Tuesday 15 March 2016

My Five Last Reads with Katrina Charman

As part of the Poppy's Place blog tour, I have author, Katrina Charman on the blog telling us all about her last five reads. 

Winter by Marissa Meyer
This is the last book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I loved the originality of this series which took classic fairy tales and gave them a unique sci-fi spin, with Cinderella being a part-human, part-cyborg lost lunar princess, Red Riding Hood being a girl called Scarlet who develops an unusual relationship with her captor – a genetically modified wolf-man, and Rapunzel – a girl called Cress who is imprisoned in a space pod and is a genius hacker. This final book did not disappoint. Focussing on Winter, who is loosely based on the Snow Queen, the book brings together the characters from the first three books to a breathtaking finale. Unlike many other series I've read, each book can stand alone as a brilliant story.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I've been working on a number of projects at the same time, and had been feeling slightly tapped out, creatively, so this book came along at exactly the right time. It was a really inspirational, and refreshing read about how Gilbert views creativity and approaches the sometimes (often!) absent muse. I found myself nodding along and relating to so many aspects of creativity that Gilbert talked about, and it certainly motivated me to work harder to reach my goals.

Emily Sparkes and the Disco Disaster by Ruth Fitzgerald
I have to admit I've got a bit of a strange sense of humour and it takes a lot to make me laugh, but this book (and the first two in the series) had me crying with laughter and snorting coffee all over my daughter's copy of this book! Ruth Fitzgerald absolutely nails the main character, Emily's voice, and while my daughters found themselves relating to Emily, I found myself relating to Emily's well-meaning but often misguided parents. I find humour one of the hardest things to write in my own children's fiction, but Ruth's writing makes it seem effortless.

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig
I read this one with my daughters at Christmas and hadn't read too much about it beforehand, so I was expecting a fluffy, feel-good yuletide story. This is a feel-good story, but it is so much more – with themes of loss, and hardship, and fighting to be good even when everything is against you – I absolutely sobbed at the end, much to the horror of my kids! Matt Haig also adds his wicked sense of humour to the book as well though, to lighten some of the darker moments – where else could you find a christmas story with exploding heads?!

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell 
This book is absolute magic. Everything from the language, to the imagery, to the characterisation of not just Feo the main character, but the wolves as well, was absolutely flawless and breathtaking. I was transported to another world so entirely that I felt myself shivering along with Feo as she struggled through the freezing, but beautiful backdrop of Russia to save her mother. Not only was this a wonderful story, written to perfection, but it left me wanting to be a better writer.
Published by Stripes in March 2016
Isla Palmer is CRAZY about cats — SUPER-IN-LOVE crazy — but her vet-nurse mum has never let her have one. Then Isla meets Poppy, a gorgeous cat in need of a loving home, and comes up with the perfect way to convince Mum.
It’s not long before Poppy has transformed life at the Palmers’ – everyone is happier, especially Gran, and even Isla’s older sister Tilda admits she likes having Poppy around. But Poppy isn’t the only one in need of a home and soon their 
house is full of cats. With Mum at her wits’ end, Isla needs to come up with a plan and fast!

To find out more about Katrina Charman:

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