“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C.S. Lewis

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Some of these I don’t technically have yet BUT I’m basically dropping everything for as soon as I have those pretty treasures in my hands…
Starting with:

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

The novel is told from the perspective of four teens in a high school held hostage who all have their own reasons to fear the boy with the gun.

This is going to be AMAZING!!!

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you’ve finished reading.

So excited, have been since I heard about it last year. I keep changing my mind about which cover is better. Thoughts?

House of Windows by Alexia Casale

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‘The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.’ Robert Louis Stevenson

Nick hates it when people call him a genius. Sure, he’s going to Cambridge University aged 15, but he says that’s just because he works hard. And, secretly, he only works hard to get some kind of attention from his workaholic father.

Not that his strategy is working.

When he arrives at Cambridge, he finds the work hard and socialising even harder. Until, that is, he starts to cox for the college rowing crew and all hell breaks loose…

I know want doesn’t get but I WANT THIS BOOK NOW!!!

Frail Human Heart (The Name of the Blade #3)
by Zoë Marriott

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In the thrilling final installment of Zoë Marriott’s epic, Japanese-inspired urban fantasy trilogy, Mio has succeeded in banishing the Goddess of Death’s plague-spreading monsters – by making the most terrible sacrifice. Now Mio’s love Shinobu is lost forever, the Goddess is rising from the underworld, and hell is literally breaking loose in London.

To save the city from the catastrophic war between gods, Mio must journey into the perilous dream realm to learn the final secret of the katana’s origins, and its true powers. With secrets from her own family’s past emerging, and more impossible choices to be made, she will need every bit of help available from her remaining friends and her allies in the Kitsune Kingdom just to escape her quest alive.

Because in the end, the only thing standing between the human world and the apocalypse… is Mio. And her sword.

Why do I think I’ll need to take time off work to recover?

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Books I have
(either bought or kindly sent for review)

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

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I want life.

I want to read it and write it and feel it and live it.

I want, for as much of the time as possible in this blink-of-an-eye existence we have, to feel all that can be felt.

I hate depression. I am scared of it. Terrified, in fact. But at the same time, it has made me who I am. And if – for me – it is the price of feeling life, it’s a price always worth paying

Reasons to Stay Alive is about making the most of your time on earth. In the western world the suicide rate is highest amongst men under the age of 35. Matt Haig could have added to that statistic when, aged 24, he found himself staring at a cliff-edge about to jump off. This is the story of why he didn’t, how he recovered and learned to live with anxiety and depression. It’s also an upbeat, joyous and very funny exploration of how live better, love better, read better and feel more.

True Face by Siobhan Curham

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We are living in the age of the image – the perfect image. From the constant bombardment of air-brushed photos, to the dubious lifestyle choices promoted by celebrities and the obsession with social media, young women are under pressure as never before to project a persona of perfection. And this is having a catastrophic effect, with girls as young as seven developing eating disorders and female self-loathing reaching epidemic proportions.

True Face shows you how to resist the pressure from the ‘perfection police’ and take off the masks you wear to proudly reveal your true self to the world. In chapters dealing with body image, bullying, social media, love, sex and more, Siobhan Curham encourages young women and girls to be honest, dream big, and create lives that are happy and fulfilling. Keep Calm and Carry On is replaced by a new mantra: Forget the Fake and Keep it Real. This book is a breath of fresh air.

As White As Snow by Salla Simukka

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Lumikki Andersson may be innocent, but she’s no Snow White…

Three and a half months have passed since Lumikki Andersson was left for dead in a snowdrift – a bullet wound in her thigh and frostbite creeping into her skin. But the scorchingly hot streets of Prague in summer provide a welcome contrast to that terrifying time, and now Lumikki just wants to move on – forget the events of the past year, forget about the Polar Bear’s crime ring – and escape her parent’s oppressive concern… She’s alone again, which is just how she likes it.

But Lumikki’s peaceful solitude is about to be shattered. She is approached on the street by a nervous young woman, who, unbelievably, thinks she might be Lumikki’s long-lost sister. Lumikki is unconvinced – although Zelenka’s story seems to ring horrifyingly true – but there’s something weird about her. Something jumpy, and suspicious.

Turns out Lumikki is right to be wary, as Zelenka is part of a dangerous religious cult who believe they are descendants of Christ – and that Lumikki is one of them, and must be ‘martyred’ alongside them. On the run for her life again, Lumikki must once more draw on her all her powers of resolve and strength if she is to survive.

The D’Evil Diaries by Tatum Flynn

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A hilarious, crackling, original debut about an unlucky demon, perfect for fans of Derek Landy and Eoin Colfer.

Twelve-year-old Jinx is hopeless at being evil. Which is a bit of a problem when you’re Lucifer’s youngest son. But when Jinx runs away from Pandemonium, the walled city he’s lived in all his life, he bumps into dead girl Tommy – who’s been sent to Hell for accidentally feeding her nasty uncle to a circus lion – and unearths a conspiracy that could up-end the entire underworld.

Cue shenanigans involving carnivorous carousel horses, death-trap-riddled libraries and hungry quicksand. Now the fate of the realm rests in the hands of its most unlikely demon and a girl who shouldn’t be in Hell at all…

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

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Meet Audrey: an ordinary teenage girl with not so ordinary problems. Aside from her completely crazy and chaotic family, she suffers from an anxiety disorder which makes talking to her brother’s hot new best friend a bit of a challenge. But Audrey has a plan to help her face her fears and take on the world again. First stop: Starbucks.

Remix by Non Pratt

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From the author of Trouble comes a new novel about boys, bands and best mates.

Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life… Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record.

Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.

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Finally one I’m really looking forward to, plus don’t you adore that cover?

The Next Together by Lauren James

The Next Together cover reveal

How many times can you lose the one you love?

For Matthew and Katherine it is again and again, over and over, century after century. Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. But why do they keep coming back? How many times must they die to save the world? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different…

What about you?
What books are you excited about?

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Book of the Month #34

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Operation Bunny (Wings & Co #1) by Sally Gardner

You can read my review by clicking the link HERE

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Books reviewed this month…

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Bloodtide (Blood #1) by Melvin Burgess

Worry Magic by Dawn McNiff

Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner

Arsenic for Tea (Wells and Wong #2) by Robin Stevens

Violet and the Pearl of the Orient by Harriet Whitehorn

Love Bomb (The Ladybirds #2) by Jenny McLachlan

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Operation Bunny (Wings & Co #1) by Sally Gardner

Under My Skin by James Dawson

A Whisper of Wolves (Guardians of the Wild #1) by Kris Humphrey

Lili by Wen Dee Tan

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 chrissi&lunacompare1I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

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If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

Thoughts before you started reading I’ll Meet You There?

CHRISSI: I was really excited to start reading I’ll Meet You There after devouring Something Real. I have to admit, there was a level of apprehension though. ESPECIALLY when it started to get a lot of good buzz around it. I really didn’t want to be let down. So it was with caution but much excitement that I started I’ll Meet You There.

LUNA: Having loved Something Real I was pretty excited about this. To be honest I knew very little before I started reading, Chrissi suggested the new Heather Demetrios and I was like: “SOLD!”

What did you think of Skylar and Josh?

CHRISSI: Oh! Heather Demetrios is an amazing writer. She creates such wonderful characters. I really liked Skylar and Josh, because they weren’t perfect characters. It’s great to read about characters that aren’t shiny and perfect, because let’s face it…who is shiny and perfect?

LUNA: They’re both really developed characters, despite the fact that Skylar has most of the narration you get a really good feeling of who Josh is. I felt that a lot of thought had gone into who they were, how they would grow throughout the book. Sometimes characters read like the one-dimensional words they are made of on the page but Skylar and Josh come across as people.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: I really liked how the romance was slow burning. I also appreciated the raw and grittiness of the story. I couldn’t get enough of this book despite it being fairly long!

LUNA: Like Chrissi it was the slow-burning relationship between Skylar and Josh. It’s a complicated, messy, awkward friendship/romance that you get invested it.

Worst bit?

CHRISSI: I honestly don’t think I could pick a worst bit as such. If I was being really picky I’d say it was a little slow to start, but really… that’s nothing. It didn’t affect my enjoyment, I wasn’t bored. I was just eager to get into the action!

LUNA: There were a few moments, for example in reference to Dylan that I didn’t like. Like when Josh said he wasn’t surprised it was Dylan who had the baby, etc and sometimes the commentators would be called out on it, but then other times Skylar would be making them herself. Like the night she borrows Dylan’s dress and notes that Dylan only has dresses you can easily get out off.

It wasn’t just Dylan, except for pure Skylar the girls in this book get a heck of a lot of judgement heaped on them.

Favourite character/moment:

CHRISSI: As with Something Real, I really liked all of the characters. However, I did have a particular fondness for Marge. A side character, but so important in the story.

LUNA: I really liked Marge as well.

Was I’ll Meet You There what you expected?

CHRISSI: I expected an emotional, raw, gritty read and that’s what I got!

LUNA: Overall yes, though I was surprised that I managed to put the book down, with Something Real I barely moved from the sofa.

Would you recommend it?
CHRISSI: Without a doubt!

LUNA: Absolutely

Previously reviewed: Something Real by Heather Demetrios

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17457002How did I get the book?
StorytellersInc Book Club

Genre: Apocalyptic / Dystopian / Mythology Retelling

Synopsis: ‘Love. Hate. So what? This is family. This is business.’

London is in ruins. The once-glorious city is now a gated wasteland cut off from the rest of the country and in the hands of two warring families – the Volsons and the Connors.

Val Volson offers the hand of his young daughter, Signy, to Connor as a truce. At first the marriage seems to have been blessed by the gods, but betrayal and deceit are never far away in this violent world, and the lives of both families are soon to be changed for ever…

200words (or less) review: Wow this book certainly is something. Though if I’m perfectly honest I’m not sure what that something is. Bloodtide is addictive reading, you can’t just read one chapter – you keep going and going and before you know it’s the middle of the book.

There are lots of things I loved about Bloodtide: it’s gritty, vivid (the world-building is spectacular), the writing and the book doesn’t make nice. There’s no filtering or sugarcoating. I respect that and while there were parts that certainly made me squirm I’m glad that Bloodtide is the way it is.

Based in part on the “Volsunga Saga” (which I consequently looked up) Siggy and Signy’s story is tragic. Signy’s father hands her over to Connor to marry him, she’s 14 and Connor is ‘not as old as Signy’s father’ (so that’s ok then – not). As the story progresses things get worse and well there was a point where I considered putting the book down. I didn’t and I’m happy I finished it.

Bloodtide will stay with you for a good while after you’ve finished reading it.

Recommend it?

Yes

51nCJmrytcL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_How did I get the book?
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Genre: Picture Book

Synopsis: What happens to stories that don’t get told and songs that don’t get sung? Parvathi knows a story and a song, and keeps them to herself. But they are determined to escape!

This folk tale is charmingly retold by Manasi Subramaniam and painted with intricate detail by Ayswarya Sankaranarayanan.

200words (or less) review: I’m really enjoying the selection of picture books Karadi have sent me for review and this one is no exception.

A retelling of a folktale the story follows Parvathi, who as a wedding gift is told a story and a song with the instructions to share them. She forgets about this because she is so busy and the story and song escape.

The illustrations are rich and busy so I think there is plenty to look at and there is probably more text then in some picture books. I wasn’t sure about the style, reading the story out loud I didn’t think the words always flowed as they could have.

The Story and the Song was very much about the folktale for me, which I enjoyed a lot.

Recommend it?

Yes

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23111484How did I get the book?
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Genre: Contemporary

Previously reviewed: Little Celeste

Synopsis: Courtney is a worrier – she’s worried about EVERYTHING, from her mum and dad’s constant fights, to her Gran being ill to the fact that her best friend Lois suddenly seems to be more interested in growing up and hanging out with mean girl Bex.

But then one day, during a particularly bad argument kicked off by her dad’s discovery of a pig in their lounge (don’t ask…) Courtney begins to feel a bit funny… a bit woozy… a bit like a dream is coming on – and then when she wakes up everything is better! Mum and dad are being nice to each other, the pig is going back to the animal shelter (really, don’t ask…) and even Kyle, her older brother, seems to be making an effort.

Courtney becomes sure that each time she feels woozy and has her dreams, she’s magicking her problems and worries away. Her mum, dad and brother aren’t so sure though. Can Courtney convince everybody that her worry magic dreams are the perfect way to solve her problems? Or should she learn to worry a little less and to ask for help in some non-magical places more?

Review:  Just like Little Celeste this book is a quick and endearing read. Courtney is a likeable narrator who worries about her grandmother being in hospital and her parents constant arguing. Courtney tries to prevent these arguments but it’s not working.

The book begins with Courtney’s mother having bought a pig home from the sanctuary she volunteers at, it’s a micro pig but it’s still a pig and Courtney’s father has been quite clear on no more animals. Of course as soon as he gets home her parents argue, only this time Courtney “falls asleep” as she calls it and has a fragmented dream which seen a happy calm family. When she wakes up it comes true – it’s magic.

Courtney’s ‘worry magic’ continues to come true whenever she has these dreams. But is it really magic? Courtney is quite a young narrator, so her faith in this magic is believable. As the story continues Courtney learns that not everything is fixable. There were a few moments in the book I really appreciated, like when Courtney went to find her father.

And this my book review if it wasn’t for one particular sentence:

“Really, these sound like classic panic attacks,” Dr Plop said.

I didn’t touch on this before because while I did enjoy Worry Magic but it was overshadowed from p52 onwards by that “diagnosis”. Courtney says she falls asleep, as far as the rest of her family is concerned she faints.  Above is the doctor’s diagnosis.

I’m right bang in the middle of CBT (that’s Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for Anxiety and this includes panic attacks which I’ve had for the last 2 years. They are horrible and terrifying but fainting is not common. In fact one of the first things I learned was that panic attacks don’t generally cause you to faint. Knowing that actually helped me.

Regardless of Courtney’s own belief in magic a medical professional is giving a diagnosis in this book. A diagnosis of “classic panic attacks” is wrong. Courtney doesn’t like this doctor, she refers to him as Dr Plop (he’s actually Dr Prop) so if Dawn McNiff’s intention is/was to undermine him by making the diagnosis wrong that’s fine but there should be a disclaimer somewhere. There isn’t. Courtney might not be having panic attacks but the “adults” in her world think she is and the doctor is stating that fainting is “classic” panic attack that’s just… – no!

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The information in Worry Magic is wrong. As far as the book is concerned a doctor diagnosis a young girl with classic panic attacks but there are no warning bells going off about the fainting. The prescription? “keep her stress levels down”

This worries me ok. I’m sorry but it does. As a reader you have a certain trust that what you read is correct, at least in contemporary stories. If Worry Magic was set in a  land of Dragons and Purple Dandelion Fairies I would not be harping on about this, in such a land fainting might be classic in panic attacks.

I’m no expert on panic attacks but I believe that the hand-outs/leaflets I’ve been given by the NHS as part of my CBT are true. I also believe the person who is treating me and if that wasn’t enough a quick search on google confirms that fainting isn’t ‘classic’.

So I feel justified in my sadness over Worry Magic. All it needed was a little note explaining Dr Prop/Plop was wrong because just what if someone thinks panic attacks and fainting go hand in hand? I’d hope you’d seek medical advice for both but if you’re fainting its important because it’s not the norm.

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