Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Waldo the Worm by The Nosuch Disco (Dave Burgess)

Title: Waldo the Worm
Author: The Nosuch Disco (Dave Burgess)
Published by: The Nosuch Disco
Publication date: October 2009
Pages: 34
Genres: Young children's
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Buy the book

A worm, with a fin, that can swim!
Waldo the Worm lives happily in his magical, colourful world. However, there is just one thing wrong, two jealous snails called Kelly and Shelly - who are a little bit mean to poor Waldo - come along. But one day when disaster strikes, Waldo becomes a hero and saves the day.

This is a very sweet book, about a worm called Waldo who has an unusual fin meaning he can swim in water. But then two nasty snails called Shelly and Kelly come along, and bully Waldo because of his green fin. This book is based on bullying and friendship, and encourages you to be friendly. This is a very unique book and sure to be a hit with readers of any age!

The cover and inside illustrations are so cute....the nicest illustrations I've ever seen! They are very bold and colourful , I love them! The cover and pages are nice and glossy, too, which is always a good thing. I love the simple style of the illustrations as well. They just add to this book's fabulous-ness! This book is illustrated by the author and I think he's done a brilliant job.

This is a lovely book and I recommend it to readers age 5+. It's a very sweet, enjoyable read and perfect for young readers although I think anyone of any age would enjoy this. I give it a rating of 5/5 - it's fantastic!
Notes: You can buy this book and lots of Waldo merchandise from The Nosuch Disco shop. The Nosuch Disco undertook a series of workshops to create a book that revolved around a social issue relevent to young people. The workshops took place at Meir Youth Centre and The Queensberry Centre, Stoke on Trent. Each week they would work with the children/young teens to shape characters, establish storylines, words and rhymes and generate a world in which these characters would thrive. When you buy the book, if you ask nicely enough, the author might sign it for you.
Thursday, 24 June 2010

Seriously Sassy: Crazy Days by Maggi Gibson

Title: Seriously Sassy: Crazy Days
Author: Maggi Gibson
Published by: Puffin
Publication date: 1st July 2010
Pages: 224
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

I'm gonna use my fame and money to make the world a better place...OK?

Life is seriously good for Sassy Wilde - she's had her first kiss, she has the two bestest bezzies ever and her rock-chick dreams are on the verge of coming true.

But just as everything's set to take off, her new boyfriend starts acting weird - and then the record company turns Sassy's world upside down!

Sassy feels like giving it all up - until a real disaster strikes. Now's not the time for Sassy to pack away her guitar, cos her talents are needed more than ever...

Thirteen year old Sassy Wilde lives for music, and cares for the environment a lot. Then, recording company Y-Generation, manages to turn her world upside down. She gives up and gives her treasured guitar to charity. But then REAL disaster strikes, and everyone is counting on Sassy to help...will she sing, or not? Raising money for terrible earthquake in Pakistan by singing, which will always be her favourite can she resist?! Sassy Wilde is seriously sassy - she knows how to live up to her name.

This. Cover. Is. Absolutely. GORGEOUS! I love all the doodles on it, it's just so unique and eye-catching. It's crazy but somehow it all fits together!

I think this novel is brilliant, because it's about the environment and music. It will make children and teens more aware of global warming, and mixed with's the perfect match, isn't it? All teenagers love music, so they're definitely going to listen to this story's message.

The characters are realistic and well thought about. Maggi is such a fantastic writer, and she has done brilliantly in getting into a teenagers head.

My favourite character has to be Sassy. She's so down to earth and she cares about the environment. I think she's a really cool character so she's definitely my favourite.

This novel gets a rating of 5/5 from me! I recommend it to readers aged 10+ - everyone will enjoy it. Maggi, you've done an amazing job on writing the Seriously Sassy books - I hope there are many more to come!
Thank you a billion, trillion times to Puffin for sending me this amazingly sassy book.

Official Publication Date: 1st July 2010
Notes: If you would like to know more about the characters, or see what Sassy and Maggi are up to, click HERE. You can buy this book HERE.
Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Girl Meets Cake by Susie Day

Title: Girl Meets Cake
Author: Susie Day
Published by: Marion Lloyd Books
Publication date: 6th April 2009
Pages: 240
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the author.

Everybody loves Heidi's boyfriend - Gingerbread Ed.

He's deliciously perfect - a gorgeous, guitar-playing, motorbike-riding poet.

There's one tiny problem -he doesn't exist. Heidi invented him in an emergency.

Now her friends are messaging him with their deepest secrets...

Dating an imaginary biscuit can be surprisingly dangerous.

First of all: The Cover. I really like the real gingerbread people on the cover, it's very cute. I'm not too sure about the font of the title, though, I find it a bit hard to read; but the colours are cool and they definitely stand out - that's always a good thing! I like the little love heart sweet on the cover, too. It's keeping with the sweets theme but it's also a LOVE heart, so it ties in with the story as well.

I love the idea of The Little Leaf coffee shop where Heidi works. Her boss's name is Betsy and she has a teenage son called Teddy although his real name is Rupert. I love this mini storyline, it works so well weaved in with the main story. And you'll NEVER guess what happens at the end!! ....Obviously I'm not going to tell you what happened, although it's SO tempting because it's SO good!

The characters are funny and realistic, especially Heidi. Ludo, Heidi's best friend, does get a bit annoying after a while...I don't think she's as realistic as some of the other characters, and her random shouts of OMG!!! while funny at first, do get a little annoying towards the end.

A sweet thing (excuse the bad joke, there) about this book is that at the beginning of every chapter, there is a funny recipe for i.e "Recipe for an Imaginary Boyfriend" or "Recipe for the End of the World". I think they
are really cool and definitely something I have never seen in a book before - very unique.

Overall I'd say this novel is amazing and a must-read for anyone who loves a bit of humour. I give it a rating of 5/5 - Susie, you are now one of my new favourite authors!!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Zelah Green: One More Little Problem by Vanessa Curtis

Title: Zelah Green: One More Little Problem
Author: Vanessa Curtis
Published by: Egmont
Publication date: 5th July 2010
Pages: 240
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

My name is Zelah Green - and I'm still here.

Summer's supposed to be good, right? But I'm stuck at home with a lousy laptop, stacks of homework and Dad being more useless than ever.

And then Caro turns up out of the blue, all heavy metal and piercings and attitude and my boring summer's turned upside down. It's like she knows just what to say to wind me up, sending my OCD right out of control...

"Deep breaths, it'll be OK, I say to myself. It'd all going to work out fine..."

I love this cover! I love how you can only see some of the girl (supposedly Zelah) and the way the yellow stands out against the grey makes the cover look quite elegant, whilst still being an enjoyable read.

I was gripped from page one (I actually was, I am NOT exaggerating!), Vanessa Curtis is such a fantastic writer.

This novel is actually very inspiring and it's one of those novels that makes you think. The main character, Zelah, has OCD which stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder where you want everything neat and tidy and you hate germs and dirt. Everything has to be perfect. It really made me think about how hard it must be, if you have it, and how hard it must be for the people living with you. This novel will make readers more aware of the disorder, which is good.

My favourite character was Zelah (yeah I know, she's the main character, I shouldn't pick her...but she is genuinely my favourite character!) because she seemed really confident and she wasn't annoying; sometimes I felt sorry for her. It was very hard to decide whether my favourite character was Zelah or Fran...Fran (Zelah's ex-best friend) is very funny, but also quite a snob and I didn't really like the way she treated Zelah. She was funny though, so she's my second-favourite character.

Overall I found NO faults with this novel. I recommend this book to readers aged 11+ and I give this a rating of 5/5! I loved it and I'm so glad I got a chance to read this wonderful book.
Friday, 11 June 2010

Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper

Title: Fallen Grace
Author: Mary Hooper
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 7th July 2010
Pages: 320
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

"You must go to Brookwood."
"What's that?"
"It's like a wonderful garden, with trees and flowers and statues. When you think about your poor child, you'll be able to imagine him there with beautiful stone angels watching over him."
The train roared, shook and swayed as it rounded a corner, and Grace grasped the window frame and waited until it straightened on its course. Then she pushed open the door to the van containing the coffins and went in...
London 1861. Grace Parkes, a pale but determined figure, clutches a precious bundle closely to her as she travels on the train to the famed Brookwood Cemetery. Grace has a heartbreaking duty to carry out.
Each day Grace must find a new way of earning enough money to pay the rent for the bleak, cold room that she and her sister live in, and to buy them enough - just - to eat. But there is a different danger threatening Grace, a danger linked to an event in her past that she is desperate to forget. Grace has caught the eye of the Unwins, an unscrupulous family whose shady business dealings are those of death and mourning, and who will stop at nothing to defraud two young women of what is rightfully theirs...

When I first picked up this book and read the blurb, I really wasn't sure I would like this, but I was so wrong! It was really good! (Don't you love it when that happens?!)

You are instantly gripped from the first page - you wonder why Grace is at a train station, where is she going? This is actually a very sad, heartbreaking, emotional novel and was extremely sad and scary in some places. I felt really sorry for Grace and her sister, Lily; the author did a great job of writing the emotions.

My favourite character was Lily. She was funny and some of the questions she asked made me laugh, although I did feel sorry for her sometimes. Grace looks after her like a mother, even though Lily is a year older than Grace at 17 years old. I actually thought Lily was about 10 when I first started reading the book - apparently, she is "simple-minded" and when their Mother died Grace's Mother told her to look after Lily.

I love the cover! I wouldn't change a thing. I love the way that Grace's hair stands out against the dark background, and I like the way that you can't see her face. It adds to the whole mysterious, murder story that lives between the covers.

There is another twist to this novel. A woman called Mrs Robinson, her husband, and their new-born baby. Sounds ordinary, right? We find out more about them at the end of the book - it's really surprising, actually, I didn't expect what happened!

Overall this book is amazing, I didn't find any faults with it. I would recommend this novel for ages 12+ because some bits were very upsetting and scary, and not really suitable for anyone younger.
Thursday, 10 June 2010

Stunt Bunny: Showbiz Sensation by Tamsyn Murray

Title: Stunt Bunny: Showbiz Sensation
Author: Tamsyn Murray
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Publication date: 27th May 2010
Pages: 112
Genres: Young children's
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Introducing Harriet Houdini, a small bunny with attitude!

Never destined to be a boring bunny, Harriet Houdini is just settling into life with her new family, the Wilsons, when she is spotted by the producer of hit TV show Superpets and begins her showbiz career.

From daring back-flips to thrilling escape attempts, Harriet is a true stunt bunny -  but does she have what it takes to become a Superpet?

The cover is so cool! I love the way that it looks like Harriet is actually jumping out of the book; if you look closely and read the words behind Harriet, you can see that it's an actual page from the book which I think is really clever. Also, it looks like Harriet has chewed her way through the cover, like she's trying to escape, which is funny!

I loved Harriet's thoughts. They were so funny and cute! Harriet is such a clever bunny. The character EE (stands for Evil Edward) is a really mean character, but he gets nicer near the end of the book.

Tamsyn is so good at writing comedy, so I expected this book to be funny and it didn't disappoint! A bunny called Harriet Houdini who can do back-flips?! Genius. The idea for this book is amazing and I have no idea how she came up with it - brilliant!

Any reader, of any age, will love this book. I read this book in one sitting because it was just so funny - it made me laugh out loud in places. I definitely recommend this book if you want a light, short, humourous read and it would be ideal for your little brother or sister! I give this book 5/5, I loved it!
Saturday, 5 June 2010

Gimme A Call by Sarah Mlynowski

Title: Gimme a Call
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Published by: Orchard Books
Publication date: 3rd June 2010
Pages: 336
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from WHSmith.

Devi Banks can suddenly talk to her future self - via her mobile!

The older Devi is over the moon - she can stop her younger self falling for the boy who just broke her heart.

But is changing the past really that easy?

Ever wished you could change the past?

Be careful what you wish for.

I really loved this book - it was absolutely amazing. I liked the bit where the older Devi dropped her phone in the fountain in the mall....pressed 'Send' and managed to somehow call her three and a half years younger self!

Also, I think the cover is really cool; it's nice and bright and would definitely stand out in a shop.

The characters were really funny and witty. My favourite character was younger Devi, because even though sometimes she was a bit annoying, she was really funny and I liked the ways she tried to change her path to avoid the problems that older Devi had told her about.

I liked the way that one chapter would be older Devi and the next would be younger Devi, and so on. You got both sides of the story which was good!

The ending is actually the best ending to a book that I've EVER read - seriously! The ending is so, so, so cool!

Overall this book is BRILLIANT! I recommend it for readers aged 11+.
Thursday, 3 June 2010

Invisible I: The Amanda Project by Melissa Kantor

Title: Invisible I: The Amanda Project
Author: Melissa Kantor
Published by: Fourth Story Media NYC
Publication date: 1st October 2009
Pages: 256
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Brilliant or diabolical? Visionary or bizarre?

Amanda Valentino turned ordinary life into an adventure. Now she's missing.

Callie Leary has exactly one thing, and one thing only in common with Nia Rivera and Hal Bennett: They were each chosen by Amanda to be her guide. When Amanda arrived at Endeavor High, she told Callie she moves around a lot and always picks one person to help her navigate the choppy waters of a new school. Why did Amanda lie?

Following a course that they suspect Amanda deliberately plotted, Callie, Nia, and Hal piece together some cryptic clues. But they find more questions than answers and quickly realise that before they can figure out what happened to Amanda - the girl who changed their lives - they'll need to solve the most important mystery of all:


This novel didn't really grab me immediately. The story was original and interesting but I just couldn't properly get into the story. I did like the characters but they just didn't seem realistic, and I'm not sure what the cover has to do with the story either.

There are lots of different authors in this book. On the cover it says 'Stella Lennon' wrote it, in the back it says 'Melissa Kantor' wrote it and on a different page in the back it says 'Lisa Sturm' wrote it. Author-wise, it's very confusing - I'm not actually entirely sure who wrote this novel.

I like the way that there is a website that runs alongside the book. In the story one of the characters sets up a website to see if anyone knows anything useful about strange, mysterious Amanda. And that website is real - you can see the link at the end of this review.

Overall, I wouldn't really recommend this novel unless you like mysterious novels that have a cliffhanger ending. I give it 2/5.