Thursday, January 26, 2012

Totally Lucy: Best Friends Forever by Kelly McKain

Hi! Lucy Jessica Hartley here with something A-MAZING to tell you! I've decided to turn our yawn-oramic school disco into a super-stylish High School Prom! Jules and Tilda, my fab BFFs are helping me organize a prom king and queen competition, and we're having actual ballroom dancing, AND I'm going to make my own mega-ly gorgeous dress. Plus, Simon Driscott is finding us a cool DJ. It's soooo exciting!
Step out in style with Lucy Jessica Hartley, as sneaky schoolmates and stricty teachers threaten to ruin her prom-night perfection. 

I love the cover of this book! It's so bright and eye-catching! It's a cover that appeals to younger girls, but I still love it! I knew what to expect from this book, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. It was sweet, clever and funny. It had fantastic characters, a story line that was easy to follow, and fabulous pictures and illustrations, that really added to the books layout and my enjoyment of the story!

Lucy was such a fun character! She was cool, stylish, funny and instantly likeable. I loved it when she had her little dramatic moments - she sort of reminded me of me! Lucy's 'BFF', Tilda and Jules (which I don't understand, because it should have been BFF's, plural, cause she had two best friends, but the book kept saying BFF...Oh well...) were cool too. Tilda was sweet and kind, and Jules was sassy, but she got on my nerves a bit, because she was too moody! The three girls made a fabulous trio of 'BFF' and they were great.

The whole 'American Prom' theme was brilliant! It sounded so fun and different, I would love to attend one! One of the main parts of the book was the three girls trying to get dates to the prom, which hilarity ensuing! I was just waiting  for Simon Driscott, Lucy's 'sort of friend with no fancying going on whatsoever' to ask her to the prom. It was so obvious that he liked her, and I felt like shaking Lucy and yelling at her: 'he does like you! And you should like him too! When will you pick up his very obvious signs?!'.
Yeah, I'm weird like that :P

I've already mentioned this, but I just wanted to say again that this book is really hilarious! Lucy was always coming out with these, random, crazy, yet comical thing and she drew some funny pictures which had me laughing aloud!

I loved this book! I really enjoyed it, more than I thought it would. While it is aimed at girls around 9+, I think some teen girl might enjoy it as a quick, light read to pass the time, or if they're in need of a laugh. This is the last book in the 'Totally Lucy' series (the tenth) and I would definitely recommend it! I can't wait to read the other books in the series -  they all look fab, and I hope they're as good as this one!


Source: Won
Pages: 192
Age group: 9+
Official Publication Date: 28th November 2008
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Author Website:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Very Late First Blogoversary Bookster Reviews!

Happy belated birthday Bookster Reviews! It was actually the blog's 'birthday' on November 21st, but since my computer was broken then I'm doing a post now instead! So! First of all, before I thank everyone who helped me the past year with blogging, I just want to say I can't believe I've been blogging this long. I never thought I would get so many followers, and so many comments and it just means so much to me that all of you actually like reading my reviews, and my posts and everything. I know I don't have many followers compared to a lot of blogs that are a year old, but 76 is plenty for me! (But I still appreciate new followers!)

Now on to the 'thank yous':

Luisa Plaja for being my second follower, being the first person to send me books to review, for being a fantastic blogger, recommending books to me, for helping me get started and just supporting me all through my blogging journey. And for writing fantastic books! Thank you so much Luisa, you are the nicest author ever :)

Sophia Bennett for letting me be part of her blog tour, my very first blog tour, and sending me her book to review. And for being so lovely and an amazing author.

All the authors at Girls Heart Books, especially Susie Day, Sarah Webb and Jo Cotterhill, for being helpful, giving me and loads of other people writing tips, and for writing brilliant, funny and sometimes crazy posts!

Thank you to the following publishers for sending me books to review, and letting me take part in blog tours they were hosting :)  :

Andersen Press
Chicken House

Oh, there are so many bloggers I could mention! I can't thank you all though, we would be here for hours! - so I'm just going to thank a few:

Zoe from Bookhi
Me and Zoe started blogging around the same time, and she is one of my favourite bloggers, and really nice! She is so lovely and helpful, and has a great blog. Thanks so much Zoe, you're fantastic :)

Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf
Amber's blog was the first blog I read. I hadn't even heard of blogging before I read her blog, and she told me how to set up a blog, and helped me in the first couple of months :) So thank you Amber!

Becky from The Bookette
Becky was my first follower, and gave me advice on all kinds of blogging stuff. She hosted the British Books Challenge in 2011, which kind of motivated me to keep blogging after the first month or two. Thanks Becky!

Kristi from The Story Siren
The Story Siren has been around for over 4 years, and on her blog are some incredibly helpful tips about blogging, which really helped me throughout the year!

Michelle from Fluttering Butterflies
A fabulous blog, a fabulous blogger! Michelle always does such brilliant reviews and posts and she is a lovely, and I love to chat to her!

Jen from The Girl in the Purple Pants
Jen is so nice, so cool and does THE COOLEST blog posts :)

Megan from The Book Addicted Girl 
Megan writes fantastic reviews which are a pleasure to read and she's really nice :)

Another few I blogs/bloggers I would like to thank are Jenny from  Wondrous Reads, Rachel from Booktastic Reviews, and Cat from Life Through a Cat's Eyes.

And loads of other people, but I just can't mention everyone! So that's my blogoversary post, I hope you enjoyed reading it! Bye! :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lolly Luck Blog Tour: Interview with Ellie Daines!

Hi everyone! Today on the blog I am welcoming Ellie Daines, author of the fabulous book Lolly Luck (see my review here) as part of the Lolly Luck blog tour. If you haven't read Lolly Luck yet, make sure you do! Ellie answered some questions I had. I hope you enjoy reading her answers as much as I did! (sorry there's no pictures in the post, my computer was acting up today >:(. I will edit it in the next couple of days and put in pictures, when it will work again!)

1. Hi Ellie! It's great to have you on the blog today! For those who haven't read Lolly Luck, could you tell us a bit about it?

Lolly Luck is about an optimistic young girl who's incredibly lucky - she's always winning things and finding money - but she's soon questioning her luck when things start  going wrong for her family. First her dad loses his job then the family lose their home and soon there's and even bigger shock in store for Lolly which turns her world upside down.

2. When did you decide you wanted to become an author?

I've dreamed about becoming an author ever since I was really young. At school I used to love writing short stories and entering them into competitions. During my years at university I wrote a couple of stories but they didn't really go anywhere. Still, writing these stories did help me find my writing voice. However it was only when I started writing Lolly Luck that I thought to myself I'd like to pursue a career as an author.

3. What was the inspiration behind Lolly Luck?

My original idea for Lolly Luck came from a personal experience. I'd gone for a  web editing job with a company and had been invited for an interview only to receive a call from my recruitment  consultant a couple of days before the interview telling me it had been cancelled because the person who was supposed to be leaving changed their mind and the company were happy  for him to stay on. I was very disappointed at the time because it did seem like it'd be the perfect job. However I thought that the whole fiasco would make  a really dramatic moment in a story and I wrote the scene where Lolly's dad receives similar news and the rest of the story pretty much evolved from that one sub-plot. This scene is also a critical one  because what follows is a devastating revelation that changes Lolly's life forever.

4. Do you ever base your characters on yourself or people that you know?

Yes. Certainly with the character of Lolly I based much of her personality on my childhood self. Like her I was very lucky as a youngster and I even had a knack for for dreaming winning lottery numbers. And when writing about Lolly's friendship with her best friend Nancy, I took inspiration from my own friendship with my best friend at primary school, a girl called Dinah, who's still a good friend of my today.

5. Who were your writing idols growing up and who are they now?

Like most kids I was a massive fan of Roald Dahl and I do think  reading his books as a child encouraged me to put pen to paper myself. But never had I imagined that one day my book would be in a bookshop right next to my literary hero's books, which is an amazing feeling. Authors that I admire today include Andrea Levy and Terry McMillan

6. What is your favourite things about writing books and being an author?

I absolutely love the thrill of creating characters, exploring themes and simply getting emotionally involved with the story. I also think that as an author you really have to love what you do to keep that motivation going in order to complete your novel. For me, there are days when I'm so excited about what I'm writing that I don't really want to go to sleep and I can't wait to wake up in the morning.

7. What was the publishing process of Lolly Luck like?

Interesting.  Like many authors I had my fair share of rejection letters especially when I was trying to look for an agent. But Eve White came back to me and she really liked the style of my writing so I signed with her. She later approached my editor Charlie Sheppard at Andersen Press who was really keen on the book even though I hadn't finished it yet and I was offered a two-book deal.

8. How does it feel seeing your own book in bookshops?

It's wonderful. I'd say having your book on the shelf of a bookstore is what most authors dream about. The shelf is effectively our platform, giving us the opportunity to share our work with the rest of the world.

9.  What authors and books do you like to read?

I like to read a range of books and I love chick-lit novels  and one of my favourite chick-lit author would have to be Carole Matthews. The most recent book I've read is A Cupboard Full of Coats By Yvette Edwards who's also represented by Eve White. It's a stunning book and incredibly moving.

10. Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring writers reading this blog?

I'd say try to set aside some time each week or every day to do some writing. Write about subjects that interest you and don't start your editing until you've actually finished your story because it's very easy to get bogged down in the editing, which will only slow you down. And finally, never leave the house without a pen and paper/notebook because you never know when inspiration will strike!

Thanks Ellie! Check out the next stop on the tour tomorrow at Bookhi!

You can buy Lolly Luck here or here.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lolly Luck by Ellie Daines

I'm Lolly Luck by name, lucky by nature

I'm the luckiest person I know, and the luckiest person everyone else knows.

But Lolly's luck begins to turn. When her dad loses his job and the family home, Lolly thinks things can't get any worse. Then she overhears her parents arguing and learns a secret that will change her life for ever...

I knew before I began reading Lolly Luck that I would enjoy I was going to like it. The plot sounded great, and the cover was cool (Is it just me or does this cover remind you of the new Cathy Cassidy covers?!). And I was proved right! I loved this book, there wasn't a bit I didn't enjoy! I liked the little twist that was Lolly being lucky. It made the book more interesting for me. There are a lot of books with a similar plot to Lolly Luck, but that ((and a few other things) made it that bit different.

I liked the character of Lolly but she wasn't my favourite. She was nice, but I thought she seemed a bit spoilt, near the beginning of the book. Like, she was cross because she didn't get her bike (her birthday present) straight away the morning of her birthday, she had to wait  until the evening. I mean, she was lucky to get a bike at all! Some children have nothing! And I thought she was a bit whiny too. But I suppose she did have quite a lot to deal with, considering she was only eleven! Aside from all that, however, I did like her, honestly!

The characters were well thought-out and believable. My favourite was either Zola, Lolly's older sister or her best friend Nancy. Zola was a typical older sister, a bit mean to Lolly sometimes! But really she was a good sister, and helped and supported Lolly. You could see that the two sisters were close and they really had to pull together during the family's problems. Their relationship was great. And Lolly's best friend Nancy was also really kind and supportive, although she seemed very mature for eleven!

I read this book in one sitting, it was surprisingly hard to put down! It is a quick simple read but it has more depth and meaning than I had expected. I think a lot of children reading this book would be able to relate to Lolly and her family's financial situation because of the world wide recession at the moment. I thought it was brilliant in that sense. The book was very real, something refreshing in middle grade fiction! I think fans of Jacqueline Wilson will like it.
Overall this is a realistic, relatable book with a brilliant story and fantastic characters!                  
                                                Rating: 4/5

Source: For Review
Pages: 192
Age Group: 10+
Official Publication Date: 5th January 2012
Publisher: Andersen Press
Author Website:

Come back to Bookster Reviews on the 21st January for the Lolly Luck blog tour to see an interview with Ellie Daines herself!

P.S. I just want to say, this is my first review in exactly 3 months! I hope you all like it :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top Ten Books of 2011

Since I missed out on the all the end of year blogging excitement *glum face* I'm going to do my own late post! So here are my ten favourite books that I read in 2011. In no particular order!

1.Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie
2.Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
3. CHERUB: The Recruit by Robert Muchamore
4.The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis
5.Palace of the Damned by Darren Shan
6. Pretty Little Liars 1-4 by Sara Shepard (They were all brilliant)
7. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
8. Ocean of Blood by Darren Shan
9. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
10. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

I didn't put in pictures of all of the books, I hope you don't mind! It's just that it takes too long and I find it really hard to put mulptiple pictures underneath one another in posts. Yeah, I'm not very smart :) 

So do you agree with my list? Anything you would add on? What was/were your favourite book(s) of 2011?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'm Back!!! And some New Years resolutions

I'm back!!! Woohoo!!! ( in case any of you didn't see my last post, my computer is broken! It's still broken but I'm using an old laptop which a friend fixed up so I'm very happy!) I really missd blogging! Not being able to check blogger every day, not being able to post and missing out on all the great new book releases! And esecially because it was the end of the year and everyone was doing their best of 2011 posts and I missed out on it all *sob* But it's a new year, ( happy new year everyone by the way!) and this year will be Bookster Reviews' best year yet! I'm really going to try. Hard to make this blog the best it can be! I've made some blogging new year resolutions ( which I probably won't stick to but, oh well!). I've also included below the resolutions a little thing about what you can expect on the blog this month!

 New Years Blogging Resolutions

  1. Try to write at least 3-4 reviews a month.
  2. Reach 100 followers! Hopefully :) By the way, congrats to Zoe at Bookhi who has reached 100+ followers! You deserved it Zoe :) Bookhi is one of my favourite blogs and Zoe is a great blogger and a really nice person!. So if you're not already following Bookhi, do so now!
  3. Reply to e-mails faster! I am really slow at replying to e-mails! I always takes ages, which probably makes people think I am rude! I don't know why I'm so slow! Just laziness I suppose... :)
  4. Do more posts, not just reviews and memes. Stuff like discussion posts, interviews and other random stuff!
  5. Discover some great new blogs that I can follow.
  6. Stop buying so many books, and reading my own! During my blogging break I read loads of my own books, and my TBR pile got considerably smaller and I was very proud of myself altogether! But then over the Christmas holiday I bought and received so many books that the pile is just as big as it was before Christmas, if not bigger
  7. Interact with other bloggers more. Just even a friendly e-mail to say hi would be nice, complimenting their reviews or recommending books to the blogger. I'm very bad like that, I really should make more of an effort! I would like to but it's just laziness again... :)
What to expect this month on Bookster Reviews:
Lolly Luck by Ellie Daines
Sword of Light by Katherine Roberts
(maybe) Totally Lucy: Best Friends Forvever by Kelly McKain

One big In My Mailbox post at the end of the month, showing all the books I've received since my last IMM post.

Bookster Reviews Belated Blogoversary Post
Lolly Luck blog tour: Author Interview with Ellie Daines
(maybe) Best Books of 2011

So there you go! My first post since November! Oh it's good to be back :)