Title: The Last Virgin Alive

Author: Stephanie Crosby

Pages: 116 pages


College student Symphony has left her home town of Virginia to make a new life for herself in Chicago away from the demons of her teen years. Her plan for this year is to pop her cherry; but is she really ready for such a massive decision?


I always feel bad when I have to write that I didn’t like a book; someone’s hard work and effort has gone into creating a book and therefore I feel bad for judging it. However, in the case of The Last Virgin Alive I have no compunction in telling it like it is. This book is awful.

Firstly, let’s look at it purely from a grammatical sense. Punctuation was flying about willy-nilly and incorrect spelling littered the pages. Secondly, entire phrases were repeated in the narrative descriptions of characters, not just a little phrase but a whole paragraph. That is either lazy writing or lazy editing. Thirdly, the narrative to dialogue ratio is unbelievably unbalanced. You are constantly struggling to guess who is talking. As a reader, I shouldn’t have to work that hard.

The storyline actually had a lot of potential to work as a young adult thriller but the execution was poor. In part, the fault of this lies in the characters. Our protagonist, Symphony, is difficult to like. She is whiney and needy and a little unhinged. Partnered with new boyfriend Adam – who causes arguments over completely random things – the relationship fails as fast as the thin plot does.

Normally when I write a review of a book that I do not like I encourage others to read it and make their own decision. In the case of The Last Virgin Alive I make no such recommendation, save your time and money. This book just isn’t worth it.

The Last Virgin Alive by Stephanie Crosby is available now.

The Last Virgin Alive


Jessie and her best friend Emma have left boring Manchester in England for a summer adventure in one of the greatest cities in the world – New York! The girls are staying with Jessie’s mum and Jessie is hoping it is a chance to repair their fractured relationship. She is also looking for a holiday romance to get over bad boy Taylor who recently left her broken hearted.

If only she could meet someone in this great big romantic city…


Ok, so here is my problem. I like YA fiction, however, when I read some YA fiction really begin to feel my age (coughs *31* coughs). Jessie Hearts NYC is one of those books. Don’t get me wrong, this book is well written, it has a sustainable and believable plot, the characters are well rounded and thought out and I actually rather enjoyed it. My only problem is not one that Stainton can be blamed for; I am not her key demographic. Therefore, I didn’t love this book but I can see all the good qualities in it. I am certain that teenage me would have adored this book.

Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton is available now.


Hello book bloglets,

Well I did it. I completed my challenge of reading and reviewing a Christmas story each week. I must say that this challenge did get me feeling festive. The books I read are:

The Snow Globe by Kristen Harmel

A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale

Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson

The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown

I Will Marry George Clooney (…by Christmas) by Tracy Bloom

A Beginner’s Guide to Christmas by Jennifer Joyce

It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley

The Kiss Before Midnight by Sophie Pembroke

Christmas with Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

Zoey and the Nice Guy by Carter Ashby

Secret Santa by Scarlet Bailey

Skating at Somerset House by Nikki Moore

Cold Feet at Christmas by Debbie Johnson

Christmas at Thornton Hall by Lynn Marie Hulsman

A New York Christmas by Melissa Hill

A Christmas Feast and Other Stories by Katie Fforde

I kind of overshot the mark but never mind. Hope you have all enjoyed my festive feature and I hope that some of these books turn up in your Christmas stockings.

Merry Christmas folks,

L x


A collection of Katie Fforde’s short stories that have previously been published in magazines or only been available in e-book format.


For years my mother has been encouraging me to pick up a book by Katie Fforde. My mother, having read (almost) everything that Fforde has ever written is a big advocate of her work. However, my lingering stubborn inner teenager has always declined to pick up any of Fforde’s novels.

When the opportunity to read A Christmas Feast and Other Stories came up via NetGalley I surreptitiously requested it and decided to give it a read without my mother’s knowledge. Turns out, as is quite often the case, my mother was correct. Mother 1 – Inner Stubborn Teenager 0.

The collection of stories was actually rather good. Personally I preferred the longer short stories but that is because, as I have previously mentioned I find short stories too…well, short. What is wonderful about this collection is that it allows people – such as my mother – to read the stories such as The Undercover Cook, From Scotland with Love (my personal favourite from the collection) and Staying Away at Christmas which have only ever been available on e-readers.

This is a charming collection of short stories and as Katie Fforde says in her introduction it is a perfect read for the busy person over the Christmas holidays because A Christmas Feast and Other Stories doesn’t require the full time commitment of a novel.

A Christmas Feast and Other Stories by Katie Fforde is available now.

A Christmas Feast and Other Stories


The product of a bizarre experiment, Penny Farthing has been left with a clockwork heart by scientist Calvin Warwick. On the day that Calvin Warwick is due to receive judgement for his crimes against nature Penny’s life starts to take one some strange twists and turns. Firstly, her family’s factory is subject to a bomb attack, and then she finds that her family home has been broken in to and that her parents have been kidnapped.

Will all this be too much for her already weak heart to take?


I am fascinated by the whole steam punk genre and style so I was very excited to read Ticker and I was equally excited to be reading a book from an author whose work I haven’t encountered before. Instantly I felt like I was on to a winner.

I was wowed by Ticker. I haven’t read anything like it before. Mantchev managed to create a world that was so believable that I hated putting the book down; the factories, the fashion and the industrialism were painted in such a clear way by Mantchev I felt like I was part of the world. Her descriptions were highly evocative that I couldn’t help but be sucked in by the scenery.

Personally, I felt that the story was sometimes hindered by some stilted narrative and I did find myself drifting and having to reread previous paragraphs. However, the overall story was fast paced and intriguing enough to make me want to keep reading more.

I think what sells this book most is Mantchev’s high quality descriptive talent however, massive praise must be hailed on her for creating such a unique and twisted tale of industrialism gone wrong. I genuinely hope she creates more stories of this ilk.

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev is available now.

You can follow Lisa Mantchev (@lisamantchev) on Twitter.