A Spotlight On…Alex Bell

Welcome to my ‘A Spotlight On…’ feature. In this feature, I plan to highlight and give some bookish love to some of my favourite authors.

For my fourth post in this feature, I decided to focus on the wonderful Alex Bell. Alex has become more known for Frozen Charlotte, The Haunting and The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club, however, I highly recommend you check out her adult books as well.

I have read Alex’s books since the publication of The Ninth Circle in 2008. I can’t wait to see what she does in the future!

It’s amazing to see just how many books Alex has had published so far! These are just her full length books, she’s also been published in a few short story collections!

My reviews (unfortunately only date to 2015 as the rest were read pre-blogging!)

Alex’s website

Alex on Twitter @Alex_Bell86

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This Week In Books #85

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Now

Undercover Princess (The Rosewood Chronicles, #1)

I seem to be taking ages to read this book, but it’s not because I’m not enjoying it. I simply haven’t had the time to get stuck in! I’m hoping to read some tonight and hopefully will be done by this weekend!

Then

The Polar Bear Explorers' Club

This book is such a great middle grade fantasy read. I’m pretty sure it’s not my bias (Alex is a fab friend of mine!) I would definitely recommend this to junior aged children in my school.

Next

I Have No Secrets

I am so intrigued to read this book. I’ve heard amazing things about it.

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club (The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club #1)

The Polar Bear Explorers' Club

How did I get it?:
I received a copy from Faber and I’ve purchased a copy!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

It sounded like a respectable and worthy enough death for an explorer – tumbling from an ice bridge to be impaled upon a mammoth tusk – but Stella really, really didn’t want that to happen, just the same.

Join Stella Starflake Pearl and her three fellow explorers as they trek across the snowy Icelands and come face-to-face with frost fairies, snow queens, outlaw hideouts, unicorns, pygmy dinosaurs and carnivorous cabbages . . .

When Stella and three other junior explorers get separated from their expedition can they cross the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale?

Thoughts:

I have loved Alex Bell’s adult and YA books. Seriously, if you haven’t checked out The Ninth Circle and Jasmyn please give them a go. They’re amazing and so underrated, in my opinion. I was super excited to pick up The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club. It’s such an exciting story that I believe will pull children in and keep them engaged throughout the story.

Its plot is fast paced and so easy to read. The reader follows a group of young explorers on a quest to find the coldest part of the Icelands as they are separated from their parents. It’s such a fun read. I couldn’t help turning the pages. I practically binge read this book, completely captivated by the story.

The main characters Stella, Shay, Beanie and Ethan were so well written. I immediately liked them, especially Stella. What a wonderful protagonist! I loved how she was such a strong female character. We need more of those in middle grade literature. I also appreciated how she was allowed to go on the adventure after it being notoriously males only. Her relationship with Felix (who she saw as a father) was heart-warming. I absolutely adored the character of Beanie. Such a sweet character that took everything literally. It reminded me of a few children that I teach!

Talking about teaching, I think this book would be perfect for Key Stage 2 children. There’s so much to get stuck into. I loved how descriptive the story was. This book really is jam packed with content. It’s both fairy tale-esque and adventurous. There are penguins, pygmy dinosaurs, cabbages…and more. I think Alex Bell has created such a wonderful world that I can see developing well as a the series continues (I assume it’s a series!)

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A gorgeous middle grade adventure!

Charlotte Says

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Frozen Charlotte
The Haunting

Synopsis:

Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.
Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.

Thoughts:

I’m not a fan of horror. I think I’ve always made that quite clear here on my blog. However, there are some authors that I make an exception for… and Alex Bell is one of them. I’ve read all of Alex’s books (adult books too, they’re good, you should check them out!) and I adore her horror stories. I was so intrigued to see what Charlotte Says was like after thoroughly enjoying Frozen Charlotte. I found Charlotte Says to be even creepier. Some parts literally made me shudder.

Charlotte Says is based in 1910 and it centres around Jemima. After the death of her mother in a fire, Jemima begins a job at a school for girls at the very remote Isle of Skye. (Readers of Frozen Charlotte will recognise the setting!) Jemima finds life there tough and she finds herself thinking about what happened the night of the fire. She receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls (they creep me out!) from a mystery sender. Jemima recalls a seance with the dolls and events that resulted in the fire. The dolls are causing so much trouble at the school after a series of accidents involving the young girls who are used to create havoc amongst their peers.

I could not put this book down! I needed to at points, to you know…calm myself down. I have a very vivid imagination and Alex’s writing really stimulates my overactive imagination. I don’t want to say much about the plot itself as I want it to be read and enjoyed! Just know that it’s terrifying at some points! There are scenes that are still sticking in my mind, days after finishing the book. I think this book is scarier than Frozen Charlotte so if you’re of a nervous disposition then proceed with caution! 😉

Even though this book is a prequel to Frozen Charlotte, I don’t think you necessarily need to read it in order to understand Charlotte Says. It merely enhances your reading experience if you can spot the links!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Charlotte Says really creeped me out. It’s such an atmospheric, chilling read.

This Week In Books #73

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Gone Without a Trace Charlotte Says (Red Eye) The Disappearing Girl

NOW- Gone Without A TraceMary Torjussen– I’m about 50 pages into this book which came highly recommended by my blogging sister, Beth. I’m intrigued, very intrigued so far!

THENCharlotte SaysAlex Bell– Ooh. This was good! I am not a fan of creepy books, but this one was fabulous. I couldn’t help but like it!

NEXTThe Disappearing GirlHeather Topham Wood– I have had this book on my kindle forever, so I’ve decided it’s high time that I got around to it.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave a link to a post that you do, or tell me in the comments! Happy reading!

ARC August Sign Up Post

I have decided to join in with ARC August (hosted by Read, Sleep, Repeat) to keep up to date with those pesky ARCS. Don’t get me wrong, I love having ARCS but sometimes I’m not so good at keeping up with them. I’m getting better though and challenges like these often help out.

Here are the rules:

  • Any Advanced Reading Copy counts as part of this reading challenge; your backlist books count
  • No blog necessary to participate, but you’ll need to include some form of social media as part of your sign up
  • Use the #ARCAugust on social media to check-in

e-ARCS I aim to read

(Book images go to Goodreads!)

Indigo Donut Lola Offline The Treatment

‘Real book’ ARCS I aim to read

The House Charlotte Says (Red Eye)

I’m happy to say that only one of these ARCS are backlist ARCS which is Indigo Donut. The rest of them are either August or October ARCS. I’m hoping that getting these books read will keep me on track! I’m trying so hard not to request as many ARCS as I used to!

Are you joining in with ARC August? Please feel free to link me to your sign up posts so I can cheer you on!

Stacking The Shelves #171

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Sent for review:

Charlotte Says (Red Eye)

I was super excited to receive the next in the series of Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell. This is YA Horror. I’m a big fan of Alex’s writing, so I’m excited to read this book soon. It’s due to be released in September!

Bought:

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)

I’ve recently read If I Stay, I know, I know I’m so far behind, but at least I’ve read it now! It’s left me eager to read the next book!

All That She Can See

I enjoyed Carrie Hope Fletcher’s debut, so I’m intrigued to see what her next book is like! 🙂

What have you added to your shelves this week? Let me know!