book review

For Every One by Jason Reynolds

Before we dive into the review of this gem, allow me a bit of back story.

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Until a few years ago, I didn’t get poetry. I couldn’t wrap my head around it, or understand why it wasn’t just written in prose. Truth be told, I was probably a bit scared by poetry, and the ability it has to make you feel things, and so I locked myself up tight and told myself it was the poetry that was the problem, and not me. (Also let’s not forget those awful GCSE English lessons. Yet again, school killing something that could have been wonderful for me…)

Fast forward to when I started working in a bookshop, and one of the first books I was given to read was Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. At first, I was baffled by it, as always, but by the end I had found that there were sections that made me begin to appreciate poetry. Granted, I didn’t have an overnight transformation into a poetry lover, but sometime later I found myself (voluntarily) picking Love That Dog up again and I straight up adored it. Suddenly, I got poetry! Hooray!

And then, last week, I was giving the poetry shelves at work a bit of a tidy and reorganisation, and I noticed For Every One by Jason Reynolds sitting there, looking at me (the fact that it has a highly eye-catching cover by Yinka Illori also helped. I mean, just look at those colours!!). I’d seen good things about it online, and so started reading it, there and then. A couple of pages in, and I was hooked. I immediately went and tucked it behind the till so I could buy it on my lunch break, as I knew it was something special I would want to keep and read over and over and over again.

Dear reader, I was not wrong.  Continue reading “For Every One by Jason Reynolds”

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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”

book review

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Astrid and Nicole have always been best friends, and have always done everything together. That is, until, one day, when Astrid falls in love with roller derby, and Nicole… doesn’t. Nicole doesn’t want to sign up to the Roller summer camp, she wants to sign up for ballet (*GASP!*). Not only is ballet not roller derby, ballet camp also contains Astrid’s least favourite person in the world, the mean Rachel.

IMG_0060 Continue reading “Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson”

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”

blog tour, book review

The Girl in the Tower Blog Tour: Q&A, review and giveaway

Hello and welcome to my stop on The Girl in the Tower Blog Tour! As you might be able to tell, I’m *very* excited to have you here. So, settle in, buckle up, grab your cosiest warm drink, and without further ado, let’s dive in…

Author Q&A

I was lucky enough to be able to steal a few moments of author Katherine Arden’s day, in order to answer some of my questions for her.

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Hi Katherine, thank you so much for answering my questions. It is a pleasure to have you here today! I absolutely adored The Bear and the Nightingale, and was so incredibly excited to read The Girl in the Tower. For those who haven’t yet started the Winternight Trilogy, can you summarise the books so far? Continue reading “The Girl in the Tower Blog Tour: Q&A, review and giveaway”

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”

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”

book review

The Wild Swans by Jackie Morris

Rating: 5 stars

“When she opened the covers she found within its pages princes and princesses, witches and wizards, captive and waiting to be released by reading.”

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I was fortunate enough to be given this book as a Christmas present from work, and oh my word – it is wonderful. Not only is it a sight to behold, with gilded lettering and beautiful illustrations, but it is magical inside too. Between the pages of this book is a stunning, lyrical re-telling of The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, and I was spellbound by it.

Continue reading “The Wild Swans by Jackie Morris”