Review | Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

artemisfowlTitle: Artemis Fowl (2001)
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publisher: Puffin
Read: 7th – 10th April 2018
Genre: children’s; fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Twelve-year-old villain, Artemis Fowl, is the most ingenious criminal mastermind in history. His bold and daring plan is to hold a leprechaun to ransom. But he’s taking on more than he bargained for when he kidnaps Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance Unit). For a start, leprechaun technology is more advanced than our own. Add to that the fact that Holly is a true heroine and that her senior officer Commander Root will stop at nothing to get her back and you’ve got the mother of all sieges brewing!” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner’s Crime (2015)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Read: 6th – 12th January 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy/dystopia
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust… While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Circe by Madeline Miller

Title: Circe (2018)
Author: Madeline Miller
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 19th April 2018
Read: 4th – 13th March 2018
Genre: fantasy; mythology; retelling
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft. When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home. There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. Breathing life into the ancient world, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

madamebovaryTitle: Madame Bovary (1856)
Author: Gustave Flaubert
Translator: Lydia Davis
Publisher/Edition: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition
Read: 20th – 27th January 2018
Genre: classics; French classics
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment and the consequences are devastating. Flaubert’s erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: ‘Madame Bovary, c’est moi’.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

girlfromeverywhere.jpgTitle: The Girl from Everywhere (2016)
Author: Heidi Heilig
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Read: 13th – 16th February 2018
Genre: fantasy; young-adult; historical fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was 1774, though not for very much longer.

Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times – although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix’s father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in question… Nix has grown used to her father’s obsession, but only because she’s convinced it can’t work. But then a map falls into her father’s lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it’s that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Carol by Patricia Highsmith

carolTitle: Carol/The Price of Salt (1952)
Author: Patricia Highsmith
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Read: 21st – 24th February 2018
Genre: romance; LGBTQ
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

“Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when a beautiful, alluring woman in her thirties walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. Therese is an awkward nineteen-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn’t love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol’s world, she soon realises how much they both stand to lose… 

First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of Salt, Carol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of fifties’ New York.”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

upsideTitle: The Upside of Unrequited (2017)
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Penguin
Read: 11th – 13th February 2018
Genre: young-adult; contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly is always careful. Better to be careful than be hurt. But when Cassie gets a new girlfriend who comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick, everything changes. Will is funny, flirtatious and basically the perfect first boyfriend. There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid, the awkward Tolkien superfan she could never fall for… right?”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | How Not to Be a Boy by Robert Webb

hownottobeaboyTitle: How Not to Be a Boy (2017)
Author: Robert Webb
Narrator: Robert Webb
Publisher: Canongate
Read: 8th January – 16th February 2018
Genre: non-fiction; memoir
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

“RULES FOR BEING A MAN: Don’t Cry; Love Sport; Play Rough; Drink Beer; Don’t Talk About Feelings. But Robert Webb has been wondering for some time now: are those rules actually any use? To anyone? Looking back over his life, from schoolboy crushes (on girls and boys) to discovering the power of making people laugh (in the Cambridge Footlights with David Mitchell), and from losing his beloved mother to becoming a husband and father, Robert Webb considers the absurd expectations boys and men have thrust upon them at every stage of life. Hilarious and heartbreaking, How Not To Be a Boy explores the relationships that made Robert who he is as a man, the lessons we learn as sons and daughters, and the understanding that sometimes you aren’t the Luke Skywalker of your life – you’re actually Darth Vader.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

languageofthornsTitle: The Language of Thorns (2017)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Illustrator: Sara Kipin
Publisher: Orion Children’s Group
Read: 27th – 28th January 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns. Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price. Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, no. 1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love. Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans of the Grishverse. This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them beautifully illustrated with art by Sara Kiplin that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.” (Synopsis from the publisher)
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Review | Princess Diaries: Take Two by Meg Cabot

Title: Princess Diaries: Take Two (2001)
Author: Meg Cabot
Narrator: Anne Hathaway
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Read: 10th – 11th January 2018
Genre: young-adult; contemporary
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Fourteen-year-old Mia Thermopolis is still struggling to come to terms with the fact that she’s a princess – and heir to the throne of Genovia! But when she announces on national TV that her mum is pregnant by her algebra teacher and plans to marry him, a right-royal fuss results! Because now Mia’s totally out-of-control Grandmere is all set to plan the year’s biggest society wedding, with every A-list celeb invited. But will the bride and groom even turn up? And how can Mia find out the true identity of her mysterious secret admirer?” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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