Book Review: One of Us is Lying (Karen M. McManus)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Penguin

Pages: 300

Release Date: June 1st 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Review:

I loved the sound of this when I saw it on NetGalley. A dead classmate, fours suspects who were in the room when he died, each with their own secret to hide and own reason for maybe wanting him dead. What’s not to like?

I did really enjoy this one. The pace is a little slow: I was expecting fast paced revelations and action but instead, it was a bit more leisurely, with new secrets being leaked out bit by bit and lots of character and relationship developments.

Simon is a pretty unlikeable character right off the bat. He has an app which circulates gossip about fellow classmates. Sounds toxic enough, but he’s pretty much always right, so the school puts a lot of faith in his words. But he’s still not popular: people are just afraid of him. It means there’s a lot of people who could potentially wish him harm, aside from the four main suspects.

Of the four, Nate is the most suspect as he already has a criminal record. From just reading the summary I was expecting him to be the red herring and one of the girls to be the real culprit: the ‘brains’ or the ‘beauty’ as the least likely to first be suspected.

The books keeps you guessing a lot. As the police investigation unfolds, things surface from the past which makes you doubt each of the four in turn. There’s a pretty decent red herring in there who was my first suspect. When the first clue dropped about the real murderer I latched onto it and worked things out in my head, but that didn’t stop me enjoying the journey everyone else took to get there. It was a good twist and an original idea.

The characters in this book all develop and change as the situation takes it toll on them. I liked Addy’s transformation the best: she goes from probably the least likeable to one of the most and it was great to see her stand up for herself. The love story was quite sweet and I was rooting for them, even though that would probably be the last thing on my mind if I was being investigated for murder!

This was a really enjoyable book, a good slow burner with an interesting twist and great, believable characters. I’d recommend reading and seeing if you can guess the killer before the end!

4

Book Review: The Wildings (Nilanjana Roy)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Pushkin Children’s Books

Pages: 336

Release Date: July 7th 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

A small band of cats lives in the labyrinthine alleys and ruins of Nizamuddin, an old neighbourhood in Delhi. Miao, the clan elder, a wise, grave Siamese; Katar, a cat loved by his followers and feared by his enemies; Hulo, the great warrior tom; Beraal, the beautiful queen, swift and deadly when challenged; Southpaw, the kitten whose curiosity can always be counted on to get him into trouble… Unfettered and wild, these and the other members of the tribe fear no one, go where they will, and do as they please. Until, one day, a terrified orange-coloured kitten with monsoon green eyes and remarkable powers, lands in their midst—setting off a series of extraordinary events that will change their world forever.

Review:

I’m a pretty big cat lover so when this was offered to me to review I couldn’t say no. It was also compared to Watership Down, a childhood favourite of mine, so it felt like I was destined to love it. And I did…but not right away.

I was about to write that this took me nearly a month to read, as that’s what it felt like, but after consulting Goodreads, it was only 10 days. Still, that’s slow reading for me and I think there were times when I just didn’t want to pick this book up. I’m not sure if it was a bit of a reading slump or if it took me a while to get into it.

The Wildings tells the story of a group of stray cats living in Nizamuddin in Delhi, whose world is disrupted one day when a new kitten with extraordinary powers appears in their city. Mara is a Sender, a cat with powers who often appears in times of trouble. She’s also a house cat and afraid to go outside, which alienates her from the wildings. While she learns to control her powers, a group of feral cats threaten the harmonious living of not only the wildings, but all the creatures of Nizamuddin.

As mentioned, it took me a little while to get into this. I think it was just getting used to the style: it feels a close in style to classics such as Watership Down and The Wind in the Willows in the way it’s written, and I guess I just wasn’t expecting it. It slowly grew on me and the ending was really tense and I raced through it then.

It’s hard sometimes to write a story about animals that’s interesting and gets you emotionally involved without making them too human-like, but Roy does this perfectly. Each cat had its own distinct traits and personality and I never forgot that they were cats. The idea of the link the animals used to communicate was really different and I loved how it was used throughout the book.

The ‘villains’ of the story made a bit of a late appearance but I thought they were excellent. There was a real sense of dread around the Shuttered House, and when one cat accidentally stumbled inside, the scenes with the feral cats in there were genuinely creepy. I could really hear Datura, their leaders, voice and it sent shivers down my spine each time.

While this took me a while to get into, I really enjoyed it in the end and am looking forward to picking up the sequel soon. If you’re a cat lover like me or looking for a modern classic then this is for you!

4

Book Review: This Careless Life (Rachel McIntyre)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Electric Monkey

Pages: 272

Release Date: June 1st 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

Four best friends with perfect lives. A once in a lifetime opportunity. Who can resist the call of fame and fortune?

Liv, Hetty, Jez and Duffy are auditioning for a new reality TV show. Producer Cassandra has warned them the process might be tough, but they are excited and keen to get on with things, confident that they can handle anything.

But when Cass produces a photo of a body, everyone realises that they may have something to hide after all…

Review:

I’ve really enjoyed Rachel McIntyre’s last two books so going into a new one I had high expectations. And I wasn’t disappointed!

I didn’t know the inspirations for this book when I started reading it but, being a fan of the play, I saw the An Inspector Calls themes early on. I love the idea of doing a modern version of this for teens and I think it really worked.

Liv has got her friends Hetty, Jez and Duffy to audition for a new reality TV show. They all come from privileged backgrounds and they all have secrets they’re hiding. Producer Cassandra warns them that the audition process is tough and anything they’re hiding might come to light…

The book is really fast paced and I just wanted to keep reading. There was always a new little revelation that kept me turning the pages. The book’s loosely split into sections for each character as they face Cassandra and the camera for their audition.

The characters were all clearly flawed: they all came from money, were all a bit selfish and insecure in their own ways and they all had a secret they were hiding. As the story progressed they were forced to think about what they had done, not just in terms of how it could affect them if it got out, but how it had affected the people they hurt.

I wasn’t sure the last chapter was really needed: it explained a little bit more about where Cassandra came from but I preferred the mystery of her just coming and going.

It’s hard to say too much without spoiling key plot details so I think I’ll leave it at that. If you know An Inspector Calls then this is an interesting new take: if you don’t then this modern YA version could introduce you to the classic play. Either way, give it a read – it’s sure to intrigue you and I really recommend it.

4

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why (Jay Asher)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Penguin

Pages: 288

Release Date: June 1st 2009

Summary (from Goodreads):

You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school one day to find a mysterious box with his name on it, outside his front door. Inside he discovers a series of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush. Only, she committed suicide two weeks earlier. On the first tape, Hannah explains that there are 13 reasons why she did what she did – and Clay is one of them.

If he listens, Clay will find out how he made the list – what he hears will change his life forever.

Review:

Thirteen Reasons Why is everywhere at the moment: the new TV show on Netflix has made it spread all over Twitter and into the news as well. So when this popped up on Netgalley I decided to see what the fuss was about.

I’m really conflicted about this one. I’ve been watching the series on Netflix around the same time so some of that is probably going to bleed into this review.

I think my problem with this book – and the show too – is how cool Hannah comes across. I know a lot of people have said it glamourises suicide and I tend to agree. Hannah has made herself immortal by recording her life story and forces others to listen to it after her suicide. I think it makes it sound like an attractive option to impressionable young people, rather than the last desperate act of an unhappy girl.

I also hate the fact that Hannah does this at all. Yes, she does acknowledge that ultimately it was her choice to end her life. But sending out tapes saying everyone on there is a reason she died is pretty cruel, especially to Clay. I understand that people need to be held accountable for their actions and to understand how everything they do can affect someone, but I felt this was a selfish way to get her message across. It’s a bit ‘eye for an eye’ – you ruined my life so now I’m going to ruin yours.

So I had some pretty big problems with the plot and theme of the book. But I also didn’t really like the format. I’m not sure the tapes really worked. I kept wondering how Hannah recorded them: did she write everything down and plan what she was going to say beforehand? Or did she just do everything off the top of her head? Either way, it just didn’t read naturally to me: it as too stylistic and that brought me out of the story.

I also didn’t feel like the present day story was particularly interesting. In fact, I could basically have done without it. It was more distracting than enlightening to have the occasional interruptions from Clay. I don’t feel they added much to the story: if they were needed, I think there should have been more happening than Clay just walking around listening to tapes.

This has all been pretty negative so far but I’ve still given three stars, mostly because it kept me reading. I did want to know what happened to Hannah and what all her reasons were, even if I didn’t agree with what she was doing. The book also made some interesting points on the treatment of women’s bodies: a small, seemingly insignificant (to other people anyway) action sets off a chain of events that turns Hannah’s body into a commodity to be talked about and used by others. There’s an important message there but I think some of it got lost in everything else. I feel the book was kind of style over substance, with the idea of using the tapes coming before everything else.

3

Book Review: The Fallen Children (David Owen)

Publisher: Atom

Pages: 240

Release Date: May 4th 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

Young people on the Midwich Estate don’t have much hope for their futures. Keisha has lived there her whole life, and has been working hard to escape it; others have just accepted their lot.

But change is coming…

One night everyone inside Midwich Tower falls mysteriously unconscious in one inexplicable ‘Nightout’. No one can explain what happened during those lost hours, but soon afterwards Keisha and three other girls find they’re pregnant – and the babies are growing at an alarming rate.

As the news spreads around the tower its residents turn against them and the situation spirals toward violence. Keisha’s life unravels as she realises that the pregnancy may not have just ruined her hopes for the future: she might be mother to the end of the world.

Review:

I haven’t bought many books lately (I have such a backlog to get through as it is) but whenever I heard about this one on Twitter I knew I had to get it.

I didn’t realise where it took its inspiration from (The Cuckoos of Midwich/The Village of the Damned) until my partner watched the latter and told me I should write a book telling the story from the women’s point of view. The next day I went out and bought The Fallen Children and realised David Owen had already beaten me to it – and done a hell of a job.

I really love the idea of updating this story to make it reflect challenges young people face today. There’s an introduction by the author that had me loving the book before I even started it. I don’t really fall into the young person/16-25 category anymore but I am part of the millennial generation and we do get a bad rep. I’m sick of being told we don’t work hard enough or it’s our fault we can’t buy houses because we buy too many avocados, and any of the other ridiculous things that come up.

Rant over, on to the book.

We see the story from several points of view: Keisha, Morris and Siobhan in the first half, and Keisha, Morris and Maida in the second. It was interesting to see the different ways they all reacted to the unexpected pregnancies, especially the girls. While Keisha and Siobhan feel violated over what happened to them and how they’ve lost control of their lives, Olivia is torn because she always wanted a child and Maida feels she is part of something special. I think I’m more on Keisha and Siobhan’s side, but it was good to get a different perspective on things.

Morris, on the other hand, takes it all in his stride, after the initial shock. I found it odd how much he wanted to play happy families and ignore how and where these babies came from. His character frustrated me so much: sometimes he was so sweet and I knew he was trying hard to do what’s best, and other times his actions made me want to scream at him. I found Maida’s story one of the most interesting, especially after the children are born. She’s the one who really appreciates their powers, loves them and believes they’re special.

While I appreciated the message, I thought it was delivered a little heavy handedly sometimes, with a lot of speeches and ‘moments’ towards the end. But it does make you think about the expectations put on you, and that you put on others. I loved the diverse range of characters and felt it really reflected, in a positive way, a part of society that is often looked down upon. The sci-fi element of the book is tense and keeps you reading but it’s the reflections on real life that really hit home.

I loved this book and I hope you’ll read it and love it too. As an added piece of awesomeness, it’s available in over 360 different colours and they’re all beautiful.

4

Book Review: Like Other Girls (Claire Hennessy)

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Pages: 288

Release Date: May 25th 2017

Summary:

Here’s what Lauren knows: she’s not like other girls. She also knows it’s problematic to say that – what’s wrong with girls? She’s even fancied some in the past. But if you were stuck in St Agnes’s, her posh all-girls school, you’d feel like that too. Here everyone’s expected to be Perfect Young Ladies, it’s even a song in the painfully awful musical they’re putting on this year. And obviously said musical is directed by Lauren’s arch nemesis.

Under it all though, Lauren’s heart is bruised. Her boyfriend thinks she’s crazy and her best friend’s going through something Lauren can’t understand… so when Lauren realises she’s facing every teenage girl’s worst nightmare, she has nowhere to turn. Maybe she should just give in to everything. Be like other girls. That’s all so much easier … right?

Review

Ah where to start with this one?!

I guess right at the beginning, which would be the title. Plenty of people have ranted about the ‘not like other girls’ cliche that pops up a lot in YA and real life. The blurb admits it’s a problematic thing to say, but I don’t think it’s enough to just admit it. Lauren really annoyed me in her attitudes towards other girls. In one of the opening scenes, she describes the girls around her as either make up obsessed bitches or nerds. It’s such a stereotype and got my back up straight away. Girl’s school isn’t that black and white (trust me, I’ve been there).

Secondly, Lauren’s transphobia really put me off her. I tried to be understanding of her point of view, and I know it can be hard to understand when someone close to you comes out as trans (especially someone you fancied) but her attitude just sucked. I get that this was addressed in the book towards the end but I’m not sure it was enough. I appreciate that a lot of characters did call her out on it but she never seemed to see how awful she was being.

On to the pregnancy storyline. This was brutal. I know things work differently in Ireland but I have to say, I had no idea how bad it is. It’s insane to me that a woman can’t choose what happens to her body, especially in terrible circumstances (Lauren’s incest-rape thing being a prime example). This is such an important story to tell, especially with how things are in Ireland at the moment. This fictional account is heartbreaking, but it’s even more heartbreaking to think women are going through this in Ireland right now.

So, slightly conflicted on this one. Despite my problems with it, I did speed through it and it does deal with some important issues. I’m all for flawed characters, I’m all for unlikeable characters, but I think Lauren just wasn’t for me.

3

Book Review: Release (Patrick Ness)

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Publisher: Walker Books

Pages: 287

Release Date: May 4th 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

Review:

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Patrick Ness fan and I was incredibly grateful to receive a proof copy of Release. I’m always so happy to get proofs but for one of my favourite authors, it felt even more special. Massive thanks to Walker Books for the copy!

Release follows one day in the life of Adam Thorn, a gay teenager from a religious family with a pervy boss, a wonderful boyfriend and best friend, and a guy who once broke his heart. We see him move between these people in his life as they day takes unexpected turns with news, confrontations and revelations. Alongside this, there’s a kind of odd, magical realism story happening about a ghost, whose quest for release touches Adam’s day.

Patrick Ness just writes YA so well. Adam is a character I could read so much about, it’s kind of sad we only get to see one day in his life. It shows the kind of things a young gay teen can come up against, especially when coming from a very religious family. Adam struggles with comparisons to his brother, who is infinitely better than him because he’s definitely straight, whereas the family have a worried question mark hanging over Adam. It’s so sad to see religion get in the way of their relationships, especially when it makes Adam question if his love is true love, or if he’s even capable of true love.

There were a few terrible things that happened to Adam throughout the day and it really made me feel for him and root for him. He received blow after blow and I couldn’t help but feel angry on his behalf, or blink back tears at some scenes. Ness’s writing is just beautifully sad and each scene tugged at the old emotions in one way or another.

The storyline with the Queen, the spirit and the faun were a bit harder to follow. While I enjoyed them, it’s the kind of thing that I always worry I’m not getting, that it’s too deep for me to understand and I’m only reading it on some shallow level. I tried not to worry about that and just enjoyed it for what it was, and I loved the way everything came together at the end. It was a perfect moment and made me smile.

To criticise, I really want to know what happens to Adam next! There are so many questions around his future and I want to see where he goes, how he deals with the obstacles this book threw up, if his parents can put everything aside and love him for who he is. It’s frustrating not to know, but it shows what a wonderful character he’s created for me to care so much.

This is another winner from Patrick Ness. He constantly surprises me with the books he writes: they’re all so different from each other, but all written with beautiful prose and compelling characters. This is a wonderful addition to my Patrick Ness collection and I hope you all enjoy it too.

 Copy of an art exhibit

Book Review: The Sign of One (Eugene Lambert)

Publisher: Egmont UK

Pages: 400

Release Date: April 7th 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

ONE FOR SORROW, TWO MEANS DEATH.

In the Barrenlands of Wrath, no one dies of old age. Kyle is used to its harsh laws, but the cold-blooded separation of identical twins and execution of the ‘evil twists’ at the Annual Peace Fair shocks him.

When Kyle himself is betrayed, he flees for his life with the reluctant help of Sky, a rebel pilot with a hidden agenda. As the hunt intensifies, Kyle soon realises that he is no ordinary runaway, although he has no idea why. Fighting to learn the hideous truth, their reluctant, conflicted partnership will either save them – or kill them.

Review:

I saw this book tipped as The Maze Runner meets The Fire Sermon and that didn’t really make me want to read it as I didn’t particularly enjoy either of those books. However, I was sent the sequel to review and thought I’d get the first book (via a birthday present from Nathan) and give it a go.

I’m really glad I did. I see where the comparisons come from with those two books, but this was so much better to me. It was like everything I wanted from those two books but didn’t get with them.

In Kyle’s world, twins – or ‘idents’ – are seen as a curse and kept away from the rest of the world until they prove which is normal – a ‘scab’ – and which is a ‘twist’ – an evil imitation of a human. After an attack on the way home from the Annual Peace Fair, Kyle’s world is turned upside down as he’s forced to become a fugitive, pursued by the Saviour’s Slayers for reasons unknown to him.

Kyle was a great character. I really liked the first few chapters at the Peace Fair, where we were introduced to a lot of the ideas of the world without it being too info-dumpy. Kyle’s reaction when he first sees a twist and how he’s pressured by his friends was just a really good scene.

Sky’s character was really interesting too: she didn’t feel like the stereotypical ‘bad ass’ girl that you often get in YA these days. She had her motivations and I was pleased that she didn’t let the romance between her and Kyle get in the way of her goal. The romance didn’t feature too heavily, which suited me, and it was nice to see two characters not lose their heads just because they like each other.

To criticise, I guess this did feel a little paint-by-numbers dystopian at times: evil tyrant oppressing everyone, special main character who can change things, group of rebels fighting for a better world. It’s been done before but there’s enough original material in this to make it interesting and make me want to read the sequel.

If you’re into your dystopian then this one is for you. I’m really excited to see where Kyle and Sky go next in Into the No-Zone.

4

Book Review: Waiting for Callback (Perdita and Honor Cargill)

Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK

Pages: 346

Release Date: January 28th 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent, she imagines Oscar glory can’t be far away, but instead lurches from one cringe-worthy moment to the next! Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of ‘Dead Girl Number Three’ without losing hope? And who knew that actors were actually supposed to be multi-lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills?

Off-stage things aren’t going well either – she’s fallen out with her best friend, remains firmly in the friend-zone with her crush and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra’s life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring – waiting for callback.

Can an average girl-next-door like Elektra really make it in the world of luvvies and starlets?

Review:

I’ve heard a lot about this book and followed Perdita Cargill on Twitter for a while, and now I’ve finally gotten round to reading the book.

Elektra wants to act and when she signs with an agency, she thinks her dreams are about to come true. But it’s hard balancing auditions with school work, best friends and boys, and even harder when you’re constantly waiting for something to happen.

I really enjoyed this book. I think I felt quite a personal connection with Elektra and her story. I did a lot of acting when I was younger and always dreamed of getting an agent as a teen like Elektra does. While that didn’t happen, I still managed to get some paid work and did a few short films and music videos and it was all such an amazing experience. I wish I’d had a list of ‘won’t dos’ like Elektra as some of the stuff I’ve done I hope no one I know ever sees… (nothing rude, just embarrassing!)

So I really got how Elektra felt about acting, the nerves and the waiting and imagining each little thing you do is going to be your big break. She was also relatable as an average teenage girl too: the usual worries about spots and body images, best friend falling outs and wondering if this hot guy likes her. She had her funny clumsy moments too but it wasn’t too over the top and slapstick, which I appreciated.

I was rooting for Elektra all the way through, whether that was in her acting career, snagging the boy she liked or patching things up with her best friend. She made mistakes and learned from them and you definitely saw her grow as the book went on. I thought the relationship between her and her parents was wonderfully captured – probably something you want to nail when you’re a mother-daughter writing team, and they really did.

Now I’ve finished that I just want to go straight on to book two and see what happens to Elektra next. This is a fun, light-hearted read, perfect for YA fans and especially those with a passion for acting themselves.

4

Interview and Book Review: The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat (Coral Rumble and Charlotte Cooke)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Wacky Bee Books

Pages: 32

Release Date: April 4th 2017

Summary:

Two children and their imaginations set sail from their living room on a voyage around the world! Read along as they spy an extraordinary array of characters doing even more extraordinary things…? With bright, fresh illustrations and a playful style, this rhyming book, based on the classic Edward Lear poem The Owl and the Pussycat, is a wonderfully quirky adventure.

Review:

This is a fun and inventive take on the popular nonsense poem The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear. I love that it’s written and illustrated by a mother and daughter team – it’s so cool to do things like that in a family!

I read this with Little Moore as soon as it came through the door, and he’s had it before bed several times too. The gentle rhyming and pastel colour scheme mean it works great as a bedtime book.

In this book, the owl and pussycat are two dressed up children who are having an imaginative playtime with a cardboard box. They meet lots of colourful and quirky characters on their journey and Little Moore loved pointing at all the different creatures. It’s a fun one to read aloud and I’m sure it’ll become a favourite with Little Moore as he grows older.

The illustrations are really beautiful and perfectly capture the words of the story and bring it to life. I loved the colour scheme – it’s different to a lot of the more cartoony coloured books on his shelves and that makes this one stand out.

This is a really great addition to Little Moore’s shelves and I hope you’ll check it out!

4

Interview

I’m super excited to have author of The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat on the blog today for an interview. Welcome Coral!

  1. What made you want to write a book based on The Owl & The Pussycat?

Charlotte – my daughter and the illustrator of Owl and Pussycat – suggested it as she loves the poem.

  1. Are you a big fan of the poem?

I love the poem, too, and have done since childhood. It creates wonderful and wacky images, and has an enchanting musicality.

  1. Are there any other nonsense poems you’re particularly fond of?

The Jumblies is my all time favourite.

  1. Would you rather go to sea with an owl or a pussycat?

Great question. I suppose it would depend on whether I wanted the benefit of wisdom or the protection of an expert scrapper!

  1. What would you take to sea with you? Honey? Money? Or something else?

Perhaps it would be good to have a flare gun.

  1. What’s your favourite picture book?

I have many favourites, it’s impossible to choose, but Where the Wild Things Are is glorious!

  1. What’s the hardest thing about writing a picture book?

Getting the unity of vision to work, between writer and illustrator, is the hardest part. It was very easy to work with Charlotte!

And a few quick fire questions to end with:

 

  1. What are you reading now?

The Other Half Lives, by Sophie Hannah

  1. Favourite book as a child?

The Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton

  1. Favourite writing drink/snack?

Chocolate or nuts (or both)

  1. 5 desert island books?

The Bible, of course.

The complete works of Shakespeare, goes without saying.

Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy – it was my first encounter with romance

The Understudy, David Nichols – makes me laugh out loud

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres – makes me laugh, cry and luxuriate in the wonderful landscape.

  1. Favourite place to read?

In the bath, or on a beach.

  1. Any hidden talents?

I love football, and can still score the odd goal.

  1. What fictional world would you love to live in?

I’d love to be a companion to one of Jane Austen’s heroines. I’m sure it would give me great amusement.

Thanks to Coral for joining me here today! You can find out more about Coral and Charlotte and follow the blog tour below.


About the Author

coralpic

I have worked as a poet and performer for many years and I’m proud to have my work featured in Favourite Poets (Hodder). I have three published poetry collections of my own and have contributed to more than 150 anthologies. I am also one of the writers of the popular Cbeebies programmes ‘Poetry Pie’ and ‘The Rhyme Rocket’. I have given workshops in some fairly unusual venues as well…the grandest of which being Buckingham Palace!

Website: http://www.coralrumble.co.uk/

About the Illustrator

charlottepic

I was thrilled and proud when my picture book The Adventures of the Owl & the Pussycat was highly commended for the Macmillan Children’s Prize in 2010. Since then I have gone on to illustrate many other picture books and I enjoy making the occasional card too. When I’m not in my studio I’m usually outside running or playing referee to my two kids.

Website: http://charlottecookeillustration.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/charlottecooke

Follow the Tour

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Monday 1st May

An Awfully Big Adventure

 

Tuesday 2nd May

Emma’s Bookery

 

Wednesday 3rd May

Luna’s Little Library

 

Thursday 4th May

Maia and a Little Moore

Sew Many Books

 

Friday 5th May

Live Otherwise

Library Girl and Book Boy

 

Saturday 6th May

Get Kids into Books

OBC Mini Book Reviewers

 

Sunday 7th May

A Little But A Lot

Varietat

 

Monday 8th May

Mum Friendly

Book Monsters

 

Tuesday 9th May

Tales of Yesterday

Wonderfully Bookish

 

Wednesday 10th May

Sam’s Book Corner

V Family Fun

 

Thursday 11th May

Acorn Books

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

 

Friday 12th May

Big Book Little Book

Fiction Fascination

 

Saturday 13th May

Linda’s Book Bag

Me, Him, The Dog and a Baby

 

Sunday 14th May

Rhino Reads

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