Review: Wolf Children Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda

Wolf Children Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda, Illustrated by Yu

Title: Wolf Children Ame & Yuki
Author: Mamoru Hosoda
Illustrator: Yu
Character Design: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Magical Realism, Manga, Young Adult
Publisher: Yen Press (7th April 2014)
Blurb:

When Hana falls in love with a young interloper she encounters in her college class, the last thing she expects to learn is that he is part wolf. Instead of rejecting her lover upon learning his secret, she accepts him with open arms. Soon, the couple is expecting their first child, and a cozy picture of family life unfolds. But after what feels like a mere moment of bliss to Hana,  the father of her children is tragically taken from her. Life as a single mother is hard in any situation, but when your children walk a fine line between man and beast, the rules of parenting all but go out the window. With no one to turn to how will Hana survive?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

WOLF CHILDREN AME & YUKI by Mamoru Hosoda, with art by Yu, is a magical story about love and choices. It is a beautifully illustrated story that follows Hana from college, where she meets a mysterious young man in one of her classes. She is immediately taken with him, and after offering to share her textbook with him the pair grow closer. When he reveals his secret, that he is part wolf, to her Hana is quick to accept him. They soon start a family together and are very happy, until tragedy strikes and Hana is forced to face the future with two small children alone.

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Review: Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt (UK edition; front cover)

Title: Truth or Dare
Author: Non Pratt
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books (1st June 2017)
Blurb:

How far is too far when it comes to the people you love?

Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take. Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you’re willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

TRUTH OR DARE by Non Pratt is a contemporary young adult book set in the UK. It tells the stories of Claire and Sef, who get together and create a YouTube channel designed to raise money for their friend who was very badly injured. They do this by creating alter egos who play a version of truth or dare. The story follows them as they become friends and try to help. The book itself is split into three sections. The first tells the story from Claire’s point of view; the second from Sef’s; and the third section is split between them.

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Review: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

The Names The Gave Us by Emery Lord (UK edition)

Title: The Names They Gave Us
Author: Emery Lord
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books (1st June 2017)
Blurb:

Lucy has her perfect summer planned out: perfect boyfriend, perfect job and quality time with her perfect parents.

Then her mom’s cancer comes back, and suddenly life makes no sense.

Before she knows it, Lucy finds herself agreeing to volunteer as a counselor at a camp for troubled kids, where lives are more different from her own than she could have imagined possible. Here Lucy meets the dashing but mysterious fellow counselor Jones, who will change the way she sees the world forever.

With tragedy hovering at the edges of Lucy’s life, this summer she must find out who she really is and what it means to love.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

THE NAMES THEY GAVE US is the fourth book from Emery Lord. It’s a standalone young adult novel that tells the story of Lucy Hansson. The story takes place over several months – it starts in April and ends in August. When the book starts Lucy already has her summer planned out, but after she returns from prom she learns her mother’s cancer has come back and that changes everything. Her mom talks her into volunteering as a counsellor at a camp for troubled kids, that’s close enough for a weekly visits; hopefully allowing Lucy space to come to terms with everything. There, despite the tragedy hovering on the edges of her life, Lucy meets some great people and makes some wonderful friends.

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Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

Picture of the cover of the UK hardback edition of Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff.

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (UK edition)

Title: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicles, 2)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Voyager (7th September 2017)
Blurb:

From the bestselling author, Jay Kristoff, comes the second book in the Nevernight Chronicle.

Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it.

Her position is precarious, and she’s still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it is announced the Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfill the promise she made on the day she lost everything.

Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

GODSGRAVE is the second book in Jay Kristoff’s wonderful Nevernight Chronicles. It continues Mia Corvere’s story as she seeks revenge on those who slaughtered her family, when she was a child. After the events of the first book, NEVERNIGHT, Mia’s place within the Red Church is precarious; accepted not because of her skill, but because after the slaughter of their members they have need of her. After a confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to fear that there is more going on than she is aware of. After discovering an opportunity to gain her revenge on the men who killed her family, she decides to defy the Red Church.

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Review: Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce

Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce with Julie Holderman, Timothy Liebe, and Megan Messinger. Illusrtared by Eva Widermann

Title: Tortall: A Spy’s Guide
Author: Tamora Pierce with Julie Holderman, Timothy Liebe, and Megan Messinger
Illustrator: Eva Widermann
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books (31st October 2017)
Blurb:

The secrets of Tortall are revealed. . . .

As Tortall’s spymaster, George Cooper has sensitive documents from all corners of the realm. When Alanna sends him a surprising letter, he cleans out his office and discovers letters from when King Jonathan and Queen Thayet first ascended the throne, notes on creating the Shadow Service of spies, threat-level profiles on favorite characters, Daine’s notes on immortals, as well as family papers, such as Aly’s first report as a young spy and Neal’s lessons with the Lioness. This rich guide also includes the first official timeline of Tortallan events from when it became a sovereign nation to the year Aly gives birth to triplets. Part history, part spy training manual, and entirely fascinating, this beautiful guide makes a perfect gift and is ideal for anyone who loves Alanna, King Jonathan, Queen Thayet, Kel, Neal, Aly, Thom, Daine, Numair, and the unforgettable world of Tortall! (Blurb from Amazon.co.uk)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

TORTALL: A SPY’S GUIDE by Tamora Pierce with Julie Holderman, Timothy Liebe, and Megan Messinger is a compilation of information about the Tortall universe, illustrated by Eva Widermann. The guide is split into around ten sections and it contains a variety of information about the Tortall universe, covering events from around the beginning of the reign of Jonathan IV – in effect information covering all the books published (to date) set in the Tortall universe.

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Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz adapted by Eric Shanower and illustrated by Skottie Young

Title: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Marvel’s Oz Comics, 1)
Author: L. Frank Baum
Author: Eric Shanower
Illustrator: Skottie Young
Genre: Classic, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: MARVEL WORLDWIDE, INC (15th April 2014)
Blurb:

OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD!

With Marvel’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, an American fantasy comes to life in a classic comcis retelling! Shortly after its initial publication in 1900, author L. Frank Baum put his children’s literature in context: It was written “solely to please children of today. It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and the nightmares are left out.” Baum died 19 years later, but only after leaving behind a legacy of Oz-inspired fantasy 13 sequels long – a legacy that was augmented by the 1939 MGM picture starring Judy Garland that took an already beloved story and turned it into a cultural institution.

Writer Eric Shanower (Age of Bronze) and artist Skottie Young’s (New X-Men) adaptation is the kind of artistic achievement that proves – if any proof was further needed – that the story of Dorothy and her journey down the mythical yellow brick road is just as magical, entertaining and relevant to the children of today as when it first entranced a generation 110 years ago.

Delving into some of the less familiar elements of Baum’s story, Shanower and Young reveal new and exciting layers – while still translating its most timeless elements.

The Scarecrow’s still looking for a brain, but did you know how it was he got stood up in the cornfield to begin with? The Tin Woodman is still searching for a heart – but for many, his tragically humorous tale of cursed romance has remained untold. Readers whose only exposure to Baum’s mythos is the film will be pleased to discover that Shanower’s script honors the original text. And Young makes his move into the upper echelon of comic artists – a moment his loyal core of fans have been waiting for – with his revelatory work on Shanower’s script. His fearless portrayals of Dorothy, her travling companions, and the alternately dark and charming world of Oz – in particular the Wizard himself – in sum amount to a modern masterpiece.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ by L. Fank Baum in this edition has been adapted by Eric Shanower and illustrated by Skottie Young. It tells a recognisable story to those familiar with the film The Wizard of Oz (1939) but remains true to Baum’s original work, with Shanower and Young still managing to add their own touch to the story. The story follows the story of a girl called Dorothy who lives in the middle of the great Kansas prairies with her aunt and uncle, and her dog Toto. A tornado hits her uncle’s farm and Dorothy gets caught in the house with Toto, which gets blown away and ends up in a fantastical place called Oz.

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Review: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (UK edition)

Title: One Of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books (1st June 2017)
Blurb:

FIVE STUDENTS WALK INTO DETENTION.
ONLY FOUR LEAVE ALIVE.

Yale hopeful BRONWYN has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star COOPER only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad boy NATE is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen ADDY is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider SIMON, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it was no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus is a cross between the film The Breakfast Club (1985) and a who-done-it. It tells the stories of five high school students who end up in detention together and one of them ends up dead. There’s Bronwyn who wants to go to Yale, Cooper who has a promising career in baseball ahead of him, Nate who the gossip mill claims is on probation, Addy the prom queen, and Simon the creator of the notorious Bayview High gossip app. He dies twenty-four hours before he could lift the lid on the other four’s darkest secrets, and the police say it’s no accident.

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Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (UK edition)

Title: Wintersong (Wintersong, 1)
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Titan Books (7th February 2017)
Blurb:

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her spirit and inspired her musical compositions.  Now eighteen, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl must journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds – and the mysterious man who rules it – she soon faces an impossible decision. With time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones is at its heart a fairy story. Eighteen-year-old Liesl has heard stories of the stunning and perilous Goblin King all her life, she even played with him as a child. But as she grew older, she drew further and further away from his magic as she was forced to grow-up. Yet his influence still lingered in her music. When the Goblin King takes her sister, Liesl risks everything to follow her into the Underground to try and win her back. Despite the warnings, Liesl finds herself drawn to the Underground and the Goblin King. With time running out and the old laws against her, Liesl finds herself with an impossible choice.

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Review: The Queen’s Readers edited by Amanda Diehl and Holly Vaughn

The Queen’s Readers: A Collection of Essays on the Words & Worlds of Tamora Pierce ed. by Amanda Diehl and Holly Vaughn

Title:  The Queen’s Readers: A Collection of Essays on the Words & Worlds of Tamora Pierce
Editors: Amanda Diehl and Holly Vaughn
Genre: Anthology, Essays, Fantasy
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (25th August 2004)
Blurb:

Over the course of her career, Tamora Pierce has created two worlds that continue to inspire readers more than 30 years after her first book was published.

In The Queen’s Readers, contributors explore a myriad of topics as only fans can: with love and a critical eye. With more than 30 essays covering topics from feminism to Pierce’s mythical creatures Stormwings, no fictional stone is left unturned.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️ (2 stars)
Review:

THE QUEEN’S READERS: A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS ON THE WORDS & WORLDS OF TAMORA PIERCE edited by Amanda Diehl and Holly Vaughn contains more than thirty essays about Tamora Pierce’s books. The essays cover a variety of topics from the author’s experiences with the book, to feminism and other academic based topics; each essay varies in length. They are described in the introduction as being “by her fans, for her fans.”[1] The collection also contains a foreword by Mark Oshiro about his experiences in the Tamora Pierce fandom where he says fans “want to make sure that people are enjoying the books”[2].

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Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Title: Moxie
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books (21st September 2017)
Blurb:

Vivian Carter is fed up.
Fed up with sexist dress codes.
Fed up with gross comments from guys during class.
Fed up with her high school teachers who let it happen!
But most of all, Viv is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mum was a punk rock Riot Grrrl, inspiring Viv to create MOXIE a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her class mates.

She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond and begin to spread the MOXIE message:
MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

And before Viv knows it, she has started a girl revolution.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

MOXIE by Jennifer Mathieu tells the story of high schooler Vivian Carter who lives in East Rockport, Texas. Vivian is fed up with certain attitudes that seem to permeate East Rockport High School: the sexist dress code and the gross comments some of the guys make during class – and, to make matters worse, the teachers let them get away with it. Vivian is used to following the rules and being ‘good’, but the things she sees happening in her high school make her more and more uncomfortable. Inspired by her mum’s love of the punk rock Riot Grrrl movement, Vivian creates MOXIE – an anonymous feminist zine – that resonates with other girls who are just as unhappy as she is.

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