book review

Vote for Effie by Laura Wood

It’s the 21st Century, ladies, tell your pals, ‘vote for Effie’!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

When Effie Kostas joins Highworth Grange, she’s a little nervous but she can’t show it. All too soon she picks up on the message the teachers are sending her – talk less, smile more – but Effie will not equivocate on her opinion, and she has always worn it on her sleeve. So when she gets into a disagreement with (handsome, and boy does he know it) Aaron Burr uh, I mean, Aaron Davis, she decides to stand up to his mouth about his questionable student council presidency. Now is not just the moment, it’s the movement.

The issue on the table is that Aaron took the last piece of chocolate cake on a day when Effie really needed it. Honestly, you’ve never seen anyone more in need of a chocolate cake break. And so, just like that, Effie’s revolution is happening at Highworth Grange.

Continue reading “Vote for Effie by Laura Wood”

rambles and thoughts

Winnie the Pooh, Friendship, and Bravery

Oh… *taps mic* is, uh, is this thing on?

Hello, reader. It’s been a while, I know. I won’t bore you with details and ramblings but know that I’m back, although I am still figuring out what exactly that means. So. No breath holding, ‘kay?

I’ve been wanting to write about bravery and Winnie the Pooh and a letter to my future self of sorts for quite some time (blog post that’s been sat in my drafts for months, yes, I see you) and instead of agonising on how to exactly do that and how long it’ll end up being, I’m simply going to try. Because, first lesson for future me, sometimes trying is the bravest thing you can do. What’s the worst that could happen? You fall on your face (metaphorically or otherwise – although, please, don’t face plant the kerb again) or your voice shakes or your face goes red or everything feels like it’s broken and unmanageable and never-ending? Granted, the last one is slightly bigger than the others, but even then, it won’t last forever. It can’t. Regardless of how long the bad times might last, it can’t stop small pockets of goodness shining in between.

Which, neatly, leads me to my main point; Winnie the Pooh, friendship, and bravery. Continue reading “Winnie the Pooh, Friendship, and Bravery”

book review

For Every One by Jason Reynolds

Before we dive into the review of this gem, allow me a bit of back story.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Until a few years ago, I didn’t get poetry. I couldn’t wrap my head around it, or understand why it wasn’t just written in prose. Truth be told, I was probably a bit scared by poetry, and the ability it has to make you feel things, and so I locked myself up tight and told myself it was the poetry that was the problem, and not me. (Also let’s not forget those awful GCSE English lessons. Yet again, school killing something that could have been wonderful for me…)

Fast forward to when I started working in a bookshop, and one of the first books I was given to read was Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. At first, I was baffled by it, as always, but by the end I had found that there were sections that made me begin to appreciate poetry. Granted, I didn’t have an overnight transformation into a poetry lover, but sometime later I found myself (voluntarily) picking Love That Dog up again and I straight up adored it. Suddenly, I got poetry! Hooray!

And then, last week, I was giving the poetry shelves at work a bit of a tidy and reorganisation, and I noticed For Every One by Jason Reynolds sitting there, looking at me (the fact that it has a highly eye-catching cover by Yinka Illori also helped. I mean, just look at those colours!!). I’d seen good things about it online, and so started reading it, there and then. A couple of pages in, and I was hooked. I immediately went and tucked it behind the till so I could buy it on my lunch break, as I knew it was something special I would want to keep and read over and over and over again.

Dear reader, I was not wrong.  Continue reading “For Every One by Jason Reynolds”

book review

No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen: Author Q&A and Mini Review

Rejoice, contemporary YA readers, for today is the UK pub date for the brilliant Susin Nielsen’s new book, No Fixed Address. And in an exciting turn of events, guess who has a character named after them in the book…? That’s right, IT’S ME. *Ahem*. I’m okay. Totally still not freaking out about it…

To celebrate this book birthday, Susin was kind enough to answer some questions for me, and I have written a mini review to whet your appetite, including the excellent finished cover. Shall we crash on?  Continue reading “No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen: Author Q&A and Mini Review”

book review

Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan

It is no secret that I love fairy tales – so when I heard about this YA collection of fairy tale retellings, I couldn’t wait to read it. Dark and beautiful, these stories are described as “not for the faint-hearted or damsels in distress”, and I couldn’t put it better myself.

IMG_0057 Continue reading “Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan”

monthly wrap up

July Wrap Up and August Reading Goals

Oh look, another month has gone by and I have failed at keeping my blog updated… If it helps, though, I have had a hugely busy (but fun!) July, and honestly I’m not entirely sure where the time has gone. One of my favourite parts of last month was definitely meeting up with lots of twitter friends and cosplaying with Layla at YALC! (See here for my YALC haul.)

In total, I read 11 books this month, and so I am definitely out of the slump I was in last month (which is a big relief, let me tell you).

Books read in July:

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Continue reading “July Wrap Up and August Reading Goals”

monthly wrap up

June Wrap Up and July Reading Goals

Another month has come to a close and I am definitely NOT READY for June to be over! This month has been jam-packed with book events, gigs, catching up with friends, and trying to reorganise my room for the new bookshelves I’ve bought (and half built) – and when you include the roasting hot weather we’ve been having here in London recently, you get a very very tired Helen.

I popped into Foyles this month (I was very well behaved and didn’t cave and buy any books!) to see if I could finally meet Chloe Coles, author of the brilliant The Bookshop Girl. Luckily Chloe was in that day and we had a little chat and she signed my proof! Thank you Chloe for letting me interrupt your day.

I only managed to read 3 books this month – I know, that is an all time low (heh) for me – but they were all absolute stonkers of books so I can’t complain at all!

(Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to blame TfL for my low reading number – the number of train disruptions and alternative routes I’ve had to take to work has resulted in less reading time for me. Thanks a bunch, trains.)

Books read in June:

Continue reading “June Wrap Up and July Reading Goals”

book review

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

First things first: let’s talk about how utterly beautiful this proof is. Look at it. LOOK. Take in the gilded words, the delicately starlit night sky. Feel the softness of the ultra-matte cover (you’re gonna have to use your imagination for that one, but I believe in you, you can do it). See it sitting on your bookshelf, reminding you that you’ve technically stolen it from work as you consider it yours now– I mean… *cough*… work has another copy, and I’m just borrowing it… long term…? (I’m sorry work, I really am. I can’t bring myself to bring it back. Don’t make me. Please?!*)



Continue reading “Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend”

monthly wrap up

May Wrap Up and June Reading Goals

June is here already which means that we’re nearly half way through 2018 – is it too much for me to request a pause button, please?! As I’m sure you’re well aware, I have become pretty bad at updating this lil blog, and so will be trying extra hard this month to make sure I get at least one other post published (she says, hurrying off to schedule some posts).

I read 7 books this month, which feels a little low after last month’s 11, but life has been fairly manic recently (with work and book events and trying to see friends and sleep well and all that), so 7 is an okay number with me!

Books read in May:

may wrap up

Continue reading “May Wrap Up and June Reading Goals”