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Book review – Secrets at Rosehill by Kathryn Brown

When I started my previous Day Zero project I challenged myself to read 100 books in 1001 days. I failed miserably but I’m trying the Day Zero project, again and again, I’m challenging myself to read 100 books in 1001 days.
Kathryn Brown - Secrets at Rosehill
I’ve started with the sequel to Discovery at Rosehill by Kathryn Brown.

Secrets at Rosehill continues the story of medium, Camilla. She’s now very happily married to the former reverend, Marcus and they’re enjoying their lives at the gorgeous Scottish estate.

She’s regularly visited by the spirits of former residents of the estate as well as family members, such as her grandmother.

I like the way Kathryn reminded us of the happenings of the first story without making me feel like I was having to go through the first story again before I could get on with the new story. It was very cleverly done and I appreciated it because that’s one of the most annoying things for me when reading a series of books.

Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

Now married to Marcus Calloway, Camilla couldn’t be happier. Accepted as a medium by the local villagers, her beloved Rosehill estate is at peace. But when Marcus heads to London to help someone in need, messages from the spirit world cause Camilla to doubt her husband’s integrity. 

When her first love Ross, suddenly returns to Scotland, could her suspicions about Marcus’s infidelity drive her into his arms? 

And who is the spirit that continues to haunt Camilla, leaving her fearing for her marriage? 

I really enjoyed Secrets at Rosehill and I’m now planning to read another of Kathryn’s books, Bedknobs and Bachelors. It’s the only one of the four she’s written that I haven’t read, the third being Nightingale Woods.

Gone series by Michael Grant – Read 100 books: numbers 27-32

I haven’t updated my, ‘read 100 books’ challenge, I set myself as part of my day zero challenge recently so I figured it was about time I did, especially as I’ve got quite a few to add!

Gone Series – Book 1

Gone seriesAiden got the Gone series for his birthday last year. He read the first book and when he’d done he said I should read it. The last time he’d said that to me was after he’d finished The Hunger Games which he absolutely loved, as did I so I gave this a go.
I have to say, I wasn’t expecting great things but right from the start this book totally grabbed me and sucked me in.

Here’s a short synopsis, not written by me because I tend to waffle on and can’t really keep it short and without spoilers so this is from Amazon!

Suddenly it’s a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.
In the blink of an eye, all the adults disappear in a small town in southern California and no one knows why. Cut off from the outside world, those that are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way. They must do all they can to survive. Chaos rules the streets. Gangs begin to form. Sides are chosen – strong or weak. Cruel or humane. And then there are those who begin to develop powers . . . It’s Lord of the Flies for the Heroes generation.

It’s not for the faint of heart as some of it, and the rest of the books in the series, can be quite gruesome. I’m not going to suggest an age range for this series of books because it really does depend on the maturity levels of the individual so what I’d say is to check them out yourself before letting your young adult read them.

Gone series

Book 2 – Hunger

When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes. The clock is ticking for Sam Temple and the kids of Perdido Beach but it’s not the big one-five that they face now; it’s starvation that threatens the FAYZ. In an abandoned mineshaft a faceless animal lurks, pulling the strings, toying with human and mutant alike. And he’s hungry – hungry in the darkness.
An uneasy calm has settled over Perdido Beach. But soon, fear explodes into desperation as starvation sets in and the mob look to place blame. For the ‘normals’ the buck must stop somewhere: with the ‘freaks’. More and more kids are developing strange powers and, just as frighteningly, so are the animals in the FAYZ: talking coyotes, swimming bats and deadly worms with razor-sharp teeth are just the beginning.
For Sam Temple the strain of leadership is beginning to show and he’s got more than just dwindling rations and in-fighting to worry about – Caine is back with the psychotic whiphand, Drake, by his side. And in the background lies the greatest danger of all – and he too needs to be fed.

Book 3 – Lies

It happens in one night: a girl who died now walks among the living, Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach, and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most – Drake. But Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness . . . or so they thought.
As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake. And the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza, are preaching that death will set them all free. As life in the FAYZ becomes more desperate, no one knows who they can trust.

Book 4 – Plague

The FAYZ goes from bad to worse . . . The Darkness has been foiled once again and the resurrected Drake has been contained. But the streets of Perdido Beach are far from safe. With a growing army of mutants fighting against the humans, power in the town hangs in the balance. In a small room of a house near the edge of town Little Pete lies ill on a bed. In his fevered dreams he continues his battle with the hidden evil that seeks to use his power to bring about anarchy and destruction.

Book 5 – Fear

Night is falling in the FAYZ. Permanently. The gaiaphage has blotted out the sun and the barrier that surrounds the town of Perdido Beach is turning black. It’s Sam’s worst nightmare. With Astrid still missing and Edilio and Lana struggling to maintain order, Sam and his followers need all the courage they can get. As their world descends into darkness, only real heroes will survive.

Book 5 – Light

All eyes are on Perdido Beach. The barrier wall is now as clear as glass and life in the FAYZ is visible for the entire outside world to see. Life inside the dome remains a constant battle and the Darkness, away from watchful eyes, grows and grows . . . The society that Sam and Astrid have struggled so hard to build is about to be shattered for good. It’s the end of the FAYZ. Who will survive to see the light of day?

The rest of the books in the series all kept me hooked and I have to admit to being quite sad when I reached the end of the final book, especially when I read the note from the author. It felt like I’d lost friends with whom I’d been on a long and exhausting, epic adventure!


Department 19 – Book Review

Aiden (13) was sent the Department 19 trilogy a while ago and what with the school holidays and spending weeks at his dad’s, he’s still not finished the first book! He is enjoying it though and he’s hoping to get it finished and move onto the next one once school starts again on Thursday.

He’s enjoying the story and recommends I read it as we tend to enjoy the same kind of books (The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and the Gone series to name a few) so when I’ve finished my current book I’m going to read Department 19.

The story centres on 14 year old Jamie. His mother gets kidnapped and he gets dragged into Department 19, the governments most secret agency. It provides him with the tools needed to find his mother and kill the vampires that are trying to kill him.

Some of the reviews on Amazon say that it’s quite gory and a bit more grown up than the regular teen vampire novels which is probably why Aiden’s enjoying it!

I love vampire stories so I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into this one 🙂

The forever whale by Sarah Lean – Review

Kaycee’s a huge book lover. She was very excited to receive a collection of books by Sarah Lean and chose to read The Forever Whale first.

Here are her thoughts on the story:

“This story is about a girl named Hannah and her Granddad. They used to go out sailing together but the Granddad got Alzheimer’s and it got too bad that he had to go in a care home.
Hannah was looking forward to the 13th of August because her Granddad was going to tell her a story about a dolphin but she realised he couldn’t remember it.

I haven’t read the ending yet but I’m really enjoying it and can’t wait to find out what happens. Sometimes the book makes me feel very emotional.”

Kaycee has been reading the story out loud at bedtime and both Ella and I are enjoying along with her. We all think Sarah Lean is an excellent writer and we’re looking forward to reading the other books we were sent 🙂


Book review – The Fairy Bell Sisters

Ella usually has to share review items with Kaycee so you can imagine how excited she was to receive two books just for her to review!

The first one we’ve read is called, The Fairy Bell Sisters – Silver and the fairy ball.

The Fairy Bell Sisters are the younger sisters of Tinkerbell; there’s Clara, Lily, Rosie, Silver and baby Squeak.

Silver is sad because she’s one day too young to attend the annual fairy ball. She can be a little naughty sometimes but always has the best intentions.

Here’s what Ella thinks of the book:

“I really like the fairy bell sisters. I love fairies because they’re nice. Chapter 3 made me laugh because it says, ‘oh thank goodness you’ve turned the page!’. It’s so funny.
I think it is suitable for my age. I am nearly 6.
I’m looking forward to reading Rosie and the secret friend”


My Little Big Town – Book Reviews

Books sent to us by My Little Big Town

Why do kids love all things disgusting?! My first thought when Kaycee read, ‘Stuart the bug eating man’, to us at bedtime was, eurghhhhh!

If you read it, I bet you’ll feel the same; the kids, however, thought it was great!
Stuart would eat bugs,
with his fork and knife,
much to the disgust of
Harriet, his wife
Ella giggled, Aiden smiled and Kaycee absolutely loved reading it to us. Rhyming books are brilliant for young readers and even Ella (5) wanted to have a go at reading to us.
We ended up reading all three twisted tales that night; Jenny was Kaycee’s favourite while Pale Henry was loved by Ella.
I got a little worried when we started reading Jenny because I thought the girls were going to get scared before bed. I figured we’d end up with them coming downstairs saying they couldn’t sleep because of the book but it turned out, instead of being a helpless little girl who gets scared in the dark and hides under her covers, Jenny is actually one tough cookie and goes out hunting werewolves!
Kaycee said the book is brilliant because it looks likes it’s going to take ages to read but really it’s the perfect length for a bedtime story and the best bit is that it rhymes.
Pale Henry is about a boy who never goes out so is sickly, thin and pale. He decides to face his fears and has a great time outside with the other kids 🙂
Ella’s had the three books in her school bag all week and has been asking her teachers to read them! I had to ask to borrow them so I can write this review and they’re now safely back in her bag!
Both girls enjoyed Anisha’s Adventures in Bangladesh and thought the magical flying pony was wonderful.
Ella now wants one for herself! It’s a great book that helps children learn about Bangladesh and we’d like to see more of Anisha’s Adventures in other countries.
The final book we were sent was Gorgeous George and the Giant Geriatric Generator. Kaycee’s reading this every night after school as part of her home reading and whilst we’ve only just begun reading it, I can tell it’s going to be another book that the children find funny and I find gross, especially when one of the chapters is called, The Big Brown Bag Of Poo Prank!
All three of them asked if I could buy the next set of twisted tales that the books say are coming soon so I’ll be on the lookout for them 🙂
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