Review: The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen

🎈 Happy pub day to The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life! 🎈

Thanks to NetGalley and Second Story Press for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life
Publisher: Second Story Press
Publication date: 22 September 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Panda Rating:


Alison Green, desperate valedictorian-wannabe, agrees to produce her school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That’s her first big mistake. The second is accidentally saying Yes to a date with her oldest friend, Jack, even though she’s crushing on Charlotte. Alison manages to stay positive, even when her best friend starts referring to the play as “Ye Olde Shakespearean Disaster.” Alison must cope with the misadventures that befall the play if she’s going to survive the year. She’ll also have to grapple with what it means to be “out” and what she might be willing to give up for love.

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

Continue reading “Review: The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen”

Book Spotlight: The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen

I’m delighted to be sharing a book spotlight today for The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen. Thanks to the TBR & Beyond Tours team for organising and including me in this blog tour!

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life
Publisher: Second Story Press
Publish Date: 22 September 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Alison Green, desperate valedictorian-wannabe, agrees to produce her school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That’s her first big mistake. The second is accidentally saying Yes to a date with her oldest friend, Jack, even though she’s crushing on Charlotte. Alison manages to stay positive, even when her best friend starts referring to the play as “Ye Olde Shakespearean Disaster.” Alison must cope with the misadventures that befall the play if she’s going to survive the year. She’ll also have to grapple with what it means to be “out” and what she might be willing to give up for love. 

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

Continue reading “Book Spotlight: The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen”

Goodreads Monday – The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s featured book is The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe. This is a YA Contemporary that was published in January 2019 and it has a 3.81 star rating on Goodreads.

Continue reading “Goodreads Monday – The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe”

Blog Tour Review: The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

I’m so honoured and excited to share my review today as part of the book blog tour for The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed. Special thanks to Shivani at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing for reaching out and asking if I’d like to be part of their tour for this incredible book. Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Goodreads: The Black Kids
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 04 August 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Coming-of-Age
Panda Rating:

Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.

Los Angeles, 1992
Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.

Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.

As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.

With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

Buy: Publisher | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Book Depository

Continue reading “Blog Tour Review: The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed”

I Killed Zoe Spanos Review and Favourite Quotes

Thanks to NetGalley, McElderry Books and Kit Frick for providing the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I Killed Zoe Spanos
Publisher: McElderry Books
Release date: 30 June 2020
Genre: Young Adult Mystery, Thriller

Panda Rating:



“The YA thriller of the summer.” —Bustle
For fans of Sadie and Serial, this gripping thriller follows two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost.

What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…
When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected—and that she knows what happened to her.
Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth? Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Kit Frick weaves a thrilling story of psychological suspense that twists and turns until the final page

Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

“I have something better to do this summer, someone better to become.”

Continue reading “I Killed Zoe Spanos Review and Favourite Quotes”

Top 5 Saturday: Books I Need to Finish!

We’re back with another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: books I’d give a second chance.

But as we know by now I don’t normally DNF books for a number of reasons but mostly guilt. Most of the time I power through that baddie and just “get it over with” (which also doesn’t sound great), but that’s also a longer discussion for another time! So since I don’t have (m)any DNFs to choose from, I decided to dig deep into memory banks and recall the books that I have put to the side but am determined to (eventually) finish!

As a mood reader, it can be pretty tough to stick to a book when my mood is swinging wildly all over the place. It doesn’t happen often because most of the time I settle into a book/story and I end up really enjoying the read and my moods quickly “calm down”… But when my moods are particularly erratic, I usually end up jumping through at least 5-10 books until I find one I can handle (this is making me sound insane, right? Lol). Most of these were put down because my mood just wouldn’t comply and I ended up repeatedly re-reading passages until I decided it’s not for now. Without any more waffling, here we go:

Continue reading “Top 5 Saturday: Books I Need to Finish!”

First Lines Friday – 12 June

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“Can you see the girl crying?
She’s not always easy to spot. She may have her head down, pretending to be on her phone, using her hair to cover her blotchy face.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 12 June”

Half Life Blog Tour: Review and Favourite Quotes

Hi, friends! I’m so excited to be back with another The Fantastic Flying Book Club tour post today for Half Life by Lillian Clark! Huge thanks to the FFBC for organising these amazing tours and to the authors for making the eARCs available to us.

Be sure to click on the banner above to see the other bloggers on tour! 😊

Half Life
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: 09 June 2020
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Panda Rating:



An overachiever enrolls in an experimental clone study to prove that two (of her own) heads are better than one in this fast-paced, near-future adventure that’s Black Mirror meets Becky Albertalli.

There aren’t enough hours in the day for Lucille–perfectionist, overachiever–to do everything she has to do, and there certainly aren’t enough hours to hang out with friends, fall in love, get in trouble–all the teenage things she knows she should want to be doing instead of preparing for a flawless future. So when she sees an ad for Life2: Do more. Be more, she’s intrigued.

The company is looking for beta testers to enroll in an experimental clone program, and in the aftermath of a series of disappointments, Lucille is feeling reckless enough to jump in. At first, it’s perfect: her clone, Lucy, is exactly what she needed to make her life manageable and have time for a social life. But it doesn’t take long for Lucy to become more Lucy and less Lucille, and Lucille is forced to stop looking at Lucy as a reflection and start seeing her as a window–a glimpse at someone else living her own life, but better. Lucy does what she really wants to, not what she thinks she should want to, and Lucille is left wondering how much she was even a part of the perfect life she’d constructed for herself. Lucille wanted Lucy to help her relationships with everyone else, but how can she do that without first rectifying her relationship with herself? 

Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Play

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

Continue reading “Half Life Blog Tour: Review and Favourite Quotes”

Top 5 Saturday: Books Set Near/On the Sea

We’re back with another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is: books set near/on the sea.

This is a great topic that I don’t think I’ve ever answered in a meme before. Now that I’m thinking about it, I realise that I have a lot of books set near/on/in the sea, so it’s clear I love the idea of a story set by the sea or on the sea. I say I love the idea because these are all on my TBR (*cough*) LOL

It’s funny when I think about it because when I think of books set on the sea I always think of fantasy (mostly YA) and when I think of books set near/by the sea, a lot of the time I think about women’s fiction books that are set in the summer and revolve around quaint sea-side towns and have cute fluffy romances! That said, when thinking about books for this list none were the latter but one was the former 😂 I’m looking forward to reading all of these though and I’m really hoping I’ll be able to get to them them at some point this year!

Continue reading “Top 5 Saturday: Books Set Near/On the Sea”

#TopTenTuesday: Summer Vibes

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books that Give Off Summer Vibes (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

Prompts to do with seasons are always a bit tough for me since I live in the tropics and it’s basically summer the year round 😂 But I can get on board with the idea of summer! Thinking of books that give off summer vibes obviously means a lot of cover judging, right? I mean, what catches my eye when I think of summer vibes are bright and vivid splashes of colour leaning towards pinks, yellows and blues. Maybe some flowers, palm trees, beaches (this is sounding cliche, isn’t it? LOL)… In terms of the plot, I think lighter and maybe even shorter reads would do the trick. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with more serious topics being discussed of course but just thinking of that blazing sun slowing down my brain waves definitely has me thinking the lighter the better!

So after a little bit of digging through my TBR and this slightly long-winded post introduction 😂 I’ve come up with this list of 10 books on my TBR that give off summer vibes:

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Summer Vibes”