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”

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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”

book review

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Rating: 5 stars

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As is covered in a wide range of books and the media, one thing can be drawn from the high school experience – it’s a freaking weird deal. Trying to balance friendships and school work and any extracurricular activities is hard enough, without throwing in crushes or, y’know, the whole ‘trying to figure yourself out’ thing. And for Simon, his high school experience is pretty similar in those senses – apart from the minor detail that he’s being blackmailed.

Wait, what?!

Continue reading “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli”

book review

Lydia: the Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice by Natasha Farrant

Rating: 4.5 stars

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While Pride and Prejudice sits happily in the hearts of many, the youngest Bennet sister is often overlooked and dismissed as  “vain, ignorant, idle and absolutely uncontrolled” (Lizzy and Darcy, I’m looking at you). Peeking beyond Lydia’s carefree and bubbly personality, however, it soon becomes clear that there is more to her than meets the eye. Strong willed and desperate for independence from her stifling family, Lydia knows what she wants – and as her mother advises, she will fight for it.

Continue reading “Lydia: the Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice by Natasha Farrant”

book review

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Rating: 4.5 stars

“She would be strong and she would be weak, and both would be okay.”

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In a land where colour equals magic, and where flowers are the preferred snack of many, Alice Queensmeadow stands out. With her lack of pigmentation to hair, eyes and skin, she distinctly feels like she does not fit in. Despite this, she is determined to prove that she is as magical as everyone else in Ferenwood, and what better time to do exactly that, than at the upcoming Surrender ceremony, where all 12 year olds must display their magical talent. However, for Alice, her father’s disappearance over 3 years ago tugs her away from the path every other 12 year old seems destined to take, and instead she embarks on an adventure to find her father, accompanied by Oliver, someone (irritatingly good at magic) from Alice’s past.

Continue reading “Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi”