Wednesday, 19 June 2013


I've finally decided to
a) properly investigate the opportunities Blogger gives me with text and images..... very exciting!!! Do you like the changes??? If not please comment below, need some friendly blogger advice!
b) put my blog on bloglovin 'specially since Google Reader is going so hopefully it'll attract some more lovely followers :)
c) decided to share a late, hopefully much awaited, photo of one of my dog's 11 puppies.

Meet Snoopy. Can you resist him???
I certainly can't!

Hopefully a review's coming on in a minute. Brilliant book by an amazing author.


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Kite Spirit

Kite Spirit by Sita Brahmachari followed Kite as her world falls apart when her best friend commits suicide.

During the summer of her GCSEs Kite's world falls apart. Her best friend, Dawn, commits suicide after a long struggle with feeling under pressure to achieve. Kite's dad takes her to the Lake District, to give her time and space to grieve. In London Kite is a confident girl, at home in the noisy, bustling city, but in the countryside she feels vulnerable and disorientated. Kite senses Dawn's spirit around her and is consumed by powerful, confusing emotions - anger, guilt, sadness and frustration, all of which are locked inside. It's not until she meets local boy, Garth, that Kite begins to open up - talking to a stranger is easier somehow. Kite deeply misses her friend and would do anything to speak to Dawn just once more, to understand why . . . Otherwise how can she ever say goodbye? A potent story about grief, friendship, acceptance and making your heart whole again.

Kite Spirit was an addictive story with a poignant plot. Brahmachari weaves a touching plot following Kite's plummet from a confident teenager to a withdrawn confused vulnerable girl and then the slow halting return to her original self. It was a story that I could relate to in certain aspects as will other readers. A huge part of the novel was Kite's confusion over why Dawn committed suicide, she didn't appear any different, just one day she was gone, no warning, nothing. It's similar, though more extreme, to discovering something serious your friend has been hiding and holding on to, and you can't imagine how she managed to keep it from you, and you worry why she didn't feel she could come to you. Kite Spirit helps reinforce the fact that sometimes there's nothing you can do, people have to make the decision to come to you, and sometimes people just feel they can't share that thing with anyone.

It was written in a similar easy access way to Finding Cherokee Brown and it means that it can be read by all ages which is good as issues like this need to be accessible to everyone. Suicide is a big issue that is often avoided or skirted around as it is considered immoral, wrong and shouldn't be discussed. However personally I believe that addressing issues can help people cope with these issues and help others through it. Sometimes it is the people left behind who need to be helped, thought about and given sympathy, rather than the people who have gone. Kite Spirit reminds you life keeps going even though it feels like it has ground to a shuddering stop.

I loved how Brahmachari chose to create a stranger for Kite to confide in, and help her untangle her emotions as I think it reflects the real-life need to talk to people who are removed from the bad situation as it helps people talk through their problems and helps give an honest detached opinion which can then help the person move on.

Kite Spirit receives a deserved 4 out of 5 and only did not receive higher as it was a little fluffy. It is published by PanMacMillan  Children Books and can be purchased from for £5.03.

En Bon Lu!

Charm and Strange

Ever read one of those books that all the way through you believe one thing is happening, until right at the end the whole plot changes/reveals its true intention and you realise what really happened? This was one of those. It was also one of those books that stayed with you even after you'd turned the last page, a book you wanted to share with everyone just to have them experience the same roller coaster of feelings you felt. It's similar to watching a video you feel is important to share with everyone: you feel the need to MAKE EVERYONE read it.

When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .

Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn was simply amazing, it has been a long time since I read a book that really made me remain focused on the story, no drifting could be allowed, this book demands your attention. Written about an extremely important issue Kuehn delves deep into the psychological mindset of the victim, in this case Andrew Winston Winters. However she does it in such a subtle way using metaphors and euphemisms that it isn't horrific and graphic but instead highlights how children adapt their perception on situations to make it appear less horrific. What I really liked was that you didn't really realise what was going on until right at the end, when Kuehn began to break down the wall Drew had created in order to forget his ordeal (basically Drew thinks of his family as werewolves and this helps him deal with his issue.) This continued metaphor softens and actually enhances the impact that writing directly about the ordeal would have. However I don't want to dissect it too much as part of the books charm is unraveling the plot by yourself (finding it very hard to write about it without revealing what this taboo subject Kuehn deals so well with is!)

Kuehn writes the novel by alternating between Andrew's past (antimatter) and Andrew's present (matter). This clear distinction between Drew's flashbacks and his present situation culminates with the final catalyst that causes present Andrews downward spiral into depression and madness being revealed near the end of the book. Although some people may find the changing chapters confusing and difficult to follow; for me, it was a brilliant idea as it helped break up the story and prevented it from becoming too much of an emotional overload. The characters themselves were well developed and unpredictable which added more to the essential suspense of the novel and the masterful way Kuehn made the characters change to fit in with Andrews altered view of his ordeal was amazing as it helped stop the reader guessing immediately what issue she was dealing with and prevented them from losing interest. For three quarters of the novel I was waiting for Drew to turn into a Wolf! I also enjoyed the distinct difference between the characters in Andrews present and past. Present characters were far clearer and easier to follow and pin and more predictable whilst the characters in the past were far darker, hazy and unpredictable as well as drifting in and out of the story.

"A deftly woven, elegant, unnerving psychological thriller about a boy at war with himself, Charm and Strange is a masterful exploration of one of the greatest taboos.

No one really knows who Andrew Winston Winters is. Least of all himself. He is part Win, a lonely teenager exiled to a remote boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts the whole world out, no matter the cost, because his darkest fear is of himself …of the wolfish predator within. But he’s also part Drew, the angry boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who, one fateful summer, was part of something so terrible it came close to destroying him. Sensitive, yet confronting. Unsettling…and utterly enthralling. Unlike anything you will have read before."

If you hadn't already guessed I loved this book and it will receive the esteemed elusive Skinny rating (6 out of 5) and was such a roller coaster, quite a challenging, read that I will love to return to it again. Also as it is Kuehn's debut novel she must be thoroughly commended for this thrilling unsettling piece of work and I seriously hope she gathers a good fan base as I'll be looking out for more of her books and I really want other people to experience her insightful beautiful writing! Published by Electric Monkey an imprint of Egmont, Charm and Strange can be purchased from for £11.56 (hardcover) or £4.30 (e-book) really recommended!!!

En Bon Lu!

Thursday, 13 June 2013


Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan. First let me start of by saying I only found out today Spark was the second book in the Sky Chasers series. I had no idea, not even when I was reading the book, though looking back it kinda makes sense. However Ryan did a fabulous job of updating the reader on what had happened previously and why certain situations had evolved.

Spark is an original unique story which combines Sci-fi with romance and I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would! To begin with I was worried I wouldn't like this bizarre society Ryan had created where kids were in charge, the only adults on board a freaking spaceship were deluded or incapacitated, and the kids were chasing after another more powerful spaceship to find their parents. It was a little Lord of the Flies at some points with the kids all turning on each other, and Ryan managed to make me forget they were kids, especially with some of their cruel acts, like drawing graffiti of the main character Waverly doling out sexual favours. Ryan created quite a complex backstory with a big plot involving the two spaceships, previously sister fleets, as the spaceships are looking for a Utopia basically and so a lot of backstabbing and sabotaging went on between the ships in order to reduce the competition when they arrived at the new 'Earth'. Spark picks up from where the first novel Glow seems to have left of with the female kids returning to the Empryean after escaping from the New Horizon, where their eggs in their ovaries had been stolen from them. Yep told you it was a complex story!

The novel is told from three viewpoints (the three main characters) Waverly, Seth and Kieran.

Waverly was the leader of the escaped teenage girls and returned the majority of the girls to the Empryean. However as she had failed to save the parents who were locked on the New Horizon  a lot of the Empryean kids resented her and were horrific to her during the novel. I really liked how Ryan didn't let Waverly just miraculously get over her ovary ordeal. Waverly was scarred mentally as were the other girls and this really added to a lot of the interactions and events that developed in the novel. Waverly was a strong character however at times you could get quite exasperated with her as everything became harder than it should have been as she struggled to turn the Empryean into a democracy rather than an autocracy and kept ending up being almost as bossy as Kieran despite the fact she was trying to restore democracy! Ryan kept the theme of disunity and division between the Empryean kids going through out the novel which could become quite tiresome as you struggled to catch up with the latest developments of side picking. However I enjoyed Waverly and I especially liked the animosity Ryan developed between Kieran and Waverly as well as the budding agressive romantic relationship between Waverly and Seth. Ryan had a good knack for developing relationships fully and adding new events to further consolidate the feelings between characters she was generating.

Seth was a strong well developed character with plenty of depth and sad pasts. It annoyed me a little that Ryan took so long to develop Seth and Waverly's relationship as you knew it was going to happen and she kept drawing it out whereas I think I would have liked Waverly to have had Seth there for her without Waverly having to tip toe around the question of whether Seth liked her etc. I suppose what with Seth being in hiding from Kieran a lot of the time it was quite difficult! I disliked Seth being blamed for everything by the kids, he acted as something as a scapegoat and occasionally it felt like Ryan chose him just so she could fob the blame off quickly and easily without having to introduce another character who could possibly be blamed. Again I would have liked their (Waverly and Seth's) relationship to have been a bigger feature in the novel.

Imagine a boy with a teenage 'I'm always right' attitude combined with a conviction that it is his duty to lead and control the ship and you make Kieran. Ryan has really portrayed him as the bad guy in this novel, though she does sometimes give him a break by delving into the bloody past between the Empryean and the New Horizon which explains some of his actions and makes him realise when he's going wrong. However I did feel sorry for Kieran as he was one of those characters whose every action was motivated by a desire to do well and do right and he was basically trying to live up to the previous captains image. This turned out to be not a good rolemodel though! Also poor Kieran got his heartbroken when his beloved Waverly returned from the Empryean and accused him of being a dictator and refused to give him support. What was great about this novel was there were so many angles that you could view the characters from and it meant at different points in the novel you empathised with different characters.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would give it a 4 out of 5 as I would like to re read it and try to glean more information from the backstory and I think I will purchase Glow as well as the third book in the series if there is one! It is published by PanMacmillan children's books and can be purchased from for £5.24 or cheaper from other sellers.

En Bon Lu
Tabby x
Also on Goodreads under the name Smithjamest

Monday, 10 June 2013

Infinite Days

I didn't look a day over sixteen, yet - if someone had calculated - on that particular day I'd officially turned 592.....
Straightaway Rebecca Maizel's 'Infinite Days'  seductively grabs the reader pulling them into a story where obviously the main feature is vampires. However what I really enjoyed about this novel is that Maizel never tries to portray the main character Lenah as a good vampire. She's not. And that's the whole point. Lenah was one of the most bloodthirsty, one of the eldest, vampires in vampire history. However she changed. Back into a human. I really liked Maizel's subtle suggestion that humans are better than vampires. Or at least have the potential to be.  Basically it was so nice to read a novel where being a vampire isn't romanticised and the whole plot doesn't revolve around how these particular vampires are better than others (Ahem Twilight). Although the main story does follow Lenah's 'transformation' it was more about Lenah getting back to her human roots and really 'rehabilitating' herself as a human girl.   However Maizel never lets Lenah forget her past, things don't magically change, Lenah doesn't magically forget the thousands of people she's killed. She can't shed that just because she's become a human.

However just so I don't shoot myself in the foot if you do come to read the novel. Maizel does have vampires that are nicer, well nicer is the wrong word - more humane springs to mind, than the average vampire. But these characteristics only tend to show when these vampires are interacting with Lenah as a human. Other humans are still definitely on the menu.

Ever the typical female heroine, main character Lenah is strong, confident and determined. However this is because she has kept hold of her characteristics from when she was vampire Queen Lenah. She's used to kicking ass and she'll keep doing so, even as a human. However Maizel slowly strips back Lenah's character exposing the unsure, shy, guilty girl underneath. Lenah's past haunts her and for me, this was a major theme throughout the novel, as Lenah attempted to override all her fading vampire instincts and try to fall back into her human roots. There were times the reader could feel a little exasperated with her incompetency and ignorance in certain normal social American high  school occasions. But Maizel keeps emphasising Lenah's nervousness and confusion in these situations and really makes you empathise with her through some powerful well scripted personal narrative. Although Lenah's transformation back into a human results in her losing the one person she cared about, Rhodes, she vows to make the most of his final gift to her and truly experience and regain her humanity.

'You were Rhode's brightest day'.

He created the monster that Lenah became by being the one responsible for turning her. He now regrets it having borne witness to her spiralling descent into madness and depravity and cruelty. He watches her change from the innocent country farm girl into a seasoned killing machine, and decides to fix his mess. He performs an ancient ritual which results in him sacrificing himself in order to give Lenah a chance to be human. Rhodes doesn't feature a great amount in this novel but in the flashbacks Maziel creates to give Lenah's character depth the reader grows fond of this one person they only see in the past, who wasn't afraid to tell Lenah that she was going insane, going crazy through her acts of cruelty. They recognise Rhodes as both her salvation but also her doom.

Justin (& Vicken)
The new love interest of Lenah, Justin's the typical popular rich American teenager who falls for the new cute girl. Maizel does manage, however, to develop his character and give him some depth creating a sensitive lad scared of rejection, and very worried as, for the first time in his slightly spoilt life, he's experiencing falling in love. What I found quite interesting with the love aspect of this novel was that Maizel didn't allow Lenah to fall completely and utterly for one person, Maizel developed three separate love tangents, Rhode, Justin and Vicken (who doesn't feature much till the end but is present in various flashbacks - he's basically a sexy dangerous vampire replacement to Rhode for Lenah). Lenah loves them all on different levels and Maizel really exploits this and creates an intricate love net, which I loved following!

To Conclude: Infinite Days was a very enjoyable read which brought a bit of fresh breath to the omnipresent vampire genre that constitutes a huge percentage of YA novels today. The plot follows Lenah as she tries to shed her life as a vampire and become a human girl again and I really liked it! Maizel has a lyrical way of writing and she painted amazing images and was very vocal with her details and descriptions which made the novel very beautiful even when it dealt with blood and death.

I will give Infinite Days a deserved 4 stars and it can be purchased, recommended!, from for £4.99 and is worth it, especially as it has a very juicy yummy second half! It is published by MacMillan Children's Books.

En Bon Lu!



Friday, 7 June 2013


OK wipe those smug smiles of your faces... Yes I have discovered working hard in a job is almost more time consuming than school. Every night I am exhausted and can't face bringing myself to turn on my laptop! My poor computer is probably having a heart attack having to deal with this mega session on the laptop tonight! Poor boy! Anyway I've refurbished the blog and it's pages a little, or at least tried to make it a bit easier to navigate!

As you might have noticed I have revamped my labels on my blogs so you can now easily click on the ratings 4 star etc so it should be easier for you all to find the books I thought were the best! I've copied my rating reasons into this post and it's on my contact/review policy page as well: If you're a avid stalkery Tabby follower you might also notice I've changed some of my ratings for the books being a little more cynical and hard! But if you haven't don't worry.... I won't resent you for it...... much!

Skinny by Donna Cooner made me seriously re-think all my ratings for this blog, because it is definitely worth the top mark I can give it perhaps more so than some of the other books that got a 5. I conclude I shall create a new top rating even higher than the 5 and it shall be called the Skinny rate...... (a 5.5 - 6 in technical terms!) So :
The Skinny rating (5.5 - 6) - ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, this book has it all it'll make you laugh, cry and sigh. It's above the books that have got a 5 and is likely to deal with a really big issue or portray a character so completely that you know them inside and out
5 - Fricking awesome! Go get!! One that I would definitely re-read and re-read (for example all 7 Harry Potters are a 5 and are on my re-read shelf and will be FOREVER)
4 - Pretty good. One I'll probably re-read, likely to be one of the books that you really liked but there was one horrible character or annoying part of it. 4's are one's that missed a 5 by an inch but you'll re-read it again, find something new you love and bump it up to a 5.
3 - Good, worth the read but probably out a library. The only time I'd buy a 3 again is if it is part of a series and you feel sure that the rest of them'll go up. I mean a series book could get a 3 because it ended too abruptly and not smoothly enough to allow you to have a break, instead you had to go out and buy the next one straight away, meaning you miss some really important bits because the plot's moving too fast. Often a series '3' books would need a re-read after you've finished the series in order to put it in perspective because you read it too fast first time and missed something important.
2 - A fluffy read, one to waste time, or just pretty unremarkable, very generic, nothing new.......
1 - I'm sorry, a book that in my opinion shouldn't have been published, or just really wasn't for me!

Anyway I am going to get some sleep and then I have some good reviews for you tomorrow!
Hope you're all well! 
Sleep Well!