Reviews of Amanda's published books

Review, in it's entirity, by Kirkus Reviews

This debut YA novel follows the exploits of an imaginary breed of creature called Humirrels, a cross between squirrels and humans that lives on a cloud in the middle of the sea.

The story mainly follows the adventures of two young Humirrels: Ishmael, who, like many preteen and teenage boys, is impulsive and occasionally thoughtless, and Eveowna, who is more mature and rather prim. The two go to school together and, after Ishmael finds a trap door to another land in his backyard, travel to a new land. Interspersed with these episodes are scenes of Ishmael at home, usually locking horns with his mother, who s doing her best to raise him to be a good little Humirrel. Meanwhile, there are typical childhood occurrences getting in trouble for talking out of turn during class, fighting with a close friend, tension between parent and child. Kids and adults would find the corresponding lessons more palatable if they were coated with a bit more plot as opposed to being presented as plainly as a plate of undressed kale. Although the title implies that the novel will be of interest to teens up to 16 years old, in both style and content it seems aimed at a much younger audience. Much of the novel concerns itself with imparting the kinds of life lessons and appropriate behaviors instilled in children: obey one s elders; going to school is important; be considerate toward others feelings; etc. Also, the text needs to be cleaned up, since commas are rather sorely abused: At least they didn t have to swim any more, for a long while at least, they could just relax. With a lively imagination, George has clearly put a lot of time and care into crafting the Humirrel breed for instance, when Humirrels blush, their foreheads go a weird purple colour but these details are frequently inserted almost at random and not integrated into the overall narrative.

A YA novel that s more didactic than entertaining.


These next 2 reviews are copied and pasted straight from the Amazon site reviews :

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book to read especially at it is aimed at the early teenage age of readers. The story is set some years in the future where the human race has intermixed with squirrels of all creatures, although we still have very recognizable things that we know today such as school, lessons, teachers, homework and tests.

The story is focused around Ishy and Eve, two good friends going through that awkward teenage stage of becoming grown ups while on the rollercoaster of mixed emotions, mood swings, and fights with their parents and with each other.

Ishy discovers a hidden tunnel in his garden that is both dark and scary, but also curious. He plucks up the courage to explore it one day to discover a strange world at the bottom deep underground. He meets strange creatures down there and has an adventure. When he returns home he wants to share his secret with Eve, but she takes some convincing. Finally he persuades her to explore with him and they go on some adventures together.

What they both learn is that they are better together, and that teamwork and cooperation is what counts, as well as learning to respect the creatures they meet and not to treat anyone badly, especially each other.

Their friendship starts to turn to affection for each other, but as we all know, teenage romances never run smoothly. Little comments and reactions we simply brush off as adults can be so wounding to the fragile emotions of a teenager, so the pair have their ups and downs.

The story is meant to capture the imagination of young teenagers, but it also chimes well with what they are going through in life. As a mother of an early teen, I can completely understand the behaviour of Ishy and Eve, and can remember being a lot like them at that age.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I may be more than 16 years old but I liked it. The book shows amazing creativity and imagination. I'd recommend it.