The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1)The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a historical novel from Anglo-Saxon England. It begins in the year 866AD and follows the trail of Danish invasion of the land. The narrator is a young man captured at a young age by a Danish Lord, who took him in and treated him like a son. Uhtred spends several years of his life crossing sides between the English and the Danes in an attempt to survive and make it back to his rightful lands in Northumbria. There are some wonderful Anglo-Saxon place names through-out the book and we also learn much about the Viking Gods. Ultimately Uhtred’s fate is mixed with that of King Alfred and he must choose where his true loyalty lies.

Find a copy here on Amazon.

View all my reviews

The Bridle Path by Julia Hughes

The Bridle PathThe Bridle Path by Julia Hughes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great book from Julia. This one takes place in Cornwall which is the back ground to new friendships, new discoveries and new beginnings for the characters. Sebby starts talking for the first time in 2 years. His uncle reveals his true colours and Tilly learns to let go and bravely face the future. A gentle romance with a HAE ending.

View all my reviews

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

We’re back with a book review from Louise today, I’ll let her explain why she is reviewing this book. Thanks Louise!


‘‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ – Thomas Hardy

 Rating: 4/5

This is a classic novel, set in the 1880’s, which tells the story of Tess Durbeyfield. Tess is the daughter of a poor, ailing villager who learns that she may be descended from the bygone family of d’Urberville, and in her search for virtue her luck alternates greatly. It explores her up-and-down relationships with two very different men, whilst she battles against the stone-set morals of Britain’s rural villages and goes on an emotional journey far lengthier than her travels across Hardy’s Wessex; and this all adopts the proportions of a Greek tragedy.

I am required to study Tess for my AS-level English course, so when I first read the plot, I readied myself for a long, long year. However, after I had read the first few pages it became clear that even though the novel was lengthy, it would by no means be boring. Within the first ‘phase’ alone, there was romance, drama and death. This was why I loved the book; it was so unexpected, with drama at the turn of every page, and even though it was published in 1891, the morals of the story seemed so modern, and so true to our current society. Tess is a very emotional girl, and her troubles cause her to become very depressed, verging on suicidal, and it is this vulnerability that causes us, and various men, to fall in love with her; that, and her vividly described beauty. In fact, Hardy has packed the novel full of elaborate descriptions of the surrounding environment, and this really helps to set the scene and place us into the story. However, the language is very old-fashioned, and even though there is a dictionary in the back pages filled with over 200 entries, I still found myself incredibly confused and lost at times. The truth is, even though I wouldn’t have read this novel voluntarily, I am so glad that I did; the depth of the story allowed me to get entirely engrossed, and the jaw-dropping final chapters actually triggered a physical reaction, they were that brilliant! Overall, even though it is a complicated and slow read, the time is so worth it.’

Click here for your own copy of Tess

Butterfly Summer by Anne-Marie Conway

Book Review

Please give a warm welcome to my third young book reviewer, Jenny, to the blog with her first book review for us. Thank you Jenny.

 Butterfly Summer

Butterfly Summer- Anne-Marie Conway

Rating: 4/5

Becky’s life was simple before, but after moving back to Oakridge, everything got complicated. One old photo and her life comes crashing down. The only place, she can forget her worries is in Butterfly Garden with her new friend Rosa May. Relaxing in the Butterfly Garden for the whole summer sounds great to Becky, until she realises that even Rosa May has secrets.

With an intriguing plot that grips you the whole way through, Butterfly Summer is a great read. I loved the way Anne-Marie has described the emotions of the characters, especially Becky and her mum. It was cleverly written and I saw the characters develop throughout the book.

Find this book on

Don’t Look Back by E. L. Lindley

Don't Look BackDon’t Look Back by E.L. Lindley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book that I have read by the author, a romance which also deals with adoption, broken marriages and teenagers. The book is set in Sheffield and Los Angeles, mixing up the cultures and different life styles of the characters. There is a lot of anger and strong emotions throughout the book for several of the characters and I particularly wanted to throttle Catherine at times. Catherine has a hard time dealing with many issues in her life and consequently hides from decision making or acts rashly then regrets it afterwards. I’m glad she saw sense in the very end.

see the book here on Amazon

View all my reviews

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Today I would like to welcome another young book reviewer to the blog, I hope you enjoy these as much as me. Thank you Louise for this review.

An Abundance of Katherines

‘‘An Abundance of Katherines’ – by John Green

Rating: 4/5

Colin Singleton is, coincidentally, rather unlucky with relationships. Having been dumped by a total 19 girls, all with the name of Katherine, it’s no surprise that this former child prodigy is feeling somewhat… rejected. However, with the endless possibilities of a summer road trip stretching ahead of him and his over-indulged best friend, can Colin finally move on from his dire attempts at love with the help of Satan’s Hearse, ‘Gutshot’ and a certain wide-eyed girl who doesn’t go by the name of Katherine?

My favourite aspect of this book has to be the characters. All were relatable, and most were loveable  and as each overcame their own challenges and developed as people, we are provided with the frequent and inspiring morals of the story. I found this book to be such an uplifting read and, being about teenagers, I found the characters to be very similar to my own friends, and even to myself at some points!

Whilst it adds depth to the novel, there are references to mathematics throughout, with graphs drawn in to show the emotional development of poor Colin as he struggles to solve The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability. However, the ever thoughtful John Green adds most of the mathematics into an ‘appendix’ at the end, so it isn’t a fundamental part of the novel; I couldn’t even look at Colin’s final equation!

I would therefore recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a thought-provoking but equally heart-warming read; it was so sweet that I finished it in less than 24 hours!’

See this book here on Amazon.

The Look by Sophia Bennett

Today’s book review post is from Bethany, thank you Bethany for bringing a new outlook to the book reviews.

The Look

‘The Look’ by Sophia Bennett
Rated 4/5
Ted’s life is turned upside when she is recruited by a modelling agency. At the same time her older sister falls seriously ill. Will juggling her career and her relationship with her sister be too much? It may seem like your typical girly teen book with a predictable plot, but this story has strong characters and plenty of surprises. It took a while for me to warm up to the characters. However, once I got into the story, I could admire how Bennett had mixed humorous parts with some deeper messages; even when addressing some serious issues the book was a fantastic read.
See the book here at

Beer Goggles by Sean Flynn

Beer GogglesBeer Goggles by Sean Flynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a very funny look at a couple of British blokes who don’t mind laughing at themselves. They embark on an innocent day trip which gets more complicated as their day evolves. I loved the way the author gives you tiny pieces of information or characters which all get tied together nearer the end. Dave and Travis find themselves embroiled in a murder case when all they set out to do was pick up a set of golf clubs. The comedy of errors that follows is true British humour dosed with some strong language which may offend a few readers, but fits with the style of the book. This book was going to be a 4 star, but by the end I’d fallen in love with the characters and I’m going to give it 5 stars.

View all my reviews

If I Die by Rachel Vincent

I’m pleased to bring you another book review from the very talented young book reviewer Bethany.

If I Die (Soul Screamers, #5)            ‘If I Die’ by Rachel Vincent


In this book, the climax of Rachel Vincent’s series Soul Screamers, Kaylee – a teen banshee who can predict death – must face her own knell.  As she faces her final few days, leaving her family and friends safe and happy proves to be harder than she first thought. I love the way Vincent captures the adrenaline and energy of the characters in this book. It is a great bit of supernatural teen fiction, which manages to entice its audience without the help of werewolves and vampires.

Land of the Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

Land of the Unaltered (Confederation, #1)Land of the Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy of this book from the author and was delighted to read the story. A young adult romance set in a futuristic world where there is a liking to have repeated medical alterations. However there are people who don’t want the high life of the city, Rose goes to live with her aunt to escape the world that her parents live in. She meets Flynn, but he refuses to be friendly. A romance blossoms, but what will become of their future? A great story with the promise of its continuation in the next book.

View all my reviews