about the tween book blog

This is the place to be for reviews of Children's and YA books! And, best of all, it is written by a 12 year old, who knows the perspective of tweens and teens!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Close Your Eyes

Close Your Eyes by Nicci Cloke

Close Your Eyes is about a school shooting which we discover through a series of different formats, all leading us to the discovery of who was the behind it.

So, let's start with what genre it was. I would say a YA mystery, but that is debatable as the whole point of a mystery is that everyone finds out who done it at the end of the book. In Close Your Eyes, you were the only person that had no idea what was going on. I'd never encountered a book like it, all the other mystery books i have read, NO ONE knows who did it until the end. It was also a thriller, I mean it was about a school shooting! Onto the format. As previously hinted at, it was told in many different ways, the two most common of which were sections of interviews, as well as more traditional storytelling. Other formats included facebook and whatsapp messaging and excerpts from a private blog. It was a super interesting writing style, as you got to see inside the main characters' minds. In the interviews, you could really feel the different personalities of the characters, things like Gemma, one of the main characters, calling the interviewer babe. Still on the interviews, you never actually read what the interviewer had asked, yet from the way that Nicci Cloke wrote it, you still knew what it was, even if the question wasn't that obvious. Sometimes, the interviewee's would say something that had already been mentioned by someone else, or in the story part of it. This gave you a sense that they were backing up what had already been said, making it more realistic! To be honest, I couldn't think of anything that bad to say about it, except that it was quite sad and gruesome, as if the writing had a grey cloud hung over it. However, this might have been on purpose!

I am going to give it a 9/10
and an age rating of 14+

I Dare You Book Tag

So, to start with I would like to say thank you to Megan at Probability Reading for nominating me for my FIRST EVER TAG (I am insanely proud!)

The rules are that:
  • You must be honest
  • You can't not answer a question
  • You have to tag at least four people

Here we go...

Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

The oldest book is one of my Grandpa's Asimov's, although that it a fairly new addition to my own collection. I would say that the one thats been their the longest is a copy of James and the Giant peach by Roald Dahl.

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What is your current read, your last read and the book you'll read next?

My last read was Close Your Eyes by Nicci Cloke, my current read is the Cardturner by Louis Sachar, and who knows what my next read will be. Probably something that I pick up in the school library.

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What book(s) did everyone like that you hated?

I actually wrote a post about this one. The book in question was The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger.


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Which book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but probably won't?

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. I just can't bring myself to do it.


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Which books are you saving for "retirement"?

I have absolutely no idea, and I generally don't know what I am going to read next, unless I have been given a recommendation.

Last Page: Read it first or wait till the end?

No, just no. It spoils the entire thing!

Acknowledgments: waste of ink and paper or interesting side?

I don't think that it is a waste of ink and paper, those people deserve to be thanked, yet I don't always read it as it generally isn't the most interesting part of the book.

Which book character would you switch places with?

Probably Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He has a grim beginning but life is pretty good by the end. Or maybe Alton from The Cardturner. I don't think that life was too hard for him.

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Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in life?

Not that I can remember I don't. Any book where the main character has a love of reading and/or coding.

Name a book that you acquired in some interesting way.

 Probably the most interesting are all the books that I won with Book Bingo in my primary school. I can't remember any specifically, but I think that it is a cool way to get books.

Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

I can't say that I've really given books away, but I do sometimes lend them to relatives.

Which book has been with you the most places?

I think that it is probably Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. That was the first book I got on my kindle, and I bring that with me on most holidays.

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Any "Required reading" you hated in high school that wasn't too bad two years later?

When I first read Shakespeare with school, I didn't really like it, and was annoyed that we had to do a Shakespeare play as our school play, after spending a term studying him and his plays. But now I don't think that it is too bad!

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What's the strangest item you've ever found in a book?

Nothing really springs to mind...

Have you ever read a Dan Brown?

Nope!

Have you ever seen a movie that you liked better than the book?

The harry potter series was alright... But then so were the books, so I'm not really sure if that's a proper answer!

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A book that NEVER should have been published?

I have a tendency of liking most of the books I read. And even if I don't like them, I don't passionately hate them. All books have a right to be published.

Have you ever read a book that makes you hungry, cookbooks bing included from this question?

Going back to Harry Potter, any of the feasts in the great hall make me feel really hungry!

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Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

The librarians at my school. (More than one person but WHATEVER!)

I nominate:

Jess at Jess Hearts Books
Nina at Death, Books and Tea
Zoe at Zoe's Book Blog
Cait at Paper Fury

If anyone else wants to do it, feel free, and leave me a link to the post in the comments!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Cassie is a black girl growing up in the early twentieth century in America. She is young, and doesn't understand why the White Children's school bus always splashes her on the way to school. Why they even have a school bus. And she doesn't understand the 'night men' and what they have been doing. Why are they all so mean to her, when God created them all equal? Cassie begins to find out, and as she does, so do we...

The first thing I liked about Roll of Thunder was that it is a non-fiction book hidden in a fiction book. Whilst the actual story is made up, you get to learn a bit about American history. This was interesting for me as I live in Britain, go to a British school, and so therefore I mostly learn about British history. Learning about something else was a change, especially in the form of an excellent fiction book. When i first saw Roll of Thunder, I thought it was going to be a bit boring. The cover didn't really fit in with what you would expect a book to have as its cover nowadays (Although this is just the cover of the version I read. A quick search on the internet proves that there are quite a few different versions). I am sad to admit that I do sometimes judge a book by its cover, and so therefore probably wouldn't have picked up Roll of Thunder if I hadn't heard it was such a good book. Now, onto the actual plot. It was a good story as a whole, with what felt like quite a few side stories (Like Forrest Gump, which I recently watched). Like so many of the books I seem to be reading recently, it was very hard hitting, with many sad and shocking parts. There was also a lot of bad language, mostly against black people. This only added to how realistic the book was in describing what life was like for black people in North America in the early 20th century. I thought it was good that it was told from Cassie's perspective, and not any of her siblings. If it had been told from anyone else's perspective, then there would be no story, as either the narrator would either know not enough, or too much, about the world around them.

I am going to give it an 8/10
And an age rating of 13+

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Saturday, 1 April 2017

Hi people,

This is just a very quick post to let you know that I probably won't be posting this week as I am on holiday. If any one knows how to schedule posts they would be helping to stop this from happening again by putting it in the comments.

See you in a week!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Survivors

Survivors by David Long and Kerry Hyndman

A Non-Fiction book on survivors throughout history. From Shakelton's Expedition to two men who shared a sandwich at the bottom of the sea, some of the best stories of survivors you will have read yet.

ok, so lets start with the tales. They were written in such a way that it would interest people of all ages. It was interesting for my age, would have been interesting for older people and it was written is such a way that anyone younger than I am could still have understood it very easily, with the trickier parts explained, so that everyone could benefit from the awesome stories. i think that my favourite story was about the guy who had to operate on himself with no antibiotics. That was pretty hard hitting, but also an excellent short story.

Now, onto the illustrations. As the pictures will show, these were absolutely amazing. You would expect real life photos in a non-fiction book, but no, these were definitely drawn.  At the bottom of each page, there was a nice pattern, but that wasn't the best part. There were some absolutely AMAZING double page spreads, showing all the disasters. This was probably useful, as firstly, images probably aren't that readily available, and secondly, images would probably have been a tiny bit too graphic.  At the top of each chapter, there was another little illustration. I think that the illustrations were probably some of the best pieces of book artwork that I have ever seen. You might as well just buy the book for it's illustrations, they were that good.

So yeah, if you didn't realise, I liked the book. It's now my favourite non-fiction book...

I am going to give it a 10/10,
And an age rating of 8+








Tuesday, 21 March 2017

American Monsters

American Monsters by Derek Landy

Amber is back, but not she is Astoraths representative. With this in mind, Amber becomes even more determined to find, and kill, her parents. Add this to Milo, Kelly, Glen, the Dark Places convention and more, and things start to get hectic. And it's not like Amber even likes the Shining Demon...

This might just be one of my favourite series ever. Yes, better than Skullduggery Pleasent by the same author (although my brother would disagree😂). I think the reason I like the books so much is because all three of them are full of the same witty banter. The back and forth dialogue between the characters really is just great. At the beginning, Amber, the protagonist, is managing to have a funny conversation, whilst a crazy animal lays its egg on her. And it works! Another thing I like is the fact that the book is a bit like a literary rollercoaster. It goes from one thing to another in the blink of an eye, or the turn of a page. One second they are being chased by a crazy chainsaw wielding maniac, and the next second they are back on the road. And it works because that is the whole point of the book. It's meant to be a bumpy ride. If only one thing happened, the entire thing would be really boring, and that is really what you don't want with a book. Another cool thing that I like about it is the supernatural feel to it. I mean, REAL LIFE DEMONS!!!!!!!!(insert a thousand more exclamation marks)!!!!! And there are so many of these supernatural ocurrances, you begin to believe in them. And can I just say don't read the book at night if you are prone to nightmares. You really won't have nice dreams of candy floss if you read American Monsters. To be honest, that is my only piece of criticism, but you should probably take note of it as IT REALLY IS REALLY VERY SCARY. So, don't say I didn't warn you. Actually, there was one more thing I didn't like, which was the end. I won't spoil it, but you might end up in floods of tears i you are as emotional as I am. But apart from those two points, it was REALLY REALLY VERY GOOD.

I am going to give it a 10/10
And an age rating of 13+

Monday, 13 March 2017

Flawed

Flawed by Cecilia Ahern

In a society where people get punished for making moral and ethical bad decisions, Celestine thinks she is perfect. With a perfect boyfriend and a perfect family, she will never be Flawed. Until she is...

So, let's start with the cover. It was kind of pinky, and really not my style. It could have been a better cover as, even though your not meant to,any people DO judge books by there covers. Due to social pressures, boys don't really want to be seen reading a book with a pink cover, meaning the book is more likely to be read by girls. It was definitely a unisex book, and so lots of boys not reading it is a bad thing. Ok, onto the plot. I thought that the idea of a world where people who aren't perfect are punished was great. I also liked the fact that it wasn't against the law, as that made arguments against the idea valid. Unfortunately, I can't comment on the entire plot, as it is a series, where the second book hasn't come out. I can't wait for it to come out, though. The only thing about the plot that I didn't get was the bit about Celestine with Art. I didn't feel that it enriched the story. Now for the actual writing. It was really believable, and I liked the fact that it was in first person, it wouldn't have worked otherwise. I think my favourite price of writing in the book is the countdown after the branding, when it is portrayed in a diary style. So, in conclusion, it's a very good book, with only one problem (Art, the boyfriend)

I am going to give it a 9/10
And and age rating of 12+

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Crongton Knights

Crongton Knights by Alex Wheatle

McKay lives on South Crongton council estate. It's dangerous, police everywhere, bailiffs knocking at the door, his brother out all night and Manjaro, the top gangster on the estate, has disappeared. And then, if things couldn't get any worse, McKay strays off his turf on a rescue mission for a girl...

At the beginning, I really wasn't sure about Crongton Knights. I got it when we did 'blind date with a book' as a replacement to Fire Colour One, which I had already read. It really didn't seem my type. And I got around a quarter of the way through without realising what half the words meant. A lot of it is written in slang. I just felt really confused. But at around that quarter mark, I started to get it. I fell into the rhythm of the back, and it got a lot better. It just goes to show if you persist with something, then you might come out having actually enjoyed it. Now, onto the plot. I liked the fixation on cooking. It's one of those hidden talent things, that always works with me. The plot was action packed, and most of the book took place over one, horrendous night. Another thing that I liked was how McKay kept referring to him and the others as 'Knights', giving a title to the book. I really liked that. The title wasn't from just one big thing, but lot's of little hints throughout the story. And the best thing was the recipes at the end of the book. Linked in with the cooking theme, there are three recipes at the back so that you can 'Cook like the south crong crew'. So, to conclude, Crongton Knights had a hard to understand beginning, and a brilliant end.

Update: i tried to make the kofta from the recipies at the back of the book. It came out alright! I mean, it tasted a tiny bit bland, but I don't know if this was because of the recipie, or because I'm not very good at cooking. I don't know, but it might be worth trying. I liked it, but other people in my family thought it didn't taste too​ great.

I am going to give it a 7/10
And an age rating of 13+


Friday, 10 March 2017

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom
Mel has two friends, a crazy aunt, no brother and bipolar disorder. When she first got sick she lost all her friends. But when Annie, one of Mel's old friends drops a box off at her house before moving away unexpectedly, things change...
I am going to start at the cover. I know that you aren't meant to judge a book by it's cover, but... The cover for the version I read was pink, which doesn't normally go down that well with me, but there was also a lot of other techniques that the publisher used to make the cover great. You'll see when I put up a picture. Now, onto the actual writing. I thought it was great. I think that my favourite thing was the hamster, hummingbird, hammerhead, hanniganimal. I think that thinking up something like that for a book takes a lot of skill. I don't know if Lindstrom has had Bipolar Disorder, but I have to congratulate him either way, for writing about personal issues (if he has/ had it), or just making you think that he has had it. The next good thing was that you could tell if Mel was having a manic episode or was depressed. When she was manic, she spoke in sentences that could reach an entire paragraph in length, and most of it was just random. When she was in a depressed phase, the sentences were a lot shorter, and there was a feeling of doom and gloom. My one piece of criticism was the thing about Mel's name. I didn't feel that it was necessary, or added anything to the book. But apart from that it was great.
I am going to give it a 9/10
And an age rating of 12+



Wednesday, 8 March 2017

All About Mia

All About Mia by Lisa Williamson
Mia is the middle child. Her older sister has the best GCSE and A-level results the school had ever seen. Her younger sister swims for her country. And then there's Mia, stuck in the middle. But then Grace, the older sister, mucks up...

Lisa Williamson's first book, The Art of Being Normal, was super good. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that All About Mia lived up the standard. I mean, it was a great idea, but I felt that the quality of writing was not quite as high. Also, The Art of Being Normal did have a slightly better plot. Now, I realise that this is probably the worst thing to do, compare the books, as that is what the book is all about. Anyway, it was still a great book, with a good plot and good characters.
I am going to give it a 7/10
And an age rating of 13+

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