InstaReview: Emmy and Oliver

I’ve started a new thing on my Instagram where I write short reviews about books to which I would give 4 or 5 stars. I started this mostly because I didn’t want to write long reviews (read, I’m lazy), but I also wanted to share the books I really enjoyed reading with as many people as possible, and for me, Instagram is one of those social platforms that I use the most, publicly.

[Caption] Emmy & Oliver ūüĎꬆ is a story about family, friendship and how a town is affected by a shocking crime.

Emmy and Oliver were neighbours and best friends when Oliver was kidnapped by his dad. Ten years after the incident, Oliver is found in New York and brought back home, but things cannot go back to the way they were because in ten years a lot has changed.

Robin Benway did a fantastic job showing the way the main characters were affected by the incident. Emmy’s family became overprotective, Oliver’s mom hysterical, and Oliver himself had a completely different perspective on the incident. I was pleased with the friendships (outside of Emmy and Oliver) but, I wished we saw more. When Oliver reappeared it was as though Emmy’s other friends took a backseat.

After reading this book I did listen to a few more Beatles songs. (Hello, Goodbye anyone?) It’s a quick and sweet read¬†but grab some tissues, just in case. ‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź .


It’s all about Time

Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier


One of my favourite¬†series – that incorporates time-travel –¬†hails from Germany. In¬†the Ruby Red (or Precious Stone) trilogy¬†the travellers¬†have a gene that caused them to travel back in time. All her life, Gwyneth thought her cousin Charlotte had this gene, until (of course) they¬†realise that Gwen is the one¬†who carries the gene.

The trilogy is well paced, has a good mystery that keeps you engaged the entire way through the story, and of course, a little bit of romance. This trilogy is one of my favourites for a few reasons:  Continue reading

…written by Jessica Warman

I discovered Jessica Warman’s books during my very first BEA. When I read YA, I tend to lean towards the Fantasy stories, and there are very few authors whose books attract me from that section. Jessica Warman’s Between¬†was one of those books.

It’s set in the afterlife, where a girl is trying to figure out how she died and perhaps find some peace, at first I was skeptical about Between – especially since the protagonist wasn’t a likeable character. However, I was blown away, and when I had the opportunity to read Beautiful Lies, I practically jumped at it! Once more she did not disappoint.

In Beautiful Lies, two sisters Рtwins Рgo to the amusement park and only one comes home. The search for the missing sister commences and a mystery unravels.

While I still read mostly fantasy YA novels, Jessica Warman is one of the few authors I’ll deviate for.

… written by Diana Peterfreund

One of the most underrated writers I’ve read has to be Diana Peterfreund. I’ve read a few of her works and I LOVED them! But you don’t hear a whole lot of hype around her books.

In her Rampant series, she imagined a world where unicorns are not cute and cuddly, but highly dangerous, and only a certain group of girls can keep the beasts in check.

In her Stars series, she imagined¬†world ruined by unchecked advanced technology, where society tries to strike a balance between what is what is good and what is dangerous while dealing with the descendants of those who were negatively affected by the bad technology. Does that make your head ache? Well, she does this while using two fantastic stories for her base plot, Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, and she executes it well.

Her first book in this series, For Darkness Shows the Stars, is one of my absolute favourites! I go back to different passages in that book from time to time – it does help that Persuasion is one of my favourite Jane Austen books.

I also appreciate that she doesn’t give you a lot of info-dumps while¬†trying to get you to understand her worlds.¬†I enjoy the fact that her stories are so vastly different and her worlds enchanting.

… written by Maureen Johnson

I read a lot. And, I have a book blog – or, at least I had one until I couldn’t keep up with life and blogging about books a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to resurrect it, but I haven’t quite found the time, and, if I was being honest with myself, I want to blog about books AND more, so… I’m merging my sites. I’ll leave my book blog up, but I thought I’d highlight some books that I really enjoyed reading to start the transition to everything in this blog.

I’ve read several books by Maureen Johnson. I like her humour¬†and her Twitter feed.

Of the books I’ve read by her, The Name of the Star is my favourite. ¬†Take a girl from the United States, place her in an English boarding school, add some murder and mystery with a touch of Jack the Ripper and you’ve got The Name of the Star.

On the more contemporary front, 13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Last Little Blue Envelope, transports the reader to different cities across Europe,¬†where a girl finds out about her aunt and herself. After reading the first book, I created a map of Ginny’s adventures, yes, that’s my creation, though, why Google Maps is telling me that I do not own the map any longer is really lost to me!

Another of her contemporaries is¬†Suite Scarlett. This one is set in a hotel in New York – one owned and ran by Scarlett’s family.

Finally, there was a time when Zombies v. Unicorns was a thing in the not so distant past. Here’s a clip of Maureen Johnson, as Sarah Palin, talking about why Zombies are better.