Thursday, 22 December 2011

Lolly Luck by Ellie Daines

Title: Lolly Luck
Author: Ellie Daines
Published by: Andersen Press
Publication date: 5th January 2012
Pages: 192
Genres: Children's/Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the author.

I'm Lolly Luck by name, lucky by nature.
I'm the luckiest person I know, and the luckiest person everyone else knows.

But Lolly's luck begins to turn.

When her dad loses his job and the family home, Lolly thinks things can't get any worse.

Then she overhears her parents arguing and learns a secret that will change her life for ever...

When Andersen Press offered this to me, I was really excited to read it. I've read tons of positive reviews about this book - in fact, I haven't seen a negative one!

I like the simple concept of how the book is basically about Lolly's luck changing practically over night. Even though some of the things that she goes through are seemingly 'unlucky' I believe that most of the time you make your own luck, and everything happens for a reason.

When Lolly heard the 'secret that would change her life for ever' (not saying what the secret is, you'll have to read the book yourself) I felt so, so, so sorry for her. To be honest, it was a bit like something dramatic that would happen in Eastenders! Lolly went through a lot and Mariella, the school bully, didn't help either.

There are twists and turns, ups and downs in this book! It's like a roller coaster ride. I really enjoyed it!
Is it just me, though, or does the cover look very similar to one of the newly-designed Cathy Cassidy books? Still love it though!

I think this book is for girls aged 8+ but I'm 13 and I really enjoyed it too. :) 5/5! This would make a perfect Christmas present.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

TMLB 2nd Birthday Celebrations LAST COMPETITION

This is international, and the closing date is 5th December 2011 at 3pm GMT. Today is the last competition in my series of giveaways. For the last five days I have been hosting a giveaway every day.  Good luck!

Day #5 PRIZE PACK:

'Fallen Grace' by Mary Hooper Double-Sided poster
The Shadowing Hunted by Adam Slater
Trouble Twisters by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

To enter, fill in THIS form.

The winners from previous competitions will be announced on the 6th December.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Saturday, 3 December 2011

TMLB 2nd Birthday Celebrations 4/5

This is international, and the closing date is 4th December 2011 at 4pm GMT because todays' competition started late. If you've only just found this blog, I am hosting a five-day-giveaway, with a giveaway every day. Good luck!

Day #4 PRIZE PACK:

'Haunting Violet' tote bag
'Dead Beautiful' by Yvonne Woon
'Angel' by L.A Weatherly

To enter, fill in THIS form.

The winners from previous competitions will be announced on the 6th December.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Friday, 2 December 2011

Someday Angeline by Louis Sachar

Title: Someday Angeline
Author: Louis Sachar
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 5th March 2007
Pages: 192
Genres: Children's/Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from WHSmith as part of their Christmas Campaign.

Someday, they will tell her, things will be better. But for a small genius with big troubles, someday can't come soon enough.

Angeline could read before she was old enough to turn the pages of a book, and she mastered the piano without a single lesson. But being so clever doesn't make life easy for Angeline. Mean kids at school call her a "genius freak", and her dad seems a bit worried about how to look after her.

It is not until she makes friends with a boy who tells the best jokes, and a teacher who loves tropical fish, that things start to get better in some surprising ways for Angeline.

This children's book has a really strong moral - that it's good to be clever and not to be ashamed of it. I think this is a good message for kids especially nowadays and I definitely recommend this book to children aged 8+.

It is like a roller coaster of emotions in Someday Angeline! There's ups and downs, sad bits and funny bits. It's very true to life - especially some of the things she and her Dad say. I started to really like the characters. Angeline and her father had a really good relationship together.

I had a lot of empathy for Angeline. This book is amazingly written and I think it's a story that quite a lot of kids will relate to.

The cover is cool - it doesn't stand out much but it ties in with the main plot of the story.  The problem is, the pink will probably put off a lot of boys. I think the story in general would appeal to boys and girls, but seeing as the cover is all pink, I don't think a boy would even give it a second glance which is a shame.

Overall I give this book 4/5 and recommend it to children aged 8+.

TMLB 2nd Birthday Celebrations 3/5

This is international, and the closing date is 3rd December 2011 at 3:30pm GMT. If you've only just found this blog, I am hosting a five-day-giveaway, with a giveaway every day. Good luck!

Day #3 PRIZE PACK:

'Haunting Violet' tote bag
Double Sided 'Mary Hooper' poster
Kisses for Lula by Samantha Mackintosh

To enter, fill in THIS form.

The winners from previous competitions will be announced on the 6th December.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Thursday, 1 December 2011

TMLB 2nd Birthday Celebrations 2/5!

You know the drill. The details are on the last post. But if you've forgotten, The Mile Long Bookshelf is hosting a competition every day for five days! Today is the second day.

This competition is international. It closes tomorrow at 3:30pm GMT. Anyone can enter.

DAY #2 PRIZE PACK:

'Between' by Jessica Warman
'Fallen Grace' - Mary Hooper Double Sided Poster
'Haunting Violet' tote bag

To enter fill in THIS form.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

TMLB 2nd Birthday Celebrations!

The big day has finally come...it's The Mile Long Bookshelfs' second blog birthday! :D To celebrate I am having a huge giveaway with prize donations from generous publishers such as Bloomsbury, Usborne and Egmont and also a few surprises from myself. ;)

The celebrations will run over the course of five days. Each day you will have the chance to win a different prize pack. Today, you have the chance to win...

DAY #1 PRIZE PACK:

'Fracture' by Megan Miranda
'Twilight - Breaking Dawn' Double Sided Poster
'Haunting Violet' tote bag

Today's competition is international - woo! The closing date is tomorrow at 3:30pm (GMT). Anyone can enter.

To enter, fill in THIS form.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Friday, 25 November 2011

This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT

I can’t decide what to do with your ashes. It’s been nearly a year now. Almost summer again. The urn is sitting in front of me on the desk, brown plastic with a ref. number, the date and your name scribbled on a sticky label:

Robert Julian Maguire.


The label has black borders and is beginning to peel at the corners. I smooth the wrinkled paper, trying to stick it back. It has been slapped on crooked by someone who didn’t care a whole lot about the contents. There are all kinds of urns you can have: brass, copper, pewter, ceramic; you can have a wooden casket with engraving on it, but those cost and someone would have to care enough to order one and buy it. I guess yours is the modern equivalent of the pauper’s grave


I went to the funerals. They held them one after another. I don’t think they meant them to be that way, but the
crematorium was busy that day. Yours was second. Not much like the first. No orations, no weeping school mates clutching single blossoms to put on the coffin, sobbing out rubbish verses that they’d written themselves. No inky hand-printed notes on the flowers: R.I.P., C U in Heaven, Gone but not forgotten. No flowers at all. Hardly anyone there, either. Only the bare minimum for decency. Police and immediate family. Some of your mates, but not many. Just Bryn and a few others, wearing uniform. 


The priest was sweating. He kept dabbing at his forehead with a big white handkerchief and stumbling over his words, scratching about to find something to say, stringing it out until the time came for the rollers to engage. You would have pissed yourself. Nobody sang the hymn, there was just this tinny recording. Nobody cried or even looked sad. The congregation seemed relieved to see your coffin going, as if it wasn’t a body on its way to the furnace but some dangerous bio hazard. They couldn’t wait to get out of there. 

I was the one who went back to collect your ashes. That’s how I’ve got them here. Mum doesn’t like it. She keeps nagging about ‘disposal’ and ‘closure’. Keeping you here is morbid and probably unhealthy. I don’t see it. The Morgans had their granddad on the mantelpiece for years and years. She wants rid, but what’s it to do with her? You were my brother. She doesn’t have to come in here. ‘It’s upsetting for your sister,’ she says. I know for a fact that Martha couldn’t give a monkey’s fat one. Anyway, she’s not even here, so what does she care? 

I can see Mum’s point of view. What you did was pretty disruptive. I had to move schools. I couldn’t go back there, could I? Mum wanted to move house. Move towns. After what happened, she wanted to make a fresh start. You’ve made the place toxic. But in the end, we didn’t do that. We’d have had to move Grandpa. Not that he’d notice. He’s still alive, just about, but Alzheimer’s doesn’t get better, does it? It wasn’t really that, either. What happened has changed her. At times, she blames herself. Somehow it must be her fault, that’s what she thinks. If she’d just done this thing, or that thing, then it wouldn’t have happened. She spends a lot of time sitting around thinking about that. She’s there but not there when she’s like that. She moves from that to being very, very angry. Mostly with you. 

Maybe getting rid of you would give us closure, as she puts it, but I don’t think so. The brown plastic kind of contains you. Without it, you’d be everywhere – like a genie. You don’t deserve to be liberated yet. I’ll decide the time and place. It could be tomorrow, it could be years from now, but until the day comes, you are staying right here, with me.

But this is not forgiveness. Don’t think that.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

My 13th Birthday

Hi everyone! As some of you might know, I turned 13 in October. I went to London for the day so I thought I would post about it here for a change from reviews. :)

I got some really awesome presents including an electric guitar (with an amp), a camera and a graphics tablet. Obviously I took my camera with me and I took about 300 photos!

My Birthday cards.
We went on the train to Kings Cross and I had my photo taken next to the Platform 9 3/4 sign. It's out of Harry Potter. :) I've wanted to have a photo taken there for ages but every time I've been, it's been closed off because they're rebuilding that part (I think).


Then we got the tube to Monument where we climbed the 311 steps to the top. It was built to commemorate the fire of London.

Tall!
The tall building you can see is called the Shard. When it's finished being built it will be the tallest building in London!
I zoomed in. :) St Paul's Cathedral.
The view up the stairs from the bottom...
The bridge was actually a mile away from the Monument, I zoomed in again. :P
How high up we were!
After that we went to the Britain at War museum which was really good but a bit creepy because of how realistic it was. :D

I think that hat might have been a bit too big...
And then we got lost. :/ While my Mum and step-dad were trying to figure out where we were, I took a couple of random photos...



We accidently stumbled upon Borough Market which is a really big food market with loads of different foods that you don't really see anywhere else. Me and Mum had some amazing fresh berry smoothies and a Cinnamon biscuit-type-thing. 

While we were still lost, we saw the ruins of Winchester Palace...


....And the Golden Hinde...


Then we went to the Clink which was the oldest prison in London. It was really spooky in there. ;)


After that we went to Pizza Express next to the Thames. Yummy :D 


And then after that - (we crammed a lot into one day as you can see!) - we went to the Tate Modern. We didn't get time to look around the whole thing but it was still really good.




We also walked past Shakespeare's Globe. It was too late to go in though.


Then we made our way back to Kings Cross. :)


I had a really good day. :) We didn't get back until 11pm. And if you've read until the end of this extremely long post, thank you! :D

Friday, 14 October 2011

Sapphire Battersea by Jacqueline Wilson

Title: Sapphire Battersea
Author: Jacqueline Wilson
Published by: Random House
Publication date: 29th August 2011
Pages: 416
Genres: Children's/Historic Fiction
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Hetty Feather is a Foundling Hospital girl and was given her name when she was left there as a baby by her mother. But she always longed to be called Sapphire, after her sapphire-blue eyes. When she is reunited with her mother, she hopes her new name, Sapphire Battersea, will also mean a new life! But life doesn't always go as planned...

Follow the twists and turns of Hetty's adventure as she goes out to work as a maid for a wealthy man. She longs to be reunited with her childhood sweetheart Jem - but also finds a new sweetheart, Bertie the butcher's boy, who whisks her away from her household chores to experience the delights of the funfair!

But Hetty's life may also take a darker path. Can she cope with the trials ahead?

Hetty Feather (or as she prefers to be known, Sapphire Battersea) has returned. Fourteen years old and her last day at the Foundling Hospital. Soon to be pushed into the harsh, unknown, outside world, she becomes a servant for a sly old man. Hetty tries to be reunited with her mother, but things don't quite go to plan.

I found this book really depressing and it really upset me in places. I actually read another review of this book on Amazon, where a woman's nine-year-old daughter actually burst into tears whilst reading this because it was so sad, and I can almost relate to that. Happy moments in this book were non-existent.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this book a lot. It was really interesting, the characters were great and well-developed and the plot was gripping. Love the cover too! I was actually late for school one day because I couldn't put the book down! The only flaw is that I'd start reading the book happily and when I finished I was sad and miserable, and not because it was the end of the book.

Not a very light-hearted read and not entirely believable in places. Otherwise, though, this was quite a good book. Even though the age rating is 9+ I would recommend it to 11+. I recommend this book to fans of Jacqueline Wilson and fans of the Victorian-era. 3.5/5.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Marshmallow Skye by Cathy Cassidy

Title: Marshmallow Skye
Author: Cathy Cassidy
Published by: Puffin
Publication date: 1st September 2011
Pages: 304
Genres: Children's/Young Adult/Contemporary
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.


Skye and Summer Tanberry are identical twins, and Skye loves her sister Summer more than anyone else in the world.

They do everything together, but lately Skye's been feeling like second-best - it's the story of her life.

And when her friend Alfie confesses he's fallen for Summer, not her, it hurts.

Skye wants to be her own person, but with an effortlessly cool twin, how can she?

Will Skye ever step out of Summer's shadow and find her own chance to shine?

Skye and Summer are twins. They have always been extremely close, but now as they grow older Skye can feel them growing apart. Skye - wears vintage style clothes, loves History, best friend is Millie. Summer - wears anything pink and anything cool, loves Ballet, best friend is Tia. They may look the same and occasionally think the same...but they couldn't be more different. When they find a dusty old trunk in the attic, with ancient love letters and musty velvet dresses inside, Skye and Summer grow apart just a little bit more...

I've always loved Cathy and her books, ever since my best friend lent me Scarlett when I was nine. I don't know how she does it but she always manages to create a realistic story, with a sense of magic included.

Marshmallow Skye starts off on Halloween, which was spooky. That was a nice change as Cathy hasn't written a horror story before. Marshmallow Skye isn't really a horror story anyway, but it's still a lot different from her other books. It's more of a mystery, I think.

Obviously I adored this book. Who wouldn't? I really wanted to save it, but I couldn't help reading it within an hour. One of the highlights of my year is always when Cathy launches a new book - and it's always just in time for my birthday!

I treasure this book - it's.... *deep breath* Amazfantasbrillgreatgoodexcelloveawesome! Yup. That new word perfectly describes ALL of Cathy's books.

Read this. Now. You need to, your life isn't complete until you read it...

Friday, 2 September 2011

Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

Title: Words in the Dust
Author: Trent Reedy
Published by: Frances Lincoln
Publication date: 1st September 2011
Pages: 352
Genres: Young Adult/War
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Zulaikha hopes.

She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven out of power in Afghanistan.

She hopes for a better relationship with her hard stepmother. And she even hopes to go to school one day.

Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the poetry she once taught Zulaikha's mother.

And American troops come to the village, promising new opportunities and surgery to mend Zulaikha's face.

Can Zulaikha dare to hope these promises will come true?

Words in the Dust is...beautiful. It was written by an actual American Soldier, and from what I read, I think the story is actually true. The main person in the story is Zulaikha. She lives with her stepmother Malehkah, her father, her older sister Zeynab, her older brother Najibullah and her two younger brothers Khalid and Habib, with another baby on the way.

It taught me a lot about the culture of Afghanistan. I didn't really know anything about it before but now I know quite a bit.

Zulaikha was so brave, although sometimes she just gave up which was a little annoying. Other than that, though, she is my favourite character.

I don't really like the cover - it's a bit too dull for me but I suppose the cover art does go well with the story.  However, I give Words in the Dust 4/5! :) I recommend this to readers aged 11+.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

'Marshmallow Skye' by Cathy Cassidy Launch!

Cathy Cassidy's brand-new book Marshmallow Skye (second in the Chocolate Box Girls series) was launched today. I've been waiting for this since...oh I don't know, September last year I think. And now it's finally here! I received it today from the lovely people over at Puffin and I am already on Chapter 14 so you should expect a review from me soon. Cherry Crush (the first in the series) was a great success and I'm sure this will be too.




'SKYE and SUMMER TANBERRY are identical twins, and Skye loves her sister Summer more than anyone else in the world. They do everything together, but lately Skye's been feeling like second-best - it's the story of her life. And when her friend Alfie confesses he's fallen not for her, but for Summer, it hurts.

Skye wants to be her own person, but with an effortlessly cool twin, how can she? Will Skye ever step out of Summer's shadow and find her own chance to shine?'
You can buy Cathy's fabulous book HERE.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Sticker Dolly Dressing: Around the World & Holiday by Emily Bone and Lucy Bowman


Around the World
Follow fashions across the globe with this fun and informative addition to the hit 'Sticker Dolly Dressing' series. Help dress the men and women in their traditional clothes from nations and cultures across the world. This title includes national costumes such as the kimonos of Japan, saris of India, bubas of Nigeria and the flamenco costumes of Spain.
'Around the World' is a sticker book, with  up to three people on each page from a different country to dress up. It took me a good three or four hours to complete and it was actually quite fun (you're never too old for stickers! Hehe.) It is quite educational when you think about it. It would be a perfect gift for any girl 5+.  The quality is great too, and if you make a mistake the stickers peel off easily without damaging. 10/10!


Holiday
Girls everywhere will love dressing and accessorising these intrepid girls as they travel around the globe in this colourful and glamorous addition to the hit "Sticker Dolly Dressing" series. Help the girls dress for a variety of different holidays during their voyage around the globe from the pyramids of Egypt, across pristine white beaches, a trek through a tropical jungle and the colourful Venetian carnival. This title is filled with over 400 stickers to chose from to help the characters look their best.
I prefer this book to the Around the World one. The illustrations are more colourful and the stickers are less fiddly. Plus this book is more like a story and a sticker book - at the top of each page it has a little part of the story. The quality is brilliant and, again, girls from age 5+ will definitely enjoy this. 10/10!

Thank you very much to Usborne for sending me these. :o)

Friday, 26 August 2011

Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton

Title: Jessie Hearts NYC
Author: Keris Stainton
Published by: Orchard
Publication date: 7th July 2011
Pages: 272
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Jessie's just arrived in New York, hoping to forget about her awful ex.

New Yorker Finn is in love with his best friend's girlfriend.
They might be perfect together, but in a city of eight million people, will they ever find each other?

A mouthwatering novel of coincidences, love and New York glamour.

Ever since Keris announced she was writing this book, I've been desperate for it to be published so I could read it. I love New York and always have done - I've never been there (although I would love to!) but from what I've seen of it, it looks and sounds amazing. So when Jessie Hearts NYC was published, I was really excited and desperate to read it!

I love the story line. I liked how Jessie and Finn kept crossing paths but they weren't aware of it - i.e Finn would be stood looking up at the Empire State Building, he'd leave and then Jessie and Emma would turn up there too. The little twist about Finn and his best friend's girlfriend gave the story more depth, and I caught myself feeling sorry for Finn a lot.

Jessie's relationship with her Mum is complicated. Having moved to New York permanently before, leaving Jessie behind, Jessie feels that her Mum abandoned her. Little things add to this, and eventually it just gets too much. The relationship between Jessie and her Mum is almost exactly the same as someone else I know, so I could kind of see it from a different point of view.

Overall....Amber Hearts This Book!!! :) 10000000000000000000000000000 out of 10. Or, in more sensible terms, 5/5...

Sunday, 21 August 2011

IMM #13

FOR REVIEW:
Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy - Frances Lincoln
No Use Crying by Zannah Kearns - Frances Lincoln
Jessie <3 NYC by Keris Stainton - Orchard Books
Furball and the Mokes by A.N. Wilson - Corvus Books

FROM THE LIBRARY:
Friends? Right now! by Dee Phillips

BOUGHT:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Thanks to everyone who sent me books this week! What did you all get?

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Velvet by Mary Hooper

Title: Velvet
Author: Mary Hooper
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 5th September 2011
Pages: 336
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Velvet is an orphan.

She struggles to make ends meet by working in a steam laundry, where the work is back-breaking and exhausting.
So when she attracts the attention of the glamorous clairvoyant Madame Savoya, she cannot believe her good fortune.

Raised to the status of lady's maid, Velvet is given elegant clothes to wear and is brought to live in a grand house in London. But the longer she works for Madame Savoya, the more she discovers about the mysterious world of a spiritual medium. Velvet soon realises that her employer is not quite what she seems and that this knowledge could put her very life in danger...

At first I was a bit hesitant to read Velvet because usually I don't enjoy reading Historical Fiction. However, Mary Hooper writes in such a way that you can't help but keep reading and I found that I actually really enjoyed it.

As the story went on, you were made aware of things that Velvet didn't yet know about. In that sense, you are kind of ahead when reading this so it feels like you are a character in the story yourself.

My favourite character, at the start, is George - Madame Savoya's personal assistant. But towards the end, I liked him less and less and my new favourite character became Velvet, because she was so loyal and kind. Then she was made to do lots of things she didn't feel right doing, but she coped.

The descriptive writing in this novel is pure genius, it really did feel like you were in the room with the characters. Usually I don't really like Historical Fiction, but Mary Hooper's HF books are an exception as they are so gripping and fantastically written.

I recommend this to everyone aged 11+. Even if you don't like Historical Fiction, give it a try because you will most-likely enjoy it! 4/5.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Kiss, Date, Love, Hate Cover

The cover for Luisa Plaja's new book, Kiss Date Love Hate was actually revealed a few weeks ago but I only just saw it. I'm sure lots of you have already seen this, but for those of you that haven't...


I love it!!! What do you think? :)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

Title: Eight Keys
Author: Suzanne LaFleur
Published by: Puffin
Publication date: 11th August 2011
Pages: 224
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Mystery/Family
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Before I used it, the key had infinite possibilities.

Eleven-year-old Elise feels stuck. Her school locker-buddy squashes her lunch and laughs at her, every day. She doesn't want to go to school - and her best friend Franklin just makes things worse.

Now I was ready for something to be different. Anything, really.

One day Elise discovers an incredible secret. A secret that might just help her unlock her past, and take a chance on the future.

I decided that tomorrow I would see what that key opened up. It had my name on it, after all...

Eight Keys is a really interesting book. It starts on the first day of Sixth Grade which is the first year of High School (Year 7) I think. Elise makes an enemy whose aim is to make her life hell. Soon, though, Elise discovers a key and her past unravels into her very hands...

Eight Rooms. Eight Keys. All hidden in random places. Can Elise find them all before her patience runs thin?

This is a wonderful book. When I was asked to review it, I wasn't really sure what to expect but I accepted and when Eight Keys arrived in the post, I started reading it straight away. I didn't stop reading it until it was finished. :) This has quite a unique plot, and books that are different and unique always get good reviews from me.

The only thing I don't like about this book is the cover. It's a bit dull, and to me it doesn't portray the story inside it. The first time I looked at this cover, I thought it looked like a historical romance but actually it turned out to be a modern story of an orphaned girl who lives with her aunt and uncle and has a mystery to solve. I guess looks can be deceiving!

Overall, this book is fantastic and I really do recommend it to everyone. It has lots of different genres hidden inside it, so it suits everyone. This is probably suitable for 11+ readers. I adore this book and I'll probably re-read it again and again. :)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Young Writers 2011 Competition

A while ago Luisa Plaja (fab author) suggested I enter the Young Writers competition but I guess I procrastinated and forgot about it. Then a couple of months ago my English teacher said I should enter and he gave me the forms etc. But instead of a Young Writers Story Competition it was a Young Writers Poem Competition where a few people in every school in the country enter their own poem into the competition. If their poem is good enough to be selected, it gets published in a regional book. Anyway, the theme was 'Things That Matter To You' so I entered my poem 'How I See The World' into the Young Writers: Southern Counties competition.

Yesterday I received a letter from the company saying that my poem had made it through the selection process! This means my poem will be in Young Writers: The Southern Counties which will be published on October 31st 2011. I received a certificate for Talented Writing and a limited edition bookmark. I can't wait to see the book!  When the series of regional books are published they will be available in most libraries in the UK and also a copy will be kept in the British Library, which is an archive of books published going back hundreds of years. This means the book with my poem inside will be kept there long after I'm dead! :)



Tuesday, 19 July 2011

IMM #12

As you can see, I've started to do In My Mailbox again....I go through phases of writing it and then forgetting hehe. :) This is for the last week.

FOR REVIEW:

August by Bernard Beckett (Harper Collins)
Wuthering Hearts by Kay Woodward (Random House)
Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery by Keren David (Keren David)
Boys for Beginners by Lil Chase (Harper Collins)

BOUGHT:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K Rowling

LIBRARY

Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery

I didn't get any signed book-ish stuff (except Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery which was kindly signed by Keren :)), but I did get this from my favourite girl-band Parade which is awesome...


If you can't read it, the autographs from left to right say Sian, Bianca, Lauren, Emily and Jessica and then it says To Amber, love from Parade x. They also sent me two 'Parade' badges. :)

Oh and if you're wondering why I haven't reviewed much recently, it's because for some reason I have suddenly got a bit obsessed with the Harry Potter books (a bit late but still!). I didn't think they were my kind of book, but then my Grandad bought me the first book the other day and I was hooked! So those books are taking up most of my time at the moment. ;)

Friday, 15 July 2011

'Wuthering Hearts' Blog Tour: Review and Guest Post!

Today is the day you've all been waiting for...Kay Woodward's 'Wuthering Hearts' blog tour! The Mile Long Bookshelf is the 15th 'stop' on the tour, so get reading :)

REVIEW:


Passion, the Yorkshire moors, a wild and handsome stranger . . . sound familiar?

When Robert arrives in town with his dark good looks and mysterious background, Emily has a huge crush! It’s almost enough to take her mind off this year’s school play . . . miserable, wailing Wuthering Heights.
But Robert is no prince, with his black moods and fierce temper. The beautiful untamed moors would be the perfect backdrop to their fiery romance, if only Emily could work it out.

On stage or off stage, will Emily ever be the Cathy to his Heathcliff?

This story is beautiful in every way...the cover, the setting, the characters etc. This is a great take on the classic novel by Emily Bronte! The emotions in this book, especially Emily and Robert's, were spectacular, they just flowed off the page. When Emily was sad, I felt sad - when she was happy, so was I!

Wuthering Hearts is dramatic, romantic and everything I love. I think I read it in about one sitting because it kept me wanting to know what happened next. I desperately didn't want this book to end, it was fantastic and really funny! Plus, this book is great if you don't like the actual classics themselves.

I recommend this to everyone with a passion for love, drama and lots and lots of humour! The official age-recommendation for Wuthering Hearts is 12+ but I think it could be a 10+, as I know quite a few 10 year olds would love this too. :o)
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GUEST POST: WHERE I GET MY INSPIRATION FROM:


Where do I get my inspiration from?

I wish I could just get it from Marks and Spencer. I can just imagine it..."I'll have a BLT, a bottle of cloudy lemonade and a jar of inspiration, please." Wow. That would be GREAT.

Unfortunately, it's trickier to work out where I find my ideas. I can tell you when I get them though.

There's the shower. I don't know if it's the drumming of the water on my head or the fact I'm so short-sighted I can't actually see anything in there, so there's nothing to do but think, but it seems to be a good place for ideas.

It's the same with the tree outside - a massive Eucalyptus that goes bonkers when it's windy. Just staring at that seems to flip a switch in my brain.

When I've finished reading in bed at night, and turn off the light, that's when I get ideas too. And then I have to turn the light back on again, and go and write them down, because no matter how convinced I am that the ideas will still be there in the morning, they never are. I know.

My husband is good at storylines. He came up with a cool plot about fairies, on the A303 once.

Panic. That's a brilliant one. There's something about the fact that it's 5.15 and I have to come up with an idea by 5.30 or my editor will be very cross indeed that makes ideas appear. Thank goodness.

And finally, there's me. I copy myself mercilessly. I like to give my characters big noses, like me. Often, they're messy, like me. In my new book Wuthering Hearts, the main character is a girl called Emily who wants to play the lead in the school play, like I did. I longed to be Cinderella - but ended up being an ugly sister instead. And Emily longs to be Catherine Earnshaw in the school play of Wuthering Heights and, well...no spoilers. Because sometimes, my characters do stuff that I've done. Sometimes, they don't.

And when I'm staring at the tree or in the shower or on the M25, anything can pop into my head.
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Thanks Kay! The next blog on the tour is HERE. :)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Fiction Express Chapter 7 and 8 Reviews

Diary of a Mall Girl (Ch.7) by Luisa Plaja

Last time, we saw (well, read...) Ameera and Molly sneak into Jewel's apartment. Luckily they didn't get caught....although they nearly did! This week we found out something BIG. It really surprised me - I never saw it coming! Love this. :) Again, it ended on a massive cliff-hanger so I'm looking forward to Chapter 8!


Soul Shadows (Ch.7) by Alex Woolf
This week's chapter was quite fast-paced, with chases and murders along the way! There are a few sweet moments though, like moments between Estelle and her shadow, and when Sandor helped Estelle even when he was badly injured...this gets more exciting each week!

The Last Symbol (Ch.7) by Rebecca Morton
Drina and Hedley set off on a secret mission arranged by Tyron, following Blues and bickering with each other...At one point I was a little confused as to who's side Drina was actually on, but it all became clear towards the end of the chapter. :)


Diary of a Mall Girl (Ch.8) by Luisa Plaja
Chaotic and fun are the only words I can find to describe this chapter! After Liam's disastrous party, Molly has some important choices to make. Where will she go for her work experience? And which boy does she like best? Jasper vs. Liam :) Sadly it's getting close to the end of DOAMG now, but I can't wait to read the end, I bet it'll be fantastic.

The Last Symbol (Ch.8) by Rebecca Morton
Drina is participating in a dangerous plan, which involves being very dishonest to a few of the most important people in her land. It's all with good intentions though - to protect her brother Miko. This chapter had a few good twists in it - I think Chapter Nine is going to be great! :)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Fiction Express Chapter 6 Reviews

Diary of a Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja


Fantastic, as always!  Ameera and Molly end up doing something really risky that could get them into trouble (we'll find out if they get caught in Chapter 7, yay!), Molly's confused and curious, and Jewel and Jasper haven't revealed their secret yet. We know their mum is ill, but what kind of ill? Why do they keep jetting off to mysterious places? Why won't they let anyone in their apartment? I really hope all is revealed soon! :)

Soul Shadows by Alex Woolf

FREAKY! ....But in a good way! This chapter was mind-blowing! I really liked how the characters made their own Soul Shadows i.e Shadow Carl, Shadow Sandor, Shadow Estelle. And it was great that the shadows had feelings - I felt really sorry for Shadow Estelle! This was full of action, fighting and imagination!

The Last Symbol by Rebecca Morton

This unusual, intriguing chapter ended on the biggest cliffhanger I have ever read! I can't wait to read what happens next. I was quite surprised at one of the things that happened in the chapter, but I can't tell you what...you'll have to read it for yourself! ;) This was really interesting and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading.

Thanks Fiction Express! The Chapter 7 (Chapter 7 already?? Nooo! I don't want these stories to end! :'() reviews will be up in the next week. :)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Interview with author Cat Patrick


Last week I got to interview lovely author Cat Patrick, debut writer of Forgotten.  Want to know more about her and her book? Read on...


Where did you get your inspiration for Forgotten?
I got the idea for Forgotten when my twins were about five months old. I was very tired as they weren't sleeping through the night, and one morning, I forgot what I was doing mid-activity. As I was trying to remember, I considered how awful it would be to have amnesia. But then I thought: But what if you could remember forward instead? Forgotten was born.

And, for people who haven't read the book, could you tell us more about it?
Forgotten is the story of a teen girl named London Lane who remembers the future instead of the past. She gets by with the help of reminder notes, her cell phone, her mom and her best friend, until she meets a guy who she wants to date...but who she doesn't remember. The book is about London's quest to navigate life with her condition, date a guy who shouldn't be in her future, and ultimately, solve the mystery of her past so that she can move forward with her life.

What was your journey to publication like?
I was very fortunate on my path to publication. It took me two and a half months to write the first draft of Forgotten. When I was nearly finished, I sent out one pitch letter to my dream agent and he wrote back in seven minutes, requesting the entire novel. Less than six months later, the book sold at auction in the US, and was subsequently purchased in 16 countries worldwide. I know that's rare, and I truly believe that I was lucky enough to have the right idea at the right time.

If you weren't an author, what do you think you would be doing instead?
I can't imagine not being an author! But if pressed, I'd probably take some classes and become an interior designer. I love looking for new items for my home on furniture sites and Etsy.

If you had to become one of your characters, who would you choose?
London! She's the type of strong, independent, mature teen I would have liked to have been.

If you could have a famous grandma (dead or alive) who would it be?
I was very close to both of my grandmothers: They were famous in my eyes. But if required to add to my family tree, I'd choose Betty White. She's smart as a whip and hilarious, and funniness is the best way to my heart.

What kind of snacks/drinks to you like to eat/drink when you're writing? 
I eat crunchy snacks like dry cereal a lot because they tend to keep me more alert. I'm always cold, so I usually have tea next to me, too.

Your favourite song?
Oh wow, that's tough. I love "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon, as it will always remind me of London and Luke (it played a lot on the radio while I was writing). "Intervention" by Arcade Fire is another fave (or really anything by that band). I also love “Everlong” by Foo Fighters and “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits.

Out of all the different covers that Forgotten has (UK, USA, Australian etc) which is your favourite?
That's like choosing which of my children I like best: I can't do it! I love them all for different reasons: the US version for its boldness (and the model's name is Cat, too!); the Australia version for its loveliness; the French version for being PURPLE! What I love about the UK version is the vibrant hair and the background, and the fact that the photographer is also the model.


Thanks, Cat!


Thank you Amber for interviewing me

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Published by: Puffin
Publication date: 3rd June 2010
Pages: 288
Genres: Young Adult/Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.


Every year Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends' house.

There's the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of beach - and the two boys.

Conrad - unavailable, aloof - who she's been in love with forever.

Jeremiah - friendly, relaxed - the only one who's ever really paid her any attention.

But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It's going to be an amazing summer...and one she'll never forget.

This is such a sweet, summery book. The kind of book you would read by the pool in the sun with sunglasses and a smoothie. One girl. Two boys. And the summer that changed everything.

Every year, Belly and her family stay at a woman called Samantha's house for the summer. Samantha just so happens to have two sons the same age as Belly (Belly is short for Isobel). This summer, Belly turns up at the house for the summer and suddenly the boy's seem to be noticing her for the first time. It's the summer she turned pretty.

I really loved this. The characters and the situations were realistic, and it all just seemed perfect. It was beautifully written, with amazing descriptions and you felt like you were actually there, living your life along with the characters.

You know Team Edward/Team Jacob (off Twilight?) Well there's a similar thing going on with these books, too.  Everyone is saying whether they're on Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah....if you're wondering, I'm on Team Jeremiah :)

The main character, Belly, seemed like a character most people can probably relate to, as she was unsure and confused and dealt with first love in quite a realistic way. 

Everyone should read The Summer I Turned Pretty (and it's sequel, which I'll be reviewing soon). Fantastic. 5/5!