Tag Archives: young adult market

R. S. Vern – two ebook reviews

The following two books have been read and reviewed on behalf of the Kindle Book Review


Haee The cat with a crooked tail (Haee and the other middlings)

This is an interesting book, focusing on the ideas of need versus want, what is self-fulfillment and exploring our motivations.

Its a short read, interspersed with beautiful images of Haee and the other characters.

I’m not sure that I really ‘got’ this book on the first read, and I suspect it is one of those books that you can turn to again and again and find different things, dependent upon your mood.

it is thought provoking as we see the human characters stuck in a life they think they should lead, rather than perhaps the one they want to lead. I suspect that a young adolescent would take the most from this book as they sit at a crossroad in life, making choices that will impact their future.

All in all an intriguing, well designed ebook. It is well edited and a well thought out and put together package.

The second book… The Unconventional Life of Haee (Haee and the other middlings)
Another wonderfully illustrated book from R.S. Vern, again following the life of Haee, the middling cat….

This book again observes those that are not quite pursuing a ‘normal’ life but also looks at the consequences of everyone being a middling… it doesn’t quite work, everyone (and thing) has a place in the world, and they contribute, each in their own way, no matter how trivial that contribution may be!

The images in the book are again wonderful, and really capture the idea of Haee and his other friends.

Certainly a quick and easy read that will provoke different ideas each time you pause to read it.


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Filed under 4 Star, Book Review

Mental – Sherry Ashworth

Read    11 – 12 February 2012

My rating          4 / 5

Format Kindle

This book was read for and on behalf of the Kindle Book Review.

‘Mental’ by Sherry Ashworth follows the mental breakdown of Luke, and is told with the voices of Luke, Katie (his sister) and Jamie, a friend. I’m told the book is aimed at the young adult market, but I think that most adults will find this a fascinating, and disturbing insight into life with mental illness.

The book is well paced and the voices of the three characters, Jamie, Katie and Luke are brilliant and individual, each providing an insight into their take on the situations. The book is written from the point of view of teenagers , but their fears and prejudices are the same as adults.

I found the book to be disturbing and frightening in places, and that is testament to Ashworth’s writing style, she really made you feel for Katie as she faced her brother’s behaviour alone. In the midst of all this, there are the usual teenager feelings of chasing boys, trying to keep in with the ‘it crowd’ and some brief exploration of family dynamics.

I had hoped that this book would de-stigmatise mental health issues a little more, and I almost feel like an epilogue some 6 months later might have been a nice way to end the book. I’ve read the book at a time when I’ve seen and hear lots of TV and radio adverts that are seeking to take the fear out of mental illness and to seek to get people to reach out to those who have been ill. Whilst this book does air some of the issues and social stigmas that go with mental health problems, I feel it stopped just a little short.

Those who read my reviews regularly will know that I am a bit of a stickler for editing and the finish of ebooks. This is the second title by ACHUKA books and I am pleased to say that the editing and finish is far better than that of their first publication, The Field. The pesky left paragraph is now at the normal width and the typing/grammar errors seem to be corrected, although Auntie Meg is referred to as Aunt, Auntie and Aunty which was a little irritating! The other thing I have noticed is that AHUKA books are giving their ebooks that same style of cover – what do you think? Is it good to have a consistent branding style across the publisher’s books, or do readers want to see an individual cover?

All in all an impressive book by Sherry Ashworth, and I’ll be looking back at some of her other books too. I’m not entirely convinced that the young adult market is the correct market for this book; I’m not sure I would want my niece reading this book – it’s just a little too dark for that age group, in my opinion.

To buy this book in the US, please see here, UK readers, please see here.

You can also follow ACHUKA books and Sherry Ashworth on twitter – @ACHUKA and @SherryAshworth

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Filed under 4 Star, Kindle Book review

The Ahimsa Club – Rebecca Burke

READ     4 February 2012

MY RATING     4 / 5

FORMAT     Kindle

This book was reviewed for and on behalf of the Kindle Book Review.

The eagle eyed readers of my blog amongst you will have noticed that  Rebecca Burkes The Ahimsa Club was not due to be read by me for at least another week… however having just read a fantastic crime/thriller, I didn’t think it was fair to the next crime/thriller author to be expected to follow…. So with that in mind I decided to pick up another one of my books, and this one appealed to me.


So, let me start by saying that this book is aimed at the young adult (YA) that this book is aimed at the young adult market, but, like many YA books, this can easily cross over to the adult market too.


The book follows the story of Valerie, who following an evening meal of veal, is made aware of the way in which meat is reared for human consumption. A week later at a school assembly, the ‘inspirational person’ is a animal rights activist, who awakens a number of students to some of the issues championed by ‘PAW’ – the organisation the activist is linked to.


For animal lovers, this book will be difficult to read in parts – and I openly admit that some sections I skim read, as I find the mis-treatment of animals difficult to read about. But it’s important to set the context in which Valerie and her friends are living in.
This book isn’t solely about animal rights, although it is clear from Burke’s knowledge on the subject that she is passionate about the issues, but it is also about the challenges that face teenagers; peer pressure, parental expectations and ‘boys’. The politics of local schools also interplays in this story too.


What Burke does excellently is to portray a sensitive and political issue in a good way, but also using the characters in order to show how peer pressure and ignorance can be overcome, and that, actually if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.


This book will be of particular interest I suspect to those YAs that feel sidelined by their friends as they grow up and take divergent interests and also to those animal rights organisations who are seeking to awaken an awareness in YAs; Burke does so in a nice, easy non threatening manner and her books are a joy to read.


To buy the Ahimsa Club in the US,  visit here, or visit here to buy in the UK. You can also follow Rebecca on Twitter @RebeccaBurkeSi

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Filed under 4 Star, Book Review, Kindle Book review