Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Lucy Locket: Online Disaster by Emma Moss

Lucy Locket: Online Disaster (Girls Can Vlog #1)Lucy Locket: Online Disaster by Emma Moss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



NEWSFLASH . . . VLOGGING IS GO!


It's bad enough having to move house, school and country all at the same time, without making a fool of yourself on the first day of term. But that's just what Lucy's done - and one of her classmates has videoed the whole thing and put it online!

Lucy's so stressed, her stammer's become worse than ever. So when a friend encourages her to create her own videos, she thinks it's a terrible idea - surely she's embarrassed herself enough for one lifetime!

But when Lucy finally gives vlogging a try, she's amazed to find that people actually want to watch . . .

Includes tips for making your own vlogs!


I bought this book on a bit of a whim today, I wanted something light and easy to read. This book is certainly that.

This story is about Lucy, she has moved over from the US as her mother got a job as a vet. (Not really sure why that meant they had to move abroad...surely there are vets in the US??) Lucy has left her life and her best friend (Morgan) behind, she is dreading her first day at school and is worried she won't make any friends.

Morgan is a vlogger and wanted to encourage Lucy to get into it. Lucy doesn't feel comfortable in front of the camera, especially without Morgan there and feels she couldn't ever vlog. Morgan has bought Lucy a camera as a leaving present in hope that perhaps she will use it.

Lucy's first day at school is a total disaster, one that encourages her stammer to come out. Lucy suffers from this when she is nervous or stressed, so trying to keep her awful day from her parents, doesn't go down too well as they can spot something has been up right from the beginning.

This is a story of friendship, new beginnings, struggling with new situations and discovering who you are.

I did enjoy this story, it did exactly what I wanted it to do. It was light-hearted, had an element of romance and a lot of friendship. I would however question the age this book is aimed at. It is suggested for audiences 10 and up, there is no bad language or anything in the book, but personally I wouldn't want a child of 10 reading how to start their own YouTube channel, which tips are given at the end of the book. I would say due to the nature of the story 14 and up would be more appropriate. That is just my personal opinion and others may not agree with me on that.

Overall I did enjoy the book and I read it in one sitting. If you are looking for a fun quick read I would recommend this to you. This kept me entertained for a couple of hours in the afternoon. :)

Monday, 2 May 2016

The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas

The Colour MonsterThe Colour Monster by Anna Llenas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fun, bright pop-up book about a monster who explores colour through his emotions. The story of a sweet little monster who wants help from his friend to understand the feelings he experiences. On each spread is a vibrant and striking pop-up the conjures up feelings and emotions connected to different colours; black, yellow, red and green.

I was so lucky to be able to get a copy of this stunning book to share with my class to review.

This is a story about a monster, who has go into a muddle with his feelings, his colours have all been mixed up. A child helps him sort out his feelings and shows him what they are and how they can make you feel.

The class I read this to were a group of year 2 children, who are 6 and 7. They instantly picked up on the connection with 'Inside Out', this is a children's film. (I have never seen it, however they assure me this have people in it of different colours to represent feelings.) They also loved the art work and were able to link the feelings to their own experience.

Once we had finished reading the text I asked them if they would recommend it and to who? They said that they loved the book, however they felt it was better suited to younger children to help them learn about their feelings and how they feel during these emotions. Saying this, all of them said they would like to read the book again as they enjoyed it so much.

From a teachers point of view I would agree with them, I think this book would be perfect for very young children to introduce emotions and feelings to them. I also think this would be very good for autistic children, who sometimes find it difficult to recognise emotions.

Finally all the children said they liked the text, so much so one of them said they would give it 10 stars if they could.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Raincoats and Retrievers by Cressida McLaughlin

Raincoats and Retrievers (Primrose Terrace Series #3)Raincoats and Retrievers by Cressida McLaughlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s autumn and Primrose Terrace has never looked lovelier. But things are far from rosy for the Barker’s at No.6. Cat’s been walking their pair of gorgeous Golden Retrievers and she’s noticed that things are distinctly chilly between owners Juliette and Will. For Cat, things are coming to a head with Mark, but is he the right man for her? Especially as she is getting closer to flatmate Joe. Cat thinks she must be able to do something to stop autumn falling on the Barker’s marriage, but is there anything she can do to resolve her feelings about Mark?

Raincoats and Retrievers is the third part of a serialized novel told in four parts – all set in Primrose Terrace.



I began reading this delightful series a while back and I enjoyed it so much. Something happened and I never got round to reading this installment, so when I turned on my kindle and saw it staring at me, I couldn't wait to continue the series and got stuck in.

It is the beginning of Autumn and we get to take another dip into Fairview and the neighbours of Primrose Terrace. I was worried picking this up after such a long time away from the series, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to slip into it easily and that I would have to reconnect with the characters. I am so glad I was wrong, as soon as I had finished the first page I felt back in these wonderful characters lives and felt I had never been away. Something else I noticed about reading this so far apart from the others is that these novellas could quite easily be read a stand a lone novels, however reading them in order does allow you to really connect with the characters and make links.

Cat Palmer's dog walking business is really taking off, she gets to know not only the canines that she walks but also the families they come from. In this installment we get to meet some new characters and Cat soon discovers that one of her retrievers owner is having marriage trouble. She is also having her own trouble when it comes to her love life, her and Mark seem to hit it off but at the same time seem to not want to commit, finally they go on a date, are things beginning to look like they could have a future?

This is such a quick series to read, the writing flow well and it is enjoyable. I love the fact this has been released in installments. Personally I find it so much easier to read a book broken down in this way. Perfect for busy days and nights when I only get an hour or so to read. This actually makes me feel like I have completed something. I can't wait for the final part now.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This Is Where It EndsThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.





This is a book that I am finding difficult to review... Although I have had this sitting waiting to be read for such a long time, due to the nature of the book it did take me a while to get to.

When I heard about this book I instantly wanted to read it. Living in the U.K we are lucky enough not to have a gun culture, as they seem to have in America, however we regularly hear about school shootings. It is only something we can listen to and be shocked in disbelieve that someone would want to do something like that.

This made it a really interesting book for me, I wanted to try and understand it. I feel that this book has made me feel the fear that the victims would feel but I felt I was unable to develop many feelings at all for the shooter as I didn't get to know the character that well. Maybe that was the point of the story, to not be able to read the shooter at all and to instill fear in the reader.

The story takes place over 54 minutes and is about a school shooting, it did take me a while to get into the book as there are a few characters we jump to and from, in between that we had flash backs, where we discovered information about some of the characters and briefly the shooter. Throughout the book we come across some big secrets, ones that perhaps could have effected the event unfolding, or perhaps are the reason this is happening.

Once I got to grips with who was who, I could see links between the characters and did 'enjoy' the book. 'Enjoy' perhaps is not the right word, but I wanted to reach the end and read it in record time and find out what happened in the end. I found it difficult to relate to the characters, and not many of them were that likable. I did grow to like some of them as the novel went on.

This is a pacy book and I did enjoy that aspect of it. At times I couldn't believe such little time had passed as it felt it could have been hours, this was something I think that was very good. I would have thought in that situation that is probably correct, a few minutes would feel like hours.

I am not very emotional when it comes to books, they never really seem to grip me that much, however the last 20% of this book really got to me. By the end of it I had a lump in my throat, something which is a whole next experience for me when reading a book so it obviously had a big effect on me.

I liked the link between the characters and I also enjoyed the acts of bravery shown by some characters, the completely selfish act to save others, this gives the human race hope. This also reminds you as a reader, there are some good people out there who are willing to put themselves in danger for others.

This is a book, that if you read it will stay with you for a very long time, regardless what you think of it and surely then Nijkamp has succeeded as an author. I think this is a powerful debut YA novel, which is hard and emotional to read.

I really loved the epilogue, most books I don't think they bring an awful lot to the story, this one was different. It made that lump of mine get even bigger, but it was totally worth it. We were left with a few unanswered questions, however I can live with that.

This book is for the YA market, however on the back it is suggested 14 years and up. I would have suggested a slightly older age range just due to the brutality in the book. I know if I had read this at 14 it would have freaked me out and I wouldn't have wanted to go to school the next day.

This book is not perfect, far from it but overall this book is one you should read, it is a hard subject and perhaps one you will struggle through, but it is shocking and real.

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

Little Girl GoneLittle Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



A baby goes missing. But does her mother want her back?

When Estelle’s baby daughter is taken from her cot, she doesn’t report her missing. Days later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car, with a wound to her head and no memory.

Estelle knows she holds the key to what happened that night – but what she doesn’t know is whether she was responsible…

Gone Girl meets Girl on a Train was how this book was billed and having read both of these books I was really looking forward to fast paced psychological thriller. I was left a bit deflated as I found it to be mainly about psychoanalysis of a postpartum woman who appears to have 'lost' her child and only through many sessions with a therapist can the reader unpick what has happened to her baby Mia.

The first part of the book was totally gripping, especially when Mia is suddenly missing and Estelle has been in a car accident and appears to be suffering from amnesia - but then page 162 for 100 pages not until page 262 did it really get going again. Although a fascinating process to piece together snippets of memory as Estelle is given triggers it was so slow and almost boring. I was very close to just quitting but I do try hard not to do this so I can given an honest review so persevered with it. As I said pg 262 it started to gain momentum again but I felt that Alexandra Burt must have realised she had to finish this and from then on it was hurried and for me an anti climax.

I didn't really like this book, it seemed way too long and I couldn't really connect with the characters, at the end I really didn't care what happened the ending was not really worth the investment of having read 456 pages and such a shame it was marketed against two very good novels as it set expectations very high. It was in no way as memorable as these other two novels and feel readers will get the wrong idea about this book from the marketing.

I can only give this book 3 stars and this is mainly due to the fact that it was well written.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Time after Time - Hannah McKinnon Cover Reveal



I have managed to bring you the cover of Hannah McKinnon's new book - Time after Time and look how beautiful it is!





Hayley Cooper, a powerful but now struggling lawyer, fantasizes about what her life would be like if only if she’d made different choices. It’s understandable; the past two years have been hell. She barely sees her kids, her boss is trying to sabotage her, and her marriage is falling apart.

Burnt out, Hayley goes to sleep wishing for a different life. When she wakes up married to her first boyfriend, one she has not seen in over twenty years, she realizes there might be some truth in the saying “be careful what you wish for”. Over a single weekend, like Ebenezer Scrooge, Hayley gets to see her life on other side of the white picket fence – not just with her first ex, but with each of her past loves. But is the grass always greener, and will she ever want to go home?


The book publishes on 2ndJune

THANDIE NEWTON’S PERFORMANCE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTË’S JANE EYRENOW AVAILABLE AS AN AUDIO DOWNLOAD AT AUDIBLE

THANDIE NEWTON’S PERFORMANCE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTË’S JANE EYRENOW AVAILABLE AS AN AUDIO DOWNLOAD AT AUDIBLE

NEW RECORDING OF BRONTË’S MASTERPIECE CELEBRATES THE BICENTENARY OF HER BIRTH


21st April 2016 – Audible Studios, a production arm of Audible.com, today announced the release of acclaimed stage and screen actress Thandie Newton’s audio interpretation of Charlotte Brontë’s beloved novel Jane Eyre. Two centuries after Brontë was born, this intimate enactment of her most enduring work is now available for download at audible.co.uk/JaneEyre.



"Jane Eyre is in a class of its own. It’s romantic, dramatic, spiritual, and it remains extremely relevant today” said Newton, the star of The Pursuit of Happyness, Crash, Mission Impossible:II and the upcoming HBO series Westworld.“The book brilliantly mirrors the reality of being a human being. I loved using my voice to bring these characters to life. I gave myself over to the story completely, breathing the book in and then gently exhaling it for the listener in what became a very personal and intimate interpretation. There is a special magic in audiobook performance, being read to is one of the most comforting and nourishing bits of stimulus that exists. It’s a luxury and a pleasure. It feels like I’ll be sending the gift of the book out to a lot of people I don’t even know, and that is such a privilege.”



Newton recorded Jane Eyre in Audible’s London studios.

“Jane Eyre has been interpreted so many times over the years, but you haven’t quite experienced it until you’ve heard the extremely talented Thandie Newton read it to you,” said Audible EVP and Publisher Beth Anderson. “Her astonishing performance really calls attention to how ahead-of-her-time Brontë was, and how vibrant Jane’s character remains even centuries after the novel’s publication. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Charlotte Brontë’s bicentennial than by experiencing her greatest creation anew with this remarkable recording.”



With a 30-day membership trial at Audible, new listeners can enjoy any one audiobook, including Newton’s performance of Jane Eyre, for free.



In addition to Newton, among the acclaimed performers who have recently narrated works of literature for Audible are Emma Thompson, Rosamund Pike, Dan Stevens, James Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Winslet and Tim Robbins. In 2013, Audible Studios won its first Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and also won the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, for Colin Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair.

Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word content, invented and commercialized the first digital audio player in 1997, and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. In 2015, listeners around the world downloaded 1.6 billion hours of audio from Audible.com outlets; Audible members downloaded an average of more than 17 books over the course of the year. Two thirds of new Audible members are first-time audiobook buyers.


ABOUT AUDIBLE, INC.

Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible was created to unleash the emotive music in language and the habituating power and utility of verbal expression. Audible content includes more than 250,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible is also the preeminent provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes Store.