Book Review – Out Of The Blue by Sophie Cameron

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

THE BLURB

Sometimes, I imagine alternate endings to the story: last-minute miracles, touches of magic. I picture how things might have gone, if I wasn’t there. If I’d left just a few minutes later. If I hadn’t been alone. It doesn’t make any difference. One way or another, the crash always comes.

Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.

Hysteria mounting with every Being that drops, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mother’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it.

When her best friend disappears and her father’s mania spirals, things hit rock bottom and it’s at that moment something extraordinary happens: An angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive. Finally she is forced to acknowledge just how significant these celestial beings are.

Set against the backdrop of the frenzied Edinburgh festival, OUT OF THE BLUE tackles questions of grief and guilt and fear over who we really are. But it’s also about love and acceptance and finding your place in this world as angels drop out of another.

MY OWN THOUGHTS

This book has a hugely compelling hook and is beautifully written. Although at first sight it is a book about Beings falling from the sky and the world going mad in the search for angels, it is at its heart a tender book about love and grief. Jaya is a great main character and is brilliantly drawn, as are the other characters around her who are all battling their own issues at the same time. I found I could visualise each scene and I tore through it as I had absolutely no idea how it was going to end. A refreshingly different read for all fans of YA.

***** – FIVE STARS

Book Review – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

ELEANOR OLIPHANT

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

THE BLURB

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. All this means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and a bit of a loner.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the story of a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever—if she can bear to confront the secrets she has avoided all her life. But if she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.

MY OWN THOUGHTS

I loved this book! Eleanor leaps off the page and is so perfectly drawn, with all her idiosyncrasies. At times I laughed out loud and at other times I cringed, embarrassed on her behalf even if she herself didn’t care or understand. It was so interesting reading about somebody with such control, but at the same time such little self-awareness, and I loved how Raymond managed to gradually draw her out of herself.
This book is unique, powerful, insightful and, ultimately, unputdownable. I would highly recommend it.

***** – FIVE STARS

My Newest Favourite Writing Nook

IMG_4417

I have just returned from our summer holidays where I was lucky enough to go on a cruise around Italy, France, Spain and Portugal (it was soooo hot!) I was looking forward to the break for obvious reasons, as well as perhaps one huge not so obvious one. Having cruised before, I know how much my two love going to the onboard kids’ club on days at sea and making new friends. It’s great seeing them happy and excited, but there’s an added bonus for me too. Metime. My husband is also happy to relax and do his own thing on these days, so it leaves me lots of time to write.

The ship only had its own library – #bliss

 

 

I managed to get more of my work in progress (Sixteen Again) written in those five days than I’ve achieved over the past month and a half of the school holidays, and it felt good to go old school and write longhand as well. Now I just need to type it up and see if any of it makes sense!

Hope your own writing is going well.

 

 

 

 

‘If Things Had Been Different’ by Catherine Paterson

Dandelion_sun

I am very pleased to welcome a new blogger, Catherine Paterson, to January’s mini competition with her refreshing interpretation of this month’s writing prompt. A big thank you to Catherine for entering and I hope you enjoy her poem as I did. I’m sure you’ll agree that she had no need to be nervous! 🙂

catherinepaterson says:

January 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Very first attempt. Don’t laugh.
http://catherinepaterson.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/if-things-had-been-different

It’s that time again…

I’ve enjoyed reading the entries again this month and now it’s over to you. Please vote for your favourite between now and the end of the month and the winner will set the next writing prompt. Happy reading! 🙂

Call for Submissions

Do you have a childhood memory you would like to share? Or perhaps a fictional piece rooted in childhood? If so I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to enter the August mini writing competition for a piece of poetry or flash fiction on this month’s writing prompt.

This month my entry is a poem entitled ‘Clocks’, a piece that brought back memories of when the whole world was full of potential and I only had to wish for it….

Dandelion_sun

CLOCKS

They float soundlessly through air,
invisible threads, strands of dreams
which, they say, make wishes come true.

Drifting on summer breeze
these ‘fairies’ glide by,
occasionally coming to rest,
tangled in undergrowth.

As children they hold mystical charm;
are things to wonder at,
representing hope.
But they also hold the key
to the passage of time,
so we are taught.

Is it merely the strength
of our lungs,
or is there more at work
when the magic
of children’s breath
disperse these filaments;
the number of which determine the hour?

And so time passes,
these clocks are forgotten
we gradually start to bow to
more organised schedules:
Childhood philosophy drowned
in a sea of adulthood,
of life, of responsibility.

Until the next generation
revives the magic for us once again.

Writing Prompt for August is…….

kids with balloons

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES

What is the first thing that springs to mind when you think of your childhood? Is there a specific time or event which had a significant impact on you? For this month’s mini writing competition I invite you to submit a piece of flash fiction (up to 500 words) or poetry to capture a moment in time and take us back there with you.

Please post entries on the Mini Monthly Competition page in the usual way and happy writing! 🙂

Normal service has been resumed…….

Numbers

Hi all.

After a bit of a sporadic posting timetable last month due to holidays, (apologies for that btw) I am now back in the UK and ready to pick up where we left off.  So here is the theme for July’s Mini Monthly Writing Competition:

NUMBERS

This can be interpreted in any way you see fit, e.g. is it a house number and scene of some notable event, is it a number that has special significance to the narrator, is it a sequence of numbers that dictate the story etc.  As usual the prompt is for a piece of flash fiction of up to 500 words or a poem.

Please upload your entries on to the July Mini Monthly Competition Page and the final entry date will be the 24th of July, with the winner announced at the beginning of August.  They then set the theme for August’s competition.

I look forward to reading some great entries if the standard of previous months is anything to go by and good luck to everyone who would like to take part.

Slim (but hopefully juicy) pickings for June….. Which is your favourite?

elephant voting

With apologies for the late posting as we are still being kept busy by Mickey and pals in Florida. However there are just three entries to vote for this month so those interested in having a read still have plenty time to vote before the 1st of July. Hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

May Writing Competition

Pen Writing

It’s great to see some new participants and a diverse range of writing styles in the mini poetry/flash fiction competition this month – why not pop in and take a look? Voting for the winner begins on 24th May so there is still plenty time to enter if you fancy submitting a piece of your own. All are welcome. The prompt for this month is

You are watching someone or something. Describe what you see and how it makes you feel.

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