Saturday, 2 December 2017

Review: My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner

Publication Date: October 5th 2017
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Review copy from publisher

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Blurb :

An extraordinary tale about the search for love from the acclaimed Costa and Carnegie winning novelist Sally Gardner.

Jazmin has been shunned ever since her best friend Becky disappeared. But Becky didn't just disappear - she jumped off a tall building and seemingly never reached the ground. It was as if she simply vanished into thin air. Did Jazmin have something to do with her disappearance? Or was it more to do with Icarus, so beguiling and strangely ever youthful, with whom Becky became suddenly besotted . . .

 Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me a copy of this novel n exchange for my full and honest review. I have previously read some novels by Sally Gardner including The Door That Led To Where, Tinder and Maggot Moon. I had loved some of her previous novels and really disliked others. So I was interested to see how I would feel about this one. 

After loving The Fallen Children which also featured alien YA fun, I was interested to see how this would shape up. I didn't know much about this novel before going into it which I feel was the best idea. The novel was overall a good novel but I don't think I would re-read it any time soon. 

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Review: Midnight by Jacqueline Wilson

Publication Date: October 25th 2004
Publisher: Corgi
Source: Own

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Violet has always been in the shadow of her mesmerizing, controlling brother Will -- by turns delightful and terrifying. Now that Will has learned a shocking secret about his own past, things seem to be getting worse. Violet retreats further into her fantasy world built around the fairy characters created by her favourite author, Casper Dream. The arrival of Jasmine, a new girl at school who immediately befriends Violet, seems like it might change Violet’s life for the better and allow her to break free of Will’s spell. But is Jasmine a true friend? 

 Jacqueline Wilson was one of the most influential authors on my reading life. Her novels lit the spark to my love for reading and I knew I needed to read this novel as one of her only "classics" that I had not yet read. 

The novel centered around Violet, a thirteen year old girl with a love for fantastical worlds and her favourite author Casper Dream. Violet was a really well written main character. Jacqueline definitely captured the odd internal conflict of being a girl at that age, of wanting to hold onto your childhood but also wanting to be an adult and feel more adult as a teenager. 

Friday, 10 November 2017

Announcement: Book Bloggers Secret Santa!


Hi Everyone! So Christmas is fast approaching and I really enjoyed hosting the Book Bloggers Secret Santa last year so I have decided to do it again! 

I have not had as much time this semester to read  or blog due to college but am so looking forward to having some time off at Christmas to read and relax. 

I really love the book blogging community and feel that this is the perfect way to help make friends with bloggers, increase that sense of community and also fill you with tat warm fuzzy feeling you get when you give someone a gift you know they will love! 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Review: The Call by Peadar O' Guilin

Release Date: September 2016
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Source: Purchased

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Blurb :

3 minutes and 4 seconds. The length of time every teenager is 'Called', from the moment they vanish to the moment they reappear. 9 out of 10 children return dead. Even the survivors are changed. The nation must survive. 

Nessa, Megan and Anto are at a training school - to give them some chance to fight back. Their enemy is brutal and unforgiving. But Nessa is determined to come back alive. Determined to prove that her polio-twisted legs won't get her killed. But her enemies don't just live in the Grey Land. There are people closer to home who will go to any length to see her, and the nation, fail...

 I first heard about this book at the Dept Con book convention and immediately rushed out to buy it! 

I kinda went into this book without knowing anything about it or hearing anyone else talk about the plot and honestly I think that could possibly be the best way to go into the novel. 

The novel centers around a future Ireland where fairy folk known as Sidhe were banished from Ireland to another realm. As revenge for being evicted from their homeland, the Sidhe take children out of Ireland to their world for 3 minutes and torture them before sending them back. Kids and teenagers are now sent to military style combat schools where they learn to train and prepare for their call one day so that they might survive the horrors that the Sidhe have planned for them. 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Review: The Fallen Children by David Owen

Publication Date: 4th May 2017
Publisher:  Atom Books
Source: Review copy

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Blurb: Young people on the Midwich Estate don't have much hope for their futures. Keisha has lived there her whole life, and has been working hard to escape it; others have just accepted their lot.

But change is coming...

One night everyone inside Midwich Tower falls mysteriously unconscious in one inexplicable 'Nightout'. No one can explain what happened during those lost hours, but soon afterwards Keisha and three other girls find they're pregnant - and the babies are growing at an alarming rate.

As the news spreads around the tower its residents turn against them and the situation spirals toward violence. Keisha's life unravels as she realises that the pregnancy may not have just ruined her hopes for the future: she might be mother to the end of the world.

 Big thank you to Atom Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for my full and honest review.

This book was such a pleasant surprise for me. The book is based on The Midwich Cuckoos by John  Wyndham. I've not read TMC but this YA retelling of it was so creepy and utterly captivating. Also there are 360 different covers of this novel, all in different colours and colour combinations which I think is such a cool idea!

After being in a little bit of a reading slump for a while, I was looking for a book that would completely suck me in and make me want to read again. This was the perfect book. 

The novel focuses around Keisha, Maida, Olivia and Siobhan who, following a mysterious night where all residents of their apartment block fall unconscious for a few hours, discover they have become pregnant. As the girls begin to realise that this is no ordinary pregnancy and search for answers, the more sinister and creepy the novel becomes. 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Review: More Than One Way To Be A Girl by Dyan Sheldon

Publication Date: 06 July 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy

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Blurb: From the writer of Confessions of A Teenage Drama Queen and My Worst Best Friend comes this hugely entertaining teen read, all about what it really means to be a girl. 

ZiZi likes to think of herself as a girly girl: her wardrobe is almost exclusively pink, her daily makeup routine can take upwards of an hour and she loves a bit of a flirt. Her best friend Loretta is very different: all of her clothes are black, she doesn't wear any makeup whatsoever and she doesn't like the way ZiZi dumbs herself down for boys - or her old-fashioned ideas about "a woman's place". One day, they decide to make a bet. 

Can ZiZi stand looking like Loretta for longer than Loretta can bear dressing like ZiZi? As their summer unfolds - often hilariously - the pair are surprised to find they have a lot to learn from each other.

 Thank you to Walker Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for my full review.

I had never read a Dyan Sheldon novel before but have seen them in my local library and bookshops for years.

This book centered around our two main characters Zizi and Loretta, two best friends who couldn't be more different. While Zizi is make up and fashion obsessed, Loretta is low key and think brains are better than beauty. Zizi thinks Loretta should try harder with her appearance and Loretta thinks Zizi should focus on more important things than looks. That is when the bet comes into play that they both swap looks for the summer. 

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Review: Out of Heart by Irfan Master

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 
Source: Review copy from publisher
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Donating your heart is the most precious gift of all.
Adam is a teenage boy who lives with his mum and younger sister. His dad has left them although lives close by. His sister no longer speaks. His mum works two jobs. Adam feels the weight of the world upon his shoulders.
Then his grandfather dies and in doing so he donates a very precious gift - his heart. 
William is the recipient of Adam's grandfather's heart. He has no family and feels rootless and alone. In fact, he feels no particular reason to live. And then he meets Adam's family. 
William has received much, but it appears that he has much to offer Adam and his family too.

Thank you to Hot Key Books publishing for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for a full review. 

This was an interesting novel and it was much different than what I was expecting before going into it. The novel tells the story of Adam, a teenager with a passion for drawing who lives with his mum and sister and of William, a man without family who has received the heart of Adam's recently deceased Grandfather.