A Kids Book About… Review

You may have seen these eye catching books advertised online, on display in shops or libraries and wondered what they were. These books are conversation starters for children, each books tackles a challenging topic or abstract concept and discusses it with the reader and the child. These are books designed to be read together, they are there to facilitate a conversation about tough topics.

The books use simple language and are written in a first person perspective from the author as they discuss what the topic is and how it has affected them. The books focus on typography and colour to help tell the story, there are no characters other than the author, and at the end of the book is a space to write notes and sometimes there are questions they can be asked and discussed.

We make kids books that matter. There are no dragons, silly bears, or cute tales about princesses. Only the challenging, empowering, and important topics that kids experience every day. Kids’ lives are complicated, and our mission is to help kids and their grownups have honest conversations about things that matter.

akidsbookabout.com

The books cover a range of topics from racism, death, feminism, cancer, empathy, body image, anxiety, and depression. While these are quite heavy hitting topics, children are not stupid nor are they blind to the way the world works around them.

A Kids Book About series are great ways to start a conversation – the books do not pull punches, they are written by people who have experience and knowledge about the topics, and the authors are honest with their experiences. Regardless of the topic the books try to place the power in the child’s hands – letting them know that they have the knowledge now, that they can seek change, and that they can have hope.

Despite the heavy subjects, A Kids Book About series are quite optimistic in their portrayals of topics and are amazing resources for when children ask questions that are hard to answer. I would really recommend picking up one of these gems and giving them a go – who knows, you may learn something.

Historical Romance Book Bingo #1

Duke

Tall, Duke, and Dangerous by Megan Frampton

Rating: 2 out of 5.

After finishing the first novel in the A Hazards of Dukes series, Never Kiss a Duke, I was looking forward to picking up the second. Sadly the second novel in the series didn’t hold the same appeal as the first.

While I did enjoy the characters and liked seeing them together, the trope used and reasoning behind the pair meeting felt so contrived and eye roll inducing. In addition to this, I often found myself cringing during the audiobook at some of the narration. The voice actress did what she could with the content but some of the intimate moments were so embarrassing to listen to – I often found myself pulling a face while listening.

Do not let my words deter you though, Megan Frampton is a great author who has an amazing back catalogue. So feel free to pick up any of her books, I would really recommend Never Kiss a Duke!

Fake Engagement

The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have been meaning to find and finish this book for years now and was so happy to see a new audiobook release of The Perfect Rake because I still have no located my physical copy 😓.

As before, when I made it half way through the book, I can say that what I enjoyed most were the characters. I adored Gideon and loved his character arch which saw him start as an aloof rake who gradually and without his realising it, fall completely and wholeheartedly in love. I adored the almost blind and unaware devotion he showed Prudence.

For me, the main draw of the book was the romance between Gideon and Prudence. As when I read it before, the plotting of the book lost me once they left London but the start is almost perfect in its sincerity and hilarity.

I have The Perfect Rake earmarked as an example of the Fake Engagement trope in my Clarification post and would whole heartedly recommended that if people can, they give Anne Gracie’s book a read!


If you’re interested in using taking part in the above challenge, you can find out more information by clicking the button on the left ❤


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Confessions of a Book Lover – I pick books because of their covers

My name is Ally and I 100% pick books because of their covers.

I am comfortable admitting that I am fickle and can be won over or put off by a book cover. Not going to lie either – the prettier the cover the more likely I am to read the blurb.

Continue reading “Confessions of a Book Lover – I pick books because of their covers”

Read and Rated: January 2021

First month of 2021 saw me reading quite widely and consuming a bunch of different genres! Hopefully the start of the year, saw your enjoying a bunch of books too. So scroll on down to check out all the books that I read in January, rated.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Happily Ever After & Everything In Between by Debbie Tung

First book of 2021!

I am a big fan of Debbie Tung and Happily Ever After does not disappoint. Made up of cute comics about her relationship with her husband, Tung illustrates personal and quiet moments that feature in her day to day life. These quiet moments are so lovely, as they are often the funnier or more intimate representations of her relationship.

Continue reading “Read and Rated: January 2021”

New Year, New You: Start a Book Club

Book Clubs

A book discussion club is a group of people who meet to discuss a book or books that they have read and express their opinions, likes, dislikes, etc. 

Taken from Wikipedia.

How to start a book club

Alright, so you want to ring in the new year by starting a book club? Good for you!

I am a big advocate for book clubs because they get you out being social, make you read more books, and engage in some fun book based discussions. If you’re looking at starting your own book club, then you need to ask yourself a few questions.

The below are some of the things to consider when starting a book club.

  • Who wants to join– The first and main task in starting a book club is finding members to join you. You may be lucky and have a few like minded friends who wish to also start a book club, or you may need to round them up, or even sweeten the deal with the promise of wine.
  • Will you have a theme or be genre specific? – This is an important question to ask as it helps your put a frame around the book club. What I mean by frame is that, if you’re selecting only books of classic literature, the impression of that book club to people who may want to join is that there may be a focus on in depth discussions of the work, rather than a book club that reads only crime novels which could involve talks around the whole genre and subject matter.
  • Picking a book – For your first book, it is my suggestion that you pick choose an easy and accessible book. Pick something that everyone can find, whether this is a bestseller or a classic, just so long as it is something everyone can access and actually read. I have seen a number book clubs fail due to an obscure book selection – make the first book a low effort one. You need to pull people in, show them how much fun the book club is before making them put in extra effort.
    Don’t worry though, once you’re past the first meeting you can narrow down or broaden the book selections and pick more nuanced options as a group.
  • How will you meet? – You can gather a group of your friends and hold a physical book club, you could join an established and public book club, or you can engage online in digital book clubs. However you choose to meet, know that there are a number of options open to you.
  • Your first meeting – The hardest part of starting a book club is that first meeting. If you can organise people, pick and read a book, and then actually meet – congratulations! Now all you need to do is stay organised and meet consistently (the second hardest thing to do 😋).

Book Club Checklist

Feel free to use the below graphic as a guide when starting your own book club.

Continue reading “New Year, New You: Start a Book Club”

Ally’s Goodreads Year in Books – 2020

Every year I challenge myself on Goodreads to read a certain number of books. In 2020 I gave myself the goal of reading 150 books and despite the tough and stressful year, I was able to complete this goal, plus a few more.

So check out what I read in 2020 and I hope to see you again in 2021!


Continue reading “Ally’s Goodreads Year in Books – 2020”

12 Tropes of 2020 – The Winter Prince by R. Cooper

Ice King/Queen from
12 Tropes of 2020

The Ice Queen is aloof and, well, frigid. She may not want to get emotionally close to anyone, or it may just be men she disdains. There are a few different ways her icy qualities can manifest themselves, ranging from slinging nasty remarks at anyone who crosses her to simply coming across as emotionless and “cold”. In romance, the hero strives to “defrost” her and win her over so they can embark on a relationship. 

Taken from Thea Landen 

The Winter Prince by R. Cooper

At seventeen, the noble Prince Arrow had his heart stolen by a powerful pari’s magic, which earned him the name Kişin Bey, the Prince-in-Winter, as his veins slowly filled with ice without a heart to keep him warm. Three years have passed since then, and Kişin is not expected to survive another winter. In a last, desperate attempt to save his life, Razin, the court wizard and Kişin’s childhood best friend, convinces him to travel in search of the pari, to ask for the return of his heart. What Razin doesn’t know is that Kişin’s heart was never stolen; he gave it away to the pari to escape the pain of an impossible love—his love for Razin.

Smart and stubborn, Razin has never accepted Kişin’s fate, continuing to address him by his childhood name of Arrow and doing everything he can to keep Kişin warm despite the distance Kişin has put between them. Bitter and sharp of tongue, he is nonetheless determined to ensure Kişin’s survival. The prince needs him, Razin insists, not knowing the truth of his own words, or how painful it is for Kişin to be near him. Kişin agrees to the desperate quest, out of duty and a need to protect Razin, but it isn’t long before Razin realizes saving his prince will require more than simply getting his heart back. Razin will have to convince him to want it

Taken from book blurb

My thoughts

In The Winter Prince we are presented with as cold and emotionless character, Kişin Bey. Having had his heart stolen not only is Kisin not expected to live past next winter but he has become an emotionless and hard person to be around. Across the story, one of our romantic leads set out to return Kisin’s heart and save him from an early grave.

Continue reading “12 Tropes of 2020 – The Winter Prince by R. Cooper”

My Hopeful Reads of 2021

Due largely to my enjoying the graphic, rather than my ‘success’ of last year – I will be attempting again my Hopeful Reads reading challenge.

The image below will be on display in a sidebar widget of my blog for the entirety of 2021. The books featured are ones that I want to hopefully read by the end of 2021, thus the ‘Hopeful reads of 2021’ title. If you see a tick on the cover, it means I finished the book, if you see a cross, sadly it means I wasn’t able to finish the book.

The books that are featured are potentially ones that:

  • potential Historical Romance Book Bingo selections
  • have been recommended to me
  • have caught my eye
  • are books that have remained from last year
  • or simply are ones I want to read.


See any books in there that you want to know more about? Do you want a similar template for your blog? Leave a comment and let me know 😊

Hopeful Reads of 2020 Rundown

It’s finished, it’s over! 2020 has been a very different year than what I was expecting, so I am happy to see it over. Hopefully 2021 will see everyone living a safer and healthier life. At the start of the year I challenged myself to try and read some of the books I was hoping to read in 2020. Check out how I did!


I am proud to have gotten through so many of the below books. I will admit that I wasn’t reading much as during the Australian lock down I was still working and when we opened back up I was quite frazzled (the nicest word for what I was feeling) with the public push back at opening restrictions – so combined this all together it was safe to say I wasn’t feeling all that up to reading.

So when I say proud, I do mean I am proud and surprised that I got through so many of the books.

Check out how I did:



The books that I was able to complete and read were:

The book that I did not finish was:

  • Embrace Your Weird: A Guided Journal for Facing Your Fears and Unleashing Creativity by Felicia Day.

The book was good and I enjoyed the content but I just wasn’t in the mind set to benefit from the content of the book, so I stopped reading 😓

In addition to this I am half way through Mr. Know-It-All by John Waters and since I’m not the biggest fan of biographies, I think this one will take me a little longer to get through.

So as it stands, I have finished 101/2 books out of 16.

One of my 2020 Goals was to read at least half of my Hopeful Reads, so I have smashed it! As I’ve said, I enjoyed this passive challenge, so I’ll make one for 2021 – keep an eye out for that!


It’s been a tough year, were you able to get some reading done? Were there any book you were happy to mark off your TBR pile? Comment and let me know!

12 Tropes of 2020 – The Only Option by Megan Derr

Marriage of Convenience from
12 Tropes of 2020

A marriage of convenience is a mutually beneficial agreement, with both parties profiting from the binding – it may even involve a contract – but not always. Sometimes, only one of the partners may be in it for something other than love.

Taken from TV Tropes.

The Only Option by Megan Derr

A desperate dragon. A lonely necromancer. A marriage neither wants.

When he is summoned to the royal castle, Rochus anticipates nothing more than a particularly difficult assignment. The bothersome journey is almost made worthwhile when he is propositioned by a young, beautiful dragon, Tilo, who seems untroubled by the fact that Rochus is a necromancer.

When Rochus arrives at the castle he is ordered to marry the very same dragon he spent the night with. Though Rochus would rather sign papers and return home, he is helpless against Tilo’s pleas for help, even if it means spending more time around a man he is desperately drawn to but who doesn’t seem to want him.

Taken from book blurb

My thoughts

Megan Derr is a master at crafting in-depth fantastical locations and lore – in The Only Option were are introduced to a necromancer who is quite different from other magical users. Rochus, said grumpy necromancer, has pearly white skin, so black its blue hair, black teeth, and an appetite for blood. Due to his different and off-putting appearance and diet, Rochus is ostracised and feared by people.

Continue reading “12 Tropes of 2020 – The Only Option by Megan Derr”