Waiting on Wednesday: Kids of Appetite

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine that highlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold


Release Date: 20th September 2016


Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

Why I’m excited:

  1. I really enjoyed his debut novel Mosquitoland. It’s a great contemporary YA novel.
  2. This book just sounds SO GOOD!!!
  3. This is the kind of contemporary YA novel I feel like I will enjoy because of FRIENDSHIP AND FALLING IN LOVE and from the cover it looks like there are some POC so yay for that. 

Will you be reading Kids of Appetite?

Since it’s out this month I will hopefully buy it when I get Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo on 27th September. 

Happy Reading!



“As simple as it sounds, I think understanding who you are–and who you are not–is not the most important thing of all Important Things.”  David Arnold, Mosquitoland
“Sometimes, things are more embarrassing when you’re alone. I guess when no one’s around to hear your stupidity, you’re forced to bear the brunt of it.”  David Arnold, Mosquitoland



Why You Should Read Six of Crows

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

six of crows


Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

So what’s so great about this book?

  1. Diversity!!! Kaz is disabled. Inej IS A BROWN GIRL. Jesper is a gay black dude etc. GOOD STUFF.
  4. Excellent writing and gripping plot. this book is a page turner. it’s one of those books that haunt you. like you want to find out what they get up to next AND YOU CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT THE CHARACTERS. they’re always up to no good but omg you just want them to be safe and happy.
  5. BACK STORIES. I love how Bardugo managed to weave the backstories with the narrative and it’s not like you want to skip it because you NEED to know why they are like this or what happened and it makes you love the characters even more.

So i love the characters and the plot and the humour and I just love this book so much I gave it 4.5 stars on goodreads BECAUSE OF THE ENDING.

When I finished the book I tweeted the author and SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE HAS DONE:

I’m just so happy that there is a character like Inej, a badass BROWN girl who SLAYS and takes crap from NO ONE!

No you don’t have to have read the Grisha Trilogy to read this although it is set in the world of Grisha. I didn’t really like the Grisha Trilogy but the premise is great and the Grisha powers are super cool.

I am so glad I decided to see what all the hype was about with this book AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED!!!

Not so patiently waiting for Crooked Kingdom (27th September 2016)

I’m actually looking forward to Crooked Kingdom more than Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass 6) BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS KJHSFKJDHGKJDFH.

Follow Leigh Bardugo on Twitter and Tumblr.

Happy Reading

You can thank me once you’ve read it! 😎


“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.”
Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows
“She’d laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.”  ― Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows


Three Books With Badass Female Muslim Characters

Hello there.

Since there are very few books that feature a range of female Muslim characters, I thought I’d list some of my faves. These three books deal with various issues but the main one being marriage as it is quite a big deal for many people. Also, navigating the marriage scene as a young female Muslim can be rather difficult…so why not read all about the awkwardness of finding a partner?!

Anyhew, here are some diverse book recommendations for you to add to your to read list. You’re welcome.

The Story of Maha by Sumayya Lee

Setting: Durban and Cape Town, South Africa

This book is hilarious because it’s just completely MAD. But it’s also really heartbreaking because it’s set during apartheid and it shows how it wasn’t just blacks vs whites but also Indian people suffered too and also being a MIXED RACE Muslim girl in a society that is also inherently against dark skin etc so this book deals with a range of issues but it also makes you laugh despite the seriousness of the situation. There is a sequel too!

You can enter the Goodreads Giveaway to win a SIGNED copy of the book. Hurry, because it ends soon!

No Sex in the City by Randa Abdel Fattah

Setting: Sydney, Australia

This book is brilliant. It’s about four friends (not all of them are Muslim) and about finding love and dealing with work issues and relationship dramas and of course learning to trust each other and it’s just a great book about female friendships and dealing with adulthood. This book will make you laugh and squeal with joy (if you are a hopeless romantic like me then yes).

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayesha Malik

Setting: London, UK

This book is really funny and quite relatable. It is set in an area I’m familiar with and if you like Bridget Jones you will LOVE this book.


Imagine meeting someone  in the biscuit aisle in Sainsbury’s???? lol.

Honestly, Sofia is mad but she is a pretty funny character, and thankfully she does see the error in her ways (eventually). Sadly, I only liked one of her friends and i didn’t really like her sister BUT this does include female friends and plenty of awkward marriage talk and relationship issues as well as family drama. Also, the author is currently working on the sequel (thankfully) because I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

One of my fave lines in the book:

Guy: ‘your hijab is like a social condom’
Sofia: Yes, to protect me from socially transmitted diseases. Like you. 😹

 Books with female Muslim characters

All books feature a range of Muslim characters and are set in different locations and are laugh out loud kind of books.

I need more books featuring badass Muslim characters that don’t take crap from anyone and stand up for their beliefs and are just great characters and role models.

Can’ believe it is MAY ALREADY!

Got so many books to look forward to!

Happy Reading!

“Seeing reflections of yourself in the fiction you love is one of the most powerful forms of affirmation we have in popular culture” – Bryan Hill



Introducing Cassava Republic Press UK

Hello everyone.

Hope you have been having an amazing 2016 so far despite all the horrendous things going on in the world (plenty of goof things still happen).

I’d like to just tell you about this wonderful Nigerian publishing company that is launching in the UK.

Cassava Republic Press is a Nigerian publishing company that started in 2006 and now they’re opening a branch in London. Woohoo.

Their motto is ‘feeding the African imagination’ which i think is great because people in Africa (the whole continent) need food for the soul too and what is better than stories? Many cultures have oral storytelling but there are still plenty of people who WANT to read books but accessibility and availability is often a problem.

CRP is founded by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Jeremey Weate and they both run the company along with Emma Shercliff. It’s amazing how far they have come since it is such a small company.👏🏽

So what kind of books do they publish?

  1. Literary Fiction
  2. Cassava Crime
  3. Ankara Romance
  4. Cassava Kids/Children’s (including YA)
  5. Non-fiction

So their romance imprint Ankara Press features strong independent black women which is awesome as it portrays ‘a new kind of romance’ featuring young black characters. so if that is your thing then give their books a try. The ebooks are available on their website and amazon and the print books will be out in July in the UK.

Launch Books:

CRP UK Launch Titles

Since their official launch is April 2016 they are releasing 5 books.

  1. Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika
  2. Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John
  3. Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle
  4. Princess Arabella’s Birthday by Mylo Freeman 
  5. Princess Arabella Mixes Colours by Mylo Freeman

Princess Arabella is adorable and the illustrations are really cute so kids will definitely love her!

Like a Mule is an amazing book because it is so diverse! It has multiple narrators but the main one is Dr Morayo, a 74 year old woman who loves books and drives a Porsche! She also interacts with so many different people and it’s just such an uplifting novel! Plus the cover is really pretty.

Born on a Tuesday is incredible. it’s such a haunting coming of age story set in Northern Nigeria and deals with various issues from friendship and loss to fundamentalism and faith.

Easy Motion Tourist is a thrilling crime novel about organ trafficking in Lagos. Amaka is such a badass character and I just love her. Hope there are more books featuring Amaka as I’d defo like to see more from her!


the launch authors are also going to be coming to the UK for a book tour which is exciting!

  1. Oxford Literary Festival
  2. Cambridge Literary Festival
  3. Waterstones Piccadilly
  4. Dulwich Books
  5. Book & Kitchen
  6. The Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop

I’m so excited for their launch and they will be open for submissions probably by the end of April so if you have a story in you then get writing!

All their books are OUT NOW and should be available in all good bookshops (including Waterstones and Foyles) and online (wordery and amazon).

They also have Giveaways on Goodreads for UK readers so ENTER NOW!!!

Also, if you have read their books or are going to then please don’t forget to leave a review on amazon and goodreads because authors really do appreciate it.

Social Media:

Cassava Republic Press





Ankara Press





Anyways, hope everyone has a fabulous April full of sunshine and smiles!

Happy Reading!



‘Books are what I love most.’Sarah Ladipo Manyika (Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun)

Cassava Republic Press Books


Best Books of 2015

Hi everyone.

I can’t believe 2015 is over! I was supposed to post this in 2015 but i was super busy and then super tired and lazy.

BUT I AM SO HAPPY THAT I COMPLETED MY GOODREADS GOAL FOR ONCE!!! I managed to read more than 50 books in 2015 yay me.

So here is my list of the BEST books I have read in 2015…

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (2014 in the US and 2015 in the UK)

UK vs US cover

Why I Love It:

THIS BOOK OMG THIS BOOK IS SO BEAUTIFUL. I’ve read her previous book ‘The Sky is Everywhere’ and honestly that book is nothing compared to I’ll Give You The Sun. 

It is narrated by twins Noah and Jude so switches from view points. There’s a lot of art and pain in this book but the writing is superb and the characters are excellently written and the plot…omg the plot and the plot twists!!!

Noah’s descriptions are breathtaking and his curiosity and wonderment are just so adorable.

Jude is incredible, her fearlessness and her strength is admirable but stuff happens and it is just so heartbreaking.

There’s death,  love, hope and forgiveness and plenty of pain and suffering.

But overall this book is incredibly beautiful. I love the characters and the plot and the way they talk about certain things and it’s also really cute at times and i am a sucker for love stories. it’s about family relationships too and how messed up they can be when people keep secrets.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (2014)

US vs UK Cover

Why I Love It:

Oh this book!!! This is A BOOK WITHIN A BOOK. Okay so it’s about this girl Darcy Patel (A BROWN PROTAGONIST I KNOW!!!!) and she is a writer so we get to read her story too!!!

this book is great because it’s about writing and the publishing industry and also has representation and ‘diversity’ so that’s important too.

One chapter is about Darcy and the next is a chapter from her book so that’s really cool and i’m so glad i got to read two books in one! and both really good stories too!

you don’t get confused because the story Darcy writes is very different…it’s like a ghost story and has a hot brown guy who may or may not be Lord of the Dead…but the characters are well written and the plot is great so kudos to you Scott Westerfeld.

Mosquitoland by David Arnold (2015)

Why I Love It:

This book is everything i love in a YA book. A ROAD TRIP. i love road trip books and i really hope i get to go on many road trips in the future!

it took a while to get into and get used to the ‘quirky’ writing and weirdness of the novel and Mim but eventually i got used to it and fell in love with this book and her story.

So Mim is on a quest to find her mum but really…she ends up finding herself. i know that sounds cliche but honestly it’s really beautifully written and the friends she makes along the way are just so lovable.

Her friends Walt and Beck are my fave and i am so glad she realises how stupid she was so that’s good and also it has some great plot twists. I love how unpredictable it was.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (2015)

Everything, Everything Book

Why I Love It:

urgh reading this book was like a taylor swift song because i was dying from all the cute but then i was like ‘urgh this will never happen to me smh’.

So it’s about this girl Maddy who is ‘allergic’ to the world…as in she can’t go outside or she might/will die. so she stays inside and lives her life through books and the internet. i mean she’s wealthy enough to have a nice house so that’s fine but then there’s this NEW FAMILY NEXT DOOR WITH A CUTE GUY (how cliche but i am a sucker for this kind of thing) and then they end up talking online and fall in love etc etc

i also really liked the illustrations in the book but yeah it’s about Maddy and her life in that house until Olly comes and messes everything up (in a good way) but yeah i felt they rushed into some things *ahem* and i didn’t really like the plot twist but i LOVE the beginning because of how they meet and when they talk at night and that whole thing of falling in love and BEING ALL CUTE!!!


i felt really sorry for the mum and things should have been dealt with differently since she has suffered so much too.

but overall it’s a really cute book and the cover is also really pretty!

Stand-Off by Andrew Smith (2015)

i loathe this cover

Why I Love It:

the sequel to Winger. i didn’t expect to love these books as much as i do but honestly these books are HILARIOUS. it’s hard to find good FUNNY books these days but Andrew Smith somehow manages to do it.

This book is excellent in so many ways. Ryan Dean West is a senior now and has to deal with so much pressure but also after what happened in Winger (the thing with Joey) his anxiety is really bad and he has panic attacks and nightmares it’s really heartbreaking. i actually cried a lot reading this book because of how he wasn’t dealing well with his emotions and he was really confused and i’m like PLEASE GET HELP HKJHGJDFHGKDFJ

but thankfully he eventually gets help and things get dealt with which is good. also SAM ABERNATHY IS ADORABLE and has to stay with Ryan Dean and he is not amused it is sooo cute.

also his relationship with Annie is great and it’s really funny but also gross because guys are weird and think about strange things.

but i love this book and the characters are great and it made me really emotional reading it because i will miss the dork that is Ryan Dean West and his amazingly funny drawings (he draws comics!).

The Collected Works of A.J.Finkry (2014)/The Stories Life of A.H.Finkry (2015) by Gabrielle Zevin 

UK vs US Cover

Why I Love It:

This book is just so so so good. it’s about BOOKS and BOOK PEOPLE! It’s my kind of book.

It’s about this guy who owns this little bookshop on this island and about his pathetic life UNTIL SOMEONE LEAVES A CHILD IN HIS BOOKSTORE AND HE ENDS UP LOOKING AFTER IT AND HE ALSO FALLS IN LOVE WITH THIS WONDERFUL WOMAN WHO MAKES HIM SEE THE WORLD IN A DIFFERENT WAY and it is just so beautiful.

so A.J.Finkry compiles a list of books his daughter should read (there are a lot fo books i haven’t heard about but that’s fine because my to read list is never-ending!).

the characters are well written and i love the plot and there are some excellent quotes too but just a book about people who love books so as a bibliophile it is perfect.

Winter by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles) 2015 

Why I Love It:


THIS BOOK IS REALLY REALLY FAT LIKE OVER 800 PAGES LONG but i got through it (just about). it was an emotional roller-coaster because every time i’d be like YES FINALLY something else would go wrong and i’d just be like WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? WHEN WILL MY FAVES BE SAFE AND HAPPY?!

so we’re introduced to Princess Winter aka like Snow White but she is black (this book has lots of diversity which is good). Winter suffers from hallucinations and visions so she’s dealing with a kind of mental illness and it is taking a toll on her. but she is a sweet character.

Also…Levana is just urgh like i hate her so much but then also you’re made to feel sorry for her and pity her but no matter what there is no excuse for your crappy behaviour and rudeness and also THE FACT THAT SHE GLAMOURS HERSELF AND MAKES ‘HER PEOPLE’ WORK AS SLAVES SMH (i still need to read Fairest and also there is a collection of short stories coming out soon called Stars Above). 

overall i thoroughly enjoyed reading this book even though it pained me to read some scenes and it hurt a lot coz i love the characters and i just want them to be happy but thankfully things work out and yeah I AM SO PROUD OF CINDER LFJGKJHGKJSDHSFKJ and kai is just too cute. also Iko is such a bamf.

it’s a good series and fairytale retelling!!!

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (Lumatere Chronicles) 2008

Why I Love It:

oh wow. this book. it’s taken me a long time to finally read the wonder that is Melina Marchetta. i wanted to read a book i could get stuck in and fantasy usually sucks me right in. this book. how do i even begin to describe the beauty that is this book?!

this book killed me.

this book is great because of the CHARACTERS!!! the plot is also good and the dialogue but i love the characters!!! Finnikin and Sir Topher and Evangelin and just basically everyone.

it’s about a cursed kingdom and so many have to flee and become exiles and no other kingdom wants them and it’s horrible and it’s about whether they can return home and what happens then.

also this book was also sooo realistic in the sense that the issues she deals with and the whole exile thing is very relevant to what’s happening today (ie Syria, Palestine etc)

if you like fantasy then you should enjoy this book. ALSO IT HAS SO MUCH DIVERSITY AND THE FEMALE CHARACTERS ARE BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN AND IT’S ALSO FUNNY AT TIMES BUT IT IS ALSO REALLY PAINFUL. i can’t wait to read the second book!!!


I hope everyone had a good 2015 and if not then hope 2016 is better with more wonderful memories and that you get to read lots of amazing books and travel to new places!

Thanks for reading my blog.

Hopefully I will be blogging more often.


Happy Reading!

“When I only begin to read, I forget I’m on this world. It lifts me on wings with high thoughts.” Anzia Yezierska


“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.” Ursula K. Le Guin


Why You Should Read The Throne of Glass Series

Hey there fellow bibliophiles!

Okay, so i HATE finishing a series or trilogy and having to say goodbye to some of my fave characters. But sadly that is part of the joy of reading…finally ending a series and hoping they get a good ending. So a few years ago I finished the Graceling Trilogy (Kriston Cashore) and Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy (Laini Taylor) and so I needed something to fill the gap of badass female heroine.

Along comes Celaena Sardothien.

Last year, I heard about Throne of Glass but wasn’t too sure about it so I asked some friends who have read it if it is worth it. They said yes.

She recommended that I read the prequel first so I did. THEN I NEEDED THE FIRST BOOK ASAP.

So…what is it about?

The series is about a girl called Celaena Sardothien who is an ASSASSIN and she literally slays. So yeah it’s about her life and the people she meets and the THINGS THAT HAPPEN…magical things…yeah it’s one of those books where she finds out about her past and uncovers the truth etc BUT IT IS REALLY GOOD.

Reasons to love Celaena Sardothien:

  • she loves books
  • she’s a BAMF because she slays
  • she loves pretty things…clothes..jewellery…anything sparkly and expensive
  • she loves shopping
  • she loves chocolate
  • she is not afraid to ask for what she wants
  • she is so cool you wish you were as cool as her
  • she loves puppies
  • she cares about her friends
  • she’s confident
  • she’s really pretty and owns it…
  • she is flawed but learns from her mistakes…and sometimes she doesn’t
  • she’s been through so much and yet she can still smile and open her heart to new people

I can totes see Celaena rocking some Elie Saab dress while eating a box of chocolates.

This is also definitely something she would love!

SHE is the reason I fell in love with this series. But sadly…a lot has changed as the books have progressed and since reading the latest book Queen of Shadows…I don’t feel the same way about the character. and that breaks my heart because I honestly thought she would be in my list of fave female characters.

List of fave characters:

  • Celaena
  • Sam
  • Chaol
  • Prince Dorian
  • Nehemia
  • Fleetfoot
  • Lysandra (wait till Queen of Shadows)

Notable mentions: Nesryn and Manon (in Queen of Shadows)

Aedion is okay and Rowan was awesome in Heir of Fire but I did not care for him in Queen of Shadows.

The Books:

The Prequel: The Assassin’s Blade

This is the collection of 5 novellas.

I suggest you read it first as it gives you a background to the character Celeana and how she ended up where she is in Throne of Glass. Also…read it for Sam.

My fave story is the The Assassin and The Desert because she gets to meet some interesting people and learn cool skills.

and the ending of the book will kill you so you have been warned.

Throne of Glass

Technically the first book in the series. This is where Celaena leaves Endovier (slave camp) to fight to become the King’s Champion…even though she hates the king. she meets Prince Dorian who is an adorable puppy (not really he is just so lovely because he gives her books and chocolate) and Captain Chaol (who I love for many reasons).

Princess Nehemia is amazing. not only is she a beautiful black princess but she is just such a cool character and I love her.

It’s a good fantasy novel because Celaena is training to fight and get back on her own two feet and also learning to trust more people and finding out about magic and stuff. It will break your heart though.

Crown of Midnight

This is my fave book in the series because Chaoleana

but also the friendships are more developed and I just love it so much. It’s also one of the most painful books because PEOPLE DIE ESPECIALLY ONE OF MY FAVE CHARACTERS.

This is one of those books that lure you with their gripping plot and excellent writing and characterisation only to leave you screaming and crying and clutching your broken heart in pain.

Oh and there are plenty of plot twists and more questions that need answering.

Heir of Fire

This follows Celaena as she finds out more about her past and the truth about who she is. It’s also sad because my fave characters aren’t together…like it was awesome when it was Chaol, Dorian, Celaena and Nehemia having a great time but THAT CAN’T HAPPEN AGAIN.

You meet new characters like Rowan who is really important and plays a huge role in helping Celaena be the person she becomes.

Manon is also introduced as a witch but I wasn’t particularly interested in her narrative in this book.


Queen of Shadows

This was honestly one of the most highly anticipated books of 2015 for me. and I am actually quite disappointed.

The characters have changed DRASTICALLY.

Celaena isn’t Celaena anymore and although I liked the new her in Heir of Fire…in this book it is such a huge shift and it just doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel the same love I felt for her character in the first few books. and I hate that. because the whole reason I love this series is because of the character Celaena. and Sarah J Maas took that away from us.

Chaol is portrayed as a douchebag in this book and that is not okay. Thankfully he redeems himself by the end but still I am so annoyed with her portrayal of him because he is my fave.

It is horrendous what happens to Dorian and I’m not so sure if it will end well…

I love Manon in this book and I am excited to see what happens with her character and the Blackbeak Clan.

Nesryn is a really cool POC character and she has great archery skills and her dad is a baker so Katniss and Peeta could be her parents LOL.

Rowan and Aedion were being too macho overprotective males in this book.

Lysandra is amazing and I love her in this book. Also she has the coolest power ever *spoiler alert* (She’s a shapeshifter!)

This book is also told from multiple narratives…lots of things happen and there’s a few plot twists but most importantly TWO MAJOR CHARACTERS DIE but it feels too good to be true.

Overall I was shocked at how Sarah J Maas changed the characters do dramatically from the previous books and I don’t know how I feel about the rest of the series. not very optimistic but I will probably read the next book. I mean the endings was pretty good but for 90% of the novel I was annoyed and shocked.

You should still read this series because Celaena is worth knowing despite the pain and change in character. She’s a character that can kick ass and also loves wearing pretty dresses and loves reading and I think that’s hard to find in YA because usually it’s one or the other…you can’t look pretty AND be a good fighter AND love books AND have crushes on cute guys…


Sarah J Maas has also written another faerie series called  A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR). It’s definitely a book for people who love topless guys and romance.

Also, Sarah J Maas can write. Her world building is great but also her characters especially female characters and obviously hot guys and her descriptions…her stories are gripping and well written.

I was lucky enough to meet Sarah J Mass at Waterstones Picadilly in May.

Unfortunately, we didn’t realise we had to queue outside so we didn’t get seats in the front…we were in the 5th row which was pretty bad as the queue for the book signing was insanely long! But we had good enough seats that we could see her and hear her fine.

Sarah J Maas is SO SO SO PRETTY…she reminds me of Jennifer Lawrence.

Sarah J Maas

  • She is also hilarious
  • Her dog Annie is her life
  • She loves unicorns and magic
  • When she was younger she was torn between being a girly girl and being a tomboy and she thought that you had to choose between the two (ie you couldn’t be a girl and like dorky stuff like Star Wars)
  • She stopped reading for a while and her teacher told her parents to take her to a bookstore and just let her wander and choose whatever she wants
  • First fantasy books she read were by Garth Nix and Tamora Pierce because they portrayed badass female characters
  • Celaena is her baby and best friend and she loves her and she knows exactly where the series will end (!!!)
  • She said Throne of Glass won’t end with Celaena/Aelin choosing who she ends up with (which is a good thing)
  • But a lot of characters will die she kept on teasing us saying ‘IF they survive..’
  • ACOTAR 2 will have more hot shirtless men and 100% more sexy times
  • When her grandma read ACOTAR she sent an email to her and the family saying ‘what an imagination!’
  • She wrote ACOTAR after college.
  • She’s a workaholic
  • She loves Cheetos and she eats a lot of cheese when she is stuck with a book
  • Her best friend is Susan Dennard who has a book out next year called Truthwitch.
  • If Celaena and Feyre met they would probably be like 2 cats meeting…either fighting or sniffing each others butts or staring at each other. But she said they’d probably become allies not BFFs and would scare men away.
  • She loves reading paranormal romance books
  • None of the characters are based on people she knows but many of the characters who die have names of people who bullied her friends
  • She has her own copy of Throne of Glass which she asks the fans to sign (it is so cute and has so many messages)
  • Someone asked who her OTP is but she obviously didn’t say (it’s Rowaelin)
  • She writes the kinds of books she wants to read and I think that is so important
  • She doesn’t know when the TOG series will end so there will be lots of books to come I am sure!

She is so friendly and super funny and just really cute and she had this stunning sparkly jaguar ring and she was signing nonstop and was so excited that her London event was sold out even her parents were impressed (apparently they aren’t impressed with much).

It took us over an hour to actually get to meet her and have our books signed…and we were really hungry and tired by then! The shop closes at 9pm but they said they’d close at 10pm but there were still loads of people after us and so there were probably quite a few people who didn’t get their books signed. That sucks because we paid for the event and to get our books signed. But Alhamdulilah I managed to get mine signed! She also was nice enough to sign my book bag!!!

signed throne of glass book

I’m glad I got to meet her BEFORE Queen of Shadows because i probably wouldn’t have been as happy to see her…

Check out her website and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

Happy Reading!

“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.” Sarah J. Maas
“Don’t you do anything other than read?” Sarah J. Mass



15 Baking Tips for Beginners

Hi guys!

I’m not an expert in baking or anything but I have been baking for about 5 years now so I can give you guys some tips. I got into baking mainly through baking for charity (I  made my mum bake so I could decorate) but eventually I gave it a try and found that I enjoyed it. Also, one of my favourite fictional characters is a baker (PEETA MELLARK). And Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss also like to bake. My dream would be to bake with Taylor Swift (#Goals). 

Anyways, so here are some VERY IMPORTANT BAKING TIPS:

1- MEASURE- measure everything. baking is a science. well kind of. if you have the right equipment then you should be fine. Measuring Cups and Scales (get a digital one) are a must.

2- OVEN- preheat the oven before baking so it is ready for your baked goods – and always double-check the recipe to see what temperature it should be. also check the conversions (Fahrenheit to Celsius) as i tend to use a lot of American recipes.

3- CHECK THE RECIPE- keep the recipe near you and double-check at all times. it’s good to have all the ingredients in front of you, then the measuring cups you need. keep going back to the recipe as you bake and tick off the ingredients you’ve used.  Also if you are using an American recipe and you DON’T live in the US, make sure you know the equivalents for ingredients(it’s really important you get the recipe right and the correct ingredients especially for flour and sugar).

4- BUTTER- if your recipe requires butter, leave it out the night before you bake so it’s soft and easier to mix. Depending on how hot it is, you can take it out on the day and leave it for an hour or so. a good trick is to put a warm glass over the butter to soften it.  Most recipes require unsalted butter but make sure you check the recipe if they ask for salted butter (then you don’t add salt). usually ingredients should be at room temperature unless otherwise stated.

5-EQUIPMENT- invest in certain baking equipment: for perfect cupcakes you need a mechanical ice cream scoop (it’s also good for cookies), a good hand mixer, measuring cups, scales, cake tester, baking pans/trays, a palette knife, piping bags with tips, parchment paper or a silicone mat, a wire rack to cool your baked goods and lots of spatulas and mixing spoons and last but not least lots of BOWLS!!! You don’t need a stand mixer if you’re just starting out but the best one is the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer (in pink) which is my dream (#KitchenGoals). I currently have my trust Kenwood which is serving me well so I can’t complain.

6- SIFT always sift the flour, cocoa powder and icing sugar!

7- VANILLA- the best is Madagascan Vanilla Extract. DO NOT USE THE NORMAL SUPERMARKET ONE. vanilla extract is expensive BUT IT SMELLS SO GOOD and enhances the taste of anything you bake. you can also use Vanilla Bean Pods (and you can make Vanilla Sugar too).

8- EGGS- i always crack the egg into a separate bowl BEFORE adding it to the mixture in case of any egg shells. Also make sure to get good quality free range eggs.

9- ICING- chocolate drizzle is always great (just melt some chocolate), a quick dusting of icing sugar does the trick too if you’re short for time. Ganache and vanilla glaze are easy and can be made quickly too providing you have the ingredients. Buttercream is perfect for cakes and cupcakes (and can be flavoured) and also cream cheese frosting is also great. I’m not an expert in fondant but most people use it to cover cakes or make shapes for decoration (you can make your own or buy it from a supermarket/baking shop).

10- TIMING IS KEY- always use a timer. invest in a cooking timer…or you can use your phone alarm or timer but make sure you can hear it! you don’t want to over bake anything as it can get dry or hard. under baking cookies is okay because they harden once cooled and to get soft chewy cookies under baking is good depending on the recipe.

11-INGREDIENTS- when baking, try to use quality products. it’s tempting to go for the cheapest chocolate but it could ruin the bake. Go for products you trust but also trial and error so see what suits you best as long as it is affordable. but quality is key because you want it to taste great too! I tend to use Dairy Milk Chocolate for most of my baking but sometimes if Lindt or Green & Blacks is on offer then I’ll use those. Also you can get chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips or if you prefer to just chop/grate chocolate that’s fine.

12- FLAVOURS- it’s amazing how many flavours you can make things in…vanilla, lemon, almond, coffee, coconut etc…but it doesn’t end there. my fave ingredients are: cinnamon, peanut butter, chocolate, Oreos and coconut so I usually try to find recipes which include them. Obviously, when you’re starting out try simple recipes but flavours that YOU like…and once you’re confident you can experiment more.

13-CREAM- make sure you get cream that says it can be whipped if you need to whip the cream (not the one that you spray from a can!)

14- BANANAS- if you need to ripen the bananas just put them in the oven on a low temp about 160 degrees Celsius for about half an hour and they should be black. it looks really weird but they’ll be soft and sweet and ready for baking!

15- HAVE FUN- last but not least, have fun. baking is meant to be fun so MAKE it fun! don’t go messing about with the flour because cleaning up can be annoying but definitely eat the batter when you’re done. also once you’ve baked something more than 5 times you can call yourself an expert AND change up the recipe. like anything, the more you practice, the more confident you’ll get.

Hey, I am no expert in baking. I am still an amateur. I aint ready for no bake off and I’m not keen on people watching me bake (depends who it is…) HOWEVER I don’t mind teaching people how to bake…it’s quite fun being the one to know things yet I am always learning new ways to bake and improve my skills. I like perfecting old recipes but I love trying to bake new things. I need to make more pies and breads because I usually stick to cookies and brownies. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to decorating especially with piping!

Also, YouTube is a great place to start as there are plenty of baking tutorials to help you out! but as long as the recipe has pictures, you should be fine. Joy of Baking and Baking Mad do great tutorials.

Where to get things:

Poundland have a great Jane Asher range including a MECHANICAL ICE CREAM SCOOP and parchment paper. Wilkinsons also have a nice baking range for basic things such a strays and piping sets and TkMaxx also have nice baking stuff for a reasonable price. the best store is Lakeland but it’s not in every high street nor is it cheap but most big supermarkets will have a small/medium baking section to start you of.

chilling cookie dough is a real struggle but it’s worth it!


check out the recipes and more in Handle the Heat’s Ultimate Guides

Check out these AMAZING baking blogs:

  1. Janes Patisserie
  2. Sally’s Baking Addiction
  3. I am baker
  4. Brown Eyed Baker
  5. Picky Palate
  6. Passion For Baking (she has serious #KitchenGoals)

If you’re more of a healthy eater then these blogs are great:

And as always, a lot of my recipes from The Hummingbird Bakery Recipe Books!

The Humming Bird Bakery Recipe Books

oh and for my 21st birthday my friend got me this amazingly perfect apron


hope this post inspires you reluctant bakers to get baking!

Happy Baking and May The Baking Be Always In Your Flavour!