Netgalley Update #1

Hello! It’s been a while hasn’t it? I’m going to be honest, I’ve needed to take a little break from blogging – I’ve been busy in my personal life and I was starting to feel pressured and burnt out to write blog posts, so I took a little break. I’m back now though and am hoping to do at least two blog posts per week, as that’s manageable for me for now.

Anyway, I was inspired by my lovely friend Rose at Life Amongst The Pages to do a Netgalley Update. I use Netgalley a lot, but sometimes feel pressured to write full length reviews for all the books I receive on there. However, after seeing Rose’s post I am going to start doing these once a month I’d say? With mini reviews of a few books I have read from Netgalley. For this first one I have three books that I’ve read, and all enjoyed.

Rumaysa: A Fairytale by Radiya Hafiza

Published By: Macmillian Children’s Books

Released: 1st April 2021

CAWPILE Rating: 7.7 / 4  ★

Synopsis

Step into a Once Upon a Time where anything is possible . . . Radiya Hafiza’s enchanting and funny debut weaves together three stories, spinning the classic fairytale to show that anyone can be a hero.

‘Rumaysa, Rumaysa, let down your hijab!’

For as long as she can remember Rumaysa has been locked away in her tower, forced to spin straw into gold for the evil Witch, unable to leave. Until one day, after dropping a hijab out of her small tower-window, Rumaysa realizes how she might be able to escape . . .

Join Rumaysa as she adventures through enchanted forests and into dragon’s lairs, discovers her own incredible magical powers and teams up with Cinderayla and Sleeping Sara!

Amy’s Thoughts

Rumaysa was such a quick read that I became quickly absorbed in! As someone who loves fairytales I was intrigued to see how this story panned out, and to say I was blindsided would be an understatement. Rumaysa was such an incredible character and I know she’s going to become a role model for any child that decides to pick this book up. The concept of a muslim retelling of Rapunzel was inspiring and was definitely the kind of representation that needs to be featured more in children’s fiction. Representation matters and all children have the right to see someone like them featured in a book.

The other two stories of Ayla (Cinderella) and Sara (Sleeping Beauty) were equally as stunning as Rumaysa, and I found the interwoven elements of all three stories to be both captivating and enjoyable. Ayla and Sara were both own voices characters, and I also liked the fact that Sara was also plus sized, which you never see in a fairytale. All of this representation within each of the stories is so important and I am pleased that stories like this are being told.

Rumyasa: A Fairytale ultimately was a beautiful read, full of magic, wonder and diversity. The gorgeous storytelling, representation and stunning illustrations makes for an incredible read. It’s a book that all children should pick up, for sure.

Digger and Me by Ros Roberts

Published By: Little Tiger

Released: 13th May 2021

CAWPILE Rating: 6.9 / 3 ★

Synopsis

Where do I feel at home?
When I’m sitting with my dog, Digger.

James splits his life between his mum’s and his dad’s houses. It’s far from perfect. Especially now Dad doesn’t have time for bike rides with him any more and Mum’s always with her new boyfriend. The constant is Digger, his dog and best friend. He’s the glue that holds the two halves of James’s life together.

So when James finds a lump on Digger’s leg, everything changes. Digger is the one he can talk to about anything. But when it’s Digger he needs to talk about, where can he turn?

A touching story about family, friendship and finding your voice, for readers of Jacqueline Wilson, Lisa Thompson and I, COSMO

Amy’s Thoughts

Digger and Me is a touching story all about one boy and the love he has for his beloved dog, Digger. This is a story that I knew, even before going into it, was going to pull on my heartstrings. My hunch was right, and I did find myself becoming rather emotional throughout my time reading it.

The story itself is fast paced and easy to follow and I found myself absorbed into this beautiful story. This book touches on the issue of divorce, an issue that many children have been in the middle of. We see James as he struggles to adjust to this big change in his life. Digger, his dog is the only thing that is bringing him solace in this confusing time. When he discovers that Digger has a lump on his leg, you can feel the several emotions James is feeling at the thought of potentially loosing his best friend. The relationship between a pet and their owner is one of pure love, and we see how much James dotes on Digger and how much he really does care for him. It’s heartwarming to read about, and does show you how having a pet is a joy, and a support to many.

Digger and Me was a moving read full of heart and soul. This story will most certainly resonate with many children and adults alike, especially if you have that special bond with a pet. The way the story is told with sensitivity and love definitely makes it one to look out for.

Things To Do Before The End of The World by Emily Barr

Published By: Penguin

Released: 6th May 2021

CAWPILE Rating: 7.1 / 4 ★

Synopsis

One minute you’re walking in the park, hiding from a party. Then you discover that the next nine months will probably be your last. Everyone’s last. You realise that you happen to be alive at the time when your species becomes extinct.
You have to decide whether to go with it meekly like you usually do, or to do something brave, to live your last months with all the energy and bravery you can muster, to rage against the dying of the light.

Olivia struggles to live her real life as fully as she wants to. She plans out conversations and events in her head but actually doing them and interacting with other people is hard. When the news breaks that humans have done such damage to the earth that there’s only nine months of safe air left everybody makes bucket lists and starts living their best lives – everyone, that is, but Olivia who is still struggling to figure out who she wants to be.

Then out of the blue comes contact from a long-lost cousin Olivia didn’t even know existed. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more. And as the girls meet up for their last summer on earth Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having a effect on her. But what if Natasha isn’t everything she first appears to be . . . ?

Amy’s Thoughts

Trigger Warnings: Alcohol, animal death, death of family member, anxiety, panic attacks, suicide (brief mention).

Emily Barr is an author who I’ve come to love over the last few years. I devoured her previous YA works and was excited to dive into her latest Things To Do Before The End of The World. From the synopsis I had a feeling that this was going to be one that I was going to relish and eat up straight away.

The concept of this story was one of huge interest to me. The thought of a story where humans had polluted the earth so much, that they only had a few months left to live was a unique notion to say the least. However, the plot certainly didn’t go the way I’d imagined. The first half didn’t feel like a YA Thriller to me, and felt very contemporary. As a YA contemporary fan, I didn’t mind this all too much, but did want something to happen sooner to bring the thriller element into it. Mind you, as soon as the thriller element set in, I was hooked! Emily Barr has this way of setting your teeth on edge with her suspenseful writing style, and my heart was racing as I read. There were a few unanswered questions at the end of the book, that I would have liked to have had the answers to, but I’m just assuming these were left unchecked for the cliffhanger like ending.

The Things To Do Before The End of The World was yet another triumph for Emily Barr. Despite the slightly slow start, I ended up hooked on this story of deceit, secrets and lies.

2 thoughts on “Netgalley Update #1

  1. I like the idea of mini reviews! There is so much pressure on bloggers to write long reviews that it starts to feel like homework to me rather than an brief opinion from a book fan. I will definitely pick up some of the books you mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

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