Books · Children's Fiction · Fantasy · Reviews · Short Story · Young Adult Fiction · Young Teen Fiction

November Reading – 100 Word Reviews


Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Children’s Books, 2009) ~ 5/5* (A perfect research read for my NaNo project too!!)

Opening line:

I was used to being the hunter.

~

I launched into Ballad without reading it’s predecessor Lament; I loved the Shiver series though so had high hopes.

I wasn’t disappointed as I found myself in a reality where the Fey are ever-present and not as nice as they sometimes seem.

I loved the main characters and not having read Lament was never an issue. When things were mentioned they were asides and explained just enough that you didn’t feel like you were missing information.

I hated the text speak used for Dee’s character. The clever page layout showed the text format making the infuriating spelling entirely unnecessary.

*

Witch Baby And Me by Debi Gliori (Corgi Books, 2008) ~ 2/5* (Though I never completed it)

Opening line:

Wreathed in clouds in the coldest, wettest and most remote part of Scotland is an impossibly steep mountain called Ben Screeeiiighe.

~

I made it to about page 25 of this book before deciding that life was too short to spend time reading things I didn’t like.

If I were 8 years old, I may well have loved the random words in stupid fonts, the unnecessary repetition of things that weren’t funny and the slightly patronising narrative tone. As it is, I am a 24 year old and it annoyed me intensely in the space of 25 pages.

It reminded me heavily of Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire which I detested so if you like Mr Gum you will love this.

*

A Life Unpredicted and Other Stories by Joanne Phillips (Mirrorball Books, October 2012) ~ 4/5*

Opening Line:

The house where my mother lived her whole life stands proudly to the side of a walled rose garden.

~

I don’t always do well with short story collections – I get irritated with all the switching around and usually want to know more about a story (or am left thinking ‘what exactly was the point of that?’ and want the five minutes I spent reading back).

I quite enjoyed this selection though, laughing out loud on more than one occasion – even shedding a tear at the end of one or two.

Every piece is concise and well written and I found myself struck by certain phrases and ideas that hung around in my head long  after I had finished reading.

*

Blackout (Newsflesh #3) by Mira Grant (Orbit Books 2012) ~ 5/5*

Opening Line:

My story ended where so many stories have ended since the Rising: with a man – in this case, my adoptive brother and best friend, Shaun – holding a gun to the base of my skull as the virus in my blood betrayed me, transforming me from a thinking human being into something better suited to a horror movie.

~

I loved Feed and Deadline, the first two books of the Newsflesh Trilogy. The concluding novel did not let me down.

I laughed out loud, cried buckets, had scary nightmares and adored every page. I remembered how much I loved the characters and the world Grant created – scarily believable, hauntingly accurate.  If there were to be a scientifically caused zombie apocalypse I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if things went a similar way to in these novels.

I can’t say much else. It’s the big finale.

Things go boom. Things get dead… and then get back up again.

*

Bewitching the Werewolf by Caroline Hanson. (Host of the Hills Publishing at Smashwords, 2011) 2.5/5*

Opening line:

“I don’t get paid enough to deal with a Werewolf that can’t get laid.”

~

From the title of this I assumed it would be some sort of paranormal romance. Turned out to be less of the romance and more of the ‘jump on the hot, lonely werewolf guy and hump him senseless’ variety of book.

There wasn’t all that much of a story – a bit of a hint at a supernatural world where Wiccans get hired for their problem-solving magic – but mostly it was just a case of ‘Let’s have rampant sex. NOW!’

I suppose it wasn’t too offensive aside from missing punctuation and the use of ‘btw’ in the narrative which annoyed me.

*

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