Book Reviews

Book Review: Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

Happy Monday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day today. I will be sharing my thoughts on the book Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell.

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

Rooftoppers Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is my first Katherine Rundell book and I was very excited to read it because it is set in Victorian (I think) Paris and and it features rooftoppers which are groups of children that live on the rooftops of Paris and rarely touch the ground.

I loved the atmosphere of this book, the sensory descriptions were engaging to the point that I could almost smell the smoke from the chimneys.

The main thing that I enjoyed about the plot was the focus on family. It wasn’t only biological family either, Sophie (the protagonist) is looking for her Mother, but also found family – the rooftoppers are family to each other and Charles is Sophie’s guardian throughout the book. It’s great to see wonderful children’s books featuring strong family bonds.

Rooftoppers Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sophie is the protagonist in this book, she lost her Mother as a baby and is being raised by a man called Charles, who raises her with curiosity, imagination and a love of wearing trousers. Sophie believes her mother is still alive. She is adventurous, brave and willful. I enjoyed seeing the development of the character as she found herself and what she would give to find her mother. Mateo is the main rooftopper featured in this book and the relationship between him and Sophie was one of my favourite parts of this book.

Rooftoppers Writing and dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I definitely want to pick up more books by Katherine Rundell after reading this one. The writing was whimsical and full of meaning. There was the perfect balance between sad tones and joyful tones throughout the novel.

Rooftoppers Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars because it took me away to a different world, a world where I was living amongst the roofs of Paris and that for me is one of the best things that books can do.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck which left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive, but that means still possible. You should never ignore a possible. So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has – the address of the cello maker. Evading the French authorities, she meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers – urchins who live in the sky. Together they scour the city for Sophie’s mother before she is caught and sent back to London, and most importantly before she loses hope.

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!