Archive for August, 2014

Four; A Divergent Story Collection

Veronica Roth
fourTwo years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.
Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.
Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

What were your overall thoughts on the book?
When I heard about this book, I was sure it was just going to be another way for the publishing house to get money and so I was wary of reading it in case it didn’t add anything to the story. I also assumed the book was Four’s perspective on certain scenes that occur in Divergent but that is not correct. Instead Four tells the story of this character’s history. It is how he became Four and what lead him to the start of Divergent and I have to admit, I really enjoyed it!

What was your favourite aspect of the book?
Quite simply, the writing style. The way Veronica Roth writes is one of the reasons I fell so in love with Divergent. She has a style that pulls you in and makes you just feel all the emotions under the sun. Her style is easy to read while also being descriptive and full of depth. I loved being taken into her world again and it was fabulous seeing it from Four’s perspective as well! Which, you know, is another great aspect of this story!

Who was your favourite character and why?
I feel that the fact this book was about Four, this should be an easy question to answer but instead I’m a little torn. I loved getting to know Four better but I also felt many different wonderful emotions upon other characters creeping up, like Tori, Amar, Zeke, Uriah, and -ofcourse- Tris. But I think I’ll probably stick with Four because, well, he’s Four. And if you don’t know him, read the Divergent series now!

Would you recommend this book?
Yes and No. If you’ve read Divergent and really liked Four then yes, you will love this book. However, if you didn’t like Four then no, stay away from this book (but I’m sure you’ve worked that out for yourself!). If, on the other hand, you haven’t even read Divergent yet, then don’t read this book yet. Only read it once you have read and loved the first book in the series! This book maybe a prequel but it definitely needs to be read after the series. Or at the very least, after the first book.

Summarize in one sentence. (Verdict)
This book is the perfect way to dive back into the world of Divergent, Veronica Roth’s writing, and to be reminded of why Four is just such an incredible character that you wish was alive and with you right now.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: July 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
Genre: Dystopian
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: None
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Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo
shadow and boneThe Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

What were your overall thoughts?
Before I started reading Shadow and Bone, so many people told me that I simply had to read it. So many, in fact, that I almost didn’t want to. What if I disliked it? How disappointed would I feel? Bute, eventually I pushed my fears aside and decided to crack open my paperback copy of this gorgeous story. And, I am very pleased to report that I was the oppopsite of disappointed. I loved this book. I fell straight into the story, got truly addicted, and quite simply fell in love with Leigh Bardugo, Alina, Mal, and the Darkling. This story was absolutely brilliant and I am very glad I read it.

What was your favourite aspect?
It is incredibly difficult to choose just one thing about this book that I adored above all else because everything was so inspiring. The plot was detailed, heart-wrenching, and complicated. The characters were all three-dimensional, interesting and truly loveable. The world-building was also fantastic and written in a way that you could really imagine. I guess, if I had to choose, I really enjoyed the magical aspect. I loved the Grisha and all their powers and how unique they are to different characters. I also adore how they use it and the idea of the amplifiers. It definitely helped to make this book more enjoyable and entertaining.

Who was your favourite character and why?
Yet another difficult choice as all the characters were really easy to love but I think that my favourite character has to be Alina. I love that she isn’t this all powerful, all knowing character. She has flaws, weaknesses, and insecurities that her truly human and relatable. Yes she is strong, powerful and incredibly caring and protective but we are also able to see that she is so much more than that. Alina is a character that everyone can empathize with. Second favourite is definitely Mal, but I did, surprisingly, also like the Darkling. Looking forward to seeing what they get up to next!

Would you recommend this book?
Absolutely! I am certain that lovers of fantasy stories would devour this story. It is set in a unique world with amazing world-building and characters that could easily walk off the page and exist in this world. If you’re someone who loves books that are gripping, intense, stunning, and full of magic then you should read this book. It is also a book that is likely to really make you feel so if you like books that you can really connect with, then you must read this book. If fantasy isn’t your favourite thing, this may be a difficult book to start with but I’m certain you’d grow to love it eventually!

Summarize in one sentence. (Verdict)
Shadow and Bone is an adventurous story that is compelling, emotional, and has all the best qualities that make a brilliant fantasy.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: June 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 308
Genre: Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Own copy
Challenge: None
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The Three Little Witches

Georgie Adams and Emily Bolam
three witchesHubble Bubble!
Meet Zara, Ziggy and Zoe.
The three little witches are having a party, but naughty Melissa is out to make trouble!

This book is about is about three little witches. They made funny spells like this…

“Splitter, splitter, splatter
Sausages and batter
Bake them in a dish for tea
For Ziggy and Zoe and me!”

The story is about the fun the adventures that the three little witches have with their friends.

My favourite part is when they flooded the kitchen because it looked like a swimming pool. I didn’t like when Melissa was always cross, I preferred it when there was lots of fun and laughing.

I was able to read this book by the swimming pool on holiday on my own. I understood most of the words. The spells were written using wriggly letters which were difficult to read, I had to ask Mummy to help me read those bits. The story words were fine though as the lettering used was straight.

Verdict:I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend other children my age to read it.

Review by Avilee Gillett age 6 ½

Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: September 2003
Format: Paperback
Pages: 96
Genre: Fantasy, Magic
Age: Early reader
Reviewer: Avilee
Source: Own copy
Challenge: None
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Lies Like Love

Louisa Reid
lies like loveLIES
‘There were a few problems . . . bullying . . . a fire . . .’
LIKE’
I think she’s verging on psychosis . . . now she’s lashing out.
‘ LOVE’
She’s got no one else to fight for her.’
Sixteen year-old Audrey just wants to be normal.She’s trying to fit in.But what happens when the person closest to you suffocates you with their love? What happens then?

What were your overall thoughts on the book?
Two agonising years were spent waiting for the release of this book. After devouring Louisa Reid’s debut book, Black Heart Blue, I simply couldn’t wait for the next book written by this talented author. Fortunately, the wait was definitely worth it! Lies Like Love is an extraordinary book that pulled at my heartstrings and tore my soul in half – in the way only an amazing book can! While the style of the book took a little time to get used to, it quickly grew on me and I was reminded of why I was so excited for this book in the first place. I was truly sucked into this story and it stayed with me for days afterwards. (Book hangover!)

What was your favourite aspect of the book?
The rich, deep, raw theme and messages in the story. I like issue books. I like books that are dark but tell you something by not shying away and this book does exactly that. Just like with Black Heart Blue, Louisa Reid has created a book that is meaningful. It holds important messages and will really make you think. I loved how tense the book made me and how I was just able to put the characters firmly into my heart. Needless to say, I cannot wait to see what Louisa will do next!

Who was your favourite character and why?
Audrey! Audrey, Audrey, Audrey, Audrey. Here is a character that is written so realistically, she may as well be real. Honestly, Audrey is not perfect. She has fears, anxieties, worries, and pressures from all over the place. But she also has heart and soul. She has the ability to smile wide, to dance, and be free. But the reason I truly found her to be so amazing is her strength. The strength in her character was mind-blowing. Here is a character who will do everything she can, not just for herself, but also for her loved ones. She was easy to get attached to and I just loved reading about her journey so much.

Would you recommend this book?
100%. Definitely. I know there are some people out there who will dislike this book. Maybe it’ll make them uncomfortable or they simply don’t like reading books like it but I also guarantee that many, many people will love this book. It has heart, it packs a punch, and it is just incredible powerful. So, if you enjoy “issue” books, or if you want a book that is deep, dark, rich and emotional, then you should read Lies Like Love as I am sure you will not be disappointed in it.

Summarize in one sentence. (Verdict)
This is a book that will wrench your heart out and rip your soul apart – in the best possible way. An intense read that simply demands to be read.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: July 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 457
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: British book
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Bookish Brits: Six Degrees Of Separation

6degreesThis video is based on a feature I first came across at YA Yeah Yeah (here) and is inspired by the Meme, Six Degrees Of Separation, created by Anabell Smith and Emma J Chapman (here)

Posted by Caroline

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Book Blogger UKYA Award Nominations

 photo UKYAAward_zpsb1be5f88.gif

Hey Guys!
Today I am proud to announce that the Book Blogger UKYA Award Nominations are open!

Use the form below to nominate the books and authors that you love!
You can nominate up to three books and authors per category – choose wisely!

Nominations will stay open until 24th August. (That’s two weeks!)
Then the shortlist will be sorted and voting will begin on the 1st September.

Good luck to all the lovely books and authors!

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Blog Tour: Ascension of the Whyte

Ascension of the WhyteWe are delighted to host a interview with Rose, a character in Karen Wrighton‘s Debut novel, Ascension Of The Whyte
Sara Carson did not believe in life after death, Heaven, Hell or even reincarnation. However, what she didn’t know was that some of us are special. For some of us, death is just the beginning of our next great adventure. Sara Carson was one of those special people, and her most incredible journey did not begin, until the day she died.
A magical début novel that will leave you breathless.

In your own words, how would you describe the four different areas of the world you live in?

Well I have only really explored Aurum and Ferrum to any extent yet. I only know about Hydrargyrum and Rhodium from what I have learned from the Sooth and from Cognito class. Aurum is the most eastern of the Afterlands, the land of the golden dawn. The climate in Aurum is temperate, but quite warm and the landscape is generally one of wide open plains, though there are mountainous and wooded areas and a large area of swampland off towards the south west inhabited by the wolf men known as rougarou. The capital city of Aureus is rather grand and its people are intellectuals who are relatively wealthy. There is little evidence of hardship in Aurum from what I have seen, everyone seeming to lead a happy and contented existence, except for the rougarou that is.

When we travelled into Ferrum the landscape changed dramatically to one of green rolling hills, forests, waterfalls and areas of open water. There seemed to be a lot of animals and farm land, the buildings had a more rustic feel and the people were less refined than in Aurum. We ran into some prejudice in one of the small towns and that upset me a great deal. I was disappointed that such a hardworking and unpretentious people could harbour such hostile feelings about people from their own world, many of whom even had Ferrish blood running in their veins.

I learned a little about the southernmost land, Hydrargyrum, from one of its people; the Blood Ascendant, Lady El-on-ah. She described it as a hard land, a barren land, where its people were forced to endure great hardship and had to work in the mines in order to provide for their meagre existence. In the Oratory we were taught that the area was inhospitable because it was mainly volcanic, but that it was also one of the few areas in the Afterlands where dragons could be seen living wild.

Of my own land, Rhodium, I have yet to travel there and I know very little except for what Lord Dux has told me. Rhodium the most northerly of the Afterlands and is a land of snow and ice, its towns and cities were now mainly in ruins after the Great Dragon War of over a thousand years’ ago. No one lives there now; all of the Whytes were destroyed. I am the only member of a long dead race, from a land of ruins frozen in ice and time.

How do you feel about each of the different members in your cell?

When we ascend to these lands, alone and without memory of our past lives or our families, we are told that the members of our cell will become our families, and that is sort of how I see them now.

Auriel is like a sister to me and I regard Ash and Lee as brothers. I love them all dearly; I love Auriel’s strong moral compass and unshakable loyalty, Ash’s sense of humour and his ability to always see the rainbow in every thunderstorm and I even love Lee’s naive insensitivity and cold clear logic, because it’s unashamedly honest. Lee would never lie, he just wouldn’t know how to.

What is your favourite aspect of your world?

I think that my most favourite thing is that being a Whyte ascendant has given me the freedom to be anything that I want to be, to do anything I want to do and to have the chance, despite being young and female, to really make this world a better place.

At first when I discovered that I was the only Whyte I hated it. I felt alone, isolated and powerless to change anything. Now I feel different, because of Eldwyn’s prophecy, being a Whyte has actually given me power, power to make people take notice of me and listen to what I have to say. It has made me realise that I can make a big difference, maybe even save some lives or at least make some peoples’ lives better.

I also LOVE magic and I especially love being good at it!

What is your favourite thing to eat?

In the Afterlands every ascendant’s favourite food is the same; Guilywally Fyre-pot, it’s a traditional dish from Hydrargyrum, a pink stew that is enchanted so that it tastes of whatever it is that you are hungry for. So you could eat it every day and never get bored with it because it would taste different every time you ate it. It really is the most delicious thing ever!

However, In Cognito class we learned that as good quality fresh food was so scarce in Hydrargyrum, that the alchemists devised the charm so that scraps and poor quality food would taste as good as the finest Aurum feast. That way everyone would have enough to eat, there would be no waste, and no one, but especially the children, would realise that they were often eating food that was not really fit to be eaten. It never quite tasted the same after I learned that.

What is your biggest dream?

My dream is that prejudice and inequality be wiped from the face of the Afterlands. That it’s people would live in harmony, each of them, though different, being accepted as equal, and that Lord Ka and the Djinn of Erebus be purged from these lands forever.

Where would you love to live in your world if you could live anywhere?

I would like to live in Rhodium, in my own land, with my own people, but my people are gone forever, so this can never happen.

What do you think about the place you’re studying?

I expect you mean the Oratory? When I first arrived at the Oratory I felt rather overwhelmed by the opulence and grandeur of the buildings and the obvious high status that had been afforded to me and to a lesser extent the other ascendants. The Sooth frightened me and so at first, did Lord Dux, who used magic with such ease and to such effect that it took my breath away. However once I had met my cell and settled in I enjoyed being there. I learned so much about my new world in such a short time that I quickly began to feel a part of it. The classes were amazing and all of the Magisters were such experts in their field that I doubt I could have been schooled by a more qualified group of teachers. Who wouldn’t like learning how to read a whole book in a few seconds, talk to bees, brew charms and cast spells? I struggled a little at first, but Lord Dux helped me and I soon discovered that I had a great aptitude for most of it, especially the magic.

Do you like magic?

Magic is at the core of my soul. It now comes so naturally to me that it is like a reflex… like blinking, I do not have to even think to use it. When I need it I just react, in the blink of an eye, no conscious thought involved, even the incantations are instinctive now. So I don’t like it exactly… that’s like asking if I like breathing, but I don’t think I could live long without it now.

Are you ready?

Can we ever be ready for something as all consuming as a war against evil, against prejudice and cruelty, and against an enemy so powerful that they can take the very essence of what you are and imprison that essence within their bodies for eternity?
I believe I am here for a reason, the prophecy of Eldwyn predicted that I would ascend and tells of my unifying the people of the Afterlands against an old enemy, but the way I read it, it does not predict the outcome of that confrontation.
Am I ready to unify? Yes. Am I ready to fight Lord Ka and the Djinn of Erebus? Yes. Am I ready to lose my friends in battle, to see these lands burned to ash and to be assimilated into the body of a Djinn until I can no longer act for myself and can only bear witness to the horrors that unfold before me? No… no… I will never be ready for that.

karen wKaren Wrighton was born in a small town in the English county of Staffordshire and
began writing prolifically and drawing from a young age. Karen trained as a Psychologist
and Teacher before finally finding the time to pursue her love of writing, firstly by
creating a successful Psychology blog and now by writing her first novel.
Karen’s début novel ‘Ascension of the Whyte’ is a magical epic fantasy novel for young
adults and is to be the first book of the ‘The Afterland Chronicles’ series.
Karen’s style is strongly influenced by the books she loves to read, such as Lord of
the Rings and Harry Potter. This is evidenced by the magical quality that pervades her
writing.
Karen has two daughters and lives in Norfolk, England with her husband John.
To find out more about Karen and her book, or follow her on social networks click on the
links below.
Twitter (here), Facebook (here),Google Plus (here), Website (here),Author blog (here).

There is a tour wide giveaway during the tour.
The prizes include;

– Author signed paperback copy of Ascension of the Whyte
– Themed metal bookmarks
– Postcards with graphics of the book cover and a colour map of the Afterlands
(signed by author if requested)
– Original hand-made Adder stone pendant like the one described in the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tom’s Sausage Lion

Michael Morpurgo

tom's sausuageNo one believes Tom when he says he has seen a lion strolling through the orchard with a string of sausages dangling from its mouth. No one, that is, except Clare, the cleverest girl in Tom’s class. Why does Clare believe him? Because she knows something about Tom’s story that no one else does.

What would you do if you saw a lion and no one believed you?

Tom’s Sausage Lion is a really great story with a really great story line .One day Tom sees a lion carrying a string of sausages. Various things happen and all the loose ends are being tied up in Toms mind but no one believes him except the school geek Claire. She has seen the lion as well and together Tom and Claire will do everything they can to take a picture of the mountain lion.

This book had me so gripped I have started a bit of an obsession for Michael Morpurgo. I would recommend this book to anybody who is aged between 8 and 11. But I do have to say this is a very good book.

Verdict: I really like this book . And everybody should have a copy.
Reviewed by Izzy (10)

Publisher: Yearling
Publication Date: August 1999
Format: Paperback
Pages: 80
Genre: Animals
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Izzy (10)
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British book
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Book Blogger UKYA Awards!

UKYA AwardHey All!

Today I am here to announce something super exciting that I need your help with!

A few bloggers have been working behind the scenes to show our gratitude to all the amazing UKYA authors out there. To do that, we have been planning the Book Blogger UKYA Awards!

But, we conceded, we couldn’t do everything and are asking all of you fabulous bloggers if you would like to help us out with a few things!

What we need bloggers to do;
– Help us host the nominations for the awards
– Help us publicize the awards to get lots of people nominating!
– Help us host the shortlist
– Help publicize the shortlist
– Help us host the winner announcement and hand out the “awards” to the authors!
– To be available to post nominations on their blog on the 11th August 2014
– To be available to post the shortlist voting on 1st Sept 2014
– To be available to announce the winners on the 1st Oct 2014

If you think that all sounds like something you can do, simple complete the sign up form below and Faye will be in touch as soon as possible to let you know the next step.

** Please note, this will be based on first come, first served and nothing more. We only need a handful of bloggers BUT if you don’t get to host, EVERYONE can still vote! **

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