Bakers Gonna bake bake bake bake bake


because this summer (June-September) i have literally just spend it reading books and baking and it has been fantastic.

so here goes…hope you enjoy it and let me know if you decide to bake any of these things! =)

Chocolate Brownie Bites



i used the SORTED Brownie recipe which is super easy:

Maple and Pecan Loaf Cake (I found the recipe online but now i can’t find it again sorry!)



Baked Vanilla Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze


so good

 Chocolate Swiss Roll with Strawberries and Cream Filling (mum’s recipe)

I've never made a swiss roll before...

I’ve never made a swiss roll before…

Chocolate Chip Cookies

my problem is that i either leave them in for too little or too long so they’re either undercooked or overcooked. i love my cookies soft and chewy yet slightly crisp so it’s hard to get the perfect balance. but everyone else seemed to enjoy these so yay!

i have yet to find the perfect recipe

i have yet to find the perfect recipe

Nutella Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

these are beautiful and if you love Nutella and peanut butter then YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE.

this is how much chocolate i used...

this is how much chocolate i used…

and then…

these are glorious

these are glorious

i also put these cookies in a cute jar for my friend's birthday!

i also put these cookies in a cute jar for my friend’s birthday!


seriously…the perfect gift.  I will defo be doing this again!

they're so cute

they’re so cute

a lovely little gift of snickerdoodles!

a lovely little gift of snickerdoodles!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

i just halved the recipe for the carrot cake in the Hummingbird Bakery Book

these are delicious

these are delicious

Banana Honey Almond Muffins

my friend wanted me to make something healthy so i did. they’re actually really good and easy to make.

healthy and tasty!

healthy and tasty!

Banana and Brazil Nut Loaf (Hummingbird Bakery recipe)

banana brazil nut cake

bananas and brazil nuts- perfect combo since the bananas add sweetness

 Spinach and Cheddar Muffins (recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Book)

30g butter
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
360g plain flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
250g cheddar cheese, grated
220ml whole milk
1 egg
130g baby spinach leaves
Preheat oven to 170C.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then fry the onion until cooked.
Set aside.
Put the flour, baking powder, cayenne and cheese in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the milk and egg together, then slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat with a handheld whisk until all the ingredients are well mixed. (I used a spatula)
Stir in the onion and spinach with a wooden spoon until evenly dispersed.
Spoon the mixture into muffin cases until 2/3 full and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until deep golden and the sponge bounces back when touched.
Leave to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

and the result should be:

really easy to make and freeze well

really easy to make and freeze well

South African Indian Naan

this is not Pakistani Naan but South African Indian Naan. it’s perfect with soup or Haleem (broth) but i like it toasted with butter.

I used my aunty’s recipe but I’m sure there is a recipe in the Indian Delights (every South African Indian has this book)

Alhamdulilah it turned out perfect!

Alhamdulilah it turned out perfect!

 Strawberries and Cream Cake (i honestly cannot remember which recipe i used)

but google is your best friend. i think i searched for a 3 layered cake. It was a vanilla sponge cake and I whipped some cream and yeah.

i'm really proud of this

i’m really proud of this



French Strawberry Tart/Tarte aux fraises

i used this recipe for the sweet pastry crust (pate sucree)

this recipe for the pastry cream

and this recipe for decoration

I made this for Eid and i am so proud of this…



so pretty

so pretty

Almond and Coconut Bars (recipe from Indian Delights)

lovely and crunchy

lovely and crunchy

Pecan Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing 

so yummy

so yummy

 Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars

i didn’t get the cool design right BUT THEY TASTED REALLY NICE COZ NUTELLA CHEESECAKE yes

i couldn't get the swirl right but they tasted good

i couldn’t get the swirl right but they tasted good

and this is what we put them on:



Red Velvet Cupcakes

I made these for my friend’s birthday party. she had a Frozen Bouncy Castle. yes she turned 20 in August and had a bouncy castle. coz we’re cool like that ya know?!



For my friend’s 21st Birthday i made her a Red velvet Cake- you just double the cupcake recipe. although for the icing i used double the quantity plus a quarter more.

Triple Layered Red Velvet Cake

Triple Layered Red Velvet Cake


the recipe actually says to use the mixer but i couldn’t find the dough hook so i had to make it by hand…

thanks to youtube i followed this method and Alhamdulilah it turned out perfect!



a family friend who is French came to our house and tried it and said it was perfect and not like the sweet ones you get in British Supermarkets. so this isn’t that sweet but it’s genuine french brioche.

Tiramisu Cupcakes (Hummingbird Bakery)

non-alcoholic of course. this took AGES because i didn’t have a cupcake corer thing (so i had to use a knife) and soaking the sponge in the coffee mixture took some time. but luckily i had my friend to help me coz she wanted to bake these. anyways she said it’s perfect.

cocoa dusting adds the perfect finishing touch

cocoa dusting adds the perfect finishing touch

Buttery Shortbread Biscuits

really easy to make but the dough is so soft. also i went a bit overboard on the sugar…

these are addictive

these are addictive

Double Chocolate Oreo Cookies


Oreo Brownies

these are my new favourite brownies. these brownies are not cakey but are just the perfect consistency and it is so easy you don’t need a mixer or anything.



I used the same recipe but added Reese’s PB Cups instead!



Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies

a dusting of icing sugar gives a nice finish to double chocolate cookies

a dusting of icing sugar gives a nice finish to double chocolate cookies

i put a rolo in the middle

i put a rolo in the middle

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie with Ganache

i have made these quite a few times now. easy and also really chocolatey



Sugar Cookies

i had fun decorating these but i couldn’t get the consistency of the icing right…

pretty hearts

pretty hearts

i kinda went overboard with the sprinkles...

i kinda went overboard with the sprinkles…

Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

i had leftover cream and strawberries so instead of making strawberries and cream  so i decided to make some choc mousse

added some flake for decoration...we didn't even have guests i just made this for fun lol

added some flake for decoration…we didn’t even have guests i just made this for fun lol

Doughnuts (Home Sweet Home Recipe Book)

since it was summer i had time to fry doughnuts and they’re actually not that hard to make.

sugar coated doughnuts

sugar coated doughnuts

cinnamon sugar coated doughnuts

cinnamon sugar coated doughnuts

Milk Tart

this is a South African dessert and i made this for Eid. my mum’s friend’s husband is an Afrikaner and he said it is perfect.

simple yet delicious

simple yet delicious

Ultimate Chocolate Truffle Cake

Since i saw the video i wanted to make this but it’s too decadent for just an ordinary weekend so i made it for Eid and it was fun to make. also it is so rich because of the dark chocolate but it’s just lovely with the pralines, the strawberries and the mousse.

this was fun to make

this was fun to make

gold leaf decoration

gold leaf decoration

actually so proud of these. =)

Alhamdulilah everything turned out nice

Alhamdulilah everything turned out nice

Chocolate Cupcakes- this is actually a chocolate swiss roll recipe  (secret recipe soz) which is why the cake is so soft and ganache for the icing

with ganache and flake

with ganache and flake

Pecan Biscuits

it took me ages to cut them into squares and then my grandma told me you can make a log and then refrigerate it till firm then cut it.

they look so cute

they look so cute

Carrot Cake

i’ve made this before but LOOK HOW AWESOME THIS LOOKS…because now i have a turntable and icing scraper and i know to crumb coat it.




carrot cake



Madeira Cake

Note: i didn’t add the JUICE of the lemon only the lemon zest. and after folding in the flour i added about 2-3 T of milk

i didn't like it because i don't like lemon but everyone else did so yay

i didn’t like it because i don’t like lemon but everyone else did so yay

my grandad loves plain cakes so i made him a very plain cake.

I AM MOST PROUD OF THE FRENCH STRAWBERRY TART AND THE BRIOCHE and improving on my decorating skills.

so there you have it…


my summer baking adventures with Peeta’s help of course. ;)

Evidently i am no photographer  just use the iphone camera.

but also DO NOT FORGET TO FOLLOW MY BAKING ACCOUNT: @juwibakes on Instagram!!!

in other news:

my friends keep asking me to go on The Great British Bake Off (so happy Nancy won but Richard’s bakes were amazing and MARTHA IS ONLY 17 AND WOW) but i am such an amateur like idek how to make my own jam so i doubt i’d get very far. i still have to practice so maybe in a few years!

this is Nancy who won GBBO. but this happens to me all the time COZ I COULDN’T FIND THE LID for the kenwood (my dream is a kitchen aid obv) ICING SUGAR GETS EVERYWHERE

also…TAYLOR SWIFT loves baking and did a bake it off sketch with Jamie Oliver for Stand Up To Cancer AND in her 1989SecretSessions she baked cookies for her fans. like she is just incredible. my dream is to one day bake with Taylor Swift.


Happy Baking!

There's something really calming and soothing to me about having everything measured out and stirring it and pre-heating the oven and getting it all worked out. I really like baking and I really like cooking." Taylor Swift







So Long Spinebreakers

This is so hard for my to write because it means that it is over.


So for those of you who don’t know, I have been part of Spinebreakers for around four years.

How did it start?

Well I was in Year 11 and in tutor period I would either be reading a book or talking to some friends. So this girl in my class would always see me with a book and suggested I join Spinebreakers. I knew about Spinebreakers because I have read a lot of penguin books and the YA books have the Spinebreakers logo on the back.

But I never thought of joining or applying since I’m always like ‘I’d never get in’.

But she said she’d put a good word in for me and so I applied. And lo and behold they accepted.

The first Spinebreaker event I went to was a workshop and it was lovely meeting all these different people.

The first author event I went to was meeting Anna Perera who wrote Guantanamo Boy and The Glass Collector. It was at Daunt Bookshop so it was really cool to hang out there AND meet an author and have her sign my books. I am not a stranger to meeting authors (Alhamdulilah…I have been blessed not only with the love of books but also living in London means I have had the opportunity to meet some of my favourite authors).

The Spinebreakers that I met were so welcoming and friendly and they suggested I attend the Editorial Meetings at Penguin HQ. (thank you Ciara and Cameron!)

So my mum took me to Penguin HQ on the Strand and I was so excited I had no idea what to expect.

I was not to be disappointed.

The editorial meetings consist of a group of teenagers who all have a passion for reading. The marketing team or some of the Penguin stuff from different departments (not just Puffin) come to the meetings and PITCH US BOOKS. So we get to choose which books we would like to read and review. WE ALSO GET ARCs (advance reader copies aka proof copies) which means we GET TO READ THE BOOKS BEFORE THEY ARE AVAILABLE TO THE PEASANTS (aka all you muggles).


So the fact that I as a teenager discovered this world of publishing and free books is incredible. The fact that I could MEET NEW PEOPLE and they let me talk about books non-stop is amazing. They welcomed me and accepted me into the Spinebreakers family.

Shoutout to Lily and Atifa!!!

Naturally I sung about my elevated status with my friends and told them all to join but they had other responsibilities. However anyone I could find or tell about Spinebreakers I made sure to get the message across.

So Spinebreakers didn’t just give me free books but also the opportunity to make friends, meet authors, attend exclusive events and be part of an amazingly unique book community. WE create the content and WE choose what we want to do etc.

Some of my favourite Spinebreakers memories is when I got to meet MALORIE BLACKMAN…it was so informal and casual and we just started chatting as I thanked her for Noughts and Crosses and it was so surreal. Other authors i got to meet thanks to Spinbreakers: Meg Rosoff and Kevin Brooks as well as Beverley Naidoo. The authors love being interviews by Spinebreakers and they love that there is a book community for teens in the UK.

Also making the TFIOS video for John Green was so much fun because it means that HE SAW MY FACE KJDSHGKJFH.

Some Spinebreaker Books that i have really enjoyed:

Cinder series by Merissa Meyer

The Rosie Project by Graeme  Simsion

Between Shades of Grey and Out of the Easy by Ruta Septys

Winger by Andrew Smith

Secrets of a Henna Girl by Sufiya Ahmed

Great House by Nicole Krauss

and many more

I loved going into Penguin every month and seeing how the publishing industry is and then all those books. Being surrounded by BOOKS and BIBLIOPHILES is the best thing. Sharing the love for books.

Also the food. Oh gosh they always had plates of biscuits and fruit and drinks and it was so nice after school/6thform/uni to go there and just have some snacks and chat about books and what books we’re gonna read and review.

books and food

The Spinebreakers website offered me opportunities to improve my writing with reviews, creative content and blog posts. They offered a wide range of competitions which were so cool like theatre tickets or book sets and just so many wonderful things.

Spinebreakers wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration of Penguin and Livity.

Livity works with young people FOR young people. they are amazing. Seriously their office is so cool (it’s in Brixton) and they run Live Magazine UK. If you are interested in joining just go to their office on Wednesday at 4pm. Or check out the website for opportunities. They are always tweeting about stuff for young people to get involved in.

Somewhere to is also this amazing thing where IF YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING BUT DON’T HAVE ANYWHERE TO DO IT…they will FIND A PLACE FOR YOU TO DO THE THING. i.e if you want to put on a play…they can find you a place. Check out their website for more details.

So thank you Livity and the Livity team who have helped makes every editorial meeting wonderful…even if we usually got lost!

I cannot thank you enough: Danielle, Dwain, Aisha, Florence, Charlotte and Will for running the editorial meetings.

To all the Penguin Team  who have come to the meetings, been so friendly and offered advice and pitched us BOOKS- THANK YOU!!!

Above all…thank you to Anna Rafferty- The inventor of Spinebreakers. Without your dream of a book community for young people; a place where books are treated like films/music/games I wouldn’t have met all these wonderful people or developed my passion for books further. I have also read many books that I wouldn’t normally have read so Spinebreakers has challenged me as a reader.

So on Thursday 4th September 2014 was the Spinebreakers Party at the Livity office. There was crisps, popcorn, music, drinks and of course PIZZA. Oh and books. Duh.

Pizza Not Patriarchy is my motto

Anna Rafferty introduced herself, asked us questions, told us about the birth of Spinebreakers and what it was almost called (I won’t tell you it is too shameful). Sadly I was too busy eating pizza and talking to my friends to go up to her before she left but I shall defo be contacting her and writing her some long email thanking her.

It was good to see familiar faces of the Livity team and Spinebreakers and just hang out and talk about books. There was a timeline of Spinebreakers memories and a memory wall where we wrote some of the best times.




The fact that it has ended is heartbreaking because it has been such a huge part of my life. Seeing the same people every month or meeting new book lovers…I feel like a Spinebreakers grandma since I am older than most of the members and one of the first few Spinebreakers. I have stayed till the very end.

However, Penguin have said that IT WILL NOT BE THE END OF FREE BOOKS so that is excellent news.



Spinebreakers has given me a platform for talking about books with other book lovers across the country, meeting new people and just a safe environment without judgement to be yourself and share the love of literature.

Once a Spinebreaker always a Spinebreaker.

It’s been an amazing journey and i am so grateful to have been part of such a wonderful community

Thank you to everyone who has been involved with Spinebreakers and although this book has ended…may the adventure continue!

Thanks for the memories and books!

oh and of course…

i had the best time with you

Spinebreakers Crew: I Had The Best Time With You

Happy Reading!


p.s the Spinebreakers website will be taken down so the links won’t work anymore.





The Book Guru’s Book Giveaway

HI THERE!. welcome to my blog. thank you for visiting.

So i have moved house and omg sorting out my bookshelf has taken me like 3 days…i shall post a picture soon. it is a beautiful sight. =D

anyways so here are some books i liked but don’t want anymore like i won’t be sad to part with them so i thought HEY…why don’t i do a BOOK GIVEAWAY?!


UK ONLY (sorry postage is expensive)

MAX of 2 books per a person

Must be following me on: instagram @juwibakes or twitter @juwithemad and subscribe to this blog!

first come first serve- message me about which books you want and your details please

Giveaway ends on October 11th 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTE: i have written my initials and the date i purchased the book in most of the books but otherwise i haven’t written in them or anything. They are in pretty good condition…apart from maybe The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks…but it is still readable AND…HELLO…FREE BOOKS!!!

it's yours if you want it!

it’s yours if you want it!

Perfect Chemistry is going to: Lily

How They Met and other stories is going to: Orli

so the rest is up for grabs!

Book Giveaway:

  1. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

  2. Private by Kate Brian

  3. Necropolois by Catherine Arnold

  4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

  5. The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson

  6. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

  7. Runaway by Meg Cabot

  8. Not A Fairytale by Shaida Kazie Ali

  9. What I Was by Meg Rosoff




These Books Are Amazing And You Should Read Them

hey so these books are amazing

and before i review them i want you to know that…

Winger- Andrew Smith

i actually prefer the cartoon cover. it’s much cooler

this book just hooks you in…


What’s it about?

Ryan Dean West is a 14yr old boy who goes to boarding school in the US. he is way too clever for his age and thus is ahead of most people his age…so yeah that’s one reason why he doesn’t fit in. also he is pretty skinny yet he happens to play rugby. this book is not just about school, friends, girls but also about rugby. he loves doodling and his comics are really cool. so not only does he have to share a dorm with one of the scariest dudes on campus…so he is constantly living in fear for his life (or getting beat up) while he is also in love with his best friend. so yeah it’s basically a book about school, life, friends, trying to fit in and the stuff that happens. a lot of stuff happens. some good..some funny…and a lot of surprises.

Did i like it?

i actually had no idea what to expect when i started this book. but from the first page i was hooked and laughing. the diarrhea spell is one of the funniest things…and joey is my fave character he is just the nicest and most wonderful person. Ryan Dean West kind of reminds me of Adrian Mole of the 21st century but also a more likeable boy. sure he thinks about girls and sex a lot and can be quite sexist but he does try his best to mend his ways…though man does his ego often get in the way. but he tries to be a better person. oh yes I LOVE THIS BOOK IT IS HILARIOUS I WAS LAUGHING OUT LOUD A LOT AND I DIDN’T WANT TO FINISH IT BUT I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS BUT THEN I WISH I HADN’T FINISHED IT. the ending is just…heartbreaking. i kind of had a feeling something like that would happen but it is so so horrendous. it’s really eye opening the challenges some people face.

oh and there WILL be a sequel…which i will hopefully read.

also i tweeted Andrew Smith and he replied!!! =D

you can follow him @marburyjack

i look forward to reading his latest book Grasshopper Jungle which sounds incredibly strange.

Jellicoe Road aka On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

one of my favourite books

my friend Lisa is obsessed with this author and i have heard of this book and heard great things but i couldn’t find it anywhere. i don’t think it’s published in the UK?! or if it is, it’s just very difficult to find. i think you can get it on kindle but i prefer paperback. anyways so i ordered it of the Book Depository this summer because i thought it was time i finally read this book and see what is so great about it.

i was not disappointed.

What’s it about?

IT IS SET IN AUSTRALIA WHICH IS COOL. Taylor is the leader of her boarders at the Jellicoe School. they have this thing called territory wars with the cadets and townies. idk it’s kind of hard to describe. it’s about this girl Taylor and her trying to piece together the puzzle that is her life, her past and her mum. also Hannah who looks after her has disappeared and she wants to know why…and how Hannah’s story ties in with her mum and the dreams she has. it’s so confusing at first but then you get into it and you’re liek woah IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW. also there is Jonah and Raffy and all the other wonderful characters and it’s so emotional and wonderful and is about friendship and family and trusting people and just read it.

Did I Like it?

yes. Jonah Griggs is wonderful. Taylor is annoying at first but i can see why but she proves herself and i like her. i love her friends and Ben omg and i love the characters and the 2 stories merging together to complete the puzzle and how everything eventually makes sense and it’s like OMG THIS IS AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL AND HEARTBREAKING AND WHY I LOVE IT SO MUCH WOW. i just think you should read it. it may surprise you. i hope it does. it’s just a great story, well written and deals with a lot of issues. also it will break your heart.

Fave Quotes:

‘And if i could bottle the look on his face, I’d keep it by my bedside for the rest of my life.’

‘But grief makes a monster out of us sometimes . . . and sometimes you say and do things to the people you love that you can’t forgive yourself for.’
I look forward to reading her other books: Saving Francesca, Looking for Alibrandi, The Piper’s Son and The Lumatere Chronicles.





so yeah


in other wonderful book news

Lauren Oliver did a UK Book Tour and she wasn’t supposed to have a London date but then she did so i went to Hatchards PICCADILLY (THE OLDEST Bookstore in London…it was founded in 1797)


i think every author i have met has just been so wonderfully nice.

'To Juwi- Don't worry you are young. =) I'm so glad that you read and connected to BIF so strongly and that we got to meet- and your grief makes me cackle! hahaha (evil laugh)

‘To Juwi- Don’t worry you are young. =) I’m so glad that you read and connected to BIF so strongly and that we got to meet- and your grief makes me cackle! hahaha (evil laugh)

she signed my book and wrote a long message!!!

i was saying how i felt old whenever i go to meet authors coz everyone is between 12-19 and i’m 20 and so i’m like…oh well i don’t act it. =P

if you haven’t read Before I Fall you should. it’s one of my favourite books. i read it four years ago and it has stayed with me.

also i asked her about the movie and she said things should be happening soon what with different producers etc but it should be a movie sometime in the near future.

she is also really really pretty.

oh and her other books are the Delirium Trilogy (i read the first book and loved it but i haven’t read the other books) and her new book Panic which actually looks pretty good. i shall have to get that sometime.

oh and here is my mini book haul when i went to Waterstones Piccadilly.

My cat Neo and my mini book haul

My cat Neo and my mini book haul

Crown of Midnight- Sarah J Mass (i will be posting a blog about this series soon!)

Siege and Storm- Leigh Bardugo

Dreamland- Sarah Dessen



i love Sarah Dessen. i hope she comes to the UK one day so i can meet her.

Don’t forget to add me on goodreads

oh and i have an Instagram @juwibakes

till the next time

Happy Reading!

p.s Patrick Ness announced his new YA book title The Rest Of Us Just Live Here which is out sometime in 2015

so pretty

more collages here


I’m So Behind On Book Reviews…

HELLOOOOO PEOPLE OF THE WORLD. and all the other creatures reading this. i know i have a mermaid fanbase. don’t worry no one reads this so they won’t find you.

um yeah so IT’S SUMMER and i am having a WONDERFUL TIME…chillin maxin relaxin all cool and swaggy in the LONDON summer sunshine…though it’ss till not enough Vitamin D but whatever.

so i haven’t read as much as i thought i would by now… i’ve only read 13 books summer…which isn’t that many but i hope to read more.  so here are some of the reviews…

The Ocean at the End of the Lane- Neil Gaiman

US Book Cover (left) and UK Book Cover (right)

What’s it about?

it’s about this guy who returns to his childhood home and then it brings back all the memories of that place and the adventures he had with lettie Hempstock. It’s about memory and how we remember things…as well as being a child and how adults don’t ever believe you and that innocence of childhood. oh yeah and monsters and witches and magic of course. oh and love of stories and books. It’s quite creepy and disturbing at times (it is Neil Gaiman after all) but overall it is a good book.

Did I Like it?

yes. it wasn’t as amazing as i thought it would be…but maybe i just didn’t ‘get it’? it’s not very long and takes a while to get into and you have to piece everything together because it’s from a child’s POV…well the man is looking back on when he was 7 so yeah. my favourite Neil Gaiman book is The Graveyard Book.

Fave Quote: “Books were safer than other people anyway.”

The Bubble Wrap Boy- Phil Earle

yes that actually happens to him =(

this is actually my first Phirl Earle book and i had no idea what to expect. i was pleasantly surprised.

What’s it about?

Charlie Han is mollycoddles by his mother…he has only one friend who is always staring at walls and picking his nose. he gets bullied a lot for being the kid from the ‘Chinese chippy’. so charlie struggles o fit in to the crowd at school because his mum is so overprotective and his one and only friend Sinus is also a ‘loser’ but he doesn’t seem to care. but then one day he discovers these skaters…and then he decides to try skateboarding. obviously without telling his mum. so it’s about him learning to skateboard and trying to be ‘cool’ but things don’t turn out according to plan and he also uncovers a family secret which is actually pretty heartbreaking and totally unexpected.

Did I Like it?

YES. for one thing…a POC protagonist!!! it’s also set in the UK. charlie is a funny character and he is likeable. i felt so bad for him because bullying is horrible and just no one helping him and everyone laughing it’s just humiliating. but it’s also about perspective because his mother has her reasons for why she acts the way she does.

i do want to read his other books: Being Billy, Saving Daisy and Heroic.

he is also a lovely person because i was lucky enough to meet him at YALC.

The Catcher in the Rye- J.D.Salinger

everyone is a bloody phony

so i finally read this ‘classic’. i’m always wary when i read classics because i often find them overrated.

What’s it about?

Holden caulfield is a 16yr old boy who certainly has issues. it’s set in the 1950s i think so the slang and language is very old and specific to its time. which is quite funny. so the book is just holden complaining abut everything and everyone. he is so cynical it is hilarious and you just want to slap him…but then he does realise his flaws and faults. except i mean he is too egotistical to do anything about it. i think i understand why everyone goes on about it. it is a rather iconic book i suppose…and if you are a teenager then yes you should read this book. why? because you will so relate to holden…and how he thinks everyone is a phony, how annoying adults are and wtf is the point of school?! well…this book provides good advice and may help give your life a bit more direction.

Did I Like it?

yes. i don’t LOVE it. it is funny but i feel like i should have read it when i was 16. instead i read The Perks of Being a Wallflower so that book means more to me than this one.

Fave Quotes:

I know. I’m very hard to talk to. I realize that.

Make sure you marry someone who laughs at the same things you do.

I can’t explain what I mean. And even if I could, I’m not sure I’d feel like it.

Just One Day- Gayle Forman

urgh so disappointing

so i really enjoyed reading If I Stay and Where She Went…and i am looking forward to the movie which is out late August sometime in the UK.

anyways i had heard great things about this book on the blogosphere so i thought it’d be a great summer read coz i like a good cheesey cutesey love story kinda book.

What’s it about?

Allyson goes on a trip to Europe after graduating high school. she meets this cute guy in Stratford-Upon-Avon who does Shakespeare int he park or something. so instead of actually going to the performance that she paid for…or her parents paid for…she goes to the park to see the cute guy and he is hot and he winks at her or whatever. anyways she’s annoyed she didn’t get to go to Paris and he’s like ‘i’ll take you’ and she says yes and SHE GOES TO PARIS WITH A HANDSOME STRANGER. um…this isn’t BEFORE SUNRISE (which is a fantastic film you should watch it).

so she thinks um he could be a serial killer let me find out more…all she ends up finding out his his name..NOT EVEN HIS FULL NAME…liek what is this the 90s?! SHE DOESN’T KNOW HIS FULL NAME SO SHE CAN’T FRIEND HIM ON FACEBOOK AND LOOK AT HIS PHOTOS. okay then whatever. but he probs doesn’t even have a fb since he’s like some kind of nomad. oh yeah he’s Dutch so he’s blonde and has blue eyes. ;)

so like they legit spend a day in Paris together and yet she doesn’t find out that much about him…awkws. but they go explore different part sof the city and OMG I AM SO HAPPY THAT GAYLE FORMAN WROTE ABOUT THE RACISM IN PARIS BECAUSE LIKE THAT IS A REAL THING AND PEOPLE THINK PARIS HOLDS THE KEY TO YOUR HEART (it does..i mean there’s a song so duh not really)

oh i forgot to mention SHE PRETENDS TO BE SOMEONE SHE’S NOT. AKA LULU. ACTUALLY THE GUY names her that and it’s like um wtf that’s not even her name.

stuff happens and she’s back in the US and she starts uni and hates it and she’s really depressed and hates everyone and everything. then she joins this Shakespeare Out Loud class which sounds amazing minus all the essays but it’s Shakespeare so yeah and she meets Dee who is hella awesome and i wanna be his friend.

eventually she decides she has had enough and goes on a mission TO FIND THE GUY and yeah. you’ll have to read it to see if they meet or not. BUT THERE IS A SEQUEL Just One Year which is from Willem’s POV.

Did I Like it?

um no. i really wanted to. i nearly gave up reading it. tbh i should have. i told my friend to tell me what happens in the sequel coz i was so done with these two idiots. the thing is I AM A HOPELESS ROMANTIC so i thought i would love it. but i just thought allyson or lulu or whatever was stupid and annoying and she needed to get over herself and this guy. but clearly it was love at first sight or whatever.

i did like Dee and Wren. they are wonderful characters and i would read books about them. i also liked how allyson struggled at uni because it reminded me of my first year and how much i hated it and struggled and i felt so alone…like i peaked in high school and i’m not as clever as i thought i was. but 2nd year has been way better. if you’re starting university/college dw i’m sure you’ll be fine and survive as long as you do something you love. =)

Landline- Rainbow Rowell

US Cover (left) and UK Cover (right)

Rainbow Rowell’s 2nd book for adults (the first one is Attachments)

after the disappointment that was Fangirl i was skeptical about Landline but when i went to meet her and found out what it was actually about then i was excited to read it.

What’s it about?

Georgie McCool (YES THAT IS HER NAME!!!) works in TV and so is very very busy…and when she gets the opportunity to pitch the show she’s always wanted to create she has to stay behind while her husband and 2 kids go see their grandma…in another state. spending time apart form her husband makes Georgie realise how much she needs Neal and how important he is to her life…also how much she misses him and how love isn’t enough in any relationship but time and effort as well as being able to compromise. oh yeah THERE IS A MAGIC PHONE. so she ends up staying at her mum’s house and uses her old landline from when she was a teen. she calls Neal. he picks up…but it’s the 20/21yr old Neal not her husband Neal…well they were dating. so yeah she talks to him and is so confused and freaked out by the magic phone. BUT THEN IT’S LIKE BACK WHEN YOU’RE A TEEN (‘when you’re on the phone and you talk real slow coz it’s late and your momma don’t know‘) when you’re talking late into the night and fall asleep to each others voices (not that i would know what this is like…but hey i’ve read and seen enough movies okay).

so it switches from the present time to georgie looking back on when she first met neal and how everything changed etc and it is so cute like neal is adorable and their relationship is so lovely and he is like a stay at home dad.

Did I Like it?

yes. THERE ARE PUGS IN THIS BOOK. A PUG GIVES BIRTH. omg. but also it is a cute love story…and how love isn’t so simple but you have to make it work. if it’s the right person you’ll WANT to make it work. and they will feel the same way and urgh it is so cute.

also i love all the secondary characters. her sister heather is so cool and just yeah. it’s a great book. not as amazing as Eleanor and Park but i did enjoy it. on a side note…i really love the cover, the feel of the book, the layout and the font. and of course the style of writing. it’s also pretty funny and easy to read so i finished it pretty quickly. my fave scene was the beach scene. ;) it’s just ridiculously adorable.

Rainbow Rowell is a a wonderful storyteller and she writes awesome love stories. my friend wrote a wonderful post on how her books makes you FEEL.

yeah you should totes read ALL OF HER BOOKS. Especially Eleanor and Park.

yeah so that’s SOME book reviews…will be writing more review posts soon!!!

i am contemplating whether i should get this shirt or not…

it is from the DFTBA website

you can buy it here

this is a funny video on literal book titles

also check out the awesome Epic Reads Youtube channel







i was like

brb dying

till the next time.

Happy Reading!


 “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” J.D. Salinger


Thank You Malorie Blackman for YALC


Okay so i went to London Film and Comic Con which was on at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London on 12th and 13 of July.

and for the first time ever

they had AUTHORS!!!


YALC- Young Adult Literature Conference

they had talks and workshops, freebies, you could buy books and MEET AUTHORS and yeah. however i didn’t get the early bird entry so i didn’t get tickets to any of the talks or workshops. but apparently you could hardly hear much coz it’s so noisy at the comic con

there were some interesting talks that i wanted to go to about blogging and fans but ah well i wasn’t too bothered.

i saw loads of cool cosplayers…Marceline from Adventure Time, Effie Trinket, Blossom from the PPG, loads of superheroes and characters from TV shows/movies. saw lots of Elsas and Annas and i saw someone as Hans and i said ‘no one likes you’…i don’t think he heard though lol.

there were loads of authors on the first day. the queue for Rainbow Rowell was totes cray cray but i wasn’t bothered coz i was gonna se eher on Monday at Waterstones. also the queue for Malorie Blackman but i have met her before so yeah.

Awesome Book Wall at YALC

Awesome Book Wall at YALC

the main person i wanted to see was PATRICK NESS…

if you don’t know who Patrick Ness is then well…



The Crane Wife

and More Than This (which i have yet to read…)

so i was like

this is finally happening


so it was  a beautiful moment

in the queue i met some cool peeps

we were all just like

aahhh patrick ness aahhh manchee aaahhhh a monster calls aaaa books

and then…

i met him.

i gave him a little present that i had saved from last year…i love to get authors presents and write them a little letter saying thank you for writing such incredible books that have touched my soul and have changed me forever. it’s just giving them a little something to say thank you for what THEY gave me.

me giving him his present. he seemed really excited. =D

me giving him his present. he seemed really excited. =D



‘For Juwi- who hates + loves’

and he showed us a picture of HIS NEW KITTY NUNCLE OMG HOW ADORBS.

this is what my friend said to him …yes HE DOES IN FACT DRINK THE TEARS OF CHILDREN…IT KEEPS HIM YOUNG. I KNEW IT.

so all in all the first day of YALC was amazing coz i met some lovely people

Ella (@Everything_Ella)

Orli (@BlameBookshelf)

Lily - although i know her from Spinebreakers     (@BookwormToTea)

Sabeen and Priya

then i went home and wouldn’t stop singing about HOW I MET PATRICK NESS




then the next day i also went to YALC coz i really wanted to meet Sally Gardner, Sara Manning, Phil Earle and Sally Green!

Sally Gardner has written some of the BEST books i have EVER read:

  • I, Coriander is one of my fave books
  • Double Shadow
  • The Red Necklace and The Silver Blade
  • Maggot Moon (need to read this)
  • Tinder ( i need to read this)

she was so lovey…in fact ALL THE AUTHORS WERE SO NICE AND FRIENDLY and just wonderful.

lovely signed books =)

lovely signed books =)

Adorkable by Sara Manning:so glad you like my homegirl Jeane. Keep Blogging. Sarah xxx’

The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle:Don’t Burst’

Half Bad by Sally Green:It’s a one trick cage’

the queues were SO LONG i’m so glad i met Holly Black before coz her queue was ridiculous! and the queue for Holly Smale (Geek Girl) was insane  so i just looked around Comic Con for an Adventure Time shirt…and i didn’t find one. =(



Rainbow Rowell was there too but here queue was so long…anyways i got to meet her at Waterstones Picadilly!

Rainbow Rowell in convo with Bim  (@bimadew) who is awesome

and it was so funny Rainbow is hilarious and so is Bim and they talked about all of her books and fangliring and fanfiction and blogging etc

it was such a lovely evening

it was such a lovely evening

  • Eleanor and Park was difficult to write
  • she loved writing Fangirl and Simon Snow fanfic
  • she doesn’t read fanfic of her own books in case she wants to come back to the characters
  • she loves Sherlock and ships johnlock
  • her next book is set in the UK and is gonna be a fantasy novel
  • Lincoln from Attachments is close to her heart…when you’re in your 20s and still figuring out what you want to do
  • she’s a hopeless romantic and loves cute love stories
  • her favourite love story is sherlock and watson
  • she loves Stephanie Perkins and David Levithan books
  • Landline is about marriage and how difficult it can be
  • no she would not tell us what those 3 words are
  • she is going to write the screenplay for the E&P movie
  • she didn’t want E&P to be a movie because she was scared of what hollywood would turn it into but then she realised there aren’t that many films where you see a big red headed girl kissing a small asian (oriental) dude (*cough* lack of representation in Hollywood)

so it’s been a wonderful book-filled weekend!

oh and my friend got me this top for my birthday: Perfect Boys Only Exist In Books

and i wore it to the Rainbow Rowell event…

the top says it all tbh. and yes that is  Palestinian Flag necklace.

the top says it all tbh. and yes that is Palestinian Flag necklace.

so basically i had such a great weekend Alhamdulilah i was like


i also bought Throne of Glass by Sarah J.Mass which is a fantasy novel kind of like Graceling by Kristin Cashore so i am excited to read that.

I’ve only read 11 books from my Summer Book Haul…so i will need to catch up on my reviews!

Hope you are having a lovely summer or winter wherever you are. it is surprisingly hot in London!

Alhamdulilah i am so grateful to be blessed with so much…my love for books, the ability to blog about it and connect with fans all over the world and to meet authors.

Happy Reading!

if you have twitter it’s easy to stay up to date on the latest book news…just follow bloggers or bookshops or publishers!

and make sure to check the Waterstones and Foyles Events pages!

i know David Levithan, Lauren Oliver (i don’t think she’s coming to London though!) and Harukami Murakami are both coming to the UK in August and Michael Grant is supposed to come in October. but if you’re fans of any of them and live in the UK then don’t miss this opportunity! =D

check out this video: Book Nerd Problems: Buying Too Many Books

my friend Lily wrote an awesome article on why she loves YA

and why readers are the best people to fall in love with...*cough*  just saying ;)

Anyhew, THANKS for checking out my blog!


awesome book collage by my friend yasmine!

you can check out the rest of her Book Collages here





Book Review: Dorothy Must Die


I was lucky enough to get sent an ARC of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige from Harper360

so here is my review:

i like that the cover is nice and simple

i like that the cover is nice and simple


I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still the yellow brick road, though—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened?

Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

Dorothy Must Die is the debut YA novel from Danielle Paige. I have to be honest, The Wizard of Oz is really not my favourite musical and i have zero emotional attachment to the story. So it was refreshing to see a different, darker view of Oz and the familiar characters.

The heroine of the novel is of course Amy Gumm. What a name. She also has pink hair which is pretty cool. But she doesn’t consider herself special or extraordinary or anything really, she’s just trying to get by in school, stay away from the bullies and annoying girls like Madison Pendleton. Oh and she lives in a trailer park and her mum finds refuge in alcohol.

Yes she lives in Kansas and yes there is a storm and a tornado which sweeps her into the land of Oz…(however this still isn’t explained) yet it is obviously a mysterious force because Amy is from the Outside World ie Earth and non-magical and thus like Dorothy was. So she is supposedly the only one that can KILL DOROTHY.

Why kill Dorothy? Well since Dorothy returned she turned everything upside down. Dorothy was made a PRINCESS and the power and magic went straight to her head and she has become this evil tyrant, causing havoc and making everyone miserable and more importantly draining Oz of its magic!

there's no rainbow here

there’s no rainbow here

At least Amy has her mum’s pet rat Star for company but she soon befriends Indigo the Munchkin and Ollie the Wingless Monkey. But eventually she is alone and has to make her way to the Emerald City and find help. Then she meets the mysterious boy with the green eyes…and that is a MAJOR PLOT TWIST THAT I NEVER SAW COMING. Amy goes on an adventure to try and figure out why she’s in Oz and how to get back home but then circumstances require her to stay and she ends up getting trained to fight in order to kill Dorothy.

The story itself isn’t bad, it’s just the book is very slow and takes a while to get into. The first half of the book is pretty boring but it does pick up pace eventually. Amy is an alright character, i like her pink hair and she isn’t as annoying as some other characters but she does have her own issues to deal with etc. I’m glad there wasn’t such a focus on the love story or anything it’s mainly about friendship, doing what’s right, family love and finding oneself and discovering who you are. oh and trying to kill Dorothy. and yet, I’m not 100% sure whether that is the solution.

Anyways it is a trilogy so I’m sure the sequel will provide us with answers but even more questions!

There is also a prequel novella available as an ebook called No Place Like Oz

you can buy the book from Amazon or Waterstones. It’s already available in the US and is out in the UK on July 3rd.

you can watch the book trailer here

you can follow the author on twitter  and like the facebook page

Apparently it might be made into a TV show by The CW. so definitely read it before.

Follow Harper360 for upcoming book releases

Happy Reading!


‘We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz!’

i wish



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