Halloween Week of Horrors 2018 | Day 2 - Book Review: Vicious Rumer by Joshua Winning

Title: Vicious Rumer
Author: Joshua Winning
Published: April 28th, 2018
Publisher: Unbound
Rating: ★★★★
Find the Authors: Goodreads

Disclosure: I was sent this book by the publisher/author, for an impartial review. This does not sway my opinion of the book. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

Rumer Cross is cursed. Scraping by working for a dingy London detective agency, she lives in the shadow of her mother, a violent criminal dubbed the ‘Witch Assassin’ whose bloodthirsty rampage terrorised London for over a decade.Raised by foster families who never understood her and terrified she could one day turn into her mother, Rumer has become detached and self-reliant. But when she’s targeted by a vicious mobster who believes she’s hiding an occult relic, she’s drawn into the very world she’s been fighting to avoid.Hunted by assassins and haunted by her mother’s dark legacy, Rumer must also confront a terrible truth: that she’s cursed, because no matter what she does, everybody she’s ever grown close to has died screaming.

First Thoughts...

It's always this time of year that my reading habits slip into something more mysterious and thrilling. When Joshua got in touch earlier this year, I knew this would be perfect to host during my Halloween Week of Horrors because I mean, one glance at the book and it screams thrilling. There's something very alluring about the striking cover and brief blurb, so I was extremely excited to get started reading.

My Review...

This is the first novel I've read by Joshua, and I can see straight away that I like the way he writes Rumer's character. There's something jagged and edgy about Rumer - and the writing style - that comes across as nitty and gritty and just so-very-readable. The story is about Rumer Cross, a young adult from London. The opening scene is quite striking (I won't give away any spoilers only that it involves a hammer) and from the get-go, I'm reeled into her story, her choices, values and how she got in the place she's in now.
All I know from getting deeper into her story is that she's cursed, but she's strong. She was abandoned by her mother when she was born and it's haunted her ever since. Her mother's profession has haunted her to, from her title as The Witch Assassin. She had a rocky upbringing, bouncing from foster homes all her life. I got the impression that she was a lost soul, but wanted to find a place she can belong with people she can love, but anyone who's ever gotten close has ended up dead. There's a darkness that surrounds the plot of Vicious Rumeras we learn that someone is hunting Rumer for a lost item they believe she has, that ties into her history and mother's past. As she fights to come to terms with her life and the people targeting her, it's make or break for her and everything she knows.
Overall, Vicious Rumer is unlike any book I've read before. Whilst sometimes I did get lost in the plot, there wasn't a moment where I wasn't completely fascinated with everything that arose, the bewitching history of Rumer's past and the way the writing never failed to keep me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. This was one of the best YA-meets-Thriller I've read in a long time (maybe even ever) and I'd recommend it extremely highly. If your reading jam is dark, edgy YA's with a strong female heroine, Joshua Winning has you covered with this incredible read! Amazing four stars.

You can buy VICIOUS RUMER on:

Amazon | Book Depository 
Have you read Vicious Rumer?

What do you think?

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

happy reading!
post signature
Halloween Week of Horrors 2018: Spooky Gifts #1
Hello and welcome to Day One of my Halloween Week of Horrors. As you know, the Halloween Week of Horrors theme has been a recurring subject in the week of Halloween on Pretty Little Memoirs, every year like clockwork. This year, I won't have a set time of what will happen on each day, instead you'll get a little surprise every other day this week with a new Halloween-themed post. 
You can look out for Reviews, Giveaways and Freebies, along with today's theme: SPOOKY GIFTS!

As you all know, I am a huge candle fan. There's something about them that just sparks my inspiration and gets me feeling whatever season I'm in more. I might be a little biased choosing two of the Lacuna Candle Co scents, but I mean, they are perfect for Halloween. 
If you're a fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas, you'll know these are very fitting for the season. Pumpkin King smells like candy corn and pumpkin, whilst Sally's Song smells like licorice and pineapple! They're both £5.50 each or two for £10 on Lacuna Candle Co's Etsy page. You've never known candles this delicately sweet! Lighting them together creates an Autumnal scent so warm and inviting that I've almost used my entire tins this October! And I know that they make the best little gifts for friends. Some of my lovely book blogger friends have raved about Pumpkin King especially and how they wish it was permanent! (Going fast, this month!)

For the little ones this Halloween (or big kids, like myself) this cute little bat-kitty is the perfect little gift for anyone who loves the softer side of Halloween! I came across this little beauty on Amazon, but they do similar ones in Claire's, in smaller and larger sizes! This is £7.95 on Amazon, also a Prime gift, so you can get it faster if you need a quick gift! 

Is it Halloween without candy? Or at least in my case, it has to be chocolate. Anything sweet to watch horror movies with! I came across this gorgeous chocolate bouquet/hamper on Etsy and fell in love with it. This would make a lovely centerpiece for your living room, or if you're going to a party, a gift for the host. It's £16.99 and at this moment in time, in stock! But do be quick, with only a week to go!

Making a cuppa in a Witches Brew mug is a highlight of my Octobers. I own this mug (and several other Halloween-esque ones) after I found it in a little shop on holiday in Cornwall. It's the perfect size for a cup of coffee or loose-leaf tea, to get you in the Halloween mood. It's currently £5.34 and comes in a box (so perfect for gift giving) on Amazon! 

Last but no means least: if you're more of a craft-it-yourself kind of Halloween lover, or a fan of handmade items, cross-stitched gifts are the best. I found this Happy Halloween cross-stitch on Pinterest, and it's also available to buy on Etsy (but you could always take inspiration and craft for yourself free hand if you have spare time!) It's £4.10 as a digital pattern here!

So there are my SPOOKY GIFTS for this Halloween's gift guide!

Are you looking forward to getting in the spooky mood, or are you more of a Christmas person? 

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

happy halloween!
post signature
Home Comforts: Introduction #1

Introducing Home Comforts with Becca. I love Pretty Little Memoirs and all it's bookish history. But before it became just a book blog, I had a few other things I talked about here like lifestyle and beauty. Those things got pushed aside when my love of books took over, and now that I'm ready to do multiple avenues on PLM, I got the idea for Home Comforts. And it's not going to be a major thing or even a regular thing. It's an every-now-and-then thing in between books and more.

In Home Comforts, I'll be reviewing non-fiction books and memoirs/autobiographies, but they'll be more of a glance at them and what they're about. And I'll be sharing my baking tips. Those who know me know that baking is everything I love in one little bundle. Plus, sharing photography hacks and tutorials will be really different and new to shake things up here. You'll also get a glance at my Lifestyle aspects, like organisation and hacks to do with reading spaces, offices and self care tips. 

What I'm trying to say is that Home Comforts is going to be something I know you're going to love and stay reading PLM for. It's still me, it's still very much bookish, just a little more real. 

happy reading!
post signature
Blog Tour & Review: A Storm of Ice and Stars by Lisa Lueddecke

Title: A Storm Of Ice And Stars
Author: Lisa Lueddecke
Published: October 4th, 2018
Publisher: Scholastic
Rating: ★★★★
Find the Authors: Goodreads

Disclosure: I was sent this ARC by the publisher, reviewing it as an impartial review. This does not sway my opinion of the book. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

Ice, myth, magic and danger in this bone-chilling, page-turning, beautifully written fantasy novel set in the same world as A SHIVER OF SNOW AND SKY. Blood-red lights have appeared in the sky over the frozen island of Skane, causing a cloak of fear and suspicion to fall over the village like a blanket of snow. In a desperate attempt to keep out the plague, the village elders barricade its borders - no-one, no matter how in need of help, will be permitted to enter in case they bring infection with them. 
Teenager Janna refuses to turn her back on people seeking refuge and is banished to the swirling snow and lurking darkness beyond the village. Can she survive? 

First Thoughts...

It's no secret that I love a good story within a pretty cover, and A Shiver Of Snow and Sky and now A Storm of Ice and Stars have both of those incredible attributes. When I was asked to review this lovely little book and be on the tour, I couldn't say no. I love Lisa's style of writing so much so I was eager to get into this fast with the aesthetic being fitting for these colder months!

My Review...

In Skane, if you weren't already aware of the fictional island where the books (which are stand-alone but you can read them as a series) take place, is a frozen wonderland where the sky talks in colours. Maybe not the wonderland part, though. Not since red lights have danced across the skyline, wreaking havoc and panic over the villages. They know it means that the plague is coming, and forced with immediate dangers, they shut the borders and permit no one to enter for fear of bringing in the illness. 
But Janna, our focal character, is a fighter. A true fictional heroine type. She refuses to give up and just turn away people who need the villages help. Making her decision rules against the others and she's banished to the snowy darkness of nothingness. Survival is key, but in a twisted and icy backdrop where nothing is safe and magic is lurking, Janna finds herself fighting for her own safety. 
I just loved this book. Everything about it just screams winter and enticingly icy backdrops are that breath of fresh air once we step into the colder months. I've been in a bit of a book-rut lately and A Storm of Ice and Stars has totally just reignited my love for YA Fiction all over again. Although I did love the previous book, A Shiver of Snow and Sky a little more than this one, this is equally as steadily-paced and beautifully written. There's something in the way that Lisa writes that is so deeply graceful and I can never look away from the pages for a second. 
Overall, A Storm of Ice and Stars is a must read this Autumn/Winter season. I read this delicious slice of snowy story-time by a few winter-y candles, scooped up a blanket and made it a full "reading spot" to set the scene for it, and I definitely recommend! You'll feel transported to Skane, swept up in this iridescent icy tale and fall in love just as much as I did. Incredible four star read! 

Born into an Air Force family which gave her a love for travel, Lisa Lueddecke has spent her life moving between four countries and five states. She currently resides in England, is one of five girls, and is a former book blogger and publishing intern turned writer.

A STORM OF ICE AND STARS by Lisa Lueddecke out now in paperback (£7.99, Scholastic)


Have you read the incredible A Storm of Ice and Stars?

What do you think?

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

Be sure to share your thoughts using the above hashtag and add the book to your Goodreads to read! You won't regret a single page of this magic!

happy reading!
post signature
Book Review: What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

Title: What If It's Us
Author: Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
Published: October 18th, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rating: ★★★★★
Find the Authors: Goodreads | Goodreads

Disclosure: I was sent this ARC by the publisher, reviewing it as an impartial review. This does not sway my opinion of the book. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.
Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.
But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?
What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?
What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?

First Thoughts...

It's not every day that a book as incredible as What If It's Us gets posted through my letterbox. But you know what? I am SO. DARN. THANKFUL for Olivia at Simon and Schuster for sending this gorgeous book into my life, because it just so happens to have stolen my heart and run away with it. . .

My Review...

I'm going to do it. I'm going to tell you just how incredible this book was in the first opening line. THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING. What If It's Us has exceeded my expectations and within just halfway through the book, I was already thinking it: this might just be the best book I've read all year. And it's September. I've read a lot of books this year. Counting ones I haven't reviewed yet, that's almost 40 books. And this one just walks out, steals my heart and runs away with all it's cuteness and gah. I can't even put it into words. But I'm going to try. . .
The book is told in two POV's: Arthur's and Ben's. Arthur is only in New York for the Summer and he's already overwhelmed by everything. He's helping out where his Mom works and doing things like coffee runs and mailing things at the post office. That's where Ben comes into it. Arthur and Ben's worlds collide when they run into each other at the Post Office and get talking. They have this instant connection, talking about the universe and their words just free-flow so easily with each other. But then they get separated by the crowd and all Arthur has is a snippet of a name from the box Ben was mailing - to his ex-boyfriend. 
Ben has just had his heart broken, but when he meets Arthur, it's like the universe is giving him something again. But as soon as he thinks there might be something, they're separated. They're both beginning to think that the universe has it out for them until they're reunited by some sleuthing on the internet on Arthur's end. 
They have date after date, but they can't really nail that perfect first date. So they replay that first-date-feeling over and over until they get it as perfect as perfect gets. But self-doubt and life keeps cutting their worlds further apart and when they both feel like they're trying, the other feels let down. The sudden whirlwind summer comes crashing down and faced with the outcome, it's make or break for their finale in their Broadway play of romance.
Just WOW. I can't imagine anyone hating this book. Like ever. There's cute-as-ever Arthur and funnier-than-funny Ben, and putting them together you get this couple that's just breathtaking. Becky and Adam write their romance so honestly and gorgeously that it's like I'm reading a Netflix rom-com. I was swept up in a love story so bright and beautiful that the real world fell to petals around me and everything became What If It's Us. 
Overall, you need this book in your life. Everyone does. Not a romance lover? You will be after this book. This book is honestly a game-changer. What If It's Us has been my favourite book of the year and is in my top ten favourite reads of all time, just like that. You have no idea just how validly perfectly-unperfect this novel truly is until you open the pages. Five huge stars!

You can buy WHAT IF IT'S US here:

Have you read What If It's Us? Are you looking forward to it?

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

happy reading!
post signature
Blog Tour: The Adults by Caroline Hulse

Title: The Adults
Author: Caroline Hulse
Published: August 23rd, 2018
Publisher: Orion
Rating: ★★★★
Find the Author: Goodreads 

Disclosure: I was sent this ARC by the publisher, reviewing it as an impartial review. This does not sway my opinion of the book. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.
The most hilarious debut you will read this year. 
* * * * *MEET THE ADULTS.Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what's best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a 'normal' family Christmas. They can't agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did - and it's too late to pull the plug.Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He's a rabbit.Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends - where this story starts - with a tearful, frightened, call to the police...
But what happened? They said they'd all be adults about this...
* * * * *
If you loved THE BREAK by Marian Keyes or raved about THE ROSIE PROJECT - look no further than THE ADULTS.

First Thoughts...

There's something just super relaxing about reading a book like The Adults. I think when I read YA, I'm like this is my game face, I'm ready to read! But Adult fiction is just a lot more calming to me, no matter what the genre or plot. When I first was introduced to The Adults by the lovely team at Orion, I couldn't say no! It sounded like a true breath of fresh air.

My Review...

I would pick up any book that was for fans of The Rosie Project. I truly devoured those books and thought this little slice of fiction would be no exception! So, first and foremost, Claire and Matt are a divorced couple. They have a daughter together, Scarlett, who really is a little star among the pages. They want her to have a life as normal as possible, and in doing that, a perfect Christmas that runs along the line of normalcy. They don't know how it happened, but soon enough, they're all together and the awkwardness starts to appear. Despite the fact that they have new partners, it first gets off to a rocky but steady start. But then the cracks start to appear. 
With Claire's new partner Patrick and Matt's new love Alex, with Scarlett (and her imaginary friend Posey the rabbit) they make an unlikely bunch. Doing activities together and "bonding" with organised "fun" they start to unravel. Oversharing leads to secrets, tears and a whole lot of fireworks. But what they don't expect most is to learn something new about themselves, each other and what it really means to be an adult.
Overall, I really just couldn't get enough of The Adults. Whilst it took me a little bit to really get into the novel, the middle and end sure made up for it. The points of view, striking and capturing my attention, were poignant and funny and just so real (is it strange I really loved Posey, the imaginary "friend"?) I never expected for The Adults to be as it was (if that makes sense) and it took me on a whole different journey (in the best way possible). If you're looking for a novel with humour, "adulting" and mayhem that leaves you feeling like you've read something importantly great, you've found your new favourite read. Four amazing stars! 

Hi Caroline! Your characters go through so much before the book even begins. Which character has been your favourite to craft personality-wise?

Hi! I should probably answer about a human character first. On that basis, it’s Patrick. I enjoyed writing his dual-edge character, showing the difference between his successful, enviable ‘outside’ and the teeming insecurities within.
Overall though, my favourite character was Posey. There’s an element of wish-fulfilment in writing a character’s imaginary friend who exists purely to support and entertain that human: who can get over physical hurdles effortlessly (logistics, gravity etc.) and who doesn’t care about anyone’s needs or feelings except those of ‘their’ human. It would be ace to go through life with a side-kick like that.
Also, Posey gets to have all the fun, all apart for having to sleep in the airing cupboard. I wouldn’t be so keen on that part.

The Adults is such a funny, yet oh-so-real book. What inspired Claire and Matt’s story?

I was trying to think of a plot for an everyday suspense, with the potential to produce tension between well-meaning people. I don’t really like to write ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’: in my books, people are more complicated than that.
I read an article in a weekend section about an ex-couple who went on holiday together with their shared family and new partners, and I just thought, How? Why?
I wish all my exes well, but I don’t have to see them on a day-to-day basis – and I don’t think it would be a great idea to go on holiday with them and their new partners! But people do! And those people must be way more mature than me.

You blend humour and drama together faultlessly. If you could write in any other genre, what would it be?

Firstly, that is lovely, thank you.
I read widely, mostly crime and thrillers, book club and literary stuff, and I would love to write a serious thriller one day. I just need to think of a killer, edge-of-your-seat plot, and work out how to drop the comedy that sneaks in to my writing. Leave it with me.

Finally, if The Adults was made into a movie, who would you *love* to play who?

I’m so sorry, I can’t answer this properly. The people in the book are so real in my mind, I can’t think how to suggest actors for it. It’s a good thing I’m not a casting director, and if The Adults does get produced as a movie, I’ll be fascinated to see who they choose!

Thank you so much for answering my questions, today.

No problem, and I’m so pleased you enjoyed the book.
Caroline Hulse spends most of her days writing, having fulfilled her dream of having a job she could do in pyjamas. She also works in Human Resources sometimes.
She is openly competitive and loves playing board and card games. She can often be found in casino poker rooms, and wishes other people would want to play Cluedo for money.
She lives with her husband in Manchester, UK, where the two are captive to the whims of a small, controlling dog.he Goodreads database with this name.
Have you read The Adults? Are you looking forward to it?

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

Tweet me about the book and get involved in the Blog Tour with the tag #TheAdults

happy reading!
post signature
Book Review: These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

Title: These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders #1)
Author: Sara Raasch
Published: August 8th, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper Collins)
Rating: ★★★★
Find the Author: Goodreads 

Disclosure: I was sent this ARC by the publisher, reviewing it as an impartial review. This does not sway my opinion of the book. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.
Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.
Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.
As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.

First Thoughts...

Thank the book Gods that I got an ARC of These Rebel Waves! I was counting the days until it was out, until the lovely (and always amazing) team over at Harper360 sent me a copy! It went straight into my TBR and everything from there was book-bliss! 

My Review...

I don't read nearly as many YA Fantasy books as I should (and I have shelves of them!) because I'm naturally drawn to Contemporary, but for These Rebel Waves, I got myself all fantasy-ready. I got one of my Fairyloot bookmarks, lit some candles and delved in! We're introduced to so much so quickly, so it's really prominent that you've got to pay attention. Adeluna, also known mostly as "Lu" thought that war was over and done with, having been a soilder. But she soon learns she can't hang up her old self yet, because she's thrown right back into new dangers. After the capture of Vex, Devereux Bell formally, who is one of the island's biggest and most notable raiders, a new treaty between enemies falls apart. 
There's a lot of action - and a lot going on that bounces from topic, to magic, to politics - flowing easily from page to page. For me, the magic element was hugely what kept me reading faster and faster. There's magical plants of sorts, that can heal or hinder, depending on how they're used. Some are hesitant about these things and others thrive on them, but one that is opposed is prince Benat "Ben". I found myself drawn to Lu the most, whilst still finding Vex and Ben's perspectives and journey's thrilling and their characters developing steadily against the plot. Whilst at times there can be a lot going on pacing wise, once you really get into the book, knowing all the ins and outs, it's like you're transported to beside the characters, cheering them on and getting truly invested in their tales.
I was really surprised at how much I utterly fell head over heels for These Rebel Waves. Not only is there LGBT representation in the novel, but the characters skin isn't your typical "every shade of ivory and pale", skin tones ranging from very pale to dark (and I can't say just how much this matters!).
Overall, I just have no words. I can't think of anything other than phenomenal to describe just how much I became addicted to These Rebel Waves. If you're looking for a new fantasy read with strong, whip-smart female characters, action, romance and political magic, you've found your new soulmate. Huge five stars!! (And I can't wait for the next in this duology)


Have you read These Rebel Waves? Are you looking forward to it?

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

happy reading!
post signature