Browsing Category

Book Review

Book Review

Featured on Friday (1)

Featured on Friday is a new feature to be introduced to Queen of Contemporary. Whether it be a review, interview or guest post, I’m going to feature something each week that I like, have been raving about or just want to share with you.

Summary from Goodreads:

Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He’s never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him…if Harry can survive the encounter. Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

I cannot believe that I’ve waited this long to read this series. I’ve had this on my shelf since January but still haven’t bothered to pick it up until now. I am so angry with myself because I should have read them ages ago, especially as it’s now one of my favourite books of all time!
Ginny the Guinea Pig

We first meet Harry when he is eleven years old. I don’t normally read books with protagonists as young as that but it really worked with the third person narration. Harry is treated appallingly by his aunt and uncle, them favouring his cousin Dudley. In their eyes, Dudley can do no wrong. 

One of the best things about this book was the world building. I immersed myself in the wizarding world and felt so comfortable learning about it. I loved Diagon Alley and Hogwarts. The depth that Rowling has gone to to create such a world is amazing. I was blown away by the attention to detail.

I loved all of the characters. Even the ones you’re supposed to hate (Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle etc.) did something to me and they’re such an important part of the story. And I love Hagrid. And Dumbledore. And Professor McGonagall. AND GINNY WEASLEY! I’ve even named my guinea pig after her!

I’ve already started reading the rest in the series and they get better and better. I definitely know why so many people have raved about them because THEY NEED TO BE RAVED ABOUT.

RATING: 1,000,000/5 

Blog Tour Book Review

BLOG TOUR: Click to Subscribe by L.M Augustine- REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to host a stop on the Click to Subscribe blog tour today. I really loved the book and I’ll be sharing my review with you.

Summary via Goodreads:

 Page Count: 252 pages
Published May 9th 2013.
Author: L.M. Augustine
Acquired: Through author for review

1,135,789. That’s how many subscribers sixteen-year-old West Ryder has on his web vlog series. But he only has eyes for one of them.

As one of the internet’s most prestigious video bloggers, West talks about high school relationships under the name “Sam Green.” As far as he knows, no one from school, not even his best friend, Cat, has seen his videos. But the highlight of the whole thing is Harper Knight, who comments every day at exactly 2:02 in the afternoon. He doesn’t know anything about her aside from the occasional deep philosophical messaging on why pizza tastes so delicious, but as stupid as it sounds, he might be falling for her. So when they finally agree to meet in real life, West’s hope for romance seems more and more in reach. But that all changes as soon as he arrives at their meeting spot and sees Cat walking toward him, wearing the same “I <3 Sam Green” T-shirt Harper promised she'd have on. To his alarm, West realizes he is falling in love with the best friend who has always been a sister to him.


Even pre-release, this book has been spreading around the blogosphere like wildfire. So many of my Goodreads friends have added this to their wishlists and this makes me really happy because I loved this book.
West Ryder is a vlogger. With 1, 135, 789 followers, it’s only natural that he’d feels some sort of emotion for them. But what he feels for Harper Knight isn’t something that would be considered normal. Who is this girl, and why is he so fascinated with her?
Where do I start? This was such a fun and quirky book and I finished it really quickly. It may have caused an argument or two, me not wanting to put it down and my parents forcing me to sleep.
I loved the interacting between West and Cat. It was clear how much their friendship meant to each other and I felt comfortable reading about them both. 
Although a little predictable in places and with a few cheesy lines, I really enjoyed Click to Subscribe and will definitely be looking out for more by the author. 
RATING: 4.5/5

Author Bio:

L.M. Augustine is a YA romance author who is obsessed with writing about dorky teenagers, love, and happy endings. He currently lives in New England, where he spends far too much time reading books and screaming at his computer, and he believes that the solution to the world’s problems can be found in chocolate cake. Click To Subscribe is his first novel, but it won’t be his last.

Find L.M. on Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog


Book Review

REVIEW: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published By: Orion
Acquired: Bought from Amazon to read

Summary from Goodreads

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

I read this book with Rebekah from Reflections of a Bookworm

Eleanor & Park blew me away. Having wanted to read this since I saw John Green’s review a while back, I finally decided to cave in and buy it. I’m so, so glad I did because this is now one of my favourite books of all time.
Set in 1986 Omaha, Eleanor & Park will take you back to the past and make you aware of how different life was then. I really loved the mentioning of books, video games and music because it gave the reader a connection to the characters and their lives.
Eleanor was a character that I really felt for. Her life was so hard and she really didn’t deserve the treatment that she got. Her way of life was something that we’re not used to nowadays. She was neither living without food or water, nor living in luxury. She didn’t have commodities like a toothbrush or a telephone and so her life wassomething that we couldn’t even fathom in today’s society.

Park was incredibly cute and quirky. I thought he was a welcome change to the normal male characters that we’re used to seeing in YA fiction because he wasn’t a bad boy, nor was he sad or lost. He was simply discovering himself and I thought it was nice to see such a difference.

This book lacks huge drama (there’s no quest to overthrow a tyrannical leader, no weird and mystical creatures to kill) but this makes it even better. It was easy to fit into Eleanor and Park’s lifestyle and even easier to just lose yourself in the words. The romance was slowly built up and very subtle. It was very true to real life.

This book tackles body image and how people view themselves. It’s something that I’d like to see more of in YA fiction because it’s such an important topic. 
This was a sweet and compelling read. I’m definitely going to be reading the other books by this author because this one has captured my heart.
Book Review

REVIEW: Magus of Stonewylde by Kit Berry

Summary from Goodreads

Sylvie is dying. A victim of crippling allergies, poisoned by the pollution and chemicals of modern life, Sylvie is trapped in a hospital bed while her mother and doctors watch her life slipping away. But one of them offers her a chance. There’s an alternative community – Stonewylde – hidden away behind high boundary walls in a corner of Dorset. If their leader, the charismatic Magus, would let Sylvie visit then perhaps the clean air and green lifestyle may restore her vitality. Or at least give her some measure of peace before she dies. It’s a chance, and when Sylvie and her mother take it, they find themselves in a haven of tranquillity and beauty.

But it’s not all idyllic. The Magus sends a moody, secretive Village boy to work in their garden as a punishment. He warns them to stay away from him – he’s rebellious and in deep trouble. But Sylvie is curious about Yul and, as their forbidden friendship grows, she sees that all is not quite as it seems at Stonewylde. Why was she told to keep away from Yul – and why are she and her mother so drawn to the Magus? Is the crone on the hill really a powerful wise-woman, or just a crazed old hag bent on destroying the peace with her wild prophecies? And what exactly is the magical secret at the heart of this seemingly perfect community?


Lying in a hospital bed, on the verge between life and death, it is clear that Sylvie doesn’t have long left. With allergies, painful eczema and asthma, she is pushing the twenty-first century away and the environment in which she lives in is killing her. But then she is offered a lifeline. Deep in the heart of rural Dorset, the walled community of Stonewylde could offer Sylvie comfort in her last days, or even promise to heal her…
As my favourite book of all time, Magus of Stonewylde and the rest of the Stonewylde series hold a very special place in my heart. These books have changed the way I look at life and inspired me to write myself.
The author, Kit Berry, and I at a book
signing in November 2012
Our two main characters, Yul and Sylvie, are both inspiring and invoke a feeling of sympathy so great that the reader’s heart will break for them. It’s not often that in a book with two protagonists of different genders that the reader gets a balance of the two perspectives but this was an aspect that was written perfectly and the reader grows attached to both characters equally.
The book is full of villainous characters that will make you want to hurl the book in anger, but please don’t do that because this book does not deserve to be harmed.
The use of foreshadowing in this book means that the reader gets hints about the future novels in the series.
Written in third person, this book sees many different perspectives which means that a wider part of the novel is revealed and the reader can get intimate with the less important characters (even though they’re all special to me!).
I cannot end this review without mentioning the descriptive and beautiful way that the author writes. When I close my eyes, I can picture the Village Green, with its magnificent yew, and the Great Barn, with the many Villagers gathered around. Stonewylde is as real to me as my own home is.
Magus of Stonewylde deals with many harsh subjects- segregation, abuse, tyranny- and all were dealt with very well. There wasn’t an uncomfortable moment when reading this book.
Please, if you don’t do anything I say again, buy this book and read it. It will definitely be worth your time.
Book Review UKYA Uncategorized

Review- Tapas and Tears by Chris Higgins

I really enjoyed this book. I had started to read this a few months ago but, having a few books on the go at the same time, never really got past the first chapter. This time though, I was determined to finish it and went in with an open mind. Once you get in to it, you really start to enjoy it, as I found. I couldn’t put it down!
The characters in it are well thought out, and the book is written in Jaime’s point of view. You see her go from, as her mother calls her, Wilma Worryguts, to bold and brash Tira, which actually means ‘Shoot’ in Spanish. I really love it when you see a character develop, and this is certainly what we see.
The plot is really good. It has a bit of everything: drama, arguments and, also, romance. The romance in this book, however, is not the typical one you see in most books. The character of Pablo is planned carefully. Chris Higgins allows you to fall in love with him, but also allows you to feel what Jaime and Concha feel for him as well.
I really love the cover on this book. It’s quite simple but I think I like it more than the other, much older, covers on Chris Higgins’ books. The others were quite girly, having sparkles on them, and I think this takes interest away from boys, who might also enjoy these books.
On the whole I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone interested. It is quite an easy read and doesn’t need a lot of thought.