be interested in reading and reviewing her story, it was fair to say that the sounds of the plot intrigued me. So naturally, I caved and Anne Montgomery send me a wonderful digital copy of the book – something I cannot thank her for enough. A fair description of The Scent of Rain would be a haunting yet captivating account of life in a cult. Although the story is a work of fiction, the reality behind the book is sadly not – this is a reality to some people who cannot see the true horror under their nose.

The pace and tone in The Scent of Rain make it a very easy read. Despite the constant inability to do anything recently, I finished the book within three hours. Despite the sensitive nature of the story, it was very easy to carry on reading as the chapters weren’t incredibly long. While this is a risky tactic, the author pulled it off really well here. Set in third-person, the book takes a mature but simplistic approach throughout the entire story. It isn’t an incredibly difficult read, which only inspires the readers to read a little bit more. As the book is over 300 pages long, it faces the difficulty of becoming too long and boring. However, The Scent of Rain tackles this well, as each part of the story is well thought out and necessary in the unravelling of the mysteries the book hides.

Something I wasn’t completely crazy about in the beginning was the changing of personas. The book would follow one character in one character and introduce a new one in the next. While this is something that is critical to the telling in the story, in the beginning it can be quite confusing trying to remember who is who. It’s only about after ten chapters when it starts to settle down and bit and you find your footing as a reader – and as a book with around one hundred chapters, this could be something that sways readers away from completing the story. Yet towards the conclusion of the story, the switching personas was a very interesting tactic – keeping the book fresh and understandable. It could have been introduced a little better in the beginning however.

When thinking about modern society and the problems within it, cults aren’t the first thing that spring to mind. Most people see them as a minority of society, a small sector of people who believe in religion too much. They don’t see these groups as a threat to anybody’s health or wellbeing – when the sad truth is that these cults are more damaging than you’d expect. This was something I absolutely adored in The Scent of Rain. The author, Anne Montgomery, was not afraid of truthfully portraying a Fundamentalist Mormon cult in America. As an English citizen, the only cult that has touched my life is the Church of Scientology – with the closest church being situated in Manchester, only thirty minutes from where I live. What I, and many of my British citizens, fail to witness is the mass injustice and danger cults have. Perhaps I was lucky growing up, as I studied cults as part of an optional curriculum. I’m all too familiar with the People’s Temple and Jonestown – but there are so many people out there that have no idea. The Scent of Rain creates such a realistic portrayal of life in a cult.

To conclude, this was the first book I’ve sat down and read in a while. And I could not think of a better novel to ease me back into the world of fiction. Essential reading for both young adults and adults alike. There is literally nothing else I can say, except buy this book.

5 stars

Hiatus Report | What Really Happened …

Hello my lovelies! It’s been a very long time since my last past on this blog, and I could not be more saddened by this fact. While I had a duty to keep this blog up to standard and fresh for you all, my eyes have fallen off the ball – and here we are two months without review. It’s fair of me to admit that my posting habits within the past year has been abysmal. But I want to reassure you that I am back – and while I’m not 100% sure how long for, this post is going to explain (as much as I can) my absence.

It may be no surprise to many of my readers here that I am a law student – a second year LLB law student who is just managing to keep her head above the water in terms of assignments. First semester is thoroughly kicking my arse, and as a result my head is stuck in text books instead of fiction. That doesn’t mean I haven’t got some amazing stories coming up for review – because I do! I just haven’t had any time to put into reading outside of my university commitments. This year’s results count for something in my degree – and so there is a lot of pressure behind this.

Yet the biggest reason for my absence is my mental state given the current time. Although my story is not uncommon, my parents are currently going through a separation – something that I’ve grown up seeing happen to other people but never really expected to go through. The emotion toll has alienated me from even the most of basic things, and while I struggle to find my footing again – blogging has perhaps been the last thing on my mind.

While none of these are the best excuses, they are all I have to show. And so I pledge to you all, or to whoever can be bothered to stick around to the end, that I will try to post as often as I can. Childishly Passionate is something I adore, it is my baby. I want it to be something amazing, and as 2018 approaches, this is something I am going to make happen.

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Thanks x

Series Review | Guarding Hearts by Kirsty Moseley

If you’re new to the blog, you will have not yet experienced the opportunity to understand just how much I fan-girl over self-published Wattpad authors. Recently, I was given the amazing opportunity to review the two re-releases of the fabulous Kirsty Moseley’s books! This woman is a good, and her books have had me captivated since 2010.

The books in question just happen to be her ‘Guarding Hearts’ series, which was originally published under the title Nothing Left to Lose. However, her Polish publisher decided that the book itself was too long for a standalone novel and decided to split it. As a result, Kirsty followed and re-released the book into two novels – Guarding the Broken and Blurring the Lines.

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Perhaps the easiest way to sum up Guarding the Broken is through the serious use of the word ‘intense’. There is honestly no other way to describe it. Anna has a helluva lot bad luck at the beginning of the story and you can’t help but be heartbroken for her.

The romance between Anna and Ashton is perfect and I can’t help but swoon every time I read about them. I do have to admit that at times I honestly wanted to bang their heads together, but the book is honestly such a good story that I let the book go with the flow.

This is perhaps Kirsty Moseley at her best, creating men that women can’t help but fall for – even if completely fictional. The book is a must read for all romance fans, and the best part? It’s completely free on Amazon!

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Blurring the Lines was a perfect conclusion to the story between Anna and Ashton. I think most people will fall in love with this story simply because it is so gripping that you need to know what happens.

I adored how the book flowed from the first and into the second, and these two novels only reinstate my love of Kirsty Moseley!

The series is available now on Amazon, so I recommend that you give both books a chance. You will definitely not be disappointed.

Plot | 9 out of 10 | Adorable! A real test of love.
Theme | 9 out of 10 | Forbidden love is always epic.
Characters | 8 out of 10 | Honestly heartbreaking.
Romance | 10 out of 10 | Insert heart-eyed emoji here.
Tone and Pace | 4 out of 10 | A little drawn out in places.
Cover Art | 10 out of 10 | The perfect book covers.

Overall Series Reading | 4 out of 5 | Absolutely loved the series!

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Kirsty Moseley
Kirsty Moseley

I am a traditionally published and Indie author that hails from sunny England (I lie, it’s not really that sunny here!) I’m a hopeless romantic, so of course my main writing focus is romance. I love to create swoon-worth males that steal your breath! I write both mature YA and new adult.

As well as being a writer I’m also an avid reader, mum to one little boy, proud chocoholic and an absolute beast at Lego PlayStation games.

If I had to sum myself up in one word, it would probably be ‘daydreamer’ – but unlike most of my school teachers, I don’t necessarily view that as a bad thing. After all, I read somewhere once that books are like waking dreams…