5/young adult
Book Review: "Here We Are Now" by Jasmine Warga

Book Review: "Here We Are Now" by Jasmine Warga



Title: Here We Are Now
Author: Jasmine Warga
Published: November 7th, 2017
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱
Find the Author: Goodreads 

Disclosure: I was sent this book for review. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

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'Funny and heartfelt... fans of Sarah Dessen or Rainbow Rowell will adore this novel' - Culturefly

'Fans of High Fidelity and Nick + Nora, get your hands on this book ASAP' - Popsugar

Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she'd ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense - kinda - because it turns out Julian Oliver is Taliah's father...


When Julian asks her to go with him to his hometown to meet the family she has never known, Taliah embarks on a three-day voyage of discovery - of her father, of the past her mother has never shared with her, and of herself.
From the bestselling author of MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES, this is a beautiful and heartwarming novel of music, family, and friendship.

First Thoughts... This is definitely new territory for me. My first review with a sparkly new blog design! I am so honored that Jasmine's was the first to be featured with the new outlook on Pretty Little Memoirs' future as a YA Blog. I own Jasmine's previous book, My Heart and Other Black Holes, but haven't read it just yet. I've heard amazing things, but because I bought it myself and it didn't go straight into my ARC pile, it got lost somewhere along the way. So when the lovely people at Hodder sent me Here We Are Now, I was over the moon.

My Review... I had major cover crush while reading this. It's lively and modern and So. Freaking. Cute. So that was enough to pick it up the other day and read a couple chapters before going to sleep. A few chapters turned to reaching the middle of the book, the realization, and the happy shrug to delve back in anyway. The night became darker but the storyworld Jasmine had created only grew brighter. For Taliah, meeting Julian Oliver sounded like a dream. Well, it was a dream. He's a famous rock star, so why would she ever think meeting him would be imaginable? Even though she's been told her Dad is dead, something inside her can't help wondering if maybe it was Julian. With her Mother away out of the country, Taliah's world is shook-up when Julian shows up on her doorstep. After all, he is her father. 
Despite her not knowing where she belongs in his world - or life - Taliah goes with him to say goodbye to her dying Grandfather. The tangled feelings around this are muddled for Taliah. She's not sure how to feel about a Grandfather - and father - she never knew existed. There's a lot that she has to go through and figure out for herself, reading in between the lines of the past and to Julian. There is a romance element (slight instalove, but it didn't take away from the real meaning of the story) and although that wasn't a huge part I liked, it did show another side to Taliah, away from the chaos of her newfound life. 
Overall, I thought that Here We Are Now was one of those books that I would tell my friends, "Hey, this is a great book. You should read it". I find myself telling this to friends of mine on a regular basis, so it's a high regard to have if it's one of them (and I don't say it about a lot of them!). The true message of the book wasn't about Taliah's love life or drama, but one about family. And I think that's a pretty amazing thing to read about. Also, can I just say, major plus points for a YA book including diverse characters in this book?! Definite applause (and about time it wasn't so rare in mainstream YA). I am so glad to have read this.


Have you read Here We Are Now?

Let me know what you thought on Twitter, Facebook, or by commenting below!

happy reading!
                                                       
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Becca Jayne
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Blogmas Day 3: Christmas Story Time!

Blogmas Day 3: Christmas Story Time!



Hello book lovers! Welcome back to day 3 of BLOGMAS right here on Pretty Little Memoirs! (Is anyone else already 150% Christmas mode right now?!)

Today is story time day. When I saw it as an option for topic, I wondered what kind of story I could tell you all that would be Christmas-y and fit in with the whole theme of Blogmas. So I have a small, kind of nostalgic story to do with one thing: Santa. So if you're still super young, believe in the man in the red suit, please do not read any further on because I don't want to spoil anything for you! What would be the fun in that?!

Okay. So, like any ten year old, I had just had the best Christmas. I wrote Santa the best letter with everything I wanted and like magic, he had brought everything I asked for. The whole of December was magical and filled with flurries of snow on the mountain tops and candy-cane hot chocolate was all that I wanted. But into January, my Parents wanted to talk to me after some kids at school had been bragging about there not being any Santa. I kept quiet, but told my Mum and Dad when I went home that they had been spreading lies. Either that, or Santa hadn't visited them. So after that, they sat me down and told me the worst news (at that age, I thought that was the worst news a person could get, but trust me, it's not) that Santa . . . wasn't real. Like any child would be, I was distraught. The whole magic lightness of Christmas burst into darkness and I spent a good few days truly mad at everyone who had lied to me all these years (including my older sister, who had found out two years before me). 
That year that followed, knowing that there wasn't any such thing as Santa, I couldn't find any magic in Christmas at all. Seeing Santa please stop here! signs made me sad for the kids that still believed and nostalgic for the years I had taken the magic for granted. I don't remember much of every Christmas that followed being twenty one now, but I do remember that it wasn't for a good few years after when I was in my teenage years that I finally found the magic in Christmas again. I was watching The Holiday with hot chocolate, sitting ahead of the fireplace and Christmas tree, when I felt this sense of happiness for the upcoming festivity and excitement of being together with my family that Christmas. Despite still feeling bittersweet about the way I found out there wasn't any Santa, I'm glad that I had as long as I did believing. With so many kids having access to the internet now, they are finding out earlier and earlier that he isn't real. When I was seven or eight, I got my first mobile phone (that was mainly for the games and ringtones) with a tiny screen and Tiger from Winnie the Pooh case. But at that age now, kids have iPads and laptops and so much more. They can see anywhere on the internet that he isn't real and that must be absolutely devastating to find out in such a brash and unfiltered way. 
But overall, the message of the story that I'm trying to get across is that you shouldn't take for granted the magic of Christmas and treasuring every year that you have with the ones you love, because if you blink, December will be gone again and the magic will be lost for another three hundred odd days.


I hope my story didn't drawl on for too long (if anyone stayed for the entire thing).

Missed the first Blogmas posts? You can find them all by following this link.

Until next time!

happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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Blogmas Day 2: My Favourite Christmas Songs

Blogmas Day 2: My Favourite Christmas Songs



Hello book lovers and welcome back to BLOGMAS DAY 2!

Today is probably going to be one of my favourite Blogmas days because I absolutely LOVE Christmas songs. I'm quite particular about which ones are close to my heart and definitely have clear-cut favourites! Even though I could go on about Christmas songs forever, I narrowed down my list to the couple that I definitely rotate and listen to most of December. There aren't many classics on my list because I hear them all the time on the TV and playing in the car, but I will list a few of my favourite classic songs later on this Blogmas!



Spotify is my go-to for making playlists of any kind (and I do make a LOT of them). The songs aren't in any particular order but my all-time favourite Christmas song is What If by Kate Winslet. It just GETS ME every single time. Hands down one of the greats.



Do any of these songs make your Christmas favourites? If you want to add this playlist to your favourites or save some of the songs to listen to later on, you can follow the playlist right here! 

Missed the first Blogmas? You can find them all by following this link.


happy reading! (and listening)
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Becca Jayne
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Blogmas Day 1: Bookish Gift Guide

Blogmas Day 1: Bookish Gift Guide


Hello book lovers and welcome to BLOGMAS DAY 1!

It's lovely to have you here. Today I'm delving into the true heart of Christmas and what you can get for those book lovers in your life. It's pretty easy to get your bookish friends something they'll love (literally any book on their wishlist) but I'll be showing you a few things that are a twist on your typical Bookish Gift. 

Bookish Gift Guide

image copyright BookishBurns

Bookish Candle
You've probably seen those book themed candles all over your Instagram timeline. Hey, you may even own a lot of them (yes, I'm looking at myself there). I love so many amazing stores on Etsy that make Soy Candles and even started making my own! One of my favourite stores is by one of my good friends, Fay, and it's called Bookish Burns! I own the French Kiss candle and I can vouch for how it sends me straight to Paris with Anna and St Clair. You can buy it here.



image copyright ReadAndWonder
Bookish Bookmarks
You can guarantee that something a book nerd needs is a bookmark. But, to make it an even cuter and unique reading experience, these character themed bookmarks make reading SO MUCH FUN. I own a few of the sets by ReadAndWonder on Etsy and they are 100% as cute as they are in pictures. The ACOTAR themed ones in the picture to the right are beyond amazing. Just look at that detail! You can buy them here. 


image copyright The Literary Gift Company
Bookish Socks
There is that whole stigma about giving someone socks for Christmas, but honestly, if they are this cute, sign me up! From the Literary Gift Company (I have some cute items from there like my Librarian pin!), you can get these Harry Potter themed socks or paper lined and pencil ones for writers! At super affordable prices for quality gifts, your bookish friends and family will love you for the unique thought! You can buy them here






image copyright EvieBookish and Redbubble
Bookish Pillow
I own this adorable Gilmore Girls themed pillow by EvieBookish and it's one of my favourite things in the entire world. Despite it not being entirely bookish, Evie does so many bookish designs on her Redbubble page. Prices can be expensive, but for that extra thoughtful gift or if you're splurging a little more on a certain person, something from her store on Redbubble would be epic. You can buy it here and view her entire store of various other designs and prints (like on coasters, t-shirts and more) here. 








image copyright Kemug and Amazon
Bookish Mug
Last up, we have a seriously fun and unique gift I found on Amazon. The book lover in your life (or even a little treat for yourself) will love this! Especially if they're into Fantasy novels or love the cute touch of a well thought out gift, it'll especially be music to their ears. You can buy it here in various colours and see other amazing bookish gifts on Amazon that I found here. 








So that sums up my Bookish Gift Guide. Though it is short, I narrowed down these gifts to things that I would like or that I would give to someone myself. The prices of the gifts has been kept low and more to the UK side of things, but if anyone does need any personal bookish gift guide help, leave a comment below and I'll send some suggestions!

Join me on the 3rd of December for Day Two of Blogmas where I'll be sharing my favourite Christmas songs!
happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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Blogmas Annoucement! 🎄

Blogmas Annoucement! 🎄



Happy almost December, book lovers! 
As a fan of the festive season, I knew I wanted to do a little something for Pretty Little Memoirs this year that's different to usual. Thanks to an idea from one of my good friends, Jenn, I decided to take part in the hugely popular Blogmas! But, with a little twist. 

Instead of doing twenty five days, I'm going to do fifteen. The idea of trying to write twenty five posts in one month scares me! I decided that fifteen is a more manageable amount and I can cram extra special goodies into those days. Also, I have some reviews to post and don't want to take the shine away from them that day. Since it's a little short notice that I decided to do Blogmas, I haven't stumbled across a book or theme for my giveaway I'll do just yet, but stay tuned for that! Instead, read on to find out what's happening what days!


  • 1st: Bookish Gifts to buy this year for that book lover in your life
  • 3rd: My favourite Christmas songs
  • 5th: Christmas story time
  • 7th: Download a Christmas wallpaper made by me
  • 9th: Gifts to buy the bloggers in your life
  • 11th: My Christmas plans
  • 13th: My best Christmas and other facts
  • 14th: GIVEAWAY DAY
  • 15th: Favourite Christmas past times
  • 17th: DIY Christmas candles
  • 18th: Surviving Christmas
  • 20th: Last minute gifts
  • 22nd: Checklist print off
  • 23rd: What I love about Winter 
  • 25th: Merry Christmas and Giveaway winner announced

I hope that you can join me for a month full of fun!

happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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Book Review: "Every Last Word" by Tamara Ireland Stone

Book Review: "Every Last Word" by Tamara Ireland Stone


Title: Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Published: June 6th, 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Find the Author: Goodreads 

Disclosure: TRIGGER WARNING* (read below). I was sent this book for review. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.
A New York Times Best Seller

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. 

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.
First Thoughts
*Firstly, if you are triggered by any kind of talk about OCD and Anxiety or Depression, please be cautioned that this review talks about all three of these things, because they relate to the theme of the book.*

Review
The thing about books that touch upon OCD and other illnesses alike, is that they tend to be very hit-and-miss. Nowadays, it's very much required that an author does very thorough research into the illness before writing about it, because otherwise it's not portrayed as lifelike as it should be. In Every Last Word, Tamara does capture what it's like inside the mind of someone with purely-obsessional OCD. There are many kinds of OCD that vary from mind-to-mind, so it's always an intricate thing to get just right. As someone who suffers with a few of the types of OCD (Intrusive Thoughts related), Social Anxiety and previous Depression, I was reeled into Sam's story. 
She's different from other main characters I've read about in typical High School books. Although she is popular and has tons of friends, she hides behind the facade of her popularity to mask her pain. She reminded me of Lydia Martin from Teen Wolf, pretending to be someone else to be loved, out of fear of not being understood. Her popular friends will never understand her OCD, she knows this for sure, because one wrong move and she would be kicked off her pedestal. But when she meets Caroline and is introduced to everyone in Poet's Corner, Sam finally starts to feel normal (even though having OCD doesn't make her not-normal). They understand her and make her heart sing. But things take a turn, deeply rooted into everything to do with Sam's newfound happiness, and she's left hanging by the moment in a fight or flight reaction.
Overall, Every Last Word is a refreshing and welcomed read. Although I would have liked it to be a little more realistic, it did hit the perfect note and captured what it's like to live with a certain type of OCD. But of course, in real life there isn't a true happy ending to having this illness and having that reflected would have been a great addition. But that said, this novel truly was a breathtaking read, dealing with complex issues that were handled with grace. Tamara has always been one of the best voices in YA and it took me so long to get around to reading Every Last Word, but now I wish I had picked it up a little sooner. Four stars!


Rating & Recs
For fans of Contemporary YA. 

Have you read Every Last Word?

What did you think?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter @LittleMemoirs!

happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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Blog Tour / Review: "Otherworld" by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

Blog Tour / Review: "Otherworld" by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller





Title: Otherworld
Author: Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller
Published: October 31st, 2017
Publisher: Rock The Boat
Find the Author: Goodreads 

Disclosure: I was sent this book for review as part of a Blog Tour. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

For fans of Black Mirror and HBO's Westworld, and readers of James Dashner and Veronica Roth, Otherworld is the first book in New York Times bestselling authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller's new YA sci-fi-thriller series. The future is now. And the future is terrifying.
There are no screens. There are no controls. You don't just see and hear it--you taste, smell, and touch it too. In this new reality, there are no laws to break or rules to obey. You can live your best life. Indulge every desire.
It's a game so addictive you'll never want it to end. Until you realize that you're the one being played.
Welcome to Otherworld, where reality is dead. Step into the future. Leave your body behind.
The frightening future that Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller have imagined is not far away. Otherworld asks the question we'll all soon be asking: if technology can deliver everything we want, how much are we willing to pay?

Exclusive Extract from Otherworld:
Where our backyard ends, the woods begin. When I was a kid, the wilderness seemed endless; now most of it’s gone. I look for the path that leads through what’s left of the forest. The trail’s grown over, but I could still walk it in my sleep. It leads straight to one of the few old houses around here that was never torn down. The land it sits on is swampy, and until recently the building had been slowly sinking for ninety-odd years. That’s where Kat lives. I’d be there right now if she’d just let me talk to her. But these days my best friend bolts whenever I get near her. It cost me a few grand and a near-death experience with my father, but I got to see her in Otherworld. Unfortunately, in Brockenhurst she wants nothing to do with me.
Kat and I met ten years ago, when we were eight years old. My father had just made senior partner at his law firm, and he’d built this McMansion as his trophy. Thousands of trees were sacrificed to ravenous wood chippers, and our house rose near the edge of what would become the town’s swankiest gated community. We moved in on the first day of summer. Mrs. Kozmatka, the nanny my mother had hired, told me to stay on the grass in the backyard when I played outside. I wasn’t allowed to set foot in the woods, which my mother believed to be teeming with snakes, ticks and poison ivy.
In her defense, Mrs. Kozmatka was new. She knew nothing of my history. And for the first couple of hours, I gave her no cause for concern. I sat exactly where I am right now and stared at the trees. Everything seemed so much more alive in the forest. As I was watching, I heard branches snapping and leaves rustling. And then someone stepped out from the other side.
I’d been playing a lot of Harry Potter games that summer, and I was convinced it was some kind of mythical creature. It was pretty clear that it wasn’t a centaur, but I figured it could be a faun or a sprite. Even if the creature had spoken to me on that first encounter, I wouldn’t have believed she was human. I’d never seen another kid so dirty. She was covered in dried mud from head to toe. It was camouflage, Kat later informed me. And it worked like a charm. That day, when the nanny came outside, Kat took a step backward and vanished so completely into the woods that it was almost as if she’d been swallowed whole.
My tender young mind was totally blown. My family had just moved from Manhattan. The first eight years of my life had been filled with fancy private schools and playdates with kids named Arlo and Phineas. It was an ideal life, which was why my therapists had so much trouble identifying the cause of my behavioral issues. (Arlo and Phineas got their asses kicked on a regular basis.)
In hindsight, it all seems perfectly clear to me. I’d been kept in a cage my entire life. I wasn’t a kid. I was veal. And then this portal opened up in suburban New Jersey and I was offered a glimpse of an untamed universe. I didn’t tell the nanny about the creature I’d seen. Instead I spent the next few hours eagerly waiting for it to return. I was sure it was spying on me, but it didn’t set foot on my grass again. And by lunchtime I just couldn’t wait any longer. When the nanny went inside to make tuna sandwiches, I slipped into the woods to go find it. 

Review
I am a huge fan. I can say that now, after Otherworld landed on my doorstep and I darted to start it. From the get-go, it's seriously unputdownable and I was immersed by the world in an instant. It's truly modern meets futuristic, reeling in my attention. Simon is our main character. He's got a striking point of view from the start, telling us the story of his beginning and of Otherworld. His Parents are wealthy, so when he sees that a new Virtual Reality game has been created called Otherworld, he darts at the chance to get it, even if it isn't exactly gifted to him. Suddenly he's been chosen to test it as a Beta gamer for Otherworld. Inside the game, people can live their best lives and get to do whatever they would love out of life. But that's not the reason Simon wants to play the game. He wants to reconnect with his estranged best friend Kat, who used to play games with him. But soon he finds out that Otherworld isn't what it seems and it's hiding deep, thorny secrets within the false reality. They are the actual ones getting played.
I was on the edge of my seat from around the middle of the book when the action really heated up and became page-turning and fascinating. The entire Otherworld universe is immersive and brilliant, dark and had a highly addictive plot. Simon and Kat were poignant, fierce characters and I loved the dynamic between them and their individual personalities as a whole, even more. 
Overall, Otherworld is compulsive and swift, with a magnificent plot. Jason and Kirsten have created one of the best books I've read all year (and maybe longer). The amount of illustrious detail that has gone into the Otherworld world is absolutely fantastic. This can't get a higher rating from me - five stars completely. I can't think of anyone who I wouldn't recommend this to. You will be missing out if this isn't on your shelf this year!

Rating & Recs
For fans of Young Adult Science Fiction! Perfect for younger readers and older.



Be sure to check out the OTHERWORLD tour dates before and after my own to get in on the excitement! 

You can buy OTHERWORLD here and here. Keep up to date with all things Otherworld here!

Have you read Otherworld?

What did you think?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter @LittleMemoirs! 

happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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[name=Becca Jayne] [img=http://vgy.me/ZKJyPC.png] [description=I'm Becca, the founder of PrettyLittleMemoirs.com. I blog, write and read as much as I can and you'll probably find me sipping Iced Coffee at a cafe or in a bookstore pushing the cart with the most books. Let's be friends.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/PrettyLittleMemoirs) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/LittleMemoirs) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/WhatBeccaRead) (bloglovin=http://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/pretty-little-memoirs-a-young-adult-book-7311865) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.co.uk/beccajaynexx/) (snapchat=http://www.snapchat.com/beccajayne17)