MG Mini Reviews!

Hello friends!

How are you this fine Friday? 

I thought I’d do some mini reviews for some brilliant MG books I’ve read recently because I wanna give every book a space on my website, but sometimes I don’t have time to write full reviews of everything (especially since it seems in January I have been reading like it’s going out of fashion ha!)

Check out my mini reviews of 6 recent MG reads!

Sequin and Stitch – Laura Dockrill

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“Sequin’s mum is a talented seamstress and their little flat is overflowing with beautiful silks, fabrics, buttons and beads. It’s a sparkling sanctuary, like a princess’s wardrobe. While Mum works at her sewing machine late into the night, Sequin takes care of her baby brother, Stitch, and dreams of a place in the spotlight for her brilliant mum. But when tragedy strikes, their shimmering world disintegrates and Sequin is forced to confront the biggest loss of all…”

The brilliant humans of Barrington Stoke sent me a review copy of this and I tell you what it broke my heart. Like in that very quiet way books sometimes do. It’s a gorgeous story about a young girl who wants to stand up for her brilliant mam and a mother who is trying to keep it together all the while dealing with something quite shocking. I definitely didn’t see a lot of the shocks coming. This is a gorgeous story filled with love. It’s a short book which packs quite a punch and I wasn’t expecting it to hit me as hard as it did! 

Guardians of Magic – Chris Riddell

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“For as long as anyone can remember, children have made a wish on a cloud horse, never quite believing that their wishes will come true. But times are changing. The future of magic is in danger. Enemies are working together to destroy it – especially the magic of nature and its most powerful source, The Forever Tree. Unless three brave children fight back and believe in the impossible, soon magic and the cloud horses will be gone. Zam, Phoebe and Bathsheba don’t yet know how powerful they are…”

This was actually my first read of 2020 and what a way to kick off the year! This is a brilliant story about the fight between good and evil. There’s magic, fantsatical creatures and twists on fairytales (which let’s be honest, we all know I am a massive fan of). I love that this story was told through 3 different pairs of eyes, from 3 different perspectives. The three characters battle through their own lives so differently, but what brings them together are enchanted items they never thought they’d own. I loved how the beautiful illustrations added so much to the story – you could give me a book of just Chris Riddell illustrations and I’d be a happy bunny! I hope there’s more to come from this series because these kids have great promise! 

Hotel Flamingo: Holiday Heatwave and Carnival Caper

Holiday Heatwave
The temperature is rising, which can only mean one thing: it’s summer! Bookings are up at Hotel Flamingo and the hotel is getting busy. Anna is excited to receive word from King Penguin royalty asking to holiday in their Royal Suite. But there’s a lot to get done, and it’s not easy to manage the needs of the penguins when there’s a heatwave on and a huge ice shortage. Help! Can Anna get Hotel Flamingo back to its usual shining self and have happy guests all round?

Carnival Caper
 It’s the last of the autumn days before winter sets in, which means it’s time for CARNIVAL! Animal Boulevard is a riot of colour, and every establishment is preparing a float for the procession. Anna is determined to win the prize for Hotel Flamingo for the best display. Things start to get complicated when Anna gets some very unexpected guests – the mega-famous band The Nocturnal Animals! How will she keep their stay a secret? Then on top of this, disaster strikes! Can Anna save the Carnival, the band and the day? 

I’m a big fan of these books. They are jam-packed full of colour and illustrations as well as being such great stories. Anna is a wonderful character to be running the hotel as she just wants what’s best for her guests. Whether it’s the royal family with their very demanding ways or a famous band with their horrible manager, or just every single customer! I’d love to stay in the Hotel Flamingo as you’re guaranteed a good stay. Anna does everything with kindness and with her team at her call, there’s nothing they can’t achieve! 

Bad Nana: Older Not Wiser and That’s Snow Business

Older Not Wiser
Jeanie’s Grandma is BAD. Not bad like a vampire or a gangster or anything, more like . . . up to no good. Sometimes she can be a bit embarrassing but most of the time she’s REALLY fun, especially when she gets Jeanie involved in her mischievous schemes. Everyone says she’s old enough to know better . . . but she doesn’t seem to care one bit. In fact, Jeanie thinks she might quite like it!

That’s Snow Business
There’s a local winter talent show, and the whole town is SO excited. Especially as the SPECTACULAR Bobby Trulove is in charge. He’s an old friend of Bad Nana’s and he’s quite, erm, dramatic! The day before the show, a freak weather storm hits, and leaves the town snowed in. Can Bad Nana save the show?

These books are a whole load of fun (so much so I read them both in the space of about half an hour and then promptly ordered myself the other one because I didn’t realise there was another one!). Bad Nana is a brilliant character: she’s a nana with a twinkle in her eye. She’s got a touch of naughtiness in her but she’s an awful lot of fun! You never know what antics she’s going to get up to and in That’s Snow Business she lets the spotlight get to head and starts to spoil the fun for everyone else. These books are great for beginner readers because they’re brilliantly illustrated and are such fun! 

And there we have it! A round up of some of the MG books I’ve read recently. 

Have you read any of these books?
Can you recommend me any books like this?
What’s been your best read recently?

Talk to me! I’d love to know what you’re all reading! 

S x 

ThursTag: My A-Z of books

Hello!

This is another of those tags which I had stashed in my MASSIVE TAG DOCUMENT. I figured I would give it its time to shine! So here we go with this week’s tag:

ThursTag A-Z

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Probably Matt Haig! He’s written a fair few kids books and adult books.

Best sequel ever:

WOAH. NO. Although, I’ll probably hand it to Song of Sorrow. I know: you’re all shocked!

Currently reading:

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As I type this (on Sunday), I’m reading Otto and the Tattercoats by Matilda Woods! 

Drink of choice while reading:

Depends where I am as to if I’m even drinking anything at all. However if I have to say ONE thing, it’s probably tea! Breakfast tea preferably!

E-reader or physical book:

I mean, I’m team BOOKS, but if I have to, it’s PHYSICAL books all the way!

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school:

Would have? None of them would have dated me haha!
Would have wanted to? Probably Emily from No Big Deal. She’s amazing.

Glad you gave this book a chance:

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The Smoke Thieves. I almost gave up on it part way through because it just wasn’t doing much for me, but I enjoyed it by the end!

Hidden gem book:

My go to answer for this probably isn’t much of a hidden gem around these parts anymore, but I’ll go for Viper by Bex Hogan because I never see many people talking about it and I want more people to read it!

Important moment in your reading life:

Is it cliche to say the moment I wrote my first review on my blog? Or the first time I went to a blogger event? As an adult, they’ve been really important to me. As a child, I’d say it was finding Miss Honey in Matilda. She showed me the person I wanted to be as an adult.

Just finished:

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Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann. It was bloody brilliant. It’s out later this year from Penguin and I think people are going to ADORE it.

Kind of books you won’t read:

There’s nothing that’s every completely off my list, but I’m not likely to read anything political, erotic or historical (unless it’s children’s or YA ha!)

Longest book you’ve ever read:

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Longest book in recent times? The Toll by Neal Shusterman. I need all of you to read the Scythe series because it is REMARKABLE.

Major book hangover:

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven. I finished that and was like ‘How do you top that? How do you get more than that?’ I loved that book with all that I could possibly be.

Number of bookcases you own:

In my house? 1. But that doesn’t account for all of the boxes I store books in haha

One book you’ve read multiple times:

I only really have one answer for this because I’m not a rereader: Matilda. Although I do end up rereading books when I read them with my kids, so I guess that’s not entirely true!

Preferred place to read: 

On a bus/train, or sat in a comfy corner of a cafe with a cuppa. Either by myself or on a reading date.

Quote that inspired you/ Gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

Oh lord, I’m so bad with this kind of thing. I don’t know. Emily’s speech at the end of No Big Deal though.

Reading regret:

Hmmm. I don’t know? I don’t think I have one… that I can think of!

Series you started and need to finish:

I’m really good at finishing series that I’ve started (WHEN the books are out anyway). I can’t think of one off the top of my head that I’ve started and not finished and all of the books are out.

Three of your all time favourite books:

You guys know me by now. I refuse to answer these questions.

Unapologetic fangirl for:

Melinda Salisbury. Absolutely no shame.

Very excited for this release more than all others: 

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OH LORD. ONLY ONE? I can’t NOT say Hold Back The Tide.

Worst bookish habit:

Owning all the books and not reading them.

X marks the spot- start on the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber. A book I would wholeheartedly recommend to all of you. I love that book (and Katie) so much!

Your latest purchase:

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Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Zombies by Katie and Kevin Tsang. Such a fun series! If you’ve got kids, it’s a brilliant series!

Zzzzz Snatcher book (the book that kept you up way too late):

So so so so many books. I remember having an absolute marathon of reading the Harry Potter books for the first time a few years back. That was many late nights!

And there you go! The A-Z tag: done and dusted. If you fancy doin g this tag, go for it!

See you soon for more bookish fun!

S x

 

BOOK BLOG: ANNA HOGHTON

The Mask of Aribella: a complete victory!

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“On the eve of her birthday, Aribella discovers she has a secret power – when angered, flames shoot from her fingertips. Frightened, she runs away, only to be rescued by a magical organization of masked heroes with their own special skills. Aribella and her new friends have sworn to defend Venice, but can they defeat the evil rising from the Island of the Dead?”

The Mask of Aribella is one of those books with complete shelf appeal. I knew as soon as I saw it that I needed to own it in my life. As soon as I knew Waterstones Newcastle had it, I dashed to buy it and it jumped to the top of my TBR pile. 

If you look at the blurb it has so many things in that I absolutely love: magic, heroes, secrets, a battle between good and evil. And let me tell you it did not disappoint! 

The Mask of Aribella tells the story of Aribella, a young girl who learns she has a secret power. She’s torn away from her life and thrown into an incredibly different one: a one where appearances are not all the seem to be. She learns she has powers and has to learn how to control these powers, build new friendships and learn to trust this new bunch of people around her. She hears stories of murder, magic and secrets. She’s not sure who to trust, but knows that she needs to trust someone. 

This book just completely stole my heart. There’s so much I loved about this book. It’s so many juxtapositions in one book: light vs dark; reality vs appearances; good vs evil; secrets vs lies. It’s written so beautifully. There’s characters who you will absolutely fall for. There’s baddies who were a bit terrifying and goodies who were wonderful. It’s perilous. It’s danger. It’s dark and mysterious. There’s a setting that just oozes with temptation and magic. 

I read this book in a matter of hours and I can’t speak highly enough of it.

Aribella is a wonderful main character: she doesn’t shy away from showing fear, but she’s also incredibly brave. She fights for what she thinks is right. She stands up for her friends. She shows kindness and her fierceness in abundance. She makes mistakes and makes moves to fix them. 

And then there’s Rodolfo. My friends, I think he’s just magnificent. He’s Aribella’s mentor and we all know I love a good mysterious, positive role model in a book. I’d love to know more about him. In fact, I’d love a Rodolfo book. If that could happen, I’d appreciate that. He’s just that perfect mix of mysterious, kind, supportive and strict. He’s got secrets and he’s got a history. I can tell. He’s a brilliant character to read. 

I really enjoyed reading the magic in this story (lol, this is not a surprise to anyone). I loved all of the different portrayals of magic with the different characters and the relationship the magicians have with their masks was gorgeous. (I did read this whole book wondering what MY mask would look like!) It was all just wonderfully fascinating and I fell in love with the whole world. 

THE WORLD. Man, this book made me want to visit Venice. If someone would like to take me on holiday to Venice, I would appreciate that a lot. The descriptions of the city just made me very wanderlust-y (is that right?!). 

My Goodreads review: 

What a complete victory this book is. It’s magic and friendship; dark and light; good and evil. It’s believing in yourself and surrounding yourself with goodness. It’s dark stories of murder and magic. It’s beautiful Venice and not judging by appearances. BLOODY YES. I absolutely adored Rodolfo – he’s my fave. I would LOVE to know more about him!

So yes. Basically this review should tell you one thing… this book is magic and gorgeous AND YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY BUY IT. 

Have you read The Mask of Aribella?
What magic power would you have if you were magical?
What would you want your mask to look like if you went to the mask maker?

Let me know in the comments! I’d love to talk magic!

S x 

Letter to myself…

Every year, I write a letter to myself as a reminder of, I don’t even know what. But it’s a little space for me to just let out some steam; to give myself a pep talk when I need it most; to just talk through some of the things I need to talk through. I haven’t done one this year and I’m not sure why, so I’m sitting down now to do it. If this isn’t your jam, feel free to not read, but if you want to read, be gentle.

Hello you. It’s you!

Ha, that is a very meta way to start a letter, but here we go. It’s January 26th. Want to know why I’ve waited so long to write this, I don’t know why. Fear? Worry? Nothing to say? Too much to say? Whatever the reason, I’m here now. I’m sitting writing to you.

I’m not sure why you’ve come back to read this. Is something troubling you? Are you 10 years in the future Steph who is being nostalgic for another time? Are you a week’s time Steph and you’re worried that you’re sounding really self-indulgent? Are you not even Steph, but you want to know more? Welcome, reader, whoever you are.

I’m sitting writing this after a rough afternoon of anxiety centred around time. It’s the stupidest thing, but that’s that. I worried that I wouldn’t have enough time to do the things I need to do for work, so people would see that I’m a fraud and I’d be sacked, and in reality none of that is going to happen.

Anxiety is a funny old barrel of fish. It’s mostly irrational. I’ve come to realise that time is my biggest trigger. I have no idea why. Is it a control thing? I don’t know. I’m sure whichever Steph is reading this still has a time thing going on and that’s OK. Just don’t let it take over. Nothing’s going to happen because you’re out enjoying your Sunday. Routine is a marvellous thing, but being out of routine can be a little bit freeing. We both know routine is the thing that keeps us going (hello not coping in the holidays), but don’t be afraid to step outside of that routine occasionally. You’re allowed to live your life a little. 

As I sit here, there’s things that are bothering me and questions that I have: are they still bothering you?

Friendships? Health things? Single-ness? Weight? Life? Career? I’m sure if they’re not, there’s other things. If you’ve managed to work through some of those things, then take a minute to congratulate yourself or celebrate that. If not, that’s more than OK. Life isn’t always what you think it’s going to be. Remember 10-year-old Steph thinking that she’d be a teacher by 21, married by 25 and kids and a house by 30? Well none of those things happened, but the world didn’t fall apart. Some dreams take longer to reach.

If you’re thinking there’s lots of things still bothering you, talk about them. People will listen. You’ll have people around you who want to listen. I know you think you don’t want to bother people, but you won’t be BOTHERING YOU. They love you. That’s not bothering them. It bothers them if you don’t talk about them. They might not have the answers; they might not have the answers you want, but people will be there for you. Don’t isolate yourself because we both know that’s more dangerous than anything.

I’m rambling now, but I’m going to set out a few hopes I have for us. We don’t set resolutions because fear of failure and all that shit. A few hopes I have for us:

  • Ask for help when you need it: stubbornness and pride (a word many people wouldn’t associate with you but one that is REAL) are definitely part and parcel of who we are, but they aren’t always great traits. If you need help no matter how big or small the problem or question, I hope we grow enough to learn to ask for it.
  • Say no to things you don’t want to do/don’t have time to do: You can’t do everything for everyone and it’s not your job. It’s OK to say no because sometimes you have to prioritise you and whatever it is you want to do. I hope we choose to only do the things we want to do.
  • Break away from routine occasionally: whether it’s spending a Sunday doing no work, or it’s a Friday night and you go out, break out of your routine. The more times you do it, the easier it will be. I hope we choose to do fun things that enrich our lives away from work.
  • Do something spontaneous: it’s not part of who we are, but book a random hotel getaway or travel somewhere new. It doesn’t have to be far far away, but go somewhere new, you never know what you’re going to learn. Go visit Nat. You know you want to. I hope we visit somewhere or someone new.
  • Be comfortable doing more things by yourself: we’ve mastered eating breakfast, shopping and having coffee by ourselves, but go to the cinema, or go out for tea by yourself, it might be freeing. I hope we find a new thing that we are comfortable at doing alone.
  • Learn to love yourself a little bit more: I’m not asking for Ru Paul levels of love, but a bit. There’s ALWAYS something negative you can find to say about yourself, but next time you find yourself wanting to say something negative, find something positive to say. And then the time after that. And then the time after that. It’s only one thing at a time, but eventually it’ll be lots of little things. I hope we find space in our vocabulary for self-positivity.

Be kind to yourself. Come back to these things in 2021 and see what’s changed, if anything.

S x

S4S – Bookish habits

Morning!

How are you all? How are you all enjoying #SixforSunday this month? I hope you’re all having as fun as me! 

I’m here to share my post for today’s prompt:

Bookish habits I have

Now, as the person who came up with these prompts, you’d think I know what I meant by this… but I’m not sure I do, ha! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with for your posts for today. I bet there’s some really surprising habits going on! Anyway, let’s get on with today’s #SixforSunday

  1. Reading on all of the modes of transport
    I often find myself getting the LONG bus journey home (like I have to go out of my way to get on this bus) so that I can have some reading time. I so rarely want to read when I get in from work, so reading on my way home is my go to!
  2. Listening to music, and not
    This is a strange one… I can listen to music and read at the same time when I’m travelling, but if I’m reading in the house I can’t have ANY noise around me. And I’m not entirely sure what that’s about! 
  3. Buying books with the plan to read them… and then not
    Ha. I’m a serial book buyer. However, I can’t always read as quickly as I can buy… so my TBR piles don’t half pile up sometimes!
  4. Not using a bookmark
    I’m one of those people who will just remember the page I’m up to rather than using a bookmark or anything! I quite often use the press releases sent with the books or nothing. It’s not that I don’t own bookmarks… (trust me I do)
  5. Recommending the same books over and over
    You all know this about me. I recommend the same books over and over. Every now and again I’ll branch out, but I tend to stick to my faves. 
  6. Wanting to buy the sprayed edges/fancy versions of books
    I’m such a sucker for a gorgeous edition of a book that I quite often finding myself lusting after the beautiful versions of books. In fact, when I knew that State of Sorrow was going to be the Fairyloot book, I bought a box because I was not going to miss out on that special edition. I don’t always buy special editions of books because sometimes they are HELLA expensive, but I always always find myself lusting after them! 

Are these habits? Or no? I wanna say no, but I’m not sure what past me was getting at with bookish habits haha! 

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to share your post in the comments and on twitter using the hashtag #SixforSunday! You guys make me so happy!

S x 

BOOK BLOG: Louie Stowell

The Monster In The Lake: mermaids, magic and handsome librarians… what more could I need?

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“Kit is a wizard. The youngest wizard in the world, in fact. But her magic keeps going wrong, and all kinds of weird stuff has started happening – exploding fireballs, animals talking when they shouldn’t be, and a very strange new arrival in a nearby park. So Kit and her two best friends – along with their local librarian – set off to investigate, and to save the world… again.”

Having read Louie Stowell’s first book ‘The Dragon in the Library‘ I knew I needed to read this as soon as I spotted it in Waterstones. I won’t lie, I got SO excited when I saw it on the trolley that I had to pick it up and then I excitedly went over to talk to the booksellers about how glad I was they had copies in! 

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Monster (we’ll call it this for ease!) follows the story of Kit, a young magician who is still learning all about her magic, and the adventures she gets up to when she has to help when magic starts to go awry. It all starts when her practising of magic goes completely wrong (but others write this off as her being new to the whole thing, but she knows) and then animals start to talk. With the help of her friends, her mentor and a rather dashing mobile library magician, Kit helps to save the day! 

Just like Dragon, I thought this was such a brilliantly fun book. The plot is brilliant. Which kid doesn’t want to learn about mean mermaids, a monster who is in the wrong lake and a bunch of children who all have their own talents? This books is jam packed with some of the best characters around. Kit and her friends are a great mix. Plus, there’s a dragon that they have to keep asleep by going down to read tales to. And a magical library. 

Everything about this book appealed to me. 

Add all of these wonderful story telling things to a book which is SO BEAUTIFULLY illustrated by Davide Ortu and you’ve got a book that is as visually appealing as it is with its words. The illustrations add so much to the book that I often find myself just looking at them to learn more! 

This book is jam packed with nods to the importance of books and stories too… I mean what’s not to love?! 

This is going to be a perfect read for Year 3s. It’s got the perfect mix of illustration, plot and message to grip them! Plus its part of a series… who doesn’t love a series? (I know I can’t wait for the next book in the series… bring on September!) 

My Goodreads review:

I really enjoyed this! A lot of fun, magic and bookish references. What would you do if your magic was going awry and you were needed to save the day? I love Kit and her bunch of friends – they’re such great people. And I’m a big fan of Duncan!

S x 

p.s. Just here to say I think Duncan is wonderful *heart eyes*

 

ThursTag: The TBR tag

Hello friends!

It’s Thursday, so that can only mean one thing: TAG DAY.

Today I’m taking on the TBR tag. Another one from my back log of tags, so if this is yours let me know and I’ll credit you! I’m not really a TBR creator… I’m more of a book collector and then read them when I fancy them kind of gal!

Saying that, let’s go!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I have boxes of unread books at the foot of my bed and when I finish a book, I go to the boxes and choose the next book to read! I don’t have a list or anything: it’s just in my head/in those boxes!

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Mostly physical copies of books. My kindle is dead unfortunately (RIP KINDLE).

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest

I don’t know actually! There’s definitely some books a few years old on that list!

A book you recently added to your TBR

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If we’re talking a book I bought/acquired recently to add to my TBR, I’d have to say The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell. The brilliant humans of Usborne sent me a copy and I’m so excited to read it!

A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover

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I’m gonna be honest here and say that I am a COVER MAGPIE. I love a sparkly cover or a beautiful cover. I know you shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but if it’s got a pretty cover I am SO MUCH MORE LIKELY to pick it up. A book that’s clearly only there for its cover is The Surface Breaks (I’m not a Little Mermaid fan particularly).

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading

I mean I PLAN on reading all of the books on my TBR if we’re being honest… but some I’m going to get around to reading/am much more excited about reading than others.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for

Here’s just a few of them… (this was the first 6 that popped into my head!)

A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you

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There is only one answer for this… THUG.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you

Lol, see the answer above!

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read

I have none of these books in my physical possession yet, but as soon as I do, you KNOW I’ll be reading them. *prays the postman brings me Hold Back The Tide soon*

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

93 books on my ‘Want to Read’ shelf, but I don’t really use my ‘Want to Read’ shelf very well. I might actually go through and sort it out now!

And there we go! That was my TBR tag. As we have seen, I don’t have a physical TBR, but there are MANY books I want to read. I mostly haven’t read them yet because I don’t own them/don’t have time (god damn you work)

If you wanna have a go at this, feel free!

S x

BOOK BLOG: Hannah Capin

Foul is Fair: Menacing, reckless and delicious

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“Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target. They picked the wrong girl. Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.”

When I first heard about this book, I knew I needed to read it. I didn’t know much about it, but the WHOLE premise of it just spoke to me. It sounded like something I would ADORE and man, did I. I have SO MUCH LOVE for this book. It is DELICIOUSLY EVIL. It’s clever. It’s a little bit evil. It’s brilliantly written.

Foul Is Fair tells the story of Elle, a young girl who is sexually assaulted at a party. She’s fearless, smart, cunning and surrounded by a group of friends who will go to the end of the earth for her. This is a dangerous combination for Elle, as she’s out to get revenge. Revenge is the name of her game. She moves schools to be near to the boys who assaulted her and one by one she picks them off. There’s all kinds of dastardly deeds that go on with Elle and her group of friends. 

When I read this book, I didn’t realise (and I don’t know how I didn’t know) that there would be SUCH strong Lady Macbeth/Macbeth vibes, but my god. It made me love this book even more than I did in the first place. Any time anyone asks me about this book I say the same thing

“Imagine Lady Macbeth was a teenage girl who has been sexually assaulted and is out for blood” 

And I think that is SO BLOODY ACCURATE for this book. 

I think Lady Macbeth is one hell of a woman. She’s power-hungry, reckless, dangerous. Add this to a teenage girl who is out for blood and revenge for something that happened to her and you get Elle. 

Elle joins the school that the boys all attend and changes her identity so they don’t know who she really is. She cuts her hair, changes her name to Jade and infiltrates (pretty swiftly) the “popular” gang pretty quickly. Not everyone trusts her. She ends up in the innermost circle of the popular gang pretty quickly and that’s when things start going wrong: when things start happening to the boys. Of course, things aren’t plain sailing for Jade/Elle. She falls for one of the boys in the group. She falls for him hard. She thinks he’s an innocent in the whole thing, so thinks she can trust him. But is he as innocent as he seems in the whole situation?

With her coven at her side, she will stop at nothing to get vengeance for the thing that happened to her. Her friends come up with very clever plans to get to the boys. To get under their skin. To spook them. To hurt them. To make them doubt themselves. 

There are SO MANY parallels between this book and Macbeth. Anyone who is a Macbeth fan will love this (it’s my favourite play). I can’t sing enough of its praise to be able to tell you how menacing and revenge filled this is! 

My Goodreads review:

This book gives me mega strong Lady Macbeth vibes and I am HERE FOR IT. You can’t beat a murderous, rampaging coven of teenage girls seeking revenge. This is on the edge of reckless and menacingly clever. I am here for it.

And there you go! Massive thank you to the publishers, Penguin, for sending me a review copy… I have since made 3 people buy it to read it! If you’ve read this, please talk to me in the comments. I need more people who love it! 

Can you recommend me any Macbeth retellings?
Have you read Fair is Foul?
Do you have a favourite Shakespeare?

S x

Monday = Me day

Hello!

I’ve decided that I’m going to make Monday a “me” post day. By that I don’t mean I’m going to be posting all about me… but it’s not necessarily going to be a bookish day: it might be about school, about my life, about my MH: it’ll be something personal, not necessarily bookish. It MIGHT be bookish, but it won’t be a review. I always love when I get to learn more about a blogger and writing my post last week (see here) was such a great thing for me to do that I thought I’d love a space on this blog for me, the person, not just me the book blogger! I hope you guys stick around and read my Monday posts, but if they’re not your jam, that’s OK. There’ll still be plenty of bookish content the rest of the days! 

I’m going to kick off Me Day Mondays with a “happy post“. These are some of my favourite posts to write and to read. I stole the idea from my gorgeous friend Grace Latter (who is a proper babe and you should all be following her on all of the social medias if you’re not already) and I’ve well and truly taken it under my belt! 

Breakfasts with my friends. Spending time with my mam. Drinking wine on a Saturday afternoon like a fancy lady. Going back to work. New challenges. New friends. Getting so much joy out of teaching. Knowing that I’m working really hard and it’s having an impact. Reading books because I want to. Spending my birthday reading, having cake and talking about books. When people remember small things about me. Starbucks Fridays. Birthday videos from the twiglets. Getting lovely emails. Having people back in my life who’ve been gone a while. Seeing the look of joy in my kids faces when they’re enthusiastic about something. Reading Letters From The Lighthouse with the kids and them having so much enthusiasm about it. Laughing at my pal-o. Booking train tickets for London in Feb. Chocolate hob nobs and a cup of tea. Looking after myself. Buying tights that fit. Pyjamas. Clearing out my wardrobe. A new diary. Ticking off things on my to do list. Making time for meditating. Falling back to sleep on a weekend. Listening to Disney playlists as I’m marking. Being productive. Books. Always books. 

In light of ‘Monday Me Day’, I’d like to pass the torch on to you to find out what you’d like to know about me as a person? Have you got anything you’d like me to talk about? Is there anything you’d like to know about me? What do you want to see more of around here that isn’t books? 

S x 

S4S -“Me” book

Hello you gorgeous Sunday lot!

How are you doing on this fine sunny Sunday in Newcastle? What does today have in store for you? I’m probably going to be doing the usual: blogging, working, reading, showering and sleeping! I am SO FUN. I’m SO ROCK AND ROLL. 

Anyway. You’re here for this week’s installment of #SixforSunday. This week, #SixforSunday asks for:

Books people associate with me

Now I’m going for bookish things people associate with me (mainly authors and genres because I’m PREDICTABLE in my tastes!) I asked some friends and the kids at school and all of their responses were TOTALLY what I would expect… so I guess I have a brand and I’m sticking with it! 

  1. Melinda Salisbury
    I don’t think this one will come as a surprise to anyone. If you ask ANYONE on twitter to give you the author they associate with me, Mel would come first. I have an awful lot of pride in being known as #1 Mel fan. If you don’t know her books, please get on that.
  2. Maz Evans
    Miss, you’re constantly telling us about those books because you love them. It would be unfair if we didn’t say Maz. Does she know how much you love her books?” (said by one of the Y5s I taught last term)
  3. Sara Barnard
    Again, another one that didn’t surprise me when it came up. I love Sara. She’s an amazing person; she’s a wonderful human. Her books make me so bloody happy. I even have a ‘Goodbye Perfect’ mug. So yes, Sara. 
  4. Sprayed edges
    Miss, you get SO EXCITED when books have sprayed edges. They make you so happy” (they’re not wrong, I love a sprayed edge SO MUCH. The more unusual/gorgeous the better!)
  5. Middle grade fantasy books
    THESE GUYS ARE MY BLOODY JAM. My personal/class library at school is 75% fantasy and 25% contemporary MG books. I am such a sucker for fantasy books. 
  6. Magic
    This was a RESOUNDING answer from the kids I teach, and a lot of the people I asked. “If you could choose your perfect book, there’d be an awful lot of magic” (no shame. Gimme all dem magics)

I must also say, L.D.Lapinski came close to being 6th “because it’s the book you won’t shut up about at the minute miss and I mean that in the very best way. We love how much you talk about books“. 

So yes. I think that list is the most me list in the world. Some YA, some MG, some specific authors. If anyone wants to comment on what they associate with me, go for it! I’d love to know! 

Thank you so much to everyone who has joined in with #SixforSunday this week! 

See you next week! 

S x