Summer Days and Summer Nights

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to St Martin’s Press

Synopsis:

Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Review on a note:

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Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Fairy Tale Friday: The Cat And The Mouse Set Up House

Thanks to Luna for making Fairy Chrissi!

The next fairy tale in my Philip Pullman collection of Grimm Tales was the fable-esque The Cat And The Mouse Set Up House.

The Cat And The Mouse Set Up House is simply a fable. The cat and the mouse live together, and store a jar of fat for the coming winter in a church. The sneaky cat disappears off to eat a little under the pretence that he is going to a christening at a church as he is Godfather of a new kitten. The cat disappears three times and each time he lies to the mouse about his true whereabouts!

When the mouse finally works out what has been happening, the cat decides to gobble him up too!

I thought this was a fantastic fable. I hadn’t heard of it before, but I absolutely loved how wicked the cat was!

Next fairy tale: The Boy Who Left Home To Find Out About The Shivers!

Fairy Tale Friday: The Frog King OR Iron Heinrich

Thanks to Luna for making Fairy Chrissi!

Thanks to Luna for making Fairy Chrissi!

My Fairy Tale Friday feature will start with highlighting some wonderful fairy tales. The first collection of fairy tales that I am going to use is Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales for Young And Old. I’m kicking off this feature with The Frog King also known as Iron Heinrich.

The Frog King/Iron Heinrich was so familar to me, but I certainly didn’t read the Brothers Grimm version!

The story involves a beautiful Princess (of course) who lost her golden ball in the well. A frog helped her out, but only if she promised to have him her as a companion- to love and to cherish and care for. The Princess agreed to get her ball back and didn’t think the frog would hold her to her promise. He did though, and went to find the princess so he could dine with her and sleep next to her. The King holds the Princess to her promise despite the princess moaning about the frog’s ugliness!

The part I didn’t remember was the Princess throwing the frog against the wall in frustration and this beheaded him, which turned him back into a Prince. He had been enchanted by a witch and the Princess had broken the spell. Then comes a strange part in the fairy tale, where the next day the Prince’s servant comes to take him to the palace, as the Prince and the Princess are travelling, the coach cracks. The Prince believes its breaking down but his servant tells him that the noise is the bands in the servant’s heart, which cracked when the Prince was suffering, and that seem to continue to crack now the Prince is happy.

Of course, this story is so familar to many. I remember the version I read involved the Princess having to kiss the frog to turn him back into a Prince. I think this is definitely the more child friendly version! Disney’s The Princess and The Frog is loosely based on this story. I think the Brothers Grimm’s version makes you think… Philip Pullman notes the moral implications of the repulsive frog turning into a handsome Prince which he believes becomes a metaphor for central human experience!

Next Fairy Tale- The Cat and The Mouse Set Up House!

Love Hurts

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Random House Children’s Publishers UK

Synopsis:

Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.

Thoughts:

I was SO excited about this book. However, I was a little disappointed when I got to it. I thought that this book was going to be original stories from some authors that I loved. There are some great original stories in there, but they’re few and far between. What I actually found was that I skipped a lot of these stories- either because I had read them already and didn’t feel like reading them again…or I have the full book waiting to be read and I didn’t want it to spoil it.

I don’t want to put people off this book though as the extracts from the authors I love like Malorie Blackman and Patrick Ness are such high quality writing- it’s just not what I wanted from this collection of short stories. James Dawson’s original story is good and well worth reading.

This book would be perfect for those wanting to dip into some of these author’s writing or to read the original content that there is. I love the range of diversity there is within this collection.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Some good original content, but don’t expect to go into the book with fresh, new material from all of the authors! 

Marly’s Ghost

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- many thanks to Electric Monkey/Egmont Publishing

Synopsis:

When his girlfriend Marly dies, Ben takes a painful journey through Valentine’s Days past, present, and future.

Thoughts:

Oh my goodness, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. It was absolutely heart warming, much like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens from which this is re-imagined with a Valentine’s Day twist.

Marly’s Ghost is a short read which doesn’t take you long to devour. I felt its emotional impact from the beginning, right through to the middle and the end of the book. I couldn’t believe that I was drawn in so quickly. It’s surely a sign of a great writer when I became emotionally attached to a character in such a short space of time. David Levithan made me feel Ben’s grief. I felt his grief and understood how he never thought he could love again.

Ben tells us his story, of how he hates Valentine’s Day after losing Marly. He couldn’t bare to see people in love or share their feelings about others with him. Ben just wanted to be alone. One night, Marly visits him and tells him that he’s going to meet three ghosts of past, present and future. These ghosts take him to the past, present and future and much like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Ben learns that he needs to embrace those people he has left in his life before it’s too late.

Marly’s Ghost made an incredible impact on me. I really enjoyed the twist on the classic Christmas tale. This will become a favourite of mine for sure.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

A beautiful, quick, well written read.

Blackberry Blue

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Prepare to enter a world of magicians, enchanted forests, talking animals and wicked witches . . .

Here are six magical stories to thrill and enchant you. Watch Blackberry Blue rise from the bramble patch; follow Emeka the pathfinder on his mission to save a lost king; join Princess Desire as she gallops across the Milky Way on her jet-black horse.

These beautifully written and original stories will delight readers of all ages, and the stunning illustrations by Richard Collingridge will take your breath away.

Thoughts:

I picked this book out of my choice of Luna’s Picks for this month. I thought it was a stunning read, which I believe will delight many from young children, to teenagers to adults. The magical stories feel incredibly original and the beautiful illustrations just enhance the wonderful stories.

I’m not sure why this little gem hasn’t been more widely read or discussed on the blogosphere. I’m hoping that the stunning cover and intriguing synopsis will encourage more readers to give it a go! It’s something different to the usual fairy-tales out there. I can’t pinpoint a favourite story, because they were all so enjoyable. I loved the vividness of each story. I could picture it so easily in my mind.

The characters are so intriguing and much more interesting than typical fairy-tales and that’s coming from someone who loves a fairy-tale!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

It is well worth reading these beautiful fairy-tales!

Johnny’s Girl- A Short Story Review

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Longest Holiday

Synopsis:

Meg’s life has taken a turn for the perfect. She is the envy of millions with her drop dead gorgeous husband, their two beautiful sons and her new mansion in Henley. Her celebrity PA days are over. But desperate to keep up with her rock star husband, Johnny Jefferson, she uproots her perfect family and moves back to LA.
Meg has to learn to live with her new celebrity status and the insecurities of her old life, which keep reappearing. Under the paparazzi flash of an A-List party, complete with red carpet, champagne and canapés, Johnny’s rock star past catches up with him and Meg’s worst nightmare becomes a reality…

Thoughts:

I really adore Paige Toon’s writing. I’ve read every book that she’s published. She is a chick- author, but it’s chick-lit with a difference. There have several books surrounding Johnny and Meg now. A couple that I absolutely love! This particular short story catches up with Johnny and Meg, letting the reader know whereabouts they are in their lives. It bridges the gap between Johnny and Meg and Paige Toon’s new Young Adult series spin-off about Jessie Jefferson (review coming soon of the first book in the series)

I highly recommend this book if you’re a fan of Paige Toon’s. It could be read as a standalone, but it makes much more sense if you’re involved/invested in the characters.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!