Welcome to my Inner World. I am a French self-taught artist, and these past seventeen years I have made Norway my home. Moving to the Lofoten islands was the greatest present I ever made to myself and the Arctic landscapes are indeed a true treat for any artist’s eyes. I live with my British soulmate,… Continue Reading

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Waking Dream by Rhiannon Lassiter

 

Synopsis
When Bethany’s father dies she feels her life is over. Forced to spend the summer with her awful cousin Poppy, she escapes into her daydreams instead. Poppy is always the centre of attention. Pretty and popular, she uses black magic to keep it that way. But secretly she’d like to leave it all behind. When Rivalaun, a beautiful, strange boy, arrives out of nowhere to claim he’s their cousin, all three start to doubt that what they’ve been told about themselves is true. Unable to resist the chance to find out who they are, they follow the truth that calls from their dreams. But, as sleep closes in, can they be sure they will wake again?
In an astonishingly dark and powerful story, magic and reality interweave to produce a heart-stopping, sometimes terrifying glimpse of another world – is it death, or dream? On a table lie three books, each with a name on the front: Bethany, Poppy and Rivalaun. Bethany’s father has just died and she feels abandoned by her mother, who has sent her to spend the summer with her awful cousin Poppy. Poppy is spoiled, loved and thinks she’s a witch. Rivalaun says he has travelled from another world to be there – and that only he knows what the three books mean. The three have little in common… until they sleep when, in their dreams, they suddenly seem connected. But their dreams tell them something else as well – that everything they have known about themselves is a lie. Which should they believe – their lives or their waking dreams…?

Affinity by Sarah Waters

 

Book Description
An upper-class woman, recovering from a suicide attempt, visits the women’s ward of Millbank prison as part of her rehabilitation. There she meets Selina, an enigmatic spiritualist-and becomes drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina’s freedom, and her own.

“Unfolds sinuously and ominously…a powerful plot-twister. The book is multidimensional: a naturalistic look at Victorian society; a truly suspenseful tale of terror; and a piece of elegant, thinly veiled erotica.” (USA Today)

“Gothic tale, psychological study, puzzle narrative-Sarah Waters’ second novel is all of these wrapped into one, served up to superbly suspenseful and hypnotic effect.” (The Seattle Times)

Watership Down by Richard Adams

 

Book Description
A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for over thirty years, Richard Adams’s Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in England’s Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of very special creatures (rabbits) on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

 

Amazon.com
“She was homeschooling gone amok.” “She was an alien.” “Her parents were circus acrobats.” These are only a few of the theories concocted to explain Stargirl Caraway, a new 10th grader at Arizona’s Mica Area High School who wears pioneer dresses and kimonos to school, strums a ukulele in the cafeteria, laughs when there are no jokes, and dances when there is no music. The whole school, not exactly a “hotbed of nonconformity,” is stunned by her, including our 16-year-old narrator Leo Borlock: “She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl.”

In time, incredulity gives way to out-and-out adoration as the student body finds itself helpless to resist Stargirl’s wide-eyed charm, pure-spirited friendliness, and penchant for celebrating the achievements of others. In the ultimate high school symbol of acceptance, she is even recruited as a cheerleader. Popularity, of course, is a fragile and fleeting state, and bit by bit, Mica sours on their new idol. Why is Stargirl showing up at the funerals of strangers? Worse, why does she cheer for the opposing basketball teams? The growing hostility comes to a head when she is verbally flogged by resentful students on Leo’s televised Hot Seat show in an episode that is too terrible to air. While the playful, chin-held-high Stargirl seems impervious to the shunning that ensues, Leo, who is in the throes of first love (and therefore scornfully deemed “Starboy”), is not made of such strong stuff: “I became angry. I resented having to choose. I refused to choose. I imagined my life without her and without them, and I didn’t like it either way.”

Jerry Spinelli, author of Newbery Medalist Maniac Magee, Newbery Honor Book Wringer, and many other excellent books for teens, elegantly and accurately captures the collective, not-always-pretty emotions of a high school microcosm in which individuality is pitted against conformity. Spinelli’s Stargirl is a supernatural teen character–absolutely egoless, altruistic, in touch with life’s primitive rhythms, meditative, untouched by popular culture, and supremely self-confident. It is the sensitive Leo whom readers will relate to as he grapples with who she is, who he is, who they are together as Stargirl and Starboy, and indeed, what it means to be a human being on a planet that is rich with wonders. (Ages 10 to 14) –Karin Snelson