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Showing posts from January, 2016

January Review

January has whizzed by in a blur of crappy weather and too much work. Here's what I got up to bookwise.

Read in January
Shtum by Jem Lester (5 stars)
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt (2 stars)
Keep you close by Lucie Whitehouse (3 stars)
Crush by Eve Ainsworth (4 stars)
The life changing magic of not giving a f*ck (4 stars)
Love Song by Sophia Bennett (5 stars)
Anzac Boys by Tony Bradman (3 stars)
The Earth is Singing by Vanessa Curtis (5 stars)
The Blitz next door by Cathy Forde (3 stars)
Girl on a plane by Miriam Moss (3 stars)
Crooked Hearts by Lissa Evans (3 stars)
Mind your head by Juno Dawson (4 stars)
How hard can love be by Holly Bourne (5 stars)
Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley (5 stars)
The Widow by Fiona Barton (4 stars)
Royal Rebel by Meg Cabot (4 stars)
When we Collided by Emery Lord (5 stars)
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon (3 stars)
The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine (4 stars)

Book of the Month
Hard one to call because I've read lots of gr…

Front Lines by Michael Grant

A tense, exciting and moving new drama from the bestselling author of the GONE series.

1942. The fate of the world rests on a knife’s edge. And the soldiers who can tip the balance . . . are girls.

Set in an alternate World War II where young women are called up to fight alongside men, this is the story of Rio Richlin and her friends as they go into battle against Hitler’s forces.

But not everyone believes that they should be on the front lines. Now Rio and her friends must fight not only to survive, but to prove their courage and ingenuity. Because the fate of the world is in the hands of the soldier girls.

The first of three books, this is Michael Grant at his epic best.

My thoughts
I really enjoyed this book. Regular readers of my reviews will know I can find historical fiction tough as I get far too critical about it and alternative history can send me into violent rages of hissy fits. I am very glad to report that I didn't have a problem with this at all.

For me why it …

Bookcase Showcase: Author Clare Furniss

Can't wait to read

Another month, another pile of books I cannot wait for

Dumplin by Julie Murphy


Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along th…

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE HARRY POTTER SPELL

As part of the celebrations for Harry Potter Book Night: A Night of Spells, Bloomsbury Children’s Books is launching the first official global search to find the world’s favourite spell from the Harry Potter books.
The hundreds of amazing spells created by J.K. Rowling within the pages of the Harry Potter books are legendary. Full of inventiveness and cunning, these famous magical incantations protect and challenge Harry and his friends in all sorts of ways.
Bloomsbury has created a list of key spells from the books which can be found at http://bit.ly/HarryPotterSpellVote where visitors can vote. The poll opens on Thursday 21st January and closes on Tuesday 2nd February. The results will be announced on Harry Potter Book Night, Thursday 4th February. 
Will the favourite be a sly spell, a mysterious charm or a unforgiveable curse like Avada Kedavra? It’s over to the Harry Potter fans across the world to cast their vote. Vote for your favourite spell at http://bit.ly/HarryPo…

How not to disappear by Clare Furniss

Hattie's summer isn't going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to "find himself" and Kat's in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum's wedding.

Oh, and she's also just discovered that she's pregnant with Reuben's baby...

Then Gloria, Hattie's great-aunt who no one previously knew even existed comes crashing into her life. Gloria's fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia.

Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery – Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her past before they are wiped from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future.

My thoughts
I enjoyed Clare's previous book and as a consequence I had high hopes for this book. I am glad to report it did not disappoi…

Waiting for Callback by Perdita and Honor Cargill

Geek Girl meets Fame meets New Girl in this brilliantly funny new series!

When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent, she imagines Oscar glory can't be far away, but instead lurches from one cringe-worthy moment to the next! Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of 'Dead Girl Number Three' without losing hope? And who knew that actors were actually supposed to be multi-lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills?

Off-stage things aren't going well either - she's fallen out with her best friend, remains firmly in the friend-zone with her crush and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra's life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring - waiting for callback.

Can an average girl-next-door like Elektra really make it in the world of luvvies and starlets?

My thoughts
I really enjoyed Waiting for Callback.

The main character Elektra is really relatable in that is is just an ordinary tee…

Never Evers Blog Tour: Tom and Lucy's Favourite characters from books, TV & film.

TOM:

1. Agent Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks). An incredibly cool, funny, well-dressed and charming man. He remains largely unflustered even when faced with some of the strangest situations and people ever to feature on television, and he has a fantastic taste in coffee and cherry pie.

2. Slater (Dazed & Confused). If you've not seen Dazed & Confused, it's up there with Adrian Mole in terms of hilariously and realistically chronicling the teenage experience. Slater is by the far best character in the film: a good-hearted and perpetually confused stoner, who is unlucky in love and has lots of interesting theories about aliens and US Presidents.

3. Nigel Tufnel (This Is Spinal Tap). Another ultimately good-hearted, but also extremely dim, character. Tufnel is arguably the funniest character in this 1984 spoof documentary about a fictional heavy metal band (arguably the funniest film of all time). He's a fairly laidback chap, as long as you don't give him un…

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Over ten years since the Nazis won the war, 18 yr old Yael has one mission: to kill Hitler - a captivating second novel from Walled City author, Ryan Graudin.

Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them-made of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that ever stayed the same.Her story begins on a train.

Germania, 1956. Over ten years since the Nazis won the war. 18-year-old Yael is part of the resistance, and she has just one mission: to kill Hitler.

But first she's got to get close enough to him to do it.

Experimented on during her time at Auschwitz, Yael has the unique ability to change her appearance at will. The only part of her which always remains are the five tattooed wolves on her arm; one for each of the people she's lost. Using her abilities, she must transform into Adele Wolfe, Germany's most famous female rider and winner of the legendary A…

Operation Blackout by Victor Watson

I really enjoyed this book. I always love Victor Watson's books and this one was just a fabulous as the rest.

I really enjoyed the story. It was split between two characters one boy and one girl and looks at their experiences of the war. The girl's story shows you the experience of London during the Blitz through to life as an evacuee in the Fens. The boy's story follow a young boy forced on a secret mission to England to save his family who are being threatened by the Nazis. Both eventually link up and the story is action packed and exciting from the start. I really enjoyed it and read it in one sitting unable to put it down.

This is a spin off from the Paradise Barn series I previously read and loved. There is some crossover in location and characters from that series make an appearance in this book but you don't need to have read them for this book to make sense (although I very much recommend that you do)

Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy

Helplessly drawn like moths to the light, two girls go missing in an evocative and gripping tale . . .

They called them the Moth Girls because they were attracted to the house. They were drawn to it. Or at least that is what is written in the newspapers that Mandy reads on the anniversary of when her two best friends went missing. Five years have passed since Petra and Tina were determined to explore the dilapidated house on Princess Street. But what started off as a dare ended with the two girls vanishing. As Mandy's memories of the disappearance of her two friends are ignited once again, disturbing details will resurface in her mind.

My thoughts
Moth girls is a really interesting read. It is told by switching back and forth between present day and the past and looks at the disappearance of two girls. The present day is told by their friend who blames herself for their disappearance and the past by one of the girls who disappeared.

This is a book where I will say very li…

This raging light by Estelle Laure

How is it that you suddenly notice a person? How is it that one day Digby was my best friend's admittedly cute twin brother, and then the next he stole air, gave jitters, twisted my insides up?

Lucille has bigger problems than falling for her best friend's unavailable brother. Her mom has gone, leaving her to look after her sister, Wren. With bills mounting up and appearances to keep, Lucille is raging against her life but holding it together - just.

My thoughts

Not sure the hyping up of this book helped. I was expecting to be blown away. I wasn't.

The story itself is certainly really sad. You really feel for the main character and want to go into the story and just help her out by babysitting her sister or buying her some groceries. As you read you find yourself angry at her mother for leaving the sisters to fend for themselves and making them do everything alone.

That said it felt similar to other books I've read on a similar theme and therefore a bit of me …

Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivson

Kicked out of ballet academy and straight into a school ski trip, Mouse knows certain classmates can't wait to see her fall flat on her face. Meanwhile, Jack looks forward to danger and girls, but hasn't a clue about either. That's until French teen sensation Roland arrives in the resort - who Jack's a dead ringer for. When Roland persuades Jack to be his stand-in for a day, Jack, in disguise, declares his feelings for Mouse. But what happens when he's no longer a pop star - will it be music and magic on the slopes?

My thoughts

I have been looking forward to Never Evers for ages after adoring Lobsters last year. Having now read it I can happily say it was just as fab as I have hoped it would be.

Think of Never Evers as Lobsters younger sibling aimed at a slightly younger audience with characters aged 14 rather than the older teens featured in Lobsters. The narrative splits between Jack and Mouse and follows them as they attend a school trip skiing in France…

The Icarus Show by Sally Christie

Alex has worked out a foolproof way to avoid being picked on. Don't React. It's so simple, it's brilliant! David does react and becomes an outcast, nicknamed Bogsy. He's branded a weirdo and Alex is determined to avoid the same fate. But one day, Alex gets a note in his bag that forces him out of his safe little world. Who sent the note? And is it true - will a boy really fly? A powerful story about friendship, loneliness and a strange kind of genius.

My thoughts
This book is a really thoughtful little read which I thoroughly enjoyed. I am always excited when a review book arrives from David Fickling Books. Aside from the fact that they are always a delight to receive because they are the most beautiful proofs you I always know that the stories inside are going to be wonderful.

For me The Icarus Show is a book about strange imperfect friends and the toll that bullying has on young people.

The friendships in this book are really interesting. The main character Alex sp…

British Books Challenge: Link up your January Reviews here

Welcome to the first month of 2016's British Books Challenge.

If you haven't signed up yet and want to join in the fun please go to this post for details of how to do that and this post for details about the challenge itself and FAQs



The prize for this month is a copy of The Icarus Show by  donated by those lovely people over at David Fickling Books. To be in with a chance of winning simply put the link to a review of a British Book you read in January below and I'll pick a winner at random at the end of the month.