The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

* this book was reviewed for LoveReading and will be featured on their site *

Hello all! As Christmas is approaching and we have entered the holidays I have had a lot more time to read, and The One Memory of Flora Banks is the one novel to read on those cold, icy days. It follows the tale of Flora, a seventeen year old girl suffering from amnesia – this means that she is unable to make new memories and can only access the ones before she was ten. She feels like she is a girl living in a much older, woman’s body, and it’s not until she kisses her best friend’s boyfriend that she wants to find out who she really is and what she has been missing all this time.

I LOVED this book so much, I feel like it will go off with a bang in January and come next year, everyone will be talking about Flora. I love reading about places and people through Flora’s eyes and the fact that the protagonist is going on an adventure to find themself. The plot was enthralling and nerve-wracking as we sense that Flora is in grave danger (most of the time) but can’t do anything to help herself. Captivating and unexpected, I’ve never read anything quite like this book.


Flawed by Cecilia Ahern

Flawed is a unique book about a society where people are split into two groups: normal and flawed. The flawed are the people you don’t want to be, the outsiders. Celestine thought she was safe from the government. She thought her family and friends would protect her. But when she does the right thing in a bad situation, she is put on trial and her life is literally changed forever. I really liked this book because it shows what it’s like to be on both sides, and makes you wonder what our society will be like in the future. I loved the character of Celestine but I feel like a few of the characters weren’t as developed. Overall, it was a gripping read and I recommend it to teenagers who enjoyed Divergent! I rate it 7 out of ten.

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Hi guys!

So I was at Foyles the other day, and I picked up this book because I thought it looked intriguing. I’m so happy I did because it’s such a beautiful book! You learn about mental illnesses and how hard it is to cope with them, and also feminism, two things I think are very important after reading this book. I loved the characters Evie, Amber and Lottie- they stayed with me long after I put the book down. Honest, gripping and insightful, I rate Am I Normal Yet a five star.  Also it’s very easy to read, it’s not for the younger readers- a more YA focused book.

Holly Bourne’s twitter

All My Secrets by Sophie McKensie

‘A riddle wrapped in a coincidence, bound tightly by a lie. And covered up with a massive secret…’

When Evie Brown inherits £10 million pounds from a mystery person, she is gob smacked. Who would give her this much money and why? But when she is told that her whole childhood and the people closest to her was a lie, she is transported to the eerie Lightsea Island by her parents and her Uncle Gavin. Lightsea Island was meant to be a place for teenagers to take their minds off their problems at home. But during the meditation lessons, while she is cleaning the kitchens, she can’t help feeling suspicious. What is that flash of red and black that she keeps on seeing in the window? Is someone watching her? Could it be the person who gave her the large amount of money? Should Evie listen to her gut feeling, or what people keep on saying: It’s just the trick of the lights…

I really liked this book! I liked all of the characters, especially Josh and Pepper (great name, by the way!), and how they worked together to get what they wanted. Personally, I think they all acted a bit younger than their actual age, so I think they should’ve been fourteen instead of sixteen. Despite this, I got quite attached to a few of the characters, which made me even more gripped as I wanted to see how they would turn out. There are a lot of twists and it’s very fast paced (I finished it in a day!). I would recommend it to girls and boys who like a bit of romance and adventure, around 12-15 years old. The publisher is Simon and Schuster, and I would rate this book a four star.

To sum up in three words, this book is: captivating, unique, unpredictable. A must read.

All My Secrets will be published in July, 2015.

Minus Me by Ingelin Rossland

‘Hesitantly she lifts one foot. Then she jumps, even though her heart is stuttering so unevenly. Then suddenly her body pops to the surface like a cork, and the silence is filled with loud screams’

Linda is only twelve. She is young, and is surrounded by people who admire her. But when she suffers from a rare heart condition and does a risky dive in her diving competition, she can only wait for a donor to save her life. Except she doesn’t want to wait, she wants to live. She wants to do things any teenager does. She wants to have a first kiss, go to a rock concert, travel on her own. But will the fact that she’s dying hold her back? Will she push herself too far? All will be revealed in Rossland’s amazing new book, Minus Me.

For one, the cover is really eye-catching and colourful, drawing the attention in from the reader. The title, Minus Me, is powerful and makes you want to know more about what’s inside. My favourite character is Linda, the protagonist, and Zac, who helps her along the way. It teaches you that you should be able to love life and do what you want, but know that your choice can affect other, especially people who care about you. My favourite scene was when Linda performed a dive and her heart stopped in the water. I recommend this to boys and girls of the age of 11-14, because it is quite easy to understand and the characters are 12-13. I give it a four star and the publisher is Oneworld Publications.


The Beneath by S. C. Ransom

Lily lives with her Nan. She has no friends. Her family is thousands of miles away. All she wants is for someone to be there for her. But when Lily saves Aria from getting crushed by a train, she didn’t realise what she’s getting into. Little did she know that Aria is part of something out of this world, and by talking to her she is risking her life. Little did she know that a whole community lives right under her nose. Little did she know that the community needs her help before everything spirals out of control.

This fantastic story hooked me in on the first page- I couldn’t stop reading until I finished it a day later! The story line is very original and thought-provoking; I love books that make me think, and S. C. Ransom has done just that. There aren’t very many characters, but those that are there, are very likeable and realistic. I especially like Will and his dog, Foggy. I also liked the main character, Lily; her heroic personality keeps the book going. The book is extremely fast paced, although the pace did get a little slow around the end. One of my favourite scenes is when Aria and Lily are being chased by the mysterious Crop- sometimes I skip words in other books but in this scene I was gripped and read every single word.

Boys and girls of an age range of 12-15 would like this great book, and the publisher is Nosy Crow. I give this book a five stars, and I reviewed this book for lovereading4kids

Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossman

‘It was quiet again.
No shouting.
And no thunder either.
“Mummy,” I whispered.
“Mummy’s gone, pet,” Nana said. She climbed the stairs, opened the gate at the top and lifted me into her arms. She was shaking. Her eyes were wet. “It’s you and me now. You and me, OK?” ‘

Apple’s Mum left her when she was little. No goodbye parties. She just left. There, then gone. Apple grew up with her Nan, but always wanted the perfect mother figure in her mind. She was doing well in school, with her best friend Pilar on side, no one bothering her that much. Until she wished for her mum to come back. Then everything went out of control.

If you like Jacqueline Wilson, then you’d love this book. Not only is it gripping and fast paced, the novel has a deeper meaning behind it too. I love Apple, the main character, and I also like Del, her friend. The book deals with all sorts of problems which is why I like it so much. Friendship problems, bullying, love, family- you name it- they’re featured in this book. This is also the first book I felt satisfied with after finishing. It just rounds off everything neatly.

The age range is around 11+ and mostly for girls. The publisher is Bloomsbury and I give it a five star.

There will be lies by Nick Lake

‘People you love can lie to you for the very best of reasons.
Maybe they want to protect you.
Maybe they want to hide a terrible secret of their own
Maybe they just love you so much they’ll do anything, ANYTHING, to keep you.
Maybe they’re just liars.
What about you?’

Shelby has lived with only her mum all her life. She grew up to love her, even if she is over protective. But when Shelby is involved in a car crash she is told things she was never told before. She was told lies. She was told a bit of the truth. But will Shelby find out what is what before it is too late?

I must admit, this book was a little hard to get into at first- there was a lot of information you have to process at the start- but afterwards I thoroughly enjoyed it. The narrator talks with a funny sarcastic tone which can change depending on what the scene was about. There was also a lot of action, which made it a little gory! I also loved how Lake made the fantasy in the book so realistic.

I give this book a four star, and the publisher is Bloomsbury. The age range is 13+.

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

Black Ice is Becca Fitzpatrick’s fifth book but it is the first book I’ve read by her. Anyone who goes in Grand Teton National Park is in danger. Young teenage women who enter the Park seem to disappear without trace. Lauren Huntsman enters a bar on her own and leaves with a man known as Shaun. The next day she is nowhere to be seen and neither is Shaun. This is only one example of the kidnappings taking place recently in the Park. What is happening? Will Britt and Korbie survive in the treacherous weather? And will they find Calvin, Corby’s brother, before its too late. This is a psychological thriller located in the mountains of Wyoming.

This is incredible book puts you on the edge of your seat and the pace is kept up throughout. The book genre is not only thriller but also romance, mystery and action. I would recommend this to girls aged 14 +. It will be published by Simon & Schuster and the author is from America. I give it a four star.



Half A Creature From The Sea by David Almond

‘ A story is a journey.
Every word is a footstep.
A story is a life. ‘

Twisted with emotion, threaded with the smell of the sea, Almond creates both fantasy and reality in this gripping book. All the stories create a world within a world, a story within a story, a life within a life. I love how Almond leaves everything for you to pick up so there is no wrong answer- it just makes everything last so much longer (which is a good thing!). I remember spending nights staring up at my ceiling, seeing things other people cannot see, dreaming about the story I just read, pretending to be in the main character’s footsteps. That is something hard to achieve for an author- for kids like me to dream about their stories. Well, David Almond definitely achieved it.

The cover and the illustrations are completely beautiful, every single one. I loved flipping back through the pages to look at the pictures, I loved looking at the cover for the first time. It is definitely the best cover I have ever seen.

After reading the book, I now know a lot of things about David Almond that I didn’t know before. This is because, within each story there is a connection to Almond. The spider webs that make up all the tales are adorned with tiny crystals of Almonds childhood, each thread inspired by the life of the author. This is mainly why this book is so special- the stories are true in such a way that you can smell the sea salt on the paper, you can hear boys yelling, ‘Goaaallll!’ in the distance. There is a weird mix of reality and fantasy here, a weird mix of both the truth and lies, that puts a special effect to the book like no other.

I also quite liked the introductions before each tale- it made everything easier to picture in my mind.

The age range is 11+ and the publisher is Walker Books. I give this book five stars.

Note: when I say five stars or four star, I mean five out of five.