Going back to the early 2000’s. What I read as a child.

Hello. Hope you’re ok.

I spent a good chunk of time trying to find one of my favourite reads from my childhood last week and, after finding it, I went on to find other books that unlocked memories. I was born in 1995, not a time of great diversity in publishing if we’re looking at this list and as for Diary of a Chav <puffs out cheeks> I should mention a lot of these books I read because they were there and I could find them in charity shops or the public library. Trying to read a series of books (in order) proved impossible and I liked authors I knew had other books to read. I found comfort in familiarity.
I might try getting a hold of some of these books and re-reading them. Possibly setting myself up for disappointment.

  • Dustbin Baby – Jacqueline Wilson

  • The Granny Project – Anne Fine

  • The Famous Five – Enid Blyton

  • Diary of a Chav – Grace Dent

  • Just Henry – Michelle Magorian

  • Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

  • Lucky Star – Cathy Cassidy

  • Ally’s World – Karen McCombie

  • The Babysitter’s Club – Ann. M. Martin

  • Blitzed – Robert Swindells

  • The Shell House – Linda Newbury

  • Pink Knickers Aren’t Cool – Jean Ure

  • There’s a Pharaoh in our Bath – Jeremy Strong

  • Matilda – Roald Daul

  • Lady Daisy – Dick King Smith

  • Trust me, I’m A Troublemaker – Pete Johnson

What do you think, have you read any of these books?

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My Thoughts on this fun & witty mystery – Death Around the Bend by T. E. Kinsey


Rating: 4 out of 5.

A romp, I think is fair, to describe the Lady Hardcastle mysteries. Aside from liking the setting, the era it is in, the characters, and the plots of the books, it is the dialogue which delights me. When I used to write my own stories, I was often praised by the people who read it how authentic my dialogue was (not that I am bragging) Couple that with my love of television sitcoms and film, I appreciate good dialogue. T. E. Kinsey’s dialogue, particularly between Florence Armstrong and Lady Hardcastle, is a joy because it has wit and speed.

Are these books going to be everyone’s cup of tea/coffee/squash etc? No. If you like a fast-paced book, this isn’t for you. But give it a go. I’m sure I said in *an other review, but that the protagonists are female in this series. That’s everything. I want to see Florence as a character on my TV screen.

*thought this sentence was broke until I realised that should be another

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My Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone



I was 3 in 1997 when this was published. I cannot remember who introduced me to Potter, or when this book was bought for me, but I continued to read them and bought every book in the series on the day they were released – without fail. My copy of the Philosopher’s Stone is well read, as in falling to bits, has ketchup on the first couple of pages and reeks of an old book. As you can imagine, when asked what I would grab first in the event of a fire, God forbid, it would be this book. I read so many books as a kid and pinpointing one that set me on the path to be a writer – would be hard. I know I used to rip off Aesop’s Fables and write them in my own notebook, I wouldn’t change a lot of the story. I read a lot of Jacqueline Wilson’s books too and The Babysitter’s Club series of books. Of course, when you are young there are lots of other influences too that shape you as a writer. My uncles, music and cartoons were influences on me too.hp1


That said, a magical world of wizards, Whomping Willows (I used to be fascinated by the Willow trees in my school grounds – one that thumped you back, when those trees looked so gentle!?) muggles, dragons, and dark arts must have blown my mind at the time.

Having read the book, and watched the film, on many occasions it’s difficult to criticise it.

The dialogue isn’t great, it gets you where you want to go, and you know how much I love dialogue. There’s a moment in the book, on page 137, that makes me feel I haven’t got my head screwed on right. Harry is playing Quidditch and the POV switches to Ron and Hermione speaking to Hagrid in the stands. It’s only a few lines, but I cannot remember many moments in the series where Harry isn’t involved directly. I know there have been chapters Harry hasn’t been present. I don’t know. Maybe I am completely wrong.

As ever, I am surprised at how much is crammed into the story. It seemed I was holding the book open, halfway through, and Harry had only got off the train and was making his way across the water to Hogwarts. The Nicholas Flamel mystery is packed into a few chapters, with the two storylines with the mirror and then Norbert, before Harry, Ron and Hermione are jumping into the unknown. The memories I have of the end of the Philosopher’s Stone are superimposed with the scenes in the film. I didn’t like they cut the potions challenge, although I know they had to :/

Voldemort on the back of Professor’s Quirrell’s head looked terrible in the film. It makes you wonder; how do you function with Voldemort sticking out of the back of your head? What if he coughs or sneezes, wouldn’t that give him away? It’s like that negative voice in the back of my head, I can’t imagine Voldemort is a particularly pleasant housemate. Also, Dumbledore has a chat with Harry at the end, while he’s in the infirmary, and it is the start of Dumbledore fobbing Harry off, not giving him the facts. I could understand it for the first few years and then what does Dumbledore hope to achieve. Harry was going to start meeting Voldemort on a regular basis.

Thanks for reading! Here is my review of The Half-Blood Prince

My thoughts on The Half-Blood Prince

I realise how old these books are when I smell them, and they have THE OLD BOOK SMELL makes me feel so old (I’m 25 this year. WTF)

The Half-Blood Prince was not one of my favourites in this series on its release in 2005. It has grown on me. It feels like an aside novel, after the huge tome of the previous book and what takes place in the book which follows this one. That said, a lot happens. We visit Fred and George’s joke shop, we have a new teacher in Slughorn, more snogging, quidditch injuries, dodgy potion books and learning to jump into a hoop. Oh and Dumbledore starts telling Harry more information on Voldemort. Hooray. The ending in the cave matches the intensity of the scenes in the graveyard in The Goblet of Fire.

Did you like this review of The Half-Blood Prince? Would you like my thoughts on the other books in the series?

My thoughts on A STAC Murder Mystery #4 A Murder for Christmas by David W. Robinson.

Title: A Murder for Christmas

Author: David W. Robinson

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Pages: 253

Date Published: October 27th 2012

Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Amazon /Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

glitter maker

glitter maker

I have not read a book of this genre since Rankin’s Rebus where the book is completely engaging because of its setting and characters. The plot, the pacing, the setting of A Murder for Christmas was brilliant. The characters felt authentic. They were not perfect, which makes it so much more believable because you don’t agree with everything the character says or does. The three characters, Joe and Sheila and Brenda, had a great relationship with each other. The dialogue was great too. I had to laugh at a lot of the wit in this book.

But the slut shaming from not only the male characters, but the female characters, as real as that came across, because I know there are people all over the country that do believe that way of behaving is correct, made me hope the younger generation are moving away from that kind of attitude. It was difficult to read sometimes. The descriptions of the women made me feel uncomfortable too. although that was in keeping with the characters themselves, (pretty sleazy male characters) and how they seem to treat women as sexual objects.

You could also make a case that A Murder for Christmas is old fashioned, but I am old fashioned anyway, and I prefer a vintage murder mystery.

Faults aside A Murder for Christmas has got a lot about it to recommend.