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Strong as Death
Strong as Death
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Let magic sing..., 14 Jun. 2016
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This review is from: Strong as Death (Kindle Edition)
Julia Lund weaves a magical world through beautiful description and words that make her tale sing.
I was quickly entranced by Minnie's story and smiled every time I opened the book to continue reading as if it was a hidden pleasure - and it was.
If you've ever been an awkward teen, and believe me, they're are lots of us out there, you'll relate to Minnie and you'll love her.
You'll smile with each faux pas and the author's ability to weave humour through a lyrical story is masterful.
This book begins with a faux pas that will endear the protagonist to you and you'll revel in beautifully written well rounded characters who are instantly relatable. The relationships dance through the book and the dark theme shadows slowly and deliberately, teasing you with just enough information to keep you reading!
Then, when you're comfortable you're thrown a curve ball and everything changes. I was surprised in the change of direction that the story took but it flowed and I was captivated.
Lund's writing, her beautiful prose and fascinating, yet believable, characters, enchanted me and kept me reading, desperate to know the outcome of the turn of events.
This is a story that will stay with you, one that will dance though your mind for days. Let the composition that is Strong As Death sing to you.

Heroes (Puffin Teenage Fiction)
Heroes (Puffin Teenage Fiction)
by Robert Cormier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Who are the real heroes?, 24 May 2016
This is an unflinching book of lost chances, sorrow and atonement. I picked it up to read in one sitting, as my daughter studied it for GCSE, and I’m glad I did. This is the tale of a soldier returning from war, nursing his injuries, both physical and emotional. On paper he is a hero, inside he feels like a fraud.

The story captivates you from the beginning, taking you on a journey through his injuries and his childhood. A young man lost amid his own lack of confidence, rescued by belief and love. The story moves from present to past and back again as love surfaces through his shy countenance and self-belief burgeons. However, betrayal sends him to war, and it’s only upon his return that he decides to atone, his facial wounds offering him both anonymity and opportunity.

I read Robert Cormier as a teen myself, and he places himself in the mind of his characters perfectly. The shyness of a boy in love epitomised in the sentence ‘The earth paused in its orbit.’ Oh, yes, many of us have been there, and Cormier’s brilliance as a writer throws out some gorgeous prose, some of which brought tears to my eyes.

Who are the real heroes? A short but beautifully satisfying read.

Son of Anubis
Son of Anubis
by Stacy Bennett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Son of Anubis enchanted me., 28 April 2016
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This review is from: Son of Anubis (Paperback)
This is an urban fantasy that dipped me into a world of Egyptian myth and didn't feel out of place. I slipped right in and enjoyed a unique story!

To begin with if you love dogs then this book is for you, and if you have a German Shepherd – even more so! The author effortlessly moves through the book from several points of view, including Becca's partner, a working German Shepherd, and I loved the attention to detail in the dog's chapters. Every nuance I notice in my own dog at home made me smile as Stacy Bennett described the canine's emotions and quandaries...and several times, early on, I felt the need to hug my own pup!

I adore Stacey Bennett's writing and her ability to portray raw emotion and draw you into another world. Her talent for writing helps you visualise the story and you’ll be captivated.

This is a short tale, but the writing is beautifully descriptive and evocative, and you'll enjoy the thought put into this little story. The premise (a twist on the werewolf genre) is something I haven’t seen before and I loved it.

I am truly looking forward to much more from this enchanting author!

The Slow Regard of Silent Things: A Kingkiller Chronicle Novella (Kingkiller Chronicle 3)
The Slow Regard of Silent Things: A Kingkiller Chronicle Novella (Kingkiller Chronicle 3)
by Patrick Rothfuss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer evocative beautyfor those who love the unusual and surreal..., 11 April 2016
If you want a story with a beginning, middle and end - this is not the book for you. If you want to learn Auri's back story, or any story, this is not where you'll find it. But if you want a book that will make you feel, that will entrance you, and will make your emotions tingle with love, sadness, fear, anger, delight, beauty and so much more - this is your book.

This is a snippet of Auri's life, just a few days, and you won't learn where she comes from, or why, or how, or anything, except you'll get a glimpse into the most evocative world, a world that doesn't make sense, but makes all the sense in the world.

Rothfuss warns readers right at the start not to read the book without reading 'In The Name of The Wind' and 'The Wise Man's Fear', and explains that it's unlike other books, so reader's already know they are about to dip into something strange and surreal. Contrary to the author's request, I have not yet read his prior books, but I will, because his writing has bewitched and enthralled me, and I want more.

This vignette - Rothfuss' words - is to me a moment, a delving into my own mind, a tale that encapsulates my own psyche and something that tells me that I'm not alone. It's a testament to the beauty that lives within my soul and rises above the mundane.
This book put butterflies in my stomach, waves of anger in my head, falling tears on my cheek, and enveloped me in a blanket joy that hugged my heart.

Patrick Rothfuss can reduce me to a flurry of tears with just two words. ‘Auri wept.’ And that pretty much sums up this tale for me...sheer beauty.

I have lost myself and found myself within Auri's tale.

All The What Ifs
All The What Ifs
Price: £2.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic and beautiful…, 15 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: All The What Ifs (Kindle Edition)
If you’re looking for an authentic and beautifully written YA, then this is it.

Right from the very first page you are drawn into young Ashley’s life filled with unbearable tension and anxiety. Ashley’s vulnerability and her mother’s nervous fluttering introduce you to the man who rules their lives with an iron rod. Skip forward to her final year at High School: Ashley’s life is planned out with rigid precision and she’s about to buckle under the strain of the pressures placed upon her by her intimidating father.

This is a tale that demands your attention as the protagonist fights her demons and begins to discover her own dreams. I was surprised at my own reactions to Ashley’s life. I wept as she underwent experiences very close to some of my own, and I guarantee you’ll fall for this gauche, nervous teen as you urge her on.

Angela Lynn’s writing is superb. She gets right inside the heads of not only her protagonist, but all the supporting characters too. Her dialogue and turns of phrase are among some of the most authentic I’ve come across creating a fantastic YA novel. Ashley’s discovery of self and all the firsts that come her way are delightful, and her beautifully honest first love will tug at your heart. Humour, honesty and some true moments of joy will beguile you, and you’ll be as keen as I am to read more from this author after this lovingly crafted debut.

The Drowned Phoenician Sailor
The Drowned Phoenician Sailor
Price: £2.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and profound…, 8 Jan. 2016
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If you’re looking for a beautifully poignant character study, written with charming prose and style, this book is for you.

This is a character driven story with a delightfully flawed and fascinating protagonist in Fynn/Kaya. Fynn is in therapy, but right at the start her sessions are rudely interrupted by fate, and she finds herself embroiled in unexpected family drama.

Psychology runs throughout the novel challenging Fynn’s cynicism as her life takes unforeseen turns. I was hooked early on – keen to see where the author was taking me and I wasn’t disappointed. I kept reading, unfurling Fynn’s story and smiling every time I was lead around a new corner. Even when I was sure I knew where I was heading, the reveals and twists delighted and satisfied me.

Hayes understands the human condition (as far as anyone can appreciate our quirks) and her writing draws you in with humour and pathos, and some profound paragraphs. Oh, and I loved Morpheus, if you’re a cat-lover you’ll understand!

I especially love the name of the book and Hayes invites you, in her preface, to decide which character you think deserves the titular tribute – I nodded my head sagely and made my choice at the close of the novel…who will you choose?

This is a real voyage of discovery and I’m excited to see where this author’s books can take me in the future.

A Child's Christmas in Wales
A Child's Christmas in Wales
Price: £5.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little Christmas Gem, 14 Nov. 2015
I know I read this many years ago, but failed to appreciate its beauty when still young. I picked it up again and though it’s a very quick read, essentially a poem or piece of short prose, I loved it!

Thomas has a lyrical nature and style that resonates with me, which I appreciate in many of his works. This little book is written in the style of reminiscence, an adult overindulging in his childhood memories. I have no idea how much is anecdotal or simply imaginary, but it evokes a sense of a traditional British Christmas and the delight it offers to a child.

Passages describing the snow, and how the boys pelt local cats with snowballs, and insights into a Welsh Christmas abound, are all written in gorgeous prose and simple beauty.

This book is a gem, a delightful moment to delve into memories, your own or Dylans!

A Life, Freed (A Rowan Slone Novel Book 3)
A Life, Freed (A Rowan Slone Novel Book 3)
Price: £2.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully heartfelt…, 14 Nov. 2015
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This is the third and final book in the Rowan Slone series and I, again, got caught up within her life.

Nothing is ever simple in Rowan’s life, and even when she thinks she’s on an even keel her boat hits stormy waters. Now she must stay afloat when all around her begin to collapse. She must support her best friend, Jess, and help her cope with her young baby, while she, herself, struggles to complete college work, hold down her job, and face her past once more.

I love Hewitt Meyer's ability to entwine description into the story, to bring moments of beauty to moments of despair. This book will dip into each of your senses as Rowan tries to pull her life out of a tailspin. The writing is clear, crisp and emotional, and once again Hewitt Meyer will tug at your heartstrings.

If you want a true-to-life YA novel, this is it, Rowan Slone tackles real issues and you’ll empathise. Another great page-turner and a fitting close to Rowan’s tale. I’m looking forward to more from this insightful, gritty, and heart-warming author.

Edgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire
Edgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire
Price: £1.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully unusual and intriguing!, 26 Oct. 2015
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This story held my attention and delighted me with its wonderful description and characters. This is a tale of gothic fantasy and contemporary relationships which will intrigue you.

Edgar is a teenager with an obsession for graveyards and history. He very soon finds himself in direct competition with the local society of ladies hunting down the fabled lost grimoire. Some fabulous characters emerge, one of my favourites being Corinthian, the cemetery attendant, who helps Edgar in his search. Edgar enlists the help of fellow teen Shelby and they get wrapped up in a beautifully described relationship and detective work.

You will love the history intertwined with the contemporary setting and a tale that will both delight and enchant you. I am looking forward to reading much more from this author and Edgar Wilde!

A Life, Forward: A Rowan Slone Novel
A Life, Forward: A Rowan Slone Novel
Price: £2.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Gut-wrenching and heartfelt…, 26 Oct. 2015
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What I love about Hewitt Meyer's writing is her raw honesty.

This is the second book in the Rowan Slone series and Rowan is struggling with the consequences of the cards her life has dealt. Rowan has to decide whether she can forgive her family, and there's nothing twee about her feelings and reactions. Hewitt Meyer keeps it real and shows the pain and conflict in Rowans life with great writing and compassion.

In real life resolution comes slowly and sometimes not at all, and you'll feel for Rowan as her life refuses to move as she wishes it would.

Rowan's life on the page is real, as real as any teen's life today. You will be moved as she tries to come to terms with her new and changing world. These characters are people who will remain in your mind as deeply the author's authenticity.

This book is a real page-turner and its heartfelt beauty will draw you in as you find out if Rowan can get her life back on track...

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