I’m not sure I really like doing best of lists because I am so sure I am going to miss something that I thought was really cool. I look at the books on my shelves to see if anything prods my memory. Using this method is very scattershot but does give me a couple of titles I had forgotten about. There is no real rhyme or reason to this list, they are simply the books that stayed with me the most or caught my attention for longer than others.
Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff (YA)
Acid by Emma Pass (YA)
Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (8+)
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (9+)
Extra Time by Morris Gleitzman (8+)
Princess Betony and the Rule of Wishing by Pamela Freeman (5+)
Violet Mackerel’s Pocket Protest by Anna Branford (5+)
Noah Dreary by Aaron Blabey (picture book)
Journey by Aaron Becker (picture book)
All of these are worth more than a quick look.
Continue reading throughout the new year, I know there will be heaps of great books out in 2014.
By: Soman Chainani
Sophie is so excited. Every four years two children from Gavaldon are kidnapped, supposedly they are taken to the School For Good and Evil. There the good one would be trained to be a fairytale princess or prince, and the bad one a villain. Sophie is so sure she is going to be taken to be a princess, it’s all she ever wanted. It is her destiny, her escape. She is everything a princess should be – pretty, blonde, health conscious and does good deeds. Her best friend Agatha doesn’t see things that way, everyone expects Agatha to be taken for the School of Evil. Agatha is dark, moody, not easily befriended and lives in a cemetery. Things however don’t go to Sophie’s plan. Sure both girls are taken but the rest goes all wrong. It seems sometimes the princess and the witch don’t look like everyone expects then to.
I don’t want to say much more about the plot because I don’t want to give too much away. This was a wonderful story. It takes the cliches and gives them a little twist. Chainani has created a world that is real and yet seems to have been created with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I love Agatha, she doesn’t fit but she does. Sophie is so determined to prove what she is that she misses what is plainly clear. The characters that surround our central two have as much to learn as they do, they see what they expect to see rather than what is really there.
A wonderful, and enchanting tale. Delicately crafted and layered. This story is all about the layers. It isn’t about what you see on the surface, rather it is about motivations, what is truly at the heart of someone. This idea is what drives this story along and it is told without preaching. The packaging, the world, the school is colourful, full of wonderful contrasts. The jump between good and evil is fluid, it never feels clunky. The descriptions make it easy to picture the entire school. Perfect for those who love fairytales, or even just a good story. Great for 10+ but younger YA readers will love it too.
Do yourself a favour and read it.
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Published: 06 June 2013
Format: Paperback 496 pages
Categories: Fairytales, Fantasy
ISBN 13: 9780007492930
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.
So this has turned out to be one of my top reads this year and the review will come in the next couple of days but for now I will just tease you with the trailer.