Author: Katy Birchall

Mini Reviews #7: Some UKYA to start off 2018

Posted January 3, 2018 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 3 Comments

I received this book for free from Electric Monkey in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mini Reviews #7: Some UKYA to start off 2018Secrets of a Teenage Heiress by Katy Birchall
Published by Egmont Publishing on 11th January 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Electric Monkey

Flick's family have owned The Royale – one of London's most prestigious hotels – for generations. But Flick isn't that interested. She is interested in the newest guest – superstar celebrity Skylar Chase, and Sky's mega-famous group of friends, including dreamy YouTube star, Ethan Duke. But just as Flick gets the chance to join their glittering squad, she gets grounded following an unfortunate incident involving a prince, a wardrobe and a selfie stick (it could have happened to anyone!). With only her Instagram star pet dachshund, Fritz, for company, will Flick find a way to escape The Royale and join the fame game?

Review: Flick’s family own one of the most prestigious hotels in London, though Flick is more interested in celebrities and celebrity clients than the hotel itself.

Flick felt realistic as a character; surrounded by beautiful history and significance but not seeing this at first. In fact, at first she is unknowingly jeopardising some of this, e.g. the selfie stick saga. What I loved in the book was how as it developed, she began to see and understand more about the hotel and how much work was involved in keeping its reputation. I also loved her friendship with Olly and how much she grew as the book progressed.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book; it was fun, funny and sweet. Birchall writes with genuine humour and her characters felt genuine. This book also has a fair bit of series potential and I would be interested to see if it continues and what Flick gets up to next. In fact, this book reminded me of series like the Princess Diaries or Holly Smale’s Geek Girl and I think fans of either series would find a lot to enjoy in this book.

I received this book for free from Electric Monkey in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mini Reviews #7: Some UKYA to start off 2018Thornhill by Pam Smy
Published by David Fickling Books on August 24th 2017
Pages: 544

Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as Ella unravels the mystery of the girl next door.

1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it's shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she's left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

2016: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill's shadowy past.

Review: Thornhill is an unusual and striking book.  There are two narratives; one told through prose and the other through illustration.

In the prose section, it’s 1982 and Mary is an orphan at the Thornhill Institute writing in her diary. Thornhill is about to close and Mary is one of the last girls left in the home, other than a cruel, insidious bully.

In the graphic novel section,  it’s the present day Ella has just moved in to a house near Thornhill and is drawn to the place after seeing a figure there. As she investigates, we learn more of Mary’s story. What I loved was how without any dialogue, Ella’s story still came through and developed really well.

This book is just the right level of creepy and compelling. It’s intelligent, poignant and beautifully illustrated; I read it in one sitting.  I don’t want to spoil any of the twists and turns so I’m not giving too much away, suffice to say this is an unusual and really well done book I definitely recommend.