14+, Books that adults should read, Dystopian, Fantasy, Teen, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

So publication day is FINALLY here and the third and final novel in the Arc of a Scythe series. First we had Scythe, then Thunder Head, and now The Toll.

Synopsis for The Toll

I DO NOT SPEAK WITH THE VOICE OF THE THUNDER.

BUT THE THUNDER DOES SPEAK THROUGH ME.

The explosive conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Arc of a Scythe series!

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver, and it’s time for things to change. In this pulse-pounding finale to Neal Shusterman’s internationally bestselling trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

The Arc of Scythe is set in a dystopian world where humanity has discovered all it can, including how to avoid death.  But in a world where nobody dies, population has to be controlled. Scythes choose who, when and how people are “gleaned” and the Thunderhead presides over all other political and economic issues; will AI bring about the world’s end or could humanity be their own destruction.

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My thoughts

This has been the most amazing set of books!  Neal Shusterman has created a breath-taking dystopian series that makes you explore humanity and it’s freedom. Will we ultimately be our own destruction with the AI that we create?

Imagine a world where nobody dies? Where we can never get old by simply resetting and going on and on. Of course the population still needs to be controlled. Scythes have the power to decide who, when and how people are ‘gleaned’.  They are distinctive by their often ornate robes and are never a welcome visitor. But overseeing all political and economic issues is the Thunderhead, an ominous ‘cloud’ ultimately controlling humanity.

I can’t recommend this series highly enough. Both myself and my students have been awaiting this final installment and I can tell you it doesn’t disappoint. Oh. My. God. I couldn’t read this fast enough. It is such an exciting, rollercoaster of a read. I’m tempted to start all over again…now where’s my copy of Scythe?

If you haven’t discovered the Arc of a Scythe then I urge you to start at the beginning…you lucky things.

So…who would my Patron Historic be?

Who do I find an inspiration? Well I think it would have to be Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer who lived from April 1759 until September 1797. She was one of the very first feminists and a passionate advocate of educational and social equality for women. She was earning her own money through her writing at  a time when it was unheard of for women to be financially independent. She had a short and somewhat tragic life but she helped to lay the foundations for feminism and equality. She died 11 days after giving birth to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author who gave us Frankenstein.

And what would my robes be?

Well, they would be of the deepest purple made from the softest eco-friendly bamboo (we’d be doing even more to save the world of we were likely to be spending more time on it!) with silver trim. They would be decorated in shimmery silver words of wisdom that from a distance would look like thousands of sparkly stars. 

Thank you so much to the fabulous people at Walker Books for inviting me to review this amazing series. Go get it today. It’s perfect for teens, YAs and adults.

About the author

Neal Shusterman is an award-winning author whose books include the Arc of a Scythe series (Scythe, Thunderhead and The Toll), the New York Times bestselling Unwind series and Challenger Deep, which won a National Book Award. He also writes screenplays for film and television, for shows such as Goosebumps and Animorphs. He lives in Southern California, USA.

 

 

 

 

 

11+, 9+, Adventure, Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Summer Reads

Summer Reading – Rumblestar

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

Rumblestar by Abi Elphinstone

Recommended for Middle Grade (9+) & above…

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Here’s the synopsis:

Adventures are unpredictable and often terribly badly behaved – a bit like pickled onions if you’ve ever tried to fork one on a plate – but they have a way of unlocking people and turning them upside down so that all the astonishing things fizzing around inside them start to tumble out…’
 
Eleven-year-old Casper Tock hates risks, is allergic to adventures and shudders at the thought of unpredictable events. So, it comes as a nasty shock to him when he accidentally stumbles into Rumblestar, an Unmapped Kingdom full of magical beasts.
 
All Casper wants is to find a way home, but Rumblestar is in trouble. An evil harpy calledMorg is sending her followers, the Midnights, into the kingdom to wreak havoc and pave the way for her to steal the Unmapped magic for herself. But Casper cannot turn a blind eye because the future of his own world, he discovers, is bound up with that of the Unmapped Kingdoms. 
 
And so, together with Utterly Thankless, a girl who hates rules and is allergic to behaving, and her miniature dragon, Arlo, Casper embarks upon an adventure full of cloud giants, storm ogres and drizzle hags. Can he, Utterly and Arlo, the unlikeliest of heroes, save the Unmapped Kingdoms and our world from the clutches of Morg and her Midnights?

Live a life filled with adventure with Abi Elphinstone in this brand NEW series where a whole new world is waiting to be discovered…

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Abi Elphinstone’s stories are always filled with wonderful characters, courageous adventures and wonderful worlds.  Discover her today with her latest novel, Rumblestar, the first in The Unmapped Chronicles.  Want to discover more? Check out her earlier novels too. Visit the Simon & Schuster website here for further information.

Rumblestar Paperback ISBN: 9781471173660

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

 

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Suspense, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Summer Reads – The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Recommended for Older Teens/YA and above! 

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Here’s the synopsis:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication is via email and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love. But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean? Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone…

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was published by Walker Books back in 2017 but I only read it this year and oh my how I have fallen in love with Lauren and her stories. You can find more information on where to buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.). It’s also available on Kindle.  This year has seen the publication of her latest novel The Quiet at the End of the World  which I adored just as much and have also featured on my Tales.  You can find details of that here  Review for Loneliest Girl will follow but just so you know, it’s rather fabulous.

Loneliest Girl ISBN: 9781406375473

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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Fantasy, Fiction, Summer Reads, Suspense, Teen, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Summer Reads – The Cold is in her Bones

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

The Cold is in her Bones by Peternelle Van Arsdale

Recommended for Older Teens/YA and above…

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Here’s the synopsis:

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

Suspenseful and vividly imagined, The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.

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The Cold Is in Her Bones was published by Simon & Schuster in March and you can find where to buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.) It’s available in paperback, eBook & on audio CD.

ISBN: 9781471160882

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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7+, 9+, Adventure, Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Magic, Middle Grade Fiction, Summer Reads

Summer Reads – Wish for a Witch

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

Wish for a Witch by Kaye Umansky

illustrated by Ashley King

Recommended for YoungReader/Middle Grade (7+) & above…

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Here’s the synopsis:

After her week living in Magenta Sharp’s magical tower, Elsie Pickles is back home and finding normal life a little dull. But when a magical gift leads her back to the Tower, Elsie knows mischief and marvellous magic are about to turn her life upside down again!

This time Magenta needs Elsie’s help to save her magic licence and deal with a grumpy genieon the loose! Will it all prove too much for Elsie and her friends? Even a witch needs a wish every once in a while!

A magical adventure from Kaye Umansky, the bestselling author of the spellbinding children’s classic Pongwiffy, brought to life with charming illustrations from rising star Ashley King!

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Another story from the life of Elsie Pickles, following on from the rather delightful Witch for a Week.

Wish for a Witch was published by Simon and Schuster and you can find where to buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.). It’s also available on Kindle.

ISBN: 9781471160936

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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9+, Adventure, Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Middle Grade Fiction, Summer Reads

Summer Reads – The Maker of Monsters

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

The Maker of Monsters by Lorraine Gregory

Recommended for Middle Grade (9+) & above…

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Here’s the synopsis:

Brat has always lived in the isolated castle on the island, taking care of the vicious creatures that his master creates, waiting in terror for the moment when they are ready to be put to use. But then the unthinkable happens. The monsters get out. Now Brat must overcome his fears, and venture into the world he has hidden from his whole life. For the fate of everyone rests on his shoulders alone. . .

A thrilling new standalone adventure from Lorraine Gregory.

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The Maker of Monsters was published in by Oxford University Press in May and you can find where to buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.). It’s also available on eBook.

ISBN: 978-0-19-276883-4

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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9+, Adventure, Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Middle Grade Fiction, Thriller, Witchcraft

Summer Reading – The Merrybegot

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

The Merrybegot by Julie Hearn

Recommended for Middle Grade (9+) & above…

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Here’s the synopsis:

In a remote west-country village, all is not as it seems. Rumours of bad magic and witchcraft are spreading. The piskies are whispering in the orchard and an ill wind is blowing. The fingers of blame are all pointing to Nell, the cunning woman’s granddaughter.
With the Witchfinder General on his way, Nell is alone, trapped, and in fear for her life. Who can she trust? And who will save her?

This amazing story has been reissued with a stunning new cover by Karl James Mountford for a new generation of readers to enjoy.

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The Merrybegot was first published in 2005.  Did you read it when it originally came out or are you new to it just like me?  The new cover design is stunning and will hopefully attract many new readers to this enchanting novel.  This new edition also includes reading notes and discussion points at the end.

The Merrybegot  was reissued by Oxford University Press in May and you can find where to buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.). It’s also available on eBook and Audiobook.

ISBN: 978-0-19-276958-9

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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