THE TRUTH PIXIE – Matt Haig

the truth pixie5/5

I’ve wanted to write this review ever since I read The Truth Pixie, but I just haven’t quite known where to start!

The Truth Pixie is such a magical little book that I strongly believe everyone should read (I’ve bought eight copies as gifts this Christmas!) and it’s one that can be enjoyed again and again.

To begin with, it’s not a daunting read at all. It’s tiny. But, for such a small book, it carries so many important messages and provides so much comfort for people going through all sorts of difficulties from anxiety to grief. The description of it being “Reasons To Stay Alive for seven year olds” is not wrong! Then you have the fact that it’s beautifully illustrated by Chris Mould. Whilst his illustrations are not my usual type that I would go for, they fit the story and book perfectly.

I can’t recommend The Truth Pixie enough; whether it’s for yourself or as a gift, it’s the perfect little book to have.

kayleigh

 

 

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PENGUIN PROBLEMS – Jory John, Lane Smith

penguin problems5/5

Penguin Problems is SO GOOD!

What I love about this book is that it can be both hilarious and meaningful at the same time with a wonderfully grumpy penguin as the main character. His life is just full of problems…or so he thinks, because, whilst he may be having a difficult time, he’s got so much that isn’t a problem.

We start off meeting this fed up penguin and see him have a particularly trying day full of things that irritate him (which I’m sure many people can relate to!), but, after he meets a walrus who shows him how he’s exactly where he needs to be, he starts to see the positivity in everything…for a while anyway!

This is definitely one of my go to books to buy for all my friends and family just because of how relatable and entertaining it is, as well as Lane Smith’s beautiful illustrations which capture Penguin’s personality perfectly!


Thank you to Jo at Walker for sending me a copy of this book!

LAST STOP ON THE REINDEER EXPRESS – Maudie Powell-Tuck, Karl James Mountford

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No picture can quite do justice to the sheer beauty of this meaningful Christmas picture book. This was a total cover buy – as soon as I recognised it as being illustrated by  Karl James Mountford, I bought it there and then having no clue about what was inside. So, when I sat down to read this book, I was captivated by story and the beautiful illustrations!

Last Stop on the Reindeer Express is a Christmas tale full of warmth and meaning. With more and more families not being the traditional nuclear family, at Christmas children can often feel torn and unsure about who they’ll spend Christmas with. This book tackles this difficult topic in a sensitive way that shows those children that they’re not alone, and that no matter who they spend Christmas with, they are loved.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough; whether or not it’s a book that’s relevant to your own situation, it’s a joy to read and the illustrations are magical! It’s definitely one to add to your bookshelf this Christmas.

kayleigh

WWW Wednesday: 5th December 2018

Hello and welcome to my first WWW Wednesday of Blogmas 2018! I’ve slowed down my reading a little bit this week; I’ve had another exam for work (passed, yay!) and am starting to prepare for Christmas and Blogmas meaning that I just haven’t had a chance to read!

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What are you currently reading? 

I started How To Make Friends With The Dark by Kathleen Glasgow last week after being very lucky and getting sent a beautiful proof copy! I loved Girl in Pieces so had high hopes for this book, and so far am definitely not disappointed! The only reason I’ve stalled a bit is because I just can’t put it down once I start reading so I need time!

the story orchestra the nutcracker
What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds, which I actually really enjoyed! I also got sent a copy of The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker by Jessica Courtney-Tickle, just in time for the Christmas season!

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What do you think you’ll read next?

I still want to get around to reading Enchantée!

kayleigh

THE STORY ORCHESTRA: THE NUTCRACKER – Jessica Courtney-Tickle

the story orchestra the nutcracker5/5

The Nutcracker is the second book in The Story Orchestra series, and it provides a magical Christmas adventure for everyone who reads it. From the music to the illustrations, this beautiful adaptation of The Nutcracker is really enchanting and made me feel all warm and like I’m ready for Christmas!

Again, as with all the books in this series, it provides a creative and unique experience for the reader; you’re encouraged to use your imagination and see how you feel the music would change the story. My sister gets very excited every time I offer to read this book with her as she loves the interactivity and looking at the illustrations.

This is a must-have book for Christmas!

 


Thank you to Megan at Quarto for sending me a copy of this book!

THAT’S NOT MY LLAMA… – Fiona Watt, Rachel Wells

that's not my llama5/5

Honestly, I squealed as soon as I saw this book in the supermarket, I embarrassed my boyfriend as I ran across the aisle to grab my beautiful copy, and then I proceeded to grin like a cheshire cat all the way back home.

Similarly to the other Usborne touchy-feely books, we meet a variety of llamas who can’t possibly be my llama due to a series of different img_3636textures that make each one unique. This book is very colourful and engaging, and very fun to read.

That’s Not My Llama… is definitely my favourite in this awesome series from Usborne, even beating the beautiful That’s Not My Unicorn…! It makes the perfect gift for that llama-lover in your life, whether they’re big or small!

OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS – Justin A. Reynolds

opposite of always4.5/5

Opposite of Always is a little gem of a YA contemporary that is so brilliantly written and unique, with a host of characters who aren’t perfect which makes them so real. I found this book impossible to put down, highly relatable and full of purpose. It’s about living and how things can’t always be how we want them to be and how every action can have an impact.

This may be slightly controversial to say, but I do tend to struggle to get into books that I’m unable to relate to – such as teen books set in America or with a lot of diverse characters that I may not have much in common with. So, Opposite of Always, a book set in the black community in a small town in America, is not the sort of book I would expect to find myself particularly enjoying, but I loved it! The way that Justin has created his opposite of alwayscharacters makes them come to life, and, whilst you know which community they represent, it doesn’t define the whole book and felt just like reading any other brilliantly written YA book that’s sole purpose isn’t to be diverse. That in itself felt quite refreshing. Next, add in that I’m not a massive fan of time travel, and we have here a book that in essence I should not have liked!

I’m so glad that I gave this book a chance and requested it, and I strongly urge fans of authors such as Sara Barnard and Phyllida Shrimpton to get their hands on a copy as soon as they can! It’s a wonderful book!


Thank you to MyKindaBook via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

THE STORY ORCHESTRA: THE SLEEPING BEAUTY – Jessica Courtney-Tickle

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As soon as I received an email through saying that copies of the third stunning book in The Story Orchestra series were available for request, I didn’t hesitate in replying! Four Seasons in One Day is a book that my sister and I love to read together and the children at her school love it too, so I had no doubt that I would love The Sleeping Beauty. Luckily, we were not at all disappointed, and this has turned out to be my favourite in the series so far!

The Sleeping Beauty, like the previous titles in this series, is a beautiful book that makes for a hugely enjoyable read since it combines a story with music. In this case, we have the classic story of The Sleeping Beauty accompanied by the music from Tchaikovsky. The pieces of music selected really compliment the story and Jessica’s illustrations are a delight to look at!

I really hope for more in this series; they just keep getting better and better!


Thank you to Megan at Quarto for sending me a copy of this book!

FIERCE FRAGILE HEARTS – Sara Barnard

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So…as I write this review it’s 2018. I’ve already decided what one of the top books of 2019 is, and it’s this one – the sequel to the equally wonderful Beautiful Broken Things.

I was so desperate for a copy of this book, and I’m so glad that I was approved on NetGalley to read it early! The only reservation I had was that it was so long ago that I read Beautiful Broken Things that I thought I wouldn’t remember anything about it and would struggle to get into the new title, but how wrong I was! It’s a testament to how brilliant Sara’s writing and characterisation is that I was thrown straight back into the world with some of the most wonderful characters!

img_3606A key factor that makes Sara’s books so popular and loved is that her characters are real. They’re perfectly flawed, relatable and diverse. For example, as we’ve previously seen in her books, mental health is a key theme that she gets right – in Fierce Fragile Hearts, whether or not you have experience of anxiety, depression or bipolar, there’re parts of Suze (our main character) that are highly relatable to all readers on some level. However, the thing that I love is that those heavy topics that in so many books you have to put them down, such as abuse and mental health, don’t define the book and overshadow the story. I guess what I’m very badly trying to say is that a subject that could be incredibly triggering is presented in a way that doesn’t detract from your enjoyment of the book.

I could witter on about how much I love this book for ages, and as the day has gone on the intensity of that feeling has grown, along with my feelings for Matt *swoon*. Yet again, a five-star read that I urge everyone to get their hands on!


Thank you to MyKindaBook via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

THE BANDIT QUEEN – Natalia and Lauren O’Hara

the bandit queen4.5/5

I went into this book a bit blind; I was literally going on the fact that it had a beautiful cover and is published by Puffin, and then I realised that it was from the pair behind Hortense and the Shadow, which explains why it’s so beautiful!

The Bandit Queen is a poetic story with morals intertwined that are subtle and open to interpretation. This makes for a really engaging story since you can get a lot out of it with each reread. I personally loved the message about needing structure and support in order to grow up, and how you can have everything that you think you want, but ultimately it’s family and friends who make the difference. That said, you could just see this as a fun children’s rhyming story, full of chaos and mischief!


Thank you very much to Puffin via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!