Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Review // Brain Freeze by Tom Fletcher

Published: 22nd February 2018
Publisher: Puffin
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: A little girl discovers that eating ice cream from her grandfather's old ice-cream truck gives her the power to travel through time, in this brilliant, funny and heartwarming story from bestselling author Tom Fletcher.

This gorgeously illustrated (by Shane Devries) book was written and released especially for World Book Day. I have so many wonderful memories of World Book Day from when I was a child and though I no longer get that special £1 book token to commemorate it, I do still always get one of the WBD books to hold on to that little tradition.

Since i'm still on my No Purchases in 2018 thing, Brain Freeze was actually a gift from my stepdad, perhaps a little forced but a gift nonetheless! I love Tom Fletcher's children's books and wasn't too happy about missing out this year - thankfully I didn't have to. Thanks Eif!

The main character is Izzy and I immediately loved her. She's bold, sassy and knows exactly what she wants in life - ice cream! Izzy's grandfather has the job that we can only dream of; an ice cream man. Brain Freeze isn't a light easy read despite its size and target audience. It tugs at your heart strings and the worries of children all around the world with an entertaining twist. Tom Fletcher is excellent at writing about tough situations that are tangible and relatable to children without being too severe or downtrodden and Brain Freeze is no exception.

Brain Freeze is a genuinely lovely story about a little girl and her love for her grandpa - and ice cream. it's an absolute steal for just £1 and is available in all local bookshops and supermarkets.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Letters Between Friends: Dear Holly

Dear Holly, (In response to: Dear Cazz #4)

Brrrr! You're right about the weather - WTH?! It's extremely rare that we get snow here as we're on the coast but there was inches and inches of it over the week. Probably only my 2nd time of seeing real snow in Wales! *I'll edit this post with photos when I finish work*. Sadly I didn't get any days off work though so I just spent a lot of time dreaming about being snuggled in my reading room with blankets and tea.

Omg Les Mis is touring?! I had no idea. I'm trying to avoid social media as much as possible and have deleted all but Insta & Twitter apps for now. Please keep me updated on ticket release and prices etc. I would absolutely LOVE to go and see it with you if possible. Maybe if they go on sale soonish I could convince someone to get me a ticket for my birthday - it's almost the big 30 for me eeeek.

I'm sorry you didn't have a great experience with the WotW DVD - Kerry Ellis is my Elphaba (Wicked) so i'd love to see it. I couldn't miss the chance to see Carrie in action again though.

Renegades sounds AMAZING! I'll add it to my list of things to read in 2019 (oh god, that sounds like a lifetime away.) I've been accepted for quite a few things on Netgalley and had a couple of things in the post from publishers so i'm happy to say my reading has been going uphill for the first time in a long time. It helps that there's a new Levithan & Cohn book out and is sitting waiting for me on my Kindle when I finish my current reads. Nothing gets me going like those two! :)

Alex injured his ankle at work on Saturday so we spent a couple of hours in A&E getting him checked out. It's just a sprain/tissue damage but he's been ordered to stay off it for as long as possible. It's great at keeping him out of my way but it does however mean that i've got all of the house related stuff to do by myself *sigh*. Hopefully it means we're in for a quick week at work though and can get some relaxing in at the weekend. We won't be able to go anywhere as the car can't drive itself so what a perfect way to catch up on some things. I'm also looking forward to celebrating Mother's Day on Sunday. Aren't our Mum's the best?!

I hope things quieten down for you and you manage to get some blogging time in soon and/or reading but don't feel pressured to do anything. JUST DO YOU!

Ending as always with my Goodreads Challenge update: I'm currently on 14/50 which is 5 more than last time.

Review // Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton

Published: 8th February 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: e-Book

Synopsis: Lily wakes up one crisp Sunday morning on the side of the road. She has no idea how she got there. It is all very peaceful and beautiful. It is only when the police car, and then the ambulance arrive, and she sees her own body that she realises that she is in fact... dead. But what is she supposed to do now? Lily has no option but to follow her body and see her family - her parents and her twin brother start falling apart. And then her twin brother Ben gives her a once in a deathtime opportunity - to use his own body for a while. But will Lily give Ben his body back? She is beginning to have a rather good time...

Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunflowers in February is Phyllisa Shrimpton’s debut novel so I didn’t really know what to expect – which is exactly why I couldn’t wait to get started on it. I must admit, a little bit of the draw was how much I love things to match – reading a book with February in the title, *in* February? Yes please! I’m easily amused by small things....

Right from the off the book had me, truly and completely, in its grips. Lily is a flawed character and it’s not tried to be covered up. In fact, it’s her flaws that really make the book what it is – which is a beautiful book that reflects upon a person’s need to discover what it’s like to really live. Lily has to deal with discovering her own dead body and how her absence from the world affects those around her. Often, she has little regard for anyone else’s feelings bar her own but again, this is just one of her flaws that is both acknowledged and worked on throughout the book.

It’s important to point out too, that this isn’t just a book about Lily. It’s about her parents, her twin brother, her friends, and more importantly about the reader. I know that I at least found myself wondering about the differences I have made in people’s lives and whether the life that I lead on a daily basis is one that ultimately will bring me happiness. I don’t mean in a religious way either, just whether i’ll be able to look back and feel like *i’ve* lived the best life I could.

The discovery of Lily’s killer and the consequences of that are just one factor to keep you reading but it isn’t held as a turning point for the book itself, just a turning point for Lily as a character and what she has learned about herself and her life. Though it’s an emotional and sad book, it’s not all inner reflections and a big ol’ cry fest. Of course at the heart of it, that’s what you get, but on the surface it’s a really simple and easy book to read.  Let me a bit less positive for a moment though.

The whole feeling of the book changes at around 3rd of the way in. The body swapping, other dimensional aspect just felt absurdly strange considering the beautiful heartfelt writing that preceded it.  It got easier to take as the book went further on but at times it felt a little ridiculous and really took the book on a different path. It didn’t lessen the meaning of the book, but I think it will suffer slightly due to the ‘freaky Friday’ feelings that came from it.

Overall though it was a great read. I couldn’t put it down and it’s stayed with me after the fact of reading it which is quite rare these days! I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for Shrimpton.
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