Winged Reviews A UK young adult book blog for those a little bit older.

2015 TBR Challenge – April

2015 TBR Challenge – April

2015 TBR Challenge

If you aren’t aware, I will be doing a TBR Challenge for 2015! It’s a little bit more unique as it involves 12 different challenges – and I’ll be doing one a month. Read more about the different challenges in the introduction post.

Last month, my challenge was to ‘Read a Series Finale’, and I picked Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. I had really high hopes for this as I loved the first two books in the series. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint! For all my (non-spoiler) thoughts, read my review of Dreams of Gods and Monsters!

2015 TBR Challenge

April – Read a Graphic Novel or Manga


I was really excited to get this! It’s not really a challenge for me, since I started reading Amazing Spider-man when I was 13 and spent the better part of my late-teens/early-twenties with a substantial pull list at my local comic book shop. But recently, I’ve discovered Image Comics and the wonder that is Saga and its reignited my love of graphic novels past the normal Marvel/DC fare.

This is a great month for me to catch up on some graphic novels I own but haven’t read. So I’m going to try to read as many of them as possible this month:





Have you read any of these graphic novels? Which ones are you excited about?

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Countdown to 7 May: Guest Post from Esme Kerr

Countdown to 7 May: Guest Post from Esme Kerr


Guest Post from Esme Kerr

On Boarding Schools

The main thing I remember about boarding school was that there was no escape from your so-called friends, even when you hated them. But I also remember some girls who preferred school to home: they didn’t mind not escaping their friends because they were so relieved to escape their families! This is the story of Edie in The Glass Bird Girl. But in the second book, Midnight at Mischief, there is an unruly new girl in the second year called Janet and she seems unable to leave her home troubles behind her. She has been sent to boarding school because her mother is working abroad and her father is not capable of looking after her himself. Janet rebels against the school, and wants to escape by getting herself expelled, but Edie – who has been entrusted by the headmistress to keep an eye on Janet – tries to persuade her that boarding school is an escape in itself.

Janet is scathing of Edie’s apparent acceptance of all the peculiar rules and ways of Knight’s Haddon, but for the orphaned Edie the school is the first safe haven she has ever known. Before being sent there, she had been taught at home by her bad-tempered grandmother, and then, when her grandmother went blind, had been sent to live with her bullying cousins in Devon who terrorized her on their quad bikes and made her eat her pet fish. Boarding school, as Edie tries to convince Janet, can be a blessed relief.

But some readers may sympathize with Janet’s rebellious streak, for Knight’s Haddon’s rules will strike many as archaic. But they are all drawn from my own experiences of school – the drawer searches, the letters home, the shopping trips that offered a brief taste of freedom on a Saturday afternoon … after so many years the memories still remain vivid. And at Knight’s Haddon the rules are part of the school’s mystery – it is an enclosed world, where friendships and fallouts are all the more intense. There is a bell for bedtime, but none for going home. The experience of school is all-encompassing.

About Mischief at Midnight

Mischief at Midnight by Esme Kerr

There’s a new girl in class at Knight’s Haddon, and she isn’t like anyone the other girls have ever met before. Janet is cool and confident, so Edie is thrilled when they become friends – and when her friendship with Anastasia becomes rocky, Janet is there for her. But when a mischief begins to unfold, Edie begins to think Janet may not be all she seems – and suddenly events take a dangerous turn.

About Esme Kerr

Esme Kerr went to ten schools and studied History at Oxford and Cambridge. She has three children, two dogs, three cats and four fish and only comes alive when writing.

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Bookish Firsts: Taran Matharu

Bookish Firsts: Taran Matharu

Bookish Firsts Banner

I’m so pleased to welcome debut author and Wattpad superstar Taran Matharu! His book The Novice, first in The Summoner series has been personally sold to me by Taran as Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings, meets Pokemon. Plus, it’s got an incredible cover. I have a feeling this book will go on to be extremely successful, even more than the millions of Wattpad reads!

The Novice by Taran Matharu


Bookish Firsts

With author Taran Matharu

What is the first book you ever read/remember reading?
The first book I remember reading was Mossflower, by Brian Jacques. It was a particularly thick book for me at the time, which is why it sticks out in my mind. I remember this epic front cover which had a ship with a fish skull figurehead. I devoured it in two days and spent the rest of the week hunting for more of his books in the school library and the various book shelves of the classrooms around our school.

What is the first book your wrote (can be published or unpublished)?
The first book I wrote was started when I was nine and continued writing until I was around eleven. It was about the fight against an evil witch called Widower, who wanted to take over the land. The heroes were a family called the Wizswords, lead by the wizard Nilrem and his grandsons, Narat and Revilo.

The most interesting part of that book was Nilrem’s allies, the ant people, who stood at about an inch high and had an entire civilisation of their own, riding bees, grasshoppers and beetles and building their own tiny roads and houses on his lawn. I still think there is something to that, I love that idea.

thedescentIt’s funny, my mother is still adores the book and thinks it’s publishable! Every now and again she pesters me about putting it online or showing it to someone. She will always be my biggest fan.

What is the first book you recommend to anyone you meet?
The first book I ever recommend is rather unusual, I only do it to lovers of science fiction and post apocalyptic writing, otherwise I might think of something different.

It’s a book called “The Descent” by Jeff Long, which is sadly out of print. It’s a very interesting concept, about the discovery of a deep network of tunnels and caverns, hundreds of miles below the earth. There is a species of people living down there, distantly related to our own, who have been kidnapping and enslaving our people for millennia. It is a story of war, discovery, politics and religious zealotry, following a group of intrepid explorers as they try and map out the terrain below.

I thoroughly recommend it for the concept alone, but the writing is excellent and the characters are very strong.

About The Summoner

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

About Taran Matharu

Taran colour portraitTaran Matharu was born in London in 1990 to a Brazilian mother and Indian father. His love of stories developed into a desire to create his own at a very early age, writing his first book at nine-years-old. At the age of 22, after graduating with a first class degree in Business Administration, Matharu began to write Summoner; the success of this novel on Wattpad convinced Matharu to launch his professional writing career. He is currently working on the second book in the Summoner series.

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Cover Reveal: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Cover Reveal: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Cover Reveal button

I’m so excited to share with you the UK cover for Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes. This has been one of my most anticipated reads ever since HarperVoyager teased us with pretty fliers earlier this year. So without further ado…!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The US cover has already been revealed and looks quite epic, but I like the simplicity and sparks of the UK cover. Also, I’m hoping for a shiny treatment on the text!

What do you think of the UK cover of the book? Are you excited to read this debut?

About An Ember in the Ashes

For years Laia has lived in fear. Fear of the Empire, fear of the Martials, fear of truly living at all. Born as a Scholar, she’s never had much of a choice. But when Laia’s brother is taken she must force herself to help the Resistance, the only people who have a chance of saving him. She must spy on the Commandant, ruthless and deadly overseer of Blackcliff Academy.

Elias is the Academy’s finest soldier – and secretly it’s most unwilling. He has seen too much at on his path to becoming a Mask, one of the Empire’s elite warriors and is desperate to escape the Academy. If he succeeds, he will be named deserter. If found, the punishment will be death.

With the Masks’ help the Empire has conquered a continent and enslaved thousands, all in the name of power. Now they must find a new Emperor to rule over them. And before Elias can escape he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to the death that will decide the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

In the ashes of a broken world one person can make a difference. One voice in the dark can be heard. The price of freedom is always high. Sometimes it’s life itself.

About Sabaa Tahir

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. Find out more on her website.

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We Won’t Be Intimidated Reading Challenge: Join Us!

We Won’t Be Intimidated Reading Challenge: Join Us!

Not too long ago I was on Twitter and posted a simple status asking if I was the only book lover/blogger who owned books that intimidated them. I mentioned how much I want to read these particular books but they really scare me. I said that I was afraid I won’t love them, I won’t get the hype behind them, or I just won’t understand them.

That’s when Jill from The O.W.L. and Andi from Andi’s ABCs jumped in the conversation. To my surprise I found out I was NOT ALONE! A lot of others had at least one book (or more) that they owned but where scared/intimidated to read.

That is when Jill proposed the amazing idea of having a challenge to address this! I was all over this. I believed it was a fantastic idea – to challenge people to read the book(s) that intimidate them. We have decided to call it:

We Won't Be Intimidated banner

If you are up for this challenge, all you need to do is pick a book that “scares” or “intimidates” you in some way, read and review it. 

Challenge Details

  • You must read and review at least one book that scares you in some way
  • You must write an intro post declaring your intent to participate.  In this post you need to name the book(s) and why it scares you!
  • Link up your reviews so we can all see how it went.
  • Enter the giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter (to come later) with a link to your review(s)
  • The challenge will run the whole month of April, and as long as you do all of the above you can join at any time during the month

Prizes will be given at after the challenge month has been completed! But please, don’t let this be the main reason you participate. Please try to challenge yourself to read at least one book that scares you.

If you have any comments about the challenge, just let me know in the comments below. Hope you enjoy challenging yourself this April!

Link up your intent to participate posts below.  The Rafflecopter will come later!

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