Six for Sunday: 28th April 2019

Today I’ve had a fairly bookish day as I got to spend some time in several bookshops! I was very good and only bought three! Six for Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by A Little But A Lot! Today’s theme is:

Kid’s Lit Represent: 2019 KidLit Recommendations

  1. 55837766_2162176580518359_8716889922690661966_nA Girl Called Justice – Elly Griffiths
  2. The Golden Butterfly – Sharon Gosling
  3. The Star-Spun Web – Sinéad O’Hart
  4. img_4359Murder Most Unladylike Book 8 – Robin Stevens
  5. The Day I Was Erased – Lisa Thompson
  6. A Pinch of Magic – Michelle Harrison

I’ve read the first three and LOVED them! I highly highly recommend checking them out! The next three are ones that I’m excited to get to this year that are either out already or coming soon! Have you read any of these/are you going to?

kayleigh

 

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THE GOLDEN BUTTERFLY – Sharon Gosling

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RELEASED: 02/05/2019
PUBLISHER: Stripes
GENRE: Children’s, Mystery

The Golden Butterfly danced in the air, beautiful and impossible, yet there before their eyes. Then the Magnificent Marko flicked his wand again. There was a shower of sparks, a bang and … the Golden Butterfly vanished. 
It’s 1897 and since the Magnificent Marko dramatically departed the stage, no magician has come close to performing a trick as spectacular as the Golden Butterfly. With her grandfather gone, Luciana feels that the world has lost its wonder. Then the imposing leader of the Grand Society of Magicians appears, searching for something belonging to Marko, and Luciana is drawn into a world of danger and deception. As she battles to protect her grandfather’s greatest legacy, can she distinguish reality from illusion?
A dazzling tale of bravery and friendship in this fast-paced historical adventure for fans of Katherine Woodfine, COGHEART and THE NOWHERE EMPORIUM.

I’m so glad that I got sent this book for review; I’d not heard of it before and it’s now one of my go-to middle grade mystery books. I adored every second of The Golden Butterfly! This is one of the best middle grade books I’ve read in recent years.

In The Golden Butterfly, Sharon draws together all the things that make recent middle grade mysteries so special; a strong female lead, an intricate mystery full of twists and turns and a brilliant setting, in this case Victorian England. I was hooked from page one and instantly liked Luciana as a main character. I liked how determined and forward-thinking she is.

I’d love to revisit Luciana and her friends and family and find out what happens next for them. Towards the end of the book, the points about women and their role in society towards the end of the Victorian era make for an interesting discussion and I’d love to see this explored further with these characters, so I’m definitely hoping for a sequel! That said, this is a brilliant standalone that’s fast-paced and gripping and I can’t recommend it highly enough.


Thank you to Charlie at Stripes for sending me a copy of this book!

Top Ten Tuesday: 23rd April 2019

Hello! Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

First Books I Reviewed

  1. THE GOLDFISH BOY – Lisa Thompson
  2. WITCH FOR A WEEK – Kaye Umansky, Ashley King
  3. SUNFLOWERS IN FEBRUARY – Phyllida Shrimpton
  4. THE SMOKING HOURGLASS – Jennifer Bell, Karl J Mountford
  5. THE LIGHT JAR – Lisa Thompson
  6. THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS – Emily Barr
  7. THE TRUTH AND LIES OF ELLA BLACK – Emily Barr
  8. THE HAZEL WOOD – Melissa Albert
  9. ALMOST ANYTHING – Sophy Henn
  10. THE SACRIFICE BOX – Martin Stewart

Some of the reviews that I’m most proud of are included here! I didn’t realise quite how many books I’ve reviewed in the past year or so!

kayleigh

Six for Sunday: 21st April 2019

Hello! I’m liking this month’s topic of children’s books! Six for Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by A Little But A Lot! Today’s theme is:

Kid’s Lit Represent: 2018 KidLit Recommendations

  1. death in the spotlightDeath in the Spotlight – Robin Stevens
  2. The Truth Pixie – Matt Haig
  3. The Light Jar – Lisa Thompson
  4. the eye of the northThe Eye of the North – Sinéad O’Hart
  5. The Secret Seven: The Mystery of the Skull – Pamela Butchart
  6. A Spoonful of Murder – Robin Stevens

2018 was a fairly quiet year I felt for Middle Grade, but, that said, the ones that did come out were incredible! I loved all of the books I’ve chosen today. Have you read any of them?

kayleigh

 

UK vs US Book Covers – Middle Grade Edition!

Hello! I’m here today with a post that’s inspired by one of my favourite Booktubers – Hailey in Bookland. I love watching her UK vs US book cover videos and so wanted to have a go myself! I’ve tried to go for the earliest covers that I’m aware of the book having. First up, middle grade…

Image result for murder is bad manners

US

Image result for murder most unladylike

UK

Murder Most Unladylike/Murder Is Bad Manners – Robin Stevens

I find the US edition a little bit dated compared to the gorgeous and bold UK cover! Plus, the title change…Murder Most Unladylike is much better!

 

 

 

The Goldfish Boy

US

The Goldfish Boy

UK

The Goldfish Boy – Lisa Thompson

I actually really like both of these covers in their own way! The UK one uses colour really well and stands out, but the US one catches the emotion of the story more. Overall though, I’d be more likely to pick up the UK cover.

 

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

US

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

UK

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone/Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K. Rowling

UK wins. Title is better, cover is better. It’s just iconic really!

 

 

 

The Eye of the North

US

The Eye of the North

UK

The Eye of the North – Sinéad O’Hart

I definitely prefer the UK edition; it’s absolutely gorgeous and makes you want the book and want to read the book whereas the US one is a bit dated.

 

 

 

The Diamond of Drury Lane (A Cat Royal Adventure)

US

Image result for the diamond of drury lane

UK

The Diamond of Drury Lane – Julia Golding

Photos don’t do the UK edition justice; it’s the most gorgeous little hardback! I think the US edition looks a bit too much like a TV tie-in edition for my liking.

 

 

Children of the Red King #1: Midnight for Charlie Bone

US

Image result for midnight for charlie bone

UK

Midnight for Charlie Bone – Jenny Nimmo

SHINY! The UK edition is lovely and has this magical shimmer to it…the US edition, however, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, looks very dated! UK wins.

 

 

 

Reflection: A Twisted Tale

US

Mulan: Reflection (Twisted Tales 416 Disney)

UK

Reflection – Elizabeth Lim

Whilst I do love the UK covers for the Twisted Tales series, I’m actually going to give the US their first win for this post; I love their covers even more!

 

 

 

BadBeginning.jpg

US

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning

UK

The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket

And we’re back to chosing UK covers to win; the bright contrast of the colours against the black for A Series of Unfortunate Events looks amazing, whereas the US covers are just a bit dull and old-fashioned.

 

 

The Great Good Thing

US

The Great Good Thing

UK

The Great Good Thing – Roderick Townley

What is that US cover? It’s AWFUL! The UK one, whilst not as inviting as it could be, is beautiful and at least makes you want to read the book!

 

 

 

And that concludes my first UK vs US post! It was really fun to do – I’d definitely say that UK publishers make their books more appealing to me! Would you agree or disagree with my winners?

kayleigh

Six for Sunday: 14th April 2019

Good evening! I’m back today with another Six for Sunday post after a very busy week! I joined the gym and am so proud of myself! Anyway, back to books…this week’s topic was so so hard to narrow down to six! Six for Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by A Little But A Lot! Today’s theme is:

Kid’s Lit Represent: Books From My Childhood

  1. Midnight For Charlie Bone – Jenny Nimmo
  2. First Term at Malory Towers – Enid Blyton
  3. The Great Good Thing – Roderick Townley
  4. Inkheart – Cornelia Funke
  5. The Doomspell – Cliff McNish
  6. The Prophecy of the Gems – Flavia Bujor

Have you read any of these? I can’t wait to reread them all!

kayleigh

 

Books I’ve Unhauled

I own a lot of books.

However, that number has decreased a fair amount over the past month or so as I’ve had several book unhauls! I started off small, just removing titles that were duplicates or proofs I’d never read, then I started to go through books with a bit more thought – would I ever actually read it? Did I dislike it when I read it? I’m so proud of how many I’ve got rid of so far; if you’ve read my previous post on unhauling, you’ll know how difficult and at one point inconcevable this was for me! Whilst I can’t remember every book that I’ve unhauled (which probably says something…), there are some that stand out. Linking in to some thoughts I’ve enjoyed reading about on other blogs (Jenn‘s springs to mind!) on negative reviews, the two seem to go hand in hand for me.

First up, one of my least favourite books in the world:

Image result for paper butterflies lisaPaper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield. I received this book back in 2016 when I was a longlist reader for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Whilst Lisa’s writing style is lovely, and probably is the only reason I made it through this book, the story is horrendous. It’s the first and only book where my mum has even noticed how much I was hating reading it and told me to stop. It was traumatic. I know the topic is supposed to be hard hitting, but it was uncomfortable and I just didn’t get it. When it was shortlisted, I was gutted; there was no way I could recommend this book to anyone! So yeah, unhauled.

Image result for optimists die first

Next, Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen. This book, I did give three stars; it made me laugh and it was entertaining. However, the anxiety representation in it let it down so so badly; it was awful! Who knew that anxiety could be totally cured by romance?

Image result for the journey picture book

I also got rid of a fair few picture books which I either disliked the illustrations or the story of. These included The Journey by Francesca Sanna (just wasn’t for me; whilst it’s beautiful, I found the story tedious and not really the kind of thing I’d read at storytime), Little Red by Bethan Woollvin (simple but bright illustrations with a weird retelling of Little Red Riding Hood going alongside it…not good) and Nara and the Island by Dan Ungureanu (dull illustrations, dull story).

Have you read any of these? Would you agree with me unhauling them?

kayleigh

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 2nd April 2019

Good evening! Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. I’ve seen a few of these posts today, and the topic sounded like such fun to think about! This week’s topic is:

Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book

  1. Author. Odds are, if I’ve read a book by the author before and loved it, I won’t hesitate to pick up another of their books.
  2. Illustrator. As above, if I love the illustrations, I’m likely to pick it up knowing less about it! For example, if I see a cover by Karl James Mountford or David Litchfield, chances are I’ll buy it.
  3. Recommended by a favourite author on the cover. I’m putting a lot of trust in their judgement!
  4. “For fans of Harry Potter”…need I say more?
  5. Mental Health. Give me a book on mental health and I’m so much more inclined to read it. I personally choose books that relate to the mental health difficulties I’ve dealt with, so I’m spoilt for choice.
  6. Middle Grade Murder Mystery. Robin Stevens is the Queen, but if a book is along those lines I’ll probably love it!
  7. Boarding schools are one of my weaknesses; since being an obsessive Enid Blyton reader when I was younger, I’ll always give a school book a go!
  8. “Scandalous” teen books with topics such as teen pregnancy and teacher crushes…in my experience some of the best teen books!
  9. Beautiful hardbacks under the dustjacket…SO PRETTY!
  10. Publisher. There are just some publishers who usually put out books that I love without fail.

What do you think? Would any of these things make you pick up a book?

kayleigh

A GIRL CALLED JUSTICE – Elly Griffiths

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RELEASED: 02/05/2019
PUBLISHER: Hachette
GENRE: Middle Grade, Mystery

Missing maids, suspicious teachers and a snow storm to die for… For a fearless girl called Justice Jones, super-smart super-sleuth, it’s just the start of a spine-tingling first term at Highbury House Boarding School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk. For fans of Robin Stevens, Katherine Woodfine and Enid Blyton.

When Justice’s mother dies, her father packs her off to Highbury House Boarding School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk. He’s a barrister – specialising in murder trials – and he’s just too busy to look after her alone.

Having previously been home-schooled, the transition is a shock. Can it really be the case that blondes rule the corridors? Are all uniforms such a charming shade of brown? And do schools normally hide dangerous secrets about the murder of a chamber maid?

Justice takes it upon herself to uncover the truth. (Mainly about the murder, but perhaps she can figure out her new nemesis – the angelic Rose – at the same time.) But when a storm cuts the school off from the real world, the body count starts to rise and Justice realises she’ll need help from her new friends if she’s going to find the killer before it’s too late …

I knew, as soon as I read the synopsis for this book, that it would be right up my street and a book that I’d love. I’ve always been a massive fan of Enid Blyton, and in recent years it’s been all about Robin Stevens and Katherine Woodfine, so as soon as you mention a middle grade mystery set in a boarding school I’m in!

Luckily, A Girl Called Justice did not disappoint!

From the very first page I was hooked and wanting to know more. Highbury House makes for a very atmospheric setting; it’s clear from the beginning that something is amiss and you’re really sucked into Justice’s world. I was very much reminded of the Murder Most Unladylike series in the way that the story was set out and how you never quite knew who to trust and where the next page would take you.

I’m very excited for more people to get their hands on this book so I have people that I can rave about it with; whilst it was a fairly quick read, it was packed with mystery and intrigue and a host of fascinating characters! I’ve heard wonderful things about Elly’s adult fiction books, and she’s proven with this one that she’s also a dab hand at children’s fiction!


Thank you very much to Hachette for sending me a copy of this title!

TBR – April 2019

Something new that I’m going to try…having some thoughts at the beginning of the month as to which books I’d like to read and review! So, without further ado, here’s my April TBR:

img_3643How To Make Friends With The Dark – Kathleen Glasgow

Publishing on 11th April, I was lucky enough to receive a proof of this gorgeous book a while back (thank you Rock The Boat!). I got a fair way into it and was really enjoying what I read, but then Christmas came and then there was a bereavement in the family so it wasn’t really the best book to read, so through no fault of the book I just haven’t finished it. I’m really hoping to get around to it in the next couple of weeks, hopefully before publication!

img_4644Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly

Another proof that I was so happy to receive was this one from Hot Key (thank you!) which comes out on 15th May. It’s a follow on from Cinderella but it has a lot of Caraval vibes so far – there’s magic and intrigue and I can’t wait to finish reading it this month!

TryTo All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han

I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet because I’m OBSESSED with the Netflix adaptation! I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one and I know I’ll need a good contemporary to get stuck into soon after some fantasy and heavier books!

Call It What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer

One that I’ve recently received via NetGalley from Bloomsbury (thank you!) is the latest book from one of my favourite contemporary writers in recent years. I hope to get to this before its publication in June.

Have you read or want to read any of these?

kayleigh