Publisher: David Fickling Books

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.


Mini Reviews #7: Recent Reads

It’s been a very busy couple of months so I wanted to tell you all about some recent reads with mini reviews. [ book-info] Review: Adam Silvera is an author I had heard a lot of excellent things about so when Simon and Schuster kindly offered me a review copy of History Is All You Left Me, I was excited to read it. History Is All You Left Me is a beautiful contemporary YA told from the perspective of Griffin. Griffin’s ex-boyfriend and first love, Theo, has died in a drowning accident. I thought this was an interesting premise for a YA novel as while I’ve seen books about people losing their current partners, I haven’t seen that many about losing an ex and the complicated feelings that can stir up. And complicated feelings there are, even without Jackson, Theo’s […]

Posted September 3, 2017 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 1 Comment

Review: Unbecoming by Jenny Downham

Review: Unbecoming by Jenny Downham

Review: Jenny Downham is one of my must-read authors, her contemporary YA is always thought-provoking, feels authentic and is beautifully written. Therefore, it’s fair to say Unbecoming was a highly anticipated 2015 read for me. What I love about Unbecoming is the fact that this isn’t a story about one character, but about three generations of women, each with their own secrets and fears and hopes. Considering the popularity of the ‘absent parent’ device in YA, it is refreshing to see a YA book about family relationships ,and one that doesn’t remove the ability to empower its teenage characters through those relationships. Katie’s relationship with her grandmother felt very honest and was a highlight of the book. They develop a strong relationship after a more uncertain start and it’s something I’d like to see more as it’s a relationship not always explored so […]

Posted September 14, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments

Review: The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet

Review: The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet

Review: I was very intrigued by the concept of The Murdstone Trilogy and Mal Peet is an author I’ve been meaning to read for a while so was really excited when I was offered the chance to review Peet’s latest novel, especially as the main character is a YA author and it looked very original. Peet’s narrator, Philip Murdstone is being forced by his agent to write a fantasy novel and fit in with the latest trends. Murdstone who writes about sensitive boys with problems is unsure where to start and at the beginning very dismissive about fantasy. This did concern me at the start a little as I worried the book would be ‘antigenre’, however as the plot progressed Murdstone’s reticence recedes. There is a really great darkly comic and cynical tone to this book and a lot of humour. In […]

Posted January 19, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments