Review: Spencer & Locke

Spencer & LockeSpencer & Locke by David Pepose

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Combining four individual issues into one book, this is the story of a detective called Locke and his imaginary partner, Spencer, a talking blue panther.

The illustrations start off really well with a palette of blues and blacks mostly. Presumably to fit with one of the main characters being blue. Then in the third issue, we have this amazing splash of neon and bright colours, it really makes the pictures pop. Very cleverly done and placed within the story. Well done.
I would say, that apart from a few flashback scenes, we don’t get much background on the character in this particular book so I would love to see Locke fleshed out a little more.

Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced reading copy

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Review: Sinful Cinderella

Sinful Cinderella (Dark Fairy Tale Queen Series - Book 1)Sinful Cinderella by Anita Valle

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not who they think I am. A docile girl who meekly obeys her stepmother and stepsisters. Some kind of sick angel who cheerfully bears their mistreatment. That’s what I WANT them to think. Because then they won’t suspect what I’m really up to.
The ball, the prince – it’s all part of my plan to come out on top. Stepmother and her demented daughters will pay for every floor I have scoured, every sneer I have borne. They don’t know about the white magic, how I use it to enhance myself. They can’t see that my heart is black as midnight, rotten as a poisoned apple.
They’re about to find out.

A twist on the timeless tale of Cinderella, Sinful Cinders brings us a darker side to the beautiful princess we all grew up reading (and sympathising with) about.

(Highlight next paragraph to view spoilers)
Cinders uses “white magic” which she gains when she is nice to people (namely her terrible step sisters and step mother) to make wishes. Only small wishes, like changing the size of her feet or the colour of her eyes, but wishes all the same. But at the root of it all, Sinful Cinderella is not that much better than her horrible family members.
A prince who isn’t very princely soon shows her that not everything is as black & white and a revelation from her step mother tells us that maybe Cinders really is bad. What I felt about this was that it was plugged with so little importance that although it was supposed to be the main reason Cinders was dark, nothing more was really built upon it. And it occurs near the end of the story so it seemed to have been thrown in for effect.

This is a short but fairly decent retelling of the traditional story but I wish it was longer, maybe a bit more substance to some of the characters would have pushed this into a higher rating for me. That being said, I have added the second in this series to my TBR pile.
And although I mentioned that it brings a darker side, I would like to have seen this go a bit further, made her truly darker instead of just a little bit mean. I can almost sympathise with her being mean after the situation she has ended up in.

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Review: The Adrian Mole Collection: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole/True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole/Adrian Mole: The Wilderness

The Adrian Mole Collection: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole/True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole/Adrian Mole: The WildernessThe Adrian Mole Collection: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole/True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole/Adrian Mole: The Wilderness by Sue Townsend

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a collection of the second, third and fourth books in the Adrian Mole series by Sue Townsend. The first book: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and 3/4 gained a cult following which I believe also extended across the series.
I first read Adrian Mole books probably somewhere around the 1990’s when I was a teenager. At one point I actually owned the first book and borrowed the others from the library (my childhood library is no longer in service **sad face**). When I noticed my library had this available via their reading app and I was stuck in the middle of a pile of half read books I immediately thought back to how much I loved those books as a younger person so decided to borrow it and started it straight away.
Although I read through it fairly quickly, I just didn’t get the same experience from it as I remembered. In fact, this would be one of those books I would be tempted to say did not hold up to the passing of time. Or at least to me, it didn’t. Reading it during the 1990’s the years that are covered in the book are not all that different, children still hung around on the streets and although almost everyone had a TV, we were still only working with minimal terrestrial channels (I know we only had 5 during the 90’s, we didn’t have cable), divorce or separation of parents wasn’t really a common thing then or at least it wasn’t discussed as freely or looked upon very favourably. Reading this book in 2017 made me think that it sounded really old fashioned and I couldn’t imagine any teenagers (or at least none of the ones I know) from actually being interested in this book.
As the book obviously contained books 2, 3 and 4 from the AM series, I expected it to read that way, however, due to some unknown reason the collection starts with number four and then works backwards. Had I had realised this before starting I would have probably skipped to the back to read the second back and worked my way back through it.
As for Adrian, as an adult reading through his dilemma’s all I can think is how much of a whiny teenager he was. And how he thought himself to be of a much higher standing than he actually was.
I really wish I had Goodreads when I had first read this books as I probably would have been able to write a glowing review for it but now I feel cynical and mean (and quite old actually). I also wish, from another point of view, it could be used as a learning aid somewhere to teach people about life during that era but I really do just think that it is a whiny kid moaning with nothing of any worthy substance.
I do, however, highly commend the author as she managed to encompass a moany teenage boy and make the character believable. I feel like I could easily bump into a character such as Adrian (and probably his mother/father/Bert etc) any time I leave my house.
I am giving this 4/5 stars purely because it once held something amazing and I don’t feel like I am being fair to give it a lower score just because I have outgrown the topics discussed within.

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Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case Of Benjamin ButtonThe Curious Case Of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve just finished reading this as my choice for this months theme (Book Club) “Read a book published before you were born”. The original story was published during the 1920s/1930s.

It’s definitely an interesting story and good to put words to the idea that was behind the film. It was also only a very short story.

I did start out listening to it via audiobook through Loyal Books public domain site thinking as it was only around an hour long I would be able to manage it, but I just couldn’t do it, I lasted 18 minutes and 3 seconds. So I found the eBook version via iBooks and continued on there.

I did enjoy it actually even though it was short. Fitzgerald managed to grab my interest right at the start and keep it going until the end.

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What My Kids are READING

My kids read. A lot. This is one thing (amongst many many others) that I am super proud of them for. Of course, this stems from my own love of reading. If I didn’t read, I don’t think the amount they read would bother me as much so to see them curled up with a book is pretty amazing.

My son is 8. He has really come on in his reading over the past year and is starting to venture into the kind of books that I would have read when I was his age. My daughter is 4. She is currently into picture books but I imagine when she starts school in September that will change (hopefully, and if not then so be it. It won’t matter to me if she decides she isn’t much of a reader).

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. I was reading Stephen King books at age 11 so it has always been a big part of my life no matter how little I read sometimes. I love nothing more than sitting down with the children and reading with or to them. I am currently working my way through the Harry Potter books by reading to them at bed time. Not only is fun for me as I get to re-read the stories, I also get to see them through their eyes. I only wish we had Harry Potter when I was their ages. Instead, I had Alice in Wonderland. It still remains one of my favourite books to this day.

Anyway, the point of this post is really just to share what the children are reading.

What are your children reading?