Archive for June, 2012

Before I Go To Sleep

S J Watson

“As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me …’ Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine’s life.

This book was great, especially if you like something that you will go on thinking about after you have read it. The whole concept of losing your memory on a daily basis is a strangely fascinating idea. The story told plays on all the mysteries, insecurities, fears and worries that must come when you wake up every morning thinking you are twenty and you turn out to be forty and married with a whole life that you can’t remember. It really made me appreciate how much our past history informs the way we live on both a conscious and unconscious level. This is no 50 First Dates (that being a comedy film about someone with a similar condition), this begins as a journey into the mind of someone who can’t remember things and becomes a mysterious, suspenseful thriller.

I found the opening pages gripping in their description of waking up in the morning and finding you are not the person you thought you were. The first chapters are set in the present as Christine spends each day coming to terms with herself and her situation. She is meeting regularly with her doctor and keeping a journal. We then go back to read what has happened in the last few days in Christine’s life, before re-emerging in the present day to finish the story.

There are hints from the very beginning that all is not as it seems in Christine’s life. Ben, Christine’s husband seems to be changing the story of what has happened in her life. There are discrepancies and questions a plenty and as a reader you find yourself asking as many questions as Christine is. As Christine’s journal enables her to keep track of what is going on in her life things get more confused and more sinister as she is constantly questioning what is true and what is not. She also questions who she can trust and the motives of the people in her life for the way they treat her. It is very cleverly constructed and put together. As Christine lives every day fresh there is quite a bit of repetition through the book, however as more and more details come out this really serves to drive up the tension. his is a story that keeps you guessing almost to the end. Saying anymore would give away too much of the story so I think I will stop there!

Verdict: A riveting read, chilling and suspenseful, and something to think about as well.
Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: April 2011
Format: eBook
Pages: 515/559KB
Genre: Crime
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: Debut Author
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Love Books Will Travel: Ben Aaronovitch

What: Book talk and Signing
Who: Ben Aaronovich
Where: Waterstone’s Guildford, Surrey
When: Friday 22nd June 2012
Why: to promote Whispers Under ground, book three in the Rivers Of London series.

It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects . . . except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world.
At least he won’t be alone. No, the FBI has sent over a crack agent to help. She’s young, ambitious, beautiful . . . and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil.

Having just made the talk by the skin of my teeth (no thanks to the ridiculous and unusually busy Guildford traffic), I managed to slink in at the very back. This isn’t so good when you’re borderline deaf in one ear with the other ear not much better, and once through vanity, now through laziness, I never bothered to get a hearing aid. But ho hum. I think I managed to hear the majority of the talk, apologies in advance then if I had misheard anything and start reciting a load of nonsense!

When Ben Aaronovitch(who, from now on will just be ‘Ben’ for the sake of my sanity) arrived you could so tell by his manner that he wasn’t used to doing talks etc. That, and the fact that this is the first thing he told us along with the fact that he hadn’t prepared any notes in advance so was pretty much going to ‘wing it’.

This I guess is Ben all over. A self confessed ‘geek’ who can’t quite believe that his ‘urban fantasy police series’ or as Ben prefers, ‘Magic cops’ has become so universally popular. Ben still tries to get his head round people’s gran’s and middle class women’s book groups enjoying his work alongside the more stereotypical fan base of pasty, spotty teenagers who could recite the entire narrative of the episodes he wrote for Doctor Who without a seconds hesitation.

Ben must have felt right at home in Waterstones as that is where he used to work. He remembers handling so many books by debut authors and thinking, ‘I could do better than that’ that prompted him to start writing. It also explains the intricately beautiful covers on his books as Ben realised how books needed to stand out and be identifiable just by their spines when sat on shop floor book shelves.

Ben explained how some of his ‘one off’ characters just wouldn’t go away. For instance Beverley Brook’s role was supposed to be limited to opening the door in, ‘The Rivers of London’ but somehow she just kept popping up until she became a character that people connected to and needed to know what would happen to her. The common problem with this though is that sequels start to get longer and longer as more and more characters within the book need their own stories told which is a problem for Ben bless him as trying to keep within his publishers deadlines is enough of a challenge let alone having to write more than the agreed word count to try and fit everything in!

Ben confessed that he does enjoy writing about Inspector Nightingale’s character in particular. He will even talk and act very posh to try and capture Nightingales reserved, middle class character. Ben has deliberately ensured that Nightingale is busy with the faceless man and the crocodile club in ‘Whispers underground’ so as not to interfere too much with Peter Grants investigation, knowing that Nightingales methods are to eliminate any threat quickly and efficiently as opposed to Peter’s more holistic approach.

Even though Peter Grant’s dad famously plays jazz, and ‘Moon under Soho’ is very much based on the historical Soho jazz scene, Ben admitted that he doesn’t actually like Jazz! Instead he relies on a good friend to give appropriate music recommendations to add authenticity to his story.

Abigail, a family relation of Peter Grant does have a bigger role in, ‘Whispers Underground’ but apparently will be stepping back in book 4 as Ben is looking into Abigail having her own, spin off book series. Due to Abigail’s age I’m going to assume that this series will fit into the young adult genre and will be something I will look forward to reading!

I always assumed that Ben had personal links to the police force due to his knowledge of police life. I was obviously surprised then to hear that the police are willing to tell you anything you need to know as long as the price is right……although Ben was keen to point out that they have a specific public media officer person thingy, where you contact them saying, ‘I’d like to speak to a 20-30yrs old, male traffic police officer, working in South London’ and if there is someone that fits that criteria and, with the added financial incentive is willing, he then gets the information he needs, all legit and from the horses mouth, so to speak.

Amusingly, Ben has lists. Anyone who in real life or on the Internet that annoys Ben may find their name on his list. When Ben needs a name for a character destined to die, guess where he looks first for inspiration! If on the other hand you’d quite like to be on that list, and the messier the death the better, then may I suggest you start trolling the web and being distinctly unpleasant about Sci-fi. Then you never know, you might find yourself in book 4!

Verdict: I really enjoyed meeting Ben and he came across as a lovely guy. I am also very grateful for getting the chance to read this brilliant series including book 3, ‘Whispers Underground’ that has just been released.

If you like the sound of Ben’s work or are already a fan, keep checking out our site as very soon we will be announcing a huge giveaway including the chance to receive a signed HB copy of the recently released,’Whispers Underground’.

Post by Karen

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The Gruffalo’s Child

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (illustrator)
The Gruffalo said that no gruffalo should Ever set foot in the deep dark wood. But one wild and windy night the Gruffalo’s child ignores her father’s warning and tiptoes out into the snow. After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist… does he?

Although I realise these books have been around for a good few years, I didn’t have kids of ‘that age’ at the time and so they kind of passed me by. We were first introduced to the Gruffalo a few months ago when at a friend’s house for Sunday lunch. At one of those ‘let’s calm the kids down’ moments our hosts put the mini film of the Gruffalo on the tv. Well, we were hooked. This led to us buying the book and reading it every night for a looong time. Then, more recently, we stumbled upon The Gruffalo’s child whilst rootling through the preschool library box. Another trip to the local book shop ensued and now this is our current bedtime, and anytime really, favourite.

This story starts with the Gruffalo’s child questioning her father about The Big Bad Mouse that lives in the deep dark wood and once her father goes to sleep the Gruffalo’s child sneaks out in to the woods to discover him for herself. Along the way she meets the snake, the owl and the fox and initially wonders if they might not be the Big Bad Mouse she’s heard all about.

The tale is told in the same kind of rhyme as ‘The Gruffalo’ with the same wonderful illustrations by Axel Scheffler. My son loves joining in with the rhyming and because he’s now learnt the bits that repeat he can sit and ‘read’ it to himself with a degree of accuracy which makes him feel very grown up.

Eventually the Gruffalo’s child does meet a little mouse – but this couldn’t be the Big Bad Mouse she’d heard all about, could it? I won’t tell you how it ends but the little mouse gets to show us how brave and clever he is again.

Verdict: A fab read

Review by Lesley

Publisher: MacMillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: September 2005
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s
Age: Picture Book
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British Book
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Love Books Will Travel: Andy Robb

What: Book Signing

Who: Andy Robb

Where: Waterstone’s Alton

When: 23rd of June 2012

Why: To promote Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind

If you haven’t worked it out yet, girls don’t do this. They don’t come to the Hovel. They don’t like goblins and dragons. They don’t paint miniatures. They don’t play role playing games or re-enact fictional battles. And they don’t talk to Geeks like me especially if they’re pretty. And this girl is pretty. What do you do if you’re a fourteen-year-old Geek, and a Beautiful Girl has appeared in the midst of your geeky world? And she seems to like you… For Archie, the natural reaction would be to duck and cover … run for the hills … buy a new model elf… Anything but risk stepping into the Real World. But even Geeks have to put their heads above the parapet at some point. With his mum barely able to contain her excitement that her son is about to join the human race, and his step-father, Tony the Tosser, offering crass advice, it’s time for Archie to embark on a daring Quest to win the Beautiful Girl’s heart and shake off his Geekhood for good.

Uncoordinated and bleary eyed following a night shift and just a few hours of sleep, I flopped into Pruedence’s awaiting car. With a knowing smile, fellow shift worker, Pruedence deposited a large, steaming latte in my hand and set her Sat Nav for the picturesque town of Alton. One shot of caffeine and forty minutes of book talk later and I had a moment of wide eyed horror. Was my sleep deprived brain hallucinating or was I really seeing two ladies in regency dress?! Thankfully it turned out that Alton was celebrating it’s annualJane Austen Regency Week

Small but perfectly formed, Alton Waterstone’s was the venue for for Andy Robb’s first ever book signing!
I’d like to provide you with a detailed report of a fabulous and hilarious afternoon Pruedence, Kerrie and I spent keeping Andy company and more likely than not, scaring Waterstone’s customers. Unfortunately everything is a little blurry around the edges and I’m afraid that I’m going to have to direct you to Kerrie atRead and Repeat and Pruedence at The Library Mouse for coherent accounts.

Here’s what I do recall:

Andy’s warm and charismatic personality.

Starting a lot of conversations with the traditional blogger greeting “Hi I’m Caroline BigBookLittleBook. I follow you on twitter”.
The absence of “The TourHat”.

Meeting a remarkable young man called Jack. Jack sat in Waterstone’s and read Geekhood in it entirety in under an hour, before purchasing it to take home to reread!

Watching Andy and Pruedence create an original piece of artwork for Pruedence to giveaway in celebration of her one month blog’aversary. Then embarrassing myself with my pathetic dog doodle on Andy’s Gallery of Geek.

The terms “bur bon and bourbon”, “Veet for men”, “gentleman’s log cabin” and “vagazzle” being banded about with abandon.

How green food colouring is not a suitable substitution for green face paint when dressing up as the Incredible Hulk

Meeting awesome bibliophiles: Kerrie from Read and Repeat, Sammie from I Want To Read That and Kirsty from The Book Mogul

Verdict: A fantastic afternoon. I laughed so hard my face ached.

Post by Caroline

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Whispers Underground

Ben Aaronovitch

It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects…except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world.
At least he won’t be alone. No, the FBI has sent over a crack agent to help. She’s young, ambitious, beautiful…and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil. Oh yeah—that’s going to go well.

This is very much a grown up urban fantasy series where Peter Grant is our protagonist and often very amusingly, rather cynical narrator. He’s a policeman based in London, about to be consigned to a data entry post as far too easily distracted for real police work. Just as he’s about to resign himself to his fate he finds that he has an aptitude for sensing the supernatural. He quickly finds out that London is home to ghosts, gods, wizards and so on and it’s up to the police to make sure that they toe the line. Any cases with a supernatural element are passed to Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale with the proviso that it stays hidden from the general public’s knowledge and preferably, separate from their normal police investigations. Nightingale, a wizard in his own right takes on Peter as his apprentice.

In this book (the third in the series), Peter is asked to assist in a murder investigation, the victim being an American with a father influential enough to warrant the FBI being involved. The setting for the investigation is centred around the underground tunnels and the stinking sewers of London.

The pace of this book once it gets going, is fast and action packed. Yet again Aaronovitch’s classic British humour is superb. He also has the ability to make you snort with amusement one minute and then feel uneasy the next when the scene suddenly turns sinister.

Inspector Seawoll is back leading the task force and any hopes that his own recent brush with magic will have endeared him to Nightingale’s department and Peter in particular, are cruelly but nevertheless amusingly, dashed.

It’s great to see that Lesley’s presence in this book is much stronger as she joins the team, thanks to her recent disclosure in ‘Moon under Soho’. It’s also interesting to see how she is developing as a character now that her once beautiful face is now so horribly disfigured. It would have been so easy to just ‘magic’ her back to normal. Instead we see her continue to be the technically brilliant police officer that she is whilst she and Peter cope with her new found visual disfigurement.

Verdict : Murder, genius loci, magic and humour all in one book. Aaronivitch has done it again with ‘Whispers Underground’ and is my favourite book of the series so far.

Please note that artwork featured is for the UK hardback published by Gollancz on the 21st June 2012
Reviewed by Karen

Publisher: Del Ray Books
Publication Date: June 2012
Format: eARC
Pages: 432
Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Crime
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Karen
Source: US publisher via Netgalley
Challenge: British Book
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Dig Dig Digging

Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe (illustrator)

Diggers are good at dig, dig, digging,scooping up the earth and lifting and tipping.
They make huge holes with their dig, dig, digging.They can work all day.”
Trucks and tractors, fire engines and helicopters-they all like to work hard.
But after a long, happy day of beep-beeping and vroom-vrooming, even the busiest engines need to rest.

We just love this book in our house. And what I particularly love myself is that I bought this book as a large hard back book back in the early 2000’s when my older two boys were toddlers. I remember fondly reading over and over again about all the different vehicles and each page with its little rhyme ending in ‘they can work all day’.

That copy bit the dust a long time ago but here I am again in 2012 and I have a small board book version that I saw in a book shop earlier this year and leapt on with big excitement. ‘Look!!’ I exclaimed to my husband jumping up and down ‘Dig, dig digging’!! Do you remember? Dan? Jack?’ as both my now much older boys looked away and pretended I wasn’t their mother.

So it happily graces our shelves once again giving me warm and fuzzy feelings and I now get to read it with my 3 and almost 2 year olds. Sam who will be two this month and is starting to put sentences together loves joining in with the last bit of the rhyme which repeats on each page. The illustrations are just lovely and my boys have certainly learnt about all the different vehicles from this book from rubbish trucks, dumper trucks, cranes and car transporters.

Verdict: This is a delightful little book. I think a copy belongs on every toddlers bookshelf.

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Orchard Red Apple
Publication Date: 2001
Format: Board book
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British Book
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Carnegie and Greenaway Awards: Wrap Up

And the winner of the Kate Greenaway Award is…

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Jim Kay (illustrations)

And the winner of the Carnegie Award is…

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Jim Kay (illustrations)

Patrick Ness has done it again.  He also won the Carnegie Award last year with the final instalment of his Chaos Walking Series ‘Monsters of Men’.  This is also the first book to win both the Carnegie and Greenaway Awards, though it is Jim Kay who wins the Greenaway for his illustrations.

This wasn’t my favourite in either category but it is an exceptional book and is therefore a worthy winner. I do have quite a few very happy students, which is unusual when it comes to winner’s announcement time!

This year was very unusual in that very few students liked one book much more than the others. They all found picking a favourite really difficult and said that they would be quite happy for 3 or 4 of the books to win.  We also had more students finishing the whole list than ever before, a fantastic achievement given that there were 8 books on each list this year. There’s been lots of lively discussion and two friends very nearly fell out in a disagreement over ‘The Midnight Zoo’. As always, Carnegie has brought readers together and encouraged them to read and discuss books they normally wouldn’t have touched. This for me is the magic of the Award.

My Winners would have been ‘Between Shades of Grey’ by Ruta Sepetys and ‘There Are No Cats in This Book’ by Viviane Schwarz. This year, like the students I was actually happy for any number of them to win. That’s not because the standard was low, far from it.  This year the books were more readable and probably aimed at slightly younger children, something I don’t believe is any bad thing.  In past years students (and me!) have struggled to read most of the books but that wasn’t an issue this year which is a welcome change.

So now Carnegie is over it’s time for me to start looking at what I want to nominate for the local book award the Brilliant Book Award…

Post by Alison

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Love Books Will Travel: Oliver Jeffers

What: Book Signing

Who: Oliver Jeffers

Where: Waterstones
      O2 Centre             
Finchley Rd

When: Tuesday the 12th of June 2012

Why: To promote The Hueys in The New Jumper

The Thing about the Hueys was that they were all the same.
Until the day one of then knitted a nice new jumper…

Having had some public transport issues with some of the more recent events I’ve attended I made sure that we left for the event in plenty of time. Alas, I did not do my research properly and committed the rookie parenting rookie mistake of arriving more than two hours early for the event, at a shopping centre with little entertainment for my small people and I’d forgot to pack my usual survival pack( Colouring book and pencils, stickers and snacks)!

What the centre did have was numerous food venues and I do believe that after consuming a Starbucks Coffee, Some frozen Yogurt and a substantial volume of sushi, I  gained a stone in weight form this event alone.The saving grace was Finchley Waterstones. Friendly helpful staff and a child friendly environment ensured that the last hour of our wait was alot smoother than the first! It was very evident while we were their that the children’s department is very much the hub of mother and toddler society in Finchley.

Oliver Jeffers took the time to talk to his waiting fans in addition to signing and doodling in each book! While waiting to meet our favourite picture book author Ava and Seth investigated what else the children’s department had to author while  I had a chance to catch up with the gorgeous Rosi From Harper Collins HQ.
While  The Sniffing Pug had taken himself off for a walk, I did have the opportunity to meet his fabulous person. I urge you to check out Sniffer’s awesome interview with Oliver Jeffers here and check out the rest of his equally awesome blog.

When It was our turn to meet the man himself I did my usual tongue tied impression of a tomato while my daughter took it all in her stride, posing for pictures and giving Oliver hi five’s!

Verdict: Totally worth the wait! I know that our signed, doodled books will take pride of place on our book shelves!
Post by Caroline (30), Ava (4.5) and Seth (2.5)

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Rebecca Lim

Hell hath no fury like an angel scorned…
Heartbreak. Vengeance. Truth. Betrayal.
Everything that has happened to Mercy over millennia has made her who she is. Now she and The Eight wage open war with Luc and his demons, and the earth is their battlefield.
Ryan’s love for Mercy is more powerful than ever, her guiding light in the hour of darkness. But the very love that sustains her now places Ryan in mortal danger.
Two worlds collide as Mercy approaches her ultimate breathtaking choice.
Hell hath no fury like Mercy.

Please note there are spoilers for the previous three books in this series.

When I read the blurb for this, the forth book in the Fury series, I thought it sounded fascinating. Unfortunately I hadn’t read the other three so I dug out my trusty Kindle and got typing! I devoured the first three books and really enjoyed them. They are pacey and easy to read, I enjoyed the story of Mercy developing as well as the stories of the individuals that feature in those books.

So in a nutshell this is what we have learned over the last three books, Mercy is an arch angel she was thrown down to Earth by her lover Luc (Lucifer) to save himself.This didn’t work as he was imprisoned on Earth himself with other fallen angels and they have been causing destruction and disaster ever since. However Luc made Mercy a promise when they were both Angels and this prevents him from taking over the Earth altogether. He needs to find Mercy and get her back with him to win the ultimate battle and have complete control of Heaven and Earth. The Eight (the highest un-fallen angels) know this and have been hiding Mercy from Luc by hiding her in the bodies of mortal women. These experiences mean that Mercy had no idea who she really was for more years than you could care to remember, and that she has been changed by experiencing the lives of mortals, she is not a fallen angel, but she is not a true angel in her belief’s anymore either. Meanwhile Luc has been wreaking his havoc on The Eight in an attempt to finally find Mercy. As the Eight are weakened Mercy has been able to remember who she is as she is moved from one body to another (something she has previously unable to do) and therefore she has been able to learn more of her story and begin to take memories from one life to the next. This also means that she remembers Ryan. Ryan is a boy she began to have feelings for, although she is still confused about her feelings for Luc as she meets him in her dreams and sees him as her eternal love. Ryan has become more and more important to her and in the last book, Muse, Mercy effectively finally chose Ryan over Luc. Unsurprisingly Luc is not happy about how things are progressing. More of The Eight are vanishing and a battle ensues. We left Mercy and Ryan on a church rooftop in Milan, with Ryan close to death, it was a big cliff-hanger!

So Fury begins right where Muse finished and you are straight back in the heart of the action. Rebecca Lim writes well and is great at describing a scene and the settings come vividly to life. As Luc continues to bring devastation to the world Mercy must decide how to help and try and figure out how she can stay with Ryan which, being as he is a mortal and she an immortal, seems impossible.

The mess and fear that Luc causes feels real, but I felt that now the love triangle side was more or less over some of the tension was missing in this book. In fact in this respect there was not enough fury, Mercy’s realisation of Luc’s huge betrayal of her just didn’t feel strong enough to me. There was plenty of vengeance wrought, but it seemed to come from a lot of different paths and what Luc has done to mercy seemed to take a backseat. In addition Ryan being her sustaining love and reason for existence got a bit irritating at times and felt in the way of the action and mystery.

I also felt that I missed the part of the story where Mercy inhabits another body as she is now purely herself. However I enjoyed her working out her abilities and how to use her powers. I loved that the irony was continued from the previous books that she can fly, but is scared of heights! As Mercy pits herself against the demons and tries to help the Eight the pace didn’t let up and I wanted to keep reading, however my overall feeling at the end was that some things just seemed a little too easy for Mercy to achieve. Mercy seemed to be able to outwit and defeat the demons quite easily. This was explained in the story and far from Mercy needing protection she became a protector herself.

Generally the story remained unpredictable and I really liked that aspect of it. I began to suspect what might happen in the end and was a bit disappointed in the final resolution of the story. I do like a happy ending and for all the ends to be tied up, but this was a little to tidy, even for me! I was also a bit frustrated that if this was possible why didn’t they do it earlier? It would have saved a lot of bother to have done this back in book one!!

Verdict: I did enjoy this book a lot, I did have moments of disappointment, but it kept me turning the pages! This is a series that I would recommend if you like a bit of super-natural, a bit of mystery and some romance in your bedtime reading!

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s
Publication Date: March 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age: YA
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Received from publisher
Challenge: None
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Books With Benefits

Look familiar? There is definitely an uncanny resemblance between this picture and my dining room! The depicted conversation is all too familiar with my husband recently  asking why he had bought me a Kindle if I’m going to continue to “clutter up” the dinning room with more and more paper books. I won’t tell you my less then elegant retort for fear of upsetting any small people reading!

My problem is that I absolutely adore books, reading them, reviewing and recommending them, smelling them and looking at them on a beautifully alphabetised(one day!) bookcase but even I have to admit to keeping copies of books that I am unlikely to read again.

A recent visit to my local Oxfam (the spoils from which have been discreetly hidden from the husband) has certainly made me re-think my book hoarding. With falling book donations and stock levels, Oxfam are using the month of June to highlight the need to re-home your  previously read, unwanted and neglected books . Hearing that the money raised from the sale of one paperback could buy two new books for schools in Somali land  certainly put my my dust gatherers in to perspective!

Oxfam’s target for June is to Collect an additional 500,000 books. The money from which is enough to fund all of their work in Rwanda for a whole year!

Now don’t get me wrong lovely followers, I’m certainly not going to be obtaining the minimalist look any time soon but I do believe that a book sort is long over due and I shall be donating any “spare” books to my local Oxfam shop.

If you want to get involved you can take your donated books to any Oxfam shop during opening hours or  post them in one of their 300 donation banks situated in Salisbury’s car parks. Of course there is nothing to stop you having a little browse while you are there!

Don’t forget that Oxfam also has an on line shop which you can visit here or learn more about from our Frugal Fiction post on charity shops here.

Post by Caroline

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