Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I don't quite know to say this. Blogging had been a huge part of my life for over two and a half years, and I loved it. Having a blog was a fantastic experience for me - I found books I would never would have tried otherwise, discovered some of my favourite books, and best of all, I discovered the fantastic YA blogging community, and made loads of wonderful, book-loving friends.

However, you've probably noticed that for a good while I haven't been committed to the blog. I scarcely post reviews or anything else really, any more. And to be honest, I'm sad to say the reason why is that I don't enjoy writing reviews anymore. I've felt like this about the blog for a while, but I've tried to keep going, but there's no point in me continuing on with something I don't enjoy any longer. I've taken breaks, and they haven't made a  difference, so I think it's time for me to call it a day :(

I am honestly really sad to be doing this - as I said, blogging has been such a big part of my life for so long, that it's strange to think I won't be doing it anymore! But I think it is for the best.

Thanks so much to all of the bloggers, authors, publishers that I've been in contact with over the years. Everyone was so kind - the book blogging community is definitely one of the nicest communities that I've come across, on or off the internet! I will miss chatting with you all! But, I will still be reading and commenting on some of my favourite blogs as much as I can - I'm not going to be totally gone!

Thanks to all of the publishers who sent me books, and I'm so sorry I haven't had the the chance to review them - each one was much appreciated!

I won't be deleting Bookster Reviews, as I've put a lot of work into it over the last two and a half years. I'll be leaving it up on the internet, and who knows, maybe some day I'll come back to it! But for now, - thank you and goodbye.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Drummer Girl giveaway winner!

Sorry for the late post - exams and all that! Anyway, I'm delighted to reveal the winner of the Drummer Girl make-up set and book is.....

Robyn Logan!!!

Congrats Robyn, I've e-mailed you. A new winner will be picked if I do not get a reply by Tuesday, so make sure you do e-mail me back ASAP! :)

Thanks to everyone who entered and Templar for donating the prize!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

REVIEW: Drummer Girl by Bridget Tyler

It was supposed to be the summer of her life. Instead, 17-year-old Lucy finds her best friend Harper shot dead in an LA swimming pool. How did it come to this? Lucy Gosling is the drummer in Crush, a rock band formed by five London schoolgirls that has just won the UK semi-final of an international talent contest. But when the band lands in Hollywood for the big final, things are not quite as they seem. The band's lead singer, Harper, has just one thing on her mind - using sex, drugs and rock and roll, not to mention Crush itself, to win back her bad-news ex-boyfriend. Lucy must decide whether she's playing to Harper's tune, or setting the rhythm for the rest of the band 

I really, really loved Drummer Girl! It's a really fantastic book. I loved the way it was told, from the perspective of all of the main characters, and some of the minor ones. I thought it was a great way to get an insight into lives of other characters, not just Lucy, and it definitely made the story move fast-paced and exciting! I haven't read many books that tell a story from multiple points of view, but after reading Drummer Girl, I'm definitely going to be looking for more! Recommendations, anyone?

I think my favourite element of Drummer Girl was the setting. It was so much fun to read about the girls lives in the music scene in LA! It was something different, and really interesting! It was so glamorous and exciting, but I liked the way we were also shown the dark side of the music business, and how the different girls dealt with the pressures. It made the whole idea of the girls being celebrities seem more real - we saw it wasn't just all fun parties and adoring fans, there was a negative side to the girls new lives, and this made it feel more personal.

There was a large cast of characters in Drummer Girl, too many to go through fully, so I'll just talk about a few of my favourites. I liked all of the five main girls, Lucy, Toni, Harper, Iza and Robyn, but Toni and Robyn were the most interesting - I enjoyed their stories the most and they were my two favourites. Harper was a great character too, and Lucy and Iza were nice, if a little boring... Skye really grew on me as a character, and Alexander was another fantastic supporting character.

The only thing I didn't like about Drummer Girl was the ending. I thought it was too rushed, and Lucy's ending was all a bit to perfect and convenient. And, also, nobody seemed very upset about the big thing that happened in the end, which really annoyed me. If the ending had been wrapped up better, I think this would have been a brilliant standalone, but I have a feeling there might be a sequel - I have mixed feelings about a sequel! I probably would read it though - I couldn't resist.

I loved Drummer Girl, definitely get your hands on a copy ASAP if you haven't already! It's is a brilliant book, the perfect summer read.


Source: For review
Format: Proof copy

Age group: 13+
Official Publication Date: 1st May 2013
Publisher: Templar

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Drummer Girl - Q&A with author Bridget Tyler and GIVEAWAY!

Today, I'm kicking off the blog tour for the the fab debut novel, Drummer Girl, by the fantastic new YA author, Bridget Tyler. I have a Q&A with Bridget about Drummer Girl and about being an author, and I also have a very special giveaway! Check the bottom of this post for details! Here are Bridget's fab answers. Enjoy!

 Hi Bridget! It's great to have you here on Bookster Reviews! For those who haven't read Drummer Girl, your debut novel, could you give us a description?

Drummer Girl is the story of Lucy Gosling, a teenage drummer, and the band her BFF (and sometimes frenemy) Harper McKenzie put together to compete in Project Next – a reality competition show that offers them the chance to be rock stars. Lucy and Harper’s band, Crush, is very successful and takes them to LA for a summer of rock and roll, fun, boys, triumph and tragedy… if the Crush girls are going to make it through, shy Lucy is going to have to learn to believe in her own natural ability to lead her friends through the tumultuous waters of the music business. If Lucy can learn to believe in herself, then she may just find that she’s far more extraordinary than she ever dreamed!

Where did you get the idea for Drummer Girl?

I love telling stories about people finding out what makes them special and navigating the challenges that come with harnessing their abilities, their super powers if you will. Often, my stories involve a young woman discovering exactly that – a magical power or psychic ability that makes them more than the ordinary human being they thought they were. When I sat down to write Drummer Girl I wanted to see if I could tell the same sort of story, but in a real world scenario. You see, discovering that she’s actually got what it takes to be a rock star actually turns out to be a very similar experience for Lucy to discovering that she is actually a fairy princess or secretly a space alien with super powers. She discovers her abilities… then she discovers exactly how frightening and difficult it can be to harness those abilities. But, if she wants to reach her full potential (and save her friends) she’ll have to believe in herself enough to use her powers.  The fact that Lucy was a real girl, living in a real world full of real problems that confront teenage girls like her every day made her all the easier to fall in love with!

I love the way that in the book, as well as having Lucy as the main character, we see what's going on from the point of view of lots of different characters. What made you decide to write the book like this?

I considered staying in Lucy’s point of view for the whole novel, but it became clear very early that this was a story that needed to be told from several points of view. These girls have very different experiences of their summer in LA and the story just wouldn’t have been complete without seeing it from several different points of view. I actually didn’t plan on telling some of the story threads that ended up being the most fun to write. Skye, for example, wasn’t a point of view character until very late in the game… but her story is just too romantic and wonderful to miss!

Bridget Tyler
Do you base any of your characters on yourself or other people that you know?

My characters often start from people I’ve met – friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers… interesting people in the check-out line ahead of me at the grocery store. Real people are so much more complicated and contradictory than anything I could make up, which makes them a natural place to start when I’m building a fictional character. When I was writing the physical descriptions of Trent, for example, I drew on my own boyfriend (when you’re creating a dreamy guy, might as well start with the dreamiest one you know, right?). But Trent is nothing like my boyfriend, who is a scientist, not a rock star. They might enjoy talking about surfing together, if they ever met in person, but that’s about all they have in common. That’s how it goes with all of my characters – they might start out being based on a real person but they take on a life of their own pretty quickly. If they don’t, that usually means they don’t belong in the story. Skye is a great example of a character that really took turns I didn’t expect her to take. She started out as a fairly minor villain and became one of my very favourite characters in the book.

What are your favourite and least favourite aspects of being a writer?

Oooooh good question! My favourite part of being a writer is the moment when the characters take that leap from a collection of facts that I’m making up to suddenly being three-dimensional people who have stories that I can tell. It sounds weird, I know, but building a character feels a lot more like getting to know a friend than it does like inventing something. There’s a wonderful moment with every character when they suddenly become more than the sum of their parts, and that’s the very best part of writing for me.

My least favourite part of being a writer is proof reading! It’s so important, but I’m pretty terrible at it so it’s a bit like pulling teeth. I usually sit down with a lot of coffee and read the whole book or script out loud to myself. It really helps to find the typos and punctuation issues and it also helps me make sure that the dialogue feels real and the sentences flow smoothly.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

That depends on whether I’m working on a television show or not. Most writers have a particular time of day that they work best, and for me that’s early morning.  When I’m working on a show, I get up, work out (when you sit in front of a computer all day the gym is a MUST) then I go to my office and work on my own projects for an hour or so before the writing staff gets going. When I’m off for hiatus, I get up early and write first thing. How long I work depends on what phase I’m in with a project. Sometimes, if I’m on a roll, I’ll write for ten hours straight. Sometimes, if I’m stuck, I’ll clean the whole house while I try to think through the problem I’m tangled up in. Most of the time, however, I work for four or five hours and then I go to the gym, get some lunch and do some research. Research reading, whether it’s for a current project or just on some topic I find interesting, is vital. You can’t have new ideas if you’re not learning new things all the time!

Do you have a playlist for Drummer Girl? Were there any songs/artists you listened to while writing it that helped you along the way?

I was always looking for upbeat, high-energy music while I was writing Drummer Girl. Kate Nash, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Mike Snow, Imagine Dragons… just to name a few. I also listen to a lot of movie soundtracks while I’m writing. The soundtrack to Joe Wrights’ Pride and Prejudice is a favourite, and anything by John Williams. Pixar soundtracks are also great to write to - so fun, but also dramatic and moody.

Are you working on any other books/series at the moment? What's next for you?

I am on the writing staff of Burn Notice at the moment (it’s a USA Networks TV show about a down and out spy who solves mysteries, it’s really fun!) and I’m also in the process of casting my own pilot, which USA Networks is going to shoot this summer. It’s called Horizon and it’s about a young woman who discovers that aliens are visiting Earth during WWII. I love writing TV, but writing novels is one of my absolute favourite things to do, so I’m working on my next novel as well. It’s going to be set in a fantasy/science fiction world but just like Drummer Girl it’s the story of an ordinary girl who discovers how extraordinary she really is.

Thanks so much Bridget for those fantastic answers!

Now for the giveaway! The prize is...*drum roll*...a copy of Drummer Girl (ooh!) and this fantastic make up set (aah!)!

Doesn't this look great? I'm jealous of whoever wins! ;)
Giveaway rules:
-Open to UK residents only (sorry my international readers!)
-Prizes will be sent out by publisher.
-Neither me or Templar are responsible for prizes lost in the post.
-You must be a follower of my blog to enter this giveaway
- The giveaway closes on the 21st May at 12:00am and winners be announced in the following couple of days.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Drummer Girl was published by Templar UK on the 5th May. Check it out on Amazon UKGoodreads, or The Book Depository.

Thanks to Templar for the prize!

Monday, April 15, 2013

REVIEW: Zom-B by Darren Shan

Can you love a bullying racist thug if he's your father? How do you react when confronted with your darkest inner demons? What do you do when zombies attack? B Smith is about to find out...

Now as you might know, I'm a HUGE fan of Darren Shan. Like, he and J.K. Rowling tie in my favourite author ever spot. Yes. He's THAT good. So I was freaking ECSTATIC when I heard about his new 12 book series late last year. I was a bit put off when I heard the topic was zombies (zombies bore me as bad guys :/), but since I was such a big fan I was still really excited. And although I liked Zom-B, I was honestly very disappointed.  It wasn't really bad, but it's by far my least favourite Darren's books.

There were a few things I didn't like. Firstly, the characters. B was an incredibly terrible character. I didn't like B. He was mean, hypocritical, bullying, and racist. He was clearly not a nice person, and he actively bullies other people. I mean, what he did at the end was just awful! And then, he turns around and complains about what a bully his father is. What is that about?! He was a very inconsistent character. I know he was supposed to be flawed, as any good character is, but he was just really unpleasant, and I didn't connect with him at all. This was really a shame because I've loved and connected with the protagonists in all of Darren's other books from the very first page, and the good main characters are always a strong point in Darren's other books (for me anyway) So all in all B was a very unsatisfying main character. 

The supporting characters were also quite weak. B's dad was horrible and I hated him, but he was a well-though out character at least, and was a good bad character, if you what I mean! B's mother was, I thought, a terrible person. She let her own child take beatings instead of her? No way, didn't like her at all. B had too many friends (all with mad nicknames) to keep track of, and they weren't really developed at all, so they can't be commented on.Vinyl was about the only one who had a personality. I liked him though, and I hope he's in future books! 

I actually flew through Zom-B, it was short and easy to read, but not a huge amount  happened, apart from towards the end. I think that's why I read it so fast! I still did enjoy reading it though (despite the characters), and I am keeping in mind that this is just an introduction to the series. I'm looking forward to future books, hopefully they will be more eventful! There was a few things left undealt with in Zom-B, like the hoodie people, and B's killer baby dreams, so I can't wait to see how they pan out!

Another thing I wasn't really mad on were the two twists at the end. Admittedly I didn't see them coming, but I didn't think they were good plot twists. The first, was honestly just totally irrelevant and random. I mean, why not just start off the book with that? I just didn't understand it. It was shocking, but it had no relevance to the plot, and the way people has been talking about the first big twist at the end, I had been really excited. I was just disappointed.
I just found it a bit pointless Not really satisfying for me I'm afraid! The second twist was surprising, but I wasn't in the slightest shocked or horrified, and it wasn't really a cliffhanger ending for me. I'm sure it's one that will be sorted easily enough, although I look forward to seeing how.

There was one thing I noticed that was quite similar to Shan's 'Saga of Darren Shan' (this isn't a complaint, merely an observation!). The strange, super tall, big eyed man was quite like Mr. Desmond Tiny. I was quite intrigued by him, I hope he turns out to be as interesting a character as Mr. Tiny!

I know this review makes it seem like I really didn't like Zom-B, but I did. It just had a few big faults, and it just wasn't as good as Shan's other books, but I still liked it, honestly, I did! ;) Don't expect to be blown away by the characters, and you would probably be better off starting off with perhaps a better Shan book (I recommend Cirque Du Freak or Lord Loss) but do give this a go if you get the chance - I can see the series does have potential, as long as B is sorted out - hopefully sooner rather than later!


Source: Bought
Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 240
Age group: 12+
Official Publication Date: 27th September 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

P.S. I've done up the blog a bit - let me know what you think in the comments or vote on the poll on the left :) Thanks!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

REVIEW: Diary of a Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja

The mall is the heart of the fifteen-year-old Molly’s suburban town. Most teens hang around with friends there, get their first job there, and experience their first kiss there. And Molly? She actually lives there, in the complex’s residential wing, where she navigates the dramas of teenage life. But is living in a massive shopping centre as much fun as it sounds? Well, yes… and no. Find out the whole truth in Molly’s private diary!

I LOVE Luisa Plaja's books, and I was so excited when I heard about Diary of a Mall Girl being published in novel form. I remember reading and voting on it back in 2011 on Fiction Express(wow, was it that long ago? Time flew.... :O) and I really liked it then, but (if possible) I loved it even more this time! I loved Molly, and Jewel, and Jamie and Liam and all the rest, but I especially loved Jasper! Jasper is my new favourite fictional boy. He was amazing, and I just loved him :) He was definitely my favourite character in the book! I loved him and Molly :) Molly was such a fantastic character, and her life was very fun to read about. There was always something going on in 'Diary of a Mall Girl', love triangles, main plots, sub-plots, main plots connecting with sub-plots... There was never a dull moment! I couldn't put it down, and I finished it in just a couple of days (which is impressive for me, because I've been really slow at reading lately!).

I loved the fact that Molly lived in a mall. It was such a cool idea, and I was so envious - I kept thinking of all the things I could do if I lived in a mall. Keeping in mind, that I live in the middle of nowhere and the nearest shopping centre is half an hour away ;)

I didn't like Molly's friends Ameera and Wendy. Ameera was incredibly annoying and had no mind of her own, and Wendy was really moody and irritating, getting cross at nothing, and that really put me off her. I suppose they did improve a bit, but I still wasn't really impressed. I really liked Jewel though, she was an interesting character. I wish we'd seen more of her though, she only popped up here or there, and I think she had a lot of character potential. Molly's brother Jamie and his friends Liam were lovely, I really liked both of them. Jamie was really funny, and Liam was so sweet!

Since I had read Diary of a Mall Girl before on Fiction Express, I already knew all of the plot twists, but, honestly, that didn't take away from my enjoyment one bit! It was nice to read it again, and have it it novel form to read whenever. Diary of a Mall Girl is a brilliant book, just as wonderful as all of Luisa's other books. I loved it, and it's a definite must read for every teen girl!

                                               Rating: 5/5

Source: For review (A big thanks to the publisher for sending me this in exchange for an honest review!)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
Age group: 11+
Official Publication Date: 14th March 2013 - today!
Publisher:  Curious Fox

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

REVIEW: The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey 'there and back again'. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon...

I read The Hobbit because I loved the movie, but I thought having seen the movie would take away from my enjoyment, but it didn't at all - I loved it! It's an absolutely fantastic book. Tolkien is an amazing author, and it is written brilliantly. With endearing characters, an exciting and eventful storyline, and flawless writing, The Hobbit is impossible to fault.

The Hobbit is quite a long book, and it took me over three weeks to read! Admittedly it does contain a few lengthy descriptions of certain scenes which could be tiresome to read, but most of the time the descriptions are wonderful and they are one of my favourite elements of the book. Tolkien's writing is simple, yet so beautiful, which is one of the reasons why this book is so appealing to both adults an children!

The world Tolkien creates is amazing! I don't think the name of the world is mentioned in The Hobbit, but I know from hearing about Lord of the Rings that it's called Middle Earth. It is great though! Wizards, dwarves, elves, orcs, dragons and men that can turn into bears are just some of the creatures that feature in the book. Middle Earth is so fun to read about, and The Hobbit is the perfect book to escape from reality with!

There was a lot of characters, and most very likeable. I ,f course, very much liked Bilbo! He was a cute little hobbit, and I liked the way even though he wasn't very happy to be on this cold, wet adventure, he was still brave and clever and a great leader when the dwarves needed him. There was lots of dwarves, and my favourite was definitely Balin - there isn't much to be said about him, but he was lovely, and really kind to Bilbo even when the others weren't.  Thorin was quite infuriating mostly , but he was alright sometimes! Gandalf was great - he was the character that always swoops in at the right time and saves the day, and I'll admit I have a soft spot for those characters, Gandalf being no exception!

I just wanted to note one thing - it's not a complaint, purely an observation, - I don't think there was a single female character in the whole book! Not even a minor one. Hmm.....

The illustrations by Alan Lee were beautiful, they were a great addition to the novel!

The Hobbit is definitely worth a read and the movie is fantastic too - I don't usually say this about books and movies, but for The Hobbit, I think it's better to see the movie before you read the book. The movie is great (in my opinion) and it is quite different from the book, so if you read the book first, of course you will be critical of the movie (as anyone does when they see a book they love adapted into a film!) and it will take away from your enjoyment, but the two are quite different, so having seen the movie first won't take away from your enjoyment of the book. That's just what I think anyway! Whichever you choose to do, definitely try and both read the book and watch the film, because they're both great.

I was disappointed to get to the end of The Hobbit because it really is unlike any other, and I knew I was going to miss reading it every evening! It has taken it's place among my list of favourite books, and I know it's one I'll be coming back to read again and again

                                                      Rating: 5/5

Source: Gift
Pages: 400 
Age group: 8+
Official Publication Date: 21st September 1937, this edition: 1st April 2008
Publisher: Original Publisher, George Allen and Unwin, this edition: Harper Collins