Monday, 26 July 2010

Cherry Crush by Cathy Cassidy

Title: Cherry Crush
Author: Cathy Cassidy
Published by: Puffin
Publication date: 2nd September 2010
Pages: 304
Genres: Young Adult/Romance/Contemporary
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Cherry Costello’s life is about to change forever.

She and Dad are moving to Somerset where a new mum and a bunch of brand-new sisters await.

And on Cherry’s first day there she meets Shay Fletcher; with suntanned skin and sea-green eyes he’s the kind of boy who should carry a government health warning.

But Shay already has a girlfriend, Cherry’s new stepsister, Honey.

Cherry knows her friendship with Shay is dangerous – it could destroy everything. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to stay away from him...

I have been SO excited about this exciting new book ever since it was announced that Cathy was writing it, way back in July 2009! So when Puffin contacted me asking if I would like the manuscript version (!!) of it, how could I refuse! 

The cover is so gorgeous and yummy. I love that some of it is illustration, but the pictures of the chocolate aren't! Mmm... I also love the silver against the bright red. It looks fun and entertaining, yet also sophisticated and.....well....chocolate-y!

The whole idea of The Chocolate Box Girls is just genius. Apparently there will be five books in total (Cherry Crush being the first one), each book being from the point of view of each sister. This one is from Cherry Costellos. I love the way she looks at things, and yet I feel sorry for her sometimes too. Her stories are magical, and it!

My favourite character, apart from Cherry, is Shay. When he first appears in the story, I thought he was a bit weird, but then further on in the book, I thought he was quite cool.

My overall rating of this fabulously amazbrilltastic book is 5/5! It has friendship, a gypsy caravan and chocolate....what more could a great book need?
Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

Title: The Poisoned House
Author: Michael Ford
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 2nd August 2010
Pages: 288
Genres: Young Adult/Horror
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Abi is a servant at Greave Hall, a stately London home.

She runs away, but is soon recaptured, to suffer once more under the tyrannical rule of Mrs Cotton, the housekeeper.

The house, though, has a darker secret. Something ghostly inhabits the corridors, leading Abi to the very truth someone has tried so hard to bury.

The more she discovers, the more her life is in danger, as she begins to unravel the mystery within the poisoned house.

A gripping and masterfully woven story of intrique, passion and greed.

My first impression of this book was that it looked quite boring and a little bit scary...I'm not a big fan of historical stories, or scary mysteries, so let's just say I wasn't extremely excited to have the opportunity to read this book. But I decided to read the first page, to give it a try. And I'm so glad I did! I loved this book and I think it's a great novel for anyone who hasn't read this kind of book before.

For me, there were no boring bits and you could never guess what was going to happen next so it did keep you reading. I quite like the cover although the colours are a bit dull (yes, I know, it's a book set in the 1800s so of course it's going to look a bit dark - I just think it could do with a little bit of colour.) so I don't think it's very eye catching.

My favourite character....hmm...hard to choose! I think my favourite character is Lizzie, another servant who is Abi's friend. She's kind to Abi and tries to stick up for her if Abi somehow gets in trouble.

If you like a novel with surprising twists and scary bits, this is for you. And the ending is the best ending I've EVER read, seriously! It was so surprising and scary but good as well! I give this novel a rating of 5/5. I really hope there's a sequel, because the ending sentence made you want to read more.
Saturday, 17 July 2010

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Title: Withering Tights
Author: Louise Rennison
Published by: Harper Collins
Publication date: 8th July 2010
Pages: 368
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

The misadventures of Tallulah Casey! Hilarious new series from Queen of Teen -- laugh your tights off at the (VERY) amateur dramatic antics of Talullah and her bonkers mates. Boys, snogging and bad acting guaranteed! Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type. On the whole, it's not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting! but once her mates turn up and they start their 'FAME! I'm gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I'm gonna fill my tiiiiights' summer course things are bound to perk up. Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?) Six weeks of parent-free freedom. BOY freedom. Freedom of expression! cos it's the THEATRE dahling, theatre!
It’s time to meet Tallulah Casey as she careers about in her tights. She’s your kind of mate!

The cover would the students at Dother Hall Performing Arts College say it?....Fabulous, dahling! I love how the pink stands out against the black, and the font of the words are great. Also I love the little pink owl in the corner, it just adds a bit of humour to it all. As soon as you see this cover, you just know you're going to have a hilarious time reading it!

Those of you who have read Louise Rennison's other books before will know of one of Louise's best-known characters, Georgia Nicholson. Surprisingly, Georgia appears briefly in this book too, as Tallulahs cousin! I think that's a really nice touch, as it adds familiarity to the story.

My favourite character is Tallulah because she's hilarious. Her random bursts of 'Irish Dancing' had me laughing out loud! 

Overall, I'd say this is a book worth reading. It isn't as good as some of Louise's other books, but it's still brilliant and I definitely recommend it. 4/5!
Friday, 16 July 2010

Fortune by Megan Cole

Title: Fortune
Author: Megan Cole
Published by: Harper Collins
Publication date: 8th July 2010
Pages: 432
Genres: Young Adult/Chick Lit/Romance/Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Step into the world of the mega-rich… and the mega-bitches. Three girls. One life-changing fortune…

Madison is so over New York. Her mom won't let her have botox and she can't leave the city because her step-father is sick. Snoresville. So when she gets a mysterious invitation to a private party in Capri, held by billionaire music mogul Brad Masters, she's determined to go.

Simonetta wants her mamma off her back. Of course she's not going to give up modelling in Rome to go back to her fusty little village. When she gets her invitation, she sees the chance to lose her roots forever.

Sapphire just wants to write songs and hang out in the London record shop where she works. When she's invited to Brad's party, she doesn't even want to go – but her mum seems strangely excited about it.

Madison, Simonetta and Sapphire: three girls from different worlds who are about to find out they have more in common than they think.

I really, really like this cover. The font is perfect, the colours are perfect....I wouldn't change a thing! It definitely stands out among all the black vampire-y type novels that are popular lately, because it's so bright. I love the black silhouettes of the girls against the bright blue sky. It's a peaceful, relaxing cover and perfect for a day at the beach.

The story isn't very unique - it kind of reminds me of Mamma Mia, but I can't tell you why. It would spoil the story; you'll have to read it yourself! I do love the whole idea of Fortune, though. I wish I could say more on this, but it would spoil the surprises and the twists.

My least favourite character is Madison. She is so nasty! Her thoughts and schemes were funny though, so it added a little humour to the story. My favourite character is Sapphire because she's kind and she loves music and her guitar, just like me. I felt really sorry for Sapphire when Madison and Simonetta were mean to her, and Brad always blamed it on Sapphire.

The surprises and the twists were SO good! And this novel wasn't predictable at all - it keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, waiting to see what will happen next. The author has done a brilliant job keeping the reader interested.

This book gets a rating of 5/5. It was an excellent novel. A perfect beach read! I desperately hope there will be a sequel! Definitely worth reading.
Thursday, 15 July 2010

Loving Spirit by Linda Chapman

Title: Loving Spirit
Author: Linda Chapman
Published by: Puffin
Publication date: 5th August 2010
Pages: 192
Genres: Children's
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Ellie turned and felt a rush of love as she saw the trust in his eyes...

Ellie has lost her parents, her home in New Zealand and everything she knows. Now she must live in England with family who are more like strangers.

Life on her Uncle Len's horse farm seems so lonely - until Ellie meets Spirit. She's never seen the grey horse before, but she has the strangest feeling they've always known each other.

Like Ellie, Spirit is alone in the world, and they form an intense bond. And as the weeks go by, Spirit helps Ellie to discover an incredible talent that changes both their lives forever.

Now Ellie's found him, she'll never let go...

The first book in an amazing series.

My first impression of this book was "Great. It's about horses. I'm not a very horsey person, I bet I won't understand half of the horsey terms in there." And it was true. I didn't understand most of the horsey words. But the story is so good that I didn't actually need to know what they meant. Even if you're not a horse lover, this is still an extremely enjoyable read.

I'll be honest, I'm not a big fan of the cover. It looks a bit dull to me, and I don't think it stands out. I do like the hint of purple in the authors name, though. I also like the way you can see a hint of pink on the girls cheeks. The whole look of the book just looks kind of....magical. It seems to pull you into the story, and I think that's a good thing.

The characters were very realistic, and the things they did were very believable. My favourite was Joe, Ellie's cousin, because I think it was sweet how he tried to help her and how he was always nice to her when her Uncle Len and one of the other horse riders, Luke, weren't.

I. Love. This. Story. I can't wait for the next book in the series! I'm really looking forward to it. The ending was a tiny bit of a cliffhanger - it left you wanting more. I think the author did a really good job of writing Ellie. I really felt her emotion i.e when she was reminded of her parents dying, when she was worried about her horse, when Uncle Len was nasty to her...Overall I give this book a rating of 5/5. Perfect for everyone!
Monday, 12 July 2010

Forest Born by Shannon Hale

Title: Forest Born
Author: Shannon Hale
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 5th July 2010
Pages: 389
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the author.

Growing up in the Forest, Rin always turns to the trees when she needs peace or reassurance, then one day she senses a change.
Rin knows that something bad is happening, and maybe she will find answers in the city.

But a mysterious threat haunts Bayern too, and Rin must join the magical fire sisters - Isi, Enna and Dasha - before venturing back into the woods towards the kingdom of Kel, to face what lies in wait for all of them.

This novel was extremely difficult to get into - it didn't really grab you and there wasn't much going on. There are 389 pages but all the exciting things that really make the story gripping and fun (all the things that stop you falling asleep haha) started happening at around page 200.

The cover, though? I love it! It's much better than the US edition. It's so bright, and it really stands out. The photo doesn't do the real cover justice. It's so shiny and glossy....basically, the perfect cover, although it doesn't really tell you much about the story itself.

Razo, the main character Rin's brother, is my favourite character. He's funny and brave and he knows how to make Rin feel better when she's scared/sad. He sounds like the perfect brother. He's cool! :O)

I think I give this book 3/5. Very slow to get into, and even though it was a unique storyline, it didn't really pull me into the story at all. I wouldn't really recommend this.
Monday, 5 July 2010

Million Dollar Mates by Cathy Hopkins

Title: Million Dollar Mates
Author: Cathy Hopkins
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Publication date: 8th July 2010
Pages: 256
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Jess Hall is going upmarket!

Her dad's got a new job at Number 1, Porchester Park - the luxury city apartment block - and he's moving Jess, her brother, and her pet cat, Dave, in with him.

Jess isn't too sure about moving away from her school friends - or her beloved Gran - until she learns the apartments are strictly A-list only and soon to be populated by actors, musicians, models and millionaires.

A life of glitz and glamour surely beckons...but will her new million dollar mates be all they're cracked up to be?

Million Dollar Mates - the new, fresh, glamorous novel by famous author Cathy Hopkins.

This new novel is very different to Cathy Hopkins other books. It tells the story of teenage girl Jess Hall and her best pal Pia. Jess's dad gets a new job in a glitzy, glamorous apartment block which is strictly 'Celeberties Only'. Hoping to make friends, Jess is excited, but will it be as easy as she thought?

The cover is officially the best one ever. The cover pretty much describes the story! It's got a lovely, glossy cover, and it's really eye-catching......and sparkly.....and pink....definitely a must-have for any teenage girl!

My favourite character is Jess's best friend Pia. She's funny, and she supports Jess when she's having a hard time. A true BFF! I think she's sure to be everyone's favourite character.

Overall, an amazing book! I loved it sooo much. Definitely the best out of all her books. I'd say it's for readers aged.....11+, really. From me, it gets a fabulous rating of 5/5! A must-read for any teenage girl!
Sunday, 4 July 2010

Daizy Star and the Pink Guitar by Cathy Cassidy

Title: Daizy Star and the Pink Guitar
Author: Cathy Cassidy
Published by: Puffin
Publication date: 3rd June 2010
Pages: 192
Genres: Children's/Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought.

Meet the one and only Daizy Star.

Daizy is ready to dazzle everyone with her brand-new pink guitar - maybe she'll even find her star quality!

But then Dad comes up with another crazy idea, which means swapping happy family life for milking African goats.

Eeeek! Daizy needs a clever plan...

She's got to win Battle of the Bands, or she can say goodbye to all her friends, sleepovers and - worst of all - custard doughnuts...

Daizy Star is back, with yet another 'Dad-crisis' to deal with. The book starts off on Daizy's eleventh Birthday, which is meant to be a fun, enjoyable, special day, right? Well, you're wrong! Because this is the day that Daizy finds herself in the middle of another of Dad's crazy plans...

This cover is really good. It comes in two different colours - orange or green. I have the green version, which I think is nicer than the orange version, but that's just my opinion. Anyway, I love it! The author, Cathy Cassidy, illustrated this book herself and I think it looks great.

The main character, Daizy Star, reminds me a lot of Sassy Wilde out of the Seriously Sassy books. Wouldn't it be sooo cool if the author of the Seriously Sassy books, Maggi Gibson, created a joint book with Cathy Cassidy?? That would be amazing!

This short book has only 184 pages, so would be perfect for your younger sister, or maybe as a short, sweet read for yourself! I recommend it for readers aged 7+, and give it a rating of 5/5. The storyline? Original and unique! A read you will definitely enjoy, no matter how old you are. I think you should go and buy it NOW!