Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher

Silence is goldfishMy name is Tess Turner – at least, that’s what I’ve always been told.
I have a voice but it isn’t mine. It used to say things so I’d fit in, to please my parents, to please my teachers. It used to tell the universe I was something I wasn’t. It lied.
It never occurred to me that everyone else was lying too. But the words that really hurt weren’t the lies: it was six hundred and seventeen words of truth that turned my world upside down.
Words scare me, the lies and the truth, so I decided to stop using them.
I am Pluto. Silent. Inaccessible. Billions of miles away from everything I thought I knew.

Tessie-T has never really felt she fitted in and after what she read that night on her father’s blog she knows for certain that she never will. How she deals with her discovery makes an entirely riveting, heart-breaking story told through Tess’s eyes as she tries to find her place in the world.

 

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review.

Having previously read (and loved) Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher, I was really looking forward to picking up her new YA offering and was completley hooked from the opening page. ‘Silence is Goldfish’ tells the story of  teenage Tess who, near the beginning of the novel, accidently discovers that her father isn’t her real dad. This unexpected revelation leaves Tess shocked, confused and unsure of her identity and eventually results in her selective mutism. Tess has the ability to speak but she chooses not to.

‘I sit in the middle of my silence, protecting myself from the truth I might be able to forget if I never have to hear myself say it out loud.’

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The Novice (Summoner #1) Review

the noviceFletcher is just an orphan training as a blacksmith’s apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must travel with his demon to the Vocans Academy, where the gifted few are taught the lost art of summoning. 

Only the most talented will become Battlemages and fight in the Empire’s war against the Orcs. Fletcher must endure deadly lessons to gain control of his gift and prepare for the end of the year Tournament that will determine his fate in the war.

But sinister forces infect new friendships and rivalries grow. With no one but his demon Ignatius by his side, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of the Empire in his hands…

Last weekend saw the return of YALC (Young Adult Literary Convention) at the London Film & Comic Con. I attended on the Friday with the first panel being ‘Behind the Magic: Exploring Magical Systems in Fantasy YA’. This panel consisted of  Sally Green, Taran Matharu, Melinda Salisbury and V E Schwab who all spoke at length about the magical inspiration and processes behind their books. As soon as Taran Matharu described his fantasy series as ‘Harry Potter meets Pokémon‘ I just knew I had to check it out.

Taran Matharu first published ‘The Novice’ via WattPad which reached over three million readers in less than six months. Although originally published via unconventional means, the story is a triumph and fuses all of my favourite fantasy ingredients into one, very entertaining, adventure.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Spoiler-free Review

I, like many other Potter fans, had pre-ordered my copy of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ ready to read on the day of release. This, in itself, brought back many happy memories of queueing to get my hands on each new release of the Potter series throught my childhood and teen years. I was ten years old when the first Harry Potter book was published and have remained a true fan ever since. What constitues a true fan? Reading every book from cover to cover on the day of release resulting in no, or little, sleep: check. Regular Harry Potter film marathons: check. Owning a wand: check. Having an Albus Dumbledore quote stencilled on your hallway wall: check. Harry Potter will always be home and for that J.K. Rowling I thank you.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part West End stage play written by Jack Thorne and based on an original new story by Thorne, J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany. The book, written in the form of a play-script, tells the story nineteen years later, where ‘The Deathly Hallows’ left off, with the original trio seeing their school-aged children off to Hogwarts. The story focuses on Albus (Harry and Ginny’s youngest son) and his best friend Scorpius (son of Draco Malfoy) as they set off on an adventure that fuses past and present. Some of J.K. Rowling’s best loved characters also feature in the play, including Neville Longbottom, who is now Professor of Herbology at Hogwarts, and Professor McGongall, the new headteacher.

Although the physical play has received rave reviews, the written playscript has left many HP fans deflated, complaining about the lack of description and branding the book ‘fan fiction’. Agreebly, reading the story as a playsript was odd at first, however I quickly got used to it and, as the world of Harry Potter is so familiar, I was able to use my own imagination to picture the characters, settings and events. I also thoroughly enjoyed the stage directions which I could visulise completely, probably due to the number of West End stage shows I have been to. The mind is a wonderful thing and, upon reading quite  plain stage directions, mine has been able to: desgin the entire set, visualise the transitions between sets, plan which doors characters will exit and enter through and decide how the magic will be portrayed using a series of pyrotechnics, invisible wires and trap doors. I feel a career change coming along!

The plot itself is reminsicent of the film ‘The Butterfly Effect’ and explores theories of time travel. The story also touches on family dynamics, particularly between father and son. Although I did enjoy the story, it was evident that this wasn’t purely the work of J.K. Rowling and at times it felt rushed and incomplete. There were elements that annoyed me, things that didn’t quite add up. And as for who the ‘cursed child’ is? Beats me! It could be a multitude of people, but maybe that’s the point?

Have you heard me Albus? This is bigger than you and your dad. The smallest moment, the smallest change, it creates ripples. And we – we’ve created really bad ripples.’

Rating 4/5

Recent YA Reads

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As usual, I have been pretty rubbish at blogging recently, however the arrival of half term means I have some free time to share the highs (and lows) of what I have been reading. In the New Year I set myself some reading goals and decided to keep a list of everything I want to read this year. So far I am not doing too badly. I also decided that 2016 is the year of ‘rereads’ and added some of my favourite books of all time to the list including, The Book Thief, The Kite Runner and The Lord of The Flies. The latter I went to see at Regent’s Park outdoor theatre in the summer which was utterly amazing and definitely contributed to my motivation to reread the book.

Being one year off 30 (eek!) I still have no shame in admitting that YA is, and will forever be, my favourite reading genre. Explained here. I have read three YA books so far this year. Two were amazing, one not so much!

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