My Top 5 Books Of 2019

Today I'm sharing my five favourite books of 2019! These aren't necessarily books that were released in 2019, but they're the books I read in 2019. What were your favourite books this year?

My Top 5 Films Of 2019

Today I'm sharing my five favourite movies of 2019! These aren't necessarily movies that were released in 2019, but they're the movies I watched in 2019. What were your favourite movies this year?


Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: October 2019 - Usborne Publishing. 
Genre: Contemporary / young adult.
Pages: 368.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Rape / emotional abuse / PTSD.  
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Penguin Random House SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All thoughts are my own. 
Amelie loved Reese. And she thought he loved her. But she’s starting to realise love isn’t supposed to hurt like this. So now she’s retracing their story and untangling what happened by revisiting all the places he made her cry. Because if she works out what went wrong, perhaps she can finally learn to get over him.

Life Update: The One With The Writing

I cannot believe we're in the last month of 2019. It's ridiculous, and terrifying, and I'm not sure I'm ready for 2020. But let's recap: November was an extremely exhausting month since I was writing three books (a stupid, stupid idea, which I urge no one to attempt) and December's off to a frustrating start with WiFi issues and load shedding (South Africans, you get me). Still, there have been some wonderful moments in my life recently, too, and now I'm simply trying to savour the last moments of 2019 for what they are. 2020 is approaching! I'm in my last year of being a teenager! EEEP. Going into this festive season, my aim is just to trust God for whatever's coming and enjoy Christmas because of Him. That's the goal. I want to treasure this time.

AMERICAN PANDA - by Gloria Chao

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: July 2019 - Simon Pulse.
Genre: Young adult / romance / contemporary.
Pages: 336.
Triggers/Content Advisory: N.A.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball Publishers SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All thoughts are my own. 

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese. But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

A MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT (Atlee Pine #2) - by David Baldacci

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: October 2019 - Pan Macmillan. 
Genre: Adult / thriller / contemporary.
Pages: 464.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / sexual innuendos. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All thoughts are my own. 

Atlee Pine has spent most of her life trying to find out what happened that fateful night in Andersonville, Georgia. Her six-year-old twin sister, Mercy, was taken and Atlee was left for dead while their parents were apparently partying downstairs. One person who continues to haunt her is notorious serial killer, Daniel James Tor, confined to a Colorado maximum security prison. Does he really know what happened to Mercy?

The family moved away. The parents divorced. And Atlee chose a career with the FBI dedicating her life to catching those who hurt others. When she oversteps the mark on the arrest of a dangerous criminal, she's given a leave of absence offering the perfect opportunity to return to where it all began, and find some answers. But the trip to Andersonville turns into a roller-coaster ride of murder, long-buried secrets and lies.

And a revelation so personal that everything she once believed to be true is fast turning to dust.

A WALK AT MIDNIGHT - by Alex van Tonder

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: September 2019 - Pan Macmillan SA. 
Genre: Adult / thriller / contemporary.
Pages: 322.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Strong language / explicit sexual content / violence / rape / abuse / mental illness / suicide.  
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All thoughts are my own. 

Jane Ronson is the epitome of a dutiful, devoted wife and mother. She has, with grit and grace, supported her husband, Colin, through the scandals and setbacks that have dogged his career as the Governor of New York State. After years in her restrictive role as the governor’s wife, Jane achieves her own success as a writer, and is offered a publishing deal for her debut novel. This exciting news is overshadowed by Colin’s sudden death under mysterious circumstances that eerily echo events that unfold in Jane’s novel, making her the primary person of interest in the investigation.

As the police question the Ronson family to try to establish what happened on the night of Colin’s death, it becomes increasingly apparent that everyone is keeping secrets – some to protect Colin, some to protect themselves. All of them to protect the Ronson family name. As Jane’s and Colin’s pasts emerge in the course of the investigation, the truth becomes increasingly elusive and disturbing.

NaNoWriMo 2019: Introducing My Projects

Instead of doing a monthly wrap-up post, I thought I'd share my plans for NaNoWriMo 2019. NaNo is an annual writing event that challenges participants to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. It starts tomorrow, and ends on the 30th of November. This year, I've decided to write 3 novels for NaNo - aiming to hit 50k words for each one.

TWEET CUTE - by Emma Lord

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: January 2020 - Wednesday Books.
Genre: Young adult / romance / contemporary.
Pages: 336.
Triggers/Content Advisory: N.A.
Format: eARC.
Source: Netgalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All thoughts are my own. 

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

THESE REBEL WAVES (Stream Raiders #1) - by Sara Raasch

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: August 2018 - Balzer and Bray.
Genre: Young adult / fantasy / romance.
Pages: 474.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / child abuse. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball Publishers for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All thoughts are my own. 

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.

ONE GOOD DEED - by David Baldacci

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: July 2019 - Macmillan.
Genre: Adult / thriller / historical fiction.
Pages: 432.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / occasional gruesome descriptions / sexual innuendos. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All thoughts are my own. 

In 1949, Aloysius Archer arrives in the dusty Southern town of Poca City. He has nothing but a handful of dollars, the clothes he's wearing and an appointment with his new parole officer. After his wartime experiences in Italy and a prison sentence for a crime he didn't commit, Archer is looking for a fresh start and a peaceful life.

On his first night of freedom, Archer meets local business tycoon Hank Pittleman, who promises Archer handsome compensation to work as his debt collector. Yet Archer takes on more than he bargains for, as he becomes embroiled in a long-running feud between the drought-struck town's most dangerous residents. When one of them dies, the authorities label Archer as their number one suspect.

A bloody game is being played above and below the law. Everybody playing has a deeply buried secret, and Archer must uncover them all - if he's to avoid going back behind bars.

3 Mini Film Reviews: DOWNTON ABBEY (2019), ALADDIN (2019), THE AFTERMATH (2019)

Disclaimer: These are mini reviews, and not as analytical and "professional" as I usually try to make my reviews. I'm simply spilling my emotions. For better or for worse ;) 

Released: 2019. 
Screenplay: Julian Fellowes.
Director: Micheal Engler.
Cast: Michelle Dockery / Hugh Bonneville / Elizabeth McGovern / Laura Carmichael / Jim Carter / Allen Leech / Maggie Smith.  
Triggers/Content Advisory: PG for some suggestive material and mild violence. 
Score: John Lunn.
Cinematography: Ben Smithard. 
Source: Cinema.

The continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century.

THE DEATHLESS GIRLS - by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: October 2019 - Orion Children's Books. 
Genres: Young adult / retelling / paranormal / Gothic horror.
Pages: 304.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Strong violence / gory descriptions / scene of attempted rape / strong sexual innuendos. 
Format: Paperback ARC. 
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

They say the thirst of blood is like a madness - they must sate it. Even with their own kin.

On the eve of her divining, the day she'll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.

Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn't understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.

They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate...

Blog Tour and Excerpt: NAKED MOLE RAT SAVES THE WORLD - by Karen Rivers

Today I'm sharing an excerpt from an upcoming Middle Grade adventure: Naked Mole Rat Saves the World! Read on to find out more about this book.

Interview with Kim Chance - author of KEEPER and SEEKER

Kim Chance is one of my favourite authors. I've enjoyed her urban fantasy duology, and her YouTube channel is a constant source of writing advice and inspiration. It should come as no surprise, then, that I am beyond excited to interview her today. Thank you, Kim, for answering my questions! I absolutely love your answers. 

Mini Book Review: CIRQUE DE LA LUNE - by Emma Hamm

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: 2019. 
Genres: Young adult / paranormal / dystopia / romance.
Pages: N.A.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Sexual innuendos / mild violence. 
Format: eARC. 
Source: Thank you so much to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Frank Fairwell had it all, until he didn't. Stripped away in a moment of philanthropic guilt that left him penniless, jobless, and despised by the people who'd raised him. Perhaps that's why the Pinkertons jumped him outside a bar and left him for dead in the river.

Evelyn Dubois lives on the outskirts of society. She's seen both the good, and the bad, all while hiding behind a striped tent known as Cirque la Lune. With her fiery red hair, and a flaming temper to boot, most people avoid her. Other than the man they found washed up on their shores, bootless, and nearly dead.

The Big Top hides many secrets, least of all the man who should have died. Frank quickly realizes these creatures who boast of magical abilities are far more powerful than their shows let on.

The only question is: Do they really want to stay hidden? Or should they let the world see what they can really do?

Monthly Wrap-Up: The One Where I Hardly Blogged

Here is my long overdue life update (and monthly wrap-up) post. I hope you all had a wonderful September, and that October treats you well :) If I haven't visited your blog in a while, apologies! I'm very behind on blog hopping, and hoping to get back into it during October.

QUEEN OF RUIN (Grace & Fury #2) - by Tracy Banghart

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: July 2019 - Hachette Children's Group. 
Genres: Young adult / fantasy / romance / adventure.
Pages: 337.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / gory descriptions / sexual innuendos.  
Format: Paperback. 
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again.

Nomi's sister, Serina, is far away on the prison island of Mount Ruin - but it is in the grip of revolution and Serina leads. The women there have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They will stop at nothing to gain freedom for the entire kingdom. But first they'll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, to build something better in its place.

THE WENDY (Tales of Wendy #1) - by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

Published: January 2018 - Trash Dogs Media LLC. 
Genres: Young adult / romance / adventure / urban fantasy.    
Pages: 294.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild fantasy violence. 
Format: eBook. 
Source: Netgalley. Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

London. 1789. More than anything in the world, Wendy Darling wants to be the captain of a ship, but women aren't allowed in the Royal Navy. When she learns the Home Office is accepting a handful of women into its ranks, she jumps at the chance, joining the fight against the most formidable threat England has ever faced. Magic. But the secret service isn't exactly what she hoped.

Accompanied by a reimagined cast of the original Peter Pan, Wendy soon discovers that her dreams are as far away as ever, that choosing sides isn't as simple as she thought, and that the only man who isn't blinded by her gender might be the worst friend anyone could ask for. Anyone, that is, except Wendy Darling.

THE DOLL FACTORY - by Elizabeth Macneal

Published: May 2019 - Picador. 
Genres: Adult / romance / thriller / Gothic / historical fiction.    
Pages: 370.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / explicit sexual content / abuse / animal abuse. 
Format: Hardcover. 
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning. When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening ... 

Guest Post: FAVOURITE MOVIES OF 2019 (so far) - Ruby Rae Reads

Hey there. My name is Ruby and I’m from the blog Ruby Rae Reads. I promised this post to Amy ages ago and have only now got to it. Well done me.
I’m a book blogger, and mainly read young adult, but really love middle grade and some adult novels. At one stage, I wanted to be a filmmaker which is why I have such a huge love for movies.

Blog Tour and Book Promo: SEEKER - by Kim Chance

I talk about the Keeper duology a lot, so you're probably not surprised to see this post! Today I'm sharing some more information about the sequel to Keeper: SEEKER, and there's also a giveaway for US readers. You don't want to miss this... 

ECLIPSE THE STARS (Ignite The Stars #2) - by Maura Milan

Published: September 3rd 2019 - Albert Whitman & Company.
Genres: Young adult / romance / adventure / dystopia.    
Pages: 400.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence.
Format: eARC.
Source: Edelweiss. Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Ia Cōcha never thought she’d be working for the Olympus Commonwealth. But that was before she found out her trusted brother Einn was trying to tear apart the universe. Now, Ia, the Blood Wolf of the Skies, has agreed to help the Royal Star Force on one condition: when she finds him, she gets to kill Einn herself.

Brinn Tarver has just come to terms with her Tawny identity when the public lashes out against her people, crushing her family. At her breaking point, she starts to question everything she believes in—including Ia. After the death of his mentor,

Knives Adams is doing his best to live up to a role he didn’t ask for as Aphelion’s new headmaster. Still, with each new step deeper into war, he feels torn between his duties and the pull of Ia’s radical—sometimes criminal—ideas.

As they fight to keep darkness from eclipsing the skies, their unpredictable choices launch this breathtaking sequel to explosive new heights.

THE STOLEN KINGDOM - by Bethany Atazadeh

Published: August 20th 2019 - Grace House Press.
Genres: Young adult / romance / adventure / retelling / fantasy.    
Pages: 310.
Triggers/Content Advisory: N.A.
Format: eARC.
Source: Thank you so much to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

How can she protect her kingdom, if she can’t protect herself? 

Arie eagerly anticipates becoming Queen of her humble kingdom. Even when a Jinni’s Gift manifests before her 18th birthday, she fights to hide the forbidden ability. But when a neighbouring king attempts to marry her and steal her kingdom, discovery feels imminent. Just one slip could cost her throne. And her life.

A Jinni hunter and his crew of thieves are her only hope for removing this Gift. And she must remove it before it’s exposed. Or die trying.

Book Tag: SEEKER - by Kim Chance

I am so excited for the release of Seeker by Kim Chance, which is the sequel and conclusion in the Keeper duology! Having read both books, I can assure you that they are absolute gems in the world of urban fantasy. To celebrate Seeker's upcoming release, I'm participating in the Seeker book tag. If you want to join in, please consider yourself tagged!
Kim is also offering an amazing Preorder Campaign for Seeker, so I encourage you to check that out too...

3 Year Blogiversary! ft. embarrassing facts

I'VE BEEN BLOGGING FOR THREE YEARS! I can't believe it. I've learnt a lot, and I'm still clueless about most things. But I've had fun. I love this space, and I love the people I've met through it. Here's to many more years!

TV Show Talk: I finally watched Stranger Things...

I finally watched all three seasons of Stranger Things!  Ruby first insisted that I watch it months ago, but I only got as far as episode 5 of the first season because I was extremely bored and not invested in the characters. Then, when season 3 hit and the whole world erupted with the impact, I decided to give it another try. And the rest is history. 

Life Update: Writing, Netflix, Bible, Social Media, Exams...

This post is in lieu of a monthly wrap-up, since I haven't written a life update in a while and it's already a few days into August! I can't believe we're more than halfway through 2019. Also, apologies for the long post...I just wrote and unpacked everything that's been going on recently...

A THOUSAND SHIPS - by Natalie Haynes

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: May 2019 - Mantle.
Genres: Adult / historical / mythology / retelling.    
Pages: 352.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Sexual innuendos / gory descriptions / rape.  
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of all of them…

In the middle of the night, Creusa wakes to find her beloved Troy engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of brutal conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over, and the Greeks are victorious. Over the next few hours, the only life she has ever known will turn to ash . . . The devastating consequences of the fall of Troy stretch from Mount Olympus to Mount Ida, from the citadel of Troy to the distant Greek islands, and across oceans and sky in between.

These are the stories of the women embroiled in that legendary war and its terrible aftermath, as well as the feud and the fatal decisions that started it all…

THE KINGDOM - by Jess Rothenberg

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: July 2019 - Macmillan's Children's Books.
Genres: Young adult / sci fi / romance / fantasy.   
Pages: 344.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / sexual assault / suicide.  
Format: Paperback ARC.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Welcome to the Kingdom, a dazzling fantasy theme park where 'happily ever after' is not just a promise, but a rule . . . 

It's a fairytale which ends in murder as the one of the 'Fantasists' goes renegade... Ana, a half-human, half-android princess, is tasked with entertaining visitors and making wishes come true, but now she's on trial, after finding herself experiencing emotions and romantic feelings against all her programming.

THE MOMENT OF LIFT - by Melinda Gates

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Flatiron.
Genres: Memoir / non fiction.   
Pages: 273.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Adult themes. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, invest in women.

In this candid and inspiring book, Gates traces her awakening to the link between women's empowerment and the health of societies. She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to “turbo-charge" change. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference.

Convinced that all women should be free to decide whether and when to have children, Gates took her first step onto the global stage to make a stand for family planning. That step launched her into further efforts: to ensure women everywhere have access to every kind of job; to encourage men around the globe to share equally in the burdens of household work; to advocate for paid family leave for everyone; to eliminate gender bias in all its forms.

Product Review: Desk Stand™'s Wavy Sit-Stand Table

Today I'm excited to be sharing with you a product that's made my life a lot easier. A huge thank you to Desk Stand™ for the opportunity! Read on for my review and some photos...

2 Mini Reviews: INTO THE HOURGLASS by Emily R. King and SLUMBER by Becky Bird

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: August 2019 - Skyscape. 
Genres: Young adult / epic fantasy / romance. 
Pages: 286. 
Triggers/Content Advisory: One scene of distressing gory description / violence / mild sexual innuendo. 
Format: eARC.
Source: Netgalley. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Everley Donovan’s mission: retrieve the hallowed sword of Avelyn stolen by the wicked Prince Killian, who slayed her family and left her for dead. Should she fail, the seven worlds will come to an end, as could time itself. And no one treasures time more than Everley, whose lifesaving clock heart cannot beat forever. She has set sail with a rogue crew for the otherworlds, where the key to dethroning the prince lies deep within the Land Under the Wave.

But passage through these unknown seas—where horrors lurk and pirates rove—proves a treacherous gamble. The Land Under the Wave was not made for humans, particularly one with a fragile clock heart. Here, Everley’s tragic past resurfaces unsolved questions. Here, too, the prince has hidden secrets more precious than pearls, secrets that could fracture the future forevermore. Everley must take back her sword and break free from this watery world before her time runs out…or so will everyone else’s.

KING OF SCARS (Nikolai duology #1) - by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: January 2019 - Pan Macmillan.
Genres: Young adult / epic fantasy / romance. 
Pages: 527.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Gory descriptions / violence. 
Format: Hardcover.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army. Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built.

With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Monthly Wrap-Up: The One With Very Little Reading

I can't believe it's July already! How are you feeling? Are you ready to leap into the second half of the year? I'm overwhelmed by it. It's terrifying, yet thrilling.


Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: March 2019 - Harper Collins.
Genres: Nonfiction / self help.  
Pages: 240.
Triggers/Content Advisory: N.A.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough.

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.

THE GRACE YEAR - by Kim Liggett

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: October 2019 - Wednesday Books.
Genres:  Young adult / dystopia. 
Pages: 416.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Gory descriptions / strong violence / sexual innuendos.
Format: eARC.
Source: Netgalley. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

5 Reasons Why I Love Winter

What's your favourite season? Mine's winter! It always has been, and I think it always will be. I always loathe the hot days and the hot months, but when winter comes around I'm the first to grab a fleecy jacket and beanie and make a steaming cup of coffee...

THE NEIGHBOUR - by Fiona Cummins

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Pan Macmillan. 
Genres: Adult / contemporary / thriller.  
Pages: 416. 
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild sexual innuendos / violence / occasional, disturbing gory descriptions. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

FOR SALE: A lovely family home with good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. Perfect for kids, fitness enthusiasts, dog walkers . . . And, it seems, the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer.

On a hot July day, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood and their two children move into 25 The Avenue looking for a fresh start. They arrive in the midst of a media frenzy: they’d heard about the local murders in the press, but Garrick was certain the killer would be caught and it would all be over in no time. Besides, they’d got the house at a steal and he was convinced he could flip it for a fortune. The neighbours seemed to be the very picture of community spirit. But everyone has secrets, and the residents in The Avenue are no exception.

After six months on the case with no real leads, the most recent murder has turned DC Wildeve Stanton’s life upside down, and now she has her own motive for hunting down the killer – quickly.

TV Show Talk: Peaky Blinders

I've decided to start a new discussion series on my blog where I'll talk about a TV show (or aspect of a TV show) on which I have strong feelings. Please feel free to share your thoughts and let's discuss it together. For this post, I'm talking about the BBC TV series Peaky Blinders.

May Wrap-Up: The One With My Birthday

May is over! We're almost halfway through the year. What?!

All in all, May was a good month for me. I sold two articles online, I passed my learner's license test, I've started practicing my driving, and it was my birthday. My Instagram is going well, I have so many ideas for blog posts, and I've been working on my WIP. I've also been rewatching The Office (US version) and loving it all over again. It's an amazing series.

There have been some bad mental health days, but the good still outweighs the bad. I'm looking forward to June :) 

4 Writing Lessons From These TV Shows

TV shows are generally assumed to be a source of entertainment. We watch to relax and have fun, and it's wonderful. But I strongly believe that TV shows can teach us something, too - not just from the fictional stories playing out on our screens, but from the writing and production of the show itself. For writers, TV shows are a goldmine. I am constantly learning so much from them.

Today I've chosen to focus on one aspect of each of the below shows for their writing tips. These are TV shows that have personally taught me something about writing. Hope you enjoy the post!

3 Netflix Shows You Need To Binge Watch

In desperate need of a new series to binge? I have you covered with these recent Netflix releases!

Each one irresistible in its own way, the shows below present very different but equally enticing stories, characters, and themes. I hope that at least one of them piques your interest!

5 Story Elements I Love To Write

It's been a while since I've shared a writing-related post, so here's one for today! As I'm sure is the case for most writers, there are some story elements that will pop up in every book we write. Themes, ideas, trends.....aspects of story we always go back to. Here are 5 that can be found in every WIP of mine...

How To Get People To Read Your Blog Posts

We've all been there. We write what we think is a brilliant post, something we're incredibly proud of, and no one reads it. Worse, no one even comments. And we feel like failures. 

Sharing your post around the web is a topic for another post, but today this one is all about the little ways we can attract people to our blog posts. Ways we can get them to click and read.

I hope you find these methods helpful :) At least a little bit!

Blog Tour and Review: BRIGHT BURNING STARS - by A.K. Small

Happy Wednesday! Today I'm thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for Bright Burning Stars. Read on for my review and some more info about this debut YA novel...

Characters That Remind Me Of Myself

To give credit where credit's due, this post topic came from That Artsy Reader Girl for the Top Ten Tuesday prompt. I only saw the posts circulating the blogosphere when it was too already too late to join in Top Ten Tuesday, so that's why this post isn't up on a Tuesday ;)

Here are six characters that strongly remind me of myself...

2 Mini Film Reviews: ROBIN HOOD (2018) and A STAR IS BORN (2018)

Robin Hood (2018)

Director: Otto Bathurst. 
Cinematography: George Steel. 
Score: Joseph Trapanese.
Screenplay: Ben Chandler and David James Kelly.
Cast: Taron Edgerton / Jamie Foxx / Jamie Dornan / Ben Mendelson / Eve Hewson. 
Triggers/Content Advisory: PG13 for violence.
Source: Rented.

A war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown.


Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: March 2018 - Harper Collins. 
Genres: Adult / contemporary / drama.  
Pages: 400.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Child abuse / strong sexual innuendos / physical and emotional abuse. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

When tragedy changes her life irrevocably, nine-year-old Alice Hart goes to live with the grandmother she never knew existed, on a native flower farm that gives refuge to women who, like Alice, are lost or broken. In the Victorian tradition, every flower has a meaning and, as she settles into her new life, Alice uses this language of flowers to say the things that are too hard to speak.

As she grows older, though, family secrecy, a devastating betrayal, and a man who's not all he seems combine to make Alice realise there are some stories that flowers alone cannot tell. If she is to have the freedom she craves, she must find the courage to possess the most powerful story she knows: her own.

RUN AWAY - by Harlan Coben

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Century.
Genres: Adult / contemporary / mystery / thriller.  
Pages: 384.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / sexual innuendos / themes of rape and sexual abuse. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Penguin Random House SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

You've lost your daughter. She's addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she's made it clear that she doesn't want to be found. Then, quite by chance, you see her busking in New York's Central Park. But she's not the girl you remember. This woman is wasted, frightened and clearly in trouble. You don't stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home. She runs. And you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Where criminal gangs rule, where drugs are the main currency, and murder is commonplace.

Now it's your life on the line. And nowhere and no one is safe.