Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books

Bloom – Nicola Skinner 5*#Review @HarperCollinsCh @skinnerwrites #ChildrensFiction #Environment #WeekendReads #BankHolidayWeekend

A beautifully written, incredibly original and wickedly funny novel for readers of 10 and older – BLOOM is for everyone who has ever felt like they didn’t fit in, and for anyone who has ever wanted a little more colour and wildness in their lives…

Sorrel Fallowfield is growing up – in a REALLY surprising way…

Sorrel Fallowfield is so good at being good that teachers come to her when they need help remembering the school rules – and there are LOTS.

Luckily, Sorrel doesn’t have any trouble following them, until the day she discovers a faded packet of Surprising Seeds buried under a tree in her backyard.

Now she’s hearing voices, seeing things, experiencing an almost unstoppable urge to plant the Seeds in some very unusual places… and completely failing to win her school’s competition to find The Most Obedient Child of the School.

And all that’s before flowers start growing out of her head…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins Childrens Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An entertaining, environmentally orientated story aimed at children from ten years onwards, the important themes it explores come across effectively, resonating with the reader.

The plot is complex, filled with messages about the importance of green spaces, not building on the green belt land we have, the power of corporations, and the damage they can do. On a more individual level, there is an exploration of friendship, and its importance, and how it has to be nurtured to survive. Diversity is also a theme, as is the importance of family, however, it exists.

The need to be different and speak out, rather than saying nothing just to fit in, is perhaps the most dominant theme of this story, and in a world where the young often feel powerless this is a theme worth promoting.

The beauty of this book is that it delivers its messages in the guise of a magical story, with complex characters who demand a reaction from the reader. Sorrel is easy to empathise and admire, whilst the controlling, blinkered headmaster has little to recommend him. Full of vivid imagery, you can easily imagine the setting and action, which is vital in any book.

Perfectly pitched for the age group, and also enjoyable as an adult read, this is a must-read.

Posted in Book Review

Vox- Christina Dalcher – 4* Review

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr Jean McClellan is in denial–this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean, will reclaim her voice.

 

Amazon UK

Amazon

 

My Thoughts…

An insightful story of what could happen if extremist governments are allowed to erode the diversity that we recognise as our right. Told in the first person from Jean’s point of view, this story explores the systematic removal of women’s human rights and the consequences of this. The story’s premise is alarming but not unimaginable. How could such a substantial, motivated percentage of the population be stripped of the right to speak? Some may say this couldn’t happen, but history tells a different story. Anything is possible given the right set of circumstances.

The author paints a frightening future, but Jean is a mother. She will protect her daughter at all costs. There is, of course, a thinly veiled message in this story, which guarantees it publicity and controversy, but the story is complex and absorbing and worth reading purely for its readability.

The themes discussed are topical and not new, but this story is well- written and makes its presence felt.

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.