Defiance by C.J. Redwine

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I LOVED this book! Fast paced, brimming with action, a strong, feisty female protagonist and a dragon that puts all the dragons that came before to shame. What’s not to love?

I could not put this book down. Inventing excuses to make time to read, I devoured this book from the opening sentence “The weight of their pity is like a stone tied around my neck…” to the breathtaking end and was left wanting more. There is a sure way of telling if you truly love an author’s style of writing – when you continue to read their four page acknowledgements at the end of the book, where they thank people who you don’t know or care about, just because you can’t believe the story is really over.

Go and get this book today! My copy is going on my favourites shelf.5 Star

Recommended age: 13 +

Defiance
Title: Defiance
Series: Courier’s Daughter – Book 1Defiance
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publication Date: 28 August 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Purchased

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While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel’s father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city’s brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father’s apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making. — Extract from Goodreads.com

My Favourite Books

Today is World Book Day in South Africa! While in our school library we celebrated by decorating the room with photos of students reading in their favourite or unusual places I thought I would share with you my ‘all-time’ favourite books.

I am often asked what my favourite book is. It’s really not easy to pinpoint one favourite book, but I have tried to consider books that have stood the test of time and have chosen to share those books which I still love years later.

My Favourite Children’s Picture Book

 ‘The Cat in the Hat Comes Back’ by Dr Seuss

‘The Cat in the Hat Comes Back’ by Dr SeussThis time, Sally & her brother are stuck shovelling snow: “This was no time for play./This was no time for fun./This was no time for games./There was work to be done.” But the laughing Hat Cat has other ideas, as he lets himself in to eat cake in their tub. He leaves behind “a big long pink cat ring,” which he then handily cleans with “MOTHER’S WHITE DRESS!” — Extract from Goodreads.com

I have always loved Dr Seuss’s humour,  his clever use of rhyme as well as his wacky illustrations. This book has all of that and my favourite part is where the Cat eats cake in the bath – that’s on my bucket list!

I have never lived anywhere where it snows and have only seen snow a couple of times. As a child I was totally captivated by the idea of playing in snow. As for pink snow… it blew my mind!

I read this book every year to our Grade 1’s and it always results in wonder and giggles!

My Favourite Children’s Book

‘The Game’ by Diana Wynne Jones

‘The Game’ by Diana Wynne JonesHayley’s parents disappeared when she was a baby, so she has been brought up by her grandparents. Then one day she is packed off to Ireland to live with her aunts – and a whole host of cousins she never new about! Here she is introduced to “the game” which involves adventures in the forbidden “mythosphere”. And here also is where Hayley discovers the truth about her family. — Extract from Goodreads.com

I LOVE this book and if I had to choose only one favourite book this would be it! ‘The Game’ combines Greek Mythology, action, adventure and complicated family dynamics.

The Game played in the book is a dangerous, exciting type of treasure hunt – the kind I would have loved to play as a child. Who am I kidding – I would still love to play this game!

I reread this book recently just to see if I still feel the same way about it and I got so caught up in the story again that it was like I was reading it for the first time. Don’t be put off by the uninspiring cover, this book is brilliant!

 My Favourite Young Adult (YA) Book 

‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger

‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. SalingerSince his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with “cynical adolescent.” Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation — Extract from Goodreads.com

In my experience most people have a strong reaction to this book: they either love it or hate it.

When I first read this book Holden Caulfield’s cynical look at life as a teenager I identified with him so much so that I felt like he was my only friend, but then I was a mixed up, anxious teen who used sarcasm as a defence against anyone who might judge me… and I thought everyone was judging me.

Today I have ‘slightly’ more self confidence and hold back on the sarcasm – or at least I seldom share the sarcastic dialogue in my mind realising it can be more hurtful than funny, but I can’t ignore that it was this book that helped me through a very difficult adolescence.

My Favourite ‘Grown-Up’ Book

I didn’t want to label this category as ‘adult’ book as these days that conjures up images that I don’t want on my blog! But yes, I do read ‘grown-up’ books in-between my insatiable appetite for YA books, but rarely do I find a book I love, so this one is very special!

‘Five Quarters of the Orange’ by Joanne Harris

5 Quarters of an OrangeWhen Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous Mirabelle Dartigen – the woman they still hold responsible for a terrible tragedy that took place during the German occupation decades before. Althrough Framboise hopes for a new beginning. She quickly discovers that past and present are inextricably intertwined. Nowhere is this truth more apparent than in the scrap book of recipes she has inherited from her dead mother. — Extract from Goodreads.com

This is a dark, honest and beautifully written account of relationships, especially between mother and daughter, reflection of childhood decisions and their ultimate affect.

I love France – although I have never been there (sigh…one day…!) and I love reading books set in France, especially during the Second World War where people’s real personalities come to the fore in the choices they make. I have often wondered how I would have handled living in Occupied Europe during this time.  I suspect I would not have been as brave as I would have liked.

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Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton: Children’s Picture Book Review

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A cute, funny picture book that children everywhere will love.

Rob Scotton is extremely talented. The story will make you laugh out loud, but it is his bright illustrations that will captivate you. I particularly love how he has portrayed Splat and the other cat’s fur – I can imagine my fingers sinking into the soft fluff!

Splat starts off nervous about starting school for the first time but along the way he  finds out how much fun school can be and learns that he is Amazing!

A very good story to read to children starting school for the first time.5 Star

Recommended age – 3-6 years

Series: Splat the Cat
Author: Rob Scotton
Illustrator: Rob ScottonSplat the Cat by Rob Scotton
Publication Date:  1 July 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Purchased
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It’s Splat’s first day of school and he’s worried. What if he doesn’t make any new friends?Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox.

The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do (they chase mice!), Splat’s worried again. Maybe now he’ll lose all his friends, old and new!

Just in time, wise Mrs. Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson. Maybe Cat School is going to be okay after all! – Extract from Goodreads.com

 

Digital Parents Blog Carnival

Across The Universe by Beth Revis

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It was the beautiful cover of this book that first attracted my attention on Goodreads. I bought the book and WOW! This is my new favourite book…

Totally unexpected and original I was captivated from the beginning and could not part with this book – for several weeks after I finished it I still carried it around with me. I don’t usually like Science Fiction, but this book has a more Dystopian feel and the plot was so unpredictable with twists and turns that kept me hanging on for dear life.    5 Star

Recommended age 13+

Across The Universe
Series:
 Across The Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publication Date: 11 January 2011Across the Universe
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Purchased

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A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone – one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship – tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.  — Extract from Goodreads.com

The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

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AMAZING! I love this book – in fact the whole series!  Okay, I know what you’re thinking – I’m biased because I am proudly South African. Well maybe a little… but this series is good!

Rachel Morgan has created captivating new Faerie world full of magic, romance, betrayal, action and adventure. You will fall in love with the characters as you are sucked further and further into a world like no other, wondering if, when the story is over, you will find your way back home…

What more could you want? Read this now..! You won’t regret it!

5 StarRecommended Age: 12+

The Faerie Guardian
Series: Creepy Hollow
Author:
Rachel Morgan Faerie Guardian
Publication Date: 27 October 2012
Publisher:
Rachel Morgan
Source:
Purchased

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Enter a hidden world…      

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until a cute human boy who can somehow see through her faerie glamour follows her into the Fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion. — Extract from Goodreads.com

Divergent by Veronica Roth: YA Book Review

Divergent by Veronica Roth: YA Book Review

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Divergent is a powerful story which captivated me from the very first page. Believable characters I love – the edgy ‘messed-up’ kind that get under your skin and become part of you so you can’t remember a time when you didn’t know them. Brilliant!

I read this book in 2012, and it was without doubt the best book I read in that year. I am reviewing it now on my new blog in anticipation of the movie to be released this year. Co-incidentally I am about half way through the third book, Allegiant, and all I can say is WOW!5 Star

Recommended Age: 13+

Divergent
Author: Veronica RothDivergent
Publication Date: 2 February 2012 (1st published 25 May 2011)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source:
Purchased

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In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five 

factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. — Extract from Goodreads.com

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