Monday, 12 December 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Synopsis (according to the waterstones website)

Sixteen-year-old American girl Rory has just arrived at boarding school in London when a Jack the Ripper copycat-killer begins terrorising the city. All the hallmarks of his infamous murders are frighteningly present, but there are few clues to the killer's identity. "Rippermania" grabs hold of modern-day London, and the police are stumped with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. In an unknown city with few friends to turn to, Rory makes a chilling discovery! Could the copycat murderer really be Jack the Ripper back from the grave?

What I Have to Say
  I really loved reading this book. I've read books by Maureen Johnson before and really enjoyed them, but this is definitely the best so far. The research into Jack the Ripper is really well done and the plot is intricate and enthralling.

It can really be creepy at some points though, especially because most readers have enough of the idea of the plot to know things are much more scary than the characters think (being careful to give away no spoilers).

So if you're looking for YA paranormal fantasy to read or give to a teenager in your family then this is one of the ones I would urge you to get.

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Synopsis (according to the waterstones website)

Set in the deep American south between the wars, this is the classic tale of Celie, a young poor black girl. Raped repeatedly by her father, she loses two children and then is married off to a man who treats her no better than a slave. She is separated from her sister Nettie and dreams of becoming like the glamorous Shug Avery, a singer and rebellious black woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the support of women that enables her to leave the past behind and begin a new life.

What I Have To Say 
 A couple of years ago, I read this for my A level English Literature coursework. The first thing that I noticed about it was how it's written. The character is illiterate for most of the book and it's written in her voice. I know some people might find this off putting but it's really easy to get into. 

Some of the themes are quite dark so if you are particularly sensitive to books such as rape or child abuse then it might be better to read something else. If you're not then I would highly recommend this book, it's a wonderfully unique story of a black woman in post colonial times. It's about her life, hardships and how she copes with it all. 
In general, it is a really well written book.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Synopsis (according to the waterstones website)

Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers - normal, at least, for identical 'mirror' twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn't know existed has died and left them her flat in an apartment block overlooking Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin ...but have no idea that they've been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the obsessive-compulsive crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt's mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them, and even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the twins' mother - and who can't even seem to quite leave her flat..

What I Have to Say

Most people have read The Time Travellers Wife and agree that it's a beautiful story. This however is, in my opinion, better. It's a bit strange, but if you like books that make you think then this might be the one for you.

As I said, it's weird. It can leave you feeling unsure about whether you like it or not. But I really liked it. Though it's probably not right if you're just looking for a light read.

The thing that I liked most about it though is the take on death and ghosts that it has. I love the parallels between death and birth. So I would really recommend this book even though it gets very strange in places.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Synopsis (according to the waterstones website

 Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. "The Hunger Games" is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show  ever..

  What I Have to Say

This is the one book that I recommend to absolutely everyone I know. I think it's so amazingly well written. The character's feel so real that you have to root for them to succeed and the book will keep you reading well into the night (so be careful about starting to read it before bed.)

The cover above is from the first book in the trilogy. This book will get you hooked. The second book, Catching Fire, feels a little bit repetitive but the final book, Mockingjay is the best of all three. 

I think that this book is so incredible that I will say one thing more:

Read this.

Introduction Post

Hey, my name is Lily and I like books. Because of this, I decided that I would create a blog dedicated to the books that I think are so brilliant that I want to tell everyone to read them.

That's what this blog will mainly be about. What I recommend. I may do the occasional review but that's not the main point of this blog. This means that I won't be sticking to any sort of schedule. When I read a book that I really like then I'll write a blog about it, but if I go months and months without reading a book that I don't think is worth recommending  then I'm not going to apologise for not writing a blog about it.

I'm doing things this way because I don't want to sit down week after week and struggle to find a good thing about a book I hated or to find a  bad thing to say about one I absolutely loved. I also read a lot of books and I don't have time to review every single one. So this is my way of selecting the ones that I want to share. I'm also sure that you don't want to waste your time reading a lot of blog posts that are about books that I liked, but not enough to recommend.

For the next few posts, I'm going to catch you up with the books that I read before making this blog and which I can't bear to miss out on writing about or you to miss out on reading.