Tuesday, 31 May 2011

What are you reading? #69

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

As promised, there is quite the list of "read" titles this week!  In fact, I think I'll dub it "The Week of Reading".  With everything going on, it was EXACTLY what I needed to take a mental vacation.....ever need one of those?  Anyway, time to share what's going on in my reading world and maybe add a few things to your wish list.  ^_^

Books I've read this week

Return of the Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley
(I adore bunnies, and this book appeals to my strange sense of humour. It kept me smiling during a treatment.)

Pocket Cats #9: Friends Forever by Kitty Wells
(I needed a tissue at the end. I always tear up for PC's, but this is the last in the series!)

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
Young Adult
(Cammie's life at spy school is hilarious. This was recommended by a very dear friend. Reading this made my heart monitor beep during a treatment, which made me laugh even more.  ^_^)

Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
(Another instalment in Clary's life - have become a bit unsure of her character...)
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Candle Man: The Society of Dread by Glen Dakin
(Book 2 in this dark saga - I love Chloe!  Be sure to check out my review of book 1, book 2, a guest blog from the author himself, PLUS your chance to win!)

The Collaborator by Margaret Leroy
(A great insight into the Nazi occupation of Guernsey - I've visited Jersey, another Channel Island so it was very easy to imagine Vivienne's story.  Check out my review over at Cem's Book Hideout...)

The Vampire Hunters by Pete Johnson
Children's 9+
(Being half a vampire is tricky - learning how to flit [transformation for flying] is extremely difficult for Marcus.)

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
Young Adult
(In spite of a lack of conflict & Kelsey having a personality crisis, I do want to read the next one.  Find out more in my review over at Cem's Book Hideout...)

Pocket Cats #8:  Magical Mayhem by Kitty Wells
(Wooooooooo! Maddy & Rachel meet a disgruntled ghost!)

Threads by Sophia Bennett
Young Adult
(A funny and moving story, addressing conflicts and family separation while providing an opportunity for a very talented girl.  My review is live now over at Cem's Book Hideout...)

Six Words and a Wish by Karen McCombie
(The ARC came with cute sparkly butterflies inside! [shiny ones rather than sparkly] My review...)

Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
Young Adult
(I adore tales set in Venice, especially historicals - lots of intrigue!  Check out my review over at Cem's Book Hideout...) 

Wanted! by Kate Thompson
(Find out what happens when a Roman Emperor made a horse his consul...)

Divine Freak by Fiona Dunbar
(How cool is the cover! It's as great as the story inside about a girl who can see ghosts. And hear them.  My review...)

The Malice Family by Abie Longstaff
Children's Educational
(Another awesome read from Abie, about a poor raccoon who has to put up with his evil family.  My review...)

Rockaholic! by C J Skuse
Young Adult
(If you want to learn about a music idol fanatic, this is the perfect book.  My review....plus a chance for you to win a copy all your own!)

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
(I'm getting into this a lot more now, and beginning to like Clary more...though I do alternate between liking her and hating her.)

That's it for this week! I don't expect there to be such a long list next week, as I'm back to work on 31st, but there will hopefully be a couple of good reads! 17 books isn't bad going.

Six Words and a Wish by Karen McCombie

5th May 2011, Scholastic 
282 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Children's, 11+ 

Clowns, Christmas decorations, children's cafe, children's parties, missing family, runaways, fear, loneliness, self-blame, friendships, creating a band, unexpected surprises, mild romance, lots of humour, unexpected truths

Summary from Scholastic.
Ever since Jem’s sister Gracie ran away from home, Jem has wondered whether she’s to blame. Something she said to Gracie before her disappearance is preying on her mind. Jem couldn’t be the reason why she vanished, could she? But one summer, a series of strange and spooky coincidences makes Jem wonder if there’s more to the real story. Can Jem find out the truth behind her big sister’s disappearance? Will Gracie ever come home? Surprises and secrets transform Jem’s summer in this wonderful novel from a million-selling queen of girl’s fiction, which mixes genuine bursts of sweetness with a serious real-life theme.

Nayuleska's reasons for liking Jem...in spite of all the guilt and blame she piles on herself (built up through the novel), she refuses to be beaten, she keeps her life going (creating a band) even when her sister's disappearance still leaves a hole in her life. 

Is there another character who deserves a mention? Iris! She's such a hypochondriac, but is a really good friend to Jem. 

How evil/nasty is the enemy? The enemy isn't really corporal (no its not a ghost!), but Jem really blames herself too much for what happened. 

Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? Yes - I had a few suspicions, but I was mostly wrong about things. 

One of my favourite parts was...when Iris broke her leg. Classic moment. I so wish I'd got a cast (had an airboot) which was purple (mine was grey) when I broke my ankle. Being over 18 can be a dampener on broken bones... 

I give it a 10/10 - well, can I give it an 11? The reason I say that is that nestled near the spine of the first page where several pink and silver butterflies, such a cool thing to add considering the butterfly element of the book. 

Be sure to check out Karen over on her website

Suggested reads
Forming a band seems to be popular, because Rebecca does it in The Real Rebecca by Ann Carey

Or for another bubbly girl, check out Frankie's life in Frankie: Fizzy Pop! by Jean Ure

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Collaborator by Margaret Leroy

Feeling like a war time drama? Check out what happens in the Nazi occupation on the Channel Island Guernsey, and how one mother tries to protect her daughters in Margaret Leroy's The Collaborator, my review over at Cem's Book Hideout.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Fugitives by Aubrey Flegg

October 2010, O'Brien Press Ltd
256 Pages, Paperback
Review copy

Children's Historical Fiction

Summary from O'Brien Press
When young Con disappears, the others must find him – and quickly. His father Hugh O’Neill, the great Ulster chieftain, is about to depart, forever. The Irish have lost at the Battle of Kinsale, and now there is nothing left for them in their own land. Hugh’s son is in great danger – and he doesn’t even know it! What would the English do to him if they caught him? Especially now as his father may be gathering another foreign army to threaten their own conquest of Ireland?
Can his cousin and friends, Fion, Sinead and James, find him? Will their hunt across wild landscapes, through dense woodlands and over high mountains, chased by English soldiers and adventurers, and occasionally guided by the mysterious ‘Haystacks’, take them to the boy? Will they manage to get him to Lough Swilly in time for the escape boat to France? The Great Hugh O’Neill is waiting anxiously …
Based on true facts from the 1600s. 

Based on a historical event - the Flight of the Earls - the story is of Con, the son of one of the most powerful men in Ireland. Con is only 7 years old but growing up fast along with his friends Jane and James and his cousin Fion. Throughout the book they do and say things that gave me the tendency to think "These are only children" but what the author is doing - and doing it well - is showing how people had to grow up fast in the early 17th century. And while the story is entertaining and well told we also learn of the lifestyle, events, manners and many more things that were around in Ireland at that time. It was not a time that the English should be proud of and sets the tone for Anglo-Irish relations over the next few centuries and while it would be easy to drum up hate for the English through this story, the author instead manages to make it clear what was happening historically but the readers emotions are only channelled towards the characters in the book - an excellent balancing act.

I believe fiction books should be about the story first and this book is and is a very good read - the history that we pick up is incidental and very nice to have and it hasn't impacted the story.

Excellent read.

Other reading may be Alex McLean - Time Traveller by Morag Ramsey

Divine Freaks by Fiona Dunbar

5th May 2011, Orchard Books 
212 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Children's, 9+, Paranormal 

Ghosts, murder, school mysteries, taxidermists, darker side of life, family life, friendships, ingenuity, fear, a lot of humour 

Summary from Orchard Books 

Hey, I'm Kitty Slade. Just your average, normal girl, doing, you know, normal stuff. Got a brother (annoying), a sister (quite annoying) and a grandma (she's awesome). 
Oh yeah, and one more thing. I can see dead people."

When a ghost turns up in her biology classroom, only one thing's for sure - Kitty Slade's life is about to get freaky..

Nayuleska's reasons for liking Kitty...she's a real character, especially with her choice in clothes. She copes so well with her new gift  - well, most of the time. It's understandable she has a little panic every now and then. 

Is there another character who deserves a special mention? Kitty's Grandmother - you don't mess with her! She has a very cool outlook on life. 

How evil/nasty is the enemy? Well, the enemy is capable of beating people up and other evil deeds, so I'd say relatively evil. 

Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? Yes - definitely more than one in every chapter. 

One of my favourite parts was...when Kitty bumped into two lady ghosts who wouldn't stop talking. 

I mostly definitely give this book 10/10, and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, Fire & Roses. (Psst, isn't the purple cover funky, with Kitty's snazzy socks?) 

Be sure to check out Fiona's website

Suggested reads
My So-Called Afterlife and My So-Called Haunting by Tamsyn Murray - more investigations involving ghosts. 

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Malice Family (or How Not to be Evil Geniuses) by Abie Longstaff

April 2011, Pearson 
40 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Children's (educational reading book) 6+ 

Complete mayhem, families, ice cream, balloons, plans (both failed and altered), ancestors/family tree, royalty, palace, lots of humour, 

Book Blurb
Samil's genius dad has come up with yet more plans to take over the kingdom. Mum thinks they are brilliant! Just how successful will this evil raccoon family be? When a giant flying nappy and ice-cream are involved, Samil has his doubts - and so might you! 

Nayuleska's reasons for loving Samil....he suffers a lot due to his family's high level of evil.He does what he can to reduce the damage of their insanity. 

How evil/nasty is the enemy? Enemy = Samil's family, they are pretty evil but thankfully their plans are rarely successful. 

Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? Yes - some pretty entertaining ones. 

One of my favourite parts was...when everyone slurped up the ice cream. 

I give it 10/10 - keep writing Abie! 

Make sure you check out Abie's other books on her website

Suggested reads
A must read is Abie's The Fairytale Hairdresser which is a beautiful, funny story complimented by the cute illustrations. 

Also check out her other book, Pirate House Swap which is equally hilarious when a family live in a pirate ship for their holiday. 

Friday, 27 May 2011

The Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Follow Kelsey as she journeys around the world with an enchanted tiger in Colleen Houck's Tiger's Curse, reviewed by me over on Cem's Book Hideout.

Threads by Sophia Bennett (Children's, 11 years +, 10E/10E)

For an awesome tale about hard work, helping other people and good fun, head over to Cem's Book Hideout to read my review of Threads by Sophia Bennett.

EVENT CLOSED Win 1 of 5 sets of Candle Man books by Glenn Dakin (UK) & 1 copy of the 2nd Candle Man Book (INTERNATIONAL)

I'm pretty excited about launching this competition - the lovely publicity team have offered not 1, but 5 sets of both Candle Man books! It means 5 of you can read the first adventure of Theo and Chloe, before delving into the dark world once more in the newly released book 2: Candle Man: The Society of Dread. How exciting is that! The 5 sets are for UK residents only. Not wanting to leave my international readers out, I'm offering my copy of Candle Man: The Society of Dread up for grabs. Just fill in the correct form.

I think it's time to get on with the competition details...

The Prize: 5 winners will receive a copy of both Candle Man books


The rules: Winners will be selected by a random number generator site. Winners' details will be passed on to the Egmont publicity team to arrange sending out prizes. Please be sure you read my protection policy which applies to competitions.

Be sure to check out the review for Candle Man and Candle Man 2: The Society of Dread as well as a guest blog post by Glenn.

Guest Blog Post by Glenn Dakin

In conjunction with the release of the 2nd Candle Man Book The Society of Dread, Glenn Dakin has kindly written about his writing life for us! Here's a sneak into his world....

My Writing Life by Glenn Dakin

As in all great mystery stories there is one room in my house I never go in. It is feared and shunned - a room I only enter to pull an old book off a shelf then depart, like a man afraid.

That is the Work Room, a place perfectly set up for sitting, staring at a computer and focusing on the task ahead. That room is not for me.

The kitchen is my favourite haunt – a big friendly space at the back of the house. I can hear the birdsong there or watch one of the five or six mysterious cats that haunt our garden slip in and out on their secret errands.

Writing seems like a fun, original idea when sitting in the kitchen, it is a pleasant choice – not really ‘work’ at all.

Here I tap away on my laptop. Before we had wifi, the great advantage of the kitchen was I couldn’t go online here, so I’d actually get some writing done. Now the wifi is everywhere, and the kitchen is more a state of mind.

In order to write I need to sit in a kind of rockpool of my imagination and lose myself. Radio news is my enemy, unexpected visitors a dread. Even friends and family who propose ‘dropping by for lunch’ are faced with an angry monster who seeks not human company until he’s written something he thinks is good.

I never use wordcount as a yardstick of how much I’ve achieved. You can write thousands of words but if they aren’t the right ones then you have done nothing. I need to zero in on what I really want to say. Better one paragraph that’s good to five pages of uninspired slog.

Of course, the kitchen doesn’t always work - sometimes I sit on the blue sofa in the living room, by the space where my son plays. In house terms, this feels a bit like going to the beach to write (something I used to do in my younger days, drifting about the Greek Islands. Sigh. Once I was sitting under a tree, by a golden beach on Naxos, drawing a comic into a lined notebook. ‘What do you do for a living?’ someone asked me. ‘This,’ I replied).

Anyway, if the blue sofa doesn’t work I cycle out (I live in Cambridge) to one of my favourite cafes and write there.

I don’t go for popular cafes, but offbeat, downbeat ones that have a gentle trickle of intelligent life running through them. CB1 on Mill Road is a favourite, but keep it to yourself. Going to the cafe is a great way to change mood, sit up straight, write hard and pretend you are in class.

Then there’s the train. Two to three days a week I develop magazines for a company in London. Much of Candle Man was written on a laptop, on a train speeding between London and Cambridge, while the winter rain streaked the window, and neighbouring passengers felt the pain of my elbows.

To keep my mind alert, and my options open, I write a wide variety of things. In the last year I’ve written: Some of Candle Man 2 and half of Candle Man 3, a Batman comic, a guide to Pirates of the Caribbean 4, a book about Toy Story 3 and thirty comic strips about the Gogos (Crazy Bones).

I also write a blog (www.glenndakin.com) and today I’ve been talking to actor Christian Rodska about his reading of Candle Man for its release by AudioGo, the BBC audio wing. It was great to hear him do the voices of some of my characters, a smoky smoglodyte and an obsequious Mr Nicely!

Later I’ll have to transcribe the darn thing…

Back to work now, in my kitchen, listening to the wind howl, the finches chatter and the fridge moan in the language that only fridges truly understand. Candle Man three awaits and Theo is being pursued by the Dodo into a storm drain…

Thank you Glenn for letting us learn a bit about your writing schedule. Storm drains sound very interesting! 

I'd like to remind readers that the lovely people at Egmont have offered 5 sets of both Candle Man books up for grabs - competition details are here

Candle Man: The Society of Dread by Glenn Dakin

2nd May 2011, Egmont 
384 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Children's, 9+ 

Danger, mystery, life in the dark, strange creatures (what is everyone's obsession with wiggly things? I know they are gross but, would be nice to read something without them), friendship, unusual alliances, news of impending doom, 

Summary from Egmont

I am the Candle Man. I drive back darkness.
When Theo defeated his old guardian, Dr Saint, in a fierce, fiery battle, he thought his enemies were routed and the bad old days were over for good. But now the terrible slithering, seething crelp are bubbling up from below ground to snatch people and harvest their bones.
Deep beneath the city, an ancient force – one that could threaten even Theo the Candle Man’s power – is getting ready to burn, burn, burn. Twisted, charred, faceless Dr Pyre has a plan, and a secret that will shock Theo to the core.
Theo will have to descend once more into the dark, slimy tunnels to fight strange creatures and ally with old enemies.
This is why the world needs a Candle Man. To do things that the law can’t do. To go where the police would fail. To make alliances with the strange and wonderful beings that most humans have no idea exist.
Can the Candle Man find a way in the dark this time?
Evil melts like wax at the hands of the Candle Man.

Nayuleska's reasons for loving Theo..he knows so little about the world. He's ever so polite, and would rather not be the centre of attention, although he learns that its inevitable he will play an important role in life. 

Is there another character who deserves a special mention? Without a doubt Chloe steals the spotlight for me. She frequently calls Theo a twit, comes up with other hilarious statements, and knows an awful lot - enough to guide him through the tricky times. 

How evil/nasty is the enemy? Extremely when you take in the wiggly monsters *shudders* and the whole Let's Destroy The World plan. Never a dull moment there. 

Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? There are more near the end, but there are a lot throughout the book. 

One of my favourite parts was...when Theo was the light (it's not a typo, I don't mean saw) 

I give it an 8/10 

Be sure to check out Glenn over on his website (where you'll see alternate covers to the series, which I find far less scary than the UK ones). Glenn kindly wrote a blog post on writing here. Win a copy of book 1 & 2 here (UK & International with different prizes)

Suggested reads
Definitely read about how Theo and Chloe first get involved in dangerous adventures in Candle Man

Another read full of strangeness is Ministry of Pandemonium by Chris Westwood 

Thursday, 26 May 2011

I'm back! (short version)

For details on what I've been up to, including (for those interested) details on the infusion, head over to Nayu's Realm, my other blog (writing & the infamous 'stuff').

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

EVENT CLOSED Win 1/2 copies of C J Skuse's Rockaholic (1 UK entry, 1 International, ends 12pm 8th June)


The lovely publicity team of Chicken House have offered a copy of Rockaholic (link to review to follow) for a competition prize! The reason there are two copies - I'm giving away my copy of the book to my international readers! Mine is in very good condition, only read once. Some of you already know the drill, but here's a reminder of how to enter. 

The prize: one copy of Rockaholic for a UK entry, one copy of Rockaholic for an international entry 

The rules: One entry per person. Winner is chosen by a random number generator. Please make sure you check my competition policy (be over 18 or have an adult enter on your behalf). 

The deadline: 12pm GMT on Wednesday 8th June 2011 

How to enter: just fill in this form if you are in the UK, or this form if you are outside the UK. Apologies for how the form looks - at the time of creating it, Blogger Gremlins were in full force and wouldn't let me make it pretty. 

Get entering! 

Rockaholic by C J Skuse (Young Adult, 8/10E)

March 2011, Chicken House, 368 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Content: Teen idols, music industry & associated mania, fiction of the press & reality, kidnap, dysfunctional families, escapism, substance abuse, teen romance, moderate use of strong language, 

Summary from Chicken House
Jody loves Jackson Gatlin. At his only UK rock concert, she’s right at the front. But when she's caught in the crush and carried back stage she has more than concussion to contend with.  Throw in a menacing manager, a super-wired super-star, and a curly-wurly, and she finds herself taking home more than just a poster.   It’s the accidental kidnapping of the decade. But what happens if you’ve a rock-god in your garage who doesn’t want to leave?   Jody’s stuck between a rock-idol and a hard place!  

Nayuleska's reason for liking Jody...none whatsoever. She's a certified nutcase, whose life is a real insight into other people like her. (Personally I just stick with adoring 

Is there another character that deserves special mention? Cree - she is completely adorable, is able to comfort Jody, and also helps Jackson a little, in the way that only a young child can. 

How evil/nasty is the enemy? Tricky question, since Jody's enemy was mostly herself, but Jackson's enemy was scarily nasty. 

Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? Yes - everything I guessed might happen, didn't. 

One of my favourite parts was...the moment when Jody is told by her mother exactly the type of person she is (not a nice one) & when Jody sees the reality about idols (who shouldn't be idolised). 

Although Jody was the opposite of me which made it hard to relate to, I give this 8/10. (The cover is funky too).

Suggested reads
For younger readers, a hilarious kidnapping story is Missing, Believed Crazy by Terence Blacker. 

For more insight into the crazy world of fame, check out Airhead by Meg Cabot, about a girl who ends up in the body of a famous model. 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Nayu's DVD Watching Challenge #1 Winx Club! Week 1

In the spirit of my new set of challenges, I can happily announce my first challenge will be the Winx Club!

I adore the Winx. I've watched all four seasons once, and I'm on my fourth time of watching season 1 (which was watched 3 times while I waited for the others to arrive). I love it because its fun. Yes there is hardship and a fair amount of sadness. But watching fairies fight evil with magic makes me smile. I go 'Ooooo, pretty!' and my eyes light up when the girls transform into their fairy mode. The tunes are catching, some of the costumes are very pretty. It never fails to make me smile. What does Winx mean? It's a play on word with 'Wings'.

Right, so what will this and every single challenge involve? I'll be aiming to watch x amount of episodes each week.

This week, week 1,  I hope to watch all of disc 3 of season 1. Bloom has currently lost her magic powers (she hasn't, she only thinks she have but it takes her the rest of the series to learn that), so can't defend herself against the Trix who are 3 very evil sorceresses. Super evil, and chucked out of The Cloud Tower (the Sorceress school) by the headmistress or certified them as being too evil. Nothing like revenge to set 'let's take over the world' plans in motion.

Bloom's friends Stella the Sun fairy  (who is an airhead, but often misunderstood - she does have a heart, but frequently says the wrong thing), Flora is a nature fairy (clue in the name....), Techna who adores everything technical, and Musa who loves music, have to help protect Alfea, the fairy school from the Trix, while Bloom (and for a little bit Stella, if I've remembered correctly) goes off to find out more about her identity, and to get her powers back.

Bloom isn't an ordinary fairy. She's only just discovered she's a fairy, and it was the Trix who revealed that her sister Daphne put her on earth to save her while their kingdom was destroyed. Bloom has the power of the breath of dragon, a highly powerful force. So she's a fire fairy, of sorts. A very powerful one. The Winx are powerful, but Bloom is the strongest on her own.

(Note: I'm watching it all in French, so I apologise if some of the names are wrong, I'm doing my best).

Bloom has a cute rabbit as a pet called Kiko! Where I am currently, Kiko alternates between getting on with, and hating, one of the Trix's pet (Flora gave The Trix Icy the pet as a joke, when she saved the rest of the girls at Alfea from opening eggs with monsters (The Trix had changed the original butterflies to monsters)). Things are getting tense for the Winx, and my heart goes to Bloom because she tried to quit Alfea, but the Trix followed her home and 'stole' her powers at her parents' house. She's one lost, lonely girl, very confused and unsure about her place in the world.

The picture shows the girls' transformation outfits, and their daily outfits. Although its nice to see their outfits vary a little from episode to episode (more so in later seasons, especially 4 when they are no longer at school). They are only at Alfea for 3 years (or 4 if you're a troublemaker like Stella, and wreck the potions lab) - all of them are 16 (Stella's 17) in season 1. If you want to learn more, you can google them :) Its time to go read for me! Tune in to next Tuesday (or Wedsneday) when I'll report back on whether I achieved this week's goals or not.

Nayu's DVD watching challenges!

I had an awesome brainwave while chatting to friends on Twitter. My reading challenges, due to life stuff, are falling by the wayside (I refuse to delete them. I can always change the 1 to a 2 on December 31st). I'm watching rather a lot of DVDs though. So I'm going to have DVD watching challenges!

They will mostly, but not exclusively, be anime/animation series. Just because that's what I watch the most. I have a few series which I which to watch because anime seems to get preference over everything else. Wednesday is my DVD watching day. It's the only way I can guarantee that I'll actually rest, and not write my wips or reviews. I'm supposed to rest up for being at work Thursday and Friday. By having challenges, it'll make the mandatory DVD day even more fun!

Check the next post for my first DVD watching challenge!

Norton, The Loveable Cat Who Travelled the World by Peter Gethers

March 2011, Red Fox 
144 pages, Paperback 
Review copy 

Children's, 7+ 

Cats, travel, moving home, aeroplanes, friendship, fun, 

Peter Gethers hates cats. That is until he meets Norton, a very cute, very friendly Scottish Fold kitten.

Soon Peter and Norton are inseparable, travelling together on trains and boats, in planes and cars all over the world! Eating at restaurants, making new friends and meeting famous movie stars - read all about these and Norton's other real-life adventures in this wonderful true story.

Nayu's reasons for loving Norton: he's a cat, he's adorable, he's highly intelligent, very adventurous, and super cute. 

How evil/nasty is the enemy? Um, there isn't actually an enemy. Maybe another cat but, that's normal for cats. 

Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? Again its not that kind of book, but I was amazed at Norton's travels, and how people loved him. 

One of my favourite parts...was definitely when Norton slept on Peter's pillow. Such a cute moment. 

I give it 10/10 - it has photos! 

Suggested reads
For another story about looking after animals (although this time it is dogs), try Melissa Wareham's Take Me Home 

For more cat antics, check out Cosmo's Story and Angel's Story by Amy Watson

Monday, 23 May 2011

Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould

Check out this awesome historical Young Adult novel set in Venice over on Cem's Book Hideout.

Secret society, girl called away from a convent for marriage reasons - it's good!

Winners of Prisoner of the Inquisition by Theresa Breslin competition

It's Monday, the start of another week, and I've got great news for 5 of my readers. Remember this book

Well the deadline has been reached, and I've been able to pick 5 winners from random. The UK winners are as follows; 


Michelle at Clover Hill Book qReview


And the international winners are...



Many congratulations to you all! UK winners, I've passed your contact details on to the publicity team at
Random House Children's books. International winners, I'll be posting the books on Wednesday, so they
should be with you in a week or two.

Regardless of where you are located, I've emailed all of you with the news.

There will be more competitions both for UK and international readers very soon!

What are you reading? #68

What are you reading on Monday? is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel at Home Girl's Book Blog where you post books completed last week and plans for upcoming books. Jump over to her blog and see who else is participating.
So...reading.  This week, it didn't quite happen as expected.  Such is life sometimes.  However...with the help of a fairly long appointment on Friday and the need to relax this week, I did manage to sneak in a few gems to pass the time.  Perhaps today's title should be "books I intended to read this week....and at the very least started".  ^_^

Books I've read this week

Only the Good Spy Young
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
by Ally Carter
Young Adult
(The 1st three Ghallager Girl books by Ally Carter. I've read the first one once, and they are funny. I chose them because I adore spy stories, there is a lot of humour, and some tension too.)


The Book of Bunny Suicides
Return of the Bunny Suicides
by Andy Riley
(These two show my strange sense of humour.  The illustrations are very inventive and have me smiling a lot, which is just what I needed Friday.)

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Young Adult
(The first of Lisa Mantchev books and I love it! Might pop the second in [Perchance to Dream] if I get a chance.  My review from once upon a time...)

That's it for now...but you never know.  Next week?  Could be dozens more.  We shall see.  So, what ARE you reading?  Whatever it is, here's hoping it's happy indeed.