2020, Bout of Books, Buddy Read, Uncategorized

Bout of Books wrap up…

Mon 11th – Sun 17th Bout of Books

Well firstly I have to mention my most favourite bookish friend aka Fabulous Book Fiend aka Catriona. She gave me the push I needed to get involved with this readathon and what a week it was. I didn’t get involved in chats as I literally either missed them or couldn’t get the timings and I didn’t really do the challenges.

However, I did take part in a few reading sprints and I spoke to more bookish people over on Twitter which is always fun. Although for once bookish chat did not see me adding to my ever expanding TBR which was a plus. As much as I love adding more books it then makes choosing what to read harder again. I’ve been trying to get more of the new releases read and reviewed but there is always so much that I still hope to read. The readathon really did help with that.

So how did I do? I hear you say…

I completed 5 books 🙂 two ebooks one physical book and two audios.

Yesterday I had said for the final day I wanted to finish my audiobook which I did and I started a new audiobook although I didn’t listen to much as I struggled a little with the narration so I relistened and as it stands I’m listening determined to not give up just yet. It’s been a while since I’ve been in Nicholas Sparks world.

I’m intrigued by the description so far but I’m still not clear on where this story is heading…

I also managed to read a decent amount of a book that I should have read ages ago. I recently started re-reading it and I managed a good five and a half chapters. If I hadn’t got a bit of a headache I reckon I could have finished this yesterday. The book in question is a heart wrenching non fiction read about bowel Cancer.

Rachel’s story is informative and full of reality with the odd dash of humour.

Now for a bunch of links…my original Bout of Books sign up link can be read Here.

My first finished book of Bout of Books was Susan Gee’s second novel Love Me To Death my thoughts are Here.

I’m not sure I wrote enough updates but here is the first one day update and hopes for day two can be read Here.

The next update can be read Here.

And once again Here.

The Minute I Saw You I read in its entirety and you can read my thoughts Here.

During this week I also posted two new features that I’m hoping to continue on the blog the first was my weekly update which you can read Here I really enjoyed doing this and I’m still open to what you would like to see in my weekly update…

I also wrote about my library app Libby and what I have downloaded and what I have on hold you can read that Here.

So that was my bookish week…this week is set to be a bit of a scorcher here in London and as I type I’m sat in the garden listening to Nicholas Sparks as I say I probably wouldn’t recommend this narrator but I’m glad I’m stubbornly getting to grips with it.

2020, audible, Bout of Books, Buddy Read, Uncategorized, Weekly Update

Weekly Update #1

Happy Saturday all and welcome to my newest feature here at Hayley Reviews. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a weekly round up for a while and seeing as I’m at home right now I have no excuses whatsoever. So please bare with me and we will see how this feature turns out. I’m also looking for feedback on what you like and what you would like to see on next weeks post.

This week I’ve taken part in Bout of Books and it’s not over yet although the challenge does finish tomorrow. So far I’ve finished 2 ebooks and an audiobook. I’m hoping to finish another audiobook and paperback today 🙂 watch this space.

May has been a pretty successful one in terms of consistent blog posts and I’m hoping to keep some of this consistency once life returns to normal..

Last Sunday I choose to do a different post instead of a Six For Sunday the last few prompts haven’t been good for me so that’s where this inspiration came from you can read what I downloaded onto my Kindle in Kindle spree.

Monday was day one of Bout of Books Here is my sign up post.

I had targeted myself to finish Love Me To Death on day one ahead of it’s release on Thursday and I was chuffed to have succeeded you can read my review Here.

I rarely post more than one post in a day but in line with posting reviews and updating my progress on the bout of books readathon I have done on occasion. Update…. I would like to know whether you like the extra posts or whether that’s too much daily? Please leave me a comment below.

My next update on Bout of Books can be read Here

I wholeheartedly loved buddy reading Anstey Harris second novel Where We Belong and you can read my thoughts Here.

Another Bout of Books update for you to read Here.

I’m such a fangirl for Paige Toon and I read her latest novel The Minute I Saw You in a day (yup in its entirety) you can read my thoughts Here.

Today so far I’ve managed a little of my audio and that is it…as I say my plans are to finish my audio and my paperback of these beauties.

So that’s my first weekly update….and I would love to hear what you think and what you would like to see? I haven’t rambled about my own day to day bar my bookish stuff would you like me to say more personal stuff let me know…

2020, audible, Author Love, Bout of Books, Buddy Read, Uncategorized

Bout of Books day two update and hopes for day three.

Well I’m loving dedicating a bit more of my day to reading. I know I had already kind of done that since lockdown but I’ve also been giving myself targets. In saying that what I’ve realised is that I also need to get a bit more sleep, my dedication for trying to surpass my goals is leaving me feeling a bit off. Although I’m quite happy with where I’m at.

As I was behind on Monday yesterday I read Monday and Tuesday’s segments of this reading 138 pages and getting up to chapter 9. This is a fun read but it makes me realise even more that I’ve never liked the fashion industry.

On Monday I had listened to 27% and yesterday I got up to 67% I had wanted to finish but alas that didn’t happen although since then I have finished this one this morning…my thoughts will be coming soon.

So as I say I finished one audiobook today I’ve had a bit of a headache this morning which I think is lack of sleep. Which was why I delved for the audio when in reality I wanted to read my buddy read alongside my breakfast. But the plus is I’ve been reading still….I’m still a bit headachey I’ve been trying to sort a few things in my room and it’s been productive. I’m hoping I can get round to those pages later…I had wanted to get onto this

But it never happened I will be delving in shortly but I also need to have a rest to try and ease this headache as I don’t want to get behind. Especially as the new Paige Toon is out tomorrow I’ve had it a while but due to the readathon I’ve not started it. After hearing her read from it at a Spring blogger event before gatherings were cancelled I was even more in awe…

So today is about reading but not overdoing it. I have a fitness class via Facebook this evening and I’m hoping to watch Miranda Dickinsons live.

2020, Author Love, Book challenge, Bout of Books, Buddy Read, Uncategorized

Bout of Books 28 sign up and hopes for the week ahead

Today is Monday 11th May and my mindset is in a completely different place to that of yesterday. I’ve already managed to plank and a much better second count which was the boost I needed today. Enough about that on to the books.

Every time this readathon comes round I say I will participate and I have tried a few times but this time around I really don’t have many excuses as let’s face it I’m not working right now. Although today I’ve started an audiobook that I’ve wanted to read for a while but it wasn’t originally on my TBR thoughts for this week. I have a few things I want to get done in my room today and so I can do both reading and sorting I decided I needed an audiobook in my mix.

Thanks to my good friend Catriona aka Fabulous Book Fiend I’ve finally worked out how to use Libby so I can download audiobooks from my library. I couldn’t be happier so today I downloaded and I’m currently on chapter 2 of.

I may have also put a few things on hold and downloaded a Nicholas Sparks audiobook. It’s been a while since I’ve been immersed in a Nick Sparks novel. Sorry I’m rambling again.

So here is what you need to know about Bout of Books…The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are daily challenges, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For Bout of Books 28 information and updates, visit the Bout of Books blog.

I will be blogging daily as well as adding much needed reviews here on Hayley Reviews. There’s some amazing books I hope to get to and I will be posting reviews as much as possible this week too.

Yesterday I started this beauty and I’ve read a little of that this morning before turning to audio.

I absolutely loved Susan Gee’s debut and this is intriguing and unnerving me at the moment.

Myself and Catriona are buddy reading this this week I’m to start that later today.
This beauty is out this week I can’t believe I’ve had it ages and not read it. We are almost at the end of our Paige Toon read a long.
I’m not sure when this week I will start this but it will happen.

I’m hoping I can squeeze some more in but if this is all I manage I will also feel pretty happy.

2020, audible, Author Love, Buddy Read, Paige Toon Read Along, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Accidental Life Of Jessie Jefferson By Paige Toon

Blurb: Meet Jessie, small-town girl turned wild child . . .
Jessie has never known her real dad, and when her mum dies she thinks any hope of finding him is gone. As she goes goes off the rails, her stepdad announces that her father is Johnny Jefferson – legendary rockstar and former hell-raiser.
Still dealing with her loss, and now the daughter of a superstar, Jessie is sucked into the LA lifestyle – paparazzi, parties and hot guitar-wielding boys included.
But is Johnny up to the job? And, more importantly, is Jessie?

My thoughts the second time around: Having been on a Paige Toon rollercoaster readathon it’s been thrilling to re-read a few. I read this before I knew the full extent of Johnny and Meg’s story. So to start with I was really unsure of Meg but now knowing her backstory I can see why Meg is the way she is. Seeing as she’s been put through a lot over the years. I feel like I appreciated how Meg and Jessie’s relationship transformed much more on my second listen. This one I listened to on audio at both sittings and in finishing both times I’m left with a lot of unanswered questions.

The next two in the Jessie Jefferson YA series I have as paperback but I’m undecided as of whether I will download the audio too. Although in saying that recently when I’ve got back to a paperback rather than a kindle read I’ve embraced it and loved the feel. In saying that audiobooks have kept me occupied whilst getting dressed, doing chores, exercises and winding down at the end of the day, so we shall see I guess.

The Jessie Jefferson series sees a completely different side to Johnny and in the bombshell at the end of the first book I’m looking forward to where the story takes us. As ever Paige Toon has a way of writing teenage angst amongst real life family drama. A welcome distraction to the chaos that is life right now.

This is what I said the first time around you can read my thoughts Here.

We’re nearing the end of our read a long and are almost up to Paige’s latest which I’ve had sat on my kindle for a while in loyalty to my friend Catriona it’s still unopened but I know it’s going to be another 5 star treat that makes me laugh and more than likely makes me cry.

2020, Author Love, Buddy Read, Paige Toon Read Along, Review, update

Five Years From Now By Paige Toon

Blurb: What if you met the right person at the wrong time?

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other.  Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they must separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

My thoughts on re-reading: It’s not really a review the second time around is it. It’s more on how your thoughts changed. Wow! I still remember all the emotions I went through in reading this novel, the first time I experienced the first few chapters twice as o read a sampler and inhaled the book around this time in April 2018 I can safely say the weather has been sweeter this time around. I was lucky enough to read the teaser chapters via Netgalley Sampler thoughts and then I was given a proof at the Spring blogger evening and I’m pretty sure I had the ebook and then I purchased a physical copy for a signing.

My thoughts from the first time around can be read Here. I just briefly read over my thoughts from before and a lot of those emotions were the same. I can say without spoiling that what Nell and Van went through with Geoff was similar to my experience with my Nan and the first time joining those dots floored me- this time around I was preparing myself when I remembered certain aspects but there were elements that I forgot how they came to be.

I know I keep saying it but this read along has let me discover the Paige I didn’t know and the characters I hadn’t read and it’s also let me reacquaint with a few friends along the way. Nell and Van’s story is definitely still one of my favourites even if it simple floors me. It has everything a breathtakingly beautiful novel needs, love, friendship, loss and coming of age. I always love reading of the innocence of children we should all embrace our inner child more. It’s been a joy to have Nell/Van and co back in my life letting me forget the sadness of the world right now.

If you haven’t read Five Years From Now By Paige Toon then why not? You can get a copy Here. Or via your usual book supplier.

2020, Author Love, Buddy Read, Paige Toon Read Along, Uncategorized

Book Review: Pictures of Lily By Paige Toon

I fell for Lily and Ben long before I knew their full story…

Blurb: Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn’t have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can’t forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart – and the heart of at least one of the men who love her.

Review: So most of you know that I became a fan of Paige Toon kinda late, which means I have a fabulous back catalogue to delve into. Alongside the fabulous Catriona we have been buddy reading Paige’s books in order. Although due to my birthday, work and a brief cold on my side I haven’t actually finished reading Chasing Daisy but I wanted to get back on track with Cat and during the early hours of this morning I finished reading Pictures of Lily.

I had met Lily and Ben before in the One Perfect Christmas collection and in re-reading that now I’m smiling at remembering first reading that and now that I fully understand their story I’m full of such love for them and their story.

Lily is another of Paige’s gorgeous women who I instantly connected with, the intensity of her feelings and her passions are inspiring and intoxicating. This is a classic story of the one who got away? But what happens when they return. I loved seeing Lily become herself and in doing things she loved- it was heartbreaking to see her feelings so torn but eventually her heart won out.

An emotional rollercoaster that had me from start to finish. Once again an eclectic group of characters and even when you didn’t like them they were still an important part of Lily’s story….

As I had read the short from One Perfect Christmas I found myself thinking of what I knew of their story but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment in finding out all the details. Paige really does have a way of conveying every single emotion that both parties go through.

I would love to have Lily and Ben back again someday….

2019, Author Love, Buddy Read, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Day We Meet Again By Miranda Dickinson

Blurb: Their love story started with goodbye…

Phoebe and Sam meet by chance at St Pancras station. Heading in opposite directions, both seeking their own adventures, meeting the love of their lives wasn’t part of the plan. So they make a promise: to meet again in the same place in twelve months’ time if they still want to be together.

But is life ever as simple as that?

Review: I’m always always itching for a new Miranda Dickinson and this one was especially special. Not only did I get it early which I’ve been lucky to do a few times but I got to share this emotional rollercoaster with Catriona and I swear when we are reading together we read super fast and are itching to catch up with each other and discuss. We even managed a late night my side phone call and then were like ok back to it.

Long before I was approved on Netgalley I loved every single thing I heard about this novel and as ever it has its pure Miranda sparkle.

Phoebe and Sam captured my heart from the off, when they met at St Pancras station. Meeting the right person at the wrong time – Phoebe and Sam are perfect together in only the shortest amount of time. It seems like a kick in the teeth when they both carry on, on their separate journeys. Although both Phoebe and Sam have been putting off life changing things that they both need to do.

As ever I’m turning those pages quicker than lightening but at times I’m growing frustrated with them both and the friends they make along the way. I love how Miranda set this out with texts, postcards and calls from time to time. We all change so much in a year but from the intensity they both felt it seemed like this story only had one outcome. I won’t be spoiling any of the detail as I want you to pick up and fall in love with this book the way I did.

Sam takes us to Scotland – there are parts of Scotland I love so it was nice to hear of his travels. Although I haven’t been to the more atmospheric countryside. I loved how Sam was finding himself but also how he reconnects with Uni friends when they needed him too. I think we all have a danger of being too wrapped up in our own lives, I think it was brave of Sam to admit his shortcomings and it made him a better person in doing so.

Phoebe takes us to different parts of Europe. I still haven’t been to Italy but my the coffees and the croissants sure did make me hungry. I loved how she was documenting her journey in the form of a journal. I also really enjoyed the section with the rocks and whilst at the coast myself this past few weeks we came across these.

Transporting me back to Phoebe and her story.

Sam and Phoebe go through so much in a year and it’s surprising just how much changes in twelve months.

This was the most beautiful story full of love, life, hope and finding yourself.

In reading this I could 100% see this on the big screen. Miranda has written a story of the love I hope to find someday. It sure was a rollercoaster read that had me laughing out loud, screaming and becoming increasingly frustrated with Phoebe and Sam but it was the read I needed…

2019, august, Author Love, Buddy Read, ebook, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: One Winter Morning By Isabelle Broom

Blurb: Genie isn’t feeling very festive this December. 

The frosty mornings and twinkling fairy lights only remind her it’s been a whole year since she lost her adoptive mother, who took her in as a baby and raised her as her own. 

She’s never felt more alone – until she discovers her birth mother’s identity.

And where to find her: New Zealand, half the world away. 

Travelling there could be her one chance to meet the woman who gave her up. 

But will she find the answers she has been looking for? Or something she could never have expected?

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read an Isabelle Broom novel and I felt so privileged to have buddy read this with Catriona. I feel like I flew through this one, it’s one of those reads where you’re saying just one more chapter and at each turn there was more than enough to keep you wanting more.

This could have easily been read in one sitting but as I’m away with my family that was never going to happen but at each time I read a healthy amount, although at times I stopped myself because of my locations. I could feel my emotions brewing in public places. Not that that’s ever really bothered me but I did not want to feel uncomfortable when I have truly loved every single second with this book and these characters.

One Winter Morning is a story that will have you flying through the pages captivated by the words the imagery and most of all the people. Isabelle really does research her places well. I’ve never been to New Zealand but having read this novel I felt truly captivated by the surroundings and I feel like I’ve visited Lake Wakatipu. Her imagery is astounding I honestly feel like if I visited I would feel like I’d already been there, like retreating to a place you’ve been going to for years.

I really enjoy a buddy read especially with Catriona, it’s mad that now she’s in the States we talk more than we did when she was in the UK. She saw a few things coming in this, although I was pleased to see one of my wants come into fruition. Because of the location I didn’t feel like I was reading a winter book in the wrong timezone, although it was based around Christmas and New Years heavily focussing on love and loss and finding yourself.

There’s so much I want to say but you have to read to fully understand the true gorgeousness of this book. From the off I loved most of the characters Genie aka Evangeline is a great girl struggling with the loss of her adoptive mother and with the emotions over whether to search for her real mother or not. She goes through all the feels, wonder and most of all guilt. In searching for her real mother she feels like she’s cheating on the woman who raised her when in actual fact that’s not the case at all.

I have to mention Hayley, I rarely get to read a book with a Hayley and this one is ballsy and fun and has hollow legs from the amount of cake and physical activity she does. This made my little heart so happy and for her to be such an amazing friend too it really was the icing on the cake.

I feel like I wanted more of David’s thoughts as he played such a huge part in this story and I must say Isabelle wrote a fantastic kids story. I wholeheartedly believe my nieces and nephew would love the Evangeline series.

Tui was the most adorable little girl, a truly gifted child who defies all odds. I loved her story and part of me saw some of it coming but nowhere near to the extent of how her story ended.

I don’t feel like Griff stood a chance next to Kit but oh le sigh! all the feels and some. Isabelle looks at love, loss and healing in so many ways. I loved the sentiment of the future being the light in the sun and the past being the shadow and looking to the sun.

I also loved how there were parts for Genie and for Bonnie and how the letters were in italics. I’m all for a back story and it gave you the remaining pieces of the puzzle not that I saw some of it.

I’m a massive worrier and I often need to take a step back and breathe. I know that I personally need to live in the moment more, I’m often too worried about things and circumstances that I cannot change. Looking too far at what’s to come and what’s been rather than looking into the here and now, I hope to do more of being in the now.

A brilliantly written story of love, loss, friendship and finding yourself. If you are looking for the perfect book to give you all the feels or to get you out of a reading slump this is definitely it.

Now I’ve got those thoughts out I can start another book. Although I must say I really must tackle more of Isabelle Broom’s books, just like Miranda Dickinson’s books I’m left feeling hopeful and extremely positive as well as left with an extremely happy heart and a book hangover.

Blogmas, Buddy Read, christmas, Uncategorized

Christmas Traditions…..

Firstly so so sorry for missing yesterday. I haven’t been feeling great of late and if I’m brutally honest it’s kind of worried me. I had quite a productive reading day yesterday morning and later in the day I met my bestie for a gig – which sure was fun. I was meant to post but it slipped my mind and by the time I realised it was too late. Anyway thank you to everyone who voted on my poll on Twitter – so I decided to try and combine both something about me and Christmas and here it is.

This book has been in my family for as long as I can remember and the spine shows the love it has seen. We used to read this every Christmas Eve and now my sister reads it to my niece. So the tradition continues…..

What traditions do you have or have you had for Christmas?