Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2018

The house we called home by Jenny Oliver

The house where Stella and her sister Amy grew up never changes – the red front door, the breath-taking view over the Cornish coast, her parents in their usual spots on the sofa. Except this summer, things feel a little different…

Stella’s father is nowhere to be seen, yet her mother – in suspiciously new Per Una jeans – seems curiously unfazed by his absence, and more eager to talk about her mysterious dog-walking buddy Mitch.

Stella’s sister Amy has returned home with a new boyfriend she can barely stand and a secret to hide, and Stella’s husband Jack has something he wants to get off his chest too. Even Frank Sinatra, the dog, has a guilty air about him.
This summer, change is in the air for the Whitethorns…


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've liked Jenny's books so far but I think is my favourite to date.

I particularly enjoyed what this book had to say about family and being true to yourself rather than putting on a front for others. There is so much in this book I…

All these beautiful strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth

In the last day of summer, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Allister Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions.

Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding her mother. Determined to finally let go of the past, she throws herself into life at Knollwood, the prestigious New Englandschool she attends. Charlie quickly becomes friends with Knollwood’s “it” crowd.

Charlie has also been tapped by the A’s—the school’s elite secret society well known for terrorizing the faculty, administration, and their enemies. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood.

As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie beg…

Library Loans June and July

I haven't had huge amounts from the library over the past few months but I have read some real crackers. Here are the highlights of the books I've borrowed and read.

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke


Whoever wrote the uniform policy decided (whyyy?) that girls had to wear skirts, while boys were allowed to wear pants.

Sexist. Dumb. Unfair.

“Girls must wear a black, pleated, knee-length skirt.”

I bet I read those words a hundred times during summer vacation. The problem wasn’t the last word in that sentence. Skirt wasn’t really the issue, not for me.
The issue was the first word. Girls.

Here’s the thing:
I may seem like a girl, but on the inside, I’m a boy.


I really enjoyed this book and what it had to say about gender stereotypes. Thoughtful and sweet and definitely recommended.

A Thousand perfect notes by CJ Drews



An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano t…

Reviews catch up

Over the past six weeks I've been ridiculously busy with work and not had a chance to review much so this is my attempt to catch up and share with you the books I've read for review and loved.

Mud by Emily Thomas


It's 1979, and thirteen-year-old Lydia has no idea how she'll cope when her dad announces that the family has to sell up and move onto a Thames sailing barge in Essex. With his girlfriend. And her three kids. Between trying to keep her clothes dry in a leaky cabin, disastrous hair-dye attempts, awkward encounters with local boys, and coping with her suddenly enormous and troublesome family, Lydia fears she'll sink rather than swim . . . At turns heartbreaking and uplifting, through Lydia's innocent and perceptive voice we find out that while the mud may stick, the tide can turn - and in unexpected and joyful ways.

I really enjoyed this book. It felt like a cross between Adrian Mole and Georgia Nicholson set in the 80s and told via a diary. The l…

Can't wait to read

You don't know how pleased I am that it is the summer holidays. The last six weeks have been insanely busy for me workwise (day job plus exam marking) but I've just now finished all the mark so August is when I will be catching up and getting back on track blog wise. Over the next few posts I'll be catching you all up with my wishlist for the coming few months, reviewing a whole pile of review books I received in the last month or so and catching you up on my library reads.

So without no further ado here are all the books that have caught my eye over the last few weeks.

Secrets of the Sun King by Emma Carroll


It's November, 1922. In a valley in Egypt the tomb of a long dead pharaoh is about to be discovered. The world watches and waits for news with baited breath. Thirteen-year-old Lilian Kaye is eagerly following the story. One morning the news takes a sinister turn: a man- a famous Egyptologist- disappears. All that remains of him are his feet. Then Lil's gra…

Floored Blog Tour: Dawson's Book Launch Guest List

Hi it's Dawson here. You might know there's a book out this week in which I feature. Those of us featured in the book have decided to throw a party at the weekend for the book release to support those brilliant authors who worked so hard to get our story down on paper and out into the world for you all to read. I've been tasked with sorting the guest list for the party. There's so many people I could invite and I've been getting a bit overwhelmed and over thinking it and inevitably ended up procrastinating and thinking about hot boys I'd invite to the party if I had the chance. There's a reason why my first line in the book reads "I realise I'm staring at the arse of the guy in front of me roughly seven seconds before he does, but that's all the time I need for several thoughts to run through my mind." yes hands up I'm a slave to my hormones. All my decisions of who to include are based on purely superficially thoughts of "this …

Blog Tour: Guest post from Anne Booth author of Across the divide.

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

Described as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time meets John le Carre, about a teen math prodigy with an extreme anxiety disorder who finds himself caught in a web of lies and conspiracies after an assassination attempt on his mother.

I cannot write a long review for this book. Not because it isn't good, it really is, but because it'd be so easy for me to spoil something if I did.

White Rabbit, Red Wolf follows the story of a teen with issues. He has an extreme anxiety disorder, but the story is not about those issues and rather focuses on shocking events that unfold while he attends an event where his mother is due to give a speech about her work. The story is intense and told at break neck pace which means it is one of those books you don't want to put down. 

The John Le Carre comparisons are totally fair if Le Carre was fortunate enough to be able to write YA fiction this good. I loved it and will be recommending it far and wide.

can't wait to read

Another month, another pile of books I'm desperate to get my hands on

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow by Siobhan Curham


Fourteen-year-old Stevie lives in Lewes with her beloved vinyl collection, her mum ... and her mum's depression. When Stevie's mum's disability benefits are cut, Stevie and her mother are plunged into a life of poverty. But irrepressible Stevie is determined not to be beaten and she takes inspiration from the lyrics of her father's 1980s record collection and dreams of a life as a musician. Then she meets Hafiz, a talented footballer and a Syrian refugee. Hafiz's parents gave their life savings to buy Hafiz a safe passage to Europe; his journey has been anything but easy. Then he meets Stevie... As Stevie and Hafiz's friendship grows, they encourage each other to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.

I love Siobhan's books and this looks ace.

 Peril in Paris by Katherine Woodfine


ALL ABOARD THE TRAIN TO PARIS! …

Library Loans May 2018

I started this thinking I didn't have much to share with you this month but actually know I've looked back I read loads of awesome things from the library this month.

Suffragette The battle for equality by David Roberts



2018 marks a century since the first women won the vote in the United Kingdom, and Suffragette tells the story of their fight. This is a tale of astounding bravery, ingenuity, and strength. David's conversational style is accessible and his artwork full of rich detail, bringing to life the many vivid characters of the Suffragette movement - from the militant activist Rosa May Billinghurst to the world-famous Emmeline Pankhurst. Covering the whole range of suffragette experiences - from aristocrats to the middle and working classes, as well as a look at the global struggle for universal suffrage, Suffragette is a fantastic introduction to a fascinating topic

This book is so beautiful. Followers of my blog will know I can't get enough suffragette stuf…

World War One Picture books by Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey

Last month I was approached by a publishing house asking if I'd be up for reviewing some World War One books aimed at children. I'm always interested in taking books with a history theme to read even if they are a bit younger than my tastes because they are perfect for school and give me a wider range of books to recommend to the kids that come through my door of various abilities.

I was not ready for the treat that was in store.



All four of the books feature beautiful illustrations and verse which used both together very simply but vividly put across the realities of war for those who were involved. The latest book to be released is Peace Lily focusing on the role of women at war which I particularly enjoyed. Other books in the series are The Christmas Truce (obviously focusing on the Christmas Truce), Flo of the Somme (looking at the role of animals in World War One) and where the poppies now grow (focusing on the experience for an ordinary soldier).





I thoroughly enjoyed all…

In your light Blog Tour: Guest post from author AJ Grainger