Prankenstein – Andy Seed

Prankenstein-Andy-Seed“Soapy Thompson woke up with a cucumber on his head. It was large and green and still attached to the bush. He blinked a few times and wondered why his bedroom was so bright and why the ceiling was made of glass. And the walls. 

Soapy sat up and rubbed his eyes. There was a family of woodlice in his hair and his left cheek was encrusted with grotty bits of compost. He was in the greenhouse. Why?”  

Someone is doing some hilarious pranks around Soapy’s town and he just wishes he could be involved. Yet his boring life could never be as exciting as shooting his granny off her stairlift into the ceiling, letting cows into a kitchen and swapping garden gnomes for storm troopers. No, Soapy will have to make do with watching all the action from afar and investigating who’s behind the pranks with his friends. After some serious digging though it seems like the trio have the culprit right under their noses and theres a serious whiff going around which indicates the prankster isn’t quite of this world – it would seem he is a hairy, superhuman figure with a shocking secret! 

***

This was a very fun read with some hilarious bits dotted about and some great accompanying images. Prankenstein wasn’t the best middle grade book I’ve read but it was a great bit of fun.

The story was quite honestly very predictable. I had a feeling I knew where it was going from the start and it went exactly in the direction I expected. But it made me laugh along the way with some interesting sidelines which I didn’t expect. Soapy’s stint in the school play and the way he got his own back on Venus were great parts of the book which really made me laugh.

The writing was easy to follow and very funny in places. I loved the humorous additions that Soapy’s phone brought to the story and the language barrier between Soapy and the Twince both from the phone on Soapy’s side and because of their limited English. I loved that they still seemed to be brilliant friends despite this though and thought they made a great team. Soapy himself was an interesting character and I really enjoyed Prankestein’s part to play in the entire book.

There was nothing spectacular about Prankenstien. It was a funny book about playing pranks and about how that might not always be as fun as you thought it was. For some reason Prankenstein didn’t deliver exactly what I had hoped it would but I still think a lot of younger readers will enjoy it a lot, and perhaps wish they had their very own Prankenstein lying in wait!

Prankenstein was published by Fat Fox Books on August 27th. My copy was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. 
 
To buy the book or for more info please visit: 
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Author Website 

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Readaraptor facelift

cropped-New-Blog-Header.pngHello!

I am still around. I know things have been stupidly quiet around here lately, I’m not on twitter as much, I’m not blogging as much because I’m not reading anywhere near enough, and I’ve even become terrible at replying to emails. But I am still here, I promise, and I’m not going anywhere.

I just wanted to share a little post with you about the facelift you may notice when you click into Readaraptor. I decided recently that this lull might be a great time to do something I’ve been thinking about for a while – switching from Blogger to WordPress. Basically I have plans for Readaraptor, which include subdomains and other things that can’t really be done on blogger. Because of these plans I thought the switch was the best thing for me and wallah, here it is.

I hope you like Readaraptor’s new face. Nothing else will change too much for now and in all honestly Readaraptor as you know it won’t change much at all. I will still be sharing my thoughts on books, writing discussion posts about reading and hosting blog tours and guest posts.

The changes will come elsewhere and whilst I get the finishing touches done to the new look and get those changes implemented I hope you will all stick around. I appreciate each and every one of my blog readers and I hope you know that!

One last thing before I go, I need to give two big shout outs to two awesome people. First of all my dad, who has been on the end of many ‘how do I do this and this, and thats gone wrong’ emails and Facebook messages when it comes to the hosting and wordpress stuff with the switch, thanks daddy! And second, to Jesse of books4teens.co.uk, I knew Jesse had dealt with a switch himself and was pretty good when it comes to tech so I emailed him for tips and advice, he saved me many a headache and helped me make sense of some of the technical stuff I didn’t understand, thanks so much Jesse!

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The Ghosts of Heaven – Marcus Sedgwick

The spiral has existed as long as time has existed.
 
It’s there when a girl walks through the forest, the moist green air clinging to her skin. There centuries later in a pleasant greendale, hiding the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who they call a witch. There on the other side of the world as a mad poet watches the waves and knows the horrors the hide, and far into the future as Keir Bowman realises his destiny.
 
Each takes their next step in life. None will ever go back to the same place. And so, their journeys begin…
***
Let me start this review by explaining how I read this book. Basically right at the start you get an introduction from the author which explains that you can read the four quarters of the book in any order you wish. Most people will probably still read the book in the conventional way, from cover to cover, but I chose to mix things up a little. I read part 2, then 1, then 4 and finally 3 and I am actually really glad I did. The story still made sense to me, well as much as it is meant to and I think I honestly started and ended with the best of the four stories. 
The book has an overarching theme of the spiral. Marcus Sedgwick is exceptionally clever in his writing, something which was made apparent with his previous book She Is Not Invisible (If you haven’t read that please do so. Now.) and something that is reinforced in this book. There are many little titbits that if you aren’t playing close attention you will miss, but thats not to say its a hard book to read. I really enjoyed the theme and what it stood for, how it effected the different characters I met.
I’m having a bad time of things lately with actually concentrating on books and because of this it took me a lot longer to read The Ghosts of Heaven than it usually would have done. It also means that this review is going to be short and sweet I’m afraid as I’m still not right (I’m currently sat on my sofa with tissues stuffed up my nose and a hot lemon drink, I know, sexy right?).
Don’t let me short, and quite unclear, review give you any negative thoughts about this book. I really did love every page. I thought it was weird and clever and though-provoking. I loved the idea of part 4 but it confused me more than it probably should have so that was probably my least favourite part. I adored part 2 and the girl who is the main protagonist of that story but I think that the third part, with the Dr and Charles Dexter was my favourite because of the intrigue that it stirred up in me.
With my final point I will just say that this book is definitely not a YA or children’s book. It’s a bit of a crossover really in that I think that some young adults will definitely enjoy it but it is aimed more at the adult market I think. I think that a few younger readers may not take as much away from The Ghosts of Heaven as readers who enjoy more from their books, but thats not to say that all young adults will be like this. I think that it was a fantastic book and that Mr Sedgwick has once again hit the nail on the head when it comes to a gripping must read, and I implore you to read it if you have read and enjoyed any of his previous books.
The Ghosts of Heaven was published on October 2nd by Orion. My copy was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. 
 
To buy the book or for more info please visit: 

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Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley

“The white people are waiting for us. 
Chuck sees them first. He’s gone out ahead of our group to peer around the corner by the hardware store. From there you can see all of Jefferson High. 
The gleaming redbrick walls run forty feet high. The building is a block wide, and the windowpanes are spotless. A heavy concrete arch hangs over the two-storey wood-and-glass doors at the front entrance. 
And the only thing between us and the school is the parking lot. And the white people. 

It’s February 1959 and the doors of Jefferson High School have been unlocked, months later than they should have been. Despite the governors best efforts the court have ruled that the doors must open and remain open for the rest of the school year, even for the ten black students who are transferring there from the local black school. No one wants Sarah and her friends at the school, not Bo and his gang who try and make their lives a living hell from the minute they see them, and especially not Linda Hairston, the daughter of the towns most outspoke segregationist. Sarah and Linda have every reason to hate one another but when a school project forces them to spend time together they learn very quickly that everything is not so black and white, especially not their feelings. As both girls start to feel something they have never felt before they both try and push it down and ignore that feeling as much as possible. Its one thing to be frightened by the world at large, but its another altogether when you’re terrified of what you feel inside. 
***
This book offers a roller coaster of emotions and difficult events which make you fell physically sick. It is not a nice book but it is an incredible one and one that I think should have pride of place within any school library to help young adults understand just how dangerous narrow minded thinking can be. 
Lies We Tell Ourselves is about two girls. Its told from both of their perspectives but its not until quite far into the book that you start getting the second perspective. I loved the way the book was split up between Sarah and Linda and how much that helped you understand the characters and their actions. The first part is told from Sarah’s point of view and shares a bit about why her and the other black kids in her group are doing what they are doing. Its about how they are treated on their first days at Jefferson High and how they are meant to deal with that. Its harrowing and unnerving and most of all just plain shocking. Then you get Lindas point of view. I didn’t think I could be any more uncomfortable reading this book until I got to the second part. Its almost like Linda has been brainwashed into a certain way of thinking by her father and every other white person. She actually believes what she is saying but its like she’s just constantly repeated what others have said in front of her and its terrifying. Its not until she starts to get Sarah arguing back that she begins to realise, just a little bit, that these things are wrong. But then singles Sarah out as an odd one out and claims that she is just a ‘different’ black person to all the others. 
Theres a lot of this book that scared me. The way black people were treated, the way women were treated an the fact that the events were based on fact. This type of thing did go on in the ;ate 50s and early 60s and the scariest thing about it is that it really wasn’t that long ago! The talk of ‘black bathrooms’ and the fact that some shops wouldn’t allow black people to even step through the door, its horrible. No one should be mistreated like that and the worst thing about it was that people just let it happen because the higher powers, those like Linda’s father, told them thats how it was. The events of this book were awful but they were the truth and we have to hear about these things to remind us not to be so narrow minded and judgemental – its never right. 
I loved this book, its definitely a five star book for me. The writing was exceptional engaging, I love the social commentary it provides about the time these girls grew up in. I loved how sexuality was brought into it and how it constantly reminds us that nothing – race, gender, sexuality – should stand in our way of our goals. Fantastic job Robin Talley, I cant wait to read more of your stuff! 
Lies We Tell Ourselves was published on 3rd October. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

To buy the book or for more info please visit: 

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A Little in Love – Susan E Fletcher

“I’m dying. There’s no use hoping I’ll live or telling myself, keep going, it’s only a small wound. There’s too much blood on the ground. 
I’m going to die in this street. 
I can hardly breathe. My hand, my arm and my body are so full of pain. I’m whimpering, trembling. And I’m cold too – lying on my back with the cobblestones pressing into me. In the distance horses’ hooves, and someone is shouting, ‘is anyone alive out there?’ I want to call, ‘yes, over here!’ but I can’t. It hurts too much to speak or move.”

Paris 1832. There is unrest everywhere. A street girl lies in the darkness alone, clutching a letter intended for the one she loves. She remembers her life and how it could have been, how she was a terrible child to Cosette, the girl her mother took in and mistreated, how she stole, and lied, and how she was taught to keep the kindness within her buried. Eponine clutches the letter, it’s not from her but from Cosette, its her chance to make things right, and now she must try and let that kindness flow out of her as she has always wanted to do. 

***
I had never read or seen Les Miserables (here after referred to as Les Mis, sorry!) until I read this book, I knew very little about the original story and as I started reading I started wishing I did, but not because it helps to read or watch Les Mis first, A Little In Love can be read completely on its own. I wanted to have more knowledge about Les Mis because I loved the characters I was being introduced to and I wanted to know more about them. 
This book tells the story of Eponine from Les Mis, the story that I believe you don’t get to read or witness from the original book or its movie adaptation. I wouldn’t know how it compares to the book but I did watch the latest movie version, the 2012 Hugh Jackman one, whilst reading the book just to see if I could get a bit more background. It is a love story, but it is also a story of growing up, a coming of age story of sorts and it really is fantastic. Its about a girl who really should have been born to a different family, a kinder family who really loved her rather than her stealing skills. Its about a girl who needs to be a their to gain her mothers love and her fathers trust but balances it out through helping the old man down the road pick his peaches or gathering the washing in for the couple round the corner. I loved every aspect of the story and thought it was brought to life perfectly by Susan E Fletcher. 
As I say I couldn’t compare this to the original as I haven’t read it but I have a friend who has and I asked her a few things about its events and it seems like its a quite truthful adaptation. It was quite a bit different to the film version of the book but I believe that itself is different to the original book so it would be. I loved the backdrop of the story as its set at such an interesting point in France’s history and I loved what that brought to the story. 
The characters were amazing and I really admired Eponine. Marius and Cosette were a little wet but Eponnine and other characters, including her sister were fantastic. I actually found their parents incredibly interesting too, even if I did hate them. Eponine really is a feisty character who shows a great deal of strength especially when you consider her position and the time the story was set. Gavroche was an incredible character also and I loved his role in the book. 
I started reading A Little In Love on a Wednesday evening, even with work on the following two days and a break on the friday evening to watch Les Mis, I still finished it Friday night. It hooked me and was so easy to read that I didn’t want to put it down, I cannot recommend this book enough so you should just go out and locate a copy as soon as possible! 
A Little in Love was published on October 3rd by Chicken House Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

To buy the book or for more info please visit:

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The Cure For Dreaming – Cat Winters

“The Metropolitan Theater simmered with the heat of more than a thousand bodies packed together in red velvet chairs. My nose itched from the lingering scent of cigarette smoke wafting off the gentlemen’s coats – a burning odour that added to the sensation that we were all seated inside a beautiful oven, waiting to be broiled. Even the cloud of warring perfumes hanging over the audience smelled overcooked, like toast gone crisp and black” 

Halloween night was Oliva’s seventeenth birthday. It was also the day her eyes were opened and she started to see things more clearly than ever before. That day she was victim of abuse as she cheered along with the suffragists fighting for votes for women. That evening she was the volunteer at a hypnotists show, where he stood on her body as she lay suspended across the backs of two chairs. Then, that night, her father started a tirade against her dreams. As he starts to do everything he can to get Henri Reverie to hypnotise the rebellion out of her, she becomes more and more herself; even if she cannot share her thoughts aloud.

***
This is an incredibly brilliant story which really got my feelings riled up, despite hating 50% of the books’ events I adored its narrative and the fight which is evident in the main character throughout, and I honestly couldn’t put it down. 
Those of you who follow me on twitter or know me off screen will be aware that I am a feminist. I often rant about the inequality in the world even now and yes, I am fully aware that women have gained so, so much – especially in the western world – in the past 100 years, I just believe we’ve still got a while to go before we can say everyone is equal. With this knowledge you may understand why this book meant so much to me. The entire thing is about women and their place in Oregon in 1900, its about the suffragist movement and just how much went against women who tried to argue for their voice. Its about what was happening at the time, even if its about a fictional girl and her fight against her father – that girl represents so many real girls who were around at that time and thats exactly why it was a five star book for me. 
I hated reading this book, I’m not going to lie. I hated it because it reminded me just how undervalued women were at that time, and just how far men went to silence them. It told of the terrifying fact that men had every power over women, from their finances to their education and even who they were allowed to marry. It was an awful time and I am so, so happy I didn’t live in those times, however I am so annoyed I didn’t at the same time because I would have been one of those strong women who would not have been silenced. Around 50% of the characters in this book, in my eyes, needed a good slap. The things they did and the things they said were enough to make my blood boil, but thats the effect of fantastic writing. 
I honestly felt myself following Olivia around the streets of Oregon when I was reading The Cure For Dreaming, the writing was that brilliant and that realistic that I still cannot believe that Cat Winters wasn’t around at the time! I found it captivating and because of that it was a very quick read. Throughout the book there were inclusions of archival photos from the actual time and quotes from books that were published in the run up to the time and I think this added to the story really well too. There books are often seen as a social commentary on the time and I think they backed up the points that Winters was making fantastically well. The images also reminded me as a reader just how different things were back then. 
As I said above half of the characters in this book needed a slap, or worse, in my eyes. I absolutely hated Olivia’s father. Saying that I loved Olivia and her growth throughout the story. At the beginning we are met with a meal girl who believes in the equality of women but who also believes in the goodness of her father and feels for him when all others call him mad or worse. She loves him and she wants, like most people do, to believe he is a good man. This is obviously not the case and soon we are seeing his true colours as Olivia finally sees them. In addition to Olivia’s father you are met with a number of men who obviously stand against the women’s movement and boys who have been conditioned to think the same. I think that the most dangerous characters were John and Percy for they are the modern men who should be changing the world, but were as small minded as their fathers. Henri and some of the female characters were fantastic, but as Mrs Underhill proved not all female characters were brilliant either. 
I really, really loved this book. It was horrific in places and it made my blood boil but even at those points I still loved it for what it shows, how the fight for equality was started and how we need to always remember to stand up for ourselves. 
The Cure For Dreaming was published on October 1st by Amulet, an Abrahams and Chronicle imprint. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

To buy the book or for more info please visit: 

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UKYA Award WINNERS!!!!

UKYA Award

Hello!
Today I am here to announce the winners of the Book Blogger UKYA Awards!
Before I do so, however, I just want to send out a quick thank you to every single person who nominated and voted.

I also want to take another minute to thank all of the wonderful bloggers who helped out.
Faye @ A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
Jim @ Ya Yeah Yeah
Caroline @ Big Book Little Book
Daphne @ Winged Reviews
Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary
Debbie @ Snuggling on the Sofa
Luna @ Luna’s Little Library
Sarah @ Feeling Fictional
Cicely @ Cicely Loves Books
Charli @ To Another World
Fi @ Bookish Outsider
Raimy @ Readaraptor
Michelle @ Much Loved Books
Shaila @ Hush Hush Revealings
Andrew @ The Pewter Wolf
Sam @ The Little Munchkin Reader
Julianne @ This Fleeting Dream
Laura @ Bookish Treasures
Samina @ Escapism From Reality
Catriona @ Fabulous Book Fiend

But now onto what you’re all really here for…

The Winners!

Funniest Book3 Best First Sentence1
Best Ending1 Most Heart-Breaking3
best contemporary1 best historical1
Best Crime-Mystery1 Best LGBT1
Best Horror1 Best Paranormal1
Best Sci-Fi-Fantasy1 Best Adventure1
Best Protagonist1 Best Friendship1
Best Couple1 Best Villain1
Best Self Published3 Most Social Author Online3
Most Social Author Offine Author Whose Mind You Wish Was Yours2

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!

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The Curious Phenomenon of Infrasound – Guest post by Paul Southern.

Today I have the wonderful Paul Southern on the blog taking about Infrasound, one of the major themes of his new book Killing Sound.
  Killing Sound is a book that explores the grey area between science and superstition. It has been described (accurately, I think) as a cross between Inception and The Exorcist. It is a book with big ideas, both mythological and scientific, that deals with magic, séances, spirits and the supernatural and what really lies behind them.

  Like a lot of people, I have been fascinated with the supernatural since I was a child, and have often wondered what people meant when they said they saw ghosts. Were they seeing real objects or was their mind playing tricks on them? More importantly, did it matter? If you perceive a ghost to be there, you experience the same fright, and the same alarm. Magazines like The Skeptical Inquirer, and famed sceptics like James Randi, have challenged many bogus claimants and put science firmly on top in the battle of science and faith. Yet, bafflingly, many people cling to faith and belief in the supernatural, whether it be dead spirits of loved ones, demons or angels.
  A few years ago, I stumbled across an article in the Journal of Psychical Research that had me wondering whether both could be true. It concerned the curious phenomenon of infrasound. Infrasound is all around us, yet perceived only subconsciously. It refers to extreme bass waves or vibrations with a frequency below the audibility range of the human ear (20 Hz to 22 kHz). Even though these waves can’t be heard, they can be felt. They can induce feelings of anxiety, extreme sorrow, and chills. Loud infrasound in the range of 0.5 to 10 Hz is sufficient to activate the vestibular, or balance system, in the inner ear. It activates the fight or flight mechanism. It can cause the hairs on your neck to rise and grey objects to appear in your peripheral vision. In essence, it makes you see ghosts. NASA has conducted research on it and their pilots have reported visual disturbances at high altitudes and in simulators, which are often attributable to UFO’s.

   You don’t need to be an astronaut to experience infrasound, however. It’s all around us. If you really want to expose yourself to high levels, you need do no more than travel the London Underground. At Kennington Loop on the Northern Line, 90-95db has been detected. That’s as loud as a lawnmower. When infrasound reaches a certain frequency, something spectacular happens. Your eyeballs start to shake – they have reached their resonant frequency – and you start to see things. Your survival instinct kicks in, the nape hairs stand up, and you want to run. Who wouldn’t? It is probably no coincidence that the London Underground has more reported ghost sightings and paranormal incidents than any transport system in the world.

  Just ask the trackwalkers. They know it best. When the city sleeps, they check the tunnels by torchlight. Footsteps in the ballast, ghosts on the Northern Line, they’ve seen it all. And when they haven’t, the CCTV does. You’d be amazed what’s been following you without you realising. Every line has its ghosts. Every walker knows where they are: Kennington Loop, South Island Place. It takes a special individual to visit those places for a living. It takes a braver one to walk the miles of disused tracks and bricked off tunnels others have long forgotten. In disused tunnels beneath the Thames, huge gales blow, and the temperatures can drop inexplicably. Even sceptics feel a weird presence there and have heard strange noises. Put yourself underground, in long, dark, seemingly endless tunnels, and belief in science quickly erodes. Instinct takes over. For the person who sees the ghost, who experiences the paranormal, the sensation is real. You are actually seeing something, just like the NASA pilots, just like the trackwalkers.

  The characters in Killing Sound are forced into this nightmare world. They soon discover the horror that is down there. The problem is, there is no way out.  

Killing Sound by Paul Southern is out now in paperback (£7.99, Chicken House) For more guest posts by Paul Southern please visit the blogs mentioned in the banner. 

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Killing Sound – Paul Southern

“The black cab tore through London’s rain-washed streets, slicing through the late-night traffic. It was 1.33am and Malcolm Lawrence was feverish with anticipation. The clamp of fear that had gripped him all day was gone, the blackened tunnels all lit up. He stared at the readings in his red notebook and a triumphant smile appeared across his face. William would be furious about this.”

Twelve years ago Jodie saw something terrifying. She saw something no little girl should and she had to live with the devastating aftermath. Both her parents were dead and she only had her Aunt Gene to rely on. For a while Jodie’s mind had blocked the thing she saw and once the nightmares stopped Aunt Gene thought she was safe forever. But now the thing is back, its a sound only Jodie can hear, a sound more chilling than human screams and what happened that night so many years ago, refuses to be silent anymore. 

***
OK so I wasn’t expecting to be as shocked and scared by this book as I was. It chilled me to the bone and made me think there was something behind me, watching me, as I read every page. 
I had been going through a reading slump when I picked Killing Sound up and I honestly wasn’t expected to be gripped by any book. I started reading and made my way through 50 pages in no time at all. The introduction to Jodie’s father followed by a couple of chapters from the ‘before’ were enough to seriously intrigue me and I really just had to keep reading. As the book went on the weirdness because creepiness and then into full blown terror. This book sneaks up on you like the demon within it, as you read it that creepy feeling gets closer, and closer, and closer.. 
I loved the pace of this book and I think it fit with the story perfectly. It was fast paced when it needed to be and slowed down when you need to understand something. I loved that I was kept on my toes whilst reading and I really enjoyed the feeling I got of actually being in London when I was reading. 
The characters didn’t do an awful lot for me to be honest and I really felt like thats what let the book down a bit. I didn’t understand why Jodie seemed to have only Luca (her boyfriend) and his mate as her friends and no one else, and I didn’t understand the whole thing with Laura and Trent and their stance against Jodie. I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was a backstory between Laura and Jodie that was completely missed and was more than her jealousy when it came to Luca. It let the book down a fair bit but the main characters didn’t do anything to make me hate them so it was just a small downside. I thought the stuff with Jodie’s Father and William Habborlain was the most interesting thing to do with the characters directly and I kinda appreciate the route the author chose to take William on. 
I did love this book, I thought it was the best at producing the level of eeriness that fits in with the story. It also featured interesting developments when it came to science and mythology, with some of the science and facts discussed actually being real. I really enjoyed the link between the paranormal and the unheard and I loved what the author did with something that is really just kinda of an every day thing. I would really recommend this book especially if you like horror stories, but just be warned, its not for the faint hearted. 

Killing Sound was published on September 4th by Chicken House Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Please visit my blog tomorrow for a guest post from the author. 


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Gary’s Garden – Gary Northfield

Ever walk through a garden and feel that the insects and the birds are up to something? Now you can find out what in this special collection of comic strips focusing on all the birds, bugs and creepy crawlies who are all up to no good while Gary’s relaxing in his garden. A grumpy caterpillar, a space travelling ladybird and a ninja hedgehog will provide much entertainment for hours to come, and have you laughing like you wouldn’t believe! 

***
Again, a collection of fantastic comic strips which have come from The Phoenix, I am so looking into a subscription for my nephew in a few years!
Gary’s Garden is awesome. It follows different creatures which will easily be found in any garden whilst they adventure and hope that Gary is bringing them food. It allows us to see into the world of insects and shows us that, yes, they are as crazy as humans can be and sometimes what they do is completely hilarious! Each strip focuses on a different group or character and I must say one of my favourites was one with very, very few words in at all called First Legs. That strip showed a collection of tadpoles as they got their legs and made their way to the pond surface to show off their new found froglet-status and left behind one poor little tadpole whose legs weren’t coming through!! 
I really enjoyed all of the strips within this collection. They give each animal its own personality and they are so funny I was laughing out loud. In addition to First Legs I have to give a major shout out to the Boris and Monroe strips as they were brilliant, from the characters to the art style I loved every sketch of theirs. 
The art was really cool, quite cartoon-y and not at all serious, opting instead for a lighter take on bugs and animals, which fit in nicely with what the narratives offered. I loved the bright colours and the effects used to make it look like the birds were flying and the worms were wriggling. I think this book will be perfect for budding little artists as they will really see what they could achieve with a lot of practice and patience. 
I loved Gary Northfield’s Teenytinysaurs and was hoping for a second book following those characters (I’m not gunna lie, I still am hoping for that Gary!) but this was a very good substitute! I really recommend that any lover of comics checks out the ‘The Phoenix Presents’ books, or subscribes to the comic itself as I can definitely see myself wanting more like this! 
Gary’s Garden was published on August 7th by David Fickling Books, as part of the The Phoenix Presents… series. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

To buy the book or for more info please visit:

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