The NoteTitle: The Note

Author: Zoe Folbigg

Pages: 293 Pages

Publisher: Aria Fiction

The Blurb

The note changed everything…

One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London, and suddenly the day isn’t ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably, that he is The One.

But the beautiful man on the train always has his head in a book and never seems to notice Maya sitting just down the carriage from him every day. Eventually, though, inspired by a very wise friend, Maya plucks up the courage to give the stranger a note asking him out for a drink. Afterall, what’s the worst that can happen?

And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness where you least expect it.

Based on the author’s true story, The Note is an uplifting, life-affirming reminder that taking a chance can change everything…

The Review

Oh I needed to read a sweet romance and boy did I get one with Zoe Folbigg’s semi-autobiographical debut, The Note.

Maya is in love with Train Man. She sees him every morning. She knew from the first time she saw him that he was the one. But of course the love – much like the London tube system during peak hour – never runs smoothly.

With twists and turns a plenty, The Note really is a heart-warming love story. There were at times that I felt that Folbigg over told the description of thing but I think coming from her background as freelancer in fashion that is something to be expected. Overall though, I was enchanted by this story of will they won’t they.

Even if you just pick it up to read on your commute then you won’t be disappointed. I cannot guarantee that you won’t miss your stop.

The Note by Zoe Folbigg is available now.

For more information regarding Zoe Folbigg (@zolington) please visit www.zoefolbigg.com.

For more information regarding Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction) please visit www.ariafiction.com.

35 Stars

 

Grand Theft OctoTitle: Grand Theft Octo

Author: Niels Saunders

Pages: 191 Pages

Publisher: Niels Saunders

The Blurb

When Jonathan Doe is fired from his office job for stealing too much stationery, he becomes an entrepreneur of businesses the world has never seen. After a disastrous start at freelance taxidermy, he moves onto professional octopus teasing. Will he fail again or make his fortune? Is he really a professional or just a con artist? Desperate to succeed, his plans become more outlandish, from stealing theme park mascots at gunpoint to fighting deranged restaurant tycoons. As the enemies he makes seek revenge, both his life and business are threatened, until his world spirals into mayhem and violence. Set in the fictional city of Vestibue, England, Grand Theft Octo is a wild and hilarious ride that strikes at the heart of aspirational culture.

The Review

What the actual eff have I just read?

Grand Theft Octo is a very strange book which seems to have little purpose to get from beginning to end. It really has no clear narrative path to reach a goal.

It is similar in style to Youth in Revolt and Jonathan Doe seems to be a similar character to Nick Twisp. I didn’t enjoy Youth in Revolt and I didn’t enjoy Grand Theft Octo.

This is 191 pages of my reading life that I will never get back. Sad times.

Grand Theft Octo by Niels Saunders is available now.

For more information regarding Niels Saunders (@Nielzor) please visit www.nielssaunders.com.

1 star

Dyslexia is My SuperpowerTitle: Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time)

Author: Margaret Rooke

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

The Blurb

In more than 100 interviews, children and young adults reveal their personal tips and tactics for honing the creative benefits of dyslexia, enabling them to thrive in school and beyond. Strategies include ways to develop confidence and self-belief. The contributors have outlined specific approaches they feel have helped them, and others that haven’t. The book contains stunning illustrations by 8-18 year olds with dyslexia.

The first-hand accounts are inspiring in the way they normalise dyslexia and reveal the many success stories. There is an additional section for professionals who work in education or special learning environments, with advice given by school students themselves.

The Review

I work in a high school and recently I have seen an influx of students who are dyslexic or who have dyslexic tendencies. As a teaching assistant I am meant to be able to help these students with their struggles but it has always been baffling to me to understand the struggle because reading and writing came so naturally to me. I’ve read up on dyslexia and spoke to some experts but I have found both experiences very cold and clinical.

What is brilliant about Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time) is that Margaret Rooke has gone straight to the children and young adults who are in need. She lets them explain how their brain works and how they can be helped. We see how they feel singled out at times or how too much help can lead to other distressing issues.

Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time) is truly a warm book with lots of character. It has changed my approach with the students that I work with and it has given me a fresh insight into such a complex subject. I highly recommend this book to all educators and parents of dyslexics.

Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time) by Margaret Rooke is available now.

For more information regarding Margaret Rooke (@MargsRooke) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Jessica Kingsley Publishers (@JKPautism) please visit www.jkp.com.

3 Stars

Ten BirthdaysTitle: Ten Birthdays

Author: Kerry Wilkinson

Pages: 201 Pages

Publisher: Bookouture

The Blurb

There are going to be so many things I wish I could’ve told you in person, Poppy. I won’t get the chance to do that, so perhaps this is my only way…

It’s Poppy Kinsey’s birthday.

She should be blowing out candles and opening presents – but hers falls on the type of heart-wrenching, agonising anniversary she would far rather forget.

The worst day of them all. The day her mother died.

But this year is special because the person she misses most in the world has left her a set of letters, one for each of her next ten birthdays.

As Poppy opens them year by year, she discovers that no matter how tough life gets, her mum will always be by her side, guiding her along the way.

Fans of Cecelia Ahern and S.D. Robertson will love this page turning tear-jerker about making every moment count.

The Review

Well, this is a sweet book.

Ten Birthdays is the story of Poppy. Each chapter takes place on Poppy’s birthday and over ten years we see her receive advice in the form of a letter from her mum who has passed away.

Along with her two best friends Freya and Mark we watch that difficult time between being a teenager and being an adult and how Poppy deals with growing up.

What I really liked about Ten Birthdays is that Wilkinson has highlighted how what is seen as the correct route to life and happiness. Freya and Mark go a different route to Poppy but inevitably it is Poppy who ends up happiest.

The comparisons to P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern are inevitable but what is at the heart of this story is the relationship between mother and daughter and how that bond is special.

Ten Birthdays by Kerry Wilkinson is available now.

For more information regarding Kerry Wilkinson (@kerrywk) please visit www.kerrywilkinson.com.

For more information regarding Bookouture (@bookouture) please visit www.bookouture.com.

3 Stars

Ok, as much as I enjoyed my Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone re-read I knew that I would then have to re-read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This is my least favourite of the seven books. I remember watching an interview with JK Rowling and she said that people don’t really seems to like it as much as the other books because there is only one adventure rather than many little ones. I’m not sure if that is the reason that I rate it my least favourite but I am hoping that this re-read can make me appreciate it a bit more.

Here goes:

  • Ooh I forgot that it is in this book when we first meet Dobby.
  • The Dobby in the film did not look like the Dobby in my head. I grew to appreciate film Dobby but my original one was more reptilian like…which is strange because nowhere isn he described as such…curious.
  • Poor Harry is treated like a prisoner at the Dursley’s.
  • Huzzah! Ron is here to save Harry. Some would argue that he is the real hero of the Harry Potter books.
  • So if Harry Potter is 37 in 2017 then Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was set in 1992. In Back to the Future 2 the flying car – The Delorean – was invented was invented in 2015. Are we to assume that muggles finally had help from wizards in making a flying car?
  • Oh The Burrow – I want to stay at the Weasley family home. Plus Burrow just sounds like a warm word.
  • Gilderoy Lockhart should have been played by Hugh Grant – Fact!
  • It is strange but one of my favourite lines from the film was never in the book. The whole Diagon Alley/Diagonally line.
  • The large black cabinet. Oh JK you clever bean!
  • I wonder if Percy did become the minister of magic? Or did his taste of power in the later books make him seek the simple life? I started working in a school many years ago and I got totally drunk on power. It can easily happen. Thankfully I managed to check myself before I wrecked myself.
  • I love how Mrs Weasley is oblivious to Mr Weasley’s tinkering. Bless her. Julie Walters – legend!
  • Ginny’s diary – dom dom dom!
  • Ahhh…so it has just clicked. Dobby is the reason I can’t get on to Platform Nine and Three Quarters. It is not that I am a muggle. It is that I am being magic blocked by a precocious elf.
  • Flying the Ford Anglia – it really is surprising that Ron and Harry did not get expelled.
  • God how embarrassing would it be to get a howler? Totally mortifying.
  • Justin Finch Fletchley was a bit of a douchenozzle, wasn’t he? Pretentious twit!
  • I think Colin Creevey would make an excellent wizard biographer.
  • Mudblood! Oh no, he didn’t! Malfoy, you ASS!
  • Ron jumping to Hermione’s defence – total hero!
  • With the Moaning Myrtle storyline JK really did a brave thing writing about depression and bullying.
  • If I could drink Polyjuice Potion I would want it to be to turn myself into JK Rowling. I would steal all hr back-story books and read them all. Moo hoo haa haa. Forget Voldemort; I am the true evil genius.
  • I don’t really have big dreams, do I? I just want more stories.
  • How many bones are in the arm?
  • There are actually 68 not 33.
  • See, JK is dealing with issues of self harm and repression. She is so ahead of her time.
  • Hermione’s facial hair when she turns into a cat after drinking Polyjuice Potion is totally a sign of the patriarchy. Ok, I had a whole reason why I wrote this statement but I have recently been in hospital and can’t actually remember the point I was making or the reason behind it but I am sticking to my guns.
  • I wonder if there are any links between Polyjuice Potion and transfiguration spells?
  • How old is Voldemort?
  • Who were Tom Riddle’s parents? I feel like we find out in a later book but I can’t remember.
  • I have so many questions!
  • Oh I forgot about Hagrid going to Azkaban. Heartbreaking.
  • There was no need for the Aragog sized spider in my house this week. I’m not scared of spiders but this was mahoosive.
  • Aww you really do feel Ron’s bourgeoning love for Hermione in this book.
  • I totally forgot that Hermione got petrified.
  • I always suspected that Voldemort and Harry Potter were related but it never came to fruition. That would probably been too neat really, wouldn’t it?
  • Ok, so the basilisk bit Harry in the Chamber of Secrets. Well wouldn’t that kills Harry the Horcrux? Man these books are complicated when you read them as an adult. There are so many questions.
  • Dobby is a free elf. Ok, so since me and my fiancé have been dating I always take his socks. It’s got to the point where he now just hands me them rather than me stealing them. When he does give me them now I instantly think to myself Lisa is a free elf. I recently told him this and I’m not sure what he thought but he has already put a ring on it and I say no backsies.

So 37 thoughts on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was better than I remember and do have a new found appreciation for it. It did leave me with a few questions but hopefully they will be answered when I read the next few books and rather excitingly it is my favourite book next – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Excited!