Tuesday, 30 December 2014
Book Review Sky Song, part one of a trilogy by Sharon Sant The best bit about finishing this book is that there are two more to read. I first became a fan of Sharon’s work after reading, ‘the memory game,’ which was an awesome read and this YA book does not disappoint. This story starts with an orphaned teenage boy Jacob, who’s world has been turned upside down. He is draw along a fated path, which he struggles to come to terms with. He has two close friends, his best friend Luca and Ellen. The story is filled with teenage angst, as Luca is Ellen’s girlfriend, however Jacob is able to connect to Ellen on a physic plain of which Luca is excluded. Sharon writes the connection between Jacobs family, his unknown parents and his parents who adopt him. We experience Jacob’s thoughts as he is forced to choice between all he knows and loves and a duty that is foreign to him. All good books have a baddy, someone of pure cunning evil and this story does not disappoint. There a brilliant descriptive fight scenes and imageries of real panic and fear of loss of those Jacob has come to love in the human world. Only a glimpse of Jacob’s real world is revelled so far, but I am sure that the next two books we will learn more. I recommend Sky Song and I am looking forward to following the story to the end.
Sunday, 14 December 2014
Juice for a healthy new year I am sure that some of my readers may be shocked about me recommending a juicing book, after all I not known for my healthy living. Being a lover of pop tarts and all thinks cake like. But like pretty much everyone I plan to start the New Year off with a bang and make a real effort to get back on track. I bought a juicer sometime ago and really enjoy using it. I got the PHILIPS Viva Collection HR1863/01 Juicer which cost 70 pounds at the time, but is on=line at the moment for under 50 pounds. It easy to clean and makes a good quantity of juice. I download, 40 recipes for weight loss and healthy living by Jenny Allen http://www.amazon.co.uk/Juicing-Recipes-Weight-Healthy-Living-ebook/dp/B00CGEZDOQ (free at the time of writing this) This is an American book so I am not sure that here in the UK we can get all the ingredients for some of the 40 recipes that are listed. But with a bit of imagination it’s possible to substitute some things and still get a refreshing drink. I have a saying if in doubt use an apple. The thing I liked best about this book is that the recipes are laid out nicely, and it tells you the weight loss and health benefits of each ingredients. And there are loads! Strawberries and Beetroot are high in antitoxins, and packed full of vitamins. Herbs such as parsley aid digestion and are low fat. There are fruit juices recipes and vegetable juices recipes. Ones you get the hang of making juice, it’s quite nice to make up your own. I like to mix fruit and veg together. A nice mixture is apple, beetroot, celery, orange and a carrot. That your 5 a day in one glass! I have found that a glass of juice is quite filling, although some mixes I have made on my own have not been so easy to swallow and I have washed them down with a packet of biscuits. LOL. But it’s all a learning curve
Monday, 27 October 2014
Review of Here Lies Love by Dan Thompson A Masterpiece from cover to end. Here is one of those rare books, which is constantly brilliant throughout. Each character is carefully described and very lifelike. The plot, which is macabre in places, moves at a pleasing pace too. The story starts with Abbey, the heroine, who is a feisty redhead, who along with other girls has been trapped and caged by a monster, Stefan. You hear her inner thoughts and fears as she waits her impending doom. She shudders at the sounds in the house; her captor’s perverse games which only aim is to thrill himself. She is very brave for such a young age of seventeen and this is her story of self-discovery and growth. Later in the book she meets characters her own age, Tristian and Ryan, both very lifelike in there description. Ryan, is tenderly described, he is the gentlest character in the book. His friendship with Tristian paramount in his life, and who I strongly suspect of being gay. Tristian, a strong and beautiful man, is exquisitely described, and probably the best hero I have every read. He is everything and more you would hope for Abbey. Abbey clings to life, almost faltering at one point, but her will to survive and seek the revenge against her father that she feels she need to move on with her life and find peace, drives her on. Her Father is a difficult character to understand at first, but the author writes him with all clarity, so you are left with no doubt at the end of the story. Dan Thompson is a poet and quite breath-taking in the way that he describes the planet and how the sun as escaped from the sky and the beauty of the moon and the stars. I could not put this book down; the story, both gripping and chilling. In between reading the chapters, I would think about the story and wonder what the next chapter would be. The story ends well; Abbey’s final fate is open and wholly her own choice, which leaves it open for a next book, which I will surely hope is one.
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Love Life, Live Life by Sue Stone Now and again, something will come along and smack though your life path, and I am glad to say that this book did this for me in a positive way. Sue though her writing teachers us that our thoughts make our reality, create our view and way that we experience our world. This book I believe is relative to everyone, and can make huge impacts in the way you can live and enjoy life. Using her own life experience Sue teachers you in easy steps not to dwell on the negative but rather to choice to focus on what you would like in your life; All be it the better job, car and friendships. The way to achieve this is spelled out for you and with practice by concentrating on the small things that are good in your life you can attract more good things. I have been practising Sue’s teachings for a few months now, and I have defiantly improved my well-being. Now I know some of you reading this right now, my think I am talking about wishful thinking, but that’s not it and I would whole heartily recommend this life affirming book to anyone, but especially those who feel they have no direction and are just going through the motions.
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Book review of the short story ‘Killer Salesman’ By R. A. Johns An office supplies sales man, Mr Needham, travels the breadth of England trying to reach his monthly target pretty unsuccessfully. He is an a vague man, married just three years, working a routing route and to begin with you suspect nothing out of the ordinary about him. R. A. Johns, describes the English landscape, the empty fields and lonely farm houses in her short story. The loneliness of this landscape ties into the main character own loneliness. Always being on the road and suspecting that while he is away his wife has other lovers. He toys with the idea of suicide, which gives you a glimpses into his state of mind. He is undoubtedly stressed, but appears however to like the challenge of stress, and the trill of the chase as R. A. Jones neatly puts it. The story starts to get interesting and take a different path, when, Mr Needham stays in a grubby hotel and becomes convinced at first that there is someone in his room and watching him. He also becomes fixated by a painting in his room, that he is convinced is changing before his eyes. The parallels seam to close to be coincidence. He is a salesman, the painting has a sales man in it, and they dress the same, suit and bowler hat. Mr Needham is convinced that the painting even changes to show the last place he visited that day, in which he made an unsuccessful sales pitch. Is he paranoid, tied or even just ill? He does to begin with suspect that he could be coming down with something. He is a bit obsessed with germs, remarking how many germs there are likely to be on a hotel key card. So there for could also be a bit of a hypochondriac. When the painting changes again R. A. Johns describes, the hotel setting. You get a sense of fear and shock as the salesman looks on in horror at his unfolding day play out in the image before him. He fears he is losing his mind, or is he dreaming? You will have to read the story to find out! Brilliant short story full of descriptive words and very interesting. Would highly recommend 5 stars.
Monday, 18 August 2014
This is an easy book for me to recommend. Why? It’s brilliant. Easy to read, action packed, wonderfully written characters, a touch of romance, and most importantly werewolves! Right from the very start the story grips you, as a brutal murder of a mother takes place in a small sleepy town in America where nothing out of the ordinary normally ever happens. The significance and the effects of this death are unravelled throughout the story as the plot thickens. The son of the dead woman, Grayson, who is a strongly written and is a beautiful tortured soul, battles with who he is and although strong, has a fragility that is heart-warming. My favourite character from Rooted has to be Chloe, and we view the story from her perspective. Chloe, a recent orphan herself, is a resilient teenager, and even though she has super powers, she is a very warm human character, worrying about her friendships and her place in the world. At the start of the story, her best friend of two years is Lillian, a cheerleader and natural beauty. Chloe starts the story off very much walking in her shadow and in complete admiration of her friend. But the introduction of a strange and somewhat out-of-place new character called Margot, who dresses like she is from the 1950s, shifts the dynamics of their friendship, with disastrous results. Thankfully, Chloe gets the support of a new friend Rebecca, and you feel Chloe’s relief in having a good friend. Rebecca is as human as you can get and her character grounds the story. Rebecca’s father, who gives respite and food to Chloe, adds a caring adult to the plot, which balances it nicely. I liked Chloe’s interaction with nature; she was soulful and kind. Never had I ever wanted to be a character in a book more than I did with Chloe. There is so much that I loved about this book, there are several plots and things happing at once, but it all comes together at the end; and like a light being switched on, you see the whole story. Amy beautifully writes every word with care. I love how she describes every detail from the food they’re eating, the clothes they’re wearing, even the coldness and dampness of the weather. I am a slow reader normally. But was hooked from the start. I forgot everything, from the washing up and even my writing. I just had to read the next chapter and the next until it was finished; it was like a drug. I cannot believe that this was Amy’s first book; here is a great writer, I am proud to write this review, and I look forward to reading anything else she writes. So if you have not read Amy’s book, go and read her book, and it’s free to download here https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/363165 Amazing art work on the cover also by Danielle Tunstall (http://www.danielletunstall.com/).
Sunday, 10 August 2014
Enchanting wonderfully crafted tale. Five stars. Being a child that grew up believing that monsters lived under by bed, I was instant drawn to this book which is beautifully and colourful illustrated by Pippa. Tony has a genius for writing for small children to captivate not only them but the parents for are reading the story which flows for page to page delightfully carried by the wonderful illustrations. A rhythmic story about an unexpected friendship between Fred a monster and a little boy named Dale. Their story leads them to monster land, Fred hides Dale in his fur. They meet Fred’s friend Bob who is the scariest monster. I think this book will encourage children to want to read, I like that there is counting in it also. I loved all the descriptions of the monsters, ‘googly eyes and flappy ears’ with are very engaging for children. I can’t wait to have grandchildren so I can read it out aloud to them. Kindle version £2.42 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Super-Fred-Tony-Gilbert-ebook/dp/B00L2K4CNS
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
The secret garden was written over one hundred years ago but Frances enchanting story still resonates with children and adults today the world over. The story starts in exotic India in the days of the British rule, rajahs, temples and tigers. Mary a plain and spoilt child spends her days not with her parents or other children but with her servant and playing by herself in an imaginary garden. Tragedy strikes and her parents are struck by typhoid and Mary is shipped off to the bleak Yorkshire moors to her uncle’s house, were they have little interest and time for her. Mary’s character along with all of the character’s in the book are both believable and beautifully written. You feel for her as she lays awake in a dark cold large house and hears strange cry’s in the night. Colin, Marys cousin is also a unloved and tolerated child, having everything provide for him, and to much time he slips into negative thinking and feels he is about to die at any moment. The other main child character is Dicken, who you are introduced to slowly by his sister who waits on Mary. The sister is a happy and hardworking child who worry’s a lot. Dicken introduces the concept of magic to the story, he charms animals and he knows how things grow and is in tune with nature and takes joy from everything around him. Mary and Colin are both drawn to Dicken and Dickens’ mother who sums up all that is kind and good in the world. All the way though the book runs the enticing theme of the secret garden. The robin Mrs Medlock the house keeper and Ben weather-staff the gardener, add layers of interest to the story. Colin’s illness which turns out just to be mostly in his head is cured by a new sense of his own self-awareness. He believes in the garden, he believes in science as he has read many books on the subject he believes in magic and it is these believes that will cure him. If you have not read this book for many years, or indeed like me have only up to now watched the films. I would strongly encourage you to get it from the library as itt is as fresh now as the day it was written. I enjoyed my magical escape into the secret garden, which is waiting for you, over the wall, just follow the robin!
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
This is truly a compelling read, written from a highly personally account of people suffering phobias. Malcom, a councillor, who has had a long career and worked on many different cases is a recent widower coming to terms with his own grief. You are drawn into the haunting world of Malcom, a man on the edge of reason, who has tried to use all of his professional counselling skills on himself, but has still come up short for the answer to solve his own personal pain. It is in fact, Malcom’s daughter who offers him some form of salvation in giving him a small leather bound notebook, instructing him to record his memories. Dan Thompson, who is a brilliant poet, skilfully writes this series of stories with colourful descriptive words. You feel as if you are in the room with Malcom as he re-lives the events and tries to record them in this precious book. Dan’s book is unique as it offers you the viewpoint from inside the phobia victim’s head, but also how the counsellor views the case and how he tries to solve it. You feel as if you are reading a personal diary. The phobias described are diverse, and somehow you would image that a counsellor who has years of experience would have all the answers and is trusted by his patients. However, as you find out, this has not always been the case and Malcom’s advice is proven to be over optimistic to a dangerous degree. The Caseworker’s Memoirs is divided into wonderfully playful chapters that allow the reader to dip in and out of the book, while still retaining a thread that joins all the stories together. I would highly recommend this book. 5 Stars.
Monday, 27 January 2014
Book Review Sharon Sant, ‘The Memory Game.’ Deeply moving read. 5 stars. The Memory Game starts with a bang and the subsequent energy carries you through the book at an incredible pace. The main two characters, teenagers David and Bethany, are skilfully and well written. The other characters in the book are equally well described and fill you with sadness, love and hatred whilst reading them. The main character David is trying to find the meaning for his existence throughout the book, which is filled with teenage angst. Sharon skilfully describes the characters’ pain and joy. The book is written with heartfelt sentiment and is at times brutally honest. I love the way that Sharon carefully describes everything from the mundanity of school to the joy of a sunrise to the simplicity and delicateness of the snow falling. But with all its bluntness it is first and last a love story, a story of a first kiss, of watching the person you love sleeping and all the tenderness that surrounds that ideal, that perhaps we have all had once in a fleeting moment and can only vaguely recall. The Memory Game is YA fiction at its best. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it easy to read. I would recommend it not only to teenagers but to anyone who enjoys a good story. As the title suggests, the characters experience sensations that remind you to be mindful of your own experiences in this fleeting journey of life.