Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend – a ridiculously good adventure that I’ve already read twice

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, children's books, Recommended, teen book reviews, Uncategorized

Morrigan Crow has always known when the end would come. As a cursed child, she is destined to die on her eleventh birthday, but instead at midnight Morrigan finds herself apprenticed and semi-kidnapped by an extraordinary figure called Jupiter North and taken into a land that she never knew existed, and where she finds she has been entered into a contest to join the mysterious Wundrous Society, despite her apparent lack of a qualifying ‘knack.’ But on the journey through her trials she finds freedom, fun, loving family for the first time and hopes desperately that there is something she can do to let her stay…

This book was just so good. It put an almost constant smile on my face the whole way through. It begins with the maudlin and melancholy of Morrigan with her family, but moves into such a fantastic blend of warmth, crazy fantasy and humour that I was completely enchanted. It’s probably a book for 9-12 year olds but I’ve been recommending it to anyone who loves this sort of thing anyway – and I can’t wait for the next in the series.

My four former fictional best friends

Book Thoughts, teen book reviews, Uncategorized

I had so so many imaginary friends. I’d say ‘growing up’ but I can’t really bear to think of them ceasing to exist so I haven’t culled them. They’ve probably just moved to a different country… mostly.

But fictional friends are different. These four are the ones I did important parts of life with, shared the journey with. I’ve probably moved on now (to real friends, phew!) but these have still got a special place in my heart.

Four awesome Mothers of Literature

Book Thoughts, children's books, Uncategorized, Writing Thoughts


As in, Mothers In literature. As I explained in my previous post, I realised recently how few mothers who have great characters are present in fiction. In fact, how few mothers there are at all let alone decent ones. I’m not even looking for great mothers or likeable people here, just characters with some depth, growth and who aren’t just weak or rubbish. An evil domineering mother, even, would do, though I wouldn’t be using them as a role model.

Here are the first four awesome Mums we could think of. More to follow soon!

The most fun I’ve had in a magical world for some time – Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, London, Recommended, Writing


African Zacharias Wythe is the new Sorcerer Royal to England – but after the mysterious disappearance of his master, the old sorcerer royal, there are more reasons than the colour of his skin that the rest of the magical world do not like him. Add into this the secret steady disappearance of magic, angry and dangerous foreign wizards, and a girl who wields incredible magical skill and power despite women being forbidden to do so and you have the set up for an extremely good book!

I really loved this book! It was tremendous fun to read from beginning to end, with a gripping plot, fantastic characters and a world set up that was simply fantastic. There was action and adventure in bucket loads and just about everything that you need for an amazing magical story. Even writing about it makes me want to re-read!

Fast-paced, fun and dramatic – if stark and cold – The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, children's books, teen book reviews, Writing, Writing Thoughts

Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker who can break into people’s minds, has lived in danger of discovery for years – but when she is captured on a train and taken off to an unimagined separate society she discovers more and more about the corrupt and restrictive world she lives in. She is assigned to a gaoler who doesn’t seem to be what he is meant to be, forms alliances and makes enemies in the strange world that has become hers, desperate for the rest of her crew back in London. But forces are rising all around her, and Paige seems to be key to it all…

Sorry the synopsis is a bit vague, I read this ages ago now and have leant someone my copy! I read this because I had heard so much about it, because the author Samantha Shannon is extremely responsive to her fans on twitter, and because I found it for sale on the book barge. I was even more excited when I realised that the author had signed it! In general, though I wasn’t really captivated by the world it was set in, I really enjoyed this book!

“Why do you let me read books when the sequel isn’t available for ages?!” Zöe raves about Akarnae! #REALTEENREVIEWS

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Recommended, teen book reviews, Uncategorized


I caught Zöe when she was ill at home from school one day and forced her to read this book – which I’d just finished and I loved. It’s about 16 year old Alex, who finds herself transported to a magical world and mysterious school instead of the more normal boarding school her parents meant to send her to. It’s great, and the author Lynette and her blog are awesome too!

Anyway. These were the first thoughts I got from my ailing sister:




The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts


It all starts with the disappearance of an attention-seeking author who has just written a book mocking and betraying most of his acquaintances, and, of course, he is dead. Horribly dead. Disgustingly dead. And between his last book, strange wife, devoted lover, successful rival, embittered agent, boss, fans and a range of other intriguing characters Cormoran Strike has got to find a killer.

So, I probably wouldn’t have read this if it wasn’t by JK Rowling. I quite enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling, but wouldn’t necessarily have bought the sequel, and definitely not as a hardback. But it’s her, and I did.

JK Rowling’s best story yet

Book Thoughts, Writing Thoughts

Harry Potter is a wonder, I love it deeply. And her other myriad of stories are gripping and clever. But I recently realised… JK Rowling’s greatest story is simply the story of JK Rowling.

We all know it, see. We all know she was a single Mum, writing on napkins in a cafe. We know the whole idea just came to her, fully formed. We are all on her side; a poor, single Mum, winning against the machine, living the full American dream from her house in Edinburgh. I could tell you a lot less detail about most other authors I read.

Leave it, JK

Book Thoughts

I like to think of myself as a part of the Harry Potter generation. I started secondary school a year or two after Harry – but with the spaces between books we sort of grew up together. Life got more serious. We both loved Hogwarts, defeated evil wizards, got married and got on with our lives.

And actually, while I read the books, I wasn’t convinced by Ron and Hermione. I never quite believed that someone with her ambition, drive and intelligence would decide that dating and even more marrying Ronald Weasley, despite his many good qualities, would ever satisfy her. But I read the books, I decided to trust JK Rowling, I got over it. I just make sure never to read the last chapter if I re-read them.

But now, apparently, she said she has made a mistake. It should have been Harry and Hermione all along.