The The Glass Castle #BookReview #ChildrensLit

glasscastleTitle: The Glass Castle
Author: Trisha Priebe & Jerry B. Jenkins
Series: Unknown (but must be!)
Format: Digital ARC, 256 pages
Publication Details: March 1st 2016 by Shiloh Run Press
Genre(s): Children’s; Fantasy
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free, advanced copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads

The king is growing old and is concerned about who will replace him. His new wife wants to produce an heir to the throne.  The only problem? Thirteen years ago, the king’s first wife gave birth to a son, and no one knows for sure what happened to him. Rumors swirl throughout the castle. The solution as simple: dispose of all the thirteen-year-olds in the kingdom. Except, it isn’t that easy. Avery and her friends won’t go quietly.  

Avery, Kate, Tuck, and Kendrick take charge of the underground network of kidnapped children, inspiring them to believe that their past does not dictate their future and pledging to do the hardest thing of all. . .reunite the children with the homes they left behind.  When they discover that one among them might be the child of a man who wants them dead, will everything they work for be lost?

Review

‘The setting from The Chronicles of Narnia meets the action from Alice in Wonderland, was the description from Netgalley which propelled me to hit that shiny request button. I’m not entirely sure I agree with said description after reading the book, but I certainly don’t regret it. 

The Glass Castle centres around Avery who along with her brother is kidnapped by a scary old woman and taken to the King’s castle where she finds a whole band of other children her age, all of whom have gone through the same thing as she.

In time Avery discovers that the King is intent on disposing of all the 13 year old orphans because his first-born may have survived and could one day claim the throne and all that comes with it. But, Avery isn’t like the others. For starters she’s not an orphan so what is she doing there? And how does it relate to her own beloved necklace which she sees in a royal portrait hanging in the castle?

I liked a lot of things about The Glass Castle. It felt quite old fashioned (which I found strangely refreshing); it was certainly reminiscent of Narnia in that way, even if it didn’t quite live up to it – but I mean, what does!? I liked the mystery surrounding Avery and her necklace, and I warmed to her character straight away.

 The old woman has hid the children in the castle to save them. Where better to hide them than right under the King’s nose? It was a bit of a leap for me to believe that all of these children can go so easily unnoticed in the castle yet participate so much in the running of it. The book explains that certain children are ‘scouts’ who run around the castle monitoring the adult’s movements and ringing bells to warn the children to move into another part of the castle. 

I really liked this idea, and often wanted to follow the scouts more than Avery. It had such good potential for some exciting near misses but they weren’t utilised enough. I felt like my favourite parts of this story were sadly unexplored. I needed more peril and more romance to make this a truly unputdownable read. 

However, The Glass Castle was a fun, quick read with the potential for much more. It was definitely required to suspend your disbelief in certain parts and not look at it from an adult point of view (not something I usually struggle with tbh) in order to fully enjoy this tale, but then, that’s the joy of Children’s literature is it not?

unicorn rating 3

 

Top Ten Tuesday: I don’t think we should be friends…

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Ten Characters You Just Didn’t Click With

Oh OK, that’s how it is, is it?

Hmm this topic is so hard because it’s hard to remember those characters you didn’t really get on with as compared to those that you love and want to be your BFF! But I’m going to give this a go…

Celeste (The Selection series by Kiera Cass): Yeah OK, so she turned good in the end but even then I just couldn’t!

Rosalie (The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer): Again, she got better as the series went on but it was too little too late for my liking. Plus, she’s way too beautiful to stand next to me. Go away!

Edmund & Lucy (The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis): Ugh these two. Edmund was an idiot and made me furious a lot, and Lucy was sweet but a bit too whiny. I much preferred Susan and Peter from the early books.

Natalie (Sixteen Sixty-One by Natalie Lucas): I just couldn’t get on with how stupid Natalie was to allow herself to get into the horrible situations she did – her age was not a good enough excuse!

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Oliver Gooch (Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory): Oliver was such a strange, troubled character…I’m not sure I could handle being his friend, but I would like to visit his gothic bookshop!

Jorg (Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence): We’re really not supposed to like Jorg, but even as a anti-hero he didn’t do it for me. I never want to meet him!

Tally (The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld): Man, she was irritating. I really enjoyed this early dystopian series but for most of it I didn’t get on with Tally at all. We made friends by the end though.

Violet Lee (The Dark Heroine series by Abigail Gibbs): Violet was fearless bordering on stupidity and a bit self-involved so I’m not sure we’d get on.

Peter Pan (by J.M Barrie): Oh Peter. He’s the ultimate bad boy isn’t he? He promises the world with his magic and adventure but HE WILL NEVER LOVE YOU! SOB! Poor Wendy.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books/Authors that made me a reader.

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week. This week the topic is Top Ten books or authors that we credit with our bookishness.

It’s quite hard to single out just 10 books/authors that I attribute to my love of reading but there have definitely been a few significant periods of my life which got me into, or spurred on my obsession love of books.

Childhood Favourites

Roald Dahl: I have a feeling Dahl will be on a lot of people’s lists this week. His books were definitely the first to really capture my imagination and made me realise how much fun reading can be. The Twits was always my favourite, still is.

E. Nesbit: I first discovered E. Nesbit from seeing a film of The Railway Children which my mum loved. I was never such a huge fan, but that led me to 5 Children and It which remains one of my all-time favourites. And it wasn’t until much later that I came across The Enchanted Castle, which is probably what kick-started my love of castles just as much as the next book(s) on the list.

The Chronicles of Narnia: I didn’t truly love these books until after I’d seen the (now hilarious) low-budget BBC adaptation which I still watch now again for a laugh. Thinking about it, TV and Films were strangely enough what got me into reading a lot of the time.

Lewis Carroll: Again, I have a film to thank for my love of this one. I definitely saw the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland first and I think it took me until my college years to be able to actually appreciate the book.

Those pesky teenage years

Point Horror/ R.L Stine: By the time I was 12/13 I don’t think I was reading much at all. It wasn’t cool to read. And it definitely wasn’t cool to read the kind of books I wanted to read. But somewhere along the line I’d developed a love of horror, and when I discovered the point horror series, it was suddenly OK to be a reader again. R.L Stine’s were always the best!

L.J Smith: I can still remember getting a free copy of Secret Vampire with one of the girly magazines I used to buy – I think it was Mizz or something – and I LOVED it so much, I just used to read it over and over. I didn’t even think to look for anymore of her books, I was content with just that one tiny one. Weird. This was probably where my love of vampires came from too. L.J Smith has a lot to answer for.

Music Biographies: It wasn’t always about books for me. When I was well into my teenage years I more interested in music than anything else. I picked up books now and again but music was always more important. I was interested the history of music (I’d gotten good taste off my mum who played David Bowie, T-Rex and Rick Astley (LOL – OK I didn’t appreciate that last one) around the house and I started getting biographies from the library. I was mainly into the sixties, and remember loving ones on The Byrds and Syd Barrett.

Full Circle

Darren Shan: In my twenties, I went to Uni to study creative writing and journalism which also involved a lot of English Lit classes and I realised how much I hate being told what to read. I always did the bare minimum but got through it fine anyway. And I would literally read anything that wasn’t on my syllabus. Bad Student. That’s pretty much when I started reading again, and The Saga of Darren Shan was the first series I really got into.

Twilight: You all knew it was coming right? I remember the first time I saw Twilight in Borders (RIP Borders 😦 ) It had its own display and everything, and I knew from the cover that I needed it. I didn’t even need to read the blurb. I never looked back. And as trashy as it is, Twilight is without a doubt what got me back into YA fiction, and reading as obsessively as I do now. Plus it was the first series that I read where I was counting down the days until the next book was released….sad but true.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Was *Forced* to Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the theme is Top Ten books you were ‘forced’ to read, whether it’s required reading or books that friends or family have encouraged you to read.

I was never big on required reading, and would usually just pretend that I’d read the books I was supposed to at school. Such a rebel, yeah. But I did read some of the ones I was supposed to, and here are my favourites. Followed by the books I read, or was read to as a child…no forcing necessary there; they are all awesome!

Top 5 Books I had to read to for school

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  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry: I would love to read this again. It was very affecting.
  • Hamlet: Probably my favourite Shakespeare play.  I can still remember the first time I was introduced to Ophelia!
  • Of Mice and Men: I haven’t read this for years. So heartbreaking!
  • The Bloody Chamber: I’m not sure if I had to read this for college or Uni, but either way I’m glad I did.
  • Enduring Love: This was one of the stand-out books I read for my Eng Lit class in college.

Top 5 Books from Childhood

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  • The Twits: This is the most memorable Dahl book for me. I still love it.
  • Naughty Amelia Jane: I read A LOT of Enid Blyton when I was little. This series was my fave though, closely followed by The Faraway Tree books.
  • Silly Verse for Kids: I did a Favourites Friday post on this here. Love love love. RIP Spike Milligan
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: I actually saw the BBC adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe before I read these books. Words cannot express how much I love this series. In all its forms.
  • Green Eggs and Ham: I can remember loving this book so much, and thinking how gross green eggs sounded! I would love to read this again.

Top Ten Tuesday #1 (Castles)

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This is my first ever Top Ten Tuesday post! I’ve been meaning to jump on the wagon for a while…better late than never. Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting.

This week’s topic was Top Ten Books With X Setting and I’ve decided to go for my Top Ten books with a castle setting (or at least featuring a castle)…because, y’know, I’m a bit obsessed with castles. Click on the images to go their Goodread pages.

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1. The Enchanted Castle – E. Nesbit A rose garden, a maze and an enchanted castle…what’s not to like.

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2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardbrobe – C.S Lewis Two castles for the price of one! There’s the White Witch’s icy castle with ‘long pointed spires, sharp as needles’, and Cair Paravel with its four empty thrones.

1911374 3. King Arthur and his Knights at the Round Table Camelot is clearly the king of all castles!
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4. The Neverending Story – Michael Ende The Ivory Tower definitely counts as a castle, right?

14976 5. Return to Labyrinth – Jake T. Forbes I LOVE this Manga series of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. The Castle beyond the Goblin City is epic!

13519397 6. Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas The protagonist Celeana thought the idea of a glass castle was ridiculous – I think it’s amazing.


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7. Seraphina – Rachel Hartman The Kingdom of Goredd not only has a beautiful castle but also some pretty unique Dragons.

7180320 8. Castle of Shadows – Ellen Renner I’ve only read the first book in this series but I loved it. The Royal Castle of Quale is as grand as it sounds.

1635042 9. Beauty & the Beast I’ve had this book for years and it’s every bit as beautiful as the film.

237012 10. The 10th Kingdom – Kathryn Wesley I love this book, it brings so many different fairy tales together set in a fantasy world and also modern day New York.

What would be in your top ten books featuring castles? Leave a comment with your TTT link!