Kidnap in the Caribbean : Lauren St John

Laura Marlin Mysteries 2: Kidnap in the Caribbean by Lauren St. John My rating: 5 of 5 stars I have a little bit of a problem. I think I’m in love with this series. I thought Dead Man’s Cove was brilliant I’m genuinely pleased to report that Kidnap in the Caribbean is of a similarContinue reading “Kidnap in the Caribbean : Lauren St John”

Life : an exploded diagram : Mal Peet

Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet My rating: 5 of 5 stars Life : an Exploded Diagram is transcendent. It is beyond. It is a book that should not be shelved under YA fiction, it is not a book that should be read solely by one demographic. In a very quiet way, this bookContinue reading “Life : an exploded diagram : Mal Peet”

Dead Man’s Cove : Lauren St John

Dead Man’s Cove by Lauren St. John My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’m going to be terribly unprofessional here for a moment so please do humour me. THIS IS BRILLIANT. *Puts Critic hat back on* THIS IS BRILLIANT Oh, this will never do. Okay, I’ll have to do my best to restore some sortContinue reading “Dead Man’s Cove : Lauren St John”

The Declaration : Gemma Malley

The Declaration by Gemma Malley My rating: 5 of 5 stars Reading like a dystopian hybrid of “Torchwood : Miracle Day” and “Annie”, the Declaration is solidly brilliant storytelling. It tells the story of Surplus Anna who was born. And that’s her crime right there. She shouldn’t have been. Her parents acted against ‘The Declaration’Continue reading “The Declaration : Gemma Malley”

Marco and the Blade of Night : Thom Madley

Marco and the Blade of Night by Thom Madley My rating: 2 of 5 stars I read both ‘Marco’ books in swift succession (Pendulum & Blade of Night). And it was halfway through Marco and the Blade of Night that I realised something. There’s a lot of talking. I mean, there’s a LOT of talking.Continue reading “Marco and the Blade of Night : Thom Madley”

Opal Moonbaby : Maudie Smith

Opal Moonbaby by Maudie Smith My rating: 4 of 5 stars Opal Moonbaby reads a little like Pippi Longstocking meets Dodie Smith (I was very much reminded of I Capture the Castle and The Starlight Barking for example) with a sprinkle of Jacqueline Wilson-esque social commentary thrown in for good measure. I really enjoyed this. It’sContinue reading “Opal Moonbaby : Maudie Smith”

Gone : Michael Grant

Gone by Michael Grant My rating: 3 of 5 stars Gone. That’s what happens to everybody over 14 years old. They just blink out and leave the kids of Perdido Beach by themselves. Heck of a hook. I’ve encountered the ‘absent parent’ trope before (The Time of the Reaper and The Enemy for example) and it’sContinue reading “Gone : Michael Grant”

The Cursed Ones : Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

The Cursed Ones by Nancy Holder My rating: 2 of 5 stars Vampires are taking over the world. They have quite literally come out of the shadows and are, nominally, living with humanity. But in truth, they’re taking over. And there’s only random pockets of resistance and Hunters who are trying to stop them. TheContinue reading “The Cursed Ones : Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie”

The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels : Danny Fingeroth

The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels by Danny Fingeroth My rating: 2 of 5 stars Whilst there’s no doubt that The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels is well researched and covers certain angles of the comic book industry in great depth, I found it distinctly less exciting than I’d hoped. There’s something awkward about reviewingContinue reading “The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels : Danny Fingeroth”

Behemoth : Scott Westerfeld

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld My rating: 4 of 5 stars Acting as the sequel to Leviathan, Behemoth tells the story of Deryn and Alek and their role in an alternative version of world history involving war, revolution and fantastical machines. Elements of their journey are joyous and the illustrations in this book are worth aContinue reading “Behemoth : Scott Westerfeld”

Raising Demons : Rachel Hawkins

Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins My rating: 3 of 5 stars Sophie Mercer’s on holiday. She’s also a demon. Whilst staying with her dad in England, she becomes involved in a conspiracy full of dark magic and evil. And she’s also in love. With the wrong guy. I enjoyed this though I really didn’t haveContinue reading “Raising Demons : Rachel Hawkins”

Fury : Elizabeth Miles

Fury by Elizabeth Miles My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s some strange and awful goings on in Ascension. People keeping secrets. Lots and lots of secrets. And sometimes secrets get out whether you want them to or not. And sometimes people get hurt… Perhaps it’s just a reaction of reading too many YA paranomalContinue reading “Fury : Elizabeth Miles”

Neversuch House : Elliot Skell

Neversuch House by Elliot Skell My rating: 2 of 5 stars Neversuch House. A curious location, home to the Halibut family who live in a cloistered existence from the world outside. Everyone’s pretty much fine with that until one day Omnia Halibut finds herself involved in a series of extraordinary events. Hear that? She’s involvedContinue reading “Neversuch House : Elliot Skell”

The Lord of The Rings : Or, how to review a book when it’s all been said already

I’ve just finished The Lord of The Rings. Finishing my MA in Children’s Literature has dazzled me. I have so much free time now. It’s a little mindblowing. One of the first things I did was treat myself to a long lovely wallow in a book which has defined a lot of my life. AndContinue reading “The Lord of The Rings : Or, how to review a book when it’s all been said already”

The Traitor’s Gate : Sarah Silverwood

The Traitor’s Gate: The Nowhere Chronicles Book Two by Sarah Silverwood My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Traitor’s Gate is the sequel to The Double-Edged Sword which I first reviewed here and the second book in the Nowhere Chronicles by Sarah Silverwood. Finmere Tingewick Smith is caught up in the events of his worldContinue reading “The Traitor’s Gate : Sarah Silverwood”

The Double-Edged Sword : Sarah Silverwood

The Double-Edged Sword: The Nowhere Chronicles Book One by Sarah Silverwood My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Double-Edged Sword is the first of the Nowhere Chronicles, a new series by author Sarah Silverwood. Whilst I’m usually terribly cynical about series (seriously, if I read anymore tenuous trilogies I will weep), I found this wasContinue reading “The Double-Edged Sword : Sarah Silverwood”

The Red Pyramid : Rick Riordan

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan My rating: 3 of 5 stars Gosh, reading this was very strange. The Red Pyramid is, to be blunt, Percy Jackson with Egyptian gods. I won’t fault Riordan on his use of mythology; strong, competent and solid. He weaves in a hell of a lot of stuff in thereContinue reading “The Red Pyramid : Rick Riordan”

Dear Fred : KM Peyton

Dear Fred by K.M. Peyton My rating: 5 of 5 stars I finished this and I realised that I don’t ever remember reading a bad book from KM Peyton. I genuinely feel that she is one of the most undersung authors in the world of children’s literature. Stylistically reminiscent of Antonia Forest (with the precisionContinue reading “Dear Fred : KM Peyton”

Birthmarked : Caragh O’Brien

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien My rating: 2 of 5 stars Birthmarked tells the story of young midwife Gaia Stone who helps deliver babies to the Enclave – a walled, er, enclave who brings up the children inside of the, god this is going to kill me, Enclave and forget their previous lives in theContinue reading “Birthmarked : Caragh O’Brien”

Unhooking the moon : Gregory Hughes

Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes My rating: 5 of 5 stars Meet Marie Claire and Robert DeBillier. Aka Bob and his sister – The Rat. Following a tragic family incident, the two of them decide to seek out their long-lost Uncle who lives in New York. Trouble is – these kids currently live inContinue reading “Unhooking the moon : Gregory Hughes”

Dewey, the true story of a world-famous library cat : Vicki Myron

Dewey: The True Story of a World-Famous Library Cat by Vicki Myron My rating: 4 of 5 stars I found this a really charming little book and genuinely enjoyed reading it. The story of Dewey the Library cat, kitten rescued from a freezing alley and given home in a public library, has been adapted specificallyContinue reading “Dewey, the true story of a world-famous library cat : Vicki Myron”

Charlotte Sometimes : Penelope Farmer

Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer My rating: 5 of 5 stars Charlotte, new student at a boarding school, has one of those days we’ve all had when we’re new somewhere. Exhausted, nervy, confused, she goes to bed and wakes up in the same school forty years earlier. Turns out she’s swapped places with a schoolgirlContinue reading “Charlotte Sometimes : Penelope Farmer”

The Knife of Never Letting Go : In praise of the sneaky books

Dear Patrick. I’d tried with The Knife Of Never Letting Go before. I’d tried and got stuck within a few pages. Didn’t really kick into gear for me. I struggled with the language and the sheer denseness of what I was reading. So I put it down. Stepped away. Put it back on the shelf.Continue reading “The Knife of Never Letting Go : In praise of the sneaky books”

Beswitched : Kate Saunders

Beswitched by Kate Saunders My rating: 4 of 5 stars My love for school stories is fairly blatant. I’m a sucker for the Chalet School and have spent many happy hours at St Clares and Malory Towers. I even bought Wild Child on dvd just so I could check out how that boarding school compared.Continue reading “Beswitched : Kate Saunders”

Running Wild – Michael Morpurgo

Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo My rating: 3 of 5 stars The day I discover a new Micheal Morpurgo is a very happy day. He’s one of the authors who constantly amaze and inspire me. Running Wild is the story of Will, caught up in terrifying events when a tsunami hits the village he andContinue reading “Running Wild – Michael Morpurgo”

An Act of Love – Alan Gibbons

An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons My rating: 5 of 5 stars Full disclosure part one – I received an advance copy of this from the publisher. Full disclosure part two – It’s really rather good. An Act of Love tells the story of two childhood friends forced down separate ideological paths – oneContinue reading “An Act of Love – Alan Gibbons”

King of Shadows – Susan Cooper.

King of Shadows by Susan Cooper My rating: 4 of 5 stars Oh this is good. The protagonist, Nat Field, is a young actor who has come over to play at the Globe with his company. Somehow he goes to bed feeling ill and then wakes up in Shakespearean England. With Shakespeare. The rest ofContinue reading “King of Shadows – Susan Cooper.”

Where is Binky Boo

Zoe and Beans: Where is Binky Boo? by Chloe Inkpen My rating: 5 of 5 stars Picture books, regardless of reader-age, are able to give pleasure to pretty much everybody. As they’re often read by adults to children, there’s a subtle acknowledgement of this in the text and few small side-winks to the adult insideContinue reading “Where is Binky Boo”

Circus Shoes : Noel Streatfield

Circus Shoes by Noel Streatfeild My rating: 4 of 5 stars Noel Streatfield had a handle on what made “working” children tick. Her sympathetic portrayal of characters who take to the stage, the circus, the ice-rink, is consistently smart and realistic. Circus Shoes is no exception. Peter and his rather splendidly named sister Santa faceContinue reading “Circus Shoes : Noel Streatfield”

The School at the Chalet

The School at the Chalet by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars I love the Chalet School. It’s my big book crush of my life. Something about it is just so perfect and undying to me. This is one of the best books – and it’s worth trying to hunt out anContinue reading “The School at the Chalet”

The Rhetoric of Character in Children’s Literature

The Rhetoric of Character in Children’s Literature by Maria Nikolajeva My rating: 5 of 5 stars Spectacularly readable and accessible, I love this book and it’s defined a lot of my attitude towards character theory. Worth hunting out – and hanging on to. View all my reviews

Book Review: The Tomorrow Code – Brian Falkner

The Tomorrow Code is a fairly solid environmental thriller based in New Zealand. Tane and Rebecca, two good friends, decipher messages sent to them from the future. Everything is about to go really rather horribly wrong – and they are the only people who know it. The story was good up to the point whenContinue reading “Book Review: The Tomorrow Code – Brian Falkner”

Book Review – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

It’s taken me a while to get near a copy of this (sidebar : I love my university library at times) and finally I got my hot hands on a copy yesterday morning. And I’ve already finished it. First word: Wow. Second word: Wow. Third word: Cor (aka. wow). This book is brilliant. I genuinelyContinue reading “Book Review – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief”

A list : nerdy, technical and just plain bizarre books

Here’s a list of my current reads. Some are very specifically related to my dissertation, some are theoretically based and some are just a little bit odd 😉 Enjoy! Maria Nikolajeva – The Rhetorics of Character in Children’s Literature. Amazing. Sorry if you follow me on Twitter – my #fridayreads post has just been mainlyContinue reading “A list : nerdy, technical and just plain bizarre books”