4th Blogiversary, my mysterious absence and a ‘hello yes I’m back’ gift

Heyy bookworms. Yes! It’s that time of year again: my blogiversary. A time for throwing around cupcakes and thank yous to all you wonderful pineapples out there who read my blog even though I’m awful and haven’t posted in 2 months. Bless you, my children. You don’t deserve this kind of treatment and yet you remain on my bloggish island. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the likes, comments and kindness you’ve given for the past 4 years! Or however long you’ve been hostage reading my blog.

As ever I must congratulate Alyssa for being the top commenter (surprise, surprise 😉 ) with 126 comments. 126, peeps. I literally only have 125 posts. So thank youuuu Alyssa. Have a cookie.

Wow, 76 followers, 125 posts as aforementioned, 340 comments, 4753 views and the most awesome stat, my most popular viewing day, is… *drumroll* …Saturday!!

I know the question that’s on all your minds. Well there are two actually. The first being where in the name of Snicket have you been for 2 months?? And that is an excellent question which has a pretty stupid answer: I’ve been on holiday – which here means I’ve literally been asleep for 2 months. Your suspicions were correct, I am in fact a bear with a very messed up body clock.

The second question is if it’s your blogiversary, where is your lil competition that you do, ya know, EVERY YEAR, hmmm? The answer to this is hopefully a bit more sensible: my blog has been dormant for a whole 1/5 of a year so I thought I’d sort it out a bit first and do a competition near Christmas. How does that sound??

And seeing as I’ve been away for so long, here’s a little ‘hello yes I’m back’ gift, a lil snippety from another world (also known as the very near future) where cats have taken over and imprisoned all the humans. Be sure to tell me what you think 🙂

A thundering smack resonates in my ears, pain seeping to my side. The leader of the cats glares at me, snarling.

“Try escaping again, you’ll be the kitties’ lunch.”

Pain bites my side. I wince. “Monster,” I hiss, stumbling away.

“Excuse me?” the cat growls.

“MONSTER!” I roar, anger overcoming my wits, sudden strength flooding into me. I clasp the cat’s neck, my grip tightening as he begins to gag.

Dazed, I retreat, staring at the retching cat. Then I vault over the fence, zooming like the wind, finally escaping my prison.

But we humans can never escape the cats.


The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Maze Runner ~ James Dashner

Remember, back in September, when I reviewed The Battle of the Labyrinth and named the post The Maze Runner because I thought I was funny? Well it turns out I still think I’m funny. And for anyone who’s wondering what the apple pies is going on, I’m reviewing The Maze Runner, not The Battle of the Labyrinth, but you can read my review for that here

When Thomas arrives in the Glade via a lift called the Box, all he remembers is his first name. He’s welcomed by a group of boys who call themselves Gladers – they explain to Thomas that they’ve all lost their memories and have been trapped in the Glade, an expanse of land surrounded by a towering maze that they must solve to escape. For two years, the Gladers have been keeping order, trying to survive and a small handful of them trying to escape by learning the maze’s patterns to figure out a way home, but so far with no luck. Every night, the doors into the maze close and the Grievers – terrifying half creatures half machines – roam the maze. Three days after Thomas arrives, the first girl ever enters the Glade and that’s when everything begins to change, when the weekly supplies stop arriving and when, one night, the doors to the maze don’t close…

So, I definitely get why this book is so hyped. ‘TIS MAGNIFICENT. I didn’t really realise or appreciate how excellent the book really is until the plot behind the maze and why they’re all there began to slowly come into focus. It was just so so clever and it made me understand why the book is one of the most popular YA novels of our generation. SO GOOD PEEPS.

The writing was a lil tricky at the start because it felt very thick with description, but I quickly got used to it and soon the story was flowing beautifully. I think the reason why I got used to it early on is because the writing style felt very similar to my own – I’m big on describing every little detail at the very start, but gradually the descriptions calm themselves and flow smoothly, the details becoming less crowded. The short chapters also helped the story to spill freely, keeping me drawn in, especially when almost every chapter ended on a cliffhanger and I just had to read on before I burst with suspense. Sometimes I was petrified just to turn the page over. This book grabbed hold of all of my feelings and I felt so immersed in the world, I could hardly escape it.

Most of the reviews I read before reading the book complained about the language the Gladers use: ‘klunk’, ‘shuck’, ‘shank’ etc… but for some reason the words just made the story more enjoyable? I adored the way they spoke, Newt particularly, and these words they all used because it just added to their character as well as to this world that we’re not familiar with. I know authors put these words in books to replace worse words and make it more suitable for young people and all that, but for me it really just made the Glade so much more interesting and the fact that Thomas didn’t recognise the words made me as a reader understand how Thomas felt not knowing anything about his old life or the new one he has to live in the Glade. It’s a very small aspect of the story, but made a big difference to me.

So, Simi, what are your thoughts on Thomas? Well that’s a great question. And the answer is: I don’t really know. He was likeable I guess, although it was infuriating at the beginning when he was asking loads of questions, then getting all worked up about it. I know if I went to the Glade, I’d be just as confused but bruh you don’t have to shout at people on every other page!! Maybe the author was trying to make us understand how confusing and aggravating it would be to lose all your memories and be dumped in the middle of a maze you’re forced to solve, but that didn’t stop it from annoying the french fries out of me. Buuuuut when he finally shut up I began to like his character a bit more. Although him and the girl, Teresa? Eh, I wasn’t really feeling it. Their relationship felt a bit awkward and angst-y and I didn’t like it much. Don’t get me wrong though, I did like Teresa and I’m excited to learn more about her. She reminded me a bit of Annabeth, the classic badass heroine who ‘don’t need no man’ (but still ends up with one… OH WELL).

And it wasn’t just the similarities between Teresa and Annabeth that gave me a hint of nostalgia…

Minho nodded and faced the crowd. “Be careful,” he said dryly. “Don’t die.”

“Great. We’re all bloody inspired,” Newt answered.

Sounds a bit familiar…

“Greeks!” Percy yelled. “Let’s, um, fight stuff!” They yelled like banshees and charged.

Memories… *sniffs*

Speaking of Newt and Minho (having a crisis because HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE MINHO PLEASE HELP); they were definitely my favourite characters, followed by Chuck. They were all just the cutest, Newt and Minho being all badass and confident and argh I love them soooo much, and Chuck was just adorable and so brave for his young age. All three were Thomas’ friends even when everyone else was against him… my squishy heart belongs to them all. And I know Alby, the leader, wasn’t that great a person, but I totally ship him and Newt to the end.

That ending… it was probably my least favourite part of the book because eh, it wasn’t exactly boring, I just didn’t like it much. I mean, that might have been because it BROKE MY SOUL (yes, I’ve become Voldemort). Many tears were shed, many hearts melted, MANY PEOPLE KILLED. I’m a river of feels. The River Simi, in fact. It may take me a few centuries and tubs of ice cream to recover.

Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ (9/10)

8 of the best (and worst) parents in the bookish world

Heyy bookdragons!

So, if there’s one person (or two) who can really influence and shape a character in a book, it’s their parents. I owe a lot to my parents because they made me the sweet little pineapple I am today and I’m very grateful because everyone loves pineapple, buuut what about parents in books?? Don’t they deserve some appreciation? Well yes, Bobby, they do indeed and today I’m giving a slice of my appreciation to, not only the best parents in books, but also the worst because neither can just be ignored now can they? And ’tis the season of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day so I couldn’t resist having a parentish themed post.

I’m sort of linking up – but not really because the linkup was weeks ago but oh well I’m slow when it comes to everything linkups – with Top Ten Tuesday, but I’m squishing two posts, best/worst mums and best/worst dads, together to create a list of the best/worst parents, 4 of each, because WHO HAS TIME TO DO TWO SEPARATE LISTS OF 10 WHEN THERE ARE COOKIES TO BE BAKED AND BOOKS TO BE EATEN. Now, less chattering and more, um, blabbering.

Warning: this post may contain spoilers for the books that these parents appear in, so don’t cry if you haven’t read Harry Potter and I spill the first names of the Weasley’s parents because it’s your fault, Arthur. I did warn you.

Hans and Rosa Hubermann (The Book Thief) – not only were they willing to take in a starving, pretty much homeless little girl – who steals food and books and Rudy’s heart – when they were already practically starving themselves, but they also managed to do the best job at being the cutest lil parents. Hans was the sweetest jelly bean, teaching Liesel how to read, and just being an all-round son of a babe. And Rosa, darling Rosa, had buckets of sass and feisty-ness but deep down she had the biggest heart and together they’re everything you want in a family.

Uncle Monty (The Reptile Room) – well this ‘parent’ needs no hesitation before being put on this list because we all want an Uncle Monty in our lives. A cake-loving man with a house full of snakes?? Seriously, what more could you want? Uncle Monty is the reason snakes are my favourite animal: he appreciated and loved them even with their reputation… And he also appreciated and loved the Baudelaires who sure needed some of his cake and care. This man is just an angel.

Hades (Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus) – I know there’re many great parents in these series – Percy’s mum and stepdad, Frank’s badass grandma – but can we please talk about Nico’s dad because this man needs some appreciation. Every godly parent in these series sucks but Hades? Can we just take a second to remember the time he gave Nico A ZOMBIE CHAUFFEUR because that’s what the ‘mortal parents’ do like I ACTUALLY CAN’T. He’s the cutest cheesecake with the squishiest heart for his offspring and I want to give both him and Nico a cuddle.

Molly and Arthur Weasley (Harry Potter) – well no bookdragon can deny this one. The Weasleys were basically family to Harry, as well as 7 OTHER CHILDREN like how did they not go insane?? I don’t even know how they managed to care for one Weasley child, being a poor family too. To me they seem quite similar to the Hubermanns, with calm and cute Arthur, and feisty but loving Molly, and they basically took Harry in and treated him like their own. Argh, my heart hath been melted. Also, they raised Fred and George? Bless them.

Edeltraut von Tannenberg (Star of Kazan) – I read The Star of Kazan a longgg time ago, but I do remember how much I disliked this woman. What kind of person pretends to be a poor orphan girl’s mother, for the sole purpose of snatching her fortune she was left by her cute old lady friend who died? I know you want to be like Count Olaf but woman can you please have some respect? No one can compare to Count Olaf and, seriously her friend just died and you want all her money. She doesn’t even deserve to be on my blog, but The Star of Kazan is an excellent book so I’ll allow it.

Lady Abbington (A Dream Not Imagined) – so this lady is just crazy. In my last post I reviewed A Dream Not Imagined so for my full opinion you can read that post, but in short: this woman is a physco. She abducted an innocent child just because of a grudge. This is only very slightly illegal? I think this woman might need some help. Her husband was pretty horrible too, as well as her daughters, but none of them was as bad as this woman. Like fair, she let Ellie go to the ball but SHE ALSO ABDUCTED ELLIE AS A CHILD, soooooo. And at the end she didn’t even apologise to Ellie. Urgh I spit on you, Lady Abbington.

The Mallahans (All the Wrong Questions) – these two aren’t as horrible as the others on this list, but they’re not exactly winning Best Parents of the Year. Moxie’s dad is lazy and depressed, which I get, his wife left him, but he could at least try to care for Moxie. If there’s one thing I hate in books, it’s when single parents basically neglect their children because they’re depressed and don’t even think twice about how their kids are feeling about losing a parent (e.g. Mimi’s dad). And Moxie’s mum isn’t much better: she ditched Moxie and her dad to become a snazzy journalist in the city and yet Moxie is still a babe and a half.

I stopped looking at her typewriter and looked at her eyes. Their colour was pretty interesting, too – a dark grey, like they’d once been black but somebody had washed them or perhaps had made her cry for a long time.

“My mother got a letter from the city and left for a job with another newspaper.”

“When are you joining her?” I asked.

Moxie looked quietly out the window for a moment, giving me an idea about who had made her cry.

If that doesn’t break your heart I don’t know what will.

The King of Bamarre (The Two Princesses of Bamarre) – I can’t even put into words how much I dislike this guy. I mean yeah, it’s hard, your wife died so you’re stuck with two girls and a whole kingdom to care for, but I was kind of expecting you to actually try to do a good job of it instead of lazing around, not taking care of your daughters, or you know, that kingdom on your doorstep. When Meryl got sick he didn’t even care and when Addie went out to save her sister instead? Didn’t give two hoots. He’s just a wimp who doesn’t care about his family and argh I do not likey.

So there you have it folks, the best and worst parents, in my opinion, in the bookish world. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go bake some cookies and eat some books.

Who’re your favourite/least favourite bookish parents? Do you agree with mine? Lettuce discuss.

My first ever fairytale retelling??

A Dream Not Imagined ~ Shantelle Mary Hannu

Heyy y’all, today I’m reviewing A Dream Not Imagined which I’ve wanted to read for so long now, mainly because I don’t think I’ve ever read a Cinderella retelling, or any fairytale retelling for that matter. I wanted so badly to check one out because I love fairytales (blame Disney) sooooo here I am, reviewing, as far as I’m aware, my first ever fairytale retelling. Cue flailing, excited screaming of Disney songs and maybe a few flying glass slippers here and there…

Ellie Abbington has always wanted more than her dull life as a maid for her upper class family, has always longed to escape and live happily ever after, far from her stepmother and stepsisters. And it looks like her dream might come true, very soon… When a handsome prince arrives in town, Ellie seizes her chance to meet him with hopes that he might, just might, be her escape. But it just so happens that her stepsisters are after the very same prince and a ball is being thrown so that the prince can select a wife. How can Ellie compete with her wealthy sisters? However, when Ellie is permitted by her stepmother to attend the ball, all hopes of a happily ever after are crushed by the prince himself, a man who is not all Ellie thought he would be. Who is there left to trust now that her dreams have been ruined? Distraught at the turnout of the ball, Ellie is confronted by an elderly maid who encourages her to turn to God instead. Following the wise maid’s advice, Ellie puts her trust in God, and her life begins to change…

So, I didn’t hugely like this book. I liked how, by the end, Ellie realised that having a rich husband isn’t the most important thing in the world, so I guess there’s a good message behind it all, but I didn’t really like the actual plot or the characters.

In regards to the storyline, it was original with the horrible Prince Charming and the charming peasant boy; buuut still predictable. I felt like the whole ‘duchess’ concept was just included to emphasise how awful the prince really was, but otherwise was pretty unnecessary.

Ellie’s backstory wasn’t wholly believable either. Um, who abducts an innocent child just because their father rejected you, even though what you had was only a fling?? I honestly think Lady Abbington (Ellie’s stepmother) is insane. And Lord Abbington, wasn’t much better. I thought this was going to be a pretty lighthearted, squishy lil romance, with a twist on the original tale, but the writer literally says that Lord Abbington abused Ellie. The worst part is that it was only subtly slipped in once, and then there was nothing else said on the matter. He could be sent to prison for assault, but Ellie didn’t seem phased by it at all throughout the story. I just think that, if you’re not going to put some emotion and maybe a bit of detail on how it really impacted Ellie, then there’s no point just adding the fact that she was abused as a side note.

Ellie instinctively jumped back and grabbed for a weapon, remembering Thomas Abbington’s tendency for physical violence toward her.

That’s literally all it said. No elaboration whatsoever.

And the Duke? He was just annoying and pushy and, in my opinion, wasn’t much of an improvement from the Abbingtons.

Also the Prince was THE WORST but he obviously has to be that way for the sake of the story. I liked how him being horrible was proof to Ellie that some dreams, like marrying rich princes, really aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. The Prince wasn’t the classic gentleman and, although I didn’t like him at all, I liked the twist on his character. Buuuut then that handed the charming role over to Rowen, the peasant boy. I know he was sweet, but he seemed almost unrealistically kind to Ellie that he did slightly annoy me, which sounds a bit pathetic, I know. Although I can’t really complain because he was probably the only good character. What I did want was a little more backstory on him. I know the book is a novella, but Rowen was a pretty underdeveloped character and just seemed to me the sweet lil guy to fill in the gap for the classic ‘happily ever after’. Also, rushing into things much at the end?? But, again, it’s a novella, I GET IT PEEPS.

What about Ellie herself, you ask? Well, I know she’s a maid and is allowed crazy, ambitious dreams, but there are better dreams than just marrying a wealthy, handsome prince. Although I liked how her dreams changed, she still seemed slightly simple minded and dull throughout. I definitely wanted more on the stepsisters though. And, um, where did the other maids go?? It’s a novella, I KNOW, but I wish the writer had focused more on developing the secondary characters instead of the whole ‘duchess’ backstory.

Overall, it was a lil dull in places, with a pretty cheesy romance that was slightly predictable BUT I didn’t completely hate the book!! It did have an enjoyable writing style – meaning that I’d definitely read another one of the author’s books – it was just this particular story that I didn’t like very much. It has, however, prompted me to find more retellings so YAY.

Which retelling should I read next? Have you read A Dream Not Imagined? If you haven’t, then do immediately right now straight away and tell me whether you like it or not! Spill all the thoughts.

Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣ (5/10)

Is watching the film before reading the book punishable by death??

Heyy bookdragons.

YES, THE TRAIN HATH FINALLY ARRIVED AND MY ‘LETTUCE DISCUSS’ POSTS ARE HERE!! Let’s all have a doughnut to celebrate! Today we shall be discussing whether watching the film before reading the book can be acceptable, in my opinion.

(By the way, if you hadn’t noticed yet, I love food, hence my blog name Booked to Perfection (like cooked to perfection heheh I am pun king) and of course the name of my new discussion posts, Lettuce Discuss because I LIKE LETTUCE OK?? Plants and I have a very close relationship.)

Now lettuce start this post before it flees the country or eats all of the lettuce in my fridge.

So, my question: is watching the film before reading the book punishable by death?

Most bookish humans would say “yes, you traitor” and throw me off a mountain. Buuuuut, is it really betrayal? Does it actually matter which you do first? Why do most people think that it does matter??

I want to start off by saying that, personally, I’m not against watching the film first because, well, I do a lot.


Here are just a few of the books that I read after watching the films:

I don’t think I disliked a single book on this list, so… does watching the film first really make any difference to the way you see the book? Here are a list of reasons why I think watching the film first can be acceptable.

films are a lot easier to advertise than books

For me this means that I’m more likely to discover the film before the book because films are allll over the place: on transport, on TV, on social media, in magazines… but books are advertised less in public and more in the sphere of book lovers, so won’t necessarily be seen around and about as much as films.

Obviously discovering the film first doesn’t happen with every single book I read, but it does happen a lot. Sometimes watching the film first can be purely accidental if you found it before you found the book; for me this is especially true when I watched films as a child and didn’t even know how to read yet, so I didn’t have much choice, I just stared for hours on end at the meaningless words. I wasted so many of my smol years desperately wanting to know what those weird jumbled up letters really meant… *sniffs*

going into books blind is difficult for me


If I know what roughly happens in the book because I’ve seen the film, then I can read it with no surprises because I am NOT a fan of surprises, people. I DO NOT LIKE. If there are any surprises, I’d have already experienced them watching the film in which they wouldn’t have hit me as hard, because we all know books are better when it comes to surprises.

And yes, some of you will probably think that films just spoil the surprises, maybe by changing a few lil details, or by ruining the entire plot of the book altogether.

But, as I said before, I don’t mind spoilers (well… to an extent) because in a film they’re not explained in much detail so I might not even fully understand the ‘surprise’ until I read the book and I’m not completely smacked in the face with shock. Watching the film first also means that, when I do read the book, I don’t have to skip ahead or look up any spoilers online because yes, I’M THAT PERSON. I have skipping ahead syndrome. Cry for me.

watching a bad film is better than reading a bad book

Films aren’t as precious to me as books are because I am a smol pineapple who loves to read books. I still love films, especially the Disney kind, but books are more important to me, which is why I don’t like reading books that I don’t like; and reviewing bad books is DIFFICULT, peeps. Basically when I watch a bad film, it isn’t a big deal for me. But I hate hate hate reading bad books!! From the film I can get a good inclination of whether the book will be good or not and whether I should read it.

Of course, as most bookworms know, this isn’t always true because films can just be horrible and not give books any justice (*cough* Percy Jackson), but what we have to remember is that the film and the book shouldn’t be identical in every single way, because they’re separate pieces of art and should be treated that way. Books and films are completely different things, so why compare them so much?? Doing something different and exciting, as well as roughly keeping to the plot and the characters is what I like to see in a film. I think the reason so many bookworms don’t like film adaptations is because of their expectations from the book, but if you watch the film first, you can enjoy it without high standards you’d have reading the book first.

That, my cheese pasties, is why I think watching the film first can be acceptable. I’m not saying I always watch the film first, because most of the books I read are more underrated so don’t have films adaptations. But I do enjoy watching films, and believe that they’re a great way to advertise books, so if there’s a film of the book, I’m more likely to read it.

Of course, I completely understand why a lot of people disagree with watching the film first, mainly for the bad acting, especially with kids in YA adapted films, who can completely ruin a book whether you watch the film first or not. I know that some plot changes and cut scenes can also give you a negative opinion of books.

But, let’s be real here, books will always always hold a special place in my heart, as well as every other bookworm’s, due to their beauty and detail and lovable characters and twisting plots and the chance they give to let one’s imagination run wild and explore new worlds… I guess films can’t really give to you what books can because you can’t imagine for yourself, but neither can you argue that films don’t have their own beauty. This post is getting really flimsy, I’m sorry.

Thank you all for reading! I really hope you like this post, and if not, please feel free to give me some tips in the comments, as well as chat with me about all things books and films. Do you agree with me? What are your favourite film adaptations? Lettuce discuss.

Cover reveal ~ Lightporter by C.B. Cook

Hey bookworms. Today I’m just doing a short post but it’s an exciting one!! Your kitten socks just fell off it’s so exciting. Yes, it’s really happening, Lightporter by C.B. Cook is about to be released!! BUT NOT YET SO STOP SQUEALING. However you can squeal a teeny bit because the cover has just been released and it’s beautiful argh I love it. Firstly, here is its brother, Twinepathy.


I like the first book cover, but just look at this one. LOOK AT IT. It’s simple and distinguished and the colours are so so beautiful. I love how the mask has taken a more cunning sort of look, if you know what I mean. ARGH IT JUST SO PRETTY.

I feel like I’m not worthy to be posting this because, although I have Twinepathy on my kindle, I am yet to read it. Treacherous, I know. But my excuse is that I’m awaiting the release of Lightporter so I can read them back-to-back, as is my habit.

Goodreads: Twinepathy and Lightporter

Amazon: Twinepathy (and for fellow Brits, here’s the Amazon UK link)

C.B. Cook: blog, pinterest, goodreads

IDIA: pinterest (group board)


Mini reviews ~ Michael Morpurgo

Heyy all. This month I decided to read a few of the gazillion Morpurgo books that have been waiting on my bookshelf to be read for a couple decades because they were feeling a bit unloved. The ones I read are more like stories actually being told to you than books, which makes them all pretty short, so I’m doing mini reviews for them in one post. Hope you enjoy!

Little Manfred

Who knew that one small wooden dog could have so much history behind it? When two mysterious men turn up on a beach, young Charley and Alex are determined to find out how their lives have intersected before. But for that, they will need to go back twenty years, to WWII and the people from opposing sides of the war that it brought together.

I read this book a long time ago and adored it, and still do now. It’s just such an incredible story of the war and, through all of its horrors, the smidgen of good that came out of it. The book is told in different parts: how the two pairs meet, the story the two men tell the children, their reunion with the children’s mother, and how after so many years, they can all finally let their wounds of the past heal. As we all know, I love a good war book with flashbacks and individual stories of how the war impacted people in so many different ways. A wonderful story told with wonderful illustrations. Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ (8/10)

Billy the Kid

80-year-old Billy is sitting on a park bench, watching a football match and reminiscing about the days when he was out there, on the pitch, scoring goals for Chelsea. That was before he was torn from his home and family to the terrors of war. From playing football to the chants of “Billy, Billy the Kid!” to kicking a ball around with fellow soldiers in a prisoner-of-war camp, Billy never loses the hope of some day returning to the pitch. But to do that, he has to escape the camp and wander across Italy’s countryside to France, to the Americans, to safety, and it’s going to take more than a few football tricks to achieve.

Even though it’s about football which I’m not particularly a fan of, this book was probably my favourite of the four, maybe because it was just about one person and their experiences. I know most of these books don’t have very many characters either, but this book felt a lot more personal and I liked that. Billy told the whole truth, his flaws and his strengths, although there wasn’t much room for emotion, which is the one thing really missing from a book about war and life and death and family and friendship; but I shall accept it because in this type of story when it’s being told to you, there isn’t meant to be much emotion. Also, the young couple who let Billy live in their house after the war were so squishy-hearted and I’d love a lil story on how they met and their lives as kids and all that. I must write to Morpurgo immediately. Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ (8/10)

The Dancing Bear

This is the tale of an orphan girl who finds a bear cub in the mountains where she lives, and the story of them growing up together. When a film crew arrive to shoot a music video in the village where they live, the now very large, grizzly bear is asked to dance in it. But how can you persuade a bear to dance?

This book was the shortest and because of that, it was probably my least favourite? The characters were slightly dull, but maybe that was just because there wasn’t much space for them to grow, in a sense. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable though; the drawings were beautiful and I loved how the story was told. Bruno, the bear, was the cutest and I want a pet bear please now so we can run away together, into the mountains and escape the horrible human things of the world. BEARS ARE JUST SO CUTE ARGH. I mean, when they’re not, you know, trying to eat your face and all. Overall, this is a beautiful but sad little tale of friendship told in a lovely way, as expected from Morpurgo. Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ (7/10)

Farm Boy

Young, um do they even tell us his name? I honestly don’t think he has one. I shall just call him Phil. So, young Phil feels most at home when he’s on his Grandpa’s farm down in Devon, driving his Grandpa’s tractor. But there’s a deeper meaning to why this tractor is the pride and joy of the family, and Phil is longing to discover what it is. Grandpa’s stories have always been one of his favourite things, along with raindrops on roses, obviously, and this summer, Grandpa might just tell him a tale, or even two, that he’ll never forget.

YES I KNOW THIS IS THE SEQUEL TO WAR HORSE WHICH I HAVEN’T READ BECAUSE I’M AN AWFUL HUMAN BEING. But who even needs to read War Horse when you can read Farm Boy in which Phil’s Grandpa basically summarises it in 10 pages at the start?? If you’re confused, Phil’s Grandpa is the son of Albert from War Horse, and Farm Boy, thought it never specifies when it’s set, is probably sometime in the 21st century. I love Devon and all things to do with farms seeing as farms and I have a close connection and always end up living very close to one another? So we know each other intimately. I also loved the characters and (mild spoiler) how Phil taught his Grandpa to read and it was just the cutest lil thing because I love my grandparents and there is a lot of grandparent appreciation in this. YAY FOR GRANDPARENT APPRECIATION. Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ (8/10)

There you have it peoples! I feel like shorter books like these are more difficult to review than larger books because there really isn’t much to talk about?? But I did still enjoy these stories. Short and sweet, right? What do you think about short stories?