• Book Review,  Reviews

    Into The Grey – Celine Kiernan

    “We were watching telly the night Nan burnt the house down. It was March 1974, and I was fifteen years of age. I thought I lost everything in that fire, but what did I know about loss? Nothing, that’s what. I would learn soon enough.” When Patrick’s Nan burns down his family’s home and they are forced to move into a house they usually rent in the summer, Patrick is sure things can’t get any worse, he has lost everything and his parents are falling apart. However then Dominick, his twin brother, seems to become distant and the two of them receive ghostly visitors, have nightmares and Dom is dying…

  • 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…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Child’s Elephant – Rachel Campbell-Johnston

    “The sound of the rifle shot rang through the air. For a few moments it seemed as if the whole world had stopped. The cicadas fell silent, a bush rat dived for its burrow, the cattle paused in their chewing and looked upwards with wide empty stares; and Bat, the lone herd-boy who up till then had been dreaming, swishing at bushes with a long whippy branch, let the switch fall and dropped suddenly down on his haunches. His head was quite hidden by the tall, yellow grass.” In the African savannah heat Bat witnesses poachers at work, they shoot and kill a magnificent elephant and then take its tusks…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Rose Under Fire – Elizabeth Wein

    “Rose Moyer Justice  August 2, 1944 Hamble, Southampton, Hampshire Notes for an Accident Report.  I just got back from Celia Forester’s Funeral. I’m supposed to be writing up an official report for the Tempest she flew into the ground, since she’s obviously not going to write it herself and I saw it happen. And also because I feel responsible. I know it wasn’t my fault – I really do know that now. But I briefed her. We both had Tempests to deliver and I’d flown one a couple of times before. Celia hadn’t.” Rose Justice is a young america air transport pilot delivering planes and taxiing pilots for the RAF…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    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,…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Everything is Fine (and Other Lies I Tell Myself) – Cathy Brett

    “She was close to the edge, too close. A careless gust thrown up from the beach below might catch her, tip her off balance and send her staggering forward or sideways. Her feet might find a loose patch of chalk. She might slip and be carried towards the crumbling rim.” Esther Armstrong is a bit of a mess, with her brother away from home, her parents guest house becoming more like a ghost house and her mum hiding the wine bottles at the bottom of the bin as if they don’t exist she is worried about the future. As the summer holidays start she is desperate to find something to…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Heroic – Phil Earle

    “Talk is cheap, which explains a lot. Explains why every day of my life has been a shouting match, why, even with the phone help away from my ear, all I could hear was banter. White noise.  We might not have the money for much else, but we can always afford an argument.” Sonny and Jamm are brothers, Jamm has spent his entire life on the look out for Sonny, who tends to live in the moment. But when Jamm is in Afghanistan and Sonny has to fend for himself a bit more. Jamm returns home on leave and instantly Sonny is aware that there is a change in him.…

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    A Soldier’s Secret – Marissa Moss

    “‘Just a minute there.’ The recruiter stops me as I lean over to dip the pen in ink. ‘You can’t enlist.’ I freeze. Can he tell? I’m wearing a shirt, vest, and trousers as usual, my curly hair cut short except for a lock that insists on falling over my forehead. I brush it away nervously and meet the man’s eyes. I’ve been passing for nearly three years now, but every new encounter stills brings with it the same fear.” Frank Thompson is a member of the Union army. Enlisted as a nurse, tending to the wounded soliders on the battle field, he also becomes a mail carrier, risking his…

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    The City’s Son (The Skyscraper Throne #1) – Tom Pollock

    “I’m hunting. The sun sits low over Battersea, its rays streaking the brickwork like warpaint as I pad through the railway tunnels. My prey can’t be far ahead now: there’s a bitter, burnt stench in the air, and every few yards I find another charred bundle that used to be a rat.” Beth Bradley is in trouble. Having been caught doing graffiti on her school she is expelled. Her father doesn’t bat an eyelid and sits reading in the armchair just as he has done for the past three years since her mother died. Leaving the house she decides the streets are a better place for her and her drawings.…

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    Torn – David Massey

    “Five a.m. I’m woken by yapping dogs and the first distant call to prayer, carried to me on a light breeze. My first morning in Afghanistan.  Private Elinor Nielson, recently qualified medic, first tour of active duty. That’s what I keep telling myself – over and over like a demented idiot – to calm my nerves. I’m just a normal nineteen year old English girl… of the kick-ass, life-saving variety that is.” Ellie is on her first tour of active service in Afghanistan. On her first Patrol she saves a new friend from an IED but before doing that she sees a girl wander right into the firing line, and…