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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 2 star ratings
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    A feel-good story!

    More often than not we relate ourselves with the characters of a good story. In such circumstances, reading fiction can help us to get inspiration from the characters. These novels often portray real life implications through anecdotes, and as such makes it easier for us to understand the complex aspects of life. Moreover, reading these novels at regular intervals can actually help the reader to develop a positive outlook towards life, which eventually proves beneficial for good character development. Daisy, Bold & Beautiful by Ellie Collins is a well-crafted contemporary coming of age novel. The story had every element a good story should have. A solid and captivating plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s plenty of imagery in the writing style that makes you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I really look for in a good book. The book description itself gives a sneak preview: ‘D.J. and her dad moved far from the small town and only home she ever knew. Now she’s starting middle school in the city with kids she’s never met. She tries to make friends, but they all appear to be slaves to screen time. D.J. just likes to garden, nurturing plants, watching them grow and thrive. It seems she’ll never find a way to fit in, but then she awakens in a gorgeous garden where she meets Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She must be dreaming; her new friend can’t possibly be real—and what could she know about getting along with gamers? D.J. really needs some ideas, or she might never find her own place in a complicated world.’ Now, if that’s not enough to get your curiosity juices flowing, I don’t know what will. But if you want to find out what happens, you’ll just have to turn the pages for yourself! However, I will say it was well worth the read. It’s always a pleasure reading a debut novelist. But what makes this even more exceptional, is that it was written by a young author who was turning eleven and just beginning sixth grade! Captivating and commendable, this work had me immersed from the beginning. It’s a unique and whimsical fiction interwoven with true-life teenage drama. The story flowed from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There are plenty of witty and fanciful moments in this page turner that will take the reader on a truly enchanting and fascinating journey! It’s one of those books that come along occasionally that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader. If this book is anything to go by, I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from Ellie Collins in the future. Not because it’s my particular type of genre, but because young talent should always be encouraged. I would have no hesitation in recommending this book. It also has a distinctly cinematic feel to it and I could easily see it being adapted to the Silver Screen. Perhaps food for thought for Miss Collins? A well-deserved five stars from me.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    Literary Titan

    Daisy Jane, affectionately known as D.J. by family and friends, has experienced great loss and faces the challenge of attending a new school. With the support of her loving father, D.J. heads into the daunting situation with strength and a resolve to make friends and succeed academically. D.J. has another source of strength--her fern. Unlike many girls her age, D.J. opts for outdoor activities instead of games, stuffed animals, and make-up. Having inherited her mother’s love and great skills for gardening, D.J. strives to introduce her new friends to her interests as she learns from a unique acquaintance of her own that friendships involve compromise. Ellie Collins book, Daisy, Bold and Beautiful, is a highly engaging tale woven with bits of mythology. Collins has managed to take some of the more complex elements of Greek mythology and finesse them into verbiage that is relatable and entertaining for tween readers. Most middle school students would not choose to read about gods and goddesses in the formats with which we are all familiar. Collins is providing her readers with a sure-fire hit that will involve readers, teach them the basic outline of the story of Persephone and Hades, and never let them realize how much they are learning. That, my friends, is the true hallmark of a successful writer. Collins hits the mark with her dialogue, her main character’s emotions, and the dynamic between two very different friend groups. Young readers will be able to find themselves easily in one or more of the characters. The mere mention of popular video game titles is a huge draw for gaming fans, but Collins is thorough with descriptions, the exchanges between the characters as they excitedly discuss scenarios, and the way they are wrapped in the world of the game itself to the exclusion of all else. The author, without a doubt, knows her stuff. As I read, I became increasingly amazed at Collins’s stunning ability to pull out the most relevant parts of Persephone’s story and meld them into modern day scenarios. Nowhere else have I read such perfectly revamped story lines. It takes quite the imagination and a firm grip on the mentality of today’s youth to manage a task like this. If I am being completely honest, I have to say I learned a great deal myself regarding Hades and Persephone’s relationship. Collins nails it. I would not hesitate to read this story to and with fifth graders in my after school tutoring group and recommend it to any teacher or parent seeking to spice up a reading list. As a teacher, I am thrilled to see such highly relatable text for middle schools students. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Collins follows this exceptionally well-written piece with many more. Her ability to teach young readers Greek mythology on the sly is to be envied!
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