Showing posts from December, 2019

The End of a Decade: Happy New Year 2020

With just about two hours to go, we bid farewell, not just to another year, but this time, another decade. In fact, I would like to add that Fallen Star Stories is coming up on its' tenth birthday this year, so I am actually feeling quite excited and sentimental about this New Year...highly unlike me. I am not going to labour this post with my top books of the decade; I couldn't possibly. So many other reviewers and bloggers have taken that tact. I'll leave it to them. (I've read many of them today. Brilliant posts! All of them!) What I am going to do is to thank all of you out there who have supported my efforts on Fallen Star Stories; who have kept me going, fed me books and energy and allowed me into your lives for a few moments to share my thoughts, reviews and sometimes just plain madness. Each reader of this blog is a treasure to me. Thank you so very much. This next year, I am planning to write more articles, editorials and essays. I have a lot to say abou


Welcome to StarChild: The City of Souls Blog Tour! This is the second book in the thrilling StarChild series by Australian author, Vacen Taylor.As some of you may remember, I reviewed the first book, The Age of Akra back in September. I was delighted to be asked to join the second blog tour and jump back on an unforgettable journey. Before I begin, I just want to thank  Rachels' Random Resources for including me in this blog tour. And many thanks as well to Vacen Taylor, author of the StarChild series for providing me with the book to review.  You are both fabulous!   STARCHILD: BOOK TWO: THE CITY OF SOULS author: Vacen Taylor Odyssey Books (this edition 2018) ISBN: 9781922200129 Having escaped the clutches of Amual and the Underworld, Mai, Long and Akra are resuming their journey to Valley of a Thousand Thoughts with their new companion Sahib, a sealer boy. Having not gone very far, they are attacked by sand slavers. Fighting them off, they now travel to


Now we come to the best books published in 2019 for teens and young adults. So let's get stuck in... At number one; probably the very best book I've read this year. PERFECTLY PREVENTABLE DEATHS author: Deirdre Sullivan Hot Key Books (9781471408236) 16-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin find themselves moving from Cork to Ballyfrann in the wilds of county Galway.   E verything has an eerie feel to it; the castle they live in and its' resident 'wise-woman', Mamó, the town residents, the surrounding hills which conceal the bones of generations of missing girls along with hidden truths; and Lon, the unsettling young man that quickly wins Catlins' heart. As Madelines' latent witchiness emerges, she finds  Ballyfrann is a place of dark secrets and predators. And her sister is primed to become the next victim... This is the stuff of dreams and nightmares! Compelling, obsessive, foreboding and completely consuming;  the writing is lyrical and moves throu


Welcome back! Today, I am showing off my best books for what is called "Middle-Grade" readers; age range roughly 8 to 12. (Very roughly) Strong stories and the magical ability to transport the reader to another place; another time come to the fore here with some truly incredible reads. Let's hop right in... THE GIRL WHO SPEAKS BEAR author: Sophie Anderson illustrator: Katherin Honesta Usborne Books (9781474940672) Yanka was found just outside a bear cave as a baby. Mamochka took her home and raised her as her own. As she grew (and became the biggest and strongest in the village), it is clear that she has unusual capabilities. But a freak accident changes things in a most strange way. Called into the forest by the birds and creatures of the forest, Yanka embarks on a quest to discover her beginnings...and her true self. Filled with tales and lyrical writing, this is a simply wondrous book. With nods to old Russian folktales of bears, princesses and the Baba Yag


It's time to share my best; my very favourite childrens' books of 2019. This is never easy! There's always so many fantastic books and choosing just a few is a daunting many too look at, so many things to consider. So what makes a great book in my mind? First of all, it has to have a strong story...something that carries the reader through; something that consistently 'makes sense', whether it's a picture book, something for early readers or a novel. Then I look at the characters; are they believable; do their actions and feelings ring true with in the context of the story? If it's illustrated, do the pictures 'fit' within the text; do they accent it; do they carry the story in their own right? They can't be there simply for decoration! (Hint: it's very rare that this is the case.) What is the book really saying? Has the author really thought about their audience? Will the 'message' appeal? Will it give room for deeper t