Divergent by Veronica Roth

Tris is an Abnegation living in future Chicago, a place where mankind has created world peace by preventing the human traits that cause it. They split themselves into five factions – Candor – the honest, Erudite – the intelligent, Amity – the kind, Abnegation – the selfless, and Dauntless – the brave. When a person is sixteen they must take a test to help them determine which of the five factions they should choose, but Tris’ results are dangerously inconclusive, giving her a choice of three factions. It means that she is a Divergent, one of the few people with a special mind and capabilities, but in a world where the factions dictate everything, being different can lead to death, and she must keep it hidden. The day of the choosing ceremony comes, and Tris chooses Dauntless over Abnegation, bravery over selflessness. After that danger sweeps her up in its path, with even the route to the Dauntless compound being fatal for some. She then begins training, and the risks during this are far more than anyone could imagine, turning Tris’ life into a whirlwind of pain, adrenaline and fear, but something sinister is going on beneath the bravery. Is there more to Dauntless than meets the eye? One thing is for certain, if Tris is going to survive, she needs to hide her differences.

This was a really exciting book that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it, it was very gripping and I devoured it eagerly! It was a little bit overly-violent  for the book at some points, but overall it was great and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the The Hunger Games, as the two are very similar, but Divergent’s plot is a little more complicated and intriguing.

icons_red_adventureicons_red_magic

Geek Girl 2: Model Misfit by Holly Smale

Harriet Manners is back, and now she’s a glamorous, elegant creature who is at one with fashion, the perfect model…. As if! The truth is, Harriet is geekier than ever, even studying physics on a photo shoot. However, Harriet is somehow picked to be the face of Yuka Ito’s new brand, and is taken by her grandmother to Tokyo! Her grandmother is rather irresponsible though, and leaves her next to her flat without so much as a goodbye. Harriet gets to know the two other models who live there, Poppy and Rin, and finally works out what it’s like to have friends. But it’s not long before Harriet’s modelling career starts to go horribly wrong, starting by covering a unique dress in blue octopus ink, wearing HEELS in a sumo ring (strictly forbidden), and smashing a massive glass box. Is someone sabotaging her career? Or is Harriet just destined to fail? You’ll have to find out.

I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone who liked Geek Girl (obviously!) or Withering Tights. I definitely think that the sequel is as good as the original and it was an amazing book. Thank you HarperCollins for so kindly donating it.

Check out the facebook page!

Buy it online at Amazon by clicking here

A Horse for Angel by Sarah Lean

Nell is really looking forward to spending the Easter holidays at her grandma’s house -no boring after-school activities just so her mum doesn’t have to look after her – but a last minute change of plan sends her off to stay with an aunt she barely knows and two small cousins who live on a remote farm. Before she goes though, she finds something her father made, before he ran off to America. Nell takes it with her to her Aunt’s in a satchel, but day she arrives there she is knocked over by a girl on a black horse and the satchel is taken. To get it back, she must befriend the mysterious girl on the black horse, as more things go missing and the girl’s history becomes clearer…

This is a really good book, because when you think you know exactly what’s happening, you turn out to be completely wrong! It was a little bit easy for me, but I would definitely recommend it to ages 8-9. All in all, a brilliant book, and generously donated to me by HarperCollins.

icons_red_adventure

Teacher’s Pest by Charles Gilman

In the third instalment of the series, the story is picked up right where The Slither Sisters left off. Robert gave the role of school president to fellow student Howard Mergler, but was horrified when he found out that Howard was actually a giant bug, one of Tillinghast’s monsters, in disguise. Howard plans to take over the school, and it’s up to Glenn and Robert, with the help of the resident school ghost Karina Ortiz, and Robert’s pet two-headed rat, Pip and Squeak, to stop him. Soon they’re facing swarms of insects, from head lice to giant purple wasps, at just the time the janitors decide to go on strike. Howard’s plan seems to be working well, and when Pip and squeak disappear down a ventilation duct, it seems hopeless for Robert. But more secrets are hidden inside Howard’s plan, and as Robert tries to uncover the truth, the insect army threatens to take over…

This was an amazing book and the feeling of suspense is even more thrilling than the last instalment of the series. When I picked it up and started reading, I couldn’t put it down! The sense of adventure mixed with horror and science-fiction is really clever and I would rate it 10/10.

icons_red_magicicons_orange_adventure

 

A Medal for Leroy by Michael Morpurgo

Michael never knew his father, Roy, who was a fighter pilot and killed in the war. His mother couldn’t talk about him for a long time after his death, as they had only been married for six months. Roy was adopted by Michael’s twin aunties, Pish and Snowdrop (their nicknames), who have long lived in Folkestone by the sea with their dog Jasper. When Michael goes to visit them, he scatters snowdrops into the sea in memory of his father. On Michael and his mother’s last visit to Folkestone, they learn that Auntie Snowdrop’s health is deteriorating. Michaels mother asks Snowdrop to show Michael his father’s medals, and Snowdrop promises them to Michael, as well as whispering some cryptic words to him that don’t seem to make any sense.

Two weeks late, Snowdrop dies, and Pish promises to send Micael the package that Auntie Snowdrop left for him, but it doesn’t arrive until five years later, when Pish is weak and dying in a nursing home. When the parcel arrives, Michael finally understands the cryptic words that Auntie Snowdrop whispered to him all that time ago, and learns the story of prejudice, racism and heroics that surrounds his family history.

This story was based on the true story of Walter Tull, who was the first black combat officer in the British Army. I thought that instead of being a racy, exciting story, it was more thoughtful and really made me think about everything that I read. Initially it seemed a little dull, but when I got into the story it turned out to be a brilliant and exciting book. As I got to the end and found that it was based on a true story, I was completely stunned by just how far people could be pushed by racism. I liked this book a lot and I think it really opened a new door for me.

Click here to buy A Medal for Leroy on Amazon

A Medal for Leroy
www.michaelmorpurgo.com
https://www.facebook.com/michaelmorpurgoofficial

 

Ratburger by David Walliams

This is the latest book by David Walliams and I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch by HarperCollins. Here is what I think of the book:

Zoe is just an ordinary girl with dreams of running an animal circus. She lives with her dad, who works in an ice-cream factory and is always bringing back delicious (and disgusting) ice cream flavours for Zoe to try, until he meets Sheila, an extremely fat lady who decides to become Zoe’s stepmother, just so she can use Zoe’s dad’s money to buy her prawn cocktail crisps so she can keep stuffing herself. Zoe’s dad loses his job at the factory and has to live off benefit money from the government, which is such a small amount that the house is always full of rats. One day, Zoe finds a baby rat in the corner of her room and decides to keep it. The next morning, Zoe decides that the rat wouldn’t be safe at home, so she takes it to school and names it Armitage. All is well until Armitage manages to climb out of Zoe’s pocket and onto her head! Zoe is suspended and as she leaves, she has to go past the greasy burger man Burt, who wears black strap-on sunglasses and false teeth. He serves the most disgusting burgers, as well as the most disgusting ketchup, in the entire universe. I could go on, but that would ruin the plot for you.

I really enjoyed this book and I thought it was very funny as well as being quite moving. I loved the part about smuggling animals into school, and the part about the performing creatures. One thing I think would have made the book better would be to include one or two more of those illustrated lists I so enjoyed. I think that this is an amazing book and you can order it by clicking the link below.

P.S if you want more about the launch there is a bit about it under news and events (at the top) or click this link.

Click here to buy your copy of Ratburger

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Three sisters, each completely different from the others. Pauline longs to act, Petrova is obsessed with motor cars and aeroplanes, and Posy loves to dance.

When Great-Uncle-Matthew (Gum for short) leaves home with only a note that says he has left enough money for five years in the bank, his great-niece Sylvia doesn’t know what to do. She sends Gum’s three adopted daughters to school for a while, and everything is fine. Then, when Sylvia finds the money Gum left is running out, she has to take the children away from school and take in boarders. Sylvia teaches the children, but she doesn’t teach very well and when two doctors ( who have degrees in literature and arithmetic) move in as boarders, they offer to teach the children for free. Also, a former ballerina moves in as a boarder, and tells Sylvia that the dancing school she teaches at will take the children for free, as long as when the girls have their licences, they give 10% of their earnings to the school. Sylvia immediately agrees.

When Pauline is old enough to get her first licence, she is tried for the part of Alice in “Alice in Wonderland”. She gets the part and is incredibly pleased.

After Pauline has acted in several plays, she is put in a movie. When she goes to the premiere of the film, there are lots of people jostling in a line, waiting to get Pauline’s autograph.She signs until her hand aches, then Nana (the children’s nurse) finds a policeman who takes them home.

As you can see this book is all about three sisters who are obsessed with dance and acting (and motor cars!). I won’t tell you any more of the plot, but you get the idea. It is one of a number by the same author e.g.Tennis shoes, White Boots (about skating) and so on.

I really enjoyed this book, but I must admit it got a little bit tiresome towards the end. I felt that it slightly turned out a bit too perfectly, but if you like books with lovely endings, this is the one for you. (Maybe the language was a bit dated, or I could just be being stupid, but does anyone know what paliasses are? Please comment and tell me if you know and someone hasn’t already!) It was written in 1936, so it’s quite an old story, therefore I couldn’t quite get to grips with how much shillings and pounds were worth (as in, if a pound was loads of money or a modest amount).

The edition I read was a full colour, beautifully published book made by the Folio Society, and was given to me, very generously, as a gift. I would just like to say thank you  to the Folio Society for the lovely book and if I had judged that book by its cover, and given it a rating, it would have 10/10!

 

 

Knife by R.J. Anderson

This is the first book in the Knife series and I think it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The story is about faeries (yes, it is spelt like that in this book) but they are not the type of faeries that you imagine when you hear that word. The story starts off with a young faery called Bryony who lives in an old oak in a garden. She lives with her stepmother Wink until she is seventeen when the Queen gives her an occupation. She is apprenticed, much to everyone’s surprise, to Thorn, the royal . As Hunter’s privilege, she is allowed to change her name but she decides to change it to something no faery has ever been called before. Knife. She is taught how to snare a rabbit or another small animal, skin it and tan its soft hide, but all the while she is thinking about the terrible Sundering, the time when a faery called Jasmine decided that the faeries in the oak would be better off without humans, so she cast a spell that enabled the faeries to replace themselves with eggs when they died, but in doing so she used up all the magic of the faeries in the oak. Luckily the faery Amaryllis was not in the oak when the Sundering happened so she still had her magic. She was made Queen and because so many faeries kept getting eaten by predators she made a rule that stated that no one was allowed to leave the Oak apart from the Gatherers and the Hunter so that the few faeries left wouldn’t die out. But the deadly Silence had now come to the Oak, and there was no cure for it. Nobody knows what causes it, all they know is it is deadly. When Knife is injured by a crow and then is rescued by a human, she is taught how to draw, which is almost impossible for faeries to do. Also, whilst she is there she befriends the human and when Queen Amaryllis finds out, she gives Knife a choice. Become human and stay with her friend, or stay a faery and never see him again. Will Knife decide to become human? You’ll have to find out!

When I read this book, I thought it was so good that when I finished it, I very, very nearly had a temper tantrum because I didn’t want it to end! (I don’t know what qualifies as a temper tantrum in your mind, but I threw the book on the floor, stamped on it then started hitting it really hard with pillows) Obviously I can’t fit the whole plot of the book in one review, so it has more than a simple(ish) plot like that! Honestly, though, this book was one of my favourite books of all time. I really think people should try reading it because (and I might be wrong) it isn’t a very well-known book and I think it should be.
READ IT!!!
(please!)

You can visit the author’s website by clicking here

 

 

Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood

A great tale of magic, cupcakes and mischief all rolled into one book. What could be better? It all starts off when Rosemary (the main character of the story) sees her mother fold a lightning bolt into a bowl of batter when she was about five. Then, about six or seven years later, her mother and father are asked to go and make some magical macaroons that are rumoured to cure swine flu for the mayor of a town with a horrible flu epidemic. Rosemary, along with her brothers Ty and Sage and her sister Leigh, are left in the care of Mrs Carlson, an old annoying Scottish lady, and Chip, Rosemary’s parents’ cooking assistant. But then, a mysterious lady supposedly called Aunt Lily turns up out of the blue and Rosemary, Ty and Sage decide to try out some of their parents’ magic recipes. What could possibly go wrong?

I really loved this book, it had the perfect mixture of mystery and humour. The only fault I could find was that the story went a bit off-course at some points in the book. Still, it was an amazing book and I would recommend it to anyone.

Ruby Redfort:Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child

This book started off in the Clarice Bean books. It is the story of a girl named Ruby Redfort, who lives with her rich parents in Twinford, America. She leads an ordinary life as a typical schoolgirl until one day, when her parents arrive back from a vacation in Switzerland, the family’s housekeeper disappears, the Redfort home is burgled leaving absolutely nothing but the house itself and the telephones, Ruby’s life is turned topsy turvy. As well as all that, a rather shady-looking butler turns up, calling himself Hitch. Then Ruby starts getting some extremely weird phone calls, in which the person simply hangs up. After about twenty of those phone calls, Ruby gets really fed up and yells down the phone at the weird caller. The person replies in an odd sort of riddle which ends up being a set of clues. Ruby follows them and ends up in a spy headquarters, where she “accidentally” steals some gadgets. She is enrolled as a spy, but she is only meant to have a desk job. So when she finally figures out what something means, instead of telling another agent trained in the field, she decides to go herself. This decision turns out to be a VERY big mistake…

I really, REALLY enjoyed this book (but I would say that wouldn’t I, because Lauren is my Godmother!).

 

You can order it here by clicking this link Ruby Redfort (1) – Look into my eyes