Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Sticker Dolly Dressing: Around the World & Holiday by Emily Bone and Lucy Bowman

Around the World
Follow fashions across the globe with this fun and informative addition to the hit 'Sticker Dolly Dressing' series. Help dress the men and women in their traditional clothes from nations and cultures across the world. This title includes national costumes such as the kimonos of Japan, saris of India, bubas of Nigeria and the flamenco costumes of Spain.
'Around the World' is a sticker book, with  up to three people on each page from a different country to dress up. It took me a good three or four hours to complete and it was actually quite fun (you're never too old for stickers! Hehe.) It is quite educational when you think about it. It would be a perfect gift for any girl 5+.  The quality is great too, and if you make a mistake the stickers peel off easily without damaging. 10/10!

Girls everywhere will love dressing and accessorising these intrepid girls as they travel around the globe in this colourful and glamorous addition to the hit "Sticker Dolly Dressing" series. Help the girls dress for a variety of different holidays during their voyage around the globe from the pyramids of Egypt, across pristine white beaches, a trek through a tropical jungle and the colourful Venetian carnival. This title is filled with over 400 stickers to chose from to help the characters look their best.
I prefer this book to the Around the World one. The illustrations are more colourful and the stickers are less fiddly. Plus this book is more like a story and a sticker book - at the top of each page it has a little part of the story. The quality is brilliant and, again, girls from age 5+ will definitely enjoy this. 10/10!

Thank you very much to Usborne for sending me these. :o)
Friday, 26 August 2011

Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton

Title: Jessie Hearts NYC
Author: Keris Stainton
Published by: Orchard
Publication date: 7th July 2011
Pages: 272
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Jessie's just arrived in New York, hoping to forget about her awful ex.

New Yorker Finn is in love with his best friend's girlfriend.
They might be perfect together, but in a city of eight million people, will they ever find each other?

A mouthwatering novel of coincidences, love and New York glamour.

Ever since Keris announced she was writing this book, I've been desperate for it to be published so I could read it. I love New York and always have done - I've never been there (although I would love to!) but from what I've seen of it, it looks and sounds amazing. So when Jessie Hearts NYC was published, I was really excited and desperate to read it!

I love the story line. I liked how Jessie and Finn kept crossing paths but they weren't aware of it - i.e Finn would be stood looking up at the Empire State Building, he'd leave and then Jessie and Emma would turn up there too. The little twist about Finn and his best friend's girlfriend gave the story more depth, and I caught myself feeling sorry for Finn a lot.

Jessie's relationship with her Mum is complicated. Having moved to New York permanently before, leaving Jessie behind, Jessie feels that her Mum abandoned her. Little things add to this, and eventually it just gets too much. The relationship between Jessie and her Mum is almost exactly the same as someone else I know, so I could kind of see it from a different point of view.

Overall....Amber Hearts This Book!!! :) 10000000000000000000000000000 out of 10. Or, in more sensible terms, 5/5...
Sunday, 14 August 2011

Velvet by Mary Hooper

Title: Velvet
Author: Mary Hooper
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 5th September 2011
Pages: 336
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Velvet is an orphan.

She struggles to make ends meet by working in a steam laundry, where the work is back-breaking and exhausting.
So when she attracts the attention of the glamorous clairvoyant Madame Savoya, she cannot believe her good fortune.

Raised to the status of lady's maid, Velvet is given elegant clothes to wear and is brought to live in a grand house in London. But the longer she works for Madame Savoya, the more she discovers about the mysterious world of a spiritual medium. Velvet soon realises that her employer is not quite what she seems and that this knowledge could put her very life in danger...

At first I was a bit hesitant to read Velvet because usually I don't enjoy reading Historical Fiction. However, Mary Hooper writes in such a way that you can't help but keep reading and I found that I actually really enjoyed it.

As the story went on, you were made aware of things that Velvet didn't yet know about. In that sense, you are kind of ahead when reading this so it feels like you are a character in the story yourself.

My favourite character, at the start, is George - Madame Savoya's personal assistant. But towards the end, I liked him less and less and my new favourite character became Velvet, because she was so loyal and kind. Then she was made to do lots of things she didn't feel right doing, but she coped.

The descriptive writing in this novel is pure genius, it really did feel like you were in the room with the characters. Usually I don't really like Historical Fiction, but Mary Hooper's HF books are an exception as they are so gripping and fantastically written.

I recommend this to everyone aged 11+. Even if you don't like Historical Fiction, give it a try because you will most-likely enjoy it! 4/5.
Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

Title: Eight Keys
Author: Suzanne LaFleur
Published by: Puffin
Publication date: 11th August 2011
Pages: 224
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Mystery/Family
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Before I used it, the key had infinite possibilities.

Eleven-year-old Elise feels stuck. Her school locker-buddy squashes her lunch and laughs at her, every day. She doesn't want to go to school - and her best friend Franklin just makes things worse.

Now I was ready for something to be different. Anything, really.

One day Elise discovers an incredible secret. A secret that might just help her unlock her past, and take a chance on the future.

I decided that tomorrow I would see what that key opened up. It had my name on it, after all...

Eight Keys is a really interesting book. It starts on the first day of Sixth Grade which is the first year of High School (Year 7) I think. Elise makes an enemy whose aim is to make her life hell. Soon, though, Elise discovers a key and her past unravels into her very hands...

Eight Rooms. Eight Keys. All hidden in random places. Can Elise find them all before her patience runs thin?

This is a wonderful book. When I was asked to review it, I wasn't really sure what to expect but I accepted and when Eight Keys arrived in the post, I started reading it straight away. I didn't stop reading it until it was finished. :) This has quite a unique plot, and books that are different and unique always get good reviews from me.

The only thing I don't like about this book is the cover. It's a bit dull, and to me it doesn't portray the story inside it. The first time I looked at this cover, I thought it looked like a historical romance but actually it turned out to be a modern story of an orphaned girl who lives with her aunt and uncle and has a mystery to solve. I guess looks can be deceiving!

Overall, this book is fantastic and I really do recommend it to everyone. It has lots of different genres hidden inside it, so it suits everyone. This is probably suitable for 11+ readers. I adore this book and I'll probably re-read it again and again. :)