Category Archives: Kirsty rambles on about life, the universe, tv, and everything!

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend – Book Review

What a jacket synopsis! Intrigued? You should be. Now this is one of the first books that’s been compared to Harry Potter that I feel lives up to the expectations. I loved it.

And just pause again to look at this stunning hardback – as gorgeous naked as with the dust jacket.

Now I received a review copy through Netgalley but I was enjoying it so much and I spotted the beauty that was this edition, and I knew I would regret not owning it, so I bought it and switched to reading from real paper.

Now. Because of the comparisons to Harry Potter there will inevitably be some comparisons made but in my view they are all positive.

Child gets whisked away to a wonderous world from a not particularly pleasant life. Check. Although, unlike the muggle world the world that Morrigan leaves is just as intriguing as the world she moves to. Cursed Children? The Hunt of Smoke and Shadow?

Genial magical man to guide our young protégée. Harry had Dumbledore. Mog, as he decides to call her despite her protestations, has Jupiter North. Is he as conflicted as Dumbledore, only time will tell.

Fierce friendships and fantastical foes. One main friend Hawthorne and some allies who may or may not become closer as the series progresses.

He who must not be named. The Wundersmith has a whole creepy parade float dedicated to him. Take that Voldemort.

The Hotel Deucalion becomes Mog’s Hogwarts with fun rooms to discover. Far too much smoking and lots of whacky residents to engage with.

And what are the trials of which the title speaks? Think of it as the Triwizard Tournament with a Talent Show at the end. All to get INTO the Wundrous society. If she doesn’t the Hunt may come for her yet.

This is a brilliant book full of magical world building, very very colourful characters and a form of transportation previously popularised in Mary Poppins, The Life and Death Brigade (Gilmore Girls) and Practical Magic. Move over broomsticks umbrellas are making a comeback.

Joking aside Harry Potter will Always remain in my heart (I know you see what I did there). But there is room in readers hearts for plenty of books. This one is going to snuggle alongside it. The one thing this book did that the Philosopher’s Stone didn’t was grab me from the first sentence. It took the introduction of the Wizarding World to draw me in. Once I was there I loved it. I loved this from : ‘The journalists arrived before the coffin did.’

So as Jupiter North does I invite you to Step Boldy into Nevermoor.

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Have It Haven’t Read It – The Never-Ending TBR

I saw this tote bag from Daydreaming Designs and immediately thought ‘Jeez that’s one of my catchphrases’. 

DD is a new venture by Faye Rogers (@daydreamin_star) with exclusive designs printed up once minimum orders have been reached). 

Find out more, and pre-order your copy here. You only have until 29th October 2017 to do so!!!

I have literally said this phrase in at least 1 out of 3 conversations I have about books. I am a book hoarder and a book desirer and being involved in the online book community has made this even worse. I see the shiny new book, I pre-order or buy the shiny new book, I run out of time to read the shiny new book, it languishes on a shelf staring at me. I know it is something I really want to read but I see a shiny new book …. and then I say this. 

What bookish catchphrases do you often say? 

Wunderkids by Jacqueline Silvester – Blog Tour – Top Tips for Surviving High School 


Book one of the Wunderkids series sees main character Nikka receive an invite to Wildwood Academy. 


A very secretive and secluded boarding school for the talented. Surviving high school is hard enough without what the students here have to face. 


Author Jacqueline Silvester has written a guest post based on the question: 

“Give your five favorite character’s best tips for surviving high school?”

 

 

• Everything is temporary! I have moved enough times, and changed enough schools to know that the things that seem to matter now might not matter later. You might be upset about losing that one friend or not getting on the swim team, but remember, a lot of it will not matter down the line.

• Find an outlet! High school is hard and we all need an outlet. Mine is art, yours can be art too, or theatre, or sport or anything you want it to be. I have a lot of friends that blog and make videos. We all need an outlet, find one that you enjoy and lose yourself in it.

• Forgive your parents for the little things; they are likely doing the best they can.

• Don’t obsess over your clothes. You’re going to regret all those hours you spent thinking what you should wear to school. No one remembers it anyway.

 

• Early bird gets the worm, literally. Show up to the cafeteria early and you’re likely to have the best (or at least the freshest) selection of food.

• Don’t read at lunch because you will look like a loner; download an audiobook and plug in those headphones- that way you will look like you’re listening to music, and we all know music is ‘cool.’

• The smart ones win out in the end. At least that’s what everyone keeps telling me, although I know a lot of stupid people who ‘have it all’ so the jury is still out on that theory. Fingers crossed though.

• VIDEO GAMES can brighten up even the worst day.

• If a video game can’t fix it try a book. A comic book. A really long comic book. Escapism is underrated. 

 

• Get your driving license as early as possible. You need a car so that you can get away from this hell they call school.

• Learn your teacher’s weaknesses, they will come in handy later.

• Get friendly with the cleaning staff- they know everyone’s secrets and the easiest ways to get off campus without getting noticed.

• Keep everyone at arm’s length; people want what they can’t have and distance makes the heart grow fonder. Etc… etc… Cliché but very true.


• You know that whole standard advice: when you get to your new school, find the toughest kid around and knock him out? Or perhaps it’s advice for prison, either way you know what I mean. Well, that advice rubbish. Find the toughest bloke, trick him into being friends with you, that way if you’re ever in a tough situation you can call on the muscle for help.

• Keep chocolate on you at all times, it’s great for calming people down.

• Get the upperclassmen to give you their notes and exams from the previous year. Teachers can be lazy and are likely to use the same exams and questions year after year.

 

 

• Be yourself.

• Meditate for a few minutes every morning. Teens think meditation is for old people but actually we can benefit from daily meditation. Especially throughout high school which is a time of stress.

• It’s better to have a few friends that like you the way you are than many friends who don’t know the real you.

• Express yourself. High school is going to try and put you in a box. If you want pink hair, do it. If you want to tie-dye everything you own, do it. The time is now!

• Stand up for what you believe in. Get political. Stay interested. Some adults are going to try and make you feel like you are too young to know what’s what, but that not true. You are old enough to stand up for what you believe in.


What I Thought

For some strange reason I think I expected an x-men academy style story with super mutanty talented youngsters. Instead the talents are a little more highly gifted human but the story itself is creepy, teen angsty and thrilling. I found myself reading it in one sitting because I really wanted to know what happened. 

I was very drawn to all of the characters and loved their individual personalities, even when I didn’t like them or their actions. For those that aren’t fond of love triangles be warned there is one here but it’s handled in a very unique way. After reading Holly Bourne’s recent book I’m finding myself being a little more critical of romance and there was the ‘he kisses me until I give into it’ aspect. I’m not sure I’m convinced by either of her choices but I’m really intrigued to see how it moves forward. 

Towards the end this reminded me of Kat Zhang’s What’s Left of Me series (which I adored) and there’s a school nurse to rival Nurse Ratchett from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. 

My main critique is that there was a little repetition in how the kids got out of sticky situations and that I found it went on slightly too long. I was a little confused by Nikka’s closing scene. But OMG the epilogue. I need more now. 

All in all this was a fast paced with a gasp worthy nefarious plot that seems set to be wider that the school. During the tour the title of book 2 will be announced. I can’t wait. 

Wunderkids is out now on Amazon (currently only 99p on kindle!) or you can buy a signed paperback from her website. 

Jacqueline is answering 25 questions across 25 blogs so be sure to check out the rest of the spots on the tour – follow her on Twitter – ‪@Jacky_Silvester ‬- to get links to all the blogs taking part. 

Please note I received a copy of the book from the author for the purposes of review but opinions are all mine. 

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