Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl

Hello and welcome to my first book review on my sparkly new blog! I always wanted my own blog, a little corner of the internet to talk about (gush about) books I love, writerly things, everyday things…but mostly books!

I had the privilege of receiving this book in exchange for an honest review, you can also find it on my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/rachelgreenlaw_

It was released on 30th October 2017, published by Text Publishing and you can find it here

”Maybe the actual place will unlock you” Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl is told from the perspective of an autistic boy called Martin. He is spending the summer in France with his mum, a film maker and sister Elizabeth.
He carries a copy of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time with him everywhere and uses this as his key to unlocking the world around him- by comparing and measuring everyone against these characters, he can make sense of the world.

I found this to be a truly insightful look at how a young person with autism may view the world and interact with it. Martin misses the subtleties of human interaction at times, and told through his eyes, you can see how some arguments and disagreements can seem absurd.
His interpretation of how people communicate with each other- and how they are thinking and feeling is sometimes startlingly accurate, his view of the world may be different, but that shift in focus cuts through the white noise of every day situations to highlight real truths.
He tries so very hard to make his mum happy, but we keep flashing to thoughts of his absent dad- and how much he means to Martin.
He falls in love with a French girl, Alice, who he names Gilberte after a character in Proust’s Search. He begins to realise that love is not out of his reach and as this beautiful story unfolds, we see a collection of love stories that tell us who Martin is; his love of baking quattre quart cake, his love of Proust and his love of his absent father.
Kids Like Us is available on Amazon, snap it up for an exquisite read that could equally suit the young adult or adult market!

 

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A-Z Bookish Survey Tag

Thanks to Perpetual Fangirl for the tag!

Author you’ve read the most books from: 

Probably Dianne Wynne Jones and Tamora Pierce, I used to devour their books

Best Sequel Ever:

Probably ACOMAF, it was sooo much better than ACOTAR

Currently Reading:

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden and my critique partner’s ms

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Assam tea or nespresso coffee

E-reader or Physical Book?

Physical books all the way! Except when I’m travelling or out and about – then it’s easier to read on the kindle app on my iphone

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter *shrugs*

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. It was at a scholastic book fair at my old school, I was there to pick up my younger brother and my mum said I could choose one book. Just one. There were shelves and shelves of books, all on those little wheelie things and I saw it on a bottom shelf, just one copy. I was a pretty voracious reader so I knew about a lot of the authors, but this one was new. I hadn’t heard of them before.

So I picked it up, took it home and lost myself in the magic of Hogwarts.

Hidden Gem Book:

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

Ahhhhh…if you haven’t read this, please, please do. It’s the most charming little book, full of everyday magic and Rice just nails the characters. They’re so unique and quirky, I keep coming back to this book, just to lose myself in its sweet, innocent pages.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Reading the His Dark Materials trilogy. This series is so epic and navigates some important themes so deftly. I can still remember sitting on the sofa in my auntie’s house at Christmas reading the end of The Amber Spyglass. Just wow.

Just Finished:

Windwitch by Susan Dennard – my review is here

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Horror. Especially if it’s done well. I need to sleep!!

Longest Book You’ve Read:

Well, I’ve always thought it was Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, but I’ve just googled the number of pages in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and that one takes the prize!

Major book hangover because of:

The Amber Spyglass – Phillip Pullman

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Two but books are dotted everywhere in my house…I need more

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

On the Island –  Tracey Garvis-Graves

Preferred Place To Read:

On my sofa with a hot drink

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

Soooo many! But the one that really stands out is Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I’ve read the first, half way through the second but I need to finish it and find out what happens

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Legendary – Stephanie Garber – Caraval was enchanting, I finished it in two days and I am craving another hit of that world!

Worst Bookish Habit:

Racing ahead if there’s a really exciting action scene or emotional scene and I just need to find out what happens! Totally did this at the end of ACOWAR

Your latest book purchase:

Just ordered a few books from Goldsboro Books, soooo excited for them to arrive, they look like such beautiful editions;

The Seven Deaths of Edelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

The Worm and the Bird – Coralie Bickford-Smith

Folk – Zoe Gilbert

The Toymakers – Robert Dinsdale

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Has to be ACOWAR. I had to finish it. Had.to.finish.it.

 

thanks everyone and hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend!

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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

It’s Monday! How’s everyone’s week starting off? There are gale force gusts on our island so it is pretty windy, cold and rainy! January and February always seem to be storm season over here, I’m waiting for the thunderstorms to watch the lightning.

Today I’m going to talk about Truthwitch, I’ve just finished it and I am in love with Susan Dennard’s world! You jump right into an action packed scene, a fabulously rich world and lots of terminology – it’s a case of go along with the ride and catch up when you can! Safi and Iseult have planned a highway robbery, but it all goes wrong when they realise the information they’ve been given was false – they were tricked. We are thrown into the middle of all the action and the friendship of the two girls is at the forefront, and this is the relationship that makes this book stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Safi and Iseult lead us on an exciting journey, we meet a diverse cast of characters and their friendship shines through it all. There’s a particular scene when they’re separated, but they meet up again on a super charged horse ride, escaping pursuers hot on their heels and the writing, the scene, just everything is sooooo good!! Dennard really nails the pace and the action, I really felt like I was there with them.

Seriously, read this book if you haven’t already, not just for an epic fantasy adventure, but also if you really appreciate excellent writing and characters you would follow to the end of the earth.

Safi and Iseult’s adventure isn’t over, and a spin off Sightwitch which Dennard describes as number 2.5 in the series is available for pre order now here , ready for release on 13th February. I had the privilege of receiving a sneak preview of Sightwitch and it is brilliant! If you enjoy Truthwitch, this is a great book to include in your reading.

Truthwitch is available here and if you’re a writer, or you just love getting immersed in a new world, check out Susan Dennard’s website here

Happy reading!

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TBR for January and February

First of all, wow, just wow. Thank you for welcoming me into the book loving blogger community everyone, it’s the first week of my little blog and I am already in love!

Do check out my Instagram feed if you haven’t already, I’ve had a bookstagram space for a while now and I love all the beautiful book photography! take a look!

Soooo…TBR. I have such a huge, colossal, monumental list of books I would like to read, but for now I am going to talk about a few of the books I will be reading and reviewing over the next couple of months. There are so many AMAZING titles that are coming out this year, and classics I really want to dive into, I can’t wait to get going!

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I am about a hundred pages away from finishing this spectacular book! Safi and Iseult just leap of the page as characters, true friendship goals. The world building is incredible, it really reminds me of Tamora Pierce in terms of its depth and vibrancy.

Susan Dennard has a new book coming out on 23rd January and it is available on amazon uk here

Sightwitch is the latest instalment in her witchlands series and is told in an intriguingly different format. I just love her, I love the way she reaches out to the writing community and her stories are so fast paced and excellent, she’s definitely one to check out.

Wintersong by S Jae-Jones

I had the privilege of receiving a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. The premise looks so interesting, and the front cover is gorgeous!

The sequel, Shadowsong is coming out on 30th January and you can pre-order it here

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

This title has been compared to Northern Lights by Philip Pullman on amazon so I have really high hopes. I received this in advance in exchange for an honest review and I am soooo looking forward to reading it! and then taking some beautiful photos for my Instagram page. That cover *swoon*

The Wren Hunt is available for pre-order here and comes out on 8th February

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 

I am a huge, huge fan of the Bronte sisters and I cannot wait to reread Wuthering Heights as part of the Bronte Book Club. Wuthering Heights is the first book to read along with Lucy Powrie – the young Bronte ambassador and you can watch her talk about it on her channel here

Join in and read along!

I talked about it on an Instagram post here

And I blogged about it here

La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust vol 1 by Philip Pullman

I am a huge, huge fan of Philip Pullman, not only the His Dark Materials trilogy, but also his lesser known Sally Lockhart series. La Belle Sauvage was released in October 2017 and it has been languishing on my bookshelf ever since! of all the books on my TBR pile, this is the one that seriously demands attention. You can purchase it here

I cannot wait to read this and talk about all things Pullman!

I am aiming to post every Thursday, talking about all things bookish.

What are you all reading this month?

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Bronte Book Club

Who else is joining the Bronte Book Club? Lucy the Reader has introduced it on her channel  here and I cannot wait to reread some old favourites and discover other works by the Bronte sisters!

The first book is Wuthering Heights, the classic tale by Emily Bronte of Heathcliff and Cathy that ultimately ends in heartbreak and death. A perfect winter read!

I first read this years ago, and although Jane Eyre is my firm favourite of all the Bronte sisters novels, Wuthering Heights  is incredibly popular, having been adapted many times to suit new audiences. Does anyone remember Sparkhouse? The BBC adaptation was jazzed up in a modern day setting, first aired in 2002. It was so very dramatic, it made me want to read the original!

The opening scene is so haunting (quite literally) and I still think of it when anyone mentions ghosts. If you’re reading along, enjoy and let me know what you think of it.

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Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

It is cold this time of year on our island! We did get out for a walk this morning though, and the sun was shining before the rain poured down.

I was given an advanced copy of Out of the Blue in exchange for an honest review. You can find it here and it is set for release on 22nd March 2018 by Macmillan Children’s Books

Out of the Blue by @toomanysophies explores what would happen if angels began to fall to earth. Would we all carry on as before? How would individuals react? Would there be mass movements? cults? And what would happen to the Beings?

Jaya, her dad and her sister arrive in Edinburgh for the summer and the story begins to unfold. The pace is quick and consuming, the plot is immersive and you really feel like you’re in modern day Edinburgh…and that you’d quite like a kit kat or a turnocks teacake and a cuppa. As the plot unravels so does the backstory, and the reason why this little family are in Edinburgh, leaving their home for a few weeks of angel chasing.

The ending is poignant and there aren’t many stories that make me cry, but I definitely shed a tear for the MC! This is one of those books, in a time where every story strives to be epic, that tackles some pretty big issues in a quiet, meaningful way and really strikes a chord. Do look out for it and enjoy a builders brew whilst you follow this delightful story.

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Keeper by Kim Chance

‘Magic always leaves a mark’ is the tag line for the book Keeper by @kimwritesbooks

Keeper is set for publication on 30th January 2018 by Flux. You can pick up a copy here

I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

If you want a fast paced adventure with a paranormal focus, this is your book. I really liked the world Lainey (the MC) finds herself thrown into, the paranormal world building is fantastic and this is really where you see the writer’s imagination come alive.

There’s a couple of real twists I didn’t expect, and I do love a twisty book! I found myself skipping ahead in the really tense scenes, thinking aagghh, what’s going to happen?? I would recommend giving it a read. I never thought paranormal was my sort of thing, but now I’m really hoping there will be a sequel!

Flux are a publishing company based in the US, another title coming out in 2018 is Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood, set for publication on 27th March.

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