Younger Readers Review: The Truth about Verity Sparks

Verity SparksToday I once again welcome my stalwart reviewer for younger readers, the SSH (Secret Squirrels Helper) with her review of The Truth about Verity Sparks, by Australian author Susan Green.

The official blurb for the book begins as follows:

Verity Sparks is a thirteen-year-old orphan working as a milliner in Victorian London. But Verity is no ordinary girl; she has an almost perfect memory and possesses the talent of Teleagtivism. She can easily find things that are lost! When Verity is wrongly accused of theft and dismissed from her job, she goes to live with the Plushes, a slightly Bohemian family who run a Confidential Inquiry Agency. Verity helps them solve cases and slowly becomes one of the family. But patches of the truth about her past begin to surface, along with the special talent that Professor Plush is helping her explore…

And now, here’s what herself has to say about it…

 Who doesn’t want them to know the truth about Verity Sparks?

This story opens with Verity Sparks, milliner’s apprentice and heroine of the piece. Ms Green creates a delightful blend of adventure and mystery; it moves from feathers and rubies to the truth about her past. Continue reading

Guest YA Review: Trapped by Chris Jordan

Today I welcome my special guest YA reviewer the SSH (Secret Squirrels Helper).  She’s an avid reader who, unlike me, actually enjoys writing book reviews and she has agreed to help me out with some.  I provide the books, she provides the reviews – it works for both of us!

Today she’s covering something a little more hard-core than the ones she’s done before.  I’ll let you read it…

Trapped Chris Jordan


Chris Jordan

“Mum, I need your help. Please call –”

That’s it. the call cuts off in mid-sentence. No static. Nothing

Mr Jordan opens when Jane Garner the wedding dress lady, driving home from a dress checking, sees her daughter on a motorbike. Really, that was the most terrifying thing she could see. The daughter who barely survived childhood leukemia, risking her life on the roads. Unfortunately for her, that is only the beginning of the nightmare. When her daughter disappears, it’s a race against the clock to find her.

This book had me on such tight tenterhooks I still have the wedgie and it’s almost as gripping as quicksand. After losing his casino, his chiefdom, his kids and his country, Ricky Lang was determined to get revenge. Edwin Manning lost his son, Jane Garner lost her daughter, the last family member left to her, and the police don’t even seem to care, and certainly don’t look like they are going to do anything.

This was the first full-on thriller I have ever read, and I’ve got to say, it freaked me out. Just a little. Okay, by the end I was hiding under a quilt, but still. It really is quite scary, especially since the villain is completely and utterly insane, and therefore totally pitiless. I spent most of the book wondering whether Kelly was still alive, and if so, for how long.

I loved it, but I also recognise that this is a niche market, and could be unpalatable for people. It is terrifying, and leaves you looking over your shoulder. If you like thrillers, then this book is for you. if you have never read one before, I don’t think this is the place to start, unless you wan’t a baptism of fire.

Trapped was published by Mira in 2007. For Amazon link, click the cover above.

If you liked this review and would like more, please let the SSH know in the comments!