A World of Words

Reviewing children's books

The second type of dystopia

Noughts and Crosses, by Malorie Blackman

ISBN: 0-552-54632-1, £2.32 from Play

noughts and crosses

Callum is a nought – a second-class citizen in a world run by the ruling Crosses…

Sephy is a Cross, daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country…

In their world, noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. And as hostility turns to violence, can Callum and Sephy possibly find a way to be together? They are determined to try.

And then the bomb explodes…

A friend recommended this book to me back when I was at university. The noughts are the white-skinned underclass, only 50 years out of slavery to the Crosses, the dark-skinned people that have the majority of the prospects and jobs. Sephy is the daughter of the Prime Minister, whereas Callum is a nought whose mother once worked for Sephy’s. The book alternates between the first-person perspectives of both characters, and together they tell their story, starting from when Sephy’s 13 and ending when she’s 18.

I realised today that there are two types of dystopia. The first is like The Hunger GamesIt’s an interesting idea, but still removed enough from our everyday lives that the message it sends is fairly subtle. Noughts and Crosses is the second type: the dystopia is near enough to life today to make one feel distinctly uncomfortable. And that’s what it did; the politics of Noughts and Crosses slapped me in the face. There are still enough issues with race and equality today for this book to be extremely relevant, which I can imagine is why Malorie Blackman wrote it.

The character development was brilliantly done, and I was able to empathise with the perspectives of both main characters. Their flaws were exposed as well as their strengths, so they were really believable. Reading it as an adult, I think I figured out pretty early on that the story was only going to go downhill for Sephy and Callum, despite what they might dream and I might hope. In that respect, I did find myself a little depressed in that all I could do is see how badly things went wrong – there was only a tiny glimmer of hope, which I’m not used to. I wonder how I’d have interpreted this story as a teenager?

Despite being saddened by the book, I still really enjoyed it. The message is clear but didn’t stop to preach – everything was put in context. The plot was fast and Callum and Sephy’s relationship was handled deftly, according to their situation. It was a gritty book I’d thoroughly recommend.

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A book I wouldn’t recommend

Bone Dressing, by Michelle I Brooks
ISBN: 0-615-47759-3, £1.53 from the Amazon Kindle store

Bone Dressing

Time is running out & the Dark that’s been chasing Syd for many lifetimes has finally caught up with her.

Sydney Roberdeau lost her parents as a young girl. Waiting for her life to start and the freedom that will come with her eighteenth birthday, Syd spends much of her time haunting the local cemetery. It is there, stretched out among the dead, that she feels most alive, most at home. Until one rainy night when Beau, Sarah and T.J. crash her ghostly sanctuary, appearing out of nowhere, turning her already inside-out world one degree past upside down.

Syd must now revisit past lives, dressing in the bodies of her previous selves & bone dressing. Her only chance to outrun the evil breathing down her neck is to face her own worst nightmares and her strongest desires. But if she can’t stay out of trouble in this life, how can she possibly fix mistakes from past lives? And just how many lives has she lived, loved and lost? What is Syd exactly, and what will she risk for the life of a man she doesn’t remember, the man she spent a lifetime with, the man she loves? Everything including her very own life?

Bone Dressing, the first in a series of seven books, will carry Syd and Beau on an adventure that transcends life itself.

Once again, I got this as a read to review from the Goodreads group ‘Never too old for Y.A. books‘. It goes without saying (especially once you’ve read my review!) that what I am about to write is completely honest. I don’t think I can explain my feelings about this book without letting spoilers slip, so please beware!

Unfortunately, unlike the first book I received to review, I really didn’t like this story, and I won’t be reading the next books in the series. Part of the premise wasn’t bad – a 17-year-old girl, Syd, goes back to a previous life and discovers she has an ability to shapeshift into 5 different animals – but there are many flaws that made it a challenge to read.

To start with, the premise I mentioned above was bogged down with so many other storylines trying to demand attention. There’s a sexually harassing, paedophile teacher; issues with her dead parents (which never actually goes anywhere); boy issues (which I’ll discuss later); and probably several other things I genuinely don’t care about.

Then, there’s Sydney. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book with a main character as unlikeable as her. Now, I understand she misses her parents (who died 7 years previously), but from what the story says, she has been with her foster parents ever since, and they treat her as good parents should, so I don’t understand the amount of anger that spews from her for about 80% of the time she’s appearing as Syd (as opposed to Rachel).

If you’ve read my reviews before, you may have realised that I hate books that completely devolve from reality, especially when it comes to love. Syd mentions at the beginning of the book that she’s had dates with ‘hot’ guys, but that she’s put off as soon as they open their mouths. Then, one day, she’s met by Beau  (at the friggin’ cemetery, by her parents’ graves), and despite his stalkerish (and is it just me to think vampiric? It’s never revealed what he is) tendencies, she falls head over heels in love with him. Well, duh. She then has her life threatened by a panther, and decides to take that moment to declare how she feels. I’m not sure about anyone else, but that’s not what I’d do.

When Syd goes back to her previous life, as Rachel, she again is madly in love, this time with a man named Jesse. This section of the book is slightly better written in that Rachel has more vulnerability than Syd, and the events are more exciting and less jumbled. I was intrigued as to how Syd could help Rachel change the events (which was hinted at by Beau), and can’t help feeling that if there had been more of this and a LOT less lead-up, I would have enjoyed the book more. I didn’t like that the end of the book finished on a cliffhanger, with nothing of importance having been ‘tied up’, with only an expectation that the reader would buy the next book in order to carry on.

Then there’s Mr Askew. I won’t waste my breath on this: he is a paedophile that sexually harasses Syd in front of the whole class at one point. Worst student in the world or not, Sydney could get him done – no bargaining. Plus, why have her burning down the school at the start of the book, only to not refer back to what was already mentioned when it happens at the end?!

In general, an annoyance throughout the book was the amount of metaphors and adjectives used for everything. If there’s one word used to describe something, there can be three, appears to be this book’s motto! Metaphors can be amazing, but they were taken too far here. (This blogger here agrees!) Picture this type of language every other page or so:

“I could feel the waves of an overwhelming heartbreak ravaging my body, taking hold as if preparing to replace every part of me with an ache that could never be soothed. Somewhere in the distance I heard agonizing sobbing, sobbing too painful for a mere girl to endure.”

Yeah. So, it’s safe to say I won’t be recommending this one.

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My first ‘read to review’

Dead Letter Office (Parish Mail #1), by Kira Snyder

Dead Letter Office

When Celia’s father is killed in Afghanistan, she moves with her mother to New Orleans, the city where her father grew up. Struggling to adjust and haunted

by troubling dreams, Celia finds comfort in new friends like Tilly, a practicing witch, and Donovan, the son of police detective. On Halloween, bizarre supernatural occurrences rock the city. Celia meets the mysterious Luc and finds a letter, over a hundred years old, addressed to her.

The paranormal repercussions continue when Celia learns that Luc is the restless spirit of a young man murdered in 1854, only able to assume solid form at night. And then, to her shock, Celia finds that the letter, which describes the suspected murder of a man in 1870, contains uncanny parallels to the present-day death of Abel Sims, a homeless veteran.

With help from Luc, Tilly, and Donovan, Celia races to solve the murder—and the mystery of the letter—using both magical and forensic clues.

 

I’m very excited to have received my first ‘read for review’ book, through the ‘Never Too Old for Y.A.‘ group on Goodreads. I should probably point you to my new review policy at this point. This is also the first ‘Active Fiction’ e-book I’ve read. It gives the reader an option of the direction they want the plot to take. The last time I read a book (let alone an e-book!) in any way similar to that was when I was about 10, reading an Enid Blyton Famous Five ‘red herring’ book. I was therefore really intrigued as to what to expect. Would there be red herrings? Would it make the book worse? Well, no and no, as it turns out. I’ll get to that in a bit.

This is a brilliantly written story that centres around Celia, who has just lost her father and moved to New Orleans with her mum so she can get to know her father’s side of the family. Celia soon has 3 friends (2 of which are potential love interests) and bounces well off the other characters. Snyder has included the obligatory ‘popular crowd’, but added unusual details to a few of the group’s members that makes it interesting, and slightly more dangerous than your average ‘death-by-gossip’ group.

Starting from the beginning, this was one of those books I knew would capture my interest as soon as I read the first line:

” The dead man smiles at me.”

The rest of this page draws me in further, and I went from there. An odd thing I liked (and noticed fairly early on) is that Celia doesn’t ruin the first person narrative she’s got going on by telling us what she looks like. It’s good enough for me to know she’s pretty enough to have a surfer dude boyfriend before she moves away, haha!

Coming back to the reader choices, I was a little startled when the first one came up, but that’s just me not being used to it! I liked the sense of power I got from helping Celia make the ‘right’ choice. They were also placed really well within the story, at pivotal plot moments, so there wasn’t too much or too little of them. There was only one (right at the end) that I thought was pointless, although having re-read the description on Goodreads, I now know that it’s a vote the author wanted so as to establish reader preference on Celia’s love interests. Lucky Cee!

I must admit, I did read all the alternative versions, so I can say that there are no ‘red herrings’. Some choices lead you to the answer faster than others, and sometimes there’ll be a quirky scene that comes with one choice, but is barely mentioned in the other. Without wanting to spoil anything, something key to the background knowledge of Donovan and Peyton’s relationship is only mentioned in one of the choices. I haven’t quite decided if this is a good thing yet – that little piece of knowledge was good to know, I thought!

Overall, Kira Snyder has built a great sense of anticipation between the main characters, and has set the foundation for future crime/mystery-solving. It was a brilliant book and I’ll definitely be reading the next in the series.

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Review policy

Since I’m starting to review books that have been given to me, I thought it best to put a review policy here. I wasn’t sure what to put, so I used this blog here as a template.

First of all, it needs to be said that I promise to give a completely honest review, but this does not mean positive.  If I don’t like it, I’ll say so.

What kind of books do you accept for review?
I read a variety of books, but for the purpose of this blog they should be designed for readers aged 18 and under, although I don’t mind reviewing New Adult books.  I will consider anything, although so far it has just been fiction. Please note that if you’d like me to read a book that isn’t the first in the series and I haven’t read the previous books, I’d be grateful if you could supply the previous books for me to read, as otherwise it may take a lot of time/money that I don’t have.

What about e-books and audiobooks?
I’ll happily accept paperbacks or e-books suitable for a Kindle (that’s mobi or pdf). I’ve never tried listening to an audiobook before, but I’ll consider it.

What should I do before making a request?
Have a look around the blog, and see if you like the reviews I’ve written for other books.

What if I don’t hear from you?
I’ll always try and get back to you with something, at least. If not, I may be on holiday or have other things going on. If that’s the case, leave me a comment on the blog and I promise I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

What do you do other than reviews?
Generally, that’s all I’ve done so far, but I’m happy to host author Q&As and giveaways (once I’m not so poor!).

What if you don’t like the book?
I do my best to accept only books that I think I will enjoy. However, I honestly review every book that I read, and my acceptance of a review copy does not guarantee a positive review. In cases where I didn’t enjoy a book as much as I thought I would, I always do my best to describe my reasons in such a way that my readers can draw their own conclusions about whether or not the book would be a good fit for them.

What if you really don’t like the book?
In the very rare case that a book and I don’t get along to the extent that I can’t finish it, I will make every effort to pass it along to another reviewer for whom it might be a better match. I will also occasionally hold giveaways to pass along ARCs that I have already read and reviewed. If you would rather I did not re-send your review copy, please let me know this when you send it.

Where will your review be posted?
All reviews will be posted here, as well as anywhere else that’s requested – usually Amazon and Goodreads.

When will your review be posted?
I’d prefer it to be flexible, but if you have a date in mind I’ll arrange a rough date when I’m contacted – I’m fairly flexible!

Okay, I’ve read this page. How do I submit a request for a review?
Thanks for looking at my blog, and thanks for asking! If you’d like me to consider reviewing a book for you, please contact me by e-mail at kayleighreviews(at)hotmail(dot)com.

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What Katy Did, by Susan Coolidge

What Katy Did, by Susan Coolidge

ISBN: 0-14-036697-0. I’ve had this from when I was a child, but it’s available on Play for £1.33 and probably many other shops!

wkd

Gangly, quick-tempered Katy always means to be beautiful and beloved and as good as an angel one day, but meanwhile her resolutions somehow get forgotten or go horribly wrong. Until, one terrible day, the swing breaks … But it is still  a long, eventful time before Katy learns to be as loving and patient as her beautiful, invalid Cousin Helen.

Katy Carr is one of six children (and we mustn’t forget Cecy Hall, who lives next door but always joins in), and as the eldest, is undoubtedly the leader. Her sense of adventure and vivid imagination get her (and the others) into trouble, but the games she devises seem really fun, and her conscience makes Katy really endearing, too. I first read this book when I was about 8, and at that age I really identified with some of the scrapes the children got into. As a child I was allowed around the local area without parental supervision (something I fear is getting rarer now), and got into my fair share of trouble! I was also very “romantic” and idealistic, so Katy was a character I really related to. Plus, all the children really capture the joy of childhood when they’re playing – it’s infectious!

Published in 1872 and set in 1860s America (although I’ve only just realised the characters weren’t from England), this is a Victorian book with Victorian values. I looked at this book for part of my university dissertation (comparing representations of disability in children’s fiction), and I have read reviews that after her accident, Katy became as saintly as Cousin Helen in order to match the Victorian ideals of womanhood. I can’t deny this – she does suddenly learn to mend her ways and “become the heart of the household”. To me, as a child, and even re-reading it as an adult, it didn’t matter.

Katy’s imagination is still as vivid as ever – she arranges thoughtful surprises for her family, and finds a way to deal with her disability. The book is packed full of morals for readers to follow, but rather than preach, it lets the story provide the explanation, which is what it should. What Katy Did is a real favourite of mine – have you read it? What did you think?

Oh yeah, and happy Easter! I’m off to Portsmouth to see some family in a bit; I hope your holiday is just as relaxing!

What Katy Did qualifies under the Vintage Children’s Literature Challenge I’m currently completing – check it out!

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It’s been a while…

I’ve had a really busy couple of weeks, what with moving, settling in and visiting friends. Funny how everything comes at once!

Anyway, today I’m writing about a book I found out about a few months ago. Room on the Broom was written by the current Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson; and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. I’d seen something about a theatre show based on it, and while circumstance stopped me from taking Caitlin and Lewis to go and see it, I bought the book straight away. (Since then, I also found out it was on CBeebies as part of Jackanory.)

Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

ISBN: 978-0-230-74935-1, £2.95 from Play.com

room-on-a-broom

The witch had a cat
and a very tall hat,
And long ginger hair
which she wore in a plait.
How the cat purred
and how the witch grinned,
As they sat on their broomstick
and flew through the wind.

Room on the Broom follows the witch and her cat, who are travelling on a broomstick. The witch will lose something and they’ll go to retrieve it, only to pick up another animal friend. This is until the broom gets so heavy, it snaps! The witch falls in the path of a dragon, who declares:

“‘I am a dragon, as mean as can be,
And I’m planning to have WITCH
AND CHIPS for my tea!'”

This was a really fun story to read. It’s written in rhyming quatrains and is filled with onomatopoeic rhymes that make it really satisfying to read and listen to. The best one is on the first page:

“But how the witch wailed
         and how the cat spat…”

The text was really lively, and filled with whooshes and tumblings and loud, scary roars. It was so much fun for me to do, and even better when I got the kids to act it out! The accompanying illustrations were awesome, and if the story didn’t let Caitlin and Lewis anticipate what was coming next in the story (which it did!), they engaged really well with the pictures. It’s one of those that they’ll quite happily go into the corner with to ‘read’ on their own.

Caitlin and Lewis have often referred to this book when looking for something to read – in our house it’s known as ‘the witch book’. My family and I also love it – the first time I read this to the children, it was in front of everyone and I’d been reading really fast. I got to the dragon part (quoted above), and instead of saying “witch and chips”, I came out with “witch and tits” – oops! I was laughed at for a fair bit after that one!

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Moving house

I’ve been so busy this week, having finally moved out of my parents’ house (again!). They’re moving house too, so we’ve been through the loft and I’ve ended up re-discovering many children’s books. They take up a shelf and a half of my bookshelf. I was expecting them to take up more space, although I haven’t finished yet and I left books that Caitlin, Lewis and Harry could read at my parents’ house. Obsessed, me?!

20130317-150033.jpg

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It’s World Book Day!

As you may have guessed from the imaginative title of this post, it’s World Book Day today in the UK. For any readers not from around here, schools (especially primary) generally encourage children to dress as their favourite character from a book. Then, every child gets a £1 book token to spend within a certain amount of time either towards a book over £2.99, or in exchange for one of the World Book Day £1 books for that year. This year the books are:

Alfie’s Shop, by Shirley Hughes (2+)

Giraffes Can’t Dance Colouring and Puzzle Fun, by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees (3+)

Horrid Henry’s Guide to Perfect Parents, by Francesca Simon & Tony Ross (5+)

Tony Robinson’s Weird World of Wonders: Funny Inventions, by Tony Robinson & Del Thorpe (7+)

The Diamond Brothers In… Two of Diamonds, by Anthony Horowitz (8+)

Hang in there, Bozo, by Lauren Child (9+)

Tom Gates: Best Book Day Ever! (so far), by Liz Pichon (9+)

The Chocolate Box Girls: Bittersweet, by Cathy Cassidy (11+)

I think I’ve pretty much been on all sides of this one – as a child, a (trainee) teacher and now as an aunt (although the latter is obviously not as good as being a mother!). I’ve never been brilliant at fancy dress, so as a student I’ve previously come dressed as Pippi Longstocking (although I haven’t read those books yet!), and as a teacher, dressed as a (non-green) wicked witch of the west, from The Wizard of Oz. Bad costumes aside though, the day I’m referring to when I was a trainee teacher was actually by far the best day of a really stressful training course – children were encouraged to build reading forts under the tables, hold mini-performances in groups, and generally have a lot of fun with books. I wish there were more days like that, to be honest!

In honour of World Book Day, I’m reviewing one of its eight ‘£1’ books.

Giraffes Can’t Dance, by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Reesgcdance

ISBN: 978-1-40830-370-2, £2.69 from Play marketplace

Now every year in Africa
They hold the Jungle Dance

Where every single animal
Turns up to skip and prance

A best-loved, rollicking, rhyming story – perfect for little ones.

I must admit, this book got a little overlooked, because I bought it at the same time as the Dr Seuss books I previously blogged about, and Caitlin and Lewis went straight for those. However, Caitlin loves both giraffes and dancing, so even though I’ve only read this story to her once, she thoroughly enjoyed it and still knows which book I’m talking about a few weeks on.

First off, the illustrations in this book are, I think, the best I’ve seen. When the warthogs started waltzing and the lions danced the tango, neither Caitlin nor I knew what the dances entailed, but we could see from the pictures. And as you can probably see from (my bad photo of) the front cover, the contrasting colours are amazing! Every illustration stands out and makes the story even better.

Not that the story needs to be better, though. Gerald the giraffe’s height makes dancing too awkward for him, and at the beginning of the book he finds himself being laughed at at the Jungle Dance by the other animals. However, he comes across a cricket who reminds him that:

“‘Sometimes when you’re different
You just need a different song'”

I really loved the message that this sent across. Gerald is reminded that everyone is different, and so has different strengths. It reminds me of the saying that says something like if you tell a fish to climb a tree, he looks stupid; watch him swim in water though, and he’s a genius. Children can really take away the positive messages and use it to build their self-confidence – not that they’ll be thinking of it like that, obviously!

The story is written in 4-line poems, with an ABCB rhyme scheme, which really set the rhythm well in a story about dancing. From my point of view, this made it really fun to read aloud, as well as doing all the funny voices of the laughing animals. From Caitlin’s perspective, she loved the fact that most of the story could be acted out. From gently swaying necks to rock ‘n’ rolling rhinos, there was a multitude of things for Caitlin to engage with, and she really enjoyed it.

Thoroughly recommended, for adults as much as children!

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Vintage Children’s Literature Reading Challenge 2013

Vintage Children’s Literature Reading Challenge 2013

Vintage Childrens lit

1. Only titles published before the year 2000 count.  So that means only the first three Harry Potter novels would qualify for this challenge.
2.  The challenge focuses mainly on novels but you can choose picture books or collections of short stories or non-fiction,  if you desire.
3.  Challenge runs from 31st of January to the 31st of December 2013 and you can sign up at any time.
4. You don’t need a blog to participate, you can just sign up and for each book read just leave a comment on the monthly post for the challenge or you could link to your goodreads page, facebook, twitter, whatever you can think of.
5. Choose a level.
6. Write an introduction post with the badge and a link back here.  Maybe outline some of the titles you plan to read.
7. Any format counts, including e-books and audio books, re-reads count as do double ups with other challenges.

Levels:

Gumnut baby – four books.  (the gumnut babies are the most famous characters by Australian children’s author illustrator May Gibbs.)

Alice – six books – you are entering into the wonderland of childhood.

Mary Poppins – ten books – you have a serious interest in the world of the young.

Peter Pan – twelve books or more – you clearly are still in touch with your inner child.

This is my favourite type of children’s literature! As a child the books I loved most were The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and What Katy Did. I’m moving house soon, so all my old classics will soon be rescued from the loft, and I can’t wait to re-read them all! As I’ve already reviewed 4 at the time of writing this, I’m going to aim for Peter Pan level – here goes!

* * * * * * * * * *

1. The Cat in the Hat, by Dr Seuss (1957)

2. I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!, by Dr Seuss (1978)

3. George’s Marvellous Medicineby Roald Dahl (1981)

4. To Kill a Mockingbirdby Harper Lee (1960)

5. What Katy Did, by Susan Coolidge (1872)

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Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – methadone?!

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan

ISBN: 0-141-32999-8, £4.99 from the Kindle store

The Lightning Thief

The first bestselling book in Rick Riordan’s phenomenally successful Percy Jackson series.

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek god. I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporised my maths teacher. That’s when things started really going wrong. Now I spend my time fighting with swords, battling monsters with my friends, and generally trying to stay alive.

This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I’ve stolen his lightning bolt – and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.

Can Percy find the lightning bolt before a fully fledged war of the gods erupts?

This one  has been on my ‘to-read’ list for a couple of years now, since the film came out and I saw how much enthusiasm my teenage American cousins showed for the books. I must say, I enjoyed it and I’ll be reading further in the series.

It’s probably for the best that Percy finds out about everything at the same time as the reader – I only know the basics of Greek mythology, and it kept me reading to find out why Percy (or Perseus, to use his full name) was coming so much under attack. I should probably mention that when I’m reading books on my Kindle, I have usually downloaded a lot of books at once, and then don’t bother re-reading the blurb before I start the book. It’s well paced, with a lot of action making it a book I got through quickly, although I also think it would have worked well slowed down a little.

I must say, I was struggling a little to talk about this book. While it is good, I think the characterisation could be worked on just a weeny bit more. Throughout, Percy refers to people as either friends or bullies, and, whilst he is immersed in camp and the reader is ‘just’ reading, I don’t think I was told quite enough about characters like Clarisse and Luke for them to have much of an impact in terms of how I should feel about them for Percy’s sake. Then, though I really liked that nothing romantic was introduced between 12 year-olds Percy and Annabeth, and I also liked her feistiness, I wasn’t all the way there in rooting for Annabeth either. I could even have hated Smelly Gabe (Percy’s detested stepfather) more.  This may just be me, or possibly because I’ve just read The Hunger Games, which I find has so far beaten off competitors fairly well! Saying that though, I reckon this will get a lot better in the following Percy Jackson books.

I thought it was a great idea to use Greek mythology, and it was a great part of the plot to see gods using the trio as pawns to get their own way and/or create havoc. I loved the sub-plot about Medusa, and often wondered how Percy was going to get out of certain situations. I’ve just read a great review on goodreads that links the similarities of The Lightning Thief to Harry Potter, particularly the first book. They are definitely big similarities, and as the review author puts it, The Lightning Thief is like methadone when trying to come off Harry Potter. I thought that was an awesome way to put it, and probably accurate – Percy Jackson is a watered down version of Harry Potter! What do you think?

 

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YA reviews, news & interviews for the young & the young at heart

The Acorn and Thimble

Reviewing children's books

The Mountains of Instead

Reviewing children's books

The Bookette

Reviewing children's books

Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

Reviewing children's books

The History Girls

Reviewing children's books

Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?

Reviewing and talking about children's literature, graphic novels & bookish things. Shiny.

Writing from the Tub

Reviewing children's books

TreasuryIslands

A critical-whimsical romp through children's literature

Nayu's Reading Corner

Reviewing children's books

the book corner

Reviewing children's books

'The Little Wooden Horse'

Reviewing children's books

Picture Book Shelf

Reviewing children's books

5minutespeace's Blog

A comprehensive blog reviewing children's books with an emphasis on fun and nostalgia.