Life is Like a ParadeTitle: Life is Like a Parade

Author: L. Henry Smith

Pages: 164 Pages

Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing

The Blurb

After twenty-seven months in the Peace Corps, the droll hero of this amusing tale returns home with one simple thing on his mind – he’s determined to kiss a girl. And not just any girl or any kiss, but an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime first kiss with Mandi, his beautiful next door neighbor. The fun mix of tension, humor, and life lessons in this heartfelt romance will appeal to readers of all ages.

The Review

Life is Like a Parade is not the sort of book that will change your life but it might just change your day. It is a sweet story about first love and about miscommunication. Boy meets girl, they get along but life gets in the way only for it all to come good in the end.

Overall, Life is Like a Parade was a little predictable and at times a little too saccharine but it is harmless good fun.

Life is Like a Parade by L. Henry Smith is available now.

2 Stars


The Stars at Oktober BendTitle: The Stars at Oktober Bend

Author: Glenda Millard

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Old Barn Books

The Blurb

Alice is fifteen, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone, but something inside her is broken. She has a brain injury, the result of an assault. Manny was once a child soldier. He is sixteen and has lost all his family. Alice is reaching out to express herself through her beautiful-broken words, and Manny is running to escape his past. When Manny and Alice meet they find the beginnings of love and healing. A magnificent new novel from multi-award-winning Australian author Glenda Millard. The Stars at October Bend is a powerful story about the strength of the human spirit. Through her lyrical writing, Millard reveals that people are always more than they seem.

The Review

The Stars at Oktober Bend is the story of Alice, a girl who has suffered terrible trauma and has since been left with difficulties. It is about her being able to express herself and articulate herself and finding ways to communicate with others in less traditional methods.

It is also a story of displacement. Manny and Alice find each other through the poems that Alice uses to express herself. Manny is fairly new to Oktober Bend and is living with a new family after his have all been lost to the situation in his home country.

Manny and Alice find each other but it is the determination of others to tear them apart.

The Stars at Oktober Bend is a realy good story. It is both heart warming and breaking and it highlights how someone can be put back together once they have been broken and come out stronger than ever.

Millard’s quirky style of writing along with the duel narrative will stay with you long after you have finished reading.

The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard is available now.

For more information regarding Glenda Millard (@Laylasnan) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Old Barn Books (@oldbarnbooks) please visit

For more information regarding the Carnegie Greenaway Scheme (@CILIPCKG) please visit

35 Stars

Title: Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

Author: Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

Pages: 220 Pages

Publisher: Particular Books

The Blurb

What if the princess didn’t marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don’t need rescuing.

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

In 2015 I became an aunty for the first time. My little niece is amazing and I am making it my duty to make her realise that she can be whatever she wants to be. Currently, it is a Disney Princess and that is ok.

What Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls will teach her is that she can be anything she wants. She could be a pirate or an artist or an activist. These are just some of the things that some incredible women have done over the years and their stories are condensed and told in this book. It is an incredible read with absolutely stunning drawings to accompany the tales of these great women.

What I loved most about Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls is that Favilli and Cavallo have opened a can of book worms. This could be a series that runs and runs. There are so many brilliant women to celebrate and this book really will make a difference to the young girls that will read it.

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo is available now.

For more information regarding Elena Favilli (@efavilli) please visit

For more information regarding Francesca Cavallo (@francescavallo) please visit

5 Stars

The Life and Death of Sophie StarkTitle: The Life and Death of Sophie Stark

Author: Anna North

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Group/Blue Rider Press

The Blurb

Gripping and provocative, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a haunting story of fame, love, and legacy told through the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic artist. Sophie Stark begins her filmmaking career by creating a documentary about her obsession, Daniel, a college basketball star. But when she becomes too invasive, she finds herself the victim of a cruel retribution. The humiliation doesn’t stop her. Visionary and unapologetic, Sophie begins to use stories from the lives of those around her to create movies, and as she gains critical recognition and acclaim, she risks betraying the one she loves most.

Told in a chorus of voices belonging to those who knew Sophie best, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an intimate portrait of an elusive woman whose monumental talent and relentless pursuit of truth reveal the cost of producing great art. It is “not only a dissection of genius and the havoc it can wreak, but also a thunderously good story” (Emma Donoghue).

The Review

Well, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark was a curious little read. The eponymous character doesn’t narrate the story. Her life is told from the perspective of those who loved (and at times, hated) her and we get a full bodied picture of this strange and creative character. One thing I got from the descriptions of Sophie Stark is that her art was more important than the people around her. She would go to lengths to get what she wanted and her destructive path often came at a cost to the people she loved the most.

The clever way in which the story unfolds is almost documentary-like. If this were made into a film you could see it being told that way which then kind of becomes art imitating fictional life imitating art which then makes my head hurt.

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a really good read if you like your literature like independent cinema, quirky but memorable.

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North is available now.

For more information regarding Anna North (@annanorthtweets) please visit

For more information regarding Penguin Group (@Penguinusa) please visit

For more information regarding Blue Rider Press (@BlueRiderPress)

35 Stars

Salt to the SeaTitle: Salt to the Sea

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Pages: 393 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s/Puffin

The Blurb

It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across Germany, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of The Book Thief or Helen Dunmore’s The Siege will be totally absorbed. This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, brilliantly imagines their story.

The Review

Salt tothe Sea by Ruta Sepetys broke my heart.

This is a bold statement to make but there are few books that have made me emote in the same way. It is a fictional account of the real life events that happened during the Second World War. It is a story of how people of different nationalities – most of who were opposed to each other due to their countries government ruling – come together in times of adversity.

Sepetys explores the frailty of life and the spirit of human nature in Salt to the Sea. At times I had to remind myself to breathe because the story had me gripped. It truly is an astounding novel and a very real contender for this year’s Carnegie Greenaway award for which Salt to the Sea has been nominated.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is available now.

For more information regarding Ruta Sepetys (@RutaSepetys) please visit

For more information regarding Penguin Random House UK Children’s (@RHKidsUK) please visit

For more information regarding Puffin Books (@PuffinBooks) please visit

For more information regarding The CILIP Awards (@CILIPCKG) please visit

5 Stars