Tuesday 27 March 2012

Truth or Dare by P J Night

For Review: Atom
Published: 5 April 2012

From Goodreads: During a round of Truth or Dare, Abby Miller confesses her crush on Jake Chilson. The only people who know her secret are her friends at the sleepover - and whoever sent her a text message in the middle of the night warning her to stay away from Jake...or else! But Abby isn't going to stay away from Jake, especially not after he asks her to the school dance. As the night of the dance comes closer, some very creepy things start happening to Abby. Someone definitely wants to keep her away from Jake. Is it a jealous classmate or, as Abby begins to suspect, could it be a ghost?

This is the first in a new series of spooky stories aimed at the 9-12 year old market for girls. And it's an enjoyable start.

The story is the perfect blend of romance, mystery and creep factor! Definitely aimed at a younger audience it's a really fun read - it reminded me of the point horror books I read when I was younger.

The story was quick to read so I think it would be very good for any reluctant readers too. It's engaging - I really wanted to find out what was going on! Who was behind all the creepy messages? And I also enjoyed the romance element to the story and looked forward to finding out what would happen with Jake and Max.

I also loved the ending! I'm not going to spoil it but I love how it may or may not be what they think! Great creepy fun!

Monday 26 March 2012

I want to read that...

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

From Goodreads: Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you hurdle down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Sounds great, right? And I'm loving the cover!

It's published June 2012

Saturday 24 March 2012

In My Mailbox (136)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Endure by Carrie Jones
Surrender by Lee Nichols
Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

Thanks to everyone who sent books for review:)

Timeless by Alexandra Monir

On Thursday I went to Mira Ink's blogger party - it was such a great event - we got to have a look at their upcoming titles for 2012 (there are some amazing ones on the schedule!) and we got to talk to Julie Kagawa via skype and ask her questions.  She has the cutest baby chick!

We also got this goodie bag - massive thanks to Mira Ink:D

My Soul To Take by Rachel Vincent
If I Die by Rachel Vincent
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (Exclusive Hardback Edition)
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Hope you all had a great week:)

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Arcadia Awakens Blog Tour (Interview and Giveaway)

As part of the blog tour for the release of his novel Arcadia Awakens, Kai Meyer kindly took the time to answer some questions....

What inspired the idea for Arcadia Awakens?

My love for Italy and – maybe even more – for Italian movies from the Sixties and Seventies. Thy don´t make them like they used to, but I always thought they had a very peculiar atmosphere, resulting from the combination of Italian characters, the ancient landscape and, of course, the Mediterranean Sea. I set out to combine all of this with monsters ...

I found Rosa to be a compelling character - a wonderful combination of strength and vulnerability. How did you set about creating her character and did she evolve as the novel progressed?

Thank you! She evolves a lot all through the three novels. Rosa will be a very different character at the end of ARCADIA FALLS, which is the final book (coming out in Britain in 2013, I guess). There is a certain responsibility that comes with being capo – which she hates - and her love story with Alessandro will be on another level. She will discover some truly dark things about herself and how all of that is rooted in her family´s history.
Regarding how I created her – Rosa arrived on page one as a fully formed character, which has never happened to me before. Usually it´s a lot of work and I have to get to know them at least for the first few chapters. But Rosa came just out of nowhere. It sounds like one of those writer clichés, but that´s the way it happened.

And I loved Alessandro! Was he an easy character to write?

He was in the first book. But he becomes darker and more complicated especially in the third novel, ARCADIA FALLS, which was a lot of fun to write. Rosa hates all the Mafia stuff she has to get used to, but Alessandro actually embraces a lot of that. They are both criminals, I guess, but he is much worse than Rosa in certain regards.

Did you need to do a lot of research for the novel - both in terms of Sicily and its history but also in terms of the story's roots in ancient mythology?

The mythology part came to me quite easy, because I have always worked a lot with myths and legends. But I had to read a lot of literature about the Mafia and it´s history – all non-fiction. I still haven´t read "The Godfather“ ... And, of course, I went to Sicily and travelled all over the island. Palazzo Alcantara is located at the very spot where I was staying in a nice agricultural hotel and had some lovely dinners ...

I understand Arcadia Awakens is the first in a planned trilogy. Can you give us any hints for what's next in store?

Rosa goes to New York for a few chapters at the beginning of ARCADIA BURNS, but afterwards the rest of the book two and three is more or less set in Sicily with a few short journeys to Sintra, Portugal. The second book is about Rosa´s and Alessandro´s rise to power in the Cosa Nostra hierarchy, while the third one ... well, it´s called ARCADIA FALLS, which is not to subtle a hint, I guess.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

A storyteller. With fifteen I wanted to become a comic book artist, with nineteen a film director or screenwriter. Later on I wrote a few movies for German television, but that was when I was already established as a novelist. And when I look at our local movie industry right now I couldn´t be happier that I never got too involved with it.

What is you favourite aspect of writing? And the most challenging?

There are two kinds of writers: those who love to write and those who love to have written. I´m eighty percent part of the latter group. Even after fifty published books I still get excited about having finished another one and receiving the first copy. While I write I curse a lot and pity myself – but obviously I couldn´t do it if it wouldn´t be the only thing I really want to do with my life.

Do you have a typical writing day? And are there any 'must haves' you need before you can sit down to write?

Lots of coffee. A walk with the dog. Both quite early in the morning – I get up at 5:45 am. Usually at eight or eight thirty I´m with my laptop somewhere in the house – could be in my study, the library, the dining room or the garden – and revise the pages I wrote the day before. That can take one or two hours. Afterwards I try to write ten manuscript pages (probably around eight pages in the printed book). I work Monday to Friday only, more or less disciplined. Never on weekends - that´s when I do interviews like this one.
Thanks Kai!

You can check out Kai Meyer's website here.

The next stop on the tour is at Blogger Heart Books tomorrow.

Thanks to the lovely team at Templar I have one copy of Arcadia Awakens to giveaway.  The giveaway is open to UK entrants only and the closing date is 26 March 2012.  Just fill in the form below - good luck:)

This giveaway is now closed.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

I want to read that...

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

From Goodreads:  Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, TIME BETWEEN US is a stunning and spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new talent in YA fiction.

This sounds major awesome!

It's published in October 2012.

Saturday 17 March 2012

In My Mailbox (135)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Creepover: Truth or Dare by P J Night
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
Fated by Alyson Noel
What's Up With Jody Barton (Sampler)

Hunger Games Poster
Mockingjay Pin
Hunger Games Mug  (Thanks Scholastic!)

Massive thanks to everyone who sent books for review:)


The Savage Grace by Bree Despain
Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynn Williams

Hope you all had a great week :D

Friday 16 March 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

For Review: Puffin
Published: 2 February 2012

From Goodreads: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias' death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

I seriously enjoyed this one! It's a great combination of romance and suspense set within a dystopian world.

I have said many times that I love dual narration and I'll say it again here. Having the story from both June and Day's point of view gives us a greater insight into each character and what is happening. And in this case it also gives us a clear idea of just how different their worlds are.

June is intelligent, strong, honest and someone I liked instantly. I warmed to Day straight away as well - I really liked how he took care of his family and you could instantly see how he cared about others in his dealings with Tess. And despite knowing what was going to happen to Metias from the beginning (thanks to the synopsis) I still really loved his character - the way he looked out for June and had faith in her abilities. I think it was important to feel that way to understand June's drive to have his killer caught and brought to justice.

I also really enjoyed the world Marie Lu created - I could really imagine it. I want to know more about the Patriots and the Colonies - but everything we've learnt so far is superb. The amount of control the Republic has is quite chilling!

I can't wait for the next instalment. And I am super excited to hear this has been optioned as a movie - I can totally see it on the big screen!

Thursday 15 March 2012

I want to read that...

Whisper by Chrissie Keighery

From Waterstones:  Fifteen-year-old Demi's world is shattered when she is left profoundly deaf by a sudden illness. Everything is different now, and Demi must learn to adapt to a new school, new friends and even learn a whole new language. Whisper is a coming-of-age tale, about discovering who you are and where you fit in life. About friendships and first love and, more of all, learning to love the person you are.

Sounds really good! And it has some amazing reviews on goodreads:D

Whisper is published in the UK in July 2012 by Templar

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Lolly Luck by Ellie Daines

For Review: Andersen Press
Published: 5 January 2012

From Goodreads: Lolly is Lolly Luck by name, lucky by nature. She always wins magazine competitions, on scratch cards and any game you can think of. But when Lolly’s dad loses his job and then the family home, Lolly’s luck starts to change. And when she overhears her parents arguing, she learns a secret that will change her life forever.

This is a really sweet and fun read yet still manages to deal with some real issues. It's a great addition to the 9-12 year range.

I really liked the character Lolly. Her voice comes across as a typical 11 year old and I found her easy to relate to. I loved her family - especially her relationship with her sister.

Once her dad loses his job things spiral downhill quite quickly and in a realistic manner. It's very interesting to see it through the eyes of an 11 year old - the impact it has on her everyday life and the fears she has about it. And reading between the lines you can really see the strain it has on both her parents - which of course leads to the revelation that changes Lolly's life completely.

I was really surprised by the book - it really tackles some tough topics but does so in a way that keeps it appropriate for the 9-12 year old age range and makes it something they will enjoy reading. This will definitely appeal to readers of Jacqueline Wilson and Cathy Cassidy. Sign me up for more of Ellie Daines' books!

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Cover to Covet (25 )

I LOVE book covers. Love, love love them. So I decided to make it a regular post - each post featuring a cover I love.

Endure by Carrie Jones

I love the covers for this series - I think it's the black and gold.  This time I LOVE the eye.

What do you think?

Endure is published by Bloomsbury 8 May 2012

Sunday 11 March 2012

In My Mailbox (134)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Partials by Dan Wells
Crave by Melissa Darnell
Fateful by Claudia Gray
Department 10: The Rising by Will Hill


Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Faithful by Janet Fox
The Talents by Inara Scott
Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Hope you all have a great week :D

Friday 9 March 2012

Skin Deep by Laura Jarrett (Review & Giveaway)

For Review: Egmont (Electric Monkey)
Published: 5 March 2012

From Goodreads: Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them and turn away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people. Or that's what I used to think. Before I learned...

After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found...

I have to admit this one completely took me by surprise. I'd heard a few whispers that it was good - and if definitely sounded good - but it had so much more depth than I was expecting it to.

The story is told as a dual narration so we get both Jenna and Ryan's point of view. I love stories told this way as I really enjoy getting both perspectives and getting to know the characters really well. It is done really well here too as both voices are distinctive - I knew exactly who was narrating - and I really warmed to them both.

The story starts with Jenna and the accident, and then jumps to eight months later. Jenna is trying to deal with the aftermath of what has happened, but is reminded of it everyday through the scars it has left her with. Ryan is a traveller with problems of his own - but when to two meet they can't help being drawn to each other...

Jenna is such an amazing character. She is obviously devastated by what has happened and by the scars she is left with as a result - but while she is having issues overcoming what has happened but I never felt she was self absorbed or self pitying. She still cares about others and puts them first - I'm not sure how I would react if I were in her situation. I adored the scene where she helps with Ryan's mum - even though she hates being stared at - it shows a great strength to her character as well as a reflection on how much she cared for Ryan.

Ryan is such a lovely character too - I really loved him. He is very protective over his mother and is a nice guy (even if he doesn't always to nice things!) and you can see how he genuinely cares for Jenna. I loved their relationship - how it develops and how the two have an obvious friendship too.

I also found the family relationships interesting too. Jenna's brother doesn't seem to care about Jenna's scars - he just wants her back to being herself. But her parent's seem to find it harder to accept - sometimes I felt they were making it harder for Jenna to accept too. Ryan has a lot on his plate with his mother, plus he really misses his mum's ex-boyfriend Cole. You can also see how much he wants to lay down roots and finally stay in one place.

The are a couple of events I didn't see coming at all and they really add to the story. I expected a romance but got much, much more. I am really looking forward to seeing what Laura Jarratt comes up with next.

Thanks to the lovely peeps at Egmont I have a copy of this to giveaway. It's open to everyone and the closing date is 16 March 2012. Just fill in the form below! Good luck :D

This giveaway is now closed.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

For Review: Allison Rushby
Published: 28 February 2012

From Goodreads: Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

As soon as I read the synopsis for this I knew I had to read it. Photography, romance and a teen superstar? I just loved the sound of it. And I am please to say it lived up to my expectations!

I loved Jo. She's a great character - fun, witty and someone I warmed to straight away. She is one of those characters that really cares about others - which you'd think would directly oppose her choice of profession! - but she does have a moral compass and the rights or wrongs of what she is asked to do is explored in an interesting way.

And as soon as we meet Ned at the rehabilitation retreat I was a goner - he's lush! A really nice guy - which is a refreshing change from all the bad boys - and there is a lovely and genuine connection that develops between him and Jo. Plus you have to love someone who has a bacon bits addiction, right?

The story has much more depth that you'd think from the synopsis too. Jo's home life is explored (and one revelation is especially poignant) and there is more to the guests of the retreat than meets the eye at first. And speaking of the other guests, I really loved Katrina and Seth!

A great story and one I wholeheartedly recommend! I can't wait to read more by this author.

Tuesday 6 March 2012

I want to read that...

Timepiece by Myra McEntire

From Goodreads: A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devestating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.

I just finished reading Hourglass last night and now I can't wait for this one. I'm really looking forward to getting back into the world already! Also I'm really excited that it's narrated by Kaleb this time - I loved him in Hourglass!

It's published June 2012 by Egmont USA.

*roll on June!*

Monday 5 March 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 1 March 2012

From Simon & Schuster: Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own. But Mara's new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people's deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she's going crazy! And if dealing with all this wasn't enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can't seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can't help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…

I'd been looking forward to reading this one for ages - I'd heard so many good things about it (and a few bad things too) so I couldn't wait to read it and see what I thought. I LOVED it! It's very different from a lot of things I've read and that made it really refreshing.

The story is told from Mara's point of view. Having been involved in an accident that killed her friends she has no memory of it at all. On doctors orders she moves to somewhere new - a way to let herself heal slowly so hopefully she can piece together what happened that night - but the new start is not going to plan. Instead she sees things that can't possibly be real - her dead friends faces are everywhere and she starts to see deaths just before they happen. And then there's Noah - a boy she meets at school who just wont leave her alone...

Having the story told from Mara's point of view in first person is a stroke of genius! It's the ultimate unreliable narrator - we have no idea what to believe because she doesn't know what to believe herself. I thought that aspect sold the whole novel - I loved being in her head, trying to work out what was happening. It made me completely invested in the story and in Mara - and it gave an interesting insight into someone who is struggling with reality.

I also really loved Noah. His relationship with Mara comes across initially as one of those 'instant' connection couples but Noah's interest in Mara is explained and the connection between the two really grows into something tangible - I really felt the chemistry between the two!

As for what happened and what is happening? Well honestly, I don't know - the whole story is dark and eerie and completely addictive. I'm surprised the pages didn't spontaneously combust I was flipping them so fast! I loved every minute - and while I'm not sure I could tell you exactly what happened that is why I seriously loved the book. It's all a bit of a mystery that I am still trying to unravel.

Seriously good! You need to read this!

Sunday 4 March 2012

In My Mailbox (132) and (133)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Unrest by Michelle Harrison (Squee!)
Silver by Andrew Motion
Toxic Treacle by Echo Freer
Torn by Amanda Hocking
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Searle
Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby (I've read this and loved it!  Review coming soon.)
Infamous by Sherilyn Kenyon
Poison Heart by S B Hayes

BZRK by Michael Grant
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt (This is a second copy so I'll have a giveaway for this one soon)
The Magnificent Moon Hare by Sue Monroe
Where is Fred by Ali Pye
The Big Adventure of the Snails by Helen Stephens
(a lovely surprise from Egmont - thank you!)

A massive thank you to everyone who sent books for review:D

I also went to a couple of events.  First up was a visit to Simon & Schuster where we got to meet Philippa Gregory and ask her questions about her upcoming YA book called Changeling.  It was a fab event - massive thanks Philippa Gregory and to Simon & Schuster for organising it.  For more details check out Sarah's event report over at Feeling Fictional. 

We also got sent some of her adult titles - they look awesome!

White Queen by Philipa Gregory
Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

And this week I went to the Bloomsbury Offices where we met Celia Rees.  She spoke about her writing and answered questions for us.  Big thanks to Celia and Bloomsbury for the event - it was brilliant!  Plus we got given this awesome goodie bag:

This is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees
Burn Mark by Laura Powell
Dead Time by Anne Cassidy


A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
Perception by Kim Harrington (starting reading this the moment it arrived!  And loved it!  Review to follow shortly)
Dead is a Battlefield by Marlene Perez
My Big Fat Teen Crisis by Jenny Smith
The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor
Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
The Look by Sophia Bennett
Forgiven by Jana Oliver
Sticky Fingers by Nick Burnham
All Fall Down by Sally Nicolls

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater (Thanks Sarah!)

Hope you all have a great week:D

Friday 2 March 2012

I want to read that...

Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols

From Goodreads: A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.

But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business--until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers--and the consequences could be deadly.

I just finished reading The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols and it is seriously good! It has made me even more excited to read this one! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

It's published in hardback (Yay!) in July 2012.

Lauren Oliver's Special Message For Her UK Fans

Also, to mark publication, the publishers have also created an interactive quiz based on the question ARE YOU RULED BY YOUR HEART OR YOUR HEAD?

Have a go for yourself (and you could win a finished copy of Pandemonium and Delirium): https://www.facebook.com/lovedelirium?sk=app_331560993546849

Thursday 1 March 2012

Stones For My Father by Trilby Kent

For Review: Alma Books
Published: 19 Januray 2012

From Goodreads: Corlie Roux’s farm life in South Africa is not easy: the Transvaal is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies, she is left with a mother who is as devoted to her sons as she is cruel to her daughter. Despite this, Corlie finds solace in her friend, Sipho, and in Africa itself and in the stories she conjures for her brothers.

But Corlie’s world is about to vanish: the British are invading and driving Boer families like hers from their farms. Some escape into the bush to fight the enemy. The unlucky ones are rounded up and sent to internment camps.

Will Corlie’s resilience and devotion to her country sustain her through the suffering and squalor she finds in the camp at Kroonstad? That may depend on a soldier from faraway Canada and on inner resources Corlie never dreamed she had….

This is a great example of how history can really be brought to life through fiction. I knew nothing about the Boer War before reading this but now feel as if I have a good idea of what it would have been like to have lived through it.

I adored Colie. She has a resilience and strength to her that I envy. Her mother is absolutely awful to her but she doesn't let it affect how much she loves her family. I did think there might be an explanation for why her mother behaved in the way she did - and although one was given it wasn't what I thought it was going to be and - in my eyes at least - did not redeem her mother's actions.  But at the same time I could see where Corlie got her strength - her mother was a formidable women who knew how to get on and survive even the hardest of circumstances.

I also adore Gert and loved his relationship with Corlie. The two obviously loved each other greatly and that was wonderful to read. I also fell head over heels in love with Api! Honestly, how adorable!  Corporal Malachi Byrne was an interesting character too - someone who questions what he's doing and I liked the connection that develops between him and Corlie.  That something good could come out of all the hatred surrounding her.

There is violence and devastation too. Unsurprisingly, much of the hatred and violence did not only come from the enemy but from their own too which is disturbing to read. I admired Trilby Kent for not shying away from this and creating a story that feels real. Devastating, but honest and real.

Although this is only around 180 pages it didn't feel like a quick read - I found myself really immersed in the story and would love to read more by this author.


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