Friday, March 29, 2013

THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass ★ ★ ★★ ½


Reviewed by Katelyn Harris (Aged 13) Meet Katelyn

 America Singer is not one of the rich girls. Her family barely has enough food to survive,
but despite all this America is happy.
When the form for the Selection comes out, America’s mother thinks of a brilliant idea—enter America and all their problems could be solved. After all, why shouldn’t her daughter be the one to win the prince’s heart and escape poverty for a world full of glittering gowns, beautiful jewels and the world at her feet?
There is one small problem with her plan: America doesn’t want to become royalty. She doesn’t want to be the one who marries Prince Maxon. All America wants to do is live the life she had been planning out. She wants to marry her secret love, Aspen.
When Aspen hears about the Selection he urges America should try out so she might have a better life than what he can offer.  America doesn’t want to but agrees to try out.  America’s mother is ecstatic when she discovers that America is willing to try out for the Selection. She, like every other mother with a daughter eligible for the Selection, takes her daughter to the post office first thing, where they find everyone else has exactly the same idea.
To her utmost amazement and dismay, America is one of the lucky few chosen to enter into the Selection, to move to the Palace and to meet, and perhaps, marry Prince Maxon. America’s plans are ruined and she attempts to be eliminated from the Selection as soon as she can, so she can be reunited with Aspen. But her best laid plans are thwarted again and perhaps her life will be changed forever.
This is a fabulous book which I really enjoyed. It’s perfect for a teenage audience. If you’re a fan of reality TV and dystopian romance, then this is the book for you. I tell all my friends about this book and how fantastic it is. I can’t wait until the second book, ‘The Elite’, is released!

Our review copy of THE SELECTION thanks to the fantastic people at Harper Collins Australia
To buy or learn more visit The Selection Page at Harper Collins
eBook is also available here eBook


Kiera Cass was an awkward teenager when growing up in the 1980s. Kiera always wanted to perform but wasn't sure exactly what she wanted to do. She tried all methods of performing from acting, to singing, to dancing, but eventually realised it was her love of storytelling, not performing, which led her to those pursuits. She began writing after a local tragedy in 2007, and she self-published her first novel, The Siren, in 2009 when she was pregnant with her son. The Selection was published in 2012 when she was pregnant with her daughter.



Australia: 28th March 2013; USA 22nd March UK 22nd March 
Other Countries:  Release Information 

Reviewed by Rhiannan Harris (Age 11) Meet Rhiannan

Imagine a world thousands of years ago when cavemen lived.
Over time, the Croods, find themselves the only surviving caveman family in their neighbourhood. Grug (Nicolas Cage), the father, wants his family to be kept safe, but that’s not always easy, especially when your world comes to a crashing end.
Mother Ugga (Catherine Keener) tries to keep the peace between her children Eep (Emma Stone), Thunk (Clark Duke)  and baby Sandy (Randy Thom), especially when she has her hands full keeping Grug and her mother, Gran (Cloris Leachman), from fighting.
Rebellious Eep finds it hard to obey her father, even when it might save her life. One night Eep breaks all her father’s rules about not going out at night and ventures off. She meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and his pet Belt (Chris Sanders), a boy who is the only surviving member of his family. Grug realises that Eep is missing and goes to find her and returns her home.

The next day, their word comes to a crashing end and the Croods discover there is another world out there, where Grug’s rules don’t always work. Together, with Guy as their guide, they make their way to “Tomorrow”, making new rules and reinventing old ones.
“The Croods” is a really funny movie and people of all ages would enjoy it. The animation is clever and suits the film, keeping it bright and colourful with not a dull moment. Children of all ages will enjoy the story and will want to see it again and again and again. It’s also a film that will appeal to adults, so make sure you don’t miss out.  Take your kids to see it because you’ll have a good laugh!

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Reviewed By Jack Cutbush [the Giant Slayer] (Age 11) Meet Jack

Australia: 21st March 2013; USA 1st March UK 22nd March
Other Countries:  Release Information 

       Jack the Giant Slayer is a wonderful movie based on the children’s fairy tale ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.  It is a fantasy adventure film packed full of action, comedy and a little romance (yuk).
The movie is about a farm-hand named Jack (Nicholas Hoult) and Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) who as children both love hearing the same legend of how King Erik and his magic crown defeated the giants who lived above the clouds. 
When they grow up, they both meet at a street theatre where Jack defends the Princess from some bad people before he knew she was a princess. One night, the princess sneaks out from the castle, away from her Father King Brahmwell  (Ian McShane) and Roderick (Stanley Tucci) the man who she has been told she must marry.  She is looking to find adventure and thanks to a thunderstorm ends up at Jacks farmhouse. 
Jack’s adventure starts when some beans he is given by a monk, who has stolen them from the castle, become wet.  Instantly, a huge vine grows rapidly into the sky, taking his house and the princess with it.  He then has to climb the vine to rescue her from some ugly, nose picking giants. He is aided in his quest by Elmont (Ewan McGregor), one of the King’s guards.  But they must also face a traitor amongst the King’s court, who wants the magic beans for himself.

      The great special effects and 3D bring the giants and their world to life and it’s very exciting especially when Jack and the princess are being chased by the giants.
The age group I would recommend for this movie would be about 8 and above as I believe it would probably not be suitable for any younger as people get stomped on and eaten and it may give little kids nightmares.
To wrap up it was a fantastic movie with a lot of action and excitement.  I would give it 8 and a half out of ten.  Go see it for yourself.
           If you want to see this movie or have seen it, please tell me what you think...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Breathe by Sarah Crossan ★ ★ ★★

Reviewed by Katelyn Harris (Aged 13) Meet Katelyn

Imagine a world so different to our own, yet so similar. This is the world for Quinn and Bea, two of the inhabitants of The Pod, a massive domelike structure where the air is clean and available to all, at a price.
Quinn is a Premium and enjoys the luxuries of life as his father is an important businessman. Bea is at the other end of the social scale, an Auxiliary, and her family can barely make their air rent.
Outside of the Pod there is the Outlands, where there is nothing except old houses, left over from where the lucky few fled to the Pod. This barren, treeless, lifeless world is home to a few crazy isolationists, struggling to survive.
The Pod is far from a paradise and the Resistance is attempting to solve the air crisis by regrowing trees after discovering the Government has not fulfilled a promise it made to do just that.  Alina is part of the Resistance, trained to steal samples from the few trees that are left in the world. When her partner is killed, she has to find a way to leave the safety of the Pod and into the Outlands.
Friends, Quinn and Bea, are heading off on a camping trip outside of the Pod. Bea is hoping that this is more than just a camping trip, it’s a chance for Quinn to realise that they could be more than friends. And then, Alina crosses their path and Bea’s plans are ruined. Alina uses her charm on Quinn and convinces him to take her out with them.  Alina separates soon after leaving the Pod, but an enchanted Quinn follows, with a reluctant Bea trailing behind.
An encounter with a mentally unstable Isolationist, leads to Bea’s life being endangered. Bea is saved, but at a cost.
Sarah Crossan has written an excellent novel, great for teenage audiences as it underlines our need to conserve our environment as there is the possibility that, one day, the story could become our reality. The underlying message is not overwhelming, but an important part of the story, along with the romantic triangle between Quinn, Bea and Alina. The book is written in a very descriptive style, so it feels as if you are there, watching it all unfold.
I would recommend this to teenage audiences who are interested in a Dystopian story which has adventure, romance and excitement. This book is so good, I read it in a day and I’d love to see this book made into a movie!

Our review copy of EARTHFALL thanks to the wonderful people at Bloomsbury Publishing Australia

To buy or learn more visit BREATHE
EBook available here from Bloomsbury Breathe eBook $5.99
Release Dates: Australia and New Zealand: October, 2012

Sarah Crossan grew up in Ireland and England, and then moved to the US, where she now lives. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University. Since completing a Masters in creative writing, she has been working to promote creative writing in schools.

Visit Author’s Official Site: