Confessions of a Reader

'Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.' – Mason Cooley

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.


Top Ten Books that I’ve added to my TBR recently

Again, this Top Ten Tuesday has been a little rushed this week. I’ve been so busy that I actually forgot all about it. I’ve simply picked the last ten books that I’ve added to my TBR pile via Goodreads.

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Liar Liar by M J Arlidge
The Doll’s House by M J Arlidge
The Asylum for Fairytale Creatures by Sebastian Gregory
The Boy in the Cemetery by Sebastian Gregory
This Book is Gay by James Dawson
Say Her Name by James Dawson

Sorry for the short and sweet post, but it has been a manic few days!

Happy Reading!



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Book Review // The Breeders by Katie French

IMG_2363Format: eBook
Published: 31st July 2012
Publisher: LuLu
Pages: 256

This is a non-spoiler review. I will also be adding this to my 2015 Reading Challenge.


Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world’s last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches– moving from one desolate farm after another to escape the Breeders’ long reach. The Breeders control everything- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel. They have unchecked power in this lawless society. And they’re hunting Riley.

When the local Sheriff abducts the adult members of her family and hands her mother over to the Breeders, Riley and her eight-year-old brother, Ethan, hiding in a shelter, are left to starve. Then Clay arrives, the handsome gunslinger who seems determined to help to make up for past sins. The problem is Clay thinks Riley is a bender– a genderless mutation, neither male nor female. As Riley’s affection for Clay grows she wonders can she trust Clay with her secret and risk her freedom?

The three embark on a journey across the scarred remains of New Mexico– escaping the Riders who use human sacrifice to appease their Good Mother, various men scrambling for luck, and a deranged lone survivor of a plague. When Riley is shot and forced into the Breeder’s hospital, she learns the horrible fate of her mother—a fate she’ll share unless she can find a way out.

My Thoughts:
I had so many mixed feelings about this book. There were elements that I thought were really good and others not so much.

The story follows our ‘heroine’ Riley, who lives in world where women and girls are kept in captivity and used in experiments; their main purpose is solely to have children. After a family tragedy Riley goes on the run with Clay, who doesn’t know she is a girl. To cut a long story short, chaos ensues and Riley in thrown head first into some rather tricky situations.

This book was definitely fast-paced, from the very start I was hooked and the writing kept the story moving pretty quickly for me. You dive straight into the action, the author didn’t hang about. One of the more significant characters dies early on in the novel; something which I always feel is a very brave decision for an author to make.

I was in a huge reading slump before reading this book, yet now I feel like I am over that hurdle. This book has to take some of the credit for that. Although I felt it had some major flaws, I read it in few days – it gripped me enough and was a relatively easy read.

Now, onto the problems I had with this book. Firstly, the grammar is horrendous. It is such a shame but every page has some sort of typo or grammatical error. It really frustrated me, I was re-reading sentences in order to decipher what was actually being said. I’m not sure if this was just a problem in the eBook version.

The main character – Riley – was irritating. She seemed so keen to be respected and valued more, yet made really stupid decisions ALL of the time. I kind of wanted her to step up to the plate and learn some valuable skills for on the run – like shooting or knife-throwing. Everything seemed pretty easy for her – there was always someone or something around to save her.

I purchased this book after reading the novella – ‘Nessa: A Breeders Story’. Unfortunately, this was nowhere near as good as the novella I read, but I was still gripped enough to finish it. It has been on my TBR pile forever so I’m really glad I can now cross it off.

If you like YA Dystopian then you may like this book – although it wasn’t the best I’ve read it was still fast-paced enough for me to finish.

StarRating3 out of 5 stars

Twitter: @katielfrench







#LittleLoves is a linky held over at But Why Mummy Why. I thought it would be fun to join in with this once a week.

The idea behind the posts is that they are a weekly chance to remember the little things you’ve loved that join up to make your week. You don’t need to be a parenting blogger to join in, all bloggers are welcome!


I have been reading The Breeders by Katie French this week. I have been in such a big reading slump this month, a YA Dystopian seemed to be what I needed to get back on it.


I have also counted up all of my physical TBR books this week, I have 66! This isn’t a lot compared to some bloggers, but I still need to tackle this. Especially as I am now only receiving statutory maternity pay (which is pants!) – so no more book buying for me!


The Walking Dead…still! Also, Alan Carr Chatty Man – I love, love, love Alan Carr – never fails to make me roar with laughter.


Haven’t really got anything to add in here. Any good audio book recommendations? I can borrow them from the OverDrive library app 😉


I have been really happy with my meal planning and organisation this week. I have actually done the weekly shop and planned all my meals, making dinners for every evening – without resorting to a takeaway! Yes!


My pyjamas! So cosy 🙂 Been loving slouching in the evenings, with the dog, reading blogs and watching rubbish TV.

And Lastly

Parker had his last set of immunisations this week and was surprisingly good. He cried a little, and then was straight back to smiling and laughing. My mum & I also took him swimming again this week. We can’t stay in the pool long as he gets cold so quickly – I’m debating whether to get him a ‘BabyWarma’ – like a wetsuit that keeps babies warm in the pool. Have you used one?

I’m going to watch ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ tomorrow at The Marlowe Theatre, with my nan. I’m really looking forward to it, I adored the book and the film – I will be sure to take my tissues though! It is apparently a world premiere. Exciting!

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Hope you’ve all had a good week, would love to know what you’ve been up to!

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Book Review // Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas


Format: eBook
Published: 18th July 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Pages: 401


This is a non-spoiler review.

My Thoughts:

I read this book whilst in a massive reading slump, so it took me forever. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I normally would have for this reason.

Dangerous Girls is a YA Thriller that tells the story of a group of friends on vacation in Aruba. A tragedy happens – one of the group is murdered – and we are consequently led through Anna’s trial as she is the main suspect. I really liked the style of writing and the little ‘extras’ that the author gave us – a 911 transcript, TV interview etc. It made me feel like I was truly part of the plot, always guessing what was going to happen next. I never knew who to trust!

I loved the intensity and mystery throughout this book. I was constantly judging people, forming my own opinions of what could have happened. It was fast-paced, with lots of twists and turns. I was completely gripped!

The ending confused the hell out of me. I mean, what just happened? I still don’t really get it, if I’m honest. It shocked me, I was so sure of the outcome – so it threw me completely. As a reader, we don’t actually get to ‘see’ the murder scene, we never know the full details of that night. Although this was an unusual decisions, I liked this– it added to the mystery.

There wasn’t one character I trusted in this book. Tate frustrated me so much, I thought he was sly and conniving – I think this was intended. His relationship with Anna raised so many questions for me from the start, there were so many little hints that it wasn’t all what it seemed. I still felt that he was completely besotted with Anna, again raising so many questions.

Anna and Elise’s relationship was a little uncomfortable for me at times, again I think this was intended. I never really knew what their true ‘status’ was, but I could feel the intensity the whole time – it was compelling to read.

I felt sorry for Anna, her friends seemed to totally abandon her. Although, as the story is told from her POV I do think that I ‘bonded’ with her differently. There were lots of ‘red herrings’ in the book, that kept steering me in completely different directions.

Overall, a fast-paced enjoyable read. I think I will aim to re-read this at some point, as I feel like my head wasn’t really in it. A great YA thriller, with lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing again and again.

Dangerous Girls is currently only 99p in the kindle store, click here (price correct at time of posting).

StarRating4 out of 5 stars

Abigail Haas is a pseudonym for Abby McDonald.

Twitter: @abbymcdonald




Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.


Top Ten Books from my childhood and teen years that I would love to revisit

Ah, I loved making this list! Although it was hard to narrow the list down to just ten. I will start with the books I read as a kid, and then move on to my teen years.


 Milly Molly Mandy Stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley // My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards
These books were a bit part of my childhood. I remember these being books I came back to again and again as I learnt to read. They were also read to me a lot, before bedtime – this is probably one of my fondest memories. The copies above are my original copies (that has sadly had a sticker added for embellishment, by my younger sister) that I will treasure forever.


The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton
I loved anything, absolutely anything by Enid Blyton. I even encouraged my younger sister to enjoy her books as a kid too. I loved the magical world she created, I always wanted to be in a secret society after reading these. The copies above are my collection that I made my husband rescue from the loft. I desperately want to re-read all of them! I am over the moon that I’ve found them, and that I chose to keep them in the first place.

        Jezebel             OscarGotTheBlame


Super Duper Jezebel & Oscar got the Blame by Tony Ross // The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

I loved other books by Tony Ross but these are the two that really stick in my mind. I loved the illustrations, and the comeuppance that Jezebel got in the end!

 Now, for my teen years;

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Goosebumps by R.L Stine
I absolutely loved this series, all of them were fantastic. They were the first ‘scary’ books that I ever really read. My mum used to buy me a new one every few weeks, I’m absolutely gutted that I don’t still have my copies.


Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
Now, I know I mention this all the time, but seriously this was my childhood and teen years all rolled into one. I absolutely devoured this series, it has stayed with me and I would absolutely love to re-discover every book for the first time. I am currently introducing my 10 year old brother to the world of Hogwarts. Every time he reads one of the books (in the new gorgeous editions) I buy him the next one. He has just started The Goblet of Fire, my personal favourite. J.K Rowling is incredible, how does a mind work this creatively?!

Junk by Melvin Burgess
This was such a dark, poignant story for me. It really opened my eyes to the darker side of life, some of the scenes in this book I can still remember vividly now.

Angus, Thongs & Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
These books were absolutely hilarious to me as a teen. I loved the awkward situations Georgia found herself in, and hoped to God I didn’t find myself in a similar one. They were so true to life, and yet provided the perfect escape for me.


Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin
This is an absolutely fantastic book that I am determined to re-read one day. Jamila Gavin does not hold back as you are transported back into the 18th century. I suppose this was my first taste of historical fiction.I would highly recommend this book to everyone, please read it!

Have you read any of these? Do you still have any of your original childhood books?


Penguin Little Black Classics


I thought I’d share a teeny, tiny haul with you. I have been very controlled this month!


I recently discovered these amazing little books via Twitter. How did I not know about these before?! I decided to purchase two to start with, although I would love the whole collection. These books are short extracts from the Penguin classics range, to celebrate their 80th anniversary. Did I mention that they cost 80p each? 80p!

I read The Yellow Wallpaper in university and loved it, so decided to purchase this one. I have read other works by Jane Austen, but not this one, so thought I’d give it a go. There are 80 books altogether, so a vast range to choose from.


The little orange booklet is a list of all of the Penguin Modern Classics – even those due to be published after April 2013. I really want to read the entire list of modern classics – a huge challenge I know! – and I thought this would be a good place to start (also it only cost £1, and looks cute on my shelf). I would love to buy all of the modern classics, but that may be pushing it a little (especially if I don’t like the book) – so I may venture to the library instead and only purchase the ones I absolutely love.

I just wanted to share this with you, as I think these little books are great. If you want to see the whole list, it is available here – Little Black Classics List.

Have you got any of these? Any recommendations for Penguin Modern Classics?