mini-reviews :: the glass bird girl & the divergent companion

17 April 2014

Title: The Glass Bird Girl
Author: Esme Kerr
Publisher: Chicken House Publishing
Publication Date: May 1st 2014
Pages: 304
Book: For Review*
Format: ARC
Genre: Middle Grade, School Stories, Mystery
Find: amazon || goodreads || the book depository
Summary: The first in the exciting new Knight's Haddon series ...
Orphan Edie is sent by her artdealer uncle to Knight’s Haddon School, to investigate the disappearance of a precious glass bird belonging to his secretive client’s daughter, Anastasia, an unhappy Russian princess. But what Edie uncovers instead is a dangerous mystery that only the girls themselves can solve. -goodreads
When Edie is sent to a boarding school to investigate the reasons behind Anastasia's problems settling into her new 'home', she is both excited and apprehensive. She knows she is only their because she has been set a job but she wants to embrace her new surroundings and life without her troublesome cousins. Along the way she makes both friends, and enemies, and gets caught up in a plot that she doesn't really understand at all - but has to make sense of, if she wants to protect Anastasia.
The book was written very simply, being a Middle Grade book, and while I am used to the more complex and descriptive Young Adult novels, it was a refreshing change to relax while reading. A little too simple for my liking though as I would have liked a bit more substance to the story, but I was soon engrossed in the mystery surrounding Anastasia, and the unexpected twists were a welcome appearance.
The Glass Bird Girl was an exciting, short read that I whizzed through in one sitting. With a mixture of Enid Blyton-esque boarding school books and also a hint of mystery like her Famous Five stories, it was sweet, simple and satisfying: a perfect read for 9-12 year olds. Fans of The Wolf Princess may like this book. My rating: 
Title: The Divergent Companion: The Unauthorized Guide
Author: Lois H. Gresh
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: February 18th 2014
Pages: 192
Book: For Review*
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult, Companion Novel
Find: amazon || goodreads || the book depository
Summary: The first companion guide to the blockbuster bestselling Divergent trilogy—soon to be a major motion picture
Written by the New York Times bestselling author of The Twilight Companion and The Hunger Games Companion, the book takes fans deeper into the post-apocalyptic world created by Veronica Roth—a dystopian Chicago in which humanity has organized itself into five factions, each with its own core value to uphold. At the age of sixteen, Beatrice Prior must choose to which one she will devote her life.
The Divergent Companion includes fascinating background facts about the action in all three books—the third book, Allegiant, publishes in October 2013—a revealing biography of the author, and amazing insights into the trilogy's major themes and features. It’s everything fans have been hungering for since the very first book! This book is not authorized by Veronica Roth, Katherine Tegen Books, or anyone involved in the Divergent movie. -goodreads
The Divergent Companion was one of my first DNFs in a long time, and while I generally have a strict rule that I will never not finish a book, but I just couldn’t read this one. I couldn’t. I requested this book purely on the basis of the goodreads information they had for this. Let’s just say I will never do that again for a book I don’t know much about. I thought it would have quizzes, plural, not the one that I found; (although there may be more as I just flicked through the entire book.) which even then wasn’t a very good one in my opinion as the results were not complete. Which faction would you be placed in if you lived in the ‘Divergent’ World? Yes have Amity, Dauntless, Candor, Abnegation and Erudite as results. But what about Divergent itself? Surely you should have a paragraph explaining the ‘inconclusive’ result that shapes the whole series?
me trying to read this book.
Secondly, info dump alert. I had no idea this book was a factual commentary on all the ins and outs of the creation of the Divergent world’s scientific research, and let’s just say it wasn’t a very pleasant surprise. I am not the type of person to read books like these, I’m sure a lot of people are, including hard-core Divergent fans (one of which I am not. Yes, I enjoyed the book, I fangirled over it and the characters, but this is worse than the analysing I have to do for my English Lit exam!)
The only thing I did read was the little boxes of ‘Character Insight’s’ for all the main characters. That I enjoyed. That was something I expected. So, needless to say I won’t be reading The Divergent Companion again, it will probably go to a good home if I can find one (shout if you think you’ll enjoy it) or will get carted off along with the already humongous pile of books destined for my local charity shop...wait...will it? Is it a proof? *checks*. My rating:  1/2
*thank you very much to Macmillan and Chicken House for sending me these free of charge in exchange for honest reviews.


  1. Shame about the Divergent book, I'm always hesitant about movie companion books, they can be a bit hit and miss with their information.

    1. Yeah, especially as it is unsolicited! NEVER AGAIN.


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