Happy 2019 ! I hope your resolutions are going much better than mine (I already finished a tub of ice cream....)
Today I'd like to discuss some tips and tricks for those budding reviewers who don't know how to get started. I began quite a while ago - I previously wrote for the Guardian childrens section and currently write for countless magazines - digital and paper.
Don't be afraid to try out new book genres, change your reading routine or experiment with writing styles - it takes a while to find a flow your comfortable with. Furthermore, don't be afraid of rejection. Apply and try writing for numerous magazines and newspapers - Scoop is a particularly good recommendation. Be proactive and ask you librarian, teachers or do indepednent research - it pays off and makes your writing more adaptable and inclusive.
There is often a sort of stigma surrounding negative reviews and responses however it should be completely eradicated. It is your choice to voice your opinion on certain matters or movies, books and art. As long it is not offensive and derogatory then you are entitled to writing and expressing your opinion.
It is very important you make sure you constantly read a wide range of reviews, articled and novels. Feel free to borrow ideas and expressions (obviously don't plagiarise though). This will help you develop a stronger understanding of the field and strengthen your own style.
Another key element of expanding your reviews is remaining relevant. Try to review a book to do with modern issues such as climate change, political leaders or advancement in AI and technology. It's useful to look at novels which have recently won awards such as the Carniege or Man booker prize.
Remember to talk about why you specifically like or dislike the novel. Talk about the plot, character layers, setting, time period, pace of the book, how gripping it was and come to a conclusion as to whether you'd recommend it. Don't just say you liked the characters - expand and explain. For example, 'I favoured the protagonist Melonie for her flaws and her unique ability to recognise them, which in tern emphasised the authors originality and increased my liking of the overall book. '
I don't often write on this blog about matters concerning celebrations or festivities however I have felt my blog has really developed over this year and I want to thank you.
Although this is a little (quite a bit) late, I would love to wish all of you a Merry Christmas (or happy holidays if you don't celebrate) and now a very happy new year. Make sure you continue reading throughout next year and have the best time possible!
Festive Greetings to my fellow Pageflicker's - Christmas is right around the corner! As you know this time of year is rather hectic and I have been extremely busy being Secret Santa presents and decorations however cannot wait to upload as many post as possible! Comment down below for any reading suggestions!
Borrowing this book from the library was a great decision - the cover itself looked intriguing and an integral part of this book's originality is its style of writing. In the beginning, we were lead through the life of a young girl called Rose, who whilst attempting to find her bicycle, discovered a monumental mechanical hand which would continue to be a key part of the story. Oblivious to the sheer significance of this discovery, Rose continued to live here life. Fast forward 17 years and she is now a gifted Physicist, working on how these pieces come together - their purpose and origin.
As you may already know, I love science fiction and this book lived up to my desire for this field of literature. It delivered a fine balance between believable and whimsical which ensured I was gripped throughout the novel. The plot itself was written at the right pace however because it was written in a report style, there was sometimes a lack in climatic build up. Although occasionally it was difficult to get a solely independent insight from one character the infrequent personal diary entries helped to combat this. I really did enjoy this style - it beautifully unravelled layers of the character to show their true personality. The responses, description and attitude towards the reporter showed us the traits and actions of the protagonists. Furthermore, it felt like the book flowed with greater ease and fluidity - instead of plain chunks of paragraphs there was input from the person asking questions and the other stating a response.
In a nutshell, I would definitely recommend this book to ages 12-15, in my opinion this is a must read for science fiction lovers. i would rate this book 4/5.
Hope all of you have a merry Christmas and
Halloween is approaching and it is time to immerse yourself in this spooky season. These blood-curdling, chilling novels are perfect to give you the Halloween fright - this list recommends the spookiest ones of the lot!
The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury
The book tells the tale of 8 friends on Halloween night - sounds pretty innocent? But don't be fooled, when their friend Pipkin is snatched away, his eight friends, with the mysterious Mr. Moundshroud, search for him, crossing time and space and learning all about Halloween. Engrossing and intense - this is a must read.
Hallowe'en Party - Agatha Christie
We all love a classic Agatha Christie murder story and what could be better than a Halloween edition? The captivating , eerie storyline tells us of a 13 year old girl called Joyce who claims she has witnessed a murder. Later found drowned in a apple-bobbing tub, Poirot must once again solve the case.
Lockwood & Co : The Screaming Staircase - Jonathan Stroud
For many decades, London has been suffering an epidemic of ghosts. Who can solve the problem? The Lockwood & Co team of course! Set in dangerous, dark alleyways with evil presences looming this novel is petrifying and hair-raising. Can these talented, young agents survive the night in a haunted house - save the country from horrific ghost attacks? Read to find out...
Hello my fellow Pageflicker's - I hope you are enjoying half term. I am going to upload as often as possible - comment below if you want any Halloween themed articles!
Recently, I read the book The Clockwork Sparrow and I have so much to say about this unforgettable novel. Set in Wales, in Victorian times, our main protagonist leaves her dismal orphanage to visit Plas-y-Fran. Little does she know that within this great country house is a deep sense of sadness and isolation. However, Seren's fiery spirit and indomitable courage means she embarks on many perilous journeys, quenches her undeniable curiosity and ultimately, uncovers the truth about the disappearance of Tom. But can she bring happiness back into this household and conquer the enchanted challenges coming her way?
The authors compelling, unique writing style along with all the believable characters and enthralling plot make this a wonderful, quick read. I believe that this book is centered around our tenacious heroine and the energy she is able to bring. With the help of a rather rude crow, magical snow globes, and a boy's diary she must piece together bits of the puzzle to solve the mystery of Tom's disappearance. In addition, I think the author's choice of setting is perfect for such a bewitching tale. A mysterious, unknown feeling looms as we don't know what's beyond the snow-covered gates just like most magic is unpredictable and unexplainable.
I would recommend this book for children aged around 8-12 and anyone who would like to escape often mundane reality into a fascinating, original world. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.
The Secrets Of Ancient Egypt - Robin Stevens and Emma Carroll
Join Robin Stevens and Emma Carroll as they explore the mysterious and wondrous world of Ancient Egypt that their new books are entered around. Both of these authors have fantastic book and are very passionate about their stories so I would highly recommend going to a tremendous event like this.
London - Piccadilly Saturday 1st September 14:30
Book Signing - Robin Stevens
Meet this incredible author in this event where she will be discussing her new book signing copies of her new book - 'Death in the Spotlight'. Her detective stories are extremely gripping and cleverly thought out - and you cannot help but fall in love with the two main characters Daisy and Hazel!
London - Finchley Road 02 Centre Sunday 28th October 11:30
Brightstorm Book Event
In this event there will be discussions about 'Brightstorm' alongside some fun activities and book club exclusives singed by the author! Booking required. Looks like a great event by Uxbridge Holiday Book Club!
Uxbridge Friday 24th August 11:00-12:00
Event with Alan Lee - J.R.R Tolkien's illustrator !
You must definitely come to this event where the legendary Alan Lee, a very skilled illustrator behind lots of iconic artwork in J.R. R Tolkien's series signs the latest edition of The Fall of Gondolin'." I am definitely coming to this event as I am a bit fan of the Hobbit and the whole middle world series - the art is fantastic!
London - Piccadilly Thursday 30th August 18:30
Celebrate Jacqueline Wilson's New Novel!!
Join Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt at an incredible event to celebrate the publication of My Mum Tracy Beaker. Listen and watch in awe as the notoriously famous author and illustrator bring to life your favourite characters ! This is a one in a life time opportunity so make sure you come a long !!
Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, Kensington, SW7 2AR
Sunday 7th October 11:00
Recently, I've been thinking about what additions I can add to my blog and have decided that making a list of books that will be published next year could be a good idea. This way if you are struggling to find a book you want for Christmas, your friends's birthday or just curious about new releases this might come in handy.
1) The first book on my list is called The Cerulean, a tale about a girl protagonist by the name of Sera who lives in the City above the Sky. Ultimately, this ethereal and magical tale is about how her curiosity leads her to discover things about her planet and people. This seems like a great, richly imagined book (part of a duology) which I cannot wait to read. Published February 2019.
2) This fantasy debut novel seems to be getting many amazing pre-oredered reviews on Goodreads. Themes of political intrigue, romance and high tension backed with ongoing deceit, secrets make this a must read. The book follows the characters of Esha and Kunal who must fight through inequalities to balance the lands of their city. All in all, the book sounds enthralling, exciting and I will definitely add it to my 'Must read List'. Published April 2019.
3) This second screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning art from MinaLima, explains earlier events that helped shape the wizarding world. With a gripping story line this book will undoubtedly delight fans of Harry Potter. Although this book is released later this year, I had to add it to my list (I mean - It's JK. ROWLING!!) Published November 2018.
Poor "Salvation-Amy" lives in a trailer park in Kansas,
effectively parenting her alcoholic mum as her dad ran off years ago. This pink haired, teenage badass has a hard time at school - her only companion being her pet rat Star.
Shortly after the book starts, Amy is transported to the dystopian distortion of the paradise know as Oz which Baum formerly created. The Kingdom is ruled by the tyrannical and magic hungry Dorothy, who is negligent of the land and careless about all those living in it. In this dangerous and sinister land Amy Gumm is enlisted by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to help take down Dorothy and bring peace to their land once again. It is interesting to see the story unfold as Amy Gumm is not your average hero. She is the odd ball out in school, is bullied, and picked on. I love seeing her character develop throughout the story. There are numerous parts where you can definitely relate to her. Moreover, I enjoyed the feminist heroine aspect of Amy when she truly believed she was strong, could overcome everything and fight for the future Oz deserves. In addition, Danielle's writing style in this book is colloquial and therefore easy to read however is balanced with great descriptive passages which instantly transport you into this delusional, fantastical world.
For me, this book was written at the perfect pace which managed to enrapture you in the mad storyline yet the novel didn't feel rushed. The last 30 pages were completely crazy and personally I think too many things happened. Needless to stay the ending was brilliant and made me eager to read the next book.
From the very first chapter this whimsical book gripped and enraptured me in it’s original plot. The Trilogy of Two tells the story of unsocialised and unaware twins Sonja and Charlotte, foundlings who have been raised in a travelling circus. The protagonists family is threatened and their musical and magical talents are stolen The two eventually learn that they are the Daughters of the Key, prophesied to save the secret Seven Edens from a foppish and wicked villain by the name of Kats von Stralen. As they embark on a perilous quest to regain their abilities and ultimately protect the Edens, they are also overshadowed by new personal concerns and emotions that are a side effect of becoming exposed to the outer world. Charlotte begins to fall for boys, seek love and independence which aggregates Sonja. Sonja becomes spiteful as her love for her sister is now shared and is indignant towards her sister’s relationship with others. This main theme of growing and facing relationships being one I adored on the novel.
One of my favourite elements of this book is how Malouf crafts bewitching and spellbinding worlds, nothing like I’ve ever read before, using believable characters. This richly imagined world that Malouf created is emphasised with the unique and intricate illustrations that appear in the book. Moreover, this world that the author invented makes us question how we can establish a morally just society that everyone can live in. For me this story is also centred about how some people live in the Outskirts - poverty drenched, derelict areas where the cities trash is dumped and others avoid this endless wasteland by living in tall skyscrapers in the city. This continual theme made me greatly question our planets future.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and was easily swept up in its odd yet chimeric genre. This book isn't for everyone but I would certainly recommend, especially for children 11+.
A poignant, gripping and emotional story of betrayal and redemption, The Kite Runner had me moved and thrilled throughout the believable and vividly described plot. This book is very complex and can be looked at through different perspectives. On one hand the book tells us of a beautiful country ravaged by war, Afghan immigrants in America and teaches us a great deal about Afghanistan's history and culture. However there are core messages hidden behind Hosseini's compendious yet declamatory writing - a universal meaning the reader receives no matter the culture or context. This novel looks at the main character, Amir, and how he deals with a secret in his past and how that secret shaped who he became. After not standing up for his brother-like friend, Hassan, years of guilt and longing for redemption cast a dark shadow on Amir and his life. Not only does this book eloquently teach us the significance of loyalty and friendship through believably constructed characters but this debut novel brings fresh humanity to a country trapped in political cliche.
I love this book as Khaled intricately crafts characters which are flawed in numerous ways yet their heart and willpower drives them to make good choices and recover mistakes form their past. The media often portrays Afghanistan as a country with no hope for the future yet humane yet simple actions from people like Amir, Hassan and Baba teach us that good can always grow and blossom. For me the lyrical style of words written fluently emphasise the ease at which I read the book. I barely remembered when I finished the book, I just did, only left with a powerful message and a throbbing heart.
This is probably one of my favourite books that I have every read, and I totally understand the hype around it. I urge everyone to read this gem at least once and I would recommend it 14+ as some of the scenes are truly heartbreaking and haunting.
Remember, if you have any review suggestions comment down below. Enjoy the sun and eat lots of ice cream - PageFlicker xxx
Here are reviews of books I've read recently that I think you may find interesting.