Book Review: Extraordinary Means

When I told you about the books I wanted to read over the summer, I said I would review as I read…I’m afraid I got sidetracked by others and have not managed to write any so far. The first I read was Extraordinary means, possibly the one I was most looking forward to. I had read the blurb, as well as good reviews, and so therefore couldn’t wait. I hadn’t heard of the author, Robyn Schneider, but since I have looked him up and found others he has written. They will definitely be ones I’ll read soon. Here is my review; blurb first.

extraordinary means

Up until his diagnosis, Lane lived a fairly predictable life. Now he is at a tuberculosis sanatorium called Latham House, where he discovers an insular world with paradoxical rules, med sensors, and an eccentric yet utterly compelling confidante named Sadie– and life as Lane knows it will never be the same. As Lane and Sadie fall in love– and as their groups begins to fall sicker– their world threatens to come crashing down.

You’ve probably heard me saying the a lot, but I cried. Seriously, I am an emotional person, and I cry over pretty much anything with the vaguest hint of sadness. But I knew that this would be the case before I started, this book was about a school for sick teens, anything could go wrong, but really I’d be surprised if you didn’t cry! Another good factor was the realisticness (word?) of it, talking about real life issues, expressing the awful things that happen in todays world. *Spoiler* When you read the authors note at the end, and you find out that the outbreak of Tuberculosis in 2016 isn’t real, it surprises you as the whole thing feels so much like real life, with made up medication and sensors, etc. 

The only bad thing I would say, is that its so predictable after the first maybe 250 pages. I mean something has to go wrong, and it being a TB hospital you can kind of guess what. It also starts to drag a little in the middle, which I could blame on the romance between Lane and Sadie, and so the First and Last chinks of it are definitely the best. Other than that, a good read, and I would recommend for fans of John Green, it reminded me a little of Looking for Alaska, although it has its own, unique story. The story I would recommend to people over 12 or 13, mostly because of the theme and the overall tragicness, (I seem to be making up a lot of words!) and would rate 4 stars. I’m going to rate these books as I go along, the books in my summer reading list, and so far as this is the only one it’ll have to go first:

  1. Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

I’ll be carrying this on soon,

SparrowHorse x

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The Wizard of Oz

Hi. Today I went to see a play of the Wizard of Oz, at the Sturts theatre in Cornwall. It took a while to get there, but we thought it was worth it, as we’ve seen other great plays there in the past; Peter Pan, Wind in the Willows… I’m still not really sure what I think about it, as I’ve seen better, but as it was not as professional as things like the Lion King, it is growing on me. 

sterts 

Please Note, I took this picture off their website as I didn’t take any pictures

There were many things I thought were done well, such as the amount of parts that were cast; people were always acting as animals, trees, plants, etc, which helped create the scenes, as they didn’t have any main backgrounds. They also made very good use of the space and props that they had, because as this wasn’t entirely professional, at least not like a massive London play, they didn’t have lots of different sets and scenes, and they made use of the ne they did have, (Grey, with stairs coming down in directions) and used people, rolling scenes and effects to make it almost as good as if they had better resources. 

As The Wizard of Oz is a musical, the main thing that was definitely needed were good singers, that could also act. This was a good feature and I think they cast most of their characters well. There was also a large selection of musicians, that played many instruments, meaning that the music went really well with the singing. 

I know that this isn’t their fault, and probably didn’t happen in the other performances that happened, but at the beginning, the sound was a bit off, Dorothy’s microphone a bit off, and the music too loud to be able to hear the actors. This thing could probably be classed as a good or a bad thing, but in the performance, there was an obvious star to the show; the lion. He was given all the jokes, he made some up as he went along, he was clearly the best singer, and his acting was the funniest and with most expression. The only bad thing about this, is that its hard to accept the other actors when the lion is there. 

Overall, it was a good performance, and I and my family did have a good time seeing it. There were a few things I would have changed, but that can’t be changed now, and I would recommend you go and see it, or any play at that theatre, to see what you think.

SparrowHorse x

Book review: Noughts and Crosses

I know for a fact that this is one of the best books that I have ever read; Some people say that there isn’t enough description in the book, but I think that Malorie Blackman’s style of writing is great!

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Callum and Sephy live in a world where everyone is split into two groups, Noughts and Crosses- whites and blacks. Their society is ruled by the Crosses, one of which is Sephy’s father. Noughts and crosses just don’t mix, but when Sephy’s friendship with Callum grows into something else, together they are determined to find a way to be together.

THEN A BOMB EXPLODES…..

I think that it is a very cleverly written book, also with alternate chapters, showing both Sephy and Callum’s feelings and thoughts. The whole book holds suspense, you aren’t able to put the book down, and you can’t guess whats going to happen next. Some parts of the book were very upsetting, because it held some rather serious topics, but it was altogether an interesting and inspirational book. There is a whole series, if you read this and like it; starting with nights and crosses, then going onto Knife edge, Checkmate, and finally Double cross. 

Malorie Blackman put real thought into writing this book, and I congratulate her for it.

I hope you get round to reading this, I don’t think you’ll regret it!

SparrowHorse x

            

Book review: Sweet Honey

I got the idea of doing some book reviews from my friend Beluwa, and now I think that I might make it a regular thing, and do a book review every once in a while. I thought I might start with a book review of an amazing book I read recently, it is part of a series, by one of my favourite authors: Cathy Cassidy.

All her books are good, especially gingersnaps and looking glass girl, but when my eyes came to a new series she was working on, I needed to try it out. The chocolate box girls is a series about 5 sisters- and one brother… All of the books are in a different sisters point of view, and all about the problems he or she has to face. I think that Sweet Honey is my favourite, which is why I’m reviewing it. 

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15 year old  Honey went to live with her dad in Austrailia, but things weren’t as easy going as she had thought. She wanted to create a new character in herself, and she thought the best place to do that was as far away from her own house in England as possible. But when even her friends start breaking promises, she doesn’t know who to trust…if anyone.

Sweet Honey is a great book, that really shows the feelings and characteristics of Honey that they do not put in the other books in the series. I would recommend that you read the books in the order of the series: Cherry Crush, Marshmallow Skye, Summer’s Dream, Coco Caramel, Sweet Honey, and the latest one, Fortune Cookie. I would say it should be four and a half stars out out of five, because even though it has the good description, feelings and something in it that can’t-stop-you-reading, I felt that it didn’t have as many sisters involved in the actual plot line. 

I hope you enjoy the books if you decide to read them!

SparrowHorse x