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 All Time Favourite Authors

I actually found this weeks TTT really difficult. I am a mood reader, so only pick up books when I fancy reading them. This means that although I may have really enjoyed a book by an author, I may not read another one by them for a few months, or even sometimes a year!

When the following authors release books, or I see one in a bookstore, charity shop or at the library I know that I am going to enjoy it. Although I may not have read all of their works – the ones that I have read I loved!

  1. Sophie Kinsella – my go-to chick lit author. I have such good memories of reading I’ve Got your Number whilst sipping a cocktail in Mexico. All of her books are fun and make perfect beach/holiday reads!
  2. Sarah J Maas – only discovered in the last year or so. I love the Throne of Glass series, it really got me back into fantasy. I need to get on to Heir of Fire now.
  3. M J Arlidge – also writes Silent Witness (a UK crime drama). His books are just so easy to read, gripping from the first page. I have The Doll’s House on my kindle waiting for me to read it.
  4. J K Rowling – do I need to explain?! I am ashamed to say that I haven’t read The Casual Vacancy or The Robert Galbraith books.
  5. Louise O’Neill – a relatively new addition. I read Only Ever Yours this year and loved it, seriously loved it. Even though this was a debut novel I’m really excited to see what Asking for It is like, due to be published in September 2015.
  6. Roald Dahl – a childhood favourite. I still love all of his books now, I hope Parker will one day too.
  7. Sara Gruen – I have only read Water for Elephants but it has stuck with me since I read it a few years back. I am desperate to read some more of her work as I am sure I will love it.
  8. Lucy Diamond – I picked up one of Lucy’s books in January this year. Again, the perfect chick lit author and perfect for reading at the beach. I am so pleased that there are so many more books to read.
  9. Neil Gaiman – Now, I have only read three books by Neil Gaiman. Two children’s books and a YA/Adult Novel. I enjoyed all three of them, and I’m sure that when I manage to pick up some more I will feel the same.
  10. Brandon Sanderson – I read Steelheart last year and really, really loved it! A fantastic fantasy book that I read in a few sittings. I have Book 1 in the Mistborn Trilogy on my kindle and am yet to read it, but I am sure that I will love it.

Happy Reading!

Stacie 🙂



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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!



Book Review // Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell


Format: Kindle Edition
Published: 5th January 2015
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Pages: 368
Series/Standalone?: Standalone
Genre: YA Horror

BUY: Amazon | Book Depository

This book is counting towards the British Books Challenge and my 2015 Reading Challenge.

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Synopsis taken from Goodreads:

We’re waiting for you to come and play. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lilias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died.

My Thoughts:

Wow, wow, wow! I have had to give myself a few days in order to be able to write this review coherently. This book has given me a complete book hangover!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. As a free Kindle download, I thought it could go one of two ways – but at least I hadn’t paid a huge amount for it just to be disappointed. Boy, was I totally surprised – I absolutely devoured this book and it is my favourite of 2015 (so far!).

I enjoy horror movies, the jumpier the better. I have never really read anything remotely horror though, so this was (surprisingly) a first for me. I don’t think the Goosebumps series that I read as a kid can really count 😉

Frozen Charlotte is creepy, really creepy. It is based on dolls – Frozen Charlottes – and man, did they give me the shivers. I had never heard of or seen a Frozen Charlotte doll before, so had to do an internet search. So blinkin’ creepy *shudders*. I hate dolls at the best of times, let alone tiny, talking, giggling, murderous porcelain ones.

The setting really lends itself to the eerie nature of the plot. The Isle of Skye is completely atmospheric, the vivid imagery that Bell creates is captivating. The old boarding school is a great ‘venue’ for a horror story. A huge, old house with lots of rooms and old photos of the past lives held there add lots of suspense and drama.

Sophie was a great narrator – dealing with loss and grief, she heads to her cousins house for some answers. She was headstrong and gutsy – a little too much at times. I found myself willing her not to go looking around the house in the dark, alone, with only her camera flash to illuminate the rooms. Eek! Scared me half to death. Cameron, Lilias and Piper are also very strong characters. Each display bizarre behaviour, something which kept me wondering right to the end what was really going on.

I loved the fast paced action throughout Frozen Charlotte. I couldn’t put the book down and finished it within two days (even with an 11 week old baby to look after!). It was a brilliantly paced novel that kept me wanting more after every page. The plot just seemed to come together so well, everything fitted into place – one thing after another.

I cannot wait to delve into other books by this author. Luckily for me, she has a few to explore.

I cannot really do justice to this book through a simply review, you have to read it for yourselves. I enjoyed it so much (can you tell?!) I know there are more in the ‘Red Eye’ series, I may check them out soon – although I don’t want to be disappointed if they aren’t as good as this one was. If you like horror and want a truly scary YA read then look no further. It is still free on Kindle (at the time this post is published) – what are you waiting for?

Now please excuse me whilst I try to remedy the hangover that this book has left me with….

Twitter: @alex_bell86

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Book Review // The Enemy – Charlie Higson


Format: Kindle Edition
Published: 3rd September 2009
Publisher: Penguin UK
Pages: 406
Series/Standalone?: Series (#1 of 6)
Genre: YA Horror

BUY: Amazon | Book Depository

This book is counting towards my British Books Challenge & my 2015 Reading Challenge.

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Synopsis taken from Goodreads:

In the wake of a devastating disease, everyone sixteen and older is either dead or a decomposing, brainless creature with a ravenous appetite for flesh. Teens have barricaded themselves in buildings throughout London and venture outside only when they need to scavenge for food. The group of kids living a Waitrose supermarket is beginning to run out of options. When a mysterious traveller arrives and offers them safe haven at Buckingham Palace, they begin a harrowing journey across London. But their fight is far from over-the threat from within the palace is as real as the one outside it.
Full of unexpected twists and quick-thinking heroes, “The Enemy” is a fast-paced, white-knuckle tale of survival in the face of unimaginable horror.

My Thoughts:

Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable read. It was fast paced with lots of action right from the start. A great book for teenagers, reluctant young readers and those who love anything ‘zombie’.

There are a lot of characters to get your head around in this one. This was confusing for me at the start, but once the plot had kicked in it became easier to determine who was who. I think this was actually an advantage to the novel – there were lots of different things happening all the way through, to keep you engaged and ‘on your toes’. Each character definitely has their own voice – I particularly liked Maxie & Ollie. The author portrays kids from all different age groups and backgrounds well, I liked the diverse mix.


I loved the gore throughout this whole novel. Right from the start the author throws you in to a world of blood, guts and sticky endings – something which I loved! There is always something lurking around the corner, ready to surprise you. Killing off a few of the main characters was also a shock – I love authors who do this (and do it well). I didn’t see the deaths coming, it was great how the author took a risk and wasn’t afraid to do it!

This is part of a six book series, and although I enjoyed it I’m not in any rush to complete the series. If I wanted – at some point – to finish these I would probably pick them up at the library, or on my Kindle. I’m glad I got around to it, as I love a good zombie novel, but I am in no rush to finish them off.

This book would be a brilliant one for reluctant boy readers – the blood and gore is great. I could think of a few boys I teach that would love this book, so will definitely be recommending it to them.

Happy Reading!
Stacie and Grant