Review | The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Title | The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author | Emily Barr
Pages | 303
Publisher | Penguin
Series | None
Release Date | January 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

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The One Memory of Flora Banks was a book that I didn’t expect to get read this month. I grabbed a copy on the way to Manchester and decided I’d get it read on the coach. It’s fair to admit that my assumption from the beginning of the story was that this would not be something I enjoyed – despite all the fabulous reviews I’ve seen floating around. Yet all prejudices aside, this book was something I really enjoyed reading.

I am really here. Yet I know I am not. I am inside something that must be buried in my head. I am layers deep in my own brain.

The story follows the life of Flora Banks, a girl who has anterograde amnesia. As a result she has to write down basic facts about herself on her arms for when she can no longer remember. I cannot imagine how terrifying it must be to be thinking one thing one minute, and then the next you believe you’re ten again and have no idea where you are. I’d be fairly emotional, and Flora deals with it incredibly well. So it is more than fair to say that Flora is a character of both depth and development. Her courage is admiring as she embarks on a trip that even I, a person with intact memory, wouldn’t be able to have.

The inside of my head is out of control. It is on fire. It is snowing. It is a wild jungle. It is an Arctic wilderness. It is everything that has ever happened and everything that ever will happen, all at once.

I expected the book to be a lot more sinister than it was. There wasn’t much foulplay, and when I first picked up this book, the synopsis led me to believe that there was a murder. However, although the book is completely different to what I first expected, I really honestly enjoyed it. I enjoyed reading about Flora and Drake. I enjoyed reading as her memory began to unravel. I enjoyed reading when Flora captivated all the strangers she met. The One Memory of Flora Banks is definitely a story that has a few unexpected twists and turns – but I love that about it. It’s completely different to other fiction I have read – and I’m pleased it became part of Zoella’s Books Club!

Don’t panic, because everything is probably all right, and it it’s not, panicking will make it worse.

Emily Barr has really set the standard with this book, and I can’t wait to read her further works! I believe that the book is well deserving of its place in Zoella’s Book Club, and I would definitely recommend this story to every other YA reader and blogger. Thank you to Emily Barr for writing such a fantastic novel!

5 stars

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Usually a book goes through several cover changes in its lifetime. Most variation depends on the publishing location. The One Memory of Flora Banks is available in the following cover formats.

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Don’t just take my word for it! Here are what a few other bloggers worldwide had to say about the book.

Emily @ A Cup of Witt Tea says “If you are looking for a new YA read, I cannot recommend ‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ enough.”

Camilla @ Twenty Three Pages says “If you’re looking for a light read with serious undertones, I strongly recommend picking this up.”

Aoife @ Pretty Purple Polka Dots says “A fantastic journey of self-discovery, an intriguing look at life with amnesia, and a reminder that maybe your parents aren’t always right.”

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Emily Barr

About Emily Barr

Emily Barr worked as a journalist in London, but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. She went travelling for a year, writing a column in the Guardian about it as she went, and it was there that she had an idea for a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, which won the WH Smith New Talent Award. She has since written eleven more adult novels published in the UK and around the world, and a novella, Blackout, for the Quick Reads series. Her twelfth novel, The Sleeper, is a psychological thriller set on the London to Cornwall sleeper train.

In 2013 she went to Svalbard with the idea of setting a thriller in the Arctic. The book that came out of it was The One Memory of Flora Banks, a thriller for young adults, which attracted universal interest from publishers before being bought pre-emptively by Penguin earlier this year. It will be published globally in January 2017.
She lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children.

Contact Details

Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate


Review | Obscured by C.M. Boers


Title | Obscured
Author | C.M. Boers
Pages | 216
Publisher | None
Series | Obscured, #1
Release Date | August 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

Abby Martin thought she was an ordinary girl about to start high school. But when her mom announces that they’re moving to Arizona, vivid nightmares start plaguing Abby’s nights. As she settles into her new school and a cute guy named Pete catches her eye, she hopes that life might somehow get back to normal. To Abby’s horror, “normal” becomes a thing of the past as she’s swept up into a world of immortal protectors wielding supernatural gifts. When Abby realizes she’s a pawn in a centuries-old feud, she must figure out who she can trust before she’s caught in the crossfire.

Prepare yourself for heart-pounding suspense in the world of Obscured, where nothing is as it seems and danger lurks in unexpected places.

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It’s not very often in the world of fiction where I find myself unable to read a book. Even if I get that nagging feeling at the back of my head, I will push it away and soldier on. Sadly, this was something I could not do when I was reading C.M. Boer’s Obscured. It was simply too hard for me to read, and not because of the complexity of the book. No, I found myself struggling simply because the type of writing was not my usual form and seemed all too basic for me.

The review for this book is not going to be very long admittedly. I made it to the end of the third chapter and just felt so simply underwhelmed by the book that I had no option but to shelve it. Let it be made clear that I do not fault the author – everyone has a different writing style and sometimes some books are just incompatible with specific readers. I do have however, a large amount of respect for the author as I understand that writing and even publishing a book can be a very hard task to accomplish. Kudos to her on that ground.

Abby seemed incredibly two-dimensional for my liking. She didn’t seem to have a personality or a substance beyond what I read. In the politest way possible, Abby Martin needed more development. It came across that she was more of a draft-copy of the protagonist, lacking the direction and strength a reader could need. With improvement on her personality, and the depth she is given I could have liked Abby more. But I didn’t, and I’m quite regretful of that.

This did seem like a book would I like off the bat, albeit the out of character genre of YA Supernatural. When starting the book, it felt like I’d already read it before. This is because the beginning of the book is like something I would find on the draft novels on Most of the information I was given within the first few chapters seemed so basic and irrelevant to the novel. I could simply not finish the book, and that really sucks.

To conclude, I wish the book had been better. It is not often when I give a book one star, but I feel like the book needs redrafting and rewriting. It is a god draft, but there is a lot of development – in both the plot, the writing and the characters – that needs to be done before I could possibly make it to the end of the novel. Thank you to the author for allowing me the chance to read the book. I’m sorry I could not enjoy the book.

1 star

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Still unsure as to whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers had to say about the book!

Julie @ Fangirls Read It First says “It was well worth my time and I enjoyed reading it.”

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C.M. Boers

About C.M. Boers

I am a wife and mother of three. I grew up in the sunshine state of Arizona with a love of reading and an ambition to write. But never took my writing seriously until after the birth of my first child. After that I took up writing in my spare time and I haven’t stopped since.

Like me on Facebook!

Contact Details

Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate

Cover Reveal | Nothing Left to Lose Relaunch by Kirsty Moseley + GIVEAWAY

Nothing Left To Lose

Guarding The Broken (Part 1)

Blurring The Lines (Part 2)

BOTH Books Release September 6, 2017

Covers by: Concierge Literary Designs


Nothing Left to Lose has been a big hit with over 760 4/5 star reviews on Amazon and almost 11,000 4/5 star reviews on Goodreads. With over 500 pages Author Kirsty Moseley though she would follow her Polish Publisher’s lead and split the book in two and make the first book PERMA FREE!! What this means is that the first book will be free for download on all available ebook sites.

Annabelle Spencer’s life is every girl’s dream. She has wonderful parents, great friends, and of course the perfect boyfriend, Jack Roberts. But her dream life turns into a nightmare when, on the night of her sixteenth birthday, Jack is murdered right in front of her, and she’s kidnapped by his murderer, Carter Thomas, and held for ten months.

Three years on and Anna is no longer the happy-go-lucky girl that everyone used to know and love; she’s now cold, hard and suffers from night terrors. It appears that, during her time with him, Carter broke not only her body but her spirit too.

Carter is currently serving time for the murder of Jack, a conviction that Anna helped secure. But his retrial is coming up because some key evidence appears to have been tampered with. Needing to ensure his daughter’s safety, Presidential Candidate, Senator Spencer tasks in Ashton Taylor, a newly qualified SWAT agent, to guard the broken girl and keep her safe until the end of the trial.

For three years Anna has refused to feel emotion or pain, but can Ashton help her rebuild her life and finally deal with the grief of losing her childhood sweetheart? Will he be the one to make her see that life is, in fact, worth living and that not all men will hurt her?


With Ashton at her side, Anna begins to feel more like her old self again. Together, they’re rebuilding her life and attempting to heal old wounds. The more time they spend together, the closer they become, but unfortunately, this only serves to complicate matters further. The undercover pretense of being boyfriend and girlfriend slowly ceases to be a game as both find themselves increasingly blurring the lines between the act and the reality.

With her father now President-Elect, Anna and Ashton are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain some semblance of privacy. With the world’s press obsessing over the future First Daughter, Ashton’s job of protecting her has just become a whole lot harder.

All the while the trial grows ever closer, looming over them both, taunting them, reminding them that it isn’t over yet. After all, Carter Thomas will stop at nothing to be reunited with his ‘Princess’.




About Kirsty Moseley

I was born in Hertfordshire, England. In 2000 I moved to Norfolk, it was there that I met my husband, Lee. Now, what can I say about Lee, apart from everyone should have one? He’s my biggest supporter, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without his encouragement and endless support. He is my inspiration behind most of my male leads, I always try to bring a little of him in somewhere, be it his kindness, selflessness, or just his ability to make me feel treasured.

In 2005, I was gifted with the birth of my son. He is, and always will be, the best thing I have ever done in my life. As you can probably tell, I’m a very proud mummy.

I have always been interested in writing, but after the birth of my son, I accidentally came across an amateur writing site. After a couple of months of just reading on there, I finally plucked up the courage and posted one of my stories. I was shocked and overwhelmed by the support of readers on there and they gave me the confidence to get where I am today.

In April 2012, I self-published my first novel ‘The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window’ and I haven’t looked back since.

Lastly, 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….


Connect with Kirsty Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | BookBub | Website | Goodreads

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Review | 23:27 by H. L. Roberts

23 27
Title | 23:27
Author | H. L. Roberts
Pages | 284
Series | None
Publisher | N.A
Release Date | August 2017
Find it on Goodreads.

Fame. Money. Glory.

These were all the things that you would expect from being famous. The bait that the producers of the industry would tempt you with to get you on their side.

What they don’t tell you though are all the inner tragedies that come along just as quickly. They don’t tell you about the heartache that occurs when you realize that this wasn’t what you wanted at all.

They don’t tell you about the pressure that’s always on the verge of crushing you when you’re forced to do everything that the public demands for and not what you truly desire.

They don’t tell you about the self hatred that would soon take over your entire being at the thought that you will never be good enough.

No – they don’t tell you these things at all.

But, Lilith Rose will.

When Lilith Rose, lead singer to one of the most famous rock bands around gets tired of all the lies and secrets that comes with being famous. She decides that it’s time for all of it to stop and ends up revealing everything on a Facebook live stream.

The result…

“Part of me wants to die tonight, part of me wants it to be an accident, and part of me wants someone to notice and save me.”

branch and berry

Sometimes when I sit down to write a review, I don’t really have an idea on what I should say. This is normally because my thoughts are so scattered about a particular book. Today, that book is H. L. Roberts 23:27. Summarising the book up in one word would result in a strong use of the word ‘emotional’.

The story plot was something that I wasn’t expected. I was aware from the get-go that the book was a romance, but I didn’t realise it would be one of those stories that made you ball your eyes out. It reminded me of a Nicholas Sparks novel, because I simply cried that much. The book puts a very bright spotlight on the issues of suicide and racism – two things that are very much prevalent in today’s modern society. I adored how the book shows that there is still a lot of racism in the music industry, and even in the film industry. While times are changing, certain groups are being marginalised by the top people in society.

“You couldn’t believe we could let two of the most talked about members of United Misfits become a powerhouse couple? For God’s sake, you’re black and she’s white!”

23:27 is also an excellent book for it shines a light on the manipulation that goes down when becoming a famous. Everybody wants to be famous in some way, right? I loved how H. L. Roberts shows that management teams don’t always have your best interests at heart – they sometimes have their own to protect. Its sad and its horrible, but its reality, and I really appreciated this being shown in the story.

Lilith was definitely a strong character for what she had to do. Her weaknesses were used against her a lot in the story, which puts a lot of pressure on her. Its interesting to see how she deals with things, and how her outlook is on life. She’s not your everyday female protagonist. Perhaps the strongest characterisation was on Alec. Alec has to watch most of the story unfold quite helpless, and although he lost his cool a few times, his reaction is ultimately justifiable. Most of the narrative is told from his point of view, which is interesting to see. Alec is quite a complex character in reality, and his love and passion is something that only makes him even more adorable.

“Her mind may have chosen him, but her heart will always choose you.”

I must admit that I did feel that the last half of the book seemed a little unnecessary. I would have been more than happy with the first half of the book being a standalone novel. But this is not a massive criticism, and so I will not push on it. I did actually quite enjoy the book. The pacing was easy and simple, and I finished the book within three hours. This was something I’d definitely purchase, and I look forward to future works from H. L. Roberts.

4 stars

branch and berry

– H. L. Roberts –

H.L. Roberts is a short story writer and a novelist from a small town in Kentucky. As she was writing her debut novel, 23:27, she was working towards getting her her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Marketing and also was working towards her minor in Psychology. When she isn’t reading a book you can find her raising awareness about mental illness, suicide prevention, and epilepsy.

You can follow her and her writing ventures at


Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate



Review | My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix


Title | My Best Friend’s Exorcism
Author | Grady Hendrix
Pages | 336
Series | None
Publisher | Quirk Books
Release Date | May 2016
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act . . . different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

branch and berry

Okay, so this book review has been a long time coming. I seriously mean that – when I finished reading Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism, I had planned to review it the day after – when the book was fresh in my mind and completely new to me. But it has serious taken me over SEVEN months to catch my thoughts about this book. Despite all the variables that have put me off, I think it’s finally time I sat down and put out a review. I think the one way to describe the book is: spell-binding.

“I love you, Gretchen Lang. You are my reflection and my shadow and I will not let you go. We are bound together forever and ever! Until Halley’s Comet comes around again. I love you dearly and I love you queerly and no demon is bigger than this!”

This book was completely out of my comfort zone from the get-go. Very rarely will I pick up an adult fiction book. I’m of average intelligence, but sometimes the writing style in adult fiction tends to be too complex for my little mind to comprehend. And when I was given this book, I assumed that it was young adult. So the complexity of the book made it a challenging read, but I was happy by the time I got through it and to the end. While it wasn’t something I wasn’t pleased with in the book, it would be unjust to penalise the author for it as I was reading something totally out of my comfort zone. And in all honesty, the sophisticated, in depth writing style was incredibly impressive – so hats off to Mr Hendrix there.

“Corn dogs,” the exorcist said, “are all the proof I need that there is a God.” 

Also, the book was definitely a lot darker than I expected, as it falls into the horror genre. Horror is something I avoid like the plague – it is not my style and I hate to be freaked out. My Best Friend’s Exorcism definitely has its moments where I debated doing a Joey Tribbiani and hiding it in the freezer. But as I had a digital edition, I couldn’t stick my kindle in the freezer. The plot however, is incredibly strong. Maybe it’s because I avoid the style, but it was completely and utterly original. I hadn’t seen that kind of plot anywhere else – not really in movies or anything either. Again, something I will point out is that the setting was the 1980s – something I was not around for so I didn’t exactly understand a few odd references here and there.

“By the power of Phil Collins, I rebuke you!” she said. “By the power of Phil Collins, who knows that you coming back to me is against all odds, in his name I command you to leave this servant of Genesis alone.” 

Of course it is only fair to give a mention to the fabulous cover that encases the brilliant novel too. It was admittedly (although I make no secret of it) one of the main things that drew me to the book in the beginning. Yet at the same time it was something that I used to mistake the book for young adult fiction too. However, the moody attitude of the novel and sense of isolation is tied together perfectly on the front cover. Whoever designed it did a wonderful job.

Brother Lemon and Abby looked at each other, eyes gleaming in the shadows, and then he stood up. Rummaging in one of his duffle bags, he pulled out an athletic cup and slid it down the front of his pants. He caught Abby staring.

“First place they go for,” he explained. He adjusted himself and picked up a well worn bible.”

I am glad that I read to the end to discover what happened to Abby and Gretchen. I was impressed with how their friendship withstood the novel. It was an all-around amazing read. The story definitely has a stellar ending, and I would more than likely recommend the book to someone who it would suit. If I overlook the fact that this was not in my comfort zone, the book earns a fabulous four stars. Perhaps I shall give Grady Hendrix’s further works a read when I’m feeling brave, because I was quite impressed with this one.

4 Stars

branch and berry

Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Flavia @ Flavia The Bibliophile says “I highly recommend this book to those who like the 1980s, who like to read about the power of friendship, and those who are intrigued by the prospect of a book which mixes the spooky with the hilarious!”

Jackie @ Never Imitate says “I had expected to enjoy this story more than I did. ”

Yvette @ Book Worlder says “I don’t see myself rereading this one, demons just aren’t my thing.”


Usually a book goes through several cover changes in its lifetime. Most variation depends on the publishing location. My Best Friend’s Exorcism is available in the following cover formats.

Cover 01 | 2017 Re-Design

Designed to fit in the eighties themes in the book, the cover looks authentic and fabulous.

Cover 02 | 2016 Original

Original cover that caught my attention really easily!


branch and berry

Grady Hendrix

Grady Hendrix

Grady Hendrix is the author of the novels Horrorstör, the only book you’ll ever need about a haunted Scandinavian furniture superstore, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which is like Beaches meets The Exorcist, only it’s set in the Eighties.

His fiction has appeared in Lightspeed MagazineStrange HorizonsPseudopod, and The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination. He is one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival and his nonfiction has appeared in VarietySlatePlayboyTime Out New YorkThe New York Sun, and The Village Voice.


Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate


Blog Tour | Love in the Friendzone by Molly E. Lee

Title | Love in the Friend Zone
Author | Molly E. Lee
Pages | 200
Series | Grad Night #1
Publisher | Entangled Teen
Release Date | August 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

The only thing worse than not being able to tell your best friend you’re head over heels in love with him? Having to smile and nod when he enlists your help to ensnare the girl of his dreams.

Braylen didn’t even want to go to Lennon Pryor’s epic graduation-night party, but when Fynn begs her to be his “wingwoman,” she can’t deny him. Talking up her BFF—how he’s magic behind a camera, with a killer sense of humor and eyelashes that frame the most gorgeous blue eyes in the history of forever—is easy. Supporting his efforts to woo someone so completely wrong for him? Not so much.

Fynn knows that grad night is his last shot before leaving for college to find true love. And thanks to Bray, he gets his chance with the beautiful Katy Evans. But over the course of the coolest party of their high school careers, he starts to see that perhaps what he really wants has been in front of him all along. Bray’s been his best friend since kindergarten, though, and he’d rather have her in his life as a friend than not at all.

branch and berry

Where should I start with this review? Entangled fiction tends to be simplified romance that is cute and sweet. They’re great to pass time, and better to help you get over book hangovers. Love in the Friend Zone, although a Entangled fiction story, completely smashed my stereotype. Molly E. Lee has written such a fabulous tale of romance that I cannot stop thinking about. And I finished the book a week ago!

“That sounds either super Prince Charming-y of you or borderline rapey.”

Love in the Friend Zone is story of a girl who is in love with her best friend, but is all secretive about it. It’s got the whole cliche ‘everybody knows but you two’ element, but it was tasteful. The main thing I loved about the book was that it was a story of a single day, spread out over 300 pages. Normally, this kind of thing just doesn’t slide with me. It can get boring, and I can literally want to shoot myself. Not once did that I get that feeling with this book though. NOT ONCE! Instead, the books pacing and tone was so perfectly executed the novel sort of just drifted by. Once second I’m sitting down with my kindle, the next I’m cursing because I’ve spent four hours fixated to a screen. It didn’t get boring at all. It didn’t feel overly-simplified and the plot was really cute to follow.

There were times when I thought of Zoey as the most intelligent girl I knew, and then there were time I wanted to strangle her for making everyone else’s problems look so easy to fix.

This was one of the latter times.

The characters were adorable. I’m not going to lie; I did expect there to be this awkward-as-hell love triangle going on for a while. If there is one thing I hate in a romance novel, it’s a love triangle. Simply not got the time for them. But Braylen and Fynn were simply two cute for words. While the characters were quite two-dimensional, merely as they didn’t have to face much more than relationship issues, they were quite charming. I appreciated Braylen’s love of Fynn, but her need to preserve her friendship and ensure her best friend’s happiness. I mean, who wouldn’t? I’ve been there and I’m sure many other millions of girls have. Fynn was also incredibly adorable, but I constantly wanted to beat him around the head with the book and tell him to man up. 

My reading has been few and far between recently with a list of family issues myself, but this was perhaps the easiest book I’ve read this year. The flow and movement of the plot, the characterisation and the flawless writing from Molly E. Lee have definitely made this one of my favourite romance books. I think I’ve just gained a story I can come back to during a book hangover.

Clearly the universe is sending me a million signs not to explain things to him.

Perhaps my only grievance with the book is that I live in the United Kingdom. This book was simply amazing, but to add it to my physical collection would be a costly task – as the prices here would be between £15 and £20 for a paperback edition, not including shipping. However, this will not affect the scoring of Love in the Friend Zone as that is an issue for the publisher and not the author. However, if you are able to get your hands on a physical copy; go ahead and do it! This book deserves to be read, and the author definitely deserves massive support. I’m giving Love in the Friend Zone a high five snowflakes for simply peeking up my summer and making me feel the burn to read again. Thanks Molly E. Lee!

5 starsbranch and berry


Molly E. Lee

Molly writes New Adult and Young Adult Contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.

website | twitter



Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate

Review | The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount

Title | The Way It Hurts
Author | Patty Blount
Pages | 352
Publisher | Sourcebooks
Series | None
Release Date | August 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there’s only one way to set things right…

Music is Elijah’s life. His band plays loud and hard, and he’ll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he’d rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town…until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother’s. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program―and being the star in her high school musical isn’t going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can’t take his eyes off of Kristen’s performance, and his swooning face is captured on camera and posted with an out-of-context comment. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don’t stay online…they follow them into real life. 

branch and berry

The name Patty Blount is a name synonymous with some of the best young adult fiction available – novels such as TMI and Some Boys. While these books had me absolutely hooked and willing to read on, her latest fictional piece – The Way It Hurts – sadly did not. Although the plot did seem pretty solid, the pacing and the execution of the novel seemed too slow and drawn out for me. Because of this, I only read up to page 179, regrettably making it part of my DNF (did not finish) shelf.

Music was peace to me – sanity in all the chaos Anna caused.

The book itself has a pretty strong story to it – girl needs boy, boy needs girl, sexual chemistry and boom! Together by the finish. However, as I stated before, the execution of such a story seemed far to drawn out for me. Whether it was such to establish narratives from both Elijah and Kristen, I’m not entirely sure. But something about it just didn’t work for me. The plot does seem like a few books I have read previously, and while I’m sure that The Way It Hurts is an entirely original piece of fiction, I could just not shake off the boredom.

“You know, Richard, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.”

“Of course, Mother. I was merely catering to my audience, as you taught me.”

Two characters I did absolutely adore from what I read, were Elijah and Etta. As soon as Etta was introduced, I fell in love with her brutal honesty and unwitting charm. She had some serious personality for a fictional character, and I saw one of my closest friends in her phrases and mannerisms. Patty Blount brilliants portrays her fabulously privileged character through her behaviour in the story. In reality, it would have been a hard task not to fall in love with Etta.

As for Elijah, the situation with his disabled sister Anna really broke my heart. It was adorable to read how he used music to communicate when she could not. The bathtub scene at the start was something I absolutely loved, and his desire to protect his younger sister was admirable. In all the rush of being Elijah, the Rock Star, he didn’t forget his sister. Instead she was his motivation.

She smiled brightly. “And now I know I am far too self-absorbed to love any man more than I love myself.”

Despite only reaching page 179 before calling it quits on the book, this has in no way coloured my opinion of the author or her books. Writing is an incredibly hard thing to do, and the fact she has already blessed the YA world with so many stories is wonderful. Although I could not personally read the rest of The Way It Hurts, that does not mean to say that anyone else should be discouraged from reading it.

Finally, he shook his head. “No. You’ll sing for them.” He wiggled his phone at me.

Perhaps in the future I can attempt to re-read the story and find it more to my taste. Yet at this current moment in time, I cannot. I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. The Way It Hurts will only receive one star from me.

1 starbranch and berry

+ Patty Blount +

Patty Blount grew up quiet and a bit invisible in Queens, NY, but found her voice in books. Today, she writes smart and strong characters willing to fight for what’s right. She’s the award-winning author of edgy, realistic, gut-wrenching contemporary and young adult romance. Still a bit introverted, she gets lost often, eats way too much chocolate, and tends to develop mad, passionate crushes on fictional characters. Let’s be real; Patty’s not nearly as cool as her characters, but she is a solid supporter of women’s rights and loves delivering school presentations.


Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate