Archive | October, 2018

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne *Reading Challenge Recap*

31 Oct


Challenges – #3/691 Ultimate Teen Book Guide, #3/782 Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition.

Synopsis – Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

My original thoughts from back in 2012 can be found here.

Rating – I rated this 5/5


Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – Book of Fairy Tales – Angela Carter, Private Peaceful – Michael Murpurgo (Challenge Book), The Book Thief – Markus Zusak (Challenge Book)

There is also a section on prison books which are listed below.

  • Furnace:Lockdown – Alexander Gordon Smith
  • Guantanamo Boy – Anna Perera
  • Incarceron – Catherine Fisher
  • Papillion – Henri Charriere
  • The Colditz Story – P.R. Reid (Challenge Book)
  • The Prison Runner – Deborah Ellis
  • Inside the Cage – Matt Whyman

The Love Letter – Lucinda Riley * Book Review *

29 Oct


Format – Paperback Book

Synopsis -1995, London.

When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of ninety-five he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, so devastating that it could rock the English establishment to its core . . .

Joanna Haslam is an ambitious young journalist, assigned to cover the legendary actor’s funeral. The great and the good of the celebrity world are there. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind, the contents of which others have been desperate to conceal for over seventy years. As she peels back the veil of lies that has shrouded the secret, she realizes that there are other forces attempting to prevent her from discovering the truth. And they’ll stop at nothing to reach the letter before she does.

My Thoughts – I brought this book earlier this year as I’m really getting into Thrillers and this sounded really good.

This book is about a journalist Joanna who stumbles upon the story of the century but it could cost her everything – her job, her friends, her family, her life. where will she stop to get the scoop of the century.

Although the plot is centred around the Royal Family in the early 90’s there are some strange similarities to the Royal Family today for example an actress potentially marrying into the royal family bears resemblance to Harry and Megan.

This was a very good book, one full of twists and turns and once you thought you had worked the plot out something else would happen blowing the plot wide open again. The ending of the book had me in tears too and its very rare for a book to do this to me! It was a really enjoyable read – one that I was picking up during night feeds and struggling to put down again. This was my first venture into this authors books but I will definitely be reading more!

Rating – 4/5

Halfheros – Ian W Sainsbury

26 Oct


Series – Halfhero #2

My thoughts on Healfhero #1

Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – The world’s only superhero was discovered in 1969. No others were ever found. Until now.

With Station destroyed and their friends dead, might Daniel and Abos finally be allowed some peace? Yeah, right.

Daniel’s talents are needed by a UN department taking on the bad guys, including rogue halfheroes. Abos is searching for more of her species. She soon finds she’s not the only one looking. There’s a new threat that no one saw coming. And halfheroes are being targeted.

When Daniel goes missing, it’s down to Abos to find out what’s going on and try to stop it. Her only chance of success means risking everything she’s gained since she stopped being The Deterrent.

Meanwhile, Daniel’s staging a breakout from the most secure prison ever built, but what’s waiting for him is even worse. It’s time for Daniel to find out if he’s a halfhero or a real hero.

My Thoughts – As I had enjoyed #1 in the series I downloaded the second book to listen to. This book is about Daniel and what happens after Station was destroyed and what happened to Abos after the events of the last book. This was a really good book again, the plot was really good and the characters were really good too.


I also enjoyed the narration of this book again. It took me forever to get through this but no fault of the book – I decided to have the baby in the middle of the book and as I tend to listen to audiobooks in the car I didnt really go anywhere for a couple of weeks!

I’ve just seen on Amazon that the final book in the trilogy is available so I’ve just added it to my library. The author has also written another series – the World Walker series and I’m going to listen to this aswell as I really enjoyed the writing style!

Rating – 4/5

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak *Reading Challenge Recap*

18 Oct


Challenge – #2/782 Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition

Synopsis – 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

My Thoughts – I read this book back in 2014 and annoying can’t find my thoughts on it! I read this around the same time that the movie came out as I really wanted to watch the movie but wanted to read the book first! From what I remember – and the 5 Stars I’ve put on goodreads for it – it was a really enjoyable book – if you could call it that! I am really into books set during the Second World War and this book was not only set in this time period but was also about books – which is brilliant in my book!

Rating – 5/5 (According to Goodreads)


Ultimate Teen Book Guide – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne (Challenge Book), Number the Stars – Lois Lowry, Summer of my German Soldier – Bette Greene, I Am The Messenger – Markus Zusak (Challenge Book)

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition- Number the Stars – Lois Lowry, Summer of my German Soldier – Bette Green, I am the Messenger – Markus Zusak, Incantation – Alice Hoffman (Challenge Book)

The Borrowers – Mary Norton *Reading Challenge Recap*

17 Oct


Challenge – Ultimate Book Guide #3/672

Series – The Borrowers (I read the series back in 2013 – If you click on the links it will take you back to my original reviews)

Synopsis – The Borrowers live in the secret places of quiet old houses; behind the mantelpiece, inside the harpsichord, under the kitchen clock. They own nothing, borrow everything, and think that human beings were invented just to do the dirty work. Arrietty’s father, Pod, was an expert Borrower. He could scale curtains using a hatpin, and bring back a doll’s teacup without breaking it. Girls weren’t supposed to go borrowing but as Arrietty was an only child her father broke the rule, and then something happened which changed their lives. She made friends with the human boy living in the house…

My Thoughts – I won’t post my thoughts again as the links are above – so if your interested to what I thought at the time then feel free to check out my reviews!

Rating – On average I rated the series 4/5

Recommendations – The Borrowers is the only title listed in the book so the rest of the series is recommended, The Piemakers – Helen Cresswell (Challenge Book), Charlottes Web – E.B. White (Challenge Book)

Asterix Series – Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo *Reading Challenge Recap*

16 Oct


Challenge – Ultimate Book Guide #2/672

Books in the Series – There are 37 books in this series so I’m not going to list them all but I found them all on Wikipedia.

Synopsis – The series follows the exploits of a village of ancient Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They do so by means of a magic potion, brewed by their druid, which gives the recipient superhuman strength. The protagonist, the titular character, Asterix, along with his friend Obelix have various adventures.

My Thoughts – I read a few of this when I was growing up – my dad had a few of these on the shelf and I can also recall borrowing a few out of the library. It has probably been about 15-20 years since I read these so my memory is a little hazy but I wanted to log this for the challenge as read but I do remember the books being very funny in places with really good illustrations. I think it was probably one of the first comic books that I read properly. If I came across these books I’d definitely read them again!

Rating – I’m not going to rate them as it was so long ago but I definitely enjoyed them!

Recommendations – Tintin Series – Herge (Challenge book), Nicholas series – Rene Goscinny and Jean-Jacques Sempe (Challenge book), My Mums Going to Explode – Jeremy Strong (Challenge Book), Horrible Histories Series – Terry Deary (Challenge Book)

Alex Rider Series -Anthony Horowitz * Reading Challenge Recap*

15 Oct



1/672 Ultimate Book Guide

1/691 Ultimate Teen Book Guide

1/782 Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition

Books in the Series

  • Stormbreaker
  • Point Blanc
  • Skeleton Key
  • Eagle Strike
  • Scorpia
  • Ark Angel
  • Snake Head
  • Crocodile Tears
  • Scorpia Rising
  • Russian Roulette
  • Never Say Die

Synopsis – In the number one bestselling series by Anthony Horowitz, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is forcibly recruited into the deadly world of espionage and sent on his first mission. But the teenage spy soon finds himself in mortal danger, and in demand again by MI6. The ever popular Alex Rider series has action, adrenaline and adventure at every turn.

My Thoughts on this series – I read the first three books in this series last year however they didn’t capture my imagination as much as I’d hoped they would. I found them quite samey which was quite unfortunate as I really wanted to enjoy this series. I think that I’d probably try to read them again in the future but I think my kids would probably enjoy them once they get old enough!

Rating – 2.5/5

Recommendations from the Challenges

Ultimate Book Guide – The Power of Five – Anthony Horowitz (Challenge Book), Cherub series – Robert Muchamore (Challenge Book), The Joshua Files: invisible City – M. G. Harris (Challenge Book)

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – The Power of Five – Anthony Horowitz (Challenge book), The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – The Power of Five – Anthony Horowitz (Challenge Book), Empty Quarter – Julia Golding, The Devil’s Breath – David Gilman (Challenge Book)