More fun teen Egyptian melodrama in Recreated by Colleen Houck

children's books, teen book reviews, Uncategorized, Writing Thoughts

Lily has been trying to adjust to normal life after her gorgeous supernatural, ancient Egyptian boyfriend Amon disappeared to save the world from chaos, but it’s just not working. It comes as a slight relief when the god Anubis turns up at her grandmother’s house to say they need her help again – Amon is trapped in the Netherworld and Lily is the only one who can save him. But it’s not an easy process, and involves becoming a sphinx, a huge change that will affect Lily forever…

I knew exactly what to expect from this book having read and enjoyed the first book. A  action packed teen adventure packed with drama and spirit, plus a load of gorgeous gods and a plucky heroine. It didn’t disappoint, and I think I actually enjoyed this one more. It felt more confident, and focussed more on Lily as a character rather than Amon, which I really enjoyed.

Marvellous imagining and characters in Peter Dickinson’s The Changes Trilogy

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, teen book reviews, Uncategorized


No one talks about The Changes. And, since them, no one likes machines. Girls have to wear skirts. Witches must be burned. And anyone who thinks differently has quickly left for France. Nicky was left by her parents, and joins a group of unaffected Sikhs to help them work out how to live in this new world. Madge and her cousin Jonathan find a not-quite-dead witch, and rescue him on an adventure in a forbidden tug boat, and finally Geoffrey, a weather maker, finding himself in the point of being drowned, sets off on a quest with sister Sally to find the source of The Changes once and for all.

I really liked this trilogy! It’s an old one, and has all the elements of great kids adventures stories. Good kids against misguided adults, characters with skills, terrible danger and lots of action. Each book was about one of the three characters, and though they were barely connected at all put together they gave a good triptych of The Changes.

This book was basically a drawn out introduction but I still kind of enjoyed it – The Raven’s Head by Karen Maitland

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A little boy is removed from his family and renamed, forced to live in a monastery with other boys in fear and horror at the secret rites they are submitted to. A scribe, angered by his lowly status, tries to trick his way to power, but finds himself on a long journey carrying a precious and treacherous silver ravens head. And a young girl is drawn unwillingly into the spells, potions, schemes and obsessions of the evil Lord who her village shunsAs their stories weave forward the three are drawn closer together by forces they cannot explain or escape.

I quite enjoyed reading this book. The world and mysteries created were interesting and fairly enjoyable to spend time in, but the action seemed too slow, and the characters not sufficiently fleshed out to sustain my attention any further. So I’m glad to read this one… but despite it being the set up to a whole series, I’m not tempted to embark on the rest of the journey.

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

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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:




Some bits of this book were cringe but overall I LOVED IT – Arkarnae by Lynette Noni

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Recommended, teen book reviews


Alex’s parents are abandoning her for eight months and placing her in a boarding school. But when they drop her off she steps into another world complete with magic -like technology, kids with special powers and – for the first time in her life – friends. As she struggles to work out the world she lives in there are also the mysteries of why is she there? And what is her special power?

The annoying bit of this book was the really teenager stuff. Every male character is super cute, every girl is apparently super hot. But, happily, this isn’t mentioned too too much, and there isn’t even a romance in this book which is pretty refreshing. And it was SUCH GOOD FUN! I picked it out because I follow the author’s blog and have loved following her progress of getting a cover, etc etc, and was curious to read the finished product.

I wish it would go on forever – Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Recommended, teen book reviews


Lee Scoresby and trusty daemon Hester crash-land their newly-acquired hot air balloon onto an island. Almost immediately he finds himself embroiled in the politics and tensions between big companies, tradesmen and the giant bears he sees everywhere. He quickly finds himself drawn into a deadly situation, friendship with a bear and an opportunity to get even with an old enemy…

I got this in January, but have been holding off reading it because I knew that I wouldn’t want it to be over. And I was right. Lee Scoresby is one of my favourites from His Dark Materials trilogy, as is Iorek, so the chance to read another story with them was very exciting. And of course, Philip Pullman pulled it off in his marvellous and magnificent way, telling a thrilling and atmospheric story even in such a short book. 

Cute if contrived – The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Uncategorized


When the lights go out on New York City strangers Owen and Lucy find themselves trapped in a lift. They end up experiencing the magic of the night together, but are torn apart just a week later to a journeys through America and Europe that take them ever further away from each other. Can a few postcards conquer the miles that divide them?

This was a fun, harmless teen romance. I sped through it easily and enjoyed it. There’s not much depth or complexity to it but the characters are charming, the exploration of different places interesting and plot fun.