Dragon’s Curse by H.L. Burke: YA Book Review

For some reason I want to describe this book as charming, which it is, but this is not a word I normally use as it conjures up an image of an old lady commenting on the child, hasty scrubbed up and ushered forward to meet Great Aunt Maud! That aside, the book tells an underlying story of longing and hope in between the more dominant emotions of revenge, loyalty, betrayal and love.

Although the story line was, at times, predictable and parts felt a little too rough, as though written in haste, I found myself drawn into the story and wanting to know the outcome. The dragon’s character was my favourite and the most believable, while the other characters felt underdeveloped which contributed to the roughness of the story.

I have mixed feelings about this book, despite the shortfalls I felt emotionally connected to the characters which made it difficult to review and rate. I look forward to finding out what happens in the next book. 3 Star

Recommended age: 12+

Dragon’s Curse 
Series: The Dragon and the Scholar # 1
by  H. L. Burke
Publication Date: 2 January 2014Dragon curse
Publisher: H. L. Burke
Source: Free copy from author in exchange for honest review


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On her first assignment out of the Academy, young healer and scholar, Shannon Macaulay is summoned to the struggling kingdom of Regone to see to the wounds of a young but crippled king. When the unwanted attentions of an aggressive knight and the sudden appearance of a hated dragon turn her world upside down, she decides to take matters into her own hands even if doing so proves dangerous.

Finding herself strangely drawn to the company of the dragon, Gnaw, Shannon must force herself out of her safe world of books and botany to come to the aid of her unexpected ally in a strange kingdom, cursed by a fateful encounter with a dragon and the loss of a beloved prince. Can she learn to put aside her fears, and perhaps sacrifice her deepest desires, to help a friend and restore a family? –Extract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

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

Splat the Cat crop

Splat the Cat is 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

Across The Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe crop

It was the beautiful cover of Across the Universe 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 Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti

The Secret Life of Prince Charming crop

This beautifully written book examines relationships and how women are so often seduced by the idea of love and end up in relationships with all the wrong men.

I started reading on Valentine’s Day, in the mood for a fun, light romance promised by the gorgeous cover. Was I disappointed? Maybe a little at first, but soon I was caught up in the lives of these incredibly brave, strong women, their stories and their determination to prevail, and just like life, romance came along unexpectedly – not the sweep you off your feet only to drop you later love – but the real thing – the one where he sees the real you through all the armour you’ve put up.

The women in the story are all linked by their relationship with Barry. Wives, girlfriends, daughters – he let them all down. It was through the daughters who embarked on a journey to help right the wrongs and in doing so, enabled friendships and healing to touch and positively link the women together. This is a feel good story that will 4 Starstay with you for a long time.

Recommended age 13+

The Secret Life of Prince Charming
Author: Deb Caletti
Publication Date: 16 March 2011 (First published 2009)The Secret Life of Prince Charming
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased

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Maybe it was wrong, or maybe impossible, but I wanted the truth to be one thing. One solid thing.

Quinn is surrounded by women who have had their hearts broken. Between her mother, her aunt, and her grandmother, Quinn hears nothing but cautionary tales. She tries to be an optimist — after all, she’s the dependable one, the girl who never makes foolish choices. But when she is abruptly and unceremoniously dumped, Quinn starts to think maybe there really are no good men. -Extract from Goodreads.com

Quote from ‘The Secret Life of Prince Charming’:
“I went for Prince Charming himself at High School. Barry was my first serious boyfriend. If you look up ‘charming’ in the dictionary, you’ll see that it is not only has reference to strong attraction, but to spells and magic. Then again, what are liars if not great magicians?”

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu – I had high hopes for Legend and was really disappointed. Although there is probably enough action and tension in the story to make it popular enough with readers new to the dystopian genre, it fell flat for me.

The story was predictable and lacked the originality needed to compete with this growing, ever popular genre. 3 Star

Recommended age 13+


Legend
Series: Legend
Author: Marie LuLegend by Marie Lu
Publication Date: 16 April 2013 (1st Published 2011)
Publisher: Speak
Source: Purchased

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What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Extract from Goodreads.com

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