‘Numbers’ British Books Challenge June Read

The British Books Challenge is a simple one. Read one book each month throughout 2018 that has a British author. You can my other #BritishBooksChallenge18 posts here.

Oh dear. No British Books were read in April or May. Whoops. Only 4 days into June however I have already read one. Yay me! Lets hope this is a sign of a better month.

Rachel Ward is not an author I had heard of before #YAShot2018 back in April. I took a workshop with her where she read the first couple of pages of ‘Numbers’ and I couldn’t believe it wasn’t something I had read before. It sounded exactly like my kind of thing. I promptly bought a copy and then did nothing with it for a few weeks. Standard.

Anyway, in a bid to improve my mental health, I decided I needed get myself back into reading so on Thursday night (technically still May but whatever) I started reading. In fact…


Book Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward
Series: Numbers #1
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback

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Since her mother’s death, 15-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else’s, a number pops into her head – the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together, her life takes a new twist and turn.

I’ll be honest, initially I wasn’t sure. Jem’s language was grating (and it is a first person narration). It took a couple of chapters for me to get to know her and look past that. Once I did I got completely lost in the story.

The inclusion of scenes from school really helped to get a better understanding of both Jem and Spider. I was a teacher. I know that feeling of helplessness where you can’t make the kids understand the importance their right now has on their future. But on the flip side… not wait don’t let this degrade into a rant about the state of the education system.

It is amazing the difference a decade can make to the inclusion of technology in a story. I couldn’t decide whether the fact that the characters smoked dated the story as well. It seemed really strange to me that they smoked but this was set pretty soon after the smoking ban and way before vaping became what all the cool kids were doing. Maybe I am just really out of touch.

I swear the book was scratch and sniff in places. I could smell Spider from the description. Rank.

And the end, well I saw it coming. Including the bit revealed in the epilogue. But that didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment (I didn’t want to believe it) and satisfaction with how the story ended. You get enough resolution to not need book two, but I will pick it up at some point none the less. I would like to see where things go.

4 Stars
Really enjoyed the story. Related to the characters/issues. Would strongly recommend.

And that was May

I am not sorry to see the back of May. Is that why I am posting this a day early? Maybe. Bottom line, May sucked.

I did not finish a single book this month. Not a single one.

Reading Progress

It was a few days ago that I realised how much of a negative impact my lack of reading was having on my mental health (or perhaps my lack of reading was a symptom?). Either way, I have been making a concerted effort to force myself to read each day. Even if it is just a chapter. I know that slowly but surely it will help to get my brain back on track and hopefully bring a little balance to my wobbly emotions!

I’m currently reading…

Murder Isn't Easy Cover
Amber Spyglass Cover

Challenge Progress

Honestly, it really isn’t worth talking about my reading challenges as there is nothing to update. 

If you would like to see which ones I am taking part in you can find more details here.

June Goals

  1. Read a little every day
  2. Take each day as it comes
  3. Remember that moving and staying mental healthy is pretty much impossible #BeKindToYourself

I’m linking up with Feed Your Fiction Addiction. Why not stop by to see wrap-ups from other book bloggers?

And that was April

Reading Progress

I finished 4 books in April and have made some pretty good headway on others (I will add those to May as hopefully I will finish them next month).

Polar Bear Explorers Club Cover
Moments of Love Cover
They Them Pronouns Cover
Boy From Tomorrow Cover


You can read my review of ‘The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club‘ here. The other reviews will be posted nearer their release dates (all three were given as Advanced Reader Copies).

Challenge Progress


My target is to read 20 books this year and so far I have already managed 12. I have been thinking about upping my target but I don’t want to jinx it!

You can read more details here.


I have been rather pants at keeping up with adding reads to the link up. I have however 4 reads for 4 months so on track!

Agatha (1)

Nothing to update for this one this month.


I have now bought 6 properties on my way around the board. I posted an update yesterday.

May Goals

  1. Clear my Netgalley Shelf
  2. Read more Agatha Christie
  3. Smile as much as possible





I’m linking up with Feed Your Fiction Addiction. Why not stop by to see wrap-ups from other book bloggers?

‘The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club’ British Books Challenge March Read

The British Books Challenge is a simple one. Read one book each month throughout 2018 that has a British author. You can my other #BritishBooksChallenge18 posts here.

As with last month, Alex Bell is not an author I had heard of before. She has written a mixture of adult and children’s fiction and I would definitely pick up another of her books based of my experience with this one. She is also an author who replies to tweets which you can read about here.

When I snowed recently I took advantage and snapped this picture. I am not someone who regularly sets up epic photo shots. Here I just opened the back door, held up the book and voila!

March 01, 2018 at 09_35AM (2)


34210986Book Title: The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club
Author: Alex Bell
Series: N/A (although apparently a sequel is coming!)
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Childrens, Adventure
Format: Paperback

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It sounded like a respectable and worthy enough death for an explorer – tumbling from an ice bridge to be impaled upon a mammoth tusk – but Stella really, really didn’t want that to happen, just the same.

Join Stella Starflake Pearl and her three fellow explorers as they trek across the snowy Icelands and come face-to-face with frost fairies, snow queens, outlaw hideouts, unicorns, pygmy dinosaurs and carnivorous cabbages . . .

When Stella and three other junior explorers get separated from their expedition can they cross the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale?

I LOVED this book. It had everything I could possibly want for a fun, adventurous read. I mean unicorns and pet polar bears? Yes please.

There were moments that had me chuckling out load, particularly as my boyfriend takes his beard care very seriously. I read the part about beard care being an important part of exploring out loud to him. In fact there were several occasions where I read passages out loud. I so rarely do this and is a testament to how much I was enjoying both the story and the writing.

Woven into the book were some sweet and important messages about acceptance and thankfully these weren’t done in a preachy way. It was a lovely fantasy story with some lessons woven in there without feeling ramming them down my throat.


This review is also featured on Goodreads


5 Stars
Cannot say enough good things about it!