Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Xs and Os for Gabby Ann by Petrell Marie Ozbay (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)


 May 2015, Adorn Inc, Ebook, Review copy from NetGalley,


Content: super cute scenes

Summary from NetGalley
Gabby Ann loves kisses and hugs. They are the BEST part about bedtime. There is nothing like an extra kiss and a hug – an X and an O – from her mommy before the lights go out. But, what about Gabby’s daddy? He works on the other side of the world, at least a million miles away. So, how are his kisses and hugs going to reach her? When will they get there? What if they get lost along the way?
Join the Xs and Os on a lively, global adventure as they find their way to Gabby Ann, helping children to realize the boundless and powerful spirit of a parent’s love.

Nayu's thoughts
Xs and Os translated means kisses and hugs, something children often love from their parents and loved ones before bed. This story has a huge feel good factor despite Gabby Ann's father not being with her, hence the top grade. You can see from the cover the illustrations are super cute and what I call a bit girly. I needed tissues on most of the pages because the strenght of Gabby Ann's emotions at missing her father tugged my heart, making me think of all those whose parents are away for a while, and led to thinking of those who have lost a parent too (which led to a few more tears). She ends up with an inventive way of giving her dad her love at night which yes, had me crying a bit more. I'm looking forward to Petrell's future books. 

Suggested read
Another title which addresses the issue of parents working away from their child is Mummy's Home by Christopher MacGregor and Emma Yarlett (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)

The One by Kiera Cass (Young Adult, 9/10E)

  June 2015, HarperCollins Children's, 356 pages, Ebook, Review copy from NetGalley

Content: teen romance, major peril, a bit of fighting, some humour, tragedy, tissues needed

 The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice . . . and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Nayu's thoughts
I still have a love/hate relationship with Mer which prevents me giving it full marks, as some of what she says and does is ridiculous, and yet somehow I adore this slightly dystopian royal society read. There are constant plot twists which surprised me, several parts made me laugh and others made me cry – you will definitely need tissues. Because I already knew what book #4 was about, I knew vaguely what would happen at the end of The One, although from the events which happened beforehand I had no idea how the result would happen, and was gobsmacked by the plot revelations.

Happily there are lots of pretty clothes to fangirl over, the relationship Mer has with her maids grows ever stronger, and the way she upsets the king continues to grow. She does have a few inspiring ideas which make a difference to the political unrest. There were several parts where I was cheering for Mer getting things right (as she can get them wrong). Despite her strong character flaws I find myself eager to get the audiobook version so I can relisten to it any time! 

Find out more on Keira's website

Available at many bookshops including NRC affiliate Foyles.

Suggested read
Definitely check out book 1 and 2, The Selection and The Elite (Young Adult,  7-8/10E)
 

Monday, 3 August 2015

What are YOU reading? #278



What are you reading on Monday? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys where you post books completed last week and plans for upcoming books. Jump over to her blog and see who else is participating. 



Read

Made with Love by Tricia Goyer & Sherry Gore
Amish fiction, Romance
10E/10E
(Absolutely awesome story about an Amish girl realising her pie shop dreams, and fending off her matchmaking mother!)





The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan
Romance, Contemporary fiction
(Think 'British Bake Off' and you've got an idea of what happens to a group of bakers who learn more about themselves and each other in addition to baking....)





Another Way Home by Deborah Raney
Romance, Contemporary fiction
(You'll need lots of tissue for this story about a couple wanting children and getting them in an unexpected way...)





Goose by Dawn O'Porter
Young Adult
9/10E
(Coarse language aside, a gripping read!)










Listened


An Amish Kitchen anthology
Amish fiction, Romance
10E/10E
(A trio of stories from different authors all centered around different Amish kitchens...)









Watched


Aikatsu
Music Idol anime, Japanese version
10E/10E
(This was pretty much all I watched this week, with new to me episodes keeping me captivated especially with the new girl Madoka! Her pink her is cute!)





Children's Hospital
Documentary, English version
10E/10E
(This week's episode was all about children with lung issues...)





Winx:  Season 3
Magical girl anime, Japanese version
10E/10E
(It's Enchantix time! Stella has hers already, as does Flora...)





Once Upon A Time:  Season 3
Fantasy drama, English version
10/10E
(Minus one very dull episode [aka no stories centered around the female characters] a great start to the season – there's Tinkerbell in it!!!)










Craft, games and more
Been a sedate week with next to no gaming, and craft wise I'm beavering away over some squares for a baby blanket....








Lorie's Heart by Amy Lillard (Amish fiction, Romance, Christian Fiction, 10E/10E)

July 2015, Kensington Books, 352 pages, Ebook, Review copy from NetGalley

Content: mild romance, humour, tissues needed

Summary from Kensington Books
Welcome back to Wells Landing, Oklahoma, the tranquil Amish community where still waters run deep and a brave young woman sets out to discover her faith, her family, and herself. . .

Lorie Kauffman is grief-stricken when her father passes away unexpectedly. But her heartache quickly turns to bewilderment when she discovers he'd been leading two lives--one of simplicity and hard work in Wells Landing, and one fraught with painful ordeals in Tulsa. As she starts digging into her family's past, Lorie finds herself torn between the Amish world and the Englisch world--and she's no longer certain where she belongs. . .

Lorie knows that if she leaves Wells Landing, she may never be able to return. But what if her destiny lies in the outside world--the world her father knew so well? Change is never easy, but with a bit of courage and the help of a handsome and kind-hearted Englischer, she just may find the peace, acceptance, and love she's been longing for. . .


Nayu's thoughts
Regular readers know how much I love Amish fiction, and this is a particularly touching read. Lorie's new life circumstances provide her with a great deal of struggle, but her relationship with God sees her through. Her community aren't always understanding of her desire to find out what really happened, but she carries on anyway because she doesn't want to live with regret. There's plenty of Amish customs in the story to keep me happy – they still seem to eat a lot of cake and pie! 

I cheered when Lorie made progress in discovering who she is (which is heavily tied up with the truth about her father), and by doing that she is able to finally find love. I held my breath in several places, such is the level of emotions which Lorie goes through, and honestly had no idea how it would end. This is part of a series, and I'm going to be seeking out the other books which I thik get to know some of the other characters better. I will reread Lorie's tale for sure! 

Find out more on Amy's website.    

Suggested read
Another wonderful romance Amish story is Brightest and Best by Olivia Newport (Amish Fiction, 10E/10E) 
 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Winner of A Thousand Nights by E K Johnston announcement!

Is this yours?
 I'm getting close to the end of this superb book, so I'm super excited about being able to announce who has won the ARC copy I had spare for A Thousand Nights, publishing this October. The winner is...

Kulsuma! 

Many congratulations, I'll be in touch soon to arrange sending the book to you. 

Thank you to all those who entered. There are still competitions running, you can win a middle grade book (9 years +) 

 
- so get entering!

Cities Unfolded; London Through Time by Nick Maland and Angela McAllister (Children's, Non-fiction, 9/10E)

 
July 2015, Frances Lincoln, 16 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Content: historical information, 

Summary from Quarto
Follow one girl and boy on their adventure down a London street as they journey through time. As you open this concertina format, a continuous street scene unfolds, each of the panels takes you back to a different point in our capital's past. An key events panel and timeline woven into the illustrations at the bottom makes history visually accessible at a glace. Iconic and historic monuments including St Pauls, St Brides, Westminster, the London Eye and Trafalgar Square are included in street scenes that show how people lived in our city through the ages.  
Key time periods included are as follows:
The Roman settlement; Medieval period (the black death); Tudor times (the invention of the printing press); The great fire of London; 1700s (the building of St Brides); Georgian London; Victorian times and the industrial age, Edwardian London (suffragettes and early cars); WW1 (soldiers marching down the streets); Between the wars; WW2 (The Blitz); The 1050s (black cabs and Routemasters appear); Elizabeth II's coronation; Modern day London in Trafalgar Sq.
- See more at: http://www.quartoknows.com/books/9781847806895/London-Through-Time.html#sthash.GeK4j79S.dpuf
Follow one girl and boy on their adventure down a London street as they journey through time. As you open this concertina format, a continuous street scene unfolds, each of the panels takes you back to a different point in our capital's past. An key events panel and timeline woven into the illustrations at the bottom makes history visually accessible at a glace. Iconic and historic monuments including St Pauls, St Brides, Westminster, the London Eye and Trafalgar Square are included in street scenes that show how people lived in our city through the ages.  

Key time periods included are as follows:
The Roman settlement; Medieval period (the black death); Tudor times (the invention of the printing press); The great fire of London; 1700s (the building of St Brides); Georgian London; Victorian times and the industrial age, Edwardian London (suffragettes and early cars); WW1 (soldiers marching down the streets); Between the wars; WW2 (The Blitz); The 1050s (black cabs and Routemasters appear); Elizabeth II's coronation; Modern day London in Trafalgar Sq.


Nayu's thoughts
 This is an incredibly fun journey through London's history. The book feels like a map in the way it folds out (it isn't quite as large as the maps I've used, but for the purpose of reading that's a good thing). There's a small piece of informative text at the bottom of each page, which when opened out follow each page sort of flows into the next, creating a London outline.

I enjoyed having to spot the children and their pigeon in each page...however this is what made the book lose a grade: sometimes the children/pigeon were super tiny so it was hard to spot them. On several pages I didn't spot them. There isn't an answer page either(some books like this will give small pictures of each page and put a circle around where the people/animal/object to be found is). The detail within each picture is extensive, and I feel would have benefited from being bigger. Those are my only issues with what is a brief but fun look at history. 

Find out more on Nick's website. 

Available in most book shops including NRC affiliate Foyles.

Suggest read
Another fun non-fiction read is Rebel Science by Dan Green, which explores science throughout the ages (Children's, Non-fiction, 9/10E)
 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Competition: Win a copy of Journey Back to the Great Before by Zaro Weil (UK competition)


March 2015, MQP Books, 

Book Summary 
 Drawn by mysterious forces to a magical hill in the ancient Land of Oc, they make a remarkable discovery – a book describing the forgotten era of THE GREAT BEFORE, when animals and humans walked and talked together in friendship and harmony. Written by the wise animal ancients more years ago than there are stars in the heavens, the book foretells that one day there will arrive a family, the Right Humans, who can restore the lost balance between mankind and the rest of the natural world, a family who will learn once again to speak with and understand the animals. But Fox and his clan of Wrong Ones do everything in their power to destroy the fragile trust building between the Jolicoings and their new creature friends. The family must look deep within themselves, learn to trust their instincts and open their inner mind’s eye if they are to succeed in the task bequeathed to them.

You can find out more on the dedicated website.

Nayu here! Although this isn't what I'm looking for in a book at the moment, I like the sentiment behind the story. Thanks to MQP Books I'm able to offer you the chance to win a copy of your own! Whooohoo! Simply fill in the form below ^o^ 

Please note this is a UK only competition. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway