MALAMANDER – Thomas Taylor

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RELEASED: 02/05/2019
PUBLISHER: Walker
GENRE: Children’s, Middle Grade, Mystery, Fantasy

Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous Malamander creep…

Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl.

No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up.

And it just got stranger…

This book was a total cover buy; sure it sounded pretty good, but I saw it and I needed it on my bookshelf. That said…

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

I have found a new favourite middle grade book! Malamander is the first book in a long time that I have literally devoured; I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting! I think that I just loved the whole setting of Eerie-on-Sea, the characters, the attention to detail and yet so easy to get lost in style of writing.

Fun fact – Thomas Taylor is the artist behind the original Harry Potter illustrations.

With Malamander, he shows that not only is he a dab hand at art, but also at crafting an incredible world full of mystery and intrigue. Herbert Lemon makes for a brilliant narrator; it’s fun and gripping, and the atmosphere created throughout the book really makes you feel as though you’re there in the story!

I’m quite happy with this review just being a gushy length of text saying how much I loved the book! There are so many twists and turns, and this book really is an experience that I’d hate to even spoil one part of; it’s truly special! My advice is to get yourself a copy as soon as possible, admire the cover, check out the map of Eerie-on-Sea and then settle down for one of the best reads of this year.

On a side note, I’ve now decided that I’d like to work in the Eerie Book Dispensary; I mean, I have a qualification as a dispenser…and I love books…the job’s pretty much mine.

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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

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

Gifts for the Potter Nerd

As you may or may not know, I work for Boots, and although I now work in the healthcare department, it doesn’t stop me from getting super excited about the Christmas range when it comes into store. This is a long overdue post; back in October I heard that we were getting an exciting new range in store for Christmas, which combines my love of makeup with books!

A HARRY POTTER RANGE!!

The gifts include eye shadow palettes for all the houses, bath bombs, creams, brushes, makeup bags, nail varnish…and it’s all Harry Potter themed!

These are just a few of the products you can find, and they’re some of my favourite gifts available this year – perfect for the bookworm in your life! Plus, they are available on the 3for2 mix and match offer which makes them even better!

Have you seen this range? Which items would you like to get for Christmas?

kayleigh

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 28th October 2018

I couldn’t pass up today’s Top Ten Tuesday! The theme is perfect as we near the end of Blogtober! This is a tag hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week it’s:

Halloween

which witch1. Which Witch? – Eva Ibbotson

2. Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball – Laura Ellen Anderson

3. The Beasts of Clawstone Castle – Eva Ibbotson

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling

5. The Grotlyn – Benji Davies

img_06406. Breathe – Cliff McNish

7. The Poisoned House – Michael Ford

8. Newes from the Dead – Mary Hooper

9. Witch Child – Celia Rees

10. The Crucible – Arthur Miller

I love a good witchy book! I posted more recommendations in my Spooky Reads for Young Readers, Children and Older Readers posts earlier this month! I’m very excited for Halloween tomorrow – will you be celebrating it?

Six for Sunday: 21st October 2018

It feels like so long ago that it was last Sunday! I’ve been off all week which has been lovely, and I’ve actually been keeping up with Blogtober which I’m so pleased about! Welcome back to one of the best tags on the internet, Six for Sunday (you can find the prompts here). This week’s topic is:

Books I want to reread

1.  Image result for the great good thingThe Great Good Thing – Roderick Townley 

I remember adoring this book when I first read it, and it’s one that I’ve been meaning to pick up again for years!

Image result for inkheart

2. Inkheart – Cornelia Funke

I think everyone was reading this when I was in year six, and we all absolutely loved this series. I’ve been meaning to reread it for years so I can continue with the trilogy.

3. Image result for the thief lordThe Thief Lord – Cornelia Funke

I LOVE THIS BOOK! It took me ages to pick up, and I regretted not reading it sooner; it’s such a good one. I also love the film adaptation, although the book is way better.

Related image4. Midnight for Charlie Bone – Jenny Nimmo

I’ve read this series so many times, but I still need to read it again! It’s one that just keeps you gripped from book to book, and is definitely very underrated!

Related image5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling

I reread this every year…I haven’t read it so far this year so it’s due!

Image result for the silver child cliff mcnish6. The Silver Child – Cliff McNish

I adore this book; it took me ages to actually get into when I initially read it, but as soon as I gave it a proper read I couldn’t put it down! I remember when I got my copies of this series signed and Cliff said that he hadn’t seen the hardback for years, which makes mine very special!

I could go on; I have so many books that I want to reread! Have you read any of these?

My Favourite Book to Film Adaptations

This is a post that I’ve wanted to do for a while, since so many amazing adaptations have been coming out. With some, I’ve read the book before the adaptation for the big/little screen, but others I’ve discovered the book before the film. I’d like to share a few of my favourites with you today!

Image result for to all the boys i loved beforeTo All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han (Netflix)

Image result for to all the boys i loved beforeOkay, so I haven’t actually read this book yet…but it’s imminent! However, I couldn’t not include it in this list because the Netflix adaptation is SO GOOD! I became addicted to the story of Lara Jean as soon as I watched it for the first time, and I have now lost count of how many times I’ve watched it! From what I’ve heard, the book is just as good!

Image result for the kissing booth netflix posterThe Kissing Booth – Beth Reekles (Netflix)

Image result for the kissing boothAnother Netflix adaptation that I’ve been obsessed with this year is The Kissing Booth. I’d never even heard of the book, but as soon as I discovered that it was based on a book I just had to get a copy! I really enjoyed the book, and the adaptation is very true to the book which is good, but I will say that in this case I prefer the film!

Image result for a series of unfortunate events netflix posterA Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket (Netflix)

Image result for a series of unfortunate events the bad beginningOne of my favourite series as a child was A Series of Unfortunate Events, and, whilst I kind of liked the film adaptation starring Jim Carey, the first film condensing books one to three into the one film just didn’t do the books justice and cut out so many brilliant parts and messed up the whole timeline. So, I was so excited to see that Netflix were doing a serial adaptation starring Neil Patrick Harris. And WOW! It’s such a good version with just the right amount of darkness and humour, keeping true to the books and just doing them justice that the first film did not!

Image result for love simon posterSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli (Love, Simon)

Image result for simon vs the homosapien agendaAnother title that I’ve not actually read yet, despite owning the book for years, is Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

 

 

Image result for love rosie coverWhere Rainbows End – Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)

Image result for where rainbows endOne of the first books to ever make me cry, Where Rainbows End is just perfect and is one of the most underrated books. As a bookseller, I was shocked to see that this wasn’t a staple book on the shelves and so would order copies in and be delighted to see that they’d always sell! The film adaptation Love, Rosie is just as good and is easily one of my favourite rom coms.

Image result for thirteen reasons why netflix posterThirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher (Netflix)

Image result for thirteen reasons why bookI was a bit hesistant about including this title on this list; I like the Netflix series, but as a separate thing because I don’t think it takes the strengths from one of my favourite books of all time. Thirteen Reasons Why is an incredible book that I think everyone should read, and so I was so excited for the adaptation. I did enjoy it, but I think that the book was more suited to a film rather than a series.

The Fundamentals of Caring poster.jpgThe Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving – Jonathan Evison (Netflix – The Fundamentals of Caring)

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving-ExLibraryThis is a hidden gem on Netflix; this film is so warm and funny and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Again, I haven’t actually read the book yet, but it is one that I want to read because the film adaptation is so good!

Related imageHow To Train Your Dragon – Cressida Cowell

Image result for how to train your dragon book oneThis series is just brilliant for fans of adventure and mythical creatures, and it’s written in such an engaging manner! The film, rightly so, has become a family favourite that people adore. The characters are just adorable with a story that is very touching.

Image result for me before youMe Before You – Jojo Moyes

Image result for me before you jo joOne of my favourite films and books of all time, Me Before You touches upon the serious topic of euthanasia whilst being a funny and heartwarming story. I can’t fault the adaptation, and love the film and book in equal measures. I did feel a bit bad laughing out loud as I read this book that is a guaranteed tear-jerker, but Will is just such a funny character!

Image result for harry potter and the philosopher's stoneHarry Potter – JK Rowling

Image result for harry potter and the philosopher's stoneOf course this book and film series made it on to this list! Harry Potter is a global phenomenon. Whilst the films aren’t as good as the books, as a separate series they are incredible. I do find that some of the humour is lost in the films, but that’s only natural.

Image result for a monster callsA Monster Calls – Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd

Image result for a monster callsA sob-fest for both the film and book, A Monster Calls filled a massive gap in children’s/young adult literature. It’s so rare to have a boy as a main character in such an emotion driven story. I think Siobhan Dowd would be so proud of the story that Patrick Ness crafted from her ideas, and of the film that subsequently was made.

The Illustrated Mum – Jacqueline Wilson

Image result for the illustrated mum posterSo you may have noticed the lack of film cover for this one – and that’s because I couldn’t find one! It was a TV film on Channel 4 back in 2003, and is one that I loved! I remember filming it on VHS and watching it over and over. It’s such a good adaptation of a book that I’ve realised as I’ve got older is so important. The Illustrated Mum is one of Jacqueline Wilson’s best books, and focuses on depression and bipolar disorder but in a way that’s perfect for younger readers.

Image result for me earl and the dying girl posterMe and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews

Image result for me earl and the dying girl jesse andrewsAnother film that, whilst it did get some recognition, didn’t get nearly enough hype as it deserved. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is such a good book that focuses on friendship and cancer, but in a way that’s accessible and humorous. The film was also a very good adaptation that was just as enjoyable to watch as the book was to read.

Image result for the fault in our stars movieThe Fault In Our Stars – John Green

Image result for the fault in our starsI remember sobbing when I read The Fault in Our Stars, and, whilst I knew what was going to happen, I sobbed at the film too! That said, I absolutely love both the book and the film, and it’s definitely worth all the hype. Out of all of John Green’s books, this one is the stand out title, and is one that I would pick up again and again. The film is a beautiful adaptation.

 

So there we go! A long list of my favourite book to film adaptations – have you read or watched any of these? Have I missed off any of your favourites?

 

Six for Sunday: 14th October 2018

Hello and welcome back to Six for Sunday (you can find the prompts here!). I hope you’ve all had a good week. Today I’ve been down to see my friend for dinner so she can meet the other half and we can talk wedding plans for her (I’m Chief Bridesmaid. I’m very excited) and am now looking forward to an evening of sorting out my blog! I’ve found this week’s topic to be fairly easy, but also tricky; there are so many to choose from! The topic is:

Favourite series

1.  Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens

Guaranteed to break any reading slump, this series is addictive and makes for such an enjoyable read! Each book has an intricate mystery that keeps readers hooked and guessing.

2. Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

Another reading slump buster, this series is just incredible. It sparked my love of Sarah J Maas and YA fantasy, and is just a gripping series.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas

Rhysand. Need I say more. I hated this one at first because I didn’t like Feyre  much as a narrator, but once I was gripped, I was gripped!

4. Children of the Red King – Jenny Nimmo

One of the most underrated series of all time, the series had me hooked from book one, Midnight for Charlie Bone, and it deserves as much love as Harry Potter. Speaking of which…

5. Harry Potter – JK Rowling

Are you surprised to see this one on here? Me too.

6. The Doomspell Trilogy – Cliff McNish

Another incredibly underrated series, The Doomspell is like a dark Narnia series that is just exquisite! 

There were so many more that I could’ve chosen from – I loved so many series growing up and still do so narrowing it down was actually really tricky! Have you read any of these series?

GUEST POST: Emmi-Llewela

I’m here today with a very special blog post that was unexpectedly written when I sat down to write today’s post…but I never got to the typing because my laptop was stolen by the small child that is my little sister Emmi. Emmi is seven and has had a fun evening blogging. I hope you enjoy her little post below about some of her likes. She formatted and typed it all herself!

emmi grandad's secret giant

Hello It’s Emmi and I love horses.I like colouering book’s.My favourite  book is Roald Dahl.I like Roald Dahl because there funny.My favourite book is Charlie and the Choclate factory. My favourite picture book is OI DOG!AND OI FROG! And my favourite movie Is Harry Potter .The saddest movie I’v ever watched Is War horse because a horse dies.I have riding lessons and my favourite horse is called Eclipse.

 

 

Spooky Reads for Children

Welcome back to my Spooky Reads recommendations, and this time I am looking at books for older children. That said, this list includes some timeless classics that everyone can love! So without further ado, here are some of the best books for reading this Autumn and October!

The Black Book of Secrets – F.E.Higgins

The Witches – Roald Dahl

The Witches (Dahl Fiction)

Which Witch – Eva Ibbotson

Which Witch?

 

 

 

 

Monster Mission -Eva Ibbotson

Monster Mission

The Beasts of Clawstone Castle – Eva Ibbotson

The Beasts of Clawstone Castle

The Secret of Platform 13 – Eva Ibbotson

The Secret of Platform 13

 

 

 

 

A Place Called Perfect – Helena Duggan

A Place Called Perfect (Place Called Perfect 1)

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

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: 1/7 (Harry Potter 1)

Midnight for Charlie Bone – Jenny Nimmo

Midnight for Charlie Bone

 

 

 

 

The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens

Murder Most Unladylike: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery

The Clockwork Sparrow – Katherine Woodfine

The Clockwork Sparrow (Sinclair's Mysteries)

 

 

 

 

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror – Chris Priestley

Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror

The Apprentice Witch – James Nicol

The Apprentice Witch

The Weather Witch – Paul Stewart

The Weather Witch

 

 

 

 

Have you read any of these? What would you recommend for children as perfect reads this Halloween?