Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Review of Blood Family

Title: Blood Family
Author: Anne Fine


Edward is four years old when he is locked away with his mother by her abusive, alcoholic partner, Harris. By the time an elderly neighbour spots his pale face peering through a crack in the boarded-up window and raises the alarm, he is seven.

Rescue comes, but lasting damage has been done. Sent to live with a kindly foster family, and then adopted, Edward struggles to adapt to normal life. Even as a teenager it's still clear to his new family and schoolmates there's something odd about him.

Then one fateful day, Edward catches a glimpse of himself in a photograph. What he sees shocks him to the core - a vision of Harris. Was this monster his father all along? And does that mean that, deep down, another Harris is waiting to break out

Every step of progress Edward has made swiftly begins to unravel, and he has to decide whether his blood will determine his future.

My Review:

Finally, a Carnegie book I actually enjoyed!

The story follows Edward (or Eddie) who lives with his mother and her abusive partner, Harris. Eddie's been locked away for most of his life and it's only thanks to a nosy neighbour that he is rescued.

He gets fostered by a family, who are lovely. However, a lot of damage has been done to Eddie and his mother has been damaged so much that she can barely talk.

As Eddie grows up, he encounters problems of his own. He thinks that he maybe he will turn out like his father. After all, blood is thicker than water. He worries that he will turn into the Beast that he fears and loathes. He takes to drink and you get a clear picture of exactly what drink can lead to.

The novel is told in different characters voices - they all play a part in the plot. This makes the book easy to read and very enjoyable. I couldn't put it down once I'd started it. You hear every characters thoughts, feelings and views bar Eddie's mother who has been scarred so much that she cannot think or function. It's very sad to see Eddie and his mother.  

Lots of people help Eddie on his journey and there is a happy ending. However, prepare to feel harrowed throughout reading this. It is not an easy read but the story will stay with you long after you finish it.

I cannot fault this book however, if you are looking for a gripping yet haunting book then look no further. 

I'd recommend this book to older readers as the themes in the book are not suitable for children younger than 12/13. 


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Friday, 20 June 2014

Blog Tour: Flashes

Flashes is the latest book by Tim O'Rourke. It tells the story of Charley after the death of her best friend. She's lost her true friend, the one she trusts the most and the only one who knew about her flashes.

Her flashes become more and more intense, and they focus on a murder...  She wants to prevent another death so with the help of detective Tom they set out to discover what happened. 

Below is the second part of the book trailer!

Flashes is now available on paperback and ebook.
Thank you to Chicken House for providing me with a copy.
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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

No Post

Sadly there will be no post today as I have something very exciting scheduled for Friday! Keep you eyes peeled for that!

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Friday, 13 June 2014

FF (18)

Want to join Follow Friday? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read!

This weeks question is...

Armchair Travel! Tell us about your favorite book in a setting you’d like to visit (a real place for this question).

I think I'd go for Micheal Morpurgo's 'Running Wild'. It's set in the forests of Indonesia and I think it would be super cool to go there!

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Review of Ghost Hawk

Title: Ghost Hawk
Author: Susan Cooper
In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival, which will turn him into a man. 

But outside the woods, the world is changing, English settlers are landing on the shores of the New World, and tensions between native tribes and the invaders are rising.

Little Hawk's fate become irreversibly entwined with that of John, a young English boy who dares to question intolerance. He is witness to a secret murder - will he now be witness to bloodshed between nations?

My Review:
Another Carnegie book here.
I wasn't really excited to read this, the blurb didn't really excite me and as I started reading I found that I just couldn't get into it. 
Little Hawk must survive 3 months on his own in the woods to become a man, I thought that was the whole story. You followed him through his 3 months. (Frankly, I think that would've made a far better story). Sadly, that wasn't the case, you follow him through the 3 months very quickly and then you're back to where you started. Only everybody's dead. 
After that, I gave up reading, I hadn't enjoyed the book up until now and I was just reading without taking anything in. There wasn't any point in me continuing to read it as I was hating what I was reading. Unimpressed with this story, would not recommend.
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Saturday, 7 June 2014

FF (17)

Want to join Follow Friday? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read!

Sorry I'm late this week! And I'm sorry I completely forgot last week!
This weeks question is...

Question of the Week: What are your non-book guilty pleasures? Like TV shows, food, websites, hobbies, etc.

For TV shows, I love Merlin. At the moment my favourite shows are The Next Step and I Wanna Marry 'Harry'. Really cheesy American shows but y'know, I like 'em! For food I love Kettle Chips, the sea salt and balsamic vinegar ones. For websites I like to look at Boots and clothing shops. And for hobbies I love photography, blogging and reading trashy gossip magazines!

Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Collab: Money

Today, the amazing Iris and I have done a collab! The task was to write a story on the theme of wishes. We each wrote a 100 word first part, swapped and then finished the story! Here's mine! Iris's words are in italics! Don't forget to check out her story here
"I wish I didn't have a test next week-wait, no. I wish, I wish I had my dream job. Actually..."

"1 million dollar grants you one wish darling. You'll just have to trust us."

And so she walked away, a million gone from her account, and no clue what she wanted to use her wish for. It's what my company, Desire, does; we grant wishes. But thinking of a single thing to benefit their lives, a single thing to make all that money worth it causes them to really think of what they want. Some find their wish, some don't.

And so the next day I came back, sure of what I wanted.

"Money." I said. "I just want unlimited money!"

"Are you 100% sure madam, you can never change your wish, nor can you have another one."

"Yes, I'm completely sure. Money can buy you happiness!"

"Okay, if that is what you desire."

I walked away happily with a greedy glint in my eye. I was naive, I was about to learn that money is not always the solution. It doesn't make you truly happy.

Sure, it was great to start off with. I bought houses, holidays, clothes and anything else I could think of, but gradually I turned everybody away. I was too good for them. All my family, all my friends, all my partners. Gone.

At first I enjoyed being by myself, I didn't need any body. I could what I wanted, when I wanted. Nobody could stop me.

However, as I got older, I saw my old friends settle down. I had nobody, just money. I was too greedy to get rid of it. I couldn't part with it. I sacrificed my true happiness for cold, hard cash.

I got older and older until eventually I became an old lady. A lonely old lady. A lonely, rich old lady. Everyday I regretted my wish. I didn't need that money, I could've lived without it. I realised that money doesn't buy true happiness. I'd been to some amazing places and had some incredible experiences, but I was alone whilst doing them. I had no-one to share them with. And then I thought about what I should've wished for all those years ago, and that was someone to share my life with, someone to share all my experiences with.

Now the people at Desire tell my story. I don't want the same thing that happened to me to happen to anybody else. It makes them think carefully about what they really want, what will truly make them happy. 

You have to be careful what you wish for...
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