One of Us Is Next

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for One of Us Is Lying. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Tonight’s review actually serves two purposes. Firstly, this post is the 550th review on this site. Yay for us and thank-you, as always, for your continuing support. This post is also to raise awareness for World Book Night, which is tomorrow. More information on that shortly…

One of Us Is Next was written by Karen M. McManus and first published in 2020. It is a mystery story which focuses on a group of students who are forcibly engaged in a deadly game of Truth or Dare. The novel is a direct sequel to One of Us Is Lying (2017), so I would strongly recommend reading the novels in sequence to fully appreciate what is going on.

A year has passed since Simon’s death, yet the students of Bayview High have never forgotten the horrible game he played. Copycat sites have popped up every now and then, but the school’s strict anti-cyber bullying policy has quickly had them shut down. At last, the “Bayview Four” – Bronwyn, Addy, Cooper and Nate – have been allowed to get on with their lives and graduate. However, it soon becomes clear that the game is not over for those that they have left behind.

It starts as a harmless text from an unknown sender, targeting every student in Maeve’s year. The messenger says that he will be contacting one student with a Truth or Dare. If they forfeit, one of their secrets will be sent directly to everyone they know. No one truly believes it until the sender reveals Phoebe’s dark shame to everyone – a secret that no one else should have been able to find out.

The students quickly become hooked on the game, with everyone keen to choose “Dare” to avoid their secrets being leaked. However, when one of the dares goes horribly wrong and a student is killed, Maeve and her friends realise that the game hides some sinister purpose. Was the death planned and, if so, how does the mastermind seem to know everything about them?

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Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone was first published in 2012 and is Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel. It is a fantasy story about a teenage girl who discovers that her magical abilities may be the key to saving her war-torn world. The story forms the first part of The Grisha Trilogy and is followed by Siege and Storm (2013) and Ruin and Rising (2014). Bardugo is also currently writing a second trilogy, titled Six of Crows, which is set in the same world but focuses on a different set of characters.

The Country of Ravka is slowly dying. The Shadow Fold cuts the kingdom in half and prevents its people from uniting against the enemies that challenge its borders to the North and South. However, Ravka is also threatened by dangers from within. The peasantry are growing resentful of their Tsar, realising that he and his precious Grisha (magic users) live in luxury while they suffer.

Alina knows much about suffering. She’s both a peasant and an orphan and now is studying to be a cartographer in Ravka’s First Army (and she isn’t very good at that). However, she it does at least mean that she can be close to her best friend, Mal. Yet when Alina discovers that she possesses a unique power, she is whisked away to join the secretive ranks of the Grisha.

Alina struggles to adjust to her new life as one of the elite and finds herself drawn to the Darkling – a powerful Grisha whose powers seem to be the polar opposite of her own. The Darkling believes it is destiny that they should combine their abilities to destroy the Shadow Fold and unite Ravka once and for all. It’s not long before Alina starts to buy into his dream for her yet she has a problem. Her newfound ability is far beyond her control…

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World Book Night 2015

World Book Night 2015

Happy World Book Night, readers. I hope that you had a fantastic day. Sobek and I have had lots of fun spreading out love of Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb in order to celebrate the event.

Did any of you come across any of the special edition World Book Night titles today? Or celebrate the event in another way? Let us know in the comments if you did!

Missed out this year? Don’t worry! You can find out more about World Book Night and learn how to sign up for future events [here]

Sobek supports World Book Night

World Book Night 2014

Hello there!

Did you know that, in the United Kingdom, 35% of people don’t read for pleasure? Don’t you think that this is a crying shame?

If you speak to any bookworm, myself included, they will tell you that reading is good for the soul. It’s an undisputed fact that it helps to build the imagination, nurturing ideas and helping to treat all manner of social and mental conditions. Literature helps us to expand our knowledge of the world – allowing us to consider ideologies that we may never have discovered or experience places that would otherwise have been inaccessible to us.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was some kind of worldwide event that helped to promote the joy of reading to those 35% people?

The 23rd April is World Book Night – an event that does just this. In short, it is a celebration of books which encourages people who have grown up loving them to share their passion with those around them. Every year, thousands of people in the UK alone give up some of their free time to hit the streets, seeking out people who do not regularly read and tempting them to try something new.

To accomplish this task, they are each given a box of free books. The books that are available on every given year are selected before hand by a panel of judges and volunteers pick their favourite to champion before they hit the streets. On top of this, World Book Night donates thousands of novels to potential readers in difficult to reach locations, including prisons, care homes, hospitals, sheltered, supported and social housing.

I am proud to have been selected as a World Book Night volunteer for the last two years now. In 2012, my chosen novel was The Player of Games by one of my all-time favourite authors, Iain M Banks. Last year, I championed Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. This April I will be giving out free copies of After the Funeral by Agatha Christie.

I was encouraged to read from when I was very young and it saddens me to think that not everyone was so fortunate. If you happen to see Sobek and I wandering Norwich City Centre with our box of books on 23rd April, please give us a wave and usher any of your non-reader friends in our direction. If we can help one person to discover an untapped love of literature, we will consider the night to be roaring success!

If you want to learn more about the event, or find out if any special World Book Night events are taking place in your local libraries and book shops, please visit their website – http://www.worldbooknight.org/. They truly deserve your support.

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