The Ruby in the Smoke

The Ruby in the Smoke Book Review
Phillip Pullman
4 / 5

Genre | Young Adult Mystery
Published: 1985
Goodreads | 3.8 

This was a book I read when I was 12 or 13 and it was a book I remember enjoying immensely, yet I haven’t reread it…until now.

This Young-Adult mystery is centred around the suspicious death of Sally Lockhart’s father in the South China Sea which has left her a teenage orphan alone in the smoky fog of Victorian London. Her father’s death and dying note to her triggers a series of events that place her in terrible danger. The danger and mystery deepen, and at the heart of this fascinating tale lies the deadly secret of the ruby in the smoke..

The mystery begins when Sally endeavours to uncover the significance of her father’s last warning to her – ‘Beware the Seven Blessing.’ She intends to pursue this lead and find out the identity of his killer and bring the villain to justice. Shortly after her arrival at her father’s trading office, she becomes embroiled in another murder, the vagaries of the opium trade, and the mystery of the disappearance of the fabled Ruby of Agrapur. During her adventures in London, she encounters a few associates who become true friends, including a young errand boy named Jim, an amiable photographer by the name of Frederick Garland and his friendly actress of a sister Rosa. Before the game is played out, she will need her new-found friends in her race against the clock to make sense of her convoluted past and discover just who is behind the strange web of betrayal and deceit that has taken over her life.  Continue reading

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book Review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chboskyperks

4.5 / 5

I read this on the train to London and Haywards Heath, and the return journey back to Leicester. I got utterly engrossed in Charlie’s thoughts that he put to paper. I felt somewhat of a connection to Charlie, maybe there is a little part of me that is similar to him, or maybe Chbosky has just brought out thoughts in our heads which we keep to ourselves rather say aloud? The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deep, though-provoking and personal novel which introduces a myriad of issues, but at the centre of it all is a teenage boy who is trying his best to participate, be normal and to make friends despite his oddities and emotional issues. This is a book that teenagers should definitely read, and has become somewhat of a contemporary classic.  Continue reading

Misery Book Review

Misery | Stephen King

4 / 5

Published June 8, 1987
Psychological Horror
Goodreads Rating: 4.1

This is the first Stephen King book that I have read, and it was something! Misery is a devilish book that now occupies my mind. It will be a while before I read another King novel as it is scary how adept he is at creating a story that can affect me in such a way. 

misery Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday | Favourite Books Read in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday | Favourite Books Read in 2015

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday in a while (actually, I’ve only done 1!), but this week’s edition helps to wrap up (‘scuse the Christmas pun) the books I have read this year and to also rank them in terms of the rating I have given them. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Anyone else that has done this week’s TTT please leave your links in the comment section so I can see your list too! 🙂

1 : The Amber Spyglass
Humpo Show Rating: 5 / 5
Goodreads Rating: 4.04

“Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy ends with the sensationally imaginative Amber Spyglass, which has expertly managed to blend together adventure, captivating characters and a fearless quest to answer the biggest of questions. He executes his daring enterprise through skilfully sifting through the myriad of religion, myth and physics that builds to an intense climax that undoubtedly places Pullman’s Dark Materials as one of the most important books of our time.”

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The Monster Book Review

The Monster Book Review

Written By: C. J. Skuse
Year Published: 2015
Genre: Young-Adult Horror Fiction
Publisher: MIRA Ink, Harlequin
I received a copy of Monster through a Twitter giveaway (Maximum Pop!) in exchange for an honest review.

3 / 5

Breakfast Club/Hound of the Baskervilles-inspired horror set in an all-girls school.


A young-adult-horror-thriller about a mismatched group of boarding school girls that are stranded at school over the Christmas period due to a snowstorm, with the legendary Beast of Bathory loose and causing havoc among the villagers, tourists, animals and schoolgirls. Nash, a 16 year old girl who begins the novel aspiring to be Head Girl, is in for a traumatic Christmas with her brother’s disappearance while travelling, and trying to remain level-headed in this terrifying situation. 

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Blog Appreciation Post

Blog Appreciation Post (BAP)- Get your baps out!

Recently through various Meet n Greets, Link Parties, Reblogs, Follow for Follows etc, I have come to appreciate the efforts of lots of bloggers who have used their time and posts to promote other blogs and bring the blogging community closer together. I have decided to play my part by creating this BAP, which I hope bloggers will use to share some things about themselves so we can all know each other a bit better, as well as helping out more bloggers. As Christmas is getting closer, there is a bit of a festive end to the post! 🙂

blog appreciation post

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Mockingjay on Fire

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
Suzanne Collins

4 / 5

Suspenseful and thought-provoking till the last.


The finale of Katniss Everdeen’s adventure takes her to varying locations that not only test her physical toughness but principally, her mental toughness. She undergoes a rollercoaster of feelings that are targeted by Snow and are also the result of decisions made by the rebels. Her distress begins to engulf her as Katniss is met with circumstances that test her resolve and that question her wants and needs. We follow her through District 13, the front line of war and the Capitol as the war rages between the rebels and the Capitol. But she has only one thing on her mind. Kill Snow.

Following the explosive ending to the Quarter Quell, Katniss is rescued by District 13, who have been planning an uprising along with various people from the Districts and the Capitol. District 13 use Katniss as their Mockingjay, and her chief duty for the rebel cause is to be filmed in propos highlighting the Capitol’s destruction of the Districts and how the rebels are attempting to wrestle control from them. Meanwhile, Katniss is also consumed with anger and desperation in getting Peeta back alive, because the Capitol have him broadcasting messages to the rebels to call a halt to the war. Peeta’s condition is visibly worsening with every announcement; this motivates Katniss as she becomes hell-bent on getting Peeta back and killing President Snow for his crimes.

With President Snow’s dystopic world diminishing before him, he uses all the tricks the Capitol has to offer to break Katniss emotionally due to Katniss’s influence as the Mockingjay and the perceived leader of the rebellion. There is excitement and tension at every turn. Whether it be the frantic and electric pace that Collins uses when there is front line action, or the excruciatingly slow pace she uses when describing Katniss’s tormenting nightmares and when she is evaluating her feelings for Peeta and Gale.

The ending was somewhat surprising, even I daresay, anti-climatic. Collins had created a situation where the end was tantalisingly in sight and as the reader my heart rate increased and I was reading quicker as I eagerly anticipated the last twist in the plot, but suddenly it’s over, and I felt a sense of exhaustion. After three wonderfully written books, it ends quickly and I was expecting a finale worthy of something magnificent like her previous endings.

Despite the little underwhelming ending, Mockingjay is a fantastically written novel which keeps its readers on tenterhooks throughout. Although, the format is different from the previous two books, the same games of power and judgement of trust are evident, and these progress as Katniss descends further into the Capitol and closer to achieving her goal. Fans of the series will enjoy reading it and the un-put-down-ability of this book is so strong, your eyes will be glued to the pages.