Hello everyone, today I’m in a celebratory mood as I finally received a public apology for the misprint trouble I had with a publisher and I wanted to share the joy with everyone 😀 ! For those that don’t know what happened you can read more details in this post (opens in a new tab) but I’ll give an explanation here.Read More »
Title: Terrible True Tales from the Tower of London
Author: Sarah Kilby/Historic Royal Palaces
Illustrator: Peter Cottrill
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction, History, Humour
Description: Join the Ravens for their true tales of mishaps and mayhem. Packed with fascinating facts, discover horrible and hilarious stories about the Tower of London. Find the answers tothese questions and many more:
- Which prisoner got stuck in his toilet trying to escape?
- What happened when a polar bear was kept at the tower?
- Who was executed with eleven blows of an axe?
With an afterword by the Ravenmaster.
My Review: I really love this book! Packed with lots of facts on the history of the Tower of London, it’s both informative and such a fun read! ‘Terrible True Tales from the Tower of London’ is very similar to a ‘Horrible Histories’ book and perfect for both kids and adults. The ravens from tower are the narrators of the book and the first pages introduces us to these funny characters as well as the basics of the Tower such as a map and all the monarchs and which houses they belong to before launching into several chapters each about different facts.
Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the Tower’s history such as who was beheaded at the tower, the crown jewels and various mishaps with them, the animals that were kept at the Tower as part of a zoo and escape attempts to name some of the chapters in this book. There’s even a chapter about the warders of the Tower including why they are called Beefeaters (an interesting fact I always wondered about!). Each chapter is filled with lots of interesting facts. Stories are short with lots of funny illustrations surrounding them and there’s a little quiz at the end of each chapter to keep you entertained and see of you know some facts that you read about (and some you didn’t).
The illustrations throughout the book really add to the humour and there are some funny jokes throughout! I really love pictures like these, they make the gory facts easier to read and really make you remember what you are reading as they make some funny incidents you read about even sillier due to the pictures.
I love the fact that the ravens are the narrators and the last section of the book is an afterword by the Ravenmaster which explains some fun facts about the ravens themselves! The whole book has made me want to go and see the Tower and the ravens again (I’ve been to the Tower of London quite a few years ago) and I’m sure lots of kids and adults would love to go there too after reading this book.
Whether you want to visit or not, this book is packed with so many interesting and fun facts that I’m sure everyone would love to read this. I haven’t stopped telling people all the facts I’ve learned and I’ll definitely be re-reading this book again even if it is aimed at kids! Overall a really brilliant and informative book and one I’d really recommend!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
Do you like this book or the Horrible Histories books? Do you enjoy learning history? I’d love to hear from you so let’s chat 🙂 You can find me in in these places too:
Hi everyone! Sorry for my recent absence. Some of you may have noticed I disappeared for the last week or two and have only visited one or two blogs briefly. I didn’t think I was going to be away, a lot of things happening personally plus a lot of packing as I’m moving soon (fingers crossed). I’ve had several things happen both online and offline and it kept me away from the blog but I hope you don’t all think I’m ignoring you 😦 , I just haven’t had the time to blog anything recently, apart from that one blog post for ‘The Upstairs Room’ yesterday. So I thought I’d do my July round up a few days before July ends, to let you know what’s happening now I’m back into blogging and I hope you’ll all want to stick around and read some of these posts.
So, the first BIG news is that problem I’ve been having with a certain publisher who gave credit to someone else for an old review I wrote (on my previous blog) has been resolved! You can read more about the issue here, although I’ll be putting up a new blog post very soon to let you know what happened. Amazingly the post about this issue has been July’s most popular blog post!
Articles have once again been the most popular posts this month. My article Commenting on WordPress Blogs without using WordPress has been the second most popular!
I personally loved writing my article Do You Have Ghosts following you? which was inspired by a fellow blogger’s post about those pesky ghost followers that never seem to interact with your blog. I’d recommend it for a bit of a fun read!
A lot of the books I planned to leave reviews for this month got left in the drafts folder on wordpress. I’ve written the posts but needed to add the photos to a lot of picture and colouring books posts and because I wasn’t logged in to WordPress for long enough to do anything they remained in the drafts folder until next month! D’oh! This of course means I have a whole bunch of book reviews I’m going to flood at you this week and next, so I hope you don’t mind that, I know there’s a lot of you who love the picture book reviews so I hope you’ll enjoy them!
I have no idea why I liked these two books so much but something about them touched me, especially the funny pictures in ‘The Greedy Goat’!
I also loved the sci-fi thriller YA Nemesis which had just the right amount suspense and intrigue to really keep me hooked and reading it! I’d recommend it but it’s a bit of a cliffhanger ending, there needs to be another book written and I’m not sure if one is planned yet so I’m crossing my fingers!
I have a lot of things planned for the next month, I’ll hopefully get out all the existing reviews I left behind so will hopefully catch up with all that, plus I am really hoping to be able to write some articles that have been in my head for some time. I want to go further with my What Makes a Book YA/Young Adult Versus Just Adult? which is still my most popular blog post to date – thank you everyone who’s read it! 😀 I’ve got an idea about a couple of Amazon related posts to do with reviews which might interest anyone who uses amazon. I also have some other stuff planned in my head but how much of that will happen depends on how much time I can get to write it all. But of course I’ll be writing about the Publisher issue soon.
I also hope I’ll be able to participate more with you guys in the future. I’ve been thinking about a collaboration (perhaps with lots of other blogs in the future) although I wanted to apologise to the wonderful Bella for not being able to get into it this month – hopefully next month ❤ I might also take part in a book tag post – I’m not usually into Awards and Tags but this one I might do as I think answering the question will be fun! :p
I also hope to write more creative stuff for you. I’m a bit disappointed that a poem I put a lot of heart into – Goodbye Dear Soul – wasn’t really enjoyed by many people this month, but it seems my darker poetry has more fans than the more heartfelt/lighter poems. 😮
And of course lots more reading is planned, though I hope I’m not plagued by any more headaches which made reading in the last two weeks (when I had time) very difficult 😦 .
Thank you to everyone who follows, likes and comments this blog, most importantly thank you to anyone who reads what I write. I really appreciate having you guys reading my work and I look forward to reading yours too 🙂
I almost forgot…One more great thing that happened is this blog has now had 2,000 hits! Okay, so that might not be much to some of you, but I celebrate every little achievement so whooo! And thank you! 😀
Let me know how your July has gone in the comments below. What are you looking forward to in August?
I’d love to hear from you so please comment below. You can find me in in these places too:
Title: The Upstairs Room
Author: Kate Murray-Browne
Genre: Supernatural thriller/mystery/contemporary (I don’t really know what genre this is!)
Description: Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners – including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room.
My Review: I’m not sure what to say about this book, it had such a great premise and a great start but it just wasn’t the book I had thought it was going to be. ‘The Upstairs Room’ sounds like an interesting read, a cross between a spooky/supernatural thriller and a mystery, but the book is more contemporary than either mystery or thriller which is why I’ve had a hard time deciding which genre it should really be in.
The story begins with a brief chapter about Eleanor and Richard viewing the new Victorian property and its strange room upstairs before moving on to after they have bought the place and been living there a short time. The start really held my attention, the strange room upstairs was what drew me into reading this book and I thought that it would be the main focus of the entire plot, but soon after Zoe moves in as their lodger the story goes off-track and starts to read more like a standard contemporary novel.
Despite Eleanor’s increasing sickness with the house and the occasional spooky happenings that occur, which really are creepy and well written, the rest of the story focuses on the characters personal lives and there are a lot of back stories. I didn’t mind the back story element at first, I thought it was a great insight into their lives and would lead to something later on, but they don’t. The story shifts view points between Eleanor, Zoe and Richard although always written in the third person perspective.
I liked Eleanor’s story as it was focused most on the house and finding out what strange things were happening and why. Richard’s tale was a strange one especially as his backstory about a certain character he meets seemed to have no relevance to the main plot. I thought it might lead somewhere but it didn’t and didn’t seem to add anything to his character. I don’t want to give away spoilers which makes it hard to really talk about why I disliked his tale so much but I’m left feeling that rather than redeeming his character the book left me feeling uneasy about him.
Zoe’s story kept my attention although her tale was very separate from the others and I thought it would come together in a grand ending of some kind but by the end of this book I’m left feeling that her story was added in to bulk up the whole plot and she could have easily been taken out of the book without really harming the overall plot.
The ending of the book wasn’t satisfying which is rare when I read a book. I really liked the supernatural edge the later pages took as the story was heading to its end. I thought there would be something very dramatic and although there was a great moment when some really weird things happened, the overall ending was a disappointment. The story was never really resolved and any answers as to the history of the place or the real reasons for things happening were never answered. I’ll have to admit I was also quite annoyed at how the book ends the characters stories, especially Eleanor’s story which seemed to be heading to a powerful ending but then didn’t. After finishing this book I’m left wondering why the characters didn’t move on/change and it felt like a cheated ending when so much more could have happened.
There is some swearing in the book, mostly during Zoe’s story which sometimes felt a bit harsh and out of place given the overall tone of the writing. There’s some use of the s and f words and be warned there’s several uses of the c word too. There’s also some brief sex described which may not be to everybody’s taste.
Although I’ve said a lot of bad things about this book I really thought it was a great supernatural story and it’s just a shame that more of the plot didn’t focus on that. I really thought I’d be reading a mysterious supernatural thriller when I picked up this book but instead it’s a strange contemporary novel with a supernatural twist which while enjoyable just didn’t end how I hoped it would. I think those who haven’t read many supernatural novels or those with a keen interest in contemporary fiction would love this far more than those of us who are into the spooky, scary novels, Overall an interesting and entertaining read but beware the ending might disappoint.
-Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy.
Have you read this book? Enjoyed it or not? Would you want to read this book or this strange genre? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you. You can find me in in these places too:
Title: The Greedy Goat
Author/Illustrator: Petr Horáček
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Description: Goat is greedy. She’s had enough of eating grass. But when she decides to try something different, she gets more than she bargained for.
A hilarious, cautionary farmyard tale that teaches colours and days of the week.
My Review: This is such a funny book it really made me laugh aloud! ‘The Greedy Goat’ has such a simple story but it’s so silly, kids will definitely enjoy reading it again and again. The paperback is wider but shorter than A4 in size and is filled with colourful images on thick glossy paper. The story is simple, Goat is greedy and having had enough grass she tries a variety of different foods, including typical goat things such as eating a shoe! I won’t spoil the rest of the tale but it’s very funny and there are some great images throughout.
The illustrations really make this story so funny. I do like Horáček’s style, each picture looks like a combination of pencil, crayon and paint. Each illustration has a lot of humour in it especially when Goat starts to feel strange after eating so many odd foods. I don’t think this book would be so funny if it wasn’t for the images!
The ending is really great and has a funny twist on the last page that really made me laugh out loud! The story isn’t just fun to read but at the same time kids will learn the days of the week as well as several colours and some animals. And the simple repetitive sentences make this even more enjoyable. I can’t say a bad word about this book and love looking at it over and over again. I think adults will find it fun too. It’s definitely a book I would have loved as a child and would recommend it to everyone, it’s one of my favourites I’ve read this year!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
Do you love goats? Find the illustrations funny? Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you 🙂 You can find me in in these places too:
Author: Brendan Reichs
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Genre: YA Thriller
Description: It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, the same man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later she wakes up in a clearing just outside her hometown – alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the crime erased. Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him too, though he does his best to hide the signs. And as the world around them begins to spiral towards panic and destruction, the two troubled teens discover that people have been lying to them their whole lives . . . A YA summer blockbuster thriller for fans of The Maze Runner and The 100
My Review: Wow! I love a good sci-fi thriller and this book does not disappoint! Set just a few months into the future this book isn’t so much sci-fi as all thriller and it really keeps you gripped from the start. The first pages launch straight into Min’s story where she is being hunted in her home by someone who’s come to kill her. Despite her best effort to escape him, she ends up being killed but then wakes up unharmed in the woods, as she does every two years. From there the story unfolds at a fast pace and we’re introduced to the main story of an asteroid threatening to destroy the earth.
I don’t want to go into too much detail as it would really spoil the plot and every chapter kept me interested in reading it. The first part of this book follows Min’s story, as well as flashbacks she has from her previous birthdays. Chapters alternate between flashbacks and the story now but are all told in the first person. It’s easy to get into the plot right away and although Min’s story kept me really interested in reading this, I started to enjoy this book even more when we started to see Noah’s point of view. After we’re introduced to Noah’s story, also told in the first person, the story alternates between them both, chapter headings always telling you which character you are following.
I really liked where this story went. Although it does seem a little weird that a bunch of teenagers are investigating such high security things, I loved the way the plot went. There’s never a moment to relax as things in the story are always moving so fast. Although this is set just a little way into the future it will appeal to anyone who enjoys science fiction. The further into the story you go the more sci-fi it ends up being and the ending, the answers the teens are looking for are brilliant! Although I did part-guess the ending (one of many guesses), this book really is unpredictable and I had many failed guesses as to what was happening throughout reading this book.
There are only a few uses of the s swear word and although some dark things happen in the story there isn’t anything graphically violent. The description that this book is like ‘The 100’ is not wrong. I haven’t read the book but seen the series and this has just the same amount of intrigue and suspense! It really is a gripping read and the ending is a satisfying one overall considering you find out the general idea of what’s happening, but the book also has a bit of a cliff-hanger ending. If this was a series it’s one of those where you’d be expecting another series to be made and I really hope there’s another book as the story is far from finished. Answers in this book just let to more questions at the end and some amazing twist happens especially with one character I grew to love reading about which totally surprised me. I’d definitely recommend this book to others and will definitely be reading it again.
If you don’t like books that leave you with questions then you might not like this, but if you are looking for a futuristic thriller with a sci-fi edge that will keep you turning the pages and engrossed in reading it them you won’t be disappointed!
-Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy.
Have you read Nemesis, or plan to? Love a good thriller? Let’s chat! I’m online in these places too:
This is a belated book haul of July’s books from the wonderful people at Walker Books. These arrived a little while ago but I’ve been behind in my posts. All these books have been released in July or earlier and the descriptions of each book are a brief snippet I got when offered these for review. Let me know if there’s any books that stand out for you 🙂 To start some middle grade and Where’s Wally? books including a colouring book! :
Where’s Wally? The Colouring Collection by Martin Handford – A transportable Where’s Wally? colouring book to take with you on every adventure! There are pages upon pages of busy black and white pictures to colour, with small splashes of colour printed on the pages to give you inspiration.
Where’s Wally? The Totally Essential Travel Collection by Martin Handford – Seven sensational classic Where’s Wally? books packed into a handy travel-sized edition. All the wondrous Wally worlds in one, with six postcards to colour in and send to your friends
Pigsticks and Harold: the Ends of the Earth! by Alex Milway – Pigsticks and Harold set off on a journey to the Ends of the Earth armed only with a sense of adventure (Pigsticks’), common sense (Harold’s), and a lot of cake. Will they ever find it, and make it back alive?
Terrible, True Tales from the Tower of London by Sarah Kilby – The ravens of the Tower of London bring its fascinating history to life, telling tales of gore, guts and great escapes. Perfect for fans of Horrible Histories.
And here are some great picture books:
We’re Off to Look for Aliens by Colin McNaughton – Dad’s new book has just arrived and his children are sitting down to read his latest adventure… Blasting off into space, Dad’s on the hunt for aliens. But what will his family think of his far-fetched tale?
The Greedy Goat by Petr Horacek – Goat has had enough of eating grass. She wants to try something different – the dog’s food, the pig’s potatoes and even the farmer’s pants. But things go wrong in this hilarious, but cautionary, farmyard tale.
My First ABC by Shirley Hughes – Learning your ABC is fun and easy with Katie and her baby brother, Olly. A delightful introduction to letters and first words from Shirley Hughes, one of the best-known and most-loved picture book creators.
My Frist 123 by Shirley Hughes – Learning to count is fun and easy with Katie and her baby brother, Olly. A delightful introduction to numbers from Shirley Hughes, the author of Dogger
And a special bonus for Harry Potter fans:
Harry Potter: Magical Film Projections: Patronus Charm – Expecto Patronum! Discover the powerful Patronus Charm that Harry Potter and other wizards and witches use to produce a magical guardian. Shine a light through the window on each page to project incredible scenes on the wall or ceiling
So that’s it! So many amazing books released this month and I’ll be reviewing all of them on this blog soon 🙂 Any reviews you’d be interested in reading first?
Any of these books interest you? Let me know in the comments below I’d love to hear from you 🙂 Come check me out in these places too 🙂 :