• This Careless Life by Rachel McIntyre on a wooden background with blog title overlay
    Book Review,  Reviews

    This Careless Life – Rachel McIntyre

    Four best friends with perfect lives. A once in a lifetime opportunity. Who can resist the call of fame and fortune?Liv, Hetty, Jez and Duffy are auditioning for a new reality TV show. Producer Cassandra has warned them the process might be tough, but they are excited and keen to get on with things, confident that they can handle anything.But when Cass produces a photo of a body, everyone realises that they may have something to hide after all… *** I wasn’t sure about This Careless Life when I started reading. Liv seemed self-absorbed and something felt a little odd. But as soon as Liv’s interview started, I was hooked.…

  • Brand New Boy by David Almond on a wooden background with blog box overlay saying brand new boy by David Almond, book review.
    Book Review,  Reviews

    Brand New Boy – David Almond

    “Mam, did you think George was,” I say, “a bit … weird?”“Weird? Yes, I suppose so. But you kids are all a bit weird if you ask me. And to tell the truth, it’d be weird if you weren’t.” When a new boy joins the class, everyone thinks he’s a bit strange, but he’s brilliant at football and loves crisps, and that’s all that matters to Dan and Maxie. However, the truth about George is stranger than anyone could have imagined … and more sinister, too. Can his new pals help him to become truly free?  *** As an adult reading this book you have to understand that it loses…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Death or Ice Cream? – Gareth P Jones

    Larkin Mills: The Birthplace of Death! Larkin Mills is no ordinary town. It’s a place of contradictions and enigma, of secrets and mysteries. A place with an exquisite ice cream parlour, and an awful lot of death.  An extraordinary mystery in Larkin Mills is beginning to take shape. First we meet the apparently healthy Albert Dance, although he’s always been called a sickly child, and he’s been booked into Larkin Mills’ Hospital for Specially Ill Children. Then there’s his neighbour Ivor, who observes strange goings-on, and begins his own investigations into why his uncle disappeared all those years ago. Next we meet Young Olive, who is given a battered accordion…

  • The Book of Hopes on wooden background with blog title written in a blue box
    Book Review,  Reviews

    The Book of Hopes; Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain – Edited by Katherine Rundell

    This collection of short stories features stories and pictures by children’s authors and illustrators which were collected during the first Lockdown of 2020. Author Katherine Rundell starts the book with a prologue about the fact she usually turns to books when she’s in need of hope. And that is how the book came about. She describes stories as transformation – wild glories and everyday glories, magic both real and imaginary. I love the way she talks about hope. I also love the way she describes the book as being a book to dip in and out of when you need hope. Making it perfect to have lying around for those…

  • Book review - image of The Forest of Ghosts and Bones by Lisa Lueddecke on a wooden background with blog title in blue box to the left
    Book Review

    The Forest of Ghosts and Bones – Lisa Lueddecke

    The Eve of Saints approaches and the poison rain which shrouds Castle Marcosza strains at its boundaries. When Beata’s brother is taken by the rain, Beata and her friend Benedek must make a perilous journey of discovery to uncover the root of her secret – why she is the only person who can walk through the rain unscathed. But Beata is soon caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with mysterious Liljana, a girl with hidden powers of her own. And with magic outlawed in Marcosza, can the pair find a way to work together to harness their forbidden ability and unleash its full potential? Or will they find themselves…

  • Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly on blue background with Halloween squash surrounding it.
    Book Review

    Poisoned – Jennifer Donnelly

    Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen’s huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman took out his knife … and took Sophie’s heart. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule — a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she’d heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie…

  • The Box and the Dragonfly by Ted Sanders on wooden background
    Book Review,  Reviews

    The Box and The Dragonfly – Ted Sanders

    From the moment Horace F. Andrews sees the sign from the bus – literally a sign with his name on it – everything in his normal little life changes. An encounter with the House of Answers, a magically hidden warehouse full of mysterious objects and even stranger people, only leads to more questions. These people think he’s special – a Keeper of an incredible gift – although scientifically-minded Horace isn’t so sure he really believes in that kind of thing. But then a confrontation with an impossibly tall, thin, creepy and undoubtedly menacing man makes him think twice… Horace must now quickly begin to unravel the mysteries of this hidden…

  • Book review for I Will Not Be Erased by gal-dem
    Book Review,  Reviews

    “I will not be erased” by gal-dem

    Fourteen funny, insightful and inspirational essays from gal-dem, the award-winning magazine and creative collective of young women of colour. gal-dem are an award-winning creative collective of young women of colour, described by the Guardian as “bubbling with energy, ideas and talent”. In this thought-provoking collection of fourteen essays, their writers take raw material from their teenage years – diaries, poems and chat histories – and explore growing up. Straight-talking, funny and insightful, the essays tackle important subjects including race, gender, mental health and activism, making this essential reading for any young person. I would like to start this review by pointing out that I’m not the intended audience of this…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    How Hard Can Love Be? – Holly Bourne

    All Amber wants is a little bit of love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to California, got remarried and had a personality transplant. But Amber’s hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that. And then there’s prom king Kyle, the guy all the girls want. Can he really be interested in anti-cheerleader Amber? Even with best friends Evie and Lottie’s advice, there’s no escaping the fact: love is hard. After reading The Places I’ve Cried in Public I knew that I needed to get more Holly Bourne books in my life. I’ve had this one sat on my bookshelf for…

  • book review of Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
    Book Review,  Reviews

    Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell

    Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were…