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...