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Showing posts from October, 2013

October Review

Another month down. 2013 is going fast

Books read
175) Linked by Imogen Howson (British Books Challenge)
176) Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
177) Dare to you by Katie McGarry
178) Pawn by Aimee Carter
179) Finding it by Cora Carmack
180) Crash into you by Katie McGarry
181) Panic by Lauren Oliver
182) Roomies by Sara Zarr
183) The Offering by Kim Derting
184) The Booby Trap by Dawn O'Porter (British Books Challenge)
185) Diamonds and Deceit by Lelia Rasheed (British Books Challenge)
186) Fireweed by Jill Paton Walsh (British Books Challenge)
187) Hold your Breath by Caroline Green (British Books Challenge)
188) Trouble by Non Pratt (British Books Challenge)
189) Divergent by Veronica Roth
190) Insurgent by Veronica Roth
191) Allegiant by Veronica Roth
192) Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
193) Everyone a Stranger by Victor Watson (British Books Challenge)
194) The day Donkey dropped Dead by Sam Hare (British Books Challenge)
195) As delightful as a carrot by Keris Stainton (B…

Review: Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll

The gates to Frost Hollow Hall loomed before us. They were great tall things, the ironwork all twisted leaves and queer-looking flowers. And they were very definitely shut.

Tilly's heart sinks. Will's at the door of their cottage, daring her to come ice-skating up at Frost Hollow Hall. No one goes near the place these days. Rumour has it that the house is haunted . . . Ten years ago the young heir, Kit Barrington, drowned there in the lake. But Tilly never turns down a dare.

Then it goes horribly wrong. The ice breaks, Tilly falls through and almost drowns. At the point of death, a beautiful angel appears in the water and saves her. Kit Barrington's ghost.

Kit needs Tilly to solve the mystery of his death, so that his spirit can rest in peace. In order to discover all she can, Tilly gets work as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall. But the place makes her flesh crawl. It's all about the dead here, she's told, and in the heart of the house she soon discovers all …

Review: Model Misfit by Holly Smale

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.”

Harriet knows that modelling won’t transform you. She knows that being as uniquely odd as a polar bear isn’t necessarily a bad thing (even in a rainforest). And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.

What Harriet doesn’t know is where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives.

With summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get as far away from home as possible. But nothing can prepare Harriet for the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes.

Because, this time, Harriet knows what a broken heart feels like.

Can geek girl find her place on the other side of the world or is Harriet lost for good?

My Thoughts
Funny and very readable. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Harriet a second time and finding out more of her story.

Model …

Review: She is not invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

Laureth Peak's father is a writer. For years he's been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he's obsessed, Laureth thinks he's on the verge of a breakdown.He's supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong.

On impulse she steals her mother's credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.

My thoughts
She is not invisible is a really thoughtful read and I think is my new favourite Marcus Sedgwick.

She is not invisible utterly fascinated me as a reader for several reasons. Firstly I loved the mystery behind the story and the whys and wherefores behind …

Bookish Brits

A week or so ago I was invited by my lovely blogging friend Clover to join a group of equally awesome bloggers to set up a collaborative youtube channel about books. I've been thinking about vlogging for a while as something to add to what I already do on this blog but was reluctant to do so as I use the youtube account linked to my blogger account to post random youtube videos of me and colleague to help kids revise for exams and I didn't really want to mix the two so for me this is a perfect set up.

Today my first video was posted (with a highly flattering face being pulled but never mind). Please do check out the channel and videos by the other girlies on the project.

No Books allowed October

Can you believe October is almost over? Here's what I've been up to this month.


Work has been mega busy, lots of late night and lots of marking now the kids coming to the end of the first half term. This has meant I have been chained to my laptop or pile of marking and not done much else. However I do have two exciting things I have been up to.

Firstly I got to attend the wedding reception of my lovely friends Lyndsey and John. Some of you know Lyndsey from page after page reviews so check out the picture below. For the event I helped out with the catering and impressed even myself in managing to produce 50 mini cheesecakes and 50 mini key lime pies and transport them to venue without ruining them (without ruining them was the more impressive feat) with the add of my happy helper Lauren.


The other exciting thing I did this month was attend the grand opening of the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum opening. I have been working with a small group of students and a colleague (check …

Review: Tiger Lily by Jodie Lynn Anderson

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the…

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


The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith


Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.
I love Jennifer's books. I literally cannot wait for this one!!

Trouble by Non Pratt





Ha…

Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

This is a love story. But it’s not what you think. This is not a first kiss, or a first date. This is not love at first sight. This is a boy and a girl falling in messy, unpredictable, thrilling love. This is the complicated route to happiness that follows.

This is real. This is life. This is how to love.

BEFORE:

Reena has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he’s never noticed her, until one day… he does. They fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town, leaving a devastated – and pregnant – Reena behind.

AFTER:

Three years later and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter Hannah. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again.

After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer again?

My Thoughts
How to love is a brilliant read which devoured in pretty much one sitting unable to put it down.

How to love is the story of Reena and Sawyer and their messy re…

Review: Because it is my Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.

My Thoughts
I have been waiting for what seems like an age for this book. I loved the first book in thes series and had ridiculously high hopes for this one and am glad to say I really enjoyed this instalment too.

Be…

History Books I rate: World War One

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 World War One

YA Titles


I loved Stay where you are and leave. It's aimed a little younger so suitable for younger pupils. It has a bit of mystery going on and deals with post traumatic stress disorder and the affect shell shock had on the men who served at the front.





Dusk is a love story set in and around World War One and I really enjoyed it. From my own history geek point of view I loved the medical side that is brought out when you see how nurses worked during World War One to support the troops. It is …

Review: Fearsome Dreamer by Laure Eve

There is a world where gods you’ve never heard of have wound themselves into hearts, and choice has led its history down a different path.

This is a world where France made a small, downtrodden island called England part of its vast and bloated empire.

There are people here who can cross a thousand miles with their minds. There are rarer people still who can move between continents in the blink of an eye.

These people are dangerous.

And wanted. Desperately wanted.

Apprentice hedgewitch Vela Rue knows that she is destined for more. She knows being whisked off from a dull country life to a city full of mystery and intrigue is meant to be. She knows she has something her government wants, a talent so rare and precious and new that they will do anything to train her in it.

But she doesn’t know that she is being lied to. She doesn’t know that the man teaching her about her talent is becoming obsessed by her, and considered by some to be the most dangerous man alive 

My thoughts
I'…

Review: That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson

Romney Marsh, July 1940. When invasion threatens, you have to grow up quickly. Sixteen-year-old Peggy has been putting on a brave face since the fall of France, but now the enemy is overhead, and the rules are changing all the time. Staying on the right side of the law proves harder than she expects when a plane crash-lands in the Marsh: it's Peggy who finds its pathetic, broken pilot; a young Polish man, Henryk, who stays hidden in a remote church, secretly cared for by Peggy. As something more blossoms between the two, Peggy's brother Ernest's curiosity peaks and other secrets come to light, forcing Peggy and Henryk to question all the loyalties and beliefs they thought they held dear.

In one extraordinary summer the lives of two young people will change forever

My Thoughts
Another fab read from Lydia Syson.

I must admit I love Lydia's work purely because it speaks to me as a history teacher. Her stories are engaging and exciting as well being well research…

Extract Five from Trouble by Non Pratt

I am so excited to have an extract from Trouble by Non Pratt, a book that I have been dying to read from the moment I heard about the book deal last year


A boy. A girl. A bump. Trouble. Hannah’s smart and funny … she’s also fifteen and pregnant. Aaron is new at school and doesn’t want to attract attention. So why does he offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby? Growing up can be trouble but that’s how you find out what really matters.




I’m feeling reckless.

“Bored?" Hannah says, reading my mind. "That's an understatement," I mutter, then worry that I've offended her since she hangs out in the park every week. "Maybe it's just me. I'm not in the mood." "It's not just you. This place is better in the daytime, when the swings are for kids and the roundabout isn't weighed down with drunken basketball morons." I look at her and wonder what she'd be doing here during daylight hours. She reads my mind once more. &quo…

Review: The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.

A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of STOLEN and FLYAWAY.

My Thoughts
A really compelling read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Killing Woods is the latest offering from Lucy Christopher, an author whose debut novel Stolen I loved, and quite honestly I have been desperate to get my hands on a copy for a while now. I'm glad to report it lived up my increasingly high expectations.

I won't say too much as the story because I don't want to spoil it at all but I will say it kept me guessing throughout and I loved how the story …

Review: Weirdos Vs. Quimboids

I think Georgia Nicholson has met her match and her name is Blossom Uxley-Michaels!

I wanted to read Weirdos Vs Quimboids from the first time I heard about it. As soon as I read the press release that came with it I was sold. Quite honestly this book is absolutely hilarious and kept me happily amused giggling like a loon for an entire afternoon while I raced through it in one greedy sitting as I found myself incapable of putting it down.

Blossom is a 15 year old weirdo. She sits on the very outside of the social circle at her school alongside her two best friends Petrina and Walter. As a result she spends her teenage days not being invited to parties, lusting over the hottest boy in school from afar and putting her with her completely mad hippie parents. However this is all about to change as Blossom is determined that things will be different this year starting by working on the school radio.

For me what made this book brilliant was Blossom's outlook on life. She has…