Short Stories · Young adult

*BLOG TOUR* Hunted – Sarah Biglow & Molly Zenk ★★★★

Blurb; On the hundredth anniversary of being turned into a vampire, Edith joins her adopted daughters and their friends at the Heartsong Clan’s annual “vampires vs humans” LARP recruitment event where she meets an eager Dan Paxton. Dan’s older brother and vampire hunter, Darren, thinks he is merely chaperoning a trip to a nerd convention, but when Darren discovers Dan missing, he follows the only lead he has to the Heartsong Clan’s residence on Tombstone Row. He’s determined to keep his Hunter instincts in check, rescue his brother, and make a clean escape. When an impromptu late-night encounter leads Darren and Edith to be honest with each other about who and what each of them are, Edith longs to keep Darren and his brother close, even though it goes against Clan rules. The two start to grow closer as they seek out the truth from Edith’s Sire, Mr. Heartsong, and soon Darren is finding it harder than he thought to snuff out Edith and her family.

My Review; Anything to do with vampires and I am in. This starts off fairly innocent with its upfront at an event being a vampire vs human game. What it actually is… Is a weekend to learn about real vampires and a recruit to turn more vampires. But it soon goes horribly wrong with vampire hunters coming onto the scene. A battle. Deaths. Who will win?

A shortish read which I really enjoyed. I do believe this is book one in a trilogy and does end with a kind of cliffhanger so I can’t wait to see what happens in book two. Perfect YA, vampire vs human story. A beautiful cover too, eye catching. Highly recommend. Brilliantly written. A well deserved four stars from me.

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Emotional · Young adult

Edgar & Adolf – Phil Earle & Michael Wagg ★★★★★

Blurb; When he inherits a special football badge, German teenager Adi sets off on a mission to fulfil his grandfather’s dying wish and return the badge to its rightful owner, former England footballer, Edgar Kail. After tracking Edgar down, Adi gets the chance to learn more about the achievements of his grandfather, Adolf Jager, and the story unfolds of a special friendship that spanned twenty years and survived the horror of the Second World War. Edgar Kail and Adolf Jager played for their respective clubs in the early twentieth century and they remain folk heroes even now. Perfect for less-confident readers, this is a fictional tale of two real-life footballing heroes, and the moving story of a friendship forged by the beautiful game.

My Review; This is a short read at 120 pages and suitable for reading ages 11-16. It is about football, friendship and war. It is a beautiful book that made me tear up and trust me I dont tear up at books often. It’s just such a beautiful, honest and raw story about a life long friendship and how that affects you even in your old age. Never forgotten. A deal that had to be sealed and completed even years and years after.

Highly recommend to everyone. It contains a lot of words of wisdom, hope and love. Its pure. From the heart. Based off a true story but adapted. Does include a section throughout the WW2. I’m not a huge football fan myself but for me the story was more than just football. It meant a lot more than that. A well deserved five stars from me. Loved it. One I won’t be able to forget for a long time. Beautiful.

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Non-Fiction · Young adult

All Boys Aren’t Blue – George. M. Johnson ★★★★★

Blurb; In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.

My Review; I stayed up late just to finish this one and devoured it in hours. What an amazing memoir. The book is all about George/Matthews life and growing up queer in America. The challenges he faced and conquered. The love and support he got from his friends and family. He wrote this to reach those who may be facing the same challenges he had to experience. For them to know they are not alone and learn through/from him.

I have to really look up to this guy. I really do. It was such a bold, brave, raw and honest thing to write about and put out to the world for all to read and see. I felt like I knew him as a friend and all his family. What really shines out for me in this book is his nana. What an amazing woman she sounds. She’s the glue to the whole family and story and that really stood out for me. Also the relationships between all the cousins and family as a whole. What a beautiful family.

The book is made more real with photos throughout of George and his family. This had me laughing. It had me crying. It broke my heart. But one thing throughout it all, he was honest. He wrote from the heart. He just wanted to be accepted for himself. A beautiful story.

I hope he is now living a very happy life and I feel proud of him! Thank you for sharing your story with us. It’s feels wrong to rate a book like this but I gave it all the stars and more. I loved it! I also learnt alot from it myself especially some history. Highly recommend. I also think the cover is eye catching and beautiful. An eye opening read.

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