Girlhood by Cat Clarke

Posted on 27 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Girlhood by Cat Clarke

Hello All!
Today I am here to review Cat Clarke’s newest book, Girlhood!


About the Book

Girlhood Harper has tried to forget the past and fit in at expensive boarding school Duncraggan Academy. Her new group of friends are tight; the kind of girls who Harper knows have her back. But Harper can’t escape the guilt of her twin sister’s Jenna’s death, and her own part in it – and she knows noone else will ever really understand.

But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels…loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died.

Then Kirsty’s behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life a perfect mirror of Harper’s? And why is she so obsessed with Harper’s lost sister? Soon, Harper’s closeness with Kirsty begins to threaten her other relationships, and her own sense of identity.

How can Harper get back to the person she wants to be, and to the girls who mean the most to her?

A darkly compulsive story about love, death, and growing up under the shadow of grief.

Goodreads. Amazon.


My Review

What If

Upon starting this book, I instantaneously fell in love with it. It was thrilling, addictive and essentially a true page-turner. Unfortunately while this feeling continued until the very last page, I feel a little conflicted about the ending of the book. I know why the author ended the book the way she did but I also feel that it was too rushed. In my opinion, the girls forgave each other too quickly thus not allowing breathing or healing. On the other hand, it was such a hopeful and lovely ending that I just struggled to work out my own feelings on it all. Due to that, it did slightly hamper my overall feelings towards the book but I did love everything else until that moment. It was a very unique and intriguing story – also friendships were a large theme in the book and I adore books about friendships!

You Didn’t

As mentioned above, the ending didn’t really work for me but what did work was the plot of the book. I absolutely loved how everything in the book played together. It was enticing. Cat only gave you minor details as the book continued, allowing your brain to try and theorize what was happening or going to happen in the long run. She slowly raveled you into the story until you were fully immersed and were unable to stop until you got to the final conclusion. This was all very well written and really shows how important plot and narration are when it comes to thrilling and addictive reads. There was just so much mystery and conflict!

Know Who

Every single character in this book was different and I truly love the way that Cat has managed to bring so many vibrant and wonderful personalities together. It is a wonderful representation of real life and shows how we can all have different interests but can still form bonds despite this. However, my favourite character was Rowan. She was so full of life, sparky and wild. I just loved her personality so much. She was so sure of herself, and yet she also had her vulnerabilities and worries as well. She could be a bit snarky and sharp but she was also just vibrant and loveable. She is the kind of person that I would absolutely love to befriend!

To Trust

All in all this book was an entertaining and mysterious read that I enjoyed while reading but just felt a bit lost by the ending. It is a book that I would still recommend and I am absolutely certain that some people will have no problems with the ending. I think personally it just struck a little close to home. Cat Clarke is a strong voice in the UKYA community and her books are always interesting, hard-hitting and addictive and this book is no different. I will definitely be making sure I pick up the next book she writes and would still highly recommend this book if you want a thrilling book that centers on friendship. (Not to mention including a vastly diverse cast – yay!)

Three Stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

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Posted on 27 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Embracing the End

Posted on 22 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Embracing the End

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Lies Within by Jane Isaac and I have a post by Jane to share with you all!

First though, here’s some information on the book!


About the Book

Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder.

Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter’s body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace’s only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss.

DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.

When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before she is convicted of a crime she didn’t commit?

Goodreads. Amazon.


Embracing the End

by Jane Isaac

Thanks so much for inviting me onto your blog today!

I recently read somewhere that publishing a book is an adventure. I would argue that the adventure starts before you even put pen to page.

There’s the background reading on plot issues; the meetings with experts to establish police procedural points. Drawing characters and getting to know them requires people watching, observation of body language and traits that can take days, weeks, even months to amass. Even while the first draft is being written there are field trips – I’ll never forget the Sunday afternoon family dog walk where my daughter ran ahead and played with Bollo while hubby and I searched for suitable deposition sites for a body for The Lies Within. These are all the experiences that build the tower of paper that is later transformed into a novel.

Recently I decided to clear out my desk to make room for a new project. This is an exercise I do when every novel is complete and the final print run has been done, but equally something I seem to struggle with every time. It usually leads to an afternoon of nostalgia, where I go through all the research notes, photos and maps that formed the basis of my plans. All little pieces of the journey, tiny memories, that helped to build the story.

For The Lies Within, it was notes from my prison visit, maps of the settings of Stratford upon Avon and Market Harborough, notes from my time spent in Criminal Court Number Three at Leicester Crown Court; photos I’d printed out for context. There were early print outs of text with scribbled edits all over them, hand written notes on plotlines, potted histories for characters, basic descriptions of settings, background reading material, and receipts from lunches with dear friends who provided valuable insight into police procedure and psychological backgrounds.

Some of these, such as maps and character profiles, are retained for future reference. However, with a heavy heart, most of the pile of paper is transferred into the recycling bin. It takes me a year to write a novel, so this pile of paper represents a year of my working life. Disposing of it provides that final moment of closure; this truly is the end of the book’s journey to publication.

Strangely I’m not left with a clear desk. While this exercise marks the end of one novel, a research pile for a new project is already gathering height and I look forward to sharing many more treasured memories with this one before we reach our final destination.


About the Author

jane-isaac-photo Jane Isaac lives with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, in rural Northamptonshire, UK. Her debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014′ by E-thriller.com and winner of ‘Noveltunity book club selection – May 2014′.

In 2015 Jane embarked on a new series, featuring DI Will Jackman and set in Stratford upon Avon, with Before It’s Too Late. The second in the series, Beneath The Ashes, will be published by Legend Press on 1st November 2016 with the 3rd, The Lies Within, to follow on 2nd May 2017.

Website. Facebook. Twitter.


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Posted on 22 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green

Posted on 20 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green

Hi All!
Today is my stop on the Noah Can’t Even blog tour and I am here today with a fab guest post from Simon about things you need to know about Noah!

First though, look at how funny this book sounds!


About the Book

Poor Noah Grimes! His father disappeared years ago, his mother’s Beyonce tribute act is an unacceptable embarrassment, and his beloved gran is no longer herself. He only has one friend, Harry, and school is…Well, it’s pure HELL. Why can’t Noah be normal, like everyone else at school? Maybe if he struck up a romantic relationship with someone – maybe Sophie, who is perfect and lovely – he’d be seen in a different light? But Noah’s plans are derailed when Harry kisses him at a party. That’s when things go from bad to utter chaos.

Goodreads. Amazon.


Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Noah Grimes

by Simon James Green

  1. Haribo or Skittles will solve everything. Honestly, he’ll roll over and play ball if you offer up these.
  2. He’s top set for everything, but his nemesis is Maths – especially mental arithmetic, which has bought him to tears before now.
  3. His middle name is a closely guarded secret because it’s ridiculous, and given to him as a joke by his mother, who took the inspiration from the Transformers movie.
  4. He doesn’t come from a wealthy family – in fact, they’re totally skint. But that doesn’t stop Noah being very grand when the mood takes him. I mean, why can’t his mum cook something worthy of a Michelin star restaurant for dinner? Fish fingers or nuggets? No, no, no. Noah wants a pan-fried duck breast on potato rösti, thank you very much.
  5. Things that really wind Noah up: Americanized language; people jabbing at the ‘open door’ buttons on trains before the driver has activated them; people claiming they are ‘gutted’ when really it’s just a very minor disappointment, not really akin to have all your intestines removed.
  6. Noah’s favourite Agatha Christie novel is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd because it’s very clever and you don’t spot who the murderer is. But don’t ask him about it because he’s terrible with spoilers.
  7. Noah is mildly asthmatic, has no upper body strength and fairly crap hand-eye co-ordination, ergo, PE is not really his forte. Nevertheless, the school unreasonably insists on his participation, something Noah considers to be in breach of his human rights. Like the right not to humiliate yourself on the football pitch… and the right not to be seen in the showers by the other boys in your year…
  8. Noah gets quite flustered and hot under the collar if you mention anything to do with… (whisper it now), s-e-x. He’s just not that comfortable talking about it – possibly because his mum is so open and in your face about everything sex related, it’s had the opposite effect on Noah.
  9. Even though he’s nearly sixteen, Noah still sometimes gets his Lego out. But he doesn’t follow any instructions to build particular things. Instead, he uses it to model designs and ideal layouts for things like airports, hospitals and shopping centres.
  10. Noah has an ardent dislike of France following an incident on a residential trip in Year 8. Want to know what that humiliating little episode was about? You’ll find out in the sequel, next year!

About the Author

Simon James GreenSimon James Green grew up in a small town in Lincolnshire that definitely wasn’t the inspiration for Little Fobbing – so no-one from there can be mad with him, OK? He enjoyed a classic British education of assorted humiliations and barbaric PE lessons before reading Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he further embarrassed himself by accidentally joining the rowing team despite having no upper body strength and not being able swim. When it turned out that being a lawyer was nothing like how it looks in Suits or The Good Wife, and buoyed by the success of his late night comedy show that involved an inflatable sheep, he travelled to London to pursue a glamorous career in show business. Within weeks he was working in a call centre, had been mugged, and had racked up thousands of pounds worth of debt. Finding strength and inspiration in the lyrics of Tubthumping by Chumbawumba, he eventually ended up working on a range of West End shows and UK tours, co-wrote a feature-length rom-com for the BBC and directed Hollyoaks for C4 / Lime Pictures. After trying really, really hard, he also managed to write Noah Can’t Even. If you are interested in stalking him, he still lives in London, where he spends a lot of time telling people that Noah Can’t Even is only partly autobiographical, and his mum has definitely never done a Beyoncé tribute act.

Website. Twitter.


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Posted on 20 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor

Posted on 16 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor

Hi All!

Today is my spot on the Wishbones blog tour and I am here to share a fantastic guest post with you all!

But first, here’s more info on the book.


About the Book

Feather Tucker has two wishes:

1)To get her mum healthy again

2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problem run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.

Over time, Feather’s mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather’s starting to uncover when her mum’s life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?

Goodreads. Amazon.


Fictional Inspirations

by Virigina Macgregor

I have so many and continue to be inspired by new writers that I come across: for example, I’m currently reading Emery Lord’s young adult novel, When We Collided, and her ability to get into the head of a teenage girl with bipolar is incredible.

Voice and character are particularly important to me, I think that’s why I love young adult fiction so much – or adult fiction written from the point of view of children and young people: their voices are often fresh and quirky and they have a unique way of looking at the world. Emma Donoghue’s Room was a great inspiration in this, as it’s narrated by a four year old: her writing is pitch perfect and deeply moving. I gather she followed her own four year old around with a paper and pen! Having a hugely vocal three year old of my own makes me want to have a go at writing a very young narrator too.

If you know my writing you’ll also be aware that I’m an animal lover and that I can’t resist weaving including a pig or a goat or a one legged-cat in my stories. I was therefore blown away by Sara Baume’s Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither, in which the narrator gives a dog, a central character in the novel, a unique voice. Although I get close to it in my novel, The Return of Norah Wells, I haven’t yet written from the point of view of animal, but it’s definitely something I’d love to try.

Going back further, I love both Charles Dickens and Roald Dahl for their creation of wonderfully bonkers but real characters – I hope that my characters, like Feather, have a little of that in them too. Those are the people who tend to appeal to me in real life too: misfits and those who don’t quite toe the line.

I used to teach English literature so I’m a bit of a sucker for beautiful language too, which is why I love the books by Jon McGregor (no relation). I gather he was a poet before he turned his hand to writing long fiction and that certainly shows in the beauty and precision of his sentences: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things is one of my favourite novels. It feels as though he is writing on the boundary between prose and fiction.

Some other young adult writers who really inspire me include Jonathan Safron Foer: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close brings together all the things I love: real but quirky characters, a contemporary setting, which also feels a little magical and language which feels fresh and original.

Finally, I love writers, especially YA writers, who tackle thorny social issues and taboos. I’ve recently read Dumplin’ by Julie Murray, which takes a humorous and courageous look at a teenage girl who celebrates her excess weight – but also struggles with it.

Oh, and I’m a sucker for a bit of romance too, which makes Rainbow Rowell’s novels irresistible.


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Posted on 16 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Girl Friendships for Every Girl

Posted on 12 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Girl Friendships for Every Girl

Hello All!
Today I am very happy to welcome Cat Clarke onto the blog with a guest post that she has written in support of her newest book, Girlhood! I have already devoured this book and a review will be up on the blog in the next few days – hopefully! I also love this guest post by Cat too but instead of getting straight to it… here’s more information about her new book.


About the Book

Girlhood Harper has tried to forget the past and fit in at expensive boarding school Duncraggan Academy. Her new group of friends are tight; the kind of girls who Harper knows have her back. But Harper can’t escape the guilt of her twin sister’s Jenna’s death, and her own part in it – and she knows noone else will ever really understand.

But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels…loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died.

Then Kirsty’s behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life a perfect mirror of Harper’s? And why is she so obsessed with Harper’s lost sister? Soon, Harper’s closeness with Kirsty begins to threaten her other relationships, and her own sense of identity.

How can Harper get back to the person she wants to be, and to the girls who mean the most to her?

A darkly compulsive story about love, death, and growing up under the shadow of grief.

Goodreads. Amazon.


Girl Friendships for Every Girl

by Cat Clarke

Not so long ago. fictional depictions of friendships between teenage girls had a tendency to revolve around subjects like clothes, make-up and, above all else, BOYS. These TV shows and books and movies didn’t represent me, and the things I talked to my friends about, which made me feel like I was weird. Surely there must have been something wrong with me, not being remotely interested in any of those things, right?

WRONG.

After metaphorically waving my hairbrush around in an impotent rage, what were my options? To try to get interested in clothes, make-up or boys? Or just give up hope of seeing myself represented?

Sure, some girls like those things, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But in depicting girl friendships focusing on only these things, a real disservice is done to girls everywhere. It makes some of us feel excluded and that possibly, there is something wrong with us. But there isn’t!! We just need books and TV shows to show friendships featuring all of us: bi, straight, trans, cis, ace, aro, questioning, pan, lesbian (or even – GASP! – a combination of these). We need to see girls who are interested in politics and the arts and stamp collecting. (Yes, I did in fact collect stamps when I was younger… what can I say? I’ve always been cool.)

So here’s what I decided to do: I chose to create the representation I wanted to see in this messed-up, heteronormative, misogynistic world.

I chose to write a group of girls who aren’t all straight, and don’t all have fabulous hair and flawless make-up. Harper, my main character in Girlhood, is bisexual, and her best friend, Rowan, is a lesbian. Together with their friends Ama and Lily, they form a tight-knit group. They have vastly differing interests: social justice; acting; swimming; the environment; charity work; bird-watching. But these differences are to be celebrated, not erased. Above all, these girls care about each other and have each other’s backs.

I loved creating this group of friends and showing how close they are… before stomping my big authorly boots all over them by adding new girl, Kirsty, into the mix. (*evil cackle*) In Girlhood, the reader will hopefully see that groups of girls can be mean sometimes, but they can also be mature and kind and forgiving.

I’d love to read more stories about realistic and varied friendships between teenage girls, so please hit me up in the comments below, or on Twitter (@cat_clarke), if you have any recs.


How do you feel about girl groups?

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Posted on 12 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat

Posted on 11 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat by Coral Rumble

owl and pussycat banner6

Hi All!
Today is my stop on the The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat blog tour and I am here today to tell you all about this fun and adventurous book! (And keep an eye on Big Book Little Book tomorrow for my review!


About the Book

owl & pussycat

Two children and their imaginations set sail from their living room on a voyage around the world! Read along as they spy an extraordinary array of characters doing even more extraordinary things…? With bright, fresh illustrations and a playful style, this rhyming book, based on the classic Edward Lear poem The Owl and the Pussycat, is a wonderfully quirky adventure.?

Amazon. Goodreads.


About the Author

coralpic I have worked as a poet and performer for many years and I’m proud to have my work featured in Favourite Poets (Hodder). I have three published poetry collections of my own and have contributed to more than 150 anthologies. I am also one of the writers of the popular Cbeebies programmes ‘Poetry Pie’ and ‘The Rhyme Rocket’. I have given workshops in some fairly unusual venues as well…the grandest of which being Buckingham Palace!

Website.


About the Illustrator

charlottepicI was thrilled and proud when my picture book The Adventures of the Owl & the Pussycat was highly commended for the Macmillan Children’s Prize in 2010. Since then I have gone on to illustrate many other picture books and I enjoy making the occasional card too. When I’m not in my studio I’m usually outside running or playing referee to my two kids.

Website. Twitter.


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Posted on 11 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Child Taken by Darren Young

Posted on 4 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Child Taken by David Young

Hi All!
Today is my stop on the Child Taken blog tour and I am here today to tell you all about the book and then tomorrow or Saturday I will review the book for you all! (HINT: I am absolutely loving it!)

Before we get to that though, here’s some information on the book.


About the Book

How could such a thing happen? But it did happen. I wasn’t one of the others, observing. It happened to me.

One hot summer’s day, two-year-old Jessica Preston disappears from the beach. The police are convinced she drowned, but Sandra Preston won’t give up hope that her daughter is still alive. How can she?

Twenty years later, another child goes missing, and Sandra is approached by a young journalist who raises questions about what really happened to Jessica Preston all those years ago. But when the journalist discovers someone with an explosive secret, it threatens not only to reveal what’s been covered up for so long, but puts both their lives in danger.

Goodreads. Amazon. Waterstones.


My Review

COMING – BUT YOU WILL WANT TO READ THIS BOOK, I PROMISE!


About the Author

Darren Young lives in Nottingham with his wife, Luisa and their two children, Alessio and Emilia.Away from writing, he has a background in financial services and an MBA from the University of Wolverhampton and helps organisations to improve their customer service, whilst also being involved in producing papers and a weekly blog on the subject. He wanted to write something different; a story he’d like to read, one about ordinary people thrown into extraordinary positions and had the ideas but wasn’t sure that there was enough time, or coffee, to fit it into his already busy life. However, he started working on Child Taken in 2014 and found that there was. He’s currently working on a new version of the book he wrote for ‘practice’ before embarking on Child Taken and after two years writing about child abduction, he wanted to explore something a little lighter; heart transplants.

Website. Twitter.


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Posted on 4 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Street Song by Sheena Wilkinson

Posted on 20 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Street Song by Sheena Wilkinson

Hi Guys!
Today is my stop on the Street Song blog tour and I have a review of this fab book to share with you all!
First though, here’s the info about the book.


About the Book

Street SongWhen life goes off-key, change your tune.

RyLee’s career is over. After winning a national TV talent show and becoming a teen pop sensation, his fame and success has quickly been followed by addiction, media scrutiny, and career suicide. After a brief spell in rehab, 18-year-old Ryan has some rethinking to do.

His stepdad – music promoter and self-appointed creator of ‘RyLee’ – wants him at home and in school, and under his thumb. But after an argument descends into violence, Ryan decides to run away from his old life, his failed career, and his dysfunctional family.

When he meets the stunningly witty but distinctly average guitar-player Toni almost directly outside his front door, the opportunity to start afresh seems too good to pass up. Before long, he has arrived in a new city, joined Toni’s amazingly talented band, and reinvented himself under the name ‘Cal’. For the first time in his life Ryan has friends around him, he’s playing the music he’s always wanted to play, and – despite living in a hostel, busking for his wages, and living under a false identity – he’s finally happy.

But just when Ryan feels like he has truly started over, his past begins to catch up with him.

Goodreads. Amazon. Waterstones.


My Review

Sometimes You

Sometimes you pick up a book and it can take some time to get into it but fortunately this was not the case with Street Song. Before I knew it I had read almost half of the book and was very, very curious about how it was all going to end. This book was entertaining, uncomfortable, heart-breaking and heart-warming all at the same time. It is a very powerful and poignant book that I think a lot of teenagers could find a very interesting read. It’s a book about homelessness but also about accepting help when you really need it. It’s full of music, friendship and love – everything you might just want in a contemporary Irish YA.

Have To

Cal has tried his hardest to turn his life around after his past but it hasn’t been that easy. One day things go too far and he does the only thing he can think of; leave. From here the book progresses into how Cal becomes a different person and finally puts his past behind him. It is a compelling book and one that is also full of mystery too. I ended up really liking Cal and the two girls that he meets up with. Together they make three protagonists that are truly fascinating to read about and help bring to life so many emotions.

Break Before

For me, character development is essential in a novel. It is what can turn a book from a complete mess to a masterpeice – in my eyes. Characters and character development show that the novel is working. It brings emotions to the surface and pulls the reader in. It also truly takes you on a journey which is what I love most about books. In this book Sheena Wilkinson does a brilliant job of bringing the characters to life and giving them all personal journey’s that they go on during the book. My favourite character though, by far was Cal. His journey was also the biggest and I felt so many emotions for him and it made me think differently about some things too.

Being Fixed

Overall, I found this book was easy to read, addictive and interesting. It is full of action, emotions and sensitive topics. Sheena Wilkinson has done a brilliant job of writing these topics into the book without bogging it down or by putting too much of a negative spin on things either. It’s all very informative as well. I think it’s a really powerful book that you really shouldn’t be missing. It’s a book that I am incredibly glad I read and would definitely be recommending as a fascinating YA book to read.


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Posted on 20 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Star Friends: Mirror Magic by Linda Chapman

Posted on 18 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Star Friends: Mirror Magic by Linda Chapman

Hello All!

Today I am here with a review of the very cute book that is Star Friends: Mirror Magic!


Star FriendsTitle: Mirror Magic
Author: Linda Chapman
Illustrator: Lucy Flemming
Publisher: Stripes
Published: 6th April 2017
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Waterstones

Summary:
Do you believe in magic?

Maia and her friends do! And when they meet the Star Animals, a whole world of magical adventure unfolds.

When Maia meets Bracken, a fox with indigo eyes, she is amazed at how beautiful and unusual it is. Then she realizes that she can hear the fox speaking to her! Maia and her friends are Star Friends – girls who can use magic to keep the world in harmony.

Maia’s older sister has started acting strangely and the Star Animals sense dark magic at work. Can the girls use their newfound Star Magic to help them put a stop to it?


Sometimes You

I am about to put my hands up here and admit that I have never before read a Linda Chapman book. This is quite startling, I’m sure but I’ve just never gotten around to it, unfortunately. Of course, this all changed when Star Friends: Mirror Magic arrived on my doorstep. I had never heard of this series before but as soon as I saw the cover and read the blurb, I knew that I simply had to read the book and see what it was all about. It is the kind of the book that I would have absolutely loved when I was younger as I loved both animals and magic – hell, I still do! I’m so glad I took the leap with this book as I very much enjoyed it. It only took me a short while to read but in that time I was fully transported into the new world.

Just Need

One of the things that I really admired about this book was the way that the children were given animal guides. It reminded me a lot of Phillip Pullman’s Northern Lights trilogy, which, when I read them as a child made me wish I had an animal companion so that I was never truly alone. I felt exactly the same about the animals in this book. They’re all so wonderful and lovely and will always be with their star friends when they’re needed. What more could anyone really want? On top of that, I loved the way that the friends all grew as the book progressed and I am ultimately very interested to read the next book to see what happens next!

A Little Magic

I’m going to have to go all controversial for a moment and let you know that my favourite character was in fact the fox animal guide. While I loved all of the guides and all of the three main characters, it was Bracken. I have to admit I am probably a little more drawn to foxes due to the Foxcraft series by Inbali Iserles, but I’m sure that’s not the only reason Bracken was my favourite. He was also the cutest animal, the one who seemed the keenest and just seemed to shine that little bit more. I did also really like Maia and her friends and have to admit that Linda Chapman has done a brilliant job of creating vibrant and loveable characters in this book.

To Survive

This was a short read – mostly as it was aimed at young children but despite that it was a book full of emotions, adventure and a book that really packed a punch too. I was instantly transported into the world of star friends and was very sad when I returned to the real world and remembered I do not have a star friend. It is a lovely and magical book that I think a lot of children will absolutely devour. It is a book about friendship, love and is also full of adventure too – what more could you possibly want? So, if you’re looking for a heart-warming and touching story, you should pick up this book. Last, but certainly not least, the thing that really helps to make this book even more special are the beautiful and vibrant illustrations.

Four Stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

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Posted on 18 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Bookshop Girl by Sylvia Bishop

Posted on 16 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

The Bookshop Girl by Sylvia Bishop

Hello All!
Today I am here with a review of a book that I absolutely loved and highly recommend; The Bookshop Girl!

The Bookshop GirlTitle: The Bookshop Girl
Author: Sylvia Bishop
Illustrator: Ashley King
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Published: 2nd March 2017
Pages: 176
Format: Paperback
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Waterstones

Summary:
This story is about a little girl named Property Jones, so-called because she was left in the lost property cupboard of a bookshop when she was five years old. Property loves living in the bookshop, but she has a whopper of a secret… she can’t actually read! So Property doesn’t see the newspaper article announcing the chance to win the Montgomery Book Emporium, the biggest and most magnificent bookshop in the world! When her family win the competition, Property finds herself moving to the Emporium, a magical place filled with floor upon floor of books and a very bad-tempered cat. But all is not at it seems at the Emporium and soon Property Jones finds herself in a whole heap of trouble.


Sometimes You

After reading Erica’s Elephant I was primed and ready to read her next book, certain that it would be another magical and lovely book. Fortunately, I was not wrong. The Bookshop Girl is a magnificently beautiful and adventurous book that really shows how talented Sylvia Bishop actually is. In a world where being different can be difficult to deal with, Sylvia Bishop has created a story that truly celebrates being different. She has written a story that is magical, unique and full of a wonderful story of acceptance and love. It is a book that you do not want to miss.

Just Have To

I do not want to go into too much detail about this book as I do not want to spoil it’s mysteriousness but what I will say is that Sylvia Bishop really knows how to pull the reader in with a wonderful and creative imagination. I absolutely loved everything about the world that The Bookshop Girl is set in. It was vivid and vibrant, easy to imagine, and included a bookshop that I would definitely want to visit if it existed in real life! Sylvia Bishop has created a book that is very likely to capture the hearts of children and adults alike with a fast-paced and action-packed plot surrounding a wonderful backdrop of books and bookshops.

Lose Yourself

There is absolutely no way to not fall in love with Property Jones. She is a very lovable, very adorable, very interesting character who naturally finds a way to charm herself into your life. I very much enjoyed reading about her and getting to know her a little better as I did so too. I loved following her journey and cheering her on as well. It made the book that much more entertaining and exciting. I also really liked Gunther the cat too. And the rest of the Property’s family were all so lovely and interesting to read about as well. Sylvia Bishop has created a wonderful cast of characters for this book.

In a Bookshop

This book is just as magical and lovely as Erica’s Elephant – if not more so! It is full of adventure, mystery and love. The perfect book for children who are looking for books that are just a little bit different. It is a book that will lift your spirit instantly and one that will leave just a little bit of hope in your heart too. Accompanied by some absolutely fantastic illustrations, this is a book that I am certain children and adults are all going to love. So if you love cute, charming and beautiful books, you should definitely make sure you read this book!

Four Stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

faye1

Posted on 16 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments