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

Rebel of the Sands“Tell me that and we’ll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that’s how you want your story to go and we’ll write it straight across the sand.”

Dustwalk is Amani’s home. The desert sand is in her bones. But she wants to escape. More than a want. A need.
Then a foreigner with no name turns up to save her life, and with him the chance to run. But to where? The desert plains are full of danger. Sand and blood are swirling, and the Sultan’s enemies are on the rise.

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

Genre: Fantasy

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that has had me so caught up from the very beginning. Actual adrenalin thrills while turning the pages. Following Amani as she tries to escape Dustwalk and what this means to her, and consequently me, as I trail behind her.

Can I just swoon over the amazing world-building in Rebel of the Sands? Like seriously I’m still not over it. Or the spacing of the story? The perfect balance of keeping you at the edge of your seat when it needs to be but also allowing you the occasional breathes so you can fall that little more in love with Amani, Jin and the other character.

Then there is the story itself, the danger, the fact that Alwyn Hamilton has provided one of those rare occasions (so rare) when that instant spark works because wow Amani and Jin. ♥

I need the next book now.

Recommend it?

Sunshine Star


Some of my #RebelSands tweets (there have been many):


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25600503Have you ever been kidnapped by pirates in the middle of the night and forced to walk the Greasy Pole of Certain Death?

Or challenged a giant grizzly bear to a milk-drinking contest?

Or gone on a dangerous quest in search of mysterious treasure?

What’s that? You haven’t?

Then the unlikely adventures of Mabel Jones are almost certainly too exciting, thrilling and terrifying for you. Put this book down at once!*

*Not really – I just have to say that in case any grown-ups are reading. Luckily this writing is too small for their old eyes to see properly. What you should really do is start reading this book immediately because it will make you laugh so hard that chips will come down your nose.

How did I get the book? I bought it as the Bath Children’s Literature Festival

Genre: Adventure

Review: This book is perfect for all ages. It works as a book to read to young kids, it works as book for children to read (because they’ll think its brilliant) and it works for grown-ups because it’s so much fun. That’s FUN with CAPITALS.

Mabel Jones has done performed the deed and thus ended up being kidnapped by the crew of The Feroshus Maggot. Her only chance of getting home is helping the captain, it’s also the only way she won’t get thrown overboard.

Will Mabbit tells us Mabel’s adventure is a wonderful way, I loved the way he engaged with the reader. This is partly why I think this book would be so great to read out loud. The other is because just imagine the voices for the pirates you could do!

So yes, The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones my first major book endorsement for 2016.

Recommend it?


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

Genre: Fantasy

Basil the Bear Cub
No, Basil, don’t play near the river on your own! Superfairies Rose, Silk, Berry and Star rush to help a bear cub in danger.

Dancer the Wild Pony
Dancer, don’t run away! The Superfairies want to stop a wild pony being nervous for the Summer Fair dance contest, but first they need to catch up with her!

The Superfairies of Peaseblossom Woods use their teamwork to rescue animals in distress, bringing together their unique superskills, petal power and lots of love.

Review: The SuperFairies are Silk, Rose, Star and Berry. Each have their own superskills, such as Berry having super sight so she can see for miles or Silk being able to spin webs that can be used in animal rescues.

I expected to like these books in the aww these are cute kinda way but actually I really liked them. The SuperFairies are all about team work, there is no leading fairy. Everybody pulls together and I felt like that message came across positively.

Silk, Rose, Star and Berry fly around in fairycopter on their rescue missions. They have a Strawberry computer and rescue packs and yet at the same time they live in a tree, make jams for the Summer Fair and all the animals talk. It’s an ideal blend.

Jennie Poh’s illustrations are wonderful and so detailed. You read SuperFairies once for the story and then you come back to look through all the pictures.

At the end of the book there is a little section ‘All About Fairies’ as well as a quiz you can take to tell you which SuperFairy you’re most like.

I don’t think it matters which order you read these books in, I read Basil the Bar Cub first and then Dancer the Wild Pony immediately afterwards.

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Dear Publicists…

Dear Publicists,

I wanted to say thank you.

You’ve been really good to me, particularly this year when I needed it and it means a lot. I mean you’re always friendly and professional (I’d like to think we both are) but what happen at the beginning of January, me being unable to the reviews I’d agreed to, you were lovely about it.

Since last August my health has taken me on a ride, mostly the bad kind and while I’ve mostly managed to balance it with my blog it hasn’t always worked. Yet all you’ve been so nice, one of you (you know who you are) even sent me a care package.

When the post office suddenly decided that the house I lived in for the last 7 years didn’t exist and the review books vanished into… well somewhere, you kindly resent them.

Book Blogging is my passion. I take is seriously and I am sorry that I am not my reliable-self right now. I truly appreciate how understanding everyone has been.

Thank you,


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chrissi&lunacompare1Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne


All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?


Thoughts before you started reading Am I Normal Yet?

CHRISSI: I was a little nervous if I’m honest. I struggle with anxiety on a day to day basis so when it comes to books on mental health issues, I often find they can either be hit or miss.

LUNA: Apprehensive. So any reader of my blog will know how much I love and promote diverse books but sometimes it goes wrong and sometimes very wrong. So there is always a little worry before you begin reading…

What did you think of Evie?

CHRISSI: I thought she was a fantastic character. So well written. I could relate to so many of her thoughts. It was like Holly Bourne had crawled inside of my head and really took notice of everything going on in there!

LUNA: I loved Evie. She had me hooked from the very beginning of the book. Her narration is engaging and, for me, I absolutely and completely believed in Evie. There are certain aspects of Evie that I understand entirely too well, which is why I think I think I connected so strongly with her.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: It’s rawness. I don’t think Holly ever holds back and through Evie, she really documents what it’s like to live with a mental health problem.

LUNA: Pages 90-93, which includes this page:

As someone with panic attacks, if I had a £1 for every f#cking time somebody said that. Well I found certainly have another 2-week holiday in Las Vegas.
No problem.

Worst bit?

CHRISSI: Some moments are particularly hard to read as they are close to the bone.

LUNA: That I couldn’t climb into the book and help. Is that an option for an answer? Just this once, please?

Favourite character/moment?

CHRISSI: I can’t pinpoint a favourite character. I did adore Evie and Amber. They stood out to me.

LUNA: This might be an odd choice but it’s actually Evie’s reaction to Oli. Why? Because it’s completely real and I understood why she did that.

Also I love Amber, I’m so glad the next book is about her.

Was Am I Normal Yet what you expected?

CHRISSI: It was much better than I had anticipated. I will definitely recommend it!

LUNA: It was better. I should never have doubted Holly Bourne
*hangs head in shame*

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: Of course!

LUNA: Absolutely

Am I Normal Yet? was this month’s StorytellersInc Bookclub.

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dark days

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman

London, April 1812. Eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall is on the eve of her debut presentation to the Queen. Her life should be about gowns and dancing, and securing a suitable marriage. Instead, when one of her family’s housemaids goes missing, Lady Helen is drawn to the shadows of Regency London.

There, she finds William, the Earl of Carlston. He has noticed the disappearance, too, and is one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of powerful demons that has infiltrated every level of society. But Lady Helen’s curiosity is the last thing Carlston wants—especially when he sees the searching intelligence behind her fluttering fan. Should Helen trust a man whose reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her headstrong sense of justice lead them both into a death trap?

In The Dark Days Club, internationally best-selling author Alison Goodman introduces readers to a heroine who is just as remarkable as Eona—and yet again reinvents an established literary genre, making it her own.

Published by Walker Books

Out Now


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091246-FCT (1)

Expected publication:
7th April 2016 by Harper Voyager


  • The Fire Sermon was in the top twenty debuts of 2015
  • Sold in 24 countries around the world
  • Dreamworks have already optioned the film, and the team behind Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY are working with Francesca on the screenplay

The map of Bones is the second book in a speculative trilogy set in a future where all children are born twins: one perfect and one deformed. A stunning exploration of human sacrifice and joint destiny…


Francesca HaigFrancesca Haig is a novelist, poet and academic. The Fire Sermon, her debut novel (2015), is the first in a post-apocalyptic trilogy. Rights for the series have sold in more than twenty countries, and the second novel, The Map of Bones, will be published in April 2016. Her poetry has been published in literary journals in both Australia and England, and her first collection of poetry, Bodies of Water, was published in 2006. Francesca grew up in Tasmania, gained her PhD from the University of Melbourne, and was a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Chester. In 2010 she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship.


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