Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate. Continue reading “Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend”

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.
Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.
But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?
Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . . Continue reading “The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James”

Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.
Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.
And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming. Continue reading “Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller”

Review: Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

Sebastien de Castell make his YA debut with Spellslinger, published in the UK by Hot Key Books. Spellslinger, as de Castell mentions on the book’s Goodreads page, is the first in a planned six-part series. Existing fans will be pleased to hear it takes place in the same universe as his Greatcoats series, but in another part of that world, in a place that felt – to me – a bit like a combination of the very masculine Wild West and Classical or Middle Eastern magical mythology. Kellen, our main character, seems destined not to succeed as a powerful mage like his father, while his friends gain their magic and pass trials around him. However, he discovers something more sinister is afoot, and eventually uncovers a conspiracy that could destroy his family and homeland. Continue reading “Review: Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell”

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Occasionally there are books that garner an extraordinary level of hype in the book community and then deliver on that hype, one hundred percent. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas’ debut novel, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, is one of those rare cases. The book was published a little while ago in the US and has just hit the shelves of bookshops all over the UK. I was very lucky to be given an early proof copy and I gasped, laughed and cried through this brilliantly-written story of discrimination, family, determination and personal resilience. Continue reading “Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas”

The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury – blog tour!

The Scarecrow Queen

Happy publication day to The Scarecrow Queen, the final installment in Melinda Salisbury’s fantastic trilogy which began with The Sin Eater’s Daughter. I loved – devoured? – that book and the follow-up, The Sleeping Prince, in a few days and I’ve been waiting to read The Scarecrow Queen ever since. It doesn’t disappoint; you’re in for as many twists, turns and moments of sorcery, and as much blood and lust as you could possibly wish for. As part of the blog tour, Mel and bloggers are creating vision boards illustrating various characters from the series, including their appearance, characteristics, personality and their important themes, and writing about the other’s presentation. I’m thrilled to present to you… Twylla. Continue reading “The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury – blog tour!”

When the real world is a dystopia, here’s what to read

A lot of people have been searching for a book to make sense of the world in the last week, and 1984 by George Orwell has soared up the charts. What people looking for tips may not realise is that things don’t work out so well for the main character, despite the fact that it’s one of the best-known dystopian novels of recent times. I wanted to recommend some alternative choices from women and writers of colour whose stories will strike a chord and who deserve to be read more widely. Continue reading “When the real world is a dystopia, here’s what to read”

Today Will Be Different: Maria Semple blog tour

Today Will Be Different is the new novel from Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and when I spotted early copies, it’s safe to say I was pretty unashamed about seeing if I could nab one as I was really keen to read it and share my thoughts with you.

I really enjoyed it, I think even more so than Maria’s previous novel, in part because of the ingenious way that the whole book plays out over the course of one day, albeit with the clever use of flashbacks, as the main character, Eleanor, encounters various objects or thinks about different people, especially her husband and sister.

I’m very pleased that Maria Semple has stopped by to answer my question about her choice to write in that way…


“When I wrote that first page and felt its electricity, that pretty much dictated the form of the novel. It told me I was writing about a woman who was waking up one morning determined to be her best self. And despite Eleanor setting the bar almost comically low for herself, her plans still go awry.”

As well as the fascinating way it’s written, I loved the wit and humour of Today Will Be Different, as well as the way that Semple creates the most extraordinary characters who are also completely human and relatable. I am desperate to watch the animated series the Elanor works on – it sounds like sassy My Little Ponies – and Timby, her son, is delightful. Her relationship with her sister is sometimes tender, sometimes tragic to the point of heartbreaking. There are also some wonderful slapstick moments – especially in a sculpture park – that have to be read to be believed…

Look out on my Twitter for a chance to RT and win a copy of the book, and have you been following the tour so far?

  • 18th August: Nina Stibbe
  • 25th August: Beth Book Blogger
  • 1st Sept: Notes From The Chair
  • 8th Sept: Amy Pirt
  • 15th Sept: Adventures With Words
  • 22nd Sept: Queens Park Books
  • 29th Sept: Alison Percival
  • 6th Oct: Marian Keyes

Description 

Eleanor Flood knows she’s a mess. But today will be different. Today she will shower and put on real clothes. She will attend her yoga class after dropping her son, Timby, off at school.

She’ll see an old friend for lunch. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action – life happens. For today is the day Timby has decided to pretend to be ill to weasel his way into his mother’s company.

It’s also the day surgeon Joe has chosen to tell his receptionist – but not Eleanor – that he’s on vacation. And just when it seems that things can’t go more awry, a former colleague produces a relic from the past – a graphic memoir with pages telling of family secrets long buried and a sister to whom Eleanor never speaks.

YA Podcast: Recommending great BAME YA

This month, Kate and Darran recommend great YA books by BAME authors, and chat about the politics behind why it’s important. It’s a bit of a political episode, as it goes, given recent events around the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile and the following protests in the US, and the rise in incidents of racist abuse in the UK following the EU referendum. We wanted to use the platform we have to champion BAME authors, and some books which have BAME characters as part of a realistic diverse cast. If you click ‘read more’, you can listen, click through to buy any of the books we mention, and there are some other positive actions you can take too. Continue reading “YA Podcast: Recommending great BAME YA”