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.

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Spies in Disguise: Boy in Tights by Kate Scott

Joe is just an ordinary boy, until he finds out his parents are spies, and it turns his whole world upside down! The whole adventure starts with an exhilarating car chase, which gets Joe feeling pretty excited. When his parents tell him he has to move house and completely change his life, he is a little disappointed, but now he’s going to be a spy, what could be better? There is a catch, though. Joe is going to have to be…

A girl.

Yes, a girl. And that’s where things start to fall to pieces, as Joe has absolutely no idea, and no interest, in anything girly whatsoever. Worse still, is the horrible frilly concoction of a dress his dad has bought for him to wear, which makes him the laughing stock of the school. Just as it seems that nothing can get any worse, Joe overhears a suspicious phone call and suddenly he’s doing some spying of his own, borrowing gadgets from his parents’ large supply and figuring out this little mystery…

Will Joe catch the bad guy? Or is he just not cut out to be a spy? You’ll have to find out!

I really enjoyed this book, as it was full of hilarious moments and twists and turns in the plot. The storyline was really interesting, including some of those really cringe-worthy moments and some bits that were simply just hysterically funny, and although it was maybe a little easy for me, I still loved it as a short, funny book! One of the things I most enjoyed about it could be that it was very accessible for younger readers, but it was still enjoyable for anyone to read. I would recommend it to ages 7-10 but anyone can read it and will love it, I guarantee.

Thank you SO much to Kate Scott at Piccadilly Press who so kindly sent me a copy, the sequel for, for anyone interested, is out soon!

Catch Your Death (Ruby Redfort #3) by Lauren Child

Ruby is back in her 3rd book, and this time she’s on a survival training course in an unknown location. She has all the knowledge, but even so she ends up losing her glasses, getting lost, and catching the flu, and has to be pulled out. When LB finds out, and she’s NOT happy, and Ruby is given one last mission to prove she can be a field agent. It’s an easy case, but, as always, weird things begin to happen, starting with the launch of Marie Antoinette’s Lost Perfume going terribly wrong, Sabrina apparently spotting a hippo going swimming in their pool, and a tiger attack in Twinford? What is going on? As always, it’s up to Ruby to find out, but little does she know that this book has a whole lot more to the story…

I loved this book so much, and I learnt a lot of science as well, although I didn’t really realise. It was quite uncanny, as a lot of the scientific things in the book are things we have been doing in science VERY recently. Scary. I love how each book is sort of about the senses, and this one was all about smell, and I found the parts about it very interesting. I absolutely loved this book, and I had an amazing surprise before I had even started reading, as Lauren has dedicated it to me!!!!!!! Thank you SO much!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Geek Girl by Holly Smale

When Harriet, is dragged out of bed one morning by her best friend Nat to go to Clothes Show Live, she is sure Nat will be spotted by a fashion modelling agency. It doesn’t even cross her mind that she, the school geek who keeps a dictionary by her bed and hands her homework in on time, could be spotted instead. Nonetheless she catches the eye of an important, if a little odd, man in charge of model finding, and the eye of male model Nick. She completely refuses the offer, on account that her best friend’s entire life’s ambition was to be a model, and it would mean lying to her friends and family, but when the bullying at school reaches new heights, she decides to go for it. In an instant she is swept up into the glamorous world of fashion, and is taken to be interviewed by one of the most famous fashion designers in the world. Soon she’s jetting off to Moscow for fashion shoots, but even though all this has happened, Harriet has not changed from the geek she always was, and in unwearable high heels, she induces catwalk catastrophes and cringe-worthy attempts at being cool when Nick, the dreamy male model, is around. Despite all the glamour and fame, Harriet still feels bad about stealing her best friend’s dream. Will Harriet decide to go with what’s really important, or will she keep modelling, and somehow learn to be cool?

This is a really funny book and at the same time gives you all the emotional parts of a book as well. I think the reader can really get into the story, and you can almost feel what the character is feeling. I think it is really good for people who don’t like very sentimental books, and also it’s good for people who do, because it sort of hides the emotional parts of the book inside the funny mistakes that a geek in the world of fashion would make until right at the end. This is a brilliant book and perfect for bringing out your inner geek, as well as hiding a lot of moral values in-between the text. One of the funniest books I have ever read, I can slightly compare it to Gangsta Granny by David Walliams, as both the authors use the same “funny antics hiding a sentimental story” idea, in my opinion.

Another book that has been generously given to me for reviewing by HarperCollins -Thank you and sorry it’s taken so long to review!

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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
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Take Your Last Breath (Ruby Redfort #2) by Lauren Child

This book is the second exciting instalment in the thrilling series of Ruby Redfort. In this book, Ruby has just got back from a Spectrum agent’s diving course in Hawaii when strange things start to happen. A diver is washed upon the shore, her favourite radio station, Chime Melody, have started playing some weird tunes, children are hearing mysterious whisperings coming from the sea, and there seems to be somebody tailing her. As Ruby unwinds the connections that join all these things, she discovers the bigger picture. The much bigger picture…

This is another brilliant story from Lauren, and as usual has the code but this time with a new keyword. I loved how she uses all the sarcasm and quick-thinking that she used in the last book just as much in the sequel, and the writing style is incredible! In my opinion, Lauren Child has done it again, creating a worthy sequel to an amazing book.

You can buy it from Amazon by clicking here >

There is also a great website which you can see Ruby’s Room, crack the code, learn about Lauren and see the books. It’s really cool!

Ruby’s Official Website or visit Ruby on Facebook by clicking here >

The Palace Library by Steven Loveridge

This is the exciting tale of three children, Harry, Grace and Eleanor, who, whilst staying with their Uncle Jasper, find a secret door into the magical Palace Library, full of wondrous magical books and protected by Edgar the Librarian.

One day, when Harry slips through one of the doors out of the library, Eleanor and Grace are called on to rescue him, and are given magical books to help. When they go through the door, they find themselves in 17th century England. But they’re not there on holiday. The girls find Harry, but there’s more to be discovered as the children find out that the great sword Ascalon, the Sword of State and the very one Saint George used to slay the dragon, has been lost, and without it the dragons are returning to England. The children must travel to the edge of Hell’s bay, to re-forge Ascalon and banish the dragons once again. But that is not all. There are traitors aboard the ship, and they will do anything to sabotage the attempt. Will Harry, Eleanor and Grace manage to recover the Sword? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

I really enjoyed this book, and I thought the author has a really unique style which I haven’t seen before. The book is really exciting and I would recommend it to anyone.