Posted in Book Reviews

The Accidental Werewolf 2: Something About Harry (Accidentals #8) by Dakota Cassidy

If you want to read a hilarious but heart-warming paranormal werewolf romance with a bit of adventure thrown in, then you’ll love this book and the whole series.

I’vThe Accidental Werewolf 2: Something ABout Harrye read the entire Accidentals series!  The characters are hilarious and the dialogue is witty.  Absolutely loved all the books in the series.

This particular book (No. 8) is the last one in the Accidentals series.

Mara is a lonely werewolf, who hasn’t met her Mr Right (no-one in her pack wants to mate with her) so she decides to create a serum in her lab in order to impregnate herself with werewolf babies.

However, it all goes horribly wrong when Harry, a Pack Cosmetics Accountant (and her long-time crush), accidentally drinks the serum and turns himself into a werewolf.  Mara is in serious trouble as this all goes against Pack Law.  What was Harry doing in her lab in the first place?  How is Mara going to get herself out of this mess?

Mara turns to the fabulous OOPS (Out in the Open Paranormal Support) team to help Harry and herself out of this tight spot. Harry is in denial about his changed state and is determined to turn himself back into a human.  Trouble follows him in his efforts to find a cure.  OOPS have to save him from a witch doctor, help him raise his two kids and devise a brilliant plan to save Mara from jail.

Watching Mara and Harry’s erratic relationship develop into love was heart-warming, though initially frustrating on Mara’s behalf.

There are a range of interesting characters helping out in this roller-coaster of an adventure, namely werewolves, vampires, a demon, a witch doctor, a half zombie, who only eats vegetables and a halfsie, who is half werewolf half vampire.

The OOPS team members are a bunch of sassy, fiercely loyal and combat ready paranormal women.

Each book covers a different character’s story of how they became linked to OOPS so I think you could read them separately and not lose out on the story-line but I read them in order so I got to know the characters right from the beginning.  I have to say that Nina, the vampire, is my favourite.

I’m sad that they’ve come to an end as I truly enjoyed this series.  Dakota Cassidy’s writing style is witty, engaging and laugh out loud funny.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a funny paranormal adventure with fabulous characters.

This book deserves

 

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Posted in Book Reviews

The Other Queen by Rebecca Jaycox (The Inheritance Series Book 2)

In the Other world, two girls, both powerful Aether Mages, are destined to join together to annihilate the Dark Mage.  He is determined to destroy them and reap their powers in his evil quest to rule their world.

Reggie is a powerful Aether Mage in the Other World but in the Real World, she was just an ordinary 17 year old girl.  She is captured by Andrius, the Dark Mage, but man
ages to escape from him and finally makes it safely to her guardian, Rhys.

Reggie makes some important allies in the Other to help her to firstly free her father, who is an extremely powerful Aether Mage and secondly to assist with rescuing all the wretched souls being experimented upon and tortured by Andrius.

Asher, an Air Mage, who was once enslaved to Andrius, falls in love with Reggie and promises revenge as his family was killed by the Dark Mage.  He joins Rhys and Reggie in their quest to destroy Andrius.

Reggie finds out that Andrius has taken hostage of her mother and her best friend, John.  Andrius is using them as leverage as he ultimately wants to get his hands on Reggie to use her blood to create an army of the dead.  He desires to rule the world and destroy all those who seek to revolt against him.

Rhys is trying desperately to free her father from his magical prison as they need him to be able to defeat Andrius, but he needs Reggie’s magical assistance even if she hasn’t fully mastered control of it yet.  Rhys, who is also the leader of the rebellion, helps Reggie learn to control her magic and together, they free her father from the magic that has kept him imprisoned inside a tree.

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Andrius is aware that her father has been freed and now they have to quickly devise a plan to defeat him before he has too much time to plan their demise.

Reggie’s dreams are invaded by a terrified, strange girl who calls herself the Black Queen.  She begs Reggie to free her from being tortured by Andrius. Reggie instinctively knows that the Black Queen could provide the key to breaking the Dark Mage’s hold on the Other.

Brywn, who is like a big brother to Reggie, uses his magical inner wolf to help her to rescue the Black Queen.  She is the missing key, who is able to nullify magic and hide her powers from Andrius.  They just need to figure out how to use this knowledge to their advantage.

Without giving it too much away, the story ends on a cliff-hanger, where Reggie hands herself over to Andrius in order to save her friends.  So now, Andrius has the two people whom he wants most in his possession to make his family complete, Reggie and her mother.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel!  I enjoyed the overall plot and there were a few laugh out loud moments that eased some of the tension experienced by the characters in the story.

Thank you to NetGalley for letting me read and review this book.

Rebecca’s book deserves

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Posted in Authors, Book Reviews

Open A Toolkit For How Magic And Messed Up Life Can Be by Gemma Cairney

I arranged an author visit from Gemma Cairney  at my school through Elaine at Silverwood Events on 15 March 2017.

Gemma is Open a toolkit for how magic and messed up life can be by Gemma Cairneycurrently touring the UK to promote  her debut book, Open A Toolkit For How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be.

The Book

When I received my advance copy, I was so impressed with the content and the unique, easy to read format of the book.  It’s colourful, well illustrated and highly appealing to teenagers.  It will become “a wise best friend in a book” as quoted by Caitlin Moran.

Gemma covers all issues experienced by teens such as family, friendship, love, stress, loss, addiction, eating disorders, self-harm, body image, etc.  Too many to mention here, but so relevant to life in the 21st century. These issues are sensitively dealt with and beautifully explained in language that teens will relate to and understand.

Besides being highly recommended for all teens, I think that this book will be a fantastic resource for all parents, guardians, carers and staff working in education or with teenagers in any other capacity.

The Author Visit

Gemma spoke to my Year 8 students and they hung on her every word.  She used the platform of an informal chat on stage with Bea Cross, from Macmillan Publishers, dsicussing the content of her book and her own experiences.  Students asked lots of interesting and relevant questions, which Gemma happily answered.

The letter that Gemma had written to her 14 year old self, which she read at the end of her talk was truly inspiring.  It appears at the end of her book.

Afterwards, Gemma signed a pile of books and spoke to a queue of students.

Some of the students stayed on to participate in recording a podcast with Gemma, discussing some of the issues they had experienced in their lives.

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The students, who attended the author visit are still talking about how much they enjoyed the talk and meeting Gemma a week later.

Gemma, touring in her bright yellow double decker bus, spread positivity with her sunny disposition amongst the students and staff at our school.  It was a thought provoking and inspirational visit.

I wish Gemma every success on her continued tour and feel honoured to have spent time with her.  She clearly cares about helping teenagers cope with life issues.

Lancashire Telegraph news article about the visit.

Her book deserves .

Pan Macmillian book announcement.

 

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Posted in Book Reviews

Wishbones by Virginia MacGregor

This is one of the best YA books that I’ve read about depression and eating disorders.  It illustrates what it’s like to be a teenager in the 21st century.

WishbonesFeather Tucker loves her mum, competitive swimming, her goat Houdini and her best friend, Jake.  She is a teenager, who loves unconditionally, is non-judgemental and tries to help others selflessly.

Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mum, Jo, in a diabetic coma.  She is seriously overweight, hasn’t left the house in years and binges on junk food.

Feather is determined to get her mum healthy again and devises a plan to help her. She soon finds out that her mum isn’t interested in getting healthy.  Feather starts to suspect that there is an underlying reason for her mum’s behaviour.   She doesn’t understand why her dad keeps sabotaging her efforts.  No-one will tell her what’s going on.

Clay, a new boy, arrives in the village to stay with his grandpa, Rev. Cootes.  He used to live here when he was much younger, but something happened causing him and his mother to move to America.  There is a shared guilty secret, which is feeding Jo’s overeating and Clay’s struggle with food avoidance.

Virginia MacGregor sensitively addresses so many important issues here including depression, eating disorders, immigration, loneliness, sexuality and mental health.  The setbacks suffered by the characters are realistic. You will empathise with their struggles and applaud their bravery.

This is a touching, heart-warming tale about a tragedy, which turns out to have a happy ending.

This book earns a well-deserved 4 stars.

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Posted in Young Writers

Attention Young Writers

NanoWriMo

Have you heard about NanoWriMo?

I’ve have been running NanoWriMo (National Write A Novel In A Month) with my young writers aged 11 – 18 very successfully for several years now .  It is an international writing challenge that takes place every year during the month of November.  The idea is to write a novel in 30 days from 1 November to 30 November.  You have fantastic resources available on the NanoWriMo website to get you started in preparation for the writing challenge.

There is a NanoWriMo Camp starting on 1 April for those of you who want a taste of what it’s like to participate in this fantastic challenge.  Or if you’ve taken part before, you may wish to take advantage of this writing opportunity.

Don’t feel stressed.  You can set your own word count target for your novel.  Just make sure that it challenges you so don’t make it too easy, otherwise you won’t feel like you’ve achieved your potential.

It’s great fun.  Check out this link for more information.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Waiting for Callback Take Two by Perdita & Honor Cargill

Elektra Jones is a 15 year old student with dreams of making it big as a movie star. She lands a starring role in Straker, a dystopian blockbuster film, for which she is highly unprepared as she doesn’t have the physical skills that they expect her to perform in front of the camera. At the same time as landing this role, Elektra starts dating her long-time crush, Archie.

When she starts filming, Archie has to relocate to Transylvania for a TV role playing a vampire hunter surrounded by gorgeous girls, which makes Elektra feel very insecure and causes tension between them. Her co-star, Carlo, tries to make a move on her but she isn’t interested as she likes Archie. Life on and off the movie set is out of control. The writers change the script daily, the director is frustrated, the other actors are divas, Elektra hates her on-screen unglamorous outfit and her relationship with Archie is troubled to say the least.

This book is humorously written, the characters are interesting and their interaction will have you laughing and screeching at them when they don’t do what you expect.

I’d give this book a solid 3.5 stars as it was an enjoyable read.

 

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Posted in Book Reviews

Unboxed by Non Pratt

Unboxed - Non Pratt

I read this sad, yet heartwarming and emotive book from sparkly cover to cover.  It made me pang for my own lost teenage/YA friendships.  It was an emotional, honest read that was both tearful and uplifting in the end.  I loved it!

This story is about a group of dispersed best friends, who reconnect 5 years later to fulfil the dying wish of their friend, Millie by retrieving a time capsule that they’d hidden at school when they were 13 after their best summer ever. They each had to read a letter that they’d written to their future selves out loud. This raw and emotional experience rekindled their friendships as they realised that the truth they revealed about themselves didn’t affect how they felt about one another but actually strengthened their bond.

The characters were well developed and easy to identify with making this a brilliant read.

This book is well worth reading and deserves

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