The wild air by Rebecca Mascull

Cynthia The Wild AirIf you love historical novels with a strong female lead then this is the story for you. The early years of aviation and the theatres of World War I are wonderfully described – the research by the author shining through. The horror of war and its affect on people is handled well – with an uplifting sentiment at the end that was not cheesey (if only everyone’s war horror could end in hope!). Della was a great character who had the strength and support to follow her dream of becoming a pilot in an arena where men ruled the skies. Women like Della (most of whom are not part of our history lessons) are important and I thank them for paving the way for us modern day women.

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Beautiful messy love by Tess Woods

Renee Beautiful Messy LoveTess Woods’s debut novel, Love at First Flight, stayed with me long after I finished reading it, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of her second novel, especially when I discovered that Beautiful Messy Love was the story of the children from the first book. Beautiful Messy Love is a stand alone novel, though.

I found Lily very relatable – in my early 20s, I also struggled with studying a difficult university degree and debated whether to finish it. My heart went out to Anna and I loved Tante Rosa – the grumpy Egyptian matriarch made me smile. My favourite character would be Toby’s brother, John – he cracked me up so many times with his inappropriate, self-absorbed comments.

I went from laughing at hilarious one-liners to sobbing, on multiple occasions – a roller coaster of emotions. Two intertwining love stories, overcoming issues of race, religion, fame and grief. This book is firmly at the top of my Best of 2017 list.

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Code name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Amy Code Name VerityI do love novels set during WWII, and this may be my first young adult WWII story. It begins as a written confession from Queenie, who has been captured in France, and she tells the story of how she and her best friend Maddie, a pilot, ended up there. There’s a lot about being a pilot, some of what it was to be a woman in the air force, and about the French resistance. Though torture is involved, there is little gory detail, and the book is gently amusing at times, and is a great story of friendship and loyalty.

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Zog by Julia Donaldson

Ariba ZogZog by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is a funny and colourful book which talks about a dragon who is very fun-loving, studying in a dragon school and sharing a great bond with Pearl who happened to be the princess. I read to my Mom and Dad too and they enjoyed like they enjoyed the Gruffalo. This is my favourite as I want to be a doctor when I grow up and have Zog as my assistant.

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Logan

Cynthia LoganThis was a fitting end for Hugh Jackman as he plays Logan for the final time. The movie is unlike the previous X-men movies, gritty and sparse. We see an aged Logan just surviving at life. Mutants are almost non-existent. But of course Logan has one more fight left in him – and fight he does. I enjoyed this movie; squeamish at a child being a killing machine, hope for another generation of mutants and tears for Logan.

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Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Amy Jane SteeleI have resisted this book for some time. Jane Eyre is my absolute favourite, and I am not at all keen on it being messed with. In the end, I read enough positive reviews from lovers of the original that I tentatively picked it up. Actually, it’s a lot of fun. Reader, I murdered him. Jane Steele loves Jane Eyre, and while her life has many similarities, and the book is set not long after Jane Eyre, the story is full of twists and turns, and is not a retelling. The language was sometimes a little odd, and it was a bit modern in places, but it is fun and romantic in spirit, and I did enjoy it.

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