What I Learned about the War from a Children’s Book: The Secret of the Blue Glass

In a dusty library, in the quietest corner of a house in a Tokyo suburb, live the Little People: Fern and Balbo, Robin and Iris. Just a few inches high, sleeping cigarette boxes and crafting shoes from old book jackets, they need only one thing from their Humans–a nightly glass of milk, served in a sparkling blue glass goblet, by a trusted young member of the Human family.

But when the Second World War come to Japan, both Humans and their beloved Little People face a world they could never before have imagined. It will take great love, bravery, and a rather loyal pigeon, to bring their unique families back together once more…

First published: 1959 (in Japanese); this translation/edition is from 2018 by Pushkin Press

**I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

the secret of the blue glass

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Why Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor Is an Extraordinary Novel

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

First published: 2017

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Festive Fortnight [9]: A Festive Review of Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

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“I need you to be my person. I need to see you. And hear you. I need you to stay alive. And I need you to stop kissing other people just because they’re standing next to you when the ball drops.”

Two festive short stories

Midnights is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year’s Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time…

Kindred Spirits is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan.

First published: 2017

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My First Foray Into Comic Books: The Sandman and Saga

I think it’s fair to say that I read a lot of books. I mean, I’ve got a book blog, for crying out loud, so this is a major case of “no shit, Sherlock”. Yet, despite being an avid reader, I never read comic books. The only thing I ever read (and I only just remembered this) is W.I.T.C.H., which I loved – and never finished, come to think of it.

Anyway. The point of this post is that recently I did read two comic books, because my boyfriend owns a few and I got curious. In August, I read Neil Gaiman’s Preludes & Nocturnes, which is a collection of the first 8 installments (or whatever they’re called – let’s remember I’m a rookie) of The Sandman. And then just this week I finished reading Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

Turns out, I quite like comic books. I wasn’t blown away by either, but I did really enjoy reading them. Plus, they’re nice quick reads for my Goodreads challenge; let’s not pretend that wasn’t on my mind as well.

The thing I have found to be a little annoying with comic books is that there’s so many volumes, though… Before you know it, you’ve finished the first one, and then what? Just buy all the rest of them? It’s all so cliffhanger-y, but buying the rest of the series in one go seems a little excessive…

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Mini-Reviews [3]

It’s been a while since I did a Mini-Reviews post! I don’t review every book I read; usually because I don’t feel like I have a whole post worth of stuff to say about a certain book, or because other books just take priority. But sometimes I take a look at my Goodreads “Read”-shelf and I think “it’s a pity I didn’t say anything about that one on the blog”. Those books are perfect for this type of post! At first I thought I could call this one “the 4-stars edition”, but then NW came and ruined things. Oh, well. Let’s go!

nutshellNutshell by Ian McEwan ★★★★

Nutshell is the first McEwan I’ve ever read, and I really liked it! I read it for a job (I had to write a reading guide on it for book clubs) and it was a great book to dive into for that type of thing. The story is a Hamlet retelling and it’s told through the eyes of an unborn baby, so that’s two kinds of cool. The unborn baby thing means all we’re getting as a reader is what the baby hears from the womb, which means we only get his mother’s conversations with other people. He does imagine what’s happening outside of that, but he (and we) can never know for sure. It’s a really short novel, but I felt like it was the exact right length. The writing is beautiful, although somewhat pretentious – but to me, that fitted perfectly with the strangely intellectual character of the baby.

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6 Reasons Why Illuminae Surprised Me

The year is 2575 and two mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice covered speck.

Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Ezra and Kady have to make their escape on the evacuating fleet. But their troubles are just beginning. A deadly plague has broken out on one of the spaceships and it is mutating with terrifying results. Their ship’s protection is seriously flawed. No one will say what is going on.

As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her. Ezra. And the only problem with that is they split up before all this trouble started and she isn’t supposed to be talking to him.

First published: 2015

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Turtles All the Way Down and the Importance of #ownvoices

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

First published: 2017

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5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

First published: 2017

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The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

The first day of senior year: everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly, Sal’s throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is–but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

First published: 2017

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: If he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing with, will be jeopardized.

As his email correspondence with Blue grows more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out – without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

First published: 2015

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