blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: How To Be Brave by Daisy May Johnson

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s Monday and today is my spot on the book tour for How To Be Brave by Daisy May Johnson. Thank you to Poppy Stimpson for having me on this tour.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Onto the review!

How To Be Brave Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this book was reminiscent of so many books that I read throughout my childhood, books like the Naughtiest Girl at School, Malory Towers, books with boarding schools as the setting. They were some of my favourites, there is something very intriguing about a boarding school and everything that goes on there, so I was especially excited to get to read this book. I loved that this story let the reader see some of the Mother, Elizabeth’s, story before focusing on the daughter Calla and her experience at the school. I loved that the duck (it will make sense if you read the book) was a thread that the author used to link all the stories together. This book is filled with fun, friendship and adventure that kept me hooked from beginning to end.

How To Be Brave Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The characters in this book are well written and interesting. I found myself wanting them to succeed with their plans. I liked that this book was written in third person because it helped me to view the whole scene as well as the characters. I felt that this was one of the reasons I became so recruited to the characters.

How To Be Brave Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I didn’t enjoy this part of the book as much, I still enjoyed it but this book has footnotes on some of the pages and for me I found this difficult to navigate but that is only my opinion, otherwise they add humour and I can see how they would help the reader understand some parts of the story. I also felt the pacing was a little fast for my reading style.

How To Be Brave Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it was a fun, quick read full of heart and with a focus on family and friendships that I really enjoyed.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Calla North and her mother Elizabeth live a quiet but happy life together. Elizabeth happens to be the world’s leading expert on ducks—but unfortunately, being an expert on ducks doesn’t always pay the bills (no pun intended).

When Elizabeth is offered a well-paid research trip to the Amazon, it’s an opportunity too good to miss. But while her mother’s off exploring, Calla winds up at boarding school. No adventures are likely to find her there—or so she thinks.

Then Calla receives the terrible news that her mother’s plane has gone missing. Can Calla, her friends, and a motley crew of nuns defeat an evil new headmistress and find Elizabeth before it’s too late?

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s time for me to put up another book review! The book I will be reviewing today is my second book of June and I ended up reading it on the car journey to and from Bristol. During the trip I also learned that my friend, and a lot of people actually, can’t read while in a car, which was interesting information.

As usual in this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

The Hatmakers Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

First I will say, I am not a huge Middle Grade reader. I actually picked up this book because I’d seen the author in the TV show The Tudors and I was curious about what she might have written. The plot is beautifully intricate, it captivated me from the very first page. There is themes of family, friendship and loyalty sprinkled throughout this book like the magic that is used by the characters themselves.

This book has elements of the fantastical, a little bit of theatre and plenty of hat making to keep all readers entertained. The beginning part of the book sets up the world and the characters excellently, it felt like I was living in that world with them. Then the second part of the book the pacing really picks up – there’s so much happening in this story that I had to just let myself go along with the story rather than try to figure out every twist and turn. I enjoyed doing this.

The Hatmakers Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It was very interesting for me to see this book through the eyes of Cordelia, the main protagonist, who is a child. It made me think back to when I was a child and all the wonder that the world seemed to hold. Cordelia was my favourite character in the book because she was very complex and had many layers to her story throughout. Also, one of my favourite parts of this book was her friendship with Goose, the son of the bootmakers, with which the hatmaker family doesn’t get along. It added an intriguing dynamic to this friendship.

the other characters in the story are all very well developed with their own stories and attitudes, the book has a particular focus on the hatmaker family but I still felt that the other maker families stood out in their own ways and had a role to play in the plot.

The Hatmakers Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I haven’t got much to say for this category. I thought it was written very well, it was clear and the writing style complimented the plot and the pacing. However, because I’m not used to reading this age of book it took me a while to get used to it. That is just my own opinion.

The Hatmakers Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m giving this book four stars overall because I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, especially the character of Cordelia. I got completely drawn in to the world and the magic and the mystery that needed to be solved. I will definitely be buying the next book in the series when it comes out.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia’s world, Making – crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients – is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain.

When Cordelia’s father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at sea during a mission to collect hat ingredients, Cordelia is determined to find him. But Uncle Tiberius and Aunt Ariadne have no time to help the littlest Hatmaker, for an ancient rivalry between the Maker families is threatening to surface. Worse, someone seems to be using Maker magic to start a war.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!