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The Land of Stories Book #1 – The Wishing Spell (Colfer, Chris)

10/10

The Wishing Spell

 

Synopsis

Alex and Conner tossed and turned with thoughts of the Wishing Spell all night, but there was no decision to make. If the journal offered a possible way home, they would have to do anything and everything it instructed them to. They had no choice. They were about to embark on the greatest scavenger hunt of their lives.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

When Alex and Conner Bailey are given a fairy tale book called ‘The Land of Stories’ by their grandmother, they find out that the stories they were told when they were younger still live on in another dimension. When they go into the Land of Stories, they meet some of their heroes like Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. In a race against time to collect the Wishing Spell items before Snow White’s evil stepmother, they meet the legendary fairy tale characters whose stories, they believed, had ended.

This book was perfectly paced from beginning right until the end; there were some slow bits but the correct amount of fast paced, action packed events to counter-balance the slower bits. Whilst reading this book, you will feel all sorts of emotions: dread, fear, elation and sorrow as Colfer’s writing makes the reader feel as though they are actually living the events. I loved this book and although the characters are much younger than me, and this book is likely to be aimed at a younger age, I enjoyed every moment, as I too, met some of my favourite fairy tale characters. Chris Colfer manages to make you feel as though you are meeting the characters in person, which not many authors are able to do and this is partly what makes this book so special, is that from the moment you start reading it, you become oblivious to the actual world around you, until you finish the book.

I would highly recommend this book to people of all ages. It holds appeal for a wide variety of ages. For those who are slightly older, it is an opportunity to relive some of your childhood stories in another dimension, where all the characters live in the same world together and their stories continue and for those who are within the age group that it is aimed at, it is a truly unique twist on traditional fairy tales which will leave you feeling stunned and excited, eager to find out what is going to happen next.

Buy on Amazon: Land of Stories: 01: The Wishing Spell

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Midnight for Charlie Bone, the Children of the Red King #1 (Nimmo, Jenny)

6/10

Midnight for Charlie Bone

 

If you have read this book, feel free to comment down below your thoughts on this book!!

 

Synopsis

Charlie Bone’s horrible aunts have plans for him…He’ll be lucky to live till Christmas.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This book is very fast paced which makes you want to read on right until the end in one go! It has constant suspense and action and is great for those who don’t want to read a long and complicated book. There are quite a lot of characters within the story though, which may prove troublesome for some readers who get confused. However, their names are all very different and they contribute to the plot line in very unique ways, unique to their characters so it isn’t too difficult to follow who is who.

The book ends on a cliff hanger which makes you want to read the second book in the ‘Children of the Red King’ series. I would definitely recommend this book to younger readers (8-12 ish) as the language is quite simple and the plot doesn’t go into that much detail.

Buy this book on Amazon: Midnight for Charlie Bone

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Haunt #1: Dead Scared – Jobling, Curtis

9/10

Haunt Dead Scared

Synopsis

So you’re dead, but here you are, watching your own funeral, eavesdropping on your family’s secrets, hanging around… only your best friend can see and hear you. Only he can help you find out why you haven’t departed. Is it because of that first kiss with Lucy Carpenter, or the driver of the car that killed you? Maybe another ghost will know, so let’s try the haunted house…

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

I enjoyed this book immensely; the characters were expertly developed allowing the reader to empathise with each characters’ dilemmas, creating an exciting and intense story. This book explores Will’s life as a ghost and attempts to answer questions as to why he hasn’t ‘moved on’ to a different life. At the end of the book, Will and Dougie help another ghost to move on, but they still are unsure as to why Will hasn’t moved on. I can’t wait to read the second book to find out more about Will’s predicament.

There is slight humour throughout the book which, despite the morbid topic, makes the book more enjoyable for the reader. I felt that this book was an accurate portrayal of the feelings that those close to someone who has died, would feel which made the book all the more realistic and interesting to read.

My only criticism would be that it was a bit slow moving in places when there wasn’t any action going on, which was particularly relevant near the beginning. But overall, this was a very enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend it to young teens.

Buy this book on Amazon: Haunt: Dead Scared

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The Death Cure – The Maze Runner Trilogy Book #3 (Dashner, James)

Rating 4/10

The Death Cure

 

Synopsis

“The trials are over. WICKED is planning to restore the survivors’ memories and complete the final cure for the Flare. But Thomas has already remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can’t be trusted… The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?”

Overview – *Contains Spoilers*

I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Maze Runner Trilogy, to be honest, but I persevered with the series after reading the first book, hoping that it would get better towards the end. Personally, I didn’t think it did.

Like the previous two books, it took quite a few chapters for me to become interested in the characters’ dilemmas. I also found that I wasn’t as emotionally connected to the characters in the book as I felt nothing if one of them was injured, or died. I felt that the plot was predictable in some places as I could guess what would happen next, which meant that it lost some of its cliffhangers.

I felt that the ending was rushed and happened too quickly and there was a “is that it?” moment when I had finished the book as it seemed like Dashner had just churned out the events that he wanted to happen, ending abruptly with a scene which didn’t answer any of my lingering questions. The ending did feel almost as bad “they woke up and it had all been a dream” because the 200 immune people find themselves in ‘paradise’ and can rebuild a life whilst ignoring all the people dying from the Flare in the ‘other world’. Meanwhile I was still stuck in the ‘other world’ wondering how they can just move on knowing that people are suffering, especially as Minho and Thomas lost Newt to the Flare. I would have expected more sympathy from them but it felt like they just shrugged off the Flare sufferers as ‘no hopes’.

All in all, I would recommend this book to younger teens rather than older teens because although violence is present, the writing Dashner uses feels like it is aimed at a slightly younger audience who won’t have as many questions as I did at the end.

Buy this book on Amazon: The Death Cure (Maze Runner Series)

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City of Heavenly Fire – The Mortal Instruments Book #6 (Clare, Cassandra)

Rating 8/10

City of Heavenly Fire

 

Synopsis

“Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned. Love will be sacrified and lives lost in the thrilling and long-awaited final instalment of the bestselling and acclaimed Mortal Instruments.”

Overview

The pace in the City of Heavenly Fire is relentless, just as it begins to slow, something occurs to make you want to read more! It is certainly a page turner. The relationships that the readers have seen developing over the course of these books finally reach their climax as we see Clary and Jace, Izzy and Simon and Alec and Magnus’ love blossom right from page one.

This book is physically very large, however the text used was larger than the other books in the series, but still made it an uncomfortable read to hold, especially for the amount of time that it took to read it. However, this may have been subjective to the edition that I had, so I wouldn’t let this minor fact dissuade you from reading it.

This was probably my favourite book out of the Mortal Instrument series because of the relentless pace and how the plot unfolded from the prologue to the epilogue. It was very well constructed, and didn’t jump between different characters’ viewpoints too frequently so it wasn’t confusing. I would highly recommend reading this book, however if you haven’t done so already, read the other books in the series first!

I thought this was the perfect ending to the Mortal Instruments series; it takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions from joy to anger as Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle and Alec take on Clary’s brother, Sebastian, one last time.

Buy this book on Amazon: The Mortal Instruments 6: City of Heavenly Fire

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