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Showing posts from March, 2017

Come On In, America: The United States In World War I by Linda Barrett Osborne

Disclaimer: I read this book as an advance copy from Netgalley. My thanks go to them, ABRAMS Kids and to the author, Linda Barrett Osborne, for this opportunity. The opinions stated in the review are my own. This is a very interesting look at the events surrounding the United States involvement with World War I. I studied some US history several years ago, both at school and at University, and was fascinated by how the different US political approach to conflict contrasted to that of the European history that I also studied.  This book focuses on the build up to and the fighting of World War I from a US perspective and gives an interesting and detailed account of this time in American history. The information is presented with clarity and insight that make it a illuminating read. The text is augmented by photographs which portray both military and civilian life as well as propaganda posters. The text never veers into stuffy fact recounting but gives a human look at the political decisi…

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Disclaimer: I read this book as an advance copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks go to them, to Hodder & Stoughton and to the author for this opportunity. The opinions stated in this review are my own.
"Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die".

There is a creeping dread woven into this book. The fate of the Roanoke girls is something that is there in the background at first but then the secret is given voice quite early in the book. The insidiousness of the full truth, however, takes the whole of the text to unfold. Lane Roanoke grew up far away from the house of her grandparents, taken off to New York by her mother. At sixteen, following her mother's suicide, she found herself back there for a summer. This intertwines with Lane returning many years later, alarmed by the disappearance of her cousin, Allegra.

The subject matter Engel writes about is uncomfortable reading and this book, at times, walks the l…

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

Disclaimer: I read this book as an advance copy from Netgalley. My thanks go to them, to Abrams Books and the to author, Sarah Nicole Lemon, for this opportunity. The opinions stated in the review are my own.


This is one of the more intriguing YA books I have read in a long time. Initially I selected it for the cover image but found the writing style, characters and plot worked together brilliantly. The writing style is somewhat jarring at first but when  I became more attuned to it as I read and it has a great rhythm and vividness. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions throughout the book of the mountainous landscapes and of the town resting in the wilderness. A lovely reminder that a place can seem so peaceful and yet be so noisy and fierce. The setting connected the dual components of the location to this story of order and chaos, delicate relationships and blunt brutality.

The book centres on the two female characters, Tourmaline and Virginia. Tourmaline is the daughter of the pre…