Hello lovely people,

How have you all been? I am good. I know you didn’t ask but I am going to assume that you are all lovely polite people and that you are wondering about my well being.

So I’m not going to talk about the books that I have reviewed this week because all you really need to do is scroll down and you can see them.

I have a list of books that I plan to read and I am not veering from this list. I am sticking to it. Here they are.

Age Sex Location by Melissa Pimentel (Currently reading)

I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Lillian on Life by Alison Jeean Lester

The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

My Boyfriend Wrote A Book About Me by Hilary Winston

Love Hurts by Malorie Blackman

So yep, no one is going to veer me from my course.

Wish me luck!

L x

Title: Hansel and Gretel

Author: Neil Gaiman

Pages: 49 pages

The Blurb

This all happened a long time ago, in your grandmother’s time, or in her grandfather’s. A long time ago. Back then, we all lived on the edge of a great forest.

The Review

Neil Gaiman is one of those authors whose work I know for definite that I do not appreciate enough. Having dipped my tentative toes into his short stories, his novels for children and young adults and also his texts for older audiences and I have never been anything but impressed with Gaiman’s style and readability. He manages to evoke atmosphere and forces you to become lost in his story. It is this very reason why I was curious to read his version of the classic fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel.

The story hadn’t changed much from the one I knew as a child. In fact I would struggle to recall any differences, however, it was fun to refresh my memory of the fairy tale and also to look at the spooky images that accompanied the story – provided by the hand of Lorezo Mattotti.

Hansel and Gretel is a classic fairy tale that Gaiman and Mattotti have brought to life once again. It is a lovely (and quick) read and should be added to all children’s bookshelves.

Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman is available now.

You can follow Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) on Twitter

hansel and gretel

The Blurb

Like every actor, Ivy Meadows know that Macbeth is cursed. But she’s finally scored her big break, cast as an acrobatic witch in a circus-themed production of Macbeth in Phoenix, Arizona. And though it may not be Broadway, nothing can dampen her enthusiasm – not her flying cauldron, too-tight leotard, or carrot-weilding dictator of a director.

But when one of the cast dies on opening night, Ivy is sure the seeming accident is “murder most foul” and that she’s the perfect person to solve the crime (after all, she does work part-time in her uncle’s detective agency). Undeterred by a poisoned Big Gulp, the threat of being blackballed, and the suddenly too-real curse, Ivy pursues the truth at the risk of her hard-won career – and her life.

The Review

Once again I have read a book that has proven to me that not choosing a career as a police detective was a good choice. Murder mystery Macdeath confounded me! This clever mystery story interweaves the Bard’s play Macbeth with its own narrative. Art begins to imitate life much to the panic of protagonist Ivy Meadows.

When I first started reading the book I didn’t think I would like the story, however, once I saw the cleverly assembled jigsaw of a mystery I began to get really intrigued and tried constantly to figure out who the killer was. Needless to say, I did not figure it out.

Whilst all the threads were woven with regards to the mystery, I still feel that there is more to learn about Ivy Meadows. Fortunately, Macdeath is only part one in a series of mystery stories so hopefully we will learn more about her in future books.

Macdeath by Cindy Brown is available now.

Macdeath

The Blurb

Ethan can’t remember exactly when he stopped speaking or why. It is only when he meets Polly that he begins to wish things could be different. She is fun and exciting and helps him to see how vivid and colourful the world is.

Can Polly help Ethan to find his voice again?

The Review

Ethan’s Voice is a lovely, sweet and unusual tale of a young boy who is a selective mute. After a traumatic event Ethan has stopped talking altogether. His parents have tried everything to get him talking again but to no avail. It is controlling his life so much that Ethan is now home schooled. He is alone and has no friends.

Along comes Polly, a girl of a similar age to Ethan. She quickly understands the situation and doesn’t pressurise Ethan into speaking but she does provide him with some much needed companionship. It is this friendship which makes Ethan’s Voice such a beautiful read.

The book isn’t over dramatic, some of the things that happen within the narrative are simple and lovely and I think it is this that sets it apart from a lot of YA fiction. It is not dark or harsh or depressing; it has a hopeful quality that a lot of modern day stories often lack due to our jaded MTV culture. It is an impressive debut novel from Rachel Carter and I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us all.

Ethan’s Voice by Rachel Carter is available now.

Ethans Voice

The Blurb

Former child star Fiona Hume left the biz a decade ago, after she left rehab. She retreated to Baltimore and bought an old mansion downtown with dreams of restoring it into a masterpiece – maybe creating an artist’s studio for herself. And living an artist’s life.

That was the plan.

Ten years later, Fiona’s huge house is filled with junk purchased at thrift stores, yard sales, or picked up from the side of the road. Each piece was destined for a project, but all she’s got so far is a piece of twine with some antique buttons threaded down its length.

Her money has almost run out. She will soon lose her house and will be forced back into acting.

So it is that Fiona comes to rent out a room to a local blacksmith, Josiah. Little by little, Josiah magically transforms Fiona’s home into something beautiful. She comes to life again. Her relationships heal and she experiences, perhaps for the first time, what it means to be human, what it means to be loved, and what it means when we let go and allow the wondrous workings of forces far bigger than we are to take over.

The Review

I didn’t like A Thing of Beauty. A little blunt but it had to be said. The concepts of the story (or parts of it) were interesting but others just fell flat. For example, the main thread of the story about an ex-actress who has become a recluse due to a troubled time after being a childhood star would have been a great storyline had it been fully developed. I think that is what failed the story most, the under-developed storyline.

There were other glaring flaws – the main one being the over descriptive nature of the narrative. If I had been the editor I would have advised Samson to go back and remove the unnecessary descriptions of things as it became very tiresome. The old adage of ‘show, don’t tell’ needs to be applied to this book too. Samson described every street that her main character rode down on her bike and whilst this may be titillating for those who live in Baltimore it was just tedious for me.

The story did get better. About midway through I actually felt like there was a (much needed) shift in pace which made the latter half less exasperating. However, there were still glaring holes in the story such as Fiona’s collection of weird things – it was never fully explained why she did this. We never learned that much about her friend that died or why it had the impact it did on Fiona’s life. Everything seemed to be on the cusp of being explained but then never fully explored which was frustrating.

I guess this serves me right for choosing the book based solely on the prettiness of the cover.

A Thing of Beauty by Lisa Samson is available now.

A Thing of Beauty