Book News

Diary of a Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja.

Long time readers of my blog will know that I’ve been a huge fan of the interactive digital books being put out by Fiction Express. They started out by publishing YA novels, I reviewed them as the chapters went live – you can see my thoughts here. Since then they’ve gone on to publish books aimed at schools, and are continuing to tell wonderful stories interactively.

New publisher Curious Fox will be publishing four of the YA novels as complete books, they started last month with Sharon Gosling’s The Diamond Thief (previously Rémy Brunel and the Ocean of Light) and still to come are Soul Shadows by Alex Woolf in April, and The Soterion Mission by Stewart Ross in May.

Today however, the focus is entirely on Luisa Plaja’s brilliant Diary of a Mall Girl as it is published today.

DOAMG

From the back of the book:
The mall is the heart of the fifteen-year-old Molly’s suburban town. Most teens hang around with friends there, get their first job there, and experience their first kiss there. And Molly? She actually lives there, in the complex’s residential wing.

But living in a massive shopping centre isn’t as much fun as it sounds. That is, until mysterious twins Jewel and Jasper move into the flat upstairs. Suddenly life is a lot more exciting – and complicated. Will Molly get what she wants, or will it all come crashing down?

Find out the whole truth in Molly’s private diary!

I really enjoyed returning to Molly’s story, and spending time in the mall again with her. This book is so much fun, I found myself laughing lots as I read. There are also some truly brilliant cringey moments, the kind that make you remember your own similar experiences as a teen. One of the things I really love about Luisa’s books are the characters she creates, they’re wonderfully vivid – you really get the feeling that you’ve spent time with them. If you’re looking for a fun YA contemporary read then I’d say you would be fully satisfied by Diary of a Mall Girl.

To celebrate the publication of Diary of a Mall Girl there are a number of exciting things happening, you can see all of the details on Luisa’s website here.

Book Review

Fiction Expresss Monday : Falling Backwards by Jenny Ryan – Chapter 11.

I can’t believe we’re already at this point, but here’s what I thought about the final chapter of Falling Backwards. Please be aware there are spoilers ahead for the chapter.

I really didn’t mind which way the final vote went, I thought they all sounded like pretty good options. The winner was the mystery girl, who turned out to be a friend April had made whilst she was living Leah’s life in 2011. There was so much to love about this chapter, the way characters reappeared as grown ups and that we got to find out about what had happened to them. I think the way that Leah came out of this experience having learnt so much as well as April was brilliant, I hadn’t really thought about this side of the story throughout so it was nice to see that Leah got something out of the experience too.

I enjoyed this book a lot, I wonder what Fiction Express will bring us next?

Book Review

Fiction Expresss Monday : Falling Backwards by Jenny Ryan – Chapter 10.

Voting has closed over at Fiction Express for this week, so here’s what I thought about the latest chapter of Falling Backwards. Please be aware there are spoilers ahead for the chapter.

As I started reading this week I wasn’t really sure whether I wanted my choice to have won the vote or not, but it did and wow what a thrilling chapter it made for. As Leah started to mourn for Efrain I got increasingly worried that he hadn’t made it and that Leah was indeed trapped in April’s body forever more. I was so pleased when all my hoping paid off and he walked in fine, though I did feel for Leah when she was thrown straight into the drama with her friends! Just as I was thinking the poor girl needs some proper chill out time the chapter took another huge twist, what on earth is going to happen in next week’s final chapter?

I can’t believe it’s time for the final vote of this book, I loved all the options this week but in the end voted that it should be Rosa on the other side of the door.

Book Review

Fiction Expresss Monday : Falling Backwards by Jenny Ryan – Chapter 9.

Voting has closed over at Fiction Express for this week, so here’s what I thought about the latest chapter of Falling Backwards. Please be aware there are spoilers ahead for the chapter.

The result of this week’s vote saw Jose agreeing to let Leah stay with the understanding that she would abide by all of their rules and that Rosa and Dulce would help ensure that she stuck to them. These new rules are certainly restricting Leah’s activities, and it seemed like Efrain isn’t going to do anything to help her circumvent them (though I was pretty pleased to discover that this was more to do with outside interference). This was really a chapter of discovery, we got to find out what had happened between Efrain and Zaira in the past, and more importantly what it was that Leah was supposed to be saving Efrain from. I loved all of the reveals, none of them were what I’d been expecting.

If I’d thought previous votes were hard for this book they were nothing compared to this week’s! In the end I voted for Leah to climb into the passenger seat and try to get Efrain to stop, though I’m still not sure that’s the best thing for her to do.

Book Review

Fiction Expresss Monday : Falling Backwards by Jenny Ryan – Chapter 8.

Voting has closed over at Fiction Express for this week, so here’s what I thought about the latest chapter of Falling Backwards. Please be aware there are spoilers ahead for the chapter.

The vote this week saw Leah and Julieta getting away with their shoplifting with Alba, the shop assistant giving them a lesson in how to apply their make up. I loved Leah’s reaction to the mid 90’s style make up, it brought back really vivid memories for me. I loved how tense this week’s chapter was, I really thought Leah was going to end up getting sent back to Canada so I was really relieved when Dulce and Rosa turned up at the airport. I did like the fact that Leah’s behaviour had consequences, and the way that the friendship between Raymundo and Leah has really developed over the course of the chapters so far. There still seems to be so much to happen, I think the final three chapters are going to be pretty packed.

I voted this week for Jose to agree that Leah can stay, as long as she promises to abide by Rosa’s strict rules.

Book Review

Fiction Expresss Monday : Falling Backwards by Jenny Ryan – Chapter 7.

Voting has closed over at Fiction Express for this week, so here’s what I thought about the latest chapter of Falling Backwards. Please be aware there are spoilers ahead for the chapter.

This week’s vote saw Leah making it up with Audrey and Jane, and coming to an understanding with Raymundo. I loved the new side of Raymundo that Leah got to see, and her whole shift in attitude – I found myself worrying far less about what she was supposed to be doing this week. I like the blossoming romance between Leah and Efrain, I can understand Leah’s confusion about whether she wants to leave him behind when her mission is over. I’m intrigued by Jane’s new friendship, I wonder if it’s going to become more important in the last few chapters. I must say I’m loving all of the little mentions of things from the time, like the Macarena this week, I keep getting pulled back to memories of my teenage years.

This week’s vote was a good moral puzzler, in the end I voted for the woman to make Leah and Julieta work off what they owe her.

Book Review

Fiction Expresss Monday : Falling Backwards by Jenny Ryan – Chapter 6.

Voting has closed over at Fiction Express for this week, so here’s what I thought about the latest chapter of Falling Backwards. Please be aware there are spoilers ahead for the chapter.

The end of last week’s chapter saw Leah in quite a difficult position, the vote saw her escaping from the courthouse. I was very pleased to see Rosa making a reappearance, though I’m a little worried that Leah isn’t listening to her advice. I thought the showdown between Leah and April’s friends was really well done, I hope it’ll help to refocus Leah. Whilst I’m worried about Leah not doing a very good job of her mission I do think she’s got a pretty tricky job, there are so many secrets being kept at the moment – maybe if she could find out more from Rosa or Zaira she’d find things a little easier.

With that in mind, when it came to voting I voted that Leah should find Zaira and try to get the whole story on her and Efrain, and also find out why she’s been grounded

The vote was a tricky one this week, I thought there were pros and cons to each of the options. In the end I voted for Leah to stay at the Flores house and read April’s diary. I wonder which one will win the vote?