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Showing posts from November, 2013

November review

A slow month for me reading wise. Work has been crazy not leaving a lot of time for reading

Books read
196) Witchfinder by Ruth Warburton (British Books Challenge)
197) All I Want for Christmas by Esme Taylor (British Books Challenge)
198) The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis (British Books Challenge)
199) Dead Ends by Erin Lange
200) Tape by Steve Camden (British Books Challenge)
201) This song will save your life by Leila Sales
202) The Engagements by J Courtney Sullivan
203) Boys don't Knit by Tom Easton (British Books Challenge)
204) The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop
205) Leopold Blue by Rosie Rowell
206) A boy called Hope by Lara Williamson (British Books Challenge)
207) How to be a woman by Caitlin Moran (British Books Challenge)
208) Finding Jennifer Jones by Anne Cassidy (British Books Challenge)
209) When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan (British Books Challenge)
210) Running Girl by Simon Mason (British Books Challenge)
211) The Black Crow Conspiracy by Chris Edge (British B…

Review: Everyone a Stranger by Victor Watson

I thoroughly enjoyed everyone a stranger and it was the perfect book to finish a series I have adored from start to finish.

Everyone a stranger is set at the end of the Second World War and finishes off Molly, Adam and Abigail's story. I loved several things about it. I loved how the book really got across this sense of people looking forward to a brave new world. The way it discusses the way in which people were keen to vote for labour and tackle the five giants as set out by William Beveridge's report is brilliant. You really get the idea that people, having given up everything for the war effort, were now wanting better for the country and themselves in the future and were keen to vote for it even if that meant ousting the Great War leader Churchill to do so.

This book was more grown up and darker in its feel than previous books and you really get the sense that these characters whom you've followed over the previous books have grown up and are about to bec…

Review: Dark Satanic Mills by Marcus and Julian Sedgwick

Goodreads Synopsis
Set in a near-future Britain, Dark Satanic Mills tracks a young girl's journey from the flooded landmarks of London to the vast, scorched and abandoned hills of the north. Framed for a murder she did not commit, the innocent and beautiful Christie has no other choice but to run for her life. Both a cautionary tale and a rip-roaring road trip, Dark Satanic Mills is altogether an intelligent, captivating and thrilling ride - The Wizard of Oz for a new generation, told in exhilarating shades of light and dark.

Review
Dark Satanic Mills is a grim, brooding story of an England, very different yet still recognisable as our own, that has suffered acute environmental disaster.This has been exploited by an opportunistic, fanatical religion known as The True Church who control the country through propaganda, fear and violence.It is not dissimilar from V for Vendetta or 1984 – although in both those cases it was the state who were the totalitarian authority as opp…

Review: Linked by Imogen Howson

For years, Elissa has suffered nightmarish visions and unexplained bruises. Finally, she's promised a cure, and an operation is scheduled. But on the eve of the procedure, Elissa discovers the truth: she's seeing the world through another girl's eyes. A world filled with wires, machines and pain. Elissa follows her visions, only to find a battered, broken girl. A girl who looks exactly like her. A twin she never knew existed. Elissa and her twin Lin go on the run, but even after changing their looks and clothes, they're barely a step ahead of the government agents who are ruthlessly tracking them down. For Lin and Elissa are too valuable to let go, and the dark truth at the heart of it all is too shocking to risk exposing..

My thoughts
Linked was an interesting read for me. I received it for review months ago and somehow never managed to get around to it until now.

Linked has bold ideas. The world it is set in is near future where a strict government impos…

Being bullied by your friends

This week gone was anti-bullying week and my lovely vlogging team have been working on a whole variety of videos around the theme of bullying (and will continue to do so over the next week). Mine went up Thursday and is about being bullied by your friends and highlights two of my favourite books that deal with this issue.

On a personal note Anti-bullying week is a special one for me. I had a rubbish time at high school as a result of friends who were slyly unpleasant to me without my realising which was not in the least fun at the time and continued to effect me a long time afterwards (even now it hits me from time to time).

From a work point of view Anti-bullying week has also been a busy one. I have been involved in running our school peer support team for a few years now which I was keen to take on when it was offered. The kids involved are amazing and over this week we have been super busy promoting anti-bullying messages across the school and further afield which was fab.


The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop

THE ISOBEL JOURNAL is no ordinary snapshot of a contemporary teenage life. A charming and vivid narrative scrapbook of the eighteen-year-old author's sketches, mini-graphic novels, photographs and captions, it captures her wit, her observations and her creative talent as she takes us through the three central themes in her life: 'Love', 'Friends, Art and Otters' and 'Me'.

Resonant of Laura Dockrill's MISTAKES IN THE BACKGROUND and with the powerful naïve illustrative style of cult Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, this is a collector's gift for teenagers and all who have the teenage experience still in their hearts. Readers will emphasise with this witty and honest journal of a girl getting to grips with impending adulthood. A must-have for all hipster teenagers and anyone who appreciates the raw creativity of youth. Enchanting and poignant.

My review
It says my review above this. That isn't actually accurate as I'm not fully sure how…

Finding it by Cora Carmack

Kelsey Summers is looking for love in all the wrong places.

Spending a few months travelling around Europe - with no parents, no responsibilities and a no limit credit card - Kelsey's having the time of her life.

But when she completely embarrasses herself in front of the hottest guy she's ever seen, she soon realises there's more to life than the next party.

What she doesn't realise is that although she's on a journey to find herself, she will end up finding The One...

My thoughts
A really brief review for my favourite book of the series so far. I really liked the main characters and their relationship. I loved that it didn't have an American setting an it made want to go on an European trip to see all the things the characters saw. The chemistry was sizzling and there are certainly scenes with some smoking hot action going on. If you aren't sure about NA books and want a good place to start this is it.

Books I can't wait to read

I always have a wishlist of future titles I am desperate to read and I thought from time to time I'd share the books I am most looking forward to. All links go to goodreads so you can add them to your wishlist

Banished by Liz De Jager





Sworn to protect, honour and slay. Because chaos won’t banish itself…

Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s encountered her unorthodox cousins and their strange lives. And her home-schooling now includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons. But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies. As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or …

Review: Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

No one really knows who Andrew Winston Winters is. Least of all himself. He is part Win, a lonely teenager exiled to a remote boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts the whole world out, no matter the cost, because his darkest fear is of himself ...of the wolfish predator within. But he's also part Drew, the angry boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who, one fateful summer, was part of something so terrible it came close to destroying him. A deftly woven, elegant, unnerving psychological thriller about a boy at war with himself. Charm and Strange is a masterful exploration of one of the greatest taboos

My thoughts
I'm not sure I have the words to review this so this review will be brief.

This book thoroughly messed with my brain and I think I need a few days to get my head around it all. It's very clever and says a lot about mental health and the perceptions of people with mental illness within society. It is told in a r…

History Books I rate: Tudors

Some of you might know I teach History at High School. I love finding good YA historical fiction which I can use in the classroom if only to recommend to my students as wider reading.

I do however find that I can be very critical of historical fiction and I do find myself having to give up on books others have raved about because I can't get over historical inaccuracies or stories where events are treated lightly.

This month I have a selection of books set in and around the Tudor Period

YA Titles


Gilt by Katherine Longshore
I really enjoyed this book and its companion Tarnish. I loved how it looked at the story of Henry VIII in a slightly different way from the way the story is usually told.



Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb
I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this book. I love its potential to engage teenage girls who are into paranormal romance into historical fiction. However I hate the role of Elizabeth I in it and it really bothers the historian in me.


VIII by HM C…

Review: Dare to You by Katie McGarry

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won'…

Reading for myself update

You may remember at the start of September I posted saying I had gone through a stage of reading a lot of books I had bought myself and not reviewed them to take a bit of pressure off. I have continued to do this over the next two months and just wanted to update on here everything I have read of late and not reviewed.

So what have I been reading for myself of late

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
not my favourite Sarah Dessen unfortunately
Pivot Point by Kasie West
Liked the ideas but wasn't blown away
All these things I've done by Gabrielle Zevin (reread)
I love this series. I reread this so I could read the second book in the series I also loved


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is as good as everyone says. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Where the stars still shine by Trish Doller
I also loved this book. Really thoughtful and made me think.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Not for me as it was fantasy but never mind
The Offering by Kim Derting
I must admit I was a little bit disappoi…