• Book Review,  Reviews

    Finding a Voice: Friendship is a Two Way Street – Kim Hood

    “One, two, three, four. I started counting the steps as soon as my feet left the drive. At first, walking so quickly I could barely keep count, but counting nonetheless. Pouring all of my consciousness into keeping count, blocking any other thought out. Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. Opening one finger at a time when I got to the two-syllable numbers to make sure I didn’t lose track of how many steps I had taken.” Jo is so used to keeping her head down and getting on with life that she doesn’t always see things clearly. Between looking after her mum and avoiding the mean kids at school she tries to keep…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Apple & Rain – Sarah Crossan

    “I don’t know if what I remember is what happened or just how I imagine it happened now I’m old enough to tell stories…  I have one memory from that time. It never changes, and if I wanted to make up memories, wouldn’t they be good ones? Wouldn’t all my childhood stories have happy endings?” Apples mother walked out when she was a baby, for the past 11 years she has lived with her overbearing Nana and dreamt of the day her mother returns. When that day arrives Apple feels whole again. However just like that stormy Christmas Eve when her mother left, her return is bittersweet. Apple is confused…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

    “He’d stopped trying to bring her back.  She only came back when she felt like it, in dreams and lies and broken-down deja vu. Like, he’d be driving to work, and he’d see a girl with red hair standing on the corner – and he’d swear, for half a choking moment, that it was her.  Then he’d see that the girl’s hair was more blond than red.  And that she was holding a cigarette… And wearing a Sex Pistols T-Shirt. Eleanor hated the Sex Pistols.” Eleanor knew she was done for the moment she stepped on the bus. She knew she’d be target practice for the vultures. New in town…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Messengers – Edward Hogan

    “We’re drawn to each other, us messengers. We must be. I remember the first time I saw him, down by the beach huts. There was something about him. The look of him. How could I not go over?  You might even say it was fate, but I don’t believe in that.” Things are bad at home, Frances mother is having a breakdown and her brother is on the run from the police. They have to leave their flat and Frances does not want to move in with her mothers boyfriend. Instead she goes to stay at her Aunts house by the sea. he instantly feels better there but her blackouts,…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Matthew Quick

    “The P-38 WWII Nazi handgun looks comical lying on the breakfast table next to a bowl of oatmeal. It’s like some weird steampunk utensil anachronism. But if you look very closely just above the handle you can see the tiny stamped swastika and the eagle perched on top, which is real as hell.  Leonard Peacock has reached his eighteenth birthday and now he knows exactly what he will do, he will say goodbye.  Not to his mother who will probably not notice he’s not around for a few days or weeks Not to his father who he hasn’t seen in years. Not to his former best friend who has been…

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    Pushing the Limits – Katie McGarry

    “‘My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has… well… issues. How do you think I’m doing?’ That’s how I would have loved to respond to Mrs. Collins’s question, but my father placed too much importance on appearance for me to answer honestly. Instead, I blinked three times and said, ‘Fine.’ Mrs. Collins, Eastwick High’s new clinical social worker, acted as if I hadn’t spoken. She shoved a stack of files to the side of her already cluttered desk and flipped through various papers. My new therapist hummed when she found my three-inch-think file and rewarded herself with a sip of…

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    Dear Dylan – Siobhan Curham

    “From: georgie*harris@hotmail.com To: info@dylancurtland.com Date: Mon, 22 May 16:05 Subject: Love Dear Dylan, Oh my God, this feels really weird, writing you an email as if I know you or something! But the thing is, I really feel as if I do know you. And – here goes – I love you. I know we haven’t met or anything, but sometimes when I watch you in Jessop Close I feel as if you’re talking just to me.”  Georgie’s first major crush is Dylan Curtland, except she can’t exactly flirt and bat her eyelashes at him like her friend Jessica does to Jamie, the boy she fancies. That’s because Dylan isn’t…

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    Wonder – RJ Palacio: Early Review

    “I know I’m not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. I have an Xbox. Stuff like that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel Ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.” August was born with a severe facial deformity, in and out of hospital for most of his life he’s never been to normal school, he’s been home-schooled, until now… He is ten and about to start fifth grade at the local…

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    Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

    “’Sir?’ she repeats ‘How soon do you want it to get there?’ I run two fingers, hard, over my left eyebrow. The throbbing has become intense. ‘It doesn’t matter’ I say. The clerk takes the package. The same shoebox that sat on my porch less than twenty-four hours ago; rewrapped in a brown paper bag, sealed with clear packaging tape, exactly as I had received it. But now addressed with a new name. The next name on Hannah Baker’s list.” When Clay Jensen picks up a package that’s been left on his porch, he doesn’t know what it contains, he doesn’t know its going to change his life, he doesn’t…