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Treasure Island (Stevenson, Robert Louis)

6/10

Treasure Island

Synopsis

Treasure Island is an exciting tale of pirates, buried treasure and danger. It tells the story of young Jim Hawkins and his adventures in the search for the buried treasure of the evil Captain Flint.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

I had to read this book for an English assignment and at first I was unsure as to whether I would like it or not because as a general rule, I don’t read many classics. However, I was soon hooked on the story line and found myself following eagerly the adventures of Jim Hawkins as he sets out on an adventure to find the treasure of Captain Flint. This book had just the right amount of adventure and it was action packed right from the very beginning.

This book was a pleasant surprise for me and I found myself enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I would definitely recommend this book to younger readers as it is not a heavy book, but is definitely a classic that people should read before they reach their teenager years.

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The London Eye Mystery – Dowd, Siobhan

6/10

The London Eye Mystery

Synopsis

Monday 24 May, 11.32 a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. The pod rises from the ground. Monday 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit – but where is Salim? When Aunty Gloria’s son, Salim, mysteriously disappears from a sealed pod on the London Eye, everyone is frantic. Has he spontaneously combusted? [Ted’s theory.] Has he been kidnapped? [Aunt Gloria’s theory.] Is he even still alive? [The family’s unspoken fear.] Even the police are baffled. Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, and his older sister, Kat, overcome their prickly relationship to become sleuthing partners. They follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin, while time ticks dangerously by…

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This book was okay. It offered readers an enjoyable reading experience following Ted, who has Asperger Syndrome, his older sister Kat, who was named after Hurricane Katrina, and Salim, their cousin who is moving to New York.

When they are offered a ticket to the London Eye by a stranger, Ted and Kat allow Salim to go up on his own whilst they wait for him to return. Ted watches the pod rise and fall again on its cycle, making a note of the town he went up and the time his pod came down. His pod came down but missing Salim. They know begin their search for their missing cousin, travelling all over London to try and find him. They all have their own theories as to what could have happened to Salim but no one knows for certain.

I would recommend this book to pre-teens as the language used is not difficult to understand or hard-going to read. Although this book feels like it is aimed at younger readers, I think all ages would enjoy this book but appreciate it in different ways. Younger readers are more likely to appreciate the story line as a whole, whilst slightly older readers are likely to appreciate the quirkiness of the characters and the panic of the situation.

Buy this book on Amazon: The London Eye Mystery

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A Midsummer Tight’s Dream, Rennison, Louise

5/10

A Midsummer Tights Dream

 

Synopsis

So far I’ve had a bat kiss, a boy who just wants to be my mate and a nose-licking incident. How can you get good at snogging if no one will give you a chance? Tallulah Casey wants a dream snog and the golden slippers of applause. But will her tights lead her astray?

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

Tallulah Casey returns to Dother Hall in this book despite her apparent performing abilities, however when the future of Dother Hall is threatened, Tallulah finds something she is good at. Making a fool of herself.

This book wasn’t as good as the first book in the series as I felt it was more centred around Tallulah’s and the gang’s boy troubles rather than on the performing endeavours they embark on. This was disappointing for me as I felt that the performing element should have been the main story line with the boy drama used as a side plot line to keep the reader interested, not the other way round.

Although this book was still funny and light hearted, it didn’t have as much of an impact on me as the first book did which was surprising. However, I would still recommend this book to someone who was in their young teens. I would certainly not choose to read it, but I am not in the age group that it is aimed at.

The first book in the series can be found here.

Buy this Book on Amazon: A Midsummer Tights Dream (The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey, Book 2)

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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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Withering Tights – Louise, Rennison

7/10

Withering Tights

 

Synopsis

You know what it’s like when you have your first snog, and it feels like a tiny bat is barging around in your mouth? Of course you do. So you will love Tallulah Casey as she careers about in her tights. She’s your kind of mate.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

Tallulah Casey is 14 and she is about to attend Dother Hall of Performing Arts for the Summer. There’s just one problem, though. She can’t sing or dance. Throughout this book, the reader follows the adventures or ‘misadventures’ of Tallulah as she shows off her Irish Dancing skills and gets her first kisses from boys.

This is a hilarious book, normally not my type of reading as it is quite simple language, however, I absolutely loved it! In some places, it had me laughing, whilst in others, I felt sympathetic for Tallulah’s predicaments.

I would highly recommend this book to young teens or pre-teens because you are guaranteed to enjoy it in some way, even if this is not your style of reading.

The second book in the series can be found here.

Buy this book on Amazon: Withering Tights (The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey)

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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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Picture Perfect, Geek Girl Series Book #3 (Smale, Holly)

10/10

Picture Perfect

 

Synopsis

Harriet Manners knows a lot of facts. New York is the most populous city in the United States. Its official motto is ‘Ever Upward’. 27% of Americans believe we never landed on the moon. But she has no idea about modelling Stateside. Or, even more importantly, what to do when the big romantic gestures aren’t coming from her boyfriend…

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

I absolutely loved this book! It was perfect in every way! The characters were well developed. The dilemmas and situations that she faces were realistically portrayed right from page one. In this book, we see once again, that Harriet Manners has absolutely no clue about boys which makes her geekiness stand out even more. She blindly follows the advice from another girl who believes that she knows everything about boys, but Nick (aka Lion Boy) is not your average boy. He is a model and can’t always be available for Harriet at every moment of every day. Harriet is so caught up in her own little world, despondent because of the lack of modelling and upset at being whisked away to New York at a moment’s notice, only to find out that she is not actually staying in the city, that she mistakenly believes everyone is out to get her and that nobody likes her, least of all her parents and her boyfriend.

This book is a rollercoaster of emotions as the reader is brought along on Harriet’s journey to resume her modelling career, put up with a ‘fake’ A level tutor who calls Harriet stupid, and a boyfriend who she believes is neglecting her. Along with all that, her parents forget that it is her birthday and her boyfriend mixes up the train stations so doesn’t get to see Harriet on the special date. Everything seems to go wrong for Harriet that could possibly go wrong, but everything comes together for her at the end of the book.

I loved every moment of this book from start to finish and I was so sad when I had finished it. I would definitely recommend this book to all ages because it was fantastic!

The second book in the series can be found here.

Buy this book on Amazon:Picture Perfect (Geek Girl, Book 3)

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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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Model Misfit, Geek Girl Series Book #2 (Smale, Holly)

9/10

Synopsis

“Harriet Manners knows a lot of facts. Humans have 70,000 thoughts per day. Caterpillars have four thousand muscles. The average person eats a ton of food a year. Being a Geek + Model = a whole new set of graffiti on your belongings. But clearly she knows nothing about boys. And on a whirlwind modelling trip to Tokyo, Harriet would trade in everything she’s ever learnt for just the faintest idea of what she’s supposed to do next…”

Overview

This book was even better than the first book in the Geek Girl series! We see Harriet experience more intense emotions that she has ever had. With a new baby brother or sister on the way, she becomes paranoid that her parents are trying to get rid of her, and they won’t stop going on about the baby. At the end of the book, she realises that everyone she thought was against her, with the exception of Poppy, is actually trying to help her and love her. I thought this was a brilliant ending to the second book in the series as it finished on a high note, leaving the reader to wonder about how Harriet is going to cope in new situations in the third book.

Harriet doesn’t understand boys, and it seems, neither does her best friend Nat. They find out together that boys are confusing; Harriet feels like Nick dumps her when actually he is just giving her space to do her GCSEs. Listening to Nat’s advice, she pretends that she is over him, hurting Nick in the process. Then Harriet kicks herself at the end as she realises that she was misinterpreting his messages, coming to the conclusion that he is now dating Poppy, when he isn’t (though Poppy wants him to be her boyfriend).

This book is amazing because Harriet finds out the true meaning of friendship and learns not to jump to conclusions about people without finding out the whole story first. The reader can see Harriet mature a lot during this book as she begins to show a more insecure side to her personality but instead of making a list of everyone who hates her, she allows Nick to explain at the end of the book, everything that has been going on.

The first book in the series can be found here.

The third book in the series can be found here.

Buy on Amazon: Model Misfit (Geek Girl, Book 2)

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Panther – Owen, David

6/10

Panther

 

Synopsis

“Life isn’t going terribly well for Derrick. He has become severely overweight, his only friend has turned on him, he is hopelessly in love with a girl way out of his league, and it’s all because of his sister. Her depression – its grips on his family – is tearing his life apart. When Derrick hears local news reports that a panther has been sighted roaming wild in his south London suburb, he resolves to capture the beast. Surely if he can find a way to trap this predator on his own turf, he can stop everything at home from spiralling towards disaster?”

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

At first I enjoyed this book; Derrick was a very well developed character and the eating problem that he faces is realistically portrayed. I found this was similar in Charlotte’s case; her depression was shown right from when she is first introduced. This makes the ending a shock for the reader.

The problem I had with the book was I found the panther a very predictable metaphor for the depression that surrounds his whole family, especially his dad and his sister, Charlotte. He blames everything on the ‘black cat’ and hopes that by finding and catching the panther, his sister will stop crying and he will no longer need to gorge himself on junk food. This was a different metaphor for depression than I was used to hearing. Normally, people refer to depression as a ‘black dog’ or a ‘black cloud’ that hangs over them. It was cleverly used, however, for me, it was predictable and I wasn’t surprised when the scratch marks on the wood started disappearing and there was no evidence of the panther ever existing.

Overall, I did enjoy the book and I think that the age group that I would suggest reading it, although it is an emotionally draining book, is younger teens. I also think that this age group would not find the plot line so predictable.

Buy on Amazon: Panther

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