• Book Review

    Secrets, Scheme and Sewing Machines blog tour: extract and review

    The textiles classroom was close to the drama room, but it wasn’t somewhere I’d spent a lot of time before – not since my last textiles class in Year Nine. I had a horrible feeling that Miss Cotterill was probably still going to remember the hideous stuffed whale thing I made in that class. I just hoped she wouldn’t mention it in front of Connor.  “You want to join Sewing Club?” Miss Cotterill peered over her tiny glasses at me. “Are you sure?” Connor was silently laughing behind me. I couldn’t see him, but I just knew. “Very.” I tried out my best “I know what I’m doing” smile. It…

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    Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley

    “The white people are waiting for us.  Chuck sees them first. He’s gone out ahead of our group to peer around the corner by the hardware store. From there you can see all of Jefferson High.  The gleaming redbrick walls run forty feet high. The building is a block wide, and the windowpanes are spotless. A heavy concrete arch hangs over the two-storey wood-and-glass doors at the front entrance.  And the only thing between us and the school is the parking lot. And the white people.  It’s February 1959 and the doors of Jefferson High School have been unlocked, months later than they should have been. Despite the governors best…

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    The Hidden Princess – Katy Moran

    “‘So are you coming tomorrow night, Amy? You could bring Mika in the pram.’ I knew it was a stupid thing to say the second I opened my mouth. Even wrapped in the enormous patchwork blanket I’d spent three months knitting, Mike was still smaller than the Creed family’s ancient and bad-tempered calico cat. There was no way Amy was going to bring her newborn baby to a party in the woods.” Lissy Harker has been trapped in the Hidden halls for six long years. Her father, the Swan King keeping her captive but alive as she is the only one who can open the gateway to the mortal world.…

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    Deep Blue – Jennifer Donnelly

    “Deep in the black mountains, deep in the Romanian night, deep beneath the cold, dark waters of the ancient Olt, the river witches sang.  Daughter of Merrow, leave your sleep, The ways of childhood no more to keep,  The dream will die, a nightmare rise,  Sleep no more, child, open your eyes.” Serafina is due to become the queen of the underwater kingdom in which she lives. However scared she is of this nothing prepares her for the day of her declaration when there is an attack on her city. Her kingdom is under siege and she has to flee. She finds herself running from people all around her, people…

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    A Midsummer’s Nightmare – Kody Keplinger

    “Hangovers are a bitch.  I’ve known this for years, since I was, like, fourteen and went to my first party, but the headache I woke up with the morning after graduation was the worst I’d ever experienced. And that says a lot. I mean, it was thrbbing. I felt like someone had beaten me over the head with a freaking baseball bat.” When Whitley Johnson wakes up next to some guy after her graduation party she feels like death and just wants to get away, go home and hide for the next 24 hours. After that she will be on her way to her dads for a summer of sun,…

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    A Kiss in the Dark – Cat Clarke

    “I saw here before she saw me. It was better that way. I watched her looking for me, craning her neck to see over the crowds. Trying to match the faces in front of her against my profile picture. That was all she had to go on. No bigger than a passport photo and you couldn’t even see my face properly. Half turned away from the camera, fringe flopping down over my eyes. It was one of the only photos of me I didn’t hate. She must have liked it too, I guess.” When Alex and Kate start chatting on their favourite bands online forum there’s an instant attraction. Their…

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    The Oathbreaker’s Shadow – Amy McCulloch

    “Raim sat in the crook of an old, cracked tree, one leg dangling in the breeze, his head leaning back against the trunk. Long, needle-like leaves shaded him from the oppressive hear and hid him from the view of his grandfather, in case he was looking to assign Raim yet another chore. He just wanted a moment to himself. From his vantage point he could see his clan’s settlement of yurts, dome-like tents that made up his home, and watched as smoke lifted lazily out of the circular holes in the centre of the roofs.” Raim and his family live within the Moloti tribe. Everyone in their world have a…

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    Noble Conflict – Malorie Blackman

    “Nearly two centuries ago, the region on our Eastern boarders was not the volcanic wasteland it is today. It was a land as beautiful as our own, but inhabited by another culture, the so-called Crusaders, whose very nature was intemperate and undisciplined. Whilst we in the Alliance lived in harmony with the land, valuing and living at one with nature, their highly skilled scientists sought to control and subdue nature through their technology.” Kasper is graduating from his training as Guardian for the Alliance when the ceremony is caught under attack from a group of Insurgents, soldiers for the Crusaders. All his life Kasper has been told about their vicious,…