Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Alice Dent and The Incredible Germs by Gwen Lowe (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E)

1st March 2018, Chicken House, 256 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Summary from Chicken House
 When Alice Dent gets a cold, she has no idea how much trouble it’s about to cause. 

Because this is no ordinary cold: it comes with some seriously weird side-effects. For a start, Alice can’t stop giggling and every animal she meets sticks to her like glue! But when the mysterious Best Minister for Everything Nicely Perfect and his scary masked henchmen come to take her away, Alice realizes her troubles are only just beginning …
Nayu's thoughts
It felt a bit ironic that I read this while I had a cold and was feeling a bit miserable so needed a laugh. During the first chapter I became worried that this would be quite a gloomy read despite what the press release said because the restrictions Alice and other children face because of a  new minister are horrifying, and in my head it felt a little dystopian-y (I totally made that word up but it's all I could think of to describe it). Mercifully the humour soon entered, and I absolutely loved it! I was afraid for Alice many times, but she finally gets some friends (albeit unusual ones), which made my heart happy because she deserved some love and support which was lacking from her own so-called family. 

Quite a lot of us live in a world where germs are frowned upon, disinfectant wipes are the norm, which is what makes Alice's tale so gripping - I could easily see this happen in the future, but hopefully it remains in fiction. While Alice's new school regime is terrifying, there are some absolutely splendid furniture elements which I want to try for myself despite not liking heights or large bodies of water. Gwen has created a brilliant world for readers to slide into with Alice (bad pun, sorry not sorry) and I for one am eager for book 2. 

It reminds me of a book whose title & author I can't remember (my memory is awful and I've read a lot of books) which meant that Alice's world felt familiar to me. I loved the secrecy from the adults on Alice's side, as well as the good organisations she encounters who are doing their way to fight the powerful enemy. Alice's task is daunting, but she is helped on her journey and I'm eager to reread the book just to enjoy the moments she realises people are her friends and somehow she will succeed in her mission to save children from the ridiculous health policies which would make my life miserable if I was in Alice's world.
Meet Gwen! Photo by Jonathan James

Suggested read

Monday, 12 March 2018

Over on Nayu's Crochet Dreams #41 Perilous Technology

Find out why I was sighing over my laptop today on Nayu's Crochet Dreams!

Blog Tour: Hopeless Heroes #1 Here Comes Hercules! & #2 Hera's Terrible Trap! by Stella Tarakson and Nick Roberts (Children's, 9 years +, 10/10E)

Check out the other stops on the tour!


Apologies for being a day late - I'd planned to attach the blog banner and tag questions before the post went live, but body went on strike so had to rest instead. It was up, but hadn't quite been edited so I had a very interesting title!

22nd February 2018, Sweet Cherry Publishing, 208 pages each, Paperback, Review copy

Book summaries
Here Comes Hercules 
When Tim Baker breaks his mum's favourite vase, it s the least of his problems. The Greek hero he's released is in danger of doing far worse. To the flowers, the rug Oh, no! Not the kitchen! Hercules is only trying to be helpful but he's just hopeless. It's time to send this dim demigod home before Tim becomes ancient history.

Hera's Terrible Trap
Tim Baker thinks his adventures are over until he hitches a ride to Ancient Greece on a stolen vase. Soon Tim finds himself trapped with an army of peacocks and a hero who can't stop admiring himself. Put that mirror down, Theseus! Thank the gods his new friend Zoe is there to help. Just don't tell her dad..
Nayu's thoughts
Having studied Ancient Greece as part of my degree program I was intrigued by the sound of this new series. I've read some Percy Jackson and other historical themed books in the past, which can get a bit dark, but Hopeless Heroes sounded and is full of humour. The only reason it doesn't get full marks is because book 2 deals with Medusa and I really can't stand snakes. I managed to cover up those illustrations but it still gave me the heebie geebies. Book one only hid a mention of snakes.  

In both books Hercules was rather useless, causig Tim trouble instead of protecting him. The heroes are good at their heroic feats...and that's mostly it as they go overboard with any other action, thinking Tim needs protection from innocent(ish) scenarious-he needs it from them! Their antics get him in a lot of trouble with his mother, but they also help her tricky work situation too. While I prefer heroines to heroes this is such a fun read, with disaster upon disaster surrounding Tim, making him pretty much the only one to sort out the actual and figurative messes the heroes make in his world. 

I genuinely expected book 2 to be like book 1, so was astounded by the early major plot twist which was brilliant and led Tim to meet Hercule's daughter, who is a tad suffocated by her dad's protection. She thankfully has a good brain and leads Tim into danger, but it's only so she can help him out of his trouble. I hope she features in future books as she is fiesty and daring. I like how poetic licence is woven in with the known tales about the heroes, making learning about their feats more enjoyable than reading primary and secondary sources that I used in my essays. Hopefully these will show that history isn't boring in the slighest!

Find out more on Stella's website and Nick's website.

Suggested read
If you love historical reads check out the cat version of history in The Olympuss Games series including The Olympuss Games: Son of Spartapuss, Eye of the Cyclaw, and Maze of the Minopaw by Robin Price (Children's, 7 years +, 10/10E, short 'n' sweet review) 

Hopeless Heroes Tag

As part of the tour I've been tagged for some questions involving the books on social media. Here are the questions with my answers!

This was the first fantasy book I ever read!

1) Talia from Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey, part of the Valdemar series, because she is rescued from her horrid life, at first completely ignorant on the enormity of being chosen by a Companion (horse) She faces great hardship, but also makes true friends who form her new family.

2) Pea's Book of  Best Friends by Susie Day - I relisten to the audiobook version whenever I need picking up because the tale of Pea with her older melodramatic sister Clover and younger, completely mischievious sister Tink (Tinkerbell is her real name) make me smile and make me feel warm and cosy.

This is the same cover & illustration style as the copy which my mother game me-I treasure it greatly!

3) The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge - Maria seems an unlikely heroine at first, but is extremely courageous in what she does. Please read the book and don't judge it by the film called The Secret of Moonace - while I like it as a film in it's own right, it butchered several main story components including key characters.

4) A Gift Of Grace by Amy Clipston, first in an Amish fiction series about a family full of love who all have to find love on a very complicated path with a happy ending to each of the 5 books. Like Pea's Book of Friends I'm constantly relistening to the audiobook version of this series! It's a homely series, and inspirational too.

5) A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Sara while initially spoilt has a good heart and makes the best of everything even when she has nothing and loses so much.

6) Clover from Pea's Book of Birthdays - it's what makes her lovable!

7) A Rose For St Amelia by Jack Nesbitt (Thriller, Romance, 9/10E, short 'n' sweet review)
A Rose for St Amelia by Jack Nesbitt, it's a shocking read in a good way!

8) Deep Water by Jo Cotterill (Children's, 10 years +, 10E/10E)
& all the books in the series - the original covers, not the latest ones which look stunning altogether and most definitely reflect the story.

9) Yet again I'm reusing previous answers - Pea's Book of Friends by Susie Day plus A Gift From Grace by Amy Clipston - both series are my 'go to' audiobook relistens because they always make me smile and teach me something new each time I read them.

10) The Missing by Caroline Eriksson (Thriller, Audiobook, 9/10E) - let's just say I'm now extremely wary about reading foreign thrillers.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Over on Nayu's Crochet Dreams #40 Cat Mayhem!

It's time for a post about what my mischievous cat Belle has been up to recently - every day brings some laughs with her (okay and at her!), so hop over to Nayu's Crochet Dreams for the full post (link is generic because I can't pre-schedule a link post before the post is up).

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Winter Review Policy Extension

As of today I'm extending my Winter review policy of not really reviewing any books unless you're an author I love until April. I'm sorry to do this, but it's going to be a bit longer before I'm back to normal due to being ill & the lousy weather. While I'm resting I find gaming easier than reading as it's easier for me to do and more of a distraction from how I feel. You can see the main Winter Review Policy post here. It has helped me so much, and I promise I'll be open to more reviews in a few weeks. Happy reading!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Over on Nayu's Crochet Dreams #39 Snow bunnies & snow angels

Some fan art of Hatsune Miku holding a snow bunny!
I'm super sorry for being so quiet - find out what I've been up to over on today's post at Nayu's Crochet Dreams: there's snow bunnies, snow angels, maple syrup menion, gaming and more! 
And a real bunny hiding it's face in the snow!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Offline until early March

Hi everyone, I'm offline until next week - had to take my mega strong meds last night which take a few days to get over, plus had a cold which because my immune system is rubbish really knocks me back. I'll return when I'm recovered!