ASKING FOR A FRIEND – Kate Mallinder

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RELEASED: 04/06/2020
PUBLISHER: Firefly Press
GENRE: Teen Contemporary Fiction

A feel-good YA story from the author of Summer of No Regrets about valuing the friends that value you. Agnes, Hattie and Jake travel on the school bus together but don’t know each other well. They plan a week in Weston as a ‘study break’ before exams but none of them admit the real reasons they need to get away. Agnes must find her sister. Hattie can’t bear being home now all her friends have ghosted her. And Jake is afraid he’s ill and has absolutely no idea how to tell anyone. Thrown together, what will happen when the secrets start to spill out?

I always find that there’s a bit of a gap between children’s books and young adult, and that there is definitely a lack of just teen fiction. So, when I was given the opportunity to read Kate Mallinder’s latest book Asking For A Friend, I was very keen to read this one as it seems to be the perfect “tween” book and something light yet fulfilling.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed, and flew through this book! I just loved the writing, the story, the characters and everything about it; it was easy to get stuck into and had plenty to make me want to keep reading. I love how it wasn’t too heavy on the life stuff whilst still having very much real characters who did face their own individual challenges, and I love the message of friendship. The three main characters were all so different and yet they fit in with each other perfectly!

Going back to the friendship theme, I think that makes this such an important book to read. It really showed how you can find friendship in the most unlikely of people, and how those friendships can be the most rewarding. Like the synopsis says, it’s important to value the friends who value you, and this is such an important message to carry through life and I love how, with this book, it’s a very accessible message that such a variety of readers can access. Asking for a Friend is approachable to such a wide range of readers; it’s not a daunting book to pick up but it’s still thought provoking, it has different characters from different backgrounds and both male and female perspectives, and it covers thoughts that many of us deal with growing up.

Immediately after finishing Asking for a Friend, I purchased Kate’s first book, Summer of No Regrets and I very much look forward to reading that too! I’ve definitely found a new favourite author who I will go to whenever I want a book that I can escape into!

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Thank you to Firefly for sending me the eBook of this title, and to Kate for having me on the blog tour!

VENOM – Bex Hogan

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RELEASED: 16/04/2020
PUBLISHER: Hachette
GENRE: YA Fiction, Fantasy

Marianne is now the Viper, but her hopes for peace in the Eastern Isles are being frustrated. The corrupt King remains on the throne, bandits are proving hard to stop and Marianne is not sure who among her crew she can truly trust.

For the islands to prosper, the invisible bond that once existed uniting land and sea must be reinstated. There’s only one way that can happen – the return of magic. To do that Marianne must put aside all her fears: she must return to her roots, the Western Isles, and call on the power that runs in her blood.

She must become a Mage.

Only then, can she possibly command the army needed to finally take down the King.

Bex Hogan is one of the loveliest authors I’ve ever met, spoken to online, and in general. So WHY DID SHE THINK IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO END VENOM LIKE THIS?!

I know that I am not alone in my desperation for book three in this series, Vulture, to come out next year; the cliffhanger that Venom finishes on…oh gosh! Obviously, with this review, I do not want to spoil anything. But as you start to near the end, you just know things aren’t going to tie up nicely ready for the wait for book three. It’s inevitable that you will be left hungry for more.

The Isles of Storm and Sorrow series started off with the incredible Viper, which was one of the best YA fantasy books I’ve ever read, and it continues with Venom, one of the best YA fantasy sequels I’ve ever read. Even if it did destroy me, and a lot of other readers.

The thing I loved about Venom was how the characters and story really developed, and how you can see the excellent world building is. I really began to get a feel for the twelve isles and understand more about the story and what’s going on. Like Viper, it’s one of those books that you can read 50 pages without even realising – it’s just so addictive and brilliant!

I can’t recommend this series enough, and Venom was a fantastic sequel that’s left me hungry for even more!

Six for Sunday – 3rd May 2020

Good afternoon! I’m looking forward to this month’s theme – I do love a good series of books! Six for Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by A Little But A Lot! Today’s theme is:

Showing some series love: favourite book one in series

  1. Midnight for Charlie Bone – Jenny Nimmo
  2. Viper – Bex Hogan
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling
  4. Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens
  5. The Doomspell – Cliff McNish
  6. Inkheart – Cornelia Funke

This was actually tricky – I LOVE so so many book ones in series! I could’ve gone on and on, so narrowing it down to six was hard!

kayleigh