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Katey (uk)

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The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends)
The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends)
Price: £3.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Relatable, 1 May 2016
A classic children's book about a cat, a mouse, a cricket and a boy. Set mainly in Times Square subway station, George Selden's gentle tale gives the reader a flavour of New York life, and even though it was written in 1960 it's still charming and relatable. Garth Williams accompanying illustrations are gorgeous.

Miss Brill (Penguin Little Black Classics)
Miss Brill (Penguin Little Black Classics)
by Katherine Mansfield
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £0.80

3.0 out of 5 stars Captures character and setting so well in a short word count, 1 May 2016
This collection of short stories in the Penguin Little Black Classics collection interested me as I have been meaning to read Mansfield's work for a while. That's the great thing about the series - it's a brilliant way to try new authors. The story of the title was my favourite, an examination of loneliness, whilst the other two both centred around relationships. Whilst I admire Mansfield's writing and ability to capture character and setting so well in a short word count, it hasn't made me buy any more of her works as yet.

Hot Gimmick: v. 1
Hot Gimmick: v. 1
by Miki Aihara
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars PIqued my interest but also infuriated me!!, 1 May 2016
This review is from: Hot Gimmick: v. 1 (Paperback)
I picked up Hot Gimmick at the library because I was drawn to the cover. I loved the style of the art especially the wide-eyed characters and the simplicity in the strong lines. The cover is typical of the style throughout this manga.

The actual plot of Hot Gimmick made uncomfortable reading at times as Ryoki's bullying of nervous Hatsumi is sexual - he's pressurising her to try and make her do things she doesn't want to do. This didn't sit well with me at all and at one point I almost put it down because I found it so disturbing - probably worse than in other fictions that cover similar topics because it's visually played out through the artwork.

However, I did keep reading because I cared enough to know what would happen next and I hoped that with the return of Hatsumi's friend Azusa she'd become more confident and stop giving in to Ryoki's blackmailing.

I was so irate with this book for a number of reasons but I will go and get volume 2 from the library because I'm curious enough to find out what happens next.

Princess Jellyfish 1
Princess Jellyfish 1
by Akiko Higashimura
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect introduction to manga, 1 May 2016
This review is from: Princess Jellyfish 1 (Paperback)
Fangirls and romance are an irresistible combination and Princess Jellyfish absolutely nails it. From the moment I was introduced to Tsukimi I knew this was a young woman I could relate to. Her and her friends the Amars are socially awkward and devote their lives to their passions in trains, manga and kimonos. They're disinterested in fashion and no real desire to fit in. So when a beautiful woman bursts into their life and shows no sign of taking the hint to leave, everything changes.

Princess Jellyfish was a perfect introduction to manga. Firstly, the art is absolutely gorgeous. When I finished reading I started again so I could really appreciate it in its own right. And it was also really, really helpful that the characters were visually different. I wasn't ever wondering which character was which because they all had individual styles. The story was compelling - familiar enough because it followed the trope of the misfit, yet with a new twist. It was humorous and light hearted yet still dealt with issues such as societal expectations, politics (on an accessible level!) and grief. I'd urge anyone keen to try manga to start with Princess Jellyfish - I can't wait for volume 2 to be released in June!

Kiss Him, Not Me 1
Kiss Him, Not Me 1
by Junko
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Wish this had been a double/omnibus!, 1 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kiss Him, Not Me 1 (Paperback)
Kiss Him, Not Me! is one of the most popular shojo manga series at the moment. When Kae's favourite anime character dies, she's bereft - so bereft that she goes from plain and overweight into the hottest girl around in a fortnight. It soon becomes the typical ugly duckling/'fat girl loses weight and becomes desirable' story when four boys are suddenly interested in Kae and are willing to overlook her obsession with manga to get her to choose them over the others.

It's an entertaining read and I can see why it's done so well, I just wish the story didn't revolve around Kae's weight/transformation. On a personal level, that touched a nerve.

The other thing I found slightly confusing was how the male characters looked similar - it made it hard at times to differentiate between them. There were a few times I had to break my stride to refer back to previous boxes to work out which boy was which.

However, I'll definitely be reading volume 2 and just wish this volume had been a double/omnibus!

True Face: Be Real. Be Fearless. Be You!
True Face: Be Real. Be Fearless. Be You!
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars and a lovely blogger friend recommended that this book might be helpful, 23 Mar. 2016
I first heard about True Face in the summer of 2015. I've spent my whole life feeling uncomfortable about my body and how I look, and a lovely blogger friend recommended that this book might be helpful. Off the back of her recommendation, I asked for this for Christmas from my sister in law.

I have to admit that I was initially a bit sceptical. I don't read a lot of self-help books, I'm not really in the target market for this teen book and my issues are so deeply ingrained that it was hard to think it might benefit me. On that count, I've got to hold my hands up and say I was wrong. It really made me consider what I could do to make myself as happy as I could be, in terms of changing and accepting my body and making time for the things that are important to me.

The strength of this book is Siobhan Curham's honesty. Through sharing her own experiences she conveys how it is possible to take control and change your own life for the better - sometimes through small adjustments, sometimes through larger ones, but all through learning to accept and then love your true self.

There are reflective activities throughout the book, such as thinking about the things that made you happy as a child - would those things still make you happy now? Do you still do them? If not, why not? As someone who often says I've not changed much in terms of my hobbies and interests, it was a useful exercise and I've changed my routine to make time for more of what makes me happy.

I'm never going to be an extrovert and I'm probably always going to be one of life's worriers, but taking time to consider what makes me who I am helped me develop a confidence and self-belief that enabled me to push myself in numerous aspects of my life - my work at pre-school, my writing, and yes, my weight loss.

Recommended for anyone who needs reminding of their own self worth.

Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors
by B A Paris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstandingly good read, 13 Feb. 2016
This review is from: Behind Closed Doors (Paperback)

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.

I haven't read a thriller in a while. Although I enjoy reading a book that gets my heart racing with nerves, I prefer a psychological slant rather than blood, guts and gore. There are plenty of those out there, especially with the rise in popularity of 'domestic noir', but few really hit the spot for me. Behind Closed Doors was all about mind games, both between the couple in the book and between author and reader, and that's what made it such a gripping, intense read.

This book was so much better than the blurb suggests and I'll tell you why.

Firstly, although it's obviously marketed as a thriller, the early scenes where Jack and Grace get together are so full of love, kindness and empathy that it's difficult to believe just how depraved things are going to get. B.A Paris lulled me into a false sense of security and then horrified me with what followed.

Secondly, the blurb makes out that there are people doubting the perfect marriage Grace and Jack portray. The truth is, people believe what they want to believe. With their gorgeous country house, Jack's respectable job and patiently awaiting the arrival of Grace's sister Millie's moving in date, they seem to have it all. But behind closed doors their relationship is far from enviable. Away from the public eye Jack is anything but nice. The realisation that this scenario could quite plausibly be happening in houses all over the country was genuinely terrifying.

As the story progresses and both Grace and Millie's lives are increasingly in danger, I could feel the fear creeping inside me. The terror of what could happen loomed large and I squirmed uncomfortably as I reached the final pages. However, nothing matched the tingle that ran down my spine as I read the powerful final line.

Behind Closed Doors is an outstandingly good read.

Mind Your Head
Mind Your Head
Price: £3.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Every school library should have a copy of this book, 6 Feb. 2016
This review is from: Mind Your Head (Kindle Edition)
There's a real need for more accessible, age appropriate non-fiction specifically for young adults. After all, they're going through a lot of the same issues as their not-so-young adult counterparts and the self-help section in bookshops seems to be growing at a ridiculously fast rate.

In Mind Your Head, Juno Dawson talks frankly about mental health issues - including sharing her own experiences - and the result is an entertaining and informative guide to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bullying, peer pressure and many more relevant-to-teen topics. It's almost like chatting with a straight-talking, no nonsense friend, as Juno brings a touch of humour to some sensitive subjects. There were times where, as someone who suffers with anxiety and body confidence issues, I personally would have preferred a gentler approach, but I'm aware hyper-sensitivity is part of my own mental health make up. And of course, many people respond well to a frank message as opposed to the softy-softly pussyfooting I favour.

The illustrations from Gemma Correll add to the non-threatening package of Mind Your Head and I can imagine it'll appeal to the target audience - and anything that encourages taking responsibility for your own wellbeing (and this goes for all age groups) can only be a good thing.

I really hope this flies off the shelves - honestly, every school library should have a copy of this book.

Fire Colour One
Fire Colour One
by Jenny Valentine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice enough read, but didn't pack the punch I was hoping for, 6 Feb. 2016
This review is from: Fire Colour One (Paperback)
I've been reviewing for a long time - here on Books with Bunny, on Amazon, Goodreads, book forums...and normally it's a fairly easy process. I've either liked a book or haven't. I've appreciated the writing or I haven't. I've liked (or hated, or connected in some way with) the characters or I haven't. But when it comes to this book, it's very difficult for me.

Personally, I found it incredibly 'middling' in every sense. Whilst it was readable, I wasn't swept away and after I'd put it down I didn't find myself itching to pick it back up. I'd expected it to feel incredibly edgy because of Iris' pyromania, and I half hoped for an element of danger which never really took over to the extent I'd hoped.

That's not to say I didn't like Fire Colour One. Iris was an interesting protagonist, a sparky (in more ways that one) female who is fighting against the materialistic world she's part of. But for some reason I found it hard to connect with her, and although I did care (especially when her dreadful mother was making my skin crawl with her greed and selfcentred ways) something didn't quite click.

The main strength of Fire Colour One was the stylised writing. Every so often a sentence would blow me away because it was so beautiful to read. And the ending had me cheering in delight! However, there was something lacking for me in this short read that I can't quite put my finger on - it just didn't 'zing'.

A nice enough read, but didn't pack the punch I was hoping for.

Cold Feet at Christmas
Cold Feet at Christmas
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars My first Debbie Johnson book, it won't be my last, 22 Jan. 2016
It took me a while to get into this one - I'd made the mistake of judging a book by its cover and had been expecting 'chicklit' (this was a pretty hot romance). I'd also taken the cold feet to mean a nervous bride, rather than one who'd been jilted - the cold feet of the title were literal, rather than metaphorical. The first section was built mainly around the sexual attraction between the two lead characters, with hints at the secrets of their pasts dropped in. I definitely found the second half of the book 'meatier' and as I found out more about the characters and their lives it explained some of their choices and behaviours. I also loved the Chicago scenes and reliving my own night up the Hancock Tower. Why more books aren't set there I don't know, because it really is a city with everything going for it. I'm looking forward to reading more Debbie Johnson now, and hear great things about her most recent release, Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper.

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