book review

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

First things first: let’s talk about how utterly beautiful this proof is. Look at it. LOOK. Take in the gilded words, the delicately starlit night sky. Feel the softness of the ultra-matte cover (you’re gonna have to use your imagination for that one, but I believe in you, you can do it). See it sitting on your bookshelf, reminding you that you’ve technically stolen it from work as you consider it yours now– I mean… *cough*… work has another copy, and I’m just borrowing it… long term…? (I’m sorry work, I really am. I can’t bring myself to bring it back. Don’t make me. Please?!*)

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LET’S CRASH ON.

Continue reading “Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend”

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blog tour

YA Shot Blog Tour | Defender of the Realm Author Duo Q&A and Review

Today’s blog post is a bit exciting – not only am I posting on a Saturday (oh, so this is what a weekend is…), but I also have an author Q&A courtesy of the YA Shot Blog Tour. YA Shot is an author-led YA and MG festival that happens every year in Uxbridge. This year, YA Shot is happening on Saturday 14th April – for tickets and more information, check out their website here.

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I’m joined by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler, an award winning writing duo. They have worked on many popular tv shows (such as Thunderbirds are Go!, Danger Mouse, and Shaun the Sheep, and are currently working on the script for the new Moominvalley series), as well as being the brains behind the popular middle grade Defender of the Realm series.

Read on for a Q&A with Mark and Nick, and a (spoiler-free!) review of the first book in the series. Continue reading “YA Shot Blog Tour | Defender of the Realm Author Duo Q&A and Review”

book review

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Rating: 5 stars

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Raymie Clarke is determined to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, and if that means signing up for baton twirling lessons, then so be it. For if she becomes Little Miss Central Florida Tire, then her photo will be in the paper, and her absent father will see it and have to come home. However, Raymie hadn’t counted on the two other girls also learning how to baton twirl (the delicate and dramatic Louisiana Elefante, who also wants to win, and the tough as nails, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who wants to sabotage the competition) throwing a spanner in the works and firmly derailing her plan. Continue reading “Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo”

bears books, book review

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Rating: 5 stars

Before I begin, allow me to add a teeny tiny bit of back story. As some of you may have seen on my instagram, I recently joined a book club. After the first meeting of Bears Books in early August, our first book pick was The Bear and the Nightingale, which I suggested on a whim after the mention of another book by someone else. Now, while it was very flattering to have my suggestion picked first, it also meant that I got to enjoy the crippling fear of ‘what if the rest of the group don’t like it’, ‘what if they completely pick the book apart, but I enjoyed it’, ‘what if they all hate the book and then hate me for suggesting it’, and so on and so forth. (Nothing like adding some extra fear to your already anxiety-fuelled life…) Thankfully, the other book club people are all lovely humans (and I know they wouldn’t judge me for picking a book they didn’t enjoy), and so none of those fears came to life (and, importantly, I’m still in the book club).

In fact, I was extremely lucky, as they all enjoyed the book (break out the streamers and party rings!), and so without further babbling from me, let’s get on with the review.

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Continue reading “The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden”

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”

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”

monthly wrap up

August Wrap Up and September Reading Goals

Oh look, it is the end of another month. That can mean only one thing – time for an end of month wrap up! (Cue applause and cheering.) August has been a bit of a weird month for me; on one hand it has been packed with work and catching up with friends and events, but on the other it has seemed to be never ending, and that the start of the month was yonks ago. (Time! Stop messing with my head, pls.) Although I feel like I didn’t get much read at all, I still managed 13 books (not all pictured below!), which is a lot more than I was imagining I would finish this month. See, miracles do happen. (Cue that song from The Princess Diaries soundtrack.)

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Books read in August:

(The 3 stories in TLoT sampler are listed separately as that is how they are listed on goodreads.)

Continue reading “August Wrap Up and September Reading Goals”

book review

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

Rating: 4 stars

As soon as I saw the proof had arrived at work, it may have accidentally fallen into my bag (I mean, sorry lovely people at work, but you snooze, you lose) – after reading The Christmasaurus last year I was intrigued as to what Tom Fletcher’s second chapter book would be like. Spoiler: I was not disappointed.

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At first glance of the title, I’ll admit, I thought maybe the book was about me, simply because my joints seem to be competing for the title of the Creakiest Joints of a Twenty Three Year Old (seriously, you should’ve heard me when I stood up on the train, The Creakers in hand, and managed to click all elbows/knees/ankles just by walking to the train doors). Luckily, the book is waaaay more fun and exciting than if it had been about my creaky bones, so we can all say a big thank you for that and crash on with the actual review. Continue reading “The Creakers by Tom Fletcher”

monthly wrap up

July Wrap Up and August Reading Goals

What’s this? Another month has come to an end?! Seriously, July has  f l o w n  by and has been such a busy month – reading included! You may have noticed, dear blog reader, that I haven’t posted much this month (the fact that there are reviews from last month’s wrap up that I haven’t finished is a bit of a sore point for me at the moment. I’ll get on that asap…), mainly because I have had extra shifts at work, and also because I did a LOT of reading in July. (Yay, go team!) Including the 2 books not pictured below (both borrowed from, and read at, work), I finished 16 books. I also failed at getting to YALC (can I take this moment to publicly apologise to my managers for having to work with a Grumpy McGrump whilst YALC was happening), but let’s not dwell on that any more.

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Books read in July:

Continue reading “July Wrap Up and August Reading Goals”

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”