Reviews: Chasing Down Light in the Indigo

Hello everybody! Today, I’m bringing you another 5 star predictions review post, because I’m absolutely loving doing them and just can’t seem to stop myself. Don’t judge me, please. Anyway, onto the post!


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The Spell Tailors Blog Tour: Guest Post and Review

Hello everybody! Today, I’m ever so excited to be part of the blog tour for James Nicol’s the Spell Tailors, a book I have been eagerly anticipating since the end of his Apprentice Witch trilogy in 2019. I have both a playlist from James to share, and my review. Onto the post!


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Reviews: Pulling Down Stars Just to Make You Glow

Hello everybody! So, as you will know if you read my tweets, I did a 5 star predictions post either earlier this month or last month, and the result of that is that they’re my new obsession in life. So here are 13 books I thought I’d love, and was absolutely spot on about, all of which I obviously recommend very highly. Onto the post!


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Blog Tour Review: Key Player by Kelly Yang

Hello everybody! Today, I’m so pleased to be part of the blog tour for the fourth book in Kelly Yang’s fantastic Front Desk series, Key Player, which sees main character Mia navigate the 1999 Women’s World Cup that is pitting her two countries America and China against one another. Onto the post!


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Blog Tour Review: My Mum is a Spy! by Jess French and Andy McNab, illustrated by Nathan Reed

Hello everybody! Today, we have a rare Sunday post because I’m on the blog tour for the super funny, animal-centric adventure My Mum is a Spy! with my review. Onto the post!


Review:

I hadn’t heard of this prior to being offered a copy, but I’m so glad I was as I had such fun reading it, and as it’s a younger MG, it was perfect as a read-in-one-sitting palate cleanser between some other things I was reading.

It’s the story of Idris and his (not official, but very close to being) step-sister Lucía, who is obsessed with all things spying and is convinced that Idris’s mum Sarah is in fact a spy. So when some pangolins go missing at the local zoo and Idris’s mum goes missing after she is behaving rather oddly on a trip to see what happened, Lucía is seemingly proven right and she teams up with Idris to get his mum back, and find out what happened to the missing animals too.

Idris is very understandably freaked out by all this, and I think it would be impossible for anyone not to empathise with him. Not to mention the fact he absolutely LOVES animals, which I think is one of the very best traits any person can have. Lucía is absolutely hilarious; she is so clever and funny and again, exactly the type of character I love. The plot is super fun and I liked the little twist we got, and the villain is exactly the type of high fashion, very glam person I am always down to love to hate. Obviously I do not condone her love of furs or being vile to animals, to be clear!!

There is a lovely little hint at the end (the last page made me smile SO MUCH, by the way, special shout out to the illustration there!) about what the next book in the series will be, and I’m definitely planning to pick it up because I just had the best time with this book.


Thank you so much for reading! What are your favourite wild animals? Have you read this book, or is it on your TBR? I’d love to have a chat in the comments!

Amy xx

Reviews: What’s the Name of the Game?

Hello everybody! Today, I have a little mini batch of reviews for you, all of which have a character’s name in the title (there would’ve been more, but you all know I’m mood reading loads at the moment and also buddy reading and then some other things for different posts have been calling to me and there were some that could’ve ended up in a few different ones, so at the risk of sounding like someone on Love Island … it is what it is).

Also: heads up that there may well be another post with the same theme soonish because I have so many books with names in the titles on my tbr right now, I swear! Onto the post!


The Extraordinary Voyage of Katy Willacott by Sharon Gosling (recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

I’ve read and really enjoyed a couple of Sharon’s books now, and was lucky enough to be on the blog tour for this, so I’ve been eagerly anticipating picking it up and when I finally did, it didn’t disappoint. It’s the story of a girl named Katy, who lives at Kew Gardens and dreams of adventure, and she then joins an expedition to Brazil, which is going in search of a fallen meteorite. I loved how brave and noble Katy is as a person, and my favourite thing about the whole book is probably the characters because the secondary cast are so well drawn that they felt real, and Katy learns so much from almost each and every one of them. The setting is so beautifully described that again, it felt very three dimensional to me, and I also really liked the focus on nature/the importance of plants and wildlife. The ending is one of those full circle, perfect moments that was so well done it made me cry and also cheer, and as I always say when I review a Sharon Gosling book, I can’t wait to see what she does next; her books are always so different but have the same themes of family and friendship and feminism to tie them together like sisters.

Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave with illustrated from Tom de Freston

(CW: suicide attempt)

I buddy read this with Soph, and I was very intrigued by it because this is a very different kind of book from Kiran, and based on this, I honestly love the new direction she seems to be going in. It follows a girl named Julia who goes to stay on a small Scottish island with her parents so they can work on projects there; her dad is working on the lighthouse, and her mum is attempting to find the elusive Greenland shark. As Julia settles in and makes friends, her mum’s mental health begins to deteriorate, and she sets out to find the shark as a way to help and ensure her mum’s safety. Julia is such an amazing character; she cares deeply for people and is so loving and warm, her family is imperfect but so caring and gorgeously depicted, and the friendships are real and complicated but also deep and moving and important. I’ve never been to Shetland (despite being Scottish), but I really feel like I have after reading this, because the writing is so evocative and just brings it to life. While the writing of this is already enough to make it stunning, the illustrations elevate it even further into that territory, and the climax/ending made me very weepy. I’m already very much looking forward to reading the forthcoming Leila and the Blue Fox.

Ellie Pillai is Brown by Christine Pillainayagam

I won a giveaway copy of this ages ago and I knew I’d enjoy it, so I have no idea what took me so long, but I know myself well (at least in terms of books!) and I was absolutely right that it would be an enjoyable read for me. It follows a Sri Lankan-English girl named Ellie Pillai, who is navigating the stresses of school and shifting friendship dynamics, which become even more complex when a new boy starts at school and she falls for him despite him being with her best friend. I think my favourite thing about this was that it very much has the coming of age, British John Hughes-style vibe I was expecting, but kind of turns some the typical beats of that story around and subverts expectations, to the point I actually wasn’t sure who would end up with who because there were so many plausible possibilities for how things could turn out. The characters are all so multi dimensional and layered that again, no one felt like a stereotype or even like a character because they just felt like people you could know for real, which again was reminiscent of John Hughes (for the record, he is my favourite director/producer of all time, so this is a Very Big Compliment in case it is construed in a different way). The music references totally did it for me and my music geek heart, and the main romance lowkey gave me butterflies because it was adorable and built on connecting through songs and it just made me happy. The way it did turn out, though, was for the record the way I wanted it to be, and I’ve heard there’s going to be a sequel so I will absolutely be reading that so I can see some more of these characters.

Etta, Invincible by Reese Eschmann

If you’re new around here, you may not know that I am disabled, and as part of that have major issues with balance and dizziness, and am also hard of hearing, so while I do not have menière’s disease, it’s one I am so similar to that I sometimes get pamphlets when I go to the hospital as the symptoms are so similar to the issues I have but my condition is too niche for pamphlets. So, I already liked the sound of this and was thrilled when I won a copy in the author’s giveaway, and then I heard it was about a young girl recently diagnosed with Menière’s and I was even more excited! It follows Etta, her new friend Eleazar and his dog Louisa May Alcott as they journey through this seemingly amazing magical train to find Louisa after she runs onto it, but then they discover that it is malfunctioning, making things become even more difficult for them. I’ve been saying this forever, but it’s no less true now, so this year has been revolutionary for disabilities rep in kid lit and it makes my heart happy. What a gorgeous, glorious gift it is to see people in books like me who aren’t tragic side characters, or villains. I could relate to so many of Etta’s issues, and although I also loved how artistic and caring she was as a person too, relating to her so much was one of the main reasons why I loved her. Her friendship with Eleazar is super special and lovely, I adored her supportive parents and you know I love a dog character. The secondary characters they meet on the train also had their own interesting stories, and add so much to the book! The worldbuilding is worth noting too, because it’s so original and fun, and I loved the kind of superhero vibe to it as well. Basically, if you want to read something that’s like Circus Mirandus mixed with Marvel, this book’s got your back!

Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by Sangu Mandanna

This came very highly recommended by my friend Izzy, so I was excited to finally be reading it, and as I expected, I really enjoyed it. It follows a girl named Kiki, who is very anxious (and also has some OCD traits, in my opinion, as someone who struggles with them), and she takes solace in her sketchbook, until she finds out that a malevolent figure from Hindu mythology has brought her imaginary world to life and is causing huge issues both there and in attempting to break into the human world. She then has to venture into the world and defeat Mahishasura with the help of a gang of child rebels she has invented, and also a lion named Simha. Simha is the **best**, and I loved the camaraderie and found family vibe of the Crows, led by a girl named Ashwini. My favourite was probably Pip, but I was also a huge fan of Jojo and of course, it’s wonderful to see how they make Kiki’s life better from knowing them. As ever with this sort of book, I love learning more about the myths and folklore of other cultures, and this was no exception; I’ve read about Hindu myths before so there was a good balance of things I knew and new information. There was also a twist towards the end that I genuinely didn’t see coming, which I always love because I read a LOT and as such am usually pretty good at guessing, and I’m really interested to see what happens in the next book, particularly with regards to Kiki maybe having some treatment for her mental health issues.

The Many-Half Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester by Maya MacGregor (recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

(CW: transphobia, assault, detailed discussion of trauma, including self harm)

This is the story of an autistic, nonbinary teen named Sam, who moves to a new town after a horrifying hate crime attack in their hometown, and when they get there, they discover that they are sleeping in the bedroom of a boy who was seemingly murdered 30 years ago, and with the help of theiir new friends from their new school’s LGBTQ society, set out to investigate. While I liked Sam, and their friends Shep (well, she’s maybe more than a friend 👀) and Sky and Ronnie very much, and was so pleased to see some supportive staff at their school such as Mr Quach, my favourite was undoubtedly Sam’s super supportive, ridiculously cool and unbelievably kind dad Junius, a Black aroace man who adopted Sam when they were seven and has had their back in every way possible since. The mystery was incredibly intriguing, and I also liked the indepth exploration of Sam’s identity and their trauma. Overall, this was an interesting read, and definitely one I can see a lot of people enjoying.


Thank you so much for reading! Have you read any of these books, or are they on your TBR? Can you think of anything you’ve enjoyed recently with a character’s name in the title? I’d love to chat in the comments!

Amy xx

Reviews: Summer Lovin’

Hello everybody! Today, I have kind of a random mishmash of things I’ve read in the last couple of months that I wanted to review now, and then I have some slightly more themed ones coming up in the next wee while. I’m trying not to be super rigid with my reading right now so I can mood read, so review posts going forward will probably have less clear themes, which I hope people don’t mind too much. Anyway, onto the post!


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Reviews: Heaven Sent, part 1

Hello everybody! Today, I’m here to finally review some books I’ve been sent by publishers, both for review purposes and as part of giveaways. Onto the post!


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Blog Tour Review: Spellstoppers by Cat Gray

Hello everybody! Today, I’m bringing you another blog tour post, this time my review for Cat Gray’s wonderful MG fantasy debut, Spellstoppers. Onto the post!


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The Dragon in the Bookshop Blog Tour: Review and Author Interview

Hello everybody! Today, I’m ever so excited to be on the blog tour for Ewa Jozefkowicz’s new release, with both my review and an interview with Ewa. Onto the post!


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