Book Review: Brave New Girl by Rachel Vincent

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About the book

My thoughts

Set in a world where people are created in groups for efficiency. Same age, same job, same face. Except when Dhalia 16 meets Trigger 17, she realises she’s not the same.

Being different is dangerous, and now Dhalia is on the run. With Trigger’s help the pair will navigate security to find out why she is an anomaly, and get far away.

Dhalia has lived a very sheltered life. This makes her very innocent in many ways. She takes risks and relies a lot on Trigger’s skills to help her escape. I enjoyed their romance and would be interested to see more.

It had a decent ending for book one in a series and left enough intrigue for the next book. It kind of left on a cliff hanger.

Read it for a futuristic technology filled dystopian world.



If you liked this, check out:

Book Review: A choice of Essence by Katelyn Uhrich

This post contains affiliate links. Please check out my affiliate disclosure page for more information.

About the book

My thoughts

I loved this book. I was slow reading it because I started again with my son. Then I started again on my own. But, every time , I started over, I loved it more.

Essie is a godling, with gifts of fire & nature. I love how she is described with her leafy hair, and how she can shift into a bird.

The gods live in the land above, and worlds have been created for the spirits. Not all the gods are good and kind, and certainly not towards spirits. Essie has a special bond with spirit Wilf, and this has made her loving and protective of them.

Without giving too much away, this little godling will find herself in a position where she has to take on the gods for the spirits, with the threat of a fate worse than death.

Considering the world is entirely fictional, Katelyn brought it to life in vivid colour. The characters were so real, even those that were not human. This book is brilliant and should be checked out by everyone!

Grab a copy for yourself from Amazon:

A Choice of Essence by Katelyn Uhrich on Amazon

If you like teen dramas with stints of magic you’ll like this book.

End the Year with a Book Bargain!

Ocean Heart has 50% Off in the Smashwords End of Year Sale!

Why Smashwords?

Smashwords enables you to read your eBooks on whatever device/app you prefer. This puts you, the reader, in control of your books.

The Smashwords End Of Year Sale

The Sale is a great way to discover new books and authors, and grab a bargain. Go check out what is on offer. You might find a new favourite!

Click here to browse the Smashwords End Of Year Sale!

A little trip to the library…

If you know me, you’ll know I’m very naughty when it comes to returning books. In addition, I lose books! And, my youngest destroys books. Library fines are common.

But, during the pandemic my fines got to a point where they barred my account! 😱

I was a bit scared & embarrassed to go into the library to pay my fines. But, as always, the local librarians were lovely. We sorted it out and I can borrow books again.

Ocean Heart never at the library…

When I released Ocean Heart last year, I approached my local library to recommend they stock a copy. And, they did!

It felt too good to be true. So, I searched using Suffolk County Libraries app to check it was really there. It was, but out on loan, with another Suffolk library!

A few weeks later, I checked to see if it was back. It had returned to Felixstowe but was on the Reserved Shelf.

When I paid my fines, I asked what the Reserved Shelf meant. It meant someone had requested it! My book is in demand! And, it had already been collected! 😃

I must say I’m relieved. I love my library and would hate them to waste money on an unwanted book. As a new author building my audience, I worried I might be too unknown. I feared nobody would be interested in Ocean Heart. It makes me so happy to see it’s always checked out.

If you want to borrow the paperback, you’ll need to reserve it. It is in their collection, but there’s a queue. 🥰

For students of Felixstowe Academy, there are a few copies available from their school library.

Ocean Heart on Overdrive App

Overdrive is an eBook app used by libraries. You can search for Ocean Heart and request a copy to read. I don’t think they’ve ordered the eBook yet but all you have to do is ask.

If you love reading eBooks, supporting your library, and supporting authors, get this app and start enjoying a vast range of eBooks for FREE using your library card.

Ocean Heart ISBNs

It’s easy to find my book searching by title or my name, but to be certain you found the right copy, use the ISBN.

Ocean Heart ISBN, paperback 978-1-8382084-0-0, eBook 978-1-8382084-1-7

Paperback or eBook?

There you have it, Ocean Heart is available for you to read for free using your library card. If it’s not currently stocked by your local library, just ask them to order it in.

Buy Ocean Heart

Below are some affiliate links for buying Ocean Heart. You can learn more about these on my Affilate Disclosure Page.


Reading Challenge: Blind Date by Debbie

About the challenge

The challenge was set by World Indie Warriors on Instagram. They created three #WIWBingo boards; YA, Romance, and Fantasy.

The aim is to read and review the books on Instagram and tag @worldindiewarriors

The goal is to get three in a line, and help indie books get seen.

I’m doing the challenge. I’ve already read some of the books on the board so I’ll be reposting them this month, and I’m hoping to read some new one too.

The Book Review

Here is my post of my old review for Blind Date by Debbie Ioanna. I shortened it for social media.


If you enjoyed this you will like:

Book Review: The Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin

Book Review: Out of my League by Sarah Sutton

Book Review: Lions Share by Rachel Vincent

World Indie Warriors Brochure

Below are some affiliate links. To learn more about these please visit my Affiliate Disclosure Page.

Book Review: Blind Date by Debbie Ioanna

I chose this book because it got me my BINGO in the Summer Reading challenge by World Indie Warriors. And, I’m so glad I did!


Jenny (the MC) lives in a flat with her cat, Bing. She works in customer service, handlings complaints. Her mum & BFF are sending her on blind dates as they’re as desperate for her to meet someone, maybe more desperate than Jenny is.

Main Character

Jenny is a relatable character. She tries hard, but things always go wrong, often with hilarious consequences. She’s crushing on a guy at work that’s not into her, or could he be? But, the situation is never right and she’s off on another blind date.

Bing isn’t the main character but he is such a star in the book I had to mention this cat. In fact he is probably my favourite fictional pet, ever!

Another character I loved was the BFF, Sarah. This girl was always just a phone call away, picking Jen’s spirits up after disaster dates, and laughing with her (and the reader).


I’m a slow reader and I devoured this book in a weekend! This is so well written. There’s hilarious moments in every chapter, and jokes that are weaved through the book that get funnier ever time.

I loved so many of the characters. Bing is my all time favourite fictional pet. Sarah is an amazing BFF! The dream guy was perfection. I lived for every moment in his presence.

I had a friend that went on some entertaining blind dates and this book brought those stories back. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


If you enjoyed this you will like:

Book Review: Seducing the Substantial Sandwich by Florian Green

Romance Tropes – Which are your favourite?

Romance Title (poem)

Summer Reading Challenge

Below are some affiliate links. You can discover more about these on my Affiliate Disclosure page.

Reading Challenge: Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S. Weaver

About the challenge

The challenge was set by World Indie Warriors on Instagram. They created three #WIWBingo boards; YA, Romance, and Fantasy.

The aim is to read and review the books on Instagram and tag @worldindiewarriors

The goal is to get three in a line, and help indie books get seen.

I’m doing the challenge. I’ve already read some of the books on the board so I’ll be reposting them this month, and I’m hoping to read some new one too.

The Book Review

Here is my post of my old review for Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S. Weaver. I shortened it for social media.


If you enjoyed this you will like:

Behind the Book: Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S. Weaver

Summer Reading Challenge

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Behind the Book: Gem of Meruna by Elexis Bell

Below are some affiliate links. To learn more about these, please visit my Affiliate Disclosure page.

Behind the Book: The Stories Stars Tell by C L Walters

This book is C. L. Waters most recent YA release and the final post in my Behind the Book series with her. I’ll put links to the previous ones at the end.

Who will love to read this book?

I think readers who like Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Niven will like The Stories Stars Tell because it explores a romance between Emma and Tanner, but more importantly, each of them as characters on their own.

Tell me about the main characters Emma and Tanner?

Emma Matthews is a smarty-pants perfectionist who’s locked in the box of her religion and afraid to step outside the bounds of that to explore her sexuality. She feels ill-prepared to face college. Tanner represents the freedom and bravery she wishes she had. Maybe taking a risk with him will give her the bravery she needs to move forward.

Tanner James is a party-boy who’s partied his way through high school into a corner without options instead of dealing with the trauma of his brother’s death and his parents divorce. He wants to create a new story outside the Bro Code he and his friends created. Emma is a new story, but one he doesn’t feel like he deserves.

The blurb says that the traditional end of year send off is to jump off the cliff – have you ever dived off a cliff?

I haven’t ever dove, but I have jumped! It was a blast (and terrifying too). 

Hawaii looks like a beautiful place to live, does such a setting inspire your writing?

Definitely. So many possibilities for stories, though I confess I’ve only written two that explore this place. I don’t want to appropriate it; there are amazing Hawaiian and local authors who do such a beautiful job exploring culture and place.

You share what you’ve learnt on your blog to help other writers. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring author?

My initial advice is always read, read and read more. Read inside your favorite genre and the one you write, but also read beyond it. There’s so much to learn from other writers (both good and bad).

What can we look forward to from you next?

I am in the process of writing a companion novel to The Stories Stars Tell about Tanner’s best friend Griffin. It’s titled In the Echo of this Ghost Town. I think I have a thing for the villain, or those broody misguided boys. It’s planned for release in the fall of 2021.

Can you share a snippet of the book?


This was one of the first scenes I wrote and I talk about it a lot as the starting point for Emma’s and Tanner’s story:

I nod, pasting a fake smile on my face. “You might be right, Bella,” I say, self-satisfied that Tanner has actually touched me. “I guess I’ll find out how boring I am at Berkeley next year. Where are you going to school?”

Her smile fades, because if rumors are true, she didn’t make the grade. Too much focus on non-academic activities, I surmise. There is a tangle of self-satisfaction in saying it, at first, but I recognize the pettiness of it and feel guilty. It isn’t kind or Christ-like.

“Well–” I push my arms into my own backpack and settle it on my shoulders– “have fun at Senior Send Off.” I leave the bathroom with their snarky comments caught on the door behind me.

Her accusation — you’re so boring . . .what can you offer someone like him — has my mind swirling, overthinking as I walk to my locker.

I’m not boring!

But I know it’s true.

I glance at Tanner’s locker. He’s there, so I open mine and shove my head inside, and then roll my eyes at myself for looking at all. Except I can’t keep my eyes on the perfectly arranged interior of my locker. I sneak another peek. He’s across the hallway leaning into his own locker. Balled up papers slip out, and he bends to pick them up. His red t-shirt moves with his body, the hem adjusting to allow a glimpse of tan skin at his waist. I’m thinking about him without his shirt and those blue jeans hanging from his hips, hugging his behind just right.

My stomach dissolves into a sparkly mess.

Tanner stands, and with a little shake of his head gets his dark hair, a little long with soft curls around his face, out of his warm brown eyes. He turns his head, and I look away before I’m caught staring.

I could say I don’t know why my insides melt when I see him. THAT would be a lie. Of course, I know WHY I’m attracted to him. Attraction isn’t the issue. It’s the stupidity of allowing it. It must be a truth universally acknowledged that my book smarts have detonated my common sense, or something like that. My brain knows I’m being ridiculous and counts the ways to remind me.

First, I’m freaking out of his league. Um, Truth: perhaps, it’s the other way around. Compromise: a bit of both.

Second, he only dates party girls. I’m not.

Three, he’s an f-boy.

Four, my future plans don’t involve a guy like Tanner James, even if for some ridiculous reason I want them to involve Tanner James. I’m just so freaking curious.

I sigh, recalling Bella’s awful accusation and hate that she’s right. Aside from my drunken junior year risk, I’ve played my entire high school experience scared and safe. I smack the locker door shut and scold myself for looking at Tanner at all.

Excerpt from The Stories Stars Tell by CL Walters

Where can we go to discover more about you and your books?

Let’s see, if you’ve visited the website ( and you’re following my instagram, you can follow me on Goodreads (CL Walters) and Facebook (CL Walters) and there’s always my newsletter – which you can sign up for on my website. This year I’m releasing a serialized novella, a new chapter each month. Should be fun.

Thank you, Ally! This was fun.

If you enjoyed this, check out my other Behind The Book Q&As with C. L. Waters here:

Behind the Book: Swimming Sideways (book 1)

Behind the Book: The Ugly Truth (book 2)

Behind the Book: The Bones of Who We Are (book 3)

2020 Book Reviews

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate shop link. NB: This post contains these affiliate links.

A look back at the books I reviewed this year…

The Practice Boyfriend – Christina Benjamin

It feels like forever ago that I read this. I remember Aria wasn’t sleeping well and sitting in the dark cuddling her to sleep, and reading this on my Kindle.

Crown of Conspiracy– Kara S. Weaver

If you sign up to Kara’s newsletter, you get a free book – I know because it’s on my Kindle waiting for me to read. In addition, since reading book 1 in the series, two more titles have been released!

Trust Me -Maddie James

I’m pretty good at choosing books I love but I misjudged this one. I don’t often write negative reviews but this honestly wasn’t for me. Sorry.

Wiccan Romance: Amelia’s Story – Nicola Hebron

I was so lucky to win this sweet YA Fantasy. Since reading this book I’ve gotten to know Nicola better and she was even part of my Stream Team for the Ocean Heart book launch.

And The Stars Were Shining Brightly – Danielle Jawando

Oh my! This book moved me, changed me, made me think. The story was provoking tackling difficult topics like suicide and bullying. I read an eCopy but want a physical copy so I can hug it.

Mermaid School – Lucy Courtenay

This sweet MG Fantasy was a Net Galley ARC. I don’t read MG often but I couldn’t resist it being a mermaid story. The plot is about friendship and helping each other.

Sorceress of Truth – J D Groom

I’d been looking forward to this books release and it didn’t disappoint, qualifying it as an all time favourite. I’m now eager to read book 2 in the series, and can’t wait for its release. Gushing over this book and the merchandise I bought, was one of my first YouTube videos.

Forgotten Scars – Natalie J. Reddy

This book was won! I tried to make a YouTube video about my prize but kept having issues, maybe I’ll manage it in 2021! And, now book 2 in the series is out.

Out Of My League – Sarah Sutton

I read an ARC copy of this book and loved it. Later, Sarah gifted her ARC readers with a copy of her book and some character art postcards – such a sweet gesture. Showing this off was one of my first YouTube videos.

The Emotion Thesaurus – Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

This book was incredibly useful once editing. But, it’s not the only resource book I read this year but… I didn’t review the others. I must make a note to do that.

Sea Witch – Sarah Henning

I loved this story. It’s kind of a fairytale retelling but told from the perspective of the Sea Witch and how she can to be. It was really well done.

A Court Of Thorns & Roses – Sarah J Maas

I loved this book. The romance was a bit too instant for me but the ending redeemed itself. It was incredible and so unexpected. I’ve been told the series gets better… and the other books are already waiting for me on my bookshelf.

Agent Undone – Cassidy Reyne

Romantic Suspense is not my usual genre but I really enjoyed. One of the MCs is a trafficking survivor on the run. At the time of reading Ghislaine Maxwell had been arrested and similar real life testimonies were in the news, which added to my reading experience (the book is fictional and has nothing to do with the Epstein scandal).

If The Broom Fits – Sarah Sutton

I managed to snag another Sutton ARC. Reading this was figuring out my own book launch did slow me down and I didn’t finish it in time for release, but it’s a sweet Halloween holiday romance worth checking out.

Ocean Heart – Ally Aldridge

Ocean Heart is OUT NOW!

Finally, this last one isn’t a book I read in 2020, but one I published…

Ocean Heart is a YA Contemporary Fantasy. It has romance, coming of age themes, and a teen discovering she’s a mermaid.


If you enjoyed this, you will like:

My Review’s of Books Page

Reviews of Ocean Heart

Behind the Book: Agent Undone – Cassidy Reyne

About Ocean Heart