Children's · Ghost story · mystery

Best Nerds Forever – James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein ★★★★

Blurb; Finn McAllister was a normal middle school nerd–now he’s a ghost with a big mystery to solve.

One minute, Finn was biking home from school, and the next, he was run off the road by a maniac in a big van. Now, he’s a ghost. He can do lots of fun things, like try every ice cream flavor in the store, sneak up on people, and play as many video games as he wants. Finn even has a new ghost friend, Isabella, to show him the ropes. But he also has a lot of BIG questions, like: who wanted him dead? And can he stop the maniac from striking again? 

Packed with hilarious moments, epic friendships, and fun art, Best Nerds Forever celebrates the nerd in each of us and the joy of living life to its fullest. 

My Review; I absolutely loved this one the most recently. At 250 pages it is an easy read and beautifully illustrated throughout. Devoured it. It’s kind of a ghost story with a twist. Finn is stuck in the inbetween… Between life & death. His grandfather keeps coming to help him pass through to the other side but he has to figure out why he died, who did it before he is happy.

Along the way he meets Isabella another ghost in the inbetween and they become friends while he helps her solve her death too. It’s a brilliant story that highlights the importance of life. How fear can literally kill you and the importance of friends and family. They’re busy teleporting to their friends, family, school & death spots to get all the answers they need while having a bit of fun here and there. Being a ghost has its advantages.

Life’s too short. Highly recommend. One that will stick with me for a while. Powerful. Emotional in parts. A well deserved four stars from me.

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crime · romance · Short Stories

Nottingham Hill Carnival: A West Side Story – Candice Carty-Williams ★★★★

Blurb; Sapphire is the hot-headed leader of the Red Roses in an area where gang loyalty is all that matters. But after a tragic event, Sapphire vows to leave her old life, friends and her gang behind. Life without the Red Roses and the violence that always followed them is certainly quieter.

When she meets a boy called Apollo on her way to Notting Hill Carnival, she forms an instant bond with him. She thinks he could be the one. Until she discovers he’s a member of rival gang, the Gold Teeth. Will she ever escape her past with the Red Roses, and how many lives will be ruined until she does?

Funny, emotional and raw, with the Notting Hill Carnival acting as the backdrop of this retelling of West Side Story, by the Sunday Times bestselling author of Queenie.

My Review; From the bestselling author of Queenie comes this little beauty at just over 100 pages. Now I don’t know what I was expecting here but what I read wasn’t it. From the cover I was expecting chick-lit, fun & romance. I was wrong. But what a brilliant story this was. One that taught me not to judge a book by its cover.

It’s all about two gangs coming head to head. War. Fights. But surely there becomes a point when we are all too old for that? Well in this story there is a point that stops it all and not a very good one. A scary one that happens multiple of times everyday even now. But it’s also a part love story when two members of the opposite gangs fall in love. Oooh. A brilliant heart warming ending which left me wanting more.

A story which proves love wins. Bullies lose. Amazing story. Eye opening. Life lesson learnt. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me.

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chick-lit · Children's · Comedy

Jacky Ha-Ha – James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein ★★★★

Blurb; In his new middle grade novel that debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, James Patterson introduces his hilarious new heroine, Jacky Ha-Ha, a class clown who makes people laugh with her so they can’t laugh at her.

With her irresistible urge to tell a joke in every situation–even when she really, really shouldn’t–twelve-year-old Jacky Ha-Ha loves to make people laugh. And cracking wise helps distract her from thinking about not-so-funny things in her life, like her mom serving in a dangerous, faraway war, and a dad who’s hardly ever home.

But no matter how much fun Jacky has, she can’t seem to escape her worries. So one starlit night, she makes a promise to keep her family together…even if she has to give up the one thing that makes her happy. But can she stop being Jacky Ha-Ha, if that’s who she really is?

My Review; Another children’s book I have devoured today at over 300 pages long. This book is extremely similar to Jacqueline Wilson style & her characters which I absolutely adore. An easy read with plenty of illustrations throughout.

Meet Jacky. Class clown. Funny. Sometimes naughty. Mischievous. Top of the class for receiving detentions. But in this story she finds something to put all her attention into. Maybe this is how she could turn herself around? Be someone to be proud of. A brilliant story of using her attitude and jokes for the better… This is Jacky writing to her daughters about her younger years.

Short chapters. Funny. Determined character. I loved Jacky. Highly recommend! A well deserved four stars from me. There is also a follow on from this which I have not found yet. This is book one.

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