Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Book Club Picks #8 Margot & Me

When Fliss's mum decides to spend some time living on Fliss's grandmothers farm in South Wales, she is reluctant to go. Fliss's grandmother, Margot, is mean, and Fliss hates her. Fliss soon comes across Margot's diary, which she had kept during the war as an evacuee. Fliss decides to read the diary in an attempt to find something she can blackmail Margot with. However, she soon discovers a horrible and shocking truth.

 I was so excited when HotKeyBooks sent The Book Club Margot & Me for our January read! I adore Juno Dawson's work, and I was so happy to be one of the first people to receive it! The book follows Fliss, a fifteen year old girl who has been forced to leave her home in London to live with her grandmother on a farm in a small village in South Wales.

Fliss's mother is in remission from cancer, and tells Fliss she wants to recover in the countryside before returning to work. However, Fliss struggles with the move, missing her friends back home, and hating such a huge change. I loved that although Fliss was a likeable character overall, she was far from perfect. She was initially selfish and stuck up, thinking she was better than her fellow classmates because she was from London and knew what was fashionable. I loved that she was soon brought down to earth with the knowledge that she wasn't going to be popular, and that the two friends she did make were considered to be nerds.

The book is split between two stories, taking place in the same location in different time periods. The main narrative focuses on Fliss's present life, while we are also told Margot's story from 1941. I feel as if skipping between stories can often be confusing, but Juno has set this out perfectly, making it extremely clear who's narrative we are currently in. Although I was more interested in Margot's story than Fliss' I still adored seeing Fliss develop as a character.

One thing that I adored about this book was the setting. The book is set in South Wales, with a large portion of it being set in the 90's. I feel as if the majority of contemporary novels are set in the year that they were written, so this felt like a nice change, and with typical 90's themes being brought up, such as dial up internet and The Spice Girls, it all felt very nostalgic and made me miss the 90's. I was also extremely happy to discover that the book is set in Wales! I adored the Welsh characters, and as a Welsh person myself, I felt as if the way they spoke was extremely accurate! I also loved how a few Welsh words were thrown in. Juno has obviously done her research, and made the characters accurate and believable.

Something that made me cringe quite a bit was Fliss's crush on the school librarian. I think most of us are guilty for having a crush on a teacher at some point in our lives, but I found it uncomfortable that Fliss believed she had a chance of making it work. Teachers can get into serious trouble for having a relationship with a student that isn't a strictly student/teacher relationship, and Fliss clearly didn't realise what her actions could do. I loved that her friends tried to explain to her why she couldn't pursue a relationship, and was happy that things got sorted out instead of turning into a huge scandal.

My favourite part of the book has to be Margot's diary entries. I am a huge history nerd, and I adore reading fiction set during the World Wars. I adored young Margot, and some of the things she had to endure were heartbreaking and chilling. Juno has done a brilliant job of portraying Margot's emotions, and it is impossible to not sympathise with her. Margot is an extremely strong and brave character, and the diary entries give us a clear understanding of why Margot is now the way that she is.

There were some great plot twists towards the end of the book, and although they were heartbreaking, I was not expecting them at all! This book is very character driven, and I loved how there were some diverse characters in the form of Andrew, Reg and Danny. I adored Margot's reaction to discovering one of her friends was gay, as we all know homosexuality was a s crime during the 1940's, so I adored how Margot accepted her friend for who he was, and didn't treat him any different because of it. I also loved how Fliss mirrored her grandmothers actions when one of her classmates used a homophobic term towards her friend.

The book has some important but upsetting themes, such as racism, homophobia and dealing with the repercussions of life threatening illnesses, including cancer and HIV. It definitely does not have the traditional miraculous happy ending, but shows us that life has its ups and downs, and sometimes terrible things happen that you have no choice but to recover from. I loved how Fliss managed to create her own unconventional happy ending, and started her journey on moving forward. Juno Dawson has once again manged to captivate me , and remind me why she is one of my all time favourite authors!

Margot & Me is now available to purchase!

   | Amazon Book Depository 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Review on Blue Screen of Death

When Colby Stevens is six years old, his father mysteriously disappears. Ten years later, the magic contained within Colby that his father tried to suppress comes to the surface, and Colby must learn how to control it. With the help of #Magic, an app Colby creates to help him control and understand the runes, Colby must learn to use Emassa, the source of his magic. However, danger lurks around every corner in the form of Shizumu, demon-like creatures who posses people. With the help of a blue cat and his best friend Gary, Colby must discover the secrets of his past, while attempting to protect his fellow classmates.

I thought this book seemed really interesting, and I loved the unique idea of magic and technology being combined. We are used to seeing magic in technology devoid settings, where it either doesn't exist, or isn't used, so I loved how the two were successfully combined. The book follows Colby, a sixteen year old boy who has recently discovered he possesses magic. Colby was an interesting and likeable character, although he did have a tendency to get angry easily, causing him to lose control over his magic. I loved how he adapted to his new ability, even going so far as creating an app to help him with his struggles of understanding the runes.

The characters were interesting, and I especially loved Gary, Colby's best friend. I feel as if there is always a lot of rivalry between teenage boys in YA novels, so I loved that they had a strong relationship and never argued. It was clear that the boys cared for each other a lot, and I think there definitely needs to be more friendships like theirs in YA fantasy.

Sadly what let the book down slightly for me was two of the female characters, Darla and Rhea. Although I was happy that a romantic relationship didn't form between Colby and one of the girls, I found them to be quite dull, and thought Darla to be quite annoying, especially her constant flirting with Colby, who towards the end of the book didn't seem to be interested in her at all. However, as is it was hinted at that the girls may possess their own powers, I'm hoping I like them more in the rest of the series.

Although Jasper was Colby's main bully, I couldn't help but feel that there was more to him than met the eye. Until they went to different schools, Colby and Jasper were best friends, so this made me wonder what had happened to make Jasper start to bully Colby. There is usually a reason behind why children bully others, which usually stems from their personal lives, so rather than hating Jasper, I was more concerned about why he had changed so much. I think Jasper has potential as a character, so I would love to see some character development instead of keeping him as a mindless bully.

I though Fizzlewink was the most interesting character, an alien in the form of a little blue man who often disguises himself as a cat. Although I loved learning how he got stuck on Earth, I found it to be a bit of an info dump, and I feel as if I still don't fully understand his backstory. I also found myself being completely lost over the runes, as although they were meant to be complicated, I thought my brain was going to explode when the rules were being explained. As Colby later goes on to create an app that deals with the runes, I found making everything into a complex explanation a little unnecessary.

I was a little confused over who the intended audience for the book was. The plot itself felt like a children's book, as it involves magic, school and a talking cat. However, there is quite a bit of swearing in the book, which I felt was the only grown up theme in this book I felt this was a bit of a shame, as with all the adventure, talking cats, magic and lack of romance, I felt as if it could have been a book that could be enjoyed by all ages.
I overall enjoyed this book, and am definitely hoping to read the rest of the series. Quite a lot was left unanswered,particularly the whereabouts of Colby's father, so I am looking forward to everything being revealed!

Blue Screen of Death is now available to purchase!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Review on Heartless

All Catherine Pinkerton wants is to open her own bakery with her best friend, Mary Anne. However, Catherine is the daughter of the Marquess, and soon discovers the King of Hearts is planning to propose to her. Hen she leaves the King's ball early, she runs into Jest, the court joker. Cath soon develops feelings for Jest, and with the help of Hatta and Raven, Cath decides she must leave Hearts forever. However, the once mythical Jabberwock is terrorising Hearts, putting her friends in danger. Cath must make a difficult choice, but will it be the right one? 

 I have always adored Alice in Wonderland, so I was excited when I found out what Heartless was all about. Rather than following Alice, this story takes place long before Alice arrived in Wonderland, when the ruthless Queen of Hearts was just a teenager. Not a lot is known about the Queen of Hearts from Carroll's work, so I loved seeing Marissa Meyer's interpretation of what she was like before she became Alice's antagonist.

We all know how the Queen of Hearts' story ends, but ho did it begin? Well according to Marissa Meyer, it started with a sweet girl named Catherine Pinkerton who wanted to open a bakery. I initially loved Cath, and a part of me hoped she would get her bakery, marry Jest and live happily ever after. But of course, we already know Cath's fate, so I was apprehensive right from the start! Knowing something bad was going to happen to change Cath's whole personality but having no idea what that would be created a brilliantly suspenseful atmosphere, and I was constantly anticipating the moment something would trigger that changing point.

Wonderland is one of my favourite fictional worlds, and I loved Marissa's interpretation of it. Although it wasn't quite as weird and wacky as Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, it still felt magical. I loved Cath's interactions with her surroundings, and I loved how some recognisable things were thrown in, such as the rabbit hole and playing croquet. I also loved how things from both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking-Glass were both incorporated into the one story.

One of the things that I loved most about this book were the characters! I loved seeing the characters we all know and love from Carroll's work, which included The Hatter, the March Hare, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mock Turtle and the Jabberwock. The interpretation of these characters was fantastic, and it was very believable that they would eventually become the characters who help Alice on her adventures. However I was a little confused over the characters who weren't from Carroll's works, such as Peter Peter and Raven, who seemed to be the same raven as the one in Edgar Allen Poe's famous poem.

Along with the characters who we have already come to know, there was also a few original characters, the main one being Jest, the court joker. I adored Jest from the start, and my initial reaction was that he seemed to be a little like an anime character, which only made me love him more. I loved Jest's physical description, and I was easily able to create a mental picture of what he looked like. I initially found him witty and funny, as a joker should be, but I was a little disappointed that this didn't end up being a fundamental personality trait. Although we find out that there is a lot more to Jest than being a joker, he is appointed as the court joker by the King, and although his tricks are quite impressive, I didn't find him to be very funny overall.

Although I loved Jest as a character, the one thing that I wasn't too bothered about was the romance between him and Cath. In hindsight, I realise why their romance was crucial to the plot, but as it developed, I didn't think they had enough chemistry to make me care too much. I felt as if their relationship was too cheesy, and a little cliché, especially with Cath having seen Jest in a dream before meeting him, and sneaking out her window in the middle of the night to be with him. I feel as if “forbidden love” is overdone, and Cath's initial reaction to Jest was a little too close to instalove.

One thing that I was a little disappointed in was that the characters never travelled to Chess, the land that Jest, Raven and Hatta are from. There is talk of a war that has been going on for years, which Jest never really elaborated on. I would have loved if they had actually entered Chess, even if it was very briefly.

I found the first three quarters of the book to be a little slow, as it focused on Cath's romance with Jest, her courtship with the King of Hearts, and her dream of opening a bakery. I wasn't finding it as wonderful and magical as I was hoping it would be. Although I enjoyed the story-line involving the Jabberwock, I still felt as if this story-line was a little overdone, particularly with the Tim Burton movie having already covered this. I would probably be giving the book three stars if it wasn't for the last 100 pages, which I loved! I adored the plot twists, as they were completely unexpected, and was shocked over what triggered Cath's change. I felt as if the majority of the book lacked action, but I practically raced through the last 100 pages, and wished I was able to enjoy the whole book that much, as it would easily have earned a five star rating if that had been the case!

Although I found it to be a little too slow, I still really enjoyed this book. As was expected, the book did not have a happy ending, and I think that it may have managed to shatter my own heart! This was overall a very clever and well thought out origin story, and I loved how it gave explanations for the small things, including where the White Rabbit got his pocket watch, and why the white roses are painted red. I think any Lewis Carroll fan would enjoy this book!

Heartless is now available to purchase!

   | Amazon Book Depository 

Friday, 3 February 2017

Q&A with S.L Giger

Today on the blog I have a Q&A with S.L Giger, author of Heart of Power: The Siren's Awakening.

Hi Seraina, thanks for stopping by! Tell us a little about your book, Heart of Power: The Siren's Awakening.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity! Heart of Power is a paranormal fantasy, in which 17-year-old Serena can’t escape her true destiny any longer. She is transformed into a Siren and has to get used to a different name, unusual abilities and constantly attracting every man’s glance. Guided by her new family members, she faces the challenge of leading a life among humans without appearing divergent. When Alex reciprocates her love, she seems to fully have settled into her new life. However, two secrets have yet to be revealed and Serena has to make a tough choice.
I think readers who liked Twilight will enjoy Heart of Power.

Did you relate to any of your characters in any way?

I think the whole topic with the heart being the key to a lot in Heart of Power started because I have light cardiac dysrhythmias, and the main character is Swiss but has to move to the US. I did an exchange year in New York when I was 16. Plus, Serena and Seraina are kind of similar, but that wasn't really on purpose. I used the name Serena because it's related to the Greek word for siren, but it's funny because when I travel and go to Starbucks, they always write Serena on my cup.

Where did you get the inspiration to write a series with a Siren as the protagonist?

I was travelling in Malaysia, and in the rain forest I thought I landed in a different world. Then I knew that I wanted to write a fantasy story, and because I felt my heart once in a while, I thought I should use a creature for which hearts are important. I also like creatures where females play a special role and who are known for their beauty, or powers to attract other people. Therefore, Sirens were the perfect choice.

If you were transformed into a creature from Greek Mythology, what would you hope to be? Good question, there are so many. The Greeks created a whole world. I wouldn't have wanted to be a Siren in the Greek mythology though, where they just lived out on the rocks in the ocean. Perhaps a Pegasus. Must be fun to be a flying horse.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write an outline first and you will finish much quicker. I didn't write one and just hoped that the ideas would come to me (and they did but it took me 4 years to finish). For the second and the third book I'll write an outline first. Once you think you are finished; find a good editor. There are really cheap ones on fiverr and they will help you to make the story so much better.

What can we expect from the second and the third book?

Tough times are ahead because the magical world will need to fight in a war in which Serena and Alex play a central role. Let's see whether their love can overcome these difficult times and whether her Siren family will be on the same team.

 Big thank you to Seraina for stopping by to answer some questions!

Heart of Power  is now available to purchase!

 Amazon Book Depository 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Review on Rattle

Already in posession of an impressive museum of bones, The Bone Collector is ready to add to his collection. He discovers Jakey Frith, a six year old boy with a rare bone disease, which causes extra bone th grow. After Jakey goes missing, along with a five year old girl with cleft hands, Detective Etta Fitzroy soon discovers she may be dealing with the same killer who evaded her a year ago.

 As someone who rarely reads thrillers, I was unsure if I was going to enjoy this book or not. However, I am the type of person who reads Wikipedia articles about serial killers for entertainment, so the idea of a killer collecting the bones of his victims seemed both interesting and creepy. This is quite a lengthy book, and I didn't feel immediately drawn into the story. I felt as if it had a slow start, and I wasn't really interested in the characters various relationship problems. However, once the Bone Collector started taking children, I became more interested in the investigation, and wanted to find out if the children would be rescued before it was too late.

For me, the creepiest villains are those who believe that what they are doing is right, and this definitely came across in this book. I loved learning the Bone Collectors back story, and the fact that he had grown up with his father doing the same thing as him gave him a believable motivation. He was an extremely creepy villain, and I loved how the chapters that focused on him were switched to present tense, as I felt as if it helped to create suspense. I always feel as if it's important to let the reader get inside the head of a villain to understand their motives, so I loved reading these chapters, even if they did make it difficult for me to fall asleep after putting the book down!

Although this book is quite long, the chapters are quite short, which helped the length of the book to seem a little less daunting. The book is written in third person, but switches between different point of views. I especially loved the chapters focusing on Clara and Jakey, as seeing what they were having to endure was the scariest and most heartbreaking part of the book for me. The worst villains are those who abuse children, so seeing how terrified Jakey and Clara were made me want the Bone Collector to come to a horrible end.

One thing that I didn't really care about was the adult characters personal problems outside of the missing children. Fitzroy was given a tragic backstory of giving birth to a stillborn baby, and although this is obviously an upsetting experience, I feel as if it is one that is often overused. I feel as if too many tragic backstories for female characters revolve around children, or the inability to reproduce. All of the female characters in this book are very family oriented, and even though Fitzroy is career driven, it seems to only be because she doesn't have a child. One thing that I rarely see is female characters who have no desire to reproduce, and it is often the case that people assume women who don't have children are leading unfulfilled lives. I was also a little disappointed that non of the families were functional. The male characters treated the families appallingly, with one cheating on his wife, while the other left his family for several days without any contact, leaving both his wife and son in extreme distress. I feel as if showing healthy relationships in fiction is important, so I was a little disappointed that all of the relationships were problematic.

I always find killers who leave behind clues to their identity to be extremely foolish, as it seems as if they are asking to be caught. The clues that the Bone Collector leaves behind are the main reason for his identity being discovered, and although leaving behind the rabbit skeleton was creepy, I felt as if for someone who ha been doing this for so long, he would have had a little more sense. I felt as if he made several silly mistakes, which made the situation feel a little less believable. I felt as if he should have been trying to hide evidence,not willingly giving it out.

Although I did have a few issues with this book, it did manage to creep me out. I was extremely shocked by the ending, and I felt as if it was setting it up to be a series. Although I am unsure if this is the authors intention, or if she just wanted to leave it open for interpretation, I think the ending makes the reader continue to think about this book long after turning the final page. Overall, I think this is a brilliant debut novel, and I would love to read anything that Fiona Cummings writes in the future!

Rattle is now available to purchase!

   | Amazon Book Depository 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Book Club Picks #7 Christmas at Lilac Cottage

 When Penny Meadows decides to rent out her annex, she is pleasantly surprised when Henry Travis moves in with his daughter, Daisy. Penny is immediately attracted to Henry, and soon discovers that the feeling is mutual. However, Penny's ex boyfriend left her heartbroken, and she is reluctant to attempt any sort of romantic relationship again. After learning about Henry's past, will Penny be able to trust Henry to not break her heart?

Before I start writing this review, I feel the need to apologise for what is to come. As anyone who has read my review policy will know, I do not enjoy reading adult romance books. However, this months book club read showed up at my door in the form of a festive, glittery and aesthetically pleasing, you've guessed it, adult romance novel. Although I immediately fell in love with the cover, I knew I would not be falling in love with the book, but as someone who loves to try new things, I decided to give it a go anyway.

The book follows Penny Meadows, a woman who is fast approaching her 30's. Penny lives alone in a small cottage by the sea, but as she longs for company, she rents out her annex. Enter Mr. tall, dark and handsome in the form of Henry Travis. Penny is immediately attracted to Henry, but as she believes he is married, she doesn't act on her feelings. Although Penny was a sweet and likeable character, she seemed a little slow at times. It was actually quite laughable that she believed Henry's sixteen year old daughter, Daisy, was his wife, and although I did feel a little sorry for her, I felt as if this was a silly thing to assume.

Henry Travis literally had me rolling my eyes. He was your typical tall, dark and handsome guy with a tragic backstory, who clearly should be praised for raising his daughter. I feel as if there is a bit of a double standard when it comes to teenage parents. Teenage mothers are often seen as stupid, and are ruining their futures by having a child before going to university, while teenage fathers are often commended for it. Although Henry is clearly a good father, I felt more as if he did what needed to be done, and although he did the right thing, I saw him more as a decent parent rather than the hero all the female characters seemed to see him as. Although Henry was likeable overall, he had anger problems, and although it was clear that he would never physically abuse Penny and Daisy, he does verbally abuse them. As the book would have been extremely boring without conflict, I felt as if conflict was being added for the sake of conflict,and it seemed as if the author hadn't put too much thought into the reason why they were arguing. I also felt as if it was resolved too quickly, as I know that if I was in Penny's position, I would not have forgiven Henry so easily.

One topic that came up that I thought was handled quite well was Henry being sexually harassed by his female boss. We often see males abusing their positions of power to influence females, but it is rare that we witness the opposite. The truth is that anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment, and all genders are capable of sexually harassing someone. It is often the case that men do not come forward about sexual harassment, as they feel as if they will not be taken seriously, so I loved how well it was dealt with in this book, and that Henry was able to come forward about it instead of allowing himself to be manipulated.

I found the sexual encounters to be quite cringy, and not sexy at all. However, my favourite was the car scene, as I loved that it was intentionally awkward and not sexy, as it showed that having sex in a car is not the hot, steamy exchange that we are used to watching in movies. However, the one thing that probably made me cringe the most was that Henry opened a condom with his teeth. One of the most basic things we are taught in sex education classes is not to open a condom with our teeth so that we don't accidentally tear it, so I was pretty shocked that despite having had several sexual partners, Henry did not seem to know this. Rather than thinking that Henry was a hot hunk of a man, I just wanted to sit him down and give him a lesson in how to correctly open a condom.

Henry's sixteen year old daughter, Daisy, was a sweet and likeable character. However, I did feel as if she was a little immature for her age at times, such as when she freaked out and told her dad to come back home because of a power cut. I also felt as if she was trying to control her dads life too much, such as telling him that he wasn't allowed to date Penny.

Something that annoyed me was the idea that a woman can't possibly be happy if she is single and has no children. Although Penny initially argues against this, she eventually succumbs to the norm by the end of the book. As a single 25 year old who has no intention of having children any time soon, I always feel as if this is a damaging mindset. As is mentioned in the book, you tend to get judged by others if you don't have a family by your mid twenty's. Although I am not the intended audience for YA novels anymore, one of the reasons why I tend to stick to YA instead of reading adult novels is that I am in no way interested in reading about marriage and babies, and I doubt that I ever will be. Until I find an adult book about an independent single woman who isn't interested in reproducing, then I think I will stick to YA.

Probably the thing that I most hated about this book was the instalove. As I've said countless times, I honestly can't stand instalove. As my favourite types of relationships are slow burners, I was disappointed that there was immediate mutual attraction between Penny and Henry, and they started dating within a few days. I hated that they were hiding their relationship from Daisy, and I felt sorry for her, as they broke her trust. I also felt Henry to be extremely hypocritical over Daisy having found a boyfriend in a week, and telling her she was moving too quickly, when he was doing exactly the same thing with Penny. I felt as if too many problems were being created that could easily have been avoided, and as it happened so quickly, I didn't care about Penny and Henry's relationship at all.

Although this book wasn't for me, it was a very light and fluffy read, and if you enjoy lighthearted adult romance, then it is the perfect book to curl up in front of the fire with. However, if like me you don't tend to enjoy romance novels, and you hate instalove, I would suggest you avoid this one!

Christmas at Lilac Cottage is now available to purchase!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Review on The Christmasaurus

William Trundle is a young boy who is obsessed with dinosaurs! When he writes a letter to Santa asking for a dinosaur, the last thing he expects to wake up to is a real life dinosaur in his house! However, William soon discovers that the dinosaur has in fact got lost. William must help the Christmasaurus get home to the North Pole, but with the infamous Hunter trying to shoot the dinosaur to claim as a hunting trophy, it may be more difficult than William had hoped.

So I have to admit that the main reason why I bought this book was because I adore Tom Fletcher. I've been a huge McFly fan for over ten years, and I was excited when Tom announced that he was going to be writing a children's novel! After the success of his dinosaur that pooped series, a collection of picture books co-written with fellow band mate Dougie Poynter, Tom has decided to take his obsession with dinosaurs and Christmas a step further in the form of a novel.

One of the first things I noticed about this book was how much Tom put his personality into it. As a pop star and YouTuber, Tom is very much in the spotlight, and as well all know, famous names sell books. There has been some controversy in celebrities having their books ghost written, so I was glad to see that was definitely not the case with this book. The Christmasaurus practically oozes with Tom's personality, and I loved picking up on little things, such as Tom naming William's dad after his own father, and loosely basing the character around himself.Tom has a great sense of humour, which comes across brilliantly in this book, and had me laughing out loud several times! This book will definitely have children and non boring adults laughing. Along with the humor, I also loved the poetry. As a song writer, Tom is extremely talented at writing both lyrics and poetry, and I adored how the elves tried to make all their sentences rhyme.

One of the main things that I loved was that this book has a disabled protagonist. I feel as if disabled characters are usually defined by their disability. It is often the first thing about them that is described before things such as looks, likes and dislikes, so I loved the fact that the book didn't mention that William was in a wheelchair until the seventh chapter, by which time we had learnt other, more important things about him. William's wheelchair is a part of who he is. There are no miracles where the endgame is William being able to walk again, and William has come to terms with his disability, and doesn't feel sorry for himself. I loved that William was so confident, as I feel as if characters like William could give disabled children the confidence boost that they need. We are not made to feel sympathy for William due to his disability, as although he does have problems, they don't revolve around him being disabled. I loved that William was able to go on an amazing adventure without his disability holding him back, and I loved how it gave a positive message that just because a child has a disability, it shouldn't stop them from going on adventures and achieving their dreams.

I loved how this book was full of fun, Christmassy magic, from miracles, Santa, flying reindeer and showing toy making in a whole new perspective! Although this is not a picture book, it was still full of gorgeous illustrations that helped to break up the walls of text. I felt as if this was great for children who had the skills to read this book for themselves, as young children often have a short attention span, so I felt as if the illustrations would keep children interested in the story for longer.

The only negative thing I have to say about this book involves the ending. One thing I hate is the idea that a family isn't a real family unless it involves a mum and a dad. There are so many children who live with either a single parent or same sex parents, so I always feel as if showing that a “normal” family has to include a mum and a dad can be harmful. I initially loved the idea of Bob Trundle being a single parent, and doing a brilliant job of raising his son. However, I was disappointed when William's biggest wish was for his dad to find a new girlfriend. I was hoping that Mr Trundle would explain he didn't need a romantic relationship to be happy, so I was disappointed when he suddenly became interested in William's enemy-turned-friend's mum in the last few pages, who had previously snubbed him. I was disappointed that the only adult female in the book turned out to be nothing but a love interest for one of the male main characters. As the only other female in the book was an ableist bully for half of it, I felt as if this book really needed more positive female characters.

Apart from the disappointing ending, this book is full of magic, plot twists and character development, and is the perfect festive read for any dinosaur lover!