Sunday, 30 June 2013

Magic Words - Edward Field

Magic WordsMagic Words by Edward Field
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

In 1967 acclaimed poet Edward Field published a remarkable collection of thirty-four poems based on Inuit songs and stories recorded in the journals of the illustrious Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen. Since then, Edward Field's poems have reached and intrigued a wide range of readers. Individual poems have been included in numerous anthologies such as Harcourt's own A Book of Luminous Things as well as in transit system "poetry in motion" poster series.Now in this collection of nine creation poems, culled from the original book (now out of print), Edward Field brings the Inuit's wit and timeless wisdom about the world around us into focus with inimitable grace. Newly illustrated with dazzling paintings, made on wood, bark, and stone, by Stefano Vitale, this book reminds us of the beauty and magic waiting to be found in our natural world.

I was sent this from the publishers, I thought that by looking at the illustrations this child's picture book would be great. Unfortunately this didn't seem the case.

The illustrations in this story are what make it. The story to me was confusing and didn't make such sense, read more as a poem than a story.

This has been translated by Edward Field from Inuit Eskimos.

This story wasn't for me.

The Story of Before - Susan Stairs

The Story of BeforeThe Story of Before by Susan Stairs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wonder today how no one else could see the bad thing coming. Not that I knew back then what the bad thing was; and if I had - if I'd known one of us was going to die - would there have been anything I could have done to prevent it? I play it all back in my mind, over and over. The clues were all there. On New Year's Eve, eleven-year-old Ruth and her brother and sister sit at a bedroom window, watching the garden of their new Dublin home being covered in a thick blanket of snow. Ruth declares that a bad thing will happen in the coming year - she's sure of it. But she cannot see the outline of that thing - she cannot know that it will change their lives utterly, that the shape of their future will be carved into two parts; the before and the after. Or that it will break her heart and break her family. This is Ruth's story. It is the story of before.

I was lucky enough to have been sent this book direct from the publisher. - Thank you very much Atlantic Books! When I received it i decided to get straight at it and I began.

This story is told through the eyes of Ruth, a sibling living in the 1970's in Ireland. Rose Lamb (Ruths mother) wants to move before they have their fourth child - Mick had lived in the house since he was a child and she wants to have a fresh start. The arrive at Hillcourt Rise. Ruth feels left out as her older siblings are so close, this is until Kev comes along, she is left to look after him on numerous occasions. 

The family had been living at Hillcourt Rise for 18 months when on New Years Eve Ruth declares that something bad will happen to the family this year. We go on a journey of the Lamb family settling into their new home, making new friends and following their lives. 

It is an intriguing read and to be honest I didn't think much was happening at the beginning of the story, however it was Susan Stairs building tension, she has created a vivid read and I felt I was part of the family.

From reading the blurb I knew something bad was going to happen, when reading the book as I was looking out for something it gave lots of twists and turns as I thought I knew what the bad thing was, but then I was wrong - something else was then in the frame to be it, however I was wrong again. This kept me reading as I wanted to know what it was!

I found the story originally difficult to get into as like I said I felt nothing much was happening, however there became a turning point in the story where suddenly everything made sense and I understood. From this point I whizzed through the book and couldn't put it down. I cannot believe that this is Susan Stairs debut novel as I felt the way it has been executed was very good.

I would urge others to read this book as it will stay with you for a long time and I cannot wait to read more by Susan Stairs I hope you do decide to read this for yourself and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. 

One Hen - Katie Smith Milway

One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big DifferenceOne Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One Hen is the latest title from the creators of If The World Were a Village, Tree of Life and One Well. It is the perfect way to introduce children to the concept and importance of sustainable development. One Hen tells the story of Kojo, a young Ghanaian boy who uses a micro loan to buy a chicken, so he can sell the eggs to make money. Through hard work, Kojo soon earns enough to go back to school. He grows up to own his own farm, employing many people in his village, and contributing to Ghana's development. The story illustrates how a small loan can have a huge impact on many people's lives if used in the right way. Striking artwork and 'House that Jack Built'-style captions lead the reader through Kojo's progress. At the end of the book, the story of the real-life Kojo is told.

This is about a boy called Kojo, he lives in Ghana and has had to give up school to help his mother as they are really struggling and don't have much money. One day Kojo gets a loan and he decides to buy a hen, this hen produces eggs, he sells these at the market which he then buys more hens with. eventually he has enough money to buy a farm, which provides employment and begins to support the country.

This is an excellent book for all ages as for smaller children it begins to give them an insight into other stories of different cultures. It also can provide explanation and a simplified version on production and trade. It also shows children that one person can make a difference depending on their actions and this could have a good or bad effect on the wider community.

As the book progresses it highlights the fact that now Kojo is able to give out loans to others who have a business idea. I feel that this book is excellent for the primary school as it could be used in so many areas of the curriculum. It can also be shared across year groups who are studying similar topics or just as a different picture book. I was lucky enough to have been sent this by the publisher, I am just sad that it was as an ebook as I would love to have a larger copy to share with my class. Katie Smith Milway

Carrot - Vanita Oelschlager

CarrotCarrot by Vanita Oelschlager
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An ordinary house cat, Carrot envies the life of the pampered yacht cat Buffy and dreams of all she could do with such luxury, but comes to realize that her life is actually richer in many ways. 

Carrot is about a cat who begins to wonder what life would be like if he was rich and famous, however when this happens Carrot realises that this isn't everything.

This book is perfect as a bedtime story or for reading to a class at the end of the day. The illustrations are beautiful and cover the entire page, which personally I really like, I feel a picture book should be just that!

The story is written in rhyme which keeps the child's interest and they feel its familiar and once they have heard it once or twice they can join in with the rhyme. As a teacher this is a fabulous book to use to illustrate rhyming in stories and why we like them. The language in the story also allows room for discussion and persuades the children to use proper words, such as chiffon, socialite and caviar. The children question these words and we can discuss them.

Carrot is a picture book that children enjoy over and over again and I would recommend it to come a firm addition in the household.

Picked up a bargain!

I went into town yesterday to get come cat food, I ended up coming back with a new set of books to be read! I just can't help myself! However they are all unread and I am looking forward to them. 

They include:
Jane Austen - Emma - never actually read an Austen and figured I must at some point in my life! 
Sophie Kinsella - shopaholic and baby - read all the others in the series so this is a must read and one of my favourite authors. 
Sue Townsend - the woman who went to bed for a year - this was intriguing me, how a whole story could be based in bed... 
Vanessa Green - the vintage teacup club 
Candace Bushnell - sex and the city - watched the series and love it! 
Melissa Hill - the last to know - again sounded intriguing. 

Which would you read first? Help! 

Friday, 28 June 2013

Dylan's Day - Tim Hutchinson

Dylan's DayDylan's Day by Tim Hutchinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dylan is a playful and curious dog who has many things to do with his time, including the most important thing of all: finding the big fat cat that lives next door. This beautifully illustrated book follows Dylan as he chases, sniffs, catches and follows birds, flowers, pots, neighbors and more, all the while frantically looking for the big fat cat—until he finds it, that is. Dylan’s Day is a funny and endearing story that teaches kids it’s OK to sometimes be a little scared.

I was lucky enough to be sent this direct from the publisher - Thank you!

This is the debut picture book from Tim Hutchinson, and what a debut it is! It is a beautifully illustrated picture book, which includes repetition and rhyme in the story.

This story is about Dylan a dog and what he does during his day, it is cute and funny. All he wants to do is chase the cat from next door but gets distracted along the way. I read many children's books to my class and this is by far one of my favourites, I cannot wait to share this book with the children, this is one they will fall in love with again and again.

The illustrations are amazing, every time you look at the images you see something new in them. I would definitely recommend that this book becomes a permanent addition to your home/school.  I cannot wait for more from Tim Hutchinson. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Are you sleeping little one? - Hans-Christian Schmidt

Are You Sleeping Little One?Are You Sleeping Little One? by Hans-Christian Schmidt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Introduce young children to how baby animals sleep with this whimsical board book. With lyrical bedtime rhymes, it describes the sleeping habits of over a dozen animals, including species both common and rare, from ducklings to sloths, bats to giraffes! Its gentle rhymes and sweet, soothing pictures are the perfect way for little ones to end the day.

A very clear and simple introduction into rhyme and animals habitats. It is mommy getting her babies ready for bed, covering a wide selection of animals.

Each page is bright and colourful to capture the attention of the children. I feel that this would be a perfect story for nursery and reception children or just as a bed time story. The story is for a younger age than I expected however it would initiate discussion for older children.

This was sent to me from the publishers for an honest review. Thank You

What the Snakes Wrote - Hazel Hutchins

What the Snakes WroteWhat the Snakes Wrote by Hazel Hutchins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Who will help the snakes save their home?
Rufus the farmyard dog is puzzled when dozens of snakes appear to be trying to tell him something. '

This is a beautifully illustrated and written book for children. Rufus the farmers dog reads what the snakes are trying to tell him, by shaping their bodies into letter shapes about looking after their home.

I think this book would be excellent for primary school children as it is encouraging them to read as they want to find out what the snakes are saying. Also at the back of the book is a section on snakes and facts about them. This could be used in non - fiction lessons about snakes.

There is a message in the book, that reminds the children that all animals have homes and to look after the environment. Rufus the dog is smart enough to be able to help the snakes.

Rufus is adorable in the story and has some fabulous facial expressions. I would recommend this story to anyone with young children.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from publisher - Thank you!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Cities Book - Lonely Planet

The Cities BookThe Cities Book by Holly Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cities represent civilization and human achievement: they are bubbling microcosms of virtues and vices, vanguards of technology and creative pursuits, incubators of traditions and melting-pots of diversity. More than half the world's population now lives in cities, and for travelers they hold an endless fascination.

This is a beautifully presented book on over 200 cities of the world. What I like so much about it is that not all the cities are famous, some you may never have heard of before, but they tempt you into wanting to get lost in its images and information about them.

My husband and I go on many trips a year and we like to think of ourselves as educated travellers, we enjoy going to places unspoilt from tourism and this book allows you to find those cities. We love to browse through the book 'planning' our next adventure.

Each page (sometimes 2) is on a city, it includes must sees and interesting facts about the place. It included strengths and weaknesses, places to eat and what to see.

I would not say this is a reading book, more of a browsing and dipping into book. I love it and all my travelling friends agree. It is an impressiive book to 'leave' laying around on the coffee table when you have a few guests!

Monday, 24 June 2013

The Debt - Simon Kernick

The DebtThe Debt by Simon Kernick
My rating: 3 of 5 sta

'A debt is a debt is a debt.'

It's not your debt. It's your cousin's. And he's done a runner.

So now the local gangland bosses have come to you for repayment. They aren't taking 'no' for an answer, but they will take your fingers - one by one - if you don't get hold of the money. Very soon.

You've got to think fast. You've got to act fast. And then you'll have to get out of here - as fast as you can.

This was not the first Simon Kernick book I read, recently I read his Wrong Time Wrong Place also a short story. This story captured me right from the beginning and kept the suspence until the end. This is what I was expecting from this book.

The story is only 32 pages long, and I know that hardly gives him chance to introduce the characters but I didn't feel this was up to the same quality.

After reading many reviews on the book I read it with an open mind, advertising a car would have been something that I wouldn't choose to read, however I feel that although the car and the model is mentioned a few times in the book it is no where near a 'hard sell'.

The story follows a guy who is left with a huge debt by his cousin who has done a runner, he is left to pick up the peices as he doesn't want it worrying his aunt. Parts of the story I feel are a little far fetched, however it passed 20 minutes.

Normally I either love a story or do not enjoy it at all, this one left me feeling in different. I am glad that this was not the first book I have read by Simon Kernick or I may have not been returning to his books.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

hi, My nAMe is MiLes - Heather Zeissler

 Hi, My nAMe is MiLes by Heather Zeissler
My rating:  5 of 5 stars

This is an advanced copy of 'hi My nAMe is MiLes' this ebook was sent to me by the author in exchange for a honest review.

This book moves on from hi, my name is Milly. In this book we meet Miles, Miles is Malcolm's younger brother. Malcolm is now 5. In this story Apraxia is developed slighly more, again all in child friendly language. ' Malcolm knows what he wants to say, but his mouth won't say it.'

In this story we read it through the perspective of Miles, as you read the story you begin to understand his personality, this is very different from Milly, that we saw in 'hi my name is Milly'. Mile's comes across more as the big brother and doesn't understand why others cannot understand him when he can.

Apraxia as a condition is explained more in the story and you understand all the things families have to go through and what the child who has the condition has to deal with. Throughout the story you see Malcolm's development with the condition and how he copes with new stages of his life.
You also see that Malcolm is just the same as a normal child, he feels and thinks the same as them. 'Malcolm and I don't like peas'.

The story also covers issues between siblings and that they feel it is unfair that Malcolm gets to do something that they don't. It also touches on Malcolm's thoughts and feelings, sometimes he doesn't understand why he has to do things differently.

Throughoout the story the children hear adults talking about things they don't understand, the correct names for sensory games/speech and language activities etc. The answers from the children in the book are like others, they don't understand these, this shows why it is so important for adults to explain the words they are using to children.

Children don't see differences in people and think that everyone is the same, they don't understand if they get to do different/fun things, these issues are addressed in this story and I feel this would be especially relevent to any children who have siblings with a condition like this but also for other children in a classroom. Sometimes there is a child who is seen to be given 'special behaviour' it is important they know why. It is also an important message for parents living with children, one or more who have the condition as a reminder not to neglect the others. 
The story also touches on things that Malcolm can do and Miles can't, and Miles looks up to him as a big brother should. Although Malcolm has a condition it doesn't mean that he cannot be good at something and this issue is addressed very well. 

Again as a story promoting Apraxia and giving awareness of it,  Heather Zeissler covers the subject well, it is an emotional journey of one family living with a child with Apraxia and how children grow up with this condition.  As a primary school teacher I would read this story to children in the lower school, there are many children who maybe able to relate to it and understand that they are not alone. Children I have taught have had speech and language therapy and I believe a story like this would help them open up.

The book has beautiful illustrations and Heather Zeissler has approached this area well, it is clear she has an indepth knowledge in this area.

This book is available to buy 1st July 2013

Books TBR

These are current books that are TBR some have been sent from authors and publishers others I've just not got round to reading, I am about half way through. 

The Wish List - Jane Costello. 

These also do not include what's waiting on my kindle! 

The Longest Holiday - Paige Toon

The Longest HolidayThe Longest Holiday by Paige Toon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'Don't wait for the storm to pass; learn to dance in the rain…'
Laura has been married to the man of her dreams for seven months. But a week before the wedding, Matthew made a terrible mistake.
Escaping the humiliation that is now her marriage, Laura is whisked off to Florida's Key West by her best friend Marty. A carefree holiday full of cocktails and fun, surrounded by gorgeous, tanned men, is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Distraction comes in the form of sexy Cuban scuba diver Leo. Laura's instant attraction to him knocks her flying, and she falls hard.
As the end of the holiday approaches, Laura doesn't want to go home. Is it time to face the music? Or is there more to Key West than a holiday romance?

Paige Toon has become one of my favourite authors, from the moment I bought Lucy in the Sky I was hooked, and since they all have pride of place on my bookshelf.

Paige Toon for me personally does not write quick enough! I feel like I wait so long for her books to be released, they are, however I am not disappointed, only that they are over so quick!

The main character is Laura, she has married the guy of her dreams and they are very much in love. After only a few months of marriage Laura discovers her husband Matthew had an affair. Laura cannot cope so agrees to go on holiday to Key West with her friends to help her get over it and decided what she is going to do.

While Laura is on holiday she has an instant attraction to Leo - her scuba diving instructor. Laura spends a lot of time battling with emotions while on the trip, to make matters worse Matthew won't give her time to figure out what she wants.

It's time to leave Key West....does Laura go home?

I loved the longest holiday and could not put the book down once I had started it, it was a read page turner. I felt that the book although you thought it was predictable did have surprises along the way and you never really knew how it was going to end up.

Paige Toon manages many emotions in her books and she does this beautifully, there are times you want to laugh and other times you really feel for the characters, I really felt like I knew Laura and that I was one of her friends.

I feel this is easily the best book I have read this year, it captures you from the moment I picked it up, I also love how Paige Toon leaves books open to bring back the characters, I wonder if Leo and Laura will make an appearance? If you have never read a Paige Toon book this is an excellent one to start with, and if you have go and get it!

P.S I love you - Cecelia Ahern

P.S. I Love YouP.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everyone needs a guardian angel…
Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry.
Childhood sweethearts, they could finish each other's sentences and even when they fought, they laughed. No one could imagine Holly and Gerry without each other.

Until the unthinkable happens. Gerry's death devastates Holly. But as her 30th birthday looms, Gerry comes back to her. He's left her a bundle of notes, one for each of the months after his death, gently guiding Holly into her new life without him, each note signed 'PS, I Love You'.

As the notes are gradually opened, the man who knows Holly better than anyone sets out to teach her that life goes on. With some help from her friends, and her noisy and loving family, Holly finds herself laughing, crying, singing, dancing – and being braver than ever before.
Life is for living, she realises – but it always helps if there's an angel watching over you.

I read this book from a reccommendation, I had not heard of Cecelia Ahern before or any of her books but I decided to give it a go, and I am so glad I did.

This has to be one of the best books I have ever read, I read it years ago and even now I still have a clear image of it in my head. I am lucky I read this book before the film, I am so glad I did. I had high hopes for the film after the book was so spectacular, however I was left bitterly disappointed.

From the moment I picked up the book I could not put it down, I think it must have been one of the quickest books I've ever read and at the end I was left feeling sad that it was all over. From that moment on I became a huge Cecelia Ahern fan.

The story is about Holly, her husband has recently passed away, she is finding it hard to come to terms with, her mother then says she has found a note for her. It was from Gerry - her husband and she ends up finding more and more notes left by him. The notes go one for about 10 months, to help her progress on with her life. Even though we never meet Gerry, we feel we know him through his letters. The story covers Holly's rollercoaster of emotions, we meet her friends and family who offer support along the way, they also provide wit from snapshots of their lives.

P.S. I Love You takes you on a journey of emotions, you can be laughing your socks off one minutes and can not stop crying another. It also contains a spark of magic which makes it ever more memorable. I am so glad I read the book before I watched the film as I feel the film is not a patch on the book. This has a firm place on my bookshelf and I could read it over and over again.

Hi, My Name is Milly - Heather Zeissler

Hi, My Name is MillyHi, My Name is Milly by Heather Zeissler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Older sister Milly shares a special connection with Malcolm who has Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Through her words, learn how their family is affected by Malcolm’s underdeveloped verbal skills and, in exchange, how his development is positively impacted by his family. In addition to providing awareness of this condition, this delightful story reveals the intelligence of apraxic children, which is sometimes masked by their challenge to verbally communicate.

This ebook was sent to me by the author in exchange for a honest review.

The book started by introducing the characters, a brother and a sister. 5 year old Milly and 3 year old Malcolm. Milly explains that Malcolm can not speak as he has a condition called Apraxia, this is done in very simple forms in child language.

The story is through the perspective of Milly, Milly talks to Malcolm and explains to mum what he would like.

As I was reading this story, I actually could make a connection to it. I am an older sister and when I was young my brother would not talk, he did all his communicating through me, we had our own language and no one could understand it, however I then translated to my mum what it was he wanted. My brother did not have Apraxia, he was just lazy as we found out when I began going to school...

I think though there maybe many brothers and sisters with similar stories, this story also covers the relationships brothers and sisters have and the bonds that are strong, which everyone with a sibling could connect to.

As a story promoting Apraxia and to understand it I think Heather Zeissler covers the subject well, it does not only explain what it is like for a child living with Apraxia it also identifies that this can be very common. As a primary school teacher I would read this story to children in the lower school, there are many children who maybe able to relate to it and understand that they are not alone. Children I have taught have had speech and language therapy and I believe a story like this would help them open up.

The book has beautiful illustrations and Heather Zeissler has approached this area well, it is clear she has an indepth knowledge in this area.

Parachutes and Peppermints - Sadie Mills

Parachutes and PeppermintsParachutes and Peppermints by Sadie Mills
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chocolatier, Lucy Simkins, has been unceremoniously dumped by her dithering boyfriend, Phil. She needs to blast him out of her system; she needs to feel alive. She decides to go skydiving.

Joshua Snow is one of the most experienced tandem instructors at the dropzone, with a smile that can charm the birds from the trees. When his shy little tandem student starts talking about BASE jumping and wingsuits, pushing him to teach her how to fly, he suddenly finds himself on the back foot.

There's an instant attraction between Joshua and Lucy, an attraction that hasn't gone unnoticed by his peers. A distracted student is one thing - they're all used to that. But a distracted instructor? That's a whole different story.

I downloaded this book in search of a short read, this is what I got. I finished this in one sitting, it captured me and I didn't want to put it down.

It begins at the sky dive centre and chops and changes between before the dive on the ground and in the plane waiting to jump. Although it is a very short story the characters are developed well and you can begin to form opinions on them. 

I love how Lucy is developed as a character and although from the beginning you kind of know what is going to happen, there are small little twists along the way. 

The story is predictable but light hearted fun and defiantly worth a read, I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Life Swap - Jane Green

Life SwapLife Swap by Jane Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the outside Vicky Townsley would appear to have it all. Features Director of the hugely successful Poise! magazine, she lives alone in London, is single and seriously successful. But she'd give it all up in a heartbeat for marriage, children, and a house in the country. Amber Winslow on the other hand, has exactly what Vicky Townsley wants; a huge stone mansion in Connecticut, children and a busy charitable commitment for the local Women's League. 

But Amber isn't happy either. She hasn't found quite the fulfilment she had expected from being a full-time wife and mother, so when she spots a double page spread in Poise! magazine asking married readers to life swap with a glamorous, single journalist in London, she sits down and writes a letter. But she never expects to be picked...

Emailing Allie - Julie Lawson

Emailing AllieEmailing Allie by Julie Lawson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a new year dawns, Allie needs various questions answered. Among the most urgent are: Where is her future leading? Why are relationships so complex and confusing? Can she get through a day without five cups of tea? Hilarious, touching and unique, Emailing Allie delves into the life and loves of 31-year-old Allie Rainsbury. Through emails sent to her best-friend Julie, the smooth-talking David Marshall and the enigmatic Scott Cooper (to mention but a few) we are taken on an frenetic, funny and uplifting journey that charts her daily challenges both inside and outside the office.
I bought this book as I enjoy email books, I loved Holly's Inbox and this reminded me of that. This is based on Allie, she has left the company and her emails are discovered. Although there are a lot of pages, it is quick to read.

I did not find it as funny as Holly's Inbox, which I did expect it was going to be, I did enjoy it though.

Unfortunately as it is a book based on purely emials it is hard to get to know the characters so opinions on them I'm afraid I don't have.

I would say I think it is worth reading, especially if you enjoy email books.

501 Must - Visit Cities - David Brown

501 Must Visit Cities501 Must Visit Cities by David Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Travel to the most spectacular and enigmatic cities across the globe. The book provides the reader with a wealth of interesting and useful information about each city featured. Each entry is beautifully illustrated.

A wide range of cities are covered in this book, crossing continets, history and culture. This book is great if you want inspiration for where to travel to next, however this is not a guide book. It is broken down into contients and are colour coded at the top of each page.

The book includes some lovely photographs from famous places and those not so familiar with. There is on average one page per city so the detail has to be cut some what on larger cities with more tourist attractions.

There are some cities in this book you may not have come across before, as they don't just include the famous/capitals. This gives you an insight into other areas of the country and could prehaps tempt you for a visit.

The way that the book is written to me isn't that inspiring and could come across dull at times. However what makes up for this is the quick facts based on each city, these are well worth a read.

Wrong time, wrong place - Simon Kernick

Wrong Time Wrong Place (Quick Reads 2013) Wrong Time Wrong Place by Simon Kernick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever been in the wrong place at the wrong time?

You are hiking in the Scottish highlands with three friends when you come across a girl.

She is half-naked, has been badly beaten, and she can't speak English.

She is clearly running away from someone.

Do you stop to help her? Even if it means putting your friends' lives - and your own - in terrible danger?

This was the first time I had read a Simon Kernick story. I regularly enjoy picking up quick reads to experience new authors and for only £1 what a quick read!

This is a fast paced, tension building thriller. This had me fighting with myself, wanting to know what was going to happen but at the same not wanting to read. In places I found the book graphic and scary, this is not one to read late at night!

The story is unpredictable and never in a million years would you guess the ending. The length of the book even though it is only 112 pages seemed perfect for the storyline, however I found the ending a little abrupt.

The story played on my mind for days after and has left a lasting impression.

Room on the Broom - Julia Donaldson.

Room on the BroomRoom on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The witch and her cat fly happily over forests, rivers and mountains on their broomstick until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand. They are retrieved by a dog, a bird and a frog, and each animal asks for a ride on the broom. They climb on, one after the next, until the broom is so heavy that it snaps in two! What will happen next as they tumble into a bog and meet a greedy dragon?

A place called here - Cecelia Ahern

A Place Called Here
A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ever wondered where lost things go?
Ever since the day her classmate vanished, Sandy Shortt has been haunted by what happens when something – or someone – disappears. Finding has become her goal.
Jack Ruttle is desperate to find his younger brother who vanished into thin air a year ago. He spots an ad for Sandy's missing persons agency and is certain that she will answer his prayers and find his brother.
But then Sandy disappears too, stumbling upon a place that is a world away from the only one she has ever known. Now all she wants, more than anything, is to find her way home.

Where do things go that we lose? Socks in the washing? Keys? Etc - Cecelia has the answer!

As a lover of Cecelia Ahern books I was looking forward to reading this one, however I was disappointed.The story started very slow and it wasn't clear how the ending arised.  I felt that the story line was good and imaginative, however the delivery for me was not as good. 

Cecelia links fantasy with real life and explores missing people and them looking on at families attempting to move on in life.

I felt that I could become easily distracted while reading this book, especially at the beginning I found it hard to get into and I like a story to capture me and for me not to want to put it down, this however I was quite happy to put it down.

If this had been the first of Cecelia's books I had read, I may not be going back for more.

Cupidity - Holly Hepburn

CupidityCupidity by Holly Hepburn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if Cupid fell out of love with love?

Cupid is exhausted. Modern day matchmaking is tough – people are busy, their hearts are harder to hit and he’s had enough of wall-to-wall romance. And St Valentine has noticed…

Annelise is a Lost Cause. She runs a dating agency but her heart is colder than a penguin’s feet. She thinks love is about compatibility and has no time for passion.

Can Cupid prove to St Valentine that he hasn’t lost his touch by melting Annelise’s heart? Or is it curtains for Cupid?

This is a short story and it could easily be finished in one sitting, however for a few nights I took pleasure in reading a few pages or so, under the duvet with a mug of tea. 

I downloaded this ebook due to the blurb, it sounded intriguing and not like something I had read before, and this was everything that the blurb promised.

The story started straight away without having to get going - set up in the clouds with cupidity. He was sent on a mission on Earth to a lost cause.

The character of Annelise was developed well and another it's only a short story her personality changes in it and you warm to her. To begin with you get the impression she is a busy hard business woman, but she softens as the story progresses.

I felt the story is a little predictable, however it is a light hearted feel good read.

The story has been left open for an opportunity to return and I would be interested to see if Holly Hepburn does a sequel.

Holly Hepburn I feel is a chick lit author to watch.

Holly's Inbox

 Holly's InboxHolly's Inbox by Holly Denham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Ever wanted a peak at someone else's emails?

Meet Holly Denham. It's her first day as a receptionist at a City investment bank and, with no cooperate front-of-house experience, Holly is struggling to keep up. Add to this her mad friends, dysfunctional family and gossipy colleagues, and Holly's inbox is a daily source of drama, laughter, scandal and even romance. But Holly's keeping a secret from everyone - and the past is about to catch up with her...'

I purchased this book as it was completely different from anything I had ever read, the story is a series of emails between Holly, the main character and her boss/friends/colleagues. It took me a while to get into the book as the layout was completely different, however I did enjoy the book and I felt I could relate to it. I also feel most people would be able to relate to it, if you have ever emailed/texted then you will have a connection with it.

Overall if you've ever wanted to peek to someone else's emails then this is a great book for you, it doesn't sound that great from that but if you've ever worked in an office and emailed friends and colleagues as this will have its parts you'll find amusing. When you start reading it, you can't put it down, you just have to know what is going to happen. It is a modern day Bridget Jones in emails. There are a couple of characters in the book I feel I could have done without reading their emails, this is because the characters weren't as good as Holly and a lot of what they were emailing was a little boring, hence the 4 stars.

This is a humorous, romantic and dramatic all rolled into one. I would recommend all women to read a book like this, you can even log onto Holly's website for updates!

The rumours are that they are making it into a film, if this is true I can't wait to see it, I think it would be excellent on screen. 

A Sea Change - Veronica Henry

A Sea ChangeA Sea Change by Veronica Henry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jenna is known as The Ice Cream Girl. She doesn't mind the name one bit. After all, it's a happy name, and there are far worse jobs than selling ice creams on Everdene beach.

Craig spends as much time as he can at the beach hut in Everdene he rents with a few of his mates. As a policeman, it is a restful change from his daily life, and he's surfing mad. One weekend he's down there on his own when he notices a girl on the beach. He's young, free and single and she catches his eye.

But on this particular summer weekend, both Jenna and Craig's lives are about to change . . .
This was my first book by Veronica Henry since then I have purchased two fo her other books The Beach Hut and The Long Weekend

Craig is escaping his busy job, the city and his life as goes to stay at Everdene for a week one hot August to get away from his own problems.

Jenna is trying to escape Everdene and the surrounding places, penniless and suddenly with no job and with a horrible landlord possibly homeless, she decides she only has one option.

Jenna and Craig's paths cross on more than one occassion Craig views Jenna from afar until as he suddenly sees something in Jenna that has been bothering him for a long time. 
This is a great introduction to Veronica Henry's work which if you have never read before which I hadn't, and it encouraged me to purchase other books by her. 
This comforted me on holiday when I took an Easter break, unfortunately it didn't last me longer than the morning, but for £1 and a quick read I was very happy.

I find that quick reads are a great way to have a 'taster' from authors you prehaps haven't thought about reading before. I was slighly disappointed with the length of the story, it seemed a little rushed in places. That said I enjoyed the book and have decided to read others.

Reports Over!

Being a school teacher is great, it's all I've ever wanted to do and I do love my job. However I do not love report writing time of year, it means I have no life at all. I am very impressed with myself I even had time to read Cupidity by Holly Hepburn (new review under chick lit).

However they are over now so I hopefully are going to have lots more time to consume myself in a book. I am currently reading The Wish List bby Jane Costell, however I doubt it willl be long before I finish it. So far it is good.. watch this space for a review.

 I then have been lucky enough to have been sent some books from Atlantic books so one of these maybe my next. 

On kindle I am currently reading Summer Affairs, three short stories.  

Monday, 17 June 2013

Just had to share....

I am very lucky in being selected to go for brunch in London with Lindsay Kelk on the 13th July!

She is going to be talking about her new book - 'About A Girl' and giving exclusive details about the book.

So I will let you know when it comes up and how it goes - I can't wait!

You can follow me on Twitter on the day!

Sunday, 16 June 2013



Welcome to my blog, this is all new to me so it may take a while to get all singing, all dancing!

My aim of this blog is to keep all my book reviews here, I enjoy books from a range of authors and I also have a very large children's picture book collection.

I have begun my blog with an entry in my travel section - don't worry their will be lots more to come. 

I am interested in reviewing any new books by authors  - If you are interested please contact me.  I will get back to you as soon as possible, I am very interested in reviewing children's books, being a primary school teacher I am regularly on the look out for inspiring books for them.

Finally please follow me on twitter. 

A note about me...

This is my blog, its about books that I have read and reviewed. I am always interested in reading new books from authors. If you would like to have your book reviewed from free please contact me.