Tag: Teenager

Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden | Review

Title: The Secret Garden

Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 276

Rating: 4*/5


Frances Hodgson Burnett - The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden


I read this book as a teenager. We had to read it for GCSE English and I’d completely forgotten about it until recently when I saw a few people talking about it on YouTube and decided to pick myself up another copy.

This is the point at which I admit that I haven’t re-read it in full since I read it as a kid, but I did flick through it to refamiliarise it with myself and the first thing that jumped out at me was the same thing that I really remember from it: the imagery. Of course, the story line itself is touching, heartwarming and occasionally even harrowing, but the main thing that I remember is Burnett’s stunning use of language and how it really brings the story to life.

I think that’s why it’s a classic. There’s something timeless about the story and the language that transcends time and makes it just as enjoyable now as it would have been back when it was first published. When we were reading it for school, I used to get in trouble for reading ahead of the class because they were far too slow for me. I think that says a lot.

All in all then, I have a lot of time for this book, and I’m hoping to carve out a window in my schedule in the future to give it a re-read. Sure, it takes a little dedication, but that’s a good thing. Commit yourself to it and fall right into the story.


Frances Hodgson Burnett

Frances Hodgson Burnett


Click here to buy The Secret Garden.


N. J. Simmonds – The Path Keeper | Review

Title: The Path Keeper

Author: N. J. Simmonds

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 438

Rating: 4*/5


N. J. Simmonds - The Path Keeper

N. J. Simmonds – The Path Keeper


Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

This book was interesting, because in some ways it’s defies genre. It’s billed as “the first in a thrilling new YA fantasy series”, but it also has elements of romance, historical fiction and just straight up contemporary. In fact, when I first started reading it, I wondered where all of the fantasy was – but then it kicked in during the second half, and it worked well because of that.

The result is a book that feels simultaneously similar to half of the books on the market while still maintaining an original feel, and that makes it a lot of fun. I also liked the way that Simmonds didn’t shy away from sex, but she also didn’t make it seem like a big deal. It happens, of course, because it has to in a story like this, but she didn’t kill the mood and unsuspend my disbelief with cringy descriptions and awful words.

When I was reading this, I wasn’t sure whether to give it a three or a four, because I felt like it was somewhere in between. When I rated books out of ten, a seven was my default rating for a professional quality book, while eights were for books that impressed me and nines and tens were for those that amazed me or changed my life. But by the end of this book, it was definitely an eight, and I’d be up for reading more of the author’s work.


N. J. Simmonds

N. J. Simmonds


Loosely speaking, the plot follows a man and a woman whose lives are interlinked. This is a world in which reincarnation happens, angels exist and there is no god, which sounds like a pretty good world to me. To begin with, life seems pretty much normal, and the protagonistElla Fantz – is a fairly typical teenager. Except, that is, for the fact that her parents are rich and she’s a minor celebrity.

Initially, I didn’t think I was going to relate to any of the characters. Imagine my surprise, then, when I actually got drawn into it and started to genuinely care about what happened to them. Oh, it wasn’t perfect – after all, it’s a debut novel. But the characterisation was pretty good, the pacing worked well and I enjoyed the story line as a whole. Overall then, worth reading – especially if you’re into this sort of thing. I’d recommend it to people who like fantasy or romance.


N. J. Simmonds

N. J. Simmonds


Click here to buy The Path Keeper.


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