Didn't Live Up to It's OWN Potential // ARC Review: Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn

Title: Undercover Princess
Author: Conniey Glynn
Publication Date: October 26th 2017
Publisher: Penguin Books UK
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1 of the Rosewood Chronicles
I Got A Copy Through: Penguin India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon UK || The Book Depository || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Lottie Pumpkin is an ordinary girl who longs to be a princess, attending Rosewood Hall on a scholarship.
Ellie Wolf is a princess who longs to be ordinary, attending Rosewood Hall to avoid her royal duties in the kingdom of Maradova.
When fate puts the two fourteen-year-olds in the same dorm, it seems like a natural solution to swap identities: after all, everyone mistakenly believes Lottie to be the princess anyway.
But someone's on to their secret, and at Rosewood nothing is ever as it seems...
Actual Rating 2.5 Stars.

Summarizing this book in one line, THIS BOOK COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER.

When I was twelve, I discovered the Princess Diaries books for the first time and all I did since them was binge all ten of them and then READ THEM ALL OVER AGAIN. They were one of the first books that cemented my eternal love for young adult literature and the minute I read the description of Undercover Princess, I EXPECTED SOMETHING EXACTLY LIKE THE PRINCESS DIARIES, and I honestly did not get it.


1.       For starters, this book was so immature - SO SO IMMATURE. I felt nothing for any of the characters, the spoiled princess, the girl who WANTED to be a princess so bad, their friends or the mystery – NOTHING.

2.       I think I didn’t care because DESPITE the fact that this book had a BRILLIANT PLOT and a storyline that COULD HAVE BEEN GREAT, the writing fell flat and everything was awkward and immature. Basically, this book DID NOT LIVE UP TO ITS OWN POTENTIAL, AND THAT’S THE WORST KIND OF SAD.

3.       There was so much that I could have fangirled over – an elite British prep school, an ACTUALL castle with a real PRINCESS, a bodyguard with a soft side, balls and everything else but this book DIDN’T USE ALL OF IT. Instead, this book was filled with vaguely threatening notes and a whiny “rebel” princess.

4.       ALSO, HOW IS A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD ALLOWED TO SIGN AWAY HER LIFE TO A ROYAL FAMILY WITH NO LEGAL REPRESENTATION/ ADULTS ON HER SIDE LIKE HER LEGAL GUARDIANS? It made absolutely no sense that a minor was allowed to sign a binding legal contract for LIFE.

5.       LET’S ALSO PLEASE TALK ABOUT HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS COVER IS, BECAUSE IT IS. It’s a gorgeous water-coloured in princess head and I LOVE IT. Plus, my ARC cover has a secret embossing if you tilt it in the right way and it’s kind of beautiful.

6.       The Princess’s name is: Eleanor Wolfson. Her Undercover Name: Ellie Wolf. Name of person everyone assumes is the princess: Lottie Pumpkin. WHAT EVEN. WHAT USE IS BEING UNDERCOVER IF YOUR NAME IS GOING TO BE EXACTLY THE SAME AS YOUR REAL NAME? HOW DID PEOPLE EVEN ASSUME THAT SHE WASN’T THE PRINCESS? It’s like Supergirl taking her glasses off makes her a completely unrecognizable. Spoiler: IT DOESN’T.

7.       Honestly, I’m undecided about whether I’m going to be reading the second book. The Princess Diaries definitely improved along the way, and maybe The Rosewood Chronicles will too? I guess I’ll have to decide when the time comes.

A book that didn’t live up to its own potential. 2.5 Stars.

Connie Glynn
Connie Glynn is an English author and YouTuber. Her debut novel Undercover Princess,the first in The Rosewood Chronicles, was published in 2017. 

Glynn is also known for her YouTube videos on the channel Noodlerella. She provided the voice for the character Moxie Dewdrop in the UK cinema version of Dreamworks' Trolls.

What are some of your favourite books that include princesses?
What are some of the books that you were looking forward to reading, but then ended up disappointing you?

An Intricate Futuristic Novel // ARC Review: Your One And Only by Adrianne Finlay

Title: Your One And Only
Author: Adrianne Finlay
Publication Date: February 6th 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: HMH Teen (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon US || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || 
Blurb Description: Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?
While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
You know that book you have on your TBR – the one with a BEAUTIFUL cover and all the write plot points you love that you just can’t WAIT to read but for some reason or the other, don’t get to it for the longest time? Well, that is what Your One And Only was for me.

I knew I wanted NEEDED to read this book ever since it started popping around on HMH Teen’s social media and when an AMAZING HMH publicist offered to send me an actual physical advance copy of Your One And Only, I JUMPED IN JOY!

IN SHORT: Despite the fact that this book is slow paced, the intricate plot and writing make up for it in ways that I can barely explain. Your Only And Only redefines what it means to be human in a futuristic world where humans are almost extinct and I loved every second of this riveting tale.

Let’s break this down:


Your One And Only is Adrianne Finlay’s debut novel and the writing is SPECTACULAR. While the book is a bit slow paced in terms of the plot, Adrianne’s writing is what made this book come to life. The book alternates between Jack’s, one of the last human boys in existence, and Althea – 310’s, a three hundredth generation genetically engineered clone and it really manages to highlight what it means to be human and about compassion and humanity.


Honestly, I went into this book expecting something completely different – maybe something fast paced and more like the last futuristic book I read (which was This Mortal Coil) in case you’re wondering.

It did take me about fifty or so pages to get properly into Your One And Only, and also to fully understand the world the book was set in and get all of the different varieties of clones straight, but once I did, I fell in love with the book and what it was about.

The reason this isn’t a five star book for me is PURELY because I wasn’t sure how I felt about that ending and a certain thing blowing up. Like WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE FUTURE? It felt very open ended and WRONG at the same time to doom a species and I just wish it was handled better.


I didn’t connect with any of the characters. As I think about it now, I liked Althea – 310 and Jack and Samuel – 299 and Nyla – 313 but I FEEL NO INTENSE FEELINGS ABOUT THEM. Maybe it was because I will never go through the things that they do in the book.

I did LOVE the plot and how characters were named, though. Names like Carson 313 and Althea 310 really succeeded in giving this book a futuristic vibe.


I wish the ending was done a whole lot better AND that the pace was a little faster, but at the end of the day, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Your One And Only. It was a one of a kind, intricate futuristic novel that I HIGHLY recommend! 4 stars. 
Adrianne FinlayOriginally from Ithaca, New York, Adrianne Finlay now lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa with her husband, the poet J. D. Schraffenberger, and their two young daughters. She received her PhD in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University, and is an associate professor of English at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa. 
She is also an avid soap maker, and sells handmade soap locally to raise money for type 1 diabetes research.

What are some of your favourite futuristic novels?
Is the genre something you think YA needs more of? 
Have you read Your One And Only? What do you think of them?

I WISH It Was More // REVIEW: Awaken by Ashok K Banker

Title: Awaken (The Shakti Trilogy #1)
Author: Ashok Banker
Publication Date: September 7th 2017
Publisher: Pan Macmillan India
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1 on 3 of the Shakti Trilogy
I Got A Copy Through: Pan Macmillan India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Flipkart || Snapdeal || Infibeam || Google Books
Blurb Description: "The Haters are coming to destroy all life on Earth. It is not a question of if, but when.
The Brahmaand has already rung the warning bell and the awakening of the Preservers has begun. Kiara unexpectedly finds her skin covered with golden fur and her sense of smell extraordinarily enhanced; Saumya is suddenly able to go from Ahmedabad to New York in just a step; and Sia’s songs have the power to do things she had never imagined possible.
First in the thrilling Shakti Trilogy set in contemporary India, Ashok Banker’s action-packed and brilliantly imagined Awaken introduces our unlikely heroes who must discover and harness their superpowers before they can protect and preserve the Earth from the wrath of a menacing alien invasion."
I’ve had this book on my TBR for a few months now. I tried reading the book a while ago, but for some reason I just couldn’t go through with it until today. I’d like to thank Pan Macmillan India for sending me a copy of this book, although my opinions are unbiased and entirely my own.
Awaken was, if I had to describe this book in a word, STRANGE.

More importantly, it felt like this was the first or second draft while writing a novel and then all the fine tuning that comes after DIDN’T EXIST. This book was filled with broken English, phrases like ‘OMG OMG OMG’ and ‘super wow’, a few racist comments and THE WORST VILLAIN ALIEN RACE NAME OF ALL TIME.

Who names their supervillain race The Haters? *cue intense cringing*

LIKE SERIOUSLY. There were so many strange terms being given to everybody in this book including but not limited to The Haters, Preservers, Friends, Guruji’s Goons (??) and the Kindred. As a HUGE fan of superheroes and villains, I WAS SO SHOCKED THAT EVERY GROUP OF PEOPLE NAMED IN THIS BOOK HAD A CRINGE WORTHY NAME.

Awaken is the first book in a trilogy and it’s also the first book that I’ve read by Ashok Banker. It’s told from the point of view of three girls – Kiara, Saumya and Sia, and the strange powers they’re coming into and aren’t sure what to do about.

I won’t deny that Ashok Banker deals with a lot of important issues that Indian Woman/ brown girls face including being objectified, racism, the fight for freedom and even being trans, but IT WAS ALL DONE A) SO QUICKLY AND B) It just felt unfinished.

Like the rest of the book. As if there weren’t proper rounds of editing to make this book what it COULD HAVE BEEN.

Honestly, I don’t think I would’ve read this book if it wasn’t a review copy. It just didn’t resonate with me despite the fact that I WANTED THIS BROWN GIRLS WITH SUPER POWERS TO BE A FAVOURITE. It was a half done piece of work and I WISH it was more.

I don’t think I’ll be reading the sequel. 2 stars. 
Ashok Banker (3rd from L).jpgAshok Kumar Banker (born 7 February 1964 in Mumbai, India) is an author and screenwriter. His writing spans crime thrillers, essays, literary criticism, fiction and mythological retellings. The author of several well-received novels including a trilogy billed as "India's first crime novels in English", he became widely known for his retellings of Indian mythological epics, starting with the internationally acclaimed and best-selling eight-volume Ramayana Series, which has been credited with the resurgence of mythology in Indian publishing. The New York Times credited him with making mythology the most successful category in Indian publishing, describing his work as being "better written than many books in the genre that have followed – introduced the Ramayana to a new generation of readers. His books have sold over 2 million copies and have been published in 16 languages in 58 countries.
What are some of your favourite books with Indian Characters? 
Are you looking forward to any books in 2018 with brown characters?
I'd love to hear your recommendations, and see if I've missed out on any!
On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Every Serengeti Sunrise By Rula Sinara

Launch - Note from the Author
I hope you enjoy this book (and series)! I’m currently working on book 6 and you can find out more about all of my books and sign up for my newsletter at www.RulaSinara.com. In fact, you can also find links to A Heartwarming Thanksgiving, a Harlequin Heartwarming collection of short Thanksgiving romances, including mine, The Sweetheart Tree, which is also connected to my ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series.
Wishing you all Peace & Love this holiday season and always,
– Rula

Mello & June, It's a Book Thang! - Is Love Always Enough
Those of you who have read books in my ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series know that the series includes anti-poaching/anti-ivory themes. Every Serengeti Sunrise takes that conflict to a new level with the hero and heroine finding themselves on opposite sides of a humanitarian vs animal rights case in Kenya. Both Haki, a wildlife vet, and Maddie, a lawyer, have valid, compassionate grounds on which to fight for their causes...

"Every Serengeti Sunrise by Rula Sinara will make you smile, chuckle and – yes – shed a few tears. The characters become your friends, and the Serengeti setting feels like home. For those of us who will probably never venture across the world for the breathtaking experience of life among the giraffes and elephants and lions, we can live vicariously through Haki and Maddie and Pippa while we’re immersed in the pages of their story. Along the way, we also get a taste of important human rights and animal rights issues, as well as a reminder to be the person we were created to be – not someone living solely to meet everyone else’s expectations. A thoroughly enjoyable and engaging story in every way!"

Kimber Li's Cowboy & Fairytale Book Reviews - Universal Truths: 5 Heartwarming Facts About Kenya & the Masai
One of the things I love about writing a multicultural series set in an exotic, off-the-grid locale is that it has given me the opportunity to show love and family values are universal. For many, world-wide travel, exploration and simply experiencing life outside the bubbles in which we live is only possible through books…and more often than not, it happens through a romance novel. So, with Every Serengeti Sunrise, book 4 of my ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series due out in December, I thought I’d share some heartwarming facts you’ll discover in the series.

"Overall the book has some very heart felt emotions and can be an emotional roller coaster as we read the story of Maddi, Haki, and Pippa. Three childhood friends. . . . This was the hardest part of the book for me. I don't do triangles well. Other than that I enjoyed the read. "

Backing Books - Review
"It is not everyday that a novel set in Kenya pops up in my review feed. Most American authors stick to the US of A, or else some of the more "romantic" countries of Europe. So it was a joy to find something that was a little more unique. And since I had read an anthropological study in college that dealt with Kenya and the tribal laibons, I was excited to see where the author took this story. . . . To begin with, Sinara did a great job of depicting Kenyan culture. . . . I think that if I had read the rest of the series beforehand, that I would have enjoyed the romance in this one much more. "

Wishful Endings - Review
"EVERY SERENGETI SUNRISE is a story of protection, compassion, loss, and love. Set mostly in the Kenya Savannah among a battle between people and wildlife and the families who have invested time to save and protect, comes the story of three close friends who are trying to find their path to love. At moments it's deeply heartbreaking, some moments are full of family and laughter, while others are endearing sweet. Those who enjoy heartwarming stories and who have enjoyed this series so far will find much to love here."

"Every Serengeti Sunrise, a clean romance in Harlequin’s Heartwarming line, will certainly appeal to romance fans, but this story is so much more. I’m not naturally drawn to Kenya as a setting and love triangles don’t really appeal, but I wanted to read this story because the author had been recommended – and I was blown away. Rich characterization, breathtaking setting, and poignant storyline all combined into a compelling, epic read that captured me emotionally from page one and never let go. The writing of Rula Sinara is impressive and I love her gentle warmth and humor."

I Am A Reader - The Love Triangle
Have you ever been in a situation where you were dating or even engaged to someone you’d been with for so long that family and friends had come to expect you to get married? Perhaps you or your love interest had also fallen under the comforting spell of routine…and maybe you truly cared for them…and had mistaken it for true love...

Becky on Books - Review
"This is only my second read from it, but I am loving this series! The unique setting and wealth of well-developed characters in the From Kenya, with Love series make these books so much fun to read–and Maddie and Haki’s story is not an exception. . . . you’ve got one heck of a heart-wrenching story. There were times when I thought that a HEA would be impossible, but Ms. Sinara brought everyone through to a satisfying–though a little teary–conclusion."

And don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Every Serengeti Sunrise (From Kenya, With Love #4)
Rula Sinara
Contemporary Romance
December 1st 2017
Harlequin Heartwarming
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBook DepositoryHarlequinGoogle PlayiBooks
Elephants, Africa’s wild savannah and three best friends…
When attorney Maddie Corallis returns to Kenya to fight a humanitarian vs animal rights case, the last thing she expects is for her childhood friend, wildlife veterinarian Haki Odaba, to be the very man she’s up against. Loyal and protective, Haki would never turn his back on the elephants he’s devoted to saving, any more than Maddie could abandon the native tribes she’s come to protect. An impossible battle…but nothing compared to the fight they face when old feelings surface and the soul-deep connection they’ve always shared threatens the worst kind of betrayal...that of their dearest friend Pippa. The one Haki is expected to marry.
Denying their feelings is torture, but giving in is not an option. Not with the suffering it would cause. Besides, Maddie left Kenya once and she’ll be leaving again soon. An ocean, a case and a friend between them. Maybe love can’t always find a way…or can it?
Other Books in the Series

About the Author
National and USA Today Bestselling author Rula Sinara lives in rural Virginia with her family and crazy but endearing pets. She loves organic gardening, attracting wildlife to her yard, planting trees, raising backyard chickens and drinking more coffee than she'll ever admit to. Rula's writing has earned her a National Readers Choice Award and HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, among other honors. You can discover more about Rula at her blog A Writer’s Rush, on Twitter, on Facebook as RulaSinaraAuthor or on her website www.RulaSinara.com, where you can also sign up for her newsletter.

Tour Giveaway

Prize Pack #1: (one winner, U.S. residents only)
- A set of three, 15X15 in cotton canvas ‘From Kenya, With Love’ tote bags
- A handmade wooden ‘Believe’ star ornamen
- A set of 3 plush wild animal TY Teeny Tys (great stocking stuffers!)
- An autographed copy of A Heartwarming Christmas Craft & Cookbook
- An autographed copy of After the Silence
- An autographed copy of Through the Storm
- Every Serengeti Sunrise bookmark

Prize Pack #2: (one winner, open to U.S. and International residents)
Amazon Kindle (gifted) copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence (Winner may substitute a different backlist book by Rula Sinara, if one of the above titles is already owned. No other substitutions apply.)
Ends November 29th

A Fantastic Journey and A Character to Love // ARC Review: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Title: La Belle Sauvage (The Book Of Dust #1)
Author: Philip Pullman
Publication Date: October 19th 2017
Publisher: David Fickling Books (Penguin)
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1 of the Book of Dust Duology
I Got A Copy Through: Penguin India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Snapdeal || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books

Blurb Description: Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .
I remember the first time I picked up Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. I was nine and staring at the shelves in my school library trying to figure out which ONE book I wanted to check out (it was a rule – only one book) when I stumbled upon the His Dark Materials trilogy.

I don’t remember much else but I DO remember rushing back to the library the very next day for the second book in the trilogy because I had fallen in love.

So, when I got an email from one of my FAVOURITE humans in the publishing industry, asking me to sign an NDA to get a coveted ARC of one of my most anticipated reads of the year, I jumped around with joy.

Image result for la belle sauvage
I’ve taken almost a week to finish to finish La Belle Sauvage and I loved every second of reading it. Let me give you my thoughts:


1.      I fell in love with Malcom, the main character in this book, by the time I had finished the second chapter. He was this PURE SOUL with an INQUISITIVE MIND and a HEART OF GOLD and I loved his story SO MUCH.

2.      I also LOVED Malcom with Lyra. In La Belle Sauvage, Lyra is a mere infant, only a few months old and it shows you the story of Malcom’s connection with her and all about how Lyra ended up at Jordan College, which is where The Golden Compass opens ten years later.

3.      I should warn you that the pace of this book is slow. If you’ve read Philip Pullman’s previous works, you already know what I’m talking about, but just in case you haven’t, it’s always better to be prepared.

Image result for la belle sauvage quotes   4.      I loved how this book contained SO MANY CHARACTERS we’d seen in the His Dark Materials trilogy. I probably didn’t remember some of them (blame the memory of nine year old me) but the ones I did, I had FANGIRL moments over. It was AMAZING to see everyone before Lyra’s story and see the pieces of Lyra’s circumstances come to be.

   5.      I didn’t remember much about the workings of the Althieometer from when I read The Golden Compass, but the way it was explained in La Belle Sauvage was stunning. I felt like I was there, in the midst of the scholars that were talking about it and absorbed everything as best as I could.

La Belle Sauvage brought back memories from ten years ago in a way that almost no book can. Reading it was a JOURNEY that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

A beautiful new installment into Philip Pullman’s breath-taking world that I HIGHLY recommend diving into.
Philip PullmanIn 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards for his literature, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal for exceptional children’s literature in 1996, and the Carnegie of Carnegies in 2006. He is most famous for his “His Dark Materials” trilogy, a series of young adult fantasy novels which feature freethought themes. The novels cast organized religion as the series’ villain. Pullman told The New York Times in 2000: “When you look at what C.S. Lewis is saying, his message is so anti-life, so cruel, so unjust. The view that the Narnia books have for the material world is one of almost undisguised contempt. At one point, the old professor says, ‘It’s all in Plato’ — meaning that the physical world we see around us is the crude, shabby, imperfect, second-rate copy of something much better. I want to emphasize the simple physical truth of things, the absolute primacy of the material life, rather than the spiritual or the afterlife.” He argues for a “republic of heaven” here on Earth.

In 2007, the first novel of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy was adopted into the motion picture "The Golden Compass" by New Line Cinema.
Have you read the His Dark Materials Trilogy or watched The Golden Compass?
What did you think of it?
If you had a daemon, and if you had the choice, which animal would you pick for it to be/
Have you read La Belle Sauvage? What did you think of it?

Two Hundred Pages Of Nothing // REVIEW: Nothing by Annie Barrows

Title: Nothing
Author: Annie Barrows
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Harper Collins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Flipkart || Snapdeal || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: From Annie Barrows, the acclaimed #1 New York Times–bestselling coauthor of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the author of the award-winning and bestselling Ivy + Bean books, this teen debut tells the story of Charlotte and Frankie, two high school students and best friends who don’thave magical powers, fight aliens, crash their cars, get pierced, or discover they are royal. They just go to school. And live at home. With their parents. A great read for fans of Becky Albertalli, Louise Rennison, and Adi Alsaid.
Nothing ever happens to Charlotte and Frankie. Their lives are nothing like the lives of the girls they read about in their YA novels. They don’t have flowing red hair, and hot romantic encounters never happen—let alone meeting a true soul mate.
They just go to high school and live at home with their parents, who are pretty normal, all things considered. But when Charlotte decides to write down everything that happens during their sophomore year—to prove that nothing happens and there is no plot or character development in real life—she’s surprised to find that being fifteen isn’t as boring as she thought.
It’s weird, heartbreaking, silly, and complicated. And maybe, just perfect.
In Short: I’m a little surprised that a book titled Nothing that promised me NOTHING surprised me when it was ACTUALLY A BOOK ABOUT NOTHING. (And my feelings are SO MIXED UP.)

Before I begin talking about this book, do me a favour and close your eyes.

Imagine that you’re texting your best friend in a hurry, with disjointed sentences and things that only make sense 50% of the time. Can you see it? All the ‘likes’ and the ‘OMGs’ and the analogies that make almost no sense because you’re freaking out about something.

Have you ever told your best friend that if anyone read your texts, that you’d be committed into a mental institution as well as them because the trauma was irreparable?


“Then that asshole Kellen comes over and starts leaning over Cora, right in front of Frankie. What the fuck? He doesn’t know Frankie likes him? He’s a dick. And Cora’s squealing, ‘Get away, get awaaaay.’”

Honestly, I WAS SO ANNOYED WITH THE WAY THIS ENTIRE BOOK WAS WRITTEN. It was disjointed, horrid and made me feel like someone with obscenely long nails was scratching their way up a blackboard.

Nothing is told in alternate points of view between Charlotte and Frankie, two fifteen year old best friends with who get like ‘two hundred texts a day’ but ‘nothing’ ever happens to them and ALL THE COMPLAINTS ABOUT THEIR LIVES.

Despite the fact that I read this book in less than a day, I kept thinking about how I WOULDN’T BE READING this book if it wasn’t a review copy.

I just feel like despite I LOVE the Young Adult Genre, there are books like Nothing that I’ve outgrown and honestly, shouldn’t be reading.

I didn’t enjoy this book at all, and I’m going to go and read something I know I’ll love right now! 2 stars. 
Annie BarrowsAnnie grew up in Northern California, and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, with a degree in Medieval History. Unable to find a job in the middle ages, she decided upon a career as an editor, eventually landing at Chronicle Books in San Francisco, where she was in charge of "all the books that nobody in their right mind would publish." After earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Mills College, Annie wrote (as Ann Fiery) a number of books for grown-ups about such diverse subjects as fortune-telling (she can read palms!), urban legends (there are no alligators in the sewer!), and opera (she knows what they're singing about!). In 2003, Annie grew weary of grown-ups, and began to write for kids, which she found to be way more fun.

Find Annie on her website, http://anniebarrows.com/

Have you read Nothing? What did you think of it?
What was the last book you read that you simply COULDN'T STAND? 
How are your 2017 Reading Goals going?

Mental Health + Instagram + Friendship // REVIEW: How To Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat

Title: How To Disappear
Author: Sharon Huss Roat
Publication Date: August 15th 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Harper Collins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Flipkart || Snapdeal || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.
So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.
To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.
In this beautiful and illuminating narrative, Sharon Huss Roat shines a light on our love of social media and how sometimes being the person you think you want to be isn’t as great as being the person you truly are.
I have highly mixed thoughts about this book. While I loved it and I just wanted to get inside and give our main character, Vicki Decker, a hug I also felt like the ending gave the impression that mental illness like Social Anxiety was curable with the right friends and boyfriend, and it ISN’T.

So while the book was EASY and FUN to read and had a lot of important messages, I feel like the most important message of ALL – awareness and understanding of Social Anxiety - was glossed over and I CAN ONLY WISH IT WASN’T.

I’ve been holding onto this GORGEOUS hardcover that Harper Collins sent me and I just wanted to shout out a HUGE thank you their way for giving me the chance to read this book.

Let’s break down what I loved and what I didn’t:


1.       VICURIOUS AND ALL IT STOOD FOR: We live in an Instagram age. You probably have an Instagram account (or two, or three), discuss in GREAT DETAIL what someone else posts on theirs. Instagram is Huge. Vicurious is out protagonist, Vicky Decker’s Instagram account where she photoshops a girl with purple and orange hair into the most ridiculous photos. And while Vicurious initially started off as something else, it turned into a safe spot for anyone feeling alone in the world to be seen, and I loved it.

2.       THE ACTUALLY NICE HIGH SCHOOL PEOPLE: If you watch an American movie, TV show or read a book set in a US high school, you’ll know that the “Mean Girls” are almost always prominently featured or at the very least, mentioned twice. Which was why How To Disappear made for SUCH a welcome CHANGE with genuinely nice popular people, all portrayed as people who had problems regardless of how ‘perfect’ their lives looked on the outside.


1.       THE ‘CURABILITY’ OF SOCIAL ANXIETY: While it wasn’t mentioned in those exact terms, as I reached the end of the book, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something CURABLE in the way social anxiety was being portrayed with Vicki suddenly having all her friends and her trouble saying ‘hi’ to someone in the hallways VANISHED. It seemed like an unrealistic portrayal and I WISH IT WASN’T SO.

2.       WHAT ARE BEST FRIENDS, REALLY? Honestly, if a book claims that one character and another are best friends, I expect that bond to be something REAL. I’ve had two best friends for the better part of my entire life and friendships mean something to me, and this book totally ruined that for me. If you’ve seen me on Twitter, I’m always talking about how much I miss the best friend that left home and well, How to Disappear had the worst kind of best friendship. All it took was ONE SINGLE (horrible) comment and then their whole friendship disintegrated and IT MADE NO SENSE TO ME AT ALL, because FRIENDSHIP DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.

While there were SO MANY good things about How to Disappear, including some great characters and using social media in an actually positive way, it could also have been SO MUCH BETTER. 3 stars. 
Sharon Huss Roat
Sharon Huss Roat grew up in Lancaster County, Pa., and now lives in Delaware with her husband and two children. She is the author of HarperTeen novels BETWEEN THE NOTES (June 2015) and HOW TO DISAPPEAR (August 2017). Visit her online at www.sharonroat.com, on Twitter @sharonwrote, or Instagram @sharonhussroat.
What are some of the best books on mental health that you've read?
Have you had the chance to read How to Disappear? What did you think of it?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.