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    Movie Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

    Release date: 17th August 2018
    Where to watch: Netflix
    Genre: Rom Com
    My Rating: ★★★★★

    I’ve never written a movie review before, but I can’t help but want to share my thoughts on the latest YA book-to-movie adaptation that came to our laptop screens via Netflix last week.

    Before watching To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, I actually did think that I had read the book by Jenny Han but I’m not sure now. I definitely don’t have a hard copy of it, but I had thought I had maybe read it on my old Kindle. I think I might have been getting it mixed up with The Summer I Turned Pretty though – but I am not disappointed in the slightest because now it means I have an excuse to buy a new book and enjoy it all over again!!!

    Because of this, I can’t comment on how well it stuck to the events of the book but from what I have seen on Twitter, it is pretty accurate with how it portrays the characters and the main events. Of course, there will be bits cut out of it I’m sure, as the movie only lasts just over an hour and a half and it would be impossible to include absolutely everything. That said, it didn’t feel rushed or like there was too much crammed in there.

    One of my favourite aspects of the movie was its simply stunning cinematography. Some of the scenes were just so exceptionally beautiful in their set-up and colour. I particularly loved the design of Lara Jean’s bedroom. If you follow me on Twitter then you will know that I wish this bedroom existed in real life, aka right here in my home.

    I also really enjoyed Lana Condor’s performance of Lara Jean. Not only is she a beautiful human, but she also captured the personality of the character perfectly with her acting skills and facial expressions. The relationship of the Covey sisters was also perfect, and so sweet to watch. It was nice to see Mona from PLL’s face again, especially in the role of a very different character! And Kitty’s relationship with Peter had my heart go all fluttery and warm.

    Speaking of which, can we take a moment of appreciation for the man himself – Peter Kavinsky. Where are all the real-life Peters, let me ask you. I’m sure you have probably seen the meme on Twitter about how he is considerate to move the popcorn before fighting with Kitty lol. UGH. He’s adorable. I mean, yeah, he is portrayed as this ‘dumb jock’ for a lot of it that doesn’t have a clue with how to deal with girls’ feelings, but what teenage boy does?

    This movie left me feeling so warm and fuzzy inside for a long time after it ended. In fact, I was ready to watch it again from the beginning about five minutes after the credits but I just about managed to restrain myself. It seems like a movie I could never tire of watching, and I already know it won’t be a one time only viewing.

    I seriously hope that they keep going and make a second movie out of this, especially since the general consensus everywhere is that it was amazing. I have yet to see anyone say a bad thing about it.

    My one complaint is that it could’ve been longer, but maybe that is just me being selfish and never wanting it to end. It would have worked well as a TV series actually, but if that is the only criticism I can think of (and that’s me really trying here), then that is not bad going.

    So now I am off to break my spending ban on books again by ordering this one…

    Have you seen this movie yet? And had you read the book first? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how it was adapted if you have!

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    ARC Book Review + Excerpt: UNBREAK MY HEART by Lauren Blakely

    *A copy of this was sent to me for review purposes. This did not affect my opinion of it, or this review, in any way.*
    Good morning, all! Monday again. I have a busy week ahead of me with all sorts of exciting things happening, including a laser eye surgery consultation tomorrow (!!!) and signing the lease on my flat for another year so it is all-systems-go for me. Of course, I will definitely be able to fit some reading time in there… I lost the charger for my kindle for ages so I haven’t been using it, but I came across it during a clear-out (honestly, the things you find when you actually reach the bottom of drawers) and it has barely left my hands since. I’m loving how much reading I am getting done, especially because I read so much quicker on there than a physical book. 
    Anyway, we are here today to discuss Lauren Blakely’s latest release, Unbreak My Heart

    SYNOPSIS

    I didn’t break her heart, and she didn’t break mine – we broke each other’s.

    I never stopped loving her, but time and distance played its cruel role in ripping us apart three years ago when she moved halfway across the world. Now after all those endless miles away, she’s returned… but I’m not the guy I was before. 
    Beautiful, kind, and loving, she’s the same – my hope. The only one who can make a day better, who can make me feel again with one kiss, one touch, one night. 
    There’s so much I have to put back in place now that I’m alone and on my own. Things I never wanted at the age of twenty-five. When I receive an unexpected letter that might hold the clues to everything I desperately need to understand about my family, I’m sure I have to follow it. But that means leaving her once more. 
    She says she’ll come with me, and having her by my side will unbreak my heart.. or destroy it. 
    That’s the chance I have to take.

    MY THOUGHTS

    Well, this one broke MY heart. 
    This isn’t a rom com or an easy going story. It is a story about loss and heartbreak and feeling utterly alone and destructive. It is a story about putting yourself back together so that you can feel love again. 
    After losing his parents before, Andrew now has no one to lean on to deal with this next loss. That is most unimaginable pain that a person can go through and my heart aches for anyone that does have to go through that. Lauren Blakely portrayed this emotion so beautifully that I really felt it and cried along with the characters. That is exactly what I want a book to do – I want it to stir up some emotion from deep within me and imagine how I would cope (or not cope) if the situation was happening to me. Hats off to you, Lauren!
    It is also told through alternating POVs, and you know how much I love that style. I like getting to know both main characters equally. 
    This second-chance-romance novel reminds you to live life to the fullest (as corny as that sounds, don’t worry – I hear myself right now) because you really don’t know what is around the corner. It shows the importance of having someone to lean on when you are going through a hard time, no matter what the circumstance. 
    With so much emotion packed into these few hundred pages, it’s a real winner in my eyes. I can’t believe I haven’t read Lauren before! 
    I’d give this FOUR stars out of five. 
    EXCERPT
    I was also lucky enough to be sent a little teaser of the book to share with you all, in case my review is not quite enough to convince you to buy this. 
    ~Andrew~
    She inches her hand across the counter just a little bit closer, and that hand, I want to grab it and hold on. I glance at our fingers, so close all it would take is one of us giving an inch.
    Give. Take. Come. Stay.
    I can feel the warmth from her hand. One stretch for us to reconnect, so I wait. Wait for her to put her hands on my face and press her lips against mine and kiss me like it’s been killing her not to.
    But I can’t wait.
    I break first, saying her name in a lonely, desperate rasp. “Holland.”
    “Andrew.” Her voice is a whisper.
    “Go with me,” I blurt out.
    She blinks. “What?”
    I shake my head.
    Leaving the kitchen, I stalk to the living room, pacing like I can sort out what to do if I get just a few feet away from her.
    She’s right behind me, her hand on my arm. “Say it again.”
    I swivel around, and with her blue eyes on mine, her body close, I break to pieces. With her, my heart beats too fast, my blood pumps too quickly. I have no will to tell her to stop being so near to me but not near enough to make everything better.
    “Say what again?” I ask, as if I’ve forgotten.
    “Ask me,” she presses.
    And she wins. She fucking wins. “Go with me. Come with me.”
    She squeezes my arm. “Is that what you want?’
    I cup her cheeks. She gasps. I’ve shocked her. Let’s shock her some more.
    Her lips part, and she whispers my name. “Andrew.”
    It’s like the stars are glowing. Like the sky is blazing at night. “You know what I want.”

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A #1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller lists more than 95 times, and she has sold more than 2.5 million books. In August she will release UNBREAK MY HEART, an emotional new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!
    WHERE TO BUY
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    ARC Book Review/Blog Tour: WHEN LIGHT LEADS TO YOU by C.R. Ellis

    I’m not going to say happy Monday to you all, because is there such a thing? Even if it is a good day, it’s still a Monday and that always makes that little difference. And to make things worse, I am coming down with a bad cold and sore throat (cheers to my brother for that one) and still struggling after a weekend partying (I blame the pink gin). So…hello.

    Today I am pleased to bring you my first ever spot on a blog tour for the release of C.R. Ellis’ latest release in the Forget Me Knot series, When Light Leads to You , a standalone contemporary romance featuring a sexy former detective, a wedding planner and her best friend, and a childhood crush.

    And, better yet, if you read to the end you will find a giveaway to win a signed copy of book 1 in the series and a $10 Amazon gift card!

    Synopsis
    JASMINE
    Once upon a time, there was a girl who had a crush on a boy. Eventually, they fell in love. They lived happily ever after. 
    Except they didn’t. Not even close. 
    I’m the girl, but that’s not my story. 

    Once upon a time, I fell for a boy, but we didn’t have a happily ever after. In fact, we crashed and burned. Which turned out to be for the best because it forced me to grow up and realise the only wedding bells in my future are the ones I orchestrate for clients. 

    For six years I’ve been perfectly content with meaningless, short-lived flings and running from anything that resembles a real relationship. 

    That boy? He’s my best friend’s brother, and he’s no longer the boy I fell for – he’s a man I can’t stand. 

    Oh, and he’s also my new neighbour. 

    DEAN 
    Seemingly overnight, Jasmine Winters went from being my sister’s best friend to being the girl I couldn’t get enough of. But like most things, it didn’t last. 

    Things fell apart so suddenly, I’m able to convince myself that summer never happened. At least, I was, until the only distance between us is a hallway instead of a time zone. 

    Six years ago, I let Jasmine slip through my fingers without an explanation because I was convinced we’d be better off apart. But now that we are neighbours, our unspoken vow of apathy has unwittingly been shattered. Our exchange consist of trading insults and icy staredowns. But in-between, I catch glimpses of the way she used to look at me, glimpses of the girl I fell for years ago. 

    Things are different now, though. This time…I won’t let her walk away without giving me answers. 

    WHEN LIGHT LEADS TO YOU IS THE SECOND FULL-LENGTH NOVEL OF THE FORGET ME KNOT SERIES, BUT CAN BE READ AS A STANDALONE. 

    *DUE TO THE STRONG LANGUAGE AND THE SEXY TIMES BETWEEN THESE TWO, THIS BOOK IS RECOMMENDED TO READERS AGES 18 AND UP.*

    Review


    At the time of reading this, I didn’t actually realise it was book 2 in a series and it really did make no difference that I hadn’t read the first book so you can definitely read it in any order. Now that I do know, however, I will straight onto Amazon to download Jade and Emmett’s story! 
    If you read the synopsis above, you will know exactly what this story is about and probably figure out how it all plays out too (I think it gives a little too much away and could’ve been half the length, but thankfully doesn’t take too much away from the novel itself). 
    This book came at the exact time when I needed it to, for some light-hearted reading before the heavy year at university that looms ahead. I don’t want that to sound like a criticism to Ellis, because it certainly isn’t, because sometimes what we really want is a romantic story with a happy outcome that doesn’t require a huge amount of thought while reading it.
    I really loved the style that this was written in – switching POVs is always my favourite, because then you really get to know both characters in the relationship rather than a one-sided view. There were also some hilarious little quips at the beginning of each chapter that were an incredibly welcome addition to the novel, and not something you see very often. I highlighted so many of them while I was reading through the novel because they often resonated with me.
    For example: “My ability to function pre-coffee is similar to a toddler’s ability to juggle. Sooner or later, shit gets dropped. Jasmine Winters on why she requires copious amounts of caffeine.
    Or: “What cons? All men might be created equally, but their bedroom skills are definitely not. Jasmine Winters, discussing the pros and cons of premarital sex.
    Jasmine Winters, I do believe you may be my spirit animal. 
    I did kind of wish that the novel had started with some of the chemistry between Jasmine and Dean six years ago as, although it does start with a flashback, it goes to the moment it all goes wrong for them without seeing them actually interacting. That said, it isn’t long until they meet up again in the present day and we get to see it then, but it would’ve been nice to have something to base it off of. 
    All in all, this was a pretty damn near perfect contemporary romance that they aren’t kidding about when they say recommended for over 18s. It gets pretty steamy. And pretty often. If that is the sort of thing you like, along with some hilarious characters and a romance that we all wish existed in real life, then this is the one for you.
    Available free on Kindle Unlimited (as is book 1 in the Forget Me Knot series), or £2.99/$3.89 to buy.

    Where to buy:
    Amazon UK
    Amazon US

    Add it to your Goodreads to-read list here.

    About the author 

    Getting to know a little bit about the author is quickly becoming my favourite thing about ARCs, something I definitely didn’t expect!
    C.R. Ellis is a Texas native who writes contemporary romance novels with plenty of drama and humour, and just enough heat to ignite e-readers and paperbacks everywhere. She can almost always be found attached to her laptop with coffee nearby and her two trusty canine sidekicks by her side. When she’s not writing or plotting, she enjoys going to concerts with her sweet husband, dragging him along to see rom-coms at any theatre that serves booze, checking off the next destination on her ever-growing travel bucket list, and trying new recipes. 
    Her passion for writing stems from her lifelong love of reading, and she often binge-reads entire books in a day. She’s an unapologetic book hoarder, and her paperback collection is rivalled only by her massive shoe collection. 
    (And I thought Jasmine was my spirit animal. I take it back. This is her. I have found my Texan self.)
    Giveaway
    Enter the giveaway below to win a signed copy of WHEN STARS CHASE THE SUN by C.R. Ellis (book #1 in the Forget Me Knot series), as well as a $10 Amazon gift card!

    WHEN STARS CHASE THE SUN is Jade and Emmett’s story (Dean’s sister/Jasmine’s best friend and wedding planning business partner).

    Unfortunately this giveaway is open to the U.S. only, but fret not, I plan to be running my own giveaway very soon. Good luck!!

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    Book Review: ‘Eve of Man’ by the Fletchers

    I don’t want to say I’m a stalker or anything, but I have a very unhealthy obsession with the Fletcher family.

    Or maybe it is mainly the Fletcher kids.

    What started off as a simple follow on Instagram has become full-blown admiration for possibly the most beautiful family I have ever seen. Buzz and Buddy melt my heart on a daily basis when I make a regular sweep of Instragram stories in the hope that there is a new clip of them being adorable. I also started following Gi’s sister at the beginning of this week when I realised they were all on holiday together and there would be more videos on hers too, only to fully discover just how cute her daughter is too.

    But that is not what we are here for today – or at least it wasn’t until I started writing about them and apparently couldn’t stop.

    We are gathered here today to say a warm welcome to the best new duo to hit the literary market. In their first novel together, Giovanna and Tom Fletcher have kicked off a dystopian trilogy that I am yet to see a single bad review of. And you won’t find one here either. For the first time in a long while, I have both started and finished a book in just over 24 hours, despite spending a lot of that time sleeping and working.

    Synopsis (from Goodreads)
    AGAINST ALL ODDS, SHE SURVIVED.
    THE FIRST GIRL BORN IN FIFTY YEARS.
    THEY CALLED HER EVE..
    All her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past. But at sixteen it’s time for Eve to face her destiny. 
    Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of humanity is in her hands. She’s always accepted her fate. Until she meets Bram. 
    Eve wants control over her life. She wants freedom. 
    But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?


    I absolutely flew through this book, eagerly drinking in each word. I had to keep fighting with myself not to skip over several lines at a time, desperate to absorb more. And while I don’t always mind when I do that when I am reading, every word in this incredible novel deserves attention. I don’t even think 5/5 stars is enough for this.

    I don’t want to say any more about the plot than what is in the synopsis above, because for this type of book I always think you get the most out of the wonderfully imaginative details if you don’t know too much about it beforehand. What I will say is that I loved Eve and Bram as the two main characters and love interests, particularly because you get to read both POVs, which is my favourite style. Too often we get just the female voice, or an unrealistic male voice, but Gi and Tom’s combined writing made for a perfect balance between the two. Bram, however, did just make me think of Bran in Game of Thrones every single time I saw his name, but I guess that isn’t a downfall.

    When you have read as many books as I have, it is difficult for one to sit in such high regard. One of the very few downsides to being an English Lit and creative writing student is that my brain is now wired to pick out tiny details. I often find that books I enjoyed before have little annoyances in them that I would never have noticed, but I can place my hand on my heart and honestly say that I cannot find a single fault in this book. I like to be politely critical when I am reviewing something rather than gush and gush about how wonderful it is in case I sound a bit superficial, but Tom and Gi’s amazing work deserves all the praise it can get.

    I seriously urge you to pick up this book as soon as possible. You will not be disappointed.

    (And they are already starting on Book 2!)

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