A gripping and fast-moving young adult alternative-reality fantasy novel with really effective world building, a (somewhat precocious) thoroughly engaging protagonist and a well-crafted plot. Comparisons with the Rivers of London series are both inevitable and, in general terms, justified.
In a world where anyone can cast a life-destroying curse, only one person has the power to unravel them. Kellen does not fully understand his unique gift, but helps those who are cursed, like his friend Nettle who was trapped in the body of a bird for years. She is now Kellen's constant companion and… Continue reading Book Review: Unraveller, Frances Hardinge
Having been tasked with creating a display of (mainly) YA books featuring LGBTQIA+ representation to support Pride Month, I thought I'd share those same books on here too. Some are just my own personal favourites, others are suggestions by students. Please feel free to add your own favourite LGBTQIA+ representation in the comments.
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could… Continue reading Book Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics February 1: Books with Character Names In… Continue reading Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie: YA Books I Think Will Become Classics
Pip Fitz-Amobi is haunted by the way her last investigation ended. Soon she’ll be leaving for Cambridge University but then another case finds her . . . and this time it’s all about Pip. Pip is used to online death threats, but there’s one that catches her eye, someone who keeps asking: who will look for you… Continue reading Book Review: As Good As Dead, Holly Jackson
Seth Cullen killed a dog when he was eight...I kept clear of Dog Cullen. Till the summer we turned seventeen, the summer the dolphin came to Ross Bay. That summer I looked in Dog Cullen’s eyes – one green, one blue – and I forgot to walk away. Once upon a time, in the green… Continue reading Book Review: On Midnight Beach, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
‘What did he say before you murdered him?’‘He asked me to kill him.’‘That’s convenient,’ she said.‘And told me the Dragon had made his daughter a monster. He told me she was strigoi. They say the thirst for blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.’ I remember really… Continue reading Book Review: The Deathless Girls, Kiran Millwood Hargrave
A massive congratulations to the authors on the 2021 longlist for the Carnegie Medal, announced this week. It looks like a diverse list with some familiar names - Francis Hardinge, Elizabeth Acevado. And of course Patrick Ness. Would the Carnegie Medal be the Carnegie Medal without a book by Ness appearing on it? - and… Continue reading Carnegie Medal 2021 Longlist
“What do you do when the things that are supposed to protect you, fail you like that” A Good Girl's Guide to Murder seemed to explode over my social media last year - and it warranted the press and publicity once I got round to reading it. Pip Fitz-Amobi's investigation into Andie Bell's disappearance and… Continue reading Book Review: Good Girl, Bad Blood, Holly Jackson
I’m hoping it will not be the essay I proposed to Mrs Morgan. I’m hoping it will be the truth. What really happened to Andie Bell on the 20th April 2012? And – as my instincts tell me – if Salil ‘Sal’ Singh is not guilty, then who killed her? How would a community react… Continue reading The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
The Top 5 series is back! Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books in which the bookish community discover and share books that all have a common theme. Previously, the meme has focused on a range of different characters (witches and werewolves), genres (thrillers, detectives and re-tellings) and thoughts about the industry and life… Continue reading Top Five Saturday: Young Adult
“I'm just a girl.""It is tragic how well you have been taught to say that with sadness rather than triumph.” Patrick Ness... Dragons... The Cold War... yes please! It is no shock to readers of this blog that Patrick Ness is one of my favourite authors: the Chaos Walking Trilogy, A Monster Calls - which… Continue reading Burn, Patrick Ness
Opening with that echo of the famous first line of Moby-Dick, Bathsheba is telling her tale as a cautionary warning, a plea, a prophecy. A cautionary tale which, for all the fantastical elements, sounds terribly relevant to and important for the world we are living in.
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Topics: January 7: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First… Continue reading Top Ten Tuesdays: Book Cover Freebies
"Angels could look like many things." So can monsters.
Some writers just blow you away. The depth of their world-building, the vividness and humanity of their characters, the beauty of their language, the thoughtfulness - the philosophy - of their concept. Hardinge is definitely one of these writers. I was a little concerned picking up Deeplight, however much I adore Hardinge because her most… Continue reading Deeplight, Frances Hardinge
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Poetry I thought I'd start this with two of my favourite poems… Continue reading Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes
Oh Lyra Belacqua, Lyra Silvertongue. I devoured the original trilogy of your journeys to the North. Bolvangar, Svalbad, Iorek Byrnison, The World of the Dead. I adored the Miltonic and Blakean echoes. Fell in love with the mercurial, quick witted, innocent girl. Loved the world created by Pullman, the familiarity of it, the uncanniness, the… Continue reading The Secret Commonwealth, Philip Pullman
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. A freebie, as I understand it, is any list that broadly fits… Continue reading Top Ten Tuesday, Hallowe’en Freebie
Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books to discover and share books that all have a common theme. Previously, the focus has included witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more. This week, the Top Five is "Set in Space". This is the problem and the pleasure of… Continue reading Top Five Saturday: Set in Space
Some authors deserve a fanfare when they are about to publish and Frances Hardinge is one of those! A new novel from Hardinge is a thing of joy! She is one of those authors who seem to have never put a foot wrong in their writing: plots, impeccable; characters, vivid and real; language, beautiful and… Continue reading Deeplight, Frances Hardinge
Some series just don't know when to die. But I guess, if you get acclaim - and money - for it, why stop? Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's series was enjoyable enough as a piece of popcorn reading. And the books were better than the awful film - but that's not saying much. In the first… Continue reading A Map of Days, Ransom Riggs
So, week two and day eight roll around and we're still going... And the challenge today is to name A series everyone should read. Now I struggle with this concept. Why should everyone read the same thing? Why would one series - which is a massive investment of time - be something everyone should read? Why should anyone read… Continue reading 30 Day Book Challenge: Day Eight!
Today's challenge is to identify A book that broke your heart. There is only one contender in this category and it is Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls. I have read this novel a dozen times: initially as simply a book for myself; later as a class read for work. I have read it in my head… Continue reading 30 Day Book Challenge: Day Six!