“Stranger in the Shogun’s City” by Amy Stanley


Thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Anyone who reads and researches a lot about Japan knows that there isn’t much tangible social history about those outwith the nobility. This book seeks to shine some light onto a life of an “ordinary” Japanese woman coming of age in the early 19th century. This was a time of huge political and social change in Japan and it was still largely closed off from the wider world and the social and cultural influences of the time. I say “ordinary” because Tsuneno was still rather privileged by the standards of the time, at the beginning of her life at least.

Continue reading ““Stranger in the Shogun’s City” by Amy Stanley”

“Chinglish” by Sue Cheung


Thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children’s for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

When I requested this book, I thought it was for older teens but I think it’s probably aimed more at the younger teen/tween audience – think Jacqueline Wilson age group. The story follows Jo, a young British Chinese girl growing up in the 1980s. As an 80s kid myself, a lot of Jo’s experiences really clicked with me and there are some real laugh out loud moments, particularly in the first part of the book. The text is interspersed with Cheung’s illustrations which are quirky and fun and really enhance the narrative.

Continue reading ““Chinglish” by Sue Cheung”

“Girl, Serpent, Thorn” by Melissa Bashardoust


Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

. So Girl, Serpent, Thorn sounded rather interesting despite the fact I’ve gone off YA a bit recently or maybe I’ve become a bit more picky about what I want to read when I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I used to. What piqued my interest in this book was it was clear that it was set in a slightly different world to most of the young adult fantasy settings that are usually a riff on Western European countries. I haven’t come across many Persian inspired settings before, so I was looking forward to seeing a Persian inspired story by an own voices author.

Continue reading ““Girl, Serpent, Thorn” by Melissa Bashardoust”

“The Ten Thousand Doors of January” by Alex E. Harrow


Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

So, I actually read this book a number of months ago and I’ve started writing a review for it at various points since but I could never really get my head in the right place to talk about it properly. There is something so incredibly difficult about writing a review for a book that you absolutely love and this was one of those books for me.

Continue reading ““The Ten Thousand Doors of January” by Alex E. Harrow”

“Come Again” by Robert Webb


Thanks to Canongate and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.
I feel like I’ve been completely behind on my reviews lately (this is not so much a feeling as a fact) and being a high school teacher who has had to completely reinvent her way of working has made things more than a little busy recently. I’m going to try and catch up a little with my reviews over the next few weeks, I think I’m sitting at about a 67% ratio on NetGalley at the moment and I want to try and get that up to maybe about 70% over the next week because there are quite a lot of books I have read but haven’t had a chance to review. To try and speed things up a little bit I am going to be dictating my reviews using a voice recognition programme so if my reviews seem a bit “chattier” then that might be the reason why. It’s also quite a fun exercise to see how Microsoft Word deals with accents, every time I say “rather” it thinks I am saying “robber” which is rather fun.

Continue reading ““Come Again” by Robert Webb”

“The Court of Miracles” by Kester Grant


Thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I’m aware that there has been quite a lot of hype about this book on Book Twitter and other social media and my interest was further piqued when I read the synopsis. You can think about this book as something between a retelling of Les Miserables mixed with a story about post-revolutionary France in an alternate reality where the revolutionaries lost, and the French monarchy is still very much in place…yup. There’s supposed to be some tie in with The Jungle Book too apparently but that passed me by completely.

Continue reading ““The Court of Miracles” by Kester Grant”