mystery · suspense · Young adult

D.O.G.S. – M.A. Bennett ★★★★

Blurb; After the dramatic events of the last few weeks, Greer Macdonald is trying to concentrate on her A levels. Stuck for a play to direct for her drama exam, she gets help from an unexpected quarter . . .

A priceless lost play, buried by time, is pushed under her door. It is Ben Jonson’s The Isle of Dogs, a play considered so dangerous in Elizabethan times that every copy was burned . . . except one. As the students begin to rehearse it, events become increasingly dark and strange, and they lead Greer back to where she never thought she would return – Longcross Hall.

There she discovers that not only is the Order of the Stag alive and well, but that a ghost from the past might be too . . .

My Review; Finally got around to reading this, book two in the S.T.A.G.S series and I seriously hope there is more to come. Please. I need more. S.T.A.G.S I read last year was brilliant and made my top twenty of 2019 and this was just as good!

We see the same characters from the first book with some new comers but this year it’s all focused on a play called The Isle of Dogs. Which apparantly all the scripts got destroyed… Well except one… The one Greer has been given. She decides to perform the play for her A level but things soon start to become wierd and familiar. Linking past to the present. This is more than just a play…

After book one (S.T.A.G.S) she could never imagine she would end up back at Longcross but that is exactly where she ends up. Back where everything began. I don’t want to give too much away but it’s a brilliant sequel to S.T.A.G.S. A must read. I really enjoyed it. The ending messed with my head a little and ended on a major cliffhanger… I need answers. I need more.

Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me. Brilliant. Perfect for mystery and young adult readers. Would make a brilliant tv series or film.

Amazon Link UK

Amazon Link US

mystery · Young adult

Ketchup Clouds – Annabel Pitcher ★★★★

Blurb; Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece.

Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can’t confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.

Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can—in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.

My Review; Another one off my library pile… I just took a chance on it! It was a really good read, perfect for mystery and young adult readers. This story was different as Zoe becomes a penpal with an inmate on death row. She writes to him, this is how the story is told… Through the letters to him. Loved the whole layout. Instead of a story it’s split between letters.

Zoe find herself in love between two brothers. Ouch. It all ends in a horrible accident, but Zoe is still blaming herself for it, still letting it get to her. She reveals everything to her death row inmate. Zoe has the cutest little sister who is deaf… Dot. I loved her too! I did feel sorry for Zoe but I think she should have just walked away from the brothers. A brilliant story with the important message that everyone makes mistakes even Zoes mum. It Doesn’t mean murder.

I devoured this book and have ordered all the authors other books yo see me by the author as I enjoyed this one. A well deserved four stars. Highly recommend.

I cannot find this book on either of the Amazon websites. Unfortunately. Or I would link them here. Strange.

fantasy · Young adult

Winterwood – Shea Ernshaw ★★★★★

Blurb; Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

My Review; After reading The Wicked Deep earlier in the year and loving it this was a must have, must read. A very lovely friend bought me this for Christmas and I am so grateful. From the beginning I knew this was going to be good, as I started reading I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to read it all in one go, yet I didn’t I savoured it over three days. Honestly loved it! Immersed. Cannot forget it.

I loved how the story was told through the two main characters Nora and Oliver. I loved them both especially Nora. I loved the setting of the book. The background. The whole thing. I think it would make a brilliant film. The cover is gorgeous. We also get to learn about Noras ancestors throughout – the Walkers. Very interesting. Absolutely loved it and cannot recommend it enough. The ending switches and had me like woah. What. Wait a minute. Perfect.

I cannot wait to see what this author brings to the table next, not let me down yet. Another well deserved five stars from me and snuck into my top twenty reads of the read. I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. Worth the wait. Perfect for young adult and fantasy readers.

Amazon Link UK

Amazon Link US