‘The Eagle Trail’ by Robert Rigby

287p 2014 Walker Books Borrowed

51svagrrn5l-_sx332_bo1204203200_Sixteen year old Paul Hansen lives in Nazi-occupied Belgium with his parents in the 1940’s. He has a pretty average life, even with the German influence in his city of Antwerp. But when his father is shot by German officers and his mother is arrested under suspicion of aiding the Resistance, Paul’s life is changed forever.

Paul, now hunted by the Nazis, is quickly hidden by members of the Belgian Resistance, who make plans to get him to England where he will be safe. As the Germans inspect every boat going to England, Paul is sent on a large detour through Belgium and France, then over the Pyrenees Mountains to Spain.

On each leg of the journey, helped by different brave members of the Resistance, Paul encounters new perils and dangers until he reaches the French town of Lavelanet. The few Resistance members there, led by Henri Mazet, have to organise his journey over the dangerous ‘Eagle Trail’ in the Pyrenees. Paul stays a few weeks in the town as a ‘visiting relative’ of Henri’s, who runs a big textiles factory, and Paul starts to become friends with Henri’s teenage daughter Josette.

But there is a traitor in their midst, and when a good friend is injured, and a woman murdered, they know they have to work quickly to get Paul across the mountains.

Finally it is time to move on, towards the most risky part of his journey. Will Paul make it over the Eagle Trail?

My friend lent The Eagle Trail to me, and what a great book it is. I couldn’t put it down, and I had no idea what would happen next. The World War II story was exciting and the characters were so engaging. I also have to mention the gorgeous book cover which I really liked- it made me want to read it immediately.

I would definitely recommend The Eagle Trail by Robert Rigby to anyone and everyone- I know my friend’s dad enjoyed it too! It’s intense, wonderfully written and a thrilling read.

‘One’ by Sarah Crossan

430p 2015 Bloomsbury Received as a gift

5184qoacicl-_sx325_bo1204203200_Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins, and have survived for 16 years so far, much longer than doctors had expected them to. The sisters have been home-educated their whole life, funded by the state, but when their funding is no longer enough, and their parents can’t afford to pay for the girls to stay at home, the state plans to send them to private school.

Grace and Tippi are apprehensive about starting school, as many people look upon them as monsters, but the girls become friends with Yasmeen and Jon. While Yasmeen and Jon both have their own problems, they treat Grace and Tippi as two separate human beings, rather than a two-headed freak. They spend more time together, as any normal teenagers would do, although Grace is torn over her feelings for Jon.

With their family’s finances struggling, Grace and Tippi decide to feature on a reality TV show. Although it pays well, their family struggles with the lack of privacy it gives.

But when it is discovered that Grace’s heart is struggling, and Tippi’s single heart is supporting both of them, the two are faced with a life-changing decision. They have to make a huge choice between being separated or staying together; it is possible that they will both die, either way. How should they choose? And will they ever be one again?

I’d heard so much about this book, from other book bloggers and websites, so I was thrilled when I finally got to read it. I sat on the couch reading for about an hour and as I read the last chapter, tears were actually pouring down my face.

Grace’s ‘voice’ is spell-binding, and you just can’t put the book down. The characters really draw you in, and the way it is written in free verse is amazing.  I would definitely recommend this heart-rending story, and can’t wait to read some more of Sarah Crossans’ books.

‘The Tent, The Bucket and Me’ by Emma Kennedy

352p 2010 Edbury Press Borrowed

51oqxpgs48l-_sx317_bo1204203200_Emma Kennedy’s first camping experience began with being blown off a Welsh cliff by a force 10 gale wind when she was little. By the time she’s thirteen, family holidays haven’t got much better, though not for lack of trying! Over the ten years described in the book, Emma and her parents, Brenda and Tony, visit France and go all over England and Wales in search of that ‘perfect’ family summer holiday in the 70’s. Along the way, they encounter the drama of falling into toilets, all-you-can-eat-buffets, storms, food poisoning and “the bucket”.

The Tent, the Bucket and Me is the funniest story I have read in months. I’m not a very outwardly emotional reader but I was giggling as I turned the pages of this hysterical – and a tad scary- book that my friend lent me. I thought the delivery of the Kennedy’s escapades was great and enjoyed the way the book was written, only focusing on their (terrible!) holidays. It’s almost hard to believe that such bad things happened to the Kennedys.

It might slightly put you off camping and the use of public facilities, or ever going on holiday again, but The Tent, The Bucket and Me is a fun, light book that I would definitely read again.