book review

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Rating: 5 stars

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“In your hands / You are holding / Life. / Death. / Love. / Forgiveness.”

Joe and his brother Ed haven’t seen each other for ten years – because Ed is on death row. Faced with the prospect of Ed’s execution date, Joe is desperate to spend the last summer with him, no matter what. Continue reading “Moonrise by Sarah Crossan”

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book review

Witch for a Week by Kaye Umansky

Rating: 5 stars

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Elsie is used to her humdrum life working in her parents’ (self-admitted) tat shop. Having learnt the Customer Service rules (such as be friendly, be helpful, and always pretend the customer is right, even when they’re clearly wrong), she is expert at dealing with all the boring and ordinary customers who frequent the shop (many in need of a listening ear more than spending money). When local witch Magenta Sharp swirls into town (leaving a small trail of chaos and disorganisation in her wake) and asks to put an ad up (hey, even witches need someone to house– I mean, tower-sit for them), Elsie finds herself drawn to the task. Accepting the job, Elsie vows not to meddle with anything to do with magic, and just to relax and read lots of Magenta’s books.

As good intentions go, Elsie’s magic-free vow comes from the right place (meddling with magic is not something she wants to put on her to-do list), and she does manage to stick to her guns… for two days. To be fair, when faced with a spells-worth of magic that Must Be Used Immediately, Elsie didn’t really have much choice. Continue reading “Witch for a Week by Kaye Umansky”

book review

See How They Lie by Sue Wallman

Rating: 5 stars

Very recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Sue Wallman, however I wasn’t told until after the event. Yes. That’s right. I had the chance to chat books with an author and I failed to do so. I humbly accept the Idiot of the Year Award, and will add it to the collection. Regardless of my foolish move, the next day as I was preparing to leave work and was trying to pick a book off the proof shelves to read on the way home (“Just pick one Helen, you just need one” – me to myself, 100%), I spotted See How They Lie and thought maybe I could semi-recover from my social fail by reading one of her books. Consequently, I humbly accept Helen’s Best Idea of the Year Award (first time for everything) because this book is seriously good.

DSC_0333 Continue reading “See How They Lie by Sue Wallman”

book review

Lorali by Laura Dockrill

Rating: 5 stars

As already established on this blog, I am a bit of a mermaid fan. Weirdly, though, it took me a stupid amount of time before I started reading Lorali (I have to thank the sequel appearing at work for finally pushing me into starting it) – but holy moly, me oh my, it was completely worth the wait.

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Rory Francis has lived in Hastings his whole life, and, on the morning of his 16th birthday, he doesn’t expect anything special from his hometown. So when a freak storm causes him to seek shelter beneath the pier, he soon discovers that someone else is hiding – and not just anyone, but a mermaidContinue reading “Lorali by Laura Dockrill”

book review

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon and Dean Hale

Rating: 5 stars

Meet Doreen Green: just your average 14 year old girl, whose day to day life includes all the regular 14 year old girl things, such as eating nuts, talking to squirrels, and hiding her fluffy tail— wait, what?!? Okay okay, so maybe Doreen isn’t quite like your standard teen, but when you have the power to rescue cats from trees, halt neighbourhood gangs, and prevent vandalism, the average teen life can seem quite… strange.

DSC_0294 b Continue reading “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon and Dean Hale”

book review

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Rating: 5 stars

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Parker Grant has a set of rules to get her through life. These rules go from number 1 (Don’t deceive me. Ever) to number infinity (There are NO second chances), and they are non-negotiable, due to the fact that Parker is blind.

Struggling to come to terms with her dad’s death and relatives moving in to live with her, Parker’s routine is interrupted by the merging of her school with another. This means there are loads of new people who don’t know her rules, as well as someone from Parker’s past who once not only broke Parker’s rules, but also her heart. Parker is determined to continue to shun Scott, but that seems to get harder and harder as he keeps appearing. Could it be that what Parker thinks Scott did wasn’t quite the entire story? Continue reading “Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom”

book review

The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods

Rating: 5 stars

“That night, a bright little bird flew high overhead. Each beat of its wings made a patch of the stars flicker out, and another made them flicker back on.”

The above quote is on the front of the proof of this book, and as soon as I read it (coupled with the wonderful use of silver gilding), I was gripped, hook, line and sinker (yes, I am grasping at straws with a fish related pun).

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In a small town called Allora, where the houses are painted in beautiful colours and fish fly out of the sea, Alberto lives in a house on the top of the hill. Originally a carpenter, he is forced to become a coffin maker when a plague sweeps through the town, taking with it his wife and 3 children.

Continue reading “The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods”

book review

Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy

Rating: 5 stars

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I have to admit, I’m still relatively new to the graphic novel genre, but after a friend let me read her copy of Nimona (by Noelle Stevenson, who co-created this series), I’ve been hooked (and it backs up my belief that all books should have illustrations in them, whatever the reading age. ALL THE ILLUSTRATED BOOKS). Continue reading “Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy”

book review, competition

The Bookshop Girl by Sylvia Bishop // & competition

Rating: 5 stars

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I practically inhaled this book when I got a hold of it back in February, but it was only when a manager asked if I had written a review for it that I realised I hadn’t (shame on me, shame on my family, shame on my cow). Continue reading “The Bookshop Girl by Sylvia Bishop // & competition”

book review

The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

After Kiran’s success at the British Book Awards on Monday (she deservedly won Children’s Book of the Year for The Girl of Ink and Stars), I realised I hadn’t got round to posting this review.

Rating: 5 stars

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Before I begin this review, please allow me to drool over the physical beauty that is this book. The cover, the endpapers, and the beautiful butterfly illustrations at the start of each chapter – it is a delight for the eyes, and that is even before you begin to read the text! Reader, you cannot say we’re not spoiled. Continue reading “The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave”