First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday: Flashback

Welcome to First Lines Friday: Flashback, where on the first Friday of the month I share the first lines from one of the older books on my shelves and try to tempt you to add it to yours.

“Wake up, Alice.
The nasal voice finds its way to me in the honeycomb of my daydream.
I don’t remember nodding off, but I was somewhere far lovelier.”

Today’s first lines are taken from Wonderland by Juno Dawson, which won the YA Book Prize 2020. I’ve read some great reviews for this one and it sounds like an intriguing read.



What happens when you fall down the rabbit hole? The compulsive must-have follow-up to CLEAN and MEAT MARKET from bestselling, award-winning author Juno Dawson

Alice lives in a world of stifling privilege and luxury – but none of it means anything when your own head plays tricks on your reality. When her troubled friend Bunny goes missing, Alice becomes obsessed with finding her. On the trail of her last movements, Alice discovers a mysterious invitation to ‘Wonderland’: the party to end all parties – three days of hedonistic excess to which only the elite are welcome.

Will she find Bunny there? Or is this really a case of finding herself? Because Alice has secrets of her own, and ruthless socialite queen Paisley Hart is determined to uncover them, whatever it takes.

Alice is all alone, miles from home, and now she has a new enemy who wants her head…

A searing exploration of mental health, gender and privilege, from the most addictive YA novelist in the UK today.

Buy the book here*
*this is an affiliate link.


Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxx

Emma's Anticipated Treasures First Line Friday

First Line Friday

Welcome to First Line Friday. This is a tag that was started by mrscookesbooks on Instagram and I’ve been doing on there for a while. I decided to start posting here too, offering more than just one line and hoping to entice you into reading the books I share.

So, here is this week’s first line:

“In glittering Shanghai, a monster awakens.

It’s eyes snap open in the belly of the Huangpu River, jaws unhinging at once to taste the foul blood seeping into the waters. Lines of red slither through this ancient city’s modern streets: lines that draw webs in the cobblestones like a network of veins, and drip by drip these veins surge into the waters, pouring the city’s life essence into the mouth of another.”

This amazing first line is from These Violent Delights, one of my most anticipated books released in November.


Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang-a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love . . . and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns-and grudges-aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

Published by Hodder and Stoughton on November 17th, 2020. You can pre-order the book here.

Blog Tours book reviews

The Twin by Natasha Preston ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Published: March 3rd, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult Fiction

Thank you to Darkroom Tours for the invitation to take part in this blog tour and to Delacorte Press for the gifted copy of the novel.


In this twisty psychological thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE CELLAR, Ivy finds out that her twin sister, Iris, is trying to push her out of her own life–and might be responsible for their mother’s death.

After their parents divorced, 10-year-old twins Ivy and Iris were split up–Ivy lived with Dad, Iris with Mom. Now, after a tragic accident takes their mom’s life, the twins are reunited and Iris moves in with Ivy and their dad. Devastated over Mom’s death, Iris spends the first few weeks in almost total silence–the only person she will speak to is Ivy. Iris feels her life is over and she doesn’t know what to do. Emmy promises her twin that she can share her life now. After all, they’re sisters. Twins.

It’s a promise that Iris takes seriously. And before long, Ivy’s friends, her life at school, and her boyfriend, Tyler, fall under Iris’s spell. Slowly, Ivy realizes she’s being pushed out of her own life. But she’s just being paranoid, right? And Mom’s accident was . . . just an accident. Right? It’s not like she–or Dad–or Tyler–are in any danger. . . .


Sixteen-year-old twins Ivy and Iris haven’t lived together since their parents divorced when they were ten. But after their mother’s death in a tragic accident Iris is now moving in with Ivy and their dad. The two have always been different and are more like strangers than sisters. But Ivy is  determined to rebuild her relationship with her twin and promises she can share her life. 

It’s a promise she comes to regret. Iris seems to not be satisfied with sharing Ivy’s life and appears to want to take it from her. Slowly, Ivy’s life begins to spiral out of control and everyone is turning away from her. Things get increasingly sinister and she knows that Iris is behind it. But everybody else is charmed by her, even their father. How can she prove that her sister is out to steal her life?

I find that YA can be hit or miss for me but I absolutely loved this one. The story and characters were well written and I liked that the protagonist and antagonist were twins. It added extra tension as Ivy couldn’t just cut ties with the person she’s sure is out to get her, she has to live with her too. It meant there was so much more at stake and made it a more personal. My favourite scenes were as the book was heading towards it’s dramatic ending. The tension had my heart racing and I couldn’t guess what was going to happen. When it ended I literally went back to see if I missed something as it was so abrupt and sitting there in a fury that the author had ended it that way. But, after thinking about it, I love how it ended and think it was a clever way for the author to finish the book. 

The story is told from Ivy’s point of view so Iris remains an enigma, with the reader wondering if what they think they see is real or if it’s Ivy’s skewed perspective and paranoia. Though I think this added more suspense to the book at times, there is part of me that would have liked to read from Iris’ perspective, maybe short paragraphs peppered between some chapters to have us see her plans and games from another side and maybe to even throw us off course a bit. We don’t know Iris’ true colours until near the end; is she sinister and conniving or is she misunderstood and Ivy just paranoid? You’ll have to read the book to find out. 

The Twin is an exciting, intriguing and gripping novel. I’ve wanted to read this author’s books for a while and I’m now a fan. I will definitely be reading her other books.  I’d recommend this book if you enjoy mysteries and thrillers even if you don’t usually read young adult fiction.

Natasha P Author photo


My name is Natasha, but most people call me Tash or Tasha. I don’t mind either. I was born in England and have lived in small towns and villages out in the countryside ever since.

My husband, Joseph, is the most supportive person in my life. Without his love, help and patience I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m a proud mummy to two amazing little boys who are my whole world.

At school I drifted through, achieving average grades. I fell into administration and receptionist jobs, thinking that I couldn’t really do anything else.

In 2010 I stumbled into writing completely by accident. I was searching the ‘app store’ and came across Wattpad – an amateur writing site. For the first few months I just read, but then I decided to type out some of the ideas swirling around in my head. I’m so glad I did because I love creating new stories.

Writing gave me an escape and Wattpad gave me the confidence I lacked.




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