Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Trust In Me by Sophie Mckenzie

Julia has always been the friend that Livy turns to when life is difficult. United fifteen years ago by grief at the brutal murder of Livy's sister, Kara, they've always told each other everything. Or so Livy thought. So when Julia is found dead in her home, Livy cannot come to terms with the news that she chose to end her own life. The Julia that Livy knew was vibrant and vivacious, a far cry from the selfish neurotic that her family seem determined to paint her as. Troubled by doubt but alone in her suspicions, Livy sets out to prove that Julia was in fact murdered. But little does she realise that digging into her best friend's private life will cause her to question everything she thought she knew about Julia. And the truth that Livy discovers will tear the very fabric of her own life apart.

Star Rating

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review.

It is not often I verbally rave about books and force them upon other people but I have already given my copy of 'Trust In Me' by Sophie Mckenzie to my mum, who like myself, loves a good old crime thriller.  

In the past I have read some of Sophie Mckenzie's Young Adult material and was interested to see how her writing style would change in this psychological thriller for adults. In short, the writing was pacy, exciting and kept me hooked from beginning to end. This is one of those books that will have you grappling with yourself as you try not to flick to the last page to discover the whos, whens, wheres and whys. 

'Trust In Me' tells the story of our protagonist, Lily, who arrives at her best friend Julia's home to discover her dead, on the sofa, after what initially appears to be a suicide. Rocked with guilt, having ignored an earlier text from Julia, Lily sets off to investigate what really happened that night in Julia's flat. Along the way, Julia discovers a number of clues that, as stated in the blurb, 'tear the very fabric of her own life apart.' As Lily starts to realise that she never truly knew the real Julia, the reader is catapulted into a series of shocking revelations. 

The author cleverly drops red herrings and subtle clues throughout the story introducing us to some interesting characters that may or may not have something to do with Julia's death. Sophie Mckenzie also uses a sequence of diary entries written by an unnamed man which are sadistic and bestial in nature. It becomes clear to the reader that these entries must have something to do with Julia's killer and I found myself growing more and more desperate to discover the true identity of Julia's killer.  Who was the real Julia and why was she killed?

This psychological thriller has plenty of twists and turns with enough potential suspects to keep you guessing until the very end! Trust in me and read this book!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dragon Jelly by Claire Freedman and Sue Hendra

Come to Max's MONSTER party,
There's GOO-LICIOUSfood to eat. 
It's creepy-crawly, stinky fun -
don't miss this scary treat!

Star Rating

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review.

Anyone who follows my blog will know that five star reviews, from either myself or the children in my class, are a rarity. Therefore I am proud to present 'Dragon Jelly' by Claire Freedman and Sue Hendra, a story that my class were insistent deserved a cool five stars!!

When asked what they liked about this book, one girl told me it was "ICKY STICKY GOOEY FUN." I could not have put this better myself and this catchphrase sums up Claire Freedman's writing perfectly. In this story we are taken on a whirlwind tour of Max's MONSTER party where there is GOO-LICIOUS food to eat including ear-wig rolls, cockroach crisps and an eyeball birthday cake with ear wax candles. 

The children all expressed their wish to attend a party just like Max's. They particularly enjoyed the bad breath contest which turned the air thick yellow-green and made all of Max's friends pass out. The children were also delighted to discover the teeny, fiery dragons that flew out of the monsters' party bags. 

The only negative response given was that the book was too short with one little boy stating, "I wish the book was longer, maybe the length of a chapter book, so we could read more of Max's icky fun." This, in itself, says it all; a five star read sure to delight and surprise anyone who picks it up!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sick by Tom Leveen

Brian and his friends know better than anyone how to jump the fence and break out of Phoenix Metro High School. That knowledge comes in handy when people start getting sick during a pep rally. Really sick. They aren't themselves - they're dangerous. Ripping each other to shreds. Refusing to die. 
When the sickness spreads, Brian's stuck in stagecraft class with his best friend, Chad, and a bunch of drama kids. But his sister's out there somewhere, and so is his ex, and if he doesn't find them soon, the sick kids will...

Star Rating

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review. 

A big thank you to Abrams & Chronicles and Amulet Books for sending this novel just in time for Halloween. Having recently read and LOVED 'The Girl With All The Gifts' by M.R Carey I wanted to read another zombie novel so was thrilled to find 'Sick' on my doorstop this week. I should first mention the cover which in itself is completely terrifying. The pages inside are splattered with blood and the whole book has a feel of darkness and terror. 

'Sick' is a typical zombie apocalypse story with a young adult twist of being set in a high school. I have always loved school from being a student myself to now working in one as a teacher so I am always delighted to discover books with a school based setting. The story begins with a group of teenage friends bunking off school before heading back for their last period of stagecraft class. The author introduces the reader to a lot of characters very quickly and at first I found the fleeting teenage dialogue hard to keep up with.

The plot quickly turns to one of panic and disarray when the teenagers witness a fight unlike one they have ever seen. The friends soon realise that this is not an isolated incident and a message over the PA system directs them to remain in their classrooms until further notice.

'A crash echoes over the microphone, followed by a snarling, feral growl that vibrates the floor beneath us. Then nothing.'

It becomes clear to the teenagers that the epidemic has spread further into the city and they begin to think of a plan to save their friends and family and escape.The children undoubtedly begin to panic and turn on each other.

'This place should be crawling with adults coming to pick up their kids, and we haven't seen that. Whatever this is, it's big and it's bad.'

This is a great Halloween read that I am sure many will read in one sitting. The chapters are short and the plot thrilling enough to keep the reader wondering what will happen to the group of teens. Tom Leveen includes some graphic descriptions that allow the story to be played out in the reader's mind in a movie like style. 

Unfortunately, I wasn't keen on the ending to this novel. It was very abrupt and open ended, possibly allowing for a sequel? For me, the characters weren't developed enough for me to fully empathise with them at the end of the novel. 

However, for fans of horror and Halloween this is a quick, thrilling read and certainly one to add to your October TBR. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Bear by Claire Cameron

 Anna and Stick are camping with their parents in Algonquin Park, in three thousand square miles of wilderness. It's the perfect family trip. But then Anna awakes in the night to the sound of something moving in the shadows. Her father is terrified. Her mother is screaming. Then, silence.
Alone in the woods, it is Anna who has to look after Stick, battling hunger and the elements to stay alive. Narrated by five-year-old Anna, this is a gripping and moving novel that captures the fear, wonder and bewilderment of our worst nightmares - and the power of one girl's enduring love for her family.

Star Rating 

I was approached by the lovely people at Random House to read and review this new novel by Claire Cameron. Longlisted for the Bailey's women's prize for fiction, this novel has received great reviews with descriptions such as 'haunting, moving and unforgettable'. 

This novel is one that will stick with you because of it's shocking plot. The reader is thrown into action early on with the protagonist Anna, and her brother Stick, being thrown into a cooler box by their father to hide. It is made apparent to the reader that the bear attack is happening but, at just five years old, Anna is very confused and scared about what is going on around her. This confusion makes the opening scene even more powerful. Soon things go quiet and, after what seems like an age of hiding, Anna and her brother leave the confinement of their hiding space. There is a heart wrenching moment when Anna spots her mother's foot in the bushes. Edging closer, Anna realises that something is not quite right.

'The blood is on her neck and in her shirt and it is ripped and she looks like not Mummy but a doll.'

In a poignant display of naivety, Stick offers his dying mother a bandaid. It is moments like these that make the reader remember how young these children are and the horrific events they are having to deal with. Battling hunger and the elements to stay alive, the children embark on a journey out of the wilderness.

Claire Cameron writes the story through the voice of five-year-old Anna. Although this was a very clever move, I sometimes found the constant stream of jumbled dialogue exhausting to read. It took a while to get used to and, on occasion, took away from the action unfolding. Undoubtedly, the beginning of this novel is five star but I found my interest dwindling towards the middle section of this book. The plot for me lacked suspense with the chapter names giving away the direction of the story. 

However, for it's shocking opening alone this book is certainly worth a read and I for one will be refraining from any camping holidays in the near future! 

'Now I am awake. I know that I will wait for my parents beside Stick. And we will be waiting for a long time maybe always for ever.'

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dispatches from the Dating Zone by K.T Valentine

Having exhausted all the conventional ways to meet 'Mr Right' (and because now she really is a little bit desperate), Fleur Summers turns to her well-meaning , but eccentric friends and family for help. 

From 'Man Mountain'; an engineer who eats everything in sight and tall dark handsome Tom with big hands but no idea how to use them, to the mysterious and brooding Henry Austin. Follow the trials and tribulations of Fleur's journey as she works her way through a number of eventful blind dates, all in the name of finding true love.

I received this copy from the author for an open and honest review.

Star Rating 

It has been a very long time since I read a chick-lit novel and I have to say that this offering from K.T Valentine was an unexpected surprise. When the author contacted me to request a review I jumped at the chance purely based on the book's title. I myself have been on a number of dates recently, some enjoyable and some disastrous, and I was looking forward to reading about the protagonist Fleur's dating experiences.

From the very start this book is filled with humour and I often found myself laughing out loud. K.T Valentine's writing style is very colloquial and, with the protagonist speaking straight to the reader, made me feel as if I was having a girly catch up with a friend as she embarked on bad date after bad date.

K.T Valentine included enough subplots to keep the reader interested throughout, for example the bitchy mothers in the school playground who Fleur catches taking Class A drugs at a party. The chapters are extremely short making this a quick and easy book to read - perfect for a weekend indoors. However, the chapters flit between different events too quickly and I felt that, particularly at the beginning of the story, the author didn't allow enough time to fully develop the characters.  

As predicted, towards the end of the novel, I found myself racing through desperate to find out which man Fleur would end up with and take to her brother's wedding. Surprisingly it wasn't the guy I was rooting for and for me was an unexpected but happy ending. 

This is one of those novels that will be stored in my list of guilty pleasures. A laugh out loud easy read which will thoroughly entertain!! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor Q&A with the talented illustrator Brian Biggs

Science meets science-fiction in this smart and silly middle-grade series launch from master storyteller Jon Scieszka. 

Frank Einstein loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination, and totally unusual. In Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, after an uneventful experiment in his lab, a lightning storm and flash of electricity bring Frank’s inventions - the robots Klink and Klank - to life! Not exactly the ideal lab partners, the wisecracking Klink and the overly expressive Klank nonetheless help Frank attempt to perfect his Antimatter Motor . . . until Frank’s arch nemesis, T. Edison, steals Klink and Klank for his evil doomsday plan!

Having yet to read and review this series launch with my class I had a quick flick through to see what we had in store. What I discovered was an abundance of quirky, "sciencey" illustrations that I know the boys in my class will just love! The layout of this book is very similar to the fantastically popular 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' books by Jeff Kinney. 

This week Frank Einstein is on a blog tour stopping here for a Q&A with the ridiculously talented illustrator Brian Biggs. Read on to find out Brian Biggs' 'BIG SECRET' and whether he will be rooting for Team Kink or Team Klank...

Well, we’ll start with who’s your favourite character to draw and why?

Oh gosh it’s definitely Klank, the big goofy robot. He has so much personality and his more-humanoid-tyhan-Klink shape and facial features give me a lot of latitude in expressions and whatnot. I love him on the cover of the book. I was so happy when I nailed that.

What is the process when illustrating a character for the first time?

Normally I have to go through the text and highlight the various concrete physical descriptions of the characters. Then I take this and combine it with my own notes on what I think the character might look like apart from the stuff that the author described. I’ll find various actions in the book and “test” my sketches with the characters in these scenes and see how they work. This is the typical process for a book where I come in after the book is written. In the case of Frank Einstein, Jon and I had been discussing the personalities of the characters for some time before he ever wrote the actual texts. My sketches informed the descriptions and even some of the scenes from the story.
The biggest thing is to make sure that the characters are distinct and visually exemplify the personality that Jon is striving to give them in the text. I want you to look at Frank, for example, and immediately see the brainy, adventurous, curious kid that Jon writes about before you even read about him.

How was it working with Jon?

So here’s the big secret. “Jon Scieszka” is not even a real person. He is a revolving committee of five eleven-year-old kids. Sort of like that band “Menudo” from the 80’s, once they turn 12, they have to leave the committee. This group of kids writes ideas down on small yellow pieces of paper, and then they pass the ideas along, adding things and changing things and eventually, like the proverbial monkey at a typewriter, something amazing comes out of it. Charlie, the editor, sort of ropes these brilliant ideas into something that resembles a connected story. The handsome old man that they hired to be “Jon” at signings and events is an actor from the suburbs of Michigan. He’s a nice guy and all, but kind of weird.

In the end, it’s been the most fun experience of my career.

What was the most elaborate scene to draw in the book?

The scene near the end where the robots are about to get zapped to obvlivion by the huge pink nuclear squirt-gun. This had to get all the characters in place, six of them, show the big CERN-style collider location, and have some semblance of the drama that Jon put into words. It took a lot of sketches to get there.
A close runner-up was the science-fair scene. Drawing the perspectives of the rows of displays and all the activity was a bit like engineering more than illustrating.

 Who was the hardest to get on paper in the world of Frank Einstein?

It was pretty easy, since the story was something I really liked and identified with. But I think the hardest was Frank himself. He’s the lynchpin and he had to be right. I kept sketching him as if he was six years old. 

Are you Team Klink or Team Klank?

Beep beep! Klank!

Check out the rest of the Frank Einstein blog tour at the following stops:

 Rhino Reads

Wondrous Reads

Serendipity Reads

Library Mice

Please check back soon for my full review of
Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Become an Ava Advocate

To become an ‘Ava Advocate’ and help The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton take flight, email Walker Books at with your name, age, and tell them your answer to this question:

If you were born with wings like Ava, where would they take you?

The selected advocates will receive two paperback copies of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, one for you and one for a friend, as well as some beautiful feather bookmarks to share and help Ava fly.

You can read an extract here, or visit Wattpad to read an extended part of the story.

To become an ‘Ava Advocate’ and help The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton take flight, email us at with your name, age, and tell us your answer to this question:
If you were born with wings like Ava, where would they take you?
Our selected advocates will receive two paperback copies of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, one for you and one for a friend, as well as some beautiful feather bookmarks to share and help Ava fly.
You can read an extract here, or visit Wattpad to read an extended part of the story.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Love Monster & the Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright

When Love Monster finds a mysterious box of chocolates at his door, he can't believe his luck. But he's soon thrown into a whirlwind of turmoil. Should he keep the chocolates for himself... or risk sharing his good fortune with his friends?
This super-funny-rumbly-tummy-sherbet-explosion of a story shows that when faced with the selection box of life, following your heart brings you the best treats of all!

Star Rating

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review.

Although my year 2 class love receiving and reviewing books from all the wonderful publishers who send them, the children are as stingy as me with their 5 star ratings. However, in this instance my class were unanimous. We all agreed that Love Monster & the Last Chocolate was a worthy winner of the rare 5 star rating. We absolutely loved it!

Returning from his holiday and feeling slightly down in the dumps, Love Monster finds a mystery box of chocolates on his doorstep. This discovery instantly cheers him up and Love Monster finds himself hoping that his favourite chocolate of all time will be inside - a double chocolate strawberry swirl. Lots of the children, and myself included, agreed that this is definitely the best flavour in the box. When asked which flavour was the worst the children screamed 'COFFEE' and to our delight we soon discovered that this was also Love Monster's least favourite chocolate. However, before tucking into the chocolates, Love Monster finds himself in a 'whirlwind of turmoil.' He is a good monster deep down and knows that he should share his good fortune with his friends! Love Monster descends into a debate with his own conscience; he just doesn't know what to do. 

One of the children described Love Monster as adorable as she "thought he was going to eat all the chocolates himself but his heart told him not to." The children were delighted that Love Monster made the right choice with one child saying, "He wasn't selfish as he changed his mind and did the right thing." This book teaches children the importance of sharing  and thinking of others. My class went on to express how they wished someone would leave a box of chocolates on their front door so they could share them with their friends. Maybe Love Monster will pay their classroom door a visit soon!


The Dawn Chorus by Suzanne Barton

 When Peep awakes one morning to the sound of beautiful birdsong, he follows the melody and finds the Dawn Chorus. Their music enchants him - if only he could sing with them! But despite trying his hardest, Peep realises he doesn't fit in with the other birds in the Dawn Chorus. 
What Peep doesn't know is that he's about to meet someone very special who will change everything...

Star Rating

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review. 

First of all my Year 2 class and I must say a big thank you to Bloomsbury for sending us this beautiful hardback version of The Dawn Chorus. The illustrations are exceptional and really add to the charm of this book. 

The Dawn Chorus tells the story of Peep, a young bird desperate to fit in and find his place in the world. One morning he awakes to the beautiful sound of birdsong and sets off to discover where this sound is coming from. Along his way he meets some characters who helpfully direct him to the source of the sound - The Dawn Chorus - which is essentially a choir made up of birds. Desperate to be a part of this amazing sound, Peep auditions for the choir but a series of unfortunate events means he is unsuccessful. Feeling sad and alone, Peep meets a bird who looks just like him, a bird who will change everything. 

As usual, my class had some comical contributions towards the review of this book. Overall the children enjoyed it but they seemed to be annoyed with Peep for being so lazy. One child commented that "Pip shouldn't have been late for his audition. If you are going to turn up late then of course you are going to fail." Another child suggested that the book would have been better if Pip had decided to build his own choir, not just of birds but an assortment of different animals. This lead on to a ridiculous discussion about singing frogs and rabbits that could play the piano. I couldn't help but think of the scene from The Little Mermaid at this point.
As stated, this is a heartfelt story of a tiny nightingale desperate to belong, by an exceptionally talented new author-illustrator.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail

 Hanna Mendel was going to be a famous pianist. But the Nazis had another plan. Thrown into Auschwitz, she plays piano for a camp commandant and wears a dead girl's dress pinned with a yellow star. 
And she is falling in love - with the wrong boy.


Star Rating

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review.

With the recent commemoration of WW1 I was eager to read a book related to the war. I have always been interested in books, TV and film that depict the heartbreaking realities of war. This book by Suzy Zail focuses on a concentration camp in Auschwitz during WW2. 

The Wrong Boy tells the story of Hanna Mendel, a gifted pianist who finds herself  thrown into Auschwitz and separated from her parents. Hanna has a strong bond with her older sister Erika who struggles to survive the bitter cold and starving conditions. Thinking of her sister, Hanna auditions to become an in-house pianist for one of the camp's commandants and, in successfully getting the job, manages to steal some extra food for her dying sister. The relationship between the two girls was heart wrenchingly real and how I would hope my own sister and I would survive in a similar situation. 

The events that Suzy Zail writes about are incomprehensible and a terrifying reflection on the horrors of war. Although it is hard to imagine being in such a situation, Suzy Zail manages to write in a such a way that the reader almost feels they are there in Auschwitz witnessing these dreadful events for themselves. It is clear that WW2 is close to Zail's heart as her own father survived the Holocaust. Throughout the story there are many references to the lack of food amongst the camps, something that Zail's father must have remembered clearly. Although based on fictional characters, the story was entirely believable and reads as if it were a true account. 

As stated in the title and blurb, whilst working as a pianist for the commandant, Hanna slowly falls for the commandant's son who in all essences is 'The Wrong Boy'. Anyone who has read my other reviews will know that I am not a fan of fictional romances. Particularly young adult romances that appear from nowhere and form in the matter of minutes. Thankfully the relationship between Hanna and the commandant's son was not insta love and developed subtly and slowly as the story went on. Although a big part of the plot, this did not detract from the reason I wanted to read the book, which was not for romance but a powerful tale of the horrors of war. 

This book was easy to read, powerful and has left me wanting to watch a whole array of war films including The Pianist (one of the best war films out there.) A highly recommended and poignant read! 


Friday, August 8, 2014

Dragon Loves Penguin by Debi Gliori

Sometimes things happen for a reason...

When one dragon in need of an egg discovers a lonely egg abandoned on an ice-floe, a delightfully heart-warming relationship develops.

                        Star Rating

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review.

Let me start by saying this could possibly be one of the cutest books I have ever read!!
Having recently performed an end of year play entitled 'Eddie The Penguin Saves The World', my Year 2 class have read an awful lot of penguin themed books recently and this is up there with the best. 

Dragon Loves Penguin begins at bedtime with Bib asking his mummy for a bedtime story. It is worth mentioning here that Bib is the CUTEST PENGUIN EVER and had my class oohing and ahhing from the start. The story his mother tells involves tales of dragons, fire and volcanoes and includes enough danger to keep even the boys in my class interested. 

The revelation at the end of this book is both unexpected and charming and had my class gasping in delight. The story deals with important issues such as bullying and accepting people who are different. The illustrations are beautiful with a different crayon type look to them. This book certainly melted our hearts! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Auctioned as a surrogate to the highest bidder.
Imprisoned in the opulent palace of the Duchess of the Lake. 
Destined to carry the child of a woman she despises.

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review.

Star Rating

Upon reading the blurb for this novel, I was excited to read another dystopic tale reminiscent of one of my favourites - The Handmaid's Tale. This is the first in a new trilogy by Amy Ewing of which I have read mixed reviews. Some will love it. Some will hate it. I will go on to explain why. 

The Jewel tells the story of Violet, one of the 'chosen' women born with special abilities and sold to be surrogates for the royals. Children born with the auguries (powers) of colour, shape and growth are taken away from their families and held in a special facility before being auctioned off. Early on we find out that Violet is a much sought after surrogate and the Duchess of the Lake buys her for 6 million diamantes.  

Throughout the story, Amy Ewing refers to the different houses in the royal circle. This was sometimes confusing and the book could have done with a family tree style map at the front to explain this clearly to the reader. There is much competition between the women from these different houses but they all have the same common goal - to obtain a daughter who will be chosen to marry the future Exetor and succeed to the throne. 
The Duchess of the Lake demands that Violet produce a daughter who is beautiful, smart, strong, ambitious, determined, courageous and of, course, irresistible. However, the thing she wants more than anything is a daughter born first, before any others, and Violet is instructed to use her third augury to make this happen - a three month pregnancy instead of the usual nine. 

Up until this point, I absolutely loved this story which addresses some interesting themes such as slavery and class. However, there was a palm to the forehead moment when suddenly, plucked from nowhere, Violet falls in love with a boy in the palace named Ash. I won't bother explaining who he is and why he was there because quite frankly his existence and role in the story was ludicrous. This forced romance was entirely unbelievable and detracted from the main focus of the story. I am sure people will love the romantic twist to this tale but unfortunately I would have much preferred this story without it.

Violet's relationship with her friend, Raven, however was believable and really made the reader empathise with the situation these young girls are in. I had mixed opinions about the Duchess of the Lake and found myself wondering who would be a good actress to play her in a movie of The Jewel. At times she appeared kind and caring towards Violet but there is always an underlying evil that Ewing subtly reveals throughout.

Vomit inducing love story aside, this is still a very good dystopic tale with a brilliant ending that will leave you wanting to read the next installment. And who knows, maybe Ash will get killed off in the next one...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

BookTube-A-Thon Catchup

So I kind of epically failed with the BookTube-A-Thon challenge reading 4 of my 7 chosen books. However, I am now on summer holidays so the good news is I have weeks of reading time  ahead of me!

I really enjoyed The Year Of The Rat by Clare Furness which I would give four out of five stars. This book tells the story of Pearl and her sister Rose, who Pearl refers to as 'The Rat'. Clare Furness writes beautifully and explores Pearl's grief following her mother's death over the course of a year. During these twelve months, Pearl sees, hears and speaks to her deceased mother as she slowly comes to terms with what has happened. Blaming her new baby sister for her mother's death, Pearl struggles to bond with 'The Rat' - a concept that Clare Furness deals with delicately. This book is both funny and heart wrenching and will leave you captivated throughout. 

I also managed to read The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. Unfortunately, I watched the film before I read the book. The two are soooooo different and, as expected, the book is a million times better than the film. I won't say too much about the differences as I don't want to give away any spoilers. This book is excellent and explores the theme of mental health exquisitely. Both the relationships between Pat and his father and Pat and Tiffany made the book a real success and the story entirely believable. If you have yet to read it please please please do so without seeing the movie first.  

My graphic novels I devoured very quickly and will upload separate reviews ASAP.
As soon as I finished Saga I rushed out to buy the next two episodes in the series. This series is amazing and a must read for all lovers of sci-fi and fantasy fiction. 

One thing I have learned from attempting BookTube-A-Athon is that I don't like audio books. I downloaded the audio version of Mockingjay from my local library service and could not get past the first chapter. The narrator's voice was whiny, mono-tone and dreary and hurt my ears!! I will definitely give another audiobook a try but this experience has certainly put me off for the time being!!

Love At First Write Competition

So the lovely Alison at Atlantic Books recently asked if I would cover this new competition on my blog. This sounds like an amazing opportunity for all the new writers out there to get their work recognised and out to the public. I will attach the information below and look forward to reading the winners entry in November. Good luck guys!! 

Do you have a romantic novel in you? Is it based around an original first encounter?

From Romeo and Juliet’s fateful kiss to Elizabeth’s clash with the proud, rude Mr Darcy at the Meryton ball, writers have proved that true love springs from the most unlikely of encounters.
LoveAtFirstWrite is looking for a romantic novel with an original set-up, written with flair and charm, so that its creator can find their happy-ever-after with their new publisher.
So if you are a debut novelist looking for your first publisher, it's time to enter theLoveAtFirstWrite competition in partnership with Corvus and Lovereading. Simply tweet the idea for your novel @CorvusBooks #loveatfirstwrite and send us a book synopsis and first chapter to between 12th September and 12th October 2014.
Entries will be read by the Corvus editorial team, then a shortlist judged by a dedicated panel of experts, including Maddie West, Corvus Editorial Director, Sarah Broadhurst, Lovereading Lead Reviewer, Elisabeth Gifford, author of The Secrets of the Sea House and Lindsey Mooney, Kobo Vendor Manager, UK & Ireland.
Entrants will need to submit the following:
1) A book synopsis
2) The first chapter (no more than 5,000 words)
3) The story can come from any genre of romantic fiction but the entry must show the protagonists’ first meeting.
Entrants must not have been previously published.
Entrants are also encouraged to tweet how their characters meet in less than 140 characters @CorvusBooks.
The winner will be announced in November 2014, and will have their novel published by Corvus as an eBook and paperback original in 2015.
Good luck & happy writing!