Archive for August, 2017

My Digger is Bigger

Lou Kuenzler (Author), Dan Taylor (Illustrator)

Rex Rhino roars along in his digger, Charlie Cheetah zooms by in his super-fast motor, and Holly Hornet whizzes right up to the sky in her jet, as the animals compete to find out whose vehicle is best. But it is little Jack the Gerbil who really wows the crowd with his gravity-defying scooter tricks. A riotous rhyming picture book with a fantastic fold-out finale!

One of my favourite things about working in a library is being one of the first people to open up the boxes with the new books inside and getting a look at the books that have been sent to us. Then if anything grabs my eye, I get to have a quick peek through it. When I saw this book, I was instantly intrigued and found myself diving in. I was expecting it to be a little bit fun perhaps but I ended up thoroughly enjoying the book. It was full of fun and interesting characters, lots of rhyming words and I was absolutely sure that it would be an absolute smashing hit with the kids.

In this book, the animals all have different things that they use to compete with their friends. Rhino’s digger is bigger but the Cheetah’s car is faster. I thought this was wonderfully clever and brilliant. It showed that we’re all different and unique and have our own things and talents that make us the “best” and which make us who we are. It does this by using animals that are all different and I just found it so fascinating and I hope that it helps to show to children that everyone is different but that doesn’t make any one less worthy.

Alongside a fantastic rhyme that flows really well, this book is full of bright vibrant pictures and a lot of things happen on each page which is perfect for keeping the children entertained. I am positive that this is a book that would be read over and over again and one that would be quite fun to share with your little one as well. I feel that it is the perfect book to inspire both girls and boys and I am just absolutely positive that this book will be a big hit with the young children who can then go off and play with their toy trucks and cars – as I am sure my niece would!

Verdict: A fun, rhyming, interesting and fascinating picture book which will capture the children’s imagination and inspire them to be better and play together.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: August 2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Under 5s
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Library Copy
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The Lie

C. L. Taylor

I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes…
Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.
Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.
Jane has tried to put her past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves.

What were your initial thoughts on the book?
Initially I loved it. This had me hooked from the very beginning. I listened to this on audiobook and I don’t know if this added to the atmosphere but what I do know is that the atmosphere of this book is so intense and incredible. The book jumps between past and present and always leaves one time era on a cliffhanger before jumping to the next time era. It was a very clever trick to keep the reader turning the page – both metaphorically and literally! I was also gutted when my car journey was over and the audiobook had to be paused for a short while, always eager to return to the story. This is a very well written thriller that has a very intriguing twist at the end. It is the first C. L. Taylor book that I have read but it will not be the last.

Who was your favourite character and why?
Sorry to be boring with you all guys but as usual my favourite character was our main protagonist; Jane. She was just such an interesting character and it was so fascinating to read about how she was five years and how she was now. I absolutely loved how protective she was of animals and how much she cared about the new people in her life as well. I did get a bit disgruntled that she didn’t talk to Will about everything but I also know that when you’re hiding something, it’s probably not easy to just bring it all out into the open. I loved how much she had grown between her past self and her future self but also how much she progressed throughout the book as well. She was definitely and strong and fascinating character to have at the forefront of this book.

Would you recommend this book?
Absolutely. It is an incredible read that will truly hook you from the beginning and will, hopefully, shock you to your core by the end of it too. It’s the type of book that drip feeds you information and leaves you guessing before the big reveal. But even then because we had past and present, there was still more to occur. It was truly wonderful and everything you could wish for with a twisty, heart-racing and addictive thriller. So if you’re looking for a book that is full of vibrant characters, has a dark heart and an ultimate reveal at the end, then you should definitely make sure you read this book.

One sentence summary (Verdict)
An addictive, fast-paced, heart-wrenching thriller read that will have you reaching for the tissues as well as feeling pure hope and happiness too. A whirlwind of a read that you really do not want to miss.
Verdict: A very entertaining, fun and quick read that celebrates diversity and being a little bit different.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: April 2015
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 461
Genre: Thriller
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Library Copy
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One of Us is Lying

Karen M.McManus
Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.
Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.
Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.
Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.
And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again. He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.
Everyone has secrets, right?
What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Five high school students – a geek, a jock, a criminal and a gossip – walk into detention…only four leave. After the sudden death of Simon, the creator of an infamous gossip blog, the four other students see themselves pursued in a relentless police investigation -thrust into the position of murder suspects as it comes to light that Simon was only 24 hours away from posting their deepest secrets online. This YA psychological thriller follows the twists and turns of this murder investigation, examining the role of the media, the evolving relationships of the suspects and the repercussions of this shocking murder on this small American town.

From the very first line McManus captures the readers attention, as we delve deeper and deeper into the story line. We see such vast evolvement of plot with multiple character point of views, creating a three dimensional insight into the investigation, whilst providing many layers of perspective that contribute to the overall suspense and pace of the novel.

The reader comes to question the involvement of all the characters at different points in the novel, serving to add a great sense of suspense and suspicion that overall makes the book vey addictive! Although at times predictable, McManus constructs subtle plot twists, in such a way in which their significance only comes to light later in the story, in doing so the reader enjoys a vast and relatively complex plot line.

Whilst examining the police investigation and changing attitudes of the public; in a similar vein to Breakfast Club, McManus looks at the interaction between social circles. We see great evolvement in the relationships of these characters, who would other wise never interact, but have been uniquely bonded by the experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the aspects of friendship in this book as we see both the deterioration of relationships and the formation of new ones, as the investigation deepens.

The book also has a romantic subplot, which whilst at sometimes subtracted from the overall plot, served to add a sense of anticipation and excitement, of which overall effectively contributed to the development of character in the book.

I found the ending to be relatively predictable, yet the author still managed to retain a sense of satisfaction as the outcome is skilfully weaved throughout the plot. Furthermore, McManus effectively injected the right about of action and pace along side psychological suspense, creating an ending that kept me thinking about the book days after I finished it.

Verdict: Overall “One of Us is Lying” is a fast paced and vastly enjoyable read, that has been skilfully constructed in order to maintain constant suspicion and anticipation. I would most definitely recommend this for lovers of murder mysteries and would be especially perfect for lovers of 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough, Running Girl by Simon Mason and fans of the Breakfast Club.

Reviewed by Evie (15)

Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date:June 2017
Format: Paperback
Genre: Thriller
Age: YA
Reviewer: Evie (15)
Source: Own copy
Challenge: Debut Author
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