Books I bought at Somerset 2017…

Here are the reviews I did of a couple of books I bought at Somerset Literary Festival this year. I’ll post a couple more tomorrow. Yes, they are Young Adults books.

Book Review by Jill Smith©Mar17

Starlight Stables – Pony detectives by Soraya Nicholas

Soraya NicholasThis is the first book I bought at Somerset Celebration of Literature 2017! My granddaughters are mad on horses. Not having had anything to do with horses myself, I have to say it appears to me that horses are a lot of work, and each one has a different personality just as their riders do.

I loved this story about Poppy the twelve-year-old who was visiting her Aunt Sophie and Uncle Mark, who run Starlight Stables. Having had a very difficult year with her mum and brother having to move away with the tragedy of losing her father, her trip is to help her be a kid and just go riding.Starlight Stables Pony Detectives Soraya N

Poppy gets the best present she could wish for, her own horse Crystal a Welsh/Arab. The surprises don’t stop there, they introduce her to two new girls who will be working and riding with her helping clean the stables. Millie and Katie quickly become best friends and like Poppy, they have been given the opportunity to have their own horses at the stables to trail ride whenever they want to, in exchange for work and help around the stables. Milly gets to ride Joe who is three-quarters Arab with a mischievous nature, which Poppy discovers suits his rider. Then Katie gets Cody a palomino. The riding lessons commence immediately and the girls learn a lot from dressage riding champion Sophie.

When the girls hear about horses being stolen in the area they decide to find them. That’s when the trouble begins. If they go to investigate they may lose all their privileges and be sent back home. They may even have their horses taken away. The three headstrong girls set out to find the missing horses.

I enjoyed the easy flowing style of Soraya’s writing showing the details of riding, sitting in the saddle and different types of events to train for while pushing the story forward.

Book Review By Jill Smith©April17

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

ophelia-and-the-marvellous-boy coverI love the cover of this book, that’s why I bought it.

The story is as surprising as The Marvelous Boy and the heroine Ophelia. She is small for her age, constantly asking questions and looking at everything from a scientific viewpoint. That hardly works when she makes friends with the boy sent by Wizards to save the world. Everything he tells her about the Snow Queen and magic is unbelievable. She confronts her fears and collects the keys while searching for the boy’s magical sword.

I particularly loved that she didn’t believe in ghosts and is still grieving the loss of her mother when her mother is there, at her shoulder and in her ear, helping her along the way. In a modern world of machines and facts, this is a delightful step into a possible other-world, all very cold and miserable that could be overcome by The Snow Queen. The museum her father works in has very strange exhibits, many who were in fact, the Snow Queens army.

The ending is fitting and a true love conquers all scenario!

I hadn’t been to see Karen Foxlee during sessions at Somerset, however, I did get her to sign the book. (That’s another perk of going to see talented writers at a writing festival.) 

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About jillswrites

I am a writer of SciFi Books 'Dual Visions' and it's follow up 'Vashla's world'. I also write book reviews, articles and short stories. Several of my short stories appear in a collaborative book for children called Fan-tas-tic-al Tales written in conjunction with my fellow members of The Ten Penners, this was a follow-up book to 'Shock, Horror, Gasp'. Fan-tas-tic-al Tales was released in 2009, now available in hard copy and on Amazon. We are currently in the completing our next adventure based anthology called 'Mystery, Mayhem & Magic' scheduled for release later in 2017. As a member of BookCoasters the Gold Coast Library blog, complementing my own blog, I enjoy blog being able to showcase my work. My book reviews appear in PIO (Pass It On) and e-Writeabout. I'm a happy Grandmother to two beautiful girls, wife of the ever tolerant Clive, mother of our son Simon. I work part time and lead a busy life.
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