Jelly Review

Jelly by Clare Rees

After a traumatic event that no one can talk about or even quite remember, they’re stuck on a giant killer jellyfish, tantalisingly close to the shore and safety. They’ve had enough of it. They’ve decided that they’re either going to escape, or die trying.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

This book was a wild ride. I got my copy as an early copy at YALC but only read it recently. Woops!

The premise is that there was a devastating event that caused giant jellyfish to spawn near land, water levels raised, and some odd creatures have taken to land chasing humanity to potentially almost extintion.

Our main cast is a bunch of ragtag people, with some crazy ones, some daring ones, some older ones and a few teenagers. Main character is Martha, who is bored and tired of living on top of a giant jellyfish. And it isn’t that they haven’t tried jumping off the edge of the jellyfish and swim. Somehow the jellyifhs just grabs them with a tentacle and puts them back on the top.

The book takes you through them finding some hope that maybe there is another way of escaping or at least a way of stopping the jellyfish from catching them and returning them to it. At the same time you learn about their normal “routine” (or as normal as can be given the circumstances).

The book to me was divided itno two parts, one ont he jellyfish and one off it. The second part felt quite rushed and confusing compared to the first, which is why it didn’t rate as well for me. It felt choppy and less worked on. But the premise of maybe being stuck in the ocean/sea and having to cope with strange circumstances and the world changing due to climate change, is quite interesting though I certainly hope we do not get giant jellyfish that like keeping us as pets on top of them.

What She Found in the Woods Review

What She Found in the Woods by Josephine Angelini

Running from a scandal at her New York private school, Magdalena heads to her family home to recover under the radar.

Over-medicated and under-confident, she’s fearful she’ll never escape her past.

Until she meets Bo out hiking. Wild, gorgeous and free, he makes her believe she might finally be able to move on.

But when a mutilated body is discovered in the woods, Magdalena realises she can’t trust anyone.

Not even herself.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

I enjoyed Josephine’s Worldwalker series a lot, and therefore this seemed like a no brainer on getitng it. And I wasn’t wrong.

Lena is just trying to move through life, and stop things going a bit awry. Just a clean slate, nothing like what happened in New York and the scandal that seems to follow her around.

But her grandparents want her to have a social “normal” life, even if she is here to try to fly under the radar, so she does and ends up volunteering at a drug rehab center kinda thing.

But also, she just really enjoys walking in the woods (with them being next door to her grandparent’s house, why not?). But very soon after she arrives, bodies start to be discovered in the woods, and there are rumours flying around.

Who can Lena trust? Who is going around on a killing spree? Could it be Bo, the young man she met in the woods that seems to know his way around too well? Or could it be something more sinister?

This book takes you for a ride, and with Lena being the main point of view and the one telling us about her past and why she is where she is, but also, with her wanting to find out why someone is murdering people and who the murderer is, you keep wondering and asking yourself, could it be x?

I had an inkling of a theory about who the killer was and refused to believe one of the hints to another potential killer, but in general the book kept me guessing and wanting to understand and learn better. Lots of “maybe? what if?” and I didn’t want to put the book down. Raced through it and at the end, the hints had slowly been there all along so you don’t feel hit int he face by the revelations, but also, they are so subtle you can easily miss it all and end up being quite surprised at them.

Highly recommend for an intense fast paced murder thriller kind of book.

YALC 2019 Wrap-up

As many of you know (and for those that don’t) I went to YALC this year. All the times I’ve been at YALC, I’ve done cosplays, so this year was no different. Though I did bring in two new cosplays (Previously I have done Hermione, Death from Book of Life and of course Moon dress).

Friday’s cosplay was as Cat Noir from Miraculous Ladybug (a cartoon for children, you can find it on Netflix, and this is no promo as I don’t even have Netflix but I do like the cartoon).

Saturday was Knit Anele aka Moon dress (because it is iconic and everyone recognises it). This was the costume that gave me the most problems as the corset shifted (yes it is a corset) and I couldn’t sit, so after lunch I took it off (it is designed to be used with or without it, but obviously it is more stunning with it).

And finally, on Sunday I dressed up as Menolly (with blue hair) from Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. This was a very interesting cosplay because I got a lot of children asking for pictures (also some teenagers and adults), but no one really knew who I was dressed up as(I think the exception would be Steph from GeekyClean). My favourite part was that when I said who I was, there were two very distinct reactions “oh yes, of course” (on the older side of the scale or those that do a lot of SFF and not just YA) or blank faces of “no idea”. One person even asked me to write down the book and author so they could look it up. The dragon(firelizard) has now been baptised as “Pern” in honor of the planet where he comes from. Oh and yes, I wasn’t “holding” him, attached him to my shoulder with the help of Josie Jaffrey and my friends.

Now to the part about the books! This is my haul:

From left to right:

  • Brought 23 books. All except Lauren James’ book got signed (I mean puppy needed her, good priorities there).
  • Bought 17 books. Some for the wedding favours pile. The new edition of After the Fire (to complete my collection), and some early copies of books plus books that caught my eye. I behaved much better this year and didn’t go on a crazy buying spree.
  • 7 Books that were free or swapped. I did bring about 10 for the book swap so this didn’t go too bad (and only one of those was from the book swap directly). Some publishers did a “buy a book get one free” so some of those are in this pile.
  • And I won 10 books/proofs. Wilder Girls, Chinglish and Kingdom of Souls were high priority and I was so pleased to win them. Sanctuary was “fated”. The first person who drew won, so I went next thinkign that the odds of me winning the other prize were too small (they were), and yet still won.

I won’t talk about every single book here as I will review them at some point. But I tried to only enter those I would read (or a friend was eagerly wanting) and I also didn’t go too crazy on freebies and ended up with a small stack of them rather than a crazy amount.

I have read most of the samplers and started my list of “preorders” that are to come next (for those that follow the preorder spreadsheet, I had paused it on the buildup to YALC so I wouldn’t shoot myself in the foot and buy doubles, but it will continue in the next few weeks).

As per usual, things could be better, but they were better than last year (I am being positive and small improvements are better than no improvement). The biggest issue is lack of suitable chairs to sit for those of us who struggle sitting on the floor (I have been working wiht my physio to help me cope with this better but by Sunday I really really would’ve loved having a chair as I was struggling). And it isn’t a thing that is particularly hard to fix either.

I was also super glad to make new friends, and put faces to names and to have the chance to chat with people (I kinda want to tag everyone but I am also afraid I’d forget someone and I just don’t want to forget anyone!). You know who you are since we talked.

For me this YALC was better and easier because I made myself enjoy it more and go less into a rush and manic hype. And it was about friendships old and new. Community was interesting to see.

My biggest wish would be that people in general are more polite and considerate of others. There was a lot of madly crushing people despite asking not to. (And becauseof this I made an extra effort to not push on people and to not be too close to them in the queues, giving them space to be).

I finish with that YALC sign picture and our squad which keeps growing!

Nightlights Review + YALC Ramble

I got this gorgeous colourful book from my birthday elf box (we do a birthday box like a secret santa) Tracey, and I was really happy.

This is the paperback version as there is a hardback one, but I am a paperback human through and through. The book is big and colourful and full of imagination.

It is like the perfect imagination box inside, and with a story about a little girl who prefers to doodle than do her homework or pay attention in class (I was the kind of person who needed to doodle to pay attention or she just couldn’t concentrate). And then she meets a new girl at school and she seems to like her drawings. But maybe it isn’t all good…

It has a creepy/scary element in it but it reminded me a little of the Book of Kells style of artwork (it isn’t the same I know) and type of story. Highly recommended as a story book and just to enjoy the artwork.


I am at YALC this weekend so hopefully if you are around you can find me (bright blue hair, cosplaying each day).

My short tip list is to:

  • Be kind. Your attittude will help you get the help you need.
  • Hydrate. It is hot and you are excited and you forget. A few of us “veterans” are well prepared, so reach out to us.
  • Eat. Snacks are the very least but there’s places to eat or bring your own food (again, find veterans who can help if in a pinch).
  • Do a recon of the area. I sometimes go a bit crazy and do everything the first day. Depending on which days you’re going, try to make it last as long as you’re there.
  • Don’t rush. Yes, there’s a lot to see and do, but you’ll enjoy it more if you take it easy rather than rushing around.
  • Sunday near closing time is when crazy offers happen (stock is too small to take home, etc). If the risk is not too big for you, it may be worth waiting. I snagged some wonderful deals on Sunday that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • Authors sometimes walk the area and will happily chat to you and sign books (not all of them, be polite when you approach them and don’t expect them to be at your beck and call, they’re humans too). So don’t over fret.
  • Divide and conquer. If you’ve got friends (or made queue friends) who can help you queue or get a ticket or something, ask. Most of us are a friendly bunch and diviing bits and asking for your highest priority and helping others get theirs is win win.

I could go on and on but there are other helpful guides around, so I’ll leave it there. I will be posting a selfie or some kind of picture of my costume each day so you can find me (I am very bad at names, so I forget, even if I recognise your face don’t take this badly). Be aware that at social gatherings I go on overdrive and I am talkative and overly extroverted (my Mexican side shows up). I am not trying to be annoying.

Hope you have lots of fun! ­čÖé

YALC 2018 Wrap up

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YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) was a treat. I am still (a week later) very happy and full of books!

I’ll do a quick wrap up (or attempt to) as the pictures will speak for themselves (so many books).

  • I brought back 108 books. Some I had taken with me to get signed (about 30 of them which still means I managed to acquire 78 books during 3 days).
  • Several authors remember me, I also seem to be quite good at being found.
  • I shocked publishers with my Waterstones receipt (it had to be unfolded for a few times, and had SO many books!)
  • There were a lot of goodies, and I was very happy with all the posts. (Someone suggested an artists alley and I have to say I’d love that!)
  • Our book squad is the very best and I love them all to pieces. There were a lot of times when they managed to get books signed for me, or reminded me of something or simple saved me in some way. I can’t thank you all lovely ladies enough.
  • I said “Oh, sorry, I am dead” while laying spread out on my back on the floor to Jason Momoa (it was Sunday and I was exhausted, hypermobility was NOT happy with me).
  • I also managed to walk in between Jason and his bodyguard and be completely oblivious to that (everyone later went like “but like didn’t you notice?! you did it!”).
  • Managed to meet so many lovely people, thanks to all you lovelies that stopped me and introduced yourselves!
  • Queue strangers to friends is the best of the best. Specially after you keep meeting the same people on different queues.
  • Talking of queueing, I still don’t get the British and their love for queues. Several times I asked “what are you queueing for” and the reply was “I don’t know”.
  • Suitcases and totebags for the win!
  • The moon dress (which is actually Knit Anele’s dress) got a lot of compliments, but also, it was SO comfortable (same with the boots, custom made and I loved them, like walking on clouds).

Have a look at all the books (bought, ARCs/proofs won, free books, signed books)

Last but not least, a big shout out to the Book Box Club girls. It is through their idea of having a Clubhouse to chat about the book, that I met my best friend. But not only that, from it our book squad was born.

I had always dreamed of having a group of friends that understood me, that were there in the thick and the thin, that had my back (and for whom I could be there when they needed me), and it was just a dream.

Kate and Libby, through Book Box Club, made that dream become reality and I have no words to say how grateful I am for this, for the box, for the books, for the friendships, for our squad. Each lady in the picture below is worth infinity times their weight in gold.

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Moon Kestrel lands into the blogosphere

This is me and why I am here.

I am Moon Kestrel.

Most of my friends know me as Moon and I look a little like Hermione does but with glasses. I am also very short and I do not wear heels (biomechanics are interesting, plus heels are evil and make me hurt)

20170729_111523Cosplaying Hermione at YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) with Lisa Williamson.

As you can figure out from the picture (and the the blog tag), I like reading and books. I am quite a geek, nerd and a hipster (before it was even a thing). To be fair, it’s not like I was trying to fill those tags. I just happened to somewhat fit them.

I am smart, love learning, reading, will find shortcuts for maths (and can do mental maths, sometimes quicker than my friends can do them on a calculator), actually I like finding┬á‘shortcuts’ in everything. I consider them to be ways to be more efficient or quicker or just get better results. Which means some times I will take the ‘long way shortcut’.

I am the girl that always has a book around (they are everywhere, in my purse, on the shelves, on the kitchen counter, on the bedstand, on the floor…). Actually when I moved to the UK from Mexico, one of my three suitcases was full of books. It must have looked suspicious because at airport security they asked me to open it and couldn’t believe their eyes when it was just piles and piles of books. Thankfully books aren’t restricted items, so I just went through and that was it.

Also I like taking opportunities so I have done a lot of things in my life and keep my mind open to new things.

This blog is meant to be a collection of book reviews (because books of course), recipes (who doesn’t like food?), some of my writing and musings, drawings and other things running around my mind.

So I hope you will stay around and like it.