Peanut Jones and the End of the Rainbow by Rob Biddulph, reviewed by Aysha (12)

I absolutely loved this book. I got it for Christmas and I couldn’t put it down because it is a thrilling book to read. This book is great for readers who love adventure stories and books with illustrations. 

“This book is funny and definitely one of my favourites.”

Aysha (12)

This book is the third in the Rob Biddulph’s series and it is all about Peanut Jones who is at the end of her journey to beat Mr White and make The Illustrated City wonderful again with the help of her friends. But when Mr White decides to get Peanut Jones’s mum involved, now she’s in terrible danger. Will Peanut Jones be able to save her mum and also stop Mr White?

My favourite character is definitely Rockwell as over the series you can see how much he has grown to become the character he is in the third book. At the start of the series, he was quite shy and scared but at the end of the series he got braver and used his knowledge to his advantage. 

This book is funny and definitely one of my favourites. The illustrations are phenomenal and you can tell that he has put a lot of work into making the illustrations come to life with the different colours. 

(Cover illustration by Aysha)

Tapper Watson and the Quest for the Nemo Machine by Claire Fayers, reviewed by Niamh (11)

Tapper Watson and the Quest for the Nemo Machine is a thrilling adventure through space by Claire Fayers, who’s best known for the Accidental Pirates book series. It is illustrated by the brilliant Becka Moor who has drawn some of my favourite books like the Mickey and the Animal Spies trilogy and the Libby series. 

The story features Tapper, a boy from the planet Eris who has been sent to space by his uncle. He is accompanied by Argo and Belladonna who are there to look after him. On an unplanned trip to Earth, they meet Fern Shakespeare, her dad and a talking plant called Morse. 

“It’s so imaginative and funny. I absolutely adored how Claire Fayers created so many planets in this book, and who wouldn’t love a book with lobster mobsters and talking plants?!”

Niamh (11)

When Mr Shakespeare loses his memory, Tapper and the others must travel to outer space on an adventure to find the mysterious Nemo Machine to restore his memory, but it isn’t easy doing so when you’re being chased by two lobster mobsters armed with ray guns that turn you into stone!  

Tapper Watson and the Quest for the Nemo Machine is a brilliant, unique story full of twists and non-stop excitement. I love this book because it’s so imaginative and funny. I absolutely adored how Claire Fayers created so many planets in this book, and who wouldn’t love a book with lobster mobsters and talking plants?!

I particularly enjoyed the exciting chase scenes through space, my heart was pounding I was so excited reading it! I also liked the Greek Mythology names (e.g Scylla) and references. 

This book is ideal for people who love space adventures, imaginative characters and thrilling twists! 

Perfect for fans of: The Peanut Jones series by Rob Biddulph. 

Lottie Brooks’s Totally Disastrous School Trip by Katie Kirby, reviewed by Emily (13)

This book is Katie Kirby’s fourth book in the Lottie Brooks series and doesn’t disappoint.  Filled with her usual humour and catastrophic storyline, it was a book which entertained me throughout.

“Lottie Brooks never fails to help me see that my life is far more stable than hers.”

Emily (13)

Lottie Brooks is a twelve-year old girl who stumbles through her teenage years with the help of her friends and hamsters.  This time the novel is based around Lottie going on a residential trip to Camp Firefly with her class.  Separated from her best friend, Lottie attempts to challenge herself by abseiling, raft building and walking along a sensory trail blindfolded.  This story is full of friendship dramas with hilarious consequences. Lottie has to also navigate around the mean girls from a private school who are also staying at Camp Firefly as well as suffer the outcome from having her diary read out loud.  

Lottie Brooks never fails to help me see that my life is far more stable than hers.  A great book for 11 years and up if you like laugh out loud storylines. A must read for anyone about to embark on a school residential trip with their classmates.

Tinsel by Sibeal Pounder – review

This book feels like Christmas. It has all the warmth, excitement and hope of Christmas, tied with a witty bow and the promise of magic. It has everything you could ask for from a Christmas book; magical characters, a rags to riches story, a disgruntled baddie, a fierce friendship and more than a sprinkling of hope. 

Laugh out loud funny and so brilliantly visual; Tinsel is crying out to be made into a Christmas film. Fiercely feminist and written with warmth and wisdom, this book gives you all the feels.

As with all her books, Sibeal gives a nod to social politics; stamping on gender stereotypes, highlighting inequality and the misuse of power and celebrating the individual who stands up for what they believe. 

My new Christmas favourite and a Christmas classic in the making.

About the book:

What if somewhere along the way we’ve all got the Santa story a bit wrong…? Join Blanche Claus and her best friend Rinki for a funny festive sleigh ride you’ll never forget! From Sibeal Pounder, bestselling author of the Witch Wars and Bad Mermaids series, this tale of friendship and mince-pie feasts is the perfect book to curl up with this winter.

Funny, feminist and with a huge heart, it’s a gloriously Christmassy adventure that will delight even the biggest Grinch.

Due to be published 29th October, you can order a SIGNED and PERSONALISED copy here.

Books That Feel Like a Big Hug

In times of uncertainty we try to find comfort in the day to day and one way many people find this is through reading.

Personally, the book I could return to time and time again is Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson. I am a big fan of the Moomins but there’s undoubtedly something very reassuring about being pulled into Moominvalley and exploring the magical snowy landscape with Moomintroll. The characters all feel like old friends and I know that if anything does go wrong, Moominmamma will make it all better somehow, either with her unerring patience and logic or with something useful stashed in her gigantic handbag.

Winnie the Pooh is another such book that welcomes me into a world of childhood innocence, joy and fun. The Hundred Acre Wood is the friendly yet slightly wild playground we all dreamt of and who else is of more comfort than Pooh himself? He’s a simple bear; surprisingly wise, completely at ease with himself and he always has honey on hand in case you feel a little peckish.

Another story for a slightly older audience that feels like a big hug is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. It’s the coming-of-age story of teenager Cassandra who lives in an old romantic castle with her eccentric family. The narrative style, relationships between characters and the romance that entails never fail to give me warm fuzzy feelings inside.

I asked our followers on social media which books brought them the greatest comfort and these either tended to be books loved at a young age which create feelings of nostalgia, stories read by adults with their children when they were little or those that had heart warming moments within providing the warm fuzzy feelings we all love.

The Harry Potter series was a very popular choice for many, especially Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. If you combine the escapism of the magical world, the excitement at rediscovering Hogwarts, the warm embrace of familiar characters like Hagrid and Dumbledore and the nostalgia associated with this series then it’s no surprise that this was the most widespread suggestion for ultimate comfort reading.

Other suggestions included books that made people laugh like Claude in the City by Alex T. Smith, magical classic picture books read repeatedly at a young age, more modern classics such as Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson or pure magical escapism such as The Enchanted Wood series by Enid Blyton.

If you’re in need of a comforting story at the moment then call the shop on 01273911988 or email us on, talk to a member of staff and they’ll recommend something just for you. We can deliver free locally or post to anyone outside of Brighton and Hove.

Keep reading and keep safe!

Teenagers! Swap the doom and gloom for a belly laugh or two…

Are you a teenager who loves to read but is feeling the need for something light hearted? Maybe you’re a parent who thinks their teenager needs something less  gloomy to read.

We’re not saying that there’s anything wrong with sad and tragic tales of lost love and family upset, dark dystopian worlds, crazy cults or chilling crimes committed by or to teenagers  – they’re some of our bestselling YA books. In such a bizarre, and often jarring, time of self-isolation it’s feasible that you may be looking for something that might make you crack a smile or even belly laugh. If this is the case then keep reading…

Pretty Funny by Rebecca Elliot

In Haylah Swinton, Rebecca Elliot has created a loveable, flawed and fabulously feisty protagonist who’ll make you giggle and guffaw.

Haylah has always wanted to be a comedian but has never had the courage to perform. Somehow she finds herself staring out at an audience during an open mic night; oh, and the audience includes the boy she has a very big crush on.  When it all goes a little awry she is mortified but could this embarrassing situation lead to greater things?

If you’re looking for a strong and funny female protagonist, some hilariously awkward teenage exchanges and some truly endearing characters then this is the book for you.

Girl Out of Water by Nat Luurtsema

This is one of my go to recommendations for customers when they’re looking for a more light-hearted book to read.

Lou is one of the funniest narrators I’ve come across in YA books. I definitely snorted on public transport a few times whilst reading this. When her best friend Hannah sails through Olympic time trials Lou is left flailing in her wake. Her failure to qualify and the loss of her best friend sends Lou into a crazy world of underwater somersaults, talent show auditions, gossiping girls and one great big load of awkward boy chat. This is a thoroughly British teen comedy starring a hilariously flawed heroine with a quip for every occasion sure to make you giggle

Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green

Meet Noah Grimes. He’s unpopular at school, his mother has a Beyoncé tribute act, his father is absent, he’s completely obsessed with Murder She Wrote and he has only one friend, Harry. When he gets the chance to work on a project with a popular girl, he figures this could be his chance to integrate with the normals, even get a girlfriend. However this plan comes crashing down when, instead of Noah kissing Sophie at a party, Harry kisses Noah. Cue chaos.

This book will make you laugh out loud repeatedly. Noah is endearing in spite of his many flaws and I found myself really wanting him to succeed in life. The journey he goes on with his sexuality and family feels completely natural and believable. It’s a funny and light read but the emotional moments still pack quite the punch.

Simon Vs The Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is – and what he’s looking for. But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated. Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal … It’s a holy freaking huge awesome deal.

This book will give you lovely fuzzy feelings inside.  Simon is completely loveable and I spent the whole of the book just rooting for him. It is simultaneously hilarious and heart warming and I guarantee you will want to read it again.

We have stock of all of the above titles available at the moment however our staff are also able recommend a book for you or your teenager if you call the shop on 01273911988 or email us on Just let us know who the book is for and their age – it’s as easy as that.