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”

Review: The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke – #laurelloganlost blog tour

LOST. 

When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister. 

FOUND.

Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…

Blog Banner - The Lost and the Found

Continue reading “Review: The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke – #laurelloganlost blog tour”

Review: Othergirl by Nicole Burstein

A teenage girl with a burning secret…(…and a lot of homework).
A worldwide network of superheroes looking for hot new talent…and a best friend left behind to pick up the pieces.
Louise and Erica have been best friends since forever. They’re closer than sisters and depend on each other for almost everything. Just one problem: Erica’s a freaking superhero.

When Erica isn’t doing loop-the-loops in the sky or burning things with her heat pulse powers, she needs Louise to hold her non-super life together. After all, the girls still have homework, parents and boys to figure out. But being a superhero’s BFF is not easy, especially as trouble has a way of seeking them out. Soon Louise discovers that Erica might be able to survive explosions and fly faster than a speeding bullet, but she can’t win every fight by herself.

Life isn’t a comic book: it’s even crazier than that. Continue reading “Review: Othergirl by Nicole Burstein”

Review and #TeamNice Giveaway: One Small Act Of Kindness by Lucy Dillon

What can you do to make the world a better place?
If you follow me on Twitter (I’m @magic_kitten – come and say hello!) you might have noticed me tweeting about #TeamNice. If you want to know all the details, head over to http://www.teamnicehq.com but – long story short – this was a hashtag inspired by a customised necklace and a desire to spread more positivity on social media, to counteract the outrage and keyboard warriors. This snowballed into a Month of Kindness throughout February, with a suggested ‘small act of kindness’ for each day of the month.

Those eagle-eyed people in the Hodder marketing department (who kindly had me pop in for a couple of weeks interning before Christmas) did spot the hashtag and have joined #TeamNice with a small act of kindness of their own. One Small Act of Kindness, the new novel from Lucy Dillon, will be published in April this year, but I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak while I was in the office. They’ve kindly provided a copy for me to give away here as we bring our Month of Kindness to a close. If you like the sound of it from my review, I’d love you to enter and become part of #TeamNice too! Continue reading “Review and #TeamNice Giveaway: One Small Act Of Kindness by Lucy Dillon”

Review: Me & Mr J by Rachel McIntyre

Lara’s life is far from perfect, but being an upbeat kind of person she saves her venting for her diary. It’s the only place she can let out her true feelings about the family dramas and hideous bullying she has to face every day.
And then a shining light comes out of the darkness – the new, young and MALE teacher, Mr Jagger. The one person who takes Lara seriously and notices her potential. The one person who is kind to her. The one person who she falls madly and hopelessly in love with.
The one person who can never love her back…can he?
Continue reading “Review: Me & Mr J by Rachel McIntyre”

Review: The Door That Led To Where by Sally Gardner

Sixteen-year-old AJ Flynn holds a key is his hand. It has his name and date of birth on it. But it’s a key to a door that leads to where? Or when?
On the other side of the door is a tumbledown house, a city booming with trade, and a murder mystery that echoes through the centuries.
AJ steps through the door and finds himself at the centre of it all. It is London and it is 1830.
Life is tough in 1830 – sickness murder and crime abound – but is it so different from the London of now that AJ and his friends know?
AJ needs to find the answers to the mystery and decide where he belongs.
Continue reading “Review: The Door That Led To Where by Sally Gardner”

Podcast: Our Books of 2014

Here’s our final podcast of 2014, looking back over the books we’ve read and enjoyed this year. Some of the books are older, some were published in 2014, some we’ve mentioned earlier in the year, but all have been books that we can recommend! Kate has cheated unrepentently but only because there were so many books she couldn’t omit – we’ve both had a great year of reading. Continue reading “Podcast: Our Books of 2014”

Shelf Help Review: Nature Cure by Richard Mabey

In the last year of the old millennium, Richard Mabey, Britain’s foremost nature writer, fell into a severe depression. The natural world – which since childhood had been a source of joy and inspiration for him – became meaningless. Then, cared for by friends, he moved to East Anglia and he started to write again. Having left the cosseting woods of the Chiltern hills for the open flatlands of Norfolk, Richard Maybe found exhilaration in discovering a whole new landscape and gained fresh insights into our place in nature.

Structured as intricately as a novel, truthful, exquisite and questing, Nature Cure is a book of hope, not just for individuals, but for our species. Continue reading “Shelf Help Review: Nature Cure by Richard Mabey”

Review: Spare Brides by Adele Parks

Adele Parks is appearing at the Essex Book Festival, at Raleigh Library on Tuesday 4th March, to discuss her new novel, Spare Brides.  I was very pleased to be asked to review Spare Brides, and interview Adele Parks in advance of her event. Today is ‘release day’ for the novel, and so, here is my review…

New Year’s Eve, 1920.  The Great War is over and it’s a new decade of glamorous promise. But a generation of men and women who survived the extreme trauma and tragedy will never be the same.
With countless men lost, it seems that only wealth and beauty will secure a husband from the few who returned, but lonely Beatrice has neither attribute. Ava has both, although she sees marriage as a restrictive cage after the freedom war allowed. Sarah paid the war’s ultimate price: her husband’s life. Lydia should be grateful that her own husband’s desk job kept him safe, but she sees only his cowardice.
A chance encounter for on elf these women with a striking yet haunted officer changes everything. In a world altered beyond recognition, where not all scars are visible, this damaged and beautiful group must grasp any happiness they can find – whatever the cost. Continue reading “Review: Spare Brides by Adele Parks”