Blog Tour Review: You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus

Hello, hello friends! I’m so excited to be back with another #UltimateBlogTour with @TheWriteReads gang for You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus. Don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here or click on the banner below! 😍

Special thanks to Penguin for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: You’ll Be the Death of Me
Publisher: Penguin
Publish Date: 30 November 2021
Genre: Young Adult Thriller/Mystery

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand new pulse-pounding thriller. When three old friends re-live an epic ditch day, it goes horribly-and deadly-wrong.

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Back in middle school they were best friends. So, when Cal pulls into campus late for class, and runs into Ivy and Mateo, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn a bad day around. They’ll ditch school and go into the city. Just the three of them, like old times. Why did they stop hanging out, anyway?

As soon as they pull out of the parking lot Cal knows why. Ivy’s already freaking out about missing class, and heartthrob Mateo is asleep in the backseat, too cool to even pretend like he wants to be there. The truth is they have nothing in common anymore.

At least they don’t until they run into the fourth student ditching school that day. Brian “Boney” Mahoney is supposed to be accepting his newly won office of class president. Which is why Ivy follows him into an empty building, only to walk into the middle of a murder scene. Cal, Ivy, and Mateo all know the person lying on the ground of that building, and now they need to come clean. They’re all hiding something. And maybe their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all.

It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder, perfect for fans of One Of Us Is Lying and A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder. This explosive new thriller is impossible to put down.

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ARC Review: The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara

I read this book as part of The Write Reads blog tour.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Aria Fiction for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Meeting Point
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Publish Date: 02 September 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(2.5 pandas)

What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend’s phone holds the directions to true love?

‘Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend’s phone?’

‘He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I’m the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.’

And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday.

So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn’t expecting a personalised itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more…

Come on this 5* journey to love, laughter and back again, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.

TL;DR: I read Olivia Lara’s debut last year and I enjoyed it well enough to want to read more of her books, and I think I had very high expectations, especially after seeing how much everyone has loved this. Sadly, it really didn’t work for me! There was a lot of telling and not enough showing and as a result I couldn’t connect with the characters and I actually found it difficult to like the heroine. I’m definitely in the minority with my unpopular opinion though so I would encourage you to check out other reviews and to try the book for yourself because it does have a cute concept!

The majority of the book is set in Carmel by the Sea, which sounds like a really charming and picturesque little coast town and reading this book made me want to visit it ASAP! I would love to retrace Maya’s steps in the town and of course, to Big Sur and all the other places in between. It wasn’t hard to picture the story and locations come to life! I wouldn’t necessarily say this was a small town romance but it had the vibes and it leant the story some comfort and charm that I think (generally) worked well with the concept.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance involving a Lyft driver and I thought that it was quite a romantic and serendipitous sort of idea that, as a hopeless romantic, I was completely sold on! They also played a game of 50 questions, which I love the idea of and it reminded me of the experiment where couples ask 36 questions that can potentially lead to love. I thought there were some really sweet and funny moments in their banter while they played the game and Maya explored Carmel by the Sea for the first time. That said, even though this started well, it only took a few questions for Maya to already start feeling strongly for our mysterious driver and it rapidly became ‘instalove‘— a trope that I’m not fond of. It just never feels realistic to me and sadly, it was no different here. I also thought the romance itself wasn’t helped by the characters or the somewhat plodding storyline.

Despite being almost 400 pages, not a lot happens and the story moves along at a crawl because of the repetitive nature of Maya’s monologue. I often found myself feeling bored and I started skimming pages towards the middle of the book. Having read the author’s debut last year, I found that the same issues I had then were also the same now. There’s a lot of telling and not enough showing and that made it harder to connect to the characters and their emotions, and to feel invested in the romance. Ultimately though, it was the characters themselves that I had the most trouble with, and particularly with our heroine, Maya.

I don’t like to say negative things about heroines in romances because they’re always judged the harshest, and over the years I’ve come to appreciate flawed but realistic characters. However, I really struggled to like Maya! She’s judgmental, entitled and so bitter. She didn’t have the smoothest path over the last few years but I just didn’t understand her thought process and reaction to things. She hated Ethan before even meeting him because he wrote a story that she felt was hers. As he’s a popular romance author this story got published and she’s extremely bitter about it because it was “her story first”. Her reaction to the whole thing was so petty and immature and… W H Y? I also didn’t like how she refused to take responsibility for the decisions she made whether that was in her past and her present. She also becomes a ‘fairy godmother/saviour’ type of character as she pushes people together through various situations and credits herself for giving them a ‘happy ever after’ that she has created in her head. It was a bit much? Suffice to say, her character made it very difficult for me to enjoy the story.

While I wish I could say that our hero was a lot better, we didn’t really get to know him. He’s a famous author, twin to Celine and is divorced but we don’t get much depth from him. I guess he seemed like a nice enough bloke, but what we do learn of him is from Maya’s POV and again it’s a lot of telling and not showing. We’re told “he can be silly and funny” but his expressions are always blank or severe, and Maya can’t even tell what he’s thinking or feeling 90% of the time. It made it difficult to care about him and to understand his motives or what drives him.

Overall, I guess you can say I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would! The idea sounded really fun and cute, plus, I loved the coastal small town setting, but the writing wasn’t compelling and I cared very little for the characters, and as a result, I wasn’t sold on their romance.

Have you read The Meeting Point or is it on your TBR?

Book Spotlight: The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara

Hello, friends! I’m back with another The Write Reads blog tour post for you today and it’s a spotlight for The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara! There are so many wonderful reviews that you can find here and I hope that you do check them out if the plot piques your interest 😊


Goodreads: The Meeting Point
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Publish Date: 02 September 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend’s phone holds the directions to true love?

‘Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend’s phone?’

‘He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I’m the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.’

And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday.

So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn’t expecting a personalised itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more…

Come on this 5* journey to love, laughter and back again, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.

Continue reading “Book Spotlight: The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara”

Blog Tour Review: Fireborn by Aisling Fowler

Hello, hello friends! I’m so excited to be back with another blog tour with @TheWriteReads gang! Today I’m sharing my review for an awesome middle grade fantasy: Fireborn by Aisling Fowler. Don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

Special thanks to Harper Collins Children UK for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: Fireborn
Publisher: Harper Collins Children UK
Publish Date: 30 September 2021
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

Lyra. Lucy. Percy. Once in a generation, a hero emerges whose story enthralls readers worldwide.

Fireborn is an epic quest, perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials and The School for Good and Evil series, that will spin readers into a magical world like no other–and introduce them to an unforgettable new heroine named Twelve.

Ember is full of monsters.

Twelve gave up her name and identity to train in the art of hunting them–so she says. The truth is much more deadly: she trains to take revenge on those who took her family from her.
But when Twelve’s new home is attacked, she’ll find herself on an unexpected journey, where her hidden past is inescapably intertwined with her destiny–and the very fate of her world.

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Blog Tour Review: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Hello, hello friends! I’m so excited to be back with another blog tour with @TheWriteReads gang! Today I’m sharing a review for a book that looks all cute and fluffy on the outside but takes a step beyond that on the inside: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon. Don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

Special thanks to Penguin for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Instructions for Dancing
Publisher: Penguin
Publish Date: 01 June 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon is back with a new and utterly unique romance.

Evie is disillusioned about love ever since her dad left her mum for another woman – she’s even throwing out her beloved romance novel collection.

When she’s given a copy of a book called Instructions for Dancing, and follows a note inside to a dilapidated dance studio, she discovers she has a strange and unwelcome gift. When a couple kisses in front of her, she can see their whole relationship play out – from the moment they first catch each other’s eye to the last bitter moments of their break-up.

For Evie, it confirms everything she thinks she knows about love – that it doesn’t last.

But at the dance studio she meets X – tall, dreadlocked, fascinating – and they start to learn to dance, together. Can X help break the spell that Evie is under? Can he change Evie’s mind about love?

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Blog Tour Review: Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Hello, hello friends! I’m so excited to be back with another blog tour with @TheWriteReads gang! Today we’re taking a *smol* step outside my comfort zone for Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky but long story short, I loved it!. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

Special thanks to Netgalley and Tor for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Shards of Earth (The Final Architects Trilogy #1)
Publisher: Tor
Publish Date: 27 May 2021
Genre: Science Fiction

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans ­such as Idris – who could communicate mind-to-mind with our aggressors. Then these ‘Architects’ simply disappeared and Idris and his kind became obsolete.

Now, Idris and his crew have something strange, abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they really returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy as they search for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, and many would kill to obtain it.

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Blog Tour Review: Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Hello, hello friends! I’m so excited to be back for another blog tour with @TheWriteReads today for a highly anticipated YA contemporary: Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

Special thanks to Penguin and @The_WriteReads tours team for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Kate in Waiting
Publisher: Penguin
Published: 22 April 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.

[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]

Kate Garfield
Anderson Walker

Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:

Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.

Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson

He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…

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Blog Tour Review: The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King

Hello, hello friends! I’m so excited to be back for another blog tour with @TheWriteReads today for the 2020 BBNYA Winner: The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. Special thanks to for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

More information about about BBNYA available at the end of my post for those who want to know more, especially authors!

Goodreads: The Lore of Prometheus
Publisher: Fallen Leaf Press
Published: 10 December 2018
Genre: Urban Paranormal Fantasy, Military Fiction
Panda Rating:

(3.75 pandas)

John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.

It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.

Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive

BUY NOW: Book Depository | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble

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Blog Tour Review: Aether Ones by Wendi Coffman-Porter

Hey friends! I’m excited to be back for another tour with @TheWriteReads for Aether Ones by Wendi Coffman-Porter. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

Special thanks to the author for providing a digital copy in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Aether Ones
Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group
Published: 13 October 2020
Genre: Science Fiction
Panda Rating:

(3 pandas)

Leilani Falconi is a top agent for the Imperial Investigative Service, tasked with policing the veil between two realities. Long ago, the Great Sundering tore the universe into two mirrored halves; aether space, which progressed using magical energy or eldrich, and kuldain, which advanced via electromagnetic technology. But now a series of suspicious deaths stretching back more than a decade has the agent trapped directly between secretive bureaucracies and their peoples. If she can’t solve the mysterious crimes in time, existence as she knows it could erupt into chaos.

BUY NOW: Book Depository | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

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Blog Tour Review: Bad Habits by Flynn Meaney

Hey friends! I’m excited to be back for another tour with @TheWriteReads for Bad Habits by Flynn Meaney. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

Special thanks to Penguin & Netgalley for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Bad Habits
Publisher: Penguin
Published: 11 February 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Hilarious, bold, sparky and surprising, this is the funniest feminist book you’ll read all year.

Alex is a rebel from the tip of her purple faux-hawk to the toes of her biker boots. She’s tried everything she can think of to get expelled from her strict Catholic boarding school. Nothing has worked so far – but now, Alex has a new plan. Tired of the sexism she sees in every corner of St Mary’s, Alex decides to stage the school’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues. Which is going to be a challenge, as no one else at St Mary’s can even bear to say the word ‘vagina’ out loud . . .

BUY NOW: Book Depository | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)
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