29 Nov 2014

Book Haul: 6 Months in the Making

No comments:
I've gotten a heap of books over the last 6 months - most were purchased or swapped, and a few were from a giveaway or for review. Either way, I thought you might like to take a sneak peak at the new/ish books on my shelf. And of course, now that I have your attention, I can do one of my favourite things - chat books!




So many books, so little time. So I'll just highlight a few titles...

Currently reading Sacrifice (thanks Allen & Unwin) and it's going great. Looking forward to seeing how the series ends. I've heard mixed things about How to Love, but I also know quite a few of blogger friends who loved it. Interested to where I fall on the scale. Same goes for Grasshopper Jungle - I think it's either a love it or hate it kind of book. What I Thought Was True and Nantucket Blue look like great Summer reads. Which, you know, is great, because it's starting to heat up in Australia! I've yet to read a book by Maggie Stiefvater (it was on my must-get-to this year... #fail), but now I have The Raven Boys, I don't have an excuse, do I? To all you super fans out there, do you think this is a good place to start? I only just found out about The Astrologer's Daughter, but it sounds great - I love a good mystery/thriller, plus it's Aussie! Spirit Bound is me just adding to my collection - VA being my favourite series and all. Gone sounds like a very entertaining series and I've heard good things. 

Which of these titles have you read or want to read yourself? Let me know which books I should bump up on the TBR!

20 Nov 2014

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

10 comments:
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
April 15, 2014 · Walker Childres
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 352
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

I added Open Road Summer to my to TBR last year, and since then, have read countless rave, positive reviews. I follow Emery Lord on Twitter, but it wasn't until she tweeted something the other day that finally gave me the kick I needed to run out, grab a copy and read it, pronto. All I can say is that all the love this book has been receiving this year? There's a reason. This book was fan-freaking-tastic. I'm so glad I squeezed it in before the year ended!

Reagan was a breath of fresh air; layered; and definitely unexpected. But I mean that in the best way possible. She was not without her faults and was always ready to push people away, from having her heart broken too many times. She's very real and I loved her as a character. She grew throughout the book, but still has a lot of growing up ahead of her, and I liked that. Some characters do a complete 180 degree turn around and by the end, are basically tied in a bow, with everything neat, fixed and perfect, but that wasn’t the case with Reagan. Dee, her best "infinity" friend, was an amazing character as well and I loved getting to know her. Both girls are very different, but make a perfect match as friends. They complement one another well and always have each others backs. All characters, great and small, were written with gusto and depth.

Open Road Summer read like the author had done her research with the fame and celebrity side of things. Touring; the paparazzi; getting noticed wherever you go; the constant fear of getting photographed. It was written in an insider-only voice, as if the author has first hand experience or has been secretly hiding away in Taylor Swifts tour bus. I know 99% of articles and tabloids are fake and only written to sell magazines, but again, it was a reminder of the way they twist words and edit photographs, all to make money.

My favourite aspect of Open Road Summer was without a doubt the friendship between Reigan and Dee. They have such a strong, healthy friendship and I definitely think we need to be seeing more of those on the page. I’m all for a good love interest (see: Matt Finch. Sweet guy + a big heart = swoon!), but considering how important friends are, this book shows me need way more books that showcase not only friendships, but positive ones.

Emery Lord has written one heck of a debut! Not only is it entertaining, it's beautiful and contains depth that the cover doesn't exactly let on to. Lord has a way with words, and has proven that she can write a great story, with all the trimmings (guess I'm getting in the Christmas spirit? Haha). I absolutely can't wait to read her next book!

5/5

15 Nov 2014

Getting to Know You Blog Hop & Giveaway

27 comments:
When I first heard about this blog hop hosted by fabulous Cuddlebuggery, I wasn't blogging and was away on a hiatus of sorts. But when I heard about it the second time, I knew I couldn't not join in and quickly signed up. I haven't always been the most love to hear from you, whoever who are. As long as you're not a weirdo. Oh gosh, please don't be a weirdo. *runs away*

For those that don't know me, I'm Rebecca and I started blogging in July 2011. I've been a reader all my life, I'm open to most genres, but my favourite genre is contemporary and I love books. A lot. *waves* Read on if you dare...

I reached out to Twitter the other night, asking if you guys had any questions for me. Turns out you did. And here they are...

Do you like cheese? I do! I had the best cheese last week. It was delicious. Damn Kat, now I want cheese!
Where do you get them snazzy headbands? Why, thank you! The answer: here and there. I'm always on the hunt for pretty headbands and for those in Australia, so far I've found my finds at  Colette, Sportgirl and my most recent addition, from Asos.
What's in your cupboards? Food. Shocker, right? Who'd have guessed?
Favourite music genre? Indie Rock and Alternative.
How does ink come out of pens? You press down and KABOOM, ink.
How do you feel about cupcakes? I love cupcakes. Cupcakes are delicious. My sister makes a mean red velvet.

6 things off my bucket list:
See the Northern Lights.
Go stargazing.
Write a book. One day.
Go horseback riding.
Own a Buffy t-shirt.
Do good; start a movement or campaign for something I believe in, charity work and such.

As for movies, TV and music? I'm a big fan of all three and am always on the hunt for recommendations, especially new tunes and artists. You should my to-watch lists for TV and movies - it is long. Here's a few of my favourites:

TV shows: 
Buffy. As we speak, I'm currently re-watching an episode. I only discovered this show in 2012, but it's kind of changed my life. I love it so.

A newer series I started this year that's another fave of mine? An Aussie show, called Offspring. It's absolutely amazing. I only have good things to say about this one. Watch it! (And hey, if you wan't to hear more about my TV habits, let me know. I'm thinking a post might be in order!)

Movies: 
Dirty Dancing, The Breakfast Club, Death at a Funerall, Forrest Gump

Music: 
Two of my favourites, Ed Sheeran (LOVED his new album) and The Lumineers (please release a new album already!). Also a fan of Birdie, Sam Smith, Lorde, some 80's, Fleetwood Mac. I also love dance'y, fun music, but not so much Top 40 pop stuff. One of my all time fave songs: Dog Days Are Over - Florence and the Machine <3

If you have rec's, PLEASE send them my way; new or old. I need some new tunes to listen to. Basically, I'll give anything a listen and I'm pretty open with genres.

A book special to me...
I have many books I hold dear to my heart. But today, I'd like to chat about one of favourites, which is deserving of way more attention than it's so far received; a book not nearly enough people know about or have read. That book? Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield (aka Friday Never Leaving in the US).
Found on Young Adult Anonymous
P.S. You'll win the UK edition. (right)
It's an Aussie YA contemporary, raw and beautiful, and it will do things to your heart. And because I think this book deserves so much more attention and love, I'm giving you the chance to win a copy. Winner or not, I hope you'll give this book a shot and that maybe I've convinced you to go read it. And if you do, I'd love to know what you think. As long as Book Depository ship to you, you can enter! Thanks for stopping by! a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 Nov 2014

Let's Discuss: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

10 comments:
A few months ago I watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and very quickly became a fan. I loved it! I know I was late to jump on the bandwagon, but when I was watching, all I wanted to do was discuss it. So here I am. Just a bit late? Fans of the series or those who've yet to give it a watch, gather round. To recap, here's what the web series is all about:
From IMDb:
A modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice, the series is told in vlog-style by Lizzie Bennet as she narrates the trials and tribulations of her family life with the help of her best friend and aspiring filmmaker, Charlotte Lu, "practically perfect" older sister, Jane, and easily excitable younger sister, Lydia. As in Pride and Prejudice, Lizzie's mother is all too eager to marry her and her sisters off to rich men, so when wealthy medical student Bing Lee moves into the neighborhood and manages to woo Jane, it changes the entire dynamic of the family. It isn't long before Bing's even more wealthy friend and heir to an entertainment corporation, the mysterious Darcy, makes his way into the Bennet sisters' lives, too.
Photo courtesy of Ashley Clement’s Official Tumblr Page
Why everyone loves the show/reasons to watch:

- If you love Pride and Prejudice, I think you will LOVE this modern retelling. I haven't read P&P, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment at all. Fan or not, anyone can enjoy it.
- It's entertaining and so much much fun to watch, especially as the show progresses and you come to care for the characters.
- Most episodes roughly run for 3-6 minutes; perfect for when you have a little free time on your hands.
- The Bennet sisters! Lizzie is awesome and relatable; Jane is the sweetest and super huggable; and Lydia is intense, but cute and underneath all that crazy lays a big heart. You'll love these girls and seeing them grow from beginning to end. Also, Charlotte: I bet you you'll want to be her friend. She's lovely.
- The characters are layered. Considering how short the episodes are, it really shows the skill that went into bringing them to life. You will really grow to love them (and maybe hate a few.)

Lightning round: (that turned out to be not-so lighting fast. Go figure)

Favourite character... 
Um. How can I choose? I think I have to go with Lizzie.
Least favourite character... 
Mr. Collins (he's such a grating character) and of course, George Wickham (no matter the P&P version, this guy will always be the scum).
Favourite episode(s)...
Cuteness overload: Meeting Bing Lee - ep. 28
BRB, swooning: Gratitude - ep. 98
Least favourite episodes...
What do mean? I enjoyed all the episodes. Silly question.
Source
All in all, I thought The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was amazing. I definitely recommend it and the great thing is, I can see so many different people enjoying this! So many already have. I might see if I can get my mum onto it. I know P&P is her favourite. Now, before you go, let's discuss:

Are you a fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries? If not, are you now considering the show? (I really hope you are. Then my job here is done!) Has anyone had success with Emma Approved? And finally, who's read TLBD book? Currently, it's sitting on my shelf, but I think I might need to bump it up my TBR).

3 Nov 2014

Review: Nil by Lynne Matson

12 comments:
Nil (Nil #1) by Lynne Matson
March 4th, 2014 · Henry Holt
Source: Won
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 384
From Goodreads:
On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field. 

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.
Nil is quite the genre bender of a book. As I was read, I tried to put my finger on what it fell under exactly. It has all these interesting, cool elements, but one thing is for sure, Nil is definitely an adventure.

Quickly upon starting, you're flooded with all these questions, which is a common occurrence with books that are shrouded with mystery and are set in unknown, new worlds. We do get some answers, but I think a lot more will be revealed in book two. Even then, I wouldn't expect Nil to tell you all her secrets, she's not one to share and tell...

I'd had pretty big expectations for Nil and they definitely lived up. This book came along at just the right time, when I needed to get away and be sucked into a whole other world, and for that I'm so glad. Another thing, Nil is extremely addictive. I started it on a Sunday night, having only wanted to read a few chapters, but then I didn't want to stop. I read it whenever I got the chance and loved every minute I had with this book.

Nil switches between Charley and Thad's perspective and I have to say, the author did an absolute fabulous job with their voices and giving them life. Their voices felt like they belonged to a teenage and were realistic. Before I read Nil, I'd just finished a book that was also told in two perspectives, so considering that, Nil had some competition - it definitely kept up. In fact, I think I'd have to say Nil is the best book I've read containing multiple POV's. I don't think it's an easy thing to pull off (establishing two voices, instead of just the one), but Lynne did it with such ease. I never once wanted to hurry back to the other character, which is such a rare occurrence. I was perfectly content and happy reading from both Charley and Thad. I definitely don't think it would have had the same effect had it been told through just the one voice.

If I had to nitpick, there were a few cheesy moments. But hey, the world can always use some cheese. There is also a slight case of insta-love, which I'm not a fan of, but I didn't really notice it until someone pointed it out a review. The circumstances on Nil are definitely not normal - if you don't get off the island in 365 days, you're dead. Bonds tend to be established pretty quickly, as the people of Nil only have each other to rely on for support and friendship, in this world where nothing is what it seems.

As you can tell, Nil made a great impression on me and I definitely recommend it to readers wanting to escape into a unique setting and captivating book. I absolutely can't wait to see what Nil Unlocked brings - you can definitely count me in.

4.5/5

28 Oct 2014

Long Time, No See

6 comments:
I’ve slowly been resurfacing and showing my face around Twitter, retweeting, wishing book birthdays and such. And, here I am. Again. I swear I didn’t think I was going to be gone this long. That’s always seems to be the case though. I disappear because of life and then forget to come back, even just to tell you that I’m on hiatus and taking some time away. After months went by, I started thinking that maybe it was time to call it quits. But like always, the love of books pulled me back. I have missed you all so much; chatting books and being surrounded by like minded people and conversing with readers, authors, publishers, and of course, the written word.

Awhile ago I mentioned very briefly I wasn’t well and while I was away, I went overseas for medical treatment. Life has been very busy the last few months, heck, this year. Time is flying and I can’t believe there’s a little over two months left of 2014 - scary. As I write this post, I’m not sure what the future holds, but I know that I miss the community and being apart of it, so hopefully I’ll be around for a little while longer. My main focus is taking care of myself and getting better, along with school, but blogging is a passion, a chance for escapism. So while it isn't #1 priority, it is important to me and I miss it when I'm not present, and for now, I'll keep on blogging. 

In the mean time and until next post, I’ll be reminicing with Full House episodes (oh, childhood nostalgia), finally sitting down with that book I started a week ago and satisfying my sweet tooth with a cookie so delicious you wouldn’t believe it’s healthy. So, that’s me. What about you? I hope you are happy, healthy, have been reading good books lately and taking care. Comment and tell me what I’ve missed, how you’re going, and what you’ve been reading.

17 Jun 2014

Review: 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

5 comments:
17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen
June 17th, 319 · Harper Collins
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Page Count: 319
No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment.

Until Claire meets Luke.

But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible.

With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.

In her moving debut, Rachael Allen brilliantly captures the complexities of friendship, the struggles of self-discovery, and the difficulties of trying to find love in high school. Fans of Sarah Ockler, Susane Colasanti, and Stephanie Perkins will fall head over heels for this addictive, heartfelt, and often hilarious modern love story.
17 First Kisses jumped onto my TBR list late last year, but I have to admit that while I liked the sound of it, I was on the fence. And then I read Blythe @ Finding Bliss In Books review and any hesitation I had flew out the window. I was not disappointed.

I love how layered a character Claire was. She loves soccer and kissing boys; can’t wait to leave her hometown to study medicine and has big dreams. She’s definitely one of the most honest, real characters I’ve come across in a long time.

For some, hearing that 17 First Kisses includes slut shaming will be a turnoff. I do not condone or support slut shaming, but whether we like it or not, it’s a real part of reality, especially in high school. One of the things I loved most was that the author doesn’t do the thinking for you or try to send a message. She lays it out on the page and it’s up to you what you take away from it. For instance, she doesn’t include slut shaming, then to weave in how it’s a problem and that you shouldn’t go around doing it. Rather she lets the reader think about how it’s a vicious cycle (like growing up in a household full of swearing. It’s just a matter of time until you pick up those habits) and how easily the S word is branded on a girl, yet guys mess around and are considered cool. It wasn’t until I had time to reflect and ponder that I realised the full extent of how powerful a move this was.

Friendships aren’t perfect and though I think it’s important to showcase strong, healthy relationships, it’s also important to include flawed, rocky ones, like Megan and Claire’s. I think the author perfectly nailed the messiness of complicated friendships while growing up, who at their core, are still just trying to figure out who they are. That isn’t to stay that they didn’t get under my skin though, they did. But again, that made them even more (frustratingly) realistic. Who hasn’t been annoyed by someone’s choices and actions in the past?

I’ve seen this recommended to Courtney Summers fans and while I’ve only read one of her books so far, I can see why. It’s not sugar coated and it doesn’t make apologies for being real, nor is it afraid to broach the big issues. Along with slut shaming and complicated friendships, there's also problems at home, as Claire tries to put her family back together. There's lots going on and being addressed, but I found it never took a turn for depressing. There's a lovely balance; sweet and swoon; light and dark.

I finished 17 First Kisses with the overall feeling of having really, really liked it. Then I saw down to write this review, did some more thinking and spent half the time looking into thin air, grinning like an idiot. This book will not be for everyone (heck, what book is?) and I can see it being quite controversial – the kind you love or hate. Me? I loved it.

5/5

12 Jun 2014

Mini Reviews: Six Impossible Things + Wildlife by Fiona Wood

2 comments:
Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood
August 1st, 2010 · Pan Macmillan Australia
Source: Swapped
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 263
What’s it about?
Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on the girl next door.

His life is a mess, but for now he's narrowed it down to just six impossible things...
My thoughts:

Once I got through the first few chapters (which brought back bad memories of a terrible reading slump last year, when I first picked this up), I finally understood why I’ve heard such great things about this from other Aussie readers, over the past few years. It’s so unbelievably GOOD. The kind of good that you want to savour, yet read in a few sittings. I didn't want it to end and tried to put it off as long as long possible. Of course, that lasted all of about 20 minutes...

One of the things I love about Aussie YA are the underdog characters, who you can’t help but cheer for; Dan is just that. He’s loveable and awkward; his voice authentic and fresh. This book has great character development (definitely a strong point!) and features a gang of friends that’ll slowly, but surely, weave their way into your heart – I loved Estelle, Fred and Lou <3

This book is a gem; it’s funny and sharp; sweet and heartfelt. I don’t say this often, but I can definitely see myself reading this again in the future. Until then, it will sit proudly on my shelf, along with other Aussie favourites.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely, especially if you’re a fan of Aussie YA or you're anticipating the US release of Wildlife (it's already out in Oz). It’s a companion, so not necessary, but I really advise it!

4.5/5



June 1st, 2013 · Pan Macmillan Australia
Source: Library
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 384


What’s it about?

Life? It’s simple: be true to yourself.
The tricky part is finding out exactly who you are…

In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened.
A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard.
And I kissed Ben Capaldi.

Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things – the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is grieving a death that occurred almost a year ago. Despite herself, Lou becomes intrigued by the unfolding drama between her housemates Sibylla and Holly, and has to decide whether to end her self-imposed detachment and join the fray.

And as Sibylla confronts a tangle of betrayal, she needs to renegotiate everything she thought she knew about surviving in the wild.

A story about first love, friendship and NOT fitting in.
My thoughts:

Straight after finishing Six Impossible Things, my goal in life became getting my hands on this book. It took a week, but as you can see, I succeeded. While I didn’t love it like I wanted to or the way everyone else seems to have, I did like it.

There’s great character growth from both girls; Lou’s dealing with grief, loss and how to fill her gaping heart, while Sib is navigating sex for the first time, love and a sticky friendship. Though both girls are dealing with their own problems, it was nice to watch them come together and eventually form a friendship. Everyone needs a good, true, reliable friend by their side and I’m glad these two found each other.

Set in the wilderness, I enjoyed the change of setting and the different opportunities that arose because of this. Expect hiking, camping, crappy food (except for the redskins which left with a craving and sage advice: snap before you buy!) pranks, talent shows and mischief.

Wildlife is honest and not afraid to tell it like it is, whether it’s addressing sex or death (these are the two biggies), and it’s one of the many reasons why I can’t wait to read Wood’s next book. Whatever it’s about you can count me in.

Do I recommend it? If you're after an authentic, raw story, I think you'll enjoy it. So, yes.

3/5

10 Jun 2014

Links of Awesome from Around the Blogosphere

1 comment:
There are so many great blogs to visit and new posts being published all the time, but there is only so much time in the day. So, that's why I've compiled a list of recent-awesome for you to check out! From cool posts, to bookish events and more, I hope you find something that catches your eye! 

(P.S. I was thinking of making this a regular thing, so let me know if you'd be interested in that or not. I aim to entertain. OK, bye.)
Fans of TFIOS will want to check this out – but I warn you, hide your wallet.

Sweet Summertime Reads hosted by Ginger is on again. Perfect for Summer readers or those trying to escape Winter.

Why We Believe In YA Romance – debuts authors dish on their very own real-life YA Romances

My True Love Gave To Me anthology has a cover! It’s so pretty and HOW did I only find out about this books' existence last week??  Stephanie Perkins is an author! And Jenny Han! And more! I’m so excited.

The votes are in – YA Highway announces YA Web Award Winners

Jaz discusses the disconnect in the Book Blogging Community. Have you noticed it?

Need a holiday? Escape to a hotel for book lovers! (I may or may not be dreaming about their collection of books...)

Author Christa Desir on When Books Start Great Conversations - take my advice, read it. Also, there’s talk of mouth eating love. Yes.

Calling all teens: Want advice from YA Author’s? Check out this upcoming Advice Column and submit your questions.

36 Times Jess Mariano Completely Melted Your Heart On "Gilmore Girls” – Jess fans, this post is for you. There are GIF’s. Guarantee you’ll swoon.

And not to toot my own horn but... 

Save the date for the Behind the Scenes Twitter Party next week!

5 Jun 2014

Review: Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

2 comments:
Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler
June 24th, 2014 - Spencer Hill Press
Source: Edelweiss
Format: ARC
Page Count: 328
High school senior Ally Duncan's best friend may be the Vanessa Park - star of TV's hottest new teen drama - but Ally's not interested in following in her BFF's Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally's ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father's mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van's on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors' publicist arranges for Van and Liam to "date" for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she's capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can't play by Hollywood's rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.
If you follow Dahlia on Twitter, you'll understand why I was a fan even before I got my hands on her book. She's fun, honest and refreshing. All words I'd also use to describe to debut, Behind the Scenes. Did I enjoy it as much I hoped I would? Heck yes.

I liked Ally a lot. She was loveable, strong and flawed. One of the things I enjoyed most about her was watching her overcome insecurities and self-doubt and realising that she is good enough; something a lot of young people struggle with, especially teenagers, due to the pressures of media and Hollywood.

I loved the friendship between Ally and Vanessa. They've been best friends since they were young (I love those kind of friendships) and though they face some ups and downs in the book, they know they can count on one another and I think it’s great to showcase this kind of friendship in YA. The kind that don’t end after a fight or a guy comes along. Speaking of guys... Liam makes a great love interest, both for Ally and the reader. He's sweet, caring, supportive and more than easy on the eyes (Dahlia paints a lovely picture, this I assure you). I can definitely see readers falling in love with him.

This was the first Hollywood-esque book I’ve read before and I went in expecting to be entertained and for drama to ensue. I was and it did, but there was also depth with Allys’ dad sick, that grounded the story. Movie premiers, interviews and expensive wardrobes aren’t the norm for most, but family or money troubles? I think everyone can relate with that in one way or another.

A delightful debut; Behind the Scenes is perfect if you're looking to escape with a book that delivers sharp, realistic characters, swoon and a whole lot of fun.

4/5