Tag Archives: booknerd

You Too? Blog Tour + Book Review

You Too bannerThis is my stop during the blog tour for You Too? by Janet Gurtler. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 6 till 24 January. See the tour schedule here.

You Too?

Edited by Janet Gurtler.

Genre: Non-fiction.

Age category: Young Adult, New Adult

Release Date: January 7, 2020

You Too

Blurb: A timely and heartfelt collection of essays inspired by the #MeToo movement, edited by acclaimed young adult and middle-grade author Janet Gurtler. Featuring Beth Revis, Mackenzi Lee, Ellen Hopkins, Saundra Mitchell, Jennifer Brown, Cheryl Rainfield and many more.When #MeToo went viral, Janet Gurtler was among the millions of people who began to reflect on her past experiences. Things she had reluctantly accepted—male classmates groping her at recess, harassment at work—came back to her in startling clarity. She needed teens to know what she had not: that no young person should be subject to sexual assault, or made to feel unsafe, less than or degraded.You Too? was born out of that need. By turns thoughtful and explosive, these personal stories encompass a wide range of experiences and will resonate with every reader who has wondered, “Why is this happening to me?” or secretly felt that their own mistreatment or abuse is somehow their fault—it’s not. Candid and empowering, You Too? is written for teens, but also an essential resource for the adults in their lives—an urgent, compassionate call to listen and create change.

You can find You Too? on Goodreads.

You can buy You Too? here:- Amazon ebookAmazon hardcopyBarnes & NobleKoboIndieboundIndigo.

My thought on the book

“But we need to keep talking about the hard stuff. And we need to listen. We need to hear from survivors. We need to work toward making this world a place where other people will be able to say with confidence “NOT ME”. It never happened to me.”

This book is important – so, so important. It highlights issues you don’t want to think about, including – sexual assault, abuse, and harassment. Although, this book is aimed at teenagers, I think adults can also learn a lot from this book. It doesn’t brush anything under the carpet – in fact it bravely fought for attention, letting everyone know that this isn’t ok. It covers the challenges we face in today’s (and in past) societies. It shows how harassment and ‘harmless fun’ is anything but and needs to be shouted about from the rooftops, to let everyone know that it shouldn’t be happening. I think this book will make people who’ve experienced these issues feel heard and less alone. And just because someone may not be physically harmed, it can still live with them for a long time. I also think it will make teens aware that their actions have consequences, and can still damage someone for many years after the original event.

It was painful, but also empowering and inspiring. Everyone who contributed to this book is amazing and brave. The raw honesty in which they told their stories was something I cannot describe.

The beauty of sharing, of people coming together to share their experiences – their raw, personal and painful experiences were inspiring, and I think it will help people who’ve been through these things.

Although aimed at teens, I would recommend this to everyone who has the chance to read it. I have never read a book like it and I hope that it will be read for many years to come.

About the author

Janet Gurtler is a Rita finalist whose young adult books have been chosen for the JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION and as BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS from the Canadian Children’s Book Center. Janet lives in Calgary Alberta, Canada with her husband, son, a chubby black Chihuahua named Bruce and a Golden Retriever named Betty White.

You can find and contact Janet Gurtler here:- WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsAmazon

Book Review | The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

Title – The Outliers.

Author – Kimberly McCreight.

Publication date – 3rd May 2016.

Publisher – Harper Collins.

Series status – 1st book in the The Outliers series.


‘It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help.

Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?’

Add to Goodreads.

My thought on the book

4 star book review

I enjoyed this book and it was an interesting start to a trilogy. It’s mainly a Young Adult thriller with elements of Sci-fi thrown in. It was gripping, intense and super fast paced. It was hard to put down, and every time I did, I instantly wanted to pick it back up again. The mystery was thrilling and even when I thought I’d figured everything out – it got twisted around again.

I thought the portrayal of Wylie’s anxiety was well written and I didn’t find it stereotypical at all. I liked that Wylie was able to leave the house to rescue Cassie. But the author still showed us that just because she was able to do that, it didn’t mean the anxiety had gone away. I’ve read reviews saying they didn’t like the way the author handled Wylie’s anxiety. And how it was unrealistic how Wylie was able to leave the house ‘just like that’. Anxiety works in weird ways and so for that reason I wasn’t annoyed. For example, I am terrible in an emergency and I fall to pieces. However, my best friend who also has an anxiety disorder is able to push through and sort the emergency out. That doesn’t mean her anxiety has gone away, it just means different people are better in situations.

*I can’t explain this next bit without spoilers so beware;*

I was a little miffed towards the end of the book after it‘s revealed Wylie is an ‘Outlier’ and has special abilities. This, in my opinion, doesn’t help in making mental illness a normal topic in everyday life. Saying that, this book isn’t a contemporary novel so it worked in the genre, and I got over it pretty quickly. I still highly enjoyed the book and I’m excited for the series to continue.

*Spoilers over.*

Wylie was a great character, she reminded me of me in some ways. She’s always worrying about everything, always jumping to the worst conclusion. I connected with her, probably because I have an anxiety disorder. I felt myself nodding in parts because I knew exactly how she felt.

I didn’t like Jasper to begin with, but he grew on me. He seemed like a big jerk at the beginning but you can see he cared about Cassie and he started to care about Wylie too. He seemed like he had a big heart and so much kindness inside him but sometimes his anger got the better of him.

Cassie was a weird character. She was the only character that felt a bit flat and it was hard for me to connect with her. She was quite mysterious – and don’t get me wrong I love mysterious – but she was also creepy and I couldn’t figure her out at all.

Overall, there wasn’t much I didn’t like about this book. It was thrilling and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

About the author

‘Kimberly McCreight is the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, which was nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Alex Awards and was called Entertainment Weekly’s Favorite Book of the Year. Reconstructing Amelia has been optioned for film by HBO and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films. Ms. McCreight’s second adult novel, Where They Found Her, was a USA Today bestseller and a Kirkus Best Mystery of the Year. The Outliers, the first book in her teen trilogy, also a New York Times bestseller, has been optioned for film by Lionsgate, Mandeville, and Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard. The second book, The Scattering, is available now, and the third and final book, The Collide, will be published July 3, 2018. Ms. McCreight attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters.’

Find Kimberly: Facebook |Instagram. 

Have you read The Outliers? If so, what did you think about it? 


An Extremely Late June Fairyloot Unboxing

June Fairyloot Unboxing - Rebel’s in Ballgowns

I know it’s now the beginning of August but I’m still getting into the swing of this blogger thing. I also wanted to make sure everyone had received their box so I didn’t give anything away. I’ve been subscribed to FairyLoot for nearly a year now and I’ve loved it from the very beginning. I’ve never been disappointed and in my opinion they keep on getting better.

June theme – ‘Rebel’s in Ballgowns’.

Fairyloot unboxing. Includes Grace and Fury, reading journal, necklace, candle and magnetic bookmarks

Here is what was included in this amazing box!

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart.

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Every book included is a young adult fantasy and all the books I’ve received so far have been on my ‘to purchase’ list. Every box also comes with a letter from the author and the book is either signed or comes with a signed bookplate. This book sounds fantastic and I’m excited to read it. I also really love the design under the dust jacket, it’s so pretty and unique!

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Reading Journal (designed by Fiction Tea featuring quote art by Stella’s Bookish Art).

Reading journal - books I read, books readReading journalReading journal

I was thrilled with this reading journal! One of my favourite things about it is the inspirational book quotes that break up the months. It has spaces for the books read, books to buy, month at a glance, favourite quotes, weekly planner, and a space for random thoughts.

Masquerade Necklace (designed by Fairyloot).

Masquerade necklace

I’m not really a huge necklace wearer but I loved this. It fits perfectly with the theme and it’s so pretty.

‘Corvere’ candle inspired by Nevernight (created by Geeky Clean)

Candle inspired by Nevernight

I have an obsession with candles but I’ll never burn them.

1. Because I don’t want to burn my cats whiskers off (they like things that are dangerous, my cats definitely live up to the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’).

2. I have a Labrador and she has a wagging helicopter tail.

3. I want to keep them foreverrrrr because they smell so good.

Exclusive ‘Destiny’ pillowcase inspired by Legendary (designed by Miss Phi).

Pillowcase inspired by Legendary

When I received this box back in June I hadn’t read the Caraval series, but as of now I have. So this pillowcase is perfect. It’s stunning and I love the quote.

Shatter Me Magnetic Bookmarks (designed by Taratjah).

Shatter me inspired magnetic bookmarks

I love love love magnetic bookmarks (and just bookmarks in general). I have the first book in the Shatter Me series but I’ve yet to read it, but these bookmarks are just so cute and useful.

Iron on Patch inspired by The Selection series (designed by Ink and Wonder).

Iron on patch inspired by the selection

I LOVE ink and wonder designs. I actually discovered them from a previous Fairyloot box that included one of their woodmarks and I’ve been in love ever since. Again I haven’t read the Selection series yet but I love this quote.

Artwork (designed by Taratjah).

Artwork from Fairyloot

Also included every month is stunning artwork. I’m yet to do anything with the artwork – but I’m thinking I’m going to put them up on my wall in my new house. I always find the artwork super inspiring and as a writer it’s always good to have any form of inspiration.

So that’s it for June’s Fairyloot unboxing. I’m planning on doing an unboxing ever month (hopefully sooner than this one!) Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this.

Do you receive any book subscription boxes? If so – which ones?


Blog Instagram






5 Terrific Books That Handle LGBTQ+ Remarkably

As June was pride month I decided to put together some of my favourite books featuring LGBTQ+ characters. I didn’t plan on posting this a day late however why should LGBTQ+ be celebrated one month a year, how about we celebrate it every month? It’s so important in the book world to highlight that it’s ok to not fit into the ‘normal’ stereotypes of society. Hopefully the more books put out into the world with diverse characters, the more people who don’t feel as alone and the more people who will learn to understand better and accept people for who they are.

Here are my LGBTQ+ recommendations.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.

Radio Silence was one of my favourite reads of 2016, and has become one of my all time favourite contemporaries. If you know me – you know I’m not a massive contemporary reader, but when I read the synopsis on Netgalley I decided to give it a chance. I’m so glad I did because I’d not read a book like Radio Silence in forever. The characters are incredibly diverse and there are several characters who fit into the LGBTQ+ community. This book includes bisexual, demisexual, gay and lesbian characters. It’s so important to represent everybody – no matter how they identify and this book did this brilliantly.

You can find my review for Radio Silence here.

Half Bad by Sally Green.

One thing I feel is lacking in the fantasy and sci-fi genre is the representation of the LGBTQ+ community. Sometimes it feels like somehow because were in an alternate world or reality it doesn’t exist. Fortunately there are many books now that are starting to include this, and Half Bad is one of them. I loved how it showed Nathan’s struggle with his sexuality and how he didn’t accept it for a really long time.

If you’d like to check out my review of Half Bad here is the link.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

This is another fantasy book featuring LGBTQ+ characters. The characters in question Alec and Magnus, have become one of my all time favourite ships. It takes Alec a long time to accept his sexuality and it’s beautiful to watch him go on that journey. I also read an article published by The Telegraph, where Cassandra Clare said we need more LGBTQ+ representation in YA fiction and I 100% agree. The article is here if you’d like to check it out. It’s definitely something I’m going to try harder to include in my own writing.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

I’ll admit, this book wasn’t one I enjoyed overall, it wasn’t my cup of tea. However, I thought it handled the theme of sexuality very well which is why I’m including it in this list. One of the characters in the book – Charlie, who is the protagonist’s new friend, is openly gay. However as he is currently embroiled in a thing with the high school quarterback Brad, he is forced to keep his sexuality a secret. The quarterback is ashamed of his sexuality and doesn’t want anyone else to know. It handles Brad’s confusion and denial of his sexuality extremely well, and also shows how hard it can be in high school.

Bonus rec – The ABC’s of LGBT by Ash Hardell.

All the books above are YA fiction, but I wanted to also include this gem of a book. I am currently making my way through this and it is filled with a wealth of information on many different identities people identify as. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to find out more about the LGBTQ+ community, anyone who wants to understand and anyone who wants to figure out how they fit into the world. look

That’s it for my recommendations – I know there are so many books now that could have been included in this list. I’m trying to read more books including diverse characters and I know more and more are been released every month.

What are some of your recommendations for books including LGBTQ+ characters? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Other places I lurk.







Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want to Read by the End of the Year

Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Lainey @ gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. If you’d like to check it out and take part then you can find the Goodreads group here.

As usual, I have a TBR the size of Mount Everest and there are many books I want to read right this second! Unfortunately my brain can only handle reading 1 or 2 books at a time (but believe me I’ve tried to read more!). Here are the 5 books/series I want to read by the end of 2018.

1. Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

Yes yes, I’m still in in the minority of people who haven’t read this yet. I’ve had both books on my shelf for so long but I’ve not yet picked them up. I don’t know why because I’ve heard such amazing things. I’m determined I’m going to read them by the end of this year.

2. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.

I shall confess I bought this because of the cover 🙈 However, it is a book I know I will love!

3. Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo.

I was so excited when they announced this series and I have both this and Batman on my shelf. I have no excuses as to why I haven’t read them yet, I shall blame my lack of restraint when it comes to buying new books.

4. Caraval/Legendary by Stephanie Garber.

Another popular series I haven’t read yet. I am terrible at keeping up with new releases (so many books, so little time) but I will be reading this by the end of year. This is on my July TBR but we shall see if I stick to it or not.

5. Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling.

Another one I bought because of the cover. Well, I did read the synopsis before I purchased it so that’s an improvement 😂

What are some of the books you want to read by the end of the year?

Other places I lurk.





Stacking the Shelves #1

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. It’s a way to share books you’ve added to your shelf during the week. They can be physical or digital copies – purchased, borrowed or gifted etc.

If you’d like to find out more or take part – visit the official launch page for more details.

So, at the beginning of the week I was doing super good in the book buying world. I hadn’t brought many until I browsed The Works website. My best friend needed some wooden letters for a project she’s working on, and I noticed it was 6 for £10 and I was gone! Here are the books I collected this week;

  • Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger.

I spotted this book on my weekly charity shop hunt. I’m not a massive contemporary reader but I’ve heard amazing things about this author. This sounded like my cup of tea so I picked it up. Even better, I only paid a £1!

  • The Hidden Princess by Katy Moran.

As this is the 2nd book in a series, I still need to pick up the first book. The synopsis captured my attention and as it was on the 6 for £10 offer, I picked it up.

  • A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G Drews.

I’ve been reading this authors blog for years, and when I saw she was releasing a book, I knew I had to buy it. I’m looking forward to diving into it as I’ve heard amazing things about it.

  • Rawblood by Catriona Ward.

Books about curses? Yes please. Books about disease? Extra yes please. I read the first 2 lines of the synopsis and immediately added it to my basket.

  • The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman.

The cover is what first attracted me to this book. I love the colours, and moons happen to be a special favourite of mine when featured on book covers.

  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Guin.

This book has been on my radar for a while now. Anything with wizards and dragons gets my full attention.

  • Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg.

Another one of my greatest interests in books is cults. I have no idea why I find them so fascinating but there’s something about them that ignites my interest.

  • The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Hunter.

This book’s cover also roped me in. I love the zentangle type of pattern featured on the owl.

So that’s it for my books this week, what books have you added to your shelf this week?

WWW Wednesday #1

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The meme consists of answering 3 questions;

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

If you’d like to take part, head on over to Sam’s blog to find out how.

Currently reading…

My current read at the moment is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I read the first book when the movie came out and loved it. I wanted to reread it before continuing the series (life and other books got in the way – story of my life haha!). I’m definitely enjoying it more the second time around.

Book I recently finished reading…

The last book I finished was I Know a Secret by Tess Gerrtisen. I don’t tend to read many adult books because I prefer YA, but this is one series I’ve enjoyed from the very first time I picked it up. I Know a Secret is the 12th book in the Rizzoli and Isles series and I enjoyed it as much as the rest of the series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The next book I’m planning on reading is Eve of Man by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher. This book has been on my TBR ever since I found out about it. My best friend watches Tom on YouTube and when she told me about this book – I knew I had to read it. The cover is absolutely stunning as well.

What are your answers to the 3 W’s?

Book Review | Radio Silence by Alice Oseman


Book review of Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. An enlightening, character driven read. 5 out of 5 stars.

Title – Radio Silence

Author – Alice Oseman

Publisher – Harper Collins Children’s Books

Publication date – 25th February 2016

Series status – Standalone.


“What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…

She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.”

Add to Goodreads.

My Thoughts.

*I gained this book through NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.*

I need to SERIOUSLY fangirl with someone over this book. I have so many feelings and thoughts, and it might end up being my favourite book I’ve read this year!

The writing is faultless. The voice of the protagonist is authentic and so easy to connect to. This book is enlightening, funny and heartbreaking all at the same time.

All the characters feel SO real and I felt like I was reading about my best friends. I love the diversity of the characters and also some of the topics you don’t tend to read about in YA. The author captures how much pressure young people are under to do well in their education.

Frances reminds me so much of me when I was a teenager. Frances believes the secret of life is to achieve good grades so she can get a good job. However, by the end of the book, she realises there are more important things than good grades.

Aled and Frances friendship is beautiful. I love that Frances refuses to give up on her best friend, no matter how he treats her. My heart broke a few times because of them throughout the book!

Even though it isn’t the main focus if the book – the whole mystery surrounding Carys is fascinating. The characters are the main focus and I love that as it allows me to forge deeper connections.

Honestly, just read it. I love it so much and it‘s right up there with my favourite books.

I give this book ALL THE STARS IN THE WORLD! No explanation needed!

About the Author.

“Alice Oseman was born in 1994 in Kent, England. She completed a degree in English at Durham University in 2016 and is currently a full time writer and illustrator. Alice can usually be found staring aimlessly at computer screens, questioning the meaninglessness of existence, or doing anything and everything to avoid getting an office job.

Alice first book, SOLITAIRE, was published when she was nineteen. Her second, RADIO SILENCE, was released in early 2016, and her third, I WAS BORN FOR THIS, in 2018.”

Find Alice: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Have you read Radio Silence? If so, what did you think?

Book Review | Half Bad by Sally Green

Book review of Half Bad by Sally Green

Title – Half Bad.

Author – Sally Green.

Publication date – 4th March 2014.

Publisher – Viking Books for Young Readers.

Series Status – Book 1 in the Half Bad trilogy.


‘Wanted by no one. Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen year old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent which, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers – before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there us no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves? Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.’

Add to Goodreads.

My Thoughts.

This book was intriguing from the very first chapter. I loved the format of the book and how the chapters were bite sized and easy to read.

I’ve never come across the use of the 2nd person in fiction before, so it was interesting to see in this book. I will admit – I was nervous about it but it added something to the story I’d never experienced before. It allowed me to connect to Nathan better and brought me closer to the story.

I felt sorry for Nathan. The way his family and others treated him was awful and it pulled at my heart-strings. I liked Nathan, his determination to survive was quite inspirational. I loved how he still had faith in his father even after all the terrible things he’d done.

This book was interesting and there was a lot of mystery and suspense. It was exciting to follow Nathan’s journey, and the feeling of being beside him whilst he ran from the Council.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I’m looking forward to the next book, and I cannot wait to be back in this world and following Nathan’s journey.

About the Author.

‘British author Sally Green is creator of the Half Bad Trilogy, a teen fantasy series with an adult edge that’s been described as ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four with witches.

Sally Green lives in north-west England. In 2010, she started writing and hasn’t stopped since.’

Find Sally: Twitter

Have you read Half Bad? If so, what did you think about it?