Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Don't Read the Comments by Eric Smith

In a ripped from the headlines novel, Diyva, Aaron and their friends face harrassment and doxing when Diyva becomes popular in an online exploration game.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

Emil and Brighton are swept into a magical war on their eighteenth birthday. Struggling to survive, they must figure out which side they're on and who they can trust.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Double Review: A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen

As it happens, both of your fair bloggers read this book recently. When we realised we both had it on our TBRs, we agreed to double post the review. It turns out we had similiar, but not quite identical feelings about it anyway!

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Mini reviews

These two mini reviews were sent to me by a friend of the blog. I'm presenting them exactly as they came to me.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

The God Game by Danny Tobey

Charlie and his friends think it's just an AR game, until it starts having effects in real life. Things go right - and wrong - depending on how they perform in the Game. Still, it can't make them kill people, can it? Not unless they want to...

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Blog Tour: The Moon Hunters by Anya Pavelle

Welcome to the blog tour for this heart pounding new book! Anya was kind enough to stop by and give us some advice for writers. Especially appropriate now as Nanowrimo is on!

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran

Lia's uncle has run the kingdom into the ground with his excesses, allowing his ministers to run roughshod over the country. Lia is determined to turn things around. Her new spymaster may be able to help, but as the threads of conflict tangle around them, will they emerge unscathed?

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Thursday thought she was happy with her husband's other two wives. Until she finds out something she wasn't supposed to, and her perfect world starts falling down around her...

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Friday, 8 November 2019

Kitchen Witchcraft: Crystal Magic by Rachel Patterson

A wonderful guide to the world of crystals, with everything you need whether you're a new witch, an experienced practitioner, or just want something pretty to put in your home.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh

Shades of The Hunger Games as Astrid runs a dangerous race that might elevate her social standing...or might leave her broken or dead along the way.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts

Magical and mundane armies collide in the last of the trilogy set after the end of the world.

Third books of trilogys are tricky. It's hard to wrap everything up nicely, while still having a good story, and maybe leaving a couple of threads in case you want to expand the world afterwards. It's a fine line and sadly, for me at least, this one doesn't make it.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Off the Grid by John Hunt

Police Detective Jodie is called in on a missing child case. All the clues point to the town hermit, a disfigured man who lives out in the woods far from town. Jodie doesn't think he's guilty, but he's certainly involved...

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Things can Only get Better by David M Barnett

Left adrift when his beloved wife died, Arthur moved into a disused chapel in the cemetery grounds and took up a job as groundskeeper. He lives a solitary life and enjoys it. Or at least, doesn't hate it. Actually, he doesn't feel much of anything these days. Irritation at the local teens, who are always taking short cuts through the graveyard. Fear and worry, when he learns that the council plans to move part of the graveyard and destroy his chapel to build housing for asylum seekers. As anger grows in the local community, Arthur and the group of disaffected teens who have befriended him must decide what's worth fighting for, and what should be left in the past.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

Wren and Lei are on the run from the Demon King's forces, desperately trying to build alliances and keep each other safe. But war changes everyone, and Lei will have to fight to remember what she's fighting for.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Seven Days by Alex Lake

Maggie has spent years locked in a room under her captor's garage. She's tried a few times to escape, without success. But now it's urgent. Now she mustn't fail. Because in seven days her son will turn three, and her captor will take him away from her. Just like her other two sons. She can't let it happen again...

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Nevertell by Katharine Orton

Lina has grown up in a Russian forced labour camp. When a chance comes for her to escape, she seizes it. Now, however, she's out in the tundra, and out there fairytales are alive and well. There are worse things than Baba Yaga, but there are beautiful things as well. Can Lina find her way home?

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C Dao

Lan expects to marry Tam, her childhood sweetheart and the best match in the district. When she discovers that Bao, an orhpan apprenticed to the local physician, is in love with her, she rejects him harshly. The rejection sends him into the arms of the river witch and tangles them both in an oncoming war...

Monday, 21 October 2019

Strange but True by Kathryn Hulick

From Bigfoot to hauntings via Atlantis and alien abductions, this book aims to give possible explanations for some of life's biggest mysteries.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

The Impossible Boy by Ben Brooks

Christmas isn't looking too happy for Emma (her mum works two jobs and her brothers are respectively sick and absorbed in a new girlfriend) and Oleg (his father hasn't left the sofa in months.) They invent a new classmate and are surprised when he turns up. But strange forces are after him and they've been caught in the middle of it...

Saturday, 19 October 2019

I hope you get this message by Farah Naz Rishi SPOILERS IN REVIEW

A mysterious message from a nearby planet indicates that Earth might be destroyed in a week. Amidst the destruction and breakdown of society, three teenagers do their best to repair their fractured families.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Eve 2.0: The Ultimate Gaming Experience by Winter Lawrence

Welcome to the blog tour for this fun title! Teddy loves gaming and even found her current boyfriend, Pete, on a gaming forum. They now regularly game together and send each other new games and tips. It helps to distract Teddy from her ex boyfriend, Ryan, who lives next door.

Things start to go wrong when her boyfriend, and her ex's brother Ben, fall into unexplained comas on the same day. Teddy discovers gaming equipment in Ben's bedroom and realises that Pete must have sent it to her. When she tries it, she finds herself dragged into the game, shortly followed by Ryan. Now they have to battle through a series of video games, overseen by a constantly learning AI, before time runs out...

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson

Ariadne has been part of the Labyrinth games for ten years. Ten long years of leading Athenian youths into the labyrinth to face the Minotaur. She doesn't expect annything to change this year. But then she meets Theseus, the prince of Athens. He's determined to end the slaughter and asks for her help. But it will mean betraying the only person she still loves...

North Child by Edith Pattou

Based on East o'the Sun, West o'the Moon, this is a magical story ranging over most of North Europe as Rose tries to find the White Bear she inadvertantly banished into the hands of the Troll Queen.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Supernova Era by Cixin Liu and Joel Martinsen

A supernova right next door to Earth - cosmically speaking - showers the whole planet in deadly radiation. Only children's bodies can repair the damage in time. Everyone over the age of thirteen will be dead in less than a year from the incident.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Becky is back in a fantastic new novel. When it's decided that Becky will host Christmas, demands pile upon problems upon difficulties upon misunderstandings until it seems that nothing will come right! Can Becky find the spirit of sprygge in time for Christmas?

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Dare to Dream by Sarah Webb and Graham Corcoran

Following on the heels of Blazing a Trail, Sarah takes dozens of Irish people and discusses their accomplishments on the world stage.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Love, Heather by Laurie Petrou

Stevie knows her school has its cliques, but she doesn't think they were too bad until she falls foul of the popular girls. Alone both in school and at home, she finds friendship with other outsiders. Together they start to get their revenge on the bullies, until things start going too far and the line between bully and victim blurs.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Chessboxer by Stephen Davies

Leah is struggling after losing her beloved father. Chess, a sport she excels at, means nothing to her anymore. Until she comes across chess boxing, a dangerous sport combining chess with boxing. Here's the rush she's been looking for. But is it too dangerous for her?

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

(Emmy) in the Key of Code by Aimee Lucido

Moving to a new school is tricky. Emmy has never quite felt like she fit in anyway; the music in her head refuses to come out. But in her new elective she learns a new way to do it, and finds new friends to help her weather life's problems.

Monday, 30 September 2019

The Night-time Cat and the Plump Grey Mouse: A Trinity College Tale by Erika McGann and Lauren O'Neill

On a dark night, in the depths of Trinity Library, Pangar Bán climbs out of the Book of Kells in search of a mouse. As she travels around the college she meets various historical figures, but the mouse continues to evade her...

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Fake by Donna Cooper

Tired of being picked on for her size, Maisie sets up a fake online account and targets the 'popular' kids at her school, planning to enact her revenge. But the more she learns about them, the more she realises that no one is exactly what they appear to be. Can she go through with her plan?

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Cursed by Frank Miller and Thomas Wheeler

Nimue, an outcast young Druid, finds herself the reluctant leader of a revolution when the Sword of Power comes to her. Desperate to save her people from Church prosecution, she must decide who to trust and who to betray.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Our Planet by Matt Whyman

This beautiful book is a companion to the Netflix series. Stunning photos and illustrations show the great diversity of life in some of the remotest parts of our planet.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Hollywood wants to kill you by Rick Edwards and Dr Michael Brooks

Taking specific movies as inspiration, Rick and Michael dissect the science behind various death scenarios and show us how likely - or unlikely - they actually are.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

The Great Brain Robbery by PG Bell

Suzy and her friends are back on the Impossible Postal Express, but something is rotten at the heart of Trollville. Their mission to save it will take them to amazing new worlds and gain them new allies and enemies.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Period by Emma Barnett

An honest, funny, brave look at periods, aimed at encouraging people to stop hiding this completely normal part of life.

Friday, 20 September 2019

The Cat Man of Aleppo by Irene Latham and Karin Shamsi-Basha

I'm in work, I can't be crying like this!

Ah. There's nothing quite like a really good picture book to get you where it hurts, is there? When Syria fell into civil war, an ambulance driver stayed behind when most people fled. As the city emptied of people, he noticed the cats that were left behind. He couldn't bear to see them starve, so he spent his meagre wages on food for them, becoming known as the Cat Man of Aleppo.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Magical Western adventure, as five girls attempt to escape the brothel they've been sold to by starving families in order to save one of their lives.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Monday, 16 September 2019

Ladybird Tales of Super Heroes & Forgotten Fairy Tales of Brave and Brilliant Girls

Both of these collections feature less well known stories, to stave off boredom at reading about the same old heroines and heroes doing the same old things. SuperHeroes features characters such as Ananzi (super powers: cunning and being a spider) and Hanuman (special powers: bravery and being a monkey.) The Forgotten Fairy Tales are all about girls who go out and save themselves, like the Nettle Princess (also known as Maid Maleen) and Brave Molly (Molly Whuppie.) The illustrations are beautiful in both books, providing plenty to pore over and discuss.

These books should be on every shelf in every house and school. They're fantastic. Literally!

Superheroes have always been with us, from gods with mighty powers to human heroes who don disguises to save the day . . . Join six larger-than-life mythic and legendary heroes from around the world in this colourful, illustrated collection of Ladybird Tales. Meet tricksters, fighters, shape-shifters and even people who save the day with just the power of speech.

Here are eight forgotten fairy tales, with heroines who are not quiet and passive, but adventurous, intelligent and daring. Stories include a sleeping prince rescued by a princess, sisters who fight a goblin to rescue a bear, and a young girl who outwits a giant to save her family. �A collection of feminist fairytales, forgotten over history, for the modern reader. Perfect for fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Jessie Burton’s The Restless Girls and Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s The Way Past Winter. Featuring gorgeous illustrations in a beautiful hardback edition, this is a perfect Christmas gift.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Slay by Brittney Morris

Kiera spends all her time monitoring herself, careful not to be 'too black' in her mostly white school and neighbourhood. At home, though, when she can go online and play the VR game she invented...that's a whole other story. But how long can she keep it safe?

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Boy Giant by Michael Morpurgo

Omar is forced to flee Afganistan. He hopes to meet his mother again in the mystical place called England, where people smile and help each other and there is no war. But his boat goes down at sea and he wakes up somewhere very different...

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Shooting for the Stars by Dr Norah Patten

Dr Patten was determined to become an astronaut from an early age. In this beautifully illustrated book from the O'Brien press, she shares some of the work that got her there and what life is like in space.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Monday, 9 September 2019

Mother Tongue by Patricia Forde

The battle for Ark was only the first step. Letta and her friends discover that the new leader has a new, even more horrifying plan to keep children from gaining any language skills. They'll have to be careful, brave, and use all their wit to overcome it and save the mother tongue.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Suggested Reading by Dave Connis

Clara believes passionately that books change lives. When her school quietly bans more than fifty novels, she decides she's not going to take it lying down and starts a secret library.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Rebel Girls by Elizabeth Keenan

ABORTION. It's a dirty word in Athena's conservative, Catholic school. When rumours spread that Athena's pretty, popular sister had an abortion over the summer, she and her friends must gather unlikely and surprising allies to help her.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood

The story of the famous Quints of Canada, as told through the journal of a young nurse attached to them and the newspaper clippings and letters she saves.

I Go Quiet by David Ouimet

I've been trying to write this review for days, and I'm still going to miss a thought or forget something, because this is the kind of book with something new to discover every time you look at it. The story is about an introverted child learning that being introverted isn't a problem or an illness to be healed, but my attention was grabbed on every page by the illustrations. My favourite is the various views of the patchwork city, but there's so much to look at in every single one. Definitely one to take your time over, savour, and come back to again and again. Wonderful.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Monday, 2 September 2019

The Thousand Steps by Helen Brain

Trapped in a bunker for sixteen years, told that the outside world doesn't exist any more, Ebba is shocked to be elevated to the position of the biggest landowner in the world. Now she must navigate her strange new world without forgetting her old one.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

American Royals by Katharine McGee

Half a step away in the wheel of alternate universes, George Washington became a king instead of a president. In present day America, his descendants still sit the throne, active and involved in all the day to day affairs of state. The king's three children struggle to define themselves and find their roles in the monarchy.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror by Natasha Farrant and Lydia Corry

A mighty enchantress is asked to be godmother to a newborn princess, to help her be the best that she can be. She accepts, but then thinks of the task ahead of her. What makes one a good princess? To answer that question, she sends her mirror on a quest through time and space, to observe princesses and record their triumphs.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

The End of the World Survivors Club by Adrian J Walker

Beth has managed thus far without her (mostly) useless husband, but when her children are taken from her she'll need friends old and new to help her cross a new, terrifying ocean to track them down.

Verify by Joelle Charbonneau

In a future version of Chicago, the death of a teenager's mother is the catalyst for her to begin questioning, peeling back the layers of her world to discover the truth hidden underneath.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

The Children of Lir by Laura Ruth Maher and Conor Busuttil

Everyone knows the story of the Children of Lir, one of the great tragedies of Irish folklore. With this beautiful new book from O'Brien Press, designed specifically for young readers, the next generation can be introduced to the story.

Monday, 26 August 2019

The Hive by Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden

Some few years into the future, social media has been aggregated on a government controlled platform. Everyone is on it, if they're anyone. The system tracks everything, and anyone can like, dislike...or condemn. And if you get enough condemns, the #Hivemob takes over.

Cassie believes in the Hive. Things are so much better now; no doxxing, no trolling. Unless it's in service of the #Hivemob, of course. And when she ends up on the wrong side of it, she realises just how many things don't add up about the Hive...

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The Girl who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson

Yanka, raised by a bear until she was two, has always wanted to know about her past. She loves the fairy tales told by her friend Anatoly, picking them over for scraps of truth to tell her who she is. An accident in the village sends her careening into the forest in search of answers, and she will find a whole new world waiting for her.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

The Accidental Life Swap by Jennifer Joyce

Rebecca longs to be like her confident, forthright boss, Vanessa. So when Vanessa handpicks her for a special project, she's thrilled. Less so when it turns out not to be an event - they are event managers, after all - but overseeing the refurbishment of Vanessa's house. Mousy Rebecca is sure she can't manage a team.

Until she arrives, and they mistake her for Vanessa and immediately get to work. Oops? But it won't matter for a little while, surely! Just to keep the refurbishment on track! What can go wrong...?

Monday, 19 August 2019

The Unfettered Child by Michael C Sahd

A young girl is caught in a war between Mages and Elves in this fantasy from first time novel writer Michael. When Elves attack her tribe, Samara discovers previously unknown magic powers. Under the uncertain tutelage of a dismebodied Elf, she sets out to chase down the survivors of her tribe.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Daughter of the Storm by Tina Callaghan

Lia searches for the secrets of her father's family on an isolated Irish island in this horror novel from Tina Callaghan. As the storms of winter sweep in to leave her trapped with the islanders, who all seem to know more than they're telling, she faces down the horrific truth and fights to leave the island alive.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Song of the Abyss by Makiia Lucier

A wonderful followup to Isle of Blood and Stone, this novel sweeps the reader into an aquatic adventure featuring strange lands and magic. It's readable alone if you haven't read Isle; the main character this time around was a minor character in that one, and a few of the main characters from there show up as minors in this one, but it's very much it's own story.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff

Ireland, or possibly the world, has been overtaken by creatures called skrakes. They're zombies, or possibly some kind of parasite, it's never really clear. Orphen has lived with her mother and another woman on a small island for her whole life, training for the day she'll visit the mainland. Sadly, her mother dies first, and during her first visit Maeve is bitten. Orphen decides to take her cross country to a place that may or may not exist to look for help, despite having been taught all her life that once someone is bitten there's nothing to be done for them.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Run, Hide, Fight Back by April Henry

Loosely based on actual shootings and exhaustively researched by April, this novel covers approximately three hours, starting with a sudden shoot out in the food court of a mall. Caught in the chaos are six teenagers, five hiding in a store and the sixth in the mess of hostages, trying to watch over his young sister.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll

I have to admit, I've never read Speak. I'm aware of it, of course; you can't work in children's books and not know it at least by reputation. But I wasn't reading YA when it came out first, and when I started working there were so many new titles it always slipped by. If all this version did was give me a chance to read it, I'd be grateful for just that much.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

A Treason of Thorns by Laura Weymouth

It's an odd thing, but Laura Weymouth makes me so happy to be depressed. Her novels are hard to get through; her characters suffer deeply. But it's suffering that has meaning, and that's important.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Irish Mammy in your Pocket by Sarah Cassidy and Kunak McGann

Veteran O'Brien authors Kunak and Sarah have taken the unique wisdom of the Irish Mammy and distilled it into this pocket sized volume. Next time you're worried about something, open this book to a random page, and let your Irish Mammy give you wise advice like:

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

The Warehouse by Rob Hart

A terrifyingly plausible read. The Warehouse is set almost totally on the campus of an Amazon-type company that runs almost all of America. Their huge warehouse campuses include living areas, recreation and stores. You never need to leave. All your needs are catered for. After all, Cloud is a family.

Monday, 5 August 2019

The Grace Year by Kin Ligget

The Grace Year, by Kim Liggett, is one of this year's big titles. Tapping into the 'dangerous women' craze started by The Handmaid's Tale, this one features a town where the girls are sent into the wild for a year to expel the magic that drives men wild. If they survive, they can come home to be married or assigned a job in the fields and dairies. The novel follows one particular group of girls as they go on their Grace Year and struggle to survive.