Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Hello, I’m back, it’s been about a year since I last posted, but I’m back now, and I have a lot more time for reading and reviewing since we’re all in lockdown. Anyway, I read this book a couple of months ago, and I really enjoyed it, it’s got a bit of everything, romance, adventure, humour and plot twists. The story is centered around Kaz Brekker and his gang, The Dregs, who are attempting to pull off an impossible heist to recover a hostage. The plot was clever and interesting and I could never predict what was going to happen next, or where the story was headed. There were plenty of interesting characters, I liked that the, I guess you could call them heroes of the story, weren’t necessarily good people or traditionally heroic, most novels in this sort of genre have an obvious goody Vs baddy dynamic. However, the line was sort of blurred between who was right and wrong, the heroes of the story all had different reasons to embark on the heist and have very different views on life. Kaz Brekker was by far my favourite, he’s a very complex character, and despite being quite selfish and rude at times, he’s still very likeable. Saying that, Jesper and Inej are definitely contenders for my favourite character, Jesper brings some light and humour back into what could be a quite dark and heavy story. Inej is just really cool, and a strong female lead in a gang full of men. Where the book is set is also really interesting, The Barrel is a town full of gangs and crime in a fantasy setting, I can’t wait to see how they portray it in the TV show. I would definitely recommend this book, especially since they are currently making a Netflix show at the moment, so get reading. I hope you are all well and staying safe, if all goes to plan there will be another book review next week. You can subscribe via email so that you get a notification when I post new reviews.

Happy New Year

Since it’s new years eve and I promised a blog post before Christmas, I thought it was only right for me to post, so i’m going to look back at what I’ve read this year. From the point of view of my readers, it may look like I haven’t read much at all however, I have read quite a bit, but didn’t have the time to review them, or didn’t think that they were worthy of a review in the first place. So here’s a list of my top 3 books that I have read this year. (reviews of the other 2 will be published in the new year).

Number 3 – The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

This is a wonderful book, and I really enjoyed going back into the fantasy world after reading a few non fantasy novels. Tomi Adeyemi has cleverly created a beautiful fantasy world, very different to our own, but highlighted some of the problems in our society today. This book managed to get an important message across, despite all the things that were going on in the novel. The novel highlighted the issue of racism in our society today, despite the novel not being set in our world and the book is a clever way to educate teens on the faults in our society and can inspire them to make a difference. This book got into my top 3 because of the message it gave, the beautiful world it was set in, and the fascinating characters, who each had a different story to tell.

Number 2 – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This book, I have done a review of already, so if you are interested, you can check that out here http://larawhitfield.co.uk/?p=823. Anyway, I really loved this book, despite not being a huge Sci-Fi fan, but this book ticked all the boxes. I loved all the characters, (especially Aech) and how the book wasn’t just about winning the competition and finding the Easter egg, but also about making the world a better place, whether you’re in the Oasis or in the real world. I longed to meet the characters, and be a part of the oasis, and it makes you wonder what the world could be like in 50 years time. The 80s references and snarky comments added to the overall enjoyment of the book, and is probably the funniest book I’ve read this year, which definitely helped it get to second place. And now, for first place…

Number 1 – The Power by Naomi Alderman

Now this book was an interesting one. Naomi Alderman wrote about a dystopian reality where women are in control, because of an electric jolt released from women’s fingers. And in my opinion, is an accurate depiction of what would’ve happened if this really happened. Obviously, I will be writing a detailed review on this book, but I think I might wait to read it again, as it’s quite confusing in some sections, and I’d like to read it again anyway. The book wasn’t a nice one, some of the content was upsetting, in fact it was quite horrible, but her brilliant ideas, and execution of the book was incredible. This novel really makes you think about our society and the patriarchy. I know that swapping gender roles or who’s in charge is not an original idea, but again, the execution was great, and done very cleverly. Despite the book losing some traction towards the end, it was an amazing book to have read, it was a tough one to get through, so when I finished i, it felt like an accomplishment, and I’ve never read anything like it before. Also, the book received very high praise from Margaret Atwood, which is possibly one of the highest forms of praise possible (I’m joking…well, not really). Anyway, I’ll go on forever about this book if I carry on talking about it, but a detailed review will be published, once I have refreshed my memory.

By the way, these are not reviews of the books, I am aware that I have been very vague. I am also aware that not all of these books were published in 2018. In fact, only The Children of Blood and Bone was published in 2018, this is just a list of my 3 favourite books that I have read this year, if you were wondering. Thank you for reading, and stick around for more reviews, especially ones of The Power and The Children of Blood and Bone, they are long overdue. If you would like to be notified when I post book reviews, you can subscribe by email, where it will be delivered straight to your inbox, just go to the contact me page and sign up, it’s as easy as that. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram, I will link them right here. Thank you for reading and Happy New Year, leave your list of favourite books you’ve read this year in the comments…

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Hello again…

Hello, I’m back. I know I have promised many times to update my blog on allotted days, every other week and so on, and I haven’t. So I’m not even going to try, because it doesn’t end well, but I will try and blog as frequently as I can, and not always about books. I might express my opinion on important events, or rant about feminism or school. But the usual book reviews will be posted as frequently as I read new books that I think are worthy of a review. 

I will see you soon in my next post, which I promise will be posted before Christmas, so stick around for that. I also have a Twitter, Instagram and Facebook if you are interested. The links to those are floating around my website. See you soon.

A court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Hello, I’m so sorry it’s been so long. I’ve been on holiday and had school to catch up on so I lost track of time. Anyway, here is your overdue book review.

Link to my review of the first book is here http://larawhitfield.co.uk/?p=698

Anyway, this is the second book in the Sarah J Maas ACOWAR series. I really enjoyed this series overall (review of book 3 will coming soon) however I definitely preferred this book over the first as it got interesting a lot quicker than the first one did. In this book, you meet a lot of new characters, Mor, Cassian, Azriel, Ianthe (can’t remember if you meet her in the first book) and you learn a lot more about Rhysand.

SPOILER ALERT – spoilers from book 1, beware!

At the end of book 1, Feyre succeeds in freeing Tamlin from Amarantha but in doing so she is killed. However, she is resurrected by the High Lords and she lives. Which brings us to the beginning of book 2 where she is back in the Spring Court with Tamlin but not all is well. Despite Feyre now being a high fae (which is really cool) she isn’t happy and suffers from Nightmares and on top of that, her bargain with Rhysand. This book is even more exciting and thrilling than the first and Rhysand’s inner circle of friends are probably the coolest people you’ll ever meet in a book and in real life. This book was hard to put down and I finished it within a matter of days. I’m sorry the review is so short, it’s because I read the book in may and it’s now November so it won’t be in as much detail as my usual reviews. I give this book 8.5 out of 10 stars and thank you for reading, a review of the 3rd book is on its way. Make sure to scroll down for the blurb, summary link, age range and my social media.

If you can’t be bothered to read the book, I found a great summary of it for you, just click on this link http://www.bookseriesrecaps.com/what-happened-in-a-court-of-mist-and-fury/

Blurb: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court – but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people. Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms – and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future – and the future of a world cleaved in two.

NOT FOR YOUNGER READERS 14 YEARS AND OLDER.

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Blog redesign…

Clearly this isn’t a book review, but I just wanted to tell you about the changes that I have made to my blog recently. As you may realise, my blog is now blue and looks very different since the last time you looked. I changed it because I was bored with my old theme and wanted something newer and nicer looking. For those of you who are interested, the theme I changed to is called ‘Veggie Lite’ and is free to download on WordPress themes (I haven’t got the pro version). By the way, this picture will now be my profile picture for all my social media to do with my blog.

What do you think of the new theme, let me know in the comments, you can also tweet me @Njtbbtc, or Instagram message @NJTBBTC or even email me laranjtbbtc@gmail.com (check out my contact me page). There will be a book review tomorrow so keep your eyes open. And don’t forget to subscribe with your email, it’s free.

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl (Daisy’s review)

Today I will not be reviewing a book, in fact, my sister will be. I have a younger sister and she also loves to read. She read Danny the Champion of the World last year and she loved it. So that is what she will be reviewing today. I have decided to let her review a book now and again from today onwards. Hope you enjoy….

danny the champion of the worldBlurb: Danny thinks his dad is the most marvellous and exciting father a boy could wish for. Life is happy and peaceful in their gipsy caravan, until one day Danny discovers his dad has been breaking the law. What’s more, soon Danny has to join his father as they attempt to pull off a daring and devilish plot against horrible, red-faced Mr Victor Hazell . . 

Age: any

Price: £4.99 (or get it from the library)

Hi i’m Daisy, Lara’s younger sister and I enjoy reading aswell,as you may guess. Anyway on to the book

This book is full of humour and is very sweet. I think all of Roald Dahl’s books are amazing but I enjoyed this one due to the way it was written and the story line was awesome. My favourite character was Danny’s dad since he was funny, sweet and held a special secret. Mr Victor Hazell was described well and I loved the part he played in the book because he added some laughter into the story. My favourite part was when Danny found out his dad’s secret and saved him. I also enjoyed how Roald Dahl weaves different stories into this book. Sergeant Samways was very funny in the way he tried moving some peasants onto Mr Hazell’s land and they scratched Mr Hazell’s new silver Rolls-Royce. I could go on and on but I won’t because,  reason 1, it would be a spoiler alert, and reason 2, it would be way too long and no one would read it. Overall I give it a 10 out of 10.

I hope you enjoyed Daisy’s review. Also, if you are a Pokemon/Pokemon Go fan, Daisy’s website is a guide to the Pokemon world, so if you are interested, go and check it out at http://www.daisywhitfield.co.uk.

P.S. I now have a pinterest account so go and check it out at Njtbbtc.

USE IT OR LOSE IT!!

Today’s blog post is slightly different from normal, this blog post is about libraries.

I have been going to the library for as long as I can remember. Going to the library is what got me into books and reading. I used to do this reading challenge in the summer, where you had a poster, and every time you read 2 books, you got the first set of stickers, this carried on until you had read 6 books. I used to look forward to doing this every year, because if you completed it you got a sticker, certificate and some freebies. As I was saying, I don’t think that I would be a book blogger if mum had never taken me to the library.

I know I always include the price of the book but I do use the library a lot. As a book blogger, a library is a very important thing. We have a local library and the council recently majorly reduced the opening hours, which is a huge problem considering I have school and then on the weekend I am busy. This means I don’t have much opportunity to get to the library because often when I get home from school it is closed. If it was open more I would definitely go more.

Libraries are for everyone. Especially people who can’t afford to buy books. Lots of people say we don’t need libraries anymore because of all the technology. Well, that’s not true because what if you can’t afford the technology or don’t have access to it. There is also no risk with buying a book you don’t like. If you pick out a book from the library and hate it, you can just go back and swap it for another one, and it didn’t cost you anything. If your book is overdue and you are an adult then you have to pay a small fine, but that isn’t even the price of a book in a shop.

If you don’t use the library, the council will shut them down and we don’t want that. So if you find that you are bored and it’s raining outside during the holidays, go down to your local library and have a look, it doesn’t take a lot of effort and you may be surprised. Basically, USE IT OR LOSE IT!!

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Hay Festival (Thursday 2nd of June)

13315220_138403179902056_2476331013229078124_nOn Thursday the 2nd of June I was up in Hay-on-Wye at the amazing hay festival, this is an international literature festival that takes place every year, they go to asia, europe, america,etc. Anyway, I went to see the YA shortlist award. Surprisingly all of the authors but 2 and everyone else was funny and likeable, the line up was…

 

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

One by Sarah Crossan

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Asking for It by Louise O’Neill

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

The winner was the book One by Sarah Crossan and I shall be reading and posting a review of this book shortly. I thought it was a great selection of books this year and think that you will enjoy all of them. I have just finished ‘the lie tree’ and ‘am I normal yet’ so reviews of these books will be going up shortly and please tell me if you have read any of the following books and tell me if you like them.

We also went to see a talk with Frances Hardinge – The lie Tree, Lynn Gardner – Rose Campion and Katherine Woodfine – Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow who have all recently written a murder mystery book. They were there talking about what makes a great mystery and so on and I found that really interesting.

Lastly, sorry for such a long blog post, of course, I got my books signed, I mean that is one of the joys of hay festival is going to see authors then getting your books signed, I just feel like the book suddenly feels more precious to you as it is now signed by an amazing and talented author!

P.S. I am now part of the world of social media, so go and follow me on Instagram, I have a public account and my name is….

Instagram Name: NJTBBTC

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Hay Festival!!!

logo-hay-festivalYou may or may not have heard of the hay festival, it is an international literature festival. Anyway, there is a hay festival in Hay-On-Wye, Wales, and I am going to the festival this year. I went last year and there was a great line up, I went to see Chris Riddell, author of Goth Girl and Otteline, Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline, Stardust…. and Michael Morpurgo, author of Listen to the Moon, War Horse. This year there isn’t as good a line up, but I am going up on the Thursday (2nd of June) with my best friend and my mum. Weare going to see Frances Hardinge, author of Cuckoo song (check out my review for it) and the lie tree. Also we are going to see the YA shortlist award that will be announced live at Hay. I am so excited. Who ever wins the YA shortlist award, I will buy the book and write a review on it for you. I will write another blog post after I get back from Hay, tell me in the comments if you are going!!!!!

Coming soon…….

This is not a book review, but it does lead to one.

This is a very exciting thing for me, an author (Chris Morgan) asked me if I would like to read his book, ‘Forestium’ before it is published, obviously I was super excited and agreed. I know have a copy of ‘Forestium’ and I am super excited to read it. After I have read it, I will write a review and by then, the book should be out for everyone to read.

I am super excited about this and cannot wait to tell you guys all about it!! ??

Murder most unladylike by Robin Stevens

51XARzbGkwL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Blurb: When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t.)

Then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She assumes it was a terrible accident – but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove one happened in the first place. 

Age: 10+

Price: £5.00

This is possibly one of my favourite murder mystery of all time. It’s a really enjoyable book and you seem to build a close relationship with the characters in the book. I really enjoyed reading this book. Robin Stevens has written 2 other books in this series, ‘Arsenic for tea’ and ‘First class murder’ I have read ‘Arsenic for tea’ and have bought his latest one ‘First class murder’ and cannot wait to read it. This is quite an easy read and i read it in a day. The only fault I have with this book is the title, it gives away the gender of the murderer and towards the end, because if the title, it is rather obvious who murdered Miss Bell. I give this book 9 out of 10 stars and I hope that you will enjoy it.

The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

61U64pdX1sL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Blurb: Once there was a Fox who lived in a deep, dense forest. For as long Fox could remember, his only friend had been Star, who lit the forest paths for Fox each night. But then one night, Star was not there, and Fox had to face the darkness all alone…

Age: Any

Price: £14.99

I know this isn’t a teen book, but i wanted to review it because it is such a lovely story. This was the sweetest book I read last year. It’s hand illustrated with beautiful pictures on every page, it also won the waterstones book of the year award 2015. My mum’s friend who comes to stay with us every Christmas got us a signed copy. I guarantee you will love this book, and I just really hope you will enjoy and read this book.

Dead Man’s Cove by Lauren St John

Dead-Mans-Cove-HBB31-403x600My friend read this book/series and she asked me if I would review it on my blog, as you can see, I said yes….

Blurb: When orphaned Laura Marlin moves from a children’s home to live with her uncle in Cornwall, she longs for a life of excitement just like the characters in her favourite detective novels.

A real life adventure is on hand as she is deposited at her uncle’s spooky house . . . Why does her uncle, Calvin Redfern, forbid her to go to Dead Man’s Cove? What’s the truth about Tariq, the silent Indian boy who lives with the flamboyant Mukthars? Who is J? Who has left the message in a bottle for Laura to discover? Mysteries abound and who better to solve them than Laura Marlin, ace detective?

Accompanied by her trusty companion, Skye, a three-legged husky, the dog she’s always wanted.

Age: 10+

Price: £5.99

I have read the first 3 or 4 chapters when I was at my friend’s house and I haven’t managed to get hold of a copy since, but from the small amount of the novel I read, I thought it was very good. The novel is a thrilling mystery book, and is hard to put down, as I found out for myself. My friend who has read this book, loves it. If you didn’t know, this book is part of a series with several other books, also Lauren St John has written the very popular horse book ‘One dollar Horse’. Please do have a read of this book as I would love to hear your opinion on the book, and I will make sure to get a copy and finish the book, and hopefully the series. Lauren St John also has a website, here is the link to it…..http://laurenstjohn.com

 

 

 

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien edited by Baillie Tolkien

51NwzhWkqJL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Since it is nearly Christmas, I decided to post about this truly amazing book…..

Blurb:    My dear children, I am more shaky than usual this year. The North Polar Bear’s fault. It was the biggest bang in the world, and the most monstrous firework there has ever been. It turned the North Pole black!

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful colour drawing. They were from Father Christmas, telling wonderful tales of life at the North Pole:

How all the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; How the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining-room; How he broke the moon into four pieces and made the man in it fall into the back garden; How there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house!

From the first note to Tolkien’s eldest son in 1920 to the final poignant letter to his daughter in 1943, this book collects all the remarkable letters and pictures in one enchanting edition.  

Age: Any age, but I suggest you read it to any children under 7 or 8, depending if they are confident readers.

Price: £7.99 – Yes, that is a lot of money for a book, but, all pages are glossy with coloured copies of the hand drawn pictures and letters from Father Christmas, so it is definitely worth the money!

In my opinion the book is fantastic, the tales of life in the North Pole are original and clever, with beautiful hand drawn and coloured pictures of the North Pole and copies of every letter sent, this book would be the perfect present for lovers of ‘The Hobbit’ or ‘Lord of the Rings’ or even a friend, child, sibling or adult, here is the perfect Christmas book. It will please both genders and is a lovely book to relax with at the end of a busy Christmas day! I give this book 10 out of 10 stars and wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Geek Girl by Holly Smale


Blurb:  Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn’t quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did.

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

Price: available on amazon for £3.85, or available in local libraries.

Age: 12+

Everyone was saying amazing things about this book and so I thought I would give it a try and I am so glad that I did. It is now one of my favourite books and I give it 10 stars out of 10, this book is aimed hugely at teenage girls and was published a few years ago, I have read the second book in the series but not the last two yet, so no spoilers please!!!!!!!