ARC REVIEW: Dear Mr Pop Star – by Derek & Dave Philpott @DerekPhilpott

Title: Dear Mr Pop Star
Author: Derek & Dave Philpott
Genre: Non Fiction, Humor, Music
First published: September 20th 2018
Publisher: Unbound
Finished reading: October 26th 2018
Pages: 416

“Furthermore, you needn’t worry about the intoxicating effects of scrumpy on us; we’re not like those festival lightweights who have a couple of pints of the crazy apple and end up piddling in their own welly boots. We’ve been drinking it for so many years it no longer has any alcofrolic effect; we actually consider it one of our ‘5-a-Day’.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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Even though I confess quite a few of the artists featured in Dear Mr Pop Star are before my time, I do love my music and I have been having a great time discovering and rediscovering songs. Tip: put the corresponding band/song on Youtube in the background while you read each letter and reply. It will make your reading experience even better! (Or even better: listen to this Spotify playlist ready to use!) I had a blast going through the letters in Dear Mr Pop Star. I love that they sent letters to famous musicians in the first place, and the fact that so many actually responded is simply brilliant. And so many are such clever and funny replies at that. My favorite replies include those of Doctor And The Medics, Dr Hook, Tears For Fears, Cutting Crew, Katrina And The Waves, The Wurzels, Smokie, The Climax Blues Band, The Jags, NuShooz, City Boy, Johnny Hates Jazz and Republica. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise and give them all away. Dear Mr Pop Star would make a perfect gift for any pop and rock music fan. The letters will make you shuckle out loud and bring a smile to your face on numerous occasions, and it’s interesting to see how the pop and rock stars react to those letters in the first place. Thank you for compiling this brilliant collection and giving us the chance to get a glimpse of what is going on in the heads of some of the famous artists out there!


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WWW Wednesdays #194 – October 31st

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m still reading An Officer And A Spy by Robert Harris… It’s taking me a lot longer than planned, mostly because I’m finding the pace rather slow and can’t really stay interested in the story. The fact that I’ve put it down repeatedly to read something else instead is a clue here. I’m still going to finish it though, although I’m not sure if I will do so before the end of the evening to make it count as another October read. 😉

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Perfect Family by Shalini Boland (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 
I have enjoyed every single of the psychological thrillers Shalini Boland has written so far, and The Perfect Family is no exception. The writing is just as strong as ever, drawing you in from the start. The plot is very cleverly constructed and the final reveals definitely add an original touch to the story (despite the fact I saw part of it coming). The development of the plot and the plot twists are excellent, revealing just enough each time to keep you on your toes at all times. Without doubt a suspenseful, well crafted and simply splendid psychological thriller!

2. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW 05/11
Spell Bound went slightly better than the second book, and I started to enjoy the sarcastic kind of humor and writing style in general again. Then… BOOM! The annoying romance and frustrating love triangle was back to ruin the day again, and things went downhill from there. I hate that the romance has ruined a potentially excellent trilogy for me, especially since I really enjoyed the first book and thought it had so much potential.

3. The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace (4/5 stars) REVIEW 09/11
While there is no complicated poetry style to admire and the main technique seems to be the use of the space bar, somehow I wasn’t as bothered by that. Because there is one thing for sure: where The Princess Saves Herself In This One might lack in proper technique, it’s the words themself and the powerful message behind them that will blow your socks off. WOW! It doesn’t happen often that I’m able to connect this much with poetry… Relatable, emotional, clever wordplay; these words will no doubt move you.

4. Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott (4/5 stars) REVIEW 06/11
I had a blast going through the letters in Dear Mr Pop Star. I love that they sent letters to famous musicians in the first place, and the fact that so many actually responded is simply brilliant. And so many are such clever and funny replies at that. Dear Mr Pop Star would make a perfect gift for any pop and rock music fan. The letters will make you shuckle out loud and bring a smile to your face on numerous occasions, and it’s interesting to see how the pop and rock stars react to those letters in the first place.

5. Her Last Move by John Marrs (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 08/11
I really like how Her Last Move isn’t just another detective thriller, and adds its original twist to it. The plot itself is quite complicated with three different POVs to consider as well as various background stories. But it all just worked for me, and both the suspense and plot twists are well handled. The story also has a few surprises in store, and the character development is very well done. Plus, getting to look inside the head of another twisted serial killer is always a bonus, right? Fans of the genre will enjoy this one.

6. The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon (5/5 stars) REVIEW 09/11
This story has once again reconfirmed my love for her work. What an absolutely brilliant and moving story! I think this is one of the first times I wasn’t bothered at all by the appearance of a love triangle, and somehow I actually enjoyed the romance. Between the wonderful writing style, the excellent character development, an interesting plot and the paranormal angle The Smallest Part has everything and more needed to turn this into one of my top reads this year.

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry (3/5 stars) REVIEW 12/11
First of all, I have to say that I probably would have enjoyed this book a lot better if I would have read it 15-20 year ago. I have been meaning to read this so-called modern classic for years, and I think the story itself has a bigger impact on younger readers than adults. That said, the worldbuilding and story of The Giver reminded me a bit of Brave New World with a new twist. It was quite an interesting take on a dystopian world, where everything is controlled in such a way everything seems the same. This contrast with Jonas and his experiences once he starts training as a Receiver on its own is fascinating. Especially as he starts discovering more about his world and his eyes are truly opened… But somehow, I wasn’t able to enjoy the actual story as much as I thought I would.

8. Small Time Crimes by Paul D. Brazill (2/5 stars) REVIEW 11/11
I was looking forward to this short story bundle, as it sounded like the perfect way to get myself in the Halloween mood. Sadly, it wasn’t ment to be. Part of me thinks I’m the wrong target group here, although I normally love my dark humor and I don’t mind violence and graphic scenes. But this was just too much for me. I didn’t like the writing style, most of the stories completely lacked plots or stopped in the middle of a story, some were simply disgusting and my overall experience wasn’t a good one.

9. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (3/5 stars) REVIEW 12/11
I needed a distracting after Small Time Crimes, and then I remembered I have been wanting to read this picturebook classic for ages now. While I can see the appeal and the writing style is spot on, I did have my doubts about the message behind this story… Because the tree isn’t exactly treated with respect and only gives and gives without ever getting something real in return; not exactly a healthy relationship I would want to show to my kids.

10. Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage (4/5 stars) REVIEW 16/11
I’ve heard a lot of things about Baby Teeth, and it’s definitely been making me want to read it before the October month is over. And it was without doubt a great read to get in the Halloween mood. I understand all the comments about Hanna now, because she truly is something that comes right out of your worst nightmare! She definitely gave me the creeps and more; it’s not exactly convincing me to have kids one day. xD The ending was kind of open and made me wonder if there will be a sequel one day?

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m going and try to read as many Goodreads Choice Nomination titles as possible as well as read upcoming ARCs… First up is The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor, a title I’ve been looking forward to read and the awards are an excellent excuse to do so. I’m also going to pick up The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas soon. My next ARC willbe Heresy by Melissa Lenhardt. It’s been ages since I read a Western themed historical fiction story, so I’m looking forward to it! I also (finally!) have a new TBR jar pick: The Insect Farm by Stuart Prebble. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to it in November, but I’m definitely reading it before the end of the year.


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