Inspired by Cloud Busting

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It happened at University-
In the first week.
We were told to read Cloud Busting,
I couldn’t wait to take a peek!

I settled down to read it,
In my warm and comfy bed.
I read it out aloud and proud,
The verses swam round my head.

Now, I’m not a poet.
Certainly not true.
But Cloud Busting inspired me,
To try something new!

Cloud Busting was darker than I expected.
I’m still thinking of it now.
A truly memorable tale.
Malorie Blackman, take a bow!

I will use this book in the future.
A wonderful teaching tool.
It’s thought-provoking and engaging.
It really does rule!

Comparing ‘The Girl Who Wasn’t There’ by Karen McCombie

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Synopsis:

Maisie Hart’s dad has a new job as live-in caretaker of a Victorian secondary school. Finding it hard to make friends, things change when Maisie tells her new classmates about something strange she saw the night before – a girl’s face in the window of a gothic tower. The girls tell Maisie about the ghost of a Victorian pupil rumoured to wander the corridors. One particular student called Kat seems captivated by what Maisie has seen, and – both feeling like outsiders – they quickly become close. One night, though, Maisie comes across a tin box full of photos and notes. It’s plainly decades old, and, squinting at the photos – belonged to a smiling girl who looks exactly like Kat…

Click on the image to get to Luna's blog!

Thoughts before you started reading The Girl Who Wasn’t There?

CHRISSI: I didn’t really know a lot about the book but I was excited to read it, given the synopsis and the lovely cover.

LUNA: I’d previously read Angels Next Door so I knew I’d enjoy this.

What did you think of Maisie?

CHRISSI: I thought Maisie was an adorable character. I easily warmed to her. I thought her friendship with Kat was incredibly endearing. Kat was a great addition to the story.

LUNA: I really liked Maisie, she’d a great narrator. You’re instantly on her side and want to continue reading just because of her.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: I really enjoyed the book as a whole. I thought it was engaging, fun and easy to read!

LUNA: For me the relationship between Maisie and her sister Clem was one of the best things about this book. It feels real, complicated and messy. They love each other but they don’t always like each other. Maisie’s sometimes the wise one, other times Clem really comes through but in the end they pull together.

Worst bit?:

CHRISSI: I found some parts a little predictable, but that’s only a slight criticism. It didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book at all.

LUNA: I thought it took quite a long time to find out what had happened to Maisie at her previous school.

Favourite character / moment?

CHRISSI: When Maisie’s worked out the truth about her friend’s story…

LUNA: Clem and Maisie’s dad’s dating was pretty entertaining. It’s nice to have a good father-figure in a book as I haven’t come across one in quite a while.

Was The Girl Who Wasn’t There what you expected?

CHRISSI: It was better than I expected. I really enjoyed it! A simple, but lovely story.

LUNA: It was, I picked it for Halloween because there is a ghost but I wasn’t expecting any frights. Karen McCombie gave me precisely what I wanted, a nice and sweet story.

Would you recommend it?:

CHRISSI: Of course!

LUNA: Yes

Knife Edge

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Noughts and Crosses

Synopsis:

Sephy is a Cross, one of the privileged in a society where the ruling Crosses treat the pale-skinned noughts as inferiors. But her baby daughter has a nought father . . . Jude is a Nought. Eaten up with bitterness, he blames Sephy for the terrible losses his family has suffered . . .

Now Jude’s life rests on a knife edge. Will Sephy be forced, once again, to take sides?

A razor-sharp and intensely moving novel, the second in the Noughts & Crosses sequence.

Thoughts:

I knew shortly after reading Noughts and Crosses that I was going to devour Knife Edge as soon as I could. I certainly did devour it. I couldn’t put it down. Knife Edge is an incredibly moving, emotional and hard book to read. I’ve gave 5 stars to both books in the series so far, I wonder if Malorie Blackman can keep it up… I’m sure she can. Her writing is incredible!

Knife Edge follows several characters but the main focus is on Sephy and Jude. I don’t want to say too much about the plot as I’m aware that some people have only read the first book. I know how annoying it is to be spoiled!

Sephy is an amazing character. Even though my life is nothing like hers, I immediately felt attached to her. Malorie’s writing really made me connect with her and feel empathy for her situation. I think Jude is one of those characters that I love to hate. I couldn’t believe how strongly I felt about him. There are some fantastic minor characters which really build the story.

Knife Edge is a lot darker than Noughts and Crosses, if that’s even possible. It’s intense throughout. I couldn’t believe the ending. I’m fighting myself not to buy the next book, but I’m probably going to fail. I need it in my life! I need to know what’s going to happen next.

So far, everything that I’ve read by Malorie Blackman has impressed me. I am just gutted that I hadn’t discovered her work before now, but I’m so glad I have discovered her now. I can’t wait to continue with her books!

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

An intensely dark sequel to the wonderful Noughts and Crosses! Highly recommended!

WWW Wednesday #92

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

 

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday! To participate in WWW Wednesday, you need to answer three questions.

•What are you currently reading?
•What did you recently finish reading?
•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodreads page for the book.

What are you currently reading?

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I’m FINALLY starting this book. I’m only 30 pages in but I’m already intrigued. I hear that the series gets better as it progresses to! I’m hoping to have some good reading time tonight, so hopefully I’ll get through a chunk of it then!

What did you recently finish reading?

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I recently finished Prodigy! I’ve used this month to get through some series. I’m thinking of doing it again soon as it’s been really successful!

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I’m finally going to finish the Slammed series! I’m looking forward to seeing how things turn out for the main characters!

What are you reading this week? Feel free to answer the questions or leave a link to your post in the comments below! Happy Reading! :D

Top Ten New Series That I Want To Start

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they come out with a list for us all to complete. This week’s list are the Top Ten New Series That I Want To Start. The only rule… new means it’s been a year or so! There are so many series that I want to start, so this could be tricky…

In no particular order…

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Unremembered- Jessica Brody- This book has been on my radar for a while now, I’d like to start it and see if it’s worth reading!

Just One Day- Gayle Forman- Loads of bloggers seem to love Gayle Forman. I need to see if I do!

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The Murder Complex- Lindsay Cummings- I’ve heard mixed things about this book, but as always I want to form my own opinion. The premise sounds incredibly interesting!

Hexed- Michelle Krys- I’m in the mood for a witchy story!

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Uninvited- Sophie Jordan- I have had a copy of this for a while now but was yet to get to it! I’m looking forward to reading it, despite its mixed reviews.

The Falconer- Elizabeth May- Beautiful cover! I can’t wait to get stuck into this book!

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A Thousand Pieces of You- Claudia Gray- I’m not going to lie, it’s the beautiful cover that makes me want to read this.

Bully- Penelope Douglas- Not my usual sort of read, but it’s been raved about by people I trust! Hmmm…

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The Cuckoo’s Calling- Robert Galbraith- I have been putting this book off for ages now as I have high expectations now we know who the author is…

Perfect Ruin- Lauren DeStefano- I loved the Chemical Gardens trilogy, so I’m very much looking forward to Perfect Ruin.

Have you read any of these series? Let me know which ones I should definitely get to! Feel free to leave your link to your Top Ten post and I’ll stop by!

Isla and The Happily Ever After

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Anna and the French Kiss
Lola and the Boy Next Door

Synopsis:

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Thoughts:

I’ve found the two preceding books in the Anna and The French Kiss series to be an incredibly sweet, fun and flirty series. I’m happy to say that Isla and the Happily Ever After fits the pattern. I thought it was a very sweet read which didn’t take me long to devour. Whilst I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Lola, I was still impressed with the final book in the series. Isla, like the other books in the series, doesn’t need to be read with the previous books. It’s a companion to Anna and Lola. So if you’re worried you won’t understand this book, don’t be, there’s no need to read them in order.

With Isla and the Happily Ever After, the reader gets to know the rather quiet girl Isla. Readers of the rest of the series may remember her appearing in Anna and The French Kiss with her major crush on Josh. Isla has a lot more to her than meets the eye, as many of us do. What I liked about this book, was that there wasn’t as much of an angsty build up. However, it is quite an intense read. The relationship is incredibly intense. It of course, is adorable as well but it’s full on quite fast.

Isla and Josh are such good characters. You can totally see why they’re attracted to each other. Even though the relationship seems quite fast, it doesn’t come out of nowhere. There’s been the attraction there for a while for both characters. Isla and Josh have issues with their parents and teachers getting in the way of their relationship. That’s so relatable for many people out there!

Isla’s best friend Kurt was a brilliant character as well. I was so pleased to see a character with high functioning Autism in a piece of Young Adult literature. I’m all about representation in literature and it was lovely to see that Kurt was portrayed as someone much more than their condition.

Isla and the Happily Ever After is deeper and feels darker than the rest of the series. It’s intense and has a much more mature feel to it. Instead of focusing on how the characters get together it’s more about how you can stay together despite obstacles getting in your way!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

An enjoyable end to the series! It’s the most intense out of the three books, but it’s still got that Stephanie Perkins sparkle!

A Week In The Life of A Primary PGCE Student: A Step In The Right Direction!

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my massive new venture. I am going to University to train to be a primary school teacher. I will be trained to work with 5-11 year olds. It’s known to be a very, very stressful time so I’m hoping I can channel my thoughts and feelings into a blog post. It gives you an insight into what’s going on in my life and hopefully it’ll be incredibly therapeutic for me. I will NOT be naming any children, schools or teaching staff. I won’t even mention what University I’m at. I hope that’s understandable. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind!

This week is my last week at University before I start an observation week at my placement school. It feels like this is a really ‘nothing’ week if that makes sense. Obviously, our lectures are still important, but I feel like it would’ve been more helpful to have workshops and really helpful lectures to somewhat prepare us for next week. Oh well. I’ve still enjoyed Science, Primary Foreign Languages, English and Maths this week.

Monday

Monday was a day packed full of Science and Primary Foreign Languages. I enjoyed teaching an experiment to the rest of my group. It was useful to think about how we’d teach the activity to children. Primary Foreign Languages was a bit of a funny one. I know it’s important, but I just don’t see myself as a language teacher. I know this is going to have to change though. I have to be able to teach across the curriculum to teach Primary. My placement school teaches French, so the French re-capping will have to begin pretty soon!

Tuesday

Tuesday was full of English as per usual. I do love English. You can probably tell that through me being such a big reader! I can’t wait to teach English in schools. I have so many ideas just waiting to come out. We also learnt more about our placements this week and the expectations. I feel little butterflies in my stomach just gently fluttering away.

Wednesday

Wednesday was tiring because I had a VERY late night on Tuesday. Lesson No 1: Don’t underestimate the need for a full night’s sleep! I had Primary Foreign Languages and despite having a later start, I got up early to keep to a routine, but I could NOT focus in the class. Oh dear…

Thursday

Thursday was an interesting day because I felt like I took a massive step in the right direction with regards to Maths. I’ve said a few times now that Maths scares me. I’ve always had some anxiety around it, but since putting my positive hat on I’ve come to view it in a different light. I feel like I am going to have a lot of empathy for those children struggling with Maths as I’ve been there (bad experiences at school!) I attended an extra Maths seminar and it made all of the difference to my confidence. I could do it!

Friday

They gave us a treat on Friday… we finished early! Lovely! During Friday’s lecture we had a go at planning a lesson which was really helpful. I have a feeling that I’m going to take a while to get used to planning, but I’m excited to start it.  On Friday afternoon/evening I went through a lot of my work, got my files organised, practised some Maths (!!!) completed some audits and now I’m ready for the weekend.

I feel like I’ve taken a massive step in the right direction this week. I’m aware that I might take a step back at some point, but right now I want to focus on the positive and remember feeling this happy that I’ve mastered some skills that I thought I’d never be able to do. My Maths confidence has increased and I’m in a good place.

Handy Tip for Maths: Sign up for the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. It’s helped me so much and I’ve only visited it once! 

Next week… I spend a week in my placement school. EEK!