Friday, February 18, 2011

Giveaway at Girls Without a Bookshelf!

Hey everyone! The brilliant blog Girls Without a Bookshelf, is hosting a fab international giveaway. Yay! The prize pack contains a *signed* copy of The 13 Secrets by Michelle Harrison, signed bookmarks and a poster! The giveaway closes 20th February and again is international. Aren't international giveaways awesome? They are when you live in Ireland anyway! So make sure you HEAD OVER THERE (sorry about the capital letters, I wanted to make the link obvious!) and enter now. Well, bye!!!

P.S. I will not be poating any reviews from now until around next Sunday ( not this Sunday. now, next Sunday. Or maybe I'm the only one that gets confused about that?!) because I'm going.....skiing. Yippee! Bye bye ; P

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Blog Button!

Hey guys! I decided to make a button for Bookster Reviews. Loads of other blogs have them and I really wanted one, but I didn't know how to make one! But thanks to another blogger (Thanks Rachel!) I found out how to make one. It's actually really simple! You just get whatever image you want to use, and then go on Picnik (or something similar) and edit it! I just made mine. You like, eh? I think it's actually quite nice! I'm going to put it on my sidebar to... well, just to have it there! Anyway, I hope you like it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

And the winner is.....

And the winner of the signed copy of Sequins, Stars and Spotlights by Sophia Bennett is.....


Congratulations Zoe!I have e-mailed you to let you know that you won. Please e-mail me your mailing address at so that I can pass it on to Sophia. Thank you to everyone who entered my first giveaway. And if you didn't win, head over to Magic Bean Review for a chance to win another copy of Sequins, Stars and Spotlights.  Thanks again to everyone that entered and to Sophia Bennett who gave me this copy to use as a prize. So long, fabulous readers!

P.S. Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

The misadventures of Tallulah Casey…
Hilarious new series from Queen of Teen – laugh your tights off at the (VERY) amateur dramatic antics of Talullah and her bonkers mates. Boys, snogging and bad acting guaranteed!

Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type.
On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up.
Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?)
Six weeks of parent-free freedom.
BOY freedom.
Freedom of expression…
cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, theatre!!

I've heard great things about Louise Rennison and I've seen the movie that was based on one of her books (which I LOVED!) but I've never actually read any of her books. I know, I must be the only girl in the universe who hasn't!

My first impressions were 'Wow, this will be fantastic, it's hilarious and has great characters!' And then it all went downhill.....

I thought the book got very hard to follow towards the end, as there was so many things going on, and loads of supporting characters I just couldn't keep track of! I didn't understand what was going on with Cain and the Hinchcliff brother and the school plays and...gaaah!

Despite everything else, the characters were brilliant! Tallullah was SO FUNNY and actually had me in a laughing fit at one point, which is not an easy feat for a book! I loved her friends too. My favourites were short Jo and I think, Texan, Flossy!

This book gets 3/5. I thought it was O-K but nothing compared to the hype I've seen surrounding Louise's other books. I do want to read the Georgia Nicholson diaries though, because Louise is obviously a brilliantly hilarious author. Not just any book(s) is made into a (fabulous) movie!

Age Group: 11+
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublisher
Official Publication Date: 08 July 2010

Review done as part of the British Books Challenge, hosted by The Bookette.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stlyish Blogger Award!

Yay! Thanks to Rachel at Booktastic Reviews, Bookster Reviews has got it's very first award! Thanks soooooo much Rachel! Also, I got the award from Zoe at Bookhi. Thanks Zoe!

Rules:Thank the awesome person who gave you the award.
Post 7 random things about yourself.
Give the award to 15 other blogs.
Contact the blogger and let them know they have won!

7 Random Facts:

  1. I LOVE music and at the moment my favourite song is 'Nothing' by The Script.
  2. I have a guinea pig called Voldemort. I had a bit of an obsession with Harry Potter when I named him, OK?!
  3. I wish I had enough money to buy everything in New Look. : )
  4. I love fashion, especially t-shirts and dresses.
  5. I play the guitar.
  6. I can't stand  it when someone leaves the light on when they don't need it. I also hate when people leave a drawer open. I'm weird like that. ;)
  7. I constantly lose my ipod, then find it, then lose it again. :)
Now, for the fifteen blogs I give the award to...(btw, I'm not going to link the blogs because it takes too long. Sorry!)
Amber at The Mile Long Bookshelf
Ria at The Beacoup Review
Zoe at Bookhi
Becky at The Bookette
Kristi at The Story Siren
Luisa and co. at Chicklish
Iffath at Love Reading
Jen at The Girl In The Purple Pants
Cat at The Life of Cat-a Teenage Dreamer
Ali at Random Gorgeouznezz
Keren at Almost True
Nayu at Nayus Reading Corner
Beanie at Magic Bean Review

Sorry I couldn't be bothered to award it to any more blogs!(lazy....) Thanks again Rachel and Zoe : )

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Hey everyone, I thought I'd remind you about my competition to win a signed copy of Sequins Stars and Spotlights by Sophia Bennett. The giveaway is open to UK residents only and the closing date is 14th February 2011.See THIS POST for full information. Thanks and a review of Sequins Stars and Spotlights up soon!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekly Wanted: Wishlist Wonders #5

Weekly Wanted: Wishlist Wonders is a weekly meme hosted by Amber at The Mile Long Bookshelf and Rachel at Booktastic Reviews. Make sure you head on over and take part!


1. Post up 3 books that you can't wait to read or wish for. 

2. Post up the synopsis/blurb.
3. Post up a picture of the front cover.

This weeks three books are.....

32c That's Me by Chris Higgins

Jess seems to have it all. OK her parents are boring teachers - her dad even teaches at her school - but she has a gorgeous boyfriend, Muggs, landed the lead in the school play and her best friend Ali will always stick by her. She even gets on well with her older sister!
Then her mum is diagnosed with breast cancer and Jess's world is turned upside down and no one seems to understand what she's going through. Muggs is too busy with the play, her dad is never around and all of a sudden Ali is avoiding her. Jess soon starts to realise that maybe having it all isn't what really matters and maybe the people you thought you could depend on aren't the ones to trust.

Rebel by R.J. Anderson
No ordinary fairy tale...

Linden is a feisty faery with a lot on her mind. She her fellow faeries are under threat: their magic is fading, and if they do not act fast, they will die...

When Linden meets Timothy, a human staying in the house opposite her Oak, she knows he can help. Together they embark on a dangerous journey to seek more magic ­ and discover that there is more to fear from other faeries than they could ever have imagined.

Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
Be careful what you wish for . . .

Andi is short. And she has lots of wishes. She wishes she could play on the school basketball team, she wishes for her own bedroom, but most of all she wishes that her long lost half brother, Bernardo, could come and live in London, where he belongs.

Then Andi's biggest wish comes true and she's minutes away from becoming someone's little sister. As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines, she hopes he'll turn out to be tall and just as mad as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he's tall all right. But he's not just tall ... he's a GIANT.

In a novel packed with humour and quirkiness, Gourlay explores a touching sibling relationship and the clash of two very different cultures.

Thanks for reading and I hope you join Weekly Wanted too!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Seriously Sassy by Magggi Gibson

'Right now boys are NOT part of my life plan. I've got more than enough to do as it is.'

'Yeah, like the planet to save' says Cordelia dreamily.

'And my career to get off the ground, I've not even got my first demo disc yet!'

Sassy Wilde's had enough of pollution and plastic bags-she wants to make a difference. It's time to grab her guitar and start spreading some eco love...

But first she has to get round her mum and dad-officially the most embarrassing parentals In. The. World.

And it's not just endangered creatures keeping Sassy awake at night. Why, oh WHY did Magnus (the Magnificent) offer her a bite of his muffin in biology?

OMG OMG OMG! Seriously Sassy is absolutely AMAZING! Maggi Gibson, you are one of my favourite authors ever! OMG OMG OMG!

OK, I've gotten the crazy part over with! Seriously Sassy really is brilliant. It combines music (and everybody likes music! *gasp*What do you mean you don't like music?!) and more important issues like saving the environment to make one seriously sassy book! I actually learnt a lot from this book about the environment and I think it's great because it will make a lot of people more aware of global warming and other stuff, while still being a great (and not boring ) read.

The characters were all very likeable, except for Magnus and a couple of Sassy's teachers, but that didn't matter because they were only minor characters and they weren't in it a lot.

I have 3 or 4 favourite characters! They are Sassy, her little sister Pip, Sassy's friend Cordelia. It's hard not to like Sassy, because she was so nice, and so well - sassy! And then there was Cordelia, who is a great friend to Sassy and hilarious too! I liked Pip because she was really funny but she was still really sweet. I hope we get to see more of her in the other books.

Another thing that I really loved in this book, and what made it more realistic, was Sassy's guitar tuning. I know that this might seem a bit random!-but if you play guitar you'll know how annoying it is in books and movies when people just pick up a guitar and start playing and don't tune it, yet it still sounds perfect! So, Maggi, thank you for making Sassy tune her guitar before she plays!

Does this book get a 5/5? No. Most definitely not. It get a 500000000/5! If you don't read Seriously Sassy, you are really missing out! It's written brilliantly, it's really witty and Maggi is genius at writing song lyrics! So, overall, Seriously Sassy is a total must-read!

Age Group: 9+ (well that' the advised age in the back of the book, but I think it would be more enjoyed by around 10-14-year-olds)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.
Official Publication Date: 02 April 2009
Author Website: or the Seriously Sassy website

Review done as part of the British Books Challenge hosted by The Bookette.

Sequins, Stars and Spotlights blog tour - interview and giveaway!

Hey everyone! The lovely Sophia Bennett, author of Threads, her debut novel, and Beads, Boys and Bangles, the sequel, is dropping by as part of her Sequins, Stars and Spotlights blog tour . Sequins, Stars and Spotlights is the third, and final installment in Sophia's amazing Threads trilogy. She's here to discuss fashion, writing, and orange shorts! But first of all, here's a little bit about the book....

Four girls have four dreams. Crow is on the way to becoming an international fashion designer. Jenny's been discovered by a Broadway composer. Edie still wants to go to Harvard. Nonie ... isn't really sure, but knows it's something fashion-related and wonderful. They're growing up and on the brink of glittering careers. So why are their lives so complicated? Why does success demand sacrifices, and which ones are they willing to make? In this, the final book of the Threads trilogy, Nonie discovers that life is just beginning. The girls have choices to make. Who will wait for fame? Who will emerge an outright star? Who will fall in love? And who will turn her back on all her dreams? This time the answers are in New York. It's a long way for Nonie to travel, especially with only one teeny-weeny wheelie bag. But for the sake of her friendships, Nonie will do whatever it takes.

And now for the interview....

When did you decide you wanted to be writer?

This is the first question my agent asked me. I  remember wanting to be a writer, preferably a poet, when I was seven. When I was eight or nine, I had to describe a school trip in a diary, and I did it in rhyming couplets. (I know … ew). I’ve wanted to be many things in my life, from Olympic gymnast to air hostess, but I never really changed my mind about writing. Hearing I was shortlisted for The Times/Chicken House competition was one of the best moments of my life. I knew then that one day, I would be published. Nine months later, my book was on the shelves. (Thank goodness. I was never, frankly, going to make it as an Olympic gymnast.)

What would be your dream job, apart from writing?

Am I allowed screenwriting? I’d love to write a romcom. Travel writer would be good. So would writer for Vogue … I’m sensing a theme here. Of course, if I had to be a successful fashion designer, I wouldn’t mind too much. Victoria Beckham’s doing OK. But what I love is that so many actresses and pop stars and other celebrities (like Madonna and Sophie Dahl) really want to be children’s writers. That always makes me smile.  

Which author do you admire most, and why?

There are so many. Too many. Quite a lot of them are French or Italian, because I studied both languages for my degree. Michel Butor. Proust. Boccaccio. Dante. There’s Shakespeare, obviously. One of the authors I love the most is Dorothy L Sayers, because I adore detective fiction and Lord Peter Wimsey is my favourite character. But the author who most inspired me to write the way I do is Noel Streatfeild. She wrote about creative children with big ambitions. I loved that. I really admire JK Rowling for the way she’s using her millions to do good. If I ever met her, I’d want to talk to her about that, actually, rather than the books (which I love). And Jacqueline Wilson is the nicest possible, most encouraging person for new writers. She’s very generous and I’m a big fan.

Are you a fashion guru, like Nonie?

Quite simply, no. I make an effort. Thanks to my very generous mother, I’m the proud owner of a Vivienne Westwood dress and a pair of my very own Louboutins. But I mostly live in jeans and cardigans. They’re comfortable to write in! One of my friends used to be a model and dresses in a casual, relaxed, cool, trendy way. She advises clients on what to buy. Actually, she is a professional fashion guru, come to think of it. I’d love to be like her. But sadly, I’m not. I’m just a fashion enthusiast. And not of all fashion – by any means. Just what’s creative and inspirational and makes people feel good about themselves. If it makes you feel inadequate in any way, it’s bad. Nonie dresses the way I wish I’d had the confidence to dress when I was her age. I’m pretty jealous of her, actually.

What was your most disastrous fashion moment : )?

I have too many disasters to choose from. Possibly the one on the Threads website, where I’m in the orange shorts, purple tights and a red top. Actually, the shorts are fine – it’s the top that’s a killer. Then there’s the one where I’m nineteen, in a strapless dress pulled down too low over my cleavage. Or the electric blue pencil skirt and matching batwing jumper. Or the velvet knee-length trousers with a white frilly shirt and velvet shoelace tie. All of which I liked at the time. Growing up in the eighties was a nightmare.

Random question - if you could live on day in the life of anyone, alive or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?

I’d love to have been a code-breaker at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, working on the Enigma Code by day, saving countless lives, and dancing the night away with dashing Spitfire pilots in the CafĂ© de Paris. It was a very dangerous time, but all the more exciting for that. Picture me in a trench coat and trilby. Not that they actually wore those at Bletchley, but you get the idea. Also, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon must have been pretty amazing. I was three when that happened. The world was never the same again, because Space wasn’t just Space – it was somewhere you could go and wander around and see Earth from a distance. He hardly ever talks about it, because I think it was just too incredible. (Note – I don’t mention being an actress in a perfect dress, picking up an Oscar. So many of them have such terrible lows to go with the highs. *coughs* Sandra Bullock *coughs*)

Are you writing another book at the moment, and if so, could you tell us a little bit about it?

I certainly am. It’s a book called The Look, and it’s about a girl who’s very tall and a bit gawky, but who’s scouted to be a model. She’s not sure what she wants to do – she doesn’t know much about modeling – but then her sister is diagnosed with a serious illness and she starts rethinking her life. It’s been a difficult book to write – I had to research a lot about modeling – but it’s finally coming together. I’ve finished the first draft and I’m doing the first set of rewrites now. I’m sure there will be more to come. (Rewrites, I mean, not books, although I hope there will be more of those too.)

And finally, what tips do you have for aspiring writers?

‘Writers are people who find writing more difficult than other people.’ This is a quote from Thomas Mann and I’ve used it in the writing tips I give on my website. I often get asked this question! I think what the quote means is that you just have to get on with it. The first fan letter I ever wrote was to a journalist (still working) called Susan Marling. She basically said ‘Keep writing’. So I did, for the twenty-eight years it took between getting her reply and being published. It takes time, patience and persistence. I think the people who are successful are the people who never give up. They do it because they love it, and they can’t help it, and they’re constantly learning and improving. So keep at it. Read a lot. Go to movies and learn how they play with narrative. Don’t expect your first manuscript to be published. Or your second. Or your third. Create fascinating, unpredictable, unique characters. Believe in yourself. There you go.

Quick round!

Pink or Blue? 

Funnily enough, blue. (Although my handbag is pink. My wallet is pink. My tube pass is pink. My favourite Vivienne Westwood plastic shoes are pink …)

Twitter or Facebook?

Twitter. Quicker.

Tea or Coffee?

Coffee. Essential.

India or New York?

Very tricky. At a pinch, New York.

And a really hard one - reading or writing?!

It is hard, but … writing. Filling up the page. It’s my vocation. But I couldn’t have done it without the reading. I recommend When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead, by the way. It won the Newberry Medal last year and I’ve wanted to read it for ages. A fellow writer called Sarah Webb gave it to me yesterday (she’s lovely and I recommend her books!) and I’m half-way through. It’s brilliant. The kind of book that makes you want to be a writer.

I also have, courtesy of Sophia, a signed copy of Sequins, Stars and Spotlights to giveaway to one lucky winner! All you have to do is answer the following question:

What is the name of Sophia's debut novel?
Hint: The answer is somewhere in this post!

Please send your name, e-mail and your answer to The winner will be chosen at random using the RandomNumberGenerator.

If you are under 18, you must ask a parent/guardians permission before entering
The competition is open to UK residents only.
The closing date for the competition is Monday 14th February 2011.
One entry per person. Multiple entries will be disqualified.

You can check out the other stops on the blog tour HERE and pre-order a copy of the book (you should) HERE.  Sophia, thanks for stopping by, and I wish you the best of luck with Sequins, Stars and Spotlights and all of your other books in the future.

Threads Website
Sophia's Website