Saturday, March 21, 2015

Exciting yet Scary News!

I am excited, yet apprehensive, to say that I have finally taken the plunge and transferred my blog to WordPress. I thought it was about time I created my own domain and shook things up a bit. Having focused on books for so long, I was keen to branch out and blog about some other elements of my life that I know will be useful to others. For example, my new obsession with planning/organising.

I will be sad to leave Blogger as it has served me well over the years and has done better than I had ever expected. For first-time bloggers it is the perfect tool into the blogging world with it's user-friendly interface and manageable coding. 

However, the time has come to say goodbye. Just to let you all know - I currently have NO IDEA what I am doing over on WordPress and am predicting countless hours spent pouring over instruction guides and self-help books. 

While I try my best to deepen my geekability please check out what I have created so far. All my book posts have been transferred and you can still expect the usual eclectic book recommendations. And you never know, you might just find another amazing product or idea you weren't expecting. (FYI, these will always be related to well-being and happiness). 

Thank you all so much for following me here and I hope to see many of you over at my new domain :)

Click Below To Follow

Read. Rest. Relax

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Geek Girl : All That Glitters by Holly Smale

"My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek." The fourth book in the award-winning GEEK GIRL series. Harriet Manners has high hopes for the new school year: she's a Sixth Former now, and things are going to be different. But with Nat busy falling in love at college and Toby preoccupied with a Top Secret project, Harriet soon discovers that's not necessarily a good thing...

 I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review. 

Star Rating

Holly Smale does it again!! I absolutely adore the Geek Girl series and every time I read one I have wonderful flashbacks to my youth. I was the kid who LOVED school; the lessons, the books, the teachers, the friendships. Today, I often find myself reminiscing with friends and wishing that I could go back in time for a day to watch my 15 year old self. Reading the tales of Harriet Manners is the closest I will ever get to reliving my youth (unless someone finally invents time travel) but that is good enough for me. This brilliant series by Holly Smale not only reminds me of my own time spent in school, but of the books I used to read when I was younger - Jacqueline Wilson, The Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley High (all classics may I add).

Once again, this story is  full of more fascinating facts that will delight and surprise you. It often makes me wonder where Holly Smale gets them all from. I like to think she has a room in her house full of encyclopedias entitled 'random crap'.

'If you had a million snow crystals and compared two of them every second, you'd be there for nearly a hundred thousand years before you found two that matched.'

In this fourth-book, in the award winning series, Harriet Manners finds herself in sixth form, struggling to make new friends and learning the hard way that school life can be brutal. In this installment I feel that Holly Smale has really cemented Harriet's character and allowed her to find her voice. Harriet is witty, sarcastic and unceasingly funny and there were many occasions that I found myself laughing out loud (always a sure fire way to make yourself look insane to innocent bystanders).Holly Smale deals with the theme of friendship in a light-hearted yet meaningful way. The plot line is one that will resound with it's teen readers and I am sure many will admire the way Harriet deals with the challenges that face her. 

'If with every act of kindness, we shine a little brighter and the darkness gets a little lighter. With every type of friendship, space gets a little smaller and we get a little closer.'

Before I sign off, I can't end the post without quoting an extract from Holly Smale for all the book lovers out there. I leave you with this... 

'With my curtains shut and my bedroom door closed, I've devoured words like never before: buried myself in books and submerged myself in stories. I've read during breakfast, lunch and dinner' until the sun's come up and gone down and come up again. And not just fact books. I've fought dragons, attended balls and chased a whale. I've won wars, lost court cases, travelled India, ridden broomsticks and stranded myself on numerous islands. I've died a dozen times. Because here's the thing about a book: when you pick up a story, you put down your own. For a few precious moments, you become somebody else. Their memories become your memories; your thoughts turn into theirs Until, page by page, line by line, you disappear completely.' 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Filofax Club

BREAKING NEWS: I am deviating from the usual book posts to introduce a new obsession of mine - planning!

The past couple of months have been very stressful and I have recently been re-evaluating how I spend my time (most of it being at work or thinking about work). Deciding it was time for a change, I took the plunge and bought a 'personal sized' Filofax from Staples. Little did I know this would be the start of an unhealthy stationary addiction but it is good to have hobbies right? (I shall keep telling myself this).

I decided that I would use my Filofax to plan ahead, making sure I designate time for hobbies, exercise and relaxation as well as work. Following some research on Pinterest, I discovered that 'filofaxing' is actually a crafty hobby in itself and I have consequently enjoyed many afternoons printing my own inserts, decorating and making personalised dividers.

So far I have created the following sections: To Do, Blog, Weekly Plan, Notes and Health. 

Having always enjoyed 'making things' I have recently rekindled my relationship with paper crafts, making my own cards and starting a gratitude scrapbook. This is a great way to relax, take time for yourself and appreciate the little things in life. I had no idea there were so many products out there! I may well need to go on a stationary buying ban following this weekends outing. I found some great washi tapes in The Works and Paperchase and Wilkinsons have a fab selection of post-its. 

I have found weekly planning a real eye opener into work-life balance. As I transferred information over from my 'work diary' I realised just how much time I spend thinking and planning things around work. The realisation that I should be thinking and planning things around LIFE was overwhelming. I now use the weekly section of my filofax to pre-plan dinner with friends, social events and time to just enjoy my hobbies. I have come to realise that if I don't write them down I won't do them. I had fallen into that trap of getting up, going to work, coming home and slumping in front of the television because it was easy. It sounds daft, but I have learned that if I write a to-do list to read a book that evening then I will read a book that evening. If I make a note to leave for work half an hour later than usual then I will spend some time relaxing in the morning instead of rushing straight out the door. 

 I recently read a life changing book by a psychotherapist named Susan Balfour entitled 'Stress Control'. I can honestly say this was the best book I have ever read and it has definitely succeeded in changing my way of thinking. As Susan states, YOU are the most important person there is and you should spend more time doing what you want to do rather than what you think you 'should do'.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, Twylla isn't exactly a member of the court. She's the executioner. 
As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla's fatal touch, avoids her company. But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla's been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen. However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla's problems. 
The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review.

Star Rating

This debut novel by Melinda Salisbury is masterfully written and brings a fresh twist to YA fantasy fiction. I had not read anything like this before and was completely compelled from beginning to end. Many of those who read stories do so in order to escape the realities of the real world. This is certainly one of those stories and Melinda Salisbury successfully transports the reader into the dark, yet compelling, world of her imagination. 

The Sin Eater's Daughter tells the story of Twylla, a girl who is led to believe she is a Goddess embodied and has the power to poison those in the Kingdom with one touch. Betrothed to the prince, she leaves her family behind to live in the royal castle alongside the Queen and her beloved son, Merek. The Queen is desperate to continue the royal bloodline and to strike down anyone who threatens her Kingdom, Lormere. In order to keep Twylla safe, the Queen hires a guard, Lief, from an opposing kingdom who's arrival changes everything! Soon, Twylla begins to fall in love with Lief and tries her best to fight it. Plunged into a frenzy of emotions, Twylla has some important decisions to make. What is she willing to do to save her kingdom? Who will she choose?

Twylla is an extremely likeable protagonist; her dilemmas became my dilemmas and I was desperate for this doomed young woman to be happy. The extent of the Queen's wickedness was revealed drip by drip throughout the story and led to one of the most shocking endings I have read in a while! The last few chapters of this magnificent story are filled with betrayal, heartbreak and treachery. The ending leads on brilliantly to a sequel and I cannot wait to read it.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Lennie Walker, seventeen, Wuthering Heights obsessed, clarinet player, band geek. Also hopeless romantic, prone to scattering poems all over town and as of four weeks ago, sisterless...

A heart-breaking, heart-lifting, utterly compelling and completely unforgettable novel about first love and first loss.

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review. 

Star Rating

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson is a beautifully written book which will particularly appeal to fans of John Green. It tells the story of Lennie Walker, a teenage girl, who struggles to deal with the recent death of her sister, Bailey. The reader is taken on a journey of love, loss and grief as Lennie battles with the emotions inside her. Jandy Nelson explores the complexities of loss through Lennie's relationships after Bailey's sudden death. She meets, and falls head over heels for a boy in her band class but how can she be feeling love when she is supposed to be grieving? This question weaves itself throughout many of Lennie's erratic actions and decisions. Although I didn't agree with many of Lennie's choices throughout the book, I completely understood them. 

One of the most compelling parts of this book are the poems Lennie leaves scattered around as she struggles to deal with the loss of her sister. The author, Jandy Nelson, has an extraordinary way with words and, before writing this book, had only ever written poetry. The poems appear on different surfaces (music note paper, trees, walls, paper cups) at the beginning of every chapter and are successful in connecting emotionally with the reader.

'Bailey grabs my hand and pulls me out the window into the sky, pulls music out of my pockets. "It's time you learned to fly," she says, and vanishes.' (Found on a lollipop wrapper on the trail to the Rain River.)

With Jandy Nelson's new book 'I'll Give You the Sun' now available to buy in stores, Walker books kindly asked me to take part in their Jandy Nelson promotion. I recently received not one but THIRTY-TWO copies of this amazing book to 'drop' around London. This is easier said than done as I learned this weekend. Yesterday I went for lunch in London with my sister and thought I would take six copies of The Sky Is Everywhere to drop around town. Fast forward three hours and I was STILL lugging them around in my handbag. Why? I hear you ask. Well, London folk can, at times, be too neighborly; particularly when they are chasing after you saying "Madam, you've forgotten your book!" I didn't have the heart to tell people I meant to leave them there so with a smile and a thank you, back into the handbag they went. However,  I did eventually manage to subtly leave five copies in and around central London. So if you find one of my books (notes tucked inside) please drop me a line on Twitter. I would love to know where they end up!  

'Years ago, I was crashed in Gram's garden and Big asked me what I was doing. I  told him I was looking up at the sky. He said, "That's a misconception, Lennie the sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet."

Buy Now

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Wrap Up

With one of my New Year's Resolutions being to make more time for reading/writing I have decided to post a monthly wrap up each month. Many other bloggers put me to shame by reading 20+ books each month but, being a full time teacher, I unfortunately do not have time for this. 

However, I am proud of my own personal achievement of reading five books this month. Who knows, maybe in February (with half term on the horizon) I can increase this to ten. I also attended Scholastic's YA and Children's Book Blogger Feasts this month and have, consequently, added even more amazing books to my TBR. 

What I Read This Month


Just In Case by Meg Rosoff - Review Here


Trouble by Non Pratt - Review Here

The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire - Review Here

 I received 'Jedi Academy' at the Scholastic Blogger Event and picked it up one evening for a quick, easy read. Having never seen any of the Star Wars films (shock horror) I was able to follow the plot with relative ease. 
Jedi Academy is the tale of Roan, a young boy who, more than anything, wishes to follow in his father's footsteps and earn a place at Pilot School. Unfortunately, this wish does not come true and Roan fears he is doomed to attend 'Plant School' until, one day, he receives a letter detailing his acceptance into Jedi Academy. At Jedi Academy, Roan learns how to use 'the force' and enters into a light saber tournament. 
This book has a quirky, cool layout involving comic strips, posters, emails, report cards and pages from Roan's exercise books. The pages include scribbles, drawings and crossings out which all help to make the reader feel that it is a young child directly telling his story. I read this book in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed the ride through Star Wars heaven. 

February TBR

Having, thankfully, discovered Jeff Lemire this month I asked my sister (who is an avid comic fan) if she had any of his other work. One day later this arrived at my door and I couldn't be more excited to dive right in. 


My January into February read will continue to be 'The Bell Between Worlds' by Ian Johnstone. I am not really a lover of fantasy novels, however I am persevering with this one as it has been compared to the likes of J.K Rowling's Harry Potter. Comment below if you have started 'The Mirror Chronicles Series' and let me know your thoughts. 

I also MUST read 'The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury' this month as I am hearing great things and the cover is to die for! I was lucky enough to meet Melinda at a blogger event and enjoyed hearing the inspiration behind her novel (plus a recount of her 'Dino Snores' stay at The Natural History Museum).

There are a few books that have been on my TBR for a long time and, fingers crossed, February is the month to tick them off. These include...

The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire

As an underwater welder on an oilrig off the coast of Nova Scotia, Jack Jospeh is used to the immense pressures of deep-sea work. Nothing, however could prepare him for the pressures of impending fatherhood. As Jack dives deeper and deeper, he seems to pull further and further away from his young wife and their unborn son. Then one night, deep in the icy solitude of the ocean floor, something unexplainable happens. Jack has a mysterious and supernatural encounter that will change the course of his life forever.

Star Rating 

I have only recently gotten into graphic novels having thoroughly enjoyed 'Seconds' by Bryan Lee O'Malley and the infamous 'Saga' series. Last week I popped down to my favourite Geeks Emporium 'Forbidden Planet' on Shaftesbury Avenue and picked up this copy of 'The Underwater Welder' by Jeff Lemire. Being a newbie to graphic novels, I had not heard of this author (philistine I hear you say) and was, therefore, initially drawn in by the cover. The premise of this story sounded very interesting and I am definitely more of an indie comic lover than a superhero lover. 

In short, this graphic novel was everything I hoped for and more. The plot was mesmerising and will stay with me long after finishing. Jack, an underwater welder on an oilrig, lives with his 8 months pregnant wife, Suzie. At the beginning of the story we hear Suzie begging Jack to stay and not attend another two week work trip. Jack is obsessed with work (we later realise to fill his mind with activity so as not to dwell on the death of his father all those years ago). Whilst underwater, Jack starts to hear voices and whisperings linked to a pocket watch his father gave him before he died. It is from this moment onwards that Jack's state of mind starts to take a dip. Whose are the voices and what do they want with him? What really happened to his father that Halloween eve? As Jack falls deeper into despair, he, unwillingly, distances himself from his pregnant wife. Trapped in memories of the past, Jack sets out to discover the truth. 

Jeff Lemire's skill as an author/illustrator lies in his use of flashbacks between past and present. Towards the end of the story, Jack begins to visit scenes from his past and speaks to his former self to find out the truth behind his father's untimely death. This gives the novel a brilliant 'film-like' quality as the shocking past is revealed to the reader at the same time it is to Jack. 

The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire addresses some dark themes such as divorce, betrayal, alcoholism and death. Although the illustrations weren't the best I've seen, the scratchy, loose element really added to the haunting undertones of the story and fitted the characters well. Lemire included some amazing double page spreads that work so well in graphic novels as a reminder to the reader that stories can be told just as well without words. Along with the dark, poignant themes, Lemire has woven in moments of hope, longing and love and, as stated in the blurb, 'there is nothing more wondrous than the human heart.'

Buy Now

Sunday, January 25, 2015

How to get the best out of reading with children

How to get the best out of reading with children

As winter nights draw in , Mark O’Donnell, the new headmaster of St Martin’s Ampleforth, the prep school at Ampleforth College has provided some top tips on reading with young children.
Mark says, “Unlocking a child’s imagination through reading enriches their vocabulary and gives them the opportunity to form opinions and articulate their thoughts.
“Recent research undertaken at Harvard has highlighted the significance of reading to and with children before asking them about what they have read and discussing the ideas, context and relationships that stories provide. 
“By encouraging children to articulate their ideas you are providing them with opportunities to gain new insights and develop their ability to form opinions and to think ever more effectively.”

Mark’s tips based on nearly 20 years’ experience teaching ages 3-12:
  1. Make reading a part of your family life – Always encourage reading, whether it is on the back of a cereal box at breakfast, or road signs on the way to school.
  2. Indulge their interests – Children are more likely to stay engaged if the book is on a topic they are interested in, it also helps to see what topic they are most enjoying at school and find a book to match it. 
  3. Get comfortable! – A quiet, cosy environment is perfect for some independent reading so your child can concentrate, as well as reading together.
  4. Be sure to ask questions – To keep them interested in the story and encourage them to reflect on what they’re reading, ask your child what they think will happen next or where you got to the previous night to make sure they’re engaged.
  5. Read again and again – It’s important that you encourage your child to re-read favourite books and poems to help build up fluidity and confidence.
  6. Rhyme and repetition – Books and poems which include rhyme and repetition are great for encouraging your child or children to join in and remember the words.
Mark adds: “There are also marked benefits for the parents when they read with their child. It reminds them of how they enjoyed being read to and sharing this time together further strengthens the bond between a child and a parent. It also allows parents to become very aware of their child’s social, emotional, and intellectual development.”

Just In Case by Meg Rosoff

Every minute of every day, a million things happen...
The day David Case saves his brother's life, his whole world changes. Suddenly, every moment is fizzing with what ifs, and it's up to David to outwit fate. Or try to.
He changes his name and the way he looks. He leaves home and finds himself caught up in a series of strange and extraordinary misadventures. He even falls in love. 
But is David really in control of his life? And if he isn't - who is?

Star Rating

Having read and loved 'How I live Now' by Meg Rosoff I thought I would pick up another of her YA titles at my local charity bookstore. It is unlike me to leave a bad review, mainly because if I dislike a book I won't read it through to the end. This book I did persevere with however, unfortunately, I wish I hadn't.

In short, this book was just plain weird! At the beginning of the story, David saves his baby brother from falling out a window. Following this incident, David is overcome with anxiety and begins worrying about every tiny aspect of his life. 

'There were dark corners he didn't dare enter, creaking catacombs lined with the corpses of doubt.'

Filled with anxiety, David decides to change his name and, consequently, life itself. It is from this point on that the story became very strange for me, and not in a good way. 
For example, David, now known as Justin Case (awful pun), meets an older woman at a charity store who clothes him in a bizarre vintage outfit and takes numerous photographs of him. Next we learn that David, (Justin) has an imaginary greyhound that follows him everywhere. Riiiight! If this wasn't weird enough, David  then leaves home to try and avoid fate (who has been leaving the reader cryptic messages throughout). Randomly hanging out at the airport, David avoids fate once more when he manages to survive a plane crash. No he wasn't actually on board a plane, just chilling in the terminal when a plane crashes through the roof. Yep, you heard right. A plane crashes through the roof and David avoids death by merely stepping out the way. 

I could carry on but I won't. I kind of understand what Meg Rosoff was trying to do with this book and it does give some kind of insight into mental health. Although anxiety is more prevalent in girls than boys it was interesting to read it from a boy's perspective and the bizarre plot makes you realise that the mind is a powerful thing that can take control of your entire being. 

Meg Rosoff quotes, 'Peter couldn't imagine life with a brain so peculiarly wired, but it made compulsive viewing.' and this sums up my feelings towards this book. Peculiarly wired but, unfortunately, not compulsive reading! 

Scholastic Blogger Event plus Exciting 90s Kid News

This weekend I had the privilege of being invited to not one but two of Scholastic's Blogger Book Feasts. I had an amazing time, met some lovely people and was introduced to some brilliant new titles coming out next year. I was very lucky to come away with proofs of many of these titles and my problem now lies in what to read first.

I also had the opportunity to meet some of the authors and listen to their first hand experiences of how they got into writing and what sparked their ideas. Both Liz Pichon (the author of Tom Gates) and Cerrie Burnell (from CBeebies) were charismatic and informative and have almost inspired me to write my own book! 

The rest of this post will take you back to the old school.


First up is Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials series. I was shocked to hear that Northern Lights, was first published in July 1995. (Wow that makes me feel old). To celebrate 20 years of these incredible books, Scholastic are re-releasing these beautiful paperback editions in March 2015. 

My next piece of 90's nostalgia news is hugely exciting and almost made me wee a little bit when I found out. GOOSEBUMPS IS BACK! Not only is there a film coming out in 2016, starring Jack Black, but Scholastic in the UK and USA are teaming up to promote a re-release of the books. With five titles out in March, and many more to follow, I couldn't be more excited. The covers have been given a fresh new look set to scare a whole new generation of kids. I was lucky enough to be given a copy of 'Stay Out of the Basement' which I will be devouring in due course. There will also be a biography detailing the life and works of R.L Stine and some film tie-in editions out in March 2016.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

When your TBR list becomes OUT OF CONTROL (blog update)

After an amazing (but busy) Christmas, New Year and birthday weekend I finally had some spare time this weekend to read and update my blog.

With a love of reading I decided to start a blog in 2013 as a way of sharing my love of books with others. Soon this became more than just a hobby and authors/publishers very kindly started sending me shit tons of free books in the post. Believe me, for a reading lover, receiving free books in the post is like Christmas coming round time and time again.

However, I am now finding myself with a TBR list that is becoming OUT OF CONTROL. 

Being a full time primary teacher (and head of year), it is difficult to find time to do anything other than work. The life of a teacher is HARD and, in the Winter months, I find myself becoming more and more exhausted to the point where I can literally go to bed at 8pm and sleep through till my alarm goes off at 6am the next morning. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching, but the work/life balance controversy that is so often debated in the media is becoming a real issue for many of us teachers out there. 

For this reason, I have neglected my blog recently but my New Years resolution is to make time for things I enjoy doing and one of those things is reading and sharing this passion with you guys. This year, I have set myself the goal of reading 70 books and I hope to upload reviews of as many of these as I can.

Exciting Book Related Stuff

Scholastic have kindly invited me to their Book Bloggers Feast next weekend. I recently attended my first bloggers event at Walker Publishing House and had a great time listening to snippets from this year's upcoming YA titles. With many publishers now organising their events on a Saturday it means I can attend lots more book blogger functions. :)

I would also like to say a massive THANK YOU to Harper Collins who recently sent me a10th anniversary hardback edition of Looking for Alaska by John Green. Not only is this copy GOLD but it includes an author's introduction and deleted scenes. My original review of Looking for Alaska ca be found here but I will certainly be re-reading this bad boy at some point this year. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Snappy Birthday by Laura Ellen Anderson

When a very special invitation arrives at number 24, the children are filled with excitement. A birthday party? What fun!
But their next door neighbour is not all he seems. For a start, he has a large snout and very sharp teeth not to mention scaly skin and an incredibly long tail...
Yes, there's no two ways about it - their neighbour is most definitely a crocodile! Erm, crocodiles don't eat children, do they?
An energetic, laugh-out-loud picture book.

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review.

Star Rating

With a particular love for lengthy chapter books, my Year 2 class haven't wanted to read many picture books this year. However, when Snappy Birthday turned up in the post they were desperate to read it that very day and the upshot was... they loved it! 

One day a birthday invitation turns up at number 24. The children are invited to their neighbour's house for tea and who doesn't like a party? So off they set to the house next door where they discover a CROCODILE standing tall. Throughout the story, the crocodile chases the children and tries desperately to eat them. My class weren't sure if this was a game or whether the crocodile was really a villain. Eventually we discovered that this was indeed an evil crocodile. How would the children escape?

This book was fun, colorful and beautifully illustrated. The rhyming was well done and added to the flow of the story. Humorously, my class this year have a thing for cake. Many suggestions are related to cake. When asked what we might call our reading groups, one boy suggested cakes. I wasn't convinced that the 'carrot cake group' was the best name for it. With this cake infatuation in mind, my class were particularly delighted when the crocodile was stopped by "THE BIGGEST CAKE YOU HAVE EVER SEEN."
I should add here that the children wanted to give this book 4 1/2 stars. The 1/2 star was taken away because the front cover and blurb "gave the game away". One little boy was particular adamant that this book would have been much better if the crocodile had been a surprise, and I must admit I completely agree with him! Another child suggested that there should have been some other scary creatures at the party such as monsters and trolls. So we ask you kindly Bloomsbury, any chance of a part two??

Trouble by Non Pratt

HANNAH is smart and funny. She's also fifteen and pregnant. 
AARON is the new boy at school. He doesn't want to attract attention. 
So why does Aaron offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah's unborn baby?
Growing up can be trouble but that's how you find out what really matters.

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review. 

Star Rating

It is almost embarrassing to admit that you LOVE a book that has sperm swimming all over the front cover but this debut novel from Non Pratt deserves nothing other than five stars. 

Trouble tells the story of two protagonists - Hannah and Aaron. Written in the first person, the story flits back and forth between the two teens who tell their version of events in the most believable of voices. Hannah is promiscuous, loud and pregnant. Aaron is shy, reserved and quiet. And it is when these two differing characters come together that you realise true friendships are found in the most unexpected of places. 

Non Pratt's skill as a writer lies in her ability to write as a 15 year old  with utter credibility. She has managed to capture the thoughts and behaviours of teenage friendship groups perfectly and, whilst reading, I found myself relating events back to my own youth spent hanging out at the park and attending house parties.

Although the story is centered around Hannah and her unplanned pregnancy, it was Aaron that I was drawn to as we saw the events unfolding through his eyes. The teens meet at an old people's home, a place that Aaron often goes to visit his friend Neville. It is made clear that Aaron comes here each week to try and right a wrong that he committed several years ago. Aaron is wracked with guilt, and it is with this mission to atone for his sins, that he offers to be the father to Hannah's unborn baby. What follows is exactly what you would expect from two teenagers in an unusual and unique situation. 

Trouble is a light read with heavy issues that are dealt with exquisitely. Non Pratt has managed to weave in many important messages, particularly for teenage girls, relating to sex, pregnancy, abortion, relationships, birth and death. This would be a fantastic book to use in schools and I hope, with the help of this review, that it makes it's way out there into the big wide world of the 'Nonn-readers'. (I'm getting very good at these end of review puns.)

 Buy Now