His Dark Materials #2 – The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife is thought provoking and soul stirring, and above all, relies on its greatest strength - an authentic sketch of childlike innocence, framed by the dangers that seek to harm it, and the powers that step in to protect it.

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Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

The book was a little on the long side, but so eventful that the pages turn swiftly. The plot doesn't as much twist as delays gratification, making the resolutions all the more sweeter because we feel they've been hard won.

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Cradle #9 – Bloodline

Wight's masterful use of humour is combined with fast pacing and new excitements to keep the reader engaged and in anticipation.

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Deenie by Judy Blume

The book's tone and a lot of its content is understandably dated, but Deenie is chicken soup for the teenage soul. I'd recommend it for teenage girls today - as long as they have less otherized options to read at the same time.

The Stormlight Archive #2 – Words of Radiance

With Words of Radiance, Sanderson has once again provided an immersive journey into the psyches of some truly wonderful characters. Unfortunately, the length of the books mean that I need a re-read of the entire series each time a new book is out.

Discworld #10 – Moving Pictures

There's too much happening in Moving Pictures. Ultimately, it gives you a convoluted book that you're likely to forget about as soon as you're done reading.

Six of Crows #1 – Six of Crows

Six of Crows would make for a great movie (or TV show) because the written word can't always do justice to action sequences. Four stars for a greatly enjoyable and thoughtful book.

His Dark Materials #3 – The Amber Spyglass

The Amber Spyglass is a fitting conclusion to a wonderfully written series. The plot moves from one fascinating location to the next, introducing us to the most diverse array of living beings, ecologies, and adventures ever fit into a single book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

It's painful to realize that a book that's apparently about the wholesale and coordinated victimization of housewives has been weaponized to attack housewives. ⭐⭐

Heroes of Olympus #4 – House of Hades

Overall, House of Hades holds up the good ol' Percy Jackson literary tradition well. But it also shows more of the strain that the series is under as it tries to balance so many opposing elements ⭐⭐⭐🌙

Frith Chronicles #5 – World Serpent Arcanist

Three stars for an engaging story, fast paced and well written action sequences, and a plot twist I did not see coming.

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill A Kingdom provides an interesting and engaging story, with enough references to the original tale to keep things familiar. However, the writing is unnecessarily convoluted, and the characters not very fleshed out. ⭐⭐⭐ ✨

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

Just another example of white mediocrity being lauded for no apparent reason. I might have thought this book interesting when I was a teenager, but even back then I'd have been suspicious of it. Ugh.  ⭐

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

It's like Christopher's voice has been aged down - which is, again, probably a result of the author's misconceptions about autism more than anything else. At best, I got the impression of reading about a 10 year old. In so many ways. The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time is, in short, a hot mess. 1.5 stars. ⭐✨

The Wood Bee Queen by Edward Cox

The adventure is fast paced, and the characters extremely likeable and intriguing. Three stars for a warm, solid read. ⭐⭐⭐

Earthsea Cycle #1 – A Wizard of Earthsea

A book that came out in 1968 that had a protagonist of colour (!!!) Wizard of Earthsea certainly features many exciting and diverse adventures, but it reads more as a spiritual journey than anything else. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne M. Frank

Anne's voice is fresh, frank and confident, and she has a knack for slipping humour into the mundane. And if you're thinking that you can give this one a miss simply because you've already read the other edition - I promise you you're missing out.

The Winter Duke by Claire E. Bartlett

The Winter Duke tells a lovely story, featuring a beautiful romance and an exciting world. Unfortunately, it drags on in repetitive patterns until two-thirds of the book is done. A book that had great potential in all senses of the term, but finally ends on an unsatisfying and anti-climactic note.

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3 – Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising sheds a lot of the dead weight and moves quickly, but even this book cannot escape the absolute piece of work that is its protagonist.

Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Princess Diaries may be a little outdated, but it still has the potential to make us laugh out loud - sometimes with Mia, but mostly at her. Five stars for the nostalgia!!!

Bree Taggert #4 – Right Behind Her

Much like Cross Her Heart (again) Right Behind Her gets bogged down with romance even as the rest of the plot flails wildly.

His Dark Materials #1 – The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass is the first part of a massive spiritual exploration. It is also a fantastic adventure that most realistically encapsulates the voice of childhood, of all the books I've read.

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