YA Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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A refreshingly honest story of life, friendship and love. Despite the list of well-deserved prestige awards won, this novel is humble and down-to-earth, featuring the journey of two realistic characters as 4 Starthey stumble through life trying to discover who they really are.

Recommended age: 14+

Title:  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Aristotle and DanteAuthor: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Publication Date: 21 February 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book: Amazon US, Amazon UK or Kalahari
Add to your shelf:
Goodreads or Shelfari

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.     — Extract from Goodreads.com

YA Book Review: Glitch

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Despite the predictable plot I really liked this fun, fast-paced, addictive, dystopian story. The characters were easy to relate to and 4 Starthe story world believable. And by the way… the cover is gorgeous!

Recommended age: 13+

Glitch.resizeTitle: Glitch
Series: Glitch – Book 1         
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Publication Date: 7 August 2012
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book: Amazon US, Amazon UK or Kalahari
Add to your shelf: Goodreads or Shelfari

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.     — Extract from Goodreads.com

Children’s Book Review: Chasing Xaris

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Samantha Bennett has not only written an exciting adventure story which included a mysterious island, an elusive gem, sinister danger and surfing but has also managed to impart a message of God’s grace and love, which came through all the more powerfully for its subtle inclusion.

Well researched details made this book come alive and I could almost smell the ocean and taste the salty air of the beach… I am 4 Starmentally packing my beach bag as I write!

Recommended age: 11 +

Chasing XarisTitle: Chasing Xaris
 Samantha Bennett
Publication Date: 25 November 2015
Publisher: Tributaries Press
Source: Free copy from author in exchange for honest review
Purchase this book: Amazon US or  Amazon UK
Add to your shelf: Goodreads or Shelfari

Chandler Bloom starts her day like every other—on her surfboard and away from her smothering grandparents. It’s the only way she’s been able to cope since the hit-and-run that killed her parents two years ago. But when a shark nearly turns Chandler into breakfast, a loner surfer named Ari saves her life. Which is great, except that he also triggers new questions about her parents’ deaths. Before Chandler can ask him more, Ari disappears.

Desperate for answers, Chandler decides to track down Ari with the help of her best friend Jordan, a surfer guy who’s totally in love with her. The search leads to Ari’s home—a hidden island that can only be found with a form of light called xaris. But Chandler isn’t the only one searching for the island or the unearthly elements found there. Her parents died protecting it, and if Chandler doesn’t come to grips with what she’s really chasing, she could be next.     — Extract from Goodreads.com

Despite the generosity of the author, who shipped a print copy internationally so it could be donated to our school library, my policy to write an honest review was upheld.

Parcel in the Post
Chasing Xaris 4 Blog

New Release: The Trouble With Flirting by Rachel Morgan

Rachel Morgan has just released her new book in the Trouble series!
The Trouble With Flirting is the sequel to The Trouble With Flying.
My regular readers will know Rachel Morgan is one of my favourite authors and as fellow South African I am so proud of her achievements, the latest of which is  the 2014 Readers Choice Gold Award for her YA fantasy The Faerie Guardian.
by Rachel Morgan

Labelled a nerd for most of high school, Livi sees her first year of university as a chance to redefine herself. She can finally enter the popular crowd and maybe even land herself a super hot boyfriend. But Livi’s about to discover that the price of popularity may be more than she’s willing to pay, and that what—and who—she wants most has always been right in front of her.



The Trouble Series
Forgiven (A Trouble Novella) *FREE*
The Trouble with Flying *OUT NOW*
The Trouble with Flirting *OUT NOW*
The Trouble with Faking *OCT 2014*
The Trouble with Falling *DEC 2014*





Rachel Morgan was born in South Africa and spent a large portion
of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a
degree in genetics, she decided science wasn’t for her—after all, they didn’t
approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in
fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults and those young at heart.

She is the author of the Amazon bestselling YA fantasy series, Creepy Hollow, and the lighthearted contemporary romance Trouble series.

Children’s Book Review: A Tangle of Knots

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A fun, magical, twisty tale full of adventure . I loved this story of Cady, her magical ‘Talent’ and her unusual family and friends!

4 StarRecommended age: 10+

Tangle of KnotsTitle: A Tangle of Knots
Author: Lisa Graff
Publication Date: 5 February 2013
Publisher: Philomel
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book: Amazon US, Amazon UK or Kalahari
Add to your shelf:
Goodreads or Shelfari

Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking.

But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever.

However, these encounters hold the key to Cady’s past and how she became an orphan. If she’s lucky, fate may reunite her with her long-lost parent.  — Extract from Goodreads.com

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YA Book Review: Fixing Delilah

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A heart-warming, beautifully written story, packed full of emotion, which pulls you in to Delilah’s world where estranged relationships are further complicated by secrets and misunderstandings.5 Star

Recommended age: 13+

Title:  Fixing Delilah
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publication Date: 1 December 2010
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books
Source: Purchased
Purchase this book: Amazon US, Amazon UK or Kalahari
Add to your shelf:
Goodreads or Shelfari

Fixing DelilahThings in Delilah Hannaford’s life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can’t seem to keep it together anymore. Her “boyfriend” isn’t much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family’s painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?       — Extract from Goodreads.com

A controversial new cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The new Penguin Classic edition cover
The new Penguin Classic edition cover

Penguin has announced their intention to republish Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a Penguin Modern Classic. Due to be released this September to celebrate the books 50th anniversary, this edition has a new cover which, although is to be published in the UK only, has been making the news around the world.

I really don’t like the new cover, which is both ominous and creepy, and I have to wonder – have they forgotten that this is essentially a children’s book…

What do you think?

A collection of previous covers
A collection of previous covers


Odd ramblings of an obsessed reader


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