Thursday, 3 May 2018

Just some Mini Reviews


Hello! I haven't done many Mini Reviews lately so I thought this week I would share some with you. 

I try to review every book I read  so these Mini Reviews are perfect for when I don't feel like I have enough to say in a long review. I am hoping to make these more frequent so please do keep a look out.

The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart
Published by Penguin
Released 11th January 2018

Sep, Arkle, Mack, Lamb and Hadley: five friends thrown together one hot, sultry summer. When they discover an ancient stone box hidden in the forest, they decide to each make a sacrifice: something special to them, committed to the box for ever. And they make a pact: they will never return to the box at night; they'll never visit it alone; and they'll never take back their offerings.

Four years later, the gang have drifted apart. Then a series of strange and terrifying events take place, and Sep and his friends understand that one of them has broken the pact.

As their sacrifices haunt them with increased violence and hunger, they realise that they are not the first children to have found the box in their town's history. And ultimately, the box may want the greatest sacrifice of all: one of them.

I wanted so badly to like this book as the concept itself seemed really mysterious and immediately had me intrigued. However, it fell short. I couldn’t get on with the writing style - I felt there was too much description and not enough plot. Also, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters at all. There wasn’t much development and I didn’t find myself rooting for them. It was a disappointing read..but you can’t like them all.

Twelve Nights by Andrew Zurcher
Published by Penguin Random House Children's
Released 5th April 2018

Kay's father is working late- as usual. Fed up, her mother bundles Kay and her sister into the car, and drives to his Cambridge college to collect him.

But, the staff say nobody by his name has ever worked there.

When they return home, Kay discovers a card left on her pillow:

Will O. de Wisp, Gent. F.H.S.P. and Phillip R. T. Gibbet, Gent. F.H.S.P. K.Bith. REMOVALS. 

That night, Kay is woken by voices at her window: the voices of Will and Phillip, the Removers. But they are not human. And Kay shouldn't be able to see them. Except she can..

DNF - I wanted so badly to like this book especially as I had received an ARC of it. However, I was solely disappointed. It had promise but it just fell short for me. I found the plot to be confusing and despite there being lots of incredible description (from what I read) I felt it didn’t really help move the story on. I got near enough up to page 150 when I realised Twelve Nights just wasn’t engaging me. A let down if I’m honest as I had such high hopes.


Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton
Published by Hot Key Books
Released 8th February 2018

Lily wakes up one crisp Sunday morning on the side of the road. She has no idea how she got there. It is all very peaceful. and very beautiful. It is only when the police car, and then the ambulance arrive, and she sees her own body, that she realises that she is in fact... dead. But what is she supposed do now? Lily has no option but to follow her body and see her family – her parents and her twin brother start falling apart. And then her twin brother Ben gives her a once in a deathtime opportunity - to use his own body for a while. But will Lily give Ben his body back? She is beginning to have a rather good time..

After reading YA fantasy for a long time it was good to dive into a YA Contemporary. Sunflowers in February was an emotional read that had an unique take on grief and what happens when someone you love passes on. However, I found the plot to be somewhat predictable and most of my guesses were right. I like to be surprised when reading and this didn’t have any surprises. I also found it quite hard to connect with our MC Lily. I found her to be a pretty selfish person and some of her choices had me rolling my eyes. Despite these, I loved the writing style and the fact that the author took some risks with a pretty sensitive topic.


The List of Real Things by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
Published by Orion Children's Books
Released 29th March 2018

Grace knows the difference between what's real and the strange ideas that float around in her little sister's mind. Their parents died - that's real. A secret hotel on the cliff-top where their parents are waiting - definitely NOT real. So when grief strikes again, Grace is determined not to let her sister's outlandish imagination spiral out of control. But the line between truth and fantasy is more complicated than it seems...


Although marketed for middle grade, The List of Real Things was a really emotional, heart wrenching read that had me reaching for the tissues once or twice…or maybe more. The story flowed really easily and the writing style was just lovely. It just felt really natural. Also, the magic realism was really exciting and took me on an amazing journey that I didn’t want to come away from. It was a touching read about life, loss, grief and how truly magical the imagination can really be. It really does makes you wonder about what is real and what isn’t and how we truly define reality. Despite being targeted for a younger audience I can see anyone of any age taking something away from this book.



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