Monday, 15 August 2016

Under A Million Stars | Book Blitz - Giveaway, Excerpt and Playlist!

Under A Million Stars, by Rita Branches
Publication date: August 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?
Displaying EBOOKLOW.jpgHer heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.
Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.
Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. As he watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realises that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.
Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.
Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?


You can buy Under A Million Stars on:


An Excerpt from Under A Million Stars...


These two weeks had been hell for me.

I didn’t know how I was going to pull this off for the eight months I still had left in this hell of a town. My parents didn’t get me, and she was around all the time, suffocating me. My heart skipped a beat every time I heard her voice, and it doubled in speed when she was near me. I wouldn’t be able to stay away, I knew it. She was breaking my heart all over again.

I heard her at night, when she thought everyone was sleeping. I just sat on the floor, resting my head against the wall, and listen to her cry and throw up every other night. 

I stayed there like a jerk, as if I didn’t give a crap about her or her feelings, but I cried. I missed her. I wanted to hold her at night and tell her that everything would be alright, but I couldn’t. I promised I would stay away—I couldn’t hurt her, anymore. I pushed my knees to my chest to hold myself together and to keep me from crumbling. Sometimes, I had to place my closed fist against my mouth, so she wouldn’t hear me sob. I wished she would have, though. I wished she would have opened the door and saw me sitting there, caring about her, suffering like she did. 

My mom was getting suspicious about me. She knew about her, or at least that something wasn’t right. My face, the permanent dark circles under my eyes, and my lack of appetite wasn’t normal, though. I was okay, before her parents’ accident—I had started to pull myself together. 


This night was especially bad. She stayed in the bathroom for hours. I had been on the other side, hearing her cry and wishing I could take it all away. 

I was starting to get really scared for her. I left before my parents woke up, unable to face them and those disapproving looks, anymore, like I wasn’t doing anything right with my life. They wanted a perfect son and they didn’t have one. 

I was in no condition to go to college—I couldn’t even imagine myself being closed behind four walls for another four or five years. I needed something to take my thoughts away—something that would fuel me with adrenaline. They wouldn’t approve of the plans I’d been making. They’d hate them, in fact, but I didn’t care, anymore, I just needed to get away.


A Playlist for Under A Million Stars...

I was so excited to receive this playlist that goes along with Under A Million Stars as I love reading to music; it's the best way to read!!


I'm also really excited to share this $15 Amazon gift card Giveaway with you!! 
It will end on 18th August, and you can enter it below!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I hope you've enjoyed this post and be sure to check out Under A Million Stars!

I'll be back with another post soon!!

Charlotte xxx

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

StarPassage: The Relic | Book Review

StarPassage: The Relic, by Clark Rich Burbidge
Published: June 2016
Length: 254 pages
Genre: Middle Grade, Sci-Fi, Time-Travel
Source: Review copy sent by PR by the Book  (Thank you!!)

My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Tim and Martie are teenagers going through a tough time. Their father is suffering from PTSD, which has evoked their mother's depression, and slowly, their lives are heading in a downward spiral with the family at breaking point.
But, when Tim and Martie come across an ancient Christmas ornament with a spellbinding secret, they find themselves sent centuries into the past in search of a new hope for their family.
They're not the only ones who can hunt through time though; with every movement watched by the fearsome Trackers, there's only so much travelling Tim and Martie can do without evoking a response.
Soon, Tim and Martie find themselves in a deadly race to get back home, but can they save their family in the process?

I think that I should start with a little disclaimer that while this book seems to be targeted towards teens, and in the YA genre, I actually think it would be more appropriate for it to be read by Middle-Grade students. For that reason, I will be writing this review of StarPassage as if it is a Middle-Grade book.

I'm no expert, but in my opinion, this book would be fantastic for children who know someone suffering from a mental illness such as PTSD or depression. I loved the way these illnesses were portrayed throughout the course of the book, and I actually think reading this would be a great alternative to factual books for children as it would allow the readers to have the ability to relate themselves to the characters within StarPassage so they can understand what is normal to feel and can begin to grasp why feelings like this may occur.

I honestly thought the plot of StarPassage was brilliant. I'll admit, the whole idea did seem a little confusing for me to begin with, what with the time travel aspect, but I soon grasped the storyline and I thought it was a really fun and quirky way to tell the story.
The storyline itself was engaging and entertaining and kept me wanting to read the book, which, of course, is a great quality! I do think a younger audience would probably respond better to the story than I did, mainly because I would view this story as one that might engage younger readers more than older ones. Nevertheless, I did truly enjoy the story, and I thought the ending was appropriate, while leaving a good cliff-hanger for the following book in the StarPassage series.

For me, the writing was the part of the book that didn't quite do the story justice. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but at times, it seemed that the author was 'reporting' the story rather than 'telling' the story. I thought that some of the dialogue seemed a tiny bit forced at times, and parts didn't feel appropriate for the characters; personally, I would say that the family spoke to each other in dialogue that just seemed too formal. I felt that this did improve over the course of the book, but this was what stopped me from awarding the book 4 stars.
However, I did enjoy how much factual information was slipped into the story, which often went into a good amount of depth. Particularly in children's books, I enjoy reading factual pieces of history mixed into the fiction, as it gives the readers an opportunity to learn the history, sometimes subconsciously, while reading the main story too.

In terms of the characters, I thought that Tim and Martie were engaging protagonists who nicely balanced each other out. They were good heroes for a novel of this type and I think children would easily be able to relate to one or the other of them. Personally, I would have preferred for Tim and Martie to have been explored in a depth that didn't revolve around their parents' mental illnesses, as most of the back story for them was centred on their reaction to their father's PTSD. It would have been nice to read about another side of them too. However, since I feel that this book was written with a main purpose of addressing PTSD and other mental illnesses, the depth of the characters was probably still an appropriate amount.

Overall, I did thoroughly enjoy reading StarPassage: The Relic, but I would recommend it more for ages 9-14 as I feel that children in that age group would respond in a better way to the story. So, while I did enjoy it, I would only give this novel 3.5 stars as I thought the writing slightly let the book down and there possibly could have also been a little more depth within the characters. However, I still think this book would be a great read for someone in the same situation as Tim and Martie as I think StarPassage would be a really helpful book!

Thanks again to PR by the Book for providing a review copy of this book!

That's all for this post but I hope to be back for more soon,

Charlotte xxx

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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Struggle of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I firmly believe that nobody can or will ever love anything as much as I love Harry Potter. I simply cannot comprehend the thought that anybody else could contain that amount of love for anything at all!
I would go as far as to say that my life revolves around Harry Potter; I live and breathe everything Potter-ish!
So, with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you'd probably think I'd be more excited.
I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not like I haven't been excited at all - I've still counted down the days until its release, from ever since its announcement, I've still followed every piece of information going for it, and I still shed a (few) tear(s) when it arrived through my door - but there's just been one tiny problem...

I am unable to actually read it.

I know. The horror!

I was lucky enough to buy tickets to see The Cursed Child as soon as the tickets went on sale. That day still lives on as the most stressful day of my life...
After sitting patiently at my laptop two hours before the ticket release, just so I could get in the queue as soon as it opened, I finally joined the queue at 10am and then waited for the tickets to go on sale at 11am.
When the queue began...
I waited for the 14,912 people ahead of me in the queue to buy their tickets and leave, unable to leave my laptop for even a few seconds, through fear of it being my turn to buy the tickets and me not being there to see it.
Finally, I reached the front of the queue and put the tickets into my basket at 1:30pm, just before my laptop decided to crash and go into shutdown, causing me to lose both my tickets and my sanity.
I was sent straight back to the end of the queue after managing to restart my laptop, and, with a tear streaked face, hoped and hoped that it wouldn't crash again.
I proceeded to wait for another few hours while around 20,000 people happily sat and bought their tickets, all the while still unable to leave my laptop.
Then, without warning, the queue froze, displaying an announcement that the tickets had sold out and that we would have to wait for another set of tickets to be released for a later date - which really broke my heart as I had been dying to go on 1st September!
Finally, the queue reopened and after an hour or so, I was at the front of it once more. I was then given exactly 14 minutes to select and purchase my tickets before the system would send me straight back to the end of the queue.
After 13 minutes and 30 seconds of selecting my tickets and my card being declined for no apparent reason, I finally got it to work and received a confirmation email a few minutes later with my tickets for late October, which is later than I would have liked, but even so, I was beyond ecstatic - well, and also a little tired and hungry from sitting and staring at a laptop screen non-stop for eight hours, but mainly ecstatic!!

But, as if that whole day wasn't stressful enough, I made myself a promise when it was announced that the script would be released. I promised myself that I would not even look at the script until after I had seen the production. After all, it has been designed by the God that is J. K. Rowling to be seen as a play, so I really don't want to spoil it for myself as I feel that it would be better to walk into the theatre knowing virtually nothing about the play.
I still let myself preorder the script, mainly just so the book could be in my arms as soon as possible, but I did this with the vow to not open the book at all.

But this is already proving more difficult than I had imagined.

I've always been so confused as to how people are able to live in this day and age without having read Harry Potter - the whole world has read these books! And now that I myself am deliberately avoiding Harry Potter, I can see how hard it must be for them!

It honestly feels like I am on a battlefield surrounded by people who have already read the script, and who are ready to shoot spoilers at me.
The script has barely been released for two days now and yet the temptation to break my promise and just read the first few pages is unbearable.

While walking through London...
Every time I pass my bookshelves, it seems that the books are just whispering to me to tell me to pick it up. Every time I'm on the Internet, I'm constantly on the lookout for spoilers so that I can avoid them at a moment's glance. Even walking through the streets of London proved too much to handle as I was preparing myself to break into the Palace Theatre and see what secrets were hiding from me!

It probably doesn't help that the physical book of the script is large than practically all of the other books on my shelf, which means it sticks out way too far and also give the impression that it's floating towards me whenever I catch a glance bookshelves, which does not help my self restraint in the slightest!

I have literally had to tie the book up and padlock it shut!

So, I'm at a loose end.
While I'm dying to just pick up the book and start reading, I still want to put it off until after I have seen the production. After all, we've waited 9 years for this to be released, surely another 2 and a half months won't make much difference?!
(Hahaha - yes it will!)

Now all I have to do is avoid the spoilers until the end of October!

Is there anyone else in the same position as me? If there is, please let me know how you're managing to cope!

Charlotte xxx

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