Monday, 29 October 2012

Bad Faith by Gillian Philip

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 256
Publisher: Strident
Released: 20th of August 2008

Life's easy for Cassandra. The privileged daughter of a cleric, she's been protected from the extremist gangs who enforce the One Church's will. Her boyfriend Ming is a bad influence, of course, with infidel parents who are constantly in trouble with the religious authorities. But Cass has no intention of letting their different backgrounds drive them apart. Then they stumble across a corpse. Who killed him? How did his body end up in their secret childhood haunt? And is this man's death connected to other, older murders? As the political atmosphere grows feverish, Cass realises she and Ming face extreme danger.

What I Have to Say 

The world of this book was so well created. The changes that were made were very well made so that you can still recognise our society hidden within.

And it makes it relatable in a way that makes the nature of the society – a hierarchy which works through a technique of spying on each other and creating fear - more poignant and also quite frighting.

The concept of secrecy was really well done. The fact that they present a public face to the world to hide what they really feel being the most obvious, but also the secrets that they keep in their own family.

These secrets that the main character's family keeps from her really help add to the depiction of trauma that runs throughout the book. There's really a sense that more is wrong than just from the accident, long before anything is actually revealed.

This book was really interesting and well worth reading.

Monday, 15 October 2012

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

 Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 324
Publisher:Orchard Books
Released:  25th of April 2006

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it's really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.


What I Have To Say

This book was so good! I cannot wait to read the rest of the series because I just feel in love with it from the first sentence. I mean, it's spies! A high school of spies! What is there not to love?!

I was an interesting choice to have a main character who has already been at the school for some time, rather than a new student. Most authors would go for the latter – but it really worked! The entire way it was written meant that it felt fresh and the entire plot needed an already experienced character who knew something about what she was doing.

And the whole nature of Cammie's character makes it really interesting. As a girl raised from an early age by a spy. It adds well to the story, which is really just a normal teenage girl story about meeting a boy and falling in love, but it's made so much more interesting because they are trained spies and are coming to it from that perspective.

It's a really fun play on how semi- stalkerish teenagers can get with their first crushes because as spies they can do it more professionally. In the end, it's just a normal teenage- girl story contrasting he normality with the extra- ordinary setting.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 400
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: 11th of October 2012

When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. 

Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. 

Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from?

What I Have to Say

 This book was amazing! I loved the plot, the society,. the characters, just everything. I really liked how the author introduced the society. Too many authors try to tell the reader everything about the society at once and there's a load of pointless explanation, but this was just introducing the characters and allowing the reader to see the world they live in through that. 

I also love the class system that's shown here. The author really manages to get across how different the worlds are that Bea, Quinn and Alina live in based on their class and parentage. Quinn lives in a world of privilege and expectations, whereas Bea and Alina must face a world where even the air they breathe is monitored and charged for. But it's not done in too drastic a way. Bea and Quinn are still friends and mostly their differences aren't a big deal to them. 

Seriously, if you like Dystopia then read this book. There may be a lot of Dystopia around at the moment, but this is a really amazing example of it.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Witch Crag by Kate Cann

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 382
Publisher: Scholastic
Released: 4th of October 2012

In a tribe where basic survival is the only priority, Kita must make a choice: to accept arranged marriages and being treated with less value than sheep, or escape and journey to the place that even the strongest men fear with their lives — Witch Crag.

But a common threat is facing the witches and sheepmen alike. The tribes must somehow overcome their prejudices and join together if they are to win a war that threatens to destroy everything they hold as good.

What I Have to Say

The societies in this book were so well written! The contrast in them and the way they were formed was so believable and made the book so enjoyable to read and believable. 

The sheep society is obviously one of the ones that really stands out The way they resemble the creatures they tend to, the stubborn way of living they have along with the malleable heard-like nature of them, resembles sheep, which I think is a pretty cool parallel to make. 

The societies formed are really based on survival. Different people survive in different ways and each different society is formed to reflect that. Whether it's the sheep-like practicality, the city's scavengers or the witches' more communal style of living, it's all believable. 

This book is really worth reading. Just exploring the different societies is interesting. I can't wait to hear more from this author!