2.5 stars out of 5.
Fangirl is the 2013 young adult novel written by American author Rainbow Rowell. It follows the freshman year of college for twin sisters Cath and Wren, mainly focusing on Cath’s point of view. Cath is a socially awkward ‘fangirl’ and for many years she has been a devoted writer of Simon Snow fanfiction.
When I first got my hands on this book, I was nervous to pick it up immediately because of how much hype was surrounding it. Literally everywhere I looked that was book related had something fantastic to say about it. I thought that I would be able to relate because I was like Cath – a nerd, a writer of fanfiction, awkward and introverted… But I couldn’t fall in love with this story like I was hoping I would.
5 out of 5 stars.
Based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd, A Monster Calls is a 2011 novel written by Patrick Ness with illustrations provided by Jim Kay. It follows the story of Conor, a thirteen-year-old boy who is plagued by nightmares – but not just any nightmare, the nightmare. Bullied at school and living alone with his ill mother, Conor tries to make the world believe he’s okay. Until the monster comes.
This was an amazing story. And I mean that whole heartedly. I managed to read it in two sittings across one weekend because I was so engrossed by everything. It was beautiful and haunting, and coupled with the artwork by Jim Kay, it created a tale that really struck me.
3 out of 5 stars.
Released as an extension of the indie video gaming franchise Five Nights at Freddy’s, The Silver Eyes is the debut novel written by series creator Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley. It was first published in December 2015 in typical FNaF style – i.e. ahead of schedule and as a complete surprise to everyone keeping tabs on any sort of FNaF updates.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about this story.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Written by Victoria Schwab, ‘A Darker Shade of Magic‘ is the story of Kell and Lila, two very different yet similar people from two very different Londons. There are four worlds and Kell is one of only two people, known as Antari, who can travel between them. In each world, no matter the name of the country, there is always one constant – there is always a city called London. Kell is from Red London, where magic is in perfect balance with power and Kell lives in the palace as an adopted member of the royal family. After making a mistake in the vicious White London, Kell finds himself in Grey London where he meets Lila Bard – a cut-throat and thief trying to find adventure.
2 out of 5 stars
First published back in 2008, Let It Snow is a festive collaboration featuring three stories by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle. Though each story follows a different protagonist and their friends, they all take place in the same town, at the same time and merge towards the end.
This is honestly the worst book I have ever read.
5 out of 5 stars
The Red Pyramid is the first novel in a children’s fantasy series by Rick Riordan first published in 2010. Following a similar theme to his other series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Kane Chronicles follows a pair of preteen siblings as they discover that the gods of Ancient Egypt are very much real and that they are the next generation of their family capable of hosting the gods Isis and Horus. Having to learn how to use their new abilities quickly, it’s up to Carter and Sadie to not only save their father but also the entire world from the Chaos god Set.
Rick Riordan’s books never disappoint me, and this new trilogy looks set to be amazing.
3.5 out of 5 stars
The School for Good and Evil is a 2013 children’s fantasy novel by Soman Chainani. His debut novel, TSFGAE went on to become a New York Times best seller and is the first in a trilogy that concludes sometime in 2015. It follows the story of two young girls named Agatha and Sophie who live in a village where it is common every few years for two opposing children to be kidnapped and never seen again – that is until new fairytale novels are released and those children are the main characters. All her life, Sophie has been waiting to be taken – she ritualised her life to become what she thought was a beacon of good. When the day comes for the children to be kidnapped, Sophie has her wish come true – with the unexpected addition of Agatha – but it is short lived when the two girls are sent to two different places. Both of which they were not expecting. Wannabe-princess Sophie finds herself in the School for Evil. Dark and twisted Agatha finds herself in the School for Good.
This story is all about breaking the conventions of what we perceive to be good and evil, but at times that point gets horribly lost.
4 out of 5 stars
First published in 2010, Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud is the first novel in a (at this point in time) seven book series written by British author Andrew Lane. As the title suggests, it follows the fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes in a time before he met John Watson. The first novel is sees Sherlock’s father sent over to seas to India whilst his mother is ill and his sister is left to care for her. As the oldest male in the house, his brother Mycroft sends Sherlock to spend his summer holidays in a small village near Portsmouth with relatives he can hardly remember. At the same time, a young homeless child named Matty witnesses a dark cloud floating away from a building only to learn that whomever had been inside had been found dead from a mysterious illness. When Sherlock discovers another body under similar circumstances, the two boys team up to discover the truth.
I was left with a fair few questions after reading this book – but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it.
3.9 out of 5 stars
Asylum is a 2013 young adult supernatural-thriller novel written by American author, Madeleine Roux. It is set in the location of New Hampshire College Prep – a college which was established on the site of an abandoned mental asylum. Sixteen-year-old loner Dan Crawford has been sent to attend a summer program for prospective students and soon meets two friends, Abby and Jordan, with whom he discovers the secret of the dorm house. Local whispers and an unlocked off-limits room reveal that their dorm house was once the building used to hold the criminally insane, and as the trio dig deeper into the mysteries surrounding why they were really drawn to this school, a murder takes place in the style of the institutes most famous patient. He’s supposed to be dead though. With no memory of what really happened on that night, Dan begins to question his own sanity and tries to seek the truth before the killer strikes again.
My time reading this novel was quick but each time I picked it up, I did tend to question why I was even reading it.
4.9 out of 5 stars
The Screaming Staircase is the first novel in the Lockwood and Co. supernatural-thriller series written by British author Jonathan Stroud. It was first published in 2013 and follows a trio of teenaged ghost hunters as they try to solve the murder of a young woman they discover in the recesses of an old home in London. They are soon threatened financially and professionally, and finally find themselves with the task of cleansing the most haunted building in Britain in a race against time to find the truth and save themselves. It’s written from the point-of-view of fifteen-year-old Lucy Carlyle, the newest member of Lockwood and Co. whose only other members are the charismatic Anthony Lockwood and his not-so-enthusiastic friend George Cubbins.
I went into this novel with an open mind. The cover stood out to me among all the other YA novels on the shelves at Asda and I was very much in the mood for a good ghost story when I purchased it. Thankfully, the story didn’t disappoint.