Bookshelf Moving On

Not My Fault

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I am Rose Elizabeth Sheridan and I am the one to blame.

Born just eleven months apart, sisters Maya and Rose used to be close. But that was before the accident- one sister urging the other to spin the roundabout faster; Maya’s leg getting trapped and everything changing. Maya blames Rose and resents her for being perfect in every way. In her anger and frustration, she constantly plays tricks on her sister, which Rose feels too guilty to tell anyone about. A school trip brings tensions to a head.

Cath Howe has produced another winner with ‘Not My Fault’. Each chapter (written in a different font) shares the viewpoint of one of the sisters and Cath has caught their individual personalities perfectly. The strain of the accident on their relationship- the guilt born by one, the fury by the other- and on the family as a whole is skilfully portrayed.

The story builds to a dramatic, satisfying climax, offering plenty of twists along the way. Cath is particularly good at capturing friendships - the positive and negative sides- and these are explored beautifully throughout the story. I can’t recommend Cath’s writing enough!

‘Not My Fault’ is a fantastic read from the author of our 2018 Moving On Category winner.

Not My Fault Cath Howe

Nosy Crow ISBN: 978-1788002868

You can read our review of ‘Ella on the Outside’ here.

High Rise Mystery

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There’s been a murder on the Tri and sisters, Anika (Nik) and Norva -super-sleuths- are determined to solve the crime. The victim is Hugo, their community arts teacher, and their are plenty of suspects as the girls use their local knowledge, boundless energy and detective skills to crack the case.

Written in short chapters with plenty of dialogue, this book bursts with vitality, giving a pacey, satisfying read as the girls systematically investigate. Fellow fan of DIP (Death in Paradise) Norva is street wise and savvy whilst Nik is ‘science-led with a shaved head’, a thinker, a planner. The pairing is perfect as each bring their own skill-set to solving the mystery and clearing their father’s name as they investigate each suspect in turn.

Each character is well rounded and believable with distinctive speech patterns adding to this. May Burton- Cloud News Reporter- portrays an outsider’s view of the Tri which stands in stark contrast to that the reader experiences through the eyes of the girls and other residents. Hard realities- the lack of money invested in the estate, the struggle the girls’ father (Head Caretaker at the Tri) has to maintain the building- along with this media stereotyping are part of the fabric of the story, offering a truth not often considered in children’s books.

A brilliant detective story, let’s hope there are many more crimes for this pair to solve.

High Rise Mystery Sharna Jackson

Knights Of ISBN: 978-1999642518

Seaglass

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Lark’s anger is getting out of control. Her mother is ill, her little sister has stopped talking and Lark has fallen out with her best friend. Faced with a family holiday in a caravan park, Lark escapes to explore at the first opportunity. Taking her sister, Snow, with her, the two soon discover a ruined cottage in the woods which has an eerie atmosphere. Glimpses of a mysterious girl in a green dress increase Lark’s feelings of unease and when this figure appears in Snow’s drawings, Lark fears for her sister’s safety.

Eerie and atmospheric, ‘Seaglass’ is a chilling ghost story which will grip the reader from the outset. As the tension grows, there are some truly spooky moments designed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The story is enhanced by vivid descriptions of the countryside and seashore. The mood of the plot is frequently echoed in by the weather- the drifting fog hiding mysterious figures, the squall at sea, the snow at the story’s chilling climax- and references to wildlife and Welsh traditions add colour and detail.

Full of strong characters, ‘Seaglass’ is a story about relationships- the complexities of family life, the ups and downs of friendship, the suspicion and prejudice often offered to strangers. Lark is feisty, yet torn by worries for her family, her loneliness and anger constantly simmering beneath the surface.. Mam-gu is a wonderful character- a strong matriarch, yet one who is shown to be vulnerable as her role in the unfolding tale becomes clear. The complexities of family relationships and the ease at which misunderstandings can damage relationships are also explored as the story reaches its emotional conclusion.

‘Seaglass’ is powerful and absorbing, unsettling and moving. Not the thing to read at bedtime!

Seaglass Eloise Williams

Firefly Press ISBN: 978-1910080801