Book Reviews

Mindwalker – A J Steiger (14+)

4 1/2 stars. I’ve had a book hangover for nearly a month (argh!) and I needed something very powerful to break that spell. “Mindwalker” was the book to do that. Powerful, original, a scary premise, and a big hearty nod at humanity’s past and present. A J Steiger captured me from page one and I […]

Close Your Eyes – Nicci Cloke (13+)

“Close Your Eyes” (three!!! references to the title in the book! Yay!) is a very addictive read. I started it on my day off, and finished it the same day. There are been a few YA books about school shootings this year, but “Close Your Eyes” takes a different approach. Firstly it’s set in England […]

Renegades – Marissa Meyer (14+)

3.5 stars. In a world where a number of people have developed extraordinary abilities, you’re either a hero or a villain. Nova wants revenge for past wrongs. Adrian wants justice to be upheld. An entertaining, if not slightly clichéd superhero story. Although I found it a little slow to start, I really enjoyed the witty […]

The Fifth Room – Allison Rushby (12+)

Having read Allison Rushby’s “The Turnkey” (a historical middle grade mystery with fantasy elements), I was particularly interested to see how The Fifth Room compared. I could definitely recognise Allison’s ability to weave an interesting and intricate story arc. The plot wasn’t what I expect and that’s an aspect I really enjoyed. Allison also managed to […]

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone – Adele Griffin (14+)

I love the way Adele Griffin approached writing this unique and intense thriller. “The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone” is told through a series of memories from people in Addison Stone’s life, alongside notes and pictures taken from Addison’s own journals, and some of Addison’s best artwork, compiled by Adele. The question the novel asks […]

Nevermoor – Jessica Townsend (9+)

Wow. Just Wow. This has to take the world by storm. It’s totally entranced me. If you love Harry Potter you HAVE to read this book. Like now. (Well October 31st when it’s released). I don’t normally publish my reviews early, but I simply couldn’t wait to share this with you. I love the characters […]

Gone – Michael Grant (13+)

The “Gone” series has been out since 2008 but this is the first chance I’ve had in my crazy reading schedule to pick it up. I thought it’d be a good choice for my YA book club “The Outsiders”, and goodness knows I love a good dystopian thriller. It’s a long book at 500+ pages […]

George – Alex Gino (9+)

“George”. Wow. I’ve wanted to read this since I first saw it in 2015, and I finally managed to get my mitts on a copy. It didn’t take me long to read – it’s very simple middle fiction but with a huge message. “George” is the story of a girl (Melissa), who the world sees […]

First – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (14+)

Warming: This book made me cry and gave me a book hangover! I’m guessing there will be plenty of people that won’t like (or empathise) with the protagonist Mercy, but I did. I think you either get her or you don’t. But by the end of “Firsts”, if you don’t understand her story, your heart […]

Thornhill – Pat Sym (10+)

This is a stunning debut novel that has taken my breath away. I knew I’d like “Thornhill” as soon as my Scholastic Rep Todd showed it to me, but I didn’t realise how much I’d be taken with it. Literally, since Danielle showed me that it’d had arrived this morning, it hasn’t left my hands. […]

How To Bee – Bren MacDibble (9+)

4 1/2 stars. I love when a book surprises me, and that’s exactly what “How To Bee” did. It’s a beautifully told tale set in the near future where bees are now extinct and children pollinate our plants. And although the world Peony lives in is extremely challenging, the novel is ultimately uplifting. As a […]

Ink – Alice Broadway (12+)

I fell in love with this book the first time I saw it. The cover is stunning (the picture does it NO justice) and actually tells much of the tale of “Ink”. It’s perfect in every way. Then the first page drew me in and I found myself so easily lost in the dystopian world […]

Being Miss Nobody – Tamsin Winter (10+)

I am not going to lie, “Being Miss Nobody” was an emotional roller coaster. So simple and beautifully written, this book had me hoping, laughing and crying (possibly not the best book to read at work!). From the first page I was hooked. I was there with Rosalind though everything she was going through and […]

Hour of the Bees – Lindsay Eagar (10+)

4 1/2 stars. Quirky would be the first word that jumps to mind when I think about this book. “Hour of the Bees” was very well written; it had great depth; a wonderfully written protagonist; and was full of love, courage and family. Carol has to spend her summer with her parents and younger brother […]

Girlhood – Cat Clarke (14+)

This was my first Cat Clarke novel and I really enjoyed this fast paced book about five girls at a rural Scottish boarding school. Driving home after spending the whole day at work reading (one of the benefits of owning a bookshop!) I described it as “Malory Towers” meets “Single White Female”. That was until […]

After The Fire (14+) – Will Hill

This is a “stay up till 2:30am to finish” kind of book. It grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go even after you finally read the last page. When I picked up “After The Fire” all I knew was that this book was a cult-type YA novel. A few chapters in I knew […]

Radio Boy (10+) – Christian O’Connell

I started this novel with slight apprehension. I spent many hours in the UK listening to Christian O’Connell on the radio. Was his humour going to translate well to middle fiction? I wasn’t 100% convinced. Happily (as we’d chosen it for the Everlasting Gobstoppers Book Club!) it was not only funny, but well written with […]

When It’s Real (14+) – Erin Watt

When both of Vaughn’s parents pass away, her and her older sister are left to take care of the family. An opportunity to make big money pretending to be a pop star’s girlfriend seems perfect, but wild pop star Oakley is making Vaughn’s job very difficult. How can she persuade the public they are in […]

One of Us is Lying (14+) – Karen M. McManus

4 1/2 stars. Two book in two days that have blown me out of the water. On the surface two very different stories, but at their heart “One of Us is Lying” and “OCDaniel” by Wesley King are both about people and their inner workings. I initially found the multi-narration (four people) slightly confusing, but […]

OCDaniel (13+) – Wesley King

4 1/2 stars. “OCDaniel” has taken me by surprise. With the books overt tone of mental illness; an interesting cover; and a mystery, I fully expected to like it. I think what surprised me most was my lack of tears. These kind of books always make me cry (if they’re any good). Yet this is […]

Frogkisser (10+) – Garth Nix

While “Frogkisser” has been promoted as a YA read (14+), we felt it was more suited to younger readers (10-12 years). It is a longer read, but the light content suits a younger audience. We loved how Garth Nix turns stereotypes on their heads in “Frogkisser”, re imagining them in clever and witty ways. Snow […]

Damage (14+) – Eve Ainsworth

I wanted to read this book the first time my wonderful rep showed it to me. While this wasn’t as deep and intense (it’s a quick read and I only cried once!) as other self-harm books I’ve read this year, I think it’s a fantastic book in its own right. I loved that Eve Ainsworth […]