Girl, Missing isn’t my usual read. Especially with YA or teen fiction, I mostly go for the extravagant fantasy, or at least a dash of magic and the supernatural, rather than books set in the real world.
But the blurb intrigued me and I’ve been feeling a bit lost lately, plus I quite fancied a real book for the beach so my Kindle didn’t get all sandy, so I took it with me on holiday and dived in.
And much to my surprise, I was hooked!
It’s fast paced and clever, and I found myself really caring about Lauren and Jam, and the situations they find themselves in.
It unfolds with some twists, and there were a few moments where I said “oh!” out loud, because I was so surprised.
Around halfway through, when some darker things started to happen to the central characters (it’s so hard not to give things away in reviews!), I succumbed to one of my own quirks and read the last few pages, so that I could get through the darker bits without them stressing me too much.
This is something that happens with most books, especially the dystopian YA titles I used to read loads of, and I attribute it to being HSP and having a ridiculously overactive imagination. I don’t see it as a bad thing, but for some reason it drives other people mad…!
So once I’d assured myself of the ending, I could go back and enjoy it.
I finished it in one sitting, partly because I was on holiday and I could, but mostly because I couldn’t put it down – I desperately wanted to know where they were going next and what would happen, and how they would get out of the next crisis.
Also very much loved the extra chapter at the end, which was part of the first draft – as someone who writes more naturally than she talks, but rarely attempts fiction, it’s wonderful to have little snippets into other writers’ processes and lives.
Overall an unexpectedly enjoyable read – recommended!
What’s on your holiday reading list?
*A review copy of Girl, Missing was provided to me free of charge. All opinions are my own honest & unbiased thoughts.
The Old Kingdom. A series I adore, but a series I’ve not revisited in some time. When Hot Key Books got in touch to ask if I’d like to review the prequel to the trilogy, Clariel, and host a giveaway, I jumped at the chance!
Set 600 years before Sabriel, the book follows the story of Clariel as she deals with upheaval, magic and the ultimate consequences of the choices she makes…
It was a revelation to find such a young but tough heroine – and one who systematically rebuffed all romantic advances, even when she was happy to remain friends with them. I think every other fantasy book I’ve read, both YA and adult and those, like the Old Kingdom, which transcend both genres, the protagonist has found themselves in a romantic relationship by the end of the book.
We also get a bit more of Mogget’s backstory, which was particularly nice after having re-read Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen in preparation for Clariel’s arrival through my letter box.
The magic system (a borrowed phrase, but one that describes it well) in the Old Kingdom has always fascinated me – the difference between the Kingdom and Ancelstierre, two worlds and the meeting in the middle, and the Great Charter versus Free Magic – and those, like the Abhorsens, who wield both. I found myself doodling Charter marks on my hand with silver Sharpie while I was reading…
I loved the twist in Clariel’s tale – and the author’s note which, after reading, made me go back and read the whole book over again with the new insight it gave.
If you’re familiar with the Old Kingdom, you’ll love this. If you’re not, but you like adventure, fantasy, triumph against adversity (though not necessarily in the way you expect…), then give it a go – you won’t be disappointed.
With the very best of books, the ones that are dog-eared from re-reading, and which stay with you long, long after you’ve reached the last page, I often find myself referring to those characters as my friends. Not directly; but in a “a friend of mine said that…” or “I know someone who…” in conversation.
And often it’s days afterwards, if ever, that I remember that it wasn’t a friend at all but a much loved character in a book. It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader, and also no secret that I tend not to read great literary tomes, but instead fresh, light books that allow my imagination to run riot.
The hook that will pull me into a book is not its subject matter (though if it has a heroine with her own biz, that’s a good starting point) but whether or not I care about its characters.
I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise – my alter ego is named after the character I loved most in Enid Blyton’s Mr Galliano’s Circus, and I am fascinated by cosplay – but it amazes me how much people laugh when I explain that sometimes what I’ve said came not from a friend but from a fictional character.
They laugh fondly, and they say it’s one of my many quirks that makes me an original… but to date I have only ever found one other person who absorbs the characters as I do and sees them as more than words on a page. She happens to be one of my best friends.
There must be some more of us out there who care so deeply about the people they’re reading about that they can’t sleep for wondering what happens next… or find themselves distracted during the day at work because of an unresolved argument between two characters… or who feel bereft at the end of a book when there is no sequel and you have to bid goodbye to your new friends?
Is this a unique quirk, or one I share with lots of people? I embrace it either way but I’d love to know!
Wanton Fairies, by the incredibly talented Catherine Daniel and Rosie Lee, is one of the very loveliest books I’ve read in a long time.
Do you believe in fairies? Even if you don’t, you’ll find yourself keeping an eye on your garden after reading this. The Wanton Fairies are just that – naughty, risque, real and hilarious, and beautifully captured in delightful words and glorious illustration.
I’m a fairy fanatic, so it was a natural choice for me. It would make the most wonderful Christmas present for anyone with imagination, wonder and who’s never quite stopped believing in fairies. Or anyone who needs a cheeky reminder that they very much do.
It’s an e-book (all the better to take with me on journeys and amble through at impromptu moments, and perked up the old London commute no end) but I’d adore a printed version too. So if any of you know any fairy-friendly publishers, let me know!
Go on – make someone’s day with these irreverent lovelies!
Lovely Kathryn at the brilliant The Business of Introverts has nominated me for a Liebster blog award, which is rather happy-making 🙂
The idea is that:
1. You choose a few young and evolving blogs that you love and believe in to receive the Liebster Award (which is simply like a stamp of approval from one blog to another)
2. You write a blog post stating that you are nominating them and asking them to answer 10 questions of your choosing (this is that post!)
3. They write a post on their own blog answering the questions and nominating more blogs for the award
I’m passionate about blogs and one of my very favourite things is finding new ones to read… so here goes with my answers to Kathryn’s questions:
1. Why did you decide to start your blog?
I’ve been blogging for just over eight years and I started my very first one to record my life at university, accompanied by two tiny rubber ducks called Freddie and Frankie. It’s a way of keeping track of some of my life – a journal and guidebook all rolled into one!
2. What’s your favourite season and why?
Spring! I love the feeling of newness as we emerge from winter, lush greens all around and the bracing fresh air, with sunshine and a promise of summer to come.
3. What is the last great book you read?
I am in the middle of re-reading for the umpteenth time, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I’m on book eight of fourteen and as always, I’m so hooked that the stories and characters are weaving themselves into my dreams. I’m a complete WoT addict, so much so that my 18th birthday present from my parents was a gold ring I’d designed, taking strong inspiration from the series.
4. What 3 things would you take to a desert island?
This is such a tough question! First up, Larry the lamb – I’ve had him since birth and he’d be a great comfort if I was alone on said island. Secondly, a boxed set series of the aforementioned Wheel of Time – they would at least keep me occupied. Thirdly, a never-ending notebook and a pen with everlasting ink (you didn’t say I had to stay realistic!) so I could get my jumble of thoughts and experiences down onto paper.
5. Name 3 people that have inspired you
You don’t make these questions easy, do you Kathryn?! Ok so firstly my parents, for living all over the world before that was a normal thing to do, for starting a business at nearly 60 and for learning and changing with the times and not being set in their ways like so many of their generation. They’ve set me a brilliant example.
Next up, one of my best friends, the genius behind Contrariety Rose – for having the guts to quit her day job and focus on developing her own indie fashion label. She has the most determination and focus of anyone I’ve ever met and I admire her for it every day.
And lastly (though by no means least, and by no means the only other person I admire – this list could go on for aeons), a newer but no less treasured friend, Rachael, who was brave enough to listen to her instincts, move to the other side of the country and start a whole new life over there. I’m proud and in awe all at once!
Welcome to the sixteenth stop on the Make and Craft Magazine Blog Tour Bus! In conjunction with Make and Craft Magazine & Search Press, I have a copy of the fabulous Super Pops by Tamsin Aston with Judith Fertig to give away!
Super Pops, by Tasmin Aston with Judith Fertig, ISBN 9781844488384, published by Search Press, £12.99.
Books? Yes please – what’s this one like inside?
It’s just as much fun as it looks, and shows you what you need, what you can create and how to create cake pops. Which have been on my must-try list for absolutely ages! Search Press says “this book will make it easy for anyone to try out a range of indulgences that are sure to impress at parties, events, or as presents” and having looked through, I’d have to agree!
My personal favourite projects were, predictably, the ducks (well, this blog is called Ducking Fabulous after all),
and the fabulously burlesque masks!
I have been in the process of escaping the City (quitting my day job in London for one much closer to home) and rehearsing for my first ever burlesque performance in the past week and a half, so haven’t had a chance to make any of the pops in the book, but it has very clear and precise instructions, which look easy to follow and effective.
To be in with a chance of winning a copy, register as a member on Make and Craft’s website (it’s very quick and it’s free!) and then pop back here and leave a comment on this post, including your Twitter username if you have one (and your email address anyway). I will draw the winner on Sunday 14th November and announce the winner here, and contact them directly too. Good luck!
If you don’t win, Make and Craft & Search Press are offering free P&P on this book – call Search Press on 01892 510850 and quote “Make and Craft Blog Tour”.
So – you mentioned a new magazine? Tell me more!
Make and Craft is a brilliant new magazine for the crafting community, which launches TOMORROW! (12th October 2012). All kinds of craft and making are covered so there’s something for everyone, and a kids’ craft club too – with my vast number of cousins, this is extra-fab!
Their website also has a forum and a blog, so you can keep up with the latest news, and chat to other crafters. The forum has a Book Club section, for regular chatting about books. As an ex-librarian who is a craft addict, I suspect this will be the place I haunt the most 🙂
They have a brilliant launch offer running – three issues for £3, or if you go for the digital option (fab for those of you who commute), it’s just £1 for 3 issues! Subscribe here…
Excellent. And what do you do?
Teehee, hello if you’re new to my blog! I’m Carla, I’m 26 and I do… lots of things! I have just quit the City for a job closer to home which is forming the base of my portfolio career. I blog here about craft, life, inspiration, driving and thrifting. I co-own Inkdrops Boxes, the first UK stationery subscription box company, and I’m an ex-librarian with a burlesque habit. Or perhaps, after Saturday, a burlesque dancer with a book habit?
Anyway, it’s lovely to see you and there’s usually a fair bit of crafting within these pages… so dive in, say hello in a comment and let me know where you blog or tweet – I’d love to chat!
Good stuff. So remind me of all the salient details?
Of course! The book is Super Pops, and to win it you need to register at Make and Craft and then come back here and leave a comment on this post 🙂
Make and Craft Issue 1 goes on sale tomorrow – squeeee! And the day after that, the blog baton is taken up by Hannah at Spans Studio – pop over and see her and which book she’s giving away!
Many thanks to Katharine and Freya at Make and Craft for letting me join the blog tour – I’m having a fabulous time seeing everyone else’s posts and catching up in the forum!
I'm Carla, a quirky thirtysomething with a penchant for unicorns and glitter. I believe in magic and make-believe, and the gorgeous rebellion of making your life absolutely your own. And I'm a proud multipod!
Proud to be both girly and geeky, when I’m not writing, photographing or daydreaming, you can find me dancing burlesque, riding my bicycle Bluebell, growing herbs and collecting typewriters.
Things I want to do in 2020. Partly from my Daydreams To Do list and also from my general goals for the year.
~ Steampunk events
~ experiment with film cameras
~ walk more
~ explore Colchester
~ beach time
~ kitty portraits
~ western riding
~ spa days
~ learn to make bath bombs
~ recreate Lush's Angel's Delight soap fragrance
~ work in sterling silver
~ build a catio
~ handwritten letters
~ photobook of the house project, the cats, Poppy & Dad
~ print my own photos