Tag «london»

Reading Rendezvous: London, England [2]

Reading Rendezvous: is a weekly feature created by the Fern Team for the Book Blogger Creativity Project that acts as a travel guide, highlighting places we would like to visit and recommending books that take place there.

I haven’t been able to do this feature on a weekly basis, but I plan on doing it on a bimonthly place. It’s really hard to come up with places that various book series take place because they A) take place in a fictional world or B) happen in the same major cities.

This week, my inspiration comes from one of my all time favourite series: The Infernal Devices. It’s kind of a six degrees of separation thing I have going on, seeing as my inaugural Reading Rendezvous took place in New York City, the setting for the first Mortal Instrument Series.

I have yet to go to London, England but it has been on my Bucket List for YEARS! Here are a few places I want to go and see.

Places to Visit:

–London Eye–

Ferris wheels always use to freak me out when I was a kid at the fair but now I appreciate the great views they provide of the city. This on is so iconic that I’ve wanted to go on it for years!


–Buckingham Palace–

Although Canada is its own country, we still recognize the Queen as our sovereign even though she really has no power in our political decisions. I still think it is a really cool tradition that we recognize our origins and would love to see the palace!

London Underground Sign - (c) Solar Worlds Photography–The Tube–

Call me weird, but when I visit other cities, I love taking their public transportation. It think it’s really cool how people get around and the Tube is one of the most interesting subway systems in the world.

Other Books Set in the Big Apple:

(Click for my reviews)

Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1) The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1) The Girl on the Train

Next Travel destination:

Vancouver, Canada

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Series Review: Shades of London by Maureen Johnson

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:



Synopsis for The Name of the Star (from Goodreads):

Jack the Ripper is back, and he’s coming for Rory next….

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him – the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target…unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables.


Series: Shades of London
Author: Maureen Johnson
# of Books: 4 (The Name of the Star, The Madness Underneath, The Shadow Cabinet, Book 4)

There is a prequel novella called The Boy in the Smoke

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, Book 4 will be published in 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Ghosts, Supernatural, Suspense, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: October 2012 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook


PLEASE NOTE: I did not finish reading The Madness Underneath (Book 2)when I published this review. Find out why below…

The Name of The Star Review:

I read The Name of the Star for two reasons: 1) I loved the eBook cover (the one when it first came out) and 2) I hadn’t read anything about ghosts in a long time, if ever. Normally, I prefer to read romance or action novels–I don’t really enjoy ‘scary’ movies but I LOVE thrillers and this book sounded like an episode of Criminal Minds (one of my favourite TV shows) but with a supernatural twist.

Unfortunately, The Name of the Star didn’t do much for me. I didn’t really like Rory as a character and I had a hard time convincing myself to like her. I just didn’t like how she acted–I think some people might label it “quirky’; I would label it “quacky” because I thought she was very odd. I’m not sure if it is the writing style as it is a novel set in the UK and I most books I read that are set there tend to have a slower pace to them but it didn’t do much for me. But I was hooked into the mystery so I continued to read–and I’m glad I did because I liked the ending and solution to the mystery all things considered.

However: I had no interest in reading the sequel. But what happens at the very end of the novel–plus the connection I thought I saw between Rory and another character–kept my interest enough to see what the sequel was all about.

The Madness Underneath Review:

Unfortunately, The Madness Underneath fell (no pun intended) into the classic Book 2 of a Trilogy Slump. I was halfway through the book when I had to ask myself: what the hell is the plot? Honestly, halfway through the book the “mystery” (the “creepy new terror haunting modern-day London”) is never mentioned. Instead, we get to listen to an angsty Rory as she tries to navigate her teenaged life–which is not my cup of tea in any book and especially in this series where I’m not a huge fan of Rory. It would have been ok if the other characters we meet were involved but Rory pretty much flies solo for most of the book.

I was 40% of the way through The Madness Underneath when I decided to stop reading it. I read in other reviews that the ending is very exciting but in my opinion it was too little too late. I decided to sleep on it and see if I changed my mind but I decided I really didn’t care (because nothing had really started by that point) and I could live with not knowing considering I had lived without reading The Madness Underneath for two years since its release. I just didn’t want to be committed to another book if I did like the ending. I have better series to read from the library so I am officially putting this one to rest.

Series Rating: 2.5/5

The Name of the Star 3/5 | The Madness Underneath DNF | The Shadow Cabinet N/A | Book 4 N/A


While I personally didn’t enjoy this story, I quite a few people will like the supernatural/paranormal spin of it. If you like slower series with books dedicated to personal character development then this series is for you. But if you are like me and like having multiple plotlines or faster plotlines with lots of twists and action, you won’t enjoy this series so stay away!


  • Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
  • Hereafter by Tess Hudson (Hereafter Trilogy #1)


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Single Sundays: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Synopsis for Meant to Be (from Goodreads.com):
Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It’s one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s queen of following rules and being prepared. That’s why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that’s also why she’s chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB (“meant to be”).

But this spring break, Julia’s rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she’s partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.


I went into this book not sure what to expect. I’m right on that cusp of being too old to read high school-er aged character books but not too old that I probably shouldn’t be reading them. I knew it would either be really awesome or just fall flat. Turns out, it was really awesome!

This book was a lot of fun! I laughed, I sighed, smacked my head in disbelief and just enjoyed every minute reading it. While predictable, there are a few little twists along the way that stop its seemingly clear and set path.

I think I liked this book so much because I can relate to Julia in a lot of ways. Certainly not in the pining for a guy she hasn’t talked to in ages but in not breaking the rules and the like. But she really grows up as you read and let’s out a side of her I don’t think she knew she had.

There’s not much else to say without giving it all away but a super fun read nonetheless. I went abroad when I was in high school for a class trip and this book brought back a lot of memories for me which probably added to my experience (but definitely not required to read!). Now I really want to go to London…


Don’t go into this book taking it to seriously or you won’t enjoy it. It’s just a fun read about enjoying your time as a teenager and seeing life and love from a different perspective . If you don’t like high school romances and often immature/goofy heroes, avoid this book! Otherwise, try it out!

Rating: 5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Travel
Recommended for: 16+
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Top Stand-alone of 2013
Similar Reads: Only for You by Beverley Kendall (Unforgettable You #1)

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