The Journal of Angela Ashby by Liana Gardner
Published by: Vesuvian Books } Publication date: September 25th 2018
Genres: Middle-Grade, Paranormal
A Middle Grade “Death Note”
“With great power comes great responsibility.” ~Voltaire
I have great power.
That’s what she told me. The old fortune-teller at the school carnival.
I thought I was doing the right thing … with the magic journal she gave me. But nothing could prepare me for what happened next.
Or, for what I unleashed.
At a school carnival, a mysterious fortune-teller gives twelve-year-old Angela Ashby a journal and warns her to use it wisely. Nothing prepares Angela for the journal’s power—when she pours her heart onto its pages her desires come true.
She tests the journal by conjuring a gnome, a unicorn, and a farting fairy and then uses it to stop the school bullies in their tracks. But the unintended consequences alienate her best friend and puts her favorite teacher in danger of losing her job.
After she shares her deepest desire of all—that her parents get back together—her adversary steals the journal, and Angela fears she will use it to bring mayhem to the entire school if she doesn’t get it back.
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Liana Gardner is a two-time teen choice award-winning author of the Misfit McCabe series and finalist in 2018 International Book Awards for Children's Fiction. Daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana Gardner combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but allows her imagination to take her wherever she wants to go.
She fostered her love of writing after reading Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and discovering she had a great deal in common with the character Jo. The making up of stories, dramatic feelings, and a quick temper were enough for her to know she and Jo would have been kindred spirits.
Liana volunteers with high school students through the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP). ITEP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, ITEP helps young people "think globally and earn locally."
Her debut Middle Grade novel, 7th Grade Revolution, launched 10/24/2017 and will be followed by The Journal of Angela Ashby out 9.25.2018. Currently she is working on a chapter book series as LK Griffie, with creator Luke Matthews and co-authors Olivia Claire and Jared Cross, entitled Timmy and the Golden Lion Tamarin. In addition to the children's book series, she is working on a Middle Grade series which will be released under the name Liana Gardner, with the first book titled, The Star Warriors and the Secret of the Red Key. Her most recent YA novel, Speak No Evil, will also be released under the name Liana Gardner.
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Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Nine-year-old Samuel lives alone in a once-great estate in Surrey with the family’s housekeeper, Ruth. His father is dead and his mother has been abroad for months, purportedly tending to her late husband’s faltering business. She left in a hurry one night while Samuel was sleeping and did not say goodbye.
Beyond her sporadic postcards, Samuel hears nothing from his mother. He misses her dearly and maps her journey in an atlas he finds in her study. Samuel’s life is otherwise regulated by Ruth, who runs the house with an iron fist. Only she and Samuel know how brutally she enforces order.
As rumors in town begin to swirl, Samuel wonders whether something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps his mother did not leave but was murdered—by Ruth.
Artful, haunting and hurtling toward a psychological showdown, The Boy at the Keyhole is an incandescent debut about the precarious dance between truth and perception, and the shocking acts that occur behind closed doors.
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MY REVIEW: (LAWonder10)
Samuel missed his mother so much! Hus father had recently died and their finances were critical, so his mother went across the ocean to get investors to help... at least that is what the housekeeper, Ruth, says. It has been months and only four postcards, but no other word from her. What is taking so long? Why couldn't he have gone with her?
His best friend puts some strange ideas in his head which "feed on" his suspicions. He is getting frantic and "out of control"!
This is a mystery/suspense story which addresses to subject of tragedy, grief, psychological situations, dysfunction, desperation, and assumptions, which are not always correct.
The Book Cover and title are "fitting". The cover is done uniquely.
The characters are very real, allowing the reader to feel a part of the take. The scenes are well-portrayed.
At first I had a hard time"getting into it", but as the story progressed, interest increased, and the ending is very profound.
I offer a Four Stars rating.
The publisher sent this to me, with no request for a positive review. This is my honest review.
PRAISE For The Book:
“A fiendishly efficient, gorgeously written, nasty little thrill ride of a psychological thriller. I couldn’t put it down, and it’s entirely possible that I’ll never sleep again. A true tour-de-force of a debut novel.”–Lyndsay Faye, author of The Gods of Gotham and Jane Steele
“The Boy at the Keyhole is sinister and tight, amusing and intense, an emotional story of a sweet boy in a precarious psychological place. A fun and wicked read that is impossible to put down!”–Matthew Sullivan, author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
About the Author:
Stephen Giles is the Australian author behind the lauded children's series "Anyone But Ivy Pocket", penned under the pseudonym Caleb Krisp. The series, published in the US by HarperCollins/Greenwillow and the UK by Bloomsbury, appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, has been translated into 25 different languages and was optioned by Paramount Pictures.Prior to selling his first book, Stephen worked in a variety of jobs to supplement his writing including market research, film classification and media monitoring. "The Boy at the Keyhole" is Giles' first work for adults and the film rights for this book have been acquired by New Regency.
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GIVEAWAY! (my own)
1 Print copy of The Boy at the Key Hole for ONE LUCKY WINNER!(U.S./Can. ONLY)