Review: To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo // enemies to lovers!! playful banter!! sirens and pirates!!

Finding the right book to read is hard.

There are people that are constantly talking about certain books to the point that they seem overhyped, mixed reviews are EVERYWHERE and you don’t know who to trust, the book might have cliché and overused tropes, bland characters or shitty writing—everything could go wrong.

But guess what? None of that was the case with the book I want to introduce you to today. *big sigh of relief*

I was delightfully surpried at how much joy I felt while reading To Kill A Kingdom. It even managed to land a spot on my favourites list which is something that rarely happens!

If you’re into pirates, sirens and the enemies to lovers trope, you won’t want to miss this.

Continue reading “Review: To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo // enemies to lovers!! playful banter!! sirens and pirates!!”

4 Reasons why The November Girl should be on your To-Read List // magical realism, romance and quirky characters

After being in kind of a reading/writing/general life slump this month, I was SO stoked that the first book I picked up at the end of November after I got over my struggles had been a great read for me.

Me at the beginning of the month: not in the mood to read ANYTHING, forcing myself through the 3 kinda shitty books I had to read for uni

Me at the end of the month: 4 STARS! 5 STARS! ALL THE STARS! I LOVE READING!

The first book I read this month that WASN’T average or complete garbage (I literally just typed bargage wow) was The November Girl. YASSSSSS.

It’s a book I’ve been really excited for because one of my trusted book reviewers had given it a high rating so I had high hopes! AND THANKFULLY I WASN’T LET DOWN.

Also, I am part of the The November Girl blog tour so I hope you enjoy my stop and make sure to follow the rest of the tour here.

Continue reading “4 Reasons why The November Girl should be on your To-Read List // magical realism, romance and quirky characters”

The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin // Very fun and uplifting summer read! + Giveaway

Oh, hi there! Guess who’s back with another blog tour? *points at self* THIS GIRRRLLL.

Welcome to my stop of the The Big F blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! Today, I’ll be sharing my review and the tour-wide giveaway with you!

Coincidentally, I seem to have been a part of many blog tours which promoted books from Swoon Reads (such as this one hehe) and I’ve always had luck with their books thus far! They always have such fun and relatable contemporaries that I find very easy to read—and The Big F was no different!

Keep on reading if you’d like to know why I loved reading this book!

PS. You can follow the rest of the tour here!

Continue reading “The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin // Very fun and uplifting summer read! + Giveaway”

Mini Reviews: Cinder, Blue is the Warmest Color and Unfiltered // I read so many good books recently!!

I have recently read and enjoyed various books and I loved them so much that I feel the need to share them with you!

But instead of writing the longest reviews (usually like 500 1k 2k words) that end up being rambly and all over the place, I decided I’d write some cute and short mini reviews to share my thoughts (and love) for these books!

The other reason may be that I’m too lazy/busy/exhausted to write said long and extensive reviews hehe and I didn’t take notes while reading (which I only ever do for books that I HAVE to review aka ARCs) so I don’t really have that many thoughts on these anyway.

And I have the worst memory lol. So no notes = short reviews because Jackie’s brain isn’t capable of remebering things long-term.

I am the real-life Dory

Continue reading “Mini Reviews: Cinder, Blue is the Warmest Color and Unfiltered // I read so many good books recently!!”

Review: The Map That Leads To You by J.P. Monninger – stunning!

via Goodreads:

“”Romantic and unforgettable.” –Nicholas Sparks

A romantic, vivid novel that takes place in the tender time of a young woman’s life:

Heather has graduated from college and is traveling around Europe with her two best friends. She’s left school responsibility behind and adult responsibility is looming, but this is her one, ONE last summer to be free.

Heather doesn’t expect to even meet Jack, let alone fall in love with him. Jack is an enigmatic Vermonter a few years older than she is, who is following his grandfather’s journal to various cities around Europe.

But in the same way that forces are bringing Jack and Heather together, life and duty are pushing them apart. And Jack has a secret that is going to change absolutely everything.”

Continue reading “Review: The Map That Leads To You by J.P. Monninger – stunning!”

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee – so underrated!

(via Goodreads):

“It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.”

Continue reading “Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee – so underrated!”

Review: The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett

(via Goodreads):

“In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be…”

Continue reading “Review: The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett”

Review: The Nanny Arrangement by Rachel Harris

“Soft-spoken and shy Hannah Fisher is determined to make the man she’s loved her entire life finally see her as a woman. With the help of a makeover, a new mission—Operation Find My Happy—and the convenient forced proximity of a tour bus, she vows to win her best friend Deacon’s heart.

Former bad boy and current fiddle player Deacon Latrell has the world at his fingertips: a new gig with a famous band, plus his best friend on tour as his son’s nanny. Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Now if only he could stop imagining kissing the daylights out of his childhood BFF…

With one friend set on pushing the boundaries and the other afraid to rock the boat, one thing’s for certain—their story would make one heck of a country song.”


Title: The Nanny Arrangement

Author: Rachel Harris

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Published: May 22nd 2017 by Entangled Publishing, LLC


“The best love stories always start with friendship. Luke and Lorelai, […] Harry and Sally. And don’t even get me started on my books. That’s my favorite trope by far.”

*I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion in any way!*

I was in the mood for a quick, light and easy contemporary read and when I stumbled across The Nanny Arrangement and spotted the childhood sweethearts trope, I WAS SOLD! This was the kind of sweet, cheesy love story that I was looking for!

The Nanny Arrangement is the story of shy and sweet Hannah who makes it a mission to make her childhood best friend Deacon, the man she’s secretly in love with, finally see her as more than just her best friend. Deacon is the new fiddle player in country music’s hottest band and he needs a nanny to look after his 2-year-old son while he’s on the road. And who could be better for the job than his best friend Hannah?

This was such a cute and adorable story! It made me feel all fuzzy and warm inside – mixed with a little bit of angst towards the end of the book. This was such a quick, light and adorable book, I flew through it in 2 days!

I mean, the term ‘best-friends-to-lovers’ literally already tells you what the story is about and how it is going to end, so I guess you could say that the story was predictable. But did I care? NOPE! ABOLUTELY NOT! 😀

The BFF to lovers trope is one of my favourite tropes ever – if it’s well-done – and The Nanny Arrangement definitely was!

It was lovely to see how Hannah and Deacon worked together as best friends and how much both of them loved Deacon’s child Max! Hannah had such a bright and happy personality and that really showed when she was around the kids! She has such a creative and silly mind and it was so endearing to read about it!

And there is just something about single-fathers that I love! I mean, it is kind of attractive, right?! 😛

You could really tell that Deacon loved his son to death and he would do anything to make him happy! Being in a band and touring the entire country did take its toll on Deacon because he thought he’d make Max feel abandoned – but Hannah always made sure to reassure Deacon and get him to get out of his head!

I really liked the dynamic between Hannah and Deacon and it was adorable to see how the both of them realised that they had feelings for each other! And the grand gesture at the end definitely made me tear up!

As I said, I AM A SUCKER FOR THE CHILDHOOD SWEETHEARTS TROPE!!! ❤

The Nanny Arrangement was a perfect read for me – it had best friends falling in love, a single-father with an adorable son, a band *swoons* and some great, supportive friendships along the way!

I would totally recommend it to people looking for a short contemporary read and fans of the friends-to-lovers trope who don’t mind some cheesy-ness and fluff!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 OUT OF 5 STARS)


Goodreads / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble


Thank you for reading!

PS. Have you noticed? I am trying to keep my reviews short and not ramble too much 😛

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Are you a fan of the friends-to-lovers trope? Don’t you just love the adorable-ness and fluff that comes with it? What are some of your favourite tropes? Let’s chat in the comments!

Review: The Never Dawn by R.E. Palmer

Title: The Never Dawn (Book 1)

Author: R.E. Palmer

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Published: August 5th 2016 by FrontRunner Publications

Pages: 282


(via Goodreads):

“All his young life, Noah has longed to see the sky he’s only heard about in stories. For over one hundred years, Noah’s people have toiled deep beneath the Earth preparing for The New Dawn – the historic day when they will emerge to reclaim the land stolen by a ruthless enemy. 


But when Rebekah, the girl of his forbidden desire, discovers a secret their leader has been so desperate to keep, Noah suspects something is wrong. Together, they escape and begin the long climb to the surface.
But nothing could prepare them for what awaits outside.“


*I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks so much to R.E. Palmer. This did not influence my opinion in any way!*

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was intrigued right from the start! I thought the whole idea and concept of the story was really cool and I felt like it was going to be a very interesting story. And I definitely wasn’t let down!

The Never Dawn is a dystopian YA novel set underground where the main character Noah lives with an entire community. Every day they work towards The New Dawn – the day when they get to go back to the surface of the Earth and see the sky again. The community is ruled by Mother. Everyone follows what she says. Things have to be in strict order and there is no place for personal desires or individuality.

The main character Noah is an 18-year-old boy who always had the best interests for the community and blindly followed everything that was asked of him. He never fell out of line and worked efficiently and did everything to please Mother. He was a very well-developed character with a lot of depth and you really got to know him throughout the story.

His development from a blind follower of rules and order to and independent and critical thinker was very believable. The change of attitude wasn’t abrupt and Noah was never a rebel who questioned the system right from the start (like you might see in other dystopian stories) – it was always little things that influenced him and he was slowly uncovering the secrets that encouraged him to change and re-think the entire system of their underground society. I really liked how that character development took place because it didn’t feel forced or too sudden!

One of the catalysts of Noah’s re-thinking process was Rebekah. The rules are that you’re barely allowed to interact with anyone in the community except the members of your own group. But Noah has always been watching Rebekah from afar. Personal desires were forbidden but Noah still developed a crush on her.

The development of that fascination with Rebekah was the only thing that didn’t sit quite right with me. All Noah did was watch her during their community meals but they never actually spoke before. There was one scene where Rebekah was serving the food – she handed Noah his plate and he was so nervous that he couldn’t stop sweating and internally freaking out. It felt a little too much in my opinion.

When Rebekah revealed some of the secrets that Mother kept hidden from the whole community to Noah, they started making their plans to sneak out and escape and that was when story got very exciting.

About halfway through the book, the whole thing really picked up and I found myself easily immersed in the story. I was so intriguing to see how Noah and Rebekah carried out their escape and how they revealed the truth and uncovered the secrets of the underground system.

I am not going to reveal the ending but it was something I would have never expected! The last quarter of the book takes you through some twists and turns of the system and what they revealed at the end was a big plot twist! There are a few open questions that haven’t been answered and it definitely leaves you wanting more!

Overall, this was a very quick and enjoyable read and I can totally recommend it to fans of dystopian settings/stories like The 100, Divergent and The Maze Runner!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars)


Goodreads / Amazon US / Amazon UK


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Are you a fan of dystopias? Which dystopian books are your favourites? Let’s chat in the comments!

Review: 180 Seconds by Jessica Park | Spoiler Free

Title: 180 Seconds

Author: Jessica Park

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Published: April 25th 2017 by Skyscrape

Pages: 300

Rating: 4 Stars

*I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion in any way!*

Blurb via Goodreads: “Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.”


!CONTENT WARNING! While this is a cute contemporary novel, it also mentions/deals with some heavy topics such as death, cancer, rape and sexual assault. If you get triggered by any of these, I suggest not reading this book or to read carefully and at your own risk.


180 Seconds is a New Adult contemporary novel about how 180 seconds literally changed Allison Dennis’ life.

Allison is a foster child and has been sent from one home to the next. She never felt like she belonged anywhere and with every passing year she grew wary of trusting people. She was finally adopted by a loving, gay, single father but the past experiences still left their mental scars.

Allison is an introverted, anxious girl who isolates herself and avoids social situations like the plague – the only time she ever leaves her dorm room is to go to college classes or study at the library. She doesn’t let people get too close and hides away in her room most of the time She doesn’t display emotional or physical affection and she has a hard time trusting people.

And that certainly shows in the first interactions we see between Allison and her father.

Her adoptive father Simon is a very sweet, kind and loving man. He respects her boundaries and makes her feel loved and cared for at all times. Being the insecure and scared girl that she is, Allison still believes that her adoptive father has made a mistake with her and thinks he regrets adopting her because of her social awkwardness and isolation. But he never fails to reassure her that he loves her, he showers her with gifts, teases her and is always there for her when she needs him.

Their father-daughter relationship is AWESOME and I especially loved how it developed throughout the story as Allison grows as a person. At first she has a hard time forming a close connection to her adoptive father – she still calls him by his first name, she doesn’t open the packages he sends to her dorm every other week and just doesn’t let him get too close to her.

By the end of the story, Allison and Simon have formed a very tight and strong bond. She learns how to trust him and she starts telling him about exciting things that happen in her life and you can really tell how happy that makes Simon. She even starts calling him Dad and she finally feels like they’re a real family. I just think the development of their relationship was so beautifully done and it has even made me tear up a couple of times! :’)

And Simon is just #dadgoals.

“If I could throw an invisibility cloak over myself and attend college that way, I would.”

The only friend that Allison has is Steffi whom she has known from foster care. They’re polar opposites – Steffi is a tough and confident girl who doesn’t mind being the center of attention while Allison would love nothing more than to hide in her room 24/7 – but it works well for them and they’re best friends.

Steffi is the only person that knows everything about Allison’s past. She’s the one person that Allison can turn to when things aren’t going so well and Steffi will always give her a good pep talk! Sometimes I wish I had a friend like that who kicks my butt and gets me to take risks and get out of my comfort zone!

The thing I loved the most about this book was Allison’s wonderful character development that was exerted so perfectly. She turns from an introverted outsider into a confident and happy young woman with newfound friends and a great family support system.

One person who is probably the catalyst of her development is Esben Baylor – popular social media star and the guy she shares a very passionate kiss with after staring each other down for 3 minutes for one of his social experiments.

A lot of emotions wash over Allison in those 3 minutes – anger, pain, hurt, betrayal – and an unexpected connection develops between the two of them.

And that 180 seconds scene. WOW. Reading that was so intense and powerful and MAGICAL, I was so fully invested in that particular scene. I don’t know how else to explain it – other than it literally left me shook. It took my breath away. It was so incredible to read like wow. Just wow. I encourage everyone to read this book simply for that one 180 seconds scene! 😛

And I know what you might be thinking – “they shared a kiss and now they’re dating/in love?! *cough* INSTA-LOVE *cough*” – but that’s not how it is!!! After they kissed, there was a connection and they felt drawn to each other so they started going on dates. And isn’t that how it happens for a lot of us? They date for a few months before they really define their relationship and take it a step further!

The development of Allison and Esben’s relationship felt very realistic. It developed at a slow pace and they both took their time to really get to know each other.

For the first time in her life, Allison opens up to someone about her past and how the whole foster care experience made her feel. She literally tells him everything about her and explains how the experiences influenced her and how she came to be so socially awkward and introverted. She believes that this will scare Esben off because they’re both so different and she genuinely can’t fathom why he would even go on a date with her.

But Esben was a sweetheart ❤ He doesn’t ever make Allison feel bad or embarrassed for her past and being the way she is. He caters to her, shows a genuine interest and treats her with the utmost care and respect. He is a genuinely a good guy and their interactions especially at the beginning were super adorable and cute and I couldn’t help but AWW out loud a lot!

Being with Esben, who is so open, social and popular both on campus and online, challenges Allison. She finally realises that she can’t stay locked up in her room forever and has a change in attitude.

“You can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.”

She learns to open up to people, how to socialize and that you can actually trust people! Her character development from anxious, socially awkard girl to loving and almost confident girl with a close circle of a few friends was amazing to read/bepart of.

I felt like I could relate to Allison a lot and she is generally a very relatable character if you’re an introvert.

I am usually ‘the shy one’ and I find it difficult to open up to someone and really be myself when I first meet new people. And yes, who doesn’t prefer staying curled up in bed all day with a good book over feeling anxious and uncomfortable in social situations!

And feeling so similar to Allison and seeing her grow into this happy and open young girl – who keeps a circle of a few, but very close friends – can be very inspiring. It was delightful to read about her personal growth and I feel like it could inspire people out there who feel the same way!

I did have a few small issues with some parts of the book – nothing too major though!

At first, I didn’t really know where the story was going to go plot-wise after the first contact between Allison and Esben – was it going to be insta-love and then they marry and have kids or what? But before I knew it, I was halfway and then all the way through the book! So the plot definitely moved along quickly! (I don’t want to say anything about it because spoiler-alertttt :D)

The writing definitely helped with that and it flowed very nicely.

Some passages of the book were a little weird to read. There were some lines of the dialogue that were VERY dramatic and metaphorical and there were things said in some of the dialogues that felt unnatural and they weren’t things that I would say in a real-life conversation.

Generally, the whole story turns very cheesy and dramatic around 2/3 into the book and some things were getting a tiny bit predictable. There were some scenes that felt repetitive because they were so similar;

  • Allison believes Esben stood her up at a date but his phone died and his car needed a jump. This basically happens twice – once at the start of the book and once at the end.
  • And the situations where Esben randomly meets new people and promotes their shops/ideas etc on his social media channels felt too repetitive after like third person!

But those things didn’t bother me too much and absolutely did not turn this into a bad reading experience.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I particularly loved the first half because it was so nice to read about the adorable-ness that was Allison and Esben’s relationship!

180 Seconds is a very cute romantic contemporary novel about love, loss and heartbreak with a good amount of cheesiness and fluff, finding your place and yourself, coming out of your shell and finding love in the most unexpected situations.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars)


Goodreads / Amazon US (currently 45% off!) / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble (also 45% off)


I honestly don’t know where this review got so long lol this must be my longest one yet with almost 2000 words! Oopsies! Anyway, thanks for sticking around if you read it all until the end! And even if you didn’t, thanks for skimming through this or just liking it! 😀

LOVE YAAAAA! ❤

Jackie x

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you comfortable around people and being the center of attention at times? Or would you rather stay curled up in bed all day? Do you feel like you could relate to Allison? Let’s chat in the comments!