Moonrise by Sarah Crossan | A Review

‘Any reader of a heart will weep buckets’ Sunday Times

It’s fair to say that Crossan did not fail to follow through with her new novel, ‘Moonrise’. The format is characteristic of her other works, in that the book is broken down into poem-like sections with a storyline running throughout. However, the plot is very different to anything I have read in a while. The narrator is the brother of Ed, who is on death row for committing murder. Ed has always pleaded guilty to his family and friends, but Joe (our narrator) is still unsure as to why Ed signed a form ten years ago that confirmed the case and Ed as guilty. The plot follows Joe as he struggles to visit Ed the month before his execution date, and we come to understand as the reader, how much Ed’s trial has shaken up Joe himself, and the family. Crossan touches upon themes of brotherhood, integrity and justice, and whether that can coexist with one and moral righteousness. It has been a while since I’ve read a book that has kept me so gripped that I couldn’t stop turning the pages, but ‘Moonrise’ did it for me! So compelling, so fast-paced, and the poems are beautifully written and run seamlessly into one another so the storyline is by no means lost. Joe is such a likeable character, but also raw and complex in his own ways, which adds to the realism of the plot. There are very few characters in ‘Moonrise’, but like the story that is revealed to us bit by bit, new characters are introduced at every hurdle – in turn, Crossan creates a tight knit group of well-developed characters and a storyline that is well mapped out and leads to a very interesting and engaging read.


Countless by Karen Gregory ~ A Review

‘Love means holding tight
Love means letting go’

Countless is a moving and emotional novel that follows the story of Hedda, a girl very much controlled by her mind. She struggles with her eating disorder on a day to day basis, and until she takes a pregnancy test, her life has quietened down. She knows deep down that she cannot give up this baby, but she is also terrified of the weeks that will follow.

Countless is raw, and treats mental health the way any teenager would who has been fighting one as long as she can remember. It felt uncomfortable at times reading parts of the novel, but I understand that it is an important issue to tackle today in society. Gregory uses this novel as an allegory to show that many other girls are facing similar problems which they find themselves struggling alone. Countless reminds the reader that we are not alone and things will get better.

I loved the characters and Hedda in particular – I feel like her character was already developed from the start which added to the plot and gave the reader a reason to carry on. Why has her life ended up like this? Will she be able to cope with the bump and her eating disorder at the same time? At first, I had my doubts about Robin, the boy next door. He sounded very cliche to me but as the novel progressed he reader learns more about his character that sets him apart from other characters.

All in all, I didn’t enjoy Countless as much as I thought I would, but it is an acquired genre and I felt myself likening to Hedda as I read more. A sensitive topic that Gregory captures successfully through Hedda’s fight story.

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+.

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve had it drilled into me that my Uncle Lester was my favourite uncle.”

Enter the alien world of bridge, the world where people speak gibberish and battle over cards. Anyone who has never heard of bridge would think these people are crazy. Uncle Lester is one of those crazy people.

Ever since he was twenty Lester played bridge.  As he nears eighty he suddenly turns blind and ‘takes a turn for the worse’. Everone expects him to quit and stop playing bridge but he fought on and got a cardturner, someone who can tell him his cards and set them dowm. This cardturner happens to be a boy named Alton Richards…

This book is amazing and I loved it from the very first page.I also reccomend you should read ‘Holes’ and ‘There’s a Boy in The Girls Bathroom’, also by Louis Sachar. the age range for all three of these books is roughly 11-14.I give this  ***** stars and the publisher is Bloomsbury.



The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

The Weight of the Water is a passionate, lovable story which concludes with an unforgettable ending. It takes twists and turns you can just grasp. The core is overpowering and it tells a tale no one can forget or regret. Crossan certainly knows how to keep a story afloat. Although it is like a long poem, it can capture the same inner feeling and if not, more. This unique novel should be treasured for years on end.

The age range is 10+ but I’m 11 and I really enjoyed it. The genre is real life and romance; and the characters are also often on the move so the third genre would be action packed. The publisher is Bloomsbury.

Kasienka’s life is terrible as a Polish twelve year old girl whose father has run away and mother breaks down often. It gets worse when her mother travels to England, determined to find her husband. Their hopes are drained when they end up in a one room flat. Will they ever find her father? and will just be happily ever after as soon as they do?

‘Poignant, powerful, just perfect’ Cathy Cassidy

Look at Sarah Crossan’s website here for more information on the author.